Links 5/7/16

Posted on by

Global sleeping patterns revealed by app data BBC

Abrupt Sea Level Rise Looms As Increasingly Realistic Threat Resilience

The San Andreas Fault Is ‘Locked and Loaded,’ a Leading Seismologist Warns Time (David L)

Wildfires expand through Canada’s oil hub Financial Times :-(

Canada wildfire disrupts rescue convoy BBC

Mossack Fonseca

Anti-Money Laundering Experts Deeply Concerned by Administration’s Flawed ‘Panama Papers’ Response FACT Coalition

Panama tycoon accused of laundering drug money Financial Times. A safe target

Remembering Daniel Berrigan: A Penniless, Powerful Voice for Peace New York Times (Kathleen C)

How a modern car thief can steal a vehicle by clicking a button Security Affairs (guurst)


Warnings mount on world’s corporate debt, China crisis Ambrose Evans-Pricthard, Telegraph (David L). Important.

INTERVIEW-Might be time for China to tighten policy, not ease says IMF

The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm Pepe Escobar. From earlier this week, and broader than China, but similar level of gloom as AEP.

Looking for the exit Defend Democracy. No one is considering the payments system roach motel. I am sure the ECB and key Eurocrats, particularly those who remember the introduction of the euro, understand full well how reintroducing a new currency will take years, and that even with years of planning.


IMF Tells Eurozone to Start Greek Debt Talks Financial Times. I should write this up but desperately need to get to a more normal sleep cycle. Basically, the IMF (and this is via a letter from Lagarde) is sticking to its guns: either Greece gets real debt relief or the IMF is out. The German Parliament has refused to give debt relief and has approved a new bailout on the condition that the IMF participate. This creates an impasse for Merkel, who is very short on political capital, and is an embarrassment to Schauble, who has been insistent that there be no more breaks for Greece and has not prepared the Parliament for this outcome.

The IMF leaked the memo to its pet outlet, the Financial Times, no doubt as a shot across the bow to Germany. Note Lagarde may not have authorized this leak; the IMF European team has gone a bit rogue, and has used leaks before to corner Lagarde. Moreover, virtually the entire IMF staff is in revolt on this issue, and the European team leader, Poul Thomsen, is highly respected internally and externally, so he wields more cards than a normal underling would. And even the IMF’s position. that Greece still achieve a 1.5% budget surplus, is lunacy, which gives you an idea of how utterly batshit the German stance is.

Germany’s official position is that it lacks the skills to run the “program” in Greece, which is not exactly true. It does not trust the European Commission, which has never done this sort of thing and is also friendlier to smaller countries. That means, in Germany’s mind, it would have to get actively involved in program oversight, which in turn means the thuggishness of Germany would no longer be disguised by the IMF mantle.

Workers in Greece Strike as Debt Talks, and More Austerity, Loom New York Times (Sid S). Note the Eurocrat hope had been to keep this out of the headline while Brexit was in play.

Sadiq Khan is London’s first Muslim mayor BBC. Bye bye Boris!

Refugee Crisis

Kenya says its 600,000 refugees are no longer welcome Financial Times (martha r)


Saudi Arabia Uncovered Frontline (Tom A). From end of March, still germane.

Syria: An “Airstrike” That Did Not Happen Moon of Alabama (Wat)

Obama official says he pushed a ‘narrative’ to media to sell the Iran nuclear deal Washington Post. Dan K points out this appeared in the lifestyle section:

Rhodes, 38, said in the article that it was easy to shape a favorable impression of the proposed agreement because of the inexperience of many of those covering the issue.

“All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Sound familiar? This happens not just in “journalism”, but across many industries (and government), largely driven by economic considerations and factors. Legacy knowledge has been forced out, new (often lesser-paid) hires lack context and experience, and are under pressure to produce without doing more than cursory research. On top of that, social media increases the rate at which ideas promulgate, stunting their depth and growth, see below.

Refers to this article:

The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru

which is a profile of Ben Rhodes, but also talks about shaping stories on through social media.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Inside Palantir, Silicon Valley’s Most Secretive Company BuzzFeed (martha r). “Palantir” is an ill-omened name. Sauron used the one Saurman had to show him selected information, i.e., what amounted to propaganda.

Hillary E-mail Hairball

FBI investigators will interrogate Hillary Clinton over email scandal, possibly before California primary Reuters (Wat). More definitive than earlier reports.


Sanders Letter to the DNC (Kevin C). If you are a registered Democrat, or have generally voted Democratic, I suggest sending this to all your state elected officials with a note to the effect, “This treatment of Sanders makes clear that the Democratic party is not interested in the view of its voters as reflected in election results. I see no reason to continue to vote for the representatives of a party that operates in this manner.” I’d be amused to learn what if any responses you get.

How the DNC Rigged the National Convention Against Bernie Sanders US Uncut (martha r)

Why must the Trump alternative be self-satisfied, complacent Democrats? Guardian (flora, Dan K)

The Bernie Sanders Supporters Who Insist They Will Never Vote for Hillary Clinton Atlantic (resilc)

The Big Reason Why Hillary Should Consider Bernie for Her Running Mate (Even Though She Won’t) Alternet (furzy). He’s too old and from the East, and she will never never never embrace his policies. Plus Sanders would not agree to be her hood ornament.

Bringing the Sanders ‘Revolution’ to Philly’s Streets Counterpunch (martha r)

Bernie Sanders will be well-equipped to upend Democratic convention USA Today (martha r)

George Stephanopolous and His Panel on the Thought of Trump Winning Last Summer: “HAHAHHAHAHAHHA” Gawker (resilc)

Donald Trump Is Campaigning on the New Deal New York Magazine (resilc)

Trump’s take on debt repayment raises eyebrows Financial Times. Someone needs to pull him aside and tell him about MMT. If he means it, he really is going to freak out creditors, which could be kind of interesting, in the Chinese curse sense. The only logic I can see here is that he is doing the economic equivalent of the strategy Kissinger recommended for Nixon in foreign affairs: act like an unpredictable madman with his finger on the nuclear button. Threatening the Treasury market is seen as that serious by finance people (which does tell you about their exaggerated sense of self-importance). China holds tons of Treasuries and losing money on Treasuries has been a hot political issue in China intermittently (which is bizarre since they have no domestic value and are basically a deadweight loss, save for defending the currency). So there might be some logic here in terms of giving the US economic negotiating advantage against China….but yes, I will be the first to admit this is probably giving Trump way more credit than he is due. Plus operationally I doubt the Administration has the authority to default voluntarily, much the less selectively.

Want to Move to Canada If Trump Wins? Not So Fast Rolling Stone (resilc). See, I told you emigrating was not easy. But wait until China crashes and takes the Canadian real estate market and the loonie with it. There was a point when you could get permanent residence in Spain by investing 200,000 euros in Spanish residential property. I knew that was an opportunity of a lifetime but was unable to take advantage of it. The problem is US assets will be whacked when that happens too, but not as badly.

U.S. border apprehensions of families and unaccompanied children jump dramatically Pew Research (martha r)

Prominent Democratic Consultants Sign Up to Defeat Single Payer in Colorado Intercept (meeps)

U.S. cracks down on e-cigarettes and cigars, bans sales to minors Reuters (EM)

U.S. counter-spy chief cuffs driver who rammed restaurant Reuters (EM)

Pension official called out for side gigs on company boards CNBC. This is blowing up. We picked up on the post by Andrew Silton, the former North Carolina chief investment officer, calling this out. CNBC is re-reportig a David Sirota story at International Business Times: North Carolina Treasurer Will Run State Pension While Serving On Corporate Boards. Read the Sirota piece for the damning e-mails.

Ethical Lapses: The Treasurer’s Appointment to Corporate Boards Andrew Silton


People are announcing their baby’s sex by shooting stuff The Verge (resilc)

Adele Ferguson on the cost of whistleblowing and need for a bank Royal Commission Sydney Morning Herald (martha r)

JC Penney cuts employee hours after ‘expense challenge’ New York Post

US rate rise chances recede as jobs slow Financial Times

ANALYSIS-Job market slowdown, rising wages may fit Fed’s playbook CNBC

Class Warfare

Ending Tax Break for Ultrawealthy May Not Take Act of Congress Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Cupertino’s mayor says Apple is ‘not willing to pay a dime’ in taxes The Verge (resilc)

EM tourists go back to bricks and mortar Financial Times. A revolt against technology.

Lyft Plans to Put Self-Driving Electric Taxis on the Road by 2017 Vanity Fair. Resilc and I agree that this is complete vaporware.

Colorado city to pay restitution to poor jailed in ‘debtor prison’ Reuters (EM)

The Dawn of the Cthulhucene: A Retrospective Archdruid. Several readers have commented approvingly. Apologies for lack of corresponding hat tips.

Antidote du jour (Kittie Wilson via Lawrence R):

yellow bird links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


    1. Carolinian

      Russell Baker, the long ago NYT White House correspondent, said the same and blamed it on J schools. He had come up through the ranks via the older apprenticeship system.

      Movie fans can see this conflict dramatized in Teacher’s Pet where old style journo Clark Gable humbles perky journalism prof Doris Day. But in the end credentialism seems to have won that particular war.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Somewhat related:

        Last night Chris Hayes interviewed two college “professors” on the difficulty of “teaching” the “Trump phenomenon” to their students.

        It apparenly never occurred to either one that simply experiencing history might be the best way to “learn” about it.

        Those that can’t do “teach.” Yikes.

    2. dk

      But it’s not just the WH press corps any more (historically considered a single source among many, and a always questionable one), it’s practically the entire mainstream media. Which may be going broke right now, but still has a significant and often leading impact on wider social-media/blogger discourse.

      Informed reporting, observation and commentary still survive in the larger internet mediasphere, but standards for factuality and evenhandedness are not really expected. At its best, editorial oversight could support needed investigation, some standards of diligence and vetting, and offer a venue for qualified and responsible parties. Each of these functions has been thoroughly undermined and compromised.

      1. edmondo

        He was a Jesuit priest. They take a vow of poverty when they enter the priesthood. Pope Francis is also a Jesuit. It could explain his interest in income equality.

        1. Dave

          Yeah but look at California Governor Jerry Brown, also a Jesuit.
          Worth hundreds of million$, his family has oil wells in a blind trust. There is no oil extraction tax in California. Gee, what a coincidence.

          1. RabidGandhi

            You are mistaken. Jerry Brown is not a Jesuit. Jesuits are Roman Catholic priests and they do not date Linda Rondstadt or marry Anne Gust.

            1. David

              I think it is true that he was educated by jesuits and that he at one time considered becoming a priest.

          1. Ulysses

            You’re right– the Franciscans, not the Jesuits, are the Order most strongly connected to embracing poverty.

            1. savedbyirony

              Jesuits, like Franciscans, take a vow of poverty but that does not mean they can’t find ways to live in great opulence. Look at Francis, for example. As a Cardinal, he could have lived in great splendor and as Pope even more, but he chooses to not avail himself of the wealth/luxury available to him thru his office. Same for Franciscans. I’ve known members of their order working as profs “living the high life” so to speak. But i don’t think it was Daniel Berrigan’s commitment to “poverty” that makes him so beloved or an exemplary member of the Jesuits. It was his courageous work for the poor and marginalized (including women -he supported female ordination, for example which is a very risky business for any Roman Catholic priest to take). At a time in history when the Jesuits were not necessarily in favor with the greater powers of the institutional church and curia (due to their support of liberation theology and intellectually sound educational practices for all) Berrigan stood out even amongst them for his work and courage.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Ah, the lovely Jesuits, the ones who assassinated Lincoln. Here’s what Honest Abe had to say about it:
          “The Pope and the Jesuits, with their infernal Inquisition, are the only organized powers in the world which have recourse to the dagger of the assassin to murder those whom they cannot convince with their arguments or conquer with the sword.”

          “Unfortunately, I feel more and more, every day, that it is not against the Americans of the South, alone, I am fighting, it is more against the Pope of Rome, his perfidious Jesuits and their blind and blood-thirsty slaves, than against the real American Protestants, that we have to defend ourselves. Here is the real danger of our position. So long as they will hope to conquer the North, they will spare me; but the day we will rout their armies (and that day will surely come, with the help of God), take their cities, and force them to submit, then, it is my impression that the Jesuits, who are the principal rulers of the South, will do what they have almost invariably done in the past. The dagger, or the pistol of one of their adepts, will do what the strong hands of the warriors could not achieve. This civil war seems to be nothing but a political affair to those who do not see, as I do, the secret springs of that terrible drama. But it is more a religious than a civil war. It is Rome who wants to rule and degrade the North, as she has ruled and degraded the South, from the very day of its discovery. There are only very few of the Southern leaders who are not more or less under the influence of the Jesuits, through their wives, family relations, and their friends. Several members of the family of Jeff Davis belong to the Church of Rome. To keep her ascendancy in the North, as she does in the South, Rome is doing here what she has done in Mexico, and in all the South American Republics; she is paralyzing, by a civil war, the arms of the soldiers of Liberty. She divides our nation, in order to weaken, subdue and rule it.”

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            The US in 1776 and France in 1789 had enormous import for Rome for one simple reason: they both placed Man above God as the basis of legitimacy and truth.

          2. Paul Tioxon

            Sic Semper Bullshit. I didn’t know the black helicopters came for the Great Emancipator!

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Apparently Honest Abe didn’t think it was BS. Given what The Church decided was OK behavior, Cathars, Inquisition, Crusades, all the way up to the molestation coverups and the speed with which they hustled Benedict out when stories started popping up about him (using a procedure that hadn’t been used in 645 years)…not really much of a stretch.

          3. Norb

            We need art to express the trials and tribulations of humankind more than ever. Not the petty individualistic kind. The deeply profound, capturing in real form, the struggle of humankind in this world.

            Somehow the human spirt must be awakened to create something more than mere domination and exploitation.

            Soldiers of Liberty indeed.

          4. Mo's Bike Shop

            Is this what wikipedia has brought us to? You feel you can cite Chiniquy and waste our time?

            Your mind is going Dave,. May I suggest a sedative?

        3. Beth

          That may have been true years ago, I cannot say since I am not a Catholic, but when my son went to a private Catholic high school one year, I learned that the priests/fathers lived in a communistic community that was far from poverty. Maybe not fancy, but new cars every two years. Servants and students cooked and cleaned for them. If a priest/father came from a family with wealth then the money could be kept separate for whatever/extras as the years went by. Nary a financial worry ever. Now that is not poverty. The school itself had a substantial endowment by catering to the most prosperous.

          The atmosphere did not breed concern for the poor but self-satisfaction & arrogance.

    1. Ulysses

      Smuggling him out of Barton Hall was one of Cornell’s finer moments!! He, and his brother, were a fantastic personal inspiration to me and many others of our generation.

  1. EndOfTheWorld

    “Donald Trump is Campaigning on the New Deal.” He wants to plop down a trillion bucks for infrastructure repair, which is way overdue. This is a popular issue which will get many dems to vote for him instead of holding their noses and voting for Hill. In response to a query from CNBC talking head Joe Kernen, he stated: “I don’t tack right or left. I tack what’s right.” Also “Bringing the Sanders ‘Revolution’ to Philly’s Streets”—-Hill might find her coronation party disrupted by the annoying “little people” making noise outside.

      1. Bill

        Of course she’ll find 2 or 3 to wave at and give her famous thumbs up to ……….gag………..

    1. fresno dan

      With the exception with immigration, and the caveat that what a politician says and what a politician does are two different things, in my view a serious argument could be made that Trump will take on Hillary from the left on a number of issues. If Trump were to say “I am an American before I am a republican” I think it could put Trump’s opponents in a difficult spot. Of course, most journalists are loathe to discuss, and do not know ANYTHING, about the actual proposed “reforms.”

      One example is the democratic double talk about social security “reform” (i.e., cuts in benefits that will of course hurt the poor and middle class) – it is simply a difference in branding, the repubs reveling in sticking it to the poor, while the dems proclaim their DESIRE to protect the poor, while in fact STICKING it to the poor….

      If all the “serious people” think it is a FACT that benefits have to be cut, there is a reason for that – – “think tanks” that disseminate info to the press are of two types – shills for the rich who serve champagne and shrimp, and public service, who serve tap water…..

      Seriously, I think Hillary is far closer to Ryan than to Trump on any number of issues. As I have often said, on the important issues of interventionist foreign policy, increasing inequality, immunity from prosecution for the rich and powerful, the two parties are twins – of course, they do differ on bathroom laws, which could determine the fate of the world….(sarc)

      1. jawbone

        I don’t have time to search for all of them, but there were several times when only the intransigence of the House Repub reps were all that prevented Obama from getting his long desired plans for cutting SocSec and Medicare, among his other Corporatist goals.

      2. Mo's Bike Shop

        Robot Nixon is left of Hillary.

        Existentially, the question in November is how much do I dread four years of hearing “How do you define cookie jar?” The DNC prolly ain’t gonna like my answer.

    2. fresno dan

      May 7, 2016 at 7:52 am

      “Donald Trump is Campaigning on the New Deal.”
      It’s impossible to predict the implications this will have for our politics. We could end up watching a general-election debate where the Democratic nominee hectors her Republican rival over how he intends to pay for his jobs program, or else where the standard-bearer of the “small-government” party pressures Hillary Clinton into a more ambitious infrastructure plan.

      America is about to experience a six-month campaign in which both major presidential candidates support large-scale government intervention to promote domestic employment. This shift in the terms of our debate could outlive this cycle, as ambitious young Republicans seek to emulate Trump’s blend of ethno-nationalism and economic populism. Or a Clinton landslide could clear the way for movement conservatives to reclaim the means of candidate production.

      Trump has taken us into uncharted waters. When we make landfall this November, we could find ourselves in the same port we sailed out from — or else in a new world. We may end up prisoners in Trump’s fabulous internment camp. Or maybe we’ll all just be Keynesians again.

      Unemployment used to be the BIG presidential election issue – it was always a big deal even if it was low, there was fear that it was going up (and not today’s propaganda number – the very fact that the ridiculous 5% is put forward with a straight face shows how far we have declined) – it has taken a LONG time, but finally, finally, FINALLY, we are back to understanding that the best social program is a job.

  2. Carolinian

    This is interesting: When Nixon favored BIG.

    While young demonstrators the world over were taking to the streets, five famous economists — John Kenneth Galbraith, Harold Watts, James Tobin, Paul Samuelson, and Robert Lampman — wrote that “[t]he country will not have met its responsibility until everyone in the nation is assured an income no less than the officially recognized definition of poverty.” The New York Times published their letter, signed by 1,200 fellow economists, on the front page.

    The next year, Richard Nixon was on the verge of making these economists’ dream a reality by enacting an unconditional income for all poor families. It would have been a massive step forward in the War on Poverty, guaranteeing a family of four $1,600 a year, equivalent to roughly $10,000 in 2016.

    He was persuaded to turn this into “workfare” by one Ayn Rand devotee on his staff who pointed to false conclusions about the Speenhamland system in 19th cent England. Still it’s a bit amazing to look back at a period when even Republicans thought that government needed to fix poverty.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The motivation for a negative income tax was to replace welfare programs. It wasn’t intended to increase social welfare spending. It was perceived as administratively more efficient and more equitable.

      1. Benedict@Large

        Having been in the “welfare system”, I can assure you that it is extremely difficult to navigate, or even know what one is entitled to or whom to ask. I personally missed the EITC entirely for six years, only later to find out that even tax software was not programmer to recognize my eligibility during that time. It would have been a blessing to have had a basic income as a replacement.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Thx for the fixed link. Not sure if the link above was the original headline but it used the word ‘interrogate’ and the one you provided uses ‘interview’ instead. Maybe sHillary had one of her fixers give Reuters a jingle? I liked the original better and was hoping for some ‘enhanced’ techniques..

  3. allan

    U.S. forces now on the ground supporting combat operations in Yemen

    The Pentagon has placed a small number of U.S. advisors on the ground in Yemen to support Arab forces battling al-Qaeda, military officials said on Friday, signaling a new American role in that country’s multi-sided civil war.

    The same al-Qaeda who our `ally’ Saudi Arabia has created a safe haven for by going after the only indigenous force capable of opposing al-Qaeda, the Houthis.

    1. edmondo

      Who knows more about war than the modern-day Hessians? We don’t know how to win them but we know a lot about them. I wonder how many parents of US servicemen/women will be voting for Hillary to put their children into danger?

      1. john

        As a third+ generation military ‘bro’ (is that the term?) My landlord seems to think so….

        Anyways, I might be the special case I think I am, but Bernie.

        WMD’s indeed.

    2. Jim Haygood

      In this 16th year of the Bushobama administration, the MIC is setting up as many tripwires as it can, to keep its gig going regardless of who replaces Bushobama.

      1. Nelson Ruiz

        Thats funny, I thought it was the 24th year of the Clinton administration. Isnt Clinton up for reelection again this year?

    3. craazyboy

      At this point I’ve concluded that a Sunni with a gun is an Al-Qaeda. I think ISIS also announced Yemen sounds like a great place for ISIS. I imagine they’ll wait until we’ve killed off all the Houthis and al-Qaedai, then move in. Hopefully they’ll be wearing ISIS T-shirts so we’ll know when to be alarmed.

    1. dk

      Out of the limelight but might not be dead yet:

      Energy services firm FMC FMC +0.97% Technologies Inc. is cooperating with the U.S. Justice Department’s inquiry into engineering company Unaoil S.A.M., the company said in a securities filing.

      The disclosure offered a few more details than a similar recent notification from energy and construction firm KBR. FMC said the Justice Department is investigating whether “certain services Unaoil S.A.M. provided to its clients, including FMC Technologies, violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”

      The company said in the filing from last week that it is cooperating with the investigation and has started its own internal inquiry. The company did not immediately respond for comment Thursday.

      The Huffington Post and Fairfax Media recently published what it said were internal documents from Unaoil and claimed they showed corruption on the part of the company in its role in the oil industry. Media reports have said several nations including the U.S., U.K. and Australia are investigating the Monaco-based company.

      The Justice Department has aid it does not confirm or deny whether a matter is under investigation.

      Unaoil has said the allegations against it are unfounded and that it would strongly defend itself.

      “Unaoil has not been contacted by the US Department of Justice,” a spokesman for Unaoil said Thursday.

      Updated to include comment from Unaoil.

      The DOJ won’t comment, but FMC’s and KBR’s required disclosures means an investigation is in progress (as of May 5 anyway). The fact that Unaoil has not been contacted (again, they would have to disclose this) means that the DOJ is building its case before questioning them.

      Interest seems to be more sustained in Australia as well:

  4. paul

    At 1 million USD per stock keeping unit,the fda has effectively banned ecigs,but what does 400,000 smoking related deaths a year matter to them?
    Packed in the coffin nails 4 1/2 years ago thanks to these little Marvel’s.

    1. KurtisMayfield

      I had a very interesting conversation with a doctor on a plane ride a few years ago. Basically here is the math the government sees in a smoker:

      Death of a smoker in 40’s-50’s = they have paid a lot of taxes into the system already.

      Death before retirement= very little SSI and Medicare costs.

      It’s a win-win for the government.

      1. paul

        Plus, I believe a lot of state taxes on tobacco have been collateralised. Keep on puffin’ for them children,folks!

    1. dk

      Who could’a knowed?

      Hillariously, both proponents and detractors of Trump are praising his political acumen now, since he beat a field of seasoned pols to the nomination.. the field of seasoned pols otherwise known as the klown kar.

      There’s a huge investment to protect, an emotional one as well as a professional one. There may be a populist appeal to the feeling that if everyone is an idiot (in the absolute sense), no one is an idiot (in the relative sense). But this shouldn’t be take as an excuse to stop thinking altogether; rather, it suggests that thinking is broadly accessible and that, contrary to traditional dogma, there are no unanswerable questions (as long as one restricts oneself to rationally developed questions).

      Another byproduct of a high-speed media echo chamber (social or otherwise) is the difficulty of forming and passing along concepts derived from reasoning beyond the first or second order of complexity.

      1. fresno dan

        I keep coming back to “the emperor has no clothes”
        I still have a lot of friends that are repubs, and NOT ONE thought we needed another Bush – BECAUSE of the way the previous one had performed….

        you had 17 candidates, and 16 of them spewed policies that polls of repubs revealed that majorities, and sometimes big majorities, just did not support. If it hadn’t been for Trump, people would still believe that repubs think it is gospel that “Bush kept us safe” and saying otherwise is the third rail of rebpub primaries…

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Official partisanship has been focused on how well a candidate reads or bizarre views about secret religions for so long, the Washington elite have no concept of how to respond to Trump, Sanders, or any private citizen who makes a public criticism or raises a question. The result is Hillary’s interaction with coal miners. The correct response is an infrastructure program, strong health care policies, education support, and turning West Virginia into Wind Virginia. “This is the first state to reject slavery, not in a theoretical way, but in a way that put them on the front lines, and with your help, it’s going to be the front to line of a green future.” Seriously, this isn’t that complicated.

          Trump is a clown, but the bipartisan consensus is so intellectually bankrupt, morally decayed, and decadent they can’t deal with this challenge. The Clintonistas believe that after years of bashing the Koch brothers people will flock to the Clintons because the Kochs don’t like Trump who rose without their largess. The people who know the Kochs would consider their mild endorsement of Hillary as a feather in the cap for Trump, and the people who don’t know the Kochs at this point won’t care. Of course, the Republicans brought out Mittens to sternly lecture people who rail about the “nanny” state. The Kochs and Mittens are part of the respectable ruling class.

          1. cnchal

            Trump is a clown . . .

            I recall Mitt Romney’s speech in Salt Lake City, and the line or concept that I found most interesting was when Romney said something to the effect that they feared Trump’s imagination, and they couldn’t let Trump’s “imagination” near the White House.

            All good clowns have a great imagination.

            . . . The Kochs and Mittens are part of the respectable ruling class.

            Trump is being serially called a con man and liar publicly by sitting politicians, Graham Lindsey being the latest one given prominence on NBC. The “respectable ruling class” has no class, but I know you omitted the /sarc> tag.

            Every time a peon hears that they think to themselves, “so what” Mr. or Mrs. Big Shot Politician, so are you.

            What to do? Vote for the politician that will continue to con me, or find relief in someone that isn’t a politician that is dangerous and fearful to them?

            If the Democratic Party leadership were smart, they would fire Hillary.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              The Team Blue elites aren’t Democrats in a sense they want to win and enact policy changes. They want the trappings of office, to service the wealthy, and applause with no responsibility. Sanders is an attack against their desires.

        2. dk

          The operating premise of political consultants, their business model, is that they can predict voter behavior (at least approximately), based on what amounts to enhanced marketing analytics. But these analyses are based on the consultant’s (and/or their clients’, and the odd pundit’s) concepts of party affiliation. They had (and still have) a huge blind spot about voter dissatisfaction. The closest they come to it is the concept of voter disengagement (disinterest, suppression, disenfranchisement), so a significant and engaged populace that doesn’t like the proffered candidates is completely outside of their conceptual range. It doesn’t help that their basic model of voter psychology is that of a brain-dead lunk that either consumes or ignores the positions (postures) that they produce.

          And this is the little cabal that has been driving establishment politics (Rep and Dem) for the last couple of decades. Candidates defer to them directly, the MSM indirectly. Call them the emperor’s fashion design team, they’re working on their Tump season lines as we speak. Dismissing Sanders hasn’t completely worked yet, and the opportunity to equate Sandes with Tump is irresistible (and not completely unfounded, if one doesn’t bother to distinguish between posture and position).

        3. Jeff W

          …16 of them spewed policies that polls of repubs revealed that majorities, and sometimes big majorities, just did not support. If it hadn’t been for Trump…

          I view that as one of advantages of having Trump in the race. It’s one of the reasons why the Republican élites are in such turmoil regarding Trump—it’s not that he is going against GOP orthodoxy (in some cases), it’s that he’s revealing it to be the sham that it always was. The emperor indeed has no clothes.

          Trump might well be to the left of Clinton on some key economic issues. Ian Welsh said as much back in August, Benjamin Studebaker said it in late March. Now New York Magazine says Trump is “campaigning on the New Deal” with “an infrastructure proposal that he explicitly likens to FDR’s programs” [italics in original] while Studebaker has described Clinton as “a neoliberal building on the legacy of Ronald Reagan.”

          So we have this weird, apparently unprecedented, inverted dynamic where the putative Democratic nominee, after being bashed from the left in the primaries by someone espousing, essentially, New Deal liberalism, may again be facing something of an attack from the left (on, at least, some economic issues) by the putative Republican nominee. (And those Sanders supporters who are willing to vote for her, if any, will be looking for some movement to the left as well.) None of this means that Clinton (if she is, in fact, the nominee) will actually move one iota to the left—personally, I’d be surprised if she did—but it does seem to mean that, as New York Magazine says, we are in “uncharted waters,” campaign season-wise.

    1. craazyboy

      One of our Constitutional Amendments(forgot which one) says something to the effect the “US government debt shall not be questioned”, meaning the USG gubmint must repay it’s debt. It’s debatable of course whether it’s done by printing MMT money, or done thru taxation. The financial world will have an opinion on that, however.

      So there’s a little hurdle for The Donald there.

      Once again, you can control trade policy selectively with import duties, and even under current WTO rules, the Treasury can declare China a currency manipulator and legally impose higher tariffs. We even have a tariff system in place granular enough to impose tariff rates by product groups. So we could exclude Chinese toys. But China has progressed way past being Santa’s helper.

        1. hunkerdown

          When the aristocracy acts like adults, they will have earned grown-up, dignified names. Until then, they can shut up and color.

          1. Vatch

            Interestingly, in the last couple of years a surprising trend has appeared: coloring books for adults.

            1. dots

              They make good gifts for kids. The stuff typically marketed to them is Saturday morning cartoonish and aimed at getting them to identify with brands.

      1. Benedict@Large

        Taxes receipts are not used to pay for anything. They simply extinguish the debt obligation created when that money was created. Buying back federal debt is simply a debt swap, where the formal bonds are merely replaced by currency or reserves, the three of which together are called money, or US debt, depending unpon whether you are looking at it from the asset or debt side of the ledger.

    2. MikeNY

      I think Baker has it right.

      The reason that the debt trades at a discount is the key point: if it’s about the threat of reneging, that’s nutz. If it’s because rates have gapped up, it’s logical to repurchase it if what you care about is notional debt / GDP, and not debt servicing capacity, which would be unchanged.

      If he were plausibly to throw into question the ability and willingness to service the debt, I think the reaction in the markets would be, erm, dramatic.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        But what happens when the debt itself contains a discount to maturity? I give Germany $100 and two years later if everything goes to plan I get $0.98 back.
        Seems to me the notion of par value is kinda sacrosanct. And on top of that comes measures of default risk. We’re also being told that somehow time preference can be less than zero. Remember, the rate of *positive* payment that will convince me to forego consumption today?
        Everybody freaked when they broke the buck on money market funds…but at least you knew the underlying (USD) traded at par. NIRP feels strange and weird. And what will FASB have to say about it? Do I get an automatic built-in capital loss when I buy a NIRP bond and hold to maturity?
        This will not end well.

        1. cnchal

          . . . I give Germany $100 and two years later if everything goes to plan I get $0.98 back.

          If that’s your plan, give me the $100 and I’ll give you back $50 in two years. Way better than what the Germans are offering. /sarc>

          Do I get an automatic built-in capital loss when I buy a NIRP bond and hold to maturity?

          Looks like it to me. The saving grace in a deflationary world is that when you get your money back it could buy lot’s more than what could have been bought before you handed over your money, so it’s actually a gain.

          See, central bankster logic is easy.

    3. cwaltz

      I think it’s interesting because for years the GOP has said “the government should be run like a business,” well businesses run like Donald is suggesting. Perhaps we can finally have the conversation where people finally understand government is NOT supposed to operate like a business. They aren’t supposed to shed debt because it inhibits profitability. They are supposed to step in where businesses maybe wouldn’t for the welfare of citizens.

      And then maybe after we get rid of the government should run like a business canard, we can start having a discussion on why the government holding the world reserve currency isn’t like a household either conversation.

      1. craazyboy

        Trump does think the Greater Washington DC area does a horrible job of purchasing.

      2. inode_buddha

        I think when people say that the Gov’t should be run like a business, what they really mean is that they should do away with baseline accounting. I actually agree with this in cases where it is practical to do.

        But you really wouldn’t want a government to be run *completely* like a business because then the elderly and disabled would be euthanized for non-perfomance. It would be inhuman on a scale never before seen.

        1. craazyboy

          Just make sure you by all your stuff from the BLS. They’ve got the best prices around!

    4. Adam Eran

      One additional twist: Trump has us talking about default while the R’s were threatening with the “debt” ceiling previously. Ha! Take that Mitch McConMan!

  5. Brooklin Bridge

    Given the tenor of Hillary fans in comment sections, it’s surprising they are not clamoring for the impeachment process to be gotten over with now so that everything will be ready in time for the coronation.

  6. hreik

    To the political inconvenience of said establishment Democrats, including Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Koch’s endorsement has content behind it. His charge (link above) is that establishment Democrats have the softer touch needed in present circumstance to sell Conservative policies like deregulation of industry and fiscal austerity. As Bill Clinton, whose policies Mr. Koch preferred to those of George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have demonstrated— it is socially liberal Democrats who have been the better proponents of Wall Street’s neo-capitalist takeover precisely because they accomplish with stealth economic policies what Republicans attempt more straightforwardly through politics. (Bob Urie)

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      But, whatever you do, don’t vote for Trump. Because THIS time, the koch brothers know what they’re talking about, and they’re on YOUR side.

      And Trump is a very bad man.

      1. Pat

        The thing is that Trump is a very bad man. That Clinton is a friggin’ psychopath (along with her husband) and a hideous choice who would help advance the Koch’s destruction of this country does not change that. In many ways we are really facing a decision of who is one ml better than the other.

        And I say that even as someone who thinks the racist, misogynist, self promoter with angry issues who would beat up a little old lady for a dime might be that ml better.

        1. cwaltz

          I’m more than happy not to have a dog in the bad and worse competition the Democrats and GOP seem to have going on.

          I’ll be giving my vote to a third party to promote ballot access. I’m going to vote FOR something come heck or high water.

      2. sleepy

        As time goes on I’m beginning to think about voting for him. I understand the concerns, but what Hillary represents is just so vile. If the Greens have some sort of resurgence nationally as a result of the two major candidates, they have my vote, but otherwise he is a consideration for me.

        I have only voted for a dem prez twice–McGovern and Obama once, and never for a repub. Did vote for a repub in a New Orleans council race 40 yr ago over a crooked dem incumbent who was so low-down he would fix parking tickets for 5 bucks. But that’s it. Now’s maybe the time.

        1. Adam Eran

          IMHO, Whether your state is dependably red/blue makes all the difference. Vote Green if it is. You’ll empower the Greens and put the major parties on notice.

          If you’re in a swing state, then LOEs is really the way to vote.

          1. tegnost

            why? Lesser of two evils is two evils and you have another option What policies does hillary clinton favor r promote that are good for the people you are cajoling to make a choice that is bad for them? The truth is if every bernie supporter voted stein she’d probably win, and boy would that be unforeseen.

          2. Massinissa

            Youre being disingenous IMO. Either vote Lesser Evil whereever you are or vote third party whereever you are. Pick one.

            Im not in a swing state (if Georgia is up for grabs the Republican has basically already lost), but if I was I would still vote 3P.

            1. nippersdad

              I saw on The Hill that Clinton and Trump are polling one percentage point apart here in Georgia. Strange times, indeed.

        1. Jim Haygood

          … a misogynist, according to Trump:

          EUGENE, Ore. — An unrestrained Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton an “unbelievably nasty, mean enabler” who “destroyed” the lives of her husband’s mistresses during a rally in Oregon on Friday night.

          The comments, made during an evening rally in Eugene, Ore., marked the sharpest tone he’s taken against the Democratic frontrunner since becoming his party’s presumptive nominee, and the first time he’s been so direct in referencing Bill Clinton’s affairs in months.

          “She’s been the total enabler. She would go after these women and destroy their lives,” Trump said. “She was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler, and what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful.”

          1. hidflect

            She takes millions of dollars from Saudi despots who behead women for sorcery and then calls Trump a misogynist. Oh, Hillary. Promise me you’ll never change…

        1. Harry

          What a great idea for those of us who live in NY or other deep in the money states.

          1. hreik

            well, i won’t vote for either The Mad Bomber or the Hairball. I don’t think I can write in Bernie here in CT.

            And No, not voting is not like giving 1/2 vote to each of them. not voting is not voting.

            1. Vatch

              Please pardon me for repeating myself; please consider voting for a third party candidate if Sanders isn’t nominated. For now, people should continue to vote for Sanders in the primaries. But if he doesn’t get the nomination, they should seriously consider voting for a third party candidate, such as the Green Party candidate. Even though a third party Presidential candidate won’t win the election in 2016, if a third party’s candidate gets 5% of the vote, they qualify for general election grant money in the next election in 2020. They might even qualify for retroactive money for the 2016 election. See:


              Since no third-party candidate received 5% of the vote in the 2008 presidential election, only the Republican and Democratic parties were eligible for 2012 convention grants, and only their nominees were eligible to receive grants for the general election once they were nominated. Third-party candidates could qualify for public funds retroactively if they received 5% or more of the vote in the general election.

              1. tegnost

                you convinced me several months ago and I urge others to consider the power of their vote

            2. tegnost

              I’m not voting for either one myself, but consider how down ballot voting can punish the establishment (I’m looking at you, patty murray)

    2. fresno dan

      May 7, 2016 at 9:51 am
      I agree 1 squillion percent!
      The dems have great branding – people think because of your advertising that you care about the poor and middle class, and will protect them from the depredations of the 0.01%, while you get to fly on private jets to Davos and pontificate (and you get the skim from the donations to your “foundations”) about after 40 years of free trade leading to greater inequality, the solution is….more free trade

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Once again I’ll recommend Thomas Frank’s Listen, Liberal. It deals with this very thing.

        1. fresno dan

          Posted before, but so good I can’t resist posting again

          “If we broke up the big banks tomorrow—and I will if they deserve it, if they pose a systemic risk, I will—would that end racism?”

          LOL – who knew Hillary was so, so FUNNY – what an incredible sense of humor – – “…and I will if they deserve it…” HA, HA, Ha!!!!
          IF THEY DESERVE IT….WOW! And I used to think Monty Python came up with bizarre juxtapositions of absurd things that – why, Hillary’s comment makes the bureau of silly walks look like a solemn…
          Sure, the main punchline – “would that end racism” – is a hilarious non-sequitur – but adding in that little “if they deserve it” that is just side spiting!!!
          That wasn’t a joke?!? That isn’t a self deprecating play on her age and that she is beginning to have dementia, to say that the banks maybe didn’t do anything wrong, and bank regulation is the logical way “serious people” confront racism????
          C’mon – your kidding me – there is no way she could have meant that – not even Trump could be that preposterous…..

          1. craazyboy

            But it would make IQ tests easier. Which of these two things is not the same….

        2. Vatch

          I enthusiastically support your recommendation for Listen, Liberal. I recently read some random paragraphs of this book while browsing in a book store. It’s quite good. I didn’t buy it, but that’s mostly because I already have a huge backlog of reading material, and I think I already know some of the stuff that Frank discusses. There are two types of people who would benefit from reading the book:

          1. People who know how badly the Democratic Party had degenerated, and who want some fresh ammunition for arguments with liberals who don’t understand this yet.
          2. People who actually think that the Democratic Party is leftist or represents middle and working class people.

          I have some relatives with summer birthdays. Maybe I’ll give this book to them.

      2. hreik

        Well, they play identity politics to win over those who fetishize (Sp?) that… they think (wrongly) that if some leader, Potus, Senator isn’t a racist, he/she will be careful not to put forth, vote for etc policies that hurt that particular e.g. racial cohort. It’s all bullsh*t. They don’t give a flying phuck about any cohoort that doesn’t represent the almighty dollar.

    3. Lambert Strether

      In other words, Koch’s endorsing Black Agenda Report’s “more effective evil” framing. What a year it’s been!

      * * *

      On another note, there are two ways to vote for none of the candidates on offer: 1) Write in, and 2) deface your ballot. A vote using either of these two methods will, IIRC, be counted.

      The thing about not voting is that it reinforces the “voter apathy” narrative of the political class. If that’s the message one wishes to send, fine, but that’s not the “mad as hell and not gonna take it any more” message that others prefer.

      1. marym

        Write in:

        In 35 states, a write-in candidate must file some paperwork in advance of the election. In seven states, write-in voting for presidential candidates is not permitted.

      2. dk

        “deface your ballot”? Got any credible links for that? It is certainly not true in New Mexico; a defaced ballot can be rejected by a precinct judge or poll worker, the voter can fill out a new one or not cast a ballot.

        A defaced provisional ballot is open to discretionary exclusion and can be completely disregarded, even if the defacement is relatively minor (people argue over this kind of thing in recounts).

        The category for Pres/VP can be left blank, just like any other category.

        If a poll worker claims otherwise, they are wrong; ask for the poll/precinct judge, or demand to see a citation or written statement (and video-document if possible). It’s important to vote, surely there are federal, state and local candidates on every ballot that need and deserve the support. And if not, a blank ballot still counts for something.

        Almost every county and/or state secretary’s office publishes a post-election Canvass or Register (and if not online, why not?), which shows the actual number of votes cast, per candidate/measure choice. Election analysts (including political consultants and field organizers) use these to measure voter engagement/disengagement, the top of the ticket doesn’t always get the most activity. It’s one measure of strategic and tactical success (or failure) for a campaign… and especially its consultants. If one wants to send a message to those people, this is the way to speak very clearly in their own language; high turnout with low engagement on the P/VP would be a slap in the face.

        Here’s an example, NM 2014:

        Note the top section, Total Voters for the State (at the right) is 786,522. Then sum the ballots cast in the Pres/VP category: 415335+335788+982+27787+1174+2691 = 783,757. That means that 2,765 ballots were cast without an entry for Pres/VP (NM does not accept write-in for Pres/VP). It’s 99.65% engagement, that’s very respectable; the 2014 Governors race got 97.73%, materially indicating some disappointment in both incumbent and challenger.

        BTW, election data/software vendors are crapping up these reports, you may have to visit more than one document/page to compile all relevant stats for a state and race.

        1. tegnost

          yes to high turnout and low engagement, and bernie is still not out of it, so the first choice is, for me, to get bernie elected.

    4. JustAnObserver

      Another reason for avoiding Hillary. Day by day, week by week, they really do pile up, don’t they.

      A smaller, but still increasing, sub-pile become reasons to vote Trump – the Koch endorsement being a paradigmatic example.

  7. Steve in Flyover

    “Legacy knowledge”

    Exhibit “A” is the aviation business.

    One major topic of discussion is the ADS-B/NextGen mandates. Almost everyone flying will need some kind of equipment upgrade by Jan. 1, 2020.

    I was at a national conference of business jet maintenance people this week, and ran into a buddy of mine who works for one of the aircraft OEMs. Says that they have done a study on the matter, and have found that, given the current and
    projected shortages of engineering and trained labor, there is NO WAY every airplane that requires mods will be completed by then.

  8. flora

    re: “The Bernie Sanders Supporters Who Insist They Will Never Vote for Hillary Clinton”

    I will never vote for another economic neoliberal, for a candidate who supports awful trade policies, for a candidate with a neocon foreign policy. Hillary is all of those things so I will not vote for her. I will not vote for any candidate who espouses those policies. I don’t dislike Hillary. I disagree profoundly with her policy positions. I will not vote for continuing the policies that have gutted Main Street.

    1. nycTerrierist

      + 1. I liked this quote from that piece (my bold):

      “Just pack up your revolution and go home? Really? That’s not going to happen,” said Tara Margolin, a 50-year-old Sanders supporter and self-described Democrat who lives in Los Angeles. She dismissed the idea that Sanders voters might coalesce behind Clinton. “She would cement in place everything we are fighting against. I could never in good conscience vote for Hillary Clinton.”

    2. TK421

      Me neither. it doesn’t matter whether a candidate has (D) or (R) next to their name.

  9. voteforno6

    Re: Sanders Letter to the DNC

    I don’t expect any accommodation from the DNC. Judging by the frothing reactions from Clinton partisans, they’d rather hang Sanders in the town square (check out the comments section on this story at Talking Points Memo). They’re telling Sanders supporters to pound sand on the one hand, and demanding their obedience on the other. I don’t think they realize how many people will support Trump, just to stick it to these self-satisfied hacks for Hillary.

    1. Pat

      I don’t expect it to change a damn thing. OTOH, I do love how as nicely as possible Sanders makes it clear that DWS’ suggestion is more bullshit and unacceptable. Sure the usual polite garbage at the end hides it, but it is still there.

    2. Rory

      In Senator Sanders’ letter to DWS, which otherwise drips with conciliatory niceness, I was pleased to see him state this concerning his supporters: “I will not allow them be silenced at the Democratic National Convention.” I can’t guess what he means, but I was pleased to see him say it that firmly.

    3. FluffytheObeseCat

      Yes, the Clintonistas are exceptionally obnoxious, in just the ways you describe. But, her loudest supporters on the ground are not people who’ve received much from her, or Bill. I try to remind myself that these prim, semi-retired white women, who believe in her to a fault, are not great beneficiaries of Clintons’ policies. They are obedient true believers, with small pensions, a little social security, and equity in an under-renovated, aging house on the cute side of the valley.

      Sad suckers, but they are probably a lot safer than I am going forward into our penurious future.

      1. sleepy

        I guess I’m fortunate enough to be already on SS and in a few months medicare. I know those are crumbs that are more or less that are being whittled away even for those of us already in the system, but I suspect it will be worse for generations to come.

        I would just guess at Hillary’s grand bargain strategy–she will introduce more gender equity into the SS system to account for women not being as actively in the work force as men, but overall benefits will slowly decline and medicare will be voucherized. It will be cheered as a progressive victory.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      You need to tell elected Democratic party officials that you will remember this betrayal of voter will and take it out on them. Remember how CalPERS showed that elected officials at the state/local level are very sensitive to voter letters because they apparently don’t get many, particularly the well-writen sort that NC readers provide.

  10. JEHR

    Bernie’s letter to the DNC has a nice bit at the bottom which made me smile. He’s a good guy!

  11. Pat

    Oh, yeah, the only nasty folk in the Democratic Primary have been the mythological Bernie Bros – NOT.

    Oh, but wait there is no coordination between the campaigns and the Super Pacs. Sorry, I forgot the only people who buy that have cushy lifetime appointments on the Supreme Court…

    I’m beginning to think that the next six months are going to be about finding various versions of #WorstElectionChoicesEver trend on twitter as they are banned.

  12. Edward

    It will be interesting to see how Germany deals with the impending Ukrainian economic disaster after the Greece fiasco. Germany started that crisis with its insistence that Ukraine agree not to trade with Russia.

    1. Synoia

      Germany started that crisis with its insistence that Ukraine agree not to trade with Russia.

      Really? The US was indifferent to the current outcome?

      1. Edward

        My understanding of the sequence of events was that the EU/Germany offered Ukraine a trade deal stipulating restrictions on trade with Russia and Russia responded by offering Ukraine a more attractive trade deal stipulating restrictions on trade with the EU which Ukraine accepted. The protests in Ukraine which led to the coup were against this decision. Was the U.S. involved behind the scenes trying to foment regime change? Yes, because we know from an intercepted phone call with Victoria Nuland that the U.S. spent $5 billion attempting to overthrow the government.

        1. Another Anon

          Yes, that is pretty much my understanding of it too.

          Just think that Nuland may well be the next secretary of sate
          if Killary wins. Afterall, Killary supported Nuland for her
          present post.

          1. Edward Qubain

            If not Nuland then someone similar, maybe Madeline “worth the price” Albright. The thought of a Hillary/Killary presidency is a nightmare.

  13. Mbuna

    Re: NC Treasurer on corporate boards- Another signpost on the way to corporate feudalism, a general trend that has been gathering momentum for quite some time and shows no signs of abating.

  14. katiebird

    Thinking about voting in November .. Nothing new but I am staring to wonder why I’ve ever bothered.

    I’ve realized for a while that the primaries are controlled by 2 private clubs (after all the purpose is to give each club a nominee). But I’ve just realized that it’s way weirder than that. Each state sets their own rules and schedule (within certain guidlines). So how do regular people get a grip on that? I live in a city that straddles the state line between Kansas and Missouri. And a lot of people move back and forth. Missouri is a Primary state and Kansas is a Caucus state and you should see the look on someones face when they first have to think about caucusing! It’s senseless.

    The there’s the general and the electorial college. My vote has never mattered. Yet I still fret about what I’ll do if Bernie doesn’t get the nomination!

    Is it really just an accident that our election system seems deliberately designed to confuse and disenfranchise?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      In the year 2000, the “supreme” court of this country asserted some kind of “constitutional” justification to stop counting votes.

      Let that sink in. Don’t. Count. The. Votes.

      16 years later, it is estimated that $1 BILLION will be spent to earn “votes,” which, if the past is prologue, will only be “counted” if the preordained outcome is assured.

      It’s “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

      1. Ulysses

        “Politics is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.”

        — Frank Zappa

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Good questions. Another is why should private clubs have a monopoly on the way we select candidates for the POTUS and frankly should any of these so called clubs be private at all?

      Arnold S. in the classic Simpsons episode: “The goggles, they do n-o-t-h-i-n-g.”

      1. fresno dan

        As I’ve said before, it really is equivalent to separate but equal.
        We’re more progressive (and logical) with restaurants. You can’t exclude somebody from a group from eating at your restaurant – public accommodation!
        Yet somehow, the most public thing we do that affects EVERYBODY (running the government) is run by private groups with their own agendas.
        I now have two choices, neither I got to vote for (in the primaries), and neither I wish to vote for.

        Every citizen should be allowed to vote for a nominee from EACH party – candidates run to represent the entire country. In my view, it would massively improve the quality and viability of the Green, Libertarian, and other parties and ensure a true diversity of policy options (instead of just having neoliberlism as an option).

        We have reached the completely foreseeable outcome of our contrived electoral system – less and less influence for most of the citizens

        1. katiebird

          This is it! I was stumbling on the Private Club idea…. But stalled. The outrage is that as you said, the Private Clubs control the most public of activities i a way that almost no other organization is allowed.

          Also, I like the idea of voting in multiple primaries.

    3. fresno dan

      May 7, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Just getting to reading this in the links – talk about apropos to your point!
      The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm Pepe Escobar. From earlier this week, and broader than China, but similar level of gloom as AEP.

      No wonder Noam Chomsky has noted that support for formal democracy in the West is dwindling, because they are not real democracies. All major decisions affecting the EU are taken by unelected eurocrats in Brussels. In a groundbreaking book published in Spain, Mercado-Estado-Carcel en la Democracia Neoliberal Espanola (Anthropos), Daniel Jimenez, doctor in Juridical Sociology at the University of Zaragoza, details how the new institutional local order is about de-democratization, denationalization and dependency; NATO, IMF, World Bank, the Paris club, BCE, the European Commission, the Fed, they are part of a global web of institutions, private but self-described as public or public but managed by private interests (such as the Fed). Michael Hudson, among others, has detailed how the EU never developed sustained mechanisms of transfer of capital from the wealthier economies towards poorer members.

  15. mark

    re Alberta fires….. only three years ago, Alberta experienced it’s worst recorded flood…..

    “In the days leading up to June 19, 2013, Alberta, Canada, experienced heavy rainfall that triggered catastrophic flooding described by the provincial government as the worst in Alberta’s history.

    Five people were confirmed dead as a direct result of the flooding and over 100,000 people were displaced throughout the region. Total damage estimates exceeded C$5 billion ” …. wikipedia

    In Canada, apart from the Arctic, Alberta is lately receiving the worst of the effects of climate change.

    Many people in Canada are unable to understand the link between these fires and floods, and climate change.

    1. JEHR

      When your living depends on creating carbon producing bitumen, you learn to not regard the environment or the change of climate. Canadians know what is being risked but will take the risk until the collapse.

  16. meeps

    Dear NC commentariat,

    Many of you have asked about polling for ColoradoCare (Amendment 69). The campaign posted the following in the Daily Kos. It contains a Pledge of Support, for those of you who’d like to weigh in:

    1. hreik

      is there another way to pledge support? I don’t / wont click there any more. Various reasons. thanks

      1. meeps

        hreik @ 1:22 pm

        Lol! I’m with you regarding the great orange beast–no explanation required! I wish the campaign was a little more savvy about where they post their appeals. If you have suggestions for good [really] progressive sites, I’d be happy to pass them along.

        There is an email and a donate tab on the campaign website:

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      You sure they’re not just fishing for Sanders supporters’ IP addresses? I understood there was to be no anti HIllary discussion allowed after March 15th and anything anti Insurance conglomerate is anti Hillary.

      1. meeps

        Brooklin Bridge @ 2:24 pm

        You are correct about the Kos ‘no anti-Hillary discussion’ and the anti-insurance conglomerate being counter to the Clinton agenda. The pledge obviously seeks email addys for small donor support, which, like the Sanders campaign, is how ColoradoCare has largely been funded.

        I know the ColoradoCare directors. I think their choice of the Daily Kos reflects a belief [perhaps misguided] that it’s still a progressive source. There are bound to be some single-payer supporters there who are unaware of the ‘policy’ change issues you raised.

        In any case, The Daily Kos featured the piece. I’ll let the directors know that they may be missing progressives who, like you and hreik, have sworn off it. I welcome suggestions for better outlets…

        1. aab

          If you know the directors, perhaps you could gently explain that Kos is now considered an enemy of progressive action, and they should post elsewhere? There’s an ex-Kos refugee subreddit, there’s the very active Sanders subreddit that has a Colorado sub, there’s Caucus99. Nothing is as big as Kos yet, but that site is mostly Clinton supporters now. It will reach some lower information, less active progressives posted at Kos, but it will come with a price — funding a propaganda site that herds voters away from single payer, for one thing.

          1. meeps

            Wiil do and thanks for your ideas. I think the campaign will miss some of the intended target demographic with Kos.

            1. aab

              My sense is that the ground is shifting in terms of progressive organizations and communications and won’t settle for a while. I hope Colorado Cares is seeking other funding sources as well. Small donors are going to be asked to fund Berniecrats all over the country through the fall, plus Clinton is going to try to sucker them. I hope they’re aware of what happened in California, too. I didn’t realize until recently that our single payer plan apparently got killed by our two senators in conjunction with a handful of bought off state level elected officials — one of whom is now our Secretary of State, openly campaigning for Clinton and opening her campaign offices. (This gives me a warm and cozy feeling about our upcoming primary, as you can imagine.)

              I’m still new to understanding the real nuts and bolts of all this, but I guess what I’m suggesting is that I hope funding awareness is not the game plan, because that is unlikely to be sufficient to stop the Clinton cronies pouring into the state to block it.

              1. meeps

                Ugh. I realize history repeats, but if this goes down the same way Prop 186 did, there won’t be enough antiemetics to go around.

        2. Brooklin Bridge

          My concern about possible IP shenanigans were aimed at Daily Kos, not ColoradoCare, but it’s a good idea to let them (C.C.) know that as you put it, the great orange beast, is considered by many to be an establishment fly trap.

  17. myshkin

    The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm by Escobar is an intresting read. Contrary to his take on rising oil prices, I’m reading elsewhere that oil is over supplied and probably over priced, mostly due to speculation. The financialization of commodities and QE also raise questions re his conclusion on what he’s seeing in the Baltic Dry Index.

    Much of the rest is a provocative take on what is going on in the world. Russia and the US view the House of Saud as expendable; Saud-Obama falling out over the missing pages in the Senate report on 9/11. What would Hillary do? For that matter Trump?

    Also Erdogan, Iraqi Kurdistan and Germany, that is a very dangerous play if Erdogan tries to annex Iraqi Kurd oil. Apparently that region could blow up bigger than it already has. That would of course validate his read on oil futures.

    I also wonder about his take on the health of the Chinese economy and stability of the government and strong vs. weak yuan policy. He is convinced the Chinese technocrats have it all figured out, a strong currency, long on commodities, continued increasing demand for Chinese products, including the added purchasing power of an emerging Chinese middle class. That other nations will soon be turning to the Yuan and not the US dollar for refuge in uncertain conditions reveals a great faith in the wisdom and technocrat proficiency within the CPC.

    1. craazyboy

      Hard to see how much longer China can put off having their “Japan 1990” or “US 2008” moment.

      Also unlikely the West will embrace the yuan as an alternative to the dollar safe haven anytime soon.

      I have seen some news reports that massive Chinese oil stockpiling had much to do with oil’s recent run to $45, but don’t know if that’s reliable info or not.

  18. Donald

    On that Benjamin Rhodes piece in the NYT– I think it’s a mistake to focus too much on the media manipulation. Contrary to the article, that’s not new. American reporters usually go along with what the US government says and the government always tries to spin policies its own way. The article is a neocon hit piece, as you can tell when you get to the end and the only critics of Obama are critics from his right, who think the Iran deal was maybe a bad idea or that we should have intervened more in Syria. And notice that the massive pro rebel intervention from our Sunni allies goes unmentioned– we are supposed to think the massive death toll came from non- intervention, when in reality the death toll is massive because the war has dragged on for years, thanks to outside support. The writer even tries to argue that Bush’s invasion killed fewer people than our alleged non intervention in Syria.

    If you miss all this you are missing the point of the article. I think Obama intervened too much– the writer is pushing the opposite point of view.

    1. Quentin

      The article is meant to sabotage the deal by claiming it is based on White House propaganda = talking points = lies. So war on Iran is still very much alive at the NYT.

    2. fresno dan

      I agree with your analysis. Still, the cover of using the fact that the press is a shill for the government is a “clever” attempt to disguise the agenda of the people behind the article….

  19. Reader

    Charles Ortel who Lambert mentioned in Water Cooler on October 28, 2015, has published an introductory report on his findings about the Clinton Foundation. He says he will be releasing extensive documentation from the public record that shows that the Foundation and it’s related organizations are illegally operating a “criminal fundraising conspiracy”.

    He also has other recent posts on his investigation on his website.

    Any thoughts from those more knowledgeable than I would be helpful.

  20. Propertius

    See, I told you emigrating was not easy

    I had the foresight to marry a Canadian. ;-)

  21. Brooklin Bridge

    The Big Reason Why Hillary Should Consider Bernie for Her Running Mate

    Hahahahaha, good one. “Hood Ornament” is perfect.

    This article is essentially a “get in a few digs at Sanders” exercise. One example,

    Likewise, Hillary’s most zealous people could potentially see it [Sander’s VP choice] as a slap in the face, given all of the so-called BernieBots they were forced to swat down throughout the past year.

    Another one,

    While, sure, the Clintons have formed unlikely alliances in the past, it’s never really occurred at this level and it’s difficult to think of another time when either Bill or Hillary reached out to another leader who was mercilessly undermining them

    Tough guy Bernie. Used to do contract work for Lucky Luciano instead of working out in the gym so they says. Can’t wait to see what gentle gentleman Trump comes up with for sheer sensitivity.

    1. craazyboy

      Yeah, all those BernieBots headed to the polls needed swatting down. Elections can be so annoying at times.

  22. marym

    Hillary Clinton Targets Republicans Turned Off by Donald Trump


    Hillary Clinton’s campaign is trying to seize on the turmoil Donald J. Trump’s ascent has caused within the Republican Party, hoping to gain the support of Republican voters and party leaders including former elected officials and retired generals disillusioned by their party’s standard-bearer.

    …The campaign expects to assemble a “Republicans for Hillary” group, and Mrs. Clinton has, from her days in the Senate and as secretary of state, cultivated strong relationships with prominent Republicans and their top staff members.


    ….[Clinton] pledged that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who remains widely popular among the blue-collar voters drawn to Mr. Trump, would “come out of retirement and be in charge” of creating jobs in places that have been particularly hard hit.

    But SCOTUS!

    …Mrs. Clinton hopes to make inroads with….voters whom Clinton aides call “megachurch moms” and describe as religious, Republican-leaning women who reject Mr. Trump.

    1. cwaltz

      I’m pretty sure Donald has the same plan for disaffected independants and Democratic people. He’s already gone on the record as saying the Democratic Party has treated Bernie horribly and that he knows that he’s got a better chance against Hillary. I suspect he’ll be to the left of her on trade(her trotting Bill out for jobs is a yuge mistake. It’s going to remind everyone of NAFTA.)

      Interesting times…….

    2. Anne

      Would have much preferred to see a headline like, “Hillary Clinton Targets Democrats She’s Spent Months Turning Off,” instead of one that confirms that her so-called move to the left was poorly-packaged lip service she’d abandon as soon as she felt it safe to return to where she’s most comfortable: her centrist, DLC roots.

      The three paragraphs you’ve highlighted are emblematic of why so many of us have rejected Clinton in favor of Sanders, and why our support for him is hardening – if that’s even possible – not softening.

  23. meeps

    Thanks for the news that Colorado Springs ordered restitution to those punished in debtors’ prisons. The practice is criminal, cruel and counterproductive to alleviating poverty and homelessness. This piece is todays’ antidote to John Doe’s Manifesto. The birdie is nice, too.

  24. allan

    Deep dive into the Albany muck:

    Power and pay: Cuomo probe highlights ties [D&C]

    The relationships highlight a growing federal investigation by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara that has rocked the Cuomo administration in what may be the most serious scandal of the governor’s six years in office.

    So much so that Cuomo’s counsel on April 29 publicly acknowledged the possibility of “improper lobbying and undisclosed conflicts of interest” within some of the governor’s biggest development initiatives to date.

    There are “so many red flags” that it’s “hard to know where to start,” said John Kaehny, executive director of Reinvent Albany, a group that’s been critical of Cuomo’s economic-development work.

    Cuomo is trying to head Bhararra off at the pass by launching his own internal investigation.
    Good luck with that.
    What better way to for Bharara to establish his non-partisan credentials
    for US Attorney General than to bag a sitting Democratic governor?

    1. Ulysses

      I predict that Gov. Cuomo will find someone to throw under the bus, to save his own skin. Bharara will most likely accept this gift-wrapped trophy and call it a day.

    1. hreik

      Thanks. I canvassed and donated and phone banked. Will call WVA tomorrow. We are in this together. Been working to get him elected. And for the first time I felt like my primary vote mattered. TY Bernie

    2. tegnost

      yes! Considering all the million dollar bets I’ve made that bernie will win (or trump otherwise) I may even see the donald from a distance at the golf course

  25. Jim Haygood

    The Bolivarian Workers Paradise, comrades: it’s the home of the two-day work week. Not such a great idea in hospitals:

    I have seen worse conditions in a hospital. I have seen patients even more deprived of the medicines they need. But rarely have I seen an institution that appears to have gone into such steep decline as University Hospital, Caracas.

    A long queue stretches from the hospital entrance as people wait in line for the lift. That’s lift in the singular, because only one has been operating for the past few months. It is unclear whether the others are broken or are simply not being used because there is insufficient electrical power.

    Once you reach the wards, you find there is not enough electricity even for lighting, and some of the corridors are in darkness.

    Perhaps it is a good thing that the toilets and shower rooms are dark, as it provides a modicum of privacy. Cubicle doors are broken, hanging off hinges. I saw patients on a cardiac ward forced to wash in a half-wrecked stall, with a small piece of plastic drawn across.

    “We have all kinds of shortages,” says Dr Elizabeth Ball, a dermatologist and teaching professor. “There are days when there is no IV solution… days when there is no anaesthetic.” Doctors are forced to use their mobile phones to record X-ray images, because there is nothing to print them on.

    Venezuela: the Zimbabwe of the western hemisphere.

    As Tolstoy might have said, “Healthy economies are all alike; but every hyperinflationary economy is unhealthy in its own way.”

    1. Jim Haygood

      Maybe it’s more accurate to describe Venezuela as the North Korea of the western hemisphere, since both countries share wildly overvalued official exchange rates:

      At the Yanggakdo hotel, one of a handful of places foreigners stay in Pyongyang, a tin of peaches is listed at 130 North Korean won — $1.30 at the official rate of about 100 to the dollar. Yet staff won’t accept payment in won, only taking dollars, yuan or euros.

      In fact, there is a second exchange rate, of about 8,000 won to the dollar. Once considered a taboo topic and denied to foreigners, the market rate is universally acknowledged.

      “The official exchange rate is used to give the patina of North Korean strength,” said Steve Hanke, an economics professor at Johns Hopkins University who has written about North Korea’s currency. “In conjunction with exchange controls, it also acts to conserve the government’s foreign exchange reserves.”

      Why does North Korea need exchange controls? Same reason as Venezuela: because its official exchange rate is crazy overvalued. So folks use the overvalued won to buy all the discounted dollars, euros and yuan they can get their hands on.

      Fiat currencies, comrades: don’t let them fall into the wrong hands.

  26. fresno dan

    Danesiah Neal, an eighth grader at Fort Bend Independent School District’s Christa McAuliffe Middle School outside of Houston, Texas, attempted to pay for lunch with a $2 bill given to her by her grandmother, Sharon Kay Joseph. However, cafeteria workers at the school didn’t believe that it was real – they never see $2 bills, apparently – and she was sent to what Neal called “the police office.” The school district has since clarified that the Fort Bend ISD has its own police department. According to Neal, the police officer told her that she could be in “big trouble” for using the bill which they believed to be counterfeit.
    If that isn’t evidence that the people you have hired as teachers and police are too ignorant for their jobs, than I don’t know what is….
    and I would suspect there is a racial aspect as well.

    1. Optimader

      Its not news if they didnt shoot her…. Oh ok it is a middle school… Tazer her at least

    1. dots

      This is just very disturbing.

      On one hand, in the United States, we have a very vocal segment of the population passionately demanding the right to arm themselves with weapons (including a rather determined open-carry movement) chanting “guns don’t kill people….”

      Contrasting with this, we have a strong adverse public reaction to students, professors, and other intellectuals brandishing the paraphernalia of scientific knowledge and skill. So what? Does math kill people?

      A beautiful mind is a dangerous mind.

    2. Massinissa

      He wasnt even Arab, he was a swarthy Italian. Even people that look sort of white are viewed as Terrorists if they dont look white *enough*.

      1. Optimader

        Well,,, he is an economist. Maybe she was terrorized and sickened by some strange stuff he was writing?
        If it was Larry Summers i might have the same reaction

    3. LarryB

      Of course they were suspicious, the guy is an economics professor, which means it was probably barely valid mathematics.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Economists should be allowed to fly, but take away their pencils/WMD/calculators etc.

        If we put them on the no-fly list, how will we ever get rid of them?

        Sample ticket:

        Passenger: Larry Summers
        Origin: BOS
        Destination: Away
        Security: DANGEROUS monitor at all times

  27. rich

    Sanders Calls Out MSNBC’s Corporate Ownership — In Interview On MSNBC

    Some observers have argued that, notwithstanding MSNBC’s nominally liberal political leanings, Comcast’s policy agenda affects the channel’s editorial decisions.

    A study by the watchdog Media Matters found that aside from “The Ed Show” that Ed Schultz hosts, the Trans-Pacific Partnership came up only twice on MSNBC’s evening programming over the period from August 2013 through January 2015. (MSNBC canceled “The Ed Show” in July 2015.)

    The Intercept noted that Comcast has lobbied for the passage of TPP, a controversial 12-nation trade pact the Obama administration negotiated that Congress has yet to vote on.

  28. Lambert Strether

    Gregg Jarrett: The real reason the FBI interviewed Hillary’s closest aide Fox

    I hate to quote Fox, but at this point why not? Anyhow, I think the chain of logic makes sense. Especially:

    Clearly, Clinton intended to create a private server for use as her exclusive means of conducting official business as Secretary of State. She also knew it was not authorized because she never sought authorization from the relevant agencies. At the same time, she knew her unauthorized server would collect, retain and transmit classified documents during her four year term and intended it to do so.

    In what world can it possibly make sense for a public official to privatize the email server on which they conduct the public’s business?

    1. John k

      Pretty simple: a world where elites cannot be prosecuted for crimes leads to just what we are getting. However, it is still best to avoid publicity as millions are funneled to your cash box, er, charity foundation, and this means avoiding pesky Foia requests for your emails. Nixon would hardly have recorded his thoughts for posterity if he thought anybody would ever know about it, or, heaven forbid, listen to it all.
      But you can see how far we’ve progressed… An ex president can now receive a hundred million in exchange for some speeches he gives to banks in grateful thanks for his earlier services…
      But that’s so 1990’s: payments to the cash box in real time is corruption for the new millennium.

    2. Hobbs

      Umm . . . if they want to avoid a FOIA request that might show a public/private conflict of interest?

  29. Vatch

    Serendipity: I found a great quote about economics in a book about something else entirely, Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality, by MIT physicist Max Tegmark. From page 10 of the book:

    When the time came to apply for college, I decided against physics and other technical fields, and ended up at the Stockholm School of Economics, focusing on environmental issues.

    Alas, I soon grew disillusioned, concluding that economics was largely a form of intellectual prostitution where you got rewarded for saying what the powers that be wanted to hear. Whatever a politician wanted to do, he or she could find an economist as advisor who had argued for doing precisely that.

    So he ended up in physics after all.

  30. ewmayer

    Re. The Bernie Sanders Supporters Who Insist They Will Never Vote for Hillary Clinton | Atlantic (resilc) — Ah, The Atlantic, trying hard to pretend it not just another establishment rag. E.g.:

    As she maintains her commanding lead in the race, effectively sealing off Sanders’s path to the Democratic nomination, Clinton has intensified her efforts to win over the senator’s supporters.

    Her lead is only “commanding” if you pretend all those Dem-primary superdelegates are legally committed to voting for HillBillary. If Sanders “commandingly” wins the CA primary next month, her non-superdelegate-including lead could vanish quickly. Note I believe that most SDs will in fact vote according to their bribes, barring a shock indictment (shock not because her lawbreaking is unobvious – it is in fact blatantly obvious and multipronged – but because she is part of the DC Untouchable Elite criminal caste) between now and the convention, just saying that in a non-rigged electoral regime there would be no “commanding lead” based on the primaries to date.

    And the article fails (honest ‘whoopsie’ oversight, I’m sure) to mention a scenario we have heard many Sanders supporters vow to hew to on this blog: If Hillary is the Dem nominee, they will either vote for Trump (I call this the “Schadenfreude demographic”), vote third-party or stay home in November.

    Aside: Early 2017 inauguration headline just popped into my head … given how the MSM loves to portray The Donald as a clod and a buffoon, if he does become president, go with frontpage splash picture of Trump with hand on bible, under headline “Oaf of Office.”

  31. fresno dan

    “If you see voters as rational you’ll be a terrible politician,” Adams writes on his blog. “People are not wired to be rational. Our brains simply evolved to keep us alive. Brains did not evolve to give us truth. Brains merely give us movies in our minds that keeps us sane and motivated. But none of it is rational or true, except maybe sometimes by coincidence.”

    interesting and compelling

  32. allan

    Sanders frozen out of the Sunday morning `news’ shows. Best lineup:

    CNN’s “State of the Union” — Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Fox->Megyn->Sanders! Awesome. Rupert Murdoch had a change of heart!!! Did he recently also have a heart transplant where they changed his heart?

  33. ewmayer

    Yesterday’s Links had the latest Trump-related entry in Scott Adams’ blog … more Adams in WaPo today:

    Donald Trump will win in a landslide. The mind behind ‘Dilbert’ explains why | WaPo
    I think Adams oversells the “facts don’t matter a bit” narrative – Trump is notoriously all over the place in his rhetoric, perhaps because oh his habit of giving unscripted speeches and reading the audience response while doing so – but has said cogent things about e.g. so-called ‘free trade’ deals having destroyed the American manufacturing economy and middle class, and Hillary’s neocon bloodlust in the Middle East having ‘cost hundreds of thousands of lives’. Oh yes, and W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq having been a disaster and him having done quite the opposite of his claim to having ‘kept America safe.’ Not a single one of the 16 other erstwhile Republican candidates had the guts (or honesty) to ‘go there’, it got Trump booed by the establishment-picked studio audience at the debate where Trump ‘went there’, and here we are, we see now that Trump knew precisely who his audience was, and it wasn’t the GOP-picked weenies in the studio crowd. Adams does however nail his final list entry:

    6. To bend reality, Trump is a master of identity politics — and identity is the strongest persuader.

    “Do you think it is a coincidence that Trump called Megyn Kelly a bimbo and then she got a non-bimbo haircut that is … well, Trumpian?” Adams writes. “It doesn’t look like a coincidence to this trained persuader.”

    One way to achieve this is by deploying “linguistic kill shots” that land true, and alter perception through two ways.

    “The best Trump linguistic kill shots,” Adams writes,”have the following qualities: 1. Fresh word that is not generally used in politics; 2. Relates to the physicality of the subject (so you are always reminded).”

    Writes Adams: “Identity is always the strongest level of persuasion. The only way to beat it is with dirty tricks or a stronger identity play. … [And] Trump is well on his way to owning the identities of American, Alpha Males, and Women Who Like Alpha Males. Clinton is well on her way to owning the identities of angry women, beta males, immigrants, and disenfranchised minorities.

    “If this were poker, which hand looks stronger to you for a national election?”

    Trump’s recent pivot to the general election, in all likelihood versus Hillary, provides a perfect example of this – in contrast to Bernie Sanders and his ‘gentlemeanly’ kid-gloves treatment of Hillary (as epitomized by his publicly taking the private-e-mail-server issue off the table in the first Dem debate last Fall), Trump quickly and masterfully framed his putative November opponent using just 2 words: “Crooked Hillary”. Expect him to keep hammering that point home over the next 6 months. The Hillary campaign’s lame riposte? “Dangerous Donald”. See the yesterday-linked blog post mentioned above – yes, The Donald *is* dangerous to the crooked political establishment – thanks for reminding us of it, Team Hillary.

    1. John k

      Lots of minorities don’t want more immigration.
      Elites like free trade… Older folks too. Their kids don’t.
      Trump just came out for 1T infrastructure to create 13M jobs… Same number as Bernie’s.
      Trump is pivoting left, going hard Keynesian… He owes Ryan nothing, will pick up Bernie’s most popular points. And as a rep, he can get some of it passed.
      Just as shill pivots right, always more comfortable as a rep warrior…
      She is campaigning as a bush… Didn’t she notice how well bush did?
      And rejecting Bernie’s platform… Didn’t she notice how close he came, even with no name recognition, money, and a media blackout?

      Trump will see her as a plump pigeon:
      She’s a liar (copious examples)
      She’s corrupt (copious examples)
      Sha has very bad judgement (ditto)
      She’s a warmonger (ditto)
      She endangers our security (ditto)
      Imagine the 28 pages on 9/11 are leaked… Placing donations from Saudi in a new light.

    2. Carolinian

      Interesting link although I’m not convinced that Trump’s success is because he’s some kind of psychological genius. It could just be that all his opponents are terrible. Plus Trump is making both irrational and rational appeals. Some of the things he says do make sense.

      I’m more convinced by that poll–linked here the other day–where voters said give us anyone but Hillary. She’s a very improbable candidate because of her age and controversial history–sort of the opposite of a fresh face. IMO if Trump should win it will be more about her.

  34. Mondo

    Yves – Just a small quibble regarding the language when you discuss the situation in Greece: You might want to be a bit more specific when you write “thuggishness of Germany”.
    I don’t think it is ever appropriate to call an entire country “thuggish”. Over-generalization is just fanning conflicts.
    That doesn’t mean I am supporting our (German) government policies towards Greece btw. Your comment is otherwise spot on.

  35. Cry Shop

    Clinton may well be foisted on her own silence about voter list purges, which will get her the nomination, but may well cost her the election. Lets hope she screws her self over, and then the FBI finally gets off its duff once they figure she’s defanged.

    1. Cry Shop

      It’s the same with Microsoft (and Google’s licenses for photos), they have simply not yet started doing it yet.

  36. ewmayer

    Saturday nite pienso borracho (or whatever the Spanish for ‘drunken musing’ is) … Watching an old episode of Lost In Space on MeTV right now (“Target: Earth”, S3 ep16), in which the aliens du jour look like, well, human-sized piles of poop with imperial-conquest tendencies.

    Q: Why are the Poop People so unpopular all around the galaxy?

    A: Because nobody likes someone who makes a habit of speaking in the ‘turd person.’

    Ha, ha, ha, a million laughs… (we left-coast-to-asia-pacific-time-zone folks have to make our own fun around here this time of night.)

  37. kareninca

    The following Trump positions were just posted on Zero Hedge (by Billy the Poet) as reasons not to vote for Trump (since they are not libertarian positions):

    “I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.” — Donald Trump’s The America We Deserve

    “They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. The government’s gonna pay for it. ” — Donald Trump (1999: “Liberal on health care. We have to take care of people that are sick. … I like universal. We have to take care. There’s nothing else. What’s the country all about if we’re not going to take care of our sick?”)

    “Look, Planned Parenthood has done very good work for many, many — for millions of women. And I’ll say it, and I know a lot of the so-called conservatives, they say that’s really … cause I’m a conservative, but I’m a common-sense conservative.” — Donald Trump

    Q. “If Caitlyn Jenner were to walk into Trump Tower, and wanted to use the bathroom, you would be fine with her using any bathroom she chooses?”
    A. “That is correct.” — Donald Trump

    I’m sitting this election out. But it is funny that Trump is being painted as a conservative. He isn’t a conservative; he has his own set of views, some of which I strongly disagree with. But good for him on health care and Planned Parenthood and welcoming Jenner.

  38. inhibi

    RE: Ben Rhodes

    The fact that the Obama administration picked up an aspiring novelist to hash out its ridiculous and inane foreign policy describes much of American politics overseas: completely batshit insane and downright offensive.

    No wonder Obama was laughed out of Japan (twice), funds oligarchies across the middle east, etc. He and Ben Rhodes have no experience traveling abroad, no true grasp of other cultures (which they inevitably look down upon), don’t understand social cues from other parts of the world, get bilked by the Saudi Elites, Iraqi Elites, North African dictators, etc. who routinely take the funds for themselves (and whose wives are seen in Paris carrying millions in cash). Its a laughable yet revealing end to an Empire built on independence and character and brought down by the caricatures of Capitalism.

Comments are closed.