Links 7/1/16

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Dear patient readers,

If you view Links shortly after our 7:00 AM launch, be sure to check back later. I’ll add a few more.

The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs almost got us, too The Week (Chuck L)

Scientists warn of ‘global climate emergency’ over jet stream shift Independent (Chuck L)

Watch: The first TV commercial, which aired 75 years ago today Quartz (resilc)

Tesla driver using autopilot killed in crash Washington Post

Is Facebook an echo chamber? If so, they’re OK with that CNN

The German sado-monetarists seek to destroy the EU! Failed evolution

US takes Thailand off human trafficking blacklist Bangkok Post


Labour insiders say Corbyn keen to quit The Times

Brexit and the Idea of European Disintegration Irish Economy

Brexit: Norway Isn’t Keen on Britain Joining the EEU Bloomberg (resilc)

Europe plots Brexit bank heist on London Financial Times. As if this is a surprise.

U.K. Can’t Count on EU’s Rationality in Brexit Negotiations Wall Street Journal. Um, we said this days ago, but the Journal is choosing to depict the imperative of protecting the EU from splintering further as irrational.

European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart Counterpunch (Carolinian)

Brexit earthquake creates many ruptures Winnipeg Free Press (Sid S)

After ‘Brexit,’ Finding a New London for the Financial World to Call Home New York Times (Ranger Rick)

Brexit has demolished George Osborne’s deficit plan. The next PM will need one of their own Telegraph. This is actually a good thing.


The riddles of the Chinese economy Financial Times

Taiwanese warship accidentally fires missile towards China Guardian (resilc)

Austrian presidential election result overturned and must be held again Guardian (margarita)

A look at Bulgaria’s “bride’s market” Boing Boing (resilc)


Sinking Ship? Erdogan Apologized to Russia to ‘Save Himself’ Sputnik (Chuck L)

Istanbul airport attack: Investigators say suicide bombers came from Russia and former USSR as death toll rises Independent (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

‘We Are Not Frozen in a Nightmare,’ Says Defiant John Kerry Defense One

Former US drone technicians speak out against programme in Brussels Guardian(resilc)

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

State Department seeks 2-year-plus delay in suit for Clinton aides’ emails Politico

Attorney General to Accept Officials’ Determination on Clinton Email Wall Street Journal

Probe of Clinton’s email driven by facts, not politics: White House (allan). In the spirit of Bill’s “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is,” it depends on what the meaning of “politics” is.


Sanders delegates and supporters meet in Boston to make plans for Democratic convention and beyond Talking Union

Is This Why Hillary Clinton Is Trusted By So Few Americans? Daily Beast

Hillary: Ordinarily Awful or Uncommonly Awful? Counterpunch (resilc)

Will Clinton Move to the Center? Don’t Bet on It. American Prospect. Readers will recognize this as Team Dem giving progressives the “Lucy with the football” treatment yet agin. Lordie.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Served With Class Action Lawsuit Observer

The Billionaire Pedophile Who Could Bring Down Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Daily Beast

RNC Rules Fight Begins With Plan to Lock In Donald Trump NBC (furzy). Misleading headline. Delegates are required to vote for the person to whom they are pledged on the first ballot. The delegates agreed to be delegates fully aware of those rules. This is not a “lock in” but a “prevent changing of rules in the middle of the game because we don’t like the results.”

Sen. Mike Lee goes on epic rant about Donald Trump Politco (furzy). Speaking of not liking the results….

The four cryptic words Donald Trump can’t stop saying Washington Post (furzy). Um, in some cases, Trump is alluding to corruption and the insinuation is well founded.

After Saying He Forgave Loans to Campaign, Trump Won’t Release Proof NBC. This is a pretty bizarre demand. Campaigns don’t settle up till the very end.

DCCC refuses to back progressive primary victors: Mary Ellen Balchunis, Tom Wakely, Wendy Reed & now Zephyr Teachout. Who’s side are they on? @downwithtyranny (deblogger). If you are so unfortunate as to have gotten on a DCCC mailing list, send them a piece of your mind next time they hit you up.

Third-Party Impact on the Race for President Wall Street Journal

Libertarian party presidential ad Boing Boing (resilc)

Obama signs FOIA reform bill Politico (furzy)

W Is for Why New Yorker (resilc)

Obama Recruits Goldman, Google, Others to Resettle Refugees Bloomberg (allan). You cannot make this up.

Bill Clinton up to his old tricks in meeting with Loretta Lynch Chicago Tribune

Bond yields fall to fresh record lows Financial Times. So much for Mr. Market getting over Brexit.

Reuters Poll: Equity Allocations Hit 5-Year Low in June FINalternatives

Is Raymond James’ $80 oil realistic? versus Shilling’s $10 Oil Prediction Is Not Completely Ridiculous OilPrice

What Liberalism Has Become Marmalade (Patricia)

Guillotine Watch

IMAX will build you a home theater—starting at $400,000 ars technica (Chuck L)

It’s Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses Foreign Policy (Bullwinkle). As Mark Blyth pointed out, “The Hamptons are not a defensible position.”

Class Warfare

Why this time, free trade has hit American workers so hard Christian Science Monitor (margarita)

Push on wages squeezes corporate profits Financial Times. Puhleeze. Corporate profits as a share of GDP have risen to leveld nearly double what Warren Buffett deemed to be unsustainably high. We need a LOT more of this sort of thing.

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. sd

    Matt Taibbi article that higlights the dangerous swing that’s caught Markos Moulitas. How dare the proletariat think they can actually vote…

    In Response to Trump, Another Dangerous Movement Appears
    From the comments:

    8 hours ago
    “And you thought this election season couldn’t get any worse…” Never in my entire life have I felt more revolted, more disenfranchised, more horrified, more fearful, about the American political scene, than during this election season. It positively terrifying.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Comments also full of ObamaLove touting how is legacy will be greater than Cheney’s, Bush’s, etc. COMBINED. Lots of wedge issuers in view, too, and Hillbots (“Experience! Trump has been sued 3500 times, Hillary only 900!”)

      But the flavor of Taibbi’s article is more than a little distasteful, too — speaking of elitists, and how the Dem side “Has it right”…

      We humans have run our course — like the Troop or Mope shot through the heart, who runs full tilt until perfusion stops due to exsanguination…

    2. tgs

      Donald Trump is dangerous because as president, he’d likely have little respect for law.

      Matt Taibbi thinks Obama, the Clintons, the Bushes etc., have respect for the law?

      1. James Levy

        The one truth (that the Clintons and the Bushes have no respect for law) does not negate the other (that Trump has no respect for law). You yearn for Trump to not be the autocratic plutocrat that he is because Hillary Clinton is so obviously odious and unsuited to be president. But the truth could be that they are both odious and not suited to be president. Which gets us back to “vote for Obama because he’s not that odious creep Romney”. If you were OK with that logic, then by all means vote for Trump as the person you understand to be the lesser evil. But if you reviled those who made that lesser of two evils choice (and plenty of people did), then I’m afraid you are ethically challenged (to put it mildly).

        1. tgs

          You infer from my comment that I am voting for Trump? That I ‘yearn’ for Trump? On what grounds? As I have posted many times, I am voting for Jill Stein. I just think that Taibbi’s point is a poor one given the way things are.

          1. James Levy

            I was totally wrong in drawing that inference and apologize without qualification.

              1. Charger01

                Good point. The “lesser evilism” that Team Blue runs is now in full effect. I love Matt Taibbi ‘ writing- He’s affirming Charles Ferguson ‘ point in predator nation, that when people are under stress and financially insecure, they’ll run to a strongman demagogue. History has proven that several times. I would highly recommend his 2012 interview On Point with Tom Ashbrook to catch the highlights.

                1. DG

                  Well – Hillary may not be that strongman demagogue yet – but please give her a chance to evolve when in power…

              2. optimader

                Well that certainly is the question, isn’t it EOTW ?

                Who is more ethically challenged, the voter exercising electoral Triage when confronted with incontrovertible facts and missing information OR the voter spouting ethical superiority by not making the more difficult choice of blocking who they think will cause more harm?

                Historically, in all of my POTUS election cycle votes I haven’t voted for a Candidate. My votes have always been blocking votes (lesser evil by my sensibilities based on the available information).

                Consistent with this perspective, I view voting for the third party perpetual recreational candidates effectively as voting for the prevailing majority candidate w/o admitting responsibility for it. The wishy-washy equivalent of plausible deniability AND what the HRC campaign juggernaut and captured media desperately want the Undecided Voter to do, (short of voting HRC or not voting at all).

                I will also note that at this point in time a higher level strategic consideration Trump presents is an apparent opportunity to vote for anarchy inside the GOP structure. Who knows how this will change at/after the convention, but it certainly is an operative consideration at this time.. Not the case with HRC/ DNC. She is the Party Candidate they are willing to go down in flames with to extend status quo.

                Collaterally, it is my opinion that no Third Party will ever be a serious choice until one or both prevailing parties gets burned to the ground by arsonists on the inside.

                Trump at this point has more of a prospect for being that arsonist Candidate than HRC does. At best HRC fails her bid at being the POTUS, either straight up electorally because she is so awful, or more remotely due to having to withdraw due to her felonious debris trail. In any scenario the DNC elite stumble along with the standard narrative about the mean GOP.

                My response when confronted with political ideologues doing missionary work for their candidate is much like that with Religion Zealots whom I tell: So what you’re saying is we’re both in effect Atheists, I just happen to not believe in more god than you, do I have that right?

                It’s difficult making a selection between bad POTUS candidates. I consider voting to block the one that has IMO demonstrated the greatest capacity to pursue evil in the next four years the real choice for people of Good Conscience.

                At this juncture, enabling another explicit Neocon is the huge moral challege Redline because that ideology is the root from which so much Policy dysfunction flows.

                1. Katniss Everdeen

                  Consistent with this perspective, I view voting for the third party perpetual recreational candidates effectively as voting for the prevailing majority candidate w/o admitting responsibility for it.


                  1. cwaltz

                    That’s a load of crap.

                    You’re supposed to be voting FOR a candidate, not playing eleventy dimensional chess.

                    I remember not so long ago conventional wisdom was a Senator could never be elected President as well. That was until we actually elected one. All this blather about a third party candidate not being able to win is coming from lazy people who don’t want to bother with the actual hard work involved with creating another choice besides the duopoly.

                    1. optimader

                      All this blather about a third party candidate not being able to win is coming from lazy people who don’t want to bother with the actual hard work involved with creating another choice besides the duopoly

                      Let me know how all your “hard work” turns out with Jill Stein(?) this election cycle, or do you have some other third party candidate that you’re working for with more political efficacy than two shts?

                      In the meantime, as a lazy person’s sincere albeit meaningless sign of solidarity maybe I’ll lean over from my barka lounger to put J and and S candles in the window for you as a salute to all your “hardwork”.
                      In the meantime I will be doing what I can as a lazy person to influence the opportunity for the Clintons to spend more quality time doing yoga with the grandkids .

                  2. Aumua

                    Oh so now we’re going to put down people who actually vote with their conscience and what they believe in. Okay. We’re just beating the vote Trump drum all day now huh?

                    Ironic that someone with the screen name of Katniss Everdeen would be beating that drum too, but this is just a hell of an election, I know. We’re all, myself included, very hurt and bummed out at the treatment that Bernie Sanders has received. It’s almost enough to drive someone to.. extreme measures.

                  3. habenicht

                    I think I’d characterize the set of voters who stay home and don’t vote as (defacto) “voting for the prevailing majority candidate w/o admitting responsibility for it.”

                    I’d characterize third party voters as wanting more choices and/or not seeing a material difference (in issues important to a third party voter) between legacy party candidates. The lesser evil-ism fear can only be effective if one of the choices is actually a lesser evil.

                2. Carolinian

                  Honestly it’s too early to even be talking about who to vote for. I’ve seen a report whose credibility–as with all MSM–is totally suspect suggesting that Trump is considering both Newt Gingrich and Christie for VP.

                  Gingrich for VP would be a deal breaker for me. However I suspect the source of the report could be one Newt Gingrich.

                  If Trump really expects to win he needs to worry, not about Republicans who will come around eventually, but about independents and getting some Democrats. So we shall see if he chooses to pick up a piece of Kryptonite like Gingrich. If he does those Trojan Horse CT could be a lot more believable.

                  1. RabidGandhi

                    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but the Carolinas are both going to go for Trump no matter whom you vote for, so what does it even matter? Of course getting the word out about how toxic Gingrich and Christie are is completely positive, but unfortunately in your situation (and most united statesian’s situation) election day has very little to do with democracy.

                    1. jrs

                      Really, I’d vote 3rd party even in a swing state, but people seem to seriously want to say my vote is so important because it really is terribly contested whether California is going for Hillary or Trump. Oh whatever. Keep on smoking the soon to be legal stuff! (a vote that might actually matter but for which I haven’t formed opinions on as I’d have to see the actual bill).

                    2. Carolinian

                      NC sometimes goes Dem but SC will almost certainly go Repub.

                      So yes I have the so-called “free vote” and might as well not vote but I always do so as a matter of principle.

                  2. Optimader

                    Honestly it’s too early to even be talking about who to vote for
                    Lol, one sentence later you’re talking about it!
                    It is what it us.
                    As for my comment, if i was too subtle, was more focused on who not to vote for based on the best available information–a valuable discussion at anytime.

                    Regarding Gingrich, or similarly retreaded political failures w/ a vanfull of toxic luggage –not sure how he would even be a modestly strategic choice. If it were to come to pass and Trump were to prevail inspite of that awful choice, I suspect tbe red accordian folder with NG name on it that is collectibg dust on some shelfthe shelf Is just bulging.
                    Newt would be a disposable VPOTUS lof the calibre of Spiro Agnew….
                    Which rrminds me, i am going to have to dig out my vintage God Bless Spiro Agnew bumper sticker pretty soon for my car rear window Always a crowd pleaser

                    1. Carolinian

                      You’re welcome for the laugh.

                      And Christie strikes me as more of an Agnew figure. Once elected only a matter of time before the indictments…

                      Newtie was once my congressman. Keeps turning up like a bad penny.

                    2. optimader

                      I’m laughing with you.
                      Christie would be a cartoon character choice.
                      Newt is a R version of Hillary from the perspective of self awareness. (IMO). Someone who thinks he’s so Fing smart, he’s an idiot

                3. Adam Eran

                  Sorry, I disagree. Third parties, even those that don’t win the big offices, have been very influential historically. The Socialists during the FDR years, the Farmers Alliance and the People’s Party (sort of the impetus behind William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” movement) in the late 19th century spring to mind.

                  I see nothing wrong, and plenty right with voting for Jill Stein (Greens) in non-swing states. It puts the major parties on notice they can’t take those votes for granted, and may even give Greens some matching funds.

                  What other alternative do you suggest?

              3. James Levy

                The person who most closely reflects your values and policy choices. For me, that would be the Greens.

        2. jgordon

          I will vote for Trump because Hillary is a terrifying lunatic who will probably start world war three and end life on earth. In comparison Trump is a mildly amusing narcissist who at least is willing to lie about being with the people on some issues and who will at worse be ineffective. I’m not understanding how anyone could look at that calculation and then not vote for Trump, lesser of two evils regardless, but OK.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


            Good….Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of good…the lesser of two evils….evil.

            Reality is a continuum.

            Are we a little to the side of good or the side of evil?

            One person’s ‘DLTPBTEOG’ is another’s ‘LOTE.”

          2. Aumua

            Because you’re not looking at the whole picture with Trump, which is an unfortunate trend here lately. You’re deliberately downplaying what could happen here domestically, under a president who’s attitude says a boot to the face of the weak, vulnerable and different is what makes America fucking great.

            The other one’s no better, I know. It’s just beyond which one is less evil to me. They’re both abysmal. I’m not selling my soul to the devil, you all can go ahead and do it if you want.

            1. jgordon

              Alright. Hillary is an existential threat to all life on earth whereas Trump is merely a threat to the civil liberties of Americans. Right. They are definitely both equally bad.

              1. Aumua

                Your logic might hold some water if a Clinton presidency was actually a significant risk of ending life on Earth. I mean I admit the possibility, don’t get me wrong.. I still maintain that it’s exceedingly unlikely that she is going to ‘start WWIII’, as if she could even do that alone without cooperation from the other superpowers.

                1. jgordon

                  Look at how WW1 got started. Don’t underestimate the ability of one well-placed lunatic to get the ball rolling. Strictly judging objectively by history Hillary is fire-breathing neocon warmonger with *bad judgement*. Trump isn’t.

                2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  One thing is crystal clear about the Bush-Obama-Clinton continuum: they are fully committed to a “Permanent War First and Always” policy. When Obama goes on record saying “being president is not just about figuring out who to bomb next” he is telegraphing the exact opposite, as repeated widespread and incontrovertible evidence confirms. Similar to the John Kerry projection today “We are not frozen in a nightmare”, when in fact that’s a perfect description and he knows it. So on the one side we have a known known, Permanent War and all it’s attendant terrifying effects, including a cool new *Trillion* dollars for “usable” nukes and ridiculous bear-poking at each and every turn. On the other hand we have a simple buffoon who at least is on record as questioning the unquestionable: the Iraq War, NATO, nation building, regime change, and the trillions we spend on things like 50,000 overpaid master sergeants sitting on their asses in Germany. I know exactly what we’ll get with Choice #1 and Choice #2 simply cannot be worse and could even be an improvement. When you’re on a runaway train hurtling towards a cliff you do not debate which adjustments to make to the carburetor, you grab the biggest greasiest wrench you can find and jam it in the gearbox.

                  1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

                    Lol @ “50000 Master Sgts”

                    Hahaha, THE BACKBONE OF THE MILITARY

          3. John k

            We might survive global warming as a species but not wwIII.
            We did survive racism much worse than today.
            So I would say unspeakable evil vs mildly evil with the plus that he might get infrastructure going in a big way, which will help all colors in the bottom half.

      1. ThePanzer

        Just as noteworthy is the Atlantic article that prompted Matt’s take. WOW!

        It’s like our elites and gate keepers literally never heard of the french revolution (not to mention the various communist revolutions).

        Rauch’s Atlantic piece is crazy pills. Perhaps when the public is reaching for pitchforks it’s the wrong time to lean out the window of your mansion and scream “Let them eat cake you miserable sonsobitches!”

        But that’s just me.


      2. jefemt

        Perfect example article– why I dropped my Atlantic subscription…. ran out of barf buckets

    3. Carolinian

      Taibbi IMO reacts to establishment hysteria with more hysteria. The elites are never going to abandon at least the semblance of democracy because it’s the only thing that holds this sometime madhouse of a country together. And if they try here’s betting they won’t get very far.

      Far better to keep the semblance and manipulate the result. But that won’t last forever either. Change will come because that which cannot continue will not.

      1. Vatch

        The elites are never going to abandon at least the semblance of democracy

        Quite true. Even North Korea is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

  2. allan

    DCCC refuses to back progressive primary victors

    If you can stomach it, Howie Klein gave more details about the DCCC’s (and Chuck Schumer’s) crimes against the base in an appearance on Nicole Sandler’s radio show yesterday.
    Howie begins about 80 minutes in, although his first few minutes are an (interesting but off-topic) discussion about a recent trip he took to several countries in the former USSR. Podcast here.

  3. James Levy

    It’s important to unpack that “ignorant masses” claim.

    Superficially, elites have a case. In general, many to most Americans don’t know history, geography, or even how the Constitution is supposed to operate. They have trouble thinking structurally and personalize everything (as in the infamous I’ll vote for Bush because he’s a guy I could see myself having a beer with). And a fair number of Americans are bigots (although that extends up and down the socioeconomic ladder).

    In practice, the case evaporates. Elites may know geography because they travel, but they don’t know history and might also flunk a test on the details of the Constitution (like the Republican Congressmen who supposedly voted against the 4th Amendment because they didn’t recognize it). Elites are also prejudiced, although they may be more open-minded about minorities and foreigners if they went to the right school.

    What I most object to in the formulation “ignorant” is the fact that to those angry elites not knowing who the Angevins where or what a terminal moraine is or not having read The Magic Mountain is not the point. The masses are ignorant in their view because they refuse to buy a set of dogmas laid down by neoclassical economists and insist that they, the masses, have rational personal and class interests. The masses have the temerity to claim that they know what’s best for themselves.

    Now, the Elite don’t always know what’s best for themselves, so it’s hardly surprising that the masses have been known to make mistakes, too. But the elite are infuriated when the masses claim the right to make those choices for themselves, and won’t genuflect to the neoliberal dogmas of the day. As Henry Kissinger so infamously said of Chile, the people do not have the right to be irresponsible (as defined, of course, by Henry K. and the rest of the elite).

    The masses are no more infallible than the elites. In the end, we are all people and people make mistakes. To automatically think that something must be right because of “elite consensus” or mass support is just sloppy thinking. And I see little evidence that politico-economic elites are any better at setting policy than a well-informed citizenry would be. So that is why I believe in democracy.

    1. abynormal

      imo, Geography & History would fall in line AFTER the return of the Sociology discipline…
      It can be argued that it’s not the lack of research findings by sociologists, that makes them unable to engage in the larger public debate, or that hey do not bring nothing to the table, instead i believe, partially, it’s those precise findings carried out by the sociologists that are difficult to digest by governments. Findings, of any sort, if they are seen to conflict with the existing ideology of the state, can be extinguished and thrown away with the rest of the heap of ‘junk thought’. For example, sociologists and criminologists have positively contributed to the discourse of criminal justice, especially in the Unites States of America. They both have identified the relationship between structural factors, such as poverty, race discrimination, unemployment… and crime itself. Others, from a social constructionist point of view, have highlighted and argued that crime is socially constructed dependent on historical, social, political and cultural context, whilst others have defined crime in its wider definition as being of a wider social harm.

      Regardless, of the contributory work that has been carried out by those sociologists and criminologists alike, there seems to be the reluctance of the state to implement these findings, this can be due to the western neo liberal framework which promotes individualism, where in this case, the individual can be blamed for crime, rather than seeing social structures or structural factors as determining deviant or criminal behaviour. For a sociologist to even compliment the idea of rational choice on its own, is suicide. This is the beauty of sociology, it attempts to explain beyond the human agency, where agency can influence structural properties but at the same time, those structures can restrict agency.

    2. fresno dan

      My problem with the elites is what they CHOOSE not to know – or more accurately, what through their control of the media conglomerates (I include facef*ck) they choose not to be shown to the populace.

      “A health crisis in Greece brought on by national austerity measures has driven up cases of HIV, suicide, major depression, and infant death, and left hundreds of thousands locked out the health system altogether, according to a report.

      As part of a series of reforms brought in to manage the Greek crisis under an international bailout, public spending on health was drastically reduced, and at an unprecedented pace. According to the report, published in The Lancet, the country’s health has deteriorated so much since austerity began in 2009 that failure to access services and medicine has reduced the country to a series of “escalating human crises”.

      Vulnerable groups have felt the force of the change, and funding cuts in treatment and prevention programmes has seen a ten-fold rise in cases of HIV in injecting drug user from just 15 in 2009 to 484 in 2012. Despite a documented rise in the prevalence of heroin use, street work funding was cut by a third. Tuberculosis cases among this group have also more than doubled since last year.

      Austerity measures saw public spending on health capped to 6% of GDP, making it lower than any other pre-2004 European Union member, and the public hospital budget was reduced by a quarter between 2009 and 2011.”

      First, who screwed up the European economy???? ….taxi drivers??? hotel room cleaners???
      Who was punished for that????…..exactly

      What I find most tedious is the self portraiture of the elites (by the elites, naturally) of how absolutely open minded and superior they are regarding matters of nationality, race, or sexual orientation – – conveniently, as the church lady says, framed such that their virtue doesn’t require any money from the elites – – pardon me, but the iron curtain on discussion on class shows that this “concern” seems designed solely for the purpose of deflecting attention from how they are carefully designing economies solely for their own benefit.

      The fact that the elites are totally equanimous in allowing white or black, foreign or domestic, the majestic equally of living under a bridge is now thought of as the highest virtue, is a testament to the power bullsh*t repeated frequently has.

      1. abynormal

        hmmm, to me elites have always lacked choice…Fear Of Loss is an overwhelming motivation.

      2. Steve H.

        – since austerity began in 2009

        How time flies when you’re not feeling the pain.

        – The fact that the elites are totally equanimous in allowing white or black, foreign or domestic, the majestic equally of living under a bridge is now thought of as the highest virtue

        Reminds me of Adolph Reed:

        … that ideal of a just society is one in which one percent of the population can control ninety percent of the stuff, but it would be just if twelve percent of the one percent were black, fourteen percent Latino, and half of them were women, and whatever percentage were gay, and what that means, then, is that most Black people, and most Latinos, and most white people, and most Asian Americans would would be stuck holding like the end of the stick with the stuff on it that I assume I can’t call by its right name.

        1. m

          In the 80s the CIA was linked to crack & coke to fund their “projects.” These opiates have been around for a while. What is new is the war in Afghanistan and the increase in heroin production after the overthrow of the Taliban. I wonder?

    3. HBE

      The masses are certainly ignorant, he is right about that.l, but the causes stem from the elites themselves. They have worked for generations to defund, destroy, and privatize our education system.

      Should the masses be partially to blame for their compliance, sure. But it was the elites who pushed so hard for it to occur.

      1. abynormal

        truly, it’s nothing new: Despite the enormous quantity of books, how few people read! And if one reads profitably, one would realize how much stupid stuff the vulgar herd is content to swallow every day.
        ― Voltaire

      2. ChiGal

        Precisely because a dumbed down electorate can be exploited, in addition to being labeled unfit for self-determination.

        In addition to the education system, corporate media is not serving the traditional function of the Fourth Estate – there is no readily accessible check on TPTB.

        Bread and circuses anyone? Why would the American Empire in decline be different from any other…

    4. JTMcPhee

      The Elites have worked hard to keep the masses studiously ignorant, killing off any curricula or teaching that might impart notions of comity and citizenship. They’ve been at it since Gradgrind’s England,, since the Church fought vulgate masses and the translation of the Holly Bibble into vulgar language. In spite of all that, a lot of ordinary people develop local structures and personal awarenesses and become wiser than their Masters want them to be. I wonder if the IoT and Tech and the attractions of careers in the Elite mechanisms of control, and and go look up “Homeland Security careers” and “DoD jobs” for yourselves, in a time of repression and scarcity, will seal the deal…

      I have a tee shirt that bears the following sentiment: “Don’t Act Stupid. We Have Politicians For That.” Every time I wear it (it’s getting a little threadbare) people wherever I show up all smile that wry smile, come up to say “Love your shirt!,” some ask where I got it. Includes the butcher at Publix missing his rotted front teeth, 76 years old and having to still work to get some medical (but patently no dental) care, who has aged massively since I first met him two years ago. Says he was once involved in politics, as a city staffer. Totally cynical about the way the game is played — zoning, preferences for street repair, giveaways to Chamnber of Commerce, ubiquitous violations of the Florida Government In The Sunshine laws, all of it. Smart enough to know that some of this is necessary, smart enough to see how far the corruption has spread. Or the young woman, maybe still a teenager, stocking shelves in the soups area (over 150 differentiated branded “products” in cans of three different sizes, with and without pull-tab openings, extra cost for less salt, “organic” though you have to read small print and study the Federal Register and trade documents to have a hope of finding out what that legally means), that’s the extent of our Freedom’n’Liberty (TM) — who offered that she “loved my shirt” and wanted to know where to get one. Or the four random people in the checkout line and the checker-outer (over 70 and working her “retirement job” like the butcher, and maybe soon like me too, if I can manage to stand on concrete for an 8-hour shift and reach up to stock and live through the hot “cart retrieval duty” in the parking lot) all of them resonated to the silly sentiment and “agreed.” Whatever that micro-sample means.

      “something must be right:” what is “right?” The Rulers have figured out how to lock down the wellsprings that produce the wealth that feeds their inexhaustible demand for MORE, particularly MORE PLEASURE. The people I talk to, small sample again, most of them seem to know how to be content with a “modest competence,” and health care would be nice and maybe less of stupid. They say they vote, many express the futility of it. So, what is “right?’ Does “right” count for sh!t in the face of demands of those who have learned the tricks of enforcing their power to take ever MORE until they have it ALL? (“Little Finger” — Lord Baelish — and several other characters say it right out loud — “No, I can’t say as I can ever have enough. I want more. Actually, I want it all!” In his case from his place of satisfying the lusts of the Elite…) (Sex/pleasure, and Death — the GoT insight into human nature — the Big Dog and Iraq, “Once more into Fallujah, Dear Friends!”)

      Got to feel for the ones who live in the binary world of faux elections and the Twin Party System. They have been denied the opportunity to learn in their schooling and access to real reporting of real activities of the Rulers (unlike most here) how the system actually works, and the gulf between what the robed Rulers yawp about how things are all hunker-dory “presumed to work” and how the rigging, applied over time, actually works. Aware more or less (we are 20 feet above high tide level here in Largo, and “I don’t remember it ever being this hot or this wild weather we’ve been having!”)

          1. ChiGal

            At the Rally for Sanity I got a bumper sticker that I was then afraid to put on my car for fear it would come across as arrogant, but I really liked it:
            Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

            On the front with on the back?

        1. ambrit

          There was one with a llama on the front. I don’t know how well or ill it worked out.

    5. RabidGandhi

      Echoing some of what JT said, where does one go to become less ignorant? How can one hope to understand the US Constitution when institutes of higher learning are hell-bent on preventing the masses from understanding it? How can we understand history when the most important events (mass democratic movements, labour history) are not taught at all or are taught with no context whatsoever? (h/t Howard Zinn) How can we understand geography when there is no public mass transit, everyone is working 3 zero-hour jobs with no holidays, and the élites don’t even want people to know Canada exists for fear they might see a functioning healthcare system? How are people supposed to be less racist when neoliberalism uses immigrants as a wedge to divide the working classes, making it appear that is the brown people who are stealing jobs and not flexian squillionaires?

      I do not think that working class is equally fallible as you claim, since we are not the ones who are actively fomenting ignorance, but rather the élites.

      1. jrs

        But at one time only a minority of people even had a high school diploma (I don’t deny that that credential has become more worthless both economically and intellectually) and yet formally uneducated factory workers working 10 hour days organized! Because there were actual movements and radical intellectual currents. It wasn’t the school system that lead them to it.

        1. JTMcPhee

          I have put away somewhere an entrance examination for the Cranston (RI) public high school. I recall the questions were in the main more demanding of significant knowledge, and the ability to write out an essay answer or work the problem or proof, to “think” and “communicate,” than what I recall of the CEEB and ACT tests I prepped for and took in 1963-64. With their 5 multiple choices, and very short essays.

          To say that a high school diploma is “devalued” of late is maybe a big old understatement. And isn’t it amazing that both Power and Money Elites and “religious elites” (same-same, GI?) all conspire and operate to keep it going that way? Job Training, consumer skills like how to swipe a credit card, that’s what’s in the future, out of the present…

          Too bad that “we,” whoever “we” are, don’t have an organizing principle to, well, ORGANIZE around… And when a few parts of one get enunciated by someone like Sanders (and even Trump!), the Fearful Minions and their Rulers go hell for leather to kill message and messenger… And anyone who shows they might find a reason to follow…

        2. RabidGandhi

          Organisation and solidarity are something that has to be beaten out of people or un-trained from a very early age. The school system was created to take unwieldy farm boys, with their natural rural concepts of community and mutual aid, and transform them into willing subjects of a hierarchical industrial production system.

          This is why the key lesson in most schools has never been critical thinking, but rather the opposite: rote obedience. It is also why the amount of cognitive dissonance increases as one reaches higher levels in the education system– why Harvard graduates can say things like “Iran is destabilising the US occupation in Iraq” or “Venezuela is an existential threat to the US” without falling over laughing.

          Education is more effective now than it has been ever.

      2. Isolato

        One of the most satisfying “charitable” gifts I have made was the one to my old prep school, Haverford, where Smedley Darlington Butler attended. In the 13 years I was there between 1956-1969 I never heard his name mentioned. You may know him as the iconic author of “War is a Racket”, a book he was uniquely qualified to write as a two-time winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor and as second in command of the Marine Corps. Now Haverford is certainly for the children of the elite (annual tuition is $33k+) and they didn’t need my money, but they speak that language and that is what it took to enshrine the memory of SDB in the heart of the campus w/a bench that depicts his career, a classroom named in his honor, and a course taught using David Talbot’s “Devil Dog” as a text. Perhaps a few students will learn from his forthright courage. It seemed like a point of leverage to me.

    6. Vatch

      I see little evidence that politico-economic elites are any better at setting policy than a well-informed citizenry would be. So that is why I believe in democracy.

      Aristotle makes a similar point in Book 3 of The Politics.

      [T]here are some arts whose products are not judged of solely, or best, by the artists themselves, namely those arts whose products are recognized even by those who do not possess the art; for example, the knowledge of the house is not limited to the builder only; the user, or, in other words, the master, of the house will be even a better judge than the builder, just as the pilot will judge better of a rudder than the carpenter, and the guest will judge better of a feast than the cook.

      In other words, citizens are customers, and leaders are vendors. Customers (citizens) usually know when they have a good or bad product, so they should be able to choose their vendors (leaders).

      1. ChiGal

        This is an old debate: in The Republic Plato made the argument that the elites – “philosopher kings” – should rule. Always preferred Aristotle myself.

        But this country was indeed conceived as a republic and has ALWAYS excluded some of we the people.

        The tension between private property rights and social justice rolls on.

        1. Vatch

          The proportion of the population that’s explicitly excluded from decision making has dropped considerably in the past century and a half. Slavery’s illegal, women and American Indians can vote, and we have direct election of Senators. Unfortunately, most of us are still implicitly excluded from influencing government, because most of us simply don’t have enough money for bribery significant donations to political campaigns or the Clinton Foundation.

          1. ChiGal

            Meaning most if not all of those gains are reversible. See Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale for a prescient vision.

            I seem to remember hearing about an attack on child labor laws sometime in the last few years, and we all know what has happened to the 40 hr work week.

          2. jrs

            Less and less people are excluded from voting … while that is fairer I’m not sure that’s a good thing in terms of outcomes. When more people were excluded from voting the focus was on things other than the vote (because masses of people were excluded from voting anyway). It seems to have been more productive in terms of results. I’m not saying voting is 100% useless, but it doesn’t seem a very effective way to produce social reform.

          3. JustAnObserver

            Most of us don’t have enough money – true. But what if we started a `Buy A Politician’ Kickstarter ?

            This would have to be bottom-up …we’d start small with local councilmen, maybe a judge or 2. Then, over time, work our way up through state Reps & Sens then, maybe 3-4 election cycles from now, we’d get to the Federal level.

            Innovative – check! Disruptive – check! Technologically modern – check!

          4. hunkerdown

            As the voting franchise has expanded, it has become weaker and less influential on actual policy outcomes. The whole point of a republic is to maintain and protect the privileges of a ruling class. Period. Full stop. The only reason there is popular suffrage is to browbeat the people into the ritual forgiveness and ratification of the ruling class. Everything else is rationalization for nonconsensual S&M or a flat-out lie.

      2. Torsten

        Today’s electors are not unlike today’s consumers. From monopolistic or duopolistic vendors they can choose their products, manufactured in a far-off land, labeled with obfuscation, and the only recourse they have to a faulty product is binding arbitration by a court appointed by the vendors for life.

        1. Vatch

          Excellent point. I don’t think Adam Smith would approve of a market that’s structured like our electoral system.

    7. Jim Haygood

      “Many to most Americans don’t know history, geography, or even how the Constitution is supposed to operate.”

      Some took the trouble to research the subject, reading the Articles of Confederation, the Federalist Papers, and histories of constitutional amendment and jurisprudence since then.

      Then they learned that all their study was irrelevant: the fedgov can and does ignore the constitution at its convenience. The USA Patriot Act, in particular, is martial law that effectively suspends the Bill of Rights.

      From the beginning — as ol’ Lysander Spooner sussed out — the Constitution was a diversion to cloak the lawless exercise of naked power.

      A simple rule of thumb — government will do whatever increases its power — is far more predictive of Supreme Court rulings than attempting to apply the Constitution or its ethereal penumbras.

      1. perpetualWAR

        In beginning my fight relating to the financial predators, I found myself completely ignorant of civics. We have the right to redress our grievances to our government, but where to begin? And who to start with? And how long shall this take?

        I was completely naive to think that my government would assist in protecting me! Consumer protection? What a joke.

        Needless to say, I have educated myself on civics and exactly how our government works (or more precisely, doesn’t work) but this has been the most challenging feats of my entire life. And what stops most people is they would rather travel the easy road, which consists of soccer games and BBQs.

        Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that this path of truth would leave me fighting for eight years, with many more to come. Never would I have dreamed our government would choose to uphold the crooks and leave people like me fighting alone. Never would I have thought that choosing truth would eliminate friendships that were years in the making.

        So, when someone says “the truth will set you free” remind them of this post. The path of truth sets you free only in that you no longer care about those that don’t choose truth.

        1. Jim Haygood

          One could name dozens of examples. But the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, giving telecoms retroactive immunity for mass warrantless spying in flagrant violation of Amendment IV, is a perfect illustration.

          It is ridiculous to speak of constitutional law after the FISA Amendments Act. The constitution is a dead letter. Amendment IV is a fiction which really shouldn’t be taught in classrooms anymore. It misleads children into believing they have “rights” which, if exercised, could easily land them in the Gulag.

          Ed Snowden is one example of a kid who diligently studied constitutional rights in school, took them seriously, and ended up exiled from his own country. The constitution is anathema to the illegitimate U.S. ruling regime.

        2. crittermom

          perpetualWAR, I can personally understand what you’re talking about, as well as totally understand your handle now.
          I was naive, too. I’d stupidly thought ‘my’ govt would enforce the laws. After all, that’s what you’d think the ‘Consumer Protection Section’ would do, or any other branch, right? ‘Our’ govt? Ha!
          I lost everything almost 5 long years ago to the banksters.
          Yet most days I’m still able to convince myself my life WILL get better. (while other days…)

          I had never been so excited about an election until this one, as there was a candidate I TRULY wanted.

          Now I’m just furious at all that has happened/is happening, so I find myself signing petitions
          stating my objections to the TPP & other new ‘proposals’, as well as calling representatives to voice my opinion.
          I fear it falls on ears deafened by the ‘ka chink’ of personal wealth over the good of the people, but I continue on with my one (fractionalized?) voice.

          One person, one vote?
          Not anymore, apparently.
          Now it seems votes are ‘fractionalized’ & even those can easily be purged.

          A candidate under indictment by the FBI?
          No biggie. Move along. Nothing to see here.

          We all know the rest, of course.

          I don’t want to live the ‘Hunger Games’, but fear we’re headed that way at lightning speed.
          I haven’t referred to it as ‘my’ govt for years now, but rather, as ‘the’ govt.
          I’ve been forced to distance myself linguistically since it certainly doesn’t represent ME.

          The recent second DDOS attack on here only confirms ‘they’ not only control MSM in the airways but are also intent on controlling its substance everywhere, so we can’t join together.

          Maybe it’s dawned on someone in power that 99% is a much greater number than 1%?
          After all, we have someone like the Donald to distract & divide us, while pushing a ‘queen’ toward coronation.
          What a perfect plan it could be, if ‘we’ didn’t have all those wrenches we keep throwing at ’em–like exposing the truths behind their actions & demanding our voices be heard.

      2. Josh

        This was the obvious takeaway from a seminar I took on Constitutional Law as a student. In the end, the differing judicial philosophies were merely justifications for the justices’ political agendas.

    8. Seb

      Large groups do tend to produce better answers regarding quantity estimation, general world knowledge, and spatial reasoning.

      Idiosyncratic noise of individuals means power is more prone to error when it is in fewer hands. History, of course, also bears this out.

    9. bdy

      The rationally self interested voter overwhelmingly supports Sanders. Trump and Hillary belong on the same ticket. Their complementary flaws combine to create the perfect world-destroying two headed narcissist.

      Maybe one in twenty of us can actually vote for a better personal outcome. Doctors keep getting paid twice as much as their Canadian counterparts whichever of the two gets elected. Bankers . . . well duh. Wealthy attorneys, FIRE sector types same same.

      Nobody else has any choice other than to get screwed while we watch the water rise. The “if you don’t vote for A that’s a tacit vote for B (read: Armageddon)!” argument doesn’t resonate with reasonable people who want a better life in a better world. Anyone with those modest expectations and the least bit of common sense sees this election as a choice between “F*** you” (the Don) and “F*** me” (Hillary).

      It’s naive and mean-spirited to fault someone who choses to vote for peace and prosperity instead.

    10. NeqNeq

      WRT History, Geography, etc

      What I find interesting is that knowledge in any of these categories is, often, irrelevant to the political concerns of the country (US). Certainly they are only vaguely relevant to specific legislation (then usually only constitutionally). They appear to be mainly employed as semaphore, e-peen measuring, and in arguments that only make sense when you don’t think about them.

      Which kind of leads me to wonder about why the NC commentariat is so eager to affirm the proposition “the masses are ignorant”. A group which generally states they value critical thinking and Solidarity, but then affirms a false (or at least problematic) premise and calls the majority of their fellow citizens “ignorant”, is at pains to elucidate how the hold such seemingly contradictory beliefs. Because nothing says solidarity like calling your neighbors no-nothings and nothing calls out elitism better than agreeing with its prejudice.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > The NC commentariat is so eager to affirm the proposition ‘the masses are ignorant'”

        As a whole?? Hmm.

        For myself, I’ve consistently rejected “the masses” as a category; I think it’s patronizing and implies a new boss, same as the bold boss.

        1. ambrit

          I’ve been using ‘the commons’ for a while. Of course, I mean the archaic meaning and eschew the modern derogatory formulation.
          It also holds a subtle hint of “Moonlight and Magnolias.”
          German seems to be a more constructivist tongue. How would German speakers handle the myriad permutations of verbal class signifiers?
          The “masses” may indeed be ignorant of some important subjects. The better question would be, why are ‘they’ so information deprived? The manipulations of public sentiment through language has several names; propaganda, messaging, content control etc. etc.

        2. NeqNeq

          It was based upon the comments to James post (at the time I wrote it). Other than James, nobody seemed to be questioning the label being employed. Indeed most seemed to accept it, and offered various reasons for why ‘the masses’ were so ignorant.

          As to whether there is a general trend this particular case follows, I will reserve belief in either direction because I don’t have enough data points. How often do you (Lambert) have to mention you don’t like this particular trope? That might be a relevant piece of evidence.

      2. hunkerdown

        Ignorance is simply the state of being ignorant, which is simply the state of ignoring things. defines it thus:

        1. lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned
        2. lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact
        3. uninformed; unaware.
        4. due to or showing lack of knowledge or training

        I don’t see any value or character judgment in the plain-text definition. Blame the liberal bourgeoisie for the connotations of inferiority.

        An awareness of history, geography, etc. are not relevant to the first-order political concerns of most USians, this is true. They are, however, quite relevant to understanding why those concerns aren’t being addressed — particularly, that the ruling class uses our community spirit as a weapon against us — to how the ruling class manipulates those concerns into an ongoing power differential, and, I hope, to pumping those cookie-entitled rodents full of warfarin to make space for people to substantively cooperate (or even just not interfere) to address those concerns.

    11. JTFaraday

      I’m not nearly so convinced that said masses are rationally opposed to neoliberal dogma as you are.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s unusual to do re-do an election.

      I didn’t expect any Democratic primaries to be re-done and there wasn’t any.

      Does the Austrian re-run change anything here?

      1. tgs

        First of all the election was incredibly close. I believe only 30,000 or so ballots separated the candidates. The Green party candidate won as a result of 700,000 mail in ballots. The constitutional court has ruled that there were irregularities in counting those in multiple areas of the country and thus, ordered a new election.

        Mail in ballots were also suspected by many in the Democratic primary here.

        1. That Which Sees

          Is the Green candidate even eligible to run….

          Search Gates of Vienna (dot net) for this headline: Is the President-Elect of Austria Mentally Incompetent?

          Sorry about not providing a live link, but I don’t want to wind up in Moderation purgatory.

  4. abynormal

    Thailand to unearth a Monster Graveyard in 1 2 3…

    Key US trading partner Malaysia was taken off the blacklist controversially in 2015, soon after the discovery of mass graves of suspected trafficking victims. Malaysia retains its ranking, though it has initiated fewer trafficking investigations and prosecutions in the period covered by this year’s report.

    The report was released by Secretary of State John Kerry, who calls it an attempt to bring public attention to the full nature and scope of the $150 billion human trafficking industry.
    Growth is seen picking up in 2016 and 2017 if planned infrastructure investment proceeds as scheduled. Lower farm incomes from drought and weak agricultural prices are weighing on private consumption. Consumer prices, having declined in 2015, are forecast to nudge up. Falling imports are leaving sizable trade and current account surpluses, while exports remain weak. Read more from Asian Development Outlook 2016

    Higher public spending drove economic growth in Thailand to 2.8% in 2015 from 0.8% in 2014.
    Economic recovery in Thailand to gather momentum in 2016 and 2017, boosted by public investment.
    SMEs comprise 99% of Thailand’s businesses but generate less than 40% of GDP.

  5. timbers

    “It’s Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses Foreign Policy (Bullwinkle)”

    Wasn’t it the “elites” not the “Ignorant Masses” who instigated the Brexit vote? So shouldn’t the elites revolt against themselves? Because of their own miscalculations?

    (Am assuming the elites put this on the ballot based on remarks that the Torries thought it would be a good idea to to because strategery – I could be wrong).

    1. low integer

      The title of this article demonstrates how reality can be inverted by simply switching two words. In this case those words are “Elites” and “Masses”. Why would the elites need to “rise up”?

      1. Foppe

        Because the stupid masses are destroying the world in which people are treated in accordance with what they deserve their (de)merits. And that makes liberals sad, because without hierarchies, why would one feel compelled to live excel?
        Liberals dislike very much asking the question why one should want to compete in games others have come up with; I suspect because (thanks to their upbringing/education) they are unable to convince themselves that simply by virtue of existing, everyone has a right to live, and to pick a way of life that suits him/her, and to choose what they do and do not value. So they are constantly looking for external validation, which they think they can obtain by playing (and preferably winning) other people’s games. But it’s really all social Darwinism at work, if using different criteria for success than the other guys do.

  6. Roger Smith

    After Saying He Forgave Loans to Campaign, Trump Won’t Release Proof NBC

    And Hillary Clinton is still looking into releasing those speech transcripts…

    Is anyone else bashing their head against the wall here or yelling, “COME ON!” ?

  7. ThePanzer

    Baby Hippos are so cute!

    To bad they group up into man-eating, death-dealing, aquatic, sea monsters.

    1. JohnnyGL

      They’re fat as hell and they know how to use it. They ruthlessly protect their kids and neighborhoods from predators who would eat their young in a heartbeat. I know a few humans like that. You sure you can’t relate at least a little bit? I can see their point.

      1. perpetualWAR

        Because I have been a victim of the financial predators and have been fighting them alone, without help from ANY community, I would welcome a hippo in my neighborhood.

        I feel completely defeated.

        1. Patricia

          Damn that’s awful.

          I don’t know what else to say except I hope you don’t let them wreck yourself too.

        2. crittermom

          As a victim myself, I can hear your screams of “foul!”, & my heart goes out to you.
          Don’t let ’em destroy YOU, or they still win.

          I’ve been asked if I’m suicidal, but my response is always “No. Homicidal, perhaps!”

          I’m turning 65 this year & this is not the American I grew up in. I want my country back. I remain horrified by what happened to me, as well as yourself & others.

          Just remember, you’re not alone. The voting is proof of that.
          8.3 million of us who have lost our homes (so far) know the hell you’re going through when the laws aren’t enforced against the big institutions & no one (govt) has your back, & we’re right here beside you screaming “foul”!

          Yes, I believe hippos are the most dangerous animals in Africa, rather than lions, as so many believe. I’d love to turn some loose on Wall St.

          But I’m bettin’ 8.3 million (& counting) can be even more dangerous if we cry “foul” loud enough & all as one. I believe it already started at the polls.

  8. Otis B Driftwood

    The comments in the Taibbi article are something to behold. It must warm Matt’s heart to read that stuff. Only one or two of the many frothing comments even came close to reflecting comprehension of his theme. Instead, it is a degenerate debate about whether or not Obama is a socialist or a marxist.

    Res ipsa loquitor

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Remember, Brock’s SuperPac is officially spending more on Hillary’s social media response than those crafty Russians do to spread Putin online propaganda according to various reports on background and guestimates. The DNC and the RNC have had bots for years.

      Major publications will draw the bots and the most ardent partisans who can largely have their argument replaced with Red Team and Blue team, while making the same amount of sense.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      RealClearPolitics or Drudge linked to it.

      The Left and Far Right coming together???

  9. Pirmann

    DCCC Refuses to Back Progressive Primary Victors

    This is what people/organizations do when they don’t agree with the platform of the candidate. Common sense. Bernie Sanders and Liddy Warren, please note.

    1. cwaltz

      Warren has already made her choice and Sanders already knows too(after all he’s an independent that the Democrats supported).

      The people you want to notice this are the idiots who insist that you can change the DNC by launching primaries and insist that third parties are a waste of time. The reality is the DNC has no problem leveraging a third party when they don’t like a primary result. They supported Independent Lieberman and an Independent King in places where the democratic activists elected candidates that the status quo DNC didn’t want.

  10. allan

    Attorney General to Accept Officials’ Determination on Clinton Email

    So the decision is in the hands of the US internal security apparatus, headed by someone who spent the
    revolving door part of his career as the general counsel at the world’s largest military contractor
    and at a hedge fund. What is Lambert’s expression – `nuts in a jar’?

    1. perpetualWAR

      After seeing the blatant corruption between Bill Clinton & Loretta Lynch, I find myself so beyond rage at this point and teetering on despair.

      Because I have been a victim of the financial predators and have been fighting them alone, without help from ANY community, I keep thinking that the only thing that may call attention to homeowners’ plight and the total collusion with the government is me to do something drastic. I wonder if a homeowner setting themselves on fire at the DNC convention protests would be enough? I have thought of hoisting a guillotine in my front yard, but again, not certain if that is enough? Of course, the DNC convention is being hosted at Wells Fargo arena.

      I feel completely defeated.

      1. Patricia

        Ice-cold resolve is more durable than flaming-out rage&despair. Best revenge served cold, living well, etc.

        Can you take a holiday?

  11. Jeff

    Istanbul airport attack: Investigators say suicide bombers came from Russia and former USSR as death toll rises Independent (resilc)

    RT is saying that the brain behind the attacks is on Russian ‘wanted’ list since 2003, and several European nations refused to extradite him in the past.

    1. JTMcPhee

      NOOOOOO, NOOOOOO! The Narrative and the Porte-ly Erdogan insist it was ISISSSSSSS!!!

  12. voteforno6

    Re: Clinton Email Tarbaby

    Loretta Lynch said that she will accept the FBI’s recommendations. It sure sounds like the fix is in. Still, if there really was nothing there, I have a hard time believing that it would drag out for this long.

    1. LMS

      On MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Mark Halperin said that a senior Justice Dept official told him that Lynch would not recuse herself and that nothing is new, that she was always going to let career people decide.
      What I am mostly hearing now on the MSM is that indictment is unlikely because there was no intent to disclose classified information. That will be the spin when they let Hillary off.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Which is wrong, because “intent” is not the standard.

        We’re descending to third world status where elites have impunity because, after all, they only reached their high positions because they are virtuous, and being virtuous, can never have ill intent.

      2. Heliopause

        We’ve seen multiple reports that suggest that the whole thing comes down to whether HRC was careless with a couple dozen e-mails. I’m not sure how that comports with Bryan Pagliano’s seeming centrality to this whole saga. Presumably, he would be uninvolved in anything to do with actual e-mail content. Perhaps there are two (or more) tracks to this investigation that these reports aren’t accounting for.

  13. Bill Smith

    Clinton email… her four top aides exchanged 700 emails a month with the Clinton Foundation and Bill’s ‘company’ Teneo Holdings. I wonder what this means the other investigation into Clinton, the one into the Clinton Foundation.

    One of them, Michael Fuchs, didn’t he turn up in an email from Hillary’s pile? Something where Hillary thanked some Egyptian government officials for helping Fuchs make some investments?

    1. Heliopause

      One wonders why the Secretary of State and her top aides would have anything at all to do with a private foundation during her tenure. Seems like SoS is more than a full-time job, isn’t it? So just leave the foundation to some competent administrators and concentrate on your other job for four years? Or am I thinking too logically?

      1. ambrit

        There is the appearance of impropriety involved. Actions by the SoS in her official capacity directly affected the financial fortunes of the ‘Foundation.’ It is commonly known as corruption.

  14. ProNewerDeal

    Any updated take on Win10?

    I have a Win7 laptop, & just received a notice that I have a Jun-29 “deadline” on accepting the free Win10 “upgrade”. The Wiki page notes Win7 “Extended Support” ends in 2020-Jan.

    My default is to continue to take the original advice some months ago of NC commenters & others to stick with Win7, unless the Win10 situation has changed substantially since then.

    Big thx in advance, & happy Canada Day!

    1. Crestwing

      Stay with Win 7 especially if the computer is 4 or more years old. The chances of hardware incompatibility with Win 10 go up as units get older.

      If you do upgrade to Win 10, do not use the Express Settings when you set it up. The Express Settings allow Microsoft to datamine you with impunity.

        1. reslez

          Check with the manufacturer before you upgrade a laptop to Win10. Some brands are not compatible and will not work. (But Windows will still push you to upgrade.) After you upgrade you can install things like Spybot Anti-Beacon to disable some of the telemetry. This program also works for Win 7 and 8.

  15. petal

    A write-up about Trump’s visit to Manchester, NH yesterday.

    “Throughout the hourlong speech and question-and-answer period that followed, Trump hit rival Clinton on trade, comparing himself to Sanders on the issue.

    “There’s nothing that’s closer to my heart than trade, there’s nothing closer to my heart than the workers who are being so badly taken care of,” Trump said.

    Osram Sylvania closed in 2014, resulting in the loss of nearly 140 jobs, according to news media reports.

    Though Trump stated the company had closed due to trade deals such as NAFTA, the move came as sales declined for traditional lighting products and Osram Sylvania was prompted to restructure, a company spokesperson told the Union Leader.”

  16. Uahsenaa

    Frankly, The Times piece about Corbyn wanting to step down but being prevented by McDonnell doesn’t pass the smell test. Setting aside the use of “anonymous sources,” who could be anyone, there’s this:

    Mr Corbyn has been accused of failing to fight for Britain to remain in the EU. There are also fears that if a snap general election is called he would lose.

    Sentence A is true; sentence B has no basis in reality. In reality, polls clearly show that the party membership, if not the PLP, are overwhelmingly behind him. The trade unions have made a public statement of support and have called for Corbyn to reject the no-confidence vote. The only way someone like Eagle could win is by preventing Corbyn from being on the ballot at all. It boggles the mind that they don’t see what an insurrection they would have from the base, if that were to happen.

    What exactly are all the resigners going to do when Corbyn wins a second leadership election in a landslide? There are only so many times you can take your ball and go home.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Whatever they do, they better do it quick. Chilcot comes out next week and is certain to dig up skeletons that Angela Hawk Eagle would rather remain buried.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      This Is a power grab. Don’t let an opportunity go to waste, and many new Labour types haven’t quite grasped they are right wingers. They believe they are hippies who are pragmatic and champions of the little people. Their cabbie is always polite after all.

      Corbyn’s support is an attack on their identity. Its no different than this country. Sherrod Brown whined young people only care about Benghazi, but the simple reality is Libya was a thuggish adventure by any reasonable measure and he doesn’t want to acknowledge he isn’t the good guy he believes he is. Hillary had plenty of votes from people who simply don’t want to acknowledge they aren’t sophisticated voters incapable of being conned because Sanders points out what should have been obvious about Team Clinton for ages.

      1. Uahsenaa

        I got in an argument with my father, a staunch trade unionist, recently about the previous Clinton presidency. He can cite you chapter and verse on how wage scales were broken across industries and yet refuses to see how Clinton, whom he supported and seems still to support, went out his way to facilitate the total breakdown of manufacturing in the US. I have immense respect for my father and what he’s done over the course of his life to defend labor, but the cognitive dissonance is staggering.

        1. bdy

          Yeah my kid’s godmother used to march for peace. Now she votes for smart power. It’s heartbreaking.

  17. Take the Fork


    * Asteriod * : Our fuzzy little egg-stealing forebears almost got smoked… but they didn’t. I can’t understand why no one has founded a religion worshipping that asteroid. Makes more sense to me than going on about volcano demons…

    * Brexit/Elite/Democracy* : Democracy is supposed to be messy. The owners don’t like this. Tidy democracy is highly suspicious: it either is not democracy, or is democracy in the period of lassitude before decay. An island nation with a strong fleet and nuclear arsenal, the England can afford a far more messy democracy than we have seen thus far. Who can’t afford it? The people whining most loudly…

    * 1916/2016 * The Somme* : I cannot help but compare WWI to the EU project. It’s a poor comparison, but somehow fitting. In both cases, elites destroyed millions of lives chasing phantasms. I always think of General Haig: not singular, not a monster, but divorced from reality to such a degree as to follow a monstrous course. He should have resigned after his failure at the Somme. In another, perhaps more honorable, culture, he would have taken his own life. At the very least, he should have been court-martialed. But: no…

    *Raspberry Berets* : Where have you gone Corporal Klinger? As far as I can tell, all that remains is to allow pedophiles to serve openly. If there is a barrier beyond this, I cannot imagine it. If there is a silver lining, perhaps by reducing the cohesion of our military through social-engineering we will continue to produce battlefield (excuse me, I mean “battlespace”) failure and perhaps one day blunt our tendency to send our troops on fool’s errands. But I doubt it…

    * Italy’s Banks* : is this just more of the same or is it something different? It seemed like a quick shift from “Ve vill follow zee rules” to “here’s another pot of money” … To get back to the Somme, it just seems like a matter of throwing more and more at a problem that can’t be fixed until someone runs out of more (as the Germans did in 1918)… But if we can print more, then remind me: how does this stop?

    * Baby Hippo * : Cthulhu was a child once, too…

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Don’t know which link your “raspberry berets” comment refers to, but I think I can guess the subject.

      As we approach our national birthday, the magnanimity of the “leaders” of our exceptional country is inspiring. That no american will be prevented from blowing away foreigners for no good reason whatsoever in service of empire and creating global chaos and despair wherever they go based on race, creed or the gender of their birth, is a testament to the values our founding fathers envisioned.

      Happy Birthday, america!

  18. Jim Haygood

    According to today’s ISM purchasing managers report, the shaky U.S. economy just keeps muddling along:

    “The past relationship between the PMI and the overall economy indicates that the average PMI for January through June (50.8 percent) corresponds to a 2.4 percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) on an annualized basis. In addition, if the PMI for June (53.2 percent) is annualized, it corresponds to a 3.2 percent increase in real GDP annually.”

    ISM’s figures are consistent with the Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now, projecting 2.7% growth as the 2nd quarter comes to an end.

    Later today, ISM is doing a special Brexit report. Brexit may well be an economic shock that increases recession risk in Europe. But with US stocks back to within one percent of a record high, it’s looking like a non-event in the US.

    1. NeqNeq

      Out of curiosity, what is the minimum percentage growth rate you would demand to say US growth is no longer muddling along? 3%? 5%? 9%?

      And a follow up question: If the US hit that target growth rate, but there was not a corresponding increase in the global rates, would that be cause for concern?

  19. Louis

    With regards to the piece on the Tesla crash, it’s a shame the this guy was killed.

    However, I have to say that 1 fatality out of 130 million miles driven doesn’t seem too bad, especially considering the track record of human drivers. Everyone seems to envision that if they had been behind the wheel (and in control) they would have reacted differently and survived, which is possible, though more likely it wouldn’t have made a difference in this particular situation.

    1. tegnost

      They might have…
      the machine sees actors but a human driver can see risk. If I’m driving and interacting in traffic I can see a person who’s driving badly and seeing that risk can slow down, speed up, change lanes etc while your fabulous machine (really it’s a toy) follows it’s inputs and perceives it’s rightful place in traffic. My question is how many tech guys have killed their passengers by driving irrationally and saying to the passengers in the process “see! a self driving car wouldn’t do this” (this has happened to me but I only feared dying, didn’t die yet) Every tech focused person seems to envision a world where automation erases risk. Count me as not convinced that self driving cars answer anyone’s needs other than the financial well being their designers and code crunchers. Oh and if you think the hoi polloi are irritating now wait til all of the truck drivers lose their jobs. Do you have an answer for this (other than tech global good sparkle pony money more money greed is good I want it all or at least as much as i can get robots robots robots)? Plus resource constraints, we don’t need 10 billion people or the cars that it would take to move them around in spite of all the money to be made selling to all these people who are not allowed to do anything for fear of confusing the machines (oops, toys).

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Round trip from Earth to Moon : Apprx. 1/2 million miles.

      So far, no fatality on space trips.

      I guess they are comparable.

      1. geoff

        I seem to recall 2 of 5 Space Shuttles exploding either on the way up or the way down (40% failure rate), and the first 3 Apollo astronauts dying on the launchpad, so I don’t think you’re correct about the safety of manned space travel.

          1. ambrit

            Both shuttle destructions can squarely be credited to human error or pig headed stupidity. I remember when Richard Feynman demolished any attempts at avoiding NASAs responsibility for the shuttle explosion with one simple physical experiment he did on the table of the committee meeting. Morton Thiokol warned about the risks of low temperature launches with their solid fuel boosters. NASA ignored those warnings. Seven people died as the result of other peoples’ stupidity.

            1. bob

              The “shuttle” was the problem.

              Fuel next to people=bad

              Fuel under the people, like how they did it most of the time in the past, and now, much safer. 12 seconds after launch you’re going fast enough that any fuel “explosion” is miles behind you.

              The problem was the shuttle itself. Horribly complicated design.

    3. Aumua

      Statistics are one thing, but then there’s the image of an automated vehicle going out of control and killing you. It’s scary, and emotionally charged.

    4. bob

      false equivalency salad bar

      Also, notice the delay in reporting? This accident happened over a month ago. Even the deferential tone of the story says all you need to know about the story- Protect elon and his gov sponsored and maintained billions.

  20. allan

    State Department seeks 2-year-plus delay in suit for Clinton aides’ emails … and while they’re at it, why don’t they throw the 28 pages into the pot:

    White House Goes Dark on the 9/11 Report’s Secret 28 Pages

    After years of chasing the missing pages from a report he helped author, former senator Bob Graham seems to have hit a dead end.

    The deadline a White House official gave him has come and gone. An official, who had been corresponding with Graham—whose name he did not disclose—is no longer returning his phone calls.

    In an interview with the Daily Beast, he expressed his frustration at the White House reneging on a promised April 12 deadline, but said he was undeterred …

    The new release date for both the emails and the 28 pages will be Nov. 31, 2018.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It (2018) is not a leap year; otherwise they get an extra day to work on it.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A lot of international resorts (even eco resorts) that our middle class tourists enjoy are surrounded by a sea of poverty.

  21. Dave

    Somebody miss this? Maybe it’s not evident in link headlines.

    “Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch will accept the recommendation of career prosecutors and the FBI director about whether to seek charges in the investigation involving Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of State, a Justice Department official said Friday.”

  22. Bill

    Bill Clinton up to his old tricks in meeting with Loretta Lynch

    Let’s see if we get a denial: “I did not have political congress with that woman”

    1. Jim Haygood

      From the late Joseph Sobran, writing in 1997:

      Dreaming of greatness, [Clinton] didn’t foresee that his presidency would be consumed by such questions as Just how bad is this president? Will he be impeached? Will his wife go to jail?

      Bill Clinton is his own Dream Team, artfully suppressing evidence, changing the subject, and getting himself off one hook after another, even when he’s obviously guilty

      The historian Paul Johnson writes in Esquire that “there can be no doubt that Clinton has already seriously damaged the office [of the presidency].” He goes on: “Clinton’s general moral standards are low or nonexistent. He seems to lie easily and fluently when cornered, and he seems to have had no scruples about using his office to enrich himself and his friends…. He is not so much consciously wicked as merely amoral, a man unaware of sharp distinctions between right and wrong.”

      What saves this president from ruin, Mr. Johnson observes, is partly the confusing multiplicity of his scandals; the public can barely focus on one before another distracts attention from it.

      Prescient question on Sobran’s part, from 19 years ago: “Will his wife go to jail?”

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The irony is almost TOO delicious.

      After dragging the lying sack of slimy wreckage that is bill clinton around for 30 years so that when it was her turn she could ride his coattails, he snatches the brass ring away at the very last minute.

      Memo to Monica Lewinsky: the last laugh is yet to be had, and no one deserves it more than you.

      Maybe the title of hill’s next book should be Listen, Ladies.

  23. ChiGal

    It is remarkable to me that in the FP piece there is no mention of the redistribution of wealth, just “angry” and ignorant folks. But there is this:

    But the imperative of cohabitation could also lead to genuine realignment. That is, chunks of parties from the left and right of center could break away to form a different kind of center, defending pragmatism, meliorism, technical knowledge, and effective governance against the ideological forces gathering on both sides.

    Sorry, didn’t this already happen? And is what Thomas Frank is talking about in listen, liberal?

    Again, the article acknowledges that many see dismal long-term prospects but NOT that those same elites are doing mighty well for themselves. Focus is entirely on nationalism as a source of prejuduce and bigotry.

    But in that Guardian video chronicling ordinary folks’ reaction to Brexit there were plenty of people of color who didn’t want their jobs going to mainlanders.

  24. Take the Fork

    W is for Why:

    “What Bush gained by giving up drinking—a fast, if late, career start; the chance to be a more responsible husband and father—is indisputable; but did he lose anything?”

    W had most of the tells of a dry-drunk. I’ve always thought that this, more than anything, explained a lot of his behaviors and blindspots.

  25. Christopher Dale Rogers

    Re: Times Story, Labour Insiders, Corbyn Keen to Quit,

    Forgive my language, but I am British and I’m working class, so we refer to this as ‘bollocks’, or propaganda of the worst kind.

    Less than 24 hrs ago, I had the pleasure of speaking to a senior confidant and advisor to John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, what I was informed brightened up my day and has encouraged me to continue with others to fight back the fascistic forces that have launched the ‘ChickenCoup’ within the Parliamentary Labour Party and ensure Corbyn remains leader – some 60,000 have joined the Labour Party ranks since last Friday, many of them, the majority infact have signed on to vote for Corbyn.

    My contact, a person well known to these boards and Yves herself, instructed me that Corbyn’s office not only was fully aware the coup was coming, but had devised a detailed plan of action to fight it off and ensure Corbyn’s survival. Allegedly, we are now on phase two, this being namely Constituency Labour Party’s regaining control, passing censures against the plotters and schemers, many of whom don’t actually have any affiliation with the Constituencies they represent, and basically setting in motion deselection procedures to sack their traitor MP’s – just check out news sites to see whats happening, Tristrum Hunt and Smeeth being but two examples, as well as Angela Eagle’s constituency.

    Far from resigning, Corbyn is actually in France today at the battle grounds of the Somme, a big thing given its the centenary of the battle that cost 20,000 UK lives in just one day – so to say he’s going anywhere is bunkum.

    Apart from moves in the NEC, which the plotters forgot about, much is happening at a constituency level as the media focus on London only, but Corbyn’s support is actually growing and the plotters can’t even agree on a single candidate to put up against Corbyn to trigger an election.

    Essentially, the plotters ignited their gunpowder too soon, many have been caught out for the liars they are, specifically Ms. Eagle, and many in the rank and file are rather upset by it all – particularly given their MP’s have defied CLP instructions.

    The situation is complex and fluid and obviously the plotters and Blairites, who still control much of the Party apparatus, can utilise dirty tricks similar to those used by the DNC, however, and here’s the funny part, they cannot verify all new members, and are not sure how many of these new members have joined to depose Corbyn, but currently its estimated some 40,000 are pro-Corbyn, on top of those who joined after his election success last year – remember he gained 49% of the full time Party membership, but its composition has altered greatly, there now being a full 100% increase in members since September, most joining because of Corbyn, hence the reason why no sacrificial lamb has come forward thus far.

    And, the plan itself was highly influenced by a Yank, one with great experience of these cat and mouse games – the real story when out will be fascinating, but all we need to do is bide our time until the release of the Chilcot report next week, which will have a devastating impact on Blair, his cronies and his legion of placemen in the PLP.

    And yes, I’ve re-joined the Party on Tuesday and will be voting for Corbyn – but, this is a big struggle and one I hope we’ll win, for failure means the end of a democratic Labour Party in the UK.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s like they treat first class passengers better.

      That is, they treat coach passengers worse…provide worse service to poorer customers.

      And they brag they treat first class passengers better too.

      So, they brag the same thing about worse service (just not explicitly).

    2. BillC

      This is bigger than CableOne … and even bigger than simple-but-disgusting discrimination. It’s a generalized personal privacy issue with what used to be (and still should be) called common carrier telecom providers. For Inquiring Minds who want to know more, an excellent explanation by Harold Feld, a very well-informed DC beltway insider with a long and successful track record of working for the public good in telecom, is here.

  26. Plenue

    Can anyone explain to me what exactly the objective is from the pro-austerity German point of view? What do they imagine is going to happen if every EU member successfully meets even more severe budget cutting targets? That some sort of Golden Age will begin? Assuming destruction isn’t actually the objective, of course.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They make it very hard to exit.

      Just ask Greece and the UK.

      But I think if you get 8 or 10 members wanting to leave simultaneously, especially if France joins the Leave camp, the EU will go away.

      “What is nearly impossible for one, is possible with many.”

      Perhaps that’s their goal, but they don’t want to be the country that causes it…it’s like that memo to general Short, in Tora, Tora, Tora, “Japan is to be seen as the one who initiated it” or” we should avoid to be the first.”

  27. JustAnObserver

    Nice to see “sado-monetarism” back in use, a Krugman coinage from before he got turned by the Clinton-machine.

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