Links 8/21/16

Twins born in Toyama aquarium’s female-only shark tank stump officials Japan Times

India’s famous crocodile-hunting female tiger, Machli, has died Quartz (JS).

SEC Probes Silver Lake Over Fees WSJ

All the Fun Is Going Out of Hedge Funds Bloomberg

A clubby oligopoly that is overdue for reform FT. Accountancy.

RBS Pays Negative Interest on Large Deposits Starting Monday; Negative Interest Roundup MishTalk (Furzy Mouse).

Exxon Mobil Fraud Inquiry Said to Focus More on Future Than Past NYT

U.S. Army fudged its accounts by trillions of dollars, auditor finds Reuters

Dieselgate in Europe: How Officials Ignored Years of Emissions Evidence Der Spiegel

Protesters settle into camp life Bismarck Tribune

Coding Boot Camps Attract Tech Companies WSJ


No ISIS There – Are U.S. Troops In Hasakah “Advising” Kurds To Attack The Syrian Army? Moon of Alabama

Kurds versus Syrian army battle intensifies, complicating multi-fronted war Reuters

Why Iraqis fear victory Le Monde Diplomatique

It’s time to defend Brexit The Spectator

Pinochet’s widow under investigation on suspicion of swindling millions Guardian

War Drums

U.S. Policy in Syria: Are We Doing Enough? NYT

Live Blog: Ukraine In Crisis Radio Free Europe

Putin Steps Back From the Brink of War in Ukraine Newsweek

Slimed! Gross ‘black slime’ creeps over Washington DC’s most famous monuments – and no one knows how to get rid of it Daily Mail

Yes, It’s Possible to Hack the Election ABC

Internet Voting Leaves Out a Cornerstone of Democracy: The Secret Ballot MIT Technology Review (JS).


2016 candidates’ cookie recipes could help predict winner USA Today

With a comfortable lead, Clinton begins laying plans for her White House agenda WaPo. “Clinton has borrowed some of her economic policy agenda from the liberal Roosevelt Institute in New York.” (NC covered the Roosevelt Institute in 2011 here, here, and here. I’d welcome evidence that they’ve changed.)

Not all Clinton charities bound by new set of rules Boston Globe. “Big chunks of the Clinton family’s charitable network would be exempt from a self-imposed ban on foreign and corporate donations if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, loopholes that highlight the complexity of disentangling her from the former first family’s myriad potential conflicts of interest.” Wow, that’s a real shocker.

Foundation Ties Bedevil Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign NYT

Silicon Valley techies not yet coding for Clinton Mercury-News (MR).

Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Primary Challenger Claims She Illegally Used DNC Resources Against Him (interview) Truthdig (MR).

Podesta Group retains outside counsel over Manafort-related scandal Politico

Stephen Bannon, Donald Trump’s new campaign chief FT

QuickTake Q&A: The Debates That Donald Trump Now Wants to Debate Bloomberg

Donald Trump’s campaign is still spending remarkably little CNBC

Trump slams Clinton’s ‘more of the same, but worse’ in first ad France24

Trump’s Empire: A Maze of Debts and Opaque Ties NYT. Yves: “That NYT piece is another journalistic failure. Either the reporters don’t understand what non-recourse debt is (although they do actually explain the concept in the piece so they can claim to be accurate) or they are choosing to mislead readers. None of this is “Trump’s debt”. And his net worth is NET of the debt in his entities. It’s the value of his cash, his personal property (art, cars, personal real estate), any funds run by third party managers, plus (drumroll) the value of his share in various ventures, and that is his share of the equity. Lordie.”

Republicans prep ‘break glass’ emergency plan as Trump tumbles Politico

Trump and Clinton’s free trade retreat: a pivotal moment for the world’s economic future Guardian. Interesting if true.

Bernie Sanders’ New Political Group Raises Campaign Finance Questions ABC

CNN Green Party Townall [sic] CNN

Why Ajamu Baraka? Why Vice President? And Why the Green Party? Black Agenda Report

How American Politics Went Insane Jonathan Rauch, The Atlantic. Sanders is a sociopath, and the Grand Bargain’s 2011 failure was a “debacle.” Alrighty, then.

Troops using ‘Clinton defense’ in classified information cases The Hill

Judge Refers Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for Criminal Prosecution NYT

What You Need to Know About the Private Prison Phase-Out The Marshall Project (JS).

Class Warfare

Crowdsourcing Austerity Jacobin. NYU.

This helpful chart reveals if a robot is coming for your job Business Insider

‘We’re just rentals’: Uber drivers ask where they fit in a self-driving future Guardian

Should writing for the public count toward tenure? The Conversation (JS).

Ryan Lochte’s apology is clear: He doesn’t realize what he has done wrong WaPo

The hidden danger of big data Al Jazeera

Journal Sentinel Archive Disappears Urban Milwaukee

Why do we fear narcissism? FT

Emptiness n+1

Fifteen Fatal Fallacies of Financial Fundamentalism William Vickrey (1996).

Antidote du jour (via):


First red-tailed hawk fledge of 2016 from @StJohnDivineNYC, possibly first in Manhattan.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Jim Haygood

    “Black slime creeps over DC monuments” — instead of fighting nature, why not work with it?

    No reason why a more appropriate blood-red slime couldn’t be bioengineered to muscle out the black stuff.

    1. DorothyT

      “Black slime” link couldn’t be more important. Yves has included at least a couple of articles on antibiotic resistance in bacteria and this leads in that direction.


      As our parents used to say when we asked the meaning of a word, “Look it up.”

      1. polecat

        Perhaps this is The Great Cthulhu’s way of throwing his hat…er… appendage into the election ring !!

    2. Ray Phenice

      Actually, the slime crept out of the Potomac River tide pools (: It’s not the first time something slimey crept over the DC area.

    3. Rosario

      Amazing how hard we have to work to continue pretending we control things.

      Anyway, I think the “slime”, as they call it, is quite beautiful. The contrasted black reveals the forms of the architecture very well. Something that can rarely be appreciated with oblique shadows. Reminds me of the graffiti on a passing train car. It reveals the structure of the car far more than if the car had no graffiti.

    4. different clue

      About the bio-film . . . . have the average temperature and humidity both been going up over the last few years in DC? Have they both together gone up over whatever threshhold is required for surface mold or other surface things to make a living off of airborne nutrients and moisture in the friendly heat? Could it be that natural-world simple, without having to invoke any political or cultural symbolism at all?

  2. allan

    The correct link for `Bernie Sanders’ New Political Group Raises Campaign Finance Questions’ seems to be

    A better title might have been `Bernie Sanders’ New Political Group Raises Pearl Clutching By Two Campaign Finance Insiders’. But brownie points to the reporter for unintended(?) humor:

    For example, Organizing for Action, a group spun off from President Obama’s presidential campaigns, was created using the same 501(c)(4) nonprofit designation as Sanders’ new organization. That group, which has advanced Obama’s political agenda, has repeatedly distanced itself from electoral politics.

  3. Jim Haygood

    Survivalist author John Wesley, Rawles [yes, he uses punctuation in his name] forecasts an historic run on guns should Hillary be elected.

    This is a predictable result of rule by decree in the post-constitutional US, as 0bama demonstrates near daily with a new executive ukase.

    Unlike in the former days of constitutional democracy when there were “hearings” and “debates” and “votes” on new laws [I know — you’re chuckling at the antiquated language], now you wake up and — poof! — another chunk of the constitution done gone, by executive order.

    That’s why you have to be pre-emptive — what’s legal today could be a felony tomorrow.

    My gun dealer neighbor reckons that if the ‘beest wins on Tuesday, Nov 8th, by Friday his empty shelves will look like a Venezuelan grocery store.

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      That’s just good investment sense. I myself might buy guns and/or ammo if she wins the election—and before she takes office. From what I’ve heard the plan may be to limit the availability of ammo, since everybody already has guns.

      It would be just about impossible to start taking away guns from people that already have them. But that doesn’t mean the feeble-minded sociopaths won’t try.

        1. Propertius

          Nope, Huey P. Newton actually:

          “Any unarmed people are slaves, or are slaves in the real meaning of the word.”

          1. Plenue

            Good thing the ubiquitous (and ever increasing) prevalence of firearms in the United States has kept the creeping onslaught of tyranny in check in the last 15 years. Oh…wait…

            How can people in these comments seriously be suggesting that people are correct to stockpile additional guns out of fear that ever-expanding executive authority may one day come for them? Do you not see the massive cognitive dissonance? Guns have never been a rarity in America, and yet the lawlessness of the government has increased completely unabated. Washington doesn’t fear your guns, guys.

      1. dcblogger

        what a great investment, bring something into your house that dramatically raises the possibility that you or someone you love will die a violent death. gotta get me some of that death machine.

          1. jgordon

            Darwin huh? Same could be said for automobiles, cigarettes and cheeseburgers, all of which are more deadly to the population than guns. Since you care about safety so much why not start with issues that will have more of an impact.

            Or maybe this is just less about safety and more about control. Forcibly confronting people who have different cultural beliefs and practices and bending them to the right way of thinking, for their own good of course, is surely a noble and goodly pastime. Who could possibly despise you for that?

            1. DJG

              I’m detecting an awful lot of squealing here. The point is that any weapon has to be used properly, within the bounds of what larger society considers justifiable cause for use.

              Your squealing also reminds me of the Hillary supporters who can’t tell (or won’t discern) the difference between a personal e-mail account, which is software, and a private e-mail server, which is a machine.

              Lookie here: “Cultural beliefs” about knife control, an entry in Wikipedia.
              “Knife legislation
              Knife legislation is defined as the body of statutory law or case law promulgated or enacted by a government or other governing jurisdiction that prohibits, criminalizes, or restricts the otherwise legal manufacture, importation, sale, transfer, possession, transport, or use of knives.[1]” Et cetera.

              And please remind me of the purpose of a cheeseburger. Somehow, even the worst cheeseburger doesn’t seem like a weapon (except, maybe, in the hands of the immortal Three Stooges).

              1. jgordon

                “The point is that any weapon has to be used properly, within the bounds of what larger society considers justifiable cause for use.”

                It must take quite a bit of patronizing arrogance to have thoughts like this in your head and feel that they make sense, despite being full of hidden assumptions and undefined terms.

                Since you have such a fixation on weapons, I’ll explain to you what makes a tool a weapon or not a weapon: the person using it. A nail gun in the hands of Jeffrey Dahmer is a very different thing from a nail gun in the hands of your roofer. And yet you have developed a religious crusade against nail guns because Jeffrey Dahmer might get Hus hands on one, and are confused about why most people aren’t taking you seriously. OK.

                Anyway, to be clear it is your peculiar cultural belief/superstition that objects have motives and innate goodness or badness that I’m referring to. That you can’t even see that as a cultural belief is just testament to how trapped in your regiobal cultural narrative you are. And it’s your extreme hubris that allows you to see this cultural narrative ad “reality”.

                1. Plenue

                  It’s not actually. It’s the reality that it’s a hell of a lot easier to run away from a nut with a knife than a nut with a a metal tube that directs a controlled explosion to fling a piece of metal multiple times the speed of sound. A tool that has exactly one function: to create corpses. And even talking about nuts is incorrect framing, since a large number of gun fatalities come from ‘responsible gun owners’ who end up killing their relative who comes home unexpectedly at 3:00 AM. Manly men defending their ‘castle’.

                  We’re talking about something that literally radically changed the face of warfare, to the extent that other weapons that had dominated for millenia were relegated to the dustbin. You’re the ones playing games to try and twist reality into a pretzel, treating this thing like it’s no different from a sharp blade.

            2. Plenue

              It’s almost as if we live in a world where all of those things are already highly regulated…

          2. different clue

            Those who are truly confident that Darwin will handle it should feel no need to try addressing the problem with legislation or regulations. Just let Darwin handle it.

            Unless the gun control supporters think that by pursuing gun control in public, they inspire more people to buy more guns and ammo, thereby providing a bigger population pool for Darwin to select among. That would be a sneaky bit of reverse-psychological social-behavior engineering.

            1. jgordon

              Yes, these people should just stick to their beliefs and let Darwin handle it. Most freedom-lovers will be thrilled to let them live in their gunless Utopias such as Chicago and DC all they want. Not sure why they’re so dead set on imposing their values and laws on others, but it is very annoying.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Swords are also good.

        Saw one Chinese one the other day, that was probably over 2,000 years old, made of bronze and some mystery metals to make it stainless, and still sharp enough to kill (I felt the edges).

      1. JTMcPhee

        I think Haygood might be talking his book — wonder what he holds in the way of gun maker investments? S&W has shown brightly, Glock and Charter Arms… Ruger makes some sexy stuff…

        1. jgordon

          Strictly speaking, Haygood is correct. By all the available evidence Obama, Hillary, and you all are the best gun salespeople ever. If I were a bit more cynical, I’d say that the NRA is behind this irrational anti-gun crusade.

        2. Charger01

          The shares of S&W and Ruger are doing well. They’ve on my blacklist for investment, like private prisons and healthcare.

    2. Alex morfesis

      Most gun owners commit insurance fraud…if they told their homeowners insurance company of their weapons holdings, they would be required to pay a larger premium for the additional casualty risks, and the ammosexuals might not even be able to get a home loan since insurers could deny them a homeowners policy…

      But in a country with so many burdens for the poor and where being broke has become “criminalized”, $ince owning a gun is not exactly super cheap…

      It is don’t ask, don’t tell when it comes to guns and homeowner’s insurance

      1. jgordon

        The problem is that there are so many anti-gun nuts infesting finance and government that lying about it is a requirement just to live. After all, if you’re gay you don’t tell your anti-gay boss about it unless you’re looking for trouble.

        Insurance fraud? Well unfortunately for them this is a privacy issue and they didn’t have the right to ask the question in the first place, just like medical insurance providers don’t get to ask people if they’re gay so they can get charged more for coverage. Have a sense of fairness here.

        1. DJG

          jgordon: Kindly don’t drag gay folk into this. You keep making errors in choice of things to compare. I’m still wondering about how cheeseburgers got into this thread, let alone gay folk.

          1. jgordon

            It seems I have to explain many things to you. Leading causes of death in America:


            Oh look at that! Firearms are a tiny fraction of a percent on that graph, somewhere above STDs and and below automobiles–and yet you are focusing all of your efforts on this tiny sliver to make people safer in America–despite the fact that cigarettes and cheeseburgers, also preventable causes of death just like guns, are killing dozens or hundreds of times more people every year than guns.

            Is it that hard to understand? If you are claiming that you want to ban guns because safety, you are either lying or going about things in a supremely irrational way by focusing on guns.

            1. sd

              Just owning a gun increases your risk of injury by 10%. So something promoted towards personal safety actually increases your risk of harm.

              As far as I know, no one is promoting cheeseburgers as a health food. In fact, it’s called junk food.

    3. Geoff Dewan

      what’s legal today could be a felony tomorrow.
      or vice versa. See Nixon, Richard. “If the President does it, it’s not illegal” has come to be the functional reality by which we are governed. Read the 4th and 15th amendments sometime and see if you can spot what I’m talking about…

    4. Plenue

      Because the idiots have convinced themselves Democrats are coming for their guns, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Are you seriously suggesting gun ownership is anything more than an asinine wedge issue to the people in DC? They’re well aware that the average ammosexual is a loud-mouthed coward who will never actually do anything to incur the attention of authorities.

      1. inode_buddha

        And the minute they actually DO incurr any attention, you will be all over that too.

        You know, it actually *is* possible to own a firearm without being a “gun nut” and without being an “ammosexual” or whatever derogatory term… and for entirely decent reasons too. The poster above who was maing the case about cultural beliefs/superstitions is spot on, in the real world.

        I hate to think of how you guys would behave in a real revolution. Probably wring you hands, clutch your pearls, and head for the digital fainting couch. Instead of actually doing something totally illegal like shooting a bunch of politicians.

        Frankly, the Founders never foresaw the power of todays printing press. I think anyone who wants to publish particularly on the internet, should be properly licensed registered and insured via the government after receiving proper training and a background check.

        1. Plenue

          You wouldn’t find me in the Commune being slaughtered, certainly. That doesn’t mean I won’t be in the street taking action. I’ve actually read history, and know that revolutions succeed when the professional army refuses to fire on crowds of civilians, not because a bunch of people with personal firearms rebel. Your inability to understand that taking action doesn’t have to mean getting into a pointless shootout with a vastly better armed government says a lot about you.

          And I no point did I say all gun owners were ammosexuals. That term is reserved for the type of moron who fantasizes that he and his pimped out tacticool AR-15 are going to somehow save the Republic. The Man is not coming for your guns, and in fact is perfectly willing to let you keep your second amendment rights because they know it’s an easy sop to keep you quiet about all the infringements on the other rights.

  4. Kokuanani

    Re today’s antidote: since it’s in Manhattan, can I dream that it’s viewing Wall Street with that intense scrutiny?

    And is it too much to hope that some humans might be inspired by this?

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      In the movie “On the Waterfront” Marlon Brando said: “The city’s full of hawks. They live on top of the hotels.” (approximate quote) damn good movie about getting the crooks out of the unions. Yeah, good luck with that.

      1. crittermom

        Thanks for the link to that story of Red-tailed in NYC.
        They’re the most common hawk in North America so I’m used to seeing them, having lived rurally for decades. They’re still always thrilling to observe and photograph, however.

  5. Dan

    Not sure I buy the idea that the secret ballot is the cornerstone of democracy. The U.S. did pretty well without it for a long, long time.

    And if you look at the outcomes in the Democratic caucus states vs. Democratic primary states, did secrecy give us a better outcome?

    1. Katharine

      Since you can’t control for all the other things that were different, you really can’t say anything about the effects of secrecy in those elections.

      1. Alejandro

        If elections are supposed to legitimize “consent of the governed”, AND given the perceptions of the results, Dan’s question seems very legitimate…adding secrecy seems an obsession with those averse to accountability.

        1. jsn

          Is it important to you that those “elected” have the power to hold those who didn’t vote for them accountable? That’s the only way your comment makes any sense.

            1. jsn

              Thanks for the interesting link!

              Another generation of for profit education and secret ballots can be used to suppress the illiterate vote again!

              With luck, I won’t last that long.

          1. Alejandro

            Why the spectacle of elections?

            “Consent of the governed”, as I understand it, is about the legitimacy of state power. Don’t see how your conclusion is a legitimate use of that power…without accountability it would seem like a reversion to “divine rights of kings/queens”, or in the age of “marketing” the merits of meritocrats.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Maybe not accountability, but the risk of ending up on someone’s enemy list.

            You don’t want the next Pol Pot to know you didn’t vote for him/her.

            1. Alejandro

              Wouldn’t you agree that the language of fear is insidiously disempowering? F alse E vidence A ppearing R eal…IMHO FDR was right–” nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes”…

    2. hunkerdown

      The secret ballot removes citizen recourse against election-rigging and self-interest. Therefore it is the cornerstone of liberal democracy, where here and in general usage “liberal” can be replaced by “managed” with almost no loss in fidelity and some increase in understanding of the underlying power relations.

      1. bdy

        Secrecy or lack thereof at the ballot box doesn’t mean much when the count is secret. Paper ballots with a public count are the first order of business for any social reform (of even the slightest measure) that doesn’t rely on an army that chooses not to fire on its pitchfork weilding citizens (to borrow a trope from an enlightened comment in the above bullets debate).

    3. Bev

      So true. Public hand/head counts as in caucuses are best. Second best is publicly counted by hand paper ballots in precinct with results posted publicly to check against tabulating theft.
      Bernie won the recorded vote in 14 caucuses with a 65% share.
      The Case For Open Voting
      Democracy demands transparency, not trust –
      Read report on how the primary elections were rigged for Hillary Clinton, particularly using the voting machines, and how Bernie really won —
      Open Letter from Cliff Arnebeck: Theft of the Primary Election
      I have been litigating against Karl Rove’s corrupt election practices since the 2000 general election cycle. In this 2016 Democratic Presidential primary election cycle, our opposition research has determined that an advanced technology election hacking system invented by Rove’s technical genius, Mikey Cunnyngham, was successfully implemented.
      Fraction Magic – Part 1: Votes are being counted as fractions instead of as whole numbers

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

      U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara is investigating the Clinton Foundation. He must look for any links to Carl Rove and SmarTec to rigging voting/tabulating machines. Also, do any of the leaked DNC e-mails add to evidence of to rigging voting/tabulating machines.

    4. Bev

      shorter: We must prove our Democracy with evidence: Richard Charnin Spreadsheets:

      Election Justice USA:
      Open Letter from Cliff Arnebeck: Theft of the Primary Election
I have been litigating against Karl Rove’s corrupt election practices since the 2000 general election cycle. In this 2016 Democratic Presidential primary election cycle, our opposition research has determined that an advanced technology election hacking system invented by Rove’s technical genius, Mikey Cunnyngham, was successfully implemented.

      Fraction Magic – Part 1: Votes are being counted as fractions instead of as whole numbers

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


      Bernie supporters through the Green Party especially should talk about these issues. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara is investigating the Clinton Foundation. He must look for any links to rigging voting/tabulating machines. Also, do any of the leaked DNC e-mails add to evidence to rigging voting/tabulating machines?

    1. VietnamVet

      Thanks for the Guardian link. This is the best summary I’ve read describing the rising discontent to neoliberalism that hadn’t be given a name until very recently.

      In the USA, the dichotomy has split the Republican Party. The Democrats face a similar problem holding together the white liberal urban voters and blacks while wowing immigrants and other minorities. I doubt that the white working class will be astro-turfed much longer. They are the descendants of the soldiers who fought in the endless conflicts from the French and Indian War to Afghanistan. All they need is a leader who bridges the gap between the trades and management.

      The current media agitprop and identity politics assures a blowup when the little people finally unite against the plunder by the robber barons who are getting $180 Billion every month in liquidity from the central banks. Chaos is infiltrating into Europe. North America is next. The only chance for peace is the truth, honesty and justice.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Thanks for your post, there is a huge amount of truth-telling that needs to happen, from the CIA starting the Syria war, to 9/11, to Iraq and its consequences, to American creation of groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS.
        Our truth organs (CNN, NBC, NYT etc.) may have reached for a bridge too far this time around with their utter lack of scrutiny of the most blatant of lies (Clinton email statements, Clinton Foundation, Obama Iran ransom). But people are wising up fast, it likely won’t be in time to do any good in this election cycle but the trend is not the friend of the truth-controllers.

  6. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: “Protestors settle into camp life”—I don’t know much about the pipeline controversy, but that boiled bison meat stew with corn on the cob, dipped out with a bucket-sized ladle, looks like some serious grub.

    I might go up there and join the protest just so I can eat with them!

    1. Eclair

      FYI, EndOfTheWorld (and others), the Standing Stone and Red Warrior Camps have been set up near Cannonball, North Dakota, on the banks of the Cannonball River, about a mile from where it flows into the Missouri River. The action was initiated by the Standing Rock Sioux, who, under the terms of the 1859 Treaty, were ‘granted’ these lands (thank you, US Government for giving us permission to occupy a small portion of our ancestral territory), and who object to the passage of DAPL. Of course, treaties have been continually broken.

      The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is intended to carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, a town that has more oil storage tanks than people (only a slight hyperbole). The difference between DAPL and the banned XL? The former would have carried Canadian tar sands oil. DAPL carries US regular crude.

      Near Cannonball, the DAPL will go underneath the Missouri River. Pipelines leak. The Missouri flows into the Mississippi. The Mississippi flows into the Gulf. As our NC hosts are wont to say, “What could go wrong?”

      Additionally, DAPL cuts through the Prarie Grasslands region, recently named by USDA as a Critical Conservation Area. It is not an ’empty space.’

      And, the various Native American nations are tired of being on the receiving end of the externalities generated by our extractive industries and energy producers. Uranium mining has poisoned the Lakota’s water. Peabody coal mining has devastated and polluted the Dine (Navajo) communities of Black Mesa. Dams have drastically reduced the food supply of the northwestern indigenous peoples, as salmon migrations have dropped. A tar sands operation in northwestern Utah will devastate Ute ancestral lands.

      Native American nations and their allies are converging on Cannonball from all over the continent. Standing Stone is a last stand. Or, maybe, a first stand.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Daddy won’t you take me down to Muhlenburg County/ Down by the Green River/ Where Paradise lay/ Sorry my son, but you’re too late in askin’/ Mr. Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away.

        1. Eclair

          Yes, I lump Peabody and Nestlé together into the really evil corporation category. Lumps of coal in their Christmas stockings, ad eternam.

  7. Carolinian

    Presumably the Newsweek story is included just for laffs but it does likely describe the mental landscape of the people for whom the WaPo is already measuring White House drapes. Submitting this “opinion” piece to the plausibility test, it’s never explained why Putin would suddenly want to invade Ukraine or why, if he did want to invade, he hasn’t already done so. Conversely a provocation by Ukraine in the midst of an American election is completely plausible since US support is the only thing the Ukrainians have going for them. Trump is scary if you are Poroshenko.

    Childish propaganda is something we’ll doubtless see a lot more of should the Queen of Chaos take the throne. Spotted yesterday on a billboard (beside a picture of Trump and Clinton) “Moving to Canada? Let us sell your house.”

    1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

      Here’s Digby, echoing an effort to preempt criticism of the HRC Administration’s coming crimes.

      I can guarantee it will be worse for Clinton. The years of vilifying her along with the reversion to negative archetypal assumptions among a whole lot of Americans of all political stripes is going to make this really ugly. Misogyny and sexism are still so completely acceptable in society that people simply don’t recognize when they’re doing

      1. Pat

        And that is the reason I have stopped reading Digby, which used to be on my must read list. Just as not every criticism of Barack Obama is about racism, far from every criticism of Hillary Rodham Clinton has to do with her having a vagina. And why should having a vagina mean that you are incapable of corruption, stupidity, sadism, unchecked ambition, sadism, disdain for the law or regulation and/or little relationship with truth and honesty? It doesn’t anymore than it means you are incapable of intelligence, brilliance, bravery, ingenuity, loyalty, and empathy. And defending someone unworthy of defense with false claims to me damages and harms those who really are victims of misogyny or racism.

        It is only by ignoring the actual record, and applying a double standard toward actions that would have these same defenders screaming bloody murder about someone named Bush or Trump (regardless of gender) can you put forth the claim of hatred of their gender is the only reason this is or will happen to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

        But then I found out the only reason I pointed out that her ‘even handed’ acceptance of the possibility of more restrictions on abortion with caveats was not ‘even handed’, not feminist or was NOT supportive of women’s right to make their own medical decisions was because of my own self hatred and thus misogynist hatred of Hillary Clinton.
        Yeah, amazing the pretzels that the defenders will twist themselves into before admitting they got conned, grifted, fooled, taken, and were personally full of sh*!.

        1. Eureka Springs

          I remember when it was almost impossible to determine whether Digby was male or female. That voice was a pleasure to read. Perhaps she should try to go back to that style of wordsmithing.

        2. Carolinian

          I haven’t read Digby in years. Nothing interesting there. I still check Atrios every day in case he says something funny. And some good blogs like Firedoglake have sadly left us.

          Fortunately we do still have the excellent NC.

          1. Marco

            Digby was off my list several years ago and I tossed Atrios to the curb last month. For me the yard-stick is how often they bash Republicans. Yes the sky is blue and water is wet. Thank you. But one has to acknowledge that the Republicans would not have been so successful these past 30 years without the cowardly triangulating fecklessness of Team D as perfected by the Clintons and every other pol emulating them.

            1. Kurt Sperry

              Anyone putatively on the left who devotes a majority of their effort trying to distract you from how awful the neoliberal corporate Democrats are by pro forma calling out of Republicans is a (let’s be as kind as possible and say unwitting) tool of those same neoliberal corporate Democrats. There is *nothing* in that Digby piece that has anything positive to say about Clinton. Read Daily Kos or really any Democrat Party leaning sites and *none* of them have anything positive to say about Clinton, or really anything positive to say about *anything at all* policy-wise. That’s obviously because there is nothing positive to say about Clinton and so they jabber on ad nauseam about Trump and the Republicans because they need something to keep anyone from noticing and commenting on the obvious elephant in the room–that Clinton is a horrible person, a horrible corporate right wing marionette, and corrupt to the very core. They *can’t* talk up or even about their candidate because the danger the obvious truth might be approached or even accidentally leak out is too great a risk to run. So you get empty dross like the Digby piece that has no policy content at all, is just pure identity politics–smelly, hot air to fill the space where actual policy should be, or like at Daily Kos where the subject of Clinton is almost completely taboo for the same reasons.

              Hillary Clinton’s gender identity will just be the next pointless excuse why we can never make any criticism of the Democrat Party’s hardcore embrace of genocidal neoliberal corporate capitalism and murderous Bushian neocon foreign policy. Next I suppose it’ll be a Latinx or a gay person–anything to distract from the horrible truth and aggressively muzzle any criticism from the left.

              1. DJG

                Kurt Sperry: I’ve noticed “Latinx” lately. It reminded me what happens when a group chooses an incorrect racial category in the U.S. great chain of being (Latino being about as accurate as Caucasian), then realizes that the word has grammatical gender, then (being linguistically obtuse) tries to solve the problem of grammatical / personal gender with a typographic signal.

                I suppose it is time for that National Conversation about Typographic Signals and Icons.

                1. I Have Strange Dreams

                  Only ignoramuses would use the bs term “latinx”; Spanish grammatical gender rules are straight forward:
                  – referring to one Latin American female: latina
                  – referring to one Latin American male: latino
                  – referring to more than one Lat Am female: latinas
                  – referring to more than one Lat Am male: latinos
                  – referring to a mixed male/female group: latinos.

                  Basic stuff.

                  1. Kurt Sperry

                    Yes I am very well aware of the grammatical rules for Spanish/French/Italian. I was using the term because when the next Democrat identity politics neocon/neolib is forced on the electorate my guess is that is exactly how they will be marketed. Basic stuff, you know.

        3. different clue

          The Stench of Dishonesty really rose from Digby when she brought in her little junior mini-me David Atkins to do overt Decromatic propaganda on the digblog, as well as instituting comment-suppression censorship on the way to abolishing the comments section altogether.

          If one wants to indulge a guilty pleasure in reading Digblog, but wants to minimize the “clicks” and “hits” one gives her, why not go there once every 3 weeks and do a 3-week readathon all at once and get it out of one’s system for a while? That way one has read one’s Digblog, while minimizing severely the number of clicks one has given her.

  8. HotFlash

    Repeating the link Journal Sentinel Archive Disappears from Urban Milwaukee. I call this a must-read.

    About Newsbank, from Wikipedia: “NewsBank is a news database resource which provides archives of media publications as reference materials to libraries.”

    About NewsBank, from their website: “NewsBank partners with more than 9,000 publishers worldwide to drive new revenue and extend their brands.”

    1. different clue

      Friends and relatives would make fun of me for all the books I have. They still do. I told them that eventually the digital data-lords would start walling off all the digi-stored readable material and only a small elite would be allowed to see it. I still tell them that. And I keep my books.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Quelle surprise! Neighborhoods full of guns, tribes with flags, Fokking US “very special ops” pot-stirrers, arms makers and dealers, all kinds of middlemen ( like the Israeli “businessmen” who “facilitated” maybe still do) the “market” for ISIS petroleum product, Fokking spooks and sneaky Petes play Spy vs Spy while dreams of global domination dance in their Risk!-addled heads.

        Cmon, Chthulu! Please squat forward out of your Dark Immenseness, trigger all the nukes, and get this sick sh1t over with?

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Zero coverage of what really happened in Deraa when the “Syrian Spring” supposedly ‘spontaneously erupted” and started the entire Syrian conflict.
          CIA spook meddling is what it was, the standard agents provacateurs stuff plus caches of arms made available to protesters who otherwise would have gone home.
          So the blood of hundreds of thousands on their hands..

    1. Steve H.

      – Why are U.S. troops, who have zero legal grounds of being in Syria at all, in Hasakah city or the wider area?

      That question, from the original post, hasn’t been directly answered. That Syria did the bombing in such a way that Russia could go ‘not us’ sends a pretty clear message about the U.S. violation of sovereign borders.

      Turkey looks like a wobbly top. Russia wants a line against Islamic fundamentalism, and the PKK and YPG seem primarily secular. Kurdish is an Iranian language, but Kurds are diverse in religion. And with both Iran and Assad being Shia, and al-Qaeda and IS being Sunni, there are some natural quadrants of alliance. If the Kurds want territory, that makes Turkey look like who gets basted as the wolves decide who is for dinner.

    2. timbers

      A stable unified Syria means no Kurdistan. That’s what Ergodon wants an so does Russia. I have a theory part of the reason Ergodon did his turn towards Moscow is due to the U.S. backing the Kurds. Been talk for decades of helping the Kurds but guess it took Russia rolling back the American created/supported terrorists infested all over Syria (w/assist from the usual local suspects).

      What raised eyebrows is Iran letting Putin use their airbase for attacking America’s terrorists in Syria:

      The very fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran for the first time since the 1979 revolution made the unprecedented provision to its constitution to allow a foreign power to use its territory for military purpose is testimony to Russia’s sway in the sensitive region.

      Even official enemies of Iran – Israel and Saudi Arabia – cannot but acknowledge the significance. Iran, which has defied decades of Western-imposed sanctions out of principle for its sovereign rights, is willing to trust Russia’s military with territorial access.

      And you may like the conclusion:

      Washington is losing all credibility in the strategically pivotal region because it has for too long pivoted between criminal schemes and duplicity. Even traditional partners and clients can see this unedifying spectacle of sordid US conduct. Feckless, unreliable American power is something to disdain, if not dread.

      Russia has stood firm with its allies, and, as Syria attests, has carried out the mission it said it would, without mendacity or intrigue. That integrity is surely worthy of respect among allies, non-aligned states and foes alike.

      From Finian Cunningham over at ICH.

      1. Steve H.

        timbers, excellent point on Iran letting Russia base bombers there. Helps me remember that the BRICS alliance continues to accumulate momentum. (& tangentially why the U.S. media has been so harsh on Brazil this Olympics. NBC coverage apparently stunk as well, though probably incompetence rather than conspiracy there.)

        A question, do you have sources on Russia wanting no Kurdistan? It seems to me that Russia would be more concerned about a Turkic alliance, and that the Kurds are ideologically useful at the least.

        1. timbers

          Hi Steve. No, no sources just speculation on my part. You may well know more than I.

          Maybe hints were dropped by Putin to Ergodon during their meeting that one way to ensure no Kurdistan is a strong Syria, and anyone helping the “rebels” is helping build a Kurdistan.

          For example, Putin may have hinted that if Syria wraps up Allepo, resources will be freed for the Syrian army to keep the Kurds in line. A carrot for Ergodon.

          Will be interesting to see if Turkey’s support for the rebels around Allepo continues, or changes. If it declines, that might be a hint of a deal between Putin and Ergodon.

          Which could get interesting as the U.S. has been recently investing in the Kurds,

          This is entirely speculation on my part

        2. timbers

          Steve, clarification: I meant to say Russia wants a unified Syria. This probably means no Kurdistan but have no opinion or knowledge what Russia specifically wants regarding the Kurds.

          1. Steve H.

            timbers, thanks for letting me know. The Kurds may remember the U.S. hanging them out to dry after Iraq I, but I’m unclear if the Kurds are capable of acting like “the Kurds.” Of all the interests in the region, only Russia has not actively harmed them within memory. And I may say that in ignorance, maybe Russia has too.

          2. Andrew Watts


            The Syrian Kurds don’t desire independence unlike their Iraqi brethren. They want autonomy in the regions under their control. Why would they want a degree of self-governance? For ideological and other valid political reasons. Before the civil war erupted the Kurds were denied basic rights like citizenship in the Syrian Arab Republic, the right to own property, and the ability to obtain a drivers license or own a business.

            Which may mean that the Federation of Northern Syria and Syrian Democratic Forces will re-integrate into a Greater Syria at a later date.

            1. timbers

              You miss the point. What the Kurds want – independence, autonomy whatever – Ergodon fears and will not grant. You need to stop interchanging the meaning of words and acknowledge basic empirical facts for example Assad is the legitimate leader of Syria in the same way Obama is the ligitimate leader of the US and those fighting Assad are terrorists. If you can’t face these facts you are not dealing with reality.

  9. Brucie A.

    CNN: Top US commander warns Russia, Syria

    In the most direct public warning to Moscow and Damascus to date, the new US commander of American troops in Iraq and Syria is vowing to defend US special operations forces in northern Syria if regime warplanes and artillery again attack in areas where troops are located.

    1. sleepy

      I guess the commander thinks it’s quite a provocation for Syria to attack foreign troops on Syrian territory. Not that Syria is even doing that.

      1. Andrew Watts

        I guess the commander thinks it’s quite a provocation for Syria to attack foreign troops on Syrian territory. Not that Syria is even doing that.

        Pfft. A united and sovereign Syria doesn’t exist as long as the country is mired in civil war and occupied by Islamic State and Al Qaeda. Nor is it Assad’s territory. It was previously until they lost most of it to Islamic State which in turn was then liberated by the Syrian Democratic Forces. They’re now operating in the territory of the Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava and American troops are actually welcomed there both as allies and liberators.

        The UN resolution passed outlawing and calling for the defeat of Islamic State provides enough legal cover for the American incursion if it can even be called that. Additionally if the SyAF attacks American troops they’re within their legal right to defend themselves.

        1. Carolinian

          So presumably the same logic would apply to Ukraine having “lost control” of eastern Ukraine. And yet the US encourages them to attack. The point being the US complaints are about hypocrisy.

          1. Andrew Watts

            So presumably the same logic would apply to Ukraine having “lost control” of eastern Ukraine.


            The point being the US complaints are about hypocrisy.

            It’s politics. Pissing and moaning about hypocrisy is beside the point. Neither side in any given conflict is going to utilize any amount of universal consistency. How else would they turn unique situations to their advantage?

            1. Carolinian

              It’s about “it’s none of our business” who rules Syria or Ukraine either. And btw a quarter of a million dead Syrians are not “just politics.” Those who claim the US had nothing to do with all that death are just blowing smoke. Our goal has always been regime change no matter how many die. Destroying the country in order to save it?

              1. Andrew Watts

                It’s about “it’s none of our business” who rules Syria or Ukraine either. And btw a quarter of a million dead Syrians are not “just politics.” Those who claim the US had nothing to do with all that death are just blowing smoke.

                I don’t know if I can take your moral idealism or self-righteousness seriously. I’ve read too many history books to be anything but completely cynical.

                Our goal has always been regime change no matter how many die. Destroying the country in order to save it?

                That’s why Obama bombed Assad’s forces after he allegedly utilized chemical weapons, right? I have no doubt that certain groups in Washington still want regime change but if all of Washington was united on the goal it would’ve happened well before the Russian intervention.

                1. Carolinian

                  Obama was poised to launch Tomahawks against Damascus but was restrained by being told tne poison gas evidence was poor and by the military worries that one of their expensive ships might be sunk by Hezbollah in retaliation. Plus its possible Obama isn’t quite as mad as Hillary and her neocons. Personalities do play a role. I’d say you are the one being naive in assuming it’s all about historical forces.

                  1. Andrew Watts

                    Since when has evidence ever stopped a US president from bombing or invading a country if he so desired?

                    Plus its possible Obama isn’t quite as mad as Hillary and her neocons. Personalities do play a role.

                    I can agree with all that.

                    I’d say you are the one being naive in assuming it’s all about historical forces.

                    Never said any drivel about historical forces. I merely said I’ve read too many history books to take moral idealism or self-righteous posturing seriously

                    1. Carolinian

                      What I’m arguing has nothing to do with morality or self-righteousness but about rationality versus irrationality. You, on the other hand, seem to just be saying a bunch of stuff. Being indifferent to the deaths of a quarter of a million non-Americans is monstrous, but it is also horrible policy as we see with the immigration mess in Europe, increased terrorist attacks etc. Also blowback is real and for the US to meddle in other people’s business for no rational purpose is extremely foolish. If you think our policy in Syria does have a rational goal that will benefit the American people then please state what that might be. And also weigh it against all the negative results cited.

                      In my view the essence of leftism isn’t the bleeding heart cartoon of rightwingers but the belief that ethical actions most often are in fact rational because we live in societies that must survive for us to survive. I’d say this is what history shows. Also shown is that those who feel that there are no limits always get struck down in the end.

            2. pretzelattack

              it’s also war. we don’t belong there. it’s their country. once again, we are trying to replace a government with one of our own choosing; whether we are hypocritical about it or not, it’s a really, really, bad idea.

              1. Andrew Watts

                Silly me! I thought we were involved from the moment the Islamic State seized a third of Iraq and the US began to launch airstrikes when they marched on Erbil and Baghdad. Or perhaps when the Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003.

                By the way, I’m not saying it isn’t a bad idea. I’m saying it became a inevitability at some point. Wars often begin when you will but they do not end when you desire them to.

                1. jgordon

                  Apparently you really are very naive. The Islamic State was the creation of the US to begin with.

        2. timbers

          “Pfft. A united and sovereign Syria doesn’t exist as long as the country is mired in civil war and occupied by Islamic State and Al Qaeda. Nor is it Assad’s territory.” Yes, it is Assad’s territory and the Islamic State & Al Qaeda are funded armed & trained by the US & others like Saudi Arabia. The US forces are there illegally. And US forces are not “liberators” there are supporting terrorist because regime change in Syria.

          1. Andrew Watts

            And US forces are not “liberators” there are supporting terrorist because regime change in Syria.

            Tell that to the people of Manbij.

            Yawn. This could go on and on in circles forever so I’m calling it quits. The original topic had to do with the clashes in Hasakah which has been addressed. Or at least until it became bogged down in the personal bias. I’m not excluding myself from that judgement either.

            1. timbers

              Nothing personal just stating the facts, such as the US is not a liberator but a sponsor of terrorism because regime change in Syria.

              You should also know the US is doing things like repeatedly bombing hospitals schools infrastructure doctors patients. How is that liberating?

              Quitting while behind is a good move on your part.

            2. ggm

              Tell that to the people of Manbij.

              One man’s terrorist is another man’s liberator. Both can be true.

              I guess it boils down to whether you prefer rule by a secularist government with elements of brutality, or rule by religious extremists with elements of brutality.

              Seems to me we are condemning masses of people to an archaic way of life just to appease a few degenerates.

              1. pretzelattack

                i’m sure they will appreciate our making their choices for them, just to appease a few degenerates in washington.

        3. timbers

          “Pfft. A united and sovereign Syria doesn’t exist as long as the country is mired in civil war and occupied by Islamic State and Al Qaeda. Nor is it Assad’s territory.”

          Well, yes it is Assad’s territory. Are you talking about legal territory or physically held territory?

          Syria is Syria’s territory and Assad is the legitimate ruler. Syria is much less united now because the US and it’s allies are doing regime change buy funding arming training terrorists in Syria.

          The UN resolution passed outlawing and calling for the defeat of Islamic State provides enough legal cover for the American incursion if it can even be called that.

          That’s your opinion and I think you’re incorrect on that but I could be wrong. The only foreign troops that have a legal right to be in Syrian are Russian. And if legal technicality lets recall why they can be there – to fight terrorists. Except that’s not what US troops are doing. Instead, they are arming/training/funding terrorists because regime change in Syria. So the US is breaking many laws in doing what it’s doing.

          The Russian have shown the world in 3 months how quickly the terrorists can be defeated in Syria. The US has been “fighting” terrorists in Syria for years and the terrorists got stronger. Lets not get hung up legal technicalities to obscure what’s really going on in Syria.

    2. Carolinian

      See M of A above. The US warns the Syrians not to defend their own territory. The exceptional nation is exceptionally arrogant.

      1. tgs

        It is axiomatic in DC that any act of self-defense by those we deem enemies is an act of aggression.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Anyone living in a black neighborhood in the US will instantly recognize the reasoning as all too familiar.

      2. Andrew Watts

        I stopped taking b’s analysis of the Syrian Civil War seriously when he compared the Syrian Democratic Forces to the jihadi head choppers for no other reason than the fact that the US is supporting the YPG/SDF. Additionally a lot of his information is just copy and pasted from pro-regime twitter accounts that make no effort at being impartial.

        I think the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces is jockeying for position in the post-civil war settlement agreement. They’d be holding a lot more cards if they kick Assad’s forces out of both Hasakah and Qamishli thus denying Damascus claim to two whole Syrian provinces rich in both oil and agricultural resources. While this is risky strategy it isn’t as self-defeating as most people believe. Neither Russia and to a lesser extent the US would want the SDF concentrating on fighting the Syrian Arab Army and other pro-regime forces as it would be a distraction from fighting both Islamic State and Al Qaeda.

        Hell, as I type this the Russians are trying to forge a cease fire in Qamishli. But why would the SDF agree to yet another temporary cease fire? They’re winning both the political battle by forcing a Russian intercession and attempted mediation plus the fight on the ground. Meanwhile the US is belligerently posturing on their behalf.

        So, yeah, that’s winning.

        1. Carolinian

          So you deny that the so called democrats or moderates are intermingled with the head choppers, share weapons etc. Any evidence other than simply asserting that the many (not just b) who say differently are working for “the regime”?

          1. Andrew Watts

            Yes, I am making that distinction when it comes to the Syrian Democratic Forces. Numerous groups of the SDF have clashed with Islamic State, al-Nusra, and other Islamist rebels in the Levant front and other jihadi groups in Northern Aleppo on numerous occasions. Most recently in Tell Rifaat, (formerly controlled by Islamic Front) Manbij, (liberated from Islamic State) and other territories in Northern Syria.

            You’re conflating SDF and the so called moderate rebels who only exist in the fevered imagination of the dips— imperialists. Why?

          2. Andrew Watts

            I don’t know if my original response fell into the spam filter or what so I’ll just say you’re conflating the Syrian Democratic Forces with the wholly fictive moderate rebels. Which is wrong given the repeated battles fought between the Islamist/Jihadist rebel groups and other more secular groups that make up the SDF.

            1. clinical wasteman

              Yes it is important in this case not to conflate the reality of the YPG with the fiction of the “FSA” etc., but it’s also not surprising that anyone who wasn’t already following Kurdish class- and geo-politics closely might make that mistake, given the wild conflations going on in almost all coverage. The whole mythology of the “moderate rebels” is already an example of that; another is the fact that “sophisticated” European media (Guardian, Le Monde, FAZ etc) regularly fail to distinguish the YPG (and PKK, which is related but also not to be conflated) from the Kissinger-client oil mafia parties of Iraqi Kurdistan, to the point of using the name “Peshmerga” for all of the above.
              If anyone here knows more about the recent fate of the extraordinary — even if overexcitedly applauded and criticised by the left and ultraleft respectively — social/political experiment in Rojava since the wholesale slaughter of its supporters across the Turkish border and the worrying deepening of the US military alliance, any observations would be most welcome.

    3. tgs

      Did CNN mention that US troops and air force are in Syria illegally according to international law?

      1. Jim Haygood

        That would violate CNN’s Operation Mockingbird contract, resulting in forfeiture of payments due and penalties.

        Professional journos stay on message.

    4. timbers

      IMO this is already blowing up in America’s face. The troops are supporting the Kurds. Ergodon fears a Kurdistan. Hence IMO Ergodon’s abrupt turn towards Moscow which wants a strong unified Syria which of course means no Kurdistan. If Ergodon can think a few steps ahead, he’ll reduce/stop his support of Obama’s “moderate rebels” because a strong unified Syria means no Kurdistan (a top Ergodon priority).

      Russia and Turkey have a lot in common on this if Ergodon thinks it through.

      And now Iran is letting Russia use it’s airbase. Washington hegemony is crumbling before our eyes. Some might expect a dangerous escalation from a declining, flailing American Empire. Hope not but expect the worst.

          1. timbers

            If things keep moving as quickly as they have in the past few days, the Empire of Chaos may wake up to find the tables have turned with chaos undermining its own empire of chaos.

        1. Andrew Watts

          The dominoes began to fall when a military coup overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. Which was further compounded by Jordan dropping it’s cooperation with regime change in Syria. Meanwhile the Saudis launched their ill-advised and self-defeating war in Yemen. Now Turkey’s flirtation with Russia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

          Those are a few reasons why the US presidential election doesn’t matter. Whichever president is elected will not be able to wield or exercise it’s alleged hegemony over the rest of the world. They’ll confront a multipolar world.

          It’s going to be fun to watch Washington lose it’s collective sh– over that fact.

    5. ambrit

      This is an explicit attempt to establish a ‘no fly zone’ in North Syria. By hook or crook seems to be the American modus operandi today.

      1. Andrew Watts

        Oh, please. The no-fly zone is a pipe dream of the dips— imperialists in Washington. By blaming this on the US you’re robbing all sides of their own agency. It was Assad’s forces who first escalated with air strikes and heavy artillery during what first looked like a fairly routine and unremarkable fight between the Kurdish Asayish and pro-regime NDF.

        The fact they decided to brazenly drop bombs near American troops training local forces and/or clearing and disposing of IEDs was particularly stupid of them. Nor has it changed the fact that the PYD-aligned Asayish are curb stomping pro-Assad forces in Hasakah.

        1. timbers

          “The fact they decided to brazenly drop bombs near American troops training local forces and/or clearing and disposing of IEDs was particularly stupid of them.” Why is it brazen or stupid for the legitimate government of Syria to drop bombs against those who are trying to overthrow the government and foreign troops who illegally invaded & occupied Syria? Think your value judgements are inverted.

          1. Andrew Watts

            Legitimate to whom exactly? Aww, forget it. Feel free to continue to shill for Damascus just don’t expect me to accept your point of view. After all a civil war is being waged to decide those questions of legitimacy.

            1. ambrit

              Sorry, but your exercise of the “the victors write the history” argument ignores the well nigh traditional meddling with Middle Eastern politics by self interested foreign powers. With no clear hegemon at present, just who will get to write the history of the breaking up and recombination of the entire Middle East? Any enforced ‘no fly zone’ redounds to the benefit of those favoured by the ‘no fly’ enforcers. In this instance, that would be any and all who are contesting with Damascus. That’s a big tent full of Wahabbist fanatics, Shiite fanatics, oil traders, Neo-Liberal regime changers, and a faction of the Kurds. So, this ‘civil war’ is really a proxy conflict by the Great Powers.
              Basically, if any Power sends its troops into harms way by tasking them with training and assisting an anti-Damascus faction, those Powers should be prepared to have some of their soldiers come home in a box.

            2. timbers

              Assad is the legitimate head of Syrian State. That is empirical fact. And it’s not a civil war, it is foreign funded regime change operation.

  10. Banana Breakfast

    I can’t even manage to finish the Rauch piece. Somewhere between lamenting the direct election of senators and lauding the creation of 19th century party machines, I realized what little breakfast I ate was about to escape my body and I had to stop.

    1. pretzelattack

      i am caught in some kind of vicious confirmation bias cycle, every time i read one of these pieces by bias nods smugly and says “told ya so”. i know this won’t end well.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Rauch’s essay strings together one incredible opinion after another. He asserts we reformed political money, reformed closed door negotiations, reformed Congress and reformed pork thereby opening vulnerabilities in the body politic. He mentions national health care as an example of getting things done and seems to believe the Obamacare “reform” written behind closed doors by the Medical Industrial Complex is a good thing. [I guess his health care plan at Brookings Institution didn’t suffer the same erosion of coverage and increase in costs as did the health plan at my workplace.] He asserts “Pork barrel spending never really cost very much.”

      When we get to the end of the essay’s review of pathogens “… three of the four final presidential candidates in 2016 were political sociopaths ….” And what a surprise – Hillary Clinton is the only non-sociopath of the four. At first I judged this as yet another hit piece against Trump and Sanders but on further consideration what does a tacit endorsement for Hillary mean when offered by a guy who claims to miss the likes of Boss Tweed?

      If a shorter version of Rauch’s essay showed up as assertions on a blog page I would have immediately dismissed him as a troll attempting to muck up a discussion thread. However an essay appearing in the Atlantic Monthly under the auspices of the Brookings Institution is hard to dismiss as troll ravings. Is Rauch’s essay some remarkably diabolical black propaganda to take down Hillary? If so I congratulate him. But I suspect Rauch and his backers actually believe the assertions made in this essay and in that case I’m afraid they suffer from a “… severely distorted view of how government and politics are supposed to work.” — one of the diseases Rauch bemoans which afflict the body politic.

    3. Cat Burglar

      I feel your pain. But I liked the Rauch article because it is always instructive to “watch their hands” when in the presence of a master of the game. The characterization of popular discontent as a “virus.” Non’-elite political programs were “delusional.”

      My favorite move was the glorification of urban machine politics. So they were great professional political deal-cutters, behind-the-scenes-movers-and-shakers, compromisers, negotiators, organizers of the hoi polloi? You notice he omits the biggest thing of all: payback to the popular base. How about jobs for votes? Being able to go to the Alderman if the landlord doesn’t want to turn the heat on? Mayor Curley giving the city washerwomen long-handled scrubbrushes so they didn’t have to kneel on the floor to scrub? I think it was Curley who told a journalist that “There has to be somewhere people can go for help.” Boss Tweed himself said there had to be “graft for the common man.”

      Rauch just wants a 20%-class of professional deal-cutters that hand down orders to the virus-infested and delusional base, but no benefits. What kind of a deal is that?

  11. pretzelattack

    re the atlantic story:

    The Republicans’ noisy breakdown has been echoed eerily, albeit less loudly, on the Democratic side, where, after the early primaries, one of the two remaining contestants for the nomination was not, in any meaningful sense, a Democrat.

    he started to make sense for a minute. but he didn’t mean clinton.

  12. PhilU

    To make sure I’m following: The Roosevelt Institute used to have MMT-ers at it till Pete Peterson gave them some money and enforced budget hawk ideals causing MMTers to jump ship? Then what did they do, Hire Stiglitz who figures out neoliberalism is dead every 8 years but hasn’t put forward anything to replace it? The best I can tell, he just wants to scramble the prescriptions that come from neoliberalism without changing the back end. If I’m missing something let me know.

    1. Benedict@Large

      The MMTers did not jump ship. They were thrown out. MMT writers, who had been most of the writing on the web site, suddenly just disappeared, and the number of articles dropped significantly. Lynn Parramore, who had been running the site and was at least MMT-friendly, also left.

      Stiglitz did not leave. For some reason, Stiglitz has never had anything (that I know of) to say about MMT, although Krugman has claimed Stiglitz has written on just about everything. Apparently not quite.

      1. Skippy

        Isn’t Stiglitz compromised by Public Choice Theory, if not still IS – LM in some variable.

    2. ggm

      Stiglitz was advising Corbyn, and I think the only economist on Corbyn’s team who refused to throw him under the bus during the recent post-Brexit coup attempt. I would give him a little credit for legitimately resisting neoliberal shock doctrine politics. He’s not the best but he’s not the worst :P

      1. PhilU

        Thanks, I wasn’t aware of that. From what I can tell Corbyn waffled on MMT which caused some comments from the left. I understand the point he’s making, but I have a feeling that trying to get elected on MMT would go over like a lead balloon. At least in the states. That’s the kind of thing you surprise people with once in office and let them see everything is fine before they vote again. Which is what I suspect Sanders was doing, he signaled as much with Kelton.

  13. Juneau

    Editorial comment on the book about Why Fear Narcissism:
    Yes we should guard against our own narcissism. A little bit is normal too much can cause harm. Look at the log in your own eye before you take out the speck in your neighbors..I agree. The word is overused yes…but these characters are also covert and can be highly destructive so it is important to recognize them.

    Regarding people in power. A “plain” psychopath may kill and torture jpeople to get ahead for ill gotten gains (criminal syndicate types?). But I think it takes Narcissism to make a Mussolini or a Hitler-grandiosity , perfectionistic ideals and entitlement which lead these narcissistic psychopaths to want to achieve greatness by doing great and grand things to harm millions rather than just their immediate associates She is soft peddling people’s concerns about people in power being narcissistic. I don’t agree with her on that point.

    1. subgenius

      Well, I just escaped a relationship with one. It was an interesting experience (in a Chinese curse sense) and quite unsettling – seemed good (very good) and interesting to the point of inspiring early on, but devolved into a position of never being able to do something ‘right’ for reasons I simply cannot discern (I think maybe because I became more important to a project we are both involved with than she is), endless screaming and a few hours of violence (directed at me – I have a rule to never retaliate unless seriously threatened).

      The current dynamic is interesting – friendly relationship while together with others on the project, screaming calls, voicemails and texts when away. I have been trying to offer support and acceptance and it is only thrown back in my face.

      The ’emptiness’ article pretty well nails it.

  14. Hana M

    Here’s the live link to ABCs report on hacking elections:

    “In America’s often close elections, a little manipulation could go a long way.

    In 2000 and 2004, there were only a handful of battleground states that determined which presidential candidate had enough Electoral College votes to win. A slight alteration of the vote in some swing precincts in swing states might not raise suspicion. Smart malware can be programmed to switch only a small percentage of votes from what the voters intended. That may be all that is needed, and that malware can also be programmed to erase itself after it does its job, so there might be no trace it ever happened.”

    Several minimal but important changes are suggested in the report but the most secure choice, the gold standard, is hand-counted paper ballots.

  15. financial matters

    Why Ajamu Baraka? Why Vice President? And Why the Green Party? Black Agenda Report

    Interesting. This seems to be advancing policy suggested by Naomi Klein in Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything

    “”Ajamu Baraka was the founding executive director of the US Human Rights Network, which still seeks to have the framework of internationally recognized human rights law applied to the victims of social and economic injustice in the US. This is a truly radical concept because the supreme law in the US is the Constitution, which chiefly guarantees property rights and the rights of corporations but not necessarily the rights of human beings to a quality education, the vote, decent housing, health care, renumerative jobs and the right to organize, or to a safe and clean environment, none of which are mentioned.

    Ajamu Baraka was among the first to demand, in the wake of the Katrina disaster, that the 300,000 or so persons uprooted, the majority of them African American, be classified as “internally displaced” under international law, a status which would have guaranteed them the right to return to the cities and towns from which they were displaced and dispersed to the four corners of the US.””

    1. Ted

      Oh good lord! Yes, let’s have the same technocratic elite at the UN and NGO land solve the problems of social injustice everywhere. “It’s back to the 9th ward with you, where you belong! What’s that? You want to discuss this and decide for yourself what is in your interest? Foolish but benighted brown brother (or sister), the International Human Rights Regime, having consulted the plane of Platonic universal truth KNOWS your best interests! Now, please get in line over there and ask that nice college intern where you can get your blankets and tent assignments.”

        1. clinical wasteman

          “Benighted” was right first time. “Beknighted” would probably refer to a condition possible only in the incurably feudal UK.

      1. jrs

        I think it assumes people want to return (but weren’t able to due to economic factors maybe). Anyway I doubt there will be any UN enforcement (the UN which bows to the U.S. anyway). It’s just getting a framework for human rights out there that isn’t just the rights of capital, a framework which already exists to some degree in many other countries constitutions (the right for labor to organize for instance)

        1. financial matters

          Yes. Disaster capitalism. (pejorative the practice (by a government, regime, etc) of taking advantage of a major disaster to adopt liberal economic policies that the population would be less likely to accept under normal circumstances)

          “”GM: Absolutely! Let’s give the listeners of CounterPunch a few data. We need some data. New Orleans before Katrina had about half of a million inhabitants. In the Katrina aftermath, 50 percent left. Before Katrina, New Orleans was a black town with a black mayor…. It became a white town. There is an anecdote that I must tell…. I was having a drink at a bar in the French Quarter…. There was a Blackwater guy talking with the bartender…. They were using the N word, and were saying: “The wrong people will leave, and that could be a good thing….” See: Katrina, in a sense, it is sort of like ethnic cleansing with a strong socio-economic ingredient. The poor had to leave…. The people who did not carry flood insurance, which was by the way part of a federal program…. Of course I had a flood insurance because I could pay…. But the poor couldn’t, so they lost everything…. In 10 years, New Orleans has lost 100,000 people, mainly blacks who were scattered to the wind… to Texas, Georgia. etc., wherever they had family who could welcome them.””

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The Republican Party is a shambles. Many of the Republican political big shots and the big money Republicans now openly support Hillary. It has never been more plain that we only have one major party. Domhoff’s analysis of the impacts of winner take all party politics suggest two parties tend to result from that system. Now when we have one party seems a critical moment when third party like the Greens can step in and absorb the disaffected in the one major party which remains. Baraka as Vice-President makes a strong appeal to a large group disaffected from that one party — the African-American voters — and makes a particularly strong appeal to members of one of the most active and effective political organizations of African-American voters.

      The consolidation of Progressive voters with Progressive African-American voters just might move the Green Party into position for becoming the second party in American Politics. At the very least the coalition could make the Green Party strong enough to qualify for matching funds.

      Many things bother me about the Green Party. Neither Stein nor Baraka appear to have mastered the kind of rhetorical style and facility demanded of an American politician. Many of the “fellow travelers” in the party remind me of clueless Marxists — “Comrade”? — that’s as hokey as calling their friends “Citizen”. Even so — I’m ready to vote Green in the hopes of getting a second party started which responds to the needs and best interests of ordinary people. There may not be another such opportunity in the time we have remaining. [Listened to a radio show from the CounterPunch archive where the Scientist talking about climate change told the host he had long considered McKibben something of a nut — but after close study of the most recent Hansen paper and the supporting research papers he is much afraid McKibben is right.]

      1. hunkerdown

        So, only pompous orators are fit for POTUS? If that’s really what the job is all about, then let’s leave the office unfilled and see how we do without authoritarianism.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Sorry — I don’t see the equivalence between pompous orators and persons with rhetorical skill. I think of rhetorical skill in the Ancient Greek sense of an ability to convince others. I suppose that might include demagogues but I hardly intend that it should. As for the notion that rhetorical skill is a required skill for POTUS — I suppose I might ask whether you would like to be represented by a defense attorney lacking in rhetorical skills? We definitely do not need pompous orators to fit the slot of POTUS. However as a practical matter pompous orators helped by our MSM could make running for POTUS problematic for a person lacking rhetorical skills.

          Strange how your comment focused on what I believe is one of the least interesting portions of my comment. I’ll restate my concerns about the Green candidates — they both seem “green” to politics.

          1. Medbh

            I read a transcript of an interview with Stein in the local paper. I thought she communicated very effectively. Perhaps the issue is a distinction between rhetorical versus advertising skills. My impression is that Trump is (or at least was) better at manipulating the media. I think the difference matters, as one could hire better media expertise if the foundational rhetorical skills are already there.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Huh!? The link [] which your link points to is a comment on Corrente suggesting that Obama destroyed the Democratic party. I’m not sure how that relates to my suggestion the Republican party is in disarray. In response to the Trump candidacy Clinton and Obama have made the Democratic party the goto place for the disaffected Republican Oligarchs.

          I might note I have heard some commentators suggest Trump is a one-of which delays but also helps make a Koch takeover of the party easier in the future.

          1. jrs

            I think there are some on the right who would like at this point to replace the Rs, with all their social baggage (racism, homophobia, fundamentalism which have now resulted in Trump), with libertarians like Gary Johnson (really an ex-Republican – they probably don’t much like fringe libertarians either, he’s not fringe, he even supports the TPP). Similar to your hopes for the Greens and the Dems.

            But yea the Rs are still doing ok as long as they have Congress and most of the states regardless of what a mess their Presidential race has become.

  16. afisher

    FEMA camps – courtesy of Reagan. These sorts of plans never die and RW apparently don’t know that it was their during their political governance that created / recreated the plans, which the claim is a Dem plot. Once again, sadly, Trump is repeating Reagan. RW have never given up on the disenfranchisement / deportation/ hate of foreigners process.

  17. Butch In Waukegan

    Re swimmer Lochte’s and the US Olympic mucketymucks’ non-apology apology.

    Public relations consultants obviously crafted their responses to the exposure the swimmers’ false story of their robbery in Rio — it was a distraction . . . from our wonderfulness. 0bama says he believes in American exceptionalism with “every fiber of his being”. The Olympics showcases this mind-set in action. It’s all about us!

    (I read the other day that Lochte tried to trademark is signature grunt “jeah”, a combination of “gee” and “yeah”. Classy.)

    1. Pat

      The vast numbers of people paid and unpaid, who are trying to desperately make this less disgusting is breathtaking. What gives me hope is that most of the people I have encountered aren’t buying it. Even if they have not linked it to our breathtaking arrogance about our own exceptionalism, in general.

    2. fresno dan

      Lochte: “I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend — for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning,” he parsed, via Instagram.”

      NOT for WHAT he had actually DONE that was bad….but for not successfully evading being caught and being more artful and legalistic in fashioning an alibi seems awfully familiar….

      When Clinton lost reelection for the governorship of Arkansas, he issued a public apology that superficially made it appear he was apologizing for what he had done (raise taxes/fees on motor fuels I believe) but in fact the wording was such that it was no such thing.
      Try as I might, I can’t find the original Clinton apology, and I think it would be most instructive of how something so destructive introduced itself into the modern zeitgeist….the non apology apology (aka “I’m sorry your so stupid to think I did something bad” apology)

        1. Butch In Waukegan

          Press secretary? Nah. Ryan demonstrated he has the leadership characteristics required to make it as a politician. Just like Hillary taking sniper fire while landing in Bosnia, Ryan stood tall against those ferniner thugs.

          From the Chicago Trib:

          In an interview with NBC News, Lochte recounted how the group had taken a taxi from a late-night party when the car pulled over and men approached them with a police badge.

          “They pulled out their guns. They told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground,” Lochte told NBC. “I refused. I was like, we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground.

          “And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up. I was like, ‘Whatever.'”

          Ryan was clearly the alpha of the four amigos.

    1. The Polemicist

      It is definitely for real. I can’t make this stuff up. (I’m the linked Polemicist.) There’s a whole slew of such ads, from a Colorado non-profit (site name: I can’t make it up.) touting Obamacare. you can see them here.

      1. Steve H.

        Ha! Silly me. There are many polemicists, but few who explicitly acknowledge it.

        “Oh, you’re THAT Polemicist.”

        “No, I’m THE Polemicist!”

  18. Carolinian

    Pam Martens ties it all together.

    Our first epiphany that America was in trouble on the issue of lying about matters large and small came in 2006. It was a seemingly small matter. We were browsing in a plant nursery in the Northeast and noticed that several dozen containers of Purple Fountain Grass were sitting in the perennial plant section instead of with other annuals where they belonged. We walked over to the young nursery manager and mentioned the mistake. His spontaneous quip has been seared on our brains every since. He said: “If the President can lie, so can I.”

    Fish rots from the head (whether it literally does or not). Of course the biggest liar of them all–as she points out–may well be the current “cool guy” (G. Keillor) who currently occupies the oval.

      1. HBE

        My god, are you using a “Cyrillic keyboard”! You know this proves definitively you are a “Russian hacker”. Only Russians can use Cyrillic keyboards, “security experts” agree. Nefarious. /S

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      ……..”two major party candidates for the highest office in the land have repeatedly lied to the American people about critical issues.”

      Somehow the “lies” just don’t seem equally “critical.”

      clinton’s lies involve performance in elective and appointed public office, and are confirmed by government documentation, inspectors general and the fbi.

      Trump’s “lies” are more like personal, financial puffery, and are confirmed by USA Today and speculation in Vanity Fair.

      The need to diminish clinton’s corrupt dishonesty by pretending that Trump is equally guilty based on evidence-free msm hit pieces should be embarrassing to “journalists” and bloggers who ought to know better. I wonder why it’s not.

  19. Katharine

    When I saw “black slime” I thought there was a new problem, but it’s just that stuff, probably a mold or mildew and not at all slimy. It’s certainly hard to remove. One of my neighbors has the house power washed every year, which is more than I would do but does seem to work.

  20. crittermom

    Re: “US Army fudged its accounts by trillions of dollars, auditors find.”
    I can’t help but think of any private citizen fudging on their taxes for a few hundred and being caught and fully prosecuted.
    Yet apparently, there are billions of tax dollars unaccounted for, so the Army just ‘cooked the books’ to make it all jive.
    Just think. With Hellary as pres it would only get worse as their budget increases.

    1. samhill

      Might be a piece of the puzzle regarding the unfathomable endless expanding War of Chaos we are seeing. Every empire goes down this road, where the military budget spirals out of control, costs ever more than what the empire takes in. On the way there it hollows out the domestic economy, the military industrial complex by necessity becomes an economic bubble feeding on itself to maintain funding where growth comes to equal incessant expanding war. All the quantitative easing surely was a facilitator for the runaway military industrial complex, which in simpler times would have been printing money to pay soldiers. Could it be as simple as that? No big conspiracy, no big dark plan, just the State finally lost all control of the MIC? Mindless war for war’s sake? Has it come to that already?

  21. allan

    As the number of freestanding ERs grows, so does scrutiny [AP]

    Freestanding emergency centers have sprouted in recent years across the suburban landscape, taking root in affluent neighborhoods and directly challenging nearby medical clinics and hospitals.

    Five years ago there were a couple dozen stand-alone emergency centers in Texas, and now there are more than 200. Colorado, Ohio and other states also have seen steady growth.

    As these centers offer another choice for people tired of deflating wait times at hospital emergency rooms, their escalating numbers are sending ripples across the health-care field. Critics say they do little to help those in rural America with dire medical needs, siphon away skilled emergency physicians and too often stick patients with overinflated bills. …

    The freestanding ERs locate in zip codes with an attractive payer mix, Schuur said, meaning ones where more people are privately insured, have higher incomes and there are fewer Medicaid reimbursements. They’re more likely to open in parts of Texas already served by traditional hospital emergency rooms, he said. …

    Needless to say, these are being funded by private equity.
    The financial giant meteor that is ZIRP is the gift that keeps on giving.

    1. parleg

      In the metro area where I live, there are 2 (or 3 depending on how you count) hospitals able to deal with complex cases. 1 of the hospitals is run by public university and serves more (by absolute) numbers children receiving medicaid funding than any other hospital in the state. Since this state’s medicaid reimburses for children’s procedures below cost, the hospital basically provides subsidized care and is continually on the border of bankruptcy — which it barely avoids by charitable contributions.

      On the other hand, the other hospital is run by an elite private university with a huge endowment. The private university’s hospital actively avoids serving children with medicaid funding, and will literally refuse to provide care to those children and families. Rather the private university’s hospital will send those children and families to the public university, and will only provide care to families with expensive health insurance that reimburses at large rates.

      These two hospitals are separated by a relatively large distance, and had developed regions from which they drew their patient populations. Lately, the private university has begun to open up clinics in the neighborhoods served by the public hospital, and is aggressively advertising these clinics. What is insidious is these clinics only serve those children and families that have expensive insurance, and so they are cannibalizing the payer mix that has helped the pubic hospital maintain enough funding to survive. The future is now increasingly uncertain for the public hospital because of the greed of this private university and its hospital — yet the name of the private university remains untarnished and elite in many respects.

      This trend of healthcare providers chasing zip codes with an attractive payer mix is disturbing, and particularly disgusting in the above case.

      1. crittermom

        “This trend of healthcare providers chasing zip codes with an attractive payer mix is disturbing, and particularly disgusting in the above case.”

        Not ever having lived in a city (so no choices), I had no idea this was going on. Thank you for your input.
        I, too, find it disgusting.

  22. Ralph Reed

    Since official lies and delusional analysis have become mainstream staples, now that ten years have past and in light of the present US election, could one hypothesize that the Democratic and Republican Parties made a secret detente at the end of the Clinton regime to prevent a third party challenge to Neo-hamiltonian corporate plunder? Nader was framed as an accomplish to Bush in stealing an election, and the Republicans followed up with poll taxes and racist gerrymandering, while the opacity of the vote counting process has concealed corporate espionage enabled by some federal institutions. The federal court system is starved of money, “not enough smite to indict,” and now the Democratic Party presidential primary has overtly been rigged, and given no Republicans or Greens to project upon,the Russians, or some kind of ingroup collective hallucination labelled thusly, are sufficing, ludicrously.

    In November the Republicans and Greens will be back to blame for real and imaginary crimes against the democratic process giving the “Democrats” cover to conceal fraud yet again.

    1. polecat

      …..right about the time “impeachment was wiped off the table” ……….

      ….by Wooden Nosed Nancy & Co.

  23. fresno dan

    The actor-activist says he won’t host the event at his L.A. home due to a scheduling conflict and Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel have stepped in as hosts. The Clinton campaign denies the decision is connected to questions DiCaprio and his foundation are facing over ties to a $3 billion embezzlement scheme.

    But the move comes as DiCaprio, 41, has become linked in press reports to a $3 billion Malaysian embezzlement scandal. Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an asset-seizure complaint in federal court pertaining to a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund called. The fund allegedly backed Red Granite Pictures, the production company behind DiCaprio’s The Wolf of Wall Street. DiCaprio is mentioned only as “Hollywood Actor 1” in the complaint, but it suggests the actor’s eponymous foundation may have benefited from gifts made by Red Granite, its principal Riza Aziz and a key figure named Jho Low. (THR published an extensive look at the foundation and its connection to on Wednesday.)

    Hillary and Bill Clinton’s own eponymous charitable foundation has been the subject of intense scrutiny during the campaign, particularly its connection to foreign money. The Clinton Foundation has said it would not accept foreign contributions if Hillary is elected president. One source with experience planning presidential fundraisers said it would be a “no brainer” to keep DiCaprio away from a Clinton event amid the suit and press reports, but another said candidates tend to have a lower standard for vetting of celebrity fundraisers.

    Have we reached peak foundations???
    If you’ve lost Leonardo, have you lost the ship (Irony alert….Titanic?)

    1. polecat

      These ‘Hollywood Heroes’ deign to be our betters, by virtue of their station in life, when in fact, they are the worst…..

      ….and they think we can’t see through their smug, lofty bullshit !!

  24. crittermom

    The Reuters article on the Army ‘cooking their books’ led me to another when finished…

    THAT is something that really concerns me, especially since the Republicans already seem determined to turn over our federal lands to the individual states.
    Bad move! Very bad.

    If left to the states with most (if not all?) already strapped for money, they would be forced to sell them off for logging, fracking, drilling, or development.
    Aha! (Now ya gettin’ the picture?)

    Can’t ya just picture $2,000 a night (Trump) hotel rooms on the rim of the Grand Canyon, with the general public losing access to what was once ‘our’ park.
    Ka ching!

    Furthermore, thinking just a tad further down the road, what many don’t realize, as well, is that ranchers rely on public lands for grazing cattle.

    If you think that destroys the land, please do more research. The foreword in John Fielder’s (photographer) “Ranches of Colorado” is a good place to start. Cattle can improve the soil (think how buffalo used to roam the plains, stirring up the soil).
    Ranchers are most always the best stewards of the land, as well, since their livelihood depends on it staying healthy.

    If public lands are sold off, we’ll be forced to buy our beef from other countries or become vegetarians.

    That steak you’re about to enjoy wasn’t raised in the meat dept of your grocery. It can take as many as 150 acres grazing land to sustain a pair (cow and her calf), and few ranchers can afford to buy millions of acres, so they lease it from the govt.
    If that land is gone, so is our meat supply and either we all become vegetarians or become more reliant on foreign companies to sustain ourselves for such a basic thing as meat.

    I cannot/will not vote for Hellary, yet this is a major point to me regarding Trump.

    I truly wish both candidates, their running mates and closest ($$) friends would take a trip on Air Force One to explore other planets to destroy.

    Of course, that plane isn’t made to withstand leaving our atmosphere so they’d all burn up………..

    Yep. Good plan!

    1. Antifa

      Webster’s Dictionary, circa 2216:

      Beefeater: (n),
      1. a perennially popular English gin in production since 1862.
      2. a human who consumed cow carcasses for nutrition, a common habit even into the early 21st century, before okra replaced it.

  25. HBE

    Input please (google just gives me pages of Brookings, CFR, and other tripe). Im looking for good sources for podcasts on politics, Foreign policy, econ/corruption.

    I find for many i know it’s easier to get them to listen to something than to read it.


    PS. YouTube sources will do as well.

    1. no one

      I don’t always listen, but I find Ian Master’s Background Briefing to be an interesting adjunct to print sources.

    2. Tom

      Dungey State University podcast
      Interesting podcast that discusses the philosophical subtext of current economic, political and social events.
      A description of their August 17, 2016 podcast:

      “It is commonplace to assume that Democracies and Authoritarian regimes are fundamentally different forms of political orders. It is believed that Democracies and Authoritarian regimes differ in their origins, institutions/processes, and ends. But, is this necessarily the case? Do modern Democracies have more in common with Authoritarian regimes than we like to acknowledge? Do modern Democracies share the same impulses that animate Authoritarian regimes, and can Liberal Democracies transform in to Authoritarian democracies? In our most recent episode, Part 1 of a Three Part series, “From Liberal Democracy to Authoritarian Democracy,” we investigate this fascinating and chilling question.”

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I found several interesting podcasts at CounterPunch [] — they download for free so I guess store means storage?

      The discussions can occasionally tend to be a little heavy on modernist philosophy and other bad reminders of discussion section in Sophomore Philosophy 101.

      1. Pat

        I’m thinking that similar to what just happened in order to ratf*ck Vermont’s GMO labeling law, our leaders have figured out that stonewalling marijuana legalization is getting impossible and are moving to head off the loss of profits at the pass. If I’m understanding this take correctly, Clinton and friends would seem to be setting up a situation where the complicated and expensive versions of synthesized marijuana, similar to what is allowed by NY’s medical marijuana law, could still be the only legal versions of it. Although access to those would be more widely available than currently (for instance the hoops the state requires to find a doctor who prescribes them would likely disappear). AND it would be able to keep use of the cultivated, especially home cultivated, marijuana, illegal perhaps even in states that currently allow for medical purposes.

        Admittedly this is beyond my expertise, but knowing the way the DLC hacks work, I do not discount such a reading out of hand.

        1. crittermom

          “synthesized marijuana”

          Ahh… Now I get it. “synthesized”. Big pharma. Cash in from every angle.

            1. crittermom

              No doubt.
              What I find interesting is that I have many friends back in CO with ‘red’ (medical marijuana) licenses*, and if you’re on disability and possess one of these, you are entitled to a free amount each week from your chosen dispensary. Evidently the govt reimburses the dispensaries?
              I don’t know about other states.

              *Before being legalized there, ‘cattle calls’ were common in obtaining a red license. It was advertised that a Dr would be at a particular location (hotel, often) and if you brought paperwork showing you had a bad back or such, you would be approved for a red license. Many folks I know had one before they ever legalized it and the cost is half of retail if you have one. They have separate windows at the dispensaries for each.

              It’ll be interesting to see what happens regarding that after the election.

  26. Starshine Moonbeam Lovepeace

    Dixon’s right again. Doesn’t make me want to vote, though. Stein may need Baraka but Baraka doesn’t need Stein. He rebuilt us a civil society on world-standard integrating principles.

    The ‘briar patch’ affects Stein, but the network Baraka founded is simply circumventing it. Human rights cities start with public associations that urge the UDHR on whoever is in office. Once the city has acknowledged the common-law force of the Declaration, the associations have lots of monkey wrenches to drop into the works. They don’t need to rely on political parties for institutional coordination among human rights cities. They have a complementary implementation effort: they’re pushing a National Human Rights Institution in compliance with the Paris Principles (except that here it has to be independent of government, which would kill it.) Meantime individual cities and NGOs get visibility and coordination from joining the review cycles of treaty bodies and charter bodies (the Committee Against Torture, Human Rights Committee, Human Rights Council, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Committee to End Racial Discrimination, etc.) Networked local NGOs go over the government’s head to the outside world, where binding law and global public disgrace work like one of those adhesive mousetraps – squirming out of it gets you stuck tighter.

    This is turnkey reconstruction. Baraka just took people to institutions that Americans never heard of. It works good. So good that Baraka should stay off of balconies. If people want to get in on it they can join a listserve and see what’s going on. They’ll pull you right in.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Once the city has acknowledged the common-law force of the Declaration, the associations have lots of monkey wrenches to drop into the works.

      Example? I’m all for parallel structures*, but I want receipts.

      Gene Sharp Method 198: Dual sovereignty and parallel government (hopefully not of the Bundy variety, at least not where I live).

  27. Carolinian

    Charlie Rose–apparently upset that he might have done some harm to his fellow neocons–gives the nutty Morrell a return shot to explain himself. Morrell says he only meant that “moderates” should kill Russians and Iranians. However still ok for US to bomb Assad.

    One can only imagine the reaction if some Russian version of Morell went on Moscow TV and urged the murder of U.S. military trainers operating inside Ukraine – to send a message to Washington. And then, the Russian Morell would advocate Russia bombing Ukrainian government targets in Kiev with the supposed goal of forcing the U.S.-backed government to accept a “regime change” acceptable to Moscow.

    Rather than calls for him to be locked up or at least decisively repudiated, the American Morell was allowed to continue his fawning audition for a possible job in a Hillary Clinton administration by extolling her trustworthiness and “humanity.”

    Morell offered a heartwarming story about how compassionate Clinton was as Secretary of State when he lost out to John Brennan to be the fulltime CIA Director. After he was un-picked for the job, Morell said he was in the White House Situation Room and Clinton, “sat down next to me, put her hand on my shoulder, and she simply said, ‘Are you okay?’ There is humanity there, and I think the public needs to know.”[..]

    For his part, Charlie Rose offered a lament about how hard it is for Clinton to convey her “humanity” and how deserving she is of trust. He riffed on the Biblical passage about those who can be trusted in small matters (like sitting down next to Morell, putting her hand on his shoulder, and asking him if he is okay) can be trusted on big matters, too.

    We may need a new acronym–the Main Stream Industrial Military Media Complex…MSIMMC.

  28. Pat

    Okay, this made me laugh. From’s relatively unembellished and conflict free report of DiCaprio’s transfer of his fundraiser for Clinton to Biel and Timberlake comes this:

    The now-Timberlake/Biel-hosted fundraiser comes on the second day of a Hollywood ATM sweep by Clinton — her first since formally becoming her party’s POTUS standard bearer this election. Clinton also has well-heeled fundraisers scheduled at Magic Johnson’s home, and Haim Saban’s place on August 22.

    Hollywood ATM sweep indeed.

    1. fresno dan

      August 21, 2016 at 1:13 pm
      I note that the ever expanding periods of copyright and trademark expansion for Hollywood product are SHEER COINCIDENCE….

      1. Pat

        Oh, the entertainment industry has a fine and extensive lobbying presence in Washington, plays the game quite well and has done so for over half a century that I know about. It has become more obvious in the last decade or so, but it is of long duration. Chris Dowd left the Senate to become the chairman of the MPAA for instance. But sadly a goodly portion of those maxing out their possible donations are really just handing the cash over and getting little or no leverage whatsoever. The industries keep up the pressure day in and day out, help fund or create the super Pacs and offer retirement jobs to get those seats in the back rooms where the laws and deals are written, the individuals…well it happens but not often. Most will get the photo with Clinton and little else.

  29. Watt4Bob

    From the Politico Manafort/outside counsel story;

    Although the Podesta Group was founded by Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, he has not been involved with the lobbying firm that bears his name for years. His brother, Tony Podesta, is currently chairman of the firm.

    Talk to my brother Tony, I don’t know nothin’, nothin’ I tell ya.

  30. barutanseijin

    Summary of that crazy Atlantic article:

    The problem with American politics is that people aren’t paying enough attention to me and my friends.

    Was at St John’s last summer. I always liked seeing the hawks circling above campus.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Where else to put your wealth?

      Private islands?


      “And Jupiter goes to bidder number 31415, for one Googol dollars.”

  31. flora

    re: All the Fun is Going Out of Hedge Funds

    “If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat. …”
    Douglas Adams. The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time.

    Likewise, if the financial sector takes apart the real economy to see how much rent can be extracted, ya end up with a nonworking real economy.

    1. fresno dan

      August 21, 2016 at 1:48 pm


  32. Ignim Brites

    “How American Politics Went Insane”. Bottom line: The last 40 years of “reform” has destructively weakened the parties and thereby weakened Congress. Solution: Strengthen the parties in Congress and civil society. A typical neocon analysis and proposal. Assumption is that enough people really want to save the nation, preserve the Union. And with typical neocon ferocity those who do not want anything like the current institutional arrangement are imputed to be nihilists. Why not open the door to secessionism or at least a federal system more like Canada’s where most of the political action is at the provincial level.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      This essay bothers me for many reasons quite apart from its content. I thought it was poorly written and discursive and this coming from a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute who also has close ties with the Atlantic Editorial Staff. As for content this essay strings together one amazing opinion after another, Near its conclusion the author asserts that all the remaining major party candidates are sociopaths — except for Hillary. At first I thought this might be a drawn out hit piece on Trump and Sanders but what does a tacit endorsement for Hillary mean coming from a guy who claims to miss the likes of Boss Tweed?

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Sorry for the redundant comment. I tried many times to get some form of comment about the Rauch essay past the moderation black hole. My comment above should be ignored or removed.

        1. Ulysses


          Just had an interesting conversation with a political person from Rhode Island, more honest and witty than some, although certainly no saint.

          He was looking for help in fleeing to Italy, where he somehow feels the complete end of civilization as we know it may come later than here in the States.

          The kleptocrats and their enablers have begun to notice that the dogs are no longer eating the dog food. Yet many still feel that all they lack is the right gravy to get us to start gobbling away again. Ain’t gonna happen. People might not know exactly how the train went off the tracks, yet they sure don’t want the same crew on board in the future!

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I don’t think that’s a long-term solution. Granted, it might work for people like me, but normal people need homes (and safe place to sleep (and showers (even a nerd needs a shower every so often)).

        I’m sure your comment is joke, but still…

    1. ekstase

      The speaker is very compelling. Recently took a path in a park and found myself looking at the neatly stored belongings of someone who apparently was trying to live in a large cement pipe in the ground. Big enough to live in, I guess, but really pretty horrible. Carlin said we should start by using the word, “houseless,” instead of the abstraction “homelessness.” The problem goes on and on, and it could be solved.

    2. crittermom

      Yesterday I read a list of the most heavily armed states and DC was #1. More guns there per 1,000 people than any other state.
      Could it be they feel a need to arm themselves as protection from all those ‘nasty homeless people’ (they created)? *snark*

  33. Rosario

    (This is coming from the Ajamu Baraka article.) After reading a fair bit of stern criticism of the Green Party this past week on NC I wanted to make clear that there is a historical precedent for parties being built on principle based politics outside of established political conventions. The requirements for success seem to be timing and message, and I think the Green Party has both even if they are unaware.

    As far as a historical precedent I present the Republican Party. Born completely out of principles in an environment of strong antagonism from establishment politicians their success rode on the support of the dying Whig Party, abolitionists, and northerners moving westward hoping to thrive as yeoman farmers outside the plantation slave system perpetuated in the South. A system that alienated most working class whites from land ownership. I recognize the white, free-soiler component is far from radical today when accounting for that fact that it was stolen land requiring the displacement and murder of millions in conjunction with white supremacy, but when framed in the context of slavery in 1850s USA the Republican platform was what many at the time considered radical, unrealistic, and potentially catastrophic.

    I am of the opinion that the Democratic party is dying (or dead), except most members are unaware. It is now a matter of moving the disillusioned afflicted with Stockholm Syndrome away from the Democrats to the Greens. As with the founding of the Republican Party this will have tangible results, maybe catastrophic, but tangible and beneficial results for the long term. This requires faith, something lacking in today’s cynical politics and a commitment to things as frustrating as principles in the absence of power. This includes everything that comes with these principles, long winded admonitions, self righteous finger shaking, academic social diagnoses, and endless piety to leftist causes. Has anyone ever read the intolerable and obnoxious speeches of northern abolitionists during antebellum? Spoken by people with abounding righteous indignation with little understanding of the actual conditions of the enslaved or the nuance of the Southern economy, but their speeches are celebrated today as integral in the development of a political movement and ultimately party that was largely responsible for the abolition of slavery from the US political and social order.

    The conditions are right, the message is there, now it is largely a fear of the unknown restraining voters from commitment to a fringe party. Voters can’t continue holding out hope that a completely corrupt and complacent Democratic Party will represent their interests. This past round with Bernie was a clear indictment.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > As far as a historical precedent I present the Republican Party. Born completely out of principles in an environment of strong antagonism from establishment politicians their success rode on the support of the dying Whig Party, abolitionists, and northerners moving westward hoping to thrive as yeoman farmers outside the plantation slave system perpetuated in the South. A system that alienated most working class whites from land ownership.

      The thing is, do we really have the central contradiction of two modes of production (wage work, slavery) in the same political system? I don’t think we do. And the founding of the Republican Party was founded on that contradiction (resolved by abolishing the ginormous amount of capital invested by the Slave Power in “human resources,” through war, and without compensation).

      As I’ve said, I feel as if there is an enormous, unstoppable flood coming at us from upstream, and that current institutions and especially the political class will be completely unable to cope. But all I have the feeling and the metaphor. I don’t have a sense of the “shape” as it were; nothing as clear as “free states” and “slave states.” Debt? The FIRE sector? Climate change? Maybe, but how does that play out on the ground?

      As for the Democrats, I disagree; see here. It’s not a question of whether they are corrupt or not. It’s a question of picking the terrain on which to fight.

      1. grizziz

        The GP is not ready to replace the Democrats- this is per a Q&A with Bruce Dixon and Howie Hawkins at the GP Convention. There is little money and not enough volunteers. It confirms what Lambert says about the lack of institutional structure. The GP wants to be a third party and is trying to change the voting style to accommodate a third party. It is different than the other two parties in that it has an industrial policy (with surprising few details) to alter the economy in a way that hopefully would be more egalitarian and sustainable.

        Jill Steins campaign for strategic reasons is trying to win the election. The real goal is to reach 5% upon which the Federal government will provide matching funds which will then be turned over to the national party for building.

        1. two beers

          Catch-22: many people won’t join until the GP shows it can compete with the duopoly, but it can barely even dream about competing until a reasonable number of bodies jump in. It’s on the ballot in twenty-three states, and angling for maybe a dozen more. It’s already done some (not all) of the basic groundwork a national party needs, and it has name recognition, if not much else. It’s a skeletal framework waiting to be fleshed out. What else have we got? Putsch in the Democrat Castle? That seems more unlikely to me than Greens getting to 5% to get Federal funds, or 15% to get onto the debates.

          Stein might be totally unqualified per Yves, but just getting her (Stein) onto the debate stage with the legacy duopoly would be a milestone to build on. Millions of people would be exposed to rational policy ideas they had never encountered before.

      2. Oregoncharles

        Possible functional equivalents to slave states vs. “free”: .01% vs. the rest; and, the empire, with all that comes with it.

        Others can probably come up with a couple more – it’s getting late, even here – but I think those are the big ones, barring economic and ecological collapse; I don’t think anything political will save us, in that case. Transition towns might help.

        History doesn’t repeat, it only rhymes, so looking for equivalents is pointless. Everything ends; the remaining question is how.

    2. grizziz

      Voters can’t continue holding out hope that a completely corrupt and complacent Democratic Party will represent their interests.
      I live in Chicago and Illinois and the voters have been and are complacent with the status quo. Its been 85 years since the voters of Chicago removed a Republican, Big Bill Thompson and he was corrupt.

  34. Andrew Watts

    No, as I said previously Syria doesn’t possess any sovereignty when it’s in the midst of a civil war and it’s territory is occupied by Islamic State and Al Qaeda. This position makes your whole argument moot whether you agree with it or not imo.

    IMO you give lack of agency to why on earth are US troops in Syria in the first place. Would it be OK for Russia or Syria to put their troops in Kansas or Texas & establish a military base to train secessionists & Tea Partiers to secede from the Union?

    False equivalency. As I’ve said before the Syrian Democratic Forces nor the Kurdish YPG are seeking Independence or secession from Syria.

    The US military is in Syria to a) protect their ally Iraq and b) assist native forces in resisting and fighting the Islamic State. At no point in time have they engaged in active hostilities with forces loyal to Damascus. Ignoring the stupid posturing of the dips— imperialists in Washington for a moment.

    1. ewmayer

      So by your reasoning, if country X arms and equips an insurgency against the legitimate government of country Y, the resulting ‘civil war’ automatically nullifies any claim of sovereignity by country Y, thereby rendering the X-fomented invasion perfectly legal. A self-licking regime-change ice cream cone! Sent your résumé to team Hillary yet?

      The best part of your ‘logic’ is how broadly applicable it is. Exmple: Cops without any warrant or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity decide to bust down the door of your residence and order you & yours face-down on the floor. One of your kids fails to instantly comply, cops start shooting. At the resulting inquest, cops claim the “cries of distress” of the folks being shot by them were “evidence of a crime in progress” – your civil war – and thus a legitimate pretext for them to storm the place.

    2. aab

      How is Iraq an ally that needs US military support?

      Seriously. This conflict is thousands of miles from our borders, separated by vast oceans. Other than oil, which we should be dialing back on at an extremely rapid rate due to the climate crisis, why does it matter to the United States what happens in the Middle East AT ALL?

      Don’t say innocent lives. There is literally NO evidence that US military intervention has saved lives there or anywhere else. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of US citizens are starving, dying, killing one another and drugging themselves into oblivion out of despair, because so much wealth and resources are poured into military adventures abroad, particularly in the Middle East. And then that militarized mindset, tactics and weaponry comes home and is used against those same despairing, exploited citizens.

      There is no legitimate reason for the US, as a nation, to be fighting there.

    1. LifelongLib

      Sorry, it’s pay-walled.

      Basically the newspaper researched misconduct allegations that actually made it into court or resulted in disciplinary action. National experts thought the methodology was sound but were surprised by the high percentage of officers named.

      1. fresno dan

        August 21, 2016 at 3:49 pm

        Thanks for that – considering the cosy relationship between prosecutors, courts, and the police, I imagine the actual number of misconducts is at least 32%
        Jake…it’s police town

    2. Daryl

      Pretty wild — but my followup question would be, what is the average? Among gen.pop and all police departments? (Obviously they probably don’t have this…but it would be nice to know).

      1. LifelongLib

        Per 100,000 population, Honolulu was 10th worst, behind New Orleans, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Memphis, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Nashville.

        In arrests per 1000 officers, Honolulu was 11th worst of U.S. departments with 1000+ officers, but the report didn’t give a complete list of the worst ones. New Orleans, Milwaukee, Memphis, Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Nashville were listed as scoring higher, if you can call it that…

  35. LifelongLib

    The 16% was actual court cases; there were additional allegations that did not rise to that level.

  36. Oregoncharles

    “Donald Trump’s campaign is still spending remarkably little” – maybe he read this Harper’s Magazine article: “Down the Tube; Television, turnout, and the election-industrial complex”, by Andrew Cockburn, April 2016, p. 65. (I’m copying this from a paper copy; online, it’s behind a paywall. OTOH, well worth the $2, and Harper’s is worth supporting. Or try the library, also worth supporting.)
    The gist is that TV advertising is close to worthless, but very lucrative for the “consultants” – the “election-industrial complex”. And the stations, of course. The exception might be if you’re an unknown, which would be why Jill Stein is spending on it – but I’m going to send her campaign the article.
    What does work, according to the article? Canvassing; going door to door and talking with people. Even that costs money, even with volunteers, but much less, and it actually works.
    The superstition that big money is crucial in politics may serve only the big money and those who live off it.

  37. Starshine Moonbeam Lovepeace

    Example… A/RES/34/169, Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials. Also customary international law and therefore US state and federal common law, just like the UDHR. Extra effective in conjunction with Fanon-Mendes-France’s UN special procedure, which made news domestically by urging community control of policing. If the first community control demand is imposition of A/RES/34/169, it opens up a very unappealing can of worms for the law enforcement hierarchy up through DoJ. Seen the mere prospect of it lead to surprising changes in jurisdictions with police misconduct. Mere awareness of world-standard rules is a threat to police impunity.

    Another example, harassment of the homeless under color of municipal law. The Human Rights Commission broadcast facts from local NGOs and shamed the US delegation into reversal of the worst abuses. This shows how the UDHR serves as an authority for economic rights, even though the US avoids acknowledging them in conventional international law.

    That’s the characteristic dynamic: pressure from without compounding coordinated pressure from within. Amelioration in solitary confinement, capital punishment, police torture, and many other areas, that is where it came from. Is it parallel government? Dunno. It seems nearer to Francis Boyle’s civil resistance: citizens enforcing the law on a state that’s derelict in its duties. The forum for enforcement is not parallel but independent and supreme.

  38. Plenue

    >Twins born in Toyama aquarium’s female-only shark tank stump officials

    This is how it starts. And then other species catch on. Once they realize they don’t actually need the gross boy part of their race…

  39. Starshine Moonbeam Lovepeace

    Thought-provoking term, applied, because State and DoJ have painstakingly kluged the judiciary to try and keep human rights out of the courts. Most applications in US court have pertained to non-derogable human rights, which are kind of unavoidable due to supreme law status of the Nuremberg Principles. Federal court judges are selected and vetted by the Federalist Society for fanatical hostility to ‘treaty law,’ so human rights eruptions tend to be elsewhere: in magistrate courts, where judges are not carefully brainwashed (Boyle’s book Protesting Power gives examples,) in the Supreme Court, because Nuremberg tried judges and they can’t forget it (Hamdan is a recent example,) in tribal courts. Exceptions include 856 F.2d 929 (D.C. Cir. 1988), which made it into the D.C. Circuit on the back of a World Court Judgement, and Shimp v. New Jersey Bell, which invoked the common law right to health to enforce an economic right (the Paquete Habana decision makes human rights US common law).

    The courts don’t matter, though. Human rights review is designed to work where judicial independence is a joke, as in the USSR and USA. John Hargrove described the process this way: “…being caught in a web of living law from which they cannot extricate themselves without large cost, but in which they cannot remain without occasionally yielding to pressure for change.” So the real action is US disgrace in international forums, focused and amplified at home. You can see the pressure being applied externally in reviews broadcast by and (sadly, written outcome documents are cleansed of the most humiliating dressing-downs.)

    There’s another less namby-pamby way to use human rights. Gates weaponized it to delegimate and undermine the USSR. It justifies sedition, espionage, treason, or secession by elites. Now it’s the USA’s turn – remember, Snowden is a human rights defender.

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