Links 2/21/17

‘Meditating mice’ reveal secrets of mindfulness training New Scientist (Emma)

After 32,000 Years, an Ice Age Flower Blooms Again
 Discover (Joe M)

After two decades, the Kennewick Man is reburied Los Angeles Times (martha r)

Researchers Use Big-Brother Tech to Spy on Bumblebees ScienceBlog (Dr. Kevin)

Giant ‘Rivers in the Sky’ Are Causing Widespread Chaos in California ScienceAlert (martha r)

Will Superweeds Choke GMO to a Timely Death in USA? New Eastern Outlook. Chuck L: “Darwin wins again.”

Hardliner’s resurgence stirs up Australia’s immigration debate Financial Times

NT mining towns a fading relic of the past as FIFO becomes only option, economist says ABC (Australia)


Wolfgang Schäuble sends new Brexit warning Politico

UK on track to trigger Article 50 by end of March – David Davis Reuters

Pence seeks to soothe jangled EU nerves with pledge of support Politico

Le Pen Gains in French Polls as Security Concerns Win Voters Bloomberg

Socialist leading presidential election in Ecuador Associated Press (martha r)


The “Blind Sheik” And The CIA – Media Again Bury U.S. Support For Radical Islamism Moon of Alabama (Chuck L)

In Pakistan, tolerant Islamic voices are being silenced Guardian (Emma)

Saudi Arabia, the United States, and the Special Terror Relationship NewsBud. Chuck L: “An 18 minute video>”

How to create an Islamic government – not an Islamic state Middle East Eye

Trump Transition

Trump v. the Media: a Fight to the Death Patrick Cockburn, Counterpunch (martha r)

The CIA vs. the presidency: this is not the first time Feb 20 Jon Rappaport (Savvy S)

Trump Names Army Strategist McMaster as National Security Adviser Wall Street Journal

Iconoclast McMaster Tapped as U.S. National Security Adviser Bloomberg. The Blob approves. He doesn’t like war but does like buying lots of military toys.

Angst in GOP over Trump’s trade agenda The Hill

White House confirms adviser reassigned after disagreeing with Trump CNN (martha r)

All the way with the USA MacroBusiness

At the Trump Trauma Center, Nobody Comes for Treatment Wall Street Journal (Li). From a couple of weeks ago, still relevant.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald exposes the hypocrisy of Democrats over government leaks TheBlaze (furzy)


The Affordable Care Act: The View From a Hospital CEO Wall Street Journal (martha r)

Ditching the Deep State Jacobin (martha r). A must read. Consistent with Lambert’s antipathy for the term and gives good reasons why it misleads.

Use this link if you have trouble with the embed. Give her a piece of your mind! And please go a few rounds with her. She is aggressively pro-unity and impervious to reason, but the flip side is she appears not to recognize when she is losing an argument. So the game is to play to the gallery. If you read her tweets, she is openly contemptuous of Sanders voters, and deserves an earful.

Senator Bernie Sanders is Kansas bound KSNT (martha r)

Bernie Sanders Gave The Country The Pep Talk It Needed This President’s Day GOOD. Martha r: ”

Red-State Dems Thread the Needle in Working With Trump RealClearPolitics. UserFriendly: “I can’t say I dissagree​.”

Can the Left Win? A Q&A With Zephyr Teachout. New Republic (UserFriendly)

GOP loses top Senate contenders The Hill

Two Cheers For a Carbon Tax, But It Won’t Fix Everything RealClearMarkets (UserFriendly)

Former Boehner Staffer Follows Revolving Door, Now Latest KXL Lobbyist Steve Horn

Flint water crisis: Report says ‘systemic racism’ played role

In Connecticut, Calling for Help Carries Risks for Victims of Domestic Violence ProPubica

Baltimore public schools face $129 million budget deficit, plan mass layoffs World Socialist Web Site

Fake News

BS Detection 101 becomes actual University subject The Register (Dr. Kevin). Members of the commentariat in the area should offer to be guest lecturers.

Toys “R” Us Lays Off 10%-15% of Corporate Employees Wall Street Journal

Big pharma bets billions on ‘silent’ liver disease Financial Times

Colleges Lost Billions to Hedge Funds in 2016 The Chronicle (Emma)

Central bank independence is losing its lustre Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times

Class Warfare

A Very Bad, No Good, Terrible Idea Jacobin (martha r)

Bank Workers Will Protest to Form Their First US Union — And The Whole World Is Watching Portside

Uber Taps Eric Holder to Investigate Discrimination Claims Bloomberg. And that’s supposed to inspire confidence? Help me. And as we’ve pointed out before, when companies are serious about investigations, they have outside consultants run them and not a law firm. The reason Promontory Group was regularly the go-to on rogue trader cases was that told Wall Street the financial firm really wanted to get to the bottom of it because the investigation would not be subject to attorney-client privilege.

Uber is not the only tech company that mishandles sexual harassment claims TechCrunch (martha r)


The Rise and Fall of the Socialist Party of America Jacobin (martha r)

Antidote du jour. Subgenius: “Kittens of a friend”:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. EndOfTheWorld

    “Will superweeds choke GMO to a timely death?”—-Better late than never. Yeah the whole enterprise is predicated on the assumption that glyphosate kills all weeds. If some weeds are proving to be glyphosate-resistant, then hopefully the whole futile experiment goes up in smoke.

    1. paul

      Even if it worked, introducing glyphosate into the food,water and soil supply has always been bad news.
      It’s benefits are solely reserved for its vendors.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Its hardly a surprise. Resilient agricultural systems are diverse – genetically diverse, and diverse in crops and techniques. And Monsanto already knew that plants could grow resistant to glyphosate because they got the resistant genes from plants growing in an outfall outside a glyphosate factory.

      The worst thing is that even in intensive agriculture, the use of general herbicides is largely unnecessary. Years back a friend was doing research on an alternative to a spring spraying of newly planted wheat fields in the UK. They were looking at the alternative of covering the soil with about 50mm (2 inches or so) of low grade mulch to choke out weeds, planting the wheat on the mulch. It not just worked just as well as a spray, it would have been an excellent way to promote the use of composting as a form of waste treatment for organic waste, and it would cut down on soil erosion. But the problem seems to have been creating the ‘chain’ – supporting composters to invest in the facilities, guaranteeing a supply to farmers at the right time. No private business saw this as profitable enough to do, only government could do it. But nobody was interested.

      1. Carolinian

        Thnx for info. The article doesn’t say what the farmers who drop Monsanto will be doing instead. Presumably they will still have the megaweeds. A description of alternative treatments would be useful background for those of us who don’t know much about farming.

        Similarly the atmospheric rivers article doesn’t explain what causes the “rivers” or how they work. Perhaps the journos think the public would be uninterested in this sort of detail but then why write the article?

          1. Oregoncharles

            Amaranth is highly edible, both the leaves and the seeds, but the article says this particular one is toxic. I wonder about that – I eat the red-root amaranth that used to volunteer in my garden. Lambs’ quarters, related to quinoa, are better, and also a pervasive garden weed.

        1. nixtamal

          When I was a kid, I was part of a crew that walked beans meaning, the crew walked the soybean field in a long line, each person covering five or six rows, pulling every weed encountered. Good money was made. This was in Minnesota.

          Look to the past for future solutions?

          1. Dead Dog

            This is how the Asians I see at our local markets weed their small holdings, by hand. They wouldn’t dream of putting a chemical on their fruit and veg.

            Part of problem is simply the size of the farms now. The small farmer who could farm organically is a much much smaller percentage of the sector.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          They are only megaweeds in relation to glyphosate, and glyphosate is only vital for agriculture because Monsanto has made it so. There are other ways to deal with them, most obviously mulching the ground before sowing. There have also been interesting experiments with crossing grains with perennial grasses, which may potentially do away with needing general weedkillers, at least on an annual basis.

          1. paul

            you obviously are prejudiced against high yield,low externality, rent bearing flourishment. If i didn’t know you better I’d call you anti science.

      2. Oregoncharles

        Around here, the local dump produces vast amounts of composted yard waste, primarily as a way to keep it out of the landfill. Now they compost food wastes, too. It’s good stuff; I use it all the time, and it’s been tested for pesticide residues. It’s essentially fertilizer with a lot of chopped wood in it.

        However, I doubt there’d be enough for very many wheat fields. Where did the study get that amount of mulch? Paper works, but can have toxic inks or adhesives on it.

    3. voteforno6

      This is what you get when you have a chemical company moving into agriculture – they just think that they can just develop a new chemical and throw it at the problem.

    4. winstonsmith

      If some weeds are proving to be glyphosate-resistant, then hopefully the whole futile experiment goes up in smoke.

      Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. Instead, Monsanto has doubled down and produced crops resistant to ever harsher poisons. They already have dicamba-tolerant crops, 2,4-D-tolerant crops, and because Monsanto understands their use will lead to super-super-weeds, they have multi-posion-tolerant crops, which will lead to super-super-super-weeds.

      From Monsanto’s point of view, it’s a feature, not a bug.

      1. meme

        Not so sure that multi-poison-tolerant crops will save the day for Monsanto. Putting aside the toxicity issue, the article points out that some farmers are unwilling to pay for each new herbicide that has to be added to the “cocktail” as superweeds become tolerant.

        As the Illinois farmer quoted in the article said:

        GM crops are on the edge of failure in the US as farmers are asked to fork out more and more money on herbicides to try to control the superweeds. We simply can’t afford it! It is near the end of the road for these crops and many of my friends in the Midwest are on the edge of turning back to conventional farming methods.

        1. tegnost

          The question becomes can they find non gmo seeds to plant instead (I suppose we could import them from the russians…)

          1. different clue

            Source for nonGMO conventional corn seed. Not soybean I know, but maybe someone is doing nonGMO conventional soybean seed.

            Sources of nonGMO soybeans. A lot of these source names “feel” like they are selling edible soybean seed to foodmakers/foodusers. If so, they must know where they got their nonGMO soybean seeds to begin with to be able to grow nonGMO soybeans to begin with. And some of them may be seedgrower-seedsuppliers.

        2. John Merryman

          The problem is the original method was tilling the soil and that creates its own set of problems.

    5. Edward E

      I believe we’ve created super-kudzu and I’m definitely not looking forward to battling that this summer. It’s headed northbound also, climate change.

      1. Oregoncharles

        The Japanese eat it: feed the tops to animals, use the roots for starch – similar to cornstarch. I suspect they find our problems with it amusing.

        1. Edward E

          The Japanese have regular ol’ kudzu. Soon as it arrived here it transforms into super duper ‘party pooper’ Kudzu.

          Thought I had successfully finished it off after eight years, so I stopped paying attention. Then over in an area only razorback pigs go, there’s a patch the size of a house. Deer will eat the vine tips, that’s about it. It takes about three months for the Japanese to get starch, from what I’ve read. They certainly must have patience… it could be worse, at least it is higher country around here and the patches seldom get much bigger than two houses.

    6. VietnamVet

      Good agricultural practices including crop rotation prevent weeds from developing resistance. The problem is that it costs money. To get an advance for the next year’s crop, banks require farmers to use proven monoculture schemes with the highest profit crop, year after year. This is no different than constantly prescribing antibiotics which develops resistant strains. GMO crops are a part of farm industrialization. Like climate change and soil depletion, rather than regulating to prevent weed resistance, adverse costs are being passed on to future generations. The bill is accumulating and will require a terrible payback someday.

  2. Bill Smith

    The CIA vs. the presidency: this is not the first time Feb 20

    As part of Eisenhower’s Open Skies proposal:

    “To make a gesture of good faith toward Soviet Premier Khrushchev, the president ordered the CIA (under Allen Dulles) to halt its U–2 photo–reconnaissance flights. But Dulles secretly arranged for the flights to continue.”

    The Soviets rejected the Open Skies proposal years before the U-2 was shot down.

    This article makes it sound like Eisenhower didn’t know about the U-2 flights. There is plenty of evidence he authorized each U-2 overflight – except for the ones flown by British pilots.

    The one that got shot down was the 24th “deep penetration” flight.

    The closet thing to the CIA acting on it’s own here is that Eisenhower wanted the flight run by May 1st, instead it ran on May 1st.

  3. PlutoniumKun


    All the way with the USA MacroBusiness

    I like Macrobusiness when it discusses business, but this sort of dishonest argument annoys me.

    As a defense analyst once remarked, “if the US invaded Mars, Australian would guard the supply dump on the moon”. The Left has always chafed at this imperial subservience but we are extremely well compensated for it and the alternative system of Chinese economic (and political) imperialism looms as far less favourable on just about every front.

    This is to conflate military alliances with general geopolitics. Its perfectly possible for a country to pursue an independent non-aligned military policy while being fully engaged in the world – Switzerland, Sweden and
    Ireland being obvious examples. And its a myth that it is economically beneficial to be part of an alliance. In fact, when you look at military expenditures, it is countries bound within military alliances that tend to spend more.

    Of course, there is more than one way to be non-aligned. Ireland is hypocritical about it, hiding behind NATO without officially joining. But Sweden and Switzerland have strong militaries focused on defending their shores, and have done it without spending more (and in many cases they spend less) than NATO members. Australia would of course have to adjust its military strategy if it went non-aligned, but that does not mean increasing expenditure – it means spending less on ‘projecting power’, and more on weapons that would make it hard for anyone to threaten Australia. That means more patrol boats, short range submarines, but fewer big vessels. More interceptors and fighters, but fewer ground attack aircraft (the F-35 has no obvious benefit for protecting Australia, it is too short range).

    1. pictboy3

      How do you think you can separate geopolitics and military alliances? China relies on Australia’s iron ore to power their steel production (and by extension their economy). What do you think would happen if Aus decided to cut off that supply and didn’t have military alliances to rely on? What happened when America cut off the oil to Japan in the 30s? Realistically, Aus is an island nation with all the vulnerabilities that entails. Even if they could keep a hypothetically expansionist China from invading their territory, would they be able to control the seas around themselves and keep a supply of goods flowing to power their economy (or even feed themselves?).

      I’m not an expert on Aus, so maybe they can do these things, although my understanding is they aren’t a large country population-wise. But I think the Swiss and Swedes are bad examples, as the Swedes are constantly trying to play Russia and NATO off each other (a dangerous balancing act to be sure), a pattern that they’ve been following since at least WWI, and no on really cares enough about Switzerland to make them worry about military invasion. Not to mention they’re surrounded on all sides for at least a thousand miles by NATO countries that they’re more or less friendly with. They’re the textbook definition of a free rider on the security alliance.

      Non-participation doesn’t make countries immune to the consequences of geopolitics. The euros are learning that the hard way with the migration crisis right now, despite studiously trying to keep themselves out of Syria (Libya is another matter, but that was mostly the French and the British who had a hard on for Gaddafi). The point is, non-alignment is a luxury only a few countries can indulge in, either because of geography or irrelevancy. India could do it during the cold war because of the sheer amount of human resources available to them. Aus doesn’t have that kind of advantage, and it’s instructive that while Britain during WWII was the preeminent naval power in the world, they were almost brought to their knees by German uboats destroying the supply convoys keeping them afloat. Even geography can only take you so far when trying to pursue an isolationist policy.

    2. Dead Dog

      Agree, but the author’s position is one he’s not going to throw out yet, and it is one I hear regularly, about how the special relationship with the US has been positive on all fronts.

      Hang on, we do more business with Asia than anywhere else. I don’t see a threat from anywhere.

      Australia should ditch its defense alliances and show some independence for once in its short history. But with idiots in control in Canberra, we are a bit further away from having a govt that works for the people.

  4. Robert Hahl

    re: BS Detection 101 becomes actual university subject.

    If Hillary Clinton fakes an orgasm, what kind of news is that?

  5. WJ

    Re: “Ditching the Deep State”

    I am not convinced. The author attacks a straw-man–i.e. the notion that the “Deep State” must be “monolithic” or “unified” to function as such. What Eisenhower referred to as the military-congressional-industrial complex need not be thought of as representing a single view; the point was the concentrated overlap of governmental power and undemocratic financial/industrial interests.

    In any case, the main point of this curious piece is to keep us from “relying” on the “illusory deep state” to “save us” (!!?!) from Trump. WTF?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’d agree with that – it seems a case of creating a definition of Deep State in order to knock it down. I am inclined to think that ‘The Blob’ is a much better term for most of what we see, but that does not preclude the existence of a true Deep State, in the form of a cabal (formal or informal) who will do what they see as necessary to achieve their aims. I’m not saying it exists, but that article seemed to want to define it out of existence rather than actually look for evidence as to whether it exists or not.

      Having said this, having read through the comments in Lamberts post, it seems to be that there is such a wide variety of definitions of Deep State that it is becoming a bit of a red herring. I always thought that the phrase had quite a specific meaning (to me, its a cabal within the State who are willing to ignore constitutional structures to achieve their aims), but it seems that I was mistaken. In future I think I’ll stick to The Blob, that phrase seems to be more useful.

      1. fosforos

        The word “cabal” is good, but a bit 18th century. I would suggest that the “deep state” consists of those elements within the state apparatus who operate as a *criminal conspiracy* like a mafia. To those who say “the so-called deep state is not monolithic,” I would point out that the Mafia is much further from being monolithic and benefits much less from the essential feature of the “Deep State”–*impunity*.

    2. Eureka Springs

      Agreed. Much of our Deep Merde, as I prefer to call it, is hiding in plain sight. Hillary vs Trump and the fallout since with this whole Russia boogie man insanity is once again prompting the Deep Merde underbelly to show itself for all who will see. So many of us are willing participants on so many levels. We actively work in MIC, IC and FIRE sectors to name three. How those who do can live with themselves is beyond me. So many other actively vote for the same…. or at least make excuses. Of course much goes on in propaganda, denial. While secrecy.. secret lobbying, law, budgets, police, courts etc.. are more than acceptable.

      Whether there is disagreement among a few wizards of Oz behind a curtain or nay… the process is frightening and so are the many enablers. Where they do agree which is constantly documented here daily is horrifying.

      The voters/participants racked up 67 electoral votes… the Did not vote racked up 471! This is delegitimization, the general strike writ large… this is peaceful dissent…. we all ignore it and allow everyone from politicians to media to ignore it at our peril. If peaceful mass dissent doesn’t work the alternative will look like Syria. Because that’s who Deep Merde is and what it does.

    3. Left in Wisconsin

      Truly excellent piece just up on Counterpunch. Lumping together William Kristol, Rob Reiner and Michael Moore, correctly in my view.
      Goose-stepping Our Way to Pink Revolution

      A longish excerpt:

      The point is, millions of American citizens (as well as citizens of other countries) are prepared to support a deep state coup to remove the elected president from office … and it doesn’t get much more fascistic than that.

      Now I want to be clear about this “deep state” thing, as the mainstream media is already labeling anyone who uses the term a hopelessly paranoid conspiracy theorist. The deep state, of course, is not a conspiracy. It is simply the interdependent network of structures where actual power resides (i.e., the military-industrial complex, multinational corporations, Wall Street, the corporate media, and so on). Its purpose is to maintain the stability of the system regardless of which party controls the government. These are the folks, when a president takes office, who show up and brief him on what is and isn’t “possible” given economic and political “realities.” Despite what Alex Jones may tell you, it is not George Soros and roomful of Jews. It is a collection of military and intelligence officers, CEOs, corporate lobbyists, lawyers, bankers, politicians, power brokers, aides, advisers, and assorted other permanent members of the government and the corporate and financial classes. Just as presidents come and go, so do the individuals comprising the deep state, albeit on a longer rotation schedule. And, thus, it is not a monolithic entity. Like any other decentralized network, it contains contradictions, conflicts of interest. However, what remains a constant is the deep state’s commitment to preserving the system … which, in our case, that system is global Capitalism.

      I’m going to repeat and italicize that to hopefully avoid any misunderstanding. The system the deep state primarily serves is not the United States of America, i.e., the country most Americans believe they live in; the system it serves is globalized Capitalism. The United States, the nation state itself, while obviously a crucial element of the system, is not the deep state’s primary concern. If it were, Americans would all have healthcare, affordable education, and a right to basic housing, like more or less every other developed nation.

      And this is the essence of the present conflict. The Trump regime (whether they’re sincere or not) has capitalized on people’s discontent with globalized neoliberal Capitalism, which is doing away with outmoded concepts like the nation state and national sovereignty and restructuring the world into one big marketplace where “Chinese” investors own “American” companies that manufacture goods for “European” markets by paying “Thai” workers three dollars a day to enrich “American” hedge fund crooks whose “British” bankers stash their loot in numbered accounts in the Cayman Islands while “American” workers pay their taxes so that the “United States” can give billions of dollars to “Israelis” and assorted terrorist outfits that are destabilizing the Middle East to open up markets for the capitalist ruling classes, who have no allegiance to any country, and who couldn’t possibly care any less about the common people who have to live there. Trump supporters, rubes that they are, don’t quite follow the logic of all that, or see how it benefits them or their families.

      1. Annotherone

        Many thanks for the heads-up, that really is an excellent piece by C.J. Hopkins!
        Another snip, from later in the piece:

        “The way things are going, it’s just a matter of time until they either impeach his [Putin’s] puppet, Trump, or, you know, remove him by other means. I imagine, once we get to that point, Official State Satirist Stephen Colbert will cover the proceedings live on the “Late Show,” whipping his studio audience up into a frenzy of mindless patriotic merriment, as he did in the wake of the Flynn fiasco (accusing the ruling classes’ enemies of treason being the essence of satire, of course). After he’s convicted and dying in jail, triumphant Americans will pour out onto the lawn of Lafayette Square again, waving huge flags and hooting vuvuzelas, like they did when Obama killed Osama bin Laden. I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t attend. Flying home may be a little complicated, as according to The Washington Post, I’m some kind of Russian propagandist now. “

      2. Jess

        Yes, a truly great article. It is not without irony that the author currently resides in Berlin, a city with first-hand knowledge of how fascism works.

      3. ewmayer

        Yes, excellent article, and as good a definition of the Deep State as I’ve seen, more or less in agreement with that laid out in Glennon’s book, National Security and Double Government, but explicitly adding the multinational-corporate aspect. The thing about “Deep State” is that, unlike “The Blob”, it captures the essence of what it seeks to describe. So I respectfully suggest to the appellation-fetishists to get over their antipathy to the term, because it’s not going away any time soon. The above piece summarizes the key aspects:

        o Durable power/influence networks among key elements of the government, private business and the major media which exist outside of any given administration;

        o Neither monolithic nor ‘evil’, but most definitely self-interested, and willing to use its various avenues of influence and opinion-shaping to promote and protect said interests from all threats, foreign and domestic.

        Lambert, do you have any major objections here?

        1. Olga

          Self-interested for sure… In JFK and the Unspeakable, the author alludes to the notion that at least some in the CIA participated and/or approved because of the worry that JFK would do away with their fancy jobs, travel, nice offices, and all the other perks. Egoism on steroids…

        2. Oregoncharles

          I think the ineradicable appeal of “Deep State” is that it expresses the feeling we all have – I should call it an observation – that there is a great deal going on behind the curtain, that we don’t know about. We just see occasional hints, like elbows poking out. And, of course, the long-term results, which have nothing to do with the interests or wishes of the American people – as Gilens and Page documented so elaborately.

          Of course, the image is from Wizard of Oz; but somehow, the Little Man behind the Curtain doesn’t seem so little or so benign. For one thing, he’s very heavily armed, since the core is the explicitly secret Military Intelligence Complex. What truly blows my mind is that we now have Democrats and “liberals” calling enthusiastically for a coup by the spooks. How did we get to that? How can they not see what they’re calling for? But having heard a large, ultra-liberal crowd loudly baying for “Russian” blood, I know it’s true, and damn frightening.

          I ascribe a lot to the sheer shock of Hillary losing when everyone thought she had it locked. That, and Trump’s personal offensiveness, way beyond even Bush II. It isn’t yet clear to me how dangerous he really is. But one reason for the official reaction is that he’s doing the unprecedented: actually trying to carry out his campaign promises. Presidents aren’t supposed to do that; it’s deeply offensive to the system. And, of course, some of those promises are very offensive, if not dangerous. We shall see how authoritarian he really is.

    4. Buttinsky

      I think a good analogy here is Thomas Ferguson’s investor theory of elections, as set forth in The Golden Rule.

      The two-pronged thesis of the Deep State piece is that there cannot be a monolithic Deep State, and that the Deep State cannot be cleanly severed from the civil society that spawned it. But such a thesis applies equally to the oligarchy of capitalist wealth that “oversees” government. It is neither monolithic nor divorced from society — and none of that impinges upon its toxic power.

      As Ferguson has noted, there are always factions among the powerful. One can always point to some wealthy candidate who failed to “buy” the office to which he or she aspired. (Ross Perot comes quickly to mind.) But that’s only because there are often wealthy rivals, at least on some issues. The tragedy, as our faux “two-party system” demonstrates on a regular basis, is that most of the rivals agree on much more of the truly dangerous policies (most crucially, the policy of preserving the power of money in electoral politics) than they disagree. This seems a pretty good parallel to the powerful agencies that none of us voted for and that govern in secrecy, whatever you call them, and which share the conviction that they know best, or certainly better than “the people.”

  6. JoeK

    Rather than respond to Ms. Albright, I would instead ask in turn: if she has to ask sincerely that question, what credibility at all does she have as an actor in the political realm?

    Of course, the framing implied by her question is that only “berniecrats” are not supporters of the DNC. That bespeaks either stunning ignorance or arrogance (unsurprising though it may be).

    I expect she’ll get sincere responses from 1000s of people, few of whom are either Bernie-this or that only, and fewer of whom are -crats of any flavor, most of them pointing out 100 reasons one should not “support the DNC going forward.” And that’s because there are so many sincere and caring people out there willing to make the attempt requested above.

    A worthy cause, but I’d rather up-end her premise than validate it with a response.

    1. Uahsenaa

      The underlying implication is that voters who rejected Clinton are merely petulant children who want “free stuff,” never mind the fact that the “free stuff” they want would be a massive benefit to the polity and to the economy.

    2. katiebird

      Reading through other Tweets, I don’t think she is asking the in good faith:

      3/ Bernie’s “Revolution” is personality driven, not ideologically based. It was never about the issues (posted 1/23/17 7:42PM)

      I don’t know how to grab the link….

      But what the F** does she mean “never about the issues” is she actually stupid??

      1. Liberal Mole

        True; I’m sorry I responded. She’s a self satisfied obnoxious idiot. She’s been run over by the Trump train and still thinks it’s someone else’s fault – Russians or Berniecrats. Funny how that tweet of hers captures Hillary’s campaign rather than Bernie’s. The stupid is indeed strong in this one.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I’m not sure she’s that deluded. A sane political party would have purged itself of anyone connected to the Clinton campaigns, Kaine (he was the DNC chair during the 2010 debacle), DWS, and Brazille.

          Even Perez will be under pressure to clean house.

        2. Patricia

          Sally’s lazily garnering material for an article she’s writing, so ‘honest/serious’ is filigree. But that’s ok because she exposed her ugly colors quickly enough, and a lot of civil people are re-establishing solid information.

          And her coming article will contain barely hidden venom, overt lies, and nose-dripping snobbery. As per usual.

          Sally’s taking her own road down. Too many people saw the primary charade to make it un-happen, no matter how she&company finagle. All we need do is witness and testify, which you did. I, for one, am glad.

        3. allan

          Her LinkedIn profile lists her current gigs as

          Managing Partner
          Capitol Waterfront Group
          January 2017 – Present (2 months)Washington D.C. Metro Area
          Executive Director
          The Rainer Deschaine Foundation
          December 2016 – Present (3 months)Washington D.C. Metro Area

          Teh Google lists nothing for either of these organizations. Hmm.

        4. JohnnyGL

          I thought the ‘givens’ she assumed like 1) must have big money donors and 2) voter suppression seems like she doesn’t think it can be helped.

          I had to blink several times when she blamed loss of WI on voter suppression of 300K voters. These were known issues and the Party did little to nothing to fight about it.

          Voting Rights Act decision was made in 2013. Obama mentioned on the campaign trail a few days before the election. Did he hold rallies to fight back? Did Clinton or her campaign try to do anything to push back?

          Clinton/Obama thought they were electorally bullet-proof because they got their Pied Piper opponent that they so sorely wanted to face-off against. Because Trump couldn’t possibly win and so they spent all their time trying to get TPP through Congress in the lame duck session.

        5. robnume

          I agree wholeheartedly; this ‘probe’ on Twitter is a bunch of nonsense. The author is only interested in an echo chamber; this is clear from her comments to the Dems who fell for this woman’s hogwash. She is a Shillary and I could not be bothered to respond to the tripe she is selling.

    3. Nippersdad

      Looks like several people did just that. My favorite exchange was her contention that superdelegates are there to ensure electable candidates. After having lost over a thousand elections the past eight years and rendering themselves a rump Party as a consequence, looks like even she should see the problem with that argument. As you said, this is just a another dishonest way of eliciting a response from the deplorables.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Good article. Includes an interesting analysis of “progressive activist” albright’s charge that “Bernie took $309,575 from Big Pharma last year (3rd in the Senate) Cory Booker took $56,678.”

          gawd save the republic from entrepreneurial activist mercenaries with twitter accounts.

      1. jrs

        It’s partly true, of course there is voter suppression and gerrymandering. On the other hand having someone people want to vote for can overcome quite a lot of that through sheer numbers at the polls (can’t voter suppress everyone if people really want to vote).

      1. Massinissa

        Hahahahaha well we all know the Democrats will win the next election if they promise to build a Moon Base right? Hillary would have totally beaten Trump if she had just promised to make the Moon into the 51st state in the union!

  7. Mark Alexander

    Re: tech companies that mishandle harassment claims:

    It’s about time this issue is finally getting some attention. This has been going on for a really long time in the Silicon Valley. In the mid 90s a math-genius friend of mine had to quit her job at a small software company because the founders refused to do anything about another engineer who kept harassing her and enlisting his buddies to badmouth her. At subsequent companies she managed to avoid harassment, but it was still very difficult to get male engineers to take her work seriously.

    Apparently things are changing very slowly in that culture, alas.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      Relax, Eric Holder, Esq. is on it!

      He’ll do to those geeky sex harassers what he did to those Wall Street fraudsters and the tech monopolies!


    2. Romancing The Loan

      That lady’s story about Uber was infuriating to me for different reasons. Four paragraphs in I was screaming “GET AN EMPLOYMENT LAWYER NOW NOW NOW” and it just continues on and on and on and she never even thinks of getting independent legal advice even as her company is clearly not dealing with her in good faith (and in her recounting the HR reps repeatedly give her incorrect legal advice that amounts to practicing law without a license.) I’m sure there’s going to be a nice fat class action now but I guess I can’t understand how someone can be so darned naive. You’d think as a female engineer you’d have an employment lawyer on speed dial (that dates me!) for chrissake.

      1. aab

        Serious question: what better outcome would she have gotten by hiring a lawyer? She seems to have known her rights and asserted them routinely. Do you believe having a lawyer call would have cracked the protective wall around the “high performer” bros being protected?

        I question whether that would have happened, regardless of whether those being protected actually were high performers, or just high-ranking, and socially well-connected to the power base of the company.

        Once a lawyer got involved, the options would become: 1) fire at least some of the offending executives (remember this wasn’t one bad apple; it was broadly manifested across the company); 2) pay her off to leave quietly (but there are all those other harassed women that they clearly knew about and were worried about); or 3) explain to her that if she doesn’t shut up and call off her lawyer, they will make sure no Silicon Valley firm ever hires her again, and the work that she loves, has success at and expertise in, and that makes up the bulk of her resume, will never be available to her again.

        I’m pretty sure she was aware of these alternatives, figured option 3 was both the most dangerous and most likely, and was trying to avoid it. Having faced the reality of suing over explicit sexual harassment myself and decided to walk away instead, I not only understand that fear, I think she played this out as well as she could. She has a new job. Hopefully, with the spotlight now on Uber because of her, her current employer won’t harass her, and she can continue on with her career. She can still extract money from Uber as part of a class action suit, I believe, if one happens.

        I’d love to see successful lawsuits for sexual harassment change business culture. And certainly the threat of them is useful, and they’re an important tool. But if personally hiring a employment attorney generally helped the individual women being harassed, there would be a booming business in sexual harassment plaintiff attorneys, because millions of women are being sexually harassed today, as I write this. Sadly, like with whistleblowers, the individual in this scenario usually gets punished for speaking out; there is no happy ending for her.

  8. Uahsenaa

    I read most attempts to “reach out” to leftists as disingenuous. Their cries of “what do you people really want?” are belied by a platform, first iterated by Sanders then again by the Our Revolution and Brand New Congress folks that seems to me rather easy to understand: fight for $15, Medicare for all, oppose trade agreements, infrastructure investment, free public college tuition, stop taking money from rich people, etc. In other words, actually recognize that people need help and actually do things to help them. I would like some anti-militarism and anti-imperialism to be thrown in, but we can start with the basics.

    Problem is, mainstream Dems have made quite clear both before and after the election that they are for profits for their donors before anything else (Booker et al.) and will do whatever they have to in order to appear progressive while staying on the gravy train.

    1. Brian

      Just who is left or right? What does it mean? Is it a label applied by someone polling you to determine what you might vote for? It isn’t helpful to the Blob to identify what needs to be done to help the people, only to hinder hamper and hide that we all have basic needs that are similar, that don’t fit in a left/right picture and that these issues are more important to us than all the crap they would like us to be afraid of. These human rights will never be addressed, because they are the constitutional rights for the pursuit of happiness, and they connect us whilst separating the grifters to fall through the sieve as detritus.
      As long as we use those terms to describe the people we live with, we are doing the blob’s work for it.

      1. mle detroit

        Hinder, Hamper & Hyde — formerly known as the DNC.

        Seriously, you are absolutely correct that left-right has become a destructive division. Let’s go with 99:1 — there are a lot more people, and we have a lot in common, in the 99 percent. 99 can even include (if we want to be PC) the “talented tenth,” the elites who service the 1 percent.

    2. Katharine

      I see an analogy to Freud’s infamous question, “Woman, what does she want?” He never wanted a real answer, and was prepared to pathologize any honest answer he got. The DLC types are the same way: they identify the natural and reasonable demands of those they want to control as somehow abnormal or unrealistic.

  9. Fred1

    Out of curiosity, without following, and never commenting, I have lurked in the time lines of the Hillary/Establishment D hive mind on Twitter since the Spring of 2015. Sally Albright is one I have run into from time to time. Recently a number of people tweeted at her about her past as a Gingrich operative, have retweeted her past tweets supporting R candidates and office holders, and have tweeted pictures of her and Boehner and Rick Perry. I don’t have the time to verify any of this. But I suggest that if anyone engages with her on Twitter, you should be mindful of the possibility that she is not a genuine “D”.

    1. John k

      There is no diff between reps and dems today, both serve the same masters.
      She is exactly as genuine as Clinton.

      If Ellison loses the only way out of the maze is third party.

  10. jo6pac

    eric the holder helping urber but I thought he was suppose to help us in Calif. in the fight against trump?

    Then again he is helping himself to payola $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    1. Pavel

      Well Holder did such a great job getting those DoJ convictions of the banksters and of the torturers. I’m sure he’s worth every penny.

      Oh wait a minute.

    2. Robert McGregor

      First Uber hired David Plouffe, now Eric Holder. Travis really loves those Obama-ites. But I don’t think that is a good strategy for currying favor with the present administration. It also makes me want to stop riding Uber. Another reason for giving Lyft preference!

  11. Anne

    The Sally Albright tweet…jeez. The more times I read it, the more it ticks me off.

    If I were on Twitter, I suppose my answer would be along the lines of,

    “Wake up, admit your DNC has failed. Know it will keep failing as long as establishment in charge. Time for old ways and old ideas to go.”


    “Fk unity and neolib establishment it rode in on. World has changed, you haven’t. If unity the issue, then time for you to unite behind us.”

    Seriously, I hope her tweet goes up in flames.

      1. Anne

        Haven’t got the time to read all the tweets, but if people were attacking her personally, then, yeah, that’s not good. But I don’t understand how she appears to reach out to the Berners with one hand, while continuing to smack Bernie down with the other…how can someone like that even be taken seriously?

        [rolling eyes, as usual]

        1. Patricia

          They were remarkably civil, considering it was Twitter. Mentioned her recent-past jobs w/ Repubs, that’s all I saw.

          She’s doing it to herself.

          1. Anne

            Now that doesn’t surprise me in the least.

            It seems to be the case that these political operatives really get their noses out of joint when it turns out that we little people aren’t buying their BS; from the tweets I saw, it seems the same disdain that was directed at Trump supporters for their assumed low intelligence quickly gets pointed at people presumed to be on their side who don’t and won’t get on board with establishment Dems.

            The irony of that is completely lost on them, of course. Not just the irony of turning on “their own,” but of not being able to see that this approach simply doesn’t work – and tends to drive people away.

            Maybe “stop treating us as if we were stupid” might be a good place for them to start.

          2. River

            I think she probably wants to be trolled hard. Just so she can say that she is being bullied. But its not happening to the extent she wants so she still says it making herself look even more foolish.

            If I had twitter my comment would along the lines “Nothing needs to be changed! DNC is doing great! – Ronna Romney McDaniel, RNC Chair.

        2. cocomaan

          Anne, as patricia says, I read the twitter comments, and besides some pizzagaters, I didn’t see too much beyond heated argument. This article she wrote is instructive about how lame her twitter escapades were in the first place:

          It keeps getting better and better!

          Protecting civil rights is either your guiding philosophy or else it’s just another negotiation point. And since dismissing the importance of active anti-racism is a large part of Bernie’s (and now the alt-left’s) problems with POC, you can understand the lack of faith in how POC would fare in those negotiation. Our party’s track record is, well, deplorable. (As an aside, it has been argued that the alt-left movement is the death throes of the last vestiges of white supremacy in our party.)

          ALT LEFT! Wow! The Democrats will clutch these issues tight to their chests all the way down into the swirling waters of the economic toilet. They aren’t even issues that the government can solve in any meaningful way, to me, so just serve as rhetoric to separate us from one another.

          1. Mark P.

            ‘They aren’t even issues that the government can solve in any meaningful way, to me, so just serve as rhetoric to separate us from one another.’

            Feature, not bug.

          2. Puella de Ville

            It’s better even than that, and that’s hard to beat. First she says this:

            Detractors object to my characterization that alt-left is against civil rights. “It doesn’t have to be a choice,” they protest, but this is convenient, self-serving, and false.

            No support for her assertion, which isn’t that surprising because the assumption that you can’t support civil rights while paying attention to economic issues is too stupid to bear any examination. So she has to hope readers accept her dictat on the point and don’t stop to think.

            But then, twelve sentences later:

            To be clear, this isn’t an argument for abandoning economic issues. Of course we can, and should, advocate in both arenas.

            Does she assume no one can read? Is she genuinely this stupid? Or is this whole thing, including the tweet, just some sort of weird trolling/performance art?

          3. different clue

            Clintonite filth like this Albright person talking about “unity” on her masters’ Clintonite terms make me wish someone would invent and try out the following hashtwitter:


            I give it away for free if anyone wants to give it a try.

      2. Patricia

        Follows up with “You think tweeting and taking all measures of abuse from internet bullies is my job? Seriously?”

        (Startles cat with snort of laughter)

  12. Jim Haygood

    Moon of Alabama [linked above]:

    The 52-year-old religious leader, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, entered the US despite being on a State Department list of people with ties to terrorist groups.

    Several attempts to remove Abdel-Rahman from the U.S. mysteriously failed. In 1991 he was inexplicably granted a green card despite still being blacklisted. His involvement in the 1993 WTC bombing was a typical “blowback.”

    There is zero mention of the CIA and the visa shenanigans in his NYT obit, despite its earlier reporting. Neither the Associated Press nor AFP mention any connection to the CIA. The British service Reuters buries the visa story in one sentence in the 12th paragraph.

    The sheik already had been on trial twice in Egypt, before he traveled to Sudan to get a US tourist visa. He was a well-known, notorious person on a terrorist watch list.

    A person with this sort of red flag background does not just decide to “move to the US” on a tourist visa, overstay his visa, and then get rewarded with a green card only a year later. This simply doesn’t happen to normal people, who struggle for years to get US residency, even if they’re married to a US citizen. Abdel Rahman had high-level sponsorship.

    Funny how the 1993 bomb attack on the WTC, which did significant damage, prefigured the subsequent 2001 attack which literally brought the house down. It’s as if someone had an agenda.

    Strange also that Abdel Rahman’s defense attorney Lynne Stewart was herself convicted and imprisoned in connection with her representation of him. So intent was the US gov on framing Stewart that after being sentenced to 28 months, she was subsequently resentenced to 10 years in place of the original 28 months.

    This incredible, unprecedented ferocity against a defense attorney sent a strong message: you have intruded into a forbidden subject, and you are being silenced.

    There’s been a coup here.

    1. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      February 21, 2017 at 9:03 am

      It is one of those things where it is simply impossible to attribute it to bureaucratic bumbling or sheer incompetence. Its like its NOT blowback, as blowback implies unintentional and unexpected consequences. A cynical person might start to believe that 9/11…..

      And the case of Stewart is a great example of how wrong people are who yammer about the sanctity of the law – the law does what the bosses want. It is more complete and total erasure of an issue than when the Politiburo erased figures from the May Day photos.

    2. WJ

      It goes deeper than the Sheik. Check out “Ali Mohamed”–FBI, CIA, Army Special Ops, trainer and advisor to Al Qaida leadership. He was the reason for the 93 bombing trial being run the way it was, and he is living in the states and has never been charged with any crime. See Peter Dale Scott’s chapter in the 9/11 book.

    3. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      February 21, 2017 at 9:03 am

      The “Blind Sheik” And The CIA – Media Again Bury U.S. Support For Radical Islamism Moon of Alabama (Chuck L)
      AND (I can’t let this go)

      “That the deep involvement over the years of the CIA (and FBI) in the crimes Omar Abdul-Rahman is now swept under the carpet and forgotten is not just coincidentally. It is a distinct feature of U.S. political culture.

      The British poet Harold Pinter referred to this in his 2005 Nobel lecture:

      It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.

      I have called this chronic forgetfulness the concept of immaculate conception of U.S. (foreign) policy. There never is an acknowledged history of U.S. misdeeds that may have led to this or that current blowback. When there is one it immediately gets buried, pushed out of sight, never to be talked about. The same applies to partisan policies within the U.S.

      Currently the fake “resistance” against a Trump presidency blasts his policy of seeking better relations with Russia, his temporary travel ban reference to seven specific countries and his words against media leaks. But it was the Secretary of State Clinton who initiated a “reset” with Russia, it was the Obama administration that set a ban on those seven countries and it was the Obama justice department that used the espionage act against journalists for publishing leaked material. That all is now forgotten and not to be talked about.”

      If there is one thing everyone who takes office in the US agrees on, it is indoctrinated (are there brain implants???) that we go forward, not backward, always twirling….
      The only thing that Trump does is make this white-washing obvious to everyone. Your suppose to do it over a period of months in white house press releases of several dozen pages, obfuscating every point and than accusing anyone still asking questions or bringing the point up as being “obsessed” or, the most terrible crime in this country, “unable to move on” (i.e., letting the rich and powerful get away with things… the way, what ever happened to Jon Corzine…..)
      “Obama last week authorized the release of a series of memos detailing the methods approved under President George W. Bush. In an accompanying statement, he said “it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in GOOD FAITH upon legal advice from the Department of Justice, that they will not be subject to prosecution.” He did not specifically address the policymakers.”

      Or banking….or any crime one cares to mention.

    4. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      February 21, 2017 at 9:03 am

      OK, I promise, last posting on this issue.
      Remember the white helmets????? From the Moon of Alabama comments

      “Just when you thought it could not get any worse. “Rescue workers depicted in Syria’s Oscar-nominated documentary “White Helmets” have obtained U.S. visas and will now be able to attend the Academy Awards on Feb. 26.
      “They’ve been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — these people are the bravest humanitarians on the planet, and the idea that they could not be able to come with us and enjoy that success is just abhorrent.”

      So….are they acting…or do they know they are in cahoots with the CIA????

      1. fresno dan

        fresno dan
        February 21, 2017 at 10:13 am

        When I said I wouldn’t post on this again, I meant in reference to REPLYING to Jim Haygood… I am replying to myself, its all good…….OK, I lied.

        Moon of Alabama comment
        Me@4 Charles Manson to be let out of prison to attend the film and receive a Oscar for the film ‘helter skelter’. He may be nominated for a Nobel peace prize.

    5. fosforos

      “blowback?”?? Looks exactly like a *false flag* operation. But then, there are of course no false-flag operations. If there were, there would have to be a deep state to organize them with total impunity. And we know no such thing exists, don’t we?

  13. Terry Humphrey

    The most truthful thing Trump said this week was referring to Sen. Heidi as “sort of a Democrat”. A minimum goal for the Left should be the defeat of all Blue Dog Democrats.

  14. Jim Haygood

    Economic meltdown:

    In a new sign that Venezuela’s financial crisis is morphing dangerously into a humanitarian one, a new nationwide survey shows that in the past year nearly 75 percent of the population lost an average of 19 pounds for lack of food.

    Venezuelans suffer shortages of the most basic goods, from food to medicine, amid triple-digit inflation and a nearly 80 percent currency collapse in the last year. A whopping 93.3 percent told Encovi researchers that their income was not enough to cover their food needs.

    The lack of food has even earned a nickname: “The Maduro Diet.”

    Great thing about the Maduro diet is that you don’t need any willpower to follow it. It follows you. :-(

    1. Darius

      Try walking down a street in San Salvador and avoid getting kidnapped by a gang and tortured to death just for kicks.

      The fruits of US foreign policy. Venezuela is lucky to escape our tender embrace.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Venezuela is approaching the same levels of violence as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Public order is declining along with the food supply.

  15. a different chris

    Wow, the “A Very Bad, No Good..” story brought a horrifying picture to my mind: Hillary isn’t going to be the first woman president, Warren unlikely — the dark horse coming up on the outside is Sheryl Sandberg. Ugh.

    She has the type of money, elite and media backing that Zuckerberg has plus a gender credential and w/out the obvious yuck factor.

    Somebody shoot me.

    1. cm

      Ivanka Trump is already 35, so old enough according to the Constitution. Keep America Great!!!

      Remember, if you don’t support this woman there’s a special place in hell.

  16. fresno dan

    Journalist Glenn Greenwald exposes the hypocrisy of Democrats over government leaks TheBlaze (furzy)

    Greenwald said:

    If you look at the last eight years, there has been a very concerted war on not just sources and whistleblowers, but also journalists, implemented by not Donald Trump but by the Obama administration. More sources prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act than in all previous administrations combined. Journalists such as James Rosen at Fox News and Jim Risen at The New York Times and those of us who worked on the Snowden reporting constantly threatened with prosecution or having our phone records subpoenaed and the like. And Democratic officeholders in D.C. were virtually unanimous in the idea that people who leak information that’s classified are villains, they’re traitors, they oughta go to prison.

    Under Obama and Team blue the surveillance state expanded massively and put Bush to shame. Again, its not what the media reports – its the obstinate and obdurate refusal to never ever speak of this happening under Obama. And the incredible effectiveness of team blue in obliterating so much of the constitution (it takes a constitutional scholar to go to China?) As I’ve said, its ironic that to get people concerned about rights Trump had to be elected.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Partisanship should be added to DSM-5 as a mental disorder.

      Deprogramming is possible. NC can help.

      1. fresno dan

        Jim Haygood
        February 21, 2017 at 9:44 am

        “Everybody lies. But American politics has long rested on a shared understanding of what it is acceptable to lie about, how and to whom.

        One of the many norms that Donald J. Trump has assaulted since taking office is this tradition of aspirational hypocrisy, of striving, at least rhetorically, to act in accordance with moral values — to be better. This tradition has set the standard of behavior for government officials and has shaped Americans’ understanding of what their government and their country represent.”

        “….standard of behavior for government officials and has shaped Americans’ understanding of what their government and their country represent.” That is EXACTLY the problem.

        it is said “hypocrisy is a tribute vice pays to virtue” AS IF it is better to be hypocritical than truthful. But it is more truthful to acknowledge that at the state level it is the mechanism that allows universally understood evil to flourish. And that is why I continue to believe that Trump’s juvenile, idiotic, and ridiculous lies are far less dangerous than the deep state’s – – WHOOPS – – I mean “The Blob’s” lies. This is why a blob member in good standing writes an article that equates what the US does is enjoy an occasional drink, while telling others not to drink, a plausible piece of advice, instead of owning up to the fact that the US poisons the booze (something the US in fact did during prohibition) to advance its own agenda and sell bootleg booze so nobody else can.

        The whole reason the “Blind Sheik” debacle and related has happened and continues to happen is that “hypocrisy” AKA as well designed, justified, and planned lying, is so effective or tolerated.

    1. voxhumana

      wow… fascinating perspective…

      “Trump is loserdom embraced.”

      “Trump… is a way of owning and celebrating being taken advantage of.”

      “… the left should stop expecting Trump supporters to be upset when he doesn’t fulfill his promises.

      Support for Trump is an acknowledgement that the promise is empty.”

    2. Steve H.

      Really interesting piece.

      “As both Sanders and the philosopher Slavoj Zizek noted after Sanders lost the primaries, left and right are in some sense outdated ideas. The new division in politics is those who favor the current global hegemony and those who are against it. Like the Hollywood heroes, right and left have been competing to become this new radical anti-status quo party. “

    3. cocomaan

      This was great. It’s an actual forray into “Trump County” (in this case, younger trump supporters who have nothing but the internet as an outlet) in a way that the New Yorker could never pull off.

      Cut and paste job here, but:

      In the first presidential debate, Hillary evoked her conservative father as a way of appealing to the electorate, “My father was a small-businessman.” she said. “He worked really hard…”

      No one noted how wildly outdated Clinton’s picture of the average voter was (her father, a suburban business man in the 50s) because we are used to every politician holding up the same faded 65 year old snapshot anytime he or she regards the American electorate.

      But what does the American electorate look like if we put down the snapshot?…

      To younger generations who never had such jobs, who had only the mythology of such jobs this part of the narrative is clear. America, and perhaps existence itself is a cascade of empty promises and advertisements — that is to say, fantasy worlds, expectations that will never be realized “IRL”, but perhaps consumed briefly in small snatches of commodified pleasure.

      Thus these Trump supporters hold a different sort of ideology, not one of “when will my horse come in”, but a trolling self-effacing, “I know my horse will never come in”.

  17. Darius

    The carbon tax article is flawed in several ways. The authorship of Robert Samuelson is the biggest red flag. He’s the designated water carrier for the Republican side of the neoliberal establishment on the Washington Post editorial page, at least he was when I used to read it. He’s all about markets but in this case doubts the price mechanism of a carbon tax would work to reduce emissions. Is it the end he’s skeptical of? Doesn’t do enough to empower rich people?

    The comments are by the typical right wing dupes who don’t even address the argument but make the usual content-free comments about liberals and taxes. As if they’re not working on the same team.

    1. robnume

      Good for you, Darius, for noting that there are, in fact, two sides to the neolibcon coin. There is the Democrat side and the Republican side. Or, as I like to call ’em, Dumbocrats and Rethuglicans. I am a registered Dumbocrat, myself. But I vote issues and I research the CONgressional or state-house voting records before I cast a vote.
      I also never, ever read articles authored by Samuelson. I learned that lesson back in the ’90’s.

  18. Jim Haygood

    From the propublica article linked above:

    Dilawar is one of hundreds of Connecticut women arrested each year along with the men who assault them under a procedure known as “dual arrests.”

    Let’s rewrite this astonishing assertion and see how it sounds:

    Dilawar is one of hundreds of Connecticut whites arrested each year along with the blacks who assault them under a procedure known as “dual arrests.”

    See the problem? It is absolutely prejudicial to assume guilt based on race or gender. Yet we have a federal law called the Violence Against Women Act. And we have propublica rabbiting on:

    There remains a split among legislators and law enforcement officials about whether the law needs to be adjusted to limit harm to innocent women.

    No need to limit harm to innocent men. That’s an oxymoron. Whereas women are angels with the purest of motives.

      1. PhilM

        You didn’t read his comment very clearly. He already said quite clearly that he judged women to be angels with the purest of motives. Why would you think he would want them to be charged with crimes?

    1. Oregoncharles

      Yes, I noticed the subtext, too. The trouble is, statistically it’s true; women don’t usually resort to violence because it doesn’t usually pay off for them, especially vs. men. But that doesn’t mean women aren’t quite capable of violence; in fact, you regularly see them hit or push men they’re with. They’re riding on a presumption of harmlessness, just as the article does. It’s conditional: their action is symbolic. In reality, any healthy adult can do some harm if they really want to.

      The problem with the Connecticut policy is that it doesn’t effectively acknowledge self-defense. If indeed they have a “primary aggressor” model, once in a while that will turn out to be a woman, especially if both parties are women. But realistically, not usually.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        More specifically, anyone who has been/is dishibited about really hurting another person can do quite a lot of damage to another person fast. But inflicting injury to disable them has to be their prime objective, and they have to grok that they need to be the one to do it first. For instance, while the male (and sometimes female) habit of slugging someone in the face can break a nose or wreck an eye, it’s not an efficient way to hurt someone. Slamming your forearm with some body weight behind it into their larynx will produce a completely different result.

        A bludgeon is a great equalizer for a woman, BTW. Increases range and striking power.

    1. oho

      sorry. American ‘elite media’ is all Trump, all the time. Good luck if you’re anything else.

      to get more attention, change the name of your country to “chocolate sprinkles on toast land”

  19. Fred1

    I know my previous comment about Sally Albright is in moderation. But in the meantime, I checked out her LinkedIn profile. I acknowledge that people can change their minds and a person who simply wants to work can be indifferent o who they work for, but her work history seriously skews Republican.

    1. KurtisMayfield

      I see anyone supporting the DNC as fully supporting the Republican party. Look at the results of 30 years of DNC leadership and all you see is Republican successes. She is fulfilling her true political dreams beautifully.

    2. Bugs Bunny

      She’s acknowledged that on Twitter — the excuse being “it was great experience!” unquote.

      I can’t waste my time looking at her smug feed any longer, doc. Carrot juice and Cointreau here I come.

  20. Steve H.

    : Trump Names Army Strategist McMaster as National Security Adviser Wall Street Journal

    Robb: “FYI: Mattis, McMaster, and Kelly = best national security team the US has had since WW2.”

    I’ll also note that Tim Harford had a chapter on McMaster in his book ‘Adapt – Why Success Always Starts With Failure.’

    1. JamesG

      One of the television reports on the McMaster appointment said he received White House assurance that he will be able to name his staff.

      I bet Rex Tillerson wishes he had demanded the same condition before accepting the State position.

      The White House (some blame Bannion) scotched his proposed Deputy Secretary appointment of Elliott Abrams supposedly because Abrams had been anti-Trump in the primaries.

      (However I think both the Tillerson and McMaster appointments are excellent.)

      1. River

        Getting rid of Elliott Abrams was the right thing to do. Let him in, and you let the neo-conservatives back in. Better that they fester in their think tanks.

    2. susan the other

      I was stunned. McMaster is one of my heroes for his ‘Dereliction of Duty’. A very brave and blunt book.

  21. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Big pharma bets billions on ‘silent’ liver disease Financial Times

    I read this by opening a New incognito window and pasting the title in the address bar.

    Here are the money quotes:

    The disease progresses slowly and many sufferers will die of something else; given the lack of symptoms, people could be wary of taking a drug for life when they feel perfectly well.

    “I’m sceptical as to whether this is actually needed for most people,” says Ronny Gal, analyst at Bernstein. “You’re essentially trying to put into chronic treatment forever a broad population that will probably never develop the most serious form of the disease.”
    “If you take all the people with advanced Nash and ask how many people will end up becoming seriously ill in their lifetimes, the number could actually be very small,” he says.

    The disease referenced is non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or Nash, which can only be definitively diagnosed with a complex surgical liver biopsy, a procedure which has its own set of possible serious complications.

    So, in the continuing desperate search for a profitable customer base, the ever-resourceful pharmaceutical industry has set its sights on a population that doesn’t know it’s sick, has no symptoms and will probably die of something else before the “disease” manifests.

    Pretty damn brilliant strategy, if you ask me. Where do I sign up?

    1. fosforos

      In my introductory French class long ago, we read a little play by Jules Romains called “Knock.” It was about a mountebank whose motto was “Un homme bien portant, c’est un malade qui s’ignore” (a healthy man is a sick man who doesn’t know it).

      1. Ivy

        When I saw that article, my little finger started to tell me something. Then another finger sprang into action.

      1. robnume

        I can’t turn on the computer at all anymore without that damned ‘fatty liver disease’ advert following me everywhere I go. Big Pharma has got to go. We need to legislate their power over us out of existence. I know, I know; fat chance.

    2. PhilM

      Medical school. That’s where you sign up to be on the right side of this war on chronic illness. Because only there will you gain enough knowledge to defend yourself (from the treatments, I mean), or at least the license to profit from it, if that’s your bag.

      Have a look at diabetes mellitus glucometer and test-strip sales, then look at the actual health benefits of blood sugar monitoring in type 2 diabetes. If you think Nash is bad, you will probably have to roll the rock in front of your cave when you finish that research.

  22. Foppe

    More Brexit:

    His intervention comes after the Telegraph reported that the European Commission wants Britain to be paying into EU projects for four years after it has signed a Brexit deal, with final payments continuing up until the end of 2023.

    The plan is part of a European Union demand that Britain settles a €60bn “Brexit bill” before being granted a deal that will govern future trade relations.

    The suggestion that Britain should pay in installments up until 2023 was made at a meeting earlier this month between Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, and senior officials from the 27 remaining EU member states.

    Also interesting, and telling:

    The surprise sensation of the French campaign, Mr Macron, a 39-year old ex-Rothschild banker and President François Hollande’s former economy minister, is due to to turn his Gallic charm on around 3,000 members of Britain’s burgeoning French expatriate community on Monday night.

    But first he met Mrs May for an hour-long meeting at which his spokesman said they were due to discuss “everything to do with Brexit” and European defence policy.

    The independent candidate recently warned he would be “pretty tough” in Brexit negotiations if elected, and in January said that Britain was turning into a “vassal state” to Donald Trump’s United States.

    Mrs May’s spokesman said Mr Macron had asked for a meeting and “we were able to accommodate.”

    The Saker ran an article last week in which someone argued a. that Fillon’s destruction is political, rather than “anti-corruption” (given timing, positions on imperialism), and that Macron’s creation is too (lots of MSM coverage even though there’s nothing remarkable about him apart from looks and “freshness”). This emphasis on “surprise sensations” to me seems to confirm that.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Just the issue of the ‘Brexit Bill’ alone looks like an insurmountable political obstacle to deal with in 2 years. Politically, I can’t see May or any other British politician signing up to that, it would be political suicide. But the EU has absolutely no incentive to stand down from it if it is made a condition of a deal, once the idea is out there, many of the poorer members of the EU will insist on it as a condition of agreeing anything. I think this shows (as if we need to know this), that the EU is going to play hardball, there will be no easy agreement.

      Incidentally, I’ve noticed that the Irish press here seem to have reached a very fast consensus (probably prompted by the government) that a deal on an open border with Northern Ireland will be an impossibility. Implicitly, this means Ireland opting to join Schengen and going for even closer links with the EU. This is bad news for the UK, because Ireland is potentially a ‘lever’ for the UK in negotiations, or it would have been if May had been smart enough to persuade Ireland to act as a sort of go-between to smooth things over. I suspect the new Irish PM (the current one is almost certainly going to resign in March) will be more hardline and focused on Brexit.

      1. Mark P.

        PK wrote: ‘ …the ‘Brexit Bill’ alone looks like an insurmountable political obstacle to deal with in 2 years… I think this shows (as if we need to know this), that the EU is going to play hardball, there will be no easy agreement.’

        Quite. And if so, the British will look for ways to play hardball in return — that is, to strategically damage and threaten the EU — and because the EU has the dominant position within the financial frame that Yves always assumes this altercation will remain within, they’ll then start thinking about playing hardball in ways that lie outside that frame. Won’t they?

  23. freedomny

    S. Albright refers to herself on twitter as a “progressive activist” but worked for Gingrich. How exactly does that work?

    1. Anne

      Maybe it just means she’s “progressing” from one candidate to another…because if she can flit from one side of the political spectrum to the other, I’d have to question the sincerity and depth of whatever she asserts are her particular beliefs.

      1. Grebo

        She may have switched teams, but that requires only an infinitesimal flit along the spectrum and no change at all in her beliefs.

  24. LT

    Re: Brexit
    The EU is going to make sure that the bill they hand to them includes coverage for the pensions for EU officis that served the last 45 years of the UK’s membership in the EU.
    Notice how they protect their pensions while public sector pensions for individual (former nation-states) countries like Greece are hit with austerity.

  25. Knot Galt

    Related to the Deep State Discussion yesterday, I found The “Blind Sheik” And The CIA – Media Again Bury U.S. Support For Radical Islamism Moon of Alabama to fit the definition of “Deep State Operation”. (?)

    “There never is an acknowledged history of U.S. misdeeds that may have led to this or that current blowback. When there is one it immediately gets buried, pushed out of sight, never to be talked about. The same applies to partisan policies within the U.S.”

    So maybe un-chronicled government procedures and policies create a deep state-like appearance? When these actions become institutionalized processes they inherently become a power hidden in the bureaucracy. Therefore, in some cases, the Deep State is not a conscious outcome but is more an unintended consequence? Like the radiation leaks from a black hole? If I were to make a leap of faith, then wouldn’t a healthy system of checks and balances be all that is needed to shed light on, and neuter, the “Deep State”?

  26. JohnnyGL

    Re: Jacobin article on the really bad idea of the “Innovation Party”. I got into the first paragraph and started laughing.

    1) Those are policies of the Obama/Clinton Dems. More warz, no bennies!!!
    2) No one wants those policies except Big Money
    3) A more accurate name would be the Imperialism Party.
    4) It’d be great if all the elite Dems left to go join the “innovation”. Then the Sandernistas would have a home, uncontested.

    1. susan the other

      It was a glassy-eyed read – but good. Mostly review. I always thought it was Marx who said that socialism failed in the US because of the shoals of roast beef – but whoever. I liked it and it is stuff we have all read many times over, mostly as blablablah except for the most poignant tragedies of which there are many and indelible. The thing that occurred to me this time was that nobody can tell a nation of wild and free thinkers what to do. That’s us. But that’s also the good news because Capital can’t pontificate either. It can only pose.

  27. Ranger Rick

    Had a good chuckle over the title of “the rise and fall of the Socialist Party.”

    The Jungle was the most powerful socialist manifesto published in the US and instead is remembered for having created the FDA. Nobody takes the left seriously, and this crisis of legitimacy persists to this day.

  28. HotFlash

    Berniecrats, sincerely asking in the spirit of unity: What do we need to do for you to feel welcome & to fully support DNC going forward?

    Well, see there, she said “going forward”. ‘Progress’ is Latin for ‘going forward’, and she is acting, in one or more senses of the word, so there you have it and QED.

    Edit: Dang, this is supposed to be a reply to freedomny at 11:51 am

  29. barrisj

    Re: ‘deep state”: my sense of this term has been more akin to C Wright Mills’ “Power Elite”, or to what in the last few decades has been called “the National Security State”, whose origin is generally accepted as the publication of the infamous “NSC-68”, the document that launched the Cold War, beginning in 1950 and adhered to until the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc in 190-92. Both the Democratic and Republican Parties and their respective influential supporters in and out of government swore allegiance to the state of mind created by NSC-68, which – inter alia codified the pernicious “American Exceptionalism” doctrine as foreign policy for so many decades after WWII. “American Exceptionalism” as a late 19th- and early 20th-century contrivance for hemispherical domination “leadership” pales in comparison to the superpower/global reach Leviathan which emerged during the Cold War, and continues today, aided and abetted by a powerful group of state and non-state actors who have shared a common history and entwined self-interests that have rigourously imposed a consensus mindset on successive presidential administrations. The Soviet Union may have disappeared, but “full-spectrum dominance” hasn’t, as other contenders have surfaced as “threats”, or “competitors”, or “rivals”, or even as “enemies”; and this of course “requires” massive military budgets, billigerent foreign policies, including alliances with “pro-American” dictatorships or autocrats. and an overly-broad definition of US “national security interests” which virtually precludes other regional powers from asserting their own power projections. Nothing “deep” about this state, it’s been right out there for over 65 years, a “state” of mind embraced by the usual suspects so that only since Trump took office and this mindset questioned and a different doctrine espoused – “American First”, sort of a Lindberghian isolationism and a deglobalised autarchy – has the pushback intensified and the players and their institutions now fashionably labeled “deep state”. It is what it is and Trump and his lot cannot change this consensus.

  30. PKMKII

    Re: Teachout’s failed bid at the NY 19th congressional seat. I saw a lot of ads for her campaign on TV. Slick pieces, her on a boat in the Hudson, talking about help the every day folks in the communities along it. Good stuff. One little problem though: I don’t live in the 19th district. I don’t live anywhere close to the 19th district. If they were blowing money for ads reaching out to people who can’t even vote for her, that shows an operation that wasn’t properly directing its resources.

    1. Pat

      I am not in the 19th District either and saw the same ads…on the NYC local broadcast channels. I’m pretty certain that those would be the channels that would be the closest channels to the southern section of 19. And those are the local stations cable networks must carry for at least some of the southern part of that district. Unfortunately, 19 covers at least three local station areas, so they probably also had to run ads on the local stations from Albany and from Utica.

      1. PKMKII

        But was that worth it? NYC area ads are expensive, and it’s got to be a small sliver of the 19th that can pick up NYC stations. I’m sure they could have found better uses for the money.

  31. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thanks for the informative link to the article: “In Pakistan, tolerant Islamic voices are being silenced”. Tragic and worrisome developments in a nation with nuclear weapons that is engaged in seemingly perpetual disputes and occasional military conflict with its neighbor, India, which also has nuclear weapons and related delivery systems together with its own strains of nationalistic religious fundamentalism.

    Hard to see where the initiative to address the religious schisms will come from internally, or whether sufficient political will to do so exists. Seems the US government could play a prospective role in trying to get the Saudis to roll back funding for religious interests mentioned in the article. But I question to what extent Saudi antipathy to the nation on Pakistan’s western border limits the possibility of success of such a diplomatic endeavor. Hopefully, wiser and more tolerant heads in the region will ultimately prevail. The trend described is not good.

    1. pictboy3

      Part of the problem is that, even without the Saudis, the Pakistanis have every reason to encourage radical islam because they use jihadist proxies in Kashmir to keep the Indians occupied. Even before the Saudis really started funding madrassas in the country, the ISI was training islamist proxy fighters in Afghanistan and elsewhere and moving them back and forth between there and Kashmir.

  32. Oregoncharles

    From: – ““We have to avoid that the British example will be followed by other member states,” he said. “That’s been the position of the German government.””

    Did Schauble really mean to say that? It actually implies that HE THINKS the EU and Eurozone are a bad deal for a number of other countries. He’s admitting, in public, that the EU is really the German Empire and he doesn’t want anyone to escape. Furthermore, he is facing an election this year; it’s perfectly possible he will NOT be carrying out the negotiations; and since France and the Netherlands, both utterly critical to the Eurozone, are also facing elections, he doesn’t know that the EU will even exist by the time those negotiations get under way.

    There is a further consideration in looking at present declarations, on both sides: this is the maneuvering phase for the negotiations, and everything either side says is a negotiating position. Despite denials, the negotiations began right away, a lot of them in the public press. This comment from Schauble actually betrays weakness. He knows he’s on shaky ground.

  33. troutcor

    Holder running an “investigation’ of “wrongdoing?”
    Awesome sauce.
    What do you suppose the “settlement” will be for sexual “missteps?”
    Hilarious to watch liberals cry about foxes guarding the henhouse under Trump when Holder was unable to see any crimes in the lead-up to 2008 (the largest financial crime wave in world history).

  34. Brad

    “A Very Bad, No Good, Terrible Idea Jacobin (martha r)”

    Actually I think it is a great idea to crowd all the elitist technocrats in their own party where they can be clearly identified. They are a key vertebrae in the backbone of the Clinton-Obama Democrat party. Their removal would further weaken the ‘smoking pile of rubble”. They can be asked where all the good jobs are going to come from after they automate all us annoying humans out of existence.

    Maybe they can be got to answer that automation means we don’t need jobs – wage labor – anymore. Bingo!

  35. ewmayer

    Re. Uber/Holder: The version from my Reuters newsfeed was titled “Uber hires ex-U.S. Attorney General Holder to probe sexual harassment”. Article title was clearly truncated – should continue “…in hopes he will apply same zeal in pursuit of allegations as he did to Wall Street banks.”

  36. Oregoncharles

    From the Jacobin article: ” he has sought to appoint outsiders to bureaucratic leadership positions, in part to prevent them from identifying with their appointed agencies, and in part to weaken the agencies traditionally favored by Democrats and progressives.” Very careful framing, by which I mean deceptive. If any new president hopes to change policy, as Trump appears to, he HAS to appoint outsiders who don’t have a stake in the previous policy. That’s Management 101. EG, O bama gave himself away by leaving legions of Bush appointees in place – and progressives complained about it, early on.

  37. Daryl

    > How to create an Islamic government – not an Islamic state Middle East Eye

    This is terrifying. Pre-colonial Islamic governments were absolutely theocracies. Some of them were even the colonizers: guess how much fun it was to be a Hindu in the Mughal Empire, or an Albanian Christian under the Ottomans.

  38. integer

    I found this story fascinating and thought it was worth sharing:

    Mordechai Vanunu – Israeli nuclear program whistleblower

    Mordechai Vanunu (Hebrew: מרדכי ואנונו‎‎; born 14 October 1954), also known as John Crossman,[2][3] is an Israeli former nuclear technician and peace activist[4] who, citing his opposition to weapons of mass destruction, revealed details of Israel’s nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986.[5][6] He was subsequently lured to Italy by a Mossad agent, where he was drugged and abducted by Israeli intelligence agents.[5] He was transported to Israel and ultimately convicted in a trial that was held behind closed doors.[5]

    Whether or not this is let out of moderation, I urge Yves and Lambert to read all of this Wikipedia entry. Please. Btw I think I am going to take some time out from commenting here and just go back to reading, at least for a month or two.

    Thanks for doing what you do.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I just wanted to say you provided a link to a site that we can’t let through because the site is problematic and we can’t endorse it. But thanks for wanting to help.

      1. integer

        That’s fine and I understand this site has high standards, which is one of the reasons I like it. Here is a link to the original paper fwiw. In any case, I’m going to spend a month or two studying tensors. I’ll still be reading here, but tbh I feel like I’ve lost my commenting mojo lately. This site really is addictive though! Catch you in a month or two.

  39. Portia

    Ms. Allbright, you lost me at “Berniecrats”. That alone tells me you are totally not serious about what the Dems have been doing to grassroots progressives for a looong long time, the boot under the departing campaign bus after the heartfelt bonding.Ms. Allbright, go detox yourself.

    No Twitter account, not going to get one.

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