Sunday, February 14, 2016

I think you move me

PBS NewsHour Democratic Debate , Milwaukee.
* Vox says, "Hillary Clinton finally found her argument against Bernie Sanders" when she closed by saying she was not a single-issue candidate. Actually, she is - her entire message is that she is the proper custodian of the status quo.

Bernie Sanders speech at the Forum on Race and Economic Opportunity.

To no one's surprise, Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire by a significant margin - 22 points (60.4% Sanders, 38.0% Clinton). Oh, yeah, and Trump won, too, with 35.3% and Kasich suddenly pulling into the spotlight with 15.8% in second place.
* "Bernie Sanders Wins Every Demographic Group" in New Hampshire primary. Well, not every - the people with lots of money really liked Hillary better.
* "Bernie Sanders won 2,095 votes in the New Hampshire Republican primary." Hillary Clinton won 540. In the Democratic primary, 1,795 write-in votes went to Trump.

"Ron Paul says Ted Cruz is no libertarian and Bernie Sanders is the most free-market."

Marcy Wheeler: "Biased Pluralism and the Defense of 'Reality' in the Democratic Primary: Last week, I pointed to a problem with Jonathan Chait's defense of Hillary Clinton's 'pluralistic' approach to governance, noting that in an era of weak labor organization, such an approach leaves out the views of the great majority of working people, precisely the kinds of people Bernie Sanders is attracting." But the rich and powerful are the ones who really have the muscle and get what they want.
* "Hillary Clinton Says Obama Took On Wall Street. The Facts Don't Back Her Up. [...] But Clinton's claim about Obama 'taking on Wall Street' isn't borne out by the numbers, which indicate prosecutions of financial and other professionalized crimes in the United States are at their lowest level in 20 years."
* "Hillary Clinton's Pay-for-Play Reality" - You know, Clinton talks a lot about Dodd-Frank, but it seems to have no teeth when it comes to constraining the big banks, yet it does constrain community banks. Think about that.
* "New Emails Show Press Literally Taking Orders From Hillary"
* "Why Hillary Clinton Doesn't Deserve the Black Vote"
* "Hillary Clinton's DLC Problem"
* Corey Robin asks, "Is Hillary Clinton Running the Most Cynical Campaign in Recent History?" I dunno, it's kinda hard to beat Obama on cynicism. But this is the DLC for you.

"The Democratic National Committee, headed by the massively unpopular Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has just lifted the last restrictions preventing the DNC from receiving direct contributions from Wall Street and special interest lobbyists."

* "Jay Carney: Obama wants Clinton to win."

Erica Garner's powerful video explaining why she supports Bernie Sanders. On Facebook, she wrote: "Last week we made a commercial to express to the world exactly why I am endorsing Bernie Sanders for President. The Sanders team allowed me and my team full creative control of this video so this message is 100% my message and my views! They had a totally different idea of what should be done, but true to form with Senator Sanders, he listened to me, didn't tell me he knew better and I was not practical and this is what we produced. The Senator didn't reach out to me all of a sudden because he needs help with Black people. He didn't put out a press conference announcing that we would be working together. He didn't force me to frame my support of him around a subject matter that special interest groups that support him can get behind. They said we are glad to have your support, how do you want to plug in. You will see a lot of Black leaders handing out endorsements, think to yourself, have they historically been a rubber stamp for the establishment? I hope this expresses why I think Bernie is our guy!"
* "Bernie Sanders' campaign just released a video that will give you goosebumps."
* The Bernie Sanders era is upon us: Why Iowa was a watershed moment for American politics

"Why Bernie Sanders Is Not George McGovern" - It shouldn't be necessary to say this, but Nixon was the incumbent, which makes a huge difference. And staying the course probably seemed a great idea to a middle-class (the real kind - working people!) that was rich by any historical standard, before or since. This is a very different time.
* "What Do You Mean ‘Sanders Might Be Another George McGovern’?" This story leaves out the back-stabbing inside the Democratic Party, but yeah. Oh, and Nixon was red-baiting long before 1972.

"Hillary Clinton Endorsed By Congressional Black Caucus's Corporate-Backed Political Arm: The political action committee of the Congressional Black Caucus announced its endorsement of Hillary Clinton on Thursday, giving the former secretary of state a potential boost in her bid to win over the African-American electorate in South Carolina and other coming primary states. The endorsement, however, quickly became a flashpoint, as one prominent congressman alleged that the group's leadership did not consult fellow caucus members about the decision. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who has endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, noted that the Congressional Black Caucus itself has not issued a presidential endorsement, and asserted that the CBC's separate PAC 'endorsed without input from CBC membership, including me.' As documented by the Intercept and the Street, Clinton has secured wide backing from Washington-based political groups who do not permit their rank-and-file membership to vote on presidential endorsements, while Sanders has secured the backing of groups that do allow members to vote." But Barbara Lee refrains from endorsing.

"Regulating Banks vs. Displacing Them: Where Clinton and Sanders Disagree on Wall Street [...] They believe in different roles for the financial sector in the economy. And, yes, campaign finance factors in heavily, as Sanders wants to radically change the financial institutions at the core of our financial sector, while Clinton, still surrounded by the same status quo corporate and investment banking advisers, wants to largely leave them be and regulate them more stringently."
* "Hillary Clinton's Attitude Toward Wall Street Is Subjective [...] But I remain skeptical. I tend to subtract Mrs. Clinton's more recent left-leaning policy proposals. Consider her first major tax proposal of the campaign, on capital gains. Rather than suggest that we abolish the capital gains preference, she proposed a gradual step-down in rates depending on the length of time an investor holds assets, with the lowest rate of 20 percent available after five years. I find this approach troubling because it would do little to address top-end income inequality, which is exacerbated by the lower rate of tax on long-term capital gains, much of which is generated by the sale of assets with long holding periods."

Ta-Nahesi Coates is still unable to go along with Sanders on reparations, but nevertheless, it seems, he is feeling the Bern.
* "Hillary Is ‘Confused About Feminism,' Bernie Supporters Say."
* "The Tragedy of Hillary Clinton (and Her Generation) [...] The Clintons are insiders now, their personal wealth of over $50 million derived nearly entirely from the wealthy and powerful. And it shows. Hillary's gradualism in health care carefully protects health-related industries. Her proposals for financial regulation do not include putting executives in jail, or confiscating the wealth they obtained by theft. Ironically, Bernie Sanders apparently feels that he must tread carefully here, because being fully direct about this issue would require criticizing President Obama. So Mrs. Clinton might just get away with pretending to be the reformer she once was."

Lambert on Corruption: "Clinton on releasing transcripts of her Goldman speeches: 'Let everybody who's ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them. We'll all release them at the same time' [Raw Story]. First, 'everybody' isn't running for President; Clinton is. Second, Clinton basically proves Sanders' point: The political class, with rare exceptions, is deeply corrupt; hence the omerta Clinton is implicitly invoking and depending on. If they won't release them, it's for the same reason Clinton won't. Contemporaneous paraphrase of Clinton's remarks: 'We all got into this mess together, and we're all going to have to work together to get out of it.' No, we didn't. And no, we haven't. Somebody should ask Clinton if she's seen The Big Short and, if so, whether she agrees with Sanders that the Wall Street business model is based on fraud (yes, he went there)."

"Henry Kissinger's War Crimes Are Central to the Divide Between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders: The sparring during Thursday's Democratic presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders over whether Henry Kissinger is an elder statesman or a pariah has laid bare a major foreign policy divide within the Democratic Party."
* "A Key Divide Between Clinton and Sanders Supporters: Income"

Here's a good idea: Use the debates to talk about making it easier for everyone to vote.

"Rep. Mary Lou Marzian files bill requiring extra doctor visit before prescribing erectile dysfunction drugs: Prompted by the passage of an 'informed consent' abortion law in Kentucky, Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, filed a bill this week that would require a patient to have two office visits with a doctor before erectile dysfunction medication could be prescribed. In addition, the bill would allow the drug to be obtained only by married men who swear on a Bible that they'll use the drug exclusively when having sexual relations with their spouse."

"If TPP is Progressive, Why Must White House Rely on 'Republican Friendly Organizations' to Sell It?"

"Leaked police files contain guarantees disciplinary records will be kept secret."

"FBI Joins Flint Water Probe - Investigation Now A Criminal Matter."

"Why a bunch of Silicon Valley investors are suddenly interested in universal basic income"

Bill Black thought The Big Short was a fun film, even though it glorifies bankers and ignores unsung whistleblowers.

Tom Tomorrow: "Will Bernie Sanders Redistribute Your Wealth? And other pressing questions from this primary season|

"Apple under pressure as lawyers pledge action over 'Error 53' codes"

"Democrats Override Governor's Veto - Restore Voting Rights To Maryland's Released Felons." This is great news, make no mistake. (But I'd like to take this opportunity to kvetch that this is how bad the Democrats are that they keep letting Republicans back into the governor's mansion in Maryland, for godssakes.)

"ACTION ALERT: Stop Mega-Cable Merger to Avoid a Second Comcast: Americans are divided in many ways, but there are some points of convergence - one of which seems to be hatred of the cable company Comcast. Notoriously terrible customer service, a pricing system described as 'absurd' and a stranglehold on internet speeds garner the cable behemoth a remarkable amount of dislike and distrust, which played a role in the quashing of its recent effort to merge with perennial runner-up for worst company in America, Time Warner Cable. You'd think it would be bigger news, therefore, that Americans who hate Comcast largely for reasons related to its very bigness are now facing the possibility of, essentially, another Comcast. The harms from a possible merger between Time Warner, Charter Communications and Bright House Networks were detailed in a piece for (2/4/16) by Michael Copps."

"This is how America rations health care" - Apparently, the guy in this story is not close enough to being terminal - yet - to be in the "medically necessary" category, so no cure.

"The Top 10 Most Inhuman Henry Kissinger Quotes" - I seem to remember him saying worse things, actually...
* "Henry Kissinger's genocidal legacy: Vietnam, Cambodia and the birth of American militarism"

Dean Baker writing in 2012: "Inequality: The silly tales economists like to tell [...] But economists are not rewarded for studying the economy. That is why almost everyone in the profession missed the $8 trillion housing bubble, the collapse of which stands to cost the country more than $7 trillion in lost output according to the Congressional Budget Office (that comes to around $60,000 per household). Few if any economists lost their 6-figure paychecks for this disastrous mistake. But most economists are not paid for knowing about the economy. They are paid for telling stories that justify giving more money to rich people. Hence we can look forward to many more people telling us that all the money going to the rich was just the natural workings of the economy. When it comes to all the government rules and regulations that shifted income upward, they just don't know what you're talking about."

Ask Matt Bevin about your vagina.

"Paul McCartney to regain rights to Beatles songs currently owned by Michael Jackson" - if he lives that long. "According to the US Copyright Act of 1976, songwriters are able to regain control of publishing rights on pre-1978 compositions after 56 years … which means that the former Beatle will be able to regain control over Beatles compositions from 1962 in 2018 and songs from 1970 in 2026. McCartney only has to wait until he is 76, just a mere nine years from now, and he'll be making even more money."

* "U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia found dead at West Texas ranch." I like the way the headline uses "found dead", as if it might be a murder. OK, yes, I'm not going to pretend I'm sorry this monster is no longer on the Supreme Court. But I'm worried about Obama appointing another damned neoliberal.
* Robin Chandler Duke, Philanthropist Who Championed Women's Rights, Dies at 92. "She was the national co-chairwoman of the Population Crisis Committee/Draper Fund, which financed International Planned Parenthood; the president and, later, the chairwoman of the National Abortion Rights Action League; the president of its successor, Naral Pro-Choice America; a founder of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities; and the chairwoman of Population Action International."

Petition to make the Ackermansion an historic site: "The Ackermansion now faces the threat of demolition. A petition to the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission asks to have it designated an historic monument."

Lego Architecture Skyline Collection
* Prefab Hobbit houses
* "Murals from Silhouetted Figures
* Intricately Detailed Papercut Designs by RIU
* Quilled Paper Art by Sena Runa
* Photorealistic Paintings by Hirothropologie
* Landscapes by Gürel Sahin
* Landscapes by Ilja Masík

The Beatles, "Love Me Do"

The Troggs, "Wild Thing"


  1. Re the iPhone Error 53 story, this blog post by former Guardian technology editor Charles Arthur is a good explanation of what's actually going on:

  2. Nice valentine, thanks. Guess I don't get why anyone would go to the NH primaries, register that they're a dem, then vote for tRump.

    1. Primary voters don't register with their party affiliation or declare themselves unaffiliated the day of the primary- they've done that previously .

      According to Wikipedia, "[The New Hampshire primary] is not a closed primary, in which votes can be cast in a party primary only by people registered with that party, in that state. Undeclared voters—those not registered with any party—can vote in either party primary. However, it does not meet a common definition of an open primary, because people registered as Republican or Democratic on voting day cannot cast ballots in the primary of the other party."

      Without an economic meltdown between now and November I think Ian Welsh may be overstating things a bit but here's what he says. [LINK]

  3. Yikes and double yikes. This just goes to show you that sometimes on a fast break even someone on our team will pull-up for a medium range jumper and totally brick it:

    [QUOTE from Virtually Speaking 02/15/2016 LINK]
    [10:53] Dave Johnson: Here you go Jay. Scalia was nominated to replace Thurgood Marshall, O.K. For listeners who don't know, Thurgood Marshall was a civil rights attorney who Lyndon Johnson nominated and got confirmed to the Supreme Court. O.K., a civil rights attorney, a remarkable man and the Democrats voted...

    Jay Ackroyd: And a fine judge, a fine judge...

    Dave J.: Yes, yes. And the Democrats voted...

    Jay A.: Different justices are good and bad but Marshall was one of the leaders.

    Dave A.: Democrats in the Senate then replaced him and voted for Scalia...

    Jay A.: Ninety-seven [to] zero if I remember correctly.

    Dave J.: Yeah, ninety-seven to zero, who recently said black people don't belong in elite schools, o.k. and a lot of other things he has said...

    In 1986 Chief Justice Warren Burger retired from the Supreme Court. President Reagan chose to nominate the most conservative then sitting justice, William Rehnquist, to fill Burger's seat and Antonin Scalia to fill the seat on the Court Rehnquist was vacating. The confirmations proceeded in tandem through the Senate confirmation proceedings, ultimately with Rehnquist being confirmed by a vote of 65 to 33 and Scalia by a vote of 98 to 0. At the time Republicans controlled the Senate, holding 54 of its seats.

    Here's an interesting passage from a 1986 almanac, "The 33 votes against Rehnquist were the largest number ever cast by the Senate against a Supreme Court nominee who won confirmation. In 1971, when he won confirmation as an associate justice on a 68-26 vote, Rehnquist tied for the second-highest number of “nay” votes received by a 20th-century Supreme Court nominee who won confirmation." [LINK]

    That's when this tale becomes, for reasons I won't go into, outright infuriating. Thurgood Marshall resigned his seat on the Supreme Court in 1991. President George H. W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to replace him. Democrats controlled the Senate at the time, holding 56 of the seats. Thomas ended up being confirmed by a vote of 52-48.

    1. The Democratic Party uses the fear of reactionary appointments to the Supreme Court to keep voters in line. It's worn out with me, since I've noted how many Democrats vote to confirm these appointments. Hey, if it's a real danger, get the people whom you support for election to do their bit or cut them off from party aid.

      They also carry water for the idea that the Senate's duty of advice and consent means simply rubber stamping the president's appointment. No, it doesn't.

    2. Sigh.

      Many women's groups, opposed to Judge Thomas from the start, largely because of their belief that his presence on the Supreme Court would further imperil Court precedent legalizing abortion, were enraged that he had been confirmed despite sexual-harassment accusations against him. Much of their anger today was directed at the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Senator Charles S. Robb of Virginia, who voted for confirmation.

      The head of the company that canceled the fund-raising contract with the committee today also fired off an angry letter to Mr. Robb.

      "Women constitute a substantial portion of the donors to the D.S.C.C.," wrote Roger M. Craver, president of Craver, Mathews, Smith & Company, which also handles direct mail for leading women's groups and liberal causes. "For years, they have been reaching deep into their pockets to help protect the Democratic majority in the Senate because they truly believed only a Democratic Senate could protect them from an increasingly conservative judiciary and an outwardly hostile executive branch. That faith was shattered by the way the Democratically controlled Senate handled the entire Thomas nomination."

  4. I was just looking over that Paul McCartney item, and it suddenly struck me that in 2026, 9 years from now, I'll be 75. McCartney could hardly be only a year older than I am. So I looked it up, and he was born in 1942; in 2016 he'll be 84, not 76. Just a detail.

    1. McCartney will be able to reclaim the copyright for his 1962 music in 2018 when he will be 76. The article linked to was published in 2013 so its mistake was to suggest that 2018 would come nine years after that, not five.

  5. Here's some fairly easy to understand wonkery if you're willing to take a few moments while reading through it to ponder on any of the parts of the technical discussion that bring up concepts that are a bit new to you. [LINK].

  6. I finally found a Hillary fan who does a pretty good job of cheerfully whistling past the graveyard, and never the same tune twice. Vote: [LINK] or [LINK] or [LINK]

    (❤s go here. [LINK]

    1. Of course, outside of the Republican fish tank neither the Donald nor Marco could ever prevail because, as we know, during the 2012 presidential election exit polls indicated voters then were 72% non-Hispanic white, 13% black, 10% Hispanic, and 3% Asian. [LINK] And in 2016 the demographics which favor truth and justice have only improved.

      Yet, once upon a time in a land which was 47% non-Hispanic white, 32% Hispanic, 11% Asian or Pacific Islander, 6% non-Hispanic black, and 1% Native American [LINK] two guys who would have gotten Virtually Speaking designations as clowns, one a celebrity version and the other a standard issue right-wing whacko, got a combined total of 62% of the statewide vote. In Round 1 the Democrat had polled 44% against no opposition, in Round 2 the Democrats' Mulligan ended up with 32% of the total vote. [LINK] [LINK]

      But not to worry, everything worked out two elections later.