Tuesday, March 1, 2016

This could be the last time

"Hillary Clinton Wins Big In South Carolina Primary [...] But the South Carolina black community's longstanding support for the Clinton family ultimately prevailed. The win is also a significant comeback for Clinton, who lost to President Obama in South Carolina in 2008 by 28 points. According to ABC News' exit polls, 70 percent of voters this year said the next president should continue Obama's policies rather than change to more or less liberal policies." Clinton 73.5%, Sanders 26% (39 delegates to 14).
* "With All Eyes On Trump, Clinton Is Winning The Democratic Nomination: In South Carolina today, Hillary Clinton scored her biggest victory yet in the Democratic presidential primary. She beat Bernie Sanders by what looks to be at least 30 percentage points, according to exit polls, thanks to overwhelming support from African-Americans. As the race heads into Super Tuesday, Clinton has clear momentum: She has big leads in many of the 12 contests that will take place, according to the polls. According to the South Carolina exit poll, Sanders lost black voters 16 percent to 84 percent. That doomed him in a contest in which 62 percent of voters were black. If white voters were more supportive of his candidacy, Sanders might have been able to keep the race closer. But they split 58 percent for Sanders to 42 percent for Clinton. That's simply not good enough to overcome Clinton's advantage among black voters."

But Nate Silver doesn't think the media narrative is the last word: "Bernie Sanders Doesn't Need Momentum - He Needs To Win These States: The media narrative of the Democratic presidential race is that Bernie Sanders has lost momentum to Hillary Clinton. After nearly beating Clinton in Iowa and then crushing her in New Hampshire, Sanders had a setback on Saturday, the story goes, losing Nevada to Clinton by 5 percentage points. And this weekend, Sanders is about to lose South Carolina and lose it badly. All of this is true insofar as it goes. But it doesn't do nearly enough to account for the demographic differences between the states. Considering the state's demographics, Sanders's 5-point loss in Nevada was probably more impressive than his photo-finish in Iowa. It was possibly even a more impressive result than his 22-point romp in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, a big loss in South Carolina would be relatively easy to forgive. That doesn't mean Sanders is in great shape, however. Based on the polling so far, Sanders is coming up short of where he needs to be in most Super Tuesday (March 1) states, along with major industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania where he'll need to run neck and neck with Clinton later on."
* And Glen Ford doesn't see much room for movement where it seems to count the most: "The Bogus Power of the Black Vote Within the Confines of the Democratic Party [...] But Bernie Sanders, whose domestic politics is a much closer fit with the historical and current Black world view, is not losing to Hillary because of his positions on the issues, or because Blacks trust in Clinton's honesty and integrity (huge numbers don't, in every demographic). It is also no longer the case that most Blacks are unfamiliar with Sanders' platform. African Americans are, by some measures, more tuned in to the 'news' than whites (although Blacks trust the media less). But they tune Sanders out, because their main purpose for voting in national elections is to keep the White Man's Party, the Republicans, out of the White House, and believe Clinton has a better shot. Almost everything else is bullshit."

Writing the epitaph of the Sanders campaign may not be a wise move for the Dems if they want some kind of a future - and there are still plenty of delegates to pick up in California, too.

"The Exposure of the Vast Left-wing Establishment [...] Let's be clear, I am not saying as a black man originally from the South that I did not understand long ago that American society was definitely tilted in favor of whites, men, straights, the wealthy, the attractive and Christians for example. The reality of the privilege inherent to those groups has always been obvious. But I guess this year, as I have watched the way the entire system has piled on I have come to realize in a much deeper way that those in power, even those with a little bit of power, will do everything they can to maintain the system. Of course we all know this was and is the reality when we are talking about the 1 percent who own and control mostly everything there is in our society. And we always knew the political ruling class would do what they could to stay on the side of power, including conspiring with the 1 percent when necessary, by taking their money and doing their bidding in order to curry favor. So there were no surprises there. But what jolted me the most from my previous misunderstanding about how powerful the whole system is and how wide it stretched was in not fully accepting the fact that even those on the Left could be part of that rigged system. Of course seeing it now it is obvious. Those in power, even when the power is on a side I support, will support actions that maintain power. The idea of an "establishment" in the women's movement, in the black and Hispanic communities, in the "liberal media," in the Left in general, is not one we typically think of. But that establishment is very real. And has it ever raised its ugly head during this primary season.

"The Establishment vs. Bernie Sanders: "Say what you will about this strange election season, but at least it's been a lesson in clarity. The citizenry are at last getting an unobstructed view of the ugly, powerful forces destroying their republic. And if the view isn't pretty, at least we now know where we stand. Which, though, is more instructively shocking--the fact that the Republican front-runner is Donald Trump, or the fact that the liberal political establishment--and yes, Virginia, there is an establishment, big time--is doing everything it can to throw the Democratic Party's most exciting reform candidate in years under Hillary Clinton's campaign bus? [...] Thus it came to pass that Sanders, whose voting record in the Senate on behalf of civil rights, gay rights, and women's rights has been flawless--for years he has received an approval rating of 95-100 percent from the National Organization of Women, the NAACP, and the Human Rights Campaign--was "exposed" as a sexist and maybe even crypto-racist. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, former supporter of her husband Bill's racist demolition of the social welfare safety net for millions of working class and poor families in the 1990s, was being lionized as a leader in civil rights. Not for nothing has the Democratic Party spent decades cultivating a national patronage system, treating black and Latino Americans chiefly as a demographic bulwark against Republican encroachment. Now the chits are being dialed in. The very ferocity and coordinated nature of the attacks on Sanders makes clear that the Democratic establishment views Sanders not merely as an annoyance, but as an existential threat. And he may be, at that." The details really are sickening.

How Harry Reid won Nevada for Hillary. He was supposed to be neutral, but he still knows where to pull the strings.
* "The Race to Lose the White House" - Just how many times can Democrats get into office and fight for the other side before it's Game Over?

The Bernie Sanders action figure

The Oscars happened. The Big Short won Best Adapted Screenplay and when Adam McKay picked up his award, he said, "if you don't want big money to control government, don't vote for candidates who take money from big banks, oil, or weirdo billionaires - stop."

Marcy Wheeler says, "Hillary Clinton's foreign policy is pure fantasy: Clinton talks of possibly decades-long occupations and orderly regime changes, yet somehow Sanders is the fantasist: Meanwhile, while Bernie Sanders may be recommending the U.S. adopt domestic policies that match those of our Canadian and European counterparts, thus far he has mentioned nothing about 60-year military deployments. Moreover, unlike Sanders, Clinton has not even called for taxes to pay for what would be a costly endeavor - unless her reference in this exchange to Libya's oil means she hopes to be more successful billing Libya for defense than the U.S. has been with Iraq. Such is the nature of our politics that Sanders can be attacked as a fantasist for daring to aspire to live as well as Europeans, while 60-year military deployments get treated as magic ponies that cost nothing. Perhaps it is considered bad economics to make this suggestion. But it seems like a smart way to pay for universal health care for all Americans is to stop getting into 60-year military deployments around the world?"
* With experience like this - "Despite being an icon for many liberals and an anathema to the Republican right, former US Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's positions on the Middle East have more closely resembled those of the latter than the former. Her hawkish views go well beyond her strident support for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent occupation and counter-insurgency war. From Afghanistan to Western Sahara, she has advocated for military solutions to complex political problems, backed authoritarian allies and occupying armies, dismissed war crimes, and opposed political involvement by the United Nations and its agencies."
* The Nation: "A Sanders Foreign-Policy Doctrine? How About 'No Wars for the Billionaire Class'?"

Poverty Press Conference in South Carolina | Bernie Sanders

DNC Vice-Chair Resigns, Throws Support Behind Bernie Sanders: U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii announced Sunday that she will resign as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee and endorse Bernie Sanders for president. 'I think it's most important for us, as we look at our choices as to who our next commander in chief will be, is to recognize the necessity to have a commander in chief who has foresight, who exercises good judgment,' Gabbard said on MSNBC's Meet the Press." But, wait - this woman is supporting Bernie Sanders because of his foreign policy approach? It doesn't make sense.

Blacks in Law Enforcement of America supports Bernie Sanders for Democratic Presidential Primary: "In keeping with our mission, it is with great pride that Blacks in Law Enforcement of America, a national organization of Black Law Enforcement Professionals, will support U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders on his run to be the Democratic Nominee for President of the United States of America."

Trade Officials Promised Exxon That U.S.-EU Pact Would Erase Environmental 'Obstacles' Worldwide

Do you realize Donald Trump is the only candidate saying he will impose a tariff? Ian Welsh: "Trump Says He Would Put a 35 Percent Tax on Goods from Mexico: That would be illegal under NAFTA, and long odds under the WTO. Certainly under TPP, if it's in force then. Someone should straight up ask Trump if he's willing to leave those treaties. If he is, and the Dem candidate is not, he will win the election. Once more, Trump is a nativist populist. If he wasn't so racist and for torture, I'd be pushing him hard. As it is, he's beyond the pale, but a lot of working and middle class folks aren't going to give a damn."

In The Washington Post, a right-wing neocon monster endorses Clinton, more-or-less: "Trump is the GOP's Frankenstein monster. Now he's strong enough to destroy the party," writes Robert Kagan, who concludes: "So what to do now? The Republicans' creation will soon be let loose on the land, leaving to others the job the party failed to carry out. For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be."
* In The New York Times, "The Next Act of the Neocons: Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally With Hillary Clinton? [...] It's not as outlandish as it may sound. Consider the historian Robert Kagan, the author of a recent, roundly praised article in The New Republic that amounted to a neo-neocon manifesto. He has not only avoided the vitriolic tone that has afflicted some of his intellectual brethren but also co-founded an influential bipartisan advisory group during Mrs. Clinton's time at the State Department."

Pruning Shears says, "Hard does not mean impossible [...] But anyway, Clinton's proposal is in the end just another illusion, right? Krugman's rather cynical subtext is that nothing can change so you may as well make peace with the way things are. Unicorns are everywhere, none of it is real, the best you can do is settle for the candidate offering the least outlandish lies. Here's the thing though. Every last goddamn decent and humane thing America has ever done started out as a unicorn. And then enough people noticed it was really a horse with a papier-mâché horn."

"Wall Street's political shakedown: We'll stop funding Dems if Elizabeth Warren won't sit down and shut up: Top banks consider cutting off Dems if the party won't rein in party progressives." So, bribery and extortion, then. Arrest them.
* Liz Warren doesn't plan to back down: "They want a showy way to tell Democrats across the country to be scared of speaking out, to be timid about standing up, and to stay away from fighting for what's right.... I'm not going to stop talking about the unprecedented grasp that Citigroup has on our government's economic policymaking apparatus ... And I'm not going to pretend the work of financial reform is done, when the so-called 'too big to fail' banks are even bigger now than they were in 2008."

"Note To Steve Israel And Chuck Schumer: The Word Progressive Actually Has A Meaning [...] Israel is now Pelosi's head of House Democratic messaging and he, along with other unscrupulous DC party bosses, have admitted they want to entice Bernie's grassroots supporters into contributing to candidates like Ashford and the other garbage candidates who the DCCC-- like "former" Republicans Monica Vernon in Iowa, Mike Parrish in Pennsylvania and Mike Derrick in New York-- and DSCC-- "former" Republican Patrick Murphy-- recruit on a regular basis. It's especially galling to watch these conservatives using the word "progressive" to describe themselves during primary season. It's linguistic fraud. It isn't popular in Democratic primaries for a candidate to run as a conservative even if that's what they are. Steve Israel, who hates progressives far more than he hates Republicans, encourages even the most conservative Democrats stuck in a primary battle to make the word meaningless by using it over and over and over until voters are confused or even turned off. It's what conservative Democrats did to the word "liberal." Yesterday and the day before I got letters from the frantic and desperate Patrick Murphy campaign-- horrified that Alan Grayson's polling lead in the Florida primary has continued to grow-- asserting that Murphy is a progressive. Patrick Murphy-- the one who has one of the most right-wing, anti-working family voting records of any Democrat in Congress? Who voted for the Keystone XL Pipeline half a dozen times? Who voted to create the Benghazi witch-hunt Committee to destroy Hillary Clinton? Who voted for oil drilling off Florida's pristine beaches? Who has worked in the House Financial Services Committee on behalf of his Wall Street financiers to undermine and sabotage Dodd-Frank? Yes, that Patrick Murphy. He actually tried making the case that he's a progressive and Alan Grayson isn't! Chuck Schumer told him it would be good politics. They even dragged poor, old, increasingly senile Harry Reid into it! I noticed the other day when Chris Matthews' conservative lobbyist wife endorsed Wall Street-friendly establishment Democrat Chris Van Hollen for Senate against progressive icon Donna Edwards, she (Kathleen Matthews) kept referring to herself as a "progressive." But she isn't a progressive. She's an upper class conservative who's pro-Choice. Progressives are tribunes for working families. Democrats like Kathleen Matthews have contact with working families when they hire them as servants."

Glenn Greenwald: "With Donald Trump Looming, Should Dems Take a Huge Electability Gamble by Nominating Hillary Clinton?: Many Democrats will tell you that there has rarely, if ever, been a more menacing or evil presidential candidate than Donald Trump. 'Trump is the most dangerous major candidate for president in memory,' pronounced Vox's Ezra Klein two weeks ago. With a consensus now emerging that the real estate mogul is the likely GOP nominee, it would stand to reason that the most important factor for many Democrats in choosing their own nominee is electability: meaning, who has the best chance of defeating the GOP Satan in the general election? In light of that, can Democrats really afford to take such a risky gamble by nominating Hillary Clinton?"

"Why Bernie Can Win: The pundits are wrong. Bernie Sanders is the most electable candidate this November. Her forthright opposition to the Sanders agenda has won Clinton praise from some liberal elites, unable to disguise their hostility toward even the most basic social-democratic reforms. Yet unfortunately for Clinton, most actual Americans do not inhabit the pundit class, and their professional credentials do not depend on gravely denying the existence of puppies, rainbows, and successful single-payer health programs." And, interestingly, despite dismissals of early match-up polling, "In a comprehensive analysis of elections between 1952 and 2008, Robert Erikson and Christopher Wleizen found that matchup polls as early as April have generally produced results close to the outcome in November. Even much earlier 'trial heats' seem to be far from meaningless. As partisan polarization has increased over the last three decades, there's some evidence that early polling has become more predictive than ever. In all five elections since 1996, February matchup polls yielded average results within two points of the final outcome. [...] The unstable and multidimensional identity of the 'moderate' voter helps explain why Sanders's own polling numbers have regularly confounded the prejudices of pundits. In New Hampshire, for instance, where experts repeatedly stressed his strength with 'liberals,' Sanders actually did even better with 'moderate/conservative' voters."

Again, I still don't think the Republicans can beat either Democrat, but this guys does: "Unless the Democrats Run Sanders, A Trump Nomination Means a Trump Presidency [...] But this is far from a typical previous American election. And recently, everything about the electability calculus has changed, due to one simple fact: Donald Trump is likely to be the Republican nominee for President. Given this reality, every Democratic strategic question must operate not on the basis of abstract electability against a hypothetical candidate, but specific electability against the actual Republican nominee, Donald Trump. Here, a Clinton match-up is highly likely to be an unmitigated electoral disaster, whereas a Sanders candidacy stands a far better chance. Every one of Clinton's (considerable) weaknesses plays to every one of Trump's strengths, whereas every one of Trump's (few) weaknesses plays to every one of Sanders's strengths. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, running Clinton against Trump is a disastrous, suicidal proposition."

"Why Baby Boomers Don't Get Bernie Sanders: Hillary speaks to them. He speaks to everyone else. [...] Surveying one hundred years of history, though, the question is not why younger voters are embracing Sanders's populist revolution, but why the Baby Boomer generation came to believe that Bill and Hillary Clinton - with their close ties to big business - should become the standard-bearers for the nation's liberal party. In other words, Bernie's millennial army isn't the generational exception. Hillary's Boomers are."

This was a brave soul: "'I'm not a Superpredator, Hillary!': Black Lives Matter protestors confront Clinton at South Carolina fundraiser."
* But this is wishful thinking. I don't know why, but none of this stuff is having an impact on Hillary's image as a champion of the black community.

But how is the DNC's voter-suppression tactic going to work for them in November? "Democratic turnout at primaries is down, and fewer voter registration drives could be to blame. [...] For decades, the "Get Out the Vote" campaigns and voter registration drives have been driven by liberals. The logic is this: the bulk of unregistered voters in the United States have Democratic leanings. The more people who are registered and the more people who vote increases the likelihood that Democratic candidates will win. College campuses and youth events are gold mines for unregistered voters. In previous presidential elections, you couldn't step foot on a college campus or go to a concert in the country without being hounded to register. But it doesn't seem to be a priority this year, and I can't help but to think that party leaders don't mind." Because those unregistered voters are the ones who are most likely to break for Sanders, among other things. And then there's that paltry number of low-profile debates. The whole thing seems geared to depress voter turn-out in the primaries, but just how does that work for generating enthusiasm on election day? "When the Democratic Party loses interest in voter registration and voter empowerment, it is truly blurring the lines between what makes it fundamentally different than the Republican Party." And yet, Democratic voters are supporting this leadership because they think it's better placed to win in November. Maybe it isn't.

James K. Galbraith spanks Krueger, Goolbee, Romer and Tyson - and Krugman: "I was highly interested to see your letter of yesterday's date to Senator Sanders and Professor Gerald Friedman. I respond here as a former Executive Director of the Joint Economic Committee - the congressional counterpart to the CEA. You write that you have applied rigor to your analyses of economic proposals by Democrats and Republicans. On reading this sentence I looked to the bottom of the page, to find a reference or link to your rigorous review of Professor Friedman's study. I found nothing there. [...] It is not fair or honest to claim that Professor Friedman's methods are extreme. On the contrary, with respect to forecasting method, they are largely mainstream. Nor is it fair or honest to imply that you have given Professor Friedman's paper a rigorous review. You have not. What you have done, is to light a fire under Paul Krugman, who is now using his high perch to airily dismiss the Friedman paper as 'nonsense.' Paul is an immensely powerful figure, and many people rely on him for careful assessments. It seems clear that he has made no such assessment in this case."
* Goldsmith responds to Krugman.

Bill Curry: "The Clintons really don't get it: False attacks and failed strategies as Hillary repeats 2008: They're distorting Sanders' plans and ham-handedly using Obama and race. It's a dangerous game and a losing plan" An interesting aside about the way the press likes Clinton: "It may explain the boffo reviews of Clinton's PBS debate performance, as in the Times headline, 'Analysis: Clinton Is Cool, Calm and Effective.' Pundits praised her superior grasp of policy partly out of habit - it was true of earlier debates - but also because it's how they see the world. They should read the transcript. If anything, Bernie does the better job of explaining how he'd fund his programs. Hillary won't say how she'd pay for Social Security. She says she has a universal healthcare plan but she doesn't. She has a laundry list of programs, one for each demographic, all with unanswered questions about implementation, effectiveness and affordability."

2008: February 26 Democratic Debate - Clinton and Obama on NAFTA

"Hillary Clinton's Ghosts: A Legacy of Pushing the Democratic Party to the Right" - Bernie Sanders has put bread and butter issues on the table and forced the dialogue to move away from the right and back toward the center, but there's a "but": "But the party's latest generation of "New Democrats" - self-described "moderates" who are funded by Wall Street and are aggressively trying to steer the party to the right - have noticed this trend and are now fighting back. Third Way, a "centrist" think tank that serves as the hub for contemporary New Democrats, has recently published a sizable policy paper, "Ready for the New Economy," urging the Democratic Party to avoid focusing on economic inequality. Former Obama chief of staff Bill Daley, a Third Way trustee, recently argued that Sanders' influence on the primary "is a recipe for disaster" for Democrats." Yes, the DLC may have closed up it's storefront, but it's still moving and shaking just as strong as ever.

"Secrets, lies and the iPhone: A CIA whistleblower talks about Obama's bizarre secrecy obsession - and why Hillary and Bernie won't talk about it: This isn't about Apple vs. the FBI ' it's about a 'progressive' president with a dismal record on civil liberties [...] So what's the deal with Barack Obama? How did our coolest-ever president also turn out to be the one who pursued leakers and whistleblowers with a vengefulness and vigor without precedent in American history?"

This is from a few years ago, but a good reminder: "How Obama's Early Career Success Was Built on Fronting for Chicago Real Estate and Finance" - Something I've noticed about neoliberal proponents during campaign season is that there's always a sell stream deflecting your attention from the real record of their candidates and telling you something else. They know that no one is going to read up on it. (Remember how when asked about Obama's actual positions and policies, we kept being told to "Read his book"? Well, if people had read his book, they would have known he was no progressive and was pretty much saying outright that he was for sale, but they knew you weren't going to, so it was win-win for them.) So they released a video of Obama saying something about how if we were starting from scratch, single-payer would be the way to go, to imply (falsely) that Obama wanted single-payer. They told us he was a Constitutional scholar, perhaps trying to imply that he was the successor to Thurgood Marshall, when of course he ended up using what legal acumen he had to codify George W. Bush's policies. He was a "community organizer" (though not much of one, it turns out), but his real work was the kind of thing that's in this speech. "Fitch gave his eye-opening speech before an unlikely audience at an unlikely time: the Harlem Tenants Association in November 2008, hard on the heels of Obama's electrifying presidential win. The first part contains his prescient prediction: that Obama's Third Way stance, that we all need to put our differences aside and get along, was tantamount to advocating the interests of the wealthy, since they seldom give anything to the have-nots without a fight. That discussion alone is reason to read the piece. But the important part is his description of the role that Obama played in the redevelopment of the near South Side of Chicago, and how he and other middle class blacks, including Valerie Jarrett and his wife Michelle, advanced at the expense of poor blacks by aligning themselves with what Fitch calls 'friendly FIRE': powerful real estate players like the Pritzkers and the Crown family, major banks, the University of Chicago, as well as non-profit community developers and real estate reverends."

"Why DeRay Mckesson's Baltimore Campaign Looks Like It Comes Right Out of Teach for America's Playbook: As Mckesson launches his outsider candidacy for mayor of Baltimore, many worry his roots in the education privatization movement put the city's public schools in peril."

"Let Them Eat Privilege: Focusing on privilege diverts attention away from the real villains." It's very important for us to check each other's privilege instead of looking at the people who actually have it.

Charlie Pierce: "The Roots of Donald Trump's Candidacy Lie in a South Carolina Cemetery [...] 'ATWATER,' the plaque reads. 'H. Lee. 1951-1991. Father, Leader, Husband, Son.'"

Melissa Harris-Perry and the Fall of the "Negro Whisperers"

When you're forced to train foreign workers to take over your job

This is Frank Luntz giving the latest reason why the kids will change everything. Anyone else remember being 15 and being told it would all be better once the old people died out and we got to take over? Yeah, me too.

"Is the US undermining India's solar power programme? Whatever happened to all the talk of international co-operation to tackle climate change that we heard during the climate conference in Paris just a few months ago? That is what many environmentalists are asking after the United States delivered a damaging blow to India's ambitious solar power programme this week. In response to a US complaint, a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel has ruled that India's National Solar Mission breaches trade rules. It judged that India's policies on buying locally made solar power equipment discriminates against imports."

UK: "The government has announced the outlawing of intellectual opposition."

David Cameron launches personal attack on Jeremy Corbyn's appearance: The prime minister made the remarks after a Labour MP shouted out in the Commons chamber that Mary Cameron should be asked about the NHS after she signed a petition opposing cuts to children's centres. The prime minister replied: 'Ask my mother? I think I know what my mother would say. I think she'd look across the dispatch box and she'd say: put on a proper suit, do up your tie and sing the national anthem.' Corbyn immediately hit back and cited his late mother, Naomi, a peace campaigner. He said: 'Talking of motherly advice, my late mother would have said: 'stand up for the principle of a health service free at the point of use' because that is what she dedicated her life to, as did many people of her generation.'" The Prime Minister's suit cost more than he expects a sick person to live on for a year.

"It's the £30bn cut you've never heard of. And women are bearing the brunt: Women in their 50s, who benefited little from feminism, are being told they must pay the price of equality with a rise in their retirement age." Oh, but it's worse than that: "The reform itself dates back to 1995, however the government did not get in touch with those affected until 2009, 14 years later. Initially the reform was supposed to be phased in slowly, but in 2011 George Osborne decided to accelerate the process of equalisation by several years. Many women had been expecting for years to receive their pension at 60, and yet all of a sudden the reality was that they would not be receiving a single penny until they were 66. Entire life plans had to be remedied, with less than five years' notice." And that's leaving aside how ludicrous it is to expect people (of either sex) who are already considered "too old" to keep on the job to find some way to make ends meet once they've already reached the age of 60.

British fetish film-makers are organising against censorship [...] "Under the ATVOD regime, many of us were targeted for censorship, and some of us have had our websites forced offline entirely. Some, such as myself, have appealed to Ofcom regarding ATVOD's decision - as Itzi did, successfully, in the wake of ATVOD's investigation into her site the Urban Chick Supremacy Cell. While many appeals to Ofcom are still pending, that organisation has become the sole regulator of video on demand, and none of us knows how we will fare under the new regime."

"Sex worker and activist Laura Lee: 'It's now far more difficult to stay safe': The criminalisation of men who pay for sex in Northern Ireland was supposed to protect women - but one of the few sex workers prepared to talk publicly says it will do the opposite. As Laura Lee prepares to challenge the new law in court, she explains the trials and consolations of the oldest profession."

Backlash Submits Written Evidence To Home Affairs Committee Inquiry On Prostitution: "We contest this assumption on the simple basis that sex workers are, in fact, human beings capable of as much choice and agency as anyone else. They are not typically 'forced' into their line of work anymore than anyone else is compelled by material circumstances to seek employment. While such choices may sometimes reflect an economically insecure position (just as working longer hours or accepting harsher conditions in other sectors may reflect such a position), reducing demand for sex work will not improve that economic position."

RIP: Lennie Baker, Sha Na Na Singer and Saxophone Player, Dies at 69. Here he is leading on "Blue Moon".

Great moments leading to Second Wave Feminism: Once upon a time, Germaine Greer was an editor of an underground paper called Suck. They got the idea that all the editors should take turns posing nude in the paper. Foolishly, she went first - and of course, the others never got around to doing it. This is the photo that was published. Not work-safe.

OZ Magazine archive: "OZ magazine was published in London between 1967 and 1973 under the general editorship of Richard Neville and later also Jim Anderson and Felix Dennis. Martin Sharp was initially responsible for art and graphic design. Copies of OZ can be viewed and downloaded for research purposes from this site. OZ magazine is reproduced by permission of Richard Neville. Please be advised: This collection has been made available due to its historical and research importance. It contains explicit language and images that reflect attitudes of the era in which the material was originally published, and that some viewers may find confronting."

IF Magazine archives. It was launched in 1952 and "merged into Galaxy Science Fiction after the December 1974 issue, its 175th issue overall."

A Stunning Scale Model of Our Solar System, Drawn in the Desert

The Calvin and Muad'Dib mash-up

"The Setup Wizard" - Daily accounts of a Muggle I.T. guy working at Hogwarts.

I may not rate him much as a president, but you gotta admit the guy is one of the great actors of our time.

The Rolling Stones, on Tops of the Pops, 1965

Thanks so much, Mark and Mike.


  1. I hadn't heard about the "superpredators" claims before, wow.

    It looks to me like the Clintons did one of the classic "wooing the minorities" strategies back in the 1990s; wooing blacks locally, while blowing racist dog-whistles nationally. The old malarkey still seems to work.

    And it's super Tuesday. I think we're scrod, or some other fish.

  2. Super Tuesday now going on. Sad to say, I do believe it will be putting tRump on top, wonder if the whole party is going to do something, at last, to get back to decency.
    Love the view! (snow and bird viewed thru front window here)

  3. Maybe the last time, I don't know.

    The trouble with all of this is the outcome has already been decided: moderate Republican Hillary Clinton will be the next president and all of this is naught but a charade leaving the rubes feeling as if they were somehow participant.

    Which isn't to say I'm A Lucky Man who would just lay down and die. I'll be changing my registration from No Party Affiliation (we can do that in Oregon) to democrat (have to do that to participate) to primary for Sanders, but it's a boondoggle: even with California by the time the West Coast primary's even the prima facie decision is a foregone conclusion. I will then of course revert my registration and come November cast my ballot as I have since Dick Cheney and St Ronnie of Ray-Gun rat-fucked Carter: for the Socialist.

    It seems some of us have longer memories than most.

    1. I'll be voting for Bernie in West Virginia.

      We'll see about November.

      In 2012, I voted for Jill Stein. My vote is mine, I don't owe it to anybody. And I don't like being lied to.

  4. Hope it's not the last time but if so, many thanks. Amazingly long, detailed thoroughly useful post. Thanks for the link to the IF archives, that really takes me back. When I think where I could be today if I hadn't wasted my youth reading IF and Analog. Oh well...

  5. Sha Na Na always ended their shows with a plea for peace and love. Here's to the artists!

  6. Forced and voluntary prostitution cannot be disentangled. "Briefing on Legalized Prostitution in The Netherlands - Policies Evaluations Normalization" by Karin Werkman, May 25, 2014. (The English Version link does not work) http://feminismandhumanrights.org/publications/

  7. Good Reddit story on African-American support for Hillary Clinton: https://www.reddit.com/r/NeutralPolitics/comments/472fj6/why_isnt_bernie_sanders_doing_well_with_black/d09sdaw

    1. Yes, I've been reading and digesting it for days. The temptation to quibble is strong, but as I worked my way down the thread, he eventually came out and said why he switched from being a Bernie guy to supporting Clinton, and it was just as Glen Ford said - fear of Republicans trumps everything else.

  8. Dean Baker [whose post I lightly edit for flow] says [LINK]:

    [QUOTE] I see Paul Krugman was taking cheap shots at my heroes while I was on vacation. Krugman argues that Trump is wrong to claim that China is acting to keep down the value of its currency against the dollar. He points to recent efforts to prop up the value of the yuan by selling foreign exchange as evidence that China is actually doing the opposite of what Trump claims. Krugman should know better.

    ...[T]here would be [such a] counter-factual [for Krugman to assert had] China had not been accumulating massive amounts of reserves[, heretofore, in which case China] would not have run the huge trade surpluses it did in the last decade.

    This doesn’t lead us to the Trumpian conclusion that we need smart trade negotiators who are going to beat up China. First, I would be fairly certain that our trade negotiators are not stupid people. The problem of our trade deficit with China was not an intellectual deficit on the part of our negotiators; the problem was that they had a different agenda.

    A large trade deficit with China is a big problem for the millions of workers who lost their jobs and the tens of millions of workers who had lower wages as an indirect result of this job loss, but it is not a problem for everyone in the United States. Major retailers like Walmart are happy to use low cost imports as a way to undercut competitors. The same applies to manufacturers like GE who outsourced much of their production to China and other countries with low cost labor.

    Furthermore, the United States has other concerns in its trade negotiations with China. It wants China to do more to protect Pfizer’s patents and Disney and Microsoft’s copyrights. They also want increased access to China’s markets for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

    Given this conflicting interests, it would not be surprising that our trade negotiators didn’t press China to raise the value of its currency. If Trump wants to beat up someone over the trade deficit with China, he might better direct his anger at Walmart and Goldman Sachs than at China’s government. He will have to first win a fight here over the goals of our trade policy with China before getting to an agreement with China on trade.... [END QUOTE]

    1. The bolded part, interjecting this every time a neo-liberal uses the term "free trade" would go a long way towards clarifying the issue [LINK]:

      [QUOTE] This is why Morning Edition seriously misled its listeners in an interview with ice cream barons Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield over their support of Senator Bernie Sanders. The interviewer repeatedly referred to "free trade" agreements and Sanders' opposition to them. While these deals are all called "free trade" deals to make them sound more palatable ("selective protectionism to redistribute income upward" doesn't sound very appealing), that doesn't mean they are actually about free trade. [END QUOTE]