Monday, May 9, 2016

Jealous night and all her secret courts

David Dayen's book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud, is being released this month and you should buy it. Readers of this blog know that Dday is not simply the best reporter on the banking scandal to come out of the blogosphere, but one of the very best anywhere, and this book is the story of how the bankers broke the cadaster - the record of property ownership - and how a nurse, a car dealership worker, and a forensic expert got together to investigate and expose it.

Nate Silver gave Hillary Clinton a 90% chance of winning Indiana, but Bernie took the state, 52.5%- 47.5%. This sent the Clinton partisans into a frenzy of insistence that Sanders couldn't win and he should drop out now

"After Bitter Tuesday, Progressives Ask Democratic Party What It Stands For [...] At a union hall in Prince George's County Tuesday night, Edwards gave a passionate concession speech that criticized the Democratic Party's faux-progressive mantle. 'To my Democratic Party, you cannot show up in churches before election day, you cannot sing the first and last verse of 'Lift Every Voice and Sing,' you cannot join hands and walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and call that post-racial and inclusion,' she said to cheers and applause. 'To my Democratic Party, let me say that today Maryland is on the verge of having an all-male delegation in a so-called progressive state. So what I want to know from my Democratic Party, is when will the voices of people of color, when will the voices of women, when will the voices of labor, when will the voices of black women, when will our voices be effective, legitimate, equal leaders in a big-tent party?' she said."

"If Clinton Wins, She Plans To Put Bill To Work on Trade: 'He's Gotta Be In Charge Of This'" - Oh. My. God.

"Schmidt: There Will Be An Organized Effort By Clinton To Grab The Republican Foreign Policy Establishment: Men and women who served in senior positions, in national security positions, in Republican administrations. The Clinton campaign's going to go after them. They're going to go after them forcefully. And I think you look ahead now in the weeks to come. As Hillary Clinton moves beyond the Bernie Sanders challenge for the moment for Hillary Clinton to address Republicans in this country."

David Dayen in The New Republic, "Why Hillary Clinton Won't Offer a Bold Economic Agenda [...] A coalition of professionals, minorities, and people freaked out about the prospect of a Trump presidency will likely amount to a majority of Americans for this election. But it isn't a majority that's going to push a Clinton presidency to prioritize the struggles of the working class. And I don't know if there's a way to change that, to turn an election featuring Donald Trump into an election about ideas. During the primary, Clinton memorably asked, 'If we broke up the big banks tomorrow... would that end racism?' Set aside the fact that racism was at the heart of the subprime mortgage crisis, when toxic loans were handed out disproportionately to African-Americans. Clinton's question reveals a clever way to opt out of this dilemma of how to properly credit Obama's economic gains in an age of inequality, when all those gains go to the top. She can find other points of emphasis, enough to win a general election. But failing to address the real economic pains felt by large swaths of the country will not only exact a political price down the line, it will ensure that those pains continue far beyond when they could have been eased."

"Jane Sanders: If Bernie loses, we'll form a new organization."
* "This is what the revolution looks like: Former Sanders staffers are launching a new PAC aimed at midterm Congressional elections: The ambitious new plan by Bernie staffers is a giant leap in guaranteeing his movement endures." Um, maybe, unless it just means electing more lackluster Dems.

Matt Yglesias says, "Bernie Sanders is (still) the future of the Democratic Party" - it's in the numbers.

But before any eulogies are written, here's some optimism from John Laurits, who says, "This is What Will Happen at the Democratic Convention [...] It has even become something of a weekly occurrence for Hillary Clinton and her Wallstreet-backed campaign to imply, insinuate, or flat-out demand that Sanders withdraw his bid for the nomination - they are growing increasingly indignant about the fact that Sanders is trying to win. Which brings us to the heart of the issue - can Bernie Sanders - can we - win the delegates needed for the nomination? The answer to this question is as simple as it is misleading - No. No, my friends, we cannot. And yet! And yet, neither can Hillary Clinton - and I am going to show you what the media is willfully hiding from you. I am going to show you why, using the one thing that even the media can't hide: Math."

Department of Dreamers: "Hey, Hillary: Let's make a (new) deal! How moderates and progressives can unite." This doesn't seem likely when you see stories like this: "Clinton to take hard line with Sanders, say allies [...] Clinton supporters argue the former secretary of State has already been forced to the left by Sanders, and can't risk moving further ahead of a general election. 'I don't know what's left to extract,' Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), a Clinton supporter, said in an interview with The Hill. He said the Democratic primary moved the discussion 'farther to the left than most moderate Democrats would like to see.'" Which puts "moderate" Democrats farther to the right than most of the country. Okay...
* Gaius Publius expected this. Certainly nothing I'm seeing says he's wrong.
* I can't escape the feeling that Benjamin Studebaker is looking at him through rose-colored glasses, but there's a lot to consider in, "Clinton Supporters are Scaremongering about Donald Trump to Silence the Concerns of the Young and the Poor: I started seeing it a few weeks ago, when Daily Kos told its contributors that after March 15th, they were no longer allowed to robustly criticize Hillary Clinton from the left. As Donald Trump continues to win, win, and win some more, it has only intensified. First they asked Bernie Sanders supporters to unite behind Clinton. Now they're accusing Sanders supporters of being privileged if they resist. And from there, it's just a small step to calling Sanders' people enablers of racism, sexism, or even fascism. If you haven't seen these arguments yet, you will soon. The arguments being peddled are very poorly constructed. They rely on a mix of fear and bias toward the near. [...] But left egalitarianism is not the only alternative to neoliberalism on the menu. Donald Trump offers right nationalism as an alternative, and his alternative has proven very compelling. Right nationalism acknowledges the economic problems people face, but its solutions are much more bellicose and divisive. Right nationalists believe that we are being taken advantage of by somebody, usually somebody foreign. Many people think that Trump is popular because of his personality, but the Trump persona is gift-wrapping a product, and that product is the idea that foreigners are the reason you've been getting a raw economic deal. So Trump says that immigrants are taking your jobs and driving down your wages. Like Sanders, he also goes after bad trade deals. Many countries now have political parties that market right nationalism as an alternative to neoliberalism. There's National Front in France, UKIP in Britain, the Alternative for Germany, Golden Dawn in Greece, and the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, among others. Many of the leaders of these European right nationalist parties have endorsed Trump. What he is selling is not new or even uniquely American. All of these parties market themselves by telling working people that their grievances are real and offering them solutions. The solutions are terrible, but because the left has become so impotent in most of the western world today, right nationalist parties tend to do much better with these groups than leftist parties. Clinton supporters want you to believe that if Donald Trump gets elected, it would be some kind of massive disaster, that he might start a nuclear war or enact policies that are immensely damaging to marginalized groups. This is all based on the idea that Trump is some kind of insane person. But while many right nationalist politicians are true believers who have consistently expressed abhorrent views, we have strong reasons to think that Donald Trump is exploiting the right nationalist playbook for personal gain. This becomes clear when we look at the history of things he said and did before he became a presidential candidate." Yes, it's true that Trump didn't used to sound this right-wing, and, frankly, it was unclear whether he felt any significant ties to either party. And yes, it does seem he is playing the Republicans because he knows how to game them. There's an undercurrent on the net of people (from both parties) who wonder whether Trump didn't get into the race to make it easy for Clinton to win. I do hear people worrying that Trump will do things that he just can't do, and I also hear them worrying that he will do things that Clinton is actually more likely to do. But I am not all relaxed about a Trump presidency, either. Still, there's something to be said for this: "But while Donald Trump is not a right nationalist, he is marketing himself as if he is one and most people believe he is one. He's choosing to do this for strategic reasons - he recognizes that the public increasingly holds the neoliberal consensus exemplified by the establishments of both parties in contempt. The anger they feel toward neoliberal establishment figures is so intense that they welcome it when Trump openly bullies members of the establishment on national television. The American people loved watching Jeb Bush go down in flames and the internet mocked him harshly" And this: "Hillary Clinton's net favorability rating has been continuously falling for a couple years now, and Trump hasn't even started in on her in earnest yet. She's currently at -13.0. This is only going to get worse. Clinton is unpopular not because she's a woman (she was a woman in January 2013, when she was much more popular) but because she's part of the neoliberal establishment. As economic conditions have continued to stagnate or deteriorate for many Americans, their anger toward this establishment continues to increase, and the ability of left egalitarian and right nationalist candidates to effectively channel this anger continues to grow." Sure, but I'm not sure Trump can do anything to counteract his own negatives by November, so he still looks the weaker candidate to me. However, here's a point I agree with so much that I'm even gonna boldface it: "But let's say you don't buy this. Let's say that you think that no matter what, Clinton is always going to be a more competitive candidate than Sanders in 2016. Let's say that you don't buy my argument that we don't really know what Trump will do, that you remain convinced he is absolutely deadly. None of this changes the fact that Clinton is a neoliberal and that neoliberalism is failing too many people too conspicuously. Even if Clinton wins in 2016, continued neoliberal policies are going to continue to build anger, and if the left doesn't develop a left egalitarian alternative to neoliberalism to channel that anger constructively, the right nationalists will become the only vehicle through which anyone can express serious effective dissent. Over time, this will strengthen the right nationalists until they do win, and when they win they might not be led by Trump but instead by a true believer, someone who is absolutely committed to every right nationalist principle - someone like Ted Cruz."
* Not sure who this writer at Political Reads is, but it's quite a fancy. "Super Delegates Will Write History by Nominating Sanders in Philadelphia [...] However, the purpose of the minority power is not to elect a candidate. Rather, they were designed to prevent a loss in a general election, a proverbial safety valve to circumvent an obviously weak candidate. This is the superdelegate's role in the Democratic nomination process: they are independent judges that only emerge in marginal contests. Their function is to secure a nomination based upon available data and a completed primary map. Their sole task is to identify and eliminate the candidate that controls a frenzied base, yet fails to connect outside of their stronghold. They're designed to stop a candidate like Hillary Clinton. The control Clinton has over the Democratic base is frightening. Obvious vulnerabilities that would end any other candidate's presidential bid are overlooked and dismissed by her loyalist support. Face it. Whenever drastic unfavorability, distrust, and a possible FBI indictment fail to internally dismiss a party's candidate, you're not dealing with a potential nominee. You're describing the leader of a cult, the very thing superdelegates were designed to prevent." Rumor has it that the superdelegates are actually leaning toward Biden, so I don't think so.

Meanwhile, Cory Robin reckons the Clinton-Trump race would be like 1972 - and "Hillary Clinton is a modern-day Richard Nixon."

"What Florida New Dem Patrick Murphy Did To Undermine Hillary Clinton: On May 8, 2014, the Republicans rammed through a resolution to establish the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi, a committee specifically designed as a witch hunt to drag Hillary Clinton through the mud and sully her name before the 2016 presidential election. Every single Republican voted YES (225 of them) and 186 Democrats voted NO. Seven of the worst Democrats in the House-- the ones who consistently vote for Boehner's agenda day in and day out-- crossed the aisle and voted with the Republicans." And one of them was Murphy, the guy Chuck Schumer is running against Grayson.
* And in the House, John Delaney (MD-06) and Dan Lipinski (IL-03) voted with Republicans to siphon funds out of DC public schools and into a voucher system.

"Is Social Media Empowering or Silencing Political Expression in the United States?" Not sure how good this poll is but it's kind of interesting anyway.

Mike Bloomberg gives a speech, and Bill Black takes it apart: "Bloomberg Tells Michigan Grads They Must Defeat Bernie's Plan to Jail Wall Street Felons: Michael Bloomberg has just published, in Bloomberg, what he describes as 'an adaptation of an address to the University of Michigan's class of 2016.' Having graduated twice from Michigan, as did our eldest, I was intrigued. Bloomberg's title was 'Here's Your Degree. Now Go Defeat Demagogues.' What Bloomberg means is that he is frightened that so many young people supported the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement and support Bernie Sanders. I've written before about Bloomberg, a Wall Street billionaire, and the myths he tries to spread about Bernie. Wall Street elites fear Bernie. They know he won't take their money, he will end the systemically dangerous banks, and he will imprison their leading felons. Bloomberg's hate for, and fear of, Bernie is perfectly rational. Why he thinks that Michigan students will take his advice and learn to love Wall Street's felons is a lot less clear." Bloomberg decried students who worry about racism and sexism, but it looks like the real threat that worries him is that someone might impose responsibility on the financial industry. Black notes that Bloomberg's own paper contains many article showing just why such regulation should be imposed. The Bloomberg context of Bloomberg's speech to the Michigan grads demonstrates that Bloomberg is indeed open to different ideas. Each of the seven articles I cited that accompanied his printed version of his speech is supported by citations of facts from experts - and proves that Bernie is right about the critical need to restore the rule of law and morality in order to end Wall Street's corrupt culture. Demagogues are the folks who ignore the facts and data and make biased assertions that just happen to be in their personal and commercial self-interest. That makes Bloomberg the demagogue."
* Gail Collins repeats the usual mantra of Hillary Clinton's supposed history as a progressive fighter, but it's thinner than you think. Her first professional job was one year at the sChildren's Defense Fund, and then she went on to Rose Law Firm. "Hillary's fight for 'better schools in Arkansas' included a war on the state's teachers' union, making her a pioneer of neoliberal education reform, which holds teachers' unions in deep contempt. The school reform initiative, which Hillary led, imposed competency tests on teachers. That act that was widely seen as racist because the teaching corps was disproportionately black, earning the enmity of civil rights organizations in the state. According to Carl Bernstein, this criticism 'deeply pained' Bill and Hillary, but not enough to make them rethink the struggle. As for making the union the enemy, Bernstein noted that 'the ASTA [Arkansas State Teachers Association] was not exactly the antichrist, and in fact had done some pretty good things in a state where the legislature had typically accorded more attention to protecting the rights of poultry farmers to saturate half of Arkansas's topsoil with chicken feces than providing its children with a decent education.'" Her alleged advocacy for reproductive rights has never impressed me, either (her sole objection to proposed Republican legislation banning late-term abortion is that it omitted exceptions for life and health of the mother), and I'm still waiting to see her actually do anything for women. And, seriously, you have to be stupid not to realize that cutting off welfare hurts women and families - how can anyone ever have defended welfare reform?
* In which Katha Pollit doesn't get it: "Why Bernie Didn't Get My Vote: It's not his focus on the economy - it's that he doesn't seem to understand that the economy is structured by gender and race." Apparently, Bernie gave insufficient lip-service to "gender" issues, so she - well, wait, she's been voicing her support for Clinton all along, it obviously had nothing to do with anything Sanders did or didn't do during the campaign. Throwing in a little red-baiting for the "electability" argument, she still can't defend her belief that Clinton's poor lip-service to issues of racism and sexism is somehow superior to Sanders' obvious understanding that having an equal shot at no money, no jobs, and no hope is not exactly keeping your eyes on the prize.
* Andrew Sullivan has returned to blogging, and The Rude One is unimpressed. While it is indisputable that Sullivan has things entirely wrong, I won't say His Rudeness has things entirely right - except for that last paragraph.
* Anis Shivani was also inspired by the re-emergence of Andrew Sullivan, to write a righteous rant, "Our awful elites gutted America. Now they dare ring alarms about Trump, Sanders - and cast themselves as saviors : Both parties ignored workers, spewed hate, enriched themselves, hollowed out democracy. Now the problem's populism? [...] To manipulate them, the Democratic and Republican elites have both played a double game for forty years and have gotten away with it. They have incrementally yet quite comprehensively seized all economic and political power for themselves. They have perverted free media and even such basics of the democratic process as voting and accountability in elections. Elites on both sides have collaborated to engineer a revolution of economic decline for the working person, until the situation has reached unbearable proportions. The stock market may be doing well, and unemployment may theoretically be low, but people can't afford housing and food, they can't pay back student loans and other debts, their lives, wherever they live in this transformed country, are full of such misery that there is not a single word that an establishment candidate like Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush says that makes sense to them."

Thomas Frank, "Why must the Trump alternative be self-satisfied, complacent Democrats? [...] Seven years have passed now since the last recession officially ended, and yet the country's fury has scarcely cooled. To this day we remain angry at Wall Street; we rage against career politicians; and we are incandescent that the economic system seems to have been permanently 'rigged' against working people. Median household income has still not recovered the levels of 2007. Wages are going nowhere. Elite bankers are probably never going to be held accountable for what they did. America is burning. Listening to the leading figures of the Democratic party establishment, however, you'd never know it. Cool contentment is the governing emotion in these circles. What they have in mind for 2016 is what we might call a campaign of militant complacency. They are dissociated from the mood of the nation, and they do not care.

"Donald Trump Isn't Going to Be President: He'd have to win unprecedented shares of the very kinds of voters who hate him: blacks, Latinos, and women."

Eugene Robinson says, "Trump understood the voters the GOP forgot," and he isn't just talking about racism: "This ideological disintegration has been years in the making. I believe one fundamental cause is that after winning the allegiance of millions of 'Reagan Democrats' - mostly white, blue-collar, and Southern or rural - the party stubbornly declined to take their economic interests into account."

With Kasich and Cruz both withdrawing to leave Trump with a clear field, some Republicans are endorsing Clinton, some are just opposing Trump, and some are Rush Limbaugh:
* "George Bush and George W. Bush say they refuse to support Donald Trump [...] And as it now stands, Donald Trump will be running as the 2016 republican nominee for President without the support of a single living republican President. In contrast, his opponent, democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, will have the support of at least two and likely all three living democratic Presidents. Interestingly George W. Bush's wife, First Lady Laura Bush, has made subtle hints that she may be leaning toward Hillary. This possibility may have just gotten easier now that her husband is rejecting the notion of siding with Trump."
* Former Bush White House staffer David Ross Meyers, "A message for my fellow Republicans: If you back Trump you will not be trusted again [...] This desire for control of the presidency, and the belief that any Republican is better than any Democrat, is why many Republicans are now embracing Trump. They claim that the GOP needs to coalesce behind Mr. Trump because he is a better alternative than Hillary Clinton. He is not."
* "Ross Douthat: Trump's victory proves part of conservatism 'was actually a racket'
* "Rush Limbaugh: Trump will beat Clinton by 'landslide proportions'."

Some interesting Gallup Poll opinions

Can you believe it? Only 16 years after the stolen election of 2000, "Members of Congress Call for End to Mass Voter Suppression and Insecure Elections."
* And I see Greg Palast had the same thought in this interview of voter purges.
* Lee Camp reckons the voting machines are rigged. Gosh, ya think?

"The Story of the Great Brooklyn Voter Purge Keeps Getting Weirder: The first head has rolled after more than 100,000 voters were mistakenly purged from the Brooklyn voter rolls ahead of this week's New York primary, which handed Hillary Clinton a much-needed win over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the chief clerk of the New York Board of Elections, was suspended "without pay, effective immediately, pending an internal investigation into the administration of the voter rolls in the Borough of Brooklyn," the agency said in a statement, according to the New York Daily News. Anonymous city elections officials said Haslett-Rudiano, who was in charge of the city's Republican voter rolls, had been "scapegoated," according to the New York Post. "It sounds like they cut a deal to make the Republican the scapegoat and protect Betty Ann," an anonymous Democratic elected official from Brooklyn told the Post, referring to Betty Ann Canizio, who was in charge of the Democratic voter rolls."

"Prominent Democratic Consultants Sign Up to Defeat Single Payer in Colorado: INFLUENTIAL DEMOCRATIC CONSULTANTS, some of whom work for the Super PACs backing Hillary Clinton, have signed up to fight a bold initiative to create a state-based single-payer system in Colorado, according to a state filing posted Monday. [...] The anti-single-payer effort is funded almost entirely by health care industry interests, including $500,000 from Anthem Inc., the state's largest health insurance provider; $40,000 from Cigna, another large health insurer that is current in talks to merge with Anthem; $75,000 from Davita, the dialysis company; $25,000 from Delta Dental, the largest dental insurer in the state; and $100,000 from SCL Health, the faith-based hospital chain."

"The Supreme Court Is Fixing To Let Political Corruption Run Rampant: Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was convicted by a federal jury in September 2014, after he was caught participating in one of the most cut-and-dry examples of cash-for-favors found in the political corruption textbook. Now, however, McDonnell's appeals have taken his case to the Supreme Court, where - believe it or not - a majority of justices seem predisposed to overturning his conviction, and decimating anti-corruption laws. [...] As The Huffington Post's Cristian Farias reported, McDonnell may well be on his way to a great escape, thanks to a majority of Supreme Court justices who seem, alternatively, amenable to McDonnell's point of view, and troubled that too many prosecutors might start taking up corruption cases" This is a straightforward case of bribery, but the Court seems to be unable to distinguish actual bribery from campaign contributions, even though no campaign contributions are involved. (You don't give someone a Rolex as a campaign contribution!) And I'm not just talking about Chief Justice Roberts, here - only Ginsberg and Sotomayor seem to see what's going on here.

"'We need fundamental changes': US doctors call for universal healthcare: More than 2,000 physicians want a single-payer system similar to Canada's and say the Affordable Care Act didn't go far enough."

"Tax Cheats Stick Honest Taxpayers with a $406 Billion Annual Tax Bill: A new report from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that the 'tax gap,' meaning the amount in taxes that are owed but go unpaid each year, was $406 billion on average between 2008-2010. This is a $406 billion cost that honest taxpayers are forced to make up for due to the illegal actions of individuals and corporations. While the $406 billion figure is rather staggering, many experts believe that this could be an understatement of the cost of tax evasion. In testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, Bob McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice, explained that the IRS estimates likely underestimate the amount of income that individuals and corporations are able to evade by hiding their money in tax havens. It is also important to note that the vast majority of middle income taxpayers are not the ones evading taxes. That's mainly because they can't cheat even if they were so inclined. Employers must report wages to the IRS and remit withholding taxes. The majority of the tax gap ($247 billion) is due to underreporting of business income. [...] Providing the IRS with the resources it needs to do a better job cracking down on tax cheats would seem to be a no brainer, except to the brain dead members of Congress. According to one estimate, increasing funding for IRS enforcement, modernization and management systems can save the government $200 for every dollar invested. Rather than increasing the funding of the IRS to close the tax gap however, Congress has actually cut the IRS budget by 17 percent since 2010, after accounting for inflation. While cutting the IRS budget may appeal to members of Congress who are in favor of tax cheating, it's counterproductive in terms of deficit reduction and protecting honest taxpayers." But you knew that

"This Town Ran An Illegal Debtor's Prison For Years. Now It Has To Pay Back The People It Jailed. Colorado Springs will pay back destitute people it illegally jailed because they couldn't pay court fines, the city announced Thursday. The city will also discontinue its debtor's prison policy, which violated both the U.S. Constitution and a 2014 state law in Colorado. The system usually targeted non-jailable offenses like jaywalking, violating park curfews, or drinking in public.

"Financial frauds had a friend in Holder: Eric Holder was U.S. attorney general at a time when the world desperately needed the nation's chief law enforcement officer to hold accountable the elite bankers who oversaw the epidemic of fraud that drove the 2008 global financial crisis and triggered the Great Recession. After nearly six years in office, Holder announced on Sept. 25 that he plans to step down, without having brought to justice even one of the executives responsible for the crisis. His tenure represents the worst strategic failure against elite white-collar crime in the history of the Department of Justice (DOJ). "
* Matt Taibbi: "Eric Holder, Wall Street Double Agent, Comes in From the Cold: Eric Holder has gone back to work for his old firm, the white-collar defense heavyweight Covington & Burling. The former attorney general decided against going for a judgeship, saying he's not ready for the ivory tower yet. "I want to be a player," he told the National Law Journal, one would have to say ominously."

Even Brad DeLong can't make sense of TTP: "I am what Paul Krugman calls "Davos Man" to a substantial degree--a card-carrying neoliberal, a believer in globalization and free trade, someone who has seen more than enough of the stupidities of places like Berkeley and so doesn't mind hippy-punching now and then. As a believer in free-trade, in the importance of harmonizing global economic regulation, and in getting intellectual and general property rights right, I ought to be a very strong technocratic advocate for the TPP. Yet I found myself having major questions about it [...] Plus there is the big negotiating question: This is, primarily, a Republican priority. Why would a Democratic president put himself in the position of begging for Democratic legislative votes for a Republican priority, rather than demanding Republican policy concessions on issues of importance to Democrats in return for his signature?"
* TTIP, TISA Explained | Wikileaks | Jeremy Corbyn | Bernie Sanders | Julian Assange
* "Another Secret 'Trade' Deal Leaks, Shows Corporations Still In Control"

"'You want a description of hell?' OxyContin's 12-hour problem" - They knew many people would not get 12 hours of relief, but they didn't tell you that.

RIP: "Daniel J. Berrigan, Defiant Priest Who Preached Pacifism, Dies at 94: The Rev. Daniel J. Berrigan, a Jesuit priest and poet whose defiant protests helped shape the tactics of opposition to the Vietnam War and landed him in prison, died on Saturday in New York City. He was 94. His death was confirmed by the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor at large at America magazine, a national Catholic magazine published by Jesuits. Father Berrigan died at Murray-Weigel Hall, the Jesuit infirmary at Fordham University in the Bronx." The Berrigans are who I always think of when I hear Paul Simon sing the words "the radical priests", but they were on the cover of Time, not Newsweek.
* Amy Goodman, "RIP Father Daniel Berrigan: Remembering the Life and Legacy of the Antiwar Priest and Poet"

"A World to Make: Eleven Theses for the Bernie Sanders Generation: 1. The Economy is About Power; 2. Expertise Is Not Legitimacy; 3. You're Allowed to Want Economic Security; 4. You Are More than Human Capital; 5. Solidarity Is Different from Hope; 6. Democracy Is More than Voting; 7. Not Everything Has to Be Earned; 8. Equal Treatment Is Not Enough; 9. We Need a Fight to Make Peace with the Planet; 10. We Have in Common What We Decide to Have in Common; 11. We Have a World to Make." Now read the rest.

It's been clear that nobody knows what you mean when you talk about neoliberalism, so Ed Waller rounded up some Recent Discussions of Neoliberalism by Corey Robin, Billmon, and others.

"Economists Ignore One of Capitalism's Biggest Problems: Banks create money out of nothing."

"Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously [...] What Amber explained was exactly what I'd feared: through the Apple Music subscription, which I had, Apple now deletes files from its users' computers. When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple's database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn't recognize - which came up often, since I'm a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself - it would then download it to Apple's database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted. [....] If Apple serves me my music, that means that when I don't have wifi access, I can't listen to it. When I say 'my music,' I don't just mean the music that, over twenty years (since before iTunes existed), I painstakingly imported from thousands of CDs and saved to my computer's internal hard drive. I also mean original music that I recorded and saved to my computer. Apple and wifi access now decide if I can hear it, and where, and when. [....] the only way to prevent this from happening over and over, according to Amber, was to cancel my subscription to Apple Music (which she herself doesn't use due to the above-listed reasons) and to make sure my iCloud settings did not include storing any music backups."

Lest we forget: Many people who pretend to be older and wiser assure me that it is a paranoid delusion on my part that Obama tried to cut Social Security. I'm too tired to search out a list of links regarding his attempt to get Congress to hold a "Deficit Commission" and, when that failed, his setting up his own "Deficit Commission" packed with people whose hobby-horse was privatizing, cutting, or killing Social Security. Or how he refused to simply allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on schedule and then used this as yet another set-up for his Grand Bargain. Or any of his other machinations to try to get his GB through. But someone reminded me of this one from 2013: "Reality Check: Obama Cuts Social Security and Medicare by Much More Than the GOP: Obama plans to cut between $200 billion and $380 billion more from Social Security and Medicare than Republicans in the next ten years."

"Bus Driver's Son Beats Billionaire's Son in London Mayoral Race: Sadiq Khan overcame the smear campaign leveled against him and Labour colleagues to take back the capital after eight years of Tory rule."
* "Finkelstein Breaks His Silence. Tells Holocaust-Mongers, 'It is time to crawl back into your sewer!': The American Jewish scholar behind Labour's 'antisemitism' scandal breaks his silence", discussing the dust-up about Naz Shah MP, Ken Livingstone, and the joint war on the Labour leadership by regular Tories and Blairites..

A lot of people have been angry at the way YouTube treats creators who use clips by fair use. But it looks like they are sort of changing the rules.

"Warner Bros Wins Battle For Channing Tatum's The Forever War [...] ...the feature adaptation of the popular sci-fi actioner The Forever War with Channing Tatum attached to star and Jon Spaihts (Prometheus, Doctor Strange, Passengers) scripting.."

Patrick Leahy hasn't been much of a Senator since that assassination attempt put the fear into him, but at least he's a Batman fan.

Nice T-shirt

Steve Winwood, "Arc of a Diver"


  1. Anthem is Blue Cross Blue Shield. They were actually better than the hideous state options offered by Wisconsin so I went with them. And then they left the state because they weren't making enough money.

    The federal govt. subsidized my health insurance but in fact all I got was 'term' health insurance, an almost meaningless concept. I wasn't getting insurance because I felt sick, but because I might get sick down the road. Yet Obama's healthcare market place had no problems with this and Anthem pocketed some short-term change by applying long-term rates to people they were already planning to dump.

  2. "Donald Trump Isn't Going to Be President: He'd have to win unprecedented shares of the very kinds of voters who hate him: blacks, Latinos, and women."

    I wouldn't be so sure. What would be the impact of say, selecting Condoleeza Rice as his VP?

    1. Also do not misunderestimate the ability of Wall St. Dems to alienate voters they need to win elections.

      Exhibit A: Debbie Wasserman Schultz

  3. No, pot does not cure cancer, any more than vaccines cause autism. If it did, the pharmaceutical companies would figure out how to legalize it and charge the earth and sky for it. And, BTW, that's an anti-vax site, look at the front page.

    For the rest, politics continues depressing.

    Here's some more Obama and Social Security links from Digby:,,,,

    1. [P]ot does not cure... [i]f it did, the pharmaceutical companies would figure out how to legalize it and charge the earth and sky for it.

      Is that what they would do? [LINK]

  4. Marijuana has a range of effects, some of which are medically useful. The claims that it cures cancer has been extensively debunked. The most you can say is that it may affect cancer cells in glass dishes (in vitro), and it's a long distance from that to a clinically useful medication.

    Please. This is a scam, and it may keep people from attempting treatments that have a chance of working.

  5. The first rock concert I went to was headlined by Traffic. Stevie still had long hair.