17 March 2019

I don't know where but she sends me there

The Bernie Sanders rally in Brooklyn was notable for many things, but Nina Turner's speech was the best playlist I've seen in years and had me raising my hands at my desk. Wow, love that woman! Shaun King did a nice job of filling out Bernie's background, too. (MSNBC lied about Bernie's speech, of course, in that "Oh, he didn't talk enough about racism and sexism" way we've come to expect from establishment partisans.)

Freshman Congresswoman Katie Porter gets Equifax CEO to admit that releasing private data causes harm. Not only does this embarrass him, but it can now be used by litigants in the case against Equifax.

I haven't seen anyone much talking about it, but this is a big deal. Charlie Pierce, "The Supreme Court Just Stopped Local Sheriffs From Carjacking to Pay the Bills. And it was a unanimous ruling. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court unanimously decided the case of Timbs v. Indiana. The decision was an auspicious one, and it was auspicious for two reasons. The first was that the decision was written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg so, yes, she's back, sports fans. The second is that it was a harpoon sunk deeply into the scam that is the civil forfeiture procedure."

Scott Lemieux, "Police abused civil forfeiture laws for so long that the Supreme Court stepped in. But one ruling won't end it. Arbitrary state actions are exactly what the courts should be checking, and the Timbs decision provides a way to challenge many such abuses. [...] On Tuesday, in its unanimous ruling in Timbs v. Indiana, the court for the first time held that the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on 'excessive fines' also applies to state and local governments. And, even more importantly, the court rejected Indiana's argument that, even if the excessive fines clause applies to the state, it does not apply to the civil forfeiture of the assets of criminals (or suspected criminals.) In her relatively brief opinion for the Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg rejected the conclusion of the Indiana Supreme Court that the civil forfeiture was lawful. Ginsburg — speaking for eight of the court's nine members — held that, like the vast majority of the Bill of Rights, the excessive fines clause is a fundamental right that applies to the states under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. And, since the court had already held in a 1993 federal case that civil forfeitures that are even partly punitive are governed by the excessive fines clause, applying the clause to the states made the case easy."

"W.V. teachers' rapid strike victory shows why progressives must join fight against privatization: West Virginia's most recent statewide teacher walkout came and went so quickly there was too little time and attention to comprehend and appreciate the impact the teachers' actions will likely have long-term on changing the narrative of the teacher movement and how politically progressive advocates and candidates relate to it. In the very first day of the strike, teachers squelched new state legislation they objected to and then held out an additional day to ensure it would die. The day after schools reopened, the teachers got what they wanted — a 'clean' bill increasing teacher pay five percent.But, unlike their largely successful labor action from last year, this time the teachers weren't making pocketbook issues the focal points of their demands. Instead, it was all about stopping school privatization through charter schools and a new voucher program. The point of the strike was to oppose a Senate bill that included bringing charters and a voucher program to the state even though the measure included the pay raise teachers wanted. Teachers accompanied their protests in the capitol building with chants of 'Hey-hey, ho-ho, charter schools have got to go.'"

Jeez, Lee Camp covers a lot of stuff, much of which I didn't see highlighted anywhere else. This week's 1-minute rundown has things no one on else on social media even mentioned. Also, Venezuelans have food and toothpaste, thanks.

TMBS - 79 - Venezuela, Haiti, and the New Imperialism ft. France Francois

"Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez chew out House Dems who vote with the GOP in tense closed-door meeting: report: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tore into fellow Democrats for voting with the GOP on procedural votes during an emotional closed-door session Thursday. Politico reported that Pelosi warned moderate members of the caucus that they could lose financial support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee if they kept voting with the opposite side of the aisle." And AOC said she'll be watching their votes and making sure voters knew what they did.

Ryan Grim, "The Special Interests Behind Rep. Pramila Jayapal's Medicare For All Bill Are Not The Usual Suspects: THE MEDICARE FOR ALL legislation unveiled Wednesday by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington state, was written with the help of a broad swath of lobbyists and special interest groups, if perhaps not the kind associated with typical health policy legislation on Capitol Hill. The key outside groups involved in the drafting included nurses, doctors, disability rights activists, and advocates for the elderly, as well as public interest organizations such as Public Citizen and the Center for Popular Democracy. The result is legislation that, within one year of its passage, would provide improved Medicare coverage for everyone 19 and under, as well as everyone 55 and over. Within two years, it would cover everyone between the ages of 19 and 55, as well." (Later: The Sanders/Jayapal proposal just got more inclusive.)

"Michael Hudson: The Shape of the Venezuelan Economy, from Chavez to Maduro and Beyond: Venezuela was an oil monoculture. Its export revenue was spent largely on importing food and other necessities that it could have produced at home. Its trade was largely with the United States. So despite its oil wealth, it ran up foreign debt. From the outset, U.S. oil companies have feared that Venezuela might someday use its oil revenues to benefit its overall population instead of letting the U.S. oil industry and its local comprador aristocracy siphon off its wealth. So the oil industry — backed by U.S. diplomacy — held Venezuela hostage in two ways. First of all, oil refineries were not built in Venezuela, but in Trinidad and in the southern U.S. Gulf Coast states. This enabled U.S. oil companies — or the U.S. Government — to leave Venezuela without a means of 'going it alone' and pursuing an independent policy with its oil, as it needed to have this oil refined. It doesn't help to have oil reserves if you are unable to get this oil refined so as to be usable. Second, Venezuela's central bankers were persuaded to pledge their oil reserves and all assets of the state oil sector (including Citgo) as collateral for its foreign debt. This meant that if Venezuela defaulted (or was forced into default by U.S. banks refusing to make timely payment on its foreign debt), bondholders and U.S. oil majors would be in a legal position to take possession of Venezuelan oil assets. These pro-U.S. policies made Venezuela a typically polarized Latin American oligarchy. Despite being nominally rich in oil revenue, its wealth was concentrated in the hands of a pro-U.S. oligarchy that let its domestic development be steered by the World Bank and IMF. The indigenous population, especially its rural racial minority as well as the urban underclass, was excluded from sharing in the country's oil wealth. The oligarchy's arrogant refusal to share the wealth, or even to make Venezuela self-sufficient in essentials, made the election of Hugo Chavez a natural outcome."

"Billionaire dies during Paris penis enlargement operation: Billionaire diamond trader Ehud Arye Laniad's pursuit of a plentiful penis has ended in his death. The 65-year-old big wheel died of a heart attack at a private Paris hospital where he was undergoing a penis enlargement procedure."

Michael Brooks started his show Tuesday with clips of Joe Biden making a series of claims about criminals that were not true but sure helped him get that horrible crime bill passed.

"No Joe! Joe Biden's disastrous legislative legacy" — Joe liked to reach across the aisle to Strom Thurmond, among others, and tie his name to other horrible GOP ideas. "Despite pleas from the ­NAACP and the ­ACLU, the 1990s brought no relief from Biden's crime crusade. He vied with the first Bush Administration to introduce ever more draconian laws, including one proposing to expand the number of offenses for which the death penalty would be permitted to fifty-one. Bill Clinton quickly became a reliable ally upon his 1992 election, and Biden encouraged him to 'maintain crime as a Democratic initiative' with suitably tough legislation. The ensuing 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, passed with enthusiastic administration pressure, would consign millions of black Americans to a life behind bars."

Reparations have entered the 2020 presidential race. It's a serious question that no one has really come up with a solid answer for. I don't just mean the candidates, most of whom have never supported it at all, but the pro-reparations activists who've struggled with it for decades. Briahna Gray says, "Bernie Sanders Asks the Right Question on Reparations: What Does It Mean?" Ryan Cooper says, "Democrats aren't serious about reparations." To me, Sanders' policies are reparations for everyone who's been screwed by the aristocrats, and build new structures that will help women and minorities — and most everyone else — and make much more sense to talk about. When most people are hanging on by their fingertips, it's bad politics to spend much time talking about programs that only help black people. And besides, Sanders' policies are right in line with the NAACP's.

"ACLU sues Texas schools, AG over Israel boycott law: The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Ken Paxton, two universities and two school districts Tuesday, claiming a 2017 state law that requires contractors to sign a pledge against boycotting Israel violates the Constitution by forcing workers to choose between their livelihoods and beliefs." Also, "Want a Contract with A&M? Be Ready to Sign a Pro-Israel Loyalty Oath."

David Dayen in The New Republic, "Ilhan Omar's Victory for Political Sanity: The freshman congresswoman was right: The pro-Israel lobby uses financial muscle to influence Congress. That shouldn't be a controversial statement. Would House Democrats censure one of their own for daring to suggest that the deep-pocketed fossil fuel lobby buys influence in Congress? What about a member who said the same about Big Pharma? And yet, Democratic leaders on Wednesday were on the cusp of implicitly rebuking U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar for criticizing the pro-Israel lobby's power. 'I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,' she said a recent event. This was destined to be another example of the impossibility in Washington of deviating from unflinching support of Israel's policies. But then something remarkable happened. The Democrats' resolution against anti-Semitism was tabled after an outcry from members who felt Omar, a Muslim woman of color, was being singled out and that the party should condemn the full spectrum of religious bigotry, including the Islamophobia practiced by President Trump. A powerful lobby tried to suppress criticism of its work, and rank-and-file Democrats spoke their minds."

"This Is How AIPAC Really Works: An AIPAC and Capitol Hill veteran explains the lobby's tactics of reward and retribution. One thing that should be said about Representative Ilhan Omar's tweet about the power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (more commonly known as AIPAC, or the 'Israel lobby') is that the hysterical reaction to it proved her main point: The power of AIPAC over members of Congress is literally awesome, although not in a good way. Has anyone ever seen so many members of Congress, of both parties, running to the microphones and sending out press releases to denounce one first-termer for criticizing the power of... a lobby?"

"Florida's anti-Semitism bill would go even further in blocking free speech: A Florida 'hate crime' bill with an expanded, Israel-centric definition of anti-Semitism and no mention of other religions, is working its way through House committees. The bill would criminalize criticisms of Israel."

"Joe Biden's Biggest 2020 Problem Is Joe Biden: Despite cultivating a populist image, the former vice president has spent his career championing policies favored by Republicans and the corporate elite. Biden has spent his entire career fighting for the Big Guy against the Little Guy. "Biden was a steadfast supporter of an economic agenda that caused economic inequality to skyrocket during the Clinton years. While the poor and middle class made modest gains as a percentage of their income, a pay increase of 2.5 percent wasn't terribly meaningful for people who didn't make much money to begin with. The fortunes of the rich, by contrast, swelled as Clinton cut taxes on capital gains from real estate and financial investments. While Clinton's 1993 budget raised the top income tax rate from 36 percent to 39.6 percent, the economic gains from his 1997 tax cut were heavily concentrated among the rich. As a result, the top 1 percent's share of the national income grew dramatically. Biden voted for all of it. At the same time, landmark banking deregulation further concentrated the nation's wealth in the hands of a few big players. Biden voted for the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking Act, which allowed banks to expand across state lines. He voted to repeal Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law that barred traditional commercial banks from engaging in risky, high-flying securities trades. These laws encouraged Wall Street mega-mergers that created too big to fail and too big to manage behemoths like Citigroup and Wells Fargo. He voted to bar federal or state supervision of credit default swaps, which later became become 'financial weapons of mass destruction' during the 2008 financial crisis. [...] Biden also spent roughly a decade pursuing an overhaul of American bankruptcy law to discourage debt-strapped households from discharging their financial obligations in court. As then-academic Elizabeth Warren warned at the time, Biden's bankruptcy law boosted revenues for credit card companies at the expense of families struggling with job losses and medical bills. Unlike the Clinton-era deregulation, the bankruptcy bill was unpopular with Senate Democrats, who voted against it 31 to 14." And of course, he eagerly went to bat for Obama's Grand Bargain to cut Social Security in exchange for a trivial tax-raise on the rich.

An associate says this about Biden: "And voting for every piece of anti choice legislation he could vote for. He said when Roe was decided that women shouldn't have the right to control their bodies that way. He voted for the Hyde Amendment in 1977 without a rape or incest exception. Hyde has grown to basically deny abortion from insurance companies all over the country. He twice voted for a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe. The Hatch amendment of 82 and 83. He voted for every version of the so called partial birth abortion ban until George W Bush signed it. When Clinton refused to sign the 1993 budget unless rape and incest were included in the Hyde Amendment, which Clinton refused to put in all his budgets by the way, Joe didn't attempt to redeem himself..he voted to have no rape or incest exception. There are proactive, prochoice bills that who the hell knows what this dinosaur would do...Like the The Each Woman Act..to repeal Hyde and prohibit bans on insurance coverage for abortion"

Some interesting words on Biden here, too: The Michael Hudson Interview: Bronze Age Redux - On Debt, Clean Slates And What The Ancients Have To Teach Us [...] When you privatize not only education, but also student loans, that is what has led to the student loan crisis. It was completely unnecessary. But Joe Biden, as senator for the credit card companies centered in Delaware, pushed it through, saying, 'We've got to make education a profit center for the banks. Our purpose is not to educate the population, it's to create a situation where in order to get a job, in order to get a union card, they have to go into a lifetime of debt to the banks that cannot be wiped out by bankruptcy.' That's the Democratic Party policy. And it's what's tearing the country apart." He's got an interesting take on the Biblical support for cancellation of debts, too. "You had a continuation of the original Christianity in the Greek Orthodox Church, or the Orthodox Church, all the way through Byzantium. And in my book And Forgive Them Their Debts, the last two chapters are on the Byzantine echo of the original debt cancellations, where one ruler after another would cancel the debts. And they gave very explicit reason for it: if we don't cancel the debts, we're not going to be able to field an army, we're not going to be able to collect taxes, because the oligarchy is going to take over. They were very explicit, with references to the Bible, references to the jubilee year. So you had Christianity survive in the Byzantine Empire. But in the West it ended in Margaret Thatcher. And Father Coughlin."

"Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez And The New Left: THE INTERCEPT'S Senior Politics Editor Briahna Gray spoke with New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at SXSW about identity, race, and class, and how these debates are likely to play out in the years ahead."

As always, the most honest appraisal of Beto O'Rourke's announcement that he's throwing his hat into the ring comes from...The Onion. Because if there's anything we need right now, it's empty platitudes from some white guy who doesn't remember why Democrats aren't that friendly with GOP ideas.

"Bernie Sanders Is Beating Kamala Harris 2-1 Among Black Democratic Primary Voters, New Poll Finds: THREE WEEKS AFTER launching his presidential campaign, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading all other announced candidates in support from black voters, a new poll finds. The only potential candidate who polled better with African-Americans than Sanders, according to the poll by Morning Consult, is former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not announced a campaign. Despite a persistent notion that his supporters are disproportionately white male 'bros,' the new survey suggests that Sanders is actually slightly more popular among black Democratic voters than white ones, indicating that the narrative that developed during the 2016 campaign may no longer hold, if it ever did. Sanders's support among black voters, at 28 percent, puts him in second place among that demographic, behind Biden, at 32 percent. He trailed Biden 31-25 among whites. There appears to be a strong class element at play in the finding. The same poll found that the demographics Sanders is least popular with — at 19 and 17 percent, respectively — are Democrats who make more than $100,000 per year and Democrats who have post-graduate degrees (two qualities that typically, if not always, overlap). Because of structural wealth and income gaps, that population is heavily white. Sanders, meanwhile, receives his strongest support from those making less than $50,000 — a group that is, for the same reasons, much more diverse. The poll found that 30 percent of those with the lowest incomes backed Sanders."

RIP: "Carrie Ann Lucas Dies At Age 47, You Probably Haven't Heard Of Her And That's A Problem: Yesterday, February 24th, the disability rights advocate community lost one of its mightiest members, Carrie Ann Lucas. Lucas was a nationally known disability rights attorney and a mother of four children, each of whom are adopted and living with disabilities. She was only 47 years old. Her death was announced by family and friends on her Facebook page: '[Lucas] died after an arbitrary denial from an insurance company caused a plethora of health problems, exacerbating her disabilities and eventually leading to her premature death.'"

RIP: "Hal Blaine, Wrecking Crew Drummer, Is Dead at 90: He played drums on at least 40 singles that reached No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart," And you know all of them. He actually replaced Dennis Wilson in the recording studio, among many other things. And there are some things that just don't happen with a drum machine. I miss that.

Anti-Bernie Twitter likes to rag about how no one who Bernie endorses or who endorses Bernie ever wins an election. This taunt would be meaningless even if it were true since so many of them are challengers running against incumbents, but when you really look at the record, it's amazing how many actually win.

"The anti-Bernie Sanders campaign being pushed by former Clinton staffers, explained: Former Hillary Clinton aides really want Bernie Sanders to get the Clinton treatment." It's pretty simple: They're bitter. And they want 2020 to be bitter as well.

The Boston Herald says, "Democrats ignore Bernie Sanders at their own risk."

And, interestingly, National Review says, "Don't Laugh, Bernie Can Win: He can talk to working-class voters without the usual Democratic condescension. [...] Some have said that Sanders overperformed in the 2016 Democratic primary because Hillary Clinton is a uniquely bad candidate. (Well, Rich Lowry has said that.) Sanders would fade under closer scrutiny. If it seems like he's a real contender to grab the nomination, people will research the weird things he said in the 1970s and 1980s. Or they'll get more accustomed to his personal quirks and affect. And then he'll fade. A gap between the austerity of his democratic-socialist politics and his relatively comfortable personal lifestyle will overwhelm him. My response: Where have you been the last four years? Polished candidates are out. Candid candidates are in. Voters can and will forgive their politicians almost any verbal lapses, so long as they believe the candidate doesn't hate them. Sanders has the manners not to talk about huge swathes of the American public with disdain or contempt. We know he won't repeat Mitt Romney's 'takers' moment. But, crucially, while Sanders will denounce racism and divisiveness, he won't imply that Trump's supporters are economically useless 'deplorables.' Bernie is not 'intersectional' — at least, not in the alienating way. His declared enemies are the millionaires and billionaires who buy up public policy. He will not be tempted, as some other candidates may be, to mimic or adopt the young-lefty-media views on intersectionality that remain avant-garde and alienating to key swing constituencies. [...] Sanders's version of left-wing politics will ring out as almost nostalgic and comforting to voters lower on the socioeconomic scale. In fact, he may have more crossover appeal. The possibility of 'Obama-Trump-Sanders' voters flipping Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania is a real one. If the age of Clinton has officially ended in the Democratic party, Sanders offers the party a pre-Clintonite identity. His ambitions are to expand on the New Deal and the Fair Deal, to overcome the resistance that national health care met in the famous do-nothing Congress. [...] Finally, and this is an important point: One of Sanders's greatest advantages is his stubbornness. Sometime in the 1990s, Americans got used to the idea that politics is entirely phony. It's all 'spin.' All candidates 'pivot.' Donald Trump has a very unfaithful relationship with the truth. At the same time, Trump's character is transparent. People knew what kind of man Trump really was when they voted for him. Sanders's lifelong adherence to social-democratic politics, his willingness to sit on the margins because of his fidelity to that vision, is his greatest asset. The whole world has grown soft and inconstant. Sanders is a rebuke to that. Republicans and conservatives need to take him very seriously."

Guiliann Di Lauro Valez, "I Was Sexually Harassed on Bernie Sanders's 2016 Campaign. I Will Not Be Weaponized or Dismissed: LAST WEEK, MY experience, and that of some of my female co-workers, became the focus of a New York Times story on the sexual harassment and sexism that took place in the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign. I told my story to bring attention to the sexist environment that is unfortunately endemic to most workspaces, including political campaigns. However, I was disheartened to discover that the takeaway by many pundits was not that sexism and harassment is pervasive, but that Sanders was somehow uniquely culpable. I was also struck by some of the messages and tweets calling into question the character of the women who spoke out. As was the case throughout the 2016 campaign season, my personal experiences as a woman of color were sublimated to serve an establishment media narrative that pretends the progressive movement is all white, all male, and runs counter to the interests of women and people of color. But my story should not be taken to confirm the 'Bernie bro' mythology. It should be taken to confirm the pervasiveness of sexism in professional life and distill the hard truths that all campaigns should learn from."

Neoliberal epiphany: "A Clinton-era centrist Democrat explains why it's time to give democratic socialists a chance." Yes, Brad DeLong has (sort of) seen the light. He's still essentially a neoliberal, but he seems to have discovered that it's pointless to push it at the moment. "We were certainly wrong, 100 percent, on the politics. Barack Obama rolls into office with Mitt Romney's health care policy, with John McCain's climate policy, with Bill Clinton's tax policy, and George H.W. Bush's foreign policy. He's all these things not because the technocrats in his administration think they're the best possible policies, but because [White House adviser] David Axelrod and company say they poll well. And [Chief of Staff] Rahm Emanuel and company say we've got to build bridges to the Republicans. We've got to let Republicans amend cap and trade up the wazoo, we've got to let Republicans amend the [Affordable Care Act] up the wazoo before it comes up to a final vote, we've got to tread very lightly with finance on Dodd-Frank, we have to do a very premature pivot away from recession recovery to 'entitlement reform.' All of these with the idea that you would then collect a broad political coalition behind what is, indeed, Mitt Romney's health care policy and John McCain's climate policy and George H.W. Bush's foreign policy. And did George H.W. Bush, did Mitt Romney, did John McCain say a single good word about anything Barack Obama ever did over the course of eight solid years? No, they fucking did not. [...] I'd say we learned more about the world. I could be confident in 2005 that [recession] stabilization should be the responsibility of the Federal Reserve. That you look at something like laser-eye surgery or rapid technological progress in hearing aids, you can kind of think that keeping a market in the most innovative parts of health care would be a good thing. So something like an insurance-plus-exchange system would be a good thing to have in America as a whole. It's much harder to believe in those things now. That's one part of it. The world appears to be more like what lefties thought it was than what I thought it was for the last 10 or 15 years." You're halfway there, Brad.

Too many good quotes in this one from Nathan Robinson in Current Affairs about "The Obama Boys", working in the White House having an empty West Wing-y fantasy life around a man who everyone said was a great progressive speaker though he was deeply regressive and no one can really remember any inspiring quotations from him. Why? It was straight boys in love, but there was nothing there. They just loved him. "Indeed, Litt comes away from an Obama event and says 'yet here's the remarkable thing: I don't remember a word.' He felt 'a kind of patriotic ecstasy' but he doesn't actually seem to have been inspired by the idea of actually doing anything with the power of government. Indeed, Pfeiffer's memoir says that while conventional wisdom in politics is that you should talk about 'issues and policy positions' for Obama 'the campaign was the message.' Paraphrasing Jay-Z ('I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man') the Obama staff concludes that Obama is not a 'message man,' he's the 'message, man.' Pfeiffer says he had 'desperately wanted' something in his life that felt 'more like a cause than a campaign,' and in Obama he found it. But the 'hope and change' they sought consisted of getting Obama elected. Obama 'made our union more perfect simply by entering the White House,' Litt says. After that, it was all a bit 'gauzy but vague' (Pfeiffer's words). No wonder, then, that after being elected Obama disbanded his grassroots organizing apparatus — an act regarded by some as one of the worst political mistakes of his presidency. There was nothing to organize for."

And another billionaire chimes in, "Hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio: 'Capitalism basically is not working for the majority of people'."

"America is not "polarized": it's a land where a small minority tyrannize the supermajority: Writing in the New York Times, Tim Wu (previously) describes the state of American politics after decades of manipulation dirty tricks and voter suppression, where policies with extremely high levels of public approval like higher taxes on the super-rich (75%), paid maternity leave (67%), net neutrality (83%), parallel importation of pharmaceuticals from Canada (71%) and empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices (92%) are nevertheless considered politically impossible. Of course the thing that all these policies have in common is that they would make life vastly better for nearly all of us, while making the super-rich a very little worse off. As Wu points out, this is not a picture of a "heavily polarized" nation, as the pundits would have it. These policies are wildly popular and are outside of the political mainstream because a minority have figured out how to suppress the will of the supermajority."

I've always felt that someone called "Donna Shalala" should have an honorable job singing "Baby, It's You" with the Shirelles rather than spouting anti-Venezuela propaganda.

Stephon Clark speaks truth to power at the Sacramento City Council and doesn't pull any punches.

"Is the Skills Gap Real? Changes in Employer Skill Requirements During the Great Recession: Since the Great Recession, employers have cited a skills gap in which workers lack the education and experience needed to fill vacant jobs. In response, federal and state policymakers have called for increased efforts for training and retraining of workers to alleviate this mismatch in the labor market. While job requirements increased for many openings during the recession, the inverse has happened as the labor market has recovered: some employers have been lowering education and experience requirements to fill open positions. Does a skills gap exist and if so, what should public policy do about it?"


There's an English children's classic called Swallows and Amazons which I never heard of until I saw this article, which instantly made me think I should show it to my parents until I remembered I couldn't. "Swallows and Armenians: Arthur Ransome's forgotten inspirations revealed : A new art project is exploring how the characters in the English children's classic were modelled on a family from Aleppo."

Gorgeous food carving by Daniele Barresi.

Ridley Scott's Hennessy ad looks like a science fiction film you'd like to see.

A whole album of Hal Blaine drumming: Pet Sounds.