Robert Reich Acts Surprised



Hundreds of Bernie supporters of drowned him out today with boos as he tried to make the case for voting for Hillary Clinton in order to defeat Donald J. Trump.

I understand many of you are angry with Bernie (and even with me) for suggesting that not supporting Hillary increases the odds of a Trump victory. Several of you have said you won’t choose “the lesser of two evils.” But as Bernie said today, “This is a real world we live in. Trump is a bully and a demagogue. Trump has made bigotry and hatred the cornerstone of his campaign.”

Let’s first defeat Trump, then let’s continue to build the movement — with an eye on 2020.

But Robert Reich is part of the problem. He used his quasi-economist status to insist that Bernie’s proposals made sense, while nearly everyone else in the field said otherwise. He insisted the processes were rigged, that Bernie was going to win anyway. He set his followers up for this disappointment, as recently as last week.

This crowd’s behavior isn’t new. This is what happened at all the caucuses. It happened in state delegate conventions. It happened when trying to fire campaigners leaking data to the opponent.

They aren’t there to listen, compromise, or build coalitions. They’ve democratically lost and have gotten way more influence on the platform and the convention than their votes warranted. Yet they want more.

They yelled at a black man talking about his dead dad. They yelled at a latina speaking in Spanish, most of them not knowing what she was saying. They booed Michelle Obama.

Bluntly, there is no pleasing them. Bernie has tried repeatedly over the past couple days to tell his crowd thanks for the votes, continue to push change, but ease up on Clinton and vote for her against Trump.

So they boo’d him and started talking about Jill Stein.

These were never Democrats. They got our microphones and airtime but they were never with the party, and they don’t respect its history or its current battles.

They can’t be made happy. We just have to wait for them to fade away.

The reason they’ve failed as a whole is because of this basic “coming at it the wrong way”. You can’t beat the GOP with moral purism. You have to convince the middle you’re reasonable and effective.

The Democrats aren’t a monolithic party. They’re a collection of a hundred caucuses, many of which also mega-team up for important bills in Congress. There’s a mountain of internal compromise before the GOP is even considered.

So in not working with America’s largest progressive coalition, they’re showing how they would also try to beat the GOP. With angry speeches and sit-ins and the insistence all their line items be addressed.

That’s not how you get things accomplished here. You gotta find the common ground, the win win, the compromise. The president won’t just govern the lefties, but the shotgun rack rednecks from my home town, the Christians that go to church 3 times a week, the average joe and jane that just want their paychecks to clear.

That’s been one of the biggest frustrations among Democrats. We should have been pivoting to the general in March. Super Tuesday was a landslide and the eventual outcome became pretty clear. Nate Silver continued his winning streak by calling all but 2 states within a couple percentage points. It was over then.

But instead Hillary’s assaulted from the right and the far left, both using the same playbook and headlines. Lefties post Brietbart and literal Russian state media to attack her.

Now it’s come to light that Russian hackers broke into the DNC networks, and have released everything damning in it they could find. I haven’t seen a single one of the cries of “collusion” or “corruption” prove out when you look at the emails in context. Yah they were mad at Bernie, especially after he called for the sitting chair of the DNC to be primaried. Yah they LOL’d at him sometimes, because they had those same Nate SIlver numbers we all did, and knew he wasn’t sitting as pretty as he claimed.

They should have been more professional in their correspondence. But have you hung around soldiers or doctors or EMTs? There’s some dark humor. Stuff you don’t want families to hear. But you gotta, because the work is so serious, and if you don’t lighten things up now and then and cajole with each other you’ll burn out.

Certainly none of it rises to the level of international espionage by an oppositional world actor to interfere with American elections. The fact the diehard Bernie crowd hand-waves this because they had some scraps of DNC members being catty just boggles me. This is Watergates times Bay of Pigs but they don’t care. There are emerging links between Trump and the Russian kleptocracy. They don’t care. Holocaust survivors are figuratively peeing themselves in public over Trump’s vitriol and popularity. They don’t care.

These aren’t Democrats who appreciate the work that went into suffrage, end of child labor, the civil rights era, minimum wage, reproductive rights… they’re curmudgeons with a “both parties are the same” mantra who won’t entertain any other worldview.

So let them chant. Let them embarrass themselves in the history books – the mostly white male crowd that boo’d every supporter of the soon-to-be first female president. It’s on tape. Their grandkids can go back and see the blind hatred in their eyes and hear their voices gone hoarse from attacking the progressive party. Imagine who they’ll be compared to.

Previously: Robert Reich is the Bill Nye of Economics

[ed note: Don’t bother leaving anti-establishment “both parties are the same” “crooked hillary” comments, I’ll be purging those useless rants.]

How the anti-Trump movement was finally killed last night

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Politics Blog, By Jim Galloway, July 15

Cleveland – The movement to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination for president sighed its last breath shortly after 10 p.m. this evening, as an alliance of GOP stalwarts and Trump supporters outlasted the last remnants of resistance in a 14-hour, marathon session of the convention rules committee.

In a series of three votes, the committee that sets the rules for next week’s four-day convention here eliminated the pestering argument, made primarily among social conservatives hostile to the unorthodox winner of this year’s primaries, that delegates were free to follow their consciences and ignore their pledges to support the candidates who won their states’ primaries and caucuses.

Victory wasn’t what anti-Trump forces were shooting for, but they also failed to win the quarter of the votes on the 112-member panel that would have allowed them to carry their battle to the convention floor on Monday.

9th Circuit: It’s a federal crime to visit a website after being told not to visit it

Washington Post, By Orin Kerr, July 12

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has handed down a very important decision on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Facebook v. Vachani, which I flagged just last week. For those of us worried about broad readings of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the decision is quite troubling. Its reasoning appears to be very broad. If I’m reading it correctly, it says that if you tell people not to visit your website, and they do it anyway knowing you disapprove, they’re committing a federal crime of accessing your computer without authorization.

I think this decision is wrong, and that it has big implications going forward. Here’s a rundown of the case and why it matters. I’ll conclude with a thought about a possible way to read the case more narrowly, as well as why I’m not convinced that narrow reading is correct.

Advice to Hillary

The latest Silly Season is weighing on me. I had the following dream last night

  Clinton has won the Primary and the General Elections. Between November and her inauguration, she has embarked on a a cross-country trek of ‘town hall’ meetings, ostensibly to thank the voters. For some reason, I am attending one of these meetings (What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment). Hillary picks me out of the crowd (my Abe Lincoln appearance, probably) and invites me to share the stage and talk with her, tell her what I think she needs to do, where I think the country needs to go. Mentally licking my political chops, I agree.

  You will make history as the first Woman President. That is largely due the change in the way Americans treat gender nowadays and is vindication of the efforts of a lot of women – and a few men – over the decades. It’s not you.

  You should understand that you won the election not so much on your own merits or positions on the issues. You won because enough voters realized that Donald Trump is a 4-door, brass-plated, air-conditioned, turbo-charged, 12-cylinder, 5-speed asshole. They were scared shitless at the thought of what he might do as President. Many – on both sides of the aisle – are also worried about what you will do as President.

  Much has been made of the fact that Trump’s campaign fed on and fed racism, bigotry and xenophobia. But the bottom line on his support and the support for Bernie Sanders should tell you that a great many Americans realize and resent that they have seen their income, privacy, freedom, security and future worsened or destroyed by the policies and practices of the Money Elite, many of whom contribute heavily to your financial undertakings and campaigns – and we both know they expect the favor to be returned. Screw the bastards.. They richly deserve it.

  A woman President was inevitable. It happened to be you. If you want to be a great President, you need to address the real problems of people, both here and abroad. Some of the solutions are not under your direct control but will require action by Congress and the Courts, but even there your leadership could wield influence, as a ‘bully pulpit’ and through appointments in various departments, particularly Justice and Defense.

  Get big money out of politics. Finance elections from tax money and limit spending to some reasonable amount. Ban lobbying. Entirely.. Proposals for government action should never come from corporations with a financial stake in that action. It’s bad enough that when the government puts out an RFP, those who respond will naturally toot their own horn, but we don’t need retired generals/admirals or bankers bullshitting the selection process via the Old Boy Network. Stop it.

  Implement Single Payer Healthcare by simply expanding Medicare to everyone. The procedural and IT infrastructure is already in place and functioning pretty well. At most, it might require an upscale of computer hardware. Healthcare, like education, clean water & waste disposal should be the right of every citizen – and on a not-for-profit basis.

  Stop trying to control the entire world. We are no longer the envy of the world we once were. Instead we are much of the world’s worst nightmare. Our wars, our financing and support for any petty dictator that we approve of, our CIA-led coups in various countries for decades should stop. It is true hypocrisy to criticize and even hate refugees who are are fleeing the hell we created or support. When we destroy Iraq, Syria, Libya, we can’t complain about the consequences. Stop it.

  Stop supporting privatization of things which are inherently public. Prisons and schools and water systems are not being privatized to improve efficiency but to enrich those with friends in power. Stop.

  End the ineffective (though profitable) war on drugs. Just stop it. Legalize and regulate (reasonably) all drugs.Empty and issue a blanket pardon for the thousands of people in prison for posseesing pot. If that’s their only rap sheet, wipe the record clean. And always help them reintegrate into society.

  Instead of prosecuting whistle blowers, prosecute the high-level, wealthy and well-connected criminals. The financiers responsible for the economic meltdown (and who have continued to profit). Politicians for war crimes, torture, the lies that put us in Iraq, the indiscriminate use of drones. Stop it.

  End the militarization of non-Federal law enforcement. All it does is enrich crony capitalists and facilitate an authoritarian mindset among officers who are supposed to be public servants and are increasingly acting as public masters. Stop it.

  End the NSA’s and DOD’s over-the-top spying on innocent people. Put all wiretaps and snooping back to requiring a traditional search warrant – person(s); item to be searched for; reasonable cause – before a judge. And if that overwhelms the judges, it might just indicate too much snooping. You think maybe?

  Note that most of the items involve stopping what we’d doing. It’s enough to make one contemplate the virtues of a government too small to make the mistakes we have inflicted on our people and the world. Unfortunately, the modern world does require Big Government. Stopping the misuse of government power would meet stiff resistance from those who profit from the status quo. But perhaps if we stop wasting time, money and effort on the wrong things, we would be able to spend our time, money and effort on things like improving peoples lives (at home and abroad) and limiting or even reversing Global Warming – for the sake of your new grandchild and and my great-grandchildren.

  You will make history as the first woman President.
  You could make history as a great President.
  Or not.
  It’s up to you.

World’s largest radio telescope completed in China

SlashGear, Shane McGlaun, July 5

For the last half decade, researchers in China have been at work on a gigantic radio telescope hailed as the world’s largest single dish radio telescope. That monster telescope completed construction on July 3, 2016 with the installation of the last of its 4,450 reflecting panels. The telescope is equivalent in size to 30 soccer fields and is called the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope or FAST.

With construction complete the scientists on the project are now counting down to when the telescope will see its first light in two to three months. FAST is significantly larger than the previous record holder the Arecibo telescope at 300-meters. The larger FAST telescope is much larger and more sensitive and is able to cover a larger area of the sky thanks to a lightweight adjustable feed cabin.

Crippled Atlantic currents triggered ice age climate change

Science, By Eric Hand, June 30

The last ice age wasn’t one long big chill. Dozens of times temperatures abruptly rose or fell, causing all manner of ecological change. Mysteriously, ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show that these sudden shifts—which occurred every 1500 years or so—were out of sync in the two hemispheres: When it got cold in the north, it grew warm in the south, and vice versa. Now, scientists have implicated the culprit behind those seesaws—changes to a conveyor belt of ocean currents known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

These currents, which today drive the Gulf Stream, bring warm surface waters north and send cold, deeper waters south. But they weakened suddenly and drastically, nearly to the point of stopping, just before several periods of abrupt climate change, researchers report today in Science. In a matter of decades, temperatures plummeted in the north, as the currents brought less warmth in that direction. Meanwhile, the backlog of warm, southern waters allowed the Southern Hemisphere to heat up.

AMOC slowdowns have long been suspected as the cause of the climate swings during the last ice age, which lasted from 110,000 to 15,000 years ago, but never definitively shown. The new study “is the best demonstration that this indeed happened,” says Jerry McManus, a paleo-oceanographer at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and a study author. “It is very convincing evidence,” adds Andreas Schmittner, a climate scientist at Oregon State University, Corvallis. “We did not know that the circulation changed during these shorter intervals.”

Obama Admin Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Fracking Permits in Gulf of Mexico and Mainstream Media Has Ignored It

DeSmog, By Steve Horn, June 28

On June 24, the independent news website TruthOut broke a doozy of a story: the Obama Administration has secretly approved over 1,500 instances of offshore hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the Gulf of Mexico, including during the Deepwater Horizon offshore spill disaster.

Albeit released on a Friday, a day where many mainstream media reporters head out of the office early and venture to late-afternoon and early-evening Happy Hour specials at the bars, the TruthOut story has received deafening silence by the corporate-owned media apparatus.

Google News, Factiva and LexisNexis searches reveal that not a single mainstream media outlet has covered the story.

TruthOut got its hands on the story via documents provided by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). CBD explained in a press release that they “obtained the information following an agreement that settled a lawsuit challenging the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s failure to disclose documents regarding the scope of offshore fracking in the Gulf under the Freedom of Information Act.”

Think Progress: While The Spotlight Was On Offshore Drilling, Fracking Quietly Made Its Way Into Our Oceans, July 1

Democrats Reject Platform Proposal Opposing Trade Deal

AP, By Ken Thomas, June 25

St. Louis — Democrats on Friday voted down an amendment to the party’s platform that would have opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, avoiding an awkward scenario that would have put its statement of values at odds with President Barack Obama.

Members of a Democratic National Convention drafting committee defeated a proposal led by Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., that would have added language rejecting the Pacific Rim trade pact, which has been opposed by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
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David Cameron resigns after UK votes to leave European Union

PM announces resignation following victory for leave supporters after divisive referendum campaign.

The Guardian, By Heather Stewart, Rowena Mason & Rajeev Syal, June 24

David Cameron has resigned, bringing an abrupt end to his six-year premiership, after the British public took the momentous decision to reject his entreaties and turn their back on the European Union.

Just a year after he clinched a surprise majority in the general election, a visibly emotional Cameron, standing outside Number 10 on Friday morning alongside his wife, Samantha, said: “The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered.”
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Fukushima meltdown apology: “It was a cover-up”

AP/CBS, June 21

Tokyo – The utility that ran the Fukushima nuclear plant acknowledged Tuesday its delayed disclosure of the meltdowns at three reactors was tantamount to a cover-up and apologized for it.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose’s apology followed the revelation last week that an investigation had found Hirose’s predecessor instructed officials during the 2011 disaster to avoid using the word “meltdown.”

“I would say it was a cover-up,” Hirose told a news conference. “It’s extremely regrettable.”
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Supreme Court Ruling Limits Constitutional Protections Against Searches

Evidence gathered after police illegally detain someone may be used in court absent ‘flagrant’ misconduct by law enforcement

WSJ, By Jess Bravin, June 20

WASHINGTON—A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday limited constitutional protections against searches, ruling that evidence gathered after police illegally detain someone could be used in court absent “flagrant” misconduct by law enforcement.

Writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said a police officer’s possible “negligence” in stopping a pedestrian without reasonable suspicion shouldn’t prevent prosecutors from charging him with a drug offense.
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U.S. Third Fleet expands East Asia role as tensions rise with China

Reuters, By Idrees Ali & David Brunnstrom, June 15

The U.S. Navy’s Third Fleet will send more ships to East Asia to operate outside its normal theater alongside the Japan-based Seventh Fleet, a U.S. official said on Tuesday, a move that comes at a time of heightened tensions with China.

The Third Fleet’s Pacific Surface Action Group, which includes the guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Momsen, was deployed to East Asia in April.

More Third Fleet vessels will be deployed in the region in the future, said a U.S. official who requested anonymity. He and a second official said the vessels would conduct a range of operations, but gave no details.

Is Particle Physics About to Crack Wide Open?

Hints of an unexpected new particle could be confirmed within days—and if it is, the Standard Model could be going down.

Scientific American, By Michele Redi, June 13

It’s December 15, 2015, and an auditorium in Geneva is packed with physicists. The air is filled with tension and excitement because everybody knows that something important is about to be announced. The CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has recently restarted operations at the highest energies ever achieved in a laboratory experiment, and the first new results from two enormous, complex detectors known as ATLAS and CMS are being presented. This announcement has been organized hastily because both detectors have picked up something completely unexpected. Rumors have been circulating for days about what it might be, but nobody knows for sure what is really going on, and the speculations are wild.
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Brexit vote is about the supremacy of Parliament and nothing else: Why I am voting to leave the EU

The Telegraph, By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, June 13

With sadness and tortured by doubts, I will cast my vote as an ordinary citizen for withdrawal from the European Union.

Let there be no illusion about the trauma of Brexit. Anybody who claims that Britain can lightly disengage after 43 years enmeshed in EU affairs is a charlatan, or a dreamer, or has little contact with the realities of global finance and geopolitics.
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Lindsey Graham to join global elite at world’s most secretive annual meeting

AP/McClatchy, By Vera Bergengruen, June 9

Washington – Lindsey Graham’s relentless, vocal criticism of Donald Trump has scored him an invite to meet this weekend with global leaders behind closed doors at one of the world’s most secretive annual gatherings.

The South Carolina Republican senator will join 126 high-profile figures from 20 countries for the annual Bilderberg Group meeting, his office confirmed Thursday. According to the guest list these include two prime ministers, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde as well as a mix of politicians, bankers, business leaders and former CIA head David Petraeus.
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