Links & Commentary  Weekend 2/27-28

Gretchen Christmas in Florida 2015-croppedBlack activist thrown out of Clinton fundraiser; Sanders 1995 assessment of Bill Clinton; TV pundits’ conflict of interest exposed; falling oil prices fuel Saudi unrest; comments on Sun-Neptune conjunction…

U.S. Fate 2016
Bernie Sanders Is Narrowing the Gap in South Carolina [In These Times]
He has an enthusiastic field campaign and growing support from black activists and politicians. Will it be enough? We’ll know within the next few hours…

#WhichHillary Trends After Activists Interrupt Clinton at Fundraiser [Colorlines]
Ashley Williams interrupted Clinton during a private fundraiser in Charleston, South Carolina. Wow, if Colorlines is criticizing Hillary, she’s in some trouble with the A-A community. If we’ve got the right birth time for her – a big if, given all the conflicting data – Mars just crossed over her Ascendant. Typical manifestations are personal altercations, whether provoked or not. Also, this is a bad time to run with scissors.

Fight the soulless juggernaut: Big money, machine politics and the real issue separating Sanders and Clinton [Salon]
Democrats face a stark choice: A money-mad, scandal-plagued establishment, or the potential of decency and change. Camille Paglia has been dumping on Hillary for years, so this article is no big surprise. This isn’t just another anti-Hillary rant, though. Mostly, it’s about the importance of free public education and what needs to be done to ensure that it’s not just free but good.

With Donald Trump Looming, Should Dems Take a Huge Electability Gamble by Nominating Hillary Clinton? [Greenwald, The Intercept]
Greenwald does a complete breakdown of the polls, which consistently show that Bernie Sanders has a better chance of beating Trump in November.

Donald Trump’s bigotry has inspired U.S. Muslim voters like no candidate before [WaPo]
Who would have thought we’d be taking about the “Muslim vote?” Damn, Bernie is managing to bring people together.

It’s Official: Robert Reich Endorses Bernie Sanders [U.S. Uncut]
Robert Reich, who served as secretary of labor under Pres. Bill Clinton, has resisted endorsing Bernie Sanders, at one point telling his followers on Facebook that he had to remain nonpartisan due to his position as chairman of the board of Common Cause. He finally gave in, saying that he would help elect Hillary Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee, but that he believes Sanders is the “agent of change this nation so desperately needs.” I wonder if Krugman will now officially endorse Clinton. He’s been pretending for long enough.

Bernie Sanders in 1995: A Brutal Assessment of Bill Clinton’s First 2 Years as President [In These Times]
Bernie wrote this column for the socialist newspaper In These Times back in 1995, when he was in his third term as Vermont’s lone representative. Funny how it sounds an awful lot like his campaign speeches today. He also was remarkably ahead of his time in warning that the further the Democratic Party moved to the right, the more vulnerable it would be to defeat by the Republicans:
The president needs to understand that his only hope for political survival, and the only strategy for defeating the Republicans, is to rally ordinary Americans under the banner of social justice. Yes, the wealthy control the media and exert a dominant influence over the political and economic life of the nation. But 95 percent of the American people are not wealthy. Clinton’s political future, and the defeat of right-wing Republicanism, rests on his ability to understand this simple point—and to make it clear to the ordinary people of this country, that he is on their side.

Propaganda Wars
TV Pundits Praise Hillary Clinton on Air, Fail to Disclose Financial Ties to Her Campaign [The Intercept]
Excellent bit of investigative reporting. I thought it was bad that aids to Bill Clinton were doing the post-debate spin, which of course was always, “Hillary Clinton won,” “She looked the most presidential,” blahblahblah. But this is beyond the pale.

Phobos & Deimos
Saudi Arabia is reeling from falling oil prices. And it could get much worse. [WaPo]
Low oil prices are creating havoc in Saudi Arabia, which gets an estimated 90 percent of its income from oil. Over the decades, oil revenues allowed the government to maintain stability and civil obedience through generous subsidies, government jobs, and low taxes. Under new austerity measures, unrest is brewing, especially among the younger generations. An Arab Spring uprising here would be brutal. This article doesn’t mention it, but the Saudis are one of the primary sponsors of terrorism in the region, and some fighters returning home from jihad are turning on their masters. The implications are sobering. In mundane astrology, oil is co-ruled by Jupiter and Neptune, and both are being squared by Saturn in Sagittarius, the sign most associated with religious extremism.

Global Warming Hiatus Is Real [Reason]
An apparent slowing in the rise of global temperatures at the beginning of the twenty-first century, which is not explained by climate models, was referred to as a “hiatus” or a “pause” when first observed several years ago. Climate-change skeptics have used this as evidence that global warming has stopped. But in June last year, a study in Science claimed that the hiatus was just an artefact which vanishes when biases in temperature data are corrected. Now a prominent group of researchers is countering that claim, arguing in Nature Climate Change that even after correcting these biases the slowdown was real.

Financial Astrology
This week’s financial forecast by Ray Merriman, founder and CEO of the Merriman Market Analyst [MMA Cycles]
March begins with a bang, as the fiery Sun makes its translation to the approaching Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune mutable T-square. That wild combination can be very unstable. But the fiery sun is tempered because it is in the water sign of Pisces, which just adds confusion and uncertainty already dominant in world markets today. We could also see world leaders and presidential candidates getting themselves into some very hot water.

Making a killing from ‘austerity’: the EU’s great privatisation fire sale [The Ecologist]
This is under “Neo-feudalism” for now, but it may not be long before it moves to “Revolt of the Peasants.”

The Security State
FBI vs. Apple Establishes a New Phase of the Crypto Wars [The Intercept]
You might say we’re entering the Post-Crypto phase of the Crypto Wars. Think about it: The more we learn about the FBI’s demand that Apple help it hack into a password-protected iPhone, the more it looks like part of a concerted, long-term effort by the government to find new ways around unbreakable encryption — rather than try to break it. The following report confirms that suspicion, and more:

Secret Memo Details U.S.’s Broader Strategy to Crack Phones [Bloomberg]

Planetary Cycles
Sunday, February 28
Sun conjunct Neptune at 9°29′ Pisces, 10:46 a.m. EST
In mundane astrology, the Sun represents the president, prime minister, monarch, aristocracy, and cabinet secretaries/ministers. Also the hero or national champion. At 10:46 in Washington, D.C., the Sun and Neptune are conjunct in the tenth house, which pertains to the national leader, presumably the president.

Neptune is affiliated with socialism, collectivism, and left-wing political ideologies in general. On the negative side, it can indicate conspiracies, sedition, fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and other illegal activities, as well as losses from involvement in such activities. Setting up a private e-mail server to circumvent open-records laws would be a classic example, as would rigging elections, tampering with the vote count, and campaign dirty tricks. Neptune rules oil; also photography and movies.


One-Minute Meditation
Image credit: © Gretchen Friedrich
Image credit: © Gretchen Friedrich