Links & Commentary 3/1

Pat's vacation 101Tulsi Gabbard quits DNC to endorse Bernie; fighting the Sanders electability myth; Republicans can’t make Trump go away; Zika threat; forget rising sea levels, let’s waste money bombing Syria …

U.S. Fate 2016
Super Tuesday lineup and analysis by Nate Silver and the FiveThirtyEight team. State-by-state breakdown of Republicans and Democrats. Overall, I find FiveThirtyEight has balanced coverage, which is why they are one of the first sites I go to for political news and commentary.

Unless The Democrats Run Sanders, A Trump Nomination Means A Trump Presidency [Current affairs]
Greenwald says the same thing. Because that’s what the polls are showing, regardless of Hillary’s big win in South Carolina.

Ted Cruz Survive Super Tuesday? [The New Republic]
Mathematically, the firebrand senator may be done. But that doesn’t mean his campaign will end. I predict that Ted Cruz will survive. His candidacy might not. To tell you the truth, I’ve forgotten all about him already. It’s either Trump or whoever the Republican party deciders put in his place:

GOP’s convention Hail Mary: Can a convention-floor deal stop Trump? Would it even be worth it? And will we see Romney’s return? [Salon]
The last line of defense for the anti-Trump GOP is a brokered nominating convention, and it wouldn’t be pretty.

DNC vice chair resigns, endorses Sanders, blasts Clinton’s “interventionist, regime change policies” [Salon]
Tulsi Gabbard left the Democratic National Committee, which has been accused of pro-Hillary bias, to support Bernie. I said a long time ago that she would make a good vice president. I thought of Nina Turner as well, but Bernie’s weak point is foreign policy, and Tulsi, with two tours in Iraq, knows what’s really going on. Also see this a fine commentary by David Lindorff on CounterPunch.

Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson, who is running to replace Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida’s 9th District, has endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. In an op-ed for The Huffington Post, Grayson provides the results of his survey asking whether he should endorse Sanders or Hillary Clinton. Grayson also is a Florida super delegate and pledged his vote for Bernie.

Warren’s ghost hovers over Massachusetts primary [Politico]
As Clinton and Sanders slug it out, the state’s most prominent politician is watching and waiting. Reader comments on news stories about Tulsi Gabbard’s bold move to ditch the DNC for Bernie are drawing a comparison with Elizabeth Warren. Why is she hesitating? Does she know something we don’t? Are the Dems holding her in reserve as a backup, just in case Hillary gets indicted before November?

Fear and Pandering in the Palmetto State: Why did Bernie Sanders lose in South Carolina, and what does it mean going forward? [Jacobin]

F.E.C. Tells Sanders Campaign That Some Donors May Have Given Too Much [NYT]
The article notes that errors like this are common in presidential campaigns, but manages to get a few digs in, e.g, the donors who gave a lot of money had unusual names, so the campaign should have caught them. By the way, where is all the coverage in the Times about Hillary Clinton’s PAC money? The New York Times has made no effort whatsoever to hide its favoritism of Clinton. That couldn’t possibly have anything to do with a partnership between the Clinton Foundation and the Mexican billionaire who happens to be the largest individual shareholder in the Times and who bailed out the company big-time in 2009. Of course, you didn’t read that in the Times report. There’s a reason it’s called the Clinton Machine. Oh, and after the relationship began getting scrutiny in the alternative media, the Clinton Foundation altered its online donors list to reduce the amount he gave.

Hedge Fund Billionaires Fund Super PAC Ad Against Bernie Sanders and Minimum Wage Hike [The Intercept]
Future 45 had previously targeted Hillary Clinton with ads taking aim at her policies in Libya. This is its first ad against Bernie Sanders. This actually is good news. It means they’re scared he might win.

Pleasure Planet
Oscars 2016: 10 Things We Learned [Rolling Stone]
From Leo’s deserving win to the evening’s real loser (rhymes with “lump”), our takeaways from last night’s #OscarsSoWhite

Phobos & Deimos
Zika is expected to infect 1 in 5 Puerto Ricans, raising threat to rest of U.S. [WaPo]
Cases of the virus are expected to rise on the island in coming months. And that raises the likelihood of transfer to the mainland.
Fear of terrorism by mosquitoes, which can’t be put on a no-fly list or kept under NSA surveillance.

World War III
Is nuclear Armageddon more likely than ever? [The Week]
The Doomsday Clock, the symbolic countdown to Armageddon, was last year moved from five minutes to midnight to three minutes. “We are facing nuclear dangers today that are in fact more likely to erupt into a nuclear conflict than during the Cold War,” says former Secretary of Defense William Perry. Mars is retrograde from April 17 to June 29, in difficult aspect with Saturn and Jupiter, and that

Flood Damage Costs Will Rise Faster Than Sea Levels, Study Says [Inside Climate News]
Research begins to show that damage will increase exponentially and aims to give coastal cities a way to prepare for them. Right, so let’s go kick some butt in Syria, get us a pipeline, make sure China and Russia don’t destroy “American values.” This is why I’m so blatantly against more Clintons in the White House.

Surveillance State
Apple Wins Major Court Victory Against FBI in a Case Similar to San Bernardino [The Intercept]

And two more from The Intercept:
Summoned to Capitol Hill, Apple Comes Armed With Questions for Congress [The Intercept]

California Courts Demand Total Access to Email and Social Media Accounts [The Intercept]
As the FBI and Apple fight a media war over whether the federal government can force the computer company to hack an iPhone, in California a new privacy law is raising questions over how deeply government should be allowed to peer into a convicted criminal’s digital life.

One-Minute Meditation
Image Credit: © Pat Paquette
Image Credit: © Pat Paquette