Links & Commentary 3/17

Image credit: © Gretchen FriedrichTuesday primaries round-up; Rubio drops out after losing to Trump; media ignores Bernie’s speech about moving forward; centrist groups with ties to Clinton red-bait Bernie; why Trump’s nomination isn’t a given…

U.S. Fate 2016

Hillary Clinton Has Big Night; Media Moves to Silence Bernie Sanders Campaign [Democracy Now!]
Amy Goodman has shown favoritism toward Clinton in the past, but Democracy Now! was one of the few news organizations that ran this story.

Springtime for Trump, Cruz and Kasich; Half-Time for Bernie and Hillz [Naked Capitalism]
Impressive round-up on the Tuesday primaries by Lambert Strether over at Naked Capitalism, with his typical dry wit. As always with NC, take the time to read the comments. This is a savvy readership, and thanks to the tight moderation, trolling is almost non-existent.

How Bernie Sanders is hijacking the Democratic Party to be elected as an independent [WaPo]
Yet another smear piece against Bernie the day of five primaries. I’m assuming it was an organized media blitz by the Clinton campaign, which is known for just this sort of thing. But I will be fair and point out that there was a T-square with Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn on Tuesday, so maybe it was the planets that caused all those anti-Bern articles to come out at the same time.

The big difference between Clinton and Sanders [CNN]
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and a foreign policy adviser to Bernie Sanders, offers a counter-argument to centrist groups that have long been associated with the Clintons.

Trump’s trade rhetoric splits party and makes economists quake [Financial Times]
He’s against the TPP. Oh, dear. One more thing to have to agree on with Trump.

How to Steal a Nomination From Donald Trump [Bloomberg]
Here’s how Republican leadership could steal the nomination out from under Trump’s nose. Before you start jumping for joy, just keep in mind that Republican voters want Trump, and if party leaders overrule their own electorate to install a candidate more to their liking, any illusion that the United States is a democracy will be swept away. And for what it’s worth, I didn’t hear Donald Trump threatening to start a riot, as the media reported. He said simply that there could be a riot if party leaders go against the will of the rank and file. I would expect the same if Democratic leaders ignored voter preference for Bernie Sanders (if that turns out to be the case; so far, it’s not). As much media attention as Trump is getting, a lot of it is not fair or balanced.

What’s Wrong With Hillary? [Politico]
“The GOP is fretting about Trump, but the Democrats’ likely standard-bearer could do just as much damage to her own party,” writes Jeff Greenfield.

Propaganda Wars

New York Times busted for anti-Bernie bias: The iconic, Clinton-endorsing newspaper slyly edits article to smear Sanders [Salon]
Surely it’s no coincidence that on the day of five primaries, three of which were predicted to be close, the Times edited a headline and the story itself to downplay Bernie’s “impressive legislative record.”

How the ‘New York Times’ Sandbagged Bernie Sanders [Rolling Stone]
Matt Taibbi’s version of the same story, with the added benefit of his experience covering Sanders 11 years ago.

The new Democratic Party proposal to rival Bernie Sanders’s socialism [WaPo]
Contrary to the headline, this article isn’t about Bernie Sanders. It was simply a clever means to get “Bernie Sanders’s socialism” in a headline on a day with five Democratic primaries. As several readers pointed out in the comments, Sanders isn’t a socialist, and the Post knows it.

The “progressive” think tank behind the proposal isn’t the least bit progressive. It’s not even centrist, but is to the right of center, like Third Way, which the reporter cites. He just fails to inform readers that both Third Way and the Progressive Policy Institute have a long history with the Clintons. Ask yourself why an organization close to Bill and Hillary would need to target its agenda at Clinton, “in the hopes she’ll win the nomination and need a revamped platform for the general election.”

Beyond that, the very idea that a centrist plan could “rival” the populism of Bernie Sanders would be funny if the story wasn’t so obviously contrived. It’s not an article but reads more like the press release. Big surprise there. In fact, there was a press release from the think tank, which just happened to be released the day of five primaries, and which obviously was given to the Times in advance so that it could have the story on the same day. Organizations regularly do this for reporters they like, but in this case, the timing was important and couldn’t have been a coincidence. That the Post would go along with it is disingenuous and more than a little scary. Bernie Sanders isn’t even that far left by global standards. It only seems that way because the U.S. mainstream has moved so far to the right. But he’s as close to radical as we’ve got, which is the main reason I support him and not the candidate of the establishment Democrats.

Just coincidentally, The New York Times on the same day ran this piece of shit:

Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30, Except Bernie Sanders [NYT]
It’s an op-ed, but still. My question to the writer is why she didn’t get a BernieBro to mansplain in a direct quote. Campus was alleged to be crawling with them, right? And they’re loud, right? Seriously, did they all withdraw into their tents deep in the bushes when they heard that a columnist for The New York Times was coming? Maybe they were off in search of Bigfoot?

Money magazine labels Bernie Sanders a ‘de facto millionaire.’ Not really. [WaPo]
Still manages to get in a couple of digs at Sanders, but overall, it’s a genuine attempt to set the record straight following an absurd smear by Money mag.

Pleasure Planet

Xena comes out, finally: The rebooted “Warrior Princess” won’t just wink at her romantic relationship [Salon]
Everyone who watched knew Gabrielle wasn’t just her sidekick—but the new show will “fully explore” their couplehood. Well, duh. In Greek mythology, Hercules and his sidekick, Iolaus, loved each other in every sense of the word. Somehow that didn’t make it into the Disney movie.

Phobos & Deimos

Civilian Control of the Military is Over, Welcome to Civilian Subjugation [Naked Capitalism]
With commentary by Yves Smith.


U.S. Government May Push For International Drug Decriminalization During Ungass 2016 [General Health Facts]
Although President Obama has not given any official indication, a leading official with the U.S. State Department seems confident that prohibition may become unhinged at some point in 2016 and lead to the possible decriminalization of all illegal drugs across the globe. I don’t know this publication, but the article gives its source, which seems legit.

Planetary Cycles

Thursday March 17: Mercury conjunct Chiron, 9:28 a.m. EDT


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