Links & Commentary 3/21

Image credit: © Gretchen FriedrichOnly Hillary can beat the fascist, Nazi, socialist, commies running for president. Got it? Sanders meets with tribal leaders in Seattle, spurns AIPAC; the “gig economy” sounds new but it’s the same ol’…

U.S. Fate 2016

Half The Country Sees ‘Fascist Undertones’ In Donald Trump’s Campaign: New Survey [HuffPo]
Forty-five percent of independents also say Trump’s campaign has echoes of fascism, as do a full 28 percent of Republicans. The data indicates that people generally consider protesters and the media to be most responsible for the uptick in violence

McConnell: GOP Senators Can Go Rogue If Trump Wins Nomination [HuffPo]
The Republican Party is having a hard time uniting behind Donald Trump. No, really? They’ve only been plotting against him for what, three or four months? I can’t help get the feeling that this is all cleverly disguised political theater, and not everyone has been let in on the secret.

Hillary Has an NSA Problem [The Observer]
This is an opinion piece, but it’s based on solid sources. It’s not “picking on Hillary” to keep reminding voters of this dark cloud hanging over her campaign. There’s another scary reminder here, too, which is that your smart phone can be used to spy on you. It’s like a little radio, broadcasting to anyone who can access the channel. We are all under surveillance.

Democrats to Sanders: Time to wind it down [Politico]
Protracted combat with Hillary Clinton threatens to do real damage in a general election against Donald Trump, senators warn. You mean, the senators who are all super delegates? Who endorsed Clinton early on and said that if voters in their states preferred Sanders, they’d keep their pledge to Clinton? Those senators? I’ll bet it took hours – hours – for the DNC to get the talking points out to them. With kept aside for the media. Aside from the obvious, do they realize how insulting it is to Sanders supporters to be talked down to this way?

Sanders outraised and outspent Clinton in February, leaving him with $17 million cash on hand [WaPo]
Gotta love how they spin it. A related article made sure to mention that he “zipped around” Washington State in his chartered jet, and don’t you know he was still 40 minutes late for his rally in Seattle, where supporters were forced to wait outside in the rain. And of course the Post underestimated the crowd.

The Only Presidential Candidate That Makes Indian Country a Priority: Native People Feeling the Bern [Indian Country]
Good bit of reporting by Gyasi Ross. If you don’t know who he is, go back and look at the videos of the BlackLivesMatter protest during a Sanders speech in downtown Seattle last summer. Ross was the big cat pacing back and forth on the stage, alert for trouble and ready to make sure no one got hurt.

Why It Matters That Bernie Sanders Will Skip the AIPAC Conference [The Observer]
A lot of speculation, but the author makes some interesting points that counter criticism by the hard left that Sanders either didn’t have the backbone to tell AIPAC the real reason he was skipping their bash, or that he has no problem with them in the first place.


Special Report: Here’s what we know about Zika [ScienceNews]
Plagues and epidemics come under the rulership of Neptune, although I have no idea who decided that or why. Obviously it wasn’t Ptolemy. But it makes sense. Identifying causes can be as elusive as finding cures. There’s also a new idea floating around about how viruses and human beings have evolved together.

Don’t Throw Away Those Old Clothes, Says King County [KPLU]
Threadcycle program manager Liz Fikejs said even items that might seem useless can be recyclable. “The single items like, you know, that single sock or the single shoe or the single glove — those get paired up and are given to folks who wouldn’t have them otherwise,” Fikejs said. Old jeans and stained shirts, for example, can be turned into insulation in homes and vehicles. This is a great idea! I’ve got a big bag in the back of my closet with clothing too worn out to take to second-hand shops, but I didn’t want to throw it away.


Is the ‘Gig Economy’ Here to Stay? [Center for Economic and Policy Research]
“Gig economy” is a trendy phrase that refers to doing part-time or project-based work over the Internet. It’s the electronic version of the old day-labor centers, where workers showed up in the morning to fill short-term jobs. Economist Dean Baker explains how this is just a new take on the old ploy companies used to avoid paying employees competitive wages and benefits. It’s dumbfounding that an economist actually has to spell it out.

Wounded Nation

Major Navajo Nation Voting Rights Win [Indian Country]


Wandering Jupiter could have swept inner solar system clean [ScienceNews]
It’s always interesting to see how the science compares with the mythology.

Planetary Cycles

Monday March 21, 2016: Mercury enters Aries, 8:19 p.m. EDT

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