Wednesday, February 24, 2016

(HSBC Launders Drug Money Pays Tiny Fines Gets Sued)  JEB! Goes Poof! But Everyone Knows that Trump Will Disappear Soon So Relax! (RW Loves Gaffer Joe - OKasich?)  Nevada's Results Not Reported?   (Pandora's Opened Box)

For how long must this have gone on?

And couldn't be stopped?

And still can't even be addressed other than for a few meaningless fines?

“Despite repeated warnings from authorities that drug proceeds were being laundered through HSBC-Mexico in USD accounts and that HSBC was, according to one drug lord, ‘the place to launder money,’ HSBC Mexico continued to accept billions of USD deposits each year, which it then exported to HSBC US.” 
HSBC is no stranger to accusations of helping the cartels. In 2012, the bank paid $1.9 billion as part of an agreement with the United States and admitted that it had failed to establish an effective anti-money laundering (AML) program. In spite of having to pay such a massive penalty, no HSBC employees went to jail.

After paying that fine, HSBC hired current FBI Director James Comey to help get its house in order.

Even though the new lawsuit addresses an old problem, the legal action is unique for several reasons.

It was brought on behalf of the families of several Americans killed by the Mexican cartels. The action seeks redress under a 1996 law (amended following the 9/11 attacks) that allows victims of terrorism to seek compensation from any organization that supported the perpetrators of such crimes.

Doesn't your heart just go out to the JEB!

And all those poor, poor deprived BUSHES!?

Jeb Is Left Behind  
The Bush dynasty should have been strangled in its cradle decades ago. Better late than never, as I always say. But there is an ominously dark cloud behind this sweet, silver lining. It is hard to feel any sense of genuine relief when one takes into consideration all of the damage they were able to inflict upon this doomed nation, going all the way back to Grandpa Prescott Bush, who had a cozy business relationship with Nazi Germany. There's also convincing proof that the hideous old bastard was in on a plot to overthrow (violently if necessary) Franklin D. Roosevelt. That plot was foiled by retired general Smedley Butler. Gotta love them Bushes!
How did the GOP get to this place? This was, after all, the one-time ideological home of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. What the hell happened?

Richard Nixon happened. Ronald Reagan happened. The Bushes happened. A lot of very bad stuff happened.

There had always been an extremist element lurking within the bowels of that disgusting party - going all the way back to the administration of Andrew Johnson in the 1860's. But it wasn't until the 1964 candidacy of Barry Goldwater when the Republicans began courting the John Birchers that the party began to exhibit ever-so-slight symptoms of mental illness.

And, yes, Joe Biden has been known to pass a gaffe now and then.

But . . .

No, Joe Biden Didn’t Say That The Senate Should Block Supreme Court Nominees During An Election Year

The latest news from the Republican Congress that they weren't going to even have one hearing on an Obama Supreme Court nominee to replace Scalia is so over the top that it's possible this may be the straw that breaks the public's back (to coin a very descriptive metaphor).

Do I hear a much larger, more organized Occupy getting ready to march?

I hope so.

John Kasich has already accomplished in Ohio what all the rest of the anti-abortion/birth control/defund Planned Parenthood wingnuts want to everywhere else.

And he's billed as a "moderate?"

I think what most sticks in my craw when I hear the sure winner ("electable") stories of HillaryLand is that they are tone-deaf and stone-blind about how these self-serving tableaus go over like a knee-to-the-groin in millennial ears.

And she can't win without igniting them.

So to speak.

Running the Numbers in Nevada


Where distractions from empirical realities are an art form. We have real numbers for you. The context makes them more meaningful.

. . . Ah, Nevada. Where grandiose distraction is the norm. Nevada seems a ready poster child for the model of Republican excess for the rich, and because they take it all, austerity for everyone else they allow to live there because somebody needs to take out the trash and mow the lush expanses of green lawns.

Nevada, with its decadent excesses, so starkly contrasting with the nation’s highest current home foreclosure rate, epitomizes end-game capitalism.

Yet, the bread and circuses, Caesar’s thumb up or down, Republican demolition derby wasn’t in town. It was out on the circuit, simultaneously somewhere else, in South Carolina, where the Vegas elite all have places on Hilton Head Island. In the desert, it was a different show. Not the endless hours spent trackside, watching bloviating demagogues race their engines and the talking heads, goading them to make more throttle noise, in frantic quests for tv ratings. Those weren’t about Nevada at all. Well…

Instead, Nevada was able to momentarily surprise us. Partly with Saturday’s event, because, uncharacteristically, casino baron culture gave way, and it was the people rather than the money talking. And that ran counter to everything about Nevada’s public face. And more surprisingly, it surprised us because of the hidden outcome: Nevada just updated the all-important real numbers, including the hidden numbers, in the nation’s Democratic presidential contest.

For those overly acclimatized to our narrative:  we’re not talking about the numbers as the odds you get in Vegas when you bet on a likely nominee, or when somebody drops-out, or the eventual next Chief Executive. And not the endless, overhyped opinion poll numbers. Nope. Vegas uses better numbers than those, anyway. Surprising as it is, especially in Nevada, we are talking about THE numbers that matter.

First, the basics. The earned and pledged delegates resulting from primaries and caucuses, to date, since Saturday’s outcome in Nevada, updated:

Clinton has 51 to Bernie’s 51.

But wait. The roulette wheels and slot machines hadn’t stop spinning. The Nevada caucus results and delegate counts seemed to come in quickly. Including the story of Team Clinton targeting the one precinct with an odd number of delegates, so they could pick-up a one-delegate margin in a tie. But hang on. Borrowing the latenight tv setup line, “You mean there’s MORE?” Yes, _____ — er, uh, let’s just say, “Yes.”

Immediately following the Nevada caucuses, the ongoing superdegate count was figured, behind closed doors. Superdelegates:  those entitled party insiders and office-holders who get to pick the presidential nominee, but their votes are unaccountable all the ordinary voters or caucus-goers who participated in the process.

Add-in the Democrat’s post-Nevada superdelegate counts to those little 51-51 numbers, and it will shock you:

Clinton already has 496 to Bernie’s 69.


You can view that two ways. Other than stunned outrage. One is, “Bernie’s right. The oligarchs control everything and it’s rigged. I’m walking.”

The other is, “With 47 of 50 states to go, it’s still a very long way from the total needed to win at the Democratic convention. Don’t walk!”

The number needed to become the Democratic nominee is 2383.

Clinton already has nearly one-fifth of that total, after decisively losing one state and winning — with just better than a tie — in two others. One-fifth the winning total. With 47 of 50 states to go. Bernie has less than one thirty-fifth of the needed total.

It’s even crazier than that. When the Democratic convention is held, the total number of delegates of both kinds, the earned (from voting booths and caucuses), and the unearned (kissy-kissy-where’s-my-insider’s-reward)? The latter comprises almost one-third of the total number

One-third. There are far more superdelegates in the Democratic Party than in the GOP. The Dems put the superdelegate provision in place to get elected officials and its most energetic (or otherwise paid) activists and staffers engaged at Party conventions. Granted, GOP convention delegates are nearly all extreme insiders, anyway — making the whole Trump thing even weirder — but a far greater proportion are sent on behalf of a candidate picked by their party’s rank-and-file registrants in the states that send them.

The result? If Clinton continues to barely edge-out Bernie in each state, but she continues never (or rarely) to win decisively anywhere, indeed she CANNOT amass enough earned delegates to win the nomination. That’s true even if she wins 55%-45% in every remaining primary state. She still would not have enough elected delegates for the nomination.

BUT — whether she wins all those states 55%-45%, or by the NARROWEST of margins, she WILL capture the nomination anyway, rather handily, based on her cadre of party hack superdelegates.

But nothing operates in isolation. The ripples would be tidal waves.

It invites, even demands, critical long-range prognostication.

. . . As for assessing the immediate impacts? Here’s one to factor in since Saturday night in Nevada:

Clinton seized upon her barely-eeked-it-out win in Nevada like, well, DeGaulle rolling-in to liberate Paris.

She did that to avoid the “almost a tie” narrative of Iowa — not because this one balances Bernie’s decisive New Hampshire numbers, because it doesn’t.
She has yet to score a lopsided win that compares to Bernie’s. But that didn’t humble her “Triumph in Nevada” speech. It doesn’t take a boxing fan to know that you don’t brag about your split decision as your “triumph.”
Perhaps she was concerned it wouldn’t have been used had it been kept in waiting for an appropriate occasion.

That, and she sought to fuel the “Clinton expectations game.”

In terms of the media, it appears she did.

Her speech was ratified with proclamations of “a degree of momentum and inevitability” as a common theme on the Sunday shows. But will it pass the smell test with young voters after just two squeakers and one thrashing loss?

A companion theme credited Clinton for that grandiose Nevada victory speech, citing it for “changing the narrative” away from her incessant “I, I, I,” and away from “the Hillary story narrative,” to “a sudden ‘we.'” To hear the Sabbath gasbags, it seems her “we need to go forward together” was Alexander after flattening the opposing army, sweeping the steppes. Not Henry V before “We few, we happy few” face tough odds battling on St. Crispin’s Day.

Her Nevada victory, despite its dubious premise, clearly seduced the media.

Another reason:  it was couched in a vintage Bill-Clintonesque “here’s-what’s-in-it-for-you-if-we’re-together!” message.

As for seducing those who worked hard for Bernie in Nevada, or into the field for jousts ahead? Her tone took a gamble. And one easily seen as hubris. One that harkens to that annoyed demeanor, that entitled-to-it thing that she has, that you always knew could be scratched to the surface from beneath a very thin veneer.

The big question is how young voters see it. Not just because they can be the margin of difference in individual primaries and perhaps the general election — but whether their experience taking part in 2016 determines whether they will want to participate for years to come. It is very much at stake.

Idealistic young Bernie voters are, in phenomenal numbers, devoted to their candidate’s credible outrage, determination to end hard-wired piracy, all the way to his harried professor’s hair and authentically unintentional grandfatherliness.

Every bit as important as the numbers that will determine who will win the nomination, the general election is based on myriad intangibles that emphasize image over substance, that often come down to how a candidate makes you feel. (In that, the woefully inexperienced Donald Trump is not a singular phenomenon.)

Clinton’s Nevada victory speech affords opportunity to assess a crucial intangible while there’s still time to determine who will be able to amass the bigger numbers to become president.

How will these young devotees to Bernie respond to seeing things portrayed with Nevada’s outcomes, and the characterizations applied there, when they have their own knowledge, assessments and expectations developed from the just-completed contest in which they worked? Will Hillary’s victory speech trend on their phones on YouTube?

Will they feel an instant embrace or a disgusted alienation following her second narrow win and the change in posture she has chosen to characterize it?



CNN declared Hillary the victor in Nevada even before the polls were closed and even before all the facts were in.

Facts like many Bernie caucus goers having been denied an opportunity to vote as a result of last minute unannounced venue changes of voting places and

Facts like Hillary’s voting place workers having allowing people not eligible to vote and reportedly bused in by Hillary’s campaign from out of state to vote without registering to vote as has been documented by a number of videos posted on line.

These are not just isolated instances of voter fraud. They have been reported to the Nevada Attorney General who is investigating. When all is said and done I seriously doubt whether Hillary actually won Nevada.

Dennis A. says

Bill – I was in Las Vegas helping with the caucus. They announced that we would be calling the people that were affected by the venue changes, so the venue changes are really true.

I was never asked to make these calls so I wonder what happened. Maybe some other group did the calling or maybe they were never called. There was plenty of time to call them since they just gave me busy work for most of Friday. It would be interesting to know if these were venues where Sanders would have done well.

Can you point me to any of the videos showing voter fraud or suspected voter fraud?

Turnout was only about 80,000. The last caucus had over 100,000 caucusing. From what I saw, I think caucuses are undemocratic and should be stopped. They lead to low turnout, confusion of the electorate, loss of the state even though winning the popular vote, and intimidation because all others present get to see how you voted. Think about the 6 at large caucuses on the strip. Their employer will see if they don’t vote the way the casinos want them to vote.
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Frank Rich breaks into the national conversation every now and then to bestow a touch of non-"New York Times" grace.

He graces us today with this pearl:

If we’ve learned anything from the Trump ascendancy — and to some extent from the Bernie Sanders movement — it’s that in 2016 neither endorsements nor big-donor money mean what they once did. Trump has had neither of these assets, and Bush had both, and we see how that turned out. Jeb’s “shock and awe” political campaign was no more successful at vanquishing his adversaries in a presidential election than his brother’s “shock and awe” bombing campaign succeeded in pacifying Iraq.

Why would a new deployment of big-name endorsements and big-ticket donations work better for Rubio than Jeb? Rubio had the most prized endorsement in South Carolina, the one Jeb most wanted, the governor, Nikki Haley, yet neither Haley’s vocal support (nor that of two other popular South Carolina Republicans, Senator Tim Scott and Representative Trey Gowdy) could elevate him above a (barely) second-place showing, 10 percentage points behind the front-runner.
And while Bush may be gone, Trump is still running against a divided field. Anyone who thinks Ted Cruz is going to get out any time soon is in denial. This is a guy who shut down the government despite the pleading of his own fellow Republicans in the Senate and who indeed basks in the hatred of his peers in the GOP. 
He has the fattest war chest in the race, and he’s certainly not going to back down now. Kasich also has an incentive to stay in, at least until his home state of Ohio holds its primary on March 15. And Carson — well, he is on record saying this race is just finishing its first inning.

Even in the unlikely event any of them were to drop out soon, the assumption that their votes would automatically go to Rubio is, as Trump himself has said, highly dubious. As the South Carolina exit polls showed, Trump had far and away the broadest base of support in the Republican electorate in South Carolina, which as much as any is representative of the national GOP voting pool.

It’s entirely possible that he would pick up a decent share of Cruz and Carson voters and even some Bush and Kasich voters if any of them were to depart. The "Times" is reporting that even some big Bush donors are already flirting with shifting to Trump.

When I was teaching during the time of 9/11 I drew a map of the Middle East on the blackboard to ensure that my class could better comprehend the scale of blowback which would probably be incurred when the U.S. began attacking countries in the Middle East in order to get revenge/justice for the attacks on New York.

The map below illustrates how this works today Syria.

(Click on image to enlarge.)
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P.S. I tried to listen to Hillary Clinton's self-serving rambling on her ability to curb Wall Street crime better than Bernie Sanders on "Tavis Smiley" tonight.

While wretching violently.

I believe I heard her say something so wrong about Elizabeth Warren's position on reintroducing Glass-Steagle (that she's NOT in favor of it) that it's hard to believe we won't hear quite a bit from truly knowledgeable sources about this flub (or outright lie).

Go Hillary.

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