Tuesday, May 31, 2016

(Unprecedented Trump)  Why It's So Important for Hillary to be the Winning Candidate (So Say the Owners)  Romney-Obamacare Origins/Development  (Radiating Our Population Without Apology)  Current Fascism Defined  (Silencing the U.S. As It Prepares for Much More War)

The nomination of Trump is unprecedented; he was never elected to any office, and his “Republican” credentials are very thin, and throughout his adult life he was not driven by political or ideological considerations but by opportunistic impulses and by his boundless greed. This is a wealthy man - no one knows the size of his wealth, but certainly it is not as big as he claims - who prides himself of rigging the system to avoid paying taxes trough declaring bankruptcies, and establishing fake enterprises like his infamous “Trump University;” Trump is the product of the very economic and political establishment that he is telling us now he is running against.

The fact that less than 11 million citizens voted for Trump in the primaries and caucuses representing less than 5 percent of eligible voters is no consolation to those opposing him, because the popular passions he has unleashed by his shameless fearmongering of “others,” be they immigrants, Hispanics, Muslims, Arabs, or Mexicans, his naked exploitation of legitimate economic dislocations, and the alienation of large swath of Americans from the dysfunctional two party system, and his defamation of whole communities inside and outside the United States has already intimidated many of his early critics. There is more than a whiff of George C. Wallace, the late racist governor of Alabama and three-time presidential hopeful, permeated Trump’s rallies, and the threats that he and his supporters have issued against those who dare to demonstrate against them could conceivably lead to bloodshed.

If the MSM is not correct (and is just propagandizing for their owners) and Bernie Sanders not only has a chance to win the Democratic nomination and be the strongest candidate against Donald Trump, the presumed Republican nominee, it probably is due to the following reality. From the balloon-of-hope piercing Down With Tyranny blog:

Who are these independents and “moderates” voting for Sanders? It seems reasonable to believe that they are not confused centrists, but “cross-pressured” voters with a wide range of views, all drawn to Sanders’s left-wing economic message. In fact, Sanders has a long record of winning over these kind of populist “moderates.”

. . . Sanders has shown an undeniable ability to connect with the same kind of lower-income and less-well-educated white voters all over the country, from Iowa to West Virginia to Oklahoma.

Democrats have been slowly losing these voters to Republicans since the 1970s; in the last decade, they have almost abandoned them entirely. But non-college-educated whites still represent over 40 percent of the electorate in key swing states like Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

Many of these poor and struggling voters - however “moderate” according to Gallup - seem very receptive to Sanders’s call for universal health care and a living wage. A Sanders campaign that made deep inroads with working-class whites across the Midwest would be well-prepared to defeat a Republican in November.

It’s difficult to find an equivalent category of voters where Clinton might outperform Sanders in a general election. Women? Clinton’s most recent favorability ratio with all women voters is strongly negative: 41 to 54 percent. Sanders’s mark stands at 44 to 41 percent. In a general election, those numbers might shift - but would it be enough to give Clinton a significant advantage?

Clinton’s strongest support in the primary campaign seems to come from the most loyal Democrats, including African-Americans. But in a bitter campaign against an ethnic nationalist like Trump ... would loyal party voters refuse to turn out for the Democrats, just because Sanders rather than Clinton was the nominee? It doesn’t seem likely.

None of this is to suggest that Sanders should take loyal non-white Democratic votes for granted. That is exactly what Clinton-style New Democrats did when they pivoted to the center in the 1980s. In a general election campaign, Sanders would have to do the opposite, and build a populist coalition that depended on solidarity between black, Latino, Asian, and white working-class voters.

Unquestionably, it would be difficult work. But the opposition of an ever-more-reactionary Republican Party would surely help. And a successful left-of-center coalition would be well positioned - in both ideological and electoral terms - to mount the much larger, long-term struggle necessary to achieve even Sanders’s social-democratic goals.

...[T]here’s no question that Bernie Sanders can win in November-- and there is good reason to believe he would actually be a stronger Democratic candidate than Hillary Clinton.

Don't mention it to the Clinton people though.

Their game plan was finalized years ago and statistics better not get in their way.

You'd almost think they were innumerate (or perhaps just blindly stubborn).

When Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law sought funding for his new hedge fund in 2011, he found financial backing from one of the biggest names on Wall Street:  Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

The fund, called Eaglevale Partners, was founded by Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, and two of his partners. Blankfein not only personally invested in the fund, but allowed his association with it to be used in the fund’s marketing.

Although there's nothing wrong with that. (H/t Jerry Seinfeld)

Hillary Clinton Won't Say How Much Goldman Sachs CEO Invested With Her Son-in-Law

When Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law sought funding for his new hedge fund in 2011, he found financial backing from one of the biggest names on Wall Street:  Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

The fund, called Eaglevale Partners, was founded by Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, and two of his partners. Blankfein not only personally invested in the fund, but allowed his association with it to be used in the fund’s marketing.

The investment did not turn out to be a savvy business decision. Earlier this month, Mezvinsky was forced to shutter one of the investment vehicles he launched under Eaglevale, called Eaglevale Hellenic Opportunity, after losing 90 percent of its money betting on the Greek recovery. The flagship Eaglevale fund has also lost money, according to the New York Times.

. . . The decision for Blankfein to invest in Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law’s company is just one of many ways Goldman Sachs has used its wealth to forge a tight bond with the Clinton family. The company paid Hillary Clinton $675,000 in personal speaking fees, paid Bill Clinton $1,550,000 in personal speaking fees, and donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation. At a time when Goldman Sachs directly lobbied Hillary Clinton’s State Department, the company routinely partnered with the Clinton Foundation for events, even convening a donor meeting for the foundation at the Goldman Sachs headquarters in Manhattan.

Mezvinsky, who married Chelsea in 2010, previously worked at Goldman Sachs and started his fund along with two other former employees of the investment bank. Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures show that Eaglevale required new investors to put down a minimum of $2 million.

Clinton has dodged questions about her relationship with Goldman Sachs throughout the campaign. In January, we were the first to ask Clinton if she would release the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. She responded by laughing and turning away. Since our question, other media outlets, including the New York Times editorial board, have called on Clinton to release the transcripts.

Clinton at times tried to conflate the money she received with campaign finance donations to Barack Obama — though the issues are separate; Obama never personally profited from paid speeches before running for president.

As those of us still unemployed and insuranceless have asked from the first mention of the miraculous Romneycare, er, Obamacare knockoff:  from whence did it come? And why would any person of decent sensibility assume that poor people should be forced to spend their small purse on health care which demands thousands of dollars in deductibles and co-pays for very little (if any at all) health care?

Capitalism and Obamacare:  The Neoliberal Model Comes Home to Roost in the United States - If We Let It

Howard Waitzkin and Ida Hellander
Social Economics/Policy & Research
May 20th, 2016

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare) continues along a very bumpy road, it is worth asking where it came from and what comes next.

Officially, Obamacare represents the latest in more than a century of efforts in the United States to achieve universal access to health care. In reality, Obamacare has strengthened the for-profit insurance industry by transferring public, tax-generated revenues to the private sector. It has done and will do little to improve the problem of uninsurance in the United States; in fact, it has already begun to worsen the problem of under-insurance.

Obamacare is also financially unsustainable because it has no effective way to control costs. Meanwhile, despite benefits for some of the richest corporations and executives, and adverse or mixed effects for the non-rich, a remarkable manipulation of political symbolism has conveyed the notion that Obamacare is a creation of the left, warranting strenuous opposition from the right.

Abundant data substantiate that the failure of Obamacare has become nearly inevitable. Even after the ACA is fully implemented, more than one-half of the previously uninsured population will remain uninsured - at least 27 million people, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office - and at least twice that number will remain underinsured.1

Due to high deductibles (about $10,000 for a family bronze plan and $6,000 for silver) and co-payments, coverage under Obamacare has become unusable for many individuals and families, and employer-sponsored coverage is headed in the same direction.

2 Private insurance generally produces administrative expenses about eight times higher than public administration; administrative waste has increased even more under Obamacare, and remains much higher than in other capitalist countries with national health programs.3 These administrative expenditures pay for activities like marketing, billing, denials of claims, processing copayments and deductibles, exorbitant salaries and deferred income for executives (sometimes more than $30 million per year), profits, and dividends for corporate shareholders. 4 The overall costs of the health system under Obamacare are projected to rise from 17.4 percent of GDP in 2013 to 19.6 percent in 2022.5 A conservative projection shows that premiums and out-of-pocket expenditures for the average family will equal half of the average family income by 2019 and the full average family income itself by 2029.6

The Origins of Obamacare

The overall structure of Obamacare is not new. Similar "reforms" have appeared in other countries over the last two decades. The year 1994 was a significant one for health reform worldwide. Colombia enacted a national program of "managed competition," to replace its existing health system, which had been based largely on public hospitals and clinics. The World Bank mandated and partly financed the reform, and President César Gaviria and his colleagues promoted the reform to financial elites at the World Economic Forum and elsewhere.

That same year a similar proposal, designed by the U.S. insurance industry and spearheaded by Hillary Clinton, was advanced but ultimately abandoned. The right wing opposed the plan as a big-government boondoggle, while on the left, opposition centered on the massively increased, tax-subsidized role that the plan would create for the private insurance industry, especially a handful of the nation's largest companies.

During the 1990s, several European countries considered proposals for health reform that followed a similar model of privatization, "managed competition," and increased access of the private insurance industry to public health care trust funds. 7 Although a few, like the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, implemented elements of such reforms, most European countries did not, acceding to opposition from left-oriented parties, labor unions, and civic organizations.

In Latin America, Asia, and some African nations, for-profit multinational insurance corporations, mostly based in the United States, tried to expand their operations. Access to public social security trust funds, previously designated to provide retirement and health care benefits, proved a primary motivation for this expansion.8 Conferences and publications organized by the World Bank and insurance companies legitimated such efforts by recruiting progressive spokespersons such as Desmond Tutu in South Africa. 9

Then, in 2006, Republican Governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts implemented a reform that required all state residents to buy insurance through the state system if they did not already hold insurance coverage. Romney later disavowed the reform during his 2012 presidential campaign, but the same overall structure re-emerged in Obamacare.

While framed as programs to improve access for the poor and under-served, these initiatives facilitated the efforts of for-profit insurance corporations providing "managed care." The corporations could collect prepaid capitation fees or other premiums from government agencies administering trust funds, as well as from employers and patients, and could invest the reserves at high rates of return.

Insurance corporations also profited by denying or delaying necessary care through strategies such as utilization review and preauthorization requirements; cost-sharing such as copayments, deductibles, co-insurance, and pharmacy tiers; limiting access to only certain physicians; and frequent redesign of benefits.

Such proposals fostered neoliberalism. They promoted multiple competing, for-profit, private insurance corporations. Programs and institutions previously based in the public sector were cut back and, if possible, privatized. Overall government budgets for public-sector health care were reduced. Private corporations gained access to public trust funds. Public hospitals and clinics entered into competition with private institutions, their budgets were determined by demand rather than supply, and prior global budgets for safety net institutions were not guaranteed. Insurance executives made operational decisions about services, and their authority superseded that of physicians and other clinicians.

The Strange Career of Neoliberal Health Reform

The roots of the neoliberal model for health reform emerged initially from Cold War military policy. The economist Alain Enthoven provided much of the intellectual framework for these early efforts. Enthoven had worked as Assistant Secretary of Defense under Robert S. McNamara during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

While at the Pentagon between 1961 and 1969, he led a group of analysts who developed the "planning-programming-budgeting system" (PPBS) and cost-benefit analysis, intended to promote more cost-effective spending decisions for military expenditures. 10 After leaving the military sector, Enthoven emerged as the principal architect of "managed competition," which became the prevailing model for the Clinton reform, Romney-care, Obamacare, and neoliberal health reform throughout the world. Decades later, he remains a strong advocate for this model. 11

After a brief excursion between 1969 and 1973 as vice president and then president of Litton Industries, a major military contractor, Enthoven joined the faculty at Stanford in 1973 as a professor of both management and health care economics. There his work on health policy incorporated several elements common to military and medical systems (Table 1):  distrust of professionals, deference to managers, choice among competing alternatives, and cost-benefit analysis, but not necessarily cost reduction.12

By 1977, only four years after leaving the defense sector, Enthoven offered the Carter Administration his proposal for a Consumer Choice Health Plan. Although Carter rejected the plan, Enthoven soon published the proposal. 13 In this early work, Enthoven presented the basic concepts of most subsequent health reform proposals; Obamacare incorporates this same overall structure.

During the 1980s, Enthoven collaborated with managed care and insurance executives to refine the proposal. A new name, "managed competition," proved attractive to business leaders, who met regularly in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 14 The five largest insurance corporations funded this group, as well as providing support for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign and Clinton's Health Security Act.

Several conditions led to the creation of Obamacare as a reform that enhanced the fortunes of the private insurance industry. Campaign financing, as usual, played a major role. Obama, who as a state legislator in Illinois had favored a single-payer approach, drastically changed his position as a presidential candidate. For the 2008 campaign, Obama received the largest financial contributions in history from the insurance industry, more than three times the contributions received by his Republican rival, John McCain. With funding from the insurance industry and financial corporations linked to Wall Street, Obama became the first presidential candidate in history able to turn down government funds for his campaign. 15

The Boilerplate Neoliberal Health Reform

The neoliberal health agenda, including Obamacare, emerged as one component of a worldwide agenda developed by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and other international financial institutions. This agenda to promote market-driven health care facilitated multinational corporations' access to public-sector health and social security trust funds. An underlying managerial ideology claimed, nearly always without evidence, that corporate executives could achieve superior quality and efficiency by "managing" medical services in the marketplace. 16 Enthoven and colleagues in academic health economics participated in this effort, refining terms and giving the enterprise a scholarly credibility.

Health reform proposals across different countries have resembled one another closely. The specific details of each plan appeared to conform to a word-processed, cookie-cutter template, in which only the names of national institutions and local actors have varied. Six broad features have characterized nearly all neoliberal health initiatives (Table 2).

. . . The Single-Payer Proposal

As a non-neoliberal model, a single-payer national health program (NHP) in the United States essentially would create "Medicare for all." Under such a plan, the government collects payments from workers, employers, and Medicare recipients, and then distributes funds to health care providers for the services that Medicare patients receive. Because it is such a simple system, the administrative costs under traditional Medicare average just 1 to 2 percent.38 The vast majority of Medicare expenditures pay for clinical services. Such a structure has achieved substantial savings by reducing administrative waste in Canada, Taiwan, and other countries.

The following features of a single-payer option come from the proposals of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), a group of more than 20,000 medical professionals, spanning all specialties, states, age groups, and practice settings. 39 According to the PNHP proposals, coverage would be universal for all needed services, including medications and long-term care.

There would be no out-of-pocket premiums, copayments, or deductibles. Costs would be controlled by "monopsony" financing from a single, public source. The NHP would not permit competing private insurance and would eliminate multiple tiers of care for different income groups. Practitioners and clinics would be paid predetermined fees for services, without any need for costly billing procedures. Hospitals would negotiate an annual global budget for all operating costs. For-profit, investor-owned facilities would be prohibited from participation. Most non-profit hospitals would remain privately owned. To reduce overlapping and redundant facilities, capital purchases and expansion would be budgeted separately, based on regional health planning goals.

Funding sources would include current federal spending for Medicare and Medicaid, a payroll tax on private businesses less than what businesses currently pay for coverage, and an income tax on households, with a surtax on high incomes and capital gains. A small tax on stock transactions would be implemented, while state and local taxes for health care would be eliminated. 40 Under this financing plan, 95 percent of families would pay less for health care than they previously paid in insurance premiums, deductibles, copayments, other out-of-pocket spending, and reduced wages.

From the corporate viewpoint, the insurance and financial sectors would lose a major source of capital accumulation. At the same time, other large and small businesses would experience a stabilization or reduction in health care costs. Companies that do not currently provide health insurance would pay more, but far less than the cost of buying private coverage.

National polls have consistently shown that about two-thirds of people in the United States favor the single-payer approach. 41 Ninety-three members of Congress, led by Representative John Conyers and Senator Bernie Sanders, have co-sponsored single-payer legislation. 42What, then, are the obstacles to a single-payer plan, and should such a program be the ultimate goal for the U.S. health system?

Moving Beyond Single Payer

The coming failure of Obamacare will mark a moment of transformation in the United States, where neoliberalism has come home to roost. For that moment, those struggling for a just and accessible health system will need to address some profound changes that have occurred during the era of neoliberalism. These changes pertain to the shifting social class position of health professionals, and to the increasingly oligopolistic and financialized character of the health insurance industry.

First, the social class position of physicians and other health professionals has changed drastically. Previously, most physicians worked in individual or group practices. Although some were employees receiving relatively high salaries and benefits, most were small entrepreneurs. In the "fee-for-service" system, they seldom accumulated capital on the scale of industrialists or financiers, but they still saw themselves and others saw them as members of an "upper class." Some Marxist-oriented theorists viewed them as members of a "professional managerial class." 43

Physicians increasingly have become employees of hospitals or practices at least partially owned by large health systems. In a large 2015 survey, 63 percent of all physicians reported being employed, including 72 percent of women physicians. 44 These changes mainly reflect the increased costs of owning a private practice, due to billing and other administrative requirements. In the average practice, annual overhead costs have reached about $83,000 per physician in the United States, compared to $22,000 in Canada.45 As a result, doctors mostly have become employees of hospital and health system corporations, where relatively high salaries tend to mask the reality of their employee status.

Before neoliberalism, physicians for the most part owned or controlled their own means of production and conditions of practice. Although their work was often challenging, they could decide their own hours, staff members, how much time to spend with patients, what to record about their visits in medical records, and how much to charge for their services. Today, the corporations for which physicians work control all of these decisions. This loss of control over the conditions of work has caused much unhappiness in the profession. An esteemed clinician described the change as "working on the factory floor." 46

With loss of control over the work process and a reduced ability to generate very high incomes, the medical profession has become proletarianized. 47 Due to their lingering mystique of professionalism and relatively high incomes, physicians often do not realize that their malaise reflects in large part their changing social class position.

In a way, they have joined that highest stratum of workers which Lenin and others referred to as the "aristocracy of labor." 48 From Samir Amin's perspective, the current wave of "generalized proletarianization" has engulfed the medical profession:  "A rapidly growing proportion of workers are no more than sellers of their labor power to capital … a reality that should not be obscured by the apparent autonomy conferred on them by their legal status." 49

Beyond the changing class position of health professionals, the transition as Obamacare collapses will need to address the oligopolistic character of the insurance industry, alongside the consolidation of large health systems. Obamacare has increased the flow of capitated public and private funds into the insurance industry and thus has extended the overall financialization of the global economy. 50

In this context, it is important to reconsider the distinction between national health insurance (NHI) and a national health service (NHS). NHI involves socialization of payments for health services but usually leaves intact private ownership at the level of infrastructure. Except for a small proportion of institutions like public hospitals and clinics, under NHI the means of production in health care remain privately owned. Canada is the best-known model of NHI. The PNHP proposal and Congressional legislation that embodies the singer-payer approach are based on the Canadian model of NHI.

An NHS, by comparison, involves socialization of both payment for health services and the infrastructure through which services are provided. Under an NHS, the state generally owns and operates hospitals, clinics, and other health institutions, which become part of the public sector rather than remaining under private control.

In the capitalist world, Scotland and Sweden provide examples of NHSs, where most health infrastructure exists within the public sector and most health professionals are employees of the state. For such countries, the state apparatus includes elements that provide "welfare state" services, including health care, that, however vital, ultimately protect the capitalist system. In the socialist world, Cuba offers the clearest remaining model of an NHS where a private sector does not exist. In the United States, a legislative proposal introduced during the 1970s and 1980s by Representative Ronald Dellums explicitly adopted the goal of an NHS.

The PNHP single-payer proposal emerged from a retreat in New Hampshire during 1986, where activists struggled with these distinctions. Although most participants at the retreat had worked hard for the Dellums NHS proposal, they reached a consensus-albeit with some ambivalence-to shift their work to an NHI proposal based on Canada.

The rationale for this shift involved two main considerations. First, Canada's proximity and cultural similarity to the United States would make it more palatable for the U.S. population, and especially its Congressional representatives. Secondly, a Canadian-style NHI proposal could be "doctor-friendly." Under the PNHP proposal, physicians could continue to work in private practice, clinics, or hospitals. The main difference for physicians was that payments would be socialized, so that the physicians would not have to worry about billing and collecting their fees for services provided.

While PNHP has achieved great success in its research and policy work, these efforts, and those of many other organizations supporting single payer, have not yet generated a broad social movement working toward a Canadian-style NHI. Meanwhile, the neoliberal model, with all its benefits for the ruling class and drawbacks for everyone else, has solidified its hegemony.

Partly as a result, physicians and other health professionals are becoming proletarianized employees of an increasingly consolidated, profit-driven, financialized health care system. And under Obamacare, the state has continued to prioritize protection of the capitalist economic system, in this case by overseeing huge subsidies for private insurance and pharmaceutical corporations.

Under these circumstances, it is no longer evident that socialization of payments for health services under a single payer NHI is the only goal toward which progressive forces should struggle.51 PNHP calls for the removal of for-profit corporations from U.S. health care. But that change will not occur within the context of capitalism as we know it.

As neoliberalism draws to a close and as Obamacare collapses, a much more fundamental, socialist transformation needs to reshape not just health care, but also the capitalist state and capitalist society.

Originally published at Monthly Review.

Still wondering how the Clintons became multimillionaires?

Thoughts on The Intercept’s new Leak Policy

Welcome to North Carolina.

Not only are there very few good jobs here (even the ones in the Research Triangle are mostly contract-for-low-pay gigs - how does $27K/yr/no benefits/W2 sound?), but you will be dosed with over 400 times the amount of radiation that is healthy as an extra added attraction.

On a daily basis.

And there is no cure except for leaving. (And we're all taking it with us wherever we go.)

"Your Radiation This Week, May 21 to May 28, 2016"
By Bob Nichols
"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
- Shiva

(San Francisco) May 28, 2016 – "Good Day, this is “Your Radiation This Week.” These are the recorded Radiation Highs that affected people this week around the United States and in your neighborhood. There is no way to recover from these kinds of exposures. There is no medicine and there is no cure. Millions now possess a shortened life span due to their radiation exposures. Are you next or already Zapped? Let’s get right to it.
All Radiation Counts reported are partial Counts. Uncounted types of radiation include Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Neutron and X-Ray radiation. Uncounted radiation, if added, makes the actual Count higher and more dangerous.

Normal Radiation is 5 to 20 CPM. 50 CPM is an alert level.

1,445 CPM,  289 Times Normal,  Colorado Springs, CO.  Beta, Gamma.  Yes
1,345 CPM,  269 Times Normal,  Portland, ME.  Beta, Gamma.
1,329 CPM,  265.8 Times Normal,  Raleigh, NC.  Beta, Gamma.  Yes
1,290 CPM,  258 Times Normal,  Louisville, KY.  Beta, Gamma.
1,198 CPM,  239.6 Times Normal,  Little Rock, AR.  Beta, Gamma.
1,160 CPM,  232 Times Normal,  Spokane, WA.  Beta, Gamma.
1,148 CPM,  229.6 Times Normal,  Idaho Falls, ID.  Beta, Gamma.
1,125 CPM,  225 Times Normal,  Navajo Lake, NM.  Beta, Gamma.
1,092 CPM,  218.4 Times Normal,  Pierre, SD.  Beta, Gamma.
1,055 CPM,  211 Times Normal,  Worcester, MA.  Beta, Gamma.

1,046 CPM,  209.2 Times Normal,  Mason City, IA.  Beta, Gamma.
1,032 CPM,  206.4 Times Normal,  Billings, MT.  Beta, Gamma.  Yes
1,031 CPM, 206.2 Times Normal, San Diego, CA. Beta, Gamma.  Yes
1,022 CPM,  204.4 Times Normal,  Tucson, AZ.  Beta, Gamma.
1,021 CPM,  204.2 Times Normal,  Atlanta, GA.  Beta, Gamma.
1,009 CPM,  201.8 Times Normal,  Grand Junction, CO.  Beta, Gamma.
1,008 CPM,   201.6 Times Normal,   Worcester, MA.   Beta, Gamma.

Changes: The YRTW Table of poisoned American cities has changed by adding a Column on the Right hand side. It is labeled “Corrupted?” The purpose of the column is to provide guidance as to the reliability, consistency and truthfulness of an individual city’s High Rad reading for that given week. Since a city’s report is subject to many strongly felt opinions that can affect Rad Readings, whether or not the Rad Unit was reporting at least 168 Hours (24 X 7)  takes on additional importance. The number of hours the machines work in a week is not an opinion. It is a documented fact; it is only a number, a measure of efficiency. The unit either reported publicly; or it failed to do so 100% of the time. It can’t do both. All things being equal there should be One Reading per Hour for 168 Rad readings a week. The corruption may originate with a machine error, programming glitch, human intervention or change, intended or not. The response may be “Yes” for “Yes, it is corrupted.” The entry will be “Left Blank” for “Not Suspected.”

New Measurement is Spooky – All Rad All the Time: What’s this? Four recorded cities were over 1,000 CPM all week long, One Thousand CPM Plus, 24/7, all week long, 100% of the time. Used to be the Rad was released and blown from the source to your home town for an hour or two. Now the Rad is more than 1,000 Plus CPM and it lasts for a week or more – 24/7. The Rad hit these cities hard:  Colorado Springs, CO., Raleigh, NC., and Little Rock, AR; all were over 1,000 CPM up to three weeks straight. Portland, Maine was over 1,000 CPM all this week, May 21 to 28, 2016. Work your High Rad Plan! What on Earth is going on?

Raleigh, North Carolina Data Sample: Raleigh, North Carolina Radiation Data Greater than 1,000 CPM – May 05 to 12; May 12 to 19; May 19 to 26. Only 144 Readings are from May 5 to May 12, 2016, since May 6, May 7, May 8 and part of May 9 were deleted or never recorded. The day before May 5, 2016, the Rad Spiked then the Unit went off line for four days. Readings from May 5, 2016 to May 26, 2016 are one of the Microsoft Excel Databases retrieved. The Database maxed on 400 records retrieved – May 5 to May 26,  2016. It is a Search retrieval limit set on this database by the owner – EPA.

From and including: Thursday, May 5, 2016
To and including: Thursday, May 26, 2016
Result: 22 days

I have the Rad databases from the other cities too. The one thing they all have in common is that the Rad exceeded 1,000 CPM all day and all night long for a week or more.

Most Radioactive City in America: Colorado Springs is back yet again as the Most Radioactive city in the US, “Recorded,” that is. Raleigh, Miami, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Billings, Montana are the recent victims of truly spectacular Radiation Counts per Minute (CPM) on EPA Geiger counters and radiation measurement systems.  Confidence is high Colorado Springs radiation measurement exceeded 1,000 CPM 99% of the reporting week of May 21 to 28, 2016. Other cities have the radioactive “contagion,” just not as severe,  even though the listed cities all exceed 1000 CPM. No action has been taken by the US Government, however; nor is it expected. They are the biggest Cowards of all. The nation destroying strength of Big Time Rads cannot be denied; but, the Rads can be ignored till they kill you. You can run; but, you cannot hide, the Rads always win.

How Cities Cheat on the Rad ReportsThe EPA Radiation reports can be manipulated in a number of ways by cheating, psychopathic politicians who would rather lie to their constituents than tell them the sometimes bitter truth about the radiation in their city. The local, state and federal elected officials have developed both legal and “good-ole boys” ways to hide the true radiation count from the unsuspecting public. By far the easiest lie to pull off is to omit the higher of the two counts. That is almost always the Beta CPM. Some politicians always man-up (some women, too) and face the music; preferring that the residents know now rather than not know. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is such a city.

An example of stupendous cowardice in office is portrayed every day by New York City. They weakly say the Big Apple’s always lower Gamma Radiation is it; as if it is all there is. Never fear, cowards abound, Los Angeles is Yellow, too –  through and through. The actions of New York City are disgusting and shameful. Cowards they are. I’d throw them all out if I could. The politicians in New York City Lie to the residents’ face while stabbing them repeatedly and furiously in the back. Regrettably, there are many more cities like New York City. May they all have interesting lives. They bogarted the higher Beta radiation; thus reducing the Rad count by about two thirds. The act of evil, sick minds? You bet it is.
No, It is not OK now: The reduction in the count of over cities over 1000 CPM does not mean it is OK now; or, even that it is getting better. Often times when the Radiation goes down the associated Lethality of the Isotopes goes up. The two things are separate measures. It could mean that some of the Uranium 238 has gained a Neutron and changed to Plutonium 239, a more dangerous Isotope.

Te132 – Something Nuclear in Europe Detonated or Exploded: The American East Coast from Virginia to Maine was Rad Assaulted on and around May 4, 2016 from Rad originating in Europe; specifically Te132, a fission product. Something in Europe exploded or detonated. EU officials have had no comment. The 100 Plus point sharp Rad elevation was detected by EPA Rad Monitors in the following East Coast cities:  NYC, NY; Shirley, NY; Dover, DE; Baltimore, MD; Hartford, CT; Providence, RI; Portland ME, Richmond VA, Philadelphia, PA; Wed 5-4-2016.

You are again encouraged to view daily the NETc.com free, public site. The above referenced 100 Plus point sharp Rad elevation lit up the subscriber’s page like a Xmas tree. For those with more serious scientific interest, I highly recommend that you subscribe.   The cost is around US$20. It is well worth it.

Isotope Count reporting: These CPM numbers do not represent the actual radiation counts in your radiation weather. It is higher [or worse] than these government certified partial reports say. Use these report numbers as your Starting Point in adding up your daily, monthly and annual exposure from your Rad Weather. Most radiation monitors report on the radioactive presence of Cesium 137 at the detector. YRTW will report on “the secrets the Pros use” in estimating the actual Total radiation counts. It is not a pretty picture. Squeamish readers may want to turn to other Veterans Today articles reporting on usual things like wars and people getting blown up by an actual named enemy you can see in pictures.

The Lethality goes up for 35 years; then declines slightly and hangs steady for millions of years, for that release. New releases start a new clock all over again. Regrettably for all normal Humans, that is a bunch of generations. The end result is extinction, of course.  Everybody is included; no one is left out. Truthfully, it is a bummer and I know of no variety of radiation-exempt Human Species.

Day One out of the reactor use a news reported Cesium multiplier of 150 Times. After 15 days outside the reactor the multiplier is still approximately 100 times the Cesium Twins. Take all appropriate Rad precautions. A second Multiplier is for Rad particles that have been outside the reactor for ten years or more. The Total radiation declines to approximately Five (5) Times the Cesium level. The Lethality is still increasing though. Here’s how you can calculate an estimate of your Total Rad today: Use a reported account of the Cesium 137/134 CPM in your area and Multiply Times 5. Another way to say it is:

Cs137/134 CPM X 5.0 = Total Radiation released in CPM

Radiation types commonly measured by radiation monitors include Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Neutron and X-Ray radiation. Only Beta and Gamma are reported by the EPA and here on YRTW. There are 1,944 other individual Rad elements, only a few are ever mentioned in articles. In short:  The newer disaster’s Cesium 137/134 radiation CPM that is conveniently echoed by local and national news outlets, tells you right away by simple Multiplication how big the disaster really is, even if they are lying. At least it gets you closer than “There is no danger to the public.” That would be You. Think of it as the insider’s secret code. Multiply away! That’s it. No magic or VooDoo, just the facts as close as you can calculate it. Good Luck.

German Analysis of Certain Isotopes after Meltdown: Hold on to your hat. In 1992 Germany calculated that in reactor meltdowns like Fukushima Daiichi the radioactive isotope Strontium 90 would aggressively poison the environment for 109.2 years and then decline slowly over the next 273 years. Of course, we will ALL be long dead by then. Other deadly Rad isotopes put Strontium 90’s generous life span to shame. The German study is here for those brave enough to tackle it. Source: The IAEA:  Dispersion of radionuclides and radiation exposure after leaching by groundwater of a solidified core-concrete melt by Bayer, A.; Tromm, W.; Al-Omari, I. (Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Germany)) from 8. International congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA8)

Aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, 100 miles offshore of Fukushima: "During that March 13 phone call, Cleveland wrote, Troy Mueller — the deputy administrator for naval reactors at the US Department of Energy — said the radiation was the equivalent of “about 30 times what you would detect just on a normal air sample out at sea.” “So it's much greater than what we had thought,” Mueller reportedly warned other American officials after taking samples on the Reagan. “We didn't think we would detect anything at 100 miles.” After Mueller made that remark, according to Cleveland’s transcript, Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman asked him if those levels were “significantly higher than anything you would have expected.” He responded yes. When Poneman later asked Mueller, “how do the levels detected compare with what is permissible?” Mueller said those on the scene could suffer irreversible harm from the radiation within hours. “If it were a member of the general public, it would take- well, it would take about 10 hours to reach a limit,” he said. At that point, Mueller added, “it’s a thyroid dose issue.” If people are exposed to levels beyond the Protective Action Guideline threshold released by the Energy Department, Cleveland acknowledged in his report, radiation could have ravaged their thyroid glands."

Our owners obviously think we love being lied to.

About everything from the effects of depending on "clean" nuclear energy to the necessity for allowing banks to operate with the charter to extract as much from their federally-insured customers as possible.

May 29, 2016

Fascism:  The View from Within

The core problem with the discussion of Trump and fascism in today’s New York Times is that it defines fascism solely in terms of what scares liberals.  If the goal of fascists were to be scary, then you might judge how fascist a movement is by how much it scares you.  But that’s not why people support fascism.

What’s necessary is to see fascism from the inside.  Why might people support an authoritarian, chauvinist ruler who attacks minorities and foreigners?

Suppose you have a bedrock belief that people get what they deserve.  The poor are poor because they are inferior, and the rich are rich because they are smart and work hard.  Lots of people feel this way, not as an analytical proposition to be assessed against the evidence but as a preconscious commitment.  This view can work at multiple scales:  it enables those who have it to accept the reality of individual, group and national inequality without the discomfort of cognitive dissonance.

But suppose the pattern of winners and losers becomes such that the “natural justice” assumption implies that it is you and your people who are the inadequate ones. The community (class, racial, religious) you identify with is struggling while other communities seem to get ahead.  Your country is defeated in war or seems to be declining relative to other countries in wealth and power.  How can you reconcile the facts of the world around you with your core beliefs about just desserts?

Fascism’s political appeal is that it solves this conflict.  It tells you that foreign or alien groups — less virtuous than yours but ambitious and sneaky — have undermined you. They’ve taken your jobs, tied you up in pointless rules that benefit them by preventing your people from getting what they deserve under the false banner of equality, eroded your values and traditions.  Your group has allowed this to happen because it was disunited, even weakened from within by traitors.  The solution is to root out these treacherous elements, throw off the artificial laws and constraints (like political correctness) that prevent true merit from getting its rewards, and get rid of the foreigners and parasites.  The fundamental political question, from the perspective of fascism, is not how to adjudicate disagreements but how to eliminate the dissent and defeatism that stands in the way of your people’s unity and rightful place in the world.

How such a movement foments repression, violence and war depends on the context—the barriers fascists need to overcome to implement their program.  For instance, if there really were a move to expel millions of undocumented residents of the US, this would entail an alarming level of surveillance and force, much greater than anything we’ve seen in this country in decades.  This is not because Trump and his followers want a reign of terror in itself, but because that’s what it would take.  Do I know whether the expulsion theme is a real prospect or just rhetoric?  Do I want to find out?

The proper way to determine the fascist threat from a right wing nationalist movement in the US or elsewhere is to ask (1) do they seek to impose the unity and rule of “the people” (their national or ethnic group) through suppression of minorities, dissent and foreigners? and if so (2) what repressive or violent actions will they need to take to carry out such a program? 

Silencing the United States as It Prepares for War

John Pilger takes apart the liberal commentariat and points to the need for a genuinely anti-imperialist analysis of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and yes — Bernie Sanders.

By John Pilger

May 27, 2016


Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968; I was with Robert Kennedy when he was shot and I saw his assassin, preparing to kill him. It was a baptism in the American way, along with the salivating violence of the Chicago police at the Democratic Party's rigged convention. The great counter revolution had begun.

The first to be assassinated that year, Martin Luther King, had dared link the suffering of African-Americans and the people of Vietnam. When Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose”, she spoke perhaps unconsciously for millions of America's victims in faraway places.

“We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom. Now don't you forget it.” So said a National Parks Service guide as I filmed last week at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. He was addressing a school party of young teenagers in bright orange T-shirts. As if by rote, he inverted the truth about Vietnam into an unchallenged lie.

The millions of Vietnamese who died and were maimed and poisoned and dispossessed by the American invasion have no historical place in young minds, not to mention the estimated 60,000 veterans who took their own lives. A friend of mine, a marine who became a paraplegic in Vietnam, was often asked, “Which side did you fight on?”

A few years ago, I attended a popular exhibition called “The Price of Freedom” at the venerable Smithsonian Institution in Washington. The lines of ordinary people, mostly children shuffling through a Santa's grotto of revisionism, were dispensed a variety of lies:  the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved “a million lives”; Iraq was “liberated [by] air strikes of unprecedented precision”. The theme was unerringly heroic:  only Americans pay the price of freedom.

The 2016 election campaign is remarkable not only for the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders but also for the resilience of an enduring silence about a murderous self-bestowed divinity. A third of the members of the United Nations have felt Washington's boot, overturning governments, subverting democracy, imposing blockades and boycotts. Most of the presidents responsible have been liberal – Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.

The breathtaking record of perfidy is so mutated in the public mind, wrote the late Harold Pinter, that it “never happened …Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest. It didn't matter … “. Pinter expressed a mock admiration for what he called “a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

Take Obama. As he prepares to leave office, the fawning has begun all over again. He is “cool”. One of the more violent presidents, Obama gave full reign to the Pentagon war-making apparatus of his discredited predecessor. He prosecuted more whistleblowers – truth-tellers – than any president. He pronounced Chelsea Manning guilty before she was tried. Today, Obama runs an unprecedented worldwide campaign of terrorism and murder by drone.

In 2009, Obama promised to help “rid the world of nuclear weapons” and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. No American president has built more nuclear warheads than Obama. He is “modernising” America's doomsday arsenal, including a new “mini” nuclear weapon, whose size and “smart” technology, says a leading general, ensure its use is “no longer unthinkable”.

James Bradley, the best-selling author of Flags of Our Fathers and son of one of the US marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, said, “[One] great myth we're seeing play out is that of Obama as some kind of peaceful guy who's trying to get rid of nuclear weapons. He's the biggest nuclear warrior there is. He's committed us to a ruinous course of spending a trillion dollars on more nuclear weapons. Somehow, people live in this fantasy that because he gives vague news conferences and speeches and feel-good photo-ops that somehow that's attached to actual policy. It isn't.”

On Obama's watch, a second cold war is under way. The Russian president is a pantomime villain; the Chinese are not yet back to their sinister pig-tailed caricature – when all Chinese were banned from the United States – but the media warriors are working on it.

Neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders has mentioned any of this. There is no risk and no danger for the United States and all of us. For them, the greatest military build-up on the borders of Russia since World War Two has not happened. On May 11, Romania went “live” with a Nato “missile defence” base that aims its first-strike American missiles at the heart of Russia, the world's second nuclear power.

In Asia, the Pentagon is sending ships, planes and special forces to the Philippines to threaten China. The US already encircles China with hundreds of military bases that curve in an arc up from Australia, to Asia and across to Afghanistan. Obama calls this a “pivot”.

As a direct consequence, China reportedly has changed its nuclear weapons policy from no-first-use to high alert and put to sea submarines with nuclear weapons. The escalator is quickening.

It was Hillary Clinton who, as Secretary of State in 2010, elevated the competing territorial claims for rocks and reef in the South China Sea to an international issue; CNN and BBC hysteria followed; China was building airstrips on the disputed islands. In its mammoth war game in 2015, Operation Talisman Sabre, the US practiced “choking” the Straits of Malacca through which pass most of China's oil and trade. This was not news.

Clinton declared that America had a “national interest” in these Asian waters. The Philippines and Vietnam were encouraged and bribed to pursue their claims and old enmities against China. In America, people are being primed to see any Chinese defensive position as offensive, and so the ground is laid for rapid escalation. A similar strategy of provocation and propaganda is applied to Russia.

Clinton, the “women's candidate”, leaves a trail of bloody coups:  in Honduras, in Libya (plus the murder of the Libyan president) and Ukraine. The latter is now a CIA theme park swarming with Nazis and the frontline of a beckoning war with Russia. It was through Ukraine – literally, borderland - that Hitler's Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, which lost 27 million people. This epic catastrophe remains a presence in Russia. Clinton's presidential campaign has received money from all but one of the world's ten biggest arms companies. No other candidate comes close.

Sanders, the hope of many young Americans, is not very different from Clinton in his proprietorial view of the world beyond the United States. He backed Bill Clinton's illegal bombing of Serbia. He supports Obama's terrorism by drone, the provocation of Russia and the return of special forces (death squads) to Iraq. He has nothing to say on the drumbeat of threats to China and the accelerating risk of nuclear war. He agrees that Edward Snowden should stand trial and he calls Hugo Chavez – like him, a social democrat – “a dead communist dictator”. He promises to support Clinton if she is nominated.

The election of Trump or Clinton is the old illusion of choice that is no choice:  two sides of the same coin. In scapegoating minorities and promising to “make America great again”, Trump is a far right-wing domestic populist; yet the danger of Clinton may be more lethal for the world.

“Only Donald Trump has said anything meaningful and critical of US foreign policy,” wrote Stephen Cohen, emeritus professor of Russian History at Princeton and NYU, one of the few Russia experts in the United States to speak out about the risk of war.

In a radio broadcast, Cohen referred to critical questions Trump alone had raised. Among them:  why is the United States “everywhere on the globe”? What is NATO's true mission? Why does the US always pursue regime change in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine? Why does Washington treat Russia and Vladimir Putin as an enemy?

The hysteria in the liberal media over Trump serves an illusion of “free and open debate” and “democracy at work”. His views on immigrants and Muslims are grotesque, yet the deporter-in-chief of vulnerable people from America is not Trump but Obama, whose betrayal of people of colour is his legacy:  such as the warehousing of a mostly black prison population, now more numerous than Stalin's gulag.

This presidential campaign may not be about populism but American liberalism, an ideology that sees itself as modern and therefore superior and the one true way. Those on its right wing bear a likeness to 19th century Christian imperialists, with a God-given duty to convert or co-opt or conquer.

In Britain, this is Blairism. The Christian war criminal Tony Blair got away with his secret preparation for the invasion of Iraq largely because the liberal political class and media fell for his “cool Britannia”. In the Guardian, the applause was deafening; he was called “mystical”. A distraction known as identity politics, imported from the United States, rested easily in his care.

History was declared over, class was abolished and gender promoted as feminism; lots of women became New Labour MPs. They voted on the first day of Parliament to cut the benefits of single parents, mostly women, as instructed. A majority voted for an invasion that produced 700,000 Iraqi widows.

The equivalent in the US are the politically correct warmongers on the New York Times, Washington Post, and network TV who dominate political debate. I watched a furious debate on CNN about Trump's infidelities. It was clear, they said, a man like that could not be trusted in the White House. No issues were raised. Nothing on the 80 per cent of Americans whose income has collapsed to 1970s levels. Nothing on the drift to war. The received wisdom seems to be “hold your nose” and vote for Clinton:  anyone but Trump. That way, you stop the monster and preserve a system gagging for another war.


Frank Markio · 2 hours ago
Mr. Pilger, you will be mocked for speaking the truth, but what you say is the truth. Thank you.
Great to see that John Pilger has lost none of the fire. We need 'truth tellers' like Pilger and Snowdon, though their audience is limited to the few who make the effort to leave mainstream media sites. Keep at it. Keep writing and keep making videos for You Tube! There are people still listening.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

(Drone Strike Video Gamers Metaphor for Trump Nation?)  Trump Wronged by Mean Girl?  (Conflating Email Evasions with Partisan Skullduggery)

Niccol takes a stern tack with "Good Kill." Again and again Egan and team do their job. Again and again they’re coached in ignoring the true nature of it. The drones are saving American lives, never mind what the bleeding hearts think. “Drones aren’t going anywhere,” says their commander (Bruce Greenwood). “In fact, they’re going everywhere.” The repetition of their roles drills into the characters and the audience. We get bored of watching foreign people get blown up on screen too. This feeling of dis(as)sociation between the act of pushing the button and the act of murder is exactly what the director is aiming for.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

“Good Kill” is really a contemporary horror movie about humans seduced and hypnotized by machines into surrendering their souls:  “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” for techies.

. . . Early in the story, the operation is taken over by the C.I.A. (facetiously nicknamed Christians in Action), whose rules of engagement are much looser than those of the military. Even the hard-nosed Colonel Johns is abashed by the wider license to kill.

It’s no longer necessary to identify a specific target as the enemy to be eliminated. All that’s required is for a “pattern of behavior” to be discerned. And Tom finds himself bombing a funeral for the victims of a strike. When rescue workers flock to the site of another explosion, he is instructed to kill them.

. . . Mr. Hawke’s anguished performance gives “Good Kill” a hot emotional center. Tom is painfully aware that innocents will die from missiles dispatched from a great distance. In battle, of course, there is always the likelihood of collateral damage, but there’s a difference between pulling a joystick while thousands of miles from a theater of war and risking your life in an aircraft. Tom observes in horror when civilians wander into a targeted site and are blown up.

. . . As you watch the smoke billow from a drone strike, it offers the cheap thrill felt by a child operating an Xbox, which the movie’s resident expert, Lt. Col. Johns (Bruce Greenwood) explains was a model for drones. “The brass don’t want to admit it,” he tells underlings, “but half of you were recruited in malls precisely because you’re a bunch of gamers.”

Just saw the brilliant panoply of talent comprising Ethan Hawke, January Jones, Bruce Greenwood and Zoë Kravitz in Andrew Niccol's "Good Kill" on Showtime, which clarifies the "drone strike against hunted terrorist in the midst of innocents" conundrum terminally (nauseatingly, actually).

One speech by Greenwood on how it doesn't matter who started the killing (radar-directed bombing by the USA) now because it will never end should be enough to justify seeing this movie no matter how repellent the subject is personally.

Watch it if you can harden your heart sufficiently (because it's full of thoughtful scenes and truths about the logical end of seeking out (and murdering) terrorists universally forever).
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

From our usual suspect, Matt Taibbi at "Rolling Stone:"

Hillary Clinton's New Anti-Trump Ad Misses the Mark

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
27 May 16
Clinton accuses Trump of "rooting" for a crash caused by her own donors
new attack ad put out by the Hillary Clinton campaign this week achieves the near-impossible, making Donald Trump look wronged and (almost) like a victim. More believably, it makes the Democrats look sleazy and disingenuous in comparison.

The ad begins with a picture of a grinning Trump and the words, "In 2006, Donald Trump was hoping for a real estate crash."
It proceeds to a series of grim scenes from the financial crisis. Against a "Roger and Me"-esque montage of blighted neighborhoods, it reads off stats:  "9 million Americans lost their jobs. 5 million people lost their homes."

Then it returns to a grinning Trump, and another line:

"And the man who could be our next president…

was rooting for it to happen."

Then we hear Trump talking about how a bursting of the real-estate bubble would be an opportunity for rich folks like himself.

"I sort of hope that happens, because then people like me would go in and buy," Trump says, in an interview from 2006. "If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know, you could make a lot of money."

Cut to: "If Donald wins, you lose."

This ad is disingenuous in a dozen different ways. For one thing, the destruction that the Clinton campaign describes was not caused by people swooping in after the bubble burst, buying at the bottom of the market.

It was caused by the existence of a speculative bubble in the first place. And that bubble was inflated not by Donald Trump, but by the people who have at least in part bankrolled Hillary Clinton's career: namely, Wall Street banks.

In the mid-2000s, a speculative mania swallowed up the real-estate markets largely because Wall Street discovered a new (and often criminally fraudulent) way to peddle mortgage securities. 

The basic trick involved big banks buying up the risky home loans of subprime borrowers — the loans of people who often lacked verified incomes and had poor credit histories — and repackaging them as highly rated mortgage securities. 

Basically they took risky loans and presented them as somewhat safer investments to a range of investors, all of whom later got clobbered: pension funds, hedge funds, unions, even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

This technique, of turning rancid home loans into a kind of financial hamburger and then selling it off as grade-A beef to institutional investors, created artificial demand in the real-estate markets, which in turn led to the speculative mania.

The bubble stayed inflated for a few years because a continual influx of new investors kept the old investors from losing their shirts for a while. The layman's term for this is a Ponzi scheme.

So when Donald Trump in 2006 says, "If there is a bubble burst, you could make a lot of money," he might sound crass, but he wasn't wrong. That bubble was always going to burst. Those investors who got creamed were always going to get creamed.

And the fault was with the people who drove this speculative craze by knowingly peddling bad merchandise and continually driving the markets upward. Think, for example, of Citigroup, which was selling huge masses of mortgage securities even as its traders were saying things to each other like, "We should start praying… I would not be surprised if half of these loans went down."

We know the names of many of these companies because many of them have agreed to pay huge settlements for their involvement in selling mismarked mortgage securities.

Four of them — the aforementioned Citigroup, along with Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan Chase — are among Hillary Clinton's top six contributors for her career.

The new Clinton ad references people in foreclosure — it even shows a big, scary foreclosure sign. Many of the same banks also agreed to massive settlements for, among other things, using fraudulent documents to kick people out of their houses. Major Clinton donors Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase were signatories to the original $25 billion foreclosure settlement, for instance.

As for the whole issue of "rooting" for a crash so as to make money off the misery of others, what Donald Trump was talking about — and it's galling to the point of being physically painful to have to defend him here — may sound scummy, but was neither illegal nor even unethical, unless you want to call this kind of capitalism unethical (which some might).

Trump wasn't rooting for an avoidable disaster, like a 9/11. With this bubble, the disaster had already happened. The properties were already overvalued. Trump or not, that pain was coming.

Taking advantage of market inefficiencies is what investors are supposed to do, a la the traders in "The Big Short" who spotted the corruption in the real-estate markets early and bet accordingly. Personally I doubt Trump was smart enough to bet so much as a penny out of his alleged billions on the market collapsing, but if he did, it wouldn't have been unethical, just cold.

The same can't be said for Goldman Sachs, the company famous for paying Hillary Clinton $675,000 for three speeches.

In the spring of 2011, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, led by Michigan's Carl Levin, released a giant report about the way Goldman profited from the crash by shorting the market even as it was advising clients in the opposite direction.

This report detailed how in 2006, the same year that Donald Trump was talking out loud about the bubble bursting, Goldman found itself stuck with what amounted to a $6 billion bet on the housing market.

But at the end of the year the firm analyzed its position, saw the coming trouble, and realized it needed a change in strategy. Goldman's leaders, including CEO Lloyd Blankfein (seen here warmly embracing Hillary Clinton) and CFO David Viniar, decided that they needed to unload as many of their mortgage holdings as possible. 

One particular quote the Senate investigators dug up stands out. In late December of 2006, Viniar wrote an email to his chief mortgage officer (emphasis mine):

"Let's be aggressive distributing things," he said, "because there will be very good opportunities as the markets [go] into what is likely to be even greater distress, and we want to be in a position to take advantage of them."

This, coming from the chief financial officer of a firm that has been among Hillary Clinton's top donors, is exactly what Donald Trump said.

The difference was, Donald Trump was just talking about making money for himself. Goldman executives were talking about making money at their own clients' expense.

Two months after that Viniar memo, in February of 2007, Blankfein wrote an email of his own.

"Could/should we have cleaned up these books before," Blankfein wrote, "and are we doing enough right now to sell off cats and dogs in other books throughout the division?"

By "cats and dogs," Blankfein meant the toxic mortgage holdings he wanted off his company's books. How did they get rid of them? They sold them off to customers.

In one particular deal, called Hudson, Goldman unloaded $1.2 billion worth of "cats and dogs." They neglected to tell the client that these came from their own inventory, saying instead that the holdings were "sourced from the street."

By the spring of 2007, Goldman executives were in a panic about the likely meltdown of the real-estate markets. In May, a senior exec gave a presentation saying, "There is real meltdown potential."

The execs scanned the earth for suckers willing to buy up their doomed products. They found a hedge fund in Australia willing to buy a $100 million mortgage-based deal called Timberwolf, promising returns as high as 60 percent while privately laughing about finding the ultimate sucker.

"I found a white elephant, flying pig and unicorn all at once," clucked one of the bank's sales reps. A few days later, after the deal was off their books, another Goldman exec famously trumpeted, "Boy, that Timberwolf was one shitty deal."

I spent most of the last eight years poring through disgusting stories like this, reporting on the dreary question of what caused the 2008 crash. All of that work was done before Hillary Clinton announced she would run for president. This isn't about Hillary Clinton for me. It's about the continuing influence of these companies.

These firms have mostly avoided blame for the crisis, partly because this subject is complicated, but also because mainstream politicians from both parties have refused to point a finger at them. For that, Hillary Clinton probably is at fault now, contributing to a failure among major-party politicians to be straight with the public that dates back to the first days of the crisis.

It's bad strategy. Trump is a lunatic, but he's gaining strength because his supporters believe his story about being so rich that he's free to tell it like it is. They equally believe his windy diatribes about Beltway pols like Jeb Bush and Hillary being compromised by the great gobs of money they take from corporate donors.

And the truth is now being thrown in our blissfully ignorant faces.

Because it's no longer possible to say that the banksters' misdeeds are just too complicated for the regular taxpaying citizen to figure out, and thus that they don't really deserve punishment (just minor fees).

Bank of America's Winning Excuse:  We Didn't Mean To

By Jesse Eisinger, ProPublica
26 May 16 
A federal appeals court overturned a $1.3 billion judgement against Bank of America, ruling that good intentions at the outset shield bankers from fines for subsequent fraud.
ack in the late-housing-bubble period, in 2007, Countrywide Home Loans, which was then the largest mortgage provider in the country, rolled out a new lending program. The bank called it the “high-speed swim lane,” or HSSL, or, even more to the point, “hustle.” Countrywide, like most mortgage lenders, sold its loans to Wall Street banks or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two mortgage giants, which bundled them and, in turn, sold them to investors.

Unlike the Wall Street banks, Fannie and Freddie insured the loans, so they demanded only the ones of the highest quality. But by that time, borrowers with high credit scores were getting scarcer, and Countrywide faced the prospect of collapsing revenue and profits. Hence, the hustle program, which “streamlined” Countrywide’s loan origination, cutting out underwriters and putting loan processors, whom the company had previously deemed not qualified to answer borrowers’ questions, in charge of reviewing loan applications. In practice, Countrywide dropped most of the conditions meant to insure that loans would be repaid.
The company didn’t tell Fannie or Freddie any of this, however. Lower-level Countrywide executives repeatedly warned top executives that the mortgages did not fulfill the requirements. Employees changed data about the mortgages to make them look better, sometimes increasing the borrower’s income on the forms until the loan looked acceptable. Then, Countrywide sold them to the mortgage giants anyway.

At one point, the head of underwriting at Countrywide wrote an alarmed e-mail, with a list of questions from employees, such as, does “the request to move loans mean we no longer care about quality?”

The executive in charge of the decision, Rebecca Mairone, replied, “So - it sounds like it may work. Is that what I am hearing?”

To federal prosecutors — and to a jury in Manhattan — the hustle sounded like fraud. And in 2013, Bank of America, which had by then taken over Countrywide, was found liable for fraud and later ordered to pay a $1.27 billion judgment to the government.

But this week, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals looked at that judgment and asked this question:  If a entity (in this case, a bank) enters into a contract pure of heart and only deceives its partners afterward, is that fraud?

The three-judge panel’s answer was no. Bank of America is no longer required to pay the judgment.

The Bank of America case was a rare outcome in the collapse of the financial system:  a firm whose actions had contributed to the crisis was held to account by a court of law. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which brought the case in 2012, used an ingenious strategy, charging the bank under a law dating from the savings-and-loan crisis of the late 1980s, called Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, or FIRREA. And the government actually identified a human being, Rebecca Mairone, claiming she defrauded Fannie and Freddie.

Though it was a civil action, rather than a criminal one, the case actually went to trial — unusual in this day and age — and the jury found Bank of America and Mairone liable. (The 2nd Circuit panel’s ruling reversed a finding of fraud against Mairone and tossed out a million-dollar ruling against Mairone.)

The appellate-court panel accepted the main facts as described by the government. It acknowledged that Countrywide intentionally breached its contract but ruled that it had not engaged in fraud.

The ruling, written by Richard C. Wesley, a George W. Bush appointee, was unanimous, with another Bush appointee and an Obama appointee voting in favor. “What fraud … turns on, however, is when the representations were made and the intent of the promisor at that time,” Judge Wesley wrote. If the fraud is based on “promises made in a contract, a party claiming fraud must prove fraudulent intent at the time of contract execution; evidence of a subsequent, willful breach cannot sustain the claim.”

The government hadn’t set out to prove Countrywide’s intentions — honorable or otherwise — of Countrywide at the moment it signed the contracts with Fannie and Freddie. Consequently, the court ruled that the government had not provided sufficient evidence for its contentions. “The government had zero evidence of affirmative misrepresentations at the time of the bad conduct,” Samuel Buell, a law professor at Duke University and the author of the forthcoming book “Capital Offenses:  Business Crime and Punishment in America’s Corporate Age,” says. But to other legal scholars, the ruling seemed nonsensical.

“Is the idea that a good state of mind initially can insulate you from fraud later on?” Brandon Garrett, a professor of law at the University of Virginia and the author of “Too Big To Jail:  How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations,” asked. “That would be a very strange and troubling doctrine.” He added, “It almost seems like the 2nd Circuit fell victim to a lawyer’s trick.”


# griffey1 2016-05-26 16:44
Fraud is ALWAYS committed by the consumer. NEVER by a corporation. This is the new reality in America's courtrooms.
+20 # A_Har 2016-05-26 17:39
"We Didn't Mean To."

OH....sure, and they have a bridge they can sell you:

Bank of America:  Too Crooked to Fail

The bank has defrauded everyone from investors and insurers to homeowners and the unemployed. So why does the government keep bailing it out?

By Matt Taibbi March 14, 2012

"At least Bank of America got its name right. The ultimate Too Big to Fail bank really is America, a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we'll all be paying for until the end of time. Did you hear about the plot to rig global interest rates? The $137 million fine for bilking needy schools and cities? The ingenious plan to suck multiple fees out of the unemployment checks of jobless workers? Take your eyes off them for 10 seconds and guaranteed, they'll be into some shit again: This bank is like the world's worst-behaved teenager, taking your car and running over kittens and fire hydrants on the way to Vegas for the weekend, maxing out your credit cards in the three days you spend at your aunt's funeral. They're out of control, yet they'll never do time or go out of business, because the government remains creepily committed to their survival, like overindulgent parents who refuse to believe their 40-year-old live-at-home son could possibly be responsible for those dead hookers in the backyard."

OF COURSE they meant to! It's their business model.
+13 # bardphile 2016-05-26 22:10
From my post yesterday: Today's LA Times (Hiltzik) describes how B of A / Countrywide "skated" past a $1.3 bil(lion) fraud judgment imposed by a lower court by reducing fraud charges to "breach of contract"--a technicality that would eviscerate federal fraud law if upheld on appeal. A 3-judge panel bought the argument. The pro-business, anti-consumer bias permeates our government, even at times the judiciary. The only fix is a Sanders-style political revolution that will require not one, but several election cycles to implement. The opposition will be furious and the lies, thick. Hillary is not the person to get us very far along that long and tortuous road.
+6 # bardphile 2016-05-26 22:11
I'd like to see Bernie and Trump debate this one from the 50-yard-line of the Rose Bowl...
+13 # lorenbliss 2016-05-26 22:11
Capitalist governance in action: absolute power and unlimited profit for the One Percent and their Ruling Class vassals, total subjugation and bottomless poverty for all the rest of us.

(How many times must it be said?)

+12 # Jayceecool 2016-05-26 22:34
Is there a better example of judicial corruption than the sophistry of the appellate court for the 2nd district? Is there any wonder that middle America's faith in our institutions is plummeting?
+6 # Texas Aggie 2016-05-27 00:40
Did the three men in black ever explain why fraud only counts if you cheat at the beginning but it's perfectly ok to be fraudulent if you do it later on?
+1 # economagic 2016-05-27 07:07
I'm not a lawyer, and this article doesn't include nearly enough detail for an informed discussion. But it appears that the judges were doing a D. W. Schultz, working for the benefit of certain parties while claiming to be neutral arbiters.

Intent is often a factor in the law, even though is is often impossible to determine, and the judges seem to have used technical minutiae to support their preferred outcome. There is no serious dispute of the claim that millions of individuals and institutions suffered great harm from the knowing and willful purchase and sale of worthless assets by the big banks and their agents such as Countrywide ("NINJA" loans, "liar loans," "toxic waste," all of which and more have been well documented in discussions among the people hawking them).

William Black documented in 2005 how an absolutely identical scam was perpetrated by owners and mangers of the S&Ls in "The Best Way to Rob a Bank (Is To Own One)." If fraud was not committed in the particular act alleged in these suits, the legal "suits" need to sharpen their pencils and pinpoint exactly where it did occur in a way that the judges could not weasel out of. Unfortunately there is now probably too much precedent, and too much time elapsed, to make such cases.

"My object all sublime,
I shall achieve in time,
To let the punishment fit the crime."

--"The Mikado," William Schwenk Gilbert
+5 # lfeuille 2016-05-26 23:53
Congress can fix this but this congress won't.
+1 # torch and pitchfork 2016-05-27 07:37
"Courts often view themselves as a check on what they see as prosecutors responding to the pitchfork-wield ing mob." --Thank you, oh great wise ones, for protecting me from myself.

"Significant Security Risks": State Department Says Clinton Broke Rules Using Private Email Server

Thursday, 26 May 2016 
By Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh, Democracy Now! 
Video Interview
An internal government watchdog has concluded Hillary Clinton broke government rules by using a private email server without approval while she was secretary of state. That was the key finding of a long-awaited report by the State Department inspector general.

The report concluded that Clinton would not have been allowed to use a private server in her home had she asked department officials in charge of information security, because it posed "significant security risks."

This contradicts claims by Clinton that use of a home server was allowed and that no permission was needed. The report also criticized Clinton for not properly preserving emails she wrote and received on her personal account.

According to the report, Clinton and eight of her deputies, including Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan and Huma Abedin, declined to be interviewed for the inspector general's investigation. Clinton's use of a private email server for State Department business is also the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation. We speak to journalist Michael Tracey.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: An internal government watchdog has concluded Hillary Clinton broke government rules by using a private email server without approval while she was secretary of state. That was the key finding of a long-awaited report by the State Department inspector general.

The report concluded that Clinton would not have been allowed to use a private server in her home had she asked department officials in charge of information security, because it posed, quote, "significant security risks." This contradicts claims by Clinton that use of a home server was allowed and that no permission was needed. The report also criticized Clinton for not properly preserving emails she wrote and received on her personal account. Clinton responded to the report during a campaign event in California [sic]. . . .
MICHAEL TRACEY: Well, in addition to the substance of what was found by the inspector general regarding her conduct with installing a private email server, what really stuck out to me and, I think, most observers was that she declined to be interviewed for the probe.

Now, throughout her campaign and even prior to the campaign, she gave repeated assurances that she would comply with every single investigation into the propriety of this conduct. And for her now to have -- to have been revealed that she did not comply with a probe overseen by the department which she headed for four years is pretty astonishing.
AMY GOODMAN: Because it was the inspector general of the State Department.
MICHAEL TRACEY: Of the State Department, right. And she was the head of that agency for four years. And not only did she not participate, but actually at least nine of her associates, whether they were employees of the department or external employees that were under the auspice of Hillary in particular, did not participate, either. So, of course that's going to raise major questions.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: But at the same time, Hillary has said -- Clinton has said that she will participate in the FBI investigation. Is that right?
MICHAEL TRACEY: Right, but if you go and examine the statements that her campaign has made and she has made individually, she never made a clear distinction between participation in the FBI probe and the State Department probe.

So, for her now to retroactively claim that she did make that distinction doesn't hold up to scrutiny. As recently as May 7th, she said that she would, quote, "talk to anybody" investigating the matter on behalf of the federal government.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, she also said -- because there's been some speculation about why she chose to use a private email server in the first place, and apparently in November 2010 -- this is what the report says -- she wrote to one of her top aides, Huma Abedin, that, quote, "Let's [get] separate address or device but I don't want any risk of the personal being accessible." What do you think the significance of that is? And that's not what she initially claimed her reason was.

MICHAEL TRACEY: I just think it's indicative of her giving a wide variety of explanations for her behavior that don't cohere into a single, you know, digestible explanation that she could offer to voters. And I -- just one more point, I think that speaks to why there's been a deficiency in the level of scrutiny that's been applied to it in the context of the Democratic primary.

So Bernie Sanders has, validly, not raised the issue, and he has his own reasons for doing so. But the natural consequence of that is that it hasn't been given a sufficient airing in the context of the Republican primary, and it's going to be easily seized upon by Donald Trump in the context of a general election.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me turn to a clip from the Democratic debate in March, Clinton facing tough questioning from Univision moderator Jorge Ramos about her use of a home-based email server and who gave her permission to use it.

HILLARY CLINTON: It wasn't the best choice. I made a mistake. It was not prohibited. It was not in any way disallowed. And as I've said and as now has come out, my predecessors did the same thing, and many other people in the government. But here's the cut-to-the-chase facts. I did not send or receive any emails marked "classified" at the time. What you're talking about is retroactive classification. ... I am not concerned about it. I am not worried about it. And no Democrat or American should be, either.
JORGE RAMOS: The questions were -- Secretary Clinton, the questions were: Who gave you permission to -- to operate?
HILLARY CLINTON: There -- there --
JORGE RAMOS: Was it President Obama?
HILLARY CLINTON: There was no permission to be asked. It had been done by my predecessors. It was permitted. I didn't have to ask anyone.
JORGE RAMOS: If you get indicted, would you drop out?
HILLARY CLINTON: Oh, for goodness -- that is not going to happen. I'm not even answering that question.
AMY GOODMAN: Hillary Clinton, speaking at a Democratic debate in March. Just a note about the earlier clip of Hillary Clinton in our lede, it was from March 2015, over a year ago, not from the campaign trail yesterday. So, Michael Tracey, this issue of she didn't do anything differently than her predecessors, like Secretary of State General Colin Powell, who has also said the same thing, actually?

MICHAEL TRACEY: Well, that's been a claim repeatedly made by Hillary Clinton herself and her campaign representatives for as long as this has been a controversy, but the State Department's own report now finds that that claim has no basis. I mean, there were new sets of standards applied to the conduct of Hillary Clinton that did not apply to her predecessors.

When Colin Powell was in office, for example -- you know, he left office in 2005, and by then, the use of email was not nearly as widespread or not -- and the security liabilities were not nearly as well understood. So, the idea that that's a rationale for her behavior, I don't think passes muster, either.

AMY GOODMAN: She keeps emphasizing she's turned over 55,000 emails, certainly more than any of her predecessors, not only Condoleezza Rice, by the way, but -- not only Colin Powell, but also Condoleezza Rice. But what about this, 55,000 email that she chose, or her people chose, to hand over?

MICHAEL TRACEY: Well, again, that's a claim that's been made without corroboration. But now we know that the claim is not totally accurate. There were emails found independently by the State Department investigator between Hillary Clinton and David Petraeus that she did not turn over in December 2014, when she purportedly handed over the totality of the batch. So, I mean, obviously, a figure of that significance is someone who the public is going to want to see the correspondence featuring.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, this is interesting, the general, right? Because -- I'm reading from The Washington Post:  "In his plea agreement, [General] Petraeus admitted to mishandling classified information that was contained in [his] personal notebooks. Petraeus told [his girlfriend Paula] Broadwell that his notebooks contained 'highly classified' information, yet gave them to her ... lied to the FBI during the investigation -- a felony that's punishable by up to five years in prison," let her see his classified emails, etc.

MICHAEL TRACEY: Yeah, I think this speaks to a broader fallacy in the way that Democrats have spoken about this issue. They've tried to conflate it with, you know, partisan skulduggery, which inevitably is going to engulf Hillary and has for 25 years. But in doing so, they've deflected from the real potential liabilities that this may occasion. And another thing, you know, in the clip that was just played, Hillary Clinton laughed off the possibility of an indictment. And that's probably remote. But it's not laughable that there could be some kind of criminal consequence to this behavior, whether on the part of Hillary or her subordinates.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, wait. Explain this, because, I mean, James Comey is not exactly a friend of President Obama -- the head of the FBI, came in under the Bush administration, has undermined him in a number of ways. There's clearly a conflict.
He's pushing forward with this investigation. He could recommend a criminal indictment, but it would be Obama's Justice Department that would have to move forward with it, which would set up a royal conflict and an embarrassing one.

MICHAEL TRACEY: Right. So even if official criminal charges are not levied, it would still provoke a political -- a political discord that we haven't seen in generations, in terms of competing branches of the federal government coming to different conclusions about whether certain behavior rises to the level of criminality. And, you know, I think for her to laugh off that possibility, and for Democrats to laugh off that possibility, has made it such that the feasibility of this hasn't been seriously entertained, maybe until now.

And the reason -- one reason why a lawyer would advise a client not to participate in a probe of this nature is because you could divulge information that could be used in a separate criminal investigation to establish a pattern of facts, which could conceivably result in some kind of criminal charges. So that's always been a possibility in the air, but because, you know, the allegations have been so closely associated with Republican gamesmanship, I don't think Democrats have given it sufficient thought in terms of what kind of problems this could pose for Hillary as a general election candidate.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, I want to turn to a clip from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in December 2011, the day before Army whistleblower Private Chelsea Manning went on trial for passing hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks.

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: I think that in an age when so much information is, you know, flying through cyberspace, we all have to be aware of the fact that, you know, some information, which is sensitive, which does affect the security of individuals and relationships, deserves to be protected. And we will continue to take necessary steps to do so.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Hillary Clinton speaking in 2011 about the WikiLeaks revelations made by Chelsea Manning. So could you comment on what Hillary Clinton said and whether you think that there's a different standard that's been applied to whistleblowers, like Chelsea Manning, and her opposition to the inquiry now regarding her own, let's say, lax security around her emails while she was secretary of state?

MICHAEL TRACEY: Well, the double standards are overwhelmingly clear. It's not disputed at this point that information marked "top secret," according to the government, traversed the server of Hillary Clinton. And the server was not secured according to the guidelines established by the federal government.

Now, had someone of less stature committed a similar infraction, based on the track record of Hillary Clinton's own statements, we could draw a logical through line and assume that she would want the full weight of the criminal apparatus of the federal government to bear down on that individual.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Isn't that what happened to the US ambassador in Kenya? I think that's one of the people who's mentioned.

MICHAEL TRACEY: Right. And, you know, obviously, the case of Chelsea Manning is not totally analogous, but it speaks to a broader principle that's not being evenly applied. So, whether or not you think that the classification regime of the federal government is sound, that has no bearing on whether the regime that exists should be applied broadly and equitably.

And in insisting, as Hillary Clinton and her surrogates have done, that this is no big deal, they're essentially arguing for a different standard to be applied to themselves. And that's why people have so little faith in the system. And it's not just for product of Republican fearmongering that there is this hunch that the law is not going to be applied in an equal manner.

Read the entire article here.