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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hidden Trapdoor

Distantly Controlled,

March 31, 2017 is the day before next April Fools Day, which seems fitting. Apparently the EU rules, under the Lisbon Treaty, change that day.
On April Fool's Day 2017, the leader of the British government may submit an intent to leave the EU with Brussels, and it will not become automatic in 2 years. Rather, it will be subject to approval by a majority vote of EU members.
Whoa! That's completely different.
No Way Out on April Fool's Day!
Thanks Anthony, fir the first and the follow-up articles.

Former London Mayor and Brexit campaigner, Boris Johnson, who clearly demonstrated that he was not up to the task, anyway, withdraws his (Tory) bid for Prime Minister.

The Archdruid has cutting political observation and commentary on the neoliberal Bremain camp:
Marketing failures: "Cameron’s government had already inflicted harsh budget cuts in the National Health Service and other programs that benefit ordinary Britons, and showed every sign of doing more of the same—and “Brexit Will Do What We’re Doing Anyway” somehow didn’t have the clout that Cameron apparently expected it to have."
Then he gets down to causes: "Once the dominant minority loses the loyalty of the masses by failing to deal with the needs of those outside the circles of affluence and privilege, sullen outward conformity and secret revolt replace the mutual trust that’s needed to make a society function."
His summation: "Outside the Hall of Mirrors, the sky is black with birds coming home to roost. Some of them have already settled on the rooftops of London. More of them are hovering above an assortment of European capitals, and many more are wheeling above the marble domes and pediments of Washington DC. When they land, their impact will shake the world."

The primary populist issue in the UK is the hot flood of refugees, which comes on top of many previous waves of flood-immigration from colonies and Eastern Europe. The losers every time have been the heirs of displaced peasants of the industrial revolution, the working-class, which Martin assures me is a real and strongly self identified and embattled class in England, Wales and Scotland. The EU already gave Britain exceptional advantage over immigration, and resented having gone so far. It's over, as far as EU countries are concerned. [The (covertly funded and fanned) Mideast wars driving hot floods of refugees should be stopped, shouldn't they?]

Portland Communications is the name of the company which has artfully engineered the (so far unsuccessful) media coup against elected Labour leader, Jeremy Corbin. It's probably good to clear all those traitors out of the upper ranks of the Labour party, so Corbyn can get to some very important historic business.
"The Canary can reveal that the current Labour ‘coup’ being instigated against Jeremy Corbyn appears to have been orchestrated by a PR company where Tony Blair’s arch spin-doctor, Alastair Campbell, is a senior advisor." 

"Significantly in all this, is the massive upsurge in membership of Momentum – the people’s movement to steer Labour left from within. People are joining in their droves to make sure they can back Corbyn in a new leadership challenge. This is where the rioja liberals of the party – those who lament the plight of working class Britain with moist eyes over a glass of red wine, yet react with nothing short of revulsion at the idea of that same working class holding any power within the party – have their day of reckoning with the working classes who built the party and want it back." [Yeah! Take your Party back!] This unwelcome and unrequested intervention by the Labour mutineers presents the party membership with a chance to restock those benches with MPs that look, sound and think like the voters they will need next time round.
http://www.thecanary.co/2016/06/29/the-labour-coup-is-unravelling-and-will-unwittingly-hand-the-party-back-to-those-who-built-it/

Tony Blair consciously modeled “New Labour” on the Clinton’s “New Democrats” and adopted a broad range of the Tories’ policies.  New Labour’s adoption of the same contempt for labor and anti-labor policies pioneered by the Clintons produced the same horrific results for the working class. 
Corbyn was in an impossible position.  He became Party leader based on his willingness to oppose New Labour’s betrayal of labor and the working class.  He knew that New Labour’s contempt and anti-working class policies had led enormous numbers of traditional Labour voters to support BREXIT.  He has long, and accurately, warned that the EU is a neo-liberal institution that typically pursues policies that harm labor and the working class.
The New Democrats and New Labour did not embrace “free trade.”  They embraced deals that gave CEOs exceptional leverage to prevent effective environmental, financial, and safety regulation and increased leverage against their workers.
If there is a lesson for the United States in the decision by British voters to exit the European Union, it is the importance of the emerging split between the beneficiaries of multicultural globalism and the working-class ethno-nationalists who feel left behind.
Elite bankers grew ever wealthier, with complete impunity from the criminal laws, through the “sure thing” of running the most destructive epidemics of financial control frauds in history.

Massive discrepancies between exit polls and vote counts (winning-good-guys suddenly lose to bad-guys) suggest vote rigging, and there is an obvious suspect. A recount seems likely. (The science of rigging computer vote counts has gotten quite sophisticated in the past 20 years.)
https://mishtalk.com/2016/06/29/allegations-of-vote-fraud-emerge-in-spain/

Turkey normalizes relations with Israel after 6 years, giving up on Palestinians, who are left besieged after 3 major military assaults, unable to rebuild.
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/turkey-israel-deal-leaves-gaza-siege-intact

Erdogan apologized to Putin for killing that Russian pilot over Syrian airspace, also marking a redirection of Turkish policy in the region. Unable to beat Russia in Syria, Turkey might "join them".

How can the timing be so perfect? Just fate, I suppose. 
Colleen sends this news that the 3 ISIS suicide bombers at the Turkish airport are anti-Russian separatist rebels from Chechnya and related regions, so now Turkey and Russia can work together against ISIS in Syria and Chechnya. Do these dumb dead suicide-Rambo guys with their heavenly virgins realize what they just did? Speculative, isn't it?

"In this pivotal moment, the Democratic Party and a new Democratic president need to make clear that we stand with those who are struggling and who have been left behind. We must create national and global economies that work for all, not just a handful of billionaires." Bernie Sanders, in NYT Op Ed. Sanders is still running for President, at least 4 more weeks, possibly until November...

Speaking in Monessen, Pennsylvania, Trump said the "TPP would be the death blow for American manufacturing" and vowed to "withdraw" the U.S. from the agreement. He said Clinton took "a leading part" in drafting the 12-nation deal, noting that the former secretary of state "praised or pushed the TPP on 45 separate occasions, and even called it the 'gold standard,'" according to prepared remarks.  Trump appeared to be "speaking directly to [Bernie] Sanders supporters." Sanders has made opposition to the TPP and other rights-trampling deals a cornerstone of his campaign.   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/06/28/trump-just-drove-truck-through-hole-dnc-platform-panel-left-clintons-tpp-promise

William Jefferson Clinton meets privately with long term political ally, Loretta Lynch, who now heads the "Justice" Department, and will have to decide what to do with all that information the hundreds of FBI investigators have uncovered and organized on Hillary Rodham Clinton, the anointed next President of the United States of America. (Purely social; no business discussed...)
Inline image 1

Here is the timeline of how the 1965 student loan program, intended to free Americans by equalizing access to higher education, turned into a massive debt-slave/debt-master program through the Clintonian magic of Neoliberal-Economics. (Are you a debt slave?)


Chain Gang

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Unforeseen Twists

Twisters,

Brexit hits Italian banks, already painted into a corner by EU regulations to make them more secure, but blocking all means to such security. Catch-22. Ambrose has the rundown.

Britain lost it's last AAA credit rating, and the credit-default-swap "insurance" rates on British bonds just jumped by about half. It's expensive to hedge that risk.

In a statement, Mr Corbyn said: “I was democratically elected leader of our party for a new kind of politics by 60% of Labour members and supporters, and I will not betray them by resigning. Today’s vote by MPs has no constitutional legitimacy.
“If anyone wants to change the Labour leadership, they must do it openly and democratically through an election, not through resignations and pointless posturing. If there has to be such an election, Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters throughout the movement will be ready for it.”
A mutiny by Blair-ites, aiming for maximum media complicity, fails to unseat the directly elected Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbin. (What a nightmare for neoliberal city-dwellers if the bicycle-commuting Corbin should come to power later this year, with Tory politicians so disgraced, clueless and disorganized!)

Here is more on the meme of Europeans, especially Germany, renegotiating peace and trade with Russia, against the will of American overlords.

Angela Merkel declares that Ukrainian integration into EU is off the table.

The US can't really declare "victory" in Ukraine, and sure can't confess defeat, after a decade of very expensive destabilization, high profile false-flag attacks, and now stalemated civil-war. Another option is the Christian equivalent of turning Irish Catholics and Protestants against each other in Ulster. The Saker explains.

Renewable Energy: Excellent update on the strides made in wind and solar, and the very high costs of storing peak production electrons for peak demand. Pumping water uphill is by far the best, but very expensive to implement, and that uphill water really stores very little energy. And that's the best for price and long term durability. Lithium for all those batteries might run out by 2050. Find ways to use when the sun shines and conserve when it doesn't. This is a chapter from Heinberg's new book. 

Aspartame, 200 times sweeter than sugar (and causes more weight gain, too, and worsens diabetes) gets to go back into Diet Pepsi, which should never be given to any living organism.

In case you missed that story about aspartame worsening diabetes, here's a link. I assume you know about the rat studies and weight gain already.

Poison-with-a-twist

Monday, June 27, 2016

Blue Monday

Naysayers,

Why the British Said No to Europe, John Pilger
It's the crushed and scorned workers, who have lost their cookies to everybody else at every table for  40 years who are being heard, and still scorned, called "racists", whatever. 
("Working Class" in the UK translates into American as "Poor White Trash", a term that the better classes are afraid to use, even to think, but it's always what they mean.)  

Ambrose Evans Pritchard, an unusually decent bloke, for a financial columnist, and who did back Brexit, speaks to the difficult work that must now be done to get a workable compromise divorce settlement, one which respects the needs of all Britons. He has backed the Danish model all along.

Brexit is What Happens When the Pie is Shrinking, Charles Hugh Smith. again, all the pie losses for 40 years have been born by working people, while all classes of technocrat got advantages. (The recent college grads won't get that; don't get that. It's time to admit the boat we are all in is sinking.)

Alan Greenspan, who was Federal Reserve Chairman for a very long time, and got away with all of it, says the current crisis is the worst he has seen in his career, including the October 1987 stock market crash. He's back to advocating the gold standard, for which he was an advocate in his younger days. He accepts no responsibility for his roll, but mostly says the "entitlements" the government owes retirees and cripples and so on, just can't be afforded, which is accurate. (Tax cuts for the rich under Reagan and for decades after, defunded those entitlements. Well, that's water under the bridge, isn't it? We can't have class-warfare, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Suffer quietly, beggars; you can't be choosers!)

"This is going to be worse than any bear-market you've ever seen in your life", Jim Rogers (former Soros partner, advocate for gold, crops, mines, and basic things like that)

EU officials are about to double-down, in what is an amazingly badly (or perfectly) timed ultimatum. EU countries will get a little cash allowance for being absorbed into a proposed super state. No more nations, or identities, just subservience to the one Union. This goes so directly opposite to coalescing public opinion that it perfectly declares the problem of the autocratic elites being divorced from human reality of the 99%.

EU Parliament President Martin Schultz: "The British have violated the rules. It is not the EU philosophy that the crowd can decide its fate"

Fatality

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Secret Agreements

Listening at Keyholes,

I only hope that this article by John Helmer, who lives in Russia and has long corresponded from there, is correct, that secret negotiations are well underway between Germany and Russia, and gratefully blessed by Italy, and potentially others, for mutual trade and security cooperation. 
The American/Neocon hand at the helm of NATO is costly to Europeans at all levels, and threatens them with nuclear war, not the "security" it once advertised.

The Road to Brexit: There are a whole lot of laws and treaties to reform by many vast networks of agreement, which took decades to create, and need to be revised on the fly. The UK Civil Service just had a lot of job cuts. Austerity budget. Who is going to do all the things that are so well catalogued in this assessment?

A majority of citizens in France and Italy want their own referenda on EU membership, and there are 6 more EU member states that are quite close to that watershed. Would Brexit be simplified or complicated by the whole EU project ceasing to exist as what it now is?

Image result for European Union brexit airplane cartoon images
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UN Legal Expert explains why these trade deals are illegal: TTP, TTIP, TISA, CETA

Bernie Sanders Weighs In on Brexit: Global Economy is Failing the People (In one month the Democratic National Convention will be in it's second day. Lots is going on. There is not a Democratic presidential candidate until the convention elects one, is there?)

What might rising oil prices since 1998 have to do with stagnant wages, worker frustration, and the wave of populism sweeping western society? (This does not look at the vast wealth disparity which we know destabilizes societies, but makes a complimentary point, I think.)

Asian stocks open below Friday closing, drop further and bounce up and down a bit in the first hour of trading.

Donald Trump says he won't recognize Palestinian Statehood if elected President, and that Israeli expansion of "settlements" (on illegally occupied Palestinian land) is fine with him and what their country needs to grow. [He's running out of cash. This should get the contributions flowing in.]

Sucrose (table sugar), Fructose (part of corn syrup), aspartame ("Nutra-Sweet") and saccharine ("Sweet-N-Low"), have recently been studied in obese human subjects (yeah, most of us). The main thing being looked at was what these sweeteners did to "glucose tolerance". Glucose tolerance is the opposite of Diabetes Mellitus, a situation where blood sugar rises out of control with eating sugar or starch.
Aspartame ("Nutra-Sweet") the sweetener in diet Coke and others, worsens glucose intolerance, worsens "sugar-diabetes". 
Sugar makes blood sugar go up, as does corn syrup, but they don't sabotage the blood sugar regulation process like Nutra-Sweet does.
Ban it from your life. (Aspartame and saccharine both make humans and rats gain more weight than sugar does, too.)

Criminally Deceived

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Populist Wave

People,

Sanders stays in running for Democratic nomination; won't concede. This article leans heavily on the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton, and predicts indictment before the Democratic convention next month, and predicts that Sanders will become the nominee. It's plausible, but I've seen more convincing arguments that Obama told Sanders that Clinton gets it, when Sanders visited the White House a few weeks ago. Obama endorsed Clinton right after that.
I do wonder if Soros, who adeptly shifted his investments ahead of the Brexit vote, and kept speaking against it, might be playing a similar game with Clinton and Sanders. There is a suppressed and ignored surge for all candidates advocating populist change, and Clinton sure ain't that. Soros is very good at placing his big bets at the right place and time to make them win. He pushes what is about to fall. We won't have to wait long to see how this plays out, a month.

David Stockman sees a tidal wave of popular sentiment driving political change, from Brexit across the western world, this summer and fall. (I hope he's right.)

"First the UK, then Scotland, then Texas" is a sort of dramatic headline, but this article looks at ideal-sizing of government, and bigger is often worse in a lot of ways, certainly costlier and more cumbersome, and less agile.

Driverless Cars, Who gets Protected? It's difficult. We all want the most people protected and accidents can't all be avoided. We want the fewest people hurt in any accident, but if it's our car, we want nobody hurt in our car first and foremost. These are divergent parameters; no common ground. Will there be ethical settings on the robot cars? (What if we don't own them, if they are public transit? Then they can all have the same setting.)

Google is the world's biggest censor, already, and this is a huge growth industry. Once there is an acceptance of censorship at the edges, it can follow the money and power, wherever that leads.

Google and Facebook block Extremist Videos. (I find the Theory of Evolution to be pretty extreme, myself, as do many Texans. How about y'all? How about not supporting our soldiers and sailors overseas? <sarc>)

Modern civilization is driving mass microbial extinctions, especially in our guts. This is actually serious. Thanks Bill.

Archaeologists uncovering 2500 year old Athenian naval base reveal a fair amount about the development of Greek democracy. All citizens rowed and fought on the triremes. All. Not just poor. Not just slaves. They were successful.

Citizen

Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit Surprise Day

Uncensored Voters,

Brexit vote wins by 3.8% margin, 48.1% to 51.9%, with 72% of voters turning out. That's almost everybody. 
It was not equally distributed. London, Scotland and Northern Ireland want to stay in the EU. Most other regions want out, back to a nation-state.

46% of Leave voters polled before the vote figured that it would be rigged for Remain (What happened?)  http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2016/06/21/half-of-leave-voters-believe-eu-referendum-will-be-rigged

This article from the day before the vote interviews political scientists, who say that empires (EU is modeled as an empire) go through periodic crises, either dividing, being overtaken by an outside force, or sometimes reorganizing to settle class differences, as FDR did in the US. Class warfare, with richer-rich and poorer-poor is the stress that breaks empires apart, but it needs a spark...

Here is a conservative Leave position from just before the vote, Ambrose Evans Pritchard, probably the most respected British financial writer. He said, "the world won't end" and "we need national sovereignty". Also he said, "Don't blow it".  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/22/uk-and-europe-face-mutual-assured-destruction-if-they-botch-brex/

Brandon Smith at Alt-Market called the signs right, predicted that Brexit would serve the central bankers and TOP financial elites fine, and that George Soros had bet heavily against markets and bought a lot of gold, while he was saying how bad Brexit would be if it happened. (BINGO!) Thanks Eleni  http://alt-market.com/articles/2932-brexit-vote-passes-heres-how-alt-market-called-it-when-no-one-else-did

Larry Summers, a consumate American political/financial insider laid out the cascade of consequences he foresaw for global and regional financial markets if Brexit passed, very detailed. Who "follows" Summers, a lot of middling rich do, the Fed's-got-your-back-BTFD crowd. They are in a panic. They are the big losers of bubble-profits this time, and Monday is predicted to be the big losing day.  http://larrysummers.com/2016/06/21/6895/

Donald Trump was strategically located at his Scottish Resort grand reopening to congratulate Britons on their "people's choice" for national independence, and to say that Americans can make the same choice, that it's something like the feeling sweeping across the peoples of the world... He's taking an anti-globalist stance, even though he is a global capitalist. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2016/jun/24/donald-trump-brexit-referendum-clinton-sanders 

John Helmer says Brexit vote is a vote against all the damned, imperial NATO wars and Hillary Clinton just became irrelevant.

Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism looks at "Brexit, The Crisis Begins". This is largely a crisis for global finance, since London has been one of the major financial centers, probably the biggest financial center in the EU. That's a lot of bankers stabbing each other in the back for clients and assets. 
It's also open season on banks for bank runs. Current EU policy is to screw all bank customers like Cypriot bank patrons got screwed. All the losses get taken by the savers/suckers. Wanna' get your money out now? 
The whole financial reset will take at least 2 years to negotiate between the UK, and whatever remains of the EU. 
It sure looks like nationalism and trade/currency wars are about to mainline some methamphetamine.  http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/06/brexit-the-crisis-begins.html

"In Britain, there now seems to be a unique opportunity to organize a movement like (Unidos) Podemos in Spain, the European Union’s next big headache coming up in a few days. Podemos is proof that this can be done fast, and there’s a big gaping hole to fill." Ilargi @ The Automatic Earth   http://www.theautomaticearth.com/2016/06/brexit-the-system-cannot-hold/   
   

Awaiting Tsunami

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Misperceptions

Misinformed,

On Jean Monnet, the Father-of-the-EU:
How could the various peoples ever be persuaded to hand over their countries from democracy to oligarchy, the government of the elite? Let me quote from what he wrote:
“Europe’s nations should be guided towards the Super-state without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation.”   http://www.theautomaticearth.com/2016/06/the-european-union-government-by-deception/#post-28892

"This list shows how many deaths are attributable to War and terrorism. These figures are from Wikipedia, and if there was a range, I took the middle of it."
World War II:   75,000,000
Great Leap Forward (China):32,000,000
World War I: 18,000,000
Russian Civil War:   7,000,000
Ukrainian Genocide (Holodomor):5,300,000
Killing Fields (Cambodia): 2,000,000
Korean War:2,500,000
Vietnam War: 1,900,000
Great Purge (USSR):1,000,000
Gulf War II (Iraq):     700,000
Gulf War I:130,000
Mexican Drug War:    107,000
Afghan War:85,000
Now, would you like to know how many people have died at the hands of terrorists? Here are the numbers, over more years and a larger area:
1900–1929:520
1930–1949:1,088
1950–1969:283
1970–1979:1,523
1980–1989:3,401
1990–1999:2,203
2000–2009:6,625
2010–2015:3,470
All told, this comes to 19,113 deaths over 116 years. Compared to the almost 146,000,000 deaths listed above, terrorism amounts to one one-hundredth of one percent: 0.013% to be precise.
Compared to Rudolph Rummel’s data showing 262 million “deaths by government” over the 20th century, terrorism stands at a statistically insignificant 0.0073%  At the same time, we must stop living in fear. Fear makes us stupid; it makes us manipulable. Fear enslaves us.     
My point in this article is not that we should ignore the horrors of terrorism. Rather, it’s that we should see the situation as it is. And for those of us in the West, the situation is that terrorism is a political weapon, wielded by politicians in the service of what Dwight Eisenhower termed the “military-industrial complex.”  
http://www.freemansperspective.com/the-triviality-of-terrorism/
Counting on Fingers

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Artificial Nature

Urban Jungle Critters,

There is a lot going on in our world, and before I look at some links, it's important to consider what we take for granted, our food security and the infrastructure that brings us food, water, energy, communication and transportation. It seems like like water to a fish. A lot of people have recently died without it, half a million Syrians, and so many in other countries with the same fate.
As I grow my garden, I find things that I want to improve for next year, based on difficulties now, like not being able to harvest the green beans easily from the jungle I inadvertently created. I have this problem each spring when I plant things too densely for how they will be 3 months later. It just looks like so much empty space... My paths between rows are so small. I fall down, I have to contort painfully to grab tomatoes and harvest okra.
Mainly, for all the work I put in, I am not feeding us most of our calories, even in June. I am giving away a lot of tomatoes, cucumbers and even green beans right now, and eating a lot from the garden. It's good; best yet, but I have city water, city gas for cooking, electricity and all the windows closed now.
I work as a doctor in Austin, and have good income, a lot of which goes to help family these days. The main thing I realize, again and again, is that I am as completely dependent upon the life support system as if I did not grow vegetables. I'm developing a good skillset, and it is instructing me on this path as I work. It is way hard to support yourself from food you grow, even with all of the other advantages of modern America. I can only extrapolate a little of the way into the grindingly hard existence that is natural for humans, that billions live every day.
Vast industrialized farms make our calories, and huge corporations ship them to our local store if we keep doing our part, and the big machine keeps working reliably. It is a very expensive machine to run on oil and coal, and lots of information flow, and strict cooperation at every level.

Food, Trading Away Our Future, Part-3 looks at the destruction of subsistence farms by the vast mechanized farms which produce commodity crops so cheaply. There are huge, hidden subsidies in cheap diesel and roadways, communication networks and fossil water. These external subsidies favor American corn-belt farmers over traditional subsistence farmers, and drive them out of farming, since they cannot afford shoes and cooking oil with prices so low.

John Helmer presents the case that the US is waging an undeclared war on Russia, and has been doing so for years. Roosevelt did this against Germany (refused bait) and Japan (took bait) in the years before the US officially entered the war. This war is being carried out on many fronts, in many ways, and the fact that this war is underway casts the military maneuvers on the Russian border, in so many places, in a different light. The US/NATO has the capacity to completely destroy Russia, though there would still be nuclear consequences in Europe and North America. Europeans are not making this decision. Are Americans? Who calls these shots for the Neocons?

"The European Dead End" There just is not a European identity. It never happened. Europe was promised one big paid-vacation for everybody and it never happened either. Maybe there could be a European identity in some hundreds of years. Get back to me on that. Thanks Eleni.

Israeli Intelligence Chief is unusually honest in saying that Israel does not want ISIS defeated in Syria. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" stuff again. (500,000 dead Syrians have no stated opinion. Is this part of the flood of humans fleeing to Europe for a hope of survival?)

California lost a lot of natural gas storage with that massive rupture and leak this winter, which is projected to create a whole lot of rolling blackouts this summer, as limited fuel is available at times of peak demand, to run all those power plants.

There are 10,000 abandoned leaky fracking wells in Texas, orphaned by the recent price drop, abandoned and still seeping and farting into ground water, air and land. Maybe Texas will raise taxes on Texans to plug these up. Drillers are either gone or prepared to declare bankruptcy if told to clean up. Pump a little or pump nothing, is the choice presented to Texas, and it's not a threat, but a fact.

Washington State Democratic Party endorses Bernie Sanders for President. (One little news story to give a smile for a minute.)

Underdoggy