Recommended Reading – April 11th, 2016

Hello everyone and welcome back to another edition of Recommended Reading. Wow, it’s certainly been an eventful few days here on ninaillingworth.com!  Before we start, I’d just like to take a moment and extend a warm welcome to all the new people who’ve stumbled across the website while reading about the recent, horrifying smear tactics employed by the Clinton campaign in the United States Democratic Primary contest.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Recommended Reading – what I try to do with these posts is to highlight a small collection of articles (and the periodic video) on the internet that will help keep socialists, progressives and revolutionaries in our community informed about the obscenely corrupt world around them. Some of the articles are older, some of them are newer and some of them even come with a heavy spin warning – but ultimately I’d like to think the links I choose to feature in Recommended Reading make people wiser, if not happier. Yes, it’s a link dump, but think of it as a link dump for great justice.  This week we’re back on the trail of corruption in US politics with a quick jaunt over to Russia where Vladdy Putin and his friends make up the rules as they go along:

*As always, please be reminded that ninaillingworth.com retains no rights or responsibilities for these stories whatsoever; we just really think you should read them because they’re both enlightening and awesome. – NI

 

Hillary Email Probe Could Soon Be Another Clinton Scandal – I had the good fortune of meeting the author of this article, Tom Pappalardo on Twitter the other night and he pointed me towards his fascinating, in many ways terrifying Huffington Post piece about the ongoing Clinton email scandal. I must confess that between the GOP’s infinite money-wasting Benghazi hearings and not one but two soft-sell Washington Post pieces about the FBI investigation into Clinton’s email server, I had begun to assume this really was just a lot of smoke without much actual fire. Not so fast says Pappalardo, who’s keen insight into national security and classification procedures allows him to ask questions nobody in mainstream media appears to be asking. Questions like, why was Bryan Pagliano offered immunity in the investigation? Does it really matter if the classified documents a Secretary of State sends with her own server were classified before, or after she sent them? Was having her own private server really just a matter of convenience for Mrs. Clinton, or was it a method of covering her tracks while ostensibly serving the American people? Don’t forget to check out the comments, which feature a former naval academy member supporting Tom and multiple pro-Clinton posters implying he’s a Republican – which is pretty damned amusing if you check out his blog.

 

These Firms Are Lying to Either the Government or Their Investors, and Elizabeth Warren Just Called Them Out – although I often find the writing at Slate to be highly variable in terms of both quality and honesty, every once in a while they publish something worth sharing – usually on one of their mircroblogs where almost nobody will see it. This time it’s author Helaine Olen on Moneybox talking about fan favorite Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (and President Obama’s) ongoing fight to hold the financial industry responsible for the objectively fucking terrible investment advice they give ordinary citizens like you and me to fatten their bottom lines. This one is starting to get really ugly my friends as Warren is now asking the SEC to investigate whether Investment Firms broke any laws by telling regulators new rules would place an undue financial burden on them, while telling investors everything would be just peachy keen going forward. Unfortunately as Olen points out and anyone who’s seen the movie The Big Short already knew; the SEC is not only powerless to stop the banking industry but also incompetent and likely corrupt itself. Dark times may lie ahead my friends, I would not be surprised at all if we saw another financial meltdown scenario sometime in the next 2-3 years.

 

Are the Russians actually behind the Panama Papers? – sometimes, in our quest for knowledge, it becomes necessary to walk (albeit briefly) in the lands of evil-doers and make no mistake gentle readers – when you’re visiting a Brookings Institute website, you’re walking among the damned indeed; these guys are as crooked as a two riyal note. With that having been noted, it’s always a good policy to keep your friends close and your enemies closer; while I’m certain Clifford G. Gaddy is purposely framing his essay in the most pro-neocon way possible, he does raise a number of fascinating points. Why is the media reporting the Panama Papers like it’s a Putin-based scandal when the information doesn’t really seem to implicate the Russian Premier at all? Just who exactly is John Doe and where did he get all of those documents if Mossack Fonseca is saying the leak wasn’t internal? Isn’t it just a little bit odd that the biggest financial crimes leak in modern history somehow doesn’t contain anyone important from either America, or Russia – literally the two worldwide leaders in terms of financial corruption? Is the Russian Financial Monitoring Service really behind this leak, by way of Vladdy Putin in an effort to blackmail the United States somehow? Unfortunately Gaddy’s article raises more questions than answers but I’m certain he’s right about one thing; there’s something more than just a little bit fishy about how this Panama Papers story is playing out in real time.

 

Mississippi Interracial Couple Evicted For Being In An Interracial Marriage – as anyone who’s been following my Twitter feed knows, the recent spate of “religious liberty” and “bathroom laws” have becoming a growing point of consternation for me; primarily because I’m not sure very many people are actually reading them and also because the staggering indifference many Americans display towards discriminatory policies that “only affect gays” is utterly heartbreaking. The simple truth is these laws are not and have never been about “merely” punishing the LGBT community however and as anyone who’s read into the matter beyond a surface level can tell you – they’re actually a concerted effort by Republicans in the American South to effectively roll back over 60 years worth of civil rights legislation. Expect this sad story about some racist asshole evicting a couple already down on their luck to be only the first of thousands more just like it – as proud, redneck bigots explain to the rest of America precisely what they really mean when they say the worlds “religious liberty” and “protecting our values.”

 

The Coming Left-Wing Majority – our last piece this week is a short, but sweet data dive by Corey Robin over at Jacobin that explains why America’s political future will almost assuredly be a progressive one for completely measurable, demographic reasons. Robin’s piece explores data that not only proves younger liberals are far more left leaning than their older, mainstream Democratic Party counterparts – but young conservatives are also skewing significantly left of the Republican Party as well. A great article for when you’re feeling down and forget that the future is actually looking pretty bright; the kids? They’re alright baby.

 

  • Nina Illingworth