Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Trade Deficit, China, Africa and US Policy

1. The Peoples Republic of China

The Peoples Republic - The World's Manufacturer
Currency management makes a difference -- especially for attracting "investors."

It's hardly "news" that the PRC is -- and has been for some time -- "absorbing" whatever manufacturing market the United States can still muster. Hopeful US GOP politicians love referring to the flight of manufacturing investment [and jobs] as if it were some sort of cruel coincidence -- a complete mystery heralding unfortunate consequences. It turns out that the economic reality doesn't actually pose much of a mystery at all.

Right here we can turn to the great chart [posted below]. This data was prepared by the US Census Bureau and is based on numbers derived from the big, nation-wide census of 2010 [The 2010 Census represents the most recent set of this type of data.] Interestingly, three trends are super-imposed with each other and displayed by date sequence so we can get a little more in depth picture. The data this presents merits a careful look.

1. RMB to USD Exchange Rate [RMB = Yuan Renminbi - PRC Currency]
[The black line across the top of the chart]
The PRC's government controls the nation's economic policy, and this includes "setting" the RMB/USD exchange rate. In less autocratic countries such as the US this exchange rate is calculated essentially to reflect "what the market will bear," usually a result of an economic analysis of the economies in the "exchange," and in many cases the actual exchange rate between countries is negotiated directly -- a process which includes in such equations the influence of other factors only tangentially related to the respective economies.

2. US / China Trade Balance in Billions [$ - USD]
[The vertical columns shown in two shades of blue -- with turquoise and darker blue sections]
The size of the dark blue part compared to the size of the turquoise blue part of each of these columns expresses the ratio -- from the US perspective -- between the total value of US imports from China compared to the total value of US exports to China. For example the 2005 column indicates that the value of imports from China to the US was $202 Bn, while the value of exports from the US to China was $41 Bn. Based on these Census figures, the US trade deficit with China for 2005 was [$202 Bn - $41 Bn = ] $161 Bn.

3. Chinese Imports as % of Total US Imports [all imports from all countries]
[The vertical columns shown in light blue to the immediate right of the "Trade Balance" columns]
These percentages express China's portion of the entire US import market for each of the years on the chart. Returning to the 2005 example, the chart conveys that the $202 Bn worth of imports from China represented 14.6% of the entire value of US imports for that year.

US China trade balance 2001-2010
Source: US Census Bureau      Figures are Nominal, non-adjusted
[Visit the article where this chart was found here: China and the Trade Imbalance - GEIS.com]

The chart shows a very interesting trend. As the Exchange Rate dropped, the relative size of US exports to China grew. Further, this change was not the result of US oil exports -- that change to US trade policy was only extorted from the President as a hostage payment on the "bi-partisan" budget he just signed which lifted the US oil export ban originally put into place during the Iran oil embargo. [Read more: International Sanctions on Iran - COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS and US Oil Production Up 83% Under Obama - FACTCHECK]

The "difficulty" represented in the out of balance trade deficit shown in the chart derives primarily from the decline of domestic US manufacturing, much of which has "migrated" to nations where labor rates are much lower. As US oil exports to China enter the calculations -- their impact appearing on the next Census report in 2020 -- it will give the appearance of new and better trade deficit statistics, but the old mercantile economic theory's warning about exporting valuable natural resources instead of maintaining a vibrant domestic economy could well be the "fly in the ointment."

[Note that ALL of the import export indicators plummeted in 2009 after the Bush Administration's catastrophic looting frenzy finally ground to a halt.]

China as the "Elephant in the Living Room" [Chart Source]

However, the economic attraction of the PRC's historical low wages is changing. The PRC's State Council has officially adopted a plan to boost Chinese domestic consumption over the next few years to bolster the PRC's slowing GDP growth, and increasing Chinese labor costs will inevitably follow.

This means that Chinese oligarchs and nationalized corporations will join the US and Europe in searching for even lower wage manufacturing "hosts" to produce consumer goods for this increased domestic consumption. To date this search has primarily targeted other Asian economies such as Vietnam, Myanmar and others, but this was a search for cheap labor -- the PRC's economy is still quite hungry for both markets, investment opportunities and cooperative counties with raw materials available for export.

The Chinese are, for example, very interested in importing Iraqi oil and the recently discovered, massive deposits of rare earth minerals in Afghanistan. However, Chinese business investors consider the real gem among the possible raw material exporters to be the nations of the African continent. They have already invested aggressively in many African countries.

2. China in Africa

What Market Could Possibly Be Better Than
 1 Billion Africans Who Want To Buy EVERYTHING?
The Americans aren't shopping nearly as much as they used to.
Chinese direct investment in Africa - 2010 [TheBeijingAxis.com]

The Chinese may have "discovered" Africa in their search for raw materials to import, but they have, since then, begun to develop African markets for many of the Chinese manufactured goods which had previously been sold in the US. 

The "complexion" of the goods hungry US as a primary consumer of Chinese manufactured goods is declining as the US consumer class economy continues to lose purchasing capacity as middle class incomes are increasingly diverted to the elites in the top 1% money class.

US billionaires might, conceivably, purchase a few imported Chinese trinkets from WalMart -- but not many. Citizens in the African nations, on the other hand, are poised to consume practically everything the Chinese manufacturing behemoth imports.

The existence of the African import market has been largely disregarded as academic due to the overall lack of discretionary income, but the influx of Chinese money and jobs in the raw materials export industries will add very significant purchasing power to new African consumer markets. A small portion of this potential for "market prosperity" may flow into US pockets, but this will occur primarily as a result of US investment  and ownership in a very limited part of the massive Chinese manufacturing infrastructure.

Naturally, the Americans on the receiving end of this new African market development will be the billionaires and giant corporations which already had pockets deep enough to have inserted themselves into the Chinese economy while the US government was still subsidizing major outsourcing, and the US consumers still had sufficient income to make the scheme function.

Chinese planners are clearly looking for new opportunities which can resurrect the activity shown in the chart [first, above] as the US market continues to dwindle from lack of middle class consumption capacity. The continuing, roaring trend toward total wealth inequality in the US is permanently damaging the US market for low wage Chinese manufactured goods.

Although not exclusively the case, Africa's consumers are largely in the economic phase prior to the US model of total "inequality of wealth and wages" phase. Bear in mind -- the investment activity in the chart [below] occurred in ONE QUARTER -- five years ago!

What Happens to a Country When Manufacturing Falters
No problem. The US billionaires can STILL sell off its natural resources.
They'll be fine.

A close look at the individual Chinese investments in nations around the African Continent reveals a fairly balanced focus on both Africa's export of the raw resources which are vital to China's manufacturing economy, but also significant investments from Chinese State owned enterprises intended to spur improving consumer conditions -- and increasing consumer markets for Chinese goods. The examples cited in the chart [above] make this point. [The graphic is a little blurry, but it presents this information.]

1.  ZTE - $1 Bn for telecom services in Nigeria
2.  $1/2 Mn for equipment in Ghana for malaria research
3.  $1/4 Mn for ownership share of Tokollili iron ore mining in Sierra Leon
4.  Increased partnership in Nigerian oil sector from $3 Bn to $6 Bn
5.  $2.3 Bn for Mohanda Nkuwa dam [Zambeze River] in Mozambique
6.  Letter of intent to join commercial vehicle assembly enterprise in South Africa
7.  Pledged $1.3 Mn annually for 3 years to develop Gariep Fishery Hatchery in S. Africa Free State
8.  $300 Mn financing for LAP Green, a Libyan telecom company
9 . $350 Mn financing for expressway in Ethiopia
10. Financing for a toll road construction from Kampala to Entebbe airport in Uganda
11. Purchased oil exploration wells in Kenya's Anza Basin
12. Invested $50 Mn in steel tube manufacturing facility in Mozambique
13. Invested $800 Mn to improve and modernize food production in Mozambique
14. Invested $8 Bn in gold and platinum mining -- and housing construction -- in Zimbabwe

Remember, this list was compiled from Chinese commercial activities in Africa for one three month period in 2010! Meanwhile, in the US we have some of the oldest, least maintained railroads in the world, infrastructure collapsing from neglect and an export economy primarily directed at selling weapons. The US government is struggling to provide health care options for this population while openly acknowledging that 1/6 of American children are food challenged and living below the poverty line.

Finally, MeanMesa presents this following quoted material from the BBC. The point is simple. It's more than a "little cutesy" aside -- it's about manufacturing.

BBC - World/Africa

Seven surprising numbers

 from China-Africa trade

December 5, 2015
A plate with rice in the shape of Africa with the Chinese flag in the background
[Image copyrightiStock]
China has become Africa's largest trade partner, and has just promised an impressive $60 Bn (£40bn) in assistance and loans to boost development of the continent.

Yet the relationship is not simply about new roads, mines and military power. Traders from across Africa now live and work in China, while tens of thousands of Chinese nationals have moved in the opposite direction. Many different facets of life in Africa have been affected by the Chinese influence - here's a look at some of the more surprising transactions:

$411 Mn wigs

Wig seen in Zhengzhou, Henan province of China - 2014
[Image copyrightChinaFotoPress/Getty]
In 2014, tiny Benin was the continent's biggest importer of wigs and false beards from China. It purchased Chinese hair pieces worth $411Mn. A hefty three million kg (472,400 stone) were taken to Benin, with many of those wigs then whisking their way to neighboring Nigeria.

16 million underpants

[Image copyrightThinkstock]

South Africa was the continent's biggest importer of Chinese-made male underpants. Of the 18,747,003 pants imported by South Africa in 2014, 16,612,590 were Chinese - that's a whopping 88% of South Africa's imported pants.

5,735 reptiles

Lizards - generic photo
[Image copyrightiStock]
Mauritius was Africa's largest importer of Chinese soy sauce last year, spending $438,929. However surprising sales don't just flow one way. Mauritius sent back 5,735 reptiles to China to a value of $90,000.

$8 Mn toilet seats

Toilet seat - generic shot
[Image copyrightThinkstock]

Kenya was Africa's biggest importer of plastic Chinese toilet seats in 2014, spending $8,197,499 on the lavatorial thrones.

159 million toothbrushes

[Image copyrightThinkstock]
In Nigeria, China has not only been buying its oil, but also keeping Nigeria's teeth clean. Nigerian traders were the continent's biggest purchasers of toothbrushes from China last year, spending a cool $9,372,920 on 159 million items - roughly one for each Nigerian.

$193 Mn motorbikes

A motorbike flying Togolese flags
[Image copyrightAFP]
China has also been keeping Africa moving. In 2014, Togolese traders spent $193,818,756 on Chinese motorcycles. Only Nigeria imported more, spending a whopping $450,012,993.

340 primates

Chimpanzees in Africa
[Image copyrightiStock]

Guinea was Africa's largest primate exporter in 2014, sending 340 live primates to China last year.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dumping Debbie

[A note from MeanMesa: For this year's Christmas Eve present the computer at Short Current Essays Galactic Command has been officially brought back from the dead. Granted, while making a reference with such casual hyperbole may be more consistent with the "other" Christian holiday, let's just say that this particular "miracle" required more than the historically famous three days. In terms of a permanent remedy, WINDOW's "divorce decree" has been signed, and there is a nice installation copy of LINUX/Ubuntu waiting for the IT guy's attention. The blog's visitor numbers have remained strong through the three weeks of no new postings, and MeanMesa wishes to thank all the loyal followers who have patiently sifted through the 780 previous posts to find "something or other" which remained interesting.]

The Unpleasantly "Meat Handed"
 Maneuvers of America's Ruling Caste
We can see right through the rags at election time...

Normally, one would expect MeanMesa to be lost in a self-indulgent lament about the latest dirty tricks being executed in the oligarchs' take over strategy, but this time, it turns out, there is enough anti-democracy, political dirt bubbling up from both cess pools. For a while the odor on the Democratic Party's side of the spectacle was, well, somewhat tolerable.  For all of MeanMesa's years there has been a similar disaster as the "donkey party" threaded its way through the fairly typical session of unorganized chaos and terror which has historically marked the Democrats' "election preparation" phase.

Still, a quick over view of the political realities this time around reveals a truly dismal "new horizon" for the US democracy. Let's spend a minute or two formulating the "big picture" as seen by MeanMesa.

Whenever there is such an exercised duplicity emerging from what is theoretically supposed to be a straight forward expression of voters' sentiments, we must conclude that the "prize on the table" may not have quite the "sparkle" as is suggested by the first glance. Of course it is a very risky adventure to make too many raw estimates about an election so many months before the polls open, but, nonetheless, we can roughly size up what those future outcomes look like right now.

Interestingly, there is grave mischief afoot for both Parties.

A Realistic Survey of the Trump Candidacy's
 Chilling Revelation
Slightly less than half the electorate are essentially frightened, illiterate racists.
The demographic statistics for raw, uneducated superficiality
 is a national security issue.

This may seem a bit overly dramatic. MeanMesa places the entire credibility of this assertion on the public political discourse now being conducted by the Republican Party.

Rather than passively adopting the disconsolate "default" view that this ridiculous situation heralds hopeless doom for the democracy, MeanMesa believes that some comfort may be derived from a cold accounting of the actual numbers likely to emerge in the 2016 ballots.

First, let's make a few predictions based on the numbers from the last Presidential election.

In the Presidential election the 2012 count was decisive.

Obama            26 states [+D.C.]       66,000,000 votes
Romney          24 states                     61,000,000 votes
[2012 Election Statistics - WIKI]

This 127,000,000 votes represented a voter turn out of around 50-55% of the "voting age population" [VAP]. [Voter Turnout In the United States - WIKI] Of course this wasn't particularly promising news when we "add in" the fact that a majority of states are now entirely "red" ones. They will be working diligently to 1. make voting constantly more difficult while 2. relentlessly adding to the growing disgust among voters which accounts for the voter turnout levels.

The same people who contributed so generously to the election of those "GOP state economy wrecking" red governors and legislatures are compelled -- by the lingering reality of the US electoral process -- to reduce voter involvement in politics to an absolute minimum. Incendiary propaganda, it turns out, delivers on that necessity when it manages to inspire blind, hopeless disgust with the future possibilities of the democracy.

Nonetheless, we can apply the voting pattern from the 2012 election to our estimate as we consider the factual strength of the Trump campaign's reception among the nation's hill billies and bigots. As of this date Trump is polling around 40% of the likely Republican voters, which is a very promising statistical position for a candidate targeting the Party's primary votes. 

Even though "the black man" is not an active candidate this time around, Trump will still receive the electoral "racist stipend" from the blind reactionaries within the electorate -- those who have remained enraged, hating the idea that Obama was President, while being silently comforted by the consistently improving economic conditions his policies have produced.

Returning to the 2012 model as a basis, Trump's campaigning -- at this moment -- could produce  as many as somewhere around 24 or 25 million total Republican votes in the GOP primary sequence. This would probably be enough to deliver the GOP nomination -- in better times.

Unhappily for The Donald, these are NOT better times in the GOP's world. Such "better times" would not include wild packs of salivating billionaires scheming just behind the curtains. Happily, not even 40% of the "pre-primary" voters will be enough to elect The Donald.

Watch Out For the "Big Boys!"ON BOTH SIDES
Don't print the posters until the "fat LADIES" sing.

While this contest might appear to be one between Republicans and Democrats, that conclusion is a mistake. 

This is a contest between the establishment's politicians and anyone daring to oppose them. In more general terms it is a contest between the oligarchs and any politician unwilling to participate in the national "dupe scheme" they are currently waging -- and currently winning -- quite handily. Neither the billionaire Owners of the Republican Party nor the Cash Masters behind the establishment Democrats [Take a look at the list of campaign contributors Hillary is sporting. OPENSECRETS.org] has any intention of allowing a "non-NASCAR" candidate to get anywhere close to the nomination stage at the fully controlled national party conventions -- either one of them.

"Non-NASCAR?" Painfully, amid all the slightly less sickening public imaging strategies, the salient value for campaigns this time is raw, post-Biblical, 1940's movies style superficiality. There are no "fundamental policy" proposals issuing forth from the race's GOP scrapping front runners, and the "fundamental policy" proposals issuing forth from Mrs. Clinton all seem to be suspiciously diluted versions of precisely the "undiluted" policy proposals being effortlessly offered by Senator Sanders.

Not a problem.

The entrenched, well financed political masters have already begun to very publicly murmur about their plans to finally -- and probably permanently -- obliterate the last vestiges of representative government. Naturally, although the goals are identical, the Party bosses are adopting a slighting individual plot to accomplish this. 

MeanMesa is watching two of these anti-democracy plots gearing up for the "winner take all" phase which will be unleashed at the respective, quite artificial, fully manipulated, Party Nominating Conventions. To knock the corners off this block, consider this possibility:

Eat the damned dog food.
2016 GOP "Emergency" Presidential Candidate, Mr. Paul "Ayn Rand" Ryan [image]
"Just give me the Social Security Trust, and I won't hurt you."
MeanMesa suspects that the billionaires are, at this very moment, applying the final touches to Mr. Ryan's lipstick in preparation for his big "save the day" insertion into Republican Party politics. Let's take a Short Current Essays peek at just how this will come to pass. Prophecies are fun.

The "BIG BOYS" At the Republican Convention
The non-union cleaning crews will keep the cameras from showing any blood.

The GOP's billionaires are entirely prepared to assassinate any potential candidate who might cost them their dream of access to the Oval Office. Yet, there remain three small, insignificant "complications" in the run up for this election season, each one of which must be "handled" some way before the Convention.

1. Donald Trump;

2. The totally FOX propaganda saturated hill billies and bigots
 comprising the 40% of the Party who want him to be President; and,

3. Settling on an "Emergency Replacement" to become the nominee.

This is all more complex than it may seem at first. In fact, this may be the first one which psych-masters at the billionaires' think tanks can't actually solve. The billionaires' problem comes in layers.

First, the "bench" of GOP candidates crazy and inexperienced enough to remain palatable to the GOP's base, while enjoying many strangely morose faces, is extremely narrow if you are a billionaire dreaming of looting even more cash from both the government and the economy in general. This is why MeanMesa expects Speaker Ryan to be "recruited" in a "save the day" "surprise move" at an otherwise desperate National Convention.
Second, Donald Trump will, actuallyhave enough GOP base support to take the nomination. This is not simply a fleeting myth or nightmare plaguing the billionaires in charge of the scheme. This is an unpleasant reality which seems to grow more and more unpleasant -- and likely -- as time passes.
Third, the "switch" at the Convention must be made in some relatively slick,  pre-choreographed manner which might possibly appear to be something other than a violent oligarchic "coup." If the subterfuge is perceived as anything other than a "delightfully ingenious, necessary, spontaneous" political solution to a gravely serious political problem "which still strictly adheres to Republican political ideals of honesty and forward thinking," the GOP trailer park crowd could "slip its leash," going "free range" precisely at the critical moment and in an utterly unmanageable manner. 

In any event the obedient rank and file of the Party's foot soldiers must emerge from the Convention still willing to "eat the dog food." A quick review of the "non-Trump" choices explains the "dog food" idea.

The media has begun to wonder about exactly what the "end game" might look like, and the VOX article [below] in a good example of how confusing the "preview" is.

VOX - Policy and Politics

Hey, Republican establishment: it's time to panic
Andrew Prokop on December 16, 2015
[Excerpted. Read the original article here: VOX.com]
[Links in the quoted content remain enabled.]

What will the Republican Party do?

The nomination of Donald Trump would likely be an utter disaster for the GOP. The nomination of Ted Cruz would be either only slightly less bad or even worse, depending on whom you ask. And yet, amazingly enough, the slow-motion train wreck that's been playing out over the past five months of the GOP primary process has put these two candidates in first and second place. Additionally, each now leads one of the two earliest states to vote.

It's a debacle for Republicans that would have been unimaginable at the beginning of this year. Yet it's happened so slowly, and so gradually, that the reaction from GOP elites still appears oddly muted. Even as summer stretched into fall, they kept comforting themselves by saying that it's still early — accurately pointing to the fact that early polls have frequently been wrong in the past, and that outsider candidates like Trump have lost in the past.


This is pretty close to a worst-case electoral scenario for Republicans

Let's be clear on the political stakes here. It is not impossible that Trump or Cruz could win a general election. But there's ample reason to believe that a Trump or Cruz nomination makes all of the following far more likely:

Sweeping electoral defeat for Republicans, for the presidency and in the Senate at least (some Democrats have even suggested to me that the House could be put in play)

Either a liberal takeover of the Supreme Court or a missed chance for conservatives to pad their majority (since four of the court's nine justices will be older than 80 when the next president is inaugurated)

A tarnishing of the GOP's image among Hispanics that will last a very long time. (This is obviously true for Trump, but Cruz is also far further to the right on immigration than any modern GOP nominee.)

With so many other options available, nominating either Trump or Cruz would be a tremendous risk to take for a party that has any interest in winning.


Yet both Republican elites and voters keep stubbornly refusing to rally behind Rubio. He's stagnant in the polls, and faces questions about his seeming lack of interest in the key early states of Iowa and New Hampshire. And though he's gotten a few new endorsements from GOP politicians (and a couple of billionaires), he hasn't amassed a particularly impressive overall total. Rubio is not out of the picture by any means, but the past month hasn't inspired much confidence that he's well-positioned to wrap the whole thing up.

The lack of a GOP establishment effort to coordinate behind Rubio has been puzzling to many. Indeed, there's been a remarkable and historic paralysis of Republican politicians overall. You can see clear as day in FiveThirtyEight's endorsement charts that at this point in the nomination contest, every eventual GOP winner for decades had more endorsements than any candidate in this year's race so far.

Advertising doesn't seem to help.
But the fact that elites aren't yet even trying very hard to block a likely disastrous Trump or Cruz nomination is still pretty weird, and there seem to be two main reasons for it. First, there's a sense of complacency, bred by the long-held certainty that Trump's long-held lead will vanish, that has lasted far too long by now. Second, elites just really don't know what to do — if money and endorsements won't work, they may be genuinely unsure what does.

The Washington Post's Matea Gold and Robert Costa shed some light on this in a report last month, writing that GOP financiers are reluctant to do much against Trump for these two reasons. Some "remain confident that the race will eventually pivot away from him," and others just aren't sure what they can do to stop him. As a result, the establishment seems to feel powerless — held hostage to the whims of its voters, even in the face of imminent catastrophe.

Not everybody is failing to coordinate, though. As National Review's Tim Alberta reported, a group of top social conservative leaders met this week to discuss uniting around one candidate.

Their choice? Ted Cruz.

Slick Willie and the Girls at the Democratic Convention
If you plan to fly on name recognition,
you have to keep the engines revved up to maximum.

William Jefferson Clinton is a proven political strategist with formidable capacity to win elections -- both his own and "someone" else's. There can be little doubt that Bill is, understandably, seated at or very near the "control panel" of Hillary's campaign. His wife, the candidate, has been wrestled all the way to the floor in a previous bid for the Party's nomination. She knows how that feels, and she is determined to avoid a repetition of the experience this time.

She has also clearly undertaken some significant introspection with respect to determining how and why her last bid for the Presidency failed.

The "complexion" of the early Hillary campaign showed all the evidence of Bill's heavy handed approach. One of the always suspect but recently revealed components of this "package" was the adroit placement of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz into the role of the DNC Chair. For the first nine months of the campaign Hillary has dedicated a full time effort to avoiding the pitfalls of 2007 and 2008 while Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has lent a continuous ear to tactical tips from Bill.

This all came crashing apart last week when the DNC disconnected the Sanders campaign from its proprietary data files following an abrupt announcement that his staffers had penetrated the corresponding files of the Clinton campaign. The salivating US industrial media, already starving for a cat fight between candidates on the Democratic side, lurched into a feeding frenzy with the "news." 

The billionaires who own that media were experiencing premature ejaculations in their $2,000 suits as they sat in the executive suites. Finally, they dreamed, the Democrats were descending to the same beer, belching "stock car race level" that the Republican candidates had been hoarding to keep FOX in business through the doldrums.

While Debbie's incendiary announcement of "criminal trespass" breathlessly hit every eager microphone in America, the calm explanation of the details slowly rotted on the cutting room floor. As of today, hardly any "non-political wank" voter in the country has any idea of the story beyond Debbie's overly publicized, screeching, lament. This outcome literally reeks of Bill Clinton's political "touch."

If you are among those voters who are still considering the Wasserman-Schultz version to be the "last and final word," MeanMesa offers the following list of links. Spend a few minutes "getting up to speed." This is no time to be "flying blind."

This last link is especially recommended.

Ending the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Pro-Clinton Gambit
Even the Clintons get a "little grabby" when they're this close to the prize.
When it's the Presidency, even minor mischief counts.

Of course the actual standing of the Sanders' campaign is a tantalizing imponderable at this point. Probably the very last approach to take would be paying any attention whatever to the useless media. Does this have a direct effect on the preliminary maneuvering of the Presidential candidates? Yes.

The networks have made a good start in selecting the nominee.
Over roughly three months Sanders receives less than 1/3
 of Biden's time,
and Biden isn't even running.[image source]
This chart of relative media coverage would be easier to dismiss if it had been prepared from data other than ABC, CBS and NBC. When the minutes of "news coverage" broadcast by FOX are added to these numbers, the imbalance becomes staggering.

The message is clear. The executives making these editorial decisions plan to decide who will be a nominee for the Presidency in 2016. 

All the fundamental ideas of the "Fourth Estate" are left in a corn field several miles back. Normally, one might expect the DNC to address this problem. Not this time.

It turns out that this is precisely what Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, chairwoman of the DNC, had in mind.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, DNC Chairwoman [image source]
She could lose the White House for us in 2016.
Notwithstanding what one will hear from the networks -- or the billionaires who control them --  MeanMesa predicts that there is, at least for this moment, an excellent, strong, statistical opening to elect Bernie Sanders as the 45th President of the United States.

5 Times Debbie Wasserman Schultz Violated DNC Rules
 and Stacked the Deck in Favor of Clinton
Amanda Girard | December 20, 2015
[Excerpted. Read the original article here: USUNCUT.com - Politics]

1. Scheduling primary debates to garner as few viewers as possible
2. Grassroots Clinton field offices co-located at DNC offices
3. Dismantling Bernie Sanders’ campaign over one staffer’s mistake
4. DNC finance chair caught raising money for Clinton
5. The DNC lined up super-delegates for Clinton before first debate

Wasserman-Schultz' position at the DNC is not just a "happy coincidence" for the Hillary campaign. Debbie was Hillary's campaign manager in her 2008 run against Barack Obama.

Each of these five "particulars" is accompanied by a much more thorough explanation in the article. MeanMesa finds each of the five to contain sufficient evidence to call for the discharge of Wasserman-Schultz immediately -- before any further damage is conducted against the Democratic Party's election chances.

In the light of these accusation, Hillary Clinton's perceived electability among Democrats is plummeting. This style of dirty tricks and inside jobs is doing more to damage the Clinton brand than all the millions of dollars worth of "hearings" which have been conducted by the Republicans to that end. Wasserman-Schultz' death grip on the chairmanship of the DNC has been suspiciously fortified for months, and now the ultimate intention driving all that manipulation is being revealed.

2016 is an unquestioned opportunity for the Democrats to take the White House and Senate -- and, very possibly, the House of Representatives. To hell with Congressmen Dowdy and Ryan. Hillary Clinton is soiling her own brand at a rate these amateur GOP hill billies could only envy. When Hillary Clinton's raw cynicism becomes public knowledge, the Democratic Party can wind up stranded with an un-electable candidate while the electable candidate has been sent packing back to Vermont.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz needs to go. Now.

Surely the DNC can locate a Chair with the integrity and boldness required for the moment. We've got work to do.We don't have time to indulge in the games of the royal court.