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Wonderful Wednesday after Tremendous Tuesday: Short Notes

I’m awake now. Here are some thots in no particular order, feel free to add yours to the comments:

1.) Obama is supposed to pick a supreme court replacement today. I’m guessing that whoever it is will not really upset the stranglehold that conservatives have on the court especially with respect to the wealthy and well connected. I mean, he’s got to make a living after his term is over. Can’t upset his patrons too much. Besides, the Republicans would be stupid to turn him down on this even if they have to give up on overturning Roe v Wade. They’ve gotten pretty much all they wanted on abortion and they can always cynically fire up their base about it for the upcoming general election. They know how this works.

And so do we.

Here’s a blurb about Obama’s potential picks and strategy:

Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said Mr. Obama must decide whether to pick a “grand-slam” candidate — one like Judge Srinivasan, who is young, moderate and could have a profound effect on the court — or a “sacrifice fly,” like Judge Watford, an impressive judge whose positions on the death penalty and immigration would draw criticism from conservatives but whose nomination could exact a political price from Republicans who oppose him.

“The Obama White House are the ultimate practitioners of realpolitik — they have to be making a careful calculus, but the real question is not how do they win, it’s what game are they playing?” Mr. Turley said.

The choice depends in large part, they said, on whether Mr. Obama believes his nominee ultimately has a chance at being confirmed: “At best, the White House is looking at a highly contested nomination, and in those circumstances, the president generally will look for someone who is thoroughly moderate or a blind date.”

Judge Srinivasan, who would be the court’s first Indian-American, has the shortest judicial record of the three, which could limit the potential for conservative attacks, but also makes him a bit of an ideological cipher. Judge Watford, an African-American, could be the most liberal of the nominees, and did not get the kind of universal support that Judge Srinivasan did during his previous confirmation battle.

Um, from what I can recall, Srinivasan represented Enron at some point.

In any case, it ain’t going to be a liberal. As long as the court was 5-4 in favor of the conservatives, Obama could potentially nominate a more liberal-ish justice. We still have no idea how liberal Kagan and Sotomayor are because the other 5 justices are so far to the right. Yes, even Kennedy.

But as soon as one of the 5 died, it became important to restore the “balance”.

Just wait.


2.) Bernie people are welcome here. Except for the Butthurt guys (they are almost always guys).

3.) At this time in 2008, Hillary was crushing Barack Obama. Yep, go back and look. If you had added Florida and Michigan delegates to her totals, something the party deliberately withheld and the media never questioned, she would have appeared unstoppable. But stop her the party did, in favor of a guy who kept winning places like Idaho instead of the woman who won CA, MA, NY, NJ, PA, OH, TX, etc, etc. ( I’m always amused by the media people who insist that it would be *inconceivable* for a party to ignore the majority of their voters who want a particular candidate. We’ve seen that it can happen very easily and the party just muzzles the majority of its voters. That may come back to bite it eight years later when they find that some of their “old coalition” has defected to Donald Trump. You tried to warn them but did they listen?)  All I’m saying is that Hillary can never, ever let her guard down with her own party. There is an element in the party that is not ever going to accept her. But the Democrats are much more tolerant of sexism than racism. Let’s just admit that. And that means they rejected her in 2008, made her wait eight painful years, and will persist in withholding full acceptance because for these guys (and they are almost always guys) there is always another guy out there who is more profound, a genius, underappreciated, wise, younger than he looks blah-blah-blah. They will believe absolutely everything negative that is said about Hillary. It’s confirmation bias. So, for her, it will always be an uphill climb.

4.) That being said, she could make it a bit easier on herself if she stopped fluffing Obama and sang her own praises. Any guy from the party who runs next time will make damn sure to distance himself from her accomplishments. And in this case, Obama doesn’t really have significant accomplishments. There aren’t a lot of Obamacare fans out here, Hillary. Plus, no president in his right mind would pass up the chance to take out Bin Laden. It’s expected. So, you know, time to think of yourself. That’s what the sincere Bernie supporter is telling you. They’re desperate for a real change agent.

5.)  I was listening to CNN and their “journalists” really are clueless. It turns out that Trump supporters are “very concerned” with the economy. But the “journalists” say that these same people report that they are holding their own. My guess is that those people know people who have fallen through the big gaping holes in what used to be known as the safety net and they are worried sick that it will happen to them. Count me among the well known horror stories in my family. A college education and career in a STEM profession didn’t help me- at. all. It has been truly awful in ways I can’t even describe. THAT’S what could happen to any one of them.

And so what if gas prices have fallen. Have you seen the price of beef?? Just about a month ago, a single broccolli crown in one of the nicer grocery stores here cost $3.99. When did broccolli become an endangered species? So, you know, it’s still rough out here for those of us who had to go back to entry level jobs to make a living. If you’re living in Atlanta and you are a “journalist” making a couple hundred thousand working for CNN, maybe this is not obvious to you. Try to acknowledge that.

6.) Another episode of “The People vs OJ Simpson” dropped last night. One of the things I didn’t know about this case was how strenuously OJ objected to be seen as a black man. Johnny Cochran had to unwhiten his estate before the jury took a walk through, and brought african american art and personal photos from his own house to stage Simpson’s house. Oj Simpson’s peers were his neighbors in Brentwood, the people he golfed with, the wealthy white sports team owners, hot white women, and other people with privilege and power. Cochran had to erase all of that when the trial was moved from Santa Monica courthouse to downtown LA and he was phenomenally successful in changing Simpson from a man of privilege who hadn’t known hardship in twenty years, to a black man who was oppressed by the system.

But those of us who watched the evidence from the distance of two thousand miles away knew he was guilty. We also knew that his dream team cynically screamed racism for a guy who didn’t give two fucks for the people who acquitted him and would never be seen in their company. If they only knew what contempt he had for them and how helping them was the absolutely last thing on his agenda, would they have still voted to acquit? I wonder…

7.) Renegade female biologists strike the first blow on the science journal racket and post their preprints to the web in advance of publishing. Sweeet!

19 Responses

  1. It certainly was a great night, and I am tired from watching all of the returns, but it was certainly worth it. That close in Missorui was like something out of an incredible stretch run by a great thoroughbred horse. The big win in Ohio and of course the landslide in Florida were of course the key results.

    I’ll spend the rest of my comment on the Supreme Court pick. I certainly haven’t studied his opinions at this point, but the early gloss is that he is a reasonably cautious moderate. The problem we have is the the Republicans, when they have a selection, invariably now pick someone from the Federalist Society, someone who believes that nothing not specifically mentioned in the Constitution can possibly be granted as a social right. Meanwhile, the Democrats seem to think that their responsiblity is to choose a moderate. So eventually you end up with a Court comprised of right-wing radicals and moderates. This is not good. The obvious snap conclusoin is that President Obama is more concerned about getting his pick confirmed, than in picking someone who might change the tenor of the Court, and overturn Citizens United, the most pernicious decision in many decades; and one which not overturned, will inevitably lead to an oligarchical control of the country.

    I know it’s a risk, but I don’t want to compromise here. I want someone on the Court who will reverse the course of the pro-corporate decisions of the last forty years. If we lose the election, the Republicans will pick extreme radical Right people to replace Ginsburg and Kennedy, and the Court will be even more Right, even if Obama gets Garland through. That may be what the Republicans figure, and thus approve Garland. If we win the election, then Hillary gets to make this pick, probably with a Democratic Senate, and also the other ones. Yes, Obama should make a nomination, it would be ridiculous of him not to do so. But the urge to make a deal should not subsume the immense importance of choosing the right person to be the swing vote on the Supreme Court.

  2. Wow the coverage of super tuesday is rather reluctant. “Hillary wins 5 states” vs “BERNIE’S AMAZING SUPER UPSET” all articles about how she’s following Obama’s path to the nomination and how she’s not winning hearts, and oh she’s gotta stop that shouting! Just ridiculous suppression. Glad the voters saw through it but this BS has gotta end already.

  3. In many ways I like Bernie, and I don’t begrudge his voters their votes. That’s democracy-vote for whomever you like.

    But…after attacking the super-delegates as undemocratic, the Sanders campaign is now saying that the SDs will allow them to get around the clear fact that most Dem voters want Hillary.

    Beyond the obvious hypocrisy, this is also delusional. Why would any SD abandon Hillary for the man who has 3 million fewer votes?

    The problem with the argument that Sanders has proven that (unlike Hillary) he is the real deal is that a. when he needed to bend on things like guns he has and b. it takes no political courage to be a leftist in Vermont (except on guns, where he showed no such courage).

    The one thing that has bugged me most about the Bernie campaign has been its self-righteousness (something it shared with Obama’s 2008 campaign). It wasn’t enough to claim that they have better policy ideas (in some cases yes they do, in others not) but they claimed a purity that made anyone opposing them automatically implicitly-and increasingly explicitly-corrupt. Sorry, that’s a purity neither Bernie or his campaign have earned, as the grasping at the SD straws demonstrates.

    • >>Beyond the obvious hypocrisy, this is also delusional. Why would any SD abandon Hillary for the man who has 3 million fewer votes?

      Precedent? It worked so well the last time she ran. You know, withhold her delegates from Florida and Michigan. Take 4 delegates away from her Michigan count and give them to Obama. Give him uncommitted delegates until it looks like he’s ahead, have your friends at Goldman Sachs donate scads of money to the campaign coffers of the super delegates until they start changing their commitments. It worked really well the first time. Why wouldn’t it work the second time if they hold their breath long enough??

      • Do you remember Harold Ickes fabulous speech about the Michigan delegates? CNN link, with transcript of some of it: http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0806/01/le.01.html and over five minutes of the glorious speech itself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frApBNgcNJs

        It makes me tremble with outrage even now.

      • Yeah, I thought about that when Devine started shopping how he was going to take not only Hillary’s super delegates but now he’s wanting to take her pledged delegates too!

        • For me, this is why Sanders and his campaign have crossed from competitive opposition to the politics of destructiveness. I have no idea how far they are going to go with this, but I’m wondering if they plan to absolutely bog down tne convention with challenges and floor fights, and if we are going to see a worse version of 1972, when McGovern couldn’t give his acceptance speech until 2am. And even worse, I wonder if he is going to create such animosity among hsi supporters for the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, and everything else that is not Sanders, that they won’t turn out to vote. The one troubling aspect of a great night Tuesday is that Republican turnout still substantially exceeeds Democratic turnout in virtually every state. If these millennials think that they would just as soon lose with Clinton and then get the fantasy projection Warren, it is going to be a definite concern.

          Sanders enjoys vastly positive media coverage, and does not deserve much of it. The more he drags this out, and the more he keeps attacking her character, the worse his campaign is getting. Having his campaign manager challenge the legality of having pledged delegates, is virtual nihilism.. I don’t know if he will ever exit the race, or if he will ever concede anything, even at the convention.

          • I’m not worried about this. I think his campaign is going through the stages of grief. I don’t think most will support this. While the headlines are that a bunch of his supporters won’t vote for Hillary, it is very early, and still, the majority of his supporters say they will vote for her.

            I also don’t detect much interest in him from the super delegates, especially since he has been criticizing the system, the establishment (them!) all campaign season. Even at his height of possibility, only a couple switched over to him. It seems like there’s a lot of sexism- against-Hillary talk this week, some articles naming that his campaign crossed over into negativity against Hillary despite him having pledged not to do that, and more celebrities endorsing her which (sadly) affects public opinion.

            Despite how hard the media have hit her (what outrage that she wins 5 and the headline is ‘Hillary’s in trouble’), she’s got this.

            As for Trump, he’s consistently winning about just over a third of his own party; and not the Dem Party at all. He doesn’t have the numbers. There are only so many bigots in this country.

  4. >Why wouldn’t it work the second time if they hold their breath long enough??

    Partly because Bernie isn’t Obama (who was historically historic;; no one cares that Bernie is Jewish) but mostly because all the reasons you are understandably unhappy with the way Hillary has campaigned this time compared to 2008 are also the reasons why she is winning and the SDs will not abandon her. She has learned to play the game she needs to play to get the nomination. (I personally don’t mind, because I don’t think it will have much to do with how she governs, but I understand the concern of those who feel otherwise.)

    • They’re asking for too much homogenization this time.
      I didn’t find Obama that scintillating back in 2008 and still can not for the life of me understand what all the fuss is about. I had to listen to his Garland nomination yesterday and he just doesn’t stir me. I know that I am far from the only one who feels this way. Also, from all accounts, he finds politicking distasteful and doesn’t do it very well. He doesn’t have a real relationship with Congress. I think instinctively, we all know this because something seems “off” between the White House and Capitol Hill.
      And yet, she is forced to act like he is a god compared to herself. If this is what playing the game entails, I find it very off-putting. As a thinking person, why would I want to support someone who says her skills are not as good as the guy who does his job badly?

      • But, RD, his approval rating numbers are going up now. I don’t like to hear her praising him, either, but…

  5. >and still can not for the life of me understand what all the fuss is about

    It was-and remains-about the symbolism of his skin color, not about the man himself.

    As for Hillary’ campaign in 2016, I certainly understand why you find it off-putting. I do as well. But in point of fact, it has worked: she has the nomination (almost) nailed down. She was never going to get the white “progressive” part of the Obama coalition (those are the Bernie Bros) so she HAD to have the black part of that coalition, or strongly risk a repeat of 2008. That meant embracing Obama. I don’t have to like it to recognize the pragmatic reasons for her doing it. And again, I don’t think it has much to do with how she’ll govern. Hillary is not Obama, even if she has been forced to campaign in his shadow.

    • I see what you’re saying.
      I’ll go one further though. The hard core, never going to vote for Hillary Bernie Boys who hate the establishment because Obama didn’t turn out like they planned are exactly the same people who are forcing her to be the establishment president. It is their own self fulfilling prophecy because they picked the more establishment beholden candidate in the first place in 2008 and concretized those backers in power.
      Wait, you made that point a couple of weeks ago. Never mind.
      The question is, how can we pivot her away from the establishment ne’er dowells and get more people to trust her? Is that even possible? Or does Trump’s nomination make it possible? After all, her financial backers would have a stark choice as well.
      So, her pivot might depend on how the GOP handles Trump.

    • Omg, did you read that thing on the fp of the NYT about how Obama is telling the movers and shakers that Bernie is toast and it’s time to get behind Hillary?
      If this is real, he’s not just a creepy frenemy (read his remarks), he’s an incompetent tone deaf politician. The sanders’ peeps are going to hit the roof.

      • I believe it is a relatively small percentage of Sanders’ supporters who are responsible for most of the instability we hear about, because it looks as though many of them changed their mind when they realized, yes, we really DO need to beat Trump, and voted for her. It’s probably those people to whom Obama is speaking. At least I hope so. Maybe he’s also trying to reach Sanders, himself.

        As for that long couple of posts I wrote a couple of days back, if Sanders is on that spectrum (and I do believe he is), the humiliation of defeat is going to produce initial rage, defiance, questioning of reality, followed by withdrawal, and then reasserting his inevitability, no matter how slim the odds. That is, he won’t drop out unless he can be adored for it.

        • Not sure he’s like that.
          But in any case, there are still the big states out there that have yet to vote. I remember how angry I was when it was suggested that Hillary just give up after Super Tuesday in 2008 when it looked to me and Karl rove that she was going to beat Obama to the nomination. The Obots were fucking assholes about wanting her to drop out before she got too far ahead of him. I keep thinking that if Florida and Michigan had been added to her column right away, Obama would have had to drop out.
          So, I’m not going to discourage and sanders person from voting the way they want or being angry about not having that choice anymore. I think it’s good to have Hillary and Bernie working our side right now together. Once Bernie drops out, it’s just Hillary vs trump and it’s a long time until November.

          • That is wrong. Obama of course is denying it too. Bernie should stay in as long as he wants however Tad Devine talking to the press is not helpful in the least.

          • I agree that 2008 was horrid, but she was way sheAd of where Bernie is now. She was winning.

        • My concern is that somehow we are going to face Kasich and not Trump. This may not be too likely, but there certainly is a chance of this. I think he will win PA and CA. Running against Kasich is a whole different thing. His policies are hard Right, but he is relatively good-natured, so the media and many voters will miss the danger to the country behind the outer appearance. This happens too often in our elections, as in the Reagan and Bush campaigns. Chris Matthews had a poll up last night showing Kasich beating Hillary in PA in a hypothetical matchup by 46-35. Somewhat concerning, at least. I will say that putting Sherrod Brown on the ricket will allay many of these concerns, because of his liberal credentials and home state of Ohio, from where he can effectively point out Kasich’s many bad votes, and also can appeal to white male union members.

          I am concerned about Sanders campaign going to the convention, complaining about all the rules; having floor fights and demonstratons; and with a bunch of his supporters vowing never to vote for Hillary. If Trump is the nominee, they might decide that this prospect is too scary to sit out the election or vote for the other side. But–and I know this probably unfairly generalizes–the kind of non-understanding of how governance works (they think that Sanders could just implement all his proposals despite a hostile Republican Congress) may also mean that they don’t understand how much awful damage Republican control of all three branches of government would cause to the country.

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