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Pennsylvania Primary

Today’s the day in PA, CT, DE, MD and RI! I hope all that hard work paid off.

My vote for the Democratic candidate for President is Hillary Clinton.

This is an easy case to make. She is far and away the most qualified and prepared candidate on either side of the aisle to become president. And although my heart was with Sanders, my head tells me that Hillary knows who to call to get things done. These are the reasons I voted for her in the NJ primary eight years ago and they haven’t changed.

The fact that she is a woman is secondary to me but it is the icing on the cake. It’s more historic than Obama and probably has greater implications down the road. There have been studies that show that the more women you have in government, the better off everyone is. Will one more woman be enough? I don’t know. But she may be able to bring more downticket women with her.That’s my hope.

So, good luck to all of us but may luck favor the prepared mind- Hillary Clinton.

For Senate, to replace Toomey, I’ve been supporting John Fetterman. He’s the mayor of Braddock, just down the road a piece from me. He’s definitely an iconoclast, and who says we couldn’t use more of them in the Senate? He has a passion for urban renewal. So, good luck, John!

And here’s a little shout out to Love and Kindness from Pittsburgh, the TV hometown of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. He was actually from Latrobe but the first public broadcasting station in the country, WQED, is in Pittsburgh:

Bernie’s right. She not qualified. She’s OVERQUALIFIED

Please.

{{rolling eyes}}

There’s nobody on either side of the aisle who is more ready to be president than Hillary.

She worked in the White House for 8 years.

She worked in the Senate for 6 years.

She ran the State Department for 4 years.

When she opens her mouth, fully formed policies on every subject fall out with such detail an completeness that this former scientist can tell she’s done her homework, asked all the questions and has  come up with most of the answers.

You might not like her solutions. She might not be as revolutionary as you want. I wish she were pushing the envelope too. Those are legitimate concerns

But that’s quite a different question than whether she is qualified to be president.

The answer is profoundly, whole heartedly, without any reservation-YES.

We’ve elected many presidents who don’t have so much as a foreskin of qualifications and no one blinked an eye.

So, Bernie is clearly attacking Hilary’s undisputed strength.

Not a fan, Bernie. It feels too much like the Penis Years crap we saw in 2008 where 1 penis equaled 8 years of someone else’s hard work.

Don’t go there, Bernie.

Gunfight at the Cleveland Corral

ok-corralIt just keeps getting better on the right side of the aisle. Digby posted about a request from 2nd Amendment group that wants attendees to the Republican convention to be able to carry guns.

You would think that the Quicken Loans Arena’s refusal to allow guns on the premises would be in compliance with the concept of presidential candidates requiring Secret Service protection. Think Robert Kennedy. But that’s not the way these people see it. They see it as a violation of their constitutional rights.

You know what? I think they should be able to do it. Yeah, why not? At least for one night before the roll call vote when all of the candidates are out of the room, let’s just let everyone bring their guns and settle it. We’ll lock them all in and let the debate begin. Whoever has the most delegates standing at dawn the next day wins the nomination.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, The Donald and sad face Cruz are about to go mano a mano over their wives. Someone posted one of many of Melania Trump’s scantily clad modeling poses and Trump insulted Cruz’s wife Heidi, who is no model.

And this is supposed to make us believe that Trump is the worst misogynist in the world. Really? Worse than Cruz who purports to love strong women? Ted Cruz’s evangelical base has no respect for strong women. Women were born to be helpers to men and to defer to them in all things in Cruz world. So, you know, save your breath, Ted. We’ve seen what nearly forty years of Republican “family values” have done for women.

If Ted gets the nomination, he and his fanbase will be all over Hillary the Strong, tearing her down any way they can. Butcha know, the voting booth is a private place, and provided women can actually circumvent the regressive voting restrictions designed to keep them out, they can even the playing field this November. Think about that, Ted. We’re the majority of the population. That’s potentially a much bigger cohort of disaffected voters for 2016 than in 2008. Even Heidi might come over to the dark side. Ted will never know. Bwahahahahahahhhhhhh!

As for The Donald, his stupid comb over and self-tanner accidents, we can only come to one conclusion when we see beautiful, smart Melania Trump by his side:

The sexiest thing in Donald Trump’s pants is his wallet.

I keep thinking the Republicans can’t continue to parody themselves without truly endangering their party’s viability but I seem to underestimate their constituents’ tolerance of more and more crazy.

Are we watching the death of the Republican party or will they manage to pull themselves out of this at the last moment? Have them finally mutated one too many times?

And if it does fall apart, what will rise to take its place? Who will the Koch’s throw all their money to? My best guess is that they’ll continue to support down ticket Republicans. But does The Donald have the power to take them all down?

Oh, Please! PLEASE!, carry guns to your convention.

 

DailyKos: Conversion and Conformity

ccv3h71w8aasjtlPeter Daou wrote about Markos Moulitsos, founder of DailyKos, and his announcement that he will be shifting his support to Hillary as soon as the nomination is wrapped up. Sorry, Bernie fans, time to get in line.

Atrios yesterday wrote that he doubted that one person’s “Why I am Voting for So&So diary” is worth anything. I was happy to see Atrios embrace the idea that your vote is your own but I think he’s dead wrong about the value of the conversion diary. Maybe they’re not as powerful as they used to be but I saw DailyKos lose its collective mind and then get in line twice in 2007-2008. First, it went bat s^&* crazy over John Edwards, then when Edwards became non-viable, it became moonstruck over Obama.

During the infamous Rec List Hostage Crisis of 2008, the pivot from Edwards to Obama was incredibly smooth. I could almost swear that the same people were writing those diaries.

The value of the testimonial can not be underestimated. Maybe we should get John Dehlin, psychologist, former Mormon and host of Mormon Stories to come and explain how it works. The conversion or testimonial is particularly effective in groups that are also exercising other high control tactics, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

A typical conversion story relates how a person is transformed by a moment of revelation. They become “born again” in some important way. People who study high control groups might say the convert’s  behavior has been unduly influenced by informational, emotional and thought control. Go ahead, read about the BITE model and you’ll never see DailyKos in the same way again.

That’s why I think Markos’s conversion story looks like it might not be important to those of us who have figured out how he operates even if it eventually does. His life is only going to change if his revelation leads to more advertising revenue from the Clinton campaign. Deep down inside, I doubt that Markos is wed to any one particular candidate. If anything, he seems to swing Libertarian and attracts the same guys who are stuck in adolescence who aren’t going to let any woman be the boss of them. It’s his business model.

Also, the conversion story does not work in the absence of other features. There has to be praise of the convert. In many religions and high control groups, this would include love bombing. At DailyKos, love bombing is accomplished through the use of recommendations. If a diarist gets enough recommends, their diary can make it to the recommended diary list where its prominence will influence other Kossacks.

The more you toe the founder’s line, the more mojo you get. That is, your level of  authority, at DailyKos increases and you can achieve Trusted User status. A trusted user has very few privileges and while Kossacks are told they don’t mean much, they actually do. A Trusted user can demote recommendations. They are enforcers. A mob of enforcers can deplete a Kossack’s mojo completely. If you don’t stay with the herd, you can be excommunicated and banned from the site.

This is what happened to me in January 2008 when I used the word “jihad” to explain how Obama supporters were mobbing other candidate’s supporters on DailyKos in order to get them banned. In the span of a couple hours, I went from being a trusted user to an exile. I was on to them by the time I posted that diary and while my diary was not meant to get me banned, I watched in fascination how efficiently and quickly the process worked.  I guess to someone who likes to be one of a crowd, that might have been devastating and I saw other Kossacks try very hard to not it happen to them. But for me? It was no big deal. What I learned at DailyKos was that I could write well enough to make the rec list fairly frequently. So, I left and started The Confluence. I didn’t get the fame or the ad money but I’ve enjoyed it anyway.

Those of you who still visit DailyKos can correct me if I’m wrong on any of this. Some of the rules of the game have changed since I was there last. The parameters of the model can be tweaked to keep everyone in line. But Markos knows what he’s doing and he set up his site to enforce conformity and a single message. Yes, there is a bit of wiggle room there. It’s like the difference between being a Methodist and a Presbyterian but it’s still Christianity. And when Markos signs the contract or gives the nod of the head, the machine works of his site will kick into gear and everyone will fall in line, write conversion diaries and disfellowship the apostates.

It’s conformity on a grand blog scale.

Maybe it doesn’t mean as much as it did 8 years ago. But Markos still attracts a lot of the same kind of people. They talk amongst themselves, reminisce about when they had their revelation and swallow their disappointments on queue when their leader gets “new light”.  And when it came time to throw away rules, disenfranchise voters and abbreviate roll call votes in Denver, the Kossacks were enthusiastic supporters of all things not very Democratic. We ended up with an establishment president who is more conservative than just about anyone on DailyKos but by golly, they won, didn’t they? So what if they ripped their party in two in the meantime?

They have a lot in common with Trump supporters.

Yes, conversion diaries, especially many of them, written with the blessing and encouragement and sometimes the coding skills and public megaphone of the founder, can and do make a difference. It simply is what it is, regardless of what Atrios says.

 

We are too focused on the white part of WASP

It’s been a little bit charming to see the GOP freaking out over Trump. I guess they realized too late that they had pushed the envelope way too hard lately and now they have a orange flavored, bombastic, likely racist, definitely sexist, torture loving, Mexican hating, asshole as their presidential frontrunner. They shouldn’t be surprised but for some reason, they really are. I’m gobsmacked. They act like never saw it coming. Republicans iz weird.

So, who do they roll out to talk reason with their base? A MORMON. That’s right, the religion that recently told its members that they were no longer going to perform baby blessings or baptize children who have at least one parent in a same sex relationship, and who are sweeping through their wards with gusto excommunicating gay people, feminists and people who just want to know whether Joseph Smith really “married” 14 year old girls behind his wife Emma’s back. This is the religion that said black people were not “white and delightsome” enough to receive the priesthood until 1978 and that their prophet translated invisible golden plates from Reformed Egyptian to English with a rock in a hat. This is the same church that sponsored Prop 8 in California.

Mitt Romney is going to tell the rest of the Republicans that Trump might be bad news.

But what is kinda getting on my last nerve is the constant emphasis on racism to the exclusion of everything else. It’s just as important to talk about Trump’s effect on women. Why do we ALWAYS forget that?? We’ve already have younger men in our own party conditioned to disrespect women on a daily basis. The 2008 Democratic primary was devastating to women. Oh yes, it was. Don’t kid yourself. Something definitely changed after that one. So, you know, it’s not just African Americans who are going to get schlonged (although if what they say about the size of one’s hands has any merit, maybe that won’t be possible with Trump).

I find it really annoying that I might have to climb to the top of the water tower with a can of paint to defend Megyn Kelly’s honor.

And then there are the hispanics and asian immigrants, and who knows who else he’ll pick on. I’m alarmed by what he said about Rosey O’Donnell. We specifically prohibit Bills of Attainder in the Constitution but a determined executive with a grudge could do a lot of damage. He seems to take personal insults a touch too personally.

Anyway, enough with the over emphasis on race. It’s not just a reaction to Obama. Trump supporters just don’t like modernity or having to come down from the top of the food chain to share with the rest of us. Kicking Liberals around in America might not be enough. They might have to declare war on Norway.

In the meantime, just let him run, give him the nomination. What exactly is it the Republicans fear? That the Koch brothers won’t know who to give all their money to? That Trump won’t have coattails, a thing divinely to be wished from our side? I’d say go for a brokered convention but I don’t think I could stand any more Republican “policy” proposals on national television.

What might be instructive though is having angry, motivated Trump supporters crashing Philadelphia like it’s a beer hall putsch and seeing it all play out on the TV. They’re not going to take it anymore and they probably have guns.

The Republicans should be more careful what they wish for next time.

GOP Petard

petardFor decades, the Republicans have been running campaigns based around hatred of anyone who is not a white anglo-saxon protestant male. If you are any other color, gender, religion or ethnic origin, you are persona non grata to the Republican party.

It has been phenomenally successful with this strategy. Their wins have been tremendous. YUGE!

With this strategy of always appealing to the mean little white man in every voter, they have managed to have a stranglehold on the Supreme Court, a stranglehold on the House of Representatives (by having control of Congress during census and redistricting years, this is how they do it) a stranglehold on many state legislatures. If you are angry at the ‘establishment’ and the way you have lost ground over the years, and that you’re always afraid that some Muslim is going to chop off your head some night when you’re sleeping, then you should ask yourself if maybe you let Republicans persuade you to vote for them one too many times.

But now, the GOP is freaking out because they didn’t anticipate that voters would be so irate, so irrationally angry, so fed up with the way everything is run, and probably confused by the sensation that maybe they’ve been suckers for close to 40 years, that they would actually vote for a guy who can’t seem to get his fake tan right in spite of his million dollar grooming budget.

Their only hope at this point is to get some of the rest of their candidates to drop out and have more reasonable voters coalesce around the alternative to Mr. Creamsicle. What’s really weird is that a more reasonable voter is now considered to be a more devout, evangelical white anglo-saxon protestant voter. Frankly, I fail to see the difference between voting groups except the evangelicals are less rude and do not swear. Otherwise, they’re just as unreasonably and uncompromisingly conservative.

What gets lost in primary season is what about the rest of us? You know, those of us who live in cities and on the coasts in the most populous states. Why do we always find ourselves held hostage by places like Texas? And why is it that Democrats can’t get their act together in downticket races? Will Hillary have coat tails this year and will she bring in more progressive people into Congress or just another bunch of student body presidents? Because, in this respect, I’m as skeptical as a Donald Drumpf voter but in my case, more likely to turn to a Bernie Sanders type alternative, in spite of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s hand picked bland congressional candidates. But I digress. We could have a field day with Debbie in another post.

In the meantime, grab some popcorn and watch the Republicans try to stop Drumpf. If they can. They don’t have much to work with. I just can’t see Cruz as a viable candidate and Rubio looks like a lightweight. Hillary would crush him like a bug in debate (unless Congress sees no alternative but to pre-emptively indict her for no reason. Would they do that? Um, yeah, I could see it.) Not that Republican voters care all that much about whether Hillary is a formidable, experienced, very well qualified opponent. It’s impossible to be rational with very angry people.

Maybe Republicans have gone too far with the Rush Limbaughing and the Glenn Becking and the Muslims Under the Bedding?

Nahhh.

Cocktail party tonight?

Should we watch the fallout from Super Tuesday together?

If Creamsicle wins, we can make some bold predictions. Or at least have a few brief moments of schafenfreude while the Republicans freak out.

What say you all?

Things that tick me off about lefty Hillary phobes

121115310_29ecec608bYou know who you are. You know she’s going to be nominated at this stage but there’s something about her you don’t like. It’s always SOMETHING.*

These are somethings that you would let slide in any other candidate. Please, don’t make me go over 2008 again. It’s even boring me. But before we move on with that, let’s just all get on the same page with 2008. We don’t buy any of the revisionist history on the 2008 Democratic primary. There should have been a floor fight and the fact that there wasn’t one tells us everything we need to know about how pure and virtuous the left can be.

On to stuff about Hillary:

1.) She feels she is entitled. She thinks it’s her turn. Ok, let’s take the first part. If you have as much experience as Hillary Clinton, you should feel as entitled as anyone with similary experience to run for president.

As for it being her turn, I have heard this over and over again from die hard Obots over the last 7 years, that somehow, there’s an unspoken deal that the party or Obama’s financial backers or even the Obots themselves, would allow Hillary to run after Obama prevented any change  presided over the executive branch for eight years. I don’t know where these people got this idea. None of the Clintonistas were in on this deal. In fact, as far as we were concerned, she probably shouldn’t have bothered. Eight years of Obama after eight years of Bush have made it harder for her to make any real changes. I would have just said “You’re on your own” and walked away if I were her. I don’t think it’s a deal that made her run. And anyway, it’s a stupid deal and she’s not stupid.

2.) The vote for the Iraq War. I hated this vote. I was all in favor of Afghanistan. We had to go there. No, no, peaceniks, we really did. But Iraq was a blunder of monumental proportions. I despise that vote.

But you know what? She was one of 100 senators. Guess what? Without her vote, we were still going to Iraq. Yep, going there and ruining the world for no good reason. John Kerry voted for going to Iraq and his long, disjointed, rambling speech made a lot less sense than Clinton’s. John Edwards voted for Iraq. I can clearly remember lefties falling all over themselves over Edwards. He was the one to beat. If he hadn’t been a cad, the Kossacks would have told Obama to take an old cold tater and wait his turn.

But Hillary is held to some higher standard. The way lefties go on about this makes you think that it was going to be a 50-50 tie and she broke it with her one single vote. It was not. It wasn’t even close. The hypocrisy is ridiculous in this area. So, you know, knock it off.

3.) Coziness with the banks. People who voted for Obama should not be bringing this up given his track record, the results of which certainly suggesting very strongly that there was a deal in 2008 in exchange for all their filthy campaign lucre (which the DNC lapped up without protest). But if they must, we should probably see how many times Jamie Dimon visited the White House in Obama’s first term. Maybe Ron Suskind, the author of Confidence Men would have the answer to that query.

And if we’re going to get transcripts of her speeches, we should probably get the transcripts for all of the other candidates, including Obama’s, from 2007-2008. Fair’s fair. If the media thinks the transcripts will tarnish her reputation with lefties, why bother? They’re already there. Her reputation with lefties can’t get any lower. The question is, does she have a record of exchanging money for influence? Her voting record does not show that.

Does it say that she would be ‘captured’ by the banks like Obama clearly was? Time will tell, I suppose. It might help if we could get a regular person on the Supreme Court who would see the sense in overturning Citizens United. Good luck getting Donald Trump to do that.

4.) Libya. I’m getting a little tired of this one. At the time she advocated the air strikes in Libya, there was a humanitarian crisis developing there. It’s the same kind of humanitarian crisis that developed and spun out of control in Syria. But note that we did nothing in Syria. And how did that work out? I mean, for the average, every day Syrian?

There were terrorists in Libya before the air strikes. The head honcho was one of them. This has been proven. Lockerbie, anyone?  Getting rid of terrorists was not why we did air strikes in Libya but it’s not like there weren’t any there before hand.

Failed states. Yes, it is regrettable that Libya is now considered a failed state. And whose fault is that? No, seriously, whose fault is that? What should we have done? Should we occupy another country? Like a pacifist is going to be thrilled with that solution either. We rebooted the country because it was going to crash (like Syria). Isn’t it the Libyans’ responsibility to keep it running?

So now the terrorists are back. But these are not the same terrorists as before. They are a product of what happened in Iraq when the Bushies insisted that we go kick Saddam Hussein’s ass. Which takes us back to the first point. Hillary’s vote in favor or opposed was not going to keep us out of Iraq.

Do you guys remember the crazy rhetoric in Congress back in 2003-2008 when anyone suggested we dial it back? Remember “cut and run”, “Freedom Fries” and “If you don’t like <fill in the blank>, then the terrorists have won”? Remember the Patriot Act??  Remember Russ Feingold? Hardly anyone does. And that’s the point. You cast a nauseating vote that you can do nothing to mitigate and live to fight another day.

As for the air strikes in Libya, they happened in 2012. So, this problem has had 4 years to fester. There have been 4 years for the Libyans to get their shit together. Why are we not asking the Libyans to step up? Why are we not pointing the Libyans to Kurdistan and saying, “look guys, you have the same oil reserves, the same crazy ass religious relatives, and YOU aren’t landlocked. Why can’t you be like Kurdistan? We gave you a chance to get your shit together and you sqaundered it.”

Why are we blaming ourselves for this?

I only ask.

BTW, if you are a Republican who is cowering in your bedroom because you are afraid that a Muslim is going to behead you, you have only yourself to blame. Iraq was entirely preventable. In fact, your insistence that we go get the WMDs and steal the oil in Iraq has put the entire world in danger by making the rise of ISIS possible. Colin Powell said we would break it. We were warned. So, you know, we’ve had enough of your less than helpful input.

I don’t like warhawks and I don’t like isolationists. They’re two sides of the same coin. Neither is thinking ahead.

Now, I have plenty of problems with the way Hillary is running her campaign this year. The economy is not nearly as good as her ads make it out to be. I understand the need to not make us feel like losers. I get it. But I really do feel like she is neglecting the suffering that a lot of us have had to endure because we have had an ineffective president and an obstructivist congress.

And there are very few people that I know who have benefitted from Obamacare. There is almost universal dislike of it. Her “never, ever” comment came off like a lead balloon and more than a little paternalistic. Like, “You’re not going to Ashley’s house for a sleep over and that’s final. Don’t even ask.” or “I’m tired of going over this and over this. We aren’t dredging this up again.”

That’s a mistake. That feels like inevitability. That makes people feel like they have no choices. But as Stephen Covey says, people always have choices. And they are really beginning to hate nudges.

America may still be great, I wouldn’t argue with that. But we are not addressing the problem that the people who live here are increasingly seen as crops to be harvested instead of people. To the rest of the developed world, what is happening here is horrifying. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.

So far, I haven’t heard Hillary talk about the exploitative profit mining of the American people and I think it’s time she started to discuss that. What is she going to do to reset the balance of power and what is she going to do about income instability?

Everything else is New York Times getting its money’s worth on the deal it and WaPo and Fox News struck with an opposition research company last year.

* Someday, we’re going to have to talk about what really bugs lefties about Hillary Clinton. I think Anglachel was on to something when she discovered the Male Graduate Student problem.

 

 

 

 

PSAs

1.) Frank Bruni is starting to worry that Donald Trump is unstoppable, UNSTOPPABLE! Oh, what can he do to prevent Creamsicle from becoming president? I mean other than stop acting like a mean girl and forcing himself to report on Hillary accurately? It must be so frustrating for Frank and MoDo to have to come to terms with the damage that 23 years of relentless repetition of petty sniping, and not so petty innuendos of dishonesty, obfuscation, conspiracies, did I say lying (?), have wrecked on Hillary’s reputation. They probably don’t even realize they’re doing it. After all, all of their friends hate Hillary. There *must* be a reason, right?

But if Frank is really worried that a nationalistic, policy-less, torture and violence loving narcissist might make it to the White House, Frank could change his ways. If this year’s zeitgeist is that voters want to back an anti-establishment Winner!, maybe Frank and his friends could ease up on saying she has an honesty problem all the time. Maybe they could review their own performance back in 2008 and say, “Jeez, we were rough on her for no reason, wouldja look at that! She won every big Democratic state in the primaries except for Georgia and Illinois! How is it she didn’t get nominated?? Did we have anything to do with that?” Maybe they could turn that Junior High spirit on Trump, his harem and the disrespectful way he treats women, including {{gag}} Megyn Kelly. Maybe they can get their Heathers to yumiliate him. You know how it’s done.

Or maybe Frank and his editors could stop insisting that Hillary refrains from criticizing Obama’s policies in any way, shape or form, and start acting like she’s got a great chance at, you know, winning.

Because it looks like it’s going to be either Trump or Hillary. Just think about that, Frank. Do you want President Hillary or President The Donald picking the next supreme court justice and decorating the Oval Office? Think Trump Tower, Frank, and acres of pink toned marble. I know, the horror, the horror.

2.) This is not an anti-Bernie zone. Some of my favorite people are feeling the Bern this year, including our own Katiebird. And I have at least one kid who is a Berniephile for very good reasons- student loans. Plus, Bernie isn’t using scorched earth, party ripping, exiling inducing tactics like Obama did in 2008. If there are people on Bernie’s team that are acting like fraternity assholes, I haven’t seen any evidence that Bernie endorses it. It’s not like his speechwriters are groping the breasts on Hillary Clinton paper cutouts, nor is the candidate “brushing dirt off his shoulders” after debates where he is trounced. So, you know, let’s let the power of their proposals get criticized and lay off each others supporters. I’m a Clintonista but I could easily see myself voting for Bernie without regret.

3.) There’s a very good youtube video I followed from Twitter on current economics and what’s to come. This is by Bruce Greenwald.

I’m not an economist so some of the data analysis and vocabulary was over my head. To me, a Minsky Moment is what happens just before the place is raided. But what did stand out were these two points at about minute mark 20:00 ish: 1.) the savings rate has been dropping in recent years and 2.) Americans in the bottom 80% economically need to spend 110% of their income to stay where they are in the socio-economic strata.

Watching this video gave me the same feeling I had back in the mid 2000’s when people were buying houses for crazy prices and then didn’t have money to furnish them. They felt they had to get in on the property ladder because the house prices kept going up and up without end and it was making the prospect of owning a house look more and more remote. Then the housing bubble crashed, in part because so many people were over extended.

We’re facing the same thing now. Too many people are over extended. Income is unstable. You could lose your job at any time through no fault of your own. You need to save for that. But you can’t save too much because the price of everything seems to be stuck on high. Major appliances are designed to last for 5-7 years. (I got this directly from the mouth of a major appliance manufacturer sales rep) Food is outrageously expensive. Have you bought beef lately? I feel like I’m becoming an involuntary vegetarian. The price of gas has come down but come summer, it will go up again. Then there is the price of health insurance, deductibles, etc. If you’re young, you’re saddled with massive student debt that can never be discharged. And you need to sock away some of your income for that 401K that other people gamble with because there are no pensions anymore.

One of two things has to happen: 1.) Wages have to go up or 2.) Prices are going to come down. Deflation looks like the scarier option on the scale of the global economy. But we can’t have our corporate overlords continue to capture portions of shrinking incomes and say, “Well, you know, they’re responsible for their own health, savings, education, etc. To be good citizens, they have to pay for this stuff themselves out of their own pockets. We just want our cut.”

There is a limit and we are already over it. Income instability leads to societal instability.

We’ve become crops to be harvested. A crop’s purpose is to provide money for others to take. If a crop starts saving money, that is not good for the harvesters. Future President Hillary needs to start talking about this problem very seriously because we can’t go on like this for much longer. The world’s economy is at stake.

OMG, get a grip, Michelle

Michelle Alexander is not the only one who can’t get over 2008 but for her, she got everything she could possibly hope for back then. So what the hell is her problem?

She recently wrote Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote in the Nation recently where she blamed everything but bubonic plague on the Clintons. Sixteen years after Bill Clinton left office, eight years after George W. Bush, and and eight years after Barack Obama had “Feminist in Chief” and “Civil Rights Leader Extraordinaire” woven in big sparkly letters over his head, she still thinks that it was Bill who brought economic misery on African Americans.

Nevermind that some of us were not in a fog back in the 90s and actually saw what happened with Welfare Reform. Nevermind that throwing money at people is good strategy after a financial catastophe but catastrophic over a lifetime. Nevermind that the right wingers mobilize and herd a lot better than us to enact draconian policies on poor children of all colors but especially on black children.

No, in Michelle’s opinion, it’s all Bill’s fault. Oh, and Hillary’s fault. Hey? Remember CHIP, Michelle? Didn’t think so.

I can not for the life of me figure out why Michelle is so furious with the Clintons but says almost nothing about Obama.

What did he do about the economic consequences of the financial collapse in 2008? According to Paul Krugman, not nearly enough.

What did he do to protect homeowners from losing their houses? In that respect, his policies were almost worse than nothing. Homeowners might have been better off not applying for mortgage relief at all. Go ask Dave Dayen.

What did he do about long term unemployment- for anybody? I can answer that from personal experience. Nada.

Finally, what did he do to curb gun violence? Jeez, Stephen Colbert, hardly a right winger, says he acted like the Assistant Lifeguard in Chief.

What’s really annoying about Michelle’s stupid rant is that we *are* all in this together but we are participating in the dumbest, most self-destructive act of arguing over who got the smallest piece of the pie that the right wing nutcases are laughing their asses off and voting for Trump.

{{going into my best 2008 psychological manipulation tactics perfected by Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, here goes:}}

Is that what you want, Michelle? Do you want Donald Trump to be president? Donald “screw over my employees in Atlantic City every time I go bankrupt” Trump? Or maybe you would prefer Ted “little kids might have to die it’s all about personal responsibility” Cruz.

Because those are your choices, Michelle. And remember, it was Bill Clinton who nominated Lani Guinier, voting rights expert, for Attorney General, which was an inspired choice. If the Republicans win the White House, voting is going to get more and more difficult over time. Do you want to be responsible for that, Michelle? Go ahead, sit this one out. Let some confused and angry religious nutcase who is scared out of their pajamas go and vote for Trump or Cruz in your place.

Pick a Republican or Bernie or Hillary. My heart says Bernie but my head says Hillary. I’m going with my head. I have no idea what part of the anatomy you’re working with, Michelle. Maybe your gall bladder?

BTW, I just saw another youtube video from the Daily Show featuring Sr. Beyonce Correspondent Jessica Williams going off about Rudy Giuliani’s comments on Beyonce’s half time show. Weirdly, I read a similarly confounding post by Wesley Morris on the NYTimes the other day about how Beyonce was the best thing since the universe began and Lady Gaga was a has been. In fact, I think the words “has been” were actually used. What I couldn’t understand was why these two people are protesting too much.

You know, Rudy is a jerk. Who cares what he says anyway? Nevermind that both Bruno Mars and Beyonce have won my coveted Lick My Love Pump Award for writing catchy little ditties with X-rated lyrics that you can’t help but find yourself singing to as you drive your kids to school. (I’ve done that, actually. Sang harmony to Gorilla and felt dirty afterwards but I digress).

Here’s my point. If YOU like Beyonce and think she is the most amazing singer and entertainer ever, great! Have a blast, download all her songs. Dance til your ass falls off. i don’t care. I don’t even care if she has a political message. She’s entitled. I might even happen to agree with her. In fact, I *do* agree with her.

But don’t tell me I have to throw away all of the rest of my personal favorite things because someone else is telling me what is or isn’t in. I prefer to think for myself. I can take Beyonce in small doses. I don’t think she’s the greatest singer ever. She’s not bad but she’s no Lady Gaga. And her genre of music is not what I find myself tuned into, apple Beats be damned. Britney Howard? I could listen to her all damn day. She’s wildly entertaining even without a body con costume with matching artillery. Years from now, we’ll still be singing Hold On on classic rock stations while Beyonce will be a “has been”.

That’s the way of fame. Here today, gone the next. It’s only a fricking Superbowl half time show. It’s bubbly and energetic, cost millions and is gone in half an hour. I can be entertained without setting up an altar to her in my house. We all have differences of opinion and personal preferences. It’s called diversity.

So what is it about the criticism of Beyonce that is getting on the nerves? Why are so many people doing the Kanye West unnecessarily hurting Taylor Swift at an awards show thing? I mean other than Fox News and its guests always loving authoritarian people crushers and lacking any sense of empathy for what black people have to go through, this is pretty SOP by now for Fox. I have no idea but I would not be surprised to see a lot more of what seems like jittery and bitter panic in the next 10 months. We don’t know what’s coming and the last eight years have been nobody’s picnic, especially for the people who had a right to expect better.