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    • Cries for Sanders to Be Conciliatory Miss the Point
      So, Sanders has most likely lost. Last minute upsets are possible, but highly unlikely. And now come the calls for Bernie to be conciliatory. This misses the point. Sanders doesn’t need anything Clinton can give. Any promises she makes with respect to his priorities are not credible. He’s old and his career is all but […]
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Yes, Digby, he does know something

Digby asks why The Donald seems to be doubling down on the Woman Card with respect to Hillary Clinton.

Here’s my theory: Digby and her buddies have been playing up racism, ie the Race Card, for 8 long years now. If anyone wasn’t enchanted with Obama because they preferred the more experienced candidate, they were called racists.

Same with everything else.

Didn’t like the way the bankers got off? You’re a racist

Think the administration’s response to long term unemployment was inadequate? You’re a racist.

Think Obamacare is too expensive and the deductibles require too much skin in the game while the control on costs was laughably absent? You’re a racist.

Oooo, here’s a good one:

If you are a conservative who approves of the Republicans blocking Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court, you’re a racist who doesn’t like Obama as president. This last one went too far. The Republicans can legitmately deny that accusation because they approved Kagan and Sotomayor. The problem isn’t racism or Obama. The problem is Republicans want to retain their one seat advantage. They’d block any candidate who isn’t a strict, federalist conservative. It has nothing to do with Obama’s race. He could be red with yellow polka dots. The fact that he’s really a moderate conservative at heart is not good enough for McConnell et al. They can come up with dozens of silly and unconstitutional excuses to not approve Garland. They don’t need to be racists.

Frankly, Digby, the race card has been played wickedly well by Democrats and the media and voters are fed up with it. It has been used as a bludgeon to silence anyone who dares to criticize Obama and his policies.  I’m a liberal and I just voted for John Fetterman for Senate in PA. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not conservative or racist. But I have had to put up with 8 long years of this racism accusation shit and I’m tired of it. Obama has done a lot of things that aren’t even close to being liberal enough for me. If my head hadn’t dictated my choices, I could very easily see myself voting for Bernie. His supporters seem to be the only ones who are legitimately able to criticize Obama without being called racists.

Everyone knows he is not Jesus but we didn’t allow ourselves to apply any corrective action for eight long years.

Yeah, there are racists out there. But mostly, people are just pissed off that they can’t get heard and when they object to anything, they’re the equivalent of the KKK according to Digby and all the pro-Obama journalists (David Plotz admits they were totally in the tank for Obama).

So, here comes a legitimate, honest to god, hard working, well respected, smart, life-long public servant, who will be our nominee who is also a woman.  WE all know she’s good but she is also not Jesus.

This is Trump’s way of nipping it in the bud.

He is defanging us.

She may be historic but if you think his voters are going to let themselves get rolled again, you’re crazy.

Please, Digby, stop helping.

But Wait! There’s more!

Trump must have noticed how disgracefully Hillary was treated by her own party. Do I have to play the Bitch video again? In fact, it was Trump who said that Hillary had gotten “Schlonged”. Yeah, nice guy is our Donald.

I remember the Obots calling it very rough political hardball, as if that was supposed to make it better that women in general were treated to the dark archetypes of the male Democrats’ psyches. I can’t be the only one to notice that women in general lost some authority and respect after that primary. It was brutal.

In order to defend against Trump, Democrats and journalists are going to have to rally around Hillary. That means the Democrats who were the most vociferous assholes in 2008 are going to have to start walking it back. Not only walking it back but vigorously defending her. I won’t hold my breath.

As for journalists, they are magpies. They’re fascinated by Trump and his pink marble grotesques. And they hate Hillary. No, it’s not rational. For all we know, the feeling is mutual. They should never have gone rifling through her real estate deals, law firm billing records or cookie recipes. There’s a great deal of mutual animosity. Don’t expect them to come to her rescue. Expect them to watch this all play out like they would watch an approaching asteroid. It’s great for ratings, people will be thrilled to the very last minute, and there will be plenty to report when the Second Great Extinction happens.

Donald isn’t presidential. Not in the least. But he knows how to fight dirty and he will drag us all down into the gutter with him.

 

Northeast Corridor

It’s primary week in PA, CT, MD and RI. Holy Hemiola! It’s starting to get exciting now. Some short takes coming up:

1.) I’m starting to notice some gloating amongst the Clintonistas on Twitter towards the Bernie people. Just wanted to say that I’ve run into some really nice Bernie supporters in the past couple of days while I’ve been canvassing. They want to be heard and they need space to decide how best to make this election season count. I’d hate to see us driving them away by telling them they have nowhere else to go because that’s not true. They can always stay home in November. I doubt that Hillary will take any vote for granted because you never know what could happen in the days ahead. It’s dangerous to look too far into the future. So, if you feel like taunting a Bernie person, show some discipline and don’t.

2.) Did you see Hillary’s quick and deadly strike against Charles Koch yesterday when he said it almost might be better to vote for Hillary than whoever the Republican nominee is? Here it is:

Hillary Clinton Retweeted This Week

Not interested in endorsements from people who deny climate science and try to make it harder for people to vote.

All righty then. Things don’t necessarily go better with Koch.

I’d say that was pretty unambiguous, in case there was anyone out there stupid enough to believe she’d sell us out for Koch money.

3.) Nick Kristof wrote a tepid column yesterday about how Hillary was not dishonest… probably. (Note to self: never ask Nick Kristof for a recommendation) He also admits that the media gloms onto narratives and it can’t seem to let go of them. This has been unfair to Clinton. Then he immediately pivots into the newest narrative- she’s infuriating:

It’s true, of course, that Clinton is calculating — all politicians are, but she more than some. She has adjusted her positions on trade and the minimum wage to scrounge for votes, just as Sanders adjusted his position on guns.

Sanders’s positions seem less focus-group tested than Clinton’s, and she can be infuriatingly evasive. Partly that’s because she’s more hawkish than some Democrats, and partly that’s because she realizes she’s likely to face general election voters in November and is preserving wiggle room so she can veer back to the center then.

Does that make her scheming and unprincipled? Perhaps, but synonyms might be “pragmatic” and “electable.” That’s what presidential candidates do.

Then there’s the question of Clinton raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from speeches to Goldman Sachs and other companies. For a person planning to run for president, this was nuts. It also created potential conflicts of interest, but there’s no sign of any quid pro quo (in a broader sense, companies write checks to buy access and influence, but if that’s corrupt then so is our entire campaign finance system). Bill Clinton, Colin Powell and other prominent figures were speaking for high fees, so she probably thought she could get away with it as well.

It goes on from there.

Nevermind that Obama took oodles of money from Wall Street in 2007-2008 and had some very cosy meetings with the bankers who proceeded to flood his campaign coffers in February 2008 right after Super Tuesday, which he did not win, by the way. But why take my word for some of this? Check out this page on Frontline about Obama’s friendship with Wall Street and how he appeared to protect them from punishment.

Can we see his transcripts??

By the way, remember the telecom immunity bill that Clinton voted against in 2008? Of course we don’t. The Big Orange Satan told us that she voted against that in order to make Obama look bad for voting for it. {{rolling eyes}} And she also snuck some Banker squirming amendments into the bailout bill.

But I digress.

What I found really amusing about Nick Kristof’s column was that John Dickerson and Emily Bazelon used almost the exact same words to describe Hillary in the latest edition of Political Gabfest. Yeah, go listen. I was stunned when I was reading Kristof’s piece because it was like I had already heard it. So, this is the new narrative. Hillary is infuriating. Oooo, let’s let her get under our skin for being a human being who does and says things that are less than perfect and for not catering specifically to us.

My question is, where were they all together when they heard these words, absorbed them, and decided to disseminate them as if on cue?

Plus, listen to Emily, John and David go on and on about how the regular Northeast Corridor Amtrak train doesn’t have the same smell as the Acela. The regular train smells like students and academics and regular people. No special reason for bringing it up, they just noticed it. I’ve taken both trains but perhaps my sense of smell is not so refined. I never noticed a difference in cleaning products aromas.

Do they have any idea how they sound??

‘gits.

4.) Finally, the sixth season of Game of Thrones began last night and it looks like the women have had enough and aren’t going to take it anymore. Don’t get on the wrong side of a Sand Snake. In one of the best scenes from last night, Brienne of Tarth rides to the rescue of Sansa Stark, who is probably starting to realize she needs to learn how to use a sword like her sister Arya. Looks like the women of Westeros are deciding they have to look after themselves. Will Sansa start acting like a Lord of the North? Time will tell. Nine more episodes to go.

 

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.

 

 

 

The Mystery of Hillary’s Campaign Strategy

Short one today, peoples.

If I were Hillary, I would have picked up right where I left off in 2008 at the end of the primary season. That was when she was the strongest as an appealing candidate and her campaign message of making the invisible Americans count again meant something. She was feeling her Cheerios. It wasn’t her fault that the nomination was awarded to someone else through inflated caucuses, superhuman amounts of money from the finance industry, short-sighted superdelegates and DNC rules skullduggery.

Has she completely forgotten that she went to Denver in a statistical tie with Obama? Did she forget how the party prevented California and Pennsylvania from casting ballots during the roll call just in case it looked like she might actually have a good reason for a floor fight? Are we the only ones who remember that it was NOT a landslide at the convention for Obama, not even close?

Really, Hillary, you have to believe this. No one on this blog and some other blogs is stupid enough to believe that Obama “won” the nomination through the strength of his amazing campaign strategy or scintillating personality. Even as recently as last night, I run into people who absolutely. can. not. stand. him. because they don’t find him charismatic, interested in average Americans, or politically talented. These are *Democrats*, in local Democratic organizations. They loathe him. It’s not racism. It’s well founded, completely rational disgust with the way he campaigned and the opportunities that were handed to him on a plate that he squandered.

Yup, completely unsolicited loathing of the guy who weaponized accusations of racism and smothered real criticism from his own side for 8 long years. The Dirty F^&*ing Hippies are now getting together and comparing notes. How did Hillary miss that??

And then there is the subject of his legacy, which no one I know likes. Maybe it’s because I don’t hang out with the DailyKos crowd anymore. Eight years of Bush followed by eight years of a weak and compromised Obama who blew two years of a Democratic majority in the House and Senate has left almost everyone I know more economically insecure and twitchy. It’s even more insecure if you’re younger and you’re saddled with student debt the size of a mortgage and see very shaky job prospects for decades to come.

So, why in Hell would Hillary Clinton hitch her wagon to Obama’s star? It is a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

This is the year when many Americans are finally figuring out that they have been eating grass. Even the seniors who have never met an abortion opponent they didn’t like are finally realizing something’s not right.

The Obama campaign apparatus oversold their strategy and prior success. It was illusory anyway. Charlotte’s Web is so over. And Hillary should have known that and done a whole lot more listening before she rolled out a campaign that was targeted to aspirational small business entrepreneurs and suburban working moms.

She is missing the big picture and bigger opportunity: It’s the income instability, stupid.

Focus on that.

Oh, and David Axelrod looks like a rat. Someone needs to stuff a sock in his mouth. I swear, the old Obama campaign people are out to get her. They need to go. Bring back Peter Daou.

Update: I’m finding it amusing that the NYTimes editorial page seems to be in full blown panic over the prospect of a Trump presidency and is now trying to get Hillary to keep her chin up. It’s all fun and games with the relentless “scandals” until a dangerous narcissist starts winning the primaries, eh Gail?

 

 

Meta: Reflections on Race and Gender

If you haven’t read this post by Digby at Hullabaloo on the media gearing up to use the 2008 election campaign tactics as a way to crush women politicians in 2016, go read it now. I’ll wait.

In this one post, Digby comes so close to seeing the political landscape the way we did back in 2008. What she writes makes perfect sense but at the last moment, the thought-stopping conditioning springs into action and she calls anyone who draws the obvious conclusions racists.

I don’t have time to clear this up for her but I will say that we called the phenomenon that she is describing as “Penis Years” back in 2008. That is, no woman, no matter how much experience she has, regardless of her accomplishments, is as qualified as a man who simply wants the job. The presence of a penis adds eight to ten years of authority to his CV over any female that gets uppity enough to get in his way. This is hardly relegated to politics. It’s rampant in the private sector as well.

As for the racism aspect of all this, that’s in the mind of the beholder and that was the whole point of the 2008 campaign exercises. There are some Democrats who saw two potential interest group constituencies and through clever messaging, made sure that sexism was combined with the desire to finish the Civil Rights movement. It’s called marketing.

I think we can all agree after six long, painful years that Obama was not ready to be president, that his candidacy was rushed by some self-interested financial industry donors and that he has been the most conservative Democratic president of our lifetimes. He got the nomination using Penis Years reasoning and his campaign was ruthless in describing anyone who opposed him as a racist. The fact that some political scientists are making a bungling mess of pointing out this reality doesn’t make it less true. The legacy of the 2008 “Bros vs Hos” campaign is going to haunt the first woman nominee no matter who she is. We will be lead to wonder whether another inexperienced, less than competent in a time of economic crisis president is going to be shoved down our throats to satisfy some politically correct teachable moment.

You can pretend this is not true but when both Amanda Marcotte and Digby start writing posts about Penis Years in the lead up to 2016, they are actually acknowledging this fact.

I guess they are racists now.

Scary things 2014

The Republicans have a stranglehold on the House, might take over the Senate and the only thing standing between them and our social security benefits is Barack Obama.

Cue the panicked screaming.

What’s even scarier is there are Fox News watchers who are so soaked in lies and delusion that they will have absolutely no idea what hit them until it’s too late.  A lot of very bad things could happen in two years.  On the other hand, maybe the Republicans have to have free reign so people can see what they’re really all about.  Telling people not to watch Fox doesn’t seem to be working.  It just might take some very, very tough love and a heavy dose of betrayal before they get it.  Of course, this might be the last time many people have an easy time voting.  Once they’re in power, it will be more difficult to dislodge them.  All bets are off for voting in 2016, especially for women.  Because if I were the Republican party, I’d busily get behind initiatives to make it much harder for women and poor people to vote.  I mean, harder than it is now.  Much harder.

The rest of us should assume the brace position.  

Bill Black on Bill Moyers: The problem starts at the top

See this latest episode of Bill Moyers Journal.  The guest is Bill Black, frequent contributor to Naked Capitalism (they’re having a fundraiser, you know.  Our friend Lambert Strether cross blogs there. I’m dirt poor but if you have the Do-Re-Mi, send some to them).

Bill and Bill talk about Eric Holder’s resignation and, specifically, why it was that Holder did not prosecute any bankers.  That’s right, not one.

Black gets right to the point about who is to blame:

BILL MOYERS: No, the, what you’re saying is that more than one administration cooperated in maintaining a system that is based upon deference to the banks and disrespect for the public.

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Right, and, but it’s also a component in the case of Obama of we’re humans and we are, everything we learn in research about humans is we’re reciprocal. And so the finance area is the reason he’s president of the United States. When he was in his hour of greatest need, when he had, was written off as a candidate against Hillary in the nomination battle the first time around, he had this miraculous survival. And that took money.

That took lots and lots of money. And who gave that money? It came overwhelmingly from finance at the critical moment when he needed it most. All of us as human beings, the people that helped us in, a friend in need is a friend indeed is the saying that we have as human beings.

THIS is what I have been saying all along.  The finance industry *knew* in advance that the crash was coming and they wanted an enabler in office, not someone who might send them to rehab.  But I’m a racist and Bill Black is not.

{{Sigh}}

 

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