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      A little over 1 week in, and we’ve raised approximately $2,400. The first tier is at $5.000: A longer article on the collapse of the USSR, putting everything I’m aware of together. In particular I want to discuss the steps Gorbachev took which seem like either gross stupidity or intentional destruction. The fall of the Soviet Union was studied in great detai […]
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The Acela Primary: Morning After

Short takes from the morning after:

1.) We won 4/5 primaries last night. I’m really excited now. Wait, I’m a Hillary supporter. Am I even *allowed* to be excited?? How can it be that a non-young, uncool, “uneducated” person can be enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton? Doesn’t that violate the laws of nature or something? The “journalists” will get all confused. They’ll have to start complaining and write grudging news stories about something else they don’t like about her.

Anyway, I have 6 months to train and do the stair climber for canvassing in October and November in Pittsburgh. She wore me out this past weekend.

2.) People I don’t want to see on the TV anymore: David Axelrod. I really loathe this guy. I hate the way he mansplains to Hillary, as if she needs any advice from him, and he looks like a rat.

S. E. Cupp. Enough said.

3.) Just a plea to everyone here to let the Bernie supporters alone. Srsly. We know that some have been assholes but no one I met canvassing was anything less than nice and earnest. There are still primaries to go. Everyone should vote for who they want. I think Hillary understands what her own supporters went through in 2008 and doesn’t want Bernie’s people to be treated like that. So, let’s exercise some self-discipline and not pile on. There’s nothing weird about the primaries this year, the votes are not being manipulated, no one is cheating. It’s a clean primary.

4.) Some Bernie bloggers should knock it off with the “olds” vs “youngs” narrative. No one I met this week who supported Bernie was younger than 30. Also, the middles, such as myself, got royally screwed by this recession, and lack of vigorous response, too. Our needs are no less critical. What’s really insane is that even the activist left is forcing different factions to fight against each other for the shrinking piece of pie that the hoarders of great wealth have left us. This is stupid. We should be working with each other, not figuring out which one of us has to be tossed from the lifeboat.

Just stop.

5.) Hillary the Hawk is another stupid mantra. That would imply that you are either a Hawk or a Dove. If you are a dove, you are goodness and light and peace personified. If you are a hawk, you are a warmongering, torturing tool of the military industrial complex. No, no, don’t deny what it is you are really saying.

Here’s a fact that you can’t deny: The continents are not moving any time soon. Humans have been fighting over the same places on earth since we took to the sea in ships. Look at all of the potential flash points on the map. They’re the same ones we fought over in World War II. That’s why China is building up islands in the South China Sea. It’s why the middle east is such a sensitive area around the Suez canal and Libya. It’s why we have NATO, fergawdssakes. Hitler realized that if he controlled the North Atlantic, he could bring Europe to its knees. And he almost succeeded.

Hillary didn’t single handedly start the war in Iraq. She didn’t precipitously pull troops out, destabilizing Iraq to give ISIS a fighting chance. But she’s not the kind of person who’s going to sit back and do nothing either. She’s no Dick Cheney and she’s not the Dalai Lama.

The left used to be better at shades of gray. Now, it’s just looking like it has its own Walking Dead faction.

Running out of time. Gotta jump in the shower. Well, not literally jump…

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.

 

The Bernie Operatives protest too much, Methinks

Suddenly, there’s a bunch of posts and articles all over the intertoobz about why it isn’t right for Hillary people to tell Bernie people that it’s time to get out.

It feels a lot like, what’s that defense mechanism called again? You know, the one where you accuse someone of doing the very thing you would have done? Oh, yeah. Projection.

Then there’s this crap from David Axelrod via Greg Sargent:

“He’s pushed her on a lot of issues in a positive way, and I think that his young supporters will be bitterly resentful if anyone tries to shove him out of the race.”

Yes, they probably would be resentful. But it’s not like 2008 when the party will deliberately withhold delegates from his win column from two large states, gift uncommitted delegates to his opponent, re-engineer the rules so that he gets those delegates back but only at half strength until the Sunday before the convention so it looks like he’s always behind, and then doesn’t get a full first ballot roll call vote at the convention so that nobody knows how close the earned delegate count actually is so that it won’t provoke a justified floor fight.

If all that happened to Bernie, his young supporters would have a very good reason to be bitterly resentful.

Funny how David Axelrod was totally onboard with all of that when it happened to Hillary in 2008. He wasn’t overtly worried about her supporters being bitterly resentful. It probably had something to do with her being a woman and assuming she was ok with being shoved aside and not complaining about it. I’m not sure he gave a damn about her supporters’ feelings in the least tiny bit. That’s why some of them left to join the Tea Party. That went well. So, you know, David can piss off for all I care.

But I can’t see Hillary’s people treating other candidates’ voters like s^&*. It’s not what decent people do. It does not result in party unity. And if Hillary approved of that kind of thing that David Axelrod encouraged in 2008, I would very much question her motives. Is she so determined to win that she’ll risk destroying any sense of fairness? Would she be willing to completely discount the votes and sentiments and will of millions of voters (like her voters in 2008, made up over half of all the Democratic voters in all of the primary states including CA, MA, NY, NJ, PA, TX, FL, MI, etc, etc)? Because if she would do that, then what else might she ignore during her presidency? Long term unemployed people? Desperate homeowners? Working people in general?

I only ask.

Fortunately, there’s no reason for any of us to have to contemplate scenarios where Hillary and her people would scream at Bernie’s people to “GET OUT, YOU STUPID <fill in the stereotypical offensive epithet here>, YOU’RE RUINING EVERYTHING!!!”. (We have pictures, Greg)

The primaries are going well. Everything looks on the up and up and Bernie will have his say at the convention and a honest to goodness first ballot roll call vote.

In the meantime, it is very important that Bernie doesn’t sink to the level of a Republican and damage Clinton and the party just so he can stay in the good graces of his supporters who may or may not be some of the same obnoxious Obots who had to have their way in 2008, got it, and got burned because they weren’t paying any damn attention to the fact that their candidate’s favorite presidents were all Republicans.

They are allowed to be disappointed. I have been disappointed many times in Democratic primaries. I always got over it and voted for the nominee. But I drew the line in 2008 because of all of the nasty crap that happened with the full consent of the party, Obama, the media and DAVID AXELROD.

WE were cheated, bullied and disrespected. Bernie’s voters are simply losing. BIG difference.

This part was particularly offensive:

It’s not yet clear whether the Clinton camp thinks it will have to make any meaningful concessions to Sanders in order to unite the party and bring in his supporters. But during her victory speech yesterday, Clinton struck the right preliminary tone for navigating what’s ahead. She stopped short of declaring the nomination locked up, while suggesting that “more voices” across the country still deserve to “be heard,” and thus that the contest should continue for the foreseeable future. Her surrogates may be tempted to heap disdain on Sanders and his supporters for wanting him to keep going, particularly if her pledged delegate lead expands. The Clinton campaign should discourage that.

We don’t need a lecture from Greg Sargent. We had enough of that crap in 2008, along with the Convention media narrative, “Why is Hillary not releasing her delegates? Doesn’t she know she’s harshing Obama’s melloooooow??” (I was in Denver, Greg. I talked to “journalists”. They all parroted the same damn thing)

No one has to tell Clinton or her far more sensitive supporters how to behave towards our friends who are still feeling the Bern, especially not some tut-tutting male blogger at the Washington Post.

I have full faith in Hillary Clinton to do the right thing for the party, to which she has been far more loyal than it has been to her, and for all of the voters, both hers and Bernie’s.

When she wants your input, I’m sure she’ll ask for it.

Update: Why are Clinton people so cranky? Why don’t you put up with 20+ years of lies and innuendo from the nutcase right and then find that the guy you thought wasn’t going to hurt you is using the same personal attacks that could have been written by some back office flunky at Fox News.

And add to that the media is determined to never say anything nice about you. Even the surrogates of the most determined, successful, accomplished, over qualified candidate in the last 20 years would start to get a bit peevish.

Especially after having gone through it once before in 2008. It’s generally true that women have to work much harder to get to the same position as a man. But this is like asking her to run this gauntlet twice without any help whatsoever. It makes what Obama had to go through look like a cake walk.

The better question is, why is Bernie doing it? What can he possibly hope to gain by it?

 

 

Notes from a Primary Night

Was that fun or what? I was phone banking last night at Hillary HQ in Pittsburgh. There was pot luck. Someone brought Greek pastries. I might have had more than my share. Some highlights:

1.) Tom Vilsack, former Governor of Iowa showed up around 7pm and gave a pretty decent pep talk. Took questions. I could swear Hillary addressed at least one of them in her victory speech last night. It sounded very specific. Note to phone bankers- take a look at your candidate’s web site on issues to make sure you can address questions from the people you contact.

2.) My phone bank contacts were very positive for Hillary. There were only a few defectors to Bernie. Really looking forward to the primary next Tuesday. I hope she comes to Pittsburgh for her victory speech.

3.) I still love Bernie and have figured out that he attracts two groups of people. The first group is passionate about universal health care, the end to wars in the middle east, economic stability and income inequality. Katiebird is one of these people and I know that she is a very issues motivated person. The second group is passionate about themselves. They don’t see Hillary as a legitimate candidate and her voters are disposable. Many of these people are the same ones who voted for Obama back in 2008 and were not paying attention. Samantha Bee has a conversation with them on this week’s Full Frontal:

 

Ah, yes, we’re just feeble old geezers who can barely get the energy up to shake our Geritol bottles during Hillary’s speech. If only we had enthusiasm, pep and vigor.

{{rolling eyes}}

Look, I really like Bernie. But as Peter Daou pointed out last night on Twitter, his campaign has evolved from being about something to being about someone. And the idea that the pledged delegate count can be subverted by buying the superdelegates is not only undemoctatic, it’s just so 2008. I even heard CNN commentators admit last night that it’s essentially what Obama did back in 2008.Maybe we’re finally seeing the impermeable shell of media protection around Obama start to crack. Maybe pigs will fly out of my ass. Who knows.

Anyway, this is all to say that it’s beneath you, Bernie. The primary is tougher with you in it and Hillary runs better when she’s challenged. But this primary is clean, unlike 8 years ago. Let’s keep it that way and respect the will of the voters AND the candidates who earned those delegates. Introducing animosity at this stage when there’s no reason to feels like something a Republican would want us to do.

And who’s to say they’re not secretly goading us on.

4.) Speaking of Republicans, congrats to Donald Trump. This fall is going to be tremendous. YUGE!

{{Bwahahahahahahhahhhhhhhh!}}

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.

Butt Clenching Truths

diversity-training-550x365Hmm, it’s hard to find the first paragraph this morning.

There are two curious instances of rare truth in the media in the last 24 hours. These will give you an uncomfortable feeling in your sphincter because instances where journalists observe and accurately analyze happen so infrequently that the events that are being reported must be significant.

The first recommendation is from Slate’s Political Gabfest. This episode is called the “Rough Them Up”. The panelists are John Dickerson, Ruth Marcus, Dahlia Lithwick and David Plotz. I’m beginning to really like John Dickerson. He seems to do his homework and he’s got a slightly irritable and impatient edge. This guy is barely masking his contempt for Third Wayer David Plotz. It’s fun to listen to.

In this edition, John Dickerson precisely lays out Trump’s path and math to the nomination. The panelists also discuss what I brought up a couple of days ago: The parties are private. They make the rules and they can break the rules to suit them. What is going to be important is the media narrative when the rules favor one candidate over another. We saw this happen in 2008 when the media immediately jumped on the “Why is Hillary harshing Obama’s mellow?” at the convention in Denver. Yeah, what made her think she was entitled to a legitimate roll call vote where delegates who were pledged to her on the first ballot thought they were allowed to, you know, vote for her? It seems like the Slate panelists either want to forget that 2008 happened or they aren’t aware of how close the delegate count really was in 2008.

But they are right about the parties’ prerogatives to change the rules at will, voters be damned. If you got burned in 2008 for supporting Hillary, go listen and you will start to sympathize with the Trump voter. I mean, it will pass because you are not a crazy person. But you will understand the frustration of millions of people who have finally had enough of establishment political groups forcing their preferred candidates on the rest of us after pretending that the primaries actually count or something.

They also talk about Trump rallies, the deeply unsettling and scary takeaway messages from Trump and his supporters, and the rhetoric of pathology that has permeated Trump’s campaign. This is a serious problem and we should take the candidate and his supporters at their words. They are not kidding. Then they discuss the safe, boring choice of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court. Dahlia Lithwick nails what it means and what Garland’s nomination says about Barack Obama. In short, Obama is about as boring, pedestrian and middle of the road as a guy can get. It is not in his nature to shake up anything.

Thank you, Dahlia. I’ve been waiting 8 long years for someone to finally say it.

The second piece is about what Obama told donors the other day about how it’s time for Bernie to drop out and everyone to get behind Hillary. The title of the piece is Obama quietly signals time to unite behind Clinton.

Let’s just examine the title here for a moment. First, what he’s doing is sneaky. He does this “quietly”, “privately”. Secondly, it’s with his donors. He’s got them, they’re his. There is a reciprocal agreement. Thirdly, he doesn’t care that the primaries are still in full swing. He’s more interested in shaping the outcome without all those pesky voters.

This is and has been his method for years.

If this report is accurate, it just confirms that Obama is the frenemy Hillary can do without. This is the upper middle class corporate ladder climbing president who could be living in some swank northern Jersey suburb, playing golf with other men of the same socio-economic group, telling them that, sure, Hillary doesn’t *seem* authentic and she’s not exciting, but she’s really talented, we should all get behind her now and it’s time to show Bernie, and all the people that Bernie attracts, the door. It’s like getting a glimpse of what that midlevel manager colleague of yours is really saying about you to the bosses behind closed doors.

See reference to what Dahlia Lithwick said about Obama’s personality above.

I’ll say it again after eight years of saying it: I’ve never been impressed or wowed! by Obama. He’s had a pretty good PR team but I found his campaign speeches to be endless run-on collections of prepositional phrases without a point. Maybe some people are impressed by that. It did nothing for me. His record was, what, spotty? Non-existent? He came out of almost nowhere. His favorite politicians were, um, Republicans. He wrote some self-indulgent biographies. Annnnnd that’s about it.  Lawyers, even ones from Harvard, are a dime a dozen these days. Yahhhhwwwn. It’s difficult to find a more establishment politician than Barack Obama.

I am not surprised that there are a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters who feel burned by his two terms in office. They really believed the hype about hope and change, even though the guy they picked doesn’t have a single cell of change in his body. This is the guy who is talking about Hillary’s authenticity. I hope the former Obama supporters who are feeling the Bern this year have learned something but they probably haven’t. I keep thinking I can’t get more disgusted by Obama but he always manages to do it one more time.

In any case, this politically tone deaf president (whoops! totally forgot the latest episode of Serial, season 2, called Thorny Politics, where Obama screwed up the return of Bowe Bergdahl. Yeah, go listen to that.), has succeeded in pissing off just about everyone by going to this single donor event. Nevermind that these vulture capitalists have to be stroked so they see the value in supporting the best presidential candidate the country has had for 26 years. No, he’s got to be an arrogant douchebag and insult her and Bernie Sanders’ voters at the same time.

So, Sanders people out there, I really do feel your pain. I might be a Clintonista but I am not going to invalidate your vision or tell you to give up having your vote counted. That’s the Obama way, he and his buddies have been doing it for 8 years now, or maybe even longer, if the stuff I’ve read about his Chicago years are accurate. He’s all about eliminating opponents by forcing them to drop out and depriving their voters of an opportunity to vote. The quicker we can get Hillary to stop having to fluff Obama and his friends for money, the better off we are all going to be. In a way, it’s all going to come down to you.

Your choice. And you DO have a choice.

 

 

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.

Toldja.

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!

Post Michigan: Cassandra Speaks

12cfc2b1c122190e08dcb1336097240dI’m going to step out of my “let’s all be friends” mode for a minute to talk about what happened in Michigan last night.

Clinton won that debate in Michigan. She reached out to the African American community. She fluffed Obama til it hurt. She still lost. Now, I would still vote for Bernie in a heartbeat over whoever the Republican challenger turns out to be and I’m not even going to say that this would turn out to be a McGovernesque mistake. But something else is going on this election year that Hillary’s campaign staff is not catching on to.

Also note that if anything, the winner in Michigan has a much more awkward and less nuanced attitude towards race and gender. It’s not that he’s a racist. It’s that he looks very uncomfortable talking about it. And we can’t rule out the relentless attacks on Hillary’s character from almost everyone. Someday, we might have to address the scapegoat mechanism and why Americans are so determined to resolve a conflict by making the woman take the fall. But that’s for another post.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this comment from tdraicer from about a week ago. He summed up this election season and Hillary’s plight pretty well. Unlike the Republican party, the Democratic party has mechanisms to shape the outcome, as we saw in 2008. I’m not advocating cheating and rewriting the rules like it did for Obama. But Democrats have proportional delegation instead of “winner take all” and the superdelegates can throw their weight to their preferred candidate.

The Democratic nominee might not have a chance in November if the feeling of impotence among the electorate forces it to vote for drastic and dangerous change in order to make a point: They will not be ignored.

Here’s tdraicer’s comment (hope he doesn’t mind):

I confess to both enjoying and being appalled by the ironies of this campaign season.

In 2008, despite winning a majority of primary voters, Hillary was kept from the nomination by an alliance of mostly young white Democratic activists and black voters who chose symbolism over substance (an alliance backed by Wall Street money who knew exactly which Democrat was friendliest to their interests). At the same time I warned that an anti-liberal Democrat like Obama in the WH would push the GOP even more to the extreme right.

Now, 8 years later, after Obama disappointed those who saw him wrongly as a liberal, Hillary is again opposed by mostly young white Democratic activists, forcing her to embrace Obama and rely on the exact black symbolic attachment to Obama that cost her their votes 8 years ago. And minus those voters, (and to be fair, the Wall Street money), Bernie demonstrates the limits of the Obama coalition of 2008.

Meanwhile, having failed to elect two Right-wing candidates to the WH in 2008 and 2012, the GOP has finally gone off the cliff, apparently intent on nominating someone so far to the right it scares even many Republicans (which won’t stop them backing him in the end).

Which doesn’t, alas, mean Trump is doomed to lose. Apart from black voters, Obama isn’t that popular, and Hillary’s being forced into his arms could cost her, especially if the economy collapses between now and November. If there is a Revolutionary mood in the country, it lies among Trump supporters, not Bernie’s.

In 2000 when W. “won” I said, Better hope nothing like a major terrorist attack happens in the next four years. In 2004, after listening to Obama’s speech at the Democratic Convention, I said, Better hope he never becomes President. In 2008 and 2012 I warned there was much worse than McCain or Romney waiting in the wings. In sum, I’m gaining a lot of sympathy for Cassandra: seeing the future and having no influence over it is not as much fun as one might wish.

Megadittos

Katiebird calls in from Kansas

I just got a call from Katiebird. She lives in a suburb of Kansas City, Kansas. Here’s her rundown:

There were about 1430 people at her caucus site. The large auditorium/gym room in the pictures she sent me showed a standing room only crowd. There were additional people in the hallways.

When they asked people to separate by candidate, they had the Bernie contingent filter out onto a field. The line seemed to go on forever. She said that they were asked to line up in lines of 10 and then they counted. By the time they got to her, there were 300 for Bernie but the counting went on a lot longer after her. They counted the votes three times.

Bernie won her senate district. The exact count was something like 900+ for Bernie, 400+ for Hillary.

She said the Bernie campaign staff were very well organized and efficient. They were prepared for a large turnout. It was a really pleasant experience in contrast to the caucus she went to in 2008 on a Tuesday night in a blizzard when busloads of rowdy Obama supporters, some of whom she was pretty sure were bussed in from another state, crowded the small space they had reserved for the caucus. In that year, Hillary was crushed in her district caucus. She thinks having it on a nice Saturday afternoon when there could be a good turnout and everyone was relaxed made a lot of the difference.

Her sister lives about 30 miles away and they think that Bernie is taking the larger population areas but don’t know if farmers are also receptive to the Bern.

She also said Governor Brownback seems to be facing a serious Democratic challenger. That could be fun to watch this year.

Katiebird is on her way home now ready to unscrew a new fine boxed merlot.

Cocktail hour is here.

A Tale of Two Ads: Bernie and Hillary

 

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Today, Katiebird caucuses in Kansas for Bernie Sanders. I talked to her last night and I’m so excited for her. And she seems really happy and enthusiastic about her choice. I know what is driving Katiebird. Her priority is healthcare reform. But I think she also wants to be part of something bigger and she feels the Bern. I can’t wait to hear what her caucus was like and who won.

I’m comfortable with my choice as well. I’m going with my head, not my heart so I identify with Al Franken’s point of view. But I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that I wish Hillary was running a campaign like Bernie’s. I think she will get there eventually. Rebecca Traister in a recent interview at Fresh Air made the same observation. Hillary can stir the emotions and project her vision.

Anyway, I’d just like Bernie fans to know that they are more than welcome here. We have so much more in common than we have differences and I can’t imagine us not being friends. Every time Bernie wins a state, I feel good. It’s a very good sign that Americans are waking up.

And I’m not counting Bernie out. It’s still too early, you never know what’s going to happen and I think he makes the party stronger in a year that feels ripe for real change.

So, Go, Katie! Go Katie!