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Pinpointing where it went wrong: Donna Brazile vs Paul Begala, May 6, 2008

On the evening of May 6, 2008 on CNN, Donna Brazile took a knife to the Democratic party and deftly excised the parts that were no longer needed:

You can read the whole exchange here. Here’s the money quote from Donna:

BRAZILE: Well, Lou, I have worked on a lot of Democratic campaigns, and I respect Paul. But, Paul, you’re looking at the old coalition. A new Democratic coalition is younger. It is more urban, as well as suburban, and we don’t have to just rely on white blue-collar voters and Hispanics. We need to look at the Democratic Party, expand the party, expand the base and not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Paul Begala had a “Are you MAD, woman??” response but the Obama contingent was so giddily orgasmic, no one was paying attention.

Then the crash happened and the Great Recession when a lot of the old coalition lost their jobs. The ACA was not the panacea we were told it was. The policies are very expensive still, not everyone gets a subsidy, the deductibles are too high and the networks too stingy.

But the new coalition told us to suck it up because the pre-existing conditions were covered. And who could argue with that? It was a neat guilt trip that was played on us.

In the subsequent years, there have been a lot of things that have happened to the working class and the people who are in the middle class but just one devastating layoff from sliding out of their socio-economic group. Oh sure, there are jobs now. But there are also a lot of contingent workers, part time workers, full time contractors without benefits. Ooo! But now you can buy one of those expensive new ACA policies on the exchanges.

There are now two classes of employees out there, the ones that are covered by an employee health plan and the suckers who aren’t. When you are in the second class, you really feel the difference and it can cause resentment and anger. I have *been* there, people. I have had snooty, lucky liberals look down on me and tell me that if I don’t maintain an expensive health insurance policy on my low contractor worker’s salary, then I was being irresponsible, the equivalent of a dead beat. This after years of paying the equivalent in taxes to what I was then making in salary for one year. Yes, the fortunate were telling me I was irresponsible after all the money I paid year after year before Pharmageddon and we all lost our jobs. It’s hard to forget that. I was =><= close to feeling the Bern.

Let’s not even start on who retires with a full pension today and who doesn’t and who is forced to put their retirement savings on the global craps table controlled by the finance industry when not even one banker went to jail. Dodd Frank means nothing if there’s no punishment in sight and the malefactors of great wealth get off with a tidy payment of weregild.

Meanwhile, the old coalition shambles by on $10/hour jobs with Medicaid for their kids.

And for the last eight years, they’ve been told that if they complain about their shitty lot in life, they’re racists. I don’t know how many times I have read Paul Krugman or Digby or some former Obama campaign troll tell me this. I think the last straw was when Digby accused the Republicans of being racists for not approving Merrick Garland’s appointment to the USSC. The reason they weren’t going to approve Garland is because they are Republicans and they didn’t want to tip the balance of the court in a progressive direction. It had nothing to do with racism or at least not directly. Witness the approval of Elena Kagan and Sonya Sotomayor. They didn’t have a problem with those two new justices for Obama. And Garland is a white guy. He’s Jewish but so are Kagan and Ginsburg. So, it wasn’t a race issue or a religious issue. It was purely a power issue.

And yet, Digby told us over and over and over again that it was racist for the Republicans to not approve him. It was the last straw that made the out of touch voices on the left lose all credibility.

I think the Democrats took us for suckers for many many years. I am a Democrat and I worked almost every weekend since July to get my party’s representatives elected. I truly believe that Clinton was the best presidential candidate that we have ever had. I have no regrets working to get her elected. She made me proud to be a Democrat.

But I will not miss the Obama years and the tone deaf assholes who wrote off the “old coalition” and dismissed the anxiety of the Bernie Sanders middle class voters I met. Clinton did her best to reach out to them and wisely adopted much of the Sanders’ platform. That is to her credit and many Sanders volunteers recognized that.

But she could not overcome the insults to the intelligence and the invalidation of the feelings of so many working class people of all races and ethnicities. When Obama wrote off Appalachia and the rust belt and Donna praised the new coalition and put the old coalition on an ice floe, it was only a matter of time before the old coalition’s future looked dire enough to strike back.

They were wrong, of course. They didn’t drain the swamp. They just got more swamp monsters and these are going to eat them. But if I learned anything from Hillary and Bill it’s that you can’t afford to alienate anyone in politics.

It’s a lesson the Obama contingent is only now starting to understand.

More on The Rage, misogyny and the media’s shameful part in this catastrophe from Todd Gitlin at Moyers.

GOTV Dry Run Weekend 1

cvylzyiueaezkwtHi guys,

I’m hosting the GOTV in my neighborhood. We are doing the dry run this weekend and next. If you have some time, you too can volunteer. We are looking for canvassers, van canvassers, phone bankers. Pick your degree of sedentariness. But if you are like me, you can work off the pounds by walking some neighborhoods. Here in Pittsburgh, we’ll give you some turf with some grades. What am I saying? Almost every turf has a grade.

Breaking News: Donald is feeling vengeful.  He just said this in Gettysburg:

“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over”

You know what I call this?

Trump’s ground game.

He says something outrageous, the media covers it over and over again, his crowd gets all “fired up and ready to go”.

Do you want this man as your president? Well do you?

Damn straight you don’t.

Find a GOTV site, volunteer to canvass or phone bank, and let’s elect the person with the most practical experience, the most poise under pressure, the one with actual plans.

Let’s elect Hillary in a landslide.

Addendum: Canvassing really is useful. Two canvassers just returned to say that the people they were talking to in their turf did not know that their polling place had changed.

If you aren’t sure where your polling place is, you can check IWillVote.com.

 

 

Sniff!

I know, I know, that’s not nice.

But it sure is funny.

We can’t wait for Saturday Night Live.

Poor Ivanka looked so embarrassed.

 

The Mother of All Debates

id-debate-2016Hi guys, I’ve got volunteers at my house phone banking! Did speed cleaning when I got home. Ikea bags are the best thing for cleaning- EVER.

Hope you have friends with you watching the debate. Well, we’re friends here, right? Tonight, I made a pot of chili, crock pot mac and cheese, a salad with red bell peppers, cucumbers, sliced avocado and tomatoes. We have green iced tea, diet iced tea, four flavors of seltzer, soda, a bottle of white wine and some ginever. Plus hummus, chips, crackers cheese. It looks like I’ll have leftovers for a week. And cookies!

I’m not going to give any pre-debate commentary. There’s been  plenty of stoopid commentary all day long. Most of it has to do with strategy, debate tactics, what Hillary has to do, (not sound like a school marm. Can we say offensive, boys and girls?). What Donald has to do (try to pay attention for 90 minutes.). Yadayadayada.

But if Hillary is out there, I would like to say that no matter what happens tonight, we know you are a winner and smart and experienced and honest and determined and unflagging. And we hope that the rest of the country who has never seen you debate before is as impressed with you as we are. No matter what happens tonight, we volunteers in PA have your back and are with you all the way to the end.

I won’t say Good Luck because luck favors a prepared mind and we know you are ready. So, have a good time.

Love Trumps Hate.

 

Playing with my gadget; Watching Donald squirm; Adam Davidson

Some quick notes:

1.) The other day, I was looking for something in my secretary and found an old iPhone. I don’t even know how old it is. It’s probably been in that drawer since before I moved out of NJ to PA three years ago. There’s also an iPhone 5 in the bottom of my bag that I take to work with me. I haven’t used this since March but for some reason can’t bring myself to get rid of an expensive piece of equipment even though it’s unusable. (It’s broken).

The point is, we all have gadgets we haven’t used in awhile. We shouldn’t be surprised that Hillary went through a bunch of Blackberries. In fact, Blackberry always had a kludgy OS.  My daughter had one for awhile. I never liked it. Too many screens, too many layers of stuff to go through to get to what you want. But I’m sure you can make it work for you if you have a few hours to play with your gadget. If you’re Secretary of State, you probably don’t have that luxury. Instead, you might go through a few phones until you find the one that works for you and when they upgrade the OS, you have to relearn everything. In that case, 13 might make sense.

Some of them are probably in the bottom of Huda’s bag.

2.) OooooOOOoooo! Donald is now being asked about his birther history. He doesn’t want to talk about it. His surrogates are being asked about the pay-for-play deal he had with the AG of Florida Pam Bondi. But they don’t want to talk about it. One of his surrogates was pinned down on MSNBC and forced to talk about Donald’s taxes. They always start off talking to the host like they are sharing insider jokes about Hillary. I guess the media was all too willing to play along with that for most of the last two years. But some media types were shamed in the last week to be more critical of Donald. After all, there’s only so much traction you can get out of an email “scandal”.

Michelle Goldberg gave an interview to TrumpCast yesterday where she finally acknowledges that Hillary’s indiscretions pale in comparison to the avalanche of bad juju in Trump’s biography. It probably won’t last but I’ll take it. Maybe Schlafly dying and Roger Ailes being exposed and Fox News imploding has something to do with it. We shall see.

3.) I’m really beginning to despise Adam Davidson. Not only did he intentionally and aggressively go after Elizabeth Warren in 2008 with one of the most ridiculous arguments in favor of the banks after the financial disaster, he seems to be behind the curve on jumping on the “we all hate Hillary, let’s not invite her to sit at our lunch table” bandwagon. His “insider” story about the Clinton Global Initiative completely misses the point of having a president demanding large sums of money from rich people in order to get their pictures taken with him. Only Bill Clinton could sweet talk someone like Exxon to fork over money for a climate change initiative. (I have no idea if this is an actual case but you get the point).

Adam kind of reminds me of one of those ratings agency employees  in The Big Short who gave glowing reviews to the banks on their securities and funds because they were hoping to move up to Goldman Sachs or Merrill Lynch someday.  Adam has the aroma of public radio all over him.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But it doesn’t exactly scream success in the Uber-capitalism American ideal sense of the word where you have to be an entrepreneur making bucket loads of cash on what is essentially ad based software or capturing the last full time gig with bennies at the New York Times.

Anyway, Adam’s not as bright as he thinks and his timing is off.

Labor Day and Look-ahead

Happy Labor Day to everyone taking the day off. This year, it’s a paid holiday for me. Last year, it wasn’t. I paid for this day off out of my own pocket. That’s the price you sometimes pay as a contractor. There are a lot more contractors since 2008. The number one problem with this economy as I see it is income instability. That’s when you can’t count on your hours, that the site will stay open, that your start-up might close, that your second job is shopping yourself for the next gig. That’s what’s undermining the middle class. You can’t buy a house, buy a car, have a family, save, take a vacation or keep our consumer based economy going strong when you’re always looking over your shoulder for the guy who is going to lay you off.

Some billionaire entrepreneurs will tell you that fluid labor laws are essential to innovation and making piles of cash. This is not true. Piles of cash were still attainable when we were all gainfully employed in steady jobs.Maybe the piles weren’t quite so high but how many yachts do you need?

In any case, people need breaks or they burn themselves out. So, today, remember the union guys who picketed and stood their ground and gave us the weekend and Labor Day.

Joe Biden and Tim Kaine are in Pittsburgh for a speech and parade. I got up too late to attend but will try to follow up on this later today.

“Let’s fight the right wing, all workers unite”

Best way to fight: VOTE. Pennsylvania residents have until October 11 to register. Do it now.

 

*******************************************************************

Looking ahead:

1.) Today the press starts flying in the same plane as Hillary instead of trailing behind her jet. That should be fun. Her crew has probably thoughtfully replaced the flotation devices in their seat cushions with anchors and the oxygen with nitrous oxide. “Oh, yeah? Who’s laughing now, Andrea??” Maybe Bill will plan the in-flight meals. All vegan. But not the tasty vegan. More of the macrobiotic vegan from 30 years ago with nutritional yeast and bean sprouts. Yum.

2.) The New York Times seems to be going out of its way to Gore Hillary. I’m not linking to any of the articles because why give them clicks? But I will say that after registering voters in predominantly black neighborhoods for the past 6 weeks, I see no lack of enthusiasm for Hillary. The comments on the article were turned off so volunteers can’t give their point of view. Well, we don’t really count anyway, right?

3.) Speaking of getting Gored, the media went on the attack against Gore in 2000. It probably cost him the presidency. Sure, Naderites helped but it shouldn’t have been so close going into the final stretch. Same with Kerry. He was Swift-boated mercilessly and that really contributed to the closeness of the race. Now, it’s Hillary. It’s ALWAYS been Hillary.

I’m trying to find a good explanation why the media seems to be doubling down on her when the alternative is indisputably worse in every possible way. Simplest explanations tend to be the most accurate so I’m going to say that a very large part of it can be attributed to the fact that she is a woman. I say this because the drumbeat of negative coverage of her has been relentless since she went to Washington and from the very beginning defined herself as an atypical first lady. She was clearly feminist, intelligent and not about to let herself get relegated to teas and decorating. There was a cadre of women a little older than her who just missed the cultural revolution, the pill and feminism. And there were plenty of men who weren’t used to talking to a woman as an equal in the halls of power. They weren’t going to let her skirt their rigid rules of gender behavior and get away with it.

But you know, this has gone on for way too long now. Hillary has become a formidable politician in her own right, separate from her husband. It hasn’t stopped the attacks or the coverage of her using the Clinton Rules:

1) Everything, no matter how ludicrous-sounding, is worthy of a full investigation by federal agencies, Congress, the “vast right-wing conspiracy,” and mainstream media outlets

2) Every allegation, no matter how ludicrous, is believable until it can be proven completely and utterly false. And even then, it keeps a life of its own in the conservative media world.

3) The media assumes that Clinton is acting in bad faith until there’s hard evidence otherwise.

4) Everything is newsworthy because the Clintons are the equivalent of America’s royal family

5) Everything she does is fake and calculated for maximum political benefit

As we have seen, it’s not just the Clintons that get this kind of coverage. Gore and Kerry also got it, although Clinton’s seems to be an order of magnitude worse and this has been backed up with a Harvard study.

Curiously, Obama did not get this kind of coverage.

There could be several reasons for this. One is that racism was a shameful thing 8 years ago. Two is that it was a “change election”. Three is something a little less tangible and something I have been trying to explain for 8 years now: Obama is one of them. He is from their class. He’s the Harvard educated lawyer with a fondness for the conventional values and ambitions of the country club Republican class. Note that Michelle was not actively (or publicly) involved in creating policy. She’s the Stay At Home Mom with the garden. That was dog-whistling to the media that he wasn’t going to break any new ground culturally. He’s the guy the financiers love because he’s got status written all over him. He was their human shield against the rabble who wanted the bankers’ heads and higher taxes for the upper crust. Well, we couldn’t have that. They’ll never trust Hillary because they suspect she’s just a bit more liberal than they’re comfortable with.

Anyway, we’re all worse off because the media decided to jump on the bandwagon to gore Gore and Swift-boat Kerry. Hillary seems to be holding her own right now. Trump seems to have a ceiling because he’s only been able to capture the white male vote. There’s a good probability that Hillary is going to be president. But there’s still some volatility too. None of the volunteers I work with are taking this race casually. And we are still getting people who are volunteering voluntarily. I witnessed this yesterday when one of my young black female millenial volunteers registered another young, black millenial female who then OFFERED to volunteer for us.

Take that, New York Times.

I get the feeling that the media right now is reveling in the scads of money they are making off this election. Pumping up Trump and Sanders paid off big for them. It narrowed what should have been a blowout for Hillary. And they sort of have to keep the pressure up now because the candidates are so unequal in every way that to portray them accurately at this point would make it clear who the president should be. There really is no question. But the media needs a photo finish. I guess they think that even bad news is good and if the worst happens, they can always tell Trump that they made him and they can unmake him.

That’s a dangerous game because this guy will hold a grudge forever and use every trick in the book, which is formidable for a president, to take down his enemies. We aren’t talking about a Nixon here. Nixon was subtle compared to Trump. Letting this genie out of the bottle will backfire badly for the media. They need to think this over and decide if they can live with a Madame President who’s a feminazi libtard or a malignant narcissist with his own white nationalist militia and the power to make their lives a lot more miserable than alfalfa sprouts and squishy veggie burgers on Hill Force One.

Yesterday was a bad day for Journalism

b52fc1ea81c221507536aafb47194ff9You know, eight years ago, I gave up on most media sources for news because of the god awful way Hillary Clinton was covered during the 2008 primary. The straw on the camel’s back in 2008 was Keith Olbermann’s clumsy and menacing suggestion that maybe someone take Hillary into a room and only one person come out (presumably not Hillary) to get her to drop her fruitless pursuit of the Democratic party’s nomination for president. That was it for me. I’d put up with Chris Matthews gossipy guy at the block party schtick and Andrea Mitchell’s robotic maliciousness. Olbermann was a bridge too far.

This year, I dipped my toe back in the media coverage of the presidential campaign by listening to CNN on TuneIn on my iPhone while I walked back and forth to the bus from work. Much of it was the same old “both sides do it” crap that I remembered last time Hillary ran. I figured that that is always going to be the noise in the signal and was looking for some indication that journalism was finally starting to get a clue and realize how important it is that they do the right thing this year.

Yesterday disabused me of that notion. It is a day that should live in infamy.

It started for me with Brianna Keiller aggressively questioning a Hillary surrogate, a Senator, over the “appearance of a conflict of interest” with respect to Hillary’s actions as Secretary of State and the Clinton Foundation.

Then I saw a similar confrontation on Twitter between Chuck Todd and a Clinton surrogate on the same topic where Todd was breathless about the shocking “optics” of the Clinton Foundation donors presuming to contact Hillary at the State Department.

I was starting to feel my blood pressure creep up and was going to pack it in for the night when a tweet showed up that Anderson Cooper was going to talk to Hillary in the next hour. Well, that got delayed for one reason or another and I fell asleep with CNN on again.

Early in the morning, I heard one of the CNN hosts talking to Nicholas Kristoff of the NYTimes. Now, I normally like Kristoff and you would think that he and Hillary share many of the same interests, especially when it comes to sex trafficking of women. You’d thing that the empathy that Kristoff displays in his writing on this topic could be extended to the good work that the Clinton Foundation does providing AIDS drugs for poor people around the world, some of whom might have been some of those girls sold into sexual slavery.

You would be wrong.

What I heard was Nick Kristoff dropping what can only be his “life cause” facade to talk about how baaaaad the AP’s irresponsible and inaccurate report on the chummy ties between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department looks for Hillary. The optics look bad even though he acknowledges that the actual facts show that nothing improper happened. Then he said something that makes me think that the media has completely lost the plot and is playing a very dangerous game.

He said that this issue came up in 2009 during Clinton’s confirmation hearings, which I remember well. I remember that Dick Cheney didn’t have to make such outrageous and impossible promises about Halliburton. I can’t remember anyone rigorously enforcing Bush’s blind trusts or making a big deal out of them. No, but I do remember Hillary getting grilled on the Clinton Foundation and watching her bend over backwards to accommodate the impossible standards of the Republicans.

But none of that mattered to Kristoff because Hillary should have known that the media was going to bring this up and make an international incident over anything having to do with the Clinton Foundation. She should have known that the media would be relentless and vicious about it. She should have known that the only reasonable thing to do would be to shut the foundation down back in 2009 so that there would be absolutely no appearances whatsover of impropriety no matter how many lives were being saved in Africa.

Nick evolved into whining about it like he was feeling put out having to feel guilty about it. She should have known they were going to be assholes.

It sounded to me like Hillary wore her skirts too short.

That’s it. I’m done. I can’t listen to this shit anymore. These “journalists” are not taking this seriously. They are letting personal feelings, high school personality culture and sexism drive their coverage this year. I can’t take anymore of it.

They should all be ashamed of themselves.