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    • Sanders and Trump win in New Hampshire
      No surprise, the polls were leaning strongly to both of them. Things get interesting from here for Sanders, but Trump will be moving to strength. New Hampshire is prosperous and has done well since the financial crisis, that’s not true in most of the upcoming states. (I am fundraising to determine how much I’ll write […]
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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? I mean other that 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?

 

 

New Hampshire Returns Cocktail Party: OHai!

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With any luck, we won’t lose any faces tonight.

I guess I have to start taking this primary season seriously now that we’re in New Hampshire. But I’m a little rusty and I have to let Rico in to set up. Don’t let that stop you from filtering in while we get the bar ready and the band warms up.

Be right back…

Ok, I’m back.

Rico is going for something simple tonight. It’s a Cabin Fever on the Rocks. Hope you guys like maple. Last time I was in Manchester, I had ‘sugar on snow’, that is hot maple syrup poured over a bowl of snow and served with the obligatory sour pickle. It’s an acquired taste. Cabin fever is what I have these days. I am so over winter.

We’re serving a variety of appetizers tonight. On the menu are Maine Peeky Toe Crab Cakes, a variety of local cheeses, roasted garlic with tomato chutney and crostini for the vegans, and seafood chowder for those of you who haven’t had dinner yet.

We were able to get Pink Martini for the evening. A little something old and new and loungey and orchestral with the lovely China Forbes.

First update of the evening, Kasich seems to be making a surprising appearance. Wasn’t he at the Kiddy Table recently? Who knew? Ah, well, it’s still early.

You can leave your coat with Yolanda at the door. Remember to tip your wait staff generously. And if you need to argue, remember to keep it clean.

 

 

 

Democratic Candidate’s Debate: OooooIIIOWA

winter2013editI’ve heard a lot of stupid stuff from bloggers and journalists who are speculating why it is that Trump will not go away as a candidate and why Bernie Sanders appears to be hotter than previously thought.

First, I’d like to say that to blame Trump’s rise or the disgust with Obama on racism is too easy. I’m sure there are some clueless bigots out there that are supporting Trump and hate Obama. But I don’t think that’s why Trump is popular, or why Bernie is popular either.

There are a couple of things I would pay more attention to if I were a left blogger (I still am, by the way. I might be angry woman but I’m not stupid). One of these things was summed up by Steve Carrell’s character in The Big Short in a monologue when he was watching the financial industry melt and contemplated what would happen next. He foresaw homeowners compensated, the government taking measures to put things right, new regulations, and bankers carted off to jail. Of course, none of that happened. The measures were insufficient and delivered without the urgency that the country needed. And there are still people, such as myself, who will pay the price of the country having a high overhead of experienced, talented, over-educated people on the job market for a very, very long period of time.

What Trump voters are reacting to is *someone* is finally not acting like a student body president, trying not to upset the bankers, giving lip service to ideas and then doing a half assed job implementing them. You know what I’m talking about. The country handed Obama his job on a silver platter in a time of crisis and gave him more than enough support in Congress for two years to do something. They wanted real change. He didn’t deliver on that.

Trump may be a narcissistic, malevolent asshole without a congressional cohort but at least he’s not playing nice.

As far as Bernie is concerned, that’s not really a surprise, is it? Even the worst of the worst right wing Fox News lover grew up in an America when labor was strong, retirement was a realistic goal with a full pension, and most people were able to keep a roof over their heads. Some of these people are under the mistaken impression that a party would have to be crazy to touch social security and that single payer health care sounds like a good idea.

That’s the conditioning that Fox hasn’t really been able to touch, in spite of the incessant fear mongering, islamophobia, hyper-religiosity, racism and misogyny.

All Bernie has to do is be himself.

The question is: Who is Hillary Clinton?

My problem with Hillary in 2016

istock_000017338712xsmallThis is a bit of a followup post from yesterday. The NYTimes article on how difficult women over 50 have it in the job market these days really hit home with many people. There are over 1000 comments on that article now.

This one from A. Davey  in Portland sums up why I have been utterly unmoved by Hillary’s campaign this year:

A. Davey

Portland 19 hours ago

There but for the grace of God goes Janet Yellen.

You would think that the plight of women over 50 would be a natural issue for Hillary.

Apparently not. She’s the champion of the Ted Talkers, the winners in our so-called meritocracy, the brilliant young executives who spread their pearls of wisdom from cushy corporate jobs that come with employment contracts and golden parachutes. They’re the ones telling displaced older workers to become self employed. That’s rich.

Exactly.

The week after I was laid off in 2011 from my job, I went to a seminar series by the American Chemical Society where the crusty old dudes that ran the local chapter tried to sell us on throwing whatever severance money we had into a start up company that was 80% likely to fail. If there was even a smidgeon of hope that the new drug entities we found were likely to succeed, we could look forward to vulture capitalists showing up on our doorsteps, offering to pay our debts in return for giving them 99% of any profit we made on the patent they wanted to license.

Swear to god, you can’t make this stuff up. Start ups for divorced parents are not an option. That’s a shame for the start ups who have to train younger people to reinvent the wheel and for the rest of us with valuable research experience and no labs.

IT is different than pharma or just about any other industry where you can just start a company. You can literally do it out your garage and all you need is a good idea. In pharma, good ideas need to be tested, repeatedly. But it seems like Hillary is only interested in looking out for these independent guys. Yes, they are almost all guys. Who else could afford to live on the edge, jumping from start up to start up, thriving on the adrenalin that comes with whether or not you’ll get funding or go public? People with responsibilities can’t do that. Young guys with an average age of 28 can.

I can’t figure out why Hillary would choose to abandon her natural constituency. They’re not all laid off and poor. If I manage to hang on to my job this year, I’ll pitch in my share. Oh, sure, you have to appeal to younger voters but women over 50 are a HUGE group of people and they vote. In fact, I don’t think Hillary can win without at least trying to appeal to them.

But she hasn’t.

This once stalwart champion of women’s rights, treats them like they were invisible too.

So, I am definitely non-plussed this year. And more than a bit angry. I stuck my neck out repeatedly and still think she was the best candidate in 2008. But she really shouldn’t take my generation of women for granted. The danger is not that they will vote Republican, it’s that the situation for some of them is so bleak they might not show up at all.

Is that what Hillary wants? To have a shortage of voters on election day? Maybe she should rethink whoever the hell is doing her data models. If I were her, I would make a specific appeal to these women even at the risk of pissing off some gawd awful sexist Silicon Valley asshole who will flirt with Rand Paul in 2016.

The problem is not lack of profit sharing or the barriers to self employment.

It’s income instability, stupid. 

Put that sign in your war room, Hillary.

If the NYTimes wanted to drive a stake through Hillary’s campaign, they couldn’t have picked a better pain point.

Sunday Morning Rude Awakening

reyRey. Last name Solo or Skywalker? (I’m leaning towards Solo)

Hey, do you remember when Tweety said that the only reason why Hillary Clinton got into the senate was because people felt sorry for her? Ah la-la-la! Those were the days. I remember watching one of her senate debates when my news channels came from NY and she always deftly creamed her opponents. In 2007, she hesitated about telling other candidates that they had just repeated exactly what she just said. Not anymore. She called Bernie out last night after he repeated less eloquently her plan for stabilizing the middle east.

She has learned well. We won’t say the Force is with her yet, mostly because she’s leaning too heavily on those data models. I don’t know anyone who wants to work for themselves and my personal experience with profit sharing is that it sucks and is no substitute for a living wage or income stability.

Oh, and the best way to fix the ACA? Price controls. JMHO. I know, nobody wants to talk about it but it’s the crucial piece that is missing from the US healthcare system that every other successful system in the world thinks is a no-brainer.

Which means we have no brains.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about Political GabFest, Slate’s political podcast. I checked it out last night because I wanted to find something boring to listen to so I could fall asleep. Turns out it’s better than I thought and I spent the night paying attention.

The hosts are John Dickerson, David Plotz and Emily Bazelon. Emily Bazelon breaks down the Supreme Court’s upcoming cases. There’s a lot of tension between the hosts. They seem fairly well informed and not too dogmatic, except I didn’t really understand Emily’s take on renaming the Woodrow Wilson School in Princeton. She’s missing the point of Princeton, which is about as traditional as you can get. I’m not saying it’s good. But it is where we get our titans of Wall Street and they have legacies, and eating clubs. Woodrow Wilson’s recent fall from grace could mean that the school gets renamed the Goldman-Sachs School. Be careful what you wish for, Em.

In general, Political GabFest gets a thumbs up. And I don’t even read Slate all that often. Binge listening gave me insight into how gobsmacked these three are by the two decade culmination of events. If you’ve been an outsider for the last 4 election cycles, well, you already know how bad things are. But if you’ve been hobnobbing with the in-crowd, even if you’re technically a lefty, the turn that Americans have made towards indiscriminate hatred and cruelty can come as a bit of a surprise.

I had my first “No shit Sherlock” moment when they started to talk about how Trump’s popularity seems to be resilient the more crazy his talk is. (see this week’s The Chaos Candidate and Is he Mussolini or Hitler?) Are they starting to sense a Dark Triad forming? That’s where three personality disorders, antisocial, narcissistic and Machiavellian come together. Can we compare Donald Trump’s rise to Mussolini or Hitler without violating Godwin’s law? I’m afraid we must. I’m going with Mussolini. We don’t see the cruelty yet.

But they’re shocked that things have gone this far without any brake on his outrageous talk. In fact, the more outrageous he is, the more support he seems to be getting. That’s starting to alarm them and they think it might be due to the amount of reinforcement he is getting from the right wing media. It says lies and repeats those lies over and over again and they start to stick. And that’s really scary. Shouldn’t someone do something??

It’s almost like the journalism world is finally waking up to the way things really are. Like they’re finally understanding Jon Stewart’s plea on CrossFire to stop because it’s hurting America. It’s all fun and games to bash liberals, treat politics as a horse race, do the “earth is round?, opinions differ” stories until the truth is no longer recognizable and people honestly can not tell how far they have strayed from where we were 20 years ago.

Will it stop them from mechanically whaling on Hillary Clinton because everyone else is doing it? I don’t know but Emily B. did actually start to see Clinton as having “warm” and “human” qualities when Hillary was testifying before Congress regarding Benghazi.

She was surprised at this?

Oh, that’s right. For the past 22 years, we’ve had to put up with the Sally Quinn’s and Tweety’s painting this image of Hillary Clinton as being a cold, calculating, unpleasant, humorless opportunist. Turns out that when you actually start to pay attention, because she is one of the few candidates this campaign whose qualifications and experience have to be taken seriously, then you start to realize that maybe, just maybe, you’ve been lied to. But it is a universal truth that every Mean Girl Queen Bee knows that if you keep repeating lies and distortions, deliberately mischaracterize a person’s intentions and actions, and mock them relentlessly, the target’s actual behavior, while being perfectly normal, can almost be seen to be completely at odds with what you’ve been told. You’ve got to re-evaluate. Maybe you’ve been wrong.

Maybe the right has too much influence and can scare monger indiscriminately. Maybe they’ve taken things too far.

In the world of high control groups, we call this “waking up”. Now, if we could only get some of the other journalists to do this, acknowledge that they’ve been the unwitting flying monkeys of some people with dark intentions, and reverse course as quickly as possible. There’s more at stake than Hillary’s presidency.

Trump is a bad moon on the rise.

Democratic Poo Flinging Debate?

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Reaction to an unexpected opportunity

Oh, we got trouble. We’ve got The Donald flirting with his dark side and scaring Americans to death over Muslims. And by the way, did Ted Cruz really say that only Christian refugees from the middle east should be let into the country? How is he going to know whether they’re really Christian? Do they have to bring baptismal certificates with them? Yeah, I can see that being the first thing to grab when you’re leaving your house in a war zone. “Honey, where did we put those baptism pictures from last year’s evangelical revival tent show in Homs?”

Wait! What about agnostics or atheists? Are they allowed into the country as long as they’re not Muslim? You gotta ask these questions because from what I can recall, nobody is hated more than an atheist. Or how about panentheists? What kind of religious test are we going for here? What if you just don’t believe the Bible is an inspired godly text that needs to be followed, um, religiously?

I only ask.

But let’s get real. This debate is going to be about whether Hillary and Bernie can talk the nation off a ledge or whether they’re going to snap at each other over some stupid data model that presumes that we can all be broken down into our socio economic group and grocery store buying habits?

Bring it on.

Live blog the atrocities here.

Note that the debate is on ABC tonight. ABC isn’t streaming in Pittsburgh and I’m not dragging my butt down to my chilly basement family room to watch it on the big screen. But you can stream the audio on TuneIn radio. Go to the WSB station.

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