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JMHO

There’s not much going on right now in primary land. It’s a little bit sleepy, except for the poo flinging. Things won’t really start picking up until the NY Primary.

Is it me or does the Clinton campaign still seem “off” from 2008?  Hillary gave an interview to Glen Thrush at Politico the other day where she, once again, diminished her own political gifts compared to her husband and Barack Obama. The time that I saw her in person in 2007 and got to ask her a question, I noticed a couple of things. She was wary when she came into the room. She sized us up, looking like she was trying to decide if we were threats. But then someone asked her first question and she was fine. She was confident and conversational and completely fluid and likeable. So, I don’t know where this self-assessment is coming from. In the Politico article, it’s implied that her campaign advisors told her about her lack of skills. I think this was a mistake. She grew into being quite an effective campaigner in 2008. The more adversity she faced, the better she got. That’s not to say she needs more adversity.

It’s a given that the unforgiving purity police on the left would always be her adversaries. The media has never liked her because all of their friends don’t like her. Nevermind where they got the idea that Hillary has cooties. Does it matter? They’re unshakeable. I sometimes wonder what the media thinks is going to happen this year. Are they planning on a deus ex machina come September? And who would that be?

Hillary herself did not help her case when she said “Never Ever” with respect to revisiting single payer. (Note: there are many different ways to address the health care crisis. Single payer is only one of many possibilities but all the successful developing countries require cost controls which the US can’t seem to do) As I’ve said before, the people who love Obamacare the most are the people least likely to ever need it. I can remember having a heated conversation with an independent insurance broker about a year ago about the ACA. First, to insurance brokers: never tell someone who is working on a short term contract that it is their responsibility to shell out $500/month for a policy with a $3000 deductible. When income instability is a real ongoing issue and the premiums take up an unacceptably large chunk of that precarious income, attempting to make someone feel guilty about shopping for food in a grocery store so that you can cash in big on a policy you just wrote is not a good idea.

The guilt thing piled on top of the precariat is unbelievable. I was so angry. I shouted at her in the frozen food aisle, “Don’t you think someone should have taken care of the long term unemployment problem BEFORE they asked for a year long commitment to a health care policy that’s neither affordable or useable???”

So, when Hillary said “Never Ever” she drove a lot of people away from her.

Plus, it just seemed like she had finally given in.

I sometimes get the feeling that her advisors have focus groups where the thing that voters really want is carefully kept out of the choices. Like, who really believes that voters would prefer profit sharing over a steady job with benefits? Profit sharing is so easily gamed. The cut can be biased in so many ways. Management vs rank and file, exempt vs non-exempt, contractors vs regular FTE. But having more regular full time jobs vs contracting jobs would make people feel a bit more secure about their future, causing them to spend more, invest more, save more. That would lead to a healthier, more resilient economy. What’s not to like about that? So, who *are* these people pushing profit sharing? Are they the start-up gurus, floating vaporware  that Dan Lyons wrote about recently in Disrupted or the kind of start ups trying to get early stage new drug entities passed vulture capitalists? You know, the companies that only young males between the ages of 22 and 35 can afford to work at? Are these “titans of the gig economy” really the best people to give advice?

Anyway, I digress. She is still the best presidential candidate that we have. I just wish she hadn’t listened to people who want her, and us, to be assimilated.

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

I had an unfortunate disagreement on Twitter with Lance Mannion last night. I’m sure it will pass. Go visit his blog at Lance Mannion.  Lance is a loyal Democrat. He was a Clinton supporter in 2008 but swtiched to Obama for the General. But he is also characteristic of a party guy who either didn’t pay attention to the primaries/convention or is in serious denial.

Does anyone really think I enjoy bringing this up again? I know what you’re all thinking. Why can’t she just let it gooooooo?

It’s because voters are reacting to the reality that they don’t really have much say in the matter of who gets the nomination in spite of their donations and primary votes. Think of the millions and billions of dollars that will have been spent before the nominations. Think of all the states that are spending taxpayer dollars on primaries that can be nullified by the sweep of a superdelegate’s carefully manicured hand.

We have been there.

I still can’t believe that there are party people out there who swallowed the story that Obama was just much farther ahead than Clinton and that’s why he won. Seriously?? I thought everyone knew what went on at the convention and had just conspired with each other to tell lies about it.

Ok, here’s the ultimate question for those people who will not admit that there was something gravely wrong with the Democratic primary season of 2008.

Let’s assume that Hillary was Ok with Obama having the nomination in the end, what was the harm of having a legitimate first ballot roll call vote including all of the states BEFORE she called for acclamation?

This question seems like a no-brainer to me, which makes me think that the people who are singing “la-la-la, I can’t HEAR you!” have not been using their brains.

Oh, but they will say it’s just hardball politics. Lighten up, get over it.

Except to those of us who watched it, it looked like political rape of a woman who stubbornly refused to gracefully step aside like they expected her to.

The danger in not taking voters seriously is that it will come back to bite you in the end. Hillary will probably win the nomination this year and as far as we can tell, there hasn’t been anything irregular about the primary season. But the people who supported Obama in 2008 and were burned by him because, Surprise! Surprise! he was NOT the Liberal Messiah they were looking for, and who are now supporting Sanders, seem to think that it is Ok to do in 2016 what they did eight years ago. They are so determined to throw a fit to get what they want that they will use right wing smear tactics and delegitimize Hillary voters again. I’m not talking about all Sanders supporters who were very put off about the Never Ever comment (see above) or who want a more European style social democracy. I’m talking about the hard core Clinton haters who for some reason forget that there have been 16 year since the Clintons were in office. Their insistence that everything bad that has happened to America has had nothing to do with 8 tragic years of George Bush followed by 8 feckless years of Barack Obama is fantastic. As in, it’s a fantasy.

But getting back to the illegitimacy of the Hillary voter, let’s go back to Anglachel, one of the best bloggers of the 2008 primary season. In this post, she lays out the 2008 season and forecasts 2016. Just substitute Sanders for Obama in the following:

All around Left Blogistan, Obamacans are reveling in the seeming victory of the RBC ruling and are disdainfully telling Hillary and her supporters that they need to fall in line, get with the program, and otherwise show that we’re worthy of being part of Whole Foods Nation. Ezra Klein pompously warns Hillary: “[There is an] authentic, deep anger among Clinton supporters. And that’s not a problem the Rules Committee can resolve. This one is up to Clinton herself.”

Erm, no.

The way in which a candidate or faction handles a victory tells us important things about how they will govern. At present, the parallels between Obama’s claim of a nomination victory and George W. Bush’s claim of victory in Florida are shocking. The onus for unifying the country was placed on Gore and specifically for Gore to capitulate before a full and final vote count was performed. Gore’s behavior was held up to ridicule and criticism for having the audacity to defend his win against a background of corruption and intimidation. No one so much as hinted that the legitimacy of Bush’s win was contingent upon his behavior in victory. He acted as though he had won by a landslide with an enormous popular mandate, instead of by suppressing votes in Florida.

[…]

The deep problem of Obama’s campaign is that he and his supporters do not want to face the political reality of their own conflicting desires. They both want to sweep to victory in November and they want to purge the party of anything connected to the Clintons, which includes all of the voting constituencies represented by that amazing and talented duo. The failure of the Unity Pony stems directly from that fantasy of majority status without majority support and the political work and compromises that go with cultivating that support. Thus, their model for unity is unanimity through elimination, purging the ranks of the unclean and unbelievers.

They will not acknowledge that Hillary is a legitimate political actor and reduce her to an inhuman monster and enemy. They will not acknowledge that her supporters have sound, rational reasons for our support, and reduce us to mindless fools and spoils of war. They shift blame for their own choices and actions onto us and expect that we will cater to their whims.

Voters’ loyalties are not fungible just because a party makes a unilateral decision. It’s unlikely that Hillary can persuade the hardcore Sanders supporter to her column this year. They seem determined to kill her politically just like they did in 2008. But in this case, they are rebels without a cause. The vote is clean and unless they want to claim that Wyoming and the other caucus states are more important than the big states that are still remaining, an argument that defied all logic but still won the day in 2008, it looks like voters’ preferences are clear this year. They want Hillary. That’s what pledged delegate counts mean and this year there are no demotions to half strength or helpful reapportionments to make one candidate look like they have a lead which they do not have, to the detriment of the candidate who actually won the delegates. In other words, this is a legitimate, by the book, primary season. Sanders people can sit it out in November or only vote down ticket, but the second attempt at delegitimizing Hillary’s voters by these same guys is beyond infuriating.

It’s time to stop dehumanizing Hillary Clinton. It’s unjust, hyperbolic and damaging to women in general. And the longer Bernie Bots go on behaving this way, the less likely Sanders will make any inroads with Clintonistas. You have to wonder why a guy who sincerely seems to want to be president would be so careless as to antagonize his opponents’ supporters, acting like they don’t matter and that all he needs to do is buy or harass some superdelegates and everyone will fall into line.

Well, it worked so well eight years ago and who benefitted from that? College students with massive debt? Homeowners who lost equity? People in middle age who lost their careers and were unemployed for years? Contractors forced to by exchange policies? Black people gunned down in the street? Seriously, who benefitted? I’d like to know. I mean, other than bankers who didn’t need to go to jail for wrecking our lives and arrogant libertarian silicon valley types who would like to make us all independent contractors. And Republicans. Can’t forget them. Other than that, who benefitted?

Who knows what lies ahead? Maybe things will turn out all right in the end. But this year should make both parties nervous. The days of taking voters for granted, paternalistically directing them towards one person regardless of voter preferences, may finally be coming to an end.

 

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.

Random Stuff and Stupid Trolls

I’ve been thinking about the recent True Confessions from our media people and something struck me as odd.

They seem to be alarmed at Trump’s rise but somewhat convinced that when we switch to the general election campaign that voters will see that Hillary is overqualified and the obvious stable choice. So, you know, no reason to do any heavy lifting on her behalf.

I used to think I would be happy if they just stopped with the incessant pick-pick-pick at everything she does and the constant calls for her to disclose more and more just for disclosure’s sake. But I don’t think that will be enough for me anymore. Now, I want them to be proactive just like they were proactive with Obama.

Yeah, women so often get criticized but when they exceed our expectations, we just act as if it’s to be expected. Sorry, I don’t think that’s right. Women need mentors and cheerleaders too. Otherwise they’re accomplishments look just average.

I think Hillary has been running for so long that we have forgotten how much effort this actually takes. Think about how long she has succeeded and persevered and never got a single pat on the back from anyone in the national media. Oh, I’m sure there have been exceptions. But they’re always couched in “We all know she’s not perfect and then there are her emails” stuff. It’s like there is a fear of praising too much.

Is that some kind of biblical holdover or something? Thou shall not praise a woman too much?

If it is, can we let it go, please?

Let’s practice. In the next week, when you see a woman do something well, praise her.

Who’s with me?

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

This is funny.

I had three comments that ended up in moderation. There doesn’t seem to be a trigger word that landed them there. Maybe the moderation queue is just getting smarter.

What’s amusing is that all three of them start off exactly the same way. Then they go on to brag about we’re too stupid to understand how the intertoobz work to stop them. And you know, they have a certain point. WordPress doesn’t give us all the tools to tinker with the Apache server to make sure they can’t post here. It doesn’t give us ALL the tools, but it gives us enough, especially for those of us who have a clue what all these weird TCP/IP thingy whatsits are. We can’t stop you from a concerted attack but we can certainly make it harder for you to post from the same host over and over again.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share the three comments from

HollaBeatch
HillKunt@DemFuk.org

JR
Robinson@KuntPunch.org

and

MI1st
Goldfarb@KuntPunch.ru

Here’s the content of the email:

“Creative Class”… You use that word as some sort of epithet. Well, you know who else is for Bernie? Us queers and faggots and Black Lives Matter. Oh yeah, all of us ‘others’. All of us that you geezers and hags just don’t get.

Yeah, and all of us that can post on this circle-suck, mutual admiration site and you can’t block because you’re too dumb to know what a TOR exit router is, and you don’t know how to fingerprint or read a user-agent string.

The Billary is another in a long line of criminal or near-criminal professional pols who are all the same. The only difference between Hillary and Mitt Romney is that Hillary’s balls are bigger.

We’ll be lucky when you rapacious boomers are all gone. But then again, we’ll be living in the industrial wasteland that you created… so there’s that:/

Have a nice dotage, old-fags…

I know, right?

It’s hysterical. I actually do know how to fingerprint and I know all about bit strings, hashing.

But I didn’t have to do any of that for these three idiots to end up in the moderation queue.

How embarrassing. I swear, the caliber of trolls has gone down in the last eight years. The trolls that Chicago sent out for Obama were so much more sophisticated and evil.

BTW, I don’t blame Bernie Sanders for these idiots.

Three Easy Pieces

I always say I’m going to make these short because I’m in a hurry but I really am this morning so I apologize in advance if there is even less editing than normal.

Here are three easy pieces that were brought to my attention by some of our commenters. (note to self: add attribution later) These are relevant because they exemplify the danger that accompanies our clueless, homogenous, upper middle class, ivy league educated class of journalism. If Trump wins in the fall, they are to blame, for various reasons.

1. ) Matt Taibbi wrote his “Why I’m voting for <insert name of anyone not named Hillary Clinton>” piece recently. It was predictably awful in the typical white male grad student way that we have all come to know and loathe. How old are you, Matt? 46? Ahhh, it all makes sense now. Matt is pushing up against the age where he could easily be mistaken for one of those old, uncool Clintonistas who don’t know how to use snapchat and has no energy. The horror! Who will ask him to share a latte, cater to his every tantrum demand or fluff his ego to make him feel like he’s 23 again? Someone might think he’s not creative class anymore. Well, we can’t have that, can we Matt?

OMG, do his readers know he’s FORTY SIX??

The rebuttal to Matt’s piece by Trevor LaFauci, titled

Honest and Unmerciful: An Open Letter to Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone Magazine

is dead on. Actually, LaFauci is nicer to Matt than he deserves. But Matt is in that class of people who think that people like us are “silly”. You know, concerned with parties playing games with rules and caring about who actually runs the country and with how much experience. Stuff like that.

{{rolling eyes}}

2.) Jill Abramson gave an interview to Glenn Thrush at Politico. Audio warning: Abramson has a voice that is very hard to listen to. That’s not a sexist comment. It’s just the truth. She admits that Hillary gets more scrutiny than other candidates. She feels that the left demands more purity from Hillary than the other candidates. We went over that yesterday. Also, see Matt Taibbi’s piece of work. On second thought, don’t read Matt’s piece of work. It’s silly.

At the end of this interview, Glenn says he has found that his colleagues actively avoid writing positive pieces about Clinton and anyone who writes a positive piece is mocked by his or her peers. THIS I completely believe. It’s middle school all over again in most newsrooms. It’s the most honest admission I have heard from a journalist in 20 years. The problem is, who’s going to be the first one to stop doing it? And what makes these journalists believe that voters will eventually come around to Clinton when she’s been made to look like a pathological liar and phony compared to Donald Trump?

3.) Gene Lyons blasts the Bernie Bros for recirculating old Republican memes about the Clintons. But it’s this part that really burned my oatmeal:

Following upon a posting by the invaluable Kevin Drum that shows job openings and salaries rising, consumer optimism improving and gasoline prices way down, Bernstein adds that as “the Obama years haven’t resulted in recession, soaring inflation or a foreign misadventure with major American casualties — in other words, anything that produces serious political reaction.

This is where journalists are missing the mark. It has not been a great recovery out here. It’s been bloody miserable. The jobs that are replacing our careers are part time, contractor, hourly, poorly paid and with fewer benefits. If you have never had to buy an Obamacare policy off the exchanges, you have no idea how loathed they are and how much resentment they are creating. And I am a liberal Democrat. You will never catch me at a Trump Rally.

There’s more to come on the economic front when the new overtime rules go into effect, dumping an estimated 3.2 million people out of the professional class of workers to become hourly drones while their employers tie themselves into knots trying to avoid paying overtime. Just wait until those stories start flowing out during an election year. Or will the Kevin Drums of the world just not cover that in the belief that everything is hunky dory?

Out of touch does not begin to describe the media. No wonder people are angry. You guys are twits.

 

Easter and Climbing the Water Tower Again

f4ce18d14c5f7ec0e66468729b7bccdaHappy Easter to those of you who celebrate it. I gave up Easter for Lent. Just kidding. I like chocolate rabbits and marshmallow peeps as much as the next person.

Easter is the only holiday that Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate, but they don’t call it Easter, because that’s a pagan word for a pagan holiday. (They say that like it’s a *bad* thing.) JW’s call it the Memorial. It’s not even held on Easter from what I can recall, because that would make it too much like Easter.

Basically, everyone passes around bread and wine but no one partakes except the 144,000. That means almost no one partakes. So, from a kid’s point of view, the whole holiday consists of yet another tedious talk followed by fruitless exercise in passing stuff around that no one eats. Don’t ask. It’s complicated. Basically, it comes down to JWs internally saying to themselves “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!”, which I find pointless. Most JWs I know are plenty worthy but they don’t know it because they’ve been taught to undervalue themselves. Annnnnyway, there are no Easter baskets, Easter egg hunts or anything fun or memorable for children so, in that respect, it’s just like every other holiday/non-holiday for  JW kids except for the passing of bread and wine around for no discernable reason. You know, boring and miserable.

I’m just going to stick to the neolithic traditions and celebrate spring. Maybe burn a sacrificial goat or something, I dunno. So hard to burn goats in your back yards these days. The neighbors complain.

But seriously, go collect and bedeck your house with fresh flowers and forsythia and have a nice day.

Which god or goddesses are you celebrating today?

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

Moving on to things I am not celebrating, I saw this tweet from Paul Krugman in my twitter stream yesterday:

Jann Wenner , is right. OK to support Sanders, not OK to channel right-wing smears

 

Exactly.

Look, Bernie lovers, I love Bernie too. No, seriously, I do. I’m glad he ran this year and his message is resonating with a lot of people.

But sometimes, I wonder if the people he is resonating with the most are the ones who will never ever vote for a woman regardless of party. Or they spend way too much time believing stuff about Clinton that they knew wasn’t true back in 2008. There were 8 long years between primary seasons, long enough for people who have some bone to pick with the Clintons to plant seeds that are now coming to fruition. And sometimes, all they have to do is borrow the mind tricks and oppositional research from the other party.

The number one mind trick is sowing distrust. That works on any candidate. This one should be easy to refute with Clinton though. Here’s how it goes:

1.) Add up all the vast amounts of money spent on investigating Hillary since 1993. Include all of the special prosecutors, the billing records “scandal”, Whitewater, congressional testimonies, Libya and email servers. How much money has been spent on trying to pin something, ANYTHING on this woman? How many millions of taxpayer dollars?

2.) What did they eventually nail her on? Spoiler alert: nothing.

3.) Ask yourself how many other candidates who have run between 1992 and 2016 have had to go through that? For example, how many congressional hearings has Barack Obama had to go through? We know that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were invited to testify before the 9/11 commission, which if there was ever a reason to force presidents to testify before a special commission, that would be it, and they refused. Ask yourself if Hillary Clinton could have refused such a request under similar circumstances.

4.) Then repeat after me: “When your enemies can’t control you, they control what others think about you”. 

If you want to vote for the best candidate we’ve had for decades, you will need to learn to live with this constant chatter in the background about her culpability for *something* for the duration of her presidency. That’s just a given. It doesn’t matter that she’s as clean as a whistle.

If you can’t deal with the chatter, then you will necessarily have to settle for a candidate who is less well qualified to be president.

All of the rest of the objections to her are based on her record or distortions of her record. Frankly, I find the left to want a degree of purity in their candidates so as to make them ineffective as presidents. Presidents who are that far above it all so don’t want to get their hands dirty that they don’t do the work necessary to get things done, like meeting with congressional leaders and making very hard choices that might piss off their constituents later. Every politician, even down to the lowly elected school board member is eventually faced with a decision that is going to make a voter unhappy down the road. I’ve been there. I’m just glad my decisions were as small as promoting the construction of an expensive high school instead of whether or not to give a president my consent to go to war if he felt it was necessary whether or not *I* felt it was necessary.

And as an Iraq War opponent,  I too was disappointed with Clinton’s vote. I was also disappointed with John Kerry’s vote and John Edwards’ vote. So, you know, if you campaigned for those two guys and voted for them without too much trouble, you shouldn’t have a problem with doing the same for Hillary. That’s being rational. If you’re still struggling with Hillary over it but not the two Johns, and you know who you are, then maybe you’re not being rational.

Many of us have been political junkies for most of our lives and the things the left accuses Hillary of seem, well, hyperbolic doesn’t seem hyperbolic enough. You’d think that the Clintons single handedly plunged African Americans into poverty and caused the great recession of 2008. As you get older, you start to realize that it’s rarely that simple. It’s more like a thousand tiny pebbles dislodged until there is an avalanche. Sometimes, these pebbles were dislodged with the best of intentions but were based on modeling that didn’t account for other factors, like the other party deciding to pick that moment in history to mutate.

The Clintons were the first couple in the White House that had to deal with the movement conservatives and their “take no prisoners burn the government to the ground” tactics. It’s no surprise that they were taken off guard and had to make some very uncomfortable compromises. But I see evidence that Hillary has learned from her experiences. Others should have learned from what happened to the Clintons but have either capitulated completely or have been buried by their opposition. What is their excuse?

Bottom line, there is no politician in the country who is as close to perfection as Jesus and look what the Romans did to him. It took 400 years to rehabilitate Jesus’s reputation in the Roman Empire. By that time, he had been deified and the emphasis of his story was on resurrection. Jesus historians find that he was only a charismatic champion equality and the poor, who lead an unauthorized march into Jerusalem to hold a (mostly) peaceful rally at the Temple. In other words, Jesus lead Occupy Temple Mount. For that, he was turned over by his own people, the Sanhedrin, to the Romans. They knew exactly what was going to happen to him.

Forty years later, the Romans sieged and sacked the city, destroyed the temple and forced everyone into exile. That went well. Didn’t see that coming.Who could have predicted?

So, you know, don’t cooperate with your enemy is the lesson for today.

 

How to beat Trump

bilde-262x300After 8 long years of deliberately isolating myself from cable news, I listened to CNN on TuneIn radio on my iPhone last night. For three long hours, I listened to Anderson Cooper, followed by some new dude who appears to be Larry King’s replacement, talk about Trump.

It was all Trump, all the time.

It reminded me of the good old Monica Lewinsky era.

They talked about Trump rallies, how he has the worst negatives of any presidential candidate in human history, the math to the nomination, how the GOP would react to Trump’s nomination, would they give him the nomination, would there be riots, are there riots right now, and Megyn Kelly.

Let’s stop right there. Is there anything weirder than Fox News writing a perfectly reasonable statement defending Megyn Kelly against sexism and misogyny and Donald Trump’s crazy, scary obsession with her?

Sometimes I think that if Donald Trump didn’t exist, the Democrats would have to invent him. Because who in their right mind would vote for this guy, right?? It’s got to be a shoe in for Hillary. Then I think that’s what a rational person would think and nothing about this year is remotely rational. In fact, the more the media covers him and points out what a creepy, disgusting, violence inciting, self-tanning mistake of a human being firmly pinned to one end of the narcissistic personality disorder spectrum he is, the more supporters he gets.

I could almost hear the gears whirring in the noggins of Anderson Cooper and his guests trying to figure out how to stop him. “We cover him and he does outrageous things and it’s clear that someone is going to get hurt eventually and women are really going to suffer under a Trump regime, and the more we cover this, the more people want to elect him. What if we… Nahhh, we can’t”

Yes, you can. You can just stop covering him. No, I take that back. Someone might say that it is your responsibility to cover a “legitimate” presidential candidate. Yes, it is, which is why it was so surprising that Hillary’s name was uttered so infrequently last night. And Bernie Sanders wasn’t mentioned at all. If, god forbid, something caused Hillary to drop out, Democrats would happily get behind Sanders in a way that Republicans would not get behind Ted Cruz. But nary a peep about Bernie Sanders. The network has been completely highjacked by Trump.

Think, people, think! You’ve been doing your best work against the Clintons.Why has Trump completely emasculated you??

All you need to do is cover him in completely misleading ways. You know how this is done. Get snippets of his speeches and paste them together to make it sound like he said something his supporters don’t want to hear. Like, “Putin and I are golf buddies. We’re going to talk trade policy and I’m going to get the best deal for both countries.” or “If you lose your job, you can apply for one at Mar-a-Lago. Can you speak Spanish?” or “I’m going to work with Congress and learn to play its game”. Tinker with the color balance in the shots you take of him. Drain the orange from his face and replace it with a nice shade of light bluish gray. Catch him being nice to a Mexican on his estate or accepting some small gift from the King of Saudi Arabia. Or laughing in the Green Room with Megyn Kelly. Find footage of him attending a LaMaze class with Melania.

You know how to do it.

If you really have to cover the candidates, you have to cover all of them, not just the ones that look like the car wreck you’ve been waiting impatiently in your car for 45 minutes to see.

I gave CNN three hours of my life I can’t get back. I now realize that I had made the right choice eight years ago. But not all of us can get beneficially nauseated by the news to stay away from it. If CNN is really that worried about the gigantic asteroid called Trump that is hurtling towards us, it needs to apply the Clinton rules of coverage to him now.

If it doesn’t, then it’s just looking for ratings and it’s part of the problem.

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.

 

 

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