Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bernie Sanders can no Longer Claim to be Running a Clean Campaign

In Iowa , yesterday, he claimed that HRC is playing dirty because she talks about his terrible gun record and his attempt to marginalize Planned Parenthood out of sour grapes because they didn't endorse him.

Trouble is that every word she says about his gun record is the truth. I don't care if they give him a D-; for the record sometimes it's been as high as a C.

The NRA must be a tough grader as he's given them plenty since they endorsed him in 1990. He has voted against the Brady bill 4 times, and gave them their dream legislation in 2005-shielding the industry from all law suits.

Even now, when we have the latest mass shooting, all Bernie can come up with is 'Let's stop the shouting.'

Then Bernie comes out this morning and hits her on the emails. He had said he was tired of them-but he's reconsidered.

So, as the gloves have totally come off, when will the media discuss this.


"Senator Bernie Sanders has built his insurgent presidential bid around being Mr. Clean, but several outside groups are now accusing his campaign of playing dirty.

"Sanders’s campaign in Iowa has included League of Conservation Voters and AARP logos in recent mailers it’s sent to prospective caucusgoers, a subtle effort to tie himself to those groups, if not implying an endorsement. But neither group has backed him. The AARP, which represents retirees, does not endorse candidates, and the League of Conservation Voters, an environmental advocacy group, is supporting Sanders’s Democratic foe, Hillary Clinton."

"And now news has broken of what is potentially an even more bald-faced deception, in Nevada, where Sanders supporters have reportedly been posing as members of Las Vegas’s powerful Culinary Workers Union Local 226 to try to rally labor support ahead of the state’s Democratic caucuses on February 20."

"For a candidate who has boasted about not taking money from billionaires andnever running a negative political ad in his life, the moves raise questions about the iconoclastic Vermont lawmaker’s campaign just days before the make-or-break Iowa caucuses."

"AARP’s Iowa chapter had to clarify publicly that it is not supporting Sanders after noticing that the campaign was distributing mailers that include a photo of AARP members wearing their red shirts with the slogan “Take a Stand.” That’s the name of the group’s campaign to raise the Social Security issue in the 2016 election and get candidates to present their plan to protect the retirement program. Newsweek obtained an image of the mailer, which touts Sanders’s record as a defender of Social Security."

“While we have encouraged the presidential candidates to lay out their plans to update Social Security, AARP did not authorize the Sanders campaign to mention AARP or use the AARP logo, and we did not participate in its production,” AARP Iowa said in a January 26 statement. “We have a proud 30-year history of non-partisan voter engagement, providing voters with information on where the candidates stand on issues important to our members and their families.”

"The organization did not contact the Sanders campaign about halting the mailing, according to spokeswoman Ann Black."

"The League of Conservation Voters, however, has contacted Sanders’s staff, objecting to their logo being used on another mailer, shared with Newsweek, which portrays the senator as an environmental champion. The pamphlet, which is being sent out in Iowa, notes that Sanders “has a lifetime score of 95 percent from the League of Conservation Voters” and displays the group’s logo beside it.

"However, the league requires permission to use its logo and only grants that to politicians who’ve been endorsed by the affiliated LCV Action Fund. In the presidential race, that’s Clinton. According to a spokesman, the group has asked the Sanders campaign to not continue using its logo, and the campaign is looking into how it happened. "

"The Sanders campaign could spin those as honest mistakes, but given how much thought campaigns put into their advertising and the messages they’re trying to convey, that requires some credulity. It will be harder to explain away how campaign supporters knowingly deceived hotel workers on the Las Vegas Strip to gain access to employee-only areas, as veteran Nevada politics scribe Jon Ralston is reporting."

I think Bernie will regret engaging in such Fox News tactics. If you are going to attack her like a Republican, Democrats are going to take note. 

Hillary Wins African-American Iowa Straw Poll In a Landslide

The results were not even close.

Meanwhile, Charles Blow has had it with condescending with Bernie's condescending white supporters.

Don't come into my mentions with your condescension. I'm coming for knees like Tonya Harding... #NotToday"

"Stop telling blks how to feel/insinuating they r not knowledgable enuf to make informed choices! So condescending!!! "

This response only got 215 RTs and 323 favorites. 

The Bernie folks would do better to just stop proselytizing. 

Blow also hasn't seen too many black folks for Bernie in Iowa. 

"I've been talking to blk ppl here for days and haven't found a single person, millennial or not, who chose Bernie ."

Anyway, the Bernie team is right to worry that his fans lose more people than they gain with their tactics.

Just remember Hillary fans: They don't want you to vote for her. That's why the Beltway press is talking so much about the emails this weekend while not mentioning Bernie's team using deceptive practices with unions and other activist organizations.

Tomorrow those of you in Iowa or with friends and family in Iowa can start to throw some mud in their eyes. 

More Proof They Don't Want You to Vote for Hillary Clinton

I talked about this meme-that I have to give credit to Melissa Harris-Perry starting yesterday.

It's in the shtick of the rapper DJ Khaled. They don't want you to eat breakfast. They don't want you to enjoy eating breakfast. Don't let them win. .

They don't want us to vote for Hillary Clinton.

1. Because she's the most electable Democrat.

2. She's the most effective Democrat.

3. They don't like the Democrats

4. They really don't like Hillary Clinton and a big part of why is she's a strong, ambitious, woman.

For years they've had it in for Hillary. Who is the they?

1. The GOP

2. The Beltway media

3. Emoprogs on the Left who wanted to primary Obama in 2012.

Do you know what the Emoprogs want? They want to feel pure. They believe 'the lesser of two evils is still evil'

In Maine they got their wish. Their purism has lead to Paul LaPage being elected twice.

LaPage is widely considered the worst GOP Governor in the Union-which is saying a lot.

The latest proof that they don't want Hillary to win, don't want us to vote for her tomorrow night in the Iowa Caucus is the media trying to beat the old dead horse of Hillary's emails-though there is nothing new.

Meanwhile, there has been radio silence in the media about the dirty tricks Bernie Sanders' team practicing with many union and activist organizations. The chicanery has not stopped with them stealing DNC data back in December.


"Senator Bernie Sanders has built his insurgent presidential bid around being Mr. Clean, but several outside groups are now accusing his campaign of playing dirty.

"Sanders’s campaign in Iowa has included League of Conservation Voters and AARP logos in recent mailers it’s sent to prospective caucusgoers, a subtle effort to tie himself to those groups, if not implying an endorsement. But neither group has backed him. The AARP, which represents retirees, does not endorse candidates, and the League of Conservation Voters, an environmental advocacy group, is supporting Sanders’s Democratic foe, Hillary Clinton."

"And now news has broken of what is potentially an even more bald-faced deception, in Nevada, where Sanders supporters have reportedly been posing as members of Las Vegas’s powerful Culinary Workers Union Local 226 to try to rally labor support ahead of the state’s Democratic caucuses on February 20."

"For a candidate who has boasted about not taking money from billionaires and never running a negative political ad in his life, the moves raise questions about the iconoclastic Vermont lawmaker’s campaign just days before the make-or-break Iowa caucuses."

"AARP’s Iowa chapter had to clarify publicly that it is not supporting Sanders after noticing that the campaign was distributing mailers that include a photo of AARP members wearing their red shirts with the slogan “Take a Stand.” That’s the name of the group’s campaign to raise the Social Security issue in the 2016 election and get candidates to present their plan to protect the retirement program. Newsweek obtained an image of the mailer, which touts Sanders’s record as a defender of Social Security."

“While we have encouraged the presidential candidates to lay out their plans to update Social Security, AARP did not authorize the Sanders campaign to mention AARP or use the AARP logo, and we did not participate in its production,” AARP Iowa said in a January 26 statement. “We have a proud 30-year history of non-partisan voter engagement, providing voters with information on where the candidates stand on issues important to our members and their families.”

"The organization did not contact the Sanders campaign about halting the mailing, according to spokeswoman Ann Black."

"The League of Conservation Voters, however, has contacted Sanders’s staff, objecting to their logo being used on another mailer, shared with Newsweek, which portrays the senator as an environmental champion. The pamphlet, which is being sent out in Iowa, notes that Sanders “has a lifetime score of 95 percent from the League of Conservation Voters” and displays the group’s logo beside it.

"However, the league requires permission to use its logo and only grants that to politicians who’ve been endorsed by the affiliated LCV Action Fund. In the presidential race, that’s Clinton. According to a spokesman, the group has asked the Sanders campaign to not continue using its logo, and the campaign is looking into how it happened. "

"The Sanders campaign could spin those as honest mistakes, but given how much thought campaigns put into their advertising and the messages they’re trying to convey, that requires some credulity. It will be harder to explain away how campaign supporters knowingly deceived hotel workers on the Las Vegas Strip to gain access to employee-only areas, as veteran Nevada politics scribe Jon Ralston is reporting."

I know, this will just be dismissed as ''small beer.' Yesterday, a Bernie Bro on Twitter tried to explain to me that with Bernie these groups are all now irrelevant. No need for unions with The Bern out and about. 

Talk about an illusion. 

Of course, the media isn't discussing this while flagging the tired email gag as: They don't' want us to vote for Hillary Clinton.  

Let's disappoint them again.

P.S. Imagine if it was the Clinton team engaging in these deceptive practices. 

Good News and Bad News Heading into Iowa Caucus

The good news is that the recent post debate polls have shown Hillary winning. She is leading in every single poll that was done at least partly after the debate.

Ann Selzer's Des Moines Register poll is considered the gold standard of Iowa polling-she alone predicted Obama's big win in 2008.

It's certainly pretty good news that she is not predicting anything like this in 2016. Her poll has HRC ahead by 3 points. Though there is the O'Malley vote that will have to be divided between HRC and Bernie when he doesn't hit 15%.

Right now we're hearing that the O'Malley vote prefers Bernie 2 to 1.

Nate Silver has her favored to win by 80 percent.

But the bad news is that the Hillary team doesn't want us to look to polls for comfort. They prefer the polls to be tight so that no Hillary fan thinks she's got this and that they don't have to go out an vote in Iowa.

I don't live anywhere near to Iowa here in NY, but to those of you who do, or have friends and family who are in Iowa, remember she needs your vote.

If you want to know why it's so important that she get your vote just listen to President Obama again.

If you are With Her, now is the time to show it.

How do You Vote Against Hillary After Listening to President Obama?

Look. If you've read me for 7 years you know that I am second to no one in loving President Obama. 

I have defended this man, this President against lies and disingenuous attacks, and attacks which are just plain racist for years. 

And I would do it again, a thousand times if needed-surely I've done it over 7 years more than that already. I'm not a fair weather supporter. 

I've also recently talked about the fact that I was initially a Hillary Clinton supporter in 2008. It was nothing against POTUS. I just had  known her since 1992 and her resume seemed longer and more in line with someone that was ready to be President. 

But I could tell Obama was very qualified. It was a tough choice. You had two excellent choices. 

I did feel that some of his supporters went too far in their criticisms of her. A lot of it, sad to say was gender based-and that says nothing about the media that year. What Chris Matthews and others said. 

It also seemed to me a double standard. Everything she or Bill Clinton said was examined microscopically for signs of racism. Yet, gross and blatant sexism was often given a pass. 

It kind of belied an idea you often hear-and even now Bernie Sanders repeated at a recent Black and Brown Forum. That we've made more progress on sexism than racism. I disagree completely with that. 

At least when you talk about racism you get a respectful hearing. No one just say 'Oh, please.' But this is what you hear when you talk about gender. 

Anyway. It was a very close, tight race and Obama won. Once this happened, I wasted no time licking any wounds. The important thing was to get the Dems back in the WH after eight horrible years under George W. Bush. 

Once Obama was actaully in office I loved him even more. When the GOP applied scorch earth tactics against him-when Mitch McConnell admitted that the only thing they GOP cared about was beating Obama, rather than ending the recession and helping the American people, I was an even more staunch defender of the President. 

Then in the dark days of 2011 and the absurd game of debt ceiling chicken the GOP played, Obama was pummeled every day by the firebaggers. I found that while he had run on  a 'post partisan' world, when he was under relentless partisan attack was when I was most relentless in my love and defense of him. 

This is an interesting dynamic. I remember in 2008 those who loved candidate Obama but once he was in office, they were immediately critical of him. I was the opposite. I never loved some of caniddate Obama's rhetoric-Yes we can-was just a catchy slogan in my mind. 

If yes we can meant we an elect a black President, it was accurate. If it was about 'Yes, we can have a post partisan world' obviously the answer to that was 'No, we can't.'

I didn't hold it against him too much as I could see that he was basically, like Hillary Clinton herself, a pragmatist. 

But I always have been a much bigger supporter and fan of President Obama than  I had been of candidate Obama. 

Again, this is an interesting dynamic. Many folks seem to only like someone when they are a candidate-when they actually gain power then they turn against their former hero. 

To me such folks are just fair weather fans. When things get rough, they are like the Hebrews turning on Moses or something. 

But as much as I've loved Obama and think he has been a just superb President, never have I loved him as much as when he spoke up for Hillary like he did last week. When he defended her, when he half almost apologized for some of the tactics of his own team in 2008, when obviously he can be forgiven for them: after all, she was his opponent for the most important job in the world.

He admitted what had seemed clear to me in 2008; that even as a black man he benefited from the sexist hatred of a white female Presidential candidate. 

After he spoke out for her this way, it's just clear to me that it's destiny that we nominate Hillary Clinton and she lead our party to that next level. Where we consolidate and build on the Obama achievements. 

When the dust settles. I still think that the Barrack Obama-Hillary Clinton dynamic is one for the ages. Just an incredible political relationship where they begun as competitors but ended up being friends and part of the same Administration and linked forever in the future of the Democratic party. 

There is a great history of the 2008 race and their history which traces back to 2004 soon after Obama's great speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention.

Obama had actually been a huge Hillary fan from when he first met her then. 

One thing that was said about Obama in the early years-around 2006, 2007-was 'Wow! Here is a black man that feels totally at ease around white people!'

I have to laugh at that. I, like Obama am of mixed race-I have a white father and a black mother; though my mom is from Jamaica. Blacks from the West Indies tend to have a different worldview than African-Americans. 

Obama's mom is white. I mean, if your own mother's white, you probably will have some comfort around white people-assuming you love her and she loves you. I suppose it also depends on the race of most people you associated with. Whether you lived in an all white vs. all black neighborhood, etc, who you went to school with, clearly has a big impact. 

I myself don't have any more or less 'comfort' around white vs. black folks. 

When Cornell West more or less slurred the President for being a 'half breed'-I could relate. When I was in high school, many black kids spoke the same way about me. I was pretty fair-my Mom herself is a mulatto. 

But when you think about it, Hillary and Obama have a lot in common. If you look at their mothers who raised them. Both white American women with a strong sense of midwestern values. 

Anyway, I don't see how you don't vote for her after listening to the President's words. 

If you live in Iowa, I hope you will make sure to get out and do it tomorrow. 

They Don't Want You to Nominate a Democrat Who Can Win

I have to give this one to Melissa Harris-Perry. She referenced  the rapper DJ Khaled's shtick where he says 'They don't want you to enjoy your lunch'-with the challenge that: you enjoy your lunch. They don't want you to enjoy your Obamacare-so the challenge to you is to enjoy your Obamacare.

The idea is you always run against a certain 'they' who doesn't want you to do something. So what is it that they don't want you to do regarding Hillary Clinton?

H-P argues that what they don't want you to do regarding Hillary they don't want you to choose a Democrat that can win.

She's right though I could add. They also don't want you to be excited about electing a Democrat who can win. They don't want you to think of electing a first female President as a big deal.

And it's not hard to see who the 'they' is here.

1. The Republican party who is spending a great deal of money to take her down while actually trying to defend Bernie.

2. The Beltway media who has had it in for HRC since the first time she appeared on Diane Sawyers in 1992.

3. The Emoprogs who wanted to primary Obama in 2012 and who piously declare 'The lesser of two evils is still evil.'

They want a politics of purity which has never existed before.

So our job, starting tomorrow in Iowa is to not let them deny us a Democrat who can win, and who I believe is destined to succeed and build on the Presidency of Barrack Obama.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Why the GOP has hit Ted Cruz so Hard

It's been amazing to behold. It's actually the treatment of Cruz by his own party which has finally gotten Nate Silver to recant on his Trump skepticism.

He had assumed the party would take out Trump and accept Cruz as the lesser of two evils. The party seems to think that actually Trump is the lesser of two evils.

Which makes sense to me-Cruz is too big a True Believer. You can at least negotiate with self-centered opportunist.

Indeed, that's Trump's' whole bag-The Art of the Deal.

However,  there may be a less innocent aspect of the way Cruz has been cut off at the knees by his own party.

It might just be a way to try to get Rubio back in it. As FiveThrityEight says, Rubio is the only real hope for the GOP:

As I don't want GOP to win, of course, I don't want Rubio. I think Hillary can beat him-and I think he has been muddied up with the rest of the field thanks to the presence of Trump. He has said many things himself that will destroy his credibility with Latinos.

But, sure, I''d rather run against Trump/Cruz. I also agree that Jeb is a nonstarter and Crhistie has the ultimate glass jaw. He's been doing an awful lot of talking about HRC's emails today. In a general election all she has to do is ask him to realize his own so we can finally figure out what really happened with Bridgegate.

It seems that Rubio's 'long game' might start with a strong third place in Iowa.

This might give him some instant credibility as the Establishment frontrunner which will could propel him in NH and forward.

His hope is to make it a Rubio-Trump race-and while the GOP may accept Trump if Cruz is the other choice, it would much rather have Rubio, it goes without saying.

To be sure there was that Wall Street Journal poll a few weeks ago that showed that Trump actually beats Rubio in a two man race while losing to Cruz.

Still, ideally we'd rather not see an Establishment candidate even be viable.

Strange as it may seem, as a Trump Democrat-whose goal is first and foremost is not to have the GOP with an Establishment candidate-Trump whomping Cruz might even be counterproductive, if it led to Cruz falling out of the race too soon.

Ideally, you want to see either Jeb or Kasich-yep, now you have to root for Jeb over Rubio; and Jeb did get him pretty good at Thursday's debate-win NH. Heck, Christie would be even better-Mr. Bridgegate to you.

Trouble is he seems to have peaked based on recent polling.

Lilly Ledbetter Proves Ryan Cooper Wrong

Hillary hating extraordinaire Ryan Cooper thinks women shouldn't vote for Hillary just because she's a woman. 

"Of course, that does not change the fact that Clinton is facing real sexism, both from random Sanders fans on Twitter and from conservatives. What is so frustrating about the political discussion is that that's where it often stops, constantly lifting off from the concrete world of policy — how would either candidate improve the lives of hard-up Americans? — and into meta-discussions about which conversations among media elites have sexist or classist undertones. From there, add some purely personal resentments, and you've got a recipe for going around in an endless and unpleasant circle."

I don't know that 'this is where the conversation stops.' Often, I dont' see it start. The Bernie Bros mostly tell us this is a post gender age and it doesn't matter that HRC is a woman. Susan Sarandon did this the other night.

Beyond that Cooper is wrong to suggest that 'the only thing' HRC would do for women is give them a symbol-though this in itself would be very powerful.

This why Bernie's attempt to marginalize Hillary and the women's groups that support her as just the Establishment have rankled so much.

Both Planned Parenthood and HRC have been relentlessly targeted by the GOP with the aid and comfort of the Beltway media.

After 25 years, nothing seems to animate the Beltway-folks like Chris Cillizza, Maureen Dowd, etc-than throwing spitballs at Hillary Clinton.

Right now there is an attempt to push the email story-The Government now calls 22 emails top secret!-in the clear attempt to somehow tip the Iowa Caucus Bernie's way.

Meanwhile no mention of Bernie's own problems-how his campaign has repeatedly gone over the line in their campaign tactics.

No one on cable news mentions these stories though.

I still remember the night that HRC first was introduced to America with Bill on ABC News. She was right away excoriated for allegedly making fun of Tammy Wynette. This was pure gender politics-her was an uppity woman putting down the real women of America who aren't 'radical harpies.'

Even now we have the Very Serious Pundits telling us that Bill's affairs are 'fair game' in considering Hillary. Cooper seems to think that Hillary retreated behind phony sexism in 2008 but now even her opponent, President Obama agrees she was often the victim of genuine sexism.

Like typical Bernie Bros, Cooper's only answer is that her gender doesn''t matter 'just her policies' as if women's issues aren't about policies.

He suggests that she won't do right by women policy wise. She will somehow hold down their wages despite her comprehensive plan to both increase wages across the board and to achieve gender equality in wages.

Her vow to fight for PP is exactly what is needed by women, particularly poor women and women of color. A major part of poor women's healthcare comes through PP.

Lilly Ledbetter evidently isn't heeding Ryan Cooper.

Hillary Clinton won the endorsement Friday of the woman behind federal legislation making it easier for women to challenge their employers over unequal pay.

Lilly Ledbetter, namesake of the first law President Obama signed in 2009, said Clinton is a "fierce and uncompromising champion for women, for basic fairness, and for opportunity for everyone."

Let me guess: Lilly Ledbetter is part of the Establishment Bernie is taking on.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Bernie's Political Revolution isn't Going to Get it Done

Jamelle Bouie touches on something wholly glossed over by Bernie's rather one dimensional economists theory of politics. Indeed, we can't help but think of Marxism itself.

Bernie has said he's not looking to literally have the government take over the means of production, but his rigid money in politics reminds you of Marxism. He has read Marx in his time he-as have I for that matter.

"At base, Sanders does not believe the American public is deeply split on key issues. Instead, Sanders sees a broad and unified public that’s stifled and trampled by the power of concentrated wealth, from Wall Street to big corporations and beyond. And so, when asked by a voter about gridlock and Congress—“What specifically will you do to overcome the resistance, cure the gridlock, and garner the necessary support to implement your initiatives and actually get something done in Washington?”—Sanders replied with his call to political revolution."

"Still, there’s a problem, and the reason is straightforward. Yes, Wall Street and big business are powerful forces that, in many ways, have captured important parts of the American political system. But just as critical is the simple fact that Americans disagree. And they’ll continue to disagree, even in the face of a broad political movement. The closest analogy to Sanders’ revolution—the civil rights movement—inspired a backlash that reversed important gains and moved American politics to the right."

This has been his problem on things like 'identity politics'-though it also touches on another issue he's weak on-gun control.

Americans are fundamentally divided. There isn't blanket agreement and never has been.

Issues of race and gender don't magically disappear by getting rid of money in politics-aside from how exactly he plans to do this.

This has been a point of Propane Jane who argues the reason we don't have 'socialism' in America as opposed to Europe is race.

You could say that Bernie's theory of change is totally an outside game-his political revolution-ie, the people that vote for him.

In office, he has never shown even the slightest ability to form coalitions in the inside game which is necessary to govern. Even in his own party-which of course, isn't really his party-he has made no friends.

Even progressives like Peter Shumlin who agree on single payer don't support him but HRC.

This is where I disagree with Bouie. I think he'd be a very poor President because of his contemptuous attitude towards the inside game in politics which Bouie admits is also part of it.

Why Bernie Can't Win the Obama Coalition

Well it starts from the fact that the OC probably listens to Obama and he's made his choice pretty clear.

A lot was said about HRC hugging him in the debates but he then came out and hugged her right back.

Beyond that, the trouble for Bernie is that he's trying to build a coalition when we already have one.

It kind of reminds you of his health care plans. We already have achievements but he wants to tear them down and start over.

It's like I'm driving from NY to Albuquerque and realize I would have been better off starting off on the I-495 than the Southern State and so I go back-when I'm already in South Carolina.

Propane Jane puts it well.

It's not rocket science, folks. Stop trying to build a new coalition when you already have one that works and wins the White House."

Bernie's coalition he's trying to build is heavy on white liberals. The same folks who wanted to primary Obama in 2012-that had Bernie's ear at the time.

While the white liberals love Bernie, he has made no inroads with AAs. Latinos, and women-which is the heart of the Obama Coalition.

Propane Jane makes a great point. The real barrier to 'socialism' is race. Why else do we have it in Europe?

Jamil Smith makes another great point.

Bernie keeps talking about how black folks will support him once they are introduced to him. When will that be exactly? He has been running since April.

In SC, he trails 64-27 and 74-17 among AAs. He's also shockingly down by 23 points to women there.
SC votes on Feb 28. Until NH voting on Feb 8 he will have no time to focus there. He hopes to make up a 60 point deficit in 20 days?

Beyond this, women and POC, I think you could argue, would be well served to stay with Hillary for another reason: if Bernie is getting white males to listen to him then women and POC can be the kingmakers in this primary.

They get to veto the Bernie Bros. Then in a Hillary Clinton Administration in 2017, she will owe more to women and POC than the Dem party even has in the past. It will even more become their party.

Let's Face it: Hillary Clinton Was Right

Everyone in the Democratic party agrees with her now. As the President's recent interview shows, even he agrees with her now too.

"If Obama was surprised by his presidency's failure to change the tenor of American politics, Clinton probably wasn't. She had always been clear that Obamaism was, in her view, shot through with naiveté about the nature of both American politics and Republican opposition."

"I could stand up here and say, 'Let's just get everybody together, Let's get unified. The sky will open. The light will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing. And everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect,'" Clinton said in 2008. "Maybe I've just lived a little long, but I have no illusions about how hard this is going to be. You are not going to wave a magic wand and have the special interests disappear."

Many Democrats now agree that the time for symbolism is over. Not the Bernie Bros, but most other Democrats do.

Indeed, this is how most black Democrats feel at this point. African-Americans due to historical experience are normally very pragmatic in who they vote for in the Democratic primary. They need someone who can win.

Especially right now where in may red states the right to vote is under the sort of attack we haven't seen since the Voting Rights Act: thanks to the Robert's Court voiding Clause 4 of the VRA as well as the rise of all kinds of voter id laws and other sundry restrictions on the right to vote which disproportionately affects AAs.

In 2008 black folks had their one aspirational feel good choice. Don't get me wrong-I love President Obama and voted for him twice. But what we need now is less the audacity of hope but the audacity of pragmatism.

"Coming off a State of the Union address in which the president who eight years ago pledged to remake our politics admitted his failure, it is disheartening to hear yet another Democratic presidential contender offer up a platform high on aspiration and low on realism. For skeptical voters of color, you also have to factor in Ta-Nehisi Coates’s complaint that the democratic socialist who is calling for a political revolution transformed suddenly into a political pragmatist when reparations were brought up. (Yes, Clinton was also asked about reparations during the Iowa Brown & Black Forum, and she also gave an unsatisfactory answer. But she isn’t promising a political revolution.) "

"What does Sanders have to do to convince Democratic voters who are more results-oriented, specifically those who are black and Latino, that he’s their best bet? Much more than he has. Eight years after Obama’s “hope and change” captured the imaginations and votes of Americans of color, these voters are focused on the hard realities of the present. Those who are looking to protect the gains made under Obama want results, not rhetoric. No one, perhaps other than Obama and his staffers, is more possessive of that legacy than the black and Latino voters who were so key to getting him to the Oval Office in the first place. Despite the outreach efforts that Sanders has mounted, he has a lot of work to do to convince those same voters that he can realistically deliver on his ideas."

For most Democrats-of color, women, moderates, pragmatic liberals-the real question is who's going to get shit done, not who can make the most pretty promises.

Aspirations won't rollback voter suppression, give us immigration reform, or fight back on the attack on women's choice and health.

They won't secure the gains of President Obama. That will take the ability to govern.

Not Again! Nevada Culinary Campaign Accuses Bernie Team of Cheating

This is getting to be a habit:

"Campaign staffers for Sen. Bernie Sanders donned union pins to gain access to worker dining rooms in Las Vegas, the powerful Culinary Workers union said Thursday."

“We can confirm multiple reports of Bernie Sanders’ campaign staffers attempting and gaining access to employee dining rooms at Las Vegas Strip properties where over 57,000 members that we represent work,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Culinary Workers Union Local 226 secretary-treasurer.

"Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver confirmed the action and offered an apology."

"We have reminded our staff that that is not appropriate and that they should not do it again," Weaver said. "In addition, I have spoken with the political director of the Culinary Union to express the campaign’s regret at this having occurred and our support of the union’s fight for workers’ rights. The political director was extremely gracious and we are glad to have this resolved."

Read more:

I'm sure some of the Bernie Bros will just want to brush this off, but can you imagine the headlines if the Clinton team had engaged in this?

Meanwhile. Bernie is rather laughingly claiming that Hillary is a 'flip-flopper- by agreeing to debate him next week.
For how long have Bernie's Maniacs been accusing her of being scared to have more debates? Rachel Maddow inserted herself in this furor declaring that the Dems should just disregard the DNC as what counts is not the party but the candidates. Which is not true either for the record.

So Bernie and his Bros have been badgering her for more debates and now she agrees to it and now you play the flip-flopper card?

In the latest Bernie offered a quid pro quo of he will agree to a debate next week for three more primetime debates in April and May.

She says she's open to it. That Bernie is not rushing to take her up on this speaks volumes. 

Nancy LaTourne Shows Why Bernie Would Make a Bad President

I think she puts it pretty succinctly:

"The more I listen to and read about Bernie Sanders, the clearer it becomes that there is one central theme we need to understand about him on which almost everything else rests. It is what he clarified in the last Democratic debate."

"In all due respect, you’re missing the main point. And the main point in the Congress, it’s not the Republicans and Democrats hate each other."

"That’s a mythology from the media. The real issue is that Congress is owned by big money and refuses to do what the American people want them to do."

"Notice that he didn’t say that “Republicans are owned by big money.” Sanders believes that ALL of Congress is owned by big money. That’s what he means when he says that the system is rigged. His view is that the gridlock we are witnessing right now is not a result of ideological differences. It is because big money is in charge and that makes Congress oblivious to the needs of the American people."

I've felt all along that Bernie overstates the issue of money in politics. Certainly it's important-Citizen's United was a disaster; though when HRC gets in she will be able to put in judges who will overturn it or fix it. 

But there really are differences between Americans. This is something Bernie doesn't account for-honest ideological differences over things like a woman's right to choose, gun control, issues of race and gender, etc. 

My point is not that money in politics is not important but that he is reductionist in seeing it as the root of everything. 

One of the big stories of the GOP in recent years is that the donors-the Koch Bros, etc-have wanted immigration reform but that the GOP Congressmen's voters at home wouldn't let them do it. 

To go back to the issue of woman's right to choose-this is not just an issue of money. It's ideology. There are many Americans who really think this is 'murder.'

In a sense you can call PP part of the Democratic party Establishment. But if so, this just shows not all Establishments are bad. 

As Propane Jane says, we have a Democratic coalition-the Obama Coalition. There is no need for a new one. 

Lobbyists are also not understood. Lobbyists don't make politicians take votes they otherwise wouldn't. Politicians have lobbyists for issues they already agree on and look just for practical, logistical advice for. 

So in a way PP is a lobbying group. But do they need to be curtailed? This would actually take away the voices of many women rather than increasing anyones voice. 

Here, though, I think LaTourne nails it on the problem of Bernie:

"Unsurprisingly, people don’t like being told that they are part of a rigged establishment or that they are a shill of the insurance companies - it is pretty much guaranteed to end any reasonable discussion on actual issues. To the extent that charge is thrown at Congressional Democrats, it probably explains why so few of them have endorsed Sanders."

"This is unfortunate because it creates divisions rather than coalitions. Of course it is no more true to assume that money plays no role in political differences than it is to say that it is the only reason for them. Life is never that black and white. Developing a real movement for change requires that we actually listen to each other and sometimes make the tough call on who we can work with and who we can’t. It’s hard work. There are no easy outs and sometimes you get burned. But simply assuming that anyone who disagrees with you is bought and paid for is childish and divisive."

Yes, except for Bernie it is black and white. Money in politics is the sole root of all evil. Get rid of money and everything will be peachy. 

But this is the trouble with Bernie Sanders' record. He has no history of building any coalitions. Which is telling. Barney Frank said that in Congress Bernie was his own worst enemy by being so sanctimonious he alienated allies. 

Again, I've said he's the leftist version of Ted Cruz and I wasn't kidding. 

Why else does someone like Peter Shumlin who also tried single payer in his own state not support him?

If even those who agree with him don't support him what does this tell you?

When he was asked at a recent debate what happened to single payer, his answer was that you have to ask Shumlin. 

This is the sort of nonresponsive answer that underscores the problem. If he at least could speak to what went wrong there-why did it fail in a small, progressive state yet will succeed in a large country of 50 different states?

That he simply sidestepped the question confirms the worst things about him. That what he says is just aspirational. 

Which is a problem as most Democrats are in a pragmatic mood right now. 

How You Know Trump Won Last Night's Debate

I argued last night that the clear winner last night was the man who wasn't there.

Josh Marshall has the same basic take.

"As I noted earlier, the multiple events we were trying to cover tonight - especially what amounted to a Republican debate and a simultaneous counter-debate - prevented me from giving the kind of focus to the debate proper which I normally would. So my impressions will be more tentative than they normally are."

I myself said last night that I didn't watch the GOP debate but Trump's event-which was kind of moving when some of the veteran's gave speeches. It was hilarious on C-SPAN after. A woman on the phone was raving over how great Trump was. The C-SPAN pundit tried to cut in and ask her what she thinks of Jeb being endorsed by a Florida paper and it was dead silence.

'Uh-I'm for Trump.' was all the had to say to that.

As to the Kid's Table debate, all you have to know is that Jim Gillmore is supposed to have done very well to realize you missed nothing by not having watched it.

According to Josh, Cruz tried to dominate early with some jokes about Trump. But he wasn't really able to maintain the role. After the first half hour, there was no more talk of Trump.

I did check in to the main debate a few times. I saw Rubio talking very fast and animatedly. I saw a good deal of consensus on Twitter and around the web that Rubio was wildly over-amped.

This is certainly Josh's take:

Rubio seemed too frenetic and hyped up to me. He's had the same pat, smooth, paragraph length prose answers he's used in every debate. But with time running out for him, he's just reciting faster or more agitated or more pissed off than before. But more pissed off at ISIS or just how his campaign is going?

"In any case, I think his exchanges with others on the stage did not go well for him - the back and forth with Bush particularly so. In fact, I thought this was Bush's best debate by a longshot, though I can't imagine it will do him much good at this point. After that early debate where he went after Rubio and Rubio just shut him down, I thought Bush did Rubio a fair amount of damage in the exchange on immigration. As Kris Kristoferson put it, freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. And like Rand Paul, with Bush I felt a sense of, 'Now that my campaign's over I can loosen up a bit and be myself.'

Actually Jeb had a good recent poll in NH. It would be great if he-or Kasich who also has had some good polls in NH-were to come in first among the Establishment candidates.

As Rubio is the Establishment's best bet.

Rubio has not been doing so well in NH-though he has been in third in Iowa.

"I thought Cruz did well against Rubio but fared much less well against Rand Paul, who made him look bad. Cruz was clumsy and cringey at the beginning with the Trump jokes. But my sense was that if you're open to liking Ted Cruz, he did reasonably well. His closing - again, for people with the acquired taste - struck me as pretty strong."

Yes, I also heard good things about Rand Paul.

Overall, Trump threw the whole center of gravity off.

"The night was too jumbled for me to get a real sense of how this whole night played for Trump - whether his gambit worked. My guess is that it likely solidified where he already was. He didn't dominate the entirety of the debate quite as much as I anticipated. But even though the candidates mainly stopped talking about Trump after a half-hour or more, he still totally turned the evening upside down. Hell, he completely threw me off my game! I can't watch two totally separate events live at the same time with any level of attention (after the beginning I watched very little of his speech.)"

Thursday, January 28, 2016

You Don't Have to Watch the GOP Debate Tonight to Know Who's Winning

For me to not watch a Presidential debate.. I mean that doesn't happen too much.

Tonight I haven't watched. I went into my reasoning here.

But what it came down to is first and foremost a desire to stick it to Roger Ailes and his network.

Also, not to give what Trump's call the losers any air time-Jeb, Rubio, or for that matter Ted Cruz.

I followed Right wing radio host Howie Carr's live tweeting and what we seemed to have was mostly a whole lot of nothing.

Cruz tried to repeat his whining over the moderator questions again. Sure, now Fox News are a bunch of 'moonbats' as well, right?

Cruz started the night off by making fun of Trump. So even with Trump AWOL, the debate that he didn't attend is all about him.

No-show Trump dominates GOP debate

Rival Ted Cruz opens up the primetime Fox event with a mocking impression of the Republican poll-leader.

Read more:
In watching Trump's wing ding, I have to admit. The part where he had a few Afghanistan vets come in and give speeches really was pretty touching.

Ok, it's' true we have no idea what veteran's groups Trump is actually donating to-he claims to have raised $5 million today and had a guy speak who said he had personally donated $1 million.

But listening to these guys really was kind of touching and inspiring. The talked about vets being strong and fighting back against depression; suicide is a real problem for vets.

One vet talked about not letting the Taliban win by killing yourself. Wow. Some earth shattering stuff.

After he spoke Trump asked isn't this event better than the GOP debate and everyone of course screamed yes. But I do have to agree.

True, I'm watching this largely to spite Ailes and the GOP Establishment-doing my part to see Trump's' ratings kill Fox's. But that was pretty moving.

If nothing else these vets who have done so much for our country get some exposure and maybe have raised some awareness. That's better than Jeb try to convince us his energy level is fine.

Why I Won't be Watching GOP Debate Tonight

You know me, I'm a political animal. I always watch debates. But tonight when the main GOP debate starts on Fox, I'll be watching MSNBC.

Which will feature Trump's 'veteran benefit' in Iowa.

Why is this? First and foremost to put some mud in Roger Ailes' eye. My hope is the ratings tonight are in the toilet. I sure don't want to help him get ratings.

For the one thing that could help Jeb and Rubio is a stage not totally overshadowed by Trump.

Hopefully, then no one watches them.

I didn't watch the Kid's Table debate-as I usually do. I might check in at the main debate but will switch back and forth with MSNBC.

Trump said the other day that he could kill someone and not lose any fans. What he's doing tonight is not quite on that level but it's not the sort of thing that is done and it would probably hurt anyone else.

Josh Marshall is right. This is all about optics, pure and simple.

"I can't say that I know how this is going to play out for him. But I thought this was an important moment to revisit an issue I've discussed in various posts going back over a dozen years. In the present context I would put it like this: Pundits and political obsessives tend to get distracted by process and policy literalism. But politics generally and especially intra-Republican political battles are really about demonstrating dominance - not policy mastery or polling leads but a series of symbols and actions that mark the dominating from the dominated."

Marshall first made this point in the Swift Boat attack on Kerry in 2004. Kerry lost in part because he didn't fight back. Indeed, as David Brock explained, Kerry had waited way too long to even think about dealing with it. He and his campaign had allowed these lies to fester for months before responding.

So again, Trump is showing dominance vis a vis Roger Ailes, who regrets getting himself in this pickle but was trying to show that he's the bigger bully; until Trump, Ailes always had been the bigger bully.

"When I first wrote about this a dozen years ago I called it the "bitch slap theory of politics." I'm no longer comfortable using that phrase. But I do think the heavily gendered, violent nature of that phrase is one of the only ways to really capture the nature of what's happening in these dramas."

"Take Trump's evisceration of Jeb Bush."

"Trump's comment about Jeb's being "weak", "low energy", "pitiful" ... these are demeaning and denigrating phrases. They seem frankly gross, with an emotional tenor we'd expect from street toughs or frat boys trash talking each other. It's raw and primal and all about dominating by denigrating. But what has really hurt Bush is not so much that Trump is calling him names. It's that Trump has used these attacks to demonstrate that Jeb is unable or unwilling to defend himself. Trump hits him and Jeb takes it. His responses are hapless and weak and generally meaningless. You probably barely remember them. The impact of this is not tied to Trumpcalling Bush "weak." Trump is engineering encounters that show that Bush is weak."

"That was a dozen years ago. But this driving force of Republican politics has only become more salient and central as the GOP has become increasingly dominated by core constituencies animated by anger and resentment that things to which they believe they are entitled are being taken away from them."

"Trump doesn't apologize. He hurts people and they go away. He says things that would kill a political mortal (ban members of an entire religion from entering the country) and yet he doesn't get hurt. Virtually everything Trump has done over the last six months, whether it's a policy proposal or personal attack, has driven home this basic point: Trump is strong. He does things other people can't."

"This is why Trump has so shaken up and so dominated the GOP primary cycle, at least thus far. As I've said, this kind of dominance symbolism is pervasive in GOP politics. It's not new with Trump at all. Most successful Republican politicians speak this language. And yet somehow for most it is nonetheless a second language. But it's Trump's native language. I still believe it's rooted in the mix of the hyper-aggressive New York real estate world, his decades of immersion in the city's febrile tabloid culture and just being, at the most basic level, a bully. Wherever it comes from, he seems to intuitively get that for this constituency and at this moment just demonstrating that he gets his way, always, is all that really matters. Policy details, protecting the candidate through careful press releases and structured media opportunities ... none of that matters. Trump doesn't kiss babies. Babies kiss him. He doesn't have a billionaire backer; he is a billionaire. Trump doesn't ask for support. He just tells you that you need to stop being a loser and get on board."

"So this debate power play is all of a piece. He can just take the table, flip it over and walk out of the room. It's all about him."

"There is no question that Trump will completely dominate tomorrow night's debate by his absence. After all, he's the one in the lead everywhere. If he's not there, what is there to talk about? The Rubio v Christie stand off? Jeb? Who cares?"

"It may be two plus hours of people attacking him without him being there to respond - and the moderators themselves out to get him too. But again, it's still all about him. He can make it all about him by not even being there. He doesn't kowtow to Fox News or go on retainer with the network during the off-season. He calls the shots. And there is little question in my mind that in one fashion or another you will have two competing TV shows tomorrow night, Trump's and everybody else's. And Trump's will almost certainly be better."

Indeed. That's why I'll be watching Trump-maybe check in on Fox now and again.

The goal in my mind is to drive tonight's Fox News debate as low as humanly possible.

What if They Threw a Kid's Table Debate and Only Carly Fiorina Shows Up?

We may know the answer to this question soon as it now appears she may be the only one there as her two KT opponents-Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee-say they will attend Trump's veteran event instead.

"Tonight’s republican debate was expected to follow the usual format of a headlining debate in primetime for the top several candidates in the polls, along with a second-tier debate for a group of also-ran candidates who are trying to fight their way back into the mix. But now that a handful candidates including frontrunner Donald Trump have pulled out of tonight’s debate in protest, the only candidate still scheduled to appear in the undercard debate is Carly Fiorina. So what are they going to do now?"

"If debate host Fox News and the republican party have made up their minds about how to handle this bizarre development, they’re not saying yet. The second-tier debate was officially scheduled to consist of Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum. But now Huckabee and Santorum say they’re both attending Trump’s alternate campaign event instead. That means, barring a last minute change in the lineup, Carly Fiorina may be the only one taking questions from the moderators, in effect debating herself."

"There are a few ways in which Fox can resolve this. One would be to promote Carly Fiorina to the main stage debate, effectively giving her the spot vacated by Donald Trump, though it would technically be a violation of the guidelines. Another would be to allow Fiorina to use the entire undercard block for a sit down interview, but that would no doubt cause other candidates to cry foul. We’ll find out in two hours whether Fox News really intends to let Fiorina stand out there and debate herself."

They say Trump is a brilliant strategist but you know who doesn't look so brilliant right now? Roger Ailes.

Susan Sarandon: the Fallacy of Saying Gender is not the Issue

Melissa McEwan calls out Sarandon's introducing Bernie last night

"Susan Sarandon intros Bernie in Mason City. "I'm here because gender is not what's important, the issues are what's important."

"A construction that separates "gender" from "the issues" is so infuriating I don't know where to begin."

This is something I've spoken of before. It is disconcerting how many women like Sarandon, Jill Abramson and others who argue that this is a 'post gender election'-which makes it sound like we've already had 4 female Presidents in a row or something.

McEwan points out that Hillary is not somehow 'inserting gender' into the real issues. Her gender is and remains a huge issue. It has been for the 24 years she's been in the public spotlight and before in

A few weeks ago Bernie claimed that we've made more progress on sexism than racism. I have no idea how he arrives at that conclusion.

By no manes have we ended racism but at least we've had a black President. And President Obama himself now says that HRC was the victim of sexism in the media on how she was covered.

I've argued that the Bernie Bros are the same Emoprogs who had it in for President Obama and were talking of primarying him back in 2012; a conversation that Bernie was part of we can add.

They often would dismiss talk of race guarding Obama's treatment just as they now dismiss gender with Hillary.

At the end of the day, they think that economics trump intersectional analysis-that there is economic inequality but race and gender are at most derivatives of that.

But it's quite disappointing to see women like Sarandon perpetuate this illusion.

Roger Ailes vs. Donald Trump: Who Will Get More Viewers Tonight

I'm not exactly sure what game he's playing here. Not Trump-his game is obvious. He's doing what he always does. Making this all about him.

Since his announced plan to boycott tonight's GOP debate hosted on Fox for some fundraiser for veterans-such as it is-he's been the sole topic of conversation. 

The only way the other candidates have been able to insert themselves into the conversation at all is by also discussing veterans or like Huckabee, Santorum and other Kid's Table candidates pledging to show up at Trump's veteran shindig.

The real question is what is Ailes' game? It seems he may be trying to be the tough guy-show that Trump won't bully him; after all, Ailes' likes to be the bully. 

But this may show that he's met his match. According to reports, his staff  was urging him not to send out the taunting message to Trump. 

Now he's given Trump the perfect excuse to walk. After all, Ailes' attack on him sounds like it came from rival political candidates rather than an impartial network holding a debate. 

"As the war between Fox News and Donald Trump ratchets up, Roger Ailes is fighting off criticism from his senior executives over his handling of the crisis. According to one highly placed source, last night, Ailes sent out the now-famous statement mocking Trump as being scared to meet with the “Ayatollah” and “Putin” if he became president. “That was Roger 100 percent,” the source explained. “A lot of people on the second floor” — where top Fox executives work — “didn’t think it was a good idea.”

It doesn't look like a good idea at this point.

"New signs emerged today at just how frantic Ailes has become to get Trump back to the table. The two men have not spoken since yesterday, sources told me. This morning, Joe Scarborough reported that Ailes called Trump's daughter Ivanka and wife, Melania, to get through to the GOP front-runner. But Trump is saying he'll only talk to Rupert Murdoch directly. In a further challenge to Ailes's power, Bill O'Reilly is scheduledto host Trump. Last night, Ailes directed Sean Hannity to cancel Trump's interview. O'Reilly's refusal to abide by a ban adds a new dynamic to the clash of egos. For O'Reilly, this is an opportunity to take back star power from Kelly. Sources say O'Reilly feels he made Kelly's career by promoting her on his show, and he's been furious that Kelly surpassed him in the ratings. "

Honestly, even I probably will at best divide my time between the debate and Trump's special.

It won't shock me if Trump got more.

"This further helps Trump in again looking like the outsider. Trump has lately been seen as-compared to Cruz-an insider, crazy as it sounds. But the Establishment had suddenly concluded that given the choice they might actually take Trump. Understandable. You always prefer to deal with an opportunist rather than a True Believer ideologue."

Now Rush is praising Trump again.

He also asks if tonight will be boring without Trump.

Rush tries to claim it won't be but the answer is a clear no. Trump puts a different framing on everything, just by being there.

No Trump is a real problem for Fox. It used to be that no GOPer could dare to cross Fox News. A lot of things have changed since the start of this campaign.

P.S. The African-American pastor, Darrell Scott, now says that he had tickets to see the debate but without Trump going he may just scalp them-he says no one will be watching.

Hillary and Obama Hug While Flint Mayor Karen Weaver Hugs Hillary

Doesn't this cut against all the hateful things that Hillary haters say about her? That she cares for no one but herself, that she's a hypocrite that she only cares about Wall St. etc?

Think about it, if this were true why would Karen Weaver hug HRC so closely?

""We want a friend like Hillary in the White House," Weaver told reporters on the call, which was organized by Clinton's campaign. "That's exactly what we need to have happen."

She was much less impressed by Bernie demanding Snyder step down-after HRC had already brought it up at the debate.

Meanwhile Rick Snyder is trying to blame everyone for what happened in Flint but Rick Snyder.

The Governor in saying 'Your government failed you' is not actually apologizing at all to the residents of Flint who have no clean water to drink-or to bathe with.

Because in Governor Snyder's lexicon, 'government' means the EPA, the federal government-or even the local officials of Flint who his emergency managers law disenfranchised. It means everyone in government except Snyder's Republican Administration who heads the Michigan government.

Rachel Maddow did a great job last night with her Flint special.

She has been the one who made us aware of what has been going on there. As she correctly says, the Original Sin in Flint was the emergency manager laws. Democracy has been stricken from AAs in Michigan. 

President Obama told Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow to thank Rachel for him personally last night. 

As Rachel says, as a nation, all of us who are not from Flynt-I for one have never been to Michigan-need to make rebuilding the city of Flint a national priority. 

Bernie Sanders Tries to Marginalize HRC's Meeting With African American Pastors in Philly

Again, like with Planned Parenthood, he stepped in it last night.

"Bernie Sanders threw one of his most direct rhetorical punches yet at Hillary Clinton over her financial-industry ties on Wednesday night, telling a packed crowd, "My opponent is not in Iowa tonight. She is raising money from a Philadelphia investment firm."

"After the crowd — jammed into a "Music Man"-themed hall — was done booing loudly, Sanders said, "Frankly, I'd rather be here with you."

"Clinton has been barnstorming Iowa in recent days, and she canceled a pair of New York fundraisers set for Thursday in order to spend more time in the state campaigning. But she left the state on Wednesday for a campaign cash event hosted by Franklin Square Capital Partners and featuring a concert by Jon Bon Jovi."

Read more:

He might try not to go there before making sure he knows what he's talking about.

"Minutes after Sanders hit Clinton, her campaign sent out a press release describing her Wednesday-night meeting with African-American ministers in Philadelphia before the fundraiser."

Read more:

This meeting was with nearly 50 AA ministers across the country to discuss issues of importance to the community.

This makes me think of a comment by Propane Jane:

For the umpteenth time, systemic racism is the number one reason why we don't have socialism in America. It ain't the banks or the 1%ers."

The Stalinism of the Bernie Bros

I say Stalinism advisedly-it's a serious charge. But this is the formal nature of the Bernie movement. It's Stalnist logic. If you criticize Bernie in any way, you are the toll of some all powerful oligarchy. Full stop.

When Bernie is asked how he's going to get all these big plans of his done he claims he's going to launch a political revolution. So in other words the world will be run by snarky, Bernie Bros?

Now there's a dictatorship that isn't pretty.

As I've said previously, I know fully well who the Bernie Bros are. They are the Emoprogs who used to hang out at Firedoglate and used to attack President Obama in the most visceral terms imaginable. Just like with HRC they dismiss you when you point out the sexist nature of much of her criticism they would snigger when talking of Obama 'I'm sure this makes us racist.'

I remember one who commented that there won't be another black President for a long time after how bad POTUS allegedly was.

But the Stalnism was the way you had to agree with them on one thing: Obama was just the worst human being in the world to ever walk the earth. 'He is pure evil' you would hear in wild comments.

So once they heard you actually like and support Obama you were dead to them. When I told them I like Obama they accused me of being some fat cat member of the 1 percent and maybe a DNC operative. Now being a DNC 'operative' actually sounds kind of cool-oh but if only that were so. If the DNC hired me as an 'operative' you can bet I''d be on board.

But I was hardly part of any 1 percent. I was a guy who actually had been out of work and at the time had been living in my parent's basement for 3 years. It would be another 3 until I finally got out. Yet they tried to marginalize me as part of the 1 percent.

So this Bernie movement is all about them. For them to take over our party would be a nightmare.

Here they use the same tactics. If anyone supports HRC or agrees with her in any way, or in any way takes issue with The Bern, then you are obviously a paid lobbyist of the Oligarchs or some such fantastical thing.

Now they are going after the Charles Gaba.

"So Charles Gaba, whose excellent site ACA Signups has been a huge secret resource for those of us covering health reform, is getting theBernie Bro treatment. Never mind his long service to the cause of covering the uninsured (and his declaration that he’ll support either candidate in the general): his carefully laid-out explanation of his support for Hillary Clinton’s incremental approach means that he’s a corrupt tool of the oligarchy."

Actually when you read how this went down, it's very funny.

"Over the past 2 1/2 years, NY Times columnist, Princeton Economics Professor and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman has cited my work a number of times, for which I am eternally flattered. However, I'm pretty sure I've never really cited his writing otherwise (perhaps I have and don't recall)."

"Today, however, I'm doing so in response to the trashing I received from a certain subset of commenters over at Daily Kos to my posts "On healthcare, I have to side with Hillary" and "OK, you asked for it, what about HILLARY's healthcare plans?"

"When I cross-posted my honest opinion about Bernie Sanders's "Single Payer Now!!" healthcare plan overhaul vs. Hillary Clinton's "Improve the ACA but Stay the Course" incrementalism, I received praise from those who agreed with me, which was appreciated. I also received honest disagreement from some who brought up points I hadn't considered, or where we simply had to agree to disagree...respectfully."

"And then there were these:

"It’s pretty easy for him in his seat of comfort and privilege to ignore the millions of Americans without health care that need help yesterday. He’s got his, he can wait as long as he wants for changes that might get those people covered and he is specifically advocating that it should take a really long time, time that so so many DO NOT HAVE."

"That’s why I simply don’t believe it when he claims to be or have been on the fence. I think he’s always been a Clinton supporter and is only saying that he’s on the fence as a way to try to gin up credibility with Sanders supporters so the concern trolling will be more effective. And make no mistake, that’s exactly what I see this diary as: a Clinton support concern trolling the Sanders campaign over healthcare."

"What sucks is that I used to like reading the diarist’s work and he was credible to me. Now? Not so much."

It's very interesting. Gaba was credible to him on Daily KOS for years. And now because he takes HRC's side on the healthcare debate he's discovered that he is a terrible person who probably beats his children.

You might think that if Gaba was seen as credible at KOS for years that when he comes out with a different take it might be treated with a little respect at least. Hear him out, I don't know give him the benefit of the doubt-but no. He's just someone reveling in his 'seat of privilege.'

Others accuse him of being a paid shill-maybe he works for the drug companies!

I’m actually embarrassed that so many Democrats are just okie-dokie with so many millions suffering. Sickening.

"Since it was a keynote speech and they provided transportation, I can only presume that it was a paid performance. Then you assure us that you have learned the entire alphabet and several three and four letter combinations. Congratulations on your achievement. Evidently that confirms to me that you are a literate shill of the insurance companies."

"You’re not a shill, but you are an industry insider whose own personal and professional identity is wedded to incremental reform to such an extent that your pronouncements in favor of it are neither surprising nor illuminating."

"He’s a self-made (and accredited) ACA expert who analyzes ACA in great detail, runs a for-profit website promoting ACA’s operation and benefits and makes paid appearances to explain and promote ACA."

"He is a paid ACA expert and advocate. He’s intimately familiar with its intricacies and gains professionally from detailing them. And now he states he wants that system to continue as is, or maybe get more intricate and expand slowly and profitably? That is not surprising."

"...and so forth. Apparently there are those who honestly think that I'd rather see 30 million people suffer and die rather than give up the "gravy train" I'm supposedly riding with this cash cow."

"I should reiterate that Daily Kos where I started the ACA Signups project in the first place, and where I've been an active member for over 12 years now."

"Throughout the dark days of the 2013-2014 Open Enrollment Period, I was given high praise for my work with the ACA much so that when Markos Moulitsas, founder of dKos, held a fundraiser to thank me for my efforts, the response was overwhelming. I will always be incredibly grateful for the dKos membership's support. For two years, I was considered a trusted voice of reason and accuracy about Obamacare and related healthcare/health insurance matters in the middle of a sea of bullshit spewed by the likes of FOX News, Breitbart, the Daily Caller, the Daily Signal, Avik Roy, Scott Gottlieb, NewsMax and so forth."

"Then, last week, I stated that after having given the matter much thought and consideration, I've come to the reluctant decision that in spite of my ideal preference for single payer, given the political climate and the realities of how the healthcare industry works in the United States, along with genuine concerns about Sanders's plan and Hillary Clinton's prior attempts to push for universal healthcare in different ways, I've decided that her less-sexy, incremental approach to improving healthcare coverage and quality, as clunky and piecemeal as it may be, is the better way to go at this time than Sanders's "revolutionary" proposals...but also pointed out that the ACA itself paves the way for single payer (at least at the state level) IF the voters really do feel strongly enough about it."

"...and suddenly I'm being called a "shill of the insurance companies", a "concern troll", "sitting in my seat of comfort and privilege" while being "okie-dokie with so many millions suffering." In fact, I'm apparently "sickening."

This is why while I don't think there will be any Bernie political revolution if it were that would itself e a pretty awful thing. Listening to them, makes it clear how Stalnism happen.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I Thought Bernie Wanted More Debates

For months we have heard all these stories about the evil DNC and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and how it was a scandal that there are only six debates. No! We need lots and lots and lots of debates so people realize how wonderful Bernie is.

Rachel Maddow started fanning the flames on this last week when Bernie was on her show. She said that what counts are the candidates and that maybe the should all get together and tell the DNC to stick it.

Which of course they would all do the implication was-unless they were chicken. The Bernie bros were fomenting the idea that Hillary is scared to debate Bernie.

Now, lo and behold look what we have here. Hillary and O'Malley are in. Bernie says no because of the DNC.

But I thought that the candidates should just ignore the DNC as Maddow said-just thumb their noses at Ms. Wasserman-Schultz.

Now the Bernie Stans are all for Bernie not debating more. They don't think this is cowardice as they did with HRC.

Surely the fact that Bernie currently seems to be leading in NH has nothing to do with it?

I thought the stand for more debates was based in the purest principle?

On Bernie's Theory of Change

I see that Slate also had a piece about Jerediah Purdy's Huffington Post piece where he claimed that Bernie's theory of change is the only one that has ever worked.

I had written about it last Saturday.

"Jedediah Purdy, a professor at Duke Law School and occasional contributor to the Huffington Post, takes issue with liberal economist Paul Krugman’s assessment of the Bernie Sanders campaign’s operating theory of change as unrealistic and naive. Krugman writes, “The question Sanders supporters should ask is, When has their theory of change ever worked?”

Purdy says it has: “To answer Krugman’s question: yes, it (Sanders’ theory of change) has worked. In fact, it may be the only theory of change that has ever made democracy real. It is politics for adults.”

"But while he insists that quixotic insurgent campaigns based on ideological purity work, it’s impossible to miss that he doesn’t say exactly when. He doesn’t cite any campaigns that back up his assertion. The reason why is simple. There are none. As much as Purdy and Sanders supporters wish it were true, this strategy has never worked and likely never will. Since the days of Ancient Greece, ideological purity in a democratic society has been the road to ruin of every political movement and every political party that has tried it."

Actually Purdy had mentioned a few antecedents and both of them show the opposite of what is claim. He cites Lincoln and FDR.

These examples are in fact all wrong on many dimensions. Both had a party to back them up unlike Bernie who is not a Democrat. If he were to win this nomination it would be a hostile takeover.

Lincoln had a new party-the GOP-behind him. Most important of all, both men ran as pragmatists.

1. Lincoln ran on not freeing any slaves-though not allowing slavery into new territories. He was certainly against slavery and shared his party's abhorrence of the practice but did not run on this. Had he done so he would never have been able to free them later, ironically.

2. Ditto FDR, who didn't run on the New Deal but on balancing the budget and cutting the size of government.
History shows that pragmatists are the ones who ultimately were able to get major changes done. 
Paul Waldman also pointed out that Bernie's theory of political revolution is faulty.

Political revolutions are the stuff of activists not a voting bloc that votes for President.

This is one problem with Bernie: he sounds like a political activist not a President.

Bernie Says Iowa is not a Must Win

It looks like he's finally trying to lower expectations which is smart. Expectations lately have made it seem like he has already won NH and will likely win Iowa too.

But now he's saying his victory doesn't hinge on Iowa. If he can't figure out how to appeal to voters of color and women he certainly does.

"Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said about voter turnout on Tuesday what he always says about voter turnout: If it’s high, he and his aides say, he can win the Iowa caucuses."

"But he also lowered the ceiling for what “high” means, warning observers not to expect President Obama’s unforgettable Iowa caucus night to be repeated this time around."

“Obama in 2008 ran a campaign which is really going to stay in the history books. It was an unbelievable campaign. In places they ran out of ballots as I understand it,” Sanders said during a frigid press conference next to his campaign bus. “Do I think that in this campaign that we’re going to match that? I would love to see us do that. I hope we do. But frankly I don’t think we will. What happened in 2008 was extraordinary.”

Bernie here is saying something that Joshua Darr at FiveThirtyEight has said too:

"Sanders’s Iowa Ground Game Is Good — But It Ain’t Obama’s."

"Sanders has not organized as thoroughly as Obama did: The Vermont senator’s 23 field offices in Iowa do not quite measure up to Obama’s 37 (or surpass Clinton’s 26 offices this year). Sanders, like Obama, seems to be focusing resources on heavily populated, Democratic-leaning counties in order to “run up the score” in friendly areas of the state. These counties1voted, on average, 56.2 percent for Obama in the 2008 general election and contain an average population of over 104,000, according to the 2014 American Community Survey, making them some of Iowa’s most populous counties.

"But in 2008, Obama also had field offices in 13 counties2 where Sanders has not invested today. These counties are much smaller — averaging about 27,000 residents — but only slightly less Democratic, giving Obama 54.5 percent in the 2008 general election. In 2016, not having a nearby Sanders field office reduces these Iowans’ probability of direct personal contact from Sanders volunteers — the most effective tool a campaign has for changing minds and mobilizing voters. By neglecting to invest in these areas, Sanders may be leaving votes on the table in an election where every vote may count."

"Sanders’ organization does not equal Obama’s, despite his similar (if not loftier) goals for turnout and participation. In counties without paid staff and field organization, Sanders will be relying on another concept central to Obama’s 2008 run — hope — to get his winning coalition to the caucuses on Feb. 1."

Who knows? Maybe Bernie is just trying to manage expectations. I think expectations right now are much closer to where Hillary's team wants them to be-low than where Bernie's team should want them to be.

But what he's saying is backed up by what FiveThirtyEight is saying. Bernie is not at the level of President Obama in 2008-that won't be replicated any time soon.

But if that's the case, how will Bernie manage to stoke the political revolution he claims he will to somehow magically make Republicans do whatever Bernie wants? Somehow they gave ACA scorched earth opposition but they will pass single payer root and branch?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

No 2016 is not Even Close to Being a Post Gender Election

Sady Doyle on Twitter is discouraged at the media coverage of Hillary:

"You know, this woman puts in decades of work & when she applies for the big job, all I hear is that she's trash, shit, garbage, worthless."

"It feels like, alongside the actual race, there's this fight to prove that issues of race/gender/sexuality are "real" progressive politics."

This is something very noticeable about Bernie and his supporters. So-called 'identity politics' get a short thrift beyond the sermon about economics.

Perhaps this is why he does so poorly with women and voters of color.

But I can understand Sady's frustration when you have even women writing pieces that suggest that this is a 'post gender' race.

How did she arrive at that idea?

"To some, shattering the ‘hardest glass ceiling’ doesn’t seem so revolutionary any more. Others, like Lena Dunham, aim to help bridge a generational divide

Well why doesn't it as it has yet to be done? Why are we in a post gender world when we have made so little progress on gender?

Bernie recently said that gender was less of a problem than race and that couldn't be more wrong. If anything, at least we've had a black President. And a very good one I should add that I proudly voted for twice.

But even now many are scoffing at the very goal of a female President. Why would that even be historically important?

But I found President Obama''s comments very telling yesterday. He said what had seemed to me to be the case in 2008. In many ways Hillary's gender was used against her and that the media often wasn't very fair to her. It's doubly notable as Obama was her opponent.

He can realize this but Hillary haters like Chris Cillizza and Maureen Dowd haven't missed a beat.

There is no question that there are many supposedly nonpartisan pundits that are just viscous in their snarky attitude towards HRC starting with Cillizza and Dowd. Cillizza is particularly absurd as he in the next breath he whines about 'the smallness of our politics.'

I think someone at some point ought to really do a study on the media's treatment of HRC. Figure out just a rough estimate of how much of the attacks are gendered. I'd guess a very great deal.

I mean even now the media is trying to reopen the 90s and Bill's sex life.

She has to have her nose rubbed in it just one more time. On a personal level she was the victim of her own husband's fidelity and then she was victimized by his despicable political opponents and  the vile way the media tried to fan the flames.

Now we're hearing that this is 'fair game' and she has to somehow apologize for her husband's behavior of which she herself was the victim.

At least when people try to say we're in a post racial world they are corrected.