Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Jerry Brown and Barney Frank: Just a couple of Establishment shills

Jerry Brown just endorsed Hillary. It's not what I would call a full-throated endorsement, but still: It's an endorsement. Is he sincerely for Hillary (as opposed to being against Trump)? Yes, I think so. Brown has reached the age where one does not bullshit.

Naturally, the BernieBullies are calling Jerry Brown an Establishment shill. Actual statement from a Sandernista to Brown (addressed rhetorically): "on your way out of the California sunset, you should have never shit on your Liberal friends. Fuck off, asshole."

The BernieBots simply cannot understand why so many people are coming to despise them. If Jerry Brown is an Establishment shill, then let's have more Establishment shills!

In answer to this BernieBilge, a Kos writer offered some wise words:
The big secret is that Hillary is actually proposing increasingly and impressively liberal policies which, if the Bernie Crowd would actually take a breath and read/consider, they might recognize as huge improvements over any major Dem proposals since FDR.

Free national child care?? That’s pretty radical and would have a HUGE impact on helping the poor out of poverty. It’s also a doable legislative event if we take the senate and flip the house in 2018 or 2020.

Against TPP? Same as Bernie.

The disagreements seem to come down to Bernie’s $15 national minimum wage and Hillary’s tiered national minimum wage increase.

I have no idea what their differences are on foreign policy since Bernie hasn’t really made any concrete foreign policy statements.
Eli Verschleiser is interesting. (See comments section here re Multigroups.com).
Yeah, but where do you stand on the race? By the way, what does moonofalabama.org think of the race?
B has been quite negative regarding HRC in my opinion.
If your argument for being progressive is "hey, we've got a woman, a black AND a Jew", then you might be the reason Clinton loses.
Stephen, you have a point. Many of us are sick of identity politics. And yet we remain fixated on the topic -- I guess because racism remains the foundational sin of this country.

But it could be worse. We could be like the folks in Britain, where the foundational sin is their abominable treatment of the Irish. From what I understand, the Brits deal with this sin by not discussing it.
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Meet Crazy Frank Huguenard, a CLASSIC BernieBro

Let's follow up on our previous post, which discusses the furor created by an anti-Hillary hit piece published by HuffPo, then quickly deleted. The case instantly became a cause celebre, widely discussed on the right. The author of that deleted article, Frank Huguenard, has aired his grievances on Breitbart.
“Huffpo has yet to respond to my request for an explanation,” Huguenard tweeted at this Breitbart News reporter Monday morning. “I’ve got my sources, they never asked.”

Huguenard later told Breitbart News, “I want to do another story but my HuffPo account has been temporarily disabled. Not sure what’s happening with them.”
I think I know why the thing was deleted: Huguenard is a liar. He falsely claimed that Hillary is being indicted because an official investigation revealed the Clinton Foundation to be a criminal enterprise.

Here is the actual wording:
James Comey and The FBI will present a recommendation to Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the Department of Justice, that includes a cogent argument that the Clinton Foundation is an ongoing criminal enterprise engaged in money laundering and soliciting bribes in exchange for political, policy and legislative favors to individuals, corporations and even governments both foreign and domestic.

Huguenard has no secret sources. If the DOJ were looking into the Clinton Foundation, would a little-known New Age whackadoodle find out before the New York Times or the AP or the Washington Post? If Huguenard has a source, why didn't he name that source in his HuffPo piece? Why didn't he offer a name to Breitbart?

Huguenard also said that less than 10 percent of the money donated to the Clinton Foundation has gone to charity. Basically, he wants us to believe that the Foundation is actually a Clinton family slush fund. But CharityWatch says that the figure is more like 89% (higher than the industry standard of 75%).

Frankie-poo is a deliberate and knowing liar.

Snopes tells us more about circumstances surrounding the publication of this article:
After the article vanished, rumors swirled that Huffington Post retracted it under pressure from the Clintons, the Democratic National Committee, or other entities with a possible interest in suppressing the information it contained. However, the archived version of the article contained the following caveat:
This post is hosted on the Huffington Post’s Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and post freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
Huguenaud published the item himself as a contributor to Huffington Post, where a disclaimer warned that information published through that platform is not vetted or official.
Crazy Frank. I've been looking into Frank Huguenard, who turns out to be a real piece of work. He's a big BernieBro -- no surprise there. Over the years, he has gained...well, let us call it a certain reputation.

Godlike Productions refers to him as "Crazy Frank." To be considered "crazy" by the standards prevailing on that site, you really have to go some.

But that's not the only online community which considers him insane. In fact, the nickname "Crazy Frank" seems to follow him wherever he goes in the world of "ultimate sports," where he has been a familiar presence. He doesn't like the nickname, and claims that his reputation as a nutcase was the result of an impersonation by an enemy.

Also see here:
I know he’s got some unusual ideas and ways of presenting them, and that he’s done and said some outlandish and maybe even offensive things. I’m not looking to speculate on who Frank really is.

But to label him crazy? To vilify and mock him? To suggest that he suffers from a mental illness and then ostracize him? That’s what we’re doing: ridiculing someone’s potential mental illness because we find it entertaining.
And that's from someone who likes him.

He has appeared on this radio program to spread his new-agey philosophy. Here is the illustration which accompanies that interview -- an image presumably created by Frankie-Poo himself.

I think that this lovely bit of Photoshopping gives us a pretty clear idea as to how Frank sees himself.

The most delightful news is that Frank runs his own allegedly charitable foundation:
Apart from being founder and Executive Director of a non-profit humanitarian relief organization, The Bountiful Garden Foundation, Frank is also progenitor of Dischoops, the greatest team sport ever.
Is Huguenard's Foundation -- for which he does indeed solicit donations -- run on the up-and-up? Does it have any members not named Frank?

In his claims about the group, Huguenard contradicts himself. In the passage above (obviously taken from copy provided by Fearless Frank himself), the group is described as devoted to "humanitarian relief." That phrase conjures up certain images. Tireless workers in war-torn areas offering food and shelter to refugees. That sort of thing.

But when we go to the description of Bountiful Garden on the Guidestar website, we get a different story:
We provide humanitarian relief via the production and dissemination of self-empowering documentary films on the nature of human consciousness.
The English language is not Calvinball. Words have meanings. Asking people to fund an idiotic documentary about "consciousness" does not fall under any reasonable definition of "humanitarian relief."

Moreover, Huguenard makes money from the rental/sales of his films. Thus, he is asking people to donate money to his alleged "relief" organization so he can have fun playing with cameras.

I am not a lawyer. If you are a lawyer, I'd like to hear what you have to say about the legality of this situation.

We get a third description of what Bountiful Garden actually does on their website:
The Bountiful Garden Foundation was created in the early 2006 in the wake of Hurricane Wilma, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and the Indonesian Tsunami. In a short span of less than six months, the planet experienced an unprecedented (in the modern era) amount of catastrophes and devastation.

BGF was created to help with humanitarian relief efforts in post-traumatic situations where donations could be funneled in to hard hit areas to help people cope by educating them in various bio-intensive physical activities and breathing techniques that have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and reduce PTSD.
Oh, for crying out loud...

The people hit hard by Katrina or the Indonesian Tsunami needed many things, but learning new "breathing techniques" was not high on the list. I strongly doubt that Team Huguenard swarmed into Louisiana after Katrina and taught the homeless masses how to reduce stress through proper breathing.

I invite you to take a closer look at the GuideStar page on Bountiful Garden. I think you will agree with my assessment -- that this "relief organization" shows all the signs of being a scam. Frank is the only listed member of the organization. When asked the usual questions about board composition, ethics, orientation, and oversight, Frankie provided no response whatsoever.

In fact, the Foundation seems to have no assets. I don't see how a group with no assets can claim to have gone to disaster areas to teach breathing exercises.

Huguenard appears to be either a nutcase or a flim-flammer. Or both. At any rate, this laughable fool has no business criticizing the Clinton Foundation or any other legitimate charity.

Normally, someone like Crazy Frank Huguenard would be granted no credibility whatsoever -- not even by the wackiest conspiracy-spotter websites. But now, Trumpians and Bernouts are treating him as a martyr to the Evil Clinton conspiracy.

Yet I couldn't get any traction on my story about an escort service called Trump International being run out of Trump Plaza at a time when the building was managed directly by Donald Trump. My facts are indisputable, and my evidence can be double-checked by anyone. My story does not rely on unnamed sources. That story continues to fly under the radar, while sites like Inquisitr pay respectful attention to the blatherings of Crazy Frank Huguenard.

Well exactly. Clearly a smear scheme. But perhaps a coordinated one? Maybe an example of wishful thinking? I always hesitate to assume conspiracy when stupidity will work ass well.

Let's try this here comment thing again. If this dude can get to be a HuffPo contributor, then, Joe, you can, too. Post your Trump Hooker story over there and be ready for the tsunami of BernBros and Trumpers who will be eager to eat your shorts. HuffPo has been Clinton Hate site since its inception, for those of you who don't know; I'm guessing because of Arianna's Dowd-like jealousy of SOS Clinton.
Bernouts. Good one! I'm totally stealing it.
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Monday, May 30, 2016


The conspiracy candidate. Democrats are advising Hillary to ignore Trump when he resurrects the pseudo-scandals of the Starr era. In my view, this attitude is a mistake. Problems do not go away when they are ignored. Poorly-educated young voters are easily gulled by this kind of nonsense.
The attacks have been winners for Trump, who coasted to the Republican nomination. He went over the top on Thursday, as several media outlets reported he had more than the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nod.

But several Senate Democrats said they do not believe the attacks will keep working.

“If he wants to talk about Vince Foster’s death being a suicide, Americans don’t want a conspiracy theorist in office,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told The Hill. “If he wants to talk about that or his belief that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States… these wacky theories, he’s going to be the National Enquirer candidate basically.”
Kaine is being foolish. Many Americans do want a conspiracy theorist.

Although I've been called a conspiracy theorist myself, the subculture of paranoia has long terrified me. Paranoia is a kind of smack. I've seen it happen: People become addicted -- literally addicted -- to the rush they get from fear-gasm.

Result: We live in a country where the supporters of Bernie Sanders are likely to shout "How much did Hillary pay you to do that?" if the guy from Papa John's delivers a pie with the wrong topping. (Think I'm being hyperbolic? Look at this.)

Trump spews all sorts of nonsense about birtherism and Vince Foster and Ted Cruz' father and God-knows-what-else -- but he himself is well-versed in the conspiratorial arts. Just ask the Indians who competed with his casinos.

Those damned emails. The best recent post on Hillary Clinton's emails comes to us by way of Dave Emory. He and I have disagreed on a certain items in the past, but this article is spot on.
In con­nec­tion with Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server, we high­light the fol­low­ing details, gen­er­ally either unknown and/or under­re­ported in the main­stream media:

FACT: None Of The Emails Sent To Clin­ton Were Labeled As “Classified” Or “Top Secret”

FACT: Emails Orig­i­nated In State Dept. Sys­tem, And Ques­tions About Retroac­tive Clas­si­fi­ca­tion Would Have Occurred Regard­less Of Clinton’s Server Use

FACT: Experts Have Debunked Any Com­par­i­son Between Clinton’s Email Use And David Petraeus’ Crimes

FACT: IG Refer­ral To Jus­tice Depart­ment Was Not Crim­i­nal, And FBI Isn’t Tar­get­ing Clin­ton Herself

In dis­cus­sion of the “e-mail scan­dal,” CNBC’s “Morn­ing Joe Scar­bor­ough” delib­er­ately dis­torted state­ments by Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist David Ignatius. Ignatius opined: ” . . . . My only point is I couldn’t find a case where this kind of activ­ity had been pros­e­cuted and that’s just worth not­ing as we assem­ble our Clin­ton e-mail — and more thing, Joe, legally there is no dif­fer­ence between her using her pri­vate server and if she’d used State.gov, which is also not a clas­si­fied sys­tem. The idea that, oh this would have been fine if she used State.gov, not legally, no dif­fer­ence. . . . Ignatius responded by explain­ing that experts he spoke with dis­missed as far-fetched claims Clin­ton com­mit­ted a crim­i­nal offense. . . . As I talked to a half dozen of lawyers who do noth­ing but this kind of work, they said they couldn’t remem­ber a case like this, where peo­ple infor­mally and inad­ver­tently draw clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion into their phone con­ver­sa­tions or their unclas­si­fied server con­ver­sa­tions, where there had been a pros­e­cu­tion. . . .“

But dur­ing the rebroad­cast of the seg­ment, Morn­ing Joe cut away from Ignatius’ expla­na­tion mid-sentence. Dur­ing the ini­tial broad­cast, Ignatius said (empha­sis added): “As I talked to a half dozen of lawyers who do noth­ing but this kind of work, they said they couldn’t remem­ber a case like this, where peo­ple infor­mally and inad­ver­tently draw clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion into their phone con­ver­sa­tions or their unclas­si­fied server con­ver­sa­tions, where there had been a prosecution.”

Scar­bor­ough, a for­mer Repub­li­can mem­ber of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, has a long his­tory of hyp­ing the sup­posed Clin­ton email “scan­dal”despite all evi­dence to the con­trary. He edited Ignatius’s state­ment as fol­lows: “ . . . . As I talked to a half dozen of lawyers who do noth­ing but this kind of work, they said they couldn’t remem­ber a case like this, . . . ”
I'll add this: Many people do not understand that it is very possible for someone legally to communicate information which an intelligence agency has marked as "classified."

I know that what I just said sounds like casuistry, but if you give the matter a minute's thought, the principle should be easy enough to grasp.

Consider this scenario: The CIA gets some data -- about, say, the sex life of a foreign leader -- from a Libyan source named Mr. Green. That data goes into the CIA's filing system, where it gets a big, fat "CLASSIFIED" stamp.

Now ask yourself: If I talk about Mr. Green's information in this humble blog, have I committed espionage? Have I revealed secret information?

Nope -- not if I got the information on my own.

Mr. Green is not an American. Nobody controls him. He's allowed to say whatever he likes to whomever he pleases. If he talks to me, fine. If he talks to Hillary Clinton, fine. If he talks to one of Hillary's friends -- who then passes the gossip along to Hillary via her private server or via Yahoo or Gmail or whatever -- fine.

The data is classified only if it comes from a classified document or from a U.S. government employee with access to that kind of document.

The hypothetical "Mr. Green" scenario I've just now outlined describes much of what actually happened in the case of Hillary's emails. As you know, there was a revolt in Libya. During this time of turmoil, a Libyan intelligence official named Mousa Khousa spoke about all sorts of behind-the-scenes African matters to anyone who would listen. I presume that he was sending out feelers, looking for a new employer. A lot of intel from Khousa eventually found its way into classified CIA documents.

(Khousa ended up living in the UK, so it's likely that MI6 debriefed him, and passed along his information to CIA.)

But nothing was classified earlier, when Khousa spoke to Sidney Blumenthal, Hillary's friend. Blumenthal did not work for the government at that time. He was perfectly free to send Hillary an email containing everything he learned, and it doesn't matter if the email was on a private server or Yahoo or whatever. Blumenthal was also free to talk about that stuff on the radio, on the internet, on a bus, on a soap box in a public park. Whatever.

I've seen a fair number of formerly-classified CIA documents, as have many of you. They often contain open source material. If the information is out there in the real world, no classification stamp can stop us from talking about it. How would we even know that it was ever classified?

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get these basic facts through to members of the general public. It's not easy to explain to the average person that the same piece of data can be both classified and unclassified at the same time. If you try to make that argument briefly, during the heat of argument, you sound like a flim-flammer. But if you are allowed to develop the point at some length -- as I have just done -- most people will grasp the general concept.

Except, of course, for those who don't want to grasp it.

Karl and Bernie. All of this nonsense about Hillary's emails is one of the two Big Lies being told about her right now. The other Big Lie, of course, is the oft-heard fiction that the Clinton Foundation is a personal slush fund.

We often hear BernieBros try to damn Hillary on the grounds that the Foundation has taken money from ghastly people (which it has). My response: If evildoers donate to charity, good.

You know what's not excusable? Bernie Sanders receives funding from Karl Rove's group, American Crossroads. Why don't the BernieBots ever talk about that? Why isn't that match-made-in-Hell ever discussed on MSNBC?

A simple question about Bernie. Has he denounced the "Bernie or Bust" movement? A pro-forma, yanked-from-the-mouth disavowal is no disavowal at all. I want to see Sanders scream "You fools!" at the Sandernistas who consider Trump preferable to Clinton. The fact that Bernie refuses to do so tells us much.

A strange story. An article briefly appeared on HuffPo claiming that Hillary and Bill Clinton will be indicted on Federal Racketeering charges, because “The Clinton Foundation is an ongoing criminal enterprise engaged in money laundering and soliciting bribes in exchange for political, policy and legislative favors to individuals, corporations and even governments both foreign and domestic.”

The article was almost immediately yanked -- but it was up just long enough for both the Trumpers and the BernieBros to glom onto it, as did Inquisitr.

Remember the 1990s? Remember how the right-wing press -- and, too often, the mainstream press -- repeatedly assured us that Bill Clinton was going to be frog-marched to the Big House any day now? Remember?

And do you remember how those stories always, always, always turned out to be bullshit?

This one is bullshit too.

Basically, the original story was pure right-wing wishful thinking masquerading as inside information -- a propaganda meme packaged as a hot scoop.

Capitol Hill Blue used to do that kind of shit all the freakin' time.

Nobody is investigating the Clinton Foundation; there is no reason to do so. It's a charity. Charity watchdogs have pronounced it clean.

The emails? Scroll up. We've already discussed that.

The original story is here; the author is "distinguished film producer Frank Huguenard." (He seems best-known for the new-agey documentary Beyond Belief, starring Stephen Colbert, of all people.)

As I suspected, Huguenard has no informants. If a writer is going to announce "Hillary to be indicted," then he damned well better be able to back up that assertion with a quote by an actual prosecutor. We don't get one.

Instead, Hugenard he has simply strung together a series of non-sequiturs from previously-published anti-Clinton hit pieces. Example:
Here’s what we do know. Tens of millions of dollars donated to the Clinton Foundation was funneled to the organization through a Canadian shell company which has made tracing the donors nearly impossible. Less than 10% of donations to the Foundation has actually been released to charitable organizations and $2M that has been traced back to long time Bill Clinton friend Julie McMahon (aka The Energizer). When the official investigation into Hillary’s email server began, she instructed her IT professional to delete over 30,000 emails and cloud backups of her emails older than 30 days at both Platte River Networks and Datto, Inc. The FBI has subsequently recovered the majority, if not all, of Hillary’s deleted emails and are putting together a strong case against her for attempting to cover up her illegal and illicit activities.
Where to start?

Well, let's begin by repeating one basic point mentioned earlier: No-one is investigating the Foundation. So how does a non-existent investigation lead to an indictment? The author zooms from the Foundation to the emails, which are two different things, in an transparent attempt to convince gullible readers that a connection exists.

Once again: No investigation. No indictment.

Hugenard stands exposed as a motherfucking liar -- which is no doubt why HuffPo pulled his piece. (My guess is that he's a fibber of the BernieBro variety, not of the Trumpian variety or the Fox News variety.)

Now that we have established Hugenard's basic dishonesty, I see no reason to do a line-by-line refutation of every false claim in his piece. However, it is instructive to look at his claim that "less than 10% of donations" to the Clinton Foundation actually goes to charitable work.

This turns out to be another lie, previously spread by Carly Fiorina. FactCheck.org looked into this claim, and made swift work of it.
Asked for backup, the CARLY for America super PAC noted that the Clinton Foundation’s latest IRS Form 990 shows total revenue of nearly $149 million in 2013, and total charitable grant disbursements of nearly $9 million (see page 10). That comes to roughly 6 percent of the budget going to grants. And besides those grants, the super PAC said, “there really isn’t anything that can be categorized as charitable.”

That just isn’t so. The Clinton Foundation does most of its charitable work itself.
In brief: The Clinton Foundation disperses less than ten percent of its funds to other charities. But it does a massive, massive amount of charitable work itself.

See how Fiorina and Hugenard (and Inquistr) have tried to hornswoggle you?

If you want the truth, don't go to liars like Hugenard and Fiorina. Go to CharityWatch, a well-regarded watchdog organization which has declared that 89 percent of the donations to the Clinton Foundation end up helping people in need. Most other charities are not as efficient. (75% is standard.) Even NewsMax agrees with FactCheck:
Watchdog CharityWatch, a project of the American Institute of Philanthropy, gave the Clinton Foundation an "A" rating.

Its president and founder, Daniel Borochoff, said that by looking only at the money the Foundation gave out in grants, Fiorina "is showing her lack of understanding of charitable organizations."
Hugegnard must have known this, yet he deliberately chose to tell porkies. Now that we've exposed the man, do we really need to delve into the rest of his garbage?

Something similar can be said of Inquisitr. That site is rubbish.

The Bottom Line.
Young BernieBots need to learn what their elders learned twenty years ago: The right created a machine capable of spitting out dozens of anti-Clinton propaganda stories each and every day. These stories always turn out to be balderdash.

Except for the one about the blue dress.

Another great post. I like how you wrapped by citing the Biloxi Fire Department. I think I'm getting battle fatigue in that I saw some Clinton Foundation nonsense yesterday but didn't have the will to flog it. I think I'll go back and just drop a link to this post into the comment stream. Thanks, Joe.
I don't know if Bernie is an republican agent but Salon ......

Oh dear!


Thanks for these, Joseph.

I don't Hillary will let it slide when it comes to Trump bringing up all the 1990s "scandals". What's sad is that many in the media are letting Trump get away with it.

Oh, and yet another humdinger of an article from Salon (courtesy of Lawyers, Guns, And Money, since I would rather NOT link to Salon): http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2016/05/taking-your-ball-and-going-home-preemptively-is-not-really-a-strategy
For her campaign not to respond to trump is a mistake because a huge part of the electorate are reality tv generations. So they already believe she is boring because she behaves in dignified way. To them entertainment is everything thing they have to be entertained a t school, work and in choosing a president. So ha she doesn't have to anything herself but her campaign should. Frankly we are doing a lot of work her staff should be doing
So why is it always me who feels the need to quibble?

I never really see anything interesting in the 90s scandals. I mean I don't think sex is such a big deal, and the whitewater stuff looked stupid to me, not that i looked so deeply into it. I just wasnt interested. I have already told you I thought the futures trading stuff was probably bent but it's not like I really care so much. The soft corruption which is common in DC is more of a problem to me and she is certainly not alone in that issue. It's an American problem not a Hillary problem.

However I get a totally different sense of the email question from Pat Langs site. The issue seems to be that

1. she deleted records which were not hers to delete. If she used her server to conduct official business then those emails were state department property.

2. She used non secure email for government business in controvention of dept. policy and potentially against the law.

The former looks like a definite problem to my uninformed mind. The latter might be one as well. And I thought it didn't matter whether the classified stuff was really secret.

I think I should go and read some more on this cos I don't get how 1. is not a problem.

"The data is classified only if it comes from a classified document or from a U.S. government employee with access to that kind of document."

I don't know the US law, but the British Official Secrets Act says that protected information must not be disclosed if it comes from a "Crown servant" or a government contractor. (Official Secrets Act 1989, s5.)

Which is not relevant to Hillary Clinton, but maybe some readers might find this useful :)
1. she deleted records which were not hers to delete. If she used her server to conduct official business then those emails were state department property.

The server was a private server as such she could do any thing she wanted to with the emails as long as copies all emails of official business where sent to the state department. She did exactly that by sending copies to government servers. It was the state departments copies that were deleted. She then had to printout 1000's of pages of emails from her server to replace the ones that the government erased.

2. She used non secure email for government business in controvention of dept. policy and potentially against the law.

For classified communication she used the government classified system. For unclassified she used her secure personal email system. No law was broken.

I just read a piece which said that Sid Bluminthal produced 8 emails between himself and the Secretary, which were NOT included in the emails provided by the Secretary to State.

The recent inspectors report contradicts that. There is a difference between classified material and material marked "classified". She used no other email system. She says classified docs were only accessed in hardcopy.

To my untutored eye there is a problem here.

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

BOMBSHELL! Did Bernie break Senate rules?

A lawyer claims that Bernie Sanders played a role in the demise of Burlington College -- and thereby broke Senate rules.

This post will give you the full details of that story. But first, let's look at a related item...

Sanders has undone the one lovable thing he did. I beamed when Sanders said that nobody cares about Hillary's "damn emails." Now, he tarnishes his reputation by taking it back.
Interviewed Friday on “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO, Sanders was asked if the furor over Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state had become large enough for the Vermont senator to reconsider his refusal to engage Clinton on the issue.

“It has,” he said. “But this is what I also think: There is an enormous frustration on the part of the American people.”
Sanders is so desperate for a win in California that he hopes to convince people that a nothingburger contains actual beef. (As we shall see, Sanders himself is under federal scrutiny -- a fact which he hopes will go unnoticed by California's voters.)

Maniac time. If you click the above link, you'll be particularly stunned by the comments...
Hillary goes after Trump for saying he would be able to use a housing melt down to buy low but not even she claims Trump was the cause of the melt down. Her friend Barney Frank is as responsible as any one person for the problems with the housing market. He and other like minded dems were practically forcing people who could not afford a home loan to get one anyway.
Where do people come up with this crap?

I could not afford a home in the 2000-2008 period. At no point did Barney Frank contact me to say: "Cannon, I really must insist that you get a home loan. If you go another two months without locking yourself into a mortgage, I'll be very cross with you."

And then there are those lovely moments when the BernieBros come right out and admit that they hope to elect Trump...

Meanwhile, the Bernmeister himself is telling Chuck Todd that the superdelegates have a “grave responsibility” to make sure Donald Trump doesn’t become president. Bernie, why do so many of your followers act as though they have a grave responsibility to insure that Donald Trump does become president?

(As we've seen, Trump would certainly win if Sanders somehow attained the nomination.)

HERE'S THE BOMSHELL! We've seen Hillary's emails. We will soon see the documents in the court case involving Trump's fake university. But what about the documents that Bernie is hiding?

It turns out that we haven't been told the entire truth regarding the demise of Burlington College. If this letter from the law firm of diGenova and Toensing is on the level -- and I think it is -- then Bernie Sanders himself bears no small measure of responsibility for the downfall of that institution.

Moreover, his office seems to have behaved in a fashion contrary to the Senate's rules. He could face censure -- possibly even expulsion, although that is highly unlikely. (There have been only two expulsions in modern times: Both involved House members, not Senators, and both concerned charges of bribery.)

Below the asterisks, I will publish the body of the letter sent by attorney Brady C. Toensing to Bernie Sanders (with key sections boldfaced by me). I'll return with some further words after the letter.

* * *

Dear Senator Sanders,

This firm represents Wendy Wilton, an active Catholic and member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Rutland Vermont. On behalf of Ms. Wilton and other aggrieved Vermont parishioners, we request that your office publicly release all documents concerning Burlington College and you involvement with a loan application submitted by your wife, as President of Burlington College, to a federally-insured bank for a $10 million property transaction.

That transaction, which involved Burlington College's purchase of the Roman Catholic Diocese headquarters, not only led to the demise of the college but almost $2 million in losses to the Burlington Catholic Diocese. The college's recently announced, resulting insolvency will no doubt lead to further losses to the bank and losses to Vermont small businesses that provided services and goods to the school. Furthermore, the taxpayers of Vermont are likely to lose tens of thousands of dollars as a result of an outstanding, ill-advised and unsecured loan made by the Vermont Economic Development Authority (while your wife served as a paid member of its board) to Burlington College.

The current president of Burlington College said the "crushing weight of debt" brought on by this transaction, which was driven and designed by your wife prior to her firing, was the cause of its closure. Had the school stayed in its original location, as humble and inglorious as that was, it would still be here today serving its niche of students and the community.

Currently available evidence indicates that Burlington College failed because the privileged spouse of a powerful United States Senator received special treatment for a loan she should never have gotten for a property purchase that should never have been approved. Making matters worse, I was recently informed that your office contacted People's United Bank and pressured them to approve the loan application submitted by your wife.

As you are well aware, it is improper and against Senate Ethics Rules for your office to get involved in any way with a loan transaction that benefits a family member. Senate Ethics R. 35(b)(1) and (b)(2)(A). Under these rules it is improper for a spouse to receive favorable treatment for a loan "...because of the official position of the Member..." Senate Ethics R. 35(b)(2)(A).

Your campaign, which is partly led and orchestrated by your wife, has ironically and hypocritically made widespread mortgage fraud and its relation to the 2008 financial collapse the centerpiece of its campaign. You have also called on Secretary Hillary Clinton to release transcripts of her speeches to Wall Street firms, which you also blame for the collapse. Yet you cynically refuse to release your tax returns, which will presumably show you directly benefitted from the $200,000 Golden Parachute paid to your wife from a school that was in financial trouble due to her apparent loan fraud.

It is time to disclose these and all other documents related to this transaction, including your wife's Golden Parachute agreement, all communications your office had with People's United Bank, and all communications with VEDA, so that the full story behind this financial calamity is revealed. Vermont parishioners, Vermont citizens, and local vendors that are still owed money deserve to know the full story behind this improper transaction. Although you and the rest of Congress have exempted yourselves from having to produce public records in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, it is important that you release these documents and fully disclose your role in this transaction.

According to news reports, this matter is already the subject of an active federal investigation. Therefore any attempt to improperly influence witnesses or to destroy relevant evidence is prohibited by federal law. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512, 1517, and 1519. Additionally, you and members of your staff may be called as witnesses and be required to produce documents in litigation that will inevitably result from the collapse of Burlington College, its like bankruptcy (or insolvency), and attempts to recover losses.

* * *

Cannon here. For further background, see this story from last January in VTDigger.org
In loan documents from 2010, [Jane] Sanders overstated the pledged donations of at least two people listed as confirmed donors in a list of pledges used to secure a $6.7 million from People’s United Bank, according to a VTDigger investigation.

People’s United Bank has previously refused to comment on the loan, which was settled when the college sold the land to developer Eric Farrell.

Toensing writes in the complaint that it’s impossible to know how much money People’s United Bank lost on its loan (that information is not public), but ultimately that’s irrelevant, he says because federal banking laws don’t require that fraud materially impact the lending institution, only that the deception was intentional.
That was the state of play in January. I had no idea that the Senator himself had intervened with the bank until I had read Toensing's letter.
As presented you are right Joseph. A serious infraction and certainly a problem for the Senator. Meets my definition of corruption. Those of us who are sympathetic to Sanders program, would hope that there is some factual inaccuracy here.

Interesting. Might explain Jane Sanders' absence from campaign functions and TV appearances of late.

What makes me queasy, however, is the mention of the law firm--diGenova and Toensing. These two lovelies are a Fox News tag team, right-wing operatives who love stirring controversy and half-baked legal theories. I don't know what went down with the Burlington College mess. Jane certainly does not have a head for finance and there was some indication of a very rich friend who has profited handsomely from his Bernie connections. Said friend (can't recall the name) managed to weasel out of a Telecom scandal in Vermont.

Is this legal investigation for real? Don't know but the diGenova/Toensing connection is highly suspect. Could they be trying to deflect an inquiry into Republican operatives funneling money into Sanders' campaign, an attempt to wound HRC? The FEC has had nearly monthly inquiries into Bernie's campaign donations, a good amount not passing the smell test.

The plot thickens!

You are right about the lawyers. But if this were a GOP plot, there would be a lot more publicity for this lawsuit on the right-wing sites.
I'm not convinced by the lawyers' letter, there. They want it to be fraud, and openly call it fraud, but offer no reason to believe that's what it is. There's no evidence of deception, and only the usual over-generous pay-off to a member of the capitalist class as evidence of personal gain, no evidence of either deception or personal gain in the so-called fraud. Seems more like the wife was just trying to save a struggling institution through expansion, and failed miserably.

I stand by my haiku.
Donald Trump is an extremely dangerous creature, a highly ambitious multi-billionaire. I wonder whether his "Organisation" may have been planning his presidential bid not for just for 3-4 years but for longer?

I'm no expert on US politics, but a look through the list of US presidential candidates at Wikipedia suggests that since 1900 there has only been one other Republican candidate who, like Trump, had no record of high-level public service (cough) before he ran for the presidency. That was Wendell Wilkie in 1940.

It's fascinating that during George W Bush's presidency (2001-2009), Trump supported the Democratic party.

Not only did the Clintons attend Trump's wedding reception in 2005; but Trump actually funded the Clintons' Foundation.

In 2008, when he was still a Democrat, he wrote that Hillary Clinton would make a great "president or vice-president".

What's been going on?

He's never held public office. He's been a private-sector business boss who has cultivated friends in both major political parties, while building up his recognition value among the population, over a long period.

Might it be the Trump effort, rather than the Republican Party, that's been running Stone who's running Sanders? If a Trump bid for the presidency has been planned for some time, but only put into practice when he decided he was sure to win, then his influence in the Democratic Party, gained partly when he was supportive of it and friendly with leading figures in it, may be more extensive than simply what is required to run a vitriolic opposition within the party to Hillary Clinton. It generally takes two sides to split a political party. Might both sides have been ratfucked?

A test of this hypothesis is whether the Clinton campaign makes an apparently stupid miscalculation, fucks up big-time somehow, thereby helping Trump. I hope this doesn't happen.

Is the lawyer who wrote that letter stupid or incredibly stupid?

The loan wasn't made to Jane Sanders. It was made to Burlington College. Below are the Senate rules cited in the letter. Was the loan a "gift" within the meaning of Senate rules? Yes. Was the "gift" made to Jane Sanders? No.

I concede that Jane Sanders probably thought she was doing the right thing for the long-term growth and sustainability of BC. At best, her decision and subsequent actions were dubious. At worst they were malfeasance and (if we are to believe news reports) deceptive. For all I know, Bernie may have violated some rule or some law somewhere, sometime. But he didn't violate the two rules cited in the attorney's letter, as applied to the BC loan.


(b)(1) For the purpose of this rule, the term ``gift'' means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or other item having monetary value. The term includes gifts of services, training, transportation, lodging, and meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred.

(2)(A) A gift to a family member of a Member, officer, or employee, or a gift to any other individual based on that individual's relationship with the Member, officer, or employee, shall be considered a gift to the Member, officer, or employee if it is given with the knowledge and acquiescence of the Member, officer, or employee and the Member, officer, or employee has reason to believe the gift was given because of the official position of the Member, officer, or employee.
I don't think it is stretching things too much to argue that the approval of a loan constitutes the "gift of services." Moreover, I don't think it is exculpatory if the loan was made to Jane's college rather than Jane herself.

That said, I am troubled by the lack of specificity in Toensing's letter. Just what is the nature of the information regarding pressure put on the back? How did the lawyer learn of this? And what, specifically, was the nature of the pressure?

Those questions are the reason why I put a question mark in the headline. Toensing clearly is a political animal and he obviously has a bias -- that much is clear from his letter. But I don't think that Toensing is a fool.
Sorry...I meant "pressure put on the BANK." Not "the back."

I'm not talking about massage here.
If the lawyers are conservatives this means that Sanders exhausted his usefulness for them. It tells if he had won it would have been slaughter from day one. He wouldn't know what hit him. Thank God that democrats are smarter than people give them credit for
Good stuff. I read about it earlier in the day but didn't pick up on the Senate rules. Dropped a "b" in bombshell above. re "HERE'S THE BOMSHELL" (I hate it when I do that and its days before I notice it.)
If Sanders or his office contacted the Bank to approve the loan, that sounds problematical to me. As for Fox News being involved, why would Fox News suddenly want Bernie Sanders to fail? I thought the conservative game plan was to get Bernie past Hillary or have Bernie damage Ms. Clinton enough so that Trump wins.
The "you" should be "your" typo, was that made by Mr. Cannon or the Lawyer?
Harry, a resoundingly polite response from you.
Seeing diGenova/Toensing on the letter head might as well be Drudge, Joe. Their (especially her) behavior and lies during the Valerie Plame investigation should have been enough to get them dis-barred. But we'll see. But once you get your wish and Bernie goes away, we will get to watch that pair in action for the next several rehashing every Clinton conspiracy known to sling their slime on the wall hoping something sticks.
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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Right or left: Which team is more idiotic?

Some blog posts ask "Whodunnit?" This post asks: "Who dummer?"

The case for Team Right. World Net Daily claims that Barack Obama just admitted that he is a Muslim. The evidence? This statement by Obama in Turkey:
“I think, on one hand, non-Muslims cannot stereotype,” Obama said, “but I also think the Muslim community has to think about how we make sure that children are not being affected with this twisted notion that somehow they can kill innocent people.”
To the right-wing mind, these words constitute an admission that the president is a Muslim.

I don't know how to respond to such a stupefying non-argument.

The case for Team Left. Here are some actual messages which Bernie supporters sent to the superdelegates. For weeks now, the supers have been Bernie's only hope. One would presume that the Sanders people would beg, plead, flatter and cajole. Instead...
Maria Cantwell from WA received this message publicly as a Facebook comment:

“We are watching you, Sen. Maria Cantwell. Don’t even think about going against the majority and backing HRC when your state wants Bernie Sanders.”

So she's definitely not even thinking about going against the majority and backing Hillary after getting Facebanked.

Rick Larsen of WA dared to wish people "Happy Easter" without also wishing them a "Happy Bernie Endorsement," so also received the Facebanking treatment:

“Enjoy your last Easter in office. The people have spoken,” wrote a man from Bellingham in a reply to Larsen. “Wake up voters and vote this schmuck out of office,” raged another from Coupeville.

Akilah Ensley of NC (and low info voter) was also Facebanked:

“How dare you vote against your own interests as an African-American woman. I expected you would be smarter than that.”

The BernieBro using that incredible line of reasoning has shown her what's best for her as a black woman, so her simple mind is no longer going to allow her to vote with her vagina, +1 for Bernie.

Nancy Schumacher from MN has been put on notice not to vote wrong:

“Some of the [phone and email] messages called me names. Some of them called Hillary names. And others said I was a stupid bitch and something bad will happen to me.”

So that's another one that'll flip to Bernie. Y'know, or else.
Jocelyn Bucaro of OH has been put on notice to stop subverting the will of the people:
“Their arguments are mostly to follow the will of the voters of Ohio,” said Ms. Bucaro. She said it made her “giggle” because Mrs. Clinton won Ohio by a wide margin.
Once she realizes only young white kids count in "the will of the voters" or those investigations for voter fraud in Ohio are concluded, she'll switch.
Kim Metcalfe of AK was also given the Twitter treatment even after shutting down her social media presence:

She was called "a LOSER," "an embarrassment," "a #pathetic #bimbo," "shameful, irresponsible & disgustingly patronizing;" they cursed at her, and made memes about her.

Since she has been made the subject of memes (memes being the most compelling argument in any democracy), surely she will want to flip to Bernie now.
There are many further examples. Apparently, the BernieBullies consider insults and threats to be the best way to win friends.

Back to Team Right. When I saw how the BernieBullies have been talking to the superdelegates, I became convinced that "progressives" possess an unparalleled capacity for inane and self-destructive behavior. But now we come to Donald Trump, who has committed an act so inane and so self-destructive that any 14 year-old might have warned him against it.

Donald Trump insulted a judge overseeing a case to which he is party.

Trump has been involved in how many lawsuits? I don't know the number offhand, but I'm quite sure that this is not his first rodeo. And yet this big, burbling man-child hasn't learned by now that one must never insult the judge. 

We are talking about the lawsuit (one of several) brought against Trump by people who say that his crooked pseudo-university was nothing but a big con. In response to Trump's racist insults, Gonzalo Curiel took a logical step: He issued an order "unsealing a series of internal Trump University documents that Trump's lawyers asked be kept from the public."

Dirty laundry, meet fresh air.

Donald Trump just won the Idiocy Super Bowl for Team Right.
And guess what? The judge decided to release all the documents to the press (http://bit.ly/1sVK3xU). HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!
As idiotic as the Sanders' campaign has been with the super delegate hypocrisy and the Bernie Bro bullying, Donald Trump's campaign & the GOP rolling over to the Don takes the prize for pure garbage. Now The Donald is bashing judges, calling out a judge by name because . . . he's Mexican. This is too close to SA despots for comfort where judges and police chiefs are marked and eliminated if they don't get with the program.

Bernie is a hypocrite, a man turned cranky and bitter because he lost a primary.

Donald Trump is dangerous, a master of lies and chaos. There is a difference.

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Your opinion is requested

Republican ratfucker or genuine asshole?

Republican ratfuckers or genuine nutcases?
Genuine asshole regardless of his political leanings. Actually someone tracked this character down. Presumably he's a calculus professor, who claimed it was 'all a joke.' As I recall, Hillary had a rally back in 2008 where someone yelled, "Iron my shirt." That was all a joke, too.

Of course, it's not sexism. Because it's never about sexism. We women simply fail to have a sense of humor.

Assholes are having a field day this election season. No wonder The Donald is so popular.

I added another example, Peggysue. I'd like to hear what you think of that one as well.
I reckon the guy in the picture is a Republican ratfucker. Certainly the people I know who either voted for Sanders in a primary or, being outside the US, buy into his style, wouldn't piss on a guy like that if he was on fire. Guys like that are the enemy.

The first commenter is probably a ratfucker too. The text reminds me of hasbara-style no-thought pasting.

The second commenter is probably just naive, neither a ratfucker nor an arsehole. Let's hope they wise up a bit.
I'll endorse Anon's view. #1 rodent #2 probably #3 somebody stoned or incapable of clear thought.
In the article photo the idiot teacher is wearing a Bernie shirt, but in the pictures in the links he is not.

Did this idiot show up a more than one event with his sign?
Ratfucker and asshole are not mutually exclusive positions.
IMHO, Joe, the second one is in the territory of Republican ratfucking and trolling. This idea that the primary was rigged, that Hillary's wins are fraudulent comes right out of the Republican playbook and right out of The Donald's mouth. The fact that Bernie Sanders repeats these lies is the most disappointing and aggravating of all. But the meme is meant to delegitimize Hillary Clinton's nomination and ultimately her bid for the WH.

The Donald is a pathological liar. Bernie Sanders? He belongs in the Hall of Shame.

1. Ratfucket
2. Not sure.

Oops, Anon 6.06pm was me. I get so damned flustered by these Captcha things sometimes, having to prove I'm a human, then staring into empty space for 10 seconds and finding I've got to do it again :)
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Bernie haiku, and more...

From here:
I'm against the Establishment, money in politics, and rigging elections, so I'm voting for the guy who has been in Congress for thirty years, accepted $10,000 from Hillary Clinton's PAC in 2006, and made deals with the DNC to ensure he wouldn't have a Democratic challenger in his Senate races.
Added note:
And if he doesn't win, I'm going to vote for the billionaire whose policies run contrary to literally everything I believe in.

P.S. I'm 16.
Salon: As several of you have pointed out, Politico has taken a well-deserved hatchet to Salon. Unfortunately, they don't mention the supreme hypocrisy of a website attacking Hillary for giving speeches to Goldman Sachs, while not telling readers that the CEO of said website is a Goldman alum.

Still, there are some juicy nuggets to be found here...
It has developed a reputation for being not just sympathetic to Bernie Sanders, but overtly hostile to Hillary Clinton, unable to distinguish her from Donald Trump in the same way Ralph Nader saw no difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush in 2000. Salon contributor H.A. Goodman has written several columns for the publication with titles like “I wouldn’t vote for Dick Cheney, so I won’t vote for Hillary Clinton: An unrepentant only-Sanders voter fires back at critics” and “Please, FBI — you’re our last hope: The Democratic Party’s future rests upon your probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails.” (The columns spurred a debate in Salon’s newsroom after a staffer sent an email to colleagues saying Goodman’s articles reflected badly on the company.)
The more stinging critique is about the quality of what Salon publishes – and Goodman’s pieces in particular have reignited lamentations about the site’s downward spiral. Walsh and Miller have been outspoken on Twitter about some of the stories from the site, as have many others. Two guys even created a vicious parody account, @salondotcom, to mock Salon’s increasingly strident brand of leftism, with fake tweets like “Ten signs your cat might be racist” and “Should GMOs come with trigger warnings?”

“It's really sad,” Talking Points Memo publisher Josh Marshall tweeted last month. “These Salon headlines are like the bastard child of World Net Daily and the LaRouche Times … In retrospect it's scary to think that Salon was maybe always just one @joanwalsh or @KerryLauerman away from derp oblivion.”
Unmitigated irresponsibility: I think this guy speaks for most other Bernie-or-busters...
Victor Vizcarra, 48, of Los Angeles, said he would much prefer Mr. Trump to Mrs. Clinton. Though he said he disagreed with some of Mr. Trump’s policies, he added that he had watched “The Apprentice” and expected that a Trump presidency would be more exciting than a “boring” Clinton administration.

“A dark side of me wants to see what happens if Trump is in,” said Mr. Vizcarra, who works in information technology. “There is going to be some kind of change, and even if it’s like a Nazi-type change, people are so drama-filled. They want to see stuff like that happen. It’s like reality TV. You don’t want to just see everybody be happy with each other. You want to see someone fighting somebody.”
Yeah. That's what Adolf was like: Reality TV.

Bernie haiku. A couple of examples from here:
A rigged election
Frustrated my destiny
Fuck you black people
Hillary Clinton
Is a cunt, whore, and a bitch
I am not sexist
Obviously, I must add my own offerings...

My fans are stoners,
whiney white gamergaters,
and paranoid loons.

Never praise Clinton
or my bros will rain hellfire!
Watch out for my goons.

Master Donald knows
My skeletonized closet.
I dance to his tunes.

My wife ran a school,
but all she knows of money
she learned from cartoons.

Wait...haiku isn't supposed to rhyme, is it? I hope I have not offended the gods...

Black comrades, become
true revolutionaries
and do what we say.

If I fail, vote Trump!
Fascism, Marxism -- whatever
keeps Clinton at bay.

Just vote GOP
That'll show the DNC!
(Have I earned my pay?)

Sorry...rhyme keeps creeping in...
The first two paragraphs with quotes, wow.
Mr Vizcarra may speak not just for most Bernie-or-busters but also for most Trump supporters.

I don't watch TV but I've followed the rise of programmes that show the rich and powerful humiliating eager-to-please lower-downers, often making them fight each other. The rich and powerful then select the winners, whilst the others become "losers" whom the viewers are encouraged to believe deserve no sympathy whatsoever.

We're talking Simon Cowell, Judge Judy, Anne Robinson, Jacqueline Gold, etc. This cultural development is at one with what is now the mass experience of having watched snuff videos. It is also at one with tying back people's eyelids to force them to watch obscene anti-human shows such as Game of Thrones while thinking it's good for them and that anyone who says otherwise is an arsehole. See also the promotion of bullying on 4chan etc. This, my friends, is the US-led West right now. This is what the ruling scum are doing to the youth, and not just the youth.

The culture goes together with the politics of removing social protection for the poor, and from the working class generally. Everyone at a given level is supposed to back those who stand above them, not passively but with passion and joy, as those who stand below them get trampled, humiliated, even killed.

And that is getting very close indeed to fascism.

I knew Trump was with this zeitgeist that's been promoted for some time. I didn't know he'd been on The Apprentice. Maybe I'm the only person on the planet who didn't. But it figures. He's got this election in the bag.

What is needed to stop him is a left-wing critique of this development. This is what the fervour of Bernie Sanders's supporters should direct itself towards. Soon. If Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, the left needs to support her campaign, not slavishly, but vociferously and with the rallying cry of "STOP TRUMP - HELL, NO, WE DON'T WANT FASCISM". But the age-old confusion in the US of the left with liberalism is likely to prevent this. The word "capitalism" is used far more often today than it was 30 years ago, but sadly the kids still don't understand it much. The messing up of minds to focus on specific scams and dirt while shouting loud and without trying to understand the big picture has gone too far.

Some of this is similar to the German "Communist" Party's policies against "social fascism" after 1928, policies which allowed the real fascists to be victorious.

Fascism stalks the US.

Clinton's not great. She's a crook. All senators and governors are crooks. But if she wins the nomination, she should be supported anyway. I'm not particularly keen on parliamentary democracy. The left need to get involved in her campaign in such a way that they keep their autonomy, their verve. When fascism looms, it cannot be stopped simply by sheep voting for this candidate rather than that one. If it is to be stopped, it will be by a radical movement that is essentially precisely that - a radical movement - but which is also realistic and in this instance has a parliamentary side to it. In other words, for fuck's sake go out and vote.

But I think it's already too late.

b: Clinton is not a crook. Saying that "all senators and governors are crooks" doesn't make your libel of her any more true. Saying that she should be supported doesn't permit you to call her a crook without any evidence whatsoever. It is very odd for you to think you can support a candidate while calling her a crook. With supporters like you, who needs enemies?
I am a Hillary supporter. I will not support her if I know for sure she is crook. If you have such knowledge why not share it with the rest. Millions were spent over three decades to support that claim. The only thing they have to show for is easily fooled people repeating it without thinking.
Salon has a new CEO http://www.politico.com/media/story/2016/05/cindy-jeffers-out-as-ceo-of-salon-004538
what b said.. Let me add that Trump could be the critical mass we need to persuade the masses a major re-boot is sorely needed.

@Corby - I'm not in court and I don't need to give a senator the benefit of the doubt or to marshall evidence for pseudo-judicial consideration when I make such a non-specific claim. There comes a point where you have to allow your general understanding of the overall system to inform your take on particular cases. Otherwise your outlook is in danger of being dominated by whatever the media headlines are, with unspoken and wrong assumptions about the deeper picture made accordingly. The US authorities are corrupt. The Hill is business-owned. The assumption that a senator is as pure as the driven snow unless "evidence" shows to the contrary is not one that I share.

If the directors of Clinton's campaign do not extend an arm to people who have supported Sanders and who are now willing to support Clinton not because they like her but because they want to stop Trump, it's they who will be helping Trump win.

I am in favour of anti-Trump unity and tactical support for Clinton. When she gets the Democratic nomination, as looks very likely, I hope a lot of Sanders supporters adopt that position. I'm not saying they should shout through their loudhailers "Vote Clinton! She's a nicer crook than Trump!" I'm aware of how the right wing are using the idea that Clinton is a crook. Specifically, I'm aware of how they are using it to try to win Sanders supporters to vote for Trump. They're fighting the election already. They don't want the focus to be on the billionaire casino-owner. I'm suggesting that the focus should be on stopping Trump. What do you want those who have supported Sanders to do - bow down and worship Clinton? To eat Clinton boot and say "thank you, ma'am"?

Perhaps you want them to snivel out of the room as I guess losers on The Apprentice are expected to?

I know this almost certainly won't happen, but imagine if Clinton shows some courage and imagination and doesn't choose a running-mate whose image is positioned between her own and Trump's, as conventional public-relations realpolitik says she should. (Anyone who thinks that that's going to win this time doesn't understand the Trump momentum and must be crazy.) Imagine if she chooses Sanders. Imagine if she says "There have been divisions in our party, even at times bitter divisions, but now we've got to come together. You have shown great passion and it's my pleasure to invite you not to give up your ideals but to join me in the even bigger fight to come, which is to stop what this far-rightwing demagogue Trump wants to do." She'd be showing proper leadership and who knows, maybe Trump could even be defeated.

b: I was with you for a while until you went off the rails in Crookville. What Corby said. Nice list of cultural influences but I think you have to toss "24" into the mix since it somehow, along with Dirty Harry, managed to convince people that torture was a good way to get reliable information. And fun, too!
Well, you've got the idea of two juxtaposed images down, but you need to work of counting syllables.

Hillary, not Bill,
She has a record her own,

5, 7, 5.

I think the other rules only really apply in Japanese.
Really i think you should stop bashing Bernie and supporters. Although i am a Hillary supporter, let's face it she is going to be the nominee and will need their support in the general election. Bernie can stay in the race if he likes, but i would also hope that he would reserve criticism for Trump.

Donald Trump is a hemorrhoid on the body politic, and Hillary is Preparation H.
Hillary Clinton is not a crook, and Trump is NOT going to be president.
Before calling Hillary a "crook", you should remember that a lavishly-financed hate campaign has been running against the Clintons for 25 years, in both the "mainstream" Corporate Media and the openly right-wing lunatic-fringe media.

It has been running longer than that, if you count the years where Bill was governing the Arkanshire.

So, are you repeating truth, or are you unwittingly repeating propaganda, crafted by the shrewdest amoral minds money can buy?

Define Crook?

Do you mean had she broken any laws? Do you mean had she done things which while not open to prosecution have resulted in her becoming very wealthy?

Let's be clear about this - I have no doubt in my mind that if she is not one of the greatest commodity futures traders in the world, then she broke some campaign finance laws. Is it provable? Well within a reasonable doubt yes, but you would need to understand commodities trading to see that. She managed to make money on the short side in a pretty strong bull market. And she did so with a tiny account. You can look up odds for that on the internet, but it's not dissimilar to winning a lottery.

Since that episode she hasn't publically dabbled in cattle futures which is curious cos is a very specialized market. It's really a pros or farmers only market.

I would suggest that it is far more likely that her broker directed winning trades to her after the close if daily business. So for some reason her broker wanted to give her 100k.

I don't know why she did such a thing, but any other explanation is absurd. Find one futures trader who thinks she traded her own book. Whether you care about such a small sum, such a long time ago is the question.

Has she done anything else that is so clearly illegal. Well ignoring the email thing, I'm not aware of it. However she had become very wealthy from her career in politics. I would consider poverty exculpatory but not extreme wealth. I think you are better off suggesting that there is no proof of past corruption cos there is definitely indications of it.

This does not prove Bernie or any other politician clean. Just that HRC provides scope for reproach.



Stephen, which haiku does not follow 5-7-5? I thought I double-checked pretty thoroughly.
Harry, you go all the way back to early days for an example of where Hillary made some money without obvious expertise. You suggest no quid pro quo, just that someone may have given her a tip, which is not actually illegal at all unless it is an insider. As you yourself state, nothing she did was illegal -- and it has all been very thoroughly investigated by highly motivated political enemies. Much ado about nothing.

The Clintons are both highly intelligent, educated people with connections. They have everything anyone needs to make money and they have done so. When did it become illegal or immoral to make a good living in the USA? When did either of them ever take a vow of poverty?

Hillary is not a crook. Bill is not a crook. Yes, they have money that they have made in legal ways -- because if their methods were illegal, they would have been tried long ago. Yet the only accusations against them wind up being empty, over and over, just as this latest one about emails is empty.

In frustration, the Clinton's political enemies have decided to just call them crooks without any evidence. Who needs evidence when just repeating the lie works almost as well as proof. Political opponents believe in their hearts that the Clintons are guilty of all kinds of stuff but too slippery to convict. I believe they are innocent and impossible to convict because nothing can stick when there is nothing to find (except the obvious).

When someone calls Clinton a crook, I know exactly where they are coming from and how their mind works. They don't care about evidence or proof or innocent-until-proven-guilty or that anyone can succeed in America through hard work. They just want to block the political aspirations of the most talented political couple in our party. And they don't care how they accomplish that.
Corby, it's impossible to game the futures market. I have been so told by experts.

If you could do it...you would be a millionaire.

Martin Scorcese is never going to make a movie called "The Wolf of the Futures Market." Not going to happen.
Fasc- or marx- isms, whatevs....

;) Fixed. And yeah, no rhymes....
Joseph, are you saying then that anyone who makes money in futures is a crook?

There are so many different ways that Clinton could have bought and sold those futures that do not involve payoffs that assuming they were paid off has to be a motivated choice. As I said, perhaps someone who knew something gave her a tip, not as a payoff of any kind but out of friendship. Arkansas is a rural state and perhaps she heard something and put two-and-two together in a way that helped her. Without suggesting, or better yet demonstrating a quid pro quo, such an accusation is baseless and grossly unfair.

The Clintons were making a variety of investments. They lost money on Whitewater. Maybe she just got lucky. I made a bunch of money myself on stocks I bought on the eve of the Iraq invasion.
Corby, I was saying the opposite.

No-one can name anyone who has made a crooked million from the futures market.

zee, I was taught that "Marxism" is a two-syllable word, even though it sounds like "Marx-izzem."
We may be pronouncing things differently.
Crooked futures, you mean like Saloman Bros Milan squeezing the Italian bond futures market in the 90s. The prosecution took place and they were found guilty.

But that's not what I'm suggesting here. The futures market isn't bent - the broker ex post allocated winning trades to HRCs account. Losing trades went to the house account. It's a very old game. "Tickets in the drawer". The alternative is to assume that HRC managed to counter trend trade an obscure futures market with a tiny main account and her brokers systems failed to keep up with the margin required for her trades, and she managed to make 100x her original margin payment.

Have anyone questioning this ever traded in cattle futures? It's a tiny weird market which only farmers and specialists specs trade. Because what do most people know of it? You are telling me HRC was an expert in beef farming?

Do you understand what the odds against anyone making they money she made with the initial investment she placed are?

The scenario you are choosing to believe is not credible. Either my understanding of what happened (basic facts) is not correct, or the broker was paying her 100k.


How much money does one make from intelligence and connections? Compare and contrast to and other congress critter or senior politician.

And do you not think the use of connections itself is questionable in obtaining "sweetheart" deals.

Is Putin not smart and connected? Tony Blair? Steve Cohen? Michael Milken?

Of course, is a matter of extent. But do you know how you avoid even the question of impropriety? That's the rule in the civil service. Do you really think the rules in the civil service are unnecessary?


Oh fer Chrissakes. You let the He-Man Hillary-haters to get one foot in the door just one time, and soon an entire parade comes barging in. No more. It ends here.

I've said it on this blog before, years ago -- and nobody has ever been able to prove me wrong. You can't rig something like cattle futures. When the story first came out, I had an actual stock broker explain everything to me in detail. The conversation lasted about an hour, and no, I cannot recall very much of what he said. But I recall his bottom line. He could not think of a way to game that particular system. In the many years since, I've asked others if they could prove that assessment wrong. I've run into a lot of people who have said: "She's a crook!" But no-one has given me specifics as to how one can rig the cattle futures market.

And no-one can point to someone who has made millions in that fashion. If it were possible, why would anyone bother with pump and dump schemes?

The discussion is closed. I've spent twenty or so years looking for a detailed explanation, and that quest is now over.
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Friday, May 27, 2016

Mind blown

Donald Trump is descended from Christ. Literally.

(Thanks to the reader code-named "b" for bringing his matter to my attention.)

But wait -- how can this be? Is it true that the great-grandson of Christ is a CROOK?

This was always my problem with the thesis presented in The DaVinci Code and The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail: Just because someone is the offspring of Christ, why should we presume virtuousness?

So you are the Christ
Great-Grandson of Christ
Prove to me that you're no fake
Cook me up a nice Trump steak.
Here's Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort.
How long before Donald Trump is identified as the Dajjal - the Masih ad-Dajjal, the false Messiah, the Antichrist, the False Christ - by most of the world's Muslims?

Trump's Organisation was set up by a woman named Christ, his grandmother.

Why is it even called an Organisation? (I use the British rather than the "Oxford" or US spelling.) Why isn't it called a Corporation or Group?

Leftwingers based in the US should apply their minds to what business operations Trump intends to conduct when president. They could start for example with that wall. The wall is not simply bluster and bullshit. There have been and are other walls.
Better yet, let's see Trump multiply a few Trump Steaks to feed a multitude of 5,000 adult men, plus accompanying women and children. :P
Elizabeth Christ Trump, née Elizabeth Christ, died on 6/6/66.
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When will people admit the truth about Bernie?

Sorry I've been AFI (Away From Internet). Let's shoot through a list of must-read pieces -- and along the way, I'll add a few snarky comments...

Are Bernie supporters more racist? Heretofore, I haven't criticized the Berners on this score. But this piece in the Daily Beast is pretty astounding...
While thankfully, I have someone who works for me and wades through much of my mail and social media so I can spend as much time as possible writing (and maintaining my sanity and sense of humor), for more than a week Sanders supporters flooded my accounts with nonstop accusations—one more over the top than the next. I am “a disgrace,” “a liar,” a secret paid Hillary Clinton “mole” or “shill.” Apparently it is beyond the realm of possibility that I, as a free-thinking individual with access to polling data and a fairly vigorous intellect of my own may not consider their chosen candidate a strong one. Simply not possible. After all, as one white Sanders supporter informed me: “You need to be better informed on the needs of Black people.” Thanks for the tip!
I should mention that the writer, Keli Goff, is black.
But there were a couple of messages that made their way to me that were particularly troubling. One Sanders supporter pleaded on Facebook for others to stop attacking me and try to “inform me” (Again this denotes I couldn’t possibly be educated because I don’t agree with them, but at least he sounded civil). To which another replied, “She chooses to ignore the issues and work for her own personal interest. If that is the case than to me everything is allowed as long as it’s not physical violence.”
Good Lord.

Remember how Marxists used to offer strained rationales as to why the college-educated "vanguard of the proletariat" knew the interests of working people better than working people did? Here we have the same dynamic, except we have the extra ingredient of truly obnoxious and unforgivable racial condescension.
So when news broke that a prominent white, male liberal blogger known for his appreciation of Sanders and disdain for Hillary Clinton had called Neera Tanden, one of the most prominent women of color in progressive politics a “scumbag” I was not surprised.

And when I learned Sanders supporters had sent death threats to a female Democratic Party official because they were outraged at what occurred at the Nevada state convention, I was not surprised. And when Bernie Sanders declined to denounce such behavior vigorously, I was also not surprised.
Who needs a party? BernieBullies think that they can win the day without a party. Yeah. Sure. That's the way to pass universal health care legislation: Make yourself hated by Republicans and Democrats.

If Bernie were serious about wanting to flip the superdelegates, he would not be doing everything possible to piss them off.
For some Democrats, Bernie Sanders’ latest gambit — challenging Donald Trump to a debate to cap all debates — is the last straw.

“Bullshit,” said Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. “That confirms what we’ve been saying. Why would you expect Bernie should be considerate or be nice or be working to bring everyone together? Why? He’s not a Democrat.”
“It’s peculiar,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “It’s all about Bernie trying to get the advantage in California. It’s not going to work.”
Look, it's simple: In order to understand what is going on, you just have to make the conceptual leap that Bernie is secretly working for Trump. What we are seeing is a replay of 1980, when John Anderson was secretly working for Reagan. (By the way, am I the only one who recalls the Reagan/Anderson debate?)

Whatever caused Bernie to hide his tax returns has rendered him blackmailable.

I realize that most people will condemn this idea as one of those awful, awful "conspiracy theories," but this theory has the virtue of explaining a whole hell of a lot. In science, a theory has value if it is predictive. My theory predicts that Bernie will do whatever it takes to siphon votes away from Hillary in the general election -- and so far, I've been proven right at every turn. Manchin and Brown seem astonished by Bernie's antics: I am not.

Just allow yourself to think one "forbidden" thought -- Bernie is a liar whose stated goals are not his actual goals -- and everything becomes comprehensible.

Let's look at another example:
“The tone of Bernie Sanders in the last three weeks to a month has been horrible and destructive and mean-spirited and arrogant,” said John Smart, 53, who lives in Los Angeles and works in the film business. “And I don’t know what he’s up to. … I think it’s completely ego at this point.”
You see? The poor man is confused. I'm not even slightly confused.

And I don't think that this is about ego. John Anderson was not an egomaniac in 1980.

(Here's another example, which will be obscure to many of you: L.A. Mayor Sam Yorty -- a truly vile individual -- joined the Democratic primaries briefly in 1972, just to draw votes away from Edmund Muskie, the guy Nixon didn't want to run against. That classic piece of ratfucking was engineered by the people who taught Roger Stone, the man who will make Trump president. What's past is present.)

Terrible idea. As Josh Marshall points out, if Bernie really cared about defeating Trump, he would not seek a debate. 
Indeed, does anyone alive believe this helps elect a Democratic president? And if not, what is the rationale? Perhaps it's a wash. Sideshows in May probably don't have that much effect. But it certainly does not help.

It is only a spectacle by which both candidates, Trump and Sanders, can indulge their tacitly-agreed common interest in sidelining and diminishing Hillary Clinton, who of course will be the nominee.
Poor Josh! He seems so confused. I'm not even slightly confused.

Speaking of common interests: Has Bernie Sanders ever commented on the millions he has received from Karl Rove's PAC, American Crossroads?
In the wake of Clinton’s close Nevada win, Crossroads claimed credit for driving her numbers down in favor of Sanders.

“American Crossroads and Bernie Sanders helped Nevada caucus-goers see right through Hillary Clinton’s manufactured zeal on immigration reform after spewing virulent Trump-like rhetoric—and that one-two punch shaved Clinton’s 50-point lead a year ago to a slim, single digit win,” Steven Law, Crossroads CEO and president, said in a statement.

Crossroads is one of several groups that has released ads that have been aimed at branding Sanders as the only true progressive in the race—a strategy the Vermont senator’s campaign also embraces.

“If it helps push the needle so that she loses a state, and she comes out a weakened candidate, then fantastic,” said Ian Prior, communications director for Crossroads.
Here's the Crossroads website. Sample headline: "Saudi mega donor to Clinton Foundation subject of tell-all book by ex-wife." As always, the Rovian PAC pretends that the Foundation is a slush fund for the personal use of the Clinton family.

Not true. It's a charity. All of the usual charity watchdogs have watched it and dogged it, and they report that the Foundation is as clean as a whistle.

If bad guys have donated to charity -- good. Nobody minded when bad guys donated to charity in Guys and Dolls, did they?

Jane, his wife. The Atlantic has an interesting piece up on how Jane Sanders destroyed Burlington College. Most of it, you probably already know. But there are some nuggets of new stuff...
But several questions at a press conference held by the school’s president and dean elicited surprising replies. Asked whether Jane Sanders was to blame for the closure, President Carol Moore and Dean Coralee Holm declined to answer, even as they acknowledged that that the college’s press release, in naming the land purchase as the reason for the closure, implicitly pointed a finger in her direction. Smith and Holm also declined to comment on whether there was a federal investigation into the college, or whether the FBI or other authorities had interviewed faculty, staff, or administrators, or if they’d sent any subpoenas. Those “no comments” may raise eyebrows, since it’s generally assumed that if the answer was no, administrators would simply have said so.
Did Jane spill the beans? From Politico:
The tense relations between Sanders and fellow members of the Senate Democratic Caucus also raises questions as to what his interactions will be like once he returns to the Senate.

Asked during a brief interview this week at the Capitol when her husband would return to the Senate, Jane Sanders responded, “After the 8th.” But she quickly backtracked and said, “I don’t know.” California and a host of other states are holding their contests on June 7. A Sanders campaign spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment to clarify Jane Sanders’ comments.
Meaning: The Bernie crusade finally ends after the California vote, if Hillary pulls out a win. I'm betting that she will not. (As you know, I always bet on the gloomier prospect.) I hope that when Bernie finally does return to the Hill, his fellow Dems use his office door as a urinal.

Bernie's free ride. I missed this fine piece by Michael Tomasky, published a few days ago.
There’s one simple reason Sanders polls better against Trump than Clinton does, which is that no one (yet) knows anything negative about him. He’s gotten the freest ride a top-tier presidential candidate has ever gotten. The freest, bar none.

While he’s all but called Clinton a harlot, she’s barely said a word about him, at least since the very early days of the contest. And while Republicans have occasionally jibed at him, like Lindsey Graham’s actually quite funny remark that Sanders “went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon and I don’t think he ever came back,” in far more serious ways, Republican groups have worked to help Sanders weaken Clinton.

That would change on a dime if he became the nominee. I don’t think they’d even have to go into his radical past, although they surely would. Michelle Goldberg of Slate has written good pieces on this. He took some very hard-left and plainly anti-American positions. True, they might not matter to anyone under 45, but more than half of all voters are over 45.
But if I were a conservative making anti-Sanders ads, I’d stick to taxes. An analysis earlier this year from the Tax Policy Center found that his proposals would raise taxes in the so-called middle quintile (40-60 percent) by $4,700 a year. A median household is around $53,000. Most such households pay an effective tax rate of around 11 percent, or $5,800. From $5,800 to $10,500 constitutes a 45 percent increase.
The emails. Some of you have wondered what I have to say about that. There's nothing to add to the points I've made in many previous posts: This whole story is crap. Hillary did not reveal classified information to anyone in these emails. Her reasons for setting up a personal system are outlined superbly by Riverdaughter...
Last week, in another unguarded moment, the Slate Political Gabfest trio revealed what the deal was with Hillary’s emails. Go to about the 21 minute mark of their latest episode “I Threw a Chair in Reno Just to Watch it Fly” where they start to discuss why it is that The Donald can get away with not revealing his tax returns but Hillary damaged herself seriously because she didn’t want journalists filing FOIA requests to go sifting through her emails to find stupid little things and turns of phrases that could be made into gigantic, distracting nothings.

They sound like whiny little children. They’re going to camp on these emails and the unreleased transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs and they readily acknowledge that all they and their journalist droogs are going to do is make a mountain of something as trivial as “thank you all for allowing me to talk to you today”.

It reminds me of the papparazzi that regarded it as their right to follow Princess Diana around. Everything she did was documented to death. Literally.
I'll add that one main purpose of the separate server was to allow Hillary to communicate with Sidney Blumenthal and Tyler Drumheller. The Israel-firsters fear the Blumenthal name more than any other, while Drumheller was the former CIA guy who blew the whistle on the Curveball deception, thereby making him an enemy of all neocons.

Get it? Do you finally, finally get it?

The fact that Hillary set up a private line of communication with those two gives us an excellent reason to trust her. What she says in public to groups like AIPAC is just political necessity. The semi-covert information flow from Blumenthal and Drumheller is key, and it offers us reason to hope that we might get better from Hillary than we got from Obama.
Never attribute to malice what can safely be attributed to stupidty, as the saying goes.

Your model has proved predictive, yes. So has that put forward by Scott Adams, which holds that Trump is a mystical master of language on a par with Jesus.

Regarding what Keli Goff was saying, to quote Orwell: "the Catholic and the Communist are alike in assuming that an opponent cannot be both honest and intelligent".

Obviously these days they're the Sandernista hippy types, none of whom have the sort of mind capable of going far enough into the long grass to embrace communism.

Donald Trump's grandmother, the founder of the Trump Organisation, was born Elizabeth Christ.

"Christ". Now there's an unusual surname.

Her father was Phillip Christ, a relation of another Phillip Christ who was an important figure in the right-wing German National People's Party (DVNP). The DVNP was led by Alfred Hugenberg, Germany's largest press baron, who used his newspapers to promote Adolf Hitler. The party joined Hitler's first government, and before he was sidelined Hugenberg served simultaneously as Hitler's Minister of the Economy and Minister of Agriculture.

The DVNP Philipp Christ's mother was born Maria Luise Roth, so he was certainly a Roth's child.

In short, Trump is descended from Christ (his granny) and he is related to a Roth's child who was a leading figure in the political party that later, under its business boss leader, helped Hitler to power.

Damn! There's no 1 April between now and the election!
Although the blackmail theory seems plausible,but I keep thinking maybe something else is going on here. Mainly there is a problem with his mental health. Someone is manipulating him exploiting some weaknesses in his character and/or his health. You have to admit what is going on now is beyond strange. Also so many time during his debates with Hillary I wondered about his mental strength, not to mention that interview. So my two cents it's not malfeasance but just good old weaknesses he let some bad people exploit
...while Drumheller was the former CIA guy who blew the whistle on the Curveball deception, thereby making him an enemy of all neocons.

Well I'll be damned. Didn't know about this, so thanks for bringing it to the fore, Joseph.

Of course, this should drive the stake through the heart of the uber-Sandernistas that Hillary is really a Republican/NeoCon/Lizard person, but...I fear it won't. They've gotten high off their own supply, and I feel they really do not want to lose that feeling.

Joseph, you may be interested in this article in Salon (or maybe not! :) ):

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I believe in the probability of double realities involving the same set of circumstances. I don't doubt that there are many nefarious issues going on in regards to Bernie Sanders and his agenda and who is in shadows behind him. But, its also possible that as a Progressive Sanders believes it is his role to make the Democrat party as far progressive as he can stretch it.

Move on dot or and the Young Turks and other internet sites are focused on an uber progressive Democrat party and are constantly enflaming his base.

Sure, an ultra progressive Democrat party would probably crash and burn, but that doesn't mean that progressives are robotically controlled republican automatons. Progressives may just believe that it is their way or take the highway and go away, just as the neo cons feel the same way about the rest of the republican party.

And, maybe it's possible that progressives happily take conservative money since they consider themselves to be a good and righteous cause. Also Known As, a double reality.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The REAL rigger

In response to the BernieBullies screaming that the system is rigged, Nate Silver tweets: "The system is rigged in favor of the candidate who's won 3 million more votes. Unbelievable."

Actually, we must be clear: The system was rigged in Bernie's favor.

Proof one: Hillary won the primary in Washington state. Unfortunately, the primary is non-binding. The delegates are based on the caucuses, which the BernieBullies were able to game -- he got nearly 73 percent of the caucus votes to Hillary's 27 percent.

Proof two: Nebraska. Same story. Clinton won a non-binding primary, 61-39. But she lost the caucus, 58-42.

We need no further proof to declare all caucuses corrupt and undemocratic. If not for the rigged caucuses, Sanders would have nothing like his current totals -- he would not have developed any momentum, he would have been treated as a fringe candidate, and he would not have garnered so many donations.

The BernieBullies are engaging in classic mirror imaging, pretending to be the victims when they are, in fact, the victimizers. And they have no counter-argument. All they can do is resort to their usual disgusting tactics: Name-calling, false accusations of bad faith, changing the subject. They cannot specifically address the results in Washington and Nebraska, and they cannot address the larger issue of inherently undemocratic caucuses. They have no argument.


I agree, the Caucus system is undemocratic. But there is a tension between making it possible to challenge incumbents and preventing deliberate spoiling tactics. Reform should consider both issues or you will get a nepotistic system.

Regarding who has benefited from free press, this is the only thing I have seen attempting to quantify.



Forgive me for making another point in another comment. Didn't think it through.

The results in Arizona suggested the system was rigged. If one looked more closely, it was rigged by the Republicans in the state, who cut back on voting machines in neighborhoods which leaned Democrat. This is a useful thing to get to the bottom of before a general election. Arizona is definitely in play.

My reading in NYC is that it was rigged here too. I don't know who died it yet but the preliminary take is that republicans rigged it again, switching registrations to republican. Other things may have happened add well but it is not clear. Whether you hate Bernie or not, shining a light on strange things in elections is definitely a good thing to do.

They do, tho. I saw them discussing Nebraska as if she tried to steal it or as if the media slanted it.

They also completely dismiss the 3 million votes because "it doesn't take into account caucus states."

The Bernie Brigade has offered 'this' up as an argument: Bernie didn't rally his troops for the non-binding contests because they weren't important--he'd already won the delegates.

I read a heated exchange over the subject last night. Absolutely agree that if anything the election set-up and the media have given St Bernard more than a fair shake. As for the super delegates? Bernie knew how the rules played when he entered the contest. He's been lambasting the arrangement since he started losing, now wants the super delegates to overturn the will of the voting public and install him as the nominee. With Hillary Clinton clearly in the lead with delegates earned and the popular vote.

His campaign has lost its thread. Gone are the days of income inequality and economic justice. Now it's all about him and the many excuses, focused and geared towards delegitimizing Hillary Clinton's inevitable nomination.

Shame on him!

There's a General Election to be won. Time for Bernie Sanders to get out of the way.

Peggysue, it never ends. The latest? A meme that "proves" NBC is going to call California for Hillary before people finish voting. Chris Matthews was asking Weaver how it would affect California voters when Hillary's win is called before they vote....meaning the previous win which will put her over the threshold.

Oh, the humanity!!! The fevered Berlievers are proclaiming that shall not stand, it's America, after all!

And poor Greg Palast. He should've stuck to outing PBS and NPR, which have been taken over. But instead he's feeding these nuts by proclaiming the media doesn't tell WHY the noble Berlievers rioted. He can't be picky, I guess, to prop up his brand.
Obviously caucuses are inherently undemocratic. By design, though, so I'm not sure you can call them corrupt.

I'm generally amused by the American electoral system, but the idea of voting in a non-binding primary is particularly ridiculous. Literally throwing your vote away.

I think you're overstating the role of caucuses, though. Sanders has 42.7% of the popular vote, 45.8% of the pledged delegates and 40.3% of all delegates.
Stephen, thanks for posting the math, but I somewhat disagree with your take on the results. If Bernie Sanders has 3.1% more pledged delegates than popular vote, that means Hillary Clinton has 3.1% fewer pledged delegates than the popular vote, because of the Caucuses.

Clinton has 57.3% popular vote, 54.2% of the delegates.
Sanders has 42.7% of the popular vote, 45.8% of the delegates.

____57.3 vs 42.7 is basically a landslide.
but 54.2 vs 45.8 is a very solid win, but not a landslide.

Sanders has avoided being the landslide loser because of the caucus wins and he's using his caucuses to counter punch Hillary Clinton, counting the caucuses among his wins so that he can claim 20 state wins and counting.

The Sander's supporters argument that the Democrat Primary votes in Washington and Nebraska don't matter is no excuse to not vote. The effort needed to vote in the primary was much, much less than it was to vote in the caucus.
If Sanders supporters are too lazy to cast a vote now, how they are going to be the "minions of change" later on?
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What is also fascinating about those numbers Stephen, that YUGGGE super delegate lead only produces a 2.4% swing in Hillary Clinton's favor in terms of total delegates vs popular vote.
This super delegate vs popular vote "bump" for Hillary Clinton is LESS of a delegate bump percentage wise than Bernie has gotten from the unfair caucus delegates bump he has gotten.
Headline in CNN: "She did not comply". Subhead: "Clinton 2015: 'It was permitted'"

drip, drip, drip.

Dear Emailghaziwhitefostergaters:

Would you like some Spurious Special Sauce on your Big Fat Nothingburgers? xD

The 'Gaters have spent 25 years (more, counting the time when Bill was governing the Arkanshire) trying to nail the Clintons on one trumped-up (rimshot) charge or another, but have enjoyed about as much success as this furry fellow.
Remember the 2000 election when Gore was painted as "the lesser of two evils", and the media played up all those phony stories about his "lies"?

Remember when the Bradley purists and the Naderites convinced gullible "progressives" to throw their votes away? How bad could the affable, down-to-earth Bush actually be? Who would you rather have a beer with?

If Trump wins, I blame the media. We no longer have journalists. We have "pundits" selling story lines and narratives.

Let's elect Trump! It will be great for ratings, and the shit storm that follows will be so much fun to cover.

Journalism used to be important in this country. Now it's all money and spin. No integrity, no ethics. They should be ashamed.
Go back to the Powell Memo, if not earlier. Trump's fellow oligarchs and their hired brains created the current climate of pseudo-journalism, or maybe I should say "re-yellowed journalism".

The brighter oligarchs and hired brains are looking at Trump, and starting to realize how Dr. Frankenstein felt.
I only discovered your blog recently and I immediately bookmarked it because I appreciate all that you are writing about.
And I just noticed the side panel about your dog's diagnosis -- really hope he is doing OK and that you are able to keep giving him the medicine he needs. I send you a small donation but I hope it will help.
Keep fighting the good fight, both of you,

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Monty Python and the 2016 election

(I hope no-one minds if I shamelessly rip off this post from The Confluence.)

Riverdaughter has retitled this famous scene "When Hillary met Bernie." Suddenly, a piece of cinema that I've loved since opening day in 1975 looks brand new. And very relevant.

My response: This video is a pack of lies. Malory and Tennyson were obviously paid shills for Arthur. The Black Knight lost only because director Terry Jones rigged the system.

By the way: I really did see the movie at its very first performance in Westwood, California. They gave away free coconuts. I kept mine in the fridge for about a year and finally tossed it out.
Oh man, I laughed so hard when Riverdaughter posted this!! And now I'm gonna watch it again. I like what you did with it here.

How cool you saw the first performance. They ought to have handed out coconut shells, so the entire audience could've help make the horse sounds!

That's so rich...."all right then, we'll call it a draw.." That's Bernie, exactly. He's bleeding all over the media whining that it's "insulting" that Hillary won't debate him on Fox News, as if she hasn't already been talking to the voters of California....while's he's out of money for attack ads there.

"What are you going to do now, Bernie? Whine all over her?"
If you had frozen that coconut and saved until now, it would probably sell for a 100,000 dollars on ebay now.
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Bernie Sanders is going all out in California. He's already running ads on ABC, NBC, CBS local news 11pm news, plus KTLA and Fox and I presume KCAL.

The news channels, happy to get Bernie Sanders ad money, report on the Daily schedule for both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the following manner.
"Bernie Sanders conducted a whirlwind tour today with stops in t, u, x, y, z,………."

Then they say the following about Hillary Clinton, "Hillary Clinton attended two fundraisers today in California".

Bernie Sanders is pulling closer to Hillary Clinton in California because he's spending money with the news stations who in turn are giving him excellent coverage about his daily activities, and with Bernie campaigning outside while Hillary Clinton campaigns inside of television studios and fundraising events, he's getting better exposure to the uncommitted voters themselves.

Hillary Clinton does it have it tough, she has two males ganging up on her and she is getting less donations than either Trump or Sanders. I am concerned she is following the Barack Obama countdown book from 2008 when Obama would repeat the same speech day after day, simply reducing the countdown to victory by one with each passing day.

Sanders goal is to win more delegates than Hillary on June 7th so that even if he doesn't get close enough, he can still argue he won the final two months of campaigning and has all the momentum.
I sure hope we see Hillary ads in California, and I sincerely hope we see ads where people talk about how great Hillary Clinton is rather than Hillary talking about herself or her hopes for the country.
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King Bernie

Here's the appetizer. I just discovered a hilarious meme:
Number of 20-year-olds who just heard a Clinton conspiracy theory from the '90s and think they're onto something BIG
This evinced a classic response: "Dude, did you know that her husband once delayed air force one for a haircut that caused the suicide of someone in his cabinet? Why isn't the media talking about this?"

Here's the main course. David Brooks asks: "Why is Clinton disliked?" She was the most popular woman in America little more than a year ago, according to polls. Everything changed very rapidly.
It’s only since she launched a multimillion-dollar campaign to impress the American people that she has made herself so strongly disliked.

The second paradox is that, agree with her or not, she’s dedicated herself to public service. From advocate for children to senator, she has pursued her vocation tirelessly. It’s not the “what” that explains her unpopularity, it’s the “how” — the manner in which she has done it.
No no no NO.

So rapid a change cannot have any relationship with anything she has done.

Shorter Brooks: "Hillary is too career-oriented, and people don't like that." The same thing could have been said about Joan of Arc. Tellingly, the same thing is not said of any number of men who maintain a laser-like focus on their ambitions.

Even thought the facts are as obvious as a Yeti in the swimming pool, Brooks refuses to see them. When you talk to Hill-haters, they do not say: "You know what's wrong with Hillary? Her problem is that she's a workaholic." Hill-haters say nothing of that sort. Hill-hate is based on something very different.

Hillary's real problem is not Hillary; her problem comes from without.

She has been subjected to a nonstop villification campaign across the entire media spectrum, a campaign which has been particularly virulent in those areas of the internet where the young congregate. Brooks cannot admit this simple fact because he refuses to confess the degree to which our lives are ruled by propaganda (and also because he is too old to venture where the young congregate).

The mainstream media has always hated the Clintons; see Conason and Lyons The Hunting of the President. The right-wing media blasts her daily, as one might expect; this has become part of the background noise of politics.

The third propaganda force has been the most devastating. I speak, of course, of Bernie Sanders and his disgusting, maniacal cultists.

The BernieBullies captured the online conversation, particularly social media and Reddit, which has been of immeasurable importance in this election.

Liberals still don't understand the importance of that battlefront. Progressives don't understand how easy it is to control the field with a troll army. I've been telling people for years to be wary of social media; this election justifies my concerns.

(As for Reddit: We all know that Markos Moulitsas took Obama dollars in 2008. I presume, but cannot prove, that something similar occurred in this cycle vis-a-vis the current powerhouse, Reddit. It is a measure of the declining fortunes of Daily Kos that Moulitsas is no longer considered worthy of purchase.)

Indicators. In future elections, there will be other intraparty wars. How will we be able to tell the good guys from the bad guys? Here are some things to look for:

Whenever one online faction acts like a pack of rabid attack dogs, vote the other way.

Whenever one online faction won't let the other side speak, vote the other way.

Whenever one online faction routinely accuses all dissenters of being "shills," vote the other way.

Whenever one faction spews incessant propaganda portraying the opposing force as a conspiratorial powerhouse, vote the other way.

Whenever one faction tells you to hate Paul Krugman and love Maureen Dowd, vote the other way.

Whenever one faction has the endorsement of either Zbigniew Brzezinski or his daughter Mika, vote the other way.

Whenever one faction launches attacks which mirror those heard on right-wing sites, vote the other way.

Whenever one faction is better known for low insults than for dry wit, vote the other way.

Whenever one faction adopts the Stone rules -- attack attack attack; never apologize; always accuse the other side of every imaginable sin -- VOTE THE OTHER WAY.

Mobs are easy to spot. They're the ones with the torches and pitchforks.

King Bernie. The Clinton forces woke up only belatedly to Bernie's schemes.
“I don’t think he realizes the damage he’s doing at this point,” one ally said of Sanders. “I understand running the campaign until the end, fine. But at least take the steps to begin bringing everyone together.”
Bernie is still doing everything he can to elect Trump. Do not trust him.

His capacity for hypocrisy remains boundless:
"If we take your assumption and Clinton’s supporters’ assumption of the logical conclusion, you know what we should do? We should go back to a monarchy and not have any elections at all,” Sanders added.
Sanders is the one who wants to establish a monarchy. Millions more voted for Hillary than voted for Sanders. That's called Democracy.

As seen in the previous post, Sanders tried to rig the Nevada election to insure that he got more delegates, even though it is an incontrovertible fact that the majority of voters in Nevada wanted Hillary. And yet the BernieBullies still pretend that they were the injured party. I'll say it again: The simple fact is that if each primary election were held properly -- direct democracy, no caucuses, no open primaries -- Hillary's massive lead would be unquestionable and unconquerable.

The Atlantic understands that Bernie Sanders' talk of "democracy" is pure sham:
The campaign has also opened itself up to criticism over its superdelegate strategy. Sanders called for “a serious discussion about the role of superdelegates,” a group of party elites and elected officials who can support either Democratic candidate, in a CNN interview this weekend. “The current situation is undemocratic,” he said. “It is ill-advised, and it needs to change.” But he seemed to hold out hope that superdelegates may still side with him, even if he does not win the most pledged delegates. The campaign has previously suggested it will fight for superdelegate support even if Sanders loses the popular vote, a strategy that has led to headlines like “Bernie Sanders’s Undemocratic Plan to Win the Primary.” Pronouncements that the campaign is willing to pursue an undemocratic strategy could hurt the candidate’s credibility with voters, whose loyalty he will need if he wants to make long-term progress on his policy ideals.
We have to hold the line against Bernie's evil scheme to establish open primaries, thereby allowing Republican ratfuckers to game the system. We have to support Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is trying to keep Bernie from making our primary system worse.

Primary reform is a good idea, but only if it is of the right kind. The list of desiderata comes down to three items:

1. Direct democracy
2. No caucuses

The fact that Bernie won't sign on to all three tells you who he is really working for. (Personally, I would suggest a couple of other ideas: Universal rules for all states, and a single nationwide primary voting day.)

Here's the dessert. Riverdaughter has it exactly right...
But the thing that drives me nuts about Oliver’s piece and Greg Sargent asking if the primary process needs to be reformed yadayadayada, is why now? Why now, guys? This process was exponentially worse in 2008. We saw it on C-Span during the rules committee hearing when reapportionment of one candidate’s pledged delegates gave the other candidate the win.

You know, no one heard a peep from these same belligerent assholes about how unfair the system was in 2008. It’s only this year when their “more deserving male” candidate is losing by a wider margin because of closed primaries that we’re all supposed to have conscioussness raising sessions to talk about the primary system clustrfuck. When WE pointed out how the assholes were definitely, undeniably and in full daylight rigging the system against Clinton in 2008, we were called “bitter knitters”. Now, we have to be careful not to upset the fee-fees of the same bad actors.
If my three desiderata had been in force in 2008, President Hillary would be thinking about her library right now.
>>see Conason and Lyons The Hunting of the President

They've made a free subset of the book titled The Hunting of Hillary. It's available here - http://bit.ly/1MMXxTr.

>>Markos Moulitsas took Obama dollars in 2008

I'm pretty sure that I've seen some Clinton ads on Daily Kos this time. She didn't make that mistake twice.

Mobs: The internet mobs started in 2000. We Gore supporters were viciously attacked. The Obama mobs sounded just like them, and so do the Bernie mobs. Same people?

>>a single nationwide primary voting day.

Something I read a couple of years ago pointed out that the problem here would be that someone would have to already be nationally known, and/or have access to a ton of money, in order to run for President. One way to get around that would be to have four regional primaries, and have them alternate being first, second, and so on - http://bit.ly/1TV8cKK.

Bernie demanded a canvass of the Kentucky primary votes. It will take place Thursday morning. I wonder who pays for that. Need to use my mad Googlz skillz.

He would probably garner all of 0 to 1 delegates.
As to the Riverdaughter quote, those bad actors were WRONG about Obama. They thought he was some kind of liberal. And those of us who tried to tell them he wasn’t were booed and shouted down and banned from so-called progressive websites.

Why should we trust their judgment about their new favorite darling?
Update - for a recount, the initiator pays and must post a bond beforehand. Don't know if this applies to a "recanvass" but here's the link:

From a knowledgeable Kentucky poster at another web site, since it's a recanvass and not a recount it's free to the initiator.
Who is in the troll army? Hmmm. I was surfing around the other day and found a few photos of the Brooks Brothers rioters. A couple of faces seemed familiar and I zipped over to some photos from Las Vegas. It could be a pattern recognition paradox or I could be hallucinating but some of the Vegas people looked liked aged versions of the some faces from FL. Probably nothing. I'll move along now. (Oh, completely agree with the post, btw.)
Thanks for the link to the subreddit, Joseph!

I loved seeing them spoof their own.

"Have you guys seen this news site, Drudge Report? It's run by an independent, grassroots journalist -- so you know he's not a mainstream media shill! -- and he's digging into all the dirt that the Clintons tried to bury! You can't hide from TRUTH and FACTS, $hillary!"


[–]dorami_jonesSuperdelegate Whisperer 13 points 15 hours ago

Oh. My G-d. I laughed so loud I scared the dog.

I keep wanting to post links to your posts about Sanders, but just don't want to deal with the fall out. So many of my friends (real friends, not just FB) are just swallowing everything Bernie tells them to swallow (or rather, Stone). The feeling of dejavu is unbelievable. I don't really recall much of what happened in 2000, and mainly read about it later in Daily Howler posts. I actually voted for Gore, though worked with several people that voted for Nader, so I guess history repeats even quicker these days, with peoples attention spans shrunk down to a few weeks at most.

I think I'm just going to stick with my policy of never posting anything at all on FB. It's just bugs me that so many people I respect and care about are falling for this crap. I guess I could point them to the cannonfire blog when they post pro-Bernie stuff, but I doubt they'd read anything once they saw the banner at the top of the page. They mostly voted for Obama anyway, even though back then I tried to convince them he was a phony (and some of them spent his whole term justifying the crap he did.......which, admittedly wasn't ALL bad, but not anywhere close to what they voted him in for).
"Hillary is too career-oriented, and people don't like that." On the face of it, that is a stupendously stupid statement. She's running for office, and she's held office before, and that's bad? But it's not quite so stupid. It translates to "Vote Trump - he's not a career politician. He don't bullshit. He tells it straight, like a man". Which is a major theme of his brand.

It makes you wonder who on earth pays politicians their bribes. I mean it can't only be other politicians, can it? The reason why they're a bunch of dirty bullshitting liars isn't just to help themselves. Sure, from their point of view, it is. But that's not the point of view of those who pay them. Politicians serve. Those who think otherwise - especially if they're 20 years old and believe they know it all - need to reflect on the concept of "big business".

If they want to know "where it's really at", they could start by wondering why a billionaire casino owner is standing for US president on the platform of signing a massive cement contract.

(I think Trump will win. I also think he is soon going to become the war candidate. It's looking like a NATO-Russia nuclear war well before 2020.)
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A sin against democracy

Salon has published another explicitly pro-Trump piece. What garbage.
In the present election, Hillary Clinton represents precisely the same disembodiedness as Romney, for example because of her association with the Clinton Foundation. Where did the business of the state, while she was secretary of state, stop, and where did the business of global philanthropy (just another name for global business), begin, and who can possibly tell the difference? The maneuverings of the Clinton Foundation, in the popular imagination, are as arcane as the colossal daily transactions on the world’s financial exchanges.
There you have it: According to Salon, imagination is considered an acceptable substitute for reality. What's next -- is Salon going to review the next Avengers movie as though it were a documentary?

In the popular imagination, at least for a while, Saddam Hussein ordered the 9/11 attacks. Polls indicated that the majority of Americans believed this imaginary scenario.

Liberals said: "Polls be damned: This scenario is not true." At that point, a host on Fox News answered that the people believed it to be so -- therefore, it was so.

(I distinctly recall seeing that moment on Fox. You may have seen it as well.)

Salon has become something worse than Fox. Comparing the two, I'm reminded of Steve Martin's great line from Leap of Faith: "Manipulators are sneaky. I'm obvious!" Fox, at least, has the virtue of being obvious.

Here's the truth: The Clinton Foundation is a charity. Watchdog groups consider it transparent and honest. It does an enormous amount of good. Liars have painted a completely false picture of that Foundation, what it does and how it runs. (They've also seeded the internet with utterly bogus stories about how much money actually reaches the needy.)

The attacks on the Clintons Foundation mirror the infamous "swiftboat" attacks on John Kerry's war record. That, too, was a Republican smear campaign designed to target an opponent's strength.

If people like Rove, Stone, Atwater -- and the writers for Salon -- had been around in 1960, they would have found ways to make people believe that JFK had acted abominably in the PT109 affair. I'm not sure how they would have created that impression, but casuistry can achieve miracles.

Too often, propaganda is what ignites the "popular imagination."

I think I'm going to try to talk to Joan Walsh and David Talbot. I'd like their views on what has happened to Salon under the leadership of Betsy Hambrecht (of Goldman Sachs) and her father, hedge fund manager William Hambrecht -- the man who funds Salon and keeps it alive.

These scoundrels condemn Hillary for giving speeches to the financial industry, even though she earned money FOR CHARITY. No other politician has ever been condemned for speaking gigs; the double standard is appalling.

Hillary may have spoken to Wall Streeters, but the Hambrechts are Wall Streeters. I will no longer stand for their damnable lies.

Salon's outrageous hypocrisy is...sin.

I will not apologize for that word. It's the right word. No other word will do.

Salon's hypocrisy is sin.

The missing bit.
A few hours after the publication of yesterdays' long post, 50 reasons why Sanders would lose all 50 states, I cut a few introductory paragraphs. I'm proud of the excised lines, so I've decided to preserve them here. The John Oliver segment embedded above has inspired an expansion.

*  *  *

Many left-wing writers have made the hilarious claim that the mainstream media dislikes Sanders. That's like claiming that Hollywood dislikes superhero movies. If you enjoy high surrealism, check out what Mahablog says about him:
He needed more time and public exposure to introduce himself to people before the primaries started. The Democratic establishment and mass media denied him that.
Ludicrous. Barney Frank gets us much closer to the truth:
As the intriguing challenger to Clinton, Sanders gets a pass in the current campaign. The media are very happy to have a race to cover where they feared — yes, feared — there would not be one. While Republican officeholders cannot be seen to be kind to a socialist, conservative commentators and media will be joining Kristol in touting Sanders’ heretofore unnoticed virtues. Meanwhile, Democrats — especially those who, like me, share most of Sanders’ policy views and do not have an allergic reaction to the word “socialism,” even if we disagree with it as an economic theory — are reluctant to be critical of someone who is an ally.
The left has been intimidated by the BernieBullies, who fall into paroxysms of hategasm every time someone offers even the subtlest critique of Dear Leader. The Bullies have hurled hate at Barbara Boxer, Paul Krugman, Barney Frank, Barack Obama, Politifact, CNN, Jonathan Capehart, Jamelle Bouie, George Takei, Anne Rice, Markos Moulitsas, Elizabeth Warren -- and even Rachel Maddow, who apparently committed the sin of not bowing deeply enough before Dear Leader.

(As a general rule, one should avoid any "progressive" movement that boos Krugman and Frank while applauding Maureen Dowd.)

The bullies have won through intimidation what they could not attain via either the ballot box or reasoned debate: All criticism of Dear Leader has been declared Thoughtcrime. Even Hillary has refused to criticize Sanders, because she doesn't want to alienate his followers. (A strategic mistake, this: The BernieBullies won't support the nominee, despite Bernie's deceptive behind-the-scenes assurances.)

In this climate of fear, no-one dares to point out even the most obvious contradictions. For example, MoveOn sent out a pro-Bernie petition bearing these words: “Democracy only works when the votes of the people—not the decision of a small number of elites—are what determines the outcome of elections.” At the same time, Bernie explicitly pinned his hopes on having the superdelegates overturn the results of the popular vote.

At what point does hypocrisy become an act of surrealist performance art?

I invite you to look carefully at the John Oliver segment embedded above. About two thirds of the way in, this video clip delves into what really happened in Nevada. Oliver's main purpose is to call for a new primary system, and I agree that such an overhaul is needed. But if you carefully follow Oliver's description of the complex process used to choose delegates in Nevada, one fact becomes clear:

Hillary Clinton was the choice of the people. She got the most votes from average citizens.

The followers of Bernie Sanders tried to game the system to insure that the delegates did not reflect the will of the voters. How dare Bernie Sanders or his minions speak of democracy?

The simple fact is that if each primary election were held properly -- direct democracy, no caucuses, no open primaries -- Hillary's massive lead would be unquestionable and unconquerable.

Actually, if primaries were held properly, Hillary would probably be president today. She won the popular primary vote in 2008.
Why don't Salon ask where Trump will buy the concrete for his border wall? Everyone knows the mob controls concrete.

Trump made much of his fortune in construction projects in New York and in property management, hospitality, golf clubs, hotels and casinos.

But Salon tells us that in the "popular imagination", the Clinton Foundation "manoeuvres" in an "arcane" fashion. I'm sure it does. But that's a very vague and abstract accusation. I've got to wonder whether the Clinton campaign will stand there taking Trump's punches in an anti-Clinton environment maintained by the right-wing media or whether some time they're going to lay one back on the bastard. They should be concrete!
Great post, Joseph. And frankly, Salon has truly become a "wretched hive of scum and villainy" with articles like the one you linked to as well as by crap written by H.A. Goodman, Walker Bragman, and Shane Ryan, for starters. These folks are more interested in letting the US get royally screwed by the GOP because they think that it will jumpstart...well, something something REVOLUTION!

Never mind the fact that thousands, maybe millions, will pay a price. Like the Naderites of 2000, they are so bloody pure in their own heads that they don't care if other heads roll.

And Mahablog...yeesh. The GOP and Trump promise to take things back to the 1850s and yet Maha is still churning out anit-Hillary/anti-Democrat nonsense while pining for Bernie, who at this point cannot win, period.

Why do these folks even bother to call themselves "progressives"?
Regarding 2008, why should the primary be more democratic than the general election?
I imagine days when I can walk without pain. I can also imagine I can fly like a raven to my favorite fishing hole. I can... oh well, if wishes were horses... Gravity must exist or else the earth sucks, etc. etc. etc. The mind bending delusions of the typical Bernout are, in many ways, worse than a tRump fluffer. At least the tRumpers have stupidity as an excuse.
I don't know about the other two, but it's entirely possible that Lord Haw-Haw Goodman actually wants President Tribble Hair. After all, Lord Haw-Haw used to be a Rand Paul zombie.
IBW, HAw HAw is an obvious ratfucker. He couldn't be more obvious if there were a YouTube video of him literally fucking a rat.
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Monday, May 23, 2016

50 reasons why Sanders would lose all 50 states

(I've somewhat abbreviated this post since its original publication. Spread this throughout Bernieland. You too can be accused of being a paid Hillary shill! Feel the hate!)

Progressives are turning against Bernie Sanders.
"The problem isn't Bernie Sanders' supporters,” Moulitsas wrote. “It's Bernie Sanders himself … [He] refuses to forcefully and unambiguously reject that violence, instead rationalizing and explaining it away with a mix of grievances and outright conspiracy theory.”
Although the Bernie thugs can't bring themselves to admit it, their Dear Leader is the primary reason why Trump is now running ahead of Clinton in the polls. Their vile, incessant and utterly deceptive anti-Clinton propaganda campaign was designed to transform the most admired woman in America into a pariah.

Would Bernie do better against Trump? His cultists say so, but the idea is laughable. Polls are kind to him now only because the media -- mainstream, rightstream and leftstream -- has, until very recently, declared him beyond criticism.

In this essay, I will prove that the media has always favored Bernie. It's a dog-that-didn't-bark kind of proof: The media's bias is proven by their refusal to discuss these 50 truths about Sanders.

Only on a small-but-fearless blog like this one may we list the 50 reasons why candidate Bernie would suffer a 50-state loss. At the risk of being labeled a paid shill for Hillary (even though I can't even afford to buy my dog's insulin), I shall reveal the sins that make Dear Leader unelectable.

1. Big government. According to consistent Gallup polls, some 69 percent of the country thinks that Big Government is America's top problem, while 25 percent sees Big Business as the biggest problem. The entire Sanders campaign consists of assaults on big business -- and no-one can call him a proponent of small government. Such a candidate cannot win.

2. Socialism. The word "socialist" is an insurmountable general-election turnoff. It doesn't matter how you view the word or how I view the word; in an election, the only thing that matters is how the general public feels. Pew tells us that 59% of the public views "socialism" negatively, while just 29% views the word positively. Gallup reveals that Americans are much more disposed to elect a gay, Muslim or atheist candidate, as opposed to a socialist. That one word destroys Bernie's chances.

Sanders belongs to the Democratic Socialists of America, which advocates taking down the capitalist system. That association won't sit well, once the majority of America gets the news.

Republican strategist Ryan Williams has said: “Republicans are being nice to Bernie Sanders because we like the thought of running against a socialist.” Sanders would not only lose, he would force all Democrats to live with the "socialist" stigma -- forever. The party would lose many seats in Congress.

3. Tax rates. With few exceptions, the media has refused to discuss the fact that Bernie Sanders intends to raise taxes sky-high on working people. A worker earning $20K a year will be taxed at a rate higher than the one now imposed on Bill Gates. Sanders supporters can make highly technical arguments as they try to explain that taxes won't really be so onerous. Bernie will sound like Porky Pig as he tries to explain the intricacies of his math -- meanwhile, Republican ads will slaughter him. (Similar ads slaughtered George McGovern, who ran during a much more liberal era.)

4. Revolution. All of Bernie's promises are predicated on a political revolution that simply will not occur: If Bernie were to win in 2016, does anyone truly believe that red states and purple states would respond by sending a horde of Emma Goldman clones to Capitol Hill? It's not bloody likely -- not in a country where only 24% of the electorate identifies as liberal. Worse, Sanders refuses to support downticket Democrats -- in fact, his supporters have deliberately impeded their fundraising efforts! 

5. Compromise. Bernie views an inability to compromise as a badge of honor. Polls indicate that the public is weary of gridlock.

6. PACS. Bernie has claimed repeatedly that he does not accept PAC money. In fact, he has -- in the past. He even accepted money from HillaryPAC in 2006! One can easily visualize a Republican attack ad which uses this history to paint him as a double-talker.

In fact, Bernie has benefited from millions of dollars spent by conservative PACS

7. Lack of accomplishment. In all his years on the Hill, Bernie Sanders co-sponsored only three successful bills; two of them bestowed names on post offices. (Bizarrely, he wanted one of those post offices to be named after a member of the anti-Catholic Know-Nothings.) Hilariously, Alternet bestowed this headline on a Bernie puff piece: "Bernie Gets It Done: Sanders' Record of Pushing Through Major Reforms Will Surprise You." Who painted this political landscape -- Dali? Ernst?

8. Hypocrisy on the Crime Bill. The man has given us too many examples of hypocrisy to list here, but the crime bill may be the most egregious. Bernie Sanders voted for it -- as did the Congressional Black Caucus -- yet he tried to use this issue against Hillary Clinton. He eventually claimed that he supported the bill only because it contained an assault weapons ban. The truth: He actually voted for an earlier version which did not include that ban. One can easily see how his self-serving deceptions can be used against him in an effective series of television ads.

9. The NRA. The NRA's funding of Sanders, and his subsequent pro-gun voting record, gives the lie to his claim that he does not do the bidding of well-heeled backers. At the moment, most Democrats do not know this history -- but in a general election, his hypocrisy will be placed under the magnifying glass.

10. Iran. During the middle of the Iranian hostage crisis -- still a sore memory for many Americans -- Bernie publicly proclaimed his solidarity with "revolutionary Iran." The Ayatollah Khomeini is still a despised figure throughout much of the nation. Can you imagine the effectiveness of an ad featuring one of the hostages?

Many older Americans recall how they shook with rage throughout the hostage crisis; they recall the brisk trade in "Ayatollah = Assahola" t-shirts. If there is video of Bernie Sanders making that proclamation, his approval ratings will plunge into the single digits.

11. Nicaragua. Although I marched in pro-Sandinista, pro-FMLN rallies back in the day, I'm also realistic enough to understand that my views were not, and are not, shared by the majority of my fellow citizens. Thanks to the efforts of we who marched (not to mention the lingering stench of Vietnam), Reagan did not send troops to Central America, though he clearly yearned to do so. Nevertheless, most Americans still believe -- wrongly -- that the Sandinistas were communists.

Bernie Sanders not only supported the Sandinistas, he visited Nicaragua and joined a crowd chanting "The Yankee will die." If there is footage of Bernie in that crowd -- and there probably is -- he will not only lose the election, he'll be spat upon.

12. Millennials. Sanders' greatest strength is with the millennials, who seem to operate under the delusion that they are the only ones who will show up on election day. Yet even the millennials give him a 55% approval rating -- not exactly stratospheric. I predict that this number will plummet. Why? Because millennials lack experience and education; they are easily gulled by peer pressure and intellectual fads. Republican operatives know how to work the social networking sites, and they know how to turn the current pro-Sanders mania into anti-Sanders revulsion.

13. Child porn. Sanders was against an amendment criminalizing Photoshopped child porn -- that is, porn which depicts only simulated child rape. There is, I suppose, a viable First Amendment defense for this vote, but that defense will seem like casuistry to many of my fellow citizens. Nothing will stop the Republicans from painting Sanders as a sick old man who coddles the worst perverts on earth.

14. Oil. In the 1970s, Sanders advocated the nationalization of the oil industry. To be honest, a part of me sympathizes with that stance. The public will not. (That's one reason why I knew better than to run for office.)

15. Redistribution.
Sanders advocated the government seizure of the assets of the Rockefeller family -- and by extension, the fortunes of similar families -- in order to spend the money on social welfare programs. He was not talking about taxes; he advocated outright seizure of the entire fortune. Such a course of action would, of course, be wildly unconstitutional. Even if he disavows what he said then (which he probably won't), I don't think that the extreme statements he made in the past will go over well in the purple states.

16. Television. At great length, and in no uncertain terms, Sanders advocated the government takeover of the television industry. Although he used the term "democratic control" to describe this seizure, most Americans despise the thought of the government controlling both news and entertainment programming. Trump will compare Sanders to Stalin -- justifiably.

Sanders may (or may not) disavow now the ideas he advocated in the 1970s. The question is: How many such disavowals will the public accept? Perhaps his earlier self was his truest self.

17. The Jane Factor. Jane Sanders ran a college -- into ruins. Then she escaped with a golden parachute. This history has been, and will be, used to make the case that socialists cannot handle money.

18. Funny Money.
The under-funded FEC keeps asking questions about Sanders' campaign finances, and they never receive any reasonable answers. Sanders has never explained the $23 million in completely unsourced funding that aroused the curiosity of the Commission. The money just appeared, like Athena from the forehead of Zeus.

We've not heard any official explanation for the $10.5 million he received from the DC area all on one day -- in individual donations of $35 apiece. Defenders have suggested that this money came from MoveOn -- but where is the proof? As I've noted before: Campaigns are entirely self-policing, and donations under $50 are completely anonymous. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, a "small donations" campaign is actually more likely to be corrupt -- at least under current rules.

19. Lying about "those speeches." Sanders has repeatedly accused Hillary Clinton of profiting from speeches given to large banking concerns. He doesn't tell his audiences that she donated most of the money to charity. That's the part Sanders always leaves out. (For charity, I will happily spend the day telling the folks who run Goldman Sachs anything they wish to hear: "And Lloyd, I'm particularly envious of your twelve-inch penis!")

Sanders' record of deception, if properly publicized, would infuriate the public.

20. Going negative. Sanders began by saying that he would not engage in character attacks or negative advertising. Everyone now admits that he broke that promise. That broken promise could be used against him in the general.

21. Smears. Having smeared not only Clinton (one of the most liberal members of Congress) as a corporate shill, Sanders has also demeaned all other Democratic politicians who do not measure up to his standard of purity. The man is not liked by his colleagues. By erecting a cult of personality around himself, he has shown his true character. The idea that anyone can win the presidency without the party is a ludicrous fantasy that only the most deluded BernieBro could believe.

22. How will he fund a general election campaign? Having scoffed at PACs and large donors, Sanders would face a stark choice: 1. He could declare himself a hypocrite and take PAC money, or 2. He could try to win a campaign in which he is outspent many times over. If he chooses the latter course, then every attack ad -- whether based on truth or fabrication -- will go unanswered.

23. Bernie's taxes. Bernie has flat-out lied about his tax returns. He claimed that he could not provide his returns for prior years because his wife does them. That answer doesn't make any sense -- unless he is claiming that Jane misplaced the documentation. Jane said that the earlier returns were unavailable because Bernie was not running for public office in preceding years. That's another non-sequitur: Bernie Sanders was an office-holder -- and even if he weren't, he would still be expected to cough up the returns.

The pattern of lying indicates that he's hiding something major. It may be difficult for Trump to score him on this point, given The Donald's own refusal to divulge his taxes. But Bernie obviously has a big secret -- a secret which may slip out by some other route, even if those IRS forms remain locked in a drawer.

24. Health coverage.
Bernie, if elected, could succeed in eradicating Obamacare. He cannot succeed in enacting a British-style system. Not with this Congress, not with this public. The public's attitude toward socialized medicine fluctuates -- but the idea always becomes less popular when the talk turns to the costs. Hell, even I don't like Sander's idea of eliminating deductibles and co-payments entirely. (Co-payments, even small ones, help to keep down waste and fraud.)

25. Opposition to the auto bailout. Trump has positioned himself as the proponent of American industry. On this score, he will slaughter Sanders, who favored allowing the American automobile industry to die. (As we've all seen, Libertarian Trump gives way to Hypernationalist Trump, depending on the situation.)

26. Deficits. To most Americans, deficits do matter -- a lot. Whereas Hillary can point to her husband's record (Bill Clinton was the first president in ages to get America out of the red, and had us positioned to pay back the entire debt by 2006), Sanders has made proposals which will add trillions to the national debt, as even liberal economists agree.
By the reckoning of the left-of-center economists, none of whom are working for Mrs. Clinton, the proposals would add $2 trillion to $3 trillion a year on average to federal spending; by comparison, total federal spending is projected to be above $4 trillion in the next president’s first year. “The numbers don’t remotely add up,” said Austan Goolsbee, formerly chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, now at the University of Chicago.

Alluding to one progressive analyst’s criticism of the Sanders agenda as “puppies and rainbows,” Mr. Goolsbee said that after his and others’ further study, “they’ve evolved into magic flying puppies with winning Lotto tickets tied to their collars.”
I don't care for Goolsbee -- but so what? This post is not about him. This post is about electability in November. If Trump places that quotation in an ad seen repeatedly by the entire country, Sanders is done.

27. Quebec. Absurdly, Sanders favored the separatist party of Quebec and even attended one of their conventions. This association will damage relations with our closest partner.

28. Nationalization of industry. Sanders has claimed that he does not favor the government takeover of the means of production. Fair enough. I do understand that there are many forms of socialism -- in fact, I have understood that point since grade school, before most BernieBros were born. Nevertheless, Sanders has advocated nationalization of various industries in the past -- we've already mentioned television and oil.

In a general election, he will be forced to say: "I used to advocate government takeover of business, but my views have evolved." How do you think that will play?

29. Details, and the lack thereof. None of Bernie's pie-in-the-sky ideas comes backed by anything so gauche as specifics. The mainstream media soft-pedals this fact now, but they will stop doing so if he wins the nomination. His instantly-infamous Daily News interview displayed his Palin-esque vacuousness.

30. Five percent growth. Bernie's entire program is predicated on the notion that he can deliver 5% economic growth for four straight years. This is insane. 1984 was the last year we had that kind of growth, and it was achieved only through Reagan's massive military build-up, funded by deficits. (As Lloyd Bentsen said at the time, Reagan's prosperity was paid for with hot checks.) The people won't stand for that kind of thing now; they stood for it then only because the Republicans had spent a decade lying about Soviet military capabilities.

No economist takes the five percent figure seriously. Sanders is flat-out lying -- and Trump will be able to prove that he is lying by citing liberal economists.

31. More lies about Hillary. Sanders claimed that Hillary was funded by the oil industry -- and then proved the point by noting contributions from individuals (not corporations) who happen to work for that industry, even in the lowliest capacity. By the same logic, one could say that Bernie is funded by the Department of Defense. Right now, the mainstream media has soft-pedaled Sanders' deceptions. They will stop doing so the moment he wins the nomination.

32. Black people. If Sanders were to win the nomination, he will do so over the objections of black people, who clearly preferred someone else. I don't see why African Americans would feel particularly motivated to go to the polls, especially in light of the insulting things that Team Sanders said about black voters in the south. (I'm sure that Team Trump will be happy to offer reminders.) The BernieBros made many racist statements -- on Reddit and elsewhere -- after the Black Lives Matter incident. No Democrat can win if the African American vote is depressed.

33. The BernieBullies. They are already widely hated among Democrats, and that hatred will only grow. Their obnoxious behavior will suppress turnout by traditional Dems, who won't want to see Bernie's online cult become even more monstrous and arrogant. And no-one in his or her right mind can argue that the obnoxious tactics of the BernieBullies will appeal to middle-of-the-roaders and to the many Republicans who consider Trump boorish. Sanders has demonstrated an unwillingness to keep his thugs in line.

34. Lack of Patriotism. Bernie Sanders won't wear the flag pin. A symbolic point, but symbolism matters in a presidential race. Things have not changed that much since 1988, when Poppy Bush won, in large part, due to a ginned up controversy involving the Pledge of Allegiance. Around the world (not just in this country) working-class people truly care about the totems of nationalism. Perhaps they ought not, but they do. Sanders is contemptuous of the need to compromise on even the most trivial matters; if ever he tried to say the pledge, the words would probably stick in his throat.

35. I call Debs. Sanders is a lifelong admirer of Eugene Debs, whose portrait hangs in his office. Bernie even made a Debs documentary. Personally, I don't have any problem with this. But it is a fact that Lenin praised Debs, and that Debs supported the 1917 revolution in Russia. Moreover, Sanders' documentary applauds this expression of support for Lenin.

If you now want to get into an argument about Eugene Debs, you are missing the point: I'm not writing about history. I'm writing about the electability of Bernie Sanders. In an election year, perceptions count. The Debs/Lenin/Sanders linkage can be spun -- fairly or otherwise -- into the perception that Bernie Sanders is a communist. 

36. Deodorant. A Sanders quote: "You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country." On one level, this is true -- we don't need such things. But the abundance of goods indicates prosperity, and competition is the only thing that keeps prices down. Insulting the very concept of competition is not going to play well with most people.

Bernie claims to admire Scandinavia, as do I. I don't know how many brands of deodorant are available in Swedish stores, but I imagine that the range is comparable to our own.

My point is this: This quote indicates that Sanders favors a centralized governmental control of enterprise. I don't think that this stance will be popular in November. How many Americans want the government to decide on the number of consumer products? Most believe that the market should make such decisions.

37. Demonstrably empty promises. Bernie's ideas sound practical only to fools who think that the American president is a kind of king. Many naive Bernie supporters (like many naive Trump supporters) do not understand that Congress makes laws.

Example: Bernie has promised free college tuition paid for by a tax on Wall Street transactions. Even if the numbers added up, how will he make that happen? Congress will remain in Republican hands, and the Republican majority would only grow if he became president. His supporters have actively harassed fundraisers for congressional Democrats.

Sanders's "free college" pledge is as inane as Trump's claim that he can make Mexico pay for a wall. Even if you think it's a good idea, so what? From the mouse's point of view, belling the cat is a good idea. How can the mice make such a thing happen?

38. Will the military tolerate a President Sanders? FDR was not a socialist, yet his New Deal policies led to two serious attempted military coups. (Read Jules Archer's The Plot to Seize the White House.) If Sanders wins the nomination, many within the military -- from rank-and-file soldiers to Generals -- will voice their extreme displeasure. They will sound very ominous and very threatening. Voters will get the message.

39. Sanders has no appeal to Hillary supporters or traditional Democrats. After his disastrous encouragement of thuggery in Las Vegas, an increasing number of non-BernieBros view Sanders with utter revulsion. We all understand that the bullying comes from the top down, and that Sanders himself is the real reason why his BernieBullies are psychologically incapable of apologizing. Sanders cannot unite the party. He cannot mobilize the base. He cannot win over undecideds. Even if he were handed the nomination tomorrow, he has already lost the November election.

40. The intelligence community will not tolerate a socialist of any stripe. God only knows what they will do to prevent his becoming president. Anyone who discounts the effectiveness of their tactics or their willingness to play dirty hasn't read the same books I have read.

41. Pseudoscience. As Charlton Heston says in The Four Musketeers: "One must be careful about what one writes." According to the NYT: "...he [Sanders] wrote some articles about health, including one in which he cited studies claiming that cancer could be caused by psychological factors such as unresolved hostility toward one’s mother, a tendency to bury aggression beneath a “facade of pleasantness” and having too few orgasms."

42. Bernie's past, Trump's past. If Bernie Sanders is forced to renounce the extreme things he has said in his past, then he will not be able to criticize Trump concerning the extreme things that he has said in his past. Having changed his position on so fundamental an issue as the nationalization of industry, Sanders cannot criticize Trump for the many (many) times he has shifted his positions. The most effective ways to attack Donald Trump will be off-limits to Bernie Sanders.

43. Infrastructure. Bernie wants to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure. Personally, I like the idea. I would also like to lose 30 pounds in one week simply by laying on the sofa while watching old Star Trek reruns and eating ice cream. But I'm realistic enough to know that 30 pounds does not come off so easily. I also know that Congress will laugh at Bernie's big idea.

More than that: Not many years ago, the public reacted with outrage to Obama's stimulus package, which spent a mere $191 billion on jobs -- and only a small portion of that went to infrastructure. (Most of it went to the state governments.) The stim package was hated. The stim package was a key factor in creating the Tea Party rebellion. Do you really think that voters in November will react kindly to a proposal that is at least five times larger than Obama's?

44. SCOTUS. Bernie Sanders has said that he wants Obama to withdraw Merrick Garland in order to allow Sanders to nominate a justice based on one principle: "No nominee of mine to the United States Supreme Court will get that job unless he or she is loud and clear that one of their first orders of business will be to overturn Citizens United." Does Sanders even understand how the Court works? No-one can have any idea when or if such a case will next appear before the Supremes.

45. Guilt by association. The Republicans gained enormously from creating a paper monster out of Saul Alinski. What will they do with Bernie's history with the Young People’s Socialist League? It should be fairly easy to find someone who belonged to that organization -- or to the Socialist Workers’ Party, or to the Liberty Union, or to the Democratic Socialists of America -- who has said something strikingly anti-American. Bernie will be damned by association.

46. Sanders' very own Watergate. Sanders' team stole confidential voter data from the Hillary campaign. When the theft was discovered, he refused to discipline or criticize his people. When the DNC offered a mild punishment, Sanders -- in what we now know to be a characteristic move -- went into high dudgeon, claiming that the DNC was trying to censor and suppress him. In other words, he resorted to his usual intimidation tactics.

All of this can be used against him in November. Hillary voters will remember. They may just stay home on election day.

47. Free college. Even for the rich?

48. A terror attack on America or its interests. What if such an attack occurs during the election? It's not unlikely. Will Bernie say the patriotic, inspiring things that Americans will want to hear? It's not likely.

49. Intellectual laziness. We need a smart candidate who will stand in sharp contrast to Trump's foolishness. But Sanders isn't a reading man. From the New Yorker:
"Sanders does not seem to have immersed himself that deeply in the extensive literature on inequality. When I spoke with him in his Senate office, I asked him how his ideas on economic fairness were formed. “No one can answer that,” he replied. “How were your ideas formed?” He did not particularly warm to discussing the theories of such economists as Joseph Stiglitz and Thomas Piketty. (Gutman told me, “I read a third of Piketty’s book. I don’t think Bernie would read a page of it.”
Sanders hopes to ease income inequality but he won't read Stiglitz or Piketty? Good lord. He resembles a Christian who is too lazy to read the New Testament, or a psychiatrist who won't read Freud, or an art historian who won't read Vasari. What does Bernie read? Anything?

50. Women. One could list 50 reasons why many women mistrust Sanders; in my view, such a list should be written by a woman. The hateful things that the BernieBros have said about Hillary have certainly carried more than a whiff of sexism.

But for me, one item stands out. In a moment of high paranoia, Bernie Sanders labeled Planned Parenthood part of his hated "Establishment."

Those fine people take a risk every time they come to work. Words cannot express how much I admire and respect what they do. If that's the Establishment, then let's have more Establishment.

Sanders' remark was inexcusable. If he were the nominee, any woman who has ever relied upon the aid of Planned Parenthood would not feel terribly motivated to visit the polls in November.
24 "Hell, even I don't like Sander's idea of eliminating deductibles and co-payments entirely. (Co-payments, even small ones, help to keep down waste and fraud.)"

Co-pays probably reduce some waste and fraud, but the cost of collecting co-payments may cancel out the savings. I think some socialized medicine countries that have looked at co-payments have rejected them for this reason.
Aphrodite didn't spring out of the head of Zeus. Athena did.

One version of Aphrodite's origin has her rising out of the sea; hence the famous painting where Aphrodite/Venus is depicted standing on a giant seashell.

These Greek myths make me think some ancient Greeks goofed and ate the wrong mushrooms. ;)
You're a fraud, Joe. Are you taking money from the Clinton campaign to subsidize your own inability to earn a living? I haven't seen you begging for money from others to care for your pets lately, so clearly someone is giving you cash.
I didn't know about many of these, but especially not about #s 10 or 16.

I think the Fairness Doctrine should be restored, but taking over the TV industry, or any other media? OH HELL TO THE NO. That sounds like something I'd read over on Ian Welsh's blog, now that he and many of his readers are sliding off the deep end.
Very well put.
Here is a rundown on Bernie's financing:

Joseph, I'm very interested in your assertion that Hillary Clinton donated most of her Goldman Sachs speech income to charity, which is news to me. Could you provide a link on that?
18: It was Athena, not Aphrodite, who sprang from the head of Zeus. Aphrodite sprang forth from the surf after the castration of Ouranus.

24: "Socialized" medicine doesn't increase costs. Not to say that couldn't be used to fool the gullible, or that American might end up with such a system, but the reality.

35: When you say "the 1917 revolution in Russia", could you clarify which one? I doubt even the John Birch Society would have too much trouble with Kerensky.

41: Cancer can, in fact, be caused or exacerbated by psychological factors (indirectly, generally, through hormonal effects), and by too few orgasms (at least in men, specifically with prostate cancer).

Guys, I am shamed. That isn't the FIRST time I put down "Aphrodite" when I meant "Athena." I've even written a post in which I talk about how much I like Athena...

I've made the correction.

Stephen, I agree with your basic point vis a vis socialized medicine and cost. But I also know the way the argument plays out in this country. You may point to a poll at any given snapshot in time which shows a bare majority of people favoring some sort of Medicare for all scheme. But then people on teevee start talking money, and the polls change.
I want the Fairness Doctrine back but certainly no government control of entertainment. I'll also quibble with 49. I haven't read any of those income equality tomes and I don't need to be highly educated or cosmically informed to know income equality is a serious problem--- especially if I have lived it. (Reading Dickens will do it for ya.) I don't doubt that he is in fact intellectually lazy; his constant repetition of the same talking points with little variation in language seems to indicate that if nothing else. But quibbles aside, kudos on the list--- that must have been exhausting to compile.
10. Bernie proclaimed his solidarity with this regime.
Number 43, I presume you meant 191 billion, not 191 million.

As for Co-Pays, Co-Pays do keep costs down, but not as a revenue producer.

Co-Pays keep costs down by allowing the health care professional to scratch out enough money on a lower cost procedure so as not to force their victim, er patient, into higher cost procedures that are either not covered, or have co-pays.
I lived this co-pay nightmare with one of my parents when they needed dentures. There was no co-pay for the denture mold and the dental facility refused to do the denture procedure unless my parent paid for a 2,500 dollar gum line implant even though my parent had less than a year to live. It turns out the dental mold charge the dentit had to pay was for more money than the insurance would pay out, so a co-pay would have either let them break even, or maybe come out 25 bucks "ahead".
Then, because my parent absolutely needed the dental work done immediately we went dentist hunting and found a dentist. But the insurance policy required my parent wait a full 30 days until the new dentist could perform work, which neither of us knew about. The nightmare grew over time and frankly probably helped off my parent a month or two early.
When I discussed the co-pay issue with the dental insurance company, I asked if they had co-pay options in other states. They said "yes", and then stated to me, "and we actually get a lot less complaints from our customers in those states".
The same co pay scam is done for teeth cleaning. Dentist recommends a deep cleaning, which is not covered, not even with a co-pay. So instead of absorbing a portion of the cost via a co-pay, the dentist is able to charge full pop while possibly refusing to do the regular cleaning since it is not what they feel is the best course of action.
Co-pays are ESSENTIAL for helping to prevent physicians from insisting on medical procedures that either cost a lot more money, or that are covered by co-pays, or higher cost, higher percentage co-pays.
Plus, patients get much more attentive and miserly when they suddenly have to Co-pay, even if its just ten bucks.
Phil, his assertion was that most of her paid speech money was donated to charity, not most of her Goldman Sachs money.

What do you think about the millions Bernie's campaign effort received from Karl Rove's SuperPAC? Or the money Sanders took from Hillary's PAC to run for Senate?

Personally, I think that giving paid speeches (as every former President, First Lady and most cabinet members have done) is a better way for out-of-office politicians to support themselves than lobbying. There is a blurred line between Bill and Hillary Clinton's charity foundation fundraising, their support for non-profit and worthy causes, and supporting their household, since all of these have benefitted from their speaking at different times, but how can anyone seriously argue that a former public servant no longer has the right to support themselves?

You need to focus more on finding that quid-pro-quo, and good luck with that. Others have looked and the closest they came were easily discredited hit pieces like the book the NY Times excerpted to smear Hillary with Bill's activities, early on in her pre-campaign days.
I came across this and thought others here might like it


Corby, don't you think there is an easily trod path for corruption via this route? At least lobbying has some regulations. But you can take paid for speech money and there are no rules around it. Unless you can point out a specific quid pro quo how would anyone ever prove corruption?
The list has two #36. /A Scandinavian
Damn, anon. I KNEW that would happen. I re-read several times, and still...

Thanks for pointing that out. I 86ed the weaker of the two 36es.
Anon @4:57

I don't see a path for corruption because these are generally people no longer in public service and serving an elder statesman role in our society. They could as easily call themselves consultants. They should not sit home and deny people the benefit of their experiences. It strikes me as ridiculous to assume that they cannot earn any money in any specific way because of what they might do in the future. I like Hillary but I never expected her to run for president in 2008 and wouldn't have said she should avoid giving speeches in case she did that. I think it is better for Goldman Sachs to hear someone like her speak to them and I doubt she told them what they wanted to hear.

How much worse is the situation of Dick Cheney who has ties to the defense industry and merely puts his holdings into a blind trust while he is VP, as if that abolished any bias toward them. And no one seemed to care. Even Bernie voted for the defense bills that would fund projects in VT -- is that corrupt? Why then is it corrupt for Hillary to attend to the needs of the industries in her state?

They gave Ronald Reagan a ranch when he left office!

She does what everyone does but there are unique standards for her. I have never seen a connection made between her normal functioning in government and her funding. She votes her opinions and her policies have reasoned justification and research behind them. I don't see her ever paying anyone off. It falls into the category again of how likely would she be to do something obviously corrupt knowing that all eyes are on her and it would instantly become a big issue? Not likely. She has to be the cleanest candidate because she is the most scrutinized. In terms of other people, (1) who wants to hear them?, (2) look for the actual corruption because there are too many ways to pay someone off that are much less obvious than this one. Lobbyists are paying for D.C. apartments for congressmen, flights to exotic places (junkets), Jane is on Bernie's payroll -- isn't that corruption? Without the quid pro quo, maybe there isn't any corruption to find. Did that occur to you?

The fact that you're asking money for your dog PROVES that you're on Killary's payroll.

Jane being on Bernie's payroll is potential corrupt, yes. Obviously so, because it is the use of public resources for private gain. Similarly so for almost every example you used. I would argue that any money which changes hands is potentially corruption. If there is a quid then there is probably a quo. These are not unique standards. I have no idea whether she votes her opinion because I cannot observe her opinion. However I can observe when she votes her pocket. All policies can have reasoned justification for them. I can always find a reason ex post. However book deals, public speaking, media appearances etc, "business deals", are all ways in which the corrupt have found vehicles for transferring money. I suggest to you that an exceptionally wealthy politician may not always be an exceptionally talented writer or business person. Frankly most exceptionally talented writers are NOT rich.

Your main point is that others are corrupt too. I agree entirely. Dick Chaney rectified his relative poverty by his time in office. Lucky for him he didn't have to divest of his stock. But you know that voting for defense bills which benefit your state does not fit this measure.

Voting for public money being allocated to private banks on preferential terms might well fit the definition. I wouldn't draw a parallel between GS and the defense industry.

Calling themselves consultants is the same. It is absurd to think anyone learned anything by listening to her speech at GS. Egos were massaged but no insights were gleaned. The point of GS speech budget is to be relevant to the right people. To ensure a dialogue which ensures access, which permits their case to be heard. Sadly none of the home owners who were ripped off by illegal mortgage origination had the same access. Their case is not heard.

Why do you think the business considers this money well spent?

I don't believe that my interests will be defended by those who have accepted money from those whose interests are opposed to mine. I'm surprised anyone does.
Anonymous, you freak hacker/stalker, wth are you talking about? Are your two brain cells flipping coins to decide if Joseph's asking/not asking for help with his previous/existing? dog/s proves some nonexistent payroll nonsense? Ask the pair of them which is it so you can make up your ...mind.

You must have tickled Cannon's funnybone that your comments got through.

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#13. Bernie was correct to oppose that amendment, as that provision of the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. (As it happens, I was sort of a party to that case, having purchased one of the plaintiffs at about the mid-point between its argument and the decision.)

The problem with the law was that it essentially criminalized any depiction of a minor engaging in sexual activity. In its decision, the court mentioned this could be read to apply to such things as Romeo and Juliet, Traffic, and American Beauty -- to name but a few.

Given one misguided prosecutor did his best to try a video store owner for renting The Tin Drum, I can't see how such examples are fanciful -- and lord knows the public and law enforcement have grown exponentially stupider concerning CP in the two decades since the CPPA's passage. My current favorite example is the 17-year-old Florida high school student charged with production of child pornography for having a nude photo of a minor on his phone: A photo of himself. Seems that in Florida, a 17-year-old arrested for CP is charged as an adult, *and* it's illegal to possess a nude photo of a minor [not really, but Florida cops aren't known for nuance], so when you put the two together, you get such idiocy as a teenager facing serious jail time followed by a lifetime as a registered sex offender for a naked selfie.

I don't want to come across as some sort of advocate for CP, but I do have to say federal and state laws and sentencing guidelines are off-the-chart as regards reasonableness. (Obviously, there isn't a very vocal CP lobby fighting against passage of ever-more-draconian laws, so when election time rolls around, and legislators start looking for ways to prove they're 'tough on crime,' there are few as painless or media-friendly as smacking child porn producers and consumers around so more.) Even if you live in one of only 19 states where the age of consent is 18, the penalties for having sex with a minor are often less severe than those for photographing one.

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Admittedly, I was somewhat radicalized about this topic a little over a year ago, when I found myself staring down the barrel of a Glock 27 at a quarter to seven one morning, when a couple dozen FBI agents and SFPD officers dropped by to arrest a housemate, a 40-something cocktail waitress with questionable taste in men. While I've not been able freely to discuss the case with her, as best I can tell, she seems to have made the unfortunate decision to allow play partners to send her images as sort of a visual accompaniment to 'age play.' (Remember the cheerleader scene from A History of Violence? That's age play.) Initially, her bail was set at $500,000, but once the feds took over her case (on day 87 of the state's 90-day try-or-release deadline), they simply denied any chance of bonding out, entirely. However, they *did* magnanimously allow her to plead out to a single charge -- one that carries, for a first-time offender with no previous criminal history, a recommended sentence of 11.25 to 14 years. She's still waiting to learn what it will be....

(I'm also still a little miffed the feds also walked off with my main work PC and about 3 terabytes of data, representing essentially everything I did in 25 years: work, email, writing, photography, artwork, financial and medical records, you name it. (Of course I kept back-ups of something that important to me: They took them, as well.) Allegedly, somewhere in those 3 terabytes they found 'prohibited content.' If so, it was there without my knowledge or consent. Unfortunately, I have no idea what, if anything, tripped their alarms, and no one at the FBI could tell me exactly what they think they found. I've been able to reconstruct some of what was taken, but a year later I'm still discovering things I've lost.)

So, at least two cheers for Bernie for having the balls to speak out against what was a flagrantly unconstitutional over-reach -- even though it was wrapped around the most third-rail of third rails. As many have noted, he's far more valuable as a Senator than he could ever be as a president -- and certainly far more so than as a presidential spoiler.

That still leaves you with 49 good reasons....
I didn't see the history of violence so I didn't see the cheerleader scene. I hope you get your stuff back. Seems like you should be getting it back in bits and pieces as portions are cleared.

Bernie would probably win his home state, no?
I still would be interested in any link that supported the assertion that Hillary Clinton gave most of her speaking fees to charity and, if so, what charities. This is information that might change my opinion of her.

We critics of Hillary Clinton do not claim that she gave a quid pro quo (which would be against the law) for the fees she got from Goldman Sachs and others — only that the fat cat Wall Street bankers think she will act in their interest.

maz, I still have 50 good reasons.

You missed my key point: My entire argument was about electability. My entire argument was about the things Bernie Sanders has done that would give the Republicans ammunition in a general election battle.

I understand nuance, thus, I can follow your argument about the "child porn" conundrum. But in the heat of electoral battle, nuance goes out the window.

So too with Bernie's support of the Sandinistas. I actually admire that. But I also think it could destroy him in November (if he became the candidate, which won't happen).

Remember, I gave you "50 reasons why Bernie would lose." Not "50 reasons why Bernie is bad" (which would be a whole separate list). Understand the distinction?
Joseph -

Got it: In the entry I thought you were speaking in your own voice, not with the voice of the hypothetical American voter, so I apologize for the unnecessary schoolin'.

However, I can't find any of the faux child porn bills that Bernie actually opposed. Lord knows there was a passel of them, especially after the 1996 CPPA was struck down, but all the ones I've checked that went to a vote show the Bernster as a big I aye. I don't doubt your research, but was wondering if you had your source handy, just so I could stop digging through, for instance, voluminous appropriations bills to find which random bits of law-making got hidden away as amendments.
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