Friday, April 29, 2016

If it's jug band music or rhythm and blues

Bernie didn't get his miracle in New York, where Hillary beat him 58%-42%. Sanders took most of the counties, but they aren't terribly populous, and Clinton took the city, where most people live. Unlike in so many places, Sanders underperformed the polls, although some people credit some interesting chicanery in Brooklyn, where over a hundred thousand people were oddly kicked off the rolls. Still, he did better than Obama did in 2008.
* Chris Lehman in The Baffler watched the spectacle of "Hillary's Courtiers: You could almost hear the great sigh of relief heaving across cable TV's green rooms and the news-curating portals of our media nation: sure, the Republican side of Campaign '16 continues to resemble a dumpster fire on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road, but the Democrats, bless their managerial hearts, had begun to show signs of what passes in these circles for political maturity. After a distressing series of primary contests falling to Bernie Sanders, the wild-eyed socialist insurgent, New York state - the very seat of media power - has heroically elevated the most experienced, the best-connected, the savviest, most lavishly moneyed Democratic aspirant to the presidency, one Hillary Rodham Clinton. Perhaps you've heard of her?"
* "Sanders Campaign's Commitment To Victory Irritates Media, Offends Clinton Campaign." Yes, every few weeks the Clinton campaign and the press crow that the primaries are over, even with half the delegates still to be voted on, but never mind that detail, let the coronation begin! Sure, it's harder for Bernie to make it to the nomination, but it's still technically possible, even though the likelihood does seem to dwindle. And there is something ironic about hearing the same refrains we heard in 2008, when it was Obama who needed to quit because he couldn't possibly win.

And then Maryland (63.0%-33.3%), Connecticut (51.7%-46.5%), Pennsylvania (55.6%-43.6%), Delaware (59.8%-39.2%) all went to Clinton on the same night, with only Rhode Island (55%-43.3%) going to Sanders. Although Sanders significantly outperformed polling expectations in RI, his showings in states that went to Clinton were for the most part unimpressive (PA, CT) and Clinton did even better in MD, and though there wasn't much polling in DE, she was way up on it. (I was a a little surprised by this, given all the little digs Biden has been making about Clinton and praise for Sanders, but then again, it is the credit card state.) Once again, there are claims of shenanigans.
* Then again, Bernie might somehow get Colorado since the Colorado Democratic Party admitted it screwed up.
* Apparently, an overzealous Clinton supporter also arranged to troll some pro-Sanders groups on Facebook and get them taken down - then gleefully crowed about it in a Clinton FB group..Of course, her fans kept it classy.

The Clinton folks have pretty much declared victory, so Kos decided they can play nice, now: "Clinton hasn't won, Sanders hasn't lost. This is bigger than any single primary. [...] If you are a Clinton supporter, have some damn compassion, will you? You haven't won yet. The primary? Who gives a shit! Donald Trump will win his too, and has he won shit yet? The real winner will get crowned in November. That's the victory that matters. Beating another Democrat shouldn't bring you any joy unless that Democrat is Joe Lieberman. So why would you piss on people we need for November, not just for the White House but all those downballot races as well. How well do you think Clinton will do with a Republican Congress? We need everyone we can get. So maybe it's time for some olive branches? Also, be impressed. It's not every day we get to see the creation of a whole new class of people excited about politics. Hillary certainly didn't manage that. So it behooves you to harness as much of that energy as possible. Of course, Sanders people won't be as excited about Clinton as you are, but who cares? There are more Democrats on the ballot than Clinton, and some of them are pretty awesome. Help them get excited about fixing our party."

Certainly, Sanders has acknowledged that his path has narrowed considerably. Though it is still possible for him to catch up with Hillary in delegates, it gets less and less likely with each primary. He's cutting staff outside of states where there are still primaries to be held, which many are treating as a concession right there.

David Dayen, "A Rough Night for Democratic Revolutionaries: Donna Edwards and Joe Sestak went up against Chuck Schumer on Tuesday. It was no contest." This is a shame, Edwards was doing well against van Hollen, but in the end the party machinery went into high gear for him and froze her out - and so much for all that backing for women and minorities, eh?

Whatever happens, here's Jim Hightower on "Why Bernie Sanders will, should and must stay in the race: Bernie has substantively changed American politics for the better - his movement must endure ."

Again, Team Clinton kept castigating Sanders for not helping downticket Dems - although he does - but this is a ridiculous charge to make during the primaries. This isn't something you normally expect from someone who is fighting for the nomination (and for good reason). For example, In 2008 Barack Obama Didn't Start Helping Down-Ticket Dems Until After Hillary Left the Race.

"Hillary Clinton 'goysplains' to Bernie Sanders in Passover article, accusing him of betraying his people by criticizing Israel: Hillary published a condescending piece on The Times of Israel condemning Bernie for promising neutrality on Israel."

Department of Serious Revisionism: "Clinton: I put the blame for foreclosure crisis 'squarely on the Republicans'. Um, no, unless you completely ignore this and this and this and this and....

"Hillary Not Truthful About Wall Street Speaking Fees [...] Hillary is veering from the truth when she suggests her $225,000 per speech fee, paid three times by Goldman Sachs, was 'what they offered.' It was not what they offered - it was what Team Hillary demanded."
* "Money influences everybody. That includes Hillary Clinton: Democrats were quick to criticize Republicans who flirted with banks and big oil. Why won't they admit that Hillary's links are a problem too?" This is one of the things that annoys me about her campaign - these have always been standard criticisms of Republicans, but now suddenly we're not allowed to criticize this appearance of corruption or assimilation by the corporate Borg. But it was good enough for Clinton, once: "While Clinton called the suggestion that she might be influenced by the wealthy bankers who raise money for her campaign an 'artful smear' in 2016, she also had no problem hurling even stronger accusations about Obama in 2008: 'Senator Obama has some questions to answer about his dealings with one of his largest contributors - Exelon, a big nuclear power company,' she said. 'Apparently he cut some deals behind closed doors to protect them from full disclosure of the nuclear industry.'" But that was before she got money from the banksters to put in her own pockets for closed-door speeches. But now she wants us to believe she's incorruptible.
* "To Protect Hillary Clinton, Democrats Wage War on Their Own Core Citizens United Argument: Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Citizens United was depicted by Democrats as the root of all political evil. But now, the core argument embraced by the Court's conservatives to justify their ruling has taken center stage in the Democratic primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders - because Clinton supporters, to defend the huge amount of corporate cash on which their candidate is relying, frequently invoke that very same reasoning."
* David Dayen, "Why We Don't Need to See the Hillary Clinton Transcripts: We already know that she gives priority of place to Wall Street [...] That's what the fuss over the Goldman Sachs speeches is all about: who you believe and who you trust as a politician. [..] Nobody is perfectly objective and unmoved by the people around them. It's why politicians need a diversity of opinion and experience in their inner circles, to fight through the inevitable bubble mentality. And it's why spending hours giving talks to financial elites matters."

"It's 'Possible' Hillary Clinton Could Be Better President than GOP Pick, Charles Koch Says." And why not? As one of the original funders of the Democratic Leadership Council, Charles, with his brother, could pretty much claim to have helped create the Clintons. And given the current crop of GOP candidates, there is no reason why he - or any other part of the GOP establishment - should feel particularly uncomfortable about another Clinton presidency, seeing how much the first one did for them all.

Lawrence Noble, general counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, in The Washington Post: "Clinton's campaign-finance hypocrisy [...] Of course, most candidates and super PACs say they are following the law and not coordinating, no matter how ludicrous the claim appears in light of the facts. But according to Correct the Record, the super PAC and Clinton's campaign have taken a new and different approach - actually claiming the right to coordinate." The internet is full of Clinton partisans insisting this is no big deal, too, proving that in the name of Clinton, Democrats are willing to sacrifice every standard Democrats once tried to hold Republicans to.
* "Re-explaining Why the Hillary Victory Fund Is an Issue [...] The new allegation is that this money being allocated by the joint committee is mostly being spent in ways that help the Clinton campaign, either primarily or exclusively. This is where the legal issue gets sticky. Instead of keeping a wall between Clinton money and DNC money, which I believe is what the law calls for, it appears the money is being treated as something fungible that is still mostly being spent according to the wishes of the Clinton campaign."
* "Hillary PAC Spends $1 Million to 'Correct' Commenters on Reddit and Facebook [...] The PAC was created in May of last year when it was spun off from the American Bridge SuperPAC, which is run by longtime Hillary and Bill Clinton supporter David Brock. [...] 'This explains why my inbox turned to cancer on Tuesday,' wrote user OKarizee. 'Been a member of reddit for almost 4 years and never experienced anything like it. In fact, in all my years on the internet I've never experienced anything like it.'" Last May? Seriously? Did we even *have* Bernie Bros back then?

"Bernie Sanders To Stay A Democrat For Life And Support Clinton If She Is The Nominee: Bernie Sanders is going to keep campaigning for a Democratic nomination that he is still trying to win, but the long-term ramifications of the announcement by Jeff Weaver are huge. By keeping his Democratic affiliation, Sen. Sanders may see an even bigger promotion in the Senate if he fails to win the Democratic nomination. Sanders had been caucusing with the Democrats, but there are benefits to being a member of the party."

"Why Bernie vs Hillary Matters More Than People Think [...] We have a tendency in American politics to focus too much on individuals and personal narratives, especially in presidential campaigns. Who's in touch with ordinary people? Who is experienced? Who is a nice person? Who connects better with different identity groups? Who would you like to have a beer with? This is in large part because many democrats like to think of Hillary and Bernie as different flavors of the same Democratic Party popcorn. Consequently, they mostly just pay attention to which candidate they feel they can more readily identify with. But Sanders and Clinton represent two very different ideologies. Each of these ideologies wants control of the Democratic Party so that this party's resources can be used to advance a different conception of what a good society looks like. This is not a matter of taste and these are not flavors of popcorn. [...] On economic policy, contemporary establishment democrats have more in common with contemporary republicans than they do with the FDR/LBJ democrats. Carter and Clinton took the party away from economic progressives. The Democratic Party, which was once the party that saw economic inequality and poverty as the core causes of economic instability, now sees inequality and poverty as largely irrelevant. Instead of eliminating inequality and poverty to fuel the capitalist system and produce strong economic growth, establishment democrats now largely agree with establishment republicans that the problem is a lack of support for business investment. So Bernie Sanders is not merely running to attempt to implement a set of idealistic policies that a Republican-controlled Congress is likely to block. He is running to take the Democratic Party back from an establishment that ignores the fundamental systemic economic problems that lead to wage stagnation and economic crisis. [...] Hillary Clinton is a neoliberal building on the legacy of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. She doesn't understand the pivotal role inequality plays in creating economic crisis and reducing economic growth. She has been taken in by a fundamentally right wing paradigm, and if she is elected she will continue to lead the Democratic Party down that path."

Here's the Thing So Many Americans Can't Grasp About Bernie Sanders [...] Here's the big thing about Bernie that makes so much sense to the rest of the world, but not to a lot of you. Our earliest ancestors formed tribes so we could hunt more efficiently and protect one another. We moved on to villages, then cities and finally nations for mutual benefit. We can do more together than alone, and when we band together we can put safety nets in place so if people are unlucky and get struck down, we can all help them back up. That way no one has to live in fear of losing out in the lottery of life. That's what social democracy is, and those of us who live in them recognize that what we have is pretty damn great."

"Forget Bernie Bros - the Worst Trolls Work in Corporate Media: One of the more popular pastimes of establishment media pundits is complaining of their various 'trolls' - anonymous, faceless basement dwellers who lurk online and harass with aggressive, non-stop vigor. But a recent online dust-up started by Washington Post columnist Philip Bump made something clear: When you factor in actual impact, big media pundits troll just as much as - if not more than - any random egg avatar on Twitter."

"House Democrats Push Back On Obama Plan To Cut Drug Prices: Pharmaceutical companies hate the new plan, and Democrats have noticed." But this is Nancy Pelosi, and she apparently means to do what the drug companies want: "The Department of Health and Human Services is working toward finalizing a new rule that would experiment with ending the financial incentive doctors have for prescribing some extremely expensive medications. The rule has been well-received among some patient advocates, but congressional Democrats have been largely silent, while the pharmaceutical industry and medical community have waged an aggressive campaign to stop it. The campaign is bearing fruit. The letter being circulated among House Democrats uses the oldest move in the opposition playbook - warning of the dreaded unintended consequences. [...] Pelosi encouraged her caucus to get behind the Neal letter to fend off the GOP attack. In fact, Pelosi's office even helped with the letter: Democrats forgot to scrub their data from the document before circulating it, and an inspection of its properties reveals that it was last handled by a health policy fellow in Pelosi's office."

Matt Taibbi, "Why Is the Obama Administration Trying to Keep 11,000 Documents Sealed? The "most transparent administration in history" has spent years trying to hide embarrassing financial secrets from the public." No one believes that "most transparent" stuff anymore, do they? "The Obama administration invoked executive privilege, attorney-client and deliberative process over these documents and insisted that their release would negatively impact global financial markets. But in finally unsealing some of these materials last week, a federal judge named Margaret Sweeney said the government's sole motivation was avoiding embarrassment." Yeah, that's the usual reason.

"Virginia's Awesomely Sneaky Governor Screws Republicans, Restores Voting Rights To 200,000 Americans: Virginia's Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe secretly plotted (moohoohahahaha!) and then executed a plan to restore the voting rights to 200,000 convicted felons. This move bypasses the GOP controlled legislature and will send Republicans into a screaming fit of outrage and lawsuits" I don't have much good to say about McAuliffe, but restoring voting rights to felons who've served their sentence is a good thing. This isn't legislative, so it seems only to apply to people who have already "paid their debt to society," but it's a start.

"Poll worker testifies on AZ voting problems: 'Every single time it happened - it was a Democratic voter' [...] Dianne Post, an attorney and Maricopa County poll worker, testified that the computer system checking in voters would not allow her to give the correct ballots to 36 voters, and she said 22 other voters were listed in the wrong party, reported the Arizona Republic."

"Sometimes, When "All the Facts are In," It's Worse: The UC-Davis Pepper-Spray Report: You know how every time somebody in law enforcement does something that looks bad, we're told that we should "wait until the facts are in" before passing judgment? Well, after Lieutenant Pike of the UC Davis Police Department became an internet meme by using high-pressure pepper-spray on peaceful resisters, the campus hired an independent consulting firm to interview everybody they could find, review all the videos and other evidence, review the relevant policies and laws, and issue a final fact-finding report to the university. The university just released that report, along with their summary (PDF link), and the final report is even worse than the news accounts made it seem.

David Dayen, "Bill That Obama Extolled Is Leading to Pension Cuts for Retirees: ONE OF THE MANY obscure provisions jammed into a last-minute budget bill in 2014 endorsed and signed by President Obama is leading to what would be the first cuts in earned pension benefits to current retirees in over 40 years. The Washington Post reports that the Treasury Department is on the verge of approving an application from the Central States Pension Fund - a plan that covers Teamster truckers in several states - to cut worker pensions by an average of 23 percent, and even more for younger retirees. Over 250,000 truckers and their families would be affected.

"Woman In Leading Flint Water Crisis Lawsuit Shot To Death In Home [...] Her lawsuit was among 64 filed on behalf of 144 children, the Journal reported, which named six companies involved in monitoring and constructing Flint's water system. The case is slated to continue, with a representative to be appointed to represent Bell's child."

In England, it's finally acknowledge that the deaths 27 years ago of 96 people at Hillsborough were not the fault of the fans, but of the police and other professionals whose job it was to keep the crowd safe. The families of the dead appear to have expressed closure, but there is still plenty of anger from the public about the way the Thatcher government treated the Hillsborough disaster and the claims that were made placing full responsibility on the fans and the victims.

Bill Moyers' 2012 interview with Neil Barofsky on the Need to Tackle Banking Reform

Sam Seder talked to Thomas Frank about What Happened to Liberalism in America?

This would make a great $20 bill.

Thanks again to CMike, who in comments called our attention to this quote in Emmett Rensin's "The smug style in American liberalism," a long essay in Vox: "If the smug style can be reduced to a single sentence, it's, Why are they voting against their own self-interest? But no party these past decades has effectively represented the interests of these dispossessed. Only one has made a point of openly disdaining them too. Abandoned and without any party willing to champion their interests, people cling to candidates who, at the very least, are willing to represent their moral convictions. The smug style resents them for it, and they resent the smug in turn. The rubes noticed that liberal Democrats, distressed by the notion that Indiana would allow bakeries to practice open discrimination against LGBTQ couples, threatened boycotts against the state, mobilizing the considerable economic power that comes with an alliance of New York and Hollywood and Silicon Valley to punish retrograde Gov. Mike Pence, but had no such passion when the same governor of the same state joined 21 others in refusing the Medicaid expansion. No doubt good liberals objected to that move too. But I've yet to see a boycott threat about it." Some further thoughts on that from Fredrik deBoer at far less length here, and some more from Will Shetterly.

David Dayen, "This election is blinding us to a Wall Street outrage: Inside the media's negligent response to a foreclosure disaster: While banks are finding new ways to rip off homeowners, the press only cares how it affects Julian Castro's VP odds One of the biggest problems with the permanent campaign mentality we've succumbed to is that every issue gets folded into the presidential election. Last week we saw a perfect example. An activist group that has for years been criticizing pernicious practices at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) escalated their campaign, known as Don't Sell our Homes to Wall Street. And the only thing the media cared about was how it would affect HUD Secretary Julián Castro's chances for the vice presidency. Politico won the day with the headline 'Progressive groups target Julián Castro.' Progressive caucus co-chair Raul Grijalva had to explain to Buzzfeed that he wasn't trying to torpedo Castro's VP bid, entangling the entire matter with intra-Latino politics. Castro himself turned around the campaign, telling NBC News that he thought 'it was really about politics and the presidential race and not really about the policy.' This is dumb. Housing advocacy groups have been working on this issue since well before Castro became HUD Secretary in July 2014. They represent communities of color that have been devastated by foreclosures and are now seeing the same financial players who precipitated that crisis come back into their neighborhoods to wreak havoc. And at a time when they've begged for mortgage relief for troubled borrowers, they're seeing that relief go to the Wall Street firms instead. [...] Whatever the solution, the issue has nothing to do with Julián Castro's political career, or his ethnicity, to suggest that the agency he runs is hurting communities and abandoning HUD's mission in favor of a quick buck. 'We've been dedicated for years to saving our neighborhoods,' said Amy Schur. 'Having a federal agency dedicated to affordable housing sell off housing stock to private equity firms and hedge funds is problematic.' "

EFF, "Secret Court Takes Another Bite Out of the Fourth Amendment: Defenders of the NSA's mass spying have lost an important talking point: that the erosion of our privacy and associational rights is justified given the focus of surveillance efforts on combating terrorism and protecting the national security. That argument has always been dubious for a number of reasons. But after a November 2015 ruling [.pdf] by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was unsealed this week, it's lost another chunk of its credibility. The ruling confirms that NSA's warrantless spying has been formally approved for use in general criminal investigations. The national security justification has been entirely blown. That's because the secret court, over the objection of its hand-selected amicus, determined that once information is collected by the NSA for "foreign intelligence" purposes under section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, that information can be searched by the FBI for regular criminal investigations without any need for a warrant or prior court oversight. Although the FISC has signed off on the FBI's procedures claiming this authority for years, this ruling from late 2015 may be the first time the FISC has actually considered their legality."

Seymour Hersh says the Saudis bribed Pakistan to hide bin Laden: "The Saudis bribed the Pakistanis not to tell us [that the Pakistani government had Bin Laden] because they didn't want us interrogating Bin Laden (that's my best guess), because he would've talked to us, probably. My guess is, we don't know anything really about 9/11. We just don't know. We don't know what role was played by whom."

"Confessions of a former US Air Force drone technician [...] It hit me when I was in Kandahar airbase, on one side you have a McDonald's and down the road there's kids begging for water. Those people lived an austere life, and we're sitting there from the comfort of the joystick, resolved in the idea that we're killing bad guys. Maybe they're not bad guys. Maybe we just need fewer bombs and more communication between cultures."

"Q&A - Michael Chabon Talks Occupation, Injustice and Literature After Visit to West Bank [...] 'I do love Israel. I do care about Israel,' he said. 'To dehumanize others dehumanizes you. It is bad for Israel and if it ended it would be good for Israel.'"

"After A Year, Seattle's New Minimum Wage Hasn't Raised Retail Prices: Business owners did a bunch of handwringing about how damaging to the economy the wage increase would be. But so far, they're wrong."

Tom Tomorrow on Still More Primary Phenomena

"Troy LaRaviere, Outspoken CPS Principal And Rahm Critic, Ousted: LAKEVIEW - Blaine Elementary School Principal Troy LaRaviere, an outspoken critic of Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has been ousted in a sudden change that left some parents shocked." He's talking about this at his own blog and says he still hasn't been informed of the charges against him.

"Top GOP Pollster: Young Americans Are Terrifyingly Liberal." Frank Luntz finds that The Kids Today would rather have dinner with Bernie Sanders and admire him more than anyone else.

RIP: "Victoria Wood dies aged 62 after cancer battle" - She was a brilliant and versatile comic genius, and she will be missed.
* "Ron Beasley, Veteran, Engineer, Photographer and Moderate Voice Assistant Editor, dies at 69" - So much a part of the early blogosphere as well as later being a Newshogger, it's hard to believe he's suddenly gone.
* "Prince, singer and superstar, dies aged 57 at Paisley Park." This just came as a complete shock. I don't even know what to say.
* "Philly Soul Singer Billy Paul Dies at 81: Manager Beverly Gay told NBC10 that Paul, born Paul Williams, was recently diagnosed with cancer and was hospitalized last week at Temple University Hospital. He died Sunday at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey, according to Gay." A rich, warm voice.
* Lonnie Mack, , "whose impassioned, fast-picking style on the early 1960s instrumentals 'Memphis' and 'Wham!' became a model for the blues-rock lead-guitar style and a seminal influence on a long list of British and American artists, died Thursday in Nashville. He was 74." Lonnie Mack, Albert Collins & Roy Buchanan live at Carnegie Hall, 1985

Inversion, from Pfizer, the Makers of Viagra (parody ad)

60 minutes exposes mortgage fraud - again!

If you can see Facebook, read "Aphantasia: How It Feels To Be Blind In Your Mind" - This had never even occurred to me, and I can't imagine that someone could not imagine.

Carl Beijer, "This is what I see in liberal journalists who call themselves feminists, but who only care about the problems of rich women: a toxic blend of apathy for their comrades and ambition for themselves. If America, as Steinbeck supposedly put it, is a land of "temporarily embarrassed millionaires", liberal journalism is an industry of temporarily embarrassed executive editors, would-be Jill Abramsons who are fine with laying off hundreds of women as long as they're the ones who get to do it."

"Who Was Ty Cobb? The History We Know That's Wrong" He was one of the greatest ballplayers of all time, but a false story of who he was obliterated his history - until someone did a little research and realized there was nothing to back it up.

"I want an inverse spy flick."

Robert Crumb: 'I was born weird'

The Kraken Black Spiced Rum TV Commercial

"John Sebastian on the 'Magic' of The Lovin' Spoonful"

36 comments:

  1. Don't help elect Donald Trump. Sanders supporters can continue their efforts to promote the progressive agenda by establishing a #PeoplesPAC, rather than trashing Hillary. - http://bit.ly/244UJHx

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    1. A #PeoplesPAC, yeah sure- hey lefties, scrounge your muskets together and form up for a charge to overrun those machine gun nests that are defending the high ground. Remember your battle cry, "I'm with her!"

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    2. It's not ABOUT "her". It's about getting more progressives elected to Congress.

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    3. Scratch the parts about not helping to elect Trump and not trashing Hillary [Clintonism], then?

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    4. Then, get your butt in gear and start working on getting progressives elected to Congress.

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    5. Just how do you suggest progressives defeat neo-liberal opponents without trashing neo-liberals? Or by "progressives," do you mean Democrats?

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    6. Speaking of which ksix,

      I'm not sure how, but I ended up going from here [LINK] to both of these Corey Robin pieces [LINK] [LINK] which everyone around here might want to read in their respective entireties. (OUCH? More like a THUD, followed by an ignored "Stay down man, stay down," and then the final THUD.)

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  2. You obviously didn't read the article I suggested in my first comment. - http://bit.ly/244UJHx. We definitely need more progressives in Congress. The problem with the Democrats is that they've been cowed by the right wing. Getting more progressives elected will give them some backbone.

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    1. I couldn't agree less.

      The Wall Street Dems have firm control of the party and that's why the like of Debbie Wasserman Schultz* are put in charge of its election machinery.

      * Hillary 2008 co-chair DWS, that is. It's about to get even worse.
      ~

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    2. Channeling donations through a Democratic machine that crushes progressives so we can elect more progressives sounds like a smart move, alright.

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    3. So you, too, didn't read the article. The idea was for BERNIE to start the PAC. And the intention is to elect more PROGRESSIVES to Congress.

      Honestly, people, stop being so self defeating. Get off your butts and do some good in the world.

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    4. Jeez Caro, I read the article. It's someone suggesting Sanders head-up a PAC as a solution to the pay-to-play political system. The bright idea is that Sanders should now scramble to direct grass roots resources and energy back into a rigged electoral system at the state and local level. Go ahead, what's the best case scenario for how that could work out this cycle? How about down the line? Once noticed by the oligarchs as a force to be concerned about, how is it their response to a PeoplesPAC is not going to be to swamp its efforts with more money of their own to buy off or wreck any progressive who does get elected?

      What we've seen work in the last decade is a gay rights movement that was indifferent to the fortunes of the Democratic Party and, more recently, Fight (lots of local and national Democrats)-for-Fifteen.

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    5. Jeez, Mike, how do you think people get elected? By having all volunteers? No sir, it doesn't work that way. You need money for staff and publicity and ads and goddess knows what else. Someday, I hope that money will come from public funding. But until that day, WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE SYSTEM AS IT IS.

      I tried in 2001 to get people to see that we have to use money to fight money (http://bit.ly/mta-bbog), and that was even before the Citizens United decision. There are a lot more of us than there are of them. Each of the big donors has more money than each of us, but together we can be a real force for change. We can beat them.

      But every lefty organization has its own little turf and its own little silo and doesn't work well with others to build a movement. They'd rather get involved in little manias here and there. Remember how well that worked with Obama? And I promise you, even if Bernie could get the nomination, and even if he could weather the vicious red baiting onslaught that Trump and the Kochs would wage against him, he wouldn't have a progressive Congress, and just like Obama wouldn't be able to get much done.

      I'm asking you to think strategically, rather than emotionally.

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    6. Caro writes,

      There are a lot more of us than there are of them....
      I'm asking you to think strategically, rather than emotionally.


      Uh, yeah. That's why you organize in voting blocs willing to withhold your vote to advance an issue or philosophy, rather than pooling your money to support a candidate who, even if she stayed faithful to you as a member of the House or even the Senate, "wouldn't," how did you put it, "be able to get much done."

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    7. In the matter of getting off one's butt and doing something that might end up being useful to anyone but our betters, here's a hint in a link [LINK] from the Carl Beijer blog post about downsizing at the New York Times that Avedon recommended [LINK] on the front page of this thread. The Beijer post, itself, closes towards the end with:

      This is what I see in liberal journalists who call themselves feminists, but who only care about the problems of rich women: a toxic blend of apathy for their comrades and ambition for themselves.

      That's a sentiment shared not just by liberal feminist journalists, but by a lot of the more vocal supporters of candidates in the Democratic presidential primary race, though not, from what I've encountered, by any of those in the Sanders camp.

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    8. CMike: "That's why you organize in voting blocs willing to withhold your vote . . ."

      I have no idea what that means.

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    9. Caro: "I have no idea what that means."

      It means you organize to advance an issue not a party or a candidate, and you are uncompromising in your support of your issue. I gave the examples of the Gay Rights and the Fight-for-$15 movements as templates for how to get something done- the former's been triumphant, the latter is making faster progress than anyone would have thought possible after the fast food worker strike in 2012 and the one that first demanded that wage rate in 2013.

      On the other hand, Choice activists have been willing to compromise over and over on their issue for the sake of several "bigger picture" Democratic party strategies and in allowing Democratic candidates get away with toning down their commitment to that cause for the duration of what turns out to be a never ending string of "tough races." That's why while women make up a majority of voters in the U.S. (53% of voters in the 2012 presidential race), forty plus years after Roe v. Wade that decree continues to dangle by the slenderest of threads over the insert here slot for the Supreme Court's paper shredder.

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    10. That's incorrect, CMike. Not long after Roe v. Wade, abortion was widely available. In fact, Ronald Reagan made it available on welfare in California, as did many other states. Thanks to the Compromise Democrats, abortion has become largely unavailable in most of the US, and now the right-wing has been empowered to go after birth control as well. Oh, and it's illegal for a state to make abortion available on welfare. Playing ball with the New Democrat brigade has not been "slow progress" forward, but a remarkably rapid backslide on most major issues.

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    11. And that's exactly why we need more progressives in Congress, Avedon.

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    12. That's incorrect, CMike.

      What's incorrect, that Roe v. Wade is at high risk; that "Choice activists have been willing to compromise over and over on their issue"?

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  3. Okay, throw up your hands and give up. Just remember that all the pessimism you express in comment sections on the internet helps Donald Trump.

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    1. Caro, I read the condescending article you referenced, which is titled, "A Sanders People's PAC to elect liberal Democrats." Not progressives, Democrats. This is a tactic to divert the Bernie campaign's energies away from criticizing Clinton's neoliberal policies, into a project of the Dem machine's design.

      I suggest you stop patronizing people in this comments section, who, for all you know, are not on their butts, but on their feet canvassing for Sanders, read the two essays linked below, and put your efforts into getting Clinton to show a little humility by incorporating Sander's vision of America into the Democratic platform, should she get the nomination.

      Will Clinton Attempt to Bring Sanders Supporters into the Democratic Fold?

      5 Things We’ve Learned About Hillary Clinton Since She Won the New York Primary

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    2. Edit: I had in mind, not the Democratic platform that no one ever pays attention to, but actual Democratic guiding principles.

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  4. ksix, I read your condescending comment, and I have to wonder why it matters whether the Sanders people put their efforts toward electing more progressive Democrats or progressive independents, or starting their own third party.

    The important part is ELECTING MORE PROGRESSIVES. It's the only way we're going to get more progressive legislation.

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    1. And by the way, passing on right-wing lies about Hillary is not going to help ELECT MORE PROGRESSIVES TO CONGRESS.

      And also by the way, nobody is asking Bernie to turn over his mailing list to the Democratic Party

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    2. Understand that to a young person, this just sounds too convenient for an older Democratic partisan to say.

      'Do as we say and it'll work out for you' has not worked out well for my generation at all. Those who of us followed the plan the boomers laid out for us, are in no better shape than those who didn't. A lot are in even worse shape, because on top of having no future or jobs that pay above minimum wage, they have massive student loan debts that will likely never go away.

      Clinton has no answers to their problems. The Democratic part keeps preaching ideas that, like feminism, this generation simply doesn't agree with (look at the surveys), or ideas, like gay rights and such, that are all very nice, but won't help anyone in this generation eat or find meaningful work.

      It's not about the party getting more 'progressive'. It's gotten plenty
      'progressive'. It's about the party's refusal to actually help anyone who isn't already laying in the gutter. It's about the party's refusal to make even one campaign donor angry by standing for a real wage, or real jobs, or real anything. It's about a party that seems to sell nothing anyone genuinely wants to buy.

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    3. Hillary Clinton IS a progressive. Give her a progressive Congress, and there will be substantial change.

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    1. And suddenly all was revealed, even unto the slowest of the slow (i.e., slow Democrats). [LINK]

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  6. Condescension and smart alec-ness doesn't help to promote the progressive agenda.

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  7. Leaving aside arguments with no end in sight,

    Pat Murphy, the former very progressive and very successful Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives [not to be confused with Florida Rep Patrick Murphy] is being challenged by the DCCC which recruited a wealthy "former" Republican, Monica Vernon who has already self-funded $125,800 into her scurrilous campaign and is being supported by all the usual suspects the DCCC rounds up for it's corrupt conservative candidates, from the New Dems and EMILY's List to the astroturf DCCC/DSCC off-shoot, the misnamed "End Citizens United."
    http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/#sthash.mZrLdOuT.dpuf

    His crime?

    "Voters in the 1st District know where I stand. I oppose right-wing budget gimmicks that cut benefits to seniors through Social Security and Medicare. I have a proud record of standing for our seniors and our workers and I'll always stand with them in Congress."

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  8. As for the first part of Cenk Uygur's response to the caller, well done! How tough is it for someone on the left to say the obvious? Apparently pretty tough as you're hearing this kind of argument about forty years later than when it all ready should have been a rote response coming from our side to any complaint along the lines of that one from the caller. [LINK]

    And again, with nary a retreat to the comfort zone where the noble progressive explains that the interests of a minority should ever be served at the expense of the oh so privileged majority. [LINK]

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  9. Clinton needs 80 delegates to get to 2383. That includes superdelegates of course.
    Now is the time for Sanders to start asking for concessions from Clinton not after she locks the nomination or at the convention.
    It was nothing to do with the delegate race, it's about money.

    The longer Sanders stays in the race the more money Clinton has to spend on campaigning against Sanders, money that she could instead spend campaigning against Trump.
    It would amount to a large campaign contribution to Clinton. The longer Sanders stays in the race the less that contribution will be. If Sanders waits till the nomination is locked or till the convention that bargaining chip disappears.
    Sanders wouldn't have to formally suspend his campaign, just open negotiations with the Clinton camp.

    That is if the Bernie camp is serious about going to the convention because it gives them a better bargaining position.

    If instead they still hope for a win or a brokered convention, then they should just keep camaigning.

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