Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Where the girls are

FULL MSNBC Town Hall: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, South Carolina February 18, 2016. Sanders spoke first, but for those who can't bring themselves to watch Clinton, she had a big moment when she brought out her new zinger: Bernie isn't a Democrat. Well, Madame Secretary, Bernie has never been a Republican, either, and Bernie Sanders never, never supported Republican policies like "ending welfare as we know it" and "three strikes", and never tried to repudiate, let alone rescind, the New Deal. Hillary Clinton was a Goldwater Girl and then a Wellesley Republican and then, somewhere in the late '60s, she apparently switched her R to a D, but there doesn't seem to be any record of her having given so much as lip-service to the core values of the Democratic Party in supporting working people. By the time we see Clinton in public life, she is already in the Democratic Leadership Council, an organization whose mission is to overturn the New Deal. Naturally, she got some boos for that statement, despite the fact that it was her town hall and a Clinton-friendly crowd. Maybe those in attendance know that it's not unusual for the party to draft non-Democrats at times to run as Democrats.
* Bernie Sanders with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show.

Clinton's massive lead in Nevada dwindled to the point where she seemed to be in a tie with Sanders. She came out ahead in the end, but not by the huge margin she thought she had. Perhaps these push polls helped her win, too. (Curiously, we're being told that entrance and exit polls don't work with Latinos.) (And why did someone like Dolores Huerta post a divisive and misleading tweet?) Clinton thought she had a lock on the Hispanic vote, but her campaign is going to a lot of effort to try to smear Sanders now as anti-immigration, among other things. Sanders voted against an immigration bill that contained an odious guest-worker provision, and like many pro-immigrant groups, he opposed it. Some say that Harry Reid's "neutrality" evaporated and he came home to give her the win, despite her campaign's sudden claim that Nevada is a white state. Of course, as in 2008, some suspect dirty pool helped, too. Of course, the fact that Bernie didn't win Nevada, which no one had expected him to win anyway, suddenly means to the press that the primaries are pretty much over, even though their delegate count is 51:51. No one expected Sanders to even be in it by now, so perhaps it's a bit early to write the obits for the campaign?

Clinton is still way ahead of Sanders in South Carolina, but perhaps not as much as she was. (I see the list of the top 10 early primary states' polls shows Clinton leading everywhere but Massachusetts and Vermont. The article credits the black vote, which is undoubtedly true, but that's what they mean by "firewall" - Clinton takes for granted that she owns the black vote.)
* However, "Sanders, Clinton in dead heat nationwide."
* And, strange as it is to link to the Daily Mail, an odious right-wing newspaper I do not recommend, it's rather amazing to even see a headline like this there: "New Bernie crisis for Hillary: Two-thirds of Democrats say he could win the election, and the more they know him, the more they like him."

Former DNC Chairman Paul Kirk Endorses Bernie Sanders - This is actually worth listening to. "Mark my words on this, a representative democracy will not be restored from within the capital beltway until a majority of Americans can cause their elected representatives to Feel the Bern!"

In 3 Minutes: Bernie Sanders DOES Have a Foreign Policy Position

"The Crackpot Realism of Clintonian Politics: The most bizarre thing about these desperate calls to realism is our modern context. In what possible way is it 'realistic' to continue voting for the lesser evil when we have an ongoing climate catastrophe no mainstream Democrat or Republican is willing to discuss, let alone actually do something significant about? During Obama's first term he even pressured environmental groups to stop or tone down their discussions of climate change. Each lesser evil candidate just happens to be a greater evil than the last one. Each of their politics are unimaginable even as one is in the throes of the attacks on basic human decency engendered by the last one. The slogan of the Democratic party is 'it could always be worse' while the promise is 'it will always be worse'. When your realism involves supporting a trend that could quite realistically mean the end of human civilization forgive me for holding you in contempt. [...] What they miss is these right wing Democrats have profoundly shaped this status quo. Bill Clinton's treatment of poor people was unimaginable before him and par for the course after him. Obama's treatment of ordinary homeowners would have been a preposterous fictional story of campy villany. Now it's just how the world works. Sanders (for all his faults on issues like Israel and immigration) is actually looking to push the center to the left for once and is hoping to galvanize ordinary people to do it. It's the realism of the psych ward that says we'll solve climate change, help ordinary people and build a workable economy by supporting an endless series of politicians who care less and less about the issues that matter and exploit hopeful supporters more and more cynically. Admonishing young people for both not voting and desiring anything other than a debt-crippled, climatologically-unstable future feels more like admonishing serfs for being insufficiently pious and for caring about what happens to themselves or their children on this plane of existence. In short, realism is just a code word for 'shut up, sit down and be quiet'."

"Hillary Clinton: I Could Compromise on Abortion If It Included Exceptions For Mother's Health."
* "Chelsea Clinton: Bernie Sanders' plan to end mass incarceration is ‘worrying': ‘We are not electing a king, we are electing a president,' said Ms Clinton's daughter - she claims Mr Sander's criminal justice policy is beyond the realms of possibility." Do the Clintons understand that mass incarceration at the state level happens because of both funding and policy made at the federal level? Apparently not.
* Hillary continues her claim that Bernie Sanders is a one-issue candidate, saying stuff like this: "'Not everything is about an economic theory, right?' Clinton rhetorically asked the crowd Saturday in Henderson. 'If we broke up the big banks tomorrow -- and I will, if they deserve it, if they pose a systemic risk, I will -- will that end racism?' she said as the crowd answered 'no.'" Leaving aside the fact that the big banks are a threat right now and yet she still isn't promising to break them up, just how is she promising to end racism and sexism? It's not as if she's had any more to say about those issues than Sanders has.
* "Half the Foreign Policy Experts Signing Clinton's Anti-Sanders Letter Have Ties to Military Contractors: Hillary Clinton's campaign released a letter this week in which 10 foreign policy experts criticized her opponent Bernie Sanders' call for closer engagement with Iran and said Sanders had 'not thought through these crucial national security issues that can have profound consequences for our security.' The missive from the Clinton campaign was covered widely in the press, but what wasn't disclosed in the coverage is that fully half of the former State Department officials and ambassadors who signed the letter, and who are now backing Clinton, are now enmeshed in the military contracting establishment, which has benefited tremendously from escalating violence around the world, particularly in the Middle East."
* "Hillary Clinton Emails: Secret Negotiations With New York Times, Trade Bill Lobbying Revealed In Latest State Department Release [...] Other emails show Clinton seeming to personally lobby her former Democratic colleagues in the Senate to support free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. She had previously told voters she would work to block the Colombian and South Korean pacts."

I'm told I should find this statement by Killer Mike manifestly sexist. Well, no, not when I have people telling me that the only reason I don't support Clinton is sexism.

Michael Brooks did a good interview with Benjamin Dixon about race, class, and Bernie Sanders, on The Majority Report.

Georgia state Sen. Vincent Fort flips endorsement from Hillary to Bernie: "Back to Georgia for a moment, where Senator Fort explained his switch to Bernie by saying, 'After months of looking at Bernie's record and studying his positions on healthcare, Wall Street, predatory lending and the minimum wage, I came to the conclusion that Bernie's position on the issues that affect my constituents in Georgia the most conform most closely to my positions... He's going to do well here. As people have a chance to listen to him, to have a chance to understand that he's speaking to the issues that are the most critical. As people study and listen to him, I think there's going to be movement toward his campaign.' Fort is now the most high-profile Bernie backer in Georgia, joining state Rep. LaDawn Jones and Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry-- and putting him at odds with a very uninspiring party establishment."
* "Big Win For Bernie: AFL-CIO Holds Off On Presidential Endorsement" - That really is a big deal. Maybe they learned something from last time.

Yes, the same Black Caucus PAC that gave its endorsement to Hillary Clinton has refused to endorse Donna Edwards: "The political arm of the Congressional Black Caucus has decided not to endorse Rep. Donna Edwards for Senate -- despite the fact that the Prince George's County Democrat would be the first African-American elected to the chamber from Maryland." This is just plain shameful. But it tells you a lot about how much politics is at play when the black establishment lines up behind Hillary.
* It's hard not to wonder whether Clyburn's tepid endorsement of Hillary was so half-hearted because he knew it would not be well-received in the room, or if his heart just wasn't in it: "'And I believe,' he said, launching into his central applause line, 'that the future of the Democratic Party and the United States of America will be best served with the experiences and know how of Hillary Clinton as our 45th president.'"

From The Atlantic, "The Pragmatic Case for Bernie Sanders: Political and social change emanate from persistent pressure for a just world, not settling for what is 'realistic' before even getting to the negotiating table."
* Mahabarb says, "Let's Stop Being Weenies [..] So I'm huddled in bed reading political commentary and social media on my Kindle. And it's pissing me off. I read one thing after another saying, oh, Walter Mondale lost in 1984 and Mike Dukakis lost in 1988 - most of ‘em don't go as far back as my first presidential candidate, George McGovern, who lost in 1972 - and because we lost then we must choose a very safe candidate and not anybody too radical because the Right is all-powerful and very mean and they will beat us to death, or something. [...] None of the weenies seem to remember that we all settled on John Kerry in 2004 because he seemed to be the 'safe' candidate. I don't recall that he won. But that was then." But the weenies keep driving her bats, so "Let's Talk About Hillary Clinton's Electability: In spite of my earlier call to arms, I keep seeing sniveling weenies all over social media warning that we must vote for Hillary Clinton or face a Trump or Cruz presidency. Because only Hillary Clinton could win that general election against a broken Republican machine and an extremist who is favored by, it says in an article, fewer than 15 percent of all registered voters. [...] But against this alleged behemoth, we are told, only Hillary Clinton can prevail. So we must nominate her whether we like her or not. Seriously? Hillary Clinton has won two general elections in her life, both for senator of New York. Let's look. In 2000, she won against a largely unknown congressman named Rick Lazio. But originally her opponent was Rudy Giuliani. It was a close race; the polls swung back and forth, favoring one and then the other. Let it be added that Giuliani was not exactly beloved in New York City at that time; people were pretty much over him. But then in May 2000 Giuliani dropped out, mostly because of marital scandals that had been an open secret for some time. Five months before election day the Republicans chose the 40-something Lazio to take his place. [...] Lazio ran a flat-footed campaign, and Clinton defeated him fairly easily, 55 to 43 percent. He left the House after 2001 and at some point went to work for JP Morgan Chase. In 2006 Hillary Clinton ran for re-election nearly unopposed. Oh, she had an opponent, a former mayor of Yonkers named John Spencer. Spencer was invisible. I lived in New York and couldn't have told you a Republican was running against her. Clinton raised nearly $36 million for her re-election campaign. Spencer had less than $6 million." Be that as it may, Clinton didn't do as well as she ought to have done in that terrain.
* "The establishment looks like this: The real reason why Clintons always push our politics to the right: Hillary and Bernie have two different visions. You can make a case for either -- but they're not the same [...] Note that none of that proves, or even points to anything, illegal. That's not the point. It's not about being bought off by one payment, it's about buying in to a system where money flows like wine, and everyone is always drunk. 'But you will not find that I ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation that I ever received,' Clinton said, expressing her individualist view of the problem, and I'm perfectly willing to believe her. But that's not what the argument is about. Structural money influence doesn't require an individual to be corrupt, any more than structural racism requires an individual to be racist. In fact, it works even better because no one is consciously doing anything wrong. It's part of how the system perpetuates and defends itself. But the victims suffer just the same.
* A nice reminder from Thomas Picketty that it's not that we're trying to be "like Europe", but we are trying to be like the America Europe copied: "Thomas Piketty on the rise of Bernie Sanders: the US enters a new political era"
* At Ian Welsh's digs, Pachacutec asks and answers, "Does Bernie Sanders Know What He's Doing? Bernie Sanders is taking a lot of heat for making promises everyone agrees can't be achieved in today's Washington. However, Sanders is not just smoking free-love-sixties-dope when he talks about universal health care, free college tuition, stopping deportations, and drastically cutting the prison population. [...] A couple of weeks ago, members of the neoliberal wonkosphere and others in the pundit class tut-tutted, fretted, and wearily explained to Sanders' band of childish fools and hippies that his 'theory of change' was wrong. Well, not merely wrong, but deceptive, deceitful, maybe even dangerous. False hopes, stakes are too high, and all that. This was Clinton campaign, and more to the point, political establishment ideology, pushback. When Ezra Klein starts voxsplaining how to catalyze a genuine social, cultural, and political movement, you know you've entered the land of unfettered bullshit. [...] Yes, I'd say Sanders has a very clear, and historically grounded 'theory of change.' What those who question it's validity are really saying is either: 1) they lack imagination and can't' see beyond the status quo; 2) they lack knowledge of history, including American history, or; 3) they understand Sanders' 'theory of change' very well and want to choke it in the crib as quickly as they can."
* "Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and their new coalitions on the left"
* "The Pragmatic Case for Bernie Sanders: Political and social change emanate from persistent pressure for a just world, not settling for what is 'realistic' before even getting to the negotiating table. Based on her record and political positions, it is not credible for Democrats to hope that a Clinton presidency can deliver progressive change. It is not pragmatic to hope that Clinton, by dint of her centrist leanings, can work with Congress on anything other than a centrist agenda - at best. To the extent that she gets things done with a Republican legislature, based on an electoral mandate of centrism, there is zero prospect of progressive reform on Wall Street, corporate accountability, wealth inequality, or campaign finance. In politics, if you demand a mile, you get a foot; demand a moderate inch, and at best, you get a centimeter. On the other side of the ledger, history shows that political and social change emanate from persistent pressure - organizing and arguing for a more just world, not settling for what is deemed 'realistic' before getting to the negotiating table. Remember when gay rights and gay marriage were 'unrealistic'? Remember when voting rights, desegregation, and other basic justice were far from 'pragmatic'? They became real through years of dedicated, principled, idealism - by insisting the unrealistic become real."
* Frameshop: Big Change Happens Precisely When It Seems Impossible.
* Dick Van Dyke endorses: "He's sounding an alarm about something I've worried about for the last 30 years, or since World War II, really: the stranglehold that big business has on this country. [...] Woodrow Wilson, in 1913, said there's an invisible force running the country, and he blamed the banks and the corporations and the insurance companies. And since then it's only gotten worse. Ike (President Dwight D. Eisenhower) warned us about the military-industrial complex. Jimmy Carter, in an interview recently, said he couldn't get anything done (as president) because of the power of the lobbyists. It's at a place where the election is almost a little charade they let us go through. I think the thing is rigged. It's been brought up so many times before, but nobody ever listens. And somehow, Bernie got their attention."

Right-wing surprise of the week: In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Charles Koch: This is the one issue where Bernie Sanders is right: The senator is upset with a political and economic system that is often rigged to help the privileged few at the expense of everyone else, particularly the least advantaged. He believes that we have a two-tiered society that increasingly dooms millions of our fellow citizens to lives of poverty and hopelessness. He thinks many corporations seek and benefit from corporate welfare while ordinary citizens are denied opportunities and a level playing field. I agree with him. Actually, he agrees on more than one thing - but somewhere in the middle of the article he dismisses remedies that actually work. (His example of the War on Poverty is an interesting example, since most of it started being dismantled almost as soon as LBJ left office, despite the fact that it had cut poverty in half. The splintering of poor (and black) families is the result of the right wing refusing to keep offering welfare to unbroken families, not the largess of the program.)

"Hedge Fund Billionaires Fund Super PAC Ad Against Bernie Sanders and Minimum Wage Hike [...] Future 45 is run by Brian O. Walsh, a longtime Republican operative who has in the past served as political director for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Most recently, he was president of the American Action Network, a dark money group that was the second-largest outside spender in 2010."

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari hasn't exactly endorsed Bernie Sanders, but he's on the same page with him when he says the big banks should be broken up. A lot of people were caught by surprise when this Bush appointee made the statement, but he says his experience after the banking crisis taught him there is still too much danger from too big to fail institutions.
* David Day on the surprising speech: "The thing I never got around to this week was Neel Kashkari's surprising endorsement of breaking up the banks. A couple people got at this, but Kashkari actually split the difference between a Bernie Sanders break-em-up approach, a Hillary "it's the shadow banks, stupid" approach of expanding the regulatory perimeter, and the consensus position of using higher capital requirements to discipline big banks. Only Kashkari goes way further than the Fed has been willing to go on capital, into Anat Admati territory. Incidentally, Kashkari rejects the separation of investment and commercial banking. So while Sanders gave his speech a full-throated endorsement, it's hard to plot him against the intra-Dem debate about financial reform. Which makes Kashkari even more dangerous to Wall Street, actually. First of all, regulating banks as public utilities goes beyond even a Warren/Sanders approach. Second, as Yves Smith points out, Kashkari, with a cushy appointment at the Minneapolis Fed, wants to keep this in the headlines for at least a year with policy symposia and the like. This is someone developing policy in public, with a profile that makes it very hard for bankers to dismiss him as an unsophisticated crank. If he gains in stature, he shows that positioning against the banks is a good CAREER move. That's a brave new world."

Dean Baker: "NYT Invents Left-Leaning Economists to Attack Bernie Sanders: A NYT piece headlined 'left-leaning economists question cost of Bernie Sanders' plans' may have misled readers about the extent of skepticism among economists who consider themselves left-leaning. I can say this as a card-carrying left-leaning economist who often talks to other card-carrying left-leaning economists. While there are undoubtedly many left of center economists who have serious objections to the proposals Sanders has put forward, there are also many who have publicly indicated support for them. Remarkably, none of those economists were referenced in this article. In fact, to make its case on left of center economists' views, the NYT even presented the comments of Ezra Klein, who is neither an economist nor a liberal, by his own identification. It also misrepresented the comments of Jared Bernstein (a personal friend), implying that they were criticisms of Sanders' program. In fact his comments were addressed to the analysis of Sanders' proposals by Gerald Friedman, an economist at the University of Massachusetts who is not affiliated with the Sanders campaign. It also presented the comments of Brookings economist Henry Aaron about the views expressed by 'other economists in a ‘lefty chat group' he joins online.' This would seem to violate the NYT's usual policy on anonymous sources. Sanders has a very ambitious agenda covering everything from universal Medicare, reforming the financial sector, paid sick days and vacation, free college, and universal childcare. If an economist, left-leaning or otherwise, can't find some grounds for skepticism on any of these proposals they should probably be in a different line of work. These are all big ideas, each of which will face enormous political opposition even if Bernie Sanders were in the White House. Sanders has not given a fully worked out proposal in any of these areas, nor is it reasonable to expect a fully worked out proposal from a candidate for the presidency. His campaign platform outlines general approaches. In the event Sanders got to the White House, it would be necessary to draft fully worked out legislative language which would almost certainly amount to hundreds of pages, and quite possibly thousands of pages, in each area. In addition, whatever he initially put on the table would have to be haggled over with Congress, even assuming that he had a much more sympathetic group than the current crew. While it is nice that the NYT is subjecting Sanders' views to serious scrutiny, it would be good if it also subjected the views of other candidates to the same scrutiny. For example, Secretary Clinton has indicated a desire to give more opportunity to African Americans and Hispanics, yet she has not commented on the decision by the Federal Reserve Board to raise interest rates at the end of last year. This rate hike was intended to be the first of a sequence of rate hikes. The purpose of raising interest rates is to slow the economy and the rate of job creation, ostensibly to prevent inflation. The people who will be disproportionately hurt by slower job growth and high unemployment are African American and Hispanic. NYT readers would likely be interested in knowing how Secretary Clinton can reconcile her commitment to helping African Americans and Hispanics with her apparent lack of concern over the Fed's decision to raise interest rates and deny them jobs. Whatever standard of scrutiny the NYT chooses to apply to presidential candidates it should apply them equally. It is not good reporting to apply one standard to Senator Sanders, and even inventing credentials to press its points, and then apply lesser standards to the other candidates."
* "NYT Rounds Up ‘Left-Leaning Economists' for a Unicorn Hunt."

Digby says, "Antonin Scalia was the forefather of modern Republican nihilism: Antonin Scalia wasn't just a giant of conservative jurisprudence. He was an architect of right-wing legal extremism "
* Scott Lemieux: "Justice Scalia's legacy: blistering zingers and a more partisan America"
* Back in 2012, Richard Posner, of all people - not by any means a liberal - wrote "The Incoherence of Antonin Scalia."
* Marcy Wheeler, "The Play on the Scalia Replacement: Remember the Lame Duck [...] The presumption Srinivasan - or someone similar - would be the nominee easily justifies the GOP's immediate promise they won't confirm a nominee. That's because they need to explain why someone they just overwhelmingly confirmed, someone who faced more opposition from the left than the right, suddenly became unacceptable."
* "Is Obama About to Nominate an Exxon Lawyer to the Supreme Court?"
* Edroso: "Saint Scalia? Sure, Why Not?"

"UN committee finds Australia breached David Hicks' rights" This was always a shameful case, but you could say that about anything having to do with Guantanamo.

Albert Woodfox released from jail after 43 years in solitary confinement: "Woodfox, who was kept in solitary following the 1972 murder of a prison guard for which he has always professed his innocence, marked his 69th birthday on Friday by being released from West Feliciana parish detention center. It was a bittersweet birthday present: the prisoner finally escaped a form of captivity that has widely been denounced as torture, and that has deprived him of all meaningful human contact for more than four decades. [..] Woodfox was one of the so-called 'Angola 3': three prisoners initially held in Louisiana's notorious Angola prison, and who subscribed to the Black Panther movement and campaigned against segregation within the institution in the 1970s. His supporters contend that he was framed for the 1972 killing of the prison guard Brent Miller as revenge for his political activities."

"Ohio Signs Nation's First Anti-Renewable Energy Bill Into Law" - Well, I think Ohio would be surprised to hear that they did it. No, there was one culprit: "Gov. John Kasich just signed into a law a bill that freezes Ohio's renewable energy mandate for the next two years, making Ohio the first state to make negative progress on its green energy goals. Good job, Ohio."

"State Supreme Court Rules Cops No Longer Need a Warrant to Enter Homes and Seize Evidence: Wisconsin Just Lost its 4th Amendment Rights by the Single Vote of a Judge Appointed by Scott Walker."

The Lost Decade is now 11 years long: "As we have remarked before, never before in the history I have readily accessible (for which figures extend back to the 1850s) has such a period of decline and stagnation had to be endured. The chart below shows a decade growth rate. Across the whole period real earnings grew on average by 15 per cent a decade. Between the Second World War and 2007 they grew by 26 per cent a decade (annual averages are derived by dividing by ten). In 2017 the decade figure will show a decline of -1.7 per cent. The charts shows how the progress of the post-war age has been brought decisively to a halt. The only era remotely comparable episode was around the 1920s. This is a terrifying precedent..."

"Due Process is Dead: A Staggering 95% of All Inmates in America Have Never Received a Trial."

"Private Prisons Sues States for Not Having Enough Prisoners."

"Suit alleges that Georgia is illegally bumping voters off rolls."

"FBI demands iPhone backdoor access; Tim Cook tells them to get lost."

Well, this is rich. After all these years of whining about a Social Security crisis in order to rationalize cuts in benefits, conservatives have done an about-face in response to talk of expanding Social Security. Why, everything will be fine!

The diplomat and the killer: Death squads, dirty war and the untold story of H. Carl Gettinger [...] On December 1, 1980, two American Catholic churchwomen - an Ursuline nun and a lay missionary - sat down to dinner with Robert White, the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador. They worked in rural areas ministering to El Salvador's desperately impoverished peasants, and White admired their commitment and courage. The talk turned to the government's brutal tactics for fighting the country's left-wing guerrillas, in a dirty war waged by death squads that dumped bodies in the streets and an army that massacred civilians. The women were alarmed by the incoming Reagan administration's plans for a closer relationship with the military-led government. Because of a curfew, the women spent the night at the ambassador's residence. The next day, after breakfast with the ambassador's wife, they drove to San Salvador's international airport to pick up two colleagues who were flying back from a conference in Nicaragua. Within hours, all four women would be dead. [...] In the years since, much has come to light about this pivotal event in the history of U.S. interventions in Central America. But the full story of how one of the most junior officers in the U.S. embassy in San Salvador tracked down the killers has never been told. It is the tale of an improbable bond between a Salvadoran soldier with a guilty conscience and a young American diplomat with a moral conscience. Different as they were, both men shared a willingness to risk their lives in the name of justice."

Ex-Black Panther Leader Elaine Brown Slams Stanley Nelson's ‘Condemnable' Documentary: Minimizing the role of Huey Newton, founder of the Party, along with Bobby Seale, Nelson elevates the role in the Party of Eldridge Cleaver - who individually did more to try to destroy the Party than the U.S. government. This elevation of Cleaver is a clue to the point of Nelson's 'documentary' - to produce a piece of provocative propaganda worthy of the FBI itself. Though Cleaver was but a fleeting darling of the establishment press who was in the Party for no more than a year or so before being expelled, footage of Cleaver and 'Cleaverites' overwhelms almost half of Nelson's two-hour film.

Spocko's review: "Michael Moore Steals Other Countries' Ideas In Where To Invade Next." The irony is that these are all ideas that were American, that started in our country and were copied by others. But they worked so well that the aristocracy fought back to throw them out.

Letter to The New York Times: "My name is Lorelei Lee and I'm an adult film performer who has worked in the industry for fifteen years. I read your article, 'Actors in Pornographic Films Fight Proposal to Enforce Safety Regulations,' and I am writing to say: how dare you."

"Got yourself an all-white panel? Just click on rentaminority.com: I set up a spoof website to joke about the frustrating way we deal with diversity. The response - applicants seriously trying to hire a minority to keep up corporate appearances - proves that we need more than a punchline."

Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, Saturday, March 4, 1865

In other blasts from the past, some might think this is evidence of how crazy the GOP has become compared to the one we used to have (and that's true), but more registered Republicans than you might think still oppose the idea of the judgement of politicians being substituted for that of their doctors. But in 1982, a Republican Senator led a real filibuster against an abortion debate before Jesse Helms could get it off the ground. Those were the days, eh?

Colbert has some fun when Chris Hayes misspeaks. Maybe he was hungry at the time. I was by the time I finished watching. This one's for the LGBLT community!

NASA's Giving Away Brilliant Space Travel Posters For Free.

* Harper Lee, Author of To Kill A Mockingbird, Dead at 89. You all know I've read the book over and over through the years. I still recommend it, it's still my favorite.
* Umberto Eco, 84, Best-Selling Academic Who Navigated Two Worlds, Dies

Katie Halper's response to Gloria Steinem's little faux pas makes great use of Connie Francis' "Where The Boys Are" as a whole bunch of women endorse Bernie Sanders.


  1. Bernie has got the strategy right. Every now and then you have to raise the flag just to see who salutes.

  2. Actually, your feelings against Clinton sometimes go to the silly side, and that she was once a Republican doesn't cancel the work she did in voter registration in black communities, for health care for everyone, etc., but yes, she did change her party - as did I.

    1. As to party, I actually came to Wellesley a right winger, never actually registered to vote until later.

  3. In 2008, there was a lot of misogyny coming out of the Obama campaign towards Hillary Clinton, but somehow not much of the press noticed, not even the really vile incidents. Instead, there was tut-tutting about the inherent racism of those who supported Clinton in the primaries. Now, the label "Bernie bros" is all over the discussion, essentially labeling Sanders supporters as anti-feminists. What's most fascinating about it, is the "bros" part. I may be completely out of modern language usage, but isn't "bros" most associated with black speech? Is "Bernie bros" an attempt to label young supporters as rap-listening young white males appropriating black identity, or an attempt to say, "OK, we had the black president, so now it's time to proceed with the unblackening" (as Larry Wilmore calls it)? Either way, I can't come up with a positive interpretation.

    1. May 08, 2005 [LINK]

      December 11, 2006 [LINK]

      Wednesday 14 November 2012 13.11 EST [LINK]

    2. OK, I am completely clueless on modern language usage. Comes from chasing the kids off my lawn, I suppose.

    3. You were on the right track:

      Bro’s ascendance into the pop cultural pantheon was mostly due to lots of white kids trying to seem cool by emulating black slang. [LINK]

    4. Well, now I don't know whether to feel vindicated about its origin, clueless because I missed what it became, or a possible example of how the non-hip potential voter might react.

    5. Beware of staring into the abyss. [LINK]

  4. Did Clinton really think her remarks on abortion would not come back to haunt her? And, of course, there's the right-wing site Real Clear Politics (the video opens with a Goldman-Sachs advt!) to let us know that we really should treat Clinton as a traitor to feminism.

    Original MSNBC interview: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc-news/watch/clinton-on-trade--abortion-and-obama-533897795748

  5. Entrance polls must have been off as the Sanders surge comes up short in Nevada. [LINK]

    1. Caucuses aren't very democratic.

      Having them in your place of work (look everyone, Marie isn't voting with the rest of us!) makes it worse.

  6. Someone has to read them some shakesville

    1. If you're an inveterate Clinton supporter the Shakesville post lays out the second go at a smear directed at the Sanders campaign stemming from the false claim made in a tweet by Delores Huerta after the first attempt at one ended in a hasty retreat once the video contradicting it surfaced. Believe the Clinton camp spin or believe your own lying eyes. For anyone supporting Sanders but trying to keep an open mind as to whether to support the former Secretary of State in November if their candidate fails to win the nomination, do Hillary a favor and don't click on that Shakesville link.

      No one "has to read them some" Time magazine, either. [LINK]

    2. Nothing like "don't click on the link" to make it irresistible, but there was one decent comment among the stupid:

      pghbekka • 4 days ago

      It's important to note, and not to disenfranchise, that the protesters were not all people with English as a first language. From English and Spanish speakers alike, it was because the proposed translator wasn't neutral. It was the moderator who responded to the protests with, "OK, English only." Please don't erase Latino/a protesters OR supporters with assumptions.

      What bothers me about this story is it should absolutely be getting attention...as a caucus preparation story. A third of Nevada population identifies as Latino/a. There should have been a translator there. If the moderator's response to the need for a Spanish translation is, literally, "first Spanish-speaker to the stage gets the job"? There's a problem.

      I will give Sra. Huerta the benefit of the doubt and assume she tweeted the situation as she interpreted it instead of erasure of Latino/a audience members who did not agree with her as a translator and deliberately trying to increase animosity towards Sanders through denigration of his supporters.

      This election has been an eyeopener on the awfulness of the caucus system.

      I notice the Republican establishment is going after Trump by filling debate audiences with people who drown out his dumb ripostes to dumb attacks. I guess they realized that brute force is the only defense against a guy who dominates by sheer force of personality. Will we ever get these things back in the hands of the League of Women Voters.

    3. I am a bit surprised that corporate hqs/the Establishment has not brought the hammer down on Trump and that he continues to get so much free and positive television coverage. Taibbi explains it, I guess, "Trump found the flaw in the American Death Star. It doesn't know how to turn the cameras off, even when it's filming its own demise." [LINK] Almost immediately after the Republican debate on CNN last night CNN's Chris Cuomo essentially held the microphone for Trump so the candidate could get another five minutes of air time to explain how well he did.

  7. Here, in micro, is the story after 36 years the left still hasn't figured out how to tell about supply side economics, or even its tax cuts for the rich component. [LINK] [LINK] Meanwhile, during all these years the right has had a very clear explanation for what [FDR/LBJ] liberalism is.

    [FoxNews and talk radio- obviously -are the booths around the exits in the macro environment.]

    1. David Cay Johnston scales up, using Trump as but a case study [LINK]:

      I expect Trump’s returns to be extremely aggressive, but well within the boundaries set by Congress and without even a hint of criminal tax evasion. I also suspect his returns will show negative income. That’s right — negative. The last line on the front page of his Form 1040 likely shows a number less than zero, because of a special tax rule for very rich real estate professionals that I’ll explain below. In essence, that rule means not having to pay income taxes....

      Too bad that neo-liberals have been in charge of Democratic messaging for the last two and a half decades, that any of the somewhat sincere Democratic advocates for the poor, who are relegated to the back benches, have failed to make effective use of Johnston's journalism, and that there hasn't been much of anything at all in the way of Democratic economic advocacy that the white middle class would recognize as being on its own behalf, let alone any messaging focusing on Johnston's exposés specifically.

  8. I voted for Goldwater in the first presidential election where I was eligible to vote. To those who hadn't been born then: They told me that if I voted for Goldwater there would be a war. I did, and there was. That war was started by Goldwater defeater Lyndon Johnson, of course.

    Face it, Avedon, Hillary is going to be our next president. I think she will surprise you. She has always been concerned about helping people. And she's found some ingenious (and sometimes courageous) ways to do so.

    1. Corey Robin, via a Stuart Z. retweet [LINK]:

      [QUOTE] Amid all the accusations that Hillary Clinton is not an honest or authentic politician, that she's an endless shape-shifter who says whatever works to get her to the next primary, it's important not to lose sight of the one truth she's been telling, and will continue to tell, the voters: things will not get better. Ever.

      At first, I thought this was just an electoral ploy against Sanders: don't listen to the guy promising the moon. No such thing as a free lunch and all that. But it goes deeper.

      The American ruling class has been trying to figure out for years, if not decades, how to manage decline, how to get Americans to get used to diminished expectations, how to adapt to the notion that life for the next generation will be worse than for the previous generation, and now, how to accept low to zero growth rates [for the 99%] as the new economic normal. Clinton's campaign message isn't just for Bernie voters: it's for everyone. Expect little, deserve less, ask for nothing.

      When the leading candidate of the more left of the two parties is saying that -- and getting the majority of its voters to embrace that message -- the work of the American ruling class is done. [END QUOTE]

  9. Here's an example of Hollywood's libertine assault on America, this one dating back to the 1960s. [LINK] [LINK]

  10. Admin, if not okay please remove!

    Our facebook group “selfless” is spending this month spreading awareness on prostate cancer & research with a custom t-shirt design. Purchase proceeds will go to cancer.org, as listed on the shirt and shirt design.