"Clinton Strategist: We Won't Do Any More Debates Unless Bernie Sanders Changes His Tone" - So, it seems Clinton doesn't like it that Bernie is actually running against her, and now no debates unless he stops doing so. Nobody asked whether we like her tone. But the tone of this is that Clinton is a poor, wilting flower of womanhood who can't handle criticisms of her record and now she's all upset because having someone campaign against her is so ungentlemanly and mean. Or, as Reno Berkeley put it, "Hillary's Refusal To Debate Until Sanders Is 'Nicer' Is A Sign Of Weakness." She's right: "Hillary Clinton has a history of using her gender to her advantage. On the one hand, she claims to be a strong, independent feminist, able to take on men in power. On the other hand, she is quite willing to play the damsel in distress if someone calls her out on her questionable behavior or actions. Because of this, she actually sets the feminist movement back. She claims the criticism lobbed at her is due to sexism. She advances the idea that women who criticize other women's ideas or behavior is traitorous. It's a show of contempt toward other women who dare question her past actions and words, and that in itself is dangerous."
Bernie's shut-out victory in the Alaska(81.6%-18.4%), Hawaii (69.8%-30%), and Washington (72.7%-27.1%) caucuses. It was just fun to see those figures. (Mousing over the precincts in Alaska is even more fun - man, they are small!)
* "#BernieMadeMeWhite: No, Bernie Sanders Isn't Just Winning With White People" - The Clinton campaign's continuing strategy of trying to make women and people of color who support Sanders invisible has really irritated women and people of color who support Sanders, but the idea that majority-minority Hawaii is the same as Vermont has made it a hashtag. "I knew it. I knew if Bernie won Hawaii it would magically become a white state." Only 23% of Hawaii's population is white. "Diversity" in Hawaii means, "We've got some white people here, too."
"Hmm, That's Strange... Why Would Clinton Use Trump Abortion Remarks to Attack Sanders? Even though Bernie Sanders immediately took to Twitter and called Donald Trump "shameful" for his comments on Wednesday regarding "punishment" for women who would have abortions, Hillary Clinton is now using the incident as an opportunity to attack her Democratic rival on the campaign trail by suggesting to voters that Sanders does not take the issue of women's choice seriously enough."
"Hillary Clinton's Support Among Nonwhite Voters Has Collapsed.
On February 27th, Hillary Clinton led Bernie Sanders among African-American voters by 52 points. By March 26th, she led Sanders among African-Americans by just nine points."
* "Why Are Millennial Women Gravitating to Bernie Sanders?"
Why Is Clinton Polling Worse Than Her Delegate Count? Early Voting: Yes, the answer, unique to this contest, is early voting. Let me explain. Anyone who's breathlessly watched as voting returns come in knows at least two things: early voting totals (from votes by mail, for example) are reported first; and on the Democratic side early voting heavily favors Clinton. Most of the analysis of this phenomenon ignores the way this "primes the pump," as it were, by creating the initial impression that Clinton will win a given contest, and instead focuses on other factors.." And when Hillary Clinton was declared the winner in Arizona before a single election-day count had been reported, that set the scene for all those people who were waiting in line. As the most familiar candidate, Hillary has an advantage with early voters in that many of them will be voting before they've even been exposed to Sanders and his campaign. But election day voters will have had time to become more informed, which makes the difference. "Which leads to a rather stunning discovery - if you subtract out the early voting totals in the Democratic contests and look at election day totals only, Sanders ties or beats Clinton, even in some of the "Clinton states" like North Carolina." Those Clinton states, by and large, are also states where Republicans have set voter-suppression methods in place. They advantage Republicans in the general election, but in the primaries, they give the advantage to the most established candidate and hurt the candidate who is most popular among younger voters.
How The Democratic Elite Betrayed Their Party And Paved The Way For Donald Trump
* Black Agenda Report: Why a United Front Against Trump is Dangerous Territory for the Left
* This one anecdote perfectly explains how Donald Trump is hijacking the GOP
It's almost as though the Democratic Party is trying to irritate people, isn't it? "Sanders bumped off D.C. ballot: Both the Sanders' campaign and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton's campaign paid the $2,500 fee to appear on the June 14 Democratic primary ballot on time but the district's Democratic Party failed to inform the Washington D.C. Board of Elections until March 17, one day after the deadline."
Some endorsements are just plain embarrassing: "Five Clinton Endorsements Among North Carolina Anti-LGBTQ Vote"
When the candidates come to town, it's expensive, but the public usually foots the bill. But this time, "Police Chief: Bernie Is the First Candidate to Ever Offer and Pay Police Overtime [...] Not only did Sanders pay, 'He actually asked up front how much, and he paid those costs, which makes him the first candidate to do so in my 23 years [of law enforcement in Iowa].'"
Matt Taibbi, "Why Young People Are Right About Hillary Clinton"
Don't Blame It All on Donald Trump: To treat Trump's candidacy as an anomaly is to overlook the system that gave birth to it.
This is an odd one: "Bernie MI Dir. Allegedly paid by Hillary PAC."
"Economist Argues 'Pie in the Sky' Sanders Will, in Fact, 'Make Economy Great Again': Leading economist argues that Sanders' bold economic agenda would 'deliver standards of well-being for the overwhelming majority of Americans in ways that we have not experienced for generations.'"
From Dean Baker:
* "Magical Thinking: Sanders, Clinton, and the Federal Reserve Board"
* "Michael Gerson's Fact Free Attack on Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump: Gerson doesn't just get the basic story of productivity growth 180 degrees backward, he also gets the story of globalization wrong. Our manufacturing workers saw their pay lowered by globalization because that was the purpose of the trade agreements we negotiated. The point was to make it as easy as possible to relocate factories in Mexico, China, and other developing countries, putting our workers in direct competition with low-paid workers who were often willing to work for less than one-tenth the wages of our workers. At the same time we left in place or even increased the barriers that protect doctors, dentists, and lawyers from having to compete with their lower paid counterparts in the developing world or even other rich countries. (Apparently our trade negotiators think that doctors and lawyers lack the skills necessary to compete in the world economy.) For example, doctors still have to complete a U.S. residency program to practice in the United States and dentists have go a U.S. dental school. (We recently starting allowing graduates of Canadian dental schools to practice here as well.)"
* The Generational Warfare Industry
* "Washington Post Tea Parties Out on Representative Donna Edwards
"House Radicals Have Come Up With A Way To Derail The TPP." Will the crazy Republicans save us from another of Obama's horrible ideas?
* "Bernie Started The Congressional Progressive Caucus But... They've Moved In Other Directions." You let Steny Hoyer in anywhere, there goes the neighborhood.
"The feds have resumed a controversial program that lets cops take stuff and keep it: The Justice Department has announced that it is resuming a controversial practice that allows local police departments to funnel a large portion of assets seized from citizens into their own coffers under federal law. The "Equitable Sharing Program" gives police the option of prosecuting some asset forfeiture cases under federal instead of state law, particularly in instances where local law enforcement officers have a relationship with federal authorities as part of a joint task force. Federal forfeiture policies are more permissive than many state policies, allowing police to keep up to 80 percent of assets they seize." This is a licence to steal, of course, and should be outlawed. So why have they resumed it? Oh.
* Well, at least there's this: "Supreme Court: Feds Can't Seize Untainted Assets Needed For Legal Fees."
The Housing Bust's Long Shadow [...] A new report from the Urban Institute's Housing Finance Policy Center offers a valuable glimpse at what has happened to the U.S. population's housing and credit status since the turn of the century. Of particular interest: A group of about 19 million renters who, at some point in the past 16 years, used to be homeowners."
Joseph Stiglitz: "In 2016, let's hope for better trade agreements - and the death of TPP."
"U.S. Citizen Detained By Immigration Agents After Protesting Donald Trump" - We know what this is all about, but she said an interesting thing at the end of the article. "She said of the Obama administration: 'They built up the prisons, they built up the deportation programs, they made sure Border Patrol and ICE are the largest they've ever been. They would just be handing over the keys to Trump with a full tank of gas.'"
"Prosecutor Wants No Jail Time For NYPD Officer Convicted Of Manslaughter."
* "Trial and error: Report finds prosecutors rarely pay price for misconduct: According to The Innocence Project, our justice system often looks the other way at attorneys who withhold evidence."
David Dayen: "High Court Asks Administration to Weigh in on Predatory Lending Case: A SUPREME COURT order this week forces the Obama administration to make a decision: either save consumers tens of billions of dollars at the expense of debt collectors, car loan specialists, and student lenders, or defend those financial entities. In a one-line order, the justices on Monday asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, the legal representative for the federal government in Supreme Court matters, to file a brief in the case of Madden v. Midland Funding, 'expressing the views of the United States.' In Madden, a class-action case, borrowers argued that loans sold by a bank to a debt collector should be subject to the usury law in New York state, which limits the interest rate that can be charged. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, and Midland Funding appealed to the Supreme Court. Legal experts are following the case closely, since it could, after nearly 40 years, herald a return to prominence for state-based usury laws, a key safeguard against predatory lending. [...] If the administration advises the court to hear Madden, it would presumably signal that it wants the Court to overturn the 2nd Circuit ruling, which would be a victory for the financial industry." This is actually a more important case than you might imagine, keep your eye on it.
"Koch Brothers Attempt to Kill Single-Payer Health Care in Colorado: Colorado's efforts to become the first state to pass a public, universal health care system are facing stiff opposition from right-wing organizations, many of which are funded by or affiliated with brothers Charles and David Koch. As expected, these moneyed interests are doing everything they can to stop the state from amending its constitution with a ballot referendum, Amendment 69, which would implement a statewide version of "single-payer" health care. If approved, ColoradoCare would cover every resident, regardless of employment or ability to pay. In October, organizers submitted enough signatures to put the amendment on the ballot. The vote will take place on Election Day this year."
Interesting heads-up from Lambert on the "TPP: '[T]he nation's mayors - most of them Democrats, especially in the larger cities - remain overwhelmingly committed to free trade in general and the Trans-Pacific Partnership in particular' [Rob Brownstein, The Atlantic]. These Mayors are Clinton's local surrogates. You can bet that if Clinton had changed her position on TPP in reality, that they'd be changing their tune." (There are, of course, a lot of other interesting links and observations in that post, too, including "Was There Election Fraud in Arizona? 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.")
California Raises Minimum Wage to $15: "According to the LA Times, Governor Jerry Brown has reached a deal with the state's labor unions to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour through legislation passed by both the California Assembly and Senate, avoiding a ballot initiative that may have instituted a $15 an hour minimum wage sooner."
"French journalist Florence Hartmann jailed by war crimes tribunal: The journalist Florence Hartmann, a former correspondent for Le Monde, has been jailed at the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, the body established to try the criminals she devoted her life to exposing. She was arrested ahead of the verdict handed down to former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžic. Hartmann's lawyer said she was being held in isolation, a situation that will last until at least Tuesday because of the Easter holiday. [...] Hartmann was convicted of contempt of court in 2009 for revealing in a book that the tribunal had withheld crucial information on the Srebrenica massacre of 1995 from the nearby international court of justice. The conviction was later upheld on appeal."
"Foreign Money Is Flowing Into U.S. Elections, Alito's Lying Lips Notwithstanding" - Foreign countries wouldn't have to bomb America, they just need to use their money to do things like interfere with our elections, among other things.
"Three centuries of data debunks Osborne's economic theories." You could almost have the impression that rather than austerity being a reason to worry about debt, worrying about debt is an excuse for imposing austerity.
That Ehrlichman quote about why they invented the War On (Some People Who Use Some) Drugs is going around again, which no doubt makes it another good cue for a mention of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, a reminder that the real war started over a hundred years ago, and that Billie Holliday's "Strange Fruit" was a focus of Anslinger's hatred and his drug war vendetta.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands, "Five prisons to close as falling crime rate leaves cells empty."
Startlingly, John McCain wrote this Salute to a Communist in The New York Times: "Delmer Berg wasn't a celebrity. He wasn't someone with great wealth or influence. He had never held public office. He was a Californian. He worked as a farmhand and stonemason. He did some union organizing. He was vice president of his local N.A.A.C.P. chapter. He protested against the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons. He joined the United States Communist Party in 1943, and, according to The Times, he remained an 'unreconstructed Communist' for the rest of his life. He was 100. He was also the last known living veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade."
RIP: Patty Duke, 69, of sepsis related to a ruptured intestine. Her performance as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker won her an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress at 16 and she soon had her own TV show, playing two identical teenagers who weren't actually twins - and one was British..
The Sessions - A live restaging of the Beatles at Abbey Road studios.
Your moment of Paul Merton on Have I Got News For You
We watched Kingsmen. I found it lots of fun and gratifying to watch.