Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The REAL rigger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Comments:

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

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

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/03/16/upshot/measuring-donald-trumps-mammoth-advantage-in-free-media.html?_r=0

Harry


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Shame on him!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
The Sander's supporters argument that the Democrat Primary votes in Washington and Nebraska don't matter is no excuse to not vote. The effort needed to vote in the primary was much, much less than it was to vote in the caucus.
If Sanders supporters are too lazy to cast a vote now, how they are going to be the "minions of change" later on?
 
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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Monty Python and the 2016 election

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

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



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

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

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


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

"What are you going to do now, Bernie? Whine all over her?"
 
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King Bernie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Direct democracy
2. No caucuses
3. NO OPEN PRIMARIES


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

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

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

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

>>Markos Moulitsas took Obama dollars in 2008

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

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

>>a single nationwide primary voting day.

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

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

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

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

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

I loved seeing them spoof their own.


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

permalinkembed

[–]dorami_jonesSuperdelegate Whisperer 13 points 15 hours ago

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

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

I think I'm just going to stick with my policy of never posting anything at all on FB. It's just bugs me that so many people I respect and care about are falling for this crap. I guess I could point them to the cannonfire blog when they post pro-Bernie stuff, but I doubt they'd read anything once they saw the banner at the top of the page. They mostly voted for Obama anyway, even though back then I tried to convince them he was a phony (and some of them spent his whole term justifying the crap he did.......which, admittedly wasn't ALL bad, but not anywhere close to what they voted him in for).
 
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A sin against democracy



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salon's outrageous hypocrisy is...sin.

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

Salon's hypocrisy is sin.

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

*  *  *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

50 reasons why Sanders would lose all 50 states

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

47. Free college. Even for the rich?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://zfacts.com/2016/02/millions-for-sanders-fm-super-pacs/
 
Joseph, I'm very interested in your assertion that Hillary Clinton donated most of her Goldman Sachs speech income to charity, which is news to me. Could you provide a link on that?
 
18: It was Athena, not Aphrodite, who sprang from the head of Zeus. Aphrodite sprang forth from the surf after the castration of Ouranus.

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

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

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

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

I've made the correction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://thankadelegate.com/

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

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

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

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

They gave Ronald Reagan a ranch when he left office!

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

[more]
 
[2 of 2]

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

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

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

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

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

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


 
maz, I still have 50 good reasons.

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

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

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

Remember, I gave you "50 reasons why Bernie would lose." Not "50 reasons why Bernie is bad" (which would be a whole separate list). Understand the distinction?
 
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Sunday, May 22, 2016

The REAL reason Dear Leader hates Debbie Wasserman Schultz

All over the internet, I see BernieBots lashing into Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In a sense, they are no longer running against Hillary: They are running against Debbie. What's more, the "Get Debbie" campaign is a top down affair. Dear Leader has given the order -- and his maniacal minions are now determined to kill kill kill.

Why?

A BernieBot's sense of outrage usually bears no relationship to reality. These clowns are so loopy, so caught up in their own fantasy world, they even consider MSNBC to be in the tank for Hillary -- even though the network is behaving toward her now the way Kos acted toward her in 2008. (For more on MSNBC, see blow.)

The favorite forum for young BernieBots is Twitter, which is designed to make ad hominem the primary form of argument. That's all they've got: Childish insults, baseless conspiracy theories, the automatic presumption of bad faith, racism, sexism, ageism, incessant lying and constant smears. In a word: Bullying.

The Chinese Cultural Revolution must have looked a lot like this.

So why does Dear Leader hate Debbie?
Sanders' campaign has long been critical of Wasserman Shultz's performance as head of the committee, claiming that the DNC has favored his presidential primary challenger, Hillary Clinton. Sanders and his supporters have complained about the nomination process and ways they believe it has helped Clinton, including debates held on Saturday nights, closed primaries in major states such as New York, and the use of superdelegates -- essentially free-agent party and union stalwarts who are overwhelmingly backing Clinton.
We can toss out the superdelegate claim on two grounds. First, it's hideously hypocritical: Bernie's whole argument for weeks has been an appeal for the supers to overturn the popular will.

Second, everyone knows that the supers would have turned on a dime (as in 2008) if Bernie had, in fact, won the popular vote. Which he did not.

(In fact, Hillary won the popular vote in 2008 -- and the supers still turned on her, based on rigged results from the caucus states. That fact alone tells you that the Establishment has always hated the Clintons.)

Similarly, we can toss out the complaint about debates on three grounds.

First: Most people feel that there were too many debates. No-one can claim that the debates flew under-the-radar. Absolutely no-one is saying: "You know what I wish? I wish that there had been many more debates between Hillary and Bernie Sanders. I just never got a chance to hear the guy out. To this day, I have no idea what he looks or sounds like."

Second: This isn't 1970. Modern technology makes it possible for anyone to watch the debates pretty much any time they want.

Third: The debates helped Hillary much more than they helped Sanders. She won the popular vote handily, and she did so despite having the mainstream, leftstream and rightstream media arrayed against her. (At the same time, the media refused to say one unkind word about Bernie). It has always been the case with the Clintons that they win only when they get a chance to speak to the people directly.

This level of anti-Debbie vitriol is not about something so trivial as debate scheduling. All of the other anti-Debbie arguments are similarly inane -- a series of red flags being waved in front of Bernie's bulls. (Note that Bernie refuses to mention caucuses, the real problem with our primaries.)

So what is this really about?

Closed primaries.

Ah yes. That's it.

Bernie is using his newly acquired clout to engineer a change in the system -- a truly disastrous change. He wants the DNC to change its rules to allow Republicans to vote in Democratic primaries. Bernie Sanders wants to make it possible for Republicans to choose their opponents.

His goal reveals his true motivations (which are very different from his stated ones). What more evidence do you need for my "Stone controls Sanders" theory? The very thought of open Democratic primaries must make the perpetually priapic Roger Stone splurt all over his bespoke trousers.

A few have you have written to me privately, saying that my "Stone controls Sanders" theory will be proven only if Bernie goes third party. I believe that he will do just that, using some justification or other. (No matter how threadbare his rationale, his zombie minions will think whatever Dear Leader tells them to think.)

But even if he doesn't go third party, my "Stone controls Sanders" is proven by Bernie's call for open primaries. That is freakin' it, folks. No further evidence needed. We've got him.

(Go here. Leaked GOP emails prove that Republicans organized to control the primary in Nevada.)

Young and old. Whenever Roger Stone and his right-wing comrades gin up one of these Democratic splitter campaigns, they create fissures based on identity politics, usually black versus white. That's why Nixon's GEMSTONE plot involved secret Republican funding for Shirley Chisolm.

In this cycle, Stone has a new angle: Young versus Old.

This Matt Bruenig personage -- is he a "Stoner" or a legitimate dimwit? Doesn't matter. He has basically positioned himself as a left-wing version of Michael Savage, and thus should be treated like any other urine receptacle.

Everywhere I go on the internet now, I keep running into white college kids screaming that socialism is where it's at, and we old fogies just don't get it.

Wasn't it just three or four years ago when all these same young people suddenly discovered Ayn Rand? Arrogant young twerps everywhere were telling me to read Atlas Shrugged, a book which they presumed I never had heard of before.

I distinctly remember the fad. All sorts of smug white kids were reading John Galt's Big Speech and thinking: "Yes! Ayn is talking about....about ME! I AM THE SUPERMAN! And it is my heroic duty to stomp upon the small and crush the weak!"

Now these same young twerps are thinking they can take ME to school about Bernie Sanders, even though I met a dozen Bernies back at UCLA. (Assholes then; assholes now. Their arrogance did a lot to discredit the left.) Today, the worshipers of Dear Leader sneer at experience the way a fundamentalist sneers at evolution. But experience does have one great virtue: It teaches one to think beyond the latest fad.

The minions of Dear Leader, having heard the Word of Bern, know in their hearts that the entire country -- Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, everywhere -- is yearning for the Great Socialist Revolution. Yes, the BernieBots have actually convinced themselves of this absurd hallucination.

In their teensy, pot-addled pseudominds, only two things stand in the way of Socialism's inevitable triumph: The Democratic party and the all-pervasive Evil Clinton Conspiracy. Both must be destroyed. Particularly the Democratic Party.

As I survey the minions of Dear Leader Bernie, I don't know how to differentiate the right-wing agitators from the naive young dupes. Maybe it's not necessary to make a distinction. One must argue from results, not from origin points; objectively speaking, they are ALL right-wing agitators.

A final word about the MSNBC Hillary-haters:
The worst offender is Mika Brzezinski, daughter of the hated Zbigniew -- Obama's mentor. Zbig was the original neocon, a supporter of Pol Pot, the true author of the Afghanistan invasion and the man who initiated the disastrous policy of fomenting jihad for larger strategic purposes.

("What's a few riled-up Muslims?" said he. One of the guys he riled up was named Osama Bin Laden.)

Ted Kennedy's whole 1980 campaign was primarily based on Democratic hatred for all things Brzensinski. The very mention of Zbig's name at the convention evinced a massive BOO. People forget that now.

And yet his daughter Mika -- who has never distanced herself from her father's evils -- gets paid a cool $2 million per year to spew her spew on a supposedly progressive network.

I'm hardly surprised to see Mika bash Hillary, any more than I am surprised to hear the same guff from Maureen Dowd, the woman who worked so tirelessly to get Dubya elected in 2000. One easy way to choose your candidate in a Democratic primary -- not just this year, but any year -- is to ask: Who does Maureen Dowd support? Who does Mika Brzenzinski support?

Vote the other way. Easy-peasy.
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Comments:
You took the words out of my mouth. Those youngs remind me very much of what happened in the Islamic world. when the new Islamist movements of the seventies spreader(US invention). They started by accusing all Muslims who were not part of a group of not good Muslims or down right Infidels. They used intimidation and bribery to gain trust of the young and the weak. People didn't pay attention or didn't take the threat seriously and now look where they are now. I don't the contradiction of these young people. Hillary is old but no mention of Bernie age. They claim they have a lock on new ideas, what's new about any Bernie's ideas. Better yet he doesn't even seem to understand what the he'll he is advocating when finally someone pressed him in an interview. I wish the day would never come when we look back and realize that we didn't do enough. History past and present filled with those regrets.
 
I have trouble working out which young people are which too. They all look the same to me. But I doubt that the college kids who got into Ayn Rand are the same ones getting into Bernie.

But one thing. Surely Bernie's issue with Debbie WS, is more to do with representation on the key Convention committees. I thought his supporters had been allocated a very small number of committee places. Shouldn't they be allocating committee places based on elected delegate ? I don't know how the rules work.

Harry
 
Really Joseph. They are both made of chicken liver. How can you get so exercised over our putative choice?

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-line-that-may-have-won-hillary-clinton-the-nomination-20160428

Ben
 
What do you think of Tad Devine's involvement in the Sanders campaign?
 
Wow. I have been saying the same thing about Mika since 2008. I can't stand to turn on Morning Joe unless Hillary has really walked over all over Bernie in a primary and then only to see how she is going to spin it. What a piece of work.
 
MSNBC lobbied on air for the bailout back in 2008 before and during the 2 bail out votes. MSNBC features Wall Street based programming. How can MSNBC be for Bernie Sanders? Simple, MSNBC is for the democrat candidate who will do less damage/policing to Wall Street, just as they were in 2008.
If you can find footage of former MSNBC Norah O'Donnell practically having an on air panic attack when the first bailout vote failed it does make one wonder how Hillary Clinton can be a Wall Street stooge yet perpetually be dissed by MSNBC.
 
I think Sanders is trying to back down without losing face with his followers. He is demonizing DWS in order to shift animosity from Clinton and he is trying to back off without appearing to sell out. Perhaps DWS will resign and Sanders will declare victory and this will be over -- he will consider the party cleansed and join the ranks. I think if he doesn't do something like that it will be an indicator he belongs to Stone.
 
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Corby, Sanders has already backed DWS opponent in this year's election and gone public with it. That's pretty much a slash and bern tactic.
 
Joseph, if you can hook together the following forces, it would make for a compelling case of Republican involvement.
Move on Dot Org is completely vested in Bernie Sanders. Cenk Uyger of the Young Turks is also completely vested in Bernie Sanders. MSNBC always goes mega progressive even though they have some Wall Street based programming that is basically about the stock market, and is pro stock market.
Arianna Huffington can't stand the Clintons and has in the past also had a solid relationship with Camille Paglia going back to at least 1997. Paglia, regularly writes anti Clinton hit pieces for Salon.
Then you have the PUMA, not a PUMA but possibly simply republicans who pretended to be HIllary Clinton supporters in 2008, they include Marc Rubin, who headed the Denver Group in 2008 which was supposed to fight for Hillary Clinton. Will Bower and Daraugh Murphy who were frequently on Fox News in 2008 while claiming to be Hillary Clinton supporters. Both Murphy and Rubin had PACs for fundraising.
Larry C. Johnson of No Quarter, and Lambert Strether of Corrente were solidly for Hillary Clinton back in 2008. Sure, the people named above have the free will to change who they want for president in 2016, but, to also completely hate on Hillary Clinton at the same time when they formerly were for her seems suspicious to me.
If you can find a money trail among all of those groups, and it goes back to Stone, then things start to make more sense.
Any former PUMA who has gone for either Trump or Sanders this time around should be deliriously happy that their second choice is Hillary Clinton, instead they sling blood curdling verses about Hillary Clinton and that makes no sense.
And finally, Cenk Uyger, Arianna Huffington used to be republicans, Move on Dot Org actually tried to start a Republican version of their group many years ago and failed. I presume Bower and Murphy are Republicans prior to 2008.
 
Bernie whining about losing and saying the super delegates should realize he's the stronger candidate:


http://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/sanders-lashes-out-at-cnns-jake-tapper-people-who-come-to-my-rallies-can-do-arithmetic/comments/#disqus

“It seems unlikely that you’ll actually achieve the majority of the pledged delegates,” Tapper noted.

“I assume that most of the people who come to my rallies can do arithmetic,” the candidate quipped. “If I have 46 percent, she has 54 percent. The point that I was making is there’s something absurd when I get 46 percent of the delegates that come from real contests — real elections, and 7 percent of the super delegates.”

“I am the stronger candidate because we appeal to independents, people who are not in love with either the Democratic or the Republican Party,” Sanders insisted.

Tapper observed that the Sanders campaign’s goal was to “secure a majority of the pledged delegates.”

“Should we assume that means that you believe the candidate who has the majority of pledged delegates by the end of this process should be the nominee?” the CNN host wondered.

“I understand that it’s an uphill fight to go from 46 percent where we are today to 50 percent in the nine remaining contests, I got that,” Sanders admitted, adding that super delegates should take an “objective look at which candidate is stronger.”

============================
Bernie calling Hillary "evil."

http://bluenationreview.com/losing-control-bernie-says-hillary-is-the-lesser-of-two-evils/


 
Sometimes when I read my comments I wonder what was I saying. Usually happens when my fingers are bigger than the board and the screen too small for my eyes. I apologize it's very inconsiderate of me.
 
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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Bernie's dirty money

Bernie Sanders is running out of money. Down to six million.

Under normal circumstances, this would be The End. A campaign with no real hope of winning the nomination isn't likely to do well at fundraising.

But these are not normal circumstances. As I've noted in the past, Bernie money is funny money. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, a campaign funded by small donations is more likely to be crooked.

Donations under $50 are totally anonymous. If you have a million bucks you want to stuff in a politician's pocket, you can hire someone to ding that "donate" button all day long. Ding ding ding ding. It's not like the old days when Howard Hughes met with Hubert Humphrey in the back of a limo and literally handed over a bag of cash. (Yes, that happened.)

In fact, donations of greater than $50 are still easy to hide, because the campaigns are self-policing. Call up the FEC, as I did: You'll be directed to the page in the handbook where it says, in essence, "You're on your own. We trust you to follow the rules."

The FEC is ridiculously under-funded, yet they've still managed to cite the Sanders campaign for serious violations. See here and here.

Some of you may recall 2008, when the Obama campaign was caught receiving multiple donations from the same party. Donations went well beyond the $250 limit requiring a receipt. (There were other shennanigans. Water under the bridge, I suppose.)

(Beyond all of that, there are plenty of ways to get money to someone anonymously. One of these days, I should tell you about a scheme I stumbled across involving insanely overpriced pseudobooks sold via Amazon.)

The Republicans announced from the start that they would prefer to run against Sanders. And even though he will not win the nomination, they want him to drag Hillary to the far left. They know that the way for a candidate to win in this country is to appeal to the base in the primaries and then veer toward the center in the general. The Sanders cult prevents Hillary from doing that.

So let me run some numbers past you. I want to know if this sounds on-the-level to you. From the Washington Post, last April:
Before Wisconsin, the vote total in most of the states that have cast ballots stood at 8,917,681 votes for Clinton and 6,378,821 votes for Sanders. That put Clinton ahead by 2,538,860 votes, according to a tally maintained by RealClearPolitics.
Let's not get into the argument over how to include votes from the caucus states. (Although you can count me among the many who say that caucuses deserve to die.) Right now, let's work with the number of 6.4 million votes, give or take.

A reader sent me a copy of a Bernie fundraising email. An excerpt:
Then a supporter from Chicago, Illinois made the first contribution to our campaign — for $3. A few minutes later, $50 from a supporter in California, then $10 from someone in Georgia. A little more than 12 months later, I am humbled to share that our campaign has received more than 7.6 million contributions through April, more than any presidential candidate at this point in a campaign ever.
I hope you all understand that, through the magic of VPNs, the same person can donate from Illinois, Chicago, and California.

But what really interests me here is that figure: 7.6 million contributions.

Of course, small donors are likely to donate more than once. But the IRS limit is soon reached. So my question is: Does this donor-to-voter ratio seem right to you?

6.4 million actual votes versus 7.6 million separate donations.

Is that an indication of the ding ding ding ding phenomenon, to which I alluded earlier?

An obscene double standard. From a liberal website, this headline: "It’s Obscene That No One Calls Bernie Sanders on His FEC Troubles"

I can guess the BernieBot reaction: "That site must be the work of the Evil Clinton Conspiracy!" Yeesh. Cultists always have a "go-to" answer for everything, don't they? It's like talking to a Scientologist or a fundamentalist: "If you insist on telling me something I don't want to hear, IT'S A CONSPIRACY!"

You know you're dealing with a cult when ad hominem is the only argument they've got. Sorry to burst your bubble, Bots, but if there is any conspiracy here, it's a conspiracy to stuff money in Bernie's pockets:
Senator Sanders has the benefit of not having his character, or his record for that matter, attacked by the Clinton campaign while he has spent months depicting Clinton as untrustworthy and corrupted by special interests. He particularly never misses an opportunity to rail against Clinton’s “obscene” campaign fundraising at about the same frequency he’s railed on congressional Democrats as being “disingenuous” and “corporate shills” for not embracing or adopting his campaign agenda.

What is curious is how the Vermont senator can criticize the Clinton campaign when he has been the recipient of three Federal Election Commission (FEC) investigations while no-one has called him ‘corrupt’ or his campaign’s fundraising obscene. There is no doubt if the Clinton campaign had faced even one FEC investigation, Sanders’ campaign would have had a field day portraying what they had been calling “obscene” as outright corruption and likely criminal acts.

The latest problem with Senator Sander’s March filings is not unique, or the first, or the second of his campaign. The Senator has had fundraising “abnormalities” since July that are similar to his February filing. Each of the FEC letters cite pages and pages worth of serious issues that his opponent has not seized upon as evidence the Senator is running an obscene fundraising campaign.

Democrats are not prone to demean a fellow Democrat’s character and it is an inclination many Democrats wish Senator Sanders would embrace. His months-long defamation crusade against Hillary Clinton has borne fruit the Republican Party is more than happy to use.
Why does the NRA fund Sanders? Let's also look at the NRA factor -- but before we do, I really suggest that you read our previous post, the one that touches on Roger Stone's possible involvement in the 1980 "Debategate" scandal. The story focused on certain poker parties attended by Roger Stone and run by David Keene -- at the time, an adviser to both Reagan and Poppy Bush.

Keene was the president of the NRA 2011-2013. He was also the head of the American Conservative Union. (Check 'em out. Tom DeLay? Yow!)
For example, besides the several FEC investigations into his campaign’s fundraising abnormalities, no-one has called out the Senator benefiting from NRA campaign donations and then voting according to its wishes.

As reported in the Washington Post, a few days before Election Day in 1990 the National Rifle Association bought in to the Sanders’ campaign for a House seat and sent a letter to its 12,000 members in Vermont with an urgent message about “voting for the socialist.” The NRA’s campaign mailing was written by none other than the top official at the National Rifle Association then and now, Wayne La Pierre. La Pierre wrote, “Bernie Sanders is a more honorable choice for Vermont sportsmen than (his opponent) Republican Peter Smith.”

The NRA assistance helped elect Sanders to the House and this is noteworthy because unlike Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders cannot claim the he never “did the bidding of a donor or benefactor.” Bernie’s NRA-favorable voting record on gun control speaks for itself. Still, no-one, particularly no-one in the Clinton campaign has accused him of being a corrupt gun industry shill or bought and paid for by special interests.
The facts are inarguable: Bernie Sanders, not Hillary Clinton, is the one fueled by dirty money. You may not like some of the people who have donated to Hillary, but her campaign is transparent. Bernie is as transparent as concrete.

A final note: Did you know that, in just one month, Bernie paid $800,000 to slick, establishment campaign consultant Tad Devine, best known for his work on behalf of Israel's Ehud Barak and Monsanto?
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You don't have to hire a person to click multiple donations. You only have to hire a person to create automatic donation software. Or just buy it. It's probably easy to get.
 
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Friday, May 20, 2016

Stone stories

Remember "Katie Johnson," the woman who filed a lawsuit in which she claimed that she was raped by Donald Trump when she was 13? The woman whose very existence I strongly doubted? Well, before this post is over, I will show you an actual picture of Katie Johnson.

But before we get to that, let's talk about Roger Stone, the man who is going to put Donald Trump in the White House, by hook or by crook. Mostly crook.

Debategate! Those links over on the left side of this page don't tell the entire Stone story. Earlier today, I was going through some of the more recent posts on that site, and stumbled across a transcript of an early-'90s conference devoted to the October Surprise. Boy, that takes me back.

One of the participants was Christopher Hitchens. Ewww! Back then, he was still on the left, but he was still...ewww. He blathered on about Debategate, pretending to know everything without divulging much of anything salient.

Remember Debategate? That takes me back too.

Briefly: In 1980, a Republican mole within Jimmy Carter's camp stole the briefing books he used to prep for his debate with Reagan, who was able to anticipate every Carter answer.

In 1983, some details of Debategate came out in the press, leading to a massive controversy -- now forgotten by pretty much everyone.

Hey. Wait a minute. Planting a mole in the Democratic campaign...

Hmmm. Sure seems like a Stone move, eh wot? I mean, isn't that precisely what he did in 1972?

Time to do some further research.

This remarkable 2009 piece by Craig Shirley names the man who almost certainly stole the briefing book: Paul Corbin, sometimes characterized -- falsely, I believe -- as a political hit man for the Kennedy family. Corbin had been a former communist and labor organizer who became an aide to none other than Joe McCarthy.

(You may recall that Stone's mentor was Roy Cohn, McCarthy's partner.)

Corbin somehow ingratiated himself with the Kennedys, who apparently considered him an asset -- though the trust was obviously unwarranted, given Corbin's Janus-faced nature. When Ted Kennedy gave his concession speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1980, Corbin left the floor.
His friend Bill Schulz of Reader’s Digest called after him, asking what his plans were now that Kennedy was out of the race.

Corbin yelled back, “I’m going to go work for Reagan!”
Of course, a genuine Kennedy liberal would never have worked for Reagan. Moreover, a genuine Kennedy liberal would not have any friends at the highly-conservative Reader's Digest, a magazine which was pretty much an asset of the CIA -- and which had just published a book called Legend, filled with Angletonian lies about the JFK assassination.

The events of that election had lots of moving parts; obviously, we can't go into all of the details here. Someone should write a book about the many schemes to screw Carter: The hostages, the October Surprise, the Atlanta Child Murders, the Kennedy challenge, the Anderson challenge, the endless media smears...

Right now, our focus is on Corbin. In what follows, "Pat Lucey" refers to a former governor of Wisconsin who worked on Ted Kennedy's campaign. Ah, but was he really a Kennedy fan -- or was he another Corbin-esque fake, secretly in thrall to the GOP?
According to David Keene, a senior adviser to George H.W. Bush who frequently played poker with Corbin, and Adam Walinsky, an old RFK hand who was friends with Corbin, it was Corbin’s idea to persuade Pat Lucey to go on the ticket with independent candidate John Anderson. The thought was to bleed more liberal votes away from Carter.
In other words, Corbin and Lucey were really working for Reagan. Anyone who tries to portray them as pro-Kennedy is bullshitting you.

How does Stone fit into this narrative? Come on, people. Read between the lines. He's there.

For one thing, we've already demonstrated -- in previous posts -- that Roger Stone had a huge hand in making the John Anderson third party run happen. Putting Lucey on the ticket helped make sure that many pro-Kennedy voters went for Anderson.

(I recall those days. All good progs loved John Anderson. If anyone had told those "liberals" that Anderson was really working for a Republican hit man like Stone, everyone would have scoffed and guffawed. Just as people scoff and guffaw at me now when I say that Bernie Sanders is pulling a John Anderson. From 1980 to 2016, the story is the same: Whenever Stone holds out a hoop, the progressive purists jump right through it. And they never, ever learn.)

But there's more. That reference to a "poker party" is very, very telling.

From Roger Stone's book Nixon's Secrets (page 128):
"I would later become friendly with Bobby's chief "dirty trickster" Paul Corbin. Corbin was a hard-bitten former Communist and ex-union organizer. Although personally dedicated to Bob Kennedy..."
Yeah, right.
"...Corbin was a man without scruples while at the same time enormously resourceful. "We managed to get a million piece of anti-literature mailed to Catholic homes in Wisconsin," Corbin would tell me when I joined him for a friendly game of poker at the home of a mutual friend."
Stone's calumnies against the Kennedys are of a piece with his book of lies about the JFK assassination. Consider the source: Stone is a guy who had a picture of Nixon tattooed on his back (strategically placed, no doubt, to give Stone's more assertive paramours something more erotic than Stone to look at).

What's important here is the "poker party" at the home of a mutual friend. Remember that earlier quote...?
"According to David Keene, a senior adviser to George H.W. Bush who frequently played poker with Corbin..."
So we can establish that Roger Stone knew Paul Corbin. We can establish that Corbin was seeking to screw over Jimmy Carter on behalf of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. And we know that Corbin privately told people that he stole the briefing books.

"But" (I hear some of you carping) "you haven't conclusively established that Stone asked Corbin to steal those briefing books."

Okay. Have it your way. Go right on thinking that. The rest of us understand that it's pretty easy to figure out the image on a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle, even if you have only 400 pieces.

Katie Johnson. Many of you will recall this post about a strange lawsuit in which one Katie Johnson, filing in pro per, sued Donald Trump on the grounds that he raped her when she was 13. The big problem: We have no proof that Johnson exists.

In the previous post, I argued that the lawsuit was a fake-out, deigned to mislead liberals and send them down a false trail.

The lawsuit was tossed out. However, Jose Lambiet -- a Miami gossip columnist who has given plenty of coverage to Roger Stone in the past -- has provided some follow-up.
Katie Johnson, the woman who claimed in a lawsuit against presidential hopeful Donald Trump and pervy Palm Beacher Jeffrey Epstein last week that she was sexually abused by the Republican Party front-runner, does exist.

As a matter of fact she’s so real, Gossip Extra has learned, that she’s been shopping for an attorney to re-file, possibly in New York City, the case that was dismissed yesterday in California.

Someone who identified himself as an adviser to the woman and proved to Gossip Extra he is in contact with her says Johnson hasn’t been able to find a lawyer willing to take her case and go against the traditionally litigious Trump.
I wrote to Lambiet. For some odd reason, he has not replied. You may be interested in reading my letter to him...
I've written about the "Katie Johnson" lawsuit on my blog Cannonfire. Frankly, I believe that she is fictional, and that this whole thing reeks of one of Roger Stone's set-ups.

Now we learn that Katie (who supposedly lives in Los Angeles) has an "adviser" in your neck of the woods. How likely is THAT?

And this adviser's first thought is to talk to a Florida gossip columnist -- as though that were the best way to get the word out.

Next time you hear from this "adviser," please say "Hi" to Roger for me.

I'm pretty sure that he's the one who has been leaving all of those insane messages on my blog -- the comments that call me "cocksucker" and tell me to read Stone's twitter feed.

If you have not talked to Katie, how on earth can you possibly be sure that she exists?

By the way: You DO know that "Katie Johnson" is the name of the attractive lady who used to be Obama's personal secretary, and that this lady just happens to be the exact same age as the "Katie Johnson" in the court document?

Your pal Roger can be such a wit.

Best,

Joseph Cannon
And here, as promised, is Katie Johnson. She's the one on the right. In magenta.


Oh god. You're not going to do it, are you, dear reader? Don't say it. Don't say it. Stephen, I'm looking at you. Please don't say it. I'd like to believe that my readers are not totally fucking stupid. I'd like to believe that my readers don't need every painfully obvious thing spelled out for them...

"Cannon, are you claiming that Obama's secretary was raped by Trump?"

(Cannon gets up. Walks to wall. Bashes head against wall.)

I begged you not to say that!
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Comments:
I was going to say that she's on the right, not the left. Her left, but the right of the photograph. Also that Janus was a god of peace and understanding who had two faces because he could see both sides of an issue, not just a two-faced chap.
 
GawDAMMIT, Stephen -- you're right, and my face is very red. I originally wrote "Obama's left," but then decided to rewrite the sentence. As happens far too often, I didn't rewrite the WHOLE sentence.

The Janus reference is pretty standard, so I'll let that stand. But...duly noted.

Apologies.
 
You're concentrating on Roger Stone right now, but don't forget the others looking to make big bucks in the big business of ratf*cking (http://bit.ly/1U6kW0Q).
 
I have a tactical question. The idea here is that Stone has made a false accusation against Trump which will be disproven and thereby innoculate him against future accusations, whether accurate or not, yes? So, in that case, should he not be trying to prevent false accusations against Clinton in case she benefits similarly from what you might call "Benghazification"? Why is there a difference in the stickiness of the mud being thrown?

Regarding Janus there is a fascinating work by the one-time Egyptologist Flinders Petrie called Janus in Modern Life. Preceding the Great War and immediately after the election of Campbell-Bannerman. It contains a subheading, "Revolution leads to greater tyranny", which may appeal, and is freely available on archive.org.



 
I'll read the Craig Shirley piece, but if I'm not mistaken, Bob Perry has written that Robert Gates is the likely debate book guy. He was the briefing liaison from the CIA to the candidates.
 
Re Stone Watch: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/05/21/my-quest-to-find-bill-clinton-s-love-child.html?google_editors_picks=true
 
Joe, here's a good article from The New Yorker about Tribble Hair.

From the article, emphasis mine: "[Trump's] not Hitler, as his wife recently said? Well, of course he isn’t. But then Hitler wasn’t Hitler—until he was. At each step of the way, the shock was tempered by acceptance. It depended on conservatives pretending he wasn’t so bad, compared with the Communists, while at the same time the militant left decided that their real enemies were the moderate leftists, who were really indistinguishable from the Nazis. The radical progressives decided that there was no difference between the democratic left and the totalitarian right and that an explosion of institutions was exactly the most thrilling thing imaginable."

"Nach Hitler, uns". I wonder how many of the "brilliant" German leftists who said that died in the camps?
 
Stephen Morgan: Leaking a false story in order to prove it false and discredit the person it was "leaked" to is a favorite Karl Rove tactic. Here are some examples: http://bit.ly/1swgLoG.

Bob Harrison: Well, they have Bill's DNA, don't they? On the blue dress? They must have found out there was no match but failed to disclose it, so that the rumor could keep resurfacing.
 
Caro: Agreed. I was just pointing out another Stone angle.
 
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Bernie the sellout

Bernie's current "burn the Establishment" pose is pure hypocrisy. All of his political life, he has been the recipient of unearned political largesse from the Democratic Establishment -- starting with his first election 1990. That's when the Establishment was so terrified of going with a female named Dolores Sandoval that they decided to back a non-Democrat named Bernie Sanders, who had the advantage of penis-ownership.

And Bernie has been the Democratic insider in Vermont ever since. He was a member of the clique. His arrangement with the Establishment was such that they never ran a serious Democratic challenger. Go here for the full story.

Now we are told that Bernie has quietly reassured the Democratic leadership that he will get in line for the Stop Trump effort. He's lying.

Remember when he said that he would never run a negative campaign? That was a lie. He lied then; he's lying now.

Remember Mars Attacks? Remember how the attacking Martians would broadcast the message "Do not run; we are your friends" just before the big zap?

That's what Bernie is doing now. It's obvious.

All across the internet, the Bernie fanatics are still running Clinton-hate propaganda -- much of which is bought-and-paid-for astroturf. It's easy to gin up mob hysteria, if you have enough money.

We still see plenty of examples of mob activity. When Politfact demonstrated that the BernieBots lied about Nevada, the Bots respond that Politifact is a right-wing organization. If you point out that Politifact has skewered pretty much all of the Republicans, even Kasich, the BernieBots will simply mutter their usual inanities about the all-pervasive Evil Clinton Conspiracy.

Proof? They don't need proof. Fanatics don't need proof.

Remember: This is astroturf -- an online rent-a-mob. They are paid to lie.

The BernieBot astroturfers want us to believe that MSNBC is in the tank for Clinton. Yeesh. Maddow, Matthews and company have practically fellated Bernie on the air. What do the Bots want -- anal?

Going back to the Mars Attacks! metaphor: It's easy to tell that the Martians are lying when they speak of friendship -- they keep firing death rays. It's easy to tell that Bernie is lying: His maniacal followers (whom we know to be controlled from the top down) keep spewing Clinton-hate.

Mark my words. Bernie controls the BerniBro movement -- wholly and completely. And Roger Stone controls Bernie Sanders -- wholly and completely.

Roger Stone and his confreres have controlled every other "progressive" split within the Democratic movement for 40 years. It all started with Nixon -- with the Gemstone plan. Project Coal was part of that. Pursuant to that plan, the Republican party secretly funded Shirley Chisolm.

Bernie is just another Gemstone.
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Comments:
Mars Attacks sucked. So did Dark Shadows. Tim Burton should be ashamed of himself.
 
I have not seen either of those movies, so I can't judge them, but I will note that anyone capable of feeling shame will probably not do well in Hollyweird.
 
This isn't a post about movies, guys. If you are trying to insult me, mission accomplished.
 
Please don't let the left off the hook. Some of what is happening now is there's. Are you sure Stone behind EVERY split in the party? And they didn't catch on all this time. I know they aren't clean but not that stupid. Even if he financed the effort it still their corruption.
 
It has been a long time since I've commented here Joe but I have read your page faithfully everyday.
Keep up the great work in exposing this "Con Man" and his University bankrupting wife Jane!
It's refreshing to know that the Sect of the Saint Bernie hasn't infected everyone!
 
Red Dragon? Believe it or not, I've been thinking a lot about you. Where the hell have you been, dude? Keep in touch!

Anon: Maybe "all" is an exaggeration. I mean, Jerry Brown's insurgency in 1996 was probably clean. Although Stone WAS running Doe's campaign....

And then there's the Ted Kennedy challenge to Jimmy Carter. I was very enthusiastic about that. But now it looks fishy. Can't prove anything. But it seems odd that Ted ruled out a White House bid just days after Nixon quit -- a time when he stood a good chance -- and then mounted a campaign only when doing so hurt a Democratic incumbent.

You know, that plane accident was awful suspicious. You know about that, right?

Here's something you probably don't know. In the White House tapes, Colson tells Nixon that he was up to dirty tricks in Boston that he could never talk about and would take to his grave. Later, a convicted murderer in Boston claimed from behind bars that he had been approached by Nixon's men to kill Wallace and Ted Kennedy. This guy apparently was an intelligence operative posing as a leftist; he shot a cop (by accident, I think) during an SLA-style bank robbery.

I just went off on a tangent, didn't I? Point is, Ted acted like he was on a leash -- and he was allowed off the leash only when he harmed Jimmy Carter.
 
Where is Clinton in all this? I mean, she's not an idiot. I'm sure she knows all about Stone and more about Sanders than any of us. And Obviously she's the one with everything to play for. So what is she doing about it?
 
I heard a rumor about the Ted/Jimmy tangle years ago and discounted it. Now you've gone and printed it. Hmmm. It just gets curiouser and curiouser. 1) I thought Mars Attacks was fairly funny-- I mean yodeling causes heads to explode (maybe bagpipes would've been funnier) 2) Clinton is in familiar territory, damned is she does, and damned if she don't. I think, at this stage, it is better for her to low-key everything and let the heathen rage. If necessary, she can roll out the nuclear weapons in early October. It worked for Ali; I hope it works for us.
 
Good question, Stephen. Controversy focuses on Trump and Sanders but not on the pollsters' and bookies' favourite. In some circumstances that might be great from the aloof candidate's point of view, but not these circumstances.

Another angle that's not getting looked at is Russia. To judge from articles published by e.g. Chatham House, many in British intelligence and British military intelligence believe there is large-scale Russian infowar afoot in several NATO countries. They believe Russia has the upper hand in cyber in particular and in infowar, the fifth domain of warfare, more generally. Are they only pushing for contracts? I doubt it. The consensus is that the infowar stage of WW3 has already begun, an attitude I don't recall being present during "Cold War 2" under Reagan. I don't think it prevailed in the real US-Soviet Cold War either, which ended in the early 1960s.

Kremlin influence is allegedly significant in the French National Front and the British UK Independence Party. Its being well-known that all you need to do to create a flap in Britain and certain other countries is mention Hitler, I thought it was interesting that that's exactly what Boris Johnson did right after David Cameron called him a "Putin apologist". The meaning of that phrase must have been crystal clear in higher spook and military circles, even if Cameron's accusation got swamped out of the news by Johnson's mention of the German chancellor of the 1930s and early 1940s. Cameron was calling Johnson a Russian asset.

Trump has written that "pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually." Just saying. "The cost of stationing NATO troops in Europe is enormous. And these are clearly funds that can be put to better use. Our allies don't seem to appreciate our presence anyway." Admittedly that was in 2000, and also it would be damned good if the US did pull back from Europe (and from Asia, Africa, the antipodes, and the rest of the New World too). But consider how Trump is viewed from the Kremlin. Do they own a big share in him? They probably do, and if so it will be worth more than some petty five-figure scam pulled by Bernie Sanders's wife. The backdrop is that a military conflict between NATO and Russia is viewed as inevitable, and it will probably break out during the next US presidential term whoever actually wins the presidency.

My hunch is that the campaigning for the EU referendum in Britain is going to get ferocious and it wouldn't surprise me at all if war and terror take front stage in it.

Interestingly, the Kremlin doesn't seem to have a big polling company in its stable yet, although it has some British newspapers. (Hello Alexander Lebedev.) The common view that the pollsters are objective and honest is just fucking ridiculous.

This isn't off-topic, because it goes to the question of what a Trump presidency will be used for. Moreover, the reason why many people will vote for Britain to leave the EU is similar to the reason why many people will vote for Trump.

How, without unacceptably threatening Kaliningrad, can NATO step up its presence in the three Baltic states to a level at which it could resist a sudden Russian invasion?

Russia’s ‘New’ Tools for Confronting the West: Continuity and Innovation in Moscow’s Exercise of Power, by this guy.
 
I can't speak for Gary, but I was not trying to insult Joe.

I was trying to insult the entertainment industry.
 
A Trump, Trump Escort, Russian Ladies. Russian angle sure seems plausible. Maybe Russia is feeding Trump info so that if he strikes first, opponents back off of trying to find dirt on him since the realize he'll just come back with more.
Putin called Hillary Clinton an "Imperialist" just before the New York Primary.
 
Sorry b, but I'm not convinced about your Russia analysis.

"Another angle that's not getting looked at is Russia. To judge from articles published by e.g. Chatham House, many in British intelligence and British military intelligence believe [want to believe, would prefer to believe] there is large-scale Russian infowar afoot in several NATO countries. They believe Russia has the upper hand in cyber in particular and in infowar, the fifth domain of warfare, more generally. "

Which could perhaps be more accurately paraphrased as "Russia has the upper hand in cyber in particular and in infowar...because we couldn't sell our crap narratives about what was actually happening in Syria, Ukraine and Crimea."

And as for the Keir Giles article from Chatham House, he hits all the current anti-Russia propaganda buttons quite nicely thank you -- and where the actual facts stand markedly against his 'analysis'.

He cites the "invasion" of Crimea as a cunning example of Russian information warfare -- as if the basically peaceful occupation by Russian forces was not welcomed by the locals who everwhelmingly chose to secede from Ukraine. Since the real events don't reflect the Western narrative then it's far better to invent a fictional one where dark forces are used. The whole "weaponized propaganda" crap gets repeated, an idea originally put by Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow, Legatum Institute, the bright and shiny UK think tank dedicated to Russian regime change. On April 5 Pomerantz and Giles sat on the same discussion panel entitled "How Russia Gets Its Way." They're buddies.

"Hybrid warfare" gets a go with Giles. Apparently, if Russian generals do any strategic or operational planning then its sinister and overpowering. Seriously, this is propaganda, right in line with the Phillip Karber nonsense from The Atlantic Council -- that the Russians employed Chechens in Ukraine to slit the throats of any captives, they used thermobaric bombs, and no Russian tanks were sighted crossing the border because they had been railed in on flatbed train carriers!

The Giles article is loaded with politicized crap parading as serious 'analysis', all talking up the Russian 'threat'. Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine, the energy pipelines history, Minsk2. He gets all his facts wrong. It's just fear-mongering, projectionist BS, a narrative upon which NATO can hang its hat.

See here, here. Maybe I'm wrong, b, but I just don't see the Russian threat.
 
I expect Putin would much prefer to face President Trump than President Clinton.

Putin looks at Trump and thinks: "I've broken better men than this posturing blowhard."
 
I think Putin is a troll. Even so, I don't think he's involved in this election. Trump's links, according to Daniel Hopsicker's research, are to the Russian mafia. And the American mafia, too.
 
@Fred - Thanks for the links. Sure, Giles's "West good, Russia bad" attitude is annoying, his article is propagandistic, and he associates the Guardian newspaper with "liberal extremism". But far from running with the notion of "hybrid war", he rejects it. He says the notion doesn't feature in Russian doctrine at all, except when they are looking at western conceptions of that doctrine. He's right too that the Gerasimov article doesn't say what many western analysts, post-Ukraine, say it does. Gerasimov advocates learning from the US-led ops that comprised the string of "colour revolutions" and the subsequent "Arab Spring". I guess the analysts can't admit that the Arab Spring was a western job even if they can grit their teeth and admit it about the colour revolutions. Also Giles has a record of talking up contracts, which he did when the Ukraine conflict was hot, in the area of theatre communications if I recall correctly. But I still think he's essentially right about the extent of the Russian infowar effort.

There's an awful lot of Russian money in London, and oligarchs from Russia have documented high-level links in the US, Britain, Germany and France. As well as owning Gerhard Schroeder, Russian money funded Marine le Pen. And Nigel Farage appears an awful lot on RT. I'll read that report by Peter Pomerantsev. But can you point to any specific facts that Giles gets wrong? I mean Giles himself, not those with whom he may or does associate. It's not accurate to say he refers to the "invasion" of the Crimea - he doesn't.

(Giles get called a Putin asset here, by what he seems to be calling a false flag effort.)

@Stephen - I'll look up the Hopsicker stuff. It sounds interesting. But the Russian mafia is in no way separate from the Russian state network.
 
For those interested, Vineyardsaker has a terrific analysis of any NATO v Russia military conflict within the context of current geopolitics. It's a useful commentary to read alongside NATO's latest military buildup.
 
This is a test comment. My other one keeps getting blocked.
 
(part 1/2)

One of Giles's recommendations, in a way the conclusion of his piece, is that NATO should bolster its forces in the Baltic states. Otherwise, in the event of hostilities, he says on p.67, they might find - in the absence of help from pressurised Sweden and Finland - that they have to fight their way past Kaliningrad to be able to get to those states. He actually says exactly that.

And there seems to be growing support in western military circles for doing what he recommends. Why the existing US nuclear deterrent wouldn't work to deter a snap Russian takeover of those states isn't explained.

See in particular former NATO deputy commander (DSACEUR) Gen Richard Shirreff's book, 2017 - War with Russia.

Review: "His scenario is specific, naming Latvia as the first of the Baltic countries to be invaded, in May next year. Such specifics open him to potential ridicule. [ ¶ ] At the book launch at London’s Royal United Services Institute, he heavily caveated the scenario by saying it was still avoidable provided Nato took the necessary steps to pre-position forces in large enough numbers in the Baltic states. Nato is planning to make a start on just such a move at a Nato summit in Warsaw in July."

I'm old enough to remember Gen John Hackett's book The Third World War, but he wrote that 10 years after he retired, whereas Shirreff only retired as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe two years ago. I don't believe for one moment that Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond - now Foreign Secretary, and a possible future prime minister - tried to have Shirreff court-martialled for publicly opposing navy cuts. Britain is trying to do some fancy-footy psychological warfare here.

Here's the bottom line: to put sufficient force in the Baltic states to prevent a snap Russian takeover would also be to put sufficient force in those states to cut Russia off from getting to its territory in Kaliningrad. Giles and Shirreff know very well that the action they recommend would trigger a military conflict between NATO and Russia. They aren't trying to get concessions from Russia. They view WW3 as coming in the near future and they want to fight it. Giles doesn't mean what he says when he write on p.65 that such a western "demonstration" would make Russia "back down - just as it always has done". His examples - Turkey and Iran - are specious.
 
(part 2/2)

And if Shirreff was a pariah, he wouldn't get his book launched at RUSI.

Richard Norton-Taylor in the Grauniad, two days ago: "Britain is not at war with Russia, nor is it at peace".

Personally I think terms such as "cyberwar" and "infowar" can get confusing. What we're talking about is psychological warfare in a changed technological environment. Psywar starts before a military conflict. It is in its nature that you can't put your finger on it; not even the practitioners on one side can successfully analyse all its lines of development as used by the other side. WW3 is already being fought. Sure, Giles and Shirreff are projectionists. They are warmongering scum. I don't deny that for a moment. The erosion of the boundary between peace and war, it seems, may be about to become the dominant politico-military doctrine, at least in the short space we've got before the military conflict starts.

Who knows whether the year in which the military stage of WW3 starts will be 2017? Shirreff isn't an astrologer. But the change from Obama to his successor looks as though it will be comparable to the change from Bill Clinton to George W Bush, and for that reason I reckon it's Trump who will be the next US president. Rather than "neo-conservativism" the ideology will soon rip off its mask and show itself: it is the ideology of war.
 
FWIW, the above comment, which I've now sent in two parts, kept getting blocked. I tried sending it using three different browsers and also using Tor to mask my IP, and still it got blocked. I even tried changing my handle to something like "b again". Every time, I got a message from Blogger saying "whoops" and advising me to clear my browser cache, which didn't work. This has never happened before. The comment is properly formatted. Its length is also within the 4096 character limit, and anyway whenever in the past I've tried to post a comment of greater length, I've got a message saying it's x characters too long. So I've no idea why I was able to post this latest comment only after breaking it into two.

I'm just saying this in case anyone else has experienced problems, given that we know that attacks are ongoing against this blog.
 
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Berning down the Democratic Party

"Remember when Bernie was asked to name a single instance of Clinton’s corruption, and couldn’t? That was funny."

(If you want to see the source for that quote, go here.)

The DNC is mulling over convention "concessions" to Sanders. A disastrous move. Sanders is working for Trump; he deserves nothing better than a bootprint on his ass.

An increasing number of people are waking up to the fact that Bernie Sanders is out to elect Trump. Most do not yet understand the true nature what is going on. But there is a growing awareness that something is wrong here.

Michael Tomasky at the Daily Beast inches toward the unsayable truth...
But now, after the Nevada fracas and his gobsmacking statement in the wake of it, it’s remorselessly clear that he wants to obliterate the Democratic Party. Revolutions take on lives of their own. Robespierre never thought back in 1790 or ’91 that the guillotine would be needed. But as the dialecticians like to say, historical circumstances change. By 1793, those little sheep who’d been misled by sellouts like Danton were part of the…corrupt establishment.
Leftists like Sanders regard the Democratic Party as a far bigger problem in the world than the Republican Party. The thinking goes like this: The Republicans, sure, everybody knows they’re evil. That’s obvious. But the Democrats, they’re evil too. They adopt a few attractive positions, say nice things on certain issues as long as saying those nice things doesn’t really threaten the established economic order, so they’re even worse, finally, because they fool people into thinking they’re on their side. I heard this a hundred times from the old guys who used to hector me at the Socialist Scholars Conference in Manhattan 25 years ago when I used to speak there.

That’s what Bernie is. If he’d stayed in Brooklyn, he’d have been a Social Scholars Conference hectorer.
And his aides, according to a New York Times piece posted Wednesday night, are ready to “harm” Clinton over the course of the next month, because Sanders also believes these farkakte general-election polls taken before anyone has spent a single dollar attacking him.
But right now, he and Jane are like Thelma and Louise. Driving the car off the cliff. With Weaver in the backseat for good measure, saying “Let’s not get caught” as Bernie floors it.
TPM summarizes a recent WP editorial...
“Mr. Sanders’s irresponsibility is sadly unsurprising,” the editorial board wrote. “He has indulged and encouraged hyperbolic feelings that the country is badly adrift, that most of the nation agrees with a left-wing agenda but is trapped in a corrupt system, and that nothing but a political revolution will do.”
The comments are better than the post...
Ok, Bernie, you want to keep tearing away at Hillary? Let's see the tax returns. Complete ones.

Let's see the ones with Jane's income from Burlington College. How about the one with Jane's Golden Parachute from Burlington -- $200,000 from a college with 200 students. Pretty good deal. Let's see it.
Jane Sanders' corruption destroyed that college. I suspect that she is the real reason her husband became so easy for Roger Stone to blackmail. From Legal Insurrection:
Additionally, the Washington Free Beacon reported in January of this year that under Jane Sanders’ tenure, Burlington College steered funds to her daughter and a family friend who had been an adviser to Bernie Sanders while he was mayor of Burlington:
After working for the campaign, the senator’s wife would come under scrutiny for expenditures at Burlington College, where she was hired as president in 2004. While she led the school, it paid six-figure sums to her daughter and the son of a family friend.
The Sanders campaign and their allies in media may try to spin this unfortunate situation but the bottom line in undeniable. Burlington College is a victim of poor decisions and crony politics on the behalf of Jane Sanders.
Bernie couldn't name a single instance of Hillary's "corruption." I have just proven that the Sanders family is corrupt as hell. Burlington College found that out the hard way.

Let's return to those comments at TPM. I love this one...
Sanders has managed to convince his supporters that America has turned into some kind of irredeemable hellhole therefore revolution (i.e. burning down the system) is necessary; and

Sanders is referring to "revolution' as a very sanitary, controllable situation that doesnl't involve extreme violence, pain, dislocation etc. All his followers have to do is "protest" "march" etc. He might want to remind the younger folk what happened at Kent State.
Actually, I think today's young people long for violence. It has a certain romance for inexperienced dimwits -- until the actual pain kicks in, and until they learn the hard way that revolutions usually go wrong, and often empower reactionaries.

 (The Nazis came to power because the communists and socialists ignored the right-wing parties while doing everything possible to weaken Germany's version of the Democratic party.)
They're imagining their revolution as velvet-flavored. That's because they think everyone thinks the way they do except for the few plutocrat meanies who run things. And they think anyone who disagrees with them is quite simply wrong, and will see the error of their ways when it's explained why they're wrong.
Very hip.
I don't know if there is anything in world history that could compare to a revolution in a country where the population is so politically polarized and is in possession of over 300 million guns. The suffering and death would be unimaginable. It would be hell on earth.
Precisely the point I've made over the years. Conservatives outnumber liberals in this country, and conservatives/Dominionists/right-wing-paranoids are far better armed -- and far more willing to kill. The only revolution likely to occur in this nation is one that lefties really do not want to see.

From Washington Monthly:
From the beginning I questioned the seriousness of Bernie Sanders’ proposals. Long before the disastrous New York Daily News interview, it seemed obvious to me that he was better at pointing out problems than he was at crafting actual solutions.

Then came the debates. Sanders’ explanation for any barrier to progressive change was the corruption of big money - that was true for both Democrats and Republicans. Discussion became almost impossible. Anyone who didn’t agree with him was an establishment sell-out.

As it became increasingly clear that he was going to lose the nomination to Hillary Clinton - despite doing better than anyone thought he would - the excuses began. It was because Southern states with African American voters went early in the process. Then it was because of closed primaries. Initially the campaign railed against the superdelegates. All that was reversed in an attempt to justify Sanders staying in the race based on the idea that he could flip them to support him instead of Clinton. None of that made any sense and his message got lost in complaints about the process.
"Complaining about the process" IS his message. He is utterly disingenuous. He knows full well that the caucuses are undemocratic -- but he doesn't complain about that, because he was able to game the caucuses. He disdains superdelegates until he decides that they can be useful. He tried to bring Republican ringers into Nevada and then he cries "Unfair!" when they won't let him rig the system.

He complains about "closed primaries," thereby revealing his debt to the Trump forces. Open primaries allow the Republicans to choose the opponent they prefer. It has been clear from the start that they want to run against Sanders. Why should outsiders get to choose the Democratic party nominee? Our party is our party. Open primaries are inherently corrupt.

The Nixonian Sanders team plays dirty trick after dirty trick (see preceding post). Then, in a classic example of mirror imaging, they flood the comments section of every site with phoney charges against Clinton.

The Washington Monthly piece attracted some quotable commentary:
At this point it seems Sen. Sanders' continued reliance on moving the goals posts, rationalizations and perceived injustices has a bigger chance of setting back progressive goals then advancing them. It's sad and more then a little infuriating.
I can't remember the last time I saw a Bernie supporter who wasn't peddling obvious untruths.
sanders supporters showed up at trump rallies and tore down security tents, blocked roads and forced rallies to end early or be canceled. Then they started showing up at Clinton rallies doing the samething. Now NV.

There is no excuse. Your perceived slights do not justify the sanders camp actions. Period.
Now let's turn to Balloon Juice, a blog that once favored Sanders. What BJ is saying now is priceless:
Only nihilists, college students who are living off their parents, and white employed men with nothing to fear from the Trump administration have the luxury of thinking like this. In other words, the Bernie coalition. Since Jane is on his payroll and also got a nice 200k golden parachute for destroying Burlington College, Sanders will be fine, too.

In case I’m not clear, fuck these guys.
From the comments:
Bernie’s worst feature as a candidate has been his total inability to lose with any grace, class, or composure.

Any time and place the voters have rejected him, it must have been illegitimate in some way. Now his dead enders believe they were cheated out of something. To borrow a sports metaphor: Scoreboard, kids. It doesn’t lie.
When he actually encouraged them to feel like the cheated victims, it was a major sign of bad character. It also plays into the general concern that he may be poisoning the general election well.
And Sanders, at this point, needs to start losing big in the remaining states. Not because Hillary needs those delegates to win but because Sanders needs to realize that he has no “momentum” and that he has lost any future support. Sanders is impervious to courtesy, logic, or assumptions of good behavior at this point.
Bernie should drop out because the longer he pretends that the ultimate result is not in doubt, the more he has to twist the narrative into one of a stolen nomination, and the more his campaign becomes beholden to a new variety of Truther.

He could have kept competing on the fucking issues right through to the end without turning it into a fucking purity pity party, but he and Weaver and the other #BernItDown-ers chose otherwise.
I can’t imagine how booing and insulting a popular California senator three weeks before we vote can possibly go wrong for Bernie’s campaign. Can you?
Turning to Kos -- which has been surprisingly even-handed this cycle -- I see a headline gets close to the real truth: "Sanders campaign admits it wants to hurt Clinton, even if that means helping Trump"
Sanders is flat-out "not thinking about" whether his efforts to hurt Clinton could aid Trump—he's just going to "put the blinders on" and worry only about himself, not the national and global issues at stake. It's an absurd and outrageous win-at-all-costs strategy: absurd because Sanders cannot even win, no matter what “power” he might grab hold of; outrageous because Trump poses an existential threat to this country—and to this world.

Sanders claims he still wants to influence the Democratic agenda, but if he finishes out his campaign by trying to tear down the one person who can actually stop Trump, how can he expect anyone at the Democratic convention to listen to what he has to say?
Why should he be allowed to lead -- or even address -- a party that he despises, and which increasingly despises him right back? Bernie wants to allow Republicans to vote in a Democratic primary. Any candidate who advocates that kind of treason should receive a standing BOO at the convention.

Now let's turn to bostonboomer at Skydancing...
Finally some journalists are beginning to understand that Bernie Sanders is serious about trying to destroy the Democratic Party in hope that his “political revolution” will emerge from the chaos he and his supporters create.
Now that he has lost, Sanders seems determined to take everyone else down with him and hand the presidency to a seriously insane person with no experience in politics or government and no interest in learning about either.
Look, I'll say it again: Donald Trump's secret manager and political hit man is Roger Stone. Stone has engineered every Democratic split since the Nixon years. That's not conspiracy theory: It's conspiracy fact. In the upper part of the left column, I provide links to all the proof you could ever need.

What makes you think that this election cycle is any different?

What makes you think that Bernie Sanders differs from John Anderson? In 1980, the progs of that era would have scoffed at anyone who suggested that Anderson was a ringer for Team Reagan. Yet that's precisely what Anderson was. History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as Bernie Sanders.

(As George Bernard Shaw once said: "If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.")

A SkyDancing reader offers a comment that sounds some of the themes that have often been heard in these humble pages...
Yes, Sanders has always reminded me of one of those angry ’60’s radicals who hate just about every aspect of America, and who think that the Democrats are the real enemy, just like the Communists hated FDR in the ’30’s, because his policies were seen by them as calming down the people who otherwise might rise up in violent revolution like they did in Russia.

Sanders is the wish fulfillment of all of those Left internet sites which have hated the Clintons for decades. They thought that Obama was their wish fulfillment, but he let them down, so they tranferred their adulation to Sanders. The anti-Hillary wing of the party was always going to get 40% or so against her. Sanders didn’t do anything special, and it never shocked me that he got this percentage. The far Left would vote for just about anyone instead of Hillary. Apparently there are people who now are convincing themselves that they would rather have Trump than Hillary. A site which I used to read eight years ago, Naked Capitalism, had a repulsive headline today which I saw linked, but would not read; something about Big Business preferring Hillary, because “they would rather have the former Goldwater Girl than Trump.” The Left hates Hillary, someone who voted the same as Sanders 93% of the time in the Senate, so much, that they will convince themselves that an insane megalomanic would be better, because he is not Hillary. They are such pretentious and arrogant fools. The German Socialists said, “Nach Hitler, Uns,” (“After Hitler, Us”) in the early 1930’s.

And Sanders, like most of the ’60’s radicals, is intransigent, self-righteous, without warmth or real human empathy; it is all about the abstract collective for him. I don’t know what it will take to get him to stop. He has already done great damage, and is intent on doing more.
He's going to go third party. Bet on it.

Do not believe his claims to the contrary. He is completely in thrall to Roger Stone.
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Comments:
Yes, Bernie knows how to complain while being bereft of the answers to his own complaints.
If Bernie Sanders runs third party, it is because he loves the money that will keep coming in that he can siphon off to whomever he wants.
 
Hillary's haters on the left will not stop at this point. Not because she will be a bad president but because her success means they are irrelevant. They worked so hard against her for decades and most of them are well compensated for it. If all that proven to be for nothing what is the reason for their existence. Like Jane Sanders afraid the campaign end would mean financial loss for her, those leftists afraid of the same thing. Sad to say.
 
Bernie has lost And was always likely to lose. That he had run her close shows she was not a strong candidate. I can point out evidence of corruption. So can any commodities trader. But HRC is no more corrupt than a lot of US politicians. And the sense in which she is corrupt is now widely accepted in the society so does it matter? Both candidates will now rush to the centre. Trump is going to use simple slogans and marketing techniques. He is also going to whack Hillary for shiftng positions and the impression of corruption. But he is a crude man, and a lot of Repubs will not vote for him. A large part of the electorate is sick and tired of getting stiffed. Independents are about 45% of the electorate. This is where the campaign will be fought. I don't know how this will work out. But it doesn't look obvious to me. Hillary can definitely pick up a lot of moderate Republican votes to offset her weakness with independents. Turnout among minorities will pick up, but unless the vote is close Dem turnout will drop. The kids won't show up.

Lots of Bernie supporters were just people who thought that America deserved a public health option and some realistic chance of social mobility. Not the ever deteriorating living standards, and regressive taxation they have had for 30 years.

Will there be any progressive movement? Probably not. So I in guess you Americans will have higher tuition fees, deteriorating healthcare vs increasing healthcare expense, and further declines in living standards for the foreseeable future. And the democracy will continue to be dominated by the ultra rich. Pretty much the history of the last 30 years.

Forgive me if my celebrations are muted.






 
Long time reader, first time poster. I can't believe that those people have stolen your website. And that they have gamed google into showing their site in searches for River Daughter. Is there a way to stop this? Keep up the good work.
 
Anonymous at 6:08 am, please point out and document one instance of corruption. This should be easy, since you say there are so many.
 
If Sanders goes third party, then I will accept the probability of the Stone theory. Otherwise, although plausible, it is too lacking in direct proof to be probable. Barring the release of those tax records, which would clear things up one way or the other.

Don't forget Hitler wasn't elected to lead Germany. He was chosen by Hinderberg, and wasn't supposed to have a Nazi majority in the Cabinet, a situation which lasted until the burning of the Reichstag and Hinderberg's convenient death. In fact, Hitler only got about the same percentage of the German vote as Sanders has got in the primary. (Actually, checking the facts, Hitler was several percent worse off than Sanders, and Sanders is obviously not winning.)
 
Aphra Behn at Shakesville (http://bit.ly/22ikSkM) reports that in Bernie's first race for the house in 1988, he ran as a spoiler. Is it possible that he's been in Stone's pocket all this time?

About your statement, "I think today's young people long for violence." Is it any wonder, considering the content of so many movies and TV shows? So many are about killing your opponents instead of working with them to resolve differences (I'm looking at YOU, Shonda Rhimes), about having to have some kind of magical power in order to do good in the world, and about charming people even though you break the law.

Stephen Morgan: No, Hitler wasn't elected "to lead Germany", but he got enough votes to be able to worm his way into power, kinda like George W. in 2000.

We definitely have to fight against the kind of mob mentality we see in both Trump supporters and Sanders supporters.
 
As requested Corby.

If the Wikipedia entry is correct then I would suggest that a rather old practice which used to be very common when I was young was being used.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Rodham_cattle_futures_controversy

Of course if these facts are incorrect then I can easily be wrong. But with this fact set I have no doubt in my mind. It's surprisingly hard to make money trading futures. You need an edge. What do you think her edge was?

Those who complain about corruption and HRC usual complain about soft corruption not the more angular stuff. The trading of favors. The exploitation of public office to make money. It's all considered fair game today, and she is hardly alone. But if you take money from people it is given to create access and often you build relationships which condition or way of viewing am issue. I would argue that the bailout of 2008 was the fruit of that corruption, and that Tim Geithner was the most culpable. But almost every politician blessed arrangements which were an enormous gift to the banks. Was there really no appropriate quid pro quo?


 
But Corby, I did not say there were many instances of corruption. Just that there is evidence of corruption. Whenever large sums of money change hands one should question. I don't think HRC is more corrupt than most leading US politicians. I think that game requires lots of money, so it's hardly surprises. If I wished to draw a conclusion it would probably be that I wouldn't pick her to clean the stables.

Putin is estimated to be worth 6bn. Corrupt?

HRC is estimated to be worth 50mn. You decide.

To be fair to her, at least she filed those estimates. More than Donald or Bernie did.

And I'm like Stephen. Third party run is proof. Absence of proof is not proof of innocence but I retain an open mind till that threshold is crossed.
 
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