Threading the Needle (Updated)

Created with Microsoft Fresh Paint

It’s instructive in a “compare and contrast” sense to read today’s NYT columns from David Brooks and Paul Krugman. Brooks is contemplating the Trumpocalypse and what it all means for professional plutocracy apologists like himself. He warns us to gird ourselves for more Applebees salad bar stories, as Doug points out downstairs, dog help us.

Brooks attributes Trump’s rise — and Sanders’ too — to a broad sense of American decline:

This election — not only the Trump phenomenon but the rise of Bernie Sanders, also — has reminded us how much pain there is in this country. According to a Pew Research poll, 75 percent of Trump voters say that life has gotten worse for people like them over the last half century.

In the morning thread, sharp-eyed commenter Jeffro noticed Brooks’ rhetorical switcheroo there, speaking of Sanders and Trump voters and then citing a poll result exclusive to the Trumpenproletariat, as if Sanders voters share the exact same concerns. And it is a sly form of both-sides-do-it-ism.

Krugman has a different take on why the Trumpites are angry as well as an explanation for why the GOP establishment candidates went down to humiliating defeat while Clinton is prevailing on the Dem side:

Both parties make promises to their bases. But while the Democratic establishment more or less tries to make good on those promises, the Republican establishment has essentially been playing bait-­and-­switch for decades. And voters finally rebelled against the con.

Krugman is right. But Brooks isn’t 100% wrong when he says there is pain on both sides of the political divide, even if he is dishonest in how he frames it. There is real pain out there, and it’s not all attributable to aggrieved white men who are finally getting a taste of the economic insecurity the rest of the world has been swallowing for decades.

Ostensibly middle-class families are one outpatient surgery deductible away from financial catastrophe. Students are graduating with crushing debt. Parents have no idea how they’ll ever retire. The unemployment rate is at a 40-year low, but try finding a decent job if you’re a 50-something woman or a 17-year-old black kid.

These things are real. And what Hillary Clinton is going to have to do is thread that needle – highlighting, protecting and expanding what President Obama and his Democratic predecessors have accomplished on the one hand while at the same time communicating that she understands how much further we have to go. It won’t be an easy task.

Yesterday, Bernie Sanders gave a speech in which he allegedly dialed back the criticism of Hillary Clinton a bit but lambasted the Democratic Party instead:

“The Democratic Party has to reach a fundamental conclusion: Are we on the side of working people or big-­money interests? Do we stand with the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor? Or do we stand with Wall Street speculators and the drug companies and the insurance companies?”

When I heard that, my first thought was, gosh, that’s not particularly helpful. How about at least acknowledging that there’s exactly one party that recently expanded healthcare coverage to 20 million people, passed Medicare, Social Security and CHIP and imposed any regulation at all on Wall Street and Big Pharma? And over the screaming intransigence of the only other party that is relevant in US elections?

But aren’t Sanders’ remarks a perfect segue for Clinton to deliver the message she must communicate? I still think Sanders will come around to endorsing Clinton and urging his supporters to support her and elect the Democratic Congressional majority she’ll need to get shit done. But in the meantime, maybe starting this conversation will do. If Hillary is going to sew it up, it’s time to thread that needle.

ETA: A piping hot new version of Cleek’s pie filter has just come out of the oven. Lay claim to your slice here.






235 replies
  1. 1
    Bex says:

    Re Trump’s rise, check out Charlie Pierce’s post today, When We Forget.

  2. 2
    raven says:

    Mornin Joe hit on what will be a big focus for these fuckers in the election. He compared the street action in California to the 68 convention and we ALL know it was the hippies fault, not the insane Chicago cops and Mayor. There will be petty of agent provocateurs and nutcase lefties that want nothing more than a bloodbath. Shit is probably fixin to come down girls and boys.

  3. 3
    FlipYrWhig says:

    “The Democratic Party has to reach a fundamental conclusion: Are we on the side of working people or big-­money interests? Do we stand with the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor? Or do we stand with Wall Street speculators and the drug companies and the insurance companies?”

    I don’t mind Bernie’s sounding like this. It’s a false dichotomy of course — plenty of people who work for drug companies and insurance companies and Wall Street ALSO believe in taking the side of working people, the vulnerable, etc. — but it’s rhetorically useful, especially when Trump’s whole thing is that he somehow looks out for the little guy (by being awesome!).

  4. 4
    shomi says:

    Why do you guys even bother reading Brooks if you also think he’s such an idiot. You want him on that wall….you need him on that wall!

    Don’t say it’s just to point and laugh and to give you something to blog about either. That’s a bunch of BS. If that were true you can write 1 or 2 sentences. Done. Not analyze every detail and check the math and statistics like there may be actual morsels of wisdom to be found.

    I never read him and never will. Life is too short.

  5. 5
    Jeffro says:

    (Thanks for the nod, Betty ;)

    Threading the needle will require some nuance, a bit of explanation, an attitude where the politicians mostly respect the voters and the voters mostly respect the politicians. Not to be too pollyannish here, but I think on the Dem side we are pretty good here. Dems – the pols and the voters – ‘do’ nuance. We’re inclined that way, and we’ve had almost eight years of that kind of leadership as our model to boot.

    And we know who doesn’t do nuance, of course…

    The contrast in the two columns today really can’t be overstated. Brooks is wrong about Trumpism being a bi-partisan issue for all the reasons Krugman noted: Dems largely take care of their constituents, Republicans scare theirs (and to no real end or achievement, either).

  6. 6
    Chris says:

    In the morning thread, sharp-eyed commenter Jeffro noticed Brooks’ rhetorical switcheroo there, speaking of Sanders and Trump voters and then citing a poll result exclusive to the Trumpenproletariat, as if Sanders voters share the exact same concerns. And it is a sly form of both-sides-do-it-ism.

    Brooks and most commentators are desperate to present the Sanders and Trump phenomena as exactly equivalent. Then they can talk about how all the disappointment is with vague and general things (that affect both parties! equally!) like “Washington” or “government” or “politics” or “the establishment.” And they can ignore the obvious fact that Sanders hasn’t succeeded in overthrowing the Democratic establishment, but Trump has succeeded in overthrowing the Republican establishment. And they won’t have to answer the obvious question this election raises: not “what’s the matter with Washington,” but “what the matter with the Republican Party?”

  7. 7
    Paul in KY says:

    I think our biggest problem recently is an inability to be able to take the bankster donations & then tell them that we’re going to be slagging you in the interest of getting more Democrats elected. Don’t take it personally.

  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    The Racist Roots of a Way to Sell Homes
    APRIL 29, 2016

    From the 1930s through the 1960s, most African-Americans could not get mortgages because the government had deemed neighborhoods where they lived ineligible for federal mortgage insurance, the Depression-era innovation that made mortgages widely affordable.

    The situation exposed black families to hucksters who peddled homeownership through contracts for deed, in which a home seller gives a buyer a high-interest loan, coupled with a pledge to turn over the deed after 20 to 40 years of monthly installment payments. These contracts enriched the sellers by draining the buyers, who built no equity and were often evicted for minor or alleged infractions, at which point the owner would enter into a contract with another buyer. In the process, families and neighborhoods were ruined.

    Contracts for deed are making a comeback. They are increasingly being used by investment firms that have bought thousands of foreclosed homes and want to sell them to lower-income buyers “as is,” according to a recent report in The Times by Alexandra Stevenson and Matthew Goldstein. Many of the homes are in Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. In one example in the article, investors who bought foreclosed homes at an average price of $8,000 issued a contract on one in Ohio in 2011 for $36,300 at 10 percent interest.

  9. 9

    @Jeffro:
    Sanders’ schtick is a total rejection of nuance, and while he’s been clearly losing since the beginning, he made a good enough showing to be a real, important challenger. That does concern me.

  10. 10
    Mike in NC says:

    Recent USA Today poll indicated that 40% of the Bernie folks wouldn’t support Mrs. Clinton, meaning they’d prefer Lucifer Cruz riding on a unicorn.

  11. 11
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @raven: I suspect you are correct, and that makes my head hurt.

    On happier topics, how was your evening with the Machine?

  12. 12
    Jeffro says:

    @shomi:

    You want him on that wall….you need him on that wall!

    lol

    I read him because he’s on the NYT op-ed page, and because he uses that space to roll all kinds of nice-sounding but devious BS out there. He’s a high-level concern troll who always seems to miss the obvious, and I’m sure that happens on purpose.

  13. 13
    Tim C. says:

    @shomi: I think it’s because in my case I think Bobo is a a fairly influential thought leader, not on the GOP as a whole, but on the kind of “reasonable” (not really) Republicans who over the last 30 years have slowly given more and more power to the horde of hate-filled orcs in order to get their tax cuts passed and their wars started. Watching him thrash and squirm as the whole awful rotten abomination that is the GOP mess gets pulled out into the light for all to see….. give some joy.

  14. 14
    Paul in KY says:

    @raven: I think that’s why they put it in Cleveland (IMO). Cleveland is a Democratic City. We win Ohio on margins out of Cuyahoga County. We are going to have to ensure that bad optics don’t occur up there during their fucking convention.

  15. 15
    StringOnAStick says:

    That’s a nice summary Betty, and hopefully Sanders comments are the start of turning the conversation to who the real enemies of the the 99% are.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    It would be a delicate needle to thread, but I agree with you that if Hillary can do it and make the point that only one of the parties is at least TRYING to make things better, even if they do it imperfectly, that will (hopefully) Trump trump.

    I think that the PPACA can really help the Democrats in the general if we can promise to improve and expand on it, because I really think most of the dissatisfaction with it is that it’s still too weak. People have seen some improvement, but not enough, and they want more.

    So far, Hillary’s campaign seems to be trying to run on expanding and improving what we already have rather than trying to turn the clock back, and I think that’s a smart move. People who can see that they’ve been helped by PPACA may think twice about voting for the guys who want to take it away.

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    Brooks notes that 75% of Trump Voters thought that life was better in America 50 years ago.

    Oh Really?

    I’ll say it again.

    They long for the delusional world of Mad Men.

    Where they could pretend that they were big fish in a river.

    When, in reality, they were in a pond, and 90% of everyone else was shoved into sardine cans.

    Oh, they long for the days when ‘ those people’ knew their place.

    When women ‘knew their place’.

    When all you had to be was WHITE.

    Note, I didn’t say educated and White.

    Just WHITE.

    In order to get a job where you could earn Middle -Class wages and support a family.

    Well, the sardine cans are open.

    NOBODY is going back to them.

    And, as for Sanders Supporters.

    Ain’t shyt he’s saying about income inequality and the damage that Banks have done is new.

    How do I know?
    Because, I’m Black, and WE have been dealing with Income Inequality and Wealth disparity for awhile now.

    But, it wasn’t a concern.

    Just go back and listen to Jesse Jackson’s speeches from a decade, or two, about the effects of Banks and their policies on the Black community.

    But, when he and others were pointing out the problems with banks…it wasn’t a concern.

    But now, that White folks no longer have the protection of complexion..

    Suddenly, what the banks are doing is so wrong.

    Lips pursed.

  18. 18
    MattF says:

    @shomi: I know various people who respect Brooks. If you just say, “Well, Brooks is an idiot” that doesn’t advance the political argument. And there is a political argument to be made– Brooks clearly thinks that political basics, e.g., having a constituency and doing things to serve that constituency, are distasteful and improper. Pointing out that Der Trump has a constituency and, given the opportunity, that he’s going to betray that constituency, is what needs to be pointed out.

  19. 19
    AxelFoley says:

    @Chris:

    Brooks and most commentators are desperate to present the Sanders and Trump phenomena as exactly equivalent. Then they can talk about how all the disappointment is with vague and general things (that affect both parties! equally!) like “Washington” or “government” or “politics” or “the establishment.” And they can ignore the obvious fact that Sanders hasn’t succeeded in overthrowing the Democratic establishment, but Trump has succeeded in overthrowing the Republican establishment. And they won’t have to answer the obvious question this election raises: not “what’s the matter with Washington,” but “what the matter with the Republican Party?”

    Exactly. 👍

  20. 20
    shomi says:

    @Tim C.: Ah yes, all those elusive Reagan Republicans who will still vote for whatever whack job they pick.

    Guess what, those people and the ‘orcs’ are one in the same. Only difference is their spelling may be a bit better and they may dress nicer. Underneath they all still have the same fundamental malfunction in the brain.

  21. 21
    Jeffro says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Sanders’ schtick is a total rejection of nuance, and while he’s been clearly losing since the beginning, he made a good enough showing to be a real, important challenger. That does concern me.

    I don’t consider late-campaign Sanders to be reflective of most Dems’ views. Having said that, I heard him speak at length here in NoVA on a wide variety of topics and he was very well versed in a host of issues. He lost a lot more ‘nuance’ as the race wore on (and of course, TV spots & internet news clips will always be pretty short stuff), and he focused in on the very few differences between him and HRC that exist.

  22. 22
    patroclus says:

    I think Bernie is pivoting back to who he really is – an independent who caucuses with the Democrats but is critical of them on salient policy issues. This is far better than the one we saw in the last few weeks, when he was personally criticizing the Democratic front-runner. I’m beginning to think he is going to very useful in fighting against the Republicans and Trump. The other night, he said he was going to be fighting 7 days a week in order to ensure that Trump will not be the next President. I didn’t vote for him but I’m beginning to like this Bernie. A lot!

  23. 23
    Applejinx says:

    But aren’t Sanders’ remarks a perfect segue for Clinton to deliver the message she must communicate? I still think Sanders will come around to endorsing Clinton and urging his supporters to support her and elect the Democratic Congressional majority she’ll need to get shit done. But in the meantime, maybe starting this conversation will do. If Hillary is going to sew it up, it’s time to thread that needle.

    Exactly. Imagine if Hillary wants to run with those lofty sentiments, but knows quite well it’s practically impossible: that you CANNOT possibly run without leaning heavily to the speculators and pharma etc etc.

    She would like to tell them to straighten themselves out, for their own good. But they won’t listen. They’re very clear about ‘fuck the poor’ and she’s taking their money which gravely limits how harsh she can be.

    So, Bernie can be harsh FOR her: and harsh with the Democrats. She’s got to support the DNC because they’ve been with her all this time, but what if she sees the electorate not well served by establishment politics? She’d have to direct the DNC, but they expect to carry on as they always have. I guarantee the party apparatus are not as sensitive to the tone of the electorate as Hillary is: she and Bill are famous for sensing political winds.

    Let Bernie do his thing. There’s no basis for concluding that Hillary doesn’t want what he wants. She is just a better politician and he’s a useful hatchetman at this point. They may even be in cahoots (with some points of difference, by no means all ‘Bernie more left’)

    Then she gets to be a lot bolder since he’s changed the whole conversation, and the party can get ready to lay claim to Millenials and a new generation of Democrats: and Hillary can fund a lot of things on the back of Wall Street, who have recently betrayed her by failing to come up with ‘living wills’. Quid pro quo: I figure she expressed a lot of confidence in them, in those speeches. They have now crossed her, and you don’t cross a Clinton: they remember.

    I’m noticing my rabid Berniac facebook people are increasingly NOT reposting Bernie content: the ‘bern it down’ type stuff they repost is never, never from Sanders directly, it’s from each other. They need to cool off a bit and then Bernie’s gotta tell them ‘are you with me or against me? Because I’m doing THIS’. Direct frontal assault. He will tell them he’s staying a Democrat, working within the party because it’s now the standard bearer, and that the battle for justice is only beginning: that Dems are allies and together we’ll make it all happen.

    He’ll need total platform capitulation (as Al Giordano points out, that is a very cheap price but with great symbolic value) and he needs to hold off on it for a while: it’s too soon. But the best antidote to crazy thirdparty bernie write-ins, is for Bernie to get ‘significant concessions’ (this assumes Dems eat babies and go to war hurling stockbrokers over fracked ground) and then having got these ‘concessions’, tell his people HE is voting Hillary and working within the party from now until his dying day, dammit.

    If there are Democrats not Debbie Wasserman Schultz who endorse republicans and defend loansharks etc, they can go piss off because they, not Bernie, have outstayed their welcome. I think most Dems will be able to ‘tack left’ to keep popular. Very few will really be unable to do that, because there’s a demonstrated constituency now.

  24. 24
    DCF says:

    Yesterday, Bernie Sanders gave a speech in which he allegedly dialed back the criticism of Hillary Clinton a bit but lambasted the Democratic Party instead:

    “The Democratic Party has to reach a fundamental conclusion: Are we on the side of working people or big-­money interests? Do we stand with the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor? Or do we stand with Wall Street speculators and the drug companies and the insurance companies?”

    When I heard that, my first thought was, gosh, that’s not particularly helpful. How about at least acknowledging that there’s exactly one party that recently expanded healthcare coverage to 20 million people, passed Medicare, Social Security and CHIP and imposed any regulation at all on Wall Street and Big Pharma? And over the screaming intransigence of the only other party that is relevant in US elections?

    Sanders has – and does – acknowledge the preliminary/early steps the Party has taken with regard to the issues cited in the last paragraph. However – at the same (or a later) time, the Democratic Party establishment does things like this:
    Top Democrats Just Joined Big Pharma to Derail Obama’s Drug Pricing Plan
    Zach Cartwright | April 28, 2016

    http://usuncut.com/politics/de.....rma-obama/
    (If your personal thought bubble just birthed a capitalized WTF!?!, you’re not alone….)
    This is not an isolated (or single) event. In this specific case, the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) – both of whom have received substantial campaign funding from Big Pharma and ‘health professionals’ – are seeking to water down President Obama’s plan to lower prices for patients’ prescription medications.
    We – as citizens and voters – need to recognize and implement accurate and constructive criticism(s) of the Democratic Party establishment when action(s) such as this one merit such responses. ‘Party loyalty’, IMV, is not a rationale for hypocrisy and is injurious to the Party as a whole.
    Voting For The Lesser Of Two Evils In 2016
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrzS0Wb5eYg

  25. 25

    @Tim C.:

    those people and the ‘orcs’ are one in the same.

    In this analogy, people like Brooks are Saruman. They agree with the orcs on all the basic principles, but all that eating human flesh and grubbing in the dirty is yucky and barbaric. They want to destroy the lesser races and call it ‘progress’ so they can feel all wise.

    @rikyrah:

    In order to get a job where you could earn Middle -Class wages and support a family.

    Yeah, but it started looking like blacks could get that too. They had to head that off by destroying those jobs before it could happen.

  26. 26
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: RE: the ACA — it’s a great illustration of a profoundly successful policy that gets almost no credit. It’s incredibly frustrating. Of course Clinton will say she’ll protect and expand it, but I’m not sure that will be as much of a plus with a general election audience as it ought to be.

  27. 27
    WarMunchkin says:

    I don’t quite agree with Sanders’ framing. We don’t stand for Big Money or Wall Street (74% of registered Democrats in NY thought Wall Street was hurting America), although I’m a little surprised to see the pendulum go back their way in casual conversation this quickly.

    I see Sanders plausibly constructing a message that says something like “don’t forget where you came from!” Which is to say what everybody gets: he wants Great Society, New Deal, labor and infrastructure programs funded by Keynes-style deficit spending (and progressive income taxation). It’s just that a clear majority of Democrats don’t support that, and he has to deal with it. The more sexist and racist members of his coalition will shard again and become R’s (if we can’t have it, but they can, then drown government in a bathtub!), the rest will put their ideology on hold and remain Democrats because they care about civil rights.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Meh. I still think that the vast majority of Bernie supporters will come around long before November. Since neither candidate has enough delegates yet, it’s a little early to make people face reality.

  29. 29
    Bob In Portland says:

    Sy Hersh:

    «That ambassador who was killed, he was known as a guy, from what I understand, as somebody, who would not get in the way of the CIA. As I wrote, on the day of the mission he was meeting with the CIA base chief and the shipping company. He was certainly involved, aware and witting of everything that was going on. And there’s no way somebody in that sensitive of a position is not talking to the boss, by some channel».
    The “boss”, of course, is The Hillarator. She knew. Everything. But she won’t go down because she’s the candidate of the industrial-military-intel complex.

  30. 30
    Applejinx says:

    @Mike in NC: I can well believe it, but this is a process.

    It’s not quite time for Bernie to yell AT THEM and demand they follow him even where they don’t like it. You can’t both be a personality-cult follower of the person-not-the-platform and still refuse to do as he tells you. They think he’s going to run third party. He was never going to run third party.

    When you can point to a series of tweets, facebook posts and public speeches by Bernie straight up angrily demanding that his people DO LIKE HIM and align with the Dems and stay engaged and involved, that 40% turncoat rate will dissolve away very quickly. But you can’t rush it. He has got to get his concessions and the things he needs to declare platform victory. Even if they’re kind of ‘already present in the Dem platform’…

  31. 31
    Miss Bianca says:

    @rikyrah: I remember Jesse Jackson’s Presidential campaign. The Rainbow Coalition. My first political rally. First time I ever donated to a candidate. Everything Bernie Sanders was saying but better, more urgent, More understanding of how race and class and identity intersect to hold us down or lift us up.

    I’ve seen Jesse Jackson, Bernie Sanders…and you’re no Jesse Jackson.

  32. 32
    Face says:

    But who does Jen Rubin support? Very important question.

  33. 33
    Bob In Portland says:

    @WarMunchkin:

    “don’t forget where you came from!”

    Most people are still there.

  34. 34
    cmorenc says:

    David Brooks spoke favorably of communitarianism and the WPA from the New Deal in his column – and explicitly acknowledged that the perspective he’s been writing from up to now has been warped by being enclosed within the bubble of a bourgeois strata. It’s as if he’s on the verge of a progressive awakening – at least until he walks into the next metaphorical Applebee’s salad bar and thinks he’s found the real America. What exactly would the likes of David Brooks do to actually get down n’ dirty with the folks whose struggles he’s suddenly writing of as if he’s momentarily changed gigs to write for some left-wing rag on the free racks of the local lefty coffee shop?

  35. 35
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Miss Bianca: Nor are you. How many poor people will die because Clinton was elected? Certainly bunches overseas, but lots here.

  36. 36
    Steeplejack says:

    @shomi:

    Why do you guys even bother reading Brooks if you also think he’s such an idiot? You want him on that wall . . . you need him on that wall!

    Don’t say it’s just to point and laugh and to give you something to blog about either. That’s a bunch of BS. If that were true you can write 1 or 2 sentences. Done. Not analyze every detail and check the math and statistics like there may be actual morsels of wisdom to be found.

    Why do you even bother trolling this blog if you think we’re such idiots? You want us on that wall . . . you need us on that wall!

    Don’t say it’s just to point and laugh and to give you something to troll about either. That’s a bunch of BS. If that were true you can write 1 or 2 sentences. Done. Or just not bother. Not analyze every detail and pick every nit like you may actually be scoring any points.

  37. 37
    Applejinx says:

    @rikyrah: You are so right.

    I think you’re entitled to a LOT of pursed lips over that, too. I see the racism in it.

    Doesn’t change the fact that ‘it’s still wrong’. It was wrong then, it’s wrong now when whites are finally admitting it, it’s wrong wrong wrong.

    Point taken, though.

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    Also, I don’t think they’re all that great at math. Fifty years ago was 1966, when the law had already changed irrevocably. It was already the beginning of the end.

    Frankly, I think the “fifty years” phrasing is deliberately used to evoke nostalgia and make people think of their childhood, when things were supposedly “simpler.” I’m still astounded that I saw someone refer to the 1970s as “a more innocent time” — WTF? But of course that person meant the time when he himself was an innocent child, and mistook the world around him as being equally innocent when the older people around him had no such illusions.

  39. 39
    Steeplejack says:

    @Chris:

    Excellent summary.

  40. 40
    Emma says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Nah. Brooks is at best Grima Wormtongue. Always pouring venom unto the ears of the confused and the gullible.

  41. 41
    DCF says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    FYI, Jesse Jackson supports Bernie Sanders and his progressive agenda….

  42. 42
    Bob In Portland says:

    Seth Abramson:

    Sanders supporters knew Clinton was angry at them for voting for Bernie — they could tell by her comment saying that she “feels sorry for” young voters too misinformed to vote for her; or by Bill Clinton saying that Sanders voters are so unsophisticated that they just want to “shoot every third banker on Wall Street”; or by David Plouffe (a Clinton ally) saying that every person who donates money to Sanders is being taken in by an obvious “fraud”; or by the unnamed Clinton staffer so certain she or he was speaking in a tone and manner consistent with the view of the Clinton campaign that she or he told Politico that the Clinton campaign “kicked Bernie’s ass” in New York and that Sanders can “go fuck himself.”

    And so on.

    But who knew that, with almost twenty primaries and caucuses left, and more than 1,400 delegates left to be awarded, Clinton would start vetting potential Vice Presidential picks in full view of an electorate she says she’s still working hard to win over? And who knew that not only would Sanders not be considered for a unity ticket, but — apparently — her top picks for VP, Cory Booker and Julian Castro, are reliable Clintonites with no ties whatsoever to the Sanders campaign or the movement he heads? And who knew Elizabeth Warren would almost certainly be frozen out of the VP conversation due to her decision to stay neutral in the primary race rather than endorse Clinton?

    Well, everyone.

    Everyone who knows the Clintons, that is.

    So, if you’re either a Sanders supporter, sympathetic to the Sanders campaign, or a Hillary voter desperately hoping she’ll do something to bring into the Democratic fold the 40 percent of Sanders voters who say they won’t vote for Hillary in the fall — all but ensuring a Trump presidency — here’s some news for you: the signals are now being sent that Sanders and his people will, by calculated design, get absolutely nothing.

    Hillary lost in 2008 and received the second-most powerful position in the world.

    Sanders will be ignored and shunned.

    What lies behind this “strategy” for the fall election — if we can call it that — is the same hubris that permitted Secretary Clinton never to reveal her Wall Street transcripts, to condescend to millennials at every turn, to refuse to apologize for bad judgment in the whole email-server affair, to refuse to apologize for her 1994 crime bill vote, to try to get away with (during the Michigan debate) the lie that Sanders had opposed the auto bailout, and so on.

    In other words, America is already seeing the Hillary Clinton they’ll get during the fall election campaign — and also, should Clinton somehow manage to squeak by Donald Trump in November, the sort of Nixonian White House we can expect in consequence.

    And it isn’t pretty.

    It may (or may not) be too late for voters in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Delaware to change the course of the Democratic Primary, but they can certainly send the message that they don’t like what the Clinton campaign has been showing America ever since it dropped the benign charade it’s been parading before American voters for months.

  43. 43
    Jeffro says:

    @cmorenc:

    What exactly would the likes of David Brooks do to actually get down n’ dirty…

    Apparently anything, anything at all, except vote for the Democrat. Even if it means hangin’ w/ the plebes. I don’t doubt a bit he’ll report back that what all types of struggling Americans need is to pull just a liiiiiiiittle harder on those bootstraps – and hey, if they all do it together, isn’t that what a new “communitarian” America is all about??? lol

  44. 44
    Anonymous At Work says:

    @Chris: I’m not sure that Bobo saw it as a switcheroo or bait-and-switch but rather as the “proper frame” to someone out of step, context, and reality with actual voters. To use the semi-unfairly-maligned Rumsfield line, this is, to Bobo, an unknown-unknown.

  45. 45
    Bob In Portland says:

    @rikyrah: Actually, racism has been invoked to explain to poor whites why they’re poor. It’s not that the 1% are fabulously wealthy. It’s that the liberals gave the scraps they used to get to the blacks and the immigrants. Racism, the system that keeps giving.

  46. 46
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    @Bob In Portland: What a load of horseshit.

  47. 47
    Mike J says:

    @DCF: Do you have a real source for that “story”?

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Uh, you realize that State Department employees hate and resent the CIA because the CIA’s antics make their jobs harder, right?

    Oh, I forgot, you look at the entire US government and can only see the “industrial-military-intel complex.” I’m surprised you weren’t out at Malheur complaining about the BLM working with the CIA to empower the “industrial-military-intel complex” by creating wildlife preserves.

  49. 49
    Marc says:

    @Mnemosyne: Trump has a 13% approval rating among Sanders supporters. I’d wager that’s not very different from his ratings among Clinton supporters. And the Cruz / Sanders overlap sample could probably fit in an Applebee’s salad bar.

  50. 50
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Johnny Coelacanth: you disagree with Seth Abramson? The Seth Abrasion?

    anyone know who the fuck Seth Abrasion is?

  51. 51
    Betty Cracker says:

    @DCF: One of the links Cartwright uses in his post (the HuffPo one) contains a quote from one of Pelosi’s lieutenants that directly contradicts that characterization:

    The letter from House Democrats, according to Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), was made necessary because Big Pharma and oncologist lobbyists had pushed many Democrats to the brink of signing a much more aggressive Republican letter. The letter expresses concerns with the proposed rule, but doesn’t call for it to be withdrawn.

    “Members are outlining their concerns, but this letter is in furtherance of getting an effective rule in place under the current timeline. This in no way is an effort to slow down or undermine the administration’s efforts,” Hammill told HuffPost after this story published.

    So who are we to believe — some blogger at US Uncut, or Nancy Pelosi? No disrespect to Mr. Cartwright, but I’m gonna go with Ms. Smash…

  52. 52
    WarMunchkin says:

    @DCF: This link says he declined to endorse. This link is Jesse Jackson being awesome.

  53. 53
    raven says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): It was just fine. I knew it would kill me and it did. Show as over by about midnight and, as I knew, I couldn’t sleep. I was very interested to see that it wasn’t just the David Rawlings show in name. Gillian only did Miss Ohio (I’m sure the sets are basically the same at their shows) and maybe one more of her songs. I didn’t know much about Willie but Stewball was a killer. Queen Jane and the Weight made for nice endings, especially since I have my very own Annie. I’m glad I went, glad I got free tickets ( I offered to pay my buddy but taking him to football games and loaning him my mower sealed the deal)!

    The WHOOO people annoy the shit out of me but I have to say the crow was pretty respectful in a place where that is not always the case. The Cowboy Junkies walked off the stage when the yakkers got to noisy.

  54. 54
    Miss Bianca says:

    @DCF: FYI, you and BiP are noisy fools and I am tired of you both. I’m wondering just what you two are doing to bring on the great progressive Nirvana. Me, all I’m doing is supporting the Democratic Party candidates locally and state-wide, tutoring adult basic ed and ESL students who have desperately few resources and are hanging on by threads, writing grants for non-profit organizations doing some good in the world, and getting ready for a trip overseas to support my circus group at the biggest Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. Hope you all are doing as much or more. Tired of all y’all’s purity pony horseshit. Hoping Sanders comes to his senses and works with the Democrats, not against them, and if that makes some Bernibros’s heads explode at his compromising ways, so be it and good on him.

  55. 55
    Bob In Portland says:

    @shomi: It’s because when you’re a DINO you must continue to keep building and reinforcing the bubble that keeps you as a true liberal, not those other people to your left.

    I don’t think I’ve read David Brooks this century. Balloon Juice is his audience. Having Brooks exist extends the right goofily further to the right. A three year-old is more rational. Brooks is needed by BJ villagers.

  56. 56
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Applejinx:

    I think most Dems will be able to ‘tack left’ to keep popular. Very few will really be unable to do that, because there’s a demonstrated constituency now.

    How do you expect this to work in, say, Arkansas? Even when Blanche Lincoln was primaried by Bill Halter, which was an insider-outsider dynamic, the outsider wasn’t a liberal. He would have been an improvement, but he still wouldn’t have been a liberal. What about West Virginia or Missouri? At a certain point people have to accept that in a lot of districts and states the Democrats who run for office are moderate because the Democrats in those states are moderate, rather than that the voters are itching to be more liberal but they’re being dragged kicking and screaming to vote for someone who sucks because of Establishment corporatists and whatnot.

  57. 57
    Applejinx says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    And who knew that not only would Sanders not be considered for a unity ticket, but — apparently — her top picks for VP, Cory Booker and Julian Castro, are reliable Clintonites with no ties whatsoever to the Sanders campaign or the movement he heads? And who knew Elizabeth Warren would almost certainly be frozen out of the VP conversation due to her decision to stay neutral in the primary race rather than endorse Clinton?

    Dude, I thought you weren’t a ratfucker, but just excited.

    Bernie does not HAVE VP candidates to offer. The VP picks will not be tied to the Sanders campaign. That’s not how it works. That was never going to be a concession Clinton could offer.

    And the last thing Elizabeth Warren wants to do is walk away from the INCREDIBLY hard and important work she’s doing in the Senate, to be a freaking Biden. Are you high? Do you understand that Senators have important work to do? She’s not going to be Veep unless someone can step in and keep doing what she’s doing, and there’s no such person.

    I am disappoint, son. Please don’t abandon all sense of political calculation here. We are not picking Prom Queen, there’s a whole (semi)working system to be concerned with.

  58. 58
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Wikipedia tells me he’s a poet, first and foremost, so I imagine he’s very qualified to talk about politics.

  59. 59
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Neo-con and Tea Bagger Kelly Ayotte is tied or slightly ahead of Maggie Hassan in Bernie’s best state

    @Johnny Coelacanth: well, poet he may be, but he’s no Ha Ha Goodman (and it’s hard to believe that name isn’t a spoof, the American great nephew of Colonel Blimp)

  60. 60
    Brachiator says:

    @Tim C.:

    I think it’s because in my case I think Bobo is a a fairly influential thought leader,

    I don’t think that Brooks is either influential or thoughtful. But he can reliably churn out political prose and then prattle about it. This guarantees him room on the op-ed pages and a seat on the Sunday political talk shows.

    BTW, this kind of thing demonstrates not the perversity of the media, but their laziness. They like to have people that they know that they can go to, who can talk about the week’s events. It doesn’t matter whether they have anything informative to say, they just have to be able to fill the space between the advertising and commercials.

    And in this, Brooks is a master.

  61. 61
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I’m wondering just what you two are doing to bring on the great progressive Nirvana.

    POSTING LINKS! Thomas Frank said some stuff! And Sy Hersh! All the leading lights of paranoia and complaint. NIRVANA HERE I COME

  62. 62
    gogol's wife says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    OT, and maybe you’ve seen this, but if you scroll down to the bottom of this post, you’ll see a video of LMM as an adorable little kid lip-synching to “Footloose.”

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WarMunchkin:

    Hey, remember yesterday when I was complaining about people who’ve decided I’m not a real liberal anymore? Take a look at #56.

  64. 64
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Miss Bianca: Look, you don’t like me. Not that I’ve ever done it but you inspire me to egg your house.

    Here’s your solution: Make this site strictly for neoliberals like yourself. Screen everyone, make sure they agree with you and then ban everyone else. That seems to be the intellectual thrust of BJ these days.

    Your purity horseshit is telling us that the Clintons can take three billion from the wealthy of the world and not have it affect her judgment. We know that TPP will be passed after she’s elected. Any bets otherwise? We know that there will be a ratcheting up of the killing in Libya and Syria. Probably Ukraine (probably May 2nd). We know that nothing will be done with climate change. We know that Big Pharma and the health insurance industry will prosper and there will be the occasional story about someone dying because she or he didn’t get the cancer drug. We know that the war on drugs will be going on in 2020.

    I know this. You know this. But your financial position argues against socialist responses to the problem.

    You might as well announce, “Let them eat cake.” Except you don’t really ever see “them.”

  65. 65
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Applejinx: Hillary should pick a prominent, qualified person with ties to the Sanders campaign. She should vet everyone from Jeff to Merkley.

  66. 66
    DCF says:

    @Mike J:

    Try the hyperlink(s), Hoss…or simply Google ‘Democrats oppose Obama prescription pricing’….

  67. 67
    JMG says:

    I hope there are no Sanders posters here so far gone they won’t at least credit Clinton with the ability to recognize and act on her own self-interest. It is supremely in her self interest to nominate a VP candidate who has some appeal to the Sanders side of the party (it’s big!, over 40 percent). There don’t have to be negotiations or formal discussions or anything. She should know who would and who won’t, just like once he decided not to pick Hillary as VP, Obama chose Biden out of his knowledge he needed a party veteran for the cause of unity.

  68. 68
    Ruckus says:

    @rikyrah:
    When you rant you do it very well.

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I had my husband TIVO today’s Rachael Ray show because he’s on there with his mom. G was like, “I’m not even gonna ask why you want me to do this, because I already know.”

    Oh, and we finally had a chance to watch the Easter Bonnet “Sweeney Todd” mash-up. It was hysterical, if you haven’t seen it.

  70. 70
    jl says:

    I guess Brooks is admitting that many of his columns come out of BSing with his rich buddies in DC, rather than research? I give him a few points for honesty. Brooks’ ideas for national coping are pretty sad, though: don’t do anything to try understand what is going on economically, but plaster on some feel-good bromides.

    I mean sure, if you put a man (or a woman) in a chaotic unfair situation that damages their sense of self worth and traumatizes them through repeated frustration and disappointments, you could try to reshape their sense of masculinity, or femininity, or what it means to be a normal human. Like if your car’s transmission is bad, you could just do some rethinking outside the box and decide that limping along in first gear and stalling every so often is an OK way to drive your car. The idea of trying to figure out what is going on and fixing the car seems to be beyond Brooks’ imagination.

  71. 71
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @JMG: i just hope it’s not Kaine, from all I’ve heard/read he’s a decent guy, but I don’t think this is a middle-aged white moderate man kind of year. I hope it’s Perez, myself.

    @Mnemosyne: I’m not sure I’m not enabling, but you know LMM will be on the Hayes show tonight?

  72. 72
    Bob In Portland says:

    @FlipYrWhig: FlipYourWhig, paranoia?

    It must be a struggle, keeping the light out. But that’s what you do.

    Why, I bet you haven’t connected the retreat of ISIS to the bombing by Russia, have you? And I bet you haven’t wondered by the US diddling there for the last two years hasn’t done jack, have you? And I bet you think that Clinton’s “no-fly zone” actually does something to help fight ISIS. And I bet you haven’t noticed how those arms deals to Saudia Arabia, Turkey, Qatar et al have anything to do with the war in Syria, have you?

    You live in a lie, and you have to repeat the lies in order to maintain your false reality.

    The US targeted Syria and Libya for monetary purposes. They were targeted decades ago. People are dying for profit. Enjoy. Bathe in the blood.

  73. 73
    DCF says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Are you always so full of rage? It certainly appears your place in ‘Nirvana’ is assured due to your good/charitable works (that’s not snark, BTW)….
    OTOH, your opinion(s) of me and other Sanders supporters here are yours to have and hold – although I find that set of beliefs and feelings interpersonally toxic (and off-putting, to say the least)….
    Good on you for your altruism….

  74. 74
    gogol's wife says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    They went to high school together.

  75. 75
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JMG:

    She should know who would and who won’t, just like once he decided not to pick Hillary as VP, Obama chose Biden out of his knowledge he needed a party veteran for the cause of unity.

    IIRC Biden is not that keen on Bill or Hillary Clinton. If that’s true, the pick of Biden was not a gesture of common cause to the “Clinton side of the party.” (Personally, I think Obama went out of his way _not_ to pick Clinton as VP because that would mean she was the heir apparent, and Team Obama didn’t want to do her that favor back in 2008. I think he picked someone who Team Clinton couldn’t complain was less qualified for the gig than Hillary, and there weren’t many of those to choose among.)

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I did not know, but I’m not surprised. They’ve been friends since high school.

    Honestly, I can’t keep up on all of the LMM media appearances anymore. His publicist must be keeping a full-time staff busy just screening all the requests and keeping him on schedule!

  77. 77
    WarMunchkin says:

    @Mnemosyne: Huh. That guy doesn’t make sense to me, he operates in a different language-universe than I do. Strange.

    @JMG: I still can’t understand why it’s in Clinton’s interest to have a VP that’s part of that wing. Speaking as someone who is ideologically aligned with that wing, but voted for Clinton. Why is it in her self-interest to do that?

  78. 78
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bob In Portland: ITS ALL PIPELINES

  79. 79
  80. 80
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Applejinx: Of course not. By the way, that wasn’t me, that was Seth Abramson. Let’s see if she offers Sanders supporters anything but the vaguest of platitudes. I’m guessing no.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Why, I bet you haven’t connected the retreat of ISIS to the bombing by Russia, have you?

    Russia bombed a pediatric hospital in Syria yesterday and killed several physicians from Doctors Without Borders. But I guess it’s okay when Russia does it, eh, Bob?

  82. 82
    Bob In Portland says:

    @FlipYrWhig: And when they build those pipelines, then what?

  83. 83
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I haven’t heard anything negative about Perez. Seems good on paper and even better in the flesh, from what I hear. The Castro brothers are a bit too eager-Boy-Scout like Marco Rubio, and I think Booker sets up another round of OMG SO CORPORATE SO GROSS.

  84. 84
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bob In Portland: That was an impression of you, not something I actually think.

  85. 85
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @FlipYrWhig: booker reminds me of what Letterman once said about Jay Leno: It’s great that Jay was there in his 1922 Stanley Steamer to change the tire for that old couple, but how did the photographers find out he was there?
    eta: he was also an accomplice in (at least much of) Robert Melendez’s trolling of Obama’s foreign policy)

  86. 86
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Russia bombed a pediatric hospital in Syria yesterday and killed several physicians from Doctors Without Borders. But I guess it’s okay when Russia does it, eh, Bob?

    I’m sure it was somehow the fault of the US state department.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Here’s a link, in case Russia Today forgot to post a story about it. I even found one from the UK so you can’t complain CNN faked the whole thing.

  88. 88
    jl says:

    Regarding the Democrats:

    “But aren’t Sanders’ remarks a perfect segue for Clinton to deliver the message she must communicate?”
    I listened to three Sanders speeches after the latest Super duper Tuesday, and he mentioned HRC like two times in each one, almost in passing. His stumpers are about his political revolution now. Sanders has explicitly said from the beginning that his campaign is just as much about his political revolution as his candidacy. He will lose credibility with his supporters if he ditches his case for revolution just because he did not get the prize. To many of his supporters, Sanders would start sounding like Brooks.

    “I still think Sanders will come around to endorsing Clinton and urging his supporters to support her and elect the Democratic Congressional majority she’ll need to get shit done.”
    Sanders has repeatedly said that he will endorse the winner of the Democratic primary and will urge voters to defeat the GOP in November. But, like it or not, I think Sanders is correct when he says he cannot snap his fingers and get his supporters off their butts in November. If Sanders had waged another kind of campaign, I think he could do some savvy finger snapping and keep his people enthused, but he has not run that kind of campaign.

    “But in the meantime, maybe starting this conversation will do. If Hillary is going to sew it up, it’s time to thread that needle.”
    It will be irritating to watch through the end of the Democratic convention, but it is a needle that needs to be threaded. People are angry, and with good reason, and to deny that to yourself to slap a happy face on things is to start thinking like Brooks, IMHO.

  89. 89
    Betty Cracker says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I think Perez would be a fine pick too.

  90. 90
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: You know, I heard that on the news and have been searching for the story. You don’t think the timing of this story had anything to do with the hour-long flattening of the hospital in Afghanistan by one of our C-130Js and the release of information on the case by the Pentagon, do you?

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/19/.....ghanistan/

    Who supports ISIS, al-Nusrah et al? Who has given them weapons?

  91. 91
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Bob In Portland: I see more of “them” than you do, Bob, most likely. unless you’re actually doing something to help people besides bloviate here. I notice you haven’t actually said anything about that. It could be your native modesty, of course.

    ETA: Oh, and I get my own “neoliberal” tag now? Sweeeet!

  92. 92
    gwangung says:

    @Applejinx: Bob’s not real clear on how people actually behave in collectives and how they work. That’s just pragmatic observations. Hes more into ideology and theory.

  93. 93
    patroclus says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I think Obama getting rid of Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons was a laudable achievement. Of course, Bob thinks that was just “diddling around.”

    But back to the Bernie pivoting, I think, with all of the attention he’s going to continue to get up to and after California, he’s well positioned to do a LOT to get Clinton elected based on a very liberal platform and he can encourage a liberal V-P nominee to be selected as well. Merkeley from Oregon would be a good choice; Franken, Warren as well. If he wasn’t already running for Senate, Russ Feingold would be just about ideal. Clinton’s an experienced pol and she should know that platform concessions (a $15 minimum wage) and the V-P selection could go a long way in appealing to Sanders supporters, who she’s gonna need desperately to put this away. And she needs to pivot as well – incorporating Sanders’ stuff into her stump speech. Not necessarily changing her positions, but emphasizing those that align with the Bernie wing of the party. She’s already doing this a little, but she needs to emphasize them more.

  94. 94
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @raven: The show went longer there – did they share a bill? They started promptly at 8:05, took a short intermission, came back for the 2nd set, did an encore and we were in the garage by 10:35
    The set list sadly didn’t include the Weight, but it did include April the 14th, Part 1 and Ruination Day, Part 2 from Time the Revelator. He sang lead, unlike on the record. He commented “this is the first time we’ve done this song this way.”

    I’m glad you got to go, because I think you might have regretted missing it. It did me in, too, since we didn’t stay over. And Friday wasn’t quite enough time to get back in shape for a 6:45 call to staff a seminar (unpaid, but at least conveniently an 8 minute door to door travel time).

  95. 95
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Right, exactly. “Handsome, ambitious young man in a hurry” isn’t going to read well. I think you’d want someone tenacious and unglamorous who gets things done. Build on the whole Hillary-as-Leslie-Knope thing.

  96. 96
    Brachiator says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    We know that TPP will be passed after she’s elected. Any bets otherwise? We know that there will be a ratcheting up of the killing in Libya and Syria. Probably Ukraine (probably May 2nd). We know that nothing will be done with climate change. We know that Big Pharma and the health insurance industry will prosper and there will be the occasional story about someone dying because she or he didn’t get the cancer drug. We know that the war on drugs will be going on in 2020.

    Who is we, kemo sabe? How many voices do you have rattling around in your noodle?

    Just asking.

    BTW, there has already been a ratcheting up of the killing in Syria. Much of this can be attributed to Putin’s support of the Assad regime.

  97. 97
    Cacti says:

    Now that it’s clear that Bernie won’t win, it’s good to see Bob back blowing kisses at his first love, Vladimir Putin.

    The globe’s one true progressive hero.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cacti:

    They’ve been doing it for a while — here’s an article from last October about three other hospitals being bombed.

    But as we already know, it’s okay when Russia does it.

  99. 99
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    They’ve been doing it for a while — here’s an article from last October about three other hospitals being bombed.

    But as we already know, it’s okay when Russia does it.

    Bombing hospitals, shooting down civilian airliners…I blame Victoria Nuland’s cookies.

  100. 100
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @patroclus:

    No pulling Senators out of the Senate that we need to flip. Warren would be replaced by a Republican governor, and so would Sherrod Brown. Tom Perez would be a great choice being a labor guy and Hispanic, with a lot of constituencies that he could bring on board, in addition to his insider knowledge about where certain levers of power are and how they work at least in his part of the bureaucracy.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    You’ve been “searching” for the story? I heard it on NPR as breaking news yesterday and have seen it multiple places today, including CNN, MSNBC, and the Guardian.

    Maybe you shouldn’t be expecting Russian propaganda outlets to tell you about bad actions by Russia. Just a thought.

    But, hey, nice pivot to try and pretend that the media faked the deaths of 50 people to try and hide the release of the report on the US’s bombing of an MSF hospital. Strangely, I heard about that on NPR both last night and this morning, so that plot certainly seems to have failed.

  102. 102
    Miss Bianca says:

    @DCF: I don’t consider it “rage”. I consider it impatience. I get tired of people acting like Bernie Sanders invented social and political consciousness, that Hillary Clinton likely eats cold roast baby in the privacy of her dragonlady’s lair when she isn’t busy gloating over all her ill-got Wall Street (and Big Camping) millions and that there’s this huge gulf between their positions. There really isn’t.

    That being said, the sooner we all pull together the better, so let me apologize for directing my…ah…rage in your direction in such an intemperate manner. Fight the good fight.

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    @patroclus:

    I’m interested in the buzz around Tom Perez. Latino, current Labor Secretary, apparently a pretty good public speaker. I’d love for Clinton to add some Big Labor cred to her campaign.

  104. 104
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Applejinx:
    I think you overestimate both Bernie’s intentions and his tactical sense.

  105. 105
    raven says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): From what I see on their webex page there are 5 of them that play together so, yes, they shared the bill. OH yea, they stuck in This Land is Your Land.

  106. 106

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    In this analogy, people like Brooks are Saruman. They agree with the orcs on all the basic principles, but all that eating human flesh and grubbing in the dirty is yucky and barbaric.

    I think the analogy is apt, but you’re missing a key issue. Saruman disagreed with the orcs on more than just the eating of human flesh and grubbing in the dirt; he disagreed with them because they basically didn’t like having people like Saruman lording over them, but were willing to put up with it as long as he kept them pointed at an enemy they hated even more. All the evil leaders were going to be in deep shit if they actually succeeded in wiping out or enslaving their enemies, because then their troops would be at their (and each others) throats.

    I think that’s a really apt analogy for Brooks and the rest of the Republican elite. The rank and file are willing to tolerate the elite lording it over them only as long as they’re distracted by their greater hate for liberals. But the moment the liberals aren’t at the top of the agenda, the Republicans are going to fall into bitter infighting. The key to Trump’s success is he’s taken advantage of the rank and file’s disgust with the elite.

  107. 107
    jl says:

    In some of his stumpers, Sanders talked about his views on how to do political negotiations. Something along the lines of, ‘if you want to get something significant, you ask for a whole loaf and then if you stand strong, you at least end up with half a loaf and make some real progress. If you just ask for half a loaf, you end up with some crumbs.’

    So, that appears to be the Sanders approach to negotiations. Something to remember when he talks about what he thinks HRC will have to do to get enthusiastic support from the Sanders fans. I hope, and hopefully expect, Sanders to announce that HRC has ‘evolved’ enough to deserve enthusiastic support by the end of the Democratic convention. Can’t be sure, but that is what we have to hope for.

  108. 108
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    How do you expect this to work in, say, Arkansas? Even when Blanche Lincoln was primaried by Bill Halter, which was an insider-outsider dynamic, the outsider wasn’t a liberal. He would have been an improvement, but he still wouldn’t have been a liberal. What about West Virginia or Missouri?

    Shit, it wouldn’t work in KY either, where a friend of mine notes of Democratic candidates, “of course, anywhere else s/he’d be a Republican, but it’s KY.”

  109. 109
    WarMunchkin says:

    @patroclus:

    the V-P selection could go a long way in appealing to Sanders supporters

    I guess I’m still not getting this – heavily politically engaged people are going to vote, and if they’re supporting Sanders as D’s, they’ll vote for Clinton. Don’t need to do anything special for them. It’s the people who view politics in a decidedly non-ideological lens who need someone who can speak to their concerns about jobs and labor security. I’m coming around to Secretary Perez.

  110. 110
    dedc79 says:

    He warns us to gird ourselves for more Applebees salad bar stories,

    Haven’t we already suffered enough, what with all the Tom Friedman stories about his cab driver, and Peggy Noonan stories about her close friend, the shoe repairman. I don’t know how much more of this stuff I can take.

    I mean seriously, the only thing more painful then another “I heard the most amazing idea at the Aspen Institute Conference” story is Peggy Noonan telling us why we should all be listening to the liquor store owner who sells Peggy her daily bottle of Hendricks gin.

  111. 111
    cleek says:

    FYI,

    due to some BJ HTML weirdness, a flaw in the pie filter code was discovered. it has been repaired.

    get ye the latest!

    http://ok-cleek.com/blogs/?page_id=19041

  112. 112
    DCF says:

    @Brachiator:
    Here’s a rather central/important voice that believes HRC will sign the TPP:

    Chamber of Commerce Lobbyist Tom Donohue: Clinton Will Support TPP After Election
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....04096.html

    In an interview from Davos with Bloomberg TV on January 20, Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, a top lobbyist for the pro-corporate-power Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP] agreement, assured viewers that if Hillary Clinton wins the Presidential election, Clinton will support the TPP, even though she opposes it now.
    Reporting on the interview, Inside U.S. Trade noted:
    The Chamber president said he expected Hillary Clinton would ultimately support the TPP if she becomes the Democratic nominee for president and is elected. He argued that she has publicly opposed the deal chiefly because her main challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has also done so. “If she were to get nominated, if she were to be elected, I have a hunch that what runs in the family is you get a little practical if you ever get the job,” he said.

  113. 113
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I really should read Lord of the Rings some day, shouldn’t I?

    I don’t get it. I loved the Hobbit, still reread it on a not infrequent basis. And I liked the LOTR movies just fine. I just can’t get into the books. Which are, I know, a gaping hole in my pop culture.

  114. 114
    dedc79 says:

    @Chris: Are you struggling getting through the beginning of Fellowship of the Ring? I ask because there are a few sections in there that I found pretty tedious myself (I don’t know anyone who cares for the Tom Bombadil story line). If you can make it through that section, I bet you’ll get hooked.

  115. 115
    Miss Bianca says:

    @DCF: Not snark, btw, but seriously…I’ve read portions of the TPP and it’s much, much better than previous trade agreements on a lot of issues. We need trade agreements with the rest of the world. We could do a lot worse than the TPP. i’m not really getting all the TPP hate at this point.

    @dedc79: @Chris: Bombadil fan here. But I did have a friend who routinely skipped all the Bilbo’s birthday party stuff, which I loved, and headed straight to Gandalf’s talk with Frodo. Chris might be advised to do the same.

  116. 116
  117. 117
    Betty Cracker says:

    @DCF: Well if we can’t trust the Chamber of Commerce president to tell us the truth about Democrats, who in dog’s name CAN we trust?

  118. 118
    Applejinx says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Your purity horseshit is telling us that the Clintons can take three billion from the wealthy of the world and not have it affect her judgment

    Jeb? Bush took just as much money from the wealthy of the world and failed miserably.

    This is for you but also for Hils and anyone on her team reading. Guess what? Past a certain point the money doesn’t help anymore, and Clinton passed that point long ago.

    Her judgement is not going to be about getting more money. She has more than enough. She wants POWER, as does every Presidential candidate since forever, not excluding Bernie (hence, how snippy he ended up, before relenting).

    The only way to that power is to go beyond simple acquisitions of money, and identify the will of the voters, and get out in front of it. more money stopped helping Hillary some time ago.

  119. 119
    Betty Cracker says:

    @cleek: Will add a notice on the OP. You do us a service, good sir.

  120. 120
    dedc79 says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Bombadil fan here

    So they do exist after all. :-) I stand corrected.

    I liked the opening birthday part stuff, but i definitely quickly thumbed through the Bombadil section and particularly the songs.

    Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
    Ring a dong! hop along! Fal lal the willow!
    Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

  121. 121
    jl says:

    @dedc79:

    ” why we should all be listening to the liquor store owner who sells Peggy her daily bottle of Hendricks gin. ”
    The liquor store owner would seem to have an incentive to keep Noonan drinking. Might explain some columns.

    The shoe repairman just has incentive to keep her employed well enough so she can have her shoes repaired, but not so rich that she just throws them away and buys new ones. His motives are harder to figure out.

    Which one does she cite more often?

  122. 122
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Oh, and we finally had a chance to watch the Easter Bonnet “Sweeney Todd” mash-up. It was hysterical, if you haven’t seen it.

    Where would one find such a wondrous thing? If you or someone posted a link earlier, I missed it.

  123. 123
    Eric U. says:

    try finding a job if you are a 50 year old engineer of any sex/race. Good luck, the employers are all holding out for H1B visa increases

  124. 124
    jl says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    ” I’ve read portions of the TPP and it’s much, much better than previous trade agreements on a lot of issues. ”

    That is true on many issues. The problem is that the asymmetry in the enforcement mechanism for corporate versus environmental and labor friendly parts of the treaty remain about the same as in previous ones. And you get the whole package, not just the nicer sounding hortatory language about standards that appears in parts of the text.

    Edit: and one of the real problems with the TPP is the IP provisions. They actually have a large effect on balance of payments and trade. They do have important effects the real economy and labor market for workers in the US.

  125. 125
    Miss Bianca says:

    @dedc79: OK, the songs are execrable. But I’m going to expose myself to more ire, I am sure, when I opine that all of Tolkien’s LOTR verse is pretty bad. The Hobbit’s I like better – I find it less pretentious. Bombadil, as a force of nature the ring had no power over – and whose power he had no interest in wielding – always fascinated me despite his somewhat puerile foolery.

    @jl: There is that. But I would guess the answer is going to have be “more work”. If the drive for that comes from more public pressure and scrutiny, I’m all for it.

  126. 126

    […] column for today has already garnered a host of critical responses (most intriguing, in my opinion, this one about his casual equation of Sanders’ and Trump’s support). Let me just quickly hop […]

  127. 127
    dedc79 says:

    @jl: I’ve seen at least one shoe repairman story so far (I linked to it above). Nothing from the liquor store guy yet. That was just me speculating about who would be her go-to salt-of-the-earth type.

  128. 128
    jl says:

    @dedc79: OK. I thought you had compiled a list of all the ‘lesser’ people that she communes with before she retires to her suite to compose her missives to the public. I vaguely remember her talking to some kind of elevator attendant in one column.

  129. 129
    DCF says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    HRC was ‘for’ the TPP before she was ‘against’ it – a familiar pattern with the former SOS (and Senator). Since the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is ‘corporate-friendly’ (to say the least) – and since a large number of CEOs and CFOs on channels like CNBC and Bloomberg agree with Donohue’s assessment – it appears the this issue will be one of the first where the progressive wing of the Party will have to hold her feet to the fire….

  130. 130
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @efgoldman:

    BiP can’t see reality from his house

    But he can see Russia from it.

  131. 131
    singfoom says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Your purity horseshit

    Ah, the pot, painting on anti-radar paint, so black that no color ever escapes it. Tell us all about Russia and the Ukraine Bob, and your incredible knowledge not only of that region of the world (whose languages you don’t speak) and how HRC will feast on the blood of her Syrian victims. We’re all dying to hear it.

  132. 132
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @raven: They stuck that in in Louisville too! And I probably mentioned that I pretended they played Miss Ohio in my honor since I’d made the trip.
    Those 5 folks are the Machine, though sometimes they have a mandolin player along for some shows. I meant did they have an opening act? I just couldn’t figure out how the show went so late…

  133. 133
    starscream says:

    It was Hillary’s job in 2008 to unite the party after an extremely close loss, and it’s her job to unite the party in 2016 after a comfortable win. Got it.

  134. 134
    Applejinx says:

    @Miss Bianca: I can explain some of that.

    For a lot of people, the stuff about corporations being able to sue countries over lost profits is a major problem. It takes away the sovereignty of countries to do things like pass laws about tobacco advertising. People are rightly panicking. These are not things that should be ‘privatized’ much less ‘corporatized’. Anyone concerned about concentrations of wealth into corporate power would freak out.

    On the other hand, a lot of the TPP is a mammoth hosing of the rest of the world for the benefit of American copyright holders. That can’t be overestimated. American politicians are kept well informed of this by our media industries. They know what’s at stake, and the strategic importance. American interests doesn’t necessarily mean ‘interests of the American worker’. It can mean ‘protect the wealth and valuation of American companies on the global stage’ and this the TPP does emphatically. It just doesn’t really translate to ‘the American people’. It’s retaining the strategic dominance of American business worldwide.

    There are some pretty compelling reasons why any American president would see the importance of that. A lot rides on ‘staying the leader of the free world’. Of course, corporations aren’t necessarily ‘American’ in any real sense anymore, and that’s got to be a counterbalance…

  135. 135
    Brachiator says:

    @DCF:

    Here’s a rather central/important voice that believes HRC will sign the TPP:

    “Believes” is not the same thing as the certainty of BiP’s “We know…”

    The Chamber president said he expected Hillary Clinton would ultimately support the TPP if she becomes the Democratic nominee for president and is elected. … “If she were to get nominated, if she were to be elected, I have a hunch that what runs in the family is you get a little practical if you ever get the job,” he said.

    Jeez. This is just ignorant speculation.

  136. 136
    Trollhattan says:

    Wow, Pravda needs to roll in the decaf or risk melting the keyboard. Maybe he can talk srv down from the ledge.

  137. 137
    Peale says:

    @Miss Bianca: I don’t see it working out any better than any of our other trade pacts. Good for Fortune 500 global companies, but “access” to these new markets will come at the expense of factory labor in this country. I will just be another excuse to reimport products, this time from Vietnam. it doesn’t take a trade deal at all to do that, actually. We don’t have a customs deal with China, for what it is worth. I don’t really see the point of wasting political capital on another give away to Fortune 500 companies who need to solve their labor cost problems.

  138. 138
    Emma says:

    @dedc79: Tom Bombadil fan here. I interpret that vignette as our glimpse into the paradise Tolkien yearned for. Mind you, I’m glad they left it out of the movie. It wouldn’t make a lick of sense.

  139. 139
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @starscream: It’s almost as though people count on women to be grown-ups who do the right thing! Now, in an unrelated matter, let’s talk about the gender balance on various internal governance committees at my office.

  140. 140
    singfoom says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    …I’ve read portions of the TPP and it’s much, much better than previous trade agreements on a lot of issues. We need trade agreements with the rest of the world. We could do a lot worse than the TPP. i’m not really getting all the TPP hate at this point.

    I won’t argue that we don’t need trade agreements. We do. But at this point, we’ve lowered basically all the tariffs. And if NOTHING else makes you hate the TPP and think it should be killed, then burned and then the ashes dissolved in acid, you need to read the clause on Investor-State Dispute Settlements.

    I’ll let Elizabeth Warren talk about it:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kill-the-dispute-settlement-language-in-the-trans-pacific-partnership/2015/02/25/ec7705a2-bd1e-11e4-b274-e5209a3bc9a9_story.html

    SNIP:

    ISDS would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws — and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers — without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court. Here’s how it would work. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions — and even billions — of dollars in damages.

    Sorry, the TPP is a bad deal for everyone but giant multination corporations who have no allegiance to any nation states.

  141. 141
    DCF says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    MB…I’m basing my evaluation of the TPP on two factors:
    1) It was written, in large part, by the very corporations that it will allegedly govern; and
    2) Past trade agreement outcomes (e.g., NAFTA et al)
    Here is her past voting record on trade deals (scroll down to 3/4 page):
    http://www.politifact.com/trut.....ment-kill/

  142. 142
    Applejinx says:

    @Peale: This. It’s a mechanism for ‘our companies’ to beat ‘their companies’. ‘our workers’ has nothing to do with it at all.

    And again, what do we even mean by ‘our companies’ anymore? It’s easy to say ‘our companies’ when they live in Silicon Valley, build everything in China, and bank everything in Ireland. It’s wise to be pretty skeptical about this. We could give a huge boost to ‘our companies’ this way, and end up not benefiting at all from it.

  143. 143
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Applejinx: @Peale: @DCF: OK. Makes sense. You’re starting to remind me why people were getting exorcised over TPP in the first place, which is a good thing. : ) I’m not sure what the alternative is, tho’, to multinational trade agreements. Individual agreements with each country?

  144. 144
    Mary G says:

    I got a flyer in the mail today from a nurse’s organization supporting Bernie. In 40 years of voting in California, I don’t think it’s ever happened to me. The presidential primaries have always been settled long before we voted. It’s pretty good targeting, too. Bernie will keep Medicare safe, an issue dear to my heart.

  145. 145
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @starscream:

    It was Hillary’s job in 2008 to unite the party after an extremely close loss, and it’s her job to unite the party in 2016 after a comfortable win. Got it.

    Woman’s work is never done.

  146. 146
    Applejinx says:

    @Miss Bianca: Multinational trade agreements but dial back the ‘corporations go to arbitrators in order to sue entire countries for damages’. The damage to country sovereignty is way, WAY too severe, as Warren points out.

    Only reason American legislators like it, is they think there’s such a thing as ‘American corporations’ anymore, and think it’s license to beat up on smaller countries. Even if that was true, it’s still impossible: I’d call it strategically damaging, as those countries would blame the US for that sort of tyranny, and we’d pay the consequences for the profits of corporations that aren’t even ‘American’ in practical terms anymore.

    And since we are in no way immune to the bad side of this proposal…

  147. 147
    daveNYC says:

    @Miss Bianca: Multi-national agreements where the labor and environmental bits actually have some teeth?

    Because while the TPP might be better than other agreements, it’s still some damn weak sauce. A lot of vague statements about how the countries should totally put some regulation in place, and very little about having actual concrete minimum standards for those regulations.

  148. 148
    Betty Cracker says:

    @singfoom: Seems like a lousy deal to me too.

  149. 149
    DCF says:

    @Brachiator:
    Given the source(s), it sounds like fairly ‘knowledgeable’ speculation to me…however, here is a timeline/history of both candidates ‘free trade’ actions:
    Unlike Clinton, Sanders Really Does Oppose Free Trade
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....15000.html

  150. 150
    gorram says:

    Anyone already pointed out that Brooks is just making up stuff when it comes to Trump’s base?

  151. 151
    D58826 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: And don’t forget that many of the people employed in the financial services industry are those ‘working people and vulnerable folks’ that Bernie talks about. I have a feeling that just ‘breaking up the big banks’ will hurt the average Joe who works on Wall Street more than it does the 1%er’s. Whatever happens they have their golden parachutes.

  152. 152
    Mike J says:

    @DCF: USuncut is not a credible source for anything.

  153. 153
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Applejinx: @daveNYC: Ok, y’all have convinced me! :) I just hope that others with some actual power can be swayed as easily…

  154. 154
    Applejinx says:

    @Betty Cracker: The idea of trade agreements is neither new nor bad (just tricky) but the Investor-State Dispute Settlement stuff is really unthinkably bad. I consider it dangerous. I think as corporate abuses start to pile up, the rest of the world won’t blame each individual corporation. They’ll blame us, because they can’t reach the corporations, but the USA is a perfect scapegoat for TPP blame.

  155. 155
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Sorry, I wandered out to lunch. Here it is:

    Sweeney Todd as Alexander Hamilton

    The cast is obviously having a ball, and now I want to see a production with LMM as Sweeney, Renee Elise Goldsberry as Mrs. Lovett, and Daveed Diggs as Judge Turpin.

  156. 156
    Applejinx says:

    @Miss Bianca: Woot! Remember, you can make a case for how it’ll help the global power of America, but that’s deceptive. Yes, it serves some American interests (in a general or naive sense) but in practical terms it’s a give-away of power.

    That’s the best argument for persuading Hillary Clinton to kill TPP. It’s fine to want American trade to win but this is a trap, plain and simple. She should not fall for it. It endangers American strategic interests.

  157. 157
    burnspbesq says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I don’t mind Bernie’s sounding like this.

    I do. How dare he use the pronoun “we” when referring to the Democtic Party?

  158. 158
    Brachiator says:

    @Mary G:

    I got a flyer in the mail today from a nurse’s organization supporting Bernie. In 40 years of voting in California, I don’t think it’s ever happened to me. The presidential primaries have always been settled long before we voted. It’s pretty good targeting, too. Bernie will keep Medicare safe, an issue dear to my heart.

    Attention California Berniebots who vote by mail:

    If you are INDEPENDENT (or Decline to State) you can vote in the California Democratic Primary. BUT:

    For presidential elections: NPP voters, unless they choose otherwise, will receive a “non-partisan” ballot that does not include presidential candidates. A nonpartisan ballot contains only the names of candidates for voter-nominated offices and local nonpartisan offices and measures.

    This means that you must either request a Democratic Party ballot or show up in person, give up your mail in ballot, and get a Democratic Party ballot.

    If you are Independent (or accidentally registered for the crypto racist American Independent Party), you can re-register up until May 23.

    For everybody else in California.

    There are 34 people running for Barbara Boxer’s senate seat. The ballot is confusing and in test runs up to a third or the ballots were spoiled by people who accidentally voted for 2 or more candidates. Don’t let this happen to you.

    See the CA Secretary of State Site for more details.

    Hopefully, variations of this will be posted now and again for the benefit of CA voters.

  159. 159
    Captain C says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m still astounded that I saw someone refer to the 1970s as “a more innocent time”

    To be fair, given that it was the ’70s, the speaker/writer may not remember very much of it, or anything at all. Or they may be thinking of the time between penicillin and AIDS.

  160. 160
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Applejinx:

    Our copyright and IP laws desperately need a re-write from the ground up because they were never designed to have copyrights held by undying corporations. Unfortunately, it’s already such a clusterfuck that it’s going to be hard to do.

    Here’s just one example that I’m personally familiar with. You know all of those famous songs in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”? Disney doesn’t own any of them. They’re owned by a third party called the Bourne Company, and Disney has to license them. And the performance and publishing rights to those songs are regulated differently than the copyright is.

    So if that film goes out of copyright, what about the songs? Do the music rights still exist after the copyright expires? Do the songs automatically lose their copyright, too? What about any video or DVD rights that the actors’ unions have negotiated for? It’s a mess, with multiple competing interests all battling each other.

  161. 161
    🌷 Martin says:

    Ostensibly middle-class families are one outpatient surgery deductible away from financial catastrophe. Students are graduating with crushing debt. Parents have no idea how they’ll ever retire. The unemployment rate is at a 40-year low, but try finding a decent job if you’re a 50-something woman or a 17-year-old black kid.

    The crushing student debt is tricky. Most of the crushing student debt stories is coming from reporting from upper-middle class families, trying to get into the top 5%, that are sending their kids off to outrageously expensive schools. The $100K of debt is not a middle class/working class reality – it’s an upper-class reality. Now, there is a real problem with students not finding jobs, finding lower-paying jobs, and even lower amounts of debt being difficult to manage, but that’s an income story. You can’t fix low wages by reducing the cost of college. And a lot of that problem is highly regional – rust belt and the south that over-relied on manufacturing for jobs. That debt is a lot more crushing there than elsewhere because the jobs aren’t there. A lot of these really are state-level problems, though, that the feds can give an assist on, but otherwise can’t actually fix.

  162. 162
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    I agree that Brooks’s slight of hand with regard to quoting only Trump voters from that poll is an elegant example of both sides do itism, but another one is conflating Trump and Sanders voters in the first place as though they make up equal portions of both parties. Bernie is losing. Trump is winning. Democrats are primarily frustrated that they can’t get shit done because the Republicans are nuts and burning everything down around them, not because Democratic candidates haven’t tried to follow through on their goals, or that said goals are unpopular with the democratic base. Republicans are just frustrated because their elected officials can’t count to 20 with their shoes off, much less get anything done.

  163. 163
    ruemara says:

    @DCF: So? This isn’t Negro Pokemon.

  164. 164
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: And Hollywood is one of America’s highest-prestige exports, no?

  165. 165
    singfoom says:

    For more proof that TPP is awful and ISDS is the piece de resistance of it’s awfulness, let’s look ISDS cases from NAFTA….there’s plenty more at the link below

    http://www.citizen.org/documen.....-chart.pdf

    SNIP:

    TCW Group, a U.S. investment management corporation that jointly owned with the government one of the Dominican Republic’s three electricity distribution firms, claimed that the government violated CAFTA by failing to raise
    electricity rates and failing to prevent electricity theft by poor residents. The French multinational Société Générale (SG), which owned the TCW Group, filed a parallel claim under the FranceDominican Republic Bilateral Investment Treaty.29
    The concerns detailed by TCW, which initiated its claim two weeks after CAFTA’s enactment, related to decisions taken before the treaty’s implementation. 30 TCW took issue with the government’s unwillingness to raise electricity rates, a decision undertaken in response to a nationwide energy crisis. TCW also protested that the government did not subsidize electricity rates, which would have diminished electricity theft by poor residents. The New York Times noted that such subsidization was not feasible for the government after having just spent large sums to rectify a banking crisis.31 TCW alleged expropriation and violation of CAFTA’s guarantee of fair and equitable treatment. TCW demanded $606 million from the government for the alleged CAFTA violations, despite having spent just $2 to purchase the business from another U.S. investor.32 The company also admitted to having “not independently committed additional capital” to the electricity istribution firm after its $2 purchase in 2004.33 After a tribunal constituted under the France-Dominican Republic Bilateral Investment Treaty issued a jurisdictional ruling in favor of SG, allowing the case to move forward, the government decided to settle with SG and TCW. The government paid the foreign firms $26.5 million to drop the cases, reasoning that it was cheaper than continuing to pay legal fees.34

  166. 166
    les says:

    @Mike J:

    DCF: USuncut is not a credible source for anything.

    DCF is an unerring pointer to incredible sources.

  167. 167
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Brachiator: Just to be clear: If you vote in-person and are NPP (as I am) they should ask you at the polling place which ballot you want and you can request Democratic. The Democratic primary in CA is open to NPP. The GOP primary is NOT open. NPP can go in, request a Dem ballot, and vote in the Dem presidential primary without changing party registration (no guarantee this will work in the future, they can change the rules).

    If you are voting by mail, you need to tell them ahead of time which ballot to mail, which is what Brachiator is documenting.

    And yes, the Senate ballot is confusing. One of the benefits of the computer voting machines is that the ballot cannot get spoiled because the computer prevents you from making a mistake.

  168. 168
    jl says:

    @Applejinx:

    ” Multinational trade agreements ”

    Also important to note that, as far as understand the history of these deals, that the TPP, like NAFTA, and CAFTA and the upcoming European treaty are not ‘multinational trade agreements’ in same sense as trade deals in the 1970s and 1980s were. Multinational trade deals would mean true global trade agreements that included countries like Brazil, India, South Africa. Those old global trade deals included enough lower and middle income countries at the negotiating table who had enough influence to counterbalance corporate interests in rich industrialized countries. Negotiations for those truly global, truly multinational trade deals ended over a decade ago when US corporations were unable to get all that they wanted. So the US and a few other rich countries just walked away.

    Deals like the TPP are ad hoc deals where a few very large high income industrial economies makes some deals with a few much smaller economies, where the negotiating power of the lower income countries is much weaker. The claims about the huge importance of these deals is like, as one snarker said, claiming that opening a fast food chain in the US involves a quarter of the world’s economy because it happened in the US. These deals really have nothing to do with developing a rational and efficient world trading system. They are ad hoc deals where a few rich countries get whatever concessions that they can from a few relatively dinky economies, using unequal bargaining power.

    I think the whole trade negotiating strategy of the US has stunk and is bad in many ways, since the collapse of true global true multinational trade negotiations a decade ago.

    Edit: a look at the way agricultural protections are preserved for rich countries in these deals is a clue to how this process works, in addition to the imposition of US style IP law and econ (which is very extreme by historical standards) on other countries.

  169. 169
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Not just high prestige. Take a look at Box Office Mojo — Hollywood movies now make the majority of their money overseas. A 60/40 split is very common now. Protecting that IP from piracy is protecting the majority of the company’s profit.

  170. 170
    Elie says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    There is no alternative. No TPP, China (not part of TPP) runs the table and will set up multilateral agreements with the countries we would have in the agreement. Markets are critical to our economic health and access to them is essential. We can’t throw a wall around the US and expect to survive economically in today’s world. Think our job situation and salaries are bad now? Being outside of a major multilateral agreement, we would have no leverage. We would not be able to demand that the rest of the world pay us higher salaries just because we say so. Trump and to some extent, Sanders have said such crazy shit — but it just wont happen…

  171. 171
    🌷 Martin says:

    @singfoom: I’m sorry but that is completely anecdotal. We’ve been using ISDS for decades with no significant problem. While there are cases that are troubling, the same is true of every known legal system. For any trade disputes – even tariff disputes pre-NAFTA, you’re going to be required to have an international court to adjudicate them – you cannot demand that only the US court system be used for everything. That’s downright Trumpian. While ISDS may not be the ideal solution, you inevitably are going to have to accept some ISDS-like solution to do this, or else to take a North Korean attitude toward trade.

    The arguments against ISDS aren’t about how ISDS specifically operates, it’s about whether we can trust any non-US court system, and that argument for international agreements is complete and utter bullshit.

  172. 172
    sunny raines says:

    Both parties make promises to their bases. But while the Democratic establishment more or less tries to make good on those promises, the Republican establishment has essentially been playing bait-­and-­switch for decades.

    you’ll hardly ever hear me say this, but I don’t think Krugman is right about the republican establishment. The republicans have made good: they failed foisted trickle down economics for 35 years, they waged war against every “the other” bogeyman the republican base was afraid of including women, and everyone not-white and straight; they’ve fostered endless war, a police state and pushed for government support of Christianity; they’ve protected and promoted the imbecilic gunslinger mentality; they’ve blocked every effort of Democrats and progressives; and they’ve pitted Americans against Americans. In short, they’ve done everything their degenerate base has asked for, but it’s not enough and never can be enough because it can never achieve the outcomes they’re looking for. republicans are fundamentally failed human beings. There is nothing that could ever make them satisfied short of slaughtering everyone they don’t like.

  173. 173
    les says:

    Bernie has defined at least some of what he wants added to the Dem platform. In true Bernie fashion, the first two of three are state controlled issues, not national party. The third is him telling the national party how to allocate the money he says they are corrupt tools for raising. Man, he’s done a masterful job of destroying the fairly positive impression I had of him a few months ago.

  174. 174
    🌷 Martin says:

    @ruemara:

    @DCF: So? This isn’t Negro Pokemon.

    OMG, that needs to be a thing.

  175. 175
    Mary G says:

    @🌷 Martin: I’m a permanent absentee NPP voter and I’ve gotten two postcards from the CA Secretary of State telling me that I can ask for a Democratic and some minor party ballots to be sent to me, but not Republican, so they’re trying to get the word out.

  176. 176
    singfoom says:

    @Elie:

    Markets are critical to our economic health and access to them is essential. We can’t throw a wall around the US and expect to survive economically in today’s world.

    I don’t think the choice is a binary of:
    A)Enact the TPP as it stands
    or
    B)Throw a wall around the US and have no access to markets.

    The reality is that we’re the world’s largest economy and other countries want to access our markets and therefore give us access to their markets. Are we competing with China? Sure. But just because we’re competing with them doesn’t mean we should sign a shitty deal. We should push our representatives (the ones that care) to work towards better deals.

    I also doubt that TPP will ever get ratified by Congress.

    YMMV

  177. 177
    jl says:

    @D58826:

    I think you and FlipYrWhig:are wrong about this issue. IP law that barriers to entry that create cartelized industries result in smaller industries (though with bigger players in the smaller industry), lower employment, and higher profits that have no productive place to go, but end up in the bank or to fund more mergers and acquisitions. Breaking up the big banks would probably results in a larger banking and S&L industry with similar levels of employment, more smaller companies, more commercial loans at better terms to consumers. There would be less money devoted to mergers and acquisitions, less money devoted to high frequency trading and financing leverage.

    It’s just not a good economic argument. Sanders has some bad economic arguments against HRC. But HRC fans should not fall for every bad argument against a Sanders policy proposal, just because they don’t like Sanders.

  178. 178
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Roger Moore: I have an FB friend who like to post snippets of Brooks’ wisdom. This will be my response next time I see something fro m him@dedc79: I read LOTR every few years, skipping all of the poems and a most of Frodo’s journey to Mordor with Sam and Gollum

  179. 179
    burnspbesq says:

    anyone know who the fuck Seth Abrasion is?

    Nope, but if Liar Bob is quoting him, I’d venture to say he has a tenuous grip on reality.

  180. 180
    jl says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    ” The arguments against ISDS aren’t about how ISDS specifically operates, it’s about whether we can trust any non-US court system, and that argument for international agreements is complete and utter bullshit. ”

    You are confounding several issues here. The specifics of ISDS operates, the imbalance of which issues can be taken to international adjudication, and which cannot, and the nature of the rules and regulations to be adjudicated.

    And the specifics and details of a judicial, and especially an arbitration process, often do have very large economic implications, especially as the system evolves over time.

    I don’t think you should be so quick to make charges of complete and utter bullshit on this issue.

  181. 181
    singfoom says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    For any trade disputes – even tariff disputes pre-NAFTA, you’re going to be required to have an international court to adjudicate them – you cannot demand that only the US court system be used for everything. That’s downright Trumpian. While ISDS may not be the ideal solution, you inevitably are going to have to accept some ISDS-like solution to do this, or else to take a North Korean attitude toward trade.

    I don’t disagree with the need for an international court venue in some of these cases. That’s fine. And yes, every judicial system will have it’s bad cases. The Trumpian insult stings though, you wound me.

    You’re right, the US hasn’t lost any ISDS cases, but Canada has had some problems. My issues with ISDS are the details of the ISDS and not distrusting all international courts.

    YMMV

  182. 182
    Brachiator says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    you disagree with Seth Abramson? The Seth Abrasion?

    anyone know who the fuck Seth Abrasion is?

    I’ve heard of Derm Abrasion, but I don’t know his brother Seth.

  183. 183
    🌷 Martin says:

    @singfoom:

    The reality is that we’re the world’s largest economy and other countries want to access our markets and therefore give us access to their markets.

    For now. China has 4x our population and a per-capita GDP which is ⅛ of our, but leaves them with an economy only half our size. If you had to bet which economy would pay off the largest, you’d bet hard in favor of China. If I were Germany and had to choose between a US deal and a China deal, that’s a no-brainer. The growth is in China because they have so much upside potential compared to the US.

    The lesson was Japan, whose per capita GDP exceeded the US, but which couldn’t hold. It’s easier to grab more of the pie than to grow the pie and once you get on top, you have to work very hard just to stay there. Do not assume that the US economy will reign supreme. It may, there’s a lot going in favor of it, but the two things going hardest against it is our population and our aversion to grow through immigration, and our political dysfunction. China is does not cripple its own economy through political disputes as we’ve been doing the last decade or more.

  184. 184
    Miss Bianca says:

    @ruemara: I nominate this for new tagline of the year. Possibly the decade.

  185. 185
    daveNYC says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Estimated Costs of Attendance – Living On Campus, 2016-17
    Billed expenses
    Iowa Residents Nonresidents
    Tuition & fees * $8,550 $28,638
    Housing & meals** $10,108 $10,108
    Total billed expenses $18,658 $38,746

    I wouldn’t say it’s just upper class paying for a good private school that are having problems. The median household income in Iowa is $52,229 (median family is $67k), so in-state cost is between 26%-34% of the median annual (pre-tax) income. Off campus might be a tad cheaper. UNI, the ‘cheap’ school, is about $2k less.

  186. 186
    Betty Cracker says:

    @🌷 Martin: I believe the average student loan debt load is in the neighborhood of $35K these days. That ain’t peanuts for someone who is just starting out and can’t find a decent job, and it has all kinds of domino effects down the line, such as forcing young folks to forgo or delay home ownership. I started my career in the crappy post-Reagan economy, and it was tough to find a decent job, but at least I didn’t have a millstone of debt around my neck. It’s tougher for the youngs today.

  187. 187
    Trollhattan says:

    @Brachiator:
    Additional note: If you’re registered as decline-to-state and get automatic mail ballots (IIRC more than half of CA voters) you received a postcard allowing you to pick a party slate to vote in the presidential primary, and that’s the ballot you’ll receive for June.

  188. 188
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Miss Bianca: Seconded. I laughed hard enough to scare the dogs out of the room!

  189. 189
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I do think the problem is expected income, not the debt in and of itself. If you were taking on $35K in debt for a BA but knew you would be able to find a job that paid $40K as a starting salary, that would seem like a really good investment. Taking on $35K in debt so you can get a $10/hour fast food job? Not so good.

    ETA: I had to take a crappy job at Crown Books after I got my BA, but I didn’t have any student loans, so I got by.

  190. 190
    🌷 Martin says:

    @jl: I’m not calling bullshit on the details – those are certainly fair game, but considering this system has served the US well for decades, these are extraordinary claims that demand extraordinary proof. Relative to other nations, the US does not cheat on trade and the courts have therefore worked well for us.

    And certainly a bad system can have large economic impact, but that is not an argument against having any system. This was the opening sentence in the first post on the topic:

    ISDS would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws — and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers — without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court.

    The only acceptable solution presented to ISDS is to step foot in a US court from the structure of the objection. It’s not a realistic international solution to simply substitute the US court system for any trade dispute. So if there is an problem with ISDS, provide evidence of how that problem will manifest to our detriment, and outline a better alternative. With no alternative, nobody should take the objection to the TPP seriously, especially if it hinges on a theoretical scenario that has not played out in 30+ years. This is a bit like saying the US constitution should be rewritten because of the hypothetical $1T coin.

  191. 191
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @jl: ?? I don’t think I said anything meaty enough to be wrong about. I think there’s a ton of sheer churn and speculation and incomprehensible weirdness in the financial sector. I just think that individuals who have profited from the financial sector, and who may even work for the devilish street itself, are also well aware of that, and many of them are Democrats. Not everyone who has money in finance is only concerned with enriching themselves and devil take the hindmost. I’m not an expert by any means, but there’s the whole field of socially responsible investing, like Domini Social Investments.

  192. 192
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I believe the average student loan debt load is in the neighborhood of $35K these days. That ain’t peanuts for someone who is just starting out and can’t find a decent job, and it has all kinds of domino effects down the line, such as forcing young folks to forgo or delay home ownership. I started my career in the crappy post-Reagan economy, and it was tough to find a decent job, but at least I didn’t have a millstone of debt around my neck. It’s tougher for the youngs today.

    But that average includes all of those middle/upper income kids that got sent off to private schools with no financial need. UC average debt load is $17K. CSU is $15K. SUNY is around $16K for most of their campuses, UNC is $17K, Florida has a number of publics at $17K, UTexas is around $17K.

    By comparison, Ohio State – $29K. UW – $28K. Purdue – $24K. These are all states with governors that went tooth and nail after their public universities. The president can’t fix that. If states want to fuck up their universities, that’s unfortunately their right. And note that even Texas and Florida have managed to not fuck theirs up. But even in the worst states, it’s WAY below $35K if you just look at public universities. That $35K only arrives when you put down the kid that borrowed $100K to go to Vandy or Duke or small regional private or to go out of state to get to Berkeley or Ohio State or Purdue or any of the other great public universities. And nothing against them, I went to a small regional private and worked like a motherfucker to go, and I don’t regret it, but that was a decision I made. I could have gone to a public instead.

  193. 193
    different-church-lady says:

    Brooks attributes Trump’s rise — and Sanders’ too — to a broad sense of American decline:

    Only a society as absurdly over-affluent as ours (relatively speaking) could afford the
    luxury of indulging in such a “sense”.

  194. 194
    dollared says:

    @Mike in NC: Which is bullshit. And if you had a brain in your head, you’d know it. Because Obama was elected with Clinton voters.

  195. 195
    different-church-lady says:

    @Betty Cracker: One of these days we’re going to start talking honestly about the arms-race dynamic that has overtaken higher education.

    Oh, who am I kidding?

  196. 196
    different-church-lady says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I don’t mind Bernie’s sounding like this.

    The problem is Bernie doesn’t sound like that: Bernie is like that.

  197. 197
    jl says:

    @🌷 Martin: Thanks. a subsequent comment you posted clarified your position and I can see where you are coming from now.

  198. 198
    different-church-lady says:

    @Bob In Portland: Bob, you are an hypocrite and intellectual fraud.

  199. 199
    different-church-lady says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    It may (or may not) be too late for voters in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Delaware to change the course of the Democratic Primary,

    Apparently you just woke up from a nap you started taking last Monday.

  200. 200
    Betty Cracker says:

    @🌷 Martin: Don’t know where you’re getting your stats, but I’ve seen estimates that the average at my alma mater, the University of Florida, is around $26K.

    At any rate, I think most people would agree college costs are way up, wages are stagnant, federal help in the form of Pell grants, etc., isn’t as accessible. The youngs aren’t a bunch of whiny bastards — things really are harder.

  201. 201
    different-church-lady says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Look, you don’t like me.

    Don’t take this personally, Bob, but nobody likes you.

  202. 202
    DCF says:

    @Mike J:

    What/who do you consider a credible source? MSNBC? The C(linton)N(ews)N(etwork)? Any source that doesn’t support HRC, overtly or otherwise? There are a plethora of sources with message content similar to US Uncut, and they are quite legitimate….

  203. 203
    different-church-lady says:

    Q: How do you know you have Clinton Derangement Syndrome?
    A: You’re linking to Breitbart and you think you’re making a point.

  204. 204
    dollared says:

    @🌷 Martin: Yes, it would be terrible if US laws were adjudicated in US courts. Clearly the US should give up jurisdiction over what happens in the US, or what gets sold in the US. Our petty, narrow interests in labor, safety and environmental concerns clearly should not interfere with sacred international trade for the benefit of the 1%

    Is there anything the Fortune 500 wants that you wouldn’t give them, Martin?

  205. 205
    🌷 Martin says:

    @different-church-lady:

    One of these days we’re going to start talking honestly about the arms-race dynamic that has overtaken higher education.

    The dynamic is driven by credentialism which is a byproduct of how economic achievement in the US has gone from predicable to not-predictable. Young people and their parents have no roadmap for economic security, so they attach oversized importance to every component that influences it. It’s not enough to just go to college, you have to do a zillion things to get into the highest regarded college, meet the right people, do the right internships, graduate with honors, and so on. It’s a byproduct of a system which is non-deterministic and nobody feels they can afford to fuck any step of it up.

    I will caveat that explanation with this: It used to be deterministic for success for whites and deterministic for failure for blacks, with various intermediate states for women, jews, muslims, catholics, atheists, latinos, etc. The efforts to right that ship, barring any large national investment in expanding opportunities for everyone, has required taking opportunities for white men away and giving those to all of the other groups as there aren’t enough to go around. From the perspective of whites, everything has gone to shit. From the perspective of minorities, particularly african americans, there are promises that are misaligned with reality because not all layers of the stack have adjusted. Higher ed has, but K-12 hasn’t. So there’s a lot of opportunities for minorities in higher-ed, but getting them adequately prepared to succeed has a long way yet to go, and the result is overreach, failure, and a lack of confidence that they can succeed.

    In short, everyone is off-balance. Some lost opportunities while others gained but struggle to convert that opportunity to success. The country never made up for the under-investment that resulted from centuries of discrimination against everyone who, well, don’t look exactly like me.

  206. 206
    DCF says:

    @different-church-lady:
    You’re a valuable ‘balance’ on a blog like this one, Bob…d-c-l is partial to name-calling and all around nastiness, so pay her no mind….

  207. 207
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: @Mnemosyne: It hadn’t graced the NY Times. In fact, the left hand top story was the Pentagon saying that the hospital they bombed in Afghanistan last fall for an hour didn’t make it a war crime.

    So, if bombing the Doctors Against Borders hospital in Afghanistan last fall WASN’T a war crime, why would this be a war crime, whoever did it?

    Second, if that hospital was bombed from the air it was either a Syrian plane and I didn’t think that they had an air force anymore except for rolling “barrel bombs” out of helicopters, or a US plane. You may have missed it, but Russia pulled its jets out of Syria a month ago. But then again, considering how the media handles these things, maybe Putin did it personally. Considering the way this story is dribbling out I suspect it’s actually a piece of propaganda thrown against the Syrian push to get al Qaeda out of Aleppo.

    The fact that the story doesn’t seem to have legs suggests that it’s just a poorly planned propaganda story. Kerry’s outrage is another tipoff.

    I’m willing to wait for for facts, not news buzz. Meanwhile, do you agree with the Pentagon that that bombing last fall wasn’t a war crime, or don’t you give a shit about the people that America kills?

  208. 208
    dollared says:

    @rikyrah: So you say that you agree with Sanders but you’re so mad that the Democratic Party is late to recognizing the problem that you will vote for HRC because……………(she doesn’t recognize the problem)??? It’s kind of confusing to me.

  209. 209
    different-church-lady says:

    @DCF:

    d-c-l is partial to name-calling and all around nastiness

    Oh today you haven’t seen the half of it, my friend.

  210. 210
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Brachiator: As opposed to the US and its allies’ support of ISIS, al-Nusrah and other Sunni-armed Wahhabists who’ve been slaughtering Christians, Alawites, Shia et al? Brachiator, is that’s the team you’re cheering for? Do any of you have any fucking idea what’s happening there?

  211. 211
    DCF says:

    @Mike J:
    Meet US Uncut
    A helpful guide to the anti-tax dodging group US Uncut.
    By Allison KilkennyTwitter
    March 17, 2011

    http://www.thenation.com/article/meet-us-uncut/

  212. 212
    🌷 Martin says:

    @dollared:

    Yes, it would be terrible if US laws were adjudicated in US courts.

    For fucks sake – how the fuck can anyone who even pretends to care about politics not understand that a trade agreement is an international agreement. It is not a US law. It is an international contract that US law requires Congress ratify, effectively stating ‘Yes, the US will adhere to this international contract’.

    Our petty, narrow interests in labor, safety and environmental concerns clearly should not interfere with sacred international trade for the benefit of the 1%

    And those petty, narrow interests should be clearly stated in the contract (which the TPP does far better than previous trade agreements, which is why liberals should at least not lump it in with NAFTA, which they almost all immediately do) and the US can use the ISDS to enforce since all of the other signatories agree to abide by them.

    In short, a properly written trade agreement EXPORTS those ‘petty, narrow interests’ to other nations that had previously ignored them and utilizes the ISDS to enforce those interests, which the US courts cannot do because FOREIGN COUNTRIES ARE NOT BOUND BY US LAWS.

    Jesus christ, if liberals like you were your own species, you’d go extinct so concerned with the well-being of your own dick that you’d never consider that there might be a useful place to stick it.

  213. 213
    Bob In Portland says:

    @different-church-lady: In your bubble. There’s a wonderful world beyond the village.

  214. 214
    different-church-lady says:

    @Bob In Portland: Link?

  215. 215
    DCF says:

    @different-church-lady:
    I’m not your friend, and I’ve seen (and read) a sufficient sampling of your ‘work’ to know I don’t need (or want) to experience further examples of your venality….

  216. 216
    DCF says:

    @Bob In Portland:
    You can drop the mic now, Bob….

  217. 217
    different-church-lady says:

    @DCF: Well, I hear there’s a fresh rev of the pie filter you might be interested in.

    PS: I’m surprised to hear I’m getting paid for this.

  218. 218
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: From your link:

    John Kerry, the Secretary of State, said American authorities were still gathering information but believed the hospital strike was a “deliberate” attack by Syrian forces…

    A Syrian military official in Damascus denied the government had hit the hospital and Major General Igor Konashenkov said Russian planes had not flown any missions in the region for several days.

    Now you owe Putin an apology.

  219. 219
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Cacti: Since no one says it was Russia, then it must be your fault for not being able to read. Or your fault for quoting Mnem. Whatever, you owe Putin an apology.

  220. 220
    Bob In Portland says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The position of Vice President is the insurance for the permagov. LBJ was their insurance for JFK. During the Nixon removal the permagov had to slip in Gerald Ford for Spiro before they made the move. Bush was their insurance in case Reagan went off the reservation.

  221. 221
    dollared says:

    @🌷 Martin: But Martin, the fantastic bleed that is our trade imbalance is a big part of what creates the zero sum situation here in the US. We have exported a significant chunk of our own economic wealth creation engine, and as a person connected with university research, our research base is now being exported. Like it or not, trade agreements play a central role in diminishing opportunity in this country. And that creates a cascade effect throughout our economy.

  222. 222
  223. 223
    different-church-lady says:

    @Bob In Portland: Ah, those people like you. Got it.

  224. 224
    Bob In Portland says:

    @different-church-lady: No, that is a fictionalization of Balloon Juice Village.

  225. 225
    different-church-lady says:

    @Bob In Portland: So you can’t link me to someone who likes you?

  226. 226
    🌷 Martin says:

    @dollared:

    We have exported a significant chunk of our own economic wealth creation engine

    No, we haven’t. What we did was fight tooth and nail for a dying economy while failing to invest in the rising one. There was no export. Consumer electronics is now one of the largest global industries and that manufacturing never existed in the US in any scale. We were more interested in protecting truck drivers than we were in building the kind of geographically dense industrial effort that would have won economically by cutting out the incredibly expensive (because time became the driving expense, not fuel) transportation layer that the US could not abide by because heaven forbid 2 senators get some thing that the other 98 do not.

    And given that US GDP has not suffered (it’s actually outpaced most other industrial countries), you cannot argue that it was a bad tradeoff. Now, you could argue that those GDP gains accrued in the wrong places, that the productivity gained by our automation should have been better distributed to the labor class that got displaced, and I would agree 100% with that. The US did not lose that money, we just piled it up in a small handful of unbelievably tall piles.

    But none of that is a consequence of export. We exported unprofitable jobs and expanded profitable ones. That’s what a country should do. We simply failed to distribute those profits. That’s all domestic policy.

  227. 227
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: Okay. Which report is true. Were there forty sorties flown against Aleppo? Were there barrel bombs? Who saw them? Were they dropped from a helicopter or a jet? (Hint: jets don’t carry barrel bombs)

    The Syrian government denies it. Russia says it hasn’t flown any missions for days. The US says that it wasn’t flying any closer than 20 clicks from the hospital when the bombs dropped. That suggests that the US was the only air force in the region that day.

    Who is in the midst of explaining away the last hospital they bombed? (Hint: US)

    I see that WaPo is calling for the US to up its aid for the freedom fighters.

  228. 228
    SciNY says:

    @Mnemosyne: What, aren’t you nostalgic for Tricky Dick? Roger Stone is ready to reprise the highlights of the CREEP days.

  229. 229
    Cacti says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Whatever, you owe Putin an apology.

    I’m sorry that Putin’s an imperialist right wing dictator.

  230. 230
    singfoom says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    @Mnemosyne: From your link:
    John Kerry, the Secretary of State, said American authorities were still gathering information but believed the hospital strike was a “deliberate” attack by Syrian forces…
    A Syrian military official in Damascus denied the government had hit the hospital and Major General Igor Konashenkov said Russian planes had not flown any missions in the region for several days.

    Now you owe Putin an apology.

    Oooh ooh, I know, let’s play a game. It’s called Judgement Call!
    Here’s the scenario. An incident happened in a far away remote place. You have no firsthand knowledge of the actual incident, you can only rely on the statements by three interested parties. You have to judge if their interests match their words and give your best guess to who is telling the truth. The winner gets absolutely NOTHING!

    The first party is the Secretary of State of the United States of America, he says the Syrians did it. As we all know, the USA is a global hegemon. The USA has a vested interest in the conflict the incident happened within being over so the refugee crisis ends and the Middle East is peaceful for economic and geostrategic reasons.

    The second party is “A Syrian military official in Damascus”, a member of a regime already proven to have bombed and killed their own people in the middle of a civil war. The Syrian armed forces have a vested interest in the incident since they are one side of the civil war and they want to win that civil war to hang onto the power structure of the Assad regime. They say they didn’t do it.

    The third party is Major General Igor Konashenkov, a member of the Russian armed forces. The Russian armed forces are involved in the conflict and have been spotted multiple times by independent observers bombing rebel positions and then claiming that they were ISIS. The Assad regime was/is a client state of the Russian government and the Russian government has a vested interest in making sure the Assad regime survives the civil war so they can continue projecting their power and influence via the client state.

    What’s your answer? I vote for believing John Kerry, using OCCAMS FUCKING RAZOR.

    Because there’s not one fucking thing that the United States of America gains by bombing a fucking hospital in Syria.

    Also too, go fuck yourself Bob.

  231. 231
    tones says:

    @Captain C: respectfully it was, people had jobs, unions, houses, cars, college for the kids, etc.
    We don’t have that anymore.

  232. 232
    🌷 Martin says:

    @tones:

    respectfully it was, people had jobs, unions, houses, cars, college for the kids, etc.
    We don’t have that anymore.

    Well, white people had those things. Black people didn’t.

    A lot of black people are way the fuck better off, as are a lot of asians and latinos. And more white people have houses now than then and they are nicer houses, more have cars and nicer cars, more are going to college. And not only is the unemployment rate now about what it was on average through the 70s, but the labor participation rate is higher now than in the 70s. We’re worse off on wages, but housing, food, clothing, etc. are all cheaper, so mostly what we’ve lost is discretionary income. That’s not nothing, but it’s hardly armageddon.

    And for non-whites, everything is better – employment, wages, home ownership, college attainment, etc. And that doesn’t factor in non-financial benefits for gays, etc.

    Bitching about how horrible things are is incredibly insulting to the many communities that have made so much progress in the last 50 years.

  233. 233
    Miss Bianca says:

    @singfoom: heh. heh. I call ‘epic’ on this takedown.

  234. 234
    Bob In Portland says:

    @singfoom: John Kerry lied about the sarin gas attack. He lied about MH 17. When Kerry finally gives the information to the Dutch investigation board that he claims he had in July 2014 I’ll reconsider his lack of honesty.

    By the way, what happened to the story? No followups anywhere. Do we know that a hospital was bombed? Do we know it was hit by an aircraft or by al-Nusrah artillery.

    Finally, who has bombed hospitals in the region before?

    Whose planes were in the air in the area that day?

  235. 235
    Bob In Portland says:

    @singfoom: Also, your namecalling is childish and didn’t advance your argument.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] column for today has already garnered a host of critical responses (most intriguing, in my opinion, this one about his casual equation of Sanders’ and Trump’s support). Let me just quickly hop […]

Comments are closed.