Pretty Amusing

In case there are a few Sanders supporters I haven’t alienated yet, this from Alexandra Petri is pretty funny:

If Sanders supporters complained about other things the way they complain about election results

CHESS:
This game is rigged. The pawns get to move almost NOWHERE, whereas the QUEEN (DETECT ANY RESEMBLANCE HERE???) can just move wherever she likes with no apparent rhyme or reason. She’s not a bishop or a rook. Why does she move like one? Also, the black pieces have to move second, which is TOTALLY unfair and needs to be looked into, unless I am playing with the white pieces today.

SCRABBLE:
I played exactly the same word as my opponent, using exactly the same letters, and received fewer points for it — just because I wasn’t on some pink square, which my opponent claimed gave you DOUBLE the points. Pretty sure that’s the definition of rigged. Why would you just randomly have squares all over the board that counted for MORE or FEWER points when it’s just the same words? Also my opponent had two BLANK tiles, which just got to be WHATEVER letters she wanted. This seems made-up. Milton Bradley are shills who are trying to prevent the revolution. Also, “BERN” is totally a word.

TENNIS:
Sometimes when the ball lands it is worth 10 points and sometimes it is worth 15 points? This is not consistent. Also, sometimes you only need to win, like, 18 games? But other times you need to win maybe 30? The rules should not be like this. I hear that this game was invented by kings, and now I know why: BECAUSE IT SILENCES THE POINTS OF THE LITTLE GUY. Plus, to win you need ads, and you know who pays for ads.

HEARTS:
THIS GAME IS EVEN MORE RIGGED THAN THE ECONOMY. Hear me out. Usually when you get a heart or the queen of spades, it is an obvious negative, but somehow if you get ALL of the hearts and the queen of spades, you win? This is a blatant lie meant to disenfranchise voters, except for the time when it happened to me by mistake, then it was good.

I chuckled.



Tuesday Morning Open Thread

As an early morning chew toy, consider the following excerpts from a New York Times editorial board op-ed published today, which serves as a counterpoint to Cole’s “Pissing It All Away” post from last night:

Bernie Sanders’s Gift to His Party

The Democratic Party and Mrs. Clinton are better off for Mr. Sanders’s presence in this race. His criticism, as Winston Churchill might say, was not agreeable. But it called necessary attention to unhealthy developments in the Democratic Party, including its at ­times obliviousness to the lingering economic pain of the middle class and the young, and its drift toward political caution over aspiration.

[snip]

Mr. Sanders’s unwillingness to compromise has contributed to a thin record of accomplishment over his decades in Congress. While Mrs. Clinton outflanks him on both knowledge and practice of foreign policy, on domestic policy he has forced her to address the impact of trade deals and globalization, spell out her stances on clean energy and oil and gas exploration, and put more meat on her plans for college affordability. He’s exposed her failure to support $15 an hour as a federal minimum wage, and rightly called her out on the Wall Street speeches that earned her millions and her refusal to make the transcripts public.

Mr. Sanders has exposed a broad vein of discontent that Democrats cannot ignore. Predictions that Mr. Sanders’s supporters could migrate to Donald Trump in the fall are overstated, despite Mr. Trump’s cynical efforts to woo them. It’s more likely that some simply won’t vote. Mrs. Clinton is betting that many Democrats will be motivated to get to the polls if Mr. Trump is the Republican nominee. But to truly unify the party, Mrs. Clinton and party leaders must work to incorporate Mr. Sanders and what he stands for in the party’s approach to the general election. It would also help to acknowledge that the party has strayed at times from its more aspirational path.

Unlike the voices on the Republican side, Mr. Sanders’s has elevated this campaign. The Democratic Party should listen.

So who is right about the Sanders effect, Cole or the NYT editorial board? That depends on how this all winds down.

I still have a Pollyanna-ish hope that it will end well — that BernieBros and Hilldebeasts will join forces to crush Trump, restock Congress with sane people and continue President Obama’s work of dragging this nation out of the cold, dead clutches of Reaganism.

Discuss this or anything else — open thread!



Shit Happens and Things Change

hillary

About fifteen years ago when I was a budding young fascist and started this blog, I never figured I would one day be voting for Hillary Clinton for President. But shit happens, and people change, and so I just got home from early voting where I happily cast my vote for Hillary and also chose to vote for Jeff Kessler.

I don’t think she is going to do very well here, and the polling indicates that Bernie will win and Trump is going to take the state in the fall anyways, as her great performance in 2008 in West Virginia was basically because then new Sheriff Obama was a… community organizer. Regardless, I always like to vote because I think it is so important, so I went and got a haircut, went to the courthouse and voted, and then went and treated myself to a fish sandwich and coleslaw for lunch.

And no, it wasn’t even remotely difficult to “pull the lever” for Hillary as a reformed Republican. I’ve talked to a lot of people who say shit like “I can’t believe I am going to have to vote for her,” and that’s just stupid nonsense talking. In a two party system, you vote for the person who will do a better job. It’s just that simple. You aren’t voting for pope or choosing your spouse. And there is no question that of all the remaining candidates and all who have run in 2016, Hillary is, by a wide margin, the best option. So sack up and go do your duty to the country and stop wanking about as it is all about you.

BTW- 15 blog years is like 175 human years. I’d wager there are not too many blogs that have been around this long.



Everything that Worries Me about a Hillary Presidency in One Story

It’s the militarism, stupid.



She Learns From Her Mistakes

Clinton, 2008:

As the Democratic presidential campaign has intensified in recent weeks, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her supporters have said that Senator Barack Obama has not crossed the “threshold” to serve as commander in chief.

So does Mr. Obama believe that Mrs. Clinton is qualified?

“Yes,” Mr. Obama said. “As I believe Senator McCain is and as I believe I am. Keep in mind though, I think it is fair to say Senator Clinton has deployed this as a political strategy.”

In a news conference with reporters here today, Mr. Obama was flanked by 10 former generals and admirals who are supporting his candidacy. It is the latest in a series of dueling flag-draped events between the Clinton and Obama campaigns as they seek to demonstrate their national security credentials.

Mr. Obama said he was surprised by Mrs. Clinton’s assertion that he is not qualified to lead the military or protect the nation. Calling it a “last-minute gambit prior to Texas and Ohio,” Mr. Obama dismissed the criticism as an act of desperation. (He lost both states, but did not say whether he attributed his defeats to this.)

Clinton, 2016, was asked the following questions:

1. Do you believe, this morning, that Bernie Sanders is qualified and ready to be president of the United States?

2. So the question, and I’m serious, if you weren’t running today and you looked at Bernie Sanders, would you say this guy is ready to be president of the United States?

3. But do you think he is qualified?

Every single time, she refused to call him unqualified.

That’s why, even though I have a lot of problems with some of her past stances and positions, I am comfortable supporting her. She learns.

And again, this just seems like such a big deal because the campaign has been so nice this year. But when you look at 2008 and 2016, there were two campaigns flailing and hatching bizarre delegate schemes. Hillary 2008, Sanders 2016.

This is not hard.



I’ve Kind of Made My Decision

Decisions

First things first- This is going to be a long post but I do not want it to go below the fold. Also, this website is not going to go the Daily Kos route. You’ll be free to say whatever you want (within some basic rules of civility, and if you know this place, I mean very basic rules), and there is no editorial direction of this website to begin with, so don’t freak out and claim this website is changing in any meaningful way. This is just my personal opinion, and the commenting policy will remain the same- say what you want, because not only is it just as easier to say “fuck you” to someone than it is to say “shut up” and then block them, but because I like the comment to be a fun place where everyone can be rude to everyone else. I will note that while I disagree on the policy, there is a great deal in that Markos post that I agree with and people should read.

Having said that, I initially thought I would just sit out and wait until November and then support the Democrat, but I think at this point I have seen enough and I have decided that to my surprise I am choosing to support Hillary. I’m not going to go into all the reasons I have problems with her, but I will go into some detail into why I have chosen to support her.

1.) Since the 2008 Obama campaign, I began, through various forums, including fb, twitter, and the wealth of new websites and online journals, to expose myself to a lot more voices that include women and (I hate this term) people of color. I’ve seen and learned a lot of things that I never knew before, and have experienced vicariously what many of them have had happen to them, and it’s changed how I look at things and it has changed how I looked at Hillary.

In my opinion as a white single male with a degree of financial stability, beyond agita and heartburn, I have very little at stake in this election. I’m not going to be drafted, my insurance won’t be lost if ACA is repealed, I won’t have to worry about losing my ability to get pap smears or mammograms or basic health services if PP is closed down, I won’t have to worry about feeding my children, I won’t have to worry about the right to control my body, I won’t have to worry about getting shot in the street for walking while white or be found dead in a jail cell after failing to signal a lane change. These are not and will not be concerns for me, ever.

For women and minorities, these are things they worry about EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

truthinthis

And what I have seen from the women and black people I follow closely, speak with, and respect, is that they are almost to a person supporting Hillary over Bernie, and this has been borne out in the primary elections to date. Hillary is just clobbering Bernie with women and minorities. In one election, one substrata (right word?) substratum of African-American voters chose Hillary over Bernie by something like 95-5. To borrow one of my favorite phrases a pundit uttered years ago, Bernie’s numbers with the African American community are “Alfonsian,” a reference to the utterly reviled Alfons D’Amato.

I don’t want to get into the shameless race-baiting and attacks on Bernie by some of Hillary’s most vocal surrogates on twitter and elsewhere, which has been disgusting in some cases, and I do think that Bernie has not gotten credit for being as good on matters of race as he should be, which is regrettable (as were the remarks by John lewis, I think), but that doesn’t change the basic facts. The people who have the most to lose in this election and who are the absolute bedrock base of this party overwhelmingly support Hillary. When I was an asshole Republican, African Americans and women were overwhelmingly supporting the Democrats then, because they knew what was best for them and the party. I thought otherwise. They were right. I was not. Despite the fact that I was Bernie curious, I think that I should probably shut up and follow the lead of the people who were right all along.

And that’s one reason I am choosing to vote for Hillary in the primary in West Virginia.

***

2.) While I loathe the Super Delegate idea, the simple fact of the matter is that her peers and the establishment, meaning the people who have worked with her for the past few decades at various levels, are almost unanimously endorsing her. While I will always think there is corruption and closing the ranks at the national level, I also think that when that many people have worked with you in the past and liked what they have seen choose you over someone else, it means something. That tells me that despite what you read in the media and despite all the distortions you read over crap like Benghazi, she actually does make good choices as a leader. These people like her, and want to work with her again.

Remember, on the Republican side, not one Senator wants to work with Cruz, and we say it means something about him. On the Democratic side, the overwhelming number of Senators have chosen to support Hillary. That should also say something to you.

A quick sidepoint- I maintain that having the email server was a stupid idea that caused more trouble while it was worth, but the biggest thing it did for me, a loser with no social life, was give me the opportunity to read a metric ton of Hillary’s emails. And, because, as previously noted, I am a loser with no social life, I did just that. You can too! And you know what shocking news I discovered?

She’s actually really nice with her staff and friends and seems like a pretty cool person to have as your boss.

hillaryemail

That monster! What kind of inhuman scum doesn’t know how to get their email set up right on their iPad? Oh, me.

And think about it- it kind of makes sense. You all remember Terry McAullife and the rest of the 2008 clown car doing their best Baghdad Bob immitations, and you’ve seen her surrogates willingly, for free, debase themselves in support of her on twitter and elsewhere. She doesn’t have naked pictures of all of them, ffs. Something about her must engender that kind of loyalty and support. Maybe it’s because she’s nice, she’s smart, they trust her, and they would do anything for her because of that? Say what you want, but those are the kind of traits a President and a Presidential candidate will need, especially in this election.

It also says to me that she is going to be better able to work with Congress to get some things done. yes, there will be compromises and the dreaded triangulation. Until Democrats get off their asses and start voting on off year elections, we are going to have to deal with these bible-thumping backwoods hicks and their crony capitalist buddies in Congress. I think Hillary is far more likely to be able to negotiate with them than Sanders.

***

3.) This isn’t a single issue country, this won’t be a single issue Presidency, and we don’t need a single issue President.

Sweet Flying Spaghetti Monster, I love the fire and passion of Bernie Sanders. I really do. People make fun of him because he is shouty- last night at the debate people were mocking him shouting answers to the Flint residents asking him questions, and asking why is he shouting at her. He isn’t shouting at her, he’s shouting with her, because I guarantee that woman on the stand with two kids with lead poisoning wants to do more than shout at Rick Snyder. When Bernie is shouting about inequality and Wall Street I don’t hear him shouting because my internal monologue when I think about those things is shoutier and louder and angrier. I’m amazed he hasn’t called them mother fuckers yet, because it would have been the second and third words out of my mouth.

But it’s not the only issue we need to think about. Income equality wouldn’t save Sandra Bland. Income equality isn’t going to stop global warming. Income equality isn’t going to end racism. Income equality isn’t going to restore a woman’s right to choose back to Roe v. Wade levels.

And despite my misgivings about Hillary’s hawkishness and past mistakes and overall willingness to intervene militarily or otherwise, I think that on balance, she is better on many of the issues and more likely to maintain and advance the gains of the Obama years. We have to make choices when we are adults, and no one gets their perfect candidate. Even though I would love to have Obama for another eight years, I have real issues with him on some things.

***

4.) I think Hillary is better positioned to win. People like to point to her negatives, but those are not going to get worse. If anything, especially if the Republicans nominate Cruz or Drumpf the Insult Comic Hairpiece, I bet her negatives improve. This election is going to be a street fight. It is going to be ugly. I think we can throw the old conventional wisdom of negatives and how they play out in elections out the window. Regardless, if anyone’s negatives are going to go down, I think it is going to be Bernie’s. Our media will fuck up things again and never inform their voters that “democratic socialism” is basically all the things even Republican voters like about government, the Republicans will turn him into the lovechild of Stalin, and that will be that.

Combined with her team’s better ground game, experience with the ground rules, and the enthusiastic support of the base of the party (said women and minorities), I think Hillary is better positioned to win, and really, that is all that matters at this point. I guess I am a single issue voter, too:

singleissue

Also worth mentioning is that I’m not concerned that were he the nominee, Bernie would bring a knife to a gunfight, but I know damned well that team Clinton will bring a automatic shotgun, grenades, mace, stun guns, and everything else they have at their disposal. Again, it’s irritating as hell most of the time, but there is no denying that Hillary has at her side a large armory filled with weapons grade assholes. Exhibit A- Phillipe Reines:

From: Reines, Philippe (Clinton)
Sent: Tue 12/30/2008 12:0S PM
To: Ben Smith
Subject: DOES ANYBODY

Do their own reporting anymore?

Page Six is wrong

And now you are because you can’t even bother to email and say “Hey, is this true?”

Unreal

Smith (in response):

I checked opensecrets!

so why’d she return caroline’s money?

Reines:

BECAUSE IT WAS A GENERAL ELECTION CONTRIBUTION YOU MORON

It was returned along with EIGHT THOUSAND other people on 8/28 the day it legally HAD TO

Her primary contribution went nowhere

Jezus

You’re the fourth person today doing a correction (I hope). Daily News is doing one, LA Times doing one.

I mean, come on people

Just google Phillipe+Reines+email if you are as much of a loser as I am and enjoy reading this shit. It’s really awesome.

At any rate, that is the kind of thing we need to win this cycle. I seriously believe this is going to be the ugliest general election in generations, and I want the indefatigable assholes on my side.

***

5.) I know this is going to piss people off, and I know some of you are going to scream ageism, but watching Bernie last night, he just seemed old and tired and wearing down. I was initially leaning Bernie at the beginning of this primary (because of course I was), and every time I look at him he just looks less energetic and a little more beat down. His response latency seems to be increasing as he collects his thoughts, and last night I saw him lashing out angrily about “your Wall Street friends,” and those are just not things that can happen in the general.

56dd9c7867a0e.image

I’m not trying to be ageist- I don’t think people his age can’t or shouldn’t be President, it’s just that as I have watched this primary election go on, Clinton seems to be getting stronger and more confident and more ready for the election, while I feel the opposite is true about Sanders. In my mind’s eye, she looks younger to me than she did at the beginning of this primary. Clinton seems to really becoming a happy warrior, despite all the heaps of bullshit the Republicans have thrown at her.

Maybe you don’t see it that way. But I do. I look at Hillary these days and think there is no doubt she could serve eight years right now, while some days I wonder if Bernie is going to make it to November. The Vice President is a backup plan for when things go horribly wrong, not a plan. Again, I’m sorry if my elders think I am bashing them by stating this, but I’m really not trying to- Bernie has more energy on a bad day than I do on a great day, but he just is really starting to look worn down. The contrast for me last night was palpable.

***

I’m sure there are more reasons I could offer up, but that is where I am now. I’m not going to debase myself and go all pro-Hillary and make up bullshit about Bernie like I have seen, because I have to sleep at night and because I think there are enough reasons to support her without having to trash Bernie. Plus, I want to keep my powder dry for whatever viscous green sputum Cthulhu coughs up from his sulfurous chest to run as the Republican. But for right now, I think Hillary is the best choice and I think it is time to get in the game personally. This would be so much easier if one of them just sucked.

Goal Thermometer

Have at it in the comments.



I’ll Take Journalism I Disdain For $1,000, Alex

This, in today’s Grey Lady, got my goat:

While Mr. Sanders’s direct rhetoric is an enduring source of his success, Mrs. Clinton has a way of meandering legalistically through thickets of caution and temporization.

Asked whether she would fire the head of the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to remedy water problems in Flint, Mrs. Clinton gave a nearly 200-word response emphasizing the need for a full investigation to “determine who knew what, when.” Mr. Sanders’ 16-word response drew enormous applause: “President Sanders would fire anybody who knew about what was happening and did not act appropriately.”

On the one hand, fine:  as a performance critique, that’s a perfectly understandable distinction to draw (though in this case even the stated critique is patent BS, about which more in a moment).  But there’s more to political journalism than amateur theater criticism.

William_Hogarth_028

Some interest, even a glimmer of curiosity in the quality of the content of the answer would be welcome.

So, let’s take a look.  When asked if she would fire people at the EPA over the Flint crisis, here’s what Clinton actually said:

CLINTON: Well, I think that the people here in the region, who knew about this and failed to follow what you just said, rightly, the law required, have been eliminated from the EPA.

COOPER: So far, one person has resigned.

CLINTON: I don’t — well, I don’t know how high it goes. I would certainly be launching an investigation. I think there is one. I was told that — you know, some of the higher-ups were pushing to get changes that were not happening.

So I would have a full investigation, determine who knew what, when. And yes, people should be fired. How far up it went, I don’t know. But as far as it goes, they should be relieved, because they failed this city.

But let me just add this, Anderson. This is not the only place where this kind of action is needed. We have a lot of communities right now in our country where the level of toxins in the water, including lead, are way above what anybody should tolerate.

(APPLAUSE)

We have a higher rate of tested lead in people in Cleveland than in Flint. So I’m not satisfied with just doing everything we must do for Flint. I want to tackle this problem across the board. And if people know about it and they’re not acting, and they’re in the government at any level, they should be forced to resign.

So — yes, she’d fire people when and as they were found to be culpable, but such actions, she argues, are not enough.  I’d go further, and say that they’re cosmetic, unless the same duty of care that Flint deserves is applied across the board.

And I don’t know about you, but to me, the demand to take the lessons of Flint on the road is hardly a legalistic detour into “thickets of caution and temporization.”  The gap between that characterization and what was actually said (and not quoted in the offending thumb-sucker) is, shall we say, interesting.  Given the Times‘ history with Hillary, I’d even say, suggestive.

I know it’s a lot to ask (it isn’t, actually. It’s merely impossible for current practitioners to answer — ed.) but I’d like to see even a hint of acknowledgement that what Clinton said may have been less dramatic than Sander’s reply, but, just maybe, contained something worth thinking about.  Even more, some recognition that two hundred words is not too much to spend on the problem of failed infrastructure, the abandonment of governmental responsibility, and poisoned kids.

Just for perspective — the average speaker takes roughly 80 to 90 seconds, maybe a skosh more, to utter two hundred words.  I’d have thought a hero of the English language like a New York Times reporter might have the stamina to stick it out that long.

Color me grumpy.

Image:  William Hogarth, An Election Entertainment from the Humours of an Election series, c. 1755