Late Night Opportunistic Grifters Open Thread

Well, he never was a Democrat. And now that he’s been rejected by Democratic voters — but not before picking up an addiction to the perks of Presidential candidacy — it looks like Bernie Sanders is lunging for the “disaffected GOP populist” vote. Because Trump’s unlikely to be a candidate next time round, since the odds are he’ll be in jail or dead of a fatal infarction!

But I don’t think he’ll win *that* primary, either. I stumbled over this clip from last month’s televised “tax debate”, and what I see is a flustered old man getting pantsed by Ted Cruz and Tim Scott, hardly the deadliest assailants. Good fun for GOP sadists during the early primaries, but Repubs aren’t pity-voters.

Murphy the Trickster God, do I get tired of these crappy never-ending premature reboots!



Late Night Rant Open Thread: Speaking of Cranky Old Grifters…

Politico, of course, is rooting for Democratic injuries — but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a real problem. I give Bernie Sanders due credit: With a mere fraction of the economic advantages Donald Trump or even Jill Stein were born to, he (eventually) achieved a rewarding career that did not require more than three days’ work per week, and that doing what he loved best. Tragically, a confluence of larger forces during the 2016 election gave him a much larger platform for his talents, attracting a motley crew of fellow cranks and perennial malcontents along with the media-friendly innocents who actually believed that he offered a working alternative to our current two-party political system. If he’d only had the smarts to shut up and go back to his Senate sinecure no later than December 2016, I would not dismiss him as the least effective Presidential Change Agent since Leon Czolgosz

But it’s not just the outside agitators that Democratic lawmakers, operatives and activists are annoyed with: They’re tired of what they see as the Vermont senator’s hesitance to confront his own backers, either in public or through back channels.

Tensions boiled over recently when a handful of Sanders loyalists bashed freshman Sen. Kamala Harris — a rising star in the party and potential 2020 hopeful — as an establishment tool. Democrats were also rankled that other prominent Sanders allies said support for single-payer health care should be a litmus test for candidates.

In response, Democratic senators and outside groups have begun telling Sanders and friendly intermediaries that if he wants to be a leading figure for Democrats ahead of 2020’s presidential election, he needs to get his supporters in line — or at least publicly disavow their more incendiary statements…
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Late Night Open Thread: White Male “Ally” Dives for the Spotlight

Sure, Hillary was a Wall-Street-Whore-Corporatist-Shill when she suggested haggling for a mere $12.50 hourly wage in those areas where the cost of living didn’t meet NY/San Francisco/Seattle standards as a bargaining tactic… but if it’s a (fellow) man, even a Republican, well, whole diffrunt kettle!… as ever with the More-Leftist-Than-Thou boys. CNN reports:

President-elect Donald Trump will find himself with an unlikely ally if he makes good on his promise to be an economic populist challenging corporate America, Bernie Sanders said Thursday.

“If Mr. Trump has the guts to stand up to those corporations,” said the former Democratic presidential candidate, “he will have an ally with me.”

The willingness on the part of Sanders, a longtime democratic socialist, to work with Trump on a series of economic issues underscores the unorthodox and strikingly populist message that Trump used during his stunning victory over Hillary Clinton.

Sanders, speaking with reporters at a Christian Science Monitor sponsored breakfast, said he is ready to embrace Trump on a handful of campaign promises. Those include protecting Social Security and Medicare, negotiating for lower drug prices, raising the minimum wage to $10, imposing tariffs on companies that ship jobs overseas, and re-regulating Wall Street by re-establishing Glass-Steagall…

Because if you can’t trust a notorious liar and deal-breaker like Donald Trump, who can you work with?

… By embracing Trump’s left-leaning stands, Sanders is hoping to make progress on issues of long-standing concern to the Vermont senator…

Foremost among those issues: What’s in it for Bernie?

… Sanders, who is promoting his new book, “Our Revolution: A Future To Believe In,” during a series of appearances across Washington, is stepping into the leadership vacuum of the Democratic Party.

He said it was not productive to look backward, waving off a question about whether he could have defeated Trump if he had won the Democratic nomination with a “who knows?” response…

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Another Day of the Sanders Campaign, Another Sad Trombone

Hilbot though I be, I seriously doubt there’s anything revelatory in the Sanders campaign finances beyond their embarrassing amateurism. The Senator has been puttering happily along in his Green Mountain fiefdom for many years, from the evidence so far on the record-keeping equivalent of a three-ring binder ledger and a cigar box marked Petty Cash. It’s never been a big deal for his staff to back-reconcile a bunch of line items for Misc and Other at the end of the financial year. And a government salary that seems paltry to Congressfolk from states like New York or California is comparative wealth in poor underpopulated Vermont — unless he’s made some spectacularly bad investments or nursed some unsuspected high-dollar addiction, Bernie’s no doubt set aside a tidy sum for his retirement and his kids. Knowledgeable numbers people have speculated he might even be a millionaire, on paper… no crime, even for a politician, but an embarrassing reveal for someone running as The Populist Peoples’ Candidate.

Bernie never expected his campaign to go beyond drawing attention to his favorite issues; he certainly didn’t prepare in advance for the scrutiny that comes with a real presidential campaign. His troops were heavy on enthusiasm, light on experience / expertise. There’s bound to be a certain amount of under-documentation, some questionable overspending, maybe even a little of the impulsive hand-in-the-cash-drawer minor splurges that drew so much attention to the Palin family in the summer of 2008. Nothing — up till now — that would draw more than a stern rebuke and maybe some fines from the FEC…

In today’s Washington Post, an op-ed from William M. Daley, “former commerce secretary [under Bill Clinton] and White House chief of staff [to President Obama]”, “Bernie Sanders’s stubbornness is a big mistake” —

Bernie Sanders is making a big and potentially dangerous mistake with his continuing insistence on changes to the Democratic Party’s rules and platform. I should know. As chairman of Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, I understand too well where such ideological stubbornness can lead.

Back then, many progressives insisted on backing third-party candidate Ralph Nader despite warnings it would undercut the Democratic nominee. Nader received 97,421 votes in Florida, which Gore lost by 537 votes. The result? President George W. Bush, who championed ill-advised tax cuts, the invasion of Iraq and other actions we now deeply regret.

Sanders made an energetic bid for the Democratic nomination, drawing big crowds and fueling debates on important topics such as income disparity. Although he lost to Hillary Clinton, Sanders is pushing his agenda to the party convention and insisting on “reforms” in a Democratic nominating process he describes as seriously defective.

Sanders is wrong to suggest the Democratic Party’s nominating system is seriously defective. It isn’t. It’s eminently fair to let party members (i.e., registered Democrats) select the nominee, and to give party loyalists and elected officials (superdelegates) a modestly bigger say…

Key Democratic constituencies, including the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus, strongly support superdelegates. “Our delegate selection process is not rigged,” Rep. James E. Clyburn (S.C.), a senior leader of the Black Caucus, wrote in a letter to colleagues. “It is transparent to the public and open for participation.”

Clinton beat Sanders fair and square. She won more states, more delegates (pledged and super), and 3.7 million more votes than he did…

… Democrats have won the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. In 2008, after losing a hard-fought primary to Barack Obama, Clinton promptly endorsed him and campaigned for him. In contrast, Sanders — who refused to even call himself a Democrat until this election — has yet to endorse Clinton. He says she, not he, is responsible for persuading his supporters to back her.

Every vote counts. Sanders should accept the primary outcome and enthusiastically rally his supporters to Clinton’s side to avoid a catastrophic Donald Trump presidency.

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And the Horse He Rode in On, etc.

Some cranky old coot wrote an op-ed that appeared in the New York Times today. He opened his piece by citing appalling statistics on wealth inequality. Current Democratic President Barack Obama has sounded similar themes throughout his two terms in office, including a speech in 2013 in which he called income inequality “the defining challenge of our time:”

President Obama on Wednesday pointed to a combination of growing income inequality and a lack of upward mobility as “the defining challenge of our time,” arguing the government should take further steps to reverse a decades-long trend that has widened the gap between the nation’s richest citizens and everyone else.

“The basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed,” Mr. Obama said. He repeated later in his speech that “the combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe.”

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has made wealth inequality a central focus of her campaign as well, including in this speech in 2015 that echoes President Obama’s themes:

Mrs. Clinton said “the defining economic challenge of our time” is raising incomes for the vast majority of Americans whose wages have remained virtually stagnant for 15 years as the costs of housing, college, child care and health care have soared.

“We must raise incomes for hard­working Americans so they can afford a middle­class life,” Mrs. Clinton said in a speech at the liberal New School in Greenwich Village in New York. “That will be my mission from the first day I’m president to the last.”

In his NYT op-ed today, the cranky old coot also cited lack of access to healthcare as a core problem, noting that 28 million people don’t have coverage. You know how many Americans were uninsured in 2008? More than 49 million.

The cranky old coot’s op-ed is entitled “Democrats Need to Wake Up,” and it concludes with this paragraph:

In this pivotal moment, the Democratic Party and a new Democratic president need to make clear that we stand with those who are struggling and who have been left behind. We must create national and global economies that work for all, not just a handful of billionaires.

Not once does the cranky old coot mention the name of the popular two-term Democratic president who orchestrated the largest top-down transfer of wealth in the history of the United States via the ACA: President Barack Obama.

Not once does the cranky old coot mention the name of the only human being on the planet who has a shot at continuing the push for more progressive policies as the Democratic nominee to follow President Obama: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Not once does the cranky old coot mention the Republicans in Congress, who vowed from President Obama’s first day in office to make him a one-term president and have opposed and obstructed every attempt the president and Democrats in Congress have made to improve the lives of the poor and middle class — carrying on a decades-long tradition that was in full force in the 1990s, when they killed Hillary Clinton’s universal healthcare proposal and tried to hound her husband out of office over a blow job.

The cranky old coot did briefly allude to Donald Trump’s bigotry and demagoguery. But the true villain of the piece — the entity that is asleep at the switch, according to the cranky old coot — is the Democratic Party.

Fuck that cranky old coot. The end.



Late Night Crankypants Open Thread: Bernie, How Can We Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?

sanders dance of the seven veils toles

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
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The Washington Post informs us that Sanders has “put his stamp” on the DNC platform draft…

The draft policy rubric approved early Saturday is evidence of the sway Sanders holds after a bruising primary that technically has not ended. The language would move the Democratic Party to the left on issues ranging from wages to banking reform to climate change, and represents several concessions by presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton to her persistent primary rival.

Fourteen out of 15 members of a party drafting committee, including four chosen by Sanders, approved the draft document. Cornel West, an academic and activist named to the panel by Sanders, abstained. The draft document now goes to the larger platform committee for a vote next month.

Sanders plans to ask for further changes to the platform then, most likely prolonging the awkward status quo: He has lost but has not yet conceded defeat or endorsed Clinton. He said Friday he would endorse Clinton when he hears her say “the things that need to be said.”

“I don’t want to do anything as he ends his term to undercut the president of the United States,” [committe chair Rep. Elijah] Cummings said during the negotiation Friday.

West replied that the responsibilities of citizenship should transcend loyalty to the president…

Reacting to the committee’s progress Friday, before the draft was approved, Sanders pledged to ensure his views are reflected even if that means contesting party orthodoxy on the floor of the convention…

That’s the same way my neurotic little rescue dog attempts to “put his stamp” on the world — by pissing on anything he can’t see as immediately useful to himself. (Anyone want to poll President Obama’s approval rating among Democratic voters, as opposed to that of Senator Sanders? Anyone want to poll what percentage of those voters have even heard of Professor Cornell West?) Silly old git is hooked on his own grift, and of course the Media Village Idiots love the chance to fly their favorite Dems in Disarray flag again:

(CNN)Bernie Sanders said Friday he will likely vote for Hillary Clinton for president in November, the strongest expression of support yet from the Vermont senator, but he left the door open that he could change his mind…

“My job right now as a candidate is to fight to make sure that the Democratic Party not only has the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party, but that that platform is actually implemented by elected officials,” Sanders said on CNN.

He also declined to say whether the time will come that he fully endorses Clinton, saying he is waiting to see what she says about his priorities. He also would not say explicitly, when pressed by Cuomo, that she won the nomination fairly…

Thursday night:


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Bernie’s Not a Buster

It’s the most ungracious and begrudging “endorsement” I’ve ever seen in national politics, but Sanders affirms he WILL vote for Clinton:

Well, that’s one vote from the dead-enders.

PS: I hope Cole and his fellow West Virginians are okay. Scary storms in that area.