Sunday, February 21, 2016

Yesterday-- Presages A November Election Between Two Truly Horrible Candidates


Rubio, Cruz and Herr Trumpf have been smearing each other all week, all month, all year, and each of them insists the other two are shameless liars. And, for once, all three are telling the truth. So it would be a bonus to put up a truthful and trustworthy Democrat in November. Regardless how you feel about Hillary Clinton, honesty and trustworthiness are not among the traits she's most admired for. In fact, in yesterday's Nevada caucus, exit polls indicated that among people who valued those attributes-- and we're talking about a Democratic primary here, not about a survey of O'Reilly and Hannity viewers-- only 10% voted for Hillary. I guess if she gets the nomination, Wall Street, K Street and the Democratic Establishment-- the institutions propping up her wobbly campaign-- can hope that general election voters will say, "sure, she's a liar but Herr Trumpf (or Cruz or Rubio or Ryan) is worse." In fact, the lesser of two evils has long been the foundation of Democratic establishment electoral strategy. "Our hideous candidate-- for whatever office-- isn't as hideous as the Republicans' hideous candidate." Not an overwhelming endorsement. Last night's results in South Carolina, which netted Herr all 50 of the state's delegates that were up for grabs, winning both statewide and in each congressional district. Turnout was huge.
Herr Trumpf- 32.5%
Rubio- 22.5%
Cruz- 22.3
Jeb- 7.8%
Kasich- 7.6%
Dr. Ben- 7.2%
In Nevada, turnout was not huge (12,000 voted out of 585,890 registered Democrats). Hillary won a narrow victory, 52.7% (19 delegates) to 47.2% (15 delegates)-- although, keep in mind that Nevada is the 5th most minority-heavy state in the country (48.5%)-- after California, Hawaii, New Mexico and Texas. Ilya Sheyman executive director of MoveOn: "A few weeks ago, skeptics rejected the idea that Bernie would even be competitive in Nevada. Yet today, he has won a substantial share of the state’s delegates, demonstrating that he can be competitive across the country. The skeptics were wrong—Bernie’s message is resonating across diverse communities and his campaign is gaining support everywhere it goes. The results in Nevada prove that we have a real race for the Democratic nomination."

Ken Vogel and Isaac Arnsdorf at Politico this morning: "A staggering 70 percent of Sanders' campaign’s money comes has come from donations of $200 or less, most of which are delivered online or in response to emails and text messages devised by a sophisticated digital operation that is breaking new ground in low-dollar fundraising. Just 1 percent of his donors have reached the $2,700 contribution limit, according to a Politico analysis of FEC filings, meaning that the campaign can continue turning to them for cash again and again. On the flip side, less than 17 percent of the $130 million Clinton has raised this cycle has come from small donors, while about half has come from maxed out donors. That puts Clinton, a longtime darling of the party’s biggest donors, under pressure to expand her small-donor base, lest Sanders continue to outraise her, like he did in January." That pressure is turning into a vicious and ultimately destructive strategy to delegitimize Bernie and his progressive base, which will leave the primary victor unelectable in November.

Reporting for the A.P. yesterday, before voters even got to the polls in Nevada. Ken Thomas and Emily Swanson reported devastating new for the Clinton Machine. They wrote that according to new polling "most Democrats consider income inequality a very important issue and half of them think tougher regulations of the financial markets imposed after the 2008 financial crisis did not go far enough" and that there is significant "support within the party for Sanders' fiery calls to increase regulations on Wall Street banks and address wide gaps between the nation's wealthy and poor." As exit polls for a much higher attended caucus than expected were being released-- only 20% of caucus goers described themselves as "moderate" and only 3% as conservative (Hillary's base-- the policy-centric explanations for Bernie's strong showing were coming into clearer view:

The poll found that reducing income inequality, a message championed by Sanders, resonates deeply with Democrats. More than three-quarters of them in the poll say reducing the gap between rich and poor is very or extremely important for the next president to address. And 8 in 10 Democrats, but just 3 in 10 Republicans, say the government has some responsibility to reduce those income differences.

Democrats were even more likely to say that reducing poverty is very important for the next president (86 percent) than that reducing the gap between rich and poor is that important (77 percent). Among all Americans, 72 percent say cutting poverty is very important, while 57 percent say reducing the gap between rich and poor is.

Maybe part of the distrust Democrats feel for Hillary has to do with the ungodly sums she's taken from the most corrupt characters in public life. Of all the unscrupulous and contemptible politicians in U.S. history-- just think about that-- Hillary has taken more money from the lobbyists than anyone else-- ever. She's already scooped up $2,915,238. And her whole campaign is riddled with lobbyists. Her real firewall-- super-delegates-- includes actual lobbyists!

And it's not just the foul lobbyists-- detested by Democrats-- who are so desperate to get her into the White House (I wonder why). Wall Street banksters want her too. She's raised the second most money from the Financial Sector among people who have served in Congress-- $39,278,192 since 2000 when she ran for the Senate. The 3 closest GOP crooks notorious for taking big bribes from Wall Street are McCain ($38,101,487, a million dollars less than her, even though he's been taking their bribes since 1982!), John Boehner ($12,422,298, since 1990) and Mitchell McConnell ($11,453,701, since 1984).

Friday, another crooked sleazy congressman, Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, endorsed her. (For those counting, he's taken $509,365 from the lobbyists and $2,385,675 from the Financial Sector.) He sold his community out so long ago that he no longer even remembers who his community is. His objection to Bernie? "I do not believe there are any free lunches. And certainly there's not going to be any free education." Or is his head just all fogged up. Public education-- not Harvard, not Yale, not Wellesley... means schools like South Carolina State College, where he went to school, and the State University of New York, where I went to school, where tuition wasn't free but very close to it. His school started as a Land Grant College, which progressives fought for against dogged conservative opposition who said things like "there are no free lunches and certainly there's not going to be any free education." The Morrill Act, establishing land grant colleges, was passed in 1859 and vetoed by conservative shit-bag James Buchanan. Once the South-- which is where most of the opposition came, of course-- seceded, the bill passed again and Abraham Lincoln signed it in 1862. A second Morrill Act was proposed in 1890, requiring the former Confederate states to show that race was not an admissions criterion or to designate a separate land-grant college for blacks. They opted for the latter and Clyburn's alma mater came out of that decision.

Today South Carolina State College is known as South Carolina State University and the annual tuition and expenses come to $25,650 for in-state residents-- over $100,000 for a four year education. I would never have been able to go to college-- nor would Clyburn have-- under those circumstances. Maybe Congressman Clyburn should pay attention to what Bernie is saying about helping his constituents:

It was telling this week when a report came out by Wall Street pharmaceutical and health services analyst explaining to investors why the should support Hillary, not just over Bernie-- but over any of the reactionary Republicans. "Overall," he wrote, "we believe the best scenario for healthcare investors is a Democrat, presumably Hillary Clinton, winning the Presidency, as we anticipate the Republicans retaining control of Congress. In this scenario, in spite of Clinton’s numerous 'threats' to rein in drug prices, allowing the re-importation of drugs, and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, we believe it is highly unlikely Clinton will be able to pass these initiatives through a Republican controlled Congress. Conversely, the Republicans’ efforts to repeal Healthcare Reform, would be thwarted by a Clinton veto as we do not anticipate the Republican obtaining the 2/3 votes to override a veto."

Yep... a vote for gridlock. Said Jilani pointed out that Clinton frequently boasts "about her record during the 1990s. 'I fought really hard,' she said at a Democratic town hall earlier this month. 'The insurance companies and the drug companies spent millions against me. I know what it’s like to go up against the status quo and special interests.' But now it appears they’re rooting for her."

Not just rooting either. The pharmaceutical industry has contributed more to her campaign, $1,139,798, than to anyone else, other than Jeb ($1,562,383). None of the other candidates have gotten any significant pharmaceutical money. Before I ask you to contribute to Bernie's campaign, let me share a piece of a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Virginia historian Samuel Kercheval (June, 1816): "I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom... We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. [Otherwise] as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four... and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers."

Goal Thermometer

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At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 12000 number is not the popular vote (which isn't reported). It's the number of delegates to the county conventions in April.

At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's time for Bernie supporters to plan their response to the possibility of Hillary winning the nomination.

Sanders can still prevail, but his path has been made much more difficult with Clinton's Nevada -- and certain South Carolina -- wins.

I've sworn more than once that I will never again hold my nose and vote out of fear for the lesser of two evils. However, the prospect of a Trump presidency is more than alarming. Disgusting corporatist Dems are one thing. An out-and-out fascist like Trump is quite another.

So the question, it seems to me, is this: is there anything real progressives can do to force Hillary to be the candidate and president that we want? What are the credible threats we can make? What are the points of leverage we can use?

Personally, I want to see her stop insulting my intelligence. I will be ultra sensitive to any hint of backtracking rightward, of the infernal Clinton triangulation, of proliferating lies about Sanders or insults about the intelligence of people demanding something better than her miserable status quo.

I want Clinton and her damned husband to understand in their greedy, brittle bones that people like me will stay home, we'll walk, we'll vote Green if they continue on the same course. My own spouse has vowed (and I believe it) that if Bernie isn't the nominee, he's voting for Trump. If Clinton and her disgusting, arrogant supporters don't get that, they will lose.


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