2:00PM Water Cooler 3/4/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Republican Debate

“The Fox News GOP debate transcript, annotated” [WaPo].

“What We Learned from Thursday’s Debate” [Roll Call]. Nice round-up of GOP insiders.

“Five Big Questions After a Vulgar Republican Debate” [Frank Bruni, New York Times]. (TRUMP: “[H]e referred to my hands, if they are small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there is no problem. I guarantee.”) Oh, my goodness! Bruni — along with the entire political class — clutches his pearls and heads for the fainting couch because Trump — in his own inimitable fashion, I grant — went sex positive! The horrified reaction is particularly rich coming from “progressives,” who invented and propagated “teabaggers [NSFW]” as a sobriquet for the Tea Party. Of course, blowing faraway brown people to pink mist is never vulgar. Or seducing an intern to whom you owe a duty of care. This will be my first animated *.gif, but since Mr. Bruni’s visual is so compelling, I feel constrained to use it:


(Readers, if the animation drives you nuts, let me know and I’ll substitue a still. OTOH, you may wish to save this out to use on your Twitter feeds!)

Credit due, even if Axelrod probably doesn’t write his own tweets:

Signals the next phase of attacks, based on Trump’s tax returns?

“Rather than engaging with the other candidates, Kasich focused on his own record, mentioning himself 134 times, more often than Rubio and Cruz mentioned themselves, and more often than he’d done in any prior debate. Kasich is seeking a home-state win in the Ohio primary on March 15” [Bloomberg]. If Kasich hopes to win with a brokered convention, he’d better have some votes on the floor…


“If ‘decline’ means stagnation, then the U.S. has been in decline for roughly 15 years” [Bloomberg]. “So the narrative of decline being pushed by Donald Trump — and echoed by many other presidential candidates — is real.”

“The Clinton-Backed Honduran Regime Is Picking Off Indigenous Leaders” [The Nation]. “Cáceres was a vocal and brave indigenous leader, an opponent of the 2009 Honduran coup that Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, made possible. In The Nation, Dana Frank and I covered that coup as it unfolded. Later, as Clinton’s emails were released, others, such as Robert Naiman, Mark Weisbrot, and Alex Main, revealed the central role she played in undercutting Manuel Zelaya, the deposed president, and undercutting the opposition movement demanding his restoration. In so doing, Clinton allied with the worst sectors of Honduran society.”


“Carson spent heavily on consultants, lightly on campaigning” [AP]. “All told, the Carson campaign turned over at least one-quarter of the money it raised — $16 million — to fundraising and marketing firms owned by a pair of his top consultants, Mike Murray and Ken Dawson. By contrast, the Carson campaign’s payroll for nine months cost less than $700,000, finance documents show, and the campaign spent less than $600,000 on television and radio advertising during the month that voting has taken place.” That’s good grift, but not on a Bushian scale.

The Voters

“Five theses on the Super Tuesday results” [Corey Robin, Jacobin].

I’ve seen lots of claims that Sanders is only winning because of white men; among every other demographic, he loses. That simply isn’t true.

In Vermont and New Hampshire, he beat Clinton among all women voters. In Oklahoma, as I said, he nearly tied Clinton among women voters. In Nevada, he nearly tied her among Latino voters (though the experts are still debating that one). In Massachusetts, as I said, he got 41 percent of non-white voters.

“Although the Democrats may avoid an open rupture with the Sandernistas in Philadelphia this summer, Hillary Clinton’s corporate machine will move quickly to reposition the party to the right in November so as to absorb the white ‘moderate’ exiles from the Republican rubble – thus, further alienating Bernie’s insurgents [Black Agenda Report]. “Black voters, who are fully aware that they saved Clinton from ignominious defeat in the early primaries, will in very short order be pushed back in their ‘place’: the captive constituency. But this, too, is unsustainable if even half of the duopoly comes undone, because the duopoly system is the cage that traps Blacks inside the Democratic Party.”

“GOP voter turnout in this year’s presidential race is up 62 percent relative to 2008, the last time both parties had open contests. But Democratic voter turnout is down by 29 percent across all the primary and caucus states that have voted so far. In all but two states, fewer Democrats turned out to vote in 2016 than did in 2008” [HuffPo]. “Eight out of the 16 states that have held primaries or caucuses so far have implemented new voter ID or other restrictive voting laws since 2010. Democratic turnout has dropped 37 percent overall in those eight states, but just 13 percent in the states that didn’t enact new voter restrictions. To put it another way, Democratic voter turnout was 285 percent worse in states with new voter ID laws.” And boy howdy, did the Democrats fight those restrictions tooth and nail. Oh, wait….

But voting restriction isn’t the only reason for Democratic apathy: “To be specific, 65% of Republicans say a candidate has come up with good ideas for solving the most important problem facing the nation, compared with 45% of independents and 49% of Democrats” [Wonk Wire]. Would be nice to have a candidate breakdown on that, but I’m guessing Clinton’s existential position of fighting the greatest force for evil in the history of the known universe — the Republican Party — with a strategy of incremental small fixes isn’t selling. And why would it? From the Gallup Survey:

Bottom line: This lack of conviction among Democrats that candidates have answers, along with other indicators of lower enthusiasm about the election, could portend poorly for Democratic turnout next November, providing a distinct advantage for Republicans.

“[W]hat we’re seeing among the Republican electorate this year is not remotely normal” [FiveThirtyEight]. “Trump does not just divide rank-and-file voters from Republican poo-bahs. He’s also extremely divisive among Republican voters, much more so than a typical front-runner. In exit polls so far, only 49 percent of Republican voters say they would be satisfied with Trump as their nominee — remarkable considering Trump’s lead in votes and delegates. But compounding the GOP’s problems, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz would leave only slightly more Republican voters happy”

“Fascists transform politics, as philosopher and cultural critic Walter Benjamin pointed out, into aesthetics” [Chris Hedges, Truthdig]. “And the ultimate aesthetic for the fascist, Benjamin said, is war.” Here again, however, Hedges’ schematicism betrays him. Trump not only told South Carolina that Iraq was a debacle, but said Bush faked the WMDs, unheard of “even” for Democrats. Frankly, if Trump’s ultimate aesthetic ins’t war, but kayfabe, the country might end up better off, given that Clinton’s “experience” amounts to setting the Mediterranean littoral on fire for no visible policy gain.

“It’s Time to Abandon the Pursuit for Great Leaders” [Foreign Policy].

The Trail

“Are Donald Trump’s fingers weirdly short? An investigation” [WaPo]. Result: “Trump is not a ‘short-fingered vulgarian,’ for the sole reason that he is not short-fingered.”

“If the people in the rest of the nation vote as the Super Tuesday results suggest they would, Mr. Trump would easily amass a majority of delegates and avoid the contested convention that his opponents hope to force and win” [The Upshot, New York Times].

“A trio of truthful attack ads about Trump University” [WaPo]. “[They’re] being aired by the American Future Fund, a politically active nonprofit group that does not disclose its donors but backed Mitt Romney in the 2012 campaign.” A little late for the oppo to begin…

“Cleveland seeking to buy riot gear for Republican National Convention” [Plain-Dealer]. Frank G. Jackson, mayor of Cleveland is, of course, a Democrat.

“Sanders agrees to participate in Fox News presidential town hall without Clinton” [WaPo]. Clinton picking out the drapes for the Oval Office.

“Hillary Clinton’s Campaign: Myth Vs. Fact” [The Onion].

“Susan Sarandon: Hollywood stars ‘afraid’ of backing Sanders” [The Hill]. Sarandon, let us remember, immediately propagated the video that showed the Clintonites “English Only” smear after Nevada was a lie.

“Socialists and the Horse Race” [Jacobin]. Jacobin is so hot right now.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation, February 2016: “The labor market is adding jobs at a very strong rate. Nonfarm payrolls rose 242,000 in February vs the Econoday consensus for 190,000 and a high estimate of only 217,000. Adding to the punch are upward revisions to the two prior months totaling 30,000” [Econoday]. “A negative in the report is a 0.1 percent decline in average hourly earnings that follows, however, January’s outsized 0.5 percent gain. Year-on-year, average hourly earnings are down 3 tenths to 2.2 percent.” So, more jobs but crappier wages. (To be fair, there’s apparently a statistical quirk where one February paycheck isn’t counted ’til the next report.) And: “The big contributor to employment growth this month was food services (40.2K), health care and social assistance (57.4K), and retail trade (54.9K).

Manufacturing was was down 16K, and construction was up 19K” [Econintersect].

International Trade, January 2016: “January was a weak month for cross-border trade with exports down a steep 2.1 percent and imports down 1.3 percent, making for a wider-than-expected trade imbalance of $45.7 billion” [Econoday]. “Exports of capital goods were especially weak as were imports of capital goods.” And: ” January 2016 Trade Data Becoming Recessionary” [Econintersect].

Fodder for the Bulls: “We’ve got a real strong job market going,” said Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust. “It does suggest that fears about a U.S. recession have been greatly overdone” [New York Times].

Shipping: “Carriers are ditching canal transits on backhaul trips from the US East Coast (USEC) to Asia and North Europe to Asia, opting to save fees and head via the southern tip of Africa instead. Soon they might start to do the same on fronthaul trips, moots Danish analysts SeaIntel” [Splash247].

“Over all, bookstore sales rose 2.5 percent last year, to $11.17 billion, from $10.89 billion in 2014, according to the Census Bureau. It is the first time that bookstore sales have grown since 2007” [New York Times]. “After decades of decline, the number of independent bookstores is on the rise.”

“The [Japanese] Cabinet on Friday approved a set of bills to help banking groups expand their information technology businesses and to recognize virtual currencies as having a function similar to real money” [Japan Times].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 69, Greed (previous close: 69, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 57 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 4 at 9:49am. Stalled?


“Bird droppings were the likely cause of a December shutdown at a nuclear power plant outside New York City, according to the operator” [NBC]. So awesome.

“A 2014 incident in France’s oldest nuclear plant, located near the German and Swiss borders, was more serious than previously reported, German media claimed Friday” [France24]. “[O]perators temporarily lost full control over the plant’s reactor 1 in the April 9, 2014 incident after water had incapacitated one of two parallel reactor security systems.”

“Volcanologists on NRA panel accepted donations from utility-linked firms” [Japan Times].

“It hasn’t snowed enough in Alaska this year for the Iditarod to start properly” [Quartz]. “This is the third year in a row that lack of snow has disrupted the famous race.”

“Climate Change Could Kill Half a Million by 2050” [Bloomberg]. “Lower fruit and vegetable consumption and changes in body weight may raise the risk of non-infectious illnesses including heart disease, stroke and cancer, the study [published in The Lancet] showed. Food availability may drop 3.2 percent per person by 2050, compared with a scenario without climate change. Lower- and middle-income countries will be hardest hit by reduced food supplies, especially the western Pacific region and southeast Asia, including China and India, the study showed.”

Militia Watch

“Ammon Bundy says jail ‘most difficult thing I’ve ever done'” [Oregonian].

“The story of the eradication of the original Ku Klux Klan” [Slate]. John Wilkes Booth has a lot to answer for.

“Fourteen more people have been charged in connection with a high-profile 2014 standoff over cattle grazing rights between armed protesters and federal agents at the Nevada ranch of Cliven Bundy, federal prosecutors said on Thursday” [Reuters]. “One of the newly-charged defendants, New Hampshire resident and former U.S. Marine Jerry DeLemus, has headed a veterans’ group formed by the presidential campaign of Republican Donald Trump.”

Class Warfare

“‘Idiocracy’ Is One of the Most Elitist and Anti-Social Movies Ever—Why Do Liberals Love Referencing It?” [Alternet]. “[W]e direct our disdain at the pseudo-problem of not being adequately intelligent, as if such a problem operates independent of material factors. This sentiment is a common thread in left discourse. While nowhere near as reactionary or meanspirited, being smarter than the other guy was a feature of the Jon Stewart era of political comedy…. Smugness and irony are the intellectual run-off of a left incapable or unwilling to speak clearly in the language of class and class conflict.”

“Costco Wholesale Corp. will lift its minimum wage for the first time in nine years, by a $1.50 an hour, as the labor market tightens and competitors start giving workers a raise” [Bloomberg].

“For as Willem de Kooning once said, ‘The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time'” [Medium].

News of the Wired

“The idea behind the [Google “Hands Free”] program is that anyone can walk in to a store, find what they want and head to the register, requiring only their face and a moment’s conversation to purchase something” [WaPo]. Wow! Ubiquitous facial recognition! What could go wrong?

“San Bernardino DA says seized iPhone may hold ‘dormant cyber pathogen’” [Ars Technica]. Damn. What’s that high-pitched warbling noise?

“It’s really anyone’s best guess as to what Google is doing testing a 100KW transmitter in the middle of New Mexico” [9to5Google]. Well, they’re not improving their crapified customer service or search results, that’s for sure.

“A drone came within 5 meters (16 feet) of a potentially catastrophic collision with an Air France jet landing at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in the closest encounter yet between one of the remotely operated devices and a civil airliner” [Bloomberg].

This year is Alfred E. Neuman’s Sixtieth Birthday [Paris Review].

“The Dog Thief Killings” [Roads and Kingdoms]. Wonderful long-form read for Southeast Asia hands, and for those interested in how class issues play out generally.

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (margrave):


I like a rotting stump; it’s a tiny little ecology.

* * *

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. diptherio

    Re: Idiocracy

    Soren Bowie over at Cracked is often good for some intelligent social commentary (even if it often has a dark-comedic bent). He recently proposed that Idiocracy would actually be a Utopia compared to what we actually have. For instance (spoilers), the “dumb” President actually steps down for the good of the nation, because he realizes that a smarter person will do a better job. Utopian, indeed:


    1. Paul Tioxon

      I would urge all of the smug intellectuals and arm chair generals of revolution to watch IDIOCRACY which is funny and insightful. For instance, it explains Donald Trump much better than all of the mental projections I read here or see on TV. Because, you know, a pimps love is very different than that of a square, after all, Donald Trump is a Capitalist Pimp, from the tits and ass of his Miss Universe pageant, sex, to USFL and Wrestling, violence, he has all of the Jungian Archetypes channeled for maximum penetration of the unconscious desire of the human species, unfiltered by the numbing sound of language. Trump’s world is a very fascinating one indeed, and his love does not judge, no matter what you do to prostitute yourself to make a buck, as long as you make a buck, and give him his goddam money, his love will flow.


    2. Steven

      The liberals like to pat themselves on the back for Obama, the ultimate master of style over substance. How is that smart?

  2. diptherio

    The Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC) recently held a gathering of a bunch of their grantees to talk about their projects and their larger visions. I’ve been posting links to some of them here, they’ve all been great.

    The most recent video from this event is Marnie Thompson, the co-founder of F4DC, talking about how they got their start (she inherited a bunch of “dirty money”) and how they’re trying to leverage their “little big pile of money” to provide non-exploitative, non-extractive financial support for co-ops and other transformative enterprises. The Southern Reparations Loan Fund is one of the main components of their work. If you’ve got some time this weekend, do yourself a favor and binge-watch the whole series. You’ll be glad you did.


  3. willf

    The horrified reaction is particularly rich coming from “progressives,” who invented and propagated “teabaggers [NSFW]” as a sobriquet for the Tea Party.

    The reaction is funny, considering that “progressives” are supposed to be “sex positive”. But to be accurate, there were Tea Party members calling themselves teabaggers before people on the left explained to them what it meant.

    1. jrs

      wouldn’t sex positive be to not worry about the size of one’s or one partner’s whatever, and just enjoy making out whatever size it was. Thinking about how it compares to others doesn’t seem very positive or very much about sex at all really, it’s about something else.

      1. Terez

        Yeah, dick-measuring contests are less sex-positive and more juvenile hyper-masculinity. And willf is right about the origin of “teabaggers”.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Since I was present at the creation, in 2003, let me explain.

      In 2003, the (left) political blogosphere exploded, as a reaction to the supine response of the mainstream media and the Democrats to the Bush administration. One of the blogosphere’s rhetorical tactics was to use bad language (“vituperative, foul-mouthed bloggers of the left,” as David Broder said.) Another tactic was to use language that sexualized political and power relations (Of Ezra Klein: “What’s that slurping noise coming from under David Broder’s desk?”). Both of these tactics were insulting both to the mainstream media and the Christian right that had such a strong influence on the Bush administration; that was their goal.

      I used these tactics quite a bit myself, back in the day, but I don’t much anymore, (a) because they turned out not to work and (b) the language got boring. However, “teabagging” was one such term, language that sexualized political and power relations.

      So, when the Tea Party came along, and started distributing (IIRC) actual tea bags, the left blogosphere gleefully deployed their existing rhetorical asset against them. Didn’t do a damn bit of good, did it?

      My prose was careless in that invention and propagation against the Tea Party were separated in time. My bad.

  4. fresno dan

    But I keep thinking of how Donald Trump got to be the very likely Republican nominee. There are many answers and reasons, but my thoughts keep revolving around the idea of protection. It is a theme that has been something of a preoccupation in this space over the years, but I think I am seeing it now grow into an overall political dynamic throughout the West.

    There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.

    The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful—those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time.
    I want to call them the elite to load the rhetorical dice, but let’s stick with the protected.

    You know, when NAFTA was being debated, it was said there would be winners and losers. (oh yeah, and they were going to get around to helping the losers…)

    “The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it.” …….they (the protected) are protected from the world they have created”

    They’re starting to see that who gets richer and who gets poorer is not a law of nature, that it is not just the roll of the dice, – the playing tables are not level, and the dice are loaded…

    When Peggy Noonan sees through the bull, anyone can see through the bull….

  5. Pavel

    “Clinton picking out the drapes for the Oval Office.”…?

    I guess that implies the drapes weren’t among the White House china and other objects they took on their last departure. :)

    1. Vince in MN

      Since they were dead broke they couldn’t afford the cost of an additional U-haul van.

  6. Steve H.

    – “If ‘decline’ means stagnation, then the U.S. has been in decline for roughly 15 years”

    “Yet it is true that the economic well-being of the average American — defined as median household income — has fallen since the turn of the century:
    That’s bad news, obviously, although much of that effect is due to shrinking household size and an influx of low-skilled immigrants.”

    Counter with this:

    “But that’s not the full story. Median household income has fallen almost 5 percent over the last nine years. So we’ve now gone nine years without the population-adjusted household income having risen. That, too, is the longest stretch on record. In fact, households were shrinking more quickly in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s than they are now — and incomes were growing. So the modest decline in household size is not the main cause of the recent income stagnation.”

    Oh dearie me, I’m deeply ashamed, that quote is from 2009. But it still holds true.

    Article is mushmouthed apologentsia. But you knew that.


    1. Steve H.

      and just, Stop, with the Onion, that’s just not funny. Meta’s one thing, Alzheimer’s Related Dementia another. It’s in hospice, leave it be.

  7. Tony S

    Something I’m having a bit of trouble wrapping my head around…

    The Democratic voters are supposedly “unenthuisastic” and not turning out in great numbers. But there’s plenty of motivation among Bernie voters — it’s the reason Bernie rose so dramatically to competitiveness despite a complete media blackout throughout the summer and fall of last year. Bernie’s supporters DO care, and care a lot.

    Hillary is the inertia candidate. The one most associated with a lack of enthusiasm among voters. And for good reason.

    And yet, Hillary’s doing much better than Bernie at the primary ballot box. It is often stated that only the hardcore and the highly involved show up to vote at primaries. That does make sense, but if Dems overall are so apathetic, how does this account for Hillary’s strong performance so far?

    I’m missing something. Nobody outside a couple of identity groups much likes Hillary. But they’re all voting for her.

    1. Vatch

      I think you ask a very good question, and I don’t know the answer, but I’ll try guessing. The media coverage of the Sanders campaign seems to have been rather poor, so the average voter has trouble learning about him. Many people in the country still don’t know who he is. So when it’s time to vote, people will think “Hmm, I don’t know who Bernie Sanders is, but I know who Hillary Clinton is, so I’d better vote for her.”

      Every time there’s a news article about Hillary’s email server problems, or Bill’s peckadillos, her status as a celebrity is cemented in people’s minds. Apparently it doesn’t matter that much of this publicity is negative.

      But I’m just guessing — I’m really mystified about this, too.

      1. Tony S

        The Bernie media blackout does have a lot to do with it, yes. But to me that’s only half the explanation.

        The “apathetic” Dem voters aren’t just voting for Hillary — they’re getting up, going out, and taking time to vote for Hillary. Truly uninterested voters usually don’t bother to show up, especially for primaries.

        It’s a bit of a riddle.

        1. sd

          People are not showing up. That includes voters who have weighed voting for Clinton and someone else they may not know and said, nope, I’ll just stay home.

        2. TomD

          Well, the truth is rather simple and poorly reported on. The Democratic primary has lower turnout than 2008, but that was really high. There had been a long decline in primary participation until then. (see page 29 here http://journalistsresource.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Voter-Turnout-in-Presidential-Primaries-and-Caucuses_Patterson.pdf).

          So while this primary has lower turnout that 2008, it is still high by the measure of the 90s or non 2008 00s (I think, feel free to prove me wrong on this).

          Further, Democrats like Hillary.

          Finally, she *is* an experience national campaigner with all the best the Democrats have. They know how to reach all the constituencies that Bernie is having trouble with. A lot of times this means working with specific groups (often churches or other organizations that drive primary voting).

      2. RP

        MSNBC (Make Sure Nobody Blocks Clinton) has been particularly egregious. Bernie blackout, and Maddow and Chris Matthews should be embarrassed.

        1. Tony S

          I don’t think Chris Matthews is capable of feeling embarrassment. He’s always been an DC Beltway Buttboy.

          Maddow is another story. She’s been better at progressive issues in the past. But like Paul Krugman, Howard Dean, and John Lewis, she’s frittered away most of her credibility there. Interesting how it’s much easier to be a media “liberal” when there aren’t any actual liberals on the national scene to support — or even respect.

          Ed Schultz would probably have been a strong Bernie advocate if he’d kept his show. Funny how he didn’t…

          1. Terez

            Maddow is playing for access this year with Hillary but IMO she falls short of the typical egregiousness of access journalism. She showed early enthusiasm for Bernie’s candidacy, saying that all progressives should be celebrating the fact that a self-proclaimed socialist was drawing such big crowds (this at a time when he had only drawn a few really big crowds), and that enthusiasm still resurfaces every now and then. I suspect she feels comfortable playing for access to the extent that she does because she follows Hayes, and most people know he’s her protégé. I’m honestly not sure who she’s voting for, and that’s not a bad quality for a journalist to have.

            PS: Chris Matthews is a terrible journalist and a terrible person. Maddow is nothing like him.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Maddow wasn’t always terrible, but Chris Matthews’ behavior is nothing new.

          I suggest a search of “Chris Matthews George Bush air craft carrier” then click the media matters link. Matthews is a creep.

    2. Steve in Flyover

      Out here in Kansas, I have three daughters, 22, 26 and 34. All are doing okay, because they got jobs early, and didn’t go into six figure debt to get degrees. They all work with people who have college degrees, but can’t find jobs in anything other than food service/retail/McJobs.

      (Out here in Flyover, you can get by on $12-13/hour sharing an apartment, and avoiding school loans, or any other kind of big ticket purchase. Including having kids.)

      All Sanders supporters. Along with most of their friends. As a group, they have seen that they are paying the price for free-trade/free markets, immigration (legal and illegal), and globalization.

      And they are old enough to know/remember what the Billary administration was like. If Hildabeast thinks that Sanders supporters are going to vote for her as a “lesser of two evils”, she is seriously deluded.

      They are more likely to vote for Donald Trump. Mainly because he has a higher probability to destroy the status quo. And he seems to be pizzing off the “right” people.

      1. Tony S

        Make sure your daughters all get out and vote! (I presume they’re aware of the evilness that is Sam Brownback as well. That he got re-elected after such a desultory record effectively killed my hopes that Americans will finally begin to see through right-wing propaganda. )

        I can’t vote for Trump, even if I hope he gets the GOP nomination. It is a sad commentary that he is LESS problematic than his primary opponents. If it’s Trump-Clinton I’ll probably just leave it blank…

      2. sd

        Trump has really become a revenge vote. Both establishment parties really don’t seem to grasp what this means. It’s not rational but it is very very dangerous.

        I’ve pretty much made up my mind to vote for Sanders in the general, even if that means writing in his name.

        1. Vatch

          If Sanders isn’t the nominee, you can write in his name. But because of the Electoral College, your vote really won’t count, since we don’t vote for President in the U.S; we just vote for electors. It might be better to vote for a third party candidate (who will have electors), such as whomever the Green party candidate is.

          1. TomD

            Interestingly, if you’re not in a swing state, you can get your vote to matter by voting 3rd party. Parties that get 5% of the popular vote in a presidential election are eligible for matching funds from the government.

        2. shinola

          “Trump has really become a revenge vote.”

          Yup – voting for Trump is basically a big, fat middle finger to the political establishment. It’s not really a vote FOR anything, just a vote against “all them damn politicians”.

          1. Starveling

            That is why if I can’t have Bernie I’m voting the Russian roulette option. Nuke the establishment Dems.

    3. curlydan

      “I’m missing something. Nobody outside a couple of identity groups much likes Hillary. But they’re all voting for her”

      A few thoughts:
      Women, seniors, blacks. That’s three large identity groups in the Democratic Party skewing heavily towards HRC in many states, especially Southern states where a democratic socialist, Jewish guy from Brooklyn may not be the best fit. Even in non-Southern states those groups can still yield her 40% without heavy lifting. From here on out, Sanders needs 60% or more to get anywhere close.

      After 8 years out of power, Republicans have more motivation and still have more candidates in the race.

      The Democrats have burned their base so badly that even Sanders may not be reason enough to come back.

      And I agree with others that the media blackout and its Sanders-shaming (e.g. how can you vote for someone with “unrealistic” goals?) is a big factor as well.

      1. RP

        Some of us would say that fomenting (or attempting to foment) regime change in Iraq, Libya, & Syria (to say nothing of Honduras) and not expecting it to explode into a bloom of new blowback is an “unrealistic goal”.

        Then again, whenever foreign policy is brought up, I’m reminded about HRC’s “experience” as if that should sway me; the fact that her tenure at State was a dumpster fire of failure laced with illegal behavior (unlike Bernie, I DO want to hear about those damn emails) is conveniently never discussed.

        Her malevolent arrogance may destroy the democratic party. Based on what I’ve seen in the past year of the campaign and the past 35 years of her time in public life, I say:


        1. Tony S

          Voting for Hillary because of her foreign-policy “experience” is like re-hiring a plumber who flooded your house just because he’s been there before.

        2. jrs

          “In order for someone to ignore you on a senior level [because you are a woman] you need to have reached that level” which most millennials have not yet according to the author. But they maybe already know they NEVER WILL. You can’t advance in the work world if you can’t get anything but precariat jobs anyway.

          I’m Gen X, I see women *AND* men of my generation struggling to find decent work and keeping jobs well beneath their skillsets because they have no other options (although we might be on the younger side of Gen X – still we’re not millenials). That authors bourgeoisie circumstances, for most who approach it, is only one layoff away from disappearing forever and everyone knows it. And yes we know the millenials have it even worse.

      2. Steve in Flyover

        Just read a commentary on Salon, on how a female IT person is supporting Hildabeast because a man asked her a question in a condescending manner. As if she didn’t “belong” on a stage with Presidential candidates.

        Wrong, Ms. IT Tech. The guy wasn’t being condescending because she was a woman.

        He was being condescending/confrontational because a lot of us believe the Hildabeast is a scumbag, who would be in jail if our system worked the way it should

        As far as voting in Kansas………too many Fox News watchers/gun nutz/deeply religious country folks/700 club watchers for a Sanders vote to mean anything.

        Although the youngest now lives in Missouri. Mainly because she has decided that Kansas is a giant s##thole that isn’t going to change. And she travels some (she would move to the Pacific Northwest or Colorado in a heartbeat), and is tired of trying to explain to other people why Kansas is so effed-up. So now she can tell people she is from Missouri.

        I’m thinking about doing the same.

        1. aj

          I’m tired of hearing this as well, Steve. All men who support Bernie are #berniebros who hate women and are misogynist anti-feminists and won’t vote for Clinton because she has a vagina. Apparently it’s not possible that we don’t care about her private parts and don’t like her because she’s Hillary Clinton the person, not Hillary Clinton the woman. I’d gladly welcome a woman president–Jill Stein, Liz Warren–but not Hillary. Maggie Thatcher was the first woman PM and how great did that turn out. I don’t want our first woman president to be such an epic failure.

        2. Tony S

          That female IT person is just looking for an excuse. She knows she can’t justify her support of Hillary on policy grounds (no person who considers him/herself a “progressive” can), so she’s falling back on the reassuring convenience of identity politics.

          Our system is broken, but voters bear much of the blame for it. Ignorance is a choice.

        3. RUKidding

          The female IT person might be in a for big surprise when HRC keeps supporting H1(b) visas, which is known that the Tech Industry is especially keen of using those to import foreign workers to pay them less than US workers.

          HRC is remarkably silent about the pernicious issue of H1(b) visas. The fact of Clinton’s private parts does not guarantee that she gives one flying crap about this IT person’s job – whether female or not.

          People really need to educate themselves about what’s going on.

          Hillary: She’s just not into you, Ms. IT person.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The female IT person is an authoritarian follower. Hillary is the legitimate leader of Team Blue. The whole “it’s time for a woman President” is cover for “I do what my leaders tell me.”

            They wouldn’t vote for a female Republican even if that candidate was tolerable because of that candidate would be in the wrong tribe. Since we should have a female candidate, it’s a useful deflection from acknowledging that Hillary is awful but still receiving loyalty.

            1. Massinissa

              I keep wondering where all these feminist Democrats were when Michelle Bachman was running for Pres 4 years ago. None of them were writing Op-Eds trying to get Bachman president on account of her sex.

          2. jrs

            And then they can talk intersectionality. How much harder it is to find a job as a *woman* in I.T., in a labor market that has been flooded with H1Bs. In a market flooded with H1Bs it will be hard for everyone, but probably harder for a woman, a black person, someone over 50 etc.. Because then the ugly and direct not so subtle discrimination comes out, when the fighting for crumbs begins.

            Although she claims to run a business, not just be a worker bee, so the class interests might be a bit different than I.T. laborers, maybe she even employs them.

            Speaking of IT, she should fix Salon’s website :).

          3. hidflect

            Might have something to do with the $3Million in donations Hillary took from Tata and Infosys.

        4. jrs

          “In order for someone to ignore you on a senior level [because you are a woman] you need to have reached that level” which most millennials have not yet according to the author. But they maybe already know they NEVER WILL. You can’t advance in the work world if you can’t get anything but precariat jobs anyway.

          I’m Gen X, I see women *AND* men of my generation struggling to find decent work and keeping jobs well beneath their skillsets because they have no other options (although we might be on the younger side of Gen X – still we’re not millenials). That authors bourgeoisie circumstances, for most who approach it, is only one layoff away from disappearing forever and everyone knows it. And yes we know the millenials have it even worse.

          1. Darthbobber

            Hillary is the feminist for those women who can afford to worry exclusively about the glass ceiling. For those who are still trying to get up off the floor, maybe not so much.

      3. charger01

        Demo have an enormous amount to lose. They’ve lost congress, in danger of losing the WH, and a supreme court slot. Kinda sucks when you dump all your eggs in one basket.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author


          [N]o president in modern times has presided over so disastrous a stretch for his party, at almost every level of politics.

          The party’s record over the past six years has made clear that when Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017 the Democratic Party will have ceded vast sections of the country to Republicans, and will be left with a weak bench of high-level elected officials. It is, in fact, so bleak a record that even if the Democrats hold the White House and retake the Senate in 2016, the party’s wounds will remain deep and enduring, threatening the enactment of anything like a “progressive” agenda across much of the nation and eliminating nearly a decade’s worth of rising stars who might help strengthen the party in elections ahead.

          Thanks, Obama! To be fair, he had a lot of Democrats helping him.

    4. Christopher Fay

      Just enough cheating, Nevada, out in the open in Massachusetts, to push Hillary into a tie where the media claims triumph

  8. Daryl

    > “Sanders agrees to participate in Fox News presidential town hall without Clinton” [WaPo]. Clinton picking out the drapes for the Oval Office.

    A Trump-Sanders series of appearances would probably be good for both of their campaigns. Although it seems like Trump is cleaning house anyway.

        1. ambrit

          Heavens to Murgatroyd Sir! You are too subtle by half.
          Logically speaking, as H. Clinton approaches the Presidency, opportunities for humour approach infinity.

  9. DJG

    Excellent .gif, Lambert, although it brings up a couple of questions: Is that you in a periwig? Or is it your ancestor Jean-Louis-Hippolyte de Strether de Lambert?

    1. ambrit

      At that time, the Strethers had not married into the Countess’s family line. They were just ‘good friends.’

  10. Lee

    I should add that at this moment the pro-Sanders folks outnumber the Clinton supporters by about 2 to 1 among regular participants at Daily Kos.

    1. Lee

      Well, this is weird: my above comment was an addendum to a longer comment that hasn’t posted.

    2. hreik

      Oh Monday the site owner told people that if they weren’t prepared to support the democratic nominee in November (presumably HRC), they should f**k off and leave. So I left. lol

      1. Tony S

        I was a pretty regular poster there for years, but left months ago. The site that once (justifiably) led the charge to get rid of Joe Lieberman is now shilling for a candidate who differs from Joe only in karotype.

        I’ll gladly support the Democratic nominee if it actually espoused policies different from the Republicans.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          @Tony S, Hahhaa. I just took a peek at Daily Kos. There is a diary up by a regular writer saying he will continue to criticize Hellery as needed after March 15 — slapping Kos in the face with the gauntlet. I guess the Dems are coming apart at the seams just like the establishment Repubs are freaking out over Trump. Funny as heck.

          PS I used to hang out at Dkos. It got a lot less progressive during the Obama years. Finally unbearable.

          1. Tony S

            @Llewelyn Moss, I posted on another thread (and I’m nowhere near the only person to observe this) that the Iron Law of Institutions is asserting itself with uncommon force this election season — on both sides. The Democrats would prefer to lose with Hillary than win with Sanders, while the Republicans are trying to undermine Trump, the one candidate who would blow Hillary away like a leaf remover.

            Meanwhile, Obama considers nominating a right-wing corporatist to SCOTUS to replace Scalia. But he’s Hispanic, so that makes it all totally cool and progressive! Gawd, our two major parties have really shown their buttcracks the last two months…

            Interesting times indeed. The Republican establishment is suddenly concerned about war crimes and torture, and the Democrats are publicly embracing the payday-loan industry.

            Make it stop.

          2. Lee

            The author of the post you reference, Tom P, is black and therefore may be a member of a protected or at least coveted group. Tom P is black and a progressive on issues of class. Here is a response from another regular front page contributor, who is also black and who regularly proclaims that class is a non-issue for blacks. It will be interesting to see if the identity politics much in evidence at Daily Kos trumps Tom P’s failure to up hold the party line.

            To Tom P from

            Mar 04 · 02:40:35 PM

            “Well, TomP I am quite sorry to read this. I could care less if the rest of them go but you would be a great loss, surely missed.

            Perhaps there might be some discretion carved out here for select folks.

            You’ve been a great asset to this place. Hate to see you go over something like this, but I respect your views.”

          3. Darthbobber

            Moulitsas’ diktat reminds me of nothing so much as Lenin and Company’s “ban on factions” (other than the Central Committee, natch.) at the 10th Party Congress, and the accompanying requirement that the Worker’s Opposition shut up and disband. The key point in the epistemological closure that the Bolsheviks never did recover from.

    3. cybrestrike

      It won’t be that way for long. Markos just dropped the gauntlet, declaring after March 15th, no criticism of Hillary Clinton will be tolerated. I suspect many commenters there, like me, may be on the outs–by ban hammer or just by leaving altogether for more objective climes.

      1. Jess

        I’ve seen plenty of analysis which shows that Bernie’s strength picks up significantly in states whose primaries or caucuses come after March 15th, and all the way into June. Wonder what will happen over at the Orange Satan if/when Bernie inexorably chews up her delegate lead and finally passes her?

          1. ambrit

            Let’s try this again; lose what? Much of value has been thrown away, with both hands. If H. Clinton does “win” the Presidency, she could be our modern Kerensky.

            1. divadab

              Naw – Kerensky was an actual liberal progressive. Clinton is an unrepentant participant in the corrupt federal edifice, and given how much money she’s made, a highly successful one. SHe’ll be a better Republican Pres than Trumpf!

        1. B1whois

          I wonder that as well. The choice of March 15th is at the peak of Clinton’s delegate count, according to what I’ve read here

      2. Bas

        He as well as the other HRC supporters are tired of seeing the Rec list dominated by Pro-Bernie diaries, and that is his way of dealing with it, I suspect. Every poll there shows at least 60% of Kossacks have the Bern. It will have a chilling effect perhaps.

    4. divadab

      Ya I read Kos’s rather Stalinesque appeal and all I can see is droves leaving Kos a weird pro-Hellery rump, as irrelevent and suppressive as MSNBC.

      Really bad.

  11. kj1313

    Hillary is giving an interview with CNBC right now. If anyone can post a link to it that would be great. :)

  12. ekstase

    I just find his furor over the short-fingered vulgarian thing fascinating. Of all the things they have hurled at Mr. Drumpf, this is the one that sticks?!! Especially coming out of New York, where this would be a rather mild insult. It makes me miss “Spy” magazine, which was apparently right on target.

        1. Massinissa

          Oh damn, now Im imagining a bunch of little blue Trumps with big heads everywhere in white Make America Great Again hats.

          1. ambrit

            Really now. Those hats are modeled off of the Phrygian hat, which signified freedom. This modern iteration signifies somewhat the same thing; freedom, from personal responsibility.
            Being somewhat dysfunctional this early in the morning, I first associated your image with ‘Trumpa Lumpas.’

  13. RP

    “Hillary Clinton’s Campaign: Myth Vs. Fact” [The Onion].

    Should all Onion links (esp. those re: Clinton or Sanders) contain disclaimer about who owns it now? Wondering what others think.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Comcast and GE own MSNBC, and people pretended it was a liberal network for years.

  14. Lee

    Daily Kos owner/founder lays down the law that after March 15, assuming Hillary Clinton locks down the nomination, stricter rules will be in place. Basically, criticism of Hillary Clinton of the wrong sort can get you banned. His guidelines are rather vague as he tries to walk a tightrope between supporting Clinton and alienating the left. Since Naked Capitalism is regularly referenced over at DK by the disaffected left, your traffic may soon increase.


    1. hreik

      Site traffic here will increase as a result of DailyKos’ threat. As I posted below, site owner told ppl Monday that if we didn’t support the dem nominee in November, we could go f**k ourselves and leave. So leave I did. And he changed the site graphics, etcto attract more young people…. not with that mindset he won’t. Yeah, he and 90% of front pagers are in the tank for HRC. Sad as it used to me much more progressive.

    2. Bas

      Hah! I am already on 4-week “time out” there. I begged to be banned at the help desk, but they prefer to make me sit in the corner. It should be easier to get it done the minute I am back.

    3. Bas

      Mass exodus to caucus99–their site is down and message says they are upgrading to new server

  15. Llewelyn Moss

    About this establishment revolt against Trump…

    All these years Rush Limblah has been cultivating the nutjob voting blocks for the Repubs (Xenophobes, Racists, White Supremacists (the extreme racists), Nazis, Misogynists, Gunnuts, Bible Beaters, et al). He’s kept them whipped into a froth with his daily Hate Speeches waiting for the arrival of a Trump-like Messiah. Not saying all Trump supporters fall into these nutjob categories, but I would bet it’s a significant percent.

    Point being, all the establishment Repubs were happy to have Rush herd the nuts. But now they are part of what is making Trump untouchable. Enjoy your Wall Repubs — I hope he makes it Game Of Thrones Tall.

    1. jrs

      Of course the Republicans aren’t the only ones cultivating the crazies. The Reps cultivate them directly, the Dems just cultivate them indirectly by decade after decade of neo-liberal rule under the Dem banner. By no means do I defend Trump voting, but who would vote for that and who would believe in such a “liberalism” anymore? The country DID TRY TO GO LEFT by voting for Obama. Yes he was always a phony, but it did try. But 8 years of Obama and the crazies are crazier than ever, and only some of it is due to his skin color.

  16. grayslady

    Lambert, thanks for some new links on voter analysis. I prefer seeing after-the-fact analysis to predictions for upcoming elections, because, this year, the predictions have tended to be way off the mark.

    Here’s some additional interesting analysis: On Thom Hartman’s February 15, 2016 show, he pointed out that one reason turnout has generally been lower in the early primaries this year, compared with 2008, is that a lot more Dem candidates were running in 2008 (Obama, Clinton, Edwards, Biden, Richardson, Kucinich) and each had his/her own get-out-the-vote team. Hartman also pointed out that, in NH, Bernie shattered the previous record for most votes to a single candidate (either Dem or Repub) with 151,000. The previous high record was Hillary Clinton in 2008 with 112,000 votes. I haven’t heard or read anywhere else about Bernie’s accomplishment.

    Other statistics, this time from CNN: In Iowa, 44% of Dem caucus voters were first-time attendees, and Bernie won 59% of the first-time caucus voters. He also won 69%(!) of Iowa voters who described themselves as independents rather than Dem or Repub. In NH, Bernie won 72% of independent voters. In other words, the political revolution is occurring, it’s just not being reported on in the propaganda media.

    Another unreported number is Bernie’s Latinx vote in Colorado. In the three counties with heavy Latinx populations, Bernie clobbered Hillary by an average 20% in each county.

    Separately, Bernie’s rallies are continuing to generate overflow crowds: East Lansing, over 9000 including 2000 overflow; Lawrence KS, almost 5000, including 1800 overflow; Edwardsville, IL, over 7200 with 2000 overflow. It seems that many people who have not yet voted are still enthusiastically looking forward to voting for Bernie.

  17. gonzomarx

    Love the gif. The prince regent should be used for the press core and maybe Repub po-bars.
    check out the election episode
    Black Adder the Third – Dish and Dishonesty

    Adblocking is a ‘modern-day protection racket’, says culture secretary

    Rugby may also go the way of US football!
    School rugby-tackling ban campaigners receive ‘vile’ abuse
    One signatory of the open letter from health experts and academics receives homophobic abuse while another has been asked not to attend an event

  18. grayslady

    Just wrote a lengthy post on primary statistics that disappeared down the rabbit hole when I pressed the Post Comment button. I hate it when that happens! So here it is in shorter form.

    In Iowa, 44% of caucus voters were first-time attendees. Bernie won 59% of those voters plus 69%(!) of voters claiming to be independents rather than Dem or Repub. In NH, Bernie won 72% of independent voters. Also, Bernie’s total NH votes of 151,000 was the highest ever recorded in the state for a candidate of either party. The previous record was 112,000 for Clinton in 2008.

    In Colorado, three counties account for the largest percentages of Latinx voters. Bernie won all three of those counties by an average of 20% over Hillary.

    On his February 15, 2016 show, Thom Hartman reminds viewers that one reason Dem turnout in the earliest primary states is lower this year is partly due to half a dozen candidates running in 2008, each with his/her own get-out-the-vote team, compared to essentially two candidates running this year. Personally, I would add that the Bernie blackout my traditional media is also depressing the vote.

    Finally, overflow crowds for Bernie rallies this week of approximately 5000 in Lawrence, KS, 7000 in Edwardsville, IL, and 9000 in East Lansing, MI. The political revolution is occurring, it just isn’t being reported on by the traditional media.

  19. barrisj

    Re: the Jacobin article and socialism in the Clinton/Trump era…another pungent analysis here on the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS):

    What political conclusions must be drawn from Trump’s Super Tuesday?

    In the aftermath of Super Tuesday, not even the political establishment and media can deny that the United States is in the throes of a profound political crisis. The candidacy of Donald Trump can no longer be dismissed—as it has been until very recently by so many pundits—as merely a bizarre and even somewhat entertaining sideshow. While the outcome remains uncertain, the front-runner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination is a candidate whose persona and appeal are of a distinctly fascistic character.

    During the past few weeks, as it became increasingly evident that he was poised to emerge from Super Tuesday as the leading candidate for the Republican nomination, some of Trump’s critics began to acknowledge that he was a “Frankenstein’s monster” created by the party’s decades-long cultivation of racist elements. This can be dated all the way back to the 1960s, when Richard Nixon inaugurated the Republican Party’s “southern strategy,” which aimed to appeal to lingering hostility to the civil rights movement. In August 1980, immediately after winning the Republican nomination, Ronald Reagan chose Philadelphia, Mississippi—where three civil rights workers had been murdered 16 years earlier—as the site of his first public campaign speech as the party’s presidential candidate.
    As for the campaign of Hillary Clinton, the efforts to promote this corrupt veteran of two reactionary administrations—that of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama—as a champion of the oppressed is nothing less than grotesque. Her presidential bid is a monument to the deceit of identity politics. The administration of her husband presided over the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which cleared the path for the corruption that led to the crash of 2008. The first President Clinton eviscerated welfare payments, which had a devastating impact on the living standards of millions of African-American workers. The crime bill passed with the support of the Clinton Administration led to a vast increase in the rate of incarceration.

    And yet, it is argued that the election of this Lady Macbeth of American politics—who instigated the Libyan invasion that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people—will be a triumph for American womanhood! The pillar of “left-liberal” politics in the United States, The Nation, carried an article by a wealthy feminist in a recent issue entitled, “Why I Am Supporting Hillary Clinton, With Joy and Without Apologies.” The author noted, in passing, that her daughter was on the payroll of the Clinton campaign.

    The campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, broadly identified as a socialist, has gained widespread support and demonstrated the existence of a desire within large sections of the working class for an alternative to capitalism. Significantly, polls have indicated that Sanders would do substantially better against Trump than Clinton.

    However, by conducting his campaign within the Democratic Party, Sanders is directing the popular opposition to capitalism into a dead end. With each passing day his campaign acquires an ever more conservative character. He now defines his socialism as nothing more than support for Social Security. Observing the strict conventions of bourgeois politics, references to the working class have disappeared entirely from his speeches. Sanders now identifies himself as a “fighter for the middle class.”

    Sanders, in this way, seeks to block the emergence of an independent movement of the working class against capitalism and for socialism.

    The Republican Convention is still three months away. The November election is more than a half-year away. The explosive character of international politics, the extreme economic instability and the growing social tensions within the United States impart to the 2016 election a high degree of uncertainty. However, the Trump phenomenon is a serious political warning. The American political system is rotten to the core. Even if Trump were to disappear tomorrow, it would not be long before another fascistic demagogue would emerge to take his place. There is no small number of discontented military and police-intelligence operatives, with substantial combat experience and access to serious fighting forces, who are preparing to enter the political arena.


    A correct analysis from an anti-capitalist, pro-working-class perspective. In addition to Jacobin, WSWS also carries many articles of interest across a broad international front, as there is obvious commonality between what the working-/middle-classes face in the States and their brethren in Europe/South America/Asia/Africa have been confronting for years. However, the call to build (in the US) a “third force”, liberated from the pro-bidness, pro-rent-seeking constraints of the Democratic Party, which would group the disaffected and alienated into a united front, already suffers from fragmentation by loss of potential working-class adherents to Trumpism, where racialist and authoritarian impulses have “trumped” solidarity on “fairness and equality” grounds. The fact that the US has fissured into so many demographic subsets because of issues unrelated to working people’s strictly economic well-being and security makes it virtually impossible to form a cohesive whole…unless there is reorganisation, of course, under the banner of “The Leader”, a personality who transcends these fissiparous tendencies, and whose charisma blinds his/her followers to other, less benign aspects of a Saviour. A real dilemma, and as Comrade Lenin once offered: “What’s to be done?” Well, we saw the results there, bureaucratic and despotic rule.

    1. ambrit

      Given Trumps advancing years, if he were to triumph, his ‘back room boys and girls’ will be especially important. As Lenin was learning towards the end of his life, the party apparat has a life of it’s own. Who will be Trumps “Stalin?”

  20. ewmayer

    [Forgot to comment on this 2 days ago, pardon the tardiness]

    Re. Carson dropping out – Look at the bright side, Ben – more time to continue your groundbreaking archeological research on those ancient Egyptian pyramidal grain silos! You know, the ones so massive and sealed so tight that it takes life-and-limb risks to wriggle your way into their interiors, to say nothing of moving thousands of tons of grain in and out on a yearly basis. They musta had some kind of hi-tech-gifted-them-by-space-aliens vacuum-tube system sucking those kilotons of grain in and blowing them out later. If you figure it out you could patent it, get *really* rich and then buy yourself the presidency, assuming there isn’t any gets-more-free-PR-than-he-knows-what-to-do-with candidate like Trump running that year. You know, a good old-fashioned “money talks” election, not this way-too-close-to-democratic weirdness going on this year.

  21. Jeff W

    The Washington Post story about the “short-fingered vulgarian” left out what Mr Carter did in response to getting the picture and the note, written in gold Sharpie, saying “See, not so short!”:

    I sent the picture back by return mail with a note attached, saying, “Actually, quite short.” Which I can only assume gave him fits.

    In a pang of compassion, well, sort of, Carter says “I almost feel sorry for the poor fellow because, to me, the fingers still look abnormally stubby.”


    (Honestly, they look short to me, too.)

  22. grayslady

    Is something wrong with the NC WordPress today? Lots of disconnected comments that should have been replies, a comment that I wrote and re-wrote disappeared down the rabbit hole twice.

  23. Steven

    The Republicans are so bad only because the Democrats let them. If the Democrats were worth a damn the Republicans wouldnt get anywhere their nonsense.

  24. Steven

    Thank you for the Honduras link. This was an early sign the Obama administration was rotten, including Hillary.

  25. Tom Denman

    As for vulgarity, Donald Trump, braggadocio and the Republican presidential primary (‘whose is biggest?’), a thirty-one year old pop record sums it all up. Mr. Trump’s shtick is deeply indebted to a thread that runs through American popular culture including John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Ronald Reagan, Ed Koch (of the 59th Street Bridge fame) and its culmination in “The Rappin’ Duke,” by the artist Shawn Brown.

    The record (lyrics edited for brevity) sounds like The Donald: [1] [2] [3]

    “So you think you’re bad, with your rap
    Well I’ll tell ya pilgrim I started the crap
    When you were in diapers and wetting the sheets
    I was at the Ponderosa rapping to the beat

    “Da haahh, da haahh
    Da ha-hahh ha-hahh haahh

    “Sure I rustled some cattle and tended the sheep
    But my main concern was rapping to the beat
    I don’t bother nobody I’m a real nice guy, kinda
    laid back like a, dead fly

    “I’m talkin, here and now
    Later for the cattle and rustlin the cow
    If I had a chance to do a repeat
    You can bet your sweet dippy I’d be rappin to the beat

    “Que pasa amigos? Not a *pasa* I see
    Two hundred punks well what ya gonna do?
    I got two six shooters that’ll see me through
    That’s, twelve dead…
    and a hundred and eighty-eight pallbearers

    “What I do on your grave won’t pass for flowers either

    “Now Kurtis Blow, Run-D.M.C.
    You haven’t heard of rap, til ya heard it from me
    I’m the baddest rapper in history
    And there’ll be no more, after me

    “Meanwhile, back at the ranch
    Santa Barbera that is
    Swimmin pools, and movie stars
    Well the first thing ya know ol’ Ron’s the President
    The kinfolk said, “Ron move away from there”
    Said, “In The White House is where you wanna be”
    So he loaded up the Lincoln and he moved to D.C.

    “Washington, that is
    Politicians taking a sip
    Foreign dignitaries taking a trip
    High tax and plenty Cadillacs

    “Now ya see me in my movies, doin my thing
    But deep in my heart, I’ve wanted to sing
    “Wayyyy dowwwn, upon the swannnny riverrrrrr
    Farrrr, farrr awayyy
    Titwillow, titwillow, titwillow”
    I don’t think, that’s your style
    But I’ll tell ya pilgrim, I’m versatile
    Aretha Franklin, Aretha Franklin
    Aretha Franklin let me rock ya let me rock ya Aretha Franklin
    Let me rock ya Aretha Franklin that’s all I wanna do
    Aretha Franklinnnnnn

    “I’m feeelin the groove now pilgrim
    Party, over here
    Party, over there
    There’s nothin to it, the way we do it
    Woop woop!
    East coast, West coast

    “It’s pretty easy, if you can see
    Just move your arms kinda freely
    Do a pause, and take a step
    And just make sure the beat is kept

    “I won plenty of ladies, with my charms
    But they like me the most for the moves of my arms

    “Woahhh… woahhh

    “I’m gonna rap, in the East
    Gonna rap, in the West
    I’ll show ya pilgrim, who’s the best
    Nothin to it, the way we do it
    Skiddely-be-bop, we-bop, Scooby Doo
    Guess what America we love you


    “Da haahh, da haahh
    Da ha-hahh ha-hahh haahh….”

    [1] Lyrics: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/r/rappindukelyrics/rappindukelyrics.html

    [2] Audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85G5SI5Nu3s

    [3] Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rappin_Duke

  26. ella

    On the dormant cyber pathogen, seems to me it would be best to leave it dormant by not hacking into the phone. Could be hacking in or creating a software to access the phone would / could cause the dormant to become well you know active. Did this attorney think through the consequences of his dormant idea?

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