Will Independents Decide 2016 by Giving the Political Class Their Upraised Middle Fingers?

By Gaius Publius, a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius, Tumblr and Facebook. Originally published at at Down With Tyranny. GP article here

I’m preparing for a month-long haitus (vacation, finally), and while I’ll be reading the news I won’t be commenting on it. Ahead of that, I’d like to offer these thoughts.

1. Our “Look Ahead” series will continue as the fall campaign kicks off. The outcome of the election, though, is very hard to predict. Each campaign seems determined to drive its own car into the ditch. Last car with wheels on the road will win this one. Plus there’s those ever-present black swans, like this one.

As to what happens after the election, it gets more predictable. Whoever ultimately wins, we’ll know enough in the fall to know nearly every player’s fate for the next few years — Trump, Clinton, the progressive-hating Democratic leadership, the Koch-bossed Republican Party, Sanders-supporting progressives themselves; all of their Tarot cards will be laid out for reading, up to the moment when the climate throws its own card into the mix. We just have to be willing to look at what those cards say.

If you’re interested, the parts so far of the Look Ahead series are these:

A Look Ahead: Neither Party Can Win Without Winning

A Look Ahead: Coming to the Philadelphia Crossroad

A Look Ahead: “Event Risk” and the Remaining Presidential Candidates

2. Clinton is looking more and more vulnerable, according to the latest Economist / YouGov poll (pdf). Whatever you think of the outcome of the Trump-Clinton contest, so far no one has a real lead, and both are playing a high-risk game of High Wire, a tightrope act without a net.

Surprising Poll Results

The following look at some of the poll results comes from poster Vraye_Foi at the Reddit site r/Kossacks_for_Sanders. The poll itself is long and worth a further look, if you’re so inclined. My thanks for this summary of just a a few of its findings (my emphasis except where noted):

Pages 12 and 13 of the report [the “enthusiasm” pages] are full of interesting data, some of which I’ll highlight –

  • 25% of Democrats are either Dissatisfied or Upset [Clinton] is the Democrat candidate for President
  • 62% of Independents are either Dissatisfied or Upset that she is the Democrat candidate for President
  • 43% of those polled across the board (includes all demographics and party affiliations) are “Upset” that she is the Democrat candidate for President

When it comes to Independents’ view of Donald Trump, only 44% are Dissatisfied or Upset that he is the Republican nominee.

Enthusiastic Support for Trump within his party is at 51%. Hillary’s Enthusiastic support within her party: 34%. 

The choices for this question are: Enthusiastic, Satisfied, Dissatisfied, Upset, Not Sure. The wording of the most extreme categories is Enthusiastic and Upset. So Trump starts the pre-convention head-to-head campaigning with more enthusiasm within his party and also with independents than Clinton does, by a lot if the poll is right.

When looking at support among women:

And continuing on the theme of “Enthusiastic Support”, how about this surprise:

  • 18% of female respondents are Enthusiastic for Trump
  • 19% of female respondents are Enthusiastic for Clinton

So just an aside and speaking as a woman here, can the HRC campaign cut the shit bout how it’s sexist if you don’t support or vote for Hillary? Please? Because this poll shows that women are about as enthusiastic and thrilled about Hillary as they are about Trump. …

On the negative side, when it comes to Hillary being the Democrats’ candidate, 12% of the women polled feel “Dissatisfied but not Upset” and 42% are UPSET.

It must be troubling news for the HRC campaign to see Enthusiastic/Satisfied combined numbers (45%) linger behind the Dissatisfied/Upset numbers (54%). A lot of women are not happy that Clinton is the nominee.

We’re not saying that situation is right or wrong, just that it is. Now about enthusiasm by age (emphasis in original):

The other shocker is that 49% of respondents age 45 – 64 are “Upset” she is the Dem’s candidate. But wait – it gets even more shocking: 53% of respondents over the age of 65 responded “Upset” as well.

Hasn’t the narrative been that HRC has solid support from the over 45s and women? This poll raises some questions about that. Just as with the women respondents, the 45 and older crowd’s negative sentiments towards HRC’s candidacy are HIGHER than the positive ones.

That “over 65” polling number is across all genders and party identifications, but so is the general election.

Gary Johnson and Jill Stein

There’s Johnson and Stein polling in the report as well. The reddit poster quoted above notes this (regarding data on pages 21 and 23):

General Election | Johnson Preference

Would you say you are mostly voting FOR Gary Johnson, AGAINST Hillary Clinton or AGAINST Donald Trump? Asked of those who would vote for Gary Johnson

  • I’m mostly voting FOR Gary Johnson 38%
  • I’m mostly voting AGAINST Hillary Clinton 37%
  • I’m mostly voting AGAINST Donald Trump 23%
  • Not sure 2%

General Election | Stein Preference

Would you say you are mostly voting FOR Jill Stein, AGAINST Hillary Clinton or AGAINST Donald Trump? Asked of those who would vote for Jill Stein

  • I’m mostly voting FOR Jill Stein 36%
  • I’m mostly voting AGAINST Hillary Clinton 42%
  • I’m mostly voting AGAINST Donald Trump 8%
  • Not sure 13%

Page 25 of the poll gives data in general on whether people are voting For a given candidate or Against a given candidate. Those general results are mainly a wash. The split in voting for vs. against Clinton is 28%–23%. The same split for Trump is 23%–20%, with 2% each saying they’re voting FOR Johnson or Stein.

But it’s the Against Clinton number in the Johnson and Stein polling that should cause worry in the Democratic camp. The Johnson+Stein combined Against Clinton total, as shown above, is 79%. The Johnson+Stein combined Against Trump total is just 31%. In other words, prospective Libertarian+Green voters, as a group, are much more strongly against Clinton than against Donald Trump, at least prior to the start of the fall campaign.

Pages 27–30 are also interesting. The question is, “Would you consider voting for [Clinton/Trump/Johnson/Stein]?” Possible responses are Might, Would Never, Not Sure, with overall totals and cross-tabulated breakdowns by gender, age, and so on. The Might vs. Would Never breakdown for Clinton among Democratic primary voters who prefer Sanders is 59%–38%. The same breakdown  for this group (Democratic primary voters who prefer Sanders) for Johnson is 45%–28%, and for Stein is 44%–20%.

To put that more simply, 38% of Sanders supporters would never vote for Clinton. Where would they go? An even split — 45% would vote for Johnson and 44% would vote for Stein.

Independents Still Control this Election

It looks like it’s still true, that this year’s “radical independents,” people who were attracted to Trump and/or Sanders as a way to raise a “pronounced middle finger” to the powers that be (Norman Solomon’s phrase in a slightly different context), are likely to decide this election. They may not know who they’re for, but they’re pretty sure who, or what, they’re against. For far too many voters, there is no good outcome.

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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. Kim Kaufman

    Hillary will probably get a bump after the convention. Not from me, however. I’m giving the middle finger. Maybe I’ll go Jill Stein. But she’s inadequate as in the Green party.

    Have a nice vacation, Gaius.

    1. jgordon

      Not me–I think the more people who see Hillary, the more they’ll hate her. Her body language, voice etc–everything comes across as incredibly phony and calculated. And when she does show a flash of authenticity, it’s of the “we came. We saw. He died!!” variety.

      1. Roger Smith

        I agree. I think her best chance at winning is to spend every second of the next 3-4 months appearing on tv,
        holding press conferences, any kind of door knocking with real people.

        She can’t hope to sway anyone because she is too selfish and unwilling to do anything but what she wants too and this could terribly backfire since she cannot manage her calculated image so quickly, but her best shot is to put herself out there so much that she is what people think of first.

        Her chances are very slim, Assanage says there is more to leak,
        It pays to be an honest and trustworthy person… especially in times like these.

        1. redleg

          She hasn’t had a press conference in 2016.
          IMHO that means her campaign knows that the more she speaks, the worse it gets.

          1. Jagger

            She hasn’t had a press conference in 2016.

            Wow, I didn’t realize that. Very strange, yet impressive at the same time.

            1. Independent Man

              As an Independent, my middle finger will be NOT VOTING for illegitimacy.

              Basically, the behavior I see does not represent me. (Both Corporate Party’s)


              Clinton Cash – Official Movie Premiere





              Last Political Circus of the sell out Baby Boomers folks.


              Danger ahead.


          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            Either that, or there’s some reason they don’t want her in front of cameras in a situation she doesn’t totally control. She has done very badly whenever confronted with a protester and she can’t react with a scripted response.

            1. pretzelattack

              fortunately she wont be faced with unexpected situations as a president that she doesn’t totally control.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I disagree about a convention bump. The bump isn’t the result of a convention but people who don’t want to acknowledge a candidate without seeing them moving into the pro column. Hillary is too well known to move the needle. Who doesn’t have an opinion on Hillary at this point? She isn’t the popular governor of California where the rest of the country might not care. She was liked well enough to win in 2008 against an empty suit. There is a reason she stopped doing press conferences. The Clinton strategy is to try to make Trump a puppet of Super Hitler, Putin. She isn’t going to win votes. American Polysci students will discuss the end of the convention bump ad nauseam ignoring the convention bump rule had far too few data points to draw meaningful conclusions.

      Trump will get a bump if the Christians he hopes to court with the Pence pick decide Trump is okay despite being from “Jew York.”

  2. ambrit

    The figures show “I’m against” out in front of “I’m for.” Not a ringing endorsement for this years’ candidates. Perhaps the “falling short” exhibited by Sanders, which has to be addressed because even with malicious manipulation factored in, not enough people voted for a ‘revolution,’ is a prelude to massive repudiation of todays’ political paradigm. Short form; the Status Quo has succeeded in their maintenance of power simply by tying everyone else. Many here have asserted that this system is unfixable. The electorate has not endorsed that program in overwhelming numbers yet. America looks to be coming up to another Franklin D Roosevelt moment of opportunity. Any politician who formulates a credible “reform” platform has a real chance, if said “reform” platform is framed and ‘sold’ to the public as a way forward. In this instance, the much derided formulation, “look forward, not back” has a very real pertinence to the political scene today. Take whatever any Party has in the way of policy positions and present them as ‘forward looking’ and ‘save the world,’ and one gets within striking distance of gaining power. Advice to Sanders and perhaps Trump; Be bold. Get out ahead of the mob carrying torches and pitchforks and guide it in the preferred direction.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      I’m afraid at this point your analysis, while accurate, should be addressed to the next generation. Sanders is out. Trump is old, mean, full of shit, and will probably be “guided” by the little men around him if he makes it to the White House. A de facto Pence presidency is not unlikely.

      The only reason the US is not in very deep shit is that the world’s other major nation states are apparently even more screwed up than we are.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        In reality, the one who is bossed around by “advisors” is Hillary Clinton. She always has been, and always will be controlled by the MIC and the people who pay her off, who are one and the same. This meme that Trump is a guy who will be controlled, pushed around, relegated to the golf course, etc. is at odds with his entire life so far. He’s always been his own boss.

        1. Karen

          I agree that Trump isn’t likely to let himself be bullied. But I think he is very susceptible to flattery.

          There is so much that a President has to deal with that Trump neither knows anything about nor cares about. It’s on those issues that he will be easily nudged by people who know how to appeal to his huge ego. Including Vladimir Putin, for one.

        2. DrBob

          Trump is lazy…and has little interest in the actual task of governance. He’ll delegate that to his underlings. Chairman of the Board versus CEO or COO.

          No doubt he’d continue basking in the limelight of media coverage. That’s the thing he enjoys the most. That — and concocting schemes to take revenge on his political enemies.

        3. Paul Art

          I agree. One of the main factors that many people are missing is, Trump has made his millions by investing HERE in the USA. Even if he acts in a selfish way it will tend to bring more benefit to the middle and lower classes here than if HRC were in the WH. HRC Is a water carrier pure and simple. Trump is a lot more complex. He is a businessman who benefits directly if he diverts a lot of the money that is getting constipated inside the major corporations and the Wall streeters. He also is the ONLY one who has uttered the phrase ‘Anti-Trust’. He said this in the context of Amazon. Real market competition also benefits him.

          1. TheCatSaid

            He has major developments abroad as well. Luxury golf courses in Ireland & Scotland come to mind.

          2. JerryDenim

            His “business record” eh? You mean like how Trump stimulated the US economy and benefited “the lower classes” by having his shirts and ties made in a Honduran sweat-shop by desperate workers for $1.60 an hour? As I recall Obama was in favor of reinstating Glass-Stegall too until he got elected. Talk is cheap, but it’s especially cheap when you’re a huckster who has never held elected office. It’s cheaper still when you’re a hypocrite who is completely full of shit. If Trump really wanted to make America great again he could have made his ties in the US and paid unionized workers a living wage with benefits. Instead he took full advantage of lax US tariffs and trade laws. He made lousy ties abroad, paid slave wages to foreigners and then brought his low quality wares back to the States to be sold for a large mark-up and pocketed the wage savings. Trump is a swindler, huckster, landlord, and bankruptcy maestro that has never been a friend to the American worker. If I believed his talk on trade or any of his economic populism I would hold my nose and vote for the guy, but he has zero credibility. He’s a rich, loud-mouth, con-man that only loves himself. Donald Trump is currently pulling his biggest con ever by convincing working class voters he actually gives a shit about them. He doesn’t. His record proves it. No one is telling you to vote Hillary (I sure won’t be), but open your eyes and look at Trump for what he is and how he has made his money. Wishing for something doesn’t make it so.

            1. jgordon

              Hey, Trump has to live in the corrupt system that dirty politicians like the Clinton’s made; you can’t blame him for that. In America you either screw people or you get screwed. That’s just the nature of our broken system.

              But being the only one outside the beltway elite who understands just how filthy everything is means that under Trump things might actually change. Everyone else, Sanders and Stein included, has exactly zero chance of accomplishing anything useful as president.

          1. Steve C

            Obama still crows about cutting spending. Courting the donor class, just like Hillary.

      2. Oregoncharles

        Trump has no political experience but a great deal of managerial experience. It seems unlikely he’ll let his advisors “run” him, unless that’s his business reputation (not that I’ve heard).

        I’d argue Pence is 1) a sop to the Religious Right; 2) impeachment insurance, like Dan Quayle (also from Indiana). I very much hope he won’t pull a Cheney; there’s nothing passive about Trump. The VP has no intrinsic powers at all, just what the President grants him.

        Hillary, incidentally, is the other way around: lots of politics, minimal management – just the four years as SOS, which were a disaster, though not necessarily for her or the foundation. Benghazi, for instance, was a management disaster, a failure of both security and intelligence. The Republicans, for some reason, went to great lengths to avoid that issue – as if they were running a coverup for her benefit.

    2. clarky90

      FULL: Donald Trump & Mike Pence Hold Press Event Thanking RNC Volunteers (7-22-16)

      Donald Trump showing his appreciation and gratitude to those who have helped him. He is a good guy, IMO.

      Further on, he Fires Ted Cruz. Cruz is finished in the Republican Party now. (IMO)

      The clear message is that Trump is the leader (alpha). The neocons/grifters are going to have to change their stripes, or be exiled. He had only just gotten the nomination and he is already rolling up his sleeves, grabbing a shovel, and cleaning out the Augean stables (Republican Party). He has already gotten the republican convention to cheer for the LGBT community! That in itself is a miracle.

      “The fifth Labour of Hercules was to clean the Augean stables. Eurystheus intended this assignment both as humiliating and impossible, since the livestock were divinely healthy (immortal) and therefore produced an enormous quantity of dung. These stables had not been cleaned in over 30 years, and 3,000 cattle lived there. However, Heracles succeeded by rerouting the rivers Alpheus and Peneus to wash out the filth”

      I think Trump is a Mythical Hero who has come to save us!.

      1. low integer

        These stables had not been cleaned in over 30 years, and 3,000 cattle lived there. However, Heracles succeeded by rerouting the rivers Alpheus and Peneus to wash out the filth

        Sounds efficient yet it may have caused cholera downstream.

            1. jsn

              Still, down stream wasn’t a great place to be for some time…
              Coulda been a permaculture bonanza, the mythical missed opportunity

      2. DrBob

        “He has already gotten the republican convention to cheer for the LGBT community! That in itself is a miracle.”

        And you think one episode of a bunch of Republican delegates applauding during a speech where they’re cheering essentially everything their Dear Leader says somehow signals a change in the GOP’s stance on the LGBT community?

        Maybe I’m just a cynic…but I don’t see this as any sign of “cleaning out” of the GOP stables. More like a momentary, strategic and opportunistic mention during a key speech — one major intention of which was to woo a handful of Sanders supporters. In fact, I would bet that Trump didn’t even know what the “Q” stands for until he asked his speechwriter.

        If the Orlando shooting hadn’t happened, I have my doubts that Trump would’ve mentioned “LGBTQ” in his acceptance screed.

        1. jrs

          It doesn’t really matter who you hate as long as you hate someone. In this Summer: escarole, pencil skirts, hating Mexicans and Muslims. Out this summer: microgreens, skinny jeans, hating LGBT.

    3. Jagger

      America looks to be coming up to another Franklin D Roosevelt moment of opportunity. Any politician who formulates a credible “reform” platform has a real chance, if said “reform” platform is framed and ‘sold’ to the public as a way forward.

      I agree. However what politicians of today have a track record of consistent reform or even populism? Any politician can easily shift gears and simply spout the right words today in an attempt to get in front of the parade leading to the power of the president. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if that describes Trump today.

      Edwards in 2008 was pushing a populist agenda. He was my first choice until the cheating scandal. And what a revealing scandal. What sort of person, while running a presidential campaign, couldn’t wait for his spouse to die of cancer before starting to sleep around??? He would have given Bill Clinton a run for the money on scandals if he had made it into office. Yet there he was saying all the right words for a populist agenda when it is clear now, his words were simply a path to power. Had me fooled. Words are one thing and a track record is another. One of the strengths of Sanders but how many others actually have the track record for credibility when they put forward a reform/populist agenda?

      And lets not forget Obama’s “Hope and Change” message. Too bad he wasn’t a Roosevelt.

    4. TheCatSaid

      “even with malicious manipulation factored in, not enough people voted for a ‘revolution,’” Actually we don’t know this yet. Detailed princinct-level analysis is just now starting to come to light (see my comment further down with links).

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      > another Franklin D Roosevelt moment of opportunity

      That was in 2008. Now, in “return of the repressed” fashion, the moment has come again….

      1. Steve C

        More of a Teddy or a Wilson moment. 2008 situations come maybe once a century, so it was critical for Obama to make sure he blew it.

        1. John k

          The debt was purged in the thirties, not so this time. Debt all around the world is massive, only high deficits can absorb it, and so far not in the cards. Somebody else will likely get an Fdr op.

  3. PlutoniumKun

    Those are pretty amazing figures. I can’t think off the top of my head of any equivalent major election anywhere that the ‘choice’ is between such unpopular and uninspiring figures (well, Trump of course is charismatic and inspiring in a certain sort of way). In almost any other electoral system this would create an opportunity ripe for a third party spoiler to create a surprise. But the structures are of course designed to prevent this (a feature not a bug, as Yves would say). If one good thing comes out of it, I hope it leads to a widespread public awareness that the US electoral system is not in any meaningful way democratic, it is completely controlled by a self appointed elite.

  4. Steve Ruis

    I do plan on giving the monodigital salute to both Trump and Clinton. I try mightily to vote for candidates and not against them, so it will have to be someone else.

    I also urge everyone to change the channel of their TV’s, radios, whatever when political ads come on. They have nothing to do with truth and the best thing we can do is tell people we never listen to/watch them. I also do not answer polling calls. If more of us did, polls would be neither accurate or worth the money.

    Guerrilla politics, I say!

  5. apber

    Those behind the curtain pulling the puppet strings are all in for Hillary. That’s all you really have to know. They have a 3 century history of corrupting the political process and purposely creating chaos to benefit financially from its effects.

  6. Norb

    The problem is inequality and the lack of opportunity. The political class that does something about it has a future. Talking about or promising to do something about these issues has reach the limit of creditability and the next crisis will bring the double dealing out into the open for all to see. At some point a clear choice has to be made between helping ordinary citizens before the wealthy elite. If the economic system is so fragile that no concessions can ever be made to improve the lives of workers as a matter of principle, well, then that system just has to go. The problem is having people in place structurally to support that principle when the time comes. A political class made up of chameleons just won’t work.

    Climate change will be the modern day Heracles. All the talk and speculation in the world will drop away into insignificance when the big climate events start to kick in. The human brain has evolved to notice sudden changes in environment, so taking notice of the slow and steady destruction all around us has gone unnoticed by the majority. Willful ambivalence seems to be coming to an end. It will end because more and more people will be effected directly and no longer be able to ignore the negative consequences of our imbalanced economic system.

    In times of crisis, cooperation proves the stronger force for survival. Predators living off the ignorance or misplace trust of the masses is going to be much harder to pull off in a stressed world. The easy days are coming to an end.

  7. TheCatSaid

    For poll results of a different kind, see this just-released report by Richard Hayes Phillips with detailed analysis of Democratic primary elections.

    The complete pdf report is a sworn statement. It was added 1 day after the original post. Broken down by state, one can check the places of greatest personal interest.

    Some thoughts from having read the whole report:

    ** It indicates which precincts can and should be audited.

    ** Black voters in Southern states seem to have voted somewhat differently from what we’ve been told.

    ** In one state, some precincts have more votes than registered voters.

    ** Many precinct results are surprising.

    ** It is disturbing how many places should be audited due to anomalous numbers, but apparently cannot be. (This is due to the nature of the electronic voting machines used, and/or due to some states having laws prohibiting audits.)

    When considered together with the Fraction Magic report (parts 1-6 released so far) this latest report by Phillips gives rise to sobering thoughts, including 14th Amendment concerns about whether individual voters have equal status under the law.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Phillips writes:

      I have experience in this field. After the 2004 presidential election, I examined precinct canvass results for the State of Ohio, and was retained as an expert witness in the Moss v. Bush lawsuit, for which I submitted 21 research papers to the Ohio Supreme Court. In the King Lincoln v. Blackwell lawsuit, I filed in Federal District Court an 18-page Declaration which was instrumental in protecting the ballots from destruction.

      Again, I ask: Are those filings available online? Thanks.

        1. local to oakland

          If these were federal cases then the filings may be on Scribd.com and they are certainly on PACER. Some courts have free access pacer terminals as do public law libraries.

        2. TheCatSaid

          This is a video of a presentation Phillips gave in 2012 to an Arizona election integrity group. I like his tone (understated, dry humor), clarity, and the many clearly-marked photographs that show examples of the issues he describes.

          When I showed to a family member recently they were left speechless.

      1. TheCatSaid

        Joan Brunwasser’s 4-part interview of Phillips (print, not video) is outstanding reading. Each part is eye-opening.

        Part 1: Why I was able to become an Election Fraud Investigator
        Part 2: Being Multi-faceted in a Two-Dimensional Society
        Part 3: The Broken Contract Lies Upon My Office Floor
        Part 4: The Silence of the Mainstream Media

  8. Bob Stapp

    It’s simply fascinating to me to watch the war mongers, neocons, profiteers, political elites, establishment pundits, and super-rich donors soil themselves over Trump’s repudiation of TPP, NATO and endless war. In so doing, the Donald has actually positioned himself to the left of HRC.

    HRC really needs to take some responsibility for the now-proven DNC scorched earth campaign against Bernie instead of leaving it to party apparatchiks to accomplish the token gesture of getting the odious Debbie out of the limelight.

    Then there’s the move to have Bernie disavow his endorsement of HRC and the no small feat of Jill Stein collecting half a million in the last ten days, matchable 1-1 with federal funds.

    That the two major parties are presenting two such despicable candidates to the people of this country is beyond belief and an epic embarrassment of global proportions. I guess all “we the people” can do at this point is keep the popcorn popping and filling out meaningless polls while we watch the house of cards collapse in slo-mo.

    1. John

      Trump picked Koch brothers’ owned TPP pusher for VP, Pence.

      Trump never rails against Wall Street.

      Trump is just mouthing the words that the Right tribe wants to hear
      to get himself elected.

      1. aab

        You have it exactly backwards. Trump has been refusing to say what Wall Street wants, so he had to pick Pence to get through the convention and get some funding for the fall.

        Kochs have come out for Hillary. Bloomberg is coming for Hillary. She is Wall Street’s candidate. Trump is not. He’s no progressive, but he’s also not backing up Wall Street or its key objective, the TPP.

        1. John

          No, I have it right.
          There is a reason he picked Pence.
          And this is it.

          This is what Trump stands for.
          He’s lying that he doesn’t.

          On the stage in the Republican economic debate
          Trump actually said, “I hate to tell you
          your wages are too high.
          They have to come down to be competitive
          with workers overseas.”

          He then said he was all for H1-B visa workers
          coming from all around the world to work there.

          He is trying to confuse the serfs and say the opposite so they vote for him.

          But this is what Trump is for. “free trade” and slave wages.

  9. Kim Kaufman

    Apparently when I “reply” to a comment, it doesn’t show up so here goes again as a standalone comment:

    Lambert, you can start here on Richard Hayes Phillips (there was also a documentary which I saw back when)


    And then go here:


    And for those who love really wonky numbers, (uh, not me) here for Bev Harris’s research on fractional voters (which I call wtf is in the bar codes on the ballots?):


    1. TheCatSaid

      I’ve had that experience a number of times when posting in relation to election integrity issues. Comments never appeared. I assumed they were moderated out. It spooked me. These ones did show up, and yours is up there, too.

      One of the links I have above (Philips Part 4 interview) talks about the difficulty getting information into the media. It hasn’t changed since this interview series was done. Ditty for Part 3 where he talks about getting his book published, and how a publisher broke its contract and lied about it.

      The lack of integrity in our elections, going back decades, is one that is just too painful for most people to want to know about. From the standpoint of democracy, it truly is an existential threat and the trouble is, it’s already happened. A lot more people need to know a lot more of the facts–these are facts, not theories–before we can start creating change.

      In the Phillips long report (the most recent one), state after state has serious impediments that make any auditing impossible because of the voting machines. (I’m still hopeful that the BlackBoxVoting team will reveal more smoking guns and perpetrators once they’ve completed their analysis regarding electronic voting machines.)

  10. Fool

    This past week has made me feel like the biggest idiot. I talked a lot here about how Sanders was leveraging his political capital to move the party left, and I even defended his endorsement of HRC under the pretenses that this meant she would select Warren; I would have even voted for HRC if she did this. So seeing Sanders get bent over a barrel this week was just disturbing. I am one white guy who Tim Kaine will not inspire come election day and will be giving my middle finger instead.

    1. aab

      I’m pretty sure I excoriated you at some point here for this, and I hereby apologize. I am sorry. It would have been nicer if you were right and I was wrong. For the record, this is all looking like it’s even WORSE than I expected. I thought Bernie would at least make a pro-progressive policy speech tomorrow, but it’s looking like he will just come out on his leash and bark on cue.

      I don’t blame him. I do understand that faced with this much corruption, he may have figured better to stay on the inside and maybe put a brake on some of the worst stuff she’s got planned. But I think he’s wrong. At this point, laying down for her in Philly after the leaks probably means he’s been completely neutered for the future. Who’s going to align with his institutes now? He’s useless to us, unless he’s got something up his sleeve for the convention. And I stopped believing in Santa decades ago.

      I would like to actually hit bottom, please. This free fall into a complete Orwellian moral vacuum is getting old.

      1. Fool

        Hey tell me about it. i was rationalizing Trump’s use of Freddie Mercury vocals as a way of subliminally signaling that the whole bigotry thing was just a carrot for the idiots. The left has definitely hit rock bottom.

    2. sid_finster

      The naivety of some Team D supporters is truly touching.

      They really think that somewhere inside that TeamD oligarch there is a human being struggling to get out.

  11. Vatch

    45% [of Sanders supporters] would vote for Johnson and 44% would vote for Stein.

    Interesting, because Stein’s political views seem to match Sanders’s ideas a lot more closely than Johnson’s views match Sanders’s positions, but the data will likely change after the Greens have their political convention in August. Johnson became the official Libertarian candidate a couple of months ago, but there isn’t an official Green candidate yet. So Johnson has been getting more publicity, and that has probably affected the polling results.

    1. Steve C

      The Libertarians have a higher profile than the Greens. A lot of middle finger types, among whom I count myself, will select the Libertarians because that’s who they’ve heard of.

      1. MojaveWolf

        More people know who the Libertarians are. I was in the grocery store a couple of weeks ago and some woman I’d never seen before began randomnly talking to me about the horrible disaster and at first I thought either mistaken identity or mental illness, then realized I’m still wearing my Bernie hat everyday. After we agreed that both major party choices suck and that both of us were extremely dubious about HRC’s California “win”, I told her I was voting for Jill Stein. She thought that was a great idea and that she, too, should vote Libertarian. I told her Stein was Green Party. She said she would look into them. Gah.

  12. ekstase

    At least in 2008 it seemed like some new trends were emerging. This just seems like some awful old play we’ve all seen a hundred times before. We could turn off the sound and lip-sync what they’re saying. It’s painful, it’s boring. It makes you just wait for those black swans.

        1. different clue

          How many are DemWing Democrats as against how many are Clintonite Obamacrats? Can the Sanders minded people organize to defeat every Clintonite Obamacrat that is running downticket of Hillary?

    1. aab

      I saw a report that that Democratic Senate hopefuls are staying away from Philadelphia. Not sure how true it is.

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