Marco Rubio, the real Repugnican frontrunner, is the one to take down

Rubio releases first TV ad: ‘What happened in Paris could happen here’

Marco Rubio, Repugnican Tea Party U.S. senator for Florida, warns in his very first TV ad that “What happened in Paris could happen here.” He was excluding, of course, the slaughter perpetrated by white, right-wing “Christian” terrorists, such as the one who just shot up the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. (After all, such terrorists are the Repugnican Tea Party’s base.) Rubio also assures American senior citizens that in return for their support, he’ll ensure that they get their entitlements (and ours) while those of us who follow them will be fucked royally out of ours.

As I’ve noted many times, never in my lifetime of more than four decades has a U.S. president not first been a U.S. senator or the governor of a state before he* ascended to the White House.

While perhaps anything could happen, especially in the American empire’s apparent waning days, I don’t see either billionaire fascist Donald Trump or “Christo”fascist nut job Ben Carson breaking that pattern.

In the polls right behind Trump and Carson, neither of whom is likely to get the Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination — electability will become crystal clear to them when voters and caucus-goers actually vote and caucus (as was said of the Democratic Party’s 2004 contest for the presidential nomination, the electorate dated [Howard] Dean but married [John] Kerry) — are Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Nationally right now, per Real Clear Politics’ polling averages, Trump leads with about 29 percent; then Carson, with about 20 percent; then Rubio, with about 13 percent; and then Cruz, with 12 percent. (At fifth place, with only about 5 percent, is Jeb! Bush.)

In RCP’s polling averages for Iowa, that order is almost the same but the percentages are different; it’s Trump, 27 percent; Carson, 20 percent; Cruz, 18 percent; Rubio, 12 percent; and Bush, not even a full 5 percent.

In New Hampshire, the order is shaken up; RCP’s polling averages for New Hampshire are Trump, 26 percent; Rubio, 12.5 percent; Carson, 10.5 percent; Cruz, 9.5 percent; and at fifth place is not Jeb!, but John Kasich, at almost 8 percent (Jeb! is in sixth place, with 7.5 percent; it became safe to write off Jeb! a way back).

Trump remains the frontrunner in the polls, but his numbers (at not even 30 percent) aren’t nearly high enough to prevent him from cratering at any time now. And the polls cited above don’t reflect his latest campaign fuckups, not only falsely claiming that thousands of American Muslims cheered on 9/11 even as the World Trade Center collapsed and burned, but also his having made fun of a New York Times reporter with a congenital physical disability (and then, as Trump always does, brazenly lying that he didn’t say and do what he’d just said and done).

As others have noted, Trump & Co. largely politically can get away with their Islamophobic rhetoric; only about 1 percent of Americans are Muslim, compared to the more than 75 percent who claim Christianity. Just as the Nazi Germans bullied the Jews because the Jews didn’t have nearly the numbers to fight back, the American right wing, the neo-Nazis, now bully Muslims in the United States because the Muslims don’t have nearly the numbers to fight back.

(If you think that my continued Nazi references are over the top, there is the fact that Donald Trump, if he didn’t outright endorse a national database/registry of Muslims in the United States — like the Nazi Germans kept their registries of Jews in Germany [and then in the other regions that they occupied] — he definitely didn’t reject the idea, either. Yeah.)

But while “good” “Christian” Americans (especially those who vote for Repugnican Tea Party candidates) are perfectly OK with persecuting Muslims, just like Jesus would do, I still maintain that when Trump mocked a physically disabled man during one of his KKK rallies, he finally sealed his fate. He’s finished, most likely. It’s that the incident is too recent to be reflected in the polls yet. I expect Trump to be polling consistently below 20 percent soon. (If he wages an independent presidential campaign, Ross Perot style, if it’s not too late for him to do so, he will ensure a Democratic presidential victory in November 2016, so I encourage him to scoop up his marbles in a huff and run as an independent.)

Carson’s polling isn’t as good as Trump’s, and Trump’s polling isn’t strong enough for him to be a shue-in, and Carson’s many lies about his biography, as well as his creepiness and his being an abject nut job (as well as a theofascist), doom him. He won’t be the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee.

This leaves us with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Cruz, the reincarnation of Joseph McCarthy, is too widely despised, even by those within his own party, to win the party’s presidential nomination. He’s doing well in Iowa (just behind Trump and Carson), but Iowans are even more wingnutty that is your typical Repugnican. I mean, fuck: Prick Santorum won Iowa in 2012 and Mike Fuckabee won Iowa in 2008. Iowan Repugnicans aren’t exactly mainstream. In terms of who the eventual Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee actually will be, Iowa, for the past two cycles, has meant nothing, and I expect that trend to continue in 2016.

New Hampshire’s recent track record, however, has been spot-on. Mittens Romney won New Hampshire in 2012 and went on to win his party’s nomination. Ditto for John McCainosaurus in 2008.

Rubio polls second in New Hampshire right now, behind only Trump, giving him a shot at emerging at first place in the polls for New Hampshire in the near future.

Truth be told, I’d much rather that Ted Cruz win the party’s presidential nomination than Marco Rubio.

Why? Because Cruz is so despicable and creepy that there’s no way in hell that he’d win the White House in 2016, no matter whether he’s up against Billary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

Marco Rubio, however, is just as mean-spirited and insane as the rest of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes — recall that Rubio rode the “tea party” wave into office in 2010 — but he is able to come off to the unthinking/uncritical and the unperceptive (a majority of Americans) as a saner individual.

Old fucks love Marco Rubio. As Reuters recently reported (emphases in bold are mine):

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, 44, frequently plugs his youth on the campaign trail but his promise to restore the American Dream for a new generation seems to appeal more to older age groups.

As the U.S. senator from Florida rises in opinion polls of Republicans, his gains are coming from voters over the age of 50, and most from those older than 65, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.

Although Rubio is running third overall behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson, he is tied with Carson with 12 percent among those older than 65, up from only 7 percent in late October.

Yet his support in the online survey is flat among voters his own age and younger. He registers at just six to seven percent among Republicans younger than 49.

In interviews with two dozen of the poll respondents over 50, 14 preferred Rubio after watching Republican debates this fall because they believed he was best able to stand up to his opponents while projecting a positive tone rather than acidity.

Two-thirds of those interviewed also mentioned being attracted to the Cuban-American senator’s personal history, which he has worked into key moments in each debate as Republicans fight to win their party’s nomination for the November 2016 election.

“Rubio’s initial bump in the polls is due to older voters really liking his story,” said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray, whose surveys also found increases for Rubio among older voters in early voting states like New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Evoking the American Dream [which long has since become the American Nightmare], Rubio [whom I have nicknamed “Bootstraps”] often talks about his parents who fled Cuba for the United States, where they worked as a bartender and maid. He talks about being raised from paycheck to paycheck and working to put himself through college. …

Sixteen of the 24 older voters Reuters spoke to this week also cited Rubio’s relative youth compared with many of the other leading candidates as a positive attribute. …

Four of those voters even compared Rubio to John F. Kennedy, a Democrat elected president in 1960 aged 43. [I just vomited in my mouth.]

“I think he would be like Kennedy,” said Rhoda Pelliccia, a 76-year-old Republican New Yorker living in Florida. “Kennedy was young and look what he did.” [I vomited again.]

Reliable older voters

Rubio’s advisers say they are not surprised or worried by the disparity and point out that older Americans are a crucial group because they reliably go to the polls.

While pollsters say he must broaden his appeal and attract younger voters to secure the nomination, Rubio’s aides say the candidate has no plans to change his message and they believe younger voters eventually will come his way.

“Our message is entirely about the future, but a part of that is creating an America where parents can pass on a better country than the one they inherited,” Rubio’s chief strategist, Todd Harris, said. “Older voters understand that because they’ve lived it and it’s what their parents did for them.” …

All the same, Rubio is taking great care to address entitlement programs and the concerns of senior citizens, who often make up the bulk of audiences at his campaign events.

“I’m from Florida. You may not know this, but there are a lot of people in Florida on Medicare and Social Security,” he says, barely pausing for his crowds to laugh, as they realize how many older voters retire in the southern state. “One of them happens to be my mother. And I can say this to you right now unequivocally: I am against anything that is bad for my mother,” he said in Bedford, New Hampshire last month. [Awww! How sweet! How charming!]

Rubio vows not to change those programs for the already retired or for those nearing retirement age. But he acknowledges that they must change for future generations.

Ah, Reuters saved the best for last. Rubio, being a U.S. senator for Florida, sure knows how to lick senior-citizen ass, and he assures these senior citizens that while they’ll get their entitlements, those of us who follow them (such as this member of Generation X) will get screwed royally, even though we’ve been paying into and will continue to pay into these entitlement systems our entire work lives. (By “entitlement” I mean the dictionary definition of term [“a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract”], not the term as it dismissively has come to be used by the right wing, which wants to take everything from us commoners, even the entitlements that we already have paid for.)

According to the Pew Research Center, “By many measures, Florida — which has long attracted snowbirds and retirees — is one of the nation’s grayest states. Overall, 19.1 percent of the Sunshine State’s population is 65 and older, the highest percentage in the nation.”

So Marco Rubio, a Gen X’er himself (I don’t claim him as one of my own), is perfectly willing to sell his own generation, and the generations that follow his/ours, down the river for his own short-term political gain. (After all, he will get cushy retirement benefits for having been a U.S. senator; he’ll be just fine, so don’t worry about him!)

What’s good for Marco Rubio’s political career is not good for the nation as a whole. The state of Florida is not representative of the entire United States of America, and this idea that it’s perfectly fine to fuck over future generations is an idea that needs to be fought against vehemently. It already largely is viewed not only as acceptable, but even as “common sensical.”

And leadership is supposed to be visionary and future-oriented. Marco Rubio is anything but these things. He’s perfectly willing to sell out his own and future generations for his own personal political gain today.

Marco Rubio also is perfectly willing to join the other bullies of the “Christo”fascist right wing in bashing American Muslims, since, again, without the numbers they can’t fight back. His very first television ad, released earlier this month, ominously warns us that “What happened in Paris could happen here.”

Why, yes, it could, but, as has been established, if you are a typical American, you are about twice as likely to be killed by a white, American, “Christo”fascist terrorist than you are by an “Islamofascist” terrorist.

But Islamophobia sells quite well among the xenophobic Repugnican Tea Party traitors who are deathly allergic to truth, reality and facts, so Marco Rubio gladly will use fear tactics, as will every Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe, for personal political gain. (Hey, it got George W. Bush “re”-elected!)

Marco Rubio is not the nice guy so many believe he is, which is why I consider him to be even more dangerous than is Ted Cruz, who can’t pull off the nice-guy facade.

Rubio’s strategy of cornering the old-fuck vote certainly isn’t a winning long-term strategy, but for the time being, old fucks do vote in much higher percentages than do younger Americans. And Rubio has made it clear, from his campaign rhetoric, that he isn’t concerned about the long term, but only wants to assure the old fucks (in return for their campaign donations and their votes) that they’ll get “theirs” (which is his own plan, too — to get “his” and then get out; I use quotation marks there because Rubio and his ilk don’t want what’s just theirs; they want what’s ours, too, of course, and they don’t care whatsofuckingever that they’ll leave us with nothing — or even less than nothing, in terms of great debt).

We’ll see how long the pandering to the over-inflated fear of “Islamofascist” “terrorists” will last for Rubio and his ilk. I have no doubt that they’d love a terrorist attack (or even more than one attack) on American soil by a Muslim or Muslims any time from right now to November 8, 2016. Paris was great for their brand of politics, but xenophobic, nationalist Americans only care so much about what happens in other nations. And here in the United States of Amnesia, things like the Paris attacks have a fairly short political shelf life.

If you think that I’m overstating how strongly Marco Rubio is positioned politically, know that Real Clear Politics’ averages of general presidential election polling match-ups have Rubio beating both Billary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Yup. RCP right now has Rubio beating Billary by an average of 1.4 percent and Bernie Sanders by 1 percent. He barely beats them, but it’s scary that he even should tie them.

(The only other Repugnican Tea Party candidate who also beats Billary and Sanders in the general-election match-ups is Ben Carson, who inexplicably does even better against them than does Rubio, but, again, Carson won’t be the nominee.)

Bluntly, Marco Rubio is the one to take down. The Repugnican Tea Party set ultimately will front him as their Latino Barack Obama — youth appeals in this youth-obsessed, adolescent-minded nation; Rubio assures the old fucks that he’ll cater to them, no matter the long-term damage to the nation; and the Repugnican Tea Party needs to try to regain critical ground lost to Latinos by El Trumpo — and while Rubio has Obama’s youth and smoothness, his agenda is dangerous: He’s perfectly willing to sell most of us down the river for his own political gain right now.

And he’s doing so with a youthful, perhaps even JFK-esque, smile.

*Yes, I’m more than ready for our first female president, but voting for Billary Clinton is like voting for a Repugnican. I don’t vote Repugnican.

Had U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren run instead of Bernie Sanders, I’d be supporting her right now.


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Repugnicans’ silence on domestic terrorist attack is deafening

So here are the booking photos of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic gunman, one Robert Lewis Dear:

Reuters image

Surprise, surprise.

Here is what Yahoo News reports of Dear’s background:

Authorities have released few details about Robert Lewis Dear, the man identified as the alleged sole shooter in an attack on a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic that left three dead and nine others wounded Friday. But while investigators continue to search for clues to his motive, reporters have started digging into Dear’s past.

According to the Associated Press, 57-year-old Dear split his time between a house in Swannanoa, N.C., and a remote cabin without electricity or running water in Black Mountain, about 15 miles outside Asheville, N.C.

Neighbor James Russell told the AP that Dear typically kept to himself and that on the occasions when they did speak, Dear avoided eye contact and rambled about a variety of unrelated topics. However, Russell said, he’d never heard Dear talk about religion or abortion.

The AP also reported that on Saturday, Dear’s cabin was adorned with a cross made of twigs.

Other news outlets have traced Dear’s roots back to South Carolina, where police records indicate a history of arrests and domestic and neighbor disputes dating back to the mid-1990s. …

So far, searches for social media profiles and other online activity have yielded little evidence that Dear had much of an Internet presence.

Dear surrendered to police nearly five hours after he’s believed to have opened fire on a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs on Friday. The city’s mayor, John Suthers, said Saturday that while investigators were not ready to discuss a possible motive for the attack — still hoping to glean more information about the gunman and his mental state — people can “make inferences from where it took place.”

Dear is being held without bond at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center and is expected to appear in court Monday.

Robert Lewis Dear very, very apparently is a head case (a term, like “fucktard,” that I probably shouldn’t use) — I assume that he wasn’t cray-craying it up for his mugshots, and traveling all the way from North Carolina to Colorado to shoot people to death certainly indicates the cray, as does living in a remote cabin without any utilities (a picture of that “cabin” is here) — but I have little doubt that right-wing anti-abortion propaganda set him off.

The wingnuts are insane as it is, but when a certifiably clinically insane individual hears and/or reads and/or sees their insanity, yes, bad things can happen — with which, I surmise, the wingnuts are perfectly OK. (I imagine that yesterday and today, thousands of predominantly white, “Christian” wingnuts have celebrated the news of yet another “abortion clinic”* having been terrorized by one of their own, one of “God’s” “soldiers,” you know. Maybe they even had tailgate parties, just like they falsely claim the “Islamofascists” did here on 9/11.)

If it weren’t the case that Repugnican Tea Party rhetoric encourages domestic terrorism, Yahoo News wouldn’t also be reporting this today (all emphases in bold are mine):

The motive for a shooting that took place outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday still isn’t clear, but all three of the top Democratic presidential candidates quickly rushed to express their support for the organization. 

Meanwhile, the leading Republicans, all of whom have spoken out against Planned Parenthood, have largely remained silent about the shooting. 

Operatives from both parties suggested to Yahoo News that the incident puts the GOP field in a tough spot because of its opposition to Planned Parenthood. The organization is the country’s largest provider of abortions.*

Three people were killed in the shooting. One of the victims was a police officer who responded to a call for help. The suspect has been identified as Robert Lewis Dear, who was reportedly captured on the scene in Colorado Springs after surrendering to law enforcement.

According to the Associated Press, Dear had spent part of his time living in a North Carolina shack, and his neighbors described him as an incoherent loner with no known political or religious leanings. However, John Suthers, the Republican mayor of Colorado Springs, suggested people could draw conclusions about a motive for the attack by drawing “inferences from where it took place.” …

The three top Democrats vying to be Obama’s successor all addressed the shooting on Twitter. Both frontrunner Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley issued expressions of support for Planned Parenthood. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., took things a step further and suggested anti-abortion rhetoric could have encouraged the attack.

“I strongly support Planned Parenthood and the work it’s doing. I hope people realize that bitter rhetoric can have unintended consequences,” Sanders wrote. [Sanders, as usual, is spot-on, except that I don’t know that those consequences always are unintended. And I’m being serious, not flippant.]

Indeed, all of the leading Republican candidates have expressed opposition to Planned Parenthood. And almost none of them have made any public comment on the shooting.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is the only major Republican presidential hopeful who has tweeted about the incident.

“Praying for the loved ones of those killed, those injured & first responders who bravely got the situation under control in Colorado Springs,” Cruz wrote.

Yahoo News reached out to the campaigns of all of the other leading Republicans to see if they had any comment on the shootings. As of this writing, Anna Epstein, a spokeswoman for businesswoman Carly Fiorina was the only one to respond.

“Carly will be on Fox News Sunday tomorrow, and she’ll likely react then,” Epstein said.

There was no comment on the shooting from representatives for real estate mogul Donald Trump, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., or New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

All nine of these Republicans have spoken out against Planned Parenthood and expressed support for taking federal funding from the organization. Cruz has led a congressional push to defund Planned Parenthood by threatening a government shutdown.

A Democratic operative who works in Colorado told Yahoo News [he or she believes] the shooting will hurt the GOP field because it “reminds voters of the relentless Republican campaign against women’s health and the right to choose.” [He or she] also suggested the shooting would highlight Republican opposition to gun control.

In messages to Yahoo News, Amanda Carpenter, a Republican strategist and former top aide to Cruz, acknowledged that the shooting could be “politically uncomfortable” for GOP candidates because they oppose Planned Parenthood and also abhor the violent shooting. Carpenter suggested that the candidates should have followed Cruz’s example and commented on the shooting regardless of their stance on abortion.

“Candidates can choose to avoid commenting on crisis, but a president cannot,” Carpenter said. “While it’s prudent to wait for all information, GOP candidates should easily be able to express sorrow, whether this situation is politically uncomfortable or not.”

Carpenter went on to describe the silence in the Republican field as “sad.”

“This event happened 24 hours ago, and lives were lost. It’s sad more candidates can’t show their support for those in mourning. Republicans can disagree with what [Planned Parenthood] does and grieve for those injured and killed,” she said. “Being pro-life means opposing murder, period. Law enforcement lives are at risk each day, as shown in Colorado yesterday. They need our support more than ever, and the GOP should not hesitate to give it.”

Wow, is Ted Cruz a weasel-snake, pretending to actually give a shit about yesterday’s domestic terrorist attack and even trying to use his statement on it to give himself a leg up on his opponents within his party. No, he’s just trying to cover his precious political ass because, as Yahoo News noted, “Cruz has led a congressional push to defund Planned Parenthood by threatening a government shutdown.” Anti-Planned-Parenthood rhetoric just like Ted Cruz’s very most likely caused yesterday’s domestic terrorist attack.

It perhaps was politically astute of Cruz to (try to) politically get ahead of it, but his sincerity is less than zero.

Not only is the Repugnican Tea Party against Planned Parenthood and women’s constitutional, human right to control their own bodies, but the Repugnican Tea Party obediently supports the National Rifle Association. Robert Lewis Dear, who just might be a card-carrying member of the NRA himself, used a rifle in his terrorist attack.

And note that Cruz’s spokesweasel mentioned “law enforcement lives,” but not the lives of, say, any visitor to or employee of the Planned Parenthood clinic. Because to the neo-Nazis like Ted Cruz and his followers, the lives of those in the military and in quasi-military law enforcement are far more important than are any other lives, especially non-white-male, non-right-wing/non-Repugnican-Tea-Party, non-“Christian” lives.

So Cruz (via his spokessnake) managed to pretend to give a shit about the domestic terrorist attack that his demagoguery only encourages while at the same time blowing that dog whistle hard, noting that abortion is “murder” and singling out for special grief only the lost life of the law enforcement officer whom Robert Lewis Dear gunned down yesterday most likely because of his exposure to right-wing rhetoric.

*Initial news reports about yesterday’s terrorist attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs really incensed me, because they referred to the clinic as an “abortion clinic.” reports: “Abortions represent 3 percent of total services provided by Planned Parenthood, and roughly 10 percent of its clients received an abortion. The group does receive federal funding, but the money cannot be used for abortions by law.” (I’m not sure what “roughly 10 percent of its clients received an abortion” means. Does that mean that 10 percent of Planned Parenthood’s clients at some time have received an abortion through Planned Parenthood, or that they have had an abortion at any time in their lives, provided by any provider?) also gives this graphic:

But even though only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services are “abortion services,” the fact remains that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled decades ago that the U.S. Constitution grants women the constitutional right to an abortion (with some restrictions).

Even if more than half of Planned Parenthood’s services were “abortion services,” there is nothing to argue about. Planned Parenthood is acting well within U.S. law, and those who oppose Planned Parenthood’s operation therefore are lawless — and, in my book, treasonous. The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken on this matter, backed by the U.S. Constitution. Period.

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You’re a lot more likely to be killed by a Trumpian fascist than by an ‘Islamofascist’

Updated below (on Saturday, November 28, 2015)

At least three people, a police officer and two civilians, were shot dead at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs today. Details are still coming in, but apparently the gunman shot at least 12 people, at least five of them police officers, with a rifle.

Here is a news photo of the police taking away the shooter in handcuffs:

The handcuffed suspected gunman at the Planned Parenthood clinic is moved to a police vehicle in Colorado Springs, Colorado November 27, 2015. Police arrested a gunman who stormed the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday and opened fire with a rifle in a burst of violence that left at least 11 people injured, including five officers, authorities said.

Reuters photo

I’ve yet to see any information about the gunman, but from the photo he doesn’t look like ISIS and/or a refugee from Syria to me. He looks like a domestic terrorist of the usual kind — a white, right-wing, “Christian” male. You know, the kind who supports Donald Trump and is so stupid and aggressive that he gets into fights with his own kind at Trump/KKK rallies (when he isn’t too busy committing assault and battery on non-whites who dare to dissent at a Trump/KKK rally).

I’ve long known that as an American on American soil I’m much more likely to be killed by a white, right-wing “Christian” male than by an “Islamofascist,” whether homegrown or from abroad.

Americans have paid attention to the 130 people slaughtered in Paris earlier this month primarily because the terrorists who perpetrated the massacre were self-identified Muslims. Most Americans ignore terrorism perpetrated by “Christians” here at home, which they never consider to be part of a pattern and thus a real problem, no matter how many times it happens. Indeed, the terms “terror,” “terrorism” and “terrorist” remain reserved only for Muslims. That hasn’t changed since 9/11.

Also unchanged since 9/11 is that more Americans have been slaughtered by homegrown “Christian” terrorists than by “Islamofascist” terrorists. I’ve long known this, but it’s always great to see it in writing, so here is a timely piece by Global Post titled “White Americans Are the Biggest Terror Threat in the United States”:

White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States, according to a study by the New America Foundation. The Washington-based research organization did a review of “terror[ist]” attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001, and found that most of them were carried out by radical anti-government groups or white supremacists.

Almost twice as many people have died in attacks by right-wing groups in America than have died in attacks by Muslim extremists [since 9/11]. Of the 26 attacks since 9/11 that the group defined as [terrorist attacks], 19 were carried out by non-Muslims. Yet there are no white Americans languishing inside the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. And there are no drones dropping bombs on gatherings of military-age males in the country’s lawless border regions.

Attacks by right-wing groups get comparatively little coverage in the news media. Most people will struggle to remember the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that killed six people in 2012. A man who associated with neo-Nazi groups carried out that shooting. There was also the married couple in Las Vegas who walked into a pizza shop and murdered two police officers. They left a swastika on one of the bodies before killing a third person in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Such attacks are not limited to one part of the country. In 2011, two white supremacists went on a shooting spree in the Pacific Northwest, killing four people.

Terrorism is hard to define. But here is its basic meaning: ideological violence. In its study, the New America Foundation took a narrow view of what could be considered a terror attack. Most mass shootings, for instance, like Sandy Hook or the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting — both in 2012 — weren’t included. Also not included was the killing of three Muslim students in North Carolina earlier this year. The shooter was a neighbor and had strong opinions about religion. But he also had strong opinions about parking spaces and a history of anger issues. So that shooting was left off the list.

The killing of nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina [in June] was included. The shooter made it clear that his motivation was an ideological belief that white people are superior to black people. [That] shooting has cast new light on the issue of right-wing terrorism in the United States. But since it can’t really use Special Forces or Predator drones on U.S. soil, it remains unclear how the government will respond.

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“Terrorism” is actually, I think, fairly easy to define: It is the use of violence or harm or the threat of such use for some political gain or goal.

The gunman who just today shot up the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, for instance, no doubt is an anti-abortion nut job who believed that his violent act would hinder or impede women’s constitutional right to an abortion. That’s a clear political goal and the man used violence to try to achieve it, so it’s terrorism, plain and simple.

That said, of course, if you’re shot, you’re shot, whether it’s by a nut job with a political agenda or by a nut job without one (or by a nut job who is somewhere in between). The injury that was done to former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and to 12 others who were shot and injured by white American nut job Jared Lee Loughner near Tucson in January 2011, for example, was just the same, regardless of Loughner’s motive (or lack thereof [a raving lunatic, I suppose, really has no motive, since the word “motive” connotes some degree of rational thought involved]). And, of course, the six people whom Loughner slaughtered that day are dead, regardless of his motive.

(Loughner reportedly did express the opinion that women should not hold positions of power [which I’d call a definite right-wing viewpoint], and thus he targeted Giffords, but overall his political views apparently were/are a nonsensical mishmash because he apparently is severely mentally ill and has severely disordered thinking. Still, it counts as terrorism to me, his having targeted a female elected official out of his belief that women shouldn’t hold such posts, if that report is correct.)

Again, of course, shot is shot and dead is dead, even if the gunman had no discernible political agenda at all, as apparently was the case with white American nut job James Eagan Holmes, who killed 12 and injured 70 when he shot up that movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in July 2012 in what Wikipedia notes was “the largest number of casualties in a shooting in the United States.” (A lot of massacres sure are committed by white American males in Colorado…)

In any event, we Americans lately have focused on the 130 slaughtered by “Islamofascists” in Paris not so much because we care about Parisians — because we don’t; we’re Americans, and while we might claim otherwise, we truly give a shit only about ourselves — but because we don’t want to be out and about in public, enjoying the fruits of our capitalist system that come at others’ (and the planet’s) expense, only to be riddled with bullets or to be blown up or otherwise to be injured or killed ourselves.

But because we Americans hold ourselves to be innocent — that’s part and parcel of the pathology of toxic, right-wing “Christianity” and other forms of theofascism: rank hypocrisy (being “God’s” “chosen” and so being unable to do any wrong) — we maintain that it’s always the “other” who is the real threat, the real evil, while we ignore the significantly bigger threat to us from the white, male, right-wing, “Christian” terrorists who are among us right now here at home.

So much do we ignore this larger threat, this clear and present danger, that it’s not within the realm of the impossible that Donald Trump, whose campaign demagoguery embodies what the white, male, right-wing, “Christian” nut jobs are all about, will win the Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination.

And maybe even the White House.


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Der Führer Trump hits new low with attack on physically disabled man

Updated below

A screen grab shows Repugnican Tea Party “presidential” candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday publicly mocking a New York Times reporter who has a congenital physical disability. The reporter’s “crime”? Telling the truth instead of supporting the dangerously fascistic Trump’s bold-faced lies against yet another already oppressed minority group. Reports USA Today: “Referring to Serge Kovaleski while on the campaign trail in South Carolina, Trump told a rally: ‘You’ve got to see this guy.’ He then ridiculed Kovaleski’s appearance by bending his wrists and jerking his arms around. Kovaleski has a chronic condition that affects his joints called arthrogryposis.” Kovaleski is pictured below, on the left.

Ken Belson y Serge Kovaleski (izquierda) atienden una recepción relacionada con el Día de la Tierra en el hotel Algonquin el 21 de abril de 2010 en Nueva York (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images).

Getty images

It should come as no shock to see Donald Trump make fun of a man with a congenital physical disability during a “presidential” speech. (Video of this wonderful event is here.)

The Nazis, after all — and Trump, unshockingly,  is of German descent — murdered tens of thousands of human beings with disabilities in a program that later was dubbed “Action T4.” As Wikipedia explains:

The program ran officially from September 1939 to August 1941, during which the recorded 70,273 people were killed at various extermination centers located at psychiatric hospitals in Germany and Austria. Several rationales for the program have been offered, including eugenics, natural selection, racial hygiene, cost effectiveness and pressure on the welfare budget. After the formal end date of the program, physicians in German and Austrian facilities continued many of the practices that had been instituted under Action T4, until the defeat of Germany in 1945. The unofficial continuation of the policy led to additional deaths by medicine and similar means, resulting in 93,521 beds “emptied” by the end of 1941. Historians estimate that twice the official number of T4 victims might have perished before the end of the war, exceeding 200,000.

So as not to be a hypocrite, and to provide full disclosure, I myself have used the term “fucktard” (and other iterations of “retard”). Many times. But my first job out of college was working with mentally and physically disabled individuals, and while I probably shouldn’t use the term “fucktard” to denote a person of low intelligence (who has not actually been diagnosed clinically with mental retardation, let me add, importantly), I don’t make fun of people with actual physical or intellectual disabilities, because to do so is to show a stunning lack of empathy for another human being who has challenges that oneself does not.

And, of course, I am not running to be president of the United States of America.

There long has been no way in hell that I would or could support fascist Führer wannabe Donald Trump in any way, and to some degree I suppose that I’ve become immune to the venom and bile that has been spewing freely from Trump’s pie hole for months now, but this latest Trumpism should be the one that finally takes him down.

The series “The Man in the High Castle,” based upon a Philip K. Dick dystopian novel that envisions a scenario in which Germany and Japan actually won World War II and divvied up the United States between them, is timely. (Just last night I watched the first episode. It even makes rather chilling reference to eugenics, which the Nazi Germans occupying the United States are still practicing routinely.)

Here in Donald Trump is a patently fascist presidential candidate (of German blood, appropriately) openly mocking, in a “presidential” speech, a man who has a congenital physical disability.

How will the masses respond to this?

How will the masses respond to such utterly shameless bullying? I mean, other groups of people Trump has attacked — “illegals” from south of the border, Muslims, women, et. al. — can, for the most part, defend themselves against Trump’s bigotry to at least some degree.

But attacking those with disabilities?


How low, exactly, can Donald Trump go?

Should the masses actually allow Donald Trump to sit in the Oval Office, I can guarantee you this: In the future, if we even still have anything remotely resembling a democracy left, presidential candidates might be asked: If you could go back in time, would you kill Baby Donald in order to prevent the crimes against humanity that he perpetrated?

The Germans claimed that they didn’t know what Adolf Hitler was all about until it was too late. Bullshit. The signs were all there all along.

With Donald Trump, similarly, the signs are all there.

If we actually allow this “man” to be president — whether we actually elect him or whether we just allow him to steal the White House, like we just allowed George W. Bush & Co. to do in 2000* — we won’t be able to claim, with any shred of truth at all, that we didn’t know.*

P.S. If you think that noting Trump’s German ancestry is out of bounds, well, apparently Trump possibly has had a problem with it himself, or at least his father apparently had a problem with it. Notes Wikipedia:

Trump’s paternal grandparents were German immigrants; Trump’s grandfather, Frederick Trump (né Friedrich Trump), was a successful Klondike Gold Rush restaurateur. In his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump incorrectly claimed that Frederick Trump was originally called Friedrich Drumpf and of Swedish origin, an assertion previously made by Fred Trump for many years. Trump later acknowledged his German ancestry and served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.

More disclosure: A while ago I participated in the Genographic Project, and my genes (if I interpret my results correctly) are a match for the dominant genetic populations first of the United Kingdom and second of Germany, so it seems quite possible if not probable that I have at least some German blood in me, as do many if not even most white Americans. That said, the Germans always have rubbed me the wrong way, even Nazism aside.

Update: Donald Trump has issued a lying, cowardly statement denying that he said/did what he said/did.

In the video I linked to above, Trump clearly says to his audience, “You gotta see this guy” (Serge Kovaleski, whom he has just called a “poor guy”) — this certainly indicates that he has met or at least seen Kovaleski, at least in a picture — and then Trump immediately mimics the distorted voice and gestures of someone with a physical and/or intellectual disability.

Yet now Trump alternately claims that he’s never laid eyes on Kovaleski and that “Despite having one of the all-time great memories, I certainly do not remember him” and “Serge Kovaleski must think a lot of himself if he thinks I remember him from decades ago – if I ever met him at all, which I doubt I did.”

The Washington Post has noted that “Kovaleski covered Trump while reporting for the New York Daily News between 1987 and 1993, a tumultuous period for Trump in which he struggled through several financial setbacks,” casting further doubt on Trump’s claim that he has no idea what Kovaleski even looks like. (Trump strikes me as the kind of individual who certainly would do opposition research; not only does he have the paranoia and the egomaniacal grandiosity, but he has the mean$ to have his henchpeople do this for him.)

Trump also took the page right out of the fascist/right-wing playbook in which he blames his victim; he proclaimed that Kovaleski “should stop using his disability to grandstand.”

Yes, it’s Kovaleski’s fault that Trump very, very apparently made fun of him and his congenital condition. Not only has Trump now attacked Kovaleski twice — Kovaleski, to my knowledge, has made no public statement, by the way (the New York Times has) — but Trump bizarrely has attacked the New York Times at length, criticizing its fiscal management and questioning its ethics, its quality and its relevance, which has absofuckinglutely nothing to do with the fact that Donald Trump very, very apparently recently publicly mocked a man for his congenital physical disability during a “presidential” appearance.

What started this whole fracas, of course, is Trump’s colossal falsehood that on television he saw “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center even as the twin towers burned and fell. This is a right-wing über-fabrication meant to further the wingnuts’ anti-Muslim agenda, of course.

But Donald Trump is too much of a fucking liar and a fucking coward to admit that he lied or, at the very minimum, very carelessly misspoke about “thousands” of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey on September 11, 2001. If he didn’t outright lie, which I think he most likely did, then he certainly didn’t care about the facts, the truth, because his overriding objective was to bash Muslims for personal political gain, not to tell the truth. Very presidential!

As I wrote above, we are seeing ample signs about what kind of “man” Donald Trump is. We ignore these flashing lights and sirens at our own peril.

And when I call Donald Trump a fascist, I mean it in the dictionary-definition sense of the term, not as a slam, although it’s perfectly fine with me if it’s also taken as a slam. (See’s Jamelle Bouie on the topic of Donald Trump being a textbook fascist.)

Fuck the fascist Trump and the neo-Nazis who support him. They won’t turn the United States of America into another Nazi Germany without a fight.

P.S. I stand corrected; Business Insider reports:

… [Serge] Kovaleski told The [Washington] Post that he is confident that Trump remembers him and his condition. Kovaleski met with Trump several times when the reporter was covering Trump while working at the New York Daily News from 1987 to 1993.

“The sad part about it is, it didn’t in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent, given his track record,” Kovaleski told the Post.

The New York Times, where Kovaleski is currently a reporter, also had a response to the incident: “We think it’s outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters,” a Times spokeswoman told Politico and confirmed to Business Insider. …

*Of course, after George W. Bush brazenly blatantly stole the 2000 presidential election, it couldn’t have come as a surprise that he would not protect Americans on September 11, 2001, or in late August 2005 (when Hurricane Katrina struck), and nor could it have come as a surprise that the “man” who had refused to accept that his opponent Al Gore had won the 2000 presidential election would go on to start the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War, in which thousands of our troops died for nothing more than the treasonous war profiteering of the treasonous BushCheneyCorp and in which many, many more innocent Iraqi civilians, tens of thousands of them, have died — and which, of course, contributed to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has caused even more death and destruction.

There are terms for these high crimes: treason, war crimes, crimes against humanity, etc.

That enough Americans not nearly long ago just enough allowed the fascist George W. Bush to rise to power anti-democratically should give pause to those who claim that Donald Trump couldn’t become president.

He probably won’t, but to ignore the possibility entirely is dangerous — and, dare I say, probably even treasonous.

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Bernie Sanders wins the youth vote (also: SEIU sold its members out)

Updated below (on Monday, November 23,2015)

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders takes a selfie with supporters after a campaign rally at the South Carolina Democratic Party headquarters in Columbia

Reuters photo

Two young people take a selfie with democratic socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders after a campaign rally in Columbia, South Carolina, yesterday. Sanders is popular among young Americans, having won Iowa’s student mock election this past week with a majority of the votes, and he leads TIME magazine’s online poll for its 2015 Person of the Year. 

I noted two interesting Bernie Sanders-related items this past week.

First, Bernie Sanders handily won the student mock election held in Iowa this past week. Just under a thousand middle school and high school students participated on the Democratic side of the mock election, sponsored by the state’s secretary of state’s office. The Washington Post reports that 22 of the state’s 99 counties participated in the mock election, but doesn’t indicate whether these 22 counties are more or less representative of the entire state.

That said, Bernie Sanders won the mock election with almost 53 percent of the vote, followed by Martin O’Malley, with 24 percent, and coming in dead last was Billary Clinton, with a paltry 15 percent.

Had these been elementary school students, I would feel at least a little bit better about these results. Why? I surmise that younger students primarily would have voted the way their parents had influenced them to vote, and thus the mock election results would be reflective of how the students’ parents intend to caucus in Iowa on February 1.

But because these are middle school and high school students who voted, I surmise, the students voted more independently of their parents than younger students would have. And since most of these high school students won’t be 18 years old as of February 1, Bernie Sanders’ having garnered a majority of the vote in Iowa’s student mock election won’t translate to much help to him when Iowa caucuses on February 1.

The Huffington Post’s polling analysis right now puts Sanders at 32.5 percent in Iowa, to Billary Clinton’s 54.4 percent. Real Clear Politics’ polling analysis right now puts Billary at 53.8 percent to Bernie’s 29.8 percent in the first-to-weigh-in state of Iowa.

What accounts for such differences in the preference for Bernie or for Billary? Age, apparently; the younger you are, the more likely you are to support Bernie Sanders, and the older you are, the more likely you are to support Billary Clinton.

This is good for Billary and her center-right ilk in the short term, since our elections still will be skewed to the older, whiter and more conservative voters for several more cycles to come, since the older, whiter and more conservative you are, the more likely it is that you consistently vote in elections.

But Bernie’s — and democratic socialism’s — popularity among young people now, if it holds as they grow older, spells doom for the Clintonesque sellout of the Democratic Party to the point that the Democratic presidential frontrunner, Billary Clinton, is quite Repugnican Lite.

(Indeed, as I have noted, much of her campaign rhetoric sounds like Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Marco Rubio’s, and given the too-similar campaign rhetoric, are voters going to vote for the younger, fresher Rubio — or for Billary? [Yes, my money still is on Marco Rubio emerging as the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee.])

It’s quite possible that Bernie Sanders won’t eke out a win in the current Democratic Party presidential primary race, and that history will show him to have been a transitional political figure, the presidential candidate who helped return the Democratic Party to its progressive roots but who couldn’t win the White House himself.

That said, I still won’t write Bernie’s political obituary; at this point he still could win Iowa, like John Kerry did in 2004 (after he had been written off as politically dead), and then, like Kerry did, win the New Hampshire primary and take the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. The numbers indicate that it’s not incredibly likely that Bernie will do so, but it’s still possible that he will.

In any event, Bernie Sanders has been influential, whether he wins the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination or not, and, truth be told, I’d rather that Billary Clinton lose in November 2016 than Bernie Sanders.

Why? Because if Billary wins the party’s presidential nomination but loses the presidential election in November 2016 — a decent likelihood, given how Billary, whom a majority of Americans do not like, is not polling very strongly against most of the Repugnican presidential contenders in polling match-ups — it most likely will be the death of her center-right, Democratic-in-name-only, pro-corporate, pro-plutocratic brand name of politics; it will be, at long last, the stake driven through the vampire’s cold heart.

Bernie Sanders’ loss in November 2016 widely would be interpreted as a repudiation of democratic socialism. I’d much rather that November 2016 be viewed as the DINOs’ loss, not democratic socialism’s.

Again, win or lose, Bernie Sanders already has been consequential. The second item that I noted this past week is that Sanders leads handily in TIME magazine’s online poll* of who should be its Person of the Year.

As I type this sentence, in TIME’s online poll Sanders stands at 63 percent voting that he should be a contender for the 2015 Person of the year, with only 37 percent (primarily the Billarybots and the Repugnican Tea Party set, I presume) voting that he shouldn’t be.

Right now the only other candidates for Person of the Year who even approach Sanders’ level are Malala Yousafzi (the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both with 58 percent. At number three are “Refugees,” from Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere, as a group, with 54 percent of the vote.

Pope Smiley Face — er, Francis — right now comes in at fourth place, with 51 percent, and no other person or group of persons breaks 50 percent in the online polling thus far.

How does Billary Clinton fare in TIME’s online poll as I type this sentence? A whopping 24 percent say that she deserves consideration as Person of the Year, while 76 percent say that she does not. (I’d have voted “Oh, hell no!” had that been an option. A Facebook or Twitter account is necessary to vote, by the way, which should cut down at least somewhat on the same individuals voting multiple times.)

The racehorse American Pharoah (his owner apparently misspelled the word “pharaoh”) right now fares better than does Billary, with 26 percent voting that the horse should be considered as Person of the Year.

(In case you’re wondering, of the Repugnican Tea Party presidential aspirants, Donald Trump fares the best in the online poll for Person of the Year, with only 15 percent; behind him is Ben Carson, with 13 percent. And Barack Obama right now has 39 percent, making him more popular than Billary but not as popular as Bernie.

In case you were wondering even further — and you probably weren’t — my own top three choices for TIME’s Person of the Year for 2015 would be [not necessarily in any certain order] Bernie Sanders, “Refugees,” and Latino journalist Jorge Ramos, who has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of immigrants from south of the border, even before he took on Donald Trump’s chillingly fascistic, jackbooted, nationalist/jingoist and racist — and thus dangerous — anti-immigrant campaign rhetoric.)

Why is Bernie Sanders doing so well in TIME’s online poll?

Well, I surmise, it comes down again to youth: Younger people are more likely to be online and thus are more likely to participate in online polls.

In old, actual votes that actually make or break presidential candidates in the actual caucuses and the primary elections, Billary Clinton, the old, dead hand of the past, no doubt will get scads of actual votes from center-right old fucks.

But the future, apparently, belongs to democratic socialism.

P.S. I’ll take a moment here to note that while the nation’s second-largest labor union, SEIU (Service Employees International Union, which has a membership of around 2 million workers), this past week endorsed Billary Clinton as president, none of us union members at the bottom got any say whatsofuckingever in the matter.

I’ve paid my monthly dues to SEIU for years now (they come out of my paycheck automatically), but the union’s decision to endorse Billary was not made by us dues-paying pee-ons, but only by SEIU’s upper echelon.

We dues-paying pee-ons (that’s not a misspelling; we are urinated upon) had zero opportunity to weigh in on the endorsement, either by snail mail or even electronically.

I have to suspect that the ineffective, self-serving SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, who should have been dumped by now, supports Billary primarily (or even only) because Billary is a fellow woman and because this is what “feminism” has come to mean these days: supporting a woman over a man no matter what the woman stands for or does not stand for.

I mean, fuck: One of SEIU’s stated central priorities is the $15/hour minimum wage for every worker in the United States of America, but Billary Clinton won’t support a federal minimum wage of more than $12/hour. Bernie Sanders supports the $15/hour minimum wage.

SEIU is anti-democratic and cowardly — and apparently misandrist — and stopped representing its members’ best interests years ago.

The nation’s largest nurses’ union, National Nurses United, and the American Postal Workers Union had the brains and the courage to endorse Sanders.

Update (Monday, November 23, 2015): I just saw this tidbit in a piece posted today by prognosticator god Nate Silver of (the link is Silver’s):

…[E]xit polls like this one have historically asked voters in Iowa and New Hampshire when they made their final decision on how to vote. These exit polls find that voters take their sweet time.

In Iowa, on average, only 35 percent of voters [caucus-goers] had come to a final decision before the final month of the campaign. And in New Hampshire, only 29 percent had. [Emphasis mine.]

(Why is the fraction lower in New Hampshire than in Iowa? Probably because voters there are waiting for the Iowa results before locking in their choice. In fact, about half of New Hampshire voters make up their minds in the final week of the campaign.) …

This puts the current poll numbers for Iowa and New Hampshire (for both of the duopolistic political parties) into better perspective, methinks.

The title of Silver’s aforementioned piece is “Dear Media, Stop Freaking Out About Donald Trump’s Polls,” and in the piece Silver makes the case that based upon historical trends in the election and the election polling cycle, Trump hardly is a shue-in for his party’s presidential nomination. I don’t see why this advice doesn’t apply equally to Billary Clinton.

As I wrote, I still can see Bernie Sanders winning both Iowa and New Hampshire, just as John Kerry dramatically came from behind in 2004 to take both Iowa and New Hampshire when Howard Dean had been coronated already, much as Billary Clinton already has been coronated…

*TIME proclaims:

TIME’s editors will choose the Person of the Year, but that doesn’t mean readers shouldn’t have their say. Cast your vote for the person you think most influenced the news this year for better or worse. … Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on December 4, and the combined winner of our reader polls will be announced on December 7. TIME’s Person of the Year will be announced December 9.

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More post-debate thoughts: We all lose when Billary Clinton ‘wins by not losing’

Photo from The Washington Post

Billary Clinton has become Rudy Guiliani in drag. Billary walks, talks and acts like a Repugnican, which means that should she become the “Democratic” presidential candidate in November 2016, a majority of voters probably will just go ahead and vote for the real Repugnican presidential candidate (perhaps especially if that candidate is Marco “Bootstraps” Rubio).

In its post-Democratic-debate analysis, (typical of the conventional “wisdom” of the mass media) proclaims of Billary Clinton, “To some degree, Clinton wins by not losing,” adding, “And while she hardly had a perfect night, she definitely didn’t lose.” proclaims of Bernie Sanders:

To be somewhat tautological about it, Sanders lost by not winning. The one, narrow path he has to the nomination comes through a surprise win or close loss in Iowa, followed by a big win in New Hampshire — trusting that the momentum from winning early will carry him, much as it did for John Kerry in 2004. Given that Sanders is losing Iowa quite badly at the moment, and he has less than three months to go before the caucuses, he needed something big to happen to get his Iowa numbers rising again.

But while he didn’t do a bad job in the debate, per se, he didn’t have any real marquee moments that would make Iowa caucus-goers stand up and take notice. …

Despite acknowledging that Billary’s “most serious error of the night was implying that she received support from Wall Street, and took Wall Street-friendly policies as senator from New York, because the financial industry was targeted in the September 11 attacks,” adding, “It was a bizarre moment,” nonetheless proclaims Billary the “winner.”

(Actually, was quite generous in its report of what Billary actually said. This is what she actually said, from CBS’ own transcript:

Oh, wait a minute, senator. (LAUGH) You know, not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small, I am very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent. (APPLAUSE) So I — I represented New York. And I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked.

Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy. And it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country. (APPLAUSE)

Again, note Billary’s knee-jerk reversion to playing the feminist/“sexism”/“misogyny” card when she is under attack, even quite legitimately, in this case for her history of taking loads of campaign cash from the weasels of Wall Street.* But claiming that her self-serving, obedient support of Wall Street — which harmed almost all Americans when the economy resultantly cratered in 2007 and 2008 — “was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country” is incredibly craven, even for someone of Billary’s character.

No, it’s not that Billary is just another corrupt politician who’s on the take; no, by giving the Wall Street weasels everything that they wanted, she wanted to “rebuke the terrorists”! [As Joe Biden once put it: A noun, a verb and 9/11!])

This bias — to the point of proclaiming that Billary “won” the debate last night even though she uttered the most cringe-worthy lines (including, yes, her refusal to support more than a $12/hour federal minimum wage while everyone else is calling for a $15/hour federal minimum wage) — demonstrates what Bernie Sanders has been up against.

Bernie has been laboring in D.C. even longer than Billary has — he became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in November 1990, while Billary didn’t become first lady until a couple of years later — but he hasn’t had the fame (or, luckily, the notoriety) that Billary has.

As I’ve stated, Billary has been running for president at least since her 2000 run for the U.S. Senate, and since she ran for the White House in 2008 but lost, she widely is considered by the limousine-liberal intelligentsia (such as the folks at as “having earned it,” as “it’s her turn.”

Therefore, all that Billary has to do to “win” a debate is not have an emotional breakdown or an episode of Tourette’s on stage, apparently. (And even then, were you to dare to say anything about it, it would be cast by the Billarybots that you hate women!)

Martin O’Malley during the debate last night referred to Billary and/or one of her policy prescriptions as “weak tea.” Yup. As I wrote last night as I live-blogged the debate, she would prescribe only a lukewarm glass of water for a raging house fire. On almost every issue, be it raising the minimum wage to a living wage, reining in the gross abuses of the Wall Street weasels, the legalization of marijuana, and even “her” “signature” issue of health-care reform, she proposes doing as little as is humanly possible.

When you start off asking for/demanding so little, in the negotiating process in D.C. you’ll end up with even less.

During last night’s debate Billary surreally praised Barack Obama’s “record” of “accomplishment” (my words, not hers), which is telling, since the hopey-changey President Obama has done little to nothing. I, for one, can’t say that I’m much better off in year seven of Obama’s presidency than I was when George W. Bush was still president, and that’s because Obama has barely touched the status quo; he’s been barely a caretaker president, much more a leader. If he’s Billary’s role model, we know that with President Billary we’d get four more years of the same.

Despite Billary’s staunch refusal to stand up for the common American instead of for her millionaire and billionaire campaign contributors — and for the older, more right-wing voters to whom she appeals — she does, alas, lead in the polls. is correct: Bernie lags by double digits in Iowa, the state that goes first when it caucuses on February 1. On February 9 it’s the New Hampshire primary, where, according to Real Clear Politics’ polling average, Billary is ahead of Bernie by three percentage points, but where, according to Huffington Post’s polling average, Bernie is ahead of Billary by eight percentage points.

I agree with’s analysis that if Bernie loses Iowa, it needs to be close; he needs to come in at a close No. 2 if he can’t pull out a first-place win. (And then, he really needs to win New Hampshire; he can’t afford even a close second there, I believe. If he doesn’t come in at No. 1 at least in Iowa or in New Hampshire, I don’t see him recovering from that.)

All of that said, before we write Bernie Sanders off it’s important to remember that John Kerry came back from the dead to beat Howard Dean in Iowa in January 2004. Wikipedia notes of the 2004 Iowa caucuses:

The Iowa caucuses revived the once moribund campaign of Kerry, who proceeded to the New Hampshire primary as one of the front runners, and [he] ultimately captured the Democratic nomination. …

The results were a blow to Dean, who had for weeks been expected to win the caucuses. He planned afterward to quickly move to New Hampshire, where he expected to do well and regain momentum. At the time, he had far more money than any other candidate and did not spend much of it in Iowa. Dean’s aggressive post-caucus speech to his supporters, culminating with a hoarse scream that came to be known as the “Dean Scream,” was widely shown and mocked on television, although the effect on his campaign was unclear. …

What do John Kerry and Bernie Sanders have in common? Tad Devine as a senior adviser.

Could Bernie Sanders pull a John Kerry in Iowa?

Yes, I think so, which is why I refuse to write Bernie Sanders’ political obituary, even though, as points out, Sanders has not even three full months before Iowa.

I wouldn’t call Sanders’ campaign thus far to be “moribund,” either. It’s true that in nationwide polls he lags by double digits — 33.5 percent to Billary’s 54.5 percent, per RCP, and 33.2 percent to Billary’s 56.5 percent, per HuffPo — but put into perspective, Bernie’s not doing badly for a relative unknown, a dark horse, who fairly came from nowhere to challenge the “inevitable” coronation of Billary Clinton.

And, as I’ve noted before, the entire nation isn’t voting on the same day, but over the course of several months (even though the race is likely to be wrapped up over the course of several weeks [I don’t expect the race to go past the end of March, by which time more than 30 states will have weighed in).

Therefore, if Bernie scores early wins, it could give him the momentum that it gave the once-“moribund” Kerry campaign. (The once-“moribund” Kerry went on to win all but a handful of states.) This snowball effect makes the nationwide polling a poor predictor of the final outcome of a presidential primary race — because, again, the entire nation doesn’t vote on one day.

I’ve never supported Bernie Sanders merely to push Billary Clinton to the left. This line of thought presumes that Billary was going to be coronated from the get-go, and that any opponent to her would be only for show.

I recognize, of course, that Bernie Sanders might not win the primary race; it remains an uphill battle. (As Bernie tells us repeatedly, unlike Billary Clinton and the other Repugnican presidential candidates [yes, to me Billary might as well be running as a Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate, as a “moderate” Repugnican], he’s not funded by the billionaires). But once it was clear that Elizabeth Warren was sitting this one out, I’ve always seen Sanders as the candidate best suited to be president.

Nor do I have any confidence — none whatsofuckingever — that merely pushing Billary’s campaign rhetoric to the left during the primary race actually would result in any actual progressive action on her part should she actually become president.

Billary’s history is one of lying, of switching her political positions like a human weather vane on crack. We can’t trust any of her promises. Barack Obama, at least, was an unknown; when he relentlessly promised “hope” and “change” in advance of November 2008, I thought that he might actually at least try to deliver on these campaign promises. With Billary, I know that she won’t.

Billary also clearly wants to be president only for her rapacious baby-boomer cohort. It’s clear that she wants to keep things just as they are, until after the baby boomers all finally die off, and leave us Gen X’ers, Millennials and those who follow us X’ers and Millennials holding the bag, with not even the short end of the stick, but no stick left at all. (Clintonista Paul Begala once called the baby boomers “a plague of locusts, devouring everything in their path and leaving but a wasteland.” Yup.)

Leadership is about vision and having an eye to the future. Bernie Sanders has shown that vision, that far-sighted wisdom. Billary, like her Wall Street buddies, views only what she can get in this quarter.

As I’ve stated before, Bernie Sanders might be like Barry Goldwater was in 1964: Goldwater didn’t become president, but he is credited with having started the “Reagan revolution” that came after him.

Similarly, probably especially if Billary Clinton wins the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination but then loses in November 2016 to, say, Marco Rubio (since she’s using his and other Repugnican Tea Party talking points, why wouldn’t the voters go ahead and vote for him or for another Repugnican Tea Party candidate?) and Billary’s losing in November 2016 easily could happen, given that the majority of Americans do not like her — perhaps the Democratic Party finally will wake the fuck up and rid itself of the virulent center-right stain that the self-serving Clintons put on it in the 1990s. (I just now thought of that infamously stained blue dress, but that wasn’t actually meant as a pun…)

Even if Bernie doesn’t win, at the minimum he is breaking ground for another actually progressive candidate, such as Elizabeth Warren, to not only win the White House but to finally take back the Democratic Party, to return it to its rightful progressive roots.

And that would be a huge win.

In that event, you might even say that Bernie won even while “losing.”

*Rolling Stone notes:

Over the course of her career, four of [Clinton’s] top five donors have been Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. Someone has to be the moron, and if it’s not the rich guys whose jobs are buying things that advance their self-interest, then it’s the people at home buying a new regulatory zeal from someone who’s never much evinced an inclination toward it before.

It gets better. Much like I have noted, Rolling Stone’s Jeb Lund continues:

Clinton’s response took the form of a vaporous appeal to identity politics, followed by an invocation of September 11 crass enough to make Rudy Giuliani’s cheeks redden in either shame or envy. Addressing Sanders’ comments above, as well as the number of small donors to his campaign, Clinton said:

“You know, not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small, and I’m very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent… I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.”

This rancid bucket of word scrofula does a lot of coldly profitable hand-waving and at best only creates more questions than it answers. Clinton’s disclosure forms reveal reams of high-dollar Wall Street contributors, so what does a majority of women donors signify that obviates the former in any material way? Would significant Wall Street backing disappear as an issue for a gay candidate who said, “60 percent of my donors are gay”? Does all of Cory Booker’s “love money” from hedge fund ghouls get less problematic if he hits a threshold of black donors?

And, after 14 years of every opportunist creep in a blue suit and red tie exhuming the corpses of the World Trade Center dead to festoon themselves with sanctified victimhood, it’s amazing that there are still new ways to be forced to ask the question What the fuck does September 11 have to do with any of this shit, asshole? Would Hillary Clinton become a card-carrying Communist if the CPUSA headquarters had been hit by a plane? Would her donor lists be full of members of Supertramp, Fairport Convention and Oingo Boingo if Al Qaeda had attacked the A&M Records building? What possible causal relationship exists here? And how does attending to Wall Street’s fortunes rebuke the terrorists? …

Lund does proclaim that “despite flogging the nation’s honored dead for the billionth beshitted time this century, Hillary Clinton won the debate handily,” by which I take it that he means, from that link (which is his, not mine) that most Democrats think that Clinton won the debate handily.

Sure; I buy that. As I’ve recently noted, most self-proclaimed Democrats seem poised to go right over that cliff with Billary on November 8, 2016. That doesn’t mean that Billary actually “won” the debate — not if we define winning a debate as actually being truthful in the debate and not resorting to such sleazy, slimy, weaselly tactics as exploiting identity politics and using a noun + a verb + 9/11.

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Live-blogging the 2nd Dem debate

Democratic U.S. presidential candidates Sanders, Clinton and O'Malley hold moment of silence on stage ahead of the second official 2016 U.S. Democratic presidential candidates debate in Des Moines

Reuters photo

Bernie Sanders, Billary Clinton and Martin O’Malley participate in an awkward, maudlin, too-short moment of silence for the victims of the Paris attacks at the beginning of tonight’s second Democratic presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa. Thankfully, discussion of foreign policy and terrorism lasted for only about a half-hour, because, as I noted earlier today, it’s critical that our serious domestic issues (as well as even larger issues, such as climate change) not be ignored because of a renewed bullshit “war on terror,” which the right-wing, fear-mongering traitors among us would love to happen.

4:00 p.m. (California time [PST]): The second Democratic presidential debate is scheduled to start in two hours (PST).

Pathetically but not shockingly, the New York Times reports today:

Des Moines, Iowa — In the hours after the deadly attacks in Paris, CBS News significantly reworked its plans for the Democratic presidential debate it is hosting here on Saturday night to focus more on issues of terrorism, national security and foreign relations.

Steve Capus, the executive editor of CBS News and the executive producer of “CBS Evening News,” said in an interview late Friday that he was in the middle of a rehearsal for the debate when news broke about the slaughter in Paris.

The CBS News team immediately shifted gears and reformulated questions to make them more directly related to the attacks. Mr. Capus said it was important for the debate to go on because the world looks to the American president for leadership during international crises.

“American leadership is put to the test,” Mr. Capus said. “The entire world is looking to the White House. These people are vying to take over this office.”

“This is exactly what the president is going to have to face,” he added.

Mr. Capus said the news team had planned a different debate, but “there is no question that the emphasis changes dramatically.”

“It is the right time to ask all the related questions that come to mind,” he added. “We think we have a game plan to address a lot of the substantive and important topics.”

The Des Moines debate, scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Eastern time, is the first on a broadcast network so far this election season. The moderators are John Dickerson, anchor of the CBS News program “Face the Nation”; Nancy Cordes, the CBS News congressional correspondent; Kevin Cooney, an anchor for KCCI-TV in Des Moines; and Kathie Obradovich, political columnist at The Des Moines Register.

“Last night’s attacks are a tragic example of the kinds of challenges American presidents face in today’s world, and we intend to ask the candidates how they would confront the evolving threat of terrorism,” said Christopher Isham, CBS News vice president and Washington bureau chief.

CBS is also planning an hourlong special report Saturday night, immediately preceding the debate, with a singular focus on the attacks in Paris, Mr. Capus said. It will be anchored by Norah O’Donnell in New York with a contribution from the “CBS Evening News” anchor, Scott Pelley, from Paris.

“Face the Nation” has changed its plans for its Sunday broadcast. The network originally intended to broadcast the show from Des Moines the morning after the debate, but has scrapped those plans and now says it will travel back to Washington to cover the news of the terrorist attacks.

The Paris attacks are a godsend for not only the Repugnican Tea Party, but for the corporately owned and controlled “news” media, like CBS, whose filthy rich owners would much, much rather have Americans terrified about “terrorism” than focus on what capitalism run amok is continuing to do here at home.

It is tragic that at least 129 people were slaughtered in Paris yesterday, but far more Americans than that die every day right here at home because of corporate evils. It’s that their deaths, such as from lack of access to adequate health care, adequate shelter and adequate nutrition, and from chronic illnesses due to that lack of access and due to exposure to tobacco and other carcinogens and other corporately produced toxins, aren’t nearly as dramatic as are deaths at the hands of suicide bombers and other assorted terrorists/“terrorists.”

Far more Americans have died and will continue to die because of the insane income inequality that has plagued this nation for decades than ever will be killed by terrorists/“terrorists.” And we continue to allow this beyond-sorry state of affairs.

5:50 p.m. (PST): The debate is set to begin in 10 minutes from Drake University in Des Moines.

6:02 p.m.: Incredibly cheesy opening, with a platitude about “freedom” and a moment of silence for Paris. Remember that the corporately owned and controlled “news” media in 2002 and 2003 acted as cheerleaders for the Vietraq War, not as journalists. They’re not on our side, as they love terrorism/“terrorism,” which is great for their ratings.

6:06 p.m.: Bernie Sanders is the first to speak. He states that the world needs to rid itself of ISIS. I concur. Sanders then immediately goes into income inequality, which I’m sure will be cast as “Bernie Sanders doesn’t care enough about Paris/terrorism!”

6:08 p.m.: Billary Clinton is second to speak, and is speaking at length about tackling “the scourge of terrorism” and she mimics Marco Rubio’s recent talking point that if we aren’t safe from terrorists/“terrorists,” then all other topics of discussion are moot. Billary sounds like a Repugnican to me, but I’m sure that she’ll be lauded for being more “presidential”-sounding.

6:09 p.m.: Martin O’Malley spoke. I barely paid attention, as he can’t hit even 5 percent in polls.

6:10 p.m.: Billary again on ISIS, which, she says, must be defeated. I don’t know — she was secretary of state during ISIS’s formative years, wasn’t she? Can she really act like she stands outside of the creation of ISIS?

6:11 p.m.: Billary blames ISIS on the United States’ premature departure from Iraq. She doesn’t remind us that she voted for the Vietraq War in October 2002 in the first place…

6:12 p.m.: Martin O’Malley’s demeanor and delivery are stilted.

6:13 p.m.: Asked if he stands by his assertion that climate change remains our top national security issue, Bernie Sanders wisely and correctly replies yes. Bernie wisely reminds us that the 2003 invasion of Iraq birthed ISIS. Go, Bernie!

6:15 p.m.: Billary deflects, talking about the history of terrorist attacks on U.S. interests. She acknowledges that “the invasion of Iraq was a mistake.”

6:16 p.m.: Sanders mentions U.S. forcing regime changes on other nations in history and states, “I’m not a great fan of regime change.” He states that regime changes often have unintended consequences.

6:18 p.m.: Billary talks about the “complexity” of the world and the special complexity of the Middle East.

6:19 p.m.: Bernie Sanders states that defeating ISIS is “a war for the soul of Islam” and states that Middle Eastern nations need to do more than they have to defeat ISIS. Billary says he was being unfair to Jordan, but I don’t recall him even mentioning Jordan.

6:20 p.m.: Billary is now asked about Libya… Uh-oh…

6:21 p.m.: Billary talks about “an arc of instability” from North Africa to Afghanistan.

6:22 p.m.: Martin O’Malley reminds us that Syria, Libya, Iraq and other Middle Eastern nations are a wreck. I take this as an indirect assault on Clinton’s record as secretary of state…

6:24 p.m.: Bernie Sanders is now talking about how our soldiers come home from war, such as afflicted with PTSD.

6:25 p.m.: Billary clarifies that we’re not at war with Muslims or Islam, but with “jihadists.” Billary is asked about some quotation of her stating that we need to understand our enemies. I agree with her point. As I just blogged, we do need to understand the “jihadists'” mindset. Understanding it is not the same as agreeing with it. Duh. These debate questions are stupid — juvenile and simplistic.

6:28 p.m.: Yes, so the “question” is what we call the “enemy.” “Radical Islamists”? O’Malley offers “radical jihadis.” Again: This is stupid.

6:30 p.m.: Bernie Sanders reminds us that we spend more than $600 billion a year on our military, but that we don’t spend enough on intelligence. “The Cold War is over,” he reminds us, stating that we need to change our military spending based upon our changed priorities. He does not call for significant cuts in the bloated-beyond-belief U.S. military budget, however. (Something that wouldn’t go over very well right about now, I know, but still; Sanders’ critics’ charge that he won’t go after the bloated military budget seems to be correct.)

6:33 p.m.: Billary states that the “defense budget” does need to be re-examined, but she reminds us that we have “challenges” with China and Russia, too.

6:37 p.m.: Now, a switch to domestic economic issues. Bernie is happy about this, I know.

6:38 p.m.: Billary promises to tax the wealthy more and close corporate tax loopholes in order to fund social programs. She’s now talking about Big Pharma and its “price gouging” and “monopolistic practices.”

6:40 p.m.: Martin O’Malley touts his executive experience (over Billary and Bernie, apparently) as the governor of a tiny state… O’Malley is creepy and fakey-fake. Just sayin.’

6:42 p.m.: Bernie Sanders talks about the “massive redistribution of wealth” over the past 30 years. Yup. Sanders talks about ending corporate tax loopholes, talks about taxing Wall Street speculation (to pay for college and university tuition), and talks about making the richest pay a fairer share of taxes.

6:43 p.m.: Billary defends “Obamacare.” She states that she wants to “build on and improve the Affordable Care Act [“Obamacare”].”

6:44 p.m.: Sanders says we now need to take on the pharmaceutical industry. He states that the ACA “is a step forward,” but that the United States “needs to guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege,” and he notes that while the United States spends more than does any other nation on health care, its health-care outcomes aren’t as good as are the outcomes of nations that pay less. Yup; health care never should have been allowed to be for-profit. Billary Clinton never would go so far as to state that obvious fact, however.

6:50 p.m.: O’Malley states that net immigration from Mexico last year was “zero.” I believe him. He advocates “comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.” So do I, even if I find the words “comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship” to be trite and tiresome.

6:52 p.m.: Billary advocates allowing the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants to “come out of the shadows.” So do I.

6:53 p.m.: Bernie is now talking about the need for a “living wage” for everyone. Yup. He says he “apologizes to nobody” for advocating for a federal minimum wage of $15. I also agree with a $15/hour minimum wage. (Billary, I understand, won’t go higher than $12/hour right now.)

6:55 p.m.: O’Malley keeps talking about Maryland. I get it — that’s where he cut his political teeth — but it just sounds awkward on a national stage.

Bernie Sanders reminds us that several cities have adopted the $15/hour minimum wage. Billary now states that she supports only a $12/hour federal minimum wage. (She says she’s fine with individual states going higher than $12. [I always have hated the “states rights'” argument, which the right wing loves.]) O’Malley calls bullshit on Billary’s refusal to call for more than a $12/hour federal minimum wage, asserting that she listens to too many economists from Wall Street, which Billary denies.

7:00 p.m.: We’re on another break now. Thus far, the only misstep of Bernie Sanders, I think, is that he went too quickly into income inequality in his opening statement. Billary predictably will be called “more presidential” for having taken up most of her opening statement blathering about Paris. She sure knows how to pander, knows what’s expected of her by the mindless masses. Just sayin’.

7:01 p.m.: The topic now is Wall Street. Billary can’t be happy. She claims as president she would “rein in Wall Street.”

7:03 p.m.: Bernie calls Billary’s answer “not good enough.” He reminds us that Wall Street always has been a huge campaign contributor to Billary. He adds that they’re probably not dumb, that they know that they’re getting something in return. Bernie reminds us that Billary and O’Malley have superPACs but that he does not.

7:05 p.m.: Billary says that Sanders has “impugned [her] integrity” and immediately then cravenly plays the gender card, reminding us that many of her donors are women. (WTF?) She now casts her support of Wall Street as a great thing to have done in the wake of 9/11 — helping out Wall Street was putting a thumb in the eye of the 9/11 terrorists. Riiight!

7:08 p.m.: O’Malley now attacks Billary on Wall Street. “Bernie’s right,” he says, to applause, adding that we need to reinstate Glass-Steagall.

7:09 p.m.: Bernie Sanders states that Wall Street executives would not be in his cabinet. He states that Repugnican and Democratic administrations have had Wall Street weasels (my term, not his) on their teams.

7:10 p.m.: Now, gun control, Billary’s Clinton’s new-found “concern.” She’s happy to be talking about this and not Wall Street.

7:12 p.m.: Bernie says he’s open to strengthening our gun-control laws. O’Malley now says that Billary Clinton used to act like “Annie Oakley” on gun-control issues, implying, correctly, that she has switched her position on something yet once again for political gain. Bernie slams O’Malley on how good Baltimore is on gun control. Bernie says he doesn’t think there’s much difference between the three candidates’ stances on gun control.

7:16 p.m.: Bernie again says that Wall Street’s “business model is greed and fraud.” Bernie cites Billary’s opposition to reinstating Glass-Steagall as an example of how Billary is in Wall Street’s pocket. Billary protests that her objection is that reinstating Glass-Steagall wouldn’t be enough. I think she’s lying, like she recently lied about the rationale behind DOMA.

7:18 p.m.: O’Malley calls Billary the “candidate of Wall Street” and encourages people to go to his website and support him and by so doing support “real capitalism” instead of “crony capitalism.”

7:20 p.m.: We’re on break now. The low-lights of tonight’s debate, I think, are Billary’s once again knee-jerkingly having resorted to the feminism card when under attack (she has impugned her own integrity, repeatedly, over the course of many years; Sanders just pointed it out) and actually having stated that her support of Wall Street was a way to help New York post-9/11. That’s just an incredibly specious claim, even for Billary.

7:22 p.m.: Bernie is asked how as president he could bring about his left-of-center “revolution” when there already is a conservative revolution under way (I dispute that assertion, but whatever). Bernie states that the solution is to get Big Money out of politics so that the people’s business can be done. I agree, but of course that is an uphill (but not an impossible) battle.

Bernie Sanders reminds us that his campaign is beating Billary’s campaign among young people. That’s true.

7:25 p.m.: Bernie won’t take the bait that Billary Clinton’s e-mails are an issue. Billary acknowledges that Bernie has fired up many Americans of all ages — but seems to insinuate that she’ll be president nonetheless. She also tries to obfuscate by claiming that the differences between her and Sanders and O’Malley “pale by comparison” to the differences between the three of them and the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidates.

I don’t dispute that, but it’s a tactic for Billary to evade scrutiny, not a true sentiment of “Kumbaya” on her part, methinks.

7:30 p.m.: O’Malley is speaking. He still creeps me out. He might actually make a decent-enough president, but he just hasn’t caught fire and isn’t going to, so I still wish he’d go away.

Oh, shit. O’Malley just mega-pandered by proclaiming “Black. Lives. Matter.” Black lives do matter, but such pandering sucks.

7:31 p.m.: Bernie Sanders is talking about the insane incarceration rates for Latino and black Americans. (He’s not just parroting, “Black lives matter.”) He is talking about criminal sentencing reforms and legalizing marijuana.

7:32 p.m.: Billary is being (grand)motherly, talking about cases of mothers talking to her about their children being shot dead. Wow. What a brave stance, opposing gun violence. Just sayin’.

7:34 p.m.: Bernie reminds us that Germany sends it students to universities for free, and that California and New York used to do so. (Thankfully, no mention of Denmark from Bernie, yet.) Bernie states that every American who has the academic ability should be able to get a college or university education, regardless of his or her ability to pay. Yup.

7:37 p.m.: “We can have debt-free college in the United States,” O’Malley proclaims. Billary, as is usual for her, advocates for only a mild tweaking of the current system — probably yet another example of how she is in the pockets of the Wall Street weasels.

7:39 p.m.: “Medicare for all,” a “single-payer system” is what we need, says Sanders. Billary, again, calling for only a glass of lukewarm water instead of a fire engine to put out a raging house fire, again calls for only tweaking “Obamacare.”

7:43 p.m.: We’re on break again. I don’t see this debate changing the dynamics of the race for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination all that much. I still pretty much would like O’Malley to drop out already, but he does get in legitimate digs against Billary. (But his continued presence does allow Billary to pretend that she’s being attacked on the debate stage by two men for being a girl! The poor thing!)

Billary promises what we’d expect of her — a continuation of the status quo. As president she’d be like her husband was and like how Barack Obama has been: milquetoast.

7:46 p.m.: Billary reminds us that she was part of the group advising Obama on going after Osama bin Laden. Gee, what a timely topic…

7:47 p.m.: O’Malley came out and said that at his political level he hasn’t been tried as much as has a U.S. president, but he vaguely promises that as president he could handle whatever crisis might come his way. Awkward.

7:48 p.m.: Bernie Sanders cites as a trying experience for him his attempt in the U.S. Senate to improve veterans’ health care. He states that he ultimately didn’t get the bill that he wanted, but that he got the best bill that he could. A nice juxtaposition, though: Billary wants us to think that she’s a real bad-ass who helped nab bin Laden, while Sanders reminds us of the costs of being war hawks.

7:50 p.m.: O’Malley in his closing statement promises new and fresh thinking. “We are at the threshold of a new era of American progress,” he states. Blah blah blah. Sorry. Just sayin’.

7:51 p.m.: Billary in her closing statement cheesily says, “I have heard a lot about me in this debate” — yes, she’s such a victim — but says that she wants to make it about you. This is classic Clintonian deflection and triangulation. And she plays the feminism card again, cheesily referring to the (next) president as a “she.” To me that’s just as offensive as a male candidate saying, “Vote for me — I have testicles!”

7:53 p.m.: Bernie delivers at least a moderately fiery closing statement, reminding us again that we need to take power away from Big Money, such as the superPACs, and he invites us to join the “political revolution.”

7:57 p.m.: The inane post-debate chatter ensues.

Again, I don’t see this second debate having changed the dynamics, in that I don’t see Bernie’s supporters or Billary’s supporters budging much. As with the first debate, Bernie’s supporters will say that he “won” this debate, while Billary’s supporters will say that she “won” it.

Again, it’s clear to me that Billary proposes Band-Aids where major surgery is called for. But she plays the feminism card and the “victim”-of-“misogyny” card — will that make up for her lack of substance and her unwillingness to meaningfully change the status quo (since that would upset her Big-Money campaign donors)?

Will Bernie Sanders be viewed as too unrealistic? The corporately owned and controlled media and the Wall Street weasels certainly are OK with such a perception of him.

I have little to no doubt that Bernie Sanders would be a better president than would Billary — who, as I recently noted, is disliked by more than half of the nation — but Billary just might be able to pull off the charade, at least with the Democratic caucus-goers and primary voters, that she’s more presidential and more electable.

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