Wake me up on November 9

Updated below (on Tuesday, August 9, 2016)

As I have written, once Bernie Sanders no longer was in the race (after the June 7 primaries, in which he lost California and New Jersey [but especially after he lost California]), I’ve had no horse in it — and thus little interest in it.

Although I’m still being bombarded by the ignorant and fear-based claims that all of us must vote for Billary Clinton in order to prevent lesser evil Donald Trump from sitting in the Oval Office, I still plan to vote for Jill Stein on November 8.

I mean, there still is the little thing called the Electoral College, and Billary Clinton is guaranteed all of my state of California’s 55 electoral votes in the winner-takes-all Electoral College (no, we do not pick our president by the popular vote). I’ve covered this fact right out of Civics 101 many times before, but the ignorance-and-fear-based You-must-vote-for-Billary! cacophony continues, so I must repeat myself.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, of course, is coming under harsher attack now that her numbers have gone up (she apparently has inherited a lot of Bernie-or-busters like myself), even though she’ll very most likely never break out of low single digits when the final votes for president are tallied.

(Right now Real Clear Politics gives Stein 4 percent in the average of recent nationwide polls in a four-way race of Trump, Billary, Stein and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson, and right now RCP gives Billary a 6.5 percent lead over Trump in such a four-way.)

Jill Stein never will be president of the United States of America. I’m confident of that. But I refuse to vote for the supposed lesser of two evils, so I’m voting for Stein, both as a protest vote and because the Green Party much more closely matches my values and beliefs than does the Democratic Party, which under the likes of the center-right, Repugnican Lite Clintons became a pro-corporate, pro-plutocratic, anti-populist party no later than in the 1990s.

The biggest criticism that I’ve most often seen hurled at Stein (mostly by dutiful Billarybots) is that she has sided with the anti-vaccination nut jobs, which is a shocking! stance for a physician! to take, but from what I can tell from the facts, Stein, indeed a graduate of Harvard Medical School, is pro-vaccination but is overly concerned about not offending the anti-vaxxers and so she apparently has parsed her words when discussing vaccination so as not to offend either camp.

I’m firmly in the pro-vaccination camp (vaccinate your fucking kids, especially if they are around the rest of us!), but this isn’t a huge issue for me. It’s not a deal breaker, especially since from what I can discern Stein never actually has been anti-vaccination. (She has been suspect of the mega-corporations that profit from vaccines, which is reasonable and quite understandable; very often the craven profit motive clouds or even destroys the science.)

After Billary Clinton’s apparently inevitable Democratic coronation — already we have forgotten those WikiLeaked anti-Bernie Democratic National Committee e-mails from upon high that were No Big Deal, even though not only DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but also three other DNC officials, have resigned because of them — I signed up on Billary’s e-mail list to see what her messaging is, and my God (I don’t want to be accused by the DNC weasels of being — gasp! — an atheist!) are Billary’s e-mails to her supporters incredibly dull, uber-pedestrian and utterly uninspiring.

Here is today’s typical Billary fundraising e-mail:

Friend —

This week, we learned that Donald Trump and the Republicans raised more than $82 million in the month of July.

This is the same man who mocked a disabled reporter and has called women “fat pigs.” The same man who took the stage at the Republican National Convention and told the world that his vision is to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, deport millions of immigrants, and repeal the Affordable Care Act, leaving countless Americans without health care.

He’s unqualified and unfit to lead our country but the unfortunate reality we must confront is that he still might be able to win if he spends enough to convince voters otherwise.

This team has what it takes to defeat him I know that. But I need to know you’re with me right now. Will you chip in to get your Team Hillary sticker and make sure that we win in November and build a future for our country that we can be proud of?

This is classic Clintonian triangulation. Rather than tell you anything remotely substantively what Billary actually has done or will do for you, she’ll instead attack Donald Trump, which is like shooting fish in a barrel, a really hard accomplishment.

And, of course, as the Democratic Party has done for many years now, it’s all about the fundraising race, all about money.

And what’s further funny is that there is a big red button right under the e-mail language above that says “Donate $1.” Of course, when you click on “Donate $1,” you then are taken to a fundraising page that starts at $5 and ends at $500. (To be fair, if you truly want to give only that $1 — and I won’t give Billary Clinton one fucking cent — you can click on “Other Amount,” apparently, and donate just that $1, but it’s funny that you’re baited with $1 and then apparently are pressured into giving at least $5. It’s a dick move that The Donald might make, except I see that when you visit his website’s home page, his starting asking price is $10.)

So this is all that Billary has to offer us: lazy, self-evident critiques of Donald Trump and money begs. This is just one notch (maybe two) above the rank fascism that Der Fuhrer Trump is offering the nation.

It’s true that Bernie Sanders has asked his supporters to vote for Billary, such as with a commentary he wrote for The Los Angeles Times a few days ago. It reads, in part:

The conventions are over and the general election has officially begun. In the primaries, I received 1,846 pledged delegates, 46 percent of the total. Hillary Clinton received 2,205 pledged delegates, 54 percent. She received 602 super-delegates. I received 48 super-delegates. Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee and I will vigorously support her. [Wow. What a stirring endorsement! Billary won the math, so go, Billary!]

Donald Trump would be a disaster and an embarrassment for our country if he were elected president. His campaign is not based on anything of substance — improving the economy, our education system, healthcare or the environment. It is based on bigotry. He is attempting to win this election by fomenting hatred against Mexicans and Muslims. He has crudely insulted women. And as a leader of the “birther movement,” he tried to undermine the legitimacy of our first African-American president. That is not just my point of view. That’s the perspective of a number of conservative Republicans.

In these difficult times, we need a president who will bring our nation together, not someone who will divide us by race or religion, not someone who lacks an understanding of what our Constitution is about.

On virtually every major issue facing this country and the needs of working families, Clinton’s positions are far superior to Trump’s. Our campaigns worked together to produce the most progressive platform in the history of American politics. Trump’s campaign wrote one of the most reactionary documents.

Clinton understands that Citizens United has undermined our democracy. She will nominate justices who are prepared to overturn that Supreme Court decision, which made it possible for billionaires to buy elections. Her court appointees also would protect a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants and the government’s ability to protect the environment.

Trump, on the other hand, has made it clear that his Supreme Court appointees would preserve the court’s right-wing majority. …

Don’t get me wrong; of course Donald Trump would be a worse president than would Billary. That is saying exactly almost zero. But both Billary and Trump are self-serving, corrupt baby boomers (I know, redundant), and neither is acceptable for the presidency. It’s just that one is worse than the other.

Billary pays lip service to women and their rights, to non-whites, to the LGBT “community,” to immigrants, to Muslims, et. al. — indeed, having jettisoned actual populism (that is, actual concern for the socioeconomic well-being of the American commoner) many years ago, the Democratic Party has become reduced pretty much only to identity politics — but what Billary and Trump both have in common is their fealty to our plutocratic overlords and to the socioeconomic status quo that benefits our plutocratic overlords at our commoners’ continued expense.

(Billionaires for Billary, by the way, include Michael Bloomberg, Mark Cuban, Sheryl Sandberg, Warren Buffet, and, of course, George Soros, and perhaps Jeff Bezos.)

Billary’s rhetoric is nicer than Trump’s, but under President Billary you’d find that your lot in life has improved no more than it did under eight years of President Hopey-Changey, and that’s because it’s all a fucking ruse. The Repugnican Party and the Democratic Party for decades now have just played good cop/bad cop, and their common enemy is we commoners. We’re fucked either way, by the bad cop or by the “good” cop, but usually by both working in tandem, as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party do against us commoners.

The Coke Party and the Pepsi Party will continue their good cop/bad cop campaign against the American populace as long as they still are able to.

Participating in their bullshit will only perpetuate their bullshit, and so while I understand that politically Bernie Sanders more or less has had to quasi-endorse Billary (I mean, I understand that he intends to remain in the U.S. Senate for a while and would prefer not to be a total pariah there), yes, I’m disappointed that he has joined the chorus singing hymns in defense of the supposed lesser of two evils.

Not to sound too much like Ted Cruz (who is the second coming of Joseph McCarthy), but I still entreaty you to vote your conscience on November 8. (And it’s interesting that the advice to actually vote your conscience sends the Democratic Party hacks into an apoplectic fit as much as it sends the Repugnican Tea Party hacks into an apoplectic fit.)

As I wrote in June: If (like I do) you live in a solidly blue or a solidly red state and it’s already clear that Billary or Trump will win your state and thus all of its electoral votes, and you vote for Billary even though you don’t really want to, hell has a special spot waiting for you.

Because the supposed-lesser-of-two-evils-ism bullshit has to stop, I’m hoping that the polling for Jill Stein and for Gary Johnson (the latter of whom, per RCP, right now has the support of 8.4 percent of poll respondents) not only holds but increases, as the partisan duopoly of the Repugnican Party and the Democratic Party should have been broken up years ago.

And it’s funny that although Johnson right now is drawing about twice the support that Stein is drawing, and surely is siphoning at least some of the support that otherwise would go to Billary, Johnson to my knowledge hasn’t come under any serious attack for exercising his constitutional right to run for president, but Stein has; indeed, the Democrats (or at least the Billarybots, who aren’t actual Democrats but who are DINOs) hate actual democracy.

Which is just one more reason why I won’t vote for Billary on November 8, but instead will vote for Jill Stein.

Update (Tuesday, August 9, 2016): The Billary Clinton campaign e-mail creepiness continues. Yesterday I received an e-mail that reads:

Friend —

We noticed you recently started to make a donation on HillaryClinton.com, but didn’t complete the transaction.

You can complete your donation here. [I have disabled the links in this e-mail.]

Your Supporter Record
Donor Level: Online Supporter
Most Recent Contribution Date: today?!
Total Contributed: $0.00
Suggested Contribution: $1.00

Please complete your donation and join more than 2 million grassroots donors powering this campaign:

Complete my donation

Thanks,

HFA Donations

As I blogged, I never intended to donate even one cent, but just wanted to see what would happen after I hit the “Donate $1” button, and, as I’d suspected would be the case, the starting asking donation was not $1, but was more. But because I didn’t give any money, I got a follow-up e-mail. Cheesy.

And today I received another Billary campaign e-mail that begins like this:

Friend —

You did it! By signing up to volunteer, you just took the first step to help bring home a win for Hillary. I know the team in California is going to be pumped to have you on board. …

Except that I never “[signed] up to volunteer” for the Billary campaign. I only signed up to receive the campaign’s e-mails in order to see its messaging and its tactics.

Another e-mail that I received from the Billary campaign today reads, in full (link disabled):

Friend —

Donald Trump said this at a rally in North Carolina today:

“If she gets to pick her judges, [there’s] nothing you can do folks. Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”

This is not normal or acceptable talk from a presidential candidate.

But when decent people stay silent at moments like this, we let it become normal. We all need to stand up right now and show that we don’t tolerate this kind of politics in America — before future candidates get the impression that they would benefit from running this kind of campaign.

Say you oppose Donald Trump and the politics he stands for — chip in $1 right now, get your free official Team Hillary sticker, and let’s stop him:

Thanks,

Christina

Christina Reynolds
Deputy Communications Director
Hillary for America

Tell me if I’m missing something here: The e-mail states that, a la “tea party” whackadoodle Sharron Angle circa 2010, Donald Trump publicly has suggested, to paraphrase Angle, that Second-Amendment remedies might be necessary in dealing with Billary Clinton. The New York Times apparently shares my interpretation, as it reported today:

Wilmington, N.C. — Donald J. Trump [today] appeared to raise the possibility that gun rights supporters could take matters into their own hands if Hillary Clinton is elected president and appoints judges who favor stricter gun control measures to the bench.

At a rally here, Mr. Trump warned that it would be “a horrible day” if Mrs. Clinton were elected and got to appoint a tie-breaking Supreme Court justice.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Mr. Trump said, as the crowd began to boo. He quickly added: “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

The Trump campaign released a statement insisting opaquely that Mr. Trump had been referring to the “power of unification.”

“Second Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power,” said Mr. Trump’s spokesman, Jason Miller. “And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump.”

… Reacting to Mr. Trump’s statement on Twitter, aides to Mrs. Clinton expressed immediate horror, suggesting that even by Mr. Trump’s standards, the comments were jarring.

“This is simple,” Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said in an e-mail. “What Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way.”

Even those in Mr. Trump’s audience appeared caught by surprise. Video of the rally showed a man seated just over Mr. Trump’s shoulder go slack-jawed and turn to his companion, apparently in disbelief, when Mr. Trump made the remark. …

Yes, it was a serious remark. It was bad enough when crazy cat lady Sharron Angle, running for the U.S. Senate, spoke of “Second-Amendment remedies” (she refused to say exactly what those “remedies” would be, so of course she was talking about the use of gun violence to achieve one’s political goals — which is the dictionary definition of terrorism) but here we have the Repugnican Tea Party’s presidential nominee doing that.

The gravity of fascist Trump’s fascist comment, however, certainly is undercut by blithely and cynically following it with “chip in $1 right now” and “get your free official Team Hillary sticker,” don’t you think?

Our idiocracy — replete with “Second Amendment people” (when cognition goes, so does language, as the two inextricably are bound together) and those who casually cynically try to raise campaign cash from the public utterance of disturbingly fascist statements — is fully in place now, and I sorely miss Bernie Sanders’ campaign e-mails.

P.S. Yes, the “Donate $1” button still takes you to a webpage whose asking starting donation is $5

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Billary moves closer to losing to Trump

Fivethirtyeight.com right now puts the chance of the above occurring at only 52 percent and the chance of the below occurring at 48 percent. Prolly too early to celly Billary Clinton’s Democratic presidential nomination, methinks.

I was listening live to NPR this afternoon when it was announced from the Democratic National Convention that it’s official: Billary Clinton is the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee, and is the first woman to receive the presidential nomination of the Coke Party or the Pepsi Party.

I truly wish that I could celebrate that, but I just can’t, and I cannot for three main reasons:

  • Billary Clinton isn’t a progressive. She herself not even a year ago proudly publicly proclaimed herself to be “moderate and center.” This has morphed into her more recent claim that she’s “a progressive who likes to get things done” (or something very close to that), but no, that bullshit rhetoric was deployed just to secure the nomination. She is center-right, which is why so many millionaire and billionaire Repugnicans, like Michael Bloomberg, support her for president. If it were Bernie Sanders’ convention, the likes of billionaire Bloomberg would not be speaking at the fucking Democratic National Convention.
  • Billary didn’t become the nominee fairly and squarely, but had the help of the “neutral” Democratic National Committee at the highest levels. We have e-mail evidence of that fact (and DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz would not have resigned if there had been nothing there), and Yahoo! News reports that both Bernie’s campaign manager Jeff Weaver and WikiLeaks have indicated that more DNC e-mails and more details of the DNC’s chicanery meant to help Billary and to harm Bernie are forthcoming. The corrupt DNC’s hope and wish, I’m sure, is now that we actual Democrats have DWS’s slimy head on a silver platter, we’ll stop there, but the DNC still needs to be disinfected and decontaminated from top to bottom. And no, blaming Russia won’t cut it. As Bernie supporter and former NAACP head Ben Jealous has pointed out, the Russians didn’t write those DNC e-mails.
  • There is a very good chance that Billary Clinton will lose to Donald Trump on November 8. Yes, it might be a bit of a post-convention bounce, but Trump is now ahead of Billary by 0.9 percent in Real Clear Politics’ average of nationwide polls between the two of them. In a four-way race, RCP’s average of nationwide polls puts Billary at only 0.2 percent ahead of Trump. This isn’t surprising when you consider that in the Democratic Party primary elections and caucuses, Bernie won 45.6 of the pledged/democratically earned delegates and Billary won only 54.4 percent of them. Team Billary’s (Team Billary, of course, includes the DNC) cheating aside, had Bernie garnered only 4.5 percent more, he’d have reached 50.1 percent, beating Billary in the pledged delegate count. Billary is pretty weak within her own fucking party, or she’d have done much better than 54.4 percent, especially in her second run. Hell, even with the DNC’s body-slamming the scales, Billary didn’t do very well. If you’re not convinced yet that Billary is a weak candidate for the Democrats to have put forward as their champion, know that fivethirtyeight.com reports today that “Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Are Now Equally Unpopular” and that fivethirtyeight.com right now puts Billary’s chance of beating Trump at only 52.4 percent.

The fact is that throughout the primary season Bernie did much better against Trump in the match-up polls than Billary ever did, yet the incredibly stupid and/or deluded Billarybots from within their bubble long have been calling for us Berners to rally behind Billary, an obviously weak candidate.

Well, the Billarybots got their wish today; it will be Billary on the ballot in November.

When Billary loses to Donald Trump on November 8, the Billarybots will blame Bernie Sanders for having had the audacity to run for the nomination also; they’ll blame us “Bernie bros,” I’m sure, for not obediently and blindly having handed over our hearts, our brains and our testicles and dutifully supported Billary, the obviously weaker of the two candidates (and she’s not even a fucking Democrat, if you define a Democrat as a progressive); and they’ll even blame Russia.

This is as far as their “vision” will allow them to see.

Their blinders will cost them (and those of us who are actual Democrats) the White House. Whether the Democratic Party — and maybe even the entire nation itself — ever will recover from their blindness after Donald Trump sits in the Oval Office remains to be seen.

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Mission of coronating Queen Billary accomplished, DWS finally steps down

We finally have the head of Medusa, but the Gorgon’s damage already has been done.

As I wrote earlier today, the problems with the Democratic National Committee run much deeper than just Debbie Wasserman Schultz, so her announcement today that she is stepping down as head of the DNC after this week’s party convention in Philadelphia means little.

The damage already has been done; Billarybot Wasserman Schultz and the other Billarybots within the DNC — and throughout the United States — have abused their positions of power to ensure that their incredibly weak, widely despised, self-serving, sellout, center-right, corporatist candidate won the party’s presidential nomination. And they didn’t let something as small and stupid as ethics stop them.

These party hacks have put their own concerns far above the best interests of the party’s base. The party’s base is not center-right, pro-corporate and pro-plutocratic.

Billary Clinton the the rest of the Democratic Party sellouts fully deserve a disastrous convention. I sincerely hope that they get one.

And then, those of us who are left of center must clean house, from top to bottom. Every last vestige of the Clintonista era must be eliminated before the Democratic Party can return to being a truly democratic and a progressive party that actually serves the best interests of the highest number of people as possible — instead of serving the interests of only the elitist few who are concerned only about themselves.

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To win election and save party, super-delegates should pick Bernie Sanders*

*But they won’t, so they’re going to lose the November election, and the party as it exists today is doomed.

Associated Press photo

Recently leaked e-mails prove that among other things, the Billarybots within the Democratic National Committee cynically discussed emphasizing Bernie Sanders’ religious beliefs or lack thereof in order to harm his campaign and to help Billary Clinton’s, and “neutral” DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz flat-out wrote about Bernie Sanders in an e-mail, “He isn’t going to be president.” If Democrat in name only Billary Clinton still actually emerges as the party’s presidential nominee this week, know that she did not do so cleanly, fairly and squarely, but that she did it dirtily and corruptly — and that we now have thousands of pages of physical evidence of this fact. (Above, thousands of supporters of Bernie Sanders protest in Philadelphia today, ahead of this week’s coming Democratic National Convention. I fully share their sentiment about the Democratic National Committee.)

The Democratic Party hacks thought that after the train wreck on steroids that was the Repugnican National Convention of last week, their convention this coming week would be, by comparison, flawless.

They were wrong.

A recent WikiLeaks dump of thousands of hacked Democratic National Committee e-mails shows that top officials and staffers within the DNC, as we knew all along, did their best to help Billary Clinton and to stymie Bernie Sanders.

The wronged Sanders, rightfully, has been quick to jump on this. Reports Yahoo! News today:

Bernie Sanders said [today] that the leak of Democratic National Committee e-mails that show its staffers plotting against him proves Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz should resign.

Shortly after the interview aired, CNN reported that Wasserman Schultz will no longer serve as chair of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, which begins [tomorrow]. According to CNN, she’ll be replaced at the convention by Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge.

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sanders said the e-mail leak proved once and for all that Wasserman Schultz was unfit to lead the committee.

“I don’t think she is qualified to be the chair of the DNC,” the Vermont senator said on CNN’s “State of the Union” [today]. “Not only for these awful e-mails — which revealed the prejudice of the DNC — but also because we need a party that reaches out to working people and young people, and I don’t think her leadership style is doing that.”

“I think she should resign, period,” Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” [today].

“I think I told you a long time ago that the DNC was not running a fair operation, that they were supporting Secretary Clinton,” he continued. “So what I suggested to be true six months ago turns out, in fact, to be true. I’m not shocked. But I am disappointed. And that is the way it is.” …

Yes, it goes without saying that Debbie Wasserman Schultz needs to put her slimy tail between her slimy legs and slither away under a rock somewhere already. (In one e-mail, the “neutral” Wasserman Schultz wrote of Bernie: “He isn’t going to be president.”)

But it’s much larger than that one lying, corrupt slimebag. Wasserman Schultz’s slimy head on a silver fucking platter is a great thing, but in and of itself it does nothing to reverse the pervasive corruption within the Billary-controlled Democratic Party, which stopped being a populist, progressive party and instead became a Clintonesque center-right, corporate party decades ago.

If you want to kill the Clinton Beast, you don’t just chop off one of its innumerable slimy tentacles; you have to drive a huge motherfucking stake through its cold, cold, slimy heart.

If the Democratic Party super-delegates were people of integrity instead of worthless party hacks, this coming week at the convention they would throw this thing to Bernie Sanders.

I mean that.

Hell, fuck even integrity; the question becomes whether or not the super-delegates want to nominate the candidate who has the best chance of winning the White House in November, which is supposed to be the No. 1 function of the convention. If the super-delegates have no conscience — and most of them don’t — then the least that they could do is their main job of picking the most likely winner. 

The fact that the widely despised Billary Clinton (56 percent unfavorable rating and only 40 percent favorable rating nationwide) continues to drop in the polls against Donald Trump (Real Clear Politics’ average of recent nationwide polls has her at only 1.9 percent ahead of Trump in a two-way race and only 2.9 percent ahead of Trump in a four-way race), coupled with the physical evidence that of course the DNC did not remain neutral but anti-democratically did its best to handicap Bernie and to boost Billary, gives the super-delegates (who may vote however they please) not only cause, but compelling reason to vote for Bernie Sanders (whose nationwide favorability rating is at 53 percent).

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t expect this to happen. Above I wrote “If the Democratic Party super-delegates were people of integrity instead of worthless party hacks…”

Of the DNC e-mail dump, perhaps this e-mail exchange (which, per ABC News, occurred in early May) has pissed me off the most. Reports The New York Times:

… “It might may [sic] no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his [Bernie Sanders’] belief[?] Does he believe in a God[?]” wrote [the apparently fairly illiterate] Brad Marshall, the chief financial officer of the committee. “He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points[‘] difference with my peeps.” [Politico reports that Marshall immediately went on in his e-mail: “My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.” Why The New York Times didn’t report that lovely sentence and sentiment I’m not certain.]

Marshall added in a second e-mail: “It’s these [sic] Jesus thing.” [Amy Dacey, the DNC’s chief executive officer] wrote back, in capital letters: “AMEN.”

Marshall did not respond on Friday to an e-mail asking for comment. But The Intercept, a news website, quoted Marshall as saying: “I do not recall this. I can say it would not have been Sanders. It would probably be about a surrogate.” …

Give me a fucking break. This Brad Marshall prick was not talking about Bernie Sanders? OK, so if he was talking about a Sanders surrogate (but he was not; he is a corrupt, fucking liar who, like Wasserman Schultz and many others within the DNC, needs to resign or to be removed), then he needs to tell us, right now, exactly which Sanders surrogate he was writing about.

For the record, as I have indicated before, it is my impression of Bernie Sanders that although he is ethnically Jewish, he is agnostic to atheist (or, at least, secular). No truly intelligent person is not somewhere on the agnostic-to-atheist spectrum, and the only constitutionally and democratically sound way to govern is to do so secularly, not theocratically.

And, as I’ve written before, we in the United States of America have freedom of religion and freedom from religion, and there is not supposed to be a religious test put on the presidency.

And many if not even most of the millions of people who voted for Bernie in the Democratic Party primary elections and caucuses (including yours truly) are somewhere on the agnostic-to-atheist spectrum, so very apparently Bernie Sanders’ religious beliefs, if any, have not posed a problem for them/us.

But to bring up “[the] Jesus thing” when talking about an at-least-ethnically Jewish person — that’s so classy and so not anti-Semitic or anything, and look at how shamelessly cynically the Billarybots within the DNC were willing, ready and able to exploit religion — the “Jesus thing” — for their own political gain (and for Billary’s, of course).

And, of course, with e-mails plotting to exploit Bernie Sanders’ not being a Jeebus-lovin’ Christian, you would think that these were members of the Repugnican National Committee plotting against Bernie, not members of the Democratic National Committee. With “friends” like these, who the fuck needs enemies?

Nothing is sacred to the slimy weasels that have overtaken the Democratic National Committee. Probably mostly agnostics to atheists themselves, they’ll nonetheless gladly exploit the “Jesus thing” to try to help Billary (who probably actually is agnostic to atheist herself) and harm Bernie.

It’s long past due to clean house from top to bottom, every square fucking inch of it, and, again, merely chopping off the one slimy tentacle that is Debbie Wasserman Schultz won’t cut it.

In the wake of the rather copious physical evidence that the Democratic National Committee did everything in its power to help Billary and to harm Bernie, I already have switched my voter registration from the Democratic Party to the Green Party.

I encourage you to leave the Democratic Party, too, if you are registered with it. (I had registered with the Democratic Party only to be able to vote for Bernie in California’s presidential primary on June 7.)

The Democratic Party as it exists today does not deserve the support of those of us who are left of center, and until and unless we deprive it of our support, it will continue to accept our money and our votes while only betraying us time and time and time and time and time again.

If Bernie Sanders now wants to, say, run with the Green Party’s Jill Stein, as she has offered him, I am perfectly fine with that.

I rather doubt that he will, but given the fact that the Democratic National Committee did not run anything remotely resembling a fair presidential contest, but, in fact, quite actively fucked over Bernie Sanders — and, by extension, his millions of supporters (including yours truly) — it is well within Bernie’s moral rights to do whatever the hell he wants to do now.

Bernie, after all, didn’t, so to speak, void any contractual agreement by acting in bad faith; the DNC did that, and it did it big-time.

P.S. Here is the link on WikiLeaks to prick Brad Marshall’s e-mail plotting attacks on Bernie Sanders’ religious beliefs (or lack thereof):

https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/7643

The e-mail is professionally titled “No shit.”

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Billary blew it with ‘safe’ Tim Kaine

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia greet the crowd during a campaign event on July 14 in Annandale, Va.

Getty Images photo

Billary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine campaign in Virginia last week. Today Billary announced a Clinton-Kaine ticket.  Wake me up when this snoozefest is finally over. Zzzzzzzzz…

Queen Billary Clinton’s No. 1 requirement in a running mate, I am confident, was that he or she must not overshadow Her Highness. 

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, her pick, certainly fits that bill.

An adjective often used to describe him is “boring.” (He even calls himself “boring.”Yahoo! News notes that Billary’s selection of Kaine is “a safe, centrist choice that will likely disappoint some in the progressive wing of her party.”

“Some”?

The No. 2 requirement in Billary’s running mate had to be that he or she is a centrist, that is, a fellow Democrat in name only — certainly no Bernie Sanders, and not even an Elizabeth Warren.

Billary’s pick of a moderate Democrat/Repugican Lite from the South is wholly in line with her and her husband’s political start in Arkansas — and their long history of giving the party’s left-of-center base the middle finger.

In having picked Tim Kaine, Billary in effect picked herself — as a man who is a decade younger.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate Tim Kaine. Indeed, I (and millions of others) know little of him, pretty much only that he personally opposes abortion, given his Roman Catholic background, and that he has been supportive of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which even Der Fuhrer Donald Trump opposes.

But Tim Kaine (whom I might come to hate in the future, as I learn more about him) is wholly uninspiring. His political philosophy, like Billary’s, appears to be stuck in the 1990s.

I’m glad that Billary didn’t pick as her running mate New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; he’s an empty suit, a Barack Obama wannabe.

And while we’re long past due for our first Latino or Latina president or vice president, neither U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez nor U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro has the experience to be only a heartbeat away from the presidency. Perez’s only elected office was a seat on a Maryland county council, and Castro’s only elected offices were a member of San Antonio’s city council and then the city’s mayor.

In my book, if you want to be president you had better have been a governor or a U.S. senator, and if you want to be vice president you had better have been a governor or a U.S. senator, since as vice president you might end up as president.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, like Kaine, was a governor, so he has vice-presidential chops, but, like Kaine, Vilsack isn’t an exciting or an inspiring person, so I’m glad that Billary didn’t pick him.

Billary should have picked as her running mate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Why?

Billary, I believe, with her choice of running mate sorely needed to excite her party’s base more than she needed to try to assuage any fears of the voters of the flyover states — states that are going to go for The Donald anyway — that white men are losing their grip on positions of power to women and to non-whites.

(This was, methinks, Billary’s No. 3 requirement in a running mate: that she pick a white man in order not to spook too many centrist, center-right and even right-wing voters, to whom she always has shown more allegiance than she has shown to the Democratic Party base.

I mean, these are fragile voters, and after we’ve had our first non-white president, we can’t have a two-woman ticket or a ticket of a white woman and a non-white person!)

Even Donald Trump picked yet another milquetoast white man to be his running mate. Billary couldn’t do better?

Had Billary picked Liz Warren, she would have excited the hell out of her base. She would have excited progressives and women.

Instead, Billary picked Tim Kaine. Yawn.

To be fair, maybe Billary asked Liz and Liz said no. (If Liz were smart, and she is smart, she would have said Oh, hell no! to playing third fiddle in the Clinton White House 2.0.) I don’t know.

I do know that the addition of “safe” and centrist Tim Kaine to the ticket gives me and millions of other progressives (most of us Berners — and Bernie won 45.6 percent of the pledged Democratic delegates, let me remind you) zero reason to vote for Billary.

I mean, I’d had no intention to vote for her anyway — I still most likely will vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein — but the addition of an actual progressive to the ticket was the only thing that, coupled with the looming fascism of Der Fuhrer Donald, perhaps could have induced me to vote for Billary.*

And a two-woman ticket wouldn’t have been a bad idea; it would have been a brilliant idea, after having had nothing but two-man tickets throughout our nation’s history.

But instead of making a bold, visionary — even revolutionary — move, the utterly uninspiring, charisma-free Billary played it “safe.”

We’ll see what and where “safe” gets her on November 8.

*Queen Billary is going to win my state of California and all 55 of its electoral votes anyway, so it doesn’t really matter for whom I vote for president or whether I even vote for president at all, but I will vote for president.

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Trump could win White House because of (not despite) the RNC shit show

Talk-radio wingnut Laura Ingraham briefly makes what looks like a Nazi salute to Der Fuhrer Donald Trump during the Repugnican National Convention’s third night. It’s so fitting. (On that note, why are so many Repugnican Tea Party women blonde or bleach blonde? [Oh, yeahthat Aryan thing…]) 

What a spectacular shit show the Repugnican National Convention has been. Where to even begin? With Barbie Trump’s plagiarized-not-plagiarized-OK-plagiarized speech? (Hey, at least it inspired this cute Photoshop job:

 )

Should we begin with Ted Cruz slogging through his you-should-have-made-me-the-nominee speech even though he was being roundly booed? Or with the mother of one of four Benghazi victims grotesquely being worshiped while Cindy Sheehan, the mother of one of more than 4,000 victims of the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War, was reviled by the same bunch of wingnuts because she isn’t a wingnut herself? With the surreal apparent proof that Chachi still lives? (But where is Joanie?) The surreal fact that former hottie Antonio Sabato Jr.’s being an abject wingnut is a total boner shrinker? Ben Carson stating that Billary Clinton is in league with Lucifer? (Um, even if he did exist, Lucifer wouldn’t associate with her. And for Crazy Carson, a physician, for fuck’s sake, even that statement wasn’t surreal.) How about wingnutty talk-radio host Laura Ingraham’s apparent brief Nazi salute to Der Fuhrer Trump?

Again: Spectacular. Sh-t show.

More frightening than the Repugnican National Convention, however, could be Election Day.

Fivethirtyeight.com, which just recently gave Trump only about a 20 percent chance of winning the White House to Billary’s 80 percent chance, now puts it at 39 percent Trump to 61 percent Billary. Prediction market PredictIt.org is in the same ballpark, with Trump at 35 cents to Billary at 66 cents. We’re somewhere around 60-40, folks, when not long ago it was 80-20.

The Huffington Post’s average of polls right now has Billary at only 2.8 percent ahead of Trump nationwide, and Real Clear Politics’ average of polls similarly right now has Billary at only 2.7 percent ahead of Trump nationwide. (RCP’s four-way race – Billary, Trump, Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson – gives Billary a 3.6 percent lead over Trump.)

Michael Moore recently declared on Bill Maher’s show that “We’ve [we Democrats and Democratic leaners have] been sitting in our bubble, having a good laugh at this total … shit show [that is the Repugnican National Convention], but the truth is that this plays to a lot of people that [Trump] has to win to become the next president…. I’m sorry to be the buzz kill here so early on, but I think Trump is gonna win.”

Chauncey DeVega is more optimistic. He writes: “…Donald Trump will not defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. He lacks the infrastructure and resources to run a proper presidential campaign. Trump is also extremely unpopular among huge swaths of the American public.

“However, the presidential race will be much closer than many pundits and other experts are predicting. …”

I agree that it’s likely to be a tight race. The Repugnican Tea Party traitors really, really want “their” country back after eight years of Kenyan Muslim rule, you see. They will, I suspect, be more motivated by their hatred of the left (and of Billary, who, ironically, only barely is to the left) and their love of fascism than the rest of us will be excited to vote for Billary or even motivated to vote for her out of our hatred and/or fear of Trump.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors will, I suspect, act the way that the Bushies acted in 2000 when they stole the White House: After eight years of Bill Clinton, they wanted the White House back so badly that it mattered to them not that Al Gore had won the presidential election, and they threw the longer, louder tantrum, so the then-right-wing U.S. Supreme Court threw the election to them.

The rest of us didn’t fight the 2000 theft of the White House, certainly not enough to prevent it from happening; what has changed enough for us to believe that we would fight such a theft if it happened again this presidential election?

So the closer the presidential election is, the more likely it is that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors will be able to steal the White House again, like they did 16 years ago, so I don’t get DeVega’s optimism.

And DeVega acts as though “the infrastructure and resources to run a proper presidential campaign” matter as much as they used to. These aren’t normal times; we can argue that a presidential candidate still must have infrastructure and resources, I suppose, but really, what the fuck is “a proper presidential campaign” anymore? Where the fuck is propriety today?

I mean, in my lifetime of almost five decades, no U.S. president had not first been at least vice president, a U.S. senator or the governor of a state before becoming president. You have to go all the way back to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was in the White House from 1953 through 1961, before you can go back to a president who wasn’t previously vice president, a senator or a governor. Eisenhower, as many presidents before him, came from a military background.

Donald Trump has none of these things on his resume. He is a fucking flim-flam man.

Indeed, the author of The Art of the Deal, the 1987 “(auto)biography” that created the myth of The Donald, now says that he wrote “every word” of the book, although Trump claims that he wrote it, and he says that he regrets that he wrote the book, now that Trump is a contender for the White House.

“I helped to paint Trump as a vastly more appealing human being than he actually is. And I have no pride about that. … I did it for the money. It’s certainly weighed on me over the years,” the author of the “(auto)biography,” Tony Schwartz, recently told NPR. “Now, since he’s … in a position to potentially become president, it makes my decision back then look very different than it did at the time.”

Among other things, Schwartz told NPR that “One of the chief things I’m concerned about is the limits of [Trump’s] attention span, which are as severe as any person I think I’ve ever met.” NPR also reports:

… The idea of a president in an “incredibly complex and threatening world who can’t pay attention is itself frightening,” Schwartz says.

Add to that the fact that Trump is so easily provoked, that what Schwartz calls Trump’s insecurity “makes him incredibly reactive whenever he feels threatened, which is very, very often.” …

While it’s clear to those of us who are sane that Donald Fucking Trump is a fucking fraud, a fucking facade, and is wholly unfit for the White House, it certainly isn’t clear to his fan club of fellow fascists who are looking for their fuhrer — or, more frightening, perhaps many if not even most of them actually have some clue that Trump is a fucking fraud but they just don’t care.

And while DeVega is correct that Trump is “extremely unpopular among huge swaths of the American public,” so is Billary Clinton; while Trump’s unfavorability rating right now is about 60 percent among all Americans, Billary isn’t far behind — her unfavorability rating is about 56 percent.

I lean more toward agreeing with Michael Moore than I do with Chauncey DeVega – Moore is right about the anti-Trump bubble, and DeVega seems to be writing from within that bubble (albeit close to its inner surface) – but we’ll see.

At this point I see the Billary-Trump race as a toss-up, and again, in toss-ups the Repugnican Tea Party traitors usually get what they want, because they shamelessly act like Orcs to get it.

One thing I am sure of is that the Billarybots who assure us that Billary has it in the bag are lying, are deluded, or are deluded liars.

They continue to ignore how widely despised she is, how uninspiring she is (even to most of those who say that they support her), and how weak a candidate she actually is, and they continue to ignore the polls, such as the polls that consistently showed Bernie Sanders beating Trump by double digits while Billary only rarely could reach double digits against Trump and now fares only in the frighteningly low single digits against Trump.

In the minds and the words of the Billarybots, it all will work out OK because how awful Donald Trump is is just so self-evident to the majority of those who will vote in November.

Except that that isn’t the case at all, which the polls continue to prove.

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Cornel West, fresh from Democratic platform committee, endorses Jill Stein

Cornel West, who is supporting Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in his presidential run, at a fish fry on Saturday in Charleston, S.C., organized by Representative James E. Clyburn.

New York Times photo

Cornel West, whom Wikipedia describes as “an American philosopher, academic, social activist, author, public intellectual and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America,” recently finished his stint as one of the 15 members of the 2016 Democratic Party platform-drafting committee (he was one of Bernie Sanders’ only-five picks to the committee) — only to endorse Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. West, shown above campaigning for Bernie in Charleston, South Carolina, in January, correctly calls Stein “the only progressive woman in the race” for the White House.

Here is Cornel West’s piece for The Guardian, in full (the links are the original links, not mine):

A long and deep legacy of white supremacy has always arrested the development of U.S. democracy. We either hit it head on, or it comes back to haunt us. That’s why a few of us have pressed the president for seven years not to ignore issues of poverty, police abuse and mass unemployment. Barack Obama said it very well, following the shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, that some communities “have been forgotten by all of us.”

And now – in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and beyond – this legacy has comes back to haunt the whole country.

Obama and his cheerleaders should take responsibility for being so reluctant to engage with these issues. It’s not a question of interest group or constituencies. Unfortunately for so much of the Obama administration it’s been a question of “I’m not the president of black people, I’m the president of everyone.” But this is a question of justice. It’s about being concerned about racism and police brutality.

I have deep empathy for brothers and sisters who are shot in the police force. I also have profound empathy for people of color who are shot by the police. I have always believed deliberate killing to be a crime against humanity.

Yet, Obama didn’t go to Baton Rouge. He didn’t go to Minneapolis. He flew over their heads to go to Dallas. You can’t do that. His fundamental concern was to speak to the police; that was his priority. When he references the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s to speak to the police. But the people who are struggling have a different perspective.

The very notion that Dallas is the paragon of policing is something that needs to be interrogated. The Dallas mayor said we have done nothing wrong, but look at your history. Ask people in southern Dallas about the police. Ask Clinton Allen, an unarmed black man fatally shot by the Dallas police in 2013. I was with his mother, Collette Flanagan, the founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, last year. Countless people came up and told us about all the struggles black communities are having with the Dallas police.

Unfortunately, Obama thrives on being in the middle. He has no backbone to fight for justice. He likes to be above the fray. But for those us us who are in the fray, there is a different sensibility. You have to choose which side you’re on, and he doesn’t want to do that. Fundamentally, he’s not a love warrior. He’s a polished professional. Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Ella Baker – they were warriors.

Obama’s attitude is that of a neo-liberal, and they rarely have solidarity with poor and working people. Whatever solidarity he does offer is just lip service to suffering, but he never makes it a priority to end that suffering.

Obama has power right now to enact the recommendations made after Ferguson: better training, independent civilian oversight boards, body cameras. But he has not used executive orders to push any of these changes through.

This November, we need change. Yet we are tied in a choice between [Donald] Trump, who would be a neo-fascist catastrophe, and [Hillary] Clinton, a neo-liberal disaster. That’s why I am supporting Jill Stein. I am with her – the only progressive woman in the race – because we’ve got to get beyond this lock-jaw situation. I have a deep love for my brother Bernie Sanders, but I disagree with him on Hillary Clinton. I don’t think she would be an “outstanding president.” Her militarism makes the world a less safe place.

Clinton policies of the 1990s generated inequality, mass incarceration, privatization of schools and Wall Street domination. There is also a sense that the Clinton policies helped produce the right-wing populism that we’re seeing now in the country. And we think she’s going to come to the rescue? That’s not going to happen.

The American empire is in deep spiritual decline and cultural decay. The levels of wealth inequality and environmental degradation is grotesque. The correct response to this is: tell the truth about what is going on. Bear witness. Be willing to go to jail to fight for justice if need be.

When the system is declining, it can bring despair. That’s why Black Lives Matter – and all other young people of all colors who are mobilizing – is a beautiful thing. We are having a moral and spiritual awakening. It gives us democratic hope. Its not about having hope but being hope. It’s time to move from being spectators, to being actors.

Among his many other points, I share West’s contention that Barack Obama hasn’t done enough for black Americans, irrespective of Obama’s race.

In fact, I’ve long speculated that Obama has done even less for black Americans than would a president of another race even with a similar political ideology — out of Obama’s fear of being accused of doing too much for black Americans because he is a black American himself.

And yes, of course all lives matter and of course Obama is supposed to be every American’s president, but these assertions often if not usually are made to whitewash the fact that black Americans still struggle mightily — by most socioeconomic measures more than any other racial group — in a largely racist, white supremacist nation.

As I’ve noted, I don’t hold it against Bernie that he endorsed Billary. Because he ran as a Democrat, he pretty much had to. But he didn’t have to do so wholeheartedly, and he didn’t do so wholeheartedly. In my view, he did it with a major wink-wink.

And, of course, we Berners are free to vote for whom we wish, and like Brother Cornel (who, again, helped to write the Democratic Party platform, for fuck’s sake), I intend to vote for Jill Stein, who is not only the only progressive woman in the presidential race, but is the only progressive, period, who still is in the race.

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