Live-blogging the eighth Dem debate

Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, line the streets outside Miami-Dade College before the Univision, Washington Post Democratic presidential debate,  Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Miami. Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt,  will debate days before the Florida primary on March 15. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Associated Press photo

Supporters of Bernie Sanders rally for him in Miami, Florida, before tonight’s Democratic Party presidential debate, held just three days after the last one. On Tuesday, Florida votes in the Democratic Party primary contest, as do Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. I anticipate that Bernie will win at least three of those states: Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio, most likely, with Florida and Illinois being considerably tougher for him to win.

5:52 p.m. (all times Pacific): Here we go again. I’m not thrilled to be live-blogging another Democratic Party presidential debate so soon after the last one, but this is an important debate. After unexpectedly having lost Michigan last night, giving Bernie Sanders a big jolt of momentum, I expect Billary Clinton to be a mega-harpy tonight. The debate is set to begin in eight minutes.

6:02 p.m.: The intro is being conducted in Spanish and in back of the debate stage is prominently displayed “El Debate Democratica.” (The Spanish-language Univision is a co-sponsor of the debate.) I love it. The wingnuts must be going nuts. You’d never see this at a Repugnican Tea Party debate.

6:03 p.m.: A young Latino man is singing the national anthem — in English. I mean, we can go only so far with bilingualism, no? Oh, he just crossed himself, Catholick-style. I could have done without that. But I am fine if the United States becomes a fully bilingual nation. (I have been brushing up on my Spanish for some time now, in fact.)

6:08 p.m.: The debate is being conducted in Spanish, with English translation. Cool.

6:09 p.m.: Opening statements. Billary is talking about “knocking down barriers” and having “a positive agenda,” including “comprehensive immigration reform, with a path to citizenship,” a phrase that we’ll hear all night.

Bernie speaks now. We need to overturn Citizens United and we need “comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship.” Climate change, too.

6:11 p.m.: Billary reminds us that she won more votes altogether yesterday than Bernie did, even though he won Michigan in this “marathon.” She says she is a “progressive who gets things done.”

6:13 p.m.: Bernie reminds us “we have come [his campaign has come] a long way in 10 months,” even though he still lags in the delegate count. He reminds us that thus far he has won nine states. Bernie states that he is the strongest candidate to take on Donald Trump. (The polling bears this assertion out.)

6:14 p.m.: Jorge Ramos devastatingly asks Billary about how she directed her supervisees not to use personal e-mail at the Department of State but that she did, and asked her if she’d drop out of the race if she is indicted for illegal e-mail/state-secret practices.

Billary, being of low character, says that others have done what she did (that is, past secretaries of state used personal e-mail). Because that makes it A-OK! She now blathers about e-mails being “retroactively” deemed classified.

She claims she isn’t worried about it and that no one else should be. (I wholly disagree.)

Ramos pressed the question as to whether or not she would drop out if indicted. Billary called the question silly and stated she refused to answer it.

6:17 p.m.: Billary is asked if Donald Trump is “racist.”

Billary hedged. She blasted Trump but apparently won’t call him “racist.” She has called his words and actions “un-American.”

6:19 p.m.: Bernie says that Trump never will be elected because he has insulted so many groups of Americans.

Bernie reminds us that he is the child of immigrants yet no one has asked him for his birth certificate (as Trump demanded Barack Obama’s) — because he is white. This is pretty much calling Trump racist indirectly. (Trump is a racist, obviously.)

6:21 p.m.: Billary is asked if she has been “Hispandering” — pandering to the Latino community. “I am staunchly in favor of comprehensive immigration reform,” she says. What, exactly, is “comprehensive immigration reform”? No one ever says… They just parrot, “comprehensive immigration reform.”

6:23 p.m.: Bernie is having some microphone problems… Bernie is defending a statement he made some time ago about some immigrant workers taking jobs from Americans.

Bernie reminds us that he opposed a 2007 bill that LULAC opposed because it amounted to slavery-level work.

Billary says that bill did not amount to slavery-level work and that if it had passed we’d be better off now. Yes, she is Hispandering, and just as she lied about Bernie’s support of the automobile manufacturing industry bailout in the last debate (she lied that he was in opposition to helping the industry), she’s probably lying about that, too. (How do you know when she is lying? When her lips are moving.)

6:27 p.m.: Billary just actually said that Bernie Sanders supported the “Minutemen” who “guarded” the southern border some years ago. I’m confident that that’s yet another fucking lie from a desperate, Hispandering Billary.

6:29 p.m.: We’re on break now. Billary Clinton will fucking say anything when she’s up against the wall. She is a shameless fucking liar.

And yes, should she become the Democratic Party presidential nominee and then be indicted, it would be a fucking problem; Melania Trump could start consulting with interior decorators on her re-do of the White House immediately after such an indictment.

It’s politically expedient for scandal magnet Billary to lie about the chances of her being indicted and what such an indictment would mean, and it is indicative of her craven character that she has no problem whatsofuckingever leading her lemmings right over a fucking cliff.

Bernie Sanders’ facial expression of complete incredulity after yet another one of Billary’s slanderous lies about him during a debate is priceless, by the way.

6:38 p.m.: Billary returns to that 2007 vote and repeats that she wants “comprehensive immigration reform,” which I’m going to call CIR from now on.

Bernie insists that the 2007 bill’s guest-worker program provision was so flawed that he could not support it. Billary, if I heard her correctly, claims that the United Farm Workers supported the bill, and she just again said that Bernie supported the “Minutemen” vigilantes, which is total bullshit.

Bernie calls Billary’s claim that he supported the “Minutemen” to be a “horrific” lie, and he points out that what she does is takes a small portion of legislation and then lies about his support of or opposition to something. He points out, quite correctly, that this has been her M.O.

Yup. She’s a major pathological liar. She isn’t mistaken; she knows that she is lying. She knows that most Americans aren’t aware of the complexity and the nuances of legislation and that there are many reasons why a legislator may vote for or against a piece of legislation — so she believes that she can get away with lying about Bernie Sanders’ motivations. She’s shameless, a sociopath.

6:48 p.m.: A woman from Guatemala in the audience asks a question in Spanish about the fact that her family is divided; her children have not seen their father in some time, she stated. Bernie promises the woman that as president “I will do everything that I can to unite your family.”

Billary is asked what her plan is to reunite families. “I will do everything that I can to prevent other families from facing what you are facing and I will do everything that I can to bring families back together,” Billary says.

Those were pretty generic, non-specific answers, but everyone seems satisfied with them.

6:52 p.m.: Billary is asked if there is anything she has done herself to foster mistrust among the American electorate, if it isn’t all the fault of the Repugnicans.

You know, Billary’s gargantuan lies in these debates, such as that Bernie opposed helping the automobile manufacturing industry and that he actually supported the “Minutemen” alone are reason to prevent her from ever sitting behind the big desk in the Oval Office, but we have years of her corruption and sleaze before that.

Yes, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have attacked her over the years, but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t a sleazy piece of slime.

6:55 p.m.: Bernie is asked why he is demanding that Billary release the transcripts of her paid speeches for the Wall Street weasels. He is asked if he believes she says one thing in public and another thing behind closed doors. If she released the transcripts we would know that, he says.

Wow. He reminds us that all politicians who receive big bucks from special interests claim that those special interests receive nothing in return.

Billary reminds us that Barack Obama took a lot of money from Wall Street also. This is Billary’s character: He/she/they did it, so there is no problem that I did it, too!

Another yuuuuge lie: Billary just stated that the Koch brothers support Bernie Sanders.

Wow. Two colossal bold-faced lies in the same debate: The Koch brothers love Bernie Sanders! Bernie Sanders supported the “Minutemen”!

Billary Clinton is dead to me. Seriously. Dead. No, worse than dead.

7:02 p.m.: Oh, shit. Jorge Ramos just asked Billary if she lied to a survivor of the Benghazi attack as to what was behind the attack. If I understand her correctly, she said that she gave the info/intelligence as it was available to her. But then she quickly went into how she was attacked unfairly by the Repugnicans over Benghazi, and reminds us that our installations in other nations often are dangerous places.

She has, in short, dodged the question and blamed others (and blamed “the fog of war”), as she always does.

Bernie says he won’t comment on Benghazi, but indicates that as secretary of state, Billary’s regime change in Libya has been disastrous, and reminds us that she is cozy with war criminal Henry Kissinger.

7:08 p.m.: On break now.

Anyway, so apparently the Koch brothers used Bernie’s position on the Export-Import Bank (he opposes it because it’s corporate welfare, he says) in one of their ads. This is a common tactic of political propaganda: try to use a political opponents’ own words to support your own position.

Billary Clinton knows fully well that the Koch brothers don’t support Bernie Sanders, that of course they don’t want a democratic socialist as president of the United States of America.

Yet she claims nonetheless that they love Bernie. She has, tonight, disqualified herself for the office of president.

7:12 p.m.: Back now. Bernie is asked how he is different as a “career politician” (he has been in Congress since the 1990s, first in the U.S. House of Representatives and then in the U.S. Senate) from Billary being an “establishment politician.” He says that you have to look at the career, that you have to look at his record. He reminds us how much money Billary has taken during her political career from corporate fat cats, while he has eschewed such money.

7:15 p.m.: Billary is blathering about jobs and climate change, including “clean-energy jobs.” She’s now blathering about small businesses, one of Marco Rubio’s talking points. (Capitalism stopped being about small businesses decades ago. Nostalgic talk of “small businesses,” “Mom ‘n’ Pops,” is just propagandist cover for the obscene abuses of the corporations and for the uncontrolled monster that capitalism has become.)

Billary, pressed on the issue of what she would do for Latino families, talks about CIR, jobs, education, health care, etc.

Bernie talks about over-incarceration and raising the minimum wage to $15 (I presume that Billary still supports only $12) and making health care a right. He talks about improving our infrastructure, which would create millions of jobs.

Bernie states that higher education also should be viewed as a right. He states that every student who studies hard and does well should be able to have access higher education.

Billary talks about “refinancing” student debt. She says “refinancing”; I say, “Band-Aid for her Wall-Street-weasel campaign contributors.” She talks about eventually eliminating student loan debt in the indefinite future, thereby protecting and promoting the status quo.

Bernie accuses Billary of having adopted his ideas. This is accurate.

Bernie says a tax on Wall Street speculation will pay for higher education.

Billary essentially says that Bernie promises things that we can’t pay for. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” she proclaims, and raises the ghastly specter of an expanded federal government — like a Repugnican Tea Party politician would.

Bernie reminds us that what he has proposed that we do here in the United States other developed nations already have been doing. Billary only prescribes more Band-Aids, such as by “building on” the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).

Bernie reminds us that although Billary says that because of Obamacare 90 percent of Americans now have health insurance, many Americans can’t afford the co-pays and pharmaceuticals, so it doesn’t help them much that they have insurance, on paper. Yup. There is nothing in “Obamacare” that the health-care-insurance industry’s lobbyists didn’t want in it.

7:27 p.m.: Climate change and rising oceans now.

Bernie says that most politicians in D.C. “don’t have the guts” to stand up to the fossil fuels industry. Yup.

Bernie again calls for a “political revolution.” When enough Americans rise up, the fossil fuels industry no longer will put its profiteering above the health of the planet, he says. That’s true, although he could elaborate: when the voters reject politicians that sell us out, when they vote them out of office, they’ll stop selling us out.

We Americans don’t like this kind of talk (of “revolutions”) because we’re pretty lazy. Pressuring politicians to do the right thing is, indeed, long, hard work. Educating ourselves on what’s going on and then reacting accordingly takes a lot of time and energy (and often, money).

Bernie talks about ending fracking, instituting carbon taxes and developing sustainable energy. Bernie’s call for an end to fracking, which Billary does not support, earned him thunderous applause.

7:34 p.m.: Billary states that in his campaign Bernie has been critical of the administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama but not critical enough of George W. Bush. This is cute pandering to Democratic Party hacks.

Bernie reminds us that in Congress he worked with both Bill Clinton and Obama to make positive achievements, and reminds us that in 2002 he opposed George W. Bush’s war in Iraq, which Billary voted for when she was a U.S. senator (hey, she brought up Gee Dubya), and he reminds us that that our socioeconomic problems of today began in the 1990s under the leadership of Bill Clinton, such as the deregulation of Wall Street, NAFTA and welfare “reform.”

7:38 p.m.: On break now. Univision is doing a good job with this debate. They’ve asked some questions that English-language American “news” media never would ask.

Clearly Billary is unused to being asked about certain topics, and neither are the Billarybots, who in the debate audience loudly groan when Queen Billary is asked a question that Her Highness shouldn’t, in their view (and in her view), have to deign to answer (or even be asked).

7:40 p.m.: The topic now is Cuba. Billary is talking about Cubans’ human rights and democracy for them, but of course what she really wants for Cuba is for it to be opened up to her corporate sponsors for their obscene profiteering (this is called “democracy”). Don’t even get me started on the topic of Cuba.

Bernie calls for normalized political relations with Cuba and an end to the Cuban embargo. He calls for democracy for Cuba.

Bernie is asked the difference between his brand of socialism and that in Cuba and elsewhere in Latin America. (Duh. The answer to that question is in the label that he has used for himself for years: “democratic socialist.” You do nothing that the people haven’t voted for.)

Bernie talks about the evils of the “Monroe Doctrine” and the United States’ long history of overthrowing democratically elected administrations in Latin America and otherwise meddling in Latin America.

Bernie again states that Cuba needs to be democratized, but that Cuba has done good things, such as ensure health care for its people.

I agree. And while Cuba needs democracy, the last thing that it needs is American-style capitalism. (No, they are not one and the same.)

Billary is now spouting common right-wing lies about Cuba, and lying that Bernie supports these supposed evils, rather obviously trying to pander to the anti-Castro set in Miami and elsewhere in Florida and yet again slander Bernie at the same time.

You know, we already have Marco Rubio making Billary’s right-wing, pro-plutocratic, pro-corporate, pro-capitalist talking points. Perhaps he can be Billary’s running mate if she, despite how repulsive she is, actually wins this thing.

7:55 p.m.: On break now. You know, Billary’s Big Lie in the last debate, that Bernie opposed helping the automobile manufacturing industry, didn’t win Michigan for her. I’m wondering if her many lies tonight will harm her in Florida’s primary election next week. I sure hope so.

7:56 p.m.: Billary’s closing statement. More “breaking barriers” bullshit. (How about just stopping her lying? Or at least telling much more believable lies? I mean, no one believes that the Koch brothers support Bernie Sanders.) A weak, anodyne closing statement.

Bernie’s closing statement, about income inequality (surprise, surprise!) was more rousing.

So the debate is over.

This debate wasn’t a whole lot different than the last one, except that Billary told more lies and even bigger lies this time, indicative of her political desperation post-Michigan.

I mean, polls had had her winning Michigan yesterday by double digits, right up to election day — Real Clear Politics’ average of the Michigan polls right up to election day had Billary leading Bernie by a bit more than 20 percent — yet she lost Michigan.

If this — the polling not being able to capture the actual voters’ actual sentiment — isn’t a fluke but is a trend, then Billary might be toast.

Here are Real Clear Politics’ polling averages for states that vote on Tuesday (averages of polls taken this month and some polls taken last month and in January):

  • Florida: Billary leading by 31.5 percent
  • Ohio: Billary leading by 20.0 percent
  • Illinois: Billary leading by 30.5 percent
  • North Carolina: Billary leading by 20.2 percent

(Missouri votes also on Tuesday, but on RCP I see only one poll of Missouri, taken way back in August, so I don’t see that as anything like reliable.)

Since she had been polling around 20 percent ahead of Bernie when he beat her in Michigan yesterday, it seems to me that Bernie could win Ohio and North Carolina, although of the two I expect him to win Ohio more than I do North Carolina, since Ohio is a neighbor to Michigan (in the “Rust Belt”) and since North Carolina is part of the South, where Billary has done very well. (But, again, I can see him winning both states. North Carolina isn’t as backasswards as are the states in the Deep South.)

Florida and Illinois would be harder for Bernie to win, since Florida is in the South and since Illinois is ObamaLand and since RCP’s polling averages have Billary’s lead in those two states at around 30 percent.

It’s hard for me to say about Missouri. It neighbors Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma, all of which Bernie won, but it also neighbors Arkansas and Tennessee, which Billary won, and it neighbors Iowa, which was a tie. If I had to put money on it, though, I’d bet that Bernie wins Missouri. Just a gut feeling.

It will/would be wonderful if Bernie takes Florida on Tuesday, but I’m thinking that most likely he’ll take Ohio and — I’ll go out on a limb here — that most likely he will take at least two of the other three states (North Carolina and Missouri, most likely, but maybe one of them and even Illinois, too).

So I predict that on Tuesday Bernie will win at least three of the five states. If he won four of them that would be a huge blow against Billary, and should he actually win all five — pretty unlikely, I think, but in this topsy-turvy race in which the establishment very apparently is going down, not impossible — I don’t know that she could/would recover from that. Seriously.

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