Monthly Archives: May 2016

Et tu, Jerry?

Although four-term California Gov. Jerry Brown and former President Bill Clinton had an acrimonious battle for the White House in 1992 (see above), today Brown endorsed Billary Clinton in next week’s California presidential primary election. “On Tuesday, June 7, I have decided to cast my vote for Hillary Clinton because I believe this is the only path forward to win the presidency and stop the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump” is the first paragraph of Brown’s endorsement screed, which apparently isn’t nearly a ringing endorsement of Billary as an individual as much as it is an expression of horror over a President Trump.

Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown belatedly and unfortunately today endorsed Billary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in California’s presidential primary election that takes place a week from today and in which 475 pledged delegates, more than in any other state, are at stake.

Brown apparently isn’t too excited over Billary, given the fact that he waited a week before the primary election to give her his endorsement. More than half of Californian voters these days vote by mail, and voting by mail for the June 7 primary election began in the state on May 9. Millions of ballots (including that of yours truly, marked for Bernie Sanders) already had been mailed before Brown’s belated endorsement.

I had fully expected DINO/Repugnican-Lite Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who at age 82 is quite fossilized* and should have stepped down years ago, to support Billary. The multi-millionaire Feinstein, after all, in 2002 voted along with Billary for the illegitimate “President” George W. Bush regime’s illegitimate Vietraq War, from which her multi-millionaire husband profited hugely.

Many years ago I stopped voting for the self-serving, treasonous Feinstein, who stopped representing the best interests of the common Californian many years ago. So the fossilized Feinstein’s endorsement of Billary, steeped in their shared center-right/Repugnican-Lite/pro-plutocratic/pro-war ideology and in their man-hating “feminism,” came as zero surprise.

Sen. Barbara Boxer’s having swilled the Clinton Kool-Aid was, however, a disappointment. That the-once-fairly-great Boxer (who, among other things, voted against the Vietraq War and heroically stood up against the voting irregularities in Ohio in 2004 [she was the only U.S. senator who did so]) actually recently claimed, probably falsely and thus slanderously, that she actually felt concerned for her physical safety at the recent intra-party fracas in Las Vegas, at which no, no chair was actually thrown (it was just a lot of yelling), has been a disappointing and pathetic end to her once-progressive career.

Thankfully, Boxer, who is 75, is retiring from the Senate in January. (Unfortunately, her likely successor, the 51-year-old California Attorney General Kamala Harris, is a Billarybot, too. [I voted for Harris on the primary ballot primarily because the No. 2 challenger for the retiring Boxer’s seat, U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, is an incredible train wreck whom I really don’t want to see in the Senate. We Californians could use a Latino or Latina U.S. senator, but not Loretta Sanchez.])

I’m hoping that Feinstein, whose current term ends in January 2019, finally leaves the stage and allows someone who can and will represent the average Californian much better than she can to take over the role.

Jerry Brown can’t run for governor again; he is termed out as of January 2019, and I don’t see the 78-year-old Brown running for a big political office again, so it’s not like he had to worry about any political blowback from his belated endorsement of Billary, but I’m disappointed in Brown like I’m disappointed in Boxer.

It’s true that Brown’s third and fourth terms as governor of California (he’s currently in his fourth and final term**) have demonstrated that he stopped being “Governor Moonbeam” many moons ago, as his third and fourth terms have been sensible and moderate and fiscally restrained. Indeed, he reversed Repugnican former Gov. Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger’s state budget deficit and created a state budget surplus in no time.

I voted for Brown in 2010 and in 2014, and I don’t regret my votes for him; he’s been a solid, if not exactly an exciting, governor. (Indeed, in 2010 I was hoping for Governor Moonbeam 2.0, as I wasn’t in California for version 1.0 and would have been too young to enjoy it anyway, but alas, no moonbeams at all this second time around for Brown.)

But until his very recent endorsement of Billary for the presidency, Brown had been silent on the matter of Billary vs. Bernie, and it’s just too bad that he publicly went for Billary, even belatedly. I was hoping that he wasn’t going to tip his hand (as a super-delegate) until the party convention in late July.

Billary Clinton is the candidate of old people and of rich people (and of old, rich people) and of people who have given up on hoping for an actual Democrat in the White House. (After President Barack Obama’s switcheroo, yes, indeed, I can’t blame anyone for giving up on hope and change, but we can’t allow Caretaker in Chief Obama’s disappointing presidency to induce us to give up on pushing the progressive agenda; we have to keep fighting.)

The bright spot about Jerry Brown, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein all having endorsed Billary Clinton is that, well, they’re old. They don’t represent the future, but the past. Brown in January 2019 is likely to be succeeded by the current Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is 48 years old and fairly progressive (recall that as mayor of San Francisco he created a stir when he allowed same-sex marriages there in early 2004), and again, Boxer this coming January is likely to be succeeded by the 51-year-old Kamala Harris (who, among other things, as state attorney general refused to defend Proposition Hate in court, citing its unconstitutionality [which the U.S. Supreme Court finally did, too, less than a full year ago in Obergefell vs. Hodges], and legally successfully refused to allow an insane hater’s “Sodomite Suppression Act,” which called for the murder of non-heterosexuals, to advance to the statewide ballot).

So with Brown’s and Boxer’s impending exits, that’s two down and one fossil to go.

What Bernie Sanders represents, after all, is the face of the future. That future is coming, whether Bernie ever makes it to the White House or not.

My vote for Bernie earlier this month is one of the best votes of my life, if not the best.

P.S. Brown’s complete statement of endorsement of Billary is here.

It’s odd, because in it he talks about how important it is to stop Donald Trump, yet here are the latest polling averages:

Real Clear Politics:

Bernie vs. Trump: Sanders up by 10.8 percent

Billary vs. Trump: Clinton up by 1 percent

Huffington Post’s Pollster:

Bernie vs. Trump: Bernie up by 11.3 percent

Billary vs. Trump: Clinton up by 1.9 percent

Uh, I know that Jerry Brown can do math — he did, after all, turn around the state’s economy — so it strikes me that his endorsement of Billary really only can be explained by pressure from within the bu$ine$$-a$-u$ual Democratic Party establishment to jump on board the Clinton Train already.

Again, it’s disappointing that Brown fell to that pressure, perhaps especially since that train’s probably going to derail in November.

*I’m actually not ageist. If someone still can function in an important public capacity at an advanced age (such as can Bernie Sanders), then more power to him or to her.

From her video-recorded appearances, Feinstein, who is the oldest U.S. senator (although five other U.S. senators also are age 80 or older), seems to have lost her mental acuity, to put it diplomatically, and given that and given the fact that she cares only about her fellow millionaires, I really, really wish that she’d find her way to the fucking door.

(Bernie, in case you were wondering, is the 14th oldest U.S. senator. Boxer is the 13th oldest, and the youngest U.S. Senator is just a baby, at age 39. [Unfortunately, he’s a Repugnican, so he might end up spending decades in the Senate, causing harm to the nation.])

**Brown’s first two terms were in the 1970s and 1980s. The office of the governor wasn’t limited to two terms until after he had served his first two terms, and so legally he was grandfathered (ha ha) and thus he was able to serve his third and fourth terms.

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Bernie Sanders isn’t Ralph Nader 2.0; and, we deserve a President Trump

trumpredhat

This is the “man” we Americans probably deserve, and no, he is not without precedent (three words: George. Walker. Bush.).

Slate.com this past week published an awful, condescending, fundamentally misguided piece by one Darby Saxbe, who incredibly stupidly compared Bernie Sanders’ current run for the White House to Ralph Nader’s in 2000.

It begins:

In the year 2000, fresh out of college, I cast my second-ever presidential election vote for Ralph Nader. Later that night, I watched in horror as the contest between Al Gore and George W. Bush ended in an unprecedented electoral college toss-up, leading to a messy recount battle and the infamous Supreme Court decision Bush v. Gore.

The chosen successor of a popular incumbent administration, Gore should have sailed to victory on the strength of the economy alone, yet he conceded the election to Bush, a candidate initially considered too unserious to be a true contender.

Gore lost Florida by 537 votes. Nader received almost 100,000 votes in Florida. And he actively campaigned in swing states, including Florida, in the lead-up to the election. If Nader had quit the race and thrown his support to the Democrats, we might be reminiscing about a Gore administration right now.

And I share the blame. Now, before you post mean things in the comments, let me clarify: I voted in New York state, which went blue in 2000, so my individual vote did not help swing the election. But I still feel complicit. I jumped on the Nader bandwagon and bought into a set of beliefs that seemed right to me at the time but were proven very wrong over the eight years that followed. …

“Now, 16 years later, I look back on my young, Nader-voting self and see plenty of parallels with the college students who are feeling the Bern,” the writer continues, and it doesn’t get any better from there.

The writer admits early on that she voted in New York state, and of course in 2000 New York and all of its electoral votes went to Al Gore. So the writer’s vote for Nader didn’t contribute to Gore’s loss at all. Nor did my vote for Ralph Nader here in California in 2000 contribute to Gore’s loss, since all of California’s electoral votes went to Gore.

Duh. Right in the opening paragraphs, the writer pretty much negates her entire piece.

Other than the fact that they’re both fire-breathing progressives — whom we sorely need in office in order to reverse decades of damage wreaked upon the nation and the planet by the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party — comparisons between Bernie and Ralph usually are lame.

Bernie is running for president from within the Democratic Party. Ralph ran for president from without the Democratic Party — which was his constitutional right to do, but to hear the Democratic Party hacks tell it, only certain people (that is, anointed members of the Democratic Party establishment) may run for the presidency. (Fuck democracy!)

And, of course, a huge difference between Bernie and Ralph is that Bernie is running in the Democratic presidential primary race; he’ll make it to the general election in November as the Democratic Party presidential nominee or he won’t (he probably won’t [I give him about a one-in-three chance of swaying the super-delegates to his side]), whereas Nader ran in the November general election in a third-party (Green Party) presidential bid, something that, again, fully was within Nader’s rights to do, but that I’m 99 percent sure Bernie won’t do (run as an independent or as a third-party candidate, that is; I’m pretty sure that it’s too late for him to do that even if he wanted to, which he has shown zero signs of intending to do).

The only apt comparison between Sanders and Nader, besides the fact that they’re progressives (and thus, ironically, true Democrats), is that the Democratic Party hacks’ mindset of refusing to be analytical and, if necessary, actually critical of their own milquetoast, center-right, corporate-ass-licking party hasn’t much changed at all.

Al Gore was a weak candidate who didn’t win even his home state of Tennessee in 2000. The vote in Florida never should have been close enough for George W. Bush & Co. to be able to steal the 2000 election with the help of then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Given that the recount in Florida was stopped by the court, we can’t say that Gee Dubya actually won the state by 537 votes. We’ll never know the actual, accurate vote totals for president for Florida in 2000. So no, we can’t blame Ralph. We should blame ourselves for not having rioted in the streets when BushCheneyCorp just fucking stole the White House in late 2000, the greatest blow to our so-called democracy in my lifetime. We, the people, just fucking let that happen.

Gore ran a weak presidential campaign — true, to be fair, he probably was hamstrung to at least some degree by Bill Clinton’s late-1990s sex scandal (replete with semen-stained blue dress) and impeachment — but the Democratic Party hacks never have owned up to Gore’s weakness (and how Bill Clinton contributed to it). Instead, they’ve continued to shit and piss on Ralph Nader to this day.

You don’t improve if you fucking refuse to admit that you even have a problem, and so now we see a replay: The Democratic Party hacks refuse to own up to DINO Billary Clinton’s inherent weaknesses. They don’t want to talk about how she’s upside down in the favorability polls of the nationwide electorate by double fucking digits (or how Bernie is right-side up in the favorability polls by or almost by double digits). They don’t want to talk about how while the widely nationally despised Billary beats Donald Trump by only around 1 percent to 4 percent, Bernie beats Trump by around 10.8 percent to 11.2 percent.

But if we just don’t mention how weak Billary is, then everything will be OK! Magically, her weakness only exists if someone who is left of center dares to utter something about it! Loose lips sink ships!

And when Billary loses to Donald Trump in November, we won’t blame her, but we’ll blame Bernie Sanders. That’s The Way of the Democratic Party Hack/Billarybot.

If it even can be done at all, it’s probably going to take many more years to convince Democrats and Democratic leaners to stop voting against their own best interests by supporting self-serving, center-right, multi-millionaire sellouts like Billary Clinton, actually believing that that’s the best that we can do.

After all, the Democratic Party didn’t degrade overnight, but over the course of many years. The Clintons, in cahoots with the center-right/Repugnican-Lite Democratic Leadership Council, ruined the Democratic Party in the mid-1980s and 1990s, and Caretaker in Chief President Hopey-Changey has done precious little to nothing to reverse the damage that the DINO Clintons have wreaked upon the party (and the nation and, by extension, the world).

If we progressives don’t take the Democratic Party back* with Bernie Sanders, we’ll take it back with someone else — with Elizabeth Warren and/or with whomever else emerges in a leadership position or positions.

We are patient.

In the meantime, Bernie Sanders is right to continue to fight for as many delegates as he can get (of both the pledged/democratically earned and the “super” kind), and it’s his right to contest the convention in late July.

Right now Billary has an estimated 1,770 pledged delegates, still more than 600 short of the 2,383 delegates that she or Bernie needs to sew up the nomination; it’s still too early to coronate her. Bernie right now has an estimated 1,500 pledged delegates, which is 46 percent to Billary’s 54 percent.

Given how poorly Billary has polled against Trump for months now, and given how upside down her favorability has been for months now, Bernie is close enough in the pledged delegate count — 0nly 8 percent behind Billary — to make the compelling case to the super-delegates at the convention that if they want the Democratic Party to win the White House in November, he’s their better bet, hands down.

Not that the super-delegates will do the right thing; most of them pretty much by definition are bleating party hacks, after all, and, after all, when they do the wrong thing and nominate Billary and she loses to Donald Trump in November (which is easy to see happening — especially after dumbfuck “President” George W. Bush took the White House), they always can blame Bernie, right? They certainly won’t be to blame!

I hope that Bernie fights for absolutely everything he can get, and that he doesn’t continue to  accept the token scraps that the Democratic Party hacks throw his way, such as how he has been able to pick only five of the 15 members of the committee that will put together the party’s platform for the convention.

Bernie should get at least 46 percent of the membership of platform committee (which calculates to seven of the 15 members), but he’s getting only a third of them. Think about that. Think about that and how the Democratic National Committee/Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Team Billary and the Democratic Party hacks/Billarybots have been rejecting claims that Bernie has been screwed throughout this entire process, yet while he has garnered 46 percent of the vote thus far, he gets to pick only five platform committee members, Billary gets to pick six, and Wasserman Schultz, who is a Billarybot, gets to pick four, which means that 10 of the 15 platform committee members, two-thirds of them, are on Billary’s side — despite Billary’s having garnered only 54 percent of the vote thus far.

True, the party platform is mostly bullshit; like evil corporations have their lovely mission statements but continue to do whatever the fuck they want to do anyway, the Democratic Party (certainly under a President Clinton II, anyway) won’t hold itself to its own platform, but I’m disappointed that Team Bernie apparently has settled for only five members on the platform committee — token that the whole exercise of the creation of the party platform is anyway.

Finally, it strikes me that we — all of us, Democrat and Repugnican (and everything else) — don’t deserve a President Sanders but fully deserve a President Trump.

The latest hoo-ha on what we still actually call the “left” is that a song with (gasp!) homophobic lyrics was played at a Bernie Sanders rally in Lancaster, California, this past week.

Of course the whole thing was a fucking hoax, but it has illustrated beautifully how the average Democrat has the maturity and the intellectual level of a junior-high-school student, and it illustrates that identity politics, along with its twin, political correctness, have fucking paralyzed the members of the Democratic Party, who mostly ignore larger, much graver issues like climate change and insane income inequality and focus instead on relatively petty bullshit like violations (real or perceived or even faked) of their precious “safe space.”

We’ll ignore Billary Clinton’s war hawkishness (including her vote in the U.S. Senate for the unelected Bush regime’s disastrous, illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War and her slavish devotion to the right-wing, mass-murderous Israel), we’ll ignore Billary’s love of fracking (fuck/frack the planet!), we’ll ignore her being a Wall-Street-lovin’ multi-millionaire who supports only a $12-an-hour federal minimum wage, we’ll ignore her missteps in Libya and her keeping her government e-mails on her own home-brewed e-mail server (which aren’t just Repugnican-stoked scandals, that “vast, right-wing conspiracy 2.0,” you know, but which are indicative of her character and her judgment) — but we’ll go ape shit over false reports that a song with homophobic lyrics (horrors!) was played at a Bernie Sanders rally!**

Again: We fucking deserve a President Trump. Like attracts like, and we on the “left” are attracting Donald Trump right to us like a fucking mega-magnet.

*With Ralph Nader’s run in 2000, I had had high hopes that the Green Party would grow and have electoral significance, but, unfortunately, it has been rather moribund since then.

Yes, I switch my voter registration back and forth between the Green Party and the Democratic Party, and I voted for Nader in 2000 and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in 2012, but I did vote for John Kerry in 2004 (in the high hopes of denying “President” George W. Bush a second term) and I did fall for the ubiquitous, relentless promises of hope and change in 2008 and vote for Barack Obama, which I just couldn’t bring myself to do again in 2012, given how ineffective and mostly inconsequential he has been.

If it’s between Billary and El Trumpo in November, I probably will vote for Jill Stein again. I certainly won’t for Evil or for the “Lesser” Evil.

Anyway, my point is that it’s easier for us progressives to take back the Democratic Party from the center-right hacks who hijacked it than it is to create a third, progressive party or to grow an existing third, progressive party (such as the Green Party), and Bernie Sanders has laid a strong foundation for us progressives to take back the Democratic Party, which is where we should put our time, money and energy.

I mean, the buzz is that Democratic National Committee boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz might be booted even before the convention in July, so we’re making progress. (But Wasserman Schultz’s head on a silver platter, as nice as that would be, won’t make Billary Clinton an acceptable Democratic Party presidential candidate — just making that crystal clear. Wasserman Schultz is just one of many rotten apples in the Democratic Party barrel.)

**Don’t get me wrong; I’m a gay man and of course I’m all in for equal rights, human rights and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals, but I recognize that there are larger issues, such as climate change and income inequality. (These issues are larger in that an uninhabitable planet will render all of our other problems rather moot, and in that income inequality harms many more people than does oppression based upon sexual orientation and gender identity, although, of course, we can and we must walk and chew gum at the same time. That we can and/or should focus on only one or two issues at a time is incorrect; we must be multi-taskers.)

I have no doubt that Bernie Sanders solidly is on the side of us non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals, and so even if a song with homophobic lyrics had been played at one of his rallies, it certainly wouldn’t have been at his direction, and it very most likely would have been a stunning oversight by a staffer, not an intentional slight.

That people (Billarybots, mostly) jumped all over the false report speaks volumes about them and their craven mindset, including how desperate they are to ignore the largest issues in this campaign, because Billary is awful on all of them.

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Bernie, soon to debate Trump, is poised to win California’s primary on June 7

Updated below (on Friday, May 27, 2016)

Bernie Sanders, Jane O'Meara Sanders

Associated Press photo

Progressive presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane appear at a rally in Los Angeles in March. Sanders is within striking distance of Billary Clinton in the latest poll of California, and plans to debate Donald Trump before California votes in its presidential primary election on June 7. (Billary cravenly reneged on her previous agreement to debate Bernie one last time this month, so this is her karmic return.)

The latest polling of California by the Public Policy Institute of California – the California polling outfit that I trust the most – has Billary Clinton at only 2 percent ahead of Bernie Sanders, 46 percent to 44 percent.

In March, Billary had been beating Bernie in California 48 percent to 41 percent in PPIC’s polling; the momentum in the nation’s most populous state is Bernie’s.

Bernie’s massive rallies and TV ads in the state appear to have been helping him. (Billary, by contrast, has been having expensive, exclusive fundraisers at rich people’s homes instead of rallies, and has been using her husband as her surrogate, and, to my knowledge, has yet to air any TV ads here in California.)

I stand by my recent prediction that Bernie will win California, although probably within single digits. I had predicted that he’d win by low single digits, but now I can see him winning by high single digits or perhaps even low double digits. We’ll see.

Don’t get me wrong – I still expect Billary to drag her tired, center-right/Democrat-in-name-only, 1990s-era carcass into the July Democratic Party convention with more pledged delegates than Bernie, but her losing the most populous blue state so close to the convention sure would help Bernie’s argument that he’s the stronger candidate to face off with Donald Trump.

Continuing along the lines of that note, while Billary has reneged on her promise to participate in a tenth and final debate with Bernie this month, it looks like Bernie and The Donald are going to have a debate before the June 7 California presidential primary election – which is a wonderful upstaging of the suddenly-now-debate-shy Billary.

True, it’s unusual for a candidate who has yet to sew up his or her party’s presidential nomination to debate the opposing party’s presumptive presidential nominee, but what has been normal about this presidential election cycle?

Regardless of its level of orthodoxy (which is quite low), I love the symbolism, the visuals, of an imminent Sanders-Trump debate: Billary is “too busy” to debate Bernie a final time before the June 7 California primary, but/so Bernie is going to debate Trump.

The political optics will be of Bernie already taking on Trump even before the Democratic Party primary convention. Sweet.

Only if Bernie does horribly in the debate with Trump could it harm him politically, but I don’t expect him to do horribly.

Of course, it strikes me that there still is time for the Democratic National Committee to try to quash the Sanders-Trump debate – because it’s brilliantly unorthodox and because it circumvents the DNC’s (that is, Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s) iron fist – and if they (well, if she) can try, she probably will try.

After all, the “Democratic” National Committee isn’t about democracy; it’s about installing Billary Clinton in the White House.

And under a President Sanders, that would change in short order, starting with his promise to fire the corrupt Billarybot Debbie Wasserman Schultz as head of the DNC and to return the Democratic Party to its progressive roots.

Update (Friday, May 27, 2016): Reuters, in a two-paragraph news item, reports today that Trump has pulled out of a debate with Bernie. Reuters reports (in full):

Washington — U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said [today] he would not debate Democrat Bernie Sanders ahead of California’s June 7 primary.

“Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged … it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second-place finisher,” Trump said in a statement.

That’s a bullshit reason, and because of the poor wording I’m not even certain what the hell it means — my impression is that Trump just chickened out and that, just like Billary did, he reneged on a promise to debate Bernie — but I guess it’s nice to see Trump point out, as he has before, that “the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged.” Because it is. It has been tilted in Billary’s favor from Day One.

P.S. Per McClatchy News, here is Trump’s statement in its entirety:

Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second-place finisher.

Likewise, the networks want to make a killing on these events and are not proving to be too generous to charitable causes, in this case, women’s health issues. Therefore, as much as I want to debate Bernie Sanders — and it would be an easy payday — I will wait to debate the first-place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.

That’s a fuller statement, but I still call chicken shit on Trump. He did not give a good reason to back out, and apparently his word is as good as is “Crooked Hillary’s.”

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Craven Billary backs out of final debate

Clinton, Hillary -- cartoons  --  21 -- liar, lying

In a move that further demonstrates her lack of good character and certainly does nothing to dispel the widespread belief that she always wanted (and therefore got) a small number of debates, Billary Clinton announced yesterday that she won’t participate in a tenth and final Democratic Party presidential debate this month, even though she’d promised to do so in February.

Reports The Associated Press:

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton [yesterday] declined an invitation from Fox News to participate in a debate with rival Bernie Sanders in California before that state’s June 7 primary.

Clinton and Sanders are competing aggressively in California as primaries wrap up.

But Clinton is close to getting the delegates she needs to seal the nomination. Sanders says he has a chance to pass her in pledged delegates, though he admits he faces tough odds. Then he would have to persuade many superdelegates to switch their support to him.

Campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said Clinton will compete hard in the remaining primary states, particularly California, while also turning her attention to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

“We believe that Hillary Clinton’s time is best spent campaigning and meeting directly with voters across California and preparing for a general election campaign that will ensure the White House remains in Democratic hands,” Palmieri said.

Clinton’s decision was quickly criticized by Sanders.

“I am disappointed but not surprised by Secretary Clinton’s unwillingness to debate before the largest and most important primary in the presidential nominating process,” he said in a statement.

“Democracy, and respect for the voters of California, would suggest that there should be a vigorous debate in which the voters may determine whose ideas they support,” he said. “I hope Secretary Clinton reconsiders her unfortunate decision to back away from her commitment to debate.”

Bill Sammon, Fox News vice president and Washington managing editor, said the decision was unfortunate.

“Naturally, Fox News is disappointed that Secretary Clinton has declined our debate invitation,” he said, “especially given that the race is still contested and she had previously agreed to a final debate before the California primary.”

As I type this sentence, the Democratic National Committee’s website still lists a “TENTH DEBATE” for this month at a location that is “TBD.”

How a candidate conducts herself or himself during her or his campaign is indicative of her or his character — or lack thereof.

Billary Clinton, who clearly has calculated that she could back out of the final debate that she agreed upon without harming herself politically, deserves to lose California on June 7 — and the nomination in July.

She has owed it to Californian and to all American voters to fulfill her commitment to the 10 debates. After all, in the 2008 cycle there were more than 20 Democratic Party primary season debates.

If Billary Clinton can’t debate Bernie Sanders one more time, how can she take on Donald Trump? And how can she sit in the Oval Office if she can’t even fulfill her promise to debate? If she won’t debate Bernie Sanders one last time, how tough could she be, and how can we take her word on anything when her word very apparently is worth dog shit?

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Lesser-of-two-evils Billary: Plummeting poll numbers ‘mean nothing to me’

What, me worry? Even though Billary Clinton, like Donald Trump, is upside down in favorability polls by double digits (Bernie Sanders’ favorability is 23.3 percentage points above Billary’s) and even though Trump is overtaking her in the presidential match-up polls, Billary says that she’s not at all concerned.

As Billary Clinton continues to nosedive in the nationwide match-up polls against Donald Trump, the more and more likely it appears to be that the Democrats’ late-July convention will be contested — and justifiably so.

The poll numbers are horrifying, and should have the Democratic Party hacks/Billarybots shitting their little lemming pants.

Real Clear Politics’ average of presidential match-up polls right now has Trump at 0.2 percent ahead of Billary Clinton, while The Huffington Post’s average of match-up polls has Billary at only 1.6 percent ahead of Trump.

Meanwhile, RCP’s polls average has Bernie Sanders at 10.8 percent ahead of Trump, and HuffPo’s has Bernie ahead of Trump by 10.2 percent.

It’s funny — sick-and-pathetic funny, not ha-ha funny — that Team Billary and the Billarybots have accused Bernie Sanders and his campaign of misleading his followers about his chances of winning the party’s presidential nomination when Team Billary actively is misleading Billary’s followers about her chances against Trump in November.

“Polls this far out mean nothing,” Billary proclaimed today on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “They certainly mean nothing to me.”

Billary most likely is lying that she’s not at all concerned about her tanking poll numbers. If she’s not lying (but I put it at more than 90 percent that she is), then she selfishly and recklessly is putting her egomaniacal desire to win the White House far above the best interests of the American people — which would be that we not have a President Trump.

Bernie, meanwhile, correctly has stated of the Billary-vs.-Trump match-up that the voters view Billary as “the lesser of two evils.”

Reports Yahoo! News today:

… “That’s what the American people are saying,” the Vermont senator said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” [today]. “If you look at the favorability ratings of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, both of them have very, very high unfavorables.”

According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday, 58 percent of registered voters view Trump unfavorably, while 54 percent view Clinton the same way — the highest unfavorable ratings for likely general election candidates in the history of the survey. (A CNN/ORC poll released earlier this month found similar record unfavorable ratings for Trump and Clinton.)

“We need a campaign, an election, coming up which does not have two candidates who are really very, very strongly disliked,” Sanders said. “I don’t want to see the American people voting for the lesser of two evils.

“I want the American people to be voting for a vision of economic justice, of social justice, of environmental justice, of racial justice. That is the campaign we are running, and that’s why we are getting the support we are.”

Sanders also pointed out that he is consistently polling better against Trump than Clinton.

“If you look at virtually all of the polls done in the last six, seven weeks, in every one of them, nationally polls and statewide polls, we defeat Trump by larger margins — in some cases, significantly larger margins — than does Secretary Clinton,” he said.

Clinton’s lead over Trump has fallen from 11 points last month to just 3 (46 percent to 43 percent) in the new NBC/WSJ poll — a figure within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The same poll showed Sanders well ahead of Trump, by 15 points (54 percent to 39 percent) in their theoretical general election match-up.

And an ABC News/Washington Post poll released [yesterday] showed Trump with a 2-point lead over Clinton (46 percent to 44 percent) — an 11-point swing from early March, when Clinton led the real estate mogul by 9 points (50 percent to 41 percent).

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sanders said that he still believes Clinton could defeat the presumptive Republican nominee in the fall, but that his appeal to independent voters ought to make the so-called Democratic super-delegates rethink their support for her.

“I’m not saying she cannot beat Donald Trump. I think she can,” the independent senator and self-described democratic socialist said. “There’s a good chance she can. I am the stronger candidate because we appeal to independents — people who are not in love with either the Democratic or Republican Party, often for very good reasons.”

Sanders continued: “Any objective assessment of our campaign versus Clinton’s camp, I think, will conclude we have the energy, we have the excitement, we have the young people, we have the working people, we can drive a large voter turnout, so that we not only win the White House but we regain control of the Senate,” Sanders said.

Clinton, for her part, dismissed the latest poll results.

“Polls this far out mean nothing,” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “They certainly mean nothing to me.”

Sanders’ interpretation of the polls is pretty fucking unassailable.

HuffPo’s average favorability rating for Billary Clinton is 55.2 percent unfavorable to only 41.2 percent favorable; for Donald Trump, it’s 57.2 percent unfavorable to only 38.9 favorable; and for Bernie Sanders, it’s 50.3 percent favorable to 41 percent unfavorable.

So Billary is in the hole by 14 percentage points, Trump is underwater by 18.3 percentage points, and Bernie is above water by 9.3 percent — a full 23.3 percent better than Billary (and 27.6 percent better than Trump)!

“Polls this far out mean nothing,” Billary claims, but, again, who doesn’t already know Billary and Trump pretty well by now? Billary and Trump have been around for decades; they’re not exactly unknown quantities. How much can Billary move the needle against Trump at this juncture?

And for how long, exactly, are we expected not to panic while Billary’s poll numbers continue to tank? Indeed, doesn’t Billary’s use of the intensifier “certainly” in “They [the polls] certainly mean nothing to me” indicate that she indeed is panicking?

This is, admittedly, an unusual presidential cycle — one in which the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party apparently finally are being held to account by the electorate for the fact that since at least the 1980s, they have sold out the average American to their corporate campaign contributors.

Donald Trump tapped into this national discontent and dispatched the Repugnican Tea Party establishment fairly easily and fairly quickly.

Of course, Donald Trump isn’t the answer; he is the answer to the United States’ socioeconomic problems like Adolf Hitler was the answer to Germany’s socioeconomic problems — and a President Trump probably would end up much the same.

But the rise of Trump — who, if actually elected (or not elected — I mean, George W. Bush wasn’t legitimately elected in 2000, but he took the White House anyway), would be the first U.S. president in my lifetime who had not first been a U.S. senator or the governor of a state — can only be explained by the fact that the electorate is done — stick-a-fork-in-it done — with the calcified duopolistic political system.

The majority of us Americans — or at least the largest plurality of us, anyway — aren’t party hacks, and we’re way beyond sick and fucking tired of being the two parties’ chumps. We’re done playing Charlie Brown to the two parties’ football-yanking Lucy.

The poll numbers — the favorability numbers and the presidential match-up numbers — prove Bernie Sanders’ assertion that the electorate views Billary as the lesser of the two evils that are Trump and Billary and that of the three candidates still standing, he is the one whom the electorate likes the most.

And I agree with Sanders’ assertion that the voters would rather vote for someone whom they actually like than vote for someone primarily to block the election of someone whom they hate even more than they hate their own party’s candidate.

This indeed is the dynamic that we’re seeing in this unusual presidential election cycle, which is unusual for so many reasons, not just the for the pathetic fact that Billary and Trump both are hated more than they are liked by double digits, but also for such reasons as that Billary is the first former first lady who ever ran for the presidency and that, again, Trump, if elected, would be the first president in my lifetime who hadn’t first been at least a governor or a U.S. senator.

It’s the truth that Billary is the lesser of the two evils, even though of course the Democratic Party hacks no doubt are going to attack Bernie for having uttered this unpleasant truth publicly. Billary isn’t unlikable if we just don’t ever utter that she is unlikable, you see; but whoever utters this glaringly obvious fact is, indeed, responsible for her unlikability!

In any event, the Democratic Party establishment is over just as the Repugnican Tea Party establishment is over. It’s just been a slower collapse.

Billary & Co. have been able to use her surname to keep the gig going much longer than it should have, but sooner rather than later, the Democratic Party is going to fall to us progressives, whether it happens with Bernie Sanders or whether it happens with another leader.

The writing is on the wall.

P.S. Why is Bernie polling better than both Billary and Trump in the polls? Well, like Trump is, he is seen as an outsider, even though he has been in D.C. since the early 1990s, first as a U.S. representative and then a U.S. senator.

But because Bernie has been an independent in his congressional career, his claim to being an outsider — untarnished by the long-standing corruption of the pro-corporate Democratic Party — is pretty valid. He hasn’t been just another go-along-to-get-along Democratic Party hack, with which D.C. is crawling and slithering.

While Trump is the wrong answer, Bernie is the right answer, and, thankfully, around 10 percent more of the electorate realize this than don’t.

Again, the only thing stopping a President Trump at this point are the Democratic Party super-delegates and the decisions that they make at the convention in July. Which will be more important to them? Not hurting Billary’s feelings and/or incurring her wrath — or actually winning the White House?

I put it at about 60-40 that the super-delegates will ignore the flashing lights and blaring siren and will coronate Billary — who will lose to Trump. (Yes, I give Billary less than a 50-percent chance of beating Trump.)

Oh, well. If we have a nation left after President Trump, his presidency should be more than enough to usher in another golden age of progressivism.

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Preventing President Trump is up to the Democratic Party super-delegates now

513917024-people-raise-their-arms-as-republican-presidential_1

Getty Images photo

Supporters of Donald Trump raise their right arms to “pledge their allegiance to him” at a rally in Orlando, Florida, in March. (It’s not at all Nazi-like.) Billary Clinton right now polls only 2 or 3 percentage points ahead of Der Fuehrer Trump, whereas Bernie Sanders polls ahead of Trump in the low double digits. Delusional individuals who believe that Trump couldn’t possibly beat Billary in November need only remind themselves that it long was believed that Trump couldn’t possibly win the Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination.

In April 2015, “Saturday Night Live’s” Kate McKinnon’s Billary Clinton (watch the video above) hilariously proclaimed (to the horror of her communications aide): “Citizens! You will elect me! I will be your leader!”

Prescient.

Today, the real Billary Clinton proclaimed on CNN: “I will be the nominee for my party… That is already done, in effect. There is no way that I won’t be.”

Billary was even wearing a blue pantsuit when she made this pronouncement. Watch:

Just: Wow.

The hubris.

OK, here’s the deal: It’s up to the super-delegates at the Democratic Party convention in Philadelphia in late July to determine whether Bernie Sanders or Billary Clinton will be the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee. Only they, with their votes, have the power to give Billary or Bernie the magic 2,383 delegates that either needs to win the nomination.

It’s actually not up to Queen Billary, as much as she and her henchweasels, including, of course, Democratic National Committee head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have done their best to rig the game in Billary’s favor and to shove Billary down our throats.

Why, you ask, would the super-delegates give the nomination to Bernie, since he trails Billary by around 275 pledged delegates?

Here’s why: Polls of the nationwide electorate show Billary beating Donald Trump by only 2 or 3 percentage points, whereas in the polls Bernie Sanders beats Donald Trump by the low double digits.

Real Clear Politics’ average of the match-up polls right now puts Billary at only 3.1 percent ahead of Trump, whereas RCP right now puts Bernie at 11.6 percent ahead of Trump.

The Huffington Post’s average of the match-up polls right now puts Billary at only 2.2 percent ahead of Trump — and puts Bernie at 10.6 percent ahead of Trump.

With about five and a half more months to go before Election Day in November, could these poll numbers change? Sure.

But both Billary Clinton and Donald Trump have been on the national stage for decades now. How many voters by now aren’t familiar enough with both of them that they’re going to change their minds between now and November? How much movement can we really expect to see?

Is Trump enjoying a bit of a bounce from his recently having emerged as the sole survivor of the overcrowded field of Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes?

Probably.

But I expect Trump to overtake Billary in all of the polls any day now — and what will happen at the Democratic Party convention in July if, by that time, nationwide polls have had Trump beating Billary by a decent margin (say, by at least 5 percent)?

What will the super-delegates do?

Which will be more important at the convention: coronating Billary, even though there’s a very good chance that she’ll lose in November, or stopping Donald Trump by nominating Bernie Sanders (assuming that Sanders is still polling significantly above Trump at that time, say, by at least 5 percent)?

It comes down to this: Do the super-delegates go with the winner of the majority of the pledged delegates if, as expected, Billary goes into the convention with more pledged delegates than does Bernie? Or do the delegates look to November and decide which candidate has the better chance of beating Trump?

Is winning the White House in November not the objective?

Is Queen Billary’s colossal ego, including her sense of entitlement, more important than keeping the White House in Democratic hands?

Yes, there is a strong case to be made that the winner of the most pledged delegates should be the nominee — it’s the only democratic way to do it, right? — but isn’t the purpose of the convention to pick the strongest challenger for November?

And we can change the rules of the game for next time — I repeatedly have advocated for the abolishment of the super-delegates, in fact — but for this round, the rules of the game are that the super-delegates, also called “unbound” delegates (pledged delegates are “bound” delegates), may vote however they please; they are not bound to vote with how those in their states voted.

It easily could come down to only the Democratic Party’s super-delegates being able to stop a President Trump by picking the stronger, nationally popular Bernie Sanders as the party’s champion instead of picking the weak, nationally unpopular Billary Clinton — no matter how the people have voted and caucused up to that point.

Buckle up. It’s going to be an even bumpier ride than it has been as of late.*

*Seriously, the more that the nationally despised and increasingly desperate Billary’s poll numbers tank, the more that she and her desperate surrogates will attack Bernie Sanders and his supporters, such as by calling yelling at the state party convention in Las Vegas on Saturday “violence” when, in fact, there was only shouting and no physical violence.

In their desperation and sense of entitlement they’ll lie through their fangs even more than they already have been. They will take slander and libel to a whole new level.

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Bernie takes Oregon, Billary (barely) takes another former slave state

Updated below (on Wednesday, May 18, 2016)

With 99.9 percent of its precincts reporting, Billary Clinton won the presidential primary in Kentucky today by only 0.5 percent (46.8 percent to 46.3 percent), while with just over 61 percent of Oregon’s precincts reporting as I type this sentence, it’s Bernie with 53.1 percent to Billary’s 46.9 percent.

Kentucky has been called for Billary and Oregon has been called for Bernie. This brings “fringe” candidate Bernie to 20 states won thus far.

Here’s the updated map, with Bernie’s wins shaded green (Billary’s are in puke yellow and the states that have yet to vote are in gray):

File:Democratic Party presidential primaries results, 2016.svg

Note the states that Billary won/“won” by not even 2 percentage points:

  • Iowa: 49.9 percent Billary, 49.6 percent Bernie (0.3 percent difference)
  • Massachusetts: 50.1 percent Billary, 48.7 percent Bernie (1.4 percent difference)
  • Illinois: 50.5 percent Billary, 48.7 percent Bernie (1.8 percent difference)
  • Missouri: 49.6 percent Billary, 49.4 percent Bernie (0.2 percent difference)
  • And now, Kentucky, by a whopping 0.5 percent

The only win within 2 percentage points that was Bernie’s was Michigan, 49.7 percent Bernie to 48.3 percent Billary, a difference of 1.4 percent.

I’m happy that Bernie is staying in the race until every last state has voted. This is what democracy looks like: Giving all of the people a voice.

Whether Bernie wins or loses, at least the people of each state will have had the opportunity to weigh in on the next leader of the nation.

The Billarybots hate this, which tells you volumes about their character, their ethics and their morals.

P.S. Speaking of character, ethics and morals, compare the map above to the map of the states right before the Civil War:

It’s a chilling fact: For the most part, states (and former territories that now are states) that had slavery (like, um, Kentucky) have voted for Billary, and states (and former territories that now are states) that were free (like, um, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, which used to form the Oregon Territory) have voted for Bernie.

The two graphics are worth thousands of words.

Update (Wednesday, May 18, 2016): With 100 percent of its precincts now reporting, Kentucky still sits at only a 0.5 percent difference, and as I type this sentence, Oregon, with 92.6 percent of precincts reporting, stands at Bernie with 55.8 percent and Billary with 44.2 percent, a difference of 11.6 percent.

I expect Bernie to win California on June 7. Yes, that’s a prediction. I don’t predict that he’ll win it by a double-digit margin, as he won the other Left Coast states of Oregon and Washington, but I expect him to win it by at least two or three percentage points.

I make this prediction even though The Huffington Post’s average of polls of California right now has Billary ahead by 9.1 percent and Real Clear Politics’ average of California polls has Billary up by 9.7 percent right now.

I have seen precious little enthusiasm for Billary here in California thus far. If my prediction is wrong and she does win the state, it will be because she’ll get the geriatric vote (seriously) — people who are voting for her but just don’t talk about it (including the fact that they’re not on social media voicing their politics). And also, I suppose, it will be the support of younger people who are just too embarrassed to admit that they’re actually voting for Billary.

If Billary does win California, which I put at less than a 50-percent chance, I expect it to be by less than two or three full percentage points. It might even come as close as Kentucky or Iowa or Missouri (that is, no more than half of one percentage point).

Let me make it clear that while I support Bernie winning every delegate that he possibly can, I expect Billary Clinton to clinch the nomination. The super-delegates pretty much by definition are Democratic Party hacks, and hacks do what they’re told to do, and Billary going into the convention in July with more pledged delegates than Bernie — which is likely to be the case (she still leads him by about 275 pledged delegates, as has been the case for a while now) — will give the super-lemmings delegates the excuse to do what they wanted to do anyway: crown Billary.

I expect the super-delegates to give the win to Billary even though Bernie Sanders is doing two to three times better than she is in the match-up polls against Donald Trump. Real Clear Politics right now has Billary ahead of Trump by only 5.2 percent and Bernie ahead of Trump by 13 percent. Horrifyingly, The Huffington Post’s average of the match-up polls has Billary only 3.3 percent ahead of Trump and Bernie with a much more comfortable margin of 12.1 percent.

With Billary only around 3 percent to 5 percent ahead of Trump in the match-up polls right now — and this is because the nation’s electorate apparently hates Billary just a little less than the nation’s electorate hates Trump — you’d think that the Billarybots would be a lot nicer to us Berners instead of painting pretty much all of us as sexist, misogynist, violent animals who are just like Trump’s supporters.

But no.

The Lemmings for Billary are determined to go right off of that looming cliff that is in plain, clear view.

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