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Omar Mateen’s alleged lover: ‘He was looking for love’ in a homophobic world

The United States of America long has been like one big dysfunctional family, and like the gun massacres before it, the Orlando gun massacre has served much as a national Rorschach test.

American Islamophobes have called the Orlando massacre “radical Islamic terrorism” (or some close version of that) since this conveniently fits their (usually homophobic!) worldview, even though it apparently has been much more about homophobia than about Islam, and even though fundamentalist Christians and Jews are quite homophobic, too. (Less than a year ago, an “ultra-Orthodox” Jewish man stabbed six people at a gay pride event in Jerusalem. This was after he’d already similarly stabbed people in 2005 and served prison time for it. Um, yeah.)

Of course the Orlando massacre has resurrected the pro- and the anti-gun-control camps, who focus more on the weapons that were used to commit the violence more than they focus on the victims of the violence and on what drives unstable people (usually men) to violence.

And race hustlers — you know, self-serving, egomaniacal people of color who, ironically, are as obsessed with race as are white supremacists (and who, just like white supremacists, paradoxically, usually consider their own race to be superior to others) — have tried to make the Orlando massacre all about race. In (Only) Black Lives Matter style, some race hustlers even recently jaw-droppingly utterly shamelessly commandeered a vigil for the Orlando victims and proclaimed that the massacre actually was all about race (most of the 49 victims were Latino and some of them were black*:

).

It’s correct that race and sexual orientation (and age and gender and…) often intersect, but Jesus Fucking Christ, early on it was pretty crystal clear that Omar Mateen shot up the gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12 not because it was filled with brown-skinned people whom he hated for being brown-skinned, but because it was filled with non-heterosexual people (indeed, most of the dead in the carnage were gay men).

In fact, ironically, a gay Latino man who claims now to have been Mateen’s down-low lover has claimed that Mateen liked brown-skinned men.

The Spanish-language Univision reported yesterday:

Omar Mateen, the Muslim gunman who committed the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, was “100 percent” gay and bore a grudge against Latino men because he felt used by them, according to a man who says he was his lover for two months.

“I’ve cried like you have no idea. But the thing that makes me want to tell the truth is that he didn’t do it for terrorism. In my opinion he did it for revenge,” he told Univision Noticias anchor Maria Elena Salinas in an exclusive interview in English and Spanish [yesterday].

He said Mateen was angry and upset after a man he had sex with later revealed he was infected with the HIV virus [sic — “HIV virus” is redundant].

Asked why he decided to come forward with his story, he said: “It’s my responsibility as a citizen of the United States and a gay man.”

The man said he had approached the FBI and been interviewed three times in person by agents.

Univision was unable to independently verify his account. The FBI confirmed to Univision that it had met with him.

The man, who did not want his true identity revealed, agreed to an interview wearing a disguise and calling himself Miguel. Speaking in fluent Spanish and accented English, he said he met Mateen last year through a gay dating site and began a relationship soon after. He and Mateen were “friends with benefits,” he said.

He described Mateen as “a very sweet guy” who never showed a violent side. He loved to be cuddled. “He was looking for love,” he said.

When Miguel heard about the massacre on the news he said he was stunned. “My reaction was that can’t be the man I know. It’s impossible that the man I know could do that,” he said.

Mateen opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle during a Latin-themed night at Pulse in the early hours of June 12, killing 49 people and wounding dozens more. He was killed in a shootout with police hours later. Most of the dead were Hispanic.

Investigators are still looking into the motives for his rampage.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters [yesterday] that investigators may never be able to pinpoint a single motive and have not ruled out witness reports suggesting Mateen might have had gay interests. “While we know a lot more about him in terms of who he was and what he did, I do not want to definitively rule out any particular motivation here,” she said.

In a 911 call from the club, Mateen pledged solidarity with the Islamic State group, and officials say he had explored websites of armed Islamic extremists.

Miguel recalled on one occasion Mateen expressed his criticism of the U.S. war on terrorism and the killing of innocent [Muslim] women and children. “I told him, ‘You’re totally right,'” said Miguel.

Mateen never revealed his name to him, saying only that he was 35 years old and married with a son [at the time of his death Mateen was married and had a son, but was 29 years old], Miguel told Univision. He said they met 15 to 20 times, the last occasion in late December. He said he believed Mateen’s second wife knew he frequented gay bars and that his marriage was a smoke screen to hide that he was “100 percent” gay.

“He adored Latinos, gay Latinos, with brown skin [emphasis mine] — but he felt rejected. He felt used by them — there were moments in the Pulse nightclub that made him feel really bad. Guys used him. That really affected him,” Miguel said. “I believe this crazy horrible thing he did — that was revenge.”

Mateen, who liked to drink, expressed frustration over his father’s extreme views on homosexuality, which included a belief that “gay people [are] the devil and gay people have to die,” Miguel said.

Mateen was especially upset after a sexual encounter with two Puerto Rican men, one of whom later revealed he was HIV positive, he added.

“He [Omar] was terrified that he was infected,” he said. “I asked him, ‘Did you do a test?’ Yes. He went to the pharmacy and did the test. … It came out negative, but it [the virus] doesn’t [show up on a test] right away. It takes four, five months.”

“When I asked him what he was going to do now, his answer was ‘I’m going to make them pay for what they did to me.'”

As Univision noted, this new information has not been independently verified, and of course it’s possible that “Miguel” is an attention whore who has made some, most or even all of this new information up, but “Miguel’s” details are so specific that I surmise that he’s telling the truth, at least for the most part.

Lots of things have intersected here. It’s true that the United States and Israel have slaughtered far more Muslims than vice versa over the past many years, and while I’m not Muslim (I don’t believe in “God” any more than I believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy), I’ve long noted the nauseatingly disproportionate body count, perhaps especially between the Palestinians and the Israelis. If it pisses me off and I’m not even a Muslim, I can’t blame any Muslim for being pissed off at how Christians and Jews have slaughtered Muslims in far greater numbers than vice-versa.

And indeed, the continued slaughter of innocent Muslims by the West keeps the jihadists going. Of course, that’s what the war hawks (most of them chicken hawks) in the United States and Israel want.

And I don’t for a nanosecond believe that the Second Amendment covers military-grade assault rifles, for fucking fuck’s sake. Nope. It couldn’t have, not when the Second Amendment was written long before these killing machines even existed.

And I applaud those Senate and House Democrats who recently have stood up to the Repugnican Tea Party in Congress, most of them treasonous whores for the National Rifle Association, on the subject of gun control, but one wonders if the Congressional Dems would have done this if it weren’t a presidential election year and if it weren’t a safer subject to go after. (Big corporate money in politics, for instance, is something that even most so-called Democrats don’t want to seriously address, because most of the legislators in D.C. are shameless corporate whores. Being against gun violence is about as safe as being steadfastly against terminal cancer and baby raping. It’s not what I’d call a particularly courageous stance.)

I never said that I’m not subject to the national Rorschach test myself.

As a gay man, I can’t help seeing the No. 1 cause of the Orlando massacre as having been homophobia.

While we may never know exactly what happened, Omar Mateen apparently was a closet case who chose to shoot up the gay nightclub because most of its inhabitants were gay. (That apparently is the truth, whether or not his motivation at least in part was concern about possibly having contracted HIV from one of the brown-skinned men whom he loved to be with.)

How devout a Muslim could Mateen have been if he drank and partied so much, as has been widely reported? If he did claim that he was acting as a jihadist, as has been reported, it could have been part of his closetedness — he was using Islam and the macho, macho jihad as his beard, so to speak — and/or out of his reported anger at how Muslims have been treated on the world stage.

But my money on the No. 1 cause of the Orlando massacre is homophobia.

Had Omar Mateen not grown up and lived in a homophobic environment — reportedly his home life was homophobic (his father says that he hasn’t forgiven him for what he did, but his father probably should be asking us for our forgiveness for the way that he apparently raised his son), and of course the world remains homophobic — then his reported quest for love might have been fulfilled.

And those 49 people whom we lost on June 12 most likely still would be with us today.

P.S. Out.com has bios on all 49 victims of homophobia here.

P.P.S. to the race hustlers and other identity-politics Nazis: You’re not progressives. You’re not helping anyone. Ironically, you’re not even helping yourselves, but are harming yourselves, and you need to stop hijacking public gatherings and trying to make them all about you, you sanctimonious, self-righteous, hypocritical, whiny little bitches.

Your interest group is one of many interest groups, and E pluribus unum. It’s long past time for you to stop acting in your own selfish, narrow interests and start acting in the interests of the whole.

That means stepping back and letting other interest groups have the spotlight sometimes, you stupid fucking selfish assholes.

P.P.P.S.: If you think that the issue here isn’t homophobia, but Mateen’s concern that he might have had contracted HIV (and sought revenge), know that where homophobia thrives, such as in the black and Latino communities, the contraction of HIV in “MSM” — “men who have sex with men,” which often is a clinical euphemism for closet cases but also includes out gay and bisexual men  — is much higher than it is within the general population.

Homophobia kills. Every day.

*And many of the victims were Puerto Rican, and many Puerto Ricans are a mix of Spanish and African blood.

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For gun massacres, it takes a village

<p>Friends and family members embrace outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of a shooting at the Pulse night club, where as many as 20 people have been injured after a gunman opened fire, in Orlando, June 12, 2016. (REUTERS/Steve Nesius) </p>

Reuters photo

Distraught individuals comfort each other at the Orlando Police Department headquarters after the United States’ worst gun massacre in history at a gay nightclub early this morning in Orlando, Florida. Because most of the victims were gay men, whose lives are expendable, this latest gun massacre won’t be in the national discussion for very long, though, and this latest American massacre demonstrates that although same-sex couples’ constitutional right to marry finally was recognized a year ago this month, plenty of ignorance surrounding and hatred toward non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals remains.

What a quandary for American wingnuts and other homophobes! The largest slaughter of innocent Americans on American soil since 9/11 — perpetrated by a Muslim man, of course* — must be condemned, but at the same time, most if not all of the Muslim’s victims were queers!

Seriously — this is a conundrum, since most American haters of Muslims hate non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals, too; homophobia is something that fundamentalist Christians, Muslims and Jews all have in common.

I say this with confidence: Even though early this morning we saw the largest shooting massacre in American history (50 fatalities [including the gunman] at the gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida), we won’t talk about this gun massacre for nearly as long as we talked about the last gun massacre, the one in San Bernardino, California, in which 14 people were slaughtered by a Muslim man and his Muslim wife in December.**

And that’s because heterosexual (and gender-conforming) lives still are valued much more than are non-heterosexual (and non-gender-conforming) lives in the United States of America.

I’m confident that just as millions of Americans (most of them self-identified “Christians”) believe that fags deserved to die of AIDS, millions of Americans (most of them self-identified “Christians”) believe that fags deserved to die in Orlando this morning. (These individuals of course would take issue with my use of the word “innocent” in the first paragraph.)

You know, though, even though I’m a gay man, I don’t feel a bunch of hatred toward the perpetrator, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, who was the son of immigrants from Afghanistan and a U.S. citizen (and who was shot dead by police after he’d committed his carnage).

Nor do I feel a generalized hatred toward Muslims, although I believe that their belief system, along with Christians’ and Jews’, is bullshit (with their “God” essentially being a Santa Claus figure on crack [He sees you when you’re sleeping/ He knows when you’re awake/ He knows if you’ve been bad or good/ So be good for goodness’ sake!]), and although I recognize that a relatively tiny percentage of them are capable of great evil (as is the case with all human beings).

I do, however, blame toxic, backasswards, patriarchal, misogynist and homophobic religion, with its hocus-pocus, bullshit beliefs, and I blame the fact that Omar Mateen was born and raised in a nation whose highest court not even a full year ago finally ruled that under the U.S. Constitution, non-heterosexual individuals have the same human and civil rights that heterosexuals do.

When it comes to massacres, it takes a village to make them happen, people.

We need to examine the village much more than we need to examine the perpetrators.*** They are the symptoms of the village that creates them.

*Actually, of course, it remains that case that a typical American is significantly more likely to be shot and killed in a mass shooting by a white person who considers himself to be a Christian than by a Muslim.

Um, yeah.

**The Los Angeles Times put out this graphic of past gun massacres in the United States:

Note that this latest gun massacre took a real leap in the body count from the previous record. The L.A. Times grimly keeps a growing, running roundup of gun massacres in the United States here.

***That said, I’m confident that Mateen was mentally ill (his ex-wife has said that he was) — you can’t massacre people unless you are mentally ill (and the mentally ill widely don’t get the help that they need in the United States) — spurred on by the ignorance and hatred within his environment (including, of course, the ignorance and hatred that routinely is spewed within religion in the name of “God”), and, of course, I have to wonder if he was battling with homosexual urges himself.

I mean, reportedly he went ballistic when he saw two men kissing in public in Miami recently.

Why? Why would that drive you to shoot up a gay nightclub, if you were heterosexual and comfortable with your heterosexuality?

It seems to me quite possible that the sick and twisted Mateen, by killing gay men who unabashedly were being who they are in public (at least in the nightclub), was trying to kill the homosexuality within himself.

Finally, I don’t wish to exclude lesbians from mention, but the official list of victims in the Orlando massacre that has been released thus far indicates that most of the victims were male and Latino. I don’t know if any lesbians were killed, too. I see one female name on the list, and I don’t know what her sexual orientation was, and of course not all of the males slaughtered there necessarily were gay, but, it being a gay nightclub, I’m guessing (safely, methinks) that most if not all of them were.

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The lack of conscience of a liberal: Paul Krugman’s new low against Bernie

Updated below (on Sunday, April 17, 2016)

In last night’s debate, it’s quite true that Bernie Sanders was dismissive of Billary Clinton’s big wins in the Deep South.*

I’m glad that he finally went there in the debate; I’ve gone there many times here myself.

But leave it to New York Times liberal (note that I said “liberal,” as in “limousine liberal,” not “progressive”) columnist Paul Krugman, who brands himself a progressive economist yet whom supports the center-right Billary Clinton, to proclaim, in his latest Bernie Derangement Syndrome-induced screed, that Bernie’s spurning of the South minimally is just like Sarah Palin’s having called the red states the “real America” — but probably also even is about Bernie (and, by extension, apparently, his campaign and his supporters) spurning black Americans. But only Krugman actually raises that specter:

… Over the past week, Mr. Sanders has declared that Mrs. Clinton leads only because she has won in the “Deep South,” which is a “pretty conservative part of the country.” The tally so far, he says, “distorts reality” because it contains so many Southern states.

As it happens, this isn’t true — the calendar, which front-loaded some states very favorable to Mr. Sanders, hasn’t been a big factor in the race. Also, swing-state Florida isn’t the Deep South. But never mind. The big problem with this argument should be obvious. Mrs. Clinton didn’t win big in the South on the strength of conservative voters; she won by getting an overwhelming majority of black voters. This puts a different spin on things, doesn’t it?

Is it possible that Mr. Sanders doesn’t know this, that he imagines that Mrs. Clinton is riding a wave of support from old-fashioned Confederate-flag-waving Dixiecrats, as opposed to, let’s be blunt, the descendants of slaves? Maybe. He is not, as you may have noticed, a details guy.

It’s more likely, however, that he’s being deliberately misleading — and that his effort to delegitimize a big part of the Democratic electorate is a cynical ploy.

Who’s the target of this ploy? Not the superdelegates, surely. Think about it: Can you imagine Democratic Party insiders deciding to deny the nomination to the candidate who won the most votes, on the grounds that African-American voters don’t count as much as whites?

No, claims that Clinton wins in the South should be discounted are really aimed at misleading Sanders supporters, giving them an unrealistic view of the chances that their favorite can still win — and thereby keeping the flow of money and volunteers coming. …

Maybe I have Krugman’s intent wrong — maybe (but probably not) — but why would he write such phrases as “on the grounds that African-American voters don’t count as much as whites” when no one ever said or otherwise even semi-indicated that that was the case?

Blacks voted more for Billary than for Bernie, especially in the earlier contests. She has worn — depressingly successfully — the mantle of wanting to be our “third” “black” president. I get that. (But that doesn’t mean that most black Americans are smart to vote for Billary — no one is smart to vote for her, unless he or she is a fellow millionaire or billionaire who wants to preserve his or her own little private empire by maintaining the insanely unjust socioeconomic status quo.)

The problem that Bernie, his campaign and many if not most of us Berners have with the South — which Krugman conveniently doesn’t mention in his hit piece — is that it indeed is a conservative, Repugnican Tea Party bastion, a spiritually dead, barren land where for the very most part Democratic presidential candidates don’t win presidential elections.

Therefore, one calling him- or herself the mostest Democratiest presidential candidate when he or she actually does the best in Repugnican Tea Party/red states and his or her opponent does the best in actually Democratic/true-blue states is, um, odd. This is, after all, the Democratic Party primary race that’s going on right now.

Further, the Repugnican Tea Party doesn’t exactly embrace such deep-blue states as California and New York and Massachusetts; why the holy fucking fuck, then, should Democrats, or at least those of us who actually are left of center, embrace such deep-red states as Texas, South Carolina and Georgia? (And Florida, while it might not be in the Deep South, is in the South, as is Texas. And both states were slave states, which Billary can “brag” that she won, so please, Paulie Boy.)

Are all of these political concepts foreign to Krugman? (He is not, as you may have noticed, a details guy.)

All of this said, a pledged delegate is a pledged delegate and at the party convention should count the same regardless of the state from which that delegate hails, and we progressives in the blue states probably should not abandon the good progressives of all races and of all other demographics who have the misfortune to live in the red states. I get that, but at the same time, the red states make it very, very difficult for us denizens of the blue states to wuv them.

The red states have, after all, been holding the nation back even before the Civil War. They have been a drag on the nation, not a boon to the nation. But we blue-staters are to just adore the red-staters even while the red-staters routinely openly show nothing but contempt for us, even though our tax dollars keep them afloat.

We Dems and those of us who lean Dem (usually having no other real left-of-center electoral option) have to ask ourselves if we really want our party to be overtaken by red-state beliefs and values (even more than it already has been, that is) — and, again, we should ask ourselves if the members of the Repugnican Tea Party would allow their party to be overtaken by blue-state beliefs and values.

Krugman does make one apparent quasi-valid point in his column, albeit buried within what as far as I know is a patently false accusation:

… So the Sanders campaign is arguing that super-delegates — the people, mainly party insiders, not selected through primaries and caucuses who get to serve as delegates under Democratic nomination rules — should give him the nomination even if he loses the popular vote.

In case you’re rubbing your eyes: Yes, not long ago many Sanders supporters were fulminating about how Hillary was going to steal the nomination by having super-delegates put her over the top despite losing the primaries. Now the Sanders strategy is to win by doing exactly that. …

To be clear, I haven’t yet seen or heard or read (in print or via video) any actual proclamation from Bernie himself that he wants the super-delegates to vote for him to give him the nomination even if Billary won the majority of the pledged delegates (the delegates won in the primary elections and caucuses).

I’ve seen this meme that Bernie “wants it both ways,” that he’s only OK with the super-delegates voting for him regardless of who ends up with the most pledged delegates, but, again, I’ve yet to see, read or hear him make that claim. (If you have a link to a credible, neutral source, please leave it in the comments section and I’ll check it out.)

I’ve long understood Bernie’s argument to be that if he manages to win more pledged delegates than Billary does, then the super-delegates should follow the will of the people who voted and caucused and vote to make him the nominee. That seems fair and democratic to me, even though under the current rules of the game the super-delegates certainly don’t have to do that.

I doubt that the meme that Bernie “wants it both ways” is true because I don’t see the super-delegates swinging to Bernie unless he manages to win more pledged delegates than Billary does. I don’t see Bernie seeing that happening, either. Call him whatever you please, but one thing he is not is stupid.

Secondly, if the candidate who wins the most pledged delegates doesn’t end up as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee (under normal political circumstances), the Democratic Party will have a real problem on its hands, since Democratic and Democratically leaning voters nationwide are split almost 50-50 between Bernie and Billary, and one of the two winning the nomination through the super-delegates alone is going to be a real problem with about half of the members of the party.

Bernie knows this, and I very much doubt that he’d really want to be the presidential nominee with the dark cloud over his head that Billary, not he, had won the most pledged delegates.

Only if something serious were to happen — such as Billary being indicted (between now and the party convention) for her home-brewed e-mail server as secretary of state — could it be justified for the super-delegates to hand the nomination to Bernie if Billary had won the most pledged delegates.

Otherwise, wherever possible, we must respect the will of the voters, even when we believe, even quite correctly, that they’re quite wrong.

I mean, don’t get me wrong: I believe that Billary Clinton would be anywhere from lackluster-at-best (like President Hopey-Changey) to disastrous as president of the United States of America. And, again, I believe that unless they’re rich, those who support Billary aren’t very smart people, as voting against your own best interests isn’t very smart.

But you aren’t a true progressive if you don’t respect the democratic process. And Bernie and his followers are true progressives. And I’ll say it yet again: Despite the talk of Bernie “wanting it both ways,” I’ve yet to see, hear or read any assertion of his that the super-delegates should choose him over Billary even if she has won the most pledged delegates going into the convention (and details guy Krugman, alas, provides in his column no link for his assertion that Bernie anti-democratically and hypocritically “wants it both ways” on how the super-delegates should vote).

Krugman’s claim that “claims that Clinton wins in the South should be discounted are really aimed at misleading Sanders supporters, giving them an unrealistic view of the chances that their favorite can still win — and thereby keeping the flow of money and volunteers coming” is bullshit and condescending, as we Berners have known from Day One that preventing Queen Billary’s dynastic coronation would be an uphill battle. Very few among us don’t know that Bernie’s path to the nomination is razor-thin right about now. We have, in fact, done our research.

And Krugman indeed appears to be accusing Bernie Sanders of being an anti-black racist, because he ends his hatchet job with this:

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that Mr. Sanders should drop out. He has the right to keep campaigning [Oh, gee, thanks for the permission there, Paulie Boy!], in the hope either of pulling off huge upsets in the remaining primaries or of having influence at the convention. But trying to keep his campaign going by misleading his supporters is not OK. [It isn’t, but he isn’t.] And sneering at millions of voters is truly beyond the pale, especially for a progressive.

Remember … : We’re all real Americans. And African-Americans are very definitely real Democrats, deserving respect.

Krugman ends his hit piece by claiming, or at least heavily insinuating, that Bernie (and probably also his campaign and his supporters) have claimed that black Americans aren’t “real Democrats” when that isn’t at all the case. Krugman makes a false accusation and then attacks his own false accusation.

I cannot tell a lie: I don’t like the South. Many but probably most in the South don’t like me, a Californian progressive, either.

But when I think of the South and its politics and what’s wrong with its politics, of course I don’t think of black Americans, who historically and traditionally have been (yes, “have been” means that they still are) the victims of the South’s politics, as the problem of the South; for the very most part I think of the backasswards white Americans who hold this nation back, as they have for generations, as the problem of the South.

And when you look at all of Billary’s votes in the South, I’m quite confident that she received far more votes from stupid white people (if they were smart, they wouldn’t support her, unless, again, they’re rich) than she did from black people.

As far as black Americans are concerned, sure, we can call them “real Democrats,” since the term “Democrat” since the 1990s has degenerated to its center-right/Clintonian designation of today, so close to Repugnican that the distinction between Democrat and Repugnican is like the distinction between Coke and Pepsi, but if black Americans support Billary Clinton, we can’t call them both progressive and informed.

But ditto for everyone else in the South who has voted for Billary — again, most of them white people, I’m sure. Neither Bernie Sanders nor we Berners have singled out black Americans in our critique of the South.

Liberal, Billary-lovin’ Paul Krugman did that.

It’s a new low in his obedient, lockstep support of his fellow limousine liberal Billary Clinton, who one minute is telling us how much she loves black Americans and then the next minute unpresidentially is participating in what is to many an offensively racially insensitive skit.**

Perhaps Paul Krugman sees a juicy Cabinet post for himself in being one of Boss Billary’s hit men.

Update (Sunday, April 17, 2016): I stumbled upon an earlier anti-Bernie screed by Krugman, from April 8. Apparently his attempt to portray those of us who are anti-Billary as anti-black began no later than then. He wrote: “Given her large lead in delegates — based largely on the support of African-American voters, who respond to her pragmatism because history tells them to distrust extravagant promises — Mrs. Clinton is the strong favorite for the Democratic nomination.”

Again, I’m quite confident that Billary has won far more votes from whites than from blacks, even in the South. Blacks are an important part of the Democratic coalition, as are feminists, Latinos, non-heterosexuals, Asians, labor-union members, young adults, et. al., et. al., but Krugman, by repeatedly singling blacks out, is, methinks, up to something here.

His theory that black Americans gravitate toward Billary “because history tells them to distrust extravagant promises” is um, rather novel, and reads as though it were written by a Billary campaign operative: “Black Americans like progressives who can get things done!”

Methinks it’s much more the case that as Billary and Bill’s political careers began in Arkansas, and as Billy Boy was deemed the “first” “black” president, Billary simply has inherited that support, probably especially among older black voters. Also, of course, she’s been running for president at least since 2000, and is much better known than is Bernie Sanders (or at least she was so when the primary elections and caucuses began).

And if Krugman is going to write that blacks prefer Billary because “history tells them to distrust extravagant promises,” how about I write that blacks prefer Billary because history tells them to distrust old white men? I mean, as I wrote at the time, the only discernible reason that Black Lives Matter slacktivists hijacked two of Bernie’s campaign appearances last summer is that he’s an older white (albeit Jewish) guy. (I mean, he’s a progressive who’s on their side, so very apparently it primarily was his race that was their problem with him, and secondarily his sex and his age.)

Krugman in his April 8 column also casually brushes aside Billary’s disastrous 2002 vote for the Vietraq War (she said she was sorry!) and in criticizing Bernie’s policy positions as unworkable, writes, “You could argue that policy details are unimportant as long as a politician has the right values and character. As it happens, I don’t agree.”

I disagree with Krugman. Policy positions emerge from values and character, not the other way around, and in any event, all of us must realize that the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate must approve legislation in the first place (and the courts often get involved, too). And it’s the legislators’ job, not the job of presidential candidates, to hammer out all of the details.

It’s the job of leaders to give an overarching vision, and we have seen that in this race:

Billary’s “vision” is to maintain the socioeconomic status quo, with us commoners expecting no more than a crumb here or there; we are naive if we expect more than that bullshit incrementalism, an incrementalism that is so slow and that gives us so little that it never is anything remotely approaching commensurate with what is taken away from us — in large amounts and with great rapidity — by our plutocratic overlords.

Billary’s “vision” and “message,” in a few words, are “Stay the course.” Indeed, as I’ve noted many times, she uses Caretaker in Chief Barack Obama as her political human shield repeatedly.

Bernie’s vision rejects such foot-dragging incrementalism and rejects the status-quo bullshit that President Hopey-Changey has embraced and that Billary Clinton promises to continue. Instead, Bernie envisions a “revolution” in such areas as income inequality and combatting climate change; whether or not actual revolution can materialize is up for debate, but what isn’t very debatable is that if you don’t call for revolutionary acts at all, under your presidency there most likely would be no such acts.

Having been outside of the corporatized, duopolistic Democratic Party — and yes, corporate whore is a very appropriate way to describe way too many self-identified “Democrats” —  is the only way that Bernie Sanders can promise, with any credibility, that as president he actually would stand up for us commoners instead of doing the bidding of the Democratic Party establishment’s corporate sugar daddies.

Being funded by us commoners instead of by the millionaires and billionaires (with the average contribution being $27), as Bernie never tires of proclaiming that he is, is proof of Bernie’s allegiance.

Billary has zero credibility on these matters, which is why Bernie is doing as well as he is — within 1 percent to 3 percent of Billary among Democrats and Democratic leaners nationwide.

The vast majority of those who critique Bernie Sanders and us Berners as naive, foggy-eyed dreamers want Billary Clinton to win the White House because the socioeconomic status quo, which as president she would work tirelessly to preserve, benefits them.

These anti-Berners include limousine liberals like Paul Krugman — those whom the current socioeconomic system benefits greatly but who are concerned that if they don’t say the right things,*** one day the rabble might, just might, come after them and their wealth with torches and pitchforks.

*He said:

… Secretary Clinton cleaned our clock in the Deep South. No question about it. We got murdered there. That is the most conservative part of this great country. That’s the fact.

But you know what? We’re out of the Deep South now. And we’re moving up. We got here [New York]. We’re going to California. …. And having won seven out of the last eight caucuses and primaries, having a level of excitement and energy among working people and low-income people, doing better against Donald Trump and the other Republicans in poll after poll than Secretary Clinton is, yeah, I believe that we’re going to win this nomination, and I believe we’re going to obliterate Donald Trump or whoever the Republican candidate is.

I don’t know that he had to say “Deep South.” Just “South” would have sufficed.All of the South is backasswards — yes, including Florida (and, of course, Texas).

**Yeah, that skit — for the most part I’ll leave it to others to decide whether or not they’re offended, as I generally don’t believe in offense mongering, especially on someone else’s behalf (that’s one of the corollaries of our wonderfully toxic identity politics), but when I first saw video of the skit, actor Leslie Odom Jr.’s claim to be offended by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s use of the term “C.P. time” was so realistic that I didn’t realize, when I first watched the clip of the skit, that it was a pre-planned skit; I’d thought that Odom Jr. genuinely was registering his offense at a spontaneous joke by de Blasio, and when Billary stated that “C.P. time” means “cautious politician time,” I truly had thought that she had just very nimbly tried to rescue de Blasio from his poor-taste gaffe. (That the whole thing was scripted makes sense; the highly scripted, polished and pre-prepared Billary usually doesn’t think on her feet like that, nor has she ever struck me as that clever.)

I think that it would be difficult to call de Blasio a racist, as his wife is black and his two children are biracial, but minimally, we certainly can call him tone-deaf, and ditto for Billary for having participated in that skit, and what the hell was Leslie Odom Jr. thinking?

***The reason that the Democratic Party has embraced toxic identity politics and jettisoned socioeconomic justice is that for the very most part doesn’t hurt anyone’s bank account to, say, be pro-choice or to support same-sex marriage…

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Radio silence from Bernie’s campaign thus far today, but I never shut up

Updated below

File:Democratic Party presidential primaries results, 2016.svg

Wikipedia graphic

This is how the map of the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary battle looks today, after the primary elections in five states yesterday: like a fungus taking over most of the nation, turning what’s alive and green into what’s dead and golden-yellow. (The green states are those that Bernie Sanders has won, and the golden-yellow states are the states that Billary Clinton has won/“won.”) This rather dismal map is why, I surmise, Bernie’s campaign has been in radio silence, at least in term of its e-mails to its supporters, overnight and thus far today.

Given how Michigan’s primary-election polling right up to election day there eight days ago was showing Billary Clinton winning the state by around 20 percent (Bernie won it by 1.5 percent), I’d figured that Bernie Sanders would sweep the other “Rust Belt” states yesterday.

Illinois, Missouri and Ohio polling all had Billary ahead of Bernie by no more than single digits right up to yesterday’s voting, so, using Michigan as the test case, I’d figured that Bernie probably would win all three of those states, even if only by a rather small margin in one or all three of them.

I had chalked up Michigan’s polling snafu to something like pollsters’ bias for Billary and/or polling techniques that undercounted Bernie’s support and overcounted Billary’s, such as by not contacting enough respondents who have cell phones and no land lines.

I truly believed that this polling error in Michigan, dubbed by the political polling geeks as the biggest polling error in a primary election in modern political history, most likely would apply to the states surrounding Michigan also; Bernie would win at least two of the five states that were contested yesterday — probably three states, but two at the very minimum.

Instead, he fairly hands down lost four of them (Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio, although Illinois was within 2 percentage points) and he probably lost Missouri, too, by only a fraction of 1 percent. (I’ve yet to see Missouri definitively called.)

Politico right now gives these results from yesterday’s Democratic Party presidential primary elections:

  • Florida (99.9 percent reporting): Billary 64.5 percent, Bernie 33.3 percent
  • Illinois (98.8 percent reporting): Billary 50.5 percent, Bernie 48.7 percent
  • Missouri (99.9 percent reporting): Billary 49.6 percent, Bernie 49.4 percent
  • North Carolina (100 percent reporting): Billary 54.6 percent, Bernie 40.8 percent
  • Ohio (100 percent reporting): Billary 56.5 percent, Bernie 42.7 percent

Where to begin?

So note that with the exception of Florida, Bernie garnered somewhere between 40.8 percent and 49.4 percent of the votes that were cast yesterday. A sizeable chunk of the voters in four of the five states that voted yesterday wanted someone other than Billary Clinton to represent them in November.

I don’t think that, based upon the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary and caucus results thus far, we accurately can call Billary an overwhelmingly beloved candidate, except in the South. (I mean, the South…)

Bernie Sanders the frumpy (small-“d”!) democratic socialist with that hair never was supposed to do even this well.

Billary Clinton has had the Democratic establishment blindly obediently behind her from Day One, including her bosom buddy Debbie Wasserman Schultz as head of the national party, making all of the presidential-race decisions (including keeping the anti-democratic system of the “super-delegates,” who are expected to fall in line with the party establishment, and tightly controlling the debate schedule), as well as disproportionately favorable media coverage (Google it — Billary has been covered much more than Bernie has been covered, but of course The Grand Spectacle that is Der Fuehrer Donald has trumped both of them in terms of media coverage, which is not shocking, given the nexus among our corporately owned and controlled “news” media and the corporatocracy/kleptocracy that is our “democracy” and Der Fuehrer Trump — yes, we are skipping along the yellow brick road to The Fantastical Land of Fascism).

Anyway, the Bernie Sanders campaign normally sends out a billion e-mails a day (seriously, at least three or four a day, even five or six, I do believe, on some days, especially since the primary elections and caucuses began), but I’ve yet to receive a single e-mail from the campaign since last night’s devastation.

Again, Bernie got a lot of votes last night, and delegates, too (it helps Bernie that all 50 states on the Democratic side allocate the number of pledged delegates proportionally, that there are no winner-takes-all states in the Dem presidential primary), but again, it’s the perception and the spin that matter, and our “news” media, which have only our commoners’ best interests at heart, of course, aren’t going to report that “Populist Bernie Sanders, for an outsider, sure garnered an impressive amount of votes and delegates yesterday.” No, they’re reporting that Billary Clinton Won All Five States in a Devastating Blowout!, even though the difference in Missouri right now stands at 0.2 percent.

There is no room for nuance in the United States of America, so even 0.2 percent is a part of A yuuuuuge win!

So I’m guessing that the reason for the radio silence from the Bernie Sanders campaign today (at least overnight and thus far this morning) is that they’re still assessing what message they can and should put out there after Bernie didn’t win even two states yesterday. (I’m guessing that Billary will maintain her razor-thin lead in Missouri [I heard on NPR talk of a possible recount of the state], meaning that history will record that Bernie won no state yesterday.)

Maybe Bernie is even taking a time-out to consider whether or not he is going to continue his campaign. I’ll still support him if he does, but the path to the nomination for him at this point looks grim to impossible.

What I know for sure is that I can’t support Billary Clinton.

No, it’s not that I’m being obstinate or a sore loser. And no, Billarybots, it’s not that I’m a misogynist, fuck you (and your toxic, blind and stupid identity politics) very much.

I had very much wanted progressive U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run, but she did not.

When Warren talks about standing up for us commoners, her record supports that; she is quite credible. The exact opposite is true of Billary. Bernie was the most progressive and most viable candidate who did run, and thus I have supported him.

(According to your “logic” and sense of “justice,” Billarybots, I should have supported the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008 because Sarah Palin is a woman.)

Billary Clinton just doesn’t do it for me. Aside from how much her demeanor, dripping with insincerity and cold calculation, turns me off, I cannot get past her pathetic pathological lying for personal political gain, which we saw in the 2008 cycle and have seen in this cycle, especially recently, when Bernie peaked and she felt desperate, and I know way too much about her past of pretending to care so very, very much about the disadvantaged and downtrodden but then taking millions and millions of dollars from the bad actors who are harming all of us.

Billary says whatever she perceives is the most politically advantageous thing to say in the  moment, and in the United States of Amnesia, it works.

To give one example that’s near and dear to me, she didn’t support same-sex marriage (publicly, at least) until March 18, 2013, for fuck’s sake, just a little more than two years before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 26, 2015, that to deny same-sex marriage anywhere within the nation is to violate the U.S. Constitution.

Billary is hardly significantly ahead of the curve, and what we need in a president or other leader is someone who is significantly ahead of the curve.

A leader helps make change, a leader nudges the herd in the right direction (even if to do so is politically risky); a leader doesn’t jump on board only once it’s clear that the herd already is going in a certain, different direction.

And a leader doesn’t flip-flop, because the truth doesn’t flip-flop; it remains fixed. Politifact says of Billary, “Clinton came out in support of same-sex marriage in [March] 2013 after more than a decade of opposing it.”

And Billary’s latest act was proclaiming on television how great Nancy Reagan and her husband were on raising HIV/AIDS awareness in the 1980s, when the fact is that Ronald Reagan didn’t give a speech on the topic until May 1987, after more than 25,000 Americans, most of them gay men, already had died in the plague.

Billary is more like the Reagans than an actual Democrat — she always comes to the game quite late, after others who are far more brave and hard-working than she ever will be already have done all of the hardest work, and then pretends that she was on board with the right side the whole time. That’s not leadership. That’s craven opportunism.

Billary’s bullshit works, however, with millions of people — to a large degree she has the LGBT community in her pantsuit pocket because its politically and historically ignorant members actually buy her bullshit (ditto for the black community and other groups of historically oppressed individuals whose majorities support Billary); she says the right things, and that’s enough for the low-information voter.

This chicken, for one, won’t support Colonel Sanders, no matter how much sweet talk he spews forth or how much he tells me that the guy who owns Chick-fil-A is even worse than he is.

So in a Bernie-free/post-Bernie presidential campaign season, I’d pay attention to the news of the ongoing political race, but would I feel that I have a real stake in it? No. Neither Billary Clinton nor whoever the Repugnican Tea Party candidate will be (Donald Trump, most likely, but perhaps Ted Cruz) has my best interests at heart, and I’m quite clear on that fact.

Without Bernie in the race, I don’t have a horse that I can bring myself to root for.

That said, I still think that I would rather that Bernie not win the party’s presidential nomination than to go on to the general election in November and lose by a considerable margin (not that he would; I’m just speaking of such a big loss in a hypothetical sense). Because such a big loss would put Bernie, in the conventional “wisdom,” into the category of George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis (the presidential candidate who was unelectable because he was too far too the left) and thus probably would shut out progressivism within the Democratic Party for some time to come. (Progressivism already has been shut out from the party since the Clintonistas took over the party in the 1990s.)

What might actually help progressivism the most in the long term, actually, would be for Billary Clinton to go on to the November general election and then lose.

That should be, at long last, the stake in the hearts of the “Democrats” who sold out the party to big-money interests long ago, at least as far back in the 1990s (but actually really starting in the mid-1980s), when Bill Clinton and his wife and the right-wing, now-defunct-thank-Goddess “Democratic” “Leadership” Council coldly calculated that the best way to beat the Repugnicans was to become just like the Repugnicans.

Again for the record: I don’t relish a President Trump and of course I never would vote for someone like he. Don’t get me wrong. (But my best guess is that President Trump would be impeached and removed from office before he actually could destroy the planet in World War III.)

But a President Trump might, ironically, at long last save the Democratic Party from itself and return it to its progressive roots. Der Fuehrer Donald’s election just might make the Democrats realize how incredibly fucking stupid they were by picking Billary over Bernie.

(After all, in the match-up polling right now, Billary beats Trump by 6.3 percent, whereas Bernie beats Trump by 10 percent. Further, in the match-up polling right now Ted Cruz actually beats Billary by almost 1 percent, whereas Bernie beats Cruz by almost 10 percent.

And more Americans of all political persuasions like Bernie more than they dislike him by double digits, whereas recent polls show that anywhere from 6 percent to 21 percent more Americans of all political persuasions dislike Billary than like her.)

If President Trump doesn’t cause World War III and inadvertently saves the Democratic Party, then I’d say that his presidency would have been worth it.

Update (Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 10:50 a.m. Pacific Time): OK, so finally an e-mail from the Bernie campaign, which I received at 10:36 a.m. It reads:

When we started our campaign 10 months ago, Robert, I don’t think you could find a single person who would believe you if you said Bernie Sanders would win nine states by this point in the campaign.

Last night we beat all the polls in almost every state. We earned a significant number of delegates, and are on track for the nomination. Here’s why:

What you will not hear from the political and media establishment is that, based on the primary and caucus schedule for the rest of the race, this is the high water mark for the Clinton campaign. Starting today, the map now shifts dramatically in our favor.

Arizona, Idaho and Utah are up next Tuesday. Alaska, Hawaii and Washington state caucus the Saturday after. Then it’s Wisconsin’s turn to vote.

That means we have an extremely good chance to win nearly every state that votes in the next month. If we continue to stand together, we’re just getting started for our political revolution….

No one said a political revolution would be easy. We are up against a billionaire class and super-PACs that are determined to see us lose.

The fact remains that Hillary Clinton’s lead will never be as large as it is right now. From here on out we keep chipping away until we take the lead. But that can only happen if we keep fighting, and that’s why your $3 contribution to our campaign is so important.

The whole country will be watching to see how we respond in this moment. Let’s send a message that millions of Americans are just as ready to fight for an economy that works for everyone as we were when this campaign started 10 months ago.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

I’m glad that Bernie is still in it. I’m perfectly fine with him remaining in the race until he or Billary has clinched the necessary number of delegates to win the nomination. If nothing else, if Billary were to be unchallenged from the left from now to the convention, I think that she’d revert right back to her center-right bullshit, figuring that she already had everything wrapped up and so that it were safe to do so.

(No, I don’t believe, even for a nanosecond, that, as some have stupidly asserted, Bernie is permanently moving Billary to the left. Just her rhetoric has shifted leftward — temporarily. [It was just in September that she publicly proclaimed herself to be a moderate and a centrist.] She remains a dyed-in-the-wool [you know, her sheep’s clothing] Repugnican Lite/Democrat in name only.)

All of that said, yesterday’s election results were a considerable blow to Bernie’s campaign, with not a single state yet called for him. Again, in the end it all comes down to the numbers of delegates, but perception in politics is everything. The perception that you’re losing can make you lose and the perception that you’re winning can make you win.

After his stunning losses yesterday, or at least after the perception of them, I feel much less confident about Bernie’s chances today than I did yesterday.

But given the coming shit show, with a fascist leading the Repugnican Tea Party presidential field and a fascist lite leading the Democratic Party presidential field, from the ashes just might emerge a new, truly reformed, actually progressive Democratic Party.

Update (Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time): U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, who is running to replace Marco Rubio for the U.S. Senate for Florida (Rubio gave up his Senate seat to run for the presidency — d’oh!), recently wrote a pretty good piece for The Huffington Post.

In his piece he maintains that there is

…the second Democratic presidential primary: Democratic Presidential Primary 2.0. It runs from March 16 through June 7. It includes none of the “Old South” states, because they all will have already voted. It includes all of the Pacific states, and all of the “Mountain” states except Colorado and Nevada (which already voted). The biggest prizes are California (545 delegates), New York (291) and Pennsylvania (210).

Democratic presidential primary 2.0 elects a total of 2,033 pledged delegates. If Bernie Sanders wins those races (and delegates) by the same 60-40 margin that he has amassed in primaries and caucuses outside the “Old South” to date, then that will give him an advantage of 407 pledged delegates. That is more — far more — than the current Clinton margin of 223. [Note: Grayson wrote his piece before yesterday’s elections. Billary now has 314 more pledged delegates than Bernie has.]

Almost 700 pledged delegates are chosen on June 7 alone. It seems unlikely that either candidate will accumulate a margin of 700 pledged delegates before then. So this one may come down to the wire.

Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Again, I’m all for Bernie Sanders going until either he or Billary has hit the magic number of necessary delegates (2,383). There is no reason for him to stop before that has happened.

As I type this sentence, Billary has 1,139 pledged (earned in primary elections and caucuses) delegates and Bernie has 825. Including the “super-delegates,” who may change their minds as to which candidate to support, Billary has 1,606 delegates in all, and Bernie has 851.

If Billary wants the nomination, she needs to earn all 2,383 necessary delegates, in my book. There is no reason for Bernie to walk away now, and I’m in it for him as long as he is in it.

And, of course, as many have pointed out, including the man himself (many times), it’s not about Bernie; it’s about the cause of progressivism, which will continue, regardless of the outcome of the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary race.

P.S. In a recent Democratic presidential candidate “town hall” (I haven’t watched the “town halls,” but I have watched all of the Dem debates), Bernie Sanders stated that he decided to run as a Democratic candidate instead of as an independent because it’s too difficult to run for the presidency as an independent.

This was nothing new — Bernie had said it before — but it was spun by the pro-Billary media as Bernie “using” (even “hijacking”) the Democratic Party to get to the White House.

Bitches, please.

Bernie Sanders never abandoned the Democratic Party; quite the contrary: the Democratic Party abandoned us progressives, long ago.

The Democratic Party has shriveled and calcified into a pro-corporate, pro-plutocratic shell of its former self, “led” by self-serving assholes (like the Clintons and yes, Barack Obama, too) who have claimed that the traditional Democratic values were lacking and defective and that the Democrats should be more like the Repugnicans — fuck that “opposition party” bullshit! Gotta join ’em to beat em!

All that this has done is to demoralize the party’s traditional base, who with each passing year find it harder and harder to support “Democratic” candidates. They just can’t work up the enthusiasm, and many if not most of them can’t put their finger on why, but many if not most of them still more or less remain loyal to the label, the brand name, anyway, even though it never does them any good, even though their lives never improve.

This pathetic, deteriorating condition can last for only so long; Billary has been hoping that it lasts at least long enough to put her over-privileged baby-boomer ass into the White House. (The baby boomer’s credo is “Get mine [and yours, too!] and get out.”)

Bernie Sanders has done much more for the moribund party than the party ever has done for him; he has injected some life into it. If it weren’t for Bernie, we’d have only Billary; we’d have no cause for hope or enthusiasm in this presidential election cycle whatsofuckingever.

That so many “Democrats” would claim that the progressive Bernie Sanders isn’t one of them demonstrates how far the party has fallen. Bernie should be a corporate whore just like Billary Clinton is, you see; then he would be a “good” “Democrat”!

The Billarybots celebrate Bernie’s demise at their own peril; once the enthusiasm that he has generated is gone, how well would the woefully charismatically challenged Billary fare in November? How many voters could she get to the polls to vote for her? (No, the anti-Trump vote probably wouldn’t be enough for her; the anti-George-W.-Bush vote wasn’t good enough for John Kerry in 2004. That and the voters are, I think, pretty fucking exhausted from being able to cast only anti-votes in this sick and fucking twisted system that we call “democracy.”)

And no, as Salon.com’s Andrew O’Hehir has just written and as I have written, we “Bernie bros” will not go to the dark side and vote for Donald Fucking Trump. That’s a false accusation fully meant to shame us into voting for Billary against our conscience.

But we don’t have to vote for Billary Clinton.

We can vote for someone else — I very well might vote for the Green Party presidential candidate if Billary is the Democratic Party presidential candidate — or we can not vote for president at all. We can and we may do as our conscience dictates, no matter what the Billarybots, who are unencumbered by a conscience, think about it or think about us.

And as Bernie garners the independent vote a lot better than does Billary (more info on that fact at this link, too), how well could she do in a general presidential election, the results of which which the independent voters (not just the minority of voters who are Democratic Party hacks) determine these days?

I sure didn’t predict yesterday’s election results well at all, but you probably can take this prediction to the bank: This Billary Bubble — in which Dem Party hacks stupidly believe that the nation as a whole likes Billary Clinton as much as they do — is going to pop.

Spectacularly.

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Prognosticating for Tuesday: Bernie will win at least three states out of five

Updated below (on Tuesday, March 15, 2016)

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders clasps hands with Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard at the start of a campaign rally in Raleigh

Above, Bernie Sanders joins hands with U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who last month resigned her position of vice chair of the corrupt Democratic National Committee and endorsed Bernie, at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Friday, and below, he hugs former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner at a rally in Columbus, Ohio, today. Bernie, I surmise, needs to win at least three of the five states that vote on Tuesday in order to maintain his momentum and quite possibly become the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders embraces former state senator for Ohio's 25th district Nina Turner during a rally at the Schottenstein Center at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Reuters photos

So I stand by my recent prediction that Bernie Sanders will win at least three out of five states on Tuesday, and that those three states will come out of the four states of Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. (I still see Florida as a considerably unlikely win for Bernie, but should he actually win Florida, then, it seems to me, Billary is toast.)

Real Clear Politics’ averages of the polling in Tuesday’s states are:

  • Florida: Billary up by 30.9 percent
  • Illinois: Billary up by 13.7 percent
  • Missouri: Billary up by 7 percent
  • North Carolina: Billary up by 21.5 percent
  • Ohio: Billary up by 17.8 percent

Now, Missouri isn’t even an average of two or more polls — it’s one poll, taken last week, but it’s the only recent poll of Missouri that I’m aware of. (It’s not a good idea to go on one poll, but it’s all that I have to work with.)

Keep in mind, again, that RCP’s average of Michigan polls right before Bernie won Michigan last week was Billary with a 21.4 percent lead over Bernie, yet he won the state (by a small margin, but he still won).

Therefore, I see Bernie probably winning Missouri and lllinois, since RCP gives Billary a lead of only 7 percent and 13.7 percent in those two states, respectively.

Also, Missouri and Illinois nestle in nicely with the states that Bernie already has won (his wins are in green and Billary’s are in gold):

File:Democratic Party presidential primaries results, 2016.svg

Wikipedia graphic (link)

I mean, clearly, Bernie and Billary have regional appeal, with Bernie taking the Northern states and Billary taking the Southern. (Again, note that Iowa was a virtual tie, and that Billary won Massachusetts by 1.4 percent, which is why you see those two Northern states in gold. Also, Billary won/“won” those two states before Bernie could gather momentum. Were those two states to vote again today, I think that Bernie would win both of them.)

And the backlash against Der Fuehrer Donald Trump (trying to) bringing his fascism to the diverse campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago on Friday will, I believe, help the Bernie Sanders campaign in Illinois on Tuesday.

I mean, you had Bernie supporters, not Billary supporters, being vocal in the diverse group of protesters who shut down the KKK/neo-Nazi/Trump rally. It was symbolic of the Berners taking on — and shutting down — Der Fuehrer Trump while the Billarybots were nowhere to be seen (or at least they weren’t heard). I think that pretty much blows away the myth that Team Billary is so fucking great on the issue of diversity.

The fact that the Berners were prominent but that the Billarybots were missing in action on Friday in Chicago will, I have to surmise, resonate with the voters of Illinois (and elsewhere) on Tuesday.

Bernie might win North Carolina, since he won Michigan when Billary supposedly had a 21.4 percent lead there, but as North Carolina is in the South, Queen Billary’s fortress, I can see Bernie losing North Carolina.

And it would take a miracle, I think, for Bernie to win Florida. He could, of course, but I think it’s unlikely.

If we guess, from the recent example of Michigan, as I do, that Bernie could take a state on Tuesday even if polls show Billary leading him there by around 20 points, then I can see him taking Missouri, Illinois and Ohio, but then there is North Carolina right on that edge of around 20 percent, but I just can’t see Bernie taking Florida when RCP’s polling average for that state is Billary up by 30.9 percent.

In case you don’t trust Real Clear Politics (most pundits do and they cite RCP frequently), here is the Huffington Post’s averages of Tuesday state polling:

Again, note that Missouri isn’t an average of polls, but is just one poll taken recently in that state.

RCP and HuffPo are pretty much on the same page, with the rather stunning difference in the state of Illinois, which HuffPo has Bernie winning.

So if I had to whittle it down to just two states that I see Bernie winning on Tuesday, it would be Illinois and Missouri, since he is polling best in those states (even though there unfortunately is only one recent poll in Missouri from which I can prognosticate). Adding a third state to Bernie’s column, my bet is on Ohio.

North Carolina voters might surprise us and go for Bernie, but if Billary wins North Carolina I won’t be surprised at all.

And, again, should Bernie manage to pull out a win in Florida — which I see as very unlikely, but not impossible — then Billary probably can wrap it up.

I mean, it seems to me that if Bernie manages to win Florida, then he’ll probably have won at least four of the five states on Tuesday, and I don’t see Billary recovering from such a blow.

Out of her desperation she’d act like an even bigger harpy, and she would even ramp up her pathological lying (the Koch brothers love Bernie Sanders, Bernie Sanders supported the “Minutemen,” Bernie Sanders has supported the human rights violations in Cuba, Bernie Sanders opposed rescuing the automobile manufacturing industry, etc., etc.).

As a result of that, Billary’s unlikeability (her favorability ratings already are under water) would increase and Bernie’s likeability (his favorability ratings already are on the plus side by double digits) would increase.

Big wins for Bernie on Tuesday (his winning at least three states*) would harm Billary not because of the delegate math, but because of how she reacts when she’s losing or widely perceived as losing (something like this), as we saw in 2008.

P.S. I have just seen a mention of another poll of Missouri, this one taken last week, and it gives Billary a lead of only 4 percent. So indeed, Missouri appears to be the closest state (with the possible exception of Illinois, of course; I’m not sure why there is the considerable discrepancy between RCP and HuffPo on Illinois).

Update (Tuesday, March 15, 2016): Real Clear Politics today shows a considerably tightened race in the “Rust Belt” states of Illinois and Ohio. Right now RCP’s average of polls is showing:

  • Illinois: Billary up by 2.3 percent
  • Ohio: Billary up by 8 percent
  • North Carolina: Billary up by 24 percent
  • Florida: Billary up by 28.9 percent

RCP reports two Missouri polls, one giving Bernie a lead of 1 percent and another giving Billary a lead of 7 percent. And I’ve seen another Missouri poll giving Billary a lead of 4 percent, so my best guess is that Billary has averaged around a 3-percent to 4-percent lead in Missouri.

So I surmise I’ll be up late tonight, watching the results roll in.

Again, I think that Bernie needs to win Illinois, Missouri and Ohio in order to maintain his momentum. Wins in North Carolina and Florida apparently can be expected for Billary, which is in line with her being the Queen of the South.

Bernie could win North Carolina, but I doubt that he will, and I’d be incredibly shocked were he to win Florida. (My understanding is that in these past few to several days Bernie Sanders hasn’t even visited Florida; my guess is that he deemed it as unwinnable and thus decided to strategically spend his time elsewhere, where he can win).

*Conversely, should Bernie win only two states on Tuesday, that probably would be a real blow to his momentum. (Again, his actually winning four states would be great and most likely is the best that he can be expected to do.)

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Live-blogging the eighth Democratic presidential debate tonight

Tonight’s Democratic Party presidential debate in Miami, Florida, is the eighth of 10 scheduled Dem debates (recall that six originally had been scheduled, but then four more were added), and it takes place just a few days after the seventh debate, in Flint, Michigan, which I think we safely can say Bernie Sanders won, since he won Michigan yesterday.

(Bernie won Michigan by 1.5 percent, but hey, it was a win; again, Billary “won” Iowa by only 0.3 percent and won Massachussetts by 1.4 percent.)

While I just live-blogged a Dem debate and am not too excited about live-blogging another one so soon afterward, tonight’s debate is an important one. Hey, Bernie debated in Michigan and then won Michigan; if he wins Florida on Tuesday, which would indicate that he’d also win Ohio (and perhaps also Illinois and/or Missouri) on Tuesday, I don’t know that Billary could recover from that.

And yes, were Bernie to continue win the big states, such as Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, California and New York, I don’t see the “super-delegates” continuing to support Billary against the popular tide (especially against how their own states voted).

So: I will live-blog tonight’s debate, which begins at 9 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Pacific. The debate is being sponsored by Univision and the Washington Post, and one of its moderators is Univision’s Jorge Ramos, whom I like and respect greatly.

Information on how to watch the debate is here; I probably will watch it via CNN’s online streaming.

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Did Bernie take Michigan today? (Update: YES, HE DID!)

Wow. With 58.1 percent of precincts reporting, Politico right now (at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time) reports that thus far Bernie Sanders is beating Billary Clinton in Michigan’s presidential primary election, 50.6 percent to 47.6 percent.

Billary handily won Mississippi today, of course — again, she’s the Queen of the South — and if Bernie ends up winning Michigan (as I type this sentence, Michigan hasn’t been called yet), today’s results will be in line with the trend that we’ve seen thus far: Bernie winning the Northern, actually Democratic states, and Billary winning the backasswards, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Southern states — you know, the states where Barack Obama is loathed the most and Donald Trump is loved the most.

This is what the map of the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary race (from Wikipedia) looks like right now:

File:Democratic Party presidential primaries results, 2016.svg

Again, the green states are the states that Bernie has won and the gold states are Billary’s victories.

As I type this sentence Michigan remains shaded in gray, but hopefully the graphic will be updated soon to show it in green.

A victory in Michigan will, I believe, give Bernie momentum going into Illinois, Missouri and Ohio a week from today. Florida also weighs in a week from today, but I expect it to go to Billary, with the rest of the backasswards South. However, should Bernie actually manage to win Florida, then yeah

Update (7:40 p.m. Pacific Time): With 67 percent reporting, per Politico, Bernie maintains a lead of 3.1 percent. If he ends up winning Michigan by around 3 percent, sure, it won’t be a huge win, but it still will be a win. Recall that Billary “won” Iowa by a whopping 0.3 percent and Massachusetts by 1.4 percent, so if we’re going to say that Billary won those states, then we’re going to say that Bernie won Michigan if he beats Billary there by at least that much.

That said, the pro-Billary corporately owned and controlled mass “news” media will widely report, repeatedly, I’m sure, how close Michigan was.

Update (7:55 p.m.): With 72.2 percent reporting, Bernie’s lead is 3.9 percent. My best guess is that he’s going to end up with at least a 3-percent win.

Wow.

Again, this is the guy who long has been “unelectable.” When he hasn’t been slammed, he has been widely ignored, yet thus far he has won nine states, including his presumptive win of Michigan today, to Billary’s 12 (which includes her win today in Mississippi, that bastion of Democratic Party/progressive values and beliefs). And again, Billary “won” Iowa by 0.3 percent, making it pretty much a tie, and she won Massachusetts by only 1.4 percent.

Billary long has been the corporately owned and controlled establishment’s preferred candidate, to be sure, but it’s interesting what can happen once we, the people, actually start to caucus and vote — the way that we want to, not the way that we’re told we “should.” Democracy sometimes can be very disappointing to the powers that be. This is true for both the establishment Democratic and the Repugnican Tea parties this presidential election cycle.

Update (8:10 p.m.): With 80.7 percent reporting, Politico reports that Bernie is up by 2.6 percent. Again, a win for Bernie in Michigan (which I hope he can keep around 3 percent at the least) should be great for his momentum.

Take a look at the results from this Democratic Party presidential primary season thus far and you’ll see that most of the states that Bernie won he won by double digits and that the same goes for most of the states that Billary won.

This indicates to me a bit of a civil war within the Democratic Party. I mean, all of these double-digit differences in most of the states that have voted and caucused thus far are, I think, revealing.

And in this civil war, again, Bernie Sanders very obviously represents the North and its values and beliefs. And again, Billary is the Queen of the South — something of which to be very proud.

Update (8:30 p.m.): Fuck. I’d wanted to be able to go to bed early tonight, but right now Politico reports Bernie at 49.9 percent to Billary’s 48.1 percent, a difference of only 1.8 percent.

Update (8:35 p.m.): Whew. Bernie is back at 50.4 percent to Billary’s 47.6 percent, with 89 percent reporting. I’m kind of attached to Bernie beating Billary in Michigan by at least 2.5 to 3 percent.

Update (8:37 p.m.): They have called Michigan for Bernie. This is great.

Update (8:45 pm.): The maintainers of Wikipedia are fast. Michigan is now showing in green on the map. With 91.6 percent of Michigan’s precincts reporting, we’re standing at Bernie with 50.1 percent to Billary with 48.0 percent right now. Again, I hope that the final tally is closer to a difference of 3 percent.

Update (8:55 p.m.): This is my final update for tonight. It’s enough for now that Bernie Sanders won Michigan!

Of the states that have caucused and voted in the Democratic Party presidential primary season thus far, Michigan has offered the highest number of pledged delegates, after Texas.

It’s true that Bernie and Billary are fairly evenly splitting Michigan’s pledged delegates, but, again, winning Michigan today — having those bragging rights — should give Bernie a significant boost going into Illinois, Missouri and Ohio next week. (I’m confident that he’ll win Ohio and probably Illinois; I’m not as confident about Missouri. I’m most confident about Ohio.)

As I prep for bed, right now Politico reports that with 92.6 percent reporting, we’re at 50.1 percent for Bernie to 48.0 percent for Billary.

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