Tag Archives: Ted Cruz

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

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

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

 )

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

Again: Spectacular. Sh-t show.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Latest polls: Billary not even 3 percent ahead of Bernie, barely beats Ted Cruz

Current presidential match-up polls show Bernie Sanders beating Donald Trump by a rather whopping 16.5 percent and beating Ted Cruz by 10.1 percent — but the widely despised Billary Clinton beats Trump by only a still-too-close-for-comfort margin of 10.6 percent and Cruz by a frighteningly close margin of only 2.5 percent. Billary doesn’t do nearly as well with independent voters as Bernie does, and you must have the independent voters in order to win the White House; there aren’t enough Democratic Party hacks/Billarybots to win it alone. Quite unfortunately, although Bernie does significantly better against the enemy than does Billary, Billary might win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

I acknowledge that it might be too late for Bernie Sanders to still win this thing, but nationwide polling between Bernie and Billary Clinton has incredibly tightened to the point that it’s safe to assert that it has just taken longer for Bernie to catch fire, and that the more the Democratic and Democratic leaning voters get to know Billary the less that they like her, while the reverse is true for Bernie.*

Admittedly, it perhaps is too late for Bernie to still win the number of delegates necessary to win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination — time will tell — but should he manage to win the majority of the pledged/democratically-earned-in-primary-elections-and-caucuses delegates, and if he is leading Billary significantly in the nationwide polls at the time of the party convention in late July, again, that will put a considerable amount of pressure on the “super-delegates” (especially those who will be up for re-election) to vote with the people instead of with the calcified, anti-democratic party establishment that has supported Queen Billary from Day One.

The Huffington Post’s average of recent nationwide polls of Democratic and Democratically leaning Americans puts only 2.5 percent between Bernie and Billary right now. Real Clear Politics as I type this sentence puts Billary at only a staggering 1 percent ahead of Bernie. 

Folks, this is the tightest that the two candidates ever have been nationwide.

Billarybots who still call Bernie a “fringe” candidate are insulting and alienating almost fully half of those of us who are Dems or Dem leaners — not a good strategy for November, should Her Highness Billary actually win the nomination.

We male supporters of Bernie still widely are called “Bernie bros” (we are “misogynists,” you see [um, we rejected Sarah Palin, too]); war criminal Madeleine Albright says that female Bernie supporters are going to hell (she’ll meet them there!); and all of us Berners widely and routinely are called insane and/or naive and/or worse by the Billarybots.

How dare we Berners not obediently, bleatingly get on board with Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton, even though it’s crystal clear to us that to do so would be against our own best interests and even threaten the future of the planet itself? 

Given our treatment by Billary’s supporters and her campaign, it can be no wonder that at least one in four of us Berners (myself included) has no intention of supporting Billary in November should she make it that far: The Billarybots for months now have belittled us, slandered us, tried to guilt-trip us, and have been calling for us to Surrender, Dorothy! Settle for Billary!

Bernie pulls in far more independent voters than Billary does — and pulling in independent voters in significant amounts is a feat that is necessary to win the White House these days (there aren’t enough Democratic Party hacks alone to win a presidential election) — yet Queen Billary and her Billarybots ignore this simple fact of reality and instead say that Bernie isn’t a Democrat!

On paper he hasn’t been a Democrat until fairly recently; that’s true. But in spirit he always has been a true Democrat, a progressive, whereas the reverse is true of the corrupt, self-serving, center-right and incompetent — and yes, where it really matters, unqualifiedmulti-millionaire Billary: She always has been a Democrat on paper only.

Even black Americans, who have been instrumental in Billary’s winning the South (which is nothing to brag about, to win the reddest states, the most backasswards, most right-wing states that never elect Democratic presidents anyway), recently have gotten yet another bitter taste of The Clinton Treatment (first pander to you for your vote [and your money] and then sell you down the river) when Billy Boy schooled Black Lives Matter activists who dared to criticize his 1990s contribution to the widespread mistreatment (including the over-incarceration) of black Americans.

Despite Billary’s glaring flaws, including her deep unlikeability and her unfitness for the White House, I acknowledge that she might win the nomination. It’s her second run for it and she’s had the party machine behind her the whole time. She started off way ahead of Bernie, who has done remarkably well, given the mountain that he has had to climb.

But because it’s an uphill battle doesn’t mean that we Berners just stop fighting. We Berners haven’t stopped fighting, and the nationwide polls reflect that fact. (Here is The Huffington Post’s graphic of the nationwide polls of Dems and Dem leaners right now:

Yup. Again, the difference between Bernie and Billary is just 2.5 percent, per HuffPo.)

The presidential match-up polls also reflect the strength of us Berners and the weakness of Billary. Real Clear Politics’ average of recent presidential match-up polls right now puts Billary Clinton at 10.6 percentage points ahead of Der Fuehrer Donald Trump (still too close for comfort for me, anyway) — and frighteningly, only 2.5 percent ahead of Ted Cruz.

Bernie Sanders, however, beats Ted Cruz by 10.1 percent and beats Donald Trump by a much more comfortable margin of 16.5 percent.** (Again, Bernie does much better with the independent voters than does Billary, and you can’t win the White House without the support of enough independents.)

If your true objective is to keep the White House in Democratic hands come January 2017, the clear choice is Bernie Sanders.

If you want to lose the White House to the Repugnican Tea Party in November, Billarybots, keep on alienating us Berners; it’s a fairly sure path to Billary’s defeat in November, should she win the nomination.

I surmise that it’s more like one in three of us Berners who could not in good conscience vote for Billary in November — and even that estimate might be too low to capture our sentiment.

*Indeed, recent polls (that is, polls taken within the last three months or so) of Bernie’s and Billary’s favorability still show Bernie favored/liked more than unfavored/disliked by single or even by double digits, whereas Billary is disliked/unfavored more than she is liked/favored by double digits in all of the polls.

**Billary Clinton loses to John Kasich by 6.6 percent and Bernie beats Kasich by only 2.7 percent, but I’d be very shocked if Kasich were to emerge as the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee.

Note that Bernie beats all three of the top three Repugnican Tea Party presidential contenders while Billary beats two of the three, and that Bernie does better against all three of them than does Billary.

It is we Berners who supposedly live in La-La Land, yet the Billarybots remain conspicuously silent on the facts that Billary’s favorability numbers among the American electorate for a long time now have been in the sewer and that Bernie for a long time now has outperformed her in the match-ups against the Repugnican Tea Party presidential contenders.

Somehow, a candidate whom a clear majority of Americans dislike is going to win the White House, according to the Billarybots, who have the monopoly on reality, you see.

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With narrow Nevada win, Billary is one step closer to losing the White House

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives with former President Bill Clinton to give a victory speech at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. Clinton edged out Bernie Sanders on Saturday in Nevada's Democratic caucuses, capitalizing on a more diverse Democratic electorate to propel her to a critical win and give her momentum as the presidential campaign shifts toward the South. (Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus via AP)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (R) and husband Bill Clinton (L) wave to a cheering crowd after winning the Nevada democratic caucus at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 20, 2016

Las Vegas Sun/Associated Press and AFP photos

Billary Clinton celebrates her relatively narrow win in today’s caucuses in Nevada. (Of course Billy Boy is there, since she needs all of the help with likability that she can muster.) However, Bernie Sanders beats or at least ties all of the Repugnican Tea Party presidential contenders in match-up polling, whereas Billary in match-up polling loses to Ted Cruz and to Marco Rubio — and even to John Kasich. The lemming-like Billarybots fairly clearly have us all headed for a cliff.

Unfortunately, apparently Democrat in name only Billary Clinton won the Nevada caucuses today. With 82.7 percent reporting, Politico reports as I type this sentence, it’s 52.4 percent for Billary to 47.5 percent for Bernie — a difference of just under 5 percent.

The Billarybots can celebrate today, but Nevada demonstrates that about half of the Democratic Party and those of us who lean toward the party don’t want Billary as our standard-bearer in November.

And yes, the state of Nevada apparently is fairly representative of the nation as a whole. As Wikipedia notes of Nevada:

Nevada has voted for the winner in every presidential election since 1912, except in 1976, when it voted for Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter. This includes Nevada supporting Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, Republican George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, and Democrat Barack Obama winning the state in both 2008 and 2012. This gives the state status as a political bellwether. Since 1912, Nevada has been carried by the presidential victor the most out of any state (25 of 26 elections).

Nevada also is a purple state — yes, Obama won it in 2008 and 2012, but George W. Bush won it in 2000 and 2004. Its governor is a Repugnican and one of its two U.S. senators is a Repugnican. So a blue state it ain’t.

Considering that fact, democratic socialist Bernie Sanders did well in Nevada today.

Billary very most likely will win the South Carolina primary a week from today, and so apparently she gets to go into “Super Tuesday” on March 1 having two clear wins under her belt (Nevada and South Carolina) to one clear win for Bernie (New Hampshire) and a tie (Iowa, although of course the Billarybots won’t admit that Iowa was a tie).

“Super Tuesday,” on which 11 states hold primary elections and caucuses, will be a real test for Bernie, but whether Bernie ultimately wins the Democratic Party nomination or not, that he has done as well as he has thus far demonstrates that Billary Clinton is not a strong candidate.

Billary is going on her surname and the widespread belief that “it’s her turn,” as well as the belief of the New Feminists that women who don’t vote for other women like they’re told to go to hell (one wonders: Did this “feminist” fatwa also apply to the likes of Sarah Palin and Carly Fiorina?), but the one critical thing that Billary doesn’t have is very much enthusiasm among the electorate, which probably will put the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate, whoever it turns out to be, into the White House if Billary is the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee.

If you think that I’m just being a “Bernie bro”/Chicken Little, know that while Billary beats Donald Trump in polling match-ups (but only by about 3 percentage points), she loses to Marco Rubio (by almost 5 percentage points) and even to Ted Cruz (and get this: John Kasich beats Billary by more than 7 percentage points).

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, in the match-up polling beats or at least ties ALL of the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidates. (He beats Trump by almost 8 percentage points, beats Cruz by almost 5 percent, ties Rubio and beats Kasich, although admittedly not by a lot.)

Chew on that fact, Billarybots!

So yes, it’s quite possible that Billary wins the Democratic Party nomination but then loses in November. Not only is it quite possible, but I’d say that it’s more likely than not to happen if she wins the nomination.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors, after eight years of “socialist” Barack Obama, will be a lot hungrier in November than will the Democrats. They will vote.

If Billary wins the Democratic Party presidential nomination, I — and many, many other Berners — won’t vote for her in November. That’s all that there is to it. And I don’t care what anyone thinks of me.*

The Democratic Party has become a shell, a husk of its former self, a pro-plutocratic, pro-corporate Repugnican Lite Party, and I cannot and I will not support it as it is now.

I am a registered Democrat now only so that I can vote for Bernie Sanders when California finally has its primary in June. (Even if he has dropped out of the primary race by then, if he still is on my primary-election ballot, I’m still voting for him.)

Billary Clinton at a “town hall” recently criticized Bernie Sanders’ past criticisms of “Democratic” sellouts, saying, “Maybe it’s because Senator Sanders wasn’t really a Democrat until he decided to run for president.” (She was booed by the audience, deservedly.)**

Bernie isn’t an actual Democrat but Billary Clinton is? Oh, really?

As a true progressive his entire time in Congress, I’d say that for some decades now Bernie Sanders has been one of only a relative handful of true Democrats in Congress. Center-right sellouts like Billary use the label “Democrat,” but true Democrats they are not.

Billary the uber-harpy can entertain herself and her “fem”bots with her bullshit charge that she’s the true Democrat. Fuck her. I’m not voting for her, giving her a penny, or supporting her in any way whatsofuckingever.

Unlike the legions of Billarybots, who are too fucking stupid to vote in their own best fucking interests, I, for one, will not help Billary Clinton to screw me, the common American, even more than she and her Democrat-in-name-only ilk already have, at least ever since she and her DINO husband turned the once-progressive Democratic Party into a slightly paler imitation of the Repugnican Party in the 1990s.

Fact is, come January 2017 I’d rather have a Repugnican Tea Party president than a President Billary. I’d rather deal with the obvious wolf than the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

If it takes another disastrous Repugnican Tea Party White House administration to finally drive a stake through the heart of The Vampire Clinton, then so be it.

I want the Democratic Party back, and it won’t come back with Billary Clinton in the White House.

*Fact is, if Billary is the Democratic Party presidential candidate, in November she will win my very blue state of California and all of its 50-plus electoral votes anyway. Therefore, my vote already doesn’t count, not really.

All of the fucktards who quite ignorantly would say that by refusing to vote for Billary I helped the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate to win sorely need Civics 101, including education on how the U.S. president is chosen by the Electoral College (which sorely needs to be abolished), not by a popular vote.

**For years my party registration has alternated between the Green Party and the Democratic Party, and that’s because the Democratic Party establishment makes me want to vomit.

So when Queen Billary slams Bernie for not embracing the craven Democratic Party establishment, which hasn’t deserved our support for many years, she slams millions of us Americans who are left of center and who want to vote on the Democratic Party ticket but who are disgusted with how far to the right the Clintons and their DINO ilk have dragged the party, which once stood for progressivism and for good, but which now stands for regressivism and for greed.

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Robo-Rubio repeats nauseating, vastly overrated talking point ad nauseam

Rubio comes under withering criticism in Republican debate

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made mincemeat of Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio during last night’s Repugnican Tea Party presidential debate, which is ironic, given that Christie very most likely won’t be the party’s nominee but that thus far Rubio, whose retrograde rhetoric greatly appeals to the party’s adherents, has been polling the best against both Billary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in general-election match-up polls. 

General-election polls this far out from a presidential election can be only so accurate (that is, probably not all that much), but nonetheless the Repugnican Tea Party traitors probably should be shaken, not stirred, that Chris Christie last night did to Marco Rubio what the Hulk did to Loki in “The Avengers” and what Joe Biden did to Paul Ryan in the 2012 vice-presidential debate.

Rubio, for all of his flaws (such as his complete lack of real substance and his apparently just having stepped out from a time machine from at least as far back as the 1950s), was doing better in the polls against both Billary Clinton and Bernie Sanders than was any other Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe.

Real Clear Politics’ average of general-election match-up polls (polls conducted before last night’s debacle) right now puts Rubio at 5 full percentage points above Billary and even 1.5 percentage points above Bernie.

Rubio is the only top-three (Rubio, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz) Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate whose RCP averages show beating Bernie, in fact; Bernie beats Cruz by 1.5 percent and he beats Trump by a whopping 7.7 percent.

(Billary, on the other hand, not only does worse against Rubio than does Bernie, but she also doesn’t do as well against Trump or Cruz as does Bernie; Cruz beats her by 1 percentage point in RCP’s current average of match-up polls, and she beats Trump by 4 percent to Bernie’s 7.7 percent. Take a look yourself.)

Before Chris Christie, who won’t win his party’s presidential nomination, last night went Hulk on Loki Rubio, Rubio’s shtick of being the next (albeit Latino and Repugnican Tea Party) Barack Obama apparently had been working, given the fact that he had been doing better in the presidential match-up polls than anyone else in his party.

I’m not sure what happened to Rubio last night, and I didn’t watch the debate (having watched all five Democratic debates has been torturous enough, mainly because of the repetition and because of Billary Clinton’s plethora of lies, deflections and triangulations, made with her voice that is like fingernails dragging along a chalkboard), but Rubio widely has been described as having been in last night’s debate like an animatronic feature at Disneyland that, because of a glitch, kept repeating the same line.

The first time he said it, per TIME.com’s transcript of last night’s debate, Rubio said this:

“And let’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing. Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country, to make America more like the rest of the world.”

He immediately added:

“That’s why he passed Obamacare and the stimulus and Dodd-Frank and the deal with Iran. It is a systematic effort to change America. When I’m president of the United States, we are going to re-embrace all the things that made America the greatest nation in the world and we are going to leave our children with what they deserve: the single greatest nation in the history of the world.”

Then Christie spoke, and among the things he said was this:

“I like Marco Rubio, and he’s a smart person and a good guy, but he simply does not have the experience to be president of the United States and make these decisions. We’ve watched it happen [with Obama], everybody. For the last seven years, the people of New Hampshire are smart. Do not make the same mistake again.”

In his response to that, Rubio bizarrely repetitively stated (in part):

“But I would add this. Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is trying to change this country. He wants America to become more like the rest of the world. We don’t want to be like the rest of the world, we want to be the United States of America.

“And when I’m elected president, this will become once again the single greatest nation in the history of the world, not the disaster Barack Obama has imposed upon us.”

Christie devastatingly responds (in part): “You see, everybody, I want the people at home to think about this. That’s what Washington, D.C., does: The drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information and then the memorized 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him.

“See, Marco — Marco, the thing is this: When you’re president of the United States, when you’re a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person.

“They expect you to plow the snow. They expect you to get the schools open. And when the worst natural disaster in your state’s history hits you, they expect you to rebuild their state, which is what I’ve done.

“None of that stuff happens on the floor of the United States Senate. It’s a fine job, I’m glad you ran for it, but it does not prepare you for president of the United States.”

Quite bizarrely, Rubio responds to Christie a third time with the Obama thing; he says, in part, “Here’s the bottom line: This notion that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing is just not true. He knows exactly what he’s doing.”

Christie immediately responds, “There it is. There it is. The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody.”

Unfazed and undeterred, Robo-Rubio goes on for a fourth iteration of the same point: “Well, that’s the — that’s the reason why this campaign is so important. Because I think this notion — I think this is an important point. We have to understand what we’re going through here. We are not facing a president that doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows what he is doing. That’s why he’s done the things he’s done.

“That’s why we have a president that passed Obamacare and the stimulus. All this damage that he’s done to America is deliberate. This is a president that’s trying to redefine this country. That’s why this election is truly a referendum on our identity as a nation, as a people. Our future is at stake. …”

Just: Wow.

Donald Trump later in the debate took issue with Robo-Rubio’s repetitive asssertion that the evil Barack Obama knows exactly what he’s doing by stating, “I think we have a president who, as a president, is totally incompetent, and he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Two very different views from two individuals who claim the same party.

I agree that Barack Obama didn’t have enough experience to be president. He’d only been a U.S. senator for four years before he ascended to the White House and had never been a governor or even a mayor, of course.

That he spent — squandered — his first two years in the nation’s highest elected office acting as though he were so special (a second coming of Abraham Lincoln or something) that he could unite the two parties in a rousing rendition of “Kumbaya” demonstrated his utter lack of experience in D.C. (and his hubris).

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. never were going to cooperate with Obama, not only because he uses the label of Democrat but also because he’s half-black. In fact, it’s anachronistic of me to write that the “Repugnican Tea Party traitors” in D.C. never were going to cooperate with him, because the “tea party’s” creation, circa 2009, was a reaction to the election of another Democratic and our first non-all-white president.

The “tea party” surge of 2009 and 2010 lost the Democrats control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2010, and therefore any progressive agenda that Obama might have tried to push through for the next six years was pretty much dead on arrival.

And I blame Obama’s lack of political experience and his pride for that, for his apparent belief that he’s so great that his merely being president would solve all of the nation’s problems (and its wounds, such as its long-standing problems with racism) to the point that he didn’t need to even try to push through a progressive agenda in 2009 and 2010, when he still had a shitload of political capital, including both houses of Congress in his party’s control.

But I voted for Obama in November 2008, so I have to own that. It was a shot in the dark, I knew, to put this relative neophyte into the White House, but he ubiquitously and relentlessly was promising “hope” and “change,” and sometimes these things work out well. It was, I’d figured, worth a shot.

I digress, as I so often do, but I will note that while the Repugnican Tea Party’s complaint against Obama is that he has gone too far to the left, my chief complaint against Obama is that he hasn’t gone nearly enough to the left.

But the larger point that I want to make is that so often the style and not the substance (such as it is) of Marco Rubio’s nationally televised appearances is analyzed.

For instance, there was some criticism that the substance of Rubio’s nationally televised response to Barack Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address was overlooked because on live TV he’d grabbed a water bottle and taken a swig from it — as though we couldn’t see him do that on live national television. It was a rather bizarre moment.

“Yes, let’s look at the content of Marco Rubio’s speech,” I blogged then, and I concluded that Rubio’s central shtick is to pretend that we’re still living at least as far back in the 1950s, when, as least the mythos goes, anyone could make it in the capitalist United States of America if he or she only tried — so if you’re struggling right now, it’s entirely your own fucking fault as a patently defective individual, because the American socioeconomic system is perfect, is a perfect meritocracy.

This was the origin of my nickname of “Bootstraps” for Rubio, although that might have been supplanted now by “Robo-Rubio.”

Rubio, like his fellow Cuban-American fascist Ted Cruz, mindlessly spouts the antiquated, bullshit rhetoric of the Cuban fascists whom the much more egalitarian Fidel Castro decades ago induced to flee to the United States, where their treasonous, right-wing, fascist, pro-capitalist/pro-exploitation/pro-plutocratic/anti-populist philosophy could thrive.

(I concluded my blog post on Rubio’s response to the 2013 State of the Union address:

And I agree wholeheartedly: It’s not about the little water bottle that Marco Rubio grabbed during a live national television address.

It’s about the fact that no one who asserts that we still live in a time that, if it ever existed at all, ceased to exist decades ago, is fit to lead.

You can lead only if you are planted firmly in the present and in the problems of the presentnot if you’re still stuck in an episode of “Leave It to Beaver” or “The Andy Griffith Show.”

I stand by every word of that.)

If the “substance” of Rubio’s response to the State of the Union address was lost amid the shallow discussion of his on-air parchedness, I’m also not seeing a discussion of the “substance” of the “point” that Rubio thought was so damned clever and so fucking insightful that he kept repeating it over and over and over and over and over again last night, even after Chris Christie had just slammed him for only standing up there and repeating it mindlessly.

So let’s examine Rubio’s first iteration of it:

“… And let’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing. Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country, to make America more like the rest of the world.

“That’s why he passed Obamacare and the stimulus and Dodd-Frank and the deal with Iran. It is a systematic effort to change America. When I’m president of the United States, we are going to re-embrace all the things that made America the greatest nation in the world and we are going to leave our children with what they deserve: the single greatest nation in the history of the world.”

First and foremost, I see in Rubio’s words his constant hearkening at least as far back to the 1950s; anything that Obama or any other president might do that doesn’t keep the United States of America firmly trapped in amber for eternity is bad. It threatens “the single greatest nation in the history of the world.”

And those words evoke Robo-Rubio’s second theme, which is that of American “supremacy,” which to me is way too aligned with white American supremacy, but you can get away with alleging American supremacy because that can be cast as patriotism rather than as racism and bigotry.

But Robo-Rubio’s words are awfully loaded: “Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country, to make America more like the rest of the world.”

What Rubio very apparently is evoking, especially within his older, whiter and richer voters, is the specter that their exploitative, exclusive, Elysium-like existence has been threatened!

Americans’ quality of life, in which even most poorer Americans still have it better off than do billions of other human beings around the globe, and which comes at the expense of those billions of other human beings around the globe, might be threatened — by global equality! Global equality! Did you hear me? I said: GLOBAL EQUALITY! HORRORS!

What if our wholly unsustainable, materialistic, overly consumeristic lifestyles were threatened? What if we actually had to live like responsible citizens of the planet? What if we actually had to scale it back so that other human beings and, indeed, the planet itself, could survive?

One shudders to contemplate the consequences of us Americans surrendering even a modicum of our abject selfishness — even when our abject selfishness is to the point that it is threatening even our own continued survival, such as with extreme weather events and the spread of diseases to warming environments, such as the Zika virus.

Rubio’s “vision” for the Unites States of America is fairly clear: “Obamacare” bad. Not because it doesn’t go far enough, not because “Obamacare” contains in it nothing that the wealth-care — er, health-care industry didn’t want in it — which is my criticism of it — but because to help anyone with health care at all is bad.

The stimulus — bad, because, as we have just established, helping anyone out (except, of course, the weasels of Wall Street and other corporate weasels) is bad. (Bootstraps! Pick yourself up by them! Oh, you don’t have any boots? That’s because you’re lazy!)

Dodd-Frank, which was just a Band-Aid on the dam that is Wall Street, the dam that regularly bursts, is bad, because the Wall Street weasels should be allowed to do whatever they please. (Why do you hate freedom?)

The deal with Iran — bad, because, a la George Orwell’s 1984, we must always have an enemy. The treasonous rich (the true enemy, within) can continue to rape, pillage and plunder us commoners much more easily if we commoners always have an enemy from without to focus upon.

So, as president, Robo-Rubio would make sure that we commoners don’t get adequate health care — or any assistance at all, because, you know, bootstraps — and he would return Wall Street to the freedom-loving weasels who keep ruining our nation’s economy but whom we keep bailing out nonetheless (bootstraps don’t apply to the Wall Street weasels, you see; I mean, when have you ever seen a weasel wearing boots?). And for our diversion, a President Bootstraps would ensure that we were at war with some other nation at all times.

And the last thing that a President Bootstraps would allow is global equality, a grave evil that only Satan himself could have conjured.

Because Robo-Rubio has vision!

If you think that I’ve misrepresented Robo-Rubio’s “vision,” here is another of his many iterations of the same point last night:

“… I think anyone who believes that Barack Obama isn’t doing what he’s doing on purpose doesn’t understand what we’re dealing with here, OK? This is a president — this is a president who is trying to change this country. When he talked about change, he wasn’t talking about dealing with our problems.

“Obamacare was not an accident. The undermining of the Second Amendment is not an accident. The gutting of our military is not an accident. The undermining of America on the global stage is not an accident. Barack Obama is, indeed, trying to redefine this country. We better understand what we’re dealing with here, because that’s what Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders want to double down on if they are elected.”

Well, yes, Obama has tried to change the nation, very incrementally, too incrementally (as Billary now proposes to do), but with change you have to ask who benefits from it and who doesn’t. Of course Robo-Rubio’s target audience — the mostly older, richer, whiter set — benefits the most from the status quo. The majority of the rest of us Americans, and the rest of the world, do not.

Again, Obamacare was but a Band-Aid on the severe problem that the United States spends more per capita on health care than does any other nation yet has worse health-care outcomes than do many other nations that spend much less on health care — and this is because health care is so widely for-profit here in the U.S.

Yes, we need to change our health-care system. Obamacare didn’t go nearly far enough, but Bootstraps and his treasonous ilk claim that it went way too far.

The Second Amendment is not endangered. Most Americans still may quite easily purchase a weapon that is far more lethal than anyone thought weapons ever would be when the Second Amendment was adopted.

Our military has not been “gutted.” This graph, titled “Top five countries by military expenditure in 2014. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies,” is from Wikipedia’s article on global military spending:

If the United States of America halved its military spending, it still would exceed No.-2 China’s by a significant amount.

So when Robo-Rubio claims that “When [Obama] talked about change, he wasn’t talking about dealing with our problems,” who, exactly, is “our”? Because the things that Bootstraps wants to reverse and/or to continue — such as maintaining a bloated-beyond-belief military budget and perpetrating perpetual warfare; refusing to help Americans with health care, even in a token way, such as via Obamacare (while bailing out the Wall Street weasels who should receive prison sentences instead of welfare); and ensuring that gun massacres continue to happen on a regular basis (because Second Amendment!) are things that are harmful to us commoners.

I will, however, agree with one statement that Robo-Rubio made last night: Bernie Sanders, if elected as president, probably would “double down” on trying to create the change that Barack Obama promised but very mostly has not delivered, the kind of change that Bootstraps Rubio and his fascist ilk absolutely abhor: the kind of change that benefits not only the most Americans as possible, but the most human beings on the planet as possible — instead of keeping the relatively tiny few safely atop their treasonous, oligarchic perches of stolen wealth and power and privilege, from where they shit and piss upon the rest of us, the masses, and from where they conspire even to destroy the entire planet itself, because their short-sightedness, selfishness and greed know no bounds.

P.S. I just found this news photo via Yahoo! News:

MR12. Londonderry (Usa), 07/02/2016.- People depicting robots mock Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio's performance at the 06 February Republican debate; outside a Rubio campaign event at Londonderry High School in Londonderry, New Hampshire, USA, 07 February 2016. The New Hampshire primary will be held on 09 February 2016. (Estados Unidos) EFE/EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

EFE (Spain) photo

Its caption states: “People depicting robots mock Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s performance at the February 6 Republican debate, outside a Rubio campaign event at Londonderry High School in Londonderry, New Hampshire, [today]. The New Hampshire primary will be held on [Tuesday].”

Yup. Methinks that his debate performance last night is going to harm Robo-Rubio on Tuesday. Right now he’s polling at a distant second to Donald Trump in New Hampshire, but now, I’m thinking, he’ll come in no more than at third place.

Rubio’s chance of winning the nomination suffered a serious blow last night, and he probably was the best presidential candidate his party had in these shallow times, where legions of low-information voters decide so many elections.

Thank you, Chris Christie!

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Live-blogging: Is Bernie Sanders about to win first-to-weigh-in Iowa?

Updated below (on Tuesday, February 2, 2016)

The Democratic winner of the Iowa caucuses appears to be … a tie (as I type this sentence at 9:30 p.m. Pacific Time).

8:43 p.m.: It’s 8:43 p.m. Pacific Time as I type this sentence, and as I type this sentence, Politico has Billary Clinton at 49.8 percent and Bernie Sanders at 49.6 percent in the Iowa caucuses, a whopping difference of 0.2 percent… This is with 93.8 percent of the reporting in.

Apparently Billary is walking away with more delegates than Bernie, but if Bernie wins the percentage war, he’ll be declared and known as the winner of Iowa, I do believe…

8:47 p.m.: Politico now has Billary at 49.9 percent and Bernie at 49.6 percent, with 93.9 percent reporting.

Martin O’Malley already has dropped out of the race; he stands at 0.5 percent in Iowa right now.

8:51 p.m.: We’re back to 49.8 percent Billary to 49.6 percent Bernie…

8:53 p.m.: Back to 49.9 percent Billary to 49.6 percent Bernie, with 94.1 percent reporting. I truly have no idea which one is going to win, but whoever wins, apparently it’s going to turn out to be almost exactly 50-50, so the bragging rights will be quite minimal, it seems to me (except that, again, Billary very apparently will get more delegates from Iowa than will Bernie).

9:00 p.m.: Ugh. This is painful. Still at 49.9 percent to 49.6 percent, with 94.3 percent reporting.

On the Repugnican Tea Party side, Ted Cruz has been declared the winner of Iowa (with about 28 percent), with Donald Trump and Marco Rubio in at second and third place (with about 24 percent and 23 percent, respectively). Cruz is a scary individual, but I recall that in 2012 Iowans picked as their No. 1 Prick Santorum, so I’m not overly spooked over Cruz yet.

That said, as I’ve noted before, Marco Rubio is the one the Dems should fear. I can’t see either Trump or Cruz winning the White House, but I can see Rubio winning it. He’s evil and insane like Cruz and Trump, but he conceals it much better than they do.

9:09 p.m.: With 95.1 percent reporting, we remain at Billary at 49.9 percent to Bernie at 49.6 percent… Again, round those up and that’s 50-50, so I see no real bragging rights for either candidate, except that, again, apparently Billary is getting at least 28 delegates from Iowa and Bernie is getting 21 of them. (I have to plead ignorance as to how the number of awarded delegates is determined. It very apparently isn’t strictly tied to the percentages, or it wouldn’t be a difference of seven delegates [thus far].)

9:19 p.m.: This is surreal. With 95.4 percent reporting, we’re back to Billary at 49.8 percent and Bernie at 49.6 percent… The way this has been trending, I expect Billary to beat Bernie by no more than 0.3 percent, if she beats him, and he still might win, it seems to me, or they’d have called it already, and they haven’t. Of course, if Bernie does win, I doubt that it will be by more than around 0.3 percent. Again: surreal.

9:30 p.m.: I just found a graphic to go with this and popped it up at top. With 95.8 percent reporting, we’re back at Billary at 49.9 percent and Bernie at 49.6 percent…

9:40 p.m.: We remain stuck at Billary 49.9 percent to Bernie 49.6 percent, with 96.5 percent reporting. I don’t expect the final difference between the two to exceed 0.5 percent.

Yet again: No bragging rights here, except that, of course, it says something about Bernie that he at least tied Queen Billary, whom conventional “wisdom” coronated a long time ago.

I mean, this is her second time around in Iowa, and the best that she could do, apparently, is a tie

And her opponent calls himself a (democratic) socialist; he hasn’t waited for the traitors on the right to slap that label on him as a pejorative. And he hasn’t been running for president (at least) since 2000, like Billary has.

9:55 p.m.: With 97.1 percent of the vote in, we’re still at 49.9 percent Billary to 49.6 percent Bernie. I don’t see Billary hitting even 50.0 percent, although she might, and it seems to me that psychologically, there is something about hitting 50.0 percent that helps a candidate, whereas 49.9 percent is seen as a bigger loss than it actually is. (This is why shit costs, say, $4.90 or $4.99 instead of $5.00…)

In any event, I’m off to bed now. Again, the final results are going to be so close that if Bernie or Billary is declared the “winner” of Iowa, it won’t mean much, as it will have been by a fraction of 1 percent, probably by no more than 0.3 percent.

I’ll update this tomorrow if necessary.

Update (Tuesday, February 2, 2016): This is sooooo typical of Billary. CNN reports:

Hillary Clinton declared victory early Tuesday morning in a razor-thin contest against Bernie Sanders in Iowa. But Democratic party officials have not yet declared a winner.

“Hillary Clinton has won the Iowa Caucus,” the Clinton campaign said. “After thorough reporting — and analysis — of results, there is no uncertainty and Secretary Clinton has clearly won the most national and state delegates.”

The state party indicated in a separate statement that it was not ready to make a call.

“The results tonight are the closest in Iowa Democratic caucus history,” Iowa party chairman Andy McGuire said. “We will report that final precinct when we have confirmed those results with the chair.”

One thing is clear after Monday night’s Iowa caucuses: there’s a long, volatile election season ahead before two deeply fractured parties can unite behind a nominee. …

Again, according to my very limited knowledge as to how Iowa awards delegates, Billary won more delegates in Iowa, but with 99.9 percent reporting, per Politico, she is at 49.9 percent to Bernie’s 49.6 percent.

So for Team Billary to claim that she’s clearly the people’s choice, at least in Iowa, is quite bullshit, given the imperfections of the Iowa caucus system (gotta love that line “there is no uncertainty”; if you have to claim that, it means that there is some uncertainty), and to brag about a lead of 0.3 percent demonstrates how desperate you are. I mean, Billary came in at third place in Iowa in 2008, so of course she’d love to claim a No. 1 win today, even if we’re talking a whopping difference of 0.3 percent.

Bernie will go on to win New Hampshire on February 9. (His lead there approaches 20 percent; see here and here.) Only if Billary clearly had won Iowa would she have been able to improve her outcome in New Hampshire.

We’ll see how Nevadans vote on February 20 (Nevada is the third state to weigh in). If Bernie wins Nevada, then yes, we will be in for a bit of a wrangle, methinks.

In the meantime, the degree to which Billary and the Billarybots spin her embarrassing tie in Iowa as a win demonstrates their desperation (as well as their character). Billary, with all of her corporate cash and her establishmentarian support, should have done much better in Iowa than she did against a rumpled, 74-year-old (democratic) socialist who only relatively recently obtained a comb. That it was a tie reveals, as 2008 did, what a weak candidate Billary Clinton is, that those of us who are left of center just aren’t at all that into her.

P.S. Speaking of the psychological significance of hitting at least 50.0 percent, if you add Bernie’s 49.6 percent and Martin O’Malley’s 0.6 percent, you get 50.2 percent of the vote in Iowa last night that was not for Billary. Just sayin’.

P.P.S. To (try to) clarify, the percentages to which I have referred above (i.e., 49.9 percent for Billary, 49.6 percent for Bernie and 0.6 percent for O’Malley) are percentages of “state delegate equivalents” earned in Iowa, not percentages of individuals’ votes.

Again, I don’t claim to be an expert in the fairly complicated ins and outs of the Iowa caucuses’ process.

Slate.com’s Josh Vorhees does a pretty good job of briefly explaining the process here.

Vorhees concludes that “There is a strong case to be made that more Iowans showed up to caucus for Sanders [last] night than did for Clinton,” but notes that “the Sanders campaign says that it doesn’t foresee contesting the final results.”

P.P.P.S.: The Associated Press explains further that in Iowa Billary Clinton garnered 23 delegates and Bernie Sanders garnered 21.

The AP notes that 2,382 delegates must be won in order to secure the party’s presidential nomination, and that thus far Billary has 385 so-called “superdelegates” on her side to Bernie’s 29. (“Superdelegates” may switch from Billary to Bernie, and many of them probably will if he racks up a lot of wins in the coming states’ primaries and caucuses.)

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Live-blogging the fourth Dem debate

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2015, file photo, Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, right, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speak during the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas. Taunted by Republicans to declare war on “radical Islamic terrorism,” Democrats are turning to an unlikely ally: George W. Bush. President Barack Obama, under pressure to be more aggressive on terrorism, regularly cites his predecessor’s refusal to demonize Muslims or play into the notion of a clash between Islam and the West. As Clinton put it, “George W. Bush was right.” And, Sanders visited a mosque this month in a show of solidarity that evoked Bush’s visit to a Muslim center just days after 9/11. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Associated Press photo

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and former U.S. Secretary of State Billary Clinton spar during the first Democratic Party presidential debate in October. Polls right now have Billary with only a 4-point lead over Bernie in Iowa, which caucuses on February 1, and Bernie with a 6-point lead over Billary in New Hampshire, whose presidential primary election is on February 9.

The fourth Democratic Party presidential debate of this cycle is scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, via NBC. The debate takes place in South Carolina, which is friendly ground for Billary, who is big in the South, since she isn’t a progressive but is a Repugnican Lite.

I’ll be live-blogging tonight’s debate, using California (Pacific) time (we’re three hours ahead of Eastern Time).

This is the final Dem debate before the Iowa caucuses on February 1, which are 15 days from today.

Right now, Real Clear Politics’ average of polls has Billary Clinton’s national lead at 12.7 percent over Bernie Sanders’, and the Huffington Post’s average of polls has Billary up by 16 percent nationally.

However, the nation won’t vote on one day, but states will vote over the course of several weeks; and the earlier states’ results will affect the subsequent states’ results in a domino effect.

On that note, RCP’s average of Iowa polling right now has Billary at only 4 percent ahead of Bernie. Ditto for HuffPo. Team Billary must be panicking, and I’m expecting Billary to act desperately tonight, because she has to be desperate, and when she’s desperate, as she was against Barack Obama in 2008, she incredibly stupidly attacks her primary opponent from the right, apparently not understanding the Democratic Party primary voter (and caucus-goer).

Also, as Rachel Maddow recently put it when she had Billary on her show, Team Billary as of late has been attacking Bernie, who “doesn’t have an enemy in the world in the Democratic Party.” (Kudos to Maddow for not kowtowing to and cowering before Billary’s Being A Woman!; every legitimate criticism of Billary that a male dares to utter immediately is branded by the Billarybots as “sexism” or “misogyny” or “mansplaining” or the like.)

Recent polls (which I’ll define as reputable nationwide polls taken within the past month) unanimously show that Billary is disliked by more people than she is liked, whereas the opposite is true for Bernie, so yeah, a candidate whose favorability already is upside down attacking his or her opponent whose favorability already is right-side up probably is making a mistake.

But I digress. (That said, I hope that Billary is a raging harpy tonight; it will only harm her further.)

In New Hampshire, RCP right now has Bernie beating Billary by 6.2 percent, and HuffPo has Bernie beating her by 6 percent, so I’d be surprised if Bernie doesn’t win New Hampshire, regardless of the outcome of Iowa.

Again, I rather doubt that Billary could survive losing both Iowa and New Hampshire to Bernie.

If Bernie accomplishes that, we will see a nationwide phenomenon in which weak Billary supporters (and there are, I surmise, millions of them) seriously and significantly will reevaluate their choice of Democratic Party presidential candidate.

And, again, if Bernie wins both of the first two states, Billary no doubt will act in ways which will only make even more people dislike her. (Seriously, she’ll act much like Ellie Driver does when she loses her remaining eyeball. That isn’t attractive.)

5:45 p.m. (again, I’m using Pacific Time): The debate is scheduled to begin in 15 minutes.

5:56 p.m.: The talking heads of NBC (including Chuck Todd, whom I’ve never liked) are blathering about Bernie Sanders’ “electability” (specifically, his supposed lack thereof) even though the polls have shown for some time now that Bernie does better overall against the top three Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes (Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio) in hypothetical match-up polls than does Billary Clinton.

Facts won’t topple the corporately owned and controlled media’s conventional “wisdom.” (And shockingly, the corporately owned and controlled media wouldn’t want a president who calls himself a “democratic socialist.”)

6:02 p.m.: The candidates are on stage now. Billary already has had some water. She must be nervous

6:04 p.m.: The opening statements are largely an obligatory tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. (due to tomorrow being MLK Day and due to the setting of the debate; I prefer spontaneously heartfelt statements to politically obligatory ones…). Bernie kind of went too quickly from MLK to his standard stump speech yet once again. (At least he’s consistent.) The maudlin Martin O’Malley reminds us of the massacre that happened in Charleston in June.

6:07 p.m.: Bernie gives “healthcare for every man, woman and child as a human right,” a $15 minimum wage, and fixing our crumbling infrastructure as the top three priorities of his White House administration were he to be elected.

Billary says she’d make pay parity between men and women one of her top three priorities, as well as renewable energy and infrastructure improvement, and says she’d improve/build on “Obamacare,” but doesn’t go nearly as far as does Sanders on that issue.

O’Malley lists strengthening labor unions among his three top priorities. I like to hear that, but he won’t win. He’s still mired in low single digits.

6:11 p.m.: Bernie reminds us that the National Rifle Association has given him a rating of “D-” for his support of its priorities, and he basically (correctly) calls Billary a liar for claiming otherwise.

6:13 p.m.: Billary retorts that Bernie has voted in favor of the NRA many times. Whether that’s true or not, as this is an awfully new-found “concern” of human weather vane on crack Billary’s, I can’t see it as anything more than politics. People have died from guns so that Billary could use their deaths to try to win the White House. Craven.

Martin O’Malley says both Bernie and Billary have been “inconsistent” on gun legislation.

Gun control is low on my list of priorities. It’s not unimportant, but we have bigger fish to fry, and I see its being raised as a big issue as an attempt by the Democratic establishment and the Billary campaign (which are the same thing, pretty much) to crowd out the more important topic of income inequality, which kills far more people than do guns (just less dramatically).

6:16 p.m.: Now the topic is white cops killing black males. The moderator brought up Walter Scott, who was shot in the back by a white cop in South Carolina as he was fleeing the cop.

Billary says one out of three black men end up incarcerated, and asks us to consider how we’d feel if one out of three white men ended up behind bars.

Bernie echoes this, stating that we disproportionately have black and Latino men behind bars, and that only China has more individuals incarcerated than does the United States.

6:19 p.m.: The moderator (Lester Holt) asks Bernie how he can win when Billary has minority support that bests him by two to one. Bernie says that when the members of the black community become more familiar with him, just as with the general population, his support among them will increase. (I concur, although I acknowledge that there are some who aren’t smart enough to vote in their own best interests, and so they’ll buy Billary’s bullshit that she’d be better for minorities than would Bernie. Never mind her husband’s “welfare reform,” NAFTA, “criminal justice” “reform,” etc., all of which have harmed minorities and which she would continue as president.)

6:23 p.m.: Bernie says that the death of anyone in police custody automatically should be investigated by the federal government. I concur. He also calls for the demilitarization of our police forces and says that the composition of our law-enforcement agencies must reflect the composition of the communities that they serve. Yup.

6:25 p.m.: Discussion on opioid overdoses and the “war on drugs” now. Bernie adds that the pharmaceutical industry shares responsibility for widespread addiction to opioids and adds that we need to improve mental health care services.

6:31 p.m.: Billary says she is committed to universal health care. She calls Obamacare a “path to universal health care.” She again says we need to “defend,” “improve” and “build on” “Obamacare.”

6:32 p.m.: Bernie again asserts that health care is a right to every human being. Twenty-nine million Americans still have no health insurance, he says, adding that the United States pays more per person for health care than does any other nation. (Yeah, that would be because of the profiteering that we see in wealth care — er, health care — here in the United States.)

6:34 p.m.: Billary again defends “Obamacare” and accuses Bernie of recently changing his plan for health care for all. “To tear it up and start over again” is “the wrong direction,” Billary proclaims of “Obamacare.” This is getting heated.

Bernie adds that not only are 29 million Americans not insured, but that many are under-insured and can’t afford their co-pays. Yup. Bernie says he has no plan to “tear up” “Obamacare.”

6:36 p.m.: Billary keeps repeating that Bernie wants us to start all over again on health care, and that we can’t do that. Sure, we can. How inspiring is Billary’s mantra, however, that we can’t. Bernie says we need to have “the guts to stand up” to the private health-care insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry. Yup.

6:39 p.m.: Billary keeps saying we have to beef up “Obamacare.” She rejects Bernie’s plan for “Medicare for all,” saying that we couldn’t achieve that under Barack Obama, so we can’t achieve it now. Bullshit.

6:41 p.m.: Bernie says that the Democrats and Repugnicans can’t get along in Congress is a red herring for the fact that Big Money prevents most of the members of Congress from voting in the people’s best interests. Yup.

6:44 p.m.: The maudlin O’Malley is parroting the canard that we all really can hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.” We can’t. We shouldn’t. And we won’t. There are irreconcilable differences between the right and the left. There is no middle ground, for instance, on such issues as same-sex marriage (which is a constitutional right) and women’s constitutional right to control their own reproductive organs. And a “middle ground” on such a universal issue as climate change, which needs action, not even more foot-dragging in the name of “moderation,” will result in misery and death for millions if not billions of human beings around the globe (as well as the continued extinction of species and irreversible adverse planetary changes).

6:47 p.m.: When asked why Bernie has the support of young people by two to one over her, Billary stated that she’ll do her best to appeal to Bernie’s supporters. I’m one of Bernie’s many, many supporters who won’t cast a vote for or give a penny to Billary, no matter what — and that’s because while Obama said “Yes, we can,” she says “No, we can’t.” (She apparently says this for the benefit of her huge campaign contributors.) And, of course, I cannot and will not support her because she’s no progressive. She’s a pro-corporate, pro-plutocratic, centrist sellout.

6:48 p.m.: On break now. Twice O’Malley has tried to break in, but moderator Lester Holt won’t let him. Hee hee. I still wish that O’Malley would drop out already, but I don’t expect him to; he needs a job, apparently, and he apparently still is angling for veep.

6:52 p.m.: The topic is Wall Street and the big banks now. Bernie reminds us that he doesn’t take money from the big banks and doesn’t take speaking fees from Goldman Sachs. Bernie says we have to “break up these huge financial institutions” and bring back the Glass-Steagall Act.

6:53 p.m.: Billary now says that Bernie Sanders’ criticism of her having taken money from Wall Street actually impugns Barack Obama, since Obama also has taken money from Wall Street. (The “argument” there, I suppose, is that if someone else has committed the same wrong that you did, then you did not commit a wrong after all.) This is more bullshit Clintonian triangulation. This is classic Billary.

6:55 p.m.: Billary continues her line that Bernie has attacked Obama. Billary is so unpopular herself that she must try to damage Bernie by alleging that Bernie has attacked the much more popular Barack Obama. Pathetic.

6:57 p.m.: O’Malley says that Billary’s proclamation that she’d be tough on Wall Street is “not true.” He says that like Bernie and unlike Billary, he supports the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, and he totally calls her out on trying to use Barack Obama as a human political shield, just like how in a previous debate she actually tried to use 9/11 as her justification for her coziness with the Wall Street weasels. Wonderful.

7:00 p.m.: Billary tries to deflect from her Wall-Street-boosting corruption yet once again, stating that we should look at the Repugnicans and how they are supporting the Wall Street weasels. Jesus fuck, this woman’s character is abysmal.

7:02 p.m.: Bernie says he has documented how we would pay for his ambitious agenda, including making Wall Street pay its fair share. Billary vows that as president she would not raise taxes on the middle class and also says that she has detailed how she would pay for all of her proposals.

7:04 p.m.: Bernie says that Billary’s criticism of his “Medicare-for-all, single-payer program” is a “Republican” criticism. Well, yeah, she’s a Repugnican (Lite)… Bernie says his health care plan would give Americans a significant net savings by lowering their cost for private health care. Yup. You can pay more in taxes for health care and pay much less (or even zero) for private health care and end up ahead. It’s called math.

7:08 p.m.: Climate change now. Bernie says climate change is settled. Agreed. It’s called science. For future generations we must switch from fossil fuels to sustainable energy, Bernie says.

O’Malley says we can achieve sustainable energy by 2050. Billary attempted to chime in on this important issue but just got cut off… Break now.

I’m still torn on O’Malley’s continued presence at these debates. It’s great when he calls Billary out, such as for her latest pathetic kick of trying to triangulate among her, Bernie and Obama, since she apparently feels that she has to piggyback on Obama’s popularity, but O’Malley doesn’t poll at even 3 percent nationally.

7:17 p.m.: Iran now. Bernie calls for “normalized relations with Iran.” He states that the agreement that prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is a good one, and that we need to move in the direction of better relations with Iran.

Billary says we have to continue to watch Iran, that we have to watch Iran for a longer period of time before we can normalize relations with Iran.

Now Syria. Billary says she opposes American ground forces in Syria. She says she supports supporting existing militaries in the Middle East in combating the problems in Syria and in combating ISIS.

Bernie says he opposes “perpetual warfare” in the Middle East. “As president I would do everything in my power to avoid” such a(n increased) quagmire, he says.

O’Malley says, as Bernie has said, that overall he supports Obama’s current strategy in the Middle East. And he had to get maudlin again, saying that we never should refer to a soldier as “boots on the ground.” Seriously, who advises Martin the Maudlin?

7:24 p.m.: Bernie says the wealthy nations in the Middle East, like Qatar, need to do more in the Middle East to oppose ISIS and other terrorists.

7:26 p.m.: Billary is bragging about her foreign-affairs chops (she was, after all, secretary of state, and spent a lot of time advising the more popular Barack Obama in the Situation Room!).

Bernie says our first priority in the Middle East must be to destroy ISIS, and then to focus on Syria’s dictator.

7:29 p.m.: Lester Holt apparently more or less blamed the annexation of Crimea by Russia on Billary’s having been secretary of state. Meh. I don’t want Billary in the Oval Office, but I’ve always viewed Crimea as belonging to Russia, not to Ukraine. Billary has called Vladimir Putin a “bully” whom always must be stood up to.

7:32 p.m.: O’Malley is speaking in favor of privacy rights as guaranteed to us by the Constitution. Yup. O’Malley says the government must obtain a warrant to violate our privacy, and that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a privacy violation from the “front door” (that is, a more old-school privacy violation) or from the “back door,” such as via our increasingly more technologically advanced electronic devices. Yup. Yup. Yup.

Bernie says that our public policy hasn’t caught up with our technology, and I agree. We don’t give up our constitutional rights solely because we do things electronically these days. Fucktards who don’t respect others’ constitutional rights have refused to recognize this, so our laws must be updated to fully protect us from those who would violate our constitutional rights.

Billary is cut off again for the break. It does seem to me that all three candidates should have the opportunity to respond to every question, but the NBC moderators are not allowing this.

7:39 p.m.: Billary is given is a chance to address the question, but doesn’t speak in favor of our privacy rights. Hmm…

7:40 p.m.: O’Malley has attacked Donald Trump’s vilification of Muslim Americans, kind of out of nowhere. One of O’Malley’s debating tactics apparently is to try to link anecdotes to issues, but it comes off as more amateurish than anything else.

7:42 p.m.: Billary is asked how much of a role Bill Clinton would have in her economic agenda. She claims that she is undecided, but says she would use him as a “goodwill emissary” around the nation to boost her economic agenda.

7:43 p.m.: Bernie says a White House stacked with Wall Street weasels won’t accomplish much for the nation’s economy. Yup. Bernie says that his Treasury secretary wouldn’t come from Goldman Sachs. Ouch. And yup.

Bernie was baited into talking about Bill Clinton’s sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky. Bernie called Bill Clinton’s behavior in that “deplorable,” but emphasized that he didn’t want the discussion to be about Bill Clinton’s sexual behavior. Yup. (Billary, unsurprisingly, agrees…)

The corporately owned and controlled media embarrass themselves, the way that they patently pander to the lowest common denominator.

7:50 p.m.: As the debate draws to a close and the candidates are asked if there are any statements they’d like to make that they haven’t yet made, O’Malley remarks that the debate hasn’t tackled such important issues as immigration reform and the treatment of Puerto Rico by the financial weasels. He now launches into his anodyne closing statement.

Billary says she is “outraged by what’s happening in Flint, Michigan.” She points out that the city’s population, disproportionately poor and black, has been drinking contaminated water, whereas rich denizens of a city would not.

Bernie says the Repugnican Tea Party governor of Michigan should resign.

Bernie says that nothing will improve in the United States of America until Citizens United is reversed, super-PACs are abolished, and there is meaningful campaign-finance reform. Yup. Agreed: The hands of the members of Congress are tied by their Big-Money donors.

Another President Clinton would do little to nothing to solve this overarching problem. It would be more of the same: More promises, yet nothing in our lives actually improves.

7:57 p.m.: The debate is over. Like the previous three debates, I don’t see this debate changing a whole lot. That is, if you were a Billarybot before this debate, I’m sure that you’re still a Billarybot, and if you were a Berner before this debate, I’m sure that you’re still a Berner. If I had to declare a winner of this debate, I’d say that it was Bernie, but of course I’ve supported him for months, so take that for what it is.

The NBC commentators are discussing right now how Billary wrapped herself in Obama tonight. Yup. This might come back to haunt her.

Not only was it classic Clintonian triangulation, but Bernie Sanders’ supporters largely if not mostly are those of us who never forgot — and never abandoned — Barack Obama’s ubiquitous but undelivered-upon promises of “hope” and “change.”

We haven’t seen the much-promised change (not enough of it, anyway),  but we haven’t lost all hope; we still believe, after several years of disappointment, that Yes, we can. But here is Billary saying No, we can’t.

I’m not saying that she’s entirely wrong about what is and what is not achievable in D.C., but I do know that if we start off with the motto of No, we can’t, then we probably can’t (or at least we probably won’t).

Which is exactly what Billary Clinton’s Big-Money campaign contributors want us to believe: that no, we can’t. They want us to believe that so that we won’t even try.

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Could it be that Queen Billary’s castle of cards is about to fall spectacularly?

Updated below (on Sunday, January 10, 2016)

Hillary Clinton Email Servers Home Scandal Private Email Secretary of State

LegalInsurrection.com image

E-mailgate might not be over just yet, so let’s hold off on that coronation…

Just when it had looked as though Billary Clinton got off from E-mailgate scot-free, two news items today indicate that that might not be the case, that the game might not be over just yet.

ABC News reports today that in a 2011 e-mail, then-Secretary of State Billary expressed surprise that another State Department employee was using a personal e-mail address for State business – even though she was doing exactly the same thing herself at the time. ABC News reports:

The State Department released 3,007 pages of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail this morning at around 1:30 a.m. ET, bringing the total public production so far to 82 percent of the documents, a court-mandated goal the department failed to reach at the end of last month.

In one document dated February 27, 2011, Clinton sends an e-mail to her top adviser, Jake Sullivan, in which she expressed surprise that a State Department staffer was using a personal e-mail account to discuss official business.

 The e-mail chain shows that a State Department employee named John Godfrey wrote a detailed summary of information about Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi that was soon forwarded to Clinton. Jake Sullivan writes to Clinton that it’s “Worth a read. This guy is very thoughtful.”

Clinton responds by asking for whom Godfrey works. “Us,” Sullivan writes back. [I’ll leave it alone, I guess, that Billary didn’t know one of her own underlings.] Clinton replies: “Is he in NEA [Near Eastern Affairs] currently? Or was he in Embassy? I was surprised that he used personal e-mail account if he is at State.”

At best, her critics may find it ironic that she is calling out staffers for using private e-mail. At worst, her rivals may use it against her and suggest she was pointing out some level of impropriety, in which she was also engaged. …

Do you truly have to be a “critic” of Billary Clinton to be able to acknowledge the rank hypocrisy of her having e-mailed the line “I was surprised that he used personal e-mail account if he is at State” when she also used her own personal e-mail account when she was at State? (Indeed, did she use her own personal e-mail account to e-mail those words? It is my understanding that she did.)

Then there’s this in today’s news, from The Associated Press:

A Republican member of the [U.S.] House [of Representatives] Benghazi committee says he is “hopeful” that the Justice Department will indict Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for having classified information on her private e-mail server.

Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas says there is increasing evidence that “an enormous amount of information” on Clinton’s private server is classified.

“It was classified when it was on her server and it was classified when it was sent,” Pompeo told conservative radio host Lars Larson [yesterday].

Pompeo said he is “anxious” for the Justice Department and FBI to make a determination on whether to indict Clinton as quickly as possible.

“I think that there is only one answer that can be reached, and I am hopeful that will be the outcome that the FBI achieves,” Pompeo said.

“These are just facts,” Pompeo added. “We’ve all seen the reports of the classified information on her server. It could not and should not have been lawfully handled in the way that she did it.”

Pompeo’s comments came as the panel interviewed former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta behind closed doors [today]. The remarks are the latest by a congressional Republican suggesting an unfavorable judgment against Clinton before the committee or the FBI concludes their respective investigations.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said last fall that the Benghazi panel could take credit for Clinton’s recent drop in public opinion polls. He later retracted the comment.

Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., said “a big part” of the Benghazi investigation “was designed to go after … Hillary Clinton.”

Clinton was secretary of state at the time of the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. …

I have no idea what the chances are that Billary would or could be indicted by the Justice Department for having maintained classified information on her home-brewed e-mail server, but it seems to me that an indictment coming any time between now and November 8, 2016, would be fairly devastating to Billary’s campaign for the White House.

I’ve written before that “Benghazigate” is mostly bullshit and undeniably is yet another Repugnican Tea Party witch hunt, especially in light of how the treasonously illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War, which has been responsible for the deaths of more than 4,000 U.S. troops and tens and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis, has gone wholly unpunished.

It’s hard to miss that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have wholly dismissed the deaths of more than 4,000 of our troops that were solely for the war profiteering of BushCheneyCorp subsidiary Halliburton (and for other plutocratic profiteering from death, destruction, pain, misery and suffering) yet claim to care so fucking much about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.

Nonetheless, we now very apparently have proof, in her own words, that Billary Clinton knew that using her own personal e-mail at State was, at best, improper. (My understanding is that at the time, it was not technically illegal.) That she would remark about another State employee’s use of the same practice certainly indicates that the rules don’t apply to her, which points, methinks, to her character.

While her use of her personal e-mail address might not have been illegal, not properly protecting classified information apparently is illegal, and if Billary committed a crime for which anyone else would be held to account, the Obama Justice Department should not allow politics to protect Queen Billary.

This is an awfully opportune time to remind you that Bernie Sanders is doing fairly well in match-up polling against the top three Repugnican Tea Party contenders (Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz).

Real Clear Politics’ polling averages right now have Billary doing better against Trump than does Sanders, with Billary at 4.8 percent above Trump to Sanders’ 2 percent above Trump. But Sanders does better than does Billary against both Rubio and Cruz, with Rubio at 1.3 percent above Billary and 1 percent above Sanders, and while Billary ties Cruz, Sanders beats Cruz by 3.3 percent.

As I don’t see Trump being the eventual Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee, but see Rubio as the most likely nominee (followed by Cruz), at this point the supposedly “unelectable” Sanders is doing better in the presidential match-up polling than is Billary, even if only slightly.

And as far as I know, Bernie Sanders hasn’t been using a personal e-mail address (along with his own personal e-mail server) for government business, and to my knowledge there is no possible indictment looming over his head.

I mean, the idea is to keep the White House in the Democrats’ hands, isn’t it?

If so, Queen Billary’s not looking like a sure bet right about now.

Update (Sunday, January 10, 2016): “[Billary] Clinton has repeatedly said she did not handle classified material through her private e-mail account while serving as secretary of state,” notes Reuters today, while McClatchy news reports something quite different today (emphases in bold are mine):

At least 1,340 e-mails that Hillary Clinton sent or received [as U.S. secretary of state via her private e-mail account] contained classified material, according to the State Department’s latest update from its ongoing review of more than 30,000 emails.

The State Department released a new batch of 3,007 pages of Clinton’s e-mails after 1:30 a.m. Friday in response to a court order. Of those, 66 contain classified information.

None of Clinton’s e-mails was marked as classified during her tenure, State Department officials say, but intelligence officials say some material was clearly classified at the time. Her aides also sent and received classified information.

Clinton has been under fire for months for exclusively using personal e-mail routed through a private server while serving as the nation’s top diplomat. The FBI launched an inquiry into the handling of sensitive information after classified information was found in some.

In response to a public records lawsuit, the State Department is releasing Clinton’s e-mails at the end of each month after partially or entirely redacting any containing sensitive U.S. or foreign government information. So far, it has released 43,148 pages of e-mails.

But the State Department failed to meet a court-imposed deadline on the number of Clinton’s e-mails to be released in December, so it released another batch this week. It had missed a previous deadline, but had caught up in recent months. The e-mails released Friday also were not fully processed, officials said.

“We are releasing the documents today so as to be responsive to the court’s December 31st goal for posting 82 percent of the Clinton email collection by that date,” according to the State Department. “With today’s production, the State Department will meet the page volume anticipated by last week’s production goal.”

“Now with dozens of additional e-mails found to be classified, we know Hillary Clinton exposed classified material in more than 1,300 messages, including information that was classified at the time it was sent as well at some of the highest levels,” [said] Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. “Hillary Clinton’s pursuit of secrecy at the expense of national security was undeniably reckless and shows she cannot be trusted in the White House.”

Priebus called on Clinton to request the State Department commit to a “more open process” and not release the e-mails in the middle of the night or on holidays.

Priebus is an entirely politically motivated pompous prick, of course, but that doesn’t mean that Billary didn’t break the law, and it does appear that the State Department is working to protect her just like the Democratic National Committee (that is, Debbie Wasserman Schultz) is working to protect her by having rigged the debate schedule and having tried to deny the Bernie Sanders campaign access to its own voter data. (Yes, because of the immediate backlash the DNC backed off in short order, but it’s the thought that counts.)

Again, the FBI investigation into whether or not Billary broke the law is ongoing, and even though Billary has joked about it, I don’t think that she and her misguided lemming-supporters will be laughing if she is indicted any time between now and Election Day in November. (One former U.S. attorney states that Billary and others associated with her could be indicted within the next few months.)

Her center-right, flip-flopping, self-serving, Democrat-in-name-only/Repugnican-Lite politics entirely aside, scandal magnet Billary always was way too risky for the Democratic Party to put all (or at least most) of its presidential eggs in her basket.

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