Tag Archives: Vietraq War

Pussygrabber Jr. met with Kremlin-linked lawyer, but Papa Pussygrabber assures us it’s ‘time to move forward’

Updated below (on Tuesday, July 11, 2017)

Getty Images photo

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Pussygrabber Jr., photographed above, met in Daddy’s tower with a Russian lawyer from whom he had expected to receive damaging information about Billary Clinton, he has admitted himself. Reuters reports that like all of the other swamp creatures in “President” Pussygrabber’s swampy orbit, Pussygrabber Jr. has lawyered up.

The unelected and thus illegitimate Pussygrabber regime’s ties to Russia continue to be exposed at the same time that “President” Pussygrabber assures us that it’s “time to move forward” and actually talks about the United States working with Russia on cyber security.

What is established and not in dispute is that in June 2016, during the presidential campaign, Pussygrabber Jr. met with “a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer” at Pussygrabber Tower in the hopes of getting politically damaging information about Billary Clinton for use by the Pussygrabber presidential campaign.

The New York Times reported yesterday (emphases in bold are mine):

President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.

The meeting was also attended by the president’s campaign chairman at the time, Paul J. Manafort, as well as by the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kushner recently disclosed the meeting, though not its content, in confidential government documents described to The New York Times.

The Times reported the existence of the meeting on Saturday. But in subsequent interviews, the advisers and others revealed the motivation behind it.

The meeting — at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, two weeks after Donald J. Trump clinched the Republican nomination — points to the central question in federal investigations of the Kremlin’s meddling in the presidential election: whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.

The accounts of the meeting represent the first public indication that at least some in the campaign were willing to accept Russian help.

While President Trump has been dogged by revelations of undisclosed meetings between his associates and the Russians, the episode at Trump Tower is the first such confirmed private meeting involving his inner circle during the campaign — as well as the first one known to have included his eldest son.

It came at an inflection point in the campaign, when Donald Trump Jr., who served as an adviser and a surrogate, was ascendant and Mr. Manafort was consolidating power.

It is unclear whether the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, actually produced the promised compromising information about Mrs. Clinton. But the people interviewed by The Times about the meeting said the expectation was that she would do so.

When he was first asked about the meeting on Saturday, Donald Trump Jr. said that it was primarily about adoptions and mentioned nothing about Mrs. Clinton.

But on Sunday, presented with The Times’s findings, he offered a new account. In a statement, he said he had met with the Russian lawyer at the request of an acquaintance from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, which his father took to Moscow.

“After pleasantries were exchanged,” he said, “the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”

He said she then turned the conversation to adoption of Russian children and the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers. The 2012 law so enraged President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia that he halted American adoptions of Russian children.

“It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting,” Mr. Trump said.

Two people briefed on the meeting said the intermediary was Rob Goldstone, a former British tabloid journalist and the president of a company called Oui 2 Entertainment who has worked with the Miss Universe pageant. He did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the president’s lawyer, said on Sunday that “the president was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.”

Lawyers for Mr. Kushner referred to their statement a day earlier, confirming that he voluntarily disclosed the meeting but referring questions about it to Donald Trump Jr. Mr. Manafort declined to comment. In his statement, Donald Trump Jr. said he asked Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kushner to attend, but did not tell them what the meeting was about.

Political campaigns collect opposition research from many quarters but rarely from sources linked to foreign governments.

American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian hackers and propagandists worked to tip the election toward Donald J. Trump, in part by stealing and then providing to WikiLeaks internal Democratic Party and Clinton campaign emails that were embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton. WikiLeaks began releasing the material on July 22.

A special prosecutor and congressional committees are now investigating the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with the Russians. Mr. Trump has disputed that, but the investigation has cast a shadow over his administration. …

Again, this is a convoluted saga, but it boils down to the fact that Pussygrabber Jr. met with a lawyer from the enemy state of Russia in June 2016 on the premises of Pussygrabber Tower with the understanding that this Russian would give him usefully damaging information about Billary Clinton.

There is, methinks, a reason that Pussygrabber Jr. never mentioned Clinton in his first account of his meeting with the Russian lawyer in his daddy’s tower.

As The Times notes, “Political campaigns collect opposition research from many quarters but rarely from sources linked to foreign governments.” Indeed. That stench that you’re detecting is the whiff of treason.

I tend not to believe, by the way, Pussygrabber Jr.’s claim that the Russian lawyer “stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton.”

Not only did Pussygrabber Jr. not state this the first time, but this claim is a way-too-convenient reversal of the fact that, as The Times notes, “American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian hackers and propagandists worked to tip the election toward Donald J. Trump, in part by stealing and then providing to WikiLeaks internal Democratic Party and Clinton campaign emails that were embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton.”

However, even if Pussygrabber Jr. were telling the truth — and as Papa Pussygrabber is a pathofuckinglogical liar, there is no reason to believe that the acorn has fallen far from the rotten tree — the fact remains that, again, what is uncontested is that Pussygrabber Jr. met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign in the hopes of getting negative, damaging intel on Billary Clinton.

That Team Pussygrabber is claiming that Papa Pussygrabber had had no knowledge of any of this activity that happened on his own property — which I find hard to swallow — is indicative of how politically damaging it is.

Also indicative of how politically damaging this is are the fact that The Times (as I type this sentence) retains yesterday’s news story as excerpted above as its top story on its home page and the fact that Pussygrabber Jr. has now retained his own lawyer, like everyone else surrounding our swamp monster of a “president.”

(In a two-paragraph news story, Reuters reports today:

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, has hired New York lawyer Alan Futerfas to represent him in connection with Russia-related investigations, the lawyer and Trump Jr.’s office said on Monday.

Futerfas, a sole practitioner who specializes in criminal defense, would not say when he was retained or whether he had any input into the statements Trump Jr. made over the weekend about a meeting with a Russian lawyer.)

As if all of this weren’t enough, yesterday Papa Pussygrabber not only proclaimed that he spoke sternly to Pootie about it and so it is “time to move forward” from all of this Russian collusion stuffeveryone who is under criminal investigation believes that is it “time to move forward,” of course — but he also surreally indicated that the U.S. and Russia can work together on cyber security. 

Pussygrabber’s tweet from yesterday read:

Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded..

After The Universe roared in laughter, Pussygrabber later tweeted this:

The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t-but a ceasefire can,& did!

Gee, hear that? Pussygrabber simply spoke “strongly” to Pootie about all of that election-meddling hoo-ha, and so “a ceasefire can,& did!” happen where Russian espionage on and sabotage of the United States and its elections is concerned.

I feel so safe and secure now; the whole Russian problem has been solved in one tweet!

I’d say that this shit can’t go on, but our long national nightmare probably will continue for some time to come. It’s a steady drip, drip, drip of a politically corrosive acid that probably isn’t going to take down the unelected Pussygrabber regime in one fell swoop, but that dooms it nonetheless.

Almost six months into this debacle, Pussygrabber’s approval rating doesn’t make it to even 40 percent in most reputable national polls, especially in Gallup’s.

He hasn’t hit even a 50-percent approval rating in any reputable national poll since he took office on January 20.

And traditionally, the strongest numbers that a president is going to get are in his first year in office. Terrorist attacks and the launches of wars, such as 9/11 and the Vietraq War, do produce spikes in a president’s approval rating* as a scared and/or bellicose nation wants to show its support for its imperious leader, but the general direction for a president’s approval ratings throughout his time in office is a downward slope.

Pussygrabber’s supporters are an obnoxiously vocal minority of Americans, but with his approval ratings mired at below 40 percent in most reputable national polls, I don’t see how Pussygrabber can get a second term, if he survives this one.

Update (Tuesday, July 11, 2017): As I’ve noted before, The New York Times and The Washington Post have been doing a bang-up job on covering the illegitimate Pussygrabber regime’s collusion with Russia. I have subscribed to both news organizations’ websites because not only do I want access to their reportage, but I wish to financially support it. Without such coverage, we would have the wholly fascist nation that Pussygrabber and his treasonous, fascist ilk want us to have.

The Russian collusion story isn’t going away because it’s true. If it weren’t, it would have dried up and blown away long ago. There is a shitload of “there” there.

The Pussygrabber regime’s collusion with Russia is in the top three blows to the United States’ so-called democracy in my lifetime; I put it up there with the treasonous, illegitimate George W. Bush regime’s blatant theft of the 2000 presidential election and the same regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked — and wholly bogus — Vietraq War.

(I was just a tot during Watergate, but even Watergate didn’t involve the wholesale theft of a presidential election like we saw in 2000, a wholly bogus war like the Vietraq War, or the collusion with an enemy nation by a presidential campaign to win the White House.) 

The New York Times reports today (emphases in bold are mine):

The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

If the future president’s eldest son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of a continuing effort by the Russian government to aid his father’s campaign — he gave no indication.

He replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

Four days later, after a flurry of emails, the intermediary wrote back, proposing a meeting in New York on Thursday with a “Russian government attorney.”

Donald Trump Jr. agreed, adding that he would most likely bring along “Paul Manafort (campaign boss)” and “my brother-in-law,” Jared Kushner, now one of the president’s closest White House advisers.

On June 9, [2016,] the Russian lawyer was sitting in the younger Mr. Trump’s office on the 25th floor of Trump Tower, just one level below the office of the future president.

Over the last several days, The New York Times has disclosed the existence of the meeting, whom it involved and what it was about. The story has unfolded as The Times has been able to confirm details of the meetings.

But the email exchanges, which were reviewed by The Times, offer a detailed unspooling of how the meeting with the Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, came about — and just how eager Donald Trump Jr. was to accept what he was explicitly told was the Russian government’s help.

The Justice Department, as well as the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, is examining whether any of President Trump’s associates colluded with the Russian government to disrupt last year’s election. American intelligence agencies have determined that the Russian government tried to sway the election in favor of Mr. Trump.

The precise nature of the promised damaging information about Mrs. Clinton is unclear, and there is no evidence to suggest that it was related to Russian-government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails. But in recent days, accounts by some of the central organizers of the meeting, including Donald Trump Jr., have evolved or have been contradicted by the written email records.

After being told that The Times was about to publish the content of the emails, instead of responding to a request for comment, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out images of them himself on Tuesday.

“To everyone, in order to be totally transparent, I am releasing the entire email chain of my emails” about the June 9 meeting, he wrote. “I first wanted to just have a phone call but when that didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet.”

He added that nothing came of it.

On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. said on Twitter that it was hardly unusual to take information on an opponent. And on Tuesday morning, he tweeted, “Media & Dems are extremely invested in the Russia story. If this nonsense meeting is all they have after a yr, I understand the desperation!”

At a White House briefing on Tuesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy press secretary, read a statement from President Trump in which he defended his son. “My son is a high-quality person, and I applaud his transparency,” the president said.

But Ms. Sanders said she was “going to have to refer everything on this matter to Don Jr.’s counsel.” She said she did not know when the president had last spoken with his son.

The back story to the June 9 meeting involves an eclectic cast of characters the Trump family knew from its business dealings in Moscow. … [I suggest that you read the entire Times news article for that back story.]

As others have noted, it’s not “transparency” when you release information only after a media outlet has told you that it’s going to release it. And indeed, as The Times reports, Pussygrabber Jr.’s account of his June 9, 2016, meeting with the Russian lawyer about how to fuck over Billary Clinton has changed over time, with him admitting to extra, incriminating details only after they’ve already been reported by The Times.

For instance, initially he had said nothing about speaking about Billary Clinton with the Russian lawyer on June 9, 2016. Now, we have the e-mail chain that proves that Pussygrabber Jr. knew from the very first e-mail in the chain what the agenda was:

“The Crown prosecutor of Russia … offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” Pussygrabber crime family crony Rob Goldstone** wrote to Pussygrabber Jr. in the June 3, 2016, e-mail, adding, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump…”

Without flinching — without a “What do you mean, ‘part of Russia and its government’s support’ of Daddy?” — and not even a half-hour later, Pussygrabber Jr. replied: “Thanks Rob I appreciate that. … Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?”

So Pussygrabber Jr., in his own fucking words, welcomed the proposal of receiving potentially politically damaging and thus potentially politically useful intel about presidential candidate Billary Clinton from an agent or agents of the Russian government.

It is the intent that is the crime; whether it’s true or not that Pussygrabber Jr. never actually received any damaging intel about Billary Clinton (useful or not) from a Russian agent doesn’t matter. What matters is that he tried. Treason doesn’t have to be successful to be treason. It can be treason in the attempt.

Yes, Pussygrabber Jr. is “a high-quality person” — if by “high-quality person” we mean a traitor. Of course, Muscovite candidate Pussygrabber Sr. is a traitor, too, so it’s unsurprising that he would call his offspring “a high-quality person.”

And something that we have to annihilate right fucking now is the “argument” that Pussygrabber’s underlings are new to this whole politics thing, and so they are to be held immune from the laweven for fucking treason — because of their naivete.

The Hill reports that South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham said today, “Anytime you’re in a campaign and you get an offer from a foreign government to help your campaign, the answer is ‘no,'” and “We cannot allow foreign governments to reach out to anybody’s campaign and say, ‘We’d like to help you.’ That is a non-starter.”

The Hill added: “Graham acknowledged [that] he knows [that] Trump Jr. and the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who also attended the [June 9, 2016, meeting], are new to politics.”

So fucking what?

So we are to reinforce our two-tiered “justice” system in which you may commit treason if you are a rich white man — while the rest of us are told, unforfuckinggivingly, that ignorance of the law is no excuse?

Fuck. That. Shit.

If every person who has participated in the treasonous collusion with Russia, from the very top to the very bottom, is not punished to the full extent of the law — well, that would be the stuff of which bloody revolutions are made.

P.S. To be clear, I’m not a Democratic Party hack. I’ve been very, very critical of the Democratic Party here for years. And I’m registered with the Green Party. After what the pro-Billary weasels of the Democratic National Committee did to Bernie Sanders, I immediately switched my registration back to the Green Party, and I’m done with the Democratic Party establishment.

Initially, yes, the whole Russian collusion thing might have seemed like an attempt to explain away Billary Clinton’s “loss” in November 2016 (it’s not a loss when you actually won the popular vote by millions), but over time is has become clearer and clearer that the Russian government has been very, very involved in helping to put Pussygrabber into the White House so that he would do the Russian government’s bidding, and that should disturb anyone of any party. No one can be unperturbed by that and still call himself or herself a patriot.

Those on the supposed far left who still keep saying that there is no “there” there on the Russia collusion thing really need to stop embarrassing themselves by shutting the fuck up. The evidence of the Russian collusion mounts day by day, and they need to take their head meds. I share their dislike of the Democratic Party establishment, including, of course, the Billarybots, but let’s fucking face reality.

Finally, to be clear, I’m also no fan of Democrat in name only Billary Clinton, as I’ve written here for many years. I never cast a vote for her, in the primary or in the general, and I never gave her a penny. She’s an incredibly awful human being, if she is a human being.

But that is not what matters here; what matters here is that we have evidence that Team Pussygrabber at least attempted to collude with the enemy nation of Russia in order to put Papa Pussygrabber into the White House.

We are indeed a numbed-out, dumbed-down nation, but this some serious, serious shit.

*Yes, of course there is the possibility that Pussygrabber will fabricate his Reichstag fire like “President” George W. Bush had his 9/11, which he used as a bullshit pretext to launch his illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War for the war profiteers and for Big Oil, but I just don’t see Pussygrabber getting away with it like Gee Dubya got away with it.

Pussygrabber’s credibility already is nil and his approval ratings are too low for him to try to drag the nation into a distracting war, methinks.

I think he’d get pushback even from members of his own party, such as from South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham, who said this of Pussygrabber’s recent meeting with Putin, which he called “disastrous”: “You [Pussygrabber] are hurting your ability to govern this nation by forgiving and forgetting and empowering [Russia],” adding, “The more he [Pussygrabber] talks about this in terms of not being sure [about Russia’s espionage and sabotage], the more he throws our intelligence communities under the bus, the more he’s willing to forgive and forget Putin, the more suspicion [there is]. And I think it’s going to dog his presidency until he breaks this cycle.”

He won’t break the cycle. It’s all that he fucking knows, and as he and his henchswampcreatures are as guilty as sin, he has to keep the attempted diversions flying.

**The New York Times describes Goldstone as “a British-born former tabloid reporter and entertainment publicist who first met the future president when the Trump Organization was trying to do business in Russia.”

 

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States wisely resist fascist request for personal info on every voter in nation

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Washington Post news photo

“President” Pussygrabber meets with Repugnican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach early in Pussygrabber’s illegitimate administration. Kobach, who never met a voter who isn’t a Repugnican whose vote he doesn’t want to suppress, is the “vice chair” of the so-called “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity,” which Pussygrabber himself in a tweet tellingly referred to yesterday as the “VOTER FRAUD PANEL.” The “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” sent a letter dated June 28 to all 50 states asking for extensive personal and sensitive information about all of their registered voters. With an approval rating persistently stuck below 40 percent, Pussygrabber is in no political position to ask for anything.

On the surface, it might seem like no huge deal: The “president’s” “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” sent a letter, dated June 28, to all 50 states, asking them to turn over extensive information on all of their registered voters.

But this isn’t a normal “president” that we’re talking about. This is a “president” who already has pulled it out of his orange asshole that he only lost the popular vote in November 2016 because more than three million people (the margin of the popular vote that he lost by, very conveniently) voted illegally.

This is a claim for which Team Pussygrabber has offered no proof, of course, because no such proof exists — because it’s a wholly bogus, bullshit claim.*

At least half of the states thus far, including my great state of California, have refused to give any or at least some of the information to the “president’s” “commission” on “election integrity.” 

“Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?” “President” Pussygrabber predictably tweeted yesterday, stupidly revealing what we already knew: that the “commission” isn’t set up to ensure “election integrity,” but is meant to “prove,” retroactively, Pussygrabber’s bullshit, bogus claim that he actually won the popular vote because of “voter fraud.”

I mean, in his tweet — in which he at least isn’t talking about some woman bleeding from somewhere — Pussygrabber calls the “commission” “the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL.” Pussygrabber himself tells us that the “commission” isn’t interested in “election integrity” but instead is interested in “proving” “VOTER FRAUD,” which he even puts in all caps, for fuck’s sake. This conclusion obviously already has been reached before the “very distinguished” commission (which isn’t “distinguished” at all, which is why the Pussygrabberian qualifier “very” is necessary) has even done any work.

Just as “President” George W. Bush — another fascist who lost the popular vote and who thus never was a legitimate president — ordered his underlings to find evidence of Iraq’s connection to 9/11 (to “justify” his Vietraq War), evidence that didn’t exist because Iraq had had nothing to do with 9/11, “President” Pussygrabber has ordered his “very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL” to find voter fraud that doesn’t exist.

It’s not, of course, that the states that wisely are resisting the fascist, illegitimate “president’s” demand for detailed information on every single voter in the nation are trying to “hide” anything; it’s that it’s fucking obvious that you don’t turn over highly sensitive, personal data for millions and millions of voters to a fascist, illegitimate, wholly untrustworthy White House regime that obviously intends to use the data only for evil.

(If you can’t get on board with “evil,” you at least have to admit that the “commission on election integrity” fucking obviously is not a non-partisan, neutral, disinterested operation that dispassionately, objectively and fairly would delve into the subject of “election integrity.”)

The actual wording of the “commission’s” June 28 letter to the 50 states, signed by the “commission’s” “vice chair,” Repugnican-of-course Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a real Nazi known only for his voter-suppression efforts** (and who is running for governor of Kansas, of course), is scary.

The letter reads, in part:

… In addition, in order for the Commission to fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting, I am requesting that you provide to the Commission the publicly available voter roll data for [your state], including, if publicly available under the laws of your state, the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security [sic] number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information.

You may submit your responses electronically to ElectionIntegrityStaff@ovp.eop.gov or by utilizing the Safe Access File Exchange (“SAFE”), which is a secure FTP site the federal government uses for transferring large data files. You can access the SAFE site at https://safe.amrdec.army.mil/safe/Welcome.aspx. We would appreciate a response by July 14, 2017. Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public. … [Emphases in bold are mine.]

“Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public.” I interpret that line very broadly, because of the treasonous Nazi weasels with which we are dealing.

The letter does ask for other information besides individual voters’ extensive personal information, but I think that in order to be safe and not very, very sorry, we have to assume that the “commission” indeed would make all individual voter data stupidly submitted to it “available to the public.”

Imagine hordes of Orc-like Pussygrabber supporters poring over millions of voter registration records — provided to them by Pussygrabber’s “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” — with the purpose of harassing, say, those who have Spanish or Arabic surnames or whose names suggest that they are black Americans.

And, of course, they would seek to harass all of those who are registered as Democrats (and maybe even also anyone who isn’t registered as a Repugnican; I, for example, am registered with the Green Party, and I would rather castrate myself with a pair of fingernail clippers than cast a vote for a Repugnican).

This harassment of voters could be illegal, classical harassment, such as by personally, directly contacting and harassing and trying to intimidate these registered voters whose contact information so helpfully has been made public by the “commission on election integrity,” and/or it could be bureaucratic harassment, such as by challenging the validity of individuals’ voter registration — challenging mostly or only Democrats or (perceived) Democratic leaners, of course. (These challenges almost always turn out to be bullshit, but local elections officials have to deal with them anyway.)

I am happy to live in a state whose laws wisely fiercely protect my voter registration information from those who would misuse it. Indeed, the verbiage in the “commission’s” June 28 letter, “I am requesting that you provide to the Commission the publicly available voter roll data for [your state], including, if publicly available under the laws of your state…,” apparently would exclude California, because a voter’s information isn’t publicly available under California state law.

In any event, on June 29, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla released this strongly worded press release:

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla today released the statement below in response to a letter from Kris Kobach, Vice Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The Commission was established through executive order by President Donald Trump after he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election. Because he lost the popular vote, Trump has falsely alleged that three to five million votes were cast illegally in the 2016 election. This, despite the fact that his claims of voter fraud are unsubstantiated and that academics and bipartisan leaders have confirmed that there is no evidence of large-scale, let alone massive, voter fraud.

“The President’s commission has requested the personal data and the voting history of every American voter — including Californians. As Secretary of State, it is my duty to ensure the integrity of our elections and to protect the voting rights and privacy of our state’s voters. I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally.

“California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach. The President’s Commission is a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections [oh, snap!].

“The President’s appointment of Kobach — who has a long history of sponsoring discriminatory, anti-immigrant*** policies, including voter suppression and racial profiling laws — sends a clear and ominous message. His role as vice chair is proof that the ultimate goal of the commission is to enact policies that will result in the disenfranchisement of American citizens.

“I will continue to defend the right of all eligible voters to cast their ballots free from discrimination, intimidation or unnecessary roadblocks.”

Absolutely.

And Padilla isn’t alone.

The Associated Press reports that at least 10 states (California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia) and the District of Columbia won’t give the “president’s” “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” any voter information at all.

Even Mississippi’s Repugnican secretary of state said that the “president’s” “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” “can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from,” adding, “Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”

The only states that are going to participate in Pussygrabber’s “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” sham are those red states that already are on board with voter suppression that helps the treasonous Repugnican Party, which is faltering so badly that to survive is has to cheat, such as to steal presidential elections (as in 2000 and in 2016), to engage in gerrymandering on crack, and to engage in the suppression of those voters it deems (correctly or incorrectly) aren’t supportive of it.

*As CNN reported at the time, “President” Pussygrabber’s own legal team claimed in a court filing in response to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s quest for a recount of Michigan’s vote for president that “All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake.”

Clearly, it’s “fraud” only when it benefits Pussygrabber that it’s “fraud.” When it doesn’t benefit him, then it isn’t.

**Wikipedia notes of Nazi Kobach:

In 2015, [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach received from the [state] legislature and the governor the right to prosecute cases of voter fraud, after claiming for four years that Kansas had a massive problem of voter fraud that the local and state prosecutors were not adequately addressing. At that time, he “said he had identified more than 100 possible cases of double voting.” Testifying during hearings on the bill, questioned by Rep. John Carmichael, Kobach was unable to cite a single other state that gives its secretary of state such authority.

By February 7, 2017, Kobach had filed nine cases and obtained six convictions. All were regarding cases of double voting; none would have been prevented by voter ID laws. One case was dropped. The other two were still pending. All six convictions involved elderly citizens who were unaware that they had done anything wrong.

One of those prosecuted, Randall Kilian, thought he was expressing his preference about marijuana legalization as it affected his new Colorado retirement property after receiving a mail-in ballot in 2012. He didn’t want pot growing next to his home, so he marked that issue only, and mailed it in as instructed. The sheriff and county attorney of Ellis County, Kansas, learned of this and questioned Kilian. Both concluded he had not intentionally broken the law and decided not to prosecute. However, when Kobach got prosecutorial authority in such cases, a year later, he reopened the case. Trying to avoid the expense of a trial, Kilian pleaded guilty in 2016 and paid a $2,500 fine.

Critics of Kobach’s crusade say that he overreaches on cases that district attorneys deemed not worth prosecuting, and allege that he is motivated by racism. University of Kansas assistant professor of political science Patrick Miller includes voter intimidation as a form of fraud. “The substantially bigger issue with voter fraud has been election fraud being perpetrated by election officials and party officials tampering with votes.” “It is not the rampant problem that the public believes that is there. Kris Kobach says it is. Donald Trump says it is. And the data just aren’t there to prove it. It’s a popular misconception that this is a massive problem.”

A Brennan Center for Justice report calculated that rates of actual voter fraud are between 0.00004 percent and 0.0009 percent. The center calculated that someone is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud.

Indeed. The Brennan Center’s report is here.

***Indeed, this is a blow-up of the document that Kris Kobach had in his hand in the photo of his meeting with Pussygrabber above:

The document Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach is holding during a photo-op with President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday in Bedminster, NJ. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press photo

The meeting between Pussygrabber and Kobach was on November 20, 2016, at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, in Bedminster, N.J, and Kobach was lobbying Pussygrabber to become the U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary by showing his xenophobic, nationalistic chops.

His right-wing, anti-immigrant sentiment is clear just from the portion of the document that he stupidly left in view.

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Don’t know WTF you’re doing? No problem! Become a ‘war president’!

I’d say that “President” Pussygrabber is focusing on military actions right now because he has no fucking clue as to how to handle domestic affairs.

That’s true, but the larger truth, I think, is even worse than that: War is a great diversion from the fact that our corporate overlords – Pussygrabber & Co. and many others – are continuing to rob us commoners blind, through such means as government deregulation meant to increase obscene profiteering, the continuing privatization of the commons and of governmental functions (including, of course, health care, public schools and prisons), and giving even more tax breaks to the rich while the rest of us continue to pay more than our fair share of taxes.

“I’m a war president,” George W. Bush infamously declared in February 2004. Never mind that the Vietraq War that he launched in March 2003 not only was bogus and immoral, but was illegal; the unelected Bush regime committed war crimes, causing the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people in Iraq, giving Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad a run for his money where body counts in the Middle East are concerned.

“War President” Gee Dubya went on to destroy the nation’s economy by the time he left office in January 2009, and, of course, not only did the Vietraq War provide war profits for Dick Cheney’s war-profiteering Halliburton (and for other war profiteers), but it distracted the masses while BushCheneyCorp and friends freely looted the nation. It was great cover.

This is what it’s about these days when the United States of America goes to war.

That and since Pussygrabber is an egomaniacal man-child who would do anything to get his awful favorability numbers up, expect the remainder of whatever time Pussygrabber has left in the White House to include a shitload of saber-rattling.

Finally, of course, the Pussygrabber administration’s new-found supposedly adversarial stance toward Russia (via Syria) strikes me as a transparent, cynical attempt to try to put to rest the months-long chatter about how Team Pussygrabber has been in bed with Russia (perhaps even literally) even before the presidential election.

When the unelected Pussygrabber administration drops a MOAB on Moscow, then maybe we can believe that the supposed, awfully conveniently new hostility between Team Pussygrabber and Team Putin is real.

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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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Live-blogging the third Dem debate

Democratic U.S. presidential candidates Sanders and O'Malley resume debating with rival Clinton missing from her podium as she failed to return from a break at the Democratic presidential candidates debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester

Reuters photo

Tonight’s third Democratic Party presidential debate resumed for several seconds without Billary Clinton, who hadn’t returned to her center podium on time after a break. Apparently the Force wasn’t with Billary quite enough… Anyway, tonight’s debate may have boosted the on-fire Bernie Sanders a bit, but probably didn’t change the overall dynamics of the race; Bernie and Billary remain the frontrunners, with apparent veep wannabe Martin O’Malley remaining at a distant third.

5:00 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time): The debate starts any moment now. It’s in Manchester, New Hampshire, and is being hosted by ABC News.

5:02 p.m.: Pre-debate chatter has included George Stephanopoulos claiming that the San Bernardino massacre is at the top of the voters’ minds. Really? Is it? Or is that the corporately owned and controlled media trying to tell us commoners what to be concerned about? I mean, they wouldn’t want us to be concerned about, oh, say, income inequality, would they?

Anyway, since Stephanopoulos worked in the Clinton White House, how impartial can he be?

5:08 p.m.: Prognosticator Nate Silver just gave a too-short cameo. He stated that whoever wins the Iowa caucuses on February 1 can expect about a seven-point bounce in the polls. Yup. That’s why I very much hope that Bernie Sanders wins Iowa. He’s already leading in New Hampshire, so a win in Iowa for Sanders no doubt would lead to a win in New Hampshire (on February 9), which probably would result in the collapse of Billary Clinton’s campaign.

5:14 p.m.: The talking heads are blathering about the Repugnicans’ presidential race. WTF? I don’t watch the Repugnican Tea Party presidential debate coverage, as I won’t waste my time on their hate- and lie-fests, but I highly doubt that during the Repugnican Tea Party presidential debate coverage, the Democrats are discussed.

5:26 p.m.: 5:00 p.m. was widely advertised as the start time of this thing, but apparently 5:30 p.m. is the actual start time…

5:31 p.m.: ABC’s live stream keeps freezing on me, so the times of my comments that you see here might be a bit off… The three candidates are on the stage now. Once again, Bernie Sanders is to the left of Billary Clinton’s left as you look at them. I still love that symbolism.

5:33 p.m.: Billary, who wants to be panderer in chief, speaks first. She mentioned ISIS before she mentioned Americans’ socioeconomic well-being. Typical of her.

5:34 p.m.: Martin O’Malley speaks second. He mentioned ISIS first, too. Creep. Democratic leaders lead the debate; they don’t follow the Repugnican Tea Party’s “lead,” don’t let them set the agenda.

5:36 p.m.: Bernie Sanders speaks now. He mentioned the economy first. That’s called leadership. Bernie also has spoken about climate change. He spoke about ISIS and combatting it and terrorism last, which was in order of our national priorities (well, OK, I’d put climate change first).

5:39 p.m.: Of course “Datagate” has come up. Bernie blames the IT vendor for allowing his campaign staff to have seen Clinton campaign data and states that the one staff member who is known to have looked at Clinton campaign data has been fired. (They just cut away to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose smug face I would love to wipe off of her head.)

Bernie, although prompted, has apologized to Billary for “Datagate.” She has accepted his apology and states that an independent investigation will be done of “Datagate” (“Datagate” is my word [and The Nation’s], not hers) and that we need to move on. Yes, we do.

(Bernie also has reminded us that during the first debate he “pardoned” [my word, not his] Billary for E-mailgate, and he indicated that he’d like “Datagate” not to consume all of the oxygen in the room, either, as the nation has much larger fish to fry. Yup. Martin O’Malley has concurred.)

5:45 p.m.: Now discussion of ISIS. ISIS is not our greatest issue, so I don’t think that I’m going to play along and regurgitate everything about ISIS here.

5:48 p.m.: O’Malley seems earnest, but he polls in the low single digits. Um, yeah.

Bernie reminds us that he voted against the 2003 Vietraq War, and states that he opposes unilateral American military action. He states that he believes that Muslims in the Middle East should lead the war against ISIS. Yup.

5:50 p.m.: Now gun control. I do agree with Billary on this issue, although it’s a new-found “concern” of hers. Billary states that we need to work with Muslims here in the United States to prevent their “radicalization.” Of course we do. (Of course, we need to work with the “Christo”fascists also to prevent their radicalization, since [9/11 aside] they kill many more Americans than do the “Islamofascists.”)

5:52 p.m.: Bernie reminds us that people do have the constitutional right to own guns. Yup. That said, Bernie says, we need “sensible gun safety regulations.” Yup. We need to strengthen background checks and “eliminate the gun-show loophole,” he says, adding that civilians do not need military-grade weaponry. Yup.

5:54 p.m.: O’Malley is acting like he’s in a Repugnican debate and is refusing to play by the rules of the debate. He’s being allowed to talk over the moderator. He’s being an asshole, acting like a candidate whose polling is trapped in the single digits…

5:56 p.m.: Bernie is adamantly defending himself against O’Malley’s attack. Go, Bernie! We need this in our champion. Bernie reminds us that any change in gun laws needs consensus in Congress. Unfortunately, my live streaming is going in and out now and I’m missing much of this discussion… I apologize for that…

6:01 p.m.: Billary just said that Donald Trump, with his Islamophobic demagoguery, “is becoming ISIS’ best recruiter.” Yup.

Bernie reminds us now that Americans aren’t concerned just about terrorism, but are concerned about their socioeconomic status and their children’s future. Bernie is very animated, talking about how while Donald Trump demagogues that Mexicans and Muslims are our enemy, “the rich get richer.” Yup. And wow. Bernie is on fire!

6:04 p.m.: Moderator Martha Raddatz, whom I’ve always liked (she is firm and stern but fair), just had to check O’Malley, something that the male moderator, whose name I don’t know (he looks like a vapid underwear model who fairly recently became a TV news “talent”) couldn’t do. As I’ve said before, O’Malley seems to be hanging in there only in order to become the vice-presidential candidate.

6:07 p.m.: O’Malley just awkwardly name-dropped the name of an American Muslim friend of his (kind of like saying that you have a black friend or a gay friend) and told a maudlin story about his Muslim American friend’s child asking his father if a President Donald Trump would remove them from their home because they’re Muslim. Jesus fuck, Martin.

6:10 p.m.: The discussion now is on refugees from the Middle East. O’Malley is eager to let us all know that he’s better than his opponents on this issue.

6:11 p.m.: Martha now asks Bernie Sanders why he doesn’t support boots on the ground against ISIS when in the past he has supported boots on the ground against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

The U.S. can’t be the world police, he responds. Bernie says the boots on the ground should be Middle Eastern Muslim boots, not American boots. He slams rich Middle Eastern nations for not doing enough to combat ISIS, but squandering their resources elsewhere, such as on hosting the World Cup. Hell, yeah!

6:15 p.m.: Billary states that ISIS wants American troops back in the Middle East (especially in Iraq in Syria), “Americans soldiers on the ground fighting them,” giving them “a great recruiting opportunity.” Wow. I agree with her on this.

But Martha now follows up, reminding us that the small special operations forces that Billary supports against ISIS in the Middle East could end up like Vietnam, which began with small operations forces there… Billary calls that a “false choice.”

6:18 p.m.: O’Malley is talking. Does it matter? Just keeping it real… Well, OK, he has called ISIS a “genocidal threat,” which is fairly accurate. As I have stated before, I want ISIS vanquished, as I would want any mass-murderous theocrats vanquished, but the U.S. is rotting from within here at home, and we can’t return to the days of the unelected Bush regime in which it was All Terror, All The Time, while things here at home continued to disintegrate.

6:21 p.m.: Bernie reminds us once again that he voted against the Vietraq War in October 2002 while Billary voted for it, and he charges that Billary is too much into “regime change.” He stats that “regime change” too often creates a “political vacuum filled by terrorists,” such as happened in Iraq because of the Vietraq War.

Billary fights back, stating that Bernie voted for regime change in Libya against Moammar Gadhafi.*

6:24 p.m.: The topic now is Libya, on which I’m largely ignorant. Billary now states that she opposes having Iranians in Syria, something I don’t know that Bernie Sanders ever advocated, if that is what she was implying.

“The destruction of ISIS” is our primary concern regarding the Middle East right now, since it was ISIS that struck Paris and apparently inspired the San Bernardino mass murderers, Bernie stated. (Again, there has been zero evidence that there was any actual coordination between ISIS and the San Bernardino mass murderers, so to me the comparison of San Bernardino to Paris is a very, very weak one, usually made by those [treasonous right-wingers, that is] who would love an actual attack on the U.S. by ISIS for political gain, such as how 9/11, which the unelected Bush regime had done precious little to nothing to prevent, was great for the Bush regime to use for political gain. [They were able to use it long enough to at least to “win” “re”-election in November 2004.])

6:27 p.m.: Martin O’Malley just got booed by the audience — quite deservedly so — after stating that he wanted to bring a younger generation’s perspective to the issue of the Middle East. Wow. It was an ageist statement, and perhaps the lowest that he has sunk in these debates thus far.

6:30 p.m.: Whew. Finally, a break.

Thus far I believe that O’Malley has harmed himself by having made an ageist comment and having made an asshole of himself by ignoring the underwear model cum moderator (whose name apparently is David) and talking over him.

I don’t see that either Billary or Bernie can be called the “winner” thus far. That is, if you’re a Clintonista, perhaps even a Billarybot, you’ll say that Billary “won” this debate, and if you are a “Berner,” you’ll say that Bernie “won” it. This pretty much was the same dynamic that we saw in the first two debates.

That said, Bernie has been on fire and has made no flubs or gaffes that I have spotted.

6:37 p.m.: Uh-oh — Billary was late in returning to the stage. They resumed without her. Awkward…

The subject now is the economy. Bernie says that we need “to tell the billionaire class, ‘You cannot have it all.'” He says we need a $15/hour minimum wage, equal pay for women, youth employment, job creation via infrastructure work and tuition-free higher education. Yup.

O’Malley is talking, but he pretty much lost me with his ageist comment. I wish that he would drop out already and stop wasting our time, but I doubt that he will. He really needs a new job, apparently.

6:41 p.m.: Billary states that income inequality is bad for our economy and our democracy. “You’re not going to hear anything about this” from the Repugnican presidential candidates, she stated correctly. She states, among other things, that we need to raise the minimum wage, but she doesn’t tell us that she supports only a $12/hour minimum wage, not a $15/hour minimum wage.

6:43 p.m.: Billary states that the super-wealthy should pay at least 30 percent in taxes. Yup. She talks about helping small businesses, which is a canard frequently used by those of the center-right to support capitalism, even though capitalism stopped being about small businesses decades ago and has been about large to gargantuan corporations for decades now.

6:45 p.m.: Bernie states that while corporate America might love a President Billary, as she just said that they should, as president corporate America will hate him. Go, Bernie! Bernie reminds us that he won’t take campaign contributions from corporations. Greed is destroying our economy and the lives of million of Americans, he just said forcefully. Again, he’s on fire tonight.

6:47 p.m.: O’Malley just stated that the way forward is not through Bernie Sanders’ socialism, “which the rest of the world is moving away from” (let the fact-checkers sort that one out [and O’Malley’s shameless red-baiting is pathetic and is just another symptom of his desperation]) or Billary Clinton’s “crony capitalism.”

Bernie pretty much just ignores the red-bating bullshit and Billary once again tries to deflect, indicating that the Repugnicans are the main enemy. Weak. (She’s used this rather pathetic tactic in the previous debates.)

6:51 p.m.: Bernie reminds us once again that he has no super-PAC and that Billary has taken a lot of money from Wall Street over the years.

6:52 p.m.: The topic now is health care, including “Obamacare” (the Affordable Care Act). While “Obamacare” has made some improvements in our national health care system, such as no longer penalizing those with pre-existing conditions, out-of-pocket expenses and prescription-drug prices need to be reined in, Billary says. “We need to build on it and fix it,” she says (“it” apparently being “Obamacare”).

6:55 p.m.: Bernie calls for single-payer health care and proclaims that health care should be a right. I agree wholeheartedly. He points out that nations that pay much less for health care have better health-care outcomes than does the U.S. He states that under his plan, the average American family would save thousands of dollars a year on health-care costs.

6:58 p.m.: Bernie is asked how tuition-free college would work. He cites new sports facilities and overpaid college and university administrators as part of the problem of overpriced higher education. Bernie says a “speculation tax on Wall Street” would pay for his plan for tuition-free college.

7:00 p.m.: O’Malley touts “an income-based [student-loan] repayment plan.” I support a no-payment repayment plan — that is, student loans need to be eliminated altogether and we need to make higher education a right, just like health care. (We can afford to educate our people; we need only significantly pare down our bloated-beyond-belief military budget, which exists far more for fat government contracts for greedy traitors than it does for the actual defense of the nation.)

7:02 p.m.: Billary correctly states that the states have defunded their colleges and universities over the past decades and put the money elsewhere, such as prisons (and tax breaks for the wealthy, of course, I would add).

Billary does not support free tuition, however, she states. As I’ve said before, Billary wants a Band-Aid where an emergency surgery is required. She doesn’t go nearly far enough, which is part of her long history of progressive rhetoric but center-right action that preserves the status quo so that she doesn’t step on any toes so that the campaign cash keeps flowing to her coffers.

Billary Clinton and her fellow hypocritical baby boomers should want today’s college students to have it as well as they did when they were of college age, when the “greatest generation” gladly paid for their college education and did not saddle them with crippling student-loan debt.

7:08 p.m.: It just got a little feisty there between Bernie and Billary, but not rancorous, which is to the Democratic Party’s credit, I believe. I’m having live-streaming issues again, so I hope that I’m not missing anything right now…

7:10 p.m.: I guess we’re on break now. Harry Enten and Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com are being interviewed now. I like both of the nerds and read them regularly. Silver says Billary’s lead in Iowa “is not that large.” He says Billary still “has vulnerability in Iowa.” He says that Bernie can win both Iowa and New Hampshire. Wow.

I’m now having live-streaming issues yet once again… I missed what this Clair (spelling?) pundit had to say…

7:15 p.m.: We’re back to the debate. Now the topic is relations between law enforcement officers and civilians. O’Malley indicates that as mayor of Baltimore he inherited a deeply troubled city but that as mayor of the city and then as governor of Maryland he brought down crime and incarceration rates.

Bernie points out that we have 2.2 million, predominantly black and Latino, Americans behind bars. We need to end institutionalized racism and reform the criminal justice system, he says, adding that our law-enforcement officers need to stop shooting unarmed, predominantly black, Americans, and that the “war on drugs” needs to end. Police departments should look like the communities they serve and minimum sentencing must stop. We need more jobs and less incarceration, he said.

Bernie handled that question remarkably better than did Billary, whose repsonse was unremarkable and unmemorable, or O’Malley.

7:22 p.m.: Now the topic is drugs (primarily heroin and other opiates, apparently). Bernie says that addiction is a medical issue, not a criminal issue. Yup. He says part of a health-care overhaul must be fast and effective drug-addiction treatment. Yup.

Billary has “a five-point plan” to combat opiate abuse, she says. She advocates for greater availability of the drug Naloxone, which prevents opiate overdose deaths.

O’Malley is name-dropping again; apparently he has known people addicted to opiates. (When you’re unemployed, I guess, you have the opportunity to meet a lot of people…) He advocates for a $12 billion federal program to combat opiate addiction.

7:26 p.m.: Martha Raddatz brings the discussion back to Libya. “How much responsibility do you bear for the chaos that followed elections” in Libya, Martha just asked Billary. Wow.

Billary doesn’t really answer, but claims that things in Libya are getting better now, adding, “this is not easy work.”

That wasn’t good enough for Martha, who never lets you off easily. She repeats the question almost verbatim.

Billary claims that Libyans were not responsive to offers from help after Gadhafi was overthrown. So I guess she blames the Libyans.

“Were mistakes made?” Martha, probably exasperated, asks.

Billary still won’t actually answer the question.

7:30 p.m.: Bernie reminds us that regime change often doesn’t work. Overthrowing a dictator is relatively easy; it’s hard to predict what will happen after regime change, he said.

7:32 p.m.: O’Malley seems to share Bernie’s distaste for regime change. Before that, Billary made an odd remark that we need to both be able to support “strong men” in the Middle East and promote democracy. Whut?

7:34 p.m.: I guess this is the last question, and it’s a dumb one; apparently the question is whether or not it’s time to change the role of a president’s spouse, and it seems directed mainly at Bill Clinton, who would be the nation’s first first gentlemen should (shudder) Billary win the White House.

Bernie now is talking of his own wife, adding that she was a foster parent before he married her, and that as first lady of the U.S. she would be a “forceful advocate” for our youth.

O’Malley states that as first lady of Maryland, his wife was an advocate against domestic violence, but that as first lady of the nation she would do or not do whatever she pleased, that it would be up to her. (Why wouldn’t it be, Martin? Anyway, she won’t be first lady of the U.S. unless O’Malley becomes vice president and the president dies or otherwise no longer can serve in office, but OK…)

7:39 p.m.: A break now. We’re told there is “much more to come.” Oh, I hope not. This has been enough…

7:40 p.m.: Oh, good. George Stephanopoulos, of whom we’ve seen little tonight, thankfully, has said closing statements are close at hand. George and his ABC News companion are talking about the Repugnicans’ reponse to tonight’s debate thus far. I could give a shit what their response is…

7:44 p.m.: Closing statements now. Bernie first. “On our worst day” he and his two competitors for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination have more to offer the American people than the best that the Repugnican presidential contenders can offer the American people, he says. Yup.

Bernie says that he will bring about a “political revolution” in which millions stand up and say “enough is enough,” that “this country belongs to all of us, not to just a handful of billionaires.” (I quasi-paraphrase, but that’s pretty darn close.)

O’Malley now. He says tonight has been “a healthy exchange of ideas.” He says the Repugnican debates are filled with “anger” and “fear,” but not the Democrats’. Yeah. True that. Now O’Malley brings up climate change and reminds us that we live in “divided and polarized times.”

Billary now warns of a Repugnican taking over the White House in January 2017. She’s now pretty much fear-mongering, even though O’Malley just said that the Dems don’t do that…

Not that she’s wrong about what a Repugnican White House administration would do and how bad it would be for the nation, but she’s using the old Clintonian triangulating tactic of “Vote for me, because the Repugnicans are even worse and scarier!”

That lesser-of-two-evils tactic stopped being good enough long ago, if it ever was good enough. Read my lips: I. Will. Not. Vote. For. Billary. Clinton. Ever.

Jesus Christ. Billary just had the very last words of tonight’s debate, which were “May the Force be with you.”

Was that supposed to be funny? Did some nerdy, virginal intern come up with that, telling her it would make her appear to be hip? It was just awkward and a bit weird.

Anyway. The debate is over, thank Goddess. (While I still strongly maintain that it’s bullshit that thanks to Billarybot and Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz we have gone from 26 Democratic presidential primary debates in 2008 to six this cycle, I probably won’t complain that I have only three more live-blogging sessions to go. [Twenty-six debates in 2008 was excessive, but we could have gone with at least 10 or 12 this time around. Fuck, at least eight.])

I don’t think that this debate will help O’Malley. We’ll see whether his ageist comment comes back to haunt him or not. (Not that his poll numbers could go much lower…)

“Datagate” probably is pretty much over now — it was a “scandal” that lasted all of two days…

I believe that tonight Bernie Sanders had his best of three-thus-far debate performances. He gets a bit repetitive if you follow him, as I do, but that also is called keeping on message, for which I can’t fault a serious candidate. And I don’t see it as his inability to be flexible, but I see it as his recognition that important issues easily can be sidelined with the corporately owned and controlled “news” media’s scandal du jour, such as the San Bernardino massacre, and that we can’t solve our largest problems if we’re constantly bouncing around from one smaller thing to the next. (The corporations and the plutocrats who own and love them don’t want us to solve our largest problems, of course, since they are our largest problems.)

Billary Clinton just doesn’t excite me. Not only am I intimately familiar with her center-right/Repugnican-Lite record, but her rhetoric is so designed to appeal to and not to offend as many people as possible (including the Wall Street weasels who continue to give her campaign cash) that most of it is lifeless and uninspiring.

But that is lost on the Clintonistas, the Billarybots, I know.

Again, I don’t think that the race has changed based upon tonight’s debate. The race remains a two-way race between Bernie and Billary, the real Democrat and the Democrat in name only, respectively. If tonight’s debate helped either of them more than the other, my hunch is that it boosted Bernie a bit more than it did Billary, as for a long time now, I surmise, he’s had significantly more room for growth in support than she has had.

I think it’s telling that the only candidate who got booed tonight was Martin O’Malley, when he prickishly made his ageist comment. Could it be a harbinger of his dropping out? I wish, but, alas, it probably isn’t.

Perhaps tonight’s biggest takeaway message for me is Nate Silver’s statement that of course Bernie Sanders can win both Iowa and New Hampshire.

Let us hope that Bernie does — and finally drives that long-overdue stake through the cold and slimy hearts of Billary Clinton, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the many, many other DINOs everywhere.

*Fact check: Slate.com notes:

… Clinton’s statement that Sanders “voted for regime change” in Libya is questionable, since Congress didn’t vote on the issue, which was part of the whole problem: The Obama administration just announced late in the afternoon one day that it would establish a no-fly zone in Libya. (The Sanders campaign believes Clinton is referring to this nonbinding resolution that basically said Qaddafi is terrible and should go.)

Because the ABC moderators were frequently awful, Sanders never got an opportunity to respond. But he didn’t seem too upset with that, either. Later in the night, when the issue came up again, Sanders again didn’t jump in to defend himself against Clinton’s charge. …

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Billarybots in the corporate media punditry: A ‘God’-less Bernie ATTACKS!

Now that the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination is between Bernie Sanders and Billary Clinton, of course the attacks on Sanders have intensified. While Barack Obama has been painted as a Muslim, Sanders apparently is being painted as an atheist (gasp!) as well as a socialist (gasp! gasp! gasp!). And because the corporately owned and controlled media love to report on a fight, they’re portraying Sanders’ campaigning — that is, simply distinguishing himself from his main opponent — as “attacks” on poor Billary. Above is a screen grab of Sanders’ recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s television show, in which Kimmel asked Sanders whether he believes in “God” and Sanders did not give a direct “yes” or “no” response to the religious test for the presidency that long-time asshole Kimmel put before him. (Video of that exchange is here.) 

I supported Barack Obama in 2008*, and I remember that whenever he made a reference to “God” when he was running for the nation’s highest office, I cringed.

I didn’t much hold it against him, but held my nose and voted for him anyway. Although there is supposed to be no religious test for the presidency, up to now, anyway, pretty much any presidential candidate who hasn’t claimed to believe in the “Christian” equivalent of Zeus widely has been considered unelectable. Therefore, no presidential candidate has dared not to make such a claim, whether true or not.

Until now, apparently.

Last month I wrote of Bernie Sanders:

… I much would rather see a secular Muslim in the White House than I’d ever want someone like Ben Carson or Mike Huckabee or Ted Cruz (or Mittens the Mormon millionaire) in the White House. Because the issue isn’t nearly so much the content of the religion that we’re talking about, but how much one who is in power (or wishes to have more power) wishes to impose his or her religious beliefs upon the rest of us.

That is the problem — when theofascists just can’t/won’t keep their hateful, insane, dangerous dogmas to themselves, but wish to shove them down our throats, a la theocrat Kim Davis and those who publicly support her, including theocratic Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes.

Where it comes to religion I am equal opportunity; I couldn’t support a right-wing Jew for president, either, because I can’t see a right-wing Jew keeping his or her right-wing religious ideology out of his or her governance.

Bernie Sanders, my chosen 2016 presidential candidate, was born to Jewish parents, but from his biography I gather that he’s quite secular, that he understands how critical is the separation between church and state, so he doesn’t frighten me in the least. I don’t see at all that Sanders has a hidden agenda of imposing Jewish law (which, I guess from my quick Internet research, is called “halakhah”) upon the land once in the Oval Office. …

So this isn’t news, but now that Bernie Sanders unquestionably is the only candidate who still might yet bring down Queen Billary Clinton, the attacks by the corporately owned and controlled media (which play the “God” card, since it’s good for bidness [more than 90 percent of Americans say that they believe in “God”]) — hard and soft attacks, direct and indirect attacks — are starting. (Well, not “starting,” really, but intensifying; the whole “socialist” thing has been anywhere from a sneer to a slam all along.)

Reports the Washington Post yesterday under the headline: “Bernie Sanders: Our First Non-religious President?” (remarks in [brackets] are mine):

Much of the attention paid to Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign has to do with the s-word: Can a socialist be elected president? How much of a socialist is he? What exactly is socialism? [Red-baiting is fun! It gets clicks! And advertising dollars!]

What many haven’t picked up on is that a Sanders presidency would be a first in a couple other ways. First, Sanders would be our first Jewish president. [Is that meant to scare people or enlighten them?] And second, while Sanders is culturally Jewish, he has said that he’s “not particularly religious” and has been described by some as agnostic [horrors!].

Asked during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s show this [past] week whether he believed in God, Sanders demurred.

“I am who I am,” Sanders said. “And what I believe in and what my spirituality is about, is that we’re all in this together. That I think it is not a good thing to believe that as human beings we can turn our backs on the suffering of other people.”

Sanders added: “This is not Judasim. This is what Pope Francis is talking about — that we cannot worship just billionaires and the making of more and more money. Life is more than that.”

In political terms, this is what’s known as a dodge. It’s an economic and cultural vision that Sanders attempts to shoehorn into a religious conversation by noting that religious people like Pope Francis feel the same way. It’s basically saying, “I’d rather talk about poor people than God.” …

Just: Wow. (Again, that’s the Washington Post.) I’d add, of course, that Jesus Christ talked an awful lot about poor people, something that most of today’s American “Christians” simply ignore because they don’t want to help out the poor. (Most of them, in fact, haven’t actually read the New Testament, and those who have, have retained very little of it.)

How about we put Bernie Sanders in a huge tank of water with huge rocks tied to him? If he sinks, then he doesn’t believe in God! — and he’ll receive his just punishment!

That would be the spirit of the mob mentality of a “Bernie-Sanders-doesn’t-believe-in-God!” meme, if it metastasizes.

I don’t much give a fuck whether Bernie Sanders believes in “God” or not. I mean, I would hope that the person who has access to the nuclear codes, to paraphrase Jeb! Bush, is not actually so insane as to believe in a non-existent Zeus-like deity who, he believes, wants him to do this or that, as though he were fucking Moses (as at least half of the Repugnican Tea Party presidential aspirants claim — that “God” has communicated to them personally that he wants them to be president).

But since Bernie just doesn’t talk about religion (thank “God”!), and since his record and his history make it pretty clear that as president he would preside secularly, I’m fine with him.

The thugs, murderers and rapists who comprise ISIS claim that they believe in “God.” (To be fair, within the U.S. military we’ve long had plenty of “Christian” thugs, murderers and rapists of our own.) The Israelis, who have slaughtered far more Palestinians than vice-versa, claim that they believe in “God” — indeed, they claim that they slaughter for “God,” as do their Palestinian adversaries (for whom I have much more sympathy than the Israelis, since far more of them die and since the Israelis long have had far more assistance from the United States than have the impoverished Palestinians [Israel apparently is the third-richest nation in the Middle East, behind Qatar and Kuwait; Palestine is the second-poorest nation in the Middle East, behind Yemen]).

George W. Bush, who, among other things, blatantly treasonously stole a presidential election in 2000; treasonously failed to protect Americans from “God”-driven terrorists on September 11, 2001 (on which almost 3,000 Americans were killed); treasonously started a wholly illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust, bogus war in Iraq in 2003 (in which more than 4,000 of our troops died for his lies and for Dick Cheney’s Halliburton’s war profiteering, and in which many, many more Iraqis were killed); and treasonously just allowed around 2,000 Americans to be killed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, claimed to be a huge believer in “God,” and look how much his belief in “God” benefited the nation and the world.

Billary Clinton claims to believe in “God,” but look at her record. She’s a war hawk (as the first [arguably viable] female president wannabe, she doesn’t want to appear to be weak on “defense”) — as long as she’s never put in harm’s way, it’s A-OK (she voted for the unelected Bush regime’s bogus Vietraq War in October 2002, knowing fully well that her precious ass never would be at risk). And while she claims now to be a populist, she’s always done Wall Street’s bidding, and the Wall Street weasels who give her mountains of campaign cash aren’t bothered by her populist rhetoric because, with a wink, they understand that it’s only rhetoric.

Not just to pick on Billary. Obama claims that he’s a “Christian” who believes in “God,” yet he very apparently is wholly untroubled by the hundreds of civilians whom his precious drones have slaughtered, and while he has talked about the struggling middle class, what, as president, has he done about the insane income inequality that began no later than during the presidency of Ronald Reagan? (Oh, that’s right: He’s always been too busy talking up Reagan as having been one of our greatest presidents ever.)

Jesus Christ proclaimed, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God,” and Jesus obviously was an anti-capitalist socialist. The Bible’s anti-capitalist, socialist stance long predates Jesus; I long have taken the story of the golden calf to be at least as much about the evil that is capitalism (specifically, greed, selfishness and materialism) as it is about “idolatry”; it wasn’t just the form of the calf that was being worshiped, but it also, of course, was the gold out of which it was made.

I applaud Bernie Sanders for not publicly proclaiming that he believes in “God.” Again, whether he actually believes in “God” or not isn’t nearly as important to me as is the fact that nothing in his political career (he was a mayor, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and now is in his second term in the U.S. Senate) suggests that he thinks it’s OK to shove his own religious beliefs down others’ throats. He is no theocrat.

My observation long has been that on the whole, agnostics and atheists are significantly more moral than are those who call themselves “Christians,” especially the right-wing nut jobs who proclaim themselves already “saved.” Once you’re already “saved,” you can do as you please, and you can find a way to claim that you’re just doing “God’s” bidding, whatever it is that you’re doing — even mass slaughter, such as George W. Bush did with his war crimes and his crimes against humanity (as well as with his treasonous, anti-democratic theft of the 2000 presidential election, in which he received more than a half-million fewer votes than did Al Gore).

Untold evil has been done in the name of “God” over the centuries, so to slam Bernie Sanders for possibly not believing in “God” is insane — and quite possibly evil, when we use “God” to justify our evil.

I support Bernie Sanders to the possibly-bitter end, but I’m acutely aware that it’s quite possible, if not even probable, that Bernie Sanders is way too evolved and advanced for the American people, who still dwell in their caves, knuckles dragging and mouths perpetually open, blathering about “God” and how important it is that everyone else believe in this “God.”

I’ve seen the Internet meme that Bernie Sanders is “not the president that we deserve, but the president that we need.”

That increasingly appears to be the case.

P.S. The corporately owned and controlled media, who profiteer from reporting conflict to the point that they’ll fabricate it if it doesn’t actually exist, and who of course want to take down the “socialist!” Bernie Sanders (capitalism must not be threatened!), now are reporting that he is “attacking” poor, poor Billary Clinton.

“Bernie Sanders Goes on the Attack at Iowa Democratic Dinner,” Politico reports, without actually substantiating the headline in the “news” story that’s right under it. The Washington Post takes a bit more sober approach, with “After a Long Stretch for Clinton, Sanders Turns More Aggressive,” but that headline doesn’t support the “news” story under it, either.

Read the two “news” stories yourself. You’ll see that Bernie Sanders and his campaign team simply are talking about his record and his beliefs and where his record and his beliefs differ from Clinton’s. That’s called campaigning. It’s what you’re supposed to fucking do: Tell the voter why she or he should vote for you instead of for your opponent or opponents. Duh.

I’ve seen nothing that Bernie Sanders has done or said that accurately could be deemed an “attack” on Billary — but, of course, it’s much more sensationalist to claim that “Bernie ATTACKS!”

Again: It strikes me as probably true that we need Bernie but don’t deserve him, that we deserve a President Billary or a President Rubio or yes, even a President Trump, if enough of us Americans don’t remove our heads from our rectums and finally vote in our own best interests — which necessitates that we see attacks on the democratic socialist and apparently agnostic-to-even-atheist Bernie Sanders by the corporately owned and controlled media punditry as what they are: desperate attempts to maintain the socioeconomic status quo, in which the vast majority of us Americans remain serfs to our corporate overlords.

*I supported and voted for him in 2008, but I didn’t vote for him in 2012 (I voted for the Green Party candidate instead), since the “change” that he’d promised never materialized — indeed, he spectacularly squandered his political capital in 2009 and 2010, which gave rise to the “tea party” and the loss of the U.S. House of Representatives to these fascists, which made me lose all of that hope.

Um, yeah: I, for one, actually hold someone to his or her campaign promises.

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No, Bernie wasn’t trying to save Billary

Bernie Sanders Does Not Care About 'Your Damn Emails,' Hillary Clinton

The sleazy Billary Clinton was only too happy to believe (mistakenly) that Bernie Sanders was dismissing her e-mail scandal altogether — he wasn’t; he was only trying to put it into universal perspective — and Sanders, immersed in the shallow, rapid-fire, infotaining, sound-bite-frenzied environment, apparently was unable to prevent his intent from immediately being twisted into something that it never was. It was, however, his first live-televised debate on the national stage, and she’s a veteran slime-weasel.

The American people’s attention deficit disorder is worse than I’d thought. The buzz after last night’s Democratic Party presidential debate is that Bernie Sanders was defending Billary Clinton in E-mailgate. He wasn’t. Clearly.

It’s that CNN and the rest of the establishment weasels are so quick to bow down before Queen Billary that Sanders’ rather obvious actual point got lost. Immediately. This is the transcript of the exchange (from the Washington Post’s full transcript of the debate):

CLINTON: … But tonight, I want to talk not about my e-mails, but about what the American people want from the next president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: Let me say this.

(APPLAUSE)

Let me say — let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.

(APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: Thank you. Me, too. Me, too.

SANDERS: You know? The middle class — Anderson, and let me say something about the media, as well. I go around the country, [I] talk to a whole lot of people. [The] middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.

(APPLAUSE) …

Why were Sanders’ words interpreted as a save for Billary Clinton? For a few reasons. One, given her prematurely enthusiastic response, obviously she welcomed such a “save”; when Billary immediately but incorrectly interpreted Bernie’s words as a more or less full pardon for E-mailgate from her strongest rival, she was downright giddy.

Pretty much every time that a fair criticism of her was brought up in the debate, Billary uttered some attempted deflection like, “But tonight, I want to talk not about my e-mails, but about what the American people want from the next president of the United States.” (Something that this American person wants in the next POTUS is that he or she does not run a home-brewed e-mail server from his or her home basement. Um, yeah.)

Other such deflections by Billary from one of her other top flaws — that she voted for the unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War in 2002 — were that she’d already covered this topic in the 2008 primary debates and that Barack Obama had chosen her as his secretary of state, so how poor could her judgment be? (Um, she was chosen as SOS primarily for political reasons, I’m confident. I mean, I’ve had a problem with Obama’s past apparent comparisons of himself to Abraham Lincoln, but Lincoln did apparently believe in keeping his enemies/frenemies close.)

So Billary needed and wanted a save from E-mailgate, and when Bernie prefaced his point with “let me say something that may not be great politics,” the desperate Billary, as did pretty much the entire punditry and the rest of the nation, took it as Bernie throwing her a life preserver.

Bernie then said, turning to Billary, “I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.”

I’m pretty sure that Billary orgasmed at that moment, and that moment immediately was interpreted, quite incorrectly, as Bernie having dismissed E-mailgate altogether. But that fairly obviously not only was not what he actually said, but was not his point, because he then immediately followed that with:

You know? The middle class — Anderson [Cooper, the moderator], and let me say something about the media, as well. I go around the country, [I] talk to a whole lot of people. [The] middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.

But Americans don’t want to talk about the real issues. The real issues are boring. They require research. And thought. And once we’re fully aware of a big problem, we then have the moral obligation to try to solve it. And that’s work. And work is hard. And usually not fun.

Bernie wasn’t saying that E-mailgate is not a problem whatsoever. He was putting it into perspective: “[The] middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.”

After the debate, Bernie was interviewed live by CNN at the locale of the debate and he stated that his one (or largest, anyway) regret about the debate is that the topic of income inequality didn’t get enough play.

Bernie apparently is just sick and tired that relatively minor issues like Billary’s e-mail habits are discussed instead of much bigger problems, such as climate change and the income inequality that has only grown since the Reagan years.

However, because Americans, including, of course, the punditry class (who personally benefit from continued income inequality), don’t want to talk about these huge problems, the narrative became that Bernie saved Billary from her e-mail scandal. Even my fellow leftist Ted Rall, with whom I usually agree, wrote of last night’s debate:

… It’s fun to watch rivals making nice. Party unity is swell. Who knows, maybe Bernie really does think Emailgate is no big deal. But I think it was a mistake.

First and foremost, the investigation has just begun. It isn’t wise to defend someone before all the facts are in, especially when that person’s resume is punctuated by multiple scandals.

Also, I take offense at the argument that, because the American people don’t care about an issue, that it ought not to be discussed (assuming that it is true that voters are tiring of the coverage, which may or may not be the case). Americans don’t care much about drones, the NSA, or turning Libya into a failed state (which Hillary helped do), or Guantánamo. Should we ignore those issues? Leadership is in large part about pointing to a problem and convincing people why they should care and what we should do to fix it.

For me, and I suspect many other non-Republicans, Emailgate points to a problem with Hillary Clinton’s ability to make judgment calls. She knew, in 2009 when she began as secretary of state, that she would soon run for president. Given that the GOP always targets her, it’s crazy that she didn’t play everything by the book. Examined along with her vote in favor of invading Iraq — another bad political decision since it was obvious to everyone intelligent that the war would go badly for the U.S. — it raises serious questions about Clinton’s fitness for the presidency and, as such, should not have prompted a full-throated defense from her chief rival.

Again, Bernie never stated that “E-mailgate is no big deal.” He only tried to put it into perspective — a bit inartfully. He had started to talk about the media, and had he fleshed that thought out, he’d have pointed out that the media love to report on juicy scandals, such as home-brewed e-mail servers, especially when they involve someone like perpetual scandal magnet Queen Billary Clinton, and that reportage on this partisan bickering (such as with E-mailgate and “Benghazigate”) eclipses our much larger problems, such as climate change and income inequality, both of which continue to worsen even as I type this sentence.

I agree wholeheartedly with Rall that “Emailgate points to a problem with Hillary Clinton’s ability to make judgment calls” and that “Examined along with her vote in favor of invading Iraq — another bad political decision since it was obvious to everyone intelligent that the war would go badly for the U.S. — it raises serious questions about Clinton’s fitness for the presidency.”

But for Rall to characterize Sanders’ words as “a full-throated defense” of Billary’s e-mail habits contradicts the words that Bernie actually spoke.

It’s that at a forum that was very deferential to Queen Billary (as Jim Webb complained, she was allowed to speak far more than was anyone else), a forum sponsored by the Clinton-friendly CNN before a largely Clinton-friendly live audience, and in a fast-moving, fairly shallow discussion meant much more to evoke more sound bites for an insatiably starving, zombified corporately owned and controlled mass media than to evoke anything remotely resembling actual thought, Bernie’s intent immediately got lost in the shuffle and then conveniently was corporately repackaged into something that it apparently never was intended to be: “a full-throated defense” of Billary against E-mailgate.

Rall notes that Sanders “clearly was off balance,” and it’s true that Sanders didn’t bring up everything that he could and should have in the debate, as Rall notes in his thoughtful-as-usual commentary. If I had helped Bernie prep for the debate, for instance, in response to Billary’s predictable criticism of him not being good enough on gun control, I’d have encouraged him to point out that his home state of Vermont, which he has represented in Congress since the early 1990s, has fewer gun murders per capita than does any other state except New Hampshire. (Vermont has 1.1 gun murders per 100,000 residents. New Hampshire has 1 per 100,000 residents.)

So when Bernie asserted during the debate last night that gun control is more of an issue for urban areas than for largely rural areas like Vermont, he was correct. Billary was, in her criticism of him, quite wrong, as she so often is on topics that matter.

I’d say that Bernie was a little off balance last night. He made no huge, Prick-Perry-level debate blunder, but he did make a few minor stumbles. But, um, it was his very first nationally televised debate. Billary Clinton is a highly polished liar. She’s been lying, minimizing, deflecting, flip-flopping, triangulating (like her hubby), blaming others, playing the feminism card, playing the victim card, etc., etc., on the national stage at least since the early 1990s. She’s a mega-ultra-slimebag/weasel, whereas Bernie Sanders is a bit of a wonky nerd.*

And Bernie can try to save us from ourselves, but in the end, we have to want to save ourselves.

That Bernie’s admonishment that we pay so much attention to things such as E-mailgate at the expense of larger issues such as “massive wealth and income inequality” and “whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United” fell flat because we’d much rather talk about how “Bernie saved Billary last night at the debate” isn’t Bernie’s fault. It’s ours.**

P.S. In the end, although Bernie prefaced his remarks by saying that they “may not be great politics,” I don’t think that it hurt Bernie, politically, to demonstrate that he wasn’t going to pile upon Billary, which is what I believe he meant to say that so many believe is “great politics.”

Not only could Bernie use a chunk of Billary’s supporters to switch to his team — which he won’t accomplish by alienating them too much — but Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee (and, to a lesser extent, Jim Webb) did plenty of piling upon Billary, which was wholly deserved, but which also made them look desperate because they’re losing (because they are — look at their polling) and which made them look like typical — not visionary — politicians.

I have questioned Bernie’s tactic of remaining above typically dirty politics, but it has gotten him this far, and he never was supposed to have gotten this far.

*I agree with Sanders wholeheartedly that the United States can match the level of socioeconomic success that some European nations have, and that it’s only a capitalism that has eaten itself that has prevented the U.S. from matching those nations’ success, but Team Bernie perhaps does need to think about how it comes off for him to so often rattle off such phrases as “countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway,” as he did last night.

Both moderator Anderson Cooper and Billary Clinton (like snarky junior-high-school students) quickly criticized Sanders’ mention of Denmark — as Stephen Colbert did during a chat with Sanders not long ago (Colbert was much funnier when he did it, but I still found his joke to be a bit disappointing, coming from him) — and while Sanders is correct on this issue, in politics (if you want to win elections) you sometimes have to bow to political realities, such as that Americans are xenophobic and jingoistic and anti-intellectual, and so they don’t want to hear about Denmark…

If Sanders insists on continuing to bring up Denmark — and I suspect that he does and that he will — that won’t sway me away from him one iota, but again, for the most part he’s not dealing with his intellectual equals, and that’s the political reality that he needs to work with.

**We can blame the media only so much. After all, not only do we allow the corporately owned and controlled media weasels to do as they please, but we don’t even fight the problem of corporately owned and controlled media having a monopoly on so-called “free” speech.

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