Tag Archives: Vietraq War

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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My money is on ‘Bootstraps’ Rubio for the Repugnican Tea Party nomination

Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Marco “Bootstraps” Rubio of Florida has a thirst for power that the party’s primary voters just might quench by making him his party’s 2016 presidential nominee. But I don’t see enough Latino voters, most of whom are Mexican American, falling for the bait and switch (Rubio is a right-wing, pro-plutocratic, anti-working-class Cuban American [which is fairly redundant]) and putting Rubio into the White House in November 2016.

Now that Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin wonderfully has tanked, I agree with the many pundits who now eye Marco Rubio as the most likely 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate.

Now that the 40-something Walker — the anti-labor-union one-trick pony who once actually compared members of labor unions to terrorists in the Middle East (because everything comes back to destroying what little is left of our labor unions) — is out of the picture, the 40-something Rubio now gets to be the “fresh face” of the Repugnican Tea Party presidential field.

I use quotation marks there and I have nicknamed Rubio “Bootstraps” because of the 1950s-era if-you’re-not-rich-it’s-your-own-damned-fault-because-you’re-probably-lazy-and-refuse-to-pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps bullshit political rhetoric that spews like poison from this right-wing Cuban American’s fangs as though he had just stepped out of a fucking time machine.

So now Rubio, at 44, is the youngest of the bunch of fascistic presidential wannabes, and so I expect the Repugnican Tea Party ultimately to view him as Their Latino Answer to Barack Obama. (U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the bat-shit insane reincarnation of Joseph McCarthy, is less than a year older than Rubio, but he seems older than that…)

Of course, when you look at the two Latinos who are vying for the Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination, both of them, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, are Cuban-American, which makes sense, since most Cuban Americans are to the right. Most of them are rich white (European-stock) Cubans who fled Cuba some decades ago because their plutocracy and their kleptocracy and their advocacy of insane income inequality (since the inequality benefited them) didn’t fly under the new, much more egalitarian Castro regime — and are the progeny of these former Cubans who have passed down their wingnuttery to their progeny. (Rubio’s parents, it should be noted, immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba in 1956, a few years before Castro’s rise in 1959, but Rubio, representing Florida, is wholly on board with the right-wing, anti-Castro Cuban Americans who believe that although they relatively are a tiny minority, they should dictate U.S. policy in regards to Cuba.)

While white supremacists don’t differentiate Latinos — a Spanish surname is a Spanish surname, and these racists tend to believe that all Latinos are “Mexicans” (or that, at least, it’s just easiest to just call Latinos “Mexicans” rather than try to sort them all out [much like how Middle Easterners attacked us on 9/11 and Iraq is in the Middle East — close enough!]) — it’s important to note that in 2010, 63 percent of Latinos in the U.S. were of Mexican descent, and only 3.5 percent of Cuban descent.

So Cuban Americans are not representative of most Latinos in the United States, so neither Rubio nor Cruz is representative of most Latinos in the United States.

But again, such distinctions don’t matter to those of the Repugnican Tea Party, who probably ignorantly and cynically will view Marco Rubio as their best shot at trying to reverse at least some of the damage that El Trumpo has done to the party with the Latino demographic.

Most Mexican Americans won’t buy it; the majority of them are quite through with the Repugnican Tea Party, and of course most of them are acutely aware, unlike whitey, of the differences between Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans.

But why do I predict Rubio and not Cruz? Because Cruz is so much of a nut job and a douche bag who can’t win a national election that even most of those in his party recognize that fact, that’s why. Perhaps to a lesser extent it’s also because his state of Texas will continue to be tarnished for a while because the last president who hailed from Texas was so fucking abysmally awful. That George W. Bush was the governor of Texas certainly harmed former Texas Gov. Prick Perry’s two bids for the White House, although Perry himself, like Cruz, is a shitty candidate, so in the cases of Perry and Cruz you can’t put all of the blame on Texas.

Let me list others who can’t and won’t win the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination: Lindsay Graham, Bobby Jindal, Prick Santorum, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Carly Fiorina. None of them (along with Cruz) is averaging even 7 percent in recent nationwide polls. Fiorina is a bit of a darling for the moment, but once more information is released about her — trust me, she ran for the U.S. Senate here in California in 2010 (and lost, of course), and her record and her character are seriously bad — she’s toast. She’s having her Michele Bachmann moment right now. Let her have it, as it’s all she’s going to get. (Well, no, she might get the veep spot. After Sarah Palin, anything is possible.)

So this easy elimination leaves us with Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Jeb! Bush and Marco Rubio, whose average nationwide polling right now is in that order, first through fourth.

It’s not impossible for Trump to emerge the victor, of course, but I doubt that he will. His campaign has money but no substance, and the party establishment wants him eliminated, so I can’t see Team Trump not sputtering out eventually. As some have posited, Trump might make some noise at the Repugnican National Convention, but it’s unlikely that he’ll win the party’s presidential nomination. Again, Trump has flash but no substance, and flash has a short shelf life.

Of course Ben Carson won’t win the nomination. Even if the party’s voters could get over his race in enough numbers to win him the nomination, no president in my lifetime of more than four decades had not been at least a U.S. senator or the governor of a state before ascending to the Oval Office, so that hurts Carson (as well as Trump). Of course, Carson very apparently has been in this only to sell his brand of life-advice bullshit anyway.

Jeb! not only has the Godzilla-sized albatross that is his brother’s presidency around his neck — it’s interesting that Jeb! says that Gee Dubya “kept us safe” when almost 3,000 Americans died in September 2001, the month that followed Gee Dubya’s receipt of the U.S. presidential daily brief titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”; when almost 4,500 of our soldiers have died in the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War (more than 3,500 of them combat deaths); and when almost 2,000 Americans were killed by Hurricane Katrina when there had been at least two or three days’ warning before it made landfall that the hurricane could be absolutely devastating — but Jeb! is only mildly more charismatic than is Scott “Dead Man” Walker.

I mean, the use of “Jeb!” perfectly encapsulates Jeb!’s problems: He runs away from the surname of Bush because it’s so politically toxic, and he has to use an exclamation point! in order to try to gin up some excitement for himself.

Even if Gee Dubya’s stolen presidency had been much, much, much better than it was, we Americans never would put three people from the same fucking family into the White House, so it’s unlikely that Jeb! ever was going to break the previous record of two U.S. presidents from the same family (the Adamses, the Roosevelts and the Bushes are the record holders).

So we are left with Marco Rubio, whom the Repugnican Tea Party will view as the perfect 2016 presidential candidate: He’s young and he’s not Anglo, so he’s the Barack Obama of the Repugnican Tea Party. He is Latino, but he’s the “right” kind of Latino — right-wing, pro-plutocratic, anti-working-class, light-skinned Cuban-American. And again, after El Trumpo has bashed the party like an elephant piñata, the party needs all the help with the Latino vote that it can get, so the cynical fronting of a right-wing, pro-plutocratic, anti-working-class candidate with a Spanish name will be mighty tempting.

Rubio — unlike Trump, Carson and Fiorina — has been a U.S. senator or the governor of a state, so he has that going for him, too.

Rubio, like Ben Carson, is a wingnut but can pass (for the low-information/“swing”/“independent” voter) as a fairly sane and decent individual, so there’s that factor as well. (As I noted, Cruz can’t pass for decent and sane, and neither can Jindal, Santorum or Huckabee, or Paul, to a lesser extent.)

And Rubio’s state of Florida is an important swing state; recall that Florida and its 25 electoral votes were pivotal in the stolen 2000 presidential election, when Jeb!, who then was governor of the state, worked with former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris and others to steal the presidential election in the state (and thus the presidential election for the nation) for his brother.

All in all, the stars align for Marco Rubio to become his party’s champion for this presidential election cycle.

Could he win the White House?

I don’t think so. The Democrats and those who lean Democratic won’t vote for him, of course, and I don’t think that Rubio’s presidential candidacy could fool enough Latino voters, as much as they would love to see one of their own finally in the White House. Not just because the sulfurous stench of El Trumpo probably still will be lingering enough to damage the Repugnican Tea Party come November 2016, but also because Rubio’s socioeconomic and political philosophy in and of itself is pretty fucking odiferous.

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Billary probably can’t survive losing both Iowa and New Hampshire

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) takes a question during a news conference

Reuters photo

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, appears at a news conference in Washington, D.C., today. A new poll for the first time shows him beating Billary Clinton in the pivotal early state of Iowa, albeit within the poll’s margin of error. He wasn’t supposed to ever do even that well against the “inevitable” Billary, on whom he has been maintaining a solid lead in the also-pivotal early state of New Hampshire already.

For the first time, Bernie Sanders has taken a lead over Billary Clinton on the first-in-the-nation-to-weigh-in state of Iowa (the Iowa caucuses are on February 1). True, his lead is within the margin of error – he polled at 41 percent to Billary’s 40 percent – but still, it is the strongest that he has polled thus far in Iowa. A series of recent polls already has him leading Billary well outside of the margin of error in the second-to-weigh-in state of New Hampshire (the New Hampshire primary is on February 9).

Team Billary is under the assumption – or at least wants the rest of us to believe – that Billary can lose both Iowa and New Hampshire yet still win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Can she?

Probably not.

The only Democrat who won the party’s presidential nomination without having won, that is, come in at No. 1 in at least Iowa or New Hampshire, was Bill Clinton, in 1992. Since the Democratic Party went to its current system of selecting its presidential candidate in 1976, the he-Clinton remains the only candidate who did not win Iowa or New Hampshire yet still won the party’s presidential nomination.

Bill Clinton had come in at third place in Iowa and second place in New Hampshire in 1992, so his eventual win of the nomination perhaps was a statistical outlier, but it was not shocking.

Can Billary – if she doesn’t come in at first place in Iowa or New Hampshire in February – repeat her hubby’s 1992 performance?

Methinks not.

In 1992, the Clintons were unknown to the majority of the nation. Bill Clinton was fresh back then. Since then, The Mountain of Clinton Baggage has only grown, and Billary Clinton never has been as popular as has been her spouse. She’s always only ever been a cheaper knock-off of him.

Perhaps it goes back, at least in part, to the fact that before Billary, no former first lady ever had sought the White House herself; perhaps this is considered (fairly or unfairly) by some if not even most Americans to be an unseemly thing to do.

But the No. 1 factor that is harming Billary is Billary. She is unlikeable. She comes across as wooden and insincere, as cold and calculating – because she very apparently is – and whether it’s “fair” or not, superficial factors harm her, such as her voice, which aptly has been compared to the sounds of fingernails on a chalkboard. Unlike Elizabeth Warren, for example, who comes across as wise and reassuring (the strong, good mother archetype – an actual pit bull with lipstick), Billary comes across as shrill and self-serving (the shrieking harpy, the bad mother archetype).

As far as her record is concerned, human (well, we think she’s human) weather vane Billary’s politically (mis)calculated October 2002 vote for the Vietraq War in the U.S. Senate (Sanders wisely voted against the war in the U.S. House of Representatives) is reason enough to keep her from ever occupying the Oval Office.

Team Billary’s plan, the media have reported, is to be able to lose Iowa and New Hampshire to Bernie Sanders but then come back resoundingly on “Super Tuesday,” which is March 1, when a dozen states will hold caucuses and primary elections. (Only four states hold primaries and causes in February: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, in that chronological order.)

This “comeback plan” assumes that E-mailgate won’t continue to take its toll on Billary between now and “Super Tuesday,” but expect unflattering Billary-related news to roll in over the coming months – the Repugnican-Tea-Party-controlled Congress really wants to talk to the man whom Billary paid to set up her home-brewed e-mail server, and Billary is scheduled to testify again before Congress regarding Benghazi next month, for instance – and expect this news to remind us of what it means to have a scandal/“scandal”-magnet Clinton in the White House.

Don’t get me entirely wrong; Benghazigate is mostly bullshit, and it’s interesting that the same Repugnican Tea Party traitors who never have cared about the more than 4,000 of our troops killed in the illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War suddenly care so much about the lives of four Americans in the Middle East, but nonetheless, what Billary faces now that her husband did not face in 1992, when he eked out a victory in the Democratic Party presidential primary season, was Clinton Fatigue.

Will the Democratic and left-leaning primary-season voters still be able to surmount Clinton Fatigue and make Billary the nominee if she doesn’t win Iowa or New Hampshire?

Or will Billary implode if she doesn’t win Iowa or New Hampshire? Will she bleed out fatally, as voters suddenly finally realize how weak a presidential candidate she truly, actually is?

My money would be on the latter.

And as I’ve noted, it’s awfully interesting that the conventional-“wisdom” pundits and the Clintonistas assert, when winning Iowa alone gives a big boost to a candidate — the last time that the Democratic winner of Iowa didn’t go on to become the party’s presidential nominee was in 1992 (which was an odd year for the Democratic presidential race in general) — that Bernie Sanders might win both Iowa and New Hampshire yet still not win the nomination.

In the meantime, my dream ticket for 2016 would be Bernie Sanders and his fellow U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The No. 2 spot would position Warren nicely to be president of the United States of America after President Sanders.

We’re long overdue for our first female president, but our first female president should not be the dynastic, center-right, Democrat-in-name-only Billary Clinton.

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