Archive for category Party Politics

‘To them, we were a leftist nuisance, nothing else’

The Daily Beast explains how Hillary lost the swing states. They ignored the advice they received from veteran Bernie Sanders campaign staffers.

“We were saying we are offering our help—nobody wanted [President] Donald Trump,” [Bernie surrogate Nomiki] Konst continued, noting that the “Bernie world” side was offering Clinton’s team their plans—strategy memos, lists of hardened state organizers, timelines, data, the works—to win over certain voters in areas she ultimately lost but where Sanders had won during the primary.

“We were painting them a dire picture, and I couldn’t help but think they literally looked like they had no idea what was going on here,” she continued. “I remember their faces, it was like they had never fucking heard this stuff before. It’s what we had been screaming for the past 9 months… It’s like [they] forgot the basics of Politics 101.”

As the days and weeks flew by, the Bernie delegation kept underscoring TPP, jobs, union allies, the youth vote, and the environment, and pitched multiple rallies with Sanders in states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan (a state where Sanders unexpectedly beat Clinton in the Democratic primary, and a state that Clinton actively neglected during the general).

“The math that they lost on, is the math we won on,” Konst said. “So we wrote out a plan, and sent it to them, telling them to stop thinking you’re going to get this ‘Obama coalition,’ it’s not going to happen.”

Assurances were then made with various Clinton senior staffers that they would follow through with subsequent meetings and phone calls to address these gaps and warnings. Instead, meetings were canceled and “rescheduled” into oblivion.

“We not only screamed about this, we wrote memos, we begged,” Jane Kleeb, Nebraska Democratic Party chair and another Sanders booster who was at the DNC meeting, said. “I spent a good chunk of time writing memos about how [Bernie’s surrogates] could be utilized on the campaign trail, about ‘issue voters,’ about the environment, Black Lives Matter, Dakota Access Pipeline, rogue cops, you name it… I was [also] talking specifically about rural communities, and how [Hillary] completely ignored and abandoned anything that we cared about.”

…“To them, we were a leftist nuisance, nothing else,” a former senior Sanders campaign aide said.

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Glenn Greenwald: ‘Fake News is being aggressively spread by the very people most loudly complaining about it’

MSNBC fake news
Craig Melvin wags his finger at purveyors of fake news, as if MSNBC wasn’t guilty too

Glenn Greenwald lands a solid punch on his website The Intercept.

“Fake News is being aggressively spread by the very people most loudly complaining about it.”

After WikiLeaks published the Podesta e-mails the first week of October, regular viewers of MSNBC heard a constant refrain that the damaging revelations (including excerpts of paid Wall Street speeches that Hillary Clinton refused to make public) were somehow fabricated. When the e-mails were released, MSNBC analyst and intelligence expert Malcolm Nance instantly declared that they were “riddled with obvious forgeries.” This claim was repeated on air ad nauseam.

I noticed at the time that neither John Podesta nor any other author of the released e-mails denied that the information was genuine. To this day, they have neither confirmed nor refuted the authenticity of the e-mails despite being asked. It reminded me of the classic Sherlock Holmes story where the most important clue was the dog that didn’t bark. All that Hillary had to do to prove the contention that the e-mail documents were doctored would have been to release the full speech transcripts, that remain shrouded in secrecy.

Greenwald has the rest of the story:

That the emails in the Wikileaks archive were doctored or faked – and thus should be disregarded – was classic Fake News, spread not by Macedonian teenagers or Kremlin operatives but by established news outlets such as MSNBC, the Atlantic and Newsweek. And, by design, this Fake News spread like wildfire all over the internet, hungrily clicked and shared by tens of thousands of people eager to believe it was true. As a result of this deliberate disinformation campaign, anyone reporting on the contents of the emails was instantly met with claims that the documents in the archive had been proven fake.

It turns out that Malcolm Nance got the idea that the e-mails were “riddled with obvious forgeries” not from his sources in U.S. intelligence or even from the Hillary campaign, but from a tweet(!) sent by fake news author Marco Chacon.

In his Daily Beast article, published on November 21, Chacon describes how he manufactured the forged Goldman Sachs speech transcript. He says he did it prior to learning that the WikiLeaks releases of Podesta emails contained actual Clinton speech excerpts to Wall Street banks. But once he realized WikiLeaks had published actual Clinton transcripts, Chacon began trying to lure people he disliked – Clinton critics – into believing that his forged speeches were real, so that he could prove they were gullible and dumb.

Sadly for Chacon, however, the people who ended up getting fooled by his Fake News items were the nation’s most prominent Clinton supporters, including supposed experts and journalists from MSNBC who used his obvious fakes to try to convince the world that the WikiLeaks archive had been compromised and thus should be ignored.

Has anyone at MSNBC issued a correction/apology for spreading fake news? No. Have they at least stopped doing it? Well, in between frequent segments deploring the prevalence of fake news all over the place, MSNBC is telling us all day every day that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency. This story is supposedly based on anonymous sources at the CIA. Point of information: the CIA is an organization made up of professional liars. Anybody who says “the CIA has released a report” is lying. None of the other 16 U.S. intelligence agencies have weighed in, as far as we know.

Glenn Greenwald reports: Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA’s Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence.

Yes, I predicted the Evil Russkie theory would go away after the election because along with everybody except Michael Moore I believed Hillary would win. But I also said that if Hillary lost that this talking point would be used an an excuse. Remember that a key part of Hillary’s agenda was to re-start the Cold War for the neocons and the defense contractors.

UPDATE:
Malcolm Nance is now on MSNBC peddling his latest book…

The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election

This was published two months ago, when Malcolm thought Hillary would win. But what the hell, Russkie bashing is still a thing.

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The Trump Trainwreck

Trump trainwreck on 538
FiveThirtyEight.com election night blog tells the story – what a trainwreck!

Going into Tuesday’s election, the FiveThirtyEight model actually gave Trump a higher probability of victory than the rest. HuffPo declared Hillary’s chance to win at 98.2 percent!

By midnight Utah time, 2 am in New York, Hillary’s celebratory fireworks show was cancelled and MSNBC reported Lady Gaga and Cher were in tears backstage at the Javits Center.

“Let me be very clear. In my view, Democrats will not retain the White House, will not regain the Senate, will not gain the House and will not be successful in dozens of governor’s races unless we run a campaign which generates excitement and momentum and which produces a huge voter turnout.

With all due respect, and I do not mean to insult anyone here, that will not happen with politics as usual. The same old, same old will not be successful.

The people of our country understand that — given the collapse of the American middle class and the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality we are experiencing — we do not need more establishment politics or establishment economics.

We need a political movement which is prepared to take on the billionaire class and create a government which represents all Americans, and not just corporate America and wealthy campaign donors.

In other words, we need a movement which takes on the economic and political establishment, not one which is part of it.”

— Bernie Sanders August 28, 2015

The Clinton Collapse graph

I get a strange feeling when I look around during my morning commute on FrontRunner and think that most of the people I am looking at, fellow Utahns, willingly chose Donald Trump to be their President. But let’s face facts, it wasn’t a Trump surge that decided this election, it was the Clinton Collapse. Yes, some states implemented voter suppression. But Hillary’s enthusiasm gap lost votes just about everywhere. The media got their predictions wrong because they were almost all in the bag for Hillary.

More info:
Poll: Bernie Sanders would have beaten Donald Trump 56% to 44%
61 percent of Mormon voters supported Trump
Robert Reich: What Donald Trump’s Election Really Means
The election was a repudiation of the American power structure.
DNC Staffer Screams At Donna Brazile For Helping Elect Donald Trump
Donna Brazile: I’m sorry only that I got caught cheating with debate questions
Interim DNC chair won’t apologize for helping Clinton, recycles discredited claims that Russians altered emails.

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Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Jason Chaffetz business card

Thing 1: Chairman Chaffetz’ Statement on Hillary Clinton’s Use of Personal E-mail at The State Department

“Violations of the Federal Records Act within federal agencies is something we take very seriously. …The House Oversight Committee will work with Mr. Gowdy and the Select Committee on Benghazi to further explore Hillary Clinton’s use of personal emails while at the State Department.”

Thing 2: Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s Business Card Lists His Gmail Address

A business card obtained by ABC News shows that Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, lists his Gmail address on his official House card.

Rep. Chaffetz is already threatening years of investigations during the Hillary administration. But it looks like he tripped over his own feet back in March 2015.

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Thomas Frank Warns Us Not To Trust The Less Trustworthy Candidate

Obama 2008

I’m not sure we actually have to be reminded never to trust a Clinton, however recently some have praised Hillary Clinton’s economic policy speech as if it mattered. I suspect her REAL economic views can be found in the Goldman Sachs speech transcripts that we’ll never see.

What matters are the polls showing she is the less trustworthy of the two major-party candidates. Which is amazing, considering that she is running against the guy who invented “Trump University.”

Thomas Frank, writing in The Guardian, reiterates the fact that Hillary hasn’t changed.

As leading Republicans desert the sinking ship of Trump’s GOP, America’s two-party system itself has temporarily become a one-party system. And within that one party, the political process bears a striking resemblance to dynastic succession. Party office-holders selected Clinton as their candidate long ago, apparently determined to elevate her despite every possible objection, every potential legal problem. The Democratic National Committee helped out, too, as WikiLeaks tells us. So did President Barack Obama, that former paladin for openness, who in the past several years did nearly everything in his power to suppress challenges to Clinton and thus ensure she would continue his legacy of tepid, bank-friendly neoliberalism.

My leftist friends persuaded themselves that this stuff didn’t really matter, that Clinton’s many concessions to Sanders’ supporters were permanent concessions. But with the convention over and the struggle with Sanders behind her, headlines show Clinton triangulating to the right, scooping up the dollars and the endorsements, and the elites shaken loose in the great Republican wreck.

She is reaching out to the foreign policy establishment and the neocons. She is reaching out to Republican office-holders. She is reaching out to Silicon Valley. And, of course, she is reaching out to Wall Street

Don’t expect Hillary to follow through on her progressive promises if elected. She is the status quo candidate.

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Can We Talk?

Convince me

As Joan Rivers used to say, “Can we talk?” Because the corporate media coverage of the presidential race is barely mentioning the issues that affect you and me.

Lately all over cable TV they are vociferously debating whether Donald Trump is paying enough respect to the family of a U.S. Army captain who died heroically 12 years ago during Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq (that Hillary voted for as a senator), after the father of said fallen warrior aimed a gratuitous insult at the notoriously thin-skinned Trump in a partisan DNC speech.

Most likely, this is a picture of the 2016 presidential campaign for the next 100 days. Hillary using surrogates to get Trump to say something that dominates the news cycle, or trying to get Trump to lose his temper during a debate. Anything Trump says is automatically news. Hillary has not held a press conference since last year.

What could the candidates talk about? Well, here is one suggestion. There is another recession coming, sooner rather than later. How will Hillary and Trump deal with the consequences?

Get out your wallets, America: It might not be long before we’re bailing out “too big to fail” banks again

Instead of ending the world of banks that are “too big to fail” and preventing banks from operating in ways that could again sink the economy, we have guaranteed them that the taxpayers are ready and waiting when they make another catastrophic mistake.

The Dodd-Frank regulations are not completely written yet, and probably won’t be in effect when the Wall Street billionaires crash our financial sector again. Is the American middle class about to take another big hit? Can somebody offer a plan to help us? We haven’t even recovered from the last time.

Hillary is going to have to offer much more than her current “OMG Trump!” campaign.

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Cenk Uygur: ‘I Need You Guys to Buckle Up’

This convention is likely to be a thousand times more raucous than the Republican Convention, more divided, and so it’s about to start in a little bit and I need you guys to buckle up because there could be a lot more action here than there was last week. Remember the Republicans by their nature are authoritarian. They will fall in line, because that’s what they do — they’re conservatives. Whereas liberals do not agree. And so they don’t agree with the corporate control, they don’t agree with the money in politics, and Hillary Clinton is never going to give it up. So, that dissension is super real, and you are about to see it the next four days.

The Young Turks – Live From the DNC

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No Joke

Trump enters the RNC stage

A year ago he was nothing but a joke, then he became one of 18 contenders for the Tea-GOP presidential nomination. Like the others, Donald Trump came up with gaffes that seemed designed to alienate voters – for example, saying your wages are too high. One by one, the other candidates exited the clown bus. Then Trump became the presumptive nominee, to the horror of most Americans including many Tea-GOPers.

Tonight he officially became the nominee, the first time a major political party has decided to run a candidate for the White House who has never before held elective office since General Dwight Eisenhower. He is also the most unpopular presidential candidate in the history of polling, just ahead of, you guessed it, HRH Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The elite pundits and Dem politicians tell us that Trump is a phony candidate running what amounts to a phony campaign. They could be right, but can they explain why the polls are tied within the margin of error?

Note to Dems: You can still nominate Bernie Sanders in Philadelphia next week. He has not suspended his campaign. The super-delegates will decide.

UPDATE: Apparently Donald Trump wants to live in the White House, but hopes to outsource the actual job of being President to Mike Pence.

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The Super-delegates Will Decide

Not Me Us

This year’s Democratic Party convention in Philadelphia July 25–28 will be the first in which super-delegates will make the decision on a presidential nominee. The questions that will be asked: (1) Are super-delegates supposed to choose the most electable candidate? or (2) Were super-delegates given the job of making sure the establishment-chosen candidate wins over an insurgent?

What is a super-delegate? From Wikipedia:

[A] “superdelegate” is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention who is seated automatically and chooses for whom they want to vote. These Democratic Party superdelegates include distinguished party leaders, and elected officials, including all Democratic members of the House and Senate and sitting Democratic governors. … Because they are free to support anyone they want, superdelegates could potentially swing the results to nominate a presidential candidate who did not receive the majority of votes during the primaries.

Why does the Democratic Party have super-delegates?

The super-delegate story begins with the traumatic 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, which resulted in the nomination of then Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey (President Lyndon Johnson decided not to run for re-election that year after being challenged by popular anti-Vietnam War candidate Rep. Eugene McCarthy). There was widespread dissatisfaction among the voters because Humphrey did not compete in any primary elections. Humphrey lost the general election to Richard M. Nixon.

A commission headed by South Dakota Senator George McGovern and Minnesota Representative Donald M. Fraser met in 1969 and 1970 to make the Democratic Party’s nominating convention less subject to control by party leaders and more responsive to the votes cast in primary elections. The rules implemented by the McGovern-Fraser Commission shifted the balance of power to primary elections and caucuses, mandating that all delegates be chosen via mechanisms open to all party members. The number of state primaries increased from 17 in 1968 to 35 in 1980.

Despite a huge increase in the level of primary participation, McGovern’s 1972 presidential run resulted in a landslide defeat for the party. The same thing happened in President Jimmy Carter’s 1980 race against Ronald Reagan. Party leaders established another commission in an attempt to balance the wishes of rank-and-file Democrats with the collective wisdom of party leaders and to thereby avoid the nomination of insurgent candidates. Following a series of meetings held from August 1981 to February 1982, the Hunt Commission issued a report which recommended the set aside of un-elected and un-pledged delegate slots for Democratic members of Congress and for state party chairs and vice chairs.

The problem for the 2016 election

Neither Dem candidate is likely at this point to finish the primary campaign with a majority of pledged delegates. Un-pledged super-delegates make up about 15% of the overall convention votes, and these delegates will choose the party’s nominee in July.

According to former Vermont Governor, DNC Chair and now lobbyist/super-delegate Howard Dean, “Super delegates don’t ‘represent people.’ I’m not elected by anyone. I’ll do what I think is right for the country.” (86% of voters in this year’s Vermont primary election chose Bernie Sanders, but Dean remains committed to voting for Hillary Clinton at the convention).

Of course, the assumption has always been that Democratic insurgent candidates like Bernie would be less electable in the general election. In 2016 it looks like this isn’t a good year for establishment candidates like Hillary Clinton. A lot of people thought we were doomed to a Bush-Clinton contest, but Donald Trump won so much support among Tea-GOP voters that he’s their presumptive nominee. And it looks like Bernie is the more electable Democratic candidate.

Hillary Clinton Now Loses to Trump in Polls. Bernie Sanders Beats Trump by 10.8 Points. (Hillary’s poll numbers have gone down, however she is within the margin of error against Trump — and the Democrats can expect a built-in advantage in the Electoral College, the so-called “Blue Wall”).

It’s up to the super-delegates to decide. Win with Bernie (and nudge the party to the center) or risk losing with Hillary (confirming that right-wing Dems cause progressives to abandon the party).

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New York Has Me Worried

new y

This was the last thing I wanted to wake up and read this morning. It looks like a lot of young people in New York, who would most likely be voting for Bernie Sanders, have missed the boat, due to restrictive laws on voting registration.

Restrictive Rules Leave New York Voters Shut Out of Pivotal Primary

I just happened upon this “Democracy Now” segment that was taped the day after the Utah caucuses caught the nation by surprise and gave Sanders an overwhelming victory here. I don’t think the extent of the failure in the Arizona election had been looked at yet. It’s great to see my favorite Utah politician standing up for my favorite national politician and stating Sanders’s obvious advantages over Hillary:

Of course Sanders went on to a long string of solid wins after Utah and Idaho, showing a strong momentum if there ever was one. Polls in Utah showed that even Republicans trust Sanders more then the current front runner in their party and, like Rocky says, he’s a shoe-in over Hillary against any Republican now running for the general election slot.

Anderson, of the “Justice Party”, is upset about a blatant hit piece on Sanders in “The Washington Post”, derived from a poorly conducted and carved up interview from a rag called the “New York Daily News”. He’s made a list of questions a tough journalist could ask Hillary. It’s obvious this won’t happen at “The [Bezos] Post”; a publication which recently did 16 negative articles on Sanders in 16 hours.

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Tell Utah Super-delegates: We Want Bernie!

Gallup party affiliation
Source: Gallup

GREAT suggestion from the Salt Lake Tribune comments section: Let’s tell Utah’s super-delegates that we want Bernie. Peter Corroon is already with us.

As the party chairman, Corroon is automatically a superdelegate, meaning he can pick his favorite candidate regardless of the statewide vote. Not a fan of this process, Corroon had said he’d side with whichever candidate won Utah’s caucus and that is undeniably Sanders.

…Two of the state’s superdelegates — Patrice Arent, the national committeewoman, and Breanne Miller, the party’s vice chairwoman — are backing Clinton. National Committeeman Wayne Holland remains undecided.

The message is:

Bernie Sanders is our choice for President. Give people candidates they’re excited about, and they will show up. This is an opportunity to bring more Utahns into the democratic process. The Democratic Party establishment is too far to the right. The Gallup Poll indicates both parties are at historical low points in the percentage who identify themselves as core supporters of the party. We’re independents – you need us to win in November.

Send to:

Peter Corroon (Thank him, he’s for Bernie): chair@utdem.org
Wayne Holland (Undecided): wholland@usw.org
Breanne Miller (Supporting Hillary): bmiller@utdem.org
Rep. Patrice Arent (Supporting Hillary): parent@le.utah.gov

[Democratic Party Executive Director Lauren] Littlefield called the big turnout, which included 20,000 new voters, “the largest growth opportunity for Utah Democrats in decades,” and yet she and Corroon criticized state leaders for not funding a full primary, instead of the party-run caucuses.

Instead of hundreds of polling locations statewide and the option for mail-in and absentee ballots, the party spent $20,000 to fund 90 voting locations, resulting in lines that stretched for city blocks. More than half of the precincts ran out of ballots and had to print more.

More info:
Bernie Sanders takes bulk of Utah’s delegates after massive victory
In U.S., New Record 43% Are Political Independents

UPDATE: Wayne Holland declares for Bernie

Utah’s last undecided Democratic superdelegate threw his support behind Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, and the state party finalized its tally from last week’s presidential caucuses, in which a high turnout led to a lengthy vote-counting process…

Wayne Holland, Utah’s Democratic committeeman, was the last holdout, and as such received a barrage of calls and emails…

The party announced his support for Sanders early Wednesday. In an interview, Holland said he’s more ideologically in tune with Sanders and he liked that his pick matched the caucus vote. While he says “the odds are long” that Sanders claims the party’s nomination, Holland, a union organizer, felt the senator was bringing in new voters with his populist message…

The current party chairman, Peter Corroon, is also backing Sanders, tying his vote to Utah’s caucus results. Clinton received the support of Utah Democratic Party Vice Chairwoman Breanne Miller and Democratic Committeewoman Patrice Arent, both saying she is the most qualified candidate, having previously served as secretary of state, a senator from New York and first lady. Miller and Arent have heard from Sanders supporters who want them to switch allegiances, but they are not budging.

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SCOTUS Storm

I’ve spent the last 24 hours trying to get a handle on the bizarre politics of the SCOTUS appointment. On the one hand, it’s nothing more than our current status quo. The weirdness of our current status quo is the asymmetry between Republicans and other Americans. Republicans have been furiously angry for years – they can’t get any angrier But other Americans are oddly disengaged. If that status quo breaks, if Democrats and independents get engaged, it could turn against Republicans very quickly and decisively.

The death of Antonin Scalia certainly came as a surprise – I believe he was thought to be in as good a health as a 79 year old man could be. I’m sending condolences and best wishes to his family and loved ones.

Scalia’s body hadn’t even hit the floor before Republicans were playing politics. Lindsey Graham suggested President Obama should name a moderate Orrin Hatch type, proving once again that the Senate’s biggest closet case is divorced from reality. Mitch McConnell was peddling a theory that we should wait a year so the next president can appoint someone. The Republican presidential candidates got in on the act during their Saturday night debate cum mud-wrestling event. The odious Ted Cruz has promised to filibuster any Obama nominee.

The President offered a short, gracious statement and promised to fulfill his Constitutional duty and nominate a candidate to the Supreme Court. Read the rest of this entry »

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