Monday, February 29, 2016

South Carolina/ Super Tuesday? Balderdash!

Can we please sober up? Especially CNN and the other screamers. South Carolina is a no-place in the nomination. And the world doesn't end tomorrow, Super Tuesday.

Before Stupor Tuesday, let's slow down and glance in the rear-view mirror at South Carolina's results two days ago. Not at the totally predictable big number of black votes Hillary Clinton got, but what Bernie Sanders got and she didn't.

He got the white men and the under-30.  South Carolina Exit Polls
Bernie's problems was that these sub-groups collectively aren't as numerous among Democrats in South Carolina as the African Americans. The latter group is so enormous that it absorbs almost all the other categories we usually look at. If you're black and voting a certain way on that basis, then income level, etc. don't matter.

Therefore, hang on to this number..... 61% of South Carolina's Democrats are African American....!

So of course Hillary won big among South Carolina blacks because they had decided to like her even though Bill Clinton's presidency was very bad for them. (Apparently not even a black columnist for the New York Times realized until this moment how bad Bill Clinton had been for blacks, with Hillary's active support. See today's  Blow: ‘I’m Not a Super Predator’)

In stark contrast with South Carolina, however, African Americans are only 12.4% of the Democratic electorate nationally. Outside of South Carolina, winning all their votes and no other group, plus $2.50, gets you a cup of coffee. You can't win an election with just black votes and wealthy old women, the two groups Hillary has been winning with so far. (In Nevada she won narrowly but with the votes of casino workers who were told how to vote by their bosses and had to vote by standing up in an open room under the watch of those bosses' assistants. She lost the Latinos. See my prior blog  What Hillary Lost In Nevada; What Bernie Won In So...

Because of South Carolina's black vote for Hillary, the media proclaimed that she is going to "sweep the South" and thus lock up the nomination ( The 2016 Race Hillary Clinton’s Winning Numbers in South Carolina Suggest Sweep...   ). What happens tomorrow may turn out to be nice for Hillary to some degree but a sweep to the nomination isn't cast in concrete by what happens tomorrow, let alone by what happened in South Carolina.

What does South Carolina actually tells us? Not much. On tomorrow's slate, only Alabama and Georgia approach the size of the black electorate in South Carolina, each having about 51%.

The rest of the South voting on Super Tuesday looks quite different:

  • 17% of the Texas Democratic electorate is African-American;
  • 19% of the Arkansas Democratic electorate is African-American; and
  • 30% of the Virginia Democratic electorate is African-American.  
  • None of the above has 61% black Democratic voters, as does South Carolina.
And it isn't just the South that votes on Super Tuesday. Some of the rest of America gets a peek-in too, including our oft-overlooked American Samoa! ( Gentle humor. I like Samoans very much.) Here's the others:

  • Colorado
  • Democrats Abroad (ex-pats)
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Oklahoma
  • Vermont
Golly! You think Bernie Sanders just might win a state or two from this bunch? He's already had an active campaign going among Democrats Abroad. After all, my own son and daughter-in-law are Bernie standard-bearers in Norway. They won't let Bernie down!

Light-heartedness aside, it seems premature "king-making" (sorry, Hils..."queen-making") on the part of the networks and major press to have crowned Hillary Clinton based on Saturday in South Carolina. It also seems puffery that serves their own agenda. Predictions based on numbers — that's something I can respect. But predictions that have no regard for numbers are just lazy egotism or headline-grabbing to boost the numbers of viewer/readers and thus boost ad revenues.

There have only been a measley 2 caucuses and 2 primaries. Ninety-two percent of the states haven't voted. Very little has been decided for the Democrats. As noted in the article,
5-ways-the-media-is-grave_b_9340218.htmlas compared with Clinton, Donald Trump won only 4% of the vote in South Carolina's GOP primary but walked off with 4% of the delegates he needs for nomination. Though Clinton scored by 5 times as much in South Carolina, she netted only 2.2% of the number of delegates she needs. Clinton Wins South Carolina Primary

It's a long way to Tipperary and even further to the Democratic nomination.

And please note that anyone who says Clinton already has an overwhelming number of delegates is counting the "super delegates". Well, honey, Democratic super delegates are the kind of lover who says, "Sure, I'll respect you in the morning" and then is gone in the dawn. They are around until they aren't. 

WHOA! The word has just come! It looks like Bernie Sanders has raised FORTY MILLION DOLLARS IN JUST FEBRUARY, with about $10 million of that in just the two days since South Carolina!

His troops are still on board and he's still got the dollars to buy baby a pair of shoes. So put another pair of socks in your suitcase.......break out the bagpipes......we are off to Tipperary and even further! 

You have a question? You wonder why Clinton got such a small delegate number out of South Carolina even though she won most of the pie. Because the Democratic Party allocates delegates based on how important a state is to the party, i.e. how many registered Democrats, performance in last election, etc. Obviously South Carolina is not important at all to the Democratic Party. And that should tell us something about the relative importance of Saturday's primary there. Bottom line? It was important only to CNN and the like. In the real world of Democratic politics, it don't count for sour apples!

Second question you're asking? What about the item I promised last time about Rep. James Clyman ratting out Hillary Clinton in South Carolina? Yeah, yeah. I didn't forget. Next time. Along with how I got spat on by Jimmy Carter's old mother. We Democrats have such fun!


Sunday, February 28, 2016

What Hillary Lost In Nevada; What Bernie Won In South Carolina, Part I

(NOTE: This is a two-part posting, the first part is about what Clinton lost in Nevada, and the second part is what Bernie Sanders won in South Carolina. My take on these two contests is contra to what the media having been saying, but the media generally has been wrong all along. My analysis comes from 50 years of political campaigning, dating back to when I was the first woman in California to run a political campaign. Also I am not alone in my views about Sanders' performance. This morning, the day after the South Carolina primary, the vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee, an Iraq War vet, announced that she is switching her support to Bernie Sanders because he will be better on foreign policy and less likely to get us into a war. DNC Vice Chair Resigns to Endorse Bernie Sanders - ABC News. So here now is Part I, the Nevada analysis, actually a crime story right out of "The Godfather II".)

                                                          What Hillary Lost In Nevada

Hillary Clinton did not "win" anything of importance in Nevada. On the contrary, actual data and several events show she lost something really big and gained nothing other than a temporary reprieve from the media and a couple more delegates than Bernie Sanders, a trivial gain in light of the horde of delegates needed to get the Democratic nomination. Virtually the same thing happened in Nevada in 2008. She narrowly beat Obama but he got a couple more delegates than she did. Please note that the media did not jump up and down about an Obama "win" of a couple of delegates in 2008 as they are now clamoring about Clinton's.

The real story is that Hillary lost big in Nevada. She lost the Latino vote. True, she won among African Americans but, given that nationally there are at least as many vote-eligible Latinos as African Americans, that's a poor trade-off for her, especially when we consider that the Latino voters are mainly young people, naturals for Bernie, and they are distributed so as to have more impact state by state. Indeed, without major Latino support, one could question her winning anywhere much outside the South. (More on that in an upcoming post.)

The question is, therefore, will the Latino defection continue nationally?

We know the Clinton campaign itself fears this because it immediately denied she had lost the Latinos in Nevada. On caucus night, Hillary herself denied the loss, claiming she has "proof" she hadn't lost that bloc. But she doesn't have proof. She and her campaign just have a supposition that's actually racist. Her claim is that she must have won the Latinos because she won in Latino neightborhoods. That's racist reasoning, the premise being that all Latinos must be living in the same neighborhoods, what their leaders used to call "ghettos".

Welcome to 2016, Mrs. Clinton! Latinos have been moving up and out of the ghettos for a generation. Here in the West they now generally live wherever they damn well want to. And good thing!

It's these non-ghetto Latinos who voted against you! And who are they? They are young and better educated. They are Sanders folks.

In the Nevada caucuses Hillary's team had to scramble desperately to barely meet this defection of young Latinos. To counteract her loss of Latinos her side took the path of the old days in the big cities like Chicago, Philly or New York.  They used a party boss and tough tactics. And the fix went  in, just narrowly in time.  As the caucuses were about to start, Clinton supporter Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada (READ: CNN exclusive: Harry Reid endorses Hillary Clinton), head of the  Democrats in the U.S. Senate, phoned the head of the culinary union in Las Vegas. This is THE union in Nevada, including in its ranks almost all the workers in the state's main industry: gambling. That's all of the hotel, restaurant and casino workers. (Yes, your blackjack dealer is a union member.)  Reid asked the union boss to send his members to the caucuses, which were—quite conveniently—being held right in the casinos where they work.  He also called the owners of the casinos and told them to give their workers paid time off to go to those caucuses. In other words, to order their workers to go to the caucuses.

And everybody did exactly as they were told. Suddenly those caucus rooms were awash in Clinton supporters, thanks to Reid's clout. Although he boxed as a light-weight in his youth, he is a heavy-weight in politics. (See the footnote about Reid's power in just Las Vegas.) Even though he's retiring from the Senate at the end of this year, he still is wired. He still holds some chips. If Hillary parlays her narrow save in Vegas into occupying the White House, Reid wins big too because he saved her entire campaign bacon from being burned to a crisp in Vegas.

But by saving Clinton like this, Reid unintentionally signaled how fragile Clinton's chances are nationally.  For example, you may be wondering why he didn't just lean on the culinary union months ago to endorse Clinton instead of waiting to come to her rescue at the last minute. Good question. The answer as I see it: Reid was waiting for Hillary to be in such peril that she would beg him to save her. That way his price could go up sky-high.  When he retires at the end of the year, he could be sitting on a huge pile of chips from (he hoped) the new president of the United States. That's a very nice thing to have even if you are out of office. Pardon me — especially if you are out of office.  And it was a safe bet on his part  Not because he is sure she will win the presidency, but because he had NOTHING TO LOSE.  He's on his way out of the Senate anyway, so he's not risking diminishing his power in D.C. if Sanders beats her. Reid had a choice of staying neutral and walking away with nothing, or betting heavily on a possible Clinton win of the presidency for which she would owe him enormously.

And make no mistake. She would indeed owe him enormously. Her squeaking by in Nevada saved her from almost instant thumbs down in the media and possible abandonment by her fat cat donors. Even a subsequent win in South Carolina this week likely wouldn't have saved her. She HAD to "win" Nevada even by a token amount of delegates. Reid understands how fragile her campaign is, and that's why he waited until the peril was enormous.

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders did not have to win Nevada. His achievement was stunning without a win: coming from 25 points behind to virtually tie her, as he had in Iowa.  Unfortunately, he had built expectations high in the week before Nevada. His campaign's insider assessment probaby told him he had a lock. That's because he and his campaign weren't figuring on Senator Reid throwing aside his neutrality at the absolute last minute and saving Hillary.

By the way, if you don't believe those casino workers were told by their casino bosses how to vote, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. Remember that in a caucus everyone can see exactly how you are voting. We know the union boss had his reps watching in the caucuses to "help" the workers. Likely the bosses had observors there too.

Perhaps the most striking thing about Reid's phone calls is that they were not kept secret. His phoning was disclosed on TV by MSNBC's Chris Matthews ( It was also briefly reported in the NY Times in an Associated Press story (Clinton Turns Back Sanders Challenge With Nevada Victory). (No sources, however, went beyond mentioning that the phone calls had been made. The rest of what I am saying is mine alone, based on the Chicago-style politics I learned about growing up as one of the Daleys, the famous/infamous political family that dominated Chicago politics for most of the twentieth century.)

So who leaked the mention of Reid making those calls?

My bet's on Senator Harry Reid, that's who. He's the only one to "look good", i.e.powerful, in this little episode. In fact, he looks like a giant! There he is, telling union and management what to do and thereby saving a key race for the much vaunted "Clinton machine".  You now know who's the go-to-guy to get something done, right? Great advertisement for Harry! And the Clintons will owe him forever.

Of course, we should all hope that Hillary Clinton doesn't make it to the nomination. It would be so nice to see a bully-boy like Harry Reid lose his bet and end up with a pile of nothing. Like watching Jeb Bush's fat cats end up with $125 million gone from their pockets and nothing to show for it.

We need a double "political revolution". One is against fat cat money controlling politics, as Bernie Sanders has rightly argued. But we also need a revolution against the kind of ugly political muscle shown by Harry Reid and his cohorts. They cheated in Nevada and perverted the democratic process. It was today's equivalent of stuffing a ballot box. Even worse, they abused their power over those casino workers whom they forced to support Clinton. Nevada has always been corrupt but never at this level, i.e. tipping the scales in a presidential contest. Now we know why Reid worked so hard to get primary caucuses in Nevada instead of a primary. He will be able to control the caucuses from now on. Fun toy in his retirement, right?

Happily, however, this nasty piece of Reid-Clinton work reveals to us how fragile her situation is. You don't sup with a devil like Harry Reid unless you are mighty damn hungry. God knows what price she paid to prevent failing altogether in Nevada and thereby disclosing to full daylight the thin ice she's on.

Thank you, Harry Reid, for letting us know, we old pols who have eyes to see the signals.

Next time: Another revealing moment in the Clinton thin ice saga: how it was Rep. James Clyburn's turn next to rat on Hillary Clinton. No matter the vote tally in South Carolina, Clyburn and his state have revealed a lot about how weak she is in her overall drive for the nomination. Watch for that analysis in the next few days, as Part II of How Hillary Loses Even When She Wins.
Footnote: Harry Reid's clout in Vegas is based on his being the former Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission and a former state attorney general. He probably cut a lot of breaks for casino owners and also has dirt on them. Thus the casino operators would be only too glad to oblige him. He will possibly keep control of those caucuses until he dies or gets bored.  On the other hand he's had one bad accident that blinded him in one eye. Will he have others? (Joking, of course.) By the way, note that the culinary union leader got his cut too. Like Reid he held out until the last minute, refusing to endorse in the race on the grounds he was focused on upcoming contract negotiations. (Baloney!) I wonder what he extorted from Reid and Hillary in exchange for sending his members to the caucuses on behalf of the "unendorsed" Hillary. Maybe an overnight in the Lincoln bedroom like they gave supporters of Bill Clinton in his 1992 race? Breakfast in bed?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

What Really Happened in Nevada with Clinton v. Sanders?

What really happened in Nevada on Saturday when Democratic voters caucused to select delegates for either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton? The media didn't get the correct answer to that question.

And I am not going to tell you.

At least not today. It's just one day after the caucuses. Only a pressured talking head would have babbled the so-called "real story" by now. Pushed by competition to be first with the story, the press and TV have jumped to some wrong conclusions. Getting a sound picture of what the contest Saturday tells us requires a more studious look at the relevant numbers. And it takes a bit of time to ferret out some of the relevant numbers. Then comes some pondering. Finally come the conclusions.

I've already done quite a bit of looking and have figured out a few things, and I think a couple of these things might surprise you. At lease one of them has surprised the hell out of the Clinton campaign and not in a happy way. But I haven't finished gathering data nor pondering it.

So give me a few days as I continue to gather and poke at the figures. After all, numbers are important in politics. Like they say, in the end it's the numbers that count.  (A really bad pun!) But it's also more than that: numbers in hand, one then has to figure out what they mean. Here's a clue: it wasn't just who won and who lost in Nevada that is significant.

So please be patient a few days. Have some ice cream and watch a movie or shoot some pool. Then please come back.

I thank you.

Friday, February 19, 2016

It Isn't About You, Hillary.

The most important word in politics is "you". "You" being the voter.

Hillary Clinton doesn't seem to know this. Her campaign is all about her. Every time she gets the microphone she talks about herself, about her struggles as a woman, her "fight", her enemies getting after her, her sufferings, her determination.

Who cares! Everybody's got their own woes, baby! They don't want to hear about yours. Nobody asked you to go into public life.

Maureen Dowd captures Hillary's weakness perfectly: "Bernie has a clear, concise 'we'
message.....: 'The game is rigged and we have to take the country back from the privileged few and make it work for everyone.' Hillary has an I message: 'I have been abused and misunderstood and it’s my turn'. When Hillary Clinton Killed Feminism

Hillary's concept of being about the voters is to pledge that she is a fighter.

But we are all fighters. We fight the daily grind of trying to pay our bills with inadequate incomes, of getting medical care, of helping kids and grandkids pay off killer amounts of college debt. Some of us are raising great-grand-babies (happily I am not) because the grandkids can't get jobs that pay enough for day care. In our lifetime we elders have seen America fall from where one income could support a family in pleasant middle class life. Now two incomes can't do it.

And the rich just keep getting richer. Twenty of the wealthiest Americans now have as much as the lower 50% of all other Americans. That's outrageous.

Hillary can't talk in a feeling way about the voters, partly because she has been focused all her life on herself. She doesn't care about us in a deep way. Why should she? She came from a comfortable life and entered politics as a Barry Goldwater supporter. Goldwater was as far right for his time as the Tea Party is now. He wanted to abolish Social Security. That's about as heartless as you can be. Yet Hillary Clinton worked for his election to the presidency. Even as a young person, an age when many people are idealistic, Hillary wasn't idealistic. She was a Republican, a "practical person". As the wise man once said, "The difference between the two parties is that Democrats care about people and Republicans care about money." Hillary Clinton has proven she sure cares about money. Example? Her $260,000 for each 20-minute speech for bankers.

This explains why Hillary's passion is all about herself. She loves money. At bottom, she is still a Republican of the 1960s. It's why she isn't passionate about the voters, as is Sanders. It's why raising her voice makes her sound shrill and angry. Passion sounds like something else. It isn't just shouting. It sounds like Bernie Sanders. And you can't fake it.

Hillary was counting on women and blue collar workers and minorities to support her. Maybe she thinks that, because they have all suffered, they would identify with her "suffering" persona. It works with older women who are still fighting the opening battles from our women's past history, but not with younger women who don't feel second-rate to anyone and don't need a symbolic woman in the White House. It doesn't work with blue collar workers because they have plenty enough troubles of their own and Sanders speaks their lingo.

Does it work with minorities? Apparently not with the younger ones. They are better educated. They may even know that the Clintons don't deserve their friendship. That Bill Clinton led a "law and order" movement in the Democratic party, replete with draconian measures like "three strikes and you're out." Because of Bill Clinton and his "centrist" ilk, the American prison population soared, chiefly composed of Latino and black men. He also pushed into law a measure that—may God forgive him because I can't—reduced our access to habeas corpus. This is the "Great Right", the one we chiefly celebrate in celebrating Magna Carta. It's the ticket out of prison for the unjustly accused or wrongly convicted, especially necessary for those who, being poor, had inadequate legal counsel at trial.

Even if they don't know what happened to habeas corpus, the younger blacks and Latinos may know that the 2008 financial collapse was because of bank speculation in bad home mortgages, a speculation made possible by Bill Clinton's deregulation of the banks. Thanks to President Clinton, mortgage lenders victimized a lot of the black and Latino parents of today's young voters. These young people are now among Bernie Sanders' voters. They saw their parents lose their precious equity in those foreclosed homes, the mite they had struggled for years to save. They saw their parents' hearts broken as they walked away from their smashed dream of home ownership. Some of those young people probably remember the ensuing homelessness.

You can fool all of the people some of the time but you can't fool educated young people for much time at all. Chickens are coming home to roost and they are telling who the fox was that "guarded" the henhouse back in the day.

Save your tears for yourself, Hillary Clinton. I weep for the Latino and black children who had to sleep in the parks or in crowded, demeaning shelters because you and your husband were—and still are—so cozy with the banking industry.

Between you and Bill, you have earned $150,000,000 in speaking fees from banks since 2001. Yes, that's ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS!

And that is disgusting.

So you see, Hillary Clinton, it's not about you. Not at all.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Guess Who? Voters I.D. the Big Bad Wolf.

The Disney cartoon song asks, "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?" USA Today has instead asked the voters a more basic question: "Who IS the big bad wolf?" Feb 16, 2016USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll: Reaction by some to Trump and Clinton? 

The answer will surprise you if you've been depending on the experts to tell you what's what in this presidential campaign.  The media "experts", who are pretty much singing from an old hymn book, would have you believe that Bernie Sanders is the scary one. He has big plans for reform, such as medical care for everyone.  He would raise taxes on the rich.  He would treat global warming, not ISIS, as the  number one threat to our survival. He would end the control of our politics by the wealthy. He's talking about something scary called "a political revolution".

Strange thing though. The voting public doesn't see Sanders as the big bad wolf. Not at all.

Get this! The voters are more afraid of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump than of Bernie Sanders!

Over one-third of likely voters are "scared" of Clinton and over another third are scared of Trump. In fact, the number of voters who find them "scary" or are "dissatisfied" with them as candidates outnumber the voters who feel positive about either of them. They are both under water.

By contrast Bernie Sanders is the only one of the three who has a net positive rating. The "socialist" and "radical" is less scary to likely voters than is Hillary or The Donald. Further, his positive voters not only outnumber his negative voters but also outnumber the positive voters of the other two.

That's stunning. Especially regarding Sanders versus Clinton. In fact, we should be blown over by this, just like the little straw house in the story. After all, Clinton is supposed to be the "safe" choice for Democratic voters in the primaries and for the general election in the fall.

Just to scope out further Sander's claim to the safe ground, a separate USA Today poll out today shows once again that Sanders does better head-to-head against each GOP frontrunner than Hillary does. ( Poll: Sanders edges Clinton in GOP matchups) Month after month he has similarly edged out her performance. These repeating results tell us something: Far from being the "scary" candidate, he's obviously the safest bet as a Democratic nominee in November.

It appears the media must learn a bit more respect for the American public. People are figuring out that they have been screwed by the policies of Bill Clinton in deregulating the banks which then collapsed, by cutting taxes on the rich, by trade agreements that sent tens of thousands of jobs to Mexico. Hillary Clinton gives mild lip service to fixing some of these problems her husband made but balks at specifics. It's very hard to take her seriously as a reformer on financial issues when she takes hundreds of thousands in "fees" from the banks for each of her 20-minute speeches.

She even stonewalls on adequately raising the minimum wage, now a shocking pittance of $7.50 an hour. Sanders supports a rise to $15 an hour, phased in over several years. Hillary parsimoniously wants only $12 an hour for a working person even though she gets $260,000 for a 20-minute speech.   Even the New York Times, which has endorsed her, took her to the woodshed today over her intransigence on this issue. (Editorial Hillary Clinton Should Just Say Yes to a $15 Minimum Wage)

Her reasoning is pure Republicanism: the higher amount would cause employers hardship, she claims, and they would cut back on jobs. As the Times notes, that's baloney! Well, the Times doesn't use the word "baloney", but it does point out that facts and figures don't support Hillary's claim. I have heard her specious argument over and over from Republicans in my 80 long, long years, and it is absolutely not true. Jobs have never decreased after an increase in the minimum wage. In fact, putting more money in people's pockets adds to the economy because that money gets spent for goods and services and therefore companies have to hire more workers to take care of the extra demand.

What's new about Hillary's claim is that it's coming from a Democrat. A Democrat!

No wonder voters find her scary. She isn't even running in the right party! She has abandoned us Democrats and become a Republican.

More and more, Bernie Sanders is looking safe and snug, like a nice old grandad, who knows how to fix things and who gets the big picture and who is sympathetic to our problems. More and more he looks not just like a rumpled bed, but a good night's sleep for us, knowing we have someone in charge who is loyal to our interests.

More and more Hillary Clinton is looking like a traitor to all but the banks who pay her such a lavish minimum wage. Let's see. At $260,000 for 20 minutes, she's getting $780,000 an hour. That's a bit more than 100,000 times today's minimum wage.

No wonder Hillary doesn't seem to have a clear message as to why she wants to be president. She's doing awfully damn well in her present job!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hillary Killed 750,000 Americans: an Update

I'm rerunning this blog from last fall because Hillary is now speaking of Obamacare as "Hillarycare."

It isn't Hillarycare and never was. In fact, because of Hillary there was no heath insurance bill for 17 years. She was a major block to health care insurance.

Here's the story of how and why that is true. And how she killed 750,000 Americans.

This is a true story. A friend of one of my adult sons died because of Hillary Clinton and her egotistical power grab in 1993 when she was in her first year as First Lady.

As First Lady, she had not been elected to any office. She had no power nor authority. Yet she appointed herself to write a health insurance bill to cover America's uninsured. 

She then blew it big time.

First of all, no self-respecting member of Congress was going to quietly hand over the lawmaking powers of Congress to an unelected First Lady. Arguably such would have been a violation of the Congressional duty to uphold the  Constitution. Drafting a bill is absolutely within the lawmaking powers of Congress. It wasn't even as if she was merely scribbling down some ideas on the back of an envelope, nor was it merely her husband proposing some measures through her for Congress' consideration. She was taking over the whole show, even to holding hearings. From the moment she appointed yourself to write the bill, she had guaranteed it would never pass Congress. 

Worse, the ill-begotten hearings were in private, behind closed doors, by Hillary's invitation only. One thing Americans do not like are secret meetings. What in the world does a mere First Lady think she is doing by convening closed-door hearings about an issue of such incredible importance to the American people?

No wonder the TV ad couple Harry and Louise, sponsored by the insurance industry, were quickly able to rattle the American public and turn them against the very idea of a federal program to insure people.

Hillary's health insurance program was DOA—dead on arrival. She killed it by her ineptitude and her incredible arrogance, abrogating to herself a role in government which lacked any lawful basis. As a lifelong Democrat, a lawyer, and a person with a lot of experience with legislators and their prerogatives, I was appalled at the time by her conduct. I had struggled raising six children without health insurance and desperately wanted that bill. I watched Hillary with horrified dismay. I was further appalled that her abuse of power—more correctly, her abuse of non-power—was attempted by one who had  been a junior attorney on the team of House attorneys that prepared for the impeachment of Richard Nixon, another stunningly arrogant person who certainly abused power. Is this kind of thing contagious? Of all people, Hillary should have known better about crossing the lines.

Because of her egotistical grab for power, Hillary caused the death of 750,000 Americans in the course of the 17 years between her colossal flop and the actual enactment of health insurance coverage in Obama's term. The figure of 750,000 is based on a study published by Harvard University and the Cambridge Medical Group in 2009. It places the annual death rate at 45, 000 for lack of insurance necessary to get care.

Among this number was my son's friend. He had health insurance but, when he got cancer, the treatment exhausted his insurance benefits up to "the cap". Then he used up all his own funds. He was supposed to go back for a crucial follow-up but had no money. How I wish he had asked us! I would've mortgaged my house. I would've done this even for a stranger. But he didn't ask. And when he subsequently got the funds to go back, it was too late. He died a few months later in his early 40s. Because of Hillary Clinton.

After her fiasco, President Bill Clinton never tried again to get a health insurance bill. For six of his eight years, he had a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. Why didn't he try again? A couple of reasons come to mind. First, had Hillary's errors so poisoned the well with Congress and with the public that President Clinton thought it a waste of time to try again? 

Or, how about this:  Hillary forbade his trying again. After all, if he got it passed without her involvement, she would be deeply humiliated.  It would be clear that the original failure was her fault.

Is Hillary the kind of person we want as president? Okay, I grant you that arrogance in leaders is not unheard of. Nor is grabbing for power. In fact I would be suspicious of a proposed leader who wasn't interested in power. What is actually the big bad mark from the sad 1993 incident is Hillary's obvious ignorance of legislative politics and her icy indifference to the feelings and prerogatives of her fellow human beings. 

And don't tell me that a few years in the Senate have changed her. She still smells of arrogance and inability to relate to people. Just watch her. She pretends. She pretends to like people, to be one of the gang. One who pretends, to the extent she does, actually insults us. She doesn't think we can tell. 

No, Hillary hasn't changed. She still doesn't respect other people. Politics is the art of getting along with other people including those you disagree with. Harry Truman put it best: "I sit here and push a button and nothing happens." Except to issue pardons and authorize a nuclear attack, the president has little outright authority. All a President has is the opportunity to persuade and the platform from which to do it.

Hillary Clinton still doesn't realize this and still doesn't have the skills to do the persuading.

She's inept for this super-critical job she seeks. She is just not the person to hold the most important job in the world. As a woman, I am sorry to say this about her, but my being a woman doesn't make me want a woman president at the price of keeping quiet about what I know. 

All my experience in politics and government, all that I have witnessed, impel me to tell this sad truth about Hillary: she is not fit to be president. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Scalia Is Dead: Brother Can You Spare a Dime?

The death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia makes vivid how important winning the presidency is for the future of our country and the world. Our survival is at stake! By a 5-4 vote last week, the Court blocked Obama's controls on carbon emissions from coal-fired plants, the chief villains in global warming. Now the GOP-controlled Senate plans to block Obama's appointment of a successor to Scalia. They are counting on winning the presidency in the fall and having Scalia's replacement be appointed by a Republican president.The head of the GOP Senate is from a coal state.

It's time the media got serious about the presidential race. I'm dismayed at how "lost in the weeds" the media are about this election. Always longing for a simple dramatic narrative, the media are now plumping a story of how Hillary Clinton can win black & Latino voters in Nevada and South Carolina and thereby negate Bernie Sanders' strong performance in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. Yes, those two states are steps on the way to the nomination, but it's not who can win these states that matters.  It's who can win nationally in the fall. That's the question that matters! That's how voters should decide the winner in Nevada, South Carolina and the other upcoming states.

Don't the media "experts" ever look at the basic arithmetic? So far the only group Hillary Clinton's won in actual voting, i.e. in New Hampshire, is rich old white women. Instead of babbling on about "how can Sanders woo minorities from Clinton"—as if minority people can't figure out whom to vote for—the talking heads should be wondering how, with her appeal so narrow,  Hillary can have even a hope of beating a Republican in the fall.

Let's get real. Political campaigns begin and end with numbers. People (and the news media) may find numbers a bit boring, but they are the be-all and end-all of elections.

Here's just one number. A staggering 76% of men say they don't like Hillary Clinton. Men are half the population! Are Democrats going to nominate a general election candidate who is disliked by three-fourths of half the people?  I'm not going to bore you with the arithmetic, but if you assume that male dislike is coming from GOP men, that's only about 15% of the male population. Therefore another 60% of men, who are NOT registered Republicans, also don't like Hillary Clinton. Since she lost among registered Democrats in New Hampshire but won the rich old women vote, it's apparent there are indeed Democratic men who dislike Hillary Clinton. Lots of them! Democrats can't win the general election without some of these men who identify as not liking Hillary Clinton. The Democrats have to have a candidate, male or female, that men can like. Since Hillary is also doing poorly with most women, obviously men don't dislike her just because she's a woman.

So if men don't dislke her becaus she's a woman, does the dislike have something to do with her husband?  And possibly his trade agreement, the infamous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)? No one has asked the men so we don't know.

So let's ask something else.  Do they like Bernie Sanders? Apparently they like him better than they like Barack Obama. Obama fell way short of winning blue-collar men in the '08 primaries against Hillary. I suspect it's because he is an African American. Sadly, racism is real in this country, and studies show it's more prevalent among lower income, less-educated people. I'm not a snob. I come from a working class union household and worked my way through college wrapping cheese.  I also grew up in working class neighborhoods. I know what I heard and saw. This prejudice explains to me why Democratic registration fell by 4 points with Obama as president and why his approval ratings stay below 50% even though he has had a remarkably successful presidency against tough odds.

But, whatever the reason they went away, the blue-collar guys are now coming back to the Democratic party. Beginning in Iowa — and even in the polls before that — Sanders is winning these men back to voting Democratic.  And it isn't entirely because he's white. Something else is going on. This same male demographic is the one that startled the medical community last year by being virtually the only population segment in the world for which longevity is going down! These men are committing virtual suicide with alcohol and drugs as well as actual suicide.  At first it was believed this was a phenomenon of middle-aged men, but now the same trend has been identified in younger men.

Why? Because their jobs are gone. And the women don't need them as breadwinners any more.  These men are confused, lost and desperate. More than anything else, they are angry. I lived for 25 years among them in Central Pennsylvania in a county and region with income levels now the same as the poorest areas of Mississippi. There had once been 35,000 jobs in just the railroad yards of Altoona. There had also been coal mining, steel, manufacturing, timbering. All good well-paid, secure, union jobs. "Remember me," one forty-year-old said to me twenty years ago,"I'm the last coal miner you'll ever meet." They listened to the siren call of Nixon and Reagan's coded racism, voted against their own best interests, and killed their own jobs and communities. The only time they've voted for a Democrat in the 40 years since was Bill Clinton, and he gave them NAFTA. Turns out that NAFTA was the shafta! Jobs left this country for Mexico. I watched them go from my area.

The blue-collar men know they have been shafted. They also know about the big banks and the economic collapse. No one has to explain to them that they are now down and out while big corporations pay low wages and the profits go entirely to the one per cent. With off-shore "headquarters" and other tax dodges, the corporations and the rich pay only a pittance of taxes.

But here comes Bernie Sanders and he says, "This is wrong. And I want to change it."

The old-time unionist in me says, "Right on, brother!" The working class men are saying the same thing.

America's brand of capitalism was roaring along at its best after World War II when the premise was that labor would share in the profits. Wages were good. Benefits were good. People had security. And the rich paid a fair share of taxes so that roads were not crumbling, bridges were safe, and people had enough money in their pockets to keep the economy going. And get this: PUBLIC COLLEGES WERE FREE!

There's nothing radical about these ideas. For almost 40 years it all worked fine. I saw it first-hand. Even though the despairing men of our out-of-work working-class didn't see it first-hand, their fathers did. Their sons and grandsons know how things once were and what's happened since.

I think of those men of Central Pennsylvania and I am reminded of a Bing Crosby song of long ago when desperate men in the Great Depression lined up for bread and soup. Nobody is singing a song for the guys of today, so I will. I can't overlook the racism that led them on the Nixon/ Reagan path to their own destruction, but anybody as down and out as they now are deserves at least a song:

"Once I built a railroad, I made it run
Made it race against time
Once I built a railroad, now it's done
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once I built a tower up to the sun
Brick and rivet and lime
Once I built a tower, now it's done
Brother, can you spare a dime?"
Come home, my sad brothers. You've paid a terrible price for your mistakes. Let's make things better again. Enough is enough! Let's take our country back. Come on home to the party of FDR and the New Deal. Happy days can be here again.

P.S. By coincidence, a few days after I posted this, Bill Curry of Salon wrote an excellent piece also saying that Bernie Sanders is the FDR Democratic party coming home. He also analyzes what's wrong with Hillary Clinton as a candidate and prospective president. His is the best piece of writing I've seen in this campaign season. Be sure to read it at The Clintons Really Don't Get It.
Note: You can hear Bing Crosby sing the song at
50+ videos Play all Play now Mix - Bing Crosby - Brother Can You Spare A Dime? 1932YouTube

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Big Bad News For Hillary

Hillary Clinton is a bad news bear.  MSNBC's numbers guy Chuck Todd is reporting this morning that she lost New Hampshire by an astounding 22 points. But that isn't the whole story. He next says:

"[T]he exit poll numbers seem even worse, even among the groups Clinton is supposedly strong with: Sanders beat her among women by 11 points (55%-44%), Democrats (52%-48%), and moderates (58%-39%). He crushed her among his core groups, winning young voters (83%-16%), independents (72%-25), and liberals (60%-39%). And then there are these terrible numbers: Clinton lost among Democrats caring the most about honest and trustworthiness by 86 points (91%-5%), and she even lost among the Dems who want their candidate to care about people like them by 65 points (82%-17%)."

The worst number is the percentage who don't belief she is honest or trustworthy. Once people cease believing they can trust you, they never change their minds. Once someone snitches a $10 from your purse or wallet, you never leave them alone with it again, do you?

Even before Bernie Sanders began his climb last year, almost half the people were saying they didn't trust her. Now it's climbed steeply. The more she campaigns the less people like her.

This bad figure on honesty tells us that, if nominated, Hillary Clinton will lose in November no matter how bad the GOP candidate. The Democrats will simply stay home. They are historically inclined that way anyhow. Now it will be rampant.They won't want to leave Hillary alone with the purse.

Yesterday's results tell us something else, something Chuck Todd overlooks that is stunning. It will be in my posting here tomorrow post. Here's a hint:  Bernie Sanders has expanded his base enormously! And that's great good news for the Democrats for November.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sanders' Big Win in New Hampshire

It's late and I'll keep this short, adding more tomorrow. Let me just quote Bernie Sanders himself from the New York Times on the remarkable outcome tonight in the New Hampshire presidential primary:

“What began last week in Iowa, what voters confirmed here tonight, is nothing short of the beginning of a political revolution. We will all come together to say loudly and clearly that the government of our great nation belongs to all of us, not just a few wealthy campaign contributors.”
Please note for now that Sanders beat Clinton with women. He also beat her with blue collar men. He beat her in every single demographic except those people with annual incomes over $250,000. 
That figures!

Who Goes to Hell, Madeleine Albright?

Am I angry? You bet I am! I feel like saying, "Go to hell yourself, Madeleine Albright and take Gloria Steinem with you!"

How dare these figures of yesterday tell me whom to vote for! How dare they say women will go to hell if they don't support Hillary Clinton. How dare they insult my granddaughters by snickering that  heartfelt, reasoned support of Bernie Sanders is actually based on "going where the boys are".

Before there was a Gloria Steinem prancing around as a Playboy Bunny to get a magazine story, when Madeline Albright was still in her teens, I was out there all on my own, pushing for women's equality. In 1957, a few days before turning twenty-one, I confronted the publisher of the New York Times, Arthur Hayes Sulzberger, and asked him, "Where are your women reporters?" That moment, and my struggle thereafter as a woman in "a man's world", is recounted in my article for the online zine "The Blazing World" at The Biggest News Story in History.

So—no!—neither Steinem nor Albright has the right to question the way I vote. I am older than either and have earned my battle ribbons. In fact, nobody tells me what to do!

Indeed, nobody has the right to say such outrageous things about the voting choices of any of us. This is America!

We women struggled to have the right to choose in all aspects of our lives. One of these rights is the right to choose whom we vote for. As late as the 1960s and early 1970s women were repeatedly telling us precinct walkers, "I always vote the way my husband tells me to." We women threw off that manacle, and none of us are now going to take orders from has-beens like Steinem and Albright.

Beyond the arrogance of these two is their blindness. How can they believe that young women are so "boy-crazy" as to be in the Bernie Sanders camp to pick up guys? Do they even know any young women? Seems to me they are judging today's young women by what their own generation was like in its young years so very, very long ago.

If they don't know any young people—and lots of older people don't—they are missing something wonderful. The so-called millenials are just great! Smart, steady, caring about others and the environment, they are a treat to know.

The young people have a really solid reason for supporting Bernie Sanders. He cares about them. He knows they are the first generation to enter maturity loaded with debt, unable to marry and start families, unable to dream of buying a home.  He knows that they can't find full-time steady jobs with decent salaries. He knows they fear mightily that global warming is destroying the world and their hope of any future at all.

Hillary Clinton and her friends are lost in the mists of yesterday.  They are blowing a trumpet for a women's movement that has already overrun their entrenchment and moved on beyond them. The three are callously uninformed about the actual plight of young women and young men.

Hillary Clinton is out of it in other big ways. She is astonishingly uninformed about the death-dealing threat of climate change, scoffing at Bernie Sanders for saying it's a greater threat than ISIS. Indeed, Hillary thinks even Russia—pathetically teetering on economic collapse because of oil's plunging price— is a bigger worry than the looming death of our planet.

She's stuck back in the Cold War era along with the hawk-of-all-time Henry Kissinger, whom she strangely speaks of now with awe. Why does she admire him? He managed with Nixon to extend the Vietnam War for seven years after Nixon was elected in 1968 falsely touting a "secret plan" to end that fiasco.

Richard Nixon, Henry The Hawk, Vietnam. And of course, Iraq.

Hillary has seen a lot of history, but as her vote to invade Iraq showed, she doesn't ever learn. Is it because she thinks she knows it all already? Whatever the reason, she doesn't look or listen. That's why she doesn't know the young and what they see today that understandably frightens them.

We are a fortunate nation to have such young people, so caring and well-educated. They deserve better than an out-of-touch Hillary Clinton who will lead us back into the mistakes of another era, oblivious to the real troubles of today and the real needs of those who will make all the tomorrows.

Let the past bury the past and stop being bossy, Hillary, Gloria, and Madeleine. The world belongs to younger people because they will be here long after we are gone.

It's their turn.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

White House "Terrified" Hillary Will Lose in November

CNN began reporting on Friday night, February 5, that the Clintons have taken an appalling $156 million as speaking fees since 2001. CNN further noted: "The two also reported at least $7.7 million for at least 39 speeches to big banks, including Goldman Sachs and UBS, with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic 2016 front-runner, collecting at least $1.8 million for at least eight speeches to big banks." index.html

By Saturday night CNN was further reporting that the White House is stunned by Hillary Clinton's bad judgment in taking all this money from banks and then shrugging it off by saying "It's what they were offering." The White House is now reportedly "terrified" Hillary will lose the November election, thus handing over all of President's Obama's hard-won gains for the American people into the hands of the GOP to demolish.

And can you guess who was on CNN disclosing the White House's terror?  None other than Carl Bernstein, one of the pair of Washington Post reporters who discovered and reported the Watergate scandal that drove President Nixon from office. In going to the White House to get this follow-up story of a new scandal, Bernstein showed the old-time initiative too often missing in today's reporting. Given his unforgettable association with the coverage of Watergate, just his appearance at the White House front door might have sent some shivers through the president's staff. After all, who better knows a scandal when he sees one than Carl Bernstein?

But I'm sure the White House was already scared before Bernstein got there. That's why they let him in and confided their fears to him. Perhaps they had even summoned him. Make no mistake: the message of White House terror was not accidentally or inadvertently slipped to Bernstein. A message this big was deliberately released. It's a message to the entire Democratic party and to Hillary Clinton, more powerful for having been delivered through such as Carl Bernstein. What the message seems to be saying is, "We have a big scandal on our hands, as big as Watergate in its potential damage. Prepare to abandon ship." And the ship is.....? Of course! It's Hillary Clinton.

Now things get really hairy!

Will Obama endorse Bernie Sanders? I doubt it. I think he'll continue to withhold any public endorsement of either. 

Will he take Hillary to the woodshed, i.e. call her in for a frank scolding and lots of coaching? That doesn't seem likely. By letting Carl Bernstein publicize the White House's terror, Obama has as good as said that Hillary is hopeless. If he'd thought he could straighten her out, he would have done so quietly with no prior fuss. But everyone knows what a stubborn and uncoachable person Hillary Clinton is. 

Will the White House lean on Hillary to get out of the nomination race and make way for Joe Biden? I would suspect the White House is seriously considering this option. Obama genuinely likes Joe Biden and respects him. After all, he chose Biden's unhawkish advice in foreign affairs as against the hawkishness of Secretary of State Clinton. And maybe—just maybe–Joe Biden would change his mind about running. After all, he's Irish. To an Irishman, something that comes around for a third time does so for a reason. (Wait! you say. Surely that's not the way political people make big decisions! They sure do, especially if they are Irish.)

Maybe Obama will do a different kind of instinctive approach. He's a cautious man, and maybe his cautious nature is saying, "Let it play its own way out. Don't try to second-guess the way of things." 

But that isn't really caution, is it? 

At risk in November are all the monumental things Obama has worked for and achieved. The list of what's at risks is stunning:

- A Republican president will reverse the Iran nuclear ban agreement. 
- He will immediately put our boots on the ground in the Syrian war. 
He will abrogate the climate protection treaty with China and the big international one this past fall in Paris. 
- He will reverse the federal orders mandating better car and truck mileage and tightening emission standards. 
He will also lift the new federal restrictions on coal-fired electric plants. 
- He will gladly sign a bill ending Obamacare and reverse the increased coverage of Medicare. 
- He will also loosen the protections Obama has placed on federal lands. 
- Of great importance to me and my good friends in the Native American community, he will quietly undo the justice that Obama—first of all our presidents—has extended to them, including the long overdue payment of billions in contracted royalties for the timber, grazing, mining and water extracted by American businesses from Native American lands. 
- And what of the Dream Kids, the mainly "illegal" Latinos whom Obama ordered not deported so that they could finish their educations and military service and be on a path to citizenship? Do you think a GOP president will continue that program?
- And what of the federal tax policies and other rulings that have been changed by Obama on behalf of gay rights?

CNN speaks of the White House being terrified as to what will happen to "Obama's legacy" if Hillary loses in November. But it's not Obama's legacy, is it?

It's OUR legacy! It's even the legacy of the world's entire population.

Let's be real here. Without Obama's steps to save this planet from global warming, the planet is doomed. His "legacy" regarding carbon reduction is the last best hope of the world's human population and the possibility of saving most of the world's plant and animal species.  

We cannot and must not have a Republican succeed him in the presidency. If Hillary getting out of the race is a necessary step to stop a GOP victory in November, then that's what must happen.

Let us hope the Democratic and independent voters deny her the nomination. If not, then Obama must do all he can. Maybe he should even act now.

This is indeed a wild year!

Footnote: Boast and brag time. I've said all along that Hillary Clinton is a terrible candidate with terrible baggage. See my blog posting:   Hillary? They Call Her the Wagon Lady. It's from back in July. So I get to say "I told you so."


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hillary Clinton, Appearances Do Matter.

[Since I wrote this post it has come to my attention that CNN is just this evening reporting the Clintons have actually received approximately $153 million in speaking fees since 2001, averaging about $200,000 per speech. I am astonished. I thought the $675, 000 discussed below was an unseemly amount for Hillary to get for three speeches. It's just their going rate! CNN further states: "The two also reported at least $7.7 million for at least 39 speeches to big banks, including Goldman Sachs and UBS, with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic 2016 front-runner, collecting at least $1.8 million for at least eight speeches to big banks." I repeat— I am astonished.]

Hillary Clinton is an attorney. I am an attorney. We both know one thing for sure. In fact, the attorneys' bar associations require we know this: Appearances do matter. As my sainted Irish politico mother used to say, "The appearance of propriety is as important as propriety itself."

We all know what that means. It's why judges "recuse" themselves, i.e. do not hear cases in which they have some connection to one of the parties. For the sake of protecting public respect for the law, judges must not even appear to have favorites in a case.

You don't have to be an attorney to get this. In Little League the general rule is that the umpire is not the father of one of the players.

When Hillary Clinton takes a lot of money from banks—and it's public record she has done so— she creates the impression she is beholden to them.  To add to this impression she has indeed favored them even when the public interest seemed contrary. The banks would have been greatly aided when she changed her prior position and supported making bankruptcy laws harsher on middle class families, who typically were being crushed into bankruptcy by catastrophic medical bills.  Before becoming a senator funded by the banks, she had actually opposed this crushing measure.

But even if we didn't know about this—and the media is just now digging up this sad act of hers—she has created the impression that she is the banks' bought-and-paid-for senator. You can't take $675,000 from Goldman Sachs in one year just to make three speeches without it looking pretty damn strange. When queried about the huge size of this fee by a moderator at a New Hampshire campaign event,  Hillary looked flustered and said, "Well, that's what they were offering."

Couldn't she see such questions were inevitable if she took such huge sums? Hillary's not stupid. Why couldn't she see that she was setting herself up for looking very bad indeed.

What's worse is that she has made the Senate seem more corrupt than it might have otherwise. Of course, I have to admit that Congress is already held in low esteem by the American public, with a favorable rating somewhere around 14%. That's pretty bad even for Congress. But it isn't the fate of Congress I worry about.

It's the kids that I worry about. All those kids ages18-to-25 now pouring into politics. I raised six kids on my own, have ten grandkids of approximately college age, and I have taught thousands more young people in law school and college. I love the young. They have a right to believe in their country and in their own future. If their government appears corrupt, then their vision of their own future is diminished. They know they can't win in a rigged game. In fact, they know they can't even survive.

We are, in fact, in a life and death struggle this election year. The young know it. They fear climate change. They also struggle with inadequately paid jobs and severe college debt. Fewer and fewer can even marry, buy homes, start families. They see corruption in our government as a literal death warant for the planet, let alone the death of their own modest dreams of a home and family. With government bought and paid for by money-making, short-sighted businesses, limiting global warming is doomed and thus we are all doomed. We need laws and enforcement that make sense for our future rather than laws that just make money for the one percent.

If our government continues to appear corrupt, something really bad could happen. We see inklings of it in Donald Trump strutting and posturing like Mussolini. The media thinks his popularity depends entirely on his anti-immigrant tirades, but that's not entirely it by a long shot. He is speaking to the blue-collar men who are already so disheartended that they are reported as dying in droves from the virtual suicide of drugs and alcohol. The media is startled to find that some of the blue-collar men are also considering voting for Bernie Sanders because he too is against the rigged game. Donald Trump's biggest move was to declare he was financing his own campaign and would be beholden to no monied interest.

If Hillary's appearance of impropriety continues, it's not just that she will lose the nomination or lose the general election. She will help start the snowball downhill as we continue the beginnings of a slide toward some dreadful sort of rebellion in this country. I don't mean the "political revoluton" Bernie Sanders talks of. Not at all. It could be brown shirts and boots and torches. It could be broken shop windows and rounding up of "the others" who supposedly made the problems. I was a child when it happened in Europe as fascism and—yes!—it could happen here.

America is an act of faith. The appearance of a corrupt government destroys faith.

Is that worth the $675,000, Hillary?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Did You Win the $20 Million in the Political Revolution?

Yesterday I claimed that Bernie Sanders' "political revolution" has already arrived. Chapter One has been written by his stopping the mighty Clinton machine in Iowa against all the odds and predictions. He has thus written the First Commandment of the revolution: Thou shalt not hand over the American presidency as an "entitlement".  Hillary Clinton is not getting a crown on a silk cushion.

And the Second Chapter has also been written. I said yesterday that if you guessed what it was, you'd win $20 million dollars. Well, I lied. But only a little bit. You'll win $23 million!

I am referring to the huge accomplishment of Bernie Sanders in fund-raising. He got $20 million in January alone! A new record in fund-raising! In average contributions of $27! That's also a new record in fund-raising. Then in the hour after the Iowa caucuses' result was obviously a tie, he got another $1 million. Within 24 hours that grew to another $3 million.

And it's all yours. Because this is how we buy back our country. It's how we buy back your future and that of your kids.

Forever! Because this can be the end of big money controlling politics and dictating the laws by which we live, the laws that favor the very rich.

Bernie Sanders has proved—come what may—that ordinary people can do what it takes to get back their country.  If we the people finance campaigns, there's no longer room for big money to buy politicians.

If...... That little word that means so much. "If we the people finance campaigns..." Of course we can do it. Do we have the will? I believe we do!

So let's mark February 2 as another July 4.  We can declare ourselves and our elected officials to be free of the dominion of big money.

I am not alone in this conclusion that Bernie's fund-raising is a great gift to us all and to the future of America. Regarding the New Hampshire debate a truly objective expert says:

“I think Sanders spoke the only central truth of both campaigns. Neither one of their platforms means anything unless there is first real campaign finance reform. Without it, the gerrymandered and legally bribed Congress and the leadership of both parties will block any significant change. ” — Marc Cooper, retired professor at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Bernie Sanderd has unshackled us and American politics from enslavement to big money financing of campaigns.  Free at last!  Free at last! Great God Almighty, we are free at last!

So now what do we do about the gerrymandering that has given us a Congress controlled by the most conservative rural areas of America?  I'm working on it, folks. I'm working on it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bernie Sanders' "Political Revolution" Is Resoundingly Here

On Monday night in Iowa, Bernie Sanders, a 74-year-old socialist Jew who looks like an unmade bed, came from obscurity and with no monied backers nevertheless stopped the most powerful political machine in America in its tracks. Even with a ground game modeled on Obama's in 2008 and run by Obama people, Hillary Clinton still needed some coin-tossing shenanigans in several precincts to eke out a "winning" margin of two-tenths fraction of one percent.

She was like that mighty tank in Tianamen Square facing that lone man with the flower in his hand. Except this time the tank didn't roll forward. The lone man still stands, with his millions of supporters behind him.

With all her deep-pocket backers, well-known identity, wealth of endorsements, and legendary campaigner of a husband, a tie in Iowa against "Mr. Nobody" Bernie Sanders was for her a resounding defeat.

Bernie Sanders has proved that he is one hell of a campaigner and that Hillary Clinton is not. In fact, she is a dreadful candidate. In forty+ years of active political campaigning, I have seldom seen a candidate as bad as Hillary Clinton. I will not rehearse here the familiar litany of her phoniness, stiltedness, lack of clear message, and hautiness. On caucus night she tried to be forceful and instead came across as ugly angry. Maybe she was angry. After all she had just had her clock cleaned by an out-of-nowhere contender.

This was the first chapter in Bernie Sander's political revolution. Call it the First Commandment: Thou shalt not hand off the American presidency on the basis of "entitlement".  You want it, you gotta win it! Hillary is not entitled to anything. She may be the wife of an ex-president. She may have been Secretary of State. But nothing she accomplished in either capacity or since entitles her to more than a cup of coffee. In fact, her messing in on health care insurance in 1993 cost us that much needed program for 20 years. From the time she grabbed the issue and began "holding hearings", Congress was set against her and the program she was pushing. Congress makes the laws, not First Ladies. As for Secretary of State, she accomplished nothing in six years, while John Kerry has accomplished plenty in one year.

And I say as a woman who helped break down barriers in politics, journalism, and law: Hillary Clinton is not entitled to anything because she's a woman. In fact, as far she's come she has ridden on her husband's back. That's not what we real women do. We make it on our own. And we don't need Hillary Clinton. We don't need a woman in the presidency in order to know that we are equal.

And the Second Commandment in Bernie Sander's "political revolution"?  Next time. Until then guess what it is and win $20 million!