Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Words of Cheer for Sanders and HIs Troops.

This has to be short, not because I have only a few words of cheer (I have plenty actually), but because I'm packing for a trip I've dreamed of for years. I've got an update posting about Sanders, Clinton, the GOP and the election in the works but it will have to wait until either I get the packing done or, if the packing goes slowly, until I get back.

Just know this. It's not over for Sanders. It's not over for his "political revolution". Things are still unfolding. We are in for exciting times.

In fact, fasten your seat belts, kiddos! The fun is just beginning!

Be back after I finish packing on Friday but more likely after the trip!

Vote early and often!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

But What About New York and Clinton Beats Sanders?

An introductory note: Hillary Clinton won New York in 2008 against Barack Obama. That did not clinch the nomination for her. It's more complicated that the talking heads would have you think. And another note: Sanders got more votes in New York than Obama did in 2008 even though the Democratic voter turnout in 2008 was greater.

Losing New York is not a big deal for Bernie Sanders. It would have been for Hillary Clinton if she had lost. That would have been a bombshell psychologically that would have blown her super delegates loose.  As it is, New York or no New York, she will not get enough pledged delegates to insure she will go into the convention with a majority.

That can't happen for her, nor Bernie Sanders. Not in this election cycle. Neither of them can possibly get the requisite majority.

The nomination will instead be decided by the super delegates. Just as it was in 2008 when "Hillary's" super delegates left her and went with an "impossible" candidate. One who was too young. Who was not experienced in governing. Who didn't know how things worked. He wasn't Jewish but he was black.

But his greatest parallel with Bernie Sanders was that he had come out of nowhere and galvanized people, especially the young, so that crowds in excess of 20,000 turned out to wait for three and four hours to hear him speak.

He was a good choice by the super delegates. He waltzed into the presidency by an enormous vote, bringing all kinds of new voters to the polls and into the Democratic party.

That can happen again. But, you ask, what is it about Sanders that indicates the super delegates may switch this year away from Hillary as they did in 2008? I have laid it out in two previous blogs, one that includes the reasoning of the famed analyst Nate Silver, who is now eating his hat for having originally dismissed Sanders as a candidate.

One blog is: The 2016 Election Is Over!

The other is:  Reluctant Nate Silver Gives More Evidence Sanders ...

So kick back and enjoy the greatest show on earth, an election year in a nation where both parties are going through an enormous transition. Or get out and work for "A Future You Can Believe In".

And remember, God takes care of dogs, drunks, and the American people.  Be of good cheer!

Reluctant Nate Silver Gives More Evidence Sanders Is Winning!

Until today the mighty Nate Silver, the guru of predicting elections, has been vehement that Bernie Sanders has a Popsicle's chance in Hell of getting the Democratic nomination.
But now he has changed his tune! He too has noticed what I wrote about this week in my posting The 2016 Election Is Over!  What he noticed has been enough to make him recalculate, recalibrate, and regurgitate. The last sentence of the first paragraph below is his white flag. Says Nate: 

"We could spend some time debating the “right” way to calculate a national polling average — given that there’s no national primary, our method is designed to be deliberate rather than rush to place a lot of weight on new polls. But no matter whose numbers you look at, the inescapable conclusion is that Bernie Sanders is gaining on Clinton."

Nate, continues, "If Sanders has gained on Clinton, however, shouldn’t we also see evidence of that from the states that have voted so far? Other things held equal, we’d expect him to perform better in states voting in April than those voting in March, and better in March than in February."  More Democrats Are Feeling The Bern, Probably
And that's exactly what has happened. Bernie has beaten Nate's projections at an increasing pace through March and April. The gain, therefore,  is indeed real both in the polls and in the polling places.

It's called momentum, baby!  And Bernie Sanders has it!

The drinks are on me!

But Nate has to buy the next round because he was a day late and a dollar short as compared with this old lady. Literally, two days late. Figuratively, a dollar short because, unlike this egomaniacal old woman who stuck her neck out days ago, he doesn't say what also needs saying: that the Democratic super delegates had better start thinking about handing the nomination to the 74-year-old white-haired Jewish democratic socialist from little 'ol Vermont.

.... who dreamed the impossible dream for all of us.

Good job, Bernie! Good job, all you millions of faithful youngsters and others  who gave him your heart and your $27.

Right makes might!

Monday, April 18, 2016

The 2016 Election Is Over!

Here's how we know the election is over and that Bernie Sanders wins:
The newest Reuters/Ipsos poll, released Thursday, shows Bernie Sanders pulling ahead of Hillary Clinton among Democrats nationally, leading 49-48. It’s the first time this poll has had Sanders leading.

Bernie leading Hillary among Democrats is extremely important. First time it's happened. All prognosticators (except me) have said Sanders can't be the nominee because he isn't supported by a majority of Democrats. That's over.

His terrific lead among independents is also important. They are 43% of the electorate. Compare Democrats at 36% and GOP at 23%. in November the Democratic nominee must draw a big independent vote.Bernie has been drawing about 60% of their vote.

With everything now moving Bernie's way — and with a reasonable showing in New York tomorrow — by all rights the superdelegates should do what they did in 2008 and pivot from Hillary to Bernie soon. That's how Obama got the nomination and then won in 2008. That's the way we do it this time. 

By doing this we not only win the White House but have a good shot at regaining the Senate and can even pick up some House seats. That's because Bernie's supporters will be out in droves. By nominating Bernie we also assure our young people that they do matter and that they belong in the Democratic party. If Bernie is denied the nomination we can lose the whole schmeer — the White House, the Supreme Court, the Senate majority — and all those kids who could have gone on being Democrats.

Look at what these young people can do! Look at what my ex-pat daughter-in-law Laura is reporting:
How will Bernie get things done? I present to you 3 million calls in 48 hours. Bernie supporters smashed all phonebanking records this last weekend in response to a request from the campaign team to try for 2 million calls to New York over the weekend.

Now you know Bernie can win in November. Can he govern? Check out Robert Reich on Bernie being effective:

By rights Bernie will be the nominee and inevitably he will win.

Uneducated in how political campaigning actually works, the news media will not tell you that the 2016 campaign is over.

I just did.

P.S. Hillary's vaunted delegate lead has now dropped below 200. Clinton Delegate Lead Down to 194, Even as Dramatic ...   See what I mean!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hillary Can't Lock Up The Nomination. The Math Says No.

The media insists it's impossible for Bernie Sanders to get enough pledged delegates to get the nomination. They absolutely never question that Hillary will have a majority of pledged delegates going into the convention.

But she won't!

Get this! No less a numbers man than economist Robert Reich says Hillary Clinton can't get enough pledged delegates to go into the convention with a majority. He asserts she would have to win 62% on average in each of the remaining primaries to get enough pledged delegates for a majority.

And that is an impossibility, per Reich:
"The only way Hillary could claim she's locked up the convention is by winning 2,383 pledged delegates during the primaries. She can't include super delegates, who are officially "unpledged" and could, at least in theory, decide at the convention to vote for Bernie. But to win 2,383 pledged delegates she'd have to win about 62 percent of the remaining not-yet-pledged delegates going forward. That's unlikely, given that even in the South she never cracked 60 percent." 

Reich also has a solid rebuttal to a numbers man of a different type, Nate Silver the sports prognosticator who was virtually the only observor to predict Obama's win in 2008. This time around Silver has bent over backward to argue Hillary's "inevitability" as the Democratic nominee, including his piece this week: Clinton Is Winning The States That Look Like The Democratic Party. He thinks Hillary has proven herself a better candidate because of where she has been winning.

This is a silly piece, showing that Nate should stay with numbers rather than playing with the demography of the Democratic party. He thinks he's a politico, but he's not. Since he formerly relied on the polls and since they and he have been wrong this year, he has announced that he will look at people-politics instead of polls. He'd do better to leave the politics, i.e. people analysis, to us politicos and just do sports. Silvers basic error is that he thinks people are what their race says they should be.
Reich takes Nate Silver on and knocks the silliness and the stuffing right out of him. Reich doesn't do it on his own, however, but relies on this missive from  "...a friend of mine who’s both a political junkie and a numbers wonk". Says the wonky junkie:

"Silvers’s analysis [that Clinton beats Sanders in "Democratic" states] is totally wrong. First, look at the 26 states plus D.C. that Obama carried in 2012 (332 electoral votes): 16 of these have already held primaries or caucuses. Clinton has won 7 of these, representing 103 electoral votes -- and has been awarded 449 delegates to Sanders's 322 in these states. Sanders has won 9 of these contests, representing 72 electoral votes, and has been awarded 337 delegates to Clinton's 213. 
So, to date, the total delegate count in the states Obama carried in 2012: Clinton 662, Sanders 659. It’s a virtual tie. 
Clinton’s biggest gains have been in Red States that are the Republican base, which will go Republican in November...." 

Listen up, Nate Silver! The South DOES NOT look like the Democratic Party.  It's a racist mess, dominated by whites who have voted Republican ever since Nixon adopted the "Southern strategy", telegraphing that the GOP would thereafter oppose racial integration. Reagan built on that message. And ever since then the GOP has played the "race card" to keep the South in a sort of Dark Ages of American politics. So far from "looking like the Democratic party", the South perfectly illustrates  the policies of the Republican Party in action. It is far more conservative in religion and on social issues. It is low-wage and anti-union "right to work". It is at the bottom of government spending for schools, health and highways because of its GOP fiscal policy. It is also at the bottom of household income and life expectancy. It is principally run by oligarchies to benefit the few who hold all the power. 
Note also that even the black population in the South, just like the white population, is more conservative than in the North and West, more rigid on social issues and too frightened of change to have picked up and left the land of lynching in Jim Crow days when so many blacks did escape North and West.

Hillary Clinton and the GOP are welcome to have the South.  But only the GOP wll get it in the fall.
Nate Silver's serious error is that he looks at blacks as a one-dimensional voting bloc. Same re Latinos. That's racist. It's stereotyping. Yes, blacks and Latinos strongly tend to be Democrats. That's because Democrats do right by them on issues they care about. But there are other factors in their lives. Age is one. Thus young blacks tend to support Bernie Sanders. Another factor is gender. Men in general don't like Hillary Clinton, so a goodly chunk of male black voters vote for Sanders. Same is true of socio-economic levels. The Latinos of Las Vegas who live in more upscale neighborhoods tended to support Sanders. That led Hillary to say that there was a mistake in exit polling, that Latinos couldn't possibly have gone for Sanders because she won the traditionally Latino neightbohoods. Yes, the ones where the older, poorer Latinos live. But Sanders did in fact beat her in winning Latino votes.   
Hillary Clinton and the GOP are welcome to have the South.  But only the GOP wll get it in the fall.

So what's the use of having Hillary as a candidate? Bernie does as well as she does in the states Democrats can hope to win. He will likely do even better than she would in getting good turnout, given the fever that grips his followers.

There is no solid reason to have Clinton as the Democratic candidate in the fall. She talks like a loser. She appeals to states where Democrats will lose. And she looks like a loser. If it talks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's a duck. Hillary Clinton is a loser.

At some point the super delegates are going to have to confront that reality and deny her the votes that she will need for a majority at the convention. This is exactly what happened in 2008. And this year the super delegates have an additional reason to want powerful turnout numbers: the possibility of winning back the Senate!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bernie Sanders is Zelig! (Time Out for Fun.)

Bernie Sanders is ubiquitous! 

Bernie Sanders is a regular Zelig. You remember "Zelig"? The Woodie Allen movie about the man who was everywhere? Congressman John Lewis slimed Sanders by haughtly saying he hadn't "seen" Sanders in the Civil Rights movement, Sanders supporters have been finding Sanders everywhere. Or what they think is Sanders. These pictures, with and without the red circles, are from  my beloved Yamhill County for Bernie page.Yamhill County for BerniePublic Group · 184 members And this is Bernie's strength: that his supporters are devoted. They believe in him, searching for him in the pages of history, clinging to his "A Future to Believe In".  Because the alternative of "more of the same" from Hillary Clinton offers them no future at all.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sanders Wins in November Because He's NOT a Democrat!

James Carville, the Clinton's campaign guru of old and a TV talk show staple, has a question this week:  Carville: Why Would The Party Pick Someone Who's Not a Democrat?  The answer is simple. Because the Democratic Party is going away.  So is the Republican Party.  The biggest bloc of voters is now "independent". So the question should be "Why would the Democratic Party nominate a Democrat?"

C'mon, Carville. Get with it! The elephant in the room this election year is that there is no elephant. No GOP elephant, that is. Precious little donkey either. Both parties are on their way out of existence.

It's the biggest change in American politics since time began. And no "experts" are paying attention.

To their credit, however, the talking heads and columnists have finally caught on to another aspect of this sea-change: the  populist revolt in both parties. But these commentators still don't realize that the revolt has been foreshadowed for years by the decline in party registration. Not even numbers man Nate Silver has noticed.  FiveThirtyEight .  The big decline in party registration bespeaks great disgust with both parties.

 This same disgust has led to the sudden outbreak of support for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

The size of the drop in party registrations is stunning and should have been a tip-off, especially as regards the GOP, where registration has been dropping, not like a stone but like a boulder. While GOP numbers have been declining for over a decade, recently the pace has sharply accelerated. From just 2014 to 2016, GOP registration shrunk from a measly 26% of the electorate to a pathetic 23%.

A three percentage point drop in only two years!

The Democrats have seen a drop too. In spite of Obama's big victory in 2008, the Democrats were at only 30% in 2014. But unlike the GOP, by 2016 the Democrats picked up a couple of percentage points and are now at 32%, which is still very anemic.

The two "major" parties used to really be major. Each was close to 50% of the electorate.

So where did all those voters go? They chose the designation "independent" (or "decline to state"). These independents now constitute the largest bloc of voters, a whopping 43%!

Not all these missing party members walked away. Many were carried away in boxes. In short, they got old and died. And the huge wave of young people now entering politics is not signing up to take the place of these dead.

In effect the young are saying, "A pox on both your houses, grandads! We are not following in your footsteps, tolerating a party or a country that is run by the super-rich and can't even provide us an education and a decent job."

Maybe the young folks felt this way even before Bernie Sanders gave them a voice. Remember Occupy Wall Street? Older, conventional people were saying, "What do they want?"

Well, now we know.

So what does this tell us about who is going to win in November? How is this enormous bloc of non-party voters going to vote?

Since "Independent" isn't a party, just a designation indicating "I can't stand either party", there is no Independent candidate per se.  But there are two insurgent candidacies.

Some independents will vote for Donald Trump if he's the GOP nominee. However, he won't be the candidate. (I'll explain that another time). And second: even if he were a nominee, he wouldn't be a big vote-getter in the general election. He's been getting only a maximum of 30 to 40% of the GOP primary vote. Remember that the GOP is only 23% of the electorate. So at his present rate of appeal, he'd get about 8% of the national electorate. (That's 30-40% of 23%.) You don't get elected president with 8%. "Yes, but," you say, "what if he expands his appeal?" Well, he won't. Because he hasn't. He hit his ceiling quite a while ago. He's been plateaued there ever since. Even in a two-man race against Cruz, Trump can't lift his percentage. (Yes, Kasich, is still in there but not so you'd notice, and he sure isn't taking votes that would otherwise go to Trump.) Sure, Trump will get some Independents but not that big bloc of them that is young and uncrazy or just uncrazy.

That leaves Bernie Sanders. Will the independents go for Sanders in the general? If he is the nominee, they will indeed vote for him. We know that because they already are. Everybody knows Bernie is winning the young by about 80 to 90%. And these young people are largely independents. They are a HUGE voting bloc. In fact, the young voters are juat a tad away from being the largest voting bloc in America. In just four years they will surpass the Baby Boomers in numbers. The iron grip of the elders will at last be broken. Bernie Sanders's Successful Insurgency 

Why do the young love Bernie? Hillary can't figure it out. She tells the young, "Even if you don't care about me, I care about you." (They sure love hearing that martyr-mommy voice.) To the young she is older than Bernie Sanders because she is so out of it. She hasn't a chance with them just because she has been a Democrat for a long time, and they despise the two parties. That's why they are independents!

Bernie's the original independent. He was officially an Independent as a Senator until he had to join the Democrats in order to run for president. Before that he was a Social Democrat in Vermont. That's sort of like being an independent.

So there you are. The largest voting bloc has one of their own to vote for! He's a granddad they CAN love! He despises what they despise!

The media doesn't get it! They say it's Bernie's weakness that so much of his vote comes from the independents in the primaries because it keeps out his independent supporters in closed Democratic primaries unless they reregister as Democrats.  But it will be Bernie's enormous strength in the general that he attracts independents. He's one of them, one of those hordes of independents, the HUGE 43% of the electorate!

Hillary, a peculiarly unobservant woman, does not get this. She's now making a big deal out of him not being "a real Democrat". My gosh, woman! That's what his voters love about him! You're not attacking him where he is weak. You're bolstering his support! (I see now why the banks paid Hillary Clinton $273,000 per speech. It's because she is so comical!)

So pay attention, you Democratic Party, if you want the voters to come your way in November.  If you nominate him, they will come!

That whopper 43% of the electorate will come to your ballfield. You will not just win the presidency. You will win back the Senate and possiby the House. It will be a wave election, a tsunami election. C'mon, my stupid Democratic party. For once, do something smart! Nominate independent Bernie Sanders!

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Stunning Analysis of the 2016 Election

This is the best analysis I have seen of the 2016 presidential campaign and the warped politics of the Democratic party's so-called leadership.

Apparently it takes a professor of poetry to see things clearly.  The writer is Seth Abramson and the title is "The Democrats Are Flawlessly Executing a 10-Point Plan to Lose the 2016 Presidential Election." Please read it and pass it along, especially to those still leaning towards Hillary.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Hillary Clinton Is Living in the Wrong Century

I am 80 years old and Hillary Clinton is 69. In spite of my age, I understand that Russia is no longer the Soviet Union, that the Wall has come down, that the Cold War is over, and that we are not at nuclear loggerheads with Russia any more. Further, I get it that Russia has faded away economically and politically. It's in such bad shape that it has had to hire a tough old spy guy like Putin to run around shirtless, shaking his fist so that the Russian people can think they are still hot stuff. Ooh, big bad Russian man!

Incredibly, Hillary Clinton is taken in by all this. Unbelievably, she believes that Putin and Russia are still big-time.

That explains her otherwise inexplicable comment this week that if Donald Trump became president "it would be Christmas in the Kremlin."

Well, she's right if she's saying that Trump being president would be awful. But what's this about "Christmas in the Kremiln"?  That's a very odd focus for what the Trump election would mean. Apparently her greatest fear is that glasses would clink joyfully in the Kremlin because, as she surmises, "America would be perceived (by the Russians) as weak".

I have to say right now, Russia's reaction to a Trump win would be the least of our concerns. And why? Because no one gives a rat's ass what the Russians think of us. They just don't matter any more.
They are a back-of-the-shelf item. As for what goes on in the Kremlin, nobody cares except their immediate neighbors, and that regional fracasing has blown over.  The Crimea thing and the Ukraine thing were just the last waves after the storm of Soviet dissolution had passed. If you know Russian history, you know that those two places have a long and bumpy relationship with Russia. And with no big deal, we handled those situations in a way that made sense and did not abandon Ukraine to the big bogeyman Russia. Those issues stayed peripheral; they do not constitute the center of our relationship with Russia.

The only one who seems to be fooled by Putin into thinking the Russia of today has major world significance is Hillary Clinton. That might be what crippled her as a Secretary of State. Somethig sure did. By contrast, once she was off the stage as Secretary, her successor John Kerry, working with President Obama, calmly suckered Putin into being responsible for getting rid of Assad's Syrian arsenal of chemical/biological weapons. It was such a smooth move!  Hillary could never have done that because she sees Putin and Russia as evil, mighty and unapproachable, the perpetual—and dangerous— enemies of yore.

With this attitude she would be a terrible president. She is stuck in a time warp!

Once you understand that she has somehow missed out on the last 30 years, a lot of her oddities are understandable. Like her thinking she can lie with impunity because no one will remember and catch her. Hah! Hillary, take note. Everything that ever happened or was ever said is just clicks and keys and phone video away on computers. Hillary, honey, you just can't tell big fibs like you did about being fired on at that Iraq airport when you were actually greeted by a little girl with flowers.

You have missed the tech revolution entirely. You can't really "wipe" a server clean, as you tried to do so as to be sure 30,000 of your erased emails were gone from investigator's eyes. The investigators can revive those emails. (Next time drop the equipment in a river or lake. That should do it.)

Nor can you and your daughter get away with saying Bernie Sanders wants to take away Medicare and the children's health program because he says he wants universal health care. Your accusation is not only a lie but ridiculous on the face of it. It makes no sense. People are better informed now, and most know what the term "universal" means. Lots of people even go to college now, Hillary. Sure, they don't all go to Wellesley as you did, you who were then privileged and a Republican helping with Barry Goldwater's ultra-conservative presidential campaign.

You scare me, Hillary. More than Donald Trump does because he won't be president. The electoral college arithmetic against him is prohibitive.  But if he is the GOP nominee and you are the Democratic nominee, you will be president. A president stuck in the mid-20th century. A hawk who raged at Obama to send ground forces into Libya and Syria, who would get us into every millenniums-old Mideast fracas that might even go another millennium.

By the way, Hillary, in your bizarre concern about there being "Christmas in the Kremlin", you seem to have overlooked that Putin has just helped put an end to the fighting in Syria. One of those millennium-old conflicts is taking a breather because Putin responded to Obama's wanting his "help".  Obama can play Putin like a fiddle. He knows the little man has a big ego and also has to look big to his people, who have lost their position in the world. Let Putin strut around. He spares us from someone who might actully want to remount a warrior Russia.

Move out of the mid-20th century, Hillary. If you can't do that, you must not be president. A president has to be of the here and now. A president has to recognize, as Bernie Sanders does, that our real enemy is climate change. You know nothing about that and never speak of it. You approved that Keystone pipeline when Secretary of State. No one who knew or cared about climate change would have so blithely signed off on such a disastrous proposal.

Get with it, Hillary. You're embarassing us older women. Not all of us are as old and out of it as you are. In fact, you are way too old for me, kiddo. I'm going with that hip young guy, 74-year-old Bernie Sanders.

At least he knows we don't have to do those "duck and cover" Cold War drills any more.