The State of the Democratic Race: You Be the Media

Everybody has an opinion on the Democratic race for President, particularly those in the media. Outside of statistical polling, how does the media measure the public's subjective impression of the candidates? They don't and can't. They shouldn't even try. But it's futile to try and stop them. Or even to get the media to distinguish between presenting rank opinion and fact. The two have essentially merged.

Example today, from Slate, which I only came across because it was at the top of my Google News list. The article emphatically reports that Hillary won the debate last night. I may subjectively agree, but I have to question whether that is a fact or some writer's opinion. And if it's opinion, why is it leading the Google news section? [More...]

It's hardly a universally accepted pronouncement. A writer at new media outlet Vox says Bernie won.

Also at Vox, editor in chief Ezra Klein dismisses Bernie Sanders' new health plan as not even a plan at all. Also at Vox, Matt Yglesias says it's time to take Sanders seriously but then tears apart most of his ideas and agrees with Ezra on the deficiencies of Bernie's newly released health care plan. Matt concludes:

[H]is big, bold ideas — though a valuable contribution to the debate — just don't look very much like a governing agenda or even a basis for grinding general election campaign.

While I happen to agree with Ezra and Matt, as I typically but not always do, it brings to mind what Sean Penn said last night during his 60 Minutes interview: There is no license that identifies who is a journalist.

"[J]ournalists who want to say that I’m not a journalist. Well, I want to see the license that says that they’re a journalist.”

Anyone with an opinion and an internet connection can be one, particularly if backed by millions or billions of mainstream media dollars invested in a new online media platform or venture.

Whether a writer is paid by these new companies has no bearing on his or her journalistic credentials. Payment doesn't make the opinions of a media organization's writers any more or less legitimate than those of any other online,broadcast or print commentator.

It's really quite disappointing to see the decay of traditional, fact-based journalism that has occurred during the last decade, as traditional and highly reputable media outlets replace factual reporting with uninspired commentary in their struggle to stay alive in a world dominated by 140 characters or who is first to publish an article, verifiable facts be damned (They can always be corrected later.)

The point being, with very few exceptions, there's no reason to read Slate or Vox or any similar outlet if what you searching for is original fact-based news. You are just as likely to be reading the views of a pundit as a journalist.

Even the New Yorker is not immune. On its website today is this article on the debate last night by a reporter with a long background of fact-based reporting for several media groups:

The former Secretary of State is offering experience, electability, and toughness. Sanders is offering fire and brimstone.
"Fire and Brimstone?" Again, I may agree, but is that a fact? The phrase "fire and brimstone" was similarly used to refer to Sanders by online "journalistic giant" Gawker back in September and picked up by many other sites.

Where are the fact based articles questioning or analyzing whether Bernie Sanders' ideas are original or he is merely endorsing views of others that have been around and promoted for decades, but just failed to gain traction? Is it too much work for the media to research?

Sanders' pronouncements on criminal justice are simply echoes of positions promoted by criminal defense lawyers for decades, just like his views on immigrant rights have been promoted by immigration reform groups for decades. I applaud that people are listening now, but that's no reason to claim Sanders is some kind of visionary. He is no Che Guevara or even Subcommandante Marcos.

Hillary and Sanders are now virtually indistinguishable on crime issues, but as I wrote yesterday, I think Hillary has the edge from last night's debate for one simple reason: In answering a question about how to respond to the new heroin epidemic, she didn't call for anyone to spend more time in jail. Sanders dragged the pharmaceutical companies into his answer, even though they make opiates, not heroin. It is fairly universally acknowledged, even by the DEA, that opiate users turn to heroin because it is now easier to obtain. Pharmaceutical companies don't manufacture, produce or sell heroin. Heroin comes from poppies, grown in the mountains in Mexico and in places like Afghanistan.

A true progressive would have pointed out that opiates relieve unbearable pain for millions of people. The culture of fear promoted by the DEA and DOJ among legitimate pain prescribers needs to end. Education and treatment, not criminal prosecution, should be used in response to those who become addicted to prescribed opiates or rely on them for a high rather than to relieve pain. Their availability should not be restricted -- too many people need them and will turn instead to heroin and dangerous substitutes if they are too difficult to obtain. Jail should be removed from the equation entirely -- as only Hillary noted last night.

[Then there's O'Malley who touted his ending of incarceration for simple marijuana possessors while holding state office in Maryland. His accomplishment is far overshadowed by his view, espoused last night, that the U.S. should ramp up the drug war in Guatemala and Central America by busting more kingpins. The war on drugs is a failure and the DEA should be scaled back, not given more global power. We need to de-militarize the war on drugs, not find ways to further intrude into countries that produce the drugs that Americans so crave to use. The war on drugs is a total failure, and any progressive Democrat should know that by now.]

Bernie also called for the prosecution of more Wall St execs. Wrong position, Bernie. Prison should not be our response to any non-violent crime, whether a drug offense or a financial crime. Mandatory minimum sentences for all crimes need to be abolished, so judges can sentence people as individuals, rather than applying some arbitrary "one size fits all" yardstick of justice. Sentencing alternatives that avoid incarceration should be used for all non-violent offenders who do not pose a physical threat to others in the community.

Bernie's call for prosecution of one class of non-violent offenders (Wall St execs) is the antithesis of a progressive view. It is a remnant of the days of puritanical moral judgments and should be discarded.

I've written many times that Sanders is passionate about only one issue: Wall Street, campaign finance laws and the undue influence of billionaires and lobbyists on Congress. He gives lip service to other issues, but the passion just isn't there. While he's lucky that his favorite issue resonates with so many people, personally, I resent that he repeats it like a talisman every chance he gets. There are so many other issues that deserve the passion of the next leader of America.

Another thing: Last night Sanders told Martin O'Malley during the debate that our federal government is corrupt. Media, where is your fact-checking? Is he right? I don't think so. And even if he were, no president, acting within the scope of his powers as President, could fix it on his own.

I think his claim is bubbe meise -- a fairy tale and a myth (actual origin here.)

If you want to see corruption, look at Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras (and Colombia in the hey day of Pablo Escobar and right wing paramilitaries and the Cali Cartel.)

In 2015, Colombia was still conducting criminal trials attempting to hold its former head of intelligence, Miguel Maza Marquez, responsible for the 1989 murder of popular politician and presidential candidate Luis Galan, who was killed at the direction of Pablo Escobar.

Prosecutors allege Gen Maza played a role in Mr Galan's killing by reducing his security detail and replacing his experienced chief of security with someone relatively new to the task.

They say he also collaborated with the Medellin drug cartel and its leader Pablo Escobar to infiltrate Mr Galan's security team.

Marquez and Escobar were bitter enemies (Escobar tried to kill him something like 7 times) but Colombia, in its relentless effort to show it is dedicated to rooting out corruption, said in August it would listen to the testimony of notorious Cali Cartel leaders, the Orejuela-Rodriguez brothers, testifying on their own terms from a U.S. prison, in its attempt to convict the now almost 90 year old former general. Who's leading the charge? It seems to me to be the family of the deceased Galan, one of whom serves in the Colombia legislature. (Revenge is a dish better served cold, indeed.)

William Abadia-Rodriguez, the son of former Cali leader Miguel Orejuela-Rodriguez, has claimed in a book and in TV interviews that he delivered $6 million to the presidential campaign of former Colombian President Ernesto Samper. Abadia-Rodriguez also ended up in a U.S. prison but was granted early release and permanent residency in the U.S. in exchange for his cooperation. The DEA issued a press release about him in 2006 here. Since then, he was sentenced to 20 years, later reduced to 5 years and he was released. He says he rejected Witness Protecton.

Notwithstanding that for whatever reason, Joe Biden attended his daughters' high school graduation in Miami, the U.S. has nothing that comes even close to the systemic corruption in countries like Colombia and Mexico. When was the U.S. military or Bureau of Prisons ever complicit in the prison escape of a top leader of one of the world's largest cartels, as happened in Mexico with El Chapo? Never.

Yes, Congress is beholden to special interests, but that doesn't mean the entire United States Government or United States Congress is corrupt as Bernie claims. Even if it were, it would be far beyond the ability of any individual President to fix it. Only the electorate can change Congress, and it does so by voting out the members of Congress it believes to be corrupt, who pass laws the public finds objectionable or who fail to pass reforms the public deems critical, and electing other Congresspersons in their stead.

Bernie Sanders, if elected President, will have zero ability to change who serves in Congress. It will be two years until there's another election. Presidents have no personal impeachment power. And as we have seen time and again, a President's support for a certain legislative position is no guarantee Congress will vote for legislation he endorses, or against legislation he finds objectionable.

If the President had such powers, Guantanamo would be closed, the public option would have passed, and many mandatory minimums would have already been abolished.

Final comment: Since everyone with an opinion can now be deemed a journalist, my prediction is as follows: Win or lose in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the Democratic nominee will be Hillary Clinton.

Democrats should thank Bernie Sanders for sharing existing progressive Democratic ideals among the American public at large and he should be credited with giving them some traction. Then they should let him move on, so he can support the Democratic party's choice for President and help her win in November.

As Biden is our new czar for curing cancer, perhaps Bernie can be a czar for cleaning up Wall St or chairing a task force on campaign finance laws. Either would suit him (and us) much better than electing him President.

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    Prosecution does not have (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 07:07:02 PM EST
    to result in incarceration. I agree that too many people are imprisoned and for ridiculously long times. For me the answer is not necessarily no prosecution, but instead different sentencing.

    For example, financial con men should, if convicted, be stripped of all their assets, banned from any work in the financial industry and, maybe, given a very heavy dose of community service. Some, those at the top, maybe should serve time given the egregious nature of their acts.

    End the War on Drugs. Put people in treatment, not prison.

    For the most part, prison should be reserved for violent offenders, those who pose a danger to others.

    The opinion of a local judge is that (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 08:25:44 PM EST
    most effective way to persuade a person addicted to illegal drugs is via drug court. The defendant is diverted to drug treatment program, but, if defendant does not comply, sentence defendant.

    Exactly what I was thinking (none / 0) (#19)
    by sj on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 10:14:04 PM EST
    Bernie's call for prosecution of one class of non-violent offenders (Wall St execs) is the antithesis of a progressive view. It is a remnant of the days of puritanical moral judgments and should be discarded.
    First of all, I'm a liberal, which means something. Not progressive which is mushier to my liberal mind. And as a liberal, walking off scot-free from such egregious criminality does sit well. I believe in fairness.

    My reaction to that statement was the same as yours:

    Prosecution does not have (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 06:07:02 PM MDT

    to result in incarceration. I agree that too many people are imprisoned and for ridiculously long times. For me the answer is not necessarily no prosecution, but instead different sentencing.

    For example, financial con men should, if convicted, be stripped of all their assets, banned from any work in the financial industry and, maybe, given a very heavy dose of community service. Some, those at the top, maybe should serve time given the egregious nature of their acts.

    End the War on Drugs. Put people in treatment, not prison.

    I am really happy Bernie Sanders is no (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 08:27:43 PM EST
    Che Guavara, who was no friend of miscreants and really quick to impose the death sentence and inflict torture.

    About google news: (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 08:31:01 PM EST
    I object (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 09:21:32 PM EST
    To the use if that term in that context.

    Lease clarify. (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 09:31:58 PM EST
    Don't complain (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 09:34:27 PM EST
    I could have just cryptically given you a "2"

    "2" is chickens*it IMO! (3.00 / 3) (#14)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 09:37:50 PM EST
    The news of google news is selected via computer. Better?

    It's Funny... (none / 0) (#77)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 04:48:19 PM EST
    ...I have 4 news apps on my phone, including Google News, which is part of Google Weather & News.

    Almost every headline is the same headline from the AP News app, they rarely diverge from each other.  Some of the links are actually AP stories.

    Normally about 15 stories each unless you leave the apps.

    The Guardian app is identical to their website so it is all over the places, but rarely do the stories match-up with AP or Google.

    No real point other than the computer at Google must have a very similar algorithm to the AP's app.  Also, I prefer the two for a quick, 'what is going on in the world' when I wake up.

    The headline 'About google news: computer generated' is silly, the news isn't computer generated, it's computer selected.  Which actually makes sense, since I would imagine it uses it's search engine to determine what people are interested in and can do it far more efficiently than a human.  I would actually be surprised if it wasn't done by a computer, that would be contra to everything Google does.

    Same with Google search determines the hierarchy of the results, it does not generate them.


    I was attempting humor (none / 0) (#83)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 05:21:31 PM EST
    Based on the fact my life's work has been "computer generated".
    Visually.  Get it?

    Or not.

    Any way, Nearly all news apps feed off the AP.  which is why I domt use ne.  I don't want or need a computer or some wage skate at a desk someplace telling me what the news is.

    That's just me.


    I Watch (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 05:55:16 PM EST
    CNN so the corporate overlords can tell me what the news is.

    Have we created this obsession with (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 08:54:02 PM EST
    the media, or has the media created it?

    Because it seems like it's not enough for us to watch for ourselves, or read for ourselves, we have to defer to the opinions of so-called experts in order to confirm or validate what we're thinking.

    Consider the questions posed in the last GOP debate: they could not have been less objective, more leading, more designed to provoke headlines.  In the last Democratic debate, I found Lester Holt's questions to be pretty good ones - I cannot say the same for those posed by Mrs. Greenspan, who doesn't seem to be able to stop herself from being utterly transparent in her desire to "get" someone, preferably Clinton.

    The Sunday Shows are a colossal waste of time; I had to stop watching them in order to ensure that my TV didn't end up shattered in a heap on the floor.

    Those who didn't watch don't have to take others' word for what transpired: pretty sure you can find it online.  When you take out the commercials, it's probably only about 90 minutes of your time.  Seems like getting a first-hand experience is better than spending the same amount of time - or more - flitting from one pundit to the next finding out what each of them think.

    I've checked them out, and it's interesting to contrast my own experience and takeaway with what the so-called experts are saying.  And it's interesting, when you've watched for yourself, to see how much they get wrong, how much they slot into a different context.

    They all have a dog of some kind in this hunt; the challenge is sussing it out, digging to find the connections, and taking it into account in their analyses.

    I daresay many of the people who comment here do as good a job, if not better, than any of those with a byline or a network news show.

    I agree. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 09:14:43 PM EST
    I think Lester Holt really did a good job. He followed up to get questions answered. Andrea Mitchell as usual was channeling Sally Quinn and clutching pearls. She's completely worthless. Lester Holt hosts shows on Investigation Discovery where they only deal in facts not gossip and nonsense. Maybe the media needs to start looking at those kinds of places for reporters instead of the beltway.

    The media in this country stinks.


    Too bad Mrs. Greenspan didn't ... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 11:24:24 PM EST
    ... "get" her husband. NBC News, with a few notable exceptions like Richard Engle and Rachel Maddow, has become a joke. Note to Chuck Todd: Fluffing the Beltway political class is not journalism, and the plotline to the most recent Michael Bay movie should not be conflated with real events.

    Where is Donald when we need him? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by ragebot on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 09:14:19 PM EST
    Not trying to defend today's MSM but the golden age of yellow journalism was probably the Spanish/American war.

    Jerry Ford was by all accounts the most athletic president in history.  He was an all state football player as a sophomore in highschool, the captain of his national championship university football team, and a first round NFL draft choice of the Detroit Lions; yet he is mostly remembered as a stumbling caricature on SNL.

    Much more press than necessary was given to Jimmy Carter's encounter with the killer rabbit.

    LBJ famously said "If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: 'President Can't Swim.'

    I am not sure today is any worse than it has been in the past or will be in the years ahead.

    You left out the (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 09:20:03 PM EST
    "Dean Scream"

    Which still makes me want to ever time I think about it.


    You're correct (none / 0) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 09:16:02 PM EST
    in a lot of ways. The media has come and gone in reliability since the founding of the country.

    Jeralyn, what's the difference... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by citizenjeff on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 04:54:46 AM EST
    ...between "fact based articles questioning or analyzing whether Bernie Sanders' ideas are original," and analysis of Sanders' ideas that isn't fact-based? Seems to me that both labels refer to opinion, and that such journalism is legitimate.

    fact based (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 04:43:20 PM EST
    would give examples of when and where he voiced these positions in the past, including context, to see when he developed some of his positions.

    I don't expect that from opinion pieces (other than my own.)

    I'm not opposed to opinion writing, what I'm opposed to is passing opinion off as fact rather than opinion. I've never allowed it on this site, and it rubs me the wrong way to see mainstream media do it.


    I don't (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 09:27:23 AM EST
    get the vitriol aimed at Sanders.

    For example, just because the progressive ideas have been languishing for decades - and he is courageous enough to actually run on those ideas, he is condemned as not being a visionary?

    I can accept that people might favor Hillary Clinton on the issues. But why the animosity toward Sanders.

    You prefer Clinton, vote for her.

    One little note:
    Jeralyn, if memory serves, has written several posts about ISIS. In them, she has expressed the notion that our deepening military involvement accomplishes little or nothing and serves to put a target on our backs. She then expresses hope that Obama will resist the pressures upon him to deepen our involvement - with the attendant dangers to us.

    So, guess who has been applying the pressure? And who has forcefully and pridefully asserting having done so? HRC. That's who.

    That stuff counts for me.
    But, anyone supporting her, that's up to them.
    I cast no stones or aspersions.

    Howard (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 09:54:44 AM EST
    Dean called him a visionary.

    Dean might be right. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 10:02:53 AM EST
    I was responding to Jeralyn's text:

    Sanders' pronouncements on criminal justice are simply echoes of positions promoted by criminal defense lawyers for decades, just like his views on immigrant rights have been promoted by immigration reform groups for decades. I applaud that people are listening now, but that's no reason to claim Sanders is some kind of visionary. He is no Che Guevara or even Subcommandante Marcos.

    Speaking of Dean:
    I have always thought that he would have made mincemeat of W in a debate - but we got stuck with Kerry and Edwards - both of whom voted for the Iraq war resolution.

    So, we had no leg to stand on.

    The media killed him. Made him out to be a nutcase.


    And has endorsed (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 10:27:14 AM EST

    Ye (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 10:46:52 AM EST
    Not a surprise (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 10:55:32 AM EST
    At least to me

    Can't think of one presidential candidate (none / 0) (#113)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 07:37:00 PM EST
    who's had as much unabashed LGBT support as Hillary.

    She would (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:06:55 PM EST
    have her pictures taken with activists as SOS so they couldn't be "disappeared" in their countries.

    Human Rights Campaign (none / 0) (#118)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 07:49:21 PM EST
    endorsed Obama over Clinton in the 2008 primary. That caused quite a stir, especially given Obama's backtracking, I mean de-evolving/evolving, position on marriage equality and his campaigning with homophobe Donnie McClurkin.

    I thought (none / 0) (#120)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:05:53 PM EST
    they endorsed Obama after the primary was over but I could be wrong. I do remember there being a lot of people who were unhappy about the gospel tour.

    Just going (none / 0) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 01:07:42 PM EST
    by how supportive my gay friends have been of Hillary's candidacy I'm not surprised to hear that.

    That's interesting.. (none / 0) (#58)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 02:29:53 PM EST
    that Dean called him a visionary.

    I think that Sanders, if not visionary, is at least courageous.


    An apology is (none / 0) (#31)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 09:56:25 AM EST
    in order.

    I realized after posting that my little observations above were probably off-topic - the topic not being the candidates or their positions, but the media's treatment of this whole enterprise.

    The media can only think in terms of bringing people into the tent to sell us hair tonic or cough medicine. They are but carnival barkers.
    I prefer WC Fields.

    As for who is favoring who... I have seen articles, so-called journalism, obviously slanted to one or the other. I have even seen Trump, who doesn't need anybody's sympathy, being consistently misquoted in order to portray him as a greater ogre than the rest.

    The NYTimes - and Huffpo - both ran the same headline today. Clinton looking forward to long battle with Bernie. (Not a direct quote.)
    She is the subject. Bernie is incidental.
    It is not: Bernie faces long battle with Clinton.
    That would change the complexion of the article, imo.

    The contempt I have for these media people, who consider themselves stars has been festering for decades. They are actually craven arch-manipulative social-climbers with inflated salaries - paid to sell things to a weary and downtrodden citizenry.


    Here is my reccomended (5.00 / 7) (#44)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 11:52:11 AM EST
    front paged diary on Hillary at Big Orange.

    Well done, sir (none / 0) (#47)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 12:05:15 PM EST
    Very good job, MKS (none / 0) (#100)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:35:00 PM EST
    That's the second time I've been compelled to go to Kos today. (The thread in the first time visit was not nearly as pleasant to view as this one.)

    In talking about fighting the establishment (5.00 / 4) (#150)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 06:47:19 AM EST
    Sanders labels Planned Parenthood as part of the establishment. Probably not his finest moment.

    Twitter response:

    Cecile Richards ‏@CecileRichards 8h8 hours ago
    disappointing to hear this

    Planned Parenthood ‏@PPact 8h8 hours ago
    We respect @SenSanders. Disappointed to be called "establishment" as we fight like hell to protect women's health.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 07:01:54 AM EST
    not just PP. It was Human Rights Campaign also. Sad.

    Yes, so many other (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:50:06 AM EST
    ways to address his disappointment graciously.  Not a good response, in my opinion.

    They have responded also (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 12:10:12 PM EST
    HumanRightsCampaign ‏@HRC 4h4 hours ago

    We share @PPact's disappointment in Sanders' attacks. @HRC has proudly taken on the establishment & fought for LGBT people for over 30 years


    Sanders also juxtaposed (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:30:24 AM EST
    the names of Hillary Clinton and Dick Cheney in a speech where he reminded his audience yesterday that HRC voted 14 years ago for the AUMF that ultimately was employed to justify the war in Iraq ... and immediately followed that example with a statement that Dick Cheney did too.

    Mr. Nice Guy? Mr. Never-Goes-Negative?  Sure ... and, the near juxtaposition of a strong Democrat like HRC with the snaky, Vaderesque Cheney was pure happenstance.  Un-pure BS is what that technique is.

    Look, as anyone ever involved in or near politics comes to understand quickly: Nothing wrong with throwing figurative punches, nothing wrong with powerfully putting the issues out there.  But, one thing to remember: When a candidate gives it, he better be able to take it without whining or bemoaning the unfairness of it all in the ain't-beanbag world of politics  In this case, I suspect that I am not the only Democrat that will be offended by the Sanders' comments on Planned Parenthood and the overreach of the comparison to Cheney.  Unwarranted & probably over-the-line.


    Oof... (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:30:30 AM EST
    This may hurt Sanders more than he knows; whatever nuanced explanation he could offer other than, "what was I thinking?" is going to fall on deaf ears, I think.

    While a case could be made that both the Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood are established organizations with deep ties to Democrats and inside-the-Beltway types, Sanders has so demonized the term "establishment" by association with Goldman Sachs, Wall Street, the financial industry and the corporate elite, that he's managed to tar these two organizations with that same ugly brush.

    It looks small and petulant, and if that's not what he intended, he has some work to do.

    I get why he maybe thinks he deserved those endorsements, but the harsh reality is that HRC and PP are backing the horse they think will win.

    Just wish Sanders had found a better way to express his disappointment.


    It's just possible (5.00 / 3) (#192)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:39:39 AM EST
    That instead of

    but the harsh reality is that HRC and PP are backing the horse they think will win.

    They are backing the person they believe is their best friend in politics.

    But I'm not surprised that is your interpretation of things.


    Does that go tto (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:44:20 AM EST
    the question: How effective would a Sanders' presidency be if this petulance is an example of how he would act when not getting his own way?

    The example of that kind of flashing temper is an aspect of Sanders that has always troubled me.  While he can be an excellent polemicist and stalwart believer in the call for fundamental economic fairness, the office of the President in this country calls for a much more inclusive view.  IMO.


    Gees...waiting for him to call himself (none / 0) (#152)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 07:09:55 AM EST
    A 'maverick'.

    I guess it plays well in independent  New Hampshire.


    Our beloved meda (none / 0) (#160)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 09:37:10 AM EST
    on NPR this am a reporter called attention to Sanders' new campaign bus. It is looking more and more like McCain 2000 to me. We'll see if reporters are reporting from the bus soon.

    I mean in terms of stategy... (none / 0) (#161)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 09:39:15 AM EST
    anti-party-establishment, getting the boys on the bus....of course I know Sanders is not McCain ideologically.

    Maybe they'll ask about the $5 million (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 09:54:49 AM EST
    spent by SuperPacs supporting him by attacking Clinton in Iowa and NH. Oh wait, those are Karl Rove SuperPacs helping Sanders. Never mind.

    Now that I am part of the media (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:32:16 AM EST
    I have to ask if Sanders would welcome Dem PAC and DNC money in the general election. It is pretty establishment.

    As far as the media is concerned (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:30:38 AM EST
    He has the only quality they need.  He is running against a Clinton.

    Bingo! (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by mm on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:04:41 AM EST
    but it's not just the media unfortunately.

    If it were that simple (none / 0) (#203)
    by sj on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 12:11:50 PM EST

    If Bernies numbers were Martins (none / 0) (#204)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 12:14:40 PM EST
    It would be OMalley

    Given a chance to backtrack (none / 0) (#168)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:23:42 AM EST
    the spokesman for the Sanders campaign was asked about the Planned Parenthood statement. His response doubles down:  "He said it better than I could."

    and didn't even add (5.00 / 2) (#170)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:28:56 AM EST
    'Not that there's anything wrong with that'.

    Seriously, even if you thing PP is part of the 'establishment', what is wrong with that? Is all establishment just bad? Does he have a specific critique of PP beyond that they have been part of the Washington scene as long as he has??


    The Sanders campaign has been (5.00 / 3) (#190)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:32:37 AM EST
    quite nasty when not getting what it wants. Kind of whiny, too. These attacks on PP and HRC are just the latest efforts by the campaign to tar and feather anyone who doesn't Feel the Bern!

    Apparently (none / 0) (#175)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:51:19 AM EST
    "establishment" is defined as any organization that endorses Hillary.

    That could be the case (none / 0) (#181)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:58:19 AM EST
    To paraphrase someone else...The new Sanders campaign slogan: You're either with us or against us.

    Watching Andrea Mitchell (none / 0) (#187)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:23:56 AM EST
    Fluffing a Sanders mouthpiece as he dissembles about HRC and PP.

    Something to see.  Especially after just watching  trot out every single gotcha question she could dig up for the Clinton mouthpiece.


    Senator Sanders' (none / 0) (#191)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:37:03 AM EST
    use of "Establishment," is troubling in view of the connotation his campaign has given to that term.  By applying "Establishment"  to Democratic constituencies and advocacy groups, he unfairly lumps them together with influence peddling at the expense of the general public as if Goldman Sachs.

     Planned Parenthood has enough enemies without being equated with his trademark pejorative of Establishment. Similarly, HRC has taken the inside route to assure civil rights for gay men and women, sometimes being criticized for its cocktail parties so as to present their point of view to legislators or the president.  However, clumsily equating an advocacy group to shady influence peddling is an inelegant response.  


    Let's call it what it is (none / 0) (#193)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:41:34 AM EST
    It's vile.  And it's also stupid.

    Yep (none / 0) (#200)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 12:09:00 PM EST
    I accept (none / 0) (#202)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 12:10:13 PM EST
    the amendment.

    Yes, Doubly So... (none / 0) (#207)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 12:24:53 PM EST
    ...in an election whose main theme seems to be anti-establishment, whatever that means.  But apparently is doesn't mean two sitting Senators, which a decade ago would both be establishment candidates.

    Also his anti-establishment rhetoric isn't going to help him against the actual anti-establishment candidate, should it get down to that.

    I feel like I was starting to gravitate towards a candidate, and then he does something so GD stupid, I am back at square one.

    I can't imagine that is sitting well with any democrat.


    As often happens (none / 0) (#210)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 12:33:32 PM EST
    Dan stated the case far better than me.  What he said.  And you said.

    Now the the thread is past 200 (5.00 / 7) (#212)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 01:25:53 PM EST
    and into the long straightaway, I'm just going to reiterate what Scott said above regarding Sanders's comments about Planned Parenthood and Human Rights Campaign. It's like watching someone go two steps forward and one step back..but this is a big step back, IMO.

    Nobody is better in this race than Sanders at taking the fight to Wall Street, corporate welfare recipients, and Super PACS. But, wow, painting PP and Human Rights Campaign as "part of the establishment" is way off base. That's like saying the ACLU is part of the establishment. Yeah, they're part of the established organizations fighting for civil rights.

    Talk about tone deaf. Also misguided. I think this faux-pas has long legs, and have my doubts he can squash it.

    The HRC and PP endorsements (5.00 / 2) (#213)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 02:32:10 PM EST
    are a good catalyst for a conversation about what constitutes "establishment" organizations. I know some gay folks who have been non-plussed with HRC (org.) for a long time, because it is "too corporate" in their view. I don't know if this is the case (I do recall some controversy in past years, when they didn't strongly support trans rights, but I could use clarity on that from those who know more). I will say, their endorsement of Leiberman over Lamont (whom I supported) in 2006 seemed stupid to me.

    Planned Parenthood I support wholeheartedly, and always have. At one time, I got most of my medical care there. Faye Wattleton's leadership of PP is what really pulled me in as a financial contributor when I was in my 20's and working three jobs to make ends meet. Wattleton was brilliant and courageous at a time when Operation Rescue and the religious right groups and their fringe actors were bombing clinics and shooting doctors, and during the time of some very important SCOTUS decisions (Webster and Casey). Cecile Richards is, in my view, more of an establishment figure than Wattleton...Richards comes from a political family, and worked for Pelosi. But I accept that, perhaps even grudgingly, because she has also led the organization through some tough times--the Komen nonsense, the recent rightwing video, and now the murder of three people at the PP in Colorado.

    How many organizations that are "part of the political establishment" get bombed and shot at on a continual basis? What does "establishment" really mean, as it relates to civil rights organizations?

    I have no doubt that Sanders is just as strong a supporter of LGBT rights and women's healthcare rights as Clinton (yes, really, just look at his record), but he could not have realistically expected the endorsements of either of these organizations. So, why poke them in the eye?  

    I have also been (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 09:27:05 PM EST
    A bit surprised how widely Hillary is being seen as "winning" the debate.   Even on MSNBC which has been annoyingly pro Bernie for months IMO.
    As I said last night, I did not see a clear "winner".
    And even then I at least labeled it my opinion.

    I only saw the first half (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 09:53:53 PM EST
    but I saw no clear winner. Didn't expect to actually. Neither Clinton nor Sanders are just going to fall apart or not have an answer. I guess some polling will show if any undecideds were moved off neutral.

    I rather think that it was those who (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 10:04:06 PM EST
    attended or watched the debate who were the real winners; and maybe the Democratic Party was also a winner, the candidates on that stage - and I even include O'Malley - showing America not just who Democrats are, but who they aren't.

    If I had any complaint, it is that we really need to spend more time on some issues that weren't addressed on Sunday: immigration and reproductive rights.  

    The problem with the media is that it's a horse race for them.  And on top of that, they don't seem to be able to stop themselves from trying to manipulate the outcome, setting up controversy and confrontation where little to none exists.

    I think all three candidates made good points; I really think that, if the media would just let the people work this out for themselves, we might end up with a nominee who embodies the best of what we've seen.  But the media won't do that, and the position they put these candidates in is such that it gets hard to tell who they really are, what they really stand for and how committed they are to what's important to us.

    The bottom line for me is that, if this country elects a Republican, we all lose.


    If Clinton is the nominee, (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 03:49:15 PM EST
    and eventual winner, it will be good that Sanders will still be in the Senate shaping whatever health care changes she proposes into law. He said the other night his idea was to add medicare for all on top of the ACA - if he can get that passed with the aid of his grassroot support putting pressure on the rest of congress, I doubt she would veto it.

    Clinton winning would not be the death knell to 'medicare for all' the way a GOP win would be.


    Speaking for myself (none / 0) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 09:56:14 PM EST
    only I think what made it Hillary 'wins" was her statement on Flint, MI.

    If you're using (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by sj on Mon Jan 18, 2016 at 10:09:32 PM EST
    a single statement for the "win" then I go with O'Malley's "boots on the ground" and statement on privacy.

    D@mn. That is two statements.


    But you made it a single statement (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:02:46 AM EST
    so your premise holds :)

    Really? (none / 0) (#39)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 11:07:29 AM EST
    I didn't watch the debate, but everything I read after it was that Bernie (and to a lesser extent) O'Malley won.  The feeling was that while Hillary, who once again who showed an impressive depth and breadth of knowledge many subjects, just didn't hit it out of the park, so she lost by not winning.

    But it still is refreshing to see and hear about actual adults on a stage intelligently talking substance.


    the "winner" or "Loser" of a (none / 0) (#23)
    by cpinva on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:04:38 AM EST
    debate is almost always a subjective determination, absent clear scoring rules stated in advance. as someone noted above, the obvious "winners" were the American voters, especially those in physical attendance.

    with respect to the "War On Drugs" and the DEA, get rid of both of them. neither serves any useful purpose, and have simply been a drain on scarce, allocable resources since their inception. the DEA has also (in a clear effort to maintain its existence) been the source of many lies about drugs and drug use, stated as facts, with no scientific evidence to support them. disposing of both will be difficult, since there's a lot of money/jobs at stake.

    Sen. Sanders' "Public Option" health care plan is pretty much a retread of earlier proposed plans, and would never make it through a republican dominated congress, no matter how long anyone holds their breath.

    If making it through a Republican (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 07:45:25 AM EST
    dominated congress is the yard stick to measure plans, then HRC's health care plan is dead in the water as well. No matter how long anyone holds their breaths, Republicans are not going to pass her proposals either. The one item in both Sanders and Hillary's plans that might actually get Republican support is repeal of the Cadillac Tax because it is a "repeal" and it eliminations some funding from ACA.

    Hillary has admitted that the costs of the current system is making it unaffordable for some people. As the costs to individuals continues to increase, the deductibles and co-pays make actually getting health care harder and harder, and the penalties increase for not buying overpriced insurance, being the one "protecting Obamacare" just might come back to haunt her.


    Krugman on "Health Reform Realities" (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 10:02:02 AM EST
    Obamacare is what engineers would call a kludge: a somewhat awkward, clumsy device with lots of moving parts. This makes it more expensive than it should be, and will probably always cause a significant number of people to fall through the cracks.

    The question for progressives -- a question that is now central to the Democratic primary -- is whether these failings mean that they should re-litigate their own biggest political success in almost half a century, and try for something better.

    As it gets more and more expensive (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 07:17:35 PM EST
    more and more people will fall through the cracks. They will either have no insurance at all or have to pay out large premiums for insurance that they cannot afford to use.

    For those who cannot afford actual health care, now and in the future, it falls quite short of success.

    Sounds like being able to claim a "political success" is becoming more important than people having health care. People falling through the cracks - people with insurance not able to afford actual care - no big thing, the Dems passed something labeled the "Affordable Care Act." Of course. those cheering for this great political success will never have to do without health care, so all is well with the world.


    Angry Bernie Supporters (none / 0) (#25)
    by Kmkmiller on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:42:39 AM EST
    Now attacking Human Rights Campaign.

    I still don't think Clinton will win but if so the media propping up the angry white dude only gave those supporters the context by which they'll be even more enraged when she wins.

    This is gonna get ugly either way, but the media is happy for that.  Good theater.

    This sentence needs some work (none / 0) (#26)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 09:00:08 AM EST
    I still don't think Clinton will win...they'll be even more enraged when she wins.

    Hmmm can I help with that? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Kmkmiller on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 09:21:12 AM EST
    1. I don't think she will win because media in tank for Bernie it's a repeat of 2008 etc etc.  that is one opinion.  Just an opinion.  There are many opinions about this.  Expressing my opinion should not be thought of as an attack on anyone else differing from me about this opinion.  Ok.  Now.

    Another opinion...

    2. In the event I am wrong and clinton does win ....this business of propping up Bernie by the media... Just know They could have sunk his candidacy from day one by laughing at his shaky finger optics ... The media agenda of creating for us a tight race that keeps our faces glued to the tv screen ... After all that .... If I'm wrong and Clinton does win, the Bernie supporters are going to feel even more enraged for coming so close.


    The media (none / 0) (#34)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 10:05:52 AM EST
    ultimately don't care who wins.

    If one gets a lead, they prop up the other.

    Then they tilt the other way.

    It's all to sell suds.


    If the suds weren't feeding the wrong wolf (none / 0) (#35)
    by Kmkmiller on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 10:24:46 AM EST
    .... That is all.

    If 538 (none / 0) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 09:55:41 AM EST
    is right then that is going to end the 2008 narrative the media is shopping.

    So you (none / 0) (#41)
    by sj on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 11:25:13 AM EST
    are an advance apologist for a Clinton loss? Putting it out there "just in case" are you?

    I thought, according to you, she was going to cure cancer. How can she possibly lose?


    That's not what I said (none / 0) (#43)
    by Kmkmiller on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 11:35:56 AM EST
    I said IF she did people would spin it as a negative thing.

    It's hypothetical and/or rhetorical.


    My mistake (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by sj on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 11:55:57 AM EST
    I should have scrolled right past. I'll try to remember in future.

    I am a Hillary supporter too (none / 0) (#140)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 09:41:48 PM EST
    so I tired reading these posts, but did not have the patience or whatever to finish......

    I'll rely on the discussion to explain what is being said.


    Gawker is always amusing (none / 0) (#46)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 12:01:34 PM EST
    The Affordable Care Act was one step down the road towards universal health care. Sanders advocates at least aiming to travel the whole road; Hillary Clinton's position is not only that universal health care is impossible, but that a candidate in the Democratic primary should be attacked for supporting universal health care!

    Wrong.  Once again, this is written by someone who doesn't understand what "universal coverage" means and that yes, Hillary Clinton is for it and always has been.

    This commenter gets it, IMO:

    ...and it is also a moot point, because the federal minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.25 per hour, will not be more than doubled by this Congress.

    Riddle me this Hamilton:

    How can you choose to be pragmatic here, recognizing that Congress will at no point in the near future go for a Sanders' policy proposal but be unwilling to recognize that about other portions of his platform?

    The next Democratic president, barring a complete Republican meltdown that somehow manages to cost them the house, has precisely zero chance to do any better than Obama managed to do. They will not be able to make tax rates more progressive. They will not be able to break up TBTF banks. It simply won't happen.

    The rest of the author's rant was good for a chuckle.  Thanks for posting.

    Clinton may be for universal health care, on (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 12:45:33 PM EST
    a sort of academic basis, but I'm still waiting - as are others - to hear exactly how she believes the incremental changes she wants to make are going to move us closer to that goal.  

    And we're also still waiting for someone to explain how it is that Clinton - whom the Republicans will block at every turn, just as they did Obama - will be successful getting her changes through the Congress.  What will you be saying in year 3 of Clinton's first term if/when efforts to make the "Affordable Care Act" live up to its name are unsuccessful?

    Wait, I know: "well, it's not like Sanders would have done any better."

    I do think there's something to be said for the effect of not staffing an administration with people whose pedigrees are inextricably tied to the financial and securities industries; you have only to look at the influence of an Eric Holder-led Justice Department, a Tim Geithner-led Treasury Department, the influence of Larry Summers and Robert Rubin (and many others), to appreciate that.

    I haven't seen any indication that Clinton, for all her podium-pounding insistence that she's going to be holding the industry accountable like never before, has any plans not to pull from the same well that's been paying her hundreds of thousands of dollars to hear her speak.  And before you say that she hasn't given any indication that she will go to that well, it seems to me that having heard that challenge from Sanders, she has had numerous opportunities to say that she intends to close the revolving door between the industry and her administration.

    The same applies to the rest of the administration.  Who will her running mate be? Who will she put in charge of Defense?  Who will be her Secretary of State?  By the time the names are being tossed about, it's going to be too late to have buyer's remorse - and I think that may be something that is giving many people some pause.  Is voting for Clinton voting for the certainty of more war?

    I note that you didn't have anything to say about the Commonweal article; guess maybe you didn't get quite as much of a chuckle out of it.


    You might actually want to read (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 03:47:52 PM EST
    The Matthew Yglesias article Jeralyn linked to, for starters.  He, along with others in the media are actually starting to look at Sanders and asking, "Where's the beef"?  Since you keep harping on "but...but...how will Hillary do it?" I think it's fair for you and Sanders's supporters (and his campaign) to tell us exactly how he is going to do it, besides "Break up the banks!"  "Tax the rich!"  (What does that even entail?)

    And no, I didn't respond to every single thing you are writing - I can admit that Sanders makes good points, (unlike Sanders supporters who are the Obama 2008 acolytes 2.0) but since I am taking breaks in between the events of my grandfather's funeral at this very moment, I'm not sitting all day poring over every word typed.  

    Which means that we in the media need to start taking his campaign seriously, but also that Sanders himself needs to take his campaign seriously. Build a real model of the higher education plan. Come up with some notion of what kind of health insurance the Berniecare single-payer plan is going to provide. Address the whole range of outstanding issues with Obama's Wall Street agenda. Maybe talk to some people about foreign policy. We appreciate that it's not his passion in life, but it's a crucial part of the job, and he needs to be more comfortable talking about it.

    Sorry to hear about your (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 04:40:43 PM EST
    grandfather. I remember you talking about having a big party for him a while back.

    I'm very sorry to hear of your grandfather (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by sj on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 04:44:28 PM EST
    I, too, remember your talking about him.

    Peace, to you and your family.


    Sorry about your grandfather. (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 04:51:19 PM EST
    Thank you all (5.00 / 3) (#155)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 07:42:13 AM EST
    It was sad, but not as sad as a funeral for someone who died too young.  He was 101, and lived in his own house until 4 days before he died, when my aunts and uncles (and mom) had to put him in hospice.  He was peaceful and calm and not in any pain.  He was surrounded by some family and my mom got to Skype with him, even though he didn't really know her at the end.  I got to call and say goodbye and tell him that I loved him.

    We had lots of people over to the house and LOTS of amazing food. We even had a Steelers watching party, which he would have loved (but not the result).

    We were all blessed to have him, and now he's partying away with my grandmother somewhere nice.  I know they are having a good time.  :)

    Sorry for the OT.


    So sorry for your loss, jb; I well remember (none / 0) (#84)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 05:23:40 PM EST
    your writing about your grandfather with such love and affection; I know he will be missed, but I bet you all are telling some wonderful stories and sharing a lot of love and laughter.

    Will keep you in my thoughts.


    And how will Hillary do it? (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 04:32:15 PM EST
    Compromise.  Yes, that's a bad word in many quarters, and I've been angered when politicians have compromised on things that I supported, but in the end, it's better to get a half loaf than none.  And let's face it, some politicians are betting negotiators than others, so some compromises are better deals. Does it still make me angry that things can't be the way I want them?  You bet, but that's reality. That moves things along so the next issue can be addressed.

    Bernie has been ideologically pure and that's what is so appealing to his supporters - that's great and very easy to do when you represent an tiny state of white people with mostly similar socioeconomic realities.  But there's no way a president can be so pure.  He either won't know how to compromise to get some of his visions enacted, or he will try and dig his heels in and nothing will get done, and things could possibly get worse.

    That's the difference.


    I think if you looked back at what (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 04:49:34 PM EST
    Bernie has accomplished as mayor, congressman, and senator you would find he has compromised at least a little to get things done. It is the only way to be a long term successful politician, as he has been. Not something he is going to advertise in the current race though.

    I have no doubt that a President Sanders (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 08:20:24 AM EST
    will have to make some use of the art of compromise, but where you see ideological purity, I see setting the basis for that compromise and negotiation at a much higher level.

    I feel like Democrats have fallen into the habit of negotiating with themselves, taking the position that the GOP is never going to give us X, so we'll start with less in the hope that they will appreciate our pre-concession, and not demand that we give up even more.

    We know this strategy has failed.  Their response is, "okay, so they're already willing to give up X and Y, so how much more will they give?"

    We've lowered our expectations right from the start, and then, in the spirit of goodwill, we make the first move and give up more.  What if, instead of that tired-and-failed strategy, we set the bar high, and let them make the first move?

    I suppose the response to that is, if the GOP holds all the cards, why would they do anything?  And I guess the answer to that is, because they don't always hold all the cards.  There are things they want that they can't get without some Democratic votes, so why can't we leverage that?

    Sanders has been in the Congress for a long time; he has shepherded his share of legislation and amendments through. That VA bill stands out as one example of something no one thought would be passed.

    Ideological purity, or setting a new starting point for negotiation?  


    If this is his strategy (none / 0) (#157)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 08:32:15 AM EST
    Then why not use that to support all liberal positions?

    Last week Bernie Sanders was asked whether he was in favor of "reparations for slavery." It is worth considering Sanders's response in full:

    No, I don't think so. First of all, its likelihood of getting through Congress is nil. Second of all, I think it would be very divisive. The real issue is when we look at the poverty rate among the African American community, when we look at the high unemployment rate within the African American community, we have a lot of work to do.

    So I think what we should be talking about is making massive investments in rebuilding our cities, in creating millions of decent paying jobs, in making public colleges and universities tuition-free, basically targeting our federal resources to the areas where it is needed the most and where it is needed the most is in impoverished communities, often African American and Latino.

    Bernie, like every other politician, won't pursue issues he thinks have no chance of passing.  I guess he's just like all the rest....


    More from my link (none / 0) (#158)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 08:53:26 AM EST
    For those of us interested in how the left prioritizes its various radicalisms, Sanders's answer is illuminating. The spectacle of a socialist candidate opposing reparations as "divisive"  (there are few political labels more divisive in the minds of Americans than socialist) is only rivaled by the implausibility of Sanders posing  as a pragmatist. Sanders says the chance of getting reparations through Congress is "nil," a correct observation which could just as well apply to much of the Vermont senator's own platform. The chances of a President Sanders coaxing a Republican Congress to pass a $1 trillion jobs and infrastructure bill are also nil. Considering Sanders's proposal for single-payer health-care, Paul Krugman asks, "Is there any realistic prospect that a drastic overhaul could be enacted any time soon--say, in the next eight years? No."

    All I can say is that I don't think (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 09:18:30 AM EST
    I've ever claimed, nor have I ever believed, that Bernie Sanders is perfect, that he puts every issue at the same priority level, that there aren't areas where we disagree; I don't know about you, but I've never found an absolute perfect candidate, ever.

    I've also never claimed he can work magic; I know there are no single-payer unicorns, no sparkle ponies with names like Income Equality, Peace In Our Time, Reproductive Freedom, Gender Equity, Privacy Rights, Civil Rights, that he will wave his special Sanders wand to come prancing into all of our lives.

    But I know that he wants those things.  I know he wants to work for those things.  It may seem like an old-fashioned concept, but when my daughter was first learning to ride, she desperately wanted her own saddle.  Someone in the barn where she rode was selling one, and I told her if she wanted it, she would have to earn the money to pay for it.  And she did - I think it was $400.  She did work around the barn, she did chores, she did some babysitting, she didn't spend a dime of the money she got for her birthday.

    When she wanted her own pony, I told her she would have to work off the cost of the board - and she did.  She was in that barn every day after school and on weekends, mucking stalls, grooming, cleaning tack, feeding and watering, throwing hay, bringing horses in and taking them out.  Rain or shine, good weather and bad, she was there.

    It's not that I don't think Hillary is willing to muck out her share of stalls, or that she doesn't want many of the things we all want; I just think Bernie's got his sights set on more, and isn't as easily put off by "no."

    I will absolutely vote for her if she's the nominee, and I will support her and defend her in her effort to beat the GOP.

    She makes me nervous, though.  As hard as she works, as whip-smart as she is, her reaction time when it comes to critical election strategy is terrible.  And whether we want to admit it or not, the GOP is going to saddle her with trust issues, e-mail issues, husband issues, and money issues - and more, I'm sure.  How effective that is, how deeply it cuts into whatever advantage she has, remains to be seen, and I hate that it may come down to hoping the GOP remains as nutty as it has been so far.


    You missed two (none / 0) (#180)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:57:23 AM EST
    very important negotiations that must take place, With reality:  If one were to go into a car lot and offer 1K on a 50K car, you will be laughed(if not thrown off) the lot, there will be no deal possible.

    With the electorate If one were to drive their brand new car to the dealership for the first oil change, only to be told that they sold you a pos and then apply pressure you to buy the sparkly new model you would probably would run like hell(with or out punching the salesman in the nose).

    Rough analogies I know, but still....reality bites.


    In defense (none / 0) (#80)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 04:56:26 PM EST
    of the people who are against compromise I understand where they are coming from. Typically let's say like back in the 90's you would get SCHIP and the GOP would get something. These days you have the tea party coming out of a meeting with Obama crowing that they got 98% of what they wanted. So the word "compromise" can be very dispiriting to people who have seen what has happened over the last 7 years.

    No thinking person (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by sj on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 05:04:41 PM EST
    is "against compromise". What is problematic is pre-negotiating with oneself.

    When asked about Obama's (none / 0) (#153)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 07:23:54 AM EST
    foreign affairs motto of "Don't do stupid shit.," Clinton replied:

    "Great nations need organizing principles, and `Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle," Clinton responded.  

    Compromise is a nice word but it is not an action plan. Hillary  saying that she has always supported universal health care is a meaningless statement without a workable plan to make it happen. If Hillary has an action plan to make the current system truly an universal health care system, so far she has failed to disclose this plan to the public for review.

    The statement that some people are better negotiators than others is true but you have failed to address 1. you need a partner willing to negotiate 2. offer proof other than your opinion that Clinton is a better negotiator than Sanders and 3. that the end results of compromising (capitulation) with the Republicans would be better than nothing.


    And yet (none / 0) (#154)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 07:35:06 AM EST
    You cannot show that Bernie would be able to negotiate with non-like minded people at all, nor can you show that the end results of nothing would be better, and in fact, would not take us backwards.

    So my question is this:  why do you do HRC to one standard, but when it comes to Bernie, it's just "trust us"?

    Unlike many Sanders supporters,  I don't believe in miracles or magic. I know it will be tough, but it comes down to this - I love Bernie, I love many of his ideas and his passion. I want hi. To keep talking about those ussues, which he will not be able to do as inhibited as he does now if he is president.  Drraming is good, but action is better. I want someone who knows how to get stuff done in the political atmosphere we live in,  someone who has experience beating  Republicans, and I think HRC is miles ahead on that score.  



    No, it is quite the contrary (none / 0) (#165)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 09:59:25 AM EST
    The standard YOU  have given Hillary is that she doesn't need any plan at all for getting universal health care because she is Hillary.

    What is Hillary action plan to accomplish this? if action is better, than what action other than saying she supports universal health care does Hillary plan to pursue get ACA to the point where it covers everyone?

    You don't think Sanders plan is doable but you don't require any plan at all from Hillary.

    You do believe in magic. You believe that HRC is such a great negotiator and so beloved by the Republicans and their base that she is going to marshall her health care proposals through a Republican House that wants to repeal ACA and not fix it.

    That idea is as delusional as those who believed that Obama would marshall in a great era of bipartisanship.


    Your comment is delusional (none / 0) (#166)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:16:49 AM EST
    I never said she is beloved by Republicans. I'm am smart enough to know it will be hard, if not impossible to get many of her ideas through.  I'm not naive, unlike many Sanders supporters, who think he is going to start a revolution.

    What I AM confident is that she won't start us down a path of trying to pass single payer, and use up whatever political goodwill / clout she has on an issue that will be DOA, and will instead work to improve what we have. She won't waste a year or two focused on the impossib3ke, and allow the Republicans to use that to stall everything else.

    And since you keep deflecting with "But...but...Hillary!" I know you agree with me about Bernie, since you don't have an answer.  It's ok - neither does his vampaign.


    Go back and read your comments (none / 0) (#178)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:54:45 AM EST
    You keep saying that Hillary can get things done. What exactly on the health care front can she get done? How does Hillary plan to make ACA into an universal health care system? What is her action plan? What items exactly is she going to try and negotiate to bring about universal coverage?

    Seems like a pretty easy question. What is her plan?

    In the majority of your comments you state as fact that she will get things done but when asked for specifics you have to admit that she will not be able to get her proposals passed. On the issue of universal health care the challenge becomes even more difficult when there is no action plan to negotiate.

    Other than repealing the Cadillac Tax, what actual improvement to ACA can she get through the Republican House. If they are DOA, is she going to waste her time trying to get improvements or is she just going to talk about what could be done while accepting the status quo.


    Um (none / 0) (#196)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:52:31 AM EST
    Since many of her positions, from gun control to Wall Street reform cam be done with Executive action, they will bypass Congress. (They could be subject to legal challenge.) Bernie is not doing that.  She is also proposing more realistic legislation for Congress to pass.

    But the fact remains that your answer (and the campaign's) to the question of, "How do you see these plans getting acheieved?" Is "But....but....Hillary!"


    Won't executive action be available to (5.00 / 2) (#209)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 12:29:50 PM EST
    a President Sanders?  That he may not be talking that option up as a strategy now doesn't mean he couldn't - or wouldn't - make use of it.

    And I guess I'm not sure if it says something better about Clinton that she's already planning to bypass Congress.

    At the risk of being accused of beating a dead horse, however "more realistic" the legislation she intends to propose may be, it's important to note that I'd be surprised - no, shocked - if either the Senate Majority Leader or the Speaker of the House - or the GOP rank-and file - would treat any legislation proposed by any Democratic president, Senator or Representative, as realistic enough that they could or would vote for it.

    In my heart of hearts, I don't believe Sanders is going to be the next president.  I hope, though, that he stays in it for as long as his presence keeps Clinton over on the left side of center, and that, if the handwriting is on the wall, that he get out while he can credibly throw his support to her without looking like he has a gun to his head.

    I think he can do that.  I don't think he would be so foolish as to risk us all having to come to terms with a President Trump or a President Cruz.


    Has Sen. Sanders announced who will (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 12:55:18 PM EST
    be in his cabinet?  Who are his current advisors?  

    Ten bucks says it won't be (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 03:48:40 PM EST
    Tim Geithner, Bob Rubin, Bill Daley, or Rahm Emanuel.

    The only cabinet (3.67 / 3) (#53)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 01:17:10 PM EST
    will be in his kitchen.

    Googling reveals Lessig was (none / 0) (#54)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 01:18:37 PM EST
    an early advisor to Sanders' campaign, until Lessig launched his own.

    whoooosh (1.00 / 2) (#50)
    by sj on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 12:56:08 PM EST
    What's the answer? (1.00 / 1) (#51)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 01:04:54 PM EST
    The fact is you need your "enemies" (none / 0) (#55)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 01:59:30 PM EST
    and I use the term loosely here.  For all the caterwauling around speaking fees, and ties to "big business", people need to remember, these are the folks you need to work with to make changes (if you want anything done).  Unilateralism don't work on the international stage, and doesn't work domestically either.

    Really (none / 0) (#59)
    by sj on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 02:37:33 PM EST
    For all the caterwauling around speaking fees, and ties to "big business", people need to remember, these are the folks you need to work with to make changes (if you want anything done).
    Ignoring your condescending tone, I'll just question your assertion that government "needs" big business to enact change.

    Are we and "out" oligarchy then?


    Has nothing to do with Oligarchy (none / 0) (#62)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 03:03:25 PM EST
    but has everything to do w/our representative government that was setup so as to be lobbied by varied constituents.

    So... (none / 0) (#63)
    by sj on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 03:31:38 PM EST
    are you saying that legislators need lobbyists then?
    Has nothing to do with Oligarchy (none / 0) (#62)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 02:03:25 PM MDT

    but has everything to do w/our representative government that was setup so as to be lobbied by varied constituents.

    It seems to me that a functional government would have it the other way around. So why then do legislators need them?

    For all the caterwauling around speaking fees, and ties to "big business", people need to remember, these are the folks you need to work with to make changes (if you want anything done).

    Exactly. There's a big difference between (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 03:41:55 PM EST
    "constituents" and "corporate lobbyists." And it is not at all what the framers envisioned when they created our three branches of government, or the opening words "We the People."

    But you know, Mitt Romney and his ilk disagree: "Corporations are people, my friend!"


    Considering the only people (none / 0) (#173)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:35:23 AM EST
    included in 'We the people' at the time were white men of substance, maybe that is exactly what they had in mind.

    Just feeling contrarian today...


    I am saying that yes (none / 0) (#71)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 04:25:01 PM EST
    to give lawmakers perspectives they may not have considered.  Whether that lobbyist is a single person or a group of people or a group represented by a firm.

    Or do you really want lawmakers making decisions in a vacuum w/no perspective other than their own?


    So in order (none / 0) (#74)
    by sj on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 04:43:12 PM EST
    to lobby they must pay lawmakers via speaking fees? Is that what citizens must do when their "representative" avoids speaking with them? Pay them speaking fees?

    You are making excuses. Law makers don't need lobbyists. They really don't. The reverse is the reality.

    Can lobbyists provide insight? Sure, why not?

    Do lawmakers need them? No. If lawmakers needed them, you know they would be charging lawmakers for the services, and the customers of lobbyists wouldn't be paying them via speaking fees.

    And before you start implying that ignorant lawmakers will do damage, remember that no laws come out of the ether. Someone, somewhere is calling for them.

    There are ignorant laws aplenty that came from the efforts of "lobbyists".


    We didn't start out talking about (none / 0) (#85)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 05:32:34 PM EST
    that.  Obviously not no.  

    to lobby they must pay lawmakers via speaking fees? Is that what citizens must do when their "representative" avoids speaking with them? Pay them speaking fees?

    That is a totally different conversation.  

    You're right, laws don't come out of the ether, lawmakers are lobbied.  It's just some don't like the lobbier this time around.  If the UFT lobbies, we're OK, #BLM, cool, big business, boo.  Not everyone at Goldman Sachs was a CDS-er I'm sure.  There are certainly people there that can give us insights into what went wrong.

    No doubt on this last part

    There are ignorant laws aplenty that came from the efforts of "lobbyists".

    Not advocating for them to be the final arbiter at all, just that they should not be excluded, IMO.


    true (none / 0) (#86)
    by sj on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 05:39:39 PM EST
    We didn't start out talking about that so that sideways conversation can go way, IMO. But it was an outgrowth of your ducking and weaving of my attempts to get clarification of this statement:
    For all the caterwauling around speaking fees, and ties to "big business", people need to remember, these are the folks you need to work with to make changes (if you want anything done).
    Right now I'm thinking the caterwauling isn't coming from the people you meant to malign, but rather from the payers of speaking fees.

    and also this doesn't fly with me (none / 0) (#56)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 02:13:12 PM EST
    She is, as I mentioned before, very adaptable, not to say opportunistic. If Sanders's campaign is less about personality than Obama's was, it is also true that his appeal to voters who don't trust Clinton has something to do with character. With most issues, including the ones that ought to matter most in this election, you know where Bernie stands: it's where he's stood all along. He may lack polish and aplomb, especially compared with Obama, but he's solid

    No I don't - I have no idea where Bernie stands on a whole host of things.  I know Bernie has no idea on a number of issues ranging from foreign affairs to issues impacting minorities.  I know Bernie displays the same "adaptability" as Hillary does.  Or do the two recent changes reflect consistency?

    Why must we do this BS every 4-8 years?

    If you don't know where he is on the (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 02:46:54 PM EST
    issues, I don't know how you could know he is as "adaptable" as Clinton.

    He just demonstrated adaptability (2.00 / 2) (#61)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 03:00:52 PM EST
    that is so loathsome to many and does not comport with the crux of the article you posted.

    Who won the debate? (none / 0) (#68)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 03:56:37 PM EST
    An answer colored by opinion and facts. And, opinion-facts, where opinions and facts are merged and, accepted or rejected based on opinions.

     Adhering to this notion, I concluded that there is no other candidate, and probably few others breathing, who know more about government, details and its workings than Mrs. Clinton.

      And, she demonstrates a control of the debating stage whose debating skills are superior to either Senator Sanders or Mr. O'Malley.  An example, being the deft pivot on the tough question of her about Wall street to one of an affront to President Obama. Deft, in that it shifted the target and pleased the Obama supporters.

     However, if Mrs. Clinton is picking up on Sander's qualities, it should extend only to some of this positions, not to the decibel level to which he is accustomed. An occasional burst for emphasis, but her Benghazi hearing demeanor suits her better.

    The debates provide the opportunity for Senator Sanders to not only propose and respond to the specific issues raised, but also, to serve as a means for voters to determine how he defends and responds to questions and challenges.

      For me, his proposal for a complete re-organization of health care was a disappointing presentation.  This serious proposal deserves more than the sure-fire applause line to be expected from most all Democrats that 'heath care is right not a
    not a privilege."  Perhaps, this may be a novel concept for younger voters.

     A better encapsulation that anticipates criticisms should not be that hard. While better than Trump's: "I am going to replace Obamacare with something terrific," it does not provide the information that might be expected for many Democrats to jettison the imperfect bird-in-hand, over the promise someday of two-in-the-bush.  Senator Sanders does presents his idea with the caveat that it will not occur on Day One.  I suspect that he, as well as many of his supporters would acknowledge on a clear day, that it may not be on day one, or in year four.

     But, this is probably not the point: it is Sanders' idea that matters to them.
    The reality is likely to be that whomever is the Democratic president, the efforts in health care will be to fight off Republican destructive onslaughts. As ACA becomes more established over the next few years, and evaluations come in, the chances of making improvements, that at once, put ACA on a glide path to universal health care, or even Medicare extension, are more likely.  

    Senator Sanders' debating skills are akin to his everyday style. They work well, especially in light of the fact his comments, in large measure, build on the comments of Mrs. Clinton.

     Such as, I agree with what Mrs. Clinton said, but add...But, he is good at saying something that he says he will not say...I will not talk about the abominable actions of Bill Clinton.  But, what I find annoying, but perhaps a good technique, is his use of side eye, or saying "no" while Mrs. Clinton is speaking.

      The body language indicates that he does not agree, or that Mrs. Clinton is somehow off-base, but when given the opportunity to respond, there is no articulated rebuttal. I want to hear the objection. I want to hear the words: in the courtroom, the nod of a witness, for example, is not adequate. It is necessary to speak up and say, yes or no.  I like that.

    So who won the debate?  This seems to be the year of the broad brush. Specifics, details?  The Flint water disaster is instructive:  Mrs. Clinton brought his one up.. described the unconscionable Gov. Snyder and indicated not only her great concern, but also, the actions she took and more that should be taken.

      Senator Sanders, agreed with what Mrs. Clinton said, and added the step he took: he called for Snyder's resignation. I think Sanders got a bigger cheer. But, Snyder will not resign. Flint may get some potable water.

    The way the debates are structured now (none / 0) (#70)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 04:21:48 PM EST
    is such that they are not really debates, at least not in the traditional sense. They are public forums with moderators. When the LWV ran the presidential debates, the process was more like a debate with traditional rules about opening statements, primary arguments, rebuttal from the challenger, and the option of final reiterations from both contenders. The moderators chose serious questions about policy. But when the League pulled out of the phony stew that the political parties cooked up, that all changed. And now we have the political parties and the sold out talking heads from the media machines presenting a charade.

    At least the Democratic debate is a more serious, substantive affair. But that's not because of the media, that's because Democrats and their voters demand that level of substance.

    For what it's worth, I think the last debate was a draw. Neither Clinton nor Sanders "won" (and O'Malley did not even figure into it).


    Does anyone know...? (none / 0) (#69)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 03:57:20 PM EST
    When the Iowa newspaper editorial boards will be interviewing Sanders and Clinton (or has that already happened?) I know they've sat down with some Republican contenders already....

    Don't know about Iowa, (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 05:16:49 PM EST
    but Dr. Karen Weaver, Mayor of Flint, thanked both Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton for calling greater attention to the plight of the city and its people, in the face of the water contamination and damaged pipes.   However, she said that Hillary Clinton was the only presidential candidate (R or D) to reach out to us and ask , what do you need? Asked if this was an endorsement, she said, yes.

    Please help me (none / 0) (#89)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:07:33 PM EST
    I am listening to Sarah Palin endorse Donald Trump.....

    Is this the future?  

    She won't stop talking (none / 0) (#90)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:10:26 PM EST
    What is she wearing? (none / 0) (#92)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:11:05 PM EST
    What is Trump (none / 0) (#205)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 12:20:03 PM EST
    wearing?  An overcoat, inside?  I know its cold in Iowa, but there is Palin in what looks like evening wear.

    Michael Moore (none / 0) (#206)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 12:23:34 PM EST
    Said in real time last night that he had one of whatever she was wearing at home in the closet

    I would love to see him in it.  She looked like she should be singing MoTown.   With great respect for MoTiwn and its glitter.


    More Like a Chain Smoking... (5.00 / 1) (#211)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 12:36:42 PM EST
    ...stenographer from Staten Island.

    My favorite headline:

    Politician Turned TV Reality Star Endorses TV Reality Star Turned Politician.

    The near future (none / 0) (#91)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:10:35 PM EST
    I'm afraid so.

    Salad (none / 0) (#93)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:12:46 PM EST
    Shooter Palin, help me I can't find the remote.

    Bringing this to the topic (none / 0) (#94)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:13:18 PM EST
    Of this thread-

    The state of the democratic race just improved.


    Although... (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:21:18 PM EST
    as you stated upthread, this does somewhat improve Donald's odds in Iowa.

    Whoever the Democratic nominee is, that person needs to up the game and pick an true rising star in the party. Telegenic won't hurt.


    Well (none / 0) (#95)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:19:00 PM EST
    Thank god that's over.  Like nails on a chalkboard

    She's a screeching chihuahua (none / 0) (#97)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:23:32 PM EST
    (regardless of her image of herself as a pitbull with lipstick).

    as (none / 0) (#99)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:34:45 PM EST
    the Republican establishment takes a handful of valiums and washes it down with half a bottle of Maalox.

    That made me laugh (none / 0) (#102)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:37:13 PM EST
    Just heard on cable (none / 0) (#103)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:39:40 PM EST
    "It's karaoke time in the republican primary"

    Sarah and Donald duet: (none / 0) (#105)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:43:39 PM EST
    "God and Guns" (by Lynyrd Skynyrd).

    And back to the thread (none / 0) (#109)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 07:12:34 PM EST
    we are watching the media manipulate the message in real time. Sarah Palin the King Maker! That's the narrative for this cycle, facts or no.

    Narrative, narrative, narrative that's all the media does anymore. They are lucky to report a dog bites man story without turning it into a Melville novel.


    Well (none / 0) (#111)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 07:19:41 PM EST
    The unfortunate or not fact is Palin coukd very possibly help deliver Iowa to Trump.  If she does that he will take the first three contests and almost certainly be the nominee.

    So, there's that.


    She may help deliver Iowa to Trump, (none / 0) (#117)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 07:44:48 PM EST
    but she may also be delivering us all into a fresh hell of massive stupidity.  It makes me want to stick needles in my eyes to help me resist the urge to scream into the void.

    It marks a new low in the process, with the media playing it for every single eyeball it's worth.

    Trump is bad enough; Palin AND Trump?  I'm gagging.


    Meh (none / 0) (#123)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:11:21 PM EST
    Look on the bright side.   It also just improved the chances of a democrat winning Nov quite substantially.  IMO.

    Palin is definitely a double edged sword.  It's going to help him in the short run but not the long.   If he plans a pivot he going to have to dump that baggage wayyyy past the county line.

    And let's face it, it's news.  It led all three network newscasts.  It's was a scene that could have very real ramifications  for the race for the most powerful office in the world.  We can gag or watch through our interlaced fingers or with the sound down, but it was news.


    Hmm (none / 0) (#124)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:19:54 PM EST
    some a predicting that she might actually hurt him which I had not previously thought about and not just with general election voters but because his voters might not necessarily like Palin.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#126)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:36:24 PM EST
    and the media portraying this like an endorsement from Reagan's ghost is putting a thumb on the scale.

    Fact: Sarah Palin is a washed up politician who should never even had 15 minutes on the national stage, she ended up She couldn't even make it big on the grifters circuit and now just scratching the fringes. The the media knows that or should, but when she suddenly appears orbiting the Trump death star they suddenly go all gaga over her once again.

    Is Palin's endorsement a game changer, who knows, I suspect it will help Trump to some degree but nobody really knows how much weight she carries with the voter anymore. The media surely does not know, yet CNN for one just, spent most of the last 3 hours telling me it was very, very important. They are at best wild ass guessing, at worst blatantly manipulating the public, in no way are they dealing with facts.

    This is your Fourth Estate America, Cherish it.


    The endorsement (none / 0) (#127)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:41:55 PM EST
    Was not to win you over.

    The value of endorsements (none / 0) (#131)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:53:15 PM EST
    is pretty weak these days. If they were meaningful Jeb would be winning in a cakewalk.

    But, it has been acknowledged that Palin still pulls some weight in Iowa.


    Even more so because (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:57:46 PM EST
    Right wing talkers like Levin and Limpbaugh had been talking Cruz up and Trump down.  Also Cruz had been pushing the increasing establishment acceptance of Trump ( only as opposed to him) as Trump being a tool of the establishment.

    Palin helps with all that.


    I think (none / 0) (#137)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 09:21:34 PM EST
    Historically, the value of endorsements has been fairly marginal and having "been acknowledged to pull some weight" does not sound like a tectonic shift to me.

    Also in the life of me I do not recall any endorsement that was rolled out and hyped like this. The media wants a circus.


    The media wants viewers (none / 0) (#138)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 09:33:04 PM EST
    and they don't care if it comes from a circus; blood, gore, and guts; or a weather chick. It's how they survive. A similar scenario holds for every type of business today. Welcome to the new millennium where hype is king, and competition can be fired up from someone's desktop.

    By who? (none / 0) (#162)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 09:39:28 AM EST
    I'm guessing not by anyone who, don't ya' know, actually lives in Iowa.

    I guess not in Iowa if the head of the Iowa GOP (none / 0) (#163)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 09:51:22 AM EST
    doesn't live in Iowa.

    But no I don't believe she carries any weight at all outside of Wasilla.


    I don't agree (none / 0) (#167)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:18:14 AM EST
    I agree with Jay Newton-Small in TIME-

    But the naysayers misunderestimate Palin's unique appeal--and that of her chosen heir, Trump. In a normal election year, Donald Trump's three marriages and his casinos would discount him amongst the social conservative, largely evangelical Iowa Republican primary electorate. But this is a base that isn't looking for a peacetime nominee. They're looking for a wartime nominee and the enemy is Washington.
    Palin's endorsement could help reassure conservatives wavering over Trump's somewhat liberal record and, as Cruz put it in the last debate, his "New York values." And, as Palin herself noted, she brings even more heightened attention, media coverage and notoriety to Trump's campaign, which has hardly been lacking for any of those things. Her campaign events with Trump will vastly overshadow those of any other candidate for the rest of the week.

    "Mr. Trump, you're right. Look back in the press box. Heads are spinning. Media heads are spinning," Palin said with glee, circling her right index finger around. "This is going to be so much fun."

    Fun is probably not the word much of the Republican Party, including rival Cruz, might use.

    And this (none / 0) (#169)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:27:20 AM EST
    From WaPo yesterday-

    -Palin is likely still popular with most Republicans. The last time Gallup asked about Sarah Palin was in July 2013. At that point, only 35 percent of Americans viewed her favorably -- but 61 percent of Republicans did. Her numbers are probably still fairly high with Republicans.

    * Palin likely bolsters Trump on the far right. Cruz picked up a lot of support from the most conservative Republicans after Ben Carson collapsed. Palin can probably help Trump eat into Cruz's advantage there, given her long-standing support among that group

    Donald's problems are with exactly the group that loves Palin.


    Haven't read any statements by him... (none / 0) (#176)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:51:32 AM EST
    but there's this:  "Jeff Ortiz, co-chair of the Story County GOP and a 59-year-old Ames resident, said he thinks Palin's endorsement of Trump will be well received by Iowa Republicans.

    He said he doesn't think the endorsement will lead many voters to switch their allegiance from another candidate to Trump. But for those who are still sitting on the fence, Ortiz said it could help them make up their minds."

    But its never good to underestimate the stupid/gullible: '"She sounded great," said Sharon Gilbert, a 45-year-old stay-at-home mom from Ames. "I liked the things she said about how he's not an elitist or that he's not part of the establishment."'


    It won't take (none / 0) (#182)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:00:39 AM EST
    Very many

    I can guarantee you... (none / 0) (#179)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:56:16 AM EST
    people in Iowa, Ames especially, are more interested in Iowa State beating #1 Oklahoma than Palin's circus of stupidity.

    She reportedly is a no show... (none / 0) (#184)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:05:28 AM EST
    from her scheduled appearance at a tRump rally outside Des Moines this morning.

    Her son was arrested in Wasilla (none / 0) (#185)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:08:37 AM EST
    Yep (none / 0) (#186)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:12:46 AM EST
    Supposedly they will be together at the next one this afternoon.

    Pretty grueling to fly from DSM to Wasilla... (none / 0) (#195)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:47:38 AM EST
    bail out the woman beater and then back to Tulsa for this afternoon's appearance.

    Couldn't Tood handle that anyway?


    Heh (none / 0) (#197)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:54:13 AM EST
    I don't know if she went there but I did hear it suggested that was why she was absent this morning.   Maybe she had to raise bail or something.

    On second thought (none / 0) (#199)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:58:09 AM EST
    Donald probably wrote a check

    Or, maybe just to cash (none / 0) (#208)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 12:28:07 PM EST
    the check Trump wrote earlier this week.

    HOnestly (none / 0) (#98)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:31:33 PM EST
    when I see things like this I have to wonder about those conspiracy theories where Bill had Donald run in the GOP primary. He has to be dragging up every person that the GOP surely wants to disappear.

    One of the headlines (none / 0) (#101)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:36:37 PM EST
    From that screed will be "what does the establishment know about being a conservative"

    That is his message in a nutshell.  And she reinforces it.  With all the right people.  At least for the Iowa cacus.  

    This was not a one time thing.  She is going out with him tomorrow and is said to be going to campaign for him a lot.   I expect him to use her selectively.  

    They are running and rerunning the video of Cruz saying he would not be in the senate without Sara Palin.



    Well, I'm sure (none / 0) (#106)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:50:11 PM EST
    she'll help Donald with some of those Iowa GOP voters. Just how much is probably anyone's guess.

    My question is (none / 0) (#114)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 07:39:37 PM EST
    what does Palin get out of this? Honestly, she's not going to be his running mate. He's totally using her and what is her reward? She's not known for doing anything for anyone without there being a payback (almost always monetary).

    Attention? (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 07:42:54 PM EST
    Re "Attention": Palin's son arrested (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 10:15:38 PM EST
    on domestic violence charges.

    Assuming that will get him and mommy some big time attention.

    The girlfriend, who NBC News is not naming because she is a victim of alleged domestic abuse, told a police officer at the scene that Track approached her and, "struck her on the left side of her head near her eye with a closed fist," sending her to the ground, where she curled up into a fetal position, the documents show.

    Track then allegedly kicked his girlfriend in the right knee, and threw her phone across the driveway, the girlfriend told police. She then ran to retrieve her phone and ran back inside the Palin home, where she was met by Track -- and his AR-15 rifle, according to the court documents.

    Track allegedly cocked the weapon and menaced the girlfriend by asking, "Do you think I'm a p-ssy?" and "Do you think I won't do it?" documents said.

    Oh, that Palin clan, still making themselves famous for getting drunk and assaulting people.


    Gotta be money attached somehow (none / 0) (#119)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:01:12 PM EST
    Speculation... (none / 0) (#177)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 10:52:42 AM EST
    is that it was a paid endorsement.  

    I Suppose (none / 0) (#129)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:47:32 PM EST
    you never heard of the wingnut welfare circuit, even a couple of cameos on the Trumpalooza Tour will probably score her a few more gigs.

    Beside no publicity is bad publicity for Sarah at this point in her career, and WTH, it's better than a drunken brawl, you betcha.


    I think you are bitter (none / 0) (#130)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:50:59 PM EST
    Because the chances of me saying "I told you so" on Feb 2 just improved.

    S'what I think.


    Just (none / 0) (#133)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:57:46 PM EST
    because Barracuda Palin blindsided him with a folding chair and the ref is looking the other way doesn't mean my guy is down for the count.

    BTW: Look out for Killer Kasich in NH, you heard it here first.


    Some are saying Jeb! Lives! (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 09:00:39 PM EST
    In NH.  I think he is third in some polls.  

    If Donald wins the first three that's all going to be a poot moint.


    Depends on whether you said it (none / 0) (#135)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 09:08:35 PM EST
    before today's poll was released.

    My (none / 0) (#139)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 09:40:18 PM EST
    company has polled NH twice in the past month and when I peeked at the raw data this morning I started to become a believer, I saw the arg poll this evening and the evidence looks stronger, I don't know if he can claim 20 yet but a strong second is quite possible. I see Rubio and Christie fading a bit, Bush holding steady.

    Totally seeing Kasich (none / 0) (#141)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 09:43:00 PM EST
    moving up in NH. However I'm not sure where he goes from there until March.

    And is Bernie really (none / 0) (#144)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 11:33:26 PM EST
    up by double digits in NH?

    By 27 points (none / 0) (#145)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 12:23:52 AM EST
    And averaging the Iowa polls (none / 0) (#146)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 01:18:49 AM EST
    (as RCP does) Clinton leads by +4 in Iowa.

    What an interesting primary/caucus season this has turned out to be.


    Forgot link (none / 0) (#147)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 01:19:37 AM EST
    Not all that interesting on the Dem side (none / 0) (#149)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 06:14:02 AM EST
    The best prediction going forward is the same as it was 2 months ago. Sanders wins between 1 and 3 states. Clinton wins between 47 and 49 plus DC.

    On the GOP side it's definitely still interesting,


    The internals of that poll show that (none / 0) (#198)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 11:56:18 AM EST
    almost 50% of would-be voters are Undecided.  Another point of interest: The poll assumes that voters under 34 will comprise 28% of the vote.  (That last assumption may be so in NH ... in other states, that would be a high estimate.)

    Usually, someone from a neighboring state (like Vermont) should win N.H.  


    It is not a trick (none / 0) (#108)
    by TrevorBolder on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 06:57:25 PM EST
    What I find incomprehensible, is that you blithely disregard a FBI investigation into Classified data.

    When you decide to look into it, this is from a letter from the IG, and he is discussing info above Top Secret.

    No, this is not a trick, this is very serious.

    It's also off topic (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 11:30:51 PM EST
    your first comment about this has been deleted. We have open threads for things you want to write about.

    I'm confused (none / 0) (#148)
    by TrevorBolder on Wed Jan 20, 2016 at 05:52:47 AM EST
    The thread is titled the State of the Democratic Race, the new reports by the IG definitely impact the Democratic race.
    However, I don't see how Sarah Palin and Donald Trump effect the Democratic race.

    Oh well,

    I will have to figure it out


    Interesting (none / 0) (#115)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 07:42:20 PM EST
    Michael Moore on Chris Hayes to talk about Flint pressed to endorse in the primary.  Very cagey says very very nice things about both.  Talks about being a longtime fan of Bernie and possessing a forbidden love for Hillary but refuses to make news.
    Says he will endorse soon.  Based on what he said I think he might endorse Hillary.  
    Should watch and see what you think.

    He was (none / 0) (#122)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:07:44 PM EST
    all agog at her statement from the debate on twitter. He did thank Bernie too for what he said.

    Does his endorsement have value? (none / 0) (#125)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:22:04 PM EST
    I would think it has none.

    I think it might (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jan 19, 2016 at 08:43:58 PM EST
    With some of Bernies supporters.  That is if he endorsed Hillary.  

    But yeah.  He's not Sara Palin