Friday Open Thread

Time for a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Somewhat old... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 01:31:46 PM EST
    but interesting article about Russia's "troll farm" for perusal, for those that are interested.

    Got me wondering about what the version of same of the other geopolitical players looks like.  This cyber cointelpro black-ops false-flag propaganda war sh*t runs pretty deep.

    Luckily I don't believe anything I read on the internet except Jeralyn and those of you I've come to know enough to have no doubt you are actual sincere sentient beings. oculus, ruffian, & Military Tracy can vouch for my actual existence for any doubters lol;)

    How do we increase skepticism in the face of confirmation bias in the cyber age?

    Yes, but... (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:46:07 PM EST
    how do we know that MT, OC and Ruffian actually exist?

    Hee hee...yes, we are each other's alibis (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by ruffian on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 10:25:23 PM EST
    Ask squeaky. Squeaky, (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 09:58:03 AM EST
    do you read me?

    He's real! Not a bot! I miss you kdog! (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by ruffian on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 10:24:16 PM EST
    Likewise Natasha.... (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by kdog on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 09:04:00 AM EST
    Oops, just blew our cover!

    Yes, and then (none / 0) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 02:30:51 PM EST
    there was Jenna Abrams, the popular right winger.  She seems nice.  

    (please note change: now St.PetersburgDan, comrade)


    You don't fool me... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:25:35 PM EST
    you're near the top of my surely sentient (if never real-world verified) list Brother!  But you can still call me Comrade.



    The question of this age (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:33:47 PM EST
    I heard about some things they are working on, but sounded scary af to me. They were researchers, not attorneys, but I heard researchers struggle with concepts of Constitutional Rights and exactly what those are and aren't.

    I wouldn't say it left me hopeful


    To be sure... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:57:10 PM EST
    We don't want the nsa/cia/fbi/fcc verifying users on the entire world wide web...I will take my chances with Boris the Blogger thanks.

    It was worse (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:03:40 PM EST
    They were fascinated by the Mercer org, the voter profiling, the pushing/phishing people's emotional buttons, they want to do what Russia did only mindpuck our people for democracy.

    They dream of replacing Russian propaganda with their propaganda, but they don't see their propaganda as propaganda.

    There was a news veracity tool that sounded hopeful, but I thought some folks already wrote one.


    We sound proper-gandered f#cked.... (none / 0) (#45)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:12:29 PM EST
    Welcome to The Machine

    And it can't be unplugged, one can only unplug themselves.


    What did you dream? (none / 0) (#53)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:34:39 PM EST
    That's alright, we told you what to dream..

    I'm still half-wondering if all those oxys (none / 0) (#51)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:31:03 PM EST
    and hydros weren't Team Trump's Real secret weapon in 2016..

    Talk about the opiate of the masses.

    It resulted in people with whose judgement was so clouded that someone like Trump actually seemed statesman-like, and then produced another large group enraged at Obama for "letting all those drugs into the country" and leading us down the road to perdition.


    Soma would leave one... (none / 0) (#116)
    by kdog on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 09:03:09 AM EST
    more susceptible to propaganda.

    I'm starting to think people (none / 0) (#120)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 10:13:40 AM EST
    are taking that now, with all this talk about the Illuminati and shape-shifting reptilians..

    Have people always been this nuts here? I'm going to guess probably.

    I think I could turn and live with the animals; they are so placid and self-contained..


    Don't leave without me... (none / 0) (#121)
    by kdog on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 10:18:12 AM EST
    Off the grid cave dwelling looks better by the day.

    I wanna sail away to a distant shore (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 10:46:58 AM EST
    and live like an apeman..;-)

    Actually I'm getting ready to go out and commune in the old growth green cathedral in a couple of hours. I'll give the foxes and woodpeckers your regards


    That's a good day..m (none / 0) (#126)
    by kdog on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 10:57:48 AM EST
    Was up in Petersburg NY near the VT/MA border last week for a 3 day Apeman session. Chopping wood for warmth, the symphony of the forest, long walks thick spliffs...didn't wanna leave.

    There's nothing quite like it (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 11:05:20 AM EST
    there's a million-year-old part of me that always goes aaaaaah when I get back there.

    Maybe it is time to stock (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by caseyOR on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 12:30:59 PM EST
    the pirate ship and set sail. I know I cannot continue at this level of rage that I have felt since the election.

    Maybe we can surrouned (none / 0) (#133)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 12:40:36 PM EST
    the Heritage Foundation and chant Om Mani Padme Hum and see if we can levitate it. Just because it didn't work once, doesn't mean it couldn't work this time.

    Wheres Allan Ginsberg when we need him?


    A military judge (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 02:20:31 PM EST
    ruled in the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, no prison time, dishonorable discharge, a $10,000 fine, and reduction in rank to Pvt. from Sgt.  Bergdahl entered a plea of guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy...no plea deal was struck to limit punishment (Bergdahl felt the politics was cutting against him and looked to the judge for justice).

    The integrity of the military justice system was at play in light of Trump's 2015 pledge to review the case if elected president. Moreover, some 60 derogatory comments were made by Trump between June 2014 and August 2016, including that Bergdahl was "a dirty rotten traitor" and stating that he should be executed (mimicking the sound of a rifle shot) or be dropped from an airplane.

     Last month, Trump, when asked again about the case, started with a no comment, but could not help himself to add: "But, I think that people have heard my comments in the past."  ....a plausible interpretation of which is that Trump stands by his earlier comments as if he were making them again, hence, reactivating his words.

    The initial response from the White House was: "No comment"...and referred back to a statement that Trump expects everyone in the military justice system to exercise their independent professional judgement consistent with applicable laws and regulations.

    This statement was followed by a TrumpTweet: "the decision on Sgt. Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and Military."

    5 yrs as a POW (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:35:34 PM EST
    Justice has been served

    I'm glad he didn't get life in prison (none / 0) (#5)
    by McBain on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 02:36:04 PM EST
    but no prison time seems a bit extreme.  Have there been any similar cases of desertion?

    The ruling (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 02:53:00 PM EST
    is fair given the circumstances of the case. Although, a general discharge would be a better fit.  

    i'm not an expert on the military obviously (none / 0) (#86)
    by linea on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 07:33:44 PM EST
    The ruling
    by KeysDan
    is fair given the circumstances of the case. Although, a general discharge would be a better fit.

    but i am inclined to hold the opinion that punitive discharges should not exist. there should only be completed service and early service leaver.


    Why isn't that enough punishment for you?

    to be accurate (2.00 / 1) (#82)
    by linea on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 07:09:57 PM EST
    Sgt. Bergdahl was a Taliban POW for five years.
    by Donald from Hawaii
    Why isn't that enough punishment for you?

    he was held captve by a designated terrorist organization as a consequence of leaving his post and venturing outside the base alone - not as a punishment.


    I'm sorry, I guess I missed the (5.00 / 4) (#90)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 07:59:18 PM EST
    "accurate" part.

    We didn't punish him for leaving his post by handing him over to a terrorist organization for 5 years.

    That the consequence of leaving his post was being captured and held for 5 years by a terrorist organization was probably more punishment than the military would have subjected him to had the Army found him and returned him to his unit before he was captured.


    Yes, by far a worse punishment than he would (none / 0) (#93)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 08:18:03 PM EST
    Have received

    Soldiers outside the wire without permission often. He would have been counseled and back on patrol. It isn't like they would have sent him home or something like that.


    Really? (none / 0) (#85)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 07:24:48 PM EST
    5 yrs in captivity? So ill towards the end that Obama was advised his life was at risk if we didn't get him back soon. That isn't punishment enough for you?

    really? (2.00 / 1) (#91)
    by linea on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 08:07:55 PM EST
    i wasn't commenting on the sentence the military judge issued.

    i was making the point that `5 yrs in captivity' was a very unfortunate consequence of his actions. it's odd to me that you view his captivity as a punishment from the u.s. military. i was under the impression that the military requested president obama to facilitate his rescue.


    He was mentally ill (none / 0) (#92)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 08:14:47 PM EST
    The Coast Guard discharged him for it. How did he get into the Army? How is what happened not on the Army? You can't send a mentally ill person into the stress of combat and expect them to not become even more ill. The psychiatrist testified to that too.

    When someone is mentally ill they don't realize it clearly either.

    The testing the Army does though...they knew he had issues but they just shrugged and threw him in a uniform and sent him to Afghanistan.

    I don't need him to be punished. He was punished enough after he signed on that line.


    i never asked (1.00 / 1) (#94)
    by linea on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 08:44:05 PM EST
    for any additional or hasher punishment. that's just you having fun and pretending i'm aserting something i'm not.

    What is the normal sentece for (none / 0) (#44)
    by McBain on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:10:51 PM EST
    military desertion the way he did it? Any precedents? I'm not familiar with military rulings like this.

    He's mentally ill (5.00 / 4) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:17:12 PM EST
    And a testifying psychiatrist said he was mentally ill when he enlisted. You can't expect a mentally ill person to be able to handle combat. Shame on whoever recruited him and pushed him through.

    Weren't they handing out (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 06:53:02 PM EST
    anti-depressants like candy and then pushing people back into combat in Iraq?

    It was still bad in places then (none / 0) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 07:21:33 PM EST
    One of those places was Ft Lewis. Some Army posts had psych teams forcing soldiers who should have been non-deployable onto the battlefield with handfuls of psychotropics and ambien.

    They had people deployed and on the battlefield taking a porridge of psychiatric meds along with that great malaria preventative that was making some folks who had no issues crazy. They all got caught with what happened in the Bales case.


    to be acurate (none / 0) (#97)
    by linea on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 09:15:09 PM EST
    He's mentally ill
    by Militarytracy
    And a testifying psychiatrist said he was mentally ill when he enlisted

    he was diagnosed with childhood-induced post-traumatic stress disorder and schizotypal personality disorder.

    he was not diagnosed with a... psychiatric disorder, such as dementia or psychosis, or a developmental disabilitiy, where a person does not possess the ability to act in a legally competent manner.


    You appear to be missing the point (5.00 / 4) (#101)
    by Peter G on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 10:00:13 PM EST
    that circumstances can and do mitigate the need for or appropriateness of court-imposed punishment, even when those circumstances (a) are not themselves a defense to criminal conduct; and (b) are not themselves court-imposed. This is fundamental to discretionary criminal sentencing systems, as exist in most U.S. jurisdictions, including the military's courts martial. In this case, the judge had discretion to impose a lawful sentence of time served or a sentence of life imprisonment, or anything in between. Obviously, the judge was entitled to, and did, take into account all kinds of factors in choosing the sentence. Seems to me the judge was very wise, very brave and honorable (by defying the unlawful attempted "command influence" of his sorry-*ss Commander in Chief), and very decent in doing so, and that his decision was perfectly proper.

    i'm not (none / 0) (#112)
    by linea on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 10:55:48 PM EST
    You appear to be missing the point
    by Peter G

    i'm not missing the point! everyone else is making the wrong point. this is a law blog. he wasn't legally mentally ill and he wasn't already punished. and of course i agree that a judge should use discretion and take into account all kinds of factors in choosing the sentence. i already stated that i wasn't calling for a more harsh sentence. i posted my opinion of an appropriate sentence above. i also posted my opinion of the military justice system several months ago (and was ridiculed then too).


    We were discussing the penalties (none / 0) (#124)
    by Peter G on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 10:37:29 AM EST
    imposed by the military judge at Bergdahl's sentencing. No one is "ridiculing" you or acting "mad at" you by disagreeing with you. Taking disagreement personally is unhelpful to thoughtful discussion, at least in my opinion. No one needed to be "corrected" on the question of whether Bergdahl's being held prisoner by the Haqqani and Taliban, and being tortured by them, constitutes "punishment" in the legal sense. No one would think that by saying "he was already punished enough" the word "punished" was being used in any legal or technical way. So those comments were not inaccurate. Your comment that his mental illness does not relieve him from criminal responsibility was off point because we were discussing sentencing, not guilt ... unless the point is the one I made, that conditions and circumstances that fall short of being fully exculpating or exonerating may nevertheless be powerfully mitigating. But enough of this.

    He is legally mentally ill (none / 0) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 07:50:28 PM EST
    No, not in the way that removes (none / 0) (#188)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 09:05:22 AM EST
    criminal responsibility (the so-called "insanity defense"), nor in the way that prevents him from participating in court proceedings at all (referred to as "incompetency"), apparently. If he were, his attorneys (who are excellent) would not and could  not have pleaded him guilty.  I don't think I understand what you mean by "legally mentally ill," MT. Other than the categories I mentioned, "mentally ill" is not a legal status in criminal law. It may be a status that entitles you to some sort of government benefits, or requires a discharge from the military, or exposes you to voluntary or involuntary commitment, or prevents you from making a contract or getting a license of some sort. Is that what you mean?

    How about w/respect to matters (none / 0) (#189)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 09:55:17 AM EST
    a court may consider in determining the sentence?

    Yes (none / 0) (#191)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 10:07:19 AM EST
    Perhaps there is some legal definition (none / 0) (#198)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 11:41:57 AM EST
    of "mentally ill" for purposes of sentencing mitigation in the Manual for Courts Martial, but if so, I am not aware of it. Not in federal criminal sentencing generally. As I said at the top of this thread, the defendant's mental condition is fair game for the judge to consider as a mitigating factor, in the judge's discretion. (Or as an aggravating factor, for that matter, if the condition is one that enhances dangerousness without mitigating culpabilty, for example). I do not believe it has to fit any pre-defined "legal" category called "mental illness."

    Must say (none / 0) (#192)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 10:13:03 AM EST
    That if an individual hallucinates it is a puzzle to me that in criminal law that person can be fit to stand trial.

    How do we know that their admission of guilt isn't based on hallucinations?

    How do we know they aren't hallucinating during the trial?

    The existing standard just bothers me.


    Competency to stand (none / 0) (#196)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 11:08:57 AM EST
    trial is determine by the trial judge after defendant is examined by experts.

    I certainly agree with you (none / 0) (#199)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 11:43:33 AM EST
    that the existing standard for mental competency to stand trial is shockingly low. But it is what it is. I wasn't endorsing that standard, just explaining the various ways that mental illness comes into play in the legal process.

    You get no points for accuracy, because (none / 0) (#100)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 09:39:28 PM EST
    you are missing the screamingly large, flashing neon, point that someone with the mental health issues Bergdahl had should never, ever have been accepted into military service, much less accepted into the Army after the problems he had in the Coast Guard.

    Why don't you get that, linea?  And why don't you get that the Army's terrible decision to accept him ultimately ended up subjecting him to 5 years of unrelenting, unmedicated, untreated hell as a captive of terrorists because this psychologically damaged soldier made the decision to wander away from his post?

    Can you really be that oblivious to the obvious?


    i get that!! (none / 0) (#109)
    by linea on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 10:34:39 PM EST
    i don't understand why you're mad at me.

    yes, it would be best if the military screen-out people for pre-existing PTSD and personality disorders - depression, borderline, schizotypal (?). but wasn't all this happening during stop-loss and the period where they were lowering standards to get pretty much anybody?

    i'll tell you my opinion of the appropriate punishment (that way everyone can make fun of me for my actual position).

    • first, there shouldn't be punitive discharges - there should only be Completed Service and Early Service Leaver and those differences should be benefit related and shouldn't affect civilian life after discharge.
    • i consider military-only violations of conduct (not saluting, leaving your post, etc.) to be a much like juvenile-only violations (truancy, incorrigible, etc.) and i don't believe either should be punished with confinement or detention.
    • punishments for military-only violations of conduct should never last more than a year even in the most severe cases and they should not have civilian consequences on employment or any other area.
    • rather than a dishonorable discharge - which shouldn't exist - an appropriate punisment would have been the maximum punishment of one-year base restriction and laundry duty (or making mash potatoes in the dormatory cafeteria) and none of this should follow him after his discharge from the military.

    that's my opinion. it's not a fully conceived thesis and i'm sure people will ridicule me for it as they have before when i called for reform of the archaic military justice system.

    Schizotypal disorder (none / 0) (#160)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 07:52:11 PM EST
    Involves hallucinations. He's legally mentally ill

    Something not really discussed (5.00 / 6) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:45:51 PM EST
    2006, Bergdahl entered basic training in the United States Coast Guard. Discharged after 26 days for psychological reasons and received an "uncharacterized discharge".

    How did Bergdahl then get into the Army? He had no business being in uniform. If he can't handle the Coast Guard he has no business in Army Infantry in Afghanistan.


    Listen to season 2 of Undisclosed (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by ruffian on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 10:40:26 PM EST
    There were similar cases mentioned, and the people did not get serious punishment. As I recall they may have gotten dishonorable discharges, but not prison time.

    If Bergdahl had not gotten captured, and had been found or returned on his own the next day, it would have been a simple case of leaving his post. Im sure the judge took that into account along with everything else.


    Ooops, meant Serial, not Undisclosed (none / 0) (#111)
    by ruffian on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 10:47:12 PM EST
    Knew that sounded wrong. Anyway, it was a good well rounded discussion of the case. I think justice was served here.

    I need to finish that (none / 0) (#147)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 04:48:03 PM EST
    I listened to the first installment, but then forgot about the series cuz life.

    not trying to start a fight, but... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 02:23:43 PM EST
    Donna Brazile.

    what a crazy thing.  reading the coverage around the interwebs makes my head hurt.

    Huff Po

    Fox News

    National Review

    i dont know what to say about it.  Trump is happy.  this is a gift to him.  no doubt about that.  i suppose if it has to happen better now than next year.

    Not all that (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 02:41:07 PM EST
    shocking a story:  Hillary Clinton infused the almost thread-bare cupboards of the DNC and wanted to have more control.  Sanders was offered a fund-raising agreement but chose not to do so.  

    more interesting to me (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:12:30 PM EST
    was the stuff about how Obama abandoned the party and left it thread bare.

    That actually (none / 0) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:43:40 PM EST
    is one of the points that has been most overlooked. Hillary gets blamed for fixing the finances.

    IMO (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:56:21 PM EST
    The most troublesome aspect of this is how quickly we all go to our corners

    If we can't stop it we are fu@ked and so is the country


    I know. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:13:54 PM EST
    People need to MOVE ON past last year. I don't know what Brazile thinks she has to gain here but it's helping no one not even herself as far as I can see. She's turning herself into a pariah. Armando thinks she is doing this to be the campaign manager of Bernie 2020.

    Unless Bernie actually joins our party, ... (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:57:15 PM EST
    ... I will move personally to block him from our state's presidential preference poll (caucus) ballot in 2020, and I will see to it that there is no same-day registration to join the state Democratic Party -- and further, I will have the capacity to follow through on that promise.

    If the Berniebros prefer caucuses, fine. I'll make sure that we run ours in very strict accordance with all applicable rules and guidelines as specified in our party bylaws. And if they fail to likewise adhere to them as well, then they're out.



    You show 'em who's Boss! (none / 0) (#139)
    by kdog on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 03:59:49 PM EST
    Boss Tweed.

    It's certainly more than what you're doing. (none / 0) (#166)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 09:41:35 PM EST
    Because at least I'm putting myself out there in the public arena, trying to make a difference. And I'm now in a position of influence at the state level. And yes, that means I will have considerable say in how our next presidential caucus is run.

    Whereas, what are you contributing besides sarcasm, cynicism and snark? You're a lounge act liberal, lollygagging in the left field bleachers, doing nothing but complaining in between Cuervo shooters and bong hits about what a lousy job the rest of us are doing. We can't even depend on you to show up reliably at the polls.

    Talk is cheap, and your mouth is a K-Mart Blue Light Special. Why don't you get off your own self-indulgent kiester, join the Democratic Party and run for local district office yourself, so that if nothing else, you can then attend party meetings as a voting member and enlighten us all as to the error of our ways.

    My offer still stands. If you want to do it, I'll put you in touch with the local officials you'll need to see in order to make it happen. If not, then at least show us some common courtesy, and please refrain from casually impugning the integrity of those who are actually out there trying.



    Your country owes you a debt (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by jondee on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 08:12:59 AM EST
    of gratitude that we can never adequately repay, Donald.

    Now that your selfless service to the grand American experiment has been acknowledged, maybe now it's time to move on and stfu once and for all about how much you contribute and how little everyone else does.


    yeah (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:42:28 PM EST
    Brazile gave Trump a gift. i can't belive this right before voting on Tuesday. Thanks Donna. If Northam loses I'm going to blame you.

    And he's pushed back very hard:

    "I have always had a great deal of respect for Donna Brazile. And I have tried to keep to a long time principle of not revising my view of a person simply because they do something I disagree with. I was stunned when I first read Brazile's piece in Politico. But now having read it over a few times, I have a hard time not concluding that she's done a serious disservice to the historical record and to all Democrats. Why this is the case, I truly don't know. And there may be more facts to emerge that I'm not yet aware of. But here's why I think this.


    "[I]t's not clear to me that [Ms. Brazile's] description of the joint fundraising agreement [between the Clinton campaign and the DNC] is accurate. Even if it is, accurate, 'rigged' is a highly, highly loaded word. It slices into the heart of the divisions currently tearing at the Democratic party. But we watched the 2016 primaries unfold in real time. What did the DNC do to rig the primaries? We hear a lot about scheduling primary debates on Saturdays. But c'mon. If primary debate scheduling - which was eventually tossed aside in any case - was enough to defeat Sanders that's a pretty sad commentary. Clinton was the establishment candidate. It's no secret that Wasserman-Schultz favored Clinton over Sanders. The party's establishment and apparatus were more supportive of her. We know that. That's what it means to be the `establishment candidate.' But did she or the DNC do things that made it impossible for Sanders to win or even made it any harder for him to win? I see no evidence of that.


    "The relevant point is that the Democratic party needs unity to combat the dangers and damage of Trumpism. False accusations are always bad but they are particularly bad when their immediate effects are so potentially damaging. That's the case here.

    Why Brazile chose to take this course I really don't know. I think it is best seen as her read of where the party is going - in the direction of Sanders. I think she's right in the sense that the party is moving toward Sanders-like policies and in many respects Sanders-like politics. I have no problem with that. But not everyone supports or supported Sanders. The Democratic party has different wings, different factions. It's overriding interest is to find a mix of policies and politics that can bring those different groups together in a way that can win elections. There's zero advantage to re-litigating the toxic 2016 primaries. Poisoning the well by purporting to validate that Sanders was cheated does the exact opposite. It's toxic and much worse than toxic -- it's not at all clear it's even true. If Brazile wants to make these accusations she needs to provide the documents she's referring to and something concrete about actions the DNC took to rig the primaries against Sanders. The fact that Wasserman-Schultz was a bad chair, the fact that the DNC was poorly run, that not enough money went to state parties - all true. But none of that is what made Brazile's claims a bombshell. All of that was known. If she can't back these claims up she owes every Democrat a huge apology. And I have to say that applies to Elizabeth Warren too who jumped on the bandwagon."

    (Emphasis is mine.)



    WM's Nancy LeTourneau echoes Marshall. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:33:49 PM EST
    She's calling on Donna Brazile to produce the documentation in question in order to substantiate her incendiary claims:

    "Brazile does, however, suggest that the agreement she reviewed in August 2016 had been signed in August 2015. It has now become apparent that she needs to share what she saw with the public, because in releasing John Podesta's hacked emails, Wikileaks provided the final template for the 2015 agreement between the Clinton campaign, the DNC and state parties. The emails to which the document were attached include talking points to share with state parties encouraging them to sign up. Nowhere in the text of the agreement is there any reference to the kind of control of the DNC by the Clinton campaign that Brazile wrote about.


    "Beyond that, Brazile also recounts the concerns raised about the Hillary Victory Fund by Politico in May 2016 about money from the fund not getting to the states that had signed the agreement. But take a look at the documentation from Open Secrets on revenue raised by HVF and the beneficiaries:
    • Amount raised - $529,943,912
    • Beneficiaries: Clinton campaign - $158,200,000
    • DNC - $107,533,318
    • State parties - 38 states each received between $2,494,000 and $3,423,484
    At this point I will defer judgement until Brazile addresses the discrepancies between her account and documents that are available in the public domain. That is precisely what Sen. Warren should have done as well."

    (Emphasis is mine.)

    Donna Brazile needs to either back up her claims with evidence, or apologize to everyone. She neither gets nor deserves a mulligan on this one.



    Prima Donna screwed it up (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Towanda on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:35:14 PM EST
    (to be kind, or else she lied) in her book, more reporting now shows.  

    She claims that the 2016 agreement with Clinton, post-nomination (when every party nominee would have the control cited, say Howard Dean and others who know), was the 2015 agreement with Clinton, which clearly states that the control would come only in the general election.

    And that Prima Donna called Bernie Sanders and misreported the agreement with Clinton could only have riled him up more, with obvious impact in the campaign (as we certainly saw when he came to Wisconsin as a surrogate but would not endorse Clinton or any local Dems).

    I am not surprised. It was obvious from her behavior in 2008 that Brazile hates the Clintons, ever since she mismanaged Gore's 2000 campaign and blamed Bill, instead of herself.

    So, I never have trusted her . . . and now, I also see why there have been concerns about Warren speaking without knowledge.  She just lost millions of Dem voters, too -- who well recall Warren as the only Dem woman in the Senate who would not endorse Clinton for far too long -- and there still is no apology, not only to Clinton but also to Clinton voters.

    That's what "rigged" implies: That voters were dupes.  They will not forget this attack, again.


    Just heard a bobble head (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:44:44 PM EST
    Say 'she rose to prominence in the campaigns of Dukakis, Gephardt and Gore'

    Wait, and she's still working.  


    Didn't Prima Donna (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 06:16:14 PM EST
    do some messing around during the rules committee meeting back in 2008? I can't remember exactly but I seem to recall she did something.

    Oh, yes. May 31, 2008 (5.00 / 5) (#95)
    by Towanda on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 08:48:02 PM EST
    when I watched, for more than three hours, Prima Donna chair the DNC Rules Committee that handed the nomination to Obama.  Remember, its crazy punishment of discounting results from states whose Republican legislatures forced the Dem primaries at different dates than DNC wanted?  

    Had all of those Dems' votes counted, Hillary Clinton still had a chance at the nomination.

    However, owing to Prima Donna's rule of the Rules Committee -- and I have chaired a Rules Committee, so I watched in astonishment at the sh!t that she pulled -- instead, millions of votes for Clinton were not counted by the DNC, and she conceded the nomination days later.


    ... accusing others of having done eight years later -- that is, manipulate the process for the specific benefit of one particular candidate. According to her, thanks to HFA's input on DNC staffing decisions, approximately 3.7 million more primary voters favored Clinton than Sanders.

    The woman is a malevolent farce.


    Donna Brazile has destroyed herself (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 06:10:57 PM EST
    She has. (none / 0) (#73)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 06:26:50 PM EST
    So long Donna.

    I wish you guys was right (none / 0) (#74)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 06:35:00 PM EST
    But I don't think so.  She just secured in perpetuity her standing in "both sides do it" cable news.

    Caught the beginning of Tweety before I got to the remote

    "The great, and I doubt mean GREAT Donna Brazile blah de blah blah blah......."


    Whoever hires her (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 06:38:07 PM EST
    I'm turning it off

    I finally started doing this with Trump too, no matter what station. I'm not watching him live anymore. Still watching SHS but considering turning her off next.


    You should see the responses she's getting on Twit (none / 0) (#76)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 06:40:58 PM EST
    And she won't quit Tweeting tonight. Sort of Trump-like

    She's getting (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 07:01:17 PM EST
    ripped to shreds on twitter and she's going on Tucker Carlson tonight to hawk her book. I guess she's smart enough to know that the idiots on the right are easily fleeced and will lap this garbage up.

    Maybe she will join (none / 0) (#80)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 07:06:13 PM EST
    Juan Williams.  Or replace him.

    Jesus....burnin her own self DOWN (none / 0) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 07:08:22 PM EST
    She's not (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 07:37:30 PM EST
    It was a joke...whew

    Probably not in her eyes.. (none / 0) (#122)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 10:21:26 AM EST
    I'm getting a bad feeling that there may be a mercenary Dick Morris-like metamorphosis in her not-too-distant future.

    I demand a preemptive apology.


    Donna Brazile...sigh. I've been over her (5.00 / 5) (#89)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 07:47:54 PM EST
    for a long, long time; never saw her deliver an opinion that didn't seem behind the curve, wasn't missing the mood and message of the electorate, and wasn't trying too hard to convince people that Third Way/DLC was the only way that made sense.

    But now, I'm just pissed.  

    I mean, how craven does a person have to be that she's happy to stir the sh!t at a time when the party's focus and message needs to be unified, just to sell some books.  

    It's about as selfish and vain a "look at meeeeeee!" moment as I've seen lately.

    I'm glad to see people calling BS on her.  Glad this is falling as flat as her stale, old ideas.

    Most of what she says is old news.  So, Obama set the DNC up for the near-bankruptcy that was to happen, DWS and her minions did nothing to put the organization on solid financial footing, Clinton steps in to essentially save it, and she's the bad guy?

    There were a lot of things wrong with the 2016 election, there's a lot of blame that can be spread around, but Dems stay stuck in that quicksand at their own peril: it will not help elect any Democrats.

    This so-called bombshell Brazile just lobbed is going to be a dud, because the power of Trump to stay in the spotlight to the exclusion of almost everything else is going to render her as irrelevant three days from now as she was yesterday.

    Karma is having a field day.


    Pretty much (none / 0) (#96)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 08:53:50 PM EST
    when reporters got a copy of the agreement they realized there was nothing nefarious about it and it was a standard issue agreement.

    However she made herself look really bad for attempting to turn something standard issue into some nefarious deal. In an attempt to sell her book she just blew herself up. However like Howdy says she'll probably still be around in the world of same siderism journalism.


    Typical (none / 0) (#8)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 02:56:06 PM EST
    Democrats, have the repugs on the ropes and then for no reason at all(except for book sales) they start attacking each other.

    i wouldnt go (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:13:37 PM EST
    that far

    And on the subject (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:26:43 PM EST
    Of gifts for Trump,  he seems a little to happy about the perils of Sessions.  We should all consider the possibility the only thing worse than Sessions being AG would be Session not being AG.

    Agreed. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:46:20 PM EST
    Mueller should leave old Sessions until last, not in the investigation's interest to have a new AG who is not recused from the Russian/American mole/obstruction of justice etc. etc. etc.probe.  As for Sessions, in the meanwhile, bless his bigoted heart.

    Just heard a credible thought (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:58:51 PM EST
    That the fact, as he recently said, he has not been approached by Muellers team could mean he is at least a witness and possibly a target.

    Did you see Rachel Maddow's little riff (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by ruffian on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 10:31:46 PM EST
    on just that point? It was good.

    I say let's keep Sessions as long as possible, until he has to quit to spend more time with his lawyers.


    And Sen. Warren (none / 0) (#13)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:28:40 PM EST
    agrees the Democratic Nomination was "rigged."

    Well, the only thing the DNC had actual control over was the debates.   Bernie had enough money, so Brazille's comments about money are really irrelevant.

    In terms of the debates, the DNC did create a bad schedule, but the assumption that better timed and more debates would help Bernie is far from certain.  Hillary always did well in all of her debates throughout the years.

    Moreover, Bernie was not deprived of publicity, he got plenty.

    And, finally, the actual nomination process was, I would submit, actually tilted in favor of Bernie.  The caucuses favored him.  But caucuses are less democratic than primaries because fewer people participate.

    I agree with Armando on this. If reform is desired, then make sure that the nomination process includes as many people as practical--and the means primaries over caucuses.


    I (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:00:06 PM EST
    am gob smacked by these politicians forgetting how political parties work. Without patronage, power players and money raisers they would not exist.

    Hillary, a lifelong Democrat offered all three, Bernie offered nothing. The DNC staffed with Hillary supporters, well duh, she was working her butt off for years to make it that way. Bernie wasn't even a member.

    The real surprise is that they didn't do more to "rig" the system against Bernie. Come on, some poor debate scheduling and some obvious  personal bias from some of the staff(again duh) and the general unpleasantness DWS (thanks Obama), not a lot there.


    DWS was an early 2008 (none / 0) (#25)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:05:43 PM EST
    Hillary supporter.   So, that Obama put her in the DNC was interesting.   Looks like Obama's attempt to help Hillary....

    Maybe (none / 0) (#28)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:27:05 PM EST
    but that's kind of the point I'm making, Hillary was the heir apparent to the Democratic establishment, she and her allies worked hard to make and keep it that way, and the gobs of money didn't hurt either. Standard fkng political fare if you ask me, but there is a Clinton involved Brazie is shocked! Read all about it in her new book! Hear the talking heads have the vapors! We are doomed.

    2 things (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:40:09 PM EST
    The talking heads I've seen are actually covering it in a balanced way.  No doubt there are vapors and more on the right.  Who cares.  And the point MKS makes is an important one.  No democrat cares what Trump or FOX nooze says.  Lots of democrats care what senator Warren says.

    Second, this

    Hillary was the heir apparent to the Democratic establishment

    Is neither a winning argument or IMO one we should be making.


    Well, who is there to run? (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:43:52 PM EST
    It looks like Warren, Biden and Bernie may run....

    Got to be someone better than that.


    I would bet it won't be any of those people (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:51:15 PM EST
    If it is we will lose.  The last two termer came more or less out of left field and was given no chance.  The next one will too.

    Just my opinion (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:56:23 PM EST
    All 3 are too old now. Maybe in 2016 I'd go all in for any one of them, but not 2020. We need a two term possible candidate.

    I would go further (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:04:52 PM EST
    The entire leadership of the party needs to become less geriatric.  

    There are many bright and talented possibilities.  But you are absolutely correct.  We have to do better that an octogenarian


    There are (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 06:19:34 PM EST
    Jason Kander comes to mind. There's a lot of people who are possiblities that I really like: Gillibrand, the CT senator that Keys Dan mentioned, many possibilities. Warren just completely shot herself in the foot. I have heard complaints about her constituent services in MA being just abysmal. I wonder if that is a big enough blunder to get her a primary opponent?

    Agreed, (none / 0) (#47)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:18:22 PM EST
    the Democratic presidential candidate needs to present a fresh and young face.  That will be one necessary contrast.  I like Chris Murphy (D. CT).  but there are many other good contenders.  Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Bernie need to move to the supportive senior statespersons. As you note, we need every Democrat and Bernie to help restore the country to its former self. There all offer much for such roles.

     However, at this point, seasoned leaders are needed in the House and Senate...Mrs. Pelosi and Schumer bring experience with the often arcane workings of the Congress.. something needed for effective opposition.


    I have mixed feelings about (none / 0) (#49)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:27:57 PM EST
    About congressional leaders.  But the fact that a smart and informed observer would name those three, which was a reasonable observation,  is honestly kind of terrifying.  We need leaders.  We do.  But all three need to STFU about EVER running for president.  Just shut up.  When people ask you say hell no.  They need to get the heck out of the way and start trying to rebuild a party that is weaker and more directionless that I've ever seen it.  

    Al Franken? (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by RickyJim on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 06:08:00 PM EST
    Nobody laugh.  He's 66.

    Al Franken has stated (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by leap on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 06:45:33 PM EST
    that he won't run for president in 2020. He said so in his book, too, Al Franken: Giant of the Senate. Why would any sane person want to do that? He's a sane person.

    i would be (none / 0) (#88)
    by linea on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 07:47:24 PM EST
    happy with either Elizabeth Warren of Al Franken.

    I (none / 0) (#48)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:25:15 PM EST
    am not interested in making it a talking point, I am just stating fact. This is an argument that should not even be happening IMO, but if some people want to rehash the last battle we might as well be straight about it.

    There is nothing inherently bad about a party having an heir apparent, it's actually historically the norm, especially with the sitting VP. In a way you could actually say that the system was rigged against Biden as he should have been the traditional favorite, but Hillary out maneuvered him from day one. Rigged!

    Politics ain't bean bag, but you should never be fighting the last war, especially against your own side.


    IMO (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:29:43 PM EST
    One of the reasons Obama won was that he was NOT the heir apparent

    I (none / 0) (#55)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:37:01 PM EST
    am not saying it's a winning strategy just that it's not out of the norm, especially for the party in power.

    that was my impression (none / 0) (#84)
    by linea on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 07:24:05 PM EST
    Hillary was the heir apparent to the Democratic establishment

    from the begining it felt like hillary had been declared heir apparent and it seemed like the DemParty cleared the field for her. it was supposed to be hillary and one representative from the Washington Generals basketball team. but some goofy progressive-independent showed up because he wasn't on the DNC/DemParty insider email list. that's how it felt to me. but everyone knows my bias.


    It's almost as if the right (none / 0) (#129)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 11:37:51 AM EST
    saw her as the "heir apparent" even before the Dems did, when one considers how early on they started cranking out all those "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty" The Truth About Hillary yardsale-thrift store specials, one after the other..Back when David Brock was still a hard-right twerp; before someone sprinkled pixie dust on him and he became a liberal twerp at the stroke of midnight.

    Several people are agreeing (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:39:01 PM EST
    Like I said the truth of these charges are for smarter people than me.  I'm just amazed in general.  To a point I agree with FLJoe about the uncanny ability of democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    I never liked Brazile.  I have no doubt this is her play to be "balanced" for her pundit cred.  That said, if half the stuff I've read is true, it's a problem.  Mostly because an absolutely critical and pivotal election is coming in almost exactly a year.

    We need every Bernie supporter.  And if this is handled badly we will lose many of them.  And saying they won't vote for republicans, which I've read is wildly missing the point.

    Just adding I also never liked or trusted Tom Perez much either.


    The problem (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:46:31 PM EST
    with the Bernie supporters is that anything will keep them away from the polls. Even Bernie himself couldn't get them to show up to vote for him in the primaries. So even the least little thing will make them sit home.

    It didn't keep me away from the pols (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 12:04:15 PM EST
    for a couple of months leading up to the election, when I talked to strangers about Hillary, I made Towanda sound like Laura Ingraham.

    Ha! Although, may I say (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Towanda on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 12:25:47 PM EST
    that I got a shudder at seeing my (user) name in the sam sentence with the name of That One.

    I'm glad to hear (none / 0) (#137)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 03:35:56 PM EST
    that! Always glad to hear about people showing up to vote.

    Who could or would trust any of them? (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:46:00 PM EST
    Obama left the party 24 million in debt...after all that Hollywood and corporate whoring for cash? Jesus F&ckin' Christ...forget the email hack, who hacked their bank account?

    Obama (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 03:48:41 PM EST
    was nothing short of bad for the party in general sorry to say. All the offices lost, the money, the general shape of the party.

    Yes! I think the press is really burying the lede (5.00 / 3) (#108)
    by ruffian on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 10:34:37 PM EST
    with this story.

    How in the world could anyone have let that happen? DWS was truly useless a chairperson, and Obama should have to explain this.


    Open primaries... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:43:43 PM EST
    over caucuses and closed primaries would be sweet, and a primary schedule that doesn't render certain states virtually voiceless in the nomination process even better.

    Now that's, to borrow a phrase, a big tent maker.


    Open primaries (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 04:53:41 PM EST
    Is the worst idea since someone came up with the caucus

    Well fine... (none / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:04:54 PM EST
    I'll take my vote home till the general.

    Just pick a good one next time, will ya? For your old pal? ;)


    We've done this before (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:08:26 PM EST
    And your point is the perfect one.  We welcome your vote in the general.

    Open primaries would be a fine idea if everyone approached it in an honorable way.  Sadly republicans don't do honorable


    But you already do that anyway. (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:32:38 PM EST
    At some point, you need to stop placing the burden on everyone else to get you to the polls, and take some personal responsibility and initiative in the casting of your ballot.

    Last year, I gave you the simple one-page document from New York State to register your party affiliation so you can participate in the Democratic primary. Did you even bother to fill it out and send it in?

    Nobody's asking you to simultaneously perform both advanced calculus and a men's gymnastics high bar routine, kdog. If you can summon forth the effort to go out and score some primo medicinal herb and some tasty brews, then surely you can do likewise with your vote -- right? ;-D



    I see my attempt at... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:50:48 PM EST
    light hearted humor with the Captain in light of past disagreements about open primaries fell flat there.

    I got it (none / 0) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:54:51 PM EST

    This. (none / 0) (#56)
    by Towanda on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:38:08 PM EST
    Those who do not vote until the general election forfeit the opportunity to be heard -- and to offer anything worth hearing until the general election.  

    And I also am in an open-primary state (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Towanda on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:39:20 PM EST
    but I do not let that stop me from participation.

    Indeed, it makes it more important that I do so.


    I (none / 0) (#58)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:40:35 PM EST
    think the way we select a president is the worst idea ever, it just took 200 years plus to really bite us in the ass.

    Maybe not the worst ever... (none / 0) (#62)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:51:58 PM EST
    but the electoral college is an abomination, to be sure.

    National popular election (none / 0) (#63)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 05:54:02 PM EST
    Mail in ballots with appropriate safeguards

    Online voting would be best but I'm not sure it can ever be safe.


    The (none / 0) (#70)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 06:21:30 PM EST
    two party forced binary choice, big money, backroom dealing, media grandstanding and incompetence, unwieldy and unfair nominating processes, fake news, voter suppression, gerrymandering the list of problems goes on and on.

    A secure, easily accessible and fair national popular vote would be the way to go, but I don't even know if that would restore sanity.


    It might not (none / 0) (#72)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 06:26:00 PM EST
    restore sanity immediately but it sure would work towards restoring it.

    Choices for the Popular Vote (none / 0) (#119)
    by RickyJim on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 09:34:32 AM EST
    I am partial to having a group of elites (Congress or other elected officials) do the nominations.  Then there will be a popular runoff to pick the top two from the top ten, say, that the elites chose.  Then there will be another popular election to choose the winner.  This comes closer to what Hamilton and Madison expected from the Electoral College than what has evolved since their time.

    Open primaries (none / 0) (#71)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 06:25:01 PM EST
    are bad because there are a lot of people who have no commitment to the party and could care less about the party. If they want to show up and vote for some unelectable crackpot they can and then go home and when unelectable crackpot loses and damages the entire party they can shrug their shoulders and move on and leave someone else to clean up the mess. People who have a vested interest in winning the general election should be the ones picking the candidates. Want to vote for a candidate? Check a box. If checking a box is too much of a voter commitment then it doesn't say much about that person's commitment to democracy.

    maybe i got this wrong (none / 0) (#98)
    by linea on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 09:22:42 PM EST
    but i thought it was Donna Brazile who forwarded to Hillary the questions that would be asked at several townhalls and at least one debate.

    She took it upon (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 09:37:51 PM EST
    herself to send Hillary a question about Flint MI that was pretty much a question that was going to be asked because it was in the news at the time.

    NBC News has published (none / 0) (#102)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 10:12:28 PM EST
    the full DNC Memo.


    NBC News published the full Clinton-DNC fundraising agreement memo, and it contains a paragraph that destroys the conspiracy theory that Clinton rigged the primary, "Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to violate the DNC's obligation of impartiality and neutrality through the Nominating process. All activities performed under this agreement will be focused exclusively on preparations for the General Election and not the Democratic Primary."


    However, this fundraising agreement did not allow Hillary Clinton to take over the DNC during the Democratic primary. The context matters, and while the details of the agreement would have paved the way for Clinton take over the DNC if she would have won the election, which is what presidents do. The DNC may have been tilted toward Clinton, but the fundraising agreement was not the reason why.

    So much for Donna Brazile and "rigging," but, heck - it's Donna Brazile: are we really that surprised?


    Not surprised by Brazile's actions, (5.00 / 4) (#105)
    by caseyOR on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 10:26:10 PM EST
    but I am a bit surprised that Elizabeth Warren jumped in with both feet and, as far as I know, has still not apologized for her remarks or withdrawn them.

    So did Ellison (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 06:20:52 AM EST
    Ellison needs to step down from his leadership role. Warren just shot herself in the foot and has put herself in a corner that I don't think she knows how to get out of.

    Ironically (none / 0) (#115)
    by FlJoe on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 07:43:27 AM EST
    they are all doing the same thing Hillary of doing, one way or the other they are trying to seize power within the party. I have no problem with that, the fact they feel compelled walk over her political corpse to do it is disgusting.

    It just (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 09:13:09 AM EST
    all blew up in their faces. The DNC released an email showing Bernie was offered the same agreement. So Bernie or some of his cohorts started all this so they could play the victim and fundraise off of it. And to attempt to get their way on caucuses for 2020. Good luck to them now. Nobody is going to listen to them after this.

    link? (none / 0) (#113)
    by linea on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 11:36:45 PM EST
    sorry, but does anyone have a link to Elizabeth Warren's actual comments? nuanced comments are often taken out of context and sensationalized.

    Oh but isn't that just what you would (none / 0) (#106)
    by ruffian on Fri Nov 03, 2017 at 10:26:36 PM EST
    put in the memo if you were rigging it for Clinton?

    See, it will never end.


    This is what happens... (none / 0) (#123)
    by kdog on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 10:24:38 AM EST
    when institutions fail the people for so long. You start to believe nothing is on the square. And maybe nothing is as far as our system of self governance is concerned.

    Well... she's selling a book (none / 0) (#134)
    by McBain on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 01:45:38 PM EST
    and she was part of the fix.  I just want to know how common is it to rig an election and if that's at all illegal?  

    JAQ (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by Peter G on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 02:53:28 PM EST
    again, huh?

    seems so, (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by KeysDan on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 03:25:41 PM EST
    the eternal quest.

    So, you don't know either (none / 0) (#148)
    by McBain on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 05:24:02 PM EST
    Here's what Alan Deshowitz has to say...

    Alan Dershowitz called the recent scandal surrounding Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee the "mirror image" of the Russia collusion allegations against Donald Trump's campaign.

    "Political sins on both sides, but no crimes," the lifelong Democrat and Harvard law professor emeritus told "Fox & Friends." "We need to stop calling each other criminals."

    holy hell (5.00 / 6) (#149)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 05:41:43 PM EST
    Douchowitz and Fox and Friends in one comment.

    congratulations on going full troll.


    The (5.00 / 2) (#150)
    by FlJoe on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 05:56:11 PM EST
    only mirror involved, is the one he walked through  into his own land of jabberwocky.

    I thought it was good advice (none / 0) (#151)
    by McBain on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 06:22:14 PM EST
    "We need to stop calling each other criminals."

    Maybe (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by FlJoe on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 06:26:27 PM EST
    he ought to talk to Robert Mueller then.

    I think he was referring to the drama queen (none / 0) (#154)
    by McBain on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 06:36:26 PM EST
    talking heads on cable news where everything is a "major scandal worse than Watergate"

    No (5.00 / 3) (#162)
    by FlJoe on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 08:05:51 PM EST
    he is trying to set up totally bogus false equivalence between the total fables about Clinton and the very real investigations into tRump and his associates.

    no doubt (none / 0) (#153)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 06:29:41 PM EST
    you think you get lots of good advise from fox and friends.

    that does not mean it is really.

    beyond the mouth breathing idiocy of quoting fox and friends clutching their pearls and fretting about "calling each other criminals".

    but it does fit perfectly with your pathetic wide eyed JAQ BS


    You know what else is ... (none / 0) (#186)
    by Yman on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 09:24:29 PM EST
    ... "good advice"?  Stop making laughable, false equivalencies.

    First, there is no Clinton/DNC scandal, (5.00 / 2) (#158)
    by Anne on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 07:49:59 PM EST
    as much as Dershowitz and his Fox friends want it to be real.

    Or should I say, "need it to be real," because that's the only way they can pretend that the growing evidence of collusion with Russia is "the same as" anything connected in any way with Hillary Clinton.

    Dershowitz really should stop calling Clinton a criminal, because she isn't one; maybe he could go with sticking his fingers in his ears, closing his eyes and shouting "la-la-la-la-la" so his buddies being indicted and investigated right and left for committing crimes doesn't hurt his tender fee-fees.


    What on earth (none / 0) (#161)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 07:54:50 PM EST
    happened to Dershowitz? Do you know? He used to not be a big Fox News person?

    what happened? (none / 0) (#164)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 08:31:04 PM EST
    he started saying the Russia thing was nonsense.  if you did that you could probably be on FOX NOOZE

    I guess (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 08:36:14 PM EST
    Glenn Greenwald will be showing up there soon too then or has he changed his mind on the Russian thing?

    I wasn't aware he called Clinton a criminal (none / 0) (#163)
    by McBain on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 08:20:04 PM EST
    I thought his point was there isn't any proof of criminal activity in any of these scandals.

    Actually, you guess wrong (4.20 / 5) (#168)
    by Peter G on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 10:00:16 PM EST
    I do know (unlike ex-Prof. Dershowitz). I just choose not to tell you, out of pure perversity.

    But, but,... (none / 0) (#176)
    by KeysDan on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 12:41:01 PM EST
    its Fox and Friends.  Aren't Friends so reliable that they are used, in lieu of, intelligence briefings by Trump"    just a question mind you.

    It's Alan Dershowitz (none / 0) (#177)
    by McBain on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 12:58:10 PM EST
    A well known liberal.  

    Says who? (none / 0) (#178)
    by Anne on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 01:04:30 PM EST
    He's been called liberal or a democrat (none / 0) (#179)
    by McBain on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 01:30:06 PM EST
    for years.
    Dershowitz is an avowed supporter of the Democratic Party

    Because he's a defense oriented lawyer, he often says things that disappoint the rush to judgement crowd.  


    People are saying (none / 0) (#194)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 10:34:15 AM EST
    Used to be, when he was younger, (none / 0) (#181)
    by Peter G on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 01:47:27 PM EST
    on some issues at least. So?

    What? (none / 0) (#193)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 10:32:58 AM EST
    Is this your attempt at stand up?

    Getting a bit concerned (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 11:18:27 AM EST
    About the Va gov race.

    No longer seems a slam dunk.

    I have been (none / 0) (#130)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 11:52:33 AM EST
    concerned ever since the Brazile thing. It's almost like she and others started this crap to make Northam lose.

    the best/worst/most amazing (none / 0) (#138)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 03:54:35 PM EST
    Brazile news ive heard yet, well, apart from the "Patsy the slave-y'all keea a whippin me" BS, was how after Hillary almost fainted on 9/11 she "considered replacing her" with Joe Biden.

    really, you considered replacing her with Biden.

    honey if you had tried that you would have found out what "whippin you" actually looked like.


    As if she even had that power, which is (none / 0) (#140)
    by Anne on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 04:05:28 PM EST
    the other ridiculous thing (the first being that, in true Donna Brazile fashion, running Biden is  the idea that made the most sense to her).

    From Josh Marshall:

    As I was writing this post, news broke that Brazile also claims in her book that after Clinton's fainting episode she seriously considered replacing Clinton on the ticket with Joe Biden and Cory Booker because her campaign was "anemic" and had taken on the "odor of failure". She chose Biden-Booker because she decided they had the best chance to shore up support from working class voters. But Brazile says she "thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud of and excited about her. I could not do this to them."

    This adds an important new detail to the story because this is a ridiculous claim. The chair of the DNC has no power to unilaterally replace a candidate on the ticket. The candidate must resign from the ticket or die - I believe there may be a reference to `incapacitation', candidate on life support after a stroke, etc. But none of those three things happened. If one of those things does happen the decision falls to the entire DNC - a few hundred members from across the country - to meet and decide on a replacement. This is a power Brazile quite clearly did not have. So the whole storyline makes no sense and did not happen.


    She had zero power to replace Clinton unilaterally and the choice wouldn't have been hers regardless. But as interim chair of the DNC she would have been a major player in the decision-making. So it makes sense that she might have started gaming out possible scenarios. But she seems to have taken this plausible interlude and recast it as a moment of decision in which she could see Clinton was flagging among working class voters in the midwest, considered replacing her with Joe Biden but finally could not break the hearts of the women who supported Clinton.

    This is all pure fantasy. She's married a non-existent power with a highly improbable prescience to create a kind of retrospective, fantasy football version of the nomination in which the momentous and weighty decisions all fell to her. It is highly reminiscent of the agonizing call in which she purportedly informed Bernie Sanders that he'd been right all along and the nomination race had been "rigged".

    This and other claims from Brazile's book which have come out in the last few hours only confirm me in thinking that her claims are at least self-serving, in other cases highly improbable and in some cases literally impossible.

    Seems like a whole lotta, um, fake news to me.


    one question (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 04:11:09 PM EST
    did she have an editor?

    this is dipping into the realm of FOX NOOZE.

    im am truely stunned.  what the fu@K?


    Armando said on the dkos podcast (none / 0) (#200)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 12:01:47 PM EST
    that he is sure it is ghost written. I tend to agree - by someone with a flair for the dramatic. I'm sure Brazile knows it is not her unilateral decision to make.

    Also I don't fault her for thinking about what she might have to do as chair of the DNC had HRC not recovered. That's her job. I just don't think it was as dramatic as described in the book.

    And I do fault her for possibly trying to signal her preferences for 2020 this way? As if anyone will care.


    one question (none / 0) (#142)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 04:11:16 PM EST
    did she have an editor?

    this is dipping into the realm of FOX NOOZE.

    im am truely stunned.  what the fu@K?


    Maybe (none / 0) (#144)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 04:18:35 PM EST
    Regnery is publishing her book? I mean seriously Armando is tweeting she is insane and she sure looks like she's playing to the Fox News crowd with this book.

    I've come (none / 0) (#143)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 04:17:04 PM EST
    to the conclusion that she did us a favor by writing this book. No one is going to believe one thing she says from now on. So she claims Hillary had complete control of the DNC yet somehow not really because she could replace Hillary with Biden.

    At least now we know where all the Biden crap was coming from. She's probably the one encouraging Biden to run in 2020. Go for it Joe and you can go a few primaries and be out again.


    Brazile and Trump (5.00 / 3) (#170)
    by jmacWA on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 05:53:14 AM EST
    Two of a kind.

    Trump has the greatest memory, yet doesn't remember Papadopoulos.

    Hillary has complete control yet Brazile can replace her on the ticket.

    Some people will believe anything


    i cant wait (none / 0) (#145)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 04:35:08 PM EST

    Sunday on 'This Week': Former DNC chair Donna Brazile
    ABC News-Nov 3, 2017
    George Stephanopoulos goes one-on-one with former DNC Chair Donna Brazile on her new book "Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins ...
    Kellyanne Conway, Donna Brazile, Tom Perez: Sunday guests



    you may remember (none / 0) (#146)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 04:45:04 PM EST
    Mr Snuffaopolis once wrote a Clinton bashing book that secured his spot in the bobblehead hall of fame.

    im sure they will have a LOT to talk about

    Mr Pierce is a must read


    You know what htough (none / 0) (#195)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 11:06:47 AM EST
    If the lead  over a long term a-hole like Gillespie is so fragile it can be shattered by something that had nothing to do with that contest...well there is something seriously wrong or it was always closer than it looked.  

    Saudi arrest campaign, (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by KeysDan on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 03:44:11 PM EST
    included dozens of Princes, ministers, and businessman.  Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, one of the richest of the rich princes (worth $32 billion), was among those arrested.

     Trump and Prince al-Waleed got into a spat a while back: "you are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all Americans."  Trump responded that the Prince was "dopey."  The two, Trump and Prince were involved in business ventures, including the Plaza Hotel.

    Trump has cultivated a relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the favorite son of the King and the Prince who is running things in Saudi Arabia.  Among other recent Saudi happenings are discussions of public offerings of shares in Aramco, the Sandi State Oil Co; and a visit to Prince Mohammed last month by Jared Kushner and a couple of other Administration officials.

    Another Saudi prince (none / 0) (#187)
    by desertswine on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 09:50:37 PM EST
    was killed in a helicopter crash.  I wonder if there's a connection.

    Apparently, a second (none / 0) (#197)
    by desertswine on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 11:19:21 AM EST
    Thanks for that nutshell (none / 0) (#201)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 12:05:31 PM EST
    I was having a hard time following it in my scattered headline reading.

    And apparently Kushner was in SA last month, possibly helping to cook all of this up?


    Finally (none / 0) (#155)
    by FlJoe on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 06:38:52 PM EST
    the Bowling Green Massacre comes to pass
    Bowling Green, KY (November 4, 2017)  On Friday, November 3, 2017 at 3:21 p.m., KSP Troopers responded to the residence of Rand Paul in Warren County, in reference to a report of an assault.  Upon their arrival, it was determined that Rene Boucher had intentionally assaulted Paul causing a minor injury.

    Well, close enough in a alternative facts kind of way. Now we should all apologize to Kellyanne Nostradamus for making fun of her.

    I read (none / 0) (#156)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 06:46:48 PM EST
    it was 4th degree assault which is what? Hard touching?

    Oh, great (none / 0) (#157)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 06:48:02 PM EST
    another Bernie supporter doing something stupid before a primary.

    No indication whatsoever ... (none / 0) (#169)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Nov 04, 2017 at 10:10:46 PM EST
    ... in the TPM article as to the underlying causes of the altercation. It's noted that Boucher and Paul are neighbors in the same gated community. So I don't know, maybe they were channeling "Grumpy Old Men," and yelling at one another to get off each other's respective front lawns.

    Maybe Mueller (none / 0) (#172)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 09:13:22 AM EST
    Gets Flynn and son next?

    There has been so much discussed since January it's hard to keep it all straight. Possible money laundering, kidnapping

    I am (none / 0) (#173)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 10:54:12 AM EST
    still gobsmacked at that story that Flynn thought he could just kidnap somebody because another country wanted the guy. Seriously I guess he did not think he had to follow the extradition laws or anything in this country?

    This story smells like a deliberate FBI leak (none / 0) (#174)
    by Peter G on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 11:54:07 AM EST
    intended to put pressure on Flynn to "cooperate" with the Mueller probe. (The FBI does it to insulate the prosecutors from accusations of violating grand jury secrecy, under Federal Criminal Procedure Rule 6(e)(2).) A dirty prosecutorial tactic that I do not approve at all, regardless of where my political sympathies lie.

    I'm inclined to agree with you now that you've (none / 0) (#183)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 03:43:30 PM EST
    Fleshed that out.

    What actual leak has slipped out of the Mueller investigation before this.? Not much.


    Revelations beginning to emerge (none / 0) (#180)
    by desertswine on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 01:36:21 PM EST
    about Wilbur Ross/Putin/Russia/Navigator via the Paradise Papers.

    Donald Trump's commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, is doing business with Vladimir Putin's son-in-law through a shipping venture in Russia.

    The Ross interests appear in the Paradise Papers, a trove of millions of leaked offshore files reviewed by the Guardian, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other partners. They join established links between Ross and Russian finance that have raised questions over his selection by Trump to head the US commerce department.

    20+ dead in shooting (none / 0) (#182)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 03:05:43 PM EST
    At church near San Antonio, TX. Shooter is dead after car chase.

    Lots of Americans "standing strong". (none / 0) (#185)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Nov 05, 2017 at 07:17:26 PM EST
    Plenty of of thoughts and prayers to go around. Otherwise not much else will happen. Another ho hum day in America.