Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Warren Would Be A Good Pick

Bernie Sanders floats Elizabeth Warren as possible VP

Warren would bring all the crazy millennials, lefties, revolutionaries, and socialists on board. It would be like Bernie minus the penis. Besides, that crowd is the future. It is destined to go from strength to strength.

With Warren on board, you will see a lot of Republican women ditch the party, what with a dick on the ticket!

The ticket just might manage to take back the House.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Dodd And Frank

There is a guy named Dodd and there is a guy named Frank, and that is as much as I know about Dodd and Frank. As for the banks, Dodd and Frank were supposed to ring in some discipline. The question naturally arises, did it happen? Is there discipline? Or is there indiscipline? What about indigestion? Hiccups?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton: Nothing To Do With The Panama Papers

The Liberals of the Bernie brand have plenty of good things to talk about, plenty of legitimate points to make. Excuse me if English is not my first language, but is this the left wing pulling a right wing? Blaming Hillary for Panama, of all things? I am calling this facts-free sexism, completely unhinged from facts and logic.

Liberals and the New Democrats should compete, as they are, but they should do so cleanly, and with the ultimate goals of working together for the greater cause. Liberals should make an effort to remember why they used to lose elections all the time, and the New Dems should face the fact that the ground reality is not as desperate as it was in 1991, and bolder moves are now possible.

And, by the way, I am for free trade, I always have been. Blaming free trade for the loss of American jobs is like blaming China's strong economy for the fact that America is not doing better, when the fact is China saved America big time in 2008. Free trade can be better architected, but don't blame the poor in poor countries because you can't get organized better and get your government to invest more in your education and health.

The Sanders campaign should focus on getting deeper into the policies, and crunching the numbers, and better organizing the supporters. There are obscure, underpaid academics who have already written detailed policy papers of the journal article quality for everything Sanders has proposed, I am sure. The Sanders campaign just needs to go find them. Talk numbers but also talk slogans. Present the investments in education and health in the context of the larger budget. How you would tweak it, things like that.

Linking Hillary to Panama is a mirror image of the right wing blaming Hillary for Benghazi. It is like there is this small patch of land somewhere in Latin America where Islamist terrorists and American far right militia gather and train each other on warfare.

The Bernie campaign does not need that if it wants to actually make change happen. This path burns bridges.

I actually happen to think much of what Bernie wants can happen. But you do have to do the work. You do have the get into the nitty gritty, you do have to crunch the numbers, you do have to tweak the budget, you do have to build coalitions. Mostly you do have to better organize. Build a grasseroots structure to survive.

Hillary In The News
A Strong Critique Of Sanders From A Very Smart Liberal
The New Democrat Philosophy Vs The Liberal Philosophy
Hillary's Narrow Lead
A Close Race
This Might Not Go Well
Bernie: The Progressive Ronald Reagan?
Bernie II?
One Person, One Vote, One Voice Democracy And America And The Democratic Party
White House, Senate, House, 2016

She's Not With Us
She's not with us!!!!
Posted by Liberal Rhetoric Click on Friday, April 8, 2016

Hillary In The News

English: A screengrab from President Barack Ob...
English: A screengrab from President Barack Obama's first White House news conference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hillary Clinton blasts Obama's proposed $90M cut to anti-terror funds for New York in sitdown with Daily News
The stinging rebuke of her former boss comes just months after the White House released a 2017 budget that called for slashing funding for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) — which pays for anti-terror ventures in large U.S. cities like New York — from $600 million to $330 million.
Hillary Clinton slams President Obama's bid to slash New York City's anti-terror funding by $90 MILLION

Ambedkar: Taller Than Gandhi And Nehru

Ambedkar is taller than Gandhi and Nehru because he is more relevant than either to India's current challenges.

BR Ambedkar: Slayer of All Gods

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Dictators In Africa

There are a whole bunch of dictators in Africa who can’t understand how Barack Obama can get by on a salary of 200,000 dollars a year. To them it is peanuts. Granted the Secret Service is paid for and the housing is paid for and Air Force One is paid for, but what about miscellaneous expenses?

Saturday, April 09, 2016

A Strong Critique Of Sanders From A Very Smart Liberal

Sanders Over the Edge by Bernie Sanders
he seemed to go for easy slogans over hard thinking. ...... Predatory lending was largely carried out by smaller, non-Wall Street institutions like Countrywide Financial; the crisis itself was centered not on big banks but on “shadow banks” like Lehman Brothers that weren’t necessarily that big. .......

Yet going on about big banks is pretty much all Mr. Sanders has done.

....... this absence of substance beyond the slogans seems to be true of his positions across the board. ..... a politician’s policy specifics are often a very important clue to his or her true character — I warned about George W. Bush’s mendacity back when most journalists were still portraying him as a bluff, honest fellow, because I actually looked at his tax proposals ...... Given her large lead in delegates — based largely on the support of African-American voters, who respond to her pragmatism because history tells them to distrust extravagant promises — Mrs. Clinton is the strong favorite for the Democratic nomination......

The Sanders campaign has brought out a lot of idealism and energy that the progressive movement needs.

I guess arithmetic is necessary. You do have to start and end with slogans. But there is that territory where you have to end up with concrete proposals, and see how you will make the budget work. I think many of Bernie's ideas actually are workable. But perhaps the policy work has not been done. It does not even have to be the campaign. I would be surprised if some obscure academic has not worked them out on his own.

I wish there were a way to fuse the idealism many of Bernie's young supporters feel and bring them about into governance. Part of that is a back and forth about becoming better educated about the political process. But the legroom is more than the New Democrat thinking of 1992 will have us believe.

I have not been following this election too closely. I definitely have not read up deeply on the various policy proposals.

FDR would send out the Labor leaders, go build the pressure on me. The idealists of today could perform a similar role. 

The New Democrat Philosophy Vs The Liberal Philosophy

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Official White House photo of Preside...
English: Official White House photo of President Bill Clinton, President of the United States. Русский: Президент США Билл Клинтон,официальное фото Белого Дома. Ελληνικά: Επίσημη φωτογραφία Λευκού Οίκου του Προέδρου Μπιλ Κλίντον, Προέδρου των ΗΠΑ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Clintons came to power in 1992 selling what was known as the New Democrat philosophy. It was about moving to the center. It was ditching some of what was called the liberal baggage, both socially and on economic matters. Dems were also going to be tough on crime, Dems were also going to cut taxes. The Democrats had been out of power for so long, so consistently that a desperate party went for it. And Bill Clinton won two elections. It is true the black community also was lifted as the rising tide seemed to be lifting all boats.

But now that necessity is not there. The Dems will win in November no matter who the Republican nominee is and no matter who the Dem nominee is. The New Democrat compulsion like in 1992 is not there.

Bernie Sanders was a Liberal before, during and after 1992. He stayed a Liberal all along. He is a conviction Liberal. He is so Liberal, he refused to be a Democrat that entire time.

Is this a fight to finish where one philosophy wins and another loses but lives to see perhaps another day? Or is there a fusion possible? Could the New Democrat philosophy and the Liberal philosophy melded into one? Will an attempt be made?

Bill Clinton's outburst at the Black Lives Matter protesters was partly a calculated move to try and grab the liberal white voters, especially in his age group. But it might primarily have been a New Democrat knowing no other way. And it was partly also Bill Clinton liking some attention.

But at some level Bill Clinton fundamentally missed the point. The BLM movement is pointing at a structural problem in the country's criminal justice system.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Hillary's Narrow Lead

Bernie has won many states in a row, and Hillary's already narrow lead among elected delegates has become narrower. But what if it gets narrower still at the end of the day, but Bernie does not surpass it? Then the superdelegates could stay with Hillary, and that gives her a huge lead, and she is the nominee. And that is the most likely scenario right now, unless Bernie wins California by a wide, wide margin. More likely, New York and California cancel each other out. Hillary carries New York by 10% and loses California by 10%.

Bernie, in that scenario, will have shaped the race, shaped the party, shaped the platform, energized the young voters mostly, but does that mean the two end up on the same ticket, kind of like Reagan and Bush in 1980? If the race stays close, that is a plausible scenario. Such a ticket would make the party strong in November.

A Close Race

Here’s How Bernie Sanders Could Win the Nomination
The worst is over for Bernie Sanders. The primaries in the South are finished ..... The preponderance of delegates will be from the diverse, affluent, blue states along or near the coasts, like California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and the District of Columbia. ...... his two weaknesses: diversity and affluence. ...... The metropolitan East Coast and coastal California are among the most affluent regions of the country. Mr. Sanders has struggled in places with high median incomes, even when those areas have a liberal reputation — like Boston or Northern Virginia, which anchor both ends of the Northeast megalopolis. ...... Mr. Sanders isn’t likely to win big in California, either. ..... he might still need to win California by more than 100 delegates, or at least 20 points, to close Mrs. Clinton’s delegate lead. ......

It requires Mr. Sanders to win in places where so far he has tended to lose, and often by a lot.

New York Democratic Polls 2016: Clinton’s Lead Grows
Bernie Sanders has won seven of the last eight nominating contests, but early polling shows he faces a big challenge in New York. ....... There are 247 delegates at stake in the New York primary and the delegates are divided proportionally based on the results.
Bernie v. Hillary
Bernie Sanders is surging in California ..... The poll shows Sanders has more support among voters younger than 40, while older voters prefer Clinton, who also has the overwhelming support of African-American voters. ..... June 7 Democratic primary
Superdelegates could jump Clinton ship: James Robbins
But Democratic-establishment delegates not likely to 'Feel the Bern' unless Hillary faces an indictment. ...... The superdelegate system is working exactly the way it was intended: to empower Democratic party insiders and beat down anti-establishment challengers. ..... Hillary Clinton holds a commanding 669 delegate lead over Bernie Sanders, 1739 to 1070 .... most of her lead comes from the 473 theoretically unpledged super delegates who have lined up behind her. Take them out of the equation and the race is much tighter. Switch them to Sanders and he is the front-runner. ..... ashington state. Bernie Sanders won a blowout victory with 73% of the vote. Yet Clinton can claim 10 of the state’s 17 unpledged delegates, or almost 60%. Is this unfair? Yes, but it is unfairness by design. ...... In most cases, superdelegates are superfluous. ...... In April 1992, poor showings by Bill Clinton in the Wisconsin and New York primaries kept many superdelegates on the sidelines, and there was speculation that the Democrats might face a brokered convention. It all sounds vaguely familiar. ...... Superdelegates lined up early behind Clinton in 2008 as well, but left the fold for Barack Obama as her campaign faltered
Clinton moves goalposts again; girds for New York battle
The campaign is now taking an even longer view, with April now being the month they hope to put Sanders away. ..... She leads Sanders 54% to 42% ...... To take on Sanders in New York, Clinton will cast the Vermont senator as an overly-idealistic, pie-in-the-sky lawmaker who won't be able to achieve many of the things he is proposing. ..... "Some of his ideas for how to get here won't pass, other just won't work, because the numbers just don't add up and that means people won't get the help that they need and deserve," Clinton said to applause from the audience at the Apollo Theater...... "Now my opponent says 'well, we just aren't thinking big enough,'" Clinton added. "Well, this is New York, nobody dreams bigger than we do. But this is a city that likes to get things done. And that is what we want from our president, too."
Obama gets candid about Hillary Clinton's candidacy
the President making the case that it was near time for the party to rally around Clinton and prepare for a tough general election context. .... "He talked about how some people are not excited about her candidacy.
Donald Trump on Elizabeth Warren: 'Who's that, the Indian?'
"His insecurities are on parade," she wrote minutes earlier, "petty bullying, attacks on women, cheap racism, flagrant narcissism." ..... Last Monday, Warren on Facebook called Trump "a bigger, uglier threat every day that goes by."...... "It's time for decent people everywhere -- Republican, Democrat, Independent -- to say No More Donald," she continued. "There's no virtue in silence."
John Kerry: U.S. presidential race 'embarrassing'
Secretary of State John Kerry called the state of the U.S. presidential race "embarrassing" and says he is regularly asked about the election in meetings abroad. ...... "Every meeting I have, everywhere, people are asking what is happening with the United States, 'What are you doing to yourselves?' " ...... President Barack Obama seconded Kerry's sentiment in remarks Tuesday, saying foreign impressions of the GOP race were damaging the United States' reputation. ...... "I'm getting questions constantly from foreign leaders about some of the wackier suggestions that are being made," Obama said during an appearance in the White House briefing room. "I have to emphasize that it's not just (Donald) Trump's proposals. You are also hearing concerns about (Texas Sen. Ted) Cruz's proposals, which in some ways are just as draconian when it comes to immigration." ...... Later, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the damage has come in the form of less productive meetings with foreign leaders, who are intent on hearing Obama or Kerry explain the political battle. ....... The business mogul turned politician also called NATO "obsolete" and said member states "should start paying their fair share."

The Second Coming Of Christ

The Second Coming Of Christ

This Might Not Go Well

In purely academic terms, three strikes and you are out is not bad if applied to violent crimes, but a fundamentally racist criminal justice system applying that to minor drug offenses is obviously racist and obviously wrong. One dollar can safely be leveraged to 1,000, done right, forget 30, which is where the market crashed in 2008, and ultimately all money everywhere and all monetary transactions will reside on one single, global blockchain, just like there is but one internet, but right now Bill Clinton's mixing up the banks in, I believe, 1999 gets blamed for 2008. W spending a trillion on tax cuts, another three trillion or so on Iraq and Afghanistan, and sending all sorts of wrong signals to Wall Street on greed (how do you outlaw the sin of greed?) is not talked about. But right now even a gifted politician like Bill Clinton comes across as tone deaf on these two issues. In 1992 the Sister Souljah comments was designed to grab the white votes. It might be a similar attempt now, but the ground has shifted. White liberals are not too keen on subtle racial messages that point the other way.

This move might have been a mistake. Or perhaps Bill Clinton is reading the writing on the wall, and is not liking it. The race was not supposed to be neck and neck. A New York primary was not supposed to ever matter. But this time the New York primary might decide who the next president is. Stranger things are known to happen.

But Black Lives Matter is not about Bill Clinton. Well, maybe now it is. Bill Clinton ran as a New Democrat, which basically was elbowing the Liberal, and it worked, but now that Liberal seems to be in vogue.

Bill Clinton needs to go away: Why his presidency has become a political liability
In a widely circulated video yesterday, Clinton defended programs that have ballooned both prison and poverty rates
Bill Clinton is no doubt his wife’s double-edged sword: Though he is among the most charismatic politicians of his era, he’s also prone to saying things that make campaign life rather awkward. The big problem, however, isn’t just that Bill Clinton can’t keep his mouth shut. It’s that his right-leaning New Democrat policy record is a bad fit for today’s liberal politics. ...... Yesterday, speaking in Philadelphia, Clinton responded to protesters by defending two now-very-controversial bills that he signed into law: The 1994 Crime Bill, widely criticized for fueling mass incarceration, and so-called welfare reform, which dramatically reduced poor families’ access to cash aid. ..... At the same time, he insisted that Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with either. And that gets at one of her campaign’s unshakeable dilemmas: They are running on what’s still popular about the Clinton years and trying run away from what’s not. That, of course, is impossible. And in Philadelphia, the balancing act tripped as a frustrated Bill Clinton lashed out at protesters with a full-throated recourse to throwback war-on-crime rhetoric. ..... what’s most remarkable is that Clinton made a case for the laws that just doesn’t add up. On the Crime Bill, he blamed Republicans for the the “increased sentencing provisions,” and said that the law created “a 25-year low in crime” and a 33-year low in the “murder rate.”..........Protesters, he said, were “afraid of the truth” for not letting him speak. But the truth is not what Clinton was speaking...... The number of those living in extreme poverty has skyrocketed since 1996. .....

Hillary Clinton can’t get around running as the Clinton Administration’s second coming.

Though her camp likes to protest that holding her to account for anything she endorsed during the Clinton presidency is unfair, it’s actually appropriate in a purported democracy that has proven itself prone to the allure of political dynasty. Times have changed, and many Democratic voters don’t want to go back to the 1990s. And Hillary Clinton has to answer for it. ....... Bernie Sanders’ insurgent campaign has been so shockingly successfully precisely because he’s been able to exploit this dissonance.

On welfare cuts, which he voted against and described as a bigoted assault on the poor

, that’s easy. ...... Sanders, however, has said that he did so because it included the Violence Against Women Act, and he did vocally criticize incarceration as a policy solution: “We can either educate or electrocute,” he said. “We can create meaningful jobs, rebuilding our society, or we can build more jails.” He also criticized the unsuccessful 1991 Crime Bill, which he voted against, as “not a crime prevention bill” but “a punishment bill, a retribution bill, a vengeance bill.” ......

Sanders on many issues provides a decisive contrast. And many people like what they see.

......... On welfare, Bill Clinton was just plain wrong. On crime, he rightly pointed out that the bulk of the nation’s prison population reside in state facilities; that there was very real public outcry over crime and that people demanded action; and that there was support even from black leaders for the bill. But it was politicians like Clinton who weaponized those public fears for political gain. And today, voters are beginning to understand the costs. And that continues to be a hard square to circle for Hillary.

Bernie: The Progressive Ronald Reagan?

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del...
Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del Cielo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I don't seem to like anyone on the Republican side, and it is not because I am a Democrat, I am not. But I have been neutral on the Democratic side. I guess I like them both. I like the idea of a first female president, I also like the idea of someone who is a policy wonk with executive experience, who has been to all parts of the world. But then Bernie is Jewish and that is a plus. He would also be the first Jewish president. Dean 2004 was grassroots 1.0. Obama 2008 was grassroots 2.0. If Bernie 2016 is grassroots 3.0, what are the structures? Bernie should be able to build something 10 times better than what Obama built, because now we have technology Obama did not have. I have not been following the campaign too closely, so I don't know. But if he had built that, it would have made news. And it is not for lack of money. The guy seems to be breaking his own record every month for several months now.

It just hit me that Bernie Sanders could be the progressive Ronald Reagan. Bernie does have executive experience. He was not Governor, but he was Mayor. And just like Reagan, he has been saying the same things for decades, until finally the dog seems to have caught up with the car. Any of the two Democrats would win. So it is not about November worries. And, no, Bernie would not have governing problems. If you think he will, you don't understand the powers of the presidency.

Reagan's thing was primarily messaging. He distilled it all into a few neat phrases, and that is the primary thing he did. For example, phrases like strong on defense, or small government, or tax cuts, or personal responsibility, freedom. Bernie does not have quite the short phrases yet, but he also seems to have been moving towards the five clear ideas. He wants money out of politics. He wants to break the big banks. He wants to build on Obamacare to give more to the needy, as in get closer and closer to the Canadian model until he does have the Canadian model. If the people want it badly enough to bother to get organized, of course it is possible. He has similar thoughts on education. He is so strong on health and education, you have to think this guy "gets" the knowledge economy. America's sorry state of investments in health and education is why America keeps taking faltering steps towards a knowledge economy, a knowledge economy that works not just for the Silicon Valley elite, but for all.

But Bernie is not concretely building the grassroots structure. And he has not yet distilled his key ideas into a few short, neat phrases. As for execution, Reagan appointed the key people to that end, and went to sleep. Hard work never killed anybody, but I figured why take a chance, he said. Bernie seems too sprightly to go to sleep. He might actually put in the hours. Bernie's physical vigor should make you want to run marathons. That is how he did it.

My advice to Bernie: hire Alanna Krause, the thought leader in the space, and put about 10-20 million into it, and build something to last. As in, the grassroots is integral to your governance. It is about building a one person, one vote, one voice structure. People should gather, people should speak, and people should be heard.
Just as early waves of technological innovation in education and health care simply attempted to digitize old practices — putting an analog class into a MOOC or a patient’s file into the cloud — early forays into governmental technology involved bringing civil services online and enabling citizens to follow government protocols on websites instead of in buildings. .....

new governance technologies preparing to reroute lines of authority and change what it means to be a citizen in the 21st century.

....... Others are helping teams to build consensus and budget together, dynamically and elegantly. Still others are creating operating systems for political parties that are already winning seats in government. .....

Whether we're facing climate apocalypse on Earth or colonizing Mars, the deciding factor between human civilization being extractive and oppressive, or cooperative and generative, will be how much we as a species have practiced the skills of equitable collaboration on a day-to-day basis — hearing diverse viewpoints and synthesizing them, consciously understanding the flows of power dynamics, and designing in the key factors of human wellness.

......... Human beings have been sitting in circles listening to one another for millennia, but software and the internet allow us to scale up these practices in a way we never have before. ....... Cobudget for funding and Loomio for decision-making. ........ Many of the worst aspects of command-and-control, mechanistic, hierarchical governance are consequences of limited communications technologies. If we can make distributed cooperation just as efficient, the need for those old governance forms — which cause a lot of human suffering in the name of efficiency — could be obviated. ..... The key difference is: are you privatizing everything, or are you building the commons? The real distinguishing factor isn't the governing practices, which may be similar to a point, but the governing purpose. Are we building in service of the people and the community, deeply rooted in social values and human rights, or are we in service of private interests, which only answer to their own internal logic of profit and power? ....... Already, in our network, Enspiral, where we run businesses in service of positive social outcomes, we constantly have to 'hack' company structures to make them reflect how we actually want to work. We're sticking to the law, of course, but there's some legal gymnastics involved and we're constantly having to blaze a trail. Are we a community? A company? A charity? None of the current forms actually quite fit, and the distinctions seem contrived. ........ One of the protections against government corruption in democracies is that the moment of the vote is hidden and blind. ......

the very idea that our key moment of agency as a citizen is ticking a box every three or four years is the insane part

..... Our 'democratic' system is another example of something developed a couple hundred years ago because of very limited communications technology — election dates in the US are still determined by how long it took people to go on horseback between cities. ..... What's actually incredible is when you create a society where people not only feel safe being open about their political opinions, but they genuinely discuss them with different people, and their opinion can evolve through that interaction — they can change their minds.

When citizen deliberation is possible, that's when truly amazing solutions can emerge, from synthesizing different views.

......... What can users of SMS-enabled mobile banking in Africa teach us about how our apps could work? People in war zones and disaster areas know a ton about decentralized networks, because centralised infrastructure fails them. Activists threatened by oppressive governments have heaps to teach us about privacy, identity, and leveraging online communications tools for effective action and resistance. ....... most people in this space are running completely analog processes using technologies like neighborhood meetings and science-fair like exhibitions of citizen-generated ideas. They are willing to pound the pavement.
If Bernie is the Democratic nominee, he is the next president. And if he is, he is going to govern just fine. Right now I don't know if he is, but he does seem to be running neck and neck. He seems to have momentum.

I am neutral because Barack Obama is neutral.

America can be taken to a 5% growth rate, absolutely. It is just that when you destroy 13 trillion dollars, the resultant wage depressions will take some time to recover.
The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. ....... There are three reasons why today’s transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the Third Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a Fourth and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact. The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.
What might be some Bernie catch phrases that progressives might repeat for 20 years?

  • Take money out of politics
  • Strong on education, strong on health
  • Too big too fail it too big to exist 
  • One person, one vote, one voice 24/7, local to global 
Maybe I am not that neutral. Both on message and the organizational structure, Bernie seems to get me. I was a Deaniac in 2004, in Indiana, of all places, and I was Barack Obama's first full time volunteer in New York City in 2007. 

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Bernie II?

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Is Bernie making a comeback? At this point it is true the super delegates don't count. If Bernie ends up leading among the contested delegates, it will be hard for the supers to not respect that. But I have not been following closely. What are the numbers at this point? This is the second time Bernie has surprised me, the first time was in January.
Not only has Sanders defeated Clinton in six straight contests, but he’s raised more money in three consecutive months...... Clinton’s email fiasco is the epitome of white privilege. Ultimately, Wisconsin just elected Bernie Sanders president, and the momentum from this win will lead to further landmark victories. While Bernie is raising more money than anyone, Clinton is facing potential FBI and DOJ indictment. Clinton’s excuses regarding retroactive classification won’t impress the FBI and very soon, Bernie Sanders will be the official Democratic front-runner. Wisconsin continued the momentum at a critical point and helped elect President Bernie Sanders.
Sanders ready to burn the house down? Five reasons Bernie says Hillary isn’t “qualified” to be President
Sanders swings back hard after he claimed Clinton argued he was "not qualified." Only problem - she never said that VIDEO
Paul Krugman: For wonks like me, Bernie Sanders is frankly horrifying
Sanders is just as delusional when it comes to the economics as those vying for a spot on the GOP ticket
Varieties of Voodoo
Republicans routinely engage in deep voodoo, making outlandish claims about the positive effects of tax cuts for the rich. Democrats tend to be cautious and careful about promising too much, as illustrated most recently by the way Obamacare, which conservatives insisted would be a budget-buster, actually ended up being significantly cheaper than projected. ...... On Wednesday four former Democratic chairmen and chairwomen of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers — three who served under Barack Obama, one who served under Bill Clinton — released a stinging open letter to Bernie Sanders and Gerald Friedman, a University of Massachusetts professor who has been a major source of the Sanders campaign’s numbers. The economists called out the campaign for citing “extreme claims” by Mr. Friedman that “exceed even the most grandiose predictions by Republicans” and could “undermine the credibility of the progressive economic agenda.” ...... Mr. Friedman outdoes the G.O.P. by claiming that the Sanders plan would produce 5.3 percent growth a year over the next decade. ......

fuzzy math from the left would make it impossible to effectively criticize conservative voodoo

Noam Chomsky: Bernie Sanders can’t save America
The famed linguist-philosopher talks neoliberalism, the future of fossil fuels and our broken political culture
Throughout his illustrious career, one of Noam Chomsky’s chief preoccupations has been questioning — and urging us to question — the assumptions and norms that govern our society. ..... For radicals, progress requires puncturing the bubble of inevitability: austerity, for instance, “is a policy decision undertaken by the designers for their own purposes.” It is not implemented, Chomsky says, “because of any economic laws.” American capitalism also benefits from ideological obfuscation: despite its association with free markets, capitalism is shot through with subsidies for some of the most powerful private actors. This bubble needs popping too. ....... “Over time there’s a kind of a general trajectory towards a more just society, with regressions and reversals of course.” ..... by now, practically the only persistent institutions are the churches. .... And not because of any economic laws. These are policies. Just as austerity in Europe is not an economic necessity — in fact, it’s economic nonsense. But it’s a policy decision undertaken by the designers for their own purposes. I think basically it’s a kind of class war, and it can be resisted, but it’s not easy. History doesn’t go in a straight line. ..... there was a recent study by the IMF which tried to estimate the subsidy that energy corporations get from governments. The total was colossal. I think it was around $5 trillion annually. That’s got nothing to do with markets and capitalism. ....... Financial institutions in the US had about 40 percent of corporate profits on the eve of the 2008 collapse, for which they had a large share of responsibility. ..... will this system of state capitalism, which is what it is, survive the continued use of fossil fuels? And the answer to that is, of course, no.
They created this nightmare for themselves: The clueless GOP establishment is fueling hurricane Donald Trump
What aloof GOP leaders don't get is that rank-and-file, working-class voters feel betrayed by them
today’s Republican establishment now finds that it is so out of touch with regular voters that it now faces a howling, Category-5 hurricane that’s threatening to implode the Grand Old Party. ..... None of the elites saw Hurricane Donnie coming ....... They’ve single-mindedly pushed a plutocratic agenda of trade scams, tax cuts for the rich, and subsidies for runaway corporations, while constantly slashing at Social Security, Medicare, and other programs that their own non-affluent voters need. ....... Trying to knock-off Trump for Ryan is a sign of the GOP’s irreversible decline into cluelessness and political irrelevance.
“Talking out of his ass”: Stephen Colbert loses patience with Donald Trump’s ignorance
Colbert also takes down Cruz's Wisconsin win. "Even if you voted for Ted Cruz, you're still pretty upset about it"
Voters still bearish on Trump, Colbert noted, express concern over the GOP frontrunner’s lack of concrete policy proposals. ...... a clip of Trump during his Fox News town hall Monday saying he would eliminate the “Department of Environmental,” or as Trump believes the acronym to be, “the D.E.P.” ..... “We looked it up,” Colbert said. “And the Department of Environmental does not exist, meaning Trump is either talking out of his ass or he’s already eliminated it.”
It was a blowout: Bernie Sanders won a whopping 99 percent of counties in the Wisconsin primary
Sanders got more votes in 71 out of Wisconsin's 72 counties. Clinton beat him in just one, and only by 3.7 percent
The winner of the primary in Wisconsin has gone on to become the party’s nominee in nearly 94 percent of past elections. The state has been described as the “best in the nations at picking presidential nominees.” ..... Americans, who polls say are overwhelmingly sick of the political status quo, are clearly excited about the prospect of a Sanders presidency. .... Sanders says that, if he wins the New York primary, he would likely be the next president.

Donald Trump’s “days of rage”: As the GOP primary reaches its tipping point, Trump prepares for all-out war
Ted Cruz won big last night, dramatically increasing chances of a brokered convention. This is about to get ugly
,br> His most terrifying interview yet: Why Trump’s sit down with Bob Woodward should have America petrified
In a conversation with the Washington Post, Trump demonstrated exactly why he's so dangerous in 2016
he seems to have decided very early in life on a set of simple beliefs about the way the world works and has never questioned them. ..... Last week he stunned the country with his comments about punishing women for having abortions, a position he meandered into by failing to understand that the right has its own kind of political correctness. ...... But what he has been saying about nuclear policy is so reckless that President Obama was moved to comment on it, saying “the person who made the statements doesn’t know much about foreign policy or nuclear policy or the Korean Peninsula or the world generally.” ..... Unfortunately, Trump didn’t get the message and continued to insist that Japan and South Korea either hand over more money to the United States or build their own nuclear weapons. ..... The Woodward/Costa interview spent more time trying to get him to talk about economics and, as usual, he meandered around talking about himself and his business, repeating all his stock lines. But he did say a few things that made some headlines, particularly his belief that the country is currently in a “bubble” that’s going to burst soon and throw the country into a terrible recession. ...... So he is determined to slash taxes to the bone and also pay off the 19 trillion in 8 years. Needless to say the economy will be roaring because he will have made America great again. ...... We’ve got to get rid of the $19 trillion in debt.” How long would that take? “Well, I would say over a period of eight years.” ....... it’s downright surreal that he’s very close to winning the Republican nomination for president. How is it possible that a man with such overwhelming solipsism and titanic ego can have so little knowledge to show for it?

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

The Obamas And Austin

Rumor is the Obamas might move to Austin after they are done with the White House. If they announce anything to that effect, Texas goes blue in November, there is a strong chance, which would be tectonic.

One Person, One Vote, One Voice Democracy And America And The Democratic Party

English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting
English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am not a Democrat. I am not a card carrying member of any political party on earth. But I do believe in the onward march of human progress. The democratic process, the political process is key to that. The most important thing the democratic process perhaps does is it moves the conversation. The work primarily gets done in the private sector, although government work is also very important. 

The Republican side has been so irrational, so far away from what might be called the basics of the scientific process, I think the White House part of the race is over, the Senate part is also over, and now we are moving to the Republicans possibly even losing the House, and the Democrats don't even have a nominee yet. Hillary is perhaps to benefit immensely from this amazing act of self destruction on the part of the Republicans. 

But the political benefit will not be lasting. Currently the American political system is designed to swing like a pendulum. The Dems and Hillary might sweep in 2016 but two years later the pendulum will swing even if the basic political landscape has not changed and the Republicans are still as irrational as ever. Why would that happen? It's in the design itself. 

America is a one person one vote democracy, but only half so. It is not a system designed to try to get as many people as possible to vote. And it is not a one person, one vote, one voice democracy. What has most boggled my mind in this race is, not only Hillary has not replicated the grassroots organizational structures of an Obama 2008, she has not made it 10 times better, because now that is an option due to advances in technology. She has had the option to make it 10 times better and make that structure integral to governance itself beyond victory. An attempt at one person, one vote, one voice democracy might bring lasting benefits to the Democratic Party. Instead of being a 52-48 slide between the two parties, the Republicans would keep losing ground and stay at lost ground unless they do what they are supposed to do. They are supposed to apply their core conservative principles to new set of data to come up with new policies and programs. As to what that might mean I don't know. But an utter unwillingness to face the data is something that is not the scientific process. The ideological masturbation is in full view. 

One person, one vote, one voice 24/7 democracy taken to its logical local to global conclusions: that is the goal. That also means structural reforms. For example, why is there only one day when you can vote? Why not an entire week? Why do you have to go to a voting booth? Why can't you vote from your phone? You press your thumb and you vote. Why do you have to register to vote? Does not the American state know you exist? They seem to know when you have to pay taxes. Every citizen should be automatically registered, for all elections ever after. Congressional district boundaries should be decided by a federal non partisan commission. Kill gerrymandering if you want a healthy, robust democracy in America. Voters are supposed to choose politicians, not the other way round. In the current system there is no end to gridlock. So you end up with a small government for the price of a huge government. A paralyzed government is a small government, which means those who want a small government want it so bad, they don't want even the people's approval for the idea, they don't want to have to make a case. They don't want a mandate, they just want to impose the idea. Last of all, every town where non citizens are more than 10% of the population should allow all residents to vote at least in the city elections. Ideally you would want not all citizens but all residents everywhere in the country to be able to vote at all levels. A country that wants to spread democracy should bring in people from all over the world, and get them to vote, so they know what it feels like. You do that and you don't have to invade countries. Democracy spreads itself. It is like fragrance. 

Talking about immigrants, not only America needs to legalize the 12 million who are already here, America needs to actively bring in 20 million more. How else are you going to pay for your ageing population's retirement? The social security thing is kind of like the blockchain. On the blockchain you can do business with people you don't even trust. The social security thing is so beautifully designed that young immigrants pay for the retirement of people who are not even their blood relatives. It is a good system.