Tuesday Open Thread

“No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

65 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Voyageur says:

    "Women hold up half the sky."

    Mao Tse-Tung


    • Zappatero says:

      Women more than hold their own in the highly dysfunctional US Senate:

      Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) came out with a report on Monday detailing what she calls the “extreme” obstruction of President Barack Obama’s nominees — and a new HuffPost/YouGov poll suggests Americans agree with her, at least on the president’s Supreme Court pick.

      Almost immediately after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared that the Senate would hold no hearings on a replacement, signaling his intention to leave a spot on the nation’s highest court vacant for at least a year.

      Surveys that came out soon thereafter found that most Americans disagreed with that stance.

      In her new report, “Going to Extremes,” Warren argues that the Supreme Court blockade is only the most obvious example of GOP obstruction of Obama’s nominees. It’s been bad throughout Obama’s presidency, and worse whenever Republicans in the Senate had more power.

      “The idea that Senate Republicans are willing to leave our highest court short-handed for nearly a year seems shocking. But the fact is that, for more than seven years, Republicans have waged an unrelenting campaign to keep key positions throughout government empty,” Warren said in a statement.

      “This report documents the long history of Republican obstruction of Obama administration nominees—a story that started at the very beginning of Obama’s presidency,” she added. 

      The Obstructionists are the enemy of our democracy. They're Warren's enemies. Michael Bennet yearns for their friendship and cuts them slack right around election time. He likes that Old Boys' Club and if it mucks up the wheels of government, then so be it.




      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Bernie Sanders is also an obstructionist, with his continuing hold on President Obama's nominees to the Postal Governors commission. That should qualify him as an "enemy of democracy," to use your terminology.

        • Pseudonymous says:

          Of course, you could mention why he's doing it, because, well, context.

          One of the the senator’s most gutsy acts has gotten little notice: His two-year hold on two of President Obama’s slate of nominees to the postal Board of Governors.

          The board doesn’t have high visibility outside the postal world, but it approves high-dollar capital investments, sets mail prices, long-term strategies and legislative policies and signs union contracts. One nominee, James Miller III, advocated to privatize the Postal Service when he led the Office of Management and Budget during the Reagan administration. The other, Mickey Barnett, is a lobbyist for the payday loan industry. The candidates are anathema to the postal unions, which urged Sanders to block them.

        • MichaelBowman says:

          C.H.B. – Bernie is dead right on the Postal issue.  We had a chance to undo the starvation plan the Know-Nothings put in place so they could turn over the operations to Romney's 'Staples/Bain Capital' play for the business; the Dem leadership blew the opportunity.  For starters, lets bring back postal banking.  

          • Voyageur says:


            Si, amigo on that Postal banking thing.   It would be a boon to rural areas and some minority neighborhoods. I am willing to give up Saturday mail delivery, as long as the parcel post stuff continues, which it will since it is profitable.   I depend on post office for insulin and other drugs and the good old PO comes through.   The private sector is a wonderful thing but the idea of the postal service of uniting this nation is still worth a subsidy.  The same stamp will get letter from Nome Alaska to you grandma in Miami and a company making tractor season Holyoke can get to a customer in rural Georgia via priority mail as easily as a competitor in Atlanta.  

            I think the private market does a marvelous job distributing cheeseburgers and pornography.   Building a nation, as Ben Franklin foresaw, requires a public role in key infrastructure services.   In economics, such benefits are called "nonreimbursable benefits."   Defeating Hitler and Tojo was a non reimbursable benefit."  I'm kind of glad we still had a viable public sector when that little chore was necessary.

            • MichaelBowman says:

              For all of the bitching that I hear about from my conservative friends regarding the Post Office, I actually find their services more than price competitive for almost anything.  The fact they employ a significant number of veterans is another plus.  

              • Voyageur says:

                The anti post office sentiment is very rare in rural areas.  In my home town of Amherst, closing the post office would be seen as a death sentence to what remains of a once thriving community.

                Love it. Autocorrect changed anti post office to antipasto. Eat up, everybody!

              • BlueCat says:

                I love my mail carrier and have few problems with the postal service. Much faster for the price than 5 business day UPS which pretty much always means a whole week because Saturday and Sunday aren't business days.

                • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                  Ah yes…..a request for some context. Context plays both ways. Well, we have the postal unions where unskilled laborers can garner skilled labor wages and where even those who deal drugs during working hours can't be fired (source: good & reliable friend of mine who is a retired postal manager). And Bernie is an unquestioning toad for these unions who want to run the postal service for themselves instead of for taxpayers and rate payers. As for the "starvation plan," as mentioned by Michael, I can't disagree with that; assuming you mean requiring the Postal Service to pay its retiree health monies in advance instead of having the postal retirees get their health benefits via civil service, medicare, whatever.  

                • notaskinnycook says:

                  We love our carrier too. And I like that several of the for-profit services (Fed-ex, RPS, etc.) are feeding some business to the USPS by having them do the Last Mile. 

    • James Dodd says:

       "If I was running for office I would rather have two friends in the counting room than a Republican slush fund behind me." – Will Rogers, 1924

  2. James Dodd says:

    A few day ago, I stated that the fix was in for the Democratic Presidential Nomination from the beginning. Well, in support of that proposition I offer Exhibit A.

    Perfect End to Democratic Primary: Anonymous Superdelegates Declare Winner Through Media – The Intercept

    "Last night, Associated Press – on a day when nobody voted – surprised everyone by abruptly declaring the Democratic Party primary over and Hillary Clinton the victor. The decree, issued the night before the California primary in which polls show Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a very close race, was based on the media organization’s survey of “superdelegates”: the Democratic Party’s 720 insiders, corporate donors and officials whose votes for the presidential nominee count the same as the actually elected delegates. AP claims that superdelegates who had not previously announced their intentions privately told AP reporters that they intend to vote for Clinton, bringing her over the threshold. AP is concealing the identity of the decisive superdelegates who said this.

    "This is the perfect symbolic ending to the Democratic Party primary: The nomination is consecrated by a media organization, on a day when nobody voted, based on secret discussions with anonymous establishment insiders and donors whose identities the media organization – incredibly – conceals. The decisive edifice of superdelegates is itself anti-democratic and inherently corrupt: designed to prevent actual voters from making choices that the party establishment dislikes. But for a party run by insiders and funded by corporate interests, it’s only fitting that their nomination process ends with such an ignominious, awkward and undemocratic sputter."

    • Pseudonymous says:

      For those Democrats who sought to bring Bernie supporters back into the fold after the election, good luck now.  I have to say that it would be hard to have found a better way to confirm their suspicion that the fix was in than deciding it:

      (a) with superdelegates;
      (b) anonymously;
      (c) the day before California, the country's most populous, and maybe most liberal, state votes.

      While, the call is on the AP/NBC, the party made it's own bed by creating the superdelegate system, which practically invites this. I'll be really interested to see how this plays out over the next few months.

      • BlueCat says:

        Everything you are complaining about is strictly cosmetic. It was no "fix" that HRC won more caucuses and primaries, won 3 million more votes and won the majority of pledged delegates. In a system with no supers she still would have won.

        The media isn't in league with the Dem party establishment. They are in the business of calling elections and everybody likes to be first. They didn't call it under the same circumstances and via the same method for Trump because they're in league with him either.

        Bernie supporters with a lick of sense will still join Bernie himself and the majority of his supporters in supporting HRC against Trump in the general and there will be enough of them to make up for the Or Busters. Don't vote or vote third party or write in if you want to. Whatever.

        Sorry. This is really meant for James Dodd.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Inevitability is mathematics, and vice-versa.

        The superdelegate system was not a creation for this election cycle. 

        Cripes, you people . . . 

        . . . that reminds me, I need to move way more funds into Alcoa stock (. . . their new motto . . . “Alcoa, we’re not just for FOX viewers anymore” . . .) and beat the rush.  As Drümpf would say, "!A-D-Os!"

        • Pseudonymous says:

          I'm sorry, I don't understand what the superdelegate system predating this election cycle means as a response to my post.

          • Voyageur says:

            The fact that Hillary won three million more popular votes than Bernie and 55 percent of the pledged delegates gives the lie to the fix claim.  Ironically, it is now Sanders who is begging the superdelegates to overturn the indisputable verdict of the Democratic voters.  Good luck with your hate thingee, sudafed.  Democrats will have their candidate, with 400 delegates to spare, when the dust settles tonight.  The lion's share of that huge majority, at least 250 delegates, will come from California.

          • BlueCat says:

            Try really hard. The result of every Dem primary season involving supers has resulted in an outcome that would have been the same without them. In every case the winner of the majority of pledged delegates has been the winner. In no case have the supers overturned the victory of the winner of pledged delegates.

            Whatever you don't like about the process, and I don't like that DWS and the Clintons managed to keep every other possible viable candidate fenced out in the first place (though that's likely the only reason an old Jewish socialist they never saw coming got as far as he did and I'm glad he did and grateful for his movement), that's nothing to do with the super delegate system that, so far, hasn't kept any Dem from winning the nomination.

            So you're barking up the wrong tree. 

            • Pseudonymous says:

              I'm not barking up any tree.  Also, maybe you should try "really hard" to read what I post instead of what you imagine I posted.

              I spoke to a belief which is rife among Sanders supporters that the system is rigged against their candidate (not mine, I would vote for him as President, but I'm not a Democrat).  They're expressing this all over the place.  I merely pointed out that having a signal component of the system they believe is rigged decide the vote, without reporting on who pushed the total over by the AP, and just before California votes is reasonably likely to present a substantial obstacle to getting them to vote for HRC.  It does not matter whether this belief is objectively "true" in some sense.  It matters that they hold it.

              The existence of a superdelegate system, regardless of when it was enacted, is a source of friction and has been, up until the most recent weeks, one of the two main things pointed to by Sanders supporters as evidence that there's a bias against him in this race (the DNC being the other).  And, it's been obvious that, especially with the massive early pledging to Hillary, this would come to a head.  Now it has, in what I think is the worst possible way short of them deciding the vote for Hillary if Bernie were actually in the lead with pledged delegates.  I could be totally wrong, and Bernie supporters could come around en masse, but I think this made it way harder to believe that will happen.

              Just as a note, I've never said Clinton should not win, or that her victory is illegitimate.  I've also made clear that folks should vote for her if they support her or, at least, believe there's value in doing so.

              • Voyageur says:

                Maybe you should try really hard to be a little less full of yourself, sudafed.

              • BlueCat says:

                The truth is, like any pol, Bernie uses the supers as something to attack when it suits him and something to hang his hat on when that suits him.  

                I wouldn't worry too much about the coming together thing as the Bernie supporters you cite who are silly enough to let this artificial (even to Bernie, apparently)  "injustice" prevent them from contributing to beating Trump  are going to be a tiny minority. Most are smart enough to see that beating Trump is much more important and that supers  effect on elections has been wildly exaggerated (from previously irrelevant to crucial) into an issue that has now become a decidedly inconvenient one for the candidate who raised the spectre but now goes 180  to attempt to be the first Dem to use them to overturn the will of the voters and get a win. 

                I give most Bernistas way more credit than you do.

                • Pseudonymous says:

                  The truth is, like any pol, Bernie uses the supers as something to attack when it suits him and something to hang his hat on when that suits him.

                  Yep, I agree.  That's why I posted the same sentiment here.

                  As for giving credit, I don't think voting for Hillary is either worthy or unworthy, but from what I've been reading from Sanders supporters, they've been taking this stuff very personally, and many of them are folks who don't normally vote in abundance.  I don't buy that Trump will be enough to get them to come out this time.

                • Voyageur says:

                  The great majority of Bernistas will be there when the roll is called.   A handful, like Dodd and Pseudo, will probably vote Green or something equally ridiculous.  And their places will be taken by millions of newly aroused Latinos, Asians, women, LGBT and others who will join the ranks of battle hardened African Americans like James Cleburn who are used to fighting the forces of hate that Trump is calling forth to Dubious battle.   The good folks will win.  The arc of history does not bend toward bad haircuts.

                  • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                    Wasn't the whole super delegate process put in place to avoid another McGovern/'72 wipeout created by the ideologues of that time?

                    • notaskinnycook says:

                      It was actually dreamed up to avoid another Chicago, '68., C.H.B.

                      Here’s a link I picked up the other day that is a pretty good history lesson.
                      The ”
                      “‘Democratic Party reforms’ that Davis refers to were those implemented by a commission led by McGovern and Minnesota Representative Donald Fraser, itself a reaction to the disastrous convention of 1968. The most important provision of these reforms was one that required all delegate selection to be “open” — selected by voters rather than by party leaders — which effectively ushered in the era of party primaries. ”
                      — ibid.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      I'm pretty sure it was to avoid another McGovern. In any case, while being kept in reserve, the nasty old establishment has never actually found it necessary or advisable to use it that way. The supers have never overturned the will of the pledged majority. And it's certainly not happening now to stop Bernie. Bernie's the one who's been famously threatening to be the first to use it that way but not meeting with much success. 

                      So WTF is all the hysteria about?

                    • exlurker19 says:

                      Or another Goldwater.  Wait, that's what you guys have got going this year.  Smirk.

                    • Duke Cox says:

                      So WTF is all the hysteria about?

                      I'm with you on this…can we all just chill out and remind ourselves that anyone who spends any significant time in Washington DC, like Bernie Sanders, gets an education about human nature…and Washington… ?

                      Of course, he will do what any astute politician will do…use whatever tools he has at his disposal and the disposal of which he is disposed to utilize. Bernie is committed to representing a very emotionally charged constituency. He, himself, is energized by representing such ideas. I believe the dedication he has to those millions of citizens who need so desperately for him to succeed is what drives him so relentlessly. Is that really surprising?  

                      I have had the profound honor of representing my friends, neighbors, and, at times, the environmental community in Colorado. There is no higher calling than to work to make life better for others. That is why Bernie is not giving up until he must.

                      I don't really care about all this chatter. I care about those same people for whom Bernie is fighting so hard and taking so much personal abuse. They are the same people for whom Hillary Clinton says she is fighting, sincerely, no doubt. I think Bernie has a better way to help them. The rest is politics.

                      Others may say what they want, but, if I had a chance to chat with the Senator over a good, cold, local ale I would tell him: Bernie, I love ya', man..thank you..You keep going…you keep fighting…never give up. 

      • mamajama55 says:

        Yup….and this Kos diary may look familiar.

        • Voyageur says:

          But, of course, if your guy loses California, you'll also blame that on the press.  And the fact that Hillary beat him like a toy drum in primary after primary, while  he only really had traction in lily white caucus states just proves how sneaky those AP reporters are.  And the fact that Hillary clobbered Bernie in primaries in Nebraska and Washington State after the rigged caucuses in those states went for Bernie proves that voters are part of the same conspiracy.   Everybody on this planet who didn't vote for Bernie is a damned Masonic conspirator.   And I'm not so sure about some of those who did vote for him.  They just might have been trying to fool us while they infiltrate.   

          Boy, I really need a drink.   Conspiracy theory is hard work.

          • Diogenesdemar says:

            Democracy: A conspiracy of the majority. 

          • mamajama55 says:

            I'm not responding to (and only skimming past) your or BC's posts until after the primary votes are counted. From what I've seen, you're just re-posting the same broken-record unfunny straw men fallacies, and wild predictions you've posted many times before. I'm not wasting my time.

            • Voyageur says:

              Uhhh, and wild conspiracy theories aren't a waste of time?  Maybe we need to bring back the Anti-Masonic Party!   Yes, we once had a national political party founded on the premise that they hated the Masons.  They probably cost Henry Clay the presidency, to America's lasting detriment.


              • BlueCat says:

                Mama's skipping us so I guess she doesn't know that my straw man fallacies have been facts, such as that supers haven't ever taken away a voter majority win from any Dem in any primary season, that HRC has won more primaries and caucuses, more votes and more pledged delegates and the only one talking about using supers to screw the will of the majority is Bernie.

                I guess when facts don't have a liberal bias they have an anti-Bernie bias so just between you and me, V, ( mama says she will never see this) I'm  appalled that after all the times I advised you to stop trying to argue with mamma for the duration, I've been drawn into the same damn thing. And where does it get us? Back to conspiracy square one. It's like arguing with birthers. Facts need not apply because they're all part of the conspiracy.

                This time I really, really mean it. No more so much as glancing at mama's posts much less responding, until the general. Then maybe a peek. May the Force grant me strength.

                • Voyageur says:

                  MJ is truly a paradox.   Most of the time she is earnest and rational to a fault.   Frankly, I'm not impressed with a lot of her sources. like campaign position papers, because we all know they're written by a couple of interns and filed away.  They have little or no basis in reality.  But give her credit, she can be a demon researcher and, at times, a witty sparring partner.

                  But then she'll seize on a word, like my dubbing the Sandernistas "insurgents" and take up residency in umbrage city.   And the ferocious conspiracy thing we're on now started with her responding to me reprimanding MSNBC and AP for jumping the gun and possibly depressing turnout when waiting until New Jersey came in would have unquestionably clinched it for Hillary.

                  In my view, it's liket reviewing "star wars" premier and saying "In the latest episode of this space saga, Luke Skywalker's son kills him.'   Yeah, it's legal and the first amendment let's you do it, but killjoy city, baby.

                  For Mama, reasonable criticism won't do.   It's obviously the corporate masters — I think mostly Comcast though it's not very clear — who are striking for world domination by diminishing the impact of Hillary's inevitable win…

                  I used to work for UPI and know the wire service world well,   "Get it first but first get it right" is the motto and its hell to pay if you violate either tenet.   And, sadly, there's no room for sensibilities like yours and mine, who would have preferred a bit more drama.  AP got it right, got it first, and peeed in our victory punch, but not because of anything corporate or sinister.  It's just journalism with no agenda other than getting it in print or on the air before the other guy does.   Some day I'll bore you with some of the tricks I used to beat AP for my beloved UPI.  I once scouted an important press conference with only one public phone.  If I ran for it early, I'd miss details.   If I waited for details, AP would get the only phone.

                  So I unscrewed the mouthpiece, put the microphone in my pocket, let the AP grab a dysfunctional phone and when he ran off to find a working phone I replaced the mike and dictated my story.

                  The earth shattering event: The University of Texas at El Paso was joining the Western Athletic Conference.  Practically every daily sports page in the country carried our story, because we moved over the wire a good 20 minutes before AP and somebody's always on deadline.

                  No room for ideology on the wires and maybe my ethics stank.  But when competition is that brutal, fantasies about conspiracies driven byComcast are right up there with those Protocols the boys in the Okhrana dreamed up and that had such deadly consequences.

                  As to La Maja, give her some space.  She'll be back to earth in a few weeks and as already said she'll vote for Hillary.  She won’t 's work for Hillary but will register voters and there is no higher calling in the coming showdown with Hair Drumpfenfuehrer.  

                  Pax Vobiscum




    • Voyageur says:

      For two guys who brag they aren't Democrats, Mssrs. Dodd and Pseudo are very kind to offer such detailed advice to Democrats about the path forward.  We will cherish your words and humbly hope that someday may be worthy of your trust.


  3. James Dodd says:

    I don't know what to think anymore. Either Clinton is running the most inept campaign since John McCain or we really can't trust anything she says.

    Hillary Pledges to Reach out to Bernie Supporters Same Day Her Husband Calls Them 'Toast' – Townhall

    • So it's Billary again? Bill is Bill. He sometimes (more frequently now that he's older) runs off at the mouth with his own thoughts. I bet the dinner conversations are occasionally tough in that house.

      • BlueCat says:

        He's  always been a disaster for her. He may be great at campaigning for himself but he's so bad at campaigning for her you've got to wonder if, deep down, he doesn't want her to be the star of the family. He never got over his snit with Obama to be any good for him either.  He needs to just raise funds, glad hand contributors and shut the hell up most of the time.

        • Voyageur says:

          Actually, bill has been great this year.  He worked the heck out of Puerto rico and she won that caucus bigtime.  He was great in california and she is crushing bernie in early returns.  This is at least the third time dodd has whined that he won't vote for hillary because bill hurt his feelings.  I donT think you can actually not vote three times, james.  I only not voted for bernie once and didn't even consider jane in that decision.  I just couldn't afford adding $17 trillion to the deficit.  But stick to that wont vote for her cuz I dont like him thibgee.  It ensures nobody will take you seriously.

          • BlueCat says:

            And you know what they say…. As goes Puerto Rico…..

            He's useful in certain demos and situations but he also creates fires that have to be put out. He can barely contain his contempt for those on their enemies list even when it would be more useful to pretend to let bygones be bygones and he certainly hasn't come to except that the whole Republican lite triangulation thing that worked for him is no longer operational. 

            He just needs to be kept on a short leash. I think Team HRC is doing a better job of managing him then they did in 2008. 

    • Voyageur says:

      Spoken by a sore loser on the day that he is indisputably toast!

  4. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Seems to me that the time has come for the Bernie supporters to chill out and get mellow. Maybe this will help; if it works; a tune from 1967 by a seminal Colorado band  (not '65 as noted).


    • Voyageur says:

      no, chb, give them a week or so to grieve.  

      They're human and It's hard losing a dream, even one rooted in such flimsy economics as Bernie's nostrums.  Let em hurt and heal for a week.  Then after his final loss in  DC. Bernie will come to terms with reality and calll the saner members of his entourage on to the next battle.  Remember, time wounds all heels — and that spells trouble for Hair Drumpfenfuhrer.

    • mamajama55 says:

      Another one bites the dust:

      Sheldon Silver, New York Assembly speaker, mentor of HRC, and and former Clinton superdelegate, is sentenced to 12 years for corruption. Silver resigned his DNC post last February.

      • Voyageur says:

        Is this the super delegate Bernie wanted to swing to his side?  Sounds like the guy could use a new friend and nobody showers love on a defector like the bernwink

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