Bern Means Business!

Let it be told that Bernie Sanders lost the Democratic Primary not on Super Tuesday, but shortly after his victory in Nevada. For it was at that time that The Bern committed two needless, imbecilic own goals.

First, Sanders hectored both AIPAC and Israel’s PM Netanyahu, calling both the conference and the PM “racist”. Usually, “racist” is an epitaph reserved for, well, actual racists, like David Duke. This was no doubt a delight to to the cadre of Islamic supremacist anti-Semites such as Linda Sarsour and Reps. Omar & Tlaib that the Bern Out has surrounded himself with, who know a good dhimmi when they encounter one. For the the preponderence of American Jews, and one suspects “swing” suburban women, calling a conference that all of Bernos fellow candidates attended (save The Liz) one way or another, is absurd and obnoxious, even if many may not like Bibi himself.

El Bern followed that up by cheerleading Castro’s Cuban literacy program in a 60 Minutes interview. True, he made an obligatory ho hum denouncement of the whole authoritarian thing, but that clearly was not where his joy was. For many Cubans, that small matter of the dictatorship aspect of Castro’s Cuba makes celebrating its literacy akin to enjoying the punctuality of Mousslini’s train service.

Having stuck his thumb in the eye of broad swaths of Jews, Cubans and other latinos, Berning Man not just lowered his chances of winning Florida in the General, he took Florida off the map. One suspects, this was the “oh shit” moment that finally coalesced the Moderates around Uncle Joe.

Berns burn out was avoidable.

With AIPAC, Bernie could have sent in a milquetoast taped address and gone on with his “proud to be Jewish” (as a “good Jew” of course, not an uppity Zionist one) subterfuge or just said nothing and skipped it. The Castro bit was a more complicated gotcha, but Bernt could have said that the positive of literacy programs he mentioned in the 80s in no way excuses the horrors of dictatorship.

Instead, Bernmetheus doubled down on rhetoric that did nothing to expand his base while pre-emptively losing a bell weather swing state.

Why would a professional politician make such a blunder?

During this crucial stretch, the New York Times produced a fascinating overview of “The Dirt Bag” left, Ur-Bernie Bros that have a popular, pugnacious “teabagger for the left” (Thus Dirt Bag), podcast and road show hosted by a fivesome called the “Chapo Trap House”.

During the three-hour show, there is little vision laid out for what they want, beyond a Sanders presidency. There is a vision for what they want destroyed and how good it will feel to do that. The idea of actually taking power is terrifying, and they say so.

“’What’s scary is the idea that this could end,’” Mr. Biederman said. “What’s scary is we’re not just tossing catharsis into the void, that this is something real. We are there.’”

Of course winning is horrifying! The Chapos make a combined 168K per month just from their podcast. Assuming that is their only revenue stream (which seems unlikely) then they are raking in north of 2M per year. Split five ways, that’s 400K apiece. Unless MC Hammer is managing their finances, almost assuredly the Chapos are all ‘mill-yon-aaahrs’, as is Bernito himself.

That is the ultimate tasty irony of Bernie Sanders and his most stout Sandernistas: They Are Businessmen! Like any good Capitalists that have built a strong brand, they are ferocious in defense of that brand. The Bernie Brand is one of uncompromising purity as a perch to heckle impure moderates and rage against systematic establishments and lambaste a “billionaire class” (that apparently includes almost every black person in the deep south) to be “Anti” to, while promising grande and even laudable ideas that have no chance of becoming law. Ah, but that’s where the true sizzle of Brand Bernie pops off of the steak: You see, the grand strategems will all come to pass once the the revolution arrives in the form of million upon millions upon millions of new, mostly younger, voters. The Bernvoluton, like all revolutions, shall be pure!!!!

As an electoral strategy, The Youth Vote is dubious. Young people passionate about politics is a wondrous thing. They fill rallies, knock on doors, persuade peers, contribute beer money, and invigorate by their presence. They just don’t vote. In 2008 Barak Obama, a once in a generation political talent running at the perfect moment, increased the youth vote by about 10% comparable to 2004, or ~2.3 million votes. That’s a lot, but Democrats actually won back the gerrymandered House in 2018 by winning moderate suburban women. Bernie is an effective and inspirational leader. He truly does have a powerful brand. But Bernie Sanders, you’re no BHO.

Still, the revolution that never arrives is the perfect Ghost in the Machine for Brand Bernie. It allows all of the outrageous promises, it makes it unnecessary to be diplomatic towards AIPAC (Abu Mazen is apparently the only billionaire Bernie likes) or forcibly denounce Castro or do any of the frustrating (and grossly impure work) of actually succeeding and getting anything accomplished. And then, when the revolution does not arrive all that is needed is to warm over some Gramsci theorizing about how elite bourgeoise institutions thwarted the revolution by controlling mass culture, and then go back to sneering at liberals, heckling moderates, fulminating against Israel, snarking the impure, being bitter about rigged establishments, and all of the other simplistic drivel that stands in the place of actually doing the grim work of moving the ball forward on issues you purport to be passionate about.

Indeed, a 40 state loss in The General would be the best outcome possible for the Bernie Brand. Just think of the power structures to blame, the legions of petit bourgeoises that were fooled and can be mocked, and oh the glorious dreams of what could have been if only.

For the USA of course, untethered President Great Pumpkin and a Republican House, Senate and Supreme Court would be a nightmare. But Businessman Bernie and his Capitalist Bros will be laughing all the way to the Credit Union.

Will the Right Welcome the Kremlin Coup?

America has lost the Cold War in the post-game interviews.

The President is an asset of the Russian government.

It’s already known that Trump financed his businesses with Russian money. The pee tape and other dadaist absurdities are also likely real. Those two things are enough to undermine his finances and, maybe, his reputation. But at a more base level, it doesn’t matter what Russia has on Trump. Why should Trump not act as a Russian Agent when it has brought him fortune and power?

The hacking of the 2016 election was not the equivalent of Pearl Harbor or 9/11. No Americans wanted the Pacific fleet destroyed or the twin towers felled. Forty some odd million Americans did want Trump to be President. At the base College Football level, they don’t care that his win was dirty. Are the Dallas Stars really sweating their skate in the crease Stanley Cup? Of course not! While the 2016 election is revolting it is also bloodless. It hasn’t changed workaday life in an obvious, direct and negative manner. Mueller is not quite the equivalent of an exasperated Sabres blogger — but Hillary Clinton won’t get the Stanley Cup either.

Team Putin and the Russian jinns have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. The pertinent question is whether they are satisfied with one victory, or do they want to take a chance to win the war? Trump is likely most useful as a Russian Asset today. Despite his relative unpopularity, he commands a Republican apparatus that maintains all federal elected power. From the GRU’s perspective, the Asset’s strength could slip easily. Fatso Trump could die or become medically incapacitated. Democrats could win one House in November and weaken his hand, and have subpoena power. Mueller could find a ‘smoking gun’ . Trump’s tax returns could leak, perhaps revealing his financial ties to Russian oligarchs. The economy could take a natural downturn. His inherent gonzo douche baggery may undermine Trump unexpectedly.

The Asset could get more powerful if Republicans hold on in the mid-terms and Trump wins re-election (which he probably will). Still, the Russian Asset is a ‘sure thing’ today and will likely remain so through November or possibly next January.

From a game theory perspective applied to the GRU and Putin, is now the time to go for a maximalist gain? Namely, is now the time for a real 9/11 or Peal Harbor — an unquestionably ugly event,  but one that produces a reaction that strengthens Moscow’s hand? Japan awoke a sleeping giant. Al Qaeda won 9/11 and its aftermath in many ways, until a real President came along and contained and decapitated al Qaeda (if not ISIS).

How could Russia win during this window that it’s Asset is at maximal usefulness? My theory: a cyberattack creates a nationwide electrical blackout in mid-October. In the chaos, scores of plants or terror cells start mass casualty shooting sprees. They are neutralized. Some turn out to be Islamic terrorists, others neo-Nazis or white nationalists, a few are eco terrorists or the most radical elements of the anti-semitic BDS Left. The DC Security establishment immediately identifies Russia as behind the electrical grid hack and as coordinators of the shooting sprees. Trump notes the randomness of the shooters and insists that it is not clear who initiated the cyber attack. Meanwhile, with the electricity out for 96 hours the basic elements of food, water and shelter become more strained. Trump uses it as an excuse to declare limited martial law to have the military keep order and maintain supplies, More intelligence officials testify that Russia initiated the attack. Many citizens are convinced that Trump colluded with Putin on the attack as a “Reichstag Fire”, or was asleep at the wheel and let it happen. Millions take to the streets to demand Trump’s resignation or ouster, leading to counter protesters certain that the black out was a “deep state” false flag, demanding that Trump maintain power. Sporadic violence breaks out between the two groups, leading to more calls for calm via military law. With the USA in chaos Russia begins making incursions to Eastern European countries like Montenegro or Slovenia. America stiffs NATO, leaving its European allies to contend with an emboldened Russia. Electricity is restored, but then is ‘hacked off again. Other cyber attacks lead to more infrastructure failures. Trump cancels the mid-term elections leading to more protests, more counter protests, more violence and more chaos which begats more military order that the mushy middle supports if only to obtain their bread ration. Meanwhile, scape goating and blame over the cause of the black out intensifies leading to more chaos and violence. Authoritarian order keeping becomes the norm. NATO is left weakened, Russia gains territory and their compromised Asset, Donald Trump, is now firmly entrenched ruling over a divided and weakened former super power in North America.

Far fetched? Paranoid? Ridiculous? Yes. But Donald Frikkin’ Trump, a compromised Russian Asset, is President.  He is likely most useful to his Russian masters right now. The Director of National Intelligence is stating that the ‘lights are blinking red’ warning of another cyber attack.

Something is coming. Something is coming that will not be good. Something is coming that America is not ready for.

MOAB Morons

This isn’t complicated. Trump throws some missiles at Syria and gets press kudos. Trump does the same trick in Afghanistan and takes advantage of free advertising associated with the kitcshy MOAB moniker. Everyone, including his stalwart critics, clickbaits about it; thereby continuing the pathetic symbiotic relationship between Trump and our worthless media. Yes, I mean you, clickbait-in-fury purportedly liberal Mother Jones!

Nothing practical is accomplished. The non-articulation of any strategy makes it obvious that MOABing is not part of a broader ME strategy because none exists. Meaningless.

Another day of our lives crests and oozes away.

“Hamilton” versus PUTIN-Trump-(pence)

“Hamilton” is the crowning American cultural creation of the 2010s, thus far.* The School House Rock + 90s Rap + Showtunes mashup leaves about a dozen songs stuck in the head and posits new discoveries upon multiple listens. Reimagining the Founding Fathers as Hip Hop Dandies contemporarizes their philosophy, writing, and arguments. The Hamilton Mix Tape lacks the emotional throughfare of the cast album, but its meshing of hip hop and powder wigs is stronger. “I picked up the pen like Hamilton” Nas intones in ‘Wrote My Way Out”. “We’re America’s ghost writers” K’naan shouts in “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)”.

One iconic Broadway show and one increasingly tasty album does not, a definitive quantitative analysis of cultural or attitudes. Still, it does indicate at least some championing of the ideals and big personas of the founders (in spite of their ugly and hypocritical record on slavery) amongst the broader hip hop community, along with a celebration of the immigrant working hard, thinking harder, making it and becoming American.

Meanwhile, in “Real America”™, following, at best, the seediest election in American history (yes worse than 2000) the Right is suddenly largely embracing the mutual hand jobs exchanged between Team Trump and the Potato Jefe Putin. Strong circumstantial evidence that we have literally elected a Manchurian President and lost the Cold War in the postgame interviews is met with a smile and a shrug. I mean, hHey, he’s our Manchurian President, amiright?

Urban, hip hop America embraces the Founders and the ethos of the Immigrant Striver. Reactionary, conservative America embraces Bolshevism and KGB rat fucking and is just fine, thanks, with playing footsie with overjoyed like, actual, Nazis.

It’s enough of a switcheroo to boggle the mind. That is, until one applies my oldest hypothesis: In America Everything Always Comes Back to Race. Then it makes perfect sense. The machinery the founders, however imperfectly built, is applying itself to a multi-ethnic plural society. Putin and Nazis preserve white christian nationalism without any fussy dog whistles. Oh yeah… Duh!

 

* The best movie of the 2010s is “Melancholia,” even more so now. Rogue One even stole its ending!

After the Wreckage

Admit it.

It was humiliating.

Seeing  the lions of the last thirty years that had kept the barbarians at the gate for so long, calmly doing their respectable and necessary duty to let the barbarian into the parlor. Bill. Hillary. Barack. Michelle. Winners and losers of several big battles and combatants in the bitterest of stalemates. They won more than they lost over the years,  even with the catastrophic Bush Junta sandwiched in between. They saved the economy and the country and “Detroit” twice. They gradually increased access to health care and came about as close as possible to a trend towards universal coverage. They raised taxes, modestly, on the wealthiest, reregulated Wall Street (modestly), and set a realistic path towards contending with Climate Change. Through laws and their own example they helped lead America at large to seemingly become more respectful and tolerant — even if they were late to the game on gay marriage and LGBTQ advocacy in general. Marijuana is slowly being decriminalized. All of that and so much more.

In seven weeks, all these years of battles and steady progress, a lifetime’s work, almost all of it will be gone in about 72 hours.

This blog was started as a response to the last wreckage of the Democratic Party that stood feebly by as the post-9/11 Bush Junta bamboozled America into war. Leafing through some of the old posts, I’m impressed how often this blog was correct, ahead of it’s time, and how often versions of the ideas expressed here came to actual fruition. In it’s own small way, this blog was part of the incremental progress attained since its birth in 2003.

Most of that will likely soon be gone too.

The Republicans will have to own it now, and the white nationalism at the heart of Trumpism would seemingly not jive with the starvation policies of Ryanism. No one really cares about Gay Marriage anymore, and even abortion politics are just playing to one small, vocal segment of the old Republican coalition. What everyone has always wanted, and what would help poorer exurban areas, is deficit spending to stimulate the economy. Will Rs give this to Trump now that they own the outcomes and cannot just blame? IOKIYAR.

Best case: massive infrastructure, defense and other spending boosts the economy and only around the edges changes are made to the existing social safety net.

Worst case. Oh my is the worst case ever bad. But that will have to wait for another time.

This is a bad surreal trip, and we are at the start of the beginning.

 

HRC and the “Vision Thing”

Back in the 2008 Democratic Primary I wrote that, unlike Obama, HRC was unable to stitch her worthy policy proposals into something more than the sum of their parts. That is, HRC lacked what Bush I referred to as “the vision thing”. That is her biggest weakness as a politician. It’s hurting her now. Yes, the Comey e-mail letter is a nothingburger about a nothingburger. Yes, it’s smarmy and stupid on his part. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it’s unfair. But, having failed to make her candidacy about one or two big things like an infrastructure project(s), addressing global warming, or anything else HRC cannot pivot from the distraction of Comey’s e-mail interference and say, what’s important is focusing on my plan to do X, oh, AND my opponent is a bozo potemkin candidate Human-Butterscotch-Dairy-Queen-Dip-Cone-With-A-Klan-Hat that you wouldn’t trust to babysit your nine-year old daughter. HRC only has the negative case to make against Mr. T and not the corresponding positive case to make for herself.

I’m not sure if Team Clinton could have added substance to the hydrogenated oil and Russian argot wheat gruel of this gruesome campaign. The venal Media’s need to chase its own tail over every ludicrous Mr. T controversy and Mean Girl spat took all the O2 out of the room. To their credit, this flummoxed the Conservatron Also Rans and Team Clinton won on this terrain and was coasting to victory before Comey’s partisan thumb-on-the-scaling. Of course, the agonizing thing is that HRC does have intelligent plans to address most every issue facing America, but it’s too late to focus on those now.

In an election where both candidates are disliked the last bit of character besmirching, lame as it may be, will be stuck to HRC.

Previously, I had HRC’s superior ground game and a general election repeat of the fact that most late deciders went against Mr. T in the Republican primaries as creating a rout for HRC. My final prediction now: HRC wins the Obama 2012 States + NC but minus Iowa and Ohio. Clinton under-performs Obama throughout the Northeast and Midwest but still wins Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota and the rest relatively easily. White educated Republicans provide the margin of victory, barely, in NC and FLA despite lower black turnout than 2012. HRC wins Nevada surprisingly easily. Arizona will be under 5 for Mr. T and Texas will be under 8. Almost. Next time. Utah is a random wild card.

Key Senate Races:

ILL – Duckworth

Wisc – Feingold

NH – Hasan (barely)

Penn – McGinty

NV – Masto (Surprisingly easily)

IND – Bayh

MO – Kander (Squeaker, running as disestablismentarian versus Bond)

NC – Burr

FLA – Marco Polo

Burr and Marco Polo will owe their Senate seats to Comey. The Comey-over also keeps Dem gains in the House to a minimum, maybe 5 seats but hopefully including the worthless Issa in CA.

 

Mr. T’s “Reynolds” Access Hollywood Video

[Full Company]

The Access Hollywood Video

[Clinton/Kaine/Obama]

Have you seen thish?

[Clinton]

Creepy Orange Hitler does unwanted gropes of vag hair

And he said it all right there

[Obama]

Highlights!

[Orange Hitler]

The charge against me is connection with one

Alt-Right for the purpose of improper fascism and anti-semetism

My real crime is frequent sexual assault

As a star grabbing pussies

Without her knowing consent

[Kaine/Obama]

Damn!

[Orange Hitler]

I had frequent sexual harassments

Most of them at my own penthouse

[Kaine]

At his own penthouse!

[Obama]

At his own penthouse!

[Deep Voice]

Day-um!

[Orange Hitler]

I did this in front of my children

My typical visit as Ivanka’s father

[Kaine/Obama]

No….

[Company]

Booo!

[Clinton]

He’s neveh gon’ be president now!

[Kaine/Obama]

Neveh gon’ be president now!

[Clinton]

He’s neveh gon’ be president now!

[Kaine/Obama]

Neveh gon’ be president now!

[Clinton]

That’s one less thing to worry about!

[Clinton/Kaine/Obama}

That’s one less thing to worry about!

======================================================

All “Hamilton” parodies aside… can you, for just one second, imagine the reaction if Obama had ever been caught on tape saying anything remotely like this?