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This article and many others suggest that Sanders would actually have a better chance beating Trump, or any of the other Republican candidates.

I think what yesterday’s results show is that there are significant Democratic Party sectors who are either not ready for a Jewish socialist President, or they are simply too scared of a Trump Presidency to take chances with an unknown.   Black voters in particular take the brunt of a Republican victory, and all of the Republicans agree that Dodd/Frank should be repealed while in fact it’s too mild of a reform to prevent another economic meltdown. I also think Justice Scalia’s death has many Democrats wanting to go with the better bet rather than roll the dice with a Jewish socialist.

Bernie is right – the bigger banks have to be broken up and we need laws which will send investment fraudsters to jail, and Clinton probably isn’t going to press that issue any harder than Obama (still none of the fraudsters in jail eight years later!).  We may yet see another crash as some of the old patterns are starting to reassert themselves on Wall Street as CDO bundling packages reappear with new names.  And why ratings firms are taken seriously at all after 2008, I have no idea.  I don’t think the Constitution allows the federal government to shut the ratings firms down, but they could demand the right to audit their processes and call bogus publicly when they see it.  None of the Republicans nor Clinton is likely to do this because they are beholden to that money – this is the core of the Sanders campaign.

As I’ve said from the beginning, I think Bernie will probably lose.  But that’s irrelevant.  A campaign like his isn’t just about electing someone President.  It’s about creating a movement, and to the extent that he’s forced Clinton to move left on some of these issues, his campaign has already had a positive effect.  I hope he continues to run all the way to the convention.  I don’t think the email controversy will evolve into anything which can take Clinton down, but just in case it does, we might as well have a strong candidate waiting.

Will Sanders be the VP?  Will he negotiate the acceptance of the nomination contingent upon Clinton forgoing PAC donations?  Can she win if he does?  Can she have a VP who draws larger crowds than she?  Do we want someone like Sanders stacking paperclips in the VP office instead working with Elizabeth Warren to push real reform through the Senate?

If Bernie is still on the ballot come June, I will be voting for him.  I still remember his narrow upset win to become Burlington Mayor.  A decade later he was in Congress.  His core purpose has been consistent the whole time.  Politics are about movement, not what an individual candidate promises.


The race isn’t over, but I have a feeling it will be over by the end of March.  It looks like she took every single county in South Carolina and 80 percent of the black vote.

She’s already taking shots at Trump.  “America has never stopped being great.”

It’s actually a brilliant theme against him

Will have more thoughts after Super Tuesday.  Will discuss it all on KHSU next Thursday.


Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets supporters as she arrives to speak to supporters at her election night watch party for the South Carolina Democratic primary in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)


A really good read by Eureka Bookstore co-owner Scott Brown about the difficulties of authentication of and the moral intricacies of selling Japanese-American internment-related documents.  It discusses an auction which was protested and eventually cancelled.  The issue – can the free market preserve and protect the integrity of the darker American experiences as documented through these items of value?  And the issue of heritage trafficking is complicated, but the antiquarian industry is developing some thoughtful protocols.

The following passage from the article involves Jack Durham, one of the owners of Bolerium Books in SF – probably my favorite bookstore anywhere.

I asked John Durham about the contradictions inherent in selling Japanese internment camp items. Durham, the founding partner of Bolerium Books in San Francisco, frequently sells material documenting what he referred to as “the sinkholes of nastiness” in American history. Part of the antiquarian booksellers’ job, he said, is to use “the free market to expose dark ideas to the light. And to do it in a way that doesn’t glorify the dark side of history, but also makes sure it is not forgotten.”

Bolerium is on Mission Street in SF, near 18th Street.  You have to ring to get in – the password is “Trotskyism to Go.”  (yes, that’s a joke).

Independent bookstores are an essential American institution which really need support.  I’m not against the Amazon model – it actually benefits some independents – but really, we should go out of our way to patronize those businesses.  We need them.

On the issue of Japanese American concentration camps during World War II, Farewell to Manzanar – to my knowledge the only movie which deals with the issue – is available in its entirety on youtube. It is a 1970s made for TV movie, but with some surprising artistic moments (the mood when she’s breaking her china in front of the con guy who wanted to take advantage of her). It says “clips” but I think it’s pretty much the whole film.





TrumpThat’s the slogan of a robocall a White Supremacist PAC has been making on behalf of Trump.  I’m not finding any condemnations from Trump.

And Klansman David Duke says that a vote against Trump is “treason.”

Trump is ahead in almost all states at this point.  He’s about even with Sen. Ted Cruz in the latter’s home state of Texas, or maybe 12 points behind, depending on the poll.  He’s crushing Rubio in Florida!  Unless he implodes – and given the mindless nature of his support I don’t think there’s any way he can implode – he is the Republican nominee.

He acts like a neanderthal with rabies at the debates.  He’s thrown his woman-hating around not even sparing conservative media icons.  He’s broken the Republican golden rule by attacking President Bush for failure re 911.  He’s attacked the Pope.  But he keeps rolling with plurality wins, and soon, due to the goofy way the Republicans set up their primaries, he will be able to collect all delegates in each state with just pluralities.

Cruz is a dick.  Rubio is vacuous and hapless when challenged in debate on anything.

Republicans have a very serious problem – and they’ve brought it on themselves by gerrymandering insanity into Congress and catering to medeival religious dogma since the ascent of the “religious right” in 198o, the moronic talk radio of the 1990s, and Fox News.

The GOP is crashing and burning.  Hopefully they don’t bring the rest of us down with them.

His problem – his unfavorability ratings are consistently over 50 percent.  Independents don’t like him.  Bernie is beating him in almost every poll.  Hillary is beating him in most polls (she loses to other candidates – Bernie generally beats them all).  If it’s Bernie (and it probably won’t be – I just don’t see the numbers panning out) then it will be a classic ideological match-up and the country will clearly decide one direction or the other.  If it’s Hillary it won’t be ideological.  It’ll be a bloodbath because she will go at him tooth and nail, make him look stupid in the debates, and open up everything he’s every said or done over the past 30 years.  He will try to do the same, but really she’s been “vetted.”

And he may lose the Republicans seats in the House and Senate, particularly as the Democrats intend to keep the pressure on re Scalia’s replacement while the Republicans desperately try to keep the story out of national discussion.  This is going to be a referendum on the insane obstructionism of the past 6 years.

And the Republican leadership is panicking.




Socialism 2

Socialism 3


Note – I don’t vouch for the authenticity of the buttons above.  In fact, they have a contrived feel to them.  That being said, both programs were opposed as “socialism.”

I will be talking about the legal and political fallout from Justice Scalia’s passing, as well as the state of the Presidential race.  Also intend to touch on more local electoral politics.  A lot for one hour!  Join me on KMUD Thursday evening at 7:00. p.m.


Partisan politics are breeding a new strain of original intent strict constructionists of late.  Apparently “advise and consent” means obstruction against the appointment of a liberal Justice.  And apparently somewhere in the Constitution the President is prohibited from appointing a Justice in an election year.

And then I came across an anonymously attributed tweet:  “Apparently the GOP believes that a black President only gets 3/5ths of a term”

Yeah, I just played the race card.  I hope the President – he is actually the President – just nominates people straight through the campaign and makes the election a referendum on Republican obstructionism.  It’s truly unconscionable, and a complete breach of the public trust.

And given the pathetic display by the GOP top four front-runners last night, I really hope enough voters will wake up to it.

And all Hell is breaking loose.  Couldn’t they wait until Monday?

Scalia gone.  I hate to admit this, but I was happy to hear the news – not that I hate the guy.  If I could have prevented his death I would have.  But this is an opportunity to reverse 3 to 4 decades of stupid and harmful s—!  Now I feel guilty that this was my first reaction.  The peril of being a bleeding heart liberal.

His body is still warm.  But already the Republicans are talking stonewall of his replacement!

Republicans are talking about disallowing any replacement until there is a new President.  F— that!  I hope the Democrats push the issue through the whole election campaign – day after day, week after week.  Make it a f—ing referendum on Republican cynicism!
Thing is, even without the replacement, the game is changed.  Any case which results in a 4-4 tie basically upholds the lower court decision.  Here’s a list.

The reports are that he was on a hunting trip when he died.  Anybody looking into Dick Cheney’s whereabouts?


My dear friend and client Felix passed away at about 5:00 last evening – succumbing to what sounds like it was an aneurysm.  She had a huge heart and magnificent humanity which shone through a difficult life.

She was always socially active.  Several years ago she attempted a solo occupation of the Sprowel Creek Bridge and had a run-in with CHP officers in which she was roughed up.  I don’t take such cases lightly, but I took hers and she was set to trial this summer.  As she will never get to present her case to court, I will present it here at a later time.  I will say that she wasn’t into the suit for money or anger – and I will go into detail as to why I say that – but was truly into the case for justice.  She did not view her adversaries as evil, but saw her effort as corrective and hoped they would learn.

But I will also remember her for her humor and grace.  And her generosity.  She didn’t have much, but she was generous of herself.

These photos and more can be found on her Facebook timeline.

Kym has an excellent post on her.


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Baby Boomer radical politics found their way into Presidential race discourse tonight.

There were a number of remarkable moments in tonight’s Democratic Party debate. I actually think in terms of the questions and depth it was one of the best Presidential debates I’ve seen since the Obama-McCain foreign policy debate.

But there are two moments in particular which fascinated me. Bernie, who does not have Clinton’s depth of detail in foreign policy, He went philosophical in a strategy I think aimed at shoring up the youth vote, but also aimed at the Baby Boomers of the anti-war movement.

First he brought up the 1953 Iran coup – no problem slamming the Eisenhower. But took the left narrative of the blowback – I think the first time any Democratic Party Presidential candidate has done that. Obama didn’t. Kucinich. Jackson. McGovern. To my knowledge none of them critiqued our role or tried to present an historical perspective. He’s citing it as the philosophical basis of “judgment” with regard to the Iraq War vote – it’s a complex point and it may pry away a few older activists who’ve been supporting Clinton for pragmatic reasons.

And then came Kissinger. Who would have expected Kissinger to be a point of contention in the debate? Clinton sure didn’t expect it!

Video through the link.

One of the most entertaining fights of the night — and one of Bernie’s best foreign policy moment to date.|By Zack Beauchamp


February 2016