Category Archives: Sanders Presidential Bid

Bernie Sanders – Let’s Go A Little Crazy


Bernie, Bernie, Bernie.   When are you gonna give it up?  How long will you hold out before conceding to the Clinton political machine?  Or do you know something the rest of us don’t?

Let’s go a little crazy.

Suppose there is something out there on Hillary, something really, really bad, like the Donald’s latest assertion that she used her office while Scretary of State to enrich her family and then hid the evidence away on her home server.   You know, the mysterious emails she deleted and can’t get back.   Something that would be a dealbreaker and Bernie, acting on real information or just a hunch is waiting for it to surface while the Trumpster hides out in Scotland, for reasons no one can really understand.

I’ve been a Bernie supporter from the start.    Don’t care for Hillary and I will not vote for Trump.   So allow me my little fantasy.   Maybe Bernie knows something we don’t?   It’s crazy, I know, but so was the idea that Donald Trump might one day be the Republican candidate for President of the United States.

Don’t count anything out.   Not here in “the land of the weird.”*


*with thanks to hst

The System Rolls Over, Groans And Goes Back To Sleep


Forgive me while I show my disgust with the President,  the Associated Press, the entire cadre of phony progressives and all who are pretenders to the thrones of both journalism and progressive politics, as they now turn their focus to pulling the Democratic party back together again, convincing Bernie Sanders to go away and behave himself, joining the mainstream club or being forced to face the possibility of being indicted by the jabbering mob for handing the election to Donald J. Trump.   Or worse yet, to be accused of not supporting the first woman candidate for president, regardless of her “baggage.”

From the beginning the Bernie Sanders campaign was an interesting aberration but we all know that he never had a chance.   That’s what they kept telling us.  Not a chance.  Not when millions of new and mostly younger voters joined his push to restore progressive politics to the Democratic Party which had been turned into a clubby bunch of centrist Republicans posing as Democrats.   Not when Hillary Clinton hijacked much of his platform and claimed it for herself, possibly one of the cleverest lies of any politician in any time while pundits and reporters alike moved her campaign along – buying into her gameplan by telling us that numbers don’t lie and that the election was a done deal dictated by DNC-approved “superdelegates.”  Even before it was.

A post-primary analysis in the San Francisco Chronicle makes the interesting point that Sanders was let down by young and poor voters in California, a state that might have offered him one last best chance at a true challenge to Hillary Clinton.   It’s an interesting proposition, but you must also wonder how things would have gone had the media been less of a cheerleader for Mrs. Clinton all along.   From the very beginning, the mainstream treated the Sander’s canididacy as a joke, even when it became clear that he was picking up serious support, the Clinton-biased media continued to blather on that “The Sanders candidacy is interesting, but we all know he really doesn’t stand a chance…”   No, he didn’t, not with that kind of bias being fed to the electorate day after day from a crowd of political insiders with no concept of the changes taking place away from their insulated and well-healed orbit.   What chance did Sanders have with MSNBC becoming the “Hillary Channel?”

The cherry atop this hot smudge sundae of bluster and bias came the day before the California primary when the once venerable Associated Press announced to the world that they had contacted enough superdelegates to determine that Sanders was officially done.    A new poltical meme that was dutifully picked up and spread like a rash throughout the corporate media, delighted that what they had been saying all along was finally coming to pass.   It must be true, if it was coming from the mighty AP, giving so many California voters no reason whatsoever to go to the polls.   If it was over, it was over, so why bother?

This wasn’t some pundit or small town paper or blogger speaking out, this was the mighty Associated Press.  What giant of journalism at the AP decided it would be a good idea to officially invalidate the California primary?

How sad for the press and for America.   But never mind any of that. So much more important to now join together in one massive effort to defeat Donald Trump, no matter the cost.  Time to forget the past and come together to insure our future regardless of the process.   It will all be forgotten soon anyway as we move on with more of the same old, same old and the old man from Vermont and his crazy egalitarian ideas become nothing more than a distant bump on the political highway.

Oh, California! – A Morning After Poem


Oh, California!

By Ron Olsen

The Surfliner pulled out in the early morning haze

Rattling down the tracks

No looking back now

Hillary dressed like the palace guard

Wearing a white tent

Smiling far too broadly

A cheshire cat that swallowed a server

That ate the dove

That gobbled up a relationship with greed

Secrets impossible to keep

Smiling ear to ear

Supported by superdelegates

And a system rigged from the top

An unimpartial media

Telling us all along

Bernie had no chance

Sooner or later

You too will believe

As they peat and repeat

Endlessly bellowing

Bernie can’t win

Bernie’s a joke

Bernie’s a Socialist

The only straight-shooter out there


In the end

Was betrayed by even the free-thinkers

And radical freaks in California

Who turned their backs for a woman

No matter the price

Or didn’t know they had to ask for a special ballot

Confusion breeding success for the lady candidate

And her husband’s Foundation

Depriving the country

Of one last chance

At throwing the money changers

Away from the temple doors

You did it sunny Cal

No calling it back now

As media mavens gush

With satisfaction and self-congratulation

Oh, California!

Liberal, righteous, progressive California!

Proving they were right all along

Bernie never had a chance

Even when he did

The old Vermont steamer

Slammed by a wall

Of conspiracy and collusion

Intended and unintended alike

Leaving those on the inside

Insulated from any real accountability

As the nation returns to business as usual

And the political hacks blather on

About all the baggage she carries

Needing safari bearers

Hauling it on their broken backs

The train now just a dot

In the distant

California sun

Donald J. Trump – The Bigger Question For America


One of the more brilliant minds of this or any century, Stephen Hawking, is now adding his name to the list of those concerned that Donald J. Trump, actually could be elected President of the United States.    Ths is the same uber-genius (Hawking, not Trump) who wrote his thesis on “Properties of Expanding Universes,” while winning nearly every award in his fields of study.  He’s a theoretical physicist and cosmologist who has now turned his intellect to the task of analyzing the Trump candidacy,  saying Donald Trump “…is a demagogue, who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator.”

The American Heritage Dictionary defines demagogue as “A leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace.”

Professor Hawking has spoken.   We all need to listen.

Others, mostly on the liberal side, are voicing the same fear,  wondering out loud if this won’t make the United States look even more stupid than we appeard after electing (well, sort of electing) George W. Bush, not once, but twice.  Which it will.  We will be the nation which not only has the biggest prison population in the world as it continues treating addiction as a criminal rather than a medical problem, while economically punishing kids for going to college and rejecting universal healthcare and refusing to adequately care for its elderly – we will also be the country that elected a reality show host with no clearly defined policies.   Well, there are policies, but they change from one minute to the next.   Many of them have no basis in reality whatsoever, just a demagogic appeal to the very worst of human nature as Trump takes millions of Americans down into the muck and mire of his ongoing ignorance and prejudice-based authoritarian attack against anyone who would dare issue a fact-based argument.

If Trump is elected, the civilized world will think we’re an uninformed or perhaps just an ignorant bunch of boobs.   Which begs the question of how low is our lowest common denominator?   And how was this allowed to happen?

My personal view is that we are faced by a combination of the continued dumbing down of America joined at the hip with a mass media gone largely mad, putting profits so far ahead of journalism that for millions of Americans the truth has been lost somewhere between Kenya and thousands of imaginary Mexican rapists streaming across the border into Arizona.

The fact that  millions of young people are buying neither Trump’s demagogury nor Hillary Clinton’s “business as usual” pitch, but are instead supporting Bernie Sanders, gives me hope that the push toward stupidity was stopped or at least slowed, somewhere between the X and Y generations.

The fear of Trump is not limited to genius cosmologists and liberals.   He’s doing a pretty good job of scaring the hell out of maistream Republicans as well.  Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, has now hesitantly accepted Trump as his candidate, with obvious reservations.   There was no formal endorsement from Ryan, just the announcment that he will be voting for Trump.   As the leader of his party, he really has no choice.  Other prominent Republicans are not backing Trump, including Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney.    Republican strategist and stalwart, Mary Matlin, has left the party for a Libertarian ticket.   Former Homeland Security Secretary, Tom Ridge, says he won’t vote for Trump.   The list goes on.

How did we get here,  and will thinking individuals be left thanking the founders when the electoral college proves to be our last line of defense against demagoguery?

Monster Fire Burns Over 35-Million Acres

A piece in the Guardian this morning puts the Canadian wildfire storming across northern Alberta at 355,000 hectares. Say what? I had no idea what a hectare is, so I looked it up. A hectare is equal to 100 acres.

The fire, which continues to burn out of control is now so big that fire officials apparently aren’t even bothering with acres. If they were, they’d be reporting that the fire has now eaten up 35-million 500-thousand acres of land, which is flat out incredible. Have we ever even had a fire this big in North America since humanoids took an upright form?   Can this possibly be correct?

Considering the size of this fire, if this information is correct and my calculator is working, why aren’t we seeing and hearing more about it on the news?

First the networks and our honorable pundits report that Bernie Sander’s supporters went nuts for no good reason at the Democratic convention in Nevada, neglecting to mention that the state’s Demo leaders changed the delegate allocation rules just prior to the convention tilting the rules in Hillary’s favor.  Et tu, Rachel?   Say it isn’t so!   And now they’re giving short shrift to the biggest wildifre in memory.

It’s a difficult choice deciding which is worse, the scope of the fire or the negligence being exhibited by some American news outlets that have all but abdicated their responsibility to educate and enlighten the American people.

I know Donald Trump is a ratings getter, but come on guys. This is one monster fire. There are bound to be consequences for all of us, including Mr. Trump,  even if much of the land it’s burning isn’t populated.  There’s no carbon tax on Mother Nature and really no good excuse for slanting your coverage in favor of one candidate over another.   Unless corporate has dictated that profits trump the need to know.

Matlin Quits The Republicans


Prominent Republican strategist Mary Matlin, is quitting the Republican Party.   She’s jumping ship and declaring herself to be a Libertarian.   What’s next?   Dogs and cats sleeping together?   Frogs falling from the sky?

Another goodie is the new poll that shows people aren’t voting for Hilary or Trump because they like Hillary or Trump.   No, they are voting for Hillary because they hate Trump and for Trump because they can’t stand Hillary.    A majority likes Bernie Sanders, but he can’t get nominated because so many Americans can’t vote in states with closed primaries and the Democratic Party has rigged their primary system with phony balloney “superdelegates”  who can defy the will of the majority.

They’ve taken what we’re used to, voting for the lesser of two evils, and kicked it up onto a whole new level of insanity.   The owner of an auto repair shop here in Bel Air expressed his frustration by posting the following on a sign outside his shop, “This is the craziest election ever, Rep or Dem.” 

Whatever happens, it’s important to maintain your sense of humor.   Don’t let the crazies suck you in.

Which leads us to the question of why Democrats should even bother going to the polls?   It’s a valid question, answerable with the academic response that not going to the polls will be like voting for Donald Trump, even if you can’t stand Hillary Clinton.

So go.  To thine own self be untrue and vote for Queen Hillary, the next American royal family member in line to the throne of the Goddess Columbia.

Take away the superdelegates and open all the primaries and Bernie would probably be in the lead.  But he’s not, giving us the very real possibility that Donald Trump has a shot at being President of the United States.  Oh no?   Look out your window.   Those are real frogs falling from the sky.


Bernie Sanders, Hunter Thompson And The Second Wave


Without getting all maudlin about it, the runup to the conventions has finally gotten to me.   Yes, Trump will in all liklihood be the Republican candidate, and yes, Hillary will in all probability be the Neo-Liberal Democratic candidate, another right-of-center Republican posing as a progressive until she gets in and then it’ll be the same old, same old.  Back to Wall Street friendly business as usual, continuing the devastation of America’s middle class as secret trade deals move forward and giant corporations continue scooping up the profits with even less regulation and accountability and the Clinton Foundation grows fat and happy with donations pouring in from every corner of the planet as the politicos sell their souls while carping about the need for greater transparency.

Or maybe she’ll fool us all, turning her back on all that money she took from the big bankers and the favors accepted from the corporatocracy that helped her get elected.   Maybe once elected, she’ll come down on the side of the common folk and not the rich and powerful.  Maybe she’ll deliver on her platform, so much of which she stole from Bernie Sanders, and deliver for Main Street instead of Wall Street.  Ya, right.  Maybe the  leopard will change its spots.

Sure, an unexpected turn of events could lead to Bernie getting the nod, but at this point it feels as though the Sander’s campaign will go to the convention ready for a fight only to be confronted by what we already know, that the fix is in and the process is headed for an inevitible result – a symbolic fight over super delegates to make it look good for the common folk, even while a decision was made months ago.  It’s Hillary’s turn.

It feels like we’ve been here before.  Like the Millenials are being given the same treatment they gave us Boomers.

Hunter S. Thompson wrote that George McGovern and Jimmy Carter were both beset by the same flaw.   They were both too honest for American politics.    Or perhaps for politics period.   It could be that Bernie Sanders has that very same problem.

Bill O’Reilly doesn’t.   Last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, he repeated a bit of misinformation those on the right love to keep passing along even though it’s incorrect, that Sweden, one of their much-hated examples of Social Democracy gone wrong, has “one of the highest suicide rates in the world.”   That’s not true.  According to the World Health Organization, Sweden is ranked 58th in the world.   The U.S., is ranked 50th.  So we’re even worse off, here in our bastion of free market Capitalism.    But it’s not only that.     A recent poll shows Scandinavians, with the security their social democracies provide, to be among the happiest people in the world.

Thompson’s gone now, and there’s no one of his peculiar intellectual bent to provide us with a proper gonzo perspective on the bad craziness that has the country by the throat.   Sometimes it takes someone like Thompson, with an exaggerated sense of reality, to pull us back into seeing the truth.   And now, even without him, what’s happening feels like somehow it’s all happened before.   There’s something vaguely familiar.  Just as we thought we might reach out and own it, a righteous resolution is once again being snatched away.

A passage from Thompson’s book “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” comes to mind.   It struck me the first time I read it and it feels appropriate now, more than 40 years later, tying what was to what is, and maybe leaving us hoping for more than we can possibly have.   Just like before.  Stripped of idealism and facing the cold, emotionless face of reality.  The politics of power.  Like staring into the eyes of a shark.  Is that something Thompson wrote?  I’m really not sure.   But it’s a good line.

Here was the doctor’s take on it, back in 71.

“And that, I think, was the handle-that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil.   Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that.  Our energy would simply prevail.  There was no point in fighting – on our side or theirs.  We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave…

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark – that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”  -HST, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”

In A World Of Contrast, Rome Feels The Bern


Awoke this morning to news that Bernie Sanders had been granted a meeting with Pope Francis. It was only five minutes in the foyer of the hotel on the Vatican grounds, but it was nontheless, a meeting with the Pope.

Sanders left for the Vatican conference on social justice just prior to the primary vote in New York, even though it’s unlcear whether his meeting with Pope Francis will have any impact on his campaign for the presidency.

Brooklyn born Bernie Sanders, is the first Jewish American to win a presidential primary.   New York City, has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel.   Polls indicate that New York’s Jewish population is supporting Hillary Clinton and not Sanders.

While Sanders was in Rome, speaking at an international conference on human rights and economic justice, Hillary Clinton was in San Francisco, hangin’ with movie stars.   Tickets were going for $353,400 to sit at the head table with George and Amal Clooney.  Sander’s supporters protested outside.

After his meeting with Sanders, the Pope flew to the Greek island of Lesbos, to meet with Syrian refugees.   He returned to the Vatican with three refugee families in his plane,  6 adults and 6 children who were bombed out of their homes.

A Rose By Any Other Name?


With an estimated 27,000 showing up for a Sander’s rally in NYC last night, healthcare activist, Dr. Paul Song, undoubtedly in the heat of the moment, made a comment regarding the need to get rid of “corporate Democratic whores.”   He later tweeted out an apology, saying it was “insensitive.”    Sanders later tweeted out his reaction to the remark, calling it “inappropriate and insensitive.”

This morning,  some Clinton supporters, including Sen. Claire McCaskill, were blaming Bernie Sanders personally for the comment.

Such is politics.   With the debate coming up tonight, you can be sure Clinton supporters will continue blasting Sanders for saying something he did not say, or for not blunting the moment at one of the high points in his campaign by repeating something that should not have been said by apologizing for someone else’s words.

It’s not like he pulled a Donald Trump and reinforced what should have been an unspeakable statement from someone else’s mouth.

It was an “insensitive” thing to say.  However, anyone who has gone to “” to take a look at who is funding members of the House and Senate already knows that the statement contains more than a grain of truth, which could be precisely why McCaskill and others are so upset.

Dr. Paul Song, struck a nerve.   So did Joe Scarborough on his MSNBC show this morning when he pointed out that both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have visited Verizon in New York.   Bernie, was there just recently to visit with striking workers on the picket line.  Hillary, was there in May of 2013, when Verizon executives paid her $225,000 to give a speech.

Mr. Sanders Goes To The Vatican


Growing so weary of lame attacks on Bernie Sanders from HRC supporters, some of whom (MSNBC, CNN, etc) continue lashing out at Sanders from behind their shiny reportorial shields of objectivity, although this should no longer be a problem for some writers at the New York Times, now that their paper has endorsed Clinton.

Progressive giant Thom Hartmann,  is apparently so terrified at the thought of a Republican in the White House that he refuses to take a position supporting Sanders over Clinton, even though he has given an open platform to Sen. Sanders on his tv show for years and the issue is far from being settled at the Democratic Nat’l Convention, which is where it should be settled.  Until then, Sanders supporters should be able to openly support Bernie Sanders and say what they will about their problems with Ms. Clinton.

Hartmann, cloaks his lack of open support for Sanders, as an unwillingness to attack either candidate.  Come on, Thom.   It’s six of one and a half-dozen of the other.  It’s okay and perhaps even politically healthy to get off the fence in the runup to the convention.  Supporting one candidate or another during the primary fight is a far, far different thing from switching party loyalty while voting in the general election.   What you are now doing,  refusing to reveal your real opinions with regard to HRC while your Bernie Bear sits there in the background is confusing, counfounding and counterintuitive.   Or maybe you think that’s not what you’re doing?  Could be, but then I can’t be sure because your position on all of this has left me terribly confused, saddled with a nagging certainty that you have huge problems with HRC that you simply will not reveal.  At the very least, if you are going to continue refusing to talk about it, then get rid of the Bernie Bear.

I was once told, “there’s nothing worse than a guilty liberal.”  Whomever told me that might have been right, although I think that on balance greed-obsessed conservatives tend to be a whole lot worse.   I don’t think Hartmann feels guilty.   I think he’s probably too terrified to talk and is leading other’s away from attacking Secretary Clinton, which would help Bernie Sanders.   See how that could be a problem for Bernie?

The Sanders nay-sayers are probably right.   Bernie, never really had a chance.   He should just get out of the way and let HRC stomp ahead to her inevitable victory,  promoting gender-neutral fashion for women while turning the White House over to yet another right-of-center Republican in Democrat’s clothing.   So sorry for being less than politically correct.   There are enough metaphors in there for everybody.   I just happen to appreciate fashion.   If you have a problem with that, then write your own damn blog.

I am so weary of it all that I am nearly ready to yield to the Sander’s nay-sayers, even with the call from the Vatican, inviting Bernie to  an international conference just four days before the New York primary.    But make no mistake, the invitation, as the political insider nay-sayers continue saying, did not come from the Pope.   It came from the Vatican.

One wonders how many of these lists of invitees are finalized without first letting the Holy Father take a look?   Not that an invitation to one candidate for the presidency and not another would have any significance, so it would obviously be wrong to draw any conclusions about the Pope having any positive thoughts about Bernie Sanders.   Oh God no!   Not that!  As the nay-sayers say, Sanders has not been invited for a private audience.   At least not that they know of.   And they seem to know everything.    And they keep talking about it.   Repeatedly.  As in over and over again, ad nauseam.

See, the problem folks is that the filter is gone.   You know, the news filter.   Remember?   Long, long ago, in a land not so far away, there were news operations that would determine the truth of something before putting it on their air.    It was a wonderful system of straight-ahead journalism that labeled opinion as opinion, and fact as fact, giving all the common folk the ability to sort things out for theselves based upon facts rather than opinion presented as facts.

Not to fret though, we do still have the New York Times, even if some of its writers have taken leave of their senses.   Paul Krugman, was such an interesting writer before becoming a Clinton surrogate.

I subscribe to the Times.  I just wish they hadn’t endorsed HRC.   Suppose they had to, as she’s their homie.   Just wish the mainstream media had given Bernie half a chance.   Just half, not even a whole.   Makes me wonder if it’s really over, like the nay-sayers keep saying it is.  Or if that’s just what they want and that maybe Bernie will return from the Vatican and come close to New York’s favorite daughter on the 19th, and then maybe move by her when confronted by the unpredictable shorelines, nightlife and high chaparral of California, giving him a real shot at the candidacy?

Naw.   That’ll never happen.   Not in a country that elected Thomas Dewey, rejected George McGovern and then put an intellectual giant and political genius like George W. Bush in office not once but twice.  Never.  Never happen.    So it’s only normal, or new normal perhaps, for our mass media outlets to downplay or ignore completely, an invitation to a candidate for president from the Vatican.  If, of course, that candidate happens to be Bernie Sanders.   Now if Hillary had been invited.   Oh my!   Now that would have been something, wouldn’t it?

Just What Exactly Did Bernie Sanders Win?


Awoke this morning to the news that Bernie Sanders had swept Washington State, Hawaii and Alaska, giving him the “momentum” to carry forth into Wisconsin, California and New York.  “Momentum” seems to be the big word now, among those who continue to fight the other big word, which of course is the “inevitability” of a Clinton win in the Democratic primaries and caucases.   Which, as I chimed in on yesterday, are an unholy mess for anyone who tries to actually understand the process, be it “open” or “closed.”

Don’t think so?  Try and find a list of the states that have proportional primaries or caucases compared to those which feature winner take all contests.  I did.   After three or  four searches I gave up.   I think the three states Bernie won yesterday are all proportional, but I’m not sure, because none of the news outlets seems to know.   If they do know, they aren’t reporting it, which is strange, since this should be a key part of their political reportage.

Could it be that some of the political insiders on tv assume their viewers don’t need to be educated and enlightened?   Isn’t that a dangerous assumption?   Aren’t assumptions generally dangerous?

It shouldn’t be this  difficult to figure out how one party or the other chooses its candidate for President of the United States.  But it is.  It’s a mess, and maybe the party leaders want to leave it as clouded and messy as possible because all the confusion makes it easier to rig the system.  You know, changing the rules at the last minute, as the Republicans are threatening to do in their effort to stop Donald Trump.

If you didn’t major in political science and think you understand our primaries and caucases, then good for you.   You are undoubtedly one of the few who does.  And maybe a little delusional.  Oh no?   Ask the next five people you bump into whether the state they reside in has a proportional or winnner take all contest.   I suspect you’ll be lucky to find anybody who has even a clue as to what you’re talking about.

One of the reasons Americans don’t vote in the primaries could be because the system is so fouled up that almost no one can understand it.   It’s a condition of American politics that screams out for stronger federal intervention, with one easy to understand system of primaries for all the states, giving the power to the people and not a relative handful of party apparatchiks who gather behind closed doors laying plans to game the system in favor of one candidate or another.

A system that’s next to impossible for average folks to understand sort of undercuts the sincerity of the candidates and their party leaders, doesn’t it?

Gonna watch the Sunday morning shows now.   Maybe somebody will straighten this all out for me, but I doubt it.   Once they get in front of that interactive map and start comparing Clinton to Carter and Trump to daddy Bush and Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon,  with red states and blue states and sqiggly lines and numbers everywhere, my mind starts to wander.  The process of getting someone elected to a national office in the U.S. shouldn’t be this difficult to understand.

Hillary Clinton’s new slogan is “Fighting For Us.”   If she really wants to make a difference, she should fight to change the system into something we can all understand.   But first she’ll have to get the money out of politics.  Which is Bernie’s whole bag.

Candidates who are mostly happy with leaving the system as it is, aren’t really willing to fight for “us” at all.   Consider Hillary Clinton, raking in millions (by one account as much as $15 million to her superpac) in support from Wall Street, the fossil fuel industry and other big business concerns,  not to mention $675,000 in speaker’s fees from Goldman Sachs, while Bernie Sanders relies on small individual donors.  Imagine that.    Do you really think the billionaires and millionaires on Wall Street are pouring all that money into Clinton’s campaign beause they believe she will fight to level the economic playing field for middle America, that she will fight for “us?”

Add:  CNN just reported on the percentages Sanders won yesterday, meaning, all three contests were proportional.   As of this morning, the delegate count, according to the Guardian newspaper, is Clinton 1243 and Sanders with 975.   That’s with half the states yet to be counted and excluding Democratic Party “superdelegates.”  Which is another problem.

Excluding the supedelegates, counting only real delegates who are being sent to the convention by the will of the people rather than efforts by party leaders to rig the system, Bernie trails HRC by just 265 delegates.    In just four states, all of which have yet to be counted, Maryland, New York, California and Pennsylvania, 1006 delegates are still up for grabs.

And some pundits continue to say the race is all but over for Sanders?    MSNBC, is about to take that same tac this morning, interviewing Clinton on the topic of what she’s learned in her battle with Donald Trump.   As though the race has been decided and Bernie should pack up his posters and go home.  A better topic would be Bernie’s uphill battle against media bias.

Our Primary And Caucus System Is Just Plain Nuts


According to Bloomberg’s nifty delegate count tracker,  Hillary Clinton currently has 1223 delegates and Bernie has 920.    With half the states still to be counted, that’s not exactly a huge difference.

Then there are the “superdelegates.”   467 are pledged to Clinton, with only 26 going for Sanders.    Who came up with this nonsense of anointing party insiders as being “super?”   Why are these superdelegates choosing sides before the votes are all in?  Why can’t the Democratic Party adhere to the democratic process and let members of the party decide who gets the delegates?    It makes about as much sense as a movie pitting Superman against Batman, which makes no sense at all.   Is nothing sacred?  Has everbody gone completely nuts?

I’m particularly irritated about  this you see, becacuse for nearly my entire adult life I have been registered as an independent.  I felt that as a mainstream journalist it was my duty not to pick a side in the fight.   At least not publicly.     After moving to Maryland, I had to fall back and regroup because Maryland, has a closed primary.   So you must declare your membership in one party or the other, or you have no vote in the primary.   Well, you can vote, but only for the candidate representing the party of which you are a member.   Which is somewhat….nullifying?

This is idiotic, right?   Maryland, needs to open up its primaries, giving everybody a shot a voting for the candidate of their choice, not just party members.   If an independent or a Green wants to vote for Hillary or Bernie, then why not let them?

Because of this rigid system, I have been forced to declare myself to be a Democrat.   A card-carrying party member.  Harford County, actually sent me a card.  I presume that without it, they won’t let me vote.   But it goes beyond simply being allowed to vote for the candidate of my choice in the primary.

I want to vote for Bernie Sanders, and so I had no choice but to join the Democratic Party, even though I would have preferred to remain an independent.   And so the State of Maryland, is forcing me to promote a two-party system,  even though I’m not all that hot about it.   Meaning, I think, that our primary and caucus systems are really one big mess.    The federal government should come up with one system for all the parties in all the states.   One level playing field for everybody.   Or we can leave it as it is, with those at the top of one party being able to rig the election in one candidate’s favor, which is clearly what Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her cronies are doing for Hillary Clinton?

The Brits, who have been at this a lot longer than us, are into a more proportional federal government, forcing the leaders of their major parties to form coalitions, rather than giving one party all or most of the power, or leaving it up to just two parties to remain deadlocked for years while the nation’s infrastructure crumbles and the bickering continues.

I know both systems have drawbacks, but a parliamentary system would appear to provide greater representation to a higher number of people, while our two-party system seems to be leading us into endless gridlock.   Particularly in Arizona, where, thanks to the death of the Voting Rights Act, some loyal Americans were forced to stand in line for more than five hours before they could cast their votes.

Let’s open up the primaries, doing all we can to end voter supression in states like Arizona and Florida, and while we’re at it, maybe we can expand beyond our old two-party system,  no longer being forced to march proudly forward under a banner that declares “advance to the rear!”

For the time being, I have been coerced into joining the Democratic Party.   I shall though, remain an independent at heart while I continue grousing about the outdated nature of an arcane two-party system that needs to be delivered out of the past and into the present.   If not, the future will surely fail to take care of itself.

None of what I have written here should be construed as a slam on the Democrats.   I’m pretty sure that some of my best friends are members of the Democratic Party.   It wasn’t something I worried about until being confronted by this damned closed primary.   That said, the State of Maryland  deserves kudos for changing its system so that there will now be a paper-trail on all the votes cast rather than leaving it up to the kind of electronic gizmo voting that gave Ohio into so much trouble in 2012.

Why I Dumped Bernie And Turned To Trump


(To be read while the tune “Trump, Trump, Trump the boys are marching!” plays in the background. – Got it in your head?   Okay, then go ahead and read the piece.)

Okay, that’s it.   I’ve had enough.  Otherwise intelligent people who are supporting Donald Trump, have forced me to take a second look at what he has to offer and I’m in.  Donald’s got me.   What a guy.   He’s the bestest, smartest, handsomest man in the whole wide wonderful world.   Just like he says he is.   And he can fix everything.   Just like he says he will.

I give in to all that his supporters are looking forward to, including, but not limited to (because the Donald is liable to change things at any time, which is part of the excitement), a “big beautiful wall” paid for by the Mexican Government.   I don’t know how he’ll get it done, but we need to have a little faith.  Not too much though, or he’ll keep you and everyone you know out of the country under suspicion of being religious nutjobs.

He’s the world’s greatest dealmaker and somehow, he’ll do it.  That, and so much more.  He’s gonna “make America great again.”  Remember when we used to  be great?   Back iin the 50’s and 60’s, when corporate taxes were sky-high and the slave states were still segregated and Russia was threatening to pull the trigger on armageddon while we all did our “duck and cover” drills under our desks in school?  Remember how great that was?   Fantastic!

Donald,  the bestest, smartest man that ever was, says he wants to take us back there once again.   Presuming that’s the “then” he keeps talking about.  He’s never been all that specific.

But more of the dream!

The more than 11-million undocumented persons in America will be rounded up and sent packing.   Those who were born here can stay, but their parents will have to leave.  There will be orphans all over the place and nobody left to pick the  produce and service the hospitality industry but somehow the Donald will make it work.   Because he’s our magic man.

Never mind that studies show Mexicans “leaving the U.S. in droves,” searching out  a better life south of the border.   I recall my amazment when the Los Angeles Times reported that net migration was “close to zero,” while Jan Brewer and her xenophobic, fear-mongering gang  continued complaining about the wave of illegals arriving daily, many of them kids who would be killed if they stayed in Central America.  The kind of refugees the world has always admired us for taking in.

No way!

The Donald says wild-eyed rapists are pouring across the border!  Whole gangs of them!   Rapists!   Not kids.  Mexico, is sending rapists after our mothers, wives and daughters!  Oh, my God!   Baby rapers are coming over the border!

Facts?   We don’t need no stinkin’ facts.  If anybody tries to throw facts in your face, just take care of business and have somebody  carry them out of the building on a stretcher.   The Donald says he’ll pick up your legal fees.  Really.  That’s what he said.

Imagine what a wonderful world it will be when Donald insitutes a new torture mandate for our military and CIA, which will then come up with tons of new intelligence on the Middle East, giving Donald the green light to fill his promise of carpet-bombing the hell out of the area.   And that will be the end of ISIS.   And anybody else who screws around with us.  The Donald will make it happen.   Anybody messes with us, we’ll just kill everyone in sight.   Like we  did in Vietnam.  And Iraq.  Just bomb the hell out of everybody.  Remember how well that worked?

Just think of all the new money that will be around, once our new fearless leader kills or cuts Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which the Trumpster has called “wasteful entitlement programs.”  The elderly might have a problem or two, but they can always eat catfood.   Old people don’t need much anyway and all that new money can then be tansferred over to build up our puny military, which is already larger than the next nine developed nations of the world combined.

And thank God,  he’ll end “Obamacare!”   You can be sure that’ll work like a dream.   The insurance industry, finally free from all it’s entanglements and unreasonable restraint, will be able to handle it all, setting the  rates and deciding what’s best for us.   They’re all fair and wonderful people.   They’ll look out for us and do what’s right.   Anyway, it’s better than Communisim, isn’t it?

Damn Commies!   Don’t let any of those pseudo-intellectuals fool you!    A Socialist is a Communist is a Socialist is a Communist is a Socialist!   Get it?   Living on a commune with nothing but potatoes, vodka, a rare can of beans and a cot while you shiver in the cold.  Have you ever been to Vermont?   That’s exactly what it’s like.   No need to worry about the cost of education there.   Your kids will be home-schooled by your hippie neighbors who will also dispense homeopathic cures.  Commies all over the place.

And boy, oh boy, is Trump gonna get China!  And Japan!   And India!  No more of their exporting all their slave-wage, state subsidized stuff to us.   No way, not with the great negotiator at the helm.   He’s gonna give the middle finger to all the world, putting up trade barriers, stopping them from exporting all their crap into the U.S., which will be a profit-killer for the multi-national corporations that currently control the Congress….which will….oh, never mind.   Don’t try and think it through too much, you’ll just get a headache.   The Trumpster will take care of it all.   Have a little faith in the art of the deal.  He’s the smartest man and the best deal maker that ever was, haven’t you heard?  The bestest and the smartest and the handsomest too.  What a guy.

He’s endowed with super-hearing, you know.   It’s a given as he’s the only man in America who heard groups of Arabs cheering when the twin towers came down.

And you can be sure, because  he’s the Donald, that the House and Senate will worship at his golden-toed feet, giving automatic approval to everything and anything he wants.

Take another pill and don’t worry about it, America!   Listen to the siren call of Trump and his Trumpettes, as they carry you away into the land of under-regulated free trade and Wall Street greed….sleep…..sleep.

And so I do hereby surrender to the fantastic, wonderful and magical world of Donald Trump and his followers.    I’m ready to make Amerika great again!    Er,  America, I mean.  To move forward with Mr. Trump’s bold and beautiful vision, whatever that may eventually be.

Oh wait.   Trump has just said that he’s changed his mind.  That he’ll leave Social Scurity and Medicare alone.   See, isn’t this exciting?  So much better than the utter boredom of reality-based politics.

Did The Media Torpedo Bernie Sander’s Campaign?


The various media mavens continue to imply or state directly that there is no way Bernie Sanders can possibly win the Democratic nomination.   But what if he does?  Or is there a point at which media proclamations become self-fulfilling prophecies making a Sander’s win all but impossible?

If the  race is eventually narrowed down to Trump v. Clinton, who will have made it happen?

To what degree has the media’s love affair with Donald Trump, because Mr. Trump garners ratings, boosted his bid for the Republican nomination, and to what degree has the media’s ongoing insitence that Bernie Sanders has been and continues to be nothing but a joke, torpedoed his campaign?

As objective journalism has been replaced by punditry and campaign “surrogates,” who really decides these elections and what if anything should be done about it?

Bernie Sanders is the candidate who first voiced concern that the political process has been bought off and totally corrupted by big-money interests, which may be at the heart of the question of why the American political process is so badly broken.  It’s a question that should be the one overriding issue for this election because, as Sanders has argued, until we get the big money out of politics, poilitics will be dominated by big money.   The oligarchs, will have succeeded.  American democracy will be dead.

That probably won’t happen though.  The problem of whether America has been turned into an oligarchy will probably just fade away with Bernie Sanders, who, according to the mainstream media, has no chance  at all of winning.

Back in the day when newspapers mattered it was axiomatic that “you don’t pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel and paper by the ton.”   The new truth might be “don’t even think about running unless the electronic media thinks you can  win.”   Even if they’re wrong.

Don’t give up on Bernie, though.   Not unless you are willing to give in to those who would destroy our democracy in favor of minority rule by a handful of billionaires and multi-national corporations.   Which is pretty much where we now are.

The Stupification Of Chris Christie And Why Hillary Keeps Grinning From Ear To Ear


A couple of thoughts on Stupor Tuesday.   Chris Christie, was clearly stupified, apparently having an out-of-body experience as he stood behind the Donald, staring blindly into space, deer in the headlights style,  possibly wondering what in the world he had done with his endorsement for Trump as the Republican Party continued to come apart at the seams and the Donald continued blathering on.

However, last night it seemed at least that Mr. Trump was making an attempt to appear less authoritarian and downright childish, and more presidential.  Somebody must have told him that he won’t be able to carry the general election with nothing more than bigots whose heads are stuck in the 1940’s.   Or maybe he can, in which case we have an even bigger problem than the possible election of Donald Trump.

Hillary, is getting to be downright scary.   She frightens me, wearing those suits that make her look like a palace guard for the wicked witch of the west in the Wizard of Oz.  All she needs is a big fur hat.  And good God, I wish she would stop  shouting.   Somebody needs to tell her about the advantages of microphones and electronic amplification.

There’s also the fact, for anyone who cares to look at it objectively, that HRC hijacked Bernie Sanders platform.   Positions Bernie has held for years, Hillary Clinton has just recently adopted as her own.   Clever move by the Clinton machine.   How can Bernie atttack an opponent who has adopted (stolen) his long-held policy positions?   Not that we should expect them to stick and be carried forward if Clinton wins the election.   It’s all about winning, don’t you know?

Then there are the ongoing analyses from people supposedly in the know who say that despite four wins and a near-tie in Mass on Stupor Tuesday, Bernie Sanders can’t possibly win the Democratic nomination because the so-called “superdelegates” are in Hillary’s corner, and it is numerically impossible for Sanders to pull this thing out with all those anointed and appointed superdelegates standing in his way.

Okay, if that’s true, and if the DNC has stacked the deck in Hillary’s favor (which it appears they have, although listening to the analysts is at times like watching the prosecution trying to explain the DNA evidence at the OJ trial) and there’s no way Bernie can win in spite of the delegates he picks up in the states, then the process is a lie.

The fix is in.  Just one more fix in a system that is increasingly fixed in favor of a few insiders and against the American people and Democracy.    And why Hillary Clinton keeps grinning ear to ear.   She has a lock on the primary thanks to her friends at the top of the DNC.

The Democratic Party is a lie and the Republican Party is fractionated, possibly beyond repair.   And the water in Flint, is still undrinkable.   And that’s the way it is here in the land of Oz.