Another snap.

Monday night appears to be turning into a semi-regular no-show night for me. I apologize, for whatever it’s worth. (Not much.) This is the point in the winter where I begin to get mad at my coats, sick of flannel sheets, keenly interested in lying under down comforters until maybe April.

And what are we looking at for the end of the week? Single digits, just in time for the weekend. Yech. Ah, but we will make it through, as we always do.

Primary season, then. Bernie wins big, Trump wins big, Kasich finishes big, the Exclamation Point battling it out for fourth place. What a crazy race so far. What else is there to say? Maybe here’s a companion piece, a (wait for it) David Brooks column about the president:

(Over) the course of this campaign it feels as if there’s been a decline in behavioral standards across the board. Many of the traits of character and leadership that Obama possesses, and that maybe we have taken too much for granted, have suddenly gone missing or are in short supply.

The first and most important of these is basic integrity. The Obama administration has been remarkably scandal-free. Think of the way Iran-contra or the Lewinsky scandals swallowed years from Reagan and Clinton.

We’ve had very little of that from Obama. He and his staff have generally behaved with basic rectitude. Hillary Clinton is constantly having to hold these defensive press conferences when she’s trying to explain away some vaguely shady shortcut she’s taken, or decision she has made, but Obama has not had to do that.

This is what much of the world is so angry about, mind you. Or rather, it’s what they’re concentrating their anger upon. They’re angry because they’ve been screwed over by a changing economy and an almost unbelievably greedy and uncaring elite that cares absolutely nothing for them. But they’re focusing it, many of them, on an administration that sees mostly convenient.

You know where people are angry? Flint. And who wouldn’t be? Every day the story gets more infuriating:

In sum, a review of the e-mails provided by Genesee County from several public-information requests appear to illustrate the inability, if not unwillingness, of city and state agencies to share information with the county as it investigated multiple Legionnaires’ cases. The clash among bureaucrats went on privately for months despite growing fears inside Flint among residents that something was deeply wrong with the city’s drinking water.

Imagine owning a house in Flint right now. I’d be angry, too.

Not much bloggage today, but if you’re one of those spreading the story that Michigan passed an anti-sodomy law this week, you’re wrong.

On to South Carolina, then.

Posted at 12:04 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

67 responses to “Another snap.”

  1. MichaelG said on February 10, 2016 at 12:54 am

    I read somewhere (I’m sorry, I can’t recall where) that there has yet to be a meeting in which all the entities involved in this Flint water debacle: the State, the City, the Water District, whomever, all come together to discuss the problem and explore solutions. Could this possibly be true?

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  2. Jolene said on February 10, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Actually, the schedule for the next primaries is confusing, as in both South Carolina and Nevada, the parties vote on different days. See below.

    In South Carolina, Republicans are voting on Saturday, Feb. 20, and Democrats will be choosing their candidate the following Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016.

    Nevada kicks off its caucuses the same time, with Democrats voting on Feb. 20 and Republicans weighing in the following Tuesday, Feb. 23.
    schedule for the next primaries is confusing, as

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  3. Dexter said on February 10, 2016 at 1:35 am

    That is correct, MichaelG…I have heard the same thing from multiple media sources. I do not receive Detroit local news on TV but a couple radio stations boom in and that’s what we hear.

    I watched Bernie’s victorious address to the crowd, which Brian Williams of msnbc called ‘very long, too long’ but I suppose he said that because he was tired. I enjoyed it all; he made many promises with points…”the USA should not be the policeman of the world”, Medicare for all, about a dozen more. And taxes on Wall Street speculators will pay for it all. Nobody in my lifetime and back a little more, until we get to 1932 has a candidate promised such a plan. I think of Franklin Delano Roosevelt every time I see or hear Bernie Sanders.
    Then I watched Trump…all hat and no cowboy. Rambling, incoherent bullshit all spoken with brash tones, criticizing Bernie’ promises as “giving America away and we are not going to let that happen!” {yea! yea!” screamed his one percenters}
    Then…the real sleeper, my governor John Kacich. Watch out for this candidate. He really is the best repugg in their field. My wife and I both think he’ll outdistance The Donald once the majority of red voters realize Trump is a fraud.

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  4. David C. said on February 10, 2016 at 6:37 am

    This is the real abominable and detestable crime against nature. When the red phone rings at 3:00 in the morning, can we afford to have a President who’s can’t answer because he’s still gnawing on his well done steak? The ad makes itself.

    Donald Trump walked into the best steak restaurant in Manchester, New Hampshire on Monday night and ordered his dry-aged, bone in, ribeye steak to be “well done”.

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  5. Linda said on February 10, 2016 at 7:05 am

    Dexter: someone once said that Kasich would be a great Republican candidate I’d there were an entirely different Republican electorate, and I tend to agree with that.

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  6. Deborah said on February 10, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Well if Bernie can keep it up, in SC and NV (etc) and if by some wild chance Elizabeth Warren would be his running mate and if Trump really does get the R nom, who knows we might just have a President Sanders. I’ve been watching videos about and by the economist Richard Wolff (at the U of Mass, I think) who is an expert on social democracy. Even though “socialism” is a dirty word in the US, it’s changing and he says there’s a tipping point, once a country reaches that point it tips very fast. Also from Gin and Tacos of all places I heard about bell hooks and intersectionality which I’m reading up on, it might help explain why Bernie is the choice of so many young women. I had never heard of bell hooks before, have you? On the other hand I’d be very happy with a president Hillary.

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  7. basset said on February 10, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Saw Deborah’s post and thought “what’s a bell hook? better look that up.”

    Interesting to see that someone actually kept on not capitalizing their name past sophomore year.

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  8. Suzanne said on February 10, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Kasich is really the only GOP candidate I’d conside, so I was glad to see he did well. He’s at least had some experience as a government executive.

    I read the Brooks piece yesterday. His columns the past few months lead me to believe that it is dawning on him that conservatives are reaping what they have sowed and it’s ugly.

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  9. Jolene said on February 10, 2016 at 7:45 am

    A short piece on driverless cars. Looks like they are making progress toward being allowed on U.S. roads.

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  10. ROGirl said on February 10, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I know who bell hooks is, but I got hung up on “intersectionality.” It sounds like one of those corporate/academic buzzwords that should be added to the list of banned words and phrases.

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  11. Deborah said on February 10, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Intersectionality as defined by Wikipedia

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  12. ROGirl said on February 10, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Academic-speak for everything is connected, which I find myself in agreement with the longer I am in the world.

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  13. alex said on February 10, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Interesting to see that someone actually kept on not capitalizing their name past sophomore year.

    Then you probably haven’t heard of the professor and associate dean at our town’s half-assed unaccredited law school.

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  14. Jenine said on February 10, 2016 at 10:01 am

    She has a lively mind. From a REsearch interview with bell hooks in 1993:
    I wrote Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, which initially met with tremendous resistance and hostility because it was going against the whole feminist idea that “Women share a common plight.” I was saying that in fact, women don’t share a common plight solely because we’re women–that our experiences are very, very different.

    …I remember people being enraged because the book challenged the whole construction of white woman as victim, or white woman as the symbol of the most oppressed. Because I was saying, “Wait a minute. What about class differences between women? What about racial differences that in fact make some women more powerful than others?” So that’s how I started out. I continued to do my plays and my poetry, but my feminist theory and writings became better known.

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  15. basset said on February 10, 2016 at 10:22 am

    cummings, huh? clever.

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  16. Icarus said on February 10, 2016 at 10:28 am

    John Scalzi wrote a post which I think we posted here already about Kasich being the best Republican candidate by virtual of his being the least batsh*t crazy of the bunch

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  17. Jeff Borden said on February 10, 2016 at 10:29 am

    It’s a fortuitous time to be reading “It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis. The followers of his fictional fascist candidate, Buzz Windrip, act and sound very much like Trump supporters, though Windrip is a Democrat. Otherwise, the themes Windrip and his League of Forgotten Men extol echo those of Trump, Cruz and a lot of the rest of the GOPers.

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  18. basset said on February 10, 2016 at 10:45 am

    “It can’t happen here, we checked it out, we checked it out a couple of times…”

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  19. Mark P said on February 10, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Yeah, Kasich seems decent only in comparison to the others. He doesn’t wear his crazy on his sleeve. But Paul Krugman (the economist I mentioned in a comment on an earlier post) had this to say about him:

    “So no, Kasich isn’t sensible. He’s just off the wall in ways that differ in some ways from the GOP mainstream. If he’d been president in 2009-10, we’d have had a full replay of the Great Depression.”

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  20. Sue said on February 10, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Third-wave feminism I get, intersectional feminism seems unnecessarily complicated.

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  21. susan said on February 10, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Alex, so andré douglas pond cummings is the grandson of e.e.?

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  22. alex said on February 10, 2016 at 11:29 am

    More like the mother of tee-hee.

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  23. MichaelG said on February 10, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Beat me to it, Susan.
    So whence comes this stuff that Bernie is an outsider? He’s been in D.C. as a congressman or senator for 25 years? What could be more inside than that?

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  24. MichaelG said on February 10, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Second question mark should have been a period. Who is Jim Gilmore?

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  25. Bitter Scribe said on February 10, 2016 at 11:41 am

    What kills me about Sanders is, he’s running for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president and he doesn’t even identify as a Democrat. Too cool for school, I guess.

    Trump is a child who appeals to children.

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  26. Peter said on February 10, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Alex, I thought that said pond scum, not pond cummings, and I’m like buddy, I’d think of changing your name…..

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  27. brian stouder said on February 10, 2016 at 11:58 am

    I think Alex’s linked article gets the thread-win (about the no-caps educator at the unaccredited law school)…

    aside from that, let us think the unthinkable for a moment.

    It is Tuesday, November 8, 2016 – and you have just gotten in front of your voting station.

    The electronic screen shows you the names Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders.

    How do you vote?

    Cutting to the chase, that is the ONE circumstance in which I can see myself voting for Bernie Sanders.

    But, what if the names glowing on the screen are John Kasich and Bernie Sanders?

    That’s the one circumstance where I can see myself voting for the R

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  28. Peter said on February 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I was going to say that Kasich is reminding me a lot of John Anderson in 1980, but hey, he only got 10% of the vote in that primary, so maybe this will turn out better…

    Or maybe not…

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  29. Sherri said on February 10, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Nope, Brian, if it’s Kasich and Sanders, I’m still voting for Sanders. Kasich may talk a reasonable game, but don’t listen to what he says, look at what he’s done. He’s running a campaign right now, and his best strategy to get any attention at all is to sound different than the rest of the candidates. Otherwise, he’s indistinguishable. That doesn’t mean he is that distinguishable in terms of what he would do as President Kasich when it comes to the Supreme Court or tax policy or foreign policy or civil rights.

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  30. brian stouder said on February 10, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    PS – one exception that occurred to me was – if Bernie had Elizabeth Warren as his running mate, then I’d immediately leap onto the Bernie bandwagon – since at 74, I think Senator Warren would soon be our president

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  31. brian stouder said on February 10, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Sherri – a very good point about the US Supreme Court; a very, very good point.

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  32. Deborah said on February 10, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Holy cow Alex that cummings guy is something else. I googled him and found this amusing comment on a blog that was critical of him, about his CV:

    J.D., Howard University School of Law (1997)
    B.S., Brigham Young University (1994)

    He was probably the blackest guy at BYU and the whitest guy at Howard.

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  33. Deborah said on February 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Nope, I would never vote for kasich or any other Republican, at least not now or anytime in the future that I can see.

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  34. Sherri said on February 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    In particular, from Kasich’s own web site, he

    -thinks we need to build up our military

    -wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a “conservative, market-based approach”; magically somehow that will bring healthcare to all

    -wants to defund Planned Parenthood

    -supports the usual Republican dogma about cutting taxes to increase jobs

    -in Ohio, supported legislation protecting CCW laws and opposes Obama’s gun control proposals

    All right there at Don’t listen to how reasonable he sounds. Look at what he’s done, and what he’s likely to do with a Republican Congress. I’ve had it with reasonable sounding Republicans who talk a good game, but fall right in line when it comes time to take action (see Snowe, Olympia).

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  35. Julie Robinson said on February 10, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Lefty over righty will always get my vote, I just worry that the socialist label is too off-putting for many, and would see another R President.

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  36. Icarus said on February 10, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    oh snap

    ” If your party spends decades undermining the legitimacy of government, and of governance, and if you sublet your messaging to radio talk show hosts and news networks whose bread and butter is making old white people scared and younger white people angry at minorities, and if you’ve pandered to that scared and angry core to continue to undermine government and governance in a distinctly non-virtuous cycle, then a populist demagogue as your party’s presidential candidate is probably inevitable.”

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  37. beb said on February 10, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Kasich also opposes abortion and unions.

    The thing to remember is that from Donald Trump down to Jim Gilmore (answer to a question up above, he’s the least known Republican candidate running for president) there’s not a nanometer of difference between them. They’re all no on taxes, abortion, funding planned Parenthood. unions, immigration and taxes (I mention taxes twice because they’re that down on taxes.) They all want to make the biggest army in the world even bigger. They all want to carpet bomb the middle east (let Allah sort out his own). They want to torture anyone they distrust. And they want Jim Crow laws reinstated. It’s ironic that the media gives the Republicans so much free airtime when not one of them is a tenth as patriotic as Thomas Jefferson.

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  38. Jakash said on February 10, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    I realize that you’re just spit-balling 9 months before the election, Brian, and who knows what’ll happen. But the fact that somebody as reasonable and informed as you are would think voting for Kasich over Sanders would be the way to go is exactly what worries me about Sanders beating Hillary. A tipping point may be coming with regard to socialism in this country, but it ain’t here yet, I don’t believe.

    In addition to Sherri’s bullet points, above, there’s this: “Since entering office in January 2011, John Kasich, Ohio’s governor and now a GOP presidential hopeful, has signed every abortion and women’s reproductive health provision that has landed on his desk. In four and a half years he has enacted 16 legislative proposals related to family planning funding and abortion access across the state.”

    I don’t imagine that his potential Supreme Court nominees would be very moderate when it comes to women’s reproductive rights.

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  39. Jeff Borden said on February 10, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Never is a long time, but it’s hard for me to imagine voting for a Republican presidential candidate unless the party literally reinvents itself. Every four years it’s the same damned thing.

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  40. susan said on February 10, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    As far as I’m concerned, if for no other reason, vote for the Democrat because of the U.S. Supreme Court. The next president will probably have the opportunity of nominating four justices (assuming an eight-year run). Those four would most likely replace: Notorious RBG (born 1933); the wretched Scalia (born 1938); Kennedy (born 1936); and Breyer (born 1938). Would you want a Republican to make those choices?

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  41. Jolene said on February 10, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Jim Gilmore is a former governor of Virginia. He has been out of office since 2002 and periodically runs (unsuccessfully) for something or other. Virginia has an unfortunate law limiting governors to one four-year terms, which means that the state is cluttered with former governors trying to find a place to land. Currently, both of our U.S. senators are former governors, which is fine as both are reasonable Dems, but there are others hanging around who occasionally try to assert themselves and must be hammered down.

    There are regular proposals to change the system so that governors could run for re-election, but, of course, such a law would require approval of the state legislature, and they have no incentive to undermine their power relative to the executive branch.

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  42. Jolene said on February 10, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Some light entertainment for the afternoon.

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  43. Scout said on February 10, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    I wish I liked Hillary more. She and her surrogates seem to spend a lot of time having to explain, defend and walk back their statements. The latest is the whole Albright/Steinem feminist gaffe. The whole point of feminism is that of equality, and not voting for someone based on gender. However, I’m not an annihilist, if she is the nominee come December, she’s wholeheartedly got my vote.

    For now, I’m rooting for Bernie Sanders and his no bullshit approach. I believe either Hillary or Bernie could beat any of the ass clown Republicans, most of whom are cartoonishly ridiculous. Kasich stands above the crowd as the least cartoonish, but his platform is basically the same as all the rest.

    Realistically, neither Bernie or Hillary will get much of their platforms accomplished with the congress we have right now, but they both will be able to veto the nonsense coming out of the gerrymandered congress, choose the next few SCOTUS nominees, deal with foreign policy in a diplomatic way and protect the civil and reproductive rights already achieved. For those reasons and some I’m likely not thinking of at the moment, the Dems absolutely must retain the White House.

    I’d like to see Debbie Wasserman-Schultz replaced with someone with a real plan to motivate Democratic voters in the midterm elections, because that is the only way we can make forward gains and not just stem the tide of stupid.

    I’m with Jeff B @ 39 – the GOP should take a long, hard look at what they’ve become, because it isn’t pretty.

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  44. Jolene said on February 10, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Alternative perspectives on Clinton’s loss, one hopeful and one with more bad news.

    The David Brooks piece on Obama is compelling. He has always been respectful of Obama and sometimes supportive, but he’s both late and too timid in calling out the gross incivility and distortions of reality that the GOP has inflicted on us–for decades, really, but especially since O’s election.

    Last night, Trump challenged the validity of government unemployment figures, saying he’d heard estimates as high as 40%. At the depth of the Great Depression, with evictions and breadlines everywhere, unemployment was only 25%. I kind of doubt that things are that bad now.

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  45. Dexter said on February 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    In 2007, leading up to the ’08 election, HRC acquired a $20 war chest. This was bantered about with the general opinion that a $20 million campaign arsenal was insurmountable. Last weekend, Jeb Bush said his campaign raised $128 million, unless I misunderstood, quite possible, as I usually ignore the Bushes.
    Kasich is of the Koch womb, of course. I loved it when Bernie ripped the Kochs in his last campaign date in New Hampshire.
    Craig Crawford, whose TrailMix cc blog I read and comment on, lives this political life on a more tuned-in level, as he worked as a new lawyer for Jimmy Carter in 1976 and recently was press liaison for the failed Jim Webb attempt at the White House. Anyway, Craig blogged today that he believes Trump will fizzle and yes, Jeb Bush will take the prize , easily trouncing Bernie or HRC.

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  46. beb said on February 10, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    I developed an instant and permanent dislike for Craig Crawford back in the days when he was a frequent guest on Olbermann. He was the kind of fat, unctous, always smiling person that reminded me of chronic liars and deluded tools. So Crawford thinks Jeb is going to win the nomination. Even to an armchair observer like myself it is obvious that if Trump falter’s Cruz will leap to first place. Bush is, simply put, a terrible candidate. He’s gaffe prone. He can’t stay on message. Millions have been spent on him with nothing to show for it. The only difference between Jeb and Chris Christie is that Christie has seen the handwriting on the wall.

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  47. Scout said on February 10, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I seriously doubt The Exclamation Point will win the nomination, but if he somehow manages to pull it off, he is so lame in his own right, never mind being shackled with his idiot brother’s legacy, that to predict him beating HRC or Bernie is only possible if all their supporters who are threatening to stay home if the other one wins do exactly that. So, I guess another Bush in the WH is possible, but I don’t think it’s likely.

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  48. Jeff Borden said on February 10, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    I’m not feeling at all cocky about the November elections regardless of who is nominated. If the Democrats field Hillary, there will be little in the way of excitement and a fair number of Sanders supporters will sit on their hands. (I’ve had a number of infuriating discussions with Sanders fans over whether they would hold their nose and vote for HRC if she won fair and square.) Those who point to the impressive numbers by which Sanders allegedly would beat his Republican foes forget the GOP has totally ignored him up to this point. I can only imagine the dramatic television commercials blasting the “socialist” candidate. They’ll paint poor Bernie as Karl Marx before they’re done.

    As horrible as a Trump or a Cruz in the White House sounds to many of us, a lot of our fellow citizens are mainlining the fear and dread manufactured daily by Fox and the radio loudmouths. They get a woody when they hear “carpet bombing” or the promise to do even worse torture than waterboarding. If there is a significant terrorist act this fall, I’d almost guarantee a Republican victory.

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  49. brian stouder said on February 10, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I suppose, in the end, the argument is circular. If the country actually elects Bernie, then the iron-clad congressional opposition to his agenda – which I was taking for granted – might also take notice, and decide to meet him half way.

    And indeed, if we (the nation) could begin a congressional re-alignment, then the on-going policy debate has to go back between the 40-yard lines (instead of the go-to-hell arrangement we have now).

    It is almost tempting to think that if an R wins (other than the Donald), he will shuck-off a lot of the partisan stuff, and actually govern. But the Donald seems to live in a bi-polar world where you’re (personally) either ‘the winner’ or ‘the loser’ – and compromise always betrays weakness.

    Regarding Jeff’s theory on what happens if there is an act of terror this summer or fall, I would say – watch this space. It’s almost a sure thing that some crazy white male (or group of crazy white males*) will be riddle another school with bullets, or fly his private airplane into an IRS office building (if not park a Ryder loaded with explosive material), or seize another National Park Service facility – and then the monkey is on the R’s back to rally around the flag and support the government they seek to lead.

    *let’s call such a group a ‘maelstrom’

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  50. Jeff Borden said on February 10, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    I was thinking more along the lines of a ISIS attack, Brian. There’s no question the radicals in the Middle East want American boots on the ground because it furthers their narrative of Christians fouling their holy places. Most of the GOPers would be more than happy to oblige. ISIS is not the existential threat to the U.S. our nominees insist, but its leaders aren’t dumb.

    A homegrown, right-wing attack also is a distinct possibility. It will be interesting to see what these so-called patriots do when the wheels of justice slowly start turning on the Bundy gang. Didn’t the Black Panthers shoot up a California courtroom during the trial of the Soledad Brothers back in the `70s? I could see some of these militia types engineering a similar attack in Oregon.

    Whatta mess.

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  51. Sherri said on February 10, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    If wishes were horses…

    There is not going to be a Congressional realignment anytime soon, certainly not this fall. There aren’t that many competitive races in the House, and even if all the competitive races were to fell the Bern, the Dems wouldn’t take the House.

    The best chance for Congressional realignment is after the 2020 census, and that’s only if liberals start working now to elect better state legislators, and/or get laws passed in their states using a non-partisan board to draw Congressional districts. Even with such laws, I’m pessimistic about realignment. Washington has a bipartisan board to draw up districts, and surprise, surprise, districts are drawn up to favor incumbents. The board didn’t finish drawing districts until all incumbents had declared whether they were running again. My Congressman didn’t run for re-election (he ran for Governor), so my district was sacrificed to be a 50-50 district to make sure the rest of the districts would be safe for the current holders.

    Our politics are polarized because the people who care about politics are polarized. The issues are complex, it’s hard work to be informed, and it’s easier to just say it makes no difference, they’re all corrupt and incompetent. I don’t know how you change that, but the Presidential election won’t change that.

    Obama thought he could change it; he was wrong. He was inspirational in his campaign. He thought he could be reasonable and thoughtful and sit down with the Republicans and work things out. We saw how well that worked. People look back at JFK and think that it was his inspirational speaking that changed things; JFK had a Democratic Congress. People think that LBJ was a master at working Congress and that got things done; he had a Democratic Congress. FDR accomplished amazing things; FDR had a Democratic Congress. When Obama had a Democratic Congress (by a much smaller majority than any of those three, in a situation where no Republicans would work with him), he got Obamacare through.

    Liking a candidate is way overrated. The campaigns go on so long, they take up so much of the attention and the air, that very little attention is paid to what actually matters: governing. How will these candidates govern, with the Congress we have, not the Congress FDR, JFK, and LBJ had? That’s why voting for Kasich is a supremely (no pun intended) bad idea; he would amplify the Republican Congress.

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  52. nancy said on February 10, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    True about Obama, Sherri. And yet — this ties in with some reporting I’m doing now — I’m amazed at how many people on the right see him as this horn-sprouting antichrist who has “pushed the country so far to the left, I wonder if we can ever come back.” I just blink in astonishment. The Heritage Foundation’s health plan is Marxism, I guess. Gay marriage is sending nice Christian couples to divorce court. I don’t get it.

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  53. Scout said on February 10, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Kasich is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    “Kasich presents himself as a reasonable person and it’s easy to get lulled by his ability to speak wonk into thinking he might be one of the few decent humans left in the Republican Party. But a perusal of his website shows he’s just as eager to push demagogic conservative talking points as any other Republican in the race: Promising to “repeal and replace” Obamacare without really talking about what it will be replaced with (answer: nothing), striking poses about the “sanctity of human life” when all he means is denying women reproductive health care instead of actual life-promoting policies like making sure everyone has food and shelter, and even claiming that he’s “lifting up the most vulnerable Americans” by, you guessed it, cutting off the assistance they need to get back on their feet. (Hard to get that new job when you don’t have a house to shower at, not that such niceties bother demagogues like John Kasich.)”

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  54. Jolene said on February 10, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    I’m with you, Nancy. I’ve said it before, but why not be boring and say it again? Just by graduating from Princeton and Harvard, as Michelle Obama did, and Columbia and Harvard, as Barack did, the Obamas achieved things that would make any mother proud and that most people aren’t able to do. They’ve given their lives to making things better for people in large and small ways. As Brooks pointed out, their administration has been scandal-free, and they’re nice people who any sensible person would be delighted to know. Why anyone should be vilified for trying to provide access to health care, for trying to reduce childhood obesity, or trying to reduce the number of Americans killed by guns is beyond my imagination. I don’t get it either.

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  55. Jolene said on February 10, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Here, for instance, is something that Michelle did for a pack of kids just this week: a dance class led by professional choreographers at the White House to celebrate Black History Month. That afternoon will be a source of pride to every family whose child attended, a great memory for every kid, an inspiration to some to keep practicing, and, perhaps, an opportunity for the most talented to be noticed by pros who can advise and guide them. All done out of good will and a desire to help kids learn what the world has to offer for no reward.

    Next up: A program to encourage kids to learn to code and get involved in computer science.

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  56. Deborah said on February 10, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Eight years ago I was totally committed to Obama. From the very first time I heard him speak at the 2004 Dem convention I thought he was amazing. When he ran for the senate seat in IL I was for him as soon as I found out he was running. And when he ran for his 2nd pres term I had no doubts. This time I don’t feel that commitment to any candidate. Of course I’ll vote for the Dem, which ever one it is, I will encourage everyone I know to vote for the dem too, because the alternative is so dangerous. I hope I can gin up enough enthusiasm to maybe even encourage a few people to vote that maybe wouldn’t have. Here’s hoping.

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  57. Sherri said on February 10, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    One reason I would prefer Hillary over Bernie is that I think optics do matter. It matters that an African-American was elected President, and a whole generation of kids got to see that someone who looked like them could be President. Likewise, I think it matters that girls see that someone who looks like them could be President. I like much of what Bernie has to say, but something in me rebels at the thought of another old white guy making decisions about my life. Of course I’ll vote for him if he’s the nominee, but still.

    One of the reasons Hillary has the baggage she has is because she’s been out there fighting the good fight. If you suit up and show up, you get the battle scars to go with it. Sanders, by not even being a Democrat, got to stay out of the fray.

    Governing matters. We have a Democratic governor in Washington who had impeccable liberal credentials, had been my Congress member, won handily, but he’s been very ineffective as a governor, even when it comes to his signature issue, climate change. His predecessor, who was a little more bruised because she had been in the state legislature, won by the slimmest margin in her first race, but turned out to be quite effective at getting things done. It’s not the race that matters; it’s what happens after.

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  58. Jolene said on February 10, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Deborah, I’d be surprised if there isn’t a Clinton campaign office near you working to register new voters right now.

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  59. alex said on February 10, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Speaking of intersectionality… or lowercase names and gourmet pizza rolled on a stone, anyway, there’s a new market at an intersection on my way home that makes a lovely take’n’bake pizza and this could be habit-forming:

    We’re also trying out one of their dinner-for-two entrees tonight. I got out of there for $15. If we’d gone out to eat or I’d cooked, we’d have spent much more.

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  60. Julie Robinson said on February 10, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Alex, I saw a story about that place and discovered it’s only five minutes up the road from Mom’s. Will definitely be trying it out. (After we get back from FL, that is.)

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  61. Andrea said on February 10, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Scout and others with doubts about Hillary, perhaps you might find insights here:

    I know a lot of people are feeling the Bern now. I’m not so sure he speaks to people of color, and I really really doubt that he could get anything done with Congress. I definitely understand the reservations regarding Hillary, but all to well I remember the impact of Ralph Nader on this country: two disastrous terms of President Cheney (and his pet shrub).

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  62. Deborah said on February 10, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Jolene, you are probably right. Since I have the time, being retired and all I should really look
    in to putting my shoulder into the wheel. I need to do my part physically not just financially.

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  63. alex said on February 10, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Julie, I’m impressed with their goods so far. It’s a nice facility, a little smaller and more modest than I’d anticipated, but very appetizing. The fresh pizza tonight was wonderful. It comes on parchment with a very moist dough and you just leave it on there to bake. They’re on the small side — next time I’ll order a couple of them. You choose your own toppings and can add as many as you’d like.

    They’ve been open since last summer and I’d meant to check it out sooner. It occurred to me to go there tonight on a whim. We’re drywalling and painting and didn’t want to take a huge dinner break, and I’d heard they had ready-made meals to go.

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  64. Deborah said on February 10, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    I meant to say this earlier when we were talking about Trader Joe’s and other places where we procure our groceries. we have adopted a way of shopping that is daily. For a few years we lived in a vintage high rise building in St. Louis that was across the street from a specialty grocery store. Because we worked late often etc we got in the habit of stopping there nearly every evening to figure out what to have for dinner. It became our pantry. We rarely to this day stock up on groceries. We go to TJs or Whole Foods or the local Farmers Market (that weekly) nearly every single day buying only what we need for the next 24 hrs. It has become such a way of life, I hardly think twice about it. We probably don’t save any money doing it this way, but sometimes I wonder if we add to the waste or actually use less. Do any of you do this too, or are we just weird?

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  65. basset said on February 10, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Different, maybe, but not weird – much of the world does it that way, particularly in really dense urban areas where there’s not much room for storage in the home.

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  66. alex said on February 10, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Captivating slideshow:

    Equal parts haunting and laugh-out-loud funny.

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  67. susan said on February 10, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Listen to the Malheur Refuge remaining occupier assholes live, talking with the wing nut rep. from Nevada ( Michele Fiore) who is on her way from the Portland airport to come help negotiate, between the FBI and the assholes. She is actually trying to keep the assholes from starting something….

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