Friday, December 18, 2015

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

 ** 12/20: Readers, please feel free to join the discussion on last night's debate in the comments section below.

  *12/19: Updated below

'Twas the week before Christmas and all through Times Square, they finally stopped joking 'bout Bernie's wild hair.

And much to my wondering eyes did appear a headline, above the New York Times homepage fold, containing the name of Bernie Sanders!

But wait. The article didn't mention Bernie's record two million donors, or his two major union endorsements until the very end, as a kind of afterthought. Rather, it gleefully spread the news that one of his campaign's workers* had "breached" a voter database belonging to President-designate Hillary Clinton. The only thing shocking about this news is that Hillary Clinton is actually allowed to own a bunch of our names. Our personal information has been collected and collated, possibly without our knowledge. Politicians are cyberstalking us, and then they have the nerve to get upset when a rival inadvertently uncovers their strategy and methods. Don't we have a say in all of this?

Very conveniently, a firewall set up by the Democratic National Committee was allowed to collapse just as the Sanders worker went on his computer. The DNC immediately pounced, barring the Sanders campaign from accessing any further voter information from its site.

This should tell us three things. First, that the DNC website is as much a bungled mess as Healthcare. gov. Second, that Hillary Clinton and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz are taking the Sanders campaign very seriously. They see the same polls and numbers that we do. If they weren't scared, they wouldn't give a shit about what some low-level Sanders staffer was doing with Hillary's precious information.

The third possibility is that the Sanders campaign was simply set up.

But for now, they are "disciplining" Bernie for the data breach, even while admitting that it was a software error of their own subcontractor's making that enabled the Sanders staffer to see what he couldn't later unsee. The poor peeper was summarily fired for peeking at Hillary's data.

From the Times piece by Maggie Haberman and Nick Corasanti: 
The Democratic National Committee has told the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont that it was suspending its access to its voter database after a software error enabled at least one of his staff members to review Hillary Clinton’s private campaign data.
The decision by the party committee is a major blow to Mr. Sanders’s campaign. The database includes information from voters across the nation and is used by campaigns to set strategy, especially in the early voting states.
The breach occurred after a software problem at the technology company NGP VAN, which gives campaigns access to the voter data. The problem inadvertently made proprietary voter data of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign visible to others, according to party committee officials.
The Sanders campaign said that it had fired a staff member who breached Mrs. Clinton’s data. But according to three people with direct knowledge of the breach, there were four user accounts associated with the Sanders campaign that ran searches while the security of Mrs. Clinton’s data was compromised.
The timing of this news is exquisite, coming as it does on the very eve of the third primary debate among Clinton, Sanders, and Martin O'Malley. While Hillary might choose to not bring it up during the festivities, the publicity is at the very least designed to rattle Sanders' nerves as it implicitly impugns his heretofore spotless integrity.

Ironically, it was the Sanders campaign that has been warning the DNC about lax security on its digital databases.

Meanwhile, the Times is finally taking note that the Democratic debates are few and far between, compared to the nonstop GOP series of circus acts. Columnist Frank Bruni, for one, disingenuously wonders why he is just now hearing about this kick in the teeth to democracy. Maybe it's because he's been holding his fingers over his ears when he is not opening them wide to hear every blast of every Trump, Cruz, and Carly?  

My published response to the former restaurant critic/current horse-race style maven:
It's a little late for Frank Bruni to grouse over the Undemocratic Party specifically, and the demise of democracy generally.

By my count, since last June, he has written 6 columns devoted exclusively to Donald Trump, 3 on Ted Cruz, one on Carly Fiorina, one on Ben Carson, one on Scott Walker, and one on each of the four GOP debates. He's written 3 on Hillary, one of which inordinately praised her performance at the first and only weeknight Democratic debate.

He has written zero columns about Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley.

But Bruni is only part of the group-think pack which seems to have made a pact to either ignore Bernie, or to gently castigate him. ("he's unelectable, proles, because we say so!") This is regardless of the inconvenient truth that Bernie is more popular than Trump, and that a recent Quinnipiac poll has him beating Trump by a wider margin than Hillary.

Media Matters reveals that ABC is the worst, having devoted 81 minutes to coverage of Trump, to Sanders' 8 seconds.

Over the past month there have been 22 Sanders headlines in the NYT and 64 in the Post, while Trump got 145 headline mentions in the NYT and 535 64 in the Post:

Here's a challenge to Frank Bruni. Break away from the Group-think Pack and devote an entire column (serious and issues-centered, not snarky) to Bernie. Your readers will thank you.
(In retrospect, I should probably have been more careful what I wished for. More rapid than eagles, let the prancing and the pawing begin. Stay tuned for some very serious commentary about the Great Bernie Breach, or How Hillary Got Hacked.) 

* The worker was not a low level naif, as I'd originally surmised. He was, in fact, Josh Uretsky, Bernie's national digital data director. Uretsky told MSNBC that his breach of Hillary's info was an intentional way of alerting the DNC about how effed up their security is, comparing it to leaving a friendly note in the hallway of a homeowner who'd stupidly left his door open. That is a pretty poor analogy, in my opinion. He should have compared it to staying on the premises till Hillary and her security detail returned (probably from breaking into a different house or database down the street), and then pleasantly surprising them with a welcome home party, complete with cocktails and snacks. Leaving a note, then cutting and running is just so lower class. You have to stick around and schmooze a little.  Amazon gift cards for the Clinton volunteers would have been a nice gesture, too.

Meanwhile, the Sanders campaign took the DNC to federal court, suing the party apparatus for breach of contract over its rude slamming of Bernie's own door on his own house of data. A temporary truce has been declared, though the lawsuit is continuing. Maybe Hillary and Bernie can have a beer summit like the one Obama conducted with professor Skip Gates and the cop who arrested him for attempting to breach his own home while black. I hope not, though. Hillary is she who cannot be placated, so Bernie shouldn't even try. It is looking more and more likely that he was/is being set up... and in a most inept fashion, given the blowback against the DNC and the Clinton machine.

I'll write more either tonight or tomorrow, post-debate. 

Meanwhile, if there is a Dump Debbie (Wasserman Schultz) petition circulating out there, please let me know. The sooner we see the back of that ham-handed autocrat, the better off we'll be.



annenigma said...

Ok, I'm on the warpath now. I was getting there recently from the continuing blackout of Bernie, but now that they're throwing crap on him, I'm starting to Feel the Bern, although it will fizzle fast if he doesn't start getting serious about defeating Hillary.

This is a double-tap - set up an 'incident', then hit the front page with it as if it were directly Bernie's fault. Bernie is being targeted for a takedown. Here comes the moment of truth whether he's willing to take off the gloves and fight to win or just to energize the base.

The NYT write and place their articles as if they were product placement ads. If the 'Jeb Sensing Momentum' didn't make that clear enough yesterday, this is the capper. My comment to Bruni's piece yesterday is more appropriate to today's news, if they allowed comments:

So how can someone like Bernie, who plays by the rules, win when the system is rigged and when there is no fair play or fair chance? The Clinton Machine and their strong-arming DNC are playing dirty. They're exemplifying the very corruption of the system that we're trying to change and giving us a preview of what a Hillary Clinton administration would be like - authoritarian, her way or the highway, a win at any cost mentality.

It's too late for trust. The Clinton Machine has played its hand. It's a losing hand because everyone has spotted the slick, as if we hadn't seen enough in the past.

We should tell the DNC in no uncertain terms that we will not accept their attempt of a coup d'emocracy and that we will vote Trump if Hillary ends up as the nominee, period.

Frankly, we might as well get used to idea of a Trump presidency since Hillary will lose the general election if she becomes the nominee.

The only winning ticket is Sanders-Warren. We should stop at nothing to make it happen by helping Bernie win the nomination. We can do this and we must. It's now or never.

Sanders-Warren 2016

annenigma said...

How it is that the DNC let non-Democrat, independent Bernie Sanders have access to Democratic voter information in the first place?

Was that arranged when they approved his run as a Democrat even though he isn't officially a Democrat? Or was it after he promised to endorse Hillary if/when she's nominated? Or maybe it was after he promised not to go 'negative'?

Negative of course is anything the Clinton Machine says it is, anything they can twist and label as an attack and evidence of broken promises/dishonesty.

Bernie is adamant that the 1% need to be confronted, so he can start by putting words into action and take on Mrs. 1% herself, but maybe he can't if he handicapped himself, boxing himself with promises.

He's got 3 months before he's becomes toast and jumps onto Hillary's bandwagon as promised. He could lose committee assignments and caucusing with the Democrats by seriously confronting Hillary Clinton and he won't risk that unless he's serious about winning for us vs. helping the corporate Democratic wing of the corporate Duopoly, aka the Lesser 1% Evil, win.

We might not have to wait until March. The answer may be clear on Saturday.

Pearl said...

I have the feeling that the DNC was baiting the trap deliberately, waiting for such an incident by a Sander's employee to pounce. From what I can gather, the 'arrangements' by the DNC with ground rules for each party were fuzzy as Weaver indicated and as Karen has mentioned and Annenigma written brilliantly about. I smell a rat and watching Debby in action speaking so knowledgeably about the facts sent shivers up my spine. It may be smoothed over if the the Clinton DNC has any sense before putting it in the hands of the legal professionals but questions will linger. Let's hope this will create more angry citizens to support Bernie but if not we will have the answers for the future sooner than expected as you said Karen.

Then the only hope is that Clinton will not remain unscathed and lose ground and then what? Another real Civil War?

Meredith NYC said...

Karen....if you can, please repeat your stats on media candidate coverage in comments wherever possible. This deserves wide publicity.

The Times seems to be promoting Bruni on the op ed page. He got a big headline and big illustrations on the op ed page the others don’t get. He’s interested in personalities and campaign dramatics. He’s a stylish writer, perfect for restaurant reviews in top Manhattan restaurants. When he wants to criticize the Trump, he comes up with great phrases that I must say do hit the mark and are entertaining. In fact I admired his writing in the column before this on Trump. He did once dine with DT, he's told us.

He’s not interested in the issues, and positions of candidates, and how they’d affect millions of lives. But which columnist is? To say there’s a big hole in the op ed page range of topics is an understatement.

But I did just discover a NYT feature---
“Where the Candidates Stand on 2016’s Biggest Issues”
Lists issues, or you can click on a specific issue and candidate. Let’s see what it says after the next debate.
Yes,seems there’s a Democratic debate coming up tomorrow night. Gosh, I just heard about it on msnbc. Not exactly getting huge publicity. Will Xmas shoppers stay home to watch on Sat?

Contrast with the last gop debate, where the cable shows had constant reminders, and a clock countdown days before. Not for the dems, for some reason. The Gop dominance of the media is almost complete lately. Now, this new DNC files issue, will be dominating the news, taking attention away from the issues discussed at the Dem debate, which have already been neglected.

Hillary Clinton just wrote a Times op ed saying reinstating Glass Steagall banking regulations, which Bill signed repeal of, wouldn’t have avoided the 08 crash, since that was caused mainly by ‘shadow banks’ that GS didn’t pertain to. Or something. That GS protected us from crashes for generations, she doesn't mention.
She says..... “My plan would strengthen oversight of these activities.... We need to tackle excessive risk wherever it lurks, not just in the banks.”

Wherever it lurks? Like for instance, what? Is that a distraction? Well, Mrs. Clinton, who defines ‘excessive risk’? Which Wall Streeter in cabinet will advise you on defining that?

Pearl said...

Pearl said...

The above comment is asking one to sign and support an objection by Bernie Sanders to the holding back of vital information by the DNC.. Hope you can access it.

Already many are demanding this from various organizations and people donating to Bernie. Hope it makes an impact.

Tommy Bones said...

They want Hillary nominated and they are starting to get uneasy about all the support for Bernie. I think it was a setup, an act of entrapment. And yes, I'm implying a conspiracy. After all, when did the human race not plot and scheme in order to win the prize.

Ste-vo said...

Karen, Here is a petition. Don't know how you feel about MoveOn, but I signed it and even though nothing will happen, I do feel better.

And here is an encouraging story from Vt Digger:

annenigma said...

Honeypot (computing):

"Generally, a honeypot consists of data (for example, in a network site) that appears to be a legitimate part of the site but is actually isolated and monitored, and that seems to contain information or a resource of value to attackers, which are then blocked. This is similar to the police baiting a criminal and then conducting undercover surveillance, and finally punishing the criminal."

There are various kinds described, including a database honeypot. To read more go to:

If the lawsuit hadn't been resolved so quickly, there might have been a potentially interesting Discovery Phase (I think) and we'd get to see behind the curtain. Oh well. Despite some damage being done, it may be temporary and not as significant as the media would like. Accusing Bernie of 'spying' and 'stealing' from the Hillary campaign, as ABC did, might not be so bad. Is Hillary considered a sympathetic 'victim'? Does anyone think she ever plays fair?

If Bernie plays his cards right, this could be a YUGE blessing in disguise, giving him the media exposure he's been lacking even if it is negative. As Trump knows, free publicity is always great no matter what it is. It's certainly a lot better than the media blackout Bernie's been getting. If Bernie practices skillful political jujitsu, he can work this to his advantage. Everyone loves the story of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Bernie should hammer relentlessly on her corporate, privileged, elite position within the Establishment and let the chips fall where they may regarding this incident. No apologies! Everything has already been explained.

My biggest fear is that even if Bernie wins, he loses and so do we. The DNC and the Clinton Machine will end up calling the shots because they know how to wield power and are hungry to do so. Does anyone think Hillary would accept losing to a Democratic interloper? After all, Hillary is also planning to act as stepping stone and placeholder for Chelsea and Charlotte in the White House.

We can't stop the Clinton dynasty from reigning over us for the rest of our lives unless a strong and resolute person who is her/his own person gets elected. Bernie must ditch the obsequiousness, pussyfooting, and treating Hillary with kid gloves. If he handles Hillary now as he did the Black Lives Matter kids on that stage, he's (milq)toast.

It's make or break time for Bernie.

Pearl said...

Maybe all this publicity will get more people to watch the debate tonight.

Karen Garcia said...

If it's a honeypot, it's gone might rancid, mighty fast.

The fact that MoveOn (founded originally to defend Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal)is circulating this petition (a fundraiser for them, actually) is sort of a y-u-u-ge deal. I'll sign it even though it will put me back on their annoying mailing list. I'll place bets with myself over how long it will take them to jump back into the DNC/Clinton veal pen, if she steals, I mean, "wins" the nomination.

annenigma said...

I read in the lawsuit (line #23) that there appears to have been a 'Prior Incident' in 2008. "A similar security incident arose with the NGP VAN software during the 2008 national presidential primaries, resulting in unintentional transmission of confidential information to the campaign of Democratic primary candidate Hillary Clinton."

Wow, you'd think the company would have learned it's lesson, unless there were no consequences. They kept their contract with the DNC. Bernie needs to dig to the bottom of this and not drop his lawsuit under any circumstances - other than Hillary announcing she's dropping out of the race due to sudden exhaustion and needing to stay home to play Grandma ;-)

So what a co-inkydink, eh? Let's hope this is her undoing. She didn't have to go to the media and smear a fellow Democrat with accusations of being a spy and a thief, or whatever her camp is alleging.

I bet Hillary's wiping her server clean AGAIN. Where there's a Clinton, there's dirt. Sometimes it's hard to clean up entirely, and there's always that telltale stench they leave behind. Or maybe that's Charlotte's diaper needing changing. You know what they say about politicians and diapers - the both need to be changed regularly and for the same reason.

Hillary, I hear Charlotte calling your name! Go! Now, before the shit hits the fan!

I can hope can't I?

annenigma said...

Sorry, some articles stated the lawsuit was still on but now I read it's been dropped after the data was released by the DNC. So there's no discovery phase after all to dig to the bottom of this and make some important connections. What a shame.

So much dirt, so little time.

Pearl said...

The debate is not over yet, but I am waiting to hear ANYONE including Bernie pointing out the cost of all the wars in the near past and present that has drained the U.S. and where we could have all the plans for low health care coverage, free or low tuition,raising minimum wages, etc. possible if there is a new system which lowers the costs of running the Pentagon, etc.

Nothing can be accomplished without removing that area of costs even beyond the money lost via wall street, 1% wealth, etc. I wish Bernie would point that out which seems to be a topic they all avoid. Of course this touches on REALLY changing the base of a country with the current militant system in place. They spoke about gun control but this area of the use of guns and war machinery, and still having soldiers in other countries using huge amounts of money to continue the status quo is not brought up as an impediment to financing any meaningful domestic plans.

Will hopefully listen to see if this forbidden topic is ever mentioned which of course would immediately be shot down as a needed first necessity to protect the nation's citizens.

Pearl said...

At least Bernie has brought up the danger involved in the U.S. making regime changes which Hillary has been involved with. This has at least been a nibble around the basics I just wrote about and exposed her role in involving the nation in these involvements which he warned about. I think Bernie did a very good job and even was courteous to Hillary in a clever way.

Karen Garcia said...

Just a few quick thoughts on the debate.

Even though I am a diehard political junkie, it was a real struggle to tear myself away from "Scrooged" to watch the debate. So, I can only imagine the record low audience it must have attracted.

All of them were too bellicose for me. Who has the best war plans, etc. Regime change or crush Isis? Whatever happened to Peace on Earth? And sorry, but Bernie's yammering away on a "Muslim Country Coalition" to defeat Isis made me cringe.

Martin O'Malley had obviously OD'd at Starbucks before taking the stage. Bernie's best moment of the night was telling him to calm down.

Hillary was lame on her economic agenda, pitiful on her "mistakes were made" explanations for the catastrophe in Libya. I agree with Pearl that none of them brought up the costs of all these wars.

When they resumed the debate after one commercial break and I saw Hillary's empty podium I hoped against hope that she'd suddenly decided to quit and spend more time with her money.

Long story short... if you were for Bernie, then Bernie won. Ditto for Hill. If you were for Martin O'Malley, I have no words. Four years of his folksy smarminess would send me right over the edge.

Mass media are totally in the tank for Hillary. From George Stephanopoulus (a donor to the Clinton slush fund) bloviating over Hillary Hackgate, to the NY Times headlining Bernie's apology above all else, this was just one more piece of proof that journalism in the public interest is as dead as a doornail. Were it not for the reader comments I would throw up my hands in despair.

annenigma said...

What a bore that was. I'm fizzled out. I've lost the Bern.

I'm realizing now that Bernie doesn't actually want to win the nomination or the Presidency. What he really wants is to start a political revolution and running for the Presidency affords him the stage and opportunity to try to do that. He's kind of out of his league though since he doesn't see or understand the Big Picture like a Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Karen Garcia, or millions of ordinary citizens around the world, if not in our country. It's just as well. If he did he'd explode. He's not suited to be President of the American Empire, the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. He'd make a very good Secretary of Health and Human Services though.

I hate to admit it, but I think Hillary Clinton won the debate. She has her act together politically and she deserves to win the Democratic nomination. I still won't vote for her though.

I wonder if it's too late for John Kerry to jump in. He's very statesmanlike and Presidential!

annenigma said...

'Spend more time with her money' - love it. We wish.

When Hillary came back late from the break and started answering Martha's question after Bernie finished, Hillary kept looking down and referring/reading one item after another off an apparent list in front of her. How was it that she was so prepared for Martha's question that she had a list handy? I didn't notice her doing that for any other question. Maybe her delay in returning to the stage was so she could retrieve a policy cheat sheet after getting a heads up from Martha.

I don't suppose anyone else noticed Hillary's mood swings in the last part of the debate. She looked like she was on the verge of crying, then had an intense and angry tone as she answered some relatively innocuous question. What does she do during those breaks? Self medicate? Ok, so maybe her eyes were dry and she put in drops during her break. I suspect some kind of liquid caused it.

Pearl said...

Regardless of how one views Bernies's performance (there are real contradictions here) praising Hillary's performance as polished and winnable by nearly everyone worries me greatly.

She did this once before but when sanity returned, there were many criticisms about her previous performance afterward that were written up as almost afterthoughts. She is like a successful salesman who is selling you a car and you are impressed but when you read the literature and look up reviews realize and talk to people it has serious problems you were not aware of.

Reports about Bernie have extreme contradictions in one article which are not even, another report exactly the opposite, and some of your responses Annenigma also have differences between the before the speech comment, and afterwards. Karen felt it was too bellicose, you felt it was boring and I feel disorientated by it all.
I am not criticizing just trying to get a handle on the thought process in a tense question and answer situation in a public forum.

As for criticism by other commenters about his apology to Hillary for the mix up by assistants viewing private documents, I believe this then gave him the opportunity to clearly indicate how the Democratic party immediately contacted the media without telling him and other behavior which was hardly gracious. A good way to get a message across without a personal insult and loss of respect from the individual you are trying to skewer.

It will be interesting how this is viewed in the long run and the future is unknown.
Will try and find articles with comments included especially from the NYTimes rabble rousers.

annenigma said...

When I said it was boring, I meant the whole debate, not Bernie, although I was very disappointed in his performance.

I'm not saying I like or trust or believe anything that comes out of Hillary's mouth, only that she has the fearlessness, brains, and strategy to win the nomination and Bernie doesn't. I believe it's because his heart isn't in being President. When he says 'It's not about me' in regard to his political revolution, I believe him.

Hillary has a mind like a steel trap but Bernie? When he said on stage that his wife Jane was smarter than he, I believe him. Maybe his wife Jane should run. I bet she wouldn't be afraid to take on Hillary face on. He's not dumb by any means but he isn't in Hillary's league. God knows there's plenty about Hillary to take on without having to keep going back only to her Iraq vote of a million years ago. When it comes to Hillary, he's far too tentative, deferential, obsequious, and appeasing.

Bernie is conducting himself as if he's running against the Republicans in the general election already. As front runner, that's legitimate and exactly what Hillary should be doing, but he's not the front runner. He needs to stay focused on defeating Hillary to win the nomination or he's not going anywhere after March.

Bernie isn't strategic. He knew the data files breach/theft was coming up. If he was intending to apologize, he should have offered it directly up front on his own terms instead of letting the moderators force it out of him as if he wanted to avoid the issue. They love a Gotcha and he gave them one along with a headline. He's similar when it comes to dealing with Hillary. He tries to avoid direct confrontation, preferring to wait for a question that gives him permission.

One of his big problems is that he relies on his stump speech too much. He ends up missing opportunities, giving Hillary a free pass. He's not mentally facile, not as free thinking as you'd expect a lifelong independent to be. He doesn't use his (assumed) wealth of knowledge to apply to each situation or question in order to confront her numerous corporate, militarized decisions and positions.

I guess the basic difference is that for Hillary, politics has been her lifelong hobby, passion, and profession and it shows. She believes she was made for the Presidency and she carries herself accordingly. By contrast, Bernie slumps. He doesn't need to put on a phony act but he does need to believe he's Presidential material and it will come through. I'm not seeing it.

When someone is standing in front of you in line and only one person gets to go in the door, you do hold their purse for them while they schmooze with the homeowner? Maybe if he knows it's her house, the White House.

I think the only way Hillary loses this primary is if she sabotages herself with some dumb, sneaky move of one sort or another - and Bernie doesn't graciously excuse her for it.

Karen Garcia said...

Hillary is Machiavellian, and Bernie is not. (thank goodness.)

However, his being so deferential and gentlemanly to Madame Secretary was kind of a slap in the face to the Precariat that he represents.

We shall see what happens in Iowa and New Hampshire. If he blows her out of the water through the youth vote (whose political power might not be showing up in poll results by virtue of pollsters not calling them on their cell phones) then it's game on. If we have learned anything recently, it is that polls are losing their credibility. Unexpected upsets are becoming the rule, rather than the exception.

The New York Times, to paraphrase Donald Trump, is The Worst. It's not so much a newspaper as it is a corporation, struggling to survive through the power of the click. It's not only their abysmal coverage of the presidential elections. It's their total journalistic failure, as evidenced most recently by their false (and largely gunretracted) report that American officials missed social media postings by the female San Bernardino shooter. The Times is a weird mix of neoconservative and neoliberal agendas. They are pushing Permawar, yet feign concern over domestic gun violence. Hypocrisy and corruption don't even begin to describe what's going on in that pit of propaganda. Theater critic Patrick Healy's latest is a case in point. He has informed us that Americans are more concerned with foreign terrorism than with domestic economic and police state terrorism. Ergo, Bernie doesn't have a chance. (It's those skewed, intellectually dishonest polls again. The polls and the "narrative" feed off each other.)

By the way, I read that Public Editor Margaret Sullivan is not renewing her contract and will be leaving next summer. I wonder if this was by her own choice.

Karen Garcia said...

Forgot to provide the link to Patrick Healy's "news analysis".

Pearl said...

This message was sent using ShareThis (

annenigma said...

By limiting the number of debates, the DNC/Clinton Machine prevented Bernie from having many opportunities to practice his debate skills - another thumb on the scale of the primary election. This is his first run for President and the national debate stage after all. Maybe he's doing the best he can with what he's up against but he's only got 3 months to up his game.

Yes, the kids might surprise everyone. I've had only a cell phone, no land line, for 12 years and no one has ever called me because I'm not listed anywhere.

Bernie still needs to rise to the occasion though.

Pearl said...

Did World Leaders Sign a "Death Warrant for the Planet" at COP21?

By Marion Deschamps and Cyril Mychalejko, teleSUR | Op-Ed

This is the article in Truthout which does not come up in my above comment 'SHARE THIS'. Worth reading and should be an integral part of the debate agenda.

Jay–Ottawa said...

It's so sad for bystanders to see friends in deep despair, with no champion, with nothing more to hope for but more hope.

Let us pray: Lord, send these bright, well-intentioned citizens an attractive winner (male or female or ambivalent) with a good pedigree and a clean history stuffed with experience both domestic and foreign, with the quick intellect and great heart of a––may I utter his holy name?––Ralph Nader, and with the merciless toughness of a cage fighter who always wins fair and square. Amen.

annenigma said...

Amen, Jay. Yes, an intellectually brilliant, principled, and honorable Ralph Nader type and the political equivalent of Nader's Raiders behind her. Those Naders Raiders effected so much great and lasting legislation and agencies. By the way, Al Gore's choice of Joe Lieberman as running mate was his real undoing. What a couple of duds!

Anyway, back to Bernie. Here's how I think he should have responded to one of the first questions of the debate - about the data breach, aka stealing from Hillary. He could have knocked her back on her heels with this answer, or something like it, and it would have given him momentum and far better headlines than his lame apology.

"I'm glad this question was asked. You want to talk about data theft? I'll tell you what data theft is. It's Secretary Clinton's practice of stealing the email record of official business of the State Dept, which belongs to all Americans, by hiding it in her private email server to avoid scrutiny and FOIA requests! It's Secretary Clinton's support for government hoarding every digital word and activity along with phone calls of every single American who are not guilty or even suspected of anything! We still have a 4th Amendment in this country!"

"Secretary Clinton, let's be clear. Your stated policy of requiring tech companies to create backdoors to encrypted information, allowing the most private communications of Americans to be broken into and read is stealing the privacy and intellectual property of every citizen!"

"Yes, by all means, let's have a discussion about data theft, but let's not leave out the most important parts that affect ALL Americans, not just Secretary Clinton's campaign - the right to privacy. Secretary Clinton obviously values her own privacy highly, but so do all Americans! We must not allow the government to be incited by terrorists to destroy our own freedom, rights, and way of life! Secretary Clinton should know better."

(Said as he waves his hands wildly in the air)

Pearl said...

Annenigma, Jay: Yes the answer to Hillary by Bernie Annenigma you suggest was perfect. However, It was a blow to the Bernie campaign which resonated to others and he had to make it clear they were honest and mistakes were made. If he attacked her at that juncture he would have been accused of trying to shift the issue of looking guilty which would have boomeranged.
I hope and think that what you said will indeed be brought out. Now I don't know whether Bernie has the intestinal fortitude to deal with a Hillary, we will find that out as debates and public statements (when his are never noticed) have any effect. Once more, it depends on the supporters, mostly young, whom we are not sure about due to their not being phoned for polls as Annenigma stated and how strong a stake they have in this election.

And as Bernie said, if Hillary runs, the voting numbers will be low allowing an ugh gasp Republican getting in as well as continuing a miserable Congress which even she could not control if elected. I and others may vote for a third party or sit on our hands.

There is a year ahead - much can happen, change or not, and we have to live with it. But eventually consequences occur to wrong choices as we well know which could destroy or galvanize.

Our real worries concern our progeny and what we are leaving to them but I know all you wonderful Sardonickyites are great people and will be honored by those who know us even when many of us may be gone. It is hard, and even living in Canada does not change that a bad future could hit us here as well.

All I can say is that I have to congratulate you Karen, and friends, for the five years of sparring in Sardonicky and living through tumultuous times which burdens we all share. I have learned so much and cherish the meaningful relationships we share even with some minor differences. I wish I could meet you and know you in person.

So onward, and at least let us give Bernie credit for speaking the truth in his own way. What he has said will not disappear easily regardless of how popular or unpopular he may become.

And we are cursed with the Chinese statement, "May you live in interesting times!"
and not have to die of boredom.

Have a happy holiday and shop till you drop.

Pearl said...

And here is Bernie at his best again, speaking at Georgetown university. Maybe he should have become a professor.

Subject: Bernie Sanders

Pearl said...

Hillary won the #DemDebate, but Bernie is dominating the internet @Jsteinblatt @vocativ

annenigma said...

I have a slogan for Bernie's general election campaign. (Talk about hope)

Bernie Sanders for President
For the Common Good

I'm also having fun writing some speeches where he redefines big issues to their smaller, personal equivalent and emphasizes fairness. Here I go channeling Bernie:

"Want to talk terrorism? I'll tell you what terrorism is. It's the terror of going to bed at night not knowing if you can keep your family fed and clothed after losing your home and job because of the biggest scam ever perpetrated on an entire nation by a bunch of crooks on Wall St (Friends of Hillary). Those (FOH) crooks who pulled off this heist are walking free and richer than ever. Why are they richer? Because after they nearly collapsed the economy with their greedy, criminal financial schemes and trickery, our government bailed them out with our taxpayer money, loaned to them at virtually 0%. What did they do? They didn't loan it out as intended but invested it for high returns in more risky schemes. Then when their pockets got too fat, they loaned their free money back to us at 3-18%! That's not fair!"

"Oh sure, they paid back the virtually free money after they had years to use it to make more and more money. They had years before then to invest it and make more and more money with it! What a racket! They still haven't paid us back for the years of ruin, misery, loss of jobs, broken families, shattered dreams, lost homes, and pensions. We saved their asses and lost ours! That's not fair!"

"Too many Americans are still broke and broken! Criminals are not supposed to profit from their crimes! They need to pay us back by paying far higher taxes! No more loopholes and subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare! I'll end their entitlements! It's only fair!"

For some reason I keep hearing Elizabeth Warren shout those words 'It's not fair!" instead of Bernie, so in my imagination she's his running mate. Can't you just see him getting red in the face, punctuating his words by pointing, waving his arms? I should have written this in ALL CAPS!

I haven't seen the movie 'The Big Short' but I heard it's good and it's got to help Bernie if anyone hears his message. I hope a lot of people see it. I'm going to watch his Georgetown youtube video later.

Oh wow, I guess I do have hope after all. I must be out of touch with reality.

annenigma said...

I guess I didn't proof it carefully enough. Please ignore the repeats or the whole thing - I seem to be on a Bernie jag!

Pearl said...

Annenigma: You should write the speeches for Bernie! Use your ability to spell things out by sending such sentiments to the comment sections of Nytimes, etc. This election needs more voices speaking out and we should support all the young people who are feeling their way.
And speak to people you know no matter what they might think and by speaking clearly and passionately you might hit a nerve. You might even send Bernie your
sentiments: just put Bernie Sanders at the head of an email to send and his e-mail
address will come on.

It is more than Bernie that is happening here and other leaders can come to the fore if they are inspired. We may find leaders among the young who are attending his speeches and learning the political facts of life.

I am now beginning to find interesting comments about Bernie from various sources who are fed up with Hillary and see through the sham. He has opened a door regardless of any weaknesses and we have to hold it open.

Valerie said...

It IS really sad that the U.S. is FINALLY ready for Ralph Nader to be our president. Yet, as Chris Hedges wrote in 2011, Ralph Nader is tired of running for president. I agree with Annenigma, Bernie wants to start a revolution and running as a Democrat against Hillary has given him a forum. What is sad is that at this point in our history, a charismatic and intelligent leader doesn't seem to be surfacing. Ralph would have been perfect. Sadly, he is tired and probably too old - and something strange happened between him and the Green party four years ago. I still like Rocky Anderson - but he might, like Bernie, simply be too nice of a guy.

Tired Pearl said...

Meredith: thank you for the practically only decent comment to Krugman. Please put it in our Sardonicky website. Everyone is focusing on the Donald and company and for days now the democratic convention gets little coverage while the last republican debate is played over and over and discussed over and over on CNN endlessly.

The media are in a stupor regarding anything connected to reality and Krugman is equally in a stupor ignoring what is really going on under his nose. Whatever Bernie's faults may or may not be, he is speaking of realities which is so unusual that many people are desperately following his train of thought.

As for Nader, one commenter to Krugman reminded us of the destructive role Nader played during the Bush Gore fiasco which finished Gore along with Florida illegal voting. We were living there when this all unravelled and were absolutely horrified and my husband who was dying told me his vision of the future which is what is happening now.

When you open the door of an insane asylum, the people needing mental health help, take over. The U.S. has been a very sick country for a long time since FDR days thanks to the cold warriors who took over when he died and started the isolation of the nation from the realities of the world. Their sickness spread without any intervention and here we are.

It will take a political revolution somehow but if too long delayed will be overcome by the catastrophic events looming like environmental destruction, man made destruction, overpopulation, ad infinitum and the earth will self destruct eons of years before it would naturally.

However, while there are possibilities for change, we have to keep swimming to stay alive (which covers all the people living in this and the next century). However, I don't feel hopeless, just a terrible sadness at all the waste, as Jay spoke of.

But we are not alone in this and some surprising things may come to the fore which we have to be part of. I envy the people that have a religious faith that keeps them going but often it takes over plans for action and changing the amnesia kind of role of religion in the nation is a major, major undertaking.

Thanks for listening and I appreciate everyone's comments on it all. I wonder what parents are telling their children these days about their futures and do the children sense the truth or does it depend on the parents' view of reality?

annenigma said...

Thought Experiment:

Imagine President Obama using his remaining months to say the things that Bernie Sanders is saying.

He's playacting being an environmentalist, getting all rugged and outdoorsy in Alaska, so where's his inner FDR?

annenigma said...


Data breach reveals that Clinton's secret strategy for eliminating the threat of ISIS is to use the same tough approach she did for Wall St.:

'Knock it off'

Jay–Ottawa said...

"There's no such thing as bad publicity." Of course, it depends. If Annenigma writes the script, I'll take care of Bernie's blocking and stage action for the next debate. And Bernie will thereby obtain oodles of publicity––guaranteed.

So after Bernie wisely hires Anne as his chief speech writer (and she backdoors me in as stage director), we'll show him how to pull out the stops in the next debate. He might even practice a few of these stunts on the road between now and the next debate. Believe me, he won't be ignored. Some people will call it bad publicity, but more and more people will say "It's about time!" Finally, The Bern of the Democratic camp will have achieved parity with The Donald of the Republican camp.

Here's how we do it. First, Anne has Bernie memorize her lines––yes, in capital letters. She also has a series of psych sessions with him wherein she lights a roaring fire in his belly before he takes the stage. Furthermore, I'm hoping she adds a few more paragraphs to put an erect spine into his foreign policy, because at some point, our champion has to unmask the neocons the same way he's unmasking the big bankers.

Then it's my turn with the Bern. To hell with arm waving. I want him to learn how to stride over to Wolf Blitzer once in a while to kick him in the shins. Bad publicity, you say? Ha! Good! Remember, if it bleeds, it leads (?ledes?).

Next, I want to show him how––at the right moment, about the time he (and we) are trully fed up with Hillary One Percent's verbal crap––how to push over his podium so it falls like thunder on the stage before him. Then he gets red in the face and strolls over to Hill's podium and throws it down too, her notes and all fluttering in the air. While everyone across America is sucking oxygen in horror, he (now that he's got everyone's attention) let's loose with the best lines from Annie.

On the next day, across the MSM and going red hot viral on YouTube, The Bern will be getting all the bad publicity he ever wanted, thanks to his display of righteous anger. Then it will become clear: Nobody becomes the champion of the 99% until he's as pissed off as the rest of us.

As Augustine of Hippo once said: "Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage." No daughters, No hope.

annenigma said...


I know the secret weapon for the next debate that will get Hillary to walk over to Bernie's podium to shake his hand in mellow concession, just as she did to Obama during one of their last debates - when she knew he was gaining steam and she was 'soothing' herself. Are you ready?

A glass of vodka under the podium! She won't have to come back from breaks so late! She'll have that peaceful, glowing look and be a pushover for Bernie. Then Bernie should bump her podium and knock it over. She'll get really cranky when her drink spills, alternating between looking weepy and angry!

Btw, does everyone know that among all that data that the DNC accumulates for the campaigns includes data about where we shop? I wonder if they can find out what we buy too. Just think - finding out what the candidates buy could be priceless.

Jay, you and I need to go into the campaign business together, eh? You inspire me!

Meredith NYC said...

Pearl....yes, exactly right--Krugman is in a stupor. Otherwise he'd never use the phrase "He Who Must Not Be Named" without realizing it would remind us of his avoidance of Sanders, and those very issues he claims to want more of. Unbelievable.

I wrote this to try to wake him up. Ha! Many replies agreeing.

Er, Professor. The Dems just had their debate. I know it was Saturday night before Xmas and maybe you were busy, but still----where’s some issue talk on that event—since you say you want issue talk?

He Who Must Not Be Named?? As many NYT readers know by now—that’s Bernie Sanders of course. His perfectly sensible proposals (only labeled left wing in our warped politics) are ignored like they’re some kind of epidemic disease---don’t get close.

Why do you waste your valuable column doubling down on what we already, nauseatingly know about He Whose Name I Never Want To Hear Again??

What would be useful would be to amplify what you call the ‘real discussion’ of Sanders and Clinton. Not just a line and that’s it. It would add some positive reality to our political discourse instead of raking over the Gop radical crazies –as you do constantly in your columns and daily blogs. And so many more Gop debates lie ahead.
What a waste.

We need you to input on Dem policies , instead of contributing to the media magnification of every Trump noise.

A comment said that Trump’s 30 percent of Republican primary voters translates to just 7.5 percent of all the voters in the Nov 2016 election. So isn’t the media Trump blitz helping to create a destructive deluge? How much significance is there to this sound and fury?

Meredith NYC said...

Also sent proposed some specifics to PK that he doesn't seem too interested in. Maybe someday he'll get around to a few?

I'm thinking that DW Schultz and Krugman have the same motivation. He avoids issue talk since it'd force him to discuss Sanders' proposals and compare with Hillary. That's why he doubles down on Trump and Gop crazies yet again. It's basically the same thing motivating Debbie Schultz to reduce the number of the Dem debates!

my comment
PK.....There are plenty of issues we need feedback on from the conscience of a liberal. Not amplification of every gross noise Trump emits.

Just who is ‘dumbing down’ the voters? Columnists who keep scolding the Gop radicals, but avoid talking issues from the Democratic candidates. There’s only 3 of them.

What tax rates for the super rich do advocate, say compared to the much higher rates of past decade?
How about financial transaction taxes to bring back subsidized college tuition that once allowed upward mobility for millions of Americans?
How about strengthening unions and apprenticeship training to bring us back to our more balanced equality?
What bank regulations would block future crashes that we avoided for about 80 years?
How can we extend health care to the tens of millions still without it and bring h/c costs in line with most other modern nations?

Thanks Professor, but we know already know about how the Gop rw has been nurtured over decades. Readers deserve more for this crucial 2016 election.

Pearl said...

Corporate Media Ignore Economic Justice in the 2016 Election via @sharethis

Pearl said...

The above is from Truthout. I don't know whether the access information I send is translatable. They are using new methods in forwarding article by e-mail and tweet.

Good analysis.