Saturday, May 21, 2016

Answer To A Whiny Baby Of The Green Variety

I used the modest proposal for Democrats to run as delegates in the Green nominating process in 2020 as an example of why I'm against open primaries precisely because so many of those I heard at the caucus in my town said that if the independent Bernie Sanders didn't get the Democratic nomination that they were going to vote for Jill Stein.  I must have heard at least a dozen of the people who changed their registration that day say they would do that.  You can change your party affiliation minutes before the caucus starts in Maine, it's a de-facto open primary, one of a myriad of stupid and counterproductive "reforms" that were fashionable with theory loving 70s era liberals .  AND I'VE BEEN READING THE SAME INTENTION AMONG SANDERS SUPPORTERS ALL OVER THE WEB.   

Clearly they weren't committed Democrats but they wanted to hijack the nomination process of the Democratic Party to do their will before they went back to being Greens or independents.  Exactly what Sanders is doing with his own instant and temporary affiliation with the Democratic Party. 


As Mao is alleged to have said when the Albanian Stalin, Enver Hoxha criticized his dictatorship that China could drown Albania by pissing on it, I say that the far larger and more numerous Democrats should do what Green supporters tried to do this year.  

If two percent of real Democrats took control of the Green Party they could change the rules and nominate the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination as the Green Party nominee.  They could remove that potential by following the same course of action that so many Greens and Green leaning people took this year.  

If you can tell me what's wrong with that, you'll have told me what's wrong with what such instant and temporary Democrats did this spring and why open primaries are a bad idea. 

An Answer To A Sanders Supporter

The mud from Sanders' most juvenile supporters has been all over the media, the internet.  Salon - which its former writer, Joan Walsh calls a "Sanders fanzine"  - has been full of examples for the entire election season.  It isn't alone,  AlterNet,  The Nation, Mother Jones, The Progressive, In These Times, etc. have all heaped garbage on Hillary Clinton.  When you add in their comment sections, you can add the most outrageous of outright lies and Republican talking points.  Since his bad performance in the Daily News interview and the obvious conclusion that he has no plan for doing what he proposes, of making it law, he has taken the low road, himself, I would imagine out of anger at having that pointed out.  He apparently is too thin skinned to be able to take that level of mild criticism

Sanders was never a member of the party until last November.  At first I thought his campaign was what it was sold as being, an attempt to force the discussion to the left.  Until about March I thought that was what it was.  I learned at the caucus in my state, Maine, which went heavily for Sanders that that isn't what his "movement" is about.  As soon as I smelled the potential of yet another disastrous Nader style spoiler effort I opted to not be a part of it and supported Hillary Clinton.

I started out being mildly supportive of what Sanders signaled he was doing by his symbolic run to being increasingly unsupportive of it.  One thing that has come out in watching Sanders and his chosen team is that he doesn't have the temperament, the judgement, the maturity or the character to lead a movement.  Believe me, I've seen supposed movements of the left come and go, they all announce themselves as being a lasting change, a "revolution" in American politics, they always fizzle when the leader acts as Sanders has the past three months.  With his behavior in May, Sanders has proven that he doesn't have what it takes to lead a productive and successful movement, never mind a "revolution" .  That takes a Martin Luther King jr. not an early 1970s era "revolutionary" babbler and blackmailer.  It was the c.70's style "revolutionaries" that enabled Republican-fascists from Nixon to Bush II and the tea-partiers, I didn't need to be part of them enabling the Trumps and Cruzes now.

I would have no problem with Sanders setting reasonable conditions for his full support of Hillary Clinton. His demand that he gets to hijack the party isn't reasonable.  But it would have to be his FULL SUPPORT.    I would have no problem with replacing Wasserman Schultz, she's been really bad at her job.  I do have the strongest objection to the demand that people like Barney Frank and Daniel Malloy - two strong, effective and loyal DEMOCRATIC leaders be removed from their leadership roles as Tad Devine has more or less demanded.   I hope one of the consequences of this campaign is that Democrats boycott Devine's PR operation.  He deserves to lose business over what he's doing.

I would, actually, be in favor of Sanders insisting that she agree to not appoint anyone from the Geithner-Summers-Rubin school of finance to any position.  Those idiots should be kept from any position in any Democratic administration because they are incompetent and corrupt.  But any such agreement between them should be confidential, something I have no confidence in the Sanders camp to honor.

But Sanders would be in a lot better position to make demands if he hadn't been such a total jerk this past several months.  And that goes ten times for his supporters, from his inner circle of men down to the total jerks on the blogs, the webazines and the magazines.  I'm fed up with them even more than I'm fed up with Bernie and after this week, I wish he had never started this.

Friday, May 20, 2016

An Answer To Sound And Fury Signifying Nothing.

I don't care.  Here are a couple of guys who know more about the plays than all the E-tonians put together and multiplied by a factor of enormous value.

Freki never met a conventional POV that she didn't accept without question.  Or anything that she wouldn't lie about. 

Mick Goodrick Abercrombie Scofield Remler all the things

Emily Remler Mick Goodrick Soul Eyes



Sorry for the poor quality of the visual.  And I don't know who the other musicians are because they aren't listed and I can't see them.  But what guitar playing.

Boring Hate Mail

I don't care what Duncan Black's wayward senior daycare set say about me, what I write or the issues I write about.  They are ignorant and will remain so because they don't bother to read anything that doesn't go along with their ill-informed  prejudices.  They don't even read what he writes.  If he's not bothered by that, why should I be?  

If anyone takes it seriously, that's their problem, not mine. 


Response To Someone Griping About Closed Primaries

Why should a Republican, a Green, an independent or someone other than a Democrat have a say in who the Democratic nominee is?

I say 2% of Democrats should swamp the Green nomination next time, take control of their convention, change the rules and nominate the front runner in the Democratic nominations process. How could you object to that?

Hate Mail Over My Past Week of Posting

No, I'm not happy with having to conclude that a man I used to respect is in the process of tearing down the left and extending its exile in a fit of pique over finding out he is not going to be the great father of the revolution.  

I hate it but this is not the first time I've seen this happen.   And after this past week there is no reason for any rational person to believe that the left represented by Sanders is ever going to do anything except ruin the chances for real liberal progress.   They are serial spoilers, they are the personification of why the left stopped being successful in the 1960s.   They are dishonest, they feed the irrational paranoia of ignorant people and crazy people and they don't deserve the respect of responsible people. 

With what he's done in the past two weeks, well after a month into it being clear he's not going to win the nomination,  I'm through with him and his left.  If he had conceded and worked to elect Hillary Clinton and Democrats to the House, Senate and lower office his campaign would have been true to what he pretended to be doing.  And it would have been productive.  Now, I'm an NMAN Sanders fan,  No more after Nevada.   

The Democratic Party has to take serious measures to protect itself from the likes of Bernie Sanders from now on.  He wasn't a Democrat, he's carjacked the party and he's playing chicken with it.  

I'm all in with Hillary Clinton from here on in, I am going to sign up to work on her campaign at the first possible opportunity.  I encourage everyone to do so because we've got to try to undo the damage that's been done in the past five months from the alleged left.  

Hate Update: 
I wonder, what's the last time that one of the major parties gave its nomination to a man who didn't join it till he was 74, and only so he could run for president under that party, after a career running against that party and slamming the party, who, then, attacks the person who has all but been confirmed as the choice of the party by about three million votes and counting. 

That Sanders was allowed to run as a Democrat is, in itself, an unprecedented concession to him, and he repays it by trying to tear the party down even if it benefits Donald Trump. 

Democrats for Boycotting Devine Who Is Burning Down The Party

It is probably too much to hope for but I hope one of the things that comes out of the decision by the Bernie Sanders campaign to burn down the Democratic Party they can't control is an unofficial but real boycott of Tad Devine and his PR outfit, Devine Mulvey Longabaugh.  If there's one person in this who has asked for that, it's Devine.   Though there are others in the upper reaches of the campaign who deserve to be punished for what they're doing, he's the one who could be made to feel the burn of the fire he's helped set.   Democratic politicians and others who might have hired him for their campaign should look elsewhere, remembering what he's done this year.

These next few days are going to be crucial, not for the Sanders campaign, but for the left that is associated with this disaster.  It is on fire and it's not "The Burn" it's also burning down.  Instead of creating an effective movement that will change politics and the political climate in the country, Sanders is proving that he not only lacked real substance to make the slogans real, he lacked the character to be the leader of such a movement.   We needed a Reverend Martin Luther King jr.  I'm afraid we got an unreconstructed early 1970s era bomb thrower who is more intent on their self-indulgent kicks than in actually making change.

How bad is it likely to get for the left?  After noting the now steady flow of even some of his stronger supporters declaring Bernie Lost Me, Joan Walsh at The Nation says:

But the Sanders camp is defiant, with the senator himself condemning the threats and reports of violence, but—and you never add “but” to a sentence that’s condemning threatening behavior—insisting party leaders had it coming, because convention rules were less than fair or “transparent.” Sanders has continued to rip the Democratic Party for unfairness, and his supporters are now telling reporters there will be trouble at the convention in Philadelphia over the “rigged” primary process.

“When you lose a fair fight, then you’re sad and disappointed. When you lose a rigged fight, then you’re angry and you hit the streets,” Charles Chamberlain, the executive director of the liberal group Democracy for America, told MSNBC. He predicted “disruption” in Philadelphia, and then he went off a cliff: “I think a little bit of disruption is exciting. That’s democracy,” Chamberlain said. “The reality is without that, all you have is boring parliamentary procedure and everyone falls asleep. So I think it’s exciting and it’s actually healthy.” “Disrupting” a party convention because parliamentary procedure is “boring” seems the height of entitlement.

What an ass.  If there is something that the left doesn't need it's such executive direction.

After the more than merely obligatory condemnation of some in the Democratic National Committee, especially Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Walsh also says that Bernie Sanders' campaign has been heavily white and male and, what I've suspected for a while now, many men and some women whose antipathy towards Hillary Clinton is a product of misogyny.

This is starting to get delusional, and dangerous to the American movement for social justice.

First of all, I don’t accept the presumption of moral and ideological superiority from a coalition that is dominated by white men, trying to overturn the will of black, brown, and female voters or somehow deem it fraudulent. There’s a growing element of male entitlement in the Sanders “movement” that supporter Sally Kohn articulates well:

It’s also too easy to suggest that Sanders’ supporters are a different kind of angry than Trump’s. Are we entirely sure about that? The populist right may be more inclined toward misogyny and xenophobia, but the populist left is not immune from these afflictions. And as I’ve written before, when you see progressive white men—many of whom enthusiastically supported Barack Obama’s candidacy—hate Clinton with every fiber of their being despite the fact that she’s a carbon copy of Obama’s ideology (or in fact now running slightly to his left), it’s hard to find any other explanation than sexism. Either way, the brutish, boorish behavior of Bernie Bros (and their female compatriots, too) was a huge reason I was reluctant to seemingly side with them in endorsing Sanders—and has been the only reason I have ever questioned my decision to do so since.

I remember the misogyny heaped on Hillary Clinton by many of the same names and online pseudonyms during the 2008 campaign.   Though I never had the feeling that Barack Obama shared that with some of his followers.   I'm not at all confident that the same is true of Bernie Sanders, not after seeing how he has been willing to encourage the worst of attacks against her.  Obama knew he had the real prospect of being president, Sanders doesn't have any real prospect of being president.  Especially not now that he's attacking the party he isn't really a member of even as he asks for its nomination.

Considering that Democrats don't win elections on the votes of white men but on those of women, black voters, Latino voters, and others, anyone who acts towards those most valued members of the Democratic Party as the Sanders supporters have are only helping the Republicans.

Getting back to Tad Devine:

Thursday’s New York Times, Sanders campaign leaders and their supporters said they plan to escalate their attacks on Clinton and the party. Top strategist Tad Devine insisted he’s “not thinking about” whether the attacks will hurt Clinton in her battle against Trump; they will do what they can to run up his delegate count, especially in California.

It's one thing for a campaign that is winning to go hard ball but one which has already lost the possibility of being the nominee doing what Sanders is doing, obviously on the advice of Tad Devine has earned itself the antipathy of anyone who is interested in avoiding total disaster.  These aren't responsible politicians and their advisers, they're teenage boys playing chicken with a car they hijacked.  I think one thing that needs to be done is finding some way for keeping other non-Democrats from declaring their affiliation so they can either take over the party or destroy it when they find that, shockingly, most Democrats prefer their candidate to be a Democrat.   Tad Devine deserves to be boycotted and blackballed for his part in it.

If Sanders goes back to the Senate I hope Democrats have a big enough majority so they can disassociate themselves from him.   I don't trust him.  I don't think a man who has shown his level of angry spite is trustworthy.  I expect him to end his career as badly as he's ending his campaign.  That's a recurring motif among would-be leaders of the left.  There have been lots of failed messiahs who had a temporary mass following,  Sanders is obviously just another one.
“Two kinds of playing: A) Playing on one chord (scale or mode). B) Playing through a progression of chords. The first kind of playing is like making a curve go through a straight line. The second is like making a straight line go through a curve.” - Mick Goodrick

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mick Goodrick quartet - Give It Up

-Jerry Bergonzi, tenor saxophone
Mick Goodrick, guitar
Bruce Gertz, bass
Gary Chaffee, drums

Update:  Nothing personal" Michael Brecker con Steve Gadd, Mick Goodrick


Michael Brecker, saxophone
Mick Goodrick, guitar
Charnet Moffet, bass
Steve Gadd, drums

If Bernie Sanders Doesn't Lead His Own Supporters Away From Playing The Spoiler, His Movement Is Already Leaderless And Finished

Kevin Drum has written an already much comment slammed, short, sad piece at Mother Jones, The Sad Decline and Fall of Bernie Sanders in which he is, actually, more sympathetic to Sanders than I am after his behavior the past three months.   After noting the obvious, that he can't win the nomination contest he says.

The one thing I do keep wondering about is what happened to Bernie Sanders. Before this campaign, he was a gadfly, he was a critic of the system, and he was a man of strong principles. He still is, but he's also obviously very, very bitter. I wonder if all this was worth it for him? By all objective measures he did way better than anyone expected and had far more influence than anyone thought he would, and he should feel good about that. Instead, he seems more angry and resentful with every passing day.

Drum is downright conciliatory as to what might have made him turn as he did, especially after his performance in the Daily News interview, that last one ismy point, not Drum's.

That's what's happened this time, and I suppose there's nothing unusual about it. I don't even blame anyone in particular. Maybe Hillary's team played too rough. Maybe Bernie's team is too thin-skinned. I just don't know. But it's sort of painful to see a good person like Bernie turned into such a sullen and resentful man. And doubly painful to see him take his followers down that path too.

If Hillary Clinton's team played too rough and it was too much for Sanders and his supporters, what do they think Trump and the Republicans would have done to him if he got the nomination?   As far as I can see, they've pulled just about every possible punch they could have taken at him.  I would imagine they did their opposition research and know everything that the Republicans would have thrown at him but which they didn't.  I'm sure this little blast from Bernie's past would have been among those things raised by the Republicans in the fall.

Bernie Vermont Freeman

I don't think Sanders' forty-four year old Freudian moment would play all that well in a presidential campaign of 2016 when your opponent is a blatant misogynist. Believe me, it wouldn't count that it was '72 and Bernie Sanders was relatively young, not when the Republicans and their cabloid and hate-radio megaphones got done with it.  Look at what they did to Howard Dean's amplified howl.  I'm sure the Republicans have a whole host of such writings, statements, declarations and associations from Sanders' past available.  They wouldn't have to look too hard, I found this in a pro-Bernie piece which is being recycled at Mother Jones for who can fathom what purpose right now*.  I'm sure he having written stuff like that might have worked for him in 1970s Vermont in a way it would not have worked most places.  Even in Northern New England we know Vermont changed drastically in that decade in ways that the other two North of Boston states haven't.

Bernie Sander isn't stupid.  He knew all those years and decades he was never going to be president, something he doesn't seem realistic about this spring.  I'll be he never really believed he was going to be a Senator for lots of it and he didn't have to watch himself.  And I'm just as certain that Hillary Clinton, even not expecting to be a presidential contender, as a woman, knew that everything she said and did could and would be used against her.  I think Bernie Sanders might be having a little taste of what it would be like in a way that his experience in Vermont politics didn't prepare him for.  And if he can't take the soft-pitch that Hillary Clinton has been sending his way, he'll never stand up against what she's stood up to for the past three decades.    

Drum concluded with this:

Usually these things fade with a bit of time. Politics is politics, after all. But for Bernie, it's always been more than politics. I wonder if he's ever going to get over this?

If Bernie Sanders doesn't want to go down in history as the man who enabled Donald Trump to win the presidency, if he wants his movement to have something other than that to its (dis)credit, it's through Hillary Clinton being elected with as strong a hand in congress as it is possible for her to have.  But he's going to have to show that he's a mature enough politician and leader to get enough of his followers to support her.  I wonder if his refusal to do that is because he doesn't really believe he's got the ability to do that, that his leadership is so symbolic and so weak that he doesn't have leadership of his own movement.   I think it's time to call his bluff on that point.  If he doesn't lead his own supporters in that direction, right now, his movement is already finished.  

I wonder if Sanders doesn't already believe he doesn't have the power to lead his supporters away from disaster.

*  They're recycling more than one months pro-Sanders piece at Mother Jones right now.  This one about Jeff Weaver and the rest of the Sanders team leaders was on its masthead this morning.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Down With The Miranda Rule and The Right To Council? From a Comment Thread At In These Times

LogicalLiberalAtheist  Anthony_McCarthy • 6 hours ago
How partisan and partial can you get that you are favoring an unpopular candidate, a rape enabler and excuser, over a man who's evidently far more popular? All in the name of political expediency? And the "woman" card won't last very long once people start realizing that the "women" she's surrounded herself with - such as Abedin and Wasserman Schulz - are alike dangerously bereft of scruples and morals. Nobody cares that she's a woman - her ethical hideousness more than eclipses the accident of nature that made her a woman instead of another gender.

Anthony_McCarthy  LogicalLiberalAtheist • 4 hours ago
A rape enabler? What rape are you referring to?   You mean THE CONSENSUAL RELATIONSHIP OF THE 23 YEAR OLD MONICA LEWINSKY WITH BILL CLINTON?

Typical male lefty, blaming the only person who was wronged, his wife, for what he did with a consenting adult. Logic, yeah, right. As learned on cabloid TV.

I see from several of the comments that the Bernie or Busters are pulling out the same lines against Hillary Clinton that the Republican lie machine was pushing against her in the past three decades. Apparently the readers of this magazine don't care if what they repeat here is true or a massive lie.

Samantha Brower  Anthony_McCarthy • an hour ago
He's talking about when Clinton defended a rapist in court and he was let off. She later said she knew he was most likely guilty but had to defend him anyways.

Anthony_McCarthy  Samantha Brower • an hour ago
Yeah, I'll bet that's what he's talking about. As it is SHE WAS APPOINTED BY THE COURT AS HIS DEFENSE ATTORNEY. It's the job of a defense lawyer to make the state prove its case against their client. If you want a ban on defense lawyers ever getting public office you're going to empty out the party.

I wonder what In These Times' position on the right to a defense in court is. Or is it the policy now that a defendant who can't afford an attorney doesn't have the right to have one appointed by the court. Talk about overturning Miranda rights, and from the alleged left, no less.

Samantha Brower  • 43 minutes ago
All I'll say about that is this: Personally, I would have stepped down (or quit my position) if I was asked to knowingly defend a man who raped someone. I understand it was in her job title but I wouldn't be able to rest my head knowing that I helped a rapist get off. She was stuck between a rock and a hard place and did what she thought was best. But it's also understandable that some people wouldn't take to her decision very kindly.

Also, while I appreciate your passion for politics and truth, I have to say that you're putting words in people's mouths and it's unfair. You're getting yourself worked up about stuff that no one has even said. On top of that, being condescending and sarcastic isn't exactly helpful to calming the current flow of hate between Hillary and Bernie supporters.

To the general public commenting on this thread: Let's keep it civil, guys. Neither Hillary nor Bernie would appreciate their supporters hurling insults at each other. At the end of the day, we all just want what's best for the American people. Both candidates do too. Hating each other isn't going to do anything constructive and will only hurt us in the long run.

Anthony_McCarthy  Samantha Brower • 22 minutes ago
And if everyone took that position there would be no right to a defense. For all she knew when she took the case he might have been innocent. For all you would have known he might have been innocent. Like so many of those who were accused of "ritual sexual abuse" during the witch hunt of the 80s and 90s.

I'm not going to fault a defense lawyer for doing their job any more than I'd fault a prosecutor for doing theirs. Especially if the defense lawyer was assigned to a defendant who couldn't afford to hire their own lawyer. I'm entirely in favor of that.

Would you take that position if it had been a murder case?

Samantha Brower  • 9 minutes ago
Here's the thing: she made the decision to be a defense lawyer. I would never make the decision to be a defense lawyer for that very reason. I don't care if it's rape, murder or assault. It takes a very specific kind of person to successfully defend someone who is most likely guilty AND be able to sleep at night. But my opinion is neither here nor there.

And I'm not saying everyone should take the position to refuse to defend someone if they believe someone to be guilty. There are plenty of men and women who would be more than willing to do it. But those people aren't currently running for the office of President. She is. So her career history is going to be picked apart, as it is with all other candidates.

People are allowed to disagree with decisions she has made in the past. You may support her but that doesn't mean people can't disagree with certain things she's done. I don't think her defending a rapist in court takes away from her ability to lead a nation. She is a strong, capable, intelligent woman who has decades worth of political experience under her belt. But I'm still allowed to disagree with certain actions she has taken. As is everyone else.

Anthony_McCarthy  Samantha Brower • 4 minutes ago
Oh, so you don't think it's a good thing that an innocent person or an over-charged person has the right to professional legal council when they go to court. Do you ever bother to think about people who are accused but who are innocent?

I'll bet if you're ever accused of a crime you would be singing a different tune, that's true if you were either innocent, over-charged, or guilty as charged.

I'm wondering what percentage of Bernie Sanders supporters wants to do away with the right to have an attorney appointed by the court. Because that's a really disturbing line of attack coming in support of Sanders.

OMG. THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. You are putting words in my mouth and accusing me of believing something that I absolutely do not.

I'm done arguing with you. You passed the line of logic and have started just spewing bullshit.

PS I never said I was a Bernie supporter. You have no idea who I support. Also, everything I said was not a 'line of attack' and it certainly wasn't 'in support of Sanders'. Jesus. You sound just as ignorant and angry as some of the Trump supporters.

Anthony_McCarthy  Samantha Brower • in 2 minutes


Tell me, if everyone followed your rule where would those come from?

What I sound like is someone who is shocked that someone would slam someone who was appointed to defend a person accused of a crime when she did her job as a defense attorney as assigned by the court.

Are you a Bernie Sanders Supporter?  The guy who started this exchange about her "defending rapists" was certainly one.


So far she hasn't answered that question.  I've got to say that this might be the most shocking exchange I've had over the nomination, and on a magazine of the social-democratic left, of all things.

Hate Mail - No, Bernie Sanders Didn't Really Gain In The Probability Of Him Being The Nominee Last Night

Paul Krugman said it best, yesterday.

Clinton has won — her big victories in the mid-Atlantic states ended any chance that Sanders can catch up on pledged delegates or popular vote, and he’s not going to convince superdelegates to overturn the will of the voters. Again, the math: Clinton leads by 280 pledged delegates, with 897 left. To overtake, Sanders would need to win the remaining contests by a 280/897 margin, or 31 percent. This is not going to happen.

This is very much true even if he wins both primaries tonight. KY and OR are both very favorable states for Sanders, basically because they’re very white. Alan Abramowitz predicts Sanders +6 in OR, +1 in KY; Benchmark Politics predicts narrow Clinton win in KY, narrow Sanders win in OR. Suppose Abramowitz is right. Then Sanders might narrow the gap by 5 delegates — but there will be only 781 left to go, and his required margin would rise to 275/781 or 35 percent. And the demography gets much worse for him in the remaining states.

He went from having to win 31% of the remaining delegates to having to win 35% of the remaining delegates.  That is the hard math of what he has to do in the remaining states to overtake Hillary Clinton and he's not going to do that.

Krugman also said this quite well.

But here’s the thing: a lot of Sanders supporters don’t understand this reality — 29 percent still believe that he’s the likely nominee, and another 11 percent aren’t sure. If news reports say that he “won” tonight, they’ll persist in their illusions — and the narrative that Clinton is somehow stealing the nomination will continue to fester.

Sanders could end all of this at any point. He doesn’t even have to drop out, all he needs to do is talk honestly about the realities — and clearly condemn the kind of behavior we saw in Las Vegas over the weekend. But I’m losing hope that he will ever do the right thing.

The conceit of much of the internet-based left is that they are "the reality community" a name they adopted from a Bush II Republican who bragged now unreality worked for them.  But what's clear is that a lot of them, including many of the staffers, editors and publishers at the big lefty news organizations are doing everything but facing the reality of this nomination.   It leads me to conclude what I've been increasingly suspecting, that they have far less reliability than they sell themselves as having and people have been following them over the cliff in the lead balloon ride to paradise they've sold over and over again.  After the third time that's happened within the last half century, you'd think the "reality community" rubes would catch on to the fact that it's going to crash, again.

The Curious Relationship of Sander's Chief Adviser, The Super Delegate System And Money etc.

A post script to yesterday's post about the curious machinations of the Bernie Sanders' campaign in regard to the super delegate system is that his very expensive top adviser, Tad Devine has been in the thick of things in the establishment and modifications of them over the years.  He has been used by the media as an expert on the super delegate system*.  He's recently been quoted as saying about the current rules, "The whole idea behind the reforms was to produce a strong nominee."

Given that, under his advice, Bernie Sanders' campaign has taken every possible position on the super delegates, from calling for their abolition, to trying to flip the ones who didn't announce for him into voting for him, to insisting that they be apportioned on a winner-take-all basis to him if he won a state and every other nuance that could have, at one point, yielded him the nomination, I don't recall any more cynical use of a phony issue by a the alleged idealist in a nomination race.  While I don't think he is the only cynic on Sanders' campaign staff, he's got to be one of the bigger among them.

And, from what I read, Tad Devine's take from the Bernie Sanders campaign is rather huge, according to some things I've read, he was paid more than $800,000 in March of this year, alone.   If it's also true that is because Bernie Sanders and Jeff Weaver were so green in the business that they signed a contract that allowed for unlimited payment to him, I don't know but that would be interesting to find out.   I do think that Sanders should let his devoted contributors know if they're paying for someone like Devine with their small donations at that rate.  I don't know how much of the stuff that has been published about the cash flow in his campaign is true but it should be answered.  And there are other rumors floating around about large chunks of mystery money going into the Sanders campaign, though those might be a result of sloppy reporting by the campaign which doesn't seem to be very on-top of its accounting.  Maybe they should have spent more money on accountants than on advice.

That is especially relevant if, as a group of Bernie Sanders' campaign workers and volunteers are calling for him to do, he concedes the nomination after the California primary, to endorse Hillary Clinton but to then go on to form an independent effort to defeat Trump.  While an "effort" is better than a spoiler campaign - which I increasingly fear he will mount - it is hardly the strong endorsement he owes the Democratic voters whose party he used to run, after he joined it at the age of 74.   If he's doing that, I genuinely hope that Tad Devine isn't hired on to advise it.  I'd keep Jeff Weaver from it, too.  Somehow I don't trust that pair of guys to do anything good in this election.

The story in the New York Times, which has that group's draft proposal it says:

The group says Mr. Sanders is in a similar position as Senator Barack Obama after he energized millions of supporters during his 2008 presidential campaign. However, the authors say Mr. Obama failed to capitalize on the opportunity to change the power structure in America.

“Does Bernie Sanders and his campaign facilitate the growing voice of a new generation of activists who can rack up the defeat of Donald Trump as their first major achievement?” the draft asks. “Or does he raise hell at a party convention and leave the remains of his organization to be picked over by the existing groups on the left that, to date, have been mostly marginal to the broad majority of Americans and Sanders supporters alike?”

If that's true, while I am skeptical of their independent group idea,  they're among the most realistic of the hard-core Bernie Sanders supporters and are far less cynical than those who are still pretending that he's still able to win the nomination.   I fear that Bernie Sanders is listening to those who are selling him on that pipe-dream instead of those who realize that defeating the Republicans is the most important thing in this election.  People like the campaign spokesman Michael Briggs.

Michael Briggs, a spokesman for the Sanders campaign, called the draft plan “totally irrelevant.”

“We are focused on winning the Democratic nomination,” Mr. Briggs said in an email. “This document is something that neither the senator nor anyone he works with has seen. We have no idea who wrote it. We could care less about the document.”

He added that Mr. Sanders “expects to win more delegates in the weeks ahead” and that “he is campaigning to win the nomination.”

It makes me wonder what Michael Briggs is getting paid to say things like that and which side his bread is buttered on.  That line, this late in May, is irrelevant for anything but for continuing to raise money and for enabling the Republicans.   That is the result of the continued pretense that Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic nominee, never mind president of the United States.  I can't see any honest motive in him or his people and the media supporting him pretending that, encouraging the most lunatic of his followers and their paranoia that, somehow, Bernie Sanders is being cheated, even as he falls far behind in the vote count.  If he were her opponent in the general election, she'd be beating him hands-down in the popular vote.

It might be too late to save his reputation among people like me who used to be among his biggest fans, but Bernie Sanders can still rescue himself from being seen as Nader 2.016.   If he is the spoiler who puts Trump in office his reputation and his legacy will go down in flames, the left will take the blame and maybe it should after the series of election year disaster sequels it has produced**.   I doubt that his closest advisers care much about that, at this point.

*  Here's a confession.   Interestingly, the Hunt Commission which came up with the super delegates, was formed in response to the loss in 1980, after Ted Kennedy ran an aggressive and highly damaging campaign against Jimmy Carter's reelection bid.  I supported Kennedy that year - I would come to regret that in November - and I idiotically voted for Barry Commoner as a protest vote.  Still have my button.  I was still stupid enough to think that "symbolic voting" meant anything to anyone except the person who narcissistically casts them.

It is one of my regrets that I didn't vote for Carter that year.  But, then, I had subscriptions to all four of the magazines I've been criticizing for their promotion of Sanders this year, The Nation, Mother Jones, The Progressive and In These Times.  Apparently none of them learned a single thing in the intervening years.

**  Which is why we need a real and realistic left that doesn't do such stupid, self-indulgent things.  Apparently we need an entirely new media of the left, the old one has been the medium through which those sequels have been sold.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mick Goodrick and Pat Metheney Take A Popular Song Places It's Never Been Before

On The Other Hand I'd Favor Changing The Constitution If It Meant We Could Have Samantha Bee For President

Samantha Bee has done more for civic education in the United States than the combined forces of lefty print and pixel media in the past half century.   Her program from last night isn't enough to make me go out and buy a TV but it has to be the most significant thing in the current American media.

I'd say elect her to the Senate, as soon as she gets her citizenship, only I think what she's doing now is more important than that.

And about that video, I think if Hillary Clinton were Harry Clinton she would not be having nearly as much trouble as she is.  Much of it in similar if not identical language used against the women on the Seattle city council.   And it's not just the Bernie bros who are doing that, there are plenty of gals on that bus too. 
An open, closed message.   From what it looks like to me, you've got a substance abuse problem.  I suspect alcohol.  Find an AA meeting that you find congenial, there are literally scores of them in your city, I checked.  The long term effects of alcoholism are not worth the cost of refusing to swallow your pride.  Swallowing your pride won't kill you, the alcohol will.   You've already accepted that molecule as a higher power and it is ruining your life. 

I Don't Think We Need a Guy From New Zealand Telling Us How To Elect A Democrat

Just in time to fuel the paranoia of Bernie or Busters over a supposedly corrupted process in the Democratic primaries and caucuses, In These Times has just published what it is obviously pushing as an expose in the form of a history of the super delegates.  That it chose to do so through a New Zealander, Branco Marcetic, from a country with a parliamentary system is rather telling.  Let me point out that if it were working for him, Bernie Sanders and his supporters would have no problem with the process as it is.  None at all.

A prime minister in a parliamentary system is hardly chosen on the basis of the popular vote by non-insiders, THEY ARE GROOMED AND CHOSEN EXACTLY BY THE INSIDERS FROM AMONG THEIR NUMBER.   That is the basis of most of the modern democracies in the world.  I suspect that a lot of the brighter of the bright folk at In These Times, the lefty media and the left, in general, have, at various times, craved a parliamentary system for the United States - a lot of the deluded third-party fantasies nurtured and cherished by such folk is an expression of their romantic view form afar of parliamentary democracy.   Their yearning for a parliamentary system is a fantasy that is at odds with their alleged affection for absolute, direct democracy.  I will point out that you can't have both.

I would be curious to read what criticisms of parliamentary democracy Branco Marcetic has published, even as he quite obviously doesn't have much of a grasp of the reality of American political life under the rigged and extremely messy, state-by-state, system we have in place.   Things can look so much simpler in academic discourse than they are in real reality.

But the Democratic Party of the United States, even at its most really idealistic*, has no choice but to deal with the fact that the system set up by the Constitution is rigged in favor of the economic elite.  The retention of election for the national leader on the basis of states and the putrid Electoral College, putting states in control of those national elections,  the fact that electoral votes are assigned in almost all states on a winner-takes-all system, and in myriad other ways, the Democratic Party is already dealing with a fixed system that works for oligarchy far better than it does democracy.

Officials in a party have an overriding goal to do the best they can to elect members of the party and to promote the overall goals of the party through office holders.  THE SUPER DELEGATES WERE INVENTED AS A RESPONSE TO SEVERAL UNSUCCESSFUL ELECTIONS IN A ROW, THEY WERE INSTITUTED TO RESPOND TO A PRIMARY-CAUCUS SYSTEM WHICH WASN'T WORKING TO PRODUCE WINNING PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES.   They were a response to the almost uniform hostility of the corporate media to Democratic candidates - the more liberal the more hostile the free press has been to them - and their outright and clear favoring of Republicans.  The Democratic Party could hardly do anymore about the blatant promotion of oligarchy by the free press than it could about the inherently anti-democratic features of the United States Constitution.   It had to try to figure out some way to avoid the, frankly, disastrous election of  1972 which nominated the great Senator, George McGovern, who was defeated by one of the most corrupt and, frankly, insane men to have ever been elected.

Every Democrat who has won election since 1964 has been a result of the implosion of a horrifically bad Republican who won the office with the backing of the free press and through the system as set up by the Constitution and rigged by state governments.  The system works far better to produce horrible Republican administrations than it does to produce liberal Democratic administrations.   I don't like the super delegate system but I will point out that it produced two two-term Democratic administrations.  That those two were centrists is a result of the free press destroying anyone who aspired to more change than they produced or could imagine producing.  But you've heard me about the license to lie given to the press by the entirely undemocratically selected members of the Supreme Court already this week.   A privilege to lie which has had the full support of the same left which is pushing this line of Republican-enabling paranoia.

Unless the basic system of electing a president changes, unless the media is prevented from lying any real liberal out of the possibility of becoming president, a series of attempted work arounds will have to be in place for any party which aspires to liberal change in the law and in society.   The ideal of direct democracy is nothing that is going to happen under things as they are, certainly not in 2016.  

Bernie Sanders' campaign and the media which has supported it have also proven that their own cynical regard of the super delegate system in place is as flexible as it needs to be to gain him any possible advantage under it.  The super delegates in fact, having always gone with the overall will of the voters by the time of the convention in the end,  is less of a cynical gaming of the system than that.

*  By "really idealistic" I mean REALLY TAKING OFFICE AND REALLY MAKING BETTER LAWS THAT REALLY IMPROVE THE LIVES OF REAL PEOPLE AND OTHER LIVING BEINGS.  I don't mean coming up with something unrealistic and merely theoretically idealistic.

Note:  I would call attention to the elections in 1972, 1984 and 2004 as especially instructive as Democrats couldn't manage to oust the worst Republicans, even the most criminal administrations in the history of the country.  Each failure had their own reasons, but the overriding reason was the sycophantic support that the free press gave to Nixon, Reagan and George W. Bush.  Especially telling is the election of George W. Bush whose installation by five Republicans on the Supreme Court, an action so blatantly corrupt that it didn't have the support of two other Republicans on the court, was not opposed by the corporate media, in fact, even the "liberal media" gave that corrupt installation their de facto support.   Their interest is also in not changing the system, they also benefit from the status quo system. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Duncan, Son, I Know You're Better Than This

As for the second part, I've never seen any evidence that The Left (either as an organized (hah) group or just people on that part of the political spectrum) fails to turn out for midterms and that's why Dems lose. Maybe someone could point me to that evidence. 

Well, let's take 2010 as compared to 2008.  Many fewer people voted in 2010 than in 2008.  In 2008 Barack Obama won big and Democrats took both the house and Senate.   in 2010 Republicans won big, took the House, Senate, many governorships and state legislatures and senates.  SOMEONE DIDN'T SHOW UP TO VOTE IN 2010 AND IT OBVIOUSLY WASN'T CONSERVATIVES WHO DIDN'T DO THE SHOWING UP.

Here's some of what Project Vote's research Memo, An Analysis of Who Voted (and Who Didn't Vote) in the 2010 election.said.

Senior citizens turned out in force.  The number of ballots cast by seniors increased by 16 percent compared to 2006, and seniors strongly shifted to the Republicans, increasing their support for national GOP House candidates to 59 percent from 49 percent in 2006.  Youth (18 to 29 years old) remained strongly in the camp of the Democratic Party, casting a majority (55 percent) of their ballots for Democratic House candidates, but their turnout was anemic.

Relative to the 2008 presidential election, minority and youth voters dropped out of the voting population at faster rates than whites, and the gains made in 2008 toward a more representative electorate disappeared. 

Latinos defied national trends and increased their share of the voting population in several key states, saving at least three U.S. Senate seats for the Democrats.

Women increased their share of the voting population and significantly shifted their support to the 
Republican Party. 

Turnout in midterm elections is always lower than turnout in presidential years, and midterm voters on the whole are older.  The 2010 midterm election is distinctive in the degree to which normal midterm voting trends in favor of an older electorate accelerated.  Older voters whose turnout rates slipped in the 2008 presidential election to 70 percent from 71 percent in 2004, returned to the polls in force  in 2010.  As expected in a midterm contest, younger voters (age 18 to 29) melted away from their impressive 2008 presidential election performance, casting just five percent more ballots in 2010 than in 2006.  Voters age 65 and older (senior citizens) were the stars of the show this year; they expanded their participation and cast 16 percent more ballots than four years ago.  Senior citizens, who make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, and were 16 percent of the 2008 electorate, accounted for 21 percent of midterm voters.  Seniors also swung heavily to the Republican Party, increasing their support for Republican House candidates to 59 percent, 10 percentage points higher than in 2006.

Moreover, the wealthiest voters, those with annual family incomes of at least $200,000 (who are disproportionately older and white), continued a trend observed over the last three federal elections to significantly increase their share of the voting population from five percent in 2006 to eight percent this year.  

Wealthy voters also swung to the Republicans by more than 10 percentage points, from 53 percent in favor of GOP House candidates in 2006, to 64 percent in 2010.

I doubt that means that people who voted for Obama two years earlier switched their allegiance to the Republican-fascists AND THEY IN MANY CASES WERE FASCISTS IN 2010.  It means that the ones who stayed home were many of those on the left, young voters who skewed Democratic when they did vote in lesser numbers as did other parts of the Democratic coalition.

Really, I'm glad to see you sometimes making an effort but you could try to make it cohere with something other than your pandering to a youth market that is not going to suddenly flood your blog. As to me, I seem to recall much discouraging talk about Obama and many angry declarations that they were never vote for him again, that he had cooties, that the Democrats were weak, sellouts, Nancy Pelosi, especially coming in for many angry denunciations - and that's just what I remember from the comment threads on your blog.  That kind of vote killing rhetoric was thick in the air in the virtual lefty empire of the ether.   If I had more time I'd research it and come up with massive evidence of voter discouragement on the left in 2010.   AND THOSE GUYS WHO THEY WERE DISCOURAGING WEREN'T ABOUT TO VOTE A FULL TEA PARTY TICKET.

Duncan, put some effort into it.  You have a PhD in econ, for pity sake, you can surely follow the logic behind the results.

Hate Mail - The Media of the Left Has Learned Nothing. Why Keep It?

In the United States who is president is a huge friggin' deal, it is especially a huge friggin' deal when it's a Republican president who will rule as a despot or who clearly aspires to despotic power as the last several have to a greater and merely lesser extent.  The longest lasting part of a presidency is the Supreme Court justices who are appointed by the president.  With the Rehnquist and Roberts courts revealing that their slogans of judicial restraint appllied only to the relative liberals of the Warren era as they were some of the most active of courts, overturning clear congressional intent in order to push their, frankly fascist ideology, that's a huge friggin' deal as well.

The problem with the leftist media is similar to what's obviously wrong with so many leftist institutions.  They are entirely out of touch with the reality we live in in 2016.   They pretend that the country is ready for some kind of vague, lame-brained "revolution" which they imagine is going to lead to spontaneous conversion of those blue collar and working poor folks who voted for George W. Bush and they would join the Bernie or Busters TO MAKE A REVOLUTION OF THE LEFT.   That's what I've heard from the readers and auditors and viewers of the media of the left.  And the more lefty the media, the more deluded and febrile their dreams are.   The number of them who believe that or some other absurdist, self-deluded scenario would be the result of a Trump presidency is rather stunningly high.

On the news this morning even NPR is making the observation that Hillary Clinton is really being damaged by the continuing presence of Bernie Sanders in the primaries that are left, even though he has no realistic chance of getting the nomination.  They pointed out that Donald Trump isn't getting that kind of attack from within the Republican Party.  When Cokie Roberts is making more sense than The Nation, The Progressive, Mother Jones and In These Times, you know things are seriously wrong.  The media of the left is encouraging, not only him remaining with the pretense that he is a candidate for the office of the Presidency, but with his attacks on the woman who will be the candidate.  As of right now they are publishing people who are encouraging him to run as a spoiler to defeat Hillary Clinton.

When I dropped cable a relative of mine said something about my giving up the then current liberal ghetto hours programming of MSNBC and named a few other of the very few watchable things that were on it.  My answer was that if someone dropped a bucket of quarters in a cess pool, I wouldn't jump in to get them.   I've come to the conclusion that is essentially the same deal that the leftist magazines, webazines, and the very few established broadcast leftists give us.  In order to get the good articles and columns they publish, we get the far more potent counter-productive crack-pots and idiots who care more about their ideology than about reality.  We get the even worse idiots who demand everything or they want to burn everything down.   Such people have burned down only one thing, the progress that liberals of the past managed to achieve, often having to bear the added burden of such play-leftists and addle-headed radicals of the past. 

This year, watching how they've acted when it's become increasingly obvious that the alternatives would be Hillary Clinton or Trump, Cruz or some Republican-fascist apparatchik to be named, how they've been promoting another stunt candidacy when those have been uniformly damaging to the political success of liberalism, I've had enough of them and the people who run those venues of lunacy.

I do think that the leftist media is in the hands of people too affluent, too Ivy League (or its equivalent), too elite, too ideologically fanatical,  too wedded to the traditions and lore of the  largely New York-Chicago-San Francisco based lunatic left and too entirely uninterested in reality and the real lives of the real underclass.  THE VERY REAL UNDERCLASS WHO DO NOT WANT THEIR PROPOSED MARXIST OR ANARCHIST REVOLUTION.  THE VERY PEOPLE IN WHOSE INTERST THE PLAY-LEFT PRETENDS TO STRUGGLE DON'T WANT WHAT THEY ARE SELLING AND THEY NEVER WILL.    They've been peddling their "revolution" to the workers and the underclass for a century and a half and the workers and underclass obviously haven't wanted it in all that time and are less interested in it today.

They don't learn a thing even from lessons as hard as Bush II-Cheney, for all their formal schooling.  They figure they don't need to learn anything because they got it from reading the idiots of the past, from what they read in college or what they imbibed as red-diaper babies from their equally arrogant, condescending  and equally addled parents.  The hereditary lefties are some of the worst, the ones who remain lefties left from those who formed the great exodus from the left into neo-conservatism.   They're really doing the same work, they have had a huge role in defeating liberals and enabling Republican-fascists.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

David Froom - Serenade

Jeffrey Silberschlag, trumpet
Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Gerard Schwarz, conductor

You have to wonder what Gerard Schwartz, one of the greatest trumpet players of his generation before he turned to conducting thinks when he conducts a piece like this.  I'd never heard of Jeffrey Silberschlag before but he's one fine musician, himself.

I was also not familiar with David Froom before.   This is a very fine piece of music.

Carla Bley - Wrong Key Donkey

Carla Bley - organ, tenor saxophone
Michael Mantler - trumpet
Elton Dean - alto saxophone
Gary Windo - tenor saxophone
John Clark - french horn, guitar
Roswell Rudd - trombone
Bob Stewart - tuba
Terry Adams - piano
Hugh Hopper - bass guitar, bass drum
Andrew Cyrille - drums

From The Larger Archive

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Senate Hearings Haiku

Take some comity
Add old football metaphores
Aural ipecac

"How Did a Demagogue Win A Major Party Nomination?"

That is the excellent and important question that Nate Silver began with on his fascinating and quite frightening podcast for the NPR program On The Media.   The podcast is a response to a column by his former New York Times colleague, Jim Rutenberg, slamming "data journalism" and assigning it a good part of the blame for why conventional journalists didn't call the race right.

Silver, after posing that question pointed out that Donald Trump had the all time-worst record for lying and who simply ignored the matter of whether what he was saying was true.  That's true even when he tells one transparent whopper of a lie  after another and the political climate - for Republicans, at least - doesn't punish him at all for lying his head off in the most purely Mussolini-style candidacy that has ever gone this far in the modern history of the United States.

The first two minutes of the discussion had some of the most incisive points that I've heard a journalist raise about his own profession's conduct in a long time.  I don't buy the predictions of "data journalism" and I never did once I was old enough to understand how opinion polling is conducted.  Listen to the discussion of "small sample size" and the declaration of Harry Enten (?) that empiricism can take you only so far. This shouldn't be believed for a second to endorse polling.   It's the insights into journalistic practice in the podcast that make it interesting.

Shortly after that Nate Silver talks about "chickens coming home to roost" which, of course, brings to mind that two short years ago the New York Times was boasting about how it, fifty years earlier, had made lying protected speech in the Sullivan Decision.  That is a point I won't ever stop repeating.  That we have Donald Trump lying his way into the White House and the media wasn't shouting his demagogic lying down for the past year and it is now complaining that it was caught off guard is The Great Grey Lady protesting a hell of a lot more than a bit too much.

The media, the news media, the alleged news media, the entertainment and infotanement media, those are what produced Donald Trump just as they produced Ronald Reagan.  Both of them were media figures who were either coaxed into politics or entered it as a publicity stunt.  That Ronald Reagan was installed and promoted by the media which so ignobly went down On Bended Knee* to him was the trial run for the Trump catastrophe.  Rutenberg clearly wants to place the blame for the failure of his style of political reporting on the upstarts.  This excuse for why political reporters didn't do their jobs is especially disgusting:

To be fair, given Mr. Trump’s reality television background, there was some cause to suspect that his presidential announcement last summer signaled that his campaign would be part “performance art” and that there was the possibility of a free fall, as McKay Coppins of BuzzFeed wrote.

It was another thing to declare, as The Huffington Post did, that coverage of his campaign could be relegated to the entertainment section (and to add a disclaimer to articles about him) and still another to give Mr. Trump a “2 percent” chance at the nomination despite strong polls in his favor, as FiveThirtyEight did six months before the first votes were cast. Predictions that far out can be viewed as being all in good fun. But in Mr. Trump’s case, they also arguably sapped the journalistic will to scour his record as aggressively as those of his supposedly more serious rivals. In other words, predictions can have consequences.

It is especially interesting in light of what Nate Silver said later in the podcast about his relations with Rutenberg and the other political reporters when he worked with them at The New York Times and how enraged they were when the data-journalists mixed traditional reporting techniques in with their numbers crunching (beginning at about 7:20 on the recording).   The turf battle included the political reporters being angry when Silver's organization published a piece saying that Rick Santorum had probably won the Iowa caucus in 2012.   The reason given for the anger was that "their Romney sources and their Iowa GOP were upset".

That makes this part of what Rutenberg said especially interesting.

Of course, the data journalism at FiveThirtyEight, The Upshot at The Times and others like them can guide readers by putting races in perspective and establishing valuable new ways to assess politics. But the lesson in Virginia, as the Washington Post reporter Paul Farhi wrote at the time, was that nothing exceeds the value of shoe-leather reporting, given that politics is an essentially human endeavor and therefore can defy prediction and reason.

I don't disagree with the point about the unpredictablity of elections, that they "defy prediction and reason," which is the exact reason that I am skeptical about opinion polling as a reliably scientific project.  But if the political reporters' idea of "shoe-leather reporting" is cultivating their access to Romney's people, the Iowa GOP, and other interested parties then it has sources that are far more likely to actively spin the ersatz information that the reporters get from them.   If that's the NYT idea of "shoe-leather reporting" it's a safe bet that what we get on TV is likely as bad.  When they worry about their sources being upset with what gets reported, that the news didn't spin right to maintain their access to insiders that they are supposedly reporting about, things are seriously wrong in the news business.

If this is accurate, we might see why it is that political reporting has gone totally to hell and it is exactly the same reason that Mark Hertsgaard said the political reporters and the media in general entirely misreported the Reagan administration, which still holds the record as the most blatantly corrupt administration in our history as measured in indicted and convicted officials.  Hertsgaard's book was published in 1988,   The profession of journalism has had 28 years to do something about that and it has done absolutely nothing because, if anything, they are worse now than they were then and the result is Donald Trump being the nominee of the Republican party with even those he has insulted and slammed, such as former prisoner-of-war, John McCain, going down on bended knee to him.

Journalists have gotten so stinking lazy and their profession has degenerated back into the standards of turn-of-the-last-century yellow journalism now that they have been freed from truth and the facts that truth is made from.  I will grant the data-journalists that, they are trying to find ways to find an un-spun truth, though I think they are putting way too much faith in the methods of social-science.  I don't question their relative idealism as compared to the cynicism of so many journalists, I question their faith in how those numbers are gathered and what they really mean.   I will say that until this morning, I didn't realize that intent was probably why I felt their analysis of post-facto numbers is, actually, more reliable than that of the traditional news organizations.

If we don't dodge the bullet this time, if Donald Trump becomes president and he does rule as a fascist demagogue, it will be the responsibility of the American media, the free press which was freed from having to worry about lying in 1964 at the behest of the New York Times and the legal and media organizations that supported it in New York Times v. Sullivan.  Free to lie, free to misrepresent, free to publish "opinion journalism" which is given virtual carte blanche to tell the right kinds of lies**  is proclaiming itself reluctant to go after and publish the truth.   If anyone is holding their breath that the media, either the posh print media or the really effective media, TV, radio, internet, is going to suddenly switch into a mode where they do that and prevent an outright demagogue from winning this election, I predict they could die waiting for that to happen.

*  From Library Journal

During the Reagan years, the White House Press Corps has “functioned less as an independent than as a palace court press,” according to Hertsgaard. [The author of the book, On Bended Knee.] Basing his arguments on hundreds of interviews with important administration leaders and reporters, Hertsgaard convincingly portrays the White House press as noncritical and sycophantic. As members of the same power elite that they write about, White House reporters more often than not agree with the President’s policies. In addition, they have been reluctant to strongly criticize Reagan for fear of being cut off from the flow of information and of losing their privileged status.

**  But woe to any of them who tell the wrong kinds of lies, lies that will not please the corporate class and their political arm, the Republican-fascists or who get caught in even insubstantial fibs while being black or, especially black women.   I will never overlook that Patti Smith was fired by the same Boston Globe that kept on Mike Barnicle as he did entirely worse.  Nothing has changed in that regard in big media.

Update:   Donald Trump had the all time-worst record for lying and he simply ignored the matter of whether what he was saying was true.  It occurs to me that, coming from entertainment media, Donald Trump has essentially the same attitude towards factual accuracy allowed for "opinion journalists" the kind of journalists who make up the bulk of those who get on cabloids and talk shows the most.  The distinction that cuts slack for lying, misrepresenting the truth, spinning, etc. for "opinion journalists" sets up a distinction that doesn't really exist in peoples' minds.   People rely on what they get from allegedly authoritative sources, such as the NYT or NPR or whatever source they want to trust, their minds don't make the distinction that allows for the fact that the profession of journalism has given lots of its members a free-pass on passing on phony or plainly untrue information.   People can be informed by lies as easily as they can the truth and are even more likely to buy the lies as they can be constructed to be easily assimilated and gratifying to the one who believes them.  The truth starts with the disadvantage that it often can't be sold with the methods of a con man.   That anyone working in journalism in 2016 has to ask how did a TV trained fascist demagogue win the Republican nomination, they provided him with everything he needed to do it, including an audience trained to buy lies.