Saturday, December 26, 2015

Clinton Crafts a Dodge Over Obama Deportations.

The Immigration Service announced on Thursday that a few hundred illegal immigrant families identified by courts as being illegal are going to be hunted down and deported starting next month.
The Republican response was to wonder whether Obama is doing it as a political ploy in response to Trumps caustic comments on illegal immigrants, and while they applaud it, they are cynical as to Obama's motives.
On the Democratic side both Sanders and O'Malley expressed their clear opposition to it.
But Hillary Clinton issued the kind of dodgy politically crafted non-committal  statement that tends to always leave her open to criticism that everything she does is politically motivated.

She released a statement essentially saying she " has real concerns about the reports".
First, what were her "concerns"? She didn't say. What does "concerns" mean? She didn't say. Secondly  they were not "reports". It was a statement released to the media by Immigration about a new Obama policy that is going to be implemented next month. 

Clinton calling it a "report" seems to  be a hedge to buy time to figure out what exactly Clinton is going to say given her new found public embrace of most of Obama's failed policies, which to many smacks of a backroom deal with Obama where  the DNC which is run by Obama as president will  do everything they can to tilt the playing field in her direction ( just as they did against her in 2008 ) which as David Gergen observed seems to already be the case when he said the DNC has clearly " gone in the tank for Clinton" , and Clinton in return will  publicly support and defend Obama policies. Although in this case it's obvious Clinton was caught by surprise and unprepared. So by calling it a "report" it's pretending that it's not official. Except that it is.
Obama's decision to deport these illegal immigrant families seems to put Clinton between a rock and a hard place to either support Obama's policy as she has all other Obama polices as per the agreement ( a huge political mistake)  or find a way to not support it without sounding like it so she can  support Obama and continue to trash Donald Trump for his statements on illegal immigrants at the same time. Sound confusing? Imagine what it's like for Clinton. 
The statement of "real concerns about reports" sounds like language trying to walk a political tightrope in being  " concerned " about it while not  looking like she is opposing it as part of the deal for the Obama controlled DNC pulling strings for her candidacy ( like debates scheduled at times when people are least likely to see them and the heavy handed one sided approach by the DNC over the Sanders data breach).
But as if trying to clarify it, another  statement put out soon after by a Clinton campaign spokesman made it worse.

The statement read: 
"Hillary Clinton has real concerns about these reports especially as families are coming together during this holiday season.  She believes it is critical (here comes the caveat) that everyone has a full and fair hearing and that our country provide refuge for those who need it". 
First, why is Clinton not saying that herself? Why is it being issued by someone else in her name? Wiggle room?  Secondly why continue to call it "reports" as opposed to a statement of policy when Clinton knows it's not "reports" but reality?  Third, what does the holiday season have to do with anything? If they deported the same families in August it would be okay?  

And that's exactly what could happen since the announced deportations aren't begining till next month.  And finally the major hedge as italicized earlier-- "she believes it is critical that everyone has a  full and fair hearing.." 

 Well that's nice since those families already had those hearings.All of them. And Clinton undoubtedly  knows that too.   It was part of the statement of policy put out on Thursday by the Immigration Service. So it's a red herring.  The families that are to be deported already  had their " full and fair" hearings in front an Immigrations judge and were found to have entered the country illegally and met other criteria that supposedly justified their deportation.  Clinton calling for "full and fair hearings" is calling for something that already happened. 
So what Clinton did in her statement was in reality support the Obama decision to deport  while trying to sound like she isn't.  It's both defending the Obama policy and illegal immigrant families at the same time by putting conditions on it that already exist. In contrast to Sanders and O'Malley who have both trashed it in no uncertain terms. While Clinton seems to still be  looking for terms. The  right ones.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The news media's juvenile minds over Trump's "schlong" and comments about Clinton.

Always leave it to the news media , especially CNN to miss the point and go for what's cheap meaningless and dishonest.

Donald Trump in responding  (or retaliating in his juvenile way) to Hillary Clinton's lie about Isis using Trump in recruitment videos ( irresponsible and untrue without a shred of evidence to back it up), said something about Clinton taking a bathroom break as being "disgusting", as one more  memorable moment that showed how asinine Trump can be. Maybe Trump doesn't have bathrooms in any of his homes or luxury apartments. Renters or condo buyers should check. But what the news media really focused on ,what really caught their attention, was Trump saying Clinton was" schlonged" by Obama in the 2008 primaries.  

And on CNN and elsewhere they've been snickering and giggling over "schlong" ever since.

First, the real point they missed and what really mattered  is that what Trump said  about Clinton was false.  But the media has been so wrapped up in the word "schlong" that part has been ignored. Instead they kept harping on Trump's comment as " vulgar". 

 CNN was so enamored with the word " schlong" all they focused on in their political segments was Trump's use of the word which naturally, in their grown up way,  they related to a penis. Which shows where their minds are. And their knowledge and accuracy.

When I was 14 and growing up in Brooklyn my friends and I used the word "schlonged" all the time.  And we never used  "schlonged" in any way that  had anything to do with a penis.  No one did. We had enough other words to use for that. And we did.  What "schlonged" meant to us and to everyone else in the neighborhood was getting beat really badly.  Destroyed. No contest. Slaughtered.  Schlonged. We usually used it in the context of sports, professionally or in games between ourselves.  It never had anything to do with a penis which CNN and Wolf Blitzer kept obsessing over (no wonder Blitzer went after Anthony Weiner) regardless of whatever eastern European origins the word might have. No one, at least in Brooklyn (which is all that matters when it comes to the word "schlong")  ever used the word to mean anything other than getting beat badly by your opponent.

Which is what Trump meant. Only it was a lie. As false as Clinton's lie about Isis using Trump in recruiting videos. Which makes Trump a little like the pot calling the kettle black.

But leave it to CNN and others in the news media, first to show the same level of accuracy in journalism and reporting they did in Ferguson and other news stories they get all wrong,  and second to show they have less maturity than my 14 year old friends as they snickered through a 24 hour news cycle at CNN and other places constantly referring to Trump's use of the word "schlonged" in what he said about Clinton and making the penis connection.

What they could have done had they not been so Freudianly obsessed, was  point out that the substance of what Trump said was a lie.  Because  the assertion that Clinton was badly beaten by Obama or even actually beaten at all by Obama in the primaries is false.

The reality is that in 2008 Clinton actually won the popular vote over Obama during the primaries, and a significant  majority of Democratic voters (when you include the votes gotten by lesser candidates ) didn't want Obama to be the Democratic  nominee at all.  Neither Obama nor Clinton finished the primaries with anywhere close to the two thirds majority of delegates needed for the nomination.

It is also a fact that  during the 2008 Democratic primaries Clinton didn't just beat Obama in 15 of the 17 largest states in the country, she landslided him in those states, schlonged him you might say,  by more than 10 points in each state and beat him in the 16th. The only large state  Obama won was his home state of Illinois. 

It shows that Trump can't get his information right and what he thinks is true, isn't.  And when it comes to judgement how can you be president and make good judgements about anything when you don't know what's true?

And that was the story.  How false and badly false Trumps statement was. Which isn't exactly the kind of characteristic and  good judgement most people want in a president.   Especially since we haven't had it for 16 years .But that wasn't the story. "Schlong" was. Which shows how knowledgeable reporters are. And how bad they are at what they do.

Maybe its because no one in the news media including CNN wants to touch the truth or point it out because it  was the news media who aided and abetted Obama during the Democratic primaries and the general election by looking the other way when Obama was constantly caught in a lie. Which was constantly. And the last thing they want to do now is bring that up.

The point is when Trump said "schlonged" he meant beaten badly and the real story is that was a lie.  Clinton won more votes than Obama did. And Trump's comment was as much  of a lie as Clinton's lie about Isis and Trump in recruitment videos.   (Can't anybody here tell the truth about anything?)

So the real point is that Trump showed again he doesn't know what he's talking about and gets his facts wrong,  not exactly what anyone wants in a president.

Trump said that his comment wasn't vulgar. His bathroom comments went beyond vulgar to disgusting. But his " schlonged" comment wasn't vulgar. It was false. 

But despite Trump's statement being false on its face,  CNN for one,  throughout the 24 hour news cycle ignored face value to go for penis value.  Which made CNN vulgar.  And might explain why CNN keeps getting schlonged in the ratings.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Poll: Sanders Beats Trump by Bigger Margin Than Clinton. News Media:Bernie Who?

A new Quinnipac poll, for whatever its worth ( and no one really knows) shows that in head to head match ups against Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders beats Trump by a wider margin than Clinton.

But even though the poll shows Sanders a more popular candidate nationwide against Trump than Clinton,  Sanders is a virtual non-entity  to the news media compared to Trump showing again just how professionally and morally bankrupt the overwhelming majority of those who currently work in journalism at all levels really are.

The Intercept ( the news organization started by Glenn Greenwald of Edward Snowden fame) ran a Nexis report on news media mentions and headlines over the last 30 days comparing Trump to Sanders. There were 20 hits for Sanders 690 for Trump.

Following Trumps statement about a temporary ban on Muslim immigration ( keeping in mind that Trump is still one of 12 Republican candidates and nothing he says has any force of actual policy) the Nexis comparison of Trump headlines to Sanders was 100-5.

Comparisons made using only  the New York Times and Washington Post revealed that Trump had 145 headlines and Sanders 22. In the Washington Post the headline mentions were 64 for Sanders, Trump 535. 

In addition to the Quinnipac poll, an analysis of a recent NBC/Washington Post poll made by The Intercept showed Sanders had more national support ( subtracting those identifying themselves as strictly GOP or Democratic voters) than Trump, 16%-11%

If anyone still has any doubt about what drives the national news media from their completely dishonest, slanted and destructive Ferguson coverage a year ago to national policy and presidential politics, none of which ever has anything to do with presenting truth or facts but pandering for ratings and profits,  the Intercept reported that Les  Moonves, the CEO of CBS at a recent CBS investor presentation on CBS' bottom line cheered " Go Donald. Keep getting out there !"

He wasn't  supporting Trump as a candidate just a gold mine.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Sanders landslides Clinton in 3 Democratic Straw Polls.

No doubt the headline is either going to come as a shock to many Democrats especially Clinton supporters or they arent going to believe it and write it off as something  invalid that can be just ignored.

Well, okay, if you want to.

But, a Democratic web site that's been around since 2003 as been conducting straw polls on Democratic candidates for president. It's not some fly by night political site and there is no ax to grind.

Unlike the polls that use a sample of 500 people, (Quinnipac) none of whom by the way can ever be verified as not being aardvarks much less actual voters, while clearly not scientific, the number of people casting votes in the straw poll are considerable. And the results no matter what you think of the validity of the polls, still come as a shock. To some. But not all. 

The national polls are just that --  national extrapolations based on small random samples from all over the country  with no way of knowing if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent, if they've ever voted at all, will vote or will vote in a Democratic primary.

It can be argued the same is true for the straw poll at Democrats. com. But what no one can argue against are the raw numbers which speak for themselves. Which seem to reflect, if not political science, passion.

The most recent Quinnipac  national poll shows Clinton beating Sanders 60-35 based on a sample of 550 people nationwide. The Democrats. com straw poll results are just about opposite. CNN which everyone knows are the most unreliable and rigged polls with the lowest standards in polling also have Clinton with an almost 2-1 lead. 

The results of the Democrats. com straw poll conducted between 10/3-10/9:

From  155,111 votes cast:
Bernie Sanders, 50% Clinton 21%, 17% either Clinton or Sanders. The rest was divided between Biden, O'Malley et al.

The second poll conducted 10/14-10/19:

From 91,082 votes cast:
Sanders 49%  Clinton 32% and 14% saying either.

In the third straw poll conducted 11/6-11/12:

From 126,121 votes cast:
Sanders 46% Clinton 32% with either getting 17%.

Even if unscientific and the possibility of some ballot stuffing ( though ballot stuffing could be just as possible for Clinton as Sanders) the numbers are still unexpected. Though possibly predictable because many of Clinton's recent positions have seemed to have a new found loyalty to Obama's failed presidency and may be the result of the Clinton campaign making a serious political miscalculation.

The landslide numbers for Sanders over Clinton in the straw polls may have deep roots.

Clinton seems to have changed her views recently to be more in keeping with Obama and has been praising what most Democrats know is a failed presidency. It could be a calculated political decision thinking that praising Obama and not just defending but embracing his presidency is going to go over well with most mainstream Democratic voters. Its not.

 The Clinton camp seems to be totally oblivious to a lot of  palpable disgust most Democrats --  Democrats in congress and Democratic voters feel towards Obama. And for very good reasons.

Obama's sell out of healthcare reform to the insurance companies by agreeing to drop the public option which became known as Obamacare is something Clinton has been enthusiastically embracing. Democratic voters do not.  And it's singularly responsible for Democrats getting wiped out of the House in 2010 ( as I predicted it would months before the 2010 election if the public option was dropped) and again in the senate in 2014 which I also predicted. Obamacare has been a total failure in helping the people healthcare reform was supposed to help the most - the 35 -40 million uninsured, 97% of whom are still uninsured 2 years into Obamacare because they can't afford the insane premiums of even the cheapest policies.  Which is what happens when you let the insurance companies write the bill. Which Obama did. 

It's probably safe to assume the vast majority of the 35 million who are still uninsured and who will now face stiff financial penalties for not buying the junk forced on them by Obamacare are Democratic voters. 

Obamacare has also been a complete failure at the second thing healthcare reform was supposed to do - lower the obscene cost of healthcare and insurance for people who have it . Instead premiums and healthcare costs keep rising thanks to Obama's dropping of the public option. 

Sanders is campaigning on replacing Obamacare with a Medicare for all type program. 

On Wall Street,  8 figure a year bank executives who admitted to criminal fraud which caused the financial crisis were allowed by the Obama administration to buy their way out of prison by agreeing to record fines that didn't even require them to use their own money -- in other words Wall Street criminals -- real criminals not rhetorical criminals were allowed to get off scott free.  And that isnt going over well with Democratic voters either. That is in contrast to Sanders  constant attacks on Wall Street.

And then  there is Obama's terrible judgement with Isis and his failed foreign policies and now his grudging acknowledgement that its going to take U.S. ground forces (with other countries) to defeat Isis so is starting to deploy them in dribs and drabs. There was Clinton's own statement after the Paris attacks supporting Obama's now defunct Isis policy of not sending ground troops when she said "It's not our fight". Which didn't sound too good to begin with and is even worse after San Bernadino. And Clinton's staunch defense of Obama policy of never sending U.S. ground troops to destroy Isis has not only been undercut by Obama's decision to send commandos and special forces but almost 60% of Americans now support the use of U.S. ground troops to destroy Isis. 

Praising or supporting Obama's weak, tepid, disengaged  and failed foreign policy from the Ukraine to Syria and Isis  and the failing Iran deal doesn't figure to win many votes outside of Daily Kos. 

Yet Clinton has embraced all of it and almost incredulously said Obama doesn't get enough credit for the economy improving.

Clinton's embrace of Obama policies, if that's how she really feels is misguided and out of step with mainstream Democrats.  Her positions on Isis, Edward Snowden, Obamacare, the economy, and foreign policy all are embracing failed Obama policies  which doesn't seem to acknowledge them as failures and instead look politically calculated.

The term "Democratic strategist" since 2000 has been an oxymoron and if Clinton is taking bad political advice to embrace Obama and not run from him because she thinks she has to appeal to Obama supporters it will play right into Republican hands of trying to portray her as a third Obama term which, whether she realizes it or not, or likes it or not, nobody wants. Nobody. And that includes the majority of Democrats. 

Which may very well explain Sanders swamping her in the straw poll at

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

CNN's pandering vanity promo for GOP presidential debate.

There's not much CNN does right these days. Actually for a lot of days. Like years.  Their lack of any journalistic standards or real objectivity,(see Ferguson)  their fear of offending any demographic group or political persuasion with the truth, their lack of putting up a firewall between themselves and those they cover especially politicians is there for all to see in microcasm in their cosmetic  vanity promo for their GOP presidential debate December 15 . 

The promo which consists of a pounding drum solo that's been used in dozens of commercials from local car dealers to Vegas hotels plays through a series of carefully lit beauty shots of the faces of each Republican candidate. Along with their names in case you forgot.

The progression of shots are of each candidate looking into the camera,  dramatically lit and designed to do one thing --  make them look good. Which doesn't say much for a news organization holding a debate that is supposed to ask tough revealing questions. It doesn't create  a lot of confidence that there is going to be too much that is new or any questions based on anything real. It's a promotional spot for a presidential debate designed to appeal to the vanity of both the candidates and the network, a contrived display by a news organization trying to flatter those they are supposed to cover which gives us insight into CNN's idea of journalism. 

A more honest way of doing it would have been to use candid shots of the same candidates in real settings or previous debates, or making speeches or shots that caught them off guard, something that actually revealed something about them, their character or political views even it didn't flatter them instead of pandering to their already out of control vanity. Which might have  promised a debate that would do the same thing. 

Instead we get a series of contrived pretty pictures (well they try and make them pretty)  of all the GOP candidates  shot expressly for the promo showing them staring  seriously and purposely or demurely into the camera with the hackneyed done to death drum solo on the soundtrack designed  to let you know that, hey kids this is important.

It promises soft ball questions or questions designed to ignite the kind of inflammatory nonsense CNN tries to pass off as journalism. And with Wolf Blitzer moderating, someone who is constantly shilling for CNN, (like promising new information just before a  commercial break to keep you watching then giving news thats 8 hours old on the other side of the break)   dont expect much. A lot will be about Trump and his Muslim comments and asking candidates to condemn them , will they support Trump if he is the nominee and other questions that will be of little use to actual human beings but which may inspire a dog fight.

The shallowness of the promo and its approach tells you a lot about  the shallowness of CNN as a news organization , the people who work there , their thinking and those who make decisions about what they think matters. And more importantly, what they think doesn't.  Which is why CNN continues to be  the Most Rusted Name in News.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Thoughts and Prayers, 5c

Everyone's heard it all before. Its comes out of the Insincere Politician and News Media Handbook of Cliches For Every Occassion under: Tragedy. "Our thoughts and prayers are with _______" It's  right above " our hearts go out to____" .
After Paris Obama said his thoughts and prayers were with the victims. So did every member of the news media as they interviewed survivors and family members. So did Hillary Clinton and every other politician.  As family or survivors were interviewed by CNN reporters they would invariably squeeze in "Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family".
After the shooting at the Colorado Planned Parenthood Clinic Obama, politicians and the news media all said their thoughts and prayers are with the victims.
And after the 14 were killed and 21 wounded in San Bernadino there were more thoughts and prayers offered from Obama and all of the Republican presidential candidates who would rather offer thoughts and prayers than offer legislation to cut down on the need for thoughts and prayers.
The entire Peanuts gang offering their thoughts and prayers would have more sincerity and carry more weight than all the politicians and members of the news media who patronizingly offer it combined.
The truth is -- and it is the truth --no one,  not one politician or any TV journalist who offered thoughts and prayers to the victims of another mass shooting ever  missed a meal over it despite their public hand wringing. And while they will  publicly wring their hands no one will lift  finger to actually do something about it.  

Hillary Clinton offered a tweet ( a tweet?) that said
" I refuse to accept this as normal".   Okay, thanks. This seems to follow her new found loyalty and support of  failed Obama policies who recently enlightened us with more of his electric deeply moving, insightful and meaningful  pronouncements  after the Colorado clinic shooting when he said, 
" This is not normal".
Everyone knows what offering thoughts and prayers are.  Offering thoughts and prayers is essentially an insincere political cliche designed to show that the offerer is a good person who cares. Which they do.   A little.  For a minute. What it really is at its most basic, is sympathy.
There is something better than sympathy.  Its called empathy. Empathy is before the fact, sympathy comes after the fact.  If you have empathy for human beings  if you can relate to others and their lives and there is enough of it among politicians  there wouldn't be a need for so much sympathy.
Sympathy  for the victims is the stock and trade of politicians and the news media. It's all they have to offer. Because it's the easiest  thing to do. It's a greeting card that disappears when the cameras do.  

The entire Peanuts gang offering their thoughts and prayers would also have more impact than all the politicians and news media types combined. At least you'd feel they understood. 

What's really needed is to actually do something that might help prevent one or two or three of these events.  Maybe like shaming Republicans who killed a bill that would ban people on a terrorist no fly list from buying guns.  Or a bill to limit magazines to 15 rounds. But as the NRA knows, you don't need an AR-15 to kill a bill. You just need enough Republicans. 
Democrats, weak and meek and tepid as usual
(there is a political axiom that a party takes on the characteristics of it's leader) didn't know how to turn that to their political advantage. The news media, weak and meek as usual who get tough when they think its safe and it won't offend any large demographic group,  plays the "they said, they said" game, bringing on both sides of the debate and giving equal weight to both because their idea of being fair has nothing to do with the truth but equal opportunity lying. 

Opponents of any legislation say it wouldn't have prevented the tragedy . How they know this isn't clear. Since the San Bernadino killers were on a time table a law limiting magazines to 15 rounds instead of 30 might've cut the casualties in half.  Or a law requiring extra registration for anyone wanting 30 round clips so they can be vetted.

By the way what didn't prevent the tragedy was the bulk meta data collection of all Americans phone records which ended Nov.29th thanks to Edward Snowden .  The phone records of the terrorist shooters for the last five years  along with Internet activity was available and stored somewhere along with everyone else's thanks to the abuses allowed by Obama in the name of national security and was worthless in preventing what happened.

Saying that new laws wouldn't have prevented the attack is worthless also. It's a good excuse for doing nothing.

Which means all the thoughts and prayers of all the politicians and news media in the country combined isn't worth 5c.  It's not even worth two.