Saturday, January 30, 2016

Clinton Spokesman Who Once Called Anita Hill a Slut Attacks Sanders on Race.

If the Clinton campaign is trying to  write the handbook for how to lose votes and alienate people by taking cheap political shots and going into the political gutter while making themselves look stupid, they are doing a good job.  Maybe they can title the book "It Takes a Village Idiot".
The Clinton campaign is starting to show on a number of fronts they are willing to get into the political gutter to attack Bernie Sanders and do it dishonestly as Clinton, in apparent early desperation  has started to launch the kind of dishonest political attacks against Sanders that Republicans have launched against her in the past and against other Democratic candidates. And she is doing it because she is losing.
The latest village idiot is of all people, David Brock, the former right wing mud slinger who was part of the vast right wing conspiracy that actually did exist against Bill Clinton and financed by Richard Mellon Scaife. 

It was Brock who wrote the first article in the American Spectator about Bill Clinton and Paula Jones when he was governor of Arkansas which was the opening salvo for all subsequent  attacks on Bill Clinton. It was Brock who did the opposition research and ferreted out the story of Clinton and Paula Jones, wrote the story and convinced her to make accusations against Clinton for political purposes which spilled over into the Lewinsky media frenzy.

That Clinton is even willing to accept Brock as a political ally says a lot about how the Clinton campaign will do anything to win. No matter how dirty it gets. Except against Sanders  it is not likely to work.
This is the same David Brock who went on to write a book attacking Anita Hill  and her accusations  of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas during Thomas' confirmation hearings. Brock referred to Hill at the time as  "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty".
This is who is slinging mud on behalf of  the Clinton campaign against Bernie Sanders' TV commercial "America"  by saying that "black lives really don't matter to Bernie Sanders" because, according to Brock, Sanders didn't have enough black faces in the commercial.
It seems to prove that while you can take the political hack out of the gutter you cant take the gutter out of the hack, but what makes it so stupid and exposes it as nothing more than a low class political smear trying to use race to attack Sanders and support the Clinton candidacy, isnt just the tone deaf reality of who is making the attack -- Brock --it is that the Sanders commercial shows Sanders in an embrace with a young black girl, and a shot showing black supporters at a Sanders rally.  It also,  incredibly, ignores the fact that Sanders' press secretary is an African American woman. 

It's like it just doesn't matter what the truth is  to the Clinton campaign and they are willing to say anything to win even when its preposterously and obviously  untrue. It's desperation that shows. About the last quality anyone would want in a president. 
If one wants to make a racial issue out of the Sanders commercial based on the number of black Iowa faces in the commercial,  even though Iowa is not known as a must go to destination for African Americans, there are more African Americans in Sanders' TV spot than there are African American actors nominated for an Oscar.
This is clearly an attempt by the Clinton campaign to lay the groundwork for future attacks against Sanders in what the Clinton campaign believes is its " southern firewall"  and their belief that her continued  pandering to African Americans by effusively praising Obama despite his failed and dishonest policies will win her South Carolina which has the largest African American voting bloc in the country and other southern states with large African American populations. 
But the irony of having the man who called Anita Hill a slut attack Sanders dishonestly about race may not be lost on African American voters in the south.
And assuming African Americans like everyone else are going to vote on what is best for them and their own self interest, from the economy , income inequality and especially healthcare with the mammoth  failure of Obamacare that Clinton ignores and still  supports, Sanders has a great chance of winning South Carolina and "Berning" through the Clinton firewall.  

This is going to be especially true in a month or two when everyone who doesn't have health insurance, African Americans and everyone else, are going to find out when they do their taxes that they're going to be socked with a $700 penalty mandated by Obamacare for not buying the junk insurance policies that Obamacare tried to force on them through the insurance companies.
That $700 is going to be deducted from their tax refunds if they have any or assessed against future refunds if they don't. That is $700 that people who couldn't afford health insurance to begin with are going to have to pay right now,  and its going to hurt. 

That is $700 everyone, African American and otherwise, were counting on to use to pay bills or maybe even have a little fun. And yet Clinton has the gall to attack Sanders on his single payer plan because it will raise taxes so people won't have to pay thousands in insurance premiums? What does Clinton think that $700 penalty is? It's a $700 tax but only against those who can least afford it, thanks to the stupidity of  Obamacare which has failed on its face and fallen on it too. Only its actually worse than a tax because the people who will pay it got nothing for it in return.
No matter what nonsense or mud David Brock or anyone else in the Clinton campaign tries to sling Sanders way reality is going to set in. And attacking a man whose integrity is  beyond question after 25 years in congress when there is nothing to back it up is going to backfire.  

Brock tried another tactic recently trying to accuse the Sanders campaign of bussing in young voters to Iowa to vote for him in the caucuses, something that would be clearly illegal and would require each person to commit perjury since voters have to sign a paper declaring they are a citizen of Iowa. Sanders exploded at the accusation and Brock and everyone in the Clinton campaign yelled " incoming" and ducked.
 Its the kind of lie and smear tactic often used by Republicans and smacks of Karl Rove. That the Clinton campaign is willing to use these lies against Sanders is alienating voters and will continue to alienate voters.
When you try that against a candidate with Sanders' integrity, it's called spitting in the wind. And if they keep it up the only thing that is going to help David Brock, or anyone else trying the same is a box of tissues.

Monday, January 25, 2016

How Clinton's support of Obamacare Could Seal the Nomination for Sanders.

In recent weeks Hillary Clinton has gone on the offensive against Bernie Sanders' health care plan which is to eventually have a  single payer system that would provide coverage to all Americans.

Clinton has attacked that plan in support of  the ACA or Affordable Care Act,  known as Obamacare,  and has repeatedly defended it, extolled it, said she wants to keep it and build on it, and has attacked Sanders for wanting to replace it. She even sent Chelsea out to defend it using a torrent of blatant falsehoods about Sanders plan and what it would mean to Americans to lose it, all of which was untrue. What Sanders single payer plan would do is put the ACA in a dumpster where it has always belonged and for reasons which will be made clear.

Whether Clinton actually believes what she is saying or whether her support for Obamacare is part of the obvious backroom deal she made with Obama to publicly support his policies in return for Obama and the Obama controlled DNC going into the tank for her as many including David Gergen  believes is the case, politics aside, Obamacare is and always has been nothing less than the most  egregious, underhanded deceitful dishonest cave in and sell out of a government policy -- the public option --  to corporate interests and a special interest group -- the health insurance industry-- in American history. That is Obamacare and that is what Clinton is defending and supporting.

In June 2009 according to polls 72% of Americans supported and wanted a public option. Astoundingly 66% said they'd be willing to pay higher taxes to get it. (something the Sanders campaign can use the next time the Clinton campaign tries to trash his single payer plan by pointing out it would raise taxes on the middle class).

Obama reneged on his own campaign promises of a public option and that of the Democratic party. These were promises he made in every town hall meeting he had on healthcare reform in June, July and August of 2009  where he defended and promoted the benefits of the public option. Then in late August of 2009 Obama caved in to pressure from the health insurance lobby who wanted Obama to drop the government run public option because it would hurt their business. Obama caved in showing a lot more concern for the health of the insurance business than for the health of the American people. Especially the uninsured.

Since then Obama has told more lies about Obamacare and did more to cover up its failures than Nixon did about Watergate and did so from the very beginning.

In his first interviews after the passing of the ACA without the public option, Obama said he got "95% of everything I wanted". When it was pointed out to him that there is no public option, Obama lied and said " I never campaigned for the public option".

 It was as brazen a lie as anything Nixon ever told. He had campaigned for it in 2007-2008, it was in his campaign literature, there are a variety of  Youtubes of his speeches supporting the public option and it was at the heart of every speech he made in every town hall meeting he ever had on healthcare reform in June, July and August of 2009.

And he and the White House and Democratic party fundraising arms have been lying about it ever since,  from the number of people who actually signed up for insurance to its very purpose. In his latest State of  the Union message Obama tried to claim that the purpose of the ACA or Obamacare was to "close the gap" between employer based coverage and giving people the opportunity to purchase health insurance on their own when they lost their jobs. Really? Since when? That was Obama continuing to lie after the fact about Obamacare to try and make the policy fit the reality of so few people actually signing up. 

The two main purposes of healthcare reform was to get healthcare coverage for the 35-40 million Americans who didn't have it because they couldn't afford it, and to bring down the obscene cost of healthcare for those who did.This was not only based on the idea that healthcare should be a right not a privilege but every economist agreed that it was the uninsured who were partially responsible for the rising cost of healthcare. Obamacare accomplished neither goal. The public option would have accomplished  both. And been a boon to the economy since people switching from private insurance to the public option would have seen money spent on insurance premiums going back into their pockets. 

Obamacare has been a complete failure on both fronts and the people who the Unaffordable Care Act was supposed to help the most know it and most of them are Democratic voters.  Which is why Hillary Clinton's continued vocal support of Obamacare while attacking Sanders and his plan to replace Obamacare with a single payer system could by itself give the nomination to Sanders through primary victories supported by voters still angry over the sell out of Obamacare and what could have been. 

To show how dishonest Obama has been and how he knows Obamacare is vastly inferior to the public option which would have passed the congress, and how important it was to him that people forget that he sold out the public option,  when policies started being canceled in 2014 and Obama began taking heat from Republicans over what they called a broken promise over his claim that " if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance",  Obama was content to stay silent instead of pointing out the truth -- that he never  made that promise about Obamacare. He made that statement about the public option.

Obama made that pledge in defending the public option against Republican attacks that the public option was " a government take over of healthcare". Obama countered by pointing out it was an option not a requirement, that no one would be forced to sign up for the public option and that  " if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor".

He preferred to remain silent rather than remind people that a) he did campaign for the public option and then lied when he said he didn't, and b) didn't want to remind people of how much better the public option would have been than Obamacare.  And so Obama decided he'd rather take the political heat and hit on his trustworthiness in the polls and at the same time was willing to throw Democratic senators up for reelection and who voted for it now taking heat from Republicans, under the bus. Some senators scrambled to find ways to fix it but all Obama had to do was tell the truth. And take responsibility for his decisions. He wouldn't. 

Democrats were wiped out in the senate in 2014 almost as badly as they were in 2010, as I predicted they would be if they didn't repudiate the failures of Obamacare and promise to fix it by trying to bring back the public option. Obama made it worse by letting Democratic senators take the heat.

Hillary Clinton is either being dishonest, incredibly uninformed, or is in collusion with Obama when she says as she did at the last debate that the votes weren't there for the public option and that "even president Obama couldn't get it through".   Her point was that Sanders could never get his plan through congress because "even president Obama couldnt do it". Completely false. 

Healthcare reform with the public option had already passed the Democratically controlled House by a wide margin. Nancy Pelosi had called the public option "the centerpiece of healthcare reform". It was sent to the senate where the bill would be passed using reconciliation meaning it only needed 51 votes to pass. But Obama had already made his backroom deal with the health insurance companies to drop the public option as chronicled by both the New York Times and the PBS  Frontline documentary " Obama's Deal".

In an effort to give Obama a backbone 55 Democratic senators publicly stated days before the vote that they would vote for a healthcare reform bill that had the public option.  Among them was Sanders. Tom Harkin was another. But Obama had Harry Reid take it out. That is why there is no public option not, as Clinton falsely stated that the votes weren't there to pass it. And when Sanders was asked the day after the vote what he thought of the healthcare bill that was passed without the public option his answer was, " It's better than nothing"

At the time, Democrats had the biggest congressional majority of any party in 60 years and could have passed anything Obama wanted ( including gun control legislation and reauthorizing the ban on assault weapons.  Obama as was his political history, did nothing. It took the mass killings at Sandy Hook, the Colorado theater and Charleston to make him want to do something and by then it was too late as Democrats had lost their majority largely because of Obama's sell out on healthcare).

The reality of Obamacare is that of the 35-40 million uninsured before Obamacare,  less than 3% bought policies through the ACA. Conversely 97% of the uninsured remained uninsured. And for good reason. The lowest end policies designed for those who couldnt previously afford health insurance and which Obama allowed to be put together by the insurance companies,  are literally junk --  the equivalent of healthcare insurance junk bonds, charging high premiums, high deductibles and high co pays with little in return, policies that aren't accepted by most doctors and clinics. There have been reports in both the NY Times and AP of people who did buy these policies having to drive more than 100 miles one way to find a doctor or clinic that would take the insurance. New Hampshire where Sanders is beating Clinton in the polls 61-30 is one of those places. 

And if you make $40,000 a year or more you don't qualify for subsidies. Only the most desperate bought these  junk policies and its significant to note that while less than 3%  of the uninsured purchased polices in 2013,only 1% did in 2014, a drop of 2/3. Once people saw what they weren't getting for their money, they said no thanks. As for the drop in uninsured since 2008 which is miniscule, much of it can be attributed to people going back to work and getting coverage there, not through Obamacare.

The Inspector General issued a report a few months ago that the state exchanges are "awash in red ink" because the purchase of polices have been so anemic and that 22 of the 23 state exchanges are about to close. 

Which Is more proof of how false Obama's and Clinton's claim of Obamacare success really is and that 18 million previously uninsured bought policies. The real number is nowhere near that, probably under 2 million. 

A year ago in his 2015 State of the Union Obama  claimed 16 million who previously didnt have healthcare coverage bought polices. That too was false and Obama knows it.

In 2013 Obama claimed 7 million signed up. That number was a fabrication. Of the 7 million that enrolled,according to the insurance companies 20% never sent in their first months premium invalidating their policy bringing the number down to  5.6 million. About 10% turned out to be multiple enrollments because people had trouble with web site glitches and thinking they didnt go through, filed 2 and sometimes 3 applications. That brought the number down to  about 5 million. And the IRS said that at about 5% lied on their application about their income to qualify for subsidies they weren't entitled to and didn't match the income declared on their IRS return reducing the real number to about 4.7 million. Only about 1 million of those were the previously uninsured, the rest were people who previously had insurance looking for a better deal. 

But even using the White House's inflated number of 7 million in 2013,  Obama claimed 16 million in 2014 by adding the 9 million the HHS secretary hoped they would get in 2014 to the 7 million claimed the previous year. Except policies are renewed every year. So the hoped for 9 million policies weren't an addition to the 7 million the previous year, it would have included the 7 million assuming they all renewed their policies which they didn't, and then added another hoped for two million to get to 9 million. Obama adds the two years together and claims 16 million which is counting most of the same people twice but gives him a built in excuse if anyone in the news media were ever smart enough to notice or had the integrity to call him on it. And they weren't. And they didn't. 

The only successful aspect of Obamacare has been expanded Medicaid but that was left up to states to implement. In state's like Louisiana where Jindal rejected it 270,000 who would have been eligible didnt get it. And under a public option it wouldn't have been necessary. 

Obamacare has not only done nothing for the people it was supposed to help the most, it's actually going to hurt them badly this year just in time for the November election and this years spring primaries. Clinton's so called southern firewall has a great chance of crumbling over Obamacare. And deservedly so.

Those who didn't purchase the junk policies forced by Obamacare are going to be hit with a $700 penalty on their tax returns by the IRS. Its safe to say most of those 30 million or so still uninsured are Democratic voters. That $700 is going to hurt and it's going to be deducted from their tax refund so if they had any thoughts of just never sending it in or " screw them let them come after me for the money"  they are in for a surprise. Their refund is going to be $700 less. And this is what Clinton has been supporting and will be. 

I wrote two articles one in February of 2010 and again in August of 2010 when it became clear that Obama was going to sell out the public option that if congressional Democrats didn't take healthcare reform away from Obama and pass the public option anyway, they would get wiped out of the congress in the 2010 elections. It was a pretty bold prediction given that Democrats had won the biggest congressional majority in 60 years two years before. But a prediction I made with certainty.

Democrats, badly led by Pelosi and Reid, didn't take the agenda away from Obama, didnt pass the public option and were wiped out of congress in the 2010 elections suffering the biggest defeat of any political party in 80 years giving Republicans a majority they still hold. The huge defeat was not at the  hands of the people who voted against Democrats in 2008 but by those who voted for them and felt betrayed by losing the public option and stayed home. Something most Democrats and their strategists still bury their heads in the sand over. Except for Sanders.

I predicted the same level of defeat would happen in 2014 in the senate if Democrats didn't repudiate Obamacare after two years of failure and promise to bring back the public option. They didn't,instead listening to both Pelosi and Donna Brazile who said that they should run towards and not away from Obamacare.  Pelosi, sounding more  like Marie Antoinette than a Democrat kept repeating that the Affordable Care Act meant, " Affordable, affordable affordable". Democrats were wiped out of the senate in 2014.

Obamacare is a dishonest failure. An Obama sell out to the insurance companies. The state exchanges are going to close. About 97% of the uninsured remain uninsured. Those hoping to get a better deal on the exchanges are finding that mostly nothing has changed. And the cost of healthcare and insurance keeps going up. 

Clinton's firm support of Obamacare and trying to attack Sanders for wanting to dismantle it and replace it with a single payer system, the first step of which could be to bring back the public option,  could do to her candidacy what it did to the Democratic congress in 2010 and 2014 and its too late for her to turn back. She has already steadfastly embraced it and defended it and attacked Sanders for wanting to replace it.

Ironically with the Iowa caucuses coming up, it was in Iowa in 2010 that Obama told one of his bigger lies about Obamacare, a lie that makes Clinton's attacks on Sanders even more fruitless and dishonest. After the ACA passed in 2010 Obama went to Iowa to claim victory and that he had fullfilled the "promise" he said he made in Iowa 2 years earlier at the caucuses that if he were elected president he would pass "health insurance reform" in his first term. It was one more Obama lie. What Obama actually promised in Iowa during the caucuses in 2008 was that if he was elected president he would pass universal health care in his first term. Exactly what Clinton is attacking Sanders for now.  There was no Obama promise of "health insurance reform" . Naturally the news media didn't catch that either. Or did but we're too afraid to point it out.

Clinton's  belief that the African American vote will go her way in the southern states ignores the fact that the failure of Obamacare on every level affects African Americans the same way it affects everyone else.  And when voters,  African American or otherwise who have no insurance - 30 million of them - start getting hit with the $700 penalty on their 2016 returns for not buying the junk policies even the White House admitted to the New York Times was substandard, Bernie Sanders and his desire to replace Obamacare is going to be just what the doctor ordered. And just what Clinton and Obama didn't . 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Clinton Campaign Starts to Play Dirty Politics Against Sanders.

The Clinton's, both Bill and Hillary know what its like to be on the receiving end of dirty  dishonest politics. Unfortunately it seems that Hillary Clinton or her strategists have decided that if you can't beat'em join' em when it comes to trying to win using dishonest political attacks.

Hillary Clinton seems to be willing to resort to the same dishonest tactics that were launched against her in the past and were the earmark of Tea Party Right politics of distortion and half truths. And it's obviously  because she is now losing decisively in the polls in New Hampshire to Sanders and by landslide numbers, losing to him in Iowa,  and  has seen  a 20 pt lead nationally evaporate to 7 in less than a month, and all for good reasons  --  her new found embrace of Obama's failed, weak and capitulating policies in return for the Obama run DNC to tilt the playing field in her direction as even the esteemed David Gergen pointed out was obviously the case. Which is why the DNC refuses to schedule more debates.

In response to Sanders surging numbers, Clinton and her surrogates including a Clinton PAC have resorted to lying about the Sanders healthcare proposal and Sanders position on guns by using dishonest scare tactics about his policies.

Lie is the only word for it --  a knowing and intentional misrepresentation of the truth to try and gain some personal advantage or benefit. That's what a lie is. As opposed to a fib. Or white lie.  Its not an honest disagreement on policy. Its lying to falsely make one side look bad and the other side look good or better than it deserves.

And now they've even sent out  Chelsea to misrepresent Sanders healthcare policies in the hopes of stemming the tide.

Democracy For America, a Progressive group, wrote: 

"Unfortunately, over the last few days, the Clinton campaign has launched extremely dishonest attacks against Bernie Sanders on an issue that defines what it is to be a Democrat -- universal healthcare. In those spurious attacks,  the Clinton campaign has completely distorted and misled voters about Bernie's universal healthcare plan."

Chelsea went on the attack against Sanders by saying she "can't believe that there would be someone in the Democratic party arguing against Obamacare".  

Really? How about the 35 million uninsured, most of whom are Democratic voters and for whom Obamacare did nothing because Obama sold out the public option to the corporate interests of the health insurance lobby who actually wrote the insurance part of the bill and who's lowest end bronze plans designed  for the previously uninsured are such junk that less than 3% of the uninsured have bought them since the 2013 implementation of the Unaffordable Care Act. 

 For the record and as will be shown in great detail in a future piece, Obamacare is an unmitigated failure in what healthcare reform was supposed to do -- get healthcare coverage for the 35-40 million Americans who have no healthcare coverage and bring down the obscene cost of healthcare in America for those who do.  Obamacare is the product of Obama's sell out to the insurance companies by willingly dropping the government run public option  when it had already passed the House and had the votes to pass in the senate. 

Even the White House admitted in a New York Times article last year, that the low end policies offered by insurance companies on the exchanges designed for those who couldn't afford healthcare insurance were garbage. Their word was " substandard".  To say the least.

Those policies had expensive monthly premiums , as high as $600 a month, high deductibles, high co-pays and in most instances people who have them have had to travel as much as 100 miles one way to find a doctor or clinic who will accept the low end policies. Which is why Obamacare enrollment, miniscule to begin with among those who were uninsured, despite the White House lies about the numbers, dropped by 2/3 the second year of Obamacare from the first.

The only positive part of the ACA is the expanded Medicaid, which would have been unnecessary under a public option,  and left up to the governors of each state to implement so that in a state like Louisiana where Jindal rejected it,  270,000 eligible for expanded Medicaid didnt get it.

The  White House and political arms of the Democratic party fund raising machine controlled by Obama have lied about Obamacare more than Nixon lied about Watergate. Especially about the numbers. Obama even lied again during the State of the Union trying to move the goal posts of what healthcare reform was actually supposed to do by trying to make  the policy fit the reality when he said that the purpose of Obamacare was  to "fill in the gap of employer based health insurance when someone lost their job so they didnt have to be without insurance". Really? Since when?  Since Obama decided to lie about it for the umpteenth time to cover up its massive failures.That was never the purpose behind what healthcare reform was supposed to do.

Chelsea Clinton said Sanders would " dismantle Obamacare". Let's hope so.  But Chelsea only told a half the truth without saying what Sanders would replace it - a Medicare for all type policy that is far superior to the failed Obamacare based on the idea that healthcare should be a right which the public option would have provided and not a privilege. 

You have to feel for Chelsea. She is just trying to help her mother and is saying what she's been told to say almost of all of which is factually untrue. And given the falsity put out by Brian Fallon, Clinton's new press secretary on CNN recently,  he might be the villain putting lies in Chelsea Clinton's mouth.

Chelsea Clinton also said Sanders policy would end the Children's Health Insurance Program. A lie. She said Sanders would dismantle Medicare and strip millions of their coverage. A lie. 

What Chelsea  also doesn't say is that the sign ups for Obamacare on the state exchanges have been so anemic, something Obama has lied about repeatedly mostly because the low end policies are the equivalent of junk bonds, the Inspector General issued a report that 22 of the 23 state exchanges are going to close because they are awash in red ink because of low sign ups and can't sustain themselves. Only the Maine exchange has its head above water and not by much.

Sanders has proposed a Medicare for all type single payer system that would extend Medicare to everyone, not dismantle it. What it would dismantle is the failed Obamacare law that not only hasnt helped the uninsured despite the lies being propagated by Obama and the phony numbers being put out but, in April of this year, when those 35 million who are mostly Democratic voters and still uninsured get hit with a $700 reduction in their expected tax refund, the penalty they are going to pay for  not buying the garbage insurance policies Obamacare is trying to force them to buy, Clinton's support of Obamacare could  insure the nomination for Sanders.

Unfortunately what we're seeing now from the Clinton campaign is the kind of misstatements and outright lying about Sanders that Republicans usually level against Democrats.

But Clinton won't be able to rewrite history. At the time the Unaffordable Care Act was passed Bernie Sanders who was a staunch supporter of the public option was asked what he thought about the Affordable Care Act. His answer then? "It's better than nothing". Now Sanders has a better idea thats not just better than nothing, it's better than Obamacare.

When even the usual timid CNN points out that what Chelsea Clinton was saying about Sanders healthcare proposals wasn't true, you have a big problem. Clinton has also been playing fast and loose with the truth about Sanders on gun control when Sanders has said repeatedly he supports expanded background checks including those for gun shows.

Even Clinton supporters have to feel disappointed and even embarrassed over the recent dishonest attacks  and misrepresentation of Sander's policies and positions on healthcare and guns.  If they aren't, they ought to be. If its not a sign of desperation it feels like one.

 Obamacare is a disaster, an Obama betrayal and sell out to the health insurance companies and an abject failure, maybe the worst sell out of a government policy to a special interest group in history  and Clinton's support of Obamacare and attacks on Sanders wanting to replace it, just promises more of the same. And that isnt going to work.

And while Clinton is resorting to half truths about the tax increase for a middle class family that would pay for the single payer system without mentioning the $5,000 at least that  would be a net saving for a middle class family in insurance premiums and put the money back in their pockets as income, it might be a good idea to refer back  to a CBS/New York Times poll in June of 2009 on the health care debate and promised public option where 72% said they wanted the public option and incredibly, 66% said they were willing to pay higher taxes to get it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Trump Wants Clinton Not Sanders.

Donald Trump is clearly hoping for Hillary Clinton to be his opponent in a presidential election if he gets the nomination. Trump has been pushing the idea that if the presidential election is between him and Hillary Clinton it will produce a record turnout.

Trump, an experienced promoter, who has a lot more in common with PT Barnum than George Washington and more in common with Don King than Martin Luther King,  seems to be doing what he can to promote the idea that the election will be between him and Hillary Clinton, possibly trying to instill that match up into the minds of Democratic voters and influence them.

And for good reason. Recent polls shows that in a head to head match up , Clinton beats Trump by 1 point, easily within the margin of error which means Trump could also be ahead.
But the same poll shows Sanders beating Trump by 13. No margin of error for Trump.  In other head to head match ups against other candidates,  Sanders outperforms Clinton by a wide margin. Clinton actually loses to Rubio and Cruz. Sanders beats them both handily.

In another analysis of a national poll by Glenn Greenwald's The Intercept, looking at the national poll of Clinton vs Trump and Sanders vs Trump, Sanders beats Trump by a much wider margin than Clinton.  But when eliminating voters who identify as either Democrat or Republican,  looking only at independent voters in the same polls, Sanders beats Trump among independent or non-affiliated voters  16-11. Clinton is in a statistical tie. The head to head match ups of Sanders versus Trump and Clinton versus Trump or match ups against any other GOP candidates has Sanders  doing substantially better than Clinton with both Democratic and independent voters.

The most recent polls in New Hampshire show Sanders  thumping Clinton even more decisively among Democratic voters and in every demographic group. He even beats Clinton 50-44 with women voters.  The most  recent New Hampshire poll shows Sanders beating Clinton among all Democratic voters 53-39.

This reflects the results of Democratic straw polls in October and November reported here but ignored by the mainstream media . These polls while unscientific, were conducted by,  and had a substantial number of voters -- almost 400,000 that showed Sanders landsliding Clinton among Democrats. The mainstream media also ignored a recent Democracy For America vote , the Democratic group founded by Howard Dean,  inwhich  members were asked to vote via email to select who they wanted DFA to endorse for the Democratic nomination, Clinton, Sanders or O'Malley. Sanders won with a staggering 88% of the vote, beating Clinton 88-9.

There are a lot of good reasons why. Not the least of which has been Clinton's embrace of Obama policies and Sanders suggesting polices that refute them and are much more appealing. And clearly more effective.

The problem for Clinton is that no one, not even Democrats want a third Obama term. And with Clinton not just supporting those policies but in some cases promising to continue them,  which seems to clearly be a trade off between Clinton and Obama and the Obama run DNC where in return for Clinton's fealty and public support of Obama policies ("president Obama doesn't get enough credit"  said Clinton) the DNC is doing what many including the esteemed David Gergen has already pointed out  -- that the DNC is in the tank for Hillary Clinton and will do everything it can to tilt the playing field in her direction.

So will Donald Trump.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

How The Clinton Campaign Can Shut Up Trump On "Sexism" and Bill. If They Want To.

Maybe the best thing for anyone to do who is a political opponent of Donald Trump is just let him talk.    There is a case to be made that the more Trump talks the more he is in the process of destroying the Republican party in the next election.  But lately Trump's comments about Bill Clinton and his accusations of "sexism" have, not surprisingly, gotten the most coverage by the news media which many find obnoxious. Both the statements and the coverage.

While there is a school of thought that says just ignore Trump politically,the "sexism" attacks has gotten so much air play and the media has gotten so obsessed with it, shutting up Trump up for good over his recent attacks on Bill Clinton and "sexism" might not be a bad thing. And there is a way to do it. If the Clinton campaign or a surrogate wants to. And it might be the best thing to do. 

One thing Trump or almost any media savvy person knows is that for the most part mainstream journalists are no more than a collection of trained seals . They'll swallow whatever you throw them if everyone else is. And so Trump will continue  to bring up Lewinsky et al because he knows the media, especially cable news will keep swallowing. 

About  a year ago Rand Paul tried the same thing. It started with his wife attacking Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky nonsense in an interview in Vogue and soon after, Rand Paul picked it up and ran with it accusing Clinton of "sexism" over Lewinsky and took up the Republican mantra which at the time was that Bill Clinton engaged in sexual harassment in the work place with " a female subordinate" and all they, the Republicans, were doing was standing up for moral principles and defending women's rights.  Which is a lot like the Republicans trying to close down Planned Parenthood and stop free mammograms and Pap smears by closing clinics and calling it the Women's Health and Safety Act.

I wrote a piece when Paul starting attacking Clinton over the Lewinsky thing making a couple of  points about the accusations Paul was making (all political obviously in trying to undermine Hillary Clinton's candidacy disguised as phony moral principle) and in the piece I dared Paul to address those points,  make some admissions and either put up or shut up. He shut up.

I can't claim with any certainty that it was the piece and the points I made that shut him up. After all I'm not MoveOn.Org who likes to take credit for the sun coming up , ("thanks to you,  MoveOn member because of our petition of 28,000 signatures even if it is out of a membership of 8 million,  demanding that the sun come up at 7:12 am on Thursday which we left on a beach in East Hampton, the sun did  come up at 7:12 which shows  what we can accomplish by sticking  together".)  So I have no proof that it was the piece that shut him up. Only that he did shut up soon after publishing the piece and he hasn't brought it up since.

The points were these:

The "sexism" attack on Clinton which is what Republicans used against Bill to impeach him along a party line vote in the House and which Trump has decided to run with,  and which Rand Paul used was that as a White House intern, Lewinsky was "a female subordinate in the work place" and that Clinton having an affair with her amounted to workplace sexual harassment and sexism. Never mind that it was Lewinsky who started it and made all the overtures.  Republicans said it was sexism and harrassment because Clinton was a man in a powerful position taking advantage of a female subordinate in the workplace to go along with the moral lapse of being unfaithful to his wife. Which according to them and Rand Paul a year ago, and now Trump, made Bill Clinton morally "unfit" to be in the White House.

But if Trump, like Paul, is going to attack Bill over Lewinsky, for "sexism" based on having
an affair with "a female subordinate in the workplace" and the moral lapse of being unfaithful, making Bill morally "unfit" to be in the White House (thereby disqualifying Hillary) then Trump has to say the same thing about General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, when he was Supreme Allied Commander during WWII and planning the D-Day invasion in London had a long time affair affair with Kay Summersby, a  female British military attache who had the rank of Captain,  who was assigned to Eisenhower as his aide, and personal driver.

Since morality makes no distinctions Trump should be forced  by a Clinton campaign surrogate  to apply the same moral principle to Eisenhower and Eisenhower's workplace affair with a female subordinate  and force Trump to state that it made Eisenhower unfit to be Supreme Allied Commander, unfit to been involved in the planning of the D-Day invasion, unfit to have ordered the D-Day invasion and unfit to have been elected president of the United States because of his affair with Summersby, a "female subordinate in the workplace" and force Trump to also call Eisenhower  an " abuser" based on Trump's idea of morality that he wants to apply to Bill Clinton.

And as uncomfortable and campaign ending as it would be, Trump also has to make the same charge against Martin Luther King. We know, thanks to the FBI illegally wiretapping hotel rooms where King stayed, that King also had an affair with a young civil rights worker, " a female subordinate". So  Trump should be forced to apply his principle of "sexism"  to King too and and be forced to state that it made King unfit to lead the civil rights movement, unfit to have a memorial in Washington D.C.  and while he's at it let Trump criticize the New York City School Board for naming a public school after King. And lobby congress to rescind Martin Luther King Day and call King an "abuser".

The moral principles that Trump and other Republicans have tried to use against Bill Clinton to define someone as being "unfit"  for office and according to Trump an " abuser" is the same that can be applied to Eisenhower and King (and throw in FDR and JFK for good measure ) . And force  Trump to say so.  If Trump won't,  accuse Trump of being an intellectually dishonest moral hypocrite and political opportunist whose word and principles are worthless and are designed only for his own political ambitions. 

Let Trump be the one who needs to be very careful. If he keeps up the sexism attacks on Bill someone needs to  challenge  him to either put up or shut up on Eisenhower and King. 

It shut Rand Paul up. It will shut up Trump.