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February 25, 2016

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Feel the Bern,

Democrats never learn.

Lots of lazy conventional-wisdom regurgitation regarding Sanders here.

In talking with everyday folks, I sense that Sanders, with his regular-guy persona, apparent lack of guile, plain-spoken style, unabashed championing of FDR-style New Deal liberalism, and (sadly) the fact that he is an older white man, would win over a lot of people attracted to (the real estate developer). If Clinton is the nominee, these people will say "Oh Christ, not HER again," and vote for (the real estate developer).

The GOP will take out "the long knives" no matter who the Dems nominate. The GOP will obstruct no matter which Democrat occupies the White House. Your apparent notion that Clinton, somehow, would be more effective against the obstructionists is nothing more than magical thinking.

I'm not saying that I believe Sanders will somehow be able to execute on much of what he promises. Nobody should. But in a time when so many Americans turn to a cartoon TV plutocrat with orange skin and a silly hairdo, what's to say that many will be receptive to a self-described Democratic socialist? I remind you that most folks younger than about 45 aren't burdened with the dirty-commie baggage that baby boomers grew up with.

Here we have a viable candidate for president who makes no effort to be a Republican-lite, who is no friend of the plutocrats. And yet many of us wring our hands and fret about Karl Rove dropping a mean ad that completely changes everything, or something. Give me a break.


Wall Street Hillary, the greatest Republican President the Democratic Party has ever nominated.

Far, far worse to have a nanosecond of a Clinton again close to the White House than Trump any day. Revist the Clinton years and we'll see they laid the groundwork for much of the shit we're in now. I did not have sex with that woman is now I did not have sex with Goldman Sach. The Clintons should share a cell with their son in law's father IMO.

Jon, U and Soleri got your work cut out for U. So Let's hear more.
I don't see how the RNC can win this one. They either go with the Duck or he will give them the third party fuck.
So no matter Hillary or Donald it's pretty much a loose, loose cluster.

Can U all please explain how it helps Trump to Trash Reagan and his tax cuts?

Chris in Denver I answered your question under Front Page Editor

Actually, Mr. Talton, a massive infrastructure program to be financed with a tax on high-speed trading is one of Sanders' main planks; not saying it's realistic, but he's aware that it's an urgent priority and the only way to start rebuilding the working and middleclass. As for a President Trump, I'm more concerned with how our top brass will compare with Rommel than I am with how Trump compares to Hitler, 'cause he ain't going anywhere without them recognizing his authority as Commander-in-Chief and showing him due deference. Will the guys from West Point and Annapolis grovel at his feet and suck up to him, the way he demands from his underlings? Will they loathe him but do his bidding anyway, because that's what they're supposed to do?
About the Sanders supporters acting childishly, how many affluent democrats do you figure would ditch the Party and vote for Bloomberg over Sanders in the General Election...hypothetically speaking, of course? Would you?

I don't post links, because nobody ever reads those, but if you do a little googling, you'll find that Sanders wants to invest 75 billion in rebuilding the railway system, out of a trillion dollar package (cheaper than Iraq), while Clinton offers a vague quarter trillion dollar plan involving setting up a special "infrastructure bank" ( Oh, boy, another bank!), and doesn't mention rail at all.

Clinton Banking service with Bill at the teller window?

In my lifetime I cannot recall a time when the polarization between the parties has been greater. It's not merely policy, either - it's much more fundamental than that. We disagree about the color of the sky, whether Jesus wants you to be rich or merely good, whether there are any reasonable limits we can place on greed, and whether science and journalism actually are true. But if this isn't sufficient contrast for you, the Bernie Bots have their own radical dualism to posit: actual Democrats are Republicans-lite!

Hillary has raised $24 million for the party, supported President Obama, and held elective office as a Democrat, unlike Bernie who has been a Democrat for three weeks, won't raise money for the party, and who threatened to run against Obama in 2012. Oddly, the entire Democratic Party seems to support the "Republican-lite", since she actually is a Democrat. The perfidy of this action is causing the too-good-for-this world zealots to plot all sorts of revenge, up to and including voting for Trump. Because these purists are the real liberals! See: Ralph Nader.

I've already made my pick here: I'm going with the flawed but adult Hillary Clinton. She's not a Full Mooner promising a revolution that is so delusional as to be science fiction. She gets that you have to compromise. She understands political change is incremental rather than cinematic or opiated. She doesn't bullshit people with wishful thinking that is nothing more than pandering. To top it off, she actually knows stuff. Unlike any Republican, lite or no. The main rap against her is that she's not aspirational enough for people, that citizens want soaring rhetoric and impossible dreams. Maybe Bernie can make that happen for you but it seems increasingly unlikely that we'll have a national referendum about whether we want to go the Full Denmark.

Trump is a joke and he will not win. He's not Hitler or even Mussolini so much as Silvio Berlusconi with less taste and self-control. Hillary will mop the floor with that fraud. As tough as 2016 is supposed to be for Democrats, Trump should make this one easy.

Soleri, I love your optomism
And to help defeat Trump
Neocon Robert Kagan endorses Hillary.

Trump hasn't got the Republican nomination yet. Rubio, the media's darling and Republican establishment's boy, has a lot of firepower to slime out Trump.

Clinton v Rubio. Two choices of business as usual. Incremental change is ok for wealthy liberals and Republicans, but not for the millions of students with six figure non-dischargeable debt and late middle agers who lost retirement security from the 2008 collapse and stock market scams.

Disruption is needed, and no, not the corporate disruption which translates into layoffs and chronic job insecurity or rich liberals shoving out long term residents of urban working class neighborhoods so they can enjoy a delightful urban existence.

Disruption of the political establishment on both sides of the aisle.

SANDERS or TRUMP, otherwise don't extend your carbon footprint going to vote.

Rubio is a crackpot.

http://www.salon.com/2016/01/29/marco_rubio_is_not_a_moderate_if_the_florida_senator_represents_mainstream_conservatism_the_gop_is_screwed/

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/22/opinion/cranks-on-top.html

Fidel Castro and Sonny Barger
are pacifists compared to Rubio and Trump.
Maybe Bernie and I can go to Havana after the election. After all I'm sure Bernie like Obama probably belongs to the communist party. So if it's Rubio and Clinton the Neocons are in. Maybe not so much with Trump. And with the Neocons the 22 year old kids in Nevada with their Starwars Drones get to keep assassinating people from afar. Ah yes Uruguay looks better every day.

If you haven't read Glenn Greenwalds article in the Intercept in the Front Pages on why Bernie and not Hillary . I suggest you do.

Trump himself isn't really what scares me. What scares me is the sense of empowerment and validation he's giving to America's lowest life forms (See mugshots of Malheur squatters), who undoubtedly believe on the evening of 11-07-2016, they can start beating "others" and chasing them from their homes (full disclosure, I have a non-white child). Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, how many people here have portfolios that might influence their choice of candidates? I don't own a single stock, I'm like Michael Moore, except without money. I bet the Kochs will support Clinton over Trump ( on the Q.T. of course, there won't be any glossy fliers from Americans For Prosperity) because they care far more about their holdings than they do about the unwashed masses. I'm afraid quite a few liberals are pissed about Sanders because, in spite of their talking a good game when it's safe, they don't really want to change the status quo much beyond a few social issues like gay marriage. I understand that, really; if I had a comfortable, affluent lifestyle like Paul Krugman, for example, I'd be resentful of the upstart upsetting the apple cart too.

If you don't know how Clinton can possibly lose to Trump, watch her response to the BLM protester who confronted her in South Carolina; that's how you blow what should be a cakewalk.

Trump bested One of Harvard's best ever debaters and a talking puppet at the same time. Hillary is not a debater. Hillary would get more votes if she just said she had no interest in debating what Huffington post has identified as a lying prejudicial woman hating, Mexican hating no nothing blowhard.

Pat,

I find it curious that you ascribe such malice to Krugman, a Nobel laureate, who is assessing a claim of potential growth by Sanders supporters that falls into his area of expertise. In such a view, he's not mistaken — he's compromised because he wants to keep his affluent lifestyle.

Cal, Hillary is an excellent debater if you grade by measures like sequential logic, knowledge, and pertinence of the response. Granted, she's not a carnival barker mesmerizing the rubes. If Americans cannot tell the difference, then we deserve a Trump presidency.

I'm in the minority in this forum but I want to suggest a couple of readings. One is David Brooks' morning Times' column in which he edges tantalizing closer to complete apostasy with the conservative movement: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/26/opinion/the-governing-cancer-of-our-time.html?ref=opinion. The other is a blog entry by Nancy LeTourneau at The Washington Monthly, in which she focuses on Robert Kagan, a neocon cheerleader for the Iraq fisasco and who has now left the GOP: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2016_02/a_rare_convergence_from_two_si059745.php#disqus_thread

My feeling here is that if there's a center left in American politics, it's time to stand up for it. I cannot imagine any scenario in which the maximalist ideological position helps us survive the seemingly fundamental fissures in our politics. The crack-up is nigh and I would suggest it's a good time to take a deep breath and ask how we plan to shoot our way out of this civil war we headed for. Trump vs Sanders is not a hopeful sign. We need more than self-righteous certitude. We really need to calm down and then begin talking instead of yelling. I watched the debate last night and I was struck by how obnoxious Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are. Even John Kasich made me want to kick the TV set. Republicans started this war and it's entirely fitting and appropriate that the outcome of all their civic vandalism is one Donald Trump. The hyperbolic and nasty rhetoric in the GOP has fundamentally damaged this country to the point our institutions are imperiled. If you're a Republican you need to exercise greater responsibility, particularly in relation to your incendiary media. You're playing with fire and damaging this country in a way ISIS or al Qaeda could never do.

I was in a meeting yesterday with a manager for a large media company, who remarked, "if anything, this election is entertaining." He and his colleagues found humor in how the [real estate developer] wanted to punch a protester in the face. This election is nothing more than a reality TV show, without the commercial breaks. Banality of evil, indeed.

Soleri,

You are not alone on this blog. I generally ocnsider it best to follow my mother's advice and "save my breath to cool my porridge."
Most on here are not salvageable.
They are among us and, unfortunately some of them vote!

As soon as a critical mass of crypto fascists comes out of hiding, we will see how big the Trump phenomenon really is. It's not quite respectable yet to confess to liking Trump and what he says, but that's changing. I'm hearing more and more people saying they are voting for him.
Pondering, I realized that he puts a face on that billionaire class that the peasants so revere, and they see what they like. Awful as you and I might find him, they think he's cool, and they would be just like him if they could afford it.

I read this blog intermittently and probably missed a clear explanation somewhere. Could someone please explain why RC always calls Trump [the real estate developer]. I assume it's meant to be demeaning, but I don't see exactly how.

RC mentioned selling off politics to the highest bidder. The Republican primary actually seems to be proving that somewhat wrong. Jeb! had huge money behind him. He and his superpac spent extravagant amounts of money and it barely moved the needle. Perhaps you could say Trump, being a billionaire, is buying the election, except I don't think he has really spent a lot of money so far. I get the issues with Citizens United, but tend to think it is not as bad as people say. You can spend as much money as you want, but you still have to convince large numbers of people to vote for you. There are many reasons why Trump is doing well, but his $ spent per vote so far is probably one of the lowest. If anything, his self financing and lack of connection to big donors is a driver of his popularity.

Soleri, this true, "Hillary is an excellent debater if you grade by measures like sequential logic, knowledge, and pertinence of the response. Granted, she's not a carnival barker mesmerizing the rubes. If Americans cannot tell the difference, then we deserve a Trump presidency."
And I think we know the answer to that.

I don't ascribe malice to Krugman, I think he's an outstanding individual. Just not one of the millions of weary Americans who have no savings left. I expect people who at are a comfortable point in their lives to advocate for caution, but it's not reasonable to expect the exhausted and disenfranchised to. I read somewhere not long ago that the average American has no savings now, and can't afford an emergency car repair. It doesn't help to proselytize to them about patience and the long game, they're tapped out right now and there are at least 200 million of them. As I've said before, I don't think Trump can beat Clinton, but she'd better start addressing those people's concerns last week.

And how is Hillary going to be different than Bill.
From the above Front Pages,
http://inthesetimes.com/article/bernie-sanders-president-bill-clinton-1995

The GOP Frankenstein :
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-the-gops-frankenstein-monster-now-hes-strong-enough-to-destroy-the-party/2016/02/25/3e443f28-dbc1-11e5-925f-1d10062cc82d_story.html

Jon,

Thank you for your faithful work as a prophetic voice for Phoenix. The role of the prophet is to be rejected by his hometown, yet to speak the truth because one cannot help it, because it is a burning ember in the mouth.

As you said, somebody needs to call bullshit as they see it. Your ability to do this is appreciated. I left Phoenix 2 years ago in economic desperation, after 16 years of struggling to make this state a better place. Phoenicians need journalism that calls out the truth, and they are not getting thoughtful analysis that helps them to make informed decisions. Phoenix, the city of radically isolated individuals, is crying out for truth. Yes, "Phoenix and Arizona were ground zero in the worst downturn since the Great Depression. And nothing changed. The same game — with championship golf! — is still the only game in town." But good journalism alone, while important, is not enough. People who are decimated and isolated can't interpret disaster without community institutions where they learn how to act like citizens: congregations, non-profit organizations, public schools. They can't engage in this activity from behind their TVs or their laptops. The exercise of citizenship requires some practice and some mentoring. That's part of the reason I grieve the loss of public schools, congregations, non-profits. These are institutions that care about the formation of human beings and citizens, not mere consumers who are easy to organize with appeals to fear and greed.

There are some groups, some community-minded institutions which still attempt to bring people together to improve Phoenix and AZ. You have reported on some Roosevelt Row efforts, which are promising. Dig deeper, Jon. Report on other activities, faithful exercises in the prophetic and political voice, which are muted but still there.

Yesterday, I stopped for gas, and talked to a guy I know who works on a fracking crew. He said " Man, it's a good thing gas is so cheap now that work's slowing down!"

I find it disappointing that not one post is directed towards the gridlock which is created by the 550 senators and representatives .Almost 500 of them are up for election this year and if you are a senator you can freeze any appointment with just a hold.Why do we put so much emphasis on the presidential election and dismiss the election of these people who are reelected at a 97% rate ,even though their performance has been disastrously poor.This gridlock is causing America (like all past empires) to resort to a dictator(Trump) to take action(any action is better than no action).

I fear for my children and grandchildren,but as the old saw goes,it takes one generation to make a fortune and two to blow it.Our parents made America great through their efforts in WW2,and now it is the rest of the world's turn to turn the tables on the U.S.We seem to forget that instability leads to war(not tomorrow,but sometime in the next 20 years)and there are lots of nuclear weapons that can destroy the human race for eternity.Maybe "duck and cover"was a cruel way to educate children to the dangers of nuclear war,but it sure made my generation aware of the dangers.

Jan Brewer endorses [the real-estate developer]. See more on Arizona's Continuing Crisis:

http://www.roguecolumnist.com/rogue_columnist/arizonas-continuing-crisi.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/us/politics/the-right-aims-at-democrats-on-social-media-to-hit-clinton.html?_r=2

This NYTimes' article is from last year but confirms my suspicion about Republicans' ratfucking the Dems. They want to take out a candidate and her name isn't Bernie.

A liberal columnist posts a blog comparing Trump (the GOP frontrunner) to Hitler and Soleri is outraged about a PAC spreading facts and opinions about HRC.

And so it goes.......


INPHX with all due respect, in the long run I think the far right folks have more to fear than the far left from
"Adolf " Trump.


NEWS FLASH!

Wall Street wins big in the South Carolina Democratic primary.

NEWS FLASH!

Real Democrats vote for a real Democrat. Suburban revolutionaries upset.

Post newsflash, After Hillary and Donald nuke it out, Bernies suburban radical Bots will be back with pitchforks and muskets.

Soleri writes:

"She gets that you have to compromise."

I'm usually right there with you on issues but, after watching Obama beat his head against the compromise wall for 8 years with nothing to show, I'm skeptical that this is the right thinking. Why is this important when the minute Hillary is elected the Republican Senate Majority Leader will announce, publicly, that his sole objective is to defeat her?

So what is your strategy, Ex Phx Planner?

The Republican Senate Majority leader won't announce defeating Wall Street Hillary as his sole objective. She's white after all.

White Wall. Isn't that something to do with a hair cut? Bernie just got a haircut?

Or tires?

2026 AD, After 8 years of Occupying the White House Trump declared himself Grand Wizard and is now known as General Trump. There are no Muslims in the US. All illegal Mexicans have been loaded on trains and shipped south of the great white wall. Bernie Sanders us in exile along with all public professing Jewish folks in what used to be Palestine.

You could copy and past comments from Clinton vs. Obama into Soleri's post and just swap in Sanders name. Inspirational rhetoric was naive they told us. You needed a candidate who could compromise and master the bureaucracy. I think Obama himself bought into this once he was elected and he later realized that "candidate Obama" was right and President Obama turned out to be the naive one. Many of us who supported Obama were most excited about his ability to organize. His vision to mobilize OFA as a method for building capacity among the electorate I think would have paid off dividends long term.

I would rather have 4 years of a Bernie Sanders campaign with zero liberal bills passed than 4 years of Hillary Clinton with zero liberal bills passed and a few conservative ones.

Ex Phx Planner, I think we're all looking for a future where the Republicans establishment isn't actively sabotaging America for political advantage. If Hillary wins convincingly, maybe that will motivate leaders to actually engage the real world once again. There are no guarantees but there is this certain failure: behaving as intransigently and irrationally as them. At some point, we have to hope the few sane Republicans somehow reassert control over their party. If they don't, we might well collapse into chaos or military control if the political dysfunction is severe enough. As Ornstein and Mann's book title says, It's Even Worse Than It Looks.

I think we're all a little shell-shocked by this political season. Democracy is the veneer on a lot of naked power drives and hysteria. The deterioration of our institutions (read: public support) is advanced to the point where people openly scoff at expertise, knowledge, and competence. That's one reason I'm so adamant against radical political programs like Bernie's "revolution". We need to step back from the precipice and reengage the center. We're not going to browbeat half this country into either crypto-fascism or socialism. The True Believer needs enough doubt to maintain his humanity because without it, there's a yawning abyss where democracy and civility need to flourish.

It may well be the anarcho-capitalists, Randians, and authoritarians on the right actually want this state of affairs. We don't know if they're capable of shame or possess functional consciences. We also don't know if we have enough civic reserves to actually combat this growing cancer of nihilism and cynicism. The Democratic Party is the last national political institution left that is grounded in sanity. As frightening as all this is, it's too soon to give up or roll the dice and pray for Denmark. If you're an adult, stand up for the vital center, get involved in your local community, and turn off cable news. We're killing ourselves with cheap righteousness and idiotic explanations.

It's much. much simpler than anyone here is recognizing.

It's not about Trump or Sanders.

It's about congressional approval ratings of much less than 20%. It's about 10 plus years of nonsense out of Washington. It's not about that both sides don't get what they want, it's about that no one gets anything. Nothing gets done; both sides have become polarized.

Just in case you guys missed it, it's been a pretty tough dozen (or so) years for the good old USA. Crappy economy, killer recession, misguided foreign wars, the Obamacare roll out, the mess at the VA, rancid race relations, no immigration reform, no real tax reform, wealth division, the difficulty of terrorism, a globe becoming more and more and more dangerous, globalism, our own deficits, the list goes on and on.......


Some here come two outsiders. Dirty Harry for the GOP (Trump) and a straight shooting, self made, concise, terrific communicator with an admirable record of integrity for the Democrats (Sanders). Only problem- he's way, way, way to the left. A stunning contrast to his Democratic opponent.

It's not about each of them. It could be ANY two outsiders.

Folks are sick of what pretty clearly isn't working.

In the event Trump does win the nomination, Republican Party Establishment operatives will be implicitly rooting for Wall Street Hillary. A Trump presidency will doom the present day Republican Party and the establishment players who have enriched themselves from the structure. Wall Street Hillary in the White House will justify their continued existence and power.

Rule number one inside the Beltway: protect yourself.

So, no, Hillary will be treated well by her fellow Republican Establishment operators like McConnell if she defeats Trump.

If Hillary Clinton were so much the embodiment of, or fellow traveler with, the Republican "establishment," it wouldn't have spent the past twenty-plus years trying to destroy her.

I can't think of another public figure that has been on the receiving end of so much sustained calumny. Destroying her has been, and continues to be, Job No. 1 for the Republicans and the right. Those outside the right-wing bubble might ask, Why is that?

Now, I've written my reservations about her judgment in some areas. I know of this because the remnants of the serious press have given her a deep and ongoing proctological exam that has yet to be administered to any of the other contenders.

Still, I can't have perfect. Churchill was far from perfect. Lincoln wasn't perfect, either. Today's progressives have little understanding of the real FDR or New Deal. In 2016. I am trying to stave off national suicide.

If Sanders is the nominee, I would support him. What's so troubling in the invective against Clinton by some Sanders supporters is they claim to see no difference between her and the Republican candidates. And that they would presumably sit out the election, support a Sanders third-party run, or even vote Republican.

Divide and rule. The right does it well.

Divide and rule, the political establishment owned by the oligarchs does it well.

My enemy's enemy is my friend. The warmongers and neocons of the Establishment Republican Party are under serious and real political threat by Trump. Hillary will be their lifeline if Trump takes the Republican nomination. Wall Street Hillary is one with the Republican Establishment in the present day ascendancy of Trump, who they can't own and control. The family feud of the past 20 years between the Republican Establishment and Clintons doesn't apply with ascendancy of Trump.

A vote for Wall Street Hillary is a vote for oligarchy, the Republican Establishment and business as usual.


I share some of the same concerns as Soleri about the utopian fantasies of some Sanders supporters. However, the Sanders platform, in my opinion, simply has better policy solutions. And I think because he is openly calling to raise taxes to pay for them, there is, in fact, a sense of realism to the campaign. Of course I would vote for Hillary because for the simple fact that a Trump presidency is dangerous and could destabilize the world.

Carbon taxes, walkable cities, wealth equity, education spending, reigning in the military industrial complex, research and development spending, high speed rail? I'm pretty sure Jon could rename this blog "Praying for Denmark" and the content would fit pretty well.

Don't Vote, what can someone say to a zealot? You have figured everything out in lurid colors and bumper sticker pithiness. You know with absolute certitude and cosmic compass. There is neither doubt in your mind nor any possibility of conversation. It's my way or doom.

When chatting with extremists, just before I give up and wish them a nice day, I like to ask one question: what if you don't have all the answers? I talk to a lot of people and when I catch the steely glint in their eyes, I know it's over. The Total Explanation is one of life's most seductive addictions since it's a religion that doesn't ask questions or pray for guidance. It already has every answer. It's really like a mental illness since there's only one reality - one's own self-belief - and nothing else.

I appreciate Bernie Sanders' moral clarity and intelligence. But I don't like the unquestioning cult he's created on the left. Politics is pointless if it doesn't build bridges. Bernie Bots do not build bridges, they blow them up. How horrifying to have no doubts.

Well, Hillary has recently set the standard in avoiding transparency in her bob and weave approach to releasing the speech transcripts.....

I guess that's another right wing attack.....


BTW, Trump's just as bad with the horseshit excuse about being audited keeping him from releasing his tax returns. I have a pretty good idea why he's trying not to release them.

I don't think he's NEARLY as wealthy as he pretends....

Ex Phoenix Planner, I have no problem at all with Bernie's values. I would gladly pay higher taxes to achieve a humane and functional social democracy. But these are not policies so much as aspirations. You need more than liberal goodness to implement them. You need a majority. Even if you somehow managed to elect Bernie president, Congress would still be recalcitrant, most Americans would still be against paying higher taxes, and Republicans would be screaming Karl Marx like drunken parrots every time Bernie proposed anything.

Bernie is moving the Overton Window to the left, I hope. Some people are stating that he's detoxifying the word "socialism" and that younger voters are much more receptive to it than their parents. This is all good. But we're still a nation hobbled by racism and xenophobia. Bernie's signature "policy" is single-payer health care, which currently polls around a 39%, a plurality, among American citizens. When it's explained to them that their taxes would rise to pay for it and that they would lose their employer-based coverage, the number falls to 33%. Keep in mind, too, that Obama had strong Democratic majorities to pass the Republican version of health-care reform. You can get how difficult the road ahead is for this reason. People with skin in the game want to keep what they have.

The reason we're a center-right nation has less to do with particular policy positions than the fact we're not one nation demographically. Republicans exploit this fact with demonic glee. They know the average American loves socialism for himself and his neighbors, who all happen to be white, but is not so keen on it when you introduce heterogeneous elements into the equation. This is why we can't simply elect a lefty president and expect to change this. We really need to get lefties organized at the grass roots level first, and then move up the political food chain. Bernie may be doing the lord's work here but it's an inversion of what really needs to happen first. I know incrementalism is a bad word here, but it is more congruent with reality that revolution.

FUN FUN
Hillary and Bernie "has been" fun. But seriously we all knew that short of getting indicted there was no way Hillary was going to let 2008 happen again.
So it's Hillary up against Trump and VP Christie. With a possibility of the GOP winning a contested nomination and Trump running as an independent.

So " what if you don't have all the answers."
Reminds me of Higgins question to Joe Turner, "But what if they don't print it."

It's not just values - carbon tax, Glass-Stegal, tuition free college, pulling out of Middle East, and SS expansion, among others, are key policy differences with Clinton. Do they have a chance in GOP held Congress? Of course not. Do Clinton's half measures? We tested that for 8 years of Obama and it's conclusive: "No".

The "values" campaign I think is an advantage for taking back control of Congress. I don't think Clinton triangulation is.

And, my personal view is that we are not a center right nation (guns excepted), we are a racist nation. I think Howard Dean started an interesting idea of a liberal "Southern Strategy" when he said that he wanted to be the president for guys with "confederate flag stickers on their pick-up trucks". He took a lot of heat from the left on this, but I think he was absolutely right. We need to let racists (and anti-abortionists) into the party in order to win the larger issue: economic reform.

I do think working class white Republicans would support higher taxes on the wealthy for free education/training, higher minimum wage, unions, and better social insurance if they felt like they would benefit and not just "black welfare queens". It's sad but it's reality. Americans are not exceptional. Maybe once we all see Donald Trump and Chris Christie standing on stage side by side covered in American flags, we might wake up.

Ex Phx Planner, we're going to win because the demographic tides favor us. But we won't be Vermont writ large. We'll be California. That means politics won't become Scandinavian so much as Brazilian. There will always be ambiguity and rancor in a nation as diverse as ours.

I disagree with you about the last seven years. Obama accomplished quite a bit given the unprecedented (and some might call treasonous) opposition of Republicans. Carbon regs at the EPA, for example, which a Republican president would immediately rescind. Dodd-Frank is working (pace Krugman) and Hillary likes to point out, Glass-Steagall is less important as a threat than the shadow banking system. We have the framework now for universal health care, and what appears to be major shifts in mass incarceration and drug policy. Also, the culture keeps changing faster than politics, which now means gay marriage, an unthinkable development just 10 years earlier. Once again, I don't disagree with Bernie's values but there's something static in his vision. America is changing dramatically, and in many ways for the better, but to listen to Bernie, you'd think everything is going to hell. It's true we're no longer a major manufacturing economy and that has depressed wages, particularly among the white working class. The answer, I believe, is to strengthen the safety net (including affordable state college education), increase infrastructure spending, and tighten financial regulations to protect Americans against student and payday loan predators.

The bottom line, however, is that none of this can be accomplished if you nominate the most left-wing candidate in modern American history. Hillary will beat Donald Trump easily, I believe. If it's Bernie, the attack ads make the '50s Red Scare seem benign. I cannot imagine him winning despite Trump's vileness.

All this appears to be a moot point, however. Hillary is poised for major victories on Super Tuesday, which will make her the nominee. You guys on the left have a choice to support her or the most insane political agenda in American history. True, Hillary is not perfect but consider the alternative. As always, progress, not perfection.

Good thoughts ex phx planner.
and
Bernies revolution will continue. The Kalle Lasn's of today and tomorrow will fight the good fight. They will be the Hunger Gamer warriors. Hillary and the boys offer nothing but more of the same. Incremental negotiation is not working because of the insanity of Idiots like Ted Cruz. I find it hard to believe that Trump is as crazy as Cruz or as dumb as Rubio.
So get your copy of Adbusters today, buy a Musket and a hayfork at my store, in Why, AZ and I will toss in a brand new fighting Pith helmet. Soleri will become our firebrand literary leader, becoming as famous as Albert Camus and no INPHX will not be Jean Paul Sartre. But who would be Genet?

Good column Jon, keep up the gooooood works.
Hasta Mañana

And Obama did do "some" good Wilderness issues.

I wasn't making an assertion that no progress has been made under Obama; but progress was made despite the GOP, not because he compromised with them. I think Trump's candidacy is an opportunity to elect a far left candidate. Yes, it would be a risk but, if what you are saying is true, I'm pretty sure Sanders would win California over Trump.

Walter Sobchak: Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

Soleri the Incremental. Arizona's native son.

How has that incremental strategy worked out in your native state of Arizona for the past 30 years? Arizonans and other southerners effortlessly kow tow to oligarchy power. How many of the southern states will deliver electoral votes to the Democratic candidate in the general election?

Sanders or don't vote in Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin and other battleground states in a Trump v Wall Street Hillary title match.

Tammany Hall chaos is better than oligarch business as usual.

It's all about anxiety over diminishing resources, and the concentration of resources at the top of the foodchain. We all try to explain what's happening here by drawing on our own life experience, our respective environments and circumstances, so we all see something different unfolding. What I see is the result of decades of the working and middle class losing ground. If the American public is naive and ignorant about its own political process, as Clinton supporters claim ( that's no Straw Man), why weren't they naive and ignorant when they elected Obama over Clinton? And since the masses are so ignorant and impatient, why have we all been defending our public education system and lauding the teachers as heroes all this time? Is it possible that learning about how great America is, pledging allegiance to the flag every morning, and winning football games might be insufficient to develop critical thinking skills?

Hell, yes, Trump is crazy, Cal, if he was dressed in ragged old clothes, standing on a box in the square, and saying the crap he's saying now, he'd be dismissed as mentally ill. But since he's achieved the pinnacle of what passes for success in the collective American psyche, he gets to be merely "eccentric," with even that term rarely being offered by our timid national media.

Pat, Insane is the new normal.

Cal, I responded to your answer to my question in Front Page Editor. Thanks for the tip, Sir.

Dude! Nice one Dawgzy.

The Republicans are against HC because she's a woman and she sucks campaign contributions from the oligarchs away from them.

Jerry,
"It's nothing less than the collapse of civil society, a Hobbesian state of nature, a war of every man against every other man."
Philip Caputo.

So we take it or leave it.

Both political parties have lost legitimacy amongst there voters. The center collapses, it is not the first time in human history this has happened.

#bernieorbust

#SheepNoMore

UPTON (the III ?) Your mother or grandmother was Diane Sinclair?

Upton Sinclair lived in Buckeye in the 1960's.

Dawgzy, glad to see a Brother Seamus around.

Green Rain, I enjoyed your post and the religious allusions. As it is written, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household."

When you spoke about the desperation, the dehydration, the calling out for truth of the greater Phoenix area, that struck me as a lovely allegory for man crying out for Salvation, although I realize it probably wasn't meant that way.

Regarding Trump, my wife and I both decided we cannot vote for him under any circumstance. It's unexpected for me to be so opposed on so many issues and levels to a potential GOP nominee, but then again I didn't expect a wink-wink, nod-nod white nationalist to be on the ballot.

What's so terrible about him is that he sells out all corners of the conservative spectrum. Both values voters and the fiscal conservatives have so many things to be alarmed about.

I ended up deleting most of my post because it was covering ground I've covered before but I just can't abide his desire to practice religious discrimination. That, for me, is an absolute deal breaker.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


William Butler Yeats

BRAVO Soleri, Billy B Yeats is as good as they come.
Pat, I did know that. Did we picked cotton together in Buckeye?

Upton Sinclair. The family owns the gas station on Camelback and 40th street. Good friends. We picked oranges together in the 70's.

Super Tuesday open thread. Please weigh in:

I have just about given up on trying to argue with anyone who blames everything on "the Republicans." Moreover, this is hardly the place to offer such a point of view.

Just as Phoenix is better because of Jon Talton's criticism than it would be without it, this year's election cycle is better off because of Bernie Sanders' involvement.

Of the three (Sanders, Hillary, and (the real estate developer--a/k/a the principal passenger of "Hair Force One" (Rubio)), Sanders is clearly the most decent and honest--no matter how liberal he is or how impractical many of his proposals would appear to those of us still willing to label ourselves "conservative."

Frankly, I don't consider Sanders' proposal to invest $75 billion on rail "liberal." Infrastructure and education are some of the most fiscally responsible public investments a democratic society can make. Since rail--especially passenger rail--is one infrastructure area where we clearly lag behind other developed nations, investing significantly in rail is both a practical idea and--from the standpoint of strengthening our country in a genuinely "great" (if I dare use that term) way--a conservative one.

The idea of retaining Republican control in Congress while electing Sanders intrigues me--as unlikely a scenario as that may be. At least we know where Bernie stands on issues. I don't question his patriotism. And I think he would champion valid "progressive"issues--infrastructure, education, and health care (to name a few)--in a way that Obama certainly has not (and Hillary won't).

The real estate developer and Hillary are only interested in gratifying their own egos. Maybe the conventions will be deadlocked and Romney and Biden would be drafted by the Republicans and Democrats, respectively. If (the real estate developer) bolts and runs an independent campaign, the choice might ultimately end up in the House of Representatives.

I just finished caucusing in Colorado, which is a closed-caucus state ( thank heavens, I hear the intra-party mischief is terrible in open caucus states). I survived, but it was like a two-hour journey into the Twilight Zone. There were about 35 people at my precinct's table, while precincts that lean toward affluence had as many as sixty. I know of a few people who couldn't show because they had to be at work, or they couldn't find anyone to watch their kids. I didn't detect any of the tension between Sanders and Clinton supporters at all, which was surprising given what I read about other caucuses. Of course, small towns don't provide the anonymity of urban areas, so you learn to think twice before you antagonize someone...all though that can be fun sometimes too. Before I time out, I'll post, then drone on some more.

So, my precinct took our straw poll, and Sanders got 21 votes to Clinton's 14, which, if I had bet on it, I would've guessed it'd be more like 30 Clinton supporters and me and the 4 eager young newbies with their kids in tow. In small cities, the weather is a better topic for everyday encounters than work, church, the bar, and the barbershops and salons, so sometimes you're surprised at who supports whom, and showing me I can't really size people up so well. We chose a chairperson who was too elderly to fight back, and volunteered ( or not) to be delegates to the County Assembly ( The big time!), or judges, or alternates, or tree stumps, or whatever. Most of us agreed we'd rather let the state take control of the entire process from the parties, then we finally fell to the floor, completely spent...or, no, wait...we all left. I thought I'd go over and snoop at the Republican caucus, so I could see which Trump supporters I know, so I can make fun of them later, but then I realized if I were seen there, people might think I'm a Trump Supporter, so I passed.

That didn't come out coherently, but what I was struggling to say was that politics isn't a hot topic in the public square in most small towns, at least until you know who you're talking to. The right frequently organizes mini-revolts against the federal government over critical issues like not being able to ride their four-wheelers on muddy roads and stuff, and the ever entertaining 9-11 Patriot group meets at McDonalds on Sunday, but otherwise, crickets.

Hillarys Head joins GOP in ripping off the poor.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/debbie-wasserman-schultz-paylenders-cfpb_us_56d4ce38e4b03260bf77e8fc

BOB, good post. As a 75 year old Arizona republican I do not recognize or agree with many of today's folks claiming to be Republican. Frankly they just seem insane.
But I'm not just blaming Republicans but politicians in general have gone soft in the head but pretty well off financially with little interest in the common good. I am hard pressed to think of a lot of good politicians have done in the last 50 years.
I am happy with the continuation by Obama as did Nixon and T.R. on the environment and wilderness. I would like to see the Drug WAR moved from the DEA to the FDA.

Mark In Scottsdale, said " but I just can't abide his desire to practice religious discrimination. That, for me, is an absolute deal breaker."

So OK we will just let the ISIS openly and freely practice there Apocalyptic version of God. Maybe just maybe Organized Religion is and always has been the problem.

But Mark, I dont think God (?) is a problem.

Re: DNC Debbie Wasserman Schulz

Typical. Its funny how democratic voters go silent on actions like this.

They go off when its a Republican, but become silent, if not outright apologists for there Democratic politicians. Your Hillary voters in a nutshell.


I found out today that the Colorado Republicans decided not to caucus this cycle, I guess because of Trump. It's funny if they think they'll stop him that way, but kind of pathetic, too. I bet Trump takes every state in Mountain Standard Time and Pacific Standard time except Utah. Can he take Utah? Have the Mormons degenerated to that point? I just can't picture them considering Trump (except maybe the craven Mike Lee), he's the kind of gentile they've always been warned about. I wonder which of Arizona's prominent Mormons will endorse Trump, since they abandoned all of their principles for political opportunity there so long ago now? There oughtta be a pool for that one. I won't bet against any Arizona Republican endorsing Trump, though. It's gonna hurt watching Arizona collectively behave the way it's about to. I wish this would finally wake up Arizona's non-participatory citizenry, they could easily save Arizona from itself if they want. I won't scold non-voters, because where some see lazy and ignorant, I see poor public educations and the stress and fatigue of treading water economically for too many years.

Cal -
Interesting blanket indictment of politicians in your last post, though you do back off a bit on the environmental measures. And my guess is that we agree on most issues. However, how can you equate religious discrimination with protecting us from ISIS? How does the US "let ISIS openly and freely practice their apocalyptic version of God?"

Recently the journalist Peter Bergen gave a talk at the ASU Cronkite School of Journalism on his book United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists. The gist was that we have only had a few hundred jihadi incidents in the US since 9/11, and only 49 deaths - yes, each death a tragedy - but law enforcement is managing the threat. Aren't many politicians exaggerating the threat and scaring us to get votes. What a surprise!

Thanks Tom. At 75 I tend to scribble cranky blanket statements. My short religious story is I have experienced or observed to much evil from "Organized Religion". I have personally watched the Elmer Gantry's of the world in action. And the movie Spotlite didn't tell me any thing I didn't already know and that most religious folks just kept denying and letting happen. I was an Atheist at 14 and today practice Militant Agnosticism. Jihadist's have got our attention finally after they told us in the late 80' they were coming. Try a non fiction book called Triple Cross. Local grown white Supremists worry me more than Muslim terroist's. However the exteme Whabbism that has built many temples in the US is in my opinion in the long run how Mohammadism will come to be the dominant religion. But what do I know I'm just a crotchety old man living in what's left of the Great Sonoran on Desert.

PS I'm far from being an intellectual. I flunked out of ASU in 58. But my opinion of the proffesioral (Suits) ASU Cronkite school is it vaguely resembles the Walter I knew. Instead it's creating lip synching "journalist's", instead of boots on the ground, dig in the dirt REPORTERS.

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