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March 04, 2016


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Please pardon me Jon, but

Tom Liffiton,
It just occurred to me who U R. U know all this stuff and don't need my input. But I did post a response back on "The Reckoning".
Hope your new life is going well.

I will try and clear this up for U on Sunday at the Poison Pen book store in SCOTTSDALE

The Circles fight is just starting. Will the fight to save it engender the same kind of support that the David & Gladys Wright house had when it was threatened? We are about to find out. Buildings that don't have protections built into law can still be saved, but it does require herculean effort.

At this point, the problem is that there is very little data out there on what is actually planned. The architects are understandably keeping the plans close to the vest while claiming that will preserve the building. However a cadre of preservationists who were given a sneak preview were disappointed. From their letter to the architects: "... the proposed midrise structure renderings shared with us would permanently alter the building in a manner that would most likely disqualify it from a listing on both the National Register of Historic Places as well as the City of Phoenix Historic Register."

When I was in Phoenix last month, I toured some of the projects like The Edison. 30 seconds in the sales office resolved what remaining doubts I had about it. Ain't gonna happen. The signage says Phase I sold out! Yeah, sure. The same company also "plans" to tear down a small - and newer - office building at Wilshire and Central for a condo building called Circa. It would have the advantage of a much better location (Edison's views, such as they are, are little more than the vast parking infrastructure of Park Central). But as Rogue says, it's already late in the game.

I went to the sales office of ArtHAUS, which is under construction directly north of the Lennar project at 1st Ave & Granada. It's next to the Willo Wall and has proximity if not relationship to that gentrified neighborhood. While it's not really a game changer, it is getting built. The project across from Trinity Cathedral appeared well underway, but there is apparently some kind of financing issue.

Portland has seen an epic boom in expensive apartments (think one bedrooms under 600 sf renting for over $1500/mo). There are still plans for more but this year will see thousands of those puppies delivered and the low vacancy rate will begin to crack. There is simply not the wealth here for these numbers. There are thousands of people moving here, particularly Millenials, but there isn't the high-wage growth engine that Seattle has.

These boom/bust cycles never go away, it seems. Downtown Phoenix will improve but the underlying problems will remain. In another 10 years, the market might get hot again but by then, there might be other more pressing issues, like climate change.

The national economy is doing well but almost everyone thinks the expansion is running out of steam. If we slide into a recession in the next quarter, Republicans will be jubilant and we might need to practice saying President Trump. I'm bullish on Hillary but if the recession is both fast and sharp, all bets are off. Bernie will be 79 in 2020 and I don't think the revolution will be up for a vote then. Every presidential election is do or die now. I'm not sure if we have the patience and resilience to keep our focus and resolve. Half this country is virtually insane with Fox News and talk-radio garbage. The other half is getting impatient and testy about a sludgy political process that doesn't midwife meaningful change.

I watched last night's debate and was stunned by the blows landed on the grotesque person of Mr Trump. I have never seen anything quite like it. How he can survive the revelations of his spurious "university" or his extremely loose relationship to the truth is beyond me. He looked like a drunk getting beaten up in the alley behind a dive bar. But everyone says it's too late to stop him, which I half hope to be the case if only to shock the Republican Party into a serious reappraisal of its racist pact with the devil. History doesn't offer many examples of an advanced nation willingly going berserk and the example that is there is flagged as inappropriate by one Mike Godwin.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law We are blazing a new trail here but it's late at night, moonless, and the coyotes are howling.

A good gauge is what we did to remember the Hohokam. But then we managed to save the top of Camelback Mountain. But just wait, ADOT is planning freeways over Camelback and South Mountain? The Duece Parkway?

BARFLY, were you in that Alley, SOLERI.

Bernies history. But his followers lead by Liz will be back and shave Trumps head revealing his Micro Brain. Where did all that blood go?

So many restaurants have opened or are opening soon in Downtown, Midtown and especially Uptown - are people eating out more?
Even the hot places I visit, sometimes, seem to be less full lately.

Artur, think of them as money cleaners and/or Trust Fund baby numbskulls. My tours find many empty cafes and resturants. And many close down shortly after they open.

Renderings of the Circles proposal:




The second project that the Edison developer (Deco Communities) is planning is called Circa on Central, and it is at Central and Lewis, not Central and Wilshire, in the space that used to contain ChildHelp. Deco is the group that lost the bid on the Fillmore property that Nowakowski and the Cesar Chavez got in trouble for.

Wow, thank you Paul Benjamin. That is breathtaking. Now I have something to react to.

Parker West, thanks for your comments on the Warehouse District and Don Bolles columns.

Another bladed spot, fenced in and nothing happening: northwest corner of Third Street and Thomas.

And 7th Street and Thomas SE corner.
Old gas station.
I venture that the south side of Thomas from Central to 7th Avenue will go to some multi story buildings fencing in Willow on two sides. Maybe three depending on what they so in the same stretch on McDowell.

3rd and Thomas is another midrise condo nuilding being called Alta Thomas.

Phxsunfan hello. How about doing a Hispanic historia de Phoenix. Besides folks from Mexico there was a sizeable number of Spaniards that help the valley grow. There were things like Victor Cafe at 13 street and Van Buren, owned by the Goraiz family. There was a cluster of Spaniards immigrants around 7th Street to 16th Street and from Van Buren to Roosevelt(Garfield). And a large number that came to work the mines in Globe y Miami and migrated down onto the valley. Today you can find a number of large Spaniards families in the Valley, like the Aja's, the Caballero's the Treba's, the Echavarria's, the Vidarreta's and the Blanco's. (Maybe U can verify some spellings). Good to hear from U.

Cal- would the Blancos be the same ones who had Modern Billiard and Bowling Supply on E. Washington, Abbie and Gilbert Jr.? Gilbert Sr. was a Maricopa County Sheriffs Deputy. Gilbert III pitched for the Yankees and A's in the 60s. Isabel was homecoming Queen at very Anglo North High 1961. Mom was Esther. Really nice people.

Dawgzy, not related to the Blanco's I know.

Cal, there was a huge influx of old family ( descendants of original Spanish colonists) Mexican-Americans during WWII and the defense industry boom that followed. They came from dead mining settlements and tiny logging and farming villages all over the southwest. Most of the parents of Mexican Americans I grew up with in the fifties and sixties were from tiny, impoverished villages in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and West Texas, or mining towns in Utah, Nevada, and California. Even some dispossessed Californios moved to Phoenix for jobs. Lots of them bought homes via the G.I. bill, and many had never had electricity or indoor plumbing in their lives. Many were from villages where water was apportioned communally, instead of flowing toward the most politically connected. They were happy, but they were in as much or more cultural shock as rural whites who moved to Phoenix for the same reason. White rural cultural shock was cushioned by privilege to a degree, at least.

Thanks Pat. Phoenix modern history may have started with a compassionate con man but it is supported on many brown legs in many ways. Phoenix optomists continue to hope that it will achieve Mega status. But most likely it will eventually more resemble the ending of Edward Abbeys book, the Good News. And be inhabited by giant sand worms.
The Phoenix death spiral began about the time the first truss joist was manufactured in a Phoenix construction yard and transported to and set on top of the walls of a John F Long Home. (I might be corrected on whether it was Long).
Note: In February 2014 President Obama while in California avoided speaking much about WATER, and is quoted as saying he "wanted to get out of California alive."
From the book "Water to the Angels" by Leslie Standiford.

Pat the :Spaniards" I'm familiar with immigrated from Spain around 1900.

I think by now we get it: Phoenix will never be Seattle or Portland.

What made Phoenix "charming" for some people has been, for the most part, scraped away and replaced by either post modern boxes, or empty lots waiting to be flipped.

The "charm" is gone and it isn't coming back.

Nostalgia can be deadly...

Regarding John F. Long, his first few hundred houses were in what today would be called North Central Phoenix. Maryvale came about because he needed large plots of land to take advantage of "economics of scale" and assembly line techniques to build affordable housing. He also built in Moon Valley, Scottsdale, and the part of Paradise Valley that lies in Phoenix proper. Along the way he always championed smart water usage and built a small solar powered subdivision 30 some years ago. He stopped building when he felt there was no such thing as "affordable" housing any more.

Honestly, I don't think he can be blamed in any way for what Phoenix has become.

soleri, regarding this:

How Trump can survive the revelations of his spurious "university" or his extremely loose relationship to the truth is beyond me.

It's the cult of persoality. When Mr. Trump said he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th avenue and not lose his base it was a completely accurate assessment. Ergo, out of all the analysis I've read on Mr. Trump's followers this is one of the best:


The author peppers her commentary with quotes from Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer":

"[When] the leader can exact blind obedience, he can operate on the sound theory that all men are cowards, treat them accordingly and get results."

Also interesting is this pull from Mr. Trump's book (the art of the deal) regarding self promotion:


The Trump phenomenon is pretty fascinating. And his ability to totally hook his believers will, no doubt, be studied in academia...

Front Pages has a good note about Salt Lake Utah's dying Lake.
I suggest that when legislators believe the more children you have the bigger your kingdom after death on earth the more disrespect for Mother Earth and it's Finite resources.

Jon held a good session at Poison Pen book store yesterday with a nice audience that besides Jon included another member (the Cordova's) of Arizona's founding families.

koreyel, thanks for the links. I'll admit to more than a little schadenfreude when it comes to the Republican Party and Trump. They fully deserve one another even though the potential damage to this nation is obvious. We have seen over and over how Republicans have casually flirted with fascism over the past quarter century. Trump, to be sure, has crossed a line but it was demarcated on the far side of decent political behavior long before he developed his insane clown act.

I watched last night's Dem debate, and was very impressed with both candidates although Bernie was really on fire. For a 74-year old coot, he's more than a little amazing. Still, the True Believer meme applies to his cultish fans almost as much as it does to Trump's. Now, base Republicans are largely ignorant, so I cut them a bit of slack when it comes to falling for the right's carnies and grifters. Bernie's followers, by contrast, are clearly well-meaning, informed, and smart. But there are danger signs in rhetoric that seemingly demands purity tests for a party that is a broad-based coalition. If you posit a radical dualism in politics where every gray area constitutes a spiritual lapse, you end up paralyizing a process necessarily based on compromise and horse-trading. Total Explanations are the stock in trade of gadflies and purists, and Bernie is playing with fire when he demands Democrats leave the fallen world for an ideal one.

If you didn't read Kevin Drum this morning, he had a very keen observation about last night's debate:


Is Rogue doing anymore presentations in Phoenix this week?

He, Trump is sadly the best of the remaining Republican presidential candidates. Ted Cruz would bring Texas style theocracy to the greater US. Praise be to God, religious discipline to the masses, and rape and pillage for the oligarch class.

JMAV Talton flew "Home".

JMAV u r right about Cruz.
One scary dude.
Shades of Evangelistic Fires. (Tents in early California and wooden communes in Waco.

Ted Cruz is of Dominion Theolgy. A theocratic belief that religious "Kings" gain control towards the "END". Sound familiar. Closer to the current M and M theocracy's.
And not as close to Aimee Semple McPherson and David Koresh.

In defense of my main man, Bernie. " All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning." Albert Camus

Don't sweat Cruz, his glory days are behind him. He won't play well in Peoria, and he won't play well in California. The only tiny hope the Republicans have left for stopping Trump is if they can make his Trump "University" legal problem stick to him somehow. If he beats that, he's home free. Sure would be funnier to watch from New Zealand or somewhere, but oh, well...

Gmav and Pat. Check out the Esquire article on Monster Ted Cruz on Rouge Front Pages

Front Page editor. Thanks some really good stuff. Particularly the article on the ever Slimy Bill Clinton and Gangster (fourth richest man in the world)Billionaire Carlos Slim.
Going to be interesting to see how Slim and the Mexican government solve their Chapo problem. El hombre quien sabe (toooooo) mucho.

Based on my observation the key renter profile in the plush Portland/Central market is student loans. If the rental offices are staffed with former Apollo recruiters and financial aid forms you'll where the newest RE scam is originating.

This is what happens when the new loudmouths try to DEMAND that developers do things for THEM. Screaming and demanding "affordable rent" is a detriment to development, promotes urban sprawl and assures us that we'll never have the density that we need in downtown.


You are correct regarding the political extremes. That is, the hard edges were Liberalism devolves into Anti-Market Socialism and Conservatism extols the abhorrent Joys of Social Darwinism. As I've written before, it is a wonderfully enlightening curiosity that both militant camps think the World is going to Hell and they've got all the answers to fix things.

And of course you are also correct that those on the Right are further along in regards to their utter certainties. The confirmation biases reverberating in their echo chambers have doomed them (35-40% of US Population) into being duped by the likes of Trump and Carson.

I cannot see these Republicans changing any intellectual positions for the remainder of their lives. They have surrender all their critical thinking circuits and are intellectually dead to the world. Not even the future flooding of Rush Limbaugh's ocean-side mansion will alter their certainties.

They know what they know and they know it well...

Now regarding this:

If you posit a radical dualism in politics where every gray area constitutes a spiritual lapse, you end up...

I'd like to re-finish that sentence this way:

you end up.... voting against a bail out for the auto industry during a global economic free fall on ideological principles. Both the far right and the far left did that. On the right, Mitt Romney paid for voicing that ideological mistake in the 2012 election. On the far left, Mr. Sanders will face the repercussions of his ideological inflexibility in Michigan's primary today.

And that is as it should be. The ability of the Democratic Party to self-correct and choose the proper candidate to defeat Mr. Trump's con or Mr. Cruz's slimy evilness, is something future generations will thank us for...

^ word

Regarding kevin Drum. Article
The question I have between Bernie and Hillary is just because they say it, will the even try and do it? My gut trust the "74 year old coot."
But then I'm 76.

Www.politico.com "Never surrender Bernie."

Cal - last week you were 75; failing memory?

Late this week. Travel, day job, etc. Apologies.

Terry, I'm in China

Cal, what both candidates "say" is mostly irrelevant since neither one will have a cooperative Congress. Clinton's instincts, on the other hand, are more suitable to a situation where some deals around the edges can be made. This, by the way, was always going to be the problem with Bernie's "revolution". You need more than a charismatic leader. You also need a movement couched in an institutional vehicle like a political party. Since Bernie doesn't have that, he and his followers have decided to hijack the Democratic Party. But this still leaves the question how you elect progressives to Congress and state legislatures. Saying stuff on the campaign trail is easy. Governing in a 50-50 nation can be very difficult as Obama found out. The greatest virtue a leader has in this situation is patience. Republicans have a rendezvous with irrelevance as America becomes less white. I think both Clinton and Obama understand this. Bernie, on the other hand, still thinks it's 1968. It's all quite romantic and a little sad, like people reliving their youth at a combination rock concert/anti-war rally. That said, I understand his popularity. No one wants to believe America is being held hostage against its will. We can vote to change this! Yes.....and no.

Don't Vote.

Soleri, I understand and agree but my analytic thoughts tend to be overwhemled by my romantic and idealistic emotions.

Robespierre is Trump the GOP's reign of terror?

We haven't seen our Robespierre yet, and the reign of terror comes for us all after Trump or Clinton or ... fill in the name ... can't deliver. Many believed the "yes we can" of Obama. Many now believe Trump can actually do something. Soleri is optimistic that HRC can get something done on the edges, but we have major issues that are not getting addressed. Sanders says his movement depends on the citizens demanding change. That won't happen the way he wants. We have a dilemma.


Uruguay. Second choice Cal?

You guys. Sure, Bernie might lose, but there's no reason to abandon him because "he might lose." So, yea, soleri, I know that might be your reason (more precisely, I suspect, "he bloody well better lose",) but no need to and good luck with projecting that on, uh, a few of us.

While Ms. Clinton might well be the nominee - and she'll kick the GOP's candidate's ass as well, I'm (pretty) sure - can we at least acknowledge that it would be a pretty proud moment, from a proletariat point of view, if Bernie Sanders won the nomination?

I trust the Bern, and have no problem with him getting the nomination or becomming president. He does seem to have a balance of supporters from the proletariat point of view, but he is also missing some important demographics. I see no way he will overcome that problem. On the other hand, can HRC depend on Bernie's people coming out to vote when the other side is so energized? A large number of the other side are independents.

Sanders' supporters act as if we've had this nobody time-server in the White House for eight years.

Remember when Obama was elected — a much more gifted leader, riding a wave of anti-Bush revulsion, a Great Recession blamed on the GOP, and much good will.

Are you telling me that Bernie will somehow find the key that Obama missed?

The key is the GOP going down in flames.
If that door unlocks Bernies the best choice. My gut tells me Bernie would fare better against Trump than Hillary. But it's best not to think on a full stomach as there's little blood getting to your brain.

Tom watched Bergen on PBS on his new book. Interesting.

If not Uruguay then Why.


Rogue queries "Are you telling me that Bernie will somehow find the key that Obama missed?"

No, Wall Street Hillary will certainly get along much better with a Republican Congress. After all, while Sanders was seeking racial justice in the 1960's, Goldman Sachs Hillary was marching for Arizona's native son Goldwater. The Clinton Political Machine's past history on promoting "free trade" and bank deregulation will also go over well with the Republicans in Congress.

In any event, Sanders is simply the practice squad for Wall Street Hillary in the run up to the general election. Given the insider power of the Clinton Political Machine and the extraordinary power of super delegates in the Democratic presidential nominating process, Goldman Sachs Hillary is a lock on the nomination.

The Bernie "proletariat" thing made me smile. Here in gentrified Portland, I see Bernie signs everywhere I go. He'll easily carry Oregon, just as he carries college towns, mostly-white states, and all the precincts that Eugene McCarthy swept nearly 50 years ago. 1968 lives!

The Democratic Party might be a dinosaur overdue for extinction. If there's a majority out there for a sanctimonious purist, why even have a party? Just put your best memes on Facebook and feel the Bern. Still, we're back in OWS territory once again where voguing lefties imagine themselves to be revolutionaries who just happen to drink soy lattés to go with their locally-sourced arugula salads.

Republicans have made up their tell-it-like-it-is minds in favor of a huckster who couldn't tell a policy detail from a talking point if he was waterboarded. This seems to be popular mood on both sides: burn down the house. The heating bill is too high.

Rasberry, I agree with nearly everything U posted about "Southern Democrat" Trailer Trash Billy and lying Republican Hillary. So I gotta wear my gas mask into the voting booth! I know Bernie is going to lose. I figured that out early one mornibg while gulping my cowboy coffee i make in a tin pot over a campfire in the great Sonoran Desert (what's left of it).
Soleri I hope your right about Hillary the Hawk. I just can't get that tv photo out of my mind when she was front and center on Assassinating Osama Bin Laden. I fear she will continue to have 22 year Boys assassinating inoccent civilians while targeting terroist's. I'm curious about how your Portland tavern conversations go, nowdays?

Cal, another day, another demon. Today, we hate Hillary for Osama's assassination.

One thing I've wrestled with is whether the Deep State would "permit" a Sanders presidency. This presumes, of course, that it is a conscious entity more than a loosely-aligned collection of defense and intelligence interests. How deep and wide it is I cannot say, but it's clout is invisible and, therefore, worrying. I think Obama understood it when he greenlighted the "surge" in Afghanistan back in 2009. Petraeus, in effect, forced that decision. Hillary certainly respects that "clout" and I think they could easily scuttle her presidential ambitions if she weren't so disposed on their behalf. It's a brain twister to consider who would come out on top with liberals in a foreign policy debate: Hillary the Hawk or Trump the non-interventionist.

The leviathan that is the American security state demands we respect its rationale and goblins. I can easily see Hillary checking them with other power centers, say Congress or public opinion. I can't see Trump doing much more than what he is told by fawning sycophants around him. You'll have to give me a pass if I prefer a Hillary under these circumstances.

I respect your logic.
But just in case Uruguay has good bicycling with plenty of cafes along the way. And it's just a hop skip and jump to Buenos Aires.
Hasta luego

The last President to actively go against the wishes of the CIA, military, and MIC was JFK.

How'd that work out again?

B Franklin, Excellent point. Obama knuckled under the first month he moved in.
But Hillary is them.
But Me thinkest Bernie would resist. Of course that could be FATAL.
So logically I gotta agree with Soleri, vote Hillary she's the best choice for us peons to scramble on the sidewalks for what few crumbs she shakes loose from her buddies on Wall Street. Economically maybe she will ramp up the economy and jobs with some more WARS.
Fellow Romans I hear Caesars in the wind.

I wonder where all this Hillary hate comes from.

I'm also surprised by how militant many Bernie supporters have become. It's a little ironic that they call Hillary a hawk. By refusing to support Hillary if Bernie were to lose, they would be voting for Civil War at home. Or at the very least, turn back the clock on so many liberal gains (social and political).

I've always believed that while Hillary mistakenly voted for some disastrous wars, she would not have started any had she been Commander in Chief. To me that is an important distinction.

Time will tell. Why R U suprised. Not old enough to remember Kent State. The Vietnam war. Watts? Or R U confusing hate with disillusion. Hopefully Hillary will win the General elation and prove me entirely wrong.

The Vietnam war ended more than a decade before I was born.

What I've heard from some Bernie supporters goes beyond disillusionment and is often irrational (e.g. voting for Trump in hopes of inspiring a political revolution, not voting at all, etc.).

Agreed some emotional irrational Bernie supporter crap out there. But Ole Bernie seems fairly honest. But it's an absurd world.

The Difference between El Chapo and the Bush Brothers and Wm Clinton. CHAPO admits to being a drug dealer. He is in prison as should be Bill Clinton and the Bush boys.

"With Rebellion Awareness is Born"

Try this:

Phxsunfan for you, a Hillary kill! Among others.

The Hillary-hatred thing is hardly an accident. She and her husband were brutally subjected to every kind of spurious and outrageous charge the right could concoct. The purist left has simply adopted their demonology without skepticism or any sense of proportion. I can barely stomach reading my Facebook feed given all the crap the Bernie Bros are spewing. I had one "friend" who said Benghazi proves she's unfit to be president! A lefty who works in politics!

I want to make it clear that I'm not whining on behalf of the Clintons - politics is a brutal business and you shouldn't get in it if you're either too sensitive or vulnerable. They've done very well for themselves and no one, no matter how well qualified, deserves to be president. We're a nation that would probably still vote for a George W Bush because we're not particularly bright. That's life and it's absurd to complain about it.

What I will complain about is the group think the purist left has spun around Hillary. She has a remarkable record, much deeper and wider than Bernie Sanders, who is little more than an entertaining gadfly. Yes, he tells the truth about a lot of things, and in a compelling way. But that in itself doesn't qualify anyone to be president. You really require a background in the political give-and-take of your nation and not just as a lonely ideological outlier from a small state. Hillary knows more about the germane issues and their policy history than anyone else running. It's not even close. So, whenever I read some smug lefty complaining about how she's a corporate tool, blah, blah, blah, I simply remember this is America and cheap outrage is a lot easier to manufacture than informed opinions. Win or lose, Hillary Clinton is a great public servant if not a great politician. Al Gore, one of the most decent and knowledgeable men in American public life, "lost" to someone who was little more than a frat-jock (aided and abetted by the purist left). Hillary herself might well lose. It wouldn't be a tragedy for her because she's already made a difference. For an idiocracy like ours, it would probably be just deserts.

and this:
Fareed Zakaria sums up well what has been going on here: “Republicans have fed the country ideas about decline, betrayal and treason. They have encouraged the forces of anti-intellectualism, obstructionism and populism. They have flirted with bigotry and racism. Trump merely chose to unashamedly embrace all of it, saying plainly what they were hinting at for years. In doing so, he hit a jackpot.”

Robert Kagan, although he is one of the named targets of Zakaria’s criticism (for having downplayed the anti-intellectualism that Sarah Palin represented in the 2012 campaign), is, now that he is one of the first of the neoconservative fraternity to jump ship, at least as blunt in describing how Trump is not hijacking the Republican Party but instead is “the party’s creation, its Frankenstein’s monster, brought to life by the party, fed by the party and now made strong enough to destroy its maker.”


and Clinton for the gold:

No experience, Bernie gets a B higher than all others on foreign policy.

"... the essence of American politics ... when distilled, consists of the manipulation of populism by elitism. That elite is most successful which can claim the heartiest allegiance of the fickle crowd; can present itslef 'as most in touch' with popular concerns; can anticipate the tides and pulses of opinion; can in short, be the least apparently elitist."

Christopher Hitchens, No One Left To Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton

soleri, if the lefty purists are too much for you, you are always welcome back in Phoenix. You won't experience that type of chatter in the land of championship golf. :) Ha Ha

Cal, what's the local beer and firewater like in Uruguay?

I dont drink!
well I do drink Green Tea and Desert Cactus water.

Talk about Clinton bashing:

And how will Trump or Hillary handle this?

Phxsunfan: The age separation:

Soleri, you're in danger of becoming that old man on the block who used to yell "Get off my goddamn lawn," and "Get a haircut and take a bath, you stinking hippie!" I suggest expanding your circle of off-line friends and acquaintances to some younger people who are struggling with life in America ( And it's a shitstorm of confusion compared to anything us older people lived through ), they're mostly nice, good-hearted, interesting, earnest people suffering the consequences of a dysfunctional society and culture.
Or not, it's your call.

Pat, I'm not get any younger and my good looks are pretty much gone, so I'm aware how I won't be making many new friends from here on out. But I can't lie to them or you: there is no unicorn here. Berniemania is group think with aspects of full-blown religious hysteria.

I watched last night's debate (I swear to God, no more). Bernie was in fine form once again, promising things he cannot possibly deliver via a mechanism that might as well be spaceships from Jupiter - political revolution. The debate audience went nuts! They're being conned, as are you and every decent young person out there. Bernie himself is a True Believer, just like any TV evangelist. He really believes in miracles.

Political change doesn't work this way. You need more than good intentions. You need more than fervent belief and wishful thinking. You really need to explain how a movement predicated on one man saying things can midwife structural change to a complex society. How do you think it will happen? Insurance companies will see the light and stop standing in the way of single payer? We'll abrogate our trade treaties and bring back manufacturing? We'll stop bailing out Wall Street, which might cause a Great Depression but at least we'll punish the rich people who are oppressing us?

You want to believe something that is insanely farfetched because it sounds so righteous. Okay, but admit that there is maybe zero per cent possibility of any of this happening. My proof to you is Bernie's entire career where he never networked, or built a party infrastructure, or advanced the national conversation in a radical new direction prior to this presidential campaign. Change is hard work and you need legions behind you, not just rallies full of True Believers. Where is that political infrastructure?

I will tell you that there the revolution if it comes won't be fought by earnest, good-hearted young people out of a Steven Spielberg movie. It will be waged by rather more dangerous types than hippies levitating the Pentagon. It won't be Vladimir Sanders arriving at the Finland Station. It's more likely to be Donald Trump since his supporters are actually willing to kill and be killed.

I'm a liberal not to be a killjoy but because I want clean air and water, public safety, and the greatest degree of individual freedom possible under this social arrangement. If someone thought things were so bad that it's better we just collapse society and government, I'd call them a nut. Maybe this makes me a conservative although I think it makes me something else.


Soleri all us old ugly folks know Hillary's well "oiled" machine is going to bury Bernie in a vacant Woodstock field. So what's the big harm of Bernies carnie pitch? No prize Teddy Bear?

If Hillary was the only democratic candidate U think we would be seeing the enthusiasm?


Paul Krugman writes in his blog the hard truths about protectionism and politics. If you're a Bernie guy, you'll like what he says even as you disagree with his conclusion. The truth is that the arguments that were made about NAFTA had a broad bipartisan consensus back in the day when the Democratic Party was struggling with its relevance in the smoking aftermath of the Reagan Revolution. Had we known then what we know today, we would have been much more skeptical. But the truth is that we can't see around corners or time travel into the future. We can only figure things out - and sometimes not even then (see: Movement Conservatism) - after the fact. If you're addicted to righteousness, then this will be thin gruel. But it remains reality, despite the feel-good outrage du jour.

Excellent stuff, Soleri. Thank you.

Cal, let me pay Bernie this grudging but real compliment: he can win this battle. The amount of enthusiasm for him is intense and growing. As I said above, it's predicated on virtual religious hysteria - a messiah who will make college and health care free while sticking it to the oligarchs! - that is immune to reason and evidence. Bernie is an excellent communicator, authentic, and whip-smart. He's also a zealot.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This would be fairly harmless if it were merely a multi-level marketing scheme or a new diet. But there's a presidential election in which an utterly bonkers political party might succeed in electing a dangerous demagogue president. Do you really think this is worth the risk? If it were only a teddy bear then I would say go for it. It's much more serious, however. You Bernie Bots need to take a deep breath. You need to entertain enough doubt that you can actually think though this fantasy. You're playing with fire.

Thanks Soleri, but the only way Bernie wins is the FBI convinces Obama's Justice Departnent to indict Hillary.

Jon, I think Pat and I should get a second place ribbon for stoking Soleri's fire.

I can't post Web sites from my phone but it appears from polling that Sanders odds of beating Trump are a few points better than Hillarys. That changes with Cruz as the GOP nominee.

Cal, those poll numbers are bullshit. Hillary has been dragged through the mud for 25 years by right-wing propagandists, and now left-wing purists. The average citizen has yet to be "informed" that Bernie's best friend is Fidel Castro and that he wants to "double your taxes to pay for his socialist schemes". There's a very good reason why your average citizen dislikes Hillary and thinks Bernie is a crusty-but benign character on a TV show. Right-wingers know who their toughest opponent is. It's not Bernie, believe me, or they'd be training all their fire on him now.

I cannot disagree. They would probably photo shop Bernie with Fidel Castro, Jane Fonda and Sonny Barger.

Well Pat looks like U and I get to dream of "Seven (wall) calendar cafes on the Blue Highway" as Hillary and the GOP and Wall street feed us "Processed food assembled in New Jersey". Wm Least Heat-Moon.

There’s a tension here. It goes back a long way, certainly to 2000 and beyond. There are a lot of left of center people who are nearly terminally dissatisfied with the Democrats.
When I read that “the Big Short” was being made into a movie, and when I read initial reviews I thought, “Gee. This story needs to be told to a mass audience and it can only help the Dems in the general election.” Having seen it, and looked at the primaries, I’m not so sure. (Not that a movie will be decisive, but as it represents a larger point. )
In a race between TRED and HRC, that narrative can only hurt her unless she makes some adjustments. If I were to demagogue this issue, I’d whip up as much resentment as I could by pointing to the failure of a Dem administration to hold those who deserve it to criminally liability, and I’d yell “release the transcripts of the speeches to Wall Street.” This sort of thing will put the Democratic nominee on the wrong side of the fundamental issue in the election. This is an example of why Sanders (who isn’t demagogue-ing this; it’s an obvious difference between the candidates) has so much traction.
I don’t think that Sanders or Warren or ______ are zealots, unless they can be dismissed as such for continuing to point out something like the truth in the face of bullshit. Voices crying out in the desert. Prophets in their own land.
HRC supporters should be grateful that BS is doing this from within the Dem tent, rather than from without. . He’s serving a reformist agenda by doing so. It’s in the tradition of liberalism, insofar as it provides corrective mechanism- when a contradiction within society develops potentially explosive pressure and requires some adjustment by the political system (or... boom.) See Civil Rights in 1964.
But I’m not so sanguine that BS will move HRC to the right. Assuming that TRED is the GOP nominee, in order to reassure the terrified, she will probably go as centrist and safe as possible, and in doing so avoiding anything that might get her labeled as a Socialist.
Though meant to belittle a position, “sticking it to the oligarchs” isn’t so far off. Any movement toward reform of the Big Casino, however slight, will elicit howls from Wall street as if they were being poked with a very sharp stick.
I’m not addicted to righteousness, (glaring projection there, Soleri- examine your tone) I’m just frustrated that a major political party doesn’t represent me. But as I’ve said before, I can play tenacious defense. When I vote for HRC I will do so knowing that she is the most qualified and competent candidate. And I will once again wonder when the Democrats will have the guts to appeal to their traditional constituents.I wonder how many BS supporters will be sitting it out. I think that he will not only concede gracefully when the time comes, but campaign vigorously for HRC. He is a realist. He knows the stakes. By talking about low-cost, quality higher education, “free health care, “ etc, he’s not promising. He’s describing the possible. Its a goal. Like Obamacare got us this nice half of a loaf. Gee, Politicians exaggerate! Bill or Hillary would never do that. Everyone should look at the stump speech by the primary candidate BO in 2007-2008. Too good to be true. His supporters must have been suckers.
Soleri, lot of us who are dismayed at HRC know a lot about real politics. Spare us the lectures, insults and condescension. I try to speak to you as an adult, please reciprocate. There’s a legal adage “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on your side pound the table.” Why so much pounding?

correctiob: "I'm not so sanguine that Sanders will move HRC to the LEFT."

Dawgzy, I tend to express one internal temperature, which is hot. As this blog's motto suggests, my pen is warmed up in hell.

One reason why I take this stuff personally is my memory - lately refreshed on internet comment threads - of a heartbreaking loss in 2000 when left-wing purists, pretty much identical in tone to the Bernie Bots of today, helped ensure the election of one George W Bush. It almost literally drives me insane to think anyone could posit a false equivalence between Bush and Gore. Ralph Nader did and helped usher in a catastrophe for which we're still paying. Today, Bernie Sanders is blurring too many distinctions between Democrats and Republicans, which is creating another false equivalence. I reject it along with the implicit sanctimony of the messenger. For better or worse, we have one party on the left representing us. It's not the splinter party that Sanders identifies with.

I'm not here to win a popularity contest and I have obviously succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. I'd sooner say what I feel that tailor my thoughts and feelings to a false bonhomie or consensus. I'm not like that all. Thankfully, given the modest readership for this blog, I don't have to feel as if I'm hurting my cause with my intemperance. I hope I break through the group think that every forum inevitably creates. We're not all on the same page nor should we be.

Every election is do or die now in a 50-50 nation. We are all fairly sensitive to what's at stake, particularly those of us on the left since we have a seemingly chronic need to imagine betrayal and impurity at every turn. I hang out on this blog because I long admired Talton's respect for the real world as opposed to the ideal world in which some of us make our beds. It's this realism I want to stand up for. This is my flag or cross, if you will. I'm really tired of the nut-case right substituting ideological nonsense for pragmatic policy positions. When this tendency comes from the left, I need to speak up. I can do nothing else.

Soleri- as usual, well said.
There are wide eyed and wild eyed enthusiast who will be voting for the first time or first in a very long time. I'm afraid that TRED is right that he's attracting many previously apathetic and disaffected. In the general election that's what makes him dangerous- voting will be reality show participation. It'll be fun, sort of like voting on American Idol!
Then there are the wide eyed first timers to whom BS speaks. I think and hope that old uncle Bernie will have some chats with the kids, something about long struggles in the face of adversity and limited success, the inevitable disappointments and disillusionment. Is there an app for that?


There's a perceptive piece by Thomas frank in the guardian as to why TRED appeals to working class people. From another angle shows why HRC is vulnerable on an issue that traditionally had these folks at least contemplating voting Dem.
"Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America – one of our two monopoly parties – chose long ago to turn its back on these people’s concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a “creative class” that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps. The working people that the party used to care about, Democrats figured, had nowhere else to go, in the famous Clinton-era expression. The party just didn’t need to listen to them any longer.

Sorry, @soleri, but Krugman has gone unmoored in his relentless chiding of Sanders. I'm not even sure what the word *liberal* means anymore. Even Jeffrey Sachs has commented that Krugman's attacks are "remarkably ill-informed" and that "Krugman is a repetitious mouthpiece for the status quo".

For many on the left, Clinton resembles a Republican, Republican-lite, a centrist (especially compared to the monsters on the GOP side). But on foreign policy, she might even more bellicose that the GOP field. Plus she'll have more overlap with some terrible things (school "choice" privatization, FTA, etc.) that even the current GOP leaders might have friction with.

And some of Clinton campaign tactics have been duplicitous or just plain dumb.

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