« Now the action is downticket | Main | Brewer tells the truth »

October 17, 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.



When all the smoke clears I believe the Senate and House will be about the same make up as now. Time for term limits?

Let's see..

A carpetbagger who has a failed run for President under their belt and whose political success is based primarily on who they married.

That Hillary really is something, isn't she??

Oh- you mean John McCain.

There is no constitutional crisis lurking. Obama nominated and the Senate said no. Neither budged.

Elections do indeed have consequences, don't they?

It all started with that womanizing drunk manslaughter committing Teddy Kennedy trashing Robert Bork.

If you even mention John McCain up here in rural AZ, the folks around here froth at the mouth right before they shart themselves. If every republican politician is a RINO and every democratic politician is a DINO, then logically every voter is a VINO.

Welcome to Arizona, where vapor trails made of baking soda are stealing the moisture out of our air and causing the drought. (A true theory among voters up here)

Rueben, and you moved there to escape metro Phoenix. Colorado next stop?

Ruben....correct spelling

Isn't McCain the US senator representing northern Virginia. He delivers the bacon there all the time, every time. Arizona, can McCain find the state on a map?

Regarding Merrick Garland, the Republicans in the Senate said "no" to a man some of them had previously praised. No crisis there. Just amnesia and a good dose of hypocrisy.

And is it physically impossible for any Republican not to bring up the Kennedys in some disparaging way? Probably not.

As I recall, Bork did a pretty good job of trashing himself just by opening his mouth.

Arizona would be lucky to have a Senator who accomplished as much legislatively as Ted Kennedy. Kyl, McCain, DeConcini, Flake? Please.

There's a really good reason why we remain an intellectual backwater and political afterthought.

"where vapor trails made of baking soda are stealing the moisture out of our air and causing the drought"...

This is why we can't have nice things.

Trump is sucking the "moisture out of the Air"?
Its a Dry Heat.
Maybe a Dead Heat.

Yes, Anon, when sheriff joe wins and declares himself sheriff of all of Arizona, Colorado will be my destination. I'm one hour from the New Mexico border, so I should make it out before the gate closes.

( a correction for the above post. It's baking powder trails they believe in. I'm the one who mentioned that if it was baking soda, it would rain soft drinks. They looked at me like I was nuts.)

Clinton apparently has a real shot at winning Arizona, so she's making a $2 million ad buy in the state along with campaign stops by her and surrogates. It would be great if Zonies knew enough about government that they not only vote against a virtual psychopath but for effective and conscientious government. I'm not sure if Ann Kirkpatrick is that candidate. I recall through the years the various opponents St John has had, from the semi-plausible Richard Kimball and Clare Sargent to the utterly forgettable Stuart Starky and Rodney Glassman. Kirkpatrick looks good on paper but the moment she starts to speak you understand she'll never defeat the media-savvy McCain.

Which is a shame. McCain not only does nothing for Arizona, he's almost the precursor to Donald Trump in his egomania and nastiness. The good news: this will be his last term. The bad news: he has dominated this state's politics for the past 30 years in which Arizona regressed from a moderate state that occasionally elected Democrats to Kansas with saguaros.

If Hillary wins the state (538.com has her chances this evening at 58%), she may presage Arizona's transition to a state more like California, Colorado and New Mexico in its demographic and urban composition. College-educated voters are the crucial subset of an electorate less apt to vote for insane demagogues, racists, and fundamentalists. They're the ones deserting Trump in this election and may prove the critical difference in swinging the state to Clinton.

The national Republican Party may be in a death spiral given the Trumpitude of the party base. Normal Republicans are responsible here since they green-lighted the Southern Strategy, and since the early '90s, made a habit of putting party over country. Racism didn't seem like a bad idea when it won elections. But the end-stage of this pathology has been Donald Trump who embodies the moral and ethical squalor of modern GOP calculations. Arizona, in fact, might rediscover sanity sooner than some of us predicted. Arpaio, Trump, Babeu, et al, are jackals on the run. I've got my fingers crossed.

In my neighborhood they have already type set the paper to read Trump wins!
I'm guessing that even though Jeff Flake has denounced Trump he will pull more votes than Trump or McCain.
The race to watch is Arpaio and Penzone. They will be some previous Arpaio voters go for Penzone but it will be a squeaker.
And even if Joe is convicted of the Federal charges and wins the election he will stay in office. But will he adopt a rescue dog.

McCain I'm sure sure has grabbed some Tail(hook), not to mention calling his wife a not so endearing name in front of the press.

Bork was a horrible nominee and got what he deserved: nothing but scorn.

Have I mentioned how much I hate Apple-based spell check?

Johnny Carson put Bork on a Wheaties Box.

Bork got a Senate hearing and yes or no vote.

Who votes for an 80 yr old for a 6 yr term? Anyone who has ever taken care of their elderly parents knows this is ridiculous.

Statistically speaking, Ducey or his successor, if there is one, will pick McCain's replacement.

It was a Fake Wheaties Box. But then most of you are to young to remember Johnny Carson.

Somewhat OT but over at Vox, Brad Plumer has a superlative post about the "institutional architecture" of combating climate change. In the course of describing Obama's efforts, a quite apt comparison is made to the necessity of Western states cooperating on water issues:

That post coupled with the link from the Front Page (https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/10/17/i-read-hillary-clintons-speec) about Hillary's Goldman Sachs speeches are really bookends to what this election comes down to. Do you trust actual adults to govern us or clowns like Donald Trump? When the Republican Party is reduced to its Southern (read: racist) rump, one that denies policy expertise, science, and trust in our Constitutional framework, we must either repudiate this nihilism or we collapse our system of governance for the sake of nostalgia and cowboy politics. There is no path forward that doesn't involve political actors making reasoned and difficult choices. You either recognize reality or you opt for a feel-good story about white Christians being victimized by liberals (the right) or oligarchic elites screwing over the little guy (the left). This is really what the meta-argument comes down to. Politics cannot make your favorite fairy tale real. Nothing can. It's up to you to understand reality just well enough that you honor its complexity more than your personal feelings.

Clinton winning Arizona would be nice but is simply fantasy. It makes a good story (the potentially unexpected upset narrative) for the newspaper but just not going to happen. I'll remind y'all we live in a state filled with a lot of very conservative folks.

McCain as a maverick was indeed a press fantasy as well.

One Republican ex-Senate staffer summed up McCain to me this way: On the Hill, he is go to person on Russia, Syria, ISIS and other military/foreign policy issues. Everything else is politics. The staffer also called Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte (and Joe Lieberman before her) the oxpeckers on McCain's back. Statewide elections are still decided in Pima County. Ann Kirkpatrick's base is in the High Country, so she's handicapped in that regard. If Hillary can win the state and Paul Penzone can win the county, it'll be a good day for AZ and the nation.

I recall in 2010 (when McCain last ran) the AZ Daily Star editorial board supported McCain and their reasoning was basically, "He's been around forever and done nothing for Arizona. He's finally established, powerful, owed favors, and since this will likely be his last term, we're sold that he'll use this opportunity to pivot for his final six years and really do some good as a leader for the state, the party, and the nation."

I give little credence to editorial endorsements but I hope McCain has been a lesson-learned in what it really means for politicians to understand the importance of having public policy positions that are completely counter to their private positions/voting records ("Finish the darn wall!" -J. McCain, 2010).

2016 isn't just a terrible year for Presidential candidates; it's atrocious down ballot as well. But I'm sure Citizens United is REALLY going to be addressed.....

Gary, Can U please advise how "statewide elections are decided in Pima County?


Historically, Pima County voted overwhelmingly Democratic, which could tip close races. E.g. St. Janet in 2002. There's a Democratic bloc in Maricopa County, others elsewhere, but not enough to get you over the top. That's where Pima came in.

However, Pima County has been changing, with more Republicans moving into the sprawl outside the city of Tucson. So I'm not sure it's as reliable for the Ds as it once was.

INPHX, you're wrong here: There is no constitutional crisis lurking. Obama nominated and the Senate said no.

The Senate has not held a hearing on Merrick Garland, so there has been no vote. McCain essentially was saying that will be the Republican's M.O., dismissing every nominee Clinton offers. The hope is that the Democrats take the Senate and toss out the filibuster as it currently is practiced.

It's encouraging that journalists like yourself are calling it like it is Jon: "His temper is volcanic and his intellectual curiosity is no better than W's." If more journalists wrote like this, America might not be in the state it is today.


Perhaps you can show me where the Constitution explicitly requires an up or down vote on a judicial nominee; I've been looking pretty hard but can't find it.


Shorter INPHX: it doesn't matter how much we vandalize the political system, if there's no specific requirement, we'll always put the interests of the Republican Party over that of the nation as a whole.

If any Republican here ever brings up the word patriotism again, I think I'll vomit. What a disgusting tribe of vermin.

When you abrogate your Constitutional duties in order to continue your ongoing project of undermining that black man in the White House, instead of "advising and consenting", reasonable people might consider that a crisis.

Note: I said reasonable people. The Founders probably couldn't conceive of anything like the modern Republican Party being anywhere near positions of power.

Cal, Tucson's north and east sprawl seems to be the area that's turning more red. CD 2--Gabby Giffords' old district--is competitive as a result. West and south of there seems to be pretty Democratic, as it's historically been.

In the unlikely event that Hillary wins Arizona it will be the result of Mormons not voting for Trump, not the moderation of the Arizona electorate.

INPHX comment about no explicit Constitutional clause requiring a Senate confirmation hearing on a Supreme Court nomination.

INPHX, typical Republican worm.

I rather suspect that McCain is playing up to the Democrat-haters in Arizona.

Guess he's feeling a bit stressed (by the polls) to say something like that.

Well, the looney left once again showing that hoped for ends justify any means available.

Soleri appears to think that his rather screwball definition of a patriotism and his desire for a more imperialistic Obama presidency trump the whole "Separation of Powers" principles implied in the Constitution.

B. Franklin takes a different although equally irrational route wherein, I guess, a sense for affirmative action would override the Separation of Powers, because, I guess, Obama is black.

The lack of either side budging is simply an implied endorsement of the status quo.

INPHX translated: anything Republicans do to obstruct the machinery of constitutional government is permissible because.....Obama!......"imperialistic"........burp!......Separation of Powers!

Let's be clear: your tribe of racist know-nothings does not exactly inspire a love of country (unless it's the Dogpatch model put forward by Ted Nugent, Steve Bannon, and David Duke). When you can't even get the Bush family to endorse the most pathological presidential nominee in the history of this republic, you might want to step off the pedestal of your non-existent authority and go troll a cesspool more suited to your mephitic political extremism.


Thanks for yet another logical, cognizant and impeccable argument justifying Obama's SCOTUS nominee--

The Bush family, Donald Trump, and, of course, racism.

THAT"s why the Senate owes Obama a vote.

Clear as mud.

INPHX, since you are obviously a Constitutional scholar--in addition to all your other areas of expertise--perhaps you will enlighten us on why this particular Senate, controlled by Republicans, has chosen to go against 200 years of precedent regarding Presidents' and their Supreme Court nominees...

(Gosh, I hope there are links!)

PS 'because they can, nah nah nah' is not an acceptable answer.

McCain is a sad, pathetic figure, I was actually embarrassed for him in his desperation to hang on after Trump urinated on him and rubbed his nose in it. This latest SCOTUS stupidity is somehow in his mind a substitute bone thrown to the Neanderthal wing after finally backing away from Trump.

Mr. Franklin:

Free your mind,and the rest will follow:


Anon, you raise a good point--the LDS bloc abandoning the top of the GOP ticket would be a factor in a possible Hillary victory. But it likely won't be the only factor. Jon likes to say "Mexicans don't vote." We'll see if that holds this year.

Normally I wouldn't waste my time on a link to The National Review since I realized as a mere youth that it was founded by a racist Yalie CIA stooge, and that it never strays very far from its roots..

However, it's been a slow day at Casa Franklin, so...why not?

I sometimes get the feeling that INPHX never reads the entirety of the things he links to. If he did, he would have read the law professors Kar and Mazzone's complete refutation of the Review's Ed Whelan's argument. I especially enjoyed the part where they pointed out that he was claiming they had said things that they hadn't...ah, the rhetorical techniques of the right wing never change and never get old.

Ultimately Whelan's argument really did boil down to "because they can. Nah nah nah!"

Ed Whelan, by the way, was a clerk for Antonin Scalia. He was also part of W's Justice Department during the glorious "Torture Is Cool By Us" days. Great bona fides, huh?

It is disheartening that once the flames die down from this scorched earth election, we will be back to business as usual.

The constitutional crisis I see is what has already visited us for a while now. Instead of three separate and co-equal branches of our government, we have three separate governments. Each one acting as if the other two didn't exist.

The only checks and balances I see are in the checking accounts of the corporate accounts that own the three branches.

I firmly believe that somewhere in the bowels of the MIC, there are people who say, "Fools! Let's keep them busy with guns, abortion and religion; meanwhile we will run rampant all over the world. Nothing in this world is sure except death and taxes. Death and taxes are the MIC'c core businesses.

Mr Franklin:

I read everything I linked way back when it was originally posted during
Garland's failed nomination.

Bashing National Review is not an answer. It's not gospel; nor is it non gospel. Simply attacking a source reflects, well, a fairly narrow perspective.

The back and forth between the parties' simply proves my point. You agree with Kar/Mazzone because , I think, Obama is black- or something like that. There's compelling arguments on both sides- and the lack of clarity sure doesn't help your position any.

The Senators that blocked Garland will be accountable when they are up for re-election. That's not the case with Obama.

Glad you learned something from the link. It's a big world out there.

Who said anything about black?

Boy, you really have a fixation with Obama, don't you?

I suppose it's understandable. He beat your "best" twice. "Best" being a relative term. And if he could run again, he would win again. Easily.

I agree with Kar/Mazzone because they have a compelling argument. You know, facts presented in an orderly manner. 200 years of precedent, etc.

You agree with Whelan because he represents your world view.

I happen to believe that it is a retrograde, indeed dying, worldview, but you are certainly welcome to it.

Mr Franklin asks "Who said anything about black?"

Here is an excerpt from one of Mr. Franklin's previous posts:

When you abrogate your Constitutional duties in order to continue your ongoing project of undermining that black man in the White House, instead of "advising and consenting", reasonable people might consider that a crisis.

Note: I said reasonable people. The Founders probably couldn't conceive of anything like the modern Republican Party being anywhere near positions of power.



And I thought we were talking about Republican Senators refusing to do their jobs.

But since you brought it up, it must really stick in the craw of people like Jeff Sessions, Lindsay Graham, Mitch McConnell, Richard Selby, Tom Cotton, Richard Burr, and all of those other good old boys and girls, and who knows, maybe you, too, that a black man has outsmarted them all these years.

Especially since the entire Republican project since the 2008 election has been to undermine Obama. That's it, that's all. And, for the most part, they've failed at everything--except stalling the economic recovery, and keeping as many guns on the street as they can. That, they're very good at.

But it's good to know that their behavior has nothing at all to do with the President's color. It's just good old hardball politics.

Sure it is.

During this final debate, the Republican nominee for president crossed a Rubicon in our democratic government and declared its very mechanisms illegitimate. As vile, ignorant, fatuous, and pigheaded as this creature is, this was the final straw. He will lose in a landslide.

Once upon a time, there was a Republican Party that could still speak to our common decency as a people. Some time in the last 25 years, it came untethered to this core construct of our identity. It decided to wage Total Political War on our government, the opposition party, and language itself. The result is a nation riven to its marrow. We not only disagree with one another, we are the enemy, one American to another.

This cold civil war will eventually end. What we don't know if its deplorable and irredeemable leader will try to take this nation into the dustbin of history toward which he is relentlessly guiding his party.

Mr. Franklin:

After the 2008 elections, Democrats controlled the House 256 to 179 and the Senate 55 to 45 (I have done a little rounding there.)

After the 2014 elections, Republicans controlled the House 247 to 188 and the Senate 54 to 46.

If I was on your side, I'd gladly trade Obama's "outsmarting" the GOP for a few Congressional wins.

On my side, boy, that's some failure.

Can't even imagine what success would have looked like.

Sucess by a Democrat might look like FDR or LBJ.

That said I predict Historians will write rather favorably on Obama and not so on congress.

Am I missing something about this Donald Trump? Did he really run to be President? Is he in his own way a "Purist"? Will conspiracies history hold that this was really a plan between Donald and Bill.

After Hillary's election will Donald die mysteriously?

Appears to me the next Famous Trump will be Baron as Donald Jr is a chinless and ignorant replica of the Donald.

The "triumph" of the GOP in recent Congressional elections has been in large part based on gerrymandering at the state level.

More people voted for Democrats and yet more Republicans were elected.

It's like magic, I guess.

And what a sterling record of legislative achievements this Republican majority has left us.

Oh, that's right, you guys don't believe in effective government. I forgot.

I wonder, is that why Republicans spend so much of their time trying to suppress the vote?

Because, really, what's the point of having a functioning democracy?

Always with the excuses-

Black Presidents. gerrymandering, racism, ignorant voters, control of the media, voter suppression, the list goes on and on and on.

In 2008, 29 of 50 states were run by Democratic Governors.

In 2014, 29 were controlled by Republicans.

Must have been gerrymandering, there, too. You know, between states.

As I've said before, the impasse between the Democratic controlled White House and the Republican controlled Congress is nothing other than an implied endorsement of the status quo. Neither side budges, so we stay stuck.

Of course, only one side assured us of "Hope and Change", so there's that to mull over.

Current Obama approval rating: 55%

Current Trump favorability rating: 34%

Current generic House race preference: R 41%
D 47%

Current Republican Party Favorability: 31%

Current Democratic Party Favorability: 44%

Keep flogging that horse that Republicans are popular. They are the most loathed major party in any Western democracy.

Tweet of night goes to Rich Lowry of National Review:

It's completely heartbreaking to see Hillary Clinton so outclass a Republican nominee across 3 debates

All the sniping between the followers of corp r and corp d are nothing but partisan distraction from the important stuff. First, these were not debates. They were puff photo ops for the owners of this land to control the dialog. Where are the questions regarding the disaster enveloping our climate? How about the fact that the largest and growing segment of the nations discretionary budget goes to maintaining a killing machine spread across the planet. No mention about how the wealthy own the process and tailor all discussion into sex talk. I am beyond giving a damn about which president of candidate pinched the most ass. I want to hear discussion on topics like how Big Sister plans to establish a "only we fly" zone in Syria without triggering WWIII.

Ross, har U go: http://www.theglobalist.com/nigeria-europe-poulation-census/

For all the Trumpers out thar.

The biggest part of the crisis will be simply avoided by a Dem majority in the Senate.

Game over.

As for the House, the biggest fissure in the R party is the reality of Trump- he is now the de facto leader of the Tea Party, and the business and LDS folks are all without an effective party.

The absolute funniest part of the coverage last night was Michael Steele complaining that the Dems had voted to bring Trump to the top of the ticket- I nearly died laughing, but it really showed the beltway hallucinations of what Trump represents.

That was indeed the minute I switched off the coverage and went to bed- because it was craaaazy.

The LDS vote is being ignored, but one might just notice the fairest LDS pol, one Jeff Flake, has already pulled his tent and gone home from Trumpism, and indeed the reaction from the R party folks has been interesting.

That does tell me that the east valley may not turn out for our Senator, and that might just be enough votes to send him home to the beltway.

The really interesting question is if the solons of Salt Lake have decided that Trump is just totally an anathema to their expansion plans, and if the dems offer a better way....they might just allow a soft switch.

That plus Trump is just toxic to the female vote outside of the Tea party.

In short, these are going to be turbulent weeks as the vote approaches, unless you mail your early ballot- like I did on Monday.

As for Shurf Joke. Please let him begone from my property taxes- and let the county begin to dig out from his disastrous rule. I would note that anyone who thinks the Dems swung it for Trump should review the rallies conducted with Joe and see the true supporters out in droves.

In short, the R party astroturfed the Tea Party, and then has been consumed by it.

Now the refugees are beginning to look around and try to decide how they fit in when so much of the party apparatus is controlled by birther Trumpies, hard line Goldwater filks, and a fading McSame influence.

Anyone done pubic records request to see the Gov's Enemies List? I would like to see how many stars are next to my name.

Welcome to the Democratic People's Republic of Arizona- which faction do you support- because that is where your patronage flows, baby.

The greatest achievement of the Obama presidency was stripping the thin veneer of humanity off a large percentage of Republicans.

And thereby revealing their true selves.

We "hoped" that they might "change", but we were wrong.

So now, it's just a question of waiting until they die off...

Mr. Franklin writes:

The greatest achievement of the Obama presidency was stripping the thin veneer of humanity off a large percentage of Republicans.



Me? I would have preferred immigration reform, tax reform, a safer, more secure world, a move towards reducing deficits, reducing income and wealth inequality, improved race relations, education reform, reduced defense budgets, sanity in the Middle East, trade reform, repeal of the carried interest tax preference, estate tax reform, and about a dozen or so other related improvements in all of our lives.

But if you;re good with that whole stripping deal, good for you.

Set the bar low. It's easier to jump over.


Thanks for the links here's one for you.


and another,



When a racist troll like INPHX accuses the other side of setting the bar low, what the fuck is he getting at? That his alt-right tribe elevates our discourse? That they put the nation above the interests of their Neo-Confederate party? That they take care to nurture the institutions and traditions of our republic? Like attending the affairs of actual governance instead of posturing how they shouldn't be expected to do that bare minimum of adult responsibility?

INPHX, you are a vile joke of a human being.

Thanks Ross, The first one although from a different source pretty much has been covered by Consortium news for some time.

I believe Hillary will be more "hawkish" than Obama. I have believed that since I saw them in the photo of them waiting on the take down of Osama Bin Laden. And I think the Drone issue will be a stain on Obama's history.

The second one I had seen on RINF. A web site someone in TX sent me.

What soleri said about INPHX el Gusano.

INPHX, Please try and explain to me in a rational and logical way how your above post is reconcilable with many of your other posts and not symptomatic of bi-polar-ism?

Soleri, I have difficulty believing any human being is a "vile joke". Maybe a ignorant person, or a mentally handicapped person or an intentional chingadara or maybe a sociopath but I cant come to grips with mother nature creating a "Vile human as a joke"?

HMLS, I like that, El Guasno
and translated from Spanish.
Take your pick Psychopath or pranskter?

Cal, sorry if I offended you. I don't relish using those words. I like to think everyone has a fundamental core of goodness that exists beyond petty political debates and differences of opinion. The reason I single out INPHX is his habit of using politics in some of the most personally destructive ways we can imagine in a country with our tragic history of "othering" some people up to and including death. The most morally salient point any of us can make is to offer your own witness to the depth of this depravity. He not only denies that this history matters, but that it even exists. To whitewash this history is to defile the memory of those who bodies litter our national nightmare. I look forward to the day we acknowledge this history instead of minimizing it in the name of getting along.

My goals for Hillary"
Address Climate change.
Stop the continuous war chit.
Rein in Wall Street, bankers and the financial community.
Create more Roadless Wilderness
Get Mary Jane legalized.
Address Population growth.

AND what INPHX said:
immigration reform, tax reform, a safer, more secure world, a move towards reducing deficits, reducing income and wealth inequality, improved race relations, education reform, reduced defense budgets, sanity in the Middle East, trade reform, repeal of the carried interest tax preference, estate tax reform, and about a dozen or so other related improvements in all of our lives.

I couldn't set the bar low enough for some people to get over it...slither under, maybe.

INPHX, please how me the bills put forth by the Republican Party that would do any of those things, in a sane and rational way, that you claim to want.

As I recall, shutting down the government is more their speed.

You do know that the President doesn't create legislation...don't you?

And honestly, what do you care about the estate tax? Did Limbaugh say it was bad? And that's good enough for you?

Why I didn't watch the debates?
I never have as I very seldom watch TV.

Why the debates were a joke.

"Aside from a pragmatic, but hardly eye-opening, question about energy policy from Ken Bone, climate change did not make a single appearance in this year's election debates. Why can't the most important democratic decision in the world engage with the most pressing issue of our time? That is, in a word, incredible".


We are more caught up in who is fucking who than whether we will be able to take another breath!

Better than the debates any day:
I will confess that in the last 9 months I have watched Barney Miller about 4 times and Johnny Carson twice. I caught the show where Johnny had Richard Pryor and George Carlin on the same show. Hard to go wrong with two of the planets smartest comedians.
I really miss Lenny Bruce.


Here is a link that I think you will appreciate.


AND more about the wall street candidates lack of concern about climate change.


if Hillary nominates a supreme court justice that gets confirmed, will it make a difference about climate change?
If citizens United gets overturned and women get to legally have abortions will that make the air we breather better.


Thanks Cal,

I had not been following the Nicaragua Canal story lately. Years ago I read a history of the Panama Canal "The Path Between the Seas" by David McCullough. A very informative read about a very nasty business.

I see that another prominent environmental leader in Honduras was murdered this week. Overseeing the Military coup in Honduras was one of Clinton's last acts as Sec. of State. I'm surprised she didn't blame Putin. She has a very bloody past. No reason to think she will grow a new coat of spots.

ross and Cal seem intent on blurring virtually every moral distinction we can make in this election between an utterly immoral demagogue who posits that climate change is a hoax and a pragmatic liberal who understands that nothing will change absent difficult negotiations and compromise. But left-wing purists (and their right-wing abettors) don't really care about actual change. They worry about being personally right.

Maybe in a perfect world, where power is no longer the underlying crucible of change, there's a role for preening vanity and moral unction. But throwing elections to Republicans is guaranteed to make the world worse, not better. I'm sorry I have to keep reminding our angels on the left that in 2000 Al Gore would have been a much better president on climate (and every other issue) that matters to them. But they can't learn this lesson because they're trapped in the isolation tank of their own moral purity. There is no change without power and that power is not hypnotized by your narcissism. Go ahead and pretend your imaginary virtues are more important than reality itself or that they will somehow levitate our grubby world of power and greed. But please: don't sabotage the actual adults struggling to midwife change in this fallen and imperfect world. You have done enough damage already.

Sure soleri. And you keep on deluding yourself that Clinton isn't a power hungry war monger in the pocket of those who care nothing for how much death, destruction and misery they have to use to stay on top.

I'm sure Clinton will be much more attuned to Climate change than Trump who is completely out of tune with nearly everything. Will Clinton be Al Gore on climate change? Probably not but at least she will be better than the alernative and she fits into the pattern of inching incrementalism. My point is being able to breathe proceeds all other issues and it didn't even come up in the debates and hardly at all in the campaigns. So take a deep breathe as it could be your last one.

Ross kep posting as it brings out the best in Soleri.


I don't think is the election to lean on the 'pragmatic liberal' argument. Clinton is the establish bell cow in a race against an outsider. The fact that this outsider is a terrible candidate doesn't make Clinton objectively any better, she's just the lesser of two evils. Less a few issues, she's not far from GWB -- and democrats HATE GWB (or say they say -- his policies seem pretty popular when Obama continues them).

Considering the establishment has been chipping away at the middle class for decades and during that time the standard of living has been inching down, I'm not sure where in her history we expect Clinton -- as the establishment choice -- to turn the tide. The time for change was 2008-2012 when the banks were vulnerable (as we all were) and we, as the source of their bailouts, had the opportunity to enact real reform. Our officials threw the opportunity right out the window and it's now lost. The banks are bigger than ever. New market competition is more restrictive than ever. And they've taken the gains from the recovery and reinvested it in their financial grips on DC. We have no more of a voice in Washington than we do in who the Cardinals start at right guard this week. Hillary Clinton is not taking on anyone in DC -- she's a pragmatic long before she's a progressive.

I understand #stoptrump. I do not understand #buyclinton. And the people who sit and preach that she'll be a progressive power as President are, frankly, gambling their integrity. We know what Hillary Clinton is. We're gonna have to take it because that's how the system works but the idea that Hillary Clinton is anything other than the alternative to Donald Trump only exists in a world that requires a major suspension of reality (so...maybe in one of Trump's alt universes). Just as Republicans who supported Trump are going to have to answer for their positions, true progressives who supported Clinton are going to have to explain where they came from because, in 2 years, "Well, we simply could not have allowed Trump to win!" won't be a good reason when Clinton has abandoned so many progressive policy positions she has campaigned on.

Another reason Soleri is right. Or how the kooks plan on keeping government from functioning for at least the next four years.

PS, the words Climate Change appear once in this long piece about emails.


The window for change was 2009-10. This was when Democrats controlled the House and Senate. Thus, Obama got a large (but ultimately too small and short-lived) stimulus. This played a substantial role in pulling the economy back from a second Great Depression.

He got the Affordable Care Act, originally a Republican proposal, but still the biggest advance in extending healthcare since Medicare. Dodd-Frank didn't go as far as I would have wished, but it was real reform of the financial sector.

The troubles were 1) Democrats are a mass party with many views, and some "conservative" Dems were both uncomfortable with some of these votes, and fearful of losing their seats, and 2) Republicans had enough seats in the Senate to filibuster many bills, thus much progressive and even centrist legislation stalled.

In the 2010 campaign, Democrats were totally unprepared for the astroturf Tea Party attacks in their districts. They lost the House. They barely held the Senate and then lost it in 2014. This opens the door to another discussion of the consequences of lower Dem voting in off-year elections.

Obama did not bring the rule of law to Wall Street. Why? Perhaps he believed advisers such as Tim Geithner, who argued that "Old Testament" retribution against the banksters might cause another freezeup, as in 2008. Obama was done no favors by Attorney General Eric Holder. By the time real reform (and prosecution) might have come, with the Angelides Commission report, there wasn't a majority in Congress to make it happen. Dodd-Frank rulemaking has been kneecapped by bank lobbying under a sympathetic Supreme Court.

Genuine liberalism hasn't won an election since 1964. I wish it were different.

I would like to simply suggest that purity and sanctimony are not effective political tools in the real world as opposed to its virtual analog online. I've talked to untold numbers of people who are convinced Democrats are selling them out. I call these people Betrayal Queens since they assume it's all a matter of bad candidates (e.g., Hillary Clinton) both winning elections and subverting the true will of the people at the same time.

This is absolute bullshit.

Politics is always a search for leverage and power. There is no path forward that involves pure idealism or anything so quaint as Good vs Evil. Any effective pol knows you have to win in order to change anything. If you don't have money, backing, supporters, and personal will, you won't win. That's why the sanctimonious left in America is so ineffective. It's not only naive, it's utterly detached from reality itself.

If you want to remake America in your image, start small. Do demonstration projects at a local level. Win some seats in the state legislature or county boards. Create winning coalitions for your issues. You won't because a) you don't how politics works and b) you think purity trumps power politics. It doesn't, it never has, and it never will.

Please grow up. If you want to help Republicans, just be honest and admit as much. This is a reality-based blog. It's not here simply for you nitwits to vogue your superiority as if you're going to impress anyone besides yourselves. You don't win elections for this reason. You don't get to 50+1 by casting out everyone who is less Progressive Than Thou. You win by being pragmatic enough to accept partial victories and incremental change. The New Left has been around for 50 years and besides an Allard Lowenstein, Dennis Kucinich, and Alan Grayson, has nothing to show for their efforts beyond their fire-breathing rhetoric. Your only power comes from screwing over the progressive coalition and electing people like George W Bush. Passive-aggressive politics is your only real weapon.

If Hillary Clinton wins a landslide victory, there'll be more Democrats in Congress and opportunity to do some transformative pieces of legislation. I know. It's not good enough for you. Nothing ever is. But for those of us who prefer something to nothing, it's the holy grail of political life. But as long as reality-detached lefties put their "feelings" above actual progress, we'll likely be stuck with four more years of Republican obstruction.


It would be nice if there were some groundswell for the arts of negotiation and compromise.

The idea of "win at all costs" has created the gridlock in Washington.

Obviously, very few understand that, in negotiations, nobody gets everything they want.

Too many settle for "ideological purity" as a talking point to get re-elected.

Respect, consideration, becoming conduct, and reasoned "discussion" are seen by the power-hungry as wimpy old-fashioned. Verbal "warfare" is preferred to "bludgeon" one side's policies through the other side's defenses.

A stalemate, much like War I, has left the enemies wasting time and money getting nowhere. It will take the voices of reason, like America then, to get involved and break the siege.

Soleri, Im doing the best I can on the environment. Well Barack and me.

The White House, Washington


Thank you for writing. When it comes to protecting our planet, we have a responsibility to make smart, forward-thinking decisions that put our children’s future first. I appreciate hearing your thoughts.

One of the most important ways we can take action is by confronting climate change, and my Administration has made great progress on this front. We’ve reduced our emissions, increased fuel efficiency standards, and cut our dependence on foreign oil—and we’re generating more wind and solar energy than ever before. But we must do more, which is why my final budget proposal doubles funding for research and development by 2020 in order to accelerate America’s transition to a low carbon, clean-energy economy. And in Paris last year, nearly 200 countries came together and adopted the most ambitious climate change agreement in history, paving the way for the international community to address this critical challenge together.

Of course, we cannot complete the transition to a clean-energy economy overnight. We will continue to rely partly on fossil fuels—and while we do, safety must be our first priority. That is why my Administration strengthened regulations governing hydraulic fracturing to further protect public and American Indian lands. We have also shut off drilling in the Atlantic and the most sensitive Arctic areas, and we are setting the highest possible standards for exploration and transportation of fossil fuels. Each day, we will keep working to make sure our pursuit of energy resources does not put our communities at risk.

Investing in American energy technology will grow our economy and protect our environment at the same time—and so will investing in America’s great outdoors. Since I took Office, we have protected over 548 million acres of public lands and waters—more than any administration in history. And thanks to successful recovery efforts, we have seen more victories under the Endangered Species Act than any previous administration—from saving black bears in Louisiana to sea turtles and manatees in Florida. We’ve designated new monuments and sites that better reflect the story of all our people, and we are continuing to pursue additional opportunities to protect our wild and scenic places. Steps like these are putting Americans back to work in tourism and recreation, and they are preserving our country’s rich history and our planet’s natural heritage for future generations.

Thank you, again, for writing. Keeping our world’s air, water, and land clean and safe takes work from all of us, and voices like yours are sparking the conversations that will help us get to where we need to be. I encourage you to stay engaged and to learn more about my Administration’s actions to protect the environment at www.WhiteHouse.gov/Environment.


Barack Obama

Rogue Columnist-

"Genuine liberalism hasn't won an election since 1964." That was well before my time but I can find no reason to argue that any democrat in my lifetime is anywhere near as progressive as LBJ.

My question: were other democratic candidates since LBJ (Humphrey,Carter, Mondale) more progressive than the post-Y2K candidates? Obviously in working across the aisle, they would have signed/supported more GOP efforts as part of a greater compromise (versus the current gridlock situation) but, in the same vein as "the modern GOP wouldn't even support Goldwater/Reagan today), has the DNC shifted much either? Or is it a matter of the same general positions in their platform and, frankly, they are just losing more than they are winning?

I get that this is somewhat subjective but I find it interesting considering we see the obvious changes within the GOP but, for the Democrats, so many of their recent policy changes have been so subtle that I wonder how much they've cumulatively shifted in 50+ years (aside from the obvious changes that come with time).


First, let's stipulate that definitions and labels have changed. For example, LBJ was an unapologetic "New Deal liberal." But he would have be lost on such contemporary progressive issues as LGBTQI or even Black Lives Matter.

Humphrey, McGovern, Mondale and perhaps Dukakis were more liberal than post-Reagan Democratic presidential candidates. Carter was a political centrist and in many ways a social conservative, certainly when he ran.

The old (bipartisan) liberal consensus cracked up over the Vietnam War. McGovern, running on an anti-war and liberal platform in 1972, was routed by Nixon. Mondale met a worse drubbing against Reagan. The right, especially with Reagan, was more successful in selling itself as an antidote to popular discontent in the late 1970s. This was especially true with tax cuts, liberal (neoclassical) economics, the myth of the "welfare queen," etc. It pivoted on Margaret Thatcher's success in her battle against social welfare and the old Labor Party in the UK. Thatcher's motto was There Is No Alternative (TINA), and her seeming success with economic liberalism appeared to bear this out. Communism collapsed, socialism was in bad odor, and Frank Fukuyama declared the End of History.

The electoral and ideological defeats of the 1970s and 1980s had a profound effect on Democratic presidential candidates and Democratic thinking in general (don't assume an all-powerful DNC). Then there was the ghost of Jimmy Carter's failed presidency and unpopularity — Republicans successfully portrayed him as a liberal and stagflation/Iran hostages/weakness abroad/energy crisis as the consequences of "liberal policies."

Bill Clinton was the most effective candidate among the 1992 primary contenders with a strategy to help Democrats retake the White House. His "New Democrats" were economic liberals (the terms can get blurry, so read neoclassical, market-trusting). They were not weak in foreign policy and supported the military — hence, Al Gore, who had served in Vietnam, albeit as an Army journalist, was essential to the ticket. Both were also Southerners, also seen as crucial for a Democrat to win the White House. But Clinton preserved the ideas of progress and tolerance that came from old liberalism. His success became a template for the party into the 21st century.

People today risk forgetting the damage that Carter did as president, because he has been such a fine ex-president. He owned many of his failures, especially in foreign policy — ironically, he graduated from the Naval Academy, "qualified" in submarines (a huge deal) and had a promising career as an officer, but left the Navy when his father died. Carter also had bad luck. But his deep unpopularity further tainted the Democratic Party "brand" and made Reagan inevitable. He and the (unfair) memory of McGovern (a war hero) blackened the very idea of liberalism for a generation or more among a majority of voters.

Some parallel developments. The influence of big business in government was not nearly as pervasive or toxic from the end of World War II until the 1980s. When GM President Charlie Wilson said in 1953, "What’s good for America is good for General Motors and vice versa…," it was an expression of patriotism. This changed as unions faded, generations changed, and reactionary business leaders began to seek control of the government for their own ends. Business radically changed, too, becoming more concentrated and focused on short-term gains.

Second, the Democrats had a lock on the U.S. House for 50 years until 1994, and the Senate for most of those years. A big liberal infusion came in 1974 with the "Watergate babies," young reformers. This made possible steady gains, from funding the Great Society, to the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, etc. etc. Yes, Ronnie and Tip would fight during the day and then have drinks and blarney fun at night, but the point is the Democrats and liberals kept some power, even with the Reagan ascendancy.

Third, we went from having two mass parties, each with liberals, centrists, and conservatives, to only one: the Democratic. Starting with Newt Gingrich's House takeover in 1994, the Republicans became a pure right-wing party driven by a rigid dogma. The RINOs were pushed out, retired, or died off. This is unprecedented in modern American political history. It makes the deals and compromise that are essential to governance impossible. It has shifted the "center" to the right. The change has proved profitable for the Republicans in down-ballot races, backed by big corporate and plutocrat money. But not for the White House. Even W had to run against this as a "compassionate conservative" (and needed an assist from the Supreme Court).

The Democratic Party has shifted in losing its white supremacist Southern wing to the Republicans, embracing ongoing cultural liberalism, while providing the only pushback against war and corporate plunder (but, again, it is a mass party). It remains the inheritor of the New Deal and Great Society. The Democratic Party is capable of processing and responding to changing facts and circumstances, e.g. climate change.

The Democrats win the White House more than they lose it in the post-Reagan era. But the party has been less successful at the state and congressional level. And this is probably because conservatives vote religiously in off-year elections and others don't. Fox News and talk radio have convinced a hefty plurality of voters that Democrats are the devil. But some of their antipathy toward Democrats comes precisely because the party has shifted to a perceived left.


I think that this election may likely find many people voting in ways they never anticipated. Donald Trump has been such a polarizing force that many who might have voted for him on the issues will support Clinton due to his perceived misogyny.

I think when many heterosexual attached women vote, away from their significant others, they will secretively vote Clinton, and, to some extent, Democratic, in protest to Trump's generally female-negative comments.

If that actually happens, and the Democrats gain majorities in both chambers, they will be on the block.

If they can actually show they wish to work with the Republicans, and the Republicans continue their "NO!" posture, it may set the stage for Americans to see who wants government to work--and who doesn't.

Then we would see whether the voters actually want a government that works.

Rogue, excellent selection of articles on US foreign relations posted on the Front Page.

The good old days.

Rogue Columnist -- thanks for the rundown. It's hard to get a seemingly fair breakdown of past democratic (well, either party really) candidates with everyone's hindsight being either "Reagan was a conservative saint" or "Carter was great and the 80's benefited from his excellent leadership!"

I appreciate your response.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz