Monday, July 25, 2016

DNC Hack Done By "Russians" - Don't Buy It

It figures that the Clinton political strategist and hack Robby Mook, e.g.
Image result for robby mook


 would at some point toss out the BS that "Russians" were behind the DNC hack.  But don't believe it for a second. It is merely an attempt to deflect attention from the content of the emails themselves in order to desperately preserve (or pretend) some sense of unity in the emerging shit storm with Bernie Sanders people at the Democratic Convention. (Some of which we beheld today in various spontaneous protests including one disrupting a DNC breakfast sponsored by the FLA delegation featuring Debbie Wasserman Schultz.0

And, btw, this type of deflection tactic is old hat. Anyone who has spent any time investigating the JFK assassination, for example, has seen it at multiple levels with the disinformationists. In this case numerous other experts have already pointed out the sheer difficulty - no matter what the FBI may say - about actually positively the source of the hack. As one expert put it: "Just because you find an AK -47 lying around doesn't mean a Russian left it". Same thing with a system with "Russian Cyrillic letters in the code". Ever heard of spoofing a hack? When did we see this before? Well with the claimed Sony  hack by N. Korea three years earlier. (Which turned out to be due to a disaffected Sony employee).

Worse, the cyber security firms (like 'CrowdStrike')  and resident "experts" that make these wild claims are often the beneficiaries of   "faith-based attribution"  whereby they skate and are never held accountable when they are wrong. SO pardon me if I don't bite. See also:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160724/17512435054/whether-not-russians-hacked-dnc-means-nothing-concerning-how-newsworthy-details-are.shtml

And:


Now, back to the Convention!
 '
Postscript.:

Three electrifying speeches, from Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders mesmerized the Convention crowd but Bernie's was easily the most intense and best. (Finally starting after nearly ten minutes of "Bernie!" chants and much applause). Michelle's speech was mainly for political naifs and spell binding on that score. If you were new to a political convention, the words and delivery were meant to get you ramped up

Waarren''s speech was also good but mainly recycled talking points she's used before, say on her network appearance, including on MSNBC only a few weeks ago.

Bernie's speech was relatively novel, not like his campaign retreads. He noted all the disasters a Trump presidency would bring, as well as the enormous inequality which persists where "the top one tenth of one percent have as much wealth as the bottom ninety percent".  Also of the "grotesque wealth and income inequality" which he believes a "President Hillary Clinton" will address.

Well, one can hope and hope springs eternal as they say. The problem is that with two Neoliberal, pro-market (Wall Street friendly) candidates on the ticket it will be extremely difficult. I will amazed, indeed, given Clinton's already turned to the  center right with the selection of Kaine, that she fulfills any of the promises made to Sanders even if she gets congressional leverage.

Interestingly, even after Sanders' speech (and an earlier scolding by Sander's supporter Sarah Silverman) many 'Bernie or Bust' folks weren't biting. One said she planned to vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party and another complained Hillary "has work to do to earn my trust."  This is understandable and with 105 days left until the election she has lots of work to do. Alas, choosing Tim Kaine (who was erroneously described over and over as "progressive" by a number of speakers) only compounded distrust among many Sanders' folks. How she will overcome that political miscue I have no idea.

See also:

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/ted-rall/68252/hillary-s-strategy-snub-liberal-democrats-move-right-to-nab-anti-trump-republicans

Will Boos Erupt Tonight At DNC Opening? Maybe

Image for the news result
Wasserman -Schultz, may give intro remarks tonight but look for lots of boos.

The question this morning is whether Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, primary architect of Bernie Sanders' demise via her underhanded machinations (revealed in new Wikileaks-released emails) will have an introductory spiel in tonight's opening of the Democratic National Convention. Some news outlets (e.g. FOX News) believe no speaking roles will be allowed after her execrable efforts to derail Sanders were made evident over the past three days.

Others, like the panel on 'Morning Joe' this morning,  believe she will be granted  opening remarks, and will receive predictable boos from Bernie supporters. They are still incensed over the dumbo Hillary pick of fellow Neolib Kaine, and now doubly enraged after the DNC email dump. (See previous post).

All this is germane as new polls show Trump now ahead of Clinton by 48% to 45% with the latter having endured a 4 point drop and Trump a 5 point gain - likely from a convention bounce. Hillary's drop, meanwhile, I trace to her pick of Kaine and maybe partly from the nonstop Clinton bashing during the RNC.

But hold tight because as Huffpo journalist Sam Stein noted this a.m. more 'shoes' are set to drop with release of more emails. Some may show the actual collusion of Clinton with her pal Debbie, which would be disastrous on top of her Kaine pick.  (Note for those who don't know: Debbie was co-chair of Hillary's 2008 campaign.) We don't know but we will see. In the meantime, Stein observed wary Clintonites have struggled to get Wasserman-Schultz out for months now to no avail. According to him  on 'Morning Joe':

"How do you get her out, right? That's really the thing. And there's not really a mechanism to do that. This has all the signs of a negotiated exit where she says 'fine, I will go but I want x, y and z. Not just to be state director but to do the opening and closing remarks' - where she'd going to be heckled"

And "heckled may be an understatement given the level of rage among Sanders' supporters who've been repeatedly insulted, vilified and dismissed by these Neoliberal Dem apparatchiks.  Stein did leave open she could "change her mind" and at that point reality would sink in that she'd have to sacrifice her ego to the good of the party and her pal Hillary. If the FOX story is accurate this may well be what transpired.

Political strategist John Heileman then weighed in to say the one person who could get her out is Barack Obama. But, he pointed out that the White House attitude to the DNC has always been 'We couldn't care less'.

Stein then chipped in, saying:

"Obama stated in 2012 'Why would I want to pick a fight with the party. Leave her there she can't do much damage'"

But, of course, she could and she did as the Wikileaks emails have disclosed. Besides, all the panel members pointed to Wasserman-Schultz's money making performance for the party and DNC so why turf this little money machine out when they need her the most?

Of course, the Clintonites who have an abiding hatred of the Russians (since Bill continued the expansion of NATO eastward to Russian borders),  blamed everything on them. But as yet they have produced not a scintilla of evidence. Oh, there was a "claim" - still no evidence - by a DNC -hired bunch of "experts" ('CrowdStrike") that the DNC's email system was breached by "Russian hackers". Even if true, and I haven't seen anything to convince me yet, this doesn't mean the Russian government or Putin was behind it. Further, people need to read this before they jump on that suspicious political meme bandwagon:

http://www.csoonline.com/article/3084594/security/dnc-hacker-slams-crowdstrike-publishes-opposition-memo-on-donald-trump.html

So, until the illustrious 'CrowdStrike' team can provide firm evidence that Guccifer 2.0 was in fact Russian or the "Russian hackers" I will withhold accepting the DNC claim. (Wikileaks also denies Russian involvement, though of course there will always be critics who suspect the motives and assertions of any group that leaks emails or files - as they did with the super patriot Ed Snowden.)

The irony in all of this is the Democrats had been determined  - after the chaotic shit storm of the RNC - to show the nation and world they were more unified and positive. Now, the leak of the emails has fracture the party and probably irreparably, with the progressive left wing feeling like the political orphans the new Dems have always regarded them as.  This is not only from the emails but also Hillary's selection of the Anti-Bernie, Tim Kaine. How or why she ever believed that stupid move could help is beyond me, but I suspect Robert Reich has probably given the best explanation, e.g. 

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/robert-reich/68239/does-hillary-get-it

Meanwhile, in a '60 Minutes' spot from last night, Kaine showed he's as ignorant as he is dumb - or maybe he's just another propaganda peddler when he babbled (asked about the bias shown by the DNC with the email release):

"I don't see any effort to put a thumb on the scale, one way or the other. I think the vigorous nature of the campaign and the positive nature of the campaign show these are public servants who are in it for the right reason".

Except one of them had a head start with superdelegates mandated by the DNC, and also likely help from voting counts that definitely had 'thumbs on scales'.   See e.g.

http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2016/05/election-fraud-voter-disenfranchisement.html


We will have to tune in to see if a mini-shit storm erupts at the Democratic Convention opening tonight. I, for one, predict there will be lots more protests on the outside than in.

Postscript:

Latest word is that Wasserman Schultz has bowed out and will no longer make intro remarks. This spares the Dems initial embarrassment (from boos) but will not quell the fury already aroused, from both the email leak and the middle finger pick of Neolib Tim Kaine.  Wifey is also very upset to see on MCNBC how Sanders' supporters are even booing Bernie for his arguments earlier to support HRC. After what's transpired they don't see why they should. Hillary herself could have mollified the Left with a decent VP pick but she chose, I say CHOSE, to give the middle finger. Thus, must now live with those consequences which may also include a demonstration the night she speaks - against her pick.

See also:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/us/politics/dnc-wikileaks-emails-fundraising.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0


Saturday, July 23, 2016

After Seeing Wikileaks DNC Email Dump, Bernie Owes DNC and Hillary NOTHING!


Bernie firing off his point in CNN debate even as DNC turds were scoffing at him, undermining his campaign.

After yesterday's middle finger salute to Bernie supporters compliments of Hillary and her Neolib cohort, Sanders' nation ought to be even more outraged today. This is after WikiLeaks released nearly 20,000 DNC emails showing how this disgusting bunch of pud suckers scoffed at Bernie and even his religious beliefs (or lack thereof), as they made plans to derail his campaign.

Reading through the emails was enough to make me physically ill and also - at  least for now - side with other Democratic Socialists calling for Bernie to retract his endorsement of Clinton at the Democratic Convention. Why not, after these odious fuckers  repeatedly spat in his face, weighted the nomination against him using the super delegate system, and now with this email dump shown how vile they really are?. (And bear in mind they were also behind the false story of Sanders's supporters "throwing chairs" at one Las Vegas  event two months ago)

One piece of excrement named Brad Marshall said of Sanders in one email that drove my BP through the roof:

“Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist."

Is this asshole for real?  What the fuck does it matter if Bernie believes in a God or not? What does it matter if he is a self-proclaimed Jew or not? What the fuck business is it of Marshall's or the asswipe clowns of the DNC? The fact is Marshall, bipedal turd that he is,  would only ruminate on Bernie's beliefs or lack of them as a way to undermine his credibility, especially with Southern voters.. 

So what if Sanders is an atheist? I am too. Does that matter or would you like me too take my vote some place else?  I had actually thought the Dems were beyond this sort of divisive thinking - characteristic of the Repukes, but I guess not. They are just as bad, but why be surprised since both parties now are just two sides of the same corporate coin? (Proven by Clinton's selection of Kaine, sending a message to the Street not to be alarmed by her debate attacks. Just words, ya know?)

How did WikiLeaks get hold of the emails? We cant say for sure. But earlier this year Russian hackers stole material from the DNC’s email system, the party and an investigating cybersecurity firm acknowledged last month. Wikileaks did not reveal how it acquired the files, though a hacker who goes by “Guccifer 2.0” has also claimed to breach the party’s system.

Nonetheless, there is no hard evidence that's surfaced showing WikiLeaks got their material from the Russians.  It is possible that Guccifer 2.0 was a member of the hacker group 'Anonymous' and worked alone, then gave his trove of files to WikiLeaks.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair and manipulator of the Dem debates, called the Russian breach  a “serious incident” and said a private contractor had been hired to sweep the organization’s network had “moved as quickly as possible to kick out the intruders and secure our network”. But clearly if Guccifer 2.0 could get in it wasn't as secure as she believed.

Meanwhile, on its web page, Wikileaks said the new cache of emails came from the accounts of “seven key figures in the DNC” and warned that the release was “part one of our new Hillary Leaks series”.

It's kind of sad to read about the DNC's machinations but most of us suspected them all along. Needless to say, along with the cowardly Veep pick of Tim Kaine, this will do nothing to energize Sanders' millions to work on behalf of the Dem ticket. Or even show up to vote. Why should they after being given the literal shaft? As Ruth Conniff, editor of the Progressive magazine put it: "Hillary wants progressive voters but she's shown she has no interest in progressive values."

In other words, it's all a big act especially with her sorry selection of Tim Kaine, yet another Wall Street beholden political hack.

Those who want to see the DNC emails can go to the WikiLeaks  website. Pay special attention to  the details of perks to be provided to party donors attending the convention;:

("The top tier of donors will receive priority booking at a premier hotel in Philadelphia and free tickets to major convention events and six tickets to an "exclusive VIP party," according to the document titled, "2016 Convention Packages.")

Postscript 7/24:

Kudos to Bernie on 'Meet The Press' this morning for telling Chuck Todd in no uncertain terms that Tim Kaine "does not share my political views".  Incredibly, panelist Rachel Maddow - more and more disclosing herself a confirmed Neolib - actually said that was an "aggressive statement". Seriously? It was an honest statement which it appears most of the pundits today - so immersed in their PR worlds of bafflegab- can't process. Maddow followed up this blurtation with the equally stupid observation that "on balance Tim Kaine is a progressive". Yeah right, Rachel, and what universe would that be? Not the one I inhabit! Further, because he once long ago "defended civil rights"  does not make him a progressive now.  Lastly, I commend Bernie for calling for the resignation of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz after the DNC email leaks. She needed to go months ago, but at least now she won't be speaking at the Dem Convention.

And now the latest news (2:15 MDT) is that she will resign after the Convention.  A small 'w' but one nonetheless.

 
See also:
 
 
And:
 

Want A Better Capitalism? Keep Entitled "Big Shots" Under Control



The work of Berkeley Psychology Professor Dacher Keltner, on the critical topic of dominance and how it translates to power plays and economic inequality,  is well known to many .  In his book, 'Born To Be Good - The Science Of A Meaningful Life', for example, Keltner waxes forth on the main culprits standing in the way of a more equitable and harmonious society.  Among these is  "rational choice theory"  and the "strongest proponents are in the halls of economic departments". The deformed creature resulting is "Homo Economicus" - a misshapen critter solely looking out for himself and his financial advancement. Also a believer in the Neoliberal idiom that each person must disdain governmental supports or assistance in favor of "personal initiative". This also feeds into the nation's overt hyper-consumption, since each individual (as a "productive" worker) is then expected to consume, consume and consume using his wages....so remains on the work-spend treadmill til he croaks.

The ultimate denizen of Homo Economicus is a bizarre, disdainful and arrogant grabber: the entitled CEO, "boss man" or alpha member of a group who fancies that he is the one deserving of the "most toys". Experiments conducted by Keltner and others have exposed these deformed, entitled cretins in numerous experiments and via many observations, including: games of Monopoly in which they grab two dice instead of one to advance, and company managers invariably grabbing twice as many biscuits or other goodies brought into a room for a team, or teams of employees.

Evidently, from the get go, these entitled goobers believe it their right to grab as much as they can and devil take the weaklings or less powerful. What are they going to do? Complain to the big boy? 

Of course, transferred to the larger economic scene - say to hedge fund managers, CEOs and thousands of bosses, we can easily see the basis of inequality. If these grabbers, indeed, can set up an economic system which is rigged from the outset to get them more: more money, more jobs, more real estate, more resources of every kind  then we have a putative basis for huge economic inequality.

But this stuff isn't new. It is a fact of historical record, which can easily be checked by anyone, that the social and political hierarchies of Nazi Germany were set up this way. The most powerful and dominant always took more than their share before the German hoi polloi or little people even had a chance.  My sister-in -law Krimhilde, for example, often related how high (and low)  ranking S.S. would barge into their farm and home and take whatever they felt they could use, or give as perks to others. They didn't care it would leave the family with five mouths to feed worse off.

Much of this was exposed 60 years ago in the little known book, 'The Power Elite' by C. Wright Mills who actually modeled his work on earlier studies of Nazi Germany. In Wright's 1956 book, however, the sights were turned on American society which even then was infected by the virus of a self-sustaining clique of miltarists, corporatists, PR mavens and politicians out to feather their own nests.

Later, Harvard's Pitirim Sorokin published 'Power and Morality' which proposed that the individuals introduced by Mills were not just self-interested but sick. He wrote:

"Taken as a whole, the ruling groups are more talented intellectually and more deranged mentally than the ruled population'"

Much of this take (by an admitted refugee from Lenin's Russia) was taken as commie drivel - at least until 1959 when Edward Jennings (a founder of business ethics) quizzed 162 American execs on their lives. Were they little angels just out to do as much good while they made some profits on the side? Did they treat their employees and others fairly? Hardly.

Jennings found:

- In the office most treated their colleagues with suspicion and regarded friendship as a weakness

- They to a man allowed self-interest to govern their in work and outside behavior

But in true Jekyll and Hyde fashion, most admitted to being "nice guys on weekends" - meaning they played with their kids and invited the neighbors over for barbecue.

The implication of Jennings' findings was that most of these honchos were born with their penchant for unethical behavior. It wasn't a side effect of being in charge.

Keltner in his book (op. cit.) divides humans into "low jen" and "high jen" groups.  According to Keltner:

"Jen is a central concept in the teachings of Confucius and refers to a complex mixture of kindness, humanity and respect that transpires between people."

There are also biological markers that are signatures for "high jen" humans, including: vagus nerve operation (eliciting lower heartbeat and release of oxytocin inducing more compassion for fellow humans), oxytocin itself - inducing greater empathy for others, more trust, and the Duchenne smile - embodying the outward manifestation of love of humanity and a general trust.

By contrast, low jen humans (like the entitled power players exposed by Jennings) exhibit consistent scowls or paranoid distrust, unless weekends arrive - when they put on their fake smiles (always easily distinguished from the Duchenne because the eyes are not a part of them, only the mouth).

Keltner's claim and which is expatiated upon in his book, is that the jen concept "reveals a new way to think about the evolution of human goodness."  Very often, as Keltner observes, low -jen humans originate in the cradle. They are seldom held by their mothers, they are usually slapped or screamed at rather than embraced, hugged, and these actions lead to negative physiological markers - including low oxytocin levels, and overly excited vagus nerve response to most situations.

The "jen ratio" is the somewhat subjective measure that allows the quality of jen in a person to be assessed. According to Prof. Keltner, when assessing the jen ratio in another person, we place all his negative recent actions in the denominator, and all his positive actions in the numerator. For a manipulative billionaire like Trump, for example the jen rato would be about 1/40 on a given day. For Hillary, it might be 3/10. Based on these, one can easily see Hillary has the higher jen ratio.

Is this enough to elect a politician or presidential candidate to high office? Maybe not, but it's a start, certainly in terms of choosing the lesser of two evils which is what we are confronted with in this election. As Carl Bernstein also pointed out on 'Smerconish' this morning, neither one of these candidates - Trump OR Hillary - "has been properly vetted by the media" . This goes beyond 15 minute segments on '60 Minutes' or the occasional appearance on 'Face The Nation'. Bernstein was referring to (and demanding) entire hour documentaries on each of the two, going to their real selves and getting beyond the mythologies.  Will the bought and paid for PR- driven media do it, say like Cronkite and CBS would have in the 60s? I doubt it.

Keltner himself published a controversial paper on power dynamics in 2010 after which three European academics (Martin Korndorfer, Stefan Schmukle, and Boris Egloff) surmised it might be possible to reproduce the results using data from surveys carried out by the German state.  Their work suggested the opposite of Keltner et al's, i.e. that privileged individuals were actually more generous to fellow citizens than poorer citizens. (Which makes sense because they have more disposable income to afford greater generosity). However, on submitting it to The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found it was rejected by peer reviewers.

On re-submitting with some major revisions (extending analysis to the U.S. and other nations) it was still rejected. Did the journal peer review board exercise proper and objective judgment or display bias?  It isn't clear, but if the charity index is anything to go by, their conclusions certainly needed to be more rigorously crafted. One must be able, after all, to separate the many perks of privilege - such as being able to devote more time to volunteer work- from those aspects that feed and foster an aggressive sense of entitlement. The peer review board likely felt this was not done. In any case Egloff et al ultimately published their work in an online journal.

Keltner, for his part has pointed out many of his social experiments have indeed been replicated. I even cited some of them in my book, 'Beyond Atheism, Beyond God.'.  As he explained in one NY Times magazine piece:

"Here is what power does to just about every human being: it's going to make you not pay attention to people as well as you used to pay attention to them....You will be a little less careful in the language you use. You will be a little less thoughtful of how things look from their perspective.. So just practice a little gratitude."

He makes excellent points, and I'm sure if more power wielders followed his advice we'd behold fewer instances of big shot malevolence and also healthier form of capitalism. This has oppose to "I got mine so screw the rest of them!"





Friday, July 22, 2016

Janice Gives Robust Defense Of Colorado Care Single Payer Plan



As I wrote in a previous post, Colorado Care represents the next iteration in a state providing single payer health care after Vermont's efforts failed. Never mind, the backers of Colorado Care learned from Vermont's mistakes as I indicated in my   post, e.g.

http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2016/07/why-colorados-single-payer-health-plan.html

I also noted that my wife Janice is one of the activists contributing to the overall effort. She has helped in crafting letters to be published in several Colorado newspapers as well as websites, and Facebook forums. Most of this is beating back the extreme misrepresentations of the plan, mainly from libertarians and right wingers - most of whom don't even know the details.


In her most recent letter, Janice delivers a robust comment in support of Colorado Care to a Northern Colorado online paper. The full content is given below, reproduced with Janice's permission:

One Response to “Noam Chomsky endorses ColoradoCare Amendment 69”

Janice Stahl says:
That is indeed good news! The current system is truly broken, not only here in Colorado, but in the U.S as a whole. As Professor Chomsky mentioned, we pay twice as much for a health system in which the health outcomes for people have not been great. Every effort to introduce universal healthcare has come up against the power of the huge and immensely deep-pocketed health insurance industry, which is determined to maintain its dominance and protect its considerable bottom line. Previous efforts have failed in part because too many political concessions were made to the insurance industry, resulting in a diluted hybrid system which doesn’t do anything very well.
Colorado citizens have the opportunity here to change that.

We can say no to deductibles (which often force people to pay for their treatment while still paying premiums), no to narrow networks, annual enrollment, unpredictable premiums and denial of service. In contrast to the insurance industry, whose primary interest is to earn maximum profits for its shareholders, ColoradoCare will be run like a cooperative business owned by Colorado residents – patients and providers- whose primary purpose is to provide quality healthcare for Coloradans.

We can say yes to continuous lifetime coverage for all residents when we vote YES on Amendment 69 in November.
----------------------------------

To see the actual link go to:



 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Hillary Prescription For Losing In November: Pick Tim Kaine As Veep

Photo published for By Picking Anti-Abortion Tim Kaine, Hillary Is Testing Feminists’ Loyalty
Hillary and Hillary II: Let's hope they have good laughs now since they likely won't in November.

As Michael Moore's turn to comment came up on Bill Maher's Convention edition of Real Time last night, he provided what he himself called "the buzzkill". That is, predicting Donald Trump will win the general election - much to the boos and consternation of the lefties in the audience and on the panel (Joy Reid and Dan Savage).

Moore zeroed in on the "Brexit" in the US of A, comprising three  industrial states: Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania with their 64 electoral votes. Those 64  electoral votes were the difference between Mitt Romney becoming the 45th President in 2012 and just another loser to Obama. But this time around, as Moore explained, they could easily be grabbed by Trump - especially given all three feature Republican governors who can gin the voting rules in their favor, including via use of electronic voting machines which were a major factor in Bush winning Ohio in 2004.

Of course, the Real Time LA crowd, stoked on the triumphalism of most of the liberal press, couldn't handle it. They were in denial and averse to such awful forecasting.

Moore might be right or wrong. I personally don't believe it's a given Hillary Clinton  will lose, but that is only provided she plays her cards right and doesn't shoot herself in the foot. Right now, however, the buzz is that she will do that - by following her advisors lead and picking a Neoliberal Veep, namely Tim Kaine.

As David Swanson pointed out on smirkingchimp.com:

"Kaine was an anti-environmentalist pro-coal governor of Virginia, a supporter of the "right to work" (for less) law restricting union organizing in Virginia, and he is a supporter of corporate trade agreements including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and including fast-tracking the TPP. An extremely loyal Democrat, he nonetheless criticized Democrats in 2011 for proposing higher taxes on millionaires.

Kaine is the anti-Bernie Sanders on policy and on process. He takes his direction from those in power, not from the public. In a poll of over 250 Sanders delegates to the Democratic National Convention (by the Bernie Delegate Network), only 2.7% of them said they thought Kaine would be an acceptable vice presidential nominee."

Kaine's support of the TPP will be one of the biggest knocks against him. Trump will hammer him and Clinton relentlessly - based on his acceptance speech tonight -  citing the horrific job losses in industrial states in the wake of trade deals starting with  NAFTA (pushed by Bill Clinton) and ending with TPP (embraced in the past by Hillary). 

Meanwhile, with another Neolib on the ticket Bernie or Bust people will not be energized enough to change their minds and certainly not to subscribe to the lesser of two evils again. They will also take a Kaine pick as not only a slap in the face, but also showing Clinton doesn't really support Bernie  Sanders
 positions or the integration of some of them into the Dem platform.

As Janice expressed immense fear tonight after Trump's speech, I observed that Hillary still has the power to avert electoral disaster. That means picking a firm liberal as Veep (Elizabeth Warren would be best) and not mucking up the debates.

We don't know yet how she will fare in the debates but her Veep pick can either be the first  powerful round fired to take down Trump in November or the first nail in her electoral coffin.  The choice is ultimately hers, and being too cautious will not get it done.

Postscript  7/23:

As predicted Clinton made just about the worst pick imaginable, cynically betting Kaine will help her "sew up" the middle when she really needed to consolidate her left flank. Now I predict that at least 20 percent of Bernie Sanders' voters will not be energized enough to show up. I believe this will translate to Clinton losses in what Michael Moore called the "Brexit" states, and lead to a narrow Trump win.  The reason is that now, without those energized left voters, it will make the election a squeaker and close enough to steal via any number of ruses we're beheld before. (Including electronic voting machine manipulations.)

It is sad, and at one point in the middle of all the misplaced cheerleading on MSNBC's 'All In'  last night, Progressive magazine editor Ruth Conniff was explaining the magnitude of Clinton's disaster. She noted it being a "slap in the face" to Sanders' voters.  She added:

"It's just a sign that Hillary does not feel like she has to do anything for the progressive wing of the party,"

 Soon after she was  terminated by a call in from Neoliberal VA governor Terry McCauliffe.

Hillary had her chance to make a huge statement and help to bring it home for the Dems and become the first female President. Alas, unless she can unleash Jack Kennedy-esque lightning in the debates, she will end up like Hubert Horatio Humphrey did in 1968.  The truth hurts, but don't expect the cheerleading media and most Dems to buy it.

See also:

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/robert-reich/68239/does-hillary-get-it

And:

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/07/22/clinton-inflames-progressive-base-choice-tim-kaine-vice-president

Quote: By choosing a corporatist like Kaine, Hillary has 'pulled a Lieberman. God forbid if it puts Trump in the White House.

Jeff Cohen of RootAction.org

A Law Making Attacks On Cops A "Hate Crime"? A Bad Idea

While one can (and must ) surely sympathize with the families of police officers recently slain in Dallas and Baton Rouge, given they were doing their best to uphold the law, it is definitely a step too far to try to pass a law (H.R. 4760) making attacks on cops a hate crime. There are dozens of reasons for this but I plan to examine the main ones here.

As today's Editorial in The Denver Post puts it:

"An effort in Congress to make the act of targeting a police officer for violence a hate crime strikes us as unnecessary even while we encourage a serious discussion of the bill's motivations".


The Post goes on to note this bill (H.R. 4760) is being sponsored by Rep. Ken Buck, of Greeley, CO,  and also with the assistance of the "Blue Lives Matter" bunch. (See link at the end). The legislation was actually filed by Buck  earlier this year before the police killings. The bandwagon was then jumped on by looneytune Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke and his 'Blue Lives Matter' counter meme to Black Lives Matter.  (Fortunately, Milwaukee actually has a sane representative of law enforcement - Police Chief Edward A. Flynn.
Image result for milwaukee police chief
Chief Flynn, like Dallas Chief David Brown is intelligent and gave an articulate, compelling address in the ABC televised 'The President and the People'.  He is absolutely the antithesis of the clownish, gun crazy zombot cartoon embodied by David Clarke, a guy who really needs to be replaced and given the job of dog catcher.

Moving on, Buck himself is best remembered (or not?) for his clamoring to pass a constitutional amendment on behalf of "personhood" 5 years ago in this state which would have made all abortions unconstitutional.  This is based on the fetus being assigned a specious "personhood".  It also would  have made pregnant women liable to arrest and prosecution for any acts deemed "irresponsible" to said "person"  under Sections (3), (6) and (25).   Such violations of the amendment might include everything from going to the top of Pike's Peak (where the oxygen is one fifth that at sea level), to having a couple drinks at a bar to going horse back riding or white water rafting.

I bring Buck's past up merely to show he already has a rep for proposing extreme legislation. His push for a law making attacks on cops a hate crime is in the same category because it conflates the legal definition (pertaining to a group's genetic or social identity) with the choice of one's employment.

In the first case, one cannot help if he or she is black, or gay by virtue of birth and/or genetics. Therefore, attacks against them as "black apes" or "faggots" (sic)  amount to hate crimes since there is no option or choice that arises. A black person cannot change his or her skin color at will, after all, to make it less likely they will  be stopped, frisked,  beaten or shot for walking while black, driving while black ....or (as in a recent case in North Miami) helping one's autistic charge cross a street while black. In the latter incident, the black man targeted by 3 cops actually lay down on the sidewalk with hands up in the air and he was still shot, in the leg. See e.g.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq-LPQin7zk


In the second case, one chooses to put oneself in harm's way by being a cop, in much the same way one chooses to put oneself in harm's way by signing up to be an Army volunteer - ending up in Afghanistan.

In other words, one does not become  a cop by accident of birth or genetics, such that special protection is warranted for an identity one could not control.

As The Post Editorial notes:

"We  believe that being a police officer is not a part of one's identity. You're not born a police officer."

Exactly. Hence, under current legal parameters applied to hate crimes, with the definition:

 A crime, usually violent, motivated by prejudice or intolerance toward an individual's national origin, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability

The Post continues:

"Further, police are provided many protections already. We arm them and grant them great leeway in use of deadly force. We protect them with body armor and other gear. Rarely do juries charge officers who kill offenders."

Indeed, and as we beheld in Dallas, they even have bomber robots at their disposal to blow up a bad guy with the armed robot suddenly the judge, jury and executioner all in one.

So no, cops don't need a hate crime protection in addition to all their military level equipment too.  Buck and his cohort would be better served focusing on improved police training instead of firing first and asking questions later. Also, several pages could be taken from Dallas Chief David Brown's book based on his community policing and firing bad eggs publicly. I warrant such policies would have vastly bigger impacts than creating a special "hate crime" law for an occupation.

See also:

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/max-blumenthal/68202/is-blue-lives-matter-a-racist-hate-group