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12 July 2015

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BabelFish

I think we get to SOS Part (what ever number we are up to now).

turcopolier

Babelfish

"I think we get to SOS Part (what ever number we are up to now)." Means what? pl

BabelFish

Pat,

I believe there is so much momentum built into the world we live in, as Americans, that any single election cycle does not provide dramatic change, despite what the outward presentation by the media may be.

The oligarchs own Congress. It doesn't matter who gets elected. There are only so many Bernies and Elizabeth Warrens around to attack their world of political ownership. There might be some serious influence to be found if BHO and a newly elected HRC get to name the next 4 or 5 appointments to SCOTUS.

I'm not so sure at the state level. Maine is in a political world few of us natives could have imagined, with the governor being painted as a lunatic and at war with his own party in legislature. Despite that, he was reelected and remains popular with right leaning citizens. And, the government apparatus appears to function on a daily basis.

I don't see our foreign policies changing, regardless who gets elected. With an almost completely GOP government, we may be even more slavish in our worship of Israel than we are now, if that is possible.

Bill H

I suspect Sanders takes more votes away from Clinton than Trump does from Bush and we have Bush III in the White House. I suspect more Republican control of Congress and state governments regardless of the presidential race. Democrats, who I was supporting for a little while after Bush II, simply have no coherent program and are showing themselves to be feckless.

turcopolier

Babelfish

I didn't say there would be dramatic change. pl

cville reader

If Trump runs as a third party candidate, Hillary will almost inevitably win.

I don't think Sanders will end up having that much traction.

Bobo

I look upon "the Donald" as a reincarnation of Phineas Taylor Barnum with General Tom Thumb and the Feegee Mermaid in tow as he moves through the land telling us how well he has done and how good he is while putting all others into the trash heap. But then I came across the following quote by PT "A human soul that God has created and Christ dies for, is not to be trifled with. It may tenant the body of a Chinaman, a Turk, an Arab or a Hottentot-it still is an immortal spirit". So "the Donald" has a lot to learn if he wants to emulate old Phineas.
When it comes to Presidential election prognostication we are still in the "Silly Season" as it is early. I wait for the fall and hearing of Jim Webb as he will offer a serious discussion of where we are and where he believes we are going. We still have the seven dwarves on one side, old Gradma on the other with Bernie a yellin and a screaming. Who Knows and hopefully we do not get to Who Cares.

rjj

BF, LePage annoys all the right people. Besides, there is something appealing about needing to have some spokesperson come out and explain to the umbrage orgiasts what The Governor really meant to say.

SAC Brat

I'm hoping Trump and Sanders (sounds like a British comedy duo) elbow their way into some debates, as they are likely to not stick their little fingers properly up in the air while sipping their tea and discussing how to grow hydrangeas at the garden club the media likes to arrange for the two money parties. I think the people who set up these cotillions are a afraid there will be a repeat of when mean Joe Biden slapped young Paul Ryan of Magic Budgetary Math fame around if they let the wrong people in.

Supposedly over 400 people have submitted statements of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission this election cycle. There has to be a Pat Paulsen out there for those of us little people. There have been times recently when the Tea Party crowd and the progressives have both agreed that what Congress is going after is wrong for the country and really stinks for those of us not on the take.

BabelFish

Pat, yes, the emphasis was mine. It's sign of some desperation as I get older.

BabelFish

rjj, I think he underscores the irrelevant nature of government in our daily lives, if we properly left to make our own way through the world.

He also provides great comic relief. I understand he made a public comment to the effect that an opponent should bend over and have vaseline applied. At a public appearance, a lady got close enough to him to lob a jar of the stuff. It goes to the nature of Mainers that my siblings and friends mostly criticized her for 'throwing like a girl'. In the land of Tom Brady fans, the standards are held high!

Valissa

Sunday morning cartoons... you've inspired me :)

http://bit.ly/1fA1nBO

http://bit.ly/1gvpK3W

http://bit.ly/1HowRE4

http://bit.ly/1Da18m1

Sidney O. Smith III

Bobo
Not related to Mike Bobo I assume (joke). Ridiculous I even know that name.

Good insights from you, imo.

This much I can say, Bernie Sanders has an American heart, of that I am convinced. He is taking on the billionaire class and doing it with great courage. He is very well meaning and the type of guy you can like even if you disagree with him.

But fondness for mmt (modern monetary theory) gives me great, great pause. MMT may be the thoughts of a Keynes type on LSD but not sure and I will try to stay open minded about that.

And wow…his “Southern message” is way off. It is influenced too much by the 60’s NYC radicalism which simply is an anachronism, too sanctimonious, too stilted and wrong from the get go. I cringe when he speaks of the South. I can hear Southerners now saying "this guy left NYC for Vermont which looks like white flight to me and now he wants to lecture us."

But Bernie’s heart is American, from all I can tell. He and Willie Nelson are very great buddies and that tells me something.

Maybe Willie Nelson needs to send Bernie the following (quickly!), which is the best of the South on a Saturday night.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlLUMwo_VVU

This is Savannah and Charleston on a good night but we have some bad ones too. Whew…do we ever.

Ray Charles is from Georgia, btw.

Christ, I start listening to this and get homesick and I haven’t even left (again) yet. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

The Borg wants to split the harmony that can exist between followers of Willie Nelson and Ray Charles.

Flipping on emotional switches on the edge of consciousness increases the power of the national surveillance state and will leave us all saying “I can’t breath” . Plus this strife will allow much mischief to go on in US foreign policy.

I remain amazed that Noonan saw this dynamic before anyone else and wrote about it in the Wall Street Journal. All credit to the New Yorker! Life tricks expectations!

Stephen J

Agree Bush v Clinton. Bush most likely to win.

Agree more GOPers in House/Senate, more ultra-right zealotry in statehouses.

I think Trump too cheap to run as independent as he'll get less narissitic gratification for same.

Sanders main adversary is Dem Party leadership and they will deliver the main blows that will finish off his candidacy. He will most likely throw his support to Clinton but she will still lose.

Jack

Sir

IMHO, the political system is broken. No matter who wins The Borg is firmly in place to provide the winner with the "correct" policy advice. There are no candidates who can chart a course independent of The Borg. I don't see any difference between which party controls Congress and the state houses. The only thing is which patronage network gets the loot. In many cases the crony groups are the same. Wall St, healthcare, military-intelligence complex, big ag and other cartels all win no matter if Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum nominally holds office.

The American people by and large only care about bread and circuses and so they will only elect the duopoly. They feel passionate about their partisan battles believing their team is always better than their opponents while they get fleeced and their liberty stripped as government grows bigger and intervenes in every aspect of people's lives.

By the time they wake up to exercise their sovereignty it will be too late. Exhibit A is Greece. Their elections and recent referendum was a farce. The average person will always be screwed. The political and financial oligarchy have such a firm control over the propaganda machinery that the average person feels he has a voice by voting for their partisan team but the new boss is the same as the old boss.

GulfCoastPirate

1. Sanders won't run as an Independent.

2. The Senate will be back in Democratic control. Check who has to run and where they are from. How those states are expected to do in the presidential election. It will be the opposite of 2014.

3. In 2004 Mr. Rove told us we were in an era of Republican control due to gerrymandering. The House went Democratic in 2006.

Allen Thomson


Totally random musing, but what about another scenario:

The left wing of the Democratic Party isn't thrilled with Hillary but likes Sanders and the right wing of the Republican party doesn't much like Jeb but is Cruz-friendly. So any chance of POTUS Clinton + VPOTUS Sanders vs POTUS Bush + VPOTUS Cruz as both parties try to hang on to as many of their voters as possible? I guess Rubio might substitute for Cruz, but I don't see that he has quite as much appeal to the base.

ex-PFC Chuck

IIRC, Sanders has said he will support the eventual Democratic nominee. He may have decided he had to make that commitment in order to be taken seriously by the party's base, but for me it's by far the biggest negative of his candidacy, because what the Democratic party needs more than anything is to be slapped upside the head to jar them into finally seeing that it's lost its soul. If Sanders doesn't get the nomination, as I predict will almost certainly be the case, the best thing he could do to serve his country would be to run as an independent or third party candidate.

I find it useful to think of a party's supporters as falling into one of three strata. At the top are people for whom politics is a full-time or significant part-time business. These include holders of elective federal, state and large municipality offices, and full or part-time employees of party organizations. The middle level consists of the volunteer activists. These are the people whom the party leaders can count on to show up for caucuses and conventions, and who will man call centers and knock on doors for individual candidates and party lists. Finally, there are the masses of people who vote regularly, usually for the candidates of a particular party. Obviously this model is an over simplification and the boundaries of the strata somewhat blurry, but framing such models is often essential to help clarify thinking.

An especially blurry but crucially important boundary is the one at the “bottom” of the third strata, the one that separates it from the truly independent voters. This is where the swing voters swing, and thus where election outcomes are determined. And this is where the Democratic Party's lost soul has been making itself manifest in the last few election cycles, a fact that is being steadfastly ignored by almost everyone in today's party leadership strata. They whistle past the grave yard telling themselves that it's all a problem of messaging. They just need to tell their story better. What we are seeing here is The Iron Law of Institutions in action.

What is this “soul” that has been lost? It is the economic interests of the people who constitute the third strata and the independent voters. From the election campaign that put Franklin Roosevelt into the presidency in 1932 until the mid-1980s the economic interests of the working and middle classes were regarded as the party's core mission. Once the Second World War had finally put most of the white men back to work after the fits and starts of the New Deal's trial and error policies of the 30s, many a riveting Rosie didn't want to be relegated back to what they saw as Hobson's choices among teaching, nursing and home-making, and many an African American didn't want to be relegated to the back of the bus of discrimination, segregation and second class education after putting their lives on the line for their country. Thus when the Democratic Party took up issues such as womens' rights and civil rights, these were at bottom economic in nature.

This all began to change with the formation of the Democratic Leadership Council in the 1980s. As the conservative counter attack, as suggested in the Powell Memo, on the New Deal and subsequent Democratic Party-introduced programs began showing some results a group of younger Democrats, including Bill Clinton of Arkansas and Al Gore of Tennessee, formed a group to fight the growing fund-raising advantage the Republicans had, especially with Wall Street interests. This turned out to be a deal with the devil, and as my mother used to say, “He who chooses to sup with the devil had best come prepared with a long spoon.” The DLC's spoon turned out to be not nearly long enough, and that's why we no longer have two major political parties. What we have are two large stenographic alliances which every two years contest for the dominant role in the task of writing into law what the oligarchs of Wall Street and their allies in and out of government tell the alliances they want.

So, how has this lost soul made itself manifest? In 2007, as nation was gearing up for another presidential election cycle, the Democratic Party experienced a surge of interest the likes of which it hadn't seen for decades. An attractive, young candidate was seeking the nomination for president who reminded people of my age of John Kennedy even though he had African ancestry. The daughter of a long time friend of mine prevailed on me to accompany her in a group that was going to hear the senator speak in the atrium of a large office building that with its parking lot occupied an entire city block on the west edge of downtown Minneapolis. We got there over an hour before the doors opened and the line already snaked around two sides of the building and we joined it half way down the third. That candidate, as we know was ultimately nominated and elected as President, and he brought both houses of Congress with him on his coat tails. But many of those of us who are not tribal Democrats began to scratch our heads even before the inauguration, especially with regard to his appointments. Closet Republican Rahm Emmanuel as chief of staff? Wall Street round-heeler Tim Geithner for Secretary of the Treasury, the position that was supposed to lead the clean up the financial business, the endemic corruption of which was a major cause of the costliest economic melt down since the Great Depression? WTF? And it went down hill from there. Then came the 2010 elections, which Democratic candidates lost decisively.

Whereas the primary focus of the third strata of the Democrats is economic, the Republicans' counterpart is more mixed. There is an economic element which is made up mainly of small business people but some of them, like some of their Democratic counterparts, haven't yet realized that although their leaders may talk a good game when push comes to shove they don't give a sh** about them. Thus they turn out to vote the party line, come political rain or shine. But the Republicans also have the religious right in their base and also turn out rain or shine. They turned out in 2010 whereas a large part of the Democratic third tier, as well as many independents, voted with their butts that day. By sitting on them at home. They were in the midst of experiencing what a study done in 2014 showed: per the New York Times, “The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation.” That is the evidence that the Democratic Party left its soul back there somewhere on the roadside of history.

The 2010 Congressional elections had a devastating impact on the Democrats future prospects because by sitting on their butts Democrat-leaning non-voters enabled the capture of many state governments by the Republicans as well. It was, you may recall, a census year and therefore a top item on the agendas of the Republican legislatures was reapportionment. And they did a good job of it, at least from their own points of view. They were able to gerrymander Congressional districts across the country in such a way as by the time the 2012 elections came around, even though the Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives won 1,417,000 more votes than Republican candidates, the latter party ended up with a 33 seat majority. You can be sure that they did equally well in arranging their own districts to their parties' advantage at the state level. It's a gift that will keep on giving.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_institutions
http://law2.wlu.edu/powellarchives/page.asp?pageid=1251
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/business/the-typical-household-now-worth-a-third-less.html

jonst

I live in the state of Maine and I respectfully disagree with your take. Things are fairly calm up here, actually. Despite the call for vapors for the Portland Press Herald writers/types. LePage...as candidates who get big mandates often do, overplayed--to say the least--his hand. In doing so he united the governing elites in the State Legislature. So things got passed. But I think there is fire in people eyes when it comes to supporting immigrants in Portland and surrounding towns. People are angry over the money going out...but censored and condemned as racists when they express that anger. And there is SO much more to this issue than race. But you would not know that reading the MSM or MPR. People will stop talking about this since it is summer. And most things slow down in Maine till after Labor Day. Columbus Day, actually. When the leaves fall.

Not only DID LePage turn out to popular in Maine, a hell of lot more popular than just with "right leaning citizens", unless that is, you consider 48% of the electorate in Maine "right leaning", I certainly don't. Rather, it was a reflection on how UNPOPULAR the Dems are, in the OVERALL state. And the Dem candidate dramatically outspent LePage. And LePage is not a guy I like or support. But not for reasons the liberals dislike him. They dislike his STYLE most of all. Not crazy about his politics either, but they really can't take the way he carries himself. Me? He is not a guy i want to have a beer with....but its his incompentce that bugs me. And he shares that with the Dems in this state.

The Dems might, one day, one day, finally get around to asking themselves why THEY ARE SO DISLIKED by the electorate in the State. They are so supremely sure of themselves...

I do strongly agree with you regards no single election changing anything in the US. And, for the issues that interest me the most, I don't care who got elected, whoever they put on the bench would be of no help. More politically correct morons, either way, from either Party. The divide is growing between the 'elites', Right and so called Left variety, and the rest of the nation. is Nothing, but real trouble, and I mean REAL trouble, is going to change that. Or rather, nothing but REAL trouble, far beyond what we have seen the last 15 years. And we might just get REAL trouble...if Obama et al keeps playing the race card OK...stepping off my soapbox.

William R. Cumming

And there won't be dramatic change IMO!

William R. Cumming

A new Harold Stassen?

robt willmann

The critical issue for the 2016 elections and others is the existence of electronic voting machines. To even have a chance at a democratic republic through elections, the use of the machines must be eliminated. Here is an article I did on the subject, but when I made the title, "The Trump Card To Rig Elections", Donald Trump was not a candidate, so now there is a twist to the title--

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/11/robert-willmann-jr/how-to-rig-elections-easily/

To run as a third party candidate requires an enormous effort and expense because of the different state ballot access rules. Bernie Sanders will not be able to do it. Trump has enough money to put together an organization, hire lawyers, and mount a credible effort to get on the ballot, as Ross Perot did in 1992.

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/04/28/nyregion/perot-backers-make-gains-on-election-barriers.html

Tyler

If you had told me that Trump would be a candidate with an agenda I could get behind, I would have told you that you were high.

Well here we are!

Trump is very good at noticing things other miss. He has so far successfully slid into the spot that was ignored by many politicians: representative of "flyover" country. He speaks to the heart of the matter, and confronts a media that more and more is basically a megaphone for the Left in this country. He says what people think and see everyday, and isn't engaging in Hispandering which the mainstream GOP thinks will win them the US forever (lol).

According to National Review, the base is a bunch of idiots for flocking to Trump versus another "moderate" like President Romney or President McCain. Oh wait NM.

Some of you should hope for a Trump presidency. Work will become so awesome I won't have time to pop in around here and give a number of you the red ass with your ridiculous insertions that you were spoon fed by Jon Leibowitz Stewart and HuffPaint Post.

robt willmann

The Internet link in footnote or endnote 6 in the article on electronic voting machines no longer works. This link should work to the announcement that the German Constitutional Court declared the use of electronic voting machines illegal--

http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/EN/2009/bvg09-019.html;jsessionid=7E97D4582C21B628B46E274108029397.2_cid361

BabelFish

jon, I see Front Page LePage as Jim Longley, part deux. Big Jim referred to legislators as 'pimps' (probably not far off). I remembering Jim telling the state that they were past the budget on snowplowing and there would be no more for the rest of what was a really bad winter.

Given my conversations with my siblings and friends, I would agree that the Dems in Maine are viewed as ineffectual. And this is a view from both progressive and conservatives.

All that being said, I have faith in Mainers. At some point, the practical always wins out. People thought Margret Chase Smith was invincible, until she wasn't. She probably was in office about one term too long but that practical mindedness kicked in and she was gone. No complaints about her on my part but she was not functional at the end.

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