Thursday, December 31, 2015

Pentagon To Change Use Of Psychologists At Gitmo Because Of APA Change In Ethics.

Civil Society Organizations of 2015

++Congratulations to led by Bill McKibben who organized demonstrations planet-wide to raise consciousness on climate change. Although disappointed in the historic Paris Deal signed by 200 nations, made it possible for the island nations and the indigenous peoples to have a say in the final agreement and to get the desired temperature rise down to 1.5 degrees. 

++The second civil society group that made a difference is Black Lives Matter, which focused our attention on police brutality to African-Americans and to the remaining entrenched racism in American society.

More than A Million People Welcomed in 2016 in Times Square.

Thought For The New Year

++John Kerry sent this message out today. "For the first time in over a decade,Iran doesn't possess enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon." You know it don't come easy.

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life--Happy New Year

++We are almost there.Congratulations to all who survived 2015. A healthy and prosperous year to all and maybe a bit of peace both here and abroad.

++I thank the team at the Institute for Democratic Strategies for their support and the programs we put on over the past twenty years.  Hopefully we will wind down this year with some great finales.

++2016 marks 30 years of sobriety for me. I guess when I stopped drinking, the world began to go cockeyed. 

++This blog will start the last year of the Obama presidency tomorrow and look forward to a vigorous Fourth Quarter.  It has been a delight to see this eloquent man act as our President during the most grim times of my life and the toughest times for our nation in recent memory.

++I'll be chronicling the next election,which will be an ugly affair. Just remember,Dear Reader,two words to guide you in this election--Supreme Court. If you get confused,just remember these two words and you will straighten up and do the right thing.

++Remember Hillary Clinton's prescient words,"Americans need to have more fun." 

++I write some on my observations about the Bernie Sanders campaign, which is trying to take a page out of Obama's playbook. Scott Fairey, Obama's iconographer ,endorsed him today. The fascinating aspect of the Sanders campaign is that it is including some of the organizers from Obama 08, who later formed the core of the Occupy Wall Street protestors in Zucotti Park. Studies showed that 52% of the original Occupy crowd had been organizers in the Obama campaign and had become dissatisfied with the rate of change of the newly elected President. Now Bernie Sanders has over 2 million small donors breaking Obama's 2008 record for the same time period. But we are in the season of Citizens United.

++I hope in the next year that the Democratic Party would finally defend its record and that of President Obama's. You get the feeling that only the blowhards get the television time. It might be nice to see Democrats explain how their policies have made a tremendous difference in the lives of the average American. It is something we don't hear much about.

++The attacks on Hillary Clinton have now taken the strange turn of focusing on Bill's sexual improprieties. Having tossed out over twenty boxes of materials on old Clinton scandals and a small library covering everything from Whitewater to the Starr Report, I can tell you it was all garbage but it made fun reading. 

++What does a woman have to do to get elected President? We will soon find out. The problem is that Hillary Clinton has done about  everything you would ask of someone seeking the presidency. She has proven herself a master of policy positions. She is the best qualified candidate for the presidency and we used to think that was a sterling credential. But in this very chaotic time,that might not be enough. Like Barack Obama in 2008, Hillary Clinton has to prove it again and again until she grabs the gold ring. That will be interesting to watch. I won't feel as invested as I did with Obama's 2008 campaign. That was the greatest political campaign I have observed and participated in  my lifetime. But then we knew he was special and the country needed a special person to overcome the disaster of the time. Hillary Clinton has to make us feel she is that special person for this time. 

++I feel that the election will come down to who do we feel comfortable with. Who do we at least will act normally and we can understand their motivations and actions.

++The Republican process will be curious. Whether that party can stay united is actually a real issue since the fights are now in the open for everyone to see but few seem to understand. We have already seen the GOP spend more money before a vote has been cast than an entire presidential election and no one can predict the winner.

++But more in the upcoming year. It's Time. It's Happy 2016!

President Obama To Host ASEAN Summit in California This February.

Ben Carson's Communications Director Resigns and His Campaign Is In Disarray,Still He raised $23 million This Quarter.

CNN Announces President Obama Will Issue Executive Orders on Guns Early In January--Probably Before The State Of The Union.

Ed Kilgore On How The Obama Coalition Is Holding up Well.

++I'm still not sold on Kilgore in New York magazine. I get the same feeling as Steve Benen going to Rachel Maddow.

++Ed today runs through the Reuters analysis of voter identification and how the coalition that elected President Obama is standing pat if not becoming more Democratic as we face the 2016 elections. Democrats now lead in national party identification by 9 points up from 6 in 2012. Hispanics have moved more to the Democrats and African Americans are again strong. Young whites favored Republicans in the last election but now have shifted back to the Democrats.

++I look at the numbers and see an electorate which would be in Obama's sweet spot for this year's election. 

Treat Yourself To These Goodies

++Comedians With Cars Going For Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld has President Obama as guest. You can see President Obama driving a classic Corvette Stingray.

++The great Aretha Franklin at the age of 73 singing at the Kennedy Center Annual Awards. She sang Carole King's "Natural Woman" hitting all the high notes. This comes after serious concerns about her health for the past several years and her canceling concerts.

++The other was an hour long interview with a 90-year old Jerry Lewis. While Jerry slips at the end and says Donald Trump is terrific,the interview covers his whole career and why he ditched his movies about the clown in the concentration camp. Lewis remembers staying with Chaplin in Switzerland and analyzes Buster Keaton. And yes, Jerry is honored in France. 

++The 92nd Street Y interviews Michael Moore about his new film,"Who do we invade next". Michael Moore is relaxed and optimistic as he describes his film that shows good ideas from Europe and wonders why we don't implement them here.

Happy New Year--Dick Morris Says Hillary Would Lose The Nomination To Bernie Sanders.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


++Iowa: HRC 80%,BS 19%.
++New Hampshire: BS 56%,HRC 43%.

NOTE: Independent voters in NH swarming the Republican primary, which could dampen the turnout for Bernie.

Nevada Gravis Poll

++Hillary Clinton 50%
   Bernie Sanders 27%
   Martin O'Malley  1%

++Donald Trump 33%
    Ted Cruz         20%
    Marco Rubio   11%
    Ben Carson      6%
   Carly Fiorina      5%
   Jeb Bush           5%
 Chris Christie      5%
 Rand Paul          1%
Rick Santorum    1%

Note: Marco Rubio said Nevada would be his early state pick-up.

Interesting Statistic

Kevin Drum of Mother Jones reproduced a graph about the number of terrorist attacks world wide through 2014. After 9/11, the Western world lost 37 people in terrorist attacks, according for .1% of them. So even with Paris and San Bernadino,the threat of terrorism remains extremely low. You won't hear that from the presidential contenders.

ISIS is using a Republican candidate in its video propaganda and it's not the Donald. It is Rick Santorum showing ISIS fans the West hates Moslems.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Term I Found For Funeral Homes--Life Celebration Centers.

Michael Tomasky's 2016 Predictions

++Clinton versus Trump-384 Electoral Votes,to 154.
++Clinton versus Cruz-358 to 180 electoral votes.
++Clinton Versus Rubio-318 to 220 electoral votes. He has Rubio winning Florida.

++On the Republican nomination, he has Cruz, although he thinks Trump may win. He says Rubio has to win one of the early states. Rubio's people are betting on Nevada,his former home. But will that take him along?

++On The Democratic side,he says Bernie may win New Hampshire and he can run for some time and pick up delegates but that's about it.

Oh No! George Pataki Ended His Presidential Campaign.

Boston All-Star Third Baseman Frank Malzone Died Today.


++On Face the Nation, Stephen Colbert said 2015 had been a very sad year. For me, it has been horrendous. But my local grocer said that President Obama had crushed the year.

++Before the rightwing Wurlitzer starts again, Let me just summarize the year from the view of Obama's accomplishments. 

++Let's talk about international agreements. The bilateral agreement with China on the climate set up the Paris agreement, which is really a big deal agreed to by 200 nations. President Obama and John Kerry with his team got an Iranian nuclear deal, which no one thought possible. Today we have news that Iran is sending its uranium to Russia as the deal starts to take effect. Through years of negotiation and diplomacy,the President finished the Transpacific Partnership or the TPP agreement, the largest free trade agreement in history.

++President Obama through secret channels and Pope Francis normalized Cuban relations,the biggest change in 50 years. Even now,Americans can fly commercial to Havana. The rest of the world thought we were crazy all these years. Part of the economic embargo will be lifted but the rest depends on Congress.

++President Obama created more national parks,including the largest Marine sanctuary, than any other president in history. 

++President Obama established new regulations for power plants and accelerated fuel efficiency and the use of alternative energy.

++President Obama signed executive orders for gay rights in federal jobs. With his department of Justice arguing the case, the Supreme Court decided on the constitutionality of same sex marriage. 

++President Obama signed executive orders on immigration that are still contested in the courts.

++President Obama pledged America to accept 20,000 Syrian refugees in the next two years,despite an intense reaction.

++President Obama vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline. However, America regained its position after fifty years of being the world's largest producer of oil and gas.

++The United States has 5% unemployment,almost half the figure at the height of the depression. The U-6 rate is moving back into line so the economy looks like it is normalizing.

++For all of the above reasons, President Obama deserves to be Man of the Year.

++He hasn't fallen into the second term malaise as most of his other predecessors. And, for all the noise, his administration has been scandal free. Or some say he manages scandal better than others. 

++Just by definition, he is in a lame duck status in his last year. However, he urged his White House staff to remain on the offensive. He anticipates trying to pass the TPP in Congress this year,make reforms in our justice system and push for a solution to Puerto Rico's debt crisis. And probably he will spend his waning days on Syria.

++Now it seems the Pentagon is having a tantrum over his desire to close Gitmo. But he will get close to having less than 100 detainees left.

++Paul Krugman had written two years ago that President Obama had been a consequential president. This past year has yielded results that are equivalent to the first two years of legislative triumph.

++While he still lags behind others in executive actions,we have to remember all of them are subject to review and retraction. For instance if a Republican should win the White House,the ban on torture would be one of the first to go.

++Since I'm writing this from memory,I forgot that he has commuted more sentences than any other President just this year.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Coming Up

++Paul Ryan promised today that when Congress gets back from their holiday break both the House and Senate will pass bills through reconciliation to gut Obamacare and de-fund Planned Parenthood. That's alot of people thrown off health insurance. President Obama says he will veto the measure. But will the Democrats hang these bills on the Republicans throughout the year. Unfortunately,I doubt it.

Woo-Hoo,Trey Gowdy To Endorse Marco Rubio. Should Do Better Than The #Benghazi Hearings!

But,Oh,Gallup's Number 2 Most Admired Man is Donald J.Trump and Pope Francis

Gallup's Most Admired Persons of the Year--- Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton--Her 20th Time.

The Legendary Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon Dies At The Age Of 83.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Ed Kilgore Tips Us Off To This Odd Poll.

++Politico's Morning Money Poll. Very slanted to Wall Street Crowd. Asked who will win the GOP nomination.
++Jeb Bush with 75 votes.
    Marco Rubio with 50 votes.
    Ted Cruz       with 21 votes
    Donald Trump with 7 votes.
    John Kasich   with  4 votes.
    Chris Christie with  2 votes.
    Paul  Ryan     with  1 vote.
   Ben Carson    with  1 vote.

++Who wins the general election?
   Jeb Bush    with 69 votes.
   Hillary Clinton with 63 Votes.

++Remember this poll was from this month,after the CNN/ORC poll had Jeb at 3%. Ed Kilgore wants to know what does Wall Street know that we don't. Or ,I guess, you should remember these are the same people who didn't see the global economy collapsing.

++One of the voters said that a Rubio/Kasich ticket would mean the GOP was the party of the future. Oh myyy.

Percolating Under The Surface

++This past week there appeared several articles that the Donald's ground operation was insufficient and may cost him primaries. The National Memo wrote a piece comparing all the candidates campaign appearances and found that the Donald had not appeared in Iowa and New Hampshire as many times as his competitors.

++On Christmas Eve, Josh Marshall dissected this and concluded that when you have such a massive lead in the polls, ground games only affect you at the margins--perhaps 1 to 2% of the vote. In a general election, this can have enormous ramifications but not so in small state primaries. 

++It seems to me that the "establishment" is trying out anything before it confronts the real prospect of Trump actually having a shot at the crown.

++On of John Kasich's co-chairs, the former chairman of the Republican Party in Illinois,said "The only way you can take out Trump is with a head shot."

++George Will exclaimed that if Donald should take the nomination, then the conservative movement would collapse and there would not be a conservative party left.

++The Jeb! has taken to giving long interview with anyone. His latest was with Business Insider. I can't see they do much for him but he is warning about the Donald.

++Republicans are drifting to short-pants Rubio but it is still unclear ,as Ed Kilgore pointed out months ago,where he intends to win a primary.

++This leaves a person that is universally disliked--Ted Cruz. If the Right protests that no one knew Obama at Colombia,no one has found anyone at Princeton or Harvard that didn't hate Ted Cruz, not just disliked him, hated him. His roomate's tweets still have a following after years of taunting Cruz as a "creepy" guy because there are so many people who had the same experience. He is reviled in the Senate by his own party. 

++So we will start the New Year off with all the GOP candidates having wasted all their millions not even getting close to the Donald.

++The interesting thing is that we have no idea whether the Donald's support is less or more than his polls. There is some suggestion that  he actually has more of a lead than suggested. And we will not know the answer to this until the process is finished because polls have been dodgy since 2012.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Reuters/Ipsos Night Before Christmas Poll

++Hillary Clinton 58, Bernie Sanders 31.

++Trump 39,Cruz 13, Carson 10,Rubio 9.

BEST Year In Washington,D.C.

++Nate Silver says Hillary had the best year in Washington. She has moved from "likely" to "very likely" Democratic nominee. She also has moved from 35% chance of winning the White House to 55%.

Madame Claude Made The New York Times

++Fernande Grudet aka Madame Claude made the New York Times with her death. Also Huffington Post. 

++Ill for the last two years, she died in Nice at the age of 92. Her trials in 1967 made her internationally famous but then she went back to being the discreet matchmaker,often arranging marriages for failed French actresses. 

++Depending on the story you read her clients vary. Today the Shah of Iran got mentioned. But the reason she has been noticed in her death isn't for her pimping, it is the unwritten story of her connections to the power elite in the West and French society. Her intelligence contacts were vast and her arranged trysts yielded significant finds. This was particularly true regarding Africa and the Middle East.

Franklin Pierce (New Hampshire)

++Trump 26%
    Cruz    12%
    Rubio  12%
  Christie  11%
    Bush    10%
    Kasich   8%
  Carson    5%
  Fiorina    6%
    Paul      3%

Gravis (Iowa)

++Hillary Clinton 49, Sanders 31, O'Malley or Undecided 10.

++Trump 31, Cruz 31, Rubio 9, Carson 8.

Rand Paul Says He Will Not Do Kiddie Table Debate. His poll numbers won't allow him on the main stage.

Ted Cruz Vows Not To Honor The Climate Change Deal If Elected President.

Paul Krugman Takes The Temperature of Oabamacare

++Paul Krugman uses the Commonwealth Fund report on Obamacare to point out that it is costing less than projected,it is enrolling more people but with a mix of insurance and basically is accomplishing what it set out to do. It is not in a death spiral.

CNN/ORC Republican Poll

++Trump 39
     Cruz   18
     Rubio 10
    Carson 10
    Christie  8
    Paul       4
    Bush      3
    Kasich    2
    Huckabee 2
    Fiorina    1

ARGY (New Hampshire) Clinton 46%, Sanders 43%,O'Malley 3%,Undecided 7%

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Josh Marshall Defends Trump--Sort Of.

++The Donald explained that when he said that Hillary Clinton had been "schlonged by President Obama "in 2008, he meant thoroughly defeated. Tweets followed that to be "schlonged" was not defeated in Yiddish,English or American.

++But a reader of Josh Marshall weighed in,saying that growing up in Long Island near where Trump grew up,to be schlonged meant to be soundly defeated and that all the school kids used the term. So don't say Josh Marshall is biased when he sides with the Donald over an explanation.

Schlong is Yiddish and comes from the German word for Snake. Just so you would know.

The Next Fox Debate In January

++Trump,Cruz, Rubio,Carson, Bush and Christie.

++All others will be at the kid's debate.

Politifact Names Donald J. Trump "Liar Of The Year".

Rev. Franklin Graham Quits The GOP Because It Failed To Defund Planned Parenthood.

The Race Today

++From Huffington Post Pollster:
The Republicans:
Trump 36.7%
Cruz    17.7%
Rubio  10.9%
Carson  8.3%
Bush     5.6%
Christie 4.2%

The Democrats:
Clinton 58.8%
Sanders 28.2%
O'Malley  2.4%

The Great Madame Claude Dies At The Age Of 92.

++A member of the French Resistance, she provided women to JFK,Marlon Brando and a series of the CIA front organizations as part of their honeypot plots. 

++I knew of her through an early contact of mine who used to order Madame Claude's treats as if ordering Chinese meals. There was a menu from which to choose her women.

++Madame Claude was finally busted through a tax sting. Members of the Resistance testified to her heroic efforts for the resistance but to no avail. She was sentenced for tax fraud and managed to get out of it through her political connections.

++Her customers swore by her taste and discretion. A loss for the Paris of my youth.

JEB! "Trump is the antidote to President Obama's divisive policies." Parse that,Pilgrim!

ACA Sign-Ups Surpass 8.3 million--June 15th Deadline

Quinnipiac Poll: Republicans

++Trump 28%
     Cruz   24%
    Rubio  12%
   Carson 10%

++No one else got double digits.

++Over 50% of Republicans would be too embarrassed to have Trump as their President.

++40% sai Cruz won the debate, 25% said JEB! did the worse.

Can't Break Out Of The Nihilistic Feedback Loop

++Martin Longman and Nancy LeTourneau do tag team wrestling today at the Washington Monthly. Nancy writes two pieces--one on Obama's policies for native Americans and another on how Obama's scandal-free second term breaks the second term jinx and keeps the door open for another African-American.

++Martin's piece on David Frum's Atlantic piece about how the glorious GOP restoration in 2016 has become undone and how the establishment is frantic about trying to piece together true party again as the base has rebelled. Longman's piece thinks that the turning point was not the bailout of the banks but the Senate passing immigration reform. The GOP wanted a party of the permanent minority as they face their demographic winter and couldn't stomach what the establishment wanted. Nice job of analysis, Martin or shall we say Booman.

Quinnipiac Poll: (National) Clinton 61%, Sanders 30%,O'Malley 2%,Undecided 4%.

Correction: It Is SCHLONGED,Not Shlonged

Trump,"Hillary's Bathroom Break In The Debate Is Too Disgusting to Talk About."

Monday, December 21, 2015

Keep It Classy, Donald. Hillary got "shlonged by Obama in 2008"

University Of Alabama Predicts

++The University of Alabama is in its 35th year of election predictions. The chairman of their political science departments says the Donald is going to make a strong run for the nomination but that Marco Rubio will be the nominee to unify the party. But he says Hillary Clinton will easily win in November.

++Previously the University of Illinois with a spotless record predicted the democratic nominee will win the general election. The students thought Bernie Sanders was going to win but their computer model only predicts by party.

Great News--Jerry Seinfeld Got President Obama For The First Show In 2016 Of "Comedians In Cars".

++But I have a question about the car. Is it going to be President Obama's 2008 Ford Escape or the Presidential limo. Do they drive to Misha's here in Alexandria for real coffee? Americans demand to know.

"Hell No"Hillary Won't Apologize To Trump For Saying He Is ISIS' Number One Recruiter.

Jeb! Hated Being The GOP Frontrunner--But he Hasn't Been

Lindsey Graham Drops Out Of GOP Race,Says It's Not His Time.

Emerson Poll: Clinton 65%,Sanders 26%,O'Malley 2%

Sunday, December 20, 2015

CBS Poll (IOWA-GOP) Cruz 40%,TRUMP 31%,Rubio 12%, Carson 6%--No One Else Over 2%

Democratic Debate Gets Lowest Ratings Of Any Debate This Year--6.71 Million Watched.

CBS Poll (Iowa) Clinton 50%, Sanders 45%, O'Malley 4%

Biggest Winners Of Democratic Debate--The Young Turks

++Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, and Wes Clark,Jr. did the best coverage of the Democratic debate. Cenk basically called it a tie even though he backs Bernie Sanders. Both he and Ana said that Hillary Clinton may have had the best one-liners and went after the Republicans. But all of them agreed that the two biggest losers were ABC News for failing to ask a single question on Climate Change and the Paris deal and not a single question on Campaign Finance Reform.

++The second biggest loser was the DNC for scheduling another debate on Saturday night ending about 11pm. Why is this important? Because the Democratic nominees basically are striving for Democratic unity and portraying the views of a party. When you don't make the effort to reach the general public, no one knows your position and millions are treated to the spectacle of the GOP nominees as the political normal. 

++Personally I thought the biggest loser was Martin O'Malley. I thought his attempt to relate to millennials was awkward and he came across as a weaker candidate than Michael Dukakis who had the same technocratic policy chops.

++The Young Turks thought the Democratic nominees came across with more specifics for their policies and that a person like Bernie Sanders, when asked how do you raise the income of the middle class,gave five concrete steps he would take to raise incomes and create jobs.

++Hillary Clinton came across as accomplished and steady. She will still be hard to beat. My gripe with her is her neocon strategy for going after ISIS. I thought she defended Obama care in a way that emphasized its benefit. There are only 8.8% of the country now uninsured. 

++I worry that the Democratic Party will not campaign with the wind of Obama at its back. Instead, it will get mired down on things that aren't real issues. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Democratic Debate

I'm engrossed with an Ian Rankin novel,you are probably off to a party, and Nate Silver, while live-blogging,is following the Jets game.Josh Marshall is the only serious person in the audience tonight all over the country. Josh objects to the moderator's questions on Obamacare as if it's costs are skyrocketing compared to rate hikes under the Republicans. Hillary somewhat defends Obamacare but then says what she would do differently. It seems to me the Democrats have to defend it better.

++Hillary Clinton goes full neoconservative when she says she will defeat ISIS and topple Assad. Nate Silver chuckled about wanting to see Bernie Sanders persuade the King of Arabia to commit ground forces in the Middle East. FiveThirtyEight debate whether Martin O'Malley could be  good vice president . They say no and that he didn't leave Maryland very popular and that he lacks charisma.

++Bernie Sanders was lame in his apology to Hillary Clinton about the data breach by his staffers. Bernie seems to be Johnny One Note talking about the billionaire class. Martin O'Malley goes on about a new Glass-Seigal when no one knows what that is about.

++Everybody agrees that the Democrats will do better on gun control than the Republicans.

++As for substance, the Democrats can be proud but they should be ashamed that people like myself am going back to read. Good night. I'll pick it up in the morning.

David Atkins Defends The DNC

++David Atkins today gives a tutorial on how the different data systems work for campaigns. He says that the DNC platform which has unusual loyalty among party operatives really was designed in the 1990s. He said that the Sanders staffers pulling info from the list actually yields valuable info about whether Hillary is strongly supported or not. But he thinks the damage done was limited and that the DNC to continue to withhold the voter information would have doomed the Sanders campaign. But he also raises questions about the ethics of the Sanders' staffers.

++He warns that one can have all sorts of conspiracy theories but there is not substitute for actually working on a campaign to understand the real issues here.

Lady Gaga, Woman Of The Year by Billboard. Go Lady Gaga!

"Why Have Nuclear Weapons If You Are Afraid To Use Them"--Spokesperson for Donald Trump.

John Kasich Releases New Ad About The Trump-Putin Ticket--Check It Out.

Cuchinelli or The "Cooch" Endorses Ted Cruz--Need We Say More?


Friday, December 18, 2015

The Consoler In Chief

++President Obama en route to Hawaii stopped at San Bernadino to talks with the families of the victims and the wounded as well as the first responders. The visit is now 3 and a half hours and counting.

President Obama ,"Dr. Spock"?

++The Vox yesterday had a piece on President Obama's long view of history. The piece repeated the salient quotes from David Remnick's interview with the President two years ago. The Vox said that view was on view at his press conference when he described the Iran nuclear deal, the Climate Change agreement and the TPP. For some reason,the notion that no large initiatives should start in his last year is lamentable to the Washington Post. He's in his finishing up stage.

++Vox noticed that the New York Times cut out a sentence from their original interview with President Obama after his Oval office address to the nation on his war against ISIS. He said that he no longer was fixated on cable news and that he missed the anxiety among the American people about the attacks in San Bernadino. This for Vox was evidence the man is looking at the long view of history and has checked out on the everyday ups and downs of news stories. In fact,it was the Times' own coverage which they now admit was written without the proper degree of skepticism that started off the burst of terrorism fear which the Republicans have been drumming up since the event.

++Nancy LeTourneau at the Washington Monthly has been keenly aware of Obama's view of history and change. She mentioned that the success of the Paris Talks on Climate change were an example of Obama seeking co-partnerships in the world and not dominance. This is why the Republicans keep harping on him as "weak" because they are trapped in a white man's authoritarian view of power. 

++In yesterday's revelations by former Defense Secretary Hagel that President Obama didn't have a coherent strategy for Syria, he maintained that this hurt America's image in the world. You hear this in all the Republican debates. But the truth of the matter is that President Obama restored American prestige in the world in everyplace but Russia. PEW trust compared our image at the same time in W's administration to Obama's and found that we are now in the high 60s with our allies as compared to the teens then. PEW Trust maintains that change has everything to do with President Obama's personal image in the world. 

++David Ignatius today tries to get a grip on President Obama's worldview as it contrasts with the current temper of the times in the United States. The man will remain a mystery to the Beltway pundits.

Bernie Sanders' Campaign Will Regain Access To Democratic Voter Lists

++Charles Pierce yesterday asked the question why did the DNC leak the story to the Washington Post about the Sanders staffers having access to Hillary voters. The whole day's coverage was about how the DNC was tilting the scales. Even David Axelrod commented on this. The Sanders Campaign filed a lawsuit against the DNC. Late in the day,the DNC backed down but not before considerable damage had been done.

Launched 36 years ago,The Voyager Is now in Interstellar Space

First They Came For The Sikhs, Then They Came For Calligraphy

++At least the Sikhs are getting aggressive and mounting "We aren't Moslems" signs on their temples. Anti-Moslem hate crimes are rocketing around the country since San Bernandino.

++Here is Virginia, we had the very bizarre case of the Augusta County School system which has 10,000 students closed down because of threats against their art classes. The art instructors were teaching calligraphy and this week's subject was Arabic calligraphy. The parents, convinced this was an act of indoctrination, flooded the schools with threatening calls so that the county closed the system down for two days. 

++Frankly I would have loved to learn Arabic calligraphy. 

JEB! Doubles Down On Attacking The Donald

++Jeb Bush's surrogates were on the networks to suggest that Jeb's attacks on the Donald are helping his campaign and that they have readied millions more in television ads of Jeb attacking Trump as "not serious."

++How well is the strategy working? The New Post-debate Fox News Poll has Trump at 39% and Jeb at 3%. Anyless and he goes into Patakiland.

6 Million Sign Up For Obamacare,2 million are New Enrollees

++The government hopes that 10 million will sign up before the last deadline of January 31. President Obama talked about ACA as one of his achievements today at the press conference.

++Enrollment at the December 15th deadline was the most impressive in the last 3 years. Over one million signed up on line. 

++These numbers don't reflect 12 states that still have their own programs such as Covered California. 

++The object of the Obama Administration is to get the uninsured down to single digits by the time he leaves office. According to the Kaiser Permanente people it is doable.

Yes, Like Abe Vigoda, Keith Richards Is Alive An well. Happy 72nd Birthday! Amazing.

++The best internet notice on Keith Richards' birthday is "We Have To Start Thinking About The World We leave Behind For Keith Richards."

The U.N. Security Council Unanimously Approved The Framework for A Syrian Peace Deal.

President Obama Said The GOP Was The Only Political Party on Planet Earth That Denies Climate Change--not just the Industrialized World

Correction: Obama didn't commit -he commuted the sentences of 95 people.

More Obama

++President Obama observed today that the Republican Party was the only major political party in the industrialized world that did not accept climate change.

++President Obama committed the sentences of 95 people today from minor drug possessions to bank fraud. As Nancy LeTourneau points out at Washington Monthly,while out and out pardons have been anemic during Obama,his commutations are more than all his predecessors combined.

Winning on The Margins

++The new budget bill has the largest support for wind and solar energy in our history--even bigger than in the stimulus package.

++Ernest Moniz,Secretary of Energy, announced the largest energy saving standard in history. It will save $167billion in energy costs and result in 885 million tons of less carbon dioxide emission--that's about a gigaton. 

++Now the boring part,this measure is apt to be the most significant measure taken before the Paris agreement takes effect in five years. 

++Drumroll--it is a standard governing commercial air conditioners and furnaces. The new standard covers 10% of all commercial space in the country and affects almost half the energy and heating costs for half the commercial space.

++No doubt some lobbyist is figuring out how to stop it. This is the type of policy decision it is hard to imagine another Administration taking.

President Obama's Last Press Conference of 2015.

++President Obama said "I'm going to leave it all on the field", referring to next year.

++He said the new spending year was a "good win" and complimented Speaker Ryan.

++He talked about the climate change deal, the Syrian peace negotiations and the war against ISIS.

++He said that he will wait for a decision from Congress before he decides whether he has the authority to close Gitmo alone. He said that we are getting to below 100 and he said we may have 60-80 people left at the end of his term. He called it "one of the key magnets for jihadi" recruiters.

++He talked about lone wolf terrorists and obliquely criticized New York Times reporting on the shooters having posted their radical ideas on Facebook. There is still dispute about this.

++He teed up for TPP and Criminal Reform next year. 

++Basically his legislative agenda for his last year is negligible. 

++The headline for the press conference was that he was leaving to watch the new Star Wars movie being shown at the White House.

++So it's off to Hawaii. President Obama still dominates the new converge--the press conference happened just as a spat broke out between the ENC and the Bernie Sanders campaign. But President Obama going to Star Wars was the big story.

PPP Post-Debate Poll

++Yes,41% of Trump voters would bomb Agrabah. The same percent believe Japanese internment camps were a good idea.

++Trump widens his lead.
++Trump 34%
    Cruz    18%
    Rubio  13%
    Jeb!      7%
    Carson 6%
   Christie 5%
   Fiorina  4%
   Huckabee 4%
   Kasich  2%
   Paul      2%
   Graham 1%
   Santorum 1%
   Gilmore     1%
   Pataki       1%

   Hillary Clinton 56%
   Bernie Sanders 28%
   Martin O'Malley  7%

Real PPP Answer: 30% of all Republican primary voters nationwide would bomb Agrabah--the country in Alladin.

Conservatives Call Paul Ryan an "Alinskyite Traitor"

House With Bipartisan Support Approves 1.15 Trillion Spending Package To Send to The Senate.

Webb Hubbell Says Republicans Will Flock to Hillary If Trump Is Nominated.

Vatican To Make Mother Teresa A Saint--Chris Hitchens Rolls Over In His Grave.

Morning Joe Stumbles On A Perception

++The talk was about Marco Rubio. They all said he was young,vibrant, a good debater but that may be all there is. The theme Ed Kilgore has harped on for the past few weeks is that Marco Rubio has no organization and seems to be waiting around for Florida. Morning Joe picked this idea up and ran with it. When's Marco going to win a primary. Or is it that he's running for Vice President. 

++Martin Longman did the electoral college math yesterday at the Washington Monthly and the GOP is behind the Eight-Ball. The GOP have to flip so many states from the last election and even if they do, if they don't win Florida they are doomed. That's why the Rubio for VP idea makes sense.

Washingtonpost/ABC Poll

++Hillary Clinton 59%, Bernie Sanders 28%,and O'Malley 5%.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Communications Workers Of America and Democracy For America Endorse Bernie Sanders

Ed Kilgore Wants The Extraneous Candidates Gone

++Ed delights in the rumors that the kid's debate will disappear next time. He thinks it is high time for some of the candidates to be gone too.

++Ed sees no reason Huckabee and Santorum need to hang around. Cruz already has the religious right. George Pataki needs a rest. It seems Carly Fiorina's usefulness as someone who can criticize Hillary Clinton is over since everyone went after Hillary Clinton in Vegas. Lindsey Graham isn't even polling anywhere in his native state--let alone in Iowa and New Hampshire. Ed thinks Christie should give it a rest, although he has the Manchester Union-Leader's endorsement. Rand Paul doesn't even have his father's supporters. And Kasich can draw straws with Christie. Rand Paul's not going anyway and has to run for the Senate.

++Ed also urges Martin O'Malley to go, even though he represents a new generation. It's clear he polls as an afterthought. 

++Ed thinks Bush is done as Vox news made clear with their debate coverage with Frank Luntz' focus group which all greed he was desperate.

++In an earlier column today,Ed has some choice words for Marco Rubio. His Iowa ground game is non-existent and his New Hampshire campaign is annoying locals because he hasn't been around and is not seeking local endorsements. The Rubio campaign like Jeb's think the television ads will do it.

Trump Leads Two Florida Polls

++Opinion Savvy/Florida Times (after the debate):
Trump 30%
Cruz    20%
Rubio  15%
Bush   13%

++St. Pete's Poll:
Trump  35.6%
Cruz     21.9%
Rubio   16.8%
JEB!       9.3%

** Note: Rubio is not in a position to win any one of the first primaries. His Guiliani strategy doesn't look good.

** Well, Jeb seems cooked. Frank Luntz' focus group said he came across "weak","whiny",and "complaining".

The Donald Says He Is "Honored" By Putin's Praise.

Putin Praises The Donald

++Putin praised Trump as "a flamboyant figure" and said he was the Republican leader. He also praised Trump for his desire to have good relations with Russia.

++Meanwhile several Pentagon officials said they would reign if Trump were elected.

Predictwise--Democrats Zooming

++I guess what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas. After the 5th debate,the Democrats' fortunes are rising.

++Predictwise now has the Democrats at 63% and GOP at 37% to win the Presidential election.

++Hillary Clinton is up to 58%.

++Rubio has a 15% chance of becoming President. Donald J. Trump at 10% and Ted Cruz at 9%.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Dick Morris Says Cruz Won The Debate, Rubio Got Clobbered.

House Reach $1 Trillion Deal To Fund The Government Until October 2016

Newsmax: Who Won The Republican Debate?

++Donald J, Trump 77%
    Ted Cruz             13%
    Marco Rubio         2%
    Rand Paul             2%
    Ben Carson          1%

Josh Marshall On The Fifth Debate

++Taking Points Memo did its live blog.

++Josh Marshall thinks this was one of the better debates because many of the candidates brought their A game. He said that Jeb was ore energetic tonight but that there is no more logic to his campaign. He said Christie did alright but has been dead for two years. Carly just was pissed or as Crux said to a radio commentator, "She went full vagina."

++Josh thinks that Trump and Cruz made out the best. Trump's closing remarks were clear. We are losers and I will stop that. Rubio exuded an insecurity and was hit a couple of time. Josh thinks he may be OK but that he didn't advance his campaign any.

++Jos thinks Trump will continue to poll well with Cruz right behind. While Jeb attacked Trump on his idea of banning all Moslems, no one else seemed to disagree with the Donald. He still sets the gold standard in these looney-tunes.

Donald J. Trump Wins The Fifth Republican Debate

++Debbie Wasserman Schultz should be shot. Allowing 5 GOP debates and only two Democratic Debates in 2015. Shame. These blowhards manage to dictate the issues of 2016.

++I actually thought Ben Carson won the debate tonight. Rand Paul was second and then he blew it with his closing that no one would listen to.

++The star was John Kasich's daughter who said that all the shouting and arguing doesn't help anyone.

++Drudge has the Donald winning with 48.33%, Ted Cruz 24.33%, Rand Paul with 11.6% and Rubio with 7.4%.

++Jeb got off his attacks on Trump with "you can't insult your way to the presidency" but otherwise looked weak. His closing statement was stumbling and less than coherent.

++Chris Christie thinks 9/11 is the charm. At least Rudy did something then not just wait for his wife to get home from the World Trade Center.

++Marco Rubio tried to combine aspirational and fear-mongering in his final statement. He cited PNAC,the New American Century.

++All the candidates want to vastly increase military spending. They couldn't figure out who to fight first. Christie wants to shoot Russian planes out of the sky in Syria. 

++All of them are concerned about the Shiite Crescent. Iran must be taken out to assuage our Saudi brothers who don't trust Obama.

++I didn't think the attacks on the Donald worked.

++I still think Rubio deserves my nickname "Shortpants". He seems earnest and tries to be informed but he couldn't take a hit.

++By the way, President Obama is feckless and leads from behind. That's why no one respects us anymore. Your children aren't safe.

++No to refugees, Yes to a wall,Yes to retaliation against China for cyber attacks. 

++Mike Huckabee had the best idea when he said we should have economic sanctions on Indonesia.

++All of them want to upgrade the nuclear triad. 

++My Defense plan calls for cutting $100 million per year from the defense budget for ten years. Their plan is to bankrupt America because they think that's what Ronald Reagan would do. 

++The bets are on about who will be the next to withdraw. Bets are on Lindsey Graham,and Rand Paul.

Just Thought You Should Know. Trump Wants To Turn Off The Internet and Kasich wants to "Penetrate People."

Morning Consult National Poll

Clinton 52%, Sanders 27%,O'Malley 2%.

Meanwhile on the Other Side: The Latest Ipsos/Reuters Poll

++Hillary Clinton 60%,Bernie Sanders 29%, and Martin O'Malley 3%.

The Donald Doesn't Want Pataki's Endorsement

In Case You Missed The Kid's Debate

++Lindsey Graham just loved some George W.Bush. He just wished W would be President right now. There is a new 9/11 waiting around the corner for Christmas. 
Lindsey will deploy 10,000 troops In Iraq,10,000 in Syria, and another group of soldiers will be sent to Libya. He and Santorum will stand up to Putin. 

++The military is so weak,no one respects us anymore. We must increase the military spending. 

Kid's Table Debate

++It was all manly men talk as the JV said they would kill terrorists,bomb ISIS and put men on the ground. They were ambivalent about women on the ground and don't want to reinstate the draft because they want our men in uniform to want to be there.

++Mike Huckabee got in a twist to this doctrine by urging the boycott of Indonesia. He meant Indonesia. While Ms. Lindsey is opting to tighten economic sanctions on Iran. He says that Turkey and the Arab states won't cooperate because of Obama. They just don't trust him.

++Governor Pataki reminded Rick Santorum that the GOP doctrine is not the same as Islamic radicalism in attitudes toward women.

++Oh Myyy. Why are we still doing this. Rachel Maddow blasted CNN for changing the rules to allow Rand Paul to debate on the big stage.

++I guess everyone is up for being scared about terrorism to night. I'm bored.

++Tonight is the fifth Republican debate and the last until 2016. Pundits are saying that this is the time Trump gets knocked out. Want to bet?

PPP (Iowa) Republicans

++Trump 28%
     Cruz   25%
     Rubio 14%
     Carson 10%
     Bush     7%

"IF I Were There,I Would Have Taken Out The Paris Attackers." Donald J. Trump

PPP (IOWA) : Clinton 52%, Sanders 34%, O'Malley 7%

Monday, December 14, 2015


Trump 38%,Cruz 15%,Carson 12%,Rubio 12%.

++Hillary Clinton beats Trump among all adults 53 to 40. Among registered voters 50 to 44.

Does Marco Rubio Have A "Secret Family"?

++Vox the other day had a piece about how the Clinton campaign claims they are not conducting real opposition research on Marco Rubio. The authors conjectured that there is a hidden bomb that they know can be released at any point to explode his candidacy. The "secret family" rumor as well as the D.C. Lobbyist mistress gossip was spread by the Bush campaign.

++Ed Kilgore laughs today at Jennifer Rubin's column in the Washington Post about how the poll showing Cruz in the lead in Iowa is a boon to Rubio. Ed patiently explains that the winner of Iowa usually doesn't win the nomination and that Rubio's third is only 1 point above where he was last time. 

++Ed has another article in New York about when will Rubio win a primary. So far the early states don't show him closing the gap and we remember Rudy getting to Florida and losing his candidacy. Rubio is nowhere close to winning his home state.

Harry Enten At FiveThirtyEight says Polls Suggest TRUMP WILL GET BETWEEN 8% AND 64% Of The Vote

Truth In Advertising--My Results From the Isidewith Questionnaire

++Only 37% of Alexandria, Virginia agree with me. A 47% in Virginia.

++The candidates who share my opinions.
Bernie Sanders 96%
Hillary Clinton   94%
Martin O'Malley 81%
Rand Paul         51%
Jeb Bush          51%
Ted Cruz           33%
Ben Carson      25%
Donald Trump  24%.

++I can't believe Jeb Bush is that high and that Ted Cruz is above Ben Carson and Donald Trump. Well, as Donald says, I'm a loser.

Oh c'mon, Ezra Klein Says That Trump's Doctor's Letter Is Important Because It Shows how Ridiculous Are The People Donald Chooses

Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine Calls Paris Climate Deal Obama's Greatest Triumph

++Chait has a long explanation for this statement , which you should tread in the magazine's Intelligencer Column.

++"The Climate agreement in Paris should take its place as one of the great triumphs in history."

Rush Limbaugh Attacks Donald J. Trump As An Establishment Politician For His Attacks on Ted Cruz.

"Why Are We So Scared?"

++Jos Marshall musters the evidence of terrorist attacks worse than San Bernandino in past years in Spain and London. He thinks Americans are bordering on panic. Why? Partly it's because the GOP candidates can only sell fear. Most probably because ISIS propaganda is primarily aimed at a Western audience. Instead of bin Laden speaking in Arabic about cerebral matters,ISIS produced visceral CDs that galvanized a public reaction. Today a Reuters poll showed that Americans now favored sending troops to fight ISIS. The propaganda is paying off. ISIS and George W. Bush share the same belief that Gog and Magog are loose in the Middle East. A great theme to stir up our theocrats.

Abe Vigoda Will Be 95 When The Iowa Caucus Occurs

Recommended Reading: David Remnick"s "Negotiating The Whirlwind" About John Kerry



++Clinton 52%, Sanders 32%, O'Malley 2%

President Obama Gives Briefing At The Pentagon On Fighting ISIS

++We will see more of this. The press said he was reassuring Americans before the holidays. President Obama announced ISIS had lost 50% of its territory and that the United States has launched 9,000 bombing raids on ISIS targets. He then listed all the ISIS leaders the United States has killed even in Libya,

++I expect that this will be the remainder of the Obama presidency--explaining Syria and Iraq.

++But J Street wants the President to lay out a framework for a Middle East Peace agreement. Good luck with that one.

In Memory Of Doug Payne: Socialist International Approves Climate Change Deal.

++Doug Payne wrote every one of the Socialist International's resolutions until his death.

++He would have had the opinion of Jim Henson that it didn't go far enough. 

The Donald's Doctor Says,"Trump would be the healthiest man ever elected President." Blood pressure close to mine.


++Des Moines Register/Selzer: 
Clinton 48%, Sanders 39%,O'Malley 4%.

++FOX News
Hillary 50%, Sanders 36%,O'Malley 5%.

Major League Baseball denies Peter Rose's Bid To Be Reinstated

Monmouth University Poll-- National

++The Donald putting not away.

++Trump 41
    Cruz    14
    Rubio  10
    Carson  9
    Jeb       3
    Kasich  3

Romney Announces He Still Is Not Running For President

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Miami Herald Releases Blockbuster Story of The Human Cost Behind Our Atomic Weapons

++The U.S. has decided to spend $1trillion to upgrade our nuclear arsenal. Over 120,000 workers since 2001 have been exposed to radiation.

++The McClatchy papers did an investigatory report in ten states to chronicle the human cost of 70 years of Atomic weaponry.

++33,480 American atomic weapon workers have died during that time from diseases that start at mundane cancer to more sophisticated ailments caused by exposure to plutonium.

++Read in The December 13 Miami Herald.


++There is even a website for my periodic question. It is called AbeVigoda Status and let's you know whether he is still alive. It posted today so you need not worry.

Dick Van Dyke Is 90.


++Cruz 28
   Trump 26
   Carson 10
   Rubio   13
   Bush      5
   Paul       5
  Christie  2
  Fiorina   2
  Pataki    1
  Kasich   1
  Huckabee 1

Chris Christie And Rand Paul Make The Adult Table

Le Pen Loses Seat

++Following the Paris terrorist attacks, Le Pen's National Front won 40% of the first round voting. It was anticipated that the FN would win the northern regions of France.

++Alas, She and her niece lost their seats. The FN has lost to Nicholas Sarkozy's party and the Socialists are second. 

++The FN so far has not won a single region with 6 of the 13 decided so far.

Karl Rove Agrees With Jim Hanson, Climate Activist and NASA Scientist

++Karl Rove said the agreement was "B.S" because it had no mandated emissions levels like Jim Hanson said. He said that everyone in Paris will be dead by 2080. And that you can't ask developing countries not to develop by exploiting "cheap" sources of energy.

++Rove said that America had cut its emissions because of the efficiency in the energy industry and that we are a free market system. No mention of any efforts by President Obama.

++So the new conservative argument is that climate activists are right but that there is nothing you can do about it. Sort of like gun control--it's tragic but everyone has a right to kill.


++ Trump 27
      Cruz   22
     Rubio  15
     Carson 11
     Bush     7
     Fiorina   5
     Christie  3
     Kasich   2
     Huckabee 3