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I think you are overreacting. I think it is undeniable that the whole primary process has been rigged from the start to produce a coronation of Hillary. Choosing the nominee was just the pretext for the process. That much had long been clear.

From what I understand what the DNC either did or approved being done in this instance in Nevada was to change the parliamentary rules and the requirements to register delegates just a couple of weeks ago. This had (the presumably desired) effect of costing Sanders two or three delegates from Nevada which his campaign had thought they had gained by following the rules that existed prior to the change. I hope the DNC is satisfied with the results. I can't see that it will matter. Nor can I blame the Sanders supporters for being outraged. At least no one was physically injured.

Perhaps Harry Reid wants to use this and dissatisfaction with Sander's response as the pretext to deprive Sanders of seniority in the next Senate. If he does it will likely accelerate the development of a third party for progressives for the next election. Unless the election is close in Arkansas, (unlikely), I will probably vote for Jill Stein. She is a solid progressive and FDR style socialist but, sadly, without Bernie's charisma and name recognition.

But, in any case, I doubt we will ever have the chance to find out if Trump would be better or worse than Clinton. I think it is 50/50 odds. But the consequences of worse could be considerable. OTOH, Hillary's hawkishness combined with her ham fistedness could have considerable negative consequences also.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 03:45:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps Frank could start a new diary: "Which would be worse - Hillary or Donald? And why.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 03:48:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Talk of third parties and the greens is BS. A two-party system is built into our electoral mechanics and entrenched by tradition and history.  Furthermore, its not like the Democratic coalition of the Obama era is a dwindling rump of the population - it was huge and won the presidency twice, easily.  If the Greens want to get serious they need to start by building serious local parties and taking over small towns first.  The fact that this happens so rarely is a prime indication of how the Green party is more of a feel-good lobbying project, and not a party aspiring to governance.

"I'm going to stay home and show you how important my vote is!" is the kind of crap that insures leftists will be ignored year after year.  Why bother wooing an extreme demographic that demands serious policy compromises and threatens to drop out of the election entirely at the drop of the hat?

Unfortunately, that is EXACTLY the attitude I see from far, far too many Sanders supporters.

by Zwackus on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 05:29:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most third parties fade away, remain highly marginal or form legislative alliances with major parties. But sometimes one catches fire and the end result is a lot of members from other parties join and IT becomes one of the major parties - a political realignment, which was what happened to the American Whig Party, being completed by the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln. Other times there are realignments in which factions within a major party change parties, as with the Progressives joining the Democrats, transitioning beginning about 1916 and being complete with the election of FDR.

I don't know what, if anything, will happen with the progressives. I just doubt that, without a realignment, the current corrupt duopoly of Rep/Dem will be sufficiently able to deal with real world problems for the very government to survive even another decade. I don't see a workable path forward that doesn't involve dealing rather harshly with the US financial sector and those who it represents.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 08:48:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And as for the convention, it was the establishment taking advantage of the rules to change the criteria for the selection of delegates AFTER the Sanders had taken advantage of the rules to squeeze out a few extra delegates in local conventions using a silly trick.  Clinton won the caucus on caucus day, and as much as I don't like her or her candidacy, the winner should get the delegates.  This is a problem more with the caucus system than anything, but Sanders supporters were so fired up to believe in "the fix" and "the conspiracy" that they couldn't even start rioting at the right time.

In all honesty, if the Sanders team had done a better job of prepping its people for a surprise takeover of the convention, I'd be a lot more supportive of them.  It's the combination of stoking lame conspiratorial thinking AND encouraging people to vent mindless anger that I hate.  It transforms his people from effective political actors into silly goons, and silly goons don't win elections.

by Zwackus on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 05:34:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That 'silly trick' used the very rules that had been in place before the race even started. Similar 'silly tricks' have been successfully used by Cruz against Trump in Colorado, etc. The rules are the rules until leadership doesn't like the result and then changes them retroactively.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 08:51:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Conspire derives from the Latin meaning 'to breathe together'. So, if the rule changes were decided by one person, that could not have been a conspiracy. But that is not how the process was described. Calling someone who objects to such a change 'a conspiracy theorist' is a commonly used slur in academia used to keep subordinates in line in a hierarchical organization, and, in this context, is lame.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 08:57:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps it's time for supporters of both candidates took a deep breath together and realised that creating huge controversies through procedural manoeuvring helps neither candidate significantly in terms of delegates, but hurts both in terms of public perceptions.  Sanders issuing that press statement - even if it is all factually correct and a fair and balanced account of what happened - raised an issue concerning a handful of delegates to the status of a major controversy and allows the development of media driven "both sides do it" false equivalences between what has been happening in the Republican and Democratic parties.

Up until now Sanders - having never held significant executive office - has had pretty much a free ride in terms of public scrutiny of his executive capabilities.  (I sometimes wonder whether that is part of his attraction to many of his supporters who, too, have never held significant executive office, or even aspired to it). In any case, he shouldn't be putting public discussion of his executive capabilities in play.

No one here is prepared to put up a significant defence of Hillary's executive track record, but at least she has one. Sander's is looking less attractive as an alternative for Office, the closer he edges towards actually achieving it.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 04:20:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The idea that Sanders should have, or even - to any good effect - could have condemned supporters who had been falsely accused is laughable. And Sanders doesn't 'do' deliberate misrepresentation and misleading with any effectiveness. If this is a disqualifier for administrative office then we need to change our qualifications. About the best he can do along these lines is simply say nothing and leave the dirty work to his subordinates - a time honored tradition in US politics.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 10:07:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, by intervening personally he turned a local issue into a national one capable of damaging the party he hopes to lead. He should have done nothing - the art of masterly inactivity, as Churchill is said to have put it.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 02:56:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So when Reid demanded a response from Sanders he was trolling Sanders? Perhaps. But perhaps Reid also should be careful what he asks for.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 09:16:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Comments - Can Trump really win the White House?
Sanders supporters were so fired up to believe in "the fix" and "the conspiracy" that they couldn't even start rioting at the right time.

They didn't even riot at all. Except if you believe the testimony of somebody who (by his own account) was not there.

The Faux Fracas in Nevada: How a Reporter Manufactured a Riot

No chairs were thrown at the convention Saturday. No death threats were made against the chair of the convention Roberta Lange. And Bernie Sanders delegates were not simply mad because their louder shouting was ignored.
by fjallstrom on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 03:25:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good article by Doug Johnson Hatlem about the coverage of the Nevada Convention with lots of local detail. This was the 'Faux Fracas' link above.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 10:15:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I still have no clear picture of what you mean with conspiratorial thinking. Does anyone dispute that the Democratic party leadership and the party hacks are in the tank for Clinton?
I mean it is objective fact that 30 state parties have a joint money raising/laundering sheme going on that leaves her with all the money and them objectively worse off. So is Josh Marshall's employer's paid troll army. And calling people who object to elite collusion "violent" without any strong evidence of actual violence is so very tired.

What I find most interesting in this election is how far apart the reality bubbles have drifted. Or maybe it's just more noticeable since people closer to me are drifting away.
I remember culling my news sources since long before "filter bubble" was even a phrase. The first time, appropriately enough was after the Democrats won the midterms in 06 and then promptly proceeded to vote for the war they opposed. Without any bells and whistles. The financial crisis and getting a grip on Post-Keynsian economics was another big one. And you really have to filter in order to not get spammed with nonsense. Though the filtering might have gotten worse since I broke down and got a Twitter account. Something about that system brings out the worst in people.
On the other hand I'm now pretty loyaly reading Naked Capitalism since their take on Greece ended up being much better than my own.

This stronger stratification of news sources seems pretty noticeable. One example I can think of was the small debate on online anonymity we had. I'm pretty sure that still reading the Guardian or similar professional sites is a strong indication of a contra position. Because for reporters online anonymity really makes life a lot harder.

OK, this is a bit more rambling than I would have liked but I'm running out of time for another pass.

by generic on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 05:34:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of paid troll armies, I think we've got one instance in the comments of this diary.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 07:24:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think it's helpful to impugn someone's integrity here without giving them the opportunity to reply to the charge.  Is there a specific comment you are concerned about? Are we all to feel under threat of suspicion? If possible, I think we should treat each argument on its merits.  I have noticed differences of opinion, but nothing outside the bounds of reasoned debate.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 07:48:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My paranoia was triggered by a one-off comment upthread where the subject made me recall this, my reply didn't elicit a response, and I thought the poster is a newbie. Having now checked, I see I was mistaken about the last, so I rather retract my paranoid comment.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 05:18:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, I have found the offending comment now. Not exactly well evidenced.  More an expression of individual frustration resulting in a strange threat to vote for Trump. Perhaps an example of a policy (Obamacare) which has helped many but frustrated some. Weirdly, Trump seems to be able to attract a lot of anti-establishment and libertarian support. The individual Mandate in Obamacare has always been v. unpopular with both progressives (who prefer single payer) and libertarians who don't want the state to get more involved in healthcare at all.  Obviously not in tune with majority opinion here,  but not to be condemned on that account. But it's a pity he wouldn't engage with the legitimate points you made.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 07:15:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well as I stated above one of my main sources for US analysis is Naked Capitalism. And they are very down on Obama care.
The only Americans I regularly talk to face to face are people with professional travel budgets. Not that big of a sample. One in particular was very happy with the reforms. However his experience was with the old system eating all his savings when his son was seriously ill. No positive experience with the new.
Which is a long winded intro for a saying that I'm sympathetic to the idea of Obama care being a neoliberal abomination. However voting Trump because of it still seems like a non sequitur. Maybe third oarty but Trump? And certainly something a delegitimisation campaign would throw around. I liked single payer and Sanders before, but now I'm with Hitler. And I've seen more of those comments than I expected.
But for a final reversal Trump does score high on the enemy of my enemy scale. And I don't think we should underestimate the emotional appeal of telling all those(media, Republicans, Clinton even the Kochs) to fuck off.

As a final aside: I too was toying with the idea that Trump might actually be less bad in effect. Not because of any moral superiority but because I thought party hostility would cripple him. Doesn't seem like a good bet anymore. He has run out of money and the party lies prostrate in hope of a tummy scratch.

by generic on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 08:23:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When I talk about conspiracy thinking, I'm mainly talking about what I have seen from the Sanders supports I worked with, and blog wars I have skimmed where individuals post comments and arguments with a very similar-seeming mindset.

That the Democratic party is strongly pro-Clinton is not up for debate. That Clinton and her inner circle are insider hacks of the most mediocre sort seems pretty clear, and like all insider hacks of her generation she seems pretty damn neo-liberal.  I'm not making any arguments in that direction.

But one cannot jump from these facts to constant accusations of election fraud and vote rigging, in every single state, on the flimsiest of evidence.  For a conspiracy like that to take place, one has to demonzie far, FAR too many relatively well-intentioned folk at the local and state level.  One has to imagine far too many eager and enthusiastic activists, with whom I share far more in common than I share with the Republicans, as mindless drones who have been brainwashed into unthinking complicity.  No.  I refuse to do that, and the belief that all this is true and is taking place beneath our noses is conspiracy thinking.  Too many people aren't aware of the full complexity of the issues and can't accept that other people might not agree with them, and they explain it away by positing a dire Clinton Cabal with amazing powers to control everything secretly behind the scenes.

Which is bull.  If they have this power now, they would have had this power in 2008 as well, when Clinton was just as presumptive a nominee going for just as unchallengable of a coronation.  Hell, I've read a number of raving posts talking about Diebold voting machines and rigged E-Votes, like it was 2004 again. How exactly Hillary got the keys to the Evil Diebold Vote-Rigging apparatus is a bit murky, as is why exactly that Vote-Rigging apparatus failed to swing things R in 2008 and 2012 despite the avowed intentions of Diebold to do so.

That is conspiracy talk, of the UFO and 9/11 truther variety. It's main crime is lazy thinking, the same sort of lazy thinking that leads people into all kinds of damaging wrongness. Too many people I have seen in the Bernie camp have fallen into this.  This mindset primes people to respond in outrage to rather ordinary politicking and crowd-management, and to interpret every action in the worst possible light when it does not deserve it.

I can't be all that surprised at what the Clinton folk did in Nevada, because as Frank states elsewhere this kind of room-stuffing is a pretty common trick, with pretty common responses.  It was tried, it failed.  Oh well, and neither side should really be all that worked up over it.  It's politics, these things happen.  Likewise, I would not be all that worked up over disruptive activities on the convention floor, whatever they actually were.  Again, it's politics.  Heck, even if there was a full-on riot (which there was certainly not), or some degree of disorderly conduct short of rioting (which there probably wasn't), or a violent seizure of power (I could only dream of the Sanders team being this competent), I don't really care all that much.

What bugs me about it is the incompetence of it all. Bernie supporters were primed to interpet every action and every vote in the worst possible way, and went into full-on outrage at the wrong time and in a kind of pathetic manner.  It is unfocused and ignorant protest, which accommplishes nothing and just makes you look bad. Worse, it all makes perfect sense if you buy into the conspiratorial mindset, and cannot bring yourself to give the other side some credit.

You don't build anything by encouraging your new supporters to demonize everone who doesn't agree, and you aren't training them to be effetive political actors if you prime them to respond with raw outrage over everything. Some of this was going to happen anyway, but openly embracing it is bonkers.

by Zwackus on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 08:43:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The 'report' of violence was based on a tweet from Nevada reporter Jon Ralston who left the convention before the climax and then received an exaggerated description of events that he tweeted as fact. He subsequently acknowledged this. One Sanders delegate is known to have lifted a chair over his head, but was immediately stopped from further action by the rest of Sanders' supporters. The whole thing is contrived BS. Media wrote their reports based on Ralston's tweed and, apparently, Harry Reid based his 'violence' comment on that same report. Subsequently they 'modified' their reports as claims came into question. But the tone of the whole coverage was set on misinformation.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 11:46:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well what is the point of voting machines if not vote rigging? Certainly there seems to be a somewhat reasonable explanation for the weird exit poll results but I won't blame anyone for suspecting otherwise.
But Sanders didn't embrace this so that shouldn't be an issue here. What he did was, when faced with the routine bad faith calls to distance himself from his "violent" followers, to call their grievances legitimate. What else was he supposed to do? The point of those calls is to delegitimize and demobilize a political movement.
Another strange thing about this campaign is how telegraphed everything, especially from the Clinton campaign is.
by generic on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 03:49:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another strange thing about this campaign is how telegraphed everything, especially from the Clinton campaign is.
This for  example:

Hillary Clinton plan: Defeat Bernie Sanders, then unify party - CNNPolitics.com -

is taking new steps to try and disqualify Bernie Sanders in the eyes of Democratic voters, hoping to extinguish the argument that he is an electable alternative for the party's presidential nomination.

....

As Sanders took a victory lap following a 14-point triumph in Wisconsin, Clinton took fresh aim at the Vermont senator as part of a three-part strategy before the New York primary on April 19: Disqualify him, defeat him, and unify the party later.

by generic on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 04:08:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Can Trump really win the White House?
This had (the presumably desired) effect of costing Sanders two or three delegates from Nevada which his campaign had thought they had gained by following the rules that existed prior to the change. I hope the DNC is satisfied with the results. I can't see that it will matter. Nor can I blame the Sanders supporters for being outraged. At least no one was physically injured.  

They did more then that.

Clinton adds to delegate lead with Nevada convention win - Las Vegas Sun News

Delegates also elected the next national committeeman and national committeewoman to represent Nevada at the national party level, the state party's executive board, and the state party's central committee during the afternoon.

The Nevada establishment changed the rules and then re-elected themselves. I don't know if there was other candidates for thse seats, but if there were that is a pretty obvoius reason to coup a meeting.

by fjallstrom on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 03:29:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Judge tosses part of Sanders backers' lawsuit against Nevada Democrats - Las Vegas Sun News
The Sanders supporters had asked the court to grant an injunction allowing them to run for state party office at Saturday's state Democratic convention. The judge, however, said that case law precludes him from interfering with a party's internal political process.

The lawsuit had alleged the state Democratic Party had failed to properly notify Democrats of a deadline to run for state party office in violation of both its own internal rules as well as Nevada law. The defendants argued the confusion over the deadline had been caused internally by Sanders supporters and that the party had made the deadline clear in emails it had sent out.

"Courts are not allowed to interfere with intra-party squabbles unless there is a compelling state interest to do so," said Judge Ronald Israel at a hearing this morning.

He added the court's interference would also be premature, given that the convention hasn't yet taken place and there's still an option that would allow convention goers to bring the issue up before the body of the convention.

So if Sanders supporters had been seated they would have had a small majority, could have ran for party leadership and could and would have thrown the current leadership out. That gives the establishment plenty of reason to keep power over who is seated.

by fjallstrom on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 04:20:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure we've all done it - those of us who were ever active in politics - even student politics: packed a meeting with our supporters in order to vote into office our people and take over an organisation which we may have had little involvement with previously.  Hardly surprising that those who have run the organisation for years and who are heavily invested in it should fight back using every procedural ruse at their disposal to try to thwart the coup attempt.

My only point is that Sander's shouldn't have become personally involved and raised a local issue with minimal national impact into a national one  which could damage the very party he hopes to lead.  It's only going to unite Dem. party establishments in every state even more firmly against him, at the very time he needs to loosen their pre-existing alliances in the hope of gaining at least a few more converts.

If he campaigns as an outsider, he will be treated as one. If he wants to lead an insurgency against party establishments, don't whine when they won't support him.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 04:39:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is clear that Sanders has already won the battle for the future direction of the Democratic Party. By 2020 a majority of Democrats under 50 will almost certainly support a Sanders like agenda and new party members will have made their presence felt.

But, if by 2018 it becomes clear that the party incumbents are uniting to reject any challenge to the neo-liberalism of the present Clintonian Democrats, that could result in a third party arising as a home for those insisting on change. I would expect that, in a relatively short time, that third party would merge with the remnants of the Democrats who have not joined the Republicans. I would hate to see the legacy of FDR discarded by those who now call themselves Democrats. And I would much rather see the Clintonian period of the Democratic Party come to be seen as an aberration.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 09:37:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank:
My only point is that Sander's shouldn't have become personally involved and raised a local issue with minimal national impact into a national one  which could damage the very party he hopes to lead.  It's only going to unite Dem. party establishments in every state even more firmly against him, at the very time he needs to loosen their pre-existing alliances in the hope of gaining at least a few more converts.

This raises questions. First, who is the party, the leadership or the registered members? At this point we have the leadership telling the base what they ought to think and do while large portions are not buying it. But it is even more serious when we look at the differences in the support and funding of the current establishment vs. the challengers. The DNC is allied with their big donors and carries their water. That is rejected by an increasingly large portion of the base. This is further complicated by the fact that so much of the present, highly concentrated mass media is owned by the same people who are large donors to the R/D Duopoly. And then the life trajectories of current elites, including the Clintons, are strongly tied to the future rewards they anticipate from being faithful servants of their donors. They will indeed fight like Hell to hold on. But there is a legitimate question as to the moral worth of that action.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 09:51:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not making moral judgements here, or even political ones, merely observing the sociological realities of organisational dynamics. If you choose to challenge state party leaderships, whingeing when they fight back hardly enhances your cause. If your ultimate aim is to lead the party into a successful general election, you need to ultimately get the vast  bulk of the party - leadership and rank and file - on your side. If your starting point is that the party is basically an immoral amalgam of illegitimate special interests, careerist politicians, and stupid dupes who don't realise what's going on, don't be surprised when they aren't quick to rally to your side.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 07:34:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with what you have just said. How many of Sanders' supporters agree is a possible question. But my points have been directed to the deliberate misrepresentation of virtually everything regarding the reaction and the basis for that reaction by said supporters in the mainstream media.

Whether or not the effort by progressives to change the direction of the Democratic Party are successful or not things are going to get ugly. If they are not successful, then 'the model', neo-liberalism, will continue to fail and the consequences will become increasingly dire. If they are it MAY be possible to begin to change course. If a sane, reality based course is chosen politics, domestic prosperity, the climate and sustainability can be achieved. But this will require that substantial amounts of power be removed from many current economic elites and that governments become much more directly involved in generating solutions to these problems.

So you can abstain from moral judgements if you don't care about the fate of future generations. To me it is an easy choice.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 10:24:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not convinced that Sanders is morally superior to Hillary, even though I much prefer his policy positions and priorities. As a matter of practical politics, I'm also not convinced he is likely to be more effective than Hillary, partly because we have never seen him in a senior executive position. But my biggest concern is that I don't know how he will stand up to the right wing media wurlitzer, which will make what happened in Nevada seem like very small potatoes indeed; whereas Hillary has been through that mill for many years now, and there is probably little new they can throw at her.

The other, more general point I would make is that a successful administration is made up of a coalition of many elements - the Cabinet, key advisors, more junior policy development positions, Congress, the Military and foreign policy establishment, and yes, a critical mass of special interests sufficient to overcome the absolute opposition of other special interests.

One special interest is not necessarily morally superior to another one - both are acting, broadly, in their own self interest.  What is important is the degree to which their self interest is congruent with the broader public interest Thus does a candidate support the Oil, gas & Coal lobby or the renewable energy lobby? Are they closely aligned with the Zionist lobby or with a broader humanitarian one? Are their main backers high tech or rust belt industrialists? Are they more likely to be supportive of the interests of high finance or or the consumer lobby? Are they more supportive of public or private healthcare? Of Unions or Chambers of Commerce? Are they ideologically more pre-disposed to market solutions or public state ones?

Sanders is interesting because he has built a broad coalition of ordinary folk not necessarily closely aligned with the big players in the above special interest groups and has, broadly, made the right choices, in my view, of which to support at the expense of the others. I would love to see him and his supporters in very powerful and influential positions in any new administration. I'm just not convinced he has the ability to lead the whole show.  He doesn't have enough allies in sufficient places that matter.

Hillary, in my view, would have the greater capability to do so.  I'm just not convinced to what degree she would actually want to do so. But don't forget you were also pleasantly surprised by Obama. Booman has a post up which argues that she has Wall Street over a barrel rather than the other way around. That may be wishful thinking. But I do recoil at the imputation of motives to her that are entirely venal.  I don't see that as evidenced any more than I see the imputation of near saint-hood qualities in Sanders as being evidenced.  If anything, we have less of a fix on his moral qualities...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 02:03:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't referring to the personal morality of either candidate, though I think there are significant differences. I am referring to the morality of trying to change 'the model' we are using. My biggest problem with Hillary is that I don't think she will even try. She will make cosmetic changes around the margins so she can claim to have made things better, and her supporters will expect that. But I have grave doubts that she will initiate any fundamental change or even work towards laying the groundwork for such change by a future administration.

I agree that it will be difficult for a Sanders administration to make fundamental change, but I have no doubt Sanders will do all he can, and that is all I or anyone can ask. For starters he can actually enforce the law on the financial sector. The last time that was done was during the S & L crisis back in the '80s and early '90s when Bill Black was involved.

The other big issue is changing the commonly accepted understanding of how money and banking works and what are the use of fiscal policy by the government can and should accomplish.  That requires obtaining a Democratic House, which I think is more likely with Sanders than with Hillary, but also increasing the numbers of progressives in the House. There are plenty of common sense arguments that can sway public opinion short of a complete reeducation of the public on matters economic, and this is where I would expect Sanders to start. And, importantly, a Sanders Administration would have numerous MMT proponents in government who could start changing the narrative with every interview they give to the media and every public speech they make. This I also expect not to happen under Hillary.

So, it boils down to this question: Can we afford to continue with the status quo for four, likely eight, more years, or do we need to start on everything that needs doing as fast as we can starting in 2017? I don't know the answer to the first question, but I am pretty sure urgency on both the economy and the environment are clearly in order. 2050 is only 34 years away and things could be really bad by then. But our elites can always blame Satin.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 02:45:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I presume Satin is some kind amalgam of Satan and Putin! :-)  No I don't think we can afford the status quo of the gridlock of the past 6 years for the next 4 or 8.  But the key to changing that is to achieve a Dem Congressional majority and moreover one with a strong progressive edge which will not tolerate a return to triangulation.

The best way of achieving that is to ensure that both the Clinton and Sanders wings of the party work together which is why I am less than tolerant of those actions which make that prospect more difficult to achieve. Strangely, I see the achievement of an effective Congressional majority as more important than the persona of the President herself...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 05:00:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I share your desideratum of a Democratic House with more progressives. I believe it is more likely with Sanders at the top of the ticket, even though that now seems highly improbable. I don't think any thing that the Sanders supporters do will much affect that goal so long as most of them will at least vote for the down ticket House members, even if they are Blue Dogs. It does really matter who hold the Speakership.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 05:27:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Sanders had been doing well from January forward, the whole tenor of his campaign would be better now, and this might have been possible.

But he didn't, and things inside his campaign and with his supporters have gotten uglier and uglier.  Building a bubble of positive thinking and denial does not help one's real-world effectiveness.  

Now, if he somehow miraculously turned things around and won the nomination, I would suspect an epic flameout is more likely than a resounding victory.

by Zwackus on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 06:30:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i doubt that any of this will really matter. Hopefully, most Sanders supporters will at least bring themselves to vote for any progressive candidate that is on their ballot in November and Trump is now in the midst of showing that he can out crazy the craziest of Republican far right fanatics. Even Hillary will be likely to run the table and Trump might well lose worse than Goldwater. I had expected him to go after the independents, but he is busily spraying himself with  repellent for all but foamers. I can only hope he keeps it up.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 07:39:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
" Even Hillary will be likely to run the table and Trump might well lose worse than Goldwater."

I hope you're right. That has been my belief all along, but then, as I don't live in the USA, I am always in danger of drawing on too narrow a dataset of facts and opinions...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 08:15:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I think Drew J. Jones and ATinNM both agree.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 21st, 2016 at 07:16:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, this exactly.  
by Zwackus on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 06:28:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Achieving a Democratic House will be a great plus for the economy, as it will enable at least some sane fiscal policy to be implemented, which will help greatly. But it won't deal with the greatest problem - returning the rule of law to the financial sector. I could be surprised and find that Hillary appoints an Attorney General who really goes after financial and control fraud. If so I will gladly eat my words, but it is not what I expect.

Given that the financial sector is currently acting like a 30% VAT on the real economy, it is important that it be put back in the box FDR had built for it - preferably a greatly improved box suitable to the changed circumstances. Note that well over half of the wealth extracted from the real economy by the fiancial sector is lost for many years by being tied up in offshore havens or in overpriced assets. Cutting finance back to what it was in 1980 even would be a massive stimulus to the US economy.
 

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 08:03:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What has prevented Obama from acting more decisively in this regard, especially in his second term when no longer dependent on Wall Street donations? Is your argument that he has been ideologically captured?

Or has he simply taken the pragmatic view that prosecuting a few banksters is uncertain of success, unlikely to change much in the real economy, and if anything, more likely to hinder economic recovery by propagating the meme that his administration is anti-business?  The EU experience of prosecuting banksters is even more anaemic, if anything...

FWIW my experiencing of working in an (EU headquartered) non-financial global multinational is that they were quite scrupulous about obeying the law in all lands they operated in. They might lobby for laws more favourable to their business, but would never countenance actual law breaking. They were also quite in favour of strict enforcement of what regulations did exist, as allowing others to flout the law would place them at a competitive disadvantage.

Outsiders frequently view big business lobbies as one coherent organisation, whereas in practice there can be fierce competition between businesses, and fierce resentments stirred up if a competitor is seen as having gotten away with some infringements as this places the whole industry in disrepute as well as "unfairly" advantaging the miscreants.

Thus I am not convinced that the financial sector as a whole would have a problem with the strict enforcement of existing regulations (such as they are) or with the severe punishment of those who flout them.  In fact there could be considerable frustration at the lack of enforcement.  

But then again, US big business could be very different. Senior US businessmen operating in Europe frequently had the reputation of being very right wing, very doctrinaire in their approach, not very culturally sensitive, very egotistical, and often not very bright.  But I digress...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 08:41:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank:
What has prevented Obama from acting more decisively in this regard, especially in his second term when no longer dependent on Wall Street donations? Is your argument that he has been ideologically captured?

Yes! Ideologically AND aspirationally captured since childhood. His grandmother, a good woman, was a bank executive and that set his immediate predisposition. His education likely taught him that the path to success in the USA was through serving the needs of the wealthy, at least in part, and then he was virtually adopted as a young community activist on the south side of Chicago by the Pritzker family.

He facilitated the Pritzkers making hundreds of millions of dollars via 'redevelopment' of federal housing projects in south Chicago and adjoining cities. That resulted in the ouster of many longtime black community members who could no longer afford to live in the area. But he became known to the very upper class in Chicago and this paved the way for his political career in Ilinois state politics and then in national politics. And Penny Pritzker got to be Secretary of Commerce.

All through his '08 presidential bid, once he emerged as a viable candidate, he was on the phone weekly to financial sector CEOs such as Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, etc. and as soon as Bear Stern raised its bloody spectre he was assuring them that he would be there for them in a crisis if he were the president.

He could easily have ordered investigations and prosecutions for control fraud that would have led to such notables as Jon Paulson of Abacus fame and Alec Litowitz, head of Magnetar Capital of the famous Magnetar Trade. Both were the subject of SEC investigations and snactions, really slaps on the wrist. Instead we got 'regulatory forbearance' on the dubious theory that prosecuting financial criminals would further destabilize Wall Street.

Naturally, when control fraud has become the business model and rule of law no longer applies to certain people, enforcing the law will destabilize that situation. But the end result would be a much healthier economy. And that is the essence of my objection to Obama. A former professor of contitutional Law at the University of Chicago has presided over the destruction of the rule of law in US finance.

Even if all of this comes out, prosecutions result in convictions and all the gory details in lurid detail present in newspapers of record, Obama will have made out like a champ. Even if there is a cloud over his legacy, his family will forever be a part of the elite, he will have a Presidential Library that will probably outshine Clinton's, he and Michelle will retire as multimillionaires and philanthropists and his children will benefit from his legacy. And he is counting on all of this.

If you wish I can later add links to the above claims, but now need to get out to my garden before I lose the day.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 21st, 2016 at 10:16:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think some of your comments have impugned Hillary's morality, and I'm just not convinced Sanders has an edge on her there. I prefer most of his policy positions, not much else.  I'm also concerned that many progressives impugning her character are taking their cue from and carrying water for the right wing media wurlitzer. Finally, and as a general observation, I find that people who impugn their opponents characters are often guilty of the very character flaws they project onto their opponents... although I would hesitate to apply that observation onto anyone here!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 06:50:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Iraq war was one of, if not the biggest crime against humanity in my lifetime. Shouldn't that settle the morality question? Beyond any consideration of balance of forces, saying no to blatant wars of aggression is the very minimum I expect. If I can't call her evil for falling short on that very basic measure then the word has outlived its usefulness.
by generic on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 07:08:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair point, but she has the excuse of having been misled by the Bush Administration's assertion of conclusive evidence of weapons of mass destruction being in Saddam's hands. Also, as you may recall, many progressives wanted to see the back of Saddam for his dictatorial ways, torturing opponents and using poison gas on his own people. If the USA had simply toppled Saddam, organised democratic elections, and left, the invasion might have been morally defensible, if politically naive.

I think the bigger problem with Clinton and most mainstream Democrats is that they are determined never to be blind-sided by Republicans on National Security.  Remember, it was JFK and LBJ who escalated the Vietnam war. Given that the Invasion of Iraq was happening anyway, Clinton probably felt that voting for it would change nothing in practice but would secure her right flank from accusations of a lack of Patriotism whilst US Troops were under enemy fire.

It was, of course, the biggest mistake of her career and the main reason Obama beat her last time around and one of the main reasons Sanders has been so successful this year. I can also see why it has resulted in many (most?) progressives seeing her as (at best) unprincipled in her approach to politics. She provided aid and comfort to the Bush regime at a time when progressives opposed to the war were at their most beleaguered.

In her world view, a vote against the war at that stage ran the risk of marginalising her in US politics for ever more for no tangible benefit in terms of stopping the invasion.  She clearly didn't anticipate the monumental fuck-up the Bush regime would make of the war, and most progressives have doubted her judgement ever since.   But (in my view), it is not progressives who will determine the result of the next Presidential Election: they will however determine the margin of her victory, the degree to which Democrats can control Congress, and the general policy direction of her administration. That is, if they can hold their noses and vote for her in the first place.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 07:49:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair point, but she has the excuse of having been misled by the Bush Administration's assertion of conclusive evidence of weapons of mass destruction being in Saddam's hands.

Nah. If you are mislead into killing 100k people you don't go to the guy's parties afterwards for a hugout.

And more importantly: Not only should everyone in politics notice the PR waving off the selling pitch. No, even if Saddam had WMDs that is in no way or form a valid Casus Belly. Burning down a country because it could at some point do you serious harm is not defensible.
The problem with a nuclear first strike against the USSR was not just that it might not have worked. This is just the same on a smaller scale.

by generic on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 08:02:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Millions and millions of Americans, even liberal ones, politicians or ordinary Joes & Janes were mislead in exactly the same way. Does it make Hillary stand-out as particularly evil?
Cos' it looks to me like she has a lot of company.
by Bernard on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 09:43:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apples and oranges. Those who voted were among the most informed and knowledgeable in the USA. I expect that well over half of the Republicans suspected that the 'evidence' had been cooked. CIA analysts who were outraged by the distortion had almost certainly talked to many members and staffers off the record and there was plenty of contrary opinion in the press from former insiders casting doubt on these claims. Colin Powel and his top aides knew that the 'evidence' he put into the record was, at best, questionable. For him, for Hillary, for Barrack and for everyone the decision of the vote was based on far more than just the credibility of the 'evidence'. The 'evidence' was just a tissue of cover for what the administration wanted to do and most understood this to some degree. Some wanted to invade and they were fine with whatever it took to 'do the right thing' and be 'real men'. Most were concerned about the immediate political cost of opposing the administration on this issue. A few were more concerned about the long term consequences than the immediate political cost, Bernie and Barrack were among them, Hillary was not.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 12:40:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My point is not that this makes Hillalry 'evil'. My point is that it shows her to value operational factors over principle. To me that is a character weakness I would prefer not to see in a potential president. But we don't always have a clear choice. That is what makes the present situation so painful. Between Sanders and Clinton there is a significant difference on this very subject and we are making, IMO, the wrong choice.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 12:44:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For me it means H. Clinton does not question, does not think of the long or medium term, but will always do the immediate convenient.  That has been a failing of Democratic politicians in general as evidenced by Presidents B. Clinton and Obama.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 01:17:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is more a case of those at the top of their respective political trees choosing which battles to fight and which ones to avoid because the risk reward ratio ain't great.  For relative outsiders like Bernie the risks are much lesser - they have less to lose - and the possible rewards are much greater.  It depends on where you are trying to build your constituency - in the centre or on the left of the party. Vermont, being relatively liberal, tends to reward those further to the left of the spectrum. Hillary was trying to build a constituency right across the country and had less room for manoeuvre.  Of course Bush screwed up so royally that the whole Dem party moved to the left in Bernie's direction leaving the tide at a low ebb for Hillary.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 02:12:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that this year has been the most favorable in four decades for a progressive/sociallist agenda should not diminish his accomplishment, such as it is, or his integrity and 40 year consistency of belief and advocacy. Thankfully, there was at least one politician willing and able to rise to this occasion. Hopefully, he will have shown the way for many more over the next two, four, six and eight years.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 04:22:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Millions of Americans don't have the experience of working in the WH and having high level access. In this position you really should know how a sales pitch looks like.
Of course millions have been tricked. The method was tried and true. You tell the people they have been attacked and now it is time to rally around the flag. Worked in my grandparents time. Never really got the chance to talk with them about it. I hear my grandfather was a strong opponent but then afterwards everyone was in the resistance. And I think we shouldn't forget the attacked part because it so seldom gets brought up. Anyone remember the Anthrax letters that by all accounts were sourced from US weapon stocks?
So it is quite natural that the government got its population behind its war, however it doesn't follow that they were individually entirely blameless. Just as my grandparents weren't entirely blameless.
More importantly how many of those millions are running for high office on their experience? Sure, as you say at the time it was politically difficult to do anything else. But does "I killed them to further my career" really sound like a good excuse to you?
And that discounts her later position on interventions by military force. Singular because as far as I know she was for all of them.
by generic on Mon May 23rd, 2016 at 04:16:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't know about the USA, but in Ireland, funerals are places where weapons and enmities are left at the door. You are expected to be at least polite, if not openly welcoming and sympathetic.  As for US foreign policy the majority would be even more belligerent, I suspect. Other than the isolationists, Obama stands out for his failure to actually invade anywhere - although he came close in Libya.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 11:22:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
Other than the isolationists, Obama stands out for his failure to actually invade anywhere - although he came close in Libya.
Don't worry: Sarkozy was eager to pick this one up.
by Bernard on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 11:50:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I can't call her evil for falling short on that very basic measure then the word has outlived its usefulness.

At the very least it makes her highly suspect morally. IMO she always places political expediency at the top of her priority list. I doubt she really understands why anyone smart would do anything else. Ever.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 08:16:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And then it becomes the main task of progressives to ensure that it becomes politically expedient for her to appoint progressives to powerful positions, and to pursue progressive priorities and policies.

The Blue dogs have tended to control how far Democratic Presidents can go in pursuing progressive policies.  But what if they progressive caucus were to outnumber the Blue dogs, or even failing that, if they held the balance of power and voted down any Hillary proposals not to their liking?

Hillary would then be faced with a choice: look for Republican backing for her proposals, or accept that it is progressives who hold the balance of power and who must be appeased.

It seems unlikely that Republicans would ever support any of her proposals, which leaves her with only one choice...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 08:54:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US Progressives lack political power to accomplish anything if the president isn't a Democrat.  They lack the political will to oppose the president if he is a Democrat.  Thus they can and are ignored.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 01:20:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Past time for the worm to turn.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 04:24:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When it's from the right it's a Wurlitzer, when from the left it's righteous indignation. ;)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat May 21st, 2016 at 02:49:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But don't forget you were also pleasantly surprised by Obama.

Funny, I vividly recall being bitterly disappointed in him by the summer of '09 when it became clear he was going to do virtually nothing about cleaning up the financial sector. Then about him so resolutely tamping down any possibility of a single payer form of Medicare reform and sticking us with a giant gift to the medical insurance industry and big pharma. And I was disappointed that, after the campaign, he simply turned his campaign machine off rather than having a continuing campaign to help enact his agenda as he had implied he would do. Those things, IMO, contributed to the Democrat's loss of the House in 2010 and I always have thought he preferred it that way.

I had given him the benefit of the doubt until then although I only supported him after he won the nomination. I didn't trust his vague rhetoric, with good reason, as it turned out. And I voted for him again in 2012. He was far preferable to Romney - a low bar.

But I did and do still like the way he has handled foreign policy, his major strength as president, IMO. And I cannot help but like the man in so many ways. He is such a relief after the odious GWB.

I have said that I would be happy to be pleasantly surprised by Hillary, even though I doubt it on all of the things I feel are most important. Thus she has a lot of room to surprise me.

I would note in closing that Robert Reich, always a voice of sanity, in his recent FB post on what Sanders Supporters should do now even endorsed the formation of a third party after 2016 as a way to force change on the Democrats for the sake of the nation and world:

3. Never, ever give up fighting against the increasing concentration of wealth and power at the top, which is undermining our democracy and distorting our economy. That means, if Hillary Clinton is elected, I urge you to turn Bernie's campaign into a movement - even a third party - to influence elections at the state level in 2018 and the presidency in 2020. No movement to change the allocation of power succeeds easily or quickly. We are in this for the long haul.
 

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 21st, 2016 at 12:41:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah like getting arrested for noble causes, studying politics as Senate outsider for decades before seeing his moment, mostly voting well, (if somewhat cagily and equivocally on occasion. You want perfection maybe? That ain't chopped liver.
That's colours nailed pretty firmly to mast, wouldn't you say?
Metaphor salad.. for side dish. :)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat May 21st, 2016 at 02:55:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not convinced that Sanders is morally superior to Hillary.

I don't think Sanders is a saint, but he might as well be in comparison to most of his peers in the Senate and in Congress. Now let me be clear, I consider personal integrity and a strong desire for justice for all, and a sense that one is impelled to act on such principles as being morally superior to just doing what ever is most expedient for your immediate needs. Of people currently active in US national politics I would place Sanders at the top and Trump tied with Cruz for the bottom of that scale. Would you say they are all of equivalent moral worth? I would place Hillary in the middle, perhaps a bit below the mean. How would you rate her? By the way, I would rate Ron Paul at least halfway between the mean and the top, regardless of what I think of his politics.
 

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 21st, 2016 at 07:35:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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