Thursday, March 31, 2016


In order to understand why Bernie Sanders is the true Democratic front-runner, and why Hillary Clinton should concede the nomination to Sanders, take a closer look at the FBI’s email investigation. Few people know more about the FBI probe than Jason Leopold, and his latest piece in Vice explains the potential repercussions of this ongoing saga.

In an article titled “FBI Reveals New Details About Its Probe Into Hillary Clinton’s Use of Private Email Server,” Leopold highlights the FBI’s response to a recent court order:

The declaration addresses why the FBI can’t publicly release any records about its probe in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by VICE News…

But the FBI, which consulted with attorneys within its Office of General Counsel “who are providing legal support to the pending investigation,” cannot divulge any of them without “adversely affecting” the integrity of its investigation…

Hardy noted that the FBI’s probe was launched after the bureau received a referral from inspectors general of the State Department and the intelligence community about Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Democrats are in denial about the election: As long as Hillary Clinton risks FBI indictment, Bernie Sanders is the real front runner -


There are now 2000 gene therapies where you’ll take a little piece of engineered DNA, put it inside of a viral coat so all the viral genes are gone, and you can put in, say, a human gene or you can have nonviral delivery, but the important thing is that you’re delivering it either inside of the human or you’re taking cells out of the human and putting the DNA in and then putting them back in. But you can do very powerful things like curing inherited diseases, curing infectious diseases. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


After a trio of landslide wins in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii on Saturday — the best single day of his campaign — Bernie Sanders narrowed his delegate deficit with Hillary Clinton. But he still has a lot of work to do. Sanders trails Clinton by 228 pledged delegates and will need 988 more — a bit under 57 percent of those available — to finish with the majority.

That alone wouldn’t be enough to assure Sanders of the nomination because superdelegates could stillswing things Hillary Clinton’s way in a close race, but put aside that not-so-small complication for now. The much bigger problem is that it isn’t easy to see where Sanders gets those 988 delegates.
If you’re a Sanders supporter, you might look at the map and see some states — Oregon, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Montana and so forth — that look pretty good for Sanders, a lot like the ones that gave Sanders landslide wins earlier in the campaign. But those states have relatively few delegates. Instead, about 65 percent of the remaining delegates are in California, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland — all states where Sanders trails Clinton in the polls and sometimes trails her by a lot.
To reach a pledged delegate majority, Sanders will have to win most of the delegates from those big states. A major loss in any of them could be fatal to his chances. He could afford to lose one or two of them narrowly, but then he’d need to make up ground elsewhere — he’d probably have to win California by double digits, for example.
Sanders will also need to gain ground on Clinton in a series of medium-sized states such as Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky and New Mexico. Demographics suggest that these states could be close, but close won’t be enough for Sanders. He’ll need to win several of them easily.
None of this is all that likely. Frankly, none of it is at all likely. If the remaining states vote based on the same demographic patterns established by the previous ones, Clinton will probably gain further ground on Sanders. If they vote as state-by-state polling suggests they will, Clinton could roughly double her current advantage over Sanders and wind up winning the nomination by 400 to 500 pledged delegates.
But things can change, and polls can be wrong — and so it’s worth doing the math to see what winning 988 more delegates would look like for Sanders. Call it a path-of-least-implausibility. If you think Sanders can meet or exceed these targets, then you can say with a straight face that you think he’ll win the nomination. If you think they’re too good to be true, then you can’t. Here’s the Bernie-miracle path I came up with:
New York247125128Sanders+4
New Jersey1266167Sanders+6
Puerto Rico603033Sanders+10
New Mexico341818Sanders+6
West Virginia291719Sanders+31
Rhode Island241316Sanders+33
South Dakota201214Sanders+40
District of Columbia2089Clinton+10
North Dakota181114Sanders+56
Virgin Islands73.54Sanders+14
Sanders’s unlikely path to a pledged delegate majority
To repeat, these are not predictions. On the contrary, they describe a rose-colored-glasses scenario for Sanders that I consider to be very unlikely. To develop them, I started with our original pledged delegate targets for Sanders. Those already look optimistic for Sanders, who has underperformed his delegate targets in most primaries (he’s beaten them in most caucuses, but there aren’t many caucuses left on the calendar).
But for Sanders to get a pledged delegate majority, even our original targets aren’t enough now — they’d leave him 92 delegates short. So I kept tweaking these numbers upward until I got Sanders to 988 delegates. I was a bit more conservative about giving him extra delegates in states with substantial black or Hispanic populations, since Sanders has tended to underperform our original projections in those states. But mostly, I had to be very liberal about those extra delegates.
I assumed Sanders would narrowly win New York, for instance, even though he’s trailed Clinton by margins ranging from 21 to 48 percentage points in recent polls there. Likewise, I had him winningPennsylvania and New Jersey, where polls also have him down by 20-something points. And I had Sanders winning by a landslide, 15-point margin in California, even though he’s behind in polls there also. (Because Democrats’ delegate allocations are highly proportional, it’s easy to approximate the popular vote from the delegate count and vice versa.)
I assumed Sanders would win Oregon by the same enormous margin that he won Washington, even though Oregon is a primary while Washington held caucuses. I gave a blowout win to Sanders in Kentucky, even though neighboring Ohio and Tennessee easily went for Clinton.
The most recent poll of Wisconsin, which votes next week, has Clinton winning there. I ignored it and assumed Sanders will win by 16 percentage points instead. The demographics do look pretty good for Sanders in the Badger State.
But is Connecticut a good state for Sanders? I’m not so sure: Its demographics are more Ralph Lauren than L.L. Bean. I gave it to Sanders anyway.
I assumed Sanders would win Puerto Rico because it’s a caucus, even though Clinton has much of the party establishment behind her. New Mexico? Nearby Arizona and Texas went overwhelmingly for Clinton, but let’s give it to Sanders.
You get the picture. It’s not hard to imagine Sanders meeting these super-optimistic projections in a few of the states. But he’ll have to do so in all of the states, or else he’ll have even more ground to make up elsewhere. If he loses Wisconsin, for instance, or only narrowly wins it, that’s more votes he’ll need to win in New York or California.
The good news for Sanders is that this scenario would represent such a massive sea-change that superdelegates really might have to reconsider their positions. You might even say it would require a revolution, a profound rejection of Clinton and the status quo.
Originally published at FiveThirtyEight.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Three things Bernie Sanders needs to do to win the Democratic nomination | US news | The Guardian

Delegate tracker: Democrats

Democratic presidential hopefuls need to win 2,383 delegates to secure the party's nomination. These include pledged delegates, which are awarded through state primary and caucus votes, and super delegates, which consist of party elites who can vote however they choose.
2,383 delegates needed for nomination
469 superdelegates
Source: AP | Last updated: 29 Mar 2016, 8:53am

Bolster his share of the vote
The first of those is simple enough in theory: increase his vote share. Unlike the incredibly complex set of Republican regulations, for Democratic candidates, a higher number of votes translates more directly to a higher number of delegates. After his losses on 15 March, Sanders needed to get an average vote share of 60%to overtake Clinton’s delegate numbers. Since 15 March, Sanders has had a string of big wins in Idaho (where he got 78% of the vote), in Utah (79%), Alaska (82%), Hawaii (70%), and Washington (73%).

Winning? Make sure we know

Aside from increasing the percentage of votes he wins, the second thing that Sanders needs to do is increase public awareness of his wins (and minimise nitpicking coverage – like this article – which adds caveats to his successes).Writing in the New York Times on Monday, Yamiche Alcindor describes a recent phone call from Sanders in which he told the political reporter: “I don’t want to disturb the media narrative too much, but don’t write us off.”

Convince the superdelegates
The third thing on Sanders’ nomination checklist will only become important if he can successfully check off the first two – if the Democratic race gets sufficiently close, he’ll need to convince some of the superdelegates to choose him over Hillary Clinton. There are a lot of them to convince.

As heartbreaking as Sanders’ likely second-place finish may be for his supporters, they would seem to have little grounds to blame the process. The process was the same in 2008, and Clinton, who ran a closer race then against Barack Obama than Sanders is running against Clinton, accepted her defeat before many supporters were ready to.

Yet Woolley, the political scientist, agreed that Sanders had “momentum” in a few important senses.

“I think it’s clear he’s got enough momentum to do some key things,” Woolley said. “He’s got enough momentum to keep his fundraising going. He’s got enough momentum to keep the media interested in the contest. He’s got enough momentum to make potential voters listen to him, when he comes to campaign here.”


According to Money Nation, Hillary Clinton’s net worth is $31.3 million. Her husband, Bill Clinton, has an estimated net worth of $80 million. A Forbes report found there are just over 5,000 households in the United States with a net worth of over $100 million; the Clintons are one of them. Yet despite being one of the wealthiest people in the country, Ms. Clinton wants voters to believe her interests lie with the middle class.

Ms. Clinton’s wealth has detached her from reality, particularly in regard to her definition of the middle class. With her promise not to raise taxes on households making $250,000 or less a year, she ignores the most recent U.S. Census data, which find the median household income is $53,657. Comparing the struggles of a household that makes $53,000 annually to one making nearly $250,000 annually suggests that Ms. Clinton has a complete misunderstanding of what middle class in America actually means.

The middle class is working paycheck to paycheck, balancing mortgages or rent and—in many cases—student loans, car loans and credit card debt. Middle class living expenses pile up to the point where, at the end of the month, even the most frugal households are fortunate to have anything leftover.

A report by the Social Security Administration found more than half of Americans earn less than $30,000 a year. According to data from the Tax Policy Center, as of 2012, households with incomes over $200,000 made up only 4 percent of households in America; far from being middle class.


The Clintons are no strangers to media attention, and certainly no strangers to scandal. During his tenure as President, Bill Clinton implicated himself, and his wife, in several controversial ‘affairs’… However, with the spotlight now on Hillary and her presidential campaign, pundits and opponents have rebuked the former First Lady for her proven track record of scandalous dealings, both past and present. 

She may just have a knack for being in the wrong place, at the wrong time; or maybe there’s more to Hillary’s past… Do these scandals make Hillary fit for the role of Commander in Chief? Check out Hillary’s 16 most notorious scandals, and decide for yourself.


Jesus Christ came to this earth and gave His life so that all who believe in His name would once again be able to look like God, to love like God and to live with God forever.

And so it is with the tongue. What a small instrument it is compared to the rest of our bodies, but as James 3 tells us, how great a fire can be set ablaze by the words it produces! When God spoke the commandment, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain” (Exodus 20:7, NKJV), He was issuing a very serious warning to all people who in any way misuse His name.

The 2016 annual meeting for the Organization of American Historians (OAH) will feature a session focusing upon the provocative book One Nation Under God by Princeton history professor Keven M. Kruse. In One Nation Under God, Kruse argues that the idea of the United States as a Christian nation does not find its origins with the founding of the United States or the writing of the Constitution. Rather, the notion of America as specifically consecrated by God to be a beacon for liberty was the work of corporate and religious figures opposed to New Deal statism and interference with free enterprise. The political conflict found in this concept of Christian libertarianism was modified by President Dwight Eisenhower who advocated a more civic religion of “one nation under God” to which both liberals and conservatives might subscribe.

Monday, March 28, 2016


You have to see this Wall Street Journal headline from late last week:

Unfortunately for the Clinton campaign's plans, voters got in the way. We've won six of the last seven contests, and took 82% of the vote in Alaska, 73% in Washington, and 70% in Hawaii.

Here’s the truth: the Clinton campaign and their allies in the financial and political establishment are desperately trying to write us off. Their goal is to get you to stop fighting — to stop volunteering, to stop donating — because they know that if we continue to stand together, we can win.

Now we have to focus on next Tuesday's primary in Wisconsin, another large state where we can do very well.

Make a $3 contribution to Bernie’s campaign ahead of our critical FEC fundraising deadline, and we are going to win Wisconsin and move one step close to the Democratic nomination.

For the past several years, Wisconsin has been ground zero for worker’s rights, women’s rights, and voting rights. Those people cannot afford to wait for incremental change — they need a president who will think big about the transformational change required of this moment. And that is what Bernie will deliver.


Hillary's email scandal is an example of what happens when a person who is in a position of power and accountable for their actions uses poor judgement.

Rather than follow the rules and obey the law Hillary decided to ignore both for what she said was "convenience." Poor judgement? Yes! Reckless behavior? Yes! Presidential? No!

Hillary Clinton’s email problems began in her first days as secretary of state. She insisted on using her personal BlackBerry for all her email communications, but she wasn’t allowed to take the device into her seventh-floor suite of offices, a secure space known as Mahogany Row.

For Clinton, this was frustrating. As a political heavyweight and chief of the nation’s diplomatic corps, she needed to manage a torrent of email to stay connected to colleagues, friends and supporters. She hated having to put her BlackBerry into a lockbox before going into her own office.

Her aides and senior officials pushed to find a way to enable her to use the device in the secure area. But their efforts unsettled the diplomatic security bureau, which was worried that foreign intelligence services could hack her BlackBerry and transform it into a listening device.

On Feb. 17, 2009, less than a month into Clinton’s tenure, the issue came to a head. Department security, intelligence and technology specialists, along with five officials from the National Security Agency, gathered in a Mahogany Row conference room. They explained the risks to Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, while also seeking “mitigation options” that would accommodate Clinton’s wishes.

“The issue here is one of personal comfort,” one of the participants in that meeting, Donald Reid, the department’s senior coordinator for security infrastructure, wrote afterward in an email that described Clinton’s inner circle of advisers as “dedicated [BlackBerry] addicts.”

Clinton used her BlackBerry as the group continued looking for a solution. But unknown to diplomatic security and technology officials at the department, there was another looming communications vulnerability: Clinton’s Black­Berry was digitally tethered to a private email server in the basement of her family home, some 260 miles to the north in Chappaqua, N.Y., documents and interviews show.

Those officials took no steps to protect the server against intruders and spies, because they apparently were not told about it.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


Hillary is a master at "polispeak" saying what the voters want to hear while at the same time pandering to those who exploit them;

Hillary Clinton delivered a much-touted policy speech at the New America Foundation in Washington, where she talked passionately about the financial plight of Americans who "are still barely getting by, barely holding on, not seeing the rewards that they believe their hard work should have merited." 

She bemoaned the fact that the slice of the nation's wealth collected by the top 1 percent—or 0.01 percent—has "risen sharply over the last generation," and she denounced this "throwback to the Gilded Age of the robber barons." 

Her speech, in which she cited the various projects of the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation that address economic inequality, was widely compared to the rhetoric of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the unofficial torchbearer of the populist wing of the Democratic Party. 

At the time it was Hillary, test-driving a theme for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, sticking up for the little guy and trash-talking the economic elites. She decried the "shadow banking system that operated without accountability" and caused the financial crisis that wiped out millions of jobs and the nest eggs, retirement funds, and college savings of families across the land. Yet, when all three Clintons held a daylong confab with donors to their foundation, the site for this gathering will be the Manhattan headquarters of Goldman Sachs.

Goldman was a key participant in that "shadow banking system" that precipitated the housing market collapse and the consequent financial debacle that slammed America's middle class. (A system that was unleashed in part due to deregulation supported by the Clinton administration in the 1990s.) This investment house might even be considered one of the robber barons of Wall Street. In its 2011 report, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a congressional created panel set up to investigate the economic meltdown, approvingly cited a financial expert who concluded that Goldman practices had "multiplied the effects of the collapse in [the] subprime" mortgage market that set off the wider financial implosion that nearly threw the nation into a depression.

Hillary Clinton's shift from declaimer of Big Finance shenanigans to collaborator with Goldman—the firm has donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation—prompts an obvious question: Can the former secretary of state cultivate populist cred while hobnobbing with Goldman and pocketing money from it and other Wall Street firms? 

Last year, she gave two paid speeches to Goldman Sachs audiences. (Her customary fee is $200,000 a speech.)

In recent years, Goldman Sachs has hardly exemplified the values and principles Clinton earnestly hailed in her speech. A few reminders:

In April 2011, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who chairs the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, released a report, based on a two-year investigation, that concluded that Goldman had misled clients and Congress about its investments in securities related to the housing market. 

Levin called on the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate if Goldman had violated the law by selling complicated securities to customers without informing the buyers that Goldman would pocket profits if these financial products dropped in value. Goldman denied the charge, but the previous year Goldman had paid $550 million in a civil settlement with the SEC regarding its sale of these securities. (When the case was first filed, the SEC maintained that Goldman had committed fraud by creating and peddling a mortgage investment that was secretly designed to fail.)

In March 2012, Greg Smith, a top Goldman executive who was resigning, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times slamming the screw-the-client culture that permeated Goldman: "To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money…I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It's purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them…It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. 

Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as 'muppets,' sometimes over internal e-mail." The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission's report also described Goldman as a first-class predator: "Despite the first of Goldman's business principles—that 'our clients' interests always come first'—documents indicate that the firm targeted less-sophisticated customers in its efforts to reduce subprime exposure." In other words, the firm knowingly peddled junk to suckers who trusted it. The report quoted an expert who noted that Goldman's actions were "the most cynical use of credit information that I have ever seen" and who compared Goldman's wheeling-and-dealing to "buying fire insurance on someone else's house and then committing arson."

Last year, the New York Times published a fascinating investigative article that revealed how Goldman Sachs and other financial firms engaged in shrewd maneuvers to drive up the cost of aluminum. This rigging of the market, the paper reported, "ultimately costs consumers billions of dollars." That did not help struggling middle-class families.

Given Hillary Clinton's Warrenesque address at the New America Foundation, I asked a spokesmen for the potential 2016 candidate if there was anything incongruous about her association with Goldman, and he forwarded this statement:

The support the Clinton Foundation receives from companies such as Goldman Sachs, organizations and individual donors helps maximize the impact of our philanthropic work. This support is helping enterprise partnerships in South America that are creating jobs; efforts to improve access to early childhood education in the U.S.; development programs that help small holder farmers in Africa; and rebuilding and economic development efforts in Haiti.

Goldman Sachs has been a long time supporter of the Clinton Global Initiative where they have advanced a commitment designed to support 10,000 women across the world through business training and education. We are grateful for their support.

A longtime Hillary Clinton adviser said, "She's not giving any more speeches to Goldman Sachs."

Clinton's relationship with Goldman Sachs is not unique. Bill and Hillary Clinton have always nurtured cozy ties with Wall Street—in terms of policies and funds-chasing (for their campaigns and the foundation). The chief economic guru of the Clinton administration was Robert Rubin, a former Goldman Sachs chairman, and the financial deregulation and free-trade pacts of the Clinton years have long ticked off their party's populists. 

In his new book, former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner recalls visiting Bill Clinton at his Harlem office and asking his advice, as Geithner puts it, on "how to navigate the populist waters" and respond to the American public's anger about bailouts and Wall Street. The former president didn't seem to have much sympathy for these popular sentiments and replied by referring to the CEO of Goldman: "You could take Lloyd Blankfein into a dark alley and slit his throat, and it would satisfy them for about two days. Then the bloodlust would rise again."



When asked why she was paid some much money for a couple of speeches to Wall Street bankers Hillary's response was "I don't know, that's what they offered" Read more; Hillary Clinton is going to really regret saying these 4 words about Goldman Sachs

When asked to disclose what she said in those speeches (release the transcripts) she said, "only if everyone else in the race releases theirs" (Bernie already did)  sounding much more like a follower than a leader. Mrs. Clinton, Show Voters Those Transcripts


Hillary must think Americans are stupid if she expects them to settle with the non-explanations she has offered about what looks like very serious differences between what she says and what she does.

She says she is tough on Wall Street yet takes obscene amounts of money from Wall Street bankers for speeches she insists on keeping secret. Pandering is not being tough.

She says she will "rein in" Wall Street rogues and punish those that break the law but her actions say that Hillary is the one being reined in by Wall Street bankers using money as the lure which is the only rational explanation of why so much money ($675,000.00) exchanged hands for nothing more than a few hours of speeches.

In an op-ed headlined "Mrs. Clinton, Show Voters Those Transcripts," the New York Times editorial board gets to the heart of why Hillary Clinton's insistence that she will release her paid speech transcripts when everyone else in the race does makes no sense.

They write:

On Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton further complained, “Why is there one standard for me, and not for everybody else?”

The only different standard here is the one Mrs. Clinton set for herself, by personally earning $11 million in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 for 51 speeches to banks and other groups and industries ...

... Her conditioning her releases on what the Republicans might or might not do is mystifying. Republicans make no bones about their commitment to Wall Street deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Mrs. Clinton is laboring to convince struggling Americans that she will rein in big banks, despite taking their money.

The New York Times just perfectly explained Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speech problem


And it's "Berning" out of control;

In a new Bloomberg poll conducted by Selzer & Co., Bernie Sanders has a slight national edge over Hillary Clinton, earning 49 percent of support to Clinton's 48. This is only the second poll ever to show Sanders with a lead of any sort, and is at odds with other recent polls showing Clinton with a double-digit lead. But it's clear that it accurately reflects one facet of the Democratic race: Sanders and Clinton are in a tough, evenly fought contest and will likely continue to be.*

What's interesting about the new Selzer poll is why the race is so close. In theory, Clinton should have run away with it. This was the thinking a year ago today, when Clinton had a 54-point lead over Sanders. But over time that lead narrowed and narrowed and narrowed, leading us to this point. The reason? The economy.

 Bernie Sanders pulls even with Hillary Clinton in a new poll. Because it’s the economy, stupid.

Saturday, March 26, 2016



It has been an amazing year for outsiders. Within the Republican Party, a real estate mogul with longstanding ties to the Democratic Party is on the verge of winning the Republican nomination for the presidency, sending shockwaves through the party hierarchy and calling into question almost everything the country thought it knew about what was necessary to win a modern presidential nomination contest. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist from Vermont, has given the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party establishment a similar jolt, as he has managed, much as Donald Trump has done in the Republican contest, to highlight the gap between party elites and large segments of the electorate who are completely turned off to “politics as usual.” Both have tapped into a deep populist resentment—and even anger—against the political and economic (and in Trump’s case, cultural) elites who are viewed as dominating the political landscape. But even after his Utah and Idaho wins on Tuesday, Sanders still trails Clinton by nearly 750 delegates, calling his possible nomination into question.

Sanders and Trump are the symbols of a grassroots rebellion that cuts across traditional party allegiances, and suggests that we might be in the early stages of a new political alignment. From Clinton’s standpoint, the events of the last several weeks must seem like déjà vu all over again. After losing to a Democratic Party newcomer in 2008 who went on to win two terms in the White House, she must certainly believe she is snake bit. Her campaign has weaknesses that even a badly divided Republican Party may still be able to exploit (notably the lack of enthusiasm amongst younger voters)—if it can get its act together.

Of course, Sanders is hardly in the same position as Trump, as the latter appears very much on the verge of winning the Republican nomination, in spite of desperate efforts by the party establishment to halt this runaway train. If “normal” political dynamics were to prevail over the next few months, it is nearly impossible to see how Sanders could win the Democratic nomination. He certainly had a good run, winning New Hampshire and Michigan, nearly winning Missouri and Illinois, and doing well in a few other caucus states—like Utah and Idaho by massive margins. But Clinton is far ahead in the delegate count, she has an almost complete lock on the super delegates, and there is little reason to think that fundamental dynamic will change.

Sanders almost surely sees things somewhat differently, though—or, at least, he should see things differently. To the extent Sanders sees himself, like Trump, as the leader of a broader social movement, he has absolutely no reason to quit. Nor is there any reason to think he will quit. Before the end of the primary season, Sanders has the opportunity to continue the process of remaking the Democratic Party in a much more populist and progressive direction, creating in effect a full-fledged, left-wing social Democratic Party much closer to his ideals and those of groups like Occupy Wall Street with their anti-corporate, anti-Wall Street focus. Sanders supporters view Clinton and the elites within the Democratic Party as irretrievably beholden to Wall Street, multinational corporations, and high technology. Sanders sees himself as working toward something more important than a presidential nomination, but rather, reshaping the contours of American politics for the next several decades. And, when Sanders supporters look at Clinton, they are likely to see, fairly or not, someone interested in the acquisition of power for the sake of power.

Sanders still has substantial opportunities to continue to advance his cause over the next few months. Following the Western Super Tuesday, the nomination fight has a bit of a hiatus, with the next primary halting until April 5 in Wisconsin. Madison should be an electoral gold mine for Sanders, and even if he doesn’t end up carrying Wisconsin, he will surely put on a respectable showing. Indeed, while polling has been rather sparse in Wisconsin, one just-released survey by Emerson College shows Clinton and Sanders neck and neck, with Clinton leading by just 6 points (5% margin of error).

While Clinton will assuredly win New York, Sanders should do well in a number of the states following New York on April 26 (Connecticut and Rhode Island, and possibly Pennsylvania), plus California on June 7, the biggest prize of all. Of course, by then Clinton is likely to have long since wrapped up the nomination since she begins the final stretch run with a massive delegate lead, but Sanders’ continuation in the race will give added credibility to his cause and give him additional clout at the convention in shaping the party platform. In order to pacify Sanders’ supporters, Clinton may find it the better part of valor to go along with much, if not necessarily all, of what Sanders and his people want. Seemingly arcane fights over platforms become fights about the future of the party, and so for Sanders, the stakes are high.

But there are much more pragmatic and short-term reasons for Sanders to stay in the race. It is something Democrats seem averse to talking about (and has Republicans salivating) but remains the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the room: Sometime in the next several weeks, it’ll be evident what will come of the FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails, and the much-less discussed Clinton Foundation controversies, the latter questioning whether Clinton, in her capacity as secretary of state, helped promote the Foundation in illegal ways.

In the very unlikely event that the Justice Department indicted Clinton, clearly all bets are off. It would be unlikely for Clinton to survive such a blow, in which case Sanders would be extraordinarily well positioned to get the nomination. Yes, there is talk that the party elites would turn to Joe Biden or even Elizabeth Warren in such an eventuality, but would the party really nominate someone who had not participated in the primaries when there is a legitimate contender waiting in the wings who has been through the process? Just as many Republicans worry that such a move by anti-Trump forces could completely fracture the party, Democrats who have their wits about them must surely be pondering the very same possibility for their own side.

Now, the chances of a Clinton indictment are probably exceedingly small, unless there is evidence uncovered by the FBI that hasn’t been in the public eye. But even were the FBI to recommend an indictment, the chances of the Justice Department actually prosecuting seem somewhere between slim and none. But assuming no indictment, the very spectacle of word leaking out that the FBI had been rebuffed in its recommendation of indictment, or if one or more Clinton aides get legally entangled in the server controversy, Clinton could be so damaged that her prospects against even someone like Trump in the general election would be seriously compromised. Under those circumstances, the party might then decide that Sanders is basically the only game left in town. Will any of these possibilities occur? There are only a few who know (FBI Director James Comey, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and President Obama, among a handful of others), and they aren’t talking. Anything less than complete exoneration of Clinton and her staff will leave her vulnerable to attack from Republicans, if not from Sanders himself.

No one would have thought even just a few months ago that the 2016 presidential contest would develop as it has. And with the general election still more than seven months away, there are almost assuredly more surprises in store for the candidates—and the voters. The left-wing social movement hasn’t flamed out yet—quite the opposite—so if you are Bernie Sanders, and still have the resources to stay in the race to the end, why not hang in and see what happens?


He claims to be Christian; yet must not have read the 10 Commandments.

He wants voters to trust him yet he can't even be honest with his own wife.

What next? Are we going to get one of those "Swaggart" tear jerkers  where Ted begs the Man upstairs for forgiveness and starts punching out all those one-liners about how the Devil made him do it.

It never fails. When one of these bible-thumpin(s) Evangelicals gets caught with their pants down they use every lame excuse in the book to get a "let it slide" card from their fellow Christians.

Just so folks get it straight. It's not about sex; boring!

It's about deception or as Trump puts it, "lyin." Tellin(s) the folks what they want to hear while doin(s) what they don't want anybody to know about.

You would have thought that guys like Ted would have learned something from "Slick Willy" (Bill Clinton) when it comes to lyin(s) to folks; especially under oath.  Let's hope Ted doesn't make the same mistake.

Ted Cruz’s sex rumors: Of all the reasons Cruz shouldn’t be president, infidelity alone shouldn’t be one of them -


This One Bird for Sanders: World Peace, Political Revolution, and the Sparrow | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community


Friday, March 25, 2016


Soon after doctors at UCLA's Ronald Reagan Medical Center traced deadly infections to tainted medical scopes last year, they pressed the device maker to lend them replacements.

But Olympus Corp. refused. Instead, the Tokyo company offered to sell UCLA 35 new scopes for $1.2 million — a 28% increase in price from what it charged the university just months earlier, according to university emails obtained from a public-records request.

Olympus sales manager Vincent Hernandez told UCLA that the company's previous discounts no longer applied. "Supplies are already low, where demand is high with all academic institutions expanding their inventories," Hernandez wrote to the medical center.

The emails show how Olympus continued to push sales even as the devices it previously sold to UCLA and other medical institutions were linked to illnesses and deaths.

The messages also mark a sharp departure from what had been a close, mutually beneficial relationship between the giant device manufacturer and one of the country's most prestigious academic medical centers.

Clinton fundraiser: George Clooney table costs $353,000.00

It will cost more than four times the average income in San Francisco to have dinner next to Hillary Clinton and the Clooneys there next month.

For two seats at the head table with Clinton, George Clooney and his wife, attorney Amal Clooney, at an April 15 fundraiser, a couple must contribute or raise a whopping $353,400 — a huge ticket price for a hard-dollar fundraiser.

The Bay Area fundraiser, hosted at the home of venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, is one of two events starring the Clooneys. On April 16, Clinton and the Clooneys will reunite at the Clooney Los Angeles mansion, where tickets cost $33,400 per person to dine at the table with one of Hollywood’s most glamorous couples.

Both events raise money for the Hillary Victory Fund. While the maximum donation to a presidential campaign is $2,700 for the primary elections (plus another $2,700 for the general), the Hillary Victory Fund can accept much larger contributions because it is a so-called joint fundraising committee that is comprised of multiple committees.

In addition to Hillary for America, which is Clinton’s main campaign committee, the Hillary Victory Fund also includes the Democratic National Committee and 32 state party committees.

The maximum donation to the DNC is $33,400 a year, while the state parties each can accept donations of $10,000 a year into their federal accounts.

Clinton’s typical, non-A-list-actor fundraisers for the primary require hosts to raise $10,000 to $50,000. A fundraiser last week at the home of best-selling author John Grisham in Virginia, for instance, required co-hosts to raise $10,000.

                             Clinton fundraiser: George Clooney table costs $353k  

In the movie Oceans 11, a gang of lovable thieves successfully heist $150 million from a vault in the basement of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Fueled primarily from high-dollar donations, Hillary Clinton has raised more than that in this campaign, and is now enlisting the support of George Clooney (Danny Ocean) to pad that total at a dinner event that will cost people up to $353,400 to attend.

Now, most of us can agree that is an obscene amount of money. It’s a sum that would require an employee making the federal minimum wage to work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for more than 5 years.

Here is the truth: while tens of millions of Americans are struggling to put dinner on the table, the wealthiest people in this country have never had it so good. And the great question of this campaign is will we restore a vibrant democracy in this country, or will we slide into an oligarchy in which the economic and political life is controlled by a handful of billionaires?


That's Texas code for sleeping around just in case you didn't know.

Ted has no problem using "dirty tricks" and then disclaiming any responsibility, but goes into a complete meltdown if the tables are turned.

Unfortunately Trumpies don't go down easily as witnessed in this interaction (see video)

Trump Supporter Accuses Amanda Carpenter Of Having An Affair With Ted Cruz on CNN, Carpenter Denies | Video | RealClearPolitics 

Live on CNN Friday a Donald Trump supporter accused Ted Cruz supporter and former staffer Amanda Carpenter of having an affair with presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, referencing a National Enquirer story charging that the Texas Senator has had several extramarital affairs.

The heated argument started after Donald Trump's character was called into question when
Adriana Cohen, the Trump supporter, charged Carpenter of being one of the several women who have had affairs with Cruz.

"If we're going call Donald Trump's character into question, I would like Ted Cruz to issue a statement whether or not the National Enquirer story is true, that he's had affairs with many women, including you were named, Amanda. Will you denounce or confirm?" Cohen asked.


Looks like Hillary and Heidi have more in common than just their first names begining in H or that they are both not only strongly connected with Wall Street bankers and political power houses in their own right.
cruz tabloid

       If the stories are true Ted Cruz is in for some heavy duty repentance with his Maker.

The National Enquirer is indeed a tabloid – and as such there are various grains of salt that should be applied when reviewing anything they present.

However, that said, they have been unfortunately accurate for more than a few presidential hopefuls: Gary Hart, Jesse Jackson and John Edwards to name a few of the more infamous examples.

Beyond the story itself there’s a few presenting elements which point to a high degree of confidence, and as a consequence ‘legal avoidance’, on the publishers’ part.

Firstly, they post pictures of the collective mistresses. NE would never legally “go there” if they did not hold a very reasonable certainty the outlined players were factually part of the story.

Secondly, there’s at least one face in the group that is easily identifiable.


Just in case you forgot the first time we heard the sound was 2008 when the housing market bubble popped and Middle Class Americans found themselves being served with foreclosure notices from the very same Wall Street banks that screwed them.

Well, fast forward to 2016 and here they are again; only this time it's those big shinny SUVS that they got for nothing down and payments that will double the cost while it's value will be reduced by almost 70% in the first 5 years.

Americans with lower credit scores are falling behind on auto payments at an alarming pace.

The rate of seriously delinquent subprime car loans soared above 5% in February, according to Fitch Ratings. That's worse than during the Great Recession and the highest level since 1996.

It's a surprising development given the relative health of the overall economy. Fitch blames it on a dramatic rise in loans with lax borrowing standards that have helped fuel the recent boom in auto sales. More Americans bought new cars last year than ever before and the amount of auto loans soared beyond $1 trillion.

What this means is that Americans a driving on borrowed time and are again at great risk in losing their second most valuable asset to the real owners; the banks.

Car buyers now owe $1 trillion on their car loans, the first time they've ever owed that much.

The loan balances have been driven up by a combination of three factors -- strong car sales, rising car prices and low interest rates.

Interest rates are low. Borrowers with top credit scores can get loans for less than 3%.

"There are a lot of lending choices for consumers, a lot more competition," said Jason Laky, automotive business leader at credit agency TransUnion, which reported the record level of car loans. "That's made financing more widely available and very attractive."

New car sales are up nearly 6% so far this year, according to sales tracker Autodata.

Overall, the industry is in a position to sell a record number of cars to U.S. consumers this year.

Related: Americans buying more cars than ever

But the amount owed is up 11%, a sign of the increase in the size of car loans due to rising prices.

The average amount borrowed is about $21,700, and buyers owe nearly $18,000 on average. The average new car purchase price now stands at $32,529, according to sales tracker TrueCar. The average car loan balance is rising faster than it is for mortgage loans, according to TransUnion.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Bloomberg Politics National Poll: Democrats Evenly Split Over Clinton, Sanders - Bloomberg Politics

More than halfway through a nomination race that she entered as the clear favorite, Hillary Clinton finds herself deadlocked with Bernie Sanders among Democrats.

Even after more than two dozen primaries and caucuses in which Clinton’s amassed a commanding lead in votes and in delegates needed to win the nomination, a Bloomberg Politics national poll found that Sanders is the first choice of 49 percent of those who have voted or plan to vote in this year’s Democratic contests, while the former secretary of state is preferred by 48 percent.

Read the questions and methodology here.


Hillary is again using the "everyone does it" defense to explain away thousands of emails she deleted from her servers claiming they were "private" and not "business." One major problem with that excuse is that Hillary was the one who censured her own emails; deciding what to keep and what to delete.
                                                   Clinton fails to calm email storm | TheHill

According to a nine-page document provided by Clinton aides, the personal account once contained 62,320 emails that were sent and received between March 2009 and February 2013, when she left President Obama’s Cabinet.

Of those emails, Clinton’s team determined that 30,490 were work-related, in part by searching for the names of top officials and for emails ending in “.gov.” Those records were provided to the State Department two months ago; the other 31,830 were apparently deleted.

“Secretary Clinton chose not to keep her private, personal emails that were not federal records,” the document states. Clinton defended the process as thorough and fair, and suggested that she has the same right to privacy as everyone else.

Hillary assumes that the Secretary of State is the same as "everyone" else; apples and oranges. 

It now turns out that there were more oranges than Hillary admitted to;

Conservative legal watchdogs have discovered new emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server dating back to the first days of her tenure as secretary of State.

The previously undisclosed February 2009 emails between Clinton from her then-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, raise new questions about the scope of emails from Clinton’s early days in office that were not handed over to the State Department for recordkeeping and may have been lost entirely.

Clinton’s presidential campaign has previously claimed that the former top diplomat did not use her personal "" account before March 2009, weeks after she was sworn in as secretary of State.

But on Thursday, the watchdog group Judicial Watch released one message from Feb. 13, 2009, in which Mills communicated with Clinton on the account to discuss the National Security Agency’s (NSA) efforts to produce a secure BlackBerry device for her to use as secretary of State.

The discovery is likely to renew questions about Clinton’s narrative about her use of the private email server, which has come under scrutiny.

Last year, news organizations reported that Obama administration officials had discovered an email chain between Clinton and retired Gen. David Petraeus that began before Clinton entered office and continued through to Feb. 1. The chain of emails began on an earlier email system that Clinton used while serving in the Senate, but was reportedly transferred on to the server.

In 2014, Clinton gave the State Department roughly 30,000 emails from her time in office that she said related to her work as the nation’s top diplomat. Another roughly 30,000 emails, which Clinton said contained personal information such as her daughter’s wedding plans and yoga routines, were deleted.

However, critics have questioned her decision to unilaterally delete the allegedly private emails without getting official input to determine which messages were personal and which were work-related.

Tom Fitton, the head of Judicial Watch, has said that he expects all of the emails to eventually come to light.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Socialist senator receives 69 percent of the vote among Americans living abroad, adding nine delegates to his total.

Down but not out, Senator Bernie Sanders scored a big win in the Democrats Abroad global primary as the contest to become the party's candidate in November's US presidential election heats up.

"We are waging a strong campaign and plan to take it all the way to the Democratic National Convention this summer," Sanders said after his win on Monday.

The party said 34,570 American citizens living abroad in 38 countries cast votes by internet, mail, and in person from March 1 to 8.

Sanders received 69 percent of the vote to earn nine of the 13 delegates at stake. Hillary Clinton won 31 percent, picking up four delegates.

It is an important victory for Sanders, who was beaten by Clinton in five states last Tuesday.

Still, Sanders continues to trail Clinton by more than 300 delegates.

Clinton now has 1,163 delegates to Sanders' 844 based on primaries and caucuses.

In the US primary system, voters select delegates supporting their candidates in each state and then the delegates vote for the candidates in parties' national conventions.

When including superdelegates, or party leaders who can support any candidate, her lead is even bigger - 1,630 to Sanders' 870. It takes 2,383 delegates to win the nomination.

Halfway into the primary season, the Democratic race now moves to western states this week that Sanders is counting on winning to cut into Clinton's lead.

On Tuesday, Democrats vote in Arizona, Idaho and Utah, with 131 delegates up for grabs; on Saturday, Alaska, Hawaii and Washington hold caucuses with 142 delegates at stake.

But who are Democrats Abroad? Where did the votes come from?

Where did these Democrats actually vote?

Votes came in from more than 170 countries. There was in-person voting at 153 voting centers in 38 different countries. Voters could also submit ballots by email, post or fax.

What were the top five countries where people participated?

United Kingdom: 13.3 percent of total (4,610 total votes)

Sanders 2,874 - Clinton 1,726

Canada: 9.5 percent (3,272 total votes)

Sanders 2,171 - Clinton 1,087

Germany: 8.4 percent (2,917 total votes)

Sanders 2,103 - Clinton 805

France: 8.4 percent (2,901 total votes)

Sanders 1,825 - Clinton: 1,058

Spain: 4.93 percent (1,706 total votes)

Sanders: 1,295 votes - Clinton: 405 votes

Clinton only won in three places

The only countries where Clinton had more votes than Sanders were the Dominican Republic (350 to 53), Nigeria (4 to 1) and Singapore (149 to 107).

Which countries had the fewest?

- 7 people cast votes in Afghanistan (5 for Sanders, 2 for Clinton)

- 5 people cast votes in Nigeria (1 for Sanders, 4 for Clinton)

What about the superdelegates?

Democrats Abroad is granted eight superdelegates. (Each carries half a vote.) That means that there are four superdelegate votes at stake — three have made verbal commitments to Clinton and one committed to Sanders. The remaining four have yet to announce. So stay tuned.


As Hillary Rodham Clinton runs for president, her political and family finances have come under scrutiny—especially the Clinton’s ties to Wall Street. Those connections are complex. They include not just her political fundraising and paid public speaking appearances, but also the Clinton Foundation and her son-in-law’s hedge fund.

Political Donations

Workers in the finance, insurance and real estate industries donated $21 million to Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Securities and investment workers were her third largest source of campaign donations behind lawyers and retirees. Citigroup Inc. (C) employees donated $765,192, more than employees of any other company. Goldman Sachs (GS) employees were next, with donations of $682,990. DLA Piper was in fourth place, Morgan Stanley (MS) was fifth and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) was sixth. However, a review of filings from Ready for Hillary, a political action committee, shows few banker or investor supporters. Clinton associate Tom Nides, a Morgan Stanley executive, has begun lining up support and donations for Hillary on Wall Street, according to a November report in Politico.

Speeches Prove Boon for Family Finances

Wall Street has also played a role in helping the Clintons rebuild their personal finances. Hillary Clinton has said that by the time President Bill Clinton’s presidency ended in January 2001, the family was “dead broke.” Between 2000 and 2008, however, Bill and Hillary had jointly earned $109 million. Some of that fortune came from the speaker circuit, where Wall Street firms have been eager clients.

In 2011 and 2012, Bill Clinton gave paid speeches at companies including American Express (AXP), Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Deutsche Bank AG (DB), Goldman Sachs, HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC), JPMorgan Chase, Jefferies LLC, the Mortgage Bankers Association, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Pershing LLC, TD Bank (TD)., the Vanguard Group, UBS AG andWells Fargo & Company (WFC). His starting fee, per speech, was $165,000. Mrs. Clinton also became a paid speaker after she left the State Department in 2013. Since then, she’s been paid a reported fee of roughly $200,000 per speech for clients including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

Critics say the speeches are a way for special interest groups to buy access to a presidential candidate. "You and I, most of the people we know, there's no way in hell we can afford to have Clinton come speak and spend time with us," Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, told Mother Jones. "This speaking engagement game is a game that favors the wealthy interests, just like our campaign finance system."
Clients Welcome to Donate to Charities

Bill Clinton started a public health non-profit in 2002 that has since grown into The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. The Clinton Global Initiative, which holds forums for international leaders, was separately incorporated from the foundation in 2010 at the request of the Obama Administration while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. After she stepped down as secretary of state, the two funds were reunited.

The Clinton Global Initiative discloses its donors by range, not by specific amount. Barclays Capital, Citi Foundation and Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund have all given the Clinton's foundation between $1 million and $5 million. Bank of America Foundation, Barclays PLC, Citigroup Inc., McKinsey & Company and UBS Wealth Management USA have given between$500,000 and $1 million. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank AG, Deutsche Bank Americas, Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Global Impact Funding Trust Inc. have all given between $251,000 and $500,000.

Son in Law’s Hedge Fund

Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Goldman Sachs alum Marc Mezvinsky, is a founding partner in Eaglevale Partners LP, a $400 million hedge fund launched in 2011. A New York Times report found that “tens of millions of dollars raised by Eaglevale can be attributed to investors with some relationship or link to the Clintons.”

Among those investors are hedge fund managers Marc Lasry and James Leitner; an overseas money management firm connected to the Rothschild family; and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein. Rock Creek Group, a Washington-based investment advisory firm that briefly sublet office space to Mrs. Clinton after she stepped down as Secretary of State, placed$13 million from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and another public pension fund with Eaglevale in late 2011 and early 2012, according to the Times. The pension funds have subsequently withdrawn their investments; CalPERS left as it moved money away from hedge funds.

The Bottom Line

The Wall Street ties that could be a great source of cash for a 2016 Clinton presidential campaign also leave her open to criticism.