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I plan to vote for Bernie Sanders in the California primary. I do have concerns about whether he’d be up to the job, though it’s mainly Clinton’s atrocious foreign policy record that clinched it, as foreign policy is largely what the job is. All things being equal (i.e. no Sanders revolution, no stampede of moderate Republican women to Clinton), what Congress sends Bernie versus what they send Hillary are going to be pretty minor. What they do with the military would I think be extremely different, and of much greater import than minor differences in domestic policy. Still, Sanders kills me with the lack of self-awareness he can display sometimes. To wage a campaign that indicts the establishment and critiques the fairness of the nominating process, and then to go ahead and argue that he’s going to win with superdelegates? These things are fundamentally opposed. Superdelegates are the establishment, and one of the least fair things of the process. The only way to read this is that Sanders is saying the only legitimate outcome is that I win. I have a bond with the people, I have the enthusiasm, therefore I should win, by any means necessary. The self-righteousness on display here is distasteful. Josh Marshall is right:

Usually in the process of ramping down a campaign or shifting its emphasis to institution building post-campaign, there are ups and downs, some contradictory hints and moves. Maybe this is just one of those. But the only net effect of this is to delay any effort at party unification and force feed supporters with a deeper sense of grievance, continuing the pattern of trying to convince them he’s been cheated or that the system is rigged when in fact the ‘riggedness’ of the system has mainly helped him.

IMO, nothing would be more rigged than superdelegates taking the nomination away from the legitimate winner, and it only makes Sanders look stupid to say that this is either desirable or at all likely.

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No doubt conservative pundits here would see this as France being France, refusing to simply accept the neoliberal magic dust that they know is best for them, but it’s not that simple. It goes to the heart of things. French society does not value homeownership–in fact, getting mortgages there is deliberately difficult. Most people rent. But on the other hand, it’s virtually impossible to fire somebody from a job, and they tend to be well-paying thanks to strong unions. Most societies tend to differ on this question of where to provide stability and where to encourage initiative, and it’s not as though either is a perfect choice. It’s a trade-off, and different cultures find a mix that works for them. But the equivalent to all this would be as if the US government suddenly cancelled the various subsidies it provides for owning a home. You’d probably see something similar to this, enough to make those Tea Party rallies look like afternoon tea. Hollande is no socialist, of course, but it often seems as though he has no identifiable principles at all, and even less political intelligence. I don’t really think the National Front is going to take over after him, but losing in the first round of the next election should be plenty humiliating.

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I’m afraid I’ll be piling on here: it says something about the political intelligence of Carly Fiorina that she jumps aboard the Cruz ship (sorry) the day after Trump essentially scuttled it by winning a handful of primaries by yuuuuge margins and putting himself on track to win the nomination. Unsurprisingly, there was an opening for first mate of the Titanic after it hit the goddamn iceberg.

It also says something about Ted Cruz that he thought she’d be an asset. Her difficulties in running various organizations, as well as her propensity for damaging gaffes, have been well-documented here. As for personality, say something about Sarah Palin, but she was at least upbeat and could be funny, though often unintentionally. Though the choice is brilliant in a way–not many people make Cruz look like a fun, competent, accomplished person by comparison, and she’s one of them.

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urlYou have got to be fucking kidding me:

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, desperate to alter the course of a presidential primary fight in which Donald J. Trump is closing in on victory, will announce Wednesday afternoon that Carly Fiorina will be his running mate if he wins the Republican nomination.

I can hardly imagine a presidential ticket I’d loathe more.  Aside from what, Stalin and Mussolini?

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Biopics are almost always total garbage, from both historical and dramatic perspectives. Nearly all of them have to lie in order to shape a person’s life into a three-act structure, huge omissions are essentially required considering the constraints of a feature film, and interesting complications are brushed aside if they interfere with feel-good nostalgia (to name one example, I strongly doubt the Folsom Prison concert finally exorcised Johnny Cash’s demons viz. dead brother). The thing rides the line between respect and exploitation closer to the latter even under the best of times. But man, the Nina Simone biopic really sounds risible even by those standards. I honestly don’t know what to think about some of the controversy around it–other movies (such as, you know, Malcolm X) have had to deal with the light skinned/dark skinned actor/historical figure issue before. But Malcolm X is fantastic, which is the point–if you’re going to court controversy, you damned well better deliver in such a way that it obliterates all of that.

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My basic take on Bernie Sanders continuing to press home the Wall Street speeches and the generally poor foreign policy judgment of Hillary Clinton is that worries about general election damage are overrated–regardless of the outcome of the primary, this is going to matter if she becomes president. If Democrats generally don’t trust her on foreign policy and warmaking, then she maybe won’t go out on a limb as often there. (Hope springs eternal, anyway, as I think “humanitarian” intervention is a core value for her, and one of very few issues she cares about enough to lose an election.) If her being close to Wall Street becomes a narrative, then she may feel it necessary to be a little tougher on them to show that she isn’t. This isn’t crazy talk either–HRC is basically the Democratic Bush 41 and his weakness among party activists led to things like the Clarence Thomas nomination. Obviously I don’t want something exactly like that, but an equivalent would be nice. And it seems unlikely that such things will turn an election between her and Trump/Cruz around in any event.

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Image pulled from Regent University’s website

It’s been too long since John Kasich lectured women on how to live their lives. So he did it again. Nice.

Funny thing, out of Trump, Cruz and Kasich, my wife hates Kasich the most by far. It’s not hard to see why. Cruz is such an obvious creep that he’s barely even threatening, and Trump definitely has major issues with powerful, successful women, no question. But Kasich just seems to have this ingrained, boundless contempt for women in general (particularly younger women) that he cannot or will not (most likely cannot) keep under wraps. He stereotypes, he condescends, he lectures, etc., all coming from a place that women are stupid and shallow and need to be told how to think and what to do by an old white dude (and a pretty ignorant one at that). Gee, one should avoid situations where alcohol is served to avoid sexual assault? Great tip! Perhaps your expertise extends to telling seminarians about things a person picks up in second grade Sunday Scho–oh damn. Incidentally, it’s easy to forget considering the image he’s presented, but Kasich is an evangelical/Religious Right type, just one a little bit better about hiding it than some.

I would argue Kasich is the most misogynistic of the three, which is pretty astonishing considering who the other two guys are. But I’d argue it nonetheless. The problem he has that Trump doesn’t have–aside from not knowing his weaknesses–is that he’s so goddamn boring that he only really gets attention when he’s being an asshole, and it clashes with the sober statesman he’s presented as.

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