The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Polling at this Time in 2015

Found this tweet, thought it was important enough to share:

Now I wouldn’t go as far as DeRosa: There probably were a few people who got it right, but the larger point is that polls have a good chance of changing a lot over time.

In the 2008 Democratic primary, things went back and forth a lot. Even once the field had been thinned, it wasn’t obviously Obama for a while.

None of this is to say that Biden doesn’t have the best odds, just that he’s by no means a sure thing.


Matching Donations Finished


End of Fundraiser and Open Thread


  1. different clue

    Here is a near-100%-sure prediction. The Democrat PartyLords’ little plan to prevent Sanders or any other Decent Democrat from winning the DemNom on the first ballot will succeed.

    The Establishment DemLords will nominate a Catfood Democrat. Their Catfood Nominee will select a Catfood Running-Mate. I think we can all be very sure of that.

  2. I was particularly impressed last night when in the democrat primary debates round one subsection two Uncle Status Quo Joe Biden told the junior Senator from California Kamala Harris, a woman of color, to get off his lawn, she told him just exactly what he could do with his lawn. More of this please!

    You’re either with us, or against us. It’s not a question.

    Harris/Inslee 2020

  3. bruce wilder

    What Hugh wrote summarizing the “public expertise” thread — The expertise didn’t fail. It did exactly what it was meant to do. It gave cover for our rich and elites to loot and betray us. — applies to the political candidates on offer.

    If anything is interesting in the polls still almost 500 days out, it is not the state of the horse race. No it is the state of the shell game.

    Like several other commenters, i do not take Biden’s candidacy seriously. He is a place holder, a clever way to prevent Sanders from becoming the presumptive nominee while other candidates are groomed. From the result of the first two episodes of DNC’s reality show “debate” series, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are being “helped”.

    What is interesting to me is that both Warren and Harris have positioned themselves as mild advocates of Medicare-4-All, Sanders’s most powerful signature issue. I say, “mild”, because i do not trust either to fight the fight, but for the moment at least they are keeping their equivocations to a bare minimum. Both have equivocated before and continue to do so from time to time — Harris is reported by CNN to have misunderstood Lester Holt’s question asking for a show of hands on abolishing private health insurance.

    I speculate that pollsters and focus group mavens have figured out that if there is only one M4All candidate in the Primary, that candidate wins. Can’t have that.

    I have seen a number of news analysis articles pointing out that most people do not quite grasp what M4A would mean and if fed selective information can be influenced decisively for or against in short order. So naturally the “debate” moderators limit discussion to a show of hands. Can’t have voters learn anything useful.

    Anyway, i would advise watching what is given Media attention / inattention and what seems to move people toward or away from a candidate. Biden, imho, will bleed support at a steady pace for a while as other, more viable candidates attract voters from the slowing growing cohort who start paying attention.

    The two “real” issues that matter are Perpetual War and M4A. In the kiddie table debate, where E Warren shone as the only sun among some very dim stars, Tulsi Gabbard got some viewer interest despite the limits placed on her allotted time, as evidenced by real time Google searching. Gabbard is the one credible and committed anti-war voice. And, Warren and Harris got credit for M4A, to their advantage.

    Crime and punishment might yet emerge as a third “real” issue. But, it is trickier than it looks.

    Every “real” issue has, or will be given a corresponding “fake” shadow issue or three. I call them “fake” because they are so manipulative in character and often deeply irrational in ostensible content, depending for effective influence on creating confusion, doubt, ignorance.

    There has always been scope in politics for shadow issues. The Democratic establishment is more deeply mired in them and more exclusively mired in fake issues, because the Democratic Party establishment is so committed to their business plan of soliciting donor money to provide plausible cover for further looting and betrayal.

    Russia,Russia,Russia has shown how deeply committed the Dem-identified political class is to complete narrative nonsense to generate “outrage” with only the most stupid policy implications.

    Biden, i imagine, will be sliced into pieces by a series of tiny moral panics regarding his long history in politics on the wrong side of everything and designed to try out professional techniques and voter sensitivity. The establishment Dems mostly see the need at the margins for a bit of class warfare from below, but they want it to be minimal in the manner of a surgical excision. They liked Obama’s ability to do that with empty talk and deliver nothing.

    If, as Stirling says, the Republicans have become a far-right Party, it is because the Democrats have become a (corrupt) centre-right Party. The only viable leftist candidate is officially not a Democrat, running on the faint memory of the New Deal Democracy and the naive enthusiasm of a younger generation with no such memory at all. Given the corporate Media ecosystem in place, the Democratic Party does not have a viability strategy that includes taking power with any candidate of any character, and yet they are up against a Republican incumbent, who has never seen the sunny side of 45% approval as far as I know. Beating Trump will ultimately destroy the Party or the least, the Party establishment but very probably the whole Party.

    Not very hopeful a view, but interesting times, eh? (Practicing my Canadian accent in case we need to ask for annexation when this over.)

  4. S Brennan

    “Harris/Inslee 2020; You’re either with us, or against us” – Ten Bears

    If that’s the Democratic ticket, Trump will get my vote. Mind you, that ticket could very well win, the Deep-State/DNC-Hillaryites/.01% are all behind Harris.

    As said earlier today:

    S Brennan ====

    Biden was doing exactly what he was supposed to…Making Kamala Harris [& by association, the DNC] look great again. He did a great job.

    The fact that nobody here seems to have picked up on the ploy[?]..shows, it worked. MDGA hat anyone?


    “Making Kamala Harris look great again.”

    I’d wondered about that. Could the DNC have become sensitive to suspicions that they’re into picking the Winner? It would make sense to pick the Winner and the Front-Runner, and swap out the Front-Runner at the right part of the show. ====

    S Brennan, if that’s the case, I’m fairly certain Biden is not in on it. He’s not that great of an actor.

    It’s possible the malevolent cynics who comprise the DNC would conceive of a plot/strategy to use Biden as a foil in this regard, but if so, Biden is an unwitting dupe. Either way, the effect is the same and Biden’s all too happy to play the dupe even if he’s not aware he’s playing the dupe.

    S Brennan=====

    Mel, how can anyone doubt that the DNC’s show was not orchestrated? Biden comes out of nowhere to grab the “polls” and obscure Harris who was getting too much early scrutiny.

    BTW, the Joe & Kamala kabuki show did obscure news story that Tulsi Gabbard was stealing the polls with an allotted speaking time 1/2 that of Elizabeth Warren…you gotta just love that DNC chicanery.

    With Biden as a shiny distraction, much of the web has been scrubbed of Harris sleeping her way into power with Willie [hey…just like Hillary] and her horrible record as prosecutor / Attorney General / Senator. Google searches now show Harris as “Joan of Arc”. And so it goes…

  5. Ten Bears

    I would afford you a degree of credibility, S, if the reichwing nutball Drudge, Briebart and Gateway Pundit polls you cite had any credibility. They do not, and served only to puff Putin’s Pekanneise. Gabbard is a ringer, a Manchurian Candidate, it wouldn’t surprise me if she turned up on Trump’s ticket, a Republican Lite distraction. A warmongering religious nutball until recently “republican.”

  6. S Brennan

    For people who read the above comment and give it any credibility..please google or duckduck; “tulsi gabbard congressional record”. You will find many links that will show Ten Bears last statement to be either the work of a shill, or, a comment from somebody who’s ignorance is studied.

  7. Bill Hicks

    @S Brennan–I’m with you. Harris is a piece of garbage who bragged about locking up poor mothers for their childrens’ truancy, but let billionaire crook Steve Mnuchin off the hook for committing massive mortgage fraud. If I want a horrible, power mad sociopath in the White House, I might as well vote for the real thing in Trump.

    As for the polls, I’d say the big difference this time around is that the Dums have no potential Trump–a candidate capable of obliterating the field–among them. Sanders seems like a spent force–his dumb decision to endorse Hillary and campaign for her backfired on him big time as the party still won’t play ball with him and he managed to alienate about half of his supporters. Many of those seem to be going to Warren, but she’s a pandering milquetoast who will get roasted when the going gets tough.

    All Trump has to do to win–bigly–is keep the stock market from crashing. He does that, he’ll crush whichever centrist dwarf the Dums throw up against him. (Also, I like Tulsi, but she has no chance.)

  8. Mallam

    Ten Bears, telling the truth like usual. Well I’m not a Harris/Inslee ticket, but hell yeah to telling the truth about racist, pro-war on Terror and pro-dictator Tulsi Gabbard to a bunch of idiot racist lefts who love to gas and bomb some civilians so long as it’s American enemies like Russia and Assad doing the killing.

    This polling cited by Ian is also misleading if not fully accurate itself. The truth is that once Trump announced his Muslim ban, he shot up in the polls and never fell down. However, that is not like Biden’s current lead. Biden’s lead — as I said before — is entirely dependent upon “electability”. The debates last night showed that this is a weak argument. If you hit him on that, demonstrate your own electability, the halo fades, and he drops.

    The race is down to Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris, and Booker. Mayor Pete won’t win. He can’t connect with black voters. The rest of the candidates can. Sanders is weak on this front. If Biden wins Iowa and New Hampshire, it’s done and he will win. I don’t think he will, but I’d give him the best odds as Ian says. Will shift fast, I suspect. He can’t keep this up for 6 months.

  9. MojaveWolf

    No debate thread?

    Biden proved conclusively Thursday night he no longer has what it takes to win this, if he ever did. Agree w/those who say he’s a stalking horse for Kamala w/Warren as the emergency fallback if things go awry in the DNC minds, tho also agree that Biden doesn’t know this; I almost felt sorry for him.

    He has to keep talking and appearing in the public eye, therefore, he has no chance other than rigged voting machines or all the candidates who can actually speak well dropping dead.

    Don’t have energy to give full thoughts on everything, but starting on topic–I’ve seen a few tweets of old polls showing everyone from Trump to Bill Clinton trailing badly at this point in presidential races they later won, which gives me some hope for Tulsi, despite her media situation being entirely different (i.e. the corporate media learned from their mistakes w/Bernie & Trump in 2016, and on top of that they and their oligarchs view her as Satan–or, more accurately, view her as Harry Potter to the Voldemort of their corporate overlords– and will lie/smear/minimize/do everything in their power to destroy her at every opportunity every time she gets any attention at all, i.e. they view Bernie as a better potential ally, much as they desperately don’t want him, and they’d way rather have Trump, problematic as he’s been in their view).

    Quickie, twitter-level thoughts —

    The best debater is not necessarily the best president, and that should be remembered at all times.

    The format was godawful. “You get to answer these complex questions that impact the entire future of the world, and you have 60 seconds! But if we like you we’ll let you talk longer and if we don’t like you mostly you won’t get to talk at all!” + “Okay, you’ve all been talking too much, how about we try to do everything in one sentence!”

    These are the worst moderators I’ve ever seen. Not sure if they’re more embarassing or infuriating; their goal isn’t to HELP Trump but that is their de facto effect, along w/annoying or boring everyone stuck watching them, and generally demonstrating what incompetence looks like.

    I hope never to see any of them again in any setting.

    For the most part, everyone has adopted some version of the Bernie vision, albeit phonily in most cases.

    For the most part, everyone lets themselves be led into discussing this vision through right wing framing by the mods, and very inadequate pushback from most.

    EXCEPT —All the dems seem to suddenly be employed by the Koch brothers as ambassadors for open borders. This will come back to haunt them, one way or another (either cost them the election, or force them to backtrack on their promises if elected, or ruin the country as surely as anything Trump could ever do).

    As far as the people running:

    From a purely technical point of view (not having anything to do w/who I’m going to vote for or who I think would be a good president), in this format I thought Gillibrand was the best debater. She genuinely impressed me and I somewhat admired her performance. The two debates were scripted to set up Kamala and Warren and ignore anyone else who might do anything to harm those two but she not only managed to speak up, she managed not to come across as phony (see: Buttigieg, Castro as the two worst examples) or obnoxiouis (Swalwell, worst example by far). This is said by someone who actively dislikes what I know of her, btw; not a Kirsten cheerleader.

    Which brings up the whole best debater vs best prez difference: other than women’s rights I have zero faith in her fighting for anything I care about and think she is much more likely to fight against things I care about. So no way in hell. But I was impressed anyway.

    Kamala and Warren did what they were supposed to do, and probably both helped themselves. Weirdly, if you actually look at their plans, Kamala has (MUCH) better plans for working people than Warren. She might have the best plans of anyone, for the poor/working class. But trust her to fight for them? No. So not my first choice, don’t know how she would earn my trust to be my choice under any circumstances or if it’s possible at all.

    I have not cared for Warren’s campaign at all; her debate performance was mostly good–it should have been given that the mods were actively working with her in front of everyone–but no longer a fan.

    I thought Bernie did better than most of you did. He was vastly better than his campaign has been, leading me to believe he’s still the same guy who made some unfortunate campaign staffing decisions this go-round. Best closing statement by far. Not overall impressive otherwise but didn’t hurt himself, either. Suficient, under the circumstances, to move him back into a tie for first place.

    Tulsi did the most with the least amount of time, of all the candidates. Like Bernie, she is simply too nice to shine in this format when she’s being ignored for the most part. But when she did get to speak she did well and is still by a million miles far and away the best foreign policy choice, and she didn’t do any pandering, which by itself put her ahead of many other candidates.

    Tim Ryan–I don’t know much about him, and Tulsi destroyed him on Afghanistan, but despite that he was one of my three favorites from the first night. He was the only one who actually said “working class” and spoke up for working people and called out the media and their corporate overlords and way too many lefty activists for helping the oligarchs use identity politics to divide and conquer. Tulsi and Bernie sort of passively say this all the time, but he’s the only one who did it explicitly.

    Inslee–didn’t get much of a chance to speak and didn’t do that much to impress me when he did, but he’s 100% right that climate change is the most important issue and if we don’t fix that nothing else matters, and he’s 100% right that it’s disappointing that the others aren’t highlighting this more.

    I didn’t like Bennet but agree 100% w/whoever said his takedown of Biden was brilliant, and that he got to an important point overall (you just said it, I think in this thread, so won’t repeat).

    Now for the bad:

    Hickenlooper and Swalwell seem to be running for the sole purpose of hurting Bernie.

    Castro and Buttigieg came off as horribly phony, even within the context of who they were on stage with. (not saying they are the most phony, they may not be, but that’s how they came off)

    Between Swalwell, Castro and the mods, not sure who made me want to vomit more. How did Swalwell ever get elected anything by anybody? Some district in California voted that man into office. WTF?

    How did Marianne Williamson get on that stage?

    I think Yang managed to get in about 5 sentences; guess the mods didn’t like him.

    Everyone else–mostly forgettable, but much I LOATHE Delaney he made a good point that no one except activists and the media gives a flying fuck about Russiagate or Mueller.

  10. different clue

    Here is a “black twitter” entry by someone who noticed where/how Biden just recently “mis-spoke” hisself . . . and then responded to that mis-speak-ment.

    About Syria . . . ” Let’s not bicker and argue over ‘oo gassed ‘oo” . . . No, but seriously, Colonel ( Retired) Lang and guest posters ( and commenters) have been conducting a long-running info-dense discussion about Syrian affairs over at Sic Semper Tyrannis. The Syria-related articles are grouped and findable under the topic-title” Syria”.

    And anyone who chooses to click that link is in luck. The most recent posted article there is about the so-called alleged “gas attack” at Douma, and how that live-action propaganda excercise was planned, constructed, executed and then “after-action-report” weaponised for dissemination to a trusting world.

    There is another blog about Syrian affairs that one could read, called Syria Comment by Professor Landis. I tried reading it and soon gave up, because it names and describes every grain of sand on the beach. And I don’t have the patience for that. But some people might.

    Idle chatter about “racist, pro-war on Terror and pro-dictator Tulsi Gabbard ” is a reliable tell that the commenter is a Catfood Clintonite and a COW ( Coalition Of Wokeness) liberal. The stench of Billary rises off the words.

  11. Tom

    Tulsi is damned and won’t get my vote for being in bed with Dictators and being an outright racist.

    Yang was denied any chance to speak and the Mods deliberately cut his mike so he couldn’t be heard.

    Bernie… Still not convinced yet he’ll fight it out and leave blood on the floor.

    Marianne is utterly useless.

    Harris is damned by her record.

    Warren can’t bring the Heartland on board and thats vital to breaking the Republican stranglehold on their votes which are the key to getting necessary reforms rammed through.

    The rest are shit.

    Resigned to 4 more years of Trump, and its too late now to save this nation. Just start prepping for the inevitable collapse in 26.


    Resigned to 4 more years of Trump, and its too late now to save this nation. Just start prepping for the inevitable collapse in 26.

    Same here. When S Brennan informed me yesterday he’s fine with a bloated military budget just so long as there are no more neocolonial wars, it sealed the deal for me. The planet cannot take another 30 years of a bloated and ever-increasing American military budget let alone all the other shit that’s being thrown its way. If we can’t agree on that, it’s game over.


    And what’s up with the speaking spanish? Pandering at its finest or I should say at its worst. Why not speak jive too? I mean, if you’re going to speak spanish to pander to the latino constituents, why not start rapping also to pander to young and middle-aged blacks? Why not also speak chinese and arabic/farsi and hindi? It’s shit like this that makes me want to puke because it’s so disingenuously transparent. Even Trump hasn’t had the unmitigated gall to speak Russian despite his otherwise obvious Putin pandering.

  14. Ten Bears

    Fascinating. This devolution of discourse may well have set a record.

    I have been studying ignorance for a good long time.

    The research material is overwhelming.

  15. S Brennan

    DC, good catch,

    I was wondering about the timing of these phony gas attacks by Tom’s friends in Al Qaeda, it didn’t make sense.

    Tom’s head-chopping child-molesting rapists are isolated in cantons in order to keep the west’s neocolonial war in Syria going for as long as possible but, never to rise again. Why use more discredited gas attacks?

    At first I thought it was cover-up executions of civilians who have proven uncooperative to the terrorists but, the foreign terrorists in Syria killing a bunch civilians to score a political point for the Hillary/Harris camp makes a lot more sense…after all, Tom may support these sickos in spirit but, Hillary paid those murdering thugs US taxpayer money to terrorize Syria…they owe her a pound of flesh every now and then.

  16. S Brennan

    Gotta love the corruption in plain sight:

    “Bustos is hosting a fundraiser for Harris, timed to coincide with the city’s Pride Weekend celebrations and one day before the crucial second-quarter fundraising deadline.

    The minimum donation for an attendee is $500, while “supporters” need to contribute $1,000 and “sponsors” who get a photo with Harris need to contribute the federal maximum donation of $2,800.

    The fundraiser lends ammunition to progressives, many aligned with the rival presidential campaigns of Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who are skeptical of Harris’ willingness to take on Wall Street and the financial industry…

    …[Kamala Harris] investigated Wells Fargo as Attorney General and recieved a $8.5 million settlement for Californians…The fine is equivalent to about .2% of Wells Fargo’s profit during the quarter the settlement was announced.

    [Wells Fargo was so pleased with Kamala Harris’s “investigation”] that Harris’ presidential campaign, has received more than $16,000 from Wells Fargo employees, according to FEC records – including maxed-out donations from the company’s former chief compliance officer and an executive who oversaw the company’s credit card business. Harris also received $2,300 from Brenda Wright, a Wells Fargo executive ”

  17. scruff

    Sanders seems like a spent force–his dumb decision to endorse Hillary and campaign for her backfired on him big time as the party still won’t play ball with him and he managed to alienate about half of his supporters.

    I feel like there is a bigger lesson to be understood here. Something about the voters rewarding commitment and devotion to strong or even extreme ideals, even if those same voters will not embody those ideals themselves. It brings to mind the way many self-proclaimed “Christians” appear to want to see Christ-like qualities outside of themselves rather than inside of themselves.

    (Also, I like Tulsi, but she has no chance.)

    Not to win POTUS this time, but she has plenty of chance to serve the nation within the executive branch according to her strengths in anti-war foreign policy and state security under a Sanders presidency, I think. And she’s young, she can always grow into a POTUS down the line (if civilization even lasts that long, which is doubtful).

  18. Eric

    Off topic a little, I know, but maybe passing this along could help.
    Seems as good a try as any to stave off nuclear annihilation for a few minutes.



    Here is an open letter to President Trump.

    Please circulate widely, especially if you have a good Twitter account:

    Dear President Trump,

    I have 3 or 4 questions that I’d like to ask you. I will try to be brief:

    1. Now that you are President, are you getting laid more than you were before? For instance, when you were a candidate, or a TV star?

    2. I know that Sheldon Adelson has a lot of money, and you & your kids may agree with him about a couple of things, but is that really worth letting Bolton & Pompeo start shooting at Iran? Those guys are trying to start Armageddon, and everyone will blame you instead of them. Wouldn’t you rather be able to tell your golf buddies how you kept World War 3 contained to finance and the banks?

    3. And if you do let WWIII go kinetic, do you really believe that Israel will survive in any meaningful way, after Hezbollah and everybody else is done retaliating? How does that benefit the U.S.A. and the dollar?

    Thanks for your time!

  19. Hugh

    The problem is only incidentally with this or that Democratic candidate. It is that the Democratic party continues to stand for nothing. There is no agreed upon set of principles or stands. Healthcare is a top concern of voters. So you would think universal single payer Medicare for All would be a unified core position for them. But the Establishment Democrats who make up the leadership of the party can’t stand it. They alternately ignore it and lie about it. Meanwhile there is the segment of Democratic candidates who pay lip service to Medicare for All with no intention to fight for it and with no clear idea of what it is. Unsurprising really, because there are various versions of it, most notably the Sanders and Jayapal bills. It is my understanding that the Jayapal bill is the one closest to the original Conyers bill, which defines universal single payer. Serious proponents of Medicare for All should get behind one bill (Jayapal’s) and be willing to challenge both Republicans and Establishment Democrats on it. Start standing for something in other words.

  20. NRG

    My questions for supporters of each candidate are really simple. Do you think they have the integrity to do what they’re being paid by their donors to do? In our system, an honest politician is one who stays bought, after all. If so, who are their donors? What are their interests? Are they like Obama’s corrupt cabal of donors, bent on a continuing our slide into oligarchy? I fear that for the vast majority of the field, the answers here are yes.

    A thoughtful contrast of two leading candidates from a former Sanders delegate can be found here:

  21. someofparts

    “Bernie Sanders’s debate performances are like Starbucks locations. Each one may be distinct in peripheral ways, but they all serve up the same time-tested, bitter, energizing product.”

    Also this:

  22. Hugh

    The Warren-Sanders comparison is really just a pro-Warren piece. Their positions on the issues aren’t really compared at all.

  23. S Brennan


    I agree with Hugh.

    NRG’s [it’s amazing how folks show up every four years] suggested piece is sophistry defined. No wonder this nation has lost it’s mind…

    And no, Rob Hager/NRG folks have more than two choices at this point..


    It’s not sophistry to say the number one issue facing all of humanity and all life on this planet is growth and all of its destructive attendant consequences. When filtered through that most important and crucial rubric, no candidate is anywhere near adequate in confronting the existential crisis created by our addiction to growth. The candidates who feign to be addressing the issue do not address growth per se, and instead believe the symptom, climate change, is the root of the matter rather than a symptom and then suggest solutions that are market-based when it’s market-based that’s at the root of the matter. The hair of the dog that bit us is not going to cure us.

    Student loan cancelation and free healthcare and free education, whatever the hell that means, is meaningless and irrelevant unless we radically address the potential, or I should say imminent, early and unnecessary extinction of our species and most life on the planet by virtue of our addiction to growth.

    Here’s an excellent documentary I watched this morning that does an splendid job of getting to the root of the matter.

    The American military has to shrink by at least 90% in the next ten years and yes, that would also mean an abrupt end to all neocolonial wars and yet S Brennan has informed me he’s alright with a burgeoning & bloated American military budget just so long as there are no more neocolonial wars. That’s not the same page we’re on let alone the same book.

    We can’t accept an unlimited supply of Mexican and Latin American refugees any more than Canada can accept an unlimited number of American refugees and yet the Democratic party, instead of handling this issue of immigration and mass migration honestly and intelligently and constructively, pretends the issue isn’t what it is and proclaims bullshit propaganda like “America has always been a country of immigrants.”

    The Cross of the Moment

    We would rather be ruined than changed
    We would rather die in our dread
    Than climb the cross of the moment
    And let our illusions die

    W.H. Auden, The Age of Anxiety

  25. NRG

    Hugh, no, their positions on the issues are not directly compared. Their history of actually being able to implement their plans is. Some might consider that important. I know I do.

    As for the credibility attack, the bane of all Internet discourse, you’re incorrect on the facts, S. Brennan.

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