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

Who Is More Competent? The Democrat Establishment or the Sanders Campaign?

Bernie Sanders

So, one talking point being spun out is that Bernie’s people aren’t competent enough to run government because their expertise lies in winning primaries.

This is a prime example of the flailing that occurs when an establishment is scared of losing power (and when your billionaire boss is being crushed).

First, everyone who gets into power has, as a primary competence, the ability to get into power. There aren’t a lot of slots at the top, especially not in the Senate or the Presidency. If you got there, you have something on the ball. People don’t like to admit it about people they hate, but even Trump was shockingly competent at campaigning.

Second, after the Democratic party couldn’t build an app that worked to handle the Iowa caucus results AND the Sanders campaign could, well, perhaps it’s the outsider who’s competent?

There is a larger question here, about who will run the Sanders administration.

Outsiders, mostly. People who are competent and angry. Class traitors, who have worked inside the system, hated it, and want to smash and rebuild it.

The sort of people who ran FDR’s administration: People who can’t take the bullshit any more and want the government to actually work, and actually work for the people.

There will be teething problems, especially with those who have not been high-ranked in government before, but they will manage it–because it actually matters to them. It isn’t just about a paycheck.

Further, the damage Trump has done to the the bureaucracy will be more of an advantage than a bad thing in a Sanders administration. All that “draining the swamp” will make it easier to rebuild in the way Sanders want to, and it will reduce deep state resistance.

Because if you think the deep state hates Trump, well you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Hopefully, Sanders will be willing to use the power of the Presidency and remove deep state saboteurs.

But overall, while it’s possible he could botch it, I’m not super-worried about Bernie’s ability to run apparatus. The US has been sick for a long time, but there are tons of angry competent people who are itching to set it right. He just has to pick them, let them run, and if they blow it too often, replace them. (This is what FDR did).

Don’t be too fixed on methods, be fixated on outcomes. If one thing doesn’t work, have the next plan already teed up.

It’s not easy, but it’s not rocket surgery, anyway.

And I imagine the Bernie administration, unlike the Obama one, will be able to build a healthcare web site if they have four years in which to do it.

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Iowa Caucus


Iowa Caucuses: Incompetent or, *cough,* “Not Cheating?”


  1. Sid Finster

    Sander’s response to the entire caucus fiasco has been measured and competent, neither shrill nor taking it lying down, so to speak.

    That said, as you alluded, if Sanders were to actually win the presidency, the folks and out of government will not be throwing up their hands and stumbling off to exile or retirement. They will fight any attempt at reform, fight it tooth and nail all the way.

    In many ways, this will be harder than it was in FDR’s day, because the federal bureaucracy is much more institutionalized and procedural than it was in 1933. Entrenched forces have a lot of ways to fight getting unentrenched.

  2. Stirling S Newberry

    On can see a conspiracy if one looks, realizing the Biden won’t win, the establish lines up behind Buttigieg. There is no proof one way or another, but the conspiracies are out there.

  3. Stirling S Newberry

    Oh, and bye the way, the establishment did massage the vote:

    The same small percent they did last time.

  4. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    In what parallel universe will a Sanders Administration exist? 😆

  5. cripes

    Ian, your assessment of a Sanders administration’s is reasonable and realistic.
    But the outcome is far from assured and the forces arrayed against it are formidable and just getting started.

    The 20-candidate clown bus is over, and we have a half-dozen Sanders-blockers that will be propped up as long as it takes to dilute and confuse the M4A electorate. Biden and Klobuchar and Billionaire boy Bloomburg are zombies, Warren dishonest and distrusted and spineless, and psy-op little Pete won’t play well outside of Mayberry. Trump will crush them in a debate.

    Only breakout wins and big numbers in big states and an effective counterpunch to vote rigging and media psy-ops will propel Sanders to the nomination.

    M4A voters along must be 65% of the electorate
    How to get those voters from Warren, Yang and the others?

  6. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Oh, and it’s “Democratic Establishment”.

    The Rethugs and their fellow fascists are (in)famous for using the noun “Democrat” as an adjective.

    Another point for the Horseshoe Theory…

  7. Hugh

    As I said in the last thread, where was the Clinton-Obama connected, Establishment DNC chair Tom Perez in all this? The importance to Democrats of getting Iowa right, the fact that the caucuses were screwed up in 2016, the idiocy of introducing a new untried app, of using an app at all rather than paper, the idiocy of multiple totals and “delegate equivalents,” the lack of no credible Plan B, hence the ongoing delays and confusion. And where was Tom Perez? Where is there anyone asking about the relevance of these early contests? Why have them when they are so unrepresentative of the Democratic party or in a Deep Red state like South Carolina? The ossified thinking, the lack of thinking is another indictment of an Establishment that more closely resembles a confederacy of very entitled dunces.

  8. Willy

    The caucus people want a change and Buttigeig is just the Democratic “outsider” to be it?

    I don’t think so either.

  9. “Hopefully Sanders will be willing to use the power of the Presidency and remove deep state saboteurs.

    But overall, while it can be botched, I’m not super worried about Bernie’s ability to run apparatus. The US has been sick for a long time, but there are tons of angry competent people who are itching to set it right. He just has to pick them, let them run, and if they blow it too often, replace them. (This is what FDR did).”

    According to the folks at American Intelligence Media (they stopped posting on youtube, recently, but still have lots of relevant stuff still up; they have a vimeo channel they use nowadays, under a different name), the President is hamstrung on who he can hire and fire. There is an overclass of {cough} {cough} “pubic servants”, many of who aren’t even American, that have been hired as members of the Senior Executive Service. The original intent of the SES (going back to Carter) was good, but the implementation has led to a Frankenstein monster of government control. This appears to go beyond even regulatory capture by domestic business. There is a globalist/multi-nationalist aspect to this which is sort of mind blowing. Analogous, somewhat, to the situation with corruption from ALEC, which ‘helpfully’ writes model legislation for state legislators to take home and imitate. The ALEC corporate sponsors can just as easily be foreign, as domestic.

    I don’t know why nobody covers the SES story that American Intelligence Review, other than maybe 2 other youtube channels (George Webb’s and “Crowdsource the Truth”). Maybe it’s nonsense. Certainly, some of the American Intelligence claims are garbage, though most seem plausible (ignoring the “Trump is a genius” never ending excuses). But then again, basically anybody covers the UBER scandals of Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, except Walter Burien (see, and I’m sure Burien is legit. The AIR folks did a lot of forensic sleuthing to decrypt stuff showing, e.g., former SES employees. Two that I recall are Barack Obama and Jeff Sessions. If this is so, it points to a protective, extreme cognitive dissonance.

    If Bernie becomes President, he will have his work cut out for him. This Deep State is deeper than anybody thought….

  10. metamars

    Should have written:

    “But then again, basically nobody covers the UBER scandals of Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, except Walter Burien (see, and I’m sure Burien is legit. The AIM folks “…

    You can easily prove to yourself that CAFR stuff is suppressed from mainstream media, by using “site:” on for a search, as in : CAFR “Comprehensive Annual Financial Report”

  11. Stirling S Newberry

    Sander wins the votes, Buttigieg wins the intermediate count, tie for delegate at this stage.

  12. nihil obstet

    Sanders has effectively gotten results throughout his political career, from his service as mayor of Burlington through the House and Senate and now the rather extraordinary campaign for the presidency. Even if he does not become president, he has used the campaign to organize for the right causes, in contrast to any other campaign of the last 50 years. I’m convinced that he will be able to do reasonably significant things as president.

  13. Z

    The plan’s been hatched and now we’ll see how well they can play their parts. Run Bumbling Joe down south, run that political warhorse and smile until he starts staggering in circles. Then it’ll be, “Hey, something seems to be wrong with Joe” though it’s been going on for two months. They pull the plug on Joe, then it’s about where his delegates should go? I’m not even sure there are consistent rules from state to state how that all gets hashed out.

    Transgender champion Joe’s stagger down south is much appreciated because Lyin’ Liz and Mikey $B don’t play well with the southern folks. They need to keep those delegates from Bernie because if they didn’t vote for Biden they’d go to Bernie. There is nothing about Liz Warren and any of the other democrat candidates that do much to excite the south. It would be all Bernie’s land if Biden wasn’t around to play his Obama’s my best friend schtick. He’ll do the circuit, tell the Obama stories, and if his handlers can, they’ll keep him out of interviews and town halls as much as possible. One stupid gaffe by him and he could lose support of the African-American community very, very easily. His judgement is impaired. There’s a lot for them to confront him about in regards to some of the laws he’s backed as well. He was shaky, angry at times, at any type of confrontation in those town halls in friendly Iowa. He’s looking like someone out of control. If by some miracle they were able steer him to the finish line and call him the winner, I could see a fist fight breaking out between Donald Trump and Joe Biden during the debates, some kind of physical confrontation between the two. Trump’s going to ride him and be ruthless about Biden’s slowing mental faculties in front of an national audience, a man who is extremely touchy and aggressively touchy, and starting to get out of control. He may realize he’s a bumbling fool and unable to handle it any better way. But he’ll fall off before we ever ever get to that point. He’s just there to sponge votes from Bernie.


  14. Z

    That’s brings in Lyin’ Liz, whose overly loud protestations, counter to the other candidates, that it wasn’t fair that Mikey $B was able to run and not have to face the scrutiny of the debates was odd. It was only her, Mikey $B, his $Bs and the DNC that was on the side of that. She also has been banging on him in the media, about buying his way into race, but you see that having Mikey $B in those debates would be valuable in a partnership between the two because he can attack Bernie from the right, about costs of his programs and whatnot, which she can’t because she’s pretended to represent some of those same causes, or maybe even actually did, in the past. She stretches to the left and casts her net there.

    Mikey $B ain’t no joke on the debate stage either. No, No Mikey $B’s smart, very sharp. He can go after Bernie better than the rest of that field. He has a gravitas. Mikey $B is shrewd. And when you think that Mikey $B’s out of touch or did something flat-out dumb, then you don’t know what Mikey $B’s up to.


  15. Z

    So when you read about Mikey $B coming out talking big this week, and brutally out of touch with the times, about how marijuana should stay illegal, then you don’t rest with the self-satisfaction of thinking that he was dumb, and that you’re smarter than Mikey $B, no no no, you think about what’s next to come.

    Fast forward, Mikey $B and Liz Warren, running mates now, stars, a dynamic political couple, just hit off despite their ideological differences, bumped into each other at the DNC one afternoon over coffee and things just happened, there was an electricity between them and then they realized then they had something special and an understanding that they could work together. The perfect political match: the steadiness of Bloomberg and the progressive vision of Warren. The Okey-ness of Liz and the down-to-business, metropolitan appeal of Mikey $B.

    And then you see a photo on the internet of Mikey $B, in suit, arms folded over his chest, hand to his mouth listening intently and you see him looking over at Lyin’ Liz with her arms flailing in the middle of a wild gesticulation, talking to Mikey $B, telling Mikey $B, and you see Mikey $B listening and you see in the headline below the photo of Mikey $B, you see Mikey $B, Mikey $B’s changed his mind, Mikey $B’s cool with weed. Cause you see Mikey $B listened to Liz and now Mikey $B Mikey $B he’s good with weed.


  16. Z

    That photograph has a lot of power with older women, just the kind the Mikey $B-Warren campaign want to recruit to keep away from Bernie, the kind that will stick with them all the way down, even though they got no chance of winning.

    Cause the older women, they see that and they think, ‘Mikey $B. You see Mikey $B. Mikey $B, he listens’. And they value that. They emotionally connect with that. They love a man that listens. Especially the smarter ones. For good reason. They’ve been plenty right in the past and had men ignore them.

    All Mikey $B and Lyin’ Liz need is a well-placed 20% of the vote to prevent a Bernie’s Army democratic socialist third party candidate from getting into power. Mikey $B’s concession to Warren will build up Liz with the progressives and they’ll be turning to her to get votes that would tilt towards Bernie’s Army.


  17. Z

    Good values peace. It realizes you need harmony for peace, so it has a consideration for others and other things. Once it gets peace though, it rests, it relaxes. It’s where it wants to be.

    Evil never rests. It’s never content. Evil always wants something from you. Evil is obsessed with power.


  18. Z

    It’s always about the money spigots, the Fed, it’s always about getting your hands on that. If any of these high up people sat around and totally opened up, they’d tell you that’s their greatest concern. Losing control of the money spigot. If Bernie or his Army get their hands on that they can reorient the economy and aim it out of Wall Street and onto the working class. And drain that Wall Street swamp.


  19. Z

    When you think about the money spigot from the Fed and the fact it first enters our economy through the banking system and/or Wall Street and that importance to Wall Street and how much leverage that gives them over the markets, remember that four banks, four huge trading banks, B of A, Goldman, JPM, and Citibank, made money on every single day of Q1 2010 trading stocks. Every day. Everyday they were more or less on the same trade (the same trading algorithm?) all month and never lost once. Every day they moved the market their way.


  20. z

    Mikey $B needs Liz as a dance partner, without Liz he’s taking more votes from Trump than from a Bernie spin-off third party, which is roughly zero, maybe precisely so.


  21. Z

    That first debate with Mikey $B may be the most dangerous juncture of the Sanders campaign. Mikey $B is going to come hard at Bernie, and if he gets any good moments, if Bernie makes any gaffes in his exchanges with him, the media will be running that for days. Then they’ll target the polls afterwards to make it look like Bernie lost credibility.

    Watch for a grudging respect budding between Mikey $B and Warren during the debate.

    Media asking Liz about Mikey $B afterward and Liz saying Mikey $B, Mikey $B’s okay.


  22. Z

    Debonair Mikey $B. Light-blue shirt, pink and blue tie Mikey $B. A Mikey $B that listens. Cause Mikey $B’ll be listening to Liz and moving left if he’s the nominee.


  23. Tom

    The DNC couldn’t be even more blatant in its vote rigging, even Fox News called it out. Say what you will about the Republicans, they don’t rig their primaries.

    Sanders must contest every decision the DNC makes and calls them out or he will have the nomination stolen and the Democrat Party will fall into political irrelevance.

    Sanders needs to fight it out and stage riots against the DNC Establishment or step aside for someone who can. Its his moment of truth, he better not fold like a cheap suite again or I will vote for Trump again to send a clear FUCK YOU to the DNC.

  24. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Maybe a little less caffeine, dude… 😆

  25. Z

    The most revealing thing about the whole fiasco is that we learn about the financial ties between the voting machine company, the Clintonites, and Young Republican Pete. So much corruption in that party, so many conflicts of interest, it’s a snake’s nest. The source of it all was/is the Clintons.

    Young Republican Pete talks to people like he’s doing a TED presentation.


  26. KT Chong

    Over and done with. Bernie will not win the nomination. He may have the right policies, but unfortunately he does NOT have the charisma nor personalities to win the primary race — nor defeat Trump.

    I did not vote in 2016.

    I will be voting for Donald Trump this year to ensure he will win the popular vote as well.

  27. False Solace

    I wasn’t impressed with Bernie’s speech last night or today. He seemed to lack energy and basically gave the same old stump speech. The speech mostly consists of Bernie reciting mind-numbing statistics when he should be grabbing his listeners by the throat with concrete images and stories. I say this as a supporter of his campaign. This was his chance to motivate his volunteers and possibly break into the media bubble but he refrained.

    As Ian might say, this is the problem with people of principle. They maintain their principles even when you wish they wouldn’t. Bernie’s executing on his style and won’t deviate from it. I don’t think this is going to be enough.

    The turnout in Iowa was very disappointing. The campaign was hoping for 300k but only 170k showed up to caucus, basically unchanged from 2016. Even with all his money and volunteers Bernie still couldn’t break 30%. In order to defeat Trump you need to get everybody out to vote. There isn’t a financial crisis to motivate people. Impeachment certainly won’t. And now you have rampant, highly visible election fraud to scare off the low-motivation nonvoters. That little whisper on the back of their minds — “Will my vote actually get counted?” — that’s going to dissuade a lot of people from bothering. The establishment loves it when people don’t vote, so the more of this the better for them.

    Oh yeah — and if Bernie doesn’t get the nomination I’ll vote Green in November. Trump is a murderous scumbag whose last budget proposed cuts to SS and Medicare and Medicaid. Meanwhile he’s about to throw thousand of people off food stamps by making it even harder to qualify. Just another billionaire who gives himself tax cuts while starving granny and dropping bombs on civilians. Utter scumbag.

  28. Hugh

    Yeah, let’s all vote for the disease instead of the cure. I mean if we can’t have a cure where we don’t have to do anything, it’s perfectly painless, and it’s 100% guarantied stick with the disease. Vote for Trump.

  29. KT Chong

    The biggest problem from Iowa caucus was not the results, with or without the obvious cheating. It was the turnout. The turnout in Iowa was very — and even shockingly — disappointing. We were hoping for 300,000+ but only about 170,000 showed up, which was basically the same level as 2016. The turnout was a good indicator of voter enthusiasm on the Democratic side: and it is LOW. It was a first sign of another November disaster for Democrats and the Democratic presidential nominee, whoever he/she may turn out to be. Even Bernie has failed to generate enough enthusiasm to significantly increase turnout from 2016.

    Back in 2016, when all the pollsters and pundits predicted Hillary would defeat Trump, only two professors correctly predicted Trump would win the election and become the President: Helmut Norpoth and Allan Lichtman. Helmut Norpoth use a predictive model called the “Primary Model”, and it uses primary turnouts to gauge voter enthusiasm and predict final election outcomes. I can already tell you the outcome for November: even if Bernie wins the Democratic nomination, he will lose to Trump based on the depressed Iowan turnout number. But numbers are numbers. Based on the number, I am making an early prediction: the Democratic nominee, whoever he/she may turn out to be, will lose to Trump.

    It is over.

  30. Stirling S Newberry

    Give it a rest zzzzzz.


    Sanders wins the votes, Buttigieg wins the intermediate count, tie for delegate at this stage.

    That’s correct, Stirling, Bernie won by a large margin over the next contender in the first round. In fact, I believe in the first round it was Bernie in first place by far and Warren in second. Then along comes not Mary but Pete. It’s clear voters who’s candidate didn’t meet the threshold in the first round were cajoled into voting for Booty Judge in the intermediate round and some, many even perhaps, knew nothing about him. Take this woman for example. She didn’t know he was gay and had a gay partner. Had she known, she wouldn’t have voted for him. She even asked for her card back. How many other voters who were cajoled into voting for Booty Judge in the intermediate round want their cards back. Quite a few, I bet. Sorry, no refunds. Caveat emptor. She/they was/were hoodwinked by Dem establishment operatives to vote for Booty Judge. I’m guessing Booty Judge celebrated so confidently so early because he was cognizant of the fact the fix was in.

    Tune to 4:05. She knew nothing about Booty Judge. “They” didn’t tell her. “They” claimed it was common knowledge and, afterall, it shouldn’t matter anyway, right


    Despite some of Bernie’s supporters being odious blood & soil skinheads in progressive clothing who like to take shots at people’s skulls with their Enfield rifles, my wife and daughter and I will still be voting for Bernie all the way. Afterall, it’s Trump & Putin who are embedding the odious blood & soil skinheads in Bernie’s camp so Bernie can’t be blamed although he could verbally reject them as a matter of principle and posterity. If Bernie doesn’t make the nomination due to Dem establishment dirty tricks, we will vote Bloomberg if he does get the nomination and if it’s a Dem establishment candidate, we will withhold our vote because we will not support chicanery.

    We would never vote Trump and anyone who does is our mortal enemy. I’d like nothing more than to take their Enfield rifles from them and shove those weapons and all their weapons in their bloated arsenals down their throats but alas they have the police and the national security state in their corner and I’d go to jail where their friends would be waiting in the showers. It will have to wait until the time when society sufficiently collapses and the law that protects them breaks down. Then it’s hunting season where hunting can proceed without legal consequences.

  33. Ché Pasa

    Reminds me of 2000-2010 when all kinds of keyboard warriors attached themselves to Democratic candidates and some wound up advising or running campaigns and a few marched off to Washington when their candidate won, and… what? Exactly what happened when all these highly competent (in their own minds) keyboard warriors went to Washington to do battle with the sclerotic and corrupt Establishment and bring on the New Dawn?

    Didn’t go so well, did it? It’s been one disappointment and disaster after another. Was it because of Deep State sabotage? I don’t think so. Institutional inertia was a bigger problem. Institutional rightist ideology. That and the fact that a bunch of political neophytes with very little understanding of governmental operations (both on the elected side and the bureaucratic side) were easy for the old hands to manipulate and wound up slitting their own throats, while a well-financed and loud rightist “uprising”, initially called “Grassfire” morphed into the Tea Party and effectively took over not just the Republican Party but eventually much of government — because they knew how to squeeze the system at its weakest points, and most importantly, they knew how to claim and use power even if they themselves were weak.

    It’s all a game that keyboard warriors simply don’t know how to play — or if they do, they’re playing for themselves only — or too often for the other team.

    Movements have repeatedly arisen during the keyboard era, and over and over again, they dissipate in frustration, incoherence, disgust, or co-optation and ultimately get nowhere. Nowhere beyond a moment’s meme. “We are now talking about something – something whereas before time we weren’t.” Well, talk away. What are you going to DO? The answer: Not much.

    And the system/situation keeps right on sliding rightwards. Right into the fascist cesspit we’re supposedly fighting. It’s not just in the US, it’s a global zeitgeist.

    Howard Dean built a movement. Even took over the DNC. How’d that turn out?

    Barack Obama built a movement. Even got elected president — twice no less. How’d that turn out?

    Now it’s Bernie’s turn.

    We’re going on twenty years of movement building and disappointment to bring on that ever elusive New Dawn. Maybe this time we’ll be a winner. Or the next time. Or the time after that.


    Are Bernie’s people better at app-building? Depends on what the app is for, right? You think the fuck up in Iowa was an accident — or no? Come on. It served the purpose, didn’t it?

    Does that mean Bernie’s people can run the nation better than the collective Dems? (Don’t pretend the DNC ran Iowa’s caucuses, or that the DNC is the Democrats collectively.)

    Does it mean Bernie’s people can run things better than Trump and his people? Maybe. But we’ve seen an amazing level of protection for Trumpian corruption, incompetence and cruelty, haven’t we? Top to bottom.

    Bernie has nothing like that. No Dem candidate does. Not yet, anyway.

  34. While there is certainly a whiff of the Gang that Couldn’t Rig Straight, republicans lite playing with big-boy toys, I really think it just boils down to the intersection of incompetence and wishful thinking. Though I note this morning the Internet is awash with Bernie Bashing, some of it clearly RussoIsraeli but most of it is right where you’re expect to find it.

  35. Stirling S Newberry

    Gang of Foursquare
    lacunae enslaved struggle overlooked, aspect
    Presidential physiological brain waves
    subliminal candidates technology designed
    cadence undecided algorithm Subconscious underlies
    conscious critically Neuromarketing spontaneous
    unmediated responses neuromarketing
    artificial intelligence Affectiva. controversial unsurprised
    groupthink reiterating perimeter Des Moines.
    Predispositions divulge.

  36. someofparts

    I think it was Ian that pointed out that with Trump we get four more years of awful before we get a new president. With a Trump-adjacent Democrat we might have to wait eight years.

    If the corporate Dems cheat Bernie out of the nomination and then go on to lose, that could play into the hands of progressives.

    Assuming that any of us survive long enough to see it.


    Nothing Booty Judge can do will change this IF the poll is accurate. If Booty Judge takes New Hampshire, there can no longer be a claim this isn’t a conspiracy to prevent Bernie from being the nominee. It’s that, or we finally eschew polls forever since they have no basis in fact.

    Sanders, who handily defeated Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire four years ago, held steady at 24 percent in the second of seven daily tracking surveys, while Biden dropped from 18 to 15 percent.

    Buttigieg leapt from 11 percent in the Monday poll of New Hampshire voters to 15 percent Tuesday, putting him neck-and-neck with Biden.

    Also, has anyone else noted that Booty Judge speaks just like Obama? I believe he graduated from the same college of public speaking in Langley that Obama did. Seriously, he’s a “white” Obama as if Obama isn’t “white.” Close your eyes next time you hear him speaking for greater effect. Same cadence and intonation. Same deliberate pauses. He doesn’t miss a beat. Smooth. Robotic, almost. Who said AI sucks? That’s damn good AI as far as I’m concerned. Impressive.

  38. John B.

    who turned the forum over to Z?

  39. highrpm

    stolen quote from market-tickr,

    the Bolsheviks hiding in the Democratic Party and Corporate America need an epic crash to set the stage for their final takeover of the US. then Bernie Sanders’ gulags will become a reality for most Americans.

    am i trolling? no; just not a bernie believer. (the religious sense, “he’s a believer.” makes them feel safer.)


    You have got to be kidding me. The name of the outfit is Shadow? I knew this had all of the hallmarks of an Orson Welles’ production.

    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Hahahahahah…..the Shadow knows.

  41. Z

    Oh, I’m so, so sorry I wrote so much last night. Please please, accept my deepest, deepest apologies to you whiny f’ing people who don’t possess the self-control to simply not read what I write.

    There’s been a lot going through my head and this is an extremely important election in my opinion, a rare chance if we get our act together to get power for the working class. If Sanders or one of his crew win, it would mean big change to the system IMO. Real change for the better for us. So a lot has been roiling through my brain and I think there is a ton of machinations behind the scenes being done by our rulers that’s worth considering … look at what is at stake for them … and there are plenty of smart people here on this board to bounce my thoughts through. I believe it’s worth trying to get out ahead of what our rulers got cooking and hopefully publicly out their schemes and put them into a position where they are publicly mocked for them real-time while they are playing them out in front of us because everyone realizes what they’re up to. One reason they constantly get away with f’ing us is that they think ahead, steps ahead, while so many of us, the vast, vast majority are content to stop thinking once we reach the self-satisfaction of believing that they are stupid, which they are definitely not, which seems to get lost even more in the age of Trump. They feed the public this simple dish and the public eats it up like a hog at a trough. Good rests when it gets what it wants. Evil constantly toils, it wants power.

    A final note: I don’t understand why people vote like they’re predicting the winner in an election or playing some cagey game as to what’s the least of the worst of the candidates that have a chance to win. That’s another strange dish our rulers feed us and we eat it like a catfish on cheese bait. Your precious vote by itself means statistically next to nothing. So why not vote for what you believe in?

    Bye bye.


  42. Ten Bears

    I don’t know, John, 450?

    I do know, though, that the last time trolls overran the comments at Ian’s house he turned them off for a half year. I don’t know if that’s what these bozos are trying to do, shut the forum down, but they’re doin’ a damn good job of sucking all the air out of the room, making it so you can’t a word in edgewise, let alone start and maintain a conversation. Troll (trump?) Tactic Three.

    Why I never turned comments back on at my house, twelve, thirteen years ago. Sad, really.

  43. bruce wilder

    “Competence” in the plain sense of skillful and powerful in organizing the performance of complex tasks is contingent on the correct identification of actual goals.

    On a deeper understanding of “competence”, there is a critical moral dimension inherent in the strategic choice of goals and translating such moral choice into practical steps.

    I think Buttigieg reveals himself as the avatar of a Democratic Party establishment that has given itself over entirely to the mission of deliberately and cynically and corrupt manipulating an electoral base of voters on behalf of a donor class of business corporation executives and billionaires. The handling of the Iowa caucus vote count has all the earmarks of a scam operation. If you view it as a task of democracy sincerely undertaken, then the Iowa party and the operatives and consultants supporting them have been “incompetent” I suppose. But, the task is not that hard, is it? Viewed as a way to manipulate the Media narrative and the attention of voters, to undermine the Sanders candidacy and electoral strategy, it has been daring but brilliant. The releasing of “partial” results to create a horse race long after the race should be over and done marks it down as the scam that it is, but it also works, feeding the worst tendencies of the political media to overlook policy differences for “horse race” journamalism.

    Are there effective counters for Sanders to use? It is not obvious. Revealing the links among the actors (Buttigieg, Acronym, Shadow, the Iowa chair, et cetera) is easily countered by poo-pooing “conspiracy theories” . Anger can be deflected by blaming the angry for being angry. Meanwhile, Sanders’ strategy of expanding the electorate is being flushed down the toilet by the demonstration of the futility of voting.

    We all depend on the moral dimension of incompetence to reveal scams as scams. Phishing emails have had grammar and misspelling as markers. Would-be demagogic tyrants tend to be such bad managers that their organizations turn feeble. But, there are talented exceptions and the high survival rates of those exceptions can bring about great evil.

    What do the more idealistic and well-intended do to counter? The handicaps are numerous and severe among we fools.

  44. Jeff in Texas

    I find it funny, or ridiculous, or something, that while it is basically the official position of the DNC that the Russians stole the 2016 election for Trump by hacking and trolling and fake newsing on Facebook, it is supposed to be an absurd conspiracy theory to think that the Iowa race was similarly affected by a hack or attempted hack from parties interested in influencing the result. Parties like the CEO of the company that made the stupid app, whose husband and brother-in-law work for Mayo Pete\’s campaign. The company whose primary investor is a dark money billionaire who is backing Mayo Pete. Mayo Pete, who somehow knew to claim victory when zero results had been reported publicly. What a wacky series of incredible coincidences.

    And speaking of the app– cybersecurity has been a performative obsession for the Democratic leadership ever since Trump won, so they roll out an unproven, untested, who knows how secure phone app at the 11th hour to handle the Iowa caucus? The login credentials to which, apparently, the CEO\’s brother-in-law tweets out (accidentally on purpose??) while the results are being tabulated?

    And then, after bitching about the electoral college for years (as if the Clinton campaign had the EC sprung on them halfway through the election and had no idea that winning the national popular vote might not win the presidency for her), the Democrats go with a weighted system in Iowa that rewards more delegates to the candidate who got fewer votes.

    Why anyone would lose faith in our political system is truly a mystery.

  45. KT Chong

    Frankly, after looking at the Iowa caucus turnout:

    Now I would rather Bernie NOT win the Democratic presidential nomination. If Bernie becomes the nominee and THEN lose to Trump in the general election, it will be devastating to the progressive causes.

  46. elkern

    Years ago, I read Noah Smith’s blog regularly; he had some interesting perspective on Econ, worth arguing with in Comments. Then he got bought up by Wall Street; I stopped reading.

    In this case, he has it exactly backwards: competence in organizing a campaign is one of the better measures for competence as President of the USA. It’s an Executive, managerial job. Legislative experience is mostly irrelevant, except as an indicator of priorities. A presidential campaign is a large, chaotic temporary organization, and the ability to manage one well indicates a candidate has important skills (…or is fronting for someone/something that does…).

    The US Presidency has metastasized into a job way to big for any human; Carter tried, and failed. Republicans since then have mostly let their Presidents do the PR part (Bully Pulpit, Arlington, like that), letting others (Cheney) to the real work. Trump is an exception, luckily, and his requirement for personal fealty has led him to destroy the bureaucracy rather than stack it with party apparatchiks (yay?). The next president – now, or in 2024 – will have an opportunity to rebuild our government, but it will be a monstrous managerial undertaking. The vast majority of the choices will have to be delegated (to Cabinet & Sub-directors); the most important qualification for the job (President) will be the ability to chose & manage people who can fix our government while it’s running. Picture trying to repair a jet engine – running at 20K RPM, at 35K ft, carrying 8 billion passengers…

    I trust Bernie to do this over anyone else running, by far. I’d probably vote for Warren, but I’d much rather see her as SecTreas, or something like that.

  47. KT Chong

    IMO, the lack of enthusiasm could be due to the Democratic base being demoralize by the high-profile defeat and mishandling of the Russiagate and impeachment by the House Democrats, and the general ineptitude of Nancy Pelosi’s leadership in the House. Pelosi and Democrats kept choosing to fight battles that they would obviously lose — and handed one victory after another to Trump:

    i.e., the Russiagate investigation was all executed by Republicans, who would never betrayed one of their own. Yet Democrats chose to bet on Mueller who has always been a Republican loyalist — and FBI that has always been a Republicans stronghold.

    And we always knew the Senate, controlled by Republicans, would NEVER convict Trump, and Pelosi chose to impeach and LOSE anyway.

    Based on the low turnout for the Democratic caucuses in Iowa, I predict Trump will handily defeat the Democratic challenger in November. And that will not be the worst news. Republicans will recapture the majority in House, and keep or even expand the majority in Senate.

    The only variation that will change that outcome is the economy. The only chance to defeat Trump is for the economy to crash and burn between now and the election day.

  48. Eric Anderson

    KT Chong is just blathering MSM bafflegab about the turnout.

    We still don’t know the numbers.

    Testimony to the power of the propaganda.

  49. Eric Anderson

    Z & 450
    I don’t read what you write, generally. That’s not the issue. The issue is two-fold: 1) it kills the flow of comments among other contributors, and 2) turns potential new commenters away because they didn’t come here to read books written by you guys. They came to read Ian and engage with him.

    “brevity is the soul of wit”

  50. Z

    Eric Anderson,

    I read your comments … obviously the time required to do that is much less than it is to read mine … and I generally agree with what you write, though not all of it, of course.

    In this particular instance I disagree with almost all of what you wrote.

    It’s very easy to slide by the comments from the posters you don’t like, you can even do it with mine through a browser search engine since I always end with a Z. Just put your search on for Z and match case and read until you come to a comment of mine, then just tap the search twice and you’ll be at the end of one comment and keep doing it until you get past them if I have multiple comments. Not hard. Doesn’t even involve scrolling.

    Is it possible that the amount of my comments turn off potential contributors to the board? Perhaps. I also think I add plenty to comment about, but hey I don’t know what the delta is between the two, whether it’s a net negative or not. Neither do you.

    I particularly disagree with your notion that long comments are a problem, books as you call them. Our rulers feed us comfortable, simple narratives that put our brains at rest and so many, the majority no doubt, are put intellectually to sleep by these narratives of we can’t do this, we can’t do that politically and economically because it’s just the way it is. Bullsh*t.

    The truth of what toils beneath these simple narratives is not easy to explain and that is purposeful, or has evolved as purposeful, because evil hides within the unexplored corners of intellectual mazes. For instance look at the Federal Reserve and how they go about dishing money to Wall Street and the banks, temporary market operations with continual rollovers on the due dates on the loans, permanent market operations, and a bunch of other pretty complicated maneuvers, and I would say purposefully at this point. Shoot, look at all the programs they invented during the great 2008-2009 Wall Street bank bailout to conceal that they were blatantly handing over capital, essentially as much as it took to bail out the Wall Street banking system, to crooks that crashed the system and further enriched and empowered these crooks and criminal enterprises who have access, and essentially control, over our financial system. We’re heavily paying for that right now IMO, the financial sector in the U.S. has never been as rapacious towards our true economy and the working class as it is now. You pay for that in $ and frustration and a decreased quality of life, amongst other ways.

    So, simple, short twitter like comments don’t generally get that far digging into the true belly of the beast.

    Finally, I’ll end with this: the struggle over power in the U.S. always comes down to controlling the Federal Reserve. If you never have read one damn thing from me and don’t believe another thing I’ve ever wrote, still, if you would, try to keep that in mind. It does simplify things when you keep in mind what it most valuable to our rulers: control of the money spigot.




    In regard to Pelosi’s symbolic act of shredding Trump’s SOTU address, I found this comment in my reading. Spot on. I must say though, she and her ilk helped to create this Golem, so her gesture, while radical for her, is rather empty in its effect and a bit hypocritical when you consider how much she and the House have cooperated with him on his legislation.

    With someone like Trump and his sycophants taking the high road has no meaning. They have no sense of shame and are largely amoral so there is little point in trying to demonstrate the high ground to people who don’t know what it is. The last three years have abundantly proven that over and over again.

    Unlike the witty, brief and soulful KT Chong, I not only will not ever vote for Trump let alone bend the knee, I, in fact, every day, wish he was dead. It’s still not illegal to have such thoughts — thoughts where you wish a horrible, evil person was dead. I know I’m not alone in these thoughts. Many more, perhaps tens of millions more in the least, have the same thoughts. The more people who have these impure thoughts, the greater the chance that wish will come true. I’m not talking about assassination. That’s illegal. I’m talking about him quite literally dropping dead. No suffering because that would be cruel to wish suffering on anyone, but instant death so that the suffering he metes out every day can come to an end. Think, for example, of the suffering he’s already levied and the suffering he will levy in future when he cuts Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security on his way to the Ukrainization of America. Programs he plans on cutting not out of concern for the budget which is an ever-expanding deficit under his watch due to his tax cuts to the oligarchy, but out of spite because, speaking of trolls, he is the ultimate troll — the Troll in Chief.

  52. False Solace

    Re KT Chong’s comment – “Now I would rather Bernie NOT win the Democratic presidential nomination. If Bernie becomes the nominee and THEN lose to Trump in the general election, it will be devastating to the progressive causes.”

    No matter who loses to Trump the establishment will spin it as a loss for progressives. The establishment always always complains the candidate went too far left. It’s their favorite excuse for embracing policies that favor the rich. Bernie has the best shot at winning. He has an organization and funding and name recognition. And he’s too old to run again. If he can’t do it, no one can and I think the Left will be shut out for another ten years. By that time, environmental strains will be obvious even to the remaining Boomers. Maybe we get lucky with another FDR but I doubt the US is so fortunate. Our long sad slide into desperate despotism has barely begun.

    The Left isn’t going away because the demand for economic justice won’t go away. The Right has no answer for the multiple, interlocking crises caused by self-serving elites. But they aren’t going to compromise with the Left or relent, they’re going to do what they always do and ally with fascists.

  53. Ché Pasa

    The left has been shut out for generations. That won’t change because some bright-eyes on the intertubes writes profound analyses. It just won’t.

    As I pointed out in a comment locked away in moderation, we’ve been movement building for decades, and I’ve been on the ground during several of those episodes. Thrilling as it was, ultimately it’s brought us Trump.

    Plenty of keyboard warriors have gone to Washington vowing to turn things around, make the system serve the people, blah blah blah, but guess what? They get chewed up and spit out. Or they’re on the other side.

    The longed for Revolution never comes.

    Or rather, the Revolution that’s come is the fascist one.

  54. Eric Anderson

    I’m on board with you man. We do agree on the bulk of the issues. And to be honest, in the past I’ve enjoyed reading your comments. I’ve only stopped recently due to he length. So, please don’t take it as an insult. Not my intent. I just enjoy the quick back and forth repartee that has traditionally dominated here, and it seems to have flagged a bit of late.

    Just tighten it up brother. That’s all.

    Now, 450? That’s another ball of wax completely. Edgelord does seem to fit.

  55. Z

    Eric Anderson,

    No problem. Advice taken.


  56. Z

    Let’s just take our anti-conspiracy tin foil hats off here for a second and take a good, even look at some central events in the Iowa Caucus experience.

    A prominent political poll decided not to share their results the week of the caucus, just prior to the election, like they usually do. This decision came about due to a protest by Young Republican Pete’s campaign. They said that the poll somehow didn’t count their votes right or something of that sum.

    The caucus turns into a muddled mess primarily due to a voting software program by a company named Shadow, which is funded by a company called ACRONYM, and also has YR Pete’s Campaign as an investor.

    *I find the fact that YR Pete’s CAMPAIGN could legally invest in a voting software company that would be involved in tallying votes in an election they were involved in surprising. It sounds like a grift operation, “Here you go, here’s $60K for Petey”. Are campaigns’ investment businesses? I guess so. The thing that comes to mind is this: what was the return you expected to make on such a short-term investment?

    Then there is an entanglement between Shadow and ACRONYM which involves a pro-Israeli billionaire, against Sanders obviously, and the DNC and the corrupt NV Democratic Party and of course a whole bunch of Clintonites per usual. All Bernie haters.

    The most shocking result in the contest was how well that YR Pete did.

    The most disappointing results, besides Biden’s, was that Sanders didn’t do as well as expected.

    Winner: the case for a democratic socialist third party run if Bernie gets f’ed by the DNC.

    If the DNC sells the nomination to Bloomberg, that crew is going to get get blamed by everyone for four more years of Trump anyway, so might just as well come out against both of them. Make a big party of it, have some fun, run two rich people around for a few months for a change.

    The whole Iowa Caucus experience was a huge victory for those who want to put the case to the public that the democratic party is hopelessly corrupt and incompetent. And we wouldn’t have known how bad it was if this didn’t happen, any of these connections, all these maneuverings that went on behind the scenes if the DNC didn’t screw up so bad.

    Why? Because they were rushed into mistakes. They have a lot to move too, they can’t conspire and manage changes to plans lightning quick, especially when you have to trust the people involved. Look at what happened: they rushed together a software company probably with the sole intent of being able to manage the results because they feared the strength of Sanders campaign and got pushed into revealing, in very embarrassing and public fashion, all the tangled rot in the party’s elective apparatus. The software wasn’t even tested. They only started developing it two months ago! Look at what they were forced to cobble together in such a short amount of time and look at an embarrassing disaster it was for them in the end! Ha! And now they can’t use it to rob Bernie in NV!

    Make it hard on them.


  57. Z

    Rigging national elections is not a one man single button operation. There are 50 states.


  58. Willy

    If it was my people, we’d outsource election rigging to Russia or China, maybe going through a third party outfit similar to the defunct British Cambridge Analytica, for purposes of plausible deniability. We’d have the funds to do all that. We’d also employ various wingnut armies to make enough obfucatory noise to additionally confuse any issues.

  59. Z

    So there was a group invested in Shadow, the company who made the faulty software which appears to be the primary cause for the Iowa Caucus mess. They started making this software two months ago, never tested it, and used in the election. It flopped. The investors in this software company were Young Republican Pete’s CAMPAIGN, the DNC in some manner (which is openly scheming to prevent Bernie getting the nomination), the NV Democrat Party (which is rumored to have heavily f’ed over Bernie in 2016 at the polls), and a billionaire who is pro-Israeli. A common bond between these people and groups is that they are all against Bernie.

    Questions to be asked. Did Shadow come to Bernie’s campaign and ask them to invest in it? Other campaigns? Was investment in their company open to the public? Was it advertised to the public? If not, who was “asked” to invest? Were the people who invested in the company also part of the development plans for the company?

    If Trump wanted to put a harsh light on how corrupt the democrats are, something would probably kick up out of this mess. He’d probably rather laugh at them instead.


  60. someofparts

    Well, in my reading of the entire thread, including the long parts, I think bruce wilder had the right answer if the objective was to respond intelligibly to the question Ian put in the title of the post.

    The Democrats were only incompetent if you assume they meant to hold an honest vote. If, instead, the objective was to hack the vote and stop Bernie, then they pursused their true object with some measure of competence.

    At least the little weasel’s new nickname will be easier to remember – Mayo Pete just isn’t as snappy as Pete the Cheat.

  61. Hugh

    Every 4 years, the media uncritically covers the run-up to the Iowa caucuses, and then is always startled to discover how crazy, anti-democratic, and poorly run those caucuses are and how unrepresentative of the rest of the country Iowa actually is.

    Iowa has a population of 3.1 million, or slightly less than 1% of the US population of 329 million. If 200,000 people attended the Democratic caucuses, that would be about 6.5% of the state’s population, or 6.5% of 1%. If 170,000, then 5.5% of 1%.

    Last I checked, Sanders was ahead in first round votes by 5,000. But of course, this being Iowa, these figures have to be re-jiggered, so that in the second round, Sanders’ lead was cut to a 1,000. But as Jeff in Texas noted, this figure gets passed through Iowa’s version of an “electoral college”. Buttigieg edges Sanders in the regular districts but Sanders blows Buttigieg away in the so-called satellite caucuses. A more cornball system would be hard to imagine.

    As we all know the Republican Senate has acquitted Trump. They had a duty, and they did not do it. That other Congresses failed in their duty to hold other Presidents accountable in no way lets this Senate off the hook. We progressives also have a duty to fight for what we believe, leave our blood on the floor come what may, and never give up. Competence and organization are both important but useless without our commitment. And that commitment can not be just for the here and now but must be for the long haul.

  62. Z

    This is why I have always thought that the people who thoroughly write off Bernie’s chances to win the nomination because the DNC is going to rig the election against him don’t account enough for the possibility that they won’t be able to. Rigging an election is not a single push button operation. It’s complicated and they have to execute on it while trying to keep their fingerprints off it. There are limits to their capacity and risks. You can only trust so many people. It has to be done under the table, out of the open, and every piece of communication is potentially incriminating. And if somebody gets to talking it can all fall down.


  63. Benjamin

    @Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    ‘Oh, and it’s “Democratic Establishment”.’

    No, it’s Democrat.

    Funny you should try and make this point now, of all times. Democratic is a bar the party consistently does not reach.

  64. KT Chong

    I am one of the “left but not woke”.

    My decision to support Trump over the neoliberal corporatist warmongering Clintonites, the woke identitarians and the establishment Democrats is a long-term strategic decision — pay attention now:

    If true progressives cannot take over the Democratic party, then we must find ways to deconstruct and destroy it. We must help Trump and Republicans to win and win and win — and, in the process, utterly destroy the establishment Democratic Party. When the establishment Democrats lose elections, lose seats, lose power, lose credibility, and fall in a state of complete chaos and utter failure, then it creates an opportunity for progressives to challenge the establishment and stage a hostile takeover of the party. Only then, will we be able to deconstruct and destroy the party and rebuild something…


    And better.

    Of course, the most direct route to take over and reinvent the Democratic Party is for Bernie to win the presidential nomination and go on the win the general election. Once he becomes the president, he will become the de facto leader of the party — and then we will be able to purge and expunge all the Clintonites, corporatists, consultants, neoliberals. Execute the Purge. Replace them with progressives.

    Or, we can help Trump win the re-election and popular vote, help Republicans re-capture the House and expand its Senate control. to utterly destroy the Democratic party to accomplish that same final end goal.

    Very unfortunate, but the only way to save the Democratic Party may be to destroy it first.

  65. Plenue


    I’m not a skinhead, you moron.

    My point was that if you’re going to be belligerent little shit who goes around starting fights, like calling people Nazis and assaulting them, at some point someone is going to have enough of your nonsense and end your bullshit quickly.

    I’m tolerant, but I won’t be passive in the face of unwarranted aggression.

    So again, you need to calm the fuck down.

  66. Ché Pasa

    @KT Chong

    That’s insane. Supporting Trump does nothing whatever to “deconstruct” the Democratic Party or defenestrate the Dem establishment. Note: for all their huffing and puffing, the Dem establishment supports Trump and Trumpism, too. Isn’t that obvious by now?

    How many times must it be pointed out — accurately — that the Dem establishment and billionaire funders would rather have Trump in office than Bernie? This is doctrine, Iron Law. No true leftist will ever be allowed to be Dem nominee let alone president.

    The Democratic Party is a conservative party at bottom.

    The Republican Party is radical reactionary/fascist.

    The less stable one is the Rs, and they are far enough out on the whack limb you can cut it off with a butter knife. Get rid of the Rs. Leave the Ds to their conservative souls. Build a “Revolutionary Action’ Party to take the place that you want the Ds to have (but they will never be that). The outlines exist. The party frameworks exist. Use them.

  67. Dan

    Some information on the election shenanigans, for those so inclined:

    We found rounding errors in 30% of the precinct math worksheets that we examined from the Iowa Caucus. Each “rounding error” gave one extra delegate to a candidate. Over 50% of the time the extra delegate went to Pete Buttigieg.

    The rounding errors could lead to a significant number of delegates. They were in 30% of the precincts we examined. If 30% of 1678 precincts have an extra delegate assigned this way, it could be approximately 500 delegates. Buttigieg is currently leading Sanders by 18 delegates.

  68. Eric Anderson

    Apropo of nothing …

    Romney is going to run as an independent to try and screw Bernie and Trump. Just wait until it becomes clear Bernie’s the nominee. He’ll announce.

    Theory being, he’s not a socialist and he’s not a corrupt pervert.

    Place your bets folks.
    Todays vote set the table.

  69. someofparts

    This is some great stuff –

    The point of all the smoke and mirrors in Iowa is to hide Bernie’s success,
    but an equally important objective is to demoralize Bernie’s voters.

  70. Dan

    Every move they make to “demoralize” Bernie’s supporters only makes them stronger.

  71. Z

    It’s a good day for us when one of wings of the department of f’ing us over has a bad one.

    The rigging apparently didn’t go as smooth as expected and now the riggers have to deal with a bunch of questions they weren’t expecting and are not fully prepared to deal with.


  72. bruce wilder

    It will be interesting to see if Buttigieg takes a reputational hit from being too close to the manipulations surrounding how Iowa went down. His role in stopping publication of the Des Moines register poll. That close relatives of the CEO of the company responsible for the app are in his campaign. That one of his billionaire patrons is tied to the app developer. The “rounding error” thing mentioned above. Extending the news cycle with horse race coverage with the release of partial results. The calculated way the whole debacle undermines the Sanders effort to expand the electorate.

    Warren misremembering a supposedly private conversation and getting CNN to use “the story” seems so amateurish by comparison. But, maybe it is too complex and “conspiratorial to have any impact. ??

    Trump is sure enjoying it, though.

  73. Eric Anderson

    Well, apparently it wasn’t my french that sent two comments to mod.

  74. Z

    Is the DNC competent enough to rig a national election?


  75. different clue

    Maybe Romney and Bloomberg will run together on that Independent Ticket. They could call it the Richie Rich ticket.

    ” You can’t bribe us! We don’t need the money.”

  76. Ten Bears

    Heads up Ian, good bad or indifferent, this got picked up by the Great Orange Satan.

  77. Z

    In 2016 the NV democratic party was accused by Bernie’s campaign of being in the bag for Hillary and engaging in election fraud and misconduct in the process. It was one of the states that Bernie’s campaign was most angry about. Remember this is Harry Reid country, think he wasn’t in the bag for Hillary and that he didn’t have the organization set up with his people in the right places after all those years in Congress? There were talks by the Sanders campaign of making sure the same crap didn’t happen this year. The NV democrats being part of this voting software company situation should not be surprising; it warrants suspicion.

    After 2016, with Hillary’s humiliating loss and the realization that her time had passed, all the sh*t that turned up in Wikileaks with the DNC rigging the primary for Hillary, and Wasserman-Schultz being tossed out as a result, there had to have been a lot of turnover all through the states’ democratic party leadership and in the DNC, all levels. And if you were involved in some dirty dealings, it would also make all the sense in the world to get out on Wasserman-Schultz’s free pass at that time. The Feds weren’t going to bust her, she’s too connected, so they weren’t going to dig around too much into the whole situation because it would probably eventually lead to her and the DNC leadership.

    In light of that, it’s not surprising that they would try a scheme like Shadow with relatively few people involved in it and one in which the participants in it were probably vetted by only opening the investment opportunities to people and groups that all had a common purpose: to screw over Sanders.

    Again, there’s no guarantee that this DNC can do a proper and credible job of rigging a national election. They can’t do it out in the open and probably a lot of trusted state party and DNC connections have been broken since 2016. And know this: some of the people that got replaced in these state democratic party leadership positions are pro-Bernie people. They’re embedded now and watching for it. Not to mention in the cellphone age, you better be damn sure you can trust the people you’re working with if you’re rigging an election.



    I’m not a skinhead, you moron.

    Then quit acting like one and quit defending them.


    They’re greasing the skids ahead of the fix in New Hampshire. Surely they wouldn’t do in New Hampshire what they did in Iowa, right? They’re not that brazen and threatened, are they?

    Independent voters in New Hampshire is gaining as the 2020 field gears up for the state’s primary next week, the latest polling data shows.

    The figures—gathered daily by 7 News and Emerson College Polling—showed that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders maintains a healthy lead in the state where he won more than 60 percent of votes in the 2016 contest.

    But 38-year-old Buttegieg closed the gap by four points from Tuesday, a nine-point boost for the candidate since Monday. Sanders’ support dropped one point from Tuesday to Wednesday.

    Wednesday’s figures put Sanders at 31 percent, Buttigieg at 21 percent, former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren tied at 12 percent, and Senator Amy Klobuchar at 11 percent.

    They’ve got their horserace come hook & crook.

  80. Hugh

    Buttigieg was taking a page from Dick Cheney. Truth and falsity don’t matter. Announce something and more people will likely believe what you are saying then will hear the rebuttal/debunking of it a day or two later. Buttigieg is just another conservative, corporate “you can’t have nice things” Establishment Democrat. If you are in the top 20% and likely doing well with the status quo or the status quo ante Trump, he (or Bloomberg) is your guy. If you are in the lower 80%, he’s cyanide.

    Oh, and the Nevada Democratic party has announced it will not be using the Shadow app. Hey, if the big money donors who funded Acronym which effectively owns Shadow want to waste their money like that, please send it to me. I can think of all kinds of things useless to them and fun for me to do with it.


    No, they should not. Never. The alt-right is fascism. Fascism is capitalism in crisis. Any progressive movement should be constantly vigilant against fascist infiltration and sabotage. If it isn’t, it’s not really a legitimate movement worth its salt, is it?

    Slavoj Zizek is the author. Talk about morons, he’s a moron for suggesting such an abomination.

    Here’s an excellent comment to the article.

    There is a synergy between the Right’s understanding of where power lies and the Left’s, but the Right misdirects its discontent towards the most vulnerable in society and not to the most powerful. When Hitler came to power as a ‘National Socialist’ he promptly rounded up the Social Democrats and trade unionists and sent them off to camps. He then came to an accommodation with the steel barons and chemical giants and even with the Rothschilds (for a consideration). The Right is not to be trusted.

    Both utilize populist sentiment but that’s where the comparison ends. Or that’s where it should end. If the horseshoe theory is a correct assessment of the political spectrum, and I believe it is, then safeguards must be put in place to prevent that narrow gap between far left and far right from ever being bridged. Currently, no safeguards are in place and therefore the gap is ripe for exploitation.

  82. someofparts

    Linked to by Michael Moore on the Twitter machine –

    Headline: Get a Grip, Bernie Bed-Wetters: His Message and Media Machine Could be Potent Against Trump

    “Instead of asking if Sanders is unelectable, ask another question: What if Sanders is actually the MOST electable Democrat? In the age of Trump, hyper-partisanship, institutional distrust, and social media, Sanders could be examined as a candidate almost custom-built to go head-to-head with Trump this year. Here, in fact, are five good reasons why he might just be the one.”

    The five reasons: 1) he is already a celebrity 2) he understands media 3) he has a clear message 4) he is a fundraising beast 5) he has an army. These subheads don’t do the points justice. The way the writer develops them is not to be missed.


    It looks like Bernie may win Iowa afterall, hook & crook be damned. It appears they didn’t control for the satellite caucuses and the satellite caucuses are what are putting Bernie in the lead perhaps because those results are unadulterated.

    A new batch of Iowa Democratic caucus results released in the early hours of Thursday morning showed Sen. Bernie Sanders almost completely wiping out Pete Buttigieg’s narrow lead in state delegate equivalents while extending his popular vote lead over the former South Bend, Indiana mayor to more than 2,500 votes.

    With 97% of precincts reporting, Sanders trails Buttigieg by just three state delegate equivalents—550 to 547—or one-tenth of a percentage point. In the popular vote in the final alignment of the caucus, Sanders leads Buttigieg 44,753 to 42,235.

    After projecting late Wednesday that Buttigieg would “very likely” emerge victorious from the Iowa debacle, the New York Times drastically changed its prediction following the latest results, giving Sanders a 54% probability of winning the caucus hours after stating such a result was “barely possible.”

    “We think the race is a toss-up with Bernie favored very narrowly,” tweeted Times reporter Nate Cohn.

  84. Jeff in Texas

    If Sanders ends up winning, after “falling behind” in the precincts that just so happened to be reported first in Iowa’s fake horse race, then just how bad this all ended up screwing him will become very clear. Nate Silver (take him with a grain of salt, but still) had an interesting analysis earlier this week to the effect that winning Iowa matters almost exclusively because of the PR bump and momentum it provides the winner– who can in theory make the victory speech and dominate the news cycle for the better part of a week leading into New Hampshire and the later primaries. The actual delegate count that the winner gets from Iowa, by contrast, is of little benefit long term, because Iowa is a tiny state. As it has turned out, the ONLY candidate who got to declare victory is Pete the Cheat (agreed that this is better than Mayo Pete). Sanders is robbed of his big speech, and his supporters are left (again) to wonder if it matters that they participate in this shit show if the fix is going to be in against their guy no matter what.

    Given that this whole thing– whatever the “whole thing” was intended to be– has exploded spectacularly may mean that in the long run the bad guys will not win. As others have noted, it is hard to steal an election if you get caught in the act. But in any event this has undermined Sanders, and done real damage to the Democratic Party– the party that was going to return America to competence and democracy and morality. Trump is once again blessed with incompetent enemies, it would appear.

  85. Stirling S Newberry

    impeachment impeachment impeachment
    beseeched appalling partisan
    impartial conscience four
    literally restored institution expulsion

  86. someofparts

    “It will be interesting to see if Buttigieg takes a reputational hit from being too close to the manipulations surrounding how Iowa went down.”

    I hope so. Pete is the Eddie Haskell of his generation.

    The point of view from the Sanders campaign is that this is just the sort of thing any hard-headed campaigner knew to expect from the opposition, so brush off the distraction and redouble the focus on winning.

  87. Dan

    The Sanders campaign is a different animal. Missing the Iowa bump isn’t going to matter. Every time the establishment does something that creates even a whiff of nefariousness, the millions of Sanders supporters donate more money and get more involved in his campaign via texting, phone banks, etc. This then brings more people into the fold. The Sanders campaign expects every dirty trick in the book to played against them and then some, and they actively train their supporters to immediately transform any negative emotion into positive activity for the campaign.

    If anyone here wants to get an idea of how organized, and how powerful, the grassroots of this campaign is, I recommend signing up to do texting or phone calls for Bernie. You’ll be brought through a short training and then can download the campaign software which includes Slack, a messaging platform. Even if you don’t want to engage at all, you can monitor what’s going on. It’s incredible what these (mostly younger folks) are doing. It’s both energizing and heartwarming.

    Sanders hasn’t been declared the winner in Iowa and it’s clear he’s being royally screwed over by the establishment and that this will continue and only get more brazen. Some of us more enlightened folks keyboarding here on the internet may see the writing on the wall. Why waste any more energy on this futile endeavor? And if I had to go to a funder for more cash, they’d probably see the writing on the wall too. There’s a lot to be negative about, if you allow yourself to be. But wait:

    Sanders Raises $25 Million in January, a Huge Show of Financial Strength

    The Vermont senator’s announcement came as the Biden, Buttigieg and Warren campaigns are showing signs of financial strain.

  88. Dan

    Well, that was the January fundraising which I prematurely jumped on to make a point. But I know you’ll find that the fundraising for Bernie actually goes up after each seemingly negative event. They immediately transform any potential negative personal emotion into positive action for the campaign and the larger whole.


    Despite the hype of the early caucus in Iowa and primaries in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, Super Tuesday will be decisive. Will Bernie carry his momentum through Super Tuesday and add to it? We’ll see.I sure hope so. I’m pulling for him and we will be voting for him.

    Even without Dem establishment chicanery, it’s a tall order for Bernie. Add the chicanery and it’s difficult to fathom Bernie exiting Super Tuesday the decisive leader.

    Here’s an excellent article from The Atlantic. I will add or correct, it’s the election of Trump that gave us that dangerous new opening. Bloomberg is just exploiting the opening Trump created. Will Bernie be able to raise enough money for Super Tuesday? We’ll see. Like I said, popcorn will not suffice this time around. You’ll choke on it.

    5. It’s a dangerous opening for a new age of American oligarchy.

    Whether Bloomberg flames out in two weeks or becomes the 46th president of the United States, his opulent experiment in self-funding could open a Pandora’s box of billionaire projects.

    “Mounting a historically well-funded presidential campaign is a minor indulgence [for a billionaire] akin to an upper middle-class family spending a weekend at a ski resort,” Eric Levitz writes in New York magazine. If other tycoons learn from his example, Levitz says, the next few decades could see a bonanza of $100 million campaigns, and not all of them will have as beneficent a goal as preventing an authoritarian president from winning a second term.

    Bloomberg supporters might counter that plutocrats have been pulling strings in Washington for years, especially in the post–Citizens United world. (The families Koch, Mercer, and Soros didn’t need Bloomberg’s inspiration to spend tens of millions of their own dollars to support Republican or Democratic causes in the past few election cycles.) And, they might add, there is something almost quaintly straightforward about a self-funding billionaire with a public record of legislation who owes no favors to occult special interests. You can love or hate the idea of a billionaire philosopher-king nominee, but it’s the opposite of a Manchurian candidate.

  90. Willy

    It’s weird to see Buttigeig even having a remote chance, let alone in a tie. But I still have to be open to the possibility that as with Trump, predictive polls didn’t account for all the people unwilling to admit their vote.

    Stockholm syndrome? Plausible. But machination does seem more realistic. Our present and former Democratic leaders seem far to wealthy for anything else.

    Again, I’m no Bannon fan, but he does speak in terms of “managed decline” a lot. I take that to mean that the PTB are fully aware of the plight of the American (and ‘western’) worker but since these workers are still their primary consumer livestock, they don’t want stampedes or unpredictable uncontrollable worse.


    Great strategic move by Bernie’s campaign to consider the impact of the satellite caucuses and focus resources on them. It paid off. Intelligent. Savvy. Clever. Respect.

    So how has Sanders staged such a comeback? By doing extremely well at satellite caucuses, or the alternative caucus sites for people who couldn’t make a regular caucus (e.g., people who live out of state, or locals who simply couldn’t make time on Monday evening). Satellite caucuses are unique among caucus sites because they aren’t worth a set number of state delegate equivalents; instead, each satellite caucus’s state-delegate-equivalent value is determined by how many people attended it.

    A savvy campaign might have realized the potential to run up its state-delegate-equivalent score by encouraging its supporters to attend satellite caucuses, and that seems to be what the Sanders campaign apparently did; according to The Intercept, it devoted a lot of effort to getting out the vote at satellite sites, while no other campaign paid the satellites much heed. Apparently, it paid off: So far, Sanders has gotten 21.855 state delegate equivalents out of the satellite caucus sites, and Buttigieg has gotten 1.196.


    How many times have we heard Dem establishment types boastfully retort that Hillary won the popular vote in 2016 and the electoral college should be abolished, and yet an effective electoral college in Iowa is utilized to attempt to cheat Bernie out of winning Iowa.

    Here’s Newt Gingrich defending Bernie. Bernie didn’t ask for Gingrich’s defense nor does he want it I’m sure. Not to mention, perhaps Newt can explain why the DNC would want to cheat a “socialist” out of the Dem nomination. Afterall, Newt and his ilk have repeatedly ad nauseum referred to ALL dems over the years, regardless of who the Dem is, as socialists and worse, communists. If that’s true, Newt, why would communists eschew a wildly popular communist candidate and try to cheat him out of the nomination? Hypocrisy abounds. We’re awash in it. To not be a hypocrite is the exception and I’m not sure not being hypocritical is recognizable at this point. It’s ALL hypocrisy ALL the time.

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday that media is “totally misreporting Iowa” and that Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., won the state’s caucuses.

    “Sanders got the most votes in the first round. He got the most votes in the second round. The only reason [former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete] Buttigieg is getting all this press is that the Iowa process is rigged.”

    He then said, “the fact is, Sanders came in first in [the] popular vote in both the first and second ballot and it tells you how desperate they [Democrats] are to stop him, that we’ve been through this week of Sanders not being recognized.

    “He is the frontrunner for the Democratic Party right now,” Gingrich continued.


    Bernie’s SOTU rebuttal is excellent. I wonder why CNN and MSNBC didn’t carry it? This time in 2016 they were covering all of Trump’s rallies. They gave Trump 24/7 publicity to the tune of billions of dollars worth of advertising if you added it all up.

    Yeah, no, KT Chong, Bernie would never agree to deliver his supporters to Donald Trump should he not get the nomination. Bernie’s criticism of Trump is the REAL criticism of Trump and yes, Bernie knows, Trump needs to be criticized and more, Trump needs to be removed because he is a danger to us all.

  94. Suckin’ all the air out of the room, a strategy that has been deployed by illiberal political leaders around the world. Rather than shutting down dissenting voices, these leaders have learned to harness the democratizing power of social media for their own purposes—jamming the signals, sowing confusion. They no longer need to silence the dissident shouting in the streets; they can use a megaphone to drown him out. Scholars have a name for this: censorship through noise.

  95. Dan

    And they said only white people vote in Iowa:

    The largest, most diverse population areas, in addition to the satellite caucus centers, are Bernie dominant. The DNC / Iowa Democratic Party intentionally decided to count these last. To quote a commenter over at Naked Capitalism,

    “I keep refreshing the IDP’s page, but I suspect it will take a court order to pry that last 3% of the vote out of them.”

    Tom Perez, meanwhile, has just called for a “recanvass.”

    To quote someone again over at NC:

    “My gut reaction is that ‘now we know that Sanders did very well in the unreported precincts.’ They’re not even trying to make it look like they’re not trying to cheat.”

    The bottom line is Bernie is going to win Iowa and New Hampshire and he may even have a victory party for both at the same time.

    Regardless, Bernie’s people continue to forge ahead, creating our own reality.

    And Karl Rove can eat himself.

  96. Hugh

    So 3 days into the Iowa morass, Tom Perez noticed he was the DNC chair and has intervened calling for a recanvass of votes, a move which will delay final results in Iowa which weren’t in anyway (about 96%) for who knows how much longer. Perez said it was “in order to assure public confidence in the results.” Tom, that ship has sailed. It left the harbor Monday night with horns blaring for parts unknown. Who will do the recanvass? The same dumbf*ck state party that blew it caucus night with an app that apparently it and you had no problems with?

  97. Plenue

    Yeah, 450, I’m not going to play this game with you. You do not get to threaten inflicting violence, and then act like the one with the moral high ground, playing hurt and defensive that others won’t respond to your belligerence passively.

    I’m not defending skinheads. And I see no evidence of any skinheads here to begin with. All I see is you being an asshole and asserting fictitious Nazis into existence.

  98. different clue

    @Pete in Texas,

    The attempted Grand Theft Iowa caucuses appear to me to make the Sanders group look VERy COMpetent. They were able to separately and without the Mainstream Peter Cheater Dems even realizing it . . . . document the actual facts as they unfolded . . . and expose the scam.

    That should HEARTen the Sanders supporters. And wannabe Sanders supporters in other states.

    Die yuppie scum Clintonites.

  99. different clue

    It is easy to defeat the anti-room airsuckers. One can quickly learn their blognames and learn to scroll past them.

    It takes me only 3 seconds to scroll past a thread-spammer’s comment. If a thread-spammer runs 10 comments in a row, it takes me only 30 seconds to scroll past them. If I can do it, so can anyone else. If anyone else really wants to.

    And Ian Welsh can always delete all the comments from obvious thread-spammers and let them learn to stop spamming through what animal behaviorists call “aversive conditioning”.

  100. nihil obstet

    Yes, one can scroll past them, but if there’s a useful, interesting conversation going on, it means scrolling, scrolling back, scrolling to see what the various commenters have said, how they’re responding to each other. It discourages interactive conversations, one of the real joys of this site when they develop.

  101. Dan

    I agree with nihil obstet.

  102. Hugh

    So from Naked Capitalism, the DNC didn’t just arrive in Iowa. They been there (calling the shots?) for two days. And Tom Perez calling for a re-canvass? Apparently, the state party responded to Perez that only a candidate could request one. As the saying goes, so many shivs, so little time.

  103. different clue

    @ Dan and Nihil Obstet,

    I see your-alls’ points. But it may be the price we pay for non-trolls and non-spammers to comment back and forth thereby force-multiplying each others’s comments’ value. I have read that the internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it. Well, we could treat the thread abusers as damage and route around them. It could take a few minutes of scroll-work.

    Its like with the whales. They have to filter an awful lot of seawater to get some fish. But they do it because its worth getting the fish.

  104. Dan

    I see value in both points of view. What to do?

  105. different clue


    What I will do is . . . keep scrolling past things written by people whose names I have come to associate with “wasting my time” . . . and keep reading things by people whose names I have come to associate with ” worth having read”. And responding to same.

    Not all the “wasting my time” comments come from clear trolls. Some come from lonely people, some come from compulsive thread-spammers, some come from Johnny-One-Note-Ponies, etc.
    And some of those I can sometimes speed skim-read to see if something worthwhile shows up. If nothing does, I go back to the scroll button or the down key.

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