Saturday, June 11, 2016

Clinton Emails Off Limits to Voters Until After She's Crowned  (No, Bernie Still Not Dropping Out No Matter How Loudly They Whine)   Yes, They Know What's Best for US  (They Only Want to Improve Social Security?) By Abolishing It As the Insurance You Thought You Had Already Paid For

The Cost to You and Me of Proposed Offshore Drilling? $179.2 Billion
After Frustrating Primary, Millions of Ballots in California Remain Uncounted
The uncounted ballots would put the total number of voters at around 8.5 million, or around 47 percent of all registered voters

State would need 75 years to compile Clinton emails

My guess is that no one in the insiders group wants this to happen.

As for the rest of US, the following precis has just about revealed in depth all we need to know about the Democratic Party owners and most of their blinded-by-the-light voters:

The maddening thing about the Democrats is that they refuse to see how easy they could have it. If the party threw its weight behind a truly populist platform, if it stood behind unions and prosecuted Wall Street criminals and stopped taking giant gobs of cash from every crooked transnational bank and job-exporting manufacturer in the world, they would win every election season in a landslide.
This is especially the case now that the Republican Party has collapsed under the weight of its own nativist lunacy. It's exactly the moment when the Democrats should feel free to become a real party of ordinary working people.
But they won't do that, because they don't see what just happened this year as a message rising up from millions of voters.
Politicians are so used to viewing the electorate as a giant thing to be manipulated that no matter what happens at the ballot, they usually can only focus on the Washington-based characters they perceive to be pulling the strings. Through this lens, the uprising among Democratic voters this year wasn't an organic expression of mass disgust, but wholly the fault of Bernie Sanders, who within the Beltway is viewed as an oddball amateur and radical who jumped the line.
Nobody saw his campaign as an honest effort to restore power to voters, because nobody in the capital even knows what that is. In the rules of palace intrigue, Sanders only made sense as a kind of self-centered huckster who made a failed play for power. And the narrative will be that with him out of the picture, the crisis is over. No person, no problem.
This inability to grasp that the problem is bigger than Bernie Sanders is a huge red flag. As Thacker puts it, the theme of this election year was widespread anger toward both parties, and both the Trump craziness and the near-miss with Sanders should have served as a warning. "The Democrats should be worried they're next," he says.
But they're not worried. Behind the palace walls, nobody ever is.
- Matt Taibbi
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Don't miss Chris Hedges' new show, "On Contact," on "RT" beginning Saturday (today), June 11, 2016.

When the "AP" and many other major media outlets designated Hillary Clinton as the Queen of Chaos/Exceptionalism (not kidding, check out her warmongering history)/Democratic Presidential Nominee based on anonymous super-delegate sources before the last six primaries/caucuses occurred, it seemed to spell the end of what had been a very important democratic institution in the US:  the right of voters to vote unencumbered by news media announcements that would affect voting behavior.

And it really wasn't that surprising if you check how almost all media sources treated that surprise announcement on the day before the CA and NJ primaries. . . .

When Obama drank the Flint water on camera it signified the end of this dynasty's dignity at the not-so-hidden-any-longer hand of the real owners.

Hillary would drink a gallon if she were told to.


Don't kid yourself.

Marc Cooper knows who Bernie is and why he will not quit until he feels his message has been truly disseminated to all who want to listen to it and comprehended in its logical implications for the future.

What Bernie Wants, Why He Should Not Drop Out and Why It Would Be Political Maplractice If He Did

I have many better things to do today. I have to pick up seat covers for my new gas guzzling Dodge Challenger, the warmed up swimming pool beckons, and I have a lot of new photos to process.

But I am so goddamn sick and tired of Hillary supporters and gaseous pundits bloating on about why won’t Bernie just drop out, I am going to sacrifice a bit of my time to expose you to some sensible marcsplaining. So pay attention:

  • As I have stated before, Sanders is neither a fool nor a lunatic. He knows very well he cannot flip the super-delegates nor win the nomination. However, to stay in a race, ALL candidates must say they are in it to win. Get it? But he has no illusions. His insistence on flipping the supers is clearly a strategy to underline his stated distaste for this in-crowd of party hacks and he is cleverly underlining the anti-democratic role they play by becoming the folks who actually decide over the heads of the voters. Apparently this strategy is a bit too clever for a lot of you cuz it went right over your fuzzy little heads.
  • The monumental collapse of the GOP this cycle and its takeover by fruitcake Trump has overshadowed an equally salient fact: the collapse of the Democratic Party. Fortunately for the Democrats, their collapse — the erosion of trust by huge sectors of its base, it’s complete irrelevance to voters under age 35 and so on — has been slightly less explosive than the Republicans — where the implosion has been total. In the case of the Democrats, only about 45% of its voters have rebelled against the party whereas Republican rebels and their quislings is a clear majority. In short, while the GOP as we know it is dead, the Democratic Party is merely on life support and had has at least a narrow chance of surviving.
  • That narrow chance does NOT reside with a hack relic of the past named Clinton, who campaigns against inequality while wearing a $12,500 Armani jacket (really). It resides in the hearts, minds, aspirations, enthusiasms and HOPES of an entire younger generation that has been lined up with Sanders program of real and meaningful reform and a more decent America.
  • The only hope the Democratic Party has is that the millions of Sanders supporters, as well as several million Clinton supporters influenced by Sanders, REMAIN engaged, active, and involved in politics. If they are to be prevented from getting burned out or dead ending in a stunted third party, then room for them must be made to have real influence and power in the Democratic Party.
  • Sanders has shown that millions of NON Democrats (the biggest party in America is unaffiliated independents) can indeed be brought into the sphere of the Democratic Party as Democratic voters and therein resides any new future governing majority as well as any slim hope to start defeating the GOP fossils that pack the midterms.
  • Hence, all the blithering chatter about “party unity” is exactly that. Probably a near 50% of Sanders supporters are not Democrats but are willing to support Democrats who resonate with them. The urgency confronting the party, for God’s sake, is not to unify it, but rather to EXPAND it.
  • The Sanders faction is currently the most attractive and available voting bloc to build that expansion. Calling them names, belittling them, mocking them, blaming them for a minority that is rude (something found in all campaigns), calling them Bernie Bros and sexists is all done at the peril of the Democratic Party itself. If Democrats want to whither away, and believe me they will after two years of Clinton’s predictable transactions, just keep it up. You too can be as much as a phantom as the GOP if you try hard enough.
  • Yes, “Sanders is going to the convention.” It would be malpractice if he did not. He is now responsible for offering leadership to just about half of an imperiled party that is nominating one of the least inspiring candidates since Gerald Ford, He is not going there to heckle Clinton, to stage a walkout nor is he going there for a photo op to, um, unify the party. Sanders is now the leader of a very serious and broad reform movement - his agenda is very clear:  Medicare for All, $15 an hour minimum wage, free public universities (they were just about free in the 60’s so why not now?), the mitigation of Big Money in politics, a much tougher crackdown on the Wall Street bandits that gorge on the rest of us, democratization of the primary process, mitigation of the power of the unelected party machine, and deep criminal justice reform. This is a pragmatic, morally responsible program for rejuvenating America (and the Democratic Party). 
  • It is not an option, it is Sanders’ duty to bring his supporters into the convention as a disciplined army of reform to wrest, peacefully but forcefully, as much as he can in this direction during the convention itself. Hey, bozos, that’s what convention are supposed to do. Unless you agree with Trump that they should be only show biz extravaganzas. My personal wish is that he keep his supporters as independent as possible, allowing them to become strategic allies of the Democratic Party rather than mindless party robots robbed of all agency.
  • If this much can be achieved, then I would urge Sanders to keep that movement fresh, activated, and engaged AFTER the election. If you think Hillary is going to enact any meaningful reform out of the goodness of her heart, you are simply a fool. The Democratic base, led by young Sanders militants, must keep the pressure on her and the party to minimize its predictable capitulations and sell outs (TPP will be the first one). Sanders goal is very, very clear to me… that’s because I am not a fuzzy-headed overpaid pundit. He wants to build the progressive mirror of the Christian Coalition, a semi-independent, powerful bloc of organized voters with one foot in and one foot out of the party.
In other words, get used to him. He is not going away and he should not go away. If you chase him out, you chase out an entire young and enthusiastic generation and the loss will be yours.

P.S. NO. NO. Sanders “staying in” be it till DC next week or through the convention does not help Donald Trump. Sanders has already turned his rhetoric away from Hillary and onto Trump. If you want to defeat Donald Trump, you will need Sanders’ army of the young. If you alienate them, if you push them away, you will be eaten by The Donald.

And, yes, I will vote for her in November because frankly I have no choice other than to do that. I am not a fan of the lesser of two evils theory. But Trump is evil enough to make an exception. But my hopes and what little energy I have will remain committed to real reform and in the end Hillary is part of the problem, not the solution.

-Marc Cooper

Sanders, and yes Trump, have raised the voices of voters, and non-voters, regarding the programs and government they want. My guess is the established DEM party, like the GOP, will not respond to our wants. Mom may not really know best in this situation.
. . . Our nation is in need of help. GREED and POLITICAL POWER are of greater importance than the needs of the citizens. Unfortunately, CITIZENS vote for candidates they do not know except for glitzy and misleading ads. But instead of using our computers for research we use them to entertain us with movies, games, and info about celebrities. I am not sure that behavior is good citizenship.
To quote a POGO comic strip:  We have met the enemy and it is US.
What will you do? I think Bernie wants our answers. I wonder if other government officials and candidates do also. Will you push all levels of government to meet the needs of citizens? Will you hold electeds accountable to the voter or to enhancing their greed and power?
The status quo is not working. It is our responsibility to hold those in office and government agencies and bureaucrats accountable for their behavior. What will you do???

John Billy says
Thanks for articulating the feelings deep in the hearts of mature citizens.

Nick says
I agree with you here with the exception of fear voting.
Sanders tried to reform the Dem party with a Coup. He was 45% successful. If we are to have a true revolution however- you can’t consolidate with the side you’re railing against in hopes that they come around. Maybe the question is- is this a coup or a revolution?
In the end - Bernie will not endorse Clinton but rather encourage all of us to continue the fight. Does holding out for the FBI indictment make me a fool?
I suspect Green Party is going to do very well this year.
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Sanders Camp:  Clinton Has Not Secured Nomination Yet

June 07
“It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgment, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of super-delegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer,” Michael Briggs said Monday night.
“Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination. She will be dependent on super-delegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then. They include more than 400 super-delegates who endorsed Secretary Clinton 10 months before the first caucuses and primaries and long before any other candidate was in the race.
“Our job from now until the convention is to convince those super-delegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump.”

Democrat Party Establishment Steal Election for Hillary

Submitted by IWB, on June 7th, 2016
The press is clearly in the pocket of the establishment. Today they announced a pool to try to prevent Bernie from winning California where he had a slight lead. They polled the super delegates (who are outside of the democratic process entirely) to see who they will vote for. The fact that they had to poll these people demonstrates that this is an anti-democratic process and the entire primary process is a joke.
Using super delegates, the press cheered their own corruption today after announcing that Hillary was the winner before six states voted. This move to stop Bernie demonstrates how the press is in league with the elite politicians to defeat the people at every possible stage. Nobody is willing to just let the chips fall where they may.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Establishment Media Commit Massive Act of Malpractice And Claim Clinton ‘Clinched’

by Kevin Gosztola

Screenshot of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on Monday night where NBC News defended calling Clinton the "presumptive nominee."

The Associated Press and NBC News inappropriately reported Hillary Clinton made history and “clinched” the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. It spurred other media organizations, such as CNN and the New York Times, to follow suit and splash their home pages with big headlines indicating Clinton was the nominee.

In engaging in this act, establishment media improperly influenced five primaries scheduled for June 7, including the California primary, one of the biggest contests in the presidential race thus far. They collectively stooped to a new sycophantic low.

The reports of “clinching” are entirely based on an unofficial survey of super-delegates, which the AP and NBC News has conducted throughout the 2016 election. They both determined Clinton reached the “magic number” needed to clinch, which is 2383 delegates.

But if it is true that history happened, why didn’t Clinton’s own party congratulate her? How come there was no statement from the Democratic National Committee?

As of 12 am ET on June 7, the DNC had released no statement. There was no status update on the DNC’s Facebook page. There was no message sent or retweeted about Clinton making history.
Is that not a bit odd to journalists in the media or do journalists and pundits covering this election have their heads so deep in the Clinton campaign that they do not care to even fake objectivity and fairness anymore?

In late April, DNC communications director Luis Miranda informed CNN’s Jake Tapper, “Any night that you have a primary or caucus, and the media lumps the super-delegates in — that they basically polled by calling them up and saying who are you supporting — they don’t vote until the convention. And so, they shouldn’t be included in any count.”

Miranda told Tapper they should not be included in delegate count totals “because they’re not actually voting, and they are likely to change their mind. Look at 2008 and what happened then was there was all this assumption about what super-delegates were going to do, and many of them did change their mind before the convention and it shifted the results in the end.”

That is pretty plain. The DNC has not congratulated Clinton because it cannot until super-delegates vote in July.

This is why Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s opponent in the race, put out the following statement:

It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgement, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of super-delegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer.

Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination. She will be dependent on super-delegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then. They include more than 400 super-delegates, who endorsed Secretary Clinton 10 months before the first caucuses and primaries and long before any other candidate was in the race.
Sanders held a press conference hours before the AP and NBC News announced Clinton had “clinched.” He explicitly told reporters, as he has throughout the past month of the election, that his campaign plans to contest the convention. It will try and persuade super-delegates, who declared before any votes were cast, that he has the momentum and is the candidate who is best positioned to beat Donald Trump, the Republican’s presumptive nominee.

Despite this, the establishment media has collectively determined it is impossible for Sanders to achieve, and therefore, the nomination belongs to Clinton.

“Sanders plans to make the case to super-delegates that he is better positioned to beat Trump in November,” the AP stated. “While super-delegates can change their minds, those counted in Clinton’s tally have unequivocally told the AP they will support her at the party’s summer convention. Since the start of the AP’s survey in late 2015, no super-delegates have switched from supporting Clinton to backing Sanders.”

NBC News Director of Elections John Lapinski was asked by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow if there was any merit to the outrage from the Sanders campaign. He replied with a long-winded answer:

…Technically, they make their final formal decisions at the convention, right? I mean, but this is the way this is done — This is the process in the sense of — It’s really hard, especially to imagine how like so many of these delegates came out for her so early and they’ve been so supportive of her, to see them flip. And she’s going to have a huge — And, when you sort of think about it, the two factors I think that like — If Sanders were to go in essentially to the convention, where he had won the popular vote and won the pledged delegates, maybe, maybe there was a case that he could swing some delegates. Now, I am not saying he can’t swing a few here and there. I don’t know. I mean, it’s impossible to know. I mean, he’s going to sort of hold out. But the idea that — He doesn’t really have a lot there to make — There’s not a lot there, right? To sort of make that argument and that case. I don’t know what his argument and case will be, and I think, you know, he himself has said he’s going to reassess things. And so, we’ll actually have to — I mean, I can’t get inside of his mind and know what his actual decision will be…
Or, to put it more concisely, yes, super-delegates don’t vote until the convention but NBC News doesn’t care.

By announcing to citizens of the United States that Clinton has made history and clinched the nomination, super-delegates are definitely unlikely to switch, even if he wins California. Effectively, what AP and other media outlets did could shield Clinton from any massive boost Sanders may attain in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, New Jersey, and California.

At 12:42 pm on June 6, the AP reported Clinton was 23 delegates away from “clinching” the nomination. Uncommitted party insiders came forward to declare their votes and make it possible for the media to “report” Clinton’s “victory.”

The Democratic Party establishment has tried to push Sanders to quit for weeks. This could very well be some type of payback for staying in the race and competing for every last vote. If so, the establishment media is an effective co-conspirator in meting out this payback.

Way before this moment, there were rumblings that the media would announce Clinton “clinched” after she won New Jersey. Bill Mitchell of, the blog for the nonprofit school of journalism, argued media should not run such headlines.

Since super-delegates won’t cast their votes until July, Mitchell suggested, “It’s premature for journalists to act as if they have, in fact, already voted.”

“Clinton’s current overwhelming support among super-delegates (Sanders has commitments from only 46 of them) should by all means be part of Tuesday night’s story. But it should not be used to support declarations like Clinton clinching, crossing the threshold or any other lingo suggesting it’s all over,” Mitchell contended.

He added, “I base my argument on a non-partisan journalistic principle:  Report what you know.”
The establishment media thinks they know that Sanders will not be able to persuade super-delegates to support him. They fervently believe this is impossible so much that it is a “fact” to them. NBC News Director of Elections John Lapinski told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow there has never been any evidence super-delegates would abandon Clinton. Yet, recall, the conventional wisdom among the press was that Donald Trump would never be the Republican Party’s nominee.

Back in 2008, around this time, Senator Harry Reid urged senators to “keep their decisions in their pocket” until South Dakota and Montana had voted. Referring to uncommitted super-delegates, he told reporters, “I want everyone, until the elections are over, to keep their decisions in their pocket.” He said “Secretary Clinton needs to be left alone to get through the primary process and let it run it’s course.”

The Democratic Party establishment has, in sharp contrast, refused to show Sanders the same respect and leave him alone until the primary runs its course. The party’s leading politicians have fueled a steady drumbeat of calls in the press to quit or “tone down” his campaign so Clinton can focus on beating Trump. The message has been it is insubordinate of Sanders to compete in the primary as aggressively as Clinton has competed for the support of voters.

The establishment media is eager to focus on churning out storylines about Clinton versus Trump. There is no better way to justify tuning out his campaign than to seize upon party insiders just as eager to see Sanders and his supporters fade away.

There has been widespread concern promoted by Democrats that Sanders voters will not support Clinton in the general election. They may vote third party or stay home. Or, worse, they may vote Trump. This has fueled consternation on social media since March and inspired many pieces from pundits, which pathologize supporters.

What the AP, NBC News, and party insiders did is terribly offensive to voters who still have not cast their ballots.

If there ever was a reason for Sanders supporters to never give Clinton their votes in November, AP, NBC News, and other media outlets gave them one gigantic reason with this act of journalistic malpractice.
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How the AP Screwed Sanders, and Other Tales From Tuesday Night

Wednesday, 08 June 2016
By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed
Thanks to The Associated Press, I was awake well past midnight on Wednesday morning watching a series of non-events come to a grateful conclusion. I wanted to see the speeches, especially Bernie's, which came after 1:00 am; they were the one thing the "news" media couldn't screw up. How did Tuesday's primaries become non-events? Because The Associated Press on Monday night, straight out of the blue, declared Secretary Clinton to be the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

Wait, what? Yeah, they did that. They polled a bunch of Democratic Party elites - "super-delegates" - and decided Clinton had enough delegates to call it a day. The margin? One delegate. Five primaries and a caucus that would have decided the race fair and square 24 hours later got tossed into the dustbin because the AP wanted the hot take, the big scoop, and in doing so broke a cardinal rule of journalism:  They became the story instead of reporting the story.

The "news" media's reaction to that declaration was like tossing a live hand grenade into a hedge filled with chickadees:  lots of squawking and flapping and smoke and a ringing in the ears from the explosion. All the AP had to do was wait a day. They didn't, and it was a mess. Beyond the impact on the presidential side, there are the down-ticket races to consider. The AP's little wingding certainly depressed voter turnout across the board - exactly 354 people voted in the North Dakota Democratic caucus on Tuesday - and that depressed turnout affected down-ticket races all over the country.

Sanders supporters by and large have been reading the writing on the wall for a while. All they wanted was the opportunity to die on their feet, to take it to the end and let the chips fall. Now? They're pissed and feeling cheated. We're deciding nominees through polls of party elites? It was as undemocratic an act as I have ever witnessed after Bush v. Gore and the shenanigans in Ohio in 2004, and there will be consequences down the line, especially for Clinton. Good luck bringing Bernie's folks into the fold for the big push to November after that crud. It was disgraceful.

The facts:  Hillary Clinton won the big brass bookends - New Jersey and California - by dominant margins. She also did well in the middle, taking New Mexico and South Dakota. Senator Sanders took Montana and North Dakota, but the delegate math leading him to the nomination is grim and all but final. There is no there, there. AP or no AP, Clinton got her Philadelphia ticket punched on Tuesday.

Bernie Sanders flew home Wednesday with his senior campaign advisers to consider their options. He is holding to his vow to stay in until the convention. It may only be a bargaining tactic to wring platform and convention concessions from the Clinton campaign, but it may very well be something else entirely:  conviction.

When he finally took the podium on Wednesday morning, the roar of the crowd rose to a beam-rattling crescendo that lasted many long minutes; they wouldn't let the man speak because they just wanted to cheer his presence and all he has accomplished to date. When he did speak, his words were fire.

"I am pretty good at arithmetic," he said, "and I know that the fight in front of us is a very, very steep fight, but we will continue to fight for every vote and every delegate we can get. Our fight is to transform our country and to understand that we are in this together. To understand that all of what we believe is what the majority of the American people believe. And to understand that the struggle continues."

Take that, Associated Press.

And then there is "The Donald," who just came out of one of the more remarkably gruesome weeks in the history of US politics. Sen. Mark Kirk, Republican of Illinois, rescinded his endorsement of Trump. Former GOP presidential candidate Lindsey Graham was actively cajoling his fellow Republicans to take back their endorsements as well, and Sen. Mitch McConnell warned Trump to get his act together and become a serious candidate. The McConnell statement was the most ominous of all for Trump, because McConnell is the most cautious turtle in politics; he says nothing unless he has a large crew backing him, so by saying what he said, he was telegraphing to Trump that the whole GOP Senate caucus was ready to drop him like third-period French.

Trump got the memo. His campaign broke out the teleprompters he has so often disdained, and he gave a calm, measured (for him) speech on Tuesday night with his glass-eyed Stepford family behind him in an attempt to calm the waters. No wild waving of the little hands, no spittle-flecked invective; he looked in his blue suit coat like a prep school freshman who had been called on the carpet by the headmaster. Will it work? Can he hold it together until November?

Don't bet on it. Sooner or later, someone will poke him with a stick and he'll go off like Vesuvius and bury the GOP's Pompeii in hot ash. This is Mt. Trump we're talking about, after all.
The rest is aftermath. What can easily be described as the most bizarre, damaging and inspiring primary season in living memory has been capstoned by The Associated Press getting into the coronation business, a fitting end to this long, strange trip. The story line, however, also includes Bernie Sanders, one of the most inspirational and galvanizing figures to grace electoral politics in a very long time. It is to be devoutly hoped that the millions he has moved will keep moving - win, lose or draw - and continue working to improve this nation which desperately needs his voice, and theirs.

So. The presumptive nominees for the two major parties are among the most singularly despised people on the North American continent. One makes terrible decisions as a matter of course, and the other has no ideas whatsoever beyond a fictional notion of his own greatness. The "news" media got the race it wanted.
Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

William Rivers Pitt

William Rivers Pitt is a senior editor and lead columnist at Truthout. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books:  War on Iraq:  What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute:  Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq:  Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with Dahr Jamail, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in New Hampshire.
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'It was just chaos':  Broken machines, incomplete voter rolls leave some wondering whether their ballots will count
By Matt Pearce
California voters faced a tough time at the polls Tuesday, with many voters saying they have encountered broken machines, polling sites that opened late and incomplete voter rolls, particularly in Los Angeles County.

The result? Instead of a quick in-and-out vote, many California voters were handed the dreaded pink provisional ballot — which takes longer to fill out, longer for election officials to verify and which tends to leave voters wondering whether their votes will be counted.

This year’s presidential primary race has already been one of the most bitter in recent memory. Before Tuesday’s vote, Bernie Sanders supporters accused the media of depressing Democratic turnout by calling the nomination for Hillary Clinton before polls opened in California.

Those feelings haven’t gotten any less raw Tuesday as hundreds of Californians complained of voting problems to the national nonpartisan voter hotline run by the Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law.

It’s difficult to get a sense for how widespread the problems are or how they compare to recent elections. But experts said the culprit for Tuesday’s voting problems seems to be a confluence of factors — old voting machines, a competitive election that has drawn new voters, plus complex state voting laws that can be hard for poll volunteers and voters to follow.

“Presidential primary elections in California are the hardest elections of all. … This election reminds me of 2008 in that regard,” said Kim Alexander, president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation. “Our voter registration deadline is 15 days before election day, and that gives all the counties, and especially L.A. County, very little time to get their polling place rosters updated with all the voters.”

When Sanders supporter Brandon Silverman, 29, showed up at his polling station in Echo Park at 8:15 a.m., he said poll workers immediately handed him a provisional ballot, explaining that their machine wasn’t working yet. The full list of voters’ names for the precincts also seemed to be missing.

Silverman, an assistant television editor, quickly called a Sanders voter hotline and L.A. County voting officials. About 45 minutes later, the problems seemed to be resolved and he was able to cast a regular ballot, he said. But the chaos shook his confidence in the fairness of the electoral process a little, especially after hearing other precincts and states struggle with voting problems this year.

“I tend to agree with most of the Bernie supporters who are disappointed in the media’s handling of the super-delegate counts, but I tend to shy away from the people saying it’s ‘stolen’ or ‘rigged,’” Silverman said. “I’d like to not think the worst, but at a certain point you think, is it a coincidence?”

In Bell, Albert Grey showed up at his polling site Tuesday morning to find that the vote-counting machine seemed to be jammed, and there didn’t seem to be a supervisor on site. So he left without voting.

“I still have my ballot, I’m going to go back, see if the machine is working, and if it is, I’m going to vote,” Grey said.

On social media, many California voters reported showing up to their polling sites only to find that their names were not listed on the voting rolls, leaving them to cast a provisional ballot.
Sanders supporter Jonathan Daniel Brown accused Democrats of “purging votes” when he discovered he was not on the voting rolls at his polling station despite being registered.

Brown, an actor, refused to take a provisional ballot, and his complaints drew the attention of Los Angeles County Registrar-County Clerk Dean Logan, who intervened. Eventually, Brown said he was allowed to cast a regular ballot — though not before Brown said a poll worker called the police on him.

Los Angeles County’s 4,700 polling locations have to handle rosters for 4.9-million voters. The process can be complicated as many of the voters on those rosters can register or switch their party preferences up to 15 days before the election.

In an interview with The Times, Logan said there were some instances where supplemental rosters of new voters didn’t seem to make it to the polls on time, and so voters have gotten frustrated with having to take provisional ballots.

“There’s no doubt there’s an emotional element to this,” Logan said, alluding to the passions around the presidential campaign. “It is very unusual in California that we have candidates for president who are here the day before an election.”

Although some voters hesitate to take provisional ballots because they aren’t counted immediately, about 85 to 90% of provisional ballots are typically found to be legitimate and are counted toward the final, official vote, Logan said.

“We look at every one of those ballots,” Logan said. If a ballot is legitimate, he said, “Then that ballot does get counted.”

Writer Allison Bloom, 41, took her kids with her when she went to vote at the Kahal Joseph Congregation synagogue in Westwood on Tuesday morning.

“I wanted to show them what voting means,” Bloom said. But when she arrived, she said workers couldn’t boot up the vote-counting machine. Bloom left behind her ballot, with a worker promising it would be counted.

Bloom said her kids asked, “Is this what it’s always like?”

“It was just chaos,” Bloom said. “It was kind of an unfortunate first experience at the polls for them.”
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Just a note on how the other 99% are still living amid this high-time campaigning by the Hillary b/millionaires:

Increasingly the US economy consists of part-time jobs that cannot support an independent existence. Thus, more Americans age 19-34 live at home with parents than independently with spouses or partners. Fully half of 25-year old Americans live in their childhood rooms in their parents’ homes.
This is the “New Economy” that the filthy lying neoliberal economists promised would be reward for the American work force giving up their manufacturing and professional skill jobs to foreigners. What a monstrous lie the neoliberal economists told so that corporate executives and shareholders could put into their own pockets the living wage of the American work force. These neoliberal economists, and, alas, libertarian “free market” ones, have not been held accountable for their impoverishment of the American work force deeply buried in debt with no future prospects.

Those few Americans who have any awareness are beginning to realize that the One Percent and the western governments that serve them are re-establishing feudalism. The brilliant and learned economist, Michael Hudson, has labeled our era the era of neo-feudalism.

He is correct. The majority of young Americans come out of university heavily indebted, primed for debtor prison. When half of 25-year olds cannot marry and form households, how can anyone believe that housing sales and prices are rising except as a result of speculative investors banking on rental income from a population that cannot even pay its student loans.

The United States is the sickest place on earth. There is no public or political discussion of any important issue or of the multiple crises that confront America or the crises that America brings to the world.

The American people are so stupid and unaware that they are capable of electing a criminal and a warmonger like Hillary president of the United States and be proud of it.

These “tough” Americans are so frightened of hoax dangers, such as “Muslim terrorists” and “Russian aggression” that they willingly sacrificed their depleted pocketbooks, the Constitution of the United States — an act of treason on the part of the American people who utterly failed their responsibility to protect the Constitution — and their own liberty to a universal police state that has all power over them.

It is extraordinary that once-proud, once-great European peoples look for leadership from a country of moronic non-entities who have pissed away the liberty, security, and prosperity that their Founding Fathers gave to them.

Fellow Americans, if you care to avoid vaporization and, assuming we do avoid it, live a life other than serfdom, you must wake up and realize that your most deadly enemy is Washington, not the hoax of “Russian aggression,” not the hoax of “Muslim terrorism,” not the hoax of “domestic extremism,” not the hoax of welfare bankrupting America, not the hoax of democracy voting away your wealth, which Wall Street and the corporations have already stolen and stuck in their pockets.

If you cannot wake up and escape The Matrix, your doom will bring the doom of the planet.

Not so long ago, Social Security was endangered by a “bipartisan” consensus that sought to cut its benefits – already lower than those of comparable countries – as part of a “grand bargain.” President Obama even put a slow-motion benefit cut into one of his proposed budgets, in the form of a reduction in cost-of-living increases.

And nobody talked much about raising taxes on the rich. That, they said, was “politically impossible.”

The Democratic president, virtually all of his party’s senators, and both its presidential candidates now say they want to expand benefits. An idea that was widely dismissed when it was proposed by Bernie Sanders is now the Democratic position.

Things have changed dramatically. The Democratic president, virtually all of his party’s senators, and both its presidential candidates now say they want to expand benefits. An idea that was widely dismissed when it was proposed by Bernie Sanders is now the Democratic position. The “bipartisan” anti-Social Security army seems to be in ragged retreat, its campfires dying and its tents torn down.

But this isn’t over.

The president’s declaration is a major win for the left, as Nancy J. Altman and The Huffington Post political team explain. But the counterattack has begun.

It’s true that the anti-Social Security contingent seemed to be struggling last month at its annual convocation, the austerity-pushing “Fiscal Summit” funded by right-wing hedge fund billionaire Pete Peterson. Peterson’s been financing this movement for decades, aiding friendly politicians in both parties and backing a variety of messaging vehicles designed to disparage government’s role in the social contract.

(They include “The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget,” “Fix the Debt,” and my personal favorite, “Budgetball.”)

Peterson’s Fiscal Summits were once all the rage with luminaries on both sides of the aisle. Former President Bill Clinton’s been a frequent attendee. (Not this year, though. Wonder why?)

This year’s event wasn’t the same. Sure, some politicians showed up. But a melancholy torpor seemed to hang in the air. It didn’t get much coverage (Clinton’s absence undoubtedly hurt).

Three or four bored reporters munched on sandwiches in the press room while being barraged by rock music like they were Manuel Noriega under siege, except that the song choices were relentlessly upbeat – “Beautiful Day” by U2, “Gimme Some Lovin” by the Spencer Davis Group, “Eye of the Tiger” by whoever sang that, “I’d Love to Change the World” by Ten Years After.

(I don’t think anyone at the Summit vetted that last song’s lyrics, which include the line “Tax the rich, feed the poor/until there ain’t no rich no more.”)

But Social Security’s adversaries are still out there. Republicans still embrace the economic austerity that has wounded Europe and hamstrung our own recovery. Democrats at the Summit kowtowed to their hosts’ fiscal fixations. And the media personalities in attendance (were they paid?) offered chipper testimonials – pitches, really – for deficit reduction.
“To paraphrase Mark Twain,” said Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin, “everybody talks about the deficit but nobody does anything about it.”

“You’re somebody who’s trying to do something about the debt and not just talk about it,” CNN’s Dana Bash said to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) before praising the “Simpson-Bowles” deficit reduction plan – an impractical, unpopular and ultimately failed austerity proposal from former Sen. Alan Simpson and Clinton administration official Erskine Bowles – as a “solution.”

CNBC’s John Harwood recounted a “depressing” lunch with a former aide to Sen. Mitch McConnell he approvingly quoted as saying, “We can’t (fix) Social Security” – presumably a euphemism for “cut” – until “the baby boomers retire and the crisis is upon us.”

All of this fiscal folklore has been heavily promoted by Peterson-backed outfits.

Later, predictably, The Washington Post editorial board slammed the president. Democrats want “fatter checks for the elderly,” wrote the editors, for whom increasing a grandmother’s slender stipend is apparently a form of moral obesity.

The Post drew on the above-mentioned “Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget” and another Wall Street-funded group, “Third Way,” for discredited tropes like “the government spends six times as much as seniors as it does on children.” Statements like these are designed to fuel the notion of a “war between generations,” even though Social Security cuts would hurt younger people more.

Unfortunately, a lot of people in Washington still take these fictions seriously. Social Security’s adversaries are well-funded, their myths are deeply embedded in our political culture, and they’re not giving up.

Harwood, Bash, and other journalists in the Peterson umbra will keep reporting on these issues, skewing public perception.

If the Republicans win all three branches of government, Social Security will be in immediate mortal danger.

And while the rhetorical shift among Democrats is welcome, they’ll need to be held to it. Hillary Clinton’s website says she would “expand Social Security for those who need it most and who are treated unfairly by the current system.”

That’s not enough, given the current retirement crisis. The Sanders proposal, which is detailed and covers everyone, must be written into the Democratic platform. And activists must send the message that there will be dire political consequences if it isn’t honored. Otherwise, a new “grand bargain” is still a very real possibility.

The Peterson crowd’s expressed concern about government debt rarely leads them to propose tax increases on the wealthy, and never with any conviction. They’re cutters, not builders – even when it comes to Social Security, which is forbidden by law from adding to that debt. If they were real budget hawks they might consider that fiscal proposal from Ten Years After:

“Tax the rich, feed the poor …”

Say what you will about its politics, but it wouldn’t add a penny to the deficit.

Richard Eskow

Campaign for America’s Future

Posted on June 7, 2016

DISCLAIMER:  The opinions expressed here are those of the individual contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the LA Progressive, its publisher, editor or any of its other contributors.

Richard (RJ) Eskow is a former executive with experience in health care, benefits, and risk management, finance, and information technology. He is a Senior Fellow with the Campaign for America's Future and hosts The Breakdown, which is broadcast on We Act Radio in Washington DC.

Richard worked for AIG and other insurance, risk management, and financial organizations. He was also a public policy and finance/economics consultant, in the US and over 20 countries. Past clients include USAID, the World Bank, the State Department, the Harvard School of International Public Health, the Government of Hungary, as well as corporations and investors. He has experience in financial and numerical analysis (of benefit plans, financial risk, corporate investments), systems design, and management.

Richard has worked on long-range health policy and forecasting. His predictions are included in the recently-released Rough Guide To the Future in it's review of "the hopes, fears, and best prediction of fifty of the world's leading futurologists."

Richard is also a freelance writer. He's a regular columnist for the science and culture blog 3 Quarks Daily and a Contributing Editor for Tricycle magazine. His reflections on blogging and spiritual principles were included in Best Buddhist Writing of 2008.

Richard's also an (occasionally) working musician and songwriter who appeared regularly at venues such as CBGB's, the Washington Folk Festival, and motorcycle shows throughout the American South from 1970 through the year 2000. His last appearance was as the "opening act" for Gen. Wesley Clark in 2007, but he may be available again for the right price - or the right cause.

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