And I Welcome Their Hatred

So now that Bernie Sanders has torn into Donald Trump’s Dickensian throwback of a budget, he is taking heated attacks from the right. And I couldn’t be happier.

I feel the same way I did in 2003, when conservatives got over their little pretense of not hating New York after 9/11. I couldn’t stand their phony, self-congratulatory expressions of faux sympathy back then, and it was a positive relief when they went back to their John Rocker-esque true colors. It’s been the same thing with conservatives and Bernie, pretending they respect him as an independent truth-teller and expressing their backhanded sympathy just so they can use us to take shots at Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. Now that he’s back to being the commie atheist who wants to give handouts to lazy hippies and people of color while refusing to show the proper respect to our wealthy corporate betters, it’s like a weight has been taken off.


$15 Minimum Wage

A majority of the Senate Democrats are co-sponsoring the $15 minimum wage bill. At 30 sponsors and cosponsors, support has increased significantly since 2015, when Bernie Sanders was able to attract five cosponsors for his bill.

It seems to me that those six 2015 cosponsors make a good shortlist for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination:

Bernie Sanders, VT

Elizabeth Warren, MA

Ed Markey, MA

Sherrod Brown, OH

Dick Durbin, IL

Kirsten Gillibrand, NY

Donald Trump Wanders Into the Vicinity of Right

I like Donald Trump’s formulation that the suicide bomber in Manchester was a “loser.” The traditional ritualistic public insult of a suicide terrorist is “coward,” and frankly, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Bill Clinton called the U.S.S. Cole bombers cowards; seems to me that it takes some huervos the putter a little rubble boat full of explosives up to a U.S. Navy destroyer and blow yourself to kingdom come.

Losers, on the other hand, is demonstrably, consistently true of these attackers. These suicide terrorists in the West are not straight-A students of a religious bent from middle class families; they tend to be petty criminals with shoddy work histories and histories of quite irreligious types of violence. Life is cheap, their own lives most of all, and they wrap themselves in some religion-themed cause they looked up on the internet to give their miserable suicides the gloss of importance.


Name Villains

Graham Vyse at the New Republic puts his finger on why Corey Booker is a non-starter for 2020:

Booker has long preached unity and transcendence. Progressives may want him to “name villains,” but he told Salon in 2013, I don’t believe in wholesale vilification of any industry in the United States.” (He’s talking about the Wall Street banks! – ed.) The title of his book last year says it all: United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good.

The barriers to an economically just society are not technocratic. The growing concentration of wealth at the top of our society is the outcome of a power struggle between us and them. While there are win-win solutions to even many highly-divisive issues, there is nothing to do about the billionaire class (including but not exclusive to the one currently in the White House) other than to fight them and beat them, as they have been beating the 99%, in the political arena.

The next Democratic presidential nominee needs to understand that there are malefactors of great wealth, in Theodore Roosevelt’s great phrase, at work in our political system, using their clout to aggrandize themselves. The job of the next Democratic nominee for POTUS will be to convincingly name the villains, and promise to fight them for us. Not invite them to tea and cookies to work out something acceptable to everyone. Corey Booker is not the person for the job.

Who Amongst Us…?

The always public-spirited Hillary Clinton has founded a new nonprofit organization to fund groups that promote political engagement. That seem a fine and noble cause to undertake.

The name of the new organization is Onward Together.

Just give that a minute to sink in. Onward Together. That’s the name of Hillary Clinton’s new political organization: Onward Together.

Maybe John Kerry came up with that.

Once again, promoting political engagement is a wonderful thing.

On Offers to Join the Resistance

After he lost the 2004 presidential race, John Kerry went back to what he was doing before, stayed relatively quiet, and waited until a Democrat was elected president, at which point he was offered high-level jobs by an administration that was grateful to have his knowledge, competence, tirelessness, and expertise.

That is an excellent model for a losing presidential candidate to follow. Yep. That sure is a fine model for a losing presidential candidate to follow.

Mafia Rule

I am not a big fan of Barack Obama’s trade deals. I don’t know a great deal about KORUS specifically, but I know it fits the overall shape of his trade policy, and I have a different view of trade.

But for Trump to lean on the South Koreans now, in the middle of this nuclear crisis, is disgusting. This is the act of a man with no scruples, and no class. This is a mob shakedown.