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AvatarComments by Chip Daniels in reply to Douglas Hayden*

On “Epstein Dead

I guess what makes me so attuned to this is that stories like O'Keefe's tend to come from that same conspiratorial worldview, one that doesn't rely on skepticism; It relies on complete naivete and credulity, an unquestioning acceptance of any tale, and an insistence upon having a sole source of information to the exclusion of all others.

Consider this very story for example.
According to O'Keefe, ABC is spiking stories critical to conservatives.

Assuming it is true, then we would expect ABC news to be consistently different than NBC, CBS, CNN or MSNBC.

Is it?

Well, not really. So how do we reconcile these two contradictory facts?
One approach is to enlarge the conspiracy, to explain why all major media outlets report things in pretty much the same way.

But of course, this only creates a need for even more evidence, none of which is being presented.

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Did he have any examples to share, where political pressure made him drop a story?

Do we know that he was using the word in the same way you and I are using it?

Has anybody asked him to clarify or elaborate on his comments?

These are also honest, and useful questions before we run down the rabbit hole.

ETA:
For example: We know for a fact that the publisher of the National Enquirer practiced "capture and kill" where at the behest of people like Donald Trump would purchase stories then refuse to run them. This is a real example of "spiking".
We know for a fact that Fox News filters and frames stories to show Republicans in a good light.

These are clear examples of bias and deliberate disinformation, which the O'Keefe story only hints at.

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And its completely fair to say that media outlets are run by people who individually and collectively have political opinions and internal biases which affect their reporting.

But its dangerous to start going around using the word "spiked" or "censored" with all its implications unless one actually has the goods.

Especially here in this case. The whole story here is that people are being accused of murder.

Yet unlike most accusations of murder, the presumption of innocence is nowhere to be found, and "evidence" can be nothing more than "we don't have evidence- isn't that odd?"

On “The Socialism of Bernie Sanders

Barney Frank mentioned one time how almost all military bases and procurement systems are justified by self-described fiscal conservatives not on security needs, but on their stimulus effect on local economies.

They would tout the miraculous benefits of pumping massive amounts of government money into local economies which would have knock on effects on local housing, retail stores and ancillary businesses.

This echoes what I heard some leftis saying years ago, how in the Cold War era you could get almost anything you wanted, so long as you could plausibly tie it to "National Security".

So like, highways and bridges had a national security benefit of moving troops, school lunches made healthier recruits, public schools produced better military engineers and so on.

On “Epstein Dead

Oh, the employer suspended an employee? Well, that's it right there!

To spell out the obvius:
"Spiking" a story needs to be explained here; In conventional usage, it means a directive from higher ups to bury stories which might be embarrassing to the powers that be;

As opposed to "editing" a story, which is the normal process by which editors decide what stories are newsworthy, well sourced, meaningful and which are not.

Which one was this?

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This blog needs a sarcasm font, or "not-the-Onion" tag or something.

On “The Socialism of Bernie Sanders

It always amazes me how when a social welfare program is proposed, the chorus arises "HOW WILL WE PAY FOR UMPTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS?" but when a war of choice is proposed which will cost 4 trillion dollars and counting, we don't hear a peep.

I've proposed before a Mouse That Roared strategy where the ungovernable tribal regions of America blow up some government facility somewhere, then we can have a War On Terror right here, where the government carpet bombs Compton and East LA with pallet loads of shrink wrapped hundred collar bills in an effort to pacify the warlords, and where we open federally funded hospitals and schools and medical clinics in the rural areas of Alabama and Mississippi, in an effort to win their hearts and minds

Sure it would cost trillions, but you can't really put a price on security amirite?.

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I'll second this. The flip side of a "dynamic" market and "market-based solutions" to things like retirement and healthcare is that people are forever insecure and vulnerable to the slightest tremor in the marketplace.

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And of course, "Farmers" are not to be confused with "Farm workers".

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Which only prompts me to note how "radical" the New Deal era was compared to ours.

The degree of outright government control over private industries during the Depression and war years would astonish the average person today.

And its also worth noting how a lot of these things like wage and price controls continued up until the 1970s.

Bernie's brand of "socialism" would be seen in 1944 as modest.

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As with Trump, the winner inspires legions around the country to try and emulate his success.

Sanders' and ascension represents the final death knell of the 1990s "me too" Democratic Party, which tried to co-opt the Republican brand.

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Maybe.
But in three years he hasn't expanded his voting base by a single vote. He has one note, a mixture of bitterness and petulant grievance, and hits it in every single tweet and speech.

Given a good economy and lack of disastrous wars, he should be a shoo-in for re-election, but has never had a positive approval rating. All of his possible opponents beat him in head to head polls.
Given two years of a Republican House, compliant Senate and obsequious SCOTUS, he should have had some massive signature accomplishment, equal to Obamacare by now. Instead all he delivered was a tax cut for billionaires.

If this was President Hillary Clinton, we would be treated to constant headlines about the impending death of the Democratic Party.

He might be re-elected. But he isn't a superhuman juggernaut. He can be beaten.

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You're describing a Trump who thinks in terms longer than beyond his evening meal which i think is anthropomorphizing him a bit.

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You realize that throughout almost all of American history, we have had varying degrees of all those things? Including the re-education camps?

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America has always had heaping doses of government directed economic action. And for almost all that time, the government intervention was directed at erecting and maintaining the privilege of the dominant culture to the exclusion of all others.

Trump's form of socialism is in this vein- I joke about "Nationalism plus Socialism" but its not really a joke any more, its the purest form of Trumpism. Heaping doses of government gravy which flows towards his tribe, and savage indifference towards the rest.

On “From Fox News: Bernie Sanders projected to win Nevada caucuses

Is there polling showing what's happening in those states?

I know that Sanders is narrowing the gap with Biden in So Carolina, so he must be gaining strength in the black community.

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From LA Times:
Bernie Sanders has broad support in diverse California communities, new poll finds
https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-02-25/sanders-has-broad-support-in-diverse-california

"Sanders dominated Nevada’s caucuses on Saturday, largely on the strength of his support among Latinos, and he’s hoping to upend Biden’s campaign in South Carolina this Saturday by winning over African Americans.

In California, Sanders has significant support among both those groups, the poll indicates.

But all racial and ethnic groups in the survey showed a sharp division by age. That reflects other surveys around the country that show Sanders, 78, with overwhelming support among younger Americans, but much lower levels with people his own age.

Among Latinos younger than 50, for example, Sanders enjoyed roughly a 3-1 lead over Bloomberg when poll respondents were asked whom they would most like to see as the next president. Latinos 50 and older were divided closely between Sanders, Biden and Bloomberg. Similar age divisions showed up among blacks, Asian Americans and whites in the poll."

Couple thoughts: "50 and under" doesn't seem like a "youth vote"; a lotta these yoots are balding.

Which is to say the conflating of "young people never vote" and "50 and unders are the youth brigades" seems unsupported.

It also reinforces that Bernie's support isn't just college bros but middle class parents and working people.

It also seems that the "Socialist!" label isn't a scare word.

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Catherine Rampell in the WaPo makes the case that the election in November will be a chouce between two socialisms.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-socialist-is-likely-to-win-the-2020-election-no-not-bernie-sanders/2020/02/24/d5053fba-5747-11ea-ab68-101ecfec2532_story.html

The exploding deficit, the farm bailouts, the propping up of failing industries for political benefit, the use of government as a tool for crony enrichment- and all of it with the express approval of the Republican party has made government control over the economy an entirely acceptable idea to America.

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Kinda where I'm at is if we go down, let no one say we went down without a fight.

If America slides into fascism, let the Republicans own every bitter morsel and make them fight for every inch.

All the sly seduction too-clever-by-half strategies- of putting up hero combat veteran Democrats- putting up Big Bidnessman Democrats- putting up a faithful husband and churchgoing father Democrat- were met with scorn from their side.

Its not who they are, its not what they want.

Trump is who they are, its who they want. We just need to be who we are, and stand for what we want.

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Yes, they openly admit they're going to provide universal preschool.

The horror.

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"This is like the GOP putting a Klan guy at the top of the ticket."

Then we're a shoo-in!

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Well, yeah, but you gotta admit that "I'm a Republican who will vote for the Republican, Trump, unless the Democrats also nominate a Republican, Bloomberg" isn't exactly a persuasive case.

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Also too, Brian Klaas writing in WaPo:

In short, the Democratic candidate was a heavily decorated combat veteran who had fought terrorists in Iraq and was pushing for open markets so that farmers wouldn’t need to rely on government bailouts.

AD

He lost because Republicans absurdly branded him an anti-American, Soros-funded socialist and criticized him for being an unpatriotic American who supported terrorists. In attack ads, Feehan was criticized for two tweets he posted in support of Colin Kaepernick. “Tell Dan Feehan,” one ad concludes, “real patriots stand together.” Apparently two tweets can cancel out two tours in Iraq when it comes to that warped version of patriotism.

“This is a choice between whether or not we support our country, defend everything we believe in, or we turn it over to the guys who want to transform America into some European socialist state,” Hagedorn said in his closing pitch to voters.

Voters narrowly elected Hagedorn."

In other words; This is going to be a tough bitter fight using every tool of political advantage where the rules and norms get thrown out the window.

The Democrats can win, but they have to understand what they're confronting.

There is no "safe harbor" where a Democrat can win. There isn't some sly magic tune you can play to seduce the Trumpistas.
Pro-free enterprise? Doesn't matter; Combat veteran? Doesn't matter. From The Heartland? Doesn't matter.

All the Democrats can do is say who they are loudly and proudly, and let the pieces fall where they may.

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From Steve M. over at No More Mister Nice Blog:

"Sanders and his team were complaining about MSNBC's coverage even before the Matthews incident. You may argue that they were demanding special treatment from MSNBC that they're not entitled to. But it doesn't matter -- they complained, and it worked. MSNBC is changing its approach to Sanders -- just the way any major news organization would change its approach in response to complaints from Republicans.

One criticism I hear often from the Sanders-averse is "He's not even a Democrat." Well, I don't know of a single Democrat who's successfully worked the media refs in my adult lifetime, and I'm nearly old enough for Medicare.

Democrats, take note: The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Complain. Act self-righteously angry. Fake it if necessary. As Republicans know, and as Bernie Sanders just demonstrated, it works."

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What's interesting is that in the head to head matchups I've seen, Trump pulls around 42% no matter who he faces.
And the Dems pull numbers which are tightly clustered together in the 50% range.

Again, this is early, but still I don't see anyone standing out as an obviously better bet.

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