Wednesday, July 27, 2016


The convention has been nicely managed, thanks to close cooperation between Bernie and the Clinton folks: a chance for protest, a chance to highlight Bernie's supporters and Bernie's issues, a chance to feature Sanders himself in prime time, a roll call vote where every pro-Bernie vote was cast and counted, and then a gracious gesture from Sanders to call for a voice vote to nominate Hillary Clinton by acclimation (yeah, there were some "No's" shouted). The venting, the crying, the bitterness are (mostly) past, and the overwhelming good will and excitement in the convention hall are palpable. There won't be a Ted Cruz moment, and there won't be a narrative about division and enmity dogging the nominee
How the DNC roll call vote managed to avoid disaster
Watch: the moment Bernie Sanders officially threw the nomination to Hillary Clinton
Whatever your politics, a woman winning a presidential nomination is a big f--king deal

Now we pivot to Clinton, the first female nominee by a major party: her agenda, her goals, her supporters. This is her convention now.
Hillary Clinton Makes Surprise Satellite Appearance at DNC: 'This Is Really Your Victory'

And for the vast majority of Bernie supporters, a chance to move forward, or move on
There comes a time in the life of all revolutions when circumstance erodes solidarity, when cracks, splits, and factions emerge. As anyone who’s been watching the Democratic Convention can attest, that time has come to the Sanders Revolution. The factions this time around aren’t Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. They’re more like the Realos (realists) and Fundis (fundamentalists) who fought each other in Germany’s Green Party once the party began to win some power. That’s not a bad way to describe the two wings of Sandersism, . . . .

Bernie-or-busters were loud last night. But 9 of 10 Sanders supporters are open to voting for Clinton.

More Highlights from Day Two

Mothers of the Movement

Elizabeth Banks

Howard Dean

Meryl Streep

Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton’s Love Song



Full text:

One thing that is apparent from the Democratic convention so far. Protests and disappointments in the Sanders camp aside, the overall mood and tone of the speeches has been positive and forward looking: the needs and challenges and opportunities facing the country and how Clinton will help us face them. There is humor and real star power (not hateful losers like Scott Baio) mixed in with the testimonials. Many of the speeches have been deeply moving and inspiring. There is a sense of making history.

Everyone noted the contrast with the dark, angry, apocalyptic tone of the Republican convention: Danger everywhere, inside the nation and out. Enemies who threaten us and would-be friends we can't rely on. Hillary is a monster who will destroy us all. Catastrophe looms, unless you elect ME. Only I can save you!

I have said it before: the ups and downs of the 24 hour news cycle, instant polling, the search for sensation and scandal and crisis, the disproportionate media attention to outliers because they are dramatic and colorful, etc, all distract from the objective conditions of a long campaign and what is really involved with winning and losing. And when you look at those objective conditions, the news for Trumpy is very bad

Now THIS is what I call expanding the electoral map

The discontent of moderates

How weird is it that Trumpy is shedding crocodile tears over the DNC's terrible mistreatment of Bernie Sanders, and hoping that he can peel off a significant portion of Sanders' support? And what does it say about those supporters?

Is this guy the DNC hacker?

This Russia problem is going to metastasize for Trump if he doesn't address it with something more than dismissive snark. There is something there. Definitely
Among most congressional Republicans, Vladimir Putin is not a popular figure. The GOP’s foreign policy has been largely defined by skepticism of Russia – even after the Cold War ended – and the country’s authoritarian president has only heightened the party’s attitudes. And so it must come as something of a shock to Republicans to see their party’s presidential nominee not only speak highly of Putin, and not only cozy up to Putin, but even surround himself with pro-Putin advisers. By most measures, Donald Trump is running as the most pro-Russia U.S. presidential candidate in generations. That leaves some in the GOP in an exceedingly awkward position. . . .
Why Did Trump Dodge the Russia Question?

The DNC Hack Is Watergate, but Worse
The (alleged) Russian hack of the DNC should be one of the biggest stories of the year. Why isn’t it?
I thought I'd take a moment to explain what I see as a sober, one-step-at-a-time explanation of what questions need to be answered and explored. . . . [read on]

Obama weighs in
Obama said Russian President Vladimir Putin might prefer Republican nominee Donald Trump over his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, because the business magnate has “repeatedly expressed admiration” for the Russian leader in the past.  “I am basing this on what Mr. Trump himself has said,” the president said. “And I think that — Trump's gotten pretty favorable coverage — back in Russia.” . . .

Now we REALLY need to see the tax returns


Trumpy finds someone to speak for him on foreign policy: Omarosa, media creation from "The Apprentice" . . . and noted foreign policy expert


One of Trumpy's favorite tag lines is that Obama/Clinton "created" ISIS. He either doesn't know or care that ISIS grew out of Al Qaeda in Iraq (under Bush)


Mr. Trump, meet Mr. Duke

Trump still having trouble knowing how to respond when asked about white supremacist David Duke

Trumpy's 'Mexicans are rapists' comment wasn't a spontaneous glitch or misstatement. It was planned in advance

Trumpy's made-up unemployment numbers

Trumpy suddenly changes on the minimum wage 

[November 2015] Real estate mogul Donald Trump flatly opposed raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour during Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate, arguing that the country's wages are already "too high."

Trump: I'd Raise Minimum Wage To $10 Though 'It's Not Very Republican'

Don't believe it:
Trump’s line on the minimum wage isn’t what it appears to be
Don’t believe what Donald Trump says: He won’t raise minimum wage

Donald Trump Jr. hints at the possibility of running for mayor of NY.  Donald Trump Sr. shuts it down. Thanks Dad!

Hey Trumpy: the DNC ratings were HIGHER than yours

In other news. . . 

Hillary's college plan 

Their unions endorsed Clinton, but these workers are voting for Trump

Well we knew this, but good to have it confirmed
Assange, Avowed Foe of Clinton, Timed Email Release for Democratic Convention 

Fox World's Bill O'Reilly chides Michelle Obama: Slaves had it GOOD

Interesting: Bernie Sanders, Independent, became Bernie Sanders, candidate for the Democratic Party nomination, without ever, you know, actually BECOMING a Democrat. Now that it's over, he's an Independent again
No, Really! Right Wing Websites Claim Flags Forbidden At DNC

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016


This was Bernie's night. After a raucous day in which a segment of his followers booed everyone -- including him -- for suggesting that they should support Hillary Clinton, this was his moment to celebrate what his campaign has achieved, to bask in the adoration of those who supported him, and then to make the case for why Clinton is a strong progressive choice -- or at least better than Trump -- or even if you don't like her or want to vote for her, at least don't ruin her convention. I give him full credit for trying to overcome the hecklers, the booers, the Hillary haters who are even angry with HIM for daring to back her. Did he succeed?
Bernie Sanders's DNC speech methodically dismantled the "Bernie or Bust" argument

Full text:

Did he succeed?
For the most part, by the time the primetime programming rolled around, the mood among Bernie Sanders supporters in the Wells Fargo Center was mellowing. But the earlier protests, the contentious delegate meetings, and disruptions of early floor speeches threatened Democratic aims for unity on day one of their convention. It was undeniable that even after Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton, his delegates weren’t all ready to. . . . But despite the coverage, not all the delegates proudly wearing their Sanders buttons Monday were outright opposed to Clinton. Some signaled they needed some more time to come to terms with the fact that Sanders’ own unthinkable campaign was at the end of its road. . . [read on]

Sanders preached unity from the DNC pulpit. After a day of protesting, some of his most devout revolutionaries—slowly but surely—began to come around.
Boos fade into cheers as Democrats turn focus to fighting Donald Trump
Party Unity Finally Comes to the Democrats

More highlights from Day One

Paul Simon sings "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (of course)

Sarah Silverman: I'm a Bernie supporter, and I'm voting for Clinton 

After repeated cheers of “Bernie” from the crowd, which Silverman tried to re-tool into chants of “unity,” the comedian seemed to make her mind up to go off script. “Can I just say, to the 'Bernie or bust' people, you’re being ridiculous,” she said. . . .

Al Franken, funny guy 


Cory Booker
Cory Booker Repeatedly Heckled During Uplifting DNC Speech


Elizabeth Warren


Michelle Obama, best of the night


Full text: 

The DNC has a problem: they compromised on the platform, big time; they compromised on delegate rules and future primary rules; they dumped their chairwoman; they apologized for the emails. And none of it seems to matter to a segment of Bernie supporters
Former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz was booed off the stage this morning at the Florida Delegation Breakfast in the wake of the Wikileaks email dump over the weekend. . . .
Ex-DNC Chair: Keep Wasserman Schultz Off Convention Stage 'For Her Own Good'

She had to go: Schultz’s resignation will hopefully start the healing within the Democratic Party
“But the Florida congresswoman did not go quietly or without a fight. It took pressure from the White House – including a phone call with President Obama – to get her to finally see the writing on the wall. Two reliable sources say Wasserman Schultz was trying to make top aides take the fall, rather than take personal responsibility. Until the end, she struggled to understand what a lightning rod she’s become.”

This is getting absurd:

Bernie has a problem too. He says the DNC emails don't change his support for Clinton. But the problem is that he lit a fuse of unrealistic expectations during the campaign, and brought into his delegate pool people who fundamentally do not accept the principles of negotiation, compromise, and then coming together. Some of them hate Hillary more than they love Bernie, and some of them aren't even listening to him any more

Bernie Sanders started a political revolution. Now he can’t stop it.
DNC apologizes to Sanders; Sanders implores supporters to refrain from floor protests
Bernie Sanders is begging his delegates to stop disrupting the DNC
Watch: Bernie Sanders gets loudly booed by supporters
Our reporters say that Sanders "looked a bit surprised by the intensity of the Clinton opposition." I can't imagine why. This is one of the big problems I had with him back during the primary. It's one thing to fight on policy grounds, as he originally said he would, but when you start promising the moon and explicitly accusing Hillary Clinton of being a corrupt shill for Wall Street—well, there are some bells that can't be unrung. He convinced his followers that Hillary was a corporate warmonger more concerned with lining her own pockets than with progressive principles, and they still believe it. And why wouldn't they? Their hero told them it was true. Hillary is no saint. But her reputation as dishonest and untrustworthy is about 90 percent invention. Republicans have been throwing mud against the wall forever in an attempt to smear her, and the press has played along eagerly the entire time. When Bernie went down that road, he was taking advantage of decades of Republican lies in the hopes of winning an unwinnable battle. He was also playing directly into Donald Trump's hands. . . .
Democrats Aren't in Disarray. A Minority of Bernie Supporters Are in a Snit.
"Sanders was only a vehicle for their political values. Now that he has conceded his fight for those values, he should be abandoned as a vehicle." 

Why do Bernie dead-enders sound like Trumpists? Because some of them are
Sanders Supporters Chant ‘Lock Her Up’
Bernie Sanders Campaign To Sanders Supporters: Stop Shouting 'Lock Her Up!'
There Are Actual Bernie Supporters in Philadelphia Who Prefer Trump to Clinton 

A glimpse inside the opposition

More protest photos: 

After a Republican convention at which no living former president was present -- and virtually none even mentioned (think about that, it really is remarkable) the Dems have two formidable, popular speakers to build around 

Clinton-Kaine do a solid 60 Minutes interview, which couldn't be more different from the TrumPence performance 

The most excruciating moments. . . 

What the Kaine choice tells us about Clinton 


The Russian connection
Russia Was Involved In DNC Email Breach 


The important part of this story is that Russian intelligence, using its Wikileaks cut-out, has intervened directly in an American presidential election....The most damaging aspect to the DNC leak is the certainty that Moscow has placed disinformation—that is, false information hidden among facts—to harm the Democrats and the Clinton campaign....It’s obvious that Moscow prefers Trump over Clinton in this election, which ought not surprise given the important role of Putin-friendly advisors in the Trump campaign, and what better way to help is there than to discredit Team Clinton?  

This is mostly interesting for where it appeared: the New York Observer, which is owned by Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump's husband. Sometimes you can't even count on family to protect you.

The FBI is investigating
Donald Trump on Monday dismissed as a "joke" claims by Hillary Clinton's campaign that Russia is trying to help Trump by leaking thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee.  "The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which should have never been written (stupid), because Putin likes me," Trump wrote as part of a series of Tweets. "Hillary was involved in the e-mail scandal because she is the only one with judgement (sic) so bad that such a thing could have happened."

[NB: Hey, Donald, these are two totally separate email issues. You moron.]
Donald Trump Admits His Comrades In Russia And China Helped Him With DNC Hack

FBI Suspects Russia Hacked DNC; U.S. Officials Say It Was to Elect Donald Trump [read on]  

Here's what Trumpy has said about Putin

The Russians are loving this
Tonight Donald Trump told a crowd in North Carolina that to show our NATO allies how it's going to be, we'll have to leave the alliance and force our allies to bring us back with offers of more money. "We have to walk," Trump said. . . .

At some point this is also going to lead to questions about Wikileaks, The Intercept, and segments of the left who are, intentionally or not, enabling Russia's strategy to help Trump

Read this:
Despite what you’ve heard, Democrats aren’t in disarray. Their party is under attack from the outside.

GOP head Reince Priebus is a little too coy about the Russian hacking rumors

Trumpy gives a vintage rally speech: "Trump Unleashed"

Trump, in NC, on gender gap: "50% of our country is men. We’re doing very well. The women, I don’t know what’s going on w/the women here"  
    — John Harwood

He is who he is
Donald Trump’s long history of racism

Trumpy has a handy way of dealing with inconvenient facts. Just deny them 

After taking Bernie's side in the dispute with Clinton, Trumpy turns against him when Bernie doesn't cooperate by tearing her down. Now poor Bernie is "weak," "exhausted" . . .

It's not hyperbole: the survival of the Republican Party in any recognizable form is really in doubt. Take it from them!

In other news . . . 

The problem with housing
Judge Orders Neo-Nazi’s Face Tattoos Be Covered In Interest Of A Fair Trial

Bonus item: Political arguments on Facebook (thanks to LW for the link)

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL:

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***