An honest, supportive note to Sanders fans

democrat-logoBernie fans, New Hampshire tomorrow is really important for you guys and the campaign narrative. If Hillary gets a 4-4 delegate tie your media momentum stalls a bit going into South Carolina on the 27th (Clinton 63/33) right before Super Tuesday, March 1st.

If you haven’t phone banked, it’s the single most effective thing you can do right now short of donating a gazillion dollars. And it’s easier than you think after the first couple calls. Some of you have put a lot of soul into progressive projects. Right now, giving Bernie three weeks of your time, or even 4 hours tonight, could be a another big contribution toward your greater goals.

Yes, I’m a Hillary supporter, because I think her plans make a lot more pragmatic sense. I also like Bernie’s intentions, and I respect that extreme lefties are engaging in the political process, perhaps learning some history and a bit about the art of (and need for) compromise along the way.

Bernie Panders Anti-GMO

cornAlthough Sanders uses an appeal to the authority of climate scientists on the issue of climate change, his approach to GMO food is anti-scientific, misinformed, and potentially dangerous.

Scientific American explains some of the populist appeal of his stance: Why People Oppose GMOs Even Though Science Says They Are Safe: Intuition can encourage opinions that are contrary to the facts.

Inattention to the food industry when building policy can be lethal. Remember the Ethanol Effect? Our push to get off Middle East oil led to skyrocketing prices on staples and literal malnutrition, starvation, and poverty reinforcement in poorer countries.

Developed nations have the luxury of attaching sentimentality to their food, circling toward a pioneer purism. The poor who literally subsist off cheap rice, wheat and corn do not. GMO and glyphosate are the most studied subjects in the history of science, and the consensus is that the technology can be safe if precautions are followed. When a country nevertheless votes to ban or even label GMO, customers of the world food markets suffer.

It is selfish, entitled, and immoral for us to deny the world all available tools for feeding its hungry.

Bernie Sanders would serve his country better by listening to input from a wider array of sources.

Plutocracy In Action

The Spectator interviews Michael Lewis on the 2008 financial crisis.
01/23/2016

      The author of The Big Short weighs in:

“Not nearly enough has been done — the regulatory response has been totally inadequate. The big banks have blocked serious reforms, meddling in the process so incentives haven’t changed enough to attack the heart of the problem — which is why it could happen again.”

“We still have the same short-term-oriented compensation, the same big bonuses at year-end…”

“I’ve never gotten over the feeling when I learnt Goldman Sachs had designed securities that would fail, so they could then short them.”

“The 1997 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act was part of the problem [] but it goes back even before that. The earlier transformation of investment banks into public corporations was a big mistake — with bankers using shareholders’ money to bet, rather than their own.”

“It isn’t just the big campaign contributions. Anyone at the table talking about financial reform is a potential hire and likely to end up working in the financial sector for huge sums, so they get captured.”

More To Life Than Bacon – Stuffed Peppers

Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

1 large red pepper, 1 large yellow pepper
(Serves 2 – adjust as needed)
  Green peppers less sweet, then yellow, red sweetest. You choose.
3 oz Couscous
1 oz toasted pine nuts
Handful of black olives, roughly chopped.
 Green olives or capers if you prefer
   I detest olives. And capers. I use cocktail onions or diced chorizo.
      If I want to spice it up a bit, I use diced jalepeno 😀
13/4 oz feta cheese
13/4 oz semi-dried tomatoes, snipped
 or handful of cherry tomatoes quartered.
2 tbsp shredded basil.
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Liberal Cheat Sheets for Rubio and Cruz

republican-logovia TedCruz.org, he…

– Loves Hobby Lobby
– Is anti-abortion
– Blocks gun control
– Wants God in classrooms, country run by the Bible
– Wants to close Department of Education and HUD
– Anti-gay marriage or civil unions
– Will end immigrant amnesty and build Trump’s wall
– Will deny refugees
– Trashes Iran nuclear disarmament deal
– Thinks US military is too small
– Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi
– Blindly supports Israel, considers Palestinians terrorists
– Wants to abolish IRS and establish a flat tax (hat tip Ron Paul)
– Wants to get EPA out of water and clean energy
– Pro Keystone pipeline
– Would end Net Neutrality

Per MarcoRubio.com, he wants to…

– Re-sanction Cuba, fight North Korea and Russia
– Build the Keystone pipeline
– Repeal ObamaCare and privatize Medicare
– Gain line item veto power
– Complete the TTP and TTIP
– Finance college students via investors in their future wages
– Gut public education via charter schools
– Build Trump’s wall
– End Net Neutrality
– Dismantle the Iran disarmament deal
– Expand military spending
– Deploy American troops against ISIS
– Increase domestic spying
– Cut corporate taxes
– Overturn Roe v. Wade

What’s not to love about these guys?

Top US Generals: Register Women For Draft

Yahoo – WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. Marine Corps and Army generals said on Tuesday that women should be required to register for the military draft, along with men, as the armed forces move toward integrating them fully into combat positions.

President Barack Obama’s defense secretary, Ash Carter, announced in December that the military would let women serve in all combat roles. The historic announcement prompted opposition from many Republican members of Congress, some of whom said it would force women to register for the draft.

Republican Senator John McCain pointed to studies that found that women suffer more injuries and did not perform as well. “Rather than honestly confront these realities, some have sought to minimize them,” McCain said.

The Tale of a Stereotypical Berner

A fable of disillusionment from (ironically) a deleted Reddit account.

nowBefore Bernie Sanders, it was Ron Paul. Before Ron Paul, it was Dennis Kucinich. Before Dennis Kucinich, it was Howard Dean. Before Howard Dean, it was Ralph Nader. And so on and so forth back to Eugene McCarthy in 1968.

For nearly fifty years, middle-class white college ideologues have latched onto this candidate or that, firmly believing that their political awakening has miraculously coincided with discoveries of Great Truths that escape the Brainwashed Morons that make up the electorate (and which just happen to align perfectly with their own particular socioeconomic interests), and that this Great Man is going to be the one to take the country to the promised land.

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Boko Haram kills 80+, burns children alive

Christian Science Monitor –  A survivor hidden in a tree says he watched Boko Haram extremists firebomb huts and heard the screams of children burning to death, among 86 people officials say died in the latest attack by Nigeria’s homegrown Islamic extremists.

Scores of charred corpses and bodies with bullet wounds littered the streets from Saturday night’s attack on Dalori village and two nearby camps housing 25,000 refugees, according to survivors and soldiers at the scene just 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram and the biggest city in Nigeria’s northeast.

The shooting, burning and explosions from three suicide bombers continued for nearly four hours in the unprotected area. Troops arrived at Dalori around 8:40 p.m. Saturday but were unable to overcome the attackers, who were better armed, said soldiers who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Rise of the robots threatens the poor

And thank you very much, oh Mister Roboto, for taking my job, when I needed it…

Financial Times – Automation and the march of the robots will prove most disruptive to the world’s poorest nations, with 85 per cent of all jobs in Ethiopia in danger of being lost, according to new analysis.

Nepal, Cambodia, China, Bangladesh and Guatemala are among the other countries most at risk from “premature deindustrialisation.”

It claims to have seen the first signs of this trend, with the pace at which global supply chains are fragmenting starting to slow, and even go into reverse in some countries. The Philippines, China and Malaysia all sourced a greater proportion of the inputs for their manufacturing exports from their domestic market in 2011 than they did in 2005.

New York Times Endorses Hillary Clinton

NYT’s insights and content have driven learning and debate at The Agonist for many years. It comes as no great surprise that the editors of the Gray Lady have drawn many of the same conclusions we have about the Democratic candidates.

New York Times: Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination – “In the end, Mr. Sanders does not have the breadth of experience or policy ideas that Mrs. Clinton offers. His boldest proposals — to break up the banks and to start all over on health care reform with a Medicare-for-all system — have earned him support among alienated middle-class voters and young people. But his plans for achieving them aren’t realistic, while Mrs. Clinton has very good, and achievable, proposals in both areas.”

The editors of the Washington Post criticize Bernie Sanders’s fiction-filled campaign – “Mr. Sanders is not a brave truth-teller. He is a politician selling his own brand of fiction to a slice of the country that eagerly wants to buy it. He assures Democrats concerned about the political obstacles in the way of his agenda that he will lead a “political revolution” that will help him clear the capital of corruption and influence-peddling. This self-regarding analysis implies a national consensus favoring his agenda when there is none and ignores the many legitimate checks and balances in the political system that he cannot wish away.”

If a real revolution were unfolding, Congress would already be stuffed with new faces and Obama’s bill signing hand would be cramping. Progress takes work and compromise, not bluster and promises.