Fighting to Save Obamacare


Rally to save the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), at San Francisco City Hall, Sunday January 15 2017, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Keith Ellison, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

Listen to Joan Baez’s acapella performance:



Colonel Sessions

Screen Shot 2017-06-02 at 7.57.41 AM

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

Smokey Is Woke


Le Pen

Le Pen
Photo: Charlotte Dupré | Street poster, Paris, April 2017

Master Asshole


This guy is a sitting United States Congressman, a Republican from Iowa. He tweeted the following just an hour ago, not 30 or 75 years ago. And he said it for public consumption. Master Race thinking, nothing less, like it's perfectly normal and perfectly acceptable.

He displays a Confederate flag on his desk. He tried to block putting abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill (he said putting her on the bill was racist). He's the guy who made some news last summer when he was on MSNBC objecting to someone saying the GOP is run by 'old white guys': "This whole ‘white people’ business, though, does get a little tired, Charlie. I mean, I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about? Where did any other sub-group of people contribute to civilization?” An early and vociferous Trump supporter.

This is where we are.



Artwork: Courtney M Privett (@CourtneyPrivett)

Kill Bill


There it is, folks. The Congressional knife held to the throat of the Environmental Protection Agency. The bill itself is 45 words; it could be tweeted with 95 characters to spare.

Twenty-first century America is under siege and is seriously endangered.

Above The Fold


This is a truly remarkable photo. That's NBC reporter Peter Alexander at yesterday's press conference, pointing out that Trump had again misrepresented his Electoral College win and asking why Americans should trust what the President says when the President presents such demonstrably false facts. Look at the front row where Stephen Miller and Jared Kushner have turned their heads and are looking at Peter Alexander with---well, just look at their faces. And further to the right, Reince Priebus is glaring at Alexander and whispering into the cocked ear of Vice President Mike Pence.

This photo is a telling and chilling X-ray of this regime. An instant classic.

Photo credit: Stephen Crowley | New York Times

Citizen Putin


Fidel Castro, 1926 - 2016


Viva los ideales de Fidel. Viva Cuba.

Photo: Jack Webb | New York Times

A Tale of Two Americas


Maps & Numbers: Tim Wallace | New York Times

An American Tragedy

The light has gone out in America. It is darkness now.

Donald Trump is the President-Elect.


So this is how
they felt in 2008. How the fuck did they survive it?


She blew it. Hillary Clinton fucking blew it. We all blew it, too, I know, in a bazillion tiny ways, but mostly it was her, first and foremost, and the Democratic Party leadership.

And it was WikiLeaks. And the Russians. And the FBI. And the Republicans’ suppression of minority voters (this includes SCOTUS scuttling the Voting Rights Act). And Johnson & Stein. And industrial automation and Ross Perot’s Giant Sucking Sound and the hollowing of the American middle class and a resurgent American anti-intellectualism. And the Electoral College.

And it was the 60 million people who voted for Trump. And the 79 million registered voters who didn’t bother to vote at all this year.


Feeling a compulsion to tidy up, to clean and fix everything around me, to take care of everything I've been avoiding and putting off. Feels like it's time to start putting my affairs in order.


Buses are running, traffic lights are working, toilets are flushing, key fits in the lock of my office door, law of gravity appears to still apply. Numbly surprised.


Just breathe.


An email early this morning from high school pal Philip Vaughn, 25+ years an ex-patriate, a husband and father living in Sweden:


Election Day 2016 #4


Flags 1 | Jasper Johns | Screenprint on J.B. Green paper | 1973 | National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection

Election Day 2016 #3


Eye Of The Liar

And a mouth indistinguishable from an asshole.

Photo: Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty

Election Day 2016 #2


Ralph Steadman | October 2016

Election Day 2016 #1


By this criterion, Donald Trump couldn’t vote. Melania Trump couldn’t vote. None of Trump’s kids could vote.

I think it’s time to take away Ann Coulter’s voter registration in order to upgrade the voter pool.

Putin, Meet Newman

Putin | Randy Newman | 2016

Political Movements


Donald Trump is fond of calling his campaign and his followers "a Movement, a Movement like no one has ever seen before, quite frankly.“

Not so much a movement, I think. More of a spasm, really. The American body politic suffering a terrifying, wrenching, soul-killing spasm.

Photograph: David Becker | Reuters

Your Friend and Mine


Some food for thought from Edward Snowden this morning regarding the DNC hacks and the subsequent hack of an NSA server. From his Twitter feed a couple of hours ago:

+++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++ +++++++

The hack of an NSA malware staging server is not unprecedented, but the publication of the take is. Here's what you need to know:

NSA traces and targets malware C2 servers in a practice called Counter Computer Network Exploitation, or CCNE. So do our rivals.

NSA is often lurking undetected for years on the C2 and ORBs (proxy hops) of state hackers. This is how we follow their operations.

This is how we steal their rivals' hacking tools and reverse-engineer them to create "fingerprints" to help us detect them in the future.

Here's where it gets interesting: the NSA is not made of magic. Our rivals do the same thing to us -- and occasionally succeed.

Knowing this, NSA's hackers (TAO) are told not to leave their hack tools ("binaries") on the server after an op. But people get lazy.

What's new? NSA malware staging servers getting hacked by a rival is not new. A rival publicly demonstrating they have done so is.

Why did they do it? No one knows, but I suspect this is more diplomacy than intelligence, related to the escalation around the DNC hack.

Circumstantial evidence and conventional wisdom indicates Russian responsibility. Here's why that is significant:

This leak is likely a warning that someone can prove US responsibility for any attacks that originated from this malware server.

That could have significant foreign policy consequences. Particularly if any of those operations targeted US allies. Particularly if any of those operations targeted elections.

Accordingly, this may be an effort to influence the calculus of decision-makers wondering how sharply to respond to the DNC hacks.

TL;DR: This leak looks like a somebody sending a message that an escalation in the attribution game could get messy fast.

Bonus: When I came forward, NSA would have migrated offensive operations to new servers as a precaution - it's cheap and easy. So? So...

The undetected hacker squatting on this NSA server lost access in June 2013. Rare public data point on the positive results of the leak.

You're welcome, @NSAGov. Lots of love.

So. It's Her


Abso-fucking-lutely. Keep your promises.

And, for chrissakes, don’t screw this up.

Sanders Concedes

Sanders’ ideas prevailed in the primaries but Sanders himself did not. I can live with that. I will vote for Hillary Clinton in November, I will actively advocate for that Democratic Party victory.

DNC Sabotaged Sanders


Headline today:
"Leaked Emails Suggest DNC Was Working Against Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders“


Color Balance



Bernie Trump

Berning Down The House?


I can and do condemn the thrown chairs, the flood of personal harassment, and the death threats in Nevada last weekend, just as I condemn the shots fired earlier this year into the Sanders campaign headquarters in Las Vegas and the felony vandalism of Sanders' campaign workers' residences there.

I also can and do condemn the high-handed violations of rules and process by the state leadership at the Nevada Democratic State Convention.

Plenty of condemnation earned all around, plenty to go around. And if you can't agree with that, well, you might as well stop reading right here.

That said, even being a Sanders supporter, I just can't get terribly cranked up over two Nevada delegates. Not now, not in May, not with only three weeks of primary campaign left.

What I can accept and what Senator Sanders seemingly cannot accept is that, yes, of course, the process is rigged. The rules and the Party leadership were all installed to serve the interests of the Democratic Party, which is to say the interests of those who run the Democratic Party, those who have the power in the Democratic Party, those who own the Democratic Party, which in 2016 is to say the Clinton Machine. Following the McCarthy, the Robert Kennedy, and (especially) the McGovern campaigns, the DNC instituted the superdelegate and other deliberate mechanisms to protect itself from just such dangerous insurgencies, to maintain the status quo. That's what Big Corporations and Big Labor and Big Money and Big Politics do in order to survive. The Sanders message is not the status quo.

That the Party apparatus was geared and set from the beginning for a Clinton nomination is not surprising. The inevitability of her being the Democratic nominee was clear from the beginning, with essentially zero opposition fielded (unheard of with no incumbent running) and zero dollars available for anyone other than Secretary Clinton. It was Hillary's turn and everyone knew it, everyone conceded it—everyone except for the renegade, outsider Bernie Sanders.

This year's campaign has exposed the fact that the rules are bad, that the rules need to be fixed and made uniform across the states, that superdelegates are anti-democratic and that closed primaries are neither inclusive nor representative, that every state should implement universal and automatic voter registration. We should be thanking Sanders for forcing us all to see these flaws and acknowledge them.

Again, that being said, primary reform and voting reform are one thing but the 2016 Democratic primaries are another. We can go to Philadelphia and plant our flag and show and affirm that the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party is not to be ignored and still come out of it dedicated to defeating Donald Trump, whoever the Democratic nominee is. Secretary Clinton says she takes Senator Sanders at his word that, after the nomination is decided, he will do everything he can do to defeat Donald Trump, and so do I.

That is the clear road ahead.

Trump-Barron 2016


If Hillary Clinton had been caught posing as her own fictional publicist, Fox News and Donald Trump would be crucifying her. And the American people would think she's a lying con artist—and they would be right!

But with Trump, nobody cares. WTF?

My California Bernie Ballot


The Good Fight


I will vote for Secretary Clinton in November. Not a problem. It won't be a vote cast with a great deal of enthusiasm but a vote is a vote and a Democratic victory is a Republican defeat and there you have it.

You're welcome.

That said, I'm still voting for Senator Sanders on June 7 here in California, and will do so enthusiastically.

I'm not seeing it as a 'lost cause' vote, at least not totally, not absolutely, even though it will be a vote cast in full awareness that Sanders will not be the Democratic Party nominee. It won't be an anti Clinton vote either, at least not intentionally. I mean for all of my votes to be positive, not negative.

A vote for Sanders in California will be a vote for a Sanders-ized Democratic Party platform (campaign finance reform, income equality and economic justice, national $15 minimum wage, single-payer health care, fracking ban, tuition-free college, carbon tax, etc), a vote for reforming the Democratic Party's primary process, and, equally important to me, a vote of confidence for Sanders to continue promoting his message of radical/revolutionary systemic change after the November election, to continue being a Progressive thorn in Clinton's side, to continue calling her out when she inevitably drifts back to the center and needs pushing toward true Progressivism. The Sanders campaign finally brought the Progressive wing of the Party back into the bright sunlight after years/decades of disregard and impotence. That's a win.

My personal allegiance to the Democratic Party has always been more anti Republican Party than staunchly pro Democratic Party because I've never (not since August 1968, that is) perceived the Democratic Party's vision to be perfectly in synch with my own. Simply put, the Democratic Party has long been too big and too welded to the status quo. The Democratic Party is The Establishment, it is part of the problem and not so very often an agent or instrument of a meaningful structural solution. Too big to change, too big to see past its own self-interests. The Sanders-Clinton divide has brought this into sharp relief. I sincerely hope that her inevitable victory in Philadelphia will not break apart and sweep aside what Senator Sanders and his supporters have showed is imaginable, possible, and necessary.

I'm not sure the Democratic Party deserved Bernie Sanders, his campaign, and his message this year but I sure hope he has the generosity to not give up on them, at least not yet.

Bernie Sanders was an imperfect national candidate and his campaign was equally flawed and misguided at some root levels, including his seeming inability to seriously try to connect with middle aged and older black Americans (not just in the South: look at the New York City primary vote breakdown by race), his refusal to admit he was wrong about guns and/or his inability to better frame/explain his gun stance, some excessive complaining about some election irregularities, and the silly reluctance to release his damned tax returns. Sadly, an imperfect messenger.

I'm really hoping he has inspired someone less flawed who will learn from his (Sanders') mistakes and carry on the good fight.

So in June I'm voting for a progressive future and a grain of confidence that the Democratic Party can make itself more hospitable to me and those like me. And then, in November, I will positively be voting to block the barbarian horde at the gate.

Democracy in action.

Political Reality

Some Very Stray Thoughts in the Middle of a Very Strange Campaign Year


Bernie Sanders shouldn't still be in this race. Hillary Clinton should have squashed him like a bug by now, he should have been roadkill in February. A nobody Senator from a tiny state in the Northeast? An avowed Socialist? A lifelong Independent running inside the Democratic Party? No SuperPAC, no sugar daddies, no Trump wealth? A 74-year-old grumpy guy in a rumpled $74 suit? You'd think he couldn't keep pace in a potato sack race against Pee Wee Herman, much less a race for the U.S. Presidency against anyone named Clinton.

But he's still winning primaries and winning caucuses and winning delegates and he's still rolling in the campaign contribution dough, though not enough of any of the above to actually win the nomination, not even enough to simply prevent Clinton from getting her 2383 delegates prior to the convention.

And that's really troubling when you look ahead to Clinton being the Democrats' nominee in the fall. Honestly, she's simply not particularly good at this getting-elected stuff. In 2007 she (and her team, of course, a team put together by HER) miscalculated the Obama candidacy and then never figured out how to stop it, and now she can't put out the fire that is the Sanders campaign (not enough to burn her house down but enough to keep her smoke detector going off).

I don't doubt for a minute that Hillary Clinton is the brightest mind in any given room in which she happens to be, and I don't doubt for a second that she surrounds herself with the brightest and most loyal minds to be had, but jeeez this is ridiculous.

If anyone is upset because Bernie Sanders won't quit and is still hanging around, don't blame Bernie Sanders; blame Hillary Clinton and her team.

And I am going to be ROYALLY PISSED OFF if Hillary Clinton fucks up again this fall and loses, letting Donald Trump or Ted Cruz saunter into the Oval Office. Could happen.


The other thing I worry about in the fall is another Paris or another Brussels or another San Bernardino. If we get a major terrorist event in Europe or North America in October, it will only play in the favor of whoever the Republican candidate is and that candidate will play the Fear card until every American's head is ready to explode.


I don't think anyone should be expecting the hordes of young Sanders supporters to turn out for Secretary Clinton in November the way they're turning out for Sanders now, not because they are 'Bernie-or-Busters' but because the youth vote is historically soft and Clinton hasn't engaged them at all so far. If they didn't come out for her to begin with, why expect them to come out for her in the fall?

Senator Sanders can't wave a wand and make the kids go to the polls and vote for Clinton, nor should that be the Clinton campaign's gameplan. Clinton has to work for their votes, she has to earn their votes, not wait for Sanders to deliver them on a silver platter.


I have to admit that I didn't take Trump seriously when he first glided down that escalator last June. Like everyone else, I figured he would quickly fizzle and walk away. But by the time he held that rally in Mobile, when we were first getting the idea that there was nothing he could say that was so boneheaded or so evil that his supporters would flake off or run away, I wasn't counting him out. And today I'm not counting out the possibility that he will win the whole thing.

And I still don't understand any of it. I haven't read anything anywhere that begins to explain it. His success highlights the ineptitude of the Republican Party establishment and the media in serving as filtering agents to keep this kind of thing from happening in a democracy, sure, I see that, but there's got to be so much more to it.

This is like living in a comic book.


A big plus from Nixon's Presidency and especially his campaign's Southern Strategy: effectively defoliating the Democratic Party of its reactionary and uber conservative elements, leaving the Dems as the natural home for moderation, liberalism, progressivism, and the mixing thereof, thus rendering the Republican Party (which never had a true liberal wing, not even Nelson Rockefeller) as the natural locus for extremism and intolerance. That extremism and that intolerance are now eating the Republican Party alive, from the inside out.


Stand With Tim

The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.

While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.

Tim Cook

Links last updated: Sunday February 23 2016

For Apple, A Search For A Moral High Ground In A Heated Debate

Apple Still Holds The Keys To Its Cloud Service, But Reluctantly

Apple Sees Value In Its Stand To Protect Security

How Tim Cook, in iPhone Battle, Became A Bulward For Digital Privacy

Sundar Pichai via Twitter

Jack Dorsey via Twitter

Apple Vs The FBI Vs A Suggestion

Why Apple Is Right To Challenge An Order To Help The F.B.I.


Quid Pro Quo

I'm no Clinton hater. If she wins the Democratic nomination in August I will vote for her in November without holding my nose and, indeed, with some pride.

Secretary Clinton, however, is seriously trying to play us when she self-righteously sharp-elbows Senator Sanders for speaking common sense and the facts in saying that Wall Street $$$donations$$$ influence politicians and render those politicians beholden, when she contends that there is no quid pro quo for the six-figure donations her campaign and her SuperPAC are receiving from Goldman Sachs et al (not to mention the six-figure speaking fees).

This is at the very heart of the campaign finance reform that is so necessary, that Secretary Clinton herself says she supports.

Just ask Senator Elizabeth Warren about that.


UPDATE February 7 2016: On This Week With George Stephanopolous today, Secretary Clinton explained that she didn't vote for the bankruptcy bill in 2001 because it was unfair to women, not because of her Wall Street donor-constituents.


Since 2001 Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned $125M in lecture fees, mostly from large corporations and banks.

Since 2000 Hillary Clinton's campaigns have received (as of September 30 2015) a total of $712.4M. Four of the top five sources of these donations are Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Morgan Stanley.

Since 2001 nearly $2B has been donated to the Clinton Foundation. According to a February 2015 analysis of Clinton Foundation funding by The Washington Post, the financial services industry has accounted for the largest single share of the foundation’s corporate donors (the same corporations donating to her campaigns and paying her speaking fees).

The Clinton campaign has publicly set a goal of raising $1 billion for her Super PAC for the 2016 election.

The optics here are terrible for Secretary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders 2016

No surprise that the New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton today. She is, after all, the best qualified of any of the candidates, as the editors noted, not to mention the fact (probably) that she is the most electable.

What Hillary Clinton isn't, though, is a progressive. Not by any stretch of the word's definition is she a progressive.

And that's why I'm supporting Bernie Sanders, the first viable, truly progressive candidate for President in my lifetime.

Attacking wealth inequality and rebuilding the middle class by gouging the 1%, corporations, and Wall Street. Campaign finance reform. Bringing the banks to heal. Installing single payer healthcare. Rolling back the [Bill] Clinton globalization philosophy and trade agreements that swept American jobs overseas. Committing to a $1 trillion five-year investment in rebuilding America's crumbling infrastructure. Making college tuition free. Closing Quantanamo Bay and curbing the NSA.

No guarantee that this revolution will succeed but, make no mistake, this agenda is revolutionary. And, hey, at least he isn't afraid to call himself a socialist and a progressive.

If you don't vote your conscience, you probably don't have much of a conscience to begin with. So I'm voting my conscience—with glee. My conscience hasn't been this happy since 1968 (Eugene McCarthy).

In November I'll contentedly and righteously vote for the best candidate on the ballot, be it Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.

I hope it's Bernie, though.