Opinion | Bernie Sanders Can’t Win – By Timothy Egan – The New York Times


Contributing Opinion Writer



Bernie Sanders at a campaign event in Sioux City, Iowa.
Credit…Mark Makela for The New York Times

“Watching “Succession,” the HBO show about the most despicable plutocrats to seize the public imagination since the Trumps were forced on us, made me want to tax the ultrarich into a homeless shelter. And it almost made a Bernie Bro of me.

That’s the thing about class loathing: it feels good, a moral high with its own endorphins, but is ultimately self-defeating. A Bernie Sanders rally is a hit from the same pipe: Screw those greedy billionaire bastards!

Sanders has passion going for him. He has authenticity. He certainly has consistency: His bumper-sticker sloganeering hasn’t changed for half a century. He was, “even as a young man, an old man,” as Time magazine said.

But he cannot beat Donald Trump, for the same reason people do not translate their hatred of the odious rich into pitchfork brigades against walled estates.

The United States has never been a socialist country, even when it most likely should have been one, during the robber baron tyranny of the Gilded Age or the desperation of the Great Depression, and it never will be. Which isn’t to say that American capitalism is working; it needs Teddy Roosevelt-style trustbusting and restructuring. We’re coming for you, Facebook.

The next month presents the last chance for serious scrutiny of Sanders, who is leading in both Iowa and New Hampshire. After that, Republicans will rip the bark off him. When they’re done, you will not recognize the aging, mouth-frothing, business-destroying commie from Ben and Jerry’s dystopian dairy. Demagogy is what Republicans do best. And Sanders is ripe for caricature.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT comment:
Thank you Tim Egan, I completely agree. I can’t get down far enough through the Bernie bros to find anyone who agrees with us. I have something for them though, do remember George McGovern, and how great he was. He lost in a landslide. Michael Dukakis lost by even more, I think he won only 14 electoral votes. Kennedy, Carter, Clinton, Obama were all moderates.
What really matters, with the maw of climate change and the 6th extinction hanging over us, is winning with an environmentalist. The polsters say Biden has a much better chance than Sanders or Warren, in the critical swing states. That is why Egan is right.

Opinion | Revenge of the Coastal Elites – By Timothy Egan – The New York Times

By Timothy Egan
Contributing Opinion Writer

May 10, 2019, 546
The unveiling of President Barack Obama Boulevard in Los Angeles on Saturday.CreditCreditDamian Dovarganes/Associated Press

“LOS ANGELES — A big crowd showed up for the festive unveiling of President Barack Obama Boulevard here last weekend, at the intersection of “hope and resistance,” as one news outlet put it. Sure, it’s just a three-and-a-half-mile stretch of road, a living ex-president’s name added to streets honoring Jefferson and Washington.

But the ceremony also marked the latest, and one of the most joyous, of the not-so-subtle ways in which the West Coast continues to live free and prosper under a president doing everything he can to hurt the 51 million Americans in the three lower-48 states that hug the Pacific shore.

President Trump hates the West Coast. He has called California “out of control” and boasted about “my sick idea” to dump migrants into the progressive cities in this time zone. Worst of all, his administration is actively working to take away health care from more than five million people in California alone.

He appears to have warmer feelings for Kim Jong-un, the thug who starves his own people — “We fell in love,” Trump once said of North Korea’s dictator — than for a majority of citizens under his rule on the West Coast. He has higher praise for a traitor and slaveholder, Robert E. Lee — “a great general” — than for the states working under a hostile administration without seceding from the union.”

The Elephant Hunter of Trump Tower – by Tim Egan – NYT

“Donald Trump Jr. came in for some merciless mocking when he posed in this newspaper in a grunge-era flannel shirt, sitting awkwardly atop a tree stump at the family estate, looking glum and lonely. A rejected Cialis ad was one of the kinder suggestions.

But look deeper. Buried in that profile was something — a saffron-thin thread of hope — that could keep his father from hastening the early death of the planet. The elder Trump has repeatedly indicated his intent to withdraw American cooperation from the global agreement to negate climate change, yet another middle finger from this president to the rest of the world, and to his grandchildren. His budget would let poisons flow through American rivers and be belched into the sky overhead.

The other Donald Trump, the kid with the burden of going through life with that name, may be the only person who can stop him. In the profile, junior comes across as a little boy lost, emotionally abandoned after the divorce of parents whose every hour is spent in bold face. Sent away to boarding school. Finding some solace hunting and fishing with a grandfather in Czechoslovakia. As he tries to navigate around the toxic swagger of the old man, he relishes his time in nature. It’s not, mind you, listening to yellow-rump warblers on spring days. It’s killing things. Pheasant and deer. And bigger things, elephants and leopards, creatures so magnificent that most people cringe at the thought of ending their lives in a sporting pursuit.”

We’re Winning! by Tim Egan – The New York Times

“Looking for refuge from the gust of insanity blowing across the fruited plain, I went to the highest perch I could reach in North Cascades National Park. I needed a break from the politician who has roused the lowest impulses of the American character.

What better escape from the primordial muck of Donald Trump and company than an alpine aerie of America’s Best Idea? Still, the stench of his recent provocations followed me to the far northwest corner of the contiguous United States. Hints of assassination from those “Second Amendment people.” Claiming that President Obama founded the Islamic State. Sidling up to dictators who kill political opponents.

I could hear the bark of his soulless pessimism. “We are a country that doesn’t win anymore,” he said, time and again. “When was the last time we won?”Back at sea level, what joy it was to behold this: so much winning! O.K., the made-up robbery story by the male swimmers at the Olympics is a blemish. But look at the bigger picture: American women are dominating the games. Simone Biles, that sprite of exuberance, has four gold medals in gymnastics. The women’s basketball team is crushing it. And a Muslim fencer, the first United States athlete to compete while wearing a hijab, led the team to a medal.”

Source: We’re Winning! – The New York Times

I love this writer, Tim Egan, and it is a bonus that he looks a little like my father at the same age.

I predicted after the Republican debates, and over a month before the Republican Convention, that Hillary Clinton would beat Trump in an electoral landslide. Why? One reason is that Michael Dukakis had about the same popular vote, 45%, that Trump had at his height, and Dukakis won only 3 electoral votes against Ronald Regan.

Hillary Rodham cattle futures controversy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tim Egan, in Hillary’s Big Idea, NYT, 4/23/16 mentioned the 1970’s cattle future questions, as real grist for “That gritter edge.”
So here is an article, that I think gives Hillary Clinton a clean bill health.
I also tried futures, and put in a $100 dollars, and lost it all in the first long or short or whatever it was.

“In 1978 and 1979, lawyer and First Lady of Arkansas Hillary Rodham engaged in a series of trades of cattle futures contracts. Her initial $1,000 investment had generated nearly $100,000 when she stopped trading after ten months. In 1994, after Hillary Rodham Clinton had become First Lady of the United States, the trading became the subject of considerable controversy regarding the likelihood of such a spectacular rate of return, possible conflict of interest, and allegations of disguised bribery,[1] allegations that Clinton strongly denied. There were no official investigations of the trading and Clinton was never charged with any wrongdoing.Contents 1 Trades and first exposure 2 Likelihood of results 3 Merc and Melamed investigations 4 Clinton responses 5 Official findings 6 ReferencesTrades and first exposureHillary Rodham and Bill Clinton lived in this 980 square feet (91 m2) house in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Little Rock from 1977 to 1979 while he was Arkansas Attorney General.[2] The couple’s modest circumstances led Rodham to seek investment income.Rodham had no experience in such financial instruments.[3] Bill Clinton’s salary as Arkansas Attorney General and then Governor of Arkansas was modest and Rodham later said she had been interested in building a financial cushion for the future[4][5] (the ill-fated Whitewater Development Corporation would be another such effort from this time[4]). Starting in October 1978, when Bill Clinton was Attorney General and on the verge of being elected Governor,[1] she was guided by James Blair, a friend, lawyer, outside counsel to Tyson Foods, Arkansas’ largest employer, and, since 1977,[6] a futures trader who was doing so well he encouraged friends and family to enter the commodity markets as well.[4][5] Blair in turn traded through, and relied upon cattle markets expertise from, broker Robert L. “Red” Bone of Refco, a former Tyson executive and professional poker player who was a World Series of Poker semifinalist.[5][7]Rodham later wrote that she educated herself about the market and followed it closely, winning and losing money.[4] By January 1979, she was up $26,000;[5] but later, she would lose $16,000 in a single trade.[5] At one point she owed in excess of $100,000 to Refco as part of covering losses, but no margin calls were made by Refco against her.[5] Near the end of the trading, Blair correctly sold short and gave her a $40,000 gain in one afternoon.[5] In July 1979,[1] once she became pregnant with Chelsea Clinton, “I lost my nerve for gambling [and] walked away from the table $100,000 ahead.”[4] She briefly traded sugar futures contracts and other non-cattle commodities in October 1979, but more conservatively, through Stephens Inc.[5][8] During this period she made about $6,500 in gains (which she failed to pay taxes on at the time, consequently later paying some $14,600 in federal and state tax penalties in the 1990s).[8][9] Once her daughter was born in February 1980, she moved all her commodities gains into U.S. Treasury Bonds.[5]”

Source: Hillary Rodham cattle futures controversy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hillary’s Big Idea – The New York Times

“But compared with the monumental flaws of Trump, Clinton is in great shape. You don’t need the oratorical gifts of Barack Obama, the élan of John F. Kennedy or the kinetic spark of Teddy Roosevelt to be president.What you do need is a big idea, something much greater than the personality of the politician. As John Kasich admitted on Wednesday: “If you don’t have ideas, you got nothing, and frankly my Republican Party doesn’t like ideas.” ”

Source: Hillary’s Big Idea – The New York Times

I was disappointed that Tim Egan didn’t suggest which big ideas Hillary should make her big idea. The problem is complexity and interconnectedness.

I decided to take a stab at this request. Here is a candidate for Hillary Clinton’s big idea:

We can fight income inequality, and climate change, and restore the American middle class with investments in renewable energy, conservation and American infrastructure. If you want quick results, give me a Democratic majority in congress.


The Beast Is Us – by Tim Egan, The New York Times

.“You heard the word “scary” used a lot this week, that and much more. Not from the usual scolds. Or Democrats. The loudest alarms came from desperate, panicked Republicans, warning of the man who is destroying the Party of Lincoln before our eyes.From Our Advertisers“The man is evil,” said Stuart Stevens, a chief strategist for Mitt Romney in 2012. Romney himself called Donald Trump a fraud on Thursday.But as much as these “too little, too late” wake-up calls are appreciated, it’s time to place the blame for the elevation of a tyrant as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee where it belongs — with the people. Yes, you. Donald Trump’s supporters know exactly what he stands for: hatred of immigrants, racial superiority, a sneering disregard of the basic civility that binds a society. Educated and poorly educated alike, men and women — they know what they’re getting from him.”

Source: The Beast Is Us – The New York Times

Here is an interesting comment, to a good Guardian article.
Maro Massachusetts 4 hours ago

“I share your dislike for Mr. Trump. I find your contempt for his supporters to be facile and demeaning.

The American working and middle classes have been gutted over the last 30 years by trade policies that send jobs overseas, by tax policies that redistribute the bulk of the newly created wealth to the richest at the top of the pyramid, and by politicians of both parties who brazenly and unashamedly kiss the rings of their corporate sponsors.

Add to this toxic mix the incendiary fuel of immigrant Rupert Murdoch’s Faux News channel (with its signature mix of half truths, virulent ideology and shameless racism) and it is easier to understand why the folks whose lives are palpably worse blame minorities and immigrants rather than the corporate puppeteers who control our government. This off-shifting of blame is a fantastic con, but God knows it’s worked mighty well.

Mr. Egan, you could do a lot worse than spending some time in the trenches with these Trump supporters you claim to detest. You might even start with this article about closet Trump supporters in the Guardian:


It is time for those us at the top of pyramid– on both the right AND the left– to recognize that we have benefited disproportionately and unjustly at the expense of the many. Until we are ready to come together and do that, Trump’s supporters will rage on.

As well they should.”
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