If you saw the latest Democratic debate last night on MSNBC and if you’ve seen even ONE of the Republican variety, then I know you’ve already made up your mind that you are going to vote Democratic come November 8.  And to me (and I hope to you) it doesn’t matter if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders is the Democratic candidate.  Both of them are so far and away just so much more substantive, sensible, rational and intelligent then ANY of the Republican wazoos running for the office.  Really.  There is simply no debate here.  None. 

Who won last night?  Who knows.  Both Hillary and Bernie sounded knowledgeable, thoughtful and both pretty much agree on the basic outlines of where they see the country going in the future and it is diametrically opposed to the “Make America Great Again” loony-bin folks on the Republican side.  Assuredly, that the two tied in Iowa was a victory for Bernie.  And he will certainly win next Tuesday in New Hampshire.  After all New Hampshire and Vermont (Bernie’s home state) are like two halves of the same zygote so a Sanders victory will be no surprise.  The debate was, however, one of the most substantive debates I’ve seen in years. 

But after New Hampshire, comes South Carolina where I suspect that Bernie’s “Democratic Socialism” will not be as popular as it is in slightly wacky Iowa and familiar-with-Bernie New Hampshire.  After all, while South Carolina isn’t Mississippi or Sam Brownback’s Kansas, it is a decidedly conservative state.  And then comes states like Alabama,  Georgia, Colorado, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming on Super Tuesday (March 1) along with Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Arkansas.  Other than the last three, these are not states that have a natural affinity towards Bernie Sanders and I suspect that Hillary will do much better. 

So as we progress along the endless pathway toward the election of our next president, I think the entire contest is still up for grabs, but I do think that Hillary will ultimately wind up with the nomination.  A few months ago, I would not have given Bernie Sanders even an outside chance but he’s proven that he resonates with a decent swath of American society, especially among young folks.  But don’t forget, no matter who the Democratic nominee is, he or she is so far superior to anything the Republicans are offering that it is incumbent upon you to get out and vote no matter which one is our candidate.  More about his in another post.

(NOTE: Now that you've read the above, (or even skipped it) may I suggest that you scroll down to the end of this post to the music video and listen to it while you read the rest of this piece! If it's still here. You know, copyright infringement.  Love it!)

In other news.

Martin Shkreli Testifies: Sort Of

 If you saw that slimeball, Martin Shkreli, of Turing Pharmaceuticals, testifying yesterday at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearings (the same committee, BTW, that served as Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) IRS and Benghazi propaganda platforms) you would have had trouble not vomiting into your television screen the man was so fucking snide, smarmy and arrogant.  And, here’s the kicker, his entire “testimony” was comprised of the following: “On the advice of my attorney, I decline to answer based on my Fifth Amendment rights.”  But even mouthing these few words over and over again, he simply could not hide his total asshole-ness.  This is the guy, you remember, who hiked the price of the drug Daraprim, a long used drug in combating infections, 500 or 700 times and bragged about it on You Tube.  He certainly had a lot to say back then.  Not so much now. He’s under Federal investigation for insider trading or stock manipulation some other common Wall Street Free Market practice that passes for business as usual.  But not for hiking the price of a drug 500 or 700 times.  That action, folks, is simply your Free Market economy at work enriching scumbags like Shkreli.  

Happened to catch CNBC last night discussing the incident.   One brilliant economic pundit said of the fact that Shkreli was able to hike the price of Daraprim 500 or 700 times (which scuzzy  Free Market habit he is not under investigation for since such that action is perfectly legal) that it was:

“A Free Market Imperfection.”

WTF?  A Free Market Imperfection?  My scones sometimes come out in less than perfect triangle shapes.   Occasionally I will forget what day of the week it is.  And every once in a while I will neglect to pay my rent on the first of the month.  (But never past the third of the month!)  These are “imperfections” and I face a plethora of similar “imperfections” on a daily basis.  But raising the price of a drug 500 or 700 times is not what I would consider an “imperfection”- Free Market or not.  No.  I would consider it a bloody, greedy, avaricious attempt to simply make a whole lot of money and put a whole bunch of not so rich Americans at risk of not being able to afford a vital drug.

In more other news.  

Right To Lifers School Elementary School Kids About Abortion

Here’s a local story – a Washington, D.C. story -  that might be of interest.  There is a charter school about four blocks away from me up on H Street, N.E., by the name of Two Rivers Charter School.  Well, as it happens (through no fault of or encouragement from the Two Rivers charter school) a new Planned Parenthood facility is under construction right next door.  Well, the ever-ready right to lifers have been picketing of late.  Not in front of the Planned Parenthood facility under construction, they are forbidden by D.C. law from doing this, but in front of the elementary school.  Well, hey, I’m all in favor of free speech and the right to protest, but it seems just a tad insensitive to be demonstrating in front of an elementary school with 8 to 12 year olds arriving and leaving each day. 

But I could forgive them this overlooking of polite decorum in the American spirit of Freedom of Speech and the Right to Protest.  But, and here’s the really scuzzy part, the right to lifers in addition to marching up and down the sidewalk in front of the school, also carry 4 foot by 5 foot posters of bloody fetuses among other equally disgusting signs.  Not only this, they have taken to discussing abortion, the killing of babies and the immorality of free choice, with the elementary school kids. 

Don’t know what to say about this except that I find it totally disgusting.  But then, we are talking about right to lifers.    Demonstrating in front of an elementary school with signs of bloody fetuses is just something that my sometimes traditional mind and manners can’t quite get a grip on.  On the other hand, I’m hoping that news of this patriotic demonstration of Freedom of Speech and the Right to Protest might spread around the media and hopeful there might be a few other folks who feel as I do that this is a totally inappropriate, disgusting and over-the-top demonstration of right wing overkill why it is that the Supreme Court decided that same sex marriage is okay. 

Frankly I think that these right to lifers need some serious schooling in common decency and common sense.  The story is here: RIGHT TO LIFERS SCHOOL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN

And in even more breaking news:

Powell, Rice Caught Up In Hillary E-Mail Scandal


Here's what Powell had to say about the issue:

"The originators of the messages to Powell did not classify them, he said, and “if the department wishes to say a dozen years later they should have been classified, that is an opinion of the department that I do not share.”
Powell has said in the past that he found the State Department computer system, including Internet and email, to be woefully inadequate when he took office there in 2001. He devoted substantial re­sources to improving it but also made liberal use of his personal AOL account. 
It’s why every single State Department staffer I ever dealt with 1) hated the Department’s computer system; 2) used their personal devices to access and store official documents; and 3) used private e-mail services (AOL and Hotmail for the most part).   By the way, this includes staffers in both Kabul and Baghdad. 

Bottom Line?  The right wing generated Clinton E-Mail Scandal just died a well deserved death thanks to Secretary Powell and Secretary Rice.  Rest In Peace.   The article is here: 

More news:

House Bill Would Privatize Air Traffic Control System

Right.  In another move toward rewarding the private sector with a giant freebie (the proposed turnover would be at no cost to the private sector of equipment that is worth many billions of dollars) Republicans apparently have forgotten the disaster that was the privatization of the War in Iraq.  Sure, controlling the airways around the country isn’t on quite the same scale as was the war in Iraq with it’s $45 million gas stations, but just ask yourself this:  “How comfortable are you going to be when XYZ Corporation decides that for the sake of efficiency it’s going to lay off one-third of our Air Traffic Controllers?”  And understand, our air traffic system is run by unionized men and women – former PATCO, now NATCA – and you know how Republicans feel about unions. 

Let’s hope this one dies the same kind of death that has befallen the “Clinton Classified E-Mail Crimes” before we’re the ones who literally die from the private sector’s attention to the needs of its airline customers.  

And ending on a sad note:

Maurice White, founder of the mega-soul-band, "Earth, Wind and Fire," died at the age of 74 of complications from Parkinson’s Disease.  If you don’t know "White or Earth, Wind and Fire," they were probably the biggest crossover pop group the 1970’s with hits like: “Shining Star,” “September,” “After The Love Has Gone,” and “Got To Get You Into My Life.”   Earth, Wind and Fire” were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.   They are prominently featured in my Vinyl LP collection that I’ve been dragging around for over 30 years.  Below is "Shining Star" and a bunch of 70's classics.  (I hope the video remains here.  If not go to You Tube.)  



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