ON THE RECORD. . .

“If you want a say in who the Democrats’ nominate, join the Democratic Party. It’s easy and it’s free! If you want to be all “I’m an independent because I’m too good to be a member of some party,” all the power to you! Just don’t expect a say in choosing that party’s leaders. I can’t fathom why this notion might be controversial.” --  kos 4/20/16

“The system, folks, is rigged… It’s a rigged, disgusting, dirty system. When everything is done, I find out I get less delegates than the guy who got his ass kicked.” — Donald Trump 4/12/16

gop-delegate-sel.jpg

“Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am. He’s a kids’ show actor, he’s not a scientist.” --Sarah Palin, who believes that she’s just as qualified to discuss climate change as Bill Nye, "The Science Guy." 4/16/15.

"I, for one, am not interested in defending a system that for decades has served the interest of political parties at the expense of the people. Members of the club—the consultants, the pollsters, the politicians, the pundits and the special interests—grow rich and powerful while the American people grow poorer and more isolated." -- Donald Trump, channelling Bernie Sanders.

"What I’m concerned about is how he goes after everybody else. He goes after women. He goes after Muslims. He goes after immigrants. He goes after people with disabilities. He is hurting our unity at home. He is undermining the values that we stand for in New York and across America. And he’s hurting us around the world. He can say whatever he want to say about me. I really could care less." -- Hillary Clinton on Donald Trump 4/17/16

“It's going to the congressmen and senators to try to take back Congress." -- George Clooney about his fundraiser, pointing out that "The overwhelming amount of the money that we're raising, is not going to Hillary to run for president. ... It's going to the congressmen and senators." Politifact 4/17/16

“Bernie Sanders says that Hillary Clinton is unqualified to be president. Based on her decision making ability, I can go along with that!” -- Donald J. Trump‏@realDonaldTrump

“I think if the millions of people that came out to vote for me are disenfranchised, I think there’s gonna be unbelievable turmoil.” -- Donald Trump 4/19/16

trump-art-of-complaining.jpg

“Republicans are being nice to Bernie Sanders because we like the thought of running against a socialist. But if he were to win the nomination the knives would come out for Bernie pretty quick. There's no mystery what the attack on him would be. Bernie Sanders is literally a card carrying socialist who honeymooned in the Soviet Union. There'd be hundreds of millions of dollars in Republican ads showing hammers and sickles and Soviet Union flags in front of Bernie Sanders.” -- Ryan Williams, a former spokesman for 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney's campaign. 4/18/16

Medicare for all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate Democratic whores who are beholden to big pharma.” -- Health care activist Dr. Paul Song at a presidential campaign rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders 4/14/16

“It’s going to be an election determined by the superdelegates,” -- Sanders’s campaign manager Jeff Weaver saying that even if Hillary Clinton wins all the delegates required to secure the nomination and leads the popular vote, the Vermont senator’s campaign would fight to flip superdelegates all the way to the convention.

“To all the people who support Sen. Sanders, I believe there is much more that unites us than divides us.” -- Hillary Clinton offering an olive branch to Sanders and his supporters after her victory in NY. 4/19/16


IN THIS ISSUE

FYI

1. House, Senate and Gubernatorial Races Move Towards Democrats
2. The DAILY GRILL
3. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)
4. Late Night Jokes for Dems
5. From the Late Shows
6. Democratic Campaign Update
7. State of election markets: 205 Days
8. Thousands Of Voters, Celebrities, Register To Wrong Party In California
9. GOP May Win Battle with Trump But Lose War
10. The Borowitz Report: Ben Carson Says He Has No Memory of Running for President
11. Is Trey Gowdy Planning a Benghazi Surprise?
12. Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump gets the most negative media coverage
13. Mark Fiore: Paul Ryan: Totally Not Running
14. Clinton campaign and Democratic party sue Arizona over voting rights
15. Newspaper endorsements
16. The truth about 'skyrocketing' Obamacare premiums
17. March was the 11th straight record hot month–and that's not the worst news

OPINION

1. Nicholas Kristof: The Real Welfare Cheats
2. Damon Linker: Why the GOP establishment simply cannot win at the Cleveland convention
3. Bill Scher: No, Our Primaries Are Not Rigged
4. Paul Krugman: The Pastrami Principle
5. Dana Milbank: Many Democrats want to face Trump in November. They’re wrong.
6. Amy Walter: GOP May Win Battle with Trump But Lose War
7. Sally Kohn: The Most Pro-Hillary Bernie Sanders Endorsement You’ll Ever Read
8. Matt Pearce and Evan Halper: Bernie Sanders' supporters are fighting back, but they might be hurting his campaign
9. Russell Shorto: Bernie Sanders’s Forty-Year-Old Idea
10. Matt Flegenheimer: Ted Cruz’s Conservatism: The Pendulum Swings Consistently Right

FYI  

1. House, Senate and Gubernatorial Races Move Towards Democrats

This week we’re making 14 House rating changes, with all but one of them favoring the Democrats. This has been a common theme for us in recent weeks. Two weeks ago, we offered ratings of a potential Hillary Clinton-versus-Donald Trump presidential race, which tilted the competitive Electoral College states toward the Democrats. Last week, we moved six Senate races and two gubernatorial races toward the Democrats. This is mostly because of the increasingly likely odds of the GOP nominating Trump or Cruz for president.

However, these House changes do not represent a massive upgrade of Democratic odds for taking the House. Many of them simply take some already unlikely targets for Republicans off our list of competitive races, and they don’t change the overall House prospects all that much. 4/14/16 http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/house-2016-how-a-democratic-wave-could-happen/

2. The DAILY GRILL

"'The top 50 U.S. companies, Nike Microsoft, Apple, and Walmart have allegedly stashed $1.4 trillion in tax havens, notwithstanding the fact that they received trillions of dollars in backing from taxpayers, a report by global poverty charity Oxfam claims. Between 2008 and 2014, those corporations paid $1 trillion in taxes. During the same eight-year period, the companies received the benefit of $11.2 trillion in federal bailouts, loan guarantees, and loans. General Electric, which has received at least $28 billion in support from taxpayers, stashed $119 billion in more than 100 subsidiaries, according to the report. Apple topped the list, though, holding an alleged $181 billion offshore in at least three tax-haven subsidiaries." -- The Guardian 4/14/16

VERSUS

Instead of voting to repeal Obamacare 60 times, the Republican congress might have spent its time closing the loopholes that allow some corporations to avoid paying taxes! -- The Editor

obamacare7.jpg

 

“Millions of Americans” have lost their health insurance because of the health reform law.” (Note: Ted Cruz even claimed to be one of them, saying “our health care got canceled” because Blue Cross Blue Shield left the individual market in Texas). -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) January

VERSUS

The number of uninsured Americans dropped by 10 million between 2010, when the law passed, and 2014. (Note: Mr. Cruz never lost his health insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield did cancel his particular plan, but it automatically moved him and his family to a new one.) -- Census Bureau

 

“Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, have been forced into part-time work” because of the Affordable Care Act. -- Sen. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

VERSUS

“We find that the ACA had virtually no adverse effect on labor force participation, employment, or usual hours worked per week through 2014. ” -- Urban Instituted Study August 2015

3. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)

TV News Ignores Historic Findings That Uninsured Rate Drops To “Record Low” http://mediamatters.org/research/2016/04/15/tv-news-ignores-historic-findings-uninsured-rate-drops-record-low/209941

O’Reilly: “Don’t … Most African Americans Know There Are Super Predators Among Their Ethnic Group?” http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/04/15/o-reilly-don-t-most-african-americans-know-there-are-super-predators-among-their-ethnic-group/209950

Fox's Hannity: I'm Not Critical Of Trump Or Cruz "Because I Want Them, Whoever The Nominee Is, To Win" ... "And If I Had Hillary On, I Would Not Be So Nice, Because I Want Her To Lose" http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/04/15/foxs-hannity-im-not-critical-trump-or-cruz-because-i-want-them-whoever-nominee-win/209948

“Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads, and I hate to be generalized about it, but it's true. If you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to get jobs for people who aren't qualified for jobs?” -- Fox News host Bill O’Reilly challenging Donald Trump on how he would create jobs for the black community. 4/12/16 http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/bil-o-reilly-donald-trump-tattoos-ill-educated

Conservative Radio Host On Philadelphia Protest: “One Of Those Concealed Carry Moments For Me,” “Old Trusty Might Come Out” http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/04/15/conservative-radio-host-philadelphia-protest-one-those-concealed-carry-moments-me-old-trusty-might/209932

NRA Falsely Claims That Obama Gave “El Chapo” A Sniper Rifle http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/04/18/nra-falsely-claims-obama-gave-el-chapo-sniper-rifle/209968

Ingraham Criticizes Hillary Clinton's "Painful" Voice During NY Primary Victory Speech -- Clinton "Was In Full Magpie Mode Last Night. That Was Just Painful"http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/04/20/ingraham-criticizes-hillary-clintons-painful-voice-during-ny-primary-victory-speech/209997

O'Reilly Claims Border Wall Would Save “Thousands Of Lives. Maybe Millions Of Lives.” http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/04/19/oreilly-claims-border-wall-would-save-millions-lives/209992

4. Late Night Jokes for Dems

"Last night, CNN hosted a town hall with Republican front-runner Donald Trump, and at one point he complained that the rules of the election are stacked against him 'by the establishment.' You gotta give it to Trump. He's the only man who could inherit millions of dollars, have his name on buildings, and still go, 'Life is totally unfair!'" –Jimmy Fallon

"Some prominent Republican congressmen are saying they might not even go to the convention, which is in Cleveland this summer. Not because it might get crazy — they're saying they can't go because they have work to do. This summer. These are congressmen. All of a sudden they've got work to do?" –Jimmy Fallon

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"Bernie Sanders this morning joined the Verizon workers picket line here in New York. It's a perfect match, because Bernie always talks like he's getting bad reception." –Seth Meyers

"Bernie Sanders today received his first senatorial endorsement from Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley. Or as he'll be known under President Hillary Clinton, 'Ambassador to North Korea Jeff Merkley.'" –Seth Meyers

"I saw that Bill Clinton was in the Bronx campaigning for Hillary yesterday, and visited the 'Hebrew Home for the Aging.' While Hillary actually went there to drop off Bernie Sanders." –Jimmy Fallon

"The director of the CIA says that no matter who the next president is, the agency will not use waterboarding ever again. Instead, he's come up with a new way to torture people: turn off the Wi-Fi when they visit their parents' house." –Jimmy Fallon

"A new poll has found that Bernie Sanders is the most likable of all the presidential candidates. Which, let's face it, is kind of like being the best-dressed person at Wal-Mart." –Seth Meyers

"House Speaker Paul Ryan this afternoon issued a formal statement ruling himself out as a potential replacement candidate if there is a contested Republican convention. And you know things are bad in the Republican Party when people who aren't even running are dropping out of the race." –Seth Meyers

5. From the Late Shows

SNL Cold Open: Brooklyn Democratic Debate

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dCClwMqJK8

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: How Republicans Made Fools Of Themselves During N.Y. Primaries

http://crooksandliars.com/cltv/2016/04/samantha-bee-how-republicans-made

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Donald Trump's Phone Call with Ted Cruz

https://youtu.be/sU7LmmyQHRc

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Kid Impressions: Donald Trump Edition

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtG3h44Ls1o

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Paul Ryan Is Probably Open To Being President

https://youtu.be/eYcYV0FQiFw

6. Democratic Campaign Update

In pledged delegates, Clinton currently holds a lead of 271 delegates with Washington delegates to still be allocated (it was 240 before last night)

Clinton 1421 (55%)

Sanders 1150 (45%)

Clinton must win 41% of remaining pledged delegates to get a majority in pledged delegates (was 43%)

Sanders must win 59% of remaining pledged delegates to get a majority in pledged delegates (was 57%)

In overall delegates (pledged + super), Clinton holds an overall lead of 695 delegates (was 665)

Clinton must win 29% of remaining delegates to reach 2383 magic number (it was 33%)

Sanders must win 71% of remaining delegates to reach 2383 magic number (it was 67%). 4/20/16 http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/first-read-stopping-trump-clinton-just-got-harder-n559101?cid=eml_pol_20160420

7. State of election markets: 205 Days

PredictWise’s market-based forecasts midday on April 17, 2016: Donald Trump is 62% to be theRepublican nominee for president of the United States of America, Hillary Clinton is 92% to be theDemocratic nominee.

The Democratic nominee is now up to 74% to win the general election. The Democrats are 59% to win the senate. And the Republicans are 88% to hold the House of Representatives. . 4/17/16 http://predictwise.com/blog/2016/04/state-of-election-markets-205-days/

8. Thousands Of Voters, Celebrities, Register To Wrong Party In California

With nearly half a million registered members, the American Independent Party is bigger than all of California's other minor parties combined. The ultraconservative party's platform opposes abortion rights and same sex marriage, and calls for building a fence along the entire United States border.

Based in the Solano County home of one of its leaders, the AIP bills itself as “The Fastest Growing Political Party in California."

But a Times investigation has found that nearly 75% of AIP members had registered with the party in error, not realizing they had joined the AIP. 4/16/16 http://bit.ly/23G88sX

9. GOP May Win Battle with Trump But Lose War

If Republicans think that denying Trump the nomination will solve their problems, they forget that the guy is neither a magnanimous winner nor a gracious loser. Forget about Trump running as an independent in the fall. He won’t have the organization or time to get on the ballot in most states. But, he’s got something more important than ballot access: Twitter and TV. He will be happy to continue his campaign against the GOP via social media. Do we really think that if Trump loses he’ll go underground never to utter his views again? Do you think that if he loses a floor fight he’ll warmly embrace Ted Cruz? I doubt it.

Trump’s success has been driven almost exclusively by his ability to frame the narrative of this campaign. While he may get outmaneuvered on delegates and floor votes, and continues to show only millimeter deep grasp of issues, he has been able to run circles around his opponents on the PR front. 4/15/16 http://cookpolitical.com/story/9493

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10. The Borowitz Report: Ben Carson Says He Has No Memory of Running for President

Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, stirred controversy on Thursday by saying in a televised interview that he had no recollection of running for President of the United States.

Dr. Carson said he had seen photographs and videos of him campaigning for the Republican nomination but called them “the work of an evil person who is really good at PhotoShop and whatnot.”

He said he did not know who would create such an elaborate hoax to convince him that he had run for President “when I clearly did not,” but he speculated about the person’s motives.

“Someone is trying to mess with my mind,” he said. “And when I find out who is doing that I will make them pay dearly.”

While Carson insisted that “there is no way I ran for President,” he did not rule out running for the Republican nomination in the future.

“I think I’d be really good at it,” he said. Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/ben-carson-says-he-has-no-memory-of-running-for-president

11. Is Trey Gowdy Planning a Benghazi Surprise?

The Benghazi report is on track to drop by mid-July, just before Congress recesses for the conventions and at a time when Republicans will be in need of a distraction from the Trump-Cruz standoff. If the review takes longer (they typically last from a few weeks to a several months), it could come out in September, in the campaign’s homestretch.”

“Either scenario would confirm what critics of the panel have said all along (and what Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy incautiously confirmed) — that the panel is a political exercise designed to damage Clinton.” https://politicalwire.com/2016/04/14/is-trey-gowdy-planning-a-benghazi-surprise/

12. Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump gets the most negative media coverage

The biggest news outlets have published more negative stories about Hillary Clinton than any other presidential candidate — including Donald Trump — since January 2015, according to a new analysis of hundreds of thousands of online stories published since last year.

Clinton has not only been hammered by the most negative coverage but the media also wrote the smallest proportion of positive stories about her, reports Crimson Hexagon, a social media software analytics company based out of Boston.

Still, Sanders's supporters have widely accused the media of being in the tank for Clinton. And these numbers suggest that perception may not square with reality. 4/15/16 http://www.vox.com/2016/4/15/11410160/hillary-clinton-media-bernie-sanders

13. Mark Fiore Animation: Paul Ryan: Totally Not Running

https://vimeo.com/162787460

14. Clinton campaign and Democratic party sue Arizona over voting rights

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic party will sue to demand greater access to the polls in Arizona, where voters were left waiting as long as five hours to cast their ballot in last month’s primary.

Democratic party officials said their national committee and senatorial campaign committee would spearhead the lawsuit, which they will file on Friday. The suitpromises to put voting rights front and center in the 2016 presidential race – in Arizona and in at least four swing states where restrictions imposed by Republican-dominated state legislatures are being challenged in federal court. 4/14/16 http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/14/clinton-campaign-democratic-party-sue-arizona-voting-rights?CMP=share_btn_tw

15. Newspaper endorsements

Hillary Clinton: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspaper_endorsements_in_the_
United_States_presidential_primaries,_2016#Hillary_Clinton

Bernie Sanders: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspaper_endorsements_in_the_
United_States_presidential_primaries,_2016#Bernie_Sanders

16. The truth about 'skyrocketing' Obamacare premiums

The dust has finally settled around this year's rate setting for health insurance premiums, including Obamacare premiums. Contrary to Republican conventional wisdom (and a ton of traditional media reports) they didn't skyrocket. At all. The increases, in fact, are pretty modest, actually. Just 4 percent over last year.

In most of the reporting, and all of the Republican claims of soaring premiums, those subsidies are conveniently left out of the discussion. But here's another thing—even for the people who don't get that help, premiums rose just 8 percent. That's less the average of 10 percent or more in premium increases in health plans in the decade before the law was enacted. http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/4/16/1515374/-The-truth-about-skyrocketing-Obamacare-premiums

obamacare2.jpg

17. March was the 11th straight record hot month–and that's not the worst news

The headline “warmest month on record” is getting to be so monotonous that we barely notice it. And here it is again—March 2016 was the 11th straight month of record heat. 

The average global temperature across land surfaces was 2.33°C (4.19°F) above the 20th century average of 3.2°C (37.8°F), the highest March temperature on record, surpassing the previous March record set in 2008 by 0.43°C (0.77°F) and surpassing the all-time single-month record set last month by 0.02°C (0.04°F) .

In the recent past, months that crossed into record territory were often due to remarkable numbers in one part of the globe—but this March was warm almost everywhere. The Arctic? Hot. The remainder of the Northern Hemisphere? Hot. And the Southern Hemisphere? Also hot. Western Europe and parts of South America enjoyed a fairly clement month, but the rest of the globe saw temperatures that were often well above normal. In fact … here’s the bad news.

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for March 2016 was the highest for this month in the 1880–2016 record, at 1.22°C (2.20°F) above the 20th century average of 12.7°C (54.9°F). This surpassed the previous record set in 2015 by 0.32°C / (0.58°F), and marks the highest monthly temperature departure among all 1,635 months on record, surpassing the previous all-time record set just last month by 0.01°C (0.02°F). 

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/4/19/1517603/-March-was-the-11th-straight-record-hot-month-and-that-s-not-the-worst-news 4/19/16

OPINION  

1. Nicholas Kristof: The Real Welfare Cheats

We often hear how damaging welfare dependency is, stifling initiative and corroding the human soul. So I worry about the way we coddle executives in their suites.

A study to be released Thursday says that for each dollar America’s 50 biggest companies paid in federal taxes between 2008 and 2014, they received $27 back in federal loans, loan guarantees and bailouts.

Bravo to the Obama administration for cracking down on corporations that try to move abroad to get out of taxes. Congress should now pass the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, and it should stop slashing the I.R.S. budget (by 17 percent in real terms over the last six years).

When congressional Republicans like Ted Cruz denounce the I.R.S., they empower corporate tax cheats. Because of I.R.S. cuts, the amount of time revenue agents spend auditing large companies has fallen by 34 percent since 2010. A Syracuse University analysis finds that the lost revenue from the decline in corporate audits may be as much as $15 billion a year — enough to make full-day pre-K universal.

Meanwhile, no need to fret so much about welfare abuse in the inner city. The big problem of welfare dependency in America now involves entitled corporations. So let’s help those moochers in business suits pick themselves up and stop sponging off the government. 4/14/16 http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/opinion/the-real-welfare-cheats.html

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2. Damon Linker: Why the GOP establishment simply cannot win at the Cleveland convention

Americans love a happy ending.

Just listen to the fantasies gripping the beleaguered Republican establishment and some of its conservative-movement cheerleaders about the likely outcome of a contested convention in July. Sure, the candidate with the most popular votes is a know-nothing populist-authoritarian real estate mogul with few ideological ties to the mainstream of the party. And yes, the candidate with the second most popular votes is a one-term senator who's spent the past four years playing a high-stakes game of chicken with GOP leadership. But that's okay: No worries! The party will somehow manage to engineer events in the remaining primaries and on the floor of the Cleveland convention hall so that the first option (Donald Trump) fails to reach the required 1,237 delegate votes on the first ballot and the second option (Ted Cruz) falls short on the next. And then, somehow, a candidate more amenable to the GOP establishment — a Mitt Romney or a Marco Rubio or a Chris Christie or a Condi Rice — will emerge and prevail on a subsequent ballot.

Somehow.

This would be a very happy ending for the GOP establishment. It also is definitely not going to happen. 4/15/16 http://theweek.com/articles/618409/why-gop-establishment-simply-cannot-win-cleveland-convention

dorothy-linker.jpg

3. Bill Scher: No, Our Primaries Are Not Rigged

Among Donald Trump backers, Bernie Sanders supporters and the pundit class, it has become fashionable to trash the two parties’ presidential nomination processes as undemocratic. “It’s a system rigged against voters,”MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough fumed last week, “in favor of the rich and the powerful and the politically connected.”

The critics have various examples designed to stoke outrage. But their argument has two main flaws. 1) anecdotes are not data; 2) there is no one democratically pure method for choosing party nominees.

The seemingly ridiculous anecdotes are endlessly repeated: Sanders won New Hampshire and Wyoming yet failed to come out ahead in the two states’ delegate counts; Trump won Louisiana but Ted Cruz may come out ahead in the delegates. Colorado Republicans scrapped its caucus and gave Cruz all its delegates without any statewide vote.

But these are anomalies or exaggerations that obscure the big picture. Actually, both Trump and Sanders have a bigger percentage of pledged delegates than their percentage of the popular vote. 4/18/16 http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/04/18/no_our_primaries_are_not_rigged_130310.html

zprimary-voting.jpg

4. Paul Krugman: The Pastrami Principle

Quite a few people seem confused about the current state of the Democratic nomination race. But the essentials are simple: Hillary Clinton has a large lead in both pledged delegates and the popular vote so far. (In Democratic primaries, delegate allocation is roughly proportional to votes.) If you ask how that’s possible — Bernie Sanders just won seven states in a row! — you need to realize that those seven states have a combined population of about 20 million. Meanwhile, Florida alone also has about 20 million people — and Mrs. Clinton won it by a 30-point margin.

So the Sanders campaign is arguing that superdelegates — the people, mainly party insiders, not selected through primaries and caucuses who get to serve as delegates under Democratic nomination rules — should give him the nomination even if he loses the popular vote. In case you’re rubbing your eyes: Yes, not long ago many Sanders supporters were fulminating about how Hillary was going to steal the nomination by having superdelegates put her over the top despite losing the primaries. Now the Sanders strategy is to win by doing exactly that. http://nyti.ms/1SP9TZz http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/15/opinion/the-pastrami-principle.html

feel-the-bern.jpg

5. Dana Milbank: Many Democrats want to face Trump in November. They’re wrong.

Trump isn’t dangerous because he’s conservative. He’s dangerous because he seems willing to govern outside our constitutional system, with his talk of torturing prisoners and targeting innocent civilians, with his winking at violence at his events and his plans to block entry to the United States on the basis of religion.

Unlike Trump, Cruz is a creature of democratic institutions. We see this now in the way he has, through his mastery of convention rules and his outreach to party insiders, outmaneuvered Trump in lining up commitments from delegates in Cleveland. It was always thus, going back to his days running for student government at Princeton and as a mid-level staffer aggressively climbing his way through George W. Bush’s presidential campaign.

Trump has talked blithely about ordering the military to do illegal things; his bravado suggests he’s not inclined to let small things such as the separation of powers get in his way. He concurred with a supporter’s labeling of Cruz as a “pussy” for being insufficiently committed to torture. And Cruz hasn’t joinedTrump’s lawless call for killing the non-combatant relatives of terrorists: “We’ve never targeted innocent civilians, and we’re not going to start now.”

This is why Cruz is less dangerous than Trump. Cruz is often dishonest, and he takes extreme and sometimes appalling positions. But he has shown an inclination to play by the rules — and that’s a safeguard Trump doesn’t offer. 4/15/16 http://wpo.st/sHuU1

6. Amy Walter: GOP May Win Battle with Trump But Lose War

There’s also the distinct possibility that regardless of the ultimate outcome in Cleveland, neither camp will be able to claim “victory.” As one Ohio Republican I spoke with on a recent trip to the state told me, “There’ll be a riot in Cleveland if Trump wins the nomination and a riot if he doesn’t.” It’s hard to see how Cruz or Trump has the capacity to unite the GOP after such a serious battle. Yes, the prospect of Hillary Clinton as president will help bring many GOPers back into the fold, but it’s also likely that these wounds simply stay raw and unhealed. 

If Republicans think that denying Trump the nomination will solve their problems, they forget that the guy is neither a magnanimous winner nor a gracious loser. Forget about Trump running as an independent in the fall. He won’t have the organization or time to get on the ballot in most states. But, he’s got something more important than ballot access: Twitter and TV. He will be happy to continue his campaign against the GOP via social media. Do we really think that if Trump loses he’ll go underground never to utter his views again? Do you think that if he loses a floor fight he’ll warmly embrace Ted Cruz? I doubt it.”

“Trump’s success has been driven almost exclusively by his ability to frame the narrative of this campaign. While he may get outmaneuvered on delegates and floor votes, and continues to show only millimeter deep grasp of issues, he has been able to run circles around his opponents on the PR front.” 4/13/16 http://cookpolitical.com/story/9493

gop-convention.jpg

7. Sally Kohn: The Most Pro-Hillary Bernie Sanders Endorsement You’ll Ever Read

Sunday afternoon, in front of almost 30,000 people in Prospect Park near my home inBrooklyn, I endorsed Bernie Sanders to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States of America.

During my announcement, my 7-year-old daughter Willa stood by my side on the stage. You see, Willa supports Hillary Clinton. And that’s great! As I said in my remarks:

“Willa wants Hillary Clinton to be president in large part because she wants a woman president. So do I. And make no mistake about it, I think Hillary Clinton is an exceptionally qualified and dedicated public servant and would make an extraordinary president in shepherding the 90 percent of issues on which I agree with her.”

>>And some people, certainly not everyone, but some people in the audience booed.

Which, to be completely honest, was one of the reasons I hesitated in making an endorsement in the first place—the sense that I would be aligning myself not only with the wonderfully progressive Senator Sanders but his often shockingly vitriolic supporters. Listen, I can sit around and critique Clinton’s positions on key issues as much as the next leftist. But I’m also honest enough to acknowledge where our visions overlap and praise her when appropriate.  4.18.16 http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/04/18/bernie-backers-booed-me-as-i-endorsed-him.html

8. Matt Pearce and Evan Halper: Bernie Sanders' supporters are fighting back, but they might be hurting his campaign

Shawn Bagley thought he knew what he was getting into when he was elected to become one of California’s so-called superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention, and energetic debate with other activists was part of it.

What Bagley had not anticipated was being jolted out of bed by a 2 a.m. phone call from an angry Bernie Sanders supporter. The caller accused Bagley, a retired produce broker from Salinas, of stealing democracy from the citizenry.

“Why is Bernie Sanders letting these people loose on us?” said Bagley, a Hillary Clinton backer who says he was branded corrupt, immoral and thickheaded over the course of approximately 200 social media posts and phone calls from Sanders fans. “He lost my vote at 2 a.m.”

Sanders supporters are known to be a spirited bunch. But as their frustration mounts over their candidate’s failure to significantly cut into Clinton’s lead in the Democratic presidential race, no small number of them are lashing out in ways that are not particularly helpful to his campaign.4/15/16 http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/la-na-bernie-sanders-supporters-20160415-story.html

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9. Russell Shorto: Bernie Sanders’s Forty-Year-Old Idea

Throughout Europe, Social Democrats have long since shifted from the kind of stalwart ideology that Sanders now pushes toward what Germans called theNeue Mitte (New Center) and those in other countries referred to as the Third Way. Some on the left look at the shift as a straight-up sellout to capitalism. Others describe it as a realization, driven home by electoral defeats, that things like free tuition and free health care have costs that eventually need to be paid. What most struck me about living in the Netherlands as its welfare-state model evolved was its sophisticated mixing of public and private. While Americans tend to think of European systems as involving vast government-run social-service programs, health care in the Netherlands has been, since 2006, mostly in the hands of private insurance companies. But the government has a prominent role: it is responsible for covering long-term conditions, and has oversight of both insurers and individuals. As Kijne notes, “the system has been privatized with the tacit approval of the Social Democrats.”

The prevailing pragmatism of Europe’s Social Democrats brings many of them into alignment with, of all people, Sanders’s opponent, Hillary Clinton—and makes Sanders seem, to some on the Continent, like a throwback. One Dutch politician told me that Sanders reminds him of Michael Foot, the head of the British Labour Party in the early eighties, a socialist at heart who struggled against Margaret Thatcher, and who wanted to bring back government control of industry and enhance the power of labor unions. Karin Pettersson, the political editor-in-chief of the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, told me that Social Democrats there are split between Sanders and Clinton. The U.S. Presidential race, she said, “has become a proxy for the internal debate between ideological purity and pragmatism.” 4/17/16 http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/bernie-sanderss-forty-year-old-idea

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10. Matt Flegenheimer: Ted Cruz’s Conservatism: The Pendulum Swings Consistently Right

Throughout his Senate career, Republican opponents have cast Mr. Cruz as a master of the ill-considered — a “wacko bird,” as Senator John McCain of Arizona once called him — whose seemingly reckless pursuits were thought to place him well outside the mainstream.

Yet a close reading of Mr. Cruz’s policy prescriptions, influences and writings over two decades, combined with interviews with conservative intellectual leaders and Cruz allies, suggest two powerful truths about the man who might yet assume the mantle of modern conservatism.

He would be the most conservative presidential nominee in at least a half-century, perhaps to the right of Barry Goldwater, testing the electoral limits of a personal ideology he has forged meticulously since adolescence.

And he has, more effectively than almost any politician of his generation, anticipated the rightward tilt of the Republican Party of today, grasping its conservatism even as colleagues dismissed him as a fringe figure. 4/17/16 http://nyti.ms/1SLUfxZhttp://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/18/us/politics/ted-cruz-conservative.html

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