Hot Air

Municipal Takeover Blues

Say, the former democratically-elected leaders of Flint, Michigan may have mismanaged their town into bankruptcy but they didn’t lead poison their children, did they?

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Situation Ethics

Man, we are all full of horseshit, no?

Our guy screws up and we stand on our heads rationalizing, deflecting, denying. Their guy screws up and we’re aghast at the collapse of decency, civility and fair play.

To wit: the Democratic National Committee data breach. First off, I don’t know if Our Great Nation is in danger of toppling from this but one or more Bernie Sanders operatives spent some quality time eyeballing and perhaps harvesting proprietary info gathered by the Clinton campaign.  You might ask, So what? So would I, but, apparently, loyalists of the two main contenders for the 2016 party’s nomination for president are pointing fingers at the opposition and accusing same of some of the worst atrocities ever committed in the name of democracy, or at least of the Democratic Party, which isn’t always the same, natch.

I would have figured that party folk would be happy to share info with each other but the truth is politics is a cutthroat business and any intelligence the Clinton gang has amassed at great cost and effort must not, can not, and will not be shared with anyone else in this holy land lest Hillary’s coronation be imperiled.

I also would have thought that the Sanders campaign was populated, at least in large part, by people who know the rules of the game and wouldn’t be so oafish as to get caught peeking into data files they did not produce and therefore knew were off limits.

<> on December 13, 2011 in Washington, DC.

Gee, We Didn’t Know

Read the arguments put forth by each side and your understanding of the concept of time will be sorely tested. Sanders apologists say the operatives spent, oh, 30 minutes…, no, 20 minutes — wait,  wasn’t it just a quick glance? — looking at the Clinton data. Clinton’s army, though, characterizes the eyeballing as something akin to the amount of time cryptologists spent poring over the Rosetta Stone after it was first discovered. Listen to a Clinton supporter tell the tale and you’ll come away thinking it was 45 minutes verging on several eons.

To the Clintonistas, the Sanders people are sneaky rats. To the Sanders faithful, Clinton’s bunch are brownshirts.

Now the DNC has denied the Sanders campaign access to the party’s NGP VAN database — even its own intelligence stockpiled there. The Sanders campaign has reacted by suing the DNC.

(Update: Sometime after midnight, the DNC and the Sanders campaign announced a deal had been reached to restore the candidate’s access to the database.)

Just as the Republican candidates for the 2016 nom. are cannibalizing each other, trying to find ways to out-he-man each other, now the Dems are commencing internecine warfare. I’m telling you, if this hat-brim-bending results in an election victory for some science fictional creature like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, or Ted Cruz, I’m gonna have to move to another planet.

Anyway, here’s the reaction of the Hillary-loving run-on sentence specialists at Wonkette:

Far be it from us to ever criticize the strategies of the Sanders campaign, but stealing Clinton’s voter information because it was just so easy to do, and then acting like it was for some greater good because come ON, it’s Bernie Sanders, after all — while still firing a guy for doing a naughty thing the Sanders campaign at the same time maintains was not really naughty, but kind of was, but for the greater good — seems, shall we say, problematic.


See, the Sanders side sez its tech geek did indeed espy Clinton’s supposedly-protected data but, golly gee, that really isn’t such a crime considering, well, it was right there waiting to be espied upon. Nevertheless, Bernie’s campaign fired the tech geek. Nevertheless further, the campaign insists the tech geek wasn’t transom-craning to benefit his boss but to reveal to the DNC how in-secure its data files were.

Got it?

Now let’s look at the Sanders-side reaction. Here’s the pic of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz that accompanied the Daily Kos‘s take on the contretemps:

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Clearly, the woman who’s making the news show rounds complaining to high heaven about how dastardly Sanders-ites are is nothing more than a harpy, witch, bitch, ball-buster who surely possesses a carpenter’s vise in place of a normal human woman’s genitalia.

The above image bears as much real resemblance to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as this one does to Bernie Sanders:


The Daily Kos, of course, loves them some Bernie.

To many of the Sanders true believers, there isn’t a hair’s breadth diff. between Hillary and, say, Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. Or even Joseph Goebbels, for that matter.

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Same Thing

I’ve been reading the ramblings of computer geeks regarding this dust-up and can only conclude that what Sanders’ tech operative did while he had his fingers in the data pie is either flat-out highway robbery or nothing at all. Great. Thanks for the clarification, kids.

(In any case, here’s a decent-enough lay person’s explication of the basic plot.)

It’d be swell if both Dem sides could play nice and share their info with each other but that ain’t the way it goes. Not when the presidency of this holy land is up for grabs and hundreds of gazillions of dollars are spent on each polling percentage point difference between aspirants.

Bernie’s people are rats. Hillary’s are tyrants. That’s what it comes down to now.

Democracy. Y’gotta love it.

Don’t Mess W/ Hillary

BTW: the swift reaction of the DNC to cut the Sanders campaign off from the data fountain sure seems a tad heavy-handed.

We know already that Debbie W-S is in Clinton’s corner and that Stu Trevelyan, the fellow who runs NGP VAN, has worked with the Clintons for nearly a quarter of a century. It isn’t much of a leap to conclude that once Sanders’ tech geek had been caught red-handed, these two heavyweights would be more than happy to pummel the only potential impediment to Hillary’s scheduled beatification.

If there’s one thing we know about Hillary, it’s that she’s tough as nails — and the people she surrounds herself with are jungle cats. Were she a dude, we’d fall all over ourselves praising her for such vim. She’s a dame, though, ergo her carnivorous nature is unsightly.

Man, we Murricans are backward when it comes to gender roles.

A Simple Precaution

You’d think Sanders’ tech geeks would be savvy enough to keep a back-up of their own intelligence in their own database.

It’s ludicrous to think all of Sanders’ voter dope has been dumped in the NGP VAN database and exists nowhere else. If Sanders’ geeks had taken that apparently elementary step, the Sanders campaign wouldn’t be in bad shape as we approached the primaries.

Why, then, the outcry over being cut off?

Could it be that Sanders’ people have grown accustomed to peeping at Hillary’s data. And that, perhaps, Hillary’s people do the same with Sanders’ intelligence? Therefore, this whole pissing match was nothing more than an opéra bouffe?


If this 2016 presidential campaign hasn’t already made you nauseated, you have an awfully strong stomach indeed.


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