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andym's Journal
andym's Journal
June 6, 2016

Bernie has two ways forward if Clinton gets a majority of pledged delegates on Tuesday

1) Try to take the campaign to the convention and convince the delegates not legally pledged to a candidate on the first round of voting to vote for him instead: the superdelegates. Reagan did this in 1976 in the GOP under somewhat similar situation (Ford had a majority of pledged delegates, but not enough to secure the nomination without legally uncommitted delegates) and almost wrested the nomination away from a sitting President at an open convention. You can be be sure that Weaver knows this. The differences are that in the current situation the Democratic superdelegates have mostly already let their preferences be known, and the recent tradition in the Democratic Party is to back the candidate with the most pledged votes. The real difference is more significant: Reagan had the advantage of ardent conservatives in position of power in the GOP that had been gained by the conservative partisans that had taken increasing power since Goldwater's defeat 12 years before. Contrastingly, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is much weaker than its counterpart in the GOP in 1976. Many if not most of the superdelegates would be considered moderates and establishment by Sanders. It will be difficult to convince the mostly establishment superdelegates to change their minds.

2) Suspend the campaign in return for power in a potential position in the Clinton administration (or course not a legal quid pro quo). The most obvious thing to ask is that Bernie or a person he designates be made Vice President. Why? If he believes that the email server scandal will really take Clinton down, then having control of the VP position would make a strong case that Bernie or his designated person would become the nominee. If the email scandal is really much ado about nothing, and Hillary is elected then the VP can have the bully pulpit and maintain constant pressure on Hillary to be progressive. Of course, it is unclear that Hillary and her campaign would offer such a "deal."

3) Suspend the campaign and help defeat Trump without any conditions (is this really in Bernie's campaign's playbook?). So really 3 choices, but...

June 4, 2016

Modern historical precedent to take campaign to the convention.

In 1976 the GOP ran their nominating process more like the Democratic Party does today. There were caucuses and primaries for pledged delegates and there were uncommitted delegates-- superdelegates as they are known to the Democratic Party today. Back then the Democratic Party did not have superdelegates, just as the GOP does not have them today.

1976 GOP Primary ended with Gerald Ford having 1121 pledged delegates (a majority of pledged delegates), and Ronald Reagan having 1078 delegates. It took 1130 delegates to win and Ford was 8 short. So the uncommitted delegates had to decide the winner. Reagan tried hard to convince the uncommitted delegates at the convention and it was very close. Of course, Ford won nomination, but lost the election. Reagan in the next election eventually got a chance to implement his "revolution," from which we are still suffering.

There are close parallels to this nominating process: only two candidates, one of whom is proposing a revolution, and a nominating process where uncommitted delegates are needed to win the nomination.

I think it is very possible that Bernie will consider doing something similar this year. Let's see how it plays out.

May 31, 2016

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders arrives at halftime

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders arrives at halftime
By Joe Garofoli

Did the Warriors experience a “Bernie bump?” And did their historic comeback preview California’s June 7 presidential primary? An against-all-odds presidential campaign collided with an against-all-odds NBA comeback Monday when Sen. Bernie Sanders — escorted by a police motorcade and the Secret Service — took 10 minutes to roar from his rally in Oakland on Monday to Game 7 at Oracle Arena. He was following the game in his car, and knew the Warriors were down at the half.

As he got out of his car, Sanders said to staffers nearby, “Let's turn this thing around.”
He’s hoping for a massive comeback when California voters cast ballots in a week. A year ago, Sanders trailed Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton by 63 points. In a Public Policy Institute of California survey last week, he was in a statistical dead heat....

Some more News from Oakland.

May 22, 2016

Poll/Survey: Which post-FDR Presidents were/are corporatists?

Identifying Democratic politicians as "corporatists" has become a very popular activity. To get some perspective, how would you rate the Presidents since FDR?

Do Duers think the following Presidents were corporatists or not?:
Harry Truman
Dwight Eisenhower
John F Kennedy
Lyndon Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George HW Bush
Bill Clinton
George W Bush
Barack Obama

Your choices are 1) corporatist (C), 2) non-corporatist (NC), 3) other (O).
Update: Alternatively (and preferred) one can rate the Presidents 1 to 10, with 10 being a complete corporatist as was done by one DUer.
See http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027847558#post2
Feel free to explain.

How many believe they were all corporatists? I doubt that anyone believes none of them were. The easiest way to answer might be to copy paste the list and then add C, NC or O after the name.

Since this kind of poll is not compatible with DU's simple poll format, I will manually tally the answers after various time periods and add them to this post.


August 12, 2012

Medicare won't need to be "saved" as chronic diseases become preventable

The key factor in predictions that Medicare will remain solvent until at least 2024 (at which point it will still be 87% solvent) is that increased longevity will result in more chronic disease, leading to significant increased costs.

For example,
"Alzheimer’s disease (AD)

The number of new patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is increasing, but Alzheimer’s-related mortality is decreasing. Together, these trends account for the predicted increase in the number of people living with Alzheimer’s from 5 million today to 16 million by 2050. This growth will profoundly impact Medicare costs, given that the average annual cost of a Medicare patient with Alzheimer’s is triple that of a patient without: $13,207 and $4,454, respectively.

In 2005, Medicare spent $91 billion on patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and this amount is expected to more than double to $189 billion in 2015, and increase to over $1 trillion by 2050."

from http://healthcarecostmonitor.thehastingscenter.org/kimberlyswartz/projected-costs-of-chronic-diseases/
The contribution of other chronic diseases, stroke, diabetes, end stage renal disease, chronic lung disease and heart disease is discussed there.

The reason is that AD costs are increasing is that people are living longer which in turn increases their chances of AD.
For example, http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_causes_risk_factors.asp
"The greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s is advancing age. Most individuals with the disease are age 65 or older. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles about every five years after age 65. After age 85, the risk reaches nearly 50 percent."

The good news is that because our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying diseases continues to improve (for example, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22323134), the chances to prevent such diseases increases as well and there is a good chance in 2024 we will not only have therapies for AD , but preventive measures as well. Thus, Medicare costs will not increase as projected and Medicare will not need to be "saved."

Of course, this is contingent on Congress continuing to support basic and translational research on these diseases, which is not certain given the GOP's desire to shrink the federal government's role to that it played in 1920, or perhaps even 1890.

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