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Preview: Bob Fertik's blog

Bob Fertik's blog


2016 Democratic Presidential Primary Poll

Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:43:23 +0000

2016 Presidential Poll Results

Note: This is not a scientific poll; it is a straw poll of 3 million subscribers. If you are not currently a subscriber but would like to vote, please subscribe here and we'll send you our poll via email. Thanks for your interest!



11/6- 30
Total votes


 91,082 138,278 92,888
Hillary Clinton 21% 32% 32% 42%
Bernie Sanders  50% 49% 46% 53%
Martin O'Malley  0.4% 1.3% 2.0% 1%
Clinton or Sanders or O'Malley 20% 14% 17% 4%
Joe Biden  6% 2%    
Jim Webb  0.3% 0.5%    
Larry Lessig  0.4% 0.3%    
Lincoln Chafee  0.1% 0.1%    
Green Party 0.5% 0.4% 0.6%  
Republican Party 0.8% 0.5% 0.4%  
Not eligible to vote 0.2% 0.2% 0.3%  


Rand Paul Trashes Private Property Rights

Wed, 08 Apr 2015 15:15:41 +0000

Everyone sorta knows "Libertarians" are first and foremost about individual rights. But what are those rights exactly?

Individual Rights. Because individuals are moral agents, they have a right to be secure in their life, liberty, and property. These rights are not granted by government or by society; they are inherent in the nature of human beings. It is intuitively right that individuals enjoy the security of such rights; the burden of explanation should lie with those who would take rights away.

So property rights are pretty darn important to libertarians like Rand Paul, right?

In fact, Rand Paul got into deep voodoo over property rights and the Civil Rights Act when he argued Southern restaurant owners had the right to refuse to serve lunch to blacks if they wanted.

I don't like the idea of telling private business owners — I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant — but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership.

So given the importance of property rights, it was a pretty serious betrayal of those rights when Rand Paul stole Warner Music's music copyright to "Shuttin Detroit Down."

Moreover, Rand Paul got busted for it:


But did you hear about this scandal in the political coverage of Paul's announcement? Of course not. But just imagine the screams from the press corpse if Hillary Clinton were to trash women's rights in her Presidential announcement.

Jeb Bushito Committed Voter Fraud

Mon, 06 Apr 2015 13:40:34 +0000

¡Hola Jeb Bushito! 1 John Ellis Bush, son of George Herbert Walker Bush and Barbara Pierce Bush, and the brother of George Walker Bush - notwithstanding all those good Yankee names - is, by his own sworn statement, Hispanic. In a 2009 voter-registration application, obtained from the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, Mr. Bush marked Hispanic in the field labeled “race/ethnicity.” A Bush spokeswoman could offer no explanation for the characterization. Carolina Lopez, deputy supervisor of elections for Miami-Dade, said voters must submit hard copies of applications with a signature before receiving a voter information card confirming their address and polling location. According to the Florida Division of Elections, the application requires an original signature because the voter is swearing or affirming an oath. Y'know, the same kind of oath you have to swear to be President. But hey, no biggie. Actually, it is a BFD under Florida's strict voter fraud laws: 104.011  False swearing; submission of false voter registration information.-- (1)  A person who willfully swears or affirms falsely to any oath or affirmation, or willfully procures another person to swear or affirm falsely to an oath or affirmation, in connection with or arising out of voting or elections commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. (2)  A person who willfully submits any false voter registration information commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. In purely political terms, it's bad enough that Jeb was so desperate to pander to Latino voters that he married a Mexican and learned Spanish. But clearly that wasn't enough of a pander, so now he actually declared himself to be a blood brother. But in legal terms, this is far graver - real, honest-to-goodness felonious voter fraud, which brings severe penalties under the laws that former Governor Jeb Bush once swore to uphold. So if you believe all criminals should pay for their crimes - especially corrupt lying politicians like Jeb Bushito - here's how you can report the crime to Florida law enforcement. 1. George W. Bush loved nicknames and during the 2000 campaign famously called his boot-licking NY Times stenographer Frank Bruni "Panchito," which makes "Bushito" the perfect nickname for his brother Jeb. [...]

Zengerle's Disease

Mon, 06 Apr 2015 12:58:43 +0000

(image) So why do journalists obsessively hyper-scrutinize every word, every gesture, every hairdo, every hire, every rumor about Hillary Clinton - while doing none of these things to every other candidate for President?

Thanks to Jason Zengerle of New York Magazine, now we know the reason: it's all Hillary's fault!

"The question confronting Clinton ... is not so much whether she can withstand the scrutiny but the degree of the scrutiny itself. Are we so fixated on diagnosing and dissecting her weaknesses ... that the effort becomes, in a sense, self-fulfilling? ... [T]he strength Clinton will need most, and on which the fate of her campaign may rest, will be
her ability to make us stop dwelling on her weaknesses.

So if Hillary is unable to cure the press corpse of its collective Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, well than that just proves she's guilty. All the obvious comparisons to the Salem Witch Trials are purely coincidental, of course.

Thank you, Jason Zengerle, for so brilliantly describing the disease that is killing our political press corpse. To honor your scientific achievement, we shall henceforth call this Zengerle's Disease.

Really Micah?

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:22:33 +0000

Update 4/1/15: Micah is a Mensch and links to this blog post with a thoughtful comment: Bob Fertik, the longtime director of (and PDM friend), takes aim at yours truly for allegedly "obsessing" over Hillary Clinton because we've run several items at the top of this email digest in the last week covering the controversy around her private email set-up. A few words of response are in order. First, most of the time I put news about the major presidential contenders at the top of First POST since they are (alas) big news. And for the last week or so, the controversy about Clinton's private email has been all over the news; noting it here hardly means I'm obsessed with her or a "Hillary hater." And finally, in my view, questions about her fidelity to government transparency rules, as well as the still unresolved issue of her email security, are relevant subjects, not partisan bugaboos. Do you agree/disagree? Let me know at msifry-at-gmail-dot-com (and send me other feedback/tips/complaints as well). To which I reply: Not every news report about Presidential candidates and their email or social media or tech is genuinely newsworthy. Some are just trivial, and some are purely partisan attacks. Coverage of Hillary's emails - starting in the corporate media and spilling over to PDM - is full of both partisan attacks and trivia. On the trivia side, it's a safe bet that the majority of government officials and politicians have private email accounts - just like the journalists and pundits who cover them. What makes private emails a month-long headline issue? On the partisan side, why are Hillary's email issues getting endless high-octane coverage, while Jeb's email issues were a one-day blip? And if your concern is about national security, what about the never-solved and likely criminal deletion of 6 million emails from George Bush's White House? And, by the way, how many of those deleted email involved Bush's lifelong close advisor ... Jeb? Are any email-obsessed journalists investigating that juicy scandal? For me the bottom lines are fairness and objectivity. If one candidate's email are issues deemed important, then all candidates' email issues must be deemed equally important. Obsessing over Hillary's email issues while totally forgetting Jeb's (and George's) is neither objective nor fair - it's simply #HillaryHating. For that kind of coverage, we can watch FOX News. Today's edition of Plus gets it exactly right - it treats all Presidential candidates equally on campaign finance, holds Jeb equally to his own "transparency" standard, and covers Hillary's Benghazi testimony concisely and fairly. Kudos Micah!! Original post begins here: Members expect a say in the decision-making process of the networked organizations they join. Readers want to talk back to the news-makers. - from the Manifesto of Like many others who care about our emerging digital democra-tyranny, I long ago joined, an amazing networked organization created by two good friends, Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry. And you should too. But now I'd like a say in its "decision-making process" - in particular, the obsession with Hillary Clinton in its daily newsletter, Personal Democracy Plus. Nearly every morning, the lead story is a microscopic examination of Hillary Clinton, no matter how trivial. Here are just the most recent examples: 3/25: items 4 and 6 3/26: 4 out of 5 top items 3/27: 3 top items 3/31: top item In all, PDF's obsession with Hillary Clinton fills innumerable pages, and lately much if not most of it is about her emails. To paraphrase Google VP Rachel Whetstone's blog about Rupert Murdoch, Really Micah? Digital democracy movements are battling oppressive governments around the world. Bloggers are getting murdered and jailed. Despite years of revelations, the NSA continues to hoover every phone call, email, text, and mouse click on the planet. Aren't these the stories that sho[...]

2014 Voter Guide

Sun, 02 Nov 2014 19:35:18 +0000

Don't forget to vote on Tuesday November 4 2014!


CBS to Democrats: Drop Dead

Sat, 09 Nov 2013 16:35:23 +0000

In sharp contrast to Dan Rather's firing in 2004, CBS is refusing to fire Lara Logan or anyone else involved in its Benghazi scandal. WaPo's Paul Farhi reports:

Steve Glauber, a veteran CBS News producer who retired last year, said it was unlikely that the Benghazi episode will enmesh the network in the kind of public-relations nightmare it faced after the Bush story exploded. Rather was a controversial figure at the time, Glauber said, and had long been the object of conservatives’ complaints that he was biased against Bush. Logan, by contrast, has no such baggage relative to President Obama. 
“The Rather story involved the reputation of the news department and the political and economic viability of the company,” he said. “The Logan story is just one incorrect article, and there is no cost to the news department or the company in saying sorry and moving on.”



Behind the 60 Minutes Benghazi Scandal

Fri, 08 Nov 2013 13:30:46 +0000

On the surface, it looks like 60 Minutes was simply conned by a greedy con artist with a vivid imagination - Dylan Davies a.k.a. Morgan Jones. But is that all there is to it? No. And when the whole scandal is unravelled, it could be huge. Ground Zero for the scandal is Threshold Editions, which published Davies' book The Embassy House . What is Threshold Editions? Nothing less than the home of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Threshold Editions is an imprint of Simon & Schuster that specializes in conservative non-fiction. Recent successes include #1 New York Times bestsellers Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin, An Inconvenient Book by Glenn Beck, and The Obama Nation by Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D. Authors include Glenn Beck, Karl Rove, Jerome R. Corsi, Mark R. Levin, David Kupelian, Lynne Cheney, Arthur B. Laffer, Mary Cheney, Jerry Doyle, Reid Buckley, Brian Jennings, George Melloan, Burton W. Folsom, and Stephen Moore. No doubt you recognize many of these names, who regularly fill our bookstores, our airwaves - and our government - with demonstrable lies. Guess who owns Threshold? Yes, CBS! So the starting point for BenghaziGate is that CBS' 60 Minutes was hawking lies manufactured by CBS' Threshold Editions. Was that disgusting act of corporate incest disclosed to 60 Minutes viewers? No. CBS said that Jeffrey Fager, chairman of CBS News and executive producer of “60 Minutes,” said on Tuesday that he regretted not making the connection between Mr. Davies and CBS public. Ms. Logan said, “Honestly, it never factored into the story. It was a mistake; we should have done it, precisely because there’s nothing to hide. It was an oversight.” Really - was it just an innocent oversight? Veteran New York Times columnist Frank Rich doesn't buy it: @frankrichny: Logan claimed to spend a yr on this hoax & that leaving out source's link to Corsi-Rove publisher mere "oversight" Was 60 Minutes deliberately hiding the direct connection from Threshold to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove?   No doubt you recognize the woman on the right - Mary Matalin, the frequent right-wing talk show guest who is bizarrely married to James Carville. Here's her short bio from Wikipedia: Mary Joe Matalin (born August 19, 1953) is an American political consultant well known for her work with the Republican Party. She has served under President Ronald Reagan, was campaign director for George H.W. Bush, was an assistant to President George W. Bush, and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney until 2003. Matalin has been chief editor of Threshold Editions, a conservative publishing imprint at Simon & Schuster, since March 2005. So after leaving the Bush-Cheney-Rove White House, Matalin's next major job was chief editor of Threshold Editions. Why? Did Matalin suddenly develop a passion for reading? Or was she continuing her political work for the Bush-Cheney-Rove network from the belly of the "liberal" beast - CBS? Now here's where things get a little weird. Matalin is proud of her work at Threshold and features it on her official biography: In addition to her successful careers in politics, television, and radio, Matalin is also a widely read, respected and acclaimed author and serves as Editor at Large for Threshold Editions, a conservative publishing imprint at Simon & Schuster that has published authors from Vice President Dick Cheney to Karl Rove to Glenn Beck. But the feeling doesn't appear to be mutual, because Threshold doesn't mention her name!  In fact, Matalin's name is nowhere to be found on Simon & Schuster's website. How odd! Why is Threshold trying to hide its 8-year connection to Mary Matalin?  Is CBS embarassed by its intimate association with Mary Matalin - and through her, to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove? Is th[...]

2013 Winners and Losers

Wed, 06 Nov 2013 17:37:01 +0000

Every election has surprises, so it's always impossible to declare victory for Democrats OR Republicans, progressives OR conservatives. So to pick the winners and losers of 2013, we'll need  to get granular...


  • Bill de Blasio won the personality contest hands-down. While pundits focus on his fabulous family - as they should - Bill himself is genuinely warm, empathetic, and upbeat. If he delivers on his promises, he could become a major progressive force in national politics, like Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt.
  • Chris Christie truly believes he has a winning personality, combining toughness and compassion. But he's "Jersey Shore" all the way, which isn't likely to play in Peoria. And his really ugly side comes out every time he sees a parent or a teacher.
  • Terry McAuliffe is the ultimate salesman, which can turn people off.  But if he delivers results as Governor - and there's no reason he won't - he can become a national figure as a socially liberal, pro-business Democrat.


  • Obamacare is a lot more popular than Anti-Obamacare, which is what Ken Cucinelli and the national GOP are trying so hard to sell. That's partly because a decent chunk of Obamacare "opponents" think it doesn't go far enough - they want Medicare for All, not a return to the nightmare of Bushcare. But most sensible Americans are taking a wait-and-see approach: if it works, they'll embrace it.
  • Medicaid expansion to the states is even more popular than Obamacare. Since it's fully paid for by the federal government for a few years, who can seriously oppose health care for the working poor?
  • Abortion is a lot more popular than Anti-Abortion, which Cucinelli tried running away from. But if you have a record of anti-abortion fanaticism, women are going to make you pay.
  • Gay marriage is here to stay. If it freaks you out, don't run for office.
  • Sensible gun laws are more popular than NRA-style gun fanaticism, especially since there's a news-dominating massacre nearly every week.
  • Raising taxes isn't popular, except in New York City, where obnoxious arrogant billionaires are their own worst enemies. 
  • Raising the minimum wage may be the most popular issue in America - which means Democrats should wake up and go on offense.


  • Democrats are more united than ever - no longer divided by issues like race, abortion, gay rights, or immigration. Hillary Clinton keeps the historic Obama coalition united, and adds lots of moderate white women. Her path to victory is clear.
  • Republicans are unusually divided between Tea Party meth-heads and Wall Street coke-heads. Chris Christie has Wall Street locked up, but Ted Cruz has a similar lock on the Tea Party after leading the Obamacare Shutdown. So Cruz wins Iowa and South Carolina, while Christie wins New Hampshire, leaving the real test for Florida. In 2012, Romney overwhelmed Gingrich in Florida with Wall Street money, but in Cruz will have lots of Texas money in 2016 to fight back. The likeliest outcome is a gusher of GOP blood throughout the spring, which will be hard to replenish in time for November.

New York Activists Urge France to Vote Against Syria War

Tue, 03 Sep 2013 17:39:51 +0000

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 3, 2013
For More Info: Charles Lenchner 202-460-5199

New York Activists Urge France to Vote Against Syria War

New York activists will gather at 9 a.m. on Wednesday outside the French Consulate at 934 Fifth Ave. (74/75 St.) to urge the French Parliament to vote against attacking Syria, just as the British Parliament did last week.

The action is led by the Occupy Network (,, and Peace Action New York State ( (list in formation).

"There are so many of us in the United States who admire France for having an independent foreign policy,” said Andrea Ciannavei of InterOccupy. “At this time we demand as friends that you not follow our country into military folly that will have dire humanitarian consequences for the Syrian people."

“France has been our old and dear friend for 237 years, since Lafayette, Franklin, and Jefferson,” said Bob Fertik, president of “We will rally with French tricolour flags, French berets, French baguettes, French (non-alcoholic) wine, and a Statue of Liberty to ask for a very big favor: to vote against a Syria War that would be disastrous for all.”

“Peace Action New York State believes violence is not the proper response to violence, and that every effort should be made for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria in order to protect Syrian civilians,” said Alicia Godsberg, Executive Director of Peace Action New York State. “PANYS believes the U.S. should support a cease-fire and the convening of a high-level meeting to discuss non-military alternatives for helping civilians in Syria and ending more than two years of bloodshed. The United States should also state clearly that its military will no longer use white phosphorous or other chemical agents.”