SocraticGadfly: 2/8/15 - 2/15/15

February 13, 2015

Molly White: Why we can't have nice things in Texas

Rep. Molly White official photo with Texas Tribune photo
Just 10 days after freshman Texas Representative Molly White decided to be deliberately and highly inflammatory (pun lead-in highly intended) for the seventh annual Texas Muslim Capital Day, with a Facebook post that basically "invited" Muslims in Austin to pledge allegiance to Israel, we have the fallout, as shown in the picture at left.

Early Friday morning, an Islamic center in Houston was severely burned. Helped out by a ... deliberately and highly inflammatory accelerant. With the additional fact that this fire was started on a Friday, which is, of course, Muslims' holy day.

Fortunately, it happened early in the morning, before anybody was there for prayers, or the educational center had students. Also fortunately, the Houston Fire Department knocked the fire down before it could total the complex.

Fire officials caution that it could have been caused by a homeless person seeking warmth, as an alternative possibility to being a deliberate arson. However, I find the homeless theory not very likely. It was in the upper 40s for the low Friday morning, at or slightly above average.

Update, Feb. 16: An arrest has been made. It's too early to say whether we have someone with an anti-Muslim motive, or a homeless person, as a 55-year-old, a bit scruffy, and riding a bike, could theoretically fit the homeless angle, though (and not to sound stereotyping) homeless people don't often seem to own bikes. According to Houston's ABC station, he does have some previous criminal record, beyond trespassing that would be associated with homelessness. One Tweet claims that the Houston Fire Department has reported him as "transient," but I've not seen that in news stories.

I mean, "Christian activist" Christine Weick asked for a mosque to be captured. Burning one isn't far removed.

And, how could any "patriotic" American not take offense at the rabble-rouser Muslims at the capital, and try to force them to change their ways, or suffer punishment? Indeed, how could anybody why thinks we actually have 51 states in the US not think otherwise?

Right, Molly? Per my Tweet to her:
@MollyWhiteTX Last I checked, Israel's not part of the United States.
— SocraticGadfly (@SocraticGadfly) January 29, 2015
As for how Molly White played out the denouement to Texas Muslim Capital Day, which I blogged about here?

White eventually responded to critics who accused her of being unethical and ... inflammatory:

"As law-abiding American citizens, we all have the privilege and the right to freedom of speech granted to us by the First Amendment," she wrote. "... As a proud Texan and American I fully denounce all terrorist groups or organizations who’s [sic] intent is to hurt and destroy the great state of Texas and our nation.”
Let's see if she means it.

Given that, I've already posted on her Facebook page, asking her if she will indeed call on all Texas non-Muslims to denounce anti-Muslim violence. Including a retired Houston firefighter who Tweeted (via Kos) that firemen should let the site burn.

Somehow, I doubt she will.

As of Feb. 16, she has yet to comment about the Houston fire on either Facebook or Twitter, though she had time to have her staff take down my comment on her Facebook page. And, she had time after Muslim Capital Day to cut a video complaining about being misunderstood, though she's not found time to cut any similar video since the fire.

If this turns out to be a homeless man letting a warming fire get out of control, even then, White could still express her condolences to the community of the Islamic center. A lot of people in her boat would find that good PR, if nothing else.

That said, Texans who know history know that this is nothing new. The Texans that spat on, jostled, and otherwise assaulted Adlai Stevenson shortly before JFK's visit were the progenitors of the likes of Molly White. Tea partiers have been here for a long, long time. With a long, long history of violence.

February 12, 2015

The St. Louis #Cardinals face some backlash on their #OT18 patch

Oscar Taveras — should Cards
have a commemorative patch?
All St. Louis Cardinal fans, and many dedicated baseball fans, are aware that the St. Louis Cardinals' young outfield call-up, Oscar Taveras, was killed in the offseason. Paul Lukas, who does ESPN's UniWatch, talks about the patch the team will wear — and the controversy behind it, which is getting further discussion at Hardball Talk. (That said, if blogs amplify pre-Internet 'controversy" tenfold, social media does that a hundredfold.)

The controversy is that, if you want to look at it bluntly, Taveras killed himself, as well as his girlfriend, Edilia Arvero, because he was driving with a blood-alcohol content 5 times over the legal limit in the Dominican Republic. (Note that I said "killed," which I know puts it starkly, but did not say "murdered," which puts it wrongly.)

At the same time, Alcoholics Anonymous calls alcohol "cunning, baffling and powerful." If we modify that somewhat, to "the irrational drive for too much alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful," we're just about right. I've blogged before about the irrationality of drunkenness and college campus sexual behavior and issues of consent, among other things.  These issues aren't "easy."

(This is NOT an endorsement of AA as "the solution" to alcoholism, nor is it claiming that Taveras was an alcoholic.)

Of course, this isn't a first for the Birds. Josh Hancock killed himself (but nobody else) in a DWI before the 2007 season. And, as the Hall of Fame informs us with this link, the team wore a patch for him.

And, it's nowhere near a first for Cardinals driving while intoxicated.

Yahoo reminds us that David Freese had two DUIs, in 2002 and 2009. And, ESPN's take on his second DUI notes that Scott Spiezio got one in late 2007, before the start of the 2008 season, and that, even though he'd had a decent year in 2007 as a role player, the Cards immediately cut him.

And, of course, we can't forget long-time manager Tony La Russa and his own DUI arrest, which came less than two months before Hancock's fatal crash.

The patch, illustrated at left, is iffy. I wouldn't do it, if I were the Cardinals, without PSA announcements connected to it.

That could start with videos on the Jumbotron, urging people to not drink and drive. An obvious first one would come from Carlos Martinez, who tried to stop Taveras that night.

We would also then have fliers — if not mandatory with beer sales, at least at beer booths. Stamp beer cups with Mothers Against Drunk Driving's logo or something, too.

That might not be perfect, and I don't claim my ideas are great. But, rather than simply castigating the team, some constructive criticism may work better.

I sent this Tweet:

A more generic one,

Then this one:

To the team's official account.

Let's see if anything happens. (Since sending them, another HBT commenter suggested putting "MADD" below the original patch to make a new one.)

Oh, and Tony La Russa, to the degree at all that your DUI reflects a "culture" during your years as Cards' manager, why don't YOU cut a Don't Drink and Drive video for MLB as well as your own personal animal rescue work?

I don't mean that in terms of punishment; you're years past that. Besides, I don't claim to have an innocent past on this issue.

But, if you truly care about the Cardinals of today, many of whom you managed, and if MLB with a new commissioner in Rob Manfred, and you formerly working in the commish's office under Bud Selig, this would be a way of making an effort to fight this problem, as well as any part you may have had in it, if you did.

The idea is that the Cardinals should work to make this so that this is not an issue they're facing every few years.

Beyond that, in today's Net world, it's de rigeur PR to do something like I suggested above. If the Cards had, they probably wouldn't be getting flamed so much.

This all said, back to the patch, or to patches in general.

Paul Lukas raises one other issue, too, and in the age of social media, especially, I think it’s a very good one:
In addition, the bar for being uni-memorialized seems to have gotten much lower. Memorial patches used to be reserved for former players and major figures related to the team. Nowadays, for better or worse (as with most things, it's probably a bit of both), we see memorials for the owner's wife, the minority stakeholder who nobody even realized was connected to the team, the assistant trainer's brother-in-law, and so on. According to a breakdown on the Baseball Hall of Fame's website, there have been 49 uniform memorials over the past five seasons. To put that in perspective, that's more than the total that appeared in the five decades from 1931 to 1981. Moreover, players on some MLB teams have even worn other teams' memorial patches.

Have we distanced ourselves from death too much? Do people need to hear Bach’s beautiful “Komm süsser Tod,” or the “Dies Irae”?

Like this?

Come, sweet death, come, blessed rest!
Come lead me to peace ...

Oh, and I have a dozen or more requiems in my CD library; semi-regular readers should think it not at all strange for a secularist to listen to religious music about death and the afterlife. I can appreciate such things, and the spirit behind them even while not accepting the belief systems.

February 11, 2015

Needed: A "grand bargain" on #KeystoneXL

I'm on record on this blog as opposing the Keystone pipeline as a stand-alone piece of legislation. I have posted about the myths of job creation that won't happen, and other things.

At the same time, I'm also on record about the fact that Canada's going to export tar sands oil from Alberta (as long as its profitable, and there's debate about the break-even oil price for it), and if it doesn't do it by pipeline into the U.S., it's going to do it by rail. That's even more carbon-negative, and, although pipelines still leak now, it's also potentially worse on spill effects, if there is a train crash. It also ties up U.S. rail lines, delaying harvested crops in the summer, manufactured goods and more.

I just heard somebody from the National Resources Defense Council (a Gang Green environmental group), Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, claim on NPR that no tar sands oil is coming from Canada by rail. Well, we know that fracked oil from Canada — and at least a bit of tar sands oil — is entering the US by rail. And, that's from 360Yale, very respected in the environmental world.

Will the US Dept. of Transportation succeed in replacing old
DOT-111 tank cars with better ones? Rick Wilking/Reuters
Now, per that link, whether this means "resistance is futile" or not is an open question. It does mean that at least one Gang Green group isn't being totally honest.

The rest of that link is good reading. It notes that tar sands/bitumen has to be treated either for tank car or pipeline shipping. It notes that this means that the amount of tar sand oil via rail is limited right now, and that this bottleneck (article is a bit over a year old) depresses tar sands oil prices.

But, if more tank cars are built, and of a theoretically safer upgraded version of the DOT-111, that bottleneck may at least be lessened. Since oil prices are so depressed in general right now, contra that December 2013 article, it's really no big deal if it takes another 12-18 months from today for a lot of new tank cars to come online.

And, the US Department of Transportation, in conjunction with Canadian counterparts, has released a new safety proposal. Stand by to see if this becomes an official requirement.

Related: The explosive West Virginia train derailment last week involved newer, safer tank cars. Update: So did an early March accident in Illinois.

More here, on a specific project for tar-sands rail transport. This story, from just last October, also documents snafus and problems. But, per the Yale piece, while not saying resistance is futile, the environmental world should consider at least the possibility that, when oil prices rebound, the rail bottleneck will be at least a little bit lessened, and that oil companies will work on lessening it more.

Anyway, yes, it's not a lot. It's not a lot more than a blip. But it's more than nothing, and Ms. Casey-Lefkowitz specifically said "nothing" and also claimed that Marsha McNutt, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, who had changed her stance on KeystoneXL because of the rail issue, was flat-out wrong.

Ms. Casey-Lefkowitz owes an apology, but probably won't be forthcoming.

Also contra her and some other last-ditchers, one intra-Canadian pipeline, to greater Montreal, has already gotten Canadian approval. And, TransCanada is pushing ahead with plans to build a pipeline going the other way from Keystone — connecting Bakken oil to a trans-Canadian line.

And, our own Dear Leader approved Keystone South back in 2012, and it opened for business last year. To some degree, per that link, continuing to fight KeystoneXL now is an issue of barn doors and horses.

Such bending of honesty, along with Gang Green groups themselves adding to the carbon problem through things such as massive passing out of made-in-China stuffed plushes, is why I stopped giving them money.

I discussed some of this (with less detail, and with skepticism about President Obama's backbone) two months ago.

That said, per the graphic at left, right now, it's definitely unprofitable to mine for tar sands. And, contra former Texas Speaker of the House Tom Craddick, and perhaps contra claims that $45 is the break-even point here in Texas, as I previously blogged, right now, it's borderline unprofitable to be producing oil here in Texas, unless it's what's left in conventional plays.

That graphic comes from "the letter O" in an A-to-Z encyclopedia of the current oil situation from Canada's newsmagazine, Maclean's. The whole encyclopedia is well worth a read.

Finally, even before Paul Krugman tumbled on to it, I said in these spaces that, as I understood it, World Trade Organization rules allowed a carbon tariff on imports from other countries, as long as a country had a carbon tax on domestic manufacturing, shipping, etc., that was at least as high. Click the carbon tax tag if you don't believe me about how long I've been mentioning it; my first post with the phrase was back in 2009.

Well, now that the new House has joined the Senate and passed a Keystone bill with a large, yet still veto-short majority, here's that grand compromise.

Obama tells Congress, after vetoing this bill, that he's sign a Keystone bill that's got a carbon tax and tariff attached.  And, since tar sand oil is more carbon-dirty than some other oils, this puts an extra price on it, and probably more of an extra price than what's paid now with shipping it by rail instead of pipe.

That said, the hypocrisy of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott supporting Keystone XL because it will provide not just jobs, but UNION jobs has to be in the neighborhood of a new hypocrisy high from him. We all know that it will only provide a few dozen permanent jobs, and even the temporary jobs will likely be far short of the 42,000 the State Department predicts.

Hey, Greg, if you really about union jobs, why don't you discuss worker safety at refineries — refineries that will be handling Keystone oil, among others?

Of course, this is Washington DC. Most of the House GOP and a fair amount of the Senate GOP are wingnuts, while Obama wouldn't know a bold political idea if it hit him in the face. (Or hit his TelePrompTer — snark alert.)

Meanwhile, short of, and shortly after, Obama's presumed veto, what will be happening on oil prices? See the poll at right to cast your vote on where you think West Texas Intermediate will be on March 31.

February 10, 2015

Halliburton swings ax on jobs as IEA talks $55 for 2015

The oilfield services giant said today it would cut 5,000-6,500 jobs due to the ongoing oil prices slump.

That's follows announced plans to make cuts in mid-January, in part related to its Baker Hughes merger as well as the price slide AND cuts of unannounced numbers in early January plus cuts of non-American employees last December.

Baker Hughes previously announced about 7,500 cuts. For BH, it's the biggest decline since the 1980s.

While Halliburton, at least, tries to whistle in the dark about how much of this is overseas stuff, both companies get about half of their revenue from North America.

And FMC Technologies is cutting about 2,000 jobs, primarily in North America.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency expects crude prices to average $55/bbl for this year, and not to get above $70 for some time. Oh, and $100 oil? Not even on its current horizon.

And thus, contra new Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar's rose-colored glasses, this is why Moody's worries about the Texas economy, saying Houston's could "deflate" if oil prices stay relatively low for a year or more.

“Until the energy sector returns to strong growth, we expect the area will experience employment losses, which will mute sales tax growth and, if oil prices continue to drop or stay low for more than a year, lead to a decline,” Moody’s wrote. 
From 2007 to 2013, the number of Harris County residents working for large energy companies almost doubled, and in 2013, nine of the top 10 major employers were oil and gas companies.

Well, there's reality. If the IEA is right, that's about a year's worth of low prices right there.

The IEA story is worth a read right there. Going by Brent prices, which it expects to only get to the low-mid $70s by 2020 (yes!), this is not a one-year slump, it's potentially a multi-year readjustment.

And, the IEA is right to be concerned. Its U.S. counterpart, the Energy Information Agency, says current stockpiles are at an 80-year high for this time of year.

Cheaper fracking sites may be profitable if $45 is indeed a break-even point, but newer exploration isn't going to happen in any great amount, if the IEA is right — because there will be no demand for it. US EPA gas mileage requirements will continue to rise. Older cars will come off the road in Europe and the US. Driving miles will remain flat in both countries. To the degree emerging economies buy cars, it will be inexpensive, economy ones with better fuel mileage than ever.

As for geopolitics? Russia as we know it can't live in $70 oil. Either Putin finishes the move to full dictatorship, or he's thrown out of office well before 2020. More thoughts on this in a future post.

That said, maybe there will be a silver lining to all the cuts in fracking, and that's that the likes of Halliburton stop fighting Endangered Species Act protection for sage grouse. That's even as we learn about the dirty pool behind US Fish and Wildlife Service agreeing to let the state of Texas put together a voluntary "conservation" program for the dunes sagebrush lizard.

Meanwhile, is the IEA right? See the poll at right to cast your vote on where you think West Texas Intermediate will be on March 31.

Obamacare realities at SCOTUS and real life — could we get lucky?

First, I have to disagree with Linda Greenhouse. We should be worried about Burwell vs King and since We the People have no power to tell SCOTUS justices they should worry about the verdict of history,  the fact that four them granted cert for Burwell vs King should be a worry about the future of Obamacare.

That's the biggest thing. If Greenhouse honestly thinks the Court "should" this or that because precedent says it "should" this or that, then I've got some Nebraska beachfront property to sell her.

Beyond that, the Chief's very narrow ruling in favor of O-care itself means that he could vote in favor of thinking that "state" means one of 50 states and not bat an eyelash.

John Roberts probably will gamble on a GOP win in the preznitzy sweepstakes in 2016, less than 2 years from now, and not worry that "the court is in peril"!

At the same time, it's becoming ever more clear that the actual law being worried about is more and more a neoliberal POS, even more if you're self-employed. Given the current political climate, there's no way to fix all or even part of the listed problems.

I mean, the fact that doctors can cycle in and out of your particular "network" at any time in a coverage cycle is flat-out ridiculous. What we have is the worst of HMOs on steroids, patched over with plaster of Paris and Band-Aids, and with government subsidies for some people to buy a cheap version of this POS.

As for "regulators"? Hah! Dear Leader opted for Net 2.0 neoliberalism to claim that O-care wouldn't need regulators. The magic of electronic patient records is supposed to solve all, along with "evidence based medicine."

Speaking of, does O-care have a board of examiners to look at individual procedures and say, "This is evidence-based medicine, that is not"? What if Orrin Hatch starts waving a bottle of supplements?

Back to regulators and that word "state." States that didn't implement their own state networks aren't going to have new regulators at the state level for O-care. These are in general states that have lax state-level regulatory frameworks as is. And, at the national level, again, what new regulatory agency did Obama get passed to go with O-care?


Beyond that, in addition to wanting some "health care security," people were tired of the paperwork hassles of both insurers and doctors + hospitals. And, O-care did nothing to address that either.

Maybe SCOTUS would do us all a favor by the five conservatives on fiscal-related issues all playing to type, ignoring Linda Greenhouse and saying that "state" is one of the 50 states.

Then, after the wingnuts running today's GOP Bedlam do nothing to fix it, maybe voters would insist on single-payer national health care, which Dear Leader never seriously considered and never wanted to seriously consider.

Otherwise, on Dear Leader himself, his stance on the "individual mandate" in the 2008 primaries says it all.

Was he really that clueless to think that a private-sector set of "reforms" that included required buying of insurance would really succeed without a mandate? Or was he that disingenuous and thinking the average Democratic primary voter was clueless enough to let it slide?

It's its own version of "Is George Bush really that stupid ... " when you look at it enough. Of course, speaking of Shrub, regular readers know my contention that Obama's a clear beneficiary of the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Finally, having read a new book about Gary Hart's abortive 1988 campaign, and knowing that Obama, like him, probably is an introvert in many ways, it makes me wonder if that's not part of the problem with his presidency.

February 09, 2015

James Shields, a bargain for the Padres

James Shields,
Padres bargain
First, let me say that for every intelligent commenter at a place like Hardball Talk, there's at least one idiot, it seems, and James Shields' free agency has proven that in spades.

Just a couple of days ago, people were saying he didn't deserve more than two years, and a number of people were saying, in essence, "his arm's gonna fall off."

Wrong and wrong.

His deal, estimated at about 4 years and $75 million plus an option year (presumably one that vests with performance targets) is very reasonable.

First, as for his arm falling off? Shields only has 110 more career MLB innings than Cole Hamels, the subject of rampant trade rumor lust and rumor. That also gets to the payment issue. Hamels has 4/96 left on his contract. The Padres save more than $20M and also pay just one comp draft choice rather than 2-3 prospects.

At the same time, contra Craig Calcaterra at HBT? His own site reported last week that San Diego G.M. A.J. Preller had a budget limit of a bit over $100M for this year. The Shields contract puts them firmly at that limit. Unless Ruben Amaro eats a chunk of Hamels' contract (unlikely), he's not going to the Padres. You know better, Craig. We also can't forget that the Dodgers' partial buyout of Matt Kemp's contract is for this year only, so I really don't see SD taking on more budget.

Back to Shields' contract.

Two years ago, the same age Shields is now, Kyle Lohse got 3/33 from the Brewers, the equivalent of 3/40 today, and he's nowhere near the pitcher Shields is. And, earlier this offseason, Ervin Santana, one year younger and almost identical career innings, got 4/54 from the Twins and he's nowhere near the pitcher Shields is.

February 08, 2015

Hypocrisy alert: Bernie Sanders, wanting to suck on the military teat

Sen. Bernie Sanders
No wonder Bernie Sanders wants to run as a Democrat, not a Green; he's too willing to suck at the military teat (near end of story): 
Whatever its technical challenges, the F-35 is a triumph of political engineering, and on a global scale. For a piquant illustration of the difference that political engineering can make, consider the case of Bernie Sanders—former Socialist mayor of Burlington, current Independent senator from Vermont, possible candidate from the left in the next presidential race. In principle, he thinks the F-35 is a bad choice. After one of the planes caught fire last summer on a runway in Florida, Sanders told a reporter that the program had been “incredibly wasteful.” Yet Sanders, with the rest of Vermont’s mainly left-leaning political establishment, has fought hard to get an F-35 unit assigned to the Vermont Air National Guard in Burlington, and to dissuade neighborhood groups there who think the planes will be too noisy and dangerous. “For better or worse, [the F-35] is the plane of record right now,” Sanders told a local reporter after the runway fire last year, “and it is not gonna be discarded. That’s the reality.” It’s going to be somewhere, so why not here? As Vermont goes, so goes the nation.
So, Bernie, really? Ohh, it's bad, but I"m not going to oppose out-of-control military spending that makes Ike's "military-industrial complex" that much, because I want Vermont on the gravy train, even if it's a war weapon, even if it's a bloated one.

What else, Bernie? Want to invite the federal prison system to Vermont. You are a border state, and people could be sneaking through from Canada. Why not ask Immigration and Customs to build one, since they're already being nutbar on one town straddling the border with Quebec?

Better yet, why not contact Geo or one of the other private prison folks about this?

It would be one thing, Bernie, if you fought for tighter standards for organic dairy products to benefit Vermont's dairy industry, or a rule that automatically let all maple syrup be organic unless farmers are spraying known nonoriganic products on trees.

And, beyond that, Vermonters didn't WANT the F-35. They became more and more adamant about that. Result? Bernie pushed harder and harder to land it.

And, it's not just warhawking. It's warhawking for a plane that sucks. No other word for it:

Update, Feb. 23, 2021: By looking for a new low-cost fighter, as Forbes reports, the Air Force has tacitly admitted the F-35 is a fail.
But this is ridiculous.

(And, maybe it's connected to Israel wanting to upgrade F-16s to F-35s.)

Bernie, re the military-industrial complex, here's what you should be trying to do instead.

The M16 and its descendant rifles still suck almost as bad as they did in Nam, especially when compared to the good old AK-47, per this sidebar Atlantic piece.

Why don't you find out what,if any, international patents the Kalashnikov family has, get Congress to buy them up, and have us use the damned AK-47 for a quarter of the cost and double the reliability of the M4?

Speaking of guns, Bernie is also some kind of gun nut.

And, then, fight to kill all funding, period, for the F-35.

I've always thought that Sanders was kind of the Wizard of Oz behind some imagery, and now I'm thinking that more and more.

And, on military-related issues, I'm right. Counterpunch was raking him over the coals four years ago.

Let’s start with this:
Senator Sanders rarely misses a photo opportunity with Vermont National Guard troops when they are being deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq.  He’s always at the Burlington International Airport when they return.  If Sanders truly supported the Vermont troops, he would vote to end all of the wars posthaste.
Then note that the F-35 lust isn’t new, either:
Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Congressman Peter Welch could hardly contain their enthusiasm over the news that Burlington International Airport had been named as a possible site to house the Air Force’s new F-35 fighter jet scheduled to replace the Vermont Air National Guard’s aging fleet of F-16s.

The author is a Vermonter. It appears that back home, Bernie’s not been fooling all the people for quite some time.

Another Counterpunch piece notes that Sanders is a bit of a squish on fighting hardcore Zionism.

And, a libertarian online mag, gathering a variety of links and sources, argues that Sanders might almost be a warhawk lite.

And, per this link, maybe Bernie's running as a Dem, if anything, because at the Vermont state level, he's long been into deal-making with the Democratic apparatus, and his rightward moves on foreign policy issues are part of this. The skinny on that piece is that Bernie has sold out to the bipartisan foreign policy establishment in exchange for the state Democratic party quashing any official opposition to him.

And, he was a war lover ever since the original Gulf War. Read that piece. Substitute the n-word into Bernie's take, and he sounds like George Wallace or other White South politicos saying in the 1960s that nobody was going to out-n them. Plus, part of why he probably doesn't like to talk about foreign policy issues a lot is that he's illiberal in general on them.

In other words, Bernie already is a Democrat, and has been for 20 years. Thank doorknob he's not running Green; the myth might quash a more legitimate candidate, like Dr. Jill Stein, the 2012 nominee, who's thrown her hat in the ring again.

The first link is a great read in general. James Fallows goes in depth about the separation of the military from the general public, the shallowness of "thank you for your service," the greater shallowness of continuing to feed the beast of the military-industrial complex and more.

And, I'm by no means alone. Here's another blogger calling out Sanders as a warhawk. So does friend Brains, who also tags him as a panderer on gun issues, which he is.