Lazy Saturday Reads: Serenity Now!


Happy Weekend Sky Dancers!!

We just have a few more days until the New York primary is over with. I hope we all survive. Honestly, I don’t know how much more of the Bernie Sanders hype I can take.

Apparently, Bernie got to meet with the Pope in Rome after all, although there are no photos. The Associated Press reports:

U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told The Associated Press that he met briefly with Pope Francis at the papal residence Saturday and said it was a “real honor” to call on “one of the extraordinary figures” in the world.

Sanders, in Rome for a Vatican conference on economic inequality and climate change, said the meeting took place before the pope left for Greece, where Francis was highlighting the plight of refugees.

The Vermont senator, in a race with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president, said he told the pope that he appreciated the message that Francis was sending the world about the need to inject morality and justice into the world economy. Sanders said that was a message he, too, has tried to convey.

Jeffrey Sachs must have some serious pull at the Vatican.

Sanders and his wife, Jane, stayed overnight at the pope’s residence, the Domus Santa Marta hotel in the Vatican gardens, on the same floor as the pope….Jeffrey Sachs, a Sanders foreign policy adviser, said there were no photographs taken of the meeting.

Domus Santa Marta

Domus Santa Marta

The Pope lives in a hotel? I did not know that.

Sanders said the meeting should not be viewed as the pope injecting himself into the campaign.

“The issues that I talked about yesterday at the conference, as you well know, are issues that I have been talking about not just throughout this campaign but throughout my political life,” Sanders said in the interview. “And I am just very much appreciated the fact that the pope in many ways has been raising these issues in a global way in the sense that I have been trying to raise them in the United States.”

Well, Sanders doesn’t get to decide how this is “viewed.” In my opinion, it will certainly be interpreted as the Pope “injecting himself” into a U.S. election campaign.

Sachs said the candidate and his wife met the pope in the foyer of the domus, and that the meeting lasted about five minutes. Sanders later joined his family, including some of his grandchildren, for a walking tour of St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the holiest Catholic shrines.

I expect we’ll be learning more about this as the day wears on. The meeting sounds oddly similar to the “private meeting” that Kim Davis claimed to have with Pope Francis during his visit to the U.S. last year.

In that instance, Francis “greeted” a number of people in passing as he left the Vatican Embassy in Washington DC. The Pope did not know that Davis was there.

The AP article says that Sanders “met” the pope in “the foyer of the domus” of the hotel. If Francis did actually meet and talk personally to Sanders, I think he made a big mistake. We’ll just have to wait and see what the fallout will be.

Bernie and Jane Sanders disembark from chartered Delta 767 in Rome.

Bernie and Jane Sanders disembark from chartered Delta 767 in Rome.

The Daily Mail provides details on Sanders’ trip to Rome, which was funded by campaign donations.

A day after Bernie Sanders claimed he ‘introduced the most comprehensive climate change legislation’ and said he would tax carbon use, the Democratic presidential candidate chartered a Delta 767 to fly him to Rome and back for less than 24 hours.

After attacking rival Hillary Clinton for her stance on fossil fuels stepped on Thursday, Sanders stepped off the plane on Friday in Rome for the Vatican conference with his wife, ten family members, a group of campaign staff, Secret Service detail and members of the press.

The total group of what is believed to be below 50, flew in a chartered Delta 767 for their trip, which can seat between 211 and 261 people, depending on the model. It is unclear if Sanders’ aircraft had flatbed seats.

A 767 aircraft carries up to 23,980 gallons of fuel, which is ‘enough to fill 1,200 minivans’, according to Boeing.

Sanders’ wife, who is Catholic and ten of Sanders’ other family members joined him for the 8,870 round-trip flight, including four of his grandchildren….

With a range of 6,408 miles on a full tank of gas, it can be calculated that a 767 like Sanders’ flying 4,435 miles from New York to Rome uses approximately 16,596 gallons of fuel. The round-trip flight will use approximately 33,193 gallons.

On average, an American flies only 7,500 miles per year, according to, 1,360 fewer miles than Sanders’ round-trip Rome travel. Thus, an average American releases less carbon emissions via aircraft each year than Sanders did in 24 hours.

Hillary Clinton tours public housing building in Harlem yesterday.

Hillary Clinton tours public housing building in Harlem yesterday.

Yesterday, while Sanders flew to Rome on a chartered plane and spent a night at the Pope’s residence, Hillary Clinton visited a public housing building for elderly people in Harlem. New York Daily News:

Clinton traveled to East 116th Street in Harlem for a tour of the Corsi Houses, a seniors-only New York City Housing Authority building that has struggled with mold, leaks and an inadequate repair system.

“I wanted to come here to really make a very strong plea that we do more when I am president to help the people who live in developments like this,” Clinton said.

She was given access to an apartment on the second floor that was in the midst of a major repair job to fix mold issues and leaks….

“I will do everything I can as your president to remember what needs to be done here in the city that I love, that is the greatest city in the world,” she said to cheers from the crowd.

To fix NYCHA, which has suffered for years from federal disinvestment, she said she would boost funding for the section 8 program, invest $125 billion to help struggling communities like the South Bronx, and expand Low Income Housing Tax Credits to curb rental costs.

“I will fight for you,” she said.

Clinton also hobnobbed with residents and guests, at one point joining in a game of dominoes in the rec room.


In other strange Bernie Sanders news, actress Sharon Stone hypothesizes that Bernie has done a lot of acid.  NY Daily News:

Outspoken actress Sharon Stone recently told The Hollywood Reporter she worries the presidential candidate, 74, dabbled in psychedelic drugs during his younger years.

“He didn’t really work until he was 40, so I wonder, like, how much acid has this guy taken?” the “Basic Instinct” star told the magazine.

“I really do (wonder), that’s not a joke. We were so aggressive asking people, ‘Did you smoke pot?’ But in reality, how much acid has Bernie Sanders taken?” she asked again.

“There’s a certain edge to his personality and way about his behavior that makes me wonder, ‘How much LSD have you taken?'” she asked a third time during the recent interview.

Weird. IMHO, if Bernie had taken some acid trips he might not be so grumpy and negative today.

Bernie and Jane have finally released their full tax returns (except for the list of charities) from 2014. They say they will also release the 2015 return once it is filed. No word on the rest of the promised returns going back to 2007. David Cay Johnston at The National Memo:

Tax Transparency: After Expansive Vow, Sanders Releases Only 2014 Return.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released nearly all of his and wife Jane Sanders’ 2014 tax return Friday night, but that disclosure still remains far from his wife’s promise to release returns for the last eight years — raising more questions about the candidate’s judgment and his wife’s claims.

As expected there was nothing startling in the schedules, but the failure to fulfill their promise to release returns back to 2007 — when Sanders was first elected to the U.S. Senator from Vermont — erodes the likelihood that other Presidential candidates this cycle and in the future will release their own full returns.

A key detail withheld by Sanders until Friday night prompts yet another question: The senator and his wife have both said on national television that Jane Sanders prepares the couple’s returns using TurboTax software. But a schedule that had been withheld until now shows $204 in tax preparation fees.

The most expensive version of TurboTax sold currently — a higher grade product than needed to prepare the couple’s returns, costs $109.99 That price includes both an online download and a compact disc. And that is the price charged by Intuit, the manufacturer, with retailers offering discounts pricing the top product at under $100.

Hmmm . . . maybe Jane got a fee for filling out the forms?

Bernie bros protest high dollar fund-raiser for down-ticket Democrats in San Francisco

Bernie bros protest high dollar fund-raiser for down-ticket Democrats in San Francisco

While Bernie was out of the country, his supporters picketed a fund-raiser hosted by Amal and George Clooney for Democratic candidates in San Francisco, where they chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, Hillary Clinton has got to go.” Very classy. ABC News describes the bizarre scene:

Approximately 100 Bernie Sanders supporters demonstrated outside of a George and Amal Clooney-hosted Hillary Clintonfundraiser Friday night in San Francisco’s upscale Nob Hill neighborhood.

Clinton and her aides arrived at the home of venture capitalist and Democratic donor Shervin Pishevar around 6:30 p.m. for the fundraiser, which kicked off at 7 p.m. Tickets to the event cost roughly $30,000 per person or $350,000 per table. (This is the first of two Clooney-hosted fundraisers this weekend. On Saturday night, the Clooneys are hosting another fundraiser, at his home in Los Angeles.)

The San Francisco street where the home is located was blocked off by police, but the protesters gathered at the top of the hill and then marched around the block.

Holding signs that read “Hillary: You can’t sit with us unless you have money” and “$353,000 for Dinner? And you thought SF home prices are high,” while banging pots and pans, protesters were vocal about Clinton’s ties to big money.

“Hey, hey, ho ho, Hillary Clinton has got to go!” the crowd, many of whom appeared to be in their twenties and thirties yelled out. “Bernie or Bust!”

It’s difficult to fathom why these people oppose raising money for Democrats running for Congress. Wouldn’t a President Bernie Sanders need Democrats in the House and Senate? The ways of Bernie supporters are very mysterious.

That’s all I have for you today. I didn’t even look at the Republican side of the campaign. It’s all just too crazy for me today. And now I plan to try to regain some kind of serenity before the big showdown arrives on Tuesday.

What stories are you following?

95 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: Serenity Now!”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    If Bernie had chosen to talk about the Church’s treatment of women, children, and LGBT people, I might have been impressed. But I don’t think he has that kind of courage.

    • jackyt says:

      If this wasn’t a “political” jaunt, why is Bernie’s campaign mentioning it at all, to say nothing of spending something over a quarter of a million dollars in campaign contributions and many, many tons of carbon emissions to accomplish it?

      • NW Luna says:

        Exactly. It’s a political jaunt.

        • purplefinn says:

          Political. Yes. Politically profitable, maybe not.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Catholics will not appreciate his efforts to use the Pope for his own selfish purposes, trust me.

          • The Headline:
            Pope Sandbagged in Hotel Lobby by Presidential Contender Who Has Declared Publicly That He Doesn’t Believe In Charity and Who Campaigns in Support of Abortion Rights… Message “I’m You in America!”

          • BB,

            I agree totally. Firstly, if you do a good deed it is to be done without seeking attention, giving the people you help their dignity and building up their courage to continue on.

            I have wondered why he didn’t bother to see Pope Francis when he was here in the U.S. during the LOOOONG visit, but now just had to see him in a “secret” meeting.

    • NW Luna says:

      the Church’s treatment of women, children, and LGBT people

      Nope. Those issues are “distractions.” And he just lost whatever he had left of the Jewish vote in NY. Plus the Catholic.

    • Fannie says:

      Exactly, he went their to speak about Bernieism.

  2. Sweet Sue says:

    Re Bernie and the Pope: pictures or it didn’t happen.
    What, I’m supposed to take that old grifters word for it?

  3. janicen says:

    I read somewhere else that the meeting with the Pope lasted a few seconds. It sounds a lot like Kim Davis’ “audience” with the Pope.

    About the Pope’s residence, I read that he refuses to live in the opulent, official Pope’s residence in the Vatican. He prefers a modest place to live.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yes, as I wrote, that’s what it sounded like to me, and apparently we were correct.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Sounds like Bernie groveling for some catholic voters and some attention to me.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Catholic voters won’t be fooled. They won’t like the fact that Bernie overshadowed the Pope’s important mission to help Syrian refugees. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a demotion coming for the Bishop behind these shenanigans.

  4. Delphyne49 says:

  5. bostonboomer says:


  6. bostonboomer says:

    Sorry Delphyne– we posted at the same time. Just as I suspected, Bernie stalked the Pope and ambushed him in the lobby. How embarrassing.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Groupie, Loitering in Hotel Lobby, Succeeds In Meeting Celebrity

    This is what likely happened: Jeffrey Sachs, maybe with a tip from Sorondo, knew the pope would have to walk through the lobby of the Domus to get in to his car. So like groupies following a band, or a twelve year old wanting an autograph on a baseball card, they waited in the lobby for an opportunity to stop the celebrity so they could tell people “He met the celebrity!” [but without scoring a photo of the encounter].

    If in fact Sanders hung out in the lobby waiting to stop the pope on his way to Greece, it was incredibly self-absorbed and an obnoxious distraction for the pope, who was surely much more focused on addressing a profound crisis (with what turned out to be a dramatic and powerful act). Furthermore, if Sanders waited around to pounce on the pope as he was trying to leave for Greece, is that a dignified way for a presidential candidate to behave? Is this the conduct and judgment of someone who aspires to be the commander in chief of our armed forces and the diplomatic and political leader of the most powerful country on Earth?

    • Delphyne49 says:

      I’m sure that SNL is already working on a piece about this!!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Let’s hope so Darlin!!!!!

        • Delphyne49 says:

          Rewrite My Fair Lady and make it My Fair Pope with Bernie singing On The Street Where You Live right before he “greets” the Pope.

          And oh, the towering feeling
          Just to know somehow you are near
          The overpowering feeling
          That any second you may suddenly appear.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            ROTFL……I love My Fair Lady. Once upon a time and long, long ago, I played a maid in My Fair Lady, small local theater edition.

    • Reminds me of Cait Jenner ambushing Hillary Clinton in the lobby after Jenner attacked Hillary in the I Am Cait show and received a backlash (I said the ‘girls/gals’ should get their own show and I Am Cait should be cancelled). And yes, just like Bernie’s ambush, Cait Jenner posted the filed clip of Hillary being gracious on his show to try and appear as though Hillary approved of Cait being sooo mean to her and some of the women on the show.

  8. Riverbird says:

    I thought of Kim Davis right away when I heard Bernie had met the pope.

    So Bernie “happened” to be there right when the Pope was coming out. Sheesh.

    I can hardly wait for Tuesday night.

  9. William says:

    Well, then the networks which are running headlines, “Sanders meets with Pope,” are either deliberately lying, or have no real interest in the truth. If shaking someone’s hand is equivalent to “meeting,” then all I have to do is to go to a Hillary rally, shake her hand and say, “I support climate change legislation!,” and I have had a meeting with her on the subject.The media has lost any small sense of responsibility, and is now in some kind of strange universe of their own fabrication. What ultimate effect of all of this, is problematical, which in itself can be worrisome. It almost feels as if we are in late 1920’s Europe, with fascists, marxists, anarchists clamoring at the gates; and that Hillary is the only person who can prevent the country from entirely going off the rails and into the maelstrom.

    • William says:

      A couple of words somehow missing here. Should be, “I have had a meeting with her on the subject. The media…”

    • bostonboomer says:

      The AP and Reuters already corrected their stories with the Pope’s statement.

      This is nothing new for Bernie. Remember, he claims he “marched with MLK” when all he did was go to a rally with 250,000 other people.

      • William says:

        That is good to know. I will not turn on the network news this weekend, but I had read that they were running “Sanders Meets With Pope” all over the place. Wonder if they will run the Pope’s statement.

      • Campaign claimed it gave them the right to attack John Lewis and Dolores Huerta.

  10. ANonOMouse says:

    “his supporters picketed a fund-raiser hosted by Amal and George Clooney for Democratic candidates in San Francisco, where they chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, Hillary Clinton has got to go.” Very classy.”

    Classy? These are the same people who tried to start a “Bernie, Bernie” chant during a debate. I wonder if Susan SaranWrap was with them? That’s the closest she’ll ever get to a gathering at Amal and George’s home.

    • Jslat says:

      What is so disturbing to me is that the Bern’s campaign supporters are turning it into a campaign AGAINST Hillary instead of a campaign for the nomination.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Mouse I hope you knew that was snark when I said “very classy.”

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Yes I knew and I loved it!! You know me, I can’t resist piling on with some additional snark. I hope his supporters are satisfied with how he’s spending their money. Taking his entire family on a Roman Holiday at their expense. I said last week that I thought Bernie has “Jumped the Shark”. To my mind his Rome adventure pretty much seals the deal. Even Fonzie can’t compete with that.

  11. purplefinn says:

    “And now I plan to try to regain some kind of serenity before…” Great idea, BB. Hope you are fully (or nearly so) recovered from your cold/bronchitis/flu.

  12. bostonboomer says:


  13. Jslat says:

    OMG! Who lacks the judgement to be President. Hillary doesn’t need to stalk world leaders. What were you thinking??! I seriously think that the Bern’s ego problem is going to intensify
    a very scary campaign season.

  14. bostonboomer says:

    Here’s the video of the Pope describing what happened in his own words.

    • Delphyne49 says:

      Oh, I enjoyed seeing that video so much, I posted it on FB! I haven’t ranted about BS on FB since I have a lot of friends who are supporting him, but I simply could not resist this! 🙂

      • joanelle says:

        A friend just sent me a piece on AOL entitled: Pope says it’s crazy to see his meeting with Bernie Sanders as political. apparently there is also a video that went with it.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Love this.
      Even the Pope thinks the Berniebros are crazy.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I oppose red-baiting in any form.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I’m surprised that he’s threatened to sue over the t-shirt, so it must really frighten him. And I believe if he gets the nomination there is significant evidence to allow people to come to the conclusion that he has supported communist governments and it’s very hard to get there if you aren’t a communist sympathizer. Hillary has gone easy on Bernie’s past, but in the Univision Debate she hit him on this.”Hillary Clinton subsequently slammed Sanders’ answer, asserting that “in that same interview, he praised what he called the revolution of values in Cuba and talked about how people were working for the common good, not for themselves.” Continued Clinton: “I just couldn’t disagree more. You know, if the values are that you oppress people, you disappear people, you imprison people or even kill people for expressing their opinions, for expressing freedom of speech, that is not the kind of revolution of values that I ever want to see anywhere.””

        Here’s the article about the cease & desist order.

  15. ANonOMouse says:

    A reminder that Hillary was the TARGET of Citizens United. So remind everyone that this BS from BS supporters that Hillary isn’t against Citizens United is BS!

    • Carolyn Kay says:

      Yes, I think the original name of the organization that made the nothing-but-lies film about Hillary was Citizens United Not Timid, or C.U.N.T.

      • janicen says:

        Yep, and Roger Stone, the brains behind the Trump campaign is the one who created it. Small world.

  16. bostonboomer says:

    Bernie and his campaign have stated again and again that the trip to Rome was not political. Yet he paid for it with campaign funds. This diary at DailyKos says that might be illegal.

    • NW Luna says:

      “might”? Oh, I see, he’s got to pay it back within 30 days. Heheh.

    • Jslat says:

      This is what I was commenting last thread. If his trip was paid out of campaign funds, he has a problem. Also, that $27 average donation hasn’t changed for months! With the issues in the Bern’s donation reports, who knows?!!

      • janicen says:

        Yeah, I’ve noticed that too. How does your “average” donation number never change?

        • Jslat says:

          Only thing I can figure is that once the Bern has a talking point in his head he just repeats over & over & over……. He schticks to his schtick!

  17. Prolix says:

    In an ongoing episode of grandiose delusions, it was discovered Sanders’ closet contains a variety of outfits to fit his moods of narcissism. There was a dhoti for those Gandhi days, a parka for those Peary days, and a spacesuit for those Neil Armstrong days. At press time there is no indication if the loin cloth was for Caesar or Tarzan days.

  18. Valhalla says:

    I am so ready for Tuesday to be over too. I’m trying very hard to have high hopes but low expecations. And i’m just so ocer Bernie’s fake endorsements — unions, MLK, Warren, mewspapers, now the Pope. Sanders has so few supporters of any substance that he has to fake them. It violates basic morality.

    • janicen says:

      Looks like I missed some fun hashtags on twitter yesterday. At some point, Bernie is going to have to cease his campaign if for no other reason than his handlers are diminishing his legacy and making a fool of him while they line their pockets.

  19. Jslat says:

    NYTimes has interesting article on the Bern’s campaign style. He used sarcasm and attempts to discredit & demean his opponents. Thurs debate was the true Bern on display.

    • purplefinn says:

      Bye bye Bernie.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      If there’s one conclusion from the NYT Article it is that Hillary does not need to give him the debate stage again. He is a dirty campaigner who destroys his opponent through innuendo and sarcasm. His tactic is to sling as much shit at the wall as possible and see what sticks.

  20. janicen says:

    This is really interesting from 538, “Clinton is Winning The States That Look Like the Democratic Party”

    Reading it, I finally understand what the Bernie Bros have been whining about in that the states that constitute the “Deep South” that they insist don’t really matter are Alabama, Georgia, SC, LA, and Mississippi. Those states actually do not reflect the overall Democratic electorate if you break them down according to their racial makeup of Democrats in the individual states. However, the rest of the southern states, FL, TX, VA, and NC do more closely reflect the overall Democratic party and Clinton won them handily. There’s a nice chart which would seem to indicate that Clinton will do very well in NY and NJ since they closely reflect the overall makeup of the party. Pennsylvania should be interesting but I haven’t seen any polling from there.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      New Poll out this morning

      New York Democratic Primary CBS News/YouGov Clinton 53, Sanders 43 Clinton +10

      These polls have been from 6 points to 17 points in the past 2 week. Her lead seems to be solid.

      Also a new California Poll out today

      California Democratic Primary CBS News/YouGov Clinton 52, Sanders 40 Clinton +12