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  • Bernie Sanders is expected to defeat Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire Primary today. Most pollsters expect it will be by a margin of around 15%. Sounds about right to me. But Hillary will win even if she loses. Pundits will point to the fact that she cut his initial lead in half. And if Hillary loses by much less than 15%, say 10%, the media will be abuzz with stories about her remarkable comeback. Many fewer news stories will marvel at the fact that a Democratic Socialist took the Granite State, not known as a hotbed of liberalism. That's the rub, or as they call it now, the bern. But the media establishment—even NPR—won't let on that's what happened. That's what establishments do: marginalize external threats.

    Anyway, what the people in the picture are laughing about is how few Americans get what they fundamentally agree on but never bring up: The necessity for national security and its attendant proxy wars and draconian surveillance. None of the contender's campaigns bring up the National Security State except to say that we need more of it, never less (with apologies to Rand Paul). Bernie and Hillary both have voted for one foreign intervention or another, but now say they wouldn't. Their newfound regrets could either represent a learning experience or be window dressing. Recall that at the last debate, HRC said she wants to create a "Manhattan Project" to defeat data encryption technology once and for all, as if spy agencies don't have more personal and corporate data now than they know what to do with. Mr. Obama probably doesn't disagree. After all, he's steadfastly supported spy agencies and done little to curb their enthusiasm for getting personal. Now, Bernie might not support compromising every digital device, but he's not going to stop them from trying either.

    Laughter is good medicine, they say. So have a chuckle about how little all the election hoopla really matters in the end. Grin about how much money changes hands that really doesn't accomplish much, and then guffaw thinking about what it was for and who got paid. May your catharsis of jollity cause all the silly political posturing and punditry you'll witness this year to wash over you. Every now and then you'll need to take a nice hot bath to cleanse off the rhetorical residue. Just don't zone out and forget to vote. Or not.


    @image: The Week (or maybe not)
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