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Image by DonkeyHotey. Creative commons license.

Ignore Molly Ball. The Democratic primary race is not over. Bernie Sanders is not dropping out, nor should he. We have several more weeks of political theater to look forward to.

I know. While polls persistently demonstrate that Sanders is the more formidable opponent to derail Trump in the fall, Hillary still maintains her delegate lead.

Then, there is the small matter of the superdelegates. But remember, the distribution of superdelegates, as Shaun King persistently reminds everyone, can be overturned depending on the environment at the Democratic convention. As of now, Clinton, the establishment favorite, has loyalty and history on her side. That could change. Maybe.

On May 17, Bernie Sanders won the Oregon caucus, bringing his total number of states won to 20. Clinton, who took Kentucky, has won 26 states. Bernie has 1,499 delegates and 43 superdelegates. Clinton sits at 1,768 delegates and 537 superdelegates. The magic number is 2383. Undoubtedly, this is an uphill battle for Sanders, but a battle whose fight will, and must, wage on.

Here are some quick updates on the presidential race.

The National Rifle Association endorses Donald Trump. Not that this is at all surprising and not that this indicates anything other than the fact that the National Rifle Association has quite a few narrow-minded bigots throughout its ranks who are proud one-issue voters. They believe that an armed showdown between small industry and small government is inevitable and that the result of this will be the dissolution of government and small industry. In short, the end of the “artifice” intelligent people denote society. Idiots.

According to this report, Donald Trump is “losing ground” with female voters. Makes sense. That tends to happen when you criminalize abortion rights and suggest that women who have abortions should be fined and imprisoned.

Infighting within the Republican party over Trump’s new role as the symbol of conservatism has not let up. His recent target is New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R), who refused to attend an event in New Mexico with the newly minted nominee. As far as Trump was concerned, this rebuff was enough to warrant a jab: “She’s got to do a better job, okay? Your governor has got to do a better job. She’s not doing the job. … We’ve got to get her moving. Come on, let’s go, governor.”

Appalled, MSBNC’s Steve Benen said the following:

Presidential candidates are supposed to develop a pretty thick skin while having enough discipline to resist the urge to initiate pointless feuds, especially with high-profile members of their own party.

My question is, what campaign has he been following? Initiating feuds are what propelled Trump to the apex of the Republican food chain. And given how this year’s Republican primary turned out in the end, what constitutes “thick skin” is debatable. Benen concludes almost with a sense of bewilderment: “Trump … doesn’t really know what he’s doing.” Really? I beg to differ. In fact, my suspicion, as scary as it sounds out loud, is that Trump knows exactly what he’s doing and has the Republican establishment eating reluctantly out the palms of his hands.

The presumptive “very rich” Republican nominee, who has absolutely nothing to hide and even less to fear, has yet to release his tax returns. Rushing to his defense, Trump’s campaign manager says, “why all the fuss?” since we won’t learn anything from them. Clinton disagrees. Release them, she says. Bare your financial soul before the world so everyone can see how dishonest and disloyal you are to your country. Right. Because she’s one to talk.

Brushing his shoulders off amid these annoyances and petty distractions, Trump is keen on amusing himself by flip-flopping on the issue of whether or not he’s self-funding his campaign. In the recent past, he’s argued that a candidate capable of self-financing his campaign owes no favors, that the candidate who owes no favors is his own political animal and that the candidate who is his own political animal deserves the Oval Office. Apparently, he no longer needs to make that argument to ensure loyalty from his voters. Principles are made to be broken.

In any case, whether he is or isn’t, the Republican leader has no shortage of 1-percenters willing to back him; no qualms about, say, private equity investor Thomas Barrack offering to help finance his campaign. And, why the hell not, right? Who cares if Barrack sought profits from the home foreclosures that destroyed the lives of millions of Americans during the 2008 housing bubble? Sleep is as sleep does, whether you go to bed a money-grubbing piece of [insert expletive] or not.

This pisses off the likes of an officeholder named Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who in matters of all things Trump and political bankruptcy is consistent in her role as our favorite, vigilant critic within establishment politics.

Still, she’s no Jill Stein — the real feminist insurgent in this race — who, in turn, (except for Sanders) is not sold on any mainstreamer in this race.

Clinton is still unable to stop the hemorrhaging from the e-mail scandal haunting her campaign. She’s unofficially officially declared herself the Democratic nominee. And since she and the entire Democratic establishment are convinced that the Democratic primary is pretty much wrapped up, she’s skipping out on an opportunity to debate Sanders before the California primary.

 

The remaining contests include: Virgin Islands (June 4); Puerto Rico (June 5); California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota (June 7) and Washington, D.C. (June 14).

The remaining delegate counts are: Virgin Islands (7), Puerto Rico (60), California (475), New Jersey (126), New Mexico (34), Montana (21), South Dakota (20), North Dakota (18) and Washington, D.C. (20).

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