Daily Archives: July 6, 2015

Bernie’s victory

Bernie Sanders’ campaign is a rousing success. He’s drawing huge — sorry, youuuuuge — crowds, he’s smashed expectations for fundraising, and he’s making noise in select polls.

None of which makes him a serious contender for the Democratic nomination. He still trails badly in national polls. And the dynamics of the primary system have shifted in favor of the frontrunner: an underdog can compete in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, but then the primaries come fast and furious, and you need a strong national organization (and a youuuuuge amount of money) to stay competitive. Even lackluster frontrunners like John Kerry and Mitt Romney can use their “inevitability” to steamroll their opponents. Hillary generates a lot more enthusiasm than either of those legacy admissions.

So no, Bernie’s not winning the nomination. But he has already won a very important victory: he has shown the potential for game-changing enthusiasm on the Left. After Bernie, the Democratic Party will have a harder time taking the Left for granted.

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Riddle me this, Gasman

On Friday, I had to drive from Montpelier to Burlington. And, since gas is always more expensive in the Queen City and environs, I made sure to fill the tank before I hit the freeway.

But when I got to Burlington, what to my wondrous eyes did appear?

Gas was cheaper. Anywhere from five to 15 cents a gallon cheaper than in Montpelier.

Huh.

This hasn’t happened in, I don’t know, roughly forever. Gas is always more expensive in Burlington.

For years, Bernie Sanders has been alleging price fixing by the four companies that own most of Chittenden County’s gas stations. The companies have consistently denied any collusion — although, it must be noted, they usually bring down their prices for a while after Bernie kicks up a fuss. And then quietly goose them back up once the heat’s off.

Still, no matter how loud Bernie gets, they’ve never actually gone lower than adjacent markets.

So what could have caused this historic price drop?

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