Remembering the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack
The victims of the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history were doctors and dentists, accountants and academics, retirees and senior citizens who didn’t let age get in their way. Two were brothers, another two a married couple. One was 97. All 11 shared a dedication to the Tree of Life synagogue, where they were killed Saturday in a shooting rampage.
And they were “all very gentle, caring, compassionate, good people,” said Brian Schreiber, the president of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh and a member of Tree of Life.
Said Stephen Cohen, co-president of one of the congregations that meet there: “The loss is incalculable.”
CECIL AND DAVID ROSENTHAL: ‘SWEET, GENTLE, CARING MEN’
Cecil and David Rosenthal went through life together with help from a disability-services organization. And an important part of the brothers’ lives was the Tree of Life synagogue, where they never missed a Saturday service, people who knew them say.
“If they were here, they would tell you that is where they were supposed to be,” Chris Schopf, a vice president of the organization Achieva, said in a statement.
Achieva had worked for decades with Cecil, 59, and David, 54. The developmentally disabled brothers lived independently together in an Achieva building, spokeswoman Lisa Razza told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. David had worked with Achieva’s cleaning service and at Goodwill Industries, and Cecil was hoping to start working soon, she said.
While David was quieter, Cecil had a personality that got him dubbed “the honorary mayor of Squirrel Hill,” the venerable Jewish enclave where the synagogue sits.
Cecil was up for all sorts of activities: a concert, lunch at Eat ’n Park — a regional restaurant chain known for its smiley-face cookies — even a trip to the Duquesne University dining hall, recalls David DeFelice, a Duquesne senior who was paired with him in a buddies program three years ago. The two became friends, DeFelice said.
“He was a very gregarious person — loved being social, loved people. … You could put him in any situation, and he’d make it work,” chatting about the weather or asking students about their parents and talking about his own, said DeFelice.
And when DeFelice recognized Hebrew letters on Cecil’s calendar, the elder man was delighted to learn his buddy was also Jewish and soon invited him to Tree of Life. DeFelice joined him on a couple of occasions and could see Cecil cherished his faith and the sense of community he found at temple.
Emeritus Rabbi Alvin Berkun saw that, too, in Cecil and David.
“They really found a home at the synagogue, and people reciprocated,” he said.
Cecil also frequented the Jewish Community Center, where he’d greet Schreiber with a comedic bit: “Brian, you’re fired!”
“Cecil, you’ve fired me a thousand times, and I keep coming back to work,” Schreiber would respond with a smile.
Cecil carried a photo in his wallet of David, whom Schopf remembers as a man with “such a gentle spirit.”
“Together, they looked out for each other,” she said. “Most of all, they were kind, good people with a strong faith and respect for everyone around.”
The two left an impression on state Rep. Dan Frankel, who sometimes attends services at Tree of Life and whose chief of staff is the Rosenthals’ sister.
“They were very sweet, gentle, caring men,” Frankel said.
“I know that this community will really mourn their loss because they were such special people,” he added.
BERNICE AND SYLVAN SIMON: HELPING OTHERS AS A TEAM
Bernice and Sylvan Simon were always ready to help other people, longtime friend and neighbor Jo Stepaniak says, and “they always did it with a smile and always did it with graciousness.”
“Anything that they could do, and they did it as a team,” she said.
The Simons, who were among those massacred Saturday, were fixtures in the townhome community on the outskirts of Pittsburgh where they had lived for decades. She’d served on the board, and he was a familiar face from his walks around the neighborhood, with the couple’s dog in years past.
Sylvan, 86, was a retired accountant with a good sense of humor — the kind of person his former rabbi felt comfortable joking with after Sylvan broke his arm a couple of weeks ago. (The rabbi emeritus, Alvin Berkun, quipped that Sylvan had to get better so he could once again lift the Torah, the Jewish holy scripture.)
Bernice, 84, a former nurse, loved classical music and devoted time to charitable work, according to Stepaniak and neighbor Inez Miller.
And both Simons cared deeply about Tree of Life synagogue.
“(They) were very devoted, an active, steady presence,” Berkun said. The Simons had married there in a candlelight ceremony nearly 62 years earlier, according to the Tribune-Review.
Tragedy has struck their family before: One of the couple’s sons died in a 2010 motorcycle accident in California. And now the Simons’ deaths are reverberating through their family and community.
“Bernice and Sylvan were very good, good-hearted, upstanding, honest, gracious, generous people. They were very dignified and compassionate,” Stepaniak said, her voice breaking. “Best neighbors that you could ask for.”
MELVIN WAX: ‘A SWEET, SWEET GUY’
Melvin Wax was always the first to arrive at New Light Congregation, which rented space in the lower level of Tree of Life, and the last to leave.
“He was a gem. He was a gentleman,” recalled fellow congregant Barry Werber. “There was always a smile on his face.”
Myron Snider remembered “Mel” as a friend who would stay late to tell jokes with him, a retired accountant who was unfailingly generous, and a pillar of the congregation, filling just about every role except cantor.
“If somebody didn’t come that was supposed to lead services, he could lead the services and do everything. He knew how to do everything at the synagogue. He was really a very learned person,” said Snider, a retired pharmacist and chairman of the congregation’s cemetery committee.
“He and I used to, at the end of services, try to tell a joke or two to each other. Most of the time they were clean jokes. Most of the time. I won’t say all the time. But most of the time.”
New Light moved to the Tree of Life building about a year ago, when the congregation of about 100 mostly older members could no longer afford its own space, said administrative assistant Marilyn Honigsberg. She said Wax, who lost his wife, Sandra, in 2016, was always there when services began at 9:45 a.m.
Snider had just been released from a six-week hospital stay for pneumonia and was not at Saturday’s services.
“He called my wife to get my phone number in the hospital so he could talk to me,” Snider said. “Just a sweet, sweet guy.”
JERRY RABINOWITZ: ‘TRUSTED CONFIDANT, HEALER’
Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz and his partner in his medical practice were seemingly destined to spend their professional lives together.
He and Dr. Kenneth Ciesielka had been friends for more than 30 years, since they lived on the same floor at the University of Pennsylvania. Ciesielka was a few years behind Rabinowitz, but whether by fate or design, the two always ended up together. They went to the same college, the same medical school and even had the same residency at UPMC a few years apart.
“He is one of the finest people I’ve ever met. We’ve been in practice together for 30 years and friends longer than that,” Ciesielka said. “His patients are going to miss him terribly. His family is going to miss him terribly and I am going to miss him. He was just one of the kindest, finest people.”
Former Allegheny County deputy district attorney Law Claus remembered Rabinowitz, a 66-year-old victim in Saturday’s shooting, as more than a physician for him and his family for the last three decades.
“He was truly a trusted confidant and healer,” he wrote in an email to his former co-workers on Sunday. “Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz … could always be counted upon to provide sage advice whenever he was consulted on medical matters, usually providing that advice with a touch of genuine humor. He had a truly uplifting demeanor, and as a practicing physician he was among the very best.”
Rabinowitz, 66, was affiliated with UPMC Shadyside hospital, where he was remembered as one of its “kindest physicians.” The UPMC hospital system said in a statement that it “cannot even begin to express the sadness and grief we feel over the loss.”
“Those of us who worked with him respected and admired his devotion to his work and faith. His loss is devastating,” chief quality officer Tami Minnier wrote on Twitter.
Rabinowitz had also been a go-to doctor for HIV patients in the epidemic’s early, desperate days, a physician who “always hugged us as we left his office,” according to Michael Kerr, who credits Rabinowitz with helping him survive.
“Thank you,” Kerr wrote on Facebook, “for having always been there during the most terrifying and frightening time of my life. … You are one of my heroes.”
Olivia Tucker, who is transgender, went to Rabinowitz for a checkup after he treated her grandmother for cancer.
“He’s the only doctor who ever has made a misstep about my trans-ness, and followed it up with really insightful questions with the purpose of learning and growth,” Tucker said. “I felt blessed to have had him.”
JOYCE FIENBERG: ‘MAGNIFICENT, GENEROUS, CARING’
Joyce Fienberg and her late husband, Stephen, were intellectual powerhouses, but those who knew them say they were the kind of people who used that intellect to help others.
Joyce Fienberg, 75, who was among the victims in Saturday’s shooting, spent most of her career at the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and Development Center, retiring in 2008 from her job researching learning in the classroom and in museums. She worked on several projects, including one involving the practices of highly effective teachers.
Dr. Gaea Leinhardt, who was Fienberg’s research partner for decades, said she is devastated by the death of her colleague and friend.
“Joyce was a magnificent, generous, caring, and profoundly thoughtful human being,” she said.
The research center’s current director, Charles Perfetti, said Fienberg earned her bachelor’s degree in social psychology from the University of Toronto, in her native Canada.
She brought a keen mind, engaging personality and “a certain elegance and dignity” to the center, Perfetti said.
“One could have elevated conversations with her that were very interesting,” even if they were brief, he said. “I was always impressed with her.”
Stephen, who died in 2016 after a battle with cancer, was a renowned professor of statistics and social science at Carnegie Mellon University. His work was used in shaping national policies in forensic science, education and criminal justice.
The couple married in 1965 and had moved to Pittsburgh in the early 1980s. Joyce began her work at the center in 1983. The couple had two sons and several grandchildren.
DANIEL STEIN: ‘PASSIONATE ABOUT THE COMMUNITY AND ISRAEL’
Daniel Stein was a visible member of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community, where he was a leader in the New Light Congregation and his wife, Sharyn, is the membership vice president of the area’s Hadassah chapter.
“Their Judaism is very important to them, and to him,” said chapter co-president Nancy Shuman. “Both of them were very passionate about the community and Israel.”
Stein, 71, was president of the Men’s Club at Tree of Life. He also was among a corps of the New Light members who, along with Wax and Richard Gottfried, 65, made up “the religious heart” of the congregation, said Cohen, the congregation co-president.
Stein’s nephew Steven Halle told the Tribune-Review his uncle “was always willing to help anybody.”
With his generous spirit and dry sense of humor, “he was somebody that everybody liked,” Halle said.
ROSE MALLINGER: SHOOTER’S OLDEST VICTIM
Rose Mallinger was 97, but you’d never know it, Schreiber said.
“She just had spring in her step,” he said. So much so that when congregants at the synagogue were told to stand if they were able, there was no question: Mallinger stood, even while some seniors younger than she stayed seated.
She was at services every week, accompanied by her whole family on major holidays.
“Her faith and her connection to Judaism was very, very important to her,” Schreiber said. Mallinger was routinely called on to lead one of the English-language prayers that her congregation recited after Hebrew prayers, he said.
Her daughter, Andrea Wedner, 61, was among the wounded, the family said.
RICHARD GOTTFRIED: PREPARING FOR RETIREMENT
Richard Gottfried was getting ready for a new chapter in his life.
Gottfried ran a dental office with his wife and practice partner Margaret “Peg” Durachko Gottfried. The couple met at the University of Pittsburgh as dental students, according to the Washington Post, and opened their practice together in 1984.
Gottfried, who often saw patients who could not otherwise afford dental care, was preparing to retire in the next few months.
He, along with Wax and Stein, “led the service, they maintained the Torah, they did what needed to be done with the rabbi to make services happen,” Cohen said.
“He died doing what he liked to do most,” said Don Salvin, Gottfried’s brother-in-law, told the Washington Post.
IRVING YOUNGER: ‘NEVER HAD AN UNKIND WORD’
A neighbor in Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington neighborhood on Sunday remembered victim Irving Younger as “a really nice guy.”
Jonathan Voye told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Younger, 69, was personable and occasionally spoke with him about family or the weather.
“I’m scared for my kids’ future,” Mr. Voye told the Post-Gazette. “How can you have that much hate for your fellow neighbor?”
Tina Prizner, who told the Tribune-Review she’s lived next door to Younger for several years, said he was a “wonderful” father and grandfather.
The one-time real estate company owner “talked about his daughter and his grandson, always, and he never had an unkind word to say about anybody,” Prizner told the Tribune-Review.
Beth Markovic, owner of Murray Avenue Kosher grocery and deli, said Younger was a dedicated customer who was especially fond of her meatloaf and chicken salad and asked her to alert him when she was making it.
“So every time I make those things, I will certainly be thinking of him,” Markovic said. “I have his phone number right in front of me where I do my work. So, we feel it. We feel it very much.” (AP)
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Water and Homeopathy: Latest Discoveries at Science’s Cutting Edge
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Presentation by Cambridge Professor Emeritus Brian Josephson at the conference “New Horizons in Water Science — The Evidence for Homeopathy?” (July 14, 2018), introduction by Lord Kenneth Ward-Atherton. Visit the Mercola Video Library Story at-a-glance – A major research conference took place at London’s Royal Society of Medicine that confirmed the therapeutic effects of extremely small doses (nanodoses) of homeopathic medicines Two Nobel Prize-winning scientists and other esteemed researchers from across the world presented compelling evidence that medicinal agents not only persist in water, but they retain therapeutic effects in these nanodoses Our bodies’ hormones and cell-signaling systems also operate at this super small nanodose level Professor Vladimir Voeikov asserted Russian scientists had known for decades that tiny doses of medicines have dramatic effects on biological systems Professor Jerry Pollack of the University of Washington is one of the leading experts on water who reported on his research, which confirms water has the capacity to store huge amounts of medicinal information, enabling homeopathic nanodoses to fully impact a person’s physiology
By Dana Ullman, MPH, CCH and Lionel Milgrom, Ph.D., RHom, MARH
If the common physician, scientist and educated consumer were to believe Wikipedia, they would assume that there is absolutely no research that shows the efficacy of homeopathic medicines in the treatment of any ailment. Furthermore, they would conclude homeopathic medicines are so small in dose, there is literally “nothing” in a homeopathic medicine.
And, if you are this gullible and vulnerable to Big Pharma propaganda, then we’ve got an island to sell you for $24! According to The Washington Post, Wikipedia’s article on homeopathy and Jesus Christ are the two most controversial on that website in four leading languages (English, French, German and Spanish). Research Shows Efficacy of Homeopathic Medicine
The fact of the matter is that research showing the efficacy of homeopathic medicines has been published in some of the world’s most respected medical journals. Here’s a roll call of just a few of them:
The Lancet; 1 BMJ 2 , 3 (British Medical Journal); Chest (the publication of the American College of Chest Physicians); 4 Pediatrics (publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics); 5 Cancer(journal of the American Cancer Society); 6 Journal of Clinical Oncology; 7 Pediatrics Infectious Disease Journal (publication of the European Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases); 8 European Journal of Pediatrics (publication of the Swiss Society of Pediatrics and the Belgium Society of Pediatrics). 9
Would you be shocked to learn that Wikipedia doesn’t mention eight of the nine references here? Not only have individual studies found efficacy in homeopathic medicines, but various systematic reviews or meta-analyses have likewise concluded the effects of homeopathic medicines are different to those of a placebo . The newest review of homeopathic research published in Systematic Reviews 10 confirmed a difference between the effects of homeopathic treatment and of placebo.
In reviewing the “highest quality studies,” the researchers found that patients given homeopathic treatment were almost twice as likely to experience a therapeutic benefit as those given a placebo.
Further, in reviewing a total of 22 clinical trials, patients given homeopathic remedies experienced greater than 50 percent likelihood to have benefited from the treatment than those given a placebo. Once again, Wikipedia doesn’t even mention this new review of clinical research in homeopathy.
This important review of clinical research also acknowledged that four of the five leading previous systematic reviews of homeopathic research found a benefit from homeopathic treatment over that of placebo:
“Five systematic reviews have examined the RCT research literature on homeopathy as a whole, including the broad spectrum of medical conditions that have been researched and by all forms of homeopathy: four of these ‘global’ systematic reviews reached the conclusion that, with important caveats, the homeopathic intervention probably differs from placebo.”
And if that wasn’t enough, the largest and most comprehensive review of basic science research (fundamental physiochemical research, botanical studies, animal studies and in vitro studies using human cells) and clinical research into homeopathy ever sponsored by a governmental agency was undertaken recently in Switzerland. 11
This Swiss report affirmed that homeopathic high-potencies seem to induce regulatory effects and specific changes to cells and living organisms. It also reported that 20 of the 22 systematic reviews of clinical research testing homeopathic medicines detected at least a trend in favor of homeopathy. Would it puzzle you that this important review of homeopathic research is not even mentioned or referenced by Wikipedia? Homeopathic Conference at the Royal Society of Medicine
July 14, 2018, we attended a groundbreaking conference in London entitled “New Horizons in Water Science — ‘The Evidence for Homeopathy?'” in the hallowed halls of the U.K.’s Royal Society of Medicine.
Held at the behest of (Lord) Aaron Kenneth Ward-Atherton, who organized and chaired the event, Ward-Atherton not only is a practicing homeopath and integrated medical physician, but also has been a formal adviser on integrated medicine to a member of the U.K. government’s Department of Health and Social Care, and had ongoing support from various peers in the British House of Lords.
This conference will no doubt have sent shockwaves around the world, as delegates from over 20 countries listened in awe to two Nobel Laureates (Cambridge physicist Professor Emeritus Brian Josephson and AIDS virus discoverer, Dr. Luc Montagnier) and several world-class scientists of equal academic stature from the U.S., U.K., Israel and Russia.
And what they were saying was pure heresy to conventional medicine! As it turns out, research in water science seems to support the notion there is a significant difference between the biological and physical actions of homeopathic medicines and plain ordinary water.
We should point out that this special conference did not try to review the body of clinical research (above) that verifies the efficacy of homeopathic medicines, nor did it seek to describe all the basic science studies that show that homeopathic medicines have biological or physical effects.
Instead, this conference chose to focus on more fundamental questions: Does the process of remedy production in homeopathy (i.e., dilution and succession — vigorous shaking — of a medicinal substance in water/alcohol) have an effect on the water’s long-range structure that is different from simple pure water? And, second, are their sound and plausible explanations for how homeopathic medicines persist in water solutions despite multiple dilutions?
Because most physicians and scientists are completely unfamiliar with the fascinating and amazing qualities and abilities of water, their assertions on what is and isn’t possible with homeopathic medicines represent an embarrassingly uninformed viewpoint.
Such assertions are at best unscientific; at worst, they simply represent sheer ignorance. The best scientists are humble in their assertions due to the fact that they know their knowledge is always limited. The average physician or scientist, however, may tend to arrogance, particularly on those subjects which they actually know nothing about. Biomolecules Communicate Over Distance
Brian Josephson Ph.D., of University of Cambridge, U.K., was the first speaker. He echoed remarks he had made in the magazine New Scientist, saying:
“Simple-minded analysis might suggest that water, being a fluid, it cannot have a structure of the kind that such a picture would demand. But cases such as that of liquid crystals, which while flowing like an ordinary fluid can maintain an ordered structure over macroscopic distances, show the limitations of such ways of thinking.
There have not, to the best of my knowledge, been any refutations of homeopathy that remain valid after this particular point is taken into account.”
Josephson powerfully critiqued generally accepted theories of how biomolecules react with their substrates. Conventionally, these are thought to “match” like a lock and a key, but only when they are in direct physical contact. Not so, says Josephson.
Like his famous predecessor, Jacques Benveniste (who Josephson hosted at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory back in March 1999), he argues that they can “communicate” over some distance long before they come together, and that such interactions are best described by quantum theory and electromagnetic signaling.
Josephson also lambasted those scientists who demand that homeopathic medicines need to get “chemically analyzed.” He asserted that applying chemical analysis to homeopathic remedies will tell you no more about their properties than applying chemical analysis to a CD will tell you what music is on it. Chemical analysis is too limited a tool for either.
Further, Josephson went on to show some remarkably beautiful photos and videos that provide powerful evidence of how hypersensitive water is to sound. Using an impressive new technology called cymascopy (developed by acoustics engineer John Stuart Reid), 12 Josephson was able to demonstrate the incredible influence sound has on water using this technology, producing stunning dynamic wave patterns in water that follow changes in a sound’s pitch. 13
This video shows dramatically how the dynamic structure of water changes as music is played. And for this to occur, there has to be an ordering of molecules within the water to give it that dynamic structure, what is commonly referred to as a “memory.”
“Such is life,” Josephson concluded. “Order arises spontaneously. Creation of order (ordering) is a part of nature. Order includes disorder (fluctuations), so order requires order to be present. With crystals, the order is static; with life it is dynamic. There we have ordering within activity. Up until now, our present understanding of all this is qualitative and limited, but this must be the next step for science.”
Finally, Josephson wryly responded to the chronic ignorance of homeopathy by its skeptics saying, “The idea that water can have a memory can be readily refuted by any one of a number of easily understood, invalid arguments.” Physical Properties of Aqueous Systems
Next to speak was Vladimir Voeikov from the Lomonosov Moscow State University in Russia. A world expert on the chemical and physical properties of aqueous systems and their key role in the vital processes of living systems, Voeikov also took aim at critics who scoff at homeopathy’s plausibility.
He then launched into a description of the extensive and highly detailed work on the biological effects of ultrahigh dilutions (or UHDs) that has been ongoing in Russia since the 1980s.
One of the unfortunate side effects of the perennial distrust existing between Russia and the West has been access to research like this, mainly because it has appeared only in Russian (i.e., Cyrillic) journals. Consequently, Voeikov had a lot of ground to make up — which he did in no uncertain terms!
And, much to the audience’s surprise, it turns out that Benveniste (who in 1988 was so pilloried by scientists, skeptics and the journal Nature, his reputation was trashed and he lost his laboratories and his funding) was by no means the first to suggest that solutions diluted and strongly agitated to the point where there couldn’t possibly be any molecules of the original substance left could still exert biological effects.
Delving back into the literature, it had been announced around a century before Benveniste. In 1955, a review had already been published into the action of UHDs.
Drawing on his and his Russian colleagues’ work, Voeikov concluded that conventional ideas of how water dissolves substances is actually incorrect. Until now, when something dissolves in water, its particles were thought to be randomly distributed throughout the solvent. As the solution is continually diluted, these particles simply reduce in number until at a certain dilution (known as the Avogadro limit) they disappear completely.
Consequently, if a solution is diluted beyond this limit, as there are apparently no particles left, such UHDs cannot possibly exert any effects, let alone on biological systems. Therefore, homeopathy (which sometimes uses dilutions of substances way beyond the Avogadro limit) must be complete bunkum. So much for conventional thinking.
What Voeikov and his colleagues have shown time and again is that the process of homeopathic dilution and agitation, even down past the Avogadro limit (so that no particles are supposed to still be present), does NOT get rid of all the dissolved substance.
Instead, microscopically tiny “clumps” of the dissolved substance — known as nanoassociates — remain behind and these are biologically active. What’s more, various analytical techniques can be used to track these nanoassociates, and they affect water in many ways that make it different from pure water, e.g., electrical conductivity and surface tension. So, a solution diluted and agitated beyond the Avogadro limit is anything but pure water. Nanoassociates Violate Conventional Laws of Behavior
If that wasn’t enough, Voeikov and his colleagues have shown that so-called ordinary solutions — the kind that we make up every day and that have not been sequentially diluted and agitated as homeopaths do — also contain nanoassociates, violating what has for years been understood as “laws of behavior” prescribed in standard textbooks on aqueous solutions.
So, not only are all those skeptics and naysayers going to have to get used to homeopathic dilutions and their effects being real, they will have to completely reassess their understanding of what happens when ANY substance is dissolved in water. Those whose solemn duty it is to rewrite textbooks are going to have a field day!
Barely able to catch our breath, we were then treated to one of the most inspirational talks of the whole conference, delivered by Jerry Pollack, Ph.D., professor of bioengineering at Seattle’s University of Washington. Pollack is probably best known for his 2014 book, “The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor,” in which he outlines in highly readable terms some of his and his team’s amazing discoveries about water. Exclusion Zone Water May Have Significant Implications for Homeopathy
Chiefly, these concern what happens to water when it is in contact with a surface, e.g., a membrane. And for any doubting Thomas out there we should point out that Pollack’s amazing discoveries about water have been independently verified many times.
It turns out that the water molecules closest to the membrane surface form an almost crystalline alignment that has the effect of excluding any dissolved particles in the water. And these exclusion zones — or EZs, as they are called — have properties that are totally different from the bulk water, and whose consequences will have profound effects not only on our understanding of water, but how we use it.
For example, depending on the nature of the membrane surface, charge separation occurs between the EZ layer and the bulk water phase. Pollack showed us how this phenomenon could be used, not only to produce an incredibly simple battery powered only by radiant energy, but how it could be the basis of a water desalination system. At the moment, this last application would need to be scaled up before it could be of any practical use, but if it could, there must surely be a Nobel Prize in the offing.
In addition, bearing in mind that blood is mainly water being pumped through tubes of biological membranes, Pollack suggested that the same charge-separating mechanism that powered his radiant energy battery might also assist in pushing our blood through narrow vessels far removed from the pumping action of the heart. If so, such a discovery will have huge ramifications for our understanding of physiology.
It turns out that Pollack’s semi-crystalline EZs cannot only be separated, they are able to electromagnetically store information in their molecular structure. And, as the preparation of homeopathic remedies also involves water solutions in contact with surfaces, it is quite feasible his new EZ discoveries will have a huge impact on our understanding of water memory and homeopathy.
In fact, Pollack asserts that water has a HUGE capacity to store information. Further, he notes that homeopathic process of succussion (vigorous shaking of water in glass) creates increased avenues for EZ water that then creates increased water storage. Classic Homeopathic Methods Optimize Storage of Information in Water
The founder of homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), was both a physician and the author of a leading textbook for pharmacists of his day. His many experiments attempting to reduce the harmful side effects of medicinal substances, led him to a method of dilution and agitation which homeopaths use till this day.
Intriguingly, what the new science presented at this conference is telling us is that Hahnemann’s method seems to optimize storage of medicinal information within the very structure of water itself! Even after more than 200 years, Hahnemann’s discovery of homeopathy and his contributions to medicine and pharmacology are still being uncovered.
Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier was introduced to homeopathy and homeopathic research by Benveniste. In a remarkable interview published in Science magazine of December 24, 2010, 14 Montagnier expressed support for the often maligned and misunderstood medical specialty of homeopathic medicine.
“What I can say now is that the high dilutions (used in homeopathy) are right. High dilutions of something are not nothing. They are water structures which mimic the original molecules.”
Montagnier concluded the interview when asked if he is concerned that he is drifting into pseudoscience. He replied adamantly: “No, because it’s not pseudoscience. It’s not quackery. These are real phenomena which deserve further study.” ‘Teleportation’ Effects
Montagnier’s study found that under the right conditions electromagnetic signals can be transmitted from test tubes containing a highly diluted DNA sample to a different test tube containing only water, and that when enzymes which copy DNA molecules are then added to this water, they behave as if DNA molecules are present, producing new DNA molecules. 15
This “teleportation” effect of the DNA, from one test tube to another was found to occur only when the homeopathic procedure of sequential dilution, with vigorous shaking of the test tube, was utilized. Also, Montagnier cowrote with several highly-respected scientists another article that was published in a leading scientific journal. 16 This article posits quantum effects beyond simple chemistry.
Montagnier’s studies found that highly diluted DNA from pathogenic bacterial and viral species is able to emit specific radio waves and that “these radio waves [are] associated with ‘nanostructures’ in the solution that might be able to recreate the pathogen.”
A writer for New Scientist magazine has asserted that, if its conclusions are true, “these would be the most significant experiments performed in the past 90 years, demanding reevaluation of the whole conceptual framework of modern chemistry.” 17
While Montagnier’s work shows the influence of electromagnetic fields having a biological effect, other researchers at the conference found that nanodoses of the original homeopathic medicine persists in water solutions. Jayesh Bellare of the prestigious India Institute of Technology described his seminal research that was published in Langmuir, a highly-respected journal published by the American Chemistry Society. 18
Bellare and his colleagues found that six different homeopathic medicines, all made from minerals (gold, silver, copper, tin, zinc and platinum), that were diluted 1-to-100, six times, 30 times and 200 times, were each found in nanodoses from one of three different types of spectroscopy.
Bellare and his team explained that homeopathic medicines are usually made in glass bottles, and the vigorous shaking of the water in these bottles releases nanosized fragments of silica from the glass walls, and the substance being made into a medicine is literally pushed into these floating silica “chips.”
Then, when 99 percent of the water is poured out, the silica chips cling to the glass walls. The scientists found each of the six minerals persisting in the water no matter how many times they diluted the medicine. When one considers that many of the most important hormones and cell-signaling agents of the body operate at nanodose levels, the nanodoses found in homeopathic medicines may explain how these medicines work.
Still further, the fact that nanodoses are much more able to cross the blood-brain-barrier as well as most cell membranes provides additional insight into how and why homeopathic nanodoses can elicit significant and powerful immune responses from the body. Afterword: Stop Press!
The day after Ullman’s interview with Dr. Joseph Mercola, a very important study on homeopathy was published on the website of one of the world’s leading scientific journals, Nature.
Nature.com just published a collection of studies that tested different homeopathic potencies of Rhus toxicodendron (also known as Rhus tox and Toxicodendron pubescens), including 2X, 4X, 6X, 8X, 12X, 24X and 30X in the treatment of neuropathy in rats. 19
Previous research had found that Rhus toxicodendron has significant anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and immunomodulatory activities. This new research evaluated antinociceptive (pain-reducing) efficacy of Rhus tox in the neuropathic pain and delineated its underlying mechanism. More specifically, this research found that this homeopathic medicine showed significant antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.
This study found that homeopathic doses of Rhus tox 24X and 30X had dramatic effects that equaled the results from a known conventional drug, Gabapentin, and did so in much safer doses. Conventional scientists have consistently asserted that these extremely small doses of homeopathic medicines could not have ANY effects, but this study, like an increasing number of other such studies, has proven conventional scientists are wrong.
The above described study didn’t investigate the influence of water in its study, but it did confirm that homeopathic nanodoses can have powerful biological and clinical effects. Dedication
This article is dedicated to Dr. Peter Fisher, the now-late physician to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. A graduate of University of Cambridge and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Faculty of Homeopathy, he was a widely published expert in rheumatology and forms of complementary and alternative medicine.
Fisher chaired the World Health Organization’s working group on homeopathy and was a member of WHO’s Expert Advisory Panel on Traditional and Complementary Medicine. He served as clinical director for 18 years and director of research at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (formerly the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital) for 22 years.
He was also president of the Faculty of Homeopathy and editor-in-chief of the journal Homeopathy (the leading research journal in the field). Fisher was awarded the Polish Academy of Medicine’s Albert Schweitzer Gold Medal in 2007. Fisher also served as moderator for the second half of the homeopathic research conference discussed in this article.
Besides all of his academic achievements, Fisher had a wicked, dry, even very dry, British sense of humor. He was known to provide scathing critiques of the many uninformed and ill-informed skeptics of homeopathy whose criticisms of homeopathy simply proved their sheer ignorance of the subject. Sadly, August 15, 2018, Fisher was riding his bicycle in London on “drive your bike to work day,” and was hit by a truck and killed.
Dana Ullman, MPH, CCH , is a certified homeopath who has written 10 books on homeopathy and four chapters in medical textbooks, and who has published 40 books on homeopathy by his colleagues (co-published with North Atlantic Books). He directs Homeopathic Educational Services, a leading homeopathic resource center to help people access homeopathic books, medicines, software and e-courses ( www.homeopathic.com ).
He has also created a special e-course on “Learning to Use a Homeopathic Medicine Kit” (details at https://homeopathicfamilymedicine.com/ ). He also maintains a homeopathic practice where he “sees” most of his patients via Skype, various video apps, or the simple telephone.
Lionel R Milgrom, Ph.D. FRSC FRSA MARH RHom is a registered homeopath who has been a research chemist for 40 years (cofounder of a university anticancer biotech spin-out company) with many publications and a text book to his credit. He has been a practicing homeopath for 20 years.
His main research interest these days is in the understanding of homeopathy within both scientific and philosophical contexts, and has published extensively in these areas. He has also published the first volume of an e-book trilogy, “Homeopathy and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed.” 0
‘I Don’t Think People Will Be Looking for a Democratic Version of Trump’ – POLITICO Magazine
Subscribe to Off Message on Apple Podcasts here . | Subscribe via Stitcher here . David Axelrod doesn’t like the path the country—or the Democratic Party—is on.
The chief strategist who steered Barack Obama’s winning White House campaigns worries that President Donald Trump has laid a trap—and that his party is walking right into it. “Escalation breeds escalation,” Axelrod said in an interview for POLITICO’s Off Message podcast. “And within the Democratic Party, I think there is a big debate about how to deal with Trump because he has no boundaries. He’s willing to do anything and say anything to promote his interests. It’s a values-free politics; it’s an amoral politics. And so, there is this body of thought that you have to fight fire with fire and so on. But I worry that we’ll all be consumed in the conflagration.”
Stressing that “civility actually is a really important element of politics,” Axelrod criticized Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Eric Holder for recent comments they’ve made, and described the backlash he has faced for urging Democrats to avoid confrontation. The best way to defeat Trump, Axelrod argued, is by nominating someone who can appeal to an exhausted electorate.
“I don’t think people will be looking for a Democratic version of Trump,” he said. “I don’t think they’ll be looking for people who can go jibe for jibe and low blow for low blow. I think people are going to be looking for someone who can pull this country out of this hothouse that we’re in.”
At his offices in Chicago, where he directs the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, we discussed Axelrod’s predictions for the midterm elections, the risk of overreach with a new House majority, and the strengths and vulnerabilities of the top-tier 2020 Democratic hopefuls.
This transcript has been edited for length, readability and clarity.
ALBERTA: We had a string of bomb threats [last] week. Your former boss, President Obama, was one target, and your current employer, CNN, was another one. I just wonder where you see the country now in terms of the escalating polarization that we’ve been witnessing, and if there’s any way to bring the temperature down?
AXELROD: I think that what we’ve discovered is that there is political capital in polarization; there’s political capital in incitement. The president’s a master at it. But there are also consequences to that. We’re a country of 330 million people, and there are people out there whose violent inclinations are going to be activated by what they hear. And so, the question is whether the country itself demands something different.
I know it is unpopular to say this among some of my own friends, but escalation breeds escalation, and one of the things that troubles me—civility actually is a really important element of politics. We’ve had uncivil times before. We’ve had civil war, so it’s not like this is new to American politics, but we need to somehow find some common qualities in each other, common concerns that join us as Americans and we have to stop this mad cycle. I’ve been very critical of the president because I think he has incited and encouraged violence through his rhetoric. You know, people tweeted back to me and said, “Well, do you still think we should be civil?” and I’m trying to understand what that means. Does that mean that if they send out bombs, we should send out bombs? That, to me, is a mad cycle that leads only to really dark places.
ALBERTA: To your point about escalation begetting escalation, Hillary Clinton came under fire recently for her comment that Democrats cannot be civil with Republicans right now.
AXELROD: I think she rightly came out after she and President Clinton were the target of this attempted bombing, and said, ‘We need to come together as a country.’ But you know, you can’t say in one week, ‘We should be uncivil,’ and then the next week say, ‘Come together.’ We need to have a consistent commitment to that. And within the Democratic Party, I think there is a big debate about how to deal with Trump because he has no boundaries. He’s willing to do anything and say anything to promote his interests. It’s a values-free politics; it’s an amoral politics. And so there is this body of thought that you have to fight fire with fire and so on. But I worry that we’ll all be consumed in the conflagration.
ALBERTA: So, here we are on the doorstep of the midterm elections, and for first-term presidents, the first midterm historically is always a little bit rocky. You lived through one of those back in 2010. Sorry to remind you.
AXELROD: Yes, rocky would be an understatement. I was completely drowned by the wave in 2010.
ALBERTA: You knew that it was going to be a rough year; you knew Democrats were probably going to lose the House. But how surprised were you and the president at just how big that wave wound up being?
AXELROD: I told President-elect Obama—we had a briefing on December 16, it was so searing, I’ll never forget the date—at our transition office, where we got briefed on the state of the economy. And it wasn’t pervasively known just how severe the crisis was at that moment; it really was in the next few weeks and months that the depths of it became completely clear. And I walked out of that briefing and I said, ‘We are going to get our asses kicked in the midterms.’ It was just unavoidable. The depths of it were—I wouldn’t say surprising, but depressing. Clearly, the margin was. I always say, we lost 63, but Roosevelt lost 78 in 1938, so we did better than Roosevelt.
ALBERTA: 2018 has been a roller coaster of an election cycle—Democrats are poised to take back the House, but Republicans are playing on such a favorable Senate map. From 30,000 feet, fill in this blank: The smartest thing Democrats have done in this cycle, strategically, is what?
AXELROD: I think the smartest thing has been to generally talk about issues that actually touch people’s lives, like health care, which I think has been a really galvanic issue for a lot of candidates out there. Back in 2010, Republicans ran against the Affordable Care Act, and that was central to everything they did. Now, they’re trying to run toward at least the principle of it, and even though they don’t have a plausible plan to protect people with pre-existing conditions, I think they now understand that the Affordable Care Act has spoken to real-life concerns of people.
ALBERTA: And from a strategic standpoint, what is the smartest thing you have seen Republicans do in this cycle?
AXELROD: I’ve thought one of the most interesting hinge moments in this race has been around the Kavanaugh hearings. Midday after Dr. [Christine Blasey] Ford testified, it looked like a disaster for Republicans, and they made a decision—and I think it was a decision the president was involved in, and McConnell and others—that they were going to go tribal on the thing, and by the afternoon, that’s when they started talking about Democratic mobs, Democratic tactics, and making it a test of sort of party loyalty. They needed to light a tribal fire. What happens in midterm elections often is that the party in power—the voters of the party in power become complacent. And I think the president, by blowing out that issue in ways that I think were unfortunate—this caravan arrived at just the perfect time for him, because immigration is a hot-button issue for his voters. So, I think that’s why, as we sit here today, they’re sending troops to the border. They’re doing everything they can.
ALBERTA: So, look into your crystal ball. You feel as though the Senate is probably out of reach, but do Democrats take back the House? And if so, by what margin?
AXELROD: I’ve always thought that Democrats will take the House back. I’ve always thought that 30 seats would be a good showing. On the average, the party out of power wins 32 seats. Given everything—all of the sort of structural obstacles because of redistricting—30 seats would be an accomplishment. I still think they’re going to land in that zone, and I don’t think it’s likely to go much higher. I think the Senate—I’ve said from the beginning that if Democrats could hold the margin at 51-49, given the historic obstacles they face, that would be an accomplishment. It may be that Republicans add a seat or two.
There are a couple of other storylines I’d watch on election night. One is governorships. I think Democrats are going to take a significant number of statehouses, which is not inconsequential going into both the presidential election and redistricting. So, you look at states—including Florida and a crescent from Kansas to Iowa across the Midwest all the way to Pennsylvania—and I think Democrats are going to make some significant gains in governorships. And the last part of that storyline is, when you consider the states that delivered the presidency to Trump—Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania—you’ve got incumbent Democratic senators up in all of those states. I think it’s more likely than not that every one of those senators is going to be reelected, and that you’re going to see governorship[s] shift in several of those states.
So, I think that should be a sobering result for the White House and for Republicans, and it has some augurings for 2020.
ALBERTA: There are two big questions looming, and they’re interconnected, if in fact Democrats take back the House. The first pertains to the danger of Democratic overreach; the second pertains to who is the leader of the Democratic Party. Take the second part first: Many Democrats across the country have said they will not vote for Nancy Pelosi. But if Democrats do take control of the House, do you think Pelosi becomes speaker?
AXELROD: I worked with Nancy Pelosi when I was in the White House. Much of what was accomplished would not have been accomplished without her, because she is a tough, canny, effective leader of the caucus. I think she will have a strong sense of where she is, and I would never bet against her in an internal vote. I also don’t think that Democratic members are going to deliver the leadership of the House to the Republican Party. That said, I think it’s not entirely clear what’s going to happen, and it’s not clear who the alternative is going to be. A secret ballot is a treacherous path. So, we’ll see. That will certainly be an interesting story. One thing I would say is that there’s no doubt that if Pelosi survives, she’s going to have to make accommodations to these younger members who are restive. You’ve got three leaders who are all in their upper-70s, and there’s a restlessness among members to shake up the dynamic there and advance some of the younger members.
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ALBERTA: And what about the risk of overreach? Do you see any danger for Democrats if they take back the House and there’s a push toward impeachment, or they go too far with their oversight? How do they thread that needle?
AXELROD: Well, look, there was talk of impeachment almost after Trump got elected. I’ve been opposed to that. Every political norm that you break, process norm that you break, it’s very hard to put that genie back in the bottle. And my argument was that impeachment can’t be a political tool, even though it is to some degree. But it hasn’t been invoked very often, and it ought to be on solid grounds, and there’s a probe going on that will yield some information and judgments, and people ought to act on the basis of that.
I have to tell you, Bob Mueller was the FBI director when I was in the White House. I was in a couple of meetings with him, and I never said a word in those, frankly, because he scared the shit out of me. I mean, he is the portrait of rectitude. And I’ve told Democrats, ‘Look, if Bob Mueller comes back and says there’s nothing there, then I’m willing to say I believe that, because I know that he’ll have been thorough in his investigation. But if he comes back with something that is damning, then I think Democrats have an obligation to act.’
And likewise, I think that the complete absence of oversight in the first two years of the Trump administration has been a dereliction on the part of Republicans; they simply won’t do it. Oversight is necessary, it’s part of the job of Congress, and there are egregious things that are happening that need to be looked into. But in each and every case, it ought to be done on the premise of sound evidence, and not just for malicious purposes or malicious mischief—like the sort we saw under the Obama administration when the Republicans took control of the Congress. The real danger for the country is this sense of a kind of bloodless coup, or that the system isn’t legitimate, and so on. As people who believe in government and the importance of government, Democrats need to proceed in a way that is respectful of the process, even if the president is not.
ALBERTA: Looking to 2020, it’s very possible that Trump has maxed-out his base. You were referencing in the Midwest earlier, for all the talk of how Trump may have redrawn the electoral map in some sort of a durable way, the fact is that Mitt Romney won more votes in Wisconsin in 2012 than Trump did in 2016. So if the Democratic base is mobilized—and we’re certainly seeing that in this election cycle—then you would have to think the president would need to do something to expand upon his existing coalition, if he’s going to be reelected.
AXELROD: You would think so. You know, you’re always tenuous in betting on things relative to Trump because he’s so audacious that you just don’t know, but, yes, I mean, I think that he pulled an inside straight in 2016, and he hasn’t done that much to change his cards, so he may have to pull another inside straight. And when you look at how competitive the races are in the states in which he won the election and how Democrats—you know, we’ll see. We could be sitting here on November 7, having a different conversation. But if the results are what they look to be, I think it’s an important harbinger for him that Republicans just didn’t do well in those states that delivered the presidency to him.
ALBERTA: Before we get deeper into 2020, let’s clear the air first: Could you see yourself working for any of these prospective 2020 candidates? Are you informally advising anyone?
AXELROD: Well, people come to me for advice all the time. I think I’ve talked to, you know, a dozen people who are running for president, and, you know, Republicans come under the dark of night and talk to me as well. But look, I said when the 2012 campaign was over that that was my last campaign. I run the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago. It is a joy, and it’s a thing that keeps me hopeful every day. I have my duties at CNN, I have my podcast, and that’s what I expect I’ll be doing throughout 2020. I can see no set of circumstances under which I’d be working for any candidate. So consider the air cleared.
ALBERTA: And you reached the mountaintop twice with Barack Obama. When you look at the potential class of 2020 Democratic candidates, are there people you look at in whom you see that same flicker, that same raw political potential that could be harnessed in the way that you saw it in Obama all those years ago?
AXELROD: That’s unfair. That’s like saying, ‘Well, which of these horses reminds you of Secretariat?’ People should forget about that. There’s not going to be a Barack Obama every four years. But there are talented people out there and formidable people.
There are the obvious. I mean, the vice president is out there, very seasoned, very talented, but then there are people who are less known. Mitch Landrieu, former mayor of New Orleans, has political chops that are really prodigious, and we saw that when he spoke to the removal of the monuments in New Orleans. He’s a very talented person. It’s been written and it’s no secret that Deval Patrick was a client of mine; he’s a friend of mine. And I saw him in Massachusetts go from an asterisk to kind of storm the Democratic field when he got elected governor of Massachusetts. And he has formidable skills that I don’t think people recognize because they haven’t observed him as closely as I have, but if he were to spend a year in Iowa, I suspect he’d make a lot of friends there, as he did in Massachusetts. And then you have this bevy of senators. And someone we’re not thinking about may emerge.
But I don’t think people will be looking for a Democratic version of Trump. I don’t think they’ll be looking for people who can go jibe for jibe and low blow for low blow. I think people are going to be looking for someone who can pull this country out of this hothouse that we’re in.
ALBERTA: So Michael Avenatti is not your personal choice for the Democratic nomination?
AXELROD: No. I know Avenatti. I’ve met him in greenrooms, and we’ve had conversations and so on, so, but I disagree with him. And I disagree with my friend Eric Holder when he said, “When they go low, we kick them.” I think we should challenge them, but I think the country is not looking for a continuation of the rancor that we’ve seen with Trump every single day. I mean, and there are a lot of people who voted for Trump or a significant number of people who voted for Trump because they didn’t like Hillary Clinton, because they thought Washington needed a kick in the ass and that he could deliver that. But it’s also true that he’s exhausting.
I mean, this constant state of churning and combat and insults and so on, they’re exhausting. I think one mistake the Democrats should not make is to, in combatting Trump, assume that everybody who voted for him should be disqualified as well.
ALBERTA: What you’re saying is that a Democrat in 2020 should not just be looking at this as a base-mobilization campaign, but that there should be persuasion involved?
AXELROD: I believe that. And this is a big debate. And I understand the debate, because the demographics are such that they would argue that if Hillary Clinton had just mobilized, for example, African-American voters in [Detroit] or Milwaukee, that she would have won those states. And, you know, I think that the two are not mutually exclusive. First of all, I think Donald Trump is going to mobilize base voters all by himself. I don’t think you need to gild the lily; I don’t think you need to help that process along. But there are voters who are going to be important in some of these swing states who are open to voting for a Democrat, but aren’t necessarily eager to continue this kind of poisonous politics we’ve seen. And they need to be given something more.
ALBERTA: One person who’s drawn comparison to Barack Obama is Beto O’Rourke, and there’s an emerging narrative that even if he loses the Texas Senate race, he would be positioned as a top-tier Democratic candidate in 2020. How difficult is it, in your view, to come off of a losing campaign and yet still launch into a viable campaign for the presidency?
Meet the Next Ted Cruz By TIM ALBERTA
AXELROD: You know, I don’t know, because he has a national following among young people. I sat with a group of young people the other day, really well-connected, smart, young people who said, ‘Well, if he comes close, he’s got to turn around and run for president.’ I mean, he has touched a lot of people, so I’m sure there will be a lot of pressure on him to think about it, if in fact that race is close in Texas. If he gets blown out, I think it’s much harder, but he’s raised a prodigious amount of money.
ALBERTA: Let’s talk about another progressive hero, Elizabeth Warren, who’s been in the news quite a bit recently with the release of the DNA findings. What do you make of that?
AXELROD: Yeah, let me say that of all the people who are running that I can see from my perspective—and I don’t have visibility into everything everybody is doing—there isn’t anybody who had done more to position themselves for 2020 than she had up to that point. You know, I’ve talked to a bunch of candidates who said, ‘You wouldn’t believe who called me on election night. Like, the first call I got was from Elizabeth Warren,’ winners and losers. And she has a full staff going just to service 2018 candidates and provide assistance in whatever way they need it. That’s shrewd. I mean, she’s laid out some policy positions on reform, for example, that are shrewd positions, important positions. I’ve been impressed by that.
That [DNA test release] was a head-scratcher. I mean, it was a gamble. First of all, the timing of it was odd: Why intrude on this midterm process that way? Secondly, it was instructive for everyone. It’s hard to get the upper hand with Trump in a kind of skunk fight. And I think she was trying to push back because she didn’t want to have him continue on what is another version of, like, birtherism, and she thought she could end that discussion. But what she mostly did was elevate the issue, and that was the gamble. And I would say they lost that gamble.
ALBERTA: Let’s close with a lightning round. I will name a prospective Democratic presidential candidate, and I want you to concisely analyze their greatest strength and greatest vulnerability. First: Kamala Harris.
AXELROD: Well, she’s very, very bright, and I think she makes a really great presentation. Her disadvantage is she can be cautious, and she comes from California, which is not a great training ground for presidential candidates because you never really have to meet a voter; it’s just too big a state, so it’s all TV. And you don’t really have a genuine general election, so adjusting to a national context is going to be hard for her, and she’s briefly on the national scene. But she is promising.
ALBERTA: Bernie Sanders.
AXELROD: Well, Bernie is what Bernie is. His strength is that he’s been saying the same thing for 50 years; he’s utterly authentic; he’s fearless. The downside is that he’s been saying the same thing for 50 years, that he’s been around 50 years to say the same things, and that he can be a little brittle and unyielding. But, you know, he is kind of a remarkable figure in our politics.
ALBERTA: Julián Castro.
AXELROD: Yeah, Julián Castro is someone I know. Full disclosure: he’s been on the board of my Institute of Politics. I like him a lot. He is smart; he is earnest, very thoughtful, and a fresh face. Obviously, he is Hispanic and he has a base, potentially, among those voters but not limited to it. The downside is he has run for mayor of San Antonio, he’s been in the cabinet, but never been exposed to the national scene. And I’ll leave it there, but I think highly of him.
ALBERTA: A dark horse for me: Amy Klobuchar.
AXELROD: Yeah, well, she is also very, very bright. She can be more nuanced than some of the candidates. I mean, she knows—she has a range, so she doesn’t get to 11 on a scale of 10 on every issue, but is thoughtful about them. And she’s got a great sense of humor, which is useful. And she’s from Minnesota, which borders on Iowa, which is, I think, very helpful. The downside is she hasn’t made herself as well-known as some of her Senate colleagues. Sometimes being more vituperative is also a benefit, at least in the short run, in terms of raising money online and doing those kinds of things. So the question is—and it’s true of Castro as well—is she too low key? But certainly someone to watch.
ALBERTA: Pete Buttigieg.
AXELROD: Yeah, also a friend of mine, so more full disclosure. And, look, I know all these folks and like them. But, look, Pete is a remarkable guy, incredible story, you know, elected mayor of South Bend at 27, went to Afghanistan while he was mayor to do a tour of duty because he was in the reserves, came back. He disclosed to his constituents that he’s gay, you know, in South Bend, Indiana—the home of Notre Dame, in the center of the Rust Belt—got 80 percent of the vote and in his reelect. And as mayor, has had a real vision for how you rebuild an economy in the digital age in a Rust Belt city. He’s got a lot of upside. I thought that he would be a great chairman of the Democratic Party when he ran for that. The downside is he’s in his 30s and he’s not at all well-known—raising the money, that’s an issue. I mean, I think it’s going to take $100 [million] to $150 million to get through the first four contests and beyond in this cycle, and so that would be challenging for him. But he’s one of the most promising young leaders in the Democratic Party.
ALBERTA: Kirsten Gillibrand.
AXELROD: Well, she has an instinct for issues that motivate, and on the whole #MeToo issue she has been very much identified with it, both in terms of the dealing with assaults on women within the military and on the issue more broadly. I think the downside of her is that there are some people who feel that she has been exploitative at times on that issue, and there’s some rancor, I think, among some Democrats about how she handled the Franken issue, and she’d have to deal with that.
ALBERTA: Who else should we be talking about?
AXELROD: Terry McAuliffe. He is relentless. He is uncowed. And he could probably strike a tone that would be interesting against Trump, you know, pairing him with kind of humor. And he’s got a pretty good story to tell from Virginia. The downside is he’s been so thoroughly identified with the Clinton Project for so long, and I don’t know that that would be viewed as advantageous. And he is avowedly a centrist, and he would be testing that premise that the party is not going to nominate a white, male centrist.
You know, Governor Hickenlooper from Colorado. He’s an interesting guy. He’s a quirky communicator. And whether he can conform to an environment in which one has to express oneself more pithily than I am right now, I don’t know, but he’s an interesting guy.
There are others. Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington has talked about running. Steve Bullock appears to be running, the governor of Montana. And then there are the outsiders. You know, the Howard Schultzes, for example. We haven’t talked about Mike Bloomberg, you know, people who can bring great resources to this. So I think this is a wide-open situation.
ALBERTA: I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you, after mentioning all those names, about Joe Biden. What does your gut tell you? Do you think he runs?
AXELROD: He sure seems to be headed in that direction. You know, I think two things. One is I think he’s genuinely offended by the way Trump is governing and not governing, the way he is dividing the country. That seems clear. It’s also true that this is a guy who has been talked about as a presidential nominee since the time he arrived in the Senate in 1973. He has run twice before. He knows the job as well as anybody. He really was an important counselor to President Obama, and he had 35—whatever number of years in the Senate.
And so it’s hard to say, “No, I don’t think so. I’m going to pass on this one.” I think he feels he would have won last time if he had been the nominee. I think there are a lot of things that are pulling him in that direction. There may be personal things that are pulling him in the other. That’s a commitment, and the question is whether, at the end of the day, he wants to make it, but right now, I would guess he is running.