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Member since: 2002
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Major economic threat to Russian oil oligarchs - will have repurcussions.

Every year, some 150 million tons of Russia's crude and petroleum products pass through the Straits of Bosphorus waterway. By that I refer to that section of the Bosphorus River, which bisects the city of Istanbul (population 15 million). The Bosphorus Strait connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara & the Aegean Sea - i.e., the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. All these names mean squat to the vast majority of geographically challenged Americans, right? But freedom to navigate these Turkish waters is absolutely vital to Russia's economic interests. Putin played with fire when he started this mess by detaining commercial ships flying the Turkish flag, thereby dragging commercial interests into his military machinations.

I've been fortunate enough to spend time in Istanbul, including a day spent taking a ferry through the Bosphorus Strait and up & down the river. It is striking to be on a waterway where one shore is in Europe and the other in Asia. The internationally vital waterway was jammed with shipping. For example:
Reduced visibility due to poor weather in the winter frequently requires maritime officials to shut the Bosphorus, disrupting the flow of Russian oil and grain to world markets.


The Bosphorus (/ˈbɒsfərəs/) or Bosporus (/ˈbɒspərəs/; Ancient Greek: Βόσπορος, Bósporos; Turkish: Boğaziçi) is a natural strait and internationally-significant waterway located in northwestern Turkey that forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, and separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey. The world's narrowest strait used for international navigation, the Bosporus connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and, by extension, via the Dardanelles, the Aegean, and Mediterranean Seas.

As part of the only passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the Bosphorus has always been of great importance from a commercial and military point of view, and remains strategically important today. It is a major sea access route for numerous countries, including Russia and Ukraine. Control over it has been an objective of a number of hostilities in modern history, notably the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78), as well as of the attack of the Allied Powers on the Dardanelles during the 1915 Battle of Gallipoli in the course of World War I.

Turkey joined NATO in 1952, thus affording its straits even more strategic importance as a commercial and military waterway.

In more recent years, the Turkish Straits have become particularly important for the oil industry. Russian oil, from ports such as Novorossyisk, is exported by tankers primarily to western Europe and the U.S. via the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles straits.

Over Two Million and Five Thousand Campaign Contribs. to BERNIE!



Clintons edging closer to offering Ginzu knives for contributions.

Yup, folk$! It's bargain time at the Clinton fundrai$er$. Y'all recall they started out with the Conversations With Hillary - the prices were $1000 to walk in the door; $2700 for a quickie, cattle-call photo with Hill, and $10,000 got you listed as a co-sponsor. First the $10,000 level fell by the way side. Then the minimum admission price dropped to $500.

Next, they scheduled Bill for 20 fundraisers in the month of December. Low, low turnouts! He was scheduled for 3 in one day, across the state of Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh - embarassingly low turnout; Bethlehem - cancelled with no explanation; Scranton - crickets/silence.
Bottom line, campaign money for Hillary is drying up in the critical state of Pennsylvania.

See details here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/128082298

So now, they're pushing Chelsea front and center, cause she's supposed to appeal to the younger voters, right?
Chelsea Clinton will headline a "Family Holiday Celebration With Hillary and Chelsea" on December 17 in New York, the first fundraiser to include the former first daughter as a headlining speaker.

Yup, folk$ get out your checkbook$ for a family holiday celebration, that'$ Clinton $tyle! Then it's on to 2 fundraisers in Boston, and voila! Price$ $lashed Yet Again!!!! Younger (& middle-aged) voters are like struggling with like mountains of like student loan debts. Hey, no problem, just drop the price to $250! That will make them stop whining and line up at the door!
At the fundraisers Chelsea is hosting in Boston, attendees will be asked to contribute $250, $500 or $1,000. Though events hosted by Hillary Clinton personally vary in entry cost, attendees are usually asked to raise larger amounts, and regularly require a contribution of $2,700 to attend.

Panicked? They lined up Bill for 20 fund-raisers in December alone.

And that has proven disappointing - of 3 appearances in the same day in Pennsylvania - one was very low turnout, the next one was cancelled with no explanation, and I haven't heard any great stuff about the 3rd one. Here's more detail: http://www.democraticunderground.com/128082298

These were the $500 minimum to be in the same overly large room with Bill, and for $2700 you got a quickie, cattle call photo with him. The lack of response indicates that financial support for Hillary is drying up in the critical state of Pennsylvania.

Wonder what the charge will be to attend Chelsea's gatherings.

Added on edit: the only 3 events detailed in the OP link are all fund-raisers. Yet Chelsea is supposedly going to attract the youth vote. Get a clue, campaign managers - young voters do not have $500-$2700 to shell out.

Clinton will headline two campaign fundraisers in January, according to the source. These events will not include her mother, marking the first time Chelsea Clinton will venture onto the 2016 campaign trial without her.

Chelsea Clinton will headline a "Family Holiday Celebration With Hillary and Chelsea" on December 17 in New York, the first fundraiser to include the former first daughter as a headlining speaker.
Yup, folk$ get out your checkbook$ for a family holiday celebration, that'$ Clinton $tyle!

On further edit:
Price$ $lashed! In response to all these young voters whining about crushing student loan debt, there are now cut-rate admi$$ion price$ of ONLY $250.

At the fundraisers Chelsea is hosting in Boston, attendees will be asked to contribute $250, $500 or $1,000. Though events hosted by Hillary Clinton personally vary in entry cost, attendees are usually asked to raise larger amounts, and regularly require a contribution of $2,700 to attend.

Speaking of gazing into the abyss . . .

As a scuba diver, one of my most memorable experiences (along with wreck diving on sunken Japanese ships from WWII in Truk Lagoon, Miocronesia), was gazing into the ocean's abyss off New Providence island/the Bahamas. I had dived to a depth of 120 feet, where the ocean floor sharply dropped off into inky darkness. It was an awesome, awe-inspiring sight. One could only imagine the fearsome deep sea pelagics lurking in those hidden depths.

The prospect of another Clintonian administration symbolizes a political abyss, with a corporate funded and controlled darkness devouring all the values and goals of progressive Democrats like me.

Tongue-Of-The-Ocean (the abyss)
One of the most dramatic features on New Providence Island is the Tongue-Of-The-Ocean which is a deep oceanic trench that is 120 miles long, and 24 miles wide, with depths reaching 6,000 feet. The Tongue spans the gap between New Providence and Andros Island and comes to with-in a half a mile of shore on the southwest side of New Providence. Imagine the Grand Canyon, filled with water, and within a 1/2 mile of a pristine beach.

Besides creating dramatic visual sights, the Tongue-Of-The-Ocean also creates a unique marine environment. The deep waters bring large pelagic marine life close to shore. Nutrients from the deep well-up through the colder deep waters to the shallower warm waters creating nutrient rich waters in the shallows.

Bill Clinton's Pennsylvania fund-raising very disappointing.

I'm posting this here to avoid interaction with the cast of K Street irregulars over at GD Primaries, AND because I take this as encouraging to we Bernie supporters as a sign that HRC's financial support is drying up in the critical state of Pennsylvania. One of the links includes a photo of Bill getting a warm reception in Bethlehem during HRC's 2008 campaign. Not this time around!

Not only did he cancel the Bethlehem appearance, but attendees at his Pittsburgh fundraising reported a low turnout. He "popped in and out" for a 30 minute speech, and the Allegheny county Democratic chairwoman tried to spin the low turnout as an "intimate gathering". Note the campaign reported the number as "100 to 150" - with no photos or independent verification of that number. They could hardly admit to less than 100, could they!

Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign fundraising machine brought out its big gun Thursday in Pittsburgh: her husband.

Former President Bill Clinton delivered a half-hour speech then schmoozed with the 100 to 150 donors in Consol Energy Center's Lexus Club, helping to raise enthusiasm and at least $50,000 for his wife's campaign, attendees said.

(Allegheny County Democratic Chairwoman Nancy) Mills described the event as an “intimate gathering.”

Allegheny County Republican Chairman Jim Roddey thought the turnout was “a lot lighter than I would have imagined,” noting he expected the former president to draw 300 to 500 people.


Mayor Bill Peduto and county Executive Rich Fitzgerald had just five minutes with Bill Clinton before the former president addressed a fundraiser Thursday at Consol Energy Center. But in that time, Mr. Peduto said, the garrulous Mr. Clinton spoke about Pennsylvania’s political landscape, how it had changed since his 1992 presidential run, and recent events including the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings.“That was just him,” Mr. Peduto said. “We were just listening.”
http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2015/12/10/Bill-Clinton-holds-fundraiser-for-Hillary-today-at-Consol/stories/201512100156 The Post-Gazette reported "attendees" estimated crowd at 100. But again, any Clinton fan who had just shelled out $500-$2700, would put the gloss of the minimum acceptable number of 100.

As detailed and cited/documented in an earlier thread, the Clinton campaign was pushing Bill to appear at 20 fundraisers in December, including 3 today spread across the state of Pennsylvania. A luncheon at Pittsburgh at Noon, followed by events at 4:30 p.m. in Bethlehem and 7:45 p.m. in Scranton. All in all, a punishing schedule for a man with his cardiac (quadruple by-pass) health history.

The Thursday cancellation of the Bethlehem fundraiser was barely 24 hours beforehand, but he still was going through with the other two. All these events were closed to the press, as per usual for either Clinton's fund-raising events held behind closed door at undisclosed, elite locations.

In the absence of any explanation at the time of the announcement, or any response to a reporter's queries to Clinton Campaign headquarters, I suggest there was an embarrassingly low response. If you don't got the money, honey, Bill don't got the time. Another possibility is that the physical demands of his 20 fundraising events in one month is taking a toll on his health.

Bill Clinton's Bethlehem fundraising put on hold (headline)

If you were hoping to spend $500 to $2,700 to see Bill Clinton on Thursday in Bethlehem, you'll have to pocket the cash and wait awhile.

Clinton's fundraising appearance for his presidential candidate wife, Hillary, was postponed, host committee member Bill Argeros said Wednesday afternoon.

Argeros referred all other questions to the Hillary for America Pennsylvania finance operation. A phone call to that group wasn't immediately returned. It's not clear when -- or if -- the fundraiser will be rescheduled. The willhillarywin.com website had not updated the former president's schedule and as of Wednesday afternoon was still showing the event.

Bill Clinton's Scranton appearance -- one of three initially scheduled for Thursday -- was moved from 7:45 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Times-Tribune of Scranton reports, which was in the window of Clinton's 4:30-6:30 p.m. Bethlehem visit.


22 Sealed In - poem by a W.VA. coal miner's daughter

In the early 1970's, I was a Research Fellow for the National Institute of Mental Health, and as such was conducting a study of elderly residents in high rise apartment buildings for low income elderly in Pittsburgh. One woman I interviewed was the daughter of a West Virginia coal miner. Since I myself am the grand daughter of a coal miner who helped organize his union, even when the Pinkertons came in to fight them, I was interested when she told me she'd written a poem about coal-mining families, and asked if I could read it. I was so touched by it, I copied it, with her permission. That was over 40 years ago, and I just came across it in some old papers. The term "sealed in" refers to miners who were forever entombed in mine collapses. This elderly poetess must be long gone by now, but I think she would be very pleased, and even honored, to have you take the time to read her poem.


I hate working in coal mines.
My wife and children are always crying
Everytime I go down in the coal mines.

I keep telling them I can soon decline.
I am getting too old to work in the mines.
The children sometimes say,
Daddy, please don't go today.
We are willing to give up
Such as Christmas stuff.
Toy trains running on tracks
We only ask,
Please, don't go back
In the old coal mines.

Because it would cause an awful lot
of suffering and crying
If you don't come back.
If we only have these rags on our back
And this old shack,
We will have you
And that's a fact.

(Written by Ella G. Nichols, Age 67; copied by me on Saturday, August 12, 1972)

Hearst lied to DWS; don't let her pass that lie on to you!

I mean, who ya gonna believe? The Hearst Corporation & Debbie Wasserman Schultz (who willingly swallowed its lie) or IBEW Local 1228? I'll take IBEW Local 1228 for a gazillion, Alex!


Station went back on their word about negotiating before debate

Manchester, NH – IBEW Local 1228 is calling on Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders to tell Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to terminate WMUR’s sponsorship and any participation by the station in the Saturday, December 19 Democratic Presidential debate if a contract for the Production Department isn’t reached by Monday, December 14.

WMUR is owned by the Hearst Corporation. WMUR/Hearst is refusing to allow Production Department employees to continue contributing to their Hearst Union Pension Plan just because they formed a union.

On Friday, December 4, Local 1228 held an informational picket line at WMUR. Bernie Sanders spoke with the workers, and it was agreed that he should cross the line so he could deliver a message of support to WMUR Station Manager Jeff Bartlett for the bargaining unit workers. Up until then, WMUR/Hearst had refused to negotiate until after the debate, but Sanders got Bartlett to agree to bargain before December 19. Sanders came back to the picket line to deliver Bartlett’s message agreeing to negotiate.

Local 1228 Business Manager Fletcher Fischer called Bartlett immediately and offered to negotiate any day or time of WMUR/Hearst’s choosing. WMUR/Hearst’s attorney subsequently notified Fischer that there would be no negotiations until after the debate.

Also on Friday, DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz spoke to WMUR. She was told that the union, not WMUR/Hearst was refusing to negotiate before the debate.

“I find it unbelievable that WMUR/Hearst lied to Debbie Wasserman Schultz about our willingness to settle this contract since they have little or no regard for workers who just want to keep the pension they already have”, Fischer said. “WMUR/Hearst has negotiated similar deals around workers’ pensions with Local 1228 at other stations, and we expect them to take care of loyal employees.”

(emphasis added)

A much smaller private jet would do just fine.

Flight time from Iowa to New Hampshire is only 2 hours and 42 minutes. Oh, the hardship if she was on a 10 seater private plane, instead of a 19 seater! I mean, might she have to sit directly across from a Secret Service person? Quelle Horreur!

That is an extravagantly large private jet, as leased jets go.

For comparison:

Only the biggest and best is (just barely) good enough for Hillary.
Bill Gates OWNS a Dassault Falcon. See that's why Hillary feels she and Bill aren't really rich - because they have to RENT a private jet, and the very wealthy they aspire to hang with OWN their private jets.
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