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Member since: Fri Sep 26, 2003, 10:31 PM
Number of posts: 2,712

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Jury duty needs improvement: what if post doesn't break the alerted rule, but another rule?

I've already seen that come up. Perhaps an additional choice should be given for that.

Why the House sit in is really important

It finally looks like the Democratic House members have their spine up and will try to do something. And its practical politics of the kind we rarely see.

Politically, if they can get a vote on the gun bill, they will put the opposition GOP House members on record as supporting potential terrorists "rights". If they could win, they could give the NRA its first setback in 20 years. If they get no vote they still win, as this episode will be in the news for quite some time, reflecting badly on the GOP.

Is this the ideal bill that Democrats really want that will control the easy availability of powerful semi-automatic weapons? Of course not, for example, liberals who are civil libertarians are not going to be happy about denying people "rights" from the secret government lists. But the political damage to the GOP from refusing to allow this bill to go forward is more than worth it, because it creates a wedge that can help move a progressive agenda forward by weakening the GOP and encouraging Democratic opposition.

What is Bernie's real agenda now?

His real agenda is to enact progressive legislation that he has supported into law: single payer health care, a living wage (high minimum wage), reduce corporate influence on Americans etc. To get that done he or people who support his ideas need to be in position of power and his "revolution" is all about doing this.

Will he win the Democratic nomination for President at the DNC? No, and he clearly knows that, though many of his most ardent supporters as well as Clinton's most ardent supporters do not understand that he has already signaled that he understands the political reality. This will all play out over the next few weeks. Why not an official concession now? Because he has bigger fish to fry than his own nomination. He understands that this country does not have enough elected progressives and that there are large numbers of Americans who do not yet buy into progressive politics. That's a key reason why he did not win the nomination. That's why he is calling for supporters to run for office now. The groundwork for the kind of revolution Bernie envisions needs to laid. It's clear to many cognizant of political reality that even if Bernie had won the nomination and been elected that most of his agenda could not be enacted without a progressive supermajority in the Senate and a progressive majority in the House, which does not exist, and won't exist for some time, given GOP gerrymandering and the current political tendencies of American voters.

Why no third party run? He promised not to because he knows it would allow Trump to be elected and Trump will not only do direct damage to the nation but would counter the progression of Bernie's "revolution," and influence the American citizenry in highly counterproductive ways.

So what will he likely do? He will almost certainly reach an agreement with Hillary on terms that allow him to continue to promote his progressive politics. He will try to set the agenda through the platform, influence Clinton's policies and choice of advisers but much more importantly, he will try to do something analogous to what Goldwater, who was utterly defeated by LBJ in 1964, did for the GOP in creating a conservative revolution: Bernie will try to move the Democratic party toward more progressive politics from the inside by engaging energized citizens to participate, to run for office and to change the national dialogue. He will likely push for control of the DNC, but even falling short of that he will likely organize his supporters into a progressive movement to reform the Democratic Party from within, because as an outsider he knows full well the futility of third parties in American politics. He will also use his newfound national prominence to promote progressive causes in the Senate in a way that was impossible before this election.

Will Bernie become the next "liberal lion?"

It's very clear to many progressives that the loss of Ted Kennedy, the "liberal lion," so early in Pres. Obama's term has had a profound influence on the the President, his accomplishments, and the Democratic Party. Kennedy was the most powerful link to the FDR/JFK/LBJ Democrats and he exerted tremendous influence in the Senate and on the President.

One can strongly speculate that the ACA would look very different had Kennedy lived (and was not sick) even one more year, as he would have fought for a public option and had enough influence to perhaps keep Lieberman and Nelson under control. Not only that he would have certainly influenced the President on many policies near and dear to the President: a carbon tax, stronger corporate regulations, living wage etc. Especially given that the President is a consensus seeker, it would have been more than useful to have such a strong voice as Kennedy on the Left.

Kennedy's death left a vacuum that no one has really filled. Sure there are great progressive senators like Warren, Boxer and Bernie, but they have not yet achieved anything close to the influence of Kennedy. Bernie now has achieved national recognition and prominence. He stands clearly on the same side of most issues as Kennedy and may be in a position to exert more influence on the Democratic Party to move it leftwards.

I think his desire to fight for what he believes in the Democratic Platform and to encourage young people to run for office is absolutely the right thing to do. He has clearly signaled that he will support the Democratic nominee for President, though the strongest partisans for Hillary's and Bernie's campaigns don't seen to register this-- they are both in denial. He is now trying to maximize his influence, perhaps to try to become a new progressive lion, and I hope he succeeds.

Bernie has two ways forward if Clinton gets a majority of pledged delegates on Tuesday

1) Try to take the campaign to the convention and convince the delegates not legally pledged to a candidate on the first round of voting to vote for him instead: the superdelegates. Reagan did this in 1976 in the GOP under somewhat similar situation (Ford had a majority of pledged delegates, but not enough to secure the nomination without legally uncommitted delegates) and almost wrested the nomination away from a sitting President at an open convention. You can be be sure that Weaver knows this. The differences are that in the current situation the Democratic superdelegates have mostly already let their preferences be known, and the recent tradition in the Democratic Party is to back the candidate with the most pledged votes. The real difference is more significant: Reagan had the advantage of ardent conservatives in position of power in the GOP that had been gained by the conservative partisans that had taken increasing power since Goldwater's defeat 12 years before. Contrastingly, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is much weaker than its counterpart in the GOP in 1976. Many if not most of the superdelegates would be considered moderates and establishment by Sanders. It will be difficult to convince the mostly establishment superdelegates to change their minds.

2) Suspend the campaign in return for power in a potential position in the Clinton administration (or course not a legal quid pro quo). The most obvious thing to ask is that Bernie or a person he designates be made Vice President. Why? If he believes that the email server scandal will really take Clinton down, then having control of the VP position would make a strong case that Bernie or his designated person would become the nominee. If the email scandal is really much ado about nothing, and Hillary is elected then the VP can have the bully pulpit and maintain constant pressure on Hillary to be progressive. Of course, it is unclear that Hillary and her campaign would offer such a "deal."

3) Suspend the campaign and help defeat Trump without any conditions (is this really in Bernie's campaign's playbook?). So really 3 choices, but...

Modern historical precedent to take campaign to the convention.

In 1976 the GOP ran their nominating process more like the Democratic Party does today. There were caucuses and primaries for pledged delegates and there were uncommitted delegates-- superdelegates as they are known to the Democratic Party today. Back then the Democratic Party did not have superdelegates, just as the GOP does not have them today.

1976 GOP Primary ended with Gerald Ford having 1121 pledged delegates (a majority of pledged delegates), and Ronald Reagan having 1078 delegates. It took 1130 delegates to win and Ford was 8 short. So the uncommitted delegates had to decide the winner. Reagan tried hard to convince the uncommitted delegates at the convention and it was very close. Of course, Ford won nomination, but lost the election. Reagan in the next election eventually got a chance to implement his "revolution," from which we are still suffering.

There are close parallels to this nominating process: only two candidates, one of whom is proposing a revolution, and a nominating process where uncommitted delegates are needed to win the nomination.

I think it is very possible that Bernie will consider doing something similar this year. Let's see how it plays out.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders arrives at halftime

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders arrives at halftime
By Joe Garofoli

Did the Warriors experience a “Bernie bump?” And did their historic comeback preview California’s June 7 presidential primary? An against-all-odds presidential campaign collided with an against-all-odds NBA comeback Monday when Sen. Bernie Sanders — escorted by a police motorcade and the Secret Service — took 10 minutes to roar from his rally in Oakland on Monday to Game 7 at Oracle Arena. He was following the game in his car, and knew the Warriors were down at the half.

As he got out of his car, Sanders said to staffers nearby, “Let's turn this thing around.”
He’s hoping for a massive comeback when California voters cast ballots in a week. A year ago, Sanders trailed Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton by 63 points. In a Public Policy Institute of California survey last week, he was in a statistical dead heat....

Some more News from Oakland.

Poll/Survey: Which post-FDR Presidents were/are corporatists?

Identifying Democratic politicians as "corporatists" has become a very popular activity. To get some perspective, how would you rate the Presidents since FDR?

Do Duers think the following Presidents were corporatists or not?:
Harry Truman
Dwight Eisenhower
John F Kennedy
Lyndon Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George HW Bush
Bill Clinton
George W Bush
Barack Obama

Your choices are 1) corporatist (C), 2) non-corporatist (NC), 3) other (O).
Update: Alternatively (and preferred) one can rate the Presidents 1 to 10, with 10 being a complete corporatist as was done by one DUer.
See http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027847558#post2
Feel free to explain.

How many believe they were all corporatists? I doubt that anyone believes none of them were. The easiest way to answer might be to copy paste the list and then add C, NC or O after the name.

Since this kind of poll is not compatible with DU's simple poll format, I will manually tally the answers after various time periods and add them to this post.


Medicare won't need to be "saved" as chronic diseases become preventable

The key factor in predictions that Medicare will remain solvent until at least 2024 (at which point it will still be 87% solvent) is that increased longevity will result in more chronic disease, leading to significant increased costs.

For example,
"Alzheimer’s disease (AD)

The number of new patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is increasing, but Alzheimer’s-related mortality is decreasing. Together, these trends account for the predicted increase in the number of people living with Alzheimer’s from 5 million today to 16 million by 2050. This growth will profoundly impact Medicare costs, given that the average annual cost of a Medicare patient with Alzheimer’s is triple that of a patient without: $13,207 and $4,454, respectively.

In 2005, Medicare spent $91 billion on patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and this amount is expected to more than double to $189 billion in 2015, and increase to over $1 trillion by 2050."

from http://healthcarecostmonitor.thehastingscenter.org/kimberlyswartz/projected-costs-of-chronic-diseases/
The contribution of other chronic diseases, stroke, diabetes, end stage renal disease, chronic lung disease and heart disease is discussed there.

The reason is that AD costs are increasing is that people are living longer which in turn increases their chances of AD.
For example, http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_causes_risk_factors.asp
"The greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s is advancing age. Most individuals with the disease are age 65 or older. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles about every five years after age 65. After age 85, the risk reaches nearly 50 percent."

The good news is that because our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying diseases continues to improve (for example, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22323134), the chances to prevent such diseases increases as well and there is a good chance in 2024 we will not only have therapies for AD , but preventive measures as well. Thus, Medicare costs will not increase as projected and Medicare will not need to be "saved."

Of course, this is contingent on Congress continuing to support basic and translational research on these diseases, which is not certain given the GOP's desire to shrink the federal government's role to that it played in 1920, or perhaps even 1890.
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