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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 37,080

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will Democratic party take vote suppression and rigging seriously in November?

Or will this be a rerun of 2000 and 2004?

John Kerry made noises about fighting it in 2004 after the regulation irregularities of 2000 but did nothing.

The GOP has far more incentive to cheat this time. They are unlikely to win fairly and demographics make it more and more unlikely each passing election so they have to grab power while they can.

Since Hillary is cut from the same Establishment Clause as Carrie and Gore I suspect that she will do little about this as well.

However the stakes are too high to do nothing. The invention of the Tea Party and rise of a candidate like Trump are no accident. Some portion of the financial Elite realize they can't hold power through fake democracy for much longer and rather than give it up they will cheat or resort to force. And if they get it either fairly or by cheating they have a great incentive to hold on to it by force which is why I think they created the Tea Party. Not because tea party politicians have different policies but because they are more extreme in their tactics and frankly too stupid to think of the possible negative consequences for themselves if they pull the trigger on full fascism.

I think something like that was in the pipe during the bush years but too many republican politicians are gun shy about full fascism not because of democracy but because they understood what would happen to them if they fail.

Corporate Democrats do not seem to act like this is a possibility even when Republicans make it clear this is their intent and when they brag about vote suppression.

Some Democratic Lawmakers Are Open to Removing Lobbyists as Superdelegates

MAYBE Democrats shouldn't have corporate lobbyists as superdelegates?

Whoever came up with having them in the first place is so far in the pocket of corporations that they don't even think about what the rest of us would think of it.

DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS HAVE declared that they will work to get money out of politics, but only a few are interested in getting rid of a Democratic Party system that allows corporate lobbyists to select the party’s presidential nominee, potentially thwarting the will of voters.

Democratic National Committee rules allow for 712 so-called superdelegates to vote at the nominating convention, alongside the 4,053 pledged delegates who are selected directly by primary voters and caucusgoers.

Most of the 712 superdelegates, who are not bound to the decisions of voters, are elected Democratic politicians. But a significant number are individuals in the private sector. As we reported previously, several superdelegates are former politicians and party insiders who now work as lobbyists for banks, oil companies, foreign governments, and payday lenders, among other special interests.


Ted Cruz thinks Bush torture memo is US law:

To set up an interview with a former Abu Ghraib interrogator who wrote a confessional book, Amy Goodman on Democracy Now played clips of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz answering whether waterboarding is torture.

Trump, as usual said he would do much worse.

Ted Cruz' answer surprised me, not in that he approved of torture, but that he used the Bush era torture memo definition of torture as if it were the law of the land.

SEN. TED CRUZ: Well, under the definition of torture, no, it’s not. Under the law, torture is excruciating pain that is equivalent to losing—losing organs and systems. So, under the definition of torture, it is not. It is enhanced interrogation, it is vigorous interrogation, but it does not meet the generally recognized definition of torture.


From John Dean's article on the torture memo:

The memo defines torture so narrowly that only activities resulting in "death, organ failure or the permanent impairment of a significant body function" qualify.


The Army's own Interrogation Manual has a pretty simple rule of thumb for figuring out if something is torture:

If your contemplated actions were perpetrated by the enemy against US Prisoners of War, you would believe such actions violate international or US law.


You would think the son of a pastor might be familiar with the concept of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

What if Saudi is rushing to sell oil before it's worthless?

Possible explanations for Saudis high production that's driving down prices haven't quite made sense.

If they were doing it to help US foreign policy squeeze oil rich countries like Russia and Venezuela that aren't following our orders, that is a pretty big hit to take for the team, given that they have a finite amount of oil.

Putting tar sands and shale oil out of business also doesn't quite make sense for the same reason.

Slowing demand would be a good reason to cut or at least not ramp up production until demand increases.

But what if they realize they are selling whale oil for lanterns when everyone is about to switch to kerosene? Or more on point, they are selling gaslights when everyone else is about to buy their first lightbulb?

Then slowly doling out your product to maximize profits would make no sense. You would want to get whatever you could for it before it's worthless.

That makes more sense than other explanations, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving, medieval, terrorist-supporting royal family.

Here’s a simpler hypothesis: Maybe the
Saudis aren’t cutting production in the face of low prices because huge portions of their oil reserves might eventually become worthless. That’s what James Rowe, an environmental studies professor at the University of Victoria, thinks.

If that happens, today’s oil prices won’t look low — not when there’s an overabundance of an asset that can’t be sold. But oil prices are the lowest they’ve been in 12 years, you say. How could they ever be considered high?

This explanation relies on two related ideas: a carbon bubble and stranded assets. The carbon bubble refers to the fact that energy companies around the world are sitting on five times more fossil fuels than can be burned, the research nonprofit Carbon Tracker estimates. Those assets, worth about $2 trillion, are referred to as “stranded assets.”

So what does that mean for an oil company that controls a state? It might as well sell as much oil as possible while still can.


MUST SEE DOC: Starving the Beast: The Battle to Disrupt and Reform America’s Public Universities

If you work in higher ed and think the only problems we face are fluctuating budgets, this is a must see.

Just as some wealthy individuals, corporations, and hedge funds are trying to remake K-12 public education to divert tax dollars into their own pockets with for profit charter schools, education management companies, repetitive standardized testing, and common core curriculum designed to maximize profits for textbook and testing companies while demonizing teachers and trying to break their unions is in the earlier stages of coming after colleges and universities.

Besides trashing K-12 public education, this corporate driven reform movement is not only driving teachers out of the profession, but dramatically reducing enrollment in education majors--so there aren't enough new teachers to replace those leaving.

If these "reforms" get very far in higher ed, the results could be even more chaotic and dramatic because of the large majority of part time faculty. K-12 teachers might put up with the crap a bit longer because of decent pay and full benefits.

That is not the case for college faculty members who have to patch together a couple of part time jobs to make a living (and still don't get family medical benefits even then).

As someone who started in K-12 and moved to higher ed, I had to make a choice between economic security but little control over what I taught if I stayed in K-12 or economic insecurity but academic freedom if I moved to higher ed. I know people who did the same for the same reasons.

What will happen if most college and university faculty are treated like crap economically AND academically?
Also, an ironic twist on this topic is the supposed superiority of the private sector in getting things done in K-12. In higher ed, whether you go to a public college, a private non-profit, or a private for profit college, you're classes will be taught by the same people.

One of my community college colleagues also teaches the same courses at a fairly well-known private school nearby and I asked him what he does differently for those students. He just laughed and said, "Nothing. They just pay more for it."

If private contractors get involved in delivering public education, taxpayers will pay the same or more, but get less so the contractors can skim a profit.


Stop terrorist attacks? Stop our gov't & allies using terrorists as a tool of foreign policy

None of these groups could do anything without money and weapons, and nearly all of them at one point (or even still) were supported by us or our Gulf allies like Saudi Arabia as a way to undermine secular governments like those in Libya and Syria.

Whatever you think of the leaders of those countries, it had been a while since Libya did any terrorist attacks we blamed them for, and I can't remember Syria ever doing any.

In fact, Syria fought on our side in the first Gulf War, and after 9/11, Bush sent prisoners to Syria to be tortured and interrogated, which is not something I approve of, but if Washington ain't going to prosecute the Bushies for it, they have to acknowledge it as cooperation at least.

Some of Hillary's leaked emails revealed the real reasons we turned loose the terrorists on Libya, and none of it was worth the blowblack like we just saw in Belgium and will likely see elsewhere.

To "win" the war on terror, we and our allies need to stop using terrorists groups as a weapon and then acting surprised when they don't stay on task.

FRENCH REPORTER: "Norway, a country Trump supporters probably don't know exists"

I just heard that on Democracy Now the guy said it in passing it's funny to see how other countries view of trump matches so closely with ours

Exposing the Libyan Agenda: a Closer Look at Hillary’s Emails

I don't give a rat's ass where Hillary kept her emails.

The infinitely more important question is what they reveal about our foreign policy, so we can see how much we have been lied to and whether we want to approve of the real motives and goals for what we are doing to other countries.

Has any war in history been for purely or even primarily humanitarian reasons? Generally, the aggressor wants land, resources, cheap labor, or access to markets. Sidney Blumenthal's emails to Hillary about Libya certainly fit that model.

Blumenthal also mentions a currency issue that is usually treated as a far out conspiracy theory, which it no longer seems to be.

NOTE: I've gone over the four paragraph limit, but most of it is quotes from the emails. Only three paragraphs are from the author of the article about the emails.

Of the 3,000 emails released from Hillary Clinton’s private email server in late December 2015, about a third were from her close confidante Sidney Blumenthal, the attorney who defended her husband in the Monica Lewinsky case. One of these emails, dated April 2, 2011, reads in part:

Qaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver . . . . This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).

In a “source comment,” the original declassified email adds:

According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya. According to these individuals Sarkozy’s plans are driven by the following issues:

1 A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,

2 Increase French influence in North Africa,

3 Improve his internal political situation in France,

4 Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,

5 Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa

Conspicuously absent is any mention of humanitarian concerns. The objectives are money, power and oil.


One candidate would have been acceptable to progressives AND corporate Dems

Al Gore.

I wonder why he didn't run again, either in 2008 or now.

TOON: GOP Kool Aid in Flint, Mcihigan

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