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Yes, Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat and Hillary represents the very worst of the party/SALON

Sanders has exposed just how reactionary and corrupt the Democratic Party is—while Clinton wants things to carry on

A new strategy has emerged in the Hillary Clinton camp: No longer even try to match Bernie Sanders’ left-wing politics — which the Wall Street-backed multimillionaire war hawk Clinton is fundamentally incapable of doing. Instead, appeal to authority and accuse the democratic socialist of disloyalty to the corrupt Democratic Party.

Clinton’s campaign did just that this week, condemning Sanders for “trying to convince the next generation of progressives that the Democratic Party is corrupt.”
The notion that Sanders had to try to convince progressives of this in the first place is ludicrous. The warmongering, corporate-funded, pro-privatization Democratic Party leadership has long made it loud and clear that it is thoroughly corrupt and reactionary.
Yet Clinton and her supporters happen to be correct about one thing; they are just right for the wrong reasons.

Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat. And this is a good thing.

What the Clinton camp appears to be incapable of understanding is that the Democratic Party is less and less popular among progressive Americans.

Since the rise of the Clintonian “New Democrat” almost three decades ago, the party has moved so far to the right it has little in common with the base it purports to represent.

President Obama campaigned on the promise of change, but, in many ways, his presidency — particularly in the first term — was George W. Bush lite.

The Obama administration barely even slapped the banks and financial elites responsible for the Great Recession on the wrist. Not a single Wall Street executive went to jail while, today, the very banks responsible pose just as much of a systemic risk as they did in 2008.

The Obama administration killed thousands of people, including an unknown number of civilians, with its secretive drone war. It expanded the war in Afghanistan — twice — dragged its feet on Guantánamo, backed a right-wing military coup that overthrew Honduras’ democratically elected left-wing government and dropped 23,400 bombs on six Muslim-majority countries in 2015.

The Obama administration waged a McCarthyite crackdown on whistleblowers, using the World War I-era Espionage Act to clampdown on more than all previous presidential administrations combined, while drastically expanding the surveillance state.

This is the Democratic Party Americans have grown up with in the past nearly 30 years, since the rise of the Clintonism. And, in these same decades, wages have stagnated, poverty has increased and people have become more and more dissatisfied with the way things are.

It is true that Sanders’ social democratic politics are similar to those of New Deal Democrats. He often jokes that many of his policies were supported by President Dwight Eisenhower — a Republican in the 1950s.

Yet the Democratic Party of the mid-20th century is long gone.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. has drifted more and more to the right — and taken much of the international community with it. During the Cold War, Western capitalist countries had to at least pretend to be concerned with fighting inequality and systemic discrimination. Today they no longer have to compete with an alternative.

As the Republican Party has shifted to the extreme, far-right, the Democratic Party moved along to the right with it. Instead of holding ground (shifting to the left was not even on the table), the Democratic Party embraced neoliberalism.

The so-called “Third Way” paved by the Clintons is just another word for this process.

Hillary Clinton, a figure greatly admired by neoconservatives (who are overwhelmingly backing her over Trump), represents a continuation of this status quo — a status quo millions upon millions of Americans have said they refuse to tolerate anymore.

Americans are desperate for actual change, and Sanders has offered a new path. Clinton has flatly insisted that Americans cannot have basic things that much of the world takes for granted — single-payer health care, free public higher education, environmental policies that don’t rely on fossil fuel corporations that destroy the planet. Sanders says otherwise.

The Democratic Party is a party of corporate influence and military power. It is chock-full of 1 percenters, with leaders like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel — who shuts down public schools en masse and covers up police killings of unarmed black residents — or Debbie Wasserman Schultz — who is working to help loan sharks.

Many of the things that have been called for by Donald Trump, a fascistic demagogue, have already been implemented by the Democratic Party.

And he is right.

When it comes to third parties, the U.S. is an incredibly undemocratic country. Most of the world’s democracies have some kind of space for non-hegemonic parties. And in much of Europe in particular, where governments are based on parliamentary systems, third parties can play at least a small role in the political system.

This is not so in the U.S., where there are countless obstacles to democracy in U.S. elections — with limited debates, closed primaries, unelected superdelegates and of course the electoral college.

The fact that a 74-year-old, bald and frankly unattractive man, a Vermont senator with a Brooklyn accent whom most Americans had never heard of until this year, has been doing so incredibly well is a testament to just how popular — and one might even say correct — his socialist ideas are.

What we are witnessing right now is the resurgence of a new left throughout the U.S. — and throughout the world. Sanders is part of this much larger international trend, with figures like Jeremy Corbyn in the U.K., or Podemos in Spain.

And Sanders is aware of this. When he says “Not me, us,” he is acknowledging that the social movements around him are much more important than he is as a mere individual. The fact that he has responded to pressure from Black Lives Matter and the Palestinian solidarity movement demonstrates this.

Those like Hillary Clinton, who are desperate to cling on to the old vestiges of establishment power, are not part of this new left-wing resurgence; they are in fact impediments to it.

Even if Sanders does not win the primary, one of his many important accomplishments will be helping to expose to millions upon millions of Americans just how reactionary and corrupt the Democratic Party is.

He should be thanked for this, not condemned.

link: Ben Norton / Salon


Portrait composite of Sanders Supporters

Nation’s Racists Suddenly Warming Up to New York comments Andy Borowitz

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—America’s racists, who have long viewed New York with a mixture of hostility, contempt, and fear, are suddenly feeling much more positive about the Empire State, a cross-section of racists confirmed on Tuesday night.

In interviews conducted shortly after 9 P.M., racists from coast to coast echoed the opinion of Fresno, California, bigot Harland Dorrinson, who remarked, “You know, maybe New York isn’t such a bad place after all.”

“I always thought that New York seemed like a hellhole to be avoided at all costs,” Dorrinson said. “Now I’m thinking I might want to take the family there on vacation. Maybe even take in a few Broadway shows.”
Like Dorrinson, Carol Foyler, a racist from Chattanooga, Tennessee, said her views about New York have suddenly improved. “The way the media portrays New York is totally unfair and biased,” she said. “Until tonight I never would have known there were so many good people there.”

Foyler also said she was now eager to visit the Empire State. “Speaking as a racist, I never thought I’d say this, but I think I would feel right at home in New York,” she said.

Improving attitudes about New York were not limited to racists, however, as interviews on Tuesday night revealed a sudden warming toward the state among misogynists, xenophobes, and people who enjoy sucker-punching others in the face.


No dementia for president, please: Washington Post opinion / Garrison Keillor


How did we wind up with these old people running for president? In 1960, the first election I voted in, Richard Nixon was 47 and John Kennedy was 43 and now, 56 years later, the candidates are mostly my age. Young people are flocking to Bernie Sanders who, given two terms in office, would be Leader of the Free World until age 83, setting a new record -- Ronald Reagan was just shy of 78. Where is that new generation of leadership we keep hearing about at college commencements?
They say the voters long for a leader unlike the previous one and so after Nixon the schemer we elected the Baptist deacon. He turned out to be a detail guy and so was succeeded by a guy who thought in terms of Shining Good vs. Very Very Bad. After W, we elected a man who spoke in whole paragraphs. He was 47 when he took office. So now we're longing for elder care and the full disclosure of the presidential prostate and colonoscopy analysis?

Speaking as an old guy, let me just say: Blecchhhhh.And let me add to that: Arghhhh. I don't want a president who is groping for the word that means "no" and rhymes with "mosquito" or who needs to lie down every afternoon. Tell me I'm an ageist and you're right -- I come by it honestly, I am that age. It's a cruel age when you go out to dinner with friends and someone says, "Elevator or stairs?" and you shrug and take the stairs though you do feel short of breath and sit down in the restaurant which is clamorous and you can't hear, which is a blessing, because your friends are telling bald-faced lies about how busy and happy they are, writing bad poetry and walking briskly with no particular place to go.

for all of it go to:

We know this. Yes. But it's a top notch description of what it means to be transgender. LTE in NC

Winsston-Salem Journal, Sunday Apr. 17, 2016


Misunderstanding transgender

The specter of a male entering a bathroom designated for female has been used as the basis for part of HB2. Sadly, that argument reflects misunderstanding of what transgendered means.

Gender is self-determined as either female or male. Sex is determined by chromosome makeup, XX female or XY male. When gender identity and sex identity do not match, the diagnosis is gender identity disorder.

Because gender identification usually occurs by age 3, affected individuals often grow up in a world of conflicts, depression, divorce, alcoholism and suicide as they struggle to understand why they are different from peers, and why parents force them into behaviors they do not want. Many are bullied as children.

Those with families that recognize this are able to medically delay puberty and allow time to make a personal decision about their desired gender.

The unfortunate majority struggle to find their place in the world until, with medical care, they transition to the gender with which they identify. They are faced with expensive, painful surgical procedures and possible loss of jobs, families and friends.

For some, although their birth anatomy may have not yet been altered or that, for medical or expense reasons, it never will be changed, they live full time as their chosen gender.

It is these people that HB2 is affecting. People, who through no choice, driven by a biological event occurring in their brains in utero, are told they cannot be who they really are. They have suffered enough.

Nelson is an Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Bowman Gray School of Medicine. — the editor


We had a neighborhood dilemma, stood up against it, and we lost

A large flower shop, built only 7 years before, was demolished after the flower shop moved and sold the land and building to Family Dollar.
We are an older neighborhood, historic, in NC, we are very diverse and wonderful. We fought tooth and nail with meetings, with petitions, the city council, and with hundreds of yard signs of “Family Dollar / NO”
It made no difference.
The site was razed and the store was built and in a week it will be open.

On a fence bordering the parking lot over which they have no control and that they do not own words started to appear. They were individually lettered and randomly nailed up. They did not make sense, during construction more words appeared, one every now and then, and this week it began to coalesce and read:

"Why would Family Dollar build a store in the middle of a neighborhood that asked it not to?
That’s what a 16 Billion Dollar corporate Bully does!”

As you can see it is a neighborhood full of artists.
That’s how we can make ourselves feel a little better, because they cannot take it down. And our not patronizing the store will make a difference to their not having listened.

it’s easier for me to beg forgiveness than to ask permission - aftermath photos added

Rolling into town on the interstate, with a friend in my truck, we saw the plumes of fiery smoke in the downtown area. I looked at her and said: “I have 3/4 of a tank, let’s go find it” and her answer was “It will make me feel young again, my Dad always chased fires.”
It used to be my job to draw city street maps. We found the fire even though it was in a remote area.

Now,until the newspaper comes out in the morning, I have no answers about if anyone was hurt, or even how big a house burned down.The fire was so bad it looked like the place must have been full of explosives- the neighborhood is poor, the house was probably small, can’t imagine what might have caused that big a deal. I assume and hope everyone got out. That house though, it surely went down!

In my habit of not gracefully asking permission I got shooed off by police men. Numerous times. The entrances to the area were blocked off by cop cars. The fire trucks suggested a many alarm fire.

I found a side yard without cops from which I could slip onto the property. I am not proud to report that one of the firemen trained his hose on me to get me out of there ——from afar —— and for just a brief time.

By then I had a small entourage of residents and my friend as well who had told them I was a real photographer. They cheered me and they all noticed I had gotten hit with water before I did.
It was a harrowing adventure, and I’ll take you through what I saw from start to finish.

By the way, I’m pretty sure it was the right guy in the last shot who turned the hose on me.
Honestly, I understand. I’m insufferable at times.

Yesterday afternoon I went to see the aftermath. There was stale smoke in the air, and two men on the front porch questioned me (and my camera around my neck) in a hesitating but not too unfriendly way. I nodding about the horror of fire in order to look just as innocent as I am and slowly moved towards their back yard and the supposed "shed" burned to the ground.
It must have been unbelievably huge compared to the house they live in which I shot from the side, stealthily. Something wicked this way came. And I don't think it was just a thirteen fire engine fire. I did not tarry and got out of there.
My son told me I missed my true calling: War correspondent.

A tree I met today.

For a good while my camera has rested for a number of reasons. But I had it at hand today when I met this gorgeous tree as I got out of my car.
These are the result of a half a minute. I’m glad I took them, and I’m glad that I’ll be back to taking photos. It’s a given.

Bill Maher lineup of guests tonight. HBO 10 EST repeat at midnight EST

The Interview:

Arianna Huffington is the Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post and author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time.

The Panel:

Amy Goodman is the Host and Executive Producer for “Democracy Now!” and co-author of Democracy Now! Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America.

Mary Katharine Ham is a CNN contributor and a senior writer at The Federalist where her latest article is, “Ivanka Trump is Everything Donald Wants to be But Is Not.”

Rick Tyler is an MSNBC political analyst and former spokesman for Newt Gingrich and Ted Cruz.

Mid-Show Interview:

Susan Sarandon is an activist and Oscar-winning actress who is the executive producer and star of “The Meddler,” which opens in theaters on April 22.

Works well for the present day North Carolina

but don't worry, it's temporary, we are working on it all the time, as hard as we can, til we can toss out the disrupters

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