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Gender: Male
Current location: northern California
Member since: Fri Jan 26, 2007, 07:20 PM
Number of posts: 3,988

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He'll certainly fight for those changes

I have long been blown away how so many people on this site don't understand the difference in results between not being able to pass something because of Republicans and DINOS, and not ever fighting for them.

When we fight for our issues, it changes everything. The entire media zeitgeist is altered by a strong individual (such as Warren or Sanders) standing up strong for our issues, or a strong group (Occupy). Without that, everything is based on Republican terms and policies.

We won't get our changes right away. There are a few things Bernie will be able to do in the short-term, but the reality is we will get our soul back as a party, we will get Congress back, the vast disaffected independent bloc will come to Democrats when we are fighting for their interests instead of being sell-outs, progressive issues will be front-and-center in the national course of debate, and Republicans will be exposed as the corporate shills that they are (they aren't exposed as this now because our own party is guilty of the same).

Electing Bernie will change everything. We'll have a huge fight on our hands even then, but it's the fight many of us have been waiting all our lives to wage. Bring it.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 12:29 PM (0 replies)

Yes. This is why I have long held a very unpopular view

which is that we should pay our elected politicians about 10 times (I mean this literally) what we pay them now, they are very important jobs. As part of the massive pay raise, we should include language that forbids them to profit from their connections.

How to do this? The actual language and details would be critical, and I'm not smart enough to know. One possibility is a huge endless retiirement annuity, but forbidding them to make money from anyone else.

People scream that they aren't worth it, or that it would be too expensive. I say it is far more expensive to have them working for corporate interests, they need to do our business and nobody else's business. And if we get corporate money out of them, they will magically be worth the money we give them.

The money we pay them, even multiplied 10-fold, is a pittance compared to the huge sums of money their funders are making from sponsoring them, and their funders largely make that money at our expense.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 11:57 AM (2 replies)

Epic fail by Barney Finance

“One of the problems is that she is going to need the money to get through the primary and then to still have some left because the Republicans, especially if it's Marco Rubio, are going to have tons of money to go after her,” said former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, a Clinton supporter and co-author of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. “But if she takes the money she gets hit with this McCarthyism of the left, this guilt by association, even though there is no evidence that taking this money has had any impact on her policies.”

OMG! Bernie is not using Wall St. money in the primary, yet Clinton needs to? If she can't compete with Bernie based on money raised from the people, she doesn't deserve to win. And the guilt by association bit is a hoot. We all know how the game works. Wall St. certainly knows. They haven't sent me any $200,000 checks recently. The whole "there is no evidence" line is a clever ruse, nothing more. Of course politicians do their best to obscure any such evidence. And of course the huge sums of corporate donations to politicans are given to further the interests of those corporations, and are highly successful in doing so. Nobody with any political awareness can refute this.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 11:22 AM (0 replies)

Personally I thought he crushed her

The deeper she pushed, the worse it got for her, because on the facts, at the heart of the matter, Bernie's campaign is right on the issues. It isn't even close, and all she's left with is attempts to divert and spin.

Her calling the attacks on her Wall St. ties an artful smear is nothing but disingenuous desperation. It isn't a smear, it isn't even personal, it's a fact, and it's the absolute heart of what's wrong in this country. We want politicians who represent us, not Wall St., nor MIC interests, not big insurance and pharmaceutical interests, and Hillary is the favorite Democrat (actually the favorite politician of any party) for those forces.

She's says she's never changed anything because of that money? That's absurd and nobody with any sense will ever believe that. Bernie doesn't have to demonstrate any specific change she's made, it's quite obvious what the game is, why they give money to candidates, and why wealthy corporations and the MIC own Washington D.C.

This recent study blew the lid off the whole fraudulent system, and why we can't get what we want, even when what we want is the majority opinion:


In their conclusion, Gilens and Page go even further, asserting that “In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule—at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover … even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.”


The issue is what happens when some income groups, particularly the rich, support or oppose certain things, and other groups in society don’t share their views. To tackle this issue, Gilens and Page constructed a multivariate statistical model, which includes three causal variables: the views of Americans in the ninetieth percentile of the income distribution (the rich), the views of Americans in the fiftieth percentile (the middle class), and the opinions of various interest groups, such as business lobbies and trade unions. In setting up their analysis this way, the two political scientists were able to measure the impact that the groups have independent of each other.

One of the study’s other interesting findings is that, beyond a certain level, the opinions of the public at large have little impact on the chances a proposal has of being enacted. As I said, policy proposals that have the support of the majority fare better than proposals which are favored only by a minority. But, in the words of Gilens and Page, “The probability of policy change is nearly the same (around 0.3) whether a tiny minority or a large majority of average citizens favor a proposed policy change.”

Hillary wants to frame Sanders' points re this issue as an artful smear. It's more of an artful schmear on the bagel he hangs around the necks of politicians representing corporations. It's not a smear at all, it's the rot at the heart of both parties that has been destroying our lives and our planet.

Finally, regarding her saying, in response to Sanders' point that he got Iraq war right while she did not (Hillary said that was in 2002 and instead of focusing on that we need to figure out how to deal with ISIS now), the Iraq war is quite literally what CREATED ISIS, and what led to the destabilization of the entire region. All of the experience Hillary is so happy to trot out as to why she is the one qualified in foreign policy is based on her buy-in to the destabilization of an entire region, per the PNAC list of countries to do regime change in. Her "experience" is the problem, not the solution.

I could go on and on. Sanders is a force, and a perfectly focused and targeted one. He comes at this with an accurate radical analysis of our systemic issues and how they translate to individual and ecological ruin. There is just no spinning that away, and it's something I've been waiting all my life for a candidate to articulate and fight against.

Unbelievable debate last night, the most substantive one I've ever seen, thanks to Bernie being in the race this election.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 09:57 AM (0 replies)

I think it's how we proceed until we do get publicly financed elections

Candidates elected with corporate money aren't likely to go out of their way to get corporate money out of our system.

IMHO our greatest and most urgent challenge is to learn how to defeat big corporate money in elections with crowd-sourced campaigns.

While we work to do this, we can also work in every way possible (Rootstrikers, Wolf-PAC, Move To Amend, etc.) to get publicly funded elections. Until we do so, we don't really have a functional democracy.

But if we can establish that candidates accepting corporate money will sell out their constituents without blinking an eye (pretty much indisputable, but for some reason ths hasn't sufficiently crystallized in the minds of enough of the electorate), we will have a way to fight back, by stigmatizing candidates accepting corporate money and running crowd-sourced campaigns against them.

If you have a better way forward I'd love to hear it.

If Bernie wins, or even comes close, he will have proven the viability of this approach, which might be the most important aspect of his campaign.

All of the other issues we care about so much will be enabled if we can elect candidates who owe their allegiance to the people instead of to the oligarchy.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Mon Feb 1, 2016, 12:49 PM (0 replies)

That's awesome, thanks for supporting him

I don't know the answer to your question. DU seems like a good place to stoke up support. The site's owners are more DLC establishment Democrats, but plenty of users are on the non-corporate side of things.

Sometimes threads disappear becaue of timing or placement.

The Democratic Party officially stayed out of the Huffman - Solomon race, to their credit, though I think they did support Huffman in some ways.

I've always felt that the left is not as good at organizing as the right, that needs to change. For one thing, we're pretty much doing anything we do with no compensation, which shows real enthusiasm but it also means causes and politicians are piecing together less reliable volunteer labor. We could do better at crowd-funding support infrastructure so we could hire people to work to elect progressives. Or just try to do better with volunteer efforts.

I would talk to someone like MaryM at the Jackpine site, she's very involved and much more knowledgable than I am on these matters.

The NGO's like DFA, PDA (I think), maybe even MoveOn, are basically our only infrastructure at this point. Also we probably need to show up and invade our districts' Democratic Party meetings, I know I never go to those things, should though.

I think the political tides are turning, and there's a critical mass of citizens no longer satisfied with establishment politicians. So the time is ripe for identifying and developing candidates who are willing to run on strong progressive agendas without using corporate money to do it.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Mon Feb 1, 2016, 11:39 AM (0 replies)

Yes there is a very big reason

"There's no reason why so many deep blue states should be electing so many corporatist ConservaDems."

It's called money.

In my own district a few years ago, Jared Huffman (not yet an incumbent) ran a well-financed campaign against the farther left and ideologically much closer fit to this district (one of the most progressive districts in the nation) Norman Solomon. Huffman got the slick mailers in every mailbox, the fancy signs posted everywhere, the endorsement of the local newspapers (they aren't really local, they're owned by the same giant media conglomerates), and what little T.V. time there was. Solomon had a lot of very enthusiastic volunteers backing him, doing grass-roots organizing, knocking on doors, but in the end, with a great candidate, an extremely progressive electorate, and energized support, the progressive candidate lost handily to the fauxgressive Huffman.

Huffman isn't the devil, but this district is way farther left than him, and we had a rare and excellent candidate who was unable to overcome the obstacles of money and corporate institutional support.

Our real challenge is to learn to defeat money with progressive values. Bernie's campaign is a great attempt at this. We have to stigmatize candidates accepting corporate money, and not support them, or we'll never get anywhere. Defeating money is really hard, not impossible but unless we as a constituency swear off corporate politicians, we will continue to get our asses handed to us, and our jobs handed to the most desperate and least regulated labor forces on the planet.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Sun Jan 31, 2016, 01:25 PM (3 replies)

Thanks for explaining

I'm fairly old (mid 50's) so I see the current Democrats as similar to the Republicans of my youth. So I share your concerns.

We'd get "solutions" like raising the social security retirement age, we already got the Heritage private health iinsurance mandated purchase, lots of public/private partnerships to further university research into things like GMOs and automation technology, distributed workforce business models so they can exploit resources and labor forces wherever they are cheapest and most controlled, focusing on climate change damage remediation (relocation of low-lying cities, for example) rather than on ending fossil fuel use, more education privatization, pushing solutions like rentals for low-income people instead of affordable home ownership, the continued dominance of our society by the large financial corporate interests, continuing or even expanding the drug war and incarceration, finding new ways to monetize prison labor, basically more of the same disastrous road we're already on.

I've long been torn about whether to fight for taking back the Democratuc Party or work to build a progressive alternative. If they succeed in putting Hillary in the White House and ignore progressives as they always have, that will be a much more active consideration.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Thu Jan 28, 2016, 01:27 PM (1 replies)

Very true

The saddest part is he's not that dangerous a man at all. Ideas that were once taken for granted as making sense (free or affordable college and healthcare, aversion to foreign wars, progressive taxation, taking care of the least of us) are now seen as radical and dangerous. FDR would be right at home with Bernie's agenda.

Even worse has been how complicit our own party has been in attacking him and his agenda. Our party needs to change its evil ways, or fade into irrelevance. A little better than Republicans, in this day of certifiable Republican insanity, is no longer cover. Democrats have to step up and drive a positive reform agenda for the future, one based on the interests of the planet and ordinary citizens rather than on the ability of corporations to profit off of them, or they're part of the problem.

If Bernie wasn't running, we wouldn't be having any of this conversation. Standing up for the real values of the left is incredibly important, it changes everything.

edit to add: as to your OP and your handle, hell hath no fury like an oligarch scorned.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Thu Jan 28, 2016, 12:17 PM (4 replies)

Great OP

I'm always amazed that we let this persist:

Sorry but free education works and single payer health care works quite well in other parts of the world as does child and elderly care for all. Most nations in the world are not at war, have minimal militaries and still get on just fine.

How did the U.S. get installed as the military of global capital? And why does this meet so little resistance from U.S. citizens? It's insane. Not only do they not respect our wishes re foreign policy, they use our sons and daughters to do it, and they get us all to pay for it!

Growing up, I was taught all sorts of myths about what a great force we are for peace in the world and for freedom and liberty. As I grew up I gradually figured out what a load that is, and that we are propagandized to believe it by the nexus of corporate and military interests. It was always that way to a certain extent, at east in modern times, I don't know our early history too well, but it's gotten much worse in my lifetime, both from our foreign and our domestic policies.

Our own party's centrists are fully onboard with having U.S. military bases in every corner of the earth, waging multiple and simultaneous wars or whatever euphemsm they are using for war that day. They position themselves slightly on the more doveish side than the kabuki opposition party, to make a slight distinction without changing the nature of power and global control. and our party's reps prefer smaller-scale "interventions" on the down low rather than massive ground wars, it's more civilized, or something.

Wake up people. It doesnt' have to be this way. It isn't generally this way for other countries. Because of our success in WWII, corporate forces have captured our government and are using the immense power of it to do their bidding in every corner of the planet. And they aren't even generous with sharing the proceeds, not that that would make it ok.

I want real substantive change, and I will support candidates who also want, and fight, consistently, for it. No more fake change candidates. You can tell the difference if you try, too many people just find it easier (and sometimes more profitable) to buy into the lies than to honestly look at the system they're supporting and work to regain control of it.

We can do this! We need all the help we can get to do it, but it can be done, and we shouldn't accept compromised phonies who do nothing but support business as usual.

I focused on war but could have done the same rant with a few tweaks to the other issues you listed. People need to wake up to the reality of it and lend a hand to become a country we can rightfully be proud of again.

Thanks for the OP.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Tue Jan 26, 2016, 12:23 PM (0 replies)
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