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Journal Archives

One Response To Barney Frank's Attack on Bernie Sanders

Many Progressives are apparently not buying into Barney Frank's lame attempt
to derail Bernie's candidacy. Woot and Huzza!

by Cristóbal Reyes * Jul 24, 2015 * Young Progressive Voices

To be clear, this is not the reaction to an attack on Sanders’s viability as a candidate per se; rather, it is a condemnation of Mr. Frank’s suggestion that Hillary Clinton’s current lead in the polls and her “threat” to the Republican Party should grant her the Democratic nomination ipso facto.

While one is certainly entitled to one’s biases, it should nevertheless be considered independent of one’s inclination toward democracy and choice, rather than the dance with the devil from which the existing political system has yet to be freed. That being said, it is in the best interest of anyone crying foul over my choice of words that I rebut (read: rebuke) Mr. Frank’s points one at a time.

Consider, for example, his first contention:

“I believe strongly that the most effective thing liberals and progressives can do to advance our public policy goals — on health care, immigration, financial regulation, reducing income inequality, completing the fight against anti-LGBT discrimination, protecting women’s autonomy in choices about reproduction and other critical matters on which the Democratic and Republican candidates for president will be sharply divided — is to help Clinton win our nomination early in the year. That way, she can focus on what we know will be a tough job: combating the flood of post-Citizens United right-wing money, in an atmosphere in which public skepticism about the effectiveness of public policy is high.”

Okay, so this is more of a thesis than an actual point, but it is nevertheless indicative of what I mentioned so colorfully earlier, so as to not be accused of misrepresenting the former congressman’s argument. He is explicitly calling on the powers that be to declare the winner of a race before the starter’s gun is fired. No other racers need apply. Debates will only, as Mr. Frank condescendingly puts it, make Ms. Clinton “spend most of her time and campaign funds proving her ideological purity in an intraparty fight,” otherwise known as partaking in the democratic process.

Right off the bat, he ignores that these so called intraparty fights are a common means to determine which candidate best represents their respective party. If one were to follow his logic, Mrs. Clinton should have been granted the nomination in 2008, given that she enjoyed a similar comfort in the court of public opinion before being routed by a formerly relatively unknown name.

More: http://www.youngprogressivevoices.com/2015/07/24/rebuttal-barney-franks-attack-sanders/

Bernie re: Hillary's Climate Change proposals "good, but not enough"

Sen. Bernie Sanders sees a big gaping hole in Hillary Clinton’s newly released climate-change proposals: the Keystone pipeline.

“It is hard for me to understand how one can be concerned about climate change but not vigorously oppose the Keystone pipeline,” Sanders, who is challenging Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, said in a statement released on Tuesday.

The statement came in response to Clinton being asked during a town-hall event in New Hampshire about her thoughts on the pipeline. Clinton demurred when asked.
“This is President Obama’s decision and I’m not going to second-guess him because I was in a position to set this in motion and I do not think that would be the right thing to do,” Clinton said.

That response and Sanders’ attack came a day after the former secretary of state and Democratic frontrunner unveiled her ambitious set of goals for the environment. Clinton proposed a goal of producing a third of the nation’s electricity from renewable energy from 2027 as well as installing 500 million solar panels by 2020.

That wasn’t enough for Sanders, who said her proposals were a good idea but “not enough.” “We must make significant reductions in carbon emissions and break our dependency on fossil fuels,” Sanders said. “That is why I have helped lead the fight in the Senate against the Keystone pipeline, which would transport some of the dirtiest fossil fuel in the world.”


Fighting for 50 States, Sanders House Parties Expect Tens of Thousands

Fighting for 50 States, Sanders House Parties Expect Tens of Thousands
'The most important thing is building a political movement in which millions of people who have given up on the political process get involved.'
by Deirdre Fulton * Tuesday, July 28, 2015 * Common Dreams

With recent polls showing Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders closing the gap with rival Hillary Clinton and out-polling all of the GOP's leading candidates, progressives nationwide will host coordinated house parties on Wednesday to further fuel the fire of enthusiasm for the self-described democratic socialist.

"I want to know why the rich get richer and everybody else gets poorer. I want to know why the United States is the only major country on Earth that doesn't provide health care to all of its people, the only major country that doesn't have family and medical leave so that women can stay home with their kids when they have a baby. Those are the questions we should be discussing."
—Senator Bernie Sanders

On July 29, Sanders will address thousands of supporters live via streaming video from a home in Washington, D.C. According to his campaign, more than 82,000 people have indicated that they plan to attend one of the more than 3,000 simultaneous local organizing meetings.

"We have a technology available to us that Barack Obama and Howard Dean did not have," the U.S. senator from Vermont said in an interview with the New York Times' First Draft. "And the idea that I can simultaneously be speaking to people located in 1,000 different places is pretty, pretty exciting." The candidate’s address will be followed by a planning meeting for anyone who wants to stay online and discuss joining his campaign.

In a wide-ranging interview with Vox published Tuesday, Sanders elaborated on this organizing strategy.

"I often make the joke, although it's not such a joke, that if we can spend half of the time in this country talking about why the middle class is collapsing, as opposed to football or baseball, we would revolutionize what's going on in America," Sanders told Vox. "I want that discussion. I want to know why the rich get richer and everybody else gets poorer. I want to know why the United States is the only major country on Earth that doesn't provide health care to all of its people, the only major country that doesn't have family and medical leave so that women can stay home with their kids when they have a baby. Those are the questions we should be discussing."

More: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/07/28/fighting-50-states-sanders-house-parties-expect-tens-thousands

Go Bernieeeeeeee!

The Clown Car is sucking all the oxygen from our Primary election "news"

This is my 'Feeling The Bern' Rant for Today. Yes, it's a little longish, but please bear with me.

GOP’s Clown Car Circus is sucking all the oxygen out of this Primary election cycle. It's getting difficult to breath in here. It seems that 99% of the M$M “political news” anymore, including much of msnbc’s, is breathless “analysis” of Trump’s most recent vacuous headline-grabbing brain-fart, along with obligatory “responses” from a few of the 15 other GOP clowns, 99% devoid of any public policy content whatsoever -- unless you consider calling all Mexicans rapists a ‘policy’. And this noise machine grinds on, day after day, after day, largely devoid of any mention of real issues, except for an occasional side-ways glance at the Democratic candidates — oh, that’s right, we have two party Primaries— which consists of conjuring up “reasons” why Sanders “can’t win”, or attacking Hillary on her alleged mis-use of emails.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders — unlike Trump of Hillary, or any other candidate — is pulling conspicuously huge numbers of voters in the tens of thousands, excited and eager to hear a serious candidate for our highest office discuss real issues that profoundly effect their lives and their family’s lives. And he’s even doing this in RED STATES as well. This phenomenal electoral anomaly called Sanders cannot long be ignore without becoming willfully ignorant of political history in the making. Nevertheless, M$M keeps straining to actively look away from Berniementum, like they wish Bernie would somehow magically go away. Yet, gratefully, we’ve seen no signs from Bernie that he’s going anywhere; no-where except to his next record crowd, as he keeps signing on new volunteers heading toward the Democratic debates, and then onward on the home stretch to election day.

Ignoring obvious political news in favor of the sensational is sometimes called “horse-race” political coverage, and it is that; but it’s also much more (or less) than that. When Bernie’s campaign is mentioned, he’s dismissed as the “left-wing fringe” candidate, and The Donald is smirkingly opined to the “Bernie Sanders of the Right Wing”; so Trump serves as a perfect foil to insinuate that Bernie’s remarkable campaign is must also be “out-of-touch with mainstream America” and/or “devoid of any serious public policy content”, without ever coming out and actually saying that. This works to some extent, only because Trump is the perfect buffoon, the perfect holographic clown for all seasons. No one seems to notice that both of these ugly insinuations are not only untrue, they are the exact opposite of the truth — they are damnable lies. To releave the cognitive dissonance it’s tempting to dismiss it all, “Oh well, it’s all a big show, I guess that’s politics” but then reality sets in again: it’s adroitly avoiding any serious policy discussion, while diminishing and/or deriding any candidate who dares to shed clear light on say, Wall Street’s grand robbery of the American Dream., or of the fact that our planet is on fire.

An additional bonus for the GOP is that Trump makes all the other GOP clowns start to look downright reasonable and stately by comparison. Jeb gets to be ‘disturbed’ about Trumps use of the word “Holocost” etc. The longer this goes on, the less voters know about anything remotely related to policy effecting their lives, or where candidates stand on real issues facing the nation: it’s all about Trump showing his ass, and/or what other candidates think about Trump showing his ass.

As if this isn’t bad enough, yet another travesty playing out here is that Trump is probably puling some disaffected low-information Republican voters into his orbit, who are “totally fed up” with their sorry-ass party, and rightfully so — who might otherwise be inclined to check out Bernie Sanders and change their registration to Democrat to vote for him. Oh well.

There. That’s my “Feeling the Bern” rant for the day. Carry on.

Go Bernie Go.

Rachael on fire for Bernie Sanders crowds in RED STATES!! Woot!

Look for the MSNBC clip, it's awesome!

Please Kick Me!


Bernie Is The ONLY Candidate With A Positive Approval Rating In Iowa & New Hampshire

Bernie Sanders Is The Only Candidate With A Positive Approval Rating In Iowa And New Hampshire
Sunday, July, 26th, 2015 * By Jason Easleymore from Jason Easley * Politicus

Two new NBC News-Marist polls of Iowa and New Hampshire found that Bernie Sanders is the only presidential candidate in either party who has a positive approval rating in each state.

Here are the net approval ratings for the top candidates in Iowa:

Sanders +3 (30 percent/27 percent)
Rubio -1 (31 percent/32 percent)
Walker -1 (30 percent/31 percent)
Bush -12 (34 percent/46 percent)
Clinton -19 (37/56 percent)
Trump -28 (32 percent/60 percent)

Here are the net approval ratings for the top candidates in New Hampshire:

Sanders +12 (41 percent/29 percent)
Bush -5 (40 percent/45 percent)
Walker -6 (28 percent/34 percent)
Rubio -6 (28 percent/34 percent)
Clinton -20 (37 percent/57 percent)
Trump -40 (27 percent/67 percent)

Bernie Sanders is easily the most personally popular candidate in either party. Sanders is benefitting from the fact that no one is attacking him. Clinton is facing daily attacks in the media from Republicans while the issue based Sanders campaign has been resonating with Democratic voters across the country. ~snip~

The fact that none of the top candidates beyond Sanders has a positive personal approval rating speaks volumes about the current negative political environment among the electorate. None of the Republicans is the kind of popularity magnet that can carry them to the White House.

Bernie Sanders is the one positive messenger of the 2016 campaign. Approval ratings will change as the campaign moves forward, but Sen. Sanders has built a level of popularity that no other current 2016 candidate can match.

Woot! Go Bernie Go!

Mississippi Business Journal: "Big Money, meet Bernie Sanders"

Since her failed ’08 nomination, the Democrat’s Hillary Clinton has made sure to coddle up to Big Money. Look at her top donors – Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan. You need them to win and she looks poised to keep the Democrats in the White House for another 8 years.

Enter the Dragon. Bernie Sanders from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Actually Bernie is from Burlington, but that’s not all that far from the Northeast Kingdom as the crow flies. Bernie calls himself a socialist, a champion of the poor and middle class, and an enemy of the corrupting influence of Big Money in politics. His campaign is gaining momentum and his poll numbers look good. One poll has him at 32% of the primary vote and rising as opposed to Hillary’s 44% and dropping.

Hillary may be who the Democrats need in order to win in November. Bernie may be what the nation needs. He will pull voters who, while weary of his economics, are desperate to see things done differently in Washington. He has the old hippie and dying hipster vote, but he is quickly gaining among the disillusioned yuppie and the progressive-minded yuccie vote. People who won’t vote for Bernie are those fearing the specter of socialism or the commie boogeyman. Then there are those Americans in the top one percent who view themselves as temporarily embarrassed billionaires and, of course, “the oligarchs,” as Bernie calls them – that one-tenth of the top one percent – who have their hooks in every other candidate in the Presidential race, including Hillary.

Hillary with the help of the DNC has limited her primary debates against Bernie. It’s a smart move on her part. Just as Obama seared himself into the national spotlight during his debates with a weak sounding Clinton, Bernie will burn Hillary beyond recognition. The mean, old white man from Vermont will have her seeing red. She may be tempted to paint herself as blue as Mel Gibson in Braveheart to get the nomination. Just last week, in yet another big campaign kickoff announcement, Clinton stole Bernie’s anti-oligarch rhetoric without saying the word “oligarch.” Bernie, by contrast, throws it around freely and with genuine aplomb.

Hillary’s rhetoric against the influence of Big Money in politics is as empty as that of the great gaggle of Republican presidential hopefuls.
MORE: http://msbusiness.com/2015/06/david-dallas-big-money-meet-bernie-sanders/

Memo to BLM/Immigration Activists: Private Prisons Inc. $upport$ Hillary for POTUS

Guess Who Else Is Fundraising for Clinton: Private Prison Lobbyists
'It is bad for all of us when these multibillion dollar companies use their considerable
financial influence to try to pressure lawmakers'

by Sarah Lazare, staff writer * July 24, 2015 * Common Dreams

In addition to Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is turning to lobbyists for the two biggest private prison companies in the country, Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group, to raise money for her 2016 presidential candidacy.

Lee Fang of The Intercept made the discovery after examining Clinton's list of lobbyists who are bundlers for her presidential bid, released last week. Bundlers are people who raise money for campaigns by organizing and collecting contributions from other donors.

Among those funneling money into Clinton's campaign are:

*Richard Sullivan of the firm Capitol Counsel, documented lobbyist for GEO Group.
* Five employees of lobbying and law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, which received $240,000 from CCA last year.
* "Akin Gump lobbyist and Clinton bundler Brian Popper disclosed that he previously helped CCA defeat efforts to compel private prisons to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests," noted Fang.
Fang's reporting comes on the heels of revelations that Clinton's campaign has also benefited from the largesse of the fossil fuel industry and Wall Street.

Critics say the fresh evidence of Clinton's ties to lobbyists for the private prison industry raises a host of new concerns.

"The future of both criminal justice reform and immigration are critical for private prison firms," notes Fang. "The Geo Group, in a disclosure statement for its investors, notes that its business could be 'adversely affected by changes in existing criminal or immigration laws, crime rates in jurisdictions in which we operate, the relaxation of criminal or immigration enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction, sentencing or deportation practices, and the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by criminal laws or the loosening of immigration laws.'"

CCA and GEO have spent millions of dollars to press the U.S. government to impose harsher immigration laws that, in turn, spike corporate profits by driving up incarceration levels at their detention centers. Both companies stand accused of egregious human rights abuses at their facilities, from denial of mental and physical health care to inadequate nutrition.

"Private prisons have a long and well-documented history of giving to candidates of all levels and both parties and hiring lobbyists across the spectrum, so it doesn't surprise me that prisons are trying to get in good with presidential candidates," Cristina Parker of Grassroots Leadership, a Texas-based organization that opposes prison profiteering, told Common Dreams.


Barney Frank (of all people) hawking that nasty meme that "GOP is helping Bernie"

right now on MSNBC. Tweety was lapping it up.
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