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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 13,235

Journal Archives

Oligarchy Of Super PAC Megadonors Have Conquered American Politics

It's not just Bernie & President Jimmy Carter anymore, who's talking about the US Oligarchy.

Oligarchy Of Super PAC Megadonors Have Conquered American Politics
The majority of money raised for the 2016 presidential race came from those giving $100,000 or more.
July 31, 2015 * by Paul Blumenthal * The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- A new oligarchic era of American politics came into full view on Friday, as super PACs disclosed fundraising details showing billionaires bankrolling the 2016 presidential race to an unprecedented degree.

The unlimited-money super PACs account for one-third of all federal election funds raised in the first half of 2015 -- up from 4 percent at this time in the last presidential election. Three-quarters of all super PAC money came from more than 500 wealthy donors, corporations and unions in contributions above $100,000. More than half the money in the presidential race so far -- to super PACs and to campaigns -- came from donors who have given at least $100,000.

For the first time in more than a century, the majority of funding for a presidential election is coming in six-figure or larger checks from corporations and the wealthiest Americans. The presidential campaigns, limited to a maximum of $5,400 from a single donor, raised a combined $128 million. Super PACs supporting those candidates pulled in $260 million, with $208 million from those giving $100,000 or more.

“The 2016 presidential candidates and their individual-candidate Super PACs are wiping out the nation’s anti-corruption candidate contribution limits,” Democracy 21 president and longtime campaign finance reform advocate Fred Wertheimer said in a statement. “In doing so, the presidential candidates and the Super PACs supporting them are creating the kind of system that the Supreme Court has described as an inherently corrupt system.”


Bernie Sanders plans large Aug. 9 rally in Portland

I love the stark contrast between these two events. It really says it all.

~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~ *

Bernie Sanders plans large Aug. 9 rally in Portland
July 31, 2015 * The Oregonian * By Jeff Mapes

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has been attracting large crowds to his presidential campaign appearances around the country, has scheduled a Sunday, Aug. 9 rally at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

The Sanders rally at Memorial Coliseum -- which has a capacity of more than 12,000 -- is set to begin at 7 p.m., with the doors opening at 6 p.m., according to an announcement posted Friday on the Sanders campaign website.

There is no charge listed for the event, which says he will discuss issues ranging from climate change to dealing "with obscene wealth and income inequality."

Sanders, an Independent who aligns with the Democratic Party in the Senate and identifies himself as a socialist, has been attracting the largest crowds of the new presidential campaign season. In early July, about 7,500 showed up for an event in Portland, Maine, according to a Time Magazine account of his large crowds.

Sanders will appear in Portland just four days after Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential race, is set to hold a $2,700-per-person fundraiser at a home in the exclusive Dunthorpe neighborhood on the Portland border.

--Jeff Mapes


Hillary: strong against Democrats, but weak against Republicans

Hillary Clinton Losing Strength in New National Polling
She is strong against Democratic challengers, but weaker against Republicans
by Zeke J Miller * July 30, 2015 * Time

Six weeks after setting her candidacy into high gear, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are continuing to fall, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

Across nearly every key metric, from trustworthiness to caring about voters to leadership, Clinton has seen an erosion in public approval, as likely Republican rivals have erased her leads in the poll. Clinton has a net -11 favorability rating in the poll, with 40% of the American public viewing her positively and 51% negatively, with more than 50% of independents on the negative side.


Greenpeace at St. Johns Bridge (Portland) blocking Shell Oil AK drilling rig - LIVE stream

Local coverage NO commercials - live - now breaking

Look for coverage on it, later on Rachael's show.

uh-oh! Hillary Clinton faces grilling as she seeks labor movement endorsement

Hillary Clinton faces grilling as she seeks labor movement endorsement
The Democratic frontrunner will have an hour-long interview with the AFL-CIO federation but backing is in doubt as leftwing rival Bernie Sanders strikes a chord
July 30, 2015 * The Guardian * by Dan Roberts

Hillary Clinton faces a crucial test of her wavering support among American labor unions on Thursday, with an hour-long interview to help determine whether the AFL-CIO national federation will endorse her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Though union leaders are expected to delay their joint decision until closer to the party’s convention next summer, the fact that their individual backing for the former secretary of state is not a foregone conclusion signals a surge in enthusiasm for her leftwing rival, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders wowed many during his own appearance before the AFL-CIO executive council meeting on Wednesday with an emotional appeal for them to join his grassroots movement, according to several of those present in the room.

By contrast, Clinton is expected to be pressed about her lukewarm support for key union campaigns on trade and the minimum wage, as well as fears among some labor leaders that a recent shift to the left in her policy speeches is not matched by a long-term commitment to their cause.

“The most important thing she has to deal with is a perception of an enthusiasm deficit, and the sense that she is running because it’s her turn and not because she has a compelling vision for the country,” said one senior union official. “So Clinton’s challenge here is going to be to manifest fire in the belly.”

So far, only one major union, the American Federation of Teachers, has endorsed any of the candidates.

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!
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