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Member since: Fri May 8, 2009, 12:59 AM
Number of posts: 8,237

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Bernie’s Revolution – Will it be a Movement or a Moment?

Watching the DNC convention, I can see that most of those in attendance are excited and ready to get to work to try to realize one of the most progressive platforms to be adopted by a major U.S. party. The Democratic platform was in large part based on input from Bernie Sanders and his supporters. This is as much his platform as hers.

Yet, there is still a loud, but vocal minority of delegates who more interested in expressing anger and disapproval at the results. Think of Cornell West who was asked to participate in the development of the platform, yet he walks away and endorses the Green Party candidate. Or, you have Nina Turner getting 15 minutes of fame and then some in order to dutifully play the role of a Democrat still on the fence as to who she might support for President. However, expressions of anger without direction, purpose and, most importantly, only serve to make those who are yelling a part of the problem they are complaining about.

The question I wonder is whether Bernie’s revolution will ultimately be seen as a movement or a moment? Were Bernie’s supporters invested in his ideals, which have now been incorporated into the party’s platform? Or, was Bernie himself simply being used, yes used, by his supporters as a convenient vehicle for expressing rage irrespective of his policies?

Right now. In the midst of a Presidential election with a would-be demagogue running as the Republican candidate, the underlying issues of the election will get overshadowed. The protests themselves often get muddled and create confusion as to what is being advocates as was the case when you had TPP protestors disrupting speeches by Rep. Cummings and Lewis as they addressed the concerns of BLM activists.

However, when it is all said and done, will Bernie’s movement endure? Will Bernie himself remain engaged and continue to try to work to get progressive Democrats elected? Will Bernie’s supporters remain invested in pressuring Congress to pass bills that incorporate the Democratic party’s platform? Or, will they both retreat, disengage, and complain from the distance in elections to come?

In short, the real measure of whether Bernie’s revolution is a movement or merely a moment is where will Bernie and his supporters be during the 2018 midterms. That could be the pivotal year where a movement emerges from the background of a Presidential campaign and transforms Congress. In 2010, a CNBC/Fox inspired Tea Party halted the progressive trajectory of the Obama presidency fresh off the adoption of the ACA, saving the U.S. auto industry, creating a consumer protection agency, and adopting the Dodd-Frank act. Can Bernie’s movement offer a similar change in 2018 albeit in a progressive direction?

Michelle Obama delivered the winning oratory we Republicans have forgotten: Rick Wilson

Very interesting opinion from a Republican regarding Michelle Obama's speech along with an implicit put-down of Donald Trump's campaign.


As a Republican who pays attention to how the other side wins, I’ve spent a lot of time fighting to drag my party out of the stone-knives and bear-skins era of politics. America is screen-agnostic, and the accelerating future isn’t about destination television with Mom, Dad and 2.25 adorable scamps watching Family Guy in the blue glow of the widescreen. But even now, the power of a great speech can have real political impact.

In the age of Donald Trump and his shoot-from-the-lip, we-don’t-need-no-stinking-consultants campaign, his supporters are embracing what Tom Nichols calls The Death of Expertise. Field operations? Nah. Television and digital ads? Those are for RINOs. Data and voter targeting? They’ve got Trump’s Twitter account for that. Fed on a steady diet of revenge fantasies against the “elites” who won almost 1,000 elected offices for Republicans in the era of Obama, Trump Republicans are proud to be rid of the tools and techniques that won the White House.

As important, the post-Republican Trump party has left the ancient power of rhetoric and speech-writing behind. There was no cohesion or strategic underpinning to the speeches in Cleveland, and with a few exceptions, the Republican convention speakers were a hot rhetorical mess. Closing with a nearly incoherent Castroesque 76-minute shoutfest, delivered with the volume and hate turned up to 11, told viewers that the art of Republican speech-writing is in mortal danger. This was no shining city on a hill but a dumpster fire on a burning tire pile.

Monday night, the first lady reminded this Republican that a passionate speech with heart, poetry and grace is still one of the most powerful and effective tools in the political toolbox. It was the instrument of the speech itself that impressed me, not its politics. Even if you’re not a Michelle Obama fan, it was authentically her voice, beautifully crafted and strategically on point.

Trump doubles down on NATO pullback, slaps at GOP Senate Leader McConnell for second-guessing him

Source: LA Times

Donald Trump reiterated his call for the U.S. to pull back from its commitment to NATO and said the Republican leader of the Senate was wrong to ascribe the proposal to "a rookie mistake."

"He's 100% wrong. OK?" Trump said in an interview aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "He's 100% wrong if he said that."

Trump shocked many in the country's defense and foreign policy establishment when he said Wednesday in a New York Times story that, as commander in chief, he would not automatically come to the defense of America's NATO allies if they were attacked.

* * *

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who had given a less-than-rousing speech in support of Trump's nomination at the Republican National Convention, responded by suggesting the remark showed the political neophyte's inexperience and the need for guidance from more seasoned lawmakers.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-trailguide-updates-1469369642-htmlstory.html

Any coincidence that a Russian hack turns into an anti-Dem disclosure?

Dallas tragedy proves a good guy with a gun shouldn't be the only thing that stops a bad guy ...

...with a gun.


“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Well, that gun lobby rubbish was again disproved in Dallas.

Twelve good guys — law enforcement men and women trained to shoot — were stopped by one bad guy. Five officers were killed and seven wounded. Two civilians also were injured before the bad guy was finally stopped by a bomb-carrying robot.

How many good guys with guns were there trying to subdue this bad guy? Maybe 100? More?

The bad guy himself, like so many killers, apparently also was a good guy, until he wasn’t anymore — until he decided to shoot white cops. Micah Xavier Johnson, a 25-year-old black man, had no known criminal record or ties to terror groups. He was formerly a U.S. Army reservist stationed in Afghanistan.

New Yorker - "The Horrific, Predictable Result of a Widely Armed Citizenry"


The killings in Dallas are one more reminder that guns are central, not accessory, to the American plague of violence. They were central fifty-plus years ago, when a troubled ex-Marine had only to send a coupon to a mail-order gun house in Chicago to get a military rifle with which to kill John F. Kennedy—that assassin-sniper also fired from a Dallas building onto a Dallas street. They are central now, when the increased fetishism of guns and carrying guns has made such horrors as last night’s not merely predictable but unsurprising. The one thing we can be sure of, after we have mourned the last massacre, is that there will be another. You wake up at three in the morning, check the news, and there it is.

We don’t yet know exactly by whom and for what deranged “reason” or mutant “cause” five police officers were murdered last night, but, as the President rightly suggested, we do know how—and the how is a huge part of what happened. By having a widely armed citizenry, we create a situation in which gun violence becomes a common occurrence, not the rarity it ought to be and is everywhere else in the civilized world. That this happened amid a general decline in violence throughout the Western world only serves to make the crisis more acute; America’s gun-violence problem remains the great and terrible outlier.

Weapons empower extremes. Allowing members of any fringe of any movement to get their hands on military weapons guarantees that any normal dispute—political or, for that matter, domestic—can quickly lead to a massacre. Our guns have outraced our restrictions, but not our imaginations. Sometime in the not-too-distant past, annihilation replaced street theatre and demonstrations as the central possibility of the enraged American imagination. Guns allow the fringe to occupy the center.

* * *

Once again, it needs stating because it can’t be stated too often: despite the desperate efforts of the National Rifle Association to prevent research on gun violence, the research has gone on, and shows conclusively what common sense already suggests. Guns are not merely the instrument; guns are the issue. The more guns there are, the more gun violence happens. In light of last night’s assassinations, it is also essential to remember that the more guns there are, the greater the danger to police officers themselves. It requires no apology for unjustified police violence to point out that, in a heavily armed country, the police officer who thinks that a suspect is armed is likelier to panic than when he can be fairly confident that the suspect is not. We have come to accept it as natural that ordinary police officers should be armed and ready to use lethal force at all times. They should not be. A black man with a concealed weapon should be no more liable to be killed than a white man with one. But having a nation of men carrying concealed lethal weapons pretty much guarantees that there will be lethal results, an outcome only made worse by our toxic racial history. Last night’s tragedy was also the grotesque reductio ad absurdum of the claim that it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun. There were nothing but good guys and they had nothing but guns, and five died anyway, as helpless as the rest of us.

Ryan, House Republicans to unveil U.S. tax reform plan

Source: MSN/Reuters

U.S. House of Representatives Republicans want to lower the top individual income tax rate to 33 percent and slash the corporate tax rate, according to a blueprint released on Friday as an agenda for this year's re-election campaign.

The tax reform plan, to be officially unveiled on Friday morning at the U.S. Capitol, is the sixth and final plank of a conservative policy agenda being rolled out by House Speaker Paul Ryan in an effort to unify Republicans after a divisive primary campaign.

Ryan, the country's highest-ranking elected Republican, has described the agenda as a way to offer voters a coherent policy message across key legislative areas for 2017. He has already released segments on poverty, national security, regulation, constitutional authority and healthcare.

Aides describe these issue areas as common ground between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Ryan, who withheld his endorsement of the billionaire businessman until recently.

Read more: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/ryan-house-republicans-to-unveil-us-tax-reform-plan/ar-AAhz54v

Vote Republican in November so that Donald Trump and Paul Ryan can bring the right wing utopia that is Kansas to the rest of the country.

MJ - Today Brings Yet More Obamacare Non-Failure

While the corporate media continues to run stories noting that healthcare costs have continued to grow notwithstanding the ACA, what they frequently ignore is that the rate of growth has not only slowed, but has grown at a slower rate than forecast.


I've written frequently about the fact that the rapid growth in US health care costs has slowed down in recent years. Here's the latest version of the slowdown, courtesy of the Urban Institute:

The raw data for this chart comes the national health expenditures forecast issued annually by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. As you can see, their latest forecast for the year 2019 is about $500 billion less than it was in 2010. The cumulative forecast for 2014-19 is now $2.6 trillion less than it was in 2010.

It's hard to say how much, if any, of this decrease is due to Obamacare. My own guess is that the cost-saving parts of Obamacare haven't had time to really kick in yet, which means the recent slowdown in health care costs is most likely just an extension of the slowdown that's been percolating behind our backs for more than three decades.

But that doesn't mean there's nothing to say about Obamacare here. CMS did forecasts both before and after Obamacare passed, and they predicted that Obamacare would increase spending. Lots of conservatives predicted the same thing. But it didn't happen. Here's the chart for private health care spending:

Trump's plans would cause 'lengthy recession,' cost millions of jobs: analysis

It is funny given the lack of specificity of Trump's proposals that Moody had to test Trump’s plans under three scenarios: one in which Trump is taken at face value and his plans are enacted exactly as he has described, a second where his policies are adopted but at a more modest level, and a third where a skeptical Congress scale back Trump’s plans due to “political realities.”


Donald Trump’s economic proposals would isolate the United States, hurt its economic growth, increase the federal deficit and cost millions of American jobs, according to new analysis.

The grim findings from Moody’s Analytics state that the nation’s wealthiest would benefit the most from the presumptive GOP nominee's proposals, while middle- and lower-class Americans would be hurt the most.

“The economy will be significantly weaker if Mr. Trump’s economic proposals are adopted. Under the scenario in which all his stated policies become law in the manner proposed, the economy suffers a lengthy recession and is smaller at the end of his four-year term than when he took office,” the report said.

“By the end of his presidency, there are close to 3.5 million fewer jobs and the unemployment rate rises to as high as 7%, compared with below 5% today. During Mr. Trump’s presidency, the average American household’s after-inflation income will stagnate, and stock prices and real house values will decline.”

Donald Trump Reaches Out to Evangelicals, Promising Antiabortion Judicial Nominees

Trump is courting the evangelical vote noting that his list of possible Supreme Court judges are pro-life.


Seeking to build new bridges to religious conservatives, Donald Trump Friday pledged to nominate antiabortion justices to the Supreme Court and to protect Christians’ religious freedom in a carefully scripted speech to leading evangelical activists.

“We will restore faith to its proper mantle in society,” Mr. Trump told the annual conference of the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C. “We will respect and defend Christian Americans.”

Although the bombastic New Yorker, a thrice-married billionaire who used to support abortion rights, isn't a natural fit for many social conservatives, Mr. Trump drew leverage from the fact that many in the audience cared more than anything about who will pick the next justices on the Supreme Court.

* * *

He pointed to what was perhaps his most important step of his campaign toward easing concerns on the religious right: The list he released last month of the judges with strong conservative credentials whom he would consider for the vacancy on the Supreme Court. “By the way, these judges are all pro-life,” he said. Mrs. Clinton, by contrast “will appoint radical judges,” he said.

Disney/Marvel - Captain America In the Era of Donald Trump - A Hydra (Nazi) Agent All Along

When Captain America was originally conceived, he punched Hitler. In Civil War, he was a voice for civil disobedience in opposing the oppression of mutants. However, as the Republican party under Donald Trump rises to prominence with a message of intolerance and hate, Disney and Marvel re-imagine Captain America to represent America today, as an agent of the Nazi terrorist group Hydra. It is a pretty honest and bold move for Disney and Marvel to embrace the America of today where millions of Americans so willing embrace Donald Trump, a man unapologetically makes racist, sexist and religious based attacks on his adversaries. But then again, since Donald Trump's rise has been compared with rise of nationalists and facists, it would be fitting for Marvel/Disney's character to continue to be an ardent opponent of facism.

So, America, we now have a hero who is the proper face of Donald Trump's vision of America.


Hell hath no fury like a fanboy scorned, as the recent revelations in the new Marvel comic of Captain America have shown. Fans of the movie franchise will know that the WWII super soldier Steve Rogers, frozen solid after sacrificing himself, awakens in the modern world to find his old nemesis HYDRA, an evil Nazi group with ties to the occult and power grabbing, still active and everywhere. But now a twist in Captain America: Steve Rogers No. 1 has revealed one of the biggest twists in comics history – Captain America has been a HYDRA sleeper agent all along.

Plot twists like this are the bread and butter of the comic book industry, but fans have not been taking Captain America’s secret very well. Mostly down to the fact that HYDRA has undeniable ties to fascism and Nazi Germany. Even Chris Evans, the US actor who plays the Captain in Marvel Studios' billion dollar cinematic universe franchise, weighed in on the twist on Twitter:

* * *

In all the online sound and fury over the plot turn, a surprising response emerged among disappointed fans to challenge the comic: donate the price of the issue to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Rockscanfly, the name of the Tumblr user who came up with the idea, saw it shared far and wide across the Internet, finding favour among fans of the comic book character created by two Jewish cartoonists in the middle of WWII – whose very first cover saw him knocking auld Adolf’s blocks off with a single punch.
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