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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

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NYT Room for Debate: The Sanders Revolution Has Only Just Begun


Approval rate above 90 percent for suspected terrorists who try to buy guns

People on the terrorist watch list shouldn't have easy access to firearms. That said, the last paragraph makes a good point - there should be a transparent process for adding people to the watch list and they should have access to a speedy appeal mechanism.


The data, compiled by the Government Accountability Office, show that between 2004 and 2015, 2,477 individuals on the watch list applied to purchase weapons. Of those, 2,265 were approved – more than 91 percent. That rate was more than 95 percent last year, according to the data, which showed that between January 2015 and December “individuals on the terrorist watch list were involved in firearm-related background checks 244 times.” Only 21 of those were denied. The other 233 were cleared through FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System to make the purchases.


Separately, all 16 Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee have signed a letter pressing Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, to consider legislation to reinstate a lapsed ban on automatic assault weapons, and to tighten legal loopholes that allowed the assailants in the mass shootings in Orlando and San Bernardino, Ca., to buy semi-automatic weapons.


The Democrats also called for action to eliminate a loophole allowing gun owners to privately sell firearms without federal background checks like those required of dealers. They also seek to bar dealers from transferring firearms before a background check has been completed and to prohibit the sale of guns to a variety of individuals, including people on the terror watch list, who’ve been convicted of hate crimes or stalking, and people with a history of domestic violence.


But limitations on gun purchases by people on the terrorist watch list are particularly controversial, with many guns rights advocates and civil liberties proponents arguing that there is little known about how someone can be added to the list. Winning removal from the list is a long and arduous process. The American Civil Liberties Union, a major critic of the watch list system, says on its website that “tens of thousands of names” have been placed on government watch lists “without an adequate factual basis.” The ACLU says that in addition to the FBI, at least five other government agencies maintain watch lists.

For 40 Years, Liberals Have Accepted Defeat and Called It "Incremental Progress"

Very good read that cries for more than four paragraphs. Please visit the link. The contrast between the LBJ quote and Hillary's denunciation of Medicare for All is striking.


The primary campaign between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders has produced the most direct ideological battle the Democratic Party has seen in a generation. It’s not just the policy differences that separate Sanders’s blunt social-democratic platform from Clinton’s neoliberal grab bag. The two candidates embody clashing theories of politics — alternative visions of how to achieve progressive goals within the American political system.

The Bernie Sanders model of change has all the subtlety of an index finger raised high above a debate podium. Lay out a bold, unapologetic vision of reform that speaks directly to people’s basic needs. Connect that vision to existing popular struggles, while mobilizing a broad and passionate coalition to support it (#NotMeUs). Ride this wave of democratic energy to overwhelm right-wing opposition and enact major structural reforms. The Hillary Clinton model of change, on the other hand, begins not with policy or people but with a politician. Choose an experienced, practical leader who explicitly rejects unrealistic goals. Rally around that leader’s personal qualifications, while defending past achievements and stressing the value of party loyalty (#ImWithHer). Draw on the leader’s expertise to grind away at Congress and accumulate incremental victories that add up to significant reform.


Of course, liberal incrementalists rule out this kind of talk at once: don’t you know the Republicans control Congress? 1936 and 1964 are irrelevant precedents, because the central fact of our political lives is the dominance of the Republican Party. In this view right-wing opposition is not to be dislodged, let alone defeated. At best, it is to be resisted from within the walls of the Democratic Party fortress known as the White House. “The next Democratic presidential term will be mostly defensive,” writes Jonathan Chait — no more or less than a “bulwark” against Republican extremism in Congress.


Seldom do establishment Democrats stop to consider whether this negative mentality — both disturbingly complacent and profoundly uninspiring — has contributed to the steady evisceration of the party at the state level. According to pollsters, political scientists, and their own tribunes, Democrats are now the dominant national party in the United States. (They have, after all, won the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections.) Yet since 2009 Democrats have lost a record nine-hundred state legislative seats, thirty state chambers, and twelve governorships.

White House Petition: Ban the AR-15 from Civilian Ownership


Guns in America is a complicated issue for many reasons. However, the AR-15 is the weapon of choice for Domestic Terrorists and others who wish to kill and harm people quickly and efficiently. It serves no other purpose other than to accomplish this. Banning this gun will show that we can act on this issue. It will have symbolic weight while also making one small step forward on dealing with this epidemic.

Based on the comments of Hillary supporters here, I gotta ask:

Will Hillary as President represent all of us, or only those who supported her in the primary?

There are so many comments along the lines of "she won, so she should ignore Bernie and his fans" that it makes me wonder if she'll represent all of us or not. Reminds me a lot of the George W. Bush fans.

Wisconsin: Lynn Utesch, Clean Water Activist, to Launch Run for State Assembly


Nancy and Lynn Utesch tell supporters of Lynn's run for the
nomination of the Democratic Party for Wisconsin's
first assembly district.

Environmentalist, veteran and small farmer, Lynn Utesch enters Wisconsin state assembly race as favorite in Wisconsin's 'Peninsula' district

Updated - Wisconsin clean water activists from around the state have looked to this day with anticipation: Kewaunee County farmer and environmentalist Lynn Utesch announcing his run for the first assembly district. Utesch told about 30 supporters he will seek the First assembly district seat now held by first-term incumbent Republican Rep. Joel Kitchens, (a Scott Walker Republican who follows the Party line) early this afternoon. The district is located in Wisconsin's northeastern peninsula and composes all of Door and most of Kewaunee county.

Lynn Utesch is a small farmer, (150 acres), and clean water activist, and recently was reported to be listed on Scott Walker's Dept. of Natural Resource's "blacklist" of Wisconsin citizens to which the Walker adminstration is hostile, (Stein and Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), (Door County Daily News).

Utesch lives in the town of Pierce in northern Kewaunee County which he has called a "cautionary tale" for Wisconsin waters.


Utesch told about 30 supporters he is running to work for clean water and sustainable farms in the Dairy State. "We have seen a degradation in the conservation ethic that has taken place here in the state of Wisconsin. It is time that we start working to restore what was given to us by John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Gaylord Nelson," said Utesch, (Yancey, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin). Over one-third of private wells in Kewaunee County were found to be unsafe to drink because they had been polluted by toxins in cow manure from runoff in what a judge termed a "massive regulatory failure" in a 2014 finding, (Seely, WisconsinWatch), circumvented by the the Dept. of Resources.

Holy shit! Maybe Republicans are finally getting a clue!

A Republican friend sent me this, which she said came from facebook ....

I feel the need to drop a little truth on y'all. So buckle up...I'm about to be politically incorrect.

We don't need to take America back. No one stole it. It's right here...you're sitting in it. Chillax.

Mexico isn't going to pay for the wall and we're not going to deport millions of people and break up families. If you think either one is a good idea, you're not smart and probably not a person I want to hang out with.

We don't live in a democracy. Technically we are a Federal Republic. But in reality we are ruled by an oligarchy. If you don't know what that is, look it up. Reading will do you good. You probably need to do more of it.

FoxNews, CNN, and MSNBC have an agenda and are not "fair and balanced" or in any way unbiased. I'll reiterate...read more. Read newspapers (even online ones). Read lots of opinions and sources and then (stay with me here), THINK! Form your own opinion based on as many facts as your can brain can tolerate.

Speaking of facts...there actually is a difference between facts, opinions, and propaganda. You should learn the difference. (Another opportunity to show off your mad reading skills.)

Science is real. We know things because of science. Don't be afraid of it. You have an iPhone and Facebook because of science. It's your friend.

Global warming or "climate change" as the cool kids call it IS REAL. Anyone who tells you it's not real is not a smart person and probably should not be dressing themselves or caring for children.

Racism exists. And you are probably a little racist and should work on that. Seriously.

American Christians are not under attack. We are not being persecuted. We wield so much power in this country that politicians pretend to be Christian just so we will vote for them. No one is trying to take your bible away from you. The gay people are not destroying our families—we don't need any help from them, thank you. We do a fine job of that by ourselves. So stop saying we are persecuted. You sound stupid.

Poor people need help. If you're not helping them but complaining about how the government helps them with your money you are not a nice person.

Be nice to the people who teach your children. Don't send them nasty emails or yell at them. Their job is 10,000 times harder than your stupid job. You are not a professional educator so just shut your mouth and be thankful someone is willing to teach your offspring.

You don't know what Common Core is. You think you do, but you don't unless you're a teacher. So stop complaining about math problem memes on Facebook. You can't do the math anyway.

ISIS is not an existential threat to the United States. We do not need to rebuild our military. Our military is the strongest, scariest, most badass killing machine the world has ever seen. So stop being afraid and stop letting politicians and pundits scare you.

Guns do in fact kill people. That's what they are designed to do. If you feel you need a gun to protect yourself in America, you are probably living in the wrong neighborhood and should move before you go out and buy a gun. There are like a billion places to live where you won't need a gun, or even need to lock your front door.

If you do own a gun, then make sure you know how to use it really, really, really well. Seriously...get some training because you still don't know how to record stuff with your DVR. Go to the gun range and shoot the thing a lot. Learn how to clean it properly and be able to disassemble it and reassemble it with your eyes closed. It's a freaking gun and it deserves that level of care, proficiency and respect. And for God's sake, keep it locked up and away from your kids.

If you are even a little bit crazy, sad, or pissed off...you shouldn't have a gun. And the Founding Fathers would totally agree with me.

Stop being suspicious of American Muslims. I guarantee the guy sitting next to you in the cubicle at work is probably more of a threat to you than any Muslim. He has to listen to your uninformed ranting day after day and has probably already imagined very colorful and creative ways to end you.

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and all the rest are ENTERTAINERS! Stop getting your opinions from them. (Here's where that reading thing can really be an advantage.)

Stop sharing Facebook memes that tell me to share or else Jesus won't bless me with a laundry basket full of cash. That's not how prayer works. And I don't want money delivered (even from God) in a laundry basket. Nobody ever washes those things out and they just keep putting nasty dirty clothes in them. Yuck!

We are the United States of America and we can afford to house every homeless veteran, feed every child, and take in every refugee and still have money left over for Starbucks and a bucket of KFC.

Unless you can trace your family line back to someone who made deerskin pants look stylish and could field dress a buffalo, you are a descendent of an immigrant. Please stop saying that immigrants are ruining our country. Such comments are like a giant verbal burrito stuffed with historical ignorance, latent racism, and xenophobia all wrapped in a fascist tortilla.

That's all for now. I feel better.

I can't believe this post doesn't have hundreds of recommendations. Has DU gone full neo-con?


The Democratic Governors Association wants your opinion, if you can afford to have one


No policy questions asked, but if you can't afford to donate the only choice they give you is "No, I don't care whether Democrats win in 2016."


The Progressive - Sanders' Success: Democratic Socialism Goes Mainstream


Hillary Clinton’s capture of the Democratic presidential nomination—an historic milestone for women—should not obscure the significant long-term opportunities created by democratic socialist Bernie Sanders’s sustained and scorching attack on a “rigged” economy and an increasingly undemocratic political system.

A January 2016 poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa found that 43 percent described themselves as “socialist.” Fully 56 percent of registered Democrats, including 52 percent of Clinton supporters, view socialism favorably according to a recent NY Times/CBS News poll. These poll results signal the emergence of democratic socialism as a mainstream idea—at least in the Democratic Party.


The Democrats’ donor class remains overwhelmingly committed to the financialization of the economy and the “free-trade” deals that have led to the offshoring of jobs to nations like China and Mexico. Democratic officeholders remain cowed by the fear of alienating donors who wield enormous power. Bernie Sanders managed to surmount this system with an impressive base of small donors. But it is improbable that less visible Democratic candidates will be able to launch viable campaigns on $27 contributions.


In the late 1970s socialist leader Michael Harrington tried mightily to build a strong socialist current within the Democratic Party. Ultimately, his efforts were blocked by the Democratic leadership’s dogged embrace of business as usual. But the dire conditions facing ordinary working people, who are or potentially could be Democratic voters, make this moment ripe for a powerful democratic socialist bloc. The Progressive Democrats have been trying to stoke the flames in recent times. As Harrington would put it, is the Democratic Party willing to seriously explore “the left edge of the possible”?
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