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Member since: Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:49 AM
Number of posts: 17,844

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As of now, what is your primary action plan, other than Hillary?

1. Sanders

He says he will run if he sees support. Some are posting that they will support him if declares. That is circular. If someone wants to support him, this seems to be the time.

Also, supporting him now may help him raise money with larger donors. Borrowing a truth from EMILY's List, Early Money Is Like Yeast. It makes the dough rise.

His website gives you a way to contribute and ways to take action.


If you imagine any scenario under which you might support Sanders, this is the time to start.

2. O'Malley.

Pretty much the same thing as Bernie. He seems willing to run, if his "exploration" gives him the notion he can manage it.

Early Money Is Like Yeast. It makes the dough rise.

His website: http://martinomalley.com/

O'Malley has some strong supporters on this site. However, there are also some who see him as corporatist and/or a stalking horse or potential Vice Presidential candidate for Hillary. Or someone who is getting himself known nationally for a future run. On the bright side, he has seen the populist movement (the one that supposedly doesn't exist outside DU) and he will feel the pressure of it as he runs, just as Hillary obviously does. He is already a Democrat and does not have to fight the Democratic Socialist label. I have no clue what his chances are of defeating Hillary in a primary. I don't think they are either zero or 100%, though.

3. Warren.

Unlike Sanders and O'Malley, Warren has not announced even exploration. She has no website of her own at which to donate. Other websites are collecting money for her for the purpose of getting her to run. If they fail in that effort, they can keep the money. In fact, if they succeed in that effort, they can keep the money.

By this point, I feel confident in saying that she knows she has enough support among voters to run. I think she may have been convinced that, if she runs, she will help pave the way for a Republican President. Whether I am correct or not, I don't think donating to a draft Warren effort or volunteering for one at this juncture serves any productive purpose for me or for Warren.

I will go with Bernie, at least at this point. It may not be a practical choice, but I've made very practical primary choices in the past. I think his voice is important and, for me, right now, that is enough. If he drops out, that will be the time for me to re-calibrate.

How about you? Any response is fine, of course, but I will greatly appreciate at least a sentence or two beyond a name--and "I can't say yet" is a perfectly fine answer. It would have been mine this morning.

Let's talk polls.

My belief is that Americans tend to be liberal. Both of the two largest political parties have worked to make at least some of them recoil from the word "liberal." (I don't especially love the word myself. Not so long ago, I was a Democrat, period, with no need to worry about where in the Party my views fell.)

However, if you ask Americans about issues, without characterizing them as liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican, left or right, they will very often choose the liberal position. This is especially so if you somehow manage to ask them before the propaganda machine whirrs up on a given issue. However, bear in mind, that many of these polls were taken even after FOX, Limbaugh, talk radio and all the usual suspects had weighed in again and again.

In the above, Rachel Maddow agrees with me, or I agree with her. (I held my view long before I saw this video.)

http://m.playleets.com/watch/nZi8p7HUH_w (Rachel Maddow)

1. 87% of Americans believe the US should take a role cutting world hunger by half by 2015 even if it costs them.

Should: 83%
Should Not: 13%

Perhaps most significant is how Americans feel about paying for a program to cut
hunger in half. When we asked respondents how much it would cost the average
taxpayer, the median estimate was $50 a year. To find out how Americans would
feel about paying a set cost of $50 a year, PIPA in a different November, 2000
poll asked to assume that "this plan would cost the average taxpayer in the
industrialized countries $50 a year, and that people in the other countries, as
well as the U.S., were willing to pay their share." In this case, 75 percent said they
would be willing to pay $50, and just 19 percent would not. Thus, it is likely that a
near-unanimous majority would be willing to pay the significantly smaller amount
that many experts believe would be necessary for a program to cut world hunger
in half.

http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/us/warf.htm (A date for this story or for this poll did not leap out at me.)

2. Overwhelming majorities of Americans (80%) support Social Security for themselves and for others.

They want it expanded, not cut. http://www.salon.com/2013/11/20/poll_voters_want_social_security_expanded_not_cut/

(And, it works. http://billmoyers.com/2015/01/22/need-expand-effective-anti-poverty-program-america/ )
http://www.nasi.org/learn/social-security/public-opinions-social-security (January 2013)

3. 83% of Americans want student loan interest rates lowered.


4. A majority of Americans albeit a slim one, still supports single payer even though neither Obama (even 2008 Obama) pushed it and Republicans have been attacking any government involvement in health insurance for decades. Let me stress: single payer, Medicare for ALL, not merely a strong public option, which 2009 Obama described as "a sliver."

hehill.com/policy/healthcare/229959-majority-still-support-single-payer-option-poll-finds (January 2015)

5. A majority of Americans favor union collective bargaining rights.


6. 2/3 of Americans believe that the Constitution of the United States mandates separation of church and state.


7. Americans believe that the evidence for climate change is solid. That is 61% of all Americans, 79% of Democrats, 61% of the ever-wooed Independents and even 37% of Republicans. Plenty of votes there for Democrats to pluck from outside their base.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/09/23/most-americans-believe-in-climate-change-but-give-it-low-priority/ (September 2014)

The same poll showed that, in terms of prioritizing threats, they rank ISIS and nuclear weapons threats higher. (Gee, why do you suppose that is?)

8. Despite efforts by Democrats, Republicans and others to discredit, if not destroy, the United States Post Office, 72% of Americans think it does a good job.

http://time.com/3599665/usps-post-office-gallup-poll-positive/ (November 2014)

They rate it the highest among 13 major federal agencies.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/179519/americans-rate-postal-service-highest-major-agencies.aspx (november 2014

(Not to mention the pivotal role of the USPS in Miracle on 34th Street!)

9. A majority of Americans opposed tying funding of Homeland Security to President Obama's Executive Action about immigrants. 59% said a comprehensive immigration bill would be a better way to handle the issue. This poll may have broken the issue down by agreeing with Democrats or agreeing with Republicans. The story is not clear.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pablo-manriquez/new-poll-shows-americans-_b_6819056.html (March 2015)

10. Americans want taxes raised on incomes over $250K a year. (3 polls)

11. Americans support net neutrality.


12. 76% of Americans want money out of politics.


But see the reality of what is entailed: http://www.democraticunderground.com/12776799

In general, see http://www.people-press.org/2011/05/04/beyond-red-vs-blue-the-political-typology/

Politicians are not confused about what we want. Americans are not forcing this country to the right.

Jon Stewart Guardian Interview Why I Quit the Daily Show.

Someone said Stewart has the highest salaried job in show business!


It's funny that the writer of the article thinks CNN and MSNBC are "left wing" media.

"We must get money out of politics, even if it takes a Constitutional Amendment." Reality time.

The first thing to know is that a great majority of all those polled want money out of politics, esp. anonymous money. The second thing is, after Citizens' United, getting money out of politics will indeed take a Constitutional Amendment. https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/558/08-205. Saying that is highly unlikely is understatement. As a corollary, a POTUS does not amend the Constitution.

This combination makes a no brainer for a Democratic politician in a roll out of a Presidential primary campaign. The third thing to remember is that, so far, no New Democrat nominee for President, least of all Hillary, has shown any distaste for money whatever when it came to his or her own campaigns, either before or after Citizens' United.

1. "We must get money out of politics...."

The great majority of Americans polled want money out of politics. Democratic politicians rail against Citizens United, including, Obama in a SOTU, when Justice Alito suddenly and notoriously morphed into would-be President Whisperer.



So, far, so good. How could any politician running for a Democratic Party Presidential nomination possibly go wrong running on "We must get money out of politics, even if it takes a Constitutional Amendment?" It's music to Democratic ears--unless those ears are located somewhere in the zone of reality.

2. "....even if takes a Constitutional Amendment."

Let's start with this: the last time a Constitutional amendment that was controversial was adoped was during the Eisenhower administration with a population that may have been more united by two wars in rapid succession, one against Nazism and the other against the Red Menace, both of which terrified Americans then.

By the 1979s, the nation was already so re-divided that a constitutional amendment ensuring equal rights for a majority of the US population failed to be ratified, although it did at least pass Congress. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Rights_Amendment

Don't know for certain, but I will hazard a guess that, before the propaganda machine began attacking equal rights for women, polls circa 1970 would have shown a majority of people polled supported equal rights. But then, the propaganda machine whirred and no one on the other side managed to pull the plug on it.

Recall how very divided the nation is now, how easy it is to faux filibuster now and how little passed through the 60 vote cloture requirement during Obama's first term. Also recall that the incumbents in both Houses of Congress today are mostly Republicans. Thanks to the 2010 re-districting and the advantages of Congressional incumbency, that is unlikely to change any time soon.

With all that reality firmly in mind, let's look at what amending the Constitution of the United States actually requires.

The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. None of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention. The Congress proposes an amendment in the form of a joint resolution. Since the President does not have a constitutional role in the amendment process, the joint resolution does not go to the White House for signature or approval. The original document is forwarded directly to NARA's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for processing and publication. The OFR adds legislative history notes to the joint resolution and publishes it in slip law format. The OFR also assembles an information package for the States which includes formal "red-line" copies of the joint resolution, copies of the joint resolution in slip law format, and the statutory procedure for ratification under 1 U.S.C. 106b.


My darling fellow citizens, if we cannot even get 60 votes for cloture in one House, and the supposedly more temperate House at that, how are we going to get a 2/3 vote in both Houses?

Not that I ever believe Justice Chin Flick, but even faux originalist Scalia says that amending the Constitution is much too difficult.
http://nymag.com/news/features/antonin-scalia-2013-10/index1.html Not that I ever believe Justice Chin Flick.

3. And here's maybe an even more important thing: Before Citizens United, Congress thought it was perfectly free to limit money in political campaigns and in politics generally. What did we have then? Loads of laws leveling the proverbial playing field and shielding federal politicians from the evils of corruption in politics? Um, no. The laws and rules before Citizens' United were notorious lax and still are. After all, who writes and signs that stuff? Even McCain Feingold was voluntary.

New Democrat Bill Clinton was the first President to designate a re-election War Room within the White House. That didn't go well for those who would like to see money out of politics, though it may be that Gore was scapegoated for what I can only assume was Carville's brainchild. And, it was money from outside the country, too. Remember that SOTU mentioned above? The one where Obama mentioned that Citizens United allowed foreign money in campaigns? Trouble was, 1992 and 1996 were both before Citizens' United.



See also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_Room

There seems to have also been some kind of FEC immunity deal for Hillary, though it first came to my attention as I was wrapping up this post and I frankly state I don't know much about it.


Hillary's 2008 primary campaign, also before Citizens' United, raised plenty, including from foreign donors--until the Obama campaign publicized donations from China, whereupon Hillary's campaign returned them.


New Democrat Obama famously said he would abide by McCain Feingold if the Republican nominee agreed to it. But then, the Republican nominee, ironically, McCain of McCain Feingold, did agree. Obama reneged, raising about 3/4 of a billion dollars. The DNC did, however, unabashedly file a complaint with the FEC that McCain was not abiding by McCain Feingold. Things like using his wife's jet for campaign travel were cited.

McCain paid the money and that was it. No highly publicized prosecution. John Edwards on the other hand, was prosecuted vigorously by Holder's D of J, while the Edwards' kids were grieving their mom's passing. That case arose because a rich woman doted on him enough that she write checks for antiques and stuff to house his pregnant baby mama. With her own advisors knowing perfectly well that those checks were not for antiques.

And the above does not even touch soft money, where the really big donations live.

Bubba also raised big money from other nations, like the Saudis, for his Presidential library, as I suspect most recent Presidents have and Obama will. And, while Hillary was Secretary of State, foreign nations were very generous to the Clinton Foundation.

This post only skims the surface. Yet, I am not sure I can even sum up this post. Maybe the first two paragraphs of this post are the summation?

Bottom line for me personally, "We must get money out of politics, even if it takes a constitutional amendment" is problematic, to say the least. Maybe we'll hear exactly how Hillary plans to get 2/3 of each House of Congress to pass this and 2/3 of the states to ratify.

I've often posted that the 1% could care less whom we marry and which methods of contraception we use. However, the 1% will care plenty about this. A lobbyist has said the dollars spent to get favorable government action get the biggest bang for the buck of any dollar big business spends on anything. If the ERA couldn't pass, I am not optimistic about Americans defeating Koch Industries, ALEC and others on this one.

Greenspan, Summers, potaytoe, pohtahto.

And Geithner was Kissinger's protege....

It's all one big happy family that fear of armed revolution requires we perceive as the Hatfields and the McCoys.

And even the need for our perception is being phased out by Homeland Security, militarized police, the NSA, cameras on every other street and so on.

Comfortable shoes.


Why would anyone link Obamacare to the Post Office, when the much more logical link would have been to Medicare?

And why would a Democratic President take a pot shot at the US Post Office when it was already buckling under the "reform" of 2006?

Why would a Democratic President have appointed the author of the 2006 postal "reform" bill to the Postal Commission, along with Hammond, another enemy of postal workers?


There are pros and cons to holding a Democratic National Convention to be held in a right to work state, but not to any of the above. Not to mention the Wisconsin messes with Walker.


Trumka has warned Democrats, but he is in the same LOTE bind as voters. And, as a general strike violates law.....

In summary: The comfortable shoes came out of the closet only for the 2008 campaign, then went back in never to be seen again. And not because Joe Lieberman stole them, either. Or Baucus. Or the Blue Dogs. Or anyone of the worn out excuses.

And that was only one thing mentioned during the 2008 that was not as we imagined it would be--and I do mean imagined.

In general:

As New Democrat founding member Hillary rolls out her 2016 primary campaign rhetoric, it would be good to remember the divergence between the campaign rhetoric of New Democrat Obama's 2008 primary and general campaigns and the reality six years later.

They all knew better.

After it became clear what a mess it was, Biden was on one of the talking head shows going on about how bad Bush was. The host said, but Democrats authorized it.

Biden said, "na, na, na. We negotiated all kinds of safeguards and he ignored them."

So, I posted that on the board where I posted back in the day. A retired Republican lawyer replied, "Read the AUMF." So I did. The Republican poster was correct. Bush had not violated it. There was some verbiage Democrats could point to, but it did not impede Bush. Based on that and Biden's comment, I conclude they had negotiated for semi-plausible deniability.

Colin Powell, too. He clearly knew as well and covered his ass, so he could point it out later.

At the time, Powell polled high with Americans for credibility. So, he was the pick. UN would be televised. That was not to convince nations to send their youth to war. That was to convince American viewers there was some basis for the war.

When asked about the war later, Powell did the same thing Bush tried to get away with, namely, blaming Tenet. Powell said he (Powell) had made sure Tenet sat right behind him at the UN, right in camera range. And of course, as Powell spoke the program dutifully aired video of Powell talking, with Tenet sitting behind.

Now, imagine Powell believing 100% that war with Iraq was absolutely necessary because the threat was real. Why would Powell make sure Tenet sat behind him, in camera range? Sounded to me as though Powell knew the shaky rational might hit the fan some day. If so, he would have video evidence that Tenet was behind it, literally and figuratively. (WTF? As if Powell couldn't just say, Tenet assured us, with no video?)
And, of course, the host never mentioned the story sounded fishy.

I can still see Powell at the UN, waving pipes around as he spoke. I remember a reporter interviewing two ambassadors to the UN afterward, as they were walking. France and another country. The reporter asked if they would be joining the coalition. They said no. The reporter said "Weren't you impressed with the presentation?"

The two ambassadors eyed each other. One suppressed a smile. The French ambassador said in a drawn out and exaggerated manner, "Oh, yeaaaahhhhh." Then they both looked at each and laughed. They had kept walking the whole time. So, the interview ended when the reporter stopped trying to keep with them.

Safety Nets

This is another reply I've posted in GD that I am making into an OP for this Group.

Krugman had done a thing on Rand Paul and the rightist mentality of cutting safety nets. Fine if he wants to pretend it's only the right cutting safety nets.


President Clinton signed historic welfare legislation yesterday that rewrites six decades of social policy, ending the federal guarantee of cash assistance to the poor and turning welfare programs over to the states.

"Today, we are ending welfare as we know it," Clinton said at a White House ceremony, where he was flanked by three former welfare recipients.


Obama Pledges Reform of Social Security, Medicare

Obama creates National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

Conyers: It was Obama who put cuts to Social Security on the table, not the Republicans.

Bill Clinton tells Ryan to call him if he (Ryan) needs help with Democrats re: "reforming" Medicare
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/on-medicare-bill-clinton-tells-rep-paul-ryan-give-me-a-call/ (note: the link to abc now says the page is missing, but I've seen it many times and wanted to link to it.)

Obama creates Super "Grand Bargain" Committee

Proposal for Sequester originated with Obama White House, not with Republicans

This above is only a partial list of New Democrats cutting, or seeking to cut, some of the last vestiges of the New Deal. For one thing, it does not include the cuts to SNAP.

If anyone wants to remind me of more omissions, I would appreciate it.

Bush, Clinton, Bush - Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iraq.

I posted this in GD as a reply a couple of times. Now I am inflicting it on this group.

Address to the Nation on the Invasion of Iraq (January 16, 1991)

George H. W. Bush

Just 2 hours ago, allied air forces began an attack on military targets in Iraq and Kuwait.
These attacks continue as I speak. Ground forces are not engaged.

This conflict started August 2d when the dictator of Iraq invaded a small and helpless neighbor. Kuwaitóa member of the Arab League and a member of the United Nationsówas crushed; its people, brutalized. Five months ago, Saddam Hussein started this cruel war against Kuwait. Tonight, the battle has been joined.

much more at:


transcript: President Clinton explains Iraq strike

CLINTON: Good evening.

Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

much more at:


more at:


Senate vote on 2002 AUMF at:


House vote on 2002 AUMF at:


10:16 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.

On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war. These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign. More than 35 countries are giving crucial support -- from the use of naval and air bases, to help with intelligence and logistics, to the deployment of combat units. Every nation in this coalition has chosen to bear the duty and share the honor of serving in our common defense.

more at http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030319-17.html

Take Senator Sanders' poll! It's fun.


You don't have to be from Vermont.

You don't have to be for Sanders for POTUS, or even for Vermont Senator.

You just have to want to take the poll.
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