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BainsBane

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Member since: Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:49 PM
Number of posts: 36,688

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Defending Democracy

Voter disenfranchisement through lines and voting irregularities is indeed a concern, and I believe strongly in championing access to the voting whenever and wherever possible in all states. Yet democracy also includes respecting the will of the people especially when their vote differs from one's own choice. Democracy is not served by overturning elections that didn't turn out how we might like or by finding ways to discount those votes.

Much attention has been paid to the controversial superdelegates. Earlier in this primary season, the Sanders campaign argued they were antithetical to democracy. They imagined being in a position where they would win the popular vote and earned delegates but then might lose due to the superdelegates. Many of us doubted that would happen.

Fast forward to March, and Sanders is seeking to woo superdelegates. Suddenly they aren't so antidemocratic. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/sanders-surprises-controversial-superdelegate-strategy

Yet it doesn't stop there. Tad Devine has indicated that pledged delegates can also be flipped.
Despite being trounced by Clinton in five states Tuesday, the Sanders campaign told reporters this week that not only do they expect the second half of the primary to add to their delegate count, they also believe Clinton’s pledged delegate lead might start to erode if pledged delegates see Sanders doing well and decide to support him instead of Clinton. . .

Sanders senior strategist Tad Devine made the case Wednesday on a call with reporters that, despite pledged delegates getting their spots based on Democratic votes in primaries and caucuses, they are free to switch which candidate they represent based on personal preference. He pointed to the Jimmy Carter campaign in 1980 and said that before Carter won the Democratic nomination, the campaign was “deeply concerned about the defection of pledged delegates.”

“We don’t have a plan at the moment to be calling all the Clinton delegates, you know, once they get selected and try to persuade them individually to be for Bernie Sanders,” Devine said when pressed by a reporter. “But we do believe that if we can succeed in the second half of the process as much as Hillary did or even more so, that there will be enormous pressure on people who are going to be delegates at this convention to do the right, responsible thing.”
http://www.ibtimes.com/bernie-sanders-fantasy-campaign-hopes-win-hillary-clintons-pledged-delegates-unlikely-2338452


Pledged delegates, as we all know, are pledged as a result of elections and caucuses where voters cast their presidential preferences. Flipping pledged delegates means overturning the results of popular elections; it would require handing the nomination to someone who received fewer votes and fewer earned delegates.

Given the concern about infringement of voting rights through long lines and irregularities, I'm sure we can all agree that any effort to deliver the nomination to a candidate that receives a minority of the vote and with it the pledged delegate count would be antithetical to the will of the people and therefore antidemocratic. Sanders supporters will no doubt want to voice their concern to Tad Devine and tell him they do not support such a strategy because the priority must be on the democratic will of the people.

You can do that here at info@berniesanders.com Many of you may have better contact information for the campaign. I only have the email through which I received unsolicited and unwanted requests for donations, even after I subscribed. They do answer it, however. That much I know.

Join me in standing up for democracy. Tell Tad Devine you will not support efforts to overturn popular elections by flipping pledged delegates.

Voter suppression in Utah




Frenzy of voters overwhelm caucus sites around Utah

(KUTV) Utah is experiencing a frenzy of voting activity for the Democrat and Republican caucuses Tuesday night. Long lines have been reported in Davis County, Salt Lake County and Utah County, among others.

Long lines, a shortage of ballots and crashing websites all played havoc with a voter turnout that seems significantly higher than political parties expected.

The Democratic website was down but returned to service Tuesday evening. It listed about 90 caucus locations for Democrats. The party didn't require registration to vote.

The Vote.Utah.Gov website also experienced errors, returning an error message when citizens tried to locate their caucus locations. Later in the evening Tuesday, that site also seemed to work.

http://kutv.com/news/local/frenzy-of-voters-overwhelm-caucus-sites-around-utah


Yesterday, CNN was reporting a mile-long line in Salt Lake City. Yet somehow the only state that causes concern today is Arizona.
I wonder why?

Does this mean the results of the Utah caucuses should be nullified as well? Is it DWS' fault? Hillary's?

Get over it

No one is entitled to hand pick a president in violation of the democratic will of the majority, whether young or just plain angry. Clearly millenials have no problem voting for Clinton in the general. You've been on a vendetta against Clinton since I joined this site over three years ago. It's obvious from your comments above that you aren't concerned about the issues enough to even bother looking at her policy proposals. Unions have endorsed Clinton. Clearly they see her as the best candidate to advance their interests. They speak for their interests, not you.

Bernie never advanced an alternative foreign policy. He didn't care enough to even engage substantively in the subject or even assemble a foreign policy team. As much as people like me might wish for a less hawkish foreign policy, no foreign policy is not a plausible alternative. I rather have someone who has some understanding around the world. It's too important to leave to someone who doesn't even care to engage with that aspect of the job of president.

Then there is the fact that his entire talking point about "not having a super pac" proved to be empty rhetoric. Staffers who just left his campaign are working for one in Alaska that started a year ago!. http://time.com/4261350/bernie-sanders-super-pac-alaska-millenials/ By the way, that's illegal, as were the $23 million in excess campaign contributions that went to his affiliated pac and his campaign, prompting a series of FEC inquiries (middle and end of Feb).
http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/02/12/f-e-c-tells-sanders-campaign-that-some-donors-may-have-given-too-much/?_r=4
http://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/988/201602110300034988/201602110300034988.pdf
And again. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/02/26/bernie-sanders-campaign-contributions/80999298/
http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/politics/2016/02/26/feds-flag-bernie-sanders-campaign-contributions/80985898/

That's more violations that any candidate in US history. You fell for it hook, line and sinker, all because you despise one woman who seeks to be president, on a platform to the left of any General Election candidate in thirty to forty years. Oh, the party has gone to the "right." Nonsense. Her policy positions show the very opposite. That is the doing of the American people. They have made clear to her what they want and she has listened, which is in fact the responsibility of elected representatives.

The chorus of cries against the "establishment" just so happens to correspond to the presidency of a black man and the first woman as a serious contender for the presidency. Voters who want "anti-establishment" have Trump as an option. Like Bernie, he hearkens back to a "great" American past, that just happens to correspond to a period when the majority were denied civil rights or economic opportunity. Unlike Bernie, his appeal is brazenly racist. That may be partly why independents and even some Democrats have crossed over to support him in larger numbers. Polling demonstrates that it is not the poorest Americans who are most angry but rather whites, even those far more prosperous than the majority; they see themselves as having lost out in comparison to the rest of society.

Voters will have a stark choice in the general election. Trump stands for everything that Clinton doesn't. She Clinton doesn't believe the white male bourgeoisie deserves more than the rest. She doesn't seek to restore them to what they see as her rightful place atop the capitalist world order, during the great years of American empire that ensured their comfort along with the subjugation of the majority at home and abroad.

The irony of decrying American foreign policy while also lamenting the decline of the middle class is that American prosperity was secured through coups and massive land grabs that maintained access to national resources for US corporations, whether American Sugar, United Fruit (La Fruteria in 100 Years of Solitude), ITT, or Kennecott and Anaconda Copper. An entire theory of economic inequality was developed around that geopolitical relationship: Dependency theory. People who have more than 99% of the world's population complain about how exploited they are because a few billionaires have even more, with no concept of how their lifestyle is made possible by horrific exploitation around the globe.

I see the same people who go on about corporatist this and that talking about their wardrobe of couture gowns, four bathroom homes, and how exploitative intern salaries of $70k a year are, like they can't imagine getting by on so little. It astounds me. I have been insulted about my so-called alliance with the rich by people who have never been depended on food stamps or welfare in their lives, who didn't grow up surrounded by drug dealing and prostitution, and have no idea what it's like to be poor. I know that isn't every Bernie supporter, not by a long margin. But I resent the construct of the 99% since it empowers those in the top 20% to pretend like their experiences have anything in common with people at the bottom. I've been in the very bottom 5% (US, not global) and in the 50%-55%, and the difference is monumental, completely life changing.

If you haven't yet voted in the primary, no one is stopping you from doing so. Bush, Fiorina, and O'Malley all got votes on Tuesday. I myself voted for Dean even after Kerry was the only one in the race. Your vote is your own, but it is only one vote. No one owes you, or your supposed concern for millenials, their vote. Democracy. One person, one vote. Deal with it.

Why I don't support Bernie Sanders

A Bernie supporter posted a thread asking why Clinton supporters didn't believe Bernie. I responded quite substantively but got no response. Someone then suggested I post this as an OP, so I am doing so.

The great chasm between rhetoric and action

Immigration. On national television he announced he did not vote to protect the Minutemen. He insisted Clinton had pulled one part of a complex bill out of context. The fact is he voted for a designated amendment that did prohibit the Homeland Security from informing the Mexican government about Minutemen activity. https://www.congress.gov/amendment/109th-congress/house-amendment/971/text
Roll call vote ( linked to on page with text of amendment) clearly shows his yes vote under independents: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll224.xml

His voting record in general on immigration differs dramatically from how he presents himself. http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/27110/bernie-sanders/40/immigration#.VueLNJwrLWI
From the time he entered congress, he voted against every immigration reform bill until 2013, when, it appears, he may have been thinking about a run for the presidency.

In general I am suspicious of people who over-promise. I have seen Sanders make a number of promises (from overturning Citizens United, to within his first term making the US no longer have the highest prison population on earth, on and on) that are simply not within the purview of the presidency.

His statements about not "having" or "doing" Super pacs is particularly disingenuous to me. He said in a recent debate, "we decided not to do a Super Pac" and "Hillary Clinton has a Super Pac." Those statements play to the American public's ignorance about campaign finance law. Candidates do not "do" or "have" Super Pacs. They are legally separate entities. Yet Bernie has benefited from more super pac and dark money spending than Clinton, by a large margin. He also has affiliated PACs, which have, along with his campaign, been cited for repeated campaign finance violations. He pretends the issue is about personal virtue, ignoring all the spending done on his behalf, yet his campaign doesn't even follow the already existing and all to meager campaign finance law. He has been cited by the FEC for hundreds of violations, more than any campaign I know about. ( I link to a number of sources in this post that provide evidence for the preceding paragraph. http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1251&pid=1258143. And https://gobling.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/fec-hits-bernie2016-with-campaign-finance-violations/ $23 million is not a minor amount of money).

Another key argument for his campaign is corporate accountability, yet he applies that only to one area of the economy: Wall Street.
He voted to grant immunity to gun corporations. After first denying that vote in an early debate, then saying he would rethink the position, he championed his vote in the debate just prior to Michigan. In addition to being all over the map on the issue, I interpret his last debate statement on the vote as a message to the rural Michigan voters. The NRA tweet the next day expressing support for his position helped in that regard. He played the politics of it masterfully, but I find the position reprehensible, not only because of my views on gun control but because it contradicts his claims to stand as an anti-establishment candidate against corporate excess.

He denounces military spending while voting for pet projects for VT (the f-35). Again, a great difference between rhetoric and behavior.

Then single payer. After disclosing to the press in 2010 that single payer was a nonstarter in the Obamacare debates, he now has built a campaign around attacking Clinton for not embracing a policy he himself said would only have gotten 8 or 9 votes, and that was when the Democrats had a majority in both houses. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/sanders-single-payer-never-had-a-chance

I think he believes what he says about a political revolution, but that doesn't make it any more convincing. Turnout is not up from 2008. There is no indication that Bernie would receive the kind of voter support that would transform congress, as he claimed in his last debate. He has no answer as to how he will work with the existing congress. In other words, he has no plan to implement any of what he promises. I judge him lacking in credibility.

I also find highly disconcerting the fact he hasn't even assembled a foreign policy team and that he thinks it acceptable to pivot away from questions on foreign policy. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/bernie-sanders-foreign-policy-deficit-218431
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/election/article65064407.html That position might work for a candidate running to raise issues, but not for someone who seeks to actually be president. I want a president to be informed, engaged, and competent.

Another thing that really bothers me is his failure to take responsibility for his own votes. He blamed Clinton for mass incarceration but accepts no responsibility for his own vote for those laws. He announced it was a disgrace that Gitmo hasn't been closed, yet he himself voted on at least two occasions against closing it. How is it possible not to find that sort of thing questionable?

Now this is a meme

The great chasm between rhetoric and action

Immigration. On national television he announced he did not vote to protect the Minutemen. He insisted Clinton had pulled one part of a complex bill out of context. The fact is he voted for a designated amendment that did prohibit the Homeland Security from informing the Mexican government about Minutemen activity. https://www.congress.gov/amendment/109th-congress/house-amendment/971/text
Roll call vote ( linked to on page with text of amendment) clearly shows his yes vote under independents: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll224.xml

His voting record in general on immigration differs dramatically from how he presents himself. http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/27110/bernie-sanders/40/immigration#.VueLNJwrLWI
From the time he entered congress, he voted against every immigration reform bill until 2013, when, it appears, he may have been thinking about a run for the presidency.

In general I am suspicious of people who over-promise. I have seen Sanders make a number of promises (from overturning Citizens United, to within his first term making the US no longer have the highest prison population on earth , on and on) that are simply not within the purview of the presidency.

His statements about not "having" or "doing" Super pacs is particularly disingenuous to me. He said in a recent debate, "we decided not to do a Super Pac" and "Hillary Clinton has a Super Pac." Those statements play to the American public's ignorance about campaign finance law. Candidates do not "do" or "have" Super Pacs. They are legally separate entities. Yet Bernie has benefited from more super pac and dark money spending than Clinton, by a large margin. He also has affiliated PACs, which have, along with his campaign, been cited for repeated campaign finance violations. He pretends the issue is about personal virtue, ignoring all the spending done on his behalf, yet his campaign doesn't even follow the already existing and all to meager campaign finance law. ( I link to a number of sources in this post that provide evidence for the preceding paragraph. http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1251&pid=1258143. And https://gobling.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/fec-hits-bernie2016-with-campaign-finance-violations/ $23 million is not a minor amount of money).

Another key argument for his campaign is corporate accountability, yet he applies that only to one area of the economy: Wall Street.
He voted to grant immunity to gun corporations. After first denying that vote in an early debate, then saying he would rethink the position, he championed his vote in the debate just prior to Michigan. In addition to being all over the map on the issue, I interpret his last debate statement on the vote as a message to the rural Michigan voters. The NRA tweet the next day expressing support for his position helped in that regard. He played the politics of it masterfully, but I find the position reprehensible, not only because of my views on gun control but because it contradicts his claims to stand as an anti-establishment candidate against corporate excess.

He denounces military spending while voting for pet projects for VT (the f-35). Again, a great difference between rhetoric and behavior.

Then single payer. After disclosing to the press in 2010 that single payer was a nonstarter in the Obamacare debates, he now has built a campaign around attacking Clinton for not embracing a policy he himself said would only have gotten 8 or 9 votes, and that was when the Democrats had a majority in both houses. Now they are the minority in both.

I think he believes what he says about a political revolution, but that doesn't make it any more convincing. Turnout is not up from 2008. There is no indication that Bernie would receive the kind of voter support that would transform congress, as he claimed in his last debate. He has no answer as to how he will work with the existing congress. In other words, he has no plan to implement any of what he promises. I judge him lacking in credibility.

I also find highly disconcerting the fact he hasn't even assembled a foreign policy team and that he thinks it acceptable to pivot away from questions on foreign policy. That position might work for a candidate running to raise issues, but not for someone who seeks to actually be president. I want a president to be informed, engaged, and competent.

Another thing that really bothers me is his failure to take responsibility for his own votes. He blamed Clinton for mass incarceration but accepts no responsibility for his own vote for those laws. He announced it was a disgrace that Gitmo hasn't been closed, yet he himself voted on at least two occasions against closing it. How is it possible not to find that sort of thing questionable?

Bernie Sanders wants normal U.S.-Cuba relations but is fuzzy on details

Bernie Sanders knows he wants the United States to treat Cuba like any other country when it comes to diplomacy. . .
What he doesn’t know is what that relationship would look like in practice.

Asked about three specific Cuba policies — the Cuban Adjustment Act; wet-foot, dry-foot; and the immigration status of Cuban nationals convicted of state and federal crimes — Sanders said he didn’t know enough about them to opine.

“I just don’t know all of the details about that,” he said. . .

On Tuesday, Sanders declined to take a position on Colombian peace talks after he was asked about the negotiations on a Miami Colombian-American radio station.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/election/article65064407.html#storylink=cpy


Maybe it's time to start working on that foreign policy team?

It's becoming increasing obvious that the target

is not Wall Street or corporations but the democratic rights of voters, especially people of color and women. You are furious that that people like you don't get to pick presidents all by yourselves and that anyone else has a say in the process. This abiding contempt for equality exposes the big lie at the heart of this election. No one who respects equal rights and democracy so consistently makes these sort of attacks, or the kind of comments we have seen in other threads insulting people of color.

No one owes you an explanation for their vote. That said, this constant repetition of GOP generated propaganda with absolutely no concern for evidence demonstrates that truth and honesty is completely irrelevant here. That these pretentions of superiority are accompanied by disinformation and ignorance only highlights that the fundamental ethos is nothing more than self-entitlement.

One person, one vote. That so many cannot accept that basic point shows that the claim for your candidates campaign is artifice. The goal is not greater equality but narrow class, race, and gender interests.

The notion that a minority of white, predominately male voters are entitled to rule over the rest of us is a worldview that deserves to be defeated once and for all. You don't resent banks or corporations, you resent ordinary Americans who have the audacity to assert their democratic rights. That view has been demonstrated on a daily basis for months now. We are not going back to early Mad Men America. Those values are gone, as they well deserve to be. Clearly you are unable to deal with it. You can insult every last American, and it won't turn the clock back. I know you won't deal with it. We will simply watch you and those like you flail in rage that you cannot control us.

At least she follows existing campaign finance law

Bernie Sanders received a warning from the Federal Election Commission, citing problems with his campaign's February finance report.

The letter states the report lists amounts of contributions, receipts, expenses and disbursements that "appear to be incorrect."

The letter also cites possible impermissible contributions that exceed the allowed limit per election cycle ($2,700 for individuals) along with donations that come from outside the United States and from unregistered political committees.

The FEC sent the letter Thursday to the campaign asking for more information regarding the report filed Feb. 20. The letter warned: "Failure to adequately respond by the response date noted above could result in an audit or enforcement action."


http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/politics/2016/02/26/feds-flag-bernie-sanders-campaign-contributions/80985898/

From the FEC site, one can see the names of some of those people from whom Bernie has accepted contributions in violation of federal law. There are some interesting names on the list. In some cases, two people from the same household both contributed funds that exceed legal limits.

Nice story about phone banking for Hillary

This Saturday, as Nevada caucus results were coming in, I was at my local Clinton campaign headquarters at the Plumbers Union building making phone calls for our own upcoming caucuses. The packet of names given to me had a huge section of voters with the last name Mohammed. I was making my way through the list and was having some trouble communicating with one of the voters due to language differences. A Muslim woman, wearing a headscarf, sitting on the other side of the table said, "If you have trouble understanding anyone, I can take the call. I speak Somali." We decided to switch lists, since there were so many in my pack with Somali names.

I thought, it's really nice to work a campaign with such a diverse support base.

Later when the district field organizer heard her speaking in Somali, he invited her to participate in an upcoming Somali language phone bank. They'll be having others in Spanish. While those are only two of the many languages spoken in our area, it's nice to see not only the effort at outreach but that Clinton has enough volunteers from diverse backgrounds to be able to hold foreign language phone banks.

I did bring another volunteer who speaks her own language but also does quite well understanding English:


All paws on deck.
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