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Member since: Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:49 PM
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Do over: Who can protest where?

Sorry folks. I made a major mistake in my first version of this poll so I have to do a new one.

Apologies to all concerned.

What's wrong with supporting a movement to stop police killings?

What's wrong with anti-racism, support for human rights, social justice and equality? Absolutely nothing. What is wrong is putting one politician's career about that, what is wrong is putting the comfort of the few over key issues of human rights and human lives. I will stand with Black Lives matter every day, any day, all day, always. I do so because I am a leftist who cares about equality and justice in American society, not just for the white middle and upper-middle class but the subaltern, especially for those hunted like animals, whose lives are threatened and whose true revolutionary movement to stop that killing is degraded.

No politician comes before human rights. No politician is more important than social justice and black lives. None.

Absolutely not

I support their protests because I believe their cause is essential, and anyone who thinks one politician is more important than those lives is not someone who can claim to be leftist, progressive or a liberal.

I disavow people who claim BLM needs to sit down and shut up because Bernie and his supporters are their allies. Clearly you and others like you are not their allies. You have made clear you see them and their cause as far less important than the comfort--this is what we are talking about, simple comfort--of one politician.

I disavow white people who show callous disregard for the epidemic of violence against black people. I stand with social justice, racial equality and human life over white entitlement. I am ashamed to have any association, if only by accident of posting on the same message board or sharing the same skin color, with people who advance such views.

You want to proclaim Black Lives Matter the enemy, then you also make me your enemy. I will stand with social justice over crap like this any and every day of my life. That is what it means to be a leftist, to care about justice, human dignity, and equality.

If Bernie is courting progressive voters, why Liberty University?

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will address a convocation next month at Liberty University, the evangelical school where the firebrand Senator Ted Cruz kicked off his own presidential campaign.

Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Va., was founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell and has been a requisite stop for many Republican presidential candidates over the years, and for some Democratic gubernatorial candidates in the state. But it is not typically a place that Democratic primary candidates have sought to visit.

“Liberty University was kind enough to invite me to address a convocation and I decided to accept,” Mr. Sanders said in a statement his spokesman provided. “It goes without saying that my views on many issues — women’s rights, gay rights, education and many other issues — are very different from the opinions of some in the Liberty University community. I think it is important, however, to see if we can reach consensus regarding the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in our country, about the collapse of the middle class, about the high level of childhood poverty, about climate change and other issues.”

Could this be why?

Hillary 57% overall support
64% identifying at very liberal
58% identifying as liberal
59% identifying as moderate
37% identifying as somewhat conservative
27% identifying as very conservative

Sanders 22% overall support
26% identifying at very liberal
19% identifying as liberal
16% identifying as moderate
31% identifying as somewhat conservative
42% identifying as very conservative


THE sure-fire way to predict who will win the Presidency

Forget the polls, statisticians, and odds makers. There is one incontrovertible fact in modern American politics. The candidate with the best hair always win the presidency. Here is the proof:



Here you may be thinking, Gore has more hair than Bush. Alas, the bad dye job did him in. Strategery. Keep it natural.


And who could forget the originator and master of the modern political do, Ronald Reagan.


So you ask, what does that mean for our current crop of Democratic candidates. Who will come out on top?

Hillary Clinton, blond and expertly coiffed.

Martin O'Malley, trim and all-American


Or Bernie Sanders, the fringe* candidate?

*Brilliant graphic by the late and much beloved Jackpine Radical.

But wait. You think you've got a handle on the current crop of contenders? You do not. The election season is still young, and the Beltway is a buzz with news of impending entrance into the race by a candidate whose hair puts all pretenders to shame. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our next president of the United States:

What did that poster just say?

What do people here say all the time? That thread about if not now, we have to wait until 2024 to save America from corporatism and oligarchy. Voting for Clinton, they insist, is a vote for oligarchy, like society rises and falls based on a president? What complete bullshit. The notion that anyone who doesn't support Bernie is a "corporatist" a "neoliberal" or "neo-con." That only Bernie can save black people, even as those same supporters are denouncing Black Lives Matter as a Koch conspiracy. I see a lot of hyperbole and empty claims from Bernie and bizarrely exalted expectations and insults from far too many of his supporters.

I also listened to that conference call last night to see precisely what he said. He said it's not about me, but then what it was about was getting volunteers to get him elected. To fight the "Koch brothers." To my mind, it's demagoguery, and I don't trust it for a second.

I found this the other day, and it captures much of what I see as behind the Sanders candidacy.

Ordinary workers won’t rise up against ultras because they take it as given that “the rich get richer.”
But the hopes and dreams of today’s educated class are based on the idea that market capitalism is a meritocracy. The unreachable success of the superrich shreds those dreams.
“I’ve seen it in my research,” says pollster Doug Schoen, who counsels Michael Bloomberg and Hillary Clinton, among others. “If you look at the lower part of the upper class or the upper part of the upper middle class, there’s a great deal of frustration. These are people who assumed that their hard work and conventional ‘success’ would leave them with no worries. It’s the type of rumbling that could lead to political volatility.”
Lower uppers are doctors, accountants, engineers, lawyers. At companies they’re mostly executives above the rank of VP but below the CEO. Their comrades include well-fed members of the media (and even Fortune columnists who earn their living as consultants).
Lower uppers are professionals who by dint of schooling, hard work and luck are living better than 99 percent of the humans who have ever walked the planet. They’re also people who can’t help but notice how many folks with credentials like theirs are living in Gatsby-esque splendor they’ll never enjoy.

I have always known the notion of meritocracy is a lie. The American dream has never been more than an illusion for the majority. This is a nation founded on deep inequality, which is essential to its fabric as a capitalist state. Liberty for some was made possible by slavery for others. The only difference now is that it effects the white upper-middle and middle-class, who in the past benefited from that inequality. Bernie nor his supporters address the profound structural inequality that has characterized this nation from its inception. Instead, they situate it in time recently, just as their privilege has begun to decline. They openly and repeatedly long for the days when the rest of us were denied basic rights and lived in crippling poverty. And we are all supposed to stop everything because they feel a bit of what it's like to live in America.

Sanders base of support is overwhelmingly white, male and middle to upper-middle class for a reason. If I hear one more person prattle on about how $5k a month is so exploitative for interns or an "entry salary" or how hard it is to get by on $150-$250, I'm going to lose it. I do not care how hard it is to get by on amounts of money 90 percent of Americans will never, ever earn. My goal is not to restore them to what they see as their rightful place atop the capitalist world order. They go around insulting everyone who doesn't see the world through their narrow class-and race-bound lens. It's an incredible display of entitlement. The insults toward other DUers, toward the voting public, toward black activists, have made very clear they see far too many as inferior to them. They sure as hell are not getting my help restoring their privilege. Bernie isn't talking about me. He's longing for a time when my family could barely put food on the table, when I was working from age 10 to be able to pay to do laundry and buy school clothes and pencils. Those were the great days of "real Democrats." No. They were not.

I've read many of the CIA-ITT memos

As well as the Church Committee Hearings on Covert Action in Chile and Assassination Plots. I do not recall anything about Ed Koch. How is it that you have decided he was some sort of target? Because he denounced the national security states, with no power to do anything to influence them? Perhaps he was a target. I don't know. I do know that we have clear evidence that many other tens of thousands of people were killed, tortured, and disappeared during that period.

It's clear the Chilean intelligence services were behind the bomb that killed Letelier and Moffitt, and the NSArchives have obtained US documents through FOIA requests demonstrating that the US government failed to act to prevent it, despite knowing of Chile's ongoing assassination plots through Condor. http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB199/ But why Ed Koch? Letelier had been a loyal supporter of Allende, had been targeted and tortured by the Pinochet government, and was a spokesman for the Chilean resistance. They wanted him dead. Why does an American mayor need to be injected in the story, as though the deaths of a former Ambassador and his US assistant aren't enough?

The established historical reveals a legacy far more brutal and deadly than your creative speculation. Yet for some reason, you want to focus only on high-profile American figures, as though the deaths of tens of thousands of Chileans, Argentinians, Brazilians and Uruguayans aren't enough. The US of course financially supported those governments and installed some of them, as in the case of Pinochet. They also trained torturers at the School of the Americas. This began before Pappy Bush and extended well beyond him. Then CIA Director Richard Helms ran the coup operation in Chile, and of course we know Kissinger was heavily involved (the one incident he refused to discuss in a recent film biography). The history is far worse and more extensive than one evil family. Is is in fact the history of US imperialism and the Cold War. Yet somehow you seem far more concerned with a few famous Americans. If you want to read something truly horrific, see this: http://utpress.utexas.edu/index.php/books/cattop
The original documents in Portuguese can be accessed on Microfilm at a number of US libraries, including at UT Austin, or online http://bnmdigital.mpf.mp.br/#!/ Or the work of the Truth and Reconciliation commission released last year: http://g1.globo.com/politica/noticia/2014/12/consulte-integra-do-relatorio-final-da-comissao-nacional-da-verdade.html
What is astounding about the Brazilian case is that torture has conducted in open court and carefully documented, a function of the bizarrely juridical nature of Brazilian culture. You won't find the names of Ed Koch, George H. W. Bush, or any of your other favorites. you will find thousands of others: ANGELINA GONÇALVES, ANTÔNIO JOSÉ DOS REIS, SEBASTIÃO TOMÉ DA SILVA, LABIBE ELIAS ABDUCH, OTÁVIO SOARES FERREIRA DA CUNHA, and thousands more. You can even see some of their faces. http://estaticog1.globo.com/2014/12/10/MortoseDesaparecidos_1950-1969.pdf For the remarkable story of how these documents came to first be published, the chapter on Brazil in this book is as compelling as any mystery story. http://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Universe-Settling-Accounts-Torturers/dp/0226893944

And of course the US had knowledge of the ongoing torture yet continued to support the government anyway. http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB478/

My problem with "creative speculation" is not that it blames "corporatists and oligarchs," as one poster commented. Rather that it makes the issues small, neat and tidy. If the history of US support of terror and assassination were limited to one family, that would make it so much easier, wouldn't it? But it's not. It runs throughout US history during the Cold War, even before and since. It is the history of US empire and brutal defense of capitalism. It has brought us cheap oil, copper, fruit--the bananas you buy today at the store, all come with a legacy of brutal repression and murder. It is not simply about Jimmy Hoffa or Ed Koch, or the fault of the BFEE. It is America; it is part of all of us. Conspiracy theories eschew that in order to tie it all up into easy packages, to engage in simplistic pointing at bad guys, as though life were a tightly scripted movie. If only it were so simple. If only fault lay with the BFEE to the exclusion of Democratic presidents like Truman, JFK, LBJ, and Carter. If only one or two maleficent CIA directors were responsible rather than the entire intelligence apparatus of the US government. If only it weren't central to the American project and our position in the world. If it is a Bush family evil empire, it is an American Evil Empire, an empire of which we all are part. If you ever had the occasion to travel to Latin America, you would know you are viewed through that lens, even called an imperialist. That is not because of one American family. It is the legacy of the nation.

Clinton Campaign Starts Black Lives Matter Outreach

CLEVELAND — Hillary Clinton has begun to court leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement — starting at the movement’s biggest gathering ever.
Over the weekend, Clinton’s black outreach director, LaDavia Drane, attended the Movement for Black Lives convention in Cleveland. That visit marked the campaign’s first outreach to the movement, which has seen even wider press coverage in the past week after activists disrupted a presidential forum at Netroots Nation.
That protest has been fresh in the minds of presidential campaigns and many of the at least 1,300 attendees — according to organizers — at the weekend’s convention.
A Clinton campaign official on Saturday confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Drane “had one-on-one meetings and group listening sessions to engage stakeholders including ministers, community organizers, elected officials, and other individuals in Cleveland for the Movement for Black Lives.” An Ohio native, Drane engaged people inside the movement and listened to a range of suggestions related to Clinton’s outreach, as well as policy recommendations, the official said.

“We will continue to engage a wide array of stakeholders, including members of the black lives matter movement, when crafting policy on important issues like reforming our criminal justice system,” the official said.

Hillary Clinton knows she has to #earnthisdamnvoteorlose. Black voters owe her nothing, and she knows it. She is going to work to win their support.

It isn't just rhetoric

You all support Sanders because of his rhetoric about banks and Wall Street. Yet somehow when it comes to the civil rights of the majority of the population you decide it's mere framing. Too many Sanders supporters have a knack of denigrating everyone in this country but yourselves. Our rights are mere framing, where your concerns are "substance." It's like you all can't help but show how little respect you have for most voters, how you consider their concerns so much less important than your own.

I don't know what kind of substance you think the little people aren't seeing. Very little Sanders promises has any possibility of passing, and he knows it. He has no record of legislative accomplishment, aside from getting two post offices named. He hasn't gotten any of his proposed reforms made law despite decades in congress. He tells people like you what you want to hear, but when others suggest that they care about the epidemic of police killings of black people, that's just "framing." Rage against banks is supposedly substance. Promising a "revolution" is substance. Promising not to take Super Pac money, when NO politicians are allowed to do so, is "substance." Give me a break.

All the rage in the world doesn't change the fact that we live in a capitalist state, where the constitution codifies individualism, the basis for profit and property, above the collective good. The US is built around inequality. It's not recent. It is endemic. The difference is the once economically privileged, or relatively so, have started to feel that pinch recently, whereas the rest of America has been aware that inequality has in fact been the very nature of American society since its inception. And now they want us all to stop everything in order to to elevate them back to what they see as their rightful place atop the capitalist world order. Their anger over the loss of privilege is "substance," whereas the oppression and violence that plagues the lives of the subaltern are mere "framing."

I find your opinion offensive

but besides that, the comments have been directed toward two separate African American posters, just as Black Lives Matter was dismissed in those same terms, and as a Koch conspiracy.

Lee Atwater worked for white supremacist rule. Black Lives Matter works for the opposite, to stop an epidemic of police killings of black people. They are not Bernie Sanders oppressors or the oppressors of the older, white population. The AA posters on this site accused of Lee Atwater tactics asked how the candidates were going to speak to the concerns of their communities. One is even a Sanders supporter, or she was until last weekend when white "progressives" took to social media to try to discredit BLM. Their concerns are not less than anyone else's. Their vote is not less. In fact, as a block it is far more powerful than yours or mine, and they intend to use it that way. #earnthisdamnvoteforlose.

America has changed. Black folks are no longer willing to fall in line behind what white "progressives" or Democrats demand. They are asserting their own interests, and I say more power to them. This country will be far better for it, though I suspect some will not see it that way.

Better find a new tactic, cause this one ain't gonna work.

Additionally, the outrage to the criticism of Sanders is rich in comparison to the tens of thousands of posts smearing Clinton. I find it astounding that people don't even attempt any kind of even standard. And don't tell me it's because Sanders deserves better because he is so progressive. That isn't his electoral support base:

Hillary 57% overall support
64% identifying at very liberal
58% identifying as liberal
59% identifying as moderate
37% identifying as somewhat conservative
27% identifying as very conservative

Sanders 22% overall support
26% identifying at very liberal
19% identifying as liberal
16% identifying as moderate
31% identifying as somewhat conservative
42% identifying as very conservative

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