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Member since: Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:49 PM
Number of posts: 39,079
Member since: Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:49 PM
Number of posts: 39,079
- 2017 (2)
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- 2016 (65)
- 2015 (64)
- 2014 (86)
- 2013 (143)
He twice voted against the Brady Bill, THE principal gun control legislation of the past several decades.
He voted against mandatory background checks at gun shows.
He voted FOR the Manufacturers Firearms Protection Act that granted gun corporations immunity from liability from victims families, a bill that enables gun makers to get away with knowingly selling to illegal arms dealers without facing any financial consequences. He recently defended his vote for that law and repeated the gun lobby spin on the bill that it merely keeps them from being sued from illegal use of their weapon. That is a false representation of the law, which has been widely used for full-scale immunity. The Sandyhook families now must pay a huge amount of money to gun corporations as a penalty for daring to attempt a suit. It is corporate privilege, a privilege that does not extend to other sectors of the economy--not Wall Street or makers of automobiles or knives--just Big Gun.
Here are his full list of votes on guns.
He voted to ALLOW loaded guns in national parks.
He voted for an amendment to ACA that prohibits medical providers and insurance companies from collecting data on gun ownership.
He voted to prohibit funds in the Indigenous Health Bill (S 1200) from being used to "carry out any anti-firearm program, gun buy-back program, or program to discourage or stigmatize the private ownership of firearms for collecting, hunting, or self-defense."
His ratings on the gun issue are inconstant. He has F ratings, but he also had a 25% rating from the NRA and 50% from the Gun Owners of America, whereas pro-gun control Democrats have a 0 percent. I read that he had a C- at one point, but that rating is not reflected in the chart below.
The Brady campaign recently gave him a 100% rating but in the past have given him 66% and 71%. He is not a gun nut, not in the pocket of the NRA, but he has voted against crucial gun control legislation. He is not the candidate for someone who makes increased gun control a high voting priority.
Compare him with, for example, Hillary Clinton whose ratings are consistently F- from the NRA, 100% from the Brady Campaign and 0% from the Gun Owners of America. http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/55463/hillary-clinton/37#.Vd5xwrTydUQ
As Cali pointed out, the NRA ran ads against Sanders opponent in a House race in VT. There is no shortage of evidence on that subject in the press, including summaries of the ads telling conservatives to vote for the socialist who protects gun rights. The NRA operates by running ads for or against opponents because they are regulated by the same campaign finance restrictions of direct contributions to candidates as every other lobbying group.
Those are the relevant facts, complete with links for anyone who cares to inform themselves on the issue.
Posted by BainsBane | Wed Aug 26, 2015, 09:19 PM (2 replies)
Neither Sanders nor his supporters are victims. They are not being murdered by police. Those who vilified BLM should be condemned, not defended. It is interesting that you think words from Hillary Clinton would have altered the behavior of thousands of people, as though you see her leadership as more influential than Sanders.
No, great numbers of Clinton supporters would not have done the same thing because we are not the same people. Someone tried to insist we should be upset by BLM critiques of Clinton, saying "it's uncomfortable" when the shoe is one the other foot. No, it wasn't uncomfortable in the least, and many Clinton supporters said so. Then when someone else posted a poll asking if Clinton should do more to address racism, Clinton supporters voted yes. Naturally many of the Sanders supporters who insisted Bernie had no obligation to address the issue voted yes too because no issue or principle matters as much as promoting one man's career. I have theorized that is because they see him as a perfect political reflection of themselves, hence the frequent confusion between criticism of Sander's supporters and the candidate himself.
People don't behave as some of those Sanders supporters did unless that is who they are. I would sooner shoot myself in the head that carry on that way, particularly in order to defend a member of the political elite, which is among the least important reasons I can possibly imagine. Moreover, not all Sanders supporters behaved that way because that is not who they are. And some very good people decided they could no longer stand alongside such behavior and quit supporting Sanders as a result.
Your OP asked why there wasn't a fuss. There was a fuss about Bernie because many of his supporters chose to make everything about him and themselves because that is the sole focus of their political consciousness. When BLM protested Netroots, O'Malley was protested too. His supporters did not engage in conspiracy theories and harass black people on Twitter. Nor did they make it all about O'Malley. That is reflective of a certain mentality. It wouldn't have occurred to me in a million years to come up with anything like that, and I couldn't live with myself if I engaged in such behavior. As far as I'm concerned, Bernie, Clinton nor any other member of the political elite will never be as important as human rights and social justice, as black lives. It would seem that the people who attacked and continue to attack BLM see the issue differently.
If Clinton had stepped in to defend the white bourgeoisie from themselves, I would have been completely repulsed and could not continue supporting her. If she were to have done anything, it should have been to condemn it, but that of course would only have played into the conspiracy theories.
I learned a lot following Netroots and Seattle, principally who people are and why I share no common values with them. The reactions also confirmed my view that the anger many feel is about the decline of white, male middle and upper-middle class privilege, which is why it was so easy for them to attack leftist social activists working to save black lives.
I can tell you with absolutely certainty I would never in a million years behave that way; nor would I vote for a politician who would speak out in defense of that kind of behavior rather than black lives. It is not a two way street. It is a red-lined, $80k+ a year street, one I am very glad that I live no where near.
Posted by BainsBane | Mon Aug 24, 2015, 11:46 PM (3 replies)
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.
Posted by BainsBane | Wed Aug 12, 2015, 11:49 PM (117 replies)
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.
Posted by BainsBane | Sun Aug 9, 2015, 07:53 PM (11 replies)
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.
Posted by BainsBane | Sat Aug 8, 2015, 07:18 PM (1 replies)
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
Posted by BainsBane | Thu Aug 6, 2015, 01:42 PM (349 replies)
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:
Posted by BainsBane | Tue Aug 4, 2015, 12:29 PM (17 replies)
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.
Posted by BainsBane | Thu Jul 30, 2015, 06:28 PM (8 replies)
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.
Posted by BainsBane | Thu Jul 30, 2015, 12:48 PM (6 replies)
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.
Posted by BainsBane | Mon Jul 27, 2015, 02:10 AM (129 replies)