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Number of posts: 7,693
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Take a look at the man in the middle:
His name is Mark Penn. When Hillary lost her bid in 2008, some privately said she should have never utilized Mark Penn in her campaign. Some say his specialty is smear campaigns: throwing dirt, employing seedy tactics, dirty tricks -- whatever it takes to win. He goes where other dirty political tricksters are reluctant to go.
I recently read he has started working with her campaign once again. Whenever I see a thread accusing Bernie Sanders of being sexist, exaggerating his civil rights record, lying about this, exaggerating that, I immediately think of Mark Penn. Could his fingerprints possibly be on this, I wonder.
Here is the point. Bernie Sanders is a dignified, intelligent, hard working public servant currently working in the United States Senate. Everyone has the right to disagree with him on the issues, but someone like him who publicly reiterates he doesn't run negative campaign ads and doesn't want to indulge in the soap opera deserves to be treated with more respect.
Seldom do we have the opportunity to conduct an election and side-step all of the unhealthy ingredients we traditionally abhor. Just discuss the issues and debate them openly and honestly. What a dream!
So just remember the next time some slime hits the fan against one of our Democratic Presidential candidates, whether it is Sanders, Clinton or O'Malley, ask yourself this question: is there a Mark Penn or a Mark Penn clone behind this smear?
Posted by Samantha | Sat Nov 14, 2015, 12:06 AM (15 replies)
Gore did not carry Tennessee because Rove especially targeted Tennessee for a win simply to embarrass Gore. The margin by which Bush* carried Tennessee was not all that great, I think it was about 40,000 (just something like that). But what a lot of people never really realized was that Tennessee was riddled with the same type of voting "irregularities" that waffled through Florida. It was in fact for voter suppression "a little Florida." I only am aware of this because my family is from Tennessee and I read about a number of the shyster tricks Republicans played down there. Eventually, some of these complaints were investigated by the government and settled, just as those in Florida were. Long, long voting lines at polling places where African-Americans were in the majority, reduced number of places to cast ballots, people turned away because they didn't have required id, polls closing while long lines where still in place and subsequent court complaints -- you name it, and it happened.
Gore did not push for a full recount because that was not an option presented in the State constitution. The only way to obtain a full state recount was by court order (which eventually came down the Florida Supreme Court) or by permission of the Governor (and we remember who the Governor of Florida was at that time). The Florida Supreme Court should have had the last word on this election dispute as the rules for conducting Presidential elections are defined in our U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court had no, I repeat no, Constitutional authority to intervene as long as the State of Florida conducted the election according to election laws previously written into the Constitution (which Gore was following and the Republicans were not).
And once the U.S. Supreme Court usurped the matter, the two laws it used to justify stopping the recount were nothing but bullsh*t. That Safe Harbor law (the one setting the deadline for when the slate of electors had to be submitted to the Elector College) was originally written when states forwarded their slates to the electors BY PONY EXPRESS. So the law was written to mandate the couriers be dispatched in a timely manner by the riders on horseback. There was plenty of time for that recount to have been conducted and the slate sent to the Electoral College. Secondly, that equal protection law stating that the voters whose votes might be recaptured in a recount would carry more weight than the votes of the original voters that were counted, and thus the original voters would be discriminated against should a recount change the result of the election. And in that latter statement, the Supreme Court negated the 5 million popular vote advantage Al Gore had over Bush* nationwide. So if one is to give any nod of agreement to the Supreme Court's falling back on that asinine equal protection plank, how does that same person justify the nullification of the 5 million votes on a national basis that rationale generated.
Sorry for the length of this post, but this is one subject that always pushes my buttons....
Posted by Samantha | Thu Nov 12, 2015, 12:54 AM (1 replies)
In this Presidential 2016 contest, the Republicans got nobody -- and I do mean nobody. We have 3 killer candidates. Any of the three could be accomplished Presidents.
In all seriousness, it is amazing that so many Republicans running are an embarrassment to this Country. All three Democrats are a credit.
In tonight's debate, I watched and thought O'Malley did in fact knock it out of the park. I thought when his segment ended, he just might win the debate. He ticked off all of his accomplishments as Governor of Maryland, and the list was impressive. He was energetic, focused and truly on his game. And the charm display did not hurt.
Then Sanders came on and he turned in a stellar performance. I think he barely edged it over O'Malley because he did make comments on foreign affairs and took the conversation to a higher level. But it is his passion for the income inequality issue, our need for a political revolution (to stoke a massive voter turnout in order to win) and his obvious outrage over "fixing" of elections and depriving people of their right to vote that made him a standout. Bernie's serious passion is totally sincere not borrowed.
Bernie also asked the audience why they voted against their own best interests. I thought the funniest moment of the whole evening was when Bernie was saying words to the effect to the people of South Carolina -- the gays are not your enemy, the immigrants are not your enemy, the Republicans are your problem (words to that effect). A gray-haired granny sitting in the audience was nodding her head as Sanders spoke, but mouthed the words "at a boy" to Sanders.
It occurred to me Sanders/O'Malley would make an incredible team. O'Malley was my governor for 8 years and I loved him. I was so proud to live in the State of Maryland under his leadership, proud of all that was accomplished.
I have watched Sanders for years and really admired him. I always thought I wish he would run for President, but I assumed it was out of the question because of his age. Not that I practice ageism, it just seems to me anyone that age would have to be crazy to ask for that job at this time. It is like asking for a premature death. But if the two of them teamed up, they could share that stress. Clinton offered Gore essentially a co-presidency to run with him, and Sanders could do the same. That would be great.
I had a difficult time being riveted by Hillary's contribution. It seemed to me like she was tired. I don't think she made any egregious mistakes. I do think she was not too truthful in saying she was not any more hawkish than Barack Obama. I believe she is. But I believe she served her supporters well, and the audience seemed thrilled with her.
So just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the winner of a political debate is perceived in the ear of the listener -- or so it seems.
No interruptions for soap opera. The very best thing about it to me was the collegiality.
In a way, one might say and the winner is all of us! - but especially Rachel Maddow.
Posted by Samantha | Sat Nov 7, 2015, 12:02 AM (16 replies)
makeup of that slate would be determined by the outcome of the popular vote. So if the recount had in fact been allowed to be completed as the Florida Supreme Court had ordered, whatever the result of that recount turned out to be as far as Republican votes and Democratic votes, the Florida legislature had by its own law to assemble the composition of Electoral College Votes to reflect the results of the popular vote.
So the Legislature has you say the ultimate authority, but it was required to determine the law by inserting the rules in the state Constitution prior to the election (which it had done). It is not allowed after the election if one did not like the results to ab-lib in the moment and verbally make new laws. That is Unconstitutional. Florida is among the 48 states that is "winner take all." So if a Democrat were determined to have been the winner of the election after the recount, all of the slate would have been Democratic. Same if the recount reflected a Republican winner. The Legislature at that critical point had no legal backing to step in and change the rules.
The winner does not have to reach 270. The winner must win a majority. If the Florida slate were thrown out (discounted), the winner of the majority would have been Gore. I know there are those that say what your words reflect above, but experts at the time said 270 was the number needed only if Florida's votes were counted (electoral college votes). If they were excluded, that number would have been reduced by 25 and Gore would have held the majority. The election would have gone to the House of Representatives had there been a tie.
There's a small chance that the Electoral College could wind up in a tie, throwing the election decision to the House of Representatives. And there's a greater chance that one of the candidates (likely Obama) could carry the Electoral College — and with it, victory — even while losing the popular vote nationwide.
All of this being said, I am not an election law expert nor an attorney, and I do not play one on DU. For every fact you and I have both written, the other can refute it with examples in our electoral college history which ended up in an unorthodox manner.
But the best thing is, I believe, it is very healthy to hammer some of these questions out and what the basic law is because we might need a lot of sudden familiarity with this issue in 2016, and it is guaranteed that all the "experts" we hear commenting will be saying different things. This is what happened in 2000, so we need to know the laws ourselves.
Posted by Samantha | Wed Nov 4, 2015, 01:35 PM (0 replies)
regardless of the outcome of the recount. People believed it would live up to that threat. However, it would have been a violation of the U.S. Constitution to do so and the Electoral College could have refused to count Florida's votes. David Bois made this point about two years after the election, but no one publicly said this in court and the press seemed ignorant of the fact.
If election law is changed, it cannot be done so and applied right after an election -- it can only have impact at the time of THE NEXT election. A state cannot change the rules that close in order to change the result of the election.
Additionally, the Constitution delegates the conduct of Presidential elections to the states provided the state has its election laws defined in its state constitution and abides by those rules. Florida did have its election laws outlined in its State constitution, it just was not going to abide by them. That too would have made it possible for the Electoral College to throw out Florida's slate.
But if that is not bad enough, there was a Constitution lawyer who during the election volunteered his time to assist Jeb Bush with election problems. One might rationally assume the expert knew these threats being made were illegal, but obviously that did not matter. "Win at all costs" was indeed the rule of the day. That expert's name is John Roberts, the same John Roberts who George W. Bush* eventually gave a Supreme Court seat and made the Chief Judge. To the victor does indeed belong the spoils.
Although 15 years have passed since this truly damaging election theft occurred, it appears the Bush family assumed that was a long enough time for people to have forgotten and 2016 would be a good year to run Jeb. This will never be forgotten, and it will never be a good year to run Jeb.
Posted by Samantha | Wed Nov 4, 2015, 03:15 AM (2 replies)
There is a difference between politics and civics. In civics classes, one learns one does have the right to abstain from voting if there is not a candidate one wants to support. But if one does abstain, he or she should not complain about the results of the election and/or the consequences.
In politics, that right to abstain is ignored in favor of the arguments being made on this thread. I am very much a political junkie. I also loved studying government and civics, and I personally would never let anyone talk me into voting for a candidate that I honestly could not support. And since we all have the right to keep our votes private, I certainly would exercise that right if I abstained from voting in a Presidential selection while posting on DU.
Posted by Samantha | Wed Oct 28, 2015, 02:07 AM (0 replies)
Some time ago, I heard a story told by a Democratic candidate about meeting with Debbie Wasserman Schultz to ask for help in raising funds for his race. I always remembered the shocking response she gave him but never took the time to research the incident to discuss it here. Tonight I did take the time, and I found the incident described on of all places a website entitled democraticunderground!
From a DU post by HooptieWagon February 15, 2009, entitled "...here is the real DWS (citing the Huffington Post):
When my friend Jane saw what Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the DCCC's Red to Blue program, which is charged with defeating Republicans and replacing them with Democrats, saw how shabbily Wasserman Schultz had treated progressive Navy veteran Doug Tudor, her astonishment was palpable. "Wow," she wrote, "We really are the New Republicans!"
The post then quotes from a note Tudor submitted regarding his encounter with Wasserman Schultz:
I, of course, was most anxious to meet and speak with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (DINO-FL), who is chairing the DCCC's Red-to-Blue program. I just knew that she would welcome the chance to defeat Adam Putnam, as that would allow her lay sole claim to the title of "Wonder Kid" in Florida's politics. Adam, after all, isn't her next door neighbor. Once she comes onboard, I assumed, the other members of the caucus would lose their timidity and also support me. I was dead wrong, and I should have known better. It is well known that Wasserman-Schultz supports Republicans Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen over their Democratic opponents, although lately she has been pressured into giving belated and grudging support to Joe Garcia and Raul Martinez who are opposing the Diaz-Balarts. I always figured that she was just afraid of the Hispanic backlash in her own district. What I hadn't considered is that she is just afraid of all incumbent Republicans in Florida. When I met her in Denver, she immediately told me that she couldn't support me, saying I hadn't raised enough money. I told her that I had raised $100K, that I was a military retiree, that my family is living on my wife's Air Force E6 pay, and that I wasn't able like other "viable" candidates to drop a quarter of a million dollars into my own campaign. I then told her, "Congresswoman, I am one of those working-class guys that our party claims to represent." Her response was "Don't pull that populist stuff with me." I thanked her for her time. (bold emphasis added)
Posted by Samantha | Wed Oct 21, 2015, 12:09 AM (105 replies)
I posted it here on DU:
1. The paid pundits which commented on cable right after the debate
Posted by Samantha | Sat Oct 17, 2015, 11:18 PM (2 replies)
knew this one thing for sure: if they did not wholeheartedly declare the corporate candidate the winner, they would not be invited back for the next five debates.
It is just as Elizabeth Warren was told by Larry Summers in 2009:
After dinner, “Larry leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice,” Ms. Warren writes. “I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People — powerful people — listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders.
These pundits like it on the inside and are not going to be critical of Hillary Clinton. The two acceptable candidates Wall Street liked were Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Now that it appears Jeb might lose his sponsors, the insiders will coalesce around Hillary.
After all, they cannot allow an outsider such as Bernie Sanders to become President because that would upend the top one percent, the corporate world and the billionaires that control the puppet politicians they have bought to do their bidding....
Posted by Samantha | Sat Oct 17, 2015, 12:20 AM (3 replies)
Just put aside the propaganda spewed forth by the corporate mouthpieces. Put aside the inside-the-Beltway crowd and just ask this one question: who walked out of that auditorium with much more than they walked in with? If the stats being reported as to money raised as a result of the debate, number of new Facebook followers, and opinions of focus groups, the answer is Bernie Sanders walked out with much more than he arrived with.
I call that a winner.
Posted by Samantha | Wed Oct 14, 2015, 08:05 PM (2 replies)