Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 87,261
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 87,261
Retired teacher who sees much harm to public education from the "reforms" being pushed by corporations. Privatizing education is the wrong way to go. Children can not be treated as products, thought of in terms of profit and loss.
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From The Hill February 07, 2016, 01:36 pm:
Clinton hangs on in revised Iowa caucus results
The Iowa Democratic Party on Sunday updated the results of the Iowa caucuses after discovering discrepancies in the tallies at five precincts, but the final outcome remains unchanged.
Are they still reviewing or not?
Posted by madfloridian | Sun Feb 7, 2016, 02:51 PM (40 replies)
When Democrats or Republicans try to excuse their vote for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, I find the excuses hard to accept.
First they used the weapons of mass destruction.
Iraq, the immediate justification
The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a 'global Pax Americana' was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), George W Bush's younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, was written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
They even sent a letter to President Bill Clinton.
But then gradually the reason changed to Middle East Democracy, even if it had to be at the point of a gun.
In 2005 the DLC changed the goal in Iraq to Middle Eastern Democracy.
In December 2005 a DLC Idea of the Week memo totally changed and rewrote history when they declared that what happened in Iraq could happen elsewhere in the Middle East.
It really did change us as a nation, and those who voted for it had to foresee at least some of the consequences.
Robert Fisk has written of Iraq and Afghanistan from his experiences there as a journalist.
Robert Fisk speaks of Afghanistan and Iraq. Wonders why we think we can win there?
We, of course, have been peddling this crackpot nonsense for years in south-west Asia. First of all, back in 2001, we won the war in Afghanistan by overthrowing the Taliban. Then we marched off to win the war in Iraq. Now – with at least one suicide bombing a day and the nation carved up into mutually antagonistic sectarian enclaves – we have won the war in Iraq and are heading back to re-win the war in Afghanistan where the Taliban, so thoroughly trounced by our chaps seven years ago, have proved their moral and political bankruptcy by recapturing half the country.
I found this article written by Fisk in 2010 as President Obama was pulling our troops from Iraq. It's not a pleasant read, but Robert Fisk never worried about that.
US Troops Say Goodbye to Iraq
When you invade someone else's country, there has to be a first soldier – just as there has to be a last.
Yes, officially they are there to train the gunmen and militiamen and the poorest of the poor who have joined the new Iraqi army, whose own commander does not believe they will be ready to defend their country until 2020. But they will still be in occupation – for surely one of the the "American interests" they must defend is their own presence – along with the thousands of armed and indisciplined mercenaries, western and eastern, who are shooting their way around Iraq to safeguard our precious western diplomats and businessmen. So say it out loud: we are not leaving.
Posted by madfloridian | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 04:09 PM (84 replies)
This newspaper endorsed Hillary Clinton. They are proud of their state caucus, and this article shows that. They can not tolerate that "something smells" in the Democratic party caucus count.
Editorial: Something smells in the Democratic Party
What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period. Democracy, particularly at the local party level, can be slow, messy and obscure. But the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for an appeal reeks of autocracy.
The article points out that Andy McGuire, Iowa Party chair, doesn't want to discuss, compare, or analyze.
McGuire knows what’s at stake. Her actions only confirm the suspicions, wild as they might be, of Sanders supporters. Their candidate, after all, is opposed by the party establishment — and wasn’t even a Democrat a few months ago.
The article calls for a balance between tradition and transparency.
Posted by madfloridian | Thu Feb 4, 2016, 11:19 AM (95 replies)
Every time the party's left raises their little pointy heads and makes noises....this stuff happens.
First off, the meme that we supporters of Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders himself are not Democratic enough really needs to stop. It's ridiculous and it's harmful to the party's future success.
Secondly instead of loudly proclaiming victory when the totals for the candidates were only .2% apart, it would be more gracious to acknowledge a worthy opponent for a little while as well as mentioning his supporters enthusiasm. It would not hurt the winner, and it would ease the way for hard feelings to soften.
It's like the party leaders have their standards and rules and talking points, and they don't need the rest of us.
You can't put people down and question their intelligence for a year, and then expect them to be there and fall in line when needed.
I was called "fringe" and worse when my late hubby and I supported Dean. We were accused of being cultlike and True Believers. It wasn't as bad when we supported Obama in 2008.
There has been name-calling by the right wing of the party even as far back as 2000. Gore tried being populist but was dragged back to the right. And they left him hanging along with Florida's hanging chads.
It still goes on. Look at what happened in early December 2013 with the Third Way attack on Elizabeth Warren.
Hunter at Daily Kos wrote about why this happened. He posted a chart showing the Board of Trustees of the Third Way. He labeled it.
Why the Third Way hates Senator Elizabeth Warren
The obsessive centrists of the punditverse were abuzz today with praise for supposed centrist Democratic organization Third Way and their grumbling op-ed condemnation of Democratic liberal populism in abstract and "economic populists" like Sen. Elizabeth Warren in particular.
The chart is self-explanatory.
There's a reason that those in the Democratic Party who call themselves "centrists" or "moderates" have had much to say about those of us on the left for years now.
We throw a wrench into their corporate pursuits for the party, and it annoys them.
Howard Dean recognized this in 2010. His words still remain in my mind. He was 100% right.
From the Washington Post 2010:
Dean at progressive conference. Time for Democrats to 'behave like Democrats'
Dean, in a fiery speech Tuesday at the America's Future Now conference, gave voice to frustrations on the left that President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress have not used their big majorities to pursue a more progressive agenda. "We are done with putting people in office who then forget who got them there," said Dean, a former Democratic National Committee chairman.
He went back to being a centrist spokesperson.
I think we have made a difference by not letting these think tanks get away with words against liberals. It seems there is now less of it. I think it is because through the years we called them out on it. With the TPP looming with Democrats' support..we need to speak out and not let them silence us with insults.
Richard Eskow spared no words either right after the 2010 losses.
Resist Wall Street's Shock Doctrine or Keep Listening to the Usual Suspects
After last night's rout, what are these experts advising? You guessed it: more of the same so-called "Centrism." That's an odd word to use for policies that most Americans oppose, like cutting Social Security or allowing bankers to enrich themselves by endangering the economy, but theirs is an Alice-in-Wonderland world.
David Brooks had some strong words for the liberals in the party in 2007. The DLC posted the article prominently at their website. Here is the quote from Brooks at the NYT.
The Center Holds
The fact is, many Democratic politicians privately detest the netroots’ self-righteousness and bullying. They also know their party has a historic opportunity to pick up disaffected Republicans and moderates, so long as they don’t blow it by drifting into cuckoo land. They also know that a Democratic president is going to face challenges from Iran and elsewhere that are going to require hard-line, hawkish responses.
I would have ignored David Brooks and considered the source, but the then alive DLC posted it at their site.
When Tim Kaine was party chairman in 2006 he had some words about blogs and his intention to pay them no attention. Guess he did not realize he was missing out on a lot of good information.
From the Washington Post:
Blogs Attack From Left as Democrats Reach for Center
"Blogs can take up a lot of time if you're on them," Kaine said to reporters Thursday. "You can get a lot done if you're not bitterly partisan."
From the same article a Democratic lobbyist made it clear that liberals were needed for their money and activism, but the party should not cave to their demands.
"The bloggers and online donors represent an important resource for the party, but they are not representative of the majority you need to win elections," said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic lobbyist who advised Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. "The trick will be to harness their energy and their money without looking like you are a captive of the activist left."
And of course Fox News Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers had a lot to say in 2006 about how the liberals were becoming so shrill.
From USA Today:
Election signals decline of old school liberalism
It's more glacial shift than radical revolution, but change is afoot in the Democratic Party.
When they attacked Elizabeth Warren for wanting to expand Social Security, the blogs and posters online hit back hard. That is how it should be. The think tanks who are not really Democrats at all but are led by investment bankers and CEOs will continue to undermine the left, the liberals. But if we speak out they won't be so noisy about it.
There are signs we might be getting across our point that what we really want is for the party to stand up and speak out for the people....not the corporate world.
I guess I'm like a broken record, but it's pretty serious when a party shuts out its left.
I have been a Democrat since the day I could vote for the first time. Bernie may have an I after his name, but he's one of the best and strongest Democrats I've ever seen.
Iowa was an amazing feat for a 73 year old senator from a tiny state. The fact that he raised another million dollars soon after the caucus ended should indicate that he has the funds to be in this for the long run. I know I am.
I would like to once again be considered a Democrat, but then if that's not going to happen I can deal with it.
(Part of this is reposted from a couple of years ago, part is new)
Posted by madfloridian | Tue Feb 2, 2016, 11:09 PM (184 replies)
I found part of the album on You Tube, with two of my favorite songs from it.
About the album and Love Abides.
Published on Oct 25, 2012
I had just heard Iris Dement for the first time in her theme song for The Leftovers. This is my favorite from the album. Also her theme song "Our Town" from the last episode of Northern Exposure.
She and Tom Russell sound good.
Another great song from this video of an immigrant's journey is Throwing Horseshoes at the Moon. His whole album is powerful and so descriptive of such a journey.
Tom Russell has invited wonderful guest artists and excellent back up musicians to make a great album, "The Man From God Knows Where", released in 1999. Tom traces his roots back to Ireland and Scandinavia. The family tree isn't perfect. The songs depict his heritage, warts and all. Iris DeMent joins Tom in this duet, "Throwin' Horseshoes at the Moon" and is an indication of the quality of the artistry on the album itself. There are historical photos and information on the liner notes, which almost becomes a mini-book. Russell has gone 'all out' to make a spectacular album. Enjoy!
Looks like you have to follow on to view this one on the You Tube site.
The entire album is up in segments at You Tube. I downloaded it from Emusic years ago, and its gets a lot of listening.
Posted by madfloridian | Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:47 PM (10 replies)
Tampa Bay For Bernie got together to celebrate the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King
Love the drumming beat throughout.
Posted by madfloridian | Sat Jan 30, 2016, 05:34 PM (7 replies)
Hate Springs Eternal
The bitterness of the fight for the Democratic nomination is, on the face of it, bizarre. Both candidates still standing are smart and appealing. Both have progressive agendas (although I believe that Hillary Clinton is more serious about achieving universal health care, and that Barack Obama has staked out positions that will undermine his own efforts). Both have broad support among the party’s grass roots and are favorably viewed by Democratic voters.
He doesn't care much for Berniebros either.
Posted by madfloridian | Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:51 PM (90 replies)
And no one agency seems to take responsibility.
The Social Security offices are now geared to doing business on the telephone or online. If you get an efficient caring person working on your case, most goes well. You don't call them, they call you during the process.
There are just some things that can not be done by phone or online. They have cut resources until the elderly and disabled must wait outside in the weather with no restroom access, no access to water, until it is their time to go in.
Elderly, disabled queue up outside for Social Security services in Lakeland
Some mornings the lines outside the Lakeland office of the Social Security Administration start forming as early as 6:30. The office doesn't open until 9 a.m. but word has spread among elderly and disabled residents that those first in line have a shorter wait.
This is a long article, but a couple of things really stood out to me.
The Social Security data shows a wait time at that office of only 34 minutes. But that is after the person is inside, signed in, and seated.
On one day a person went up to the guard outside the door, told him she only needed paperwork, could she just get that. The guard told her to call the number on the door. She told him she had tried that, it didn't work, he told her she had to wait.
This part about one woman, age 61, who did not have a computer at home...really upset me.
Ocho, who has multiple complications from diabetes, had arrived at 8 a.m., mistakenly thinking that's when the doors were unlocked. She had been No. 12 in line, but had to leave and find a restroom, she said. When she returned, shortly before 9 a.m., she found about 45 people were ahead of her.
The director of the Social Security Administration's office in Atlanta said that when the lease was up in 2018 they would evaluate the situation further.
We fought very hard to keep our own party from cutting Social Security payments, but we never realized all the cuts they were making to services and availability.
Posted by madfloridian | Wed Jan 27, 2016, 07:34 PM (5 replies)
In my mind there is something just not right about a press secretary for the DNC openly criticizing one of the candidates.
Here is the Slate article quoting her:
Bernie Sanders Just Can’t Get It Right With Women’s Groups
But Sanders is right that the general public can’t know whether Planned Parenthood backed Clinton out of genuine gusto or because the embattled healthcare provider made a political calculation that she was its most electable hope—and that she, like Planned Parenthood, might need all the help she can get.
So Kaylie is saying that Bernie did not go far enough to signal he deserved the endorsement. That really should not be an issue in this conversation right now....
Because NARAL has given Bernie Sanders 100% rating through the years.
Bernie on Women's Rights
What has Bernie actually accomplished as far as pro-choice legislation?
Much more at the link.
Kaylie Hanson in her role as NARAL Spokeswoman is free to say whatever she likes about Bernie's stances.
However Kaylie Hanson in her role as DNC Regional Press Secretary for the Northeast should be a little more careful and show neutrality when speaking of Democratic candidates.
Posted by madfloridian | Tue Jan 26, 2016, 07:34 PM (51 replies)
Bernie has a 100% rating from both groups. Yet here we are in the middle of mud-slinging by both groups toward Bernie because he dared used the word "establishment" in a general way.
Planned Parenthood has just been fighting for survival after the right wing attacks about a video. They have been seeking help and support to survive all the defunding nonsense going on.
So then they for the first time ever come out with an endorsement of Hillary. The use of her name around right wingers is like waving a red flag toward a bull in a bull fight. They have in effect declared their medical group which does so much for women....tied to the Clintons and the Democrats right after they have fought a big fight.
They have aligned themselves with the Democrats, and now they have started a battle with Hillary's opponent. NARAL has joined the battle as well.
As far as I can tell these are the words Bernie spoke to Rachel.
But there`s been a series of high-profile endorsements. Groups like
He said some of these groups are in fact establishment. He did not say Planned Parenthood, he mentioned two groups.
I haven't found a corporate funding page for Planned Parenthood, but I did find a very long one for Human Rights Campaign.
HRC Corporate Partners
The donors are listed as Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
I think the word establishment is interpreted differently by many of us. In the theme of this highly weird primary in my mind it refers to the Democratic leaders who want to protect a party that is now geared to moderate/conservative themes.
So here's Bernie, who most likely misspoke, with a 100% rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood, being attacked by those two as well as HRC and the Hillary campaign and surrogates.
In case you want more info on Bernie and womens' rights...here is his On the Issues page.
I have not kept up with NARAL and HRC endorsements through the years, but since I have for years donated to Planned Parenthood, I do pay attention to what they do.
They are in my mind a medical group that is there for women even those in poverty.
They have actually NOW become in my mind a political group that is attacking a candidate to whom they gave a 100% rating.
It's utterly inane.
Posted by madfloridian | Tue Jan 26, 2016, 06:13 PM (68 replies)