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Member since: Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:49 AM
Number of posts: 19,837

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Strictly for fun

Since the year 1900, the taller nominee has won the Oval Office most of the time.


This is one of the reasons that, in televised Presidential debates, the bipartisan commission decided that the only time viewers should get to see the candidates side by side is when they shake hands. Maybe someday, they'll even do away with that.

Of course, only men have been nominees so far. We don't know what will happen to the statistic when women become nominees.

Although he did not have to worry about comparative height, President Washington was 6'2''.


President Lincoln was 6'4". Washington and Lincoln were the two Presidents whose birthdays the US used to celebrate each year with a national holiday, before Presidents' Day came along.

Analysis of the height issue.

Presidents by height and weight. http://www.presidenstory.com/stat_tal.php

(Speaking of Presidential weight, President Taft famously sat in a bathtub full of water, causing him, the water and the tub to break through the bathroom floor.)

Again, this post is strictly for fun. Don't bet the deed to the farm based on height.

Populist Group Post: Is it really out of order to mention Bill Clinton?

A while back, DUers were posting lists of things that should not be mentioned in connection with Hillary Clinton during this primary, lest he or she who mentioned it be considered sexist. Not a difference of opinion or a different interpretation of facts, mind you, but bigotry. (Months before that, I'd been "informed" that anyone who made any mention at all of the Bosnia airport story was sexist, but that claim is too ludicrous on its face to warrant discussion.)

The list included Bill Clinton and his administration--as though Hillary somehow has nothing to do with the man she chose to be her husband and the father of her child, nothing to do with the man she helped sell to America in 1992, the man to who she has chosen to remain married for decades, etc. As a mom and a wife with my own career, I find this nonsensical as well as all too convenient.

In 1985, the conservative wing of the Democratic Party founded the DLC in hopes of altering the Democratic Party. Among the founding members were a group of professional politicians.....and Hillary Clinton. As best as I have been able to determine, she was the only founding member of the DLC who joined as the spouse of a politician.

When Bill Clinton ran for POTUS in 1992, he said that electing him would give America two for the price of one, meaning him and Hillary.

During the campaign, questions of conflict of interest regarding state business and the politically powerful Rose Law Firm, at which Hillary Rodham Clinton was a partner, arose. Clinton argued the questions were moot because all transactions with the state had been deducted before determining Hillary's firm pay. Further concern arose when Bill Clinton announced that, with Hillary, voters would be getting two presidents "for the price of one".


Hillary never demurred. So, I think it's more than fair to say that they sold his administration as as a joint Presidency. Consistent with this, in 1996, America was asked to re-elect Bill AND Hillary, as though Hillary had been elected in 1992.

Bill Clinton had also sold his candidacy by campaigning on national health care. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_health_care_plan_of_1993

Soon after the 1993 inauguration, it was clear that Hillary was to lead the effort to pass health care legislation, something so extraordinary and unprecedented in American presidential politics that Hillary's role, especially the secrecy of the proceedings involving a "private citizen," became the subject of litigation.

The First Lady's role in the secret proceedings of the Health Care Task Force also sparked litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in relation to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) which requires openness in government. The Clinton White House argued that the Recommendation Clause in Article II of the U.S. Constitution would make it unconstitutional to apply the procedural requirements of FACA to Mrs. Clinton's participation in the meetings of the Task Force. Some constitutional experts argued to the court that such a legal theory was not supported by the text, history, or structure of the Constitution. Ultimately, Hillary Clinton won the litigation in June 1993, when the D.C. Circuit ruled narrowly that the First Lady of the United States could be deemed a government official (and not a mere private citizen) for the purpose of not having to comply with the procedural requirements of FACA.

Also in February 1993, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, along with several other groups, filed a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and Donna Shalala over closed-door meetings related to the health care plan. The AAPS sued to gain access to the list of members of the task force. In 1997, Judge Royce C. Lamberth found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded $285,864 to the AAPS for legal costs; Lamberth also harshly criticized the Clinton administration and Clinton aide Ira Magaziner in his ruling. Subsequently, a federal appeals court overturned in 1999 the award and the initial findings on the basis that Magaziner and the administration had not acted in bad faith.


The result of the litigation was that Hillary, as First Lady, was declared a public official. Why? Because she was married to Bill while he was President; because he and she chose this role for her and because they decided to litigate to have her declared a public official.

Perhaps ironically....

In September 2007, former Clinton Administration senior health policy advisor Paul Starr published an article named "The Hillarycare Mythology", where he asserted that Bill Clinton, not Hillary Clinton, was the driving force behind the plan at all stages of its origination and development; that the task force headed by Hillary Clinton quickly became useless and was not the primary force behind formulating the proposed policy; and that "Not only did the fiction of Hillary's personal responsibility for the health plan fail to protect the president at the time, it has also now come back to haunt her in her own quest for the presidency."

Had the healthcare bill passed, it would very likely have been the legislation that Bill in fact, would be pointing to today as his legacy, not NAFTA, DADT, DOMA, the Telecommunications Act or Gramm, Leach, Bliley. Concomitantly, I very much doubt that Hillary would have tried to disassociate herself from it when running for President, either in either 2008 or 2016.

As it was, it failed for many reasons, including that Congressional Democrats were not willing to back it. However, it became a model for Romneycare in Massacusetts. (Romney did attempt to distance his plan from that of the Clintons, but his attempts were lame and unconvincing.)

As stated above, in 1996, America was asked to re-elect Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Sometimes, ONLY Hillary Clinton

In 2007-08 Hillary opted for "a tight embrace" of the legacy of the Clinton administration, taking credit for its positive aspects.

Additionally, during her 2008 campaign, she cited her experiences as her husband's first lady as though they added to her qualifications to be President. And she referred to events during his administration using words like "us," "we" and "our." For example, I remember her response when some members of the LGBT community told her they'd worked to elect her husband, then were so disappointed in his treatment of them: "I thought we did very well," she responded. During that primary, she also named Bill Clinton as one of the ten best Presidents in all of US history.

As Bill and Hillary had in 1996, many of her supporters tried to sell her 2008 candidacy as a two for one deal, with no demurrer from either of the Clintons Additionally, Bill also took a highly visible (and vocal) role in her 2007-08 Presidential primary campaign, at times sounding as though he were her Svengali:

Since all that did not work out too well, Bill may take a less visible role this time, but he is still there.


So, it seems Hillary is, and always has been, very willing to be fully associated with her husband's politics and Presidency--as long as it appears that so doing could possibly advantage her. However, one must take all or nothing and it is way too late in this game to opt for nothing, nor has Hillary done so. Bottom line: Neither the Clintons nor their supporters should expect to have it every which way on this issue.

(Obviously, if Hillary had been President first and Bubba had behaved about her administration and his experience as First Gentleman the same way as she has, the exact same realities would obtain if he were runninng for the Presidency.)

Your Guide to the Bernie Sanders kickoff from the Burlington VT Free Press

Burlington is a charming town, btw. As you no doubt know, Bernie was its Mayor before he went to Congress.

Tuesday's big Bernie Sanders presidential campaign event will be equal parts homecoming and political spectacle.

The independent senator has pulled together plenty of Burlington symbolism: Sanders expects to stand on public land he fought for in the 1980s as he announces his presidential ambitions — while spectators munch Ben & Jerry's ice cream at the free, non-ticketed event in Waterfront Park.

Burlington-based band Mango Jam will play in the park. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, of ice-cream fame, and Bill McKibben, the Vermont environmentalist and author, are expected to speak.

Plans for the event came together less than week before the big day, as Sanders campaign staffers unpacked a national campaign headquarters on Church Street. Volunteers on Friday had begun to call New Hampshire residents. The workers were surrounded by cardboard boxes and "Join the political revolution today" T-shirts.

much more at

Bernie Sanders Tweet Brigade TODAY at 6:30 pm est


This is a great reddit post.

Bernie Sanders for President group on Facebook.

I don't know if anyone has posted this before, but I doubt posting it twice can hurt anyway.


I've been Facebook "liking" everything positive about Bernie Sanders that I can find and was happy to see that stuff like that has made the news. We have to donate and volunteer as well, to the best of our respective financial and physical abilities. However, Facebook, reddit, etc. are relatively painless ways to support Bernie.

Go for it.

Cross post from the Populist Reform Group.


Primer: Congressional Progressive Caucus and New Democrat Coalition

Unless otherwise indicated, the info in this post comes from these four sources.

website of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, also referred to as the House Progressive Caucus http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/

wikipedia of Congressional Progressive Caucus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Progressive_Caucus

website of the New Democrat Coalition http://newdemocratcoalition-kind.house.gov/

wikipedia of the New Democrat Coalition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Democrat_Coalition


The current co-chairs of the CPC are Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota. Current members of the CPC are listed here:

The Congressional Progressive Caucus was founded in 1991, the same year one Bernie Sanders first became a member of the House. The CPC's website says he was the convener and chair of the caucus. Indeed, he was chair for the first 8 years of the existence of the Caucus. I am not entirely sure what is meant by "convener," but I am guessing that the CPC was Bernie's idea.

The founding CPC members were concerned about the economic hardship imposed by the deepening recession, and the growing inequality brought about by the timidity of the Democratic Party response in the early 1990s. More importantly, on January 3, 1995 at a standing room only news conference on Capitol Hill, they were the first group inside Congress to chart a detailed, comprehensive legislative alternative to U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican Contract with America, which they termed "the most regressive tax proposals and reactionary social legislation the Congress had before it in 70 years." The CPC's ambitious agenda was framed as "The Progressive Promise: Fairness."

(Note: This is what DeBlasio professes to be doing 20 years later, formulating a progresssive alternative to the Republican Contract with America.)

The 1995 legislative package was the Job Creation and Invest in America Act, described here:

I strongly encourage you to check out the particulars of this at the wiki.

Originally, the CPC consisted of U.S. Representatives Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Thomas Andrews (D-ME), Ron Dellums (D-CA), Lane Evans (D-IL), Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Maxine Waters (D-CA). It is now the largest Democratic Caucus in Congress, with 70 members. Of the 20 standing committees of the House in the 111th Congress, 10 were chaired by members of the CPC, until Republicans took control of the House in 2011.
(I guess DU is not the only place where liberals abound, after all.)

After Sanders became a Senator in 2007, he continued to caucus with the CPC. He is the sole Senate member of the CPC, the Senate being a much more conservative body than the House. (I would not be surprised if Senator Senators tried, but failed, to found a Senate Progressive Caucus. In any event, when you see that any given Senator is ranked among the Senate's most liberal Senators, remember how conservative a body the US Senate is, even on the Democratic side.)

In 2008, I recall membership being around 100, so 70 is actually a significant drop. I would attribute at least part of the drop to my opinion that the Party has been hostile to traditional Democrats and liberals, tending to support centrists and conservadems. The reason I remember is that all, or just about all, 100 were co-sponsors of the Medicare for all bill.

Several traditional Democrats and liberals have been pretty much run out of Congress. Rangel, for example, remained under Congressional investigation and Obama suggestd on national TV that Rangel resign, too. For example, Rangel had remained under internal investigation for THREE successive elections, but was re-elected each time anyway. Then, the head of his Party suggested on national TV that he (Rangel) resign. (The current claim is that Warren, who has almost folk hero status among we hoi polloi, is the Party's darling. I hope so, but I would not take that to the bank just yet.)

After Sanders became a Senator in 2007, he continued to caucus with the CPC. He is the sole Senate member of the CPC, the Senate being a much more conservative body than the House. (I would not be surprised if Senator Senators tried, but failed, to found a Senate Progressive Caucus. In any event, when you see that any given Senator is ranked among the Senate's most liberal Senators, remember how conservative a body the US Senate is, even on the Democratic side.)

My criticism of the CPC, which I know others share, is that it tends to start out with a firm stand on the side of the angels (in my opinion), but then just goes along with the rest of the Democrats in Congress.

I encourage you to peruse the CPC's wiki and website, esp. the home page of the website, which has current news. If you wish to be kept up to date, you can also sign up to receive emails. If nothing else, read the Progressive Promise (Fairness for All page. http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/the-progressive-promise/


The current chair of the New Democrat Coalition is the controversial Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who is also the current chair of the Democratic National Committee, having succeeded fellow New Democrat, Tim Kaine.

According to its website, it currently has 46 members. http://newdemocratcoalition-kind.house.gov/membership

If you are wondering what a New Democrat is, a New Democrat is basically a Democrat who espouses the philosophy of the now defunct (in theory) DLC and its successors, such as the Progressive Policy Institute, New Democrat Network, Third Way, Center for American Progress, No Labels and so on.

Bill Clinton ran as a New Democrat, while claiming, falsely, IMO, that Robert Kennedy was a New Democrat (philosophically). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Democrats (Scott Brown did something similar in Massachusetts when he first ran, portraying himself as an ideological successor to JFK.)

Obama did not run as a New Democrat, but claimed to be a New Democrat after he was elected the first time. After he was elected the second time, he said that he would have been considered a moderate Republican during the Reagan Era.

So, now you know.

The New Democrat Coalition was founded in 1997 by Representatives Cal Dooley (California), Jim Moran (Virginia) and Timothy J. Roemer (Indiana) as a congressional affiliate of the avowedly centrist Democratic Leadership Council, whose members, including former President Bill Clinton, call themselves "New Democrats."


The Senate New Democrat Coalition was founded in the spring of 2000 by Senators Evan Bayh (Indiana), Bob Graham (Florida), Mary Landrieu (Louisiana), Joe Lieberman (Connecticut), and Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas).

The NDC has worked to craft and pass legislation, including Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for the People's Republic of China, fast track Trade Promotion Authority, digital signatures, and H-1B visa reform and continues to work on matters such as privacy, broadband, expanding e-learning opportunities and making government more accessible and efficient through the use of technology. Many in the Democratic Party's left-wing criticize the group, however, accusing it of ignoring social justice and the poor.


Political donations

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the top contributors to the New Democrat Coalition caucus members are the finance, insurance and real estate industries. The Center also reported that the New Democrat Coalition receives a considerable amount of cash from the financial sector and since 1989 members of the New Democrat Coalition have collected $50 million from the finance, insurance and real estate sector.


Zell Miller was once a member of the NDC. I guess that was before he decided he was star speaker at the Republican National Convention. So was then Senator John Kerry and, of course, then Senator Hillary Clinton. So was John Edwards, who also ran as a populist in a Presidential primaries. (I guess John had a residence in both of the Two Americas?) The wiki lists more former members.

I won't give my personal criticism of the NDC.

This post is intended only an introduction to two of the groups that influence our lives so greatly. Please continue your study beyond this overview.

That's not the answer the Koch brothers get.

The issue is not exact wording and punctuation, much as it was not the the issue with the ACA, which we were not fully informed about.

"Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage."



By the time the treaty does exist in final form, we'll be told it's way too far down the road to do anything about it now.


(The title of the article at the above link is misleading. The Constitution says it is the highest law of our country; and the highest law of our country requires the advise and consent of the Senate to treaties.)

Anyway, Catch 22.

Fun. Seems as though Bill Murray respects Elizabeth Warren, too!

Last night, Bill Murray said good-bye to David Lettermen. At some point after that, Murray went onto the set of Lawrence O'Donnell. O'Donnell asked Murray if Murray would mind waiting until O'Donnell finished a story on Elizabeth Warren.

Pounding the desk with his finger, Murray responded, "Elizabeth Warren? Get to that right now!" Then he walked off the set, to return later.

If you don't think a post belongs in this group:

Use the alert button and choose off topic. This alert will not go to a DU jury, but only to the hosts of this group. Hosts cannot hide the post, but they can warn the poster or block the poster or do nothing, depending upon the judgment of the hosts.

I don't mean to talk down to anyone who is already aware of this, but I just learned this myself. I thought the off topic alert went to a DU jury, just like the other alerts.

Huge to Creek Dog.
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