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Member since: Sat Dec 6, 2003, 05:15 AM
Number of posts: 57,936

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The mistakes that Hillary and Obama made in their policies in Syria, Libya and with their

relationships with Iraq and Turkey are going to make Hillary unelectable.

Seymour Hersh has explained this.

Remember the word "Benghazi." According to Hersh we were shipping arms to Syrian rebels, arms that made their way into the hands of the extremists from Benghazi.

The story makes sense and it could destroy Hillary's candidacy.

I read a lot of mystery books in my youth.

One of the things mystery writers do is set the stage so to speak so that you have a foreboding aboutt who did it. The Republicans have prepared a trap for Hillary with those Benghazi hearings.

And now the truth is starting to come out. We made a huge foreign policy blunder in the Middle East. It started with the Iraq War for which Hillary voted. It continued with our policy in Iraq and Syria as well as in Libya and our alliance with Turkey during Obama's administration.

The American people -- or at least enough of them to possibly, quite possibly turn the election away from a Hillary win -- will be incensed when they find out what happened.

Read the Seymour Hersh article.

The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.’)

In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the assault by a local militia in September 2012 on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others. The report’s criticism of the State Department for not providing adequate security at the consulate, and of the intelligence community for not alerting the US military to the presence of a CIA outpost in the area, received front-page coverage and revived animosities in Washington, with Republicans accusing Obama and Hillary Clinton of a cover-up. A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)

The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.

The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi before the attack, nor did it explain why the American consulate was attacked. ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’


It's long. The part I quote follows the discussion about the sarin gas. Just go on down the page.

‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’

That's what the Benghazi fuss was about. And Hillary will be blamed. Petraeus is a Republican. He knows what it was about. The Republicans will use this against Hillary in 2016.

We cannot nominate Hillary., It will be political suicide for the Democratic Party.

Actually, here are the economics of it.

It won't take that much of a plan. Medicare already exists. And we will save money with Medicare for all.

The economist is at the U. of Mass. The Wall Street Journal mangled his math to come up with their article criticizing Bernie's plan for Medicare for all. The economist set the Wall Street Journal straight on Huffington Post. Here you go. Medicare for all is a winner for all.


The Journal correctly puts the additional federal spending for health care under HR 676 (a single payer health plan) at $15 trillion over ten years. It neglects to add, however, that by spending these vast sums, we would, as a country, save nearly $5 trillion over ten years in reduced administrative waste, lower pharmaceutical and device prices, and by lowering the rate of medical inflation.

These financial savings would be felt by businesses and by state and local governments who would no longer be paying for health insurance for their employees; and by retirees and working Americans who would no longer have to pay for their health insurance or for co-payments and deductibles. Beyond these financial savings, HR 676 would also save thousands of lives a year by expanding access to health care for the uninsured and the underinsured.

The economic benefits from Senator Sander's proposal would be even greater than these static estimates suggest because a single-payer plan would create dynamic gains by freeing American businesses to compete without the burden of an inefficient and wasteful health insurance system. As with Senator Sanders' other proposals, the economic boom created by HR 676, including the productivity boost coming from a more efficient health care system and a healthier population, would raise economic output and provide billions of dollars in additional tax revenues to over-set some of the additional federal spending.

Summary of 10-year projections

Because of the nearly $10 trillion in savings, it is possible to fund over $4.5 trillion in additional services while still reducing national health care spending by over $5 trillion. With these net savings, the additional $14.7 trillion in federal spending brings savings to the private sector (and state and local governments) of over $19.7 trillion.

More at the link.

They needn't worry. This is not 1972. The historical parameters are very different.

This is the time for a progressive populist government. Look at the history. Look at the present. Look at the wave of young people backing Bernie.

Hillary may do well in the polls, but in a time of change as drastic as we are experiencing, it will be a question of who is excited enough to get out and vote, and not of who is doing well in the polls. I will vote for other Democrats, but I will not vote for Hillary. Many people who want real change will, unlike me, just stay home and not vote for Hillary or anyone else.

1968 and 1972 were the beginning of the end of a long liberal era that began with the election of Roosevelt in 1932, just 40 years earlier and that began to move toward conservatism with the election of Eisenhhower in 1952. (Eisenhower would be a Democrat by today's standards.) Kennedy was elected on charisma in 1960. The country was still liberal, but beginning to become more conservative.

Goldwater ran in 1965. It was the era in which the John Birch Society and the neo-conservatives undermined the appeal of liberal thought as much as they could. (We did not call them neo-conservatives then.)

The 1972 election was the moment at which the anger of segments of the population about anti-discrimination legislation and frustration over the Viet Nam War led to a Republican victory. From there, the country inched toward a more and more conservative government. Jimmy Carter was a respite, but since Reagan was elected, even the Democrats have been conservative compared to FDR, Truman and LBJ's domestic policy.

It's time to return to our liberal roots. Adams, Jefferson, Madison and the rest were the liberal revolutionaries in terms of public policy of their time. That is our heritage. America has traditionally been the place where humans experimented with liberal social ideas. We should continue to be that.

Hillary is, in her thinking and political philosophy more of the Reagan conservatism lineage.

It's time to meet the new economic and social reality of our time with new solutions. Bernie is offering that.

When our country was young, settlers could claim land, pay at most very little for it, and if they cultivated and kept it safe and useful for society, it was theirs. We were in that sense a socialisty state from the beginning. We did not sell the land to a few fat-cat landowners. We allowed those who wished to have it and use it well to have it and use it. What could be more socialist than that? No lords and ladies -- the norm at the time in Europe. Just people sharing the land and making something of it, helping each other build houses and barns, selling and buying what they could produce and what they could import. That was life in the new territories of the north. The South repeated the same old social structures of Europe worsening it with slavery who were even worse off than European peasants and the serfs of the Middle Ages.

So it is time for a move toward populism. It has been 35 years since Reagan took over. 43 since the conservatives took over in 1972. It's time for the country to accommodate the new reality: we have become a society in which huge corporations own much of our land; we are a nation of debtors, not a nation of investors or capitalists; many, a large percentage of us survive based on our intellects, our education, our technological skills and not based mostly on our physical strength or skills.

In the early days of our country, our government gave those willing to work the opportunity to have land. It is simply right and in the tradition of our country that today, those willing and able to work should be given the opportunity of education and assisted in establishing themselves in using that education. That's how our country became great, and that is how we can remain great.

Healthcare is also basic. We should all help make healthcare affordable for each of us. We need to reform our legal system so that we have a healthier society. Prison is not the solution to crime. We need to find out what would be a better solution to crime.

Economic disparity is dividing our society and creating a helpless underclass. That is not the American way. When we tolerate that kind of economic disparity, we are betraying the principle that our country is founded on: that we are all created equal. We don't have to have the exact same amount of money or economic power, but we do all deserve enough equality to make every life one of dignity and self-respect. We need a society in which we work together and see each other as valuable, equal individuals. We do not need a society in which the rich run everything from our schools to our churches to our government. No way. That is not the American dream.

Hillary does not represent a movement toward the kind of America that we need to be at this time. Her policies are sort of begrudging approaches to problems that she does not see as the fundamental social problem that they are. She takes the bandaid approach to improving the world. She has no far-reaching vision for our country. She just wants to make do, kind of hobble along. That is not what we need.

We need Bernie with his appreciation for the dignity of every human being and with his challenging ideas.

Flag burning should be a felony??????? That's your Hillary.

State college education free for everyone. That's the modern version of giving land to those who want it. That's my Bernie.

You and others who are backing Hillary because they fear the Republicans need to vote according to what you think is right and not in order to avoid the Republicans.

The entire Democratic Party needs to get behind the change we need in this country. We just lost in Virgina and Kentucky. We are not offering voters the kind of government that is needed for our time.

Bernie is offering to start the revolution in our country so that we can have government suited to our present society and not something that sounded good in 1972 and 1980.

Bernie is the winning candidate for 2016.

Right off, I see problems.

She wants to shift the cost of social programs like leave for new mothers onto employers. That will be hard to get through Congress.

Then she favors "free" trade, which thus far is one of the main reasons for the decline of the middle class.

She supports free trade agreements, which she's said is more important than defense in establishing global leadership.

. . . .

Clinton was Secretary of State from 2009-2013. . . . . She drafted the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and pried open Chinese markets to U.S. companies

. . . .

Create the American Retirement Account to allow tax-deferred contributions of up to $5,000 per year. The first $1000 contributed into any retirement account will be eligible for dollar-to-dollar tax credits. (Source: HillaryClinton.com, Issues)



In addition, the retirement savings account will just result in more retirement money being gobbled up by the fraud, greed and sharp money "managers" on Wall Street. We need to raise the cap on contributions to Social Security and strengthen that system.

Maybe Hillary wants to be managing the private investments in her Wall Street accounts when she is in her late 80s and 90s, but I don't. I want strong Social Security.

It looks like she also will raise taxes or impose financial costs on the members of the middle class who own small businesses and also on larger corporations to pay for her social programs.

Programs like family leave for new mothers, free tuition for college education (Hillary limits it to free community college education) and pre-school education have to be paid for.

Hillary is being, again, dishonest about the fact that the burden for these programs will fall on the middle class under her proposals. She says she won't raise taxes on the middle class, but the middle class will still pay for her proposals because she is not adequately raising taxes on the very, very rich. She can't. They are funding her campaign.

Sanders is being honest with us. He is telling us what programs he wants to provide and how he will pay for them.

Let's put Hillary on notice that she needs to do that too.

And it is interesting how Hillary has lied about her role in the negotiations of the TPP. When convenient, she says the agreement does not meet her standards.

But from this article, we now know that she negotiated it. She has taken credit for the TPPP.

Hillary. Who in the world is falling for those vague statements.

If other countries like Hungary and Austria (used to have this kind of leave)

can afford to pay for it, certainly we can.

We already pay for it in lost income for mothers who do stay home and costs of infant care for mothers who work.

The minimum wage is $7.25 going up to $15 in Los Angeles in a few years.

The cost of a full time baby-sitter for one week for one baby at $8 per hour is going to be at least $320 per week. That for 12 weeks would be $3,840.

The mother would probably be paid not her full salary but a stipend that was standard. Employers could also be required to pay the cost of the leave. There are two possibilities right there, probably more.

Perhaps the amount paid to the mother during her leave would be reduced to a standard rate that Congress would agree upon.

My guesses based on my experience living in countries in which this leave is routine. I did not, by the way, live in Hungary. But I know they at least used to have it. So do countries like Sweden, and most of the countries that are democracies.

More on this issue:

When Australia passed a parental leave law in 2010, it left the U.S. as the only industrialized nation not to mandate paid leave for mothers of newborns. Most of the rest of the world has paid maternity leave policies, too; Lesotho, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea are the only other countries that do not. Many countries give new fathers paid time off as well or allow parents to share paid leave.

. . . .

The U.S. joins Lesotho, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea as the only countries that do not mandate paid maternity leave. Most countries insure at least three months of paid leave for new mothers, and many give fathers benefits too.


There is a chart at that website. In Brazil (a poorer country than the US), new mothers get 100% of their pay for 120 days of leave.

In China, new moms get 90 days at 100% of pay.

Nasty, mean old Russia gives 140 days at 100% of pay.

Even Saudi Arabia gives 50% of your pay for this kind of leave.

It's a disgrace that we do not have this leave. The cost is bound to be something we can afford.

Good Heavens. How penny wise and pound foolish can we be.

The relationship between mother and baby that is established in the first days and weeks of life after birth is utterly essential. It's value in human terms cannot be measured in money.

The baby has lived for about 9 months within the body of the mother. It knows the mothers smell, the gait of her walk, her voice. And then suddenly it is torn into a world that is new. New mothers should have time with their babies so that the babies can cross over into our world from the protected haven of the womb. This precious, irreplaceable time is probably even more important to adoptive mothers than to natural birth mothers.

I just can't believe that we in the supposedly richest country in the world do not already provide this leave to new parents.

I am appalled at the materialistic values in our country.

I'm all for civility, but the stakes are too high in this primary season to cause me to value

being polite over getting the right Democratic candidate.

You pointed your finger to the crucial issue in this primary season when you wrote:

Can't someone look at Hillary Clinton and see someone with a lifelong dedication to helping children, women, and the middle class? Someone who is obviously very smart and tough? Is John Lewis suffering from Stockholm Syndrome? Is Howard Dean corrupt? Is Wendy Davis not thoughtful?

Can't someone look at Bernie Sanders and see a highly principled public servant who is focused on reversing the great inequalities in our society? Someone who is untouched by the dirty money that sloshes around our political system? Someone who is drawing huge crowds and who has made true-blue liberalism mainstream again?

This election is about the corruption in our government.

Bernie Sanders is the first candidate in my lifetime to strongly and positively oppose corruption. Not only is he opposing the corruption that our campaign finance customs and laws encourage, but he is living his opposition by refusing contributions over $2700 per person and campaigning without the backup of one or more superpacs.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, although strong on certain issues like women and children (Bernie is just as strong on those issues and stronger on the race and prison and many other issues) is mired in the corruption right up to her neck. She is taking the money from the wealthy, the Wall Street billionaires, anyone who will cough it up.

Bernie is, in my opinion, our last chance to maybe get clean government at least for a few years.

I want a Bernie appointee heading the Department of Justice. I want a Bernie appointee heading the Commerce Department, the Agriculture Department, the Labor Department, the Treasury and every other department in the government.

The TPP would not exist; it would not be a question to argue about in this election, were it not for the extreme corruption throughout our government.

We would not have gone to war in Iraq and would not be concerned about war in Syria were it not for the corruption in our government.

We would be dealing with climate change in a rational way and would have reduced our carbon emissions to far less than they are now had it not been for the extreme amount of corruption in our government -- and especially the influence of the oil and gas and coal industries.

I know it is troubling for nice people to come to a website like DU and find so many nasty posts, so much argument, so much turmoil.

But, I am a 72-year-old woman, and I tell you, the stakes have never in my life or the lives of my parents and grandparents been this high.

The industrial revolution, the advent of the automobile and all the wonderful inventions we enjoy -- hey, the internet and cell phones and medical advances, and on and on, have given us great lives, great opportunities but the energy we burn when we use those amenities are killing our planet.

And it is the corruption in our government that prevents us from dealing with the slow destruction of our planet that is happening as we type.

Corruption. That is the issue in this election.

You pointed to it yourself.

Hillary represents business as usual. Her huge financial backing, her big donors, they represent the polluters of the world, those who view the future of our planet as not their problem. There is no way that a candidate can amass the sums that Hillary has pulled together without taking from the polluters and the destroyers of our earth.

Corruption -- that is what I am voting against this primary season, and that is why I am voting for Bernie Sanders.

We each have to make up our own minds.

I have made my decision.

Not nearly enough to justify yet another give-away trade deal that helps corporations and hurts

the American people.

Your chart says it all.

BILL CLINTON signed NAFTA in 1994.


BILL CLINTON also extended favored nation status to China in 1994.

Friday, May 27, 1994

Clinton Grants China MFN, Reversing Campaign Pledge
By Ann Devroy
The Washington Post


It was followed by the dot-com boom.

And then, three years after the signing of NAFTA and in spite of the dot.com boom, our manufacturing sector steadily declined.

Other important dates.

We joined GATT in 1948. All went well until the oil crises of the 1970s.

We joined the WTO in 1995,


For those who are interested, here is a list of the countries with which we have trade agreements:

The United States has free trade agreements in force with 20 countries. These are:

Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
El Salvador


More information on our free trade agreements:


1985 -- free trade agreement with Israel including Palestine.


We do not need another "free" trade agreement.

As your chart shows, there is a direct relationship between the decline in our industrial sector and the growth in the number of our trade agreements.

And with each trade agreement, we hide our consumption of dirty fuels and our contribution to the death of our planet.

No thanks to these dirty trade deals.

We can trade without "free" trade agreements. These agreements take the control over our trade out of the hands of the American people and into the hands of large multinational corporations. There is nothing "free" about them for the American people.

We do not want or need more trade agreements.

More facts about this: (from a report published in 2005)

Actually, Mrs. Clinton has a mixed record on the bankruptcy bill, which wended its way through Congress over the course of several years, and on fighting the banks, which are a major constituency and major source of campaign contributions in New York.

The bankruptcy legislation was sought by banks and credit card companies, which wanted to make it harder for consumers to use the bankruptcy laws to walk away from their debts.

As first lady, Mrs. Clinton worked against the bill. She helped kill one version of it, then another version passed, which her husband vetoed. As a senator, in 2001, she voted for it, but it did not pass. When it came up again in 2005, she missed the vote because her husband was in the hospital, although she indicated she would have opposed it.

. . . .

The bill popped up again 2001, which was Mrs. Clinton’s first year in the Senate. She worked with Republicans on it and was one of 36 Democrats who helped it pass the Senate, saying it had been improved from when she opposed it. Still, this version was vigorously opposed by consumer groups and unions, and ultimately did not become law.



The 2005 bankruptcy bill hurt students and former students with student debt really badly because it excludes a broad range of education or student loan debt from eligibility for discharge, that is forgiveness by a bankruptcy court.

This means that a business executive, let's take Trump as an example, can take his corporations into bankruptcy court and either hold the threat of a discharge or forgiveness of the money he owes his lenders, his creditors over their heads until they forgive some of it but a 24-year-old who owes $40,000 in student loans and for some reason cannot pay them cannot get that debt forgiven by the bankruptcy court in most cases. It's much harder for the student to get an education-related loan forgiven by the court than some spendthrift, irresponsible corporation.

To me, that is a perversion of justice.

Students should be able to go to school for free.

Some suggest that students who get the forgiveness of college or post-secondary education debt should have to volunteer or work to pay back the debt. That reminds me very much of the old indentured servitude system when immigrants to America in the early days of our country were indentured servants for a period of time, even years in situations like a sort of slavery that had a predictable end (not meaning to make of slavery less of a wrong, less of a crime, but to indicate the kind of relationship that the indentured servant potentially had with the master for the duration of the servitude. So I think that is not the answer.

To me, the answer is to tax everyone to support state schools and to lower or provide free tuition for state schools.

Bernie is on the right track with regard to student loans in my view.

Forrgive me for paraphrasing your statement in post #15.

"It's easy to have a record like Sanders" if you have a brilliant mind and can enjoy the luxury of thinking independently BECAUSE YOU DON'T ACCEPT HUGE DONATIONS FROM BILLIONAIRE DONORS.

It's also easy to have a record like Sanders if your lifestyle is not lavish and is close to that of the average person and therefore you don't have to make $200,000 speeches to the very banksters that are pinching pennies out of the pension funds of the people you claim you want to represent.

Bernie is simply the smartest guy in the room.

No matter the label he carries or that the media attaches to him.

See this:


That links you to an article discussing Bernie's uncanny ability to foresee disasters before they occur.

The must-read article on his track record of prescience:


Bernie warning about entering into the Iraq War.


Proven right.

Bernie warning about the gambling on Wall Street and the crisis it would and did lead to:


Note that this c-span video is dated 1998!

A couple of times in a century, we get the opportunity to elect a true leader, one who has the judgment and wisdom to excite us with new vision and guide us with wise caution. Bernie is that opportunity.

When Abraham Lincoln was elected president, the country was divided. As I understand it, although he did not favor slavery, he never intended to force slave states to abolish it. The argument was about the ability of slaveholders to pursue and capture slaves in the North. That is my understanding.

But the remarkable thing about Lincoln was that he had the moral courage and the intuition and the foresight to see that protecting the Union was our foremost priority and that slavery as an institution was too great a danger to our Union and to the rights of man and of the slaves to tolerate.

He was a leader, a wise man, a courageous man.

But to much of the country, his ideas were horrifying. To be an abolitionist was in the South akin to being a Communist in the US.

Bernie is not a Communist. He is a Democratic Socialist. There is a huge difference. Western Europe even when conservatives are in charge as in Germany, still provide free college tuition and single-payer healthcare to their people. They do not entangle their military in crazy adventures without thinking about how they will govern the countries after they have ventured into them.

Sanders is that kind of cautious Democratic Socialist. A lot of Americans will like his ideas.

He is 73 years old, an age at which even Jeb Bush thinks he is entitled to retire and enjoy his life. But he is willing to go on and serve his country and the American people. He has great wisdom, years of experience and a powerful bunch of courage and energy, and I sure do hope for the sake of our country, that we elect him in 2016.

He is the first and only presidential candidate who has inspired me to this degree in my life, and I myself am 72. I have never seen a candidate of the quality of Bernie Sanders.

We will be so lucky if we can elect him.

He is fiscally somewhat conservative in my view. He has served on the Budget Committee. He may be the ranking member. He said in his speech to the DLC that one of his first goals will be to order an audit of the military.

If you have ever talked with someone who handled military contracts or did military work, you will understand why that is a good idea. The process encourages spendthrift use of tax money. It is very likely that we can have the same or a better defense than we now have for less money. Bernie is not a spendthrift foolish person.

I think that electing him is the chance of the century for America.
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