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Gender: Female
Hometown: born is LA, grew up there and in New Canaan CT
Home country: USA
Current location: East Hardwick, Vermont
Member since: Wed Sep 29, 2004, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 114,904

Journal Archives

Hillary is fracturing the party.

She is alienating millions. And it is all so needless.

They won't vote for her.

I completely understand why.

The First Jewish President

n 2011, New York magazine called Barack Obama “the first Jewish president” for his tough-love support of Israel. It was not only a ridiculous statement at the time, bombast intended to counter the exaggerated attacks coming from right-wing hawks, but it was an offensive statement for many American Jews who understand that backing Israel does not make one Jewish.

That was five years ago. Today, for the first time in American history – just seventy years after U.S. forces liberated Buchenwald – we have the opportunity to intone those words in actuality: “the first Jewish president.” In Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Party has a viable, Jewish candidate inspiring young Americans across every divide imaginable, using the language of morality just as much as that of populism. Given this, it’s worth exploring just what being ‘Jewish’ means for Bernie Sanders, and why his Jewishness is meaningful.


I recognize Sanders, see much of my family and myself in him, as do millions of eligible voters.

Like most American Jews, Sanders is not religiously observant, if to be observant means faithfully practicing Jewish rituals, engaging with organized Jewish institutions, and adhering to Jewish law. He does none of this. And yet, his cultural identity and his ethical compass are deeply Jewish, coming from a long tradition of American Jews who have eschewed theism and organized religion while culturally and politically embracing the core tenets of justice echoed within Jewish texts.

For Sanders, socialism is Jewish. Ending income inequality is Jewish. Supporting black Americans as they struggle against continued oppression is Jewish. Which is not to say such things are inherently so, but rather that for Sanders, such positions are a direct extension of his Jewishness. His career-long drive for social justice is a central part of his political identity in the same way his being Jewish is a central part of his cultural identity, and the two are inextricably intertwined. Belief in God doesn’t matter. Going to synagogue doesn’t matter. Keeping kosher doesn’t matter.

What matters is justice. And that mattering is Jewish.

To some, this may sound strange. But most American Jews likely read the above paragraphs and nodded. Of course.

In The Daily Beast, Jay Michaelson recently wrote a fantastic piece entitled “What Kind of Jew is Bernie Sanders?” Within it, Michaelson rightly traces the history of Sanders’ Jewish progressivism:

Secular, progressive Judaism is, itself, a kind of religion. While dispensing with the God of the alte velt – if the Enlightenment didn’t kill him, the Holocaust certainly did – leftist Jews of the 20th century maintained a prophetic, religious zeal for justice.


That noble fighter of corrupt wall street is charging bernie

with, among other ghastly things, attending DSCC events to raise money for democrats.

Here's a diary from kos about Hillary exposing Bernie's corruption. Thank goodness dear Saint Hillary is saving us.

Alright, here we go….ready for the full bag o’ tricks from Camp Hillary?

Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Seeks to Portray Bernie Sanders as a Deceptive Candidate

As Senator Bernie Sanders returned to New Hampshire this morning after appearing in a Saturday Night Live skit, Hillary Clinton’s campaign was trying to cast him as a high-dollar fund-raiser of lobbyists and as an unethical exploiter of veterans, clergy, union workers and older people.

In a news release sent to reporters as Mr. Sanders made his way to a rally here, the Clinton campaign’s communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, said, “It seems the Sanders campaign has shifted from insulting and dismissing people who don’t support him to falsely claiming their support. Despite being called on deceptive campaign tactics and misleading ads for weeks now, Sanders has now chosen to mislead voters on a veteran and veterans’ group’s support. Enough is enough — voters deserve better.”
And this beauty:

And some reports have emerged questioning Mr. Sanders’ purity on the campaign finance system he incessantly bashes as corrupt. On Sunday, MSNBC reported that Mr. Sanders attended a “lavish” fund-raiser in 2007 to benefit the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee that included as guests government relations executives who were “directly employed by corporations such as the financial firms Blackrock and Prudential Financial, or the defense contractor Raytheon. Others represent large Washington law and lobbying firms, such as DLA Piper, Patton Boggs, and Akin Gump.”
They really want to stick to talking about “high-dollar fund-raisers”, especially since it was for the Democrats? And, after they have been complaining all campaign about how Bernie never raises money for the Democrats? LOL, oops! Please proceed, Secretary.

So, let’s get this straight:

Hillary wants to run, RIGHT NOW, at this point in time, on integrity and selling out to rich people?


Talk about Karl Rove tactics? THIS is Karl Rove tactics 101, and has it ever been tried in a Democratic primary before, to attempt to prop up a candidate already SEEN as having integrity problems, and selling-out-to-the-wealthy problems?

Unbelievable. What is Hillary’s end-game here, even if these cheap-shots DO garner a victory? Act nice to Bernie voters, and watch them roll over to her? Really?

Do you see why many of us here have been declaring Hillary the very, very worst candidate that the Democrats could put up? I’ve never seen a candidate constantly looking for better ways to lose votes. Wow.


Debunking the Politifact LIE on Bernie and the ACA. Senator Bingaman says

Says Bernie was very involved. He's not the only one.

Without Bernie there wouldn't have been 11 billion in the ACA CHCs. Not that many of those smearing Bernie on this even know what that is. He fought for it. He made his vote for it contingent on it. And yes, he fought for single payer and the public option. The following is from the pro Hillary TPM.

ut interviews with various congressional staff involved with the reform effort as well as outside experts reveal that Sanders' role in the creation of 2010's Affordable Care Act is a complicated one.

On one hand, he sat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (or HELP) Committee -- one of the two committees charged with pulling together the legislation. And he championed not-insignificant provisions like expanded funding for community health centers and providing an option for states to experiment with their own systems.

On the other hand, his relentless push for the single-payer model made passing the bill more complicated, some staffers working on the legislation at the time told TPM, and to say he was behind the core elements -- the exchanges, mandates, and the Medicaid expansion --- would be an exaggeration.

At the end of the day, vetting his claim depends on your definition of “write.”

“Was he involved in the creation? He was deeply involved in a variety of ways. He got some important things in there,” said John McDonough, a Harvard public health professor who wrote the 2011 book "Inside National Health Reform."


Former Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM) was the one Democrat who sat on both committees working on the ACA at the time. He was also a member of Baucus' Gang of Six.

“As a regular member of the [HELP] committee on the Democratic side -- we were the ones who were writing the bill because Republicans were opposing everything,” Bingaman told TPM last week. “So [Sanders] was very much involved like the rest of us.”

Bingaman remembered specifically Sanders’ community health center provision, but said that “he was a strong advocate for other parts of it, too."

Legislative staffers on the HELP Committee from that time contend that Sanders’ various contributions were meaningful ones.

“I think it is an absolutely fair claim for him to make,” said one former Democratic aide. “I would say, unequivocally, he was very involved in putting his mark on the bill.”


Hillary's whisper thin victory in Iowa is under a dark cloud

And so is the pro-Hillary Iowa Democratic Party, particularly the chair. There is no doubt that McGuire and team made a hash of it.
The results can't be relied on to be accurate as virtually every media outlet has stated. The Des Moines Register has been very harsh in their criticism and that paper endorsed her.

Did Hillary actually win Iowa? Odds are we'll never know, but the optics here are not good for her.


To win progressives, Hillary has to dump Bill


But if Mrs. Clinton plans to continue touting her progressive bona fides, she must account for her husband’s political legacy — which was far from progressive — and then distance herself from it. Otherwise, she may continue to struggle beating Bernie Sanders in other Democratic primaries and — assuming she’s the nominee — getting her base out to vote in November.

Her first concern should be that the percentage of Democrats who identify as liberal or progressive has been rising. According to a Gallup poll taken last year, nearly half of them do. Hillary Clinton — a candidate who has been cozy with Wall Street and has hawkish tendencies — needs them. She can’t afford to look like a half-hearted, or worse, opportunistic progressive.


Hillary's position has been anything but consistent. At times, Hillary has distanced herself from her husband's North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), something she publicly favored previously. She opposed the Colombia Free Trade Agreement before she changed sides and was in favor. And now she has been on both sides of Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP.


speaking of Bill, he bamboozled no Democratic demographic more than black people. Michelle Alexander, author of the best-sellerThe New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, pointed this out brilliantly on her Facebook page recently: “I can't believe Hillary would be coasting into the primaries with her current margin of black support if most people knew how much damage the Clintons have done — the millions of families that were destroyed the last time they were in the White House thanks to their boastful embrace of the mass incarceration machine and their total capitulation to the right-wing narrative on race, crime, welfare and taxes.”


Agencies Battle Over What Is ‘Top Secret’ in Hillary Clinton’s Emails

— Some of the nation’s intelligence agencies raised alarms last spring as the State Department began releasing emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server, saying that a number of the messages contained information that should be classified “top secret.”

The diplomats saw things differently and pushed back at the spies.

In the months since, a battle has played out between the State Department and the intelligence agencies — as well as Congress — over what information on Mrs. Clinton’s private server was classified and what was the routine business of American diplomacy, according to government officials and letters obtained by The New York Times.

At the center of that argument, the officials said, is a “top secret” program of the Central Intelligence Agency that is anything but secret. It is the agency’s long effort to track and kill suspected terrorists overseas with armed drones, which has been the subject of international debates, numerous newspaper articles, television programs and entire books.

The Obama administration’s decision to keep most internal discussions about that program — including all information about C.I.A. drone strikes in Pakistan — classified at the “top secret” level has now become a political liability for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign.



Guardian op-ed: Bernie Sanders' foreign policy judgment is better than Clinton's experience

As Bernie Sanders has risen in the polls, he has been taking increasing heat for some of his apparently vague foreign policy positions and the fact that his campaign does not have a team of establishment foreign policy advisers, unlike typical front-running candidates.

Instead of just questioning Sanders’ choice, we should really be questioning why any of the candidates of either party are employing the same old foreign policy advisers – many of whom not only supported the Iraq war but every disastrous military intervention since. These are the same people who now think that yet another regional war will somehow fix the chaos in the Middle East.

After a series of disastrous wars overseas, we should be looking for someone who has better “judgment” rather than candidates who have “experience” but are calling for more of the same policies in the Middle East that have led us into the mess we’re in now in the first place.

Nothing exemplifies this more than Hillary Clinton seemingly bragging about her foreign policy credentials at Thursday’s Democratic debate by citing her friendship with Henry Kissinger, who Christopher Hitchens called a war criminal. The former Nixon and Ford administration national security advisor and secretary of state is revered in DC foreign policy establishment circles but reviled just about everywhere else for his role in building or perpetuating multiple atrocities in east Asia during the late 1960s and 70s.



Just wow: My conservative cousin is now a Sanders volunteer

In the Hoosier state

My cousin is an ER doc who works in a very busy hospital in Indianapolis. He lives in a very affluent suburb near Indy, and has been an establishment conservative for all of his adult life. He has also been fairly active as a volunteer and donor to political campaigns starting when we were 16 (he’s six months older than me) and knocked on doors for David MacIntosh. He donated heavily to Mitch Daniels’s campaign. We argue a lot when I’m forced to leave California to spend time with my Hoosier kinfolk.

Since my dad passed last September, I’ve made three trips to the auld home place and talk to my ma more often than, well, necessary, really, but it’s good to check in, yeah? Anyhoo, while on the phone with her yesterday, she dropped this on me: “Your cousin, name withheld, surprised the shit outta your aunt and me earlier this week when he told us he’s supporting Bernie Sanders. Not only that, but he’s in touch with the campaign as to how he can volunteer.”

”Bullshit”, says I. “He’s Romney with less personality and about as progressive as Jim Inhofe.” So she started explaining his rationale. Remember, folks, this is a conservative who spent his first five years as a medical professional interrupting someone who dared called him “Mr.” instead of “Dr.” until he gained a grain of humility. So endorsing and volunteering for a progressive candidate in Indiana is pretty fucking big.

He said, and I called him up to verify this, that he was voting for, donating to, and volunteering for Bernie Sanders because, as an emergency room doctor, he’s fed the fuck up with our health care system. He works 12-16 hour shifts treating people who use the ER as their primary care facility, he often can’t treat people for 45 minutes to hours down the road because insurance paperwork needs to be filled out beforehand, and he’s fully aware that most of the people he’s seeing on a daily basis are likely to continue this pattern indefinitely unless someone does something to change that reality on the ground.

I asked him why he wasn’t taking the more pragmatic approach that Hillary Clinton is offering. He responded that having spent his entire career as an ER doc, the plan that Hillary has put forward may eventually help the next generation of health care professionals, but the system is broken now. What about the critics who say he’ll never get any serious healthcare reform passed? His answer deserves a blockquote.

”I’m not a god damn idiot. I don’t think for a second this will happen overnight. But I will dedicate all of my free time and resources to local and national elections to change the political landscape by 2020 so we can make this vision a reality”

That’s fucking huge. And that’s the Sanders campaign at it’s core. Knowing that there’s an enormous amount of ground to cover, but being willing to fight every day for real, systemic change. My conservative cousin has had a political awakening, and he sure as hell feels the Bern.


It's acceptable for Hillary to invoke gender and charge sexism

at every turn.

Can you imagine if Obama had talked about busting the iron ceiling of racism constantly? Or charged racism over and over? It would have strangled his candidacy in its infancy.

Just an observation. I don't have a problem with Hillary talking about smashing the glass ceiling, and undoubtedly she has to contend with sexism, though I do think her campaign and mostly her surrogates, have been too cavalier about tossing off accusations of sexism.
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