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Gender: Male
Current location: northern California
Member since: Fri Jan 26, 2007, 08:20 PM
Number of posts: 4,775

Journal Archives

Excellent points

I live in California so my vote rarely matters, we vote so late, and it is safely blue for POTUS. So I'm not too worried about the TOS. I won't advocate for anyone to not vote for Dems, which as far as I can tell should keep me on the right side of the admins enough to let me post here.

But I fully agree, and I've also been a Democrat for a long long time. I kept thinking the party wanted to do better but didn't have better candidates, or couldn't do better because of Republicans.

Now it is way too obvious to ignore. It's about the money. The party is addicted to and entirely consumed by corporate money and the interests that come with it. That does not represent me.

Where do we go from here? I'm still working to get this party to elect candidates who refuse corporate money, but the rise of Bernie has shown exactly to what degree the party will go to oppose this, it seems they'll do anything to stop him. They work for their donors, not for us. And in my own very progressive district, same story, amazing progressive candidate lost to a so-so corporate-funded candidate in the Democratic primary.

Can it be fixed? We'll see. I doubt it but for the moment I will continue to work to reform the Democratic Party rather than work on starting something new.

I actually envision something like the congressional progressive caucus, but one that has a rule that its members swear off corporate funding, and provides alternative clean funding mechanisms (crowd funding) to allow them and their ideas to comepete with the corporatists. We have to defeat corporate Democrats in primaries to get anywhere, not easliy done when the party establishment is dead set against it.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Tue Feb 23, 2016, 04:18 AM (2 replies)

Great. So, who is Sally Cook?

And why did she go to all the trouble to petition the Univeristy of Chicago archives to change the name from Bernie to Rappaport to Sanders, then somehow magically the Times, and Capehart and WaPo, are all over it?

This lie went around the world about a humdred times over the last day or two. It cannot be walked back in any proportional way (well technically it could be, but we all know the MSM won't do that). That's how the game is being played, and it absolutely sucks. They need to fight Bernie on policy, not with lies.

I have no idea how we prevail against this kind of thing. It''s great that the pushback got to the bottom of it, still, I have to think it was "mission accomplished" for the Clintons. Capehart's husband (or live-in, don't know if they're married) is a paid Hillary staffer. This didn't just happen organically.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Sat Feb 13, 2016, 03:33 PM (5 replies)

If we had a functioning democracy I would agree with you

They don't much care what we think. They serve their own agendas, and through system control, they make sure we don't have serious alternative leaders available to us at election time.

So I'd say the powers that be love authoritarianism.

We're also a highly militarized warrior culture, and a large percentage of our citizens go through military training, which is nothing but authoritarian indoctrination, brought to us by the powers that be.

I agree we should turn the tables and put ourselves back in charge of our government. Easier said than done, of course.

We live in a Deep State that uses the vast resources of this nation in service of global corporate goals, and the viewpoint of the owners of the Deep State is injected into virtually every aspect of our lives.

A small segment of any population is equipped to intellectually break out of the programming it is presented with. The rest generally go along to get along, seeking a good place for themselves in the existing system rather than calling it out for illegitimacy, if they are even willing to do the analysis to see the illegitimacy. Systemic analysis and criticism often comes with a great personal price, few are willing to pay that price.

People are waking up, to some degree, and some better leaders are making some progress, so I am actually more hopeful than usual.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Feb 12, 2016, 02:24 AM (0 replies)

Such attributes must be in service of a greater wisdom

Intelligence, being articulate, and command of the issues can be found on different sides of the same issues. I think Hillary has all of those attributes, in spades.

Intelligent articulate people should have their grounding and motivations carefully evaluated. They are able to convince people of anything.

Is there any correlation between intelligence and wisdom? I'm pretty cynical about that. I've seen so many brilliant minds use their intelligence to convince people of things that should not be believed. I have a profound distrust of intelligent people who are persuasive and have highly developed communication skills.

Buyer beware.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Feb 12, 2016, 12:51 AM (2 replies)

He'll certainly fight for those changes

I have long been blown away how so many people on this site don't understand the difference in results between not being able to pass something because of Republicans and DINOS, and not ever fighting for them.

When we fight for our issues, it changes everything. The entire media zeitgeist is altered by a strong individual (such as Warren or Sanders) standing up strong for our issues, or a strong group (Occupy). Without that, everything is based on Republican terms and policies.

We won't get our changes right away. There are a few things Bernie will be able to do in the short-term, but the reality is we will get our soul back as a party, we will get Congress back, the vast disaffected independent bloc will come to Democrats when we are fighting for their interests instead of being sell-outs, progressive issues will be front-and-center in the national course of debate, and Republicans will be exposed as the corporate shills that they are (they aren't exposed as this now because our own party is guilty of the same).

Electing Bernie will change everything. We'll have a huge fight on our hands even then, but it's the fight many of us have been waiting all our lives to wage. Bring it.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 01:29 PM (0 replies)

Yes. This is why I have long held a very unpopular view

which is that we should pay our elected politicians about 10 times (I mean this literally) what we pay them now, they are very important jobs. As part of the massive pay raise, we should include language that forbids them to profit from their connections.

How to do this? The actual language and details would be critical, and I'm not smart enough to know. One possibility is a huge endless retiirement annuity, but forbidding them to make money from anyone else.

People scream that they aren't worth it, or that it would be too expensive. I say it is far more expensive to have them working for corporate interests, they need to do our business and nobody else's business. And if we get corporate money out of them, they will magically be worth the money we give them.

The money we pay them, even multiplied 10-fold, is a pittance compared to the huge sums of money their funders are making from sponsoring them, and their funders largely make that money at our expense.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 12:57 PM (2 replies)

Epic fail by Barney Finance

“One of the problems is that she is going to need the money to get through the primary and then to still have some left because the Republicans, especially if it's Marco Rubio, are going to have tons of money to go after her,” said former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, a Clinton supporter and co-author of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. “But if she takes the money she gets hit with this McCarthyism of the left, this guilt by association, even though there is no evidence that taking this money has had any impact on her policies.”

OMG! Bernie is not using Wall St. money in the primary, yet Clinton needs to? If she can't compete with Bernie based on money raised from the people, she doesn't deserve to win. And the guilt by association bit is a hoot. We all know how the game works. Wall St. certainly knows. They haven't sent me any $200,000 checks recently. The whole "there is no evidence" line is a clever ruse, nothing more. Of course politicians do their best to obscure any such evidence. And of course the huge sums of corporate donations to politicans are given to further the interests of those corporations, and are highly successful in doing so. Nobody with any political awareness can refute this.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 12:22 PM (0 replies)

Personally I thought he crushed her

The deeper she pushed, the worse it got for her, because on the facts, at the heart of the matter, Bernie's campaign is right on the issues. It isn't even close, and all she's left with is attempts to divert and spin.

Her calling the attacks on her Wall St. ties an artful smear is nothing but disingenuous desperation. It isn't a smear, it isn't even personal, it's a fact, and it's the absolute heart of what's wrong in this country. We want politicians who represent us, not Wall St., nor MIC interests, not big insurance and pharmaceutical interests, and Hillary is the favorite Democrat (actually the favorite politician of any party) for those forces.

She's says she's never changed anything because of that money? That's absurd and nobody with any sense will ever believe that. Bernie doesn't have to demonstrate any specific change she's made, it's quite obvious what the game is, why they give money to candidates, and why wealthy corporations and the MIC own Washington D.C.

This recent study blew the lid off the whole fraudulent system, and why we can't get what we want, even when what we want is the majority opinion:


In their conclusion, Gilens and Page go even further, asserting that “In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule—at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover … even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.”


The issue is what happens when some income groups, particularly the rich, support or oppose certain things, and other groups in society don’t share their views. To tackle this issue, Gilens and Page constructed a multivariate statistical model, which includes three causal variables: the views of Americans in the ninetieth percentile of the income distribution (the rich), the views of Americans in the fiftieth percentile (the middle class), and the opinions of various interest groups, such as business lobbies and trade unions. In setting up their analysis this way, the two political scientists were able to measure the impact that the groups have independent of each other.

One of the study’s other interesting findings is that, beyond a certain level, the opinions of the public at large have little impact on the chances a proposal has of being enacted. As I said, policy proposals that have the support of the majority fare better than proposals which are favored only by a minority. But, in the words of Gilens and Page, “The probability of policy change is nearly the same (around 0.3) whether a tiny minority or a large majority of average citizens favor a proposed policy change.”

Hillary wants to frame Sanders' points re this issue as an artful smear. It's more of an artful schmear on the bagel he hangs around the necks of politicians representing corporations. It's not a smear at all, it's the rot at the heart of both parties that has been destroying our lives and our planet.

Finally, regarding her saying, in response to Sanders' point that he got Iraq war right while she did not (Hillary said that was in 2002 and instead of focusing on that we need to figure out how to deal with ISIS now), the Iraq war is quite literally what CREATED ISIS, and what led to the destabilization of the entire region. All of the experience Hillary is so happy to trot out as to why she is the one qualified in foreign policy is based on her buy-in to the destabilization of an entire region, per the PNAC list of countries to do regime change in. Her "experience" is the problem, not the solution.

I could go on and on. Sanders is a force, and a perfectly focused and targeted one. He comes at this with an accurate radical analysis of our systemic issues and how they translate to individual and ecological ruin. There is just no spinning that away, and it's something I've been waiting all my life for a candidate to articulate and fight against.

Unbelievable debate last night, the most substantive one I've ever seen, thanks to Bernie being in the race this election.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 10:57 AM (0 replies)

I think it's how we proceed until we do get publicly financed elections

Candidates elected with corporate money aren't likely to go out of their way to get corporate money out of our system.

IMHO our greatest and most urgent challenge is to learn how to defeat big corporate money in elections with crowd-sourced campaigns.

While we work to do this, we can also work in every way possible (Rootstrikers, Wolf-PAC, Move To Amend, etc.) to get publicly funded elections. Until we do so, we don't really have a functional democracy.

But if we can establish that candidates accepting corporate money will sell out their constituents without blinking an eye (pretty much indisputable, but for some reason ths hasn't sufficiently crystallized in the minds of enough of the electorate), we will have a way to fight back, by stigmatizing candidates accepting corporate money and running crowd-sourced campaigns against them.

If you have a better way forward I'd love to hear it.

If Bernie wins, or even comes close, he will have proven the viability of this approach, which might be the most important aspect of his campaign.

All of the other issues we care about so much will be enabled if we can elect candidates who owe their allegiance to the people instead of to the oligarchy.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Mon Feb 1, 2016, 01:49 PM (0 replies)

That's awesome, thanks for supporting him

I don't know the answer to your question. DU seems like a good place to stoke up support. The site's owners are more DLC establishment Democrats, but plenty of users are on the non-corporate side of things.

Sometimes threads disappear becaue of timing or placement.

The Democratic Party officially stayed out of the Huffman - Solomon race, to their credit, though I think they did support Huffman in some ways.

I've always felt that the left is not as good at organizing as the right, that needs to change. For one thing, we're pretty much doing anything we do with no compensation, which shows real enthusiasm but it also means causes and politicians are piecing together less reliable volunteer labor. We could do better at crowd-funding support infrastructure so we could hire people to work to elect progressives. Or just try to do better with volunteer efforts.

I would talk to someone like MaryM at the Jackpine site, she's very involved and much more knowledgable than I am on these matters.

The NGO's like DFA, PDA (I think), maybe even MoveOn, are basically our only infrastructure at this point. Also we probably need to show up and invade our districts' Democratic Party meetings, I know I never go to those things, should though.

I think the political tides are turning, and there's a critical mass of citizens no longer satisfied with establishment politicians. So the time is ripe for identifying and developing candidates who are willing to run on strong progressive agendas without using corporate money to do it.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Mon Feb 1, 2016, 12:39 PM (0 replies)
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