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Member since: Tue May 13, 2008, 03:07 AM
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Bernie Sanders KICKS OFF New Hampshire Campaign

We are on the road to victory in New Hampshire.

Bernie Sanders Gets MISQUOTED

A while back, Bernie Sanders asked about something that, to the modern reader, seems pretty obvious:

Have you ever looked at the Stag, Man, Hero, Tough magazines on the shelf of your local bookstore? Do you know why the newspaper with the articles like “Girl, 12, raped by 14 men” sell so well? To what in us are they appealing?

The answers are simple and uncontroversial. A lot of men are turned on by rape and enjoy fantasizing about sexual assault; and a lot of commercial publications are fine with using this to sell their product, even if it normalizes rape culture and ultimately threatens the safety of women.

Online publications have long understood this and deliberately try to take advantage of it when promoting their content. SEO editors, for example, will torture their headlines until they can find a way to squeeze in some sexy keywords, even if those keywords are about rape. And not only that, but they’ll arrange and re-arrange their headlines so that those eye-and-search-engine-spider-catching keywords show up in the headline as early as possible. So for example, imagine that you are a Vox editor, and you want to publish an article about the point Bernie just made. Do you call your headline “Sanders criticizes the commercialization of sexual assault”? Or perhaps “Sexual assault commercialization criticized by Sanders?” Probably the latter – but if you really want to rake in the cash, you write something like this:

Where did that first quote come from? The same very essay – Sanders is describing the horrific consequences of media rape culture. The normalization of rape is so monstrous and pernicious, Sanders argues, that some women have even internalized it, and have taught themselves to enjoy the very idea of being sexually assaulted. But instead of giving the reader some minimal idea of what the essay is actually about, Vox pulls a sensational quote about what Sanders is criticizing, shuffles it to the front, and belatedly gets around to explaining where the quote even comes from.



Why Is MEDIA IGNORING Bernie Sanders?

Listen carefully, and you'll notice they never mention anything about him.

YES!....call out the 'media overlords' who have 'chosen not to give equal weight to the Democratic primary candidates'.........call them out!

Whenever a 2016 Republican hiccups, we hear about it throughout the echo chamber. Online and off. We also hear about every invented Clinton scandal on the planet in minute detail. But if you tune all of that noise out and listen very carefully, see if you can find mention of Bernie Sanders' campaign kickoff on Wednesday. Other than a 40-year old paper that they're intentionally blowing up, see if you can find any mention of Sanders as a credible candidate.


Eric Boehlert at Media Matters noticed, too,

On May 26, Sen. Bernie Sanders hosted his first major campaign rally since announcing his presidential candidacy last month. Staged on the banks of Lake Champlain in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont, the Sanders rally reportedly drew more than five thousand people, making it one of the largest campaign events of 2015, hosted by either a Democrat or a Republican.

But the sprawling rally didn't cause much of a media stir. Rather than cover it as a major news event, the Washington Post ignored the rally in its print edition the next day, as did the New York Times, according to a search of the Nexis database. The network news programs that night covered the event in just a few sentences.

At a time when it seems any movement on the Republican side of the candidate field produces instant and extensive press coverage, more and more observers are suggesting there's something out of whack with Sanders' press treatment.

And they're right.

As the Vermont liberal spreads his income equality campaign message, the press corps seems unsure of how to cover him. In the month since he announced his bid, Sanders' coverage seems to pale in comparison to comparable Republican candidates who face an arduous task of obtaining their party's nomination. The reluctance is ironic, since the D.C. press corps for months brayed loudly about how Hillary Clinton must face a primary challenger. Now she has one and the press can barely feign interest?


Well, you know the routine here. Bernie Sanders isn't considered a serious candidate by the media-at-large. Wait till Lincoln (who?) Chafee throws his hat in the ring next week. I'll bet you hear more about him. That is, if you hear anything about any Democrat that isn't just more gotcha scandal-mongering. Furthermore, when they do report on Bernie Sanders, it's through the prism of Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

Over and over we see the same media construct: Sanders' campaign only exists as it relates to Clinton's bid for the nomination. There's no justification for such a narrow-minded view of Sanders' run.



More Americans SUPPORT Bernie Sanders For President THAN Every Republican Contender

Social liberalism is on a fast rise, Bernie Sanders is appealing to old school GOP voters, and now he has more support for the presidency than any of the Republican contenders for 2016. Is America seeing a progressive uprising? I sure hope so. A recent Quinnipiac Poll shows that Senator Sanders is supported by 15% of Democratic voters compared to 57% who support Hillary Clinton. Vice President Joe Biden nabs 9% of the vote with the other 14% undecided. However, the interesting part is no one in the GOP has over 10% support. Senator Marco Rubio (FL), Governor Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee are all tied for 10% while Senators Rand Paul (KY) and Ted Cruz (TX) have 7% and 6% respectively. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina trails with only 2%. So, in other words, more people rally around Bernie Sanders than they do a solid GOP candidate. Even though the GOP field has over 9 declared candidates and an additional 8 considering a run, the Democrats factored in (among Clinton and Sanders) Joe Biden, Lincoln Chafee, Martin O’Malley, and Jim Webb.

While the GOP clown car continues to sputter out of control with the attacks on “who’s more conservative,” the Democratic primary (led by Clinton) continues an open dialogue as Sanders has promised not to attack Hillary, but make the election about the issues Americans care about. No wonder he’s more popular than any of the GOP contenders. I predict that the more people come to know who he his and hear his bold and progressive ideas, the more support he will get. His population has grown substantially as more people hear his message: he was at 8 percent support in an April Quinnipiac poll and 4 percent in their March one. That means Hillary Clinton shouldn’t get too comfortable. He certainly is challenging the status quo of the usual two-party system (remember, he was an Independent for decades before “switching” to the Democratic Party).



The Daily Show BLASTS Media's DISMISSIVE COVERAGE Of Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 Campaign

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders makes for an unconventional presidential contender, but only in comparison to other candidates.

BWHAHAHAHAHAHA: Zimmerman Shooter Plans To Use 'Stand Your Ground' As His Defense

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — An attorney for a Florida man charged with shooting at George Zimmerman said Friday that he planned to use a "Stand Your Ground" defense — the same legal strategy considered but ultimately not used by lawyers for the former neighborhood watch leader who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Such a defense would entitle Matthew Apperson to a hearing, ahead of his trial, during which a judge would decide if he deserves immunity from prosecution because he feared imminent death or bodily injury. Apperson was charged earlier this month with aggravated assault and battery for firing a gun into Zimmerman's car during a traffic run-in. Zimmerman had minor injuries.

Zimmerman's defense attorneys had considered asking for a "Stand Your Ground" hearing when the former neighborhood watch leader faced a second-degree murder charge for the February 2012 fatal shooting of Martin, but they instead opted to go straight to a traditional criminal trial.



Hastert Takes Bizarre Call On CSPAN: "Remember Me From Yorkville?"


What else do we know?

According to unnamed sources cited by BuzzFeed, U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon had been planning to file a "a much more explicit" charging document, but he withheld further details from the indictment, partly at the request of Hastert's attorneys. It is probably safe to say that most defendants are not accorded such treatment.

There's also the matter of a very bizarre call made to a C-SPAN show last November, when Hastert appeared to discuss the 2014 midterm elections. A caller identifying himself only as Bruce asked, "Remember me from Yorkville?" to which Hastert responded, "Yeah, go ahead." Bruce then laughed and hung up the phone.


FAST TRACK Hits House Next Week; Clinton MUST SPEAK UP

The House is expected to vote on fast track trade promotion authority as soon as next week. If it passes, the corporate-negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a done deal — even though it is still secret. Why is presidential candidate Hillary Clinton still silent on this?

The Money Wants TPP — The People Do Not

TPP is the most important economic issue facing the Congress between now and the election — because it could happen, and because if it does the results will be terrible for working people. The game will be further rigged in favor of the 1 percent and against the rest of us. It will increase corporate power over governments — and us. The Money wants TPP, because it will be very, very good for them. The people do not want fast track/TPP because it means increased corporate power, fewer jobs, more pressure, and lower pay. A corporate/plutocrat-bought Congress is being told by The Money — Wall Street, the giant corporations and the plutocrats — to pass it, and for some incomprehensible reason President Obama will sign it. Street-level activists are fighting tooth and nail to get the word out and rally opposition. This is now. This is urgent. This is the focus. This is an either/or. There is one side, and there is the other side. This is us vs. them. This is The Money vs. We the People. There is no in-between on this one, no waiting it out, no holding back, and no fence-sitting. It is one or the other. Not choosing a side on this is really just choosing the wrong side.

Clinton Still Silent On Fast Track

Here's the thing: Fast track essentially pre-approves TPP. Fast track comes up for a vote as soon as next week. If fast track passes, TPP is a done deal. Where is Clinton on this? Hillary Clinton is the leading Democratic candidate for president. A lot of activists are looking for reasons to enthusiastically support Clinton's candidacy. She has taken great, progressive positions on immigration and other issues. But it is still early; opinions are not yet hardened. Things can change.

So far Clinton is trying to stay on the fence about fast track and TPP:

"There are questions being raised by the current agreement. I don't know what the final provisions are yet," she said. "I want to judge the final agreement. I have been for trade agreements, I have been against trade agreements."

But fast track preapproves that "final agreement." The vote on fast track in the House could be as soon as next week. After next week, TPP could be a done deal. Clinton owes it to the public to show up and lead on this. She especially owes it to the activists. They are fighting in the streets over this. They would appreciate some help. They will remember who was there with them — and who wasn't.

Political Calculation vs. The Right Thing

Clinton's advisors are calculating that this whole controversy will fade away after fast track's passage makes TPP a done deal. They are trying to get her past this without taking a stand that risks putting off either side. They are betting that with time people will forget and get over it. But to the activists on the street, this is the big one — just like the Iraq War vote was. People will remember, because people who know about it are fighting in the streets today, doing everything they can to stop this. And those people will say that taking no position is the same as being for it, because it is allowing it to happen, without laying down in front of the moving fast-track train.



Disqualifying Donations for Democratic Candidates-- Meet CHRIS MATTHEWS' WIFE Kathleen

Chris & Kathleen Matthews-- rich people who want a Maryland congressional seat

Lately, we've talked about how certain faux Democrats are being recruited by Beltway power-mongers to run as Democratic congressional candidates. For example, the DCCC was quick to recruit conservative "ex"-Republican Monica Vernon for IA-01 and the DSCC was even quicker in recruiting even worse conservative "ex"-Republican Patrick Murphy in Florida. Murphy, ostensibly a New Dem, votes with the GOP on crucial roll calls more frequently than all but 4 or 5 Blue Dogs and he gave maximum contributions to Chris Christie while Christie was still a Republican running against a Democrat and to Mitt Romney. Vernon is rich and conservative and she and her very Republican husband have contributed thousands of dollars to local and national Republicans, including, in 2012, to Bruce Braley's GOP opponent, Ben Lange, as well as to clowns like Chuck Grassley and John McCain, and $4,000 to the Iowa State Republican Party. The DSCC and the DCCC look for candidates like these; how else could they possibly maintain their breathtaking records for incompetence and just failure?

Now there's a new candidate making tiny Beltway hearts go pitter-patter. Chris Matthews' wife wants to be the Democratic nominee for the open MD-08 House seat that Chris Van Hollen is giving up to run against Donna Edwards for Senate. Kathleen Matthews is a Marriott company executive with no political experience other than influence-peddling. But that isn't stopping her or her ConservaDem allies. While the political media love reporting on one of their own (we’ve already seen a few rounds of stories about her leaving her job at Marriott and about her husband’s outsized voice in campaign strategy), there was one story from the Huffington Post that caught my eye. As the HuffPo reports, Matthews’ most recent political campaign contribution was to Republican extremist Senator Roy Blunt, just a few months ago and for the current 2016 cycle. This means that the last donation Matthews made before deciding to run for Congress as a Democrat was to a man with a 0% NARAL Pro-Choice America rating, a 0% Planned Parenthood Action Fund rating, and an "A" rating from the NRA. Steve Israel and others at the DCCC don't care, of course, but how does she expect that Democratic primary voters in Maryland will respond to that?

And since this donation is for the 2016 cycle, Matthews is essentially endorsing a Republican Senator at the same time she's running as a Democrat. Does this mean she supports Blunt’s anti-choice agenda? Does it mean she supporters his pro-gun agenda? Does it mean she supports his anti-gay marriage agenda? Does it mean she doesn't care whether Democrats control the U.S. Senate? After all, Blunt has serious Democratic opposition this cycle, and Matthews' donation was a donation toward continued Republican control. It would be one thing if she had a record to look at in totality. But since she’s never been in public service, never run for office, and never been involved on policy issues, we only have her donations to inform us of her politics. And this is troubling at best. As progressives, we understand we want our elected leaders to get along with Republicans. But we should never support a candidate who gave money, let alone the maximum amount allowed, to someone who is vehemently anti-choice and bitterly, aggressively homophobic... someone who is actively working to defeat candidates like Russ Feingold on the campaign trail and block legislation from Senators like Elizabeth Warren.

This should absolutely disqualify her for the Democratic nomination for Congress. It goes against so many of the core political principles that Democrats care about. She didn’t just give to a run-of-the-mill local Republican, she gave to the 3rd most powerful Republican Senator in the country and the architect of the “Blunt Amendment,” which tried to limit women’s access to birth control under Obamacare. What we have in Matthews is another corporate-friendly Democrat with no political compass who will bounce around with the political winds, dine with lobbyists at fancy cocktail parties, and give money to whoever she wants, regardless of what they stand for.



Is US Trade Rep a WALL STREET CRONY? Groups Demand Transparency.

Noting deep ties between the country's top trade negotiator and Wall Street banks, ten groups representing millions of Americans are calling on the White House to make public all communications between U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and the massive financial institutions that stand to benefit from proposed trade deals. In a letter (pdf) addressed to Froman—lead champion of President Barack Obama's corporate-friendly trade agenda—groups including National People's Action, Public Citizen, Friends of the Earth, and CREDO Action request "the prompt, voluntary, and proactive disclosure of all records of communication between yourself and representatives of the ten largest U.S. financial institutions—including lobbyists, employees, and trade associations—during your tenure as U.S. Trade Representative."

Those financial institutions include JP Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup. In particular, the letter's signatories are concerned that provisions in proposed trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the TransAtlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) would weaken or rollback existing U.S. financial regulations, for the benefit of big banks. Critics have warned, for example, that Wall Street lobbyists are pushing to undercut the Dodd-Frank banking reforms through international trade negotiations.

"Citigroup snuck a lobbyist-written Dodd-Frank rollback into last December’s CRomnibus, so we already know they’re willing to hijack unrelated bills to weaken regulations on Wall Street," said Kurt Walters of Rootstrikers. "Wall Street has been lobbying to include financial regulation in ongoing trade negotiations, and Americans deserve to know what Froman has been privately saying to these big banks."

In a press release, the groups highlighted the links between Citigroup—which has lobbied extensively on the TPP, TTIP, and Fast Track authority—and Froman, who they note "received a more than $4 million golden parachute from Citigroup upon leaving the large financial institution to join the Obama administration in 2009."

"It’s no surprise that the [Trans-Pacific Partnership]—an unprecedented corporate giveaway—is being negotiated by someone as cozy with Wall Street banks as Michael Froman," said Murshed Zaheed, deputy political director at CREDO Action. "The American people deserve transparency," he added, in order "to see what kinds of commitments Froman is making to his Wall Street cronies behind closed doors."

The letter specifically points to how Fast Track authority, which would provide a means for legislation to be passed under expedited rules by a mere 50-vote simple majority in the Senate, could provide a mechanism for future presidents to use the process to roll back U.S. financial regulatory policies that would not survive normal Senate voting procedures.


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