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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Dec 1, 2011, 12:59 PM
Number of posts: 7,830

About Me

FDR Populist Progressive who believes the environment trumps all. We\'re sinking the only ship we\'ve got, and govt leaders are ignoring it.

Journal Archives

Clinton Sheds Progressive Façade with Bold Rightward Lurch

Clinton Sheds Progressive Façade with Bold Rightward Lurch
by Sarah Lazare
Common Dreams

"I don't take a backseat to anyone when it comes to progressive experience and progressive commitment," former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at the Democratic debate in October. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

From her call for a major air and ground war against ISIS to her attack on single-payer, observers note that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is rapidly shedding her "progressive" façade as she grows increasingly confident she has the Democratic nomination locked down (an assumption which, evidence shows, is debatable).

This trend comes despite her declaration during the first Democratic debate in October, after being pressed by the CNN moderator: "I don't take a backseat to anyone when it comes to progressive experience and progressive commitment."

Growing more hawkish by the day

In case there was any doubt, Clinton's much-anticipated foreign policy speech on Thursday makes it clear she plans to run on her hawkish credentials.

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Clinton called for a "new phase" in the fight against the Islamic State (referred to as ISIS or IS), including a major intensification in a bombing campaign; "ground forces actually taking back more territory;" an "intelligence surge;" and no-fly zones over Syria. "Our goal is not to deter or contain ISIS, but to defeat and destroy ISIS," she said, in an implicit criticism of President Barack Obama as being too tepid on military intervention—and a signal that she intends to tack far to his right.

Since working under Obama's White House—hardly the image of restraint—that's exactly what Clinton has been doing. As Bob and Barbara Dreyfuss recently pointed out last year, Clinton used her secretary of state role to consistently advocate escalation of military force, from Afghanistan to Libya to Syria, making her the pro-war wing of the Obama administration.

Clinton has only moved further in the militarist direction after exiting the administration, expressing skepticism of the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, escalating her rhetoric towards Russia, and proclaiming an "unbreakable bond" with the widely-reviled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Clinton has stated publicly that she believes that her vote in favor of the 2003 invasion of Iraq was wrong and has been pressed on this issue during the campaign, including during Saturday's Democratic debate, where she admitted: "I don't think any sensible person would disagree that the invasion of Iraq led to the massive level of instability we are seeing right now."

But as many others have pointed out, in the years since Clinton cast her vote in favor of the Iraq War, she appears to have learned nothing. "If Hillary Clinton wins her party's nomination," Vox's Zack Beauchamp warned in April, "she'll be the most hawkish Democratic nominee since the Iraq War began."......

........Speaking in Dallas on Tuesday, Clinton launched an unbridled attack on Bernie Sanders' plan for a single-payer, publicly-funded, universal healthcare program. "I don’t see how you can be serious about raising working and middle class families' incomes if you also want to slap new taxes on them—no matter what the taxes will pay for," she said.

Her statements were followed up by those of top Clinton aides speaking to media outlets. "If you are truly concerned about raising incomes for middle-class families, the last thing you should do is cut their take-home pay right off the bat by raising their taxes," spokesperson Brian Fallon told Politico.

The push captured the ire of single-payer advocates, including National Nurses United. "Any politician that refuses to finance guaranteed healthcare has abandoned my patients, and I will never abandon my patients," said NNU Co-President Jean Ross, RN.

According to Slate staff writer Jim Newell, Clinton is "essentially red-baiting about Bernie Sanders’ Wacky Taxes in her dismissal of a policy that, on paper, draws plenty of support among Democratic voters."

Newell argued that Clinton, in fact, is going further than many in her own party by "appropriating one of the right’s central talking points against government-funded universal health insurance: Think of the taxes!

She’s not just saying that a single-payer system is a political nonstarter with conservatives. She’s reciting the actual conservative talking point that would make a single-payer system a political nonstarter."...........

..........Also on Saturday, Clinton—despite her vows to tackle Wall Street—reiterated her opposition to the Glass Steagall Act, which was repealed by her husband in 1999 and would break up big banks by splitting investment and commercial banking. Her position, in fact, is popular with Wall Street, but increasingly unpopular with those demanding economic equality and accountability for the financial institutions behind the 2008 financial crisis.

"The big six banks in this country have 43 percent more deposits, 81 percent more assets and three times the amount of cash they had before the financial crisis," author and Demos fellow Nomi Prins said last month. "A major reason America has such an inequality problem is that it has a highly concentrated, establishment-supported casino banking system
that disperses capital toward more risky endeavors than infrastructure building and small and mid-size business support."

Meanwhile, Walmart workers on Wednesday took their demands for $15 an hour to the Brooklyn headquarters of Clinton, who refused their request for all candidates to address their demands at last week's debates...........


(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Bold for emphasis is my own)

Can Democratic Socialism Pass the Electability Test? It Already Has

Can Democratic Socialism Pass the Electability Test? It Already Has
by John Nichols
The Nation

Long before Bernie Sanders, socialists were winning elections—and debates about the direction of the United States.


...When Sanders delivered his much-anticipated address on democratic socialism at Georgetown University Thursday, he linked his vision to that of a repeatedly-elected Democratic president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who did not identify as a democratic socialist but who borrowed freely from the platforms of his Socialist Party rival, Norman Thomas.

In particular, Sanders connected his contemporary vision to the one outlined by FDR in the 32nd president’s 1944 appeal for a “Second Bill of Rights” that would guarantee:

 The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

FDR ran for a fourth term in 1944 advocating for that program, and arguing that “We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. ‘Necessitous men are not free men.’ People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made. In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident.

We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

In his speech at Georgetown, Sanders quoted FDR’s words and recalled that “almost everything he proposed was called ‘socialist.’ ...

Please read in full here~

Thank you Bernie!! I am an FDR Dem. I am a Democratic Socialist!! Thanks for reminding me why Bernie!

"We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence."

OMG, you're the one who is misinformed. This is hillarious.

Someone needs to tell 'American Homes 4 Rent' they don't exist....


And you are trying to tell me I'm the one who doesn't know what I'm talking about.

Life is too short for this.

Here's another guy who says the same thing~


Lifelong Dem.

Its a sad time for US. Hillary is literally being forced on us, burying the progressive movement...

Well stated. Here's an example of that~

......Over the last two years, private equity firms and hedge funds have amassed an unprecedented real estate empire, snapping up Spanish revivals in Phoenix, adobes in Los Angeles, Queen Anne Victorians in Atlanta, and brick-faced bungalows in Chicago. In total, Wall Street investors have bought more than 200,000 cheap, mostly foreclosed houses in some of the cities hardest hit by the economic meltdown. But they're not simply flipping these houses. Instead, they've started bundling some of them into a new kind of financial product that could blow up the housing market all over again.

No company has bought more houses than the Blackstone Group, one of the world's largest private equity firms. (Its many investments include Hilton Hotels, the Weather Channel, and SeaWorld. Among its institutional investors are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, and JPMorgan Chase.) Through its subsidiary, Invitation Homes, Blackstone has picked up houses through local brokers, at foreclosure auctions, and in bulk purchases. Last April, it bought 1,400 houses in Atlanta in a single day. In Phoenix, some neighborhoods have a Blackstone-owned home on just about every block. As of November, Blackstone had acquired 40,000 houses, most of them foreclosures, worth $7.5 billion. Today, it is the largest owner of single-family rental homes in the nation.

Blackstone's deep pockets—$248 billion in assets under management and a $3.6 billion credit line arranged by Deutsche Bank for buying houses—allow it to outbid individual buyers, driving up local real estate prices and pushing families out of the market. "You can't compete with a company that's betting on speculative future value when they're playing with cash," says Alston. "Institutional investors are siphoning the wealth and the ability for wealth accumulation out of underserved communities," adds Henry Wade, cofounder of the Arizona Association of Real Estate Brokers.

But buying houses cheap and then waiting for them to appreciate isn't the only way Blackstone is making money on these deals. It wants your rent check, too. In November, after many months of hype, the firm released the first-ever rated bond backed by securitized rental payments........


This is just wrong, and we can count on Hillary and any other conservative to do nothing to curb it. Bill Clinton enabled it to begin with, after all. RWrs do what they do.

The Hidden Villain of Global Warming—The Pentagon

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Common Dreams
The Hidden Villain of Global Warming—The Pentagon
Gar Smith


From November 30 to December 11, delegates from more than 190 nations will convene in Paris to address the increasingly visible threats of climate disruption. The 21st Conference of the Parties (aka COP21) is expected to draw 25,000 official delegates intent on crafting a legally binding pact to keep global warming below 2°C.

But it is difficult to imagine the delegates reaching this goal when one of the largest contributors to global-warming has no intention of agreeing to reduce its pollution. The problem in this case is neither China nor the United States. Instead, the culprit is the Pentagon.

The Pentagon occupies 6,000 bases in the US and more than 1,000 bases (the exact number is disputed) in 60-plus foreign countries. According to its FY 2010 Base Structure Report, the Pentagon's global empire includes more than 539,000 facilities at 5,000 sites covering more than 28 million acres.

The Pentagon has admitted to burning 350,000 barrels of oil a day (only 35 countries in the world consume more) but that doesn't include oil burned by contractors and weapons suppliers. It does, however, include providing fuel for more than 28,000 armored vehicles, thousands of helicopters, hundreds of jet fighters and bombers and vast fleets of Navy vessels. The Air Force accounts for about half of the Pentagon’s operational energy consumption, followed by the Navy (33%) and Army (15%). In 2012, oil accounted for nearly 80% of the Pentagon's energy consumption, followed by electricity, natural gas and coal.

Ironically, most of the Pentagon's oil is consumed in operations directed at protecting America's access to foreign oil and maritime shipping lanes. In short, the consumption of oil relies on consuming more oil. This is not a sustainable energy model.

The amount of oil burned—and the burden of smoke released—increases whenever the Pentagon goes to war. (Indeed, human history's most combustible mix may well prove to be oil and testosterone.) Oil Change International estimates the Pentagon's 2003-2007 $2 trillion Iraq War generated more than three million metric tons of CO2 pollution per month.

Yet, despite being the planet's single greatest institutional consumer of fossil fuels, the Pentagon has been granted a unique exemption from reducing—or even reporting—its pollution.

The US won this prize during the 1998 Kyoto Protocol negotiations (COP4) after the Pentagon insisted on a "national security provision" that would place its operations beyond global scrutiny or control. As Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat recalled: "Every requirement the Defense Department and uniformed military who were at Kyoto by my side said they wanted, they got." (Also exempted from pollution regulation: all Pentagon weapons testing, military exercises, NATO operations and "peacekeeping" missions.)

After winning this concession, however, the US Senate refused to ratify the Kyoto Accord, the House amended the Pentagon budget to ban any "restriction of armed forces under the Kyoto Protocol," and George W. Bush rejected the entire climate treaty because it "would cause serious harm to the US economy" (by which he clearly meant the U.S. oil and gas industries).

Today, the Pentagon consumes one percent of all the country's oil and around 80 percent of all the oil burned by federal government. President Barack Obama recently received praise for his Executive Order requiring federal agencies to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, but Obama's EO specifically exempted the Pentagon from having to report its contribution to climate chaos. (As a practical matter, the Pentagon has been forced to act. With battlefield gas costing $400 a gallon and naval bases at risk of flooding from rising seas, the Pentagon managed to trim its domestic greenhouse-gas emissions by 9 percent between 2008-2012 and hopes to achieve a 34 percent reduction by 2020.)

According to recent exposés, Exxon executives knew the company's products were stoking global temperatures but they opted to put "profits before planet" and conspired to secretly finance three decades of deception. Similarly, the Pentagon has been well aware that its operations were wrecking our planetary habitat.

In 2014, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel identified climate change as a "threat multiplier" that will endanger national security by increasing "global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict." As far back as 2001, Pentagon strategists have been preparing to capitalize on the problem by planning for "ice-free" operations in the Arctic—in anticipation of US-Russian conflicts over access to polar oil.

The Pentagon's role in weather disruption needs to become part of the climate discussion. Oil barrels and gun barrels both pose a threat to our survival. If we hope to stabilize our climate, we will need to start spending less money on war.


(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Bold for emphasis is my own.)

Just one more reason to fight for peace, not oil.

Some incredibly informative, & deeply disturbing, posts on Third Way's overtake of our party

If anyone is interested in the manner in which the Democratic Party went conservative on US~

The Third Way: 'Why are Democrats affiliated with this group that wants to gut Democratic Programs?'

Third Way Founders Jon Cowen & Jim Kessler tell us: Economic Populism is a Dead End for Democrats

Elizabeth Warren's response to Third Way Criticisms: 'Oh Please'

So who's our boss now? Who has our politicians firmly in hand?

(Still appreciating the research here, Sabrina & MadFloridian!!)

Very disappointing reply from my liberal senator re: fracking.

Dear Ms. (Riverlover):

Thank you for getting in touch with me about natural gas drilling.

I share many of your concerns over energy development in our state. Ohio is poised for an energy boom. Previously unreachable natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shales can now be recovered through hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” If done right, the push for Ohio’s natural gas can mean cleaner air, good paying jobs, and an influx of much needed economic activity in rural and Appalachian Ohio.

However, before rushing head-first into a new round of energy development, we must ensure that natural gas development guarantees safe environmental practices, good jobs for Ohioans, a fair deal for landowners, and sustainable, long-term economic growth for our communities. We cannot afford to settle for the environmental degradation, unemployment, and boom and bust economy that has too often followed energy development in our state.

The Marcellus and Utica shale deposits are not going anywhere. They will be developed. Now is the time to ensure that jobs are created for Ohioans, our environment is protected, landowners are treated fairly, and our state receives its fair share of natural gas revenues.

I appreciate hearing your concerns on this topic and welcome your suggestions for how these critical resources can be developed in our state’s best interests.

Thank you again for writing.


Sherrod Brown

United States Senator

I think this was in response to something I sent from the Sierra Club, months ago. The last time I remember writing him was to unsubscribe from his email list after he endorsed Clinton over Sanders & O'Malley...

In other news~

Frackfree Mahoning Valley members to participate in Tuesday anti-fracking rallies

Two Studies Highlight Risks of Fracking-Released Methane

Researchers have linked US fracking to higher rates of cancer and heart conditions

Fracking Waste Puts Public at Risk, Study Says

It’s Official: Oklahoma Experiences More Earthquakes Than Anywhere Else in the World

Instant poll has Bernie Sanders winning debate with whopping 83 percent support

Instant poll has Bernie Sanders winning debate with whopping 83 percent support

..... Time magazine conducted an online instant poll following the debate on Nov. 14, and viewers were in the corner of the senator from Vermont.

With 83 percent of the vote as of press time, Sanders was the obvious winner according to over 21,000 people who cast their vote. Clinton was far behind with 12 percent support, and O'Malley finished in last with five percent of the vote.....


And Bernie won on twitter as well~

Many media outlets who are in with Hillary can say otherwise, but we know who won.


Keystone XL: Not dead yet?

Keystone XL: Not dead yet?
By Timothy Cama - 11/10/15 06:00 AM EST
The Hill

President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL oil pipeline might not be the end of the road for the controversial project.

TransCanada Corp. has pledged to explore its remaining options for building the Canada-to-Texas pipeline, including filing a new application with the State Department.

“There is a chance it’s not dead,” said Steven Paget, an analyst at FirstEnergy Capital in Calgary, Alberta.

In a Friday statement, TransCanada declined to offer specifics about its next steps. But observers say the main options are filing an international challenge under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), seeking an act of Congress to override Obama or waiting until a new president takes office in January 2017 to file for a new permit.

....snip.....Freshman Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) is asking his colleagues in Congress to sign a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, urging him to hold off any efforts to stop Keystone, reroute it away from the United States or otherwise change it. “After President Obama leaves office, decisions such as approval of the Keystone XL pipeline will fall upon his successor,” the letter says. “Simply put, if the American people choose a president who supports building Keystone XL, that president can reverse this misguided decision and authorize the project the day he or she takes office.

...Paget noted that TransCanada has a big financial stake in what happens to Keystone next; the developer has already sunk $2.6 billion into the project....snip....The Canadian Press reported in August that TransCanada was actively exploring its rights under NAFTA if Obama rejected the proposal.

The company has certain economic rights under the 1994 treaty, and it could ask a tribunal to mandate compensation from the United States for rejecting the pipeline, or even require that the project be approved....


NAFTA, the anti-Democracy, job-killing gift that keeps on giving!
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