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merrily's Journal
merrily's Journal
July 29, 2015

Question: Are Warren supporters in this group now with Bernie? If not, why?

I was going to make this a poll with a variety of possible answers, but I am not so ambitious today. Please supply your own elaboration.

July 29, 2015

Just sent this to my email list.

I should have done it weeks ago. Still, better late than never, I hope.

Curious about Sanders? Find an event today near you.


or check out his website www.berniesanders.com

Hi, all,

Hope all is well with all recipients of this email.

Bernie Sanders has been winning elections for 35 years, since 1980. Since announcing his candidacy for the Democratic Presidential nomination last month, he has been drawing crowds of 5,000 to 12,000, including in red states, and his poll numbers have been increasing rapidly. However, he does not put his finger up to see which way the winds of popularity are blowing. He's never "led from behind" or needed to evolve." He's always been on the right side of history, advocating and working for the most vulnerable since his college days.

He has been a US Senator since 2007, caucusing with Democrats. He also caucused with Democrats as a US Congressional Representative from 1991 to 2007. Additionally, during his first year in Congress, he founded the Progressive Caucus and chaired it for its first eight years, growing it to the largest caucus ever in Congress, aside from the two main Party caucuses. He is the only Senate member of the Progressive Caucus EVER.

He votes or voted for equal and civil rights for all, including racial and ethnic minorities, gays and women; for jobs; against invading Iraq; against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act of 1991, which the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional this year; against repeal of Glass Steagall (which led to the economic collapse in 2008 of the US and other nations); against NAFTA and other trade deals (which send jobs out of the country), etc.

His record compares very favorably with all others seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination, both in substance and reliability--no flip flopping, triangulating or weaseling. His lifetime ratings from women's groups, the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign and the NAACP range from 93% to 100%. Yet, Republicans, including Senator McCain, have lauded his ability to work across the aisle.

Before he went to Congress, Sanders was Mayor of Burlington, VT for eight years, making it a sanctuary city. In my opinion, he amply deserves to be New England's favorite son in the Democratic Presidential Primary of 2016.

He said he felt that he must run because the middle class is disappearing and ample data back that concern. I believe that, like many, he had been hoping Warren would run and announced himself only after it became clear to him that she would not.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about him or his candidacy, or how he compares with the other candidates. I have been following his votes and speeches with joy for at least five years.

And please vote in the 2016 primary.

Best wishes,
July 29, 2015

The fool is so strong in the U.S. political arena that an Iran deal is worse than Munich 1938.

(Photo accompanies breitbart's disgusting story. I'm not linking to it.)

I don't know the details of the treaty. I don't know if the Obama Administration's Secretaries of State and Energy could possibly have negotiated a better one or not. I hate fucking Godwin's phony law, which tends to protect the right and cut off discussion. However, Huckabee and Fox are fucking ridiculous.

http://mediamatters.org/research/2013/11/24/worse-than-munich-conservative-media-react-to-i/197038 NOTE: This link is to a 2013 media matters story about Iran.
July 29, 2015

Mark Cuban is FOS. So is former DLC Chair, Harold Ford.

MSNBC reporting this morning that Mark Cuban said that Trump is just what politics has need for a long time. That Trump's message does not even matter. It's that Trump says what is on his mind.

Hello? If the message does not even matter, why haven't you been praising Bernie for that behavior, Mark?

Could it be because Bernie's message is not as billionaire friendly as Trump's. IOW, I think you are not being honest about how irrelevant the message is.

Then we hear from Harold Ford, former DLC Chair, saying that Trump's poll numbers show America's fascination with a rich man who speaks his mind. No, that fascination with the wealthy would be you, Mr. Ford. Americans are filling Sanders' events to overflowing while the Trump camp inflates the numbers showing up at his events--and Trump is offering a free lunch!

And, btw, why is what Mark Cuban thinks of Donald Trump MSNBC newsworthy this morning, but today, an unprecedented day in US politics gets no mention whatever on an allegedly pro-Democratic TV network this morning or last night (except for already cancelled Ed Shultz)? Huh? Huh? Huh?

July 29, 2015

How way, way out of touch some political pundits are:

Buzzfeed's McCay Coppins has been appearing on a variety of MSNBC shows of late, often commenting on Trump. (Apparently, every guest pundit on MSNBC who is going to discuss Trump has to be smirking knowingly when introduced by the show host.)

Anyway, on Chris Hayes Tuesday evening, McCay Coppins noted that Trump had long had two sets of advisers around him. However, once he actually announced, his advisors were a new bunch of professionals. Now, waiiit forrrrr itttt--

"And they're not Republican establishment. Like, they've worked for the Koch brothers."

July 29, 2015


Let's do it up left.

If you can, take a nap, so you show up at your meeting all bright eyed and NOT Bushy-tailed.

Take with you whatever you think you need for peak functioning:

Water, so you don't have to keep leaving your seat and/or asking your host

A laptop, if you can. There will be streaming. The more screens in the host's home, the better.

Pencils or pens and paper.

Your business cards, if you have same, so you can easily exchange contact info, if you wish. Be careful, though.

If you are driving, maybe stick a folding chair or two in the car, just in case. If not, maybe a beach towel to put on the floor to sit on, if needed.

Bring any info about Bernie you think you might need. Not everyone who attends will have been posting and reading about Bernie every day.

Bright ideas, enthusiasm and encouragement.

When people say they cannot donate, remind them: Bernie asks for donations as small as $3.

MAYBE, a snack to share. A box of cookies or a few bunches of grapes. Bring a disposable serving item for your snack, too. You don't want the host spending the evening setting up a buffet. Nothing too loudly crunchy or too salty.

Comments as to whether the above suggestions are good or counter-productive? More suggestions?

Please keep this thread kicked today.

Most of all, ENJOY. He's running for us!

July 28, 2015

Email 2 from Bernie re: July 29. Also, donate at least $3 NOW. Yeah, that's right. I said it.

However, if you really can't, I still love you.

Please remember to use Omaha Steve's link to donate here
: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/duforbernie

Let me be very blunt and tell you why I am running.
Bernie Sanders
To: merrily
[email protected]
Bernie Sanders for President

merrily -

As I travel across the country, I am constantly struck by the level of enthusiasm and engagement there is for the political process. Everywhere I go, from Portland, Maine to Phoenix, Arizona, Americans are ready to discuss the critical issues facing our country. And this Wednesday night, July 29th, over 70,000 individuals have signed up to attend organizing meetings in their communities.

It is clear to me that people are taking this primary very seriously, and as an early supporter of our campaign, you have a unique role to play in our success going forward.

In that light, I wanted to make sure that you saw our new five minute video about the issues driving our campaign.

Watch the video and make a $3 contribution to help us continue to build an organization capable of challenging the billionaire class in this campaign, and after I'm elected president.

In the meantime, let me be very blunt and tell you why I am running.

This country faces more serious problems today than at any time in modern history, and establishment politics will not successfully resolve them.

Corporate greed is rampant, and the very rich keep growing richer while everyone else grows poorer. Despite an explosion in technology and a huge increase in productivity, the middle class continues to disappear, most Americans work longer hours for lower wages, and 45 million live in poverty.

The skyrocketing level of income and wealth inequality is not only grotesque and immoral, it is economically unsustainable. It is unconscionable that 99% of all new income goes to the top 1%. It is absurd that the top one-tenth of 1% own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%, and that one family (the Waltons of Walmart) has more wealth than the bottom 130 million Americans.

As a result of the disastrous Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, the billionaire class is spending huge amounts of money to buy candidates and elections. We are now witnessing the undermining of American democracy and the rapid movement toward oligarchy where a handful of very wealthy families and their Super PACs will control our government.

The scientific community is virtually unanimous in telling us that climate change is real, is caused by human activity, and is already bringing catastrophic damage to our planet. Yet, the Republican Party is prepared to reject science in order to gain campaign contributions from the Koch brothers, Big Energy companies and others who make billions on fossil fuels. If we do not act boldly on climate change, the planet we leave to our grandchildren may be uninhabitable.

The United States once led the world in terms of the percentage of our young people who had college degrees. Today, in a highly competitive global economy, we are now in 12th place. Hundreds of thousands of bright young people have given up on the dream of higher education, while millions of others leave school with oppressive debt.

Our infrastructure -- roads, bridges, rail, airports, water systems, wastewater plants, levees, dams -- is crumbling, and Congress refuses to appropriate anywhere near the necessary funds to rebuild it. If we do not invest substantially in infrastructure, a bad situation will only become much worse.

Despite substantial gains, we still have a long way to go to achieve equality for minorities. Instead of investing in opportunities, we are locking people up at an incredible rate. We now have the highest incarceration rate in the entire world with over 2 million in prison and millions more on probation or parole. We have a broken immigration system that divides families and keeps millions of hard-working people in the shadows.

Most of the major Wall Street financial institutions that we bailed out because they were "too big to fail," are now bigger than they used to be. The six largest financial institutions now have assets equivalent to nearly 60% of our GDP, issue 35% of the mortgages, and oversee 65% of credit cards.

Our tax system is wildly unfair - rigged to benefit the very rich. Major corporations that earn billions in profits stash their money in tax havens and pay nothing in federal income taxes, while billionaire hedge fund managers pay a lower effective tax rate than nurses or teachers.

Despite growing poverty among seniors, almost all Republicans, and some Democrats, want to cut Social Security and benefits for disabled veterans. They want more austerity for the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor, and more tax breaks for the rich.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. The United States spends more on the military than the next nine biggest-spending countries combined. Today, there are massive cost over-runs with defense contractors and the Pentagon cannot even pass an independent audit.

We are at a moment of truth. We need to face up to the reality of where we are as a nation, and we need a mass movement of people to change that reality.

Let's be clear. This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It's about a grassroots movement of Americans standing up and saying: "Enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires."

I have discussed some of the major crises that we face. Let me give you the outline of an agenda which addresses these problems.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: The truth is that real unemployment in our country is not the "official" and widely-reported 5.4 percent. Counting those who are underemployed and those who have given up looking for work, real unemployment is almost 11 percent. Even more disturbingly, real unemployment for white and Hispanic youth is over 30 percent, while African-American youth unemployment is over 50 percent.

We need a major federal jobs program. The most effective way to do that is to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. To do that, I have introduced legislation which would invest $1 trillion over 5 years to modernize our country's physical infrastructure. This would create and maintain at least 13 million good-paying jobs. It would also make our country more productive, efficient and safe.

As a member of Congress who voted against NAFTA, CAFTA, Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China (PNTR) and is helping to lead the opposition against the TPP, I will continue my opposition to trade policies which have cost us millions of decent paying jobs as corporate America shuts down plants here and moves them to low-wage countries.

Raising Wages
: Today, millions of Americans are working for starvation wages and median family income has declined by almost $5,000 since 1999. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is totally inadequate. We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage - $15 an hour over the next few years. Our goal must be that no full-time worker in this country lives in poverty. We must also bring about pay equity for women. There is no rational reason why women should be earning 78 cents on the dollar compared to men who perform the same work.

Further, we need to implement "family values" for American working families. It is unacceptable that the United States is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee family and medical leave, sick time and paid vacations.

Wealth and Income Inequality: Today, the richest 400 Americans own over $2.2 trillion in wealth, more than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. Meanwhile, nearly half of all Americans have less than $10,000 in savings and have no idea how they will be able to retire with dignity.

In order to reverse the massive transfer of wealth and income from the middle class to the very rich that we have seen in recent years, we need real tax reform which makes the wealthy and profitable corporations begin to pay their fair share of taxes. It is fiscally irresponsible that the U.S. Treasury loses about $100 billion a year because corporations and the rich stash their profits in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and other tax havens.

We need a tax system which is fair and progressive. Children should not go hungry in this country while profitable corporations and the wealthy avoid their tax responsibilities.

Reforming Wall Street: I have introduced legislation which would break up the largest financial institutions in the country. In my view, if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. Wall Street cannot continue to be an island unto itself investing trillions in risky financial instruments. We need banks that invest in the job-creating productive economy. We do not need more speculation and gambling in casino-type activities.

Campaign Finance Reform
: We need to return to a one-person, one-vote democracy. It is not acceptable that the Koch brothers and other billionaires are spending endless sums of money to buy elections. I have introduced legislation which would overturn the horrendous Citizens United decision and will only appoint Supreme Court justices who are prepared to do that. We must also demand disclosure of all large campaign contributions. Long term, we need to move to public funding of elections.

Fighting Climate Change: The United States must lead the world in reversing climate change and make certain that this planet is habitable for our children and grandchildren. We must transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energies. Millions of homes and buildings need to be weatherized, our transportation system needs to be energy efficient and we need to greatly accelerate the progress we are already seeing in wind, solar, geothermal and other forms of sustainable energy. Transforming our energy system will not only protect the environment, it will create good-paying jobs.

Health Care for All: The United States remains the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care for all as a right. Despite the modest gains of the Affordable Care Act, 35 million Americans continue to lack health insurance and many more are under-insured. Yet, we continue paying far more per capita for health care than any other nation. The United States must move toward a Medicare-for-All single-payer system.

Protecting Our Most Vulnerable: Today, the United States has more people living in poverty than at almost any time in the modern history of our country. We have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major nation, and millions of seniors and people with disabilities struggle to put food on the table because of insufficient Social Security benefits.

In my view, we have a moral responsibility to make certain that no American goes hungry or sleeps on the street. We must also make certain that seniors and people with disabilities can live in dignity. Not only must we vigorously oppose Republican attacks on the social safety net, we must expand benefits for those most in need. That is why I have recently introduced legislation which would extend the solvency of Social Security until 2065, while increasing benefits for those most in need.

Expanding Opportunity and Equality: We need to stop using prisons as a response to poverty. Our criminal justice system needs to be reformed so that we do not continue to house non-violent offenders at huge expense when that money could be used to rebuild communities and create opportunity. We need federal leadership to reform policing in America, to end racial profiling, and to fight the illegal activities of hate groups. We need comprehensive immigration reform that protects families and leads to a responsible and realistic path to citizenship.

Dismantling Structural Racism: Throughout much of our history, the elite in America has divided people along racial lines in an effort to consolidate wealth and power. We need to simultaneously address the structural and institutional racism which exists in this country while at the same time vigorously attacking the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality which is making the very rich much richer, and everyone else - especially the African-American community - much poorer. Meanwhile, too many people of color in this country find themselves subjected to a system that treats citizens who have not committed crimes like criminals. We have more people locked up in jail than any other country on earth. We need to invest in jobs and education, not jails and incarceration. Finally, no person should have to worry that a routine interaction with law enforcement will end in violence and death. Black lives matter: we must reform our criminal justice system, move away from the militarization of police forces, and invest in community policing.

College for All: The United States must join Germany and many other countries in understanding that investing in our young people's education is investing in the future of our nation. I have introduced legislation to make tuition in public colleges and universities free, as well as substantially lowering interest rates on student loans.

War and Peace: I voted against the war in Iraq, and that was the right vote. We must be vigorous in combatting terrorism, but we can't do it alone. We must be part of an international coalition that includes Muslim nations which not only defeats ISIS but which works hard to create conditions for lasting peace. I will vigorously oppose an endless war in the Middle East.

My approach to campaigning is pretty simple and straight-forward. We hold a lot of public meetings in towns that are big and small. People ask questions and make comments. We discuss the important issues facing our country. And that's it. Nothing very fancy. It's called democracy and I like that approach very much. It's something I've done my whole political life.

I hope very much that you will join me at one of our meetings. I hope that you will become part of our campaign team. And I hope that you will watch our video and make a contribution to our campaign:

Let us never forget: This country belongs to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.


Senator Bernie Sanders

Okay, Standers for Sanders

Again, please do not donate at the link to the video. Instead, please donate at Omaha Steve's DU link here: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/duforbernie

Now, here's the link to video: https://go.berniesanders.com/sneak-peek
July 28, 2015

socialist curmudgeon, my ass. National Journal is NOT to be trusted, esp. about a politician

whose every other utterance is about disempowering billionaires. Even when the NJ offers us something that appears somewhat positive on the surface.

Once, the National Journal leaned left and was relatively above board. No more on either count.

The National Journal receives substantial financial support from the Gates Foundation ($240,000+) to provide coverage of education-related issues that are of interest to the Gates Foundation and its frequent partner in education policy initiatives, the Lumina Foundation.[6][7] Critics have suggested that this funding may lead to biased coverage and have noted the Lumina Foundation's connections to the private student loan company Sallie Mae.[8][9][10] Gates-funding of the National Journal is not always disclosed in articles or editorials about the Gates Foundation or Bill Gates, or in coverage of white papers by other Lumina or Gates Foundation grantees, such as the New America Foundation.[11]


Some of its best known current and former contributors have been:

Marc Ambinder
Richard E. Cohen
Charlie Cook
Ron Fournier*


As of 2006, National Journal has an agreement with Washington Week which ensures that at least one National Journal reporter is on the show.[20]

In 2010, buyouts were offered to the entire magazine's staff. The magazine was relaunched in October, along with a new, free website.[21]


* The AP Has a Ron Fournier Problem.

July 28, 2015

About Sanders' effectiveness, despite the way media covers the "curmudgeon socialist."


As candidate for re-election for Mayor, with no money to speak of and no party backing, he got re-elected as many times as he ran. That is a sign that he was effective for his constituents. Republicans and Democrats grew so frustrated that they joined to back one candidate between them. He won anyway.

He also won when he ran for the House, despite no money to speak of and no party backing.

During his very first year in the House, he founded the Progressive Caucus and chaired it for 8 years. It is the largest Caucus in either house of Congress, including the New Democrat Coalition, except for the general Republican Caucus and Democratic Caucus. (The New Democrat Coalition was formed well after the Progressive Caucus. He is still a member, though he has not been chair since his election to the Senate.

How creative! And how better for an indie to be effective in the massive House? (At its largest, the Caucus had 100 members.)

In the House, he got amendments passed. That is more than some Democrats and Republicans do and the best way to impact legislation as an Indie.

As a Senator, he continued to influence the House by continuing his participation in the Progressive Caucus--its only Senate member. (The Senate has no progressive caucus, only New Democrat). Additionally as the above article indicates, he has built relationship in both the Democratic Caucus, with which he caucuses, and the Republican Caucus. The DSCC will not support any Democrat who runs against him. Schumer, slated to be Democratic Leader has praised him, calling him an asset, as did Howard Dean, when Dean headed the DNC. Even though he did not join the Vermont Democratic Party, it gave him its nomination, which he declined. With relation to his run for POTUS, it has recognized him as a member, as has the DNC.

A deal he negotiated with John McCain about care of veterans is one of the case studies in effective negotiation taught at the Brookings Institute. John McCain praised his ability to get things done on Morning Joe within the last couple of weeks.

Don't be fooled by sucky media coverage. He is no lightweight curmudgeon with his glory days long behind him.

July 27, 2015

Trump leads Jeb! Imagine this: The Donald versus The Bern.

Imagine this clash.

The billionaire who inflates his personal net worth by assigning a yooghe value to his name. The guy whose website says "Paid for by Bernie Sanders, not the billionaires."

The hair. A much mocked comb over versus a much mocked

Oh, sob. I can't discuss the hair. The campaign advisers ruined it. It's short and close to his head not straggly or wispy. It's Samson and Delilah all over again. Worse. I have a strong suspicion Bernie's using product now to keep his hair in place, rather than let it blow around every which way; and I'm pretty sure Samson didn't use product.

Anyway, back to the billionaire candidate vs. the "paid for by Bernie Sanders, not the billionaires" candidate.

Quick: who would most Americans choose?

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