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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Longview, WA
Home country: USA
Current location: Bellevue, WA
Member since: Wed Sep 19, 2012, 10:38 PM
Number of posts: 357

About Me

In 2007 (excited about Obama) I got involved in my LD as a PCO and in 2008 did a stint on the board as an alternate rep to King County Dems. My key issue was healthcare reform (watching that sausage-making was a painful experience). Right now I see the key issue being getting money out of politics. I\\\'m excited and thankful for the power of social media to affect change in 2016 (while we still have an open internet). I\\\'m 56, married, with two step-children (in college). I\'m trained as a dietitian/nutritionist and I specialize in weight management (as a continuing ed provider and author). I would call myself a Democratic Socialist (while I of course pretty much vote Dem. IMO we don\\\'t actually have a liberal party in the USA, just two conservative ones). I was against the Iraq war (and was shocked at how easily W drew us into it). Needless to say, I\\\'m all in for Bernie!

Journal Archives

Epic Response to "On Becoming Anti-Bernie" blog post


(I'm sharing my engineer husband's repsonse to the Bernie-hit-piece at the above link).

Full disclosure: Robin Alperstein is a lawyer. (Google.) Lawyers do not spend time writing such researched attacks without being paid money. Especially ones with a 212 area code.

That said, the piece contains disinformation to create what we engineers call FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). I will not dissect this screed--a “hit piece” as promised by the Clinton Machine after Sanders’s Wisconsin win--except to put in a couple of broad stroke points for Sanders’s economic plan, and to raise a few questions about Clinton. The astute reader will verify my assertions using the Google.

First, about US economics. Compared to other First World Countries, we have big problems--particularly our Health System, our “Defense” (read: “War”) Budget, and our Corporate Taxes (read: “Panama Papers, etc”). Going to Single Payer--which provides better medical care to the entirety of the population of First World Countries--would save us $500B a year. Our “Defence” Budget is about equal to the rest of the World’s summed up--reducing it to something reasonable, as well as taxing corporations reasonably (and I’m not even advocating returning to Eisenhower tax rates) will give us trillions more per year, and increase corporate efficiency. There are many more ways to improve the economy, if one does one thing: THINK! (Sanders is doing it; Clinton is advocating the status quo and lowered expectations.)

Second, about Clinton. Her supporters advocate her using jingoistic rhetoric (“she works for us,” “she’s spent her life in public service,” “she’s a progressive who gets things done”). They cite her “experience.” I’m nonplussed.
If her experience is her major asset, George W. Bush (two term President, Governor, etc) does better. Not a good argument, huh? Further, as for her experience, great--but what has she accomplished?!
Nothing for the people. Nothing. But a lot for Corporate America and the Military-Industrial Complex. She voted for war every time it came up, each time being the wrong choice, and she advocated war as foreign policy as Secretary of State. In her four years as Sec of State, the US sold about twice the arms as it did during Bush’s last four years! (And a lot of those sales were concurrent with donations to the Clinton Foundation, which no one can figure out what sort of charity work it does.)

As Secretary of State, she went around the world promoting fracking. Finally, consider this: President Obama recently conceded that his biggest blunder was the handling of Libya. Who was Secretary of State at the time? Clinton. In fact, she mishandled all of Arab Spring, the major issue of her tenure: Northern Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia hates the US more than ever--in no small part to her mismanagement.
So, as Secretary of State, not so impressive. Same as Senator.

So what has she accomplished, given all the years of public service she touts. Well, not much good for We the People. A lot of good things for Corporate America--more war, NAFTA, TPP, the Crime Bill to feed crack-dealing Blacks to Private Prisons, deregulation of Wall Street, … As a corporate shill, she’s pretty competent. But when it comes to handling projects for the people, like Health Care Reform in the 90s, she screws up (accidentally?): Even with the first Clinton in office, and a Democratic Senate and House, her Health Care Reform was a disaster.

An Executive should exercise good judgement, be respected by the people they work with, and have a track record of confidence-inspiring leadership. Clinton has none of these. Sanders demonstrates all amply.

PS Counsel Alperstein, how much did you get paid for this piece?

Posted by ReallyIAmAnOptimist | Tue Apr 19, 2016, 12:03 AM (9 replies)

There Is a Moderate Republican in this Race, but She’s Running as a Democrat

Taking a historical perspective on Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton -

Who is the real Democrat — Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton? Why are fringe candidates getting all of the attention this year? Who are the moderates?

These questions can all be answered by understanding something that has been unfolding for forty years: The center of American politics has shifted steadily to the right. Today neither party is even remotely similar to what it was when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, for example, first entered politics.

In the late 1970s, as large corporations turned into transnational giants, they pumped huge amounts of cash into the political system. This largesse lured, first, the Republican Party, in the 80s, followed by the Democratic Party in the 90s, and precipitated a rightward political shift as both parties rewrote their policies to compete for the same corporate contributions.

Before this, from 1932–1976, the Democratic Party as a whole was far more progressive. The issues and approaches advocated today by Bernie Sanders were considered mainstream Democratic ideas by Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson, and even many moderate Republicans. It was common to support strict financial regulation, liberal immigration, social services for the poor, and progressive tax policies.

Which one is the Democrat?

Hillary Clinton’s stances, while fluid during this election cycle, are historically most in tune with classical Republican ideas, as advocated by Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and others. As a young woman, she volunteered for the conservative Barry Goldwater, and while today she’s become liberal on some social issues, she’s generally at home with moderate conservative ideas, such as a hawkish military, strict immigration laws, reduced welfare, laissez-faire rules for Wall Street, and international business treaties that favor large corporations. One group started a petition this year asking Clinton to run as a Republican, suggesting that while she is “liberal on some issues, on a wide range of important issues she lands squarely as a moderate conservative.”

As for the Republican candidates still running in the primary this year — Donald Trump, John Kasich, and Ted Cruz — they are all to the right of Goldwater, and they would have been considered unelectable extremists and distant outliers on the spectrum before 1996.

The Rise of Bernie Sanders

Without Bernie Sanders, we would have the political spectrum above. Hillary Clinton and the conservative wing of the Democratic Party have moved rightward into a corporate centrist (neoliberal) position. This position has a certain amount of flexibility on social issues but adheres strictly to unregulated capitalism and favors international trade deals that benefit large corporations rather than domestic jobs, the environment, or fair wage or labor standards. The Republican Party has shifted to the right too, towards policies that benefit no one but the ultra-wealthy and the largest transnational corporations; they cloak their goals in racist or evangelical language to appeal to voters, but their regressive policies generally aim to restrict or even cancel laws and rights won by the working classes in earlier eras.

This rightward drift has pushed the “center” to a spot between Hillary Clinton and John Kasich. This “center” is to the right of even Social Security, abortion rights, labor unions, and quality public high schools. With that “center,” Republicans who wish to be considered “strong conservatives” compete for ground far out to the right, where little civic sanity is left. With that “center,” true progressive issues are never even discussed.

The arrival of Bernie Sanders heralds a potential rebalancing of the spectrum: more at link

Posted by ReallyIAmAnOptimist | Wed Apr 13, 2016, 11:59 PM (43 replies)

Bernie wins BACK Clark County Nevada!!!

Crazy! Bernie just won Las Vegas's Clark County Democratic Convention by 600 delegates!!!

On Precinct Caucus night, Hillary had won 4,774 Delegates, and Bernie had won 3,928 Delegates.

The final count just came out of the Convention, with Hillary winning 2,386 and Bernie winning 2,964!!

That flips the county! How that will affect the number of delegates going up to the National level, we'll be watching closely.

Confusion was the king today. But the result speaks for itself. The Party booked a venue that seated 6,600 people, and as you can see by these numbers, they're at max capacity. Things got a little heated.


Bernie Sanders Supporters Being ARRESTED at NV Dem Convention

If this stands, Clinton loses 5 state delegates and Sanders gains 5.

Edit: spelling
Posted by ReallyIAmAnOptimist | Sat Apr 2, 2016, 09:20 PM (0 replies)

Meet the Fossil Fuel Lobbyists Raising Money for Hillary Clinton


The story was originally published by the Huffington Post and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Nearly all of the lobbyists bundling contributions for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign have at one time or another worked for the fossil fuel industry.

A list of 40 registered lobbyists that the Clinton camp disclosed to the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday revealed a number of Democratic Party lobbyists who have worked against regulations to curb climate change, advocated for offshore drilling, or sought government approval for natural gas exports.

Clinton, the former secretary of state, has called climate change the most "consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face as a nation and a world" and says it would be a major focus of her administration if she wins the White House. But having so many supporters who have sold their services to fossil fuel companies may complicate her emphasis on pro-environment policies.

Scott Parven and Brian Pomper, lobbyists at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, have been registered to lobby for the Southern California-based oil giant Chevron since 2006, with contracts totaling more than $3 million. The two bundled Clinton contributions of $24,700 and $29,700, respectively. They have helped Chevron over the years resist efforts to eliminate oil and gas tax breaks and to impose regulations to reduce carbon emissions.

The two Clinton bundlers also were part of a much-criticized campaign by Chevron to manipulate Congress into inserting language into the Andean Trade Preferences Act that would require Ecuador to dismiss a longstanding lawsuit against the company for polluting the Amazon jungle.
Democratic lawmakers pushed back against the campaign and the lawsuit is continuing.

One prominent lobbying topic embraced by Clinton bundlers is the expansion of liquefied natural gas exports and federal approval of new LNG terminals.


Aside from lobbyists currently working to advance fossil fuel interests, there is one Hillblazer bundler—the name for Clinton boosters raising more than $100,000—who stands out.

Bundler Gordon Giffin is a former lobbyist for TransCanada, the company working to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Giffin sits on the board of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, an investor in the pipeline. The Canadian bank paid Clinton $990,000 for speeches in the months leading up to her presidential announcement. Another Canadian financial institution with an interest in Keystone XL, TD Bank, paid her $651,000 for speaking engagements.

Clinton's position on Keystone XL—or lack thereof—may prove the biggest challenge for her in gaining support from progressive activists. Whether to grant a permit for the leg of the pipeline that crosses the Canadian border into the U.S. is up to the State Department, which has been considering it since Clinton's time as secretary of state. In October 2010 remarks, Clinton said the department was "inclined" to sign off on the pipeline, a statement that enraged environmental groups working to stop it. On the campaign trail, Clinton has largely evaded questions about the pipeline.

But the issue has dogged Clinton. The speaking fees from Canadian banks came to light in May. In June, Clinton's campaign announced the hiring of former TransCanada lobbyist Jeff Berman as a consultant.

...more at link above
Posted by ReallyIAmAnOptimist | Thu Mar 31, 2016, 10:16 PM (19 replies)

WA Caucus: Clinton shut out at the county level x3

From these numbers it looks like these counties will shut Clinton delegates out at the county level thanks to the 15% rule.

Skamania- 90.20 %
Wahkiakum- 89.47%
Okanogan- 87.01%

Posted by ReallyIAmAnOptimist | Sun Mar 27, 2016, 11:07 AM (0 replies)

Nina Turner Berns up Brooklyn

Posted by ReallyIAmAnOptimist | Sun Mar 27, 2016, 10:33 AM (15 replies)

My WA Precinct Report: Sanders 3 to 1

I walked my precinct with a Votebuilder walking list (34 houses) leaving Bernie caucus literature when no one was home, and talking to the neighbors that were. There were a few Clinton people on the list, and even one GOP couple. However I was also able to add two couples and one single that weren't on the list. Almost everybody (~75%) had never caucused before. Thursday I had a Neighbors for Bernie open house, and Friday I follow-up called or emailed everybody.

Last month I attended the official caucus training put on by my LD, knowing that our PCO was very hard of hearing, and was incompetent at the '08 caucus, and that chaos was assured if no one else knew what was going on! She's actually a longtime family friend (~80 years old) we've even shared many holidays together. That was a good decision and I "helped" make sure we followed the basic required framework, and that the two votes, discussion, and election of delegates was done, and all the paperwork properly filled out and completed.

45 votes (including surrogate forms)
35 people present at 1st vote

1st vote:
Sanders: 29
Clinton: 14
Undecided: 2

Proceeded with discussion, sharing why we support our candidate etc.
Two new people showed up for Clinton (and are allowed per the rules to be included in the 2nd vote).

2nd vote:
Sanders: 32
Clinton: 15

Both undecideds and one Clinton changed to Sanders after the discussion.

Delegate allotment:
Sanders: 3
Clinton: 1

I'm really proud of my neighborhood!!

I'm also an elected Bernie delegate!

Posted by ReallyIAmAnOptimist | Sat Mar 26, 2016, 05:01 PM (5 replies)

Naomi Klein: I don't trust Hillary Clinton

Posted by ReallyIAmAnOptimist | Sat Mar 19, 2016, 01:16 AM (66 replies)

Judge rules: Adams Country Clerk must allow late voting


This is one crazy primary season. Messed up.
Posted by ReallyIAmAnOptimist | Fri Mar 18, 2016, 01:50 AM (5 replies)

Fox Nation needs to FeelTheBern NOW!

Posted by ReallyIAmAnOptimist | Sun Mar 13, 2016, 03:15 PM (9 replies)
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