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JonLeibowitz's Journal
JonLeibowitz's Journal
June 16, 2016

*** Guccifer 2.0 *** Leaked DNC Documents

Lots of interesting information and new leaked documents, hacked from the DNC's computers: https://guccifer2.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/dnc/

This also confirms that DWS's statements that no financial documents were accessed is a lie.

You can read some of HRC's election plans too (why was this on the DNC's servers, when Hillary and Bernie were in a primary battle?!?)

I'd be interested to see what you all think.

June 12, 2016

Profiles in Courage: Bernie Sanders -- by Peter Buttigieg (D-IN)

2000 Winner of the John F. Kennedy
Profile in Courage Essay Contest for High School Students

In this new century, there are a daunting number of important issues which are to be confronted
if we are to progress as a nation. Each must be addressed thoroughly and energetically. But in
order to accomplish the collective goals of our society, we must first address how we deal with
issues. We must re-examine the psychological and political climate of American politics. As it
stands, our future is at risk due to a troubling tendency towards cynicism among voters and
elected officials. The successful resolution of every issue before us depends on the fundamental
question of public integrity. A new attitude has swept American politics. Candidates have discovered that is easier to be
elected by not offending anyone rather than by impressing the voters. Politicians are rushing for
the center, careful not to stick their necks out on issues.


While impressive, Sanders’ candor does not itself represent political courage. The nation is
teeming with outspoken radicals in one form or another. Most are sooner called crazy than
courageous. It is the second half of Sanders’ political role that puts the first half into perspective:
he is a powerful force for conciliation and bi-partisanship on Capitol Hill. In Profiles in
Courage, John F. Kennedy wrote that “we should not be too hasty in condemning all
compromise as bad morals
. For politics and legislation are not matters for inflexible principles
or unattainable ideals.” It may seem strange that someone so steadfast in his principles has a
reputation as a peacemaker between divided forces in Washington, but this is what makes
Sanders truly remarkable. He represents President Kennedy’s ideal of “compromises of issues,
not of principles.”

Sanders has used his unique position as the lone Independent Congressman to help Democrats
and Republicans force hearings on the internal structure of the International Monetary Fund,
which he sees as excessively powerful and unaccountable. He also succeeded in quietly
persuading reluctant Republicans and President Clinton to ban the import of products made by
under-age workers. Sanders drew some criticism from the far left when he chose to grudgingly
endorse President Clinton’s bids for election and re-election as President. Sanders explained that
while he disagreed with many of Clinton’s centrist policies, he felt that he was the best option for
America’s working class.

Sanders’ positions on many difficult issues are commendable, but his real impact has been as a
reaction to the cynical climate which threatens the effectiveness of the democratic system. His
energy, candor, conviction, and ability to bring people together stand against the current of
opportunism, moral compromise, and partisanship which runs rampant on the American political
scene. He and few others like him have the power to restore principle and leadership in
Congress and to win back the faith of a voting public weary and wary of political opportunism.

Above all, I commend Bernie Sanders for giving me an answer to those who say American
young people see politics as a cesspool of corruption, beyond redemption. I have heard that no
sensible young person today would want to give his or her life to public service. I can personally
assure you this is untrue.


The first Berniecrat? This man is now the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He was profiled today in Frank Bruni's NYT column The First Gay President?

What an inspiration Bernie Sanders has been, while also standing against corruption, both personal and of ideals. At the same time, he has compromised on the issues as needed to make progress.

June 1, 2016

WaPo: Why would Bernie nominate FOUR MEN and ONLY ONE WOMAN to the DNC Platform Committee????

(I remember reading several such breathless headlines)

It's simple: he didn't; at least, initially, anyway.

The Washington Post reports:

Sanders: DNC vetoed union leader pick for platform committee

“What we heard from the DNC was that they did not want representatives of labor unions on the platform-drafting committee,” he said. “That’s correct.”

Yesterday, Wall Street Journal reporter Peter Nicholas was the first to report that Sanders had included RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, on his list of preferred platform committee members. "He told me that he really wanted me on the committee to advocate for Medicare for All, especially," DeMoro told The Washington Post today.


"I think it was a set-up," said DeMoro. "It fed into the 'Bernie bro' narrative and meme -- oh, Bernie picked one woman, he's a sexist. As soon as the list was out, there were articles about how he chose two 'anti-Israel' people. The truth of the matter is that they were choices the DNC had signed off on."

In an interview Wednesday, DNC platform committee spokeswoman Dana Vickers Shelley confirmed that the DNC had not wanted labor leaders on the platform drafting committee, limiting labor's presence to Paul Booth of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union.


That was cold comfort to DeMoro. "The most insidious thing, frankly, is that only one of 15 people on this drafting committee is for labor," she said. "It shows you how insidious the DNC has become. Labor built this party. Labor built this country. One person is enough to represent all of that? If you look at the composition of who they chose, besides Bernie’s choices, K Street’s far better represented than the labor movement."



Clinton's DNC stopping progressives from organized labor from being represented on the platform committee. Only women who have the correct beliefs are allowed. #NotMyDemocraticParty

Any Clinton supporters want to defend this? I suppose there will be many apologies for the attacks on Sanders only nominating one woman. I'll wait patiently for the apologies (but don't worry about my health -- I won't hold my breath).
June 1, 2016

NY Congressman on Glass-Steagall in NYT Op-Ed: "Don't Let Banks Become Casinos"

WASHINGTON— Citing the pressures of rigorous worldwide competition in financial services, large American banks are pleading for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, a law that keeps banks out of the more volatile and risky world of securities transactions. Their entreaties should be resisted. The reasons the act was passed are still valid, and it has not interfered with our ability to compete internationally.

The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 evolved from the bitter experience of the Depression, when American banking was in shambles. Left free to speculate in the 1920's, banks naturally looked where profits seemed highest, and were inevitably drawn into risky propositions. When a few banks failed, depositors nationwide panicked. Runs on banks pushed this country over the brink of financial disaster.

Stability was restored only years later, after the Federal Government insured depositors' money and imposed tough limits on the kind of risks a bank can undertake.

Today's bankers promise they will be more careful. But to accept their assurances runs counter to the simple principles of fairness and common sense. Banks want to keep the Federal insurance that attracts depositors and then use that capital to compete against traditional, unsubsidized securities firms.

No one could complain if banks renounced their Federal insurance and then competed evenly against securities firms. But the banks simply should not be allowed to gamble with taxpayer insured dollars.

The banks' proposals also defy common sense. Given the chance to speculate, some institutions are going to gamble poorly. This in turn will undermine confidence in the whole banking system. The recent experience of the thrift industry reinforces this lesson. Congress stepped in with $10.8 billion to bail out the thrift industry. A bailout of the much larger commercial banking sector, if it got into a similar problem, would make the recapitalization for thrifts seem insignificant.

Continued: http://www.nytimes.com/1987/08/26/opinion/don-t-let-banks-become-casinos.html


This congressman from NY is quite insightful, and should be listened to. I hope Clinton pays some attention to him. I only hope that in the years ahead that this congressman is not affected by large campaign contributions from big banks and continues to be a forceful advocate for Glass-Steagall and financial reform. If he does this he is a patriot; we may even have some hope that the campaign finance system is not rigged and corrupting!
June 1, 2016

Politifact: Fact-checking Hillary Clinton's claim that her email practices were 'allowed'

Hillary Clinton is sticking to her defense that her use of a private email server while secretary of state was "allowed," despite a critical independent audit that found it really wasn’t.

In a May 26 interview, ABC reporter Liz Kreutz asked Clinton about her decision to use a server located in her New York home instead of a government email, as well as the audit, which was conducted by the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General.

"But this report said that you, quote, 'had an obligation to discuss' using your personal email and that you didn’t," Kreutz said. "So how can you really say that it was allowed? Was it an error of judgment?"

Clinton replied: "Well it was allowed, and the rules have been clarified since I left about the practice. Having said that, I have said many times that it was a mistake, and if I could go back I would do it differently."


Regarding her decision to use a private email server, Clinton said, "It was allowed."

No one ever stopped Clinton from conducting work over her private email server exclusively. But that’s not the same thing as it being allowed. Offices within the State Department told an independent inspector general that if she had asked, they would not have allowed it.

The report from the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General shatters one of Clinton’s go-to phrases about her email practice. We rate her claim False.

More @:

May 27, 2016

FactCheck.org: "The State Dept IG contradicts several of Clinton's long-standing talking points"


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that her decision to use a private email account and server for government business while secretary of state was “allowed” by the State Department. She has said “my predecessors did the same thing,” and insisted she “fully complied with every rule” in preserving her work emails.
We have taken issue with those claims, and now so does the State Department Office of Inspector General, which issued a report on May 26 that contradicts several of Clinton’s claims about her emails:

* The IG report cited department policies dating to 2005 that require “normal day-to-day operations” to be conducted on government servers, contrary to Clinton’s claim that her server was allowed. It also said she “had an obligation” to discuss her email system with cybersecurity officials, but there’s “no evidence” that she sought or received their approval.

* The IG report said Clinton should have turned over her emails before she left office — not 21 months after she left. “[S]he did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act,” the report said.

* Clinton has said her emails “were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department” because she emailed department officials at their government accounts. The IG report said that is “not an appropriate method of preserving any such emails that would constitute a Federal record.”

Much more: http://www.factcheck.org/2016/05/ig-report-on-clintons-emails/
May 23, 2016

Did DWS unintentionally do us a favor with the DNC platform commitee picks?

Sanders also picked Cornel West, a liberal author and racial justice activist who has been a Sanders surrogate. Sanders also named Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, among his most prominent elected backers, author and environmental activist Bill McKibben and Native American activist Deborah Parker.

The Clinton campaign’s choices are Wendy Sherman, a former top State Department official and Clinton surrogate; Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and longtime Clinton confidante; Rep. Luis Guttierez of Illinois; Carol Browner, a former former director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy; Ohio State Rep. Alicia Reece and Paul Booth of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union.

Wasserman Schultz also named former California Rep. Howard Berman; California Rep. Barbara Lee and author and executive Bonnie Schaefer.

Each campaign also has a non-voting representative at committee meetings.


So DWS picked Rep. Barbara Lee, who so far has never declared a preference amongst the candidates; but it's hard to conclude she is truly neutral, and certainly not on the issues and platform. In fact, I recall this bit from a Politico article from a few months back, detailing the first campaign meeting:

They were sitting around two years ago on couches and armchairs in liberal radio host Bill Press’s rowhouse near Eastern Market in Washington, picking at dinner. Sanders, his wife Jane, and all of his top people were there, except for campaign manager Jeff Weaver, who wouldn’t be hired for a year.

Sanders had asked Press to pull in a few others, too, including then-American Bridge president Brad Woodhouse, former Harry Reid chief of staff Susan McCue, Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). They spitballed and listened as the Vermont senator laid out what he wanted to do, talked about what a race would really entail, how tough running against Hillary Clinton would be. Jane Sanders gave off the distinct impression she was collecting information she hoped to use to talk him out of it.


My question is: does DWS know this?

Either way, this is great news!
May 11, 2016

Lucia Graves is a pathetic hack who dismisses the votes of desperate, poor WV voters in her column

All to diss Bernie's cause and promote Clinton-style neoliberalism using factually-incorrect identity politics to ignore the issues entirely: exploitation of rural communities, extreme poverty, education access, a broken criminal justice system.

Her latest piece(1) is titled:

Hillary Clinton may have lost West Virginia by a landslide. The truth is, she doesn't need it

In a way, this title is peak establishment politics: it is the candidate who "needs" a state, not the state nor its population which are to be represented by the politician. But let's hear what she has to say first; the subtitle is:

The white, male voters of this coal-mining state left us in no doubt of their support for Bernie Sanders. But among every other demographic, Hillary leads

This headline is factually untrue, as CNN's exit poll confirms:

He also beat Clinton among women 52% to 38% and also among independents, by nearly 40 percentage points.(2)

But amazingly, this isn't the worst part of her column; she does not discuss, and perhaps is unaware of, entrenched poverty in rural West Virginia. That is, labor has not benefited in a fair way from the successes of coal over the past century as compared to the coal industry. The NYT did a story on McDowell County in 2014(3), "50 Years Into the War on Poverty, Hardship Hits Back". This should be required reading for anyone commenting on the West Virginia primary.

TWIN BRANCH, W.Va. — When people visit with friends and neighbors in southern West Virginia, where paved roads give way to dirt before winding steeply up wooded hollows, the talk is often of lives that never got off the ground.

“How’s John boy?” Sabrina Shrader, 30, a former neighbor, asked Marie Bolden one cold winter day at what Ms. Bolden calls her “little shanty by the tracks.”

“He had another seizure the other night,” Ms. Bolden, 50, said of her son, John McCall, a former classmate of Ms. Shrader’s. John got caught up in the dark undertow of drugs that defines life for so many here in McDowell County, almost died of an overdose in 2007, and now lives on disability payments. His brother, Donald, recently released from prison, is unemployed and essentially homeless.

“It’s like he’s in a hole with no way out,” Ms. Bolden said of Donald as she drizzled honey on a homemade biscuit in her tidy kitchen. “The other day he came in and said, ‘Ain’t that a shame: I’m 30 years old and carrying my life around in a backpack.’ It broke my heart.”

McDowell County, the poorest in West Virginia, has been emblematic of entrenched American poverty for more than a half-century. John F. Kennedy campaigned here in 1960 and was so appalled that he promised to send help if elected president. His first executive order created the modern food stamp program, whose first recipients were McDowell County residents. When President Lyndon B. Johnson declared “unconditional war on poverty” in 1964, it was the squalor of Appalachia he had in mind. The federal programs that followed — Medicare, Medicaid, free school lunches and others — lifted tens of thousands above a subsistence standard of living.

But a half-century later, with the poverty rate again on the rise, hardship seems merely to have taken on a new face in McDowell County. The economy is declining along with the coal industry, towns are hollowed out as people flee, and communities are scarred by family dissolution, prescription drug abuse and a high rate of imprisonment.

Sanders' response is to say simply that while his environmental policies may harm the West Virginian economy, the government has an obligation to financially assist these communities and get them back on their feet. It is a LBJ approach to the problem. Clinton's approach includes her now infamous statement about putting coal miners out of work. I think that statement is unfair to her, but still she only commits to 'not wanting to forget' about them. Hardly encouraging!

In short, I do not believe these voters are stupid, or misinformed. When Bernie talks about CEOs receiving a different standard of justice than the neighborhood kid with a drug problem, this resonates. Why?!? Give this a listen (after the Blankenship sentencing[4]):


What is this voter upset about (and what does the local media miss, and evidently Lucia Graves as well) ? Well, here's what the NYT reports about this sentencing:

Mr. Blankenship, however, was also defiant and told Judge Berger, “It’s important to me that everyone knows that I am not guilty of a crime.” (4)

Now you tell me: which candidate is a person like this going to respond more to?


In conclusion, Lucia Graves is a hack shilling for Clinton using transparently false "data" to pretend as if an entire state with systemic problems didn't just reject Clinton's candidacy. Meanwhile, she ignored a perfect opportunity to detail some of the above problems in West Virginia which may have been on voters' minds. Journalism is supposed to inform, not just provide a horse-race description. I can always look at the scoreboard after the race is over if I wanted that.


(2): http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/10/politics/west-virginia-nebraska-primary-highlights/
(3): http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/21/us/50-years-into-the-war-on-poverty-hardship-hits-back.html
(4): http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/07/us/donald-blankenship-sentenced-to-a-year-in-prison-in-mine-safety-case.html
April 22, 2016

Uh oh, Did Krugman call Sanders a white supremacist?!?

The Treasury Department picked an interesting moment to announce a revision in its plans to change the faces on America’s money. Plans to boot Alexander Hamilton off the $10 bill in favor of a woman have been shelved. Instead, Harriet Tubman — one of the most heroic figures in the history of our nation, or any nation — will move onto the face of the $20 bill.

She will replace Andrew Jackson, a populist who campaigned against elites but was also, unfortunately, very much a racist, arguably an advocate of what we would nowadays call white supremacy. Hmm. Does that make you think about any currently prominent political figures?

From today's column.

Notice how he used a plural? Obviously the implication is about Trump. But why use a plural then? I can't think of any other so-called populist candidates (itself a term invented by elites to discredit those who represent the will of the people over that of elites)

Say it ain't so, Paul!

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