Category Archives: Election

Hey, sober realists — get over yourselves

Today, Ruth Marcus joins the chorus of those who feel honor-bound to throw cold water in the faces of Sanders supporters. The steady message is we are stupid, foolish idealists, unrealistic, and blind to recent history. The message is it is wrong to believe you can change a system you find increasingly intolerable. The message is it is foolish to think that if millions of people work together they can make any changes. The message is give up, shut up, and put up with the status quo because that’s the best you can hope for. Wanting anything else means losing everything.

I find these pundits, these adults, these oh-so-smart people increasingly unbearable. I’ll give Marcus the benefit of the doubt that just because she’s paid by big media and lives among the rich and powerful doesn’t mean she can’t have my best interests at heart.

I’m tired of corrupt capitalism run amok. I have little faith in the sacred market and less in the status quo and its advocates. I’m tired of seeing and hearing that democracy is meaningless, sold to the highest bidder. I’m tired of a system that lets the richest people and corporations do and have anything but tells the rest of us to sit down and be quiet.

I’m sick to death of this crap. I’m going to wipe the cold water from my face and vote the way I want to for the change I want. I hope millions of other people will do the same. Change will come.

Immoral Capitalism MUST change NOW

A banker gets paid to make a bad loan. A banker gets paid to foreclose on a home. A CEO gets a huge bonus. A company takes a write-off. Shareholders profit. A family goes homeless.

This is but one reason many of us are furious with capitalism and sickened by fools who blindly worship a fantasy about the Sacred Market. The rich get richer. The rest of us are royally fucked for their profit and pleasure. You better welcome Democratic Socialism, cuz you ain’t gonna like the alternative (blood in the streets, heads on pikes — it’s been done before).

“real change happens only when a substantial share of the American public is mobilized, organized, energized, and determined to make it happen”

Robert Reich (Bernie’s Movement)

Bernie’s Movement

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman yesterday warned Bernie supporters that change doesn’t happen with “transformative rhetoric” but with “political pragmatism” – “accepting half loaves as being better than none.” He writes that it’s dangerous to prefer “happy dreams (by which he means Bernie) to hard thinking about means and ends (meaning Hillary).”

Krugman doesn’t get it. I’ve been in and around Washington for almost fifty years, including a stint in the cabinet, and I’ve learned that real change happens only when a substantial share of the American public is mobilized, organized, energized, and determined to make it happen. 

Political “pragmatism” may require accepting “half loaves” – but the full loaf has to be large and bold enough in the first place to make the half loaf meaningful. That’s why the movement must aim high – toward a single-payer universal health, free public higher education, and busting up the biggest banks, for example. 

But not even a half loaf is possible unless or until we wrest back power from the executives of large corporations, Wall Street bankers, and billionaires who now control the whole bakery. Which means getting big money out of politics and severing the link between wealth and political power – the central goal of the movement Bernie is advancing.

Robert Reich (Bernie’s Movement)

The Supreme Court is the single most important reason to elect a Democrat president

The Supreme Court appointed DUHbya president. The decision was made by “justices” nominated by Republicans. We know Scalia is an absolute mad-dog and Thomas is his shadow. More Republican nominees joined the Supreme Court and they gave us Rich Bastards In Power (aka “Citizens” United). That was a hand grenade tossed into the lap of democracy. We cannot afford another — let alone 3 or 4 — conservative justice to piss on democracy for another generation. We MUST elect a Democrat president. We MUST increase our positions in both houses of Congress. WE MUST.

On this issue, I trust Hillary and Bernie equally. Hillary might be more judicious in her nominee, Bernie might have a better chance of success. I love the notion of nominating Obama.

Why Bernie Sanders’ Misinformed Supreme Court Tweet Matters | ThinkProgress

As a practical matter, any Democrat who wins the presidency in 2016 is unlikely to accomplish much in the legislature. A combination of gerrymandering, voter suppression laws, built in geographic advantages for Republicans and similar factors will make it extraordinarily difficult for Democrats to retake a majority in the House even if they win the White House. Indeed, in 2012, President Obama won the national popular vote by nearly 4 points, Democratic House candidates received nearly 1.4 million more votes than Republican candidates, yet Republicans began the 113th Congress with a 33 seat advantage in the House.

Yet, while control of the House of Representatives is unlikely to change in the 2016 election, control of the Supreme Court very well could be decided this November. When the next president takes office, three justices will be over 80 years-old, and Justice Stephen Breyer will be not that far behind at 78. Notably, two of the octogenarian justices, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy, are Republicans that could potentially be replaced by a President Sanders.

Given the sheer number of vacancies likely to emerge in the next presidential term and the unlikeliness that at major legislation will move forward, the next president’s Supreme Court appointments will likely be their most important legacy — especially if that president replaces a justice appointed by a member of the other political party.

Why Bernie Sanders’ Misinformed Supreme Court Tweet Matters | ThinkProgress

Bernie Sanders doesn’t say he can change everything, he says together we can start to change everything

I’m not an idealist or a zealot. I’ve share the frustrations of the last 8 years. We elected a smart, skilled, talented, charming African-American president in what looked like a revolutionary reaction to the dimwit DUHbya and his corrupt cronies. Having lost, they fought tooth and nail no matter how racist or foolish it appeared. Won’t Hillary or Bernie face the same stiff opposition. Sure. Does that mean we give up and vote for Trumpfft? SHIT NO. Bernie isn’t the beginning or end of a revolution. Instead, he could be a key step in a long series. So could Hillary. We know the Republicans will remain a goose-step backwards until they kill themselves. Why not push the pendulum, bend the reed, reach farther than you can grasp at the moment.

Bernie Sanders and the Realists – The New Yorker By John Cassidy

Sanders, as I understand him, isn’t claiming that his ambitious and costly program is realistic in today’s Washington. To the contrary, he says that the political system is so broken, and so in hock to big money, that it is virtually impossible to effect nearly any substantive progressive change. The only way to make big changes, Sanders argues, is to create a mass movement that faces down corporate interests and their quislings. Once this movement materializes, all sorts of things that now seem out of the question—such as true universal health care, free college tuition, and a much more progressive tax system—will become possible.

This, surely, is what Sanders means by the term “political revolution,” which he uses all the time. …

Sanders was careful to place his policy goals in the context of his larger narrative:

That’s what our campaign is about. It is thinking big. It is understanding that in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, we should have health care for every man, woman, and child as a right, that we should raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, that we have got to create millions of decent-paying jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. So, what my first days are about is bringing America together, to end the decline of the middle class, to tell the wealthiest people in this country that yes, they are going to start paying their fair share of taxes, and that we are going to have a government that works for all of us, and not just big campaign contributors. …

Of course, that goes back to the argument about realism, and the point that Sanders’s main goal is changing what it is considered possible. A more orthodox candidate might well indicate some flexibility at this point in his campaign, saying that his immediate priority as President would be raising the minimum wage, or providing free college tuition, or breaking up the banks, and relegating an ambitious health-care overhaul to the status of future goal. Sanders, however, didn’t get to where he is now by embracing political orthodoxy. He seems unlikely to change tack.

Bernie Sanders and the Realists – The New Yorker

Hear! Hear!

The Oregon standoff and America’s double standards on race and religion – The Washington Post By Eugene Robinson Opinion writer

What I want is that African Americans, Latino Americans, Muslim Americans and other “outsiders” be seen as the Americans we are. What I want is acknowledgment that we, too, have a stake in our democracy and its future course. What I want is the recognition that no one can “take back” the country — which happens to be led by its first African American president — because it belongs to me as much as to you.

These are not the sentiments we’re hearing in the presidential campaign, though — at least, not on the Republican side. Following Trump’s lead, candidates are competing to sound angrier and more embittered. That’s why I am so worried.

The Oregon standoff and America’s double standards on race and religion – The Washington Post

Democrats embrace modern America as Republicans reject it – The Washington Post

This should give some Conservatives an aneurism, as the truth so often does these days.

Democrats embrace modern America as Republicans reject it – The Washington Post by EJ Dionne

The Democrats embrace the United States of Now in all of its raucous diversity.

Democrats are not free of nostalgia. They long for the more economically equal America of decades ago and celebrate liberalism’s heydays during the New Deal and civil rights years.

But Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Martin O’Malley all stand up for the rights of a younger America — today’s country — that is less white, more Latino and more Asian (and, yes, more Muslim) than was the U.S. of the past. The cultural changes that have reshaped us are welcomed as part of our historical trajectory toward justice and inclusion.

The Republicans, particularly Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), don’t like our country right now. They yearn for the United States of Then. The current version is cast as a fallen nation.

The stark cross-party contrast complicates any assessment of Saturday’s Democratic debate. As Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley all made clear, each believes their own disputes are minor in light of the chasm that has opened between themselves and the Republicans.

“On our worst day, I think we have a lot more to offer the American people than the right-wing extremists,” Sanders declared at the debate’s end. O’Malley concluded similarly: “When you listened to the Republican debate the other night, you heard a lot of anger and a lot of fear. Well, they can have their anger and they can have their fear, but anger and fear never built America.”

Democrats embrace modern America as Republicans reject it – The Washington Post