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Member since: 2001
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Is Bernie taking a cue from Hillary?

I see a lot of folks ragging on HRC here because she has not had big rallies and has instead focused on a listening tour where she lets the people speak. I think that is respectful and a sign of a real leader.

Is Bernie learning from that, and doing the same - listening? It seems that perhaps he is. And as a result he appears to have learned something in his recent travels to SC that he says he was unaware of previously. Good for him. Sincerely.

But also scary. Is there anyone on DU that did not realize that POC get fined for silly things, then thrown in jail if they can't pay the fine? Heck, even if you didn't know before you'd have to be in a serious bubble not to know after the DOJ report on Ferguson. I would have hoped Bernie would have read that report, but how could he have possibly missed the news reporting that summarized it?

And no, this is NOT flamebait. I believe we should have serious misgivings about Bernie for reasons like these. And I think I should have a right to have an opinion about that on a site like DU.

The video is here:


Time to debunk the "Hillary takes cash from private prison corps" nonsense

This talking point originated from Right Wing libertarian Glen Greenwald's site. https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/23/private-prison-lobbyists-raising-cash-hillary-clinton/

Again, I am very disappointed that right wing talking points are being used here, but I guess that's just normal now.

In any case, the crux of this fake talking point is that some lobbyists and lawyers that have Geo or CCA as clients are also bundling donors for Hillary. But it's ridiculous on its face to claim that translates into her taking money from for profit prisons. Nonsense.

Lawyers and Lobbyists have dozens of clients. Every interest group that can raise cash has lobbyists and lawyers. That includes teachers, unions, Latino groups, the NAACP, LGBT organizations, environmentalists, physicians, hospitals, planned parenthood, NARAL and on and on. That's how the system works.

The fact that a lobbyist represents a group you don't like out of the dozens of clients they represent, AND also bundles donations for a Democrat does NOT equate to that group you don't like making a contribution to a candidate. Talk about playing the 6 degrees of separation game! It's just silly, and sadly, a perfect example of how right wing news media operates.

Believe it or not, lawyers and lobbyists are allowed to make their own personal choice of which candidate they want to help get donations for. Obama was awash in bundlers, some of whom are lawyers and lobbyists. If any of you think we can win this election without taking money I would like you to explain how.

But the bottom line is that because a bundler has a client that Democrats don't like does NOT equate to that corp we don't like donating to her campaign. And in fact, Open Secrets clearly shows that prison corps give 80% of their donations to rethugs, and 20% to Democrats (and none, as far as I can tell, to HRC).

Hillary and BLM - excellent dialogue

Based on the transcript of the dialogue between BLM and HRC I was very impressed with both parties. It was a brutally honest but respectful discussion on both sides. To me, HRC is the only one running that really gets it.



HILLARY CLINTON: Iím not telling youĖIím just telling you to tell me.

QUESTION: What I mean to say isĖ this is and has always been a white problem of violence. Itís notĖ thereís not much that we can do to stop the violence against us.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well if tható

Q: And itís a conversation to push backó

HILLARY CLINTON: Okay, Okay, I understand what youíre sayingó

Q: Respectfully, respectfullyó

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, respectfully, if that is your position then I will talk only to white people about how we are going to deal with the very real problemsó

Q: Thatís not what I mean. Thatís not what I mean. But like what Iím saying is what you just said was a form of victim-blaming. Right you were saying that what the Black Lives Matter movement needs to do to change white heartsó

HILLARY CLINTON: Look I donít believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate. Youíre not going to change every heart. Youíre not. But at the end of the day, we could do a whole lot to change some hearts and change some systems and create more opportunities for people who deserve to have them, to live up to their own God-given potential, to live safely without fear of violence in their own communities, to have a decent school, to have a decent house, to have a decent future. So we can do it one of many ways. You can keep the movement going, which you have started, and through it you may actually change some hearts. But if thatís all that happens, weíll be back here in 10 years having the same conversation. We will not have all of the changes that you deserve to see happen in your lifetime because of your willingness to get out there and talk about this.


HILLARY CLINTON: Well Iím ready to get out and do my part in any way that I can.

Why I DON'T support Bernie for President

This is a long post, but hopefully very specific about the reasons Bernie does not have my support. I am not a political newbie. I have been paying attention to and been involved in politics all of my adult life. I understand the issues. IOW, I am a highly informed voter.

Here are the reasons I do not support Bernie:

1. He talks a lot about the problems, but his policy prescriptions are either wrong, completely missing, or not viable/passable.

I actually want to start calling him Captain Obvious, because he seems to be stuck on telling us what the problems are over and over and over again. Millions upon millions of people in this country already know what the problems are. Every other progressive candidate sees the same thing and has spoken out about it. He is not a hero to me because he can see the obvious.

And there are some things he clearly doesnít see that others do, or has been very much a Johnny come lately on issues, such as institutional racism.

His policy prescriptions are wrong in many cases, IMO. For instance, free college for ďqualifiedĒ students is not something that will truly help PoC (and is not designed to). Their K-12 schools are horribly underfunded. First we must fix that problem or his free college pitch is just another pander to middle class white kids. And he wants to pay for it off the backs off fees that impact 401K and pension funds. Thatís ridiculous. HRCís and Obamaís proposals for free community college are much more viable.

HRC gets it. We need to find a way to beef up schools in urban areas with programs like head start and better funding. They should not take funding away from failing schools, they should increase it. Bernie seems oblivious to this.

Break up the banks? Reinstate Glass Steagall? Why? How will that help anything? It wasnít commercial banks that failed. It was investment banks NOT tied to commercial banks and mortgage companies that failed. And thank god the commercial banks COULD absorb the investment banks or it would have been worse. The problem isnít Glass Steagall; the problem is lax regulation of investment banks and others involved in the housing industry.

No wonder HRC wonít commit to reinstating Glass Steagall. Itís a fun talking point for rallies and will raise cheers from people who donít understand the issue, but it wonít fix the problem.

On the TPP, as I have stated before, reasonable people can disagree on that. One of the best things about it is that it allows workers in other countries to organize into unions. That one thing could actually be the key to leveling the playing field. I donít have anything against a candidate that is against trade agreements, but I at least expect him to articulate why, and what it would take to for him to be in favor of a trade agreement. We live in a global economy Ė thatís just a fact of life he seems to ignore. He doesnít seem to have an alternative solution, and he sure as hell doesnít seem capable of talking to people like they are adults on the issue like HRC does.

Nothing made Bernie look so inept and like an old out of touch white guy than Netroots nation. When challenged by BLM he went right back to the dumb economic equality talking point. You know why? Because that is what Bernie truly believes. Those that worked with him back in the days all his supporters like to rally around to prove he is some sort of civil rights champion have said that even back then he was convinced racial injustice was really rooted in classism. And he is completely wrong about that. So completely wrong.

I am not a PoC, but I am a lesbian. I spent my first 20 years in the closet so that I could have a shot at economic equality. And it worked. But when I came out of the closet 15 years ago after I was economically successful I did not find some sort of civil rights nirvana awaiting me. I still couldnít marry my partner. I still had to raise a child whose parents could not marry. I still had to deal with discrimination day in and day out. My son was still bullied in school because he had two Moms. ANY GLBT person that has economic security can tell you that economic security does not confer civil rights. Despite what a lot of straight white privileged people seem to believe. Itís just bullshit. And I do not want a president that is so clueless on such an important issue.

HRC has voiced support for and championed policy proposals that actually impact the symptoms of racial injustice and has for a long time. Bernie is finally on board (at least mouthing the words after much pressure has been applied), but again, his Netroots nation performance was a dead giveaway that he doesnít get it.

2. He has a very long record of accomplishing nothing. He has been in congress for 25 years with almost nothing to show for it, and certainly nothing that addresses the current issues we face. And I resent that he is introducing lots of legislation now that he knows is not passable, simply as fodder for his campaign. The senate staffers he has working on these issues are being paid with tax payer funds, all of which is being wasted.

Clearly he is unable to build the kind of coalitions that are needed to get things done. I know this from personal experience. It isnít just BLM he ignores. Once I had made it career wise (economically) I did quite a bit of volunteer work for liberal policy advocacy groups at a fairly high level in DC. Bernie was nowhere to be found. Sure, he votes the right way, but he is completely uninterested in understanding the challenges faced by many of us Ė at least not interested enough to talk to us. It was absolutely no surprise to me that he wasnít keen on talking to BLM. To me, it fits his MO exactly. An old white guy who thinks he knows best, and doesnít need to hear from anyone else.

You know who can build coalitions? HRC. She has spent her life doing just that. Not being able to play well with others is a no go for me when it comes to a presidential candidate. Our issues are just too important.

3. He is not a Democrat. In fact he has spent 25 years dissing Democrats, even to the point of calling for a primary on Obama in 2012 (as I make sure to remind every PoC I meet that mentions the presidential campaign).

Donít give me this ďheís running as a DemocratĒ baloney. See item #2. He isnít going to be able to build a coalition with Dems in congress because he has scorned them for decades.

4. Huge numbers of his supporters come off as racist, white privileged elitists. This is not in any way specific to DU. I see it all over the internet. On Facebook, Twitter, comments on liberal blogs Ė just everywhere. Itís impossible for Bernie to be unaware of some of the really clueless and sometimes overtly racist things his supporters say hundreds of times a day. As far as I can tell, he has not said a word about it. He is either oblivious or content to let it slide.

Even if you donít put that on him, at some point a person is known by the company they keep, or the crowd that supports them. I canít even imagine throwing my voice into that mix by supporting him. I donít think I have ever been more disheartened as a progressive than I have been in watching the comments of Bernie supporters over the last few months. In fact, even the 2004 blaming of the gays for Kerryís loss wasnít as disheartening as Bernieís supporters are saying now. Just no. I will not join them.
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