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Time for change

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Current location: Winter Garden, Florida
Member since: Fri Dec 3, 2004, 12:01 AM
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Journal Archives

Bernie Supporters in Washington Demand that superdelegates Respect the Wishes of their Constituents

Bernie Sanders supporters in Washington state are demanding that Washington’s superdelegates respect the wishes of their constituents, who voted 72.7% for Sanders in yesterday’s Democratic caucuses.

Unlike delegates who are elected through the Democratic process in primaries and caucuses, the so-called superdelegates are free to vote for whomever they want at the Democratic Convention. A majority of Washington’s 17 superdelegates already endorsed Hillary Clinton, even before yesterday’s caucuses took place, as have the vast majority of superdelegates throughout the United States, giving Hillary Clinton a much greater lead (if the superdelegates who have endorsed her vote for her at the Democratic Convention) over Sanders than she would otherwise have. Most public published accounts of the current delegate counts actually include the votes of those superdelegates who have endorsed Clinton. Clinton currently leads Sanders in those superdelegate votes by 469 to 29, which takes little or no account of the public voting in the states that they represent. Their votes give Clinton an apparently insurmountable lead over Sanders. They fall in line with the wishes of the Democratic Party establishment and are a blatant affront to the democratic process. Not even the Republican Party uses such a process.

Sanders supporters in Washington are circulating a petition, which already has more than 6 thousand signatures. They are warning the elected superdelegates, “You work for us. We want Bernie. Respect us or lose your jobs”.

Other states should do the same. They should also consider whether there is a significant gap in favorability ratings of the candidates (Bernie’s is currently +7.4%, Hillary’s is -13.2%) and how they do in head to head competition vs. the Republican nominee (Bernie does much better than Hillary against all the major Republican likely nominees).
Posted by Time for change | Sun Mar 27, 2016, 03:52 PM (94 replies)

Favorability Ratings of Dem Candidates and Head to Head Competition vs. Rep Candidates

Our national news media has tried very hard to pass off the idea on the American public that Bernie Sanders would be “unelectable” in a general election against the Republican nominee, and that Hillary Clinton is the inevitable Democratic nominee anyhow.

But the data say otherwise.

First there are the favorability polling ratings of the two major Democratic candidates:

Favorability ratings of Democratic candidates
Clinton -13.2
Sanders +7.4

Then there is polling data on how they stack up in head to head competition against the leading Republican candidates:

Vs. Trump
Sanders +17.5% -- average of 6 latest polls, worst poll for Sanders +14 over Trump
Clinton +11.2

Vs. Cruz
Sanders +8.4
Clinton +2.9

Vs. Kasich
Sanders +1.0
Clinton -6.5


So why does Clinton continue to lead Sanders in national polls of Democratic voters?

Since announcing his candidacy, Bernie Sanders has made great inroads in closing the gap between him and Clinton in national polls of Democratic voters. Beginning at 56.8% behind in February 2015, Sanders has now closed that gap (See graph) to about 8.3%. But given the difference in favorability ratings, why is he still behind her at all?

I see two main reasons for that: One is that those polls that show Sanders behind Clinton include only Democratic voters, which constitute a minority of the total voting population of our country. Bernie has much wider appeal among independents, who may actually be more liberal that most Democratic Party members today (I really don’t know, but it is an interesting and significant question).

The other major reason is that there are many Democratic voters who would prefer Sanders to Clinton as President, but would not vote for him in the primaries because they are afraid that he is unelectable. The data above should put that argument to rest.


What about arguments that polling data this far away from the general election has no importance?

Some at DU have espoused this argument in response to my using similar data to show that Bernie is electable. But that argument is grossly overstated. It is of course true that polling data several months away from the general election is substantially less accurate in predicting the Presidential winner than is polling taken on the eve of the election. The major reason for that is that a lot can happen between now and then. Scandals can occur that affect the electability of a candidate. Public debates can change voters’ opinions. And many other things can happen to change voters’ opinions.

But what the polling data does tell us is who is likely to win if the election was held today. And this particular polling data tells us that Bernie Sanders would stand a much better chance of beating the Republican nominee in a general election than would Hillary Clinton if the election was held today. So to say that Bernie Sanders is unelectable is not only baseless but is the opposite of what current polling data tell us.


On Sanders’ chances of winning the Democratic nomination

I don’t know what Sanders’ chances are of winning the Democratic nomination. I do know that there are a lot of states that haven’t voted yet, and most of them seem to be favorable to Sanders. It is also important to consider the fact that polling data has consistently and widely underestimated Bernie’s performance in most states, except for some such as Arizona, where voter suppression on Election Day was so severe that early voting probably made up the majority of total votes cast.

After the Michigan primary, in which Nate Silver wrongly predicted that Clinton would win, with a greater than 99% probability, he decided to develop an entirely new model to predict primary results. But even this new model substantially underestimated Bernie’s performance in Idaho, Utah, Alaska, and Washington (I haven’t yet seen results from Hawaii). Only in Arizona, where voter suppression prevented so many voters from voting on Election Day did his new model not underestimate Bernie’s performance.


Concluding remarks

It is of utmost importance that Democratic voters who have not yet voted in their states’ primaries understand that there is no basis for the frequently heard statement that Sanders is unelectable, because if they think that he is unelectable even though they prefer him to Clinton as President, they will vote for the wrong person, and the wrong person will be the Democratic nominee. It is also of utmost importance that Super-Delegates who have previously declared themselves for Clinton consider the polling data very carefully if it persists to the Democratic Convention, before casting their vote.
Posted by Time for change | Sat Mar 26, 2016, 11:52 PM (4 replies)

How Badly Did Voter Suppression in Maricopa County Hurt Bernie in Arizona?

I noted yesterday that in this Tuesday’s Arizona Democratic primary, Maricopa County, the largest county in Arizona, reduced the number of polling places open compared to 2012 from over 200 to 60, and that consequently, people spent entire work days waiting in line to vote, as voting lines stretched for over half a mile. Undoubtedly, many of them had to leave before voting, in order to avoid missing work, which I’m sure many of them could ill afford. The County recorder justified this blatant incident of voter suppression by claiming that “turnout is traditionally low” in Maricopa County.

But I did not make an effort in that post to estimate how much the vote was actually suppressed in Maricopa County and how badly that might have hurt Bernie’s chances in Arizona. The Maricopa County website statistics on Tuesday’s primary sheds some very interesting light on those questions.

That website shows that Clinton won the early voting part of the election in Maricopa County 118,832 to 71,019, over Sanders, a margin of 66.1% to 33.9%. The website also gives the total vote count, which also shows Clinton winning the total vote in Maricopa County, but by a little less. What it doesn’t do is specifically show us the statistics for Election Day voting. No problem. Those can be obtained by merely subtracting the early voting statistics from the total voting statistics.

The Election Day voting, which Bernie won by 19,883 to 12,802, shows us two very significant things. First, that Bernie won the voting on Election Day over Clinton by 60.8% to 39.2% in Maricopa County, quite a difference from the early voting margins. And second, it shows us that Election Day voting in Maricopa County accounted for only 14.7% of the total vote. I find that astounding! I have never heard of a presidential or any other election, where Election Day voting accounted for so low a percent of the total vote. This strongly suggests, in my opinion, that the effects of the voter suppression in Maricopa County were huge. Could it be that only 14.7% of voters who voted intended to vote on Election Day? There are three facts that strongly suggest otherwise. One is the 70% reduction in polling places, resulting in half mile lines that resulted in many people having to stand in line for several hours to vote. Another is the mis-categorization of Democratic voters as independent voters, who were therefore not allowed to vote. And the other is that, if one analyzes the data from the Arizona website, along with information on the overall Arizona data on early voting, one can calculate that Election Day voting in the Democratic primary in the rest of Arizona averaged 59.1% rather than 14.7%.

If one makes the reasonable assumption that in the absence of voter suppression, the Election Day voting percentage in Maricopa County would have been similar to that in the rest of Arizona, that would mean that more than 240 thousand additional voters would have voted on Election Day in the Democratic primary in Maricopa County. And assuming that Bernie’s margin of winning those extra votes over Clinton on Election Day was similar to the Election Day votes that were counted in Maricopa County, that would have meant that Bernie would have lost Arizona by about 2%, rather than by the almost 20% that he actually lost by in the official count. Also, keep in mind that these calculations are somewhat conservative, because they make no assumptions that the voter suppression in Maricopa County was targeted to Sanders areas. But why would anyone bother with voter suppression if it wasn’t targeted for or against a specific candidate? If the voter suppression was targeted to any extent to Sanders strongholds, that means that he probably would have won Arizona in the absence of any voter suppression.
Posted by Time for change | Fri Mar 25, 2016, 06:57 PM (61 replies)

Voter Suppression and Exit Poll Discrepancies in the Democratic Primaries

Voter Suppression

Insufficient polling places in Maricopa County
In this Tuesday’s Arizona Democratic primary, Maricopa County, the largest county in Arizona, reduced the number of polling places open compared to 2012 from over 200 to 60. Consequently, people spent entire work days waiting in line to vote, as voting lines stretched for over half a mile. Undoubtedly, many of them had to leave before voting, in order to avoid missing work, which I’m sure many of them could ill afford. The County recorder justified this blatant incident of voter suppression by claiming that “turnout is traditionally low” in Maricopa County. CBS reporter Joe Dana put this incident in perspective: the “2012 primary had 300,000 voters and 200 polling places. 2016 primary had 800,000 voters at 60 polling places. Polling places in densely populated Latino neighborhoods were particular targets for closure.

Numerous Democrats in AZ were mistakenly listed as independents
Consequently, because independents are not allowed to vote in the AZ primary, these voters were not allowed to vote. I don’t know the details of this issue. Were these recently independent voters who joined the Democratic Party close to the date of the primary in order to cast their vote for one of the candidates? (a perfectly legal thing to do). In any event, this mistake was never rectified.

Arizona was called for Clinton while people were still waiting in line to vote
Because of all the delays, many people were still in line waiting to vote when Arizona was called early for Clinton, with 1% of the vote in. A declaration of victory while people are waiting to vote is likely to discourage many people from voting.

Why does voter suppression hurt Sanders?
One might think that voter suppression in a party primary would not necessarily favor one candidate or the other. Of course, that all depends on whether or not the suppression was targeted at one candidate or the other. At this time I know of no good evidence that shows that to be the case.

However, one thing that must be considered is that, in general, any across the board voter suppression favors Clinton over Sanders. The reason for that is that Clinton did far better than Sanders across the board, in early voting, compared to Election Day voting, which took place largely when Bernie Sanders was hardly known to voters.

Consider Arizona, where voter suppression was especially marked. The election was called for Clinton with only 1% of the vote in, when she was ahead by a margin of 61.5% to 36.1%. All of that total reflected early voting. Yet, with 17% of the vote in (I don’t have later data on this), Sanders was leading Clinton in Election Day voting, by a small amount. Thus, any voter suppression would elevate the importance of early voting in determining the final statewide results and thus affect the delegate count in favor of the candidate who did better in early voting.

Conclusion on voter suppression
We don’t know for sure that the voter suppression in Arizona (and Ohio, where many voting precincts ran out of ballots before the polls closed and caused many potential voters to lose their chance to vote) was targeted at one candidate or the other. But to think that voter suppression didn’t happen in Arizona, where the most populous county in the state reduced the number of polling places from 200 to 60 and ended up with voting lines half a mile long, sounds naïve to me. This kind of thing begs for an investigation, aimed at discovering the cause and preventing future episodes during this primary season. Therefore, please consider signing this petition to the White House requesting that these episodes be investigated promptly.


Exit poll discrepancies

Background: The great exit poll discrepancy controversy of the 2004 Presidential Election
Those of you who spent much time on DU during the 2004 Presidential election and the months and years that followed will remember the great exit poll discrepancy of 2004, in which, according to national exit polls John Kerry won the national vote, whereas George W. Bush won the national vote according to the official vote count. The difference between the exit polls and the official vote count was about 4%. The difference was particularly great in the important swing states, where slight differences in the vote count might make a difference between winning and losing. But there was only one state where it did make a difference, and that was Ohio, where the exit poll discrepancy was over 6%. Ohio would have given the election to John Kerry.

Further investigations found numerous anomalies in Ohio, and eventually a mass of evidence was accumulated that made it highly probable, if not certain, to make a long story short, that the 2004 Presidential election in Ohio was electronically manipulated to give the election to Bush (and there was massive evidence of voter suppression as well). I wrote many DU posts on these issues at the time, but I think that perhaps the best summary I wrote of the evidence for electronic manipulation in Ohio occurred many years later, when Bush was no longer president, in this post.

Yet through all the massive discussion of this issue on DU and other left leaning websites, not a word of it was even mentioned by our national news media, except for Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. Instead, our national news media presented us with “adjusted” exit polls, meaning exit polls that were adjusted to fit the officially reported vote count. One could attribute benign or malignant motives to this omission. My own personnel viewpoint is somewhere in between, but leaning to malignant motives. The benign explanation is that our national news media merely assumes that when there is a discrepancy between exit polls and the official vote count, the exit polls must be wrong, because it is unthinkable that the discrepancy, no matter how large, could represent manipulation of the vote count, by electronic voting machines or otherwise.

Yet almost all other democracies in the world take exit polls much more seriously than we do in the United States, and in fact use them to help in assessing the validity of the official vote count. When there is a large discrepancy, in which the official count favors one candidate and the exit polls favor the other, the issue is investigated, and sometimes the official count is reversed, based on the results of the investigation. In the United States, not only do we not do that, but the issue is never even mentioned.

I acknowledge that there can be some bias in exit polls. But they are far more accurate than pre-election polls, for several reasons: 1) They assess whom the voter actually voted for, rather than whom he or she intends to vote for at some later date; 2) Pre-election polls use models that estimate which poll respondents are likely to vote in an election, based on data from previous elections. These models may or may not accurately apply to the current election. To the extent that they don’t apply, the results can be substantially biased; 3) The accuracy of pre-election polls depends on obtaining a representative sample of voters for the poll. That is no simple matter. One very large potential source of error is that voters who use cell phones rather than land lines may be grossly under-represented in pre-election polls. This kind of problem is almost totally eradicated by exit polls. Exit polls are taken of voters as they leave their polling places. It doesn’t depend on telephones or other overly complicated sampling methods.

Exit poll discrepancies in the 2016 Democratic primaries
I first became concerned about this issue in 2016 by means of an article on the 538 website, written on Tuesday, March 15, as Democratic primaries were underway in 5 states (OH, NC, FL, MO, IL). I don’t recall the exact words used in the article, but the writer commented on what appeared to be substantial discrepancies between exit polls and official vote counts in some of the states, especially Ohio, where the official vote count favored Clinton over Sanders, compared to the exit polls. He said he couldn’t understand the discrepancies, and he concluded by saying something like, well, maybe when the full counts are in those discrepancies will go away.

Consequently, upon reading about the voter suppression in Arizona, and recalling the discussion on the 538 website about the likely exit poll discrepancies, I tried to find results of the exit polls and compare them with the official vote counts. I wasn’t able to find results of exit polls for the states that voted this Tuesday, but here is what I found for some of the most recently voting states (results represent percent shares of votes between the two major candidates):

Massachusetts
Exit polls (preliminary results): Sanders +6.6
Official count: Clinton +1.4
Difference: 8.0 in favor of Clinton (compared to exit poll)

Michigan
Exit polls: Sanders +6.4
Official count: Sanders +1.6
Difference: 4.8 in favor of Clinton in the official count (compared to exit poll)

Ohio
Exit polls: Clinton +3.8
Official count: Clinton +14.0
Difference: 10.2 in favor of Clinton in the official count (compared to exit poll)

Florida
Exit polls: Clinton +28.0
Official count: Clinton +31.2
Difference: 3.2 in favor of Clinton in the official count (compared to exit poll)

North Carolina
Exit polls: Clinton +12.6
Official count: Clinton +14.4
Difference: 1.8 in favor of Clinton in the official count (compared to exit poll)

Illinois
Exit polls: Sanders +2.4
Official count: Clinton +1.8
Difference: 4.2 in favor of Clinton in the official count (compared to exit poll)

Missouri
Exit polls: Sanders +3.8
Official count: Clinton + 0.2
Difference: 4.0 in favor of Clinton in the official count (compared to exit poll)

In other words, there were substantial exit poll discrepancies in all 7 of these states, favoring Clinton in the official count in each one, compared to the exit polls. These discrepancies are in general larger even than we saw in the 2004 Presidential Election that DU and some other websites spent so much time discussing. As in 2004, we hear nothing of this from our national news media – all we get from them is “adjusted” exit polls, adjusted to perfectly fit the official vote count. If the exit polls are in fact an accurate measure of who actually received the most votes in these states, Sanders would have won 4 of them instead of just one, and he also would have received more delegates in each of the others.

I don’t know what to do about this, and I am not blaming Hillary Clinton. But she has some mighty powerful supporters in this election, including the financial industry. My intention in posting this is to give DU members a better understanding of a potentially very serious problem.
Posted by Time for change | Thu Mar 24, 2016, 03:12 PM (34 replies)

Bernie’s Path to Victory

For a few years now I have fervently hoped that either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren would win the Democratic nomination for President in 2016. I haven’t cared much which one. Each of them has shown great courage in standing up against established powers in the United States, in an attempt to make life better for the majority of American citizens. They are both especially concerned about the economic status of our country.

Income inequality has reached obscene proportions in our country, levels not seen since just before the Stock Market Crash of 1929, which was followed by the Great Depression. As most of us know, one of our greatest presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was elected in 1932 to deal with that Depression, and he did so with the establishment of a great variety of programs which remained in place for many years. Many of those programs involved controls on the financial industry, which was to a large extent behind the Crash of 1929 and is similarly responsible for our economic woes in recent years, as they have lobbied for relaxation of one control after another of their “freedom” to ruin our economy while becoming filthy rich themselves in the process. One of the main controls that was destroyed was Glass-Steagall, which was essentially repealed in 1999 by the signature of President Bill Clinton.

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are committed to restoring Glass-Steagall and many other measures that would help to restore income equality in our country. Bill Clinton denies that the repeal of Glass-Steagall had anything to do with the financial crash of 2008 or our current economic woes, and Hillary Clinton will not pledge to re-instate it. As we all know, her vast campaign treasure chest is largely funded by Wall Street, which would certainly not support her if they thought there was any likelihood that she would attempt to restore Glass-Steagall. That is one of the main reasons that I support Bernie for President, but there are many others. In short, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have shown a long history of standing up against the established powers in this country, and Hillary Clinton has not.


The gender issue

From what I have seen, the gender issue is playing a huge issue in this campaign. Many people believe that electing a woman president is long overdue in this country, and that is a major reason that they support Hillary. I too would like to see a woman elected president – but definitely NOT one funded by Wall Street. I get so sick of e-mails from Emilie’s List, which almost comes right out and says that Hillary should get the nomination because she is a woman. I hate identity politics of that kind. I wish I could see a poll of Hillary supporters that asks whether or not her gender plays a big role in their propensity to vote for her – and a similar one asking the same thing about Bernie. I have little doubt what it would show.


Bernie’s path to victory in the Democratic primaries according to the 538 website

So obviously I was very interested when a few days ago the 538 website published a map of Bernie’s “Narrow Path to Victory”, noting what percentage of the vote he needs in every remaining state to surpass Hillary in delegate count. Of course he doesn’t have to hit the target in every state to do that. He just needs to hit it on average, that is, he needs to surpass the target in some states in order to make up for the amount that he fails to meet it in other states. Let me be clear about this. These are not predictions or expectations. They are target goals that Bernie has to meet to win the nomination. The 538 predictions were quite a bit lower for Bernie in every single state. For example, Bernie’s target goal in Michigan was 53%. Yet, Nate Silver gave him less than a 1% chance of even winning that state, let alone achieving his target goal. Here is a quick sampling of how Bernie has done in the states that have held primaries since the map came out, compared to how his target goals are depicted by 538:

Kansas:
Target goal – 56.5%;
Actual result – 68%

Nebraska:
Target goal – 61%
Actual result – 57%

Louisiana:
Target goal – 25%
Actual result – 25%

Maine:
Target goal – 65%
Actual result – 64%

Michigan:
Target goal – 53%
Actual result – 51%

Mississippi:
Target goal – 25%
Actual result – 17%

So Bernie has made or exceeded some target goals and missed some others, but on average is very close. In turn, this means that he has exceeded expectations tremendously in the past week or so. Incidentally, my daughter and I had a disagreement about what the results would be in Michigan. She said that Bernie was going to win Michigan. I, on the other hand, looking at Nate Silver’s prediction on election eve of Bernie having less than a 1 % chance of winning Michigan, and predicting in fact that he would lose by 23 percentage points, obviously had a very hard time believing that he would win it – as Nate Silver has never been that far wrong in a prediction EVER. But Bernie did it, just as he has far exceeded 538’s predictions in almost all state primaries since it published Bernie’s “Narrow Path to Victory”.


So where do we stand now?

So whereas Bernie has done an amazing job so far, and has far exceeded expectations in general, he still has some mighty steep obstacles to climb in order to win the nomination – not the least of which is that the leadership of the Democratic Party, as well as the financial industry and most all of corporate America is rabidly against him.

It is worth noting though, that according to most polls, Bernie does very well against all of the likely Republican candidates that he might run up against – better than Hillary does. He beats all of them in the Electoral College. He does especially well against Donald Trump, winning in national polls against him currently by 11% - and climbing.

Yet, despite all of this, I am still pessimistic about his chances of winning the Democratic nomination, given all the obstacles in his path. As I said, he has a very large mountain to climb.


A proposed solution

However, I have a proposed solution that I strongly believe will solve the problem. I mentioned Elizabeth Warren at the beginning of this post, largely because I believe that she holds the keys. Given the importance of the gender issue in this election, and the fact that she and Bernie have very similar views on the issues and that both stand out as perhaps the two highest level politicians in this country to repeatedly demonstrate their willingness to stand up against the established powers, I believe that at the very least she should heavily and enthusiastically endorse him and campaign for him.

Or alternatively, she could jump into the race. There is no way in hell that Hillary would win a majority of delegates against the two of them running simultaneously. They could in a sense run together, making it clear that if they could stop Hillary from winning a majority of delegates, they would combine their delegates to get it done. That means ultimately, that one would release all their delegates to vote for the other one. Bernie has repeatedly said that this election is not about him – rather, it is about some extremely important issues threatening to destroy our country. So if voters in the Democratic Party are determined to have a woman president, he could release his delegates to a woman who would fight the financial powers who are destroying our country rather than pander to them. I have little doubt that Bernie would be willing to do that if it was the only way. And maybe the one of them could choose the other as their running mate, and make that public right now.
Posted by Time for change | Wed Mar 9, 2016, 08:14 PM (33 replies)

Demonization of the “Socialism” Label – and Bernie’s View of What Socialism Really Is

Labels are often used to demonize one’s adversaries. That is especially true in politics. There was little doubt from the beginning of Bernie Sanders’ candidacy that the “Socialist” label would be used to demonize him if his candidacy ever came to represent a threat to his opponents. And there is no doubt that as he continues to rise in the polls it will be used more and more. It could even be the single most important thing to derail his candidacy.

That would be a real shame. Because people should not be defined by labels – especially labels that have been demonized by an ignorant or dishonest faction of politicians. People, and especially candidates for political office, should instead be defined by their views and actions on issues important to the electorate that they strive to serve. Those views and actions are invariably much more complex than simple labels.


Socialism

Here is a common definition of Socialism

Socialism is a variety of social and economic systems characterized by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production as well as the political ideologies, theories, and movements that aim at their establishment. Social ownership may refer to forms of public, cooperative, or collective ownership; to citizen ownership of equity; or to any combination of these. Although there are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them; social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms.

Admittedly, the definition is rather vague, and as the article points out, there are many different definitions of socialism.


How socialism came to be demonized in the United States

It is worth considering how the word “Socialism” came to be demonized in the United States. I believe there are two causes of this demonization:

The demonization of Socialism reached its peak in the United States, and elsewhere to a lesser extent, during the Cold War, which began shortly after World War II and lasted until approximately 1989, or some could say 1991, when the Soviet Union was abolished.

The Cold War was a state of extreme tension between the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States, which many believe, no doubt correctly, could have resulted in World War III and a nuclear catastrophe. In the days when the Cold War began the Soviet Union was a Communist dictatorship, ruled by the iron hand of Joseph Stalin, one of the most ruthless and evil men ever to rule a nation.

So we were right to demonize him. But some things must be said about the phrase Communist dictatorship. Communism and dictatorship are not the same thing. One could argue that Communism leads to dictatorship, but they are not by definition the same thing, and arguing whether or not Communism is likely to lead to dictatorship is beyond the scope of this article, nor is a thorough discussion of Communism within the scope of this article, since Bernie Sanders has never considered himself a Communist.

Socialism has been described as a milder form of Communism, and I believe that is an accurate characterization. Here is a brief statement on some of the major differences between the two systems:

In a way, communism is an extreme form of socialism. Many countries have dominant socialist political parties but very few are truly communist. In fact, most countries - including staunch capitalist bastions like the U.S. and U.K. - have government programs that borrow from socialist principles. "Socialism" is sometimes used interchangeably with "communism" but the two philosophies have some stark differences. Most notably, while communism is a political system, socialism is primarily an economic system that can exist in various forms under a wide range of political systems.

But because of its association with Communism, Socialism was very easy to demonize during the Cold War. But Why was it demonized? Right wingers have always demonized Socialism because Socialism helps even the playing field between the rich and the poor and the middle class. As we all know, right wing politicians favor the rich, and they get money from the rich to run their political campaigns. When Medicare was proposed by President Johnson in the 1960s, right wing politicians mounted an aggressive campaign against it, saying that it was “Socialism”, because they were afraid that it might cut into the profits of the health care industry. Well, they were correct that Medicare is a Socialist program. But it had little or nothing to do with the Communist dictatorship that ruled the USSR.


Socialism in the United States

One thing that everyone needs to understand about Socialism is that it is not an all or nothing system. I would venture to say that few if any countries in the world today, and that includes the United States, have a completely Socialist or a completely capitalism economic system. Rather, almost all of them have a blend between the two, though with different degrees of emphasis on one or the other. Let’s consider some programs in the United States that are characterized by Socialism, at least to some degree. What these programs have in common, and why we considered it necessary to socialize them to some degree is that the people of the United States felt that they were necessities that everyone ought to have access to.

Education
Public education in the United States has been around for many decades. In my opinion, it has greatly benefited the people of the United States and was a great help in creating a large, productive, and comfortable middle class. What it did was give children who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford an education an opportunity to get one and turn their education into a good paying job. Grade schools and high schools were public and free to a great degree, and state universities were very inexpensive relative to today, because of government subsidization. (I went to a very good state University where tuition was $256 a semester and room and board were $1,000 a year. My parents were middle class, but even if they had considerably less money than they did, they would have been able to send me to such a college).

Today there is a large trend towards privatization of education in the United States. I have nothing against private schools, and neither does Bernie. But when they are used as an excuse to drain money away from our public schools, then they create a caste-like system which results in little opportunity for children from poor households to get a decent education. I believe that is wrong, and so does Bernie.

Health Care
The biggest example of socialized health care in the United States is Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare has been a life-saving program for millions of our senior citizens, without which they would have been driven into poverty through no fault of their own.

Water
Human beings cannot live without water, and that is why the good majority of water systems are provided to us by the government. In recent years in this country (and in other countries as well), some jurisdictional water systems have been privatized. Detroit is perhaps the most notorious example. Where water systems have been privatized, the result has been disaster for many of the area’s citizens, who often aren’t able to afford the skyrocketing cost of water. The water companies that take over our water systems don’t have the primary goal of serving the public interest. Their goal is to make a profit. When they do so, both the quality and the availability of our water plummets for many of our citizens.

Social Security
Social Security is sort of a government operated pension plan. It has caused the poverty rate for our senior citizens to go way down. But as popular as our Social Security system is, right wing politicians have been very aggressive in attacking it. Of course, they can’t do so directly and honestly, because it is too popular for that. So they make up the excuse that is costing us too much, so we need to cut benefits to save the system.

Prison System
Our prison system, as an integral part of our justice system, has in the past been run mostly or totally by government – as it should be. It should be run and owned solely by government, rather than by private corporations because all of our citizens should have equal access to justice under the law. Such is not the case when our prison system becomes a system that is run for profit rather than for justice.

But the trend in privatization of our prison system in recent years has made our prison system into a disgrace, in which prison conditions have become more abominable than ever, and imprisonment rate in this country has skyrocketed into by far the highest in the world. As private corporations have taken over our prison system, in their quest for ever higher profits, they have made many of them into slave labor camps. Worse yet, they have successfully lobbied (a polite word for legal bribery) our government into policies that imprison more and more of our population for minor offenses. Needless to say, this affects our poor and black populations far disproportionately (See my post on Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow”).


Bernie on Socialism

So it is of the utmost importance that as people decide whom to vote for in the Democratic primaries and the general election, that they understand, not just that Bernie has been a Socialist or a Democratic Socialist, but what views of his are represented by these labels. Here is an article that recounts many of the things Bernie has said about his identification with Socialism. Bernie is no fool, and he is well aware of the stigmatism of the label. In 1974 he said “I myself don’t use the word Socialism…. because people have been brainwashed into thinking that Socialism means slave-labor camps, dictatorship, and lack of freedom of speech”. Here are some of the most important things that he has said about what he considers to be his socialistic outlook:

Socialism and democracy:
I believe in democracy, and by democracy I mean that, to as great an extent as possible, human beings have the right to control their own lives. And that means that you cannot separate the political structure from the economic structure. One has to be an idiot to believe that the average working person who’s making $10,000 or $12,000 a year is equal in political power to somebody who is the head of a large bank or corporation. So if you believe in political democracy, if you believe in equality, you have to believe in economic democracy as well.”…. I am confident that the vast majority of the people will understand that there is nothing incompatible between socialism and democracy.

Economics, wages, poverty, and the power of corporations
What being a socialist means is … that you hold out … a vision of society where poverty is absolutely unnecessary, where international relations are not based on greed … but on cooperation … where human beings can own the means of production and work together rather than having to work as semi-slaves to other people who can hire and fire…

I think it means the government has got to play a very important role in making sure that as a right of citizenship, all of our people have health care; that as a right, all of our kids, regardless of income, have quality childcare, are able to go to college without going deeply into debt; that it means we do not allow large corporations and moneyed interests to destroy our environment; that we create a government in which it is not dominated by big money interest… Is it right that the middle class continues to disappear while there has been a massive transfer of wealth from working families to the top one-tenth of 1 percent?

The need for all citizens to have the necessities of life
I wouldn’t deny it. Not for one second. I’m a democratic socialist. … In Norway, parents get a paid year to care for infants. Finland and Sweden have national health care, free college, affordable housing and a higher standard of living. … . Why shouldn’t that appeal to our disappearing middle class? …

Bottom line meaning of Socialism
To me, socialism doesn’t mean state ownership of everything, by any means, it means creating a nation, and a world, in which all human beings have a decent standard of living.”


In Summary

In summary, if you’re thinking of voting for Bernie, but you’re scared off by the “Socialist” label, please ignore the label, and look instead at his actual views and actions.


Posted by Time for change | Wed Feb 10, 2016, 05:43 PM (5 replies)

What Would-Be Bernie Supporters Don’t Understand

The claim that Bernie is “unelectable”

I have friends who would otherwise vote for Bernie in the primaries, but who are swayed by the widespread claim that he is “unelectable”, to vote for Hillary instead. They consider themselves “realists”, saying that they would much rather vote for a moderate who has a good chance of beating a Republican than a better candidate who is unelectable.

But to the extent that the “unelectable” claim has any validity at all, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If such claims are repeated often enough – and they are repeated quite often – polls will continue to show the better known candidate with a sizable lead. That such people who repeat such claims consider themselves “realists” is a joke. True realists look at real data before making such claims.


Polls showing Hillary and Bernie running against the top Republican candidates

Here is an average of the most current polls:

Vs. Trump: Sanders +7.7; Clinton + 4.0
Vs. Bush: Sanders +3.0; Clinton +2.4
Vs. Cruz: Sanders +1.5; Clinton -1.0
Vs. Rubio: Sanders -1.5; Clinton -5.0

Additionally, Bernie has the best net favorability rating of any candidate in either party.

So where is the evidence in all that that Bernie is unelectable or even that he is less electable than Clinton? If anything, these data show him to be more electable than Clinton.


Current polling data obviously understates Bernie’s electability compared to Hillary’s

This latest polling data comes at a time when Bernie continues to gain momentum, compared to other candidates. The more he becomes known, the further he rises in the polls. There is a very good reason for that: His views on the issues are in much greater accordance with the views (and interests) of the good majority of Americans, compared to all of the other candidates. Here is a timeline of the polling data:

Bernie started from nowhere at the time he announced his candidacy. In January 2015 he was losing to Hillary in the national polls by 61-4. He has progressively gained on her since then, until now a recent poll has Hillary leading him nationally by only 44-42. And that difference is largely, if not solely attributable to the fact that many Democrats, even liberal Democrats, consider him unelectable. If not for that false belief, he could be way ahead in the Democratic race at this time.


The Wall Street Connection

As a liberal, I long hoped for and awaited an announcement from either Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders that they would run for President in 2016. That was not only because I believed and still believe that either one of them would be our best President since JFK or FDR, but because I dreaded and still dread a Presidency by the long presumed Democratic nominee for 2016, Hillary Clinton (though not as much as I dread a Republican President). All I have to know about her to dread her being elected President in 2016 is her strong support by Wall Street.

In the early money race to launch the campaigns of the leading contenders, an article titled “Wall Street is Putting Money Behind These Presidential Candidates”, the following statistics were given for campaign contributions from “big bank institutions”, which include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and others:
Clinton: $432,610
Bush: $353,150
Rubio: $105,669

As we all know, the finance industry, more than anything else, was responsible for the recession of 2008 and the continuing tremendous wealth and income inequality in our country, which in recent years has been as large or larger than what we saw in the 1920’s, prior to the Great Depression. Here is a graph that shows the percentage of wealth share by the top 0.1% of in the U.S.

From a high of 25% in 1928, due in large part to the financial reforms initiated by the FDR Presidency, we reached a low of about 7% in 1978, but ever since then it has continued to zoom upwards. This graph goes only until 2013, but the situation has gotten no better since then. This all, of course, is to the great detriment of the poor and the middle class, and it is directly related to the huge sums of money that the finance industry contributes to candidates who they know will support their agenda. Clinton also has been an early and strong supporter of the “Trans-Pacific Partnership”, which she has called “the gold standard in trade agreements….”, but which is actually mostly a boondoggle for our wealthiest corporations, at the expense of our environment and a living wage.


In summary

The unelectable issue is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Would-be Bernie supporters who won’t vote for him because they consider him to be unelectable, and who voice that thought are helping to make him unelectable. So I have just one thing to say to those people: Don’t believe everything you hear. Look at the polls showing how he and Hillary are running against the Republican candidates. The numbers are on our side!
Posted by Time for change | Sun Feb 7, 2016, 05:43 PM (37 replies)

When Police and other Government Officials Declare War on a People

When police repeatedly brutalize any group of people they are supposed to protect, and the “justice system” repeatedly fails to hold them accountable for their actions and fulfill the requirements of justice, then that means, in effect, that WAR is being declared upon the people. When that happens, and when repeated reasonable efforts fail to ameliorate the situation, people have two choices: They can continue with efforts to ameliorate the situation peacefully, in which case they can expect an intolerable situation to continue. Or they can fight back.

I acknowledge that this is an over-simplification of what are usually very complex situations. How is it determined when all reasonable efforts have failed and will likely continue to fail to ameliorate the situation? Who has the right to make that determination? Are the consequences of fighting back likely to be worse than the consequences of continuing to seek peaceful solutions? These and many other pertinent questions are extremely difficult to answer – so difficult that there are unlikely to be answers that a good majority of people can agree on. Nevertheless, people are faced with a decision of monumental importance, and choices must be made, one way or the other.

But the powers that be don’t see it like that. As recently noted by Mychal Denzel Smith in an article he wrote for The Nation:

Whenever there is an uprising in an American city, as we’ve seen in Baltimore over the past few days in response to the police-involved death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, there always emerges a chorus of elected officials, pundits, and other public figures that forcefully condemn “violent protests.” They offer their unconditional support for “legitimate” or “peaceful” protests, but describe those who break windows and set fires as thugs, criminals, or animals….

But those public figures ought to re-think their simple minded analysis of such situations. They ought to recognize that when government officials declare war on a people, those people are likely to feel enraged and desperate and to (rightfully) contemplate desperate actions. That is human nature, and it always has been. Therefore, public figures who condemn people who choose to fight back in desperate situations would be well advised instead to think about the conditions that caused people to feel so enraged and desperate, and what can be done to ameliorate those conditions.
Posted by Time for change | Wed May 6, 2015, 08:40 PM (6 replies)

CODE RED – Computerized Election Theft and the New American Century

I’ll always remember Jonathan Simon as the man who, on Election Night 2004, captured screen shots of the national Presidential exit polls (performed by Mitofsky International and Edison Media Research, under contract to six major news media organizations) for every U.S. state before they mysteriously disappeared forever. Simon’s screenshots introduced the American people to the concept of electronic election theft and “red shift,” occurring when an official vote count (which in this case handed George W. Bush a second term as President) is shifted substantially to the Republican candidate, compared to the exit poll results. In this election the votes were shifted by 5.4% nationally, turning what those polls showed to be a 2.6% Kerry victory into a 2.8% Bush victory in the national popular vote. The vast majority of states also showed a red shift ), including Ohio (many of whose votes were “processed” on remote servers set up by Karl Rove’s “IT guru” Mike Connell in Chattanooga, Tennessee), which was enough to give the Presidency to Bush. This chart, taken from Steven Freeman’s book, “Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen”, shows that red shifts occurred in 10 of the 11 swing states:

State……………Exit poll result……………..Official vote count……..Red shift
NH………………..Kerry by 10.8%...........Kerry by 1.3%............9.5%
OH………………..Kerry by 4.2%.............Bush by 2.5%............6.7%
PA………………..Kerry by 8.7%.............Kerry by 2.2%............6.5%
MN………………..Kerry by 9.0%.............Kerry by 3.5%...........5.5%
FL…………………Bush by 0.1%..............Bush by 5.0%............4.9%
NV………………..Kerry by 1.3%.............Bush by 2.6%............3.9%
NM………………..Kerry by 2.6%.............Bush by 1.1%...........3.7%
CO………………..Bush by 1.8%..............Bush by 5.2%...........3.4%
IA………………….Kerry by 1.3%.............Bush by 0.9%...........2.2%
MI…………………Kerry by 5.0%..............Kerry by 3.4%..........1.6%
WI…………………Kerry by 0.4%.............Kerry by 0.4%...........0.0%

I suspect that few American citizens remember this, or were ever aware of it, because it was hardly covered by our national news media at all (Keith Olbermann being the only significant exception).

But the purpose of CODE RED is not to stir up bad memories of a forgotten past. Rather, it is a plea to the American people to take seriously a continuing and growing threat to our democracy, in the hope that we will demand better.


Why should we believe that electronic election fraud is destroying our democracy?

Much of CODE RED is devoted to explaining why we should take this threat seriously. There are two major reasons:

One is the massive statistical evidence. Simon provides detailed accounts of numerous research studies that show substantial disparities between baselines, such as exit polls and hand counts, and official election results (i.e., red shifts), from 2004 to 2014, which have brought us, little by little, to our current status, which includes a radical Republican House of Representatives, a Republican Senate, a margin of Republican control of Governorships and statehouses not seen since the presidency of Herbert Hoover, and gerrymandered House and state legislative districts throughout the country such that large Democratic margins in the popular vote are now required just to maintain the status quo. These studies include: The 2004 Presidential election that re-elected George W. Bush as President; the 2006 House elections which, though won by the Democratic Party, was so red shifted that what the exit polls predicted to be a Democratic landslide resulted in only modest Democratic gains; red shifting of the 2008 Presidential and Congressional elections, despite the Democratic wins; red shifting of the 2010 Congressional elections (with special emphasis on the strange Republican win of a special Senate election in liberal Massachusetts that prevented a Democratic filibuster-proof Senate), severe enough to bring a radical right Republican House to power that has persisted to this day; red shifting in Wisconsin in 2011 and 2012 that destroyed the attempt to recall a radical right wing governor and state senators, and; massive red-shifting in the 2014 national House, Senate and Governor races, that brought us to our current state of affairs. The statistical evidence is somewhat complicated, but well explained in the book, and buttressed by an extensive question and answer format addressed to those who view claims of electronic election fraud with a skeptical mind.

But even if you find the statistical arguments mind-numbing, too hard to believe, or unconvincing for any reason, there is another, perhaps better reason for taking this issue very seriously: The acknowledged vulnerability of electronic voting to vote manipulation. Worse yet, electronic voting in the United States is conducted by a handful of corporations, with little or no effective oversight, and attempts to inspect the machines and software that count our votes have been almost completely thwarted by legal barriers on the grounds that they are owned by the corporations that conduct the vote counting. And if that isn’t bad enough, those corporations have strong ties to the Republican Party. It seems to me that a nation that allows private corporations to count votes outside of public scrutiny can hardly be called a democracy. But apparently most Americans have been led to believe that the possibility of election theft through the manipulation of electronically cast votes is so remote that it is not worth thinking about.

Consider that in recent years right wing forces have contrived a great variety of ways to gain unfair advantage in our elections. They have passed myriad voter ID laws and other measures to prevent Democrats from voting. Judicial decisions have allowed almost unlimited amounts of money to pour into our elections, absent requirements that the donors identify themselves. [link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/opinion/sunday/the-great-gerrymander-of-2012.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0|Congressional districts throughout the country have been gerrymandered] Myriad states have been so gerrymandered that huge Democratic majorities in the popular vote are needed just to gain equal representation in our House of Representatives. And a great variety of dirty tricks have been used, such as sending letters to constituents that tell voters to vote on the wrong day. All of these ploys have received some national media attention. Why has the threat of electronic election manipulation, which has more potential to steal elections than any of those other means, not even been discussed by our national news media, let alone been presented to us as a major and continuing threat to our democracy?


Who should NOT read Code Red

There are some people who should not read Code Red. That includes anyone whose mind is made up that:
- Wealthy and powerful people never ruthlessly pursue their goals at the expense of their fellow citizens
- It’s OK for our votes to be counted in secret because we can always trust those who count our votes
- In the United States, election theft is rare because of the exceptional security we have in place to prevent it
- In the United States, election theft is rare because of the American character or our Constitution
- Anybody who doesn’t agree with all of the above is either un-American or a whacky “conspiracy theorist”

If you are convinced of any of the above statements you will not benefit from reading Dr. Simon’s book because you won’t believe or even take seriously anything that he tells us. But if you have some doubt about the above statements, reading this book will give you an understanding of the vulnerabilities of today’s U.S. election system, and how those vulnerabilities are corrupting our democracy, that you didn’t previously have and that few Americans do have. If you’ve wondered why the U.S. government has become so unresponsive to the needs of ordinary American citizens, you will likely gain a much better understanding of this.


How can a democracy elect and re-elect a national legislature of whom only 10-20% of citizens approve?

Lastly, consider this. Wouldn’t you think that a nation governed by democratic principles would be able to elect a national legislature that receives the approval of at least half of its population? Yet, since the coming to power of an increasingly radical right wing Congress in 2010, Congressional approval has hovered consistently below 20%, a situation unprecedented since regular polling of Presidential approval began in 1974. That begs an explanation, which you will find well provided in CODE RED, where you will also find a sober and compelling discussion of a way forward, how to dig ourselves and our country out of this unholy mess.
Posted by Time for change | Mon Mar 23, 2015, 09:13 AM (123 replies)

Edward Snowden on the Meaning of Patriotism

For his leaking of classified government documents, Edward Snowden has widely been accused of being a traitor to the United States (including by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Speaker of the House John Boehner), and charged with felonies punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Consideration of the history and character of those who call Snowden a traitor makes it clear what their motives are. Secretary Gates’ primary focus as Director of the CIA under President Reagan was to manipulate intelligence to provide propaganda in support of Reagan’s ideology and thereby facilitate U.S. support of right wing Central American governments and paramilitaries, which had brutal and fatal consequences for the people of El Salvador and Nicaragua. As the most visible leader of a political Party that almost exclusively serves the interests of the wealthy and powerful, at the expense of everyone else, John Boehner’s castigation of Snowden makes perfect sense.


The meaning of patriotism

In a recent interview with Katrina vanden Heuval, Editor and Publisher of The Nation, Snowden was asked how he defines patriotism. In my opinion, Snowden’s response is especially instructive and valuable because of the clear distinction it makes between acts that benefit a country’s government vs. acts that benefit its people:

What defines patriotism, for me, is the idea that one rises to act on behalf of one’s country. As I said before, that’s distinct from acting to benefit the government – a distinction that’s increasingly lost today. You’re not patriotic just because you back whoever’s in power today or their policies. You’re patriotic when you work to improve the lives of the people of your country, your community and your family…

People sometimes say I broke an oath of secrecy – one of the early charges leveled against me. But it’s a fundamental misunderstanding, because there is no oath of secrecy for people who work in the intelligence community…. You are asked to take an oath, and that’s the oath of service. The oath of service is not to secrecy, but to the Constitution – to protect it against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That’s the oath that I kept… When we see something wrong, when we witness our government engaging in serious crimes, abusing power, engaging in massive historic violations of the Constitution of the United States, we have to speak out or we are party to that bad action.


How our government’s war on whistleblowers threatens our democracy

So why all the animosity and charges directed against Snowden by our government? Snowden explains:

When governments go too far to punish people for actions that are dissent rather than a real threat to the nation, they risk delegitimizing not just their systems of justice, but the legitimacy of the government itself… The government would assert that individuals who are aware of serious wrongdoing in the intelligence community should bring their concerns to the people most responsible for that wrongdoing, and rely on those people to correct the problems that those people themselves authorized. Going all the way back to Daniel Ellsberg, it is clear that the government is not concerned with damage to national security, because in none of these cases was there damage. At the trial of Chelsea Manning, the government could point to no case of specific damage that had been caused by the massive revelation of classified information. The charges are a reaction to the government’s embarrassment more than genuine concern about these activities, or they would substantiate what harms were done. We’re now more than a year since my NSA revelations, and despite numerous hours of testimony before Congress, despite tons of off-the-record quotes from anonymous officials who have an ax to grind, not a single US official, not a single representative of the United States government, has ever pointed to a single case of individualized harm caused by these revelations…

A political decision has been made not to irritate the intelligence community. The spy agencies are really embarrassed, they’re really sore – the revelations really hurt their mystique… The surveillance revelations bring them back to Big Brother kind of narratives, and they don’t like that at all. The Obama administration almost appears as though it is afraid of the intelligence community.

This tendency of autocratic governments to lash out against those who reveal things that embarrass them, to escape their own embarrassment by charging the whistleblower with “treason” or violating and impairing “national security”, is not new. History is chock full of such things. In fact, it is the rule rather than the exception.

Those who believe that the United States is immune to this sort of thing are naïve. Unfortunately, with oligarchic control of our national news media, the situation in our country has become progressively worse in recent years.

The charges against Edward Snowden represent the 7th time that the Obama administration has used the Espionage Act of 1917 to punish government workers who shared information with the press. Prior to that, there had been only four such instances since the Act was enacted in 1917, the most well-known being the prosecution of Daniel Ellsberg for leaking the Pentagon Papers. In some cases the Obama administration has also gone after the press for publishing the information.

The purpose of the Whistleblower Protection Act is to enable government workers to bring government wrongdoing to public notice without fear of reprisal. As such, it serves to protect the American people against government abuse and is therefore an important part of our democratic system. Without the protection of the Act, revelation of government wrongdoing by government employees can pose great risk to their career and even their freedom. Even with its protection, it takes a good deal of courage for government employees to accuse their government of serious misdeeds. Consequently, the progressive tendency of our government to ignore the Act has posed a substantial threat to our democracy. I’ll conclude this post with a comment by former U.S. Foreign Service employee Peter van Buren, on how our government’s war on whistleblowers threatens our democracy:

When everything is classified any attempt to report on anything threatens to become a crime; unless, of course, the White House decides to leak to you...

For everyone else working to create Jefferson’s informed citizenry, it works very differently… Times reporter Jim Risen is now the subject of subpoenas by the Obama administration demanding he name his sources as part of {an} Espionage Act case… Risen was a journalist doing his job, and he raises this perfectly reasonable question: “Can you have a democracy without aggressive investigative journalism? I don’t believe you can, and that’s why I’m fighting.” Meanwhile, the government calls him their only witness to a leaker’s crime.

One thing at stake in the case is the requirement that journalists aggressively pursue information important to the public, even when that means heading into classified territory. If almost everything of importance (and much that isn’t) is classified, then journalism as we know it may become… well, illegal.

Posted by Time for change | Fri Oct 31, 2014, 04:04 PM (25 replies)
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