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Member since: Mon Jan 30, 2006, 06:07 PM
Number of posts: 103,184

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Think your vote doesn't matter? Bernie won his first election by TEN votes.

After years of failing to win office, he finally decided to run for Mayor of Burlington. That was the beginning of his long career in elective office.

Ten votes.


Sanders believed he was finished with electoral politics – until in late 1980, when his friend Richard Sugarman, a religion professor at the University of Vermont, showed him a breakdown of his Liberty Union vote tallies. As a whole, they were scant, but Sanders had done better in Burlington than anywhere else — and especially in the city’s poorest wards. Sanders decided to run for mayor — and then, by 10 votes, he won. It was March of 1981. It was a big story. The irritant activist was an elected official, now making $33,800 a year, more than he ever had. Reporters started showing up in Vermont.

The overwhelmingly female press corps on the HRC campaign trail.


At least 18 national media outlets have female reporters on the Clinton beat, across print, online, radio and TV, according to a POLITICO survey. Some, such as NBC, have as many as three. Local outlets in Iowa and New Hampshire have female reporters on Clinton, as well. No one can remember a political press corps this heavily female.


"In 2008, I was one of the only women in [Clinton's] traveling press corps," recalled Amy Chozick of The New York Times, ticking off names of the reporters covering Clinton's first presidential race. "Wow, it was pretty male then. So what's changed?"

The change seems to be a combination of more women doing political reporting in general, and many more being drawn to Clinton's potentially historic candidacy. It's made for an unusual atmosphere, with a female candidate sparring with a nearly all-female corps of reporters. It hasn’t brought Clinton more positive coverage, according to those both inside the campaign and outside it. But reporters and press aides alike note that there’s a different vibe nonetheless, punctuated by occasional expressions by the candidate herself of camaraderie for fellow pioneers.


BuzzFeed’s Ruby Cramer recalled one press gaggle at which Clinton encouraged her to “liberate herself” and ask what she really wanted to ask. Cramer had planned to ask a lighthearted question but explained that she felt obligated to ask about a former Clinton tech staffer, Bryan Pagliano, who took the Fifth Amendment rather than testify before Congress about Clinton’s email practice. (Cramer ended up asking both questions.)


"One, a younger generation of talented women reporters is coming of age just as Clinton pursues the presidency,” Ryan said. "Two, while I don't think editors are choosing reporters to cover Clinton because of their gender, women are drawn to this story journalistically, given its sweep, history-making potential and the way the Clinton story intersects with the broader discussion about gender, power and culture in this country."

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/hillary-clinton-women-press-214891#ixzz3sjyrRUs6

Do you want your state to try single-payer, like Colorado???? I DO. Absolutely.


So in my state I'm pushing for a state single-payer plan, like they're going for in Colorado. AND I'm doing everything I can to support the ACA for now, because ANY state can use ACA funds to institute single-payer instead.

If we lose the ACA because a new Rethug administration comes in with a Congress similar to what we have now, then that's the end not only of the exchanges, the Medicaid expansion, the subsidies, and the Essential Benefits, but also of any Federal funds helping states work out single-payer.

What do we get by constantly highlighting the flaws of the ACA? We increase the public perception that we should listen to the Rethugs and toss the whole law out.

Don't delude yourself that if that happens, we'll get single-payer instead. We won't. Not a chance in hell if the Rethugs take control.

And it will be hell.

P.S. And if you don't believe single-payer could happen state by state, then you haven't been paying attention. Ten years ago a single state approved gay marriage. Now it's the law everywhere in the country. I believe the process of change could be much quicker if a handful of states had successful single-payer programs. Please let this happen. Don't help the Rethugs tear down this chance.

Force feeding: cruel at Guantanomo, but fine for our parents.

Something to remember if you ever have a loved one whose doctor or nursing home is recommending tube feeding. It's usually not to the patient's benefit.

Why is it done, even when it's not medically necessary? Because it saves time for the nursing staff and is reimbursed at a higher rate than hand-feeding.


THE practice of forced feeding has been highlighted by its use on hunger strikers in Guantánamo Bay and, more recently, in Israel, where a vigorous debate about the ethics of such a practice is taking place. But you don’t have to be in prison to have a feeding tube jammed up your nose. Millions of elderly Americans are fed through tubes despite a lack of substantial evidence pointing to any clinical benefit.

Tube feeding was developed to provide nutrition for patients — increasingly patients with dementia — who are unable to eat on their own. Most of them, especially as they approach the terminal end of the disease, develop difficulties in swallowing and frequently aspirate food or other stomach contents into their lungs, developing pneumonia.

Study after study, however, has shown that tube feeding doesn’t provide any benefit compared with feeding these patients by hand, which is more labor-intensive but much better for the patients. It doesn’t improve survival, reduce infections, reduce the incidence of aspiration pneumonia or improve patients’ nutritional status over those who are hand fed or even over patients not fed at all.

If anything, feeding tubes can be harmful. One study showed that patients with feeding tubes had a higher incidence of pressure ulcers in their backs from being immobilized and lying in bed. Feeding tubes also have frequent complications of their own like being dislodged or being clogged. (Feeding tubes are a necessary evil in some cases, such as after surgery or after a serious accident.)


You're wrong if you think that adding to the Rethug drumbeat against Obamacare

will bring us closer to single-payer.

It won't. It will just help to prove to millions of uninformed voters that Obama's major achievement was a disaster -- and will make them that much more likely to hand the Presidential reins over to the GOP.

And they won't be fixing the ACA by turning it into single-payer. Their plan is to dismantle it. And to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid and every other Great Society program.

The idea that selling insurance across states lines will fix all the problems is ludicrous, but it's all they have. They don't care if millions of previously uninsurable people lose their new insurance.

If the Rethugs get their way -- with your help -- the decades that Senator Ted Kennedy, the Clintons, and so many others struggled for universal healthcare will be for naught. And Colorado and every other state will be denied the chance they have right now to experiment with single-payer -- with the help of ACA money.

No, the ACA isn't perfect. Of course it has flaws, like every major new program. But if you help the Rethugs -- by exaggerating those flaws, and joining in with their chorus that the ACA is a failure -- you won't help the country move a single step closer to single-payer.

You'll help the GOP dismantle the only healthcare gains we've made in 50 years. And you'll help to hand over the Presidency to them, instead of to any Dem.

Paul Krugman: despite the opposition, Obamacare is "still a huge success story."

This is not to say we shouldn't do more. We can and should do more, and I support single-payer. But the ACA is working.


To the right’s dismay, scare tactics — remember death panels? — and spurious legal challenges failed to protect the nation from the scourge of guaranteed health coverage. Still, Obamacare’s opponents insisted that it would implode in a “death spiral” of low enrollment and rising costs.

But the law’s first two years of full implementation went remarkably well. The number of uninsured Americans dropped sharply, roughly in line with projections, while costs came in well below expectations. Opponents of reform could have reconsidered their position — but that hardly ever happens in modern politics. Instead, they doubled down on their forecasts of doom, and hyped every hint of bad news.

I mention all of this to give you some perspective on recent developments that mark a break in the string of positive surprises. Yes, Obamacare has hit a few rough patches lately. But they’re much less significant than a lot of the reporting, let alone the right-wing reaction, would have you believe. Health reform is still a huge success story.

Obamacare seeks to cover the uninsured through two channels. Lower-income Americans are covered via a federally-funded expansion of Medicaid, which was supposed to be nationwide but has been rejected in many Republican-controlled states. Everyone else has access to policies sold by private insurers who cannot discriminate based on medical history; these policies are supposed to be made affordable by subsidies that depend on your income.


Over 50% of the US population is female – more than half --

and yet the 43 people elected President don’t include a single woman.

No Jewish man has been President either. On the other hand, less than 4% of the US is Jewish, or has a Jewish background, whether s/he practices the religion or not.

Also, a Jewish man was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1916 – before women even had the federal vote (the Susan B. Anthony Amendment wasn’t passed till 1920.)

So, yes, if Bernie, a non-practicing Jewish man, becomes President it would be a milestone.

But Hillary becoming President would be a much, much bigger and more overdue milestone.

Trump Says He 'Would Certainly Implement' Muslim Database

Source: NBC News

NEWTON, Iowa — Donald Trump "would certainly implement" a database system tracking Muslims in the United States, the Republican front-runner told NBC News on Thursday night.

"I would certainly implement that. Absolutely," Trump said in Newton, Iowa, in between campaign town halls.

"There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases," he added. "We should have a lot of systems."
When asked whether Muslims are legally obligated to sign into the database, Trump responded, "They have to be — they have to be."

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/trump-says-he-would-certainly-implement-muslim-database-n466716

He also refused to explain how this was different from the Nazis requiring Jewish people to register. His only answer: "You tell me."

This goes farther than previous reports, which said that he was refusing to rule out such an action.

Next thing we'll know he'll be saying we should put them into camps.

Donald Trump's Spirit Animal is Tony Soprano.

It's not just the voice. It's the whole package.


That description is very reminiscent of another tribe with which one might be familiar if you watched “The Sopranos.” The swagger, the ostentatious show of wealth — and the threats.

But if you recall Henry Hill’s narration in “Goodfellas,” you might also see the rather ugly subtext to that up-from-the-working class identification:

“To us, those goody-good people who worked shitty jobs for bum paychecks and took the subway to work every day, and worried about their bills, were dead. I mean they were suckers. They had no balls. If we wanted something we just took it. If anyone complained twice they got hit so bad, believe me, they never complained again…”

That’s what Donald Trump’s candidacy really promises. Goodfellas only look out for themselves.


When Donald Trump’s longtime political adviser and attorney was asked by the Daily Beast Monday to comment on a potentially explosive story about his boss, he could have stonewalled or sweet-talked, bartered or begged, or attempted any of the other diversion tactics regularly employed by professional campaign strategists.

Instead, he opted for a more distinctively…Trumpian response.

“I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly,” Trump adviser Michael Cohen reportedly told a Daily Beast journalist, before unleashing a torrent of threats that read like rough-draft dialog in a low-rent gangster movie. “Because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”


Cohen’s outburst was, in fact, emblematic of the loyalists who have long populated The Donald’s inner circle. Trump’s key lieutenants tend to fit the same consumer profile as his discount luxury-brand targets: They are men with middle- and working-class roots; lacking in elite credentials; mesmerized by made-for-TV displays of lavish wealth. They are impressed with brashness and bored by subtlety. They are amused by dirty jokes and averse to irony. They are likely to buy a Trump-branded necktie sometime this year, and if they feel like splurging they’ll get the matching cufflinks, too.

Franklin Roosevelt, who was a great President in so many ways, made a terrible mistake

with his order for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War 2.

I hope we've learned at least two things from this. Even a great President like Roosevelt can make a grievous mistake. And mistreating our citizens in a frenzy of fear was wrong.

Then and now.


On this day in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues Presidential Proclamation No. 2537, requiring aliens from World War II-enemy countries–Italy, Germany and Japan–to register with the United States Department of Justice. Registered persons were then issued a Certificate of Identification for Aliens of Enemy Nationality. A follow-up to the Alien Registration Act of 1940, Proclamation No. 2537 facilitated the beginning of full-scale internment of Japanese Americans the following month.

While most Americans expected the U.S. to enter the war, presumably in Europe or the Philippines, the nation was shocked to hear of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In the wake of the bombing, the West Coast appeared particularly vulnerable to another Japanese military offensive. A large population of Japanese Americans inhabited the western states and American military analysts feared some would conduct acts of sabotage on west-coast defense and agricultural industries.


Ostensibly issued in the interest of national security, Proclamation No. 2537 permitted the arrest, detention and internment of enemy aliens who violated restricted areas, such as ports, water treatment plants or even areas prone to brush fires, for the duration of the war. A month later, a reluctant but resigned Roosevelt signed the War Department’s blanket Executive Order 9066, which authorized the physical removal of all Japanese Americans into internment camps.
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