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Member since: Thu May 8, 2008, 02:38 PM
Number of posts: 619

Journal Archives

You dont need the Senate to Call Witnesses

The house continues to have constitutional investigative powers and oversight totally independant of the Senate Impeachment farce

If the Senate fails to call witnesses, the House should hold a press conference that very day saying the oversight committees will call the same witnesses to testify in open session. The Senate and McConnell can not say anything since its not in the Senate.

Now it wont be impeachment testimony but it will be public and Democratic pundits can say that even though the Senate refuses to obey its constitutional duty, the American People will still receive the information about their government that we deserve.

Let's be clear. If Hillary loses the General. The responsibility is on her primary voters

There has been ample evidence that she was and is a risk in the General Election to lose to a republican. No candidate is perfect but people (like me) have been warning that Hillary is a risk for a while now ever since she became a candidate again. Polls showed that she would or could have problems against moderate republicans.

She, we and the democratic party got very lucky that the Republican establishment was not able to get their disliked front running candidate (Trump) out of the race. We did the opposite. The democratic party insiders desperately wanted our front running establishment candidate with high unfavorables to win. We could have selected someone with better favorables and with less problems if the early process had not looked so locked up so we could have had other candidates. Biden seems similar to Hillary policy wise but does not have her baggage. If it really looked like an open primary we might have got Warren to run which would have united a lot of parts of the Democratic Party. However we did not. We seem to be left with Hillary.

Trump is the only candidate in history who has had higher unfavorables and net unfavorables than Hillary. If Hillary wins she will be very lucky that Trump is her opponent. However, it is not a foregone conclusion. She tends to have her unfavorables increase the longer she is showing publically. It will be difficult for her to change that especially if some of the foundation and email stuff explodes. It is not certain that Trump can not change his unfavorables somewhat since he seems more of an actor than a politician.

Turning solely to Hillary as a candidate.

Hillary has high unfavorables, generates little excitement in the young and energizes the republican base. She is very intelligent but has a long history of being surrounded by scandal both real and purely created by the Republican hit machine. However, she also brings some of the problems on herself with equivocating, flip flopping and lying as a candidate and has hidden her relationship with corporate america. Most people who plan to run for president do not solicit donations and big money from corporations that they hope to regulate in a few years. It is a problem to have a cozy and personally lucrative business relationship with wall street in a party that is suspicious of the role of wall street in our economy.

We, on the left side of the party, are really left to hope she is a good liberal and will protect social security, not flip flop back on the TPP, really support a more robust minimum wage. Her image is problematic and hated by republicans but some of her votes are distrusted by the left side of the democratic party. She voted for the Iraq War, supported Doma, the bankruptcy bill, cluster bombs. She introduced a bill on flag burning. These worry the leftists in her own party which is not a great place for a candidate who needs all people in her party to support her. Her relative inauthenticity and the war vote are two of the the reasons she lost in 2008 to a relative newbie to politics although one with great political gifts and has lost 45% of the primary to an older leftist senator.

All the people who advocated for her and voted for her in the primary bear the responsibility if she loses. If she loses do not try to shift responsibility to people who do not later vote for her. She is a candidate that against our advice you supported as our standard bearer. Hopefully she can win against trump. She would have a hard time if the Republicans could have nominated a better candidate but we got lucky. However if she loses you take responsibility for voting for her. Do not blame the people who thought she was a bad candidate and wanted someone else who polls say is a better candidate against the republicans.

You can start by taking responsibility now rather than setting it up so you will blame Bernie people, young people, leftists, people not voting You have told us that she is a candidate who can win. If she does not its on YOU.

Pursuing principled bills that pin Republicans to a position is one way Bernie will progress us

For some reason the Hillary supporters attacking Bernie think the world will stop or at least Obamacare will end if Bernie submits or has a congressperson propose a single payer system against Republican and corporate Democratic party opposition. I am not sure they know that just means that vote is defeated.

However, it has a lot of benefits. It causes media debate which fosters information. Further and more importantly it reassures the base of the Politicians beliefs and that the Politician is fighting for him and it pins down the opposition. In future elections it becomes an issue and a basis of support for the party. Single payer is supported by the American People. Putting it up and losing because the Republicans will vote against anything Bernie does in the first few years or maybe even in his whole first term is part of the process of building public support for a party and a movement.

Secondly, the Hillary supporters seem to think that if you put a vote up for a vote and it loses, you can never do it again. Bernie and the progressive democrats in congress can put it to a vote every week. This by itself has the same good results put up above.

If you think this is just words. Please note that this is exactly what happens in the Republican party. Not saying that their principles are correct but they have a much better understanding of long term strategy then the mushy centrists of the current Democratic Party leadership. Reagan did not come out of a vacuum. Republicans lost election after election but kept consistent messaging until they are in a position to enact what they want. In fact, when Reagan ran, he was considered a joke. Nixon lost multiple times till he won. Republicans have much better understanding of the valude of consistent messaging over time even though their principles are consistently wrong.

You can even see this now in Congress. There is a reason that the Republicans put a repeal Obamacare bill up to vote every few weeks and it was one of Ryan's first acts as speaker. It is NOT because they think it has any chance of success. They know even if passed, Obama would veto it. So why do they do it. Its because its valuable for the Republican base and the Hillary supporters clearly do not understand this when their main line of attack is that Bernie's programs will be opposed and clearly voted down by the current Republican Congress.

What the Rich Always Say

When faced with income inequality questions. There are a number of responses.

HRC just faced that question in regard to the amount of money she made recently from speeches.

Her answer was to say what all rich people say: paraphrased it was something like The American People like success, they just dont want people to pull up the ladders after they are successful. We want everyone to have that success.

This is pure cop out on the question of inequality. The fact is I think most people do and should begrudge the quality of the reward given for the type of "success" she was talking about. One of the major problems with our country and its economics is that it is all about top level success and unlimited rewards for that type of success versus the lack of a decent life for the people who either have problems or do not stand out.

This disparity between success and failure is a big part of what we mean when we think of income inequality. This aspect is reflected in those great recent studies comparing peoples views of ideal distribution, actual distribution, and how they think wealth and income is currently distributed. In those studies, most Americans have no idea of the actual wealth distribution of the Country. I think this is partially understandable. From our earliest days we are taught an economic model that is based on unlimited potential and growth. It is hard for humans to deal with adverse facts that such models do not work when presented with reality. We have cognitive dissonance on areas where such models do not work such as income inequality and global climate change.

I will give HRC credit in one area. She hit on the right words for what our goals should be. For years, the corporate capitalist meme in addressing inequality has been "equal opportunity". However, as a logical construct, you could have inequality and yet have it be equal. Everyone has a chance to be one of the 1% who own everything, the rest just get to have nothing. However, everyone has an equal opportunity to be one of the elites.

In her speech, HRC used the phrase "shared prosperity" which i think is a much better goal for progressive people. It is not about mobility or opportunity or success, it really is about sharing our economic prosperity as computers, trade, increased productivity remove american workers from the wealth building equation.

However, you are not sharing prosperity if you then give the standard form answer about success and ladders. Such answers to shared prosperity have been used for years but are absolutely devoid of any content or solution. We can not reward all of society the way the 1% is rewarded in this Country. Leaving ladders in place so a few can have a good life is not the answer. Shared prosperity is not about competition for a few success slots. It should not be the goal to have all of our children compete to be one of those 1% successful people. Shared prosperity should mean what the words connote. We all share in the progress of our economic system in producing goods and services that increase quality of life for human beings.

The problem I have with HRC is I think that competition is exactly what she thinks shared prosperity means.

A Good Response to the TPP

The Arbitration Provisions of the TPP are the most controversial. They allow a corporation to sue in an international tribunal in front of corporate lawyers (who also are free to bring such cases) for changes in law that might affect profits.

The only defenses so far have been a claim that the US has not lost such cases although that could certainly change as we engage capital exporting countries.

Regardless, the best answer is that changes in law, like changes in costs, are risks that are part of the investment decision. Why should tax payers bail out investors for risks that the investor should consider in deciding whether to invest. Investors profits can be reduced for all sorts of reasons beyond their control .... increases in energy costs ... competition .... natural disasters.

There is no reason we should not put risks of changes in laws that affect potential profit on the Investor. If a country sees fit to add worker protections or environmental laws after the investment and it loses the investor all or some money, that should be one of the risks the investor is being paid for when he invests.

It occurs right now in third world investments where investors demand higher returns if they believe a country is instable. Let them price risk of legal change themselves rather than put it on the back of taxpayers after the fact.

Real questions difference between "classified" and "non-classified" emails

I am not a HRC supporter but am on the fence on this current issue as to whether there is a there there.

In reading the HRC defenders, I have heard the claim that she did not use this private server for "classified" emails but only for "non-classified" emails. However, we have also heard she did not set up or never used an account set up on the government servers.

This leads to my questions.

1. Where did she make "classified" emails or did she never use emails for any classified information at all? There really are only 2 choices. Either she never had any emails that should have been classified or she used this private server for both classified and non-classified emails.

2. There is a follow up question which is whats the difference between classified and non-classified (but not personal) emails. Does that only come up when a FOI request comes in or is every email written by a SOS immediately reviewed for classification. I am hoping someone with knowledge can explain this.

Hillary is also at this time not a democratic candidate for president

If you missed it, the following facts apply.

1. Sanders has said that he is contemplating running as a democrat. Discussing his potential candidacy as a democrat is not outside the TOS. If he said outright that he had rejected that path, you could have a claim although as we know this is not pure. There have been discussions throughout history on trying to pull independents and republicans to the democratic party.

2. When Hillary runs, she could also run as an independant. She was once a registered member of the Republican party. Can you state with certainty until she runs as a democrat that she will not run as either an independant or republican.

Of course we do not really expect HRC to run as either a Republican or an independant. However, I wished to point out that your argument against discussing Sanders candidacy as a democrat would only be valid if you were also arguing that noone could discuss or advocate for Hillary to run for president because she is not a democratic candidate for president.

The TOS if it applies at all applies would only seem to apply to actual candidates with declared parties in their candidacy not discussions of desire for people who they would like to run. Otherwise, you could have not have any political discussions of candidates before their declarations. I have not seen statements that they would only support Sanders if he ran as an independant (although I could imagine someone posting that as part of a discussion). The posts seem to only urge him to run or not run and discuss whether they would vote for him.

I do not know what you are addressing

I am addressing your claim that President Obama did not campaign or run (whatever words you want to use) on the Public Option.

He clearly did. You can argue anything you want from that point. You can say he saw the light, he tried and failed to get it, he finally realized it was impossible to obtain. All these are possible arguments. I might disagree with some or all of these arguments. However, your argument seems to be there is no public option because he never campaigned on it so had no obligation to pursue it at all.

This is making up facts to support your opinion. Not a great proposition when other people were there and remember watching the debates where Obama ran, campaigned, supported, released policy statements (any other words you want to use to describe a candidates election stands) on no mandate and a public option and Hilary ran on a Mandate and no public option.

The rest of all of these debates are all opinion. BTW, if you just admit the basic facts, you can still use your unicorn and rainbow analogies (like in your response) no matter how dismissive of other people but at least you will not be making up facts.

Perhaps that would have resulted in same place

Some form of health insurance reform was inevitable.

If the democrats (in particular the Administration) had not made back room deals and chased the pipe dream of bi-partanianship with the republicans but instead had proposed a good public expansion of medicaire for all and had politically fought the opponents with back room and public pressure, maybe it would have failed ... and the compromise would have resulted in ... wait for it.... wait for it.... wait for it... the ACA. This bill was always possible as the end result of a political battle.

By chosing to take the long time republican plan as the basis of health care reform and not fight first for something better before compromising we lost the chance that we would have something that actually moved us in the right direction... single payer... medicare for all... public option.

Personally, I believe the political fight would have won. Until Obama started making the back room deals and made some policy choices that supported the status quo rather than made it clear he was for actual big changes, he was mobilizing millions to public rallies. Certainly the most zealot and secure republicans would not care but some of them might have found their shirt collars constricting enough to start worrying about their jobs.
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