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Scuba's Journal
Scuba's Journal
July 21, 2016

Seems weird than in eight years on DU I've never seen this mentioned


Winning Your Election the Wellstone Way provides a refreshing look at how to run an election in a grassroots people-powered way—just as the great Senator Paul Wellstone did—and win.

Representative Tim Walz (MN-01)

As a teacher, coach, and neighborhood activist, I didn’t spend my career plan-ning to run for office—but I knew that I had the experience to lead my community in the Arizona Senate. Camp Wellstone gave me valuable skills that helped me run an organized, energizing campaign. Winning Your Election the Wellstone Way makes those skills available to progressive candidates and campaign managers throughout the country.

State Senator Paula Aboud, Tucson, Arizona

Once I made the decision to run for office, I felt like I had pointed my skis down a steep mountain: it was thrilling and challenging, and everything went very fast. Wellstone Action’s expertise and training gave me and my campaign the critical skills and confidence we needed to win. Winning Your Election the Wellstone Way is a must for emerging leaders who have decided to step up for their community and run for office.

Angelique Espinoza, elected to city council in Boulder, Colorado

I know a guy running for Wisconsin assembly that is using this resource as a blueprint for his campaign, and he’s on track to upset a Republican in district that has not elected anything but Republicans in decades.

Anyone else familiar with this?
July 14, 2016

So we can't be opposed to the TPP 'cause it's Obama's thing, but ...


Centrist Dems wary of public option push

But among more centrist members of the Senate, where the “public option” was stopped in 2009, there is little enthusiasm for the idea. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D), who represents conservative-leaning North Dakota, pushed back the hardest. “I think it's critically important that we stop trying to complicate healthcare and we start taking a look at what needs to be fixed in ObamaCare,” Heitkamp said. “Until we actually have those conversations and we have bipartisan support, I think it's unrealistic to assume that we're going to see any kind of expansion of care.”


Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), another Democrat from a red-leaning state, referred questions to his press office when asked if he supported a public option. His press office did not respond to inquiries.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who survived a reelection scare in 2014, was noncommittal on the question of a public option, pivoting to a different change he’d like to see in ObamaCare. He called for addressing the requirement in ObamaCare for providing coverage to people who work more than 30 hours per week. Critics of the law say that requirement has created an incentive for employers be push people into part-time positions. “As we talk about other options we also have to address things like [the] 29 to 30 hour cliff,” Warner said. That “cliff” is an issue usually raised by Republicans.

While the public option has been embraced in the liberal-leaning quarters of the party, more centrist Democrats simply said they were unsure and had to study the details. “I'd have to see it first to see; it's a big term,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said when asked about Obama’s public option proposal.

July 12, 2016

Eric Holder’s Longtime Excuse for Not Prosecuting Banks Just Crashed and Burned


(Holder) told the panel: “The question you need to ask yourself is, if we could have made those cases, do you think we would not have? Do you think that these very aggressive U.S. Attorneys I was proud to serve with would have not brought these cases if they had the ability?” The report — the result of a three-year investigation — shows that aggressive attorneys did want to prosecute HSBC, but Holder overruled them.


Newly public internal Treasury Department records show that AFMLS Chief Jennifer Shasky wanted to seek a guilty plea for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. “DoJ is mulling over the ramifications that could flow from such an approach and plans to finalize its decision this week,” reads an email from September 4, 2012 to senior Treasury officials. On September 7, Treasury official Dennis Wood describes the AFMLS decision as an “internal recommendation to ask the bank [to] plead guilty.” It was a “bombshell,” Wood wrote, because of “the implications of a criminal plea” and “the sheer amount of the proposed fines and forfeitures.”

But after British financial minister George Osborne complained to the Federal Reserve chairman and the Treasury Secretary that DOJ was unfairly targeting a British bank, senior Justice Department leadership reportedly sought to “better understand the collateral consequences of a conviction/plea before taking such a dramatic step.”

According to internal documents, DOJ then went dark for nearly two months, refusing to participate in interagency calls about HSBC. Finally, Holder presented HSBC on November 7 with a “take it or leave it” offer of a deferred prosecution agreement, which would involve a cash settlement and future monitoring of HSBC. No guilty plea was required.

Thanks Eric, for condoning the crimes - past and future - of these banksters.
July 6, 2016

Triple Jeopardy

I have a post ... http://www.democraticunderground.com/12512236414 ... that was apparently alerted on for an unknown cause, but survived the jury (see reply #4).

The same post was then alerted on for violation of the "kooky, hate" rule and removed by a jury. I appealed and it was reinstated.

That same post was then alerted on for violation of the "support Democrats" rule and again removed removed by a jury. Again I appealed and again the post was reinstated.

Was it the intent of the new jury system to allow such repeated efforts to hide posts, or is this a bug in the system? Under the old rules, once a post survived a jury it couldn't be alerted on again. It would seem that both surviving a jury and being reinstated following a second alert should give a post some immunity from further alerts.

This "gaming" of the jury system is being done to suppress facts, and that should be anethema to DU.

Thanks in advance for your reply.


July 5, 2016

Bryan H. Nishimura

Some may be interested in researching this Navy veteran, and his legal troubles.

July 5, 2016

New Documents Catch DNC Accepting Money from Anti-Progressive Companies


The new documents (which can be viewed here) show that Debbie Wasserman Shultz and other key DNC members sought support from corporations with questionable, and definitely anti-progressive, values.

One of the most notable companies the DNC asked for money from was Walmart, a hugely anti-union corporation and the target of many progressive attacks. Then, in what could arguably be a huge conflict on interest, the DNC asked for (and received) a donation from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, one of the unions that is actually leading and sponsoring strikes at Walmart stores to protest the company’s opposition to higher minimum wage.

In another ironic situation the DNC asks for money from the National Restaurant Association PAC and from McDonald’s. Both of these are active participants in the fight against a $15 minimum wage, which the DNC has had as part of their official platform for almost a year and which was officially approved by the Platform Drafting Committees last weekend.

Another example is the DNC receiving funding from corporations like Verizon and Comcast, even though they also ask for donations from Communications Workers of America (CWA). The CWA is actively fighting against Verizon, Comcast, and many other companies for better wages and working conditions.

Well Debbie, which side are you on?
June 30, 2016

Clinton Democrats Claim To Support Health Care As A Right, But Oppose Universal Healthcare


Clinton Democrats Claim To Support Health Care As A Right, But Oppose Universal Healthcare In Platform

A major nurses union condemned Democrats on the Democratic National Convention Platform Committee, who blocked an amendment in support of a single-payer health care system. During proceedings in St. Louis on June 24, James Zogby of the Arab-American Institute introduced an amendment, which declared, “It is the policy of the Democratic Party that we will put people before profits by fighting for a Medicare For All single-payer health care system to guarantee health care as a right, not as a privilege, to everyone in this country. Working together, we will end the greed of health insurance companies.”


The amendment was defeated by Democrats appointed to the committee by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton—American Federation of State, County, and Muncipal Employees executive assistant to the president, Paul Booth; former White House Energy and Climate Change Policy director and lobbyist for Albright Stonebridge Group, Carol Browner; Ohio State Representative Alicia Reece; former State Department official and lobbyist for Albright Stonebridge Group, Wendy Sherman; and Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden.

The message of those who voted against the amendment was that the government should focus on building on the Affordable Care Act and pursuing a Medicare For All system might somehow forsake a political accomplishment achieved by Democrats and President Barack Obama’s administration.

National Nurses United, the largest union of registered nurses in the United States, which has supported the Sanders campaign, told Shadowproof, “The Affordable Care Act, while an improvement, is not good enough, it is structurally deficient, leaves healthcare as a system based on profit and ability to pay rather than patient need.” It still means tens of millions of American have no “health coverage or ‘insurance'” because they cannot afford “high out of pocket costs.” Plus, the law has systemic problems which undermine quality of care, and it is easy for the health care industry to game the system.

Damned difficult for me to understand why my Party is no longer fighting for Medicare for All and instead is trying to protect the Heritage Foundation insurance model.

We need health care, not health coverage.
June 28, 2016

The Clinton Campaign Is Obstructing Change to the Democratic Platform


I’ve had a front-row seat to the first round of the process, as 1 of 5 delegates Sanders named to draft the platform. (The Clinton campaign named six, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, added four more.) We spent two weeks listening to powerful testimony from citizens around the country, and then on Friday in St. Louis we started taking votes.

And it was there that the essential dynamic quickly emerged. The Clinton campaign was ready to acknowledge serious problems: We need fair trade policy, inequality is a horrible problem, and unchecked climate change will wreck the planet. But when it came to specific policy changes, they often balked. Amendments against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and backing Medicare for all failed, with all the Clinton delegates voting against.

At which point we got (about 11 p.m., in a half-deserted hotel ballroom) to the climate section of the platform, and that’s where things got particularly obvious. We all agreed that America should be operating on 100 percent clean energy by 2050, but then I proposed, in one amendment after another, a series of ways we might actually get there. A carbon tax? Voted down 7-6 (one of the DNC delegates voted with each side). A ban on fracking? Voted down 7-6. An effort to keep fossils in the ground, at least on federal land? Voted down 7-6. A measure to mandate that federal agencies weigh the climate impact of their decisions? Voted down 7-6. Even a plan to keep fossil fuel companies from taking private land by eminent domain, voted down 7-6. (We did, however, reach unanimous consent on more bike paths!)


Which is why we need not platitudes but a platform. Not aspirations but commitments. Not happy talk, but the fully adult conversation that Sanders engaged the country in for the past year. Cornel West, with his usual succinct eloquence, said that in the end the platform debate came down to telling the truth. The truth is, we’re in a world of hurt. That hurt—economic, social, environmental—is driving the unsettling politics of our moment. That hurt needs to be addressed.

Disappointing, to me at least, that actual policies are being rejected in favor of platitudes. There are problems to be fixed and the Democratic Party should be on the vanguard of leading the fixes.

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