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Gender: Male
Hometown: Northern California
Member since: Wed Nov 17, 2010, 01:02 PM
Number of posts: 11,665

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Posted by Playinghardball | Tue May 5, 2015, 03:25 PM (10 replies)

You are a special kind of stupid....

Posted by Playinghardball | Tue May 5, 2015, 01:42 PM (23 replies)

Bernie Sanders: If a financial institution is to big to fail, it is to big to exist...

Posted by Playinghardball | Tue May 5, 2015, 12:34 PM (9 replies)

How Bernie Sanders could make 2016 very, very interesting

Bernie Sanders is running for president. And you can look at that a few different ways. The cynical take is that this is theatrical, a pretense to grant the appearance of a primary campaign without challenging the expected outcome of a Hillary Clinton nomination. But Sanders certainly doesn’t think of it that way, having raised over $2 million in the first 48 hours since his announcement.

The way I look at the Sanders campaign is through the lens of another campaign: the fight to raise the minimum wage. When that battle was left to Washington, it floundered. But outside agitation unified the Democratic Party over the past week around a true living wage, forcing politicians beyond where they felt comfortable. The story reveals the power of activism based on principle, and a Sanders campaign can serve as a conduit for this kind of work.

The minimum wage started in 1938 at one quarter an hour, rising incrementally through the 1960s. But the apex in terms of purchasing power for the minimum wage was actually 1968. If you adjust for inflation, the minimum wage is lower today, at $7.25 an hour, than what it was more than 45 years ago.

In 2008, the Obama presidential campaign pledged to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by the end of 2011, indexed to inflation to increase in subsequent years. But without much pressure from the outside, this became a promise without follow-through. It wasn’t a tremendous priority amid the Great Recession, so the wage stayed flat, losing around 6 percent of its purchasing power since the last increase. By the 2013 State of the Union, the proposal had actually slid back: President Obama asked for an increase to only $9 an hour.

More here: http://www.salon.com/2015/05/05/how_bernie_sanders_could_make_2016_very_very_interesting/
Posted by Playinghardball | Tue May 5, 2015, 11:52 AM (1 replies)

Bernie Sanders: Democracy is not for sale...

Posted by Playinghardball | Tue May 5, 2015, 11:38 AM (2 replies)

Bernie Sanders' Run Can Help the "Less War" Movement in the US

A key problem confronting Americans who would like to see the US involved in less war is that as Peter Beinart recently noted in The Atlantic:

It's also notoriously hard to mobilize Americans against wars until those wars begin. The anti-Vietnam movement didn't become a force inside the national Democratic Party until 1968, when more than 20,000 Americans had already died. And liberal activists only began putting real pressure on Democratic politicians over Iraq after the war began, when they powered Howard Dean's insurgent campaign. Since World War II, the general pattern has been that elites drive foreign policy--generally in an interventionist direction--until they make a mess big enough to make the public cry stop

The pattern Beinart described is a recipe for a lot of war. It's as if the dial is automatically set to "more war" by default and we have to make a huge effort each time, for each war, to try to change the setting to less war. Each new war is treated in public discourse as "innocent until proven guilty": the initial burden of proof is on war critics to show that this war is a bad one, rather than the initial burden of proof being on war supporters to show that this war is a good one.

One way to address this problem would be to make advocacy for less war a regular feature of electoral politics, so that it becomes a standard question that people (especially media) ask automatically: where does the candidate stand on less war? Of course, over time the marquee "less war" issues change, as happens with other concerns. Right now the marquee less war issue is supporting realistic diplomacy with Iran. Other current less war issues include: insisting that new wars have to be authorized by Congress; reducing the Pentagon budget to be more like that of a normal industrialized democracy; reducing US support for civil wars in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine; making US drone strike policy transparently comply with the rule of law; and reducing US support for the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.


This means that less war activists have a huge stake in what Bernie Sanders says about less war issues right now and in the months ahead, when he will have a platform in the media to talk about less war issues that no other progressive political figure is likely to have.

Of course, Sanders is not going to be a less war candidate in the sense that less war is going to be at the top of his marquee. The top of his marquee is already taken with other issues: "Tad Devine, an informal adviser and longtime friend to the senator, has said that a Sanders campaign would focus heavily on three major issues -- campaign finance reform, climate change and income inequality."

But that makes him potentially an ideal less war candidate from the point of view of maximum impact on the less war issues. The thing that we need most in the United States is not more people for whom less war is their top issue; the thing that we need most is to reduce the general phobia among liberals and progressives towards making advocacy for less war a standard feature of the liberal-progressive package presented to the public. If Sanders makes advocacy for less war a feature of the liberal-progressive package he is presenting to the public, then Sanders will be modeling on a very prominent stage exactly the behavior among liberals and progressives that we most need to encourage.

We're not starting from zero. Juan Cole notes:

Bernie Sanders opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent occupation of that country.

More here: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/30592-bernie-sanders-run-can-help-the-us-less-war-movement#
Posted by Playinghardball | Mon May 4, 2015, 05:34 PM (4 replies)

Sen. Sanders: I want candidates to debate the real issues facing our country...

...not spend millions on negative 30-second ads.

Posted by Playinghardball | Mon May 4, 2015, 02:50 PM (13 replies)

On a golf green in Canada....

On a golf green in Canada. Note the others in the background; probably why nobody was asking to play through...


Posted by Playinghardball | Mon May 4, 2015, 02:19 PM (1 replies)

Bernie tweet

Bernie Sanders @BernieSanders
· Apr 30
I don't represent the big-money interests and I don't want their money.
Posted by Playinghardball | Sat May 2, 2015, 12:36 PM (6 replies)

This campaign isn't about Bernie Sanders: Enough is enough....

Posted by Playinghardball | Sat May 2, 2015, 12:26 PM (6 replies)
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