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Member since: Sun Aug 23, 2015, 02:58 PM
Number of posts: 6,319

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Doing something about lobbyists in an unfulfilled Obama promise

How Obama failed to shut Washington's revolving door
He vowed to keep lobbyists out of his administration, but loopholes weakened his pledge.

Some of that problem was that if he excluded everyone who had lobbied, then there was almost no one who had decent experience to fill positions in some areas.

Bernie's point about money corrupting politics is valid. Obama didn't solve it.

I do not think Wall Street money influenced Obama himself. But it significantly helped finance the wall of obstruction his legislation and efforts ran into. It softened legislation like Dodd-Frank. And they were going to obstruct anything Obama tried to do about it.

I think the world of Obama and believe overall, considering what he faced, he did a great job.

But there is a lot of work that remains to be done.

The Clintons are much more of a concern. Hillary has been called weather vane for a long history of flip-flops - she can be influenced as her untrustworthy ethical rudder is not very deep. Since they left the White House, they have collected nearly $4 billion for campaigns, the Clinton Foundation, the library and speaking fees - a lot of it from Wall Street. There's no way from all the back slapping financial donations to their causes that they can address money in politics because they're a poster example of the problem. As the Politico article covered recently, Hillary will say one thing about Wall Street in public and another behind closed doors when they're paying her $250,000 to speak. To me, that alone should disqualify her from the Oval office.

I heartily disagree

Nobody is above criticism. Not even John Lewis.

When I last checked, this is a democracy with freedom of expression rights.

If John gets out of line, he can be criticized like anyone else.

I think he got out of line today.

I can't endorse all he's getting as I haven't seen it all and some of it might be ugly. But there's no doubt in my mind, he deserves some criticism.

If one opens their mouth, they're accountable for what comes out of it. No free passes.

They chartered about 2,000 "freedom buses" and a bunch of "freedom trains" and

promoted it with posters like this:

Bernie got on a "freedom bus" in Chicago and went to Washington to support them.

Once he bought his ticket and got on that bus, he was going with the flow of what they wanted him to do for this protest.

But on August 28, 1963, an estimated quarter of a million people—about a quarter of whom were white—marched from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, in what turned out to be both a protest and a communal celebration.

Here's some footage of the march at the start of this video

The event began with a rally at the Washington Monument featuring several celebrities and musicians. Participants then marched the mile-long National Mall to the Memorial. The three-hour long program at the Lincoln Memorial included speeches from prominent civil rights and religious leaders.

Ever hear of "Where's Waldo?" Let's play "Where's Bernie?" in the March on Washington?

Hint: Bernie said he was near the back when MLK spoke - on the march route between the Lincoln Memorial where King spoke and the Washington Monument where the march started.

Did Bernie make the walk all the way to the Lincoln Memorial? I have no idea. But on that day, he demonstrated his solidarity with the civil rights movement by hoping on a "freedom bus" in Chicago and going all the way to Washington to support them as they asked.

As such, at the very least, figuratively, Bernie "marched" with MLK for civil rights and economic equality.

I protested the Vietnam War and Streaked in protest of Nixon

I did other efforts in the early 70s, around the same time like low income housing (I got a front page story in the paper), got some funding for a gay rights issue, etc.

Some people I saw at protests, I never saw before or since. A bunch were thoroughly wasted and might be guys I saw on Venice beach a few years back, still looking for their minds. Acid was fairly popular ... Lots of folks went by nicknames. To this day, I don't know their real names.

Imagine going to a concert. Lots of people around you. You know the people you came with and might run into a few you know. Then you go home knowing a tiny fraction of people who attended. Protests I attended, though dramatically smaller in attendance, weren't much different in that regard. Why would they be that different? If anyone was taking names, it was law enforcement.

Like Kennedy and others, I watched MLK speaking at the March on Washington on TV and followed it some. I was too young to go. I don't mean to insult but MLK, Malcolm X and the other Big Four, Randolph, Belafonte, Poitier, Robinson were names that were prominent in the media. Rosa Parks too. At that point in time, I wasn't aware of John Lewis. I know his history now but didn't know it then. He was involved with SNCC and Bernie was involved with CORE and sometimes CORE did joint protests/efforts with SNCC in Chicago. But that's the only other overlap.

I think Lewis' claim that he never saw or met Bernie back then is am unprovoked cheap shot.

Team Clinton tries to lower Nevada expectations with incredible (ie false) claim

by Jon Ralston Thu, 02/11/2016 www.ralstonreports.com
After the disaster in snow-white New Hampshire and the near-death experience in colorless Iowa, Team Clinton suddenly was trying to make Nevada sound as if its rainbow of voters did not exist.

“There’s going to be a narrowing in both places (South Carolina and Nevada) — we’re clear-eyed about that,” said Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon told NBC's Chuck Todd, as reported by BuzzFeed's Ruby Cramer. “There’s an important Hispanic element to the Democratic caucus in Nevada. But it’s still a state that is 80 percent white voters. You have a caucus-style format, and he’ll have the momentum coming out of New Hampshire presumably, so there’s a lot of reasons he should do well.”

80 percent white? What?

The Democratic caucus population was 35 percent minority in 2008, according to exit polls, and is expected to be as high as 40 percent in 2016, according to local Democratic sources. This is nothing like the 90 percent white caucus participation in Iowa, for instance.
One Clinton campaign source explained that some of the campaign's modeling showed an 80 percent turnout in Nevada come Feb. 20. This would be the model constructed after 14 martinis, perhaps.
I don't smell a rat. I smell something much more pungent from the Clinton campaign: fear.

There's a better explanation in the full article.

Another deception brought to you by Hillary Clinton ... (seems to be a daily event ..)

I did a little checking on voter registration because it's been fairly hot lately
The notable change is that registration of the 18-24 group is up 36% over the last year. It's still 29% below 2008 so they have some work to do but it's encouraging.

Bernie Sanders to Huddle With Al Sharpton

Daily Beast:
The day after he’s expected to wallop Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire’s primary, Bernie Sanders will get to work on tearing down her so-called South Carolina firewall.

His first stop on that mission? Breakfast in Harlem with Rev. Al Sharpton.

In recent weeks, the Sanders campaign has been touting endorsements from key African-American leaders—including Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner, ex-NAACP president Ben Jealous and rapper Killer Mike, who has become one of his strongest surrogates with young black voters.
“I think that they have dealt with the reality that if people are going to address issues they will have to address them with the people involved in the issues,” Sharpton told The Daily Beast. “You cannot appoint our leadership for us.”
“I am black radio five days a week,” Sharpton said. “I am not guessing about what’s on the ground. I am on the ground.”

Could be an important meeting ...

NY Times: Sanders Wins Nearly Every Demographic Group

Senator Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton among nearly every demographic group in the Democratic New Hampshire primary, according to exit polls.

He carried majorities of both men and women. He won among those with and without college degrees. He won among gun owners and non-gun owners. He beat Mrs. Clinton among previous primary voters and those participating for the first time. And he ran ahead among both moderates and liberals.

Even so, there were a few silver linings for Mrs. Clinton. While Mr. Sanders bested her among all age groups younger than 45, the two candidates polled evenly among voters aged 45 to 64. And Mrs. Clinton won the support of voters 65 and older. And, though Mrs. Clinton lost nearly every income group, she did carry voters in families earning over $200,000 per year.

Not a lot to cling to for Clinton in this state - a state she won in 2008

Democrats Are Fuming About Hillary Clinton's 'Smear' Line

Source: Huffington Post

They say it's a tacit embrace of Citizens United.

In last week's head-to-head debate with Bernie Sanders, Clinton accused the Vermont senator of deploying a "very artful smear" against her by bringing up the $675,000 she received for speaking at Goldman Sachs.

"I really don't think these kinds of attacks by insinuation are worthy of you," Clinton said to Sanders. "If you got something to say, say it directly. But you will never find that I have ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation I've received."

The audience booed Clinton over the exchange. She also raised a lot of eyebrows beyond the debate hall.
"I can see how in the heat of hand-to-hand political combat, that might be an appealing defense," says Kurt Walters, a campaign manager with the anti-corruption group Rootstrikers, referring to Clinton's "smear" line. "But just like the Citizens United line of thinking, it ignores all of the other ways that money influences politics beyond the explicit exchange of cash for a vote."
"Clinton, like our Supreme Court, ignores thousands of years of human experience in how money corrupts politics not just through quid pro quos, but also by shaping attitudes," says David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning economics writer.
"People say, 'Oh, [the money] doesn't have any effect on me,'" Frank told NPR in 2012. "Well, if that were the case, we'd be the only human beings in the history of the world who, on a regular basis, took significant amounts of money from perfect strangers and made sure that it had no effect on our behavior."

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-smear-wall-street_us_56b9025de4b08069c7a86088

Tone deaf within her own party?

Looks like her campaign is taking on water fast ...

The article snags Barney Frank in a bit of a flip-flop

Clinton weighs staff shake-up after New Hampshire

Source: Politico

Hillary and Bill Clinton are so dissatisfied with their campaign’s messaging and digital operations they are considering staffing and strategy changes after what’s expected to be a loss in Tuesday’s primary here, according to a half-dozen people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Clintons -- stung by her narrow victory in Iowa -- had been planning to reassess staffing at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters after the first four primaries, but the Clintons have become increasingly caustic in their criticism of aides and demanded the reassessment sooner, a source told POLITICO.
“There’s nobody sitting in the middle of this empowered to create a message and implement it,” said one former Obama 2008 aide. “They are kind of rudderless… occasionally Hillary grabs the rudder, but until recently she was not that interested in [working on messaging]… Look, she going to be the nominee, but she’s not going to get any style points and if she isn’t careful she is going to be a wounded nominee. And they better worked this shit out fast because who ever the Republicans pick is going to be 29 times tougher than Bernie.”
But from the beginning, there have been deeper issues simmering within the cheerfully-decorated Brooklyn headquarters -- and much of that had to do with a disconnect between the candidate and her campaign. Over the summer while her campaign was bogged down in the email controversy, Clinton was deeply frustrated with her own staff, and vice versa. The candidate blamed her team for not getting her out of the mess quickly, and her team blamed Clinton for being stubbornly unwilling to take the advice of campaign chairman John Podesta and others to apologize, turn over her server, and move on. The entire experience made her a deeply vulnerable frontrunner out of the gate, and underscored a lack of trust between Clinton and her operatives, many of whom were former Obama staffers that she didn't consider part of her inner circle of trust.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/hillary-clinton-staff-shakeup-218955

Worth a read - the four paragraphs do not do it justice but you get the gist

Sounds like they're in a mess.

What are Hillary’s major, signature accomplishments in her public life?

Clinton’s Achilles Heels (blog by Andrew Sullivan, Feb 2014)
But more importantly for me is the inability of her supporters to answer a simple question. I was having dinner with a real Clinton fan the other night, and I actually stumped him (and he’s not easily stumped). What have been Hillary Clinton’s major, signature accomplishments in her long career in public life? What did she achieve in her eight years as First Lady exactly? What stamp did she put on national policy in her time as Senator from New York? What were her defining and singular achievements as secretary-of-state?

Maybe readers can answer those questions. I’m a little stumped.

The readers below this blog (at the link) attempt to answer it without much success in my opinion and apparently, in Sullivans.

Like Andrew Sullivan, I too am still a little stumped.

She's been in Washington politics longer than Tricky Dick Nixon was before he got elected president - maybe the longest in US political history. (??)

This came up again with her chameleon politics, flip-flop from
"You know, I get accused of being kind of moderate and center," Clinton told the audience at a Women for Hillary event in Ohio. "I plead guilty."

to "I'm a progressive who gets things done.”

Let's not argue about her being a "moderate progressive", ok? Thanks.

Which got me asking myself again, like Sullivan, "what is she talking about? what things has she got done?" and I've asked that in threads and got crickets.

And I don't mean she tagged along or hopped on board when it was politically safe. I mean she took something, ran with it and achieved something notable - a "signature accomplishment".

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