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JonLeibowitz's Journal
JonLeibowitz's Journal
April 13, 2016

NYT Editorial Board: Why Mrs. Clinton Needs to Say More About the Crime Bill

Mrs. Clinton advocated for some of the most significant initiatives of her husband’s presidency, which were most often the product of compromise in a divided Congress. Indeed, many Democrats revere Mr. Clinton as the leader who brought the party back from the political wilderness by eschewing ideological purity in favor of a more incremental, politically centrist philosophy.

That legacy and experience lies at the heart of Mrs. Clinton’s approach as “a progressive who gets things done.” And the 1994 crime bill, which has emerged as a hot-button issue in the current campaign, is a good example in both its substance and the style of the Clinton manner of policy making.


Mr. Sanders’s durability in this race is due in part to young, idealistic Democrats who weren’t born before or don’t remember the partisan battles of the 1990s. Indeed, 2016’s newest voters only know the Obama-era Congress, and its near-constant state of confrontation. On the crime bill, as on the Iraq war, trade deals and gay marriage, some young critics view Mrs. Clinton’s changes in position as politically convenient or unprincipled. The way to reach those voters is to acknowledge their objections and better explain what it takes to move an agenda through a hostile Congress.

Mrs. Clinton’s record as a senator is one of pragmatism, reflecting temperamental and philosophical differences with Mr. Sanders, whose reluctance to compromise contributes to his limited legislative record. She should take this opportunity to spell out what she would do with Congress to address mass incarceration as president.

Much more @: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/13/opinion/why-mrs-clinton-needs-to-say-more-about-the-crime-bill.html

Hillary Clinton's pragmatism is something this country could do without. Bill & Hillary's "pragmatism" got us financial deregulation, the crime bill, the PATRIOT act, the Iraq War, etc. But, hey, it sure got them a lot of friendly corporate partners.
April 13, 2016

Some illuminating back and forth with Hillary surrogates on Twitter

Recommend starting here:


and following up with


The back and forth between @neeratanden, @lhfang, and @cascamike tells quite a bit about the values of the campaigns.

March 27, 2016

Is Hillary Clinton a progressive?

Is making the act of flag burning a felony progressive?

Is dismissing free speech advocates by saying "the usual people are going to complain about the 1st amendment" in response to talk about legislating strong encryption progressive?

Is an interventionist foreign policy progressive?

Is free trade progressive? What about allowing enough wiggle room with claimed opposition to the TPP to allow you to support it in the end (as the business community expects her to) after the primary (that would be what we call lying) ? Is that progressive?

Is it progressive to state that marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman? Is it progressive to advocate for Mother/Father on State documents rather than Parent 1/2 or Guardian 1/2 ?

Is receiving huge contributions from the industries you will be regulating progressive?

Is siding with your corporate donors in the credit industry progressive when your actions hurt single mothers progressive?

Is receiving money from lobbyists of the private prison industry progressive?

Is it progressive to want those who possess marijuana (which has no known negative health effects) to be put in prison, even when their state deems it legal? What about when your private prison industry lobbyists stand to gain from a higher incarceration rate?

Is it progressive to vote for the PATRIOT act, repeatedly?

Is it progressive to vote against banning the use of cluster bombs which maim and kill innocent children?

Is it progressive to say that a single payer health care system will never ever happen, even though that or something like it (public option) is the only way to get to universal healthcare?

The Democratic party is not progressive. Her being a mainstream Democrat doesn't make her progressive.

March 23, 2016

****~~~~ The OFFICIAL Bernie Sanders Group Western Tuesday Thread ~~~~****

I didn't see another discussion thread started, so let's get the ball rolling. Here are the NYT reporting pages for the states voting/caucusing today:

Combined: http://www.nytimes.com/elections/results


We have the candidate with the best ideas and the FDR Democrats. Let's have a good time tonight. Welcome, and have some

I'm on West Coast time so I'll be here all night!

March 19, 2016

The arrogance of militant Hillary supporters occur outside DU towards Bernie supporters

Here Adam Johnson of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a progressive watchdog group, documents some interactions with militant Hillary activists (likely paid shills) at the Donald Trump protest at Columbus Circle, NYC.


It appears as if this creature actually derives enjoyment from telling what appears to be a non-Hillary supporter that he must vote for her in November.

What's more, it is legitimately puzzling, because I was told that a) young white men are Bernie Bros who militantly support their candidate b) Bernie supporters are racist while Hillary supporters are PC as a peach. I'm so confused after watching these videos, trying to reconcile them with the media talking points.

This part in particular stuck out to me:

"you know she's actually winning the immigrant vote by a very large margin"

I thought only Bernie supporters could be tone-deaf and treat voters as a monolith to be won and used as prizes.
March 17, 2016

Why I NEVER want to hear another word about BERNIE BROS on DU again

It is an insulting slur meant to cast Bernie supporters as a monolith of privileged Americans who are caught in the fad of celebrity rather than thinking critically about the issues and moving the country forward. But I think D. Raja Sandor can explain it best so I'll let him do the talking (and the phonebanking!) for me:

D. Raja Sandor is a volunteer phone banking for Bernie Sanders in Columbus, Ohio on March 15. Sandor said of his support: "Bernie Sanders seeks to be for all of the people. At this point in history, the country needs to embrace diversity. As a minority with a disability, I'm doing my part to have a seat at the table and Sanders works to move [this] forward."

Source: Time Magazine, http://time.com/4260441/super-tuesday-2-primary-voting-election-2016-photos-ohio-florida/

March 15, 2016

Pro-TPP Business group: Clinton will FLIP on trade after election


Speaking with reporters Tuesday, Business Roundtable president John Engler cited the Clintons' family history of changing their stances on trade deals, and downplayed the significance of Hillary Clinton's current opposition to the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiated by President Obama.

"There's history in the family, in the Clinton family, where President Clinton was opposed to NAFTA in its current form before the election and then was the champion … in the '90s," Engler said, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiated in the early 1990s and implemented by Bill Clinton.

"I think that there's nothing new about candidates running who are opposed to trade deals," Engler said, noting that Clinton has not spelled out specific objections to the TPP, a 12-nation trade deal.
"What would be newsworthy is if after they were elected they held the same position," Engler concluded. "That's to be determined."


Also from the article: "The Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs of large companies, has been among the top advocates for the Pacific-nation trade pact."
March 2, 2016

On Wall St. ties: “She knows how to earn money and keep her campaign running" --HRC voter

I read the NYT's analysis of Super Tuesday to find two real gems for how voters are "thinking" through their vote:

The time had come, several said, to end their romance with Bernie Sanders and settle down with Mrs. Clinton.

Bernie Sanders’s odds of getting the nomination are maybe not that great,” said Mitchell Westall, 19, of Suffolk, Va., who added that he had been intrigued by the Vermont senator’s vision. “So I’m looking at the other Democrat.”

Not to be outdone in the competition for most ludicrous logic for backing one's chosen candidate, Ms. Hermer chose pretzel logic that would make a certain contingent on DU very proud.

I don’t vote with my emotions,” said Bridget Coughlan Hermer, 54, a teacher and Clinton supporter from Madison Lake, Minn. “I vote with my head.”

Through such a pragmatic frame, Ms. Hermer saw a silver lining to Mrs. Clinton’s ties to Wall Street, which Mr. Sanders has assailed as emblematic of a rigged campaign finance system: “She knows how to earn money and keep her campaign running,” Ms. Hermer said.


This may be the most appalling statement I have seen yet today in support of a Democratic candidate. If that is Clintonian pragmatism for the 2016 election, deal me out.

Reaching even lower, the NYT declined to quote any actual Sanders supporters for why they were voting (who knows, they might actually have a substantive response, we couldn't have something as radical as that in the Grey Lady!); the lone Sanders voter was doing so simply to push Hillary leftwards.

I wonder sometimes if Idiocracy is debuting earlier than expected.
February 29, 2016

You could always go in reverse on that one-way. Of course, there's always the third way....

You just turn off the car, declare that this is where you wanted to end up, and call that progressivism.

Oh yeah, and,

February 26, 2016

Clinton: "I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with"

In 1996, Hillary Clinton said on NPR’s Morning Edition that her political beliefs were, "Rooted In Conservatism," and touted the fact she was A "Goldwater Girl.”


MR. SIMON: I mean, did you ever back in the '60s, between when -- I believe you were a Goldwater girl --
MRS. CLINTON: That's right.
MR. SIMON: -- and whenever you became politically –
MRS. CLINTON: That's right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don't recognize this new brand of Republicanism that is afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I am very proud that I was a Goldwater girl. And then my political beliefs changed over time.

(NPR's Weekend Edition, 1/13/1996)

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