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Member since: Fri Nov 6, 2015, 07:20 AM
Number of posts: 2,352

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I have seen a Sea Change on DU--Overnight, it seems

I've seen several threads where Hillarians are actually thinking, and their preconceptions challenged, and I think this will make a huge difference in the coming weeks.

Look at the discussions (and it's actually Discussion!) at the following Threads:





There's less of the hit-and-run guerrilla warfare, and more about the underlying assumptions of one's world view, than I've seen ever...

It's consensus building at its most basic level: discussion of what makes a democratic Democratic Party, what and who the President works for, and similar unifying agreements that were not permitted to be raised earlier in this campaign.

I want to congratulate and thank each and every one of you Bernistas for continuing to press the issues, and I want to praise every Hillarian who is starting to listen. Because the ultimate function of politics is listening to people, and solving problems.

And we have had too little of that for too long.

Too Late to Turn Off Trump: We can't change channel on the culture he's exposed By Matt Taibbi


Some people in the news business are having second thoughts this week about their campaign strategy. They're wondering if they created a monster in Donald Trump...The LA Times published a piece about how the tone of Trump's TV appearances has changed, now that's he's fully out of the closet as an aspiring dictator, with his plans to ban all Muslims and close the Internet and whatever else he's come up with in the last ten minutes. The paper noted that the candidate had unusual trouble on Morning Joe, a show that usually doubles as Trump's weekly spa treatment:

"Typically, the billionaire TV personality is able to bluster his way through morning talk shows. But Trump had an unusually contentious appearance Tuesday morning on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe,' where co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski grilled him on his proposals to keep Muslims out of the U.S....

"'It certainly puts the burden on the people conducting the interviews to be tougher the more controversial his comments are,' Scarborough told The Times after the exchange."

The paper went on to dig in to the ethics of covering Trump:

"Trump represents something of a quandary for the media, especially TV networks. Privately, TV news producers acknowledge that Trump has turbocharged their ratings…"

Essentially, TV news producers are wondering: "How do we keep getting the great ratings without helping elect the Fourth Reich?"

Is a puzzlement


I see all the UGLY Americans are out tonight

When Bernie offers an alternative to the UGLY Donald Trump, for the benefit of ALL Americans...including the suffering, low-information among the electorate who find no comfort from Hillary Clinton, the DU Hate Brigade jump on him and the LI voters.

These people, these Americans, are YOUR family members and MY family members who have gone astray--the fundie auntie, the depressed uncle who lost his job, family and everything thanks to Hillary's bankster friends, the despairing Millennials who are YOUR children.

They are in a world of pain.

Trump offers to deflect that pain onto the Other.

Bernie offers to stop the pain, bring healing, health and prosperity to all.

And the UGLY so-called Democrats offer to double the pain by inflicting their own hatred and that of Hillary Clinton upon us all.

Way to ruin a country, guys.

Bernie Sanders: Why Trump voters should back me



Trailing Hillary Clinton among Democrats, Bernie Sanders could be looking across the aisle for new support -- specifically at down-on-their-luck voters drawn to Donald Trump's populist economic message.

In a taped interview with CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, the Vermont senator -- a self-proclaimed democratic-socialist -- made an overture to "angry" Americans frustrated by financial woes and concerned by foreign terrorism.

"What I'm suggesting is that what Trump has done with some success has taken that anger, taken those fears -- which are legitimate -- and converted them into anger against Mexicans, anger against Muslims," Sanders said.

But while he made the case that both candidates had tapped into a similar frustration, Sanders was careful to underline the different approach he offered -- a sharp contrast to Trump's often controversial or demeaning rhetorical spasms.

"For his working class and middle class support," Sanders said, "we can make the case that if we really want to address the issues that people are concerned about...we need policies that bring us together, that take on the greed of Wall Street the greed of corporate America and create a middle class that works for all of us rather than an economy that works just for a few."


Watch: Bernie Sanders' Important Message to Donald Trump Supporters



On Sunday's “Face the Nation,” Bernie Sanders was asked if his message would resonate with supporters of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. Sanders explained why Donald Trump might appeal to working-class voters facing financial insecurity, before noting that Trump offers exactly the wrong solutions to their economic anxieties, namely in the form of racial hatred and xenophobia.

Sanders said:

"Many of Trump's supporters are working-class people. And they're angry. And they're angry because they're working longer hours for lower wages, they're angry because their jobs have left this country and gone to China or other low-wage countries. They're angry because they can't afford to send their kids to college, they can't retire with dignity. And I think what Trump has done successfully is take that anger, take that anxiety, about terrorism and say to a lot of people in this country, 'Look, the reason for our problems is because of Mexicans,' and he says they're all criminals and rapists, we gotta hate Mexicans. Or he says about the Muslims, 'they're all terrorists. We gotta keep them out of the country.' That's what we have to deal with to make America great.'"

But Trump's proposed policies would hardly alleviate the pressures felt by working- and middle-class Americans, Sanders noted.

"This is a guy who does not want to raise the minimum wage, he has said that wages in America are too high. But he does want to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top three tenths of one percent."

"I think we can make the case that if we really want to address the issues that people are concerned about: why the middle class is disappearing, massive income and wealth inequality in this country, that we need policies that bring us together, that take on the greed of Wall Street, the greed of corporate America, and create a middle class that works for all of us, rather than an economy that works just for a few," Sanders said.

Microsoft's sneaky sucky ways

It just tried to download Windows 10 as a regular update...fortunately, I was passing the screen and able to abort it.

No more leaving it on for a minute or an hour, this baby goes off when I get up.

The real scandal in the Bernie/DNC feud is the one nobody is talking about


...The reason this controversy sprung up in the first place is that the DNC has been facilitating a monopoly, with all the usual results from that decision. In fact, it’s a case study in why policymakers should aggressively protect against monopolies.

NGP VAN, the private company that provides database software for voter information, has a sole-source contract with the DNC. And the DNC exploits this to force state parties and candidates that want their voter data, which has been refined and sharpened by campaigns for years, to use NGP VAN.

This gives the DNC incredible power to dictate who gets to see the voting history and contact information for every registered voter in America. It also creates enormous potential risk.

What you need to know about the VAN, as veteran campaign consultant and county party official David Atkins points out, is that it’s not particularly good. I can back that up, based on my experience with it as a volunteer data coordinator in 2008. I’m told that the VAN (and those who use it routinely refer to it that way, with the “the”) hasn’t improved much since then. And why should it? When you have a sole-source contract, you have little incentive to provide quality service...


Because the weather is so awful, I'm getting a jump on my New Year's Resolutions

Just finished one horrible cleaning job. When the smell of the bleach wears off, I'll make some dinner. Then it's back to the backlog!

Wishing you all better things to do for the New Year....

Got Fascism? by Rivera Sun


With bigotry and hatred on the rise in the United States and politicians like Donald Trump giving everyone the nightmares of an American Hitler and Nazi Party, revisiting history offers us kernels of wisdom in resisting such extremism.

In April 1940, the Nazis invaded Norway and occupied the country. In 1942, as part of an attempt to implement a fascist curriculum in the schools, Minister-President Vidkun Quisling, a Norwegian collaborator, disbanded the existing teachers’ union and required all teachers to register with the new Norwegian Teachers’ Union by February 5. Between 8,000-10,000 of Norway’s 12,000 teachers responded by signing a letter of refusal to cooperate. The Quisling government panicked and closed the schools, sending the children home to their parents. 200,000 of these annoyed parents wrote letters of protest to the government. Norwegian teachers began to hold classes in secret, in defiance of orders. The government ordered the arrest of a thousand teachers, five hundred of whom were sent to a prison camp in the Arctic.

As the trainloads of teachers were shipped north, students and families gathered along the tracks, singing and offering food to the teachers as they passed. Once in prison, the teachers formed choirs and offered lectures to one another. The government tried numerous intimidation tactics, but the strike continued. On November 4th, 1942, the Quisling government released all the teachers and abandoned their earlier plans. The Norwegian teachers, through nonviolent resistance, had defended their youth from being subjected to fascist curriculum and protected Norway from sliding into a fascist state.

The Norwegian Teachers’ Defense of Education offers pearls of strategic wisdom for us as we see a rise of bigotry and hatred in the United States. Resist and organize amongst your professional colleagues. It was not an individual’s action that produced such a successful campaign, but rather collective action through an entire profession, supported by students and parents. As we see a rise of fear and hatred, look carefully at the intersection of your profession and cultural indoctrination. Perhaps this is a place where a line of resistance can form. Churches, schools, media, universities, and large institutions are all places to stand and halt this degrading and dangerous slide down a slippery slope toward fear-based bigotry and hatred. Talk with one another, initiate conversations, prepare strategies, share stories like this one, and ideas for how your profession might take a stand for America together. Like the Norwegian teachers, each of us – in our profession and personal lives – forms a line of defense in the heart of our culture. Here we can wage a nonviolent struggle for compassion, respect, equality, and dignity.

The Socialist Senator FROM 2007--BERNIE DOES HIGH SCHOOL


When Bernie Sanders visits a high-school class, as he does regularly, students don’t hear a speech, a focus-grouped polemic, a campaign pitch or, heaven forbid, practiced one-liners. Nor, in all likelihood, do they hear Sanders tell stories about his family, childhood or some hardship he has endured. He makes no great effort to “connect” emotionally in the manner that politicians strive for these days, and he probably doesn’t “feel your pain” either, or at least make a point of saying so. It’s not that Sanders is against connecting, or feeling your pain, but the process seems needlessly passive and unproductive, and he prefers a more dynamic level of engagement.

“I urge you all to argue with your teachers, argue with your parents,” Sanders told a group of about 60 students at South Burlington High School — generally liberal, affluent and collegebound — one afternoon in mid-December.

The newly elected senator whipped his head forward with a force that shifted his free-for-all frizz of white hair over his forehead. (Journalistic convention in Vermont mandates that every Sanders story remark on his unruly hair as early on as possible. It also stipulates that every piece of his clothing be described as “rumpled.”)

“C’mon, I’m not seeing enough hands in here,” he said.

A senior named Marissa Meredyth raised hers, and Sanders flicked his index finger at her as if he were shooting a rubber band. She bemoaned recent cuts to college financial-aid programs.

Sanders bemoans these, too, but he’d rather provoke.

“How we going to pay for this financial aid?” Sanders asked. “Who in here wants us to raise taxes on your parents to pay for this?”

Not many, based on the show of hands.

“O.K., so much for financial aid,” Sanders said, shrugging.

Reminds me of the Socratic method


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