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kadaholo

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Member since: Wed Feb 17, 2016, 10:11 AM
Number of posts: 296

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Matt Taibbi: The Democratic establishment ignores Bernie Sanders’ success at its peril RawStory


The Democratic primary race was certainly more contentious than pundits and politicians predicted. And it’s likely the spin the Democratic Party establishment will put on Sanders’ historic campaign, which was fueled almost entirely through a grassroots coalition of supporters and small donors, will not pay enough attention to the millions of voters vying for the chance to take back the Democratic Party. But as Matt Taibi writes in the Rolling Stone, they should.

“Politicians are so used to viewing the electorate as a giant thing to be manipulated that no matter what happens at the ballot, they usually can only focus on the Washington-based characters they perceive to be pulling the strings,” Taibbi writes. “Through this lens, the uprising among Democratic voters this year wasn’t an organic expression of mass disgust, but wholly the fault of Bernie Sanders, who within the Beltway is viewed as an oddball amateur and radical who jumped the line.”

In fact, it’s in part Sanders’ “oddball amateur” status that resonates so well with voters. “There’s a longing for real authenticity in politics today,” Tad Devine, a Sanders adviser, told the Washington Post. “People feel that the candidates are too manufactured, there’s not enough spontaneity. They want someone who, even if they don’t agree with them, is telling it like they see it, really leveling with voters.”

Sanders’ campaign also ignited the youth vote in a manner that highlights Clinton’s lack of impact among the newest voters. Taibbi argues that if the Democratic establishment ignores the Sanders’ revolution—though at this point, there’s no sign that is happening—it will be at the party’s detriment.

“Voter concerns rapidly take a back seat to the daily grind of the job,” Taibbi writes, noting the process usually involves back-door deals that muddle the legislation and circumvent the will of the voters.

“This dynamic is rarely explained to the public, but voters on both sides of the aisle have lately begun guessing at the truth, and spent most of the last year letting the parties know it in the primaries,” Taibbi writes. “People are sick of being thought of as faraway annoyances who only get whatever policy scraps are left over after pols have finished servicing the donors they hang out with at Redskins games.”

Polls indicate voters increasingly feel sidelined in the Democratic Party process, particularly concerning factors like the Democrats’ superdelegates, which make voters feel like the system is designed to work around them. A May 2016 AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll revealed only 25 percent of Democratic voters feel the party is responsive to their concerns. On the Republican side, the sentiment is even more disconnected; only 12 percent of GOPers think the party is focused on ordinary voters.

A huge portion of the Democratic Party is fighting to restore faith in the process. The least party bosses can do is listen.


Elizabeth Preza http://www.rawstory.com/2016/06/matt-taibbi-the-democratic-establishment-ignores-bernie-sanders-success-at-its-peril/

As Establishment Lines Up Behind Clinton, Calls Resound to 'Let it Bern' CommonDreams Deidre Fulton


The Democratic elite may be lining up behind Hillary Clinton, but for those who have been galvanized by Bernie Sanders' populist campaign, the call for a political revolution burns brightly still.

Even as she endorsed Clinton on Thursday night, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) lauded Sanders' integrity and primary achievements—and recognized the grassroots army inspired by his candidacy.

"I take my cue on every part of this from Bernie himself," Warren told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. "I also think that what Bernie Sanders did was just powerfully important. He ran a campaign from the heart, and he ran a campaign where he took those issues and he really thrust them into the spotlight. He brought millions of people into the political process, millions into the Democratic Party, and for me, that's what it's all about."

Indeed, Robert Reich wrote this week in an open letter thanking Sanders for igniting a movement: "Your courage in taking on the political establishment has emboldened millions of us to stand up and demand our voices be heard."

To that end, a new petition from RootsAction calls for Sanders to "Let it Bern" and continue to the convention:

While you are under huge pressure to abandon your presidential campaign, we urge you to complete the process of fully representing the millions of people who've worked, donated and voted for you. We hope that you will resist the latest calls from the Democratic Party establishment and corporate media to end our campaign before the national convention.

You have said, and we have cheered as you've said it, that you will carry this campaign to the convention. We urge you to maintain that position, despite the massive top-down pressures from the corporate media and Democratic Party establishment to prematurely end the campaign.

We reject the idea that democracy weakens a political party named for democracy. We have worked for constructive debate at the Democratic National Convention, and we look forward to hearing it.


"The Bernie campaign didn't get this far by deferring to the powerful, and there's no good reason to start now," RootsAction co-founder Norman Solomon said Friday.

If anything—as the candidate himself noted after Thursday's meeting with President Barack Obama—Sanders will walk into the convention empowered by the support of roughly 1,900 delegates and carrying "not only a message, but proposals to change the party," senior campaign advisor Larry Cohen told Democracy Now! on Friday.

And with that in mind, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee declared on Friday: "The sooner Clinton and Platform Committee members publicly signal they will seek unity around bold progressive ideas, the sooner Sanders and his supporters will know they have achieved the mission of helping to transform the future of America—and the more likely Democrats will win big in November."

While that demand is clear enough, "party leaders have been and probably will continue to be too dense to listen," Matt Taibbi wrote at Rolling Stone.

"If they had any brains, Beltway Dems and their clucky sycophants [...] would not be celebrating this week," he argued. "They ought to be horrified to their marrow that the all-powerful Democratic Party ended up having to dig in for a furious rally to stave off a quirky Vermont socialist almost completely lacking big-dollar donors or institutional support."

However, Taibbi continued:

The maddening thing about the Democrats is that they refuse to see how easy they could have it. If the party threw its weight behind a truly populist platform, if it stood behind unions and prosecuted Wall Street criminals and stopped taking giant gobs of cash from every crooked transnational bank and job-exporting manufacturer in the world, they would win every election season in a landslide.


"Powerful Democratic Party politicians and big media outlets are insisting that Bernie should get out of the way of the Clinton machine," RootsAction's Solomon added on Friday.

"But vast numbers of people who voted for him surely want Bernie to stand his ground on all the major issues where he strongly differs with Clinton," he said. "The national convention should be a place to air those differences, not sweep them under political rugs."

Thank You Bernie by Abby Zimet, CommonDreams staff writer

.

Sharing the bittersweet aftermath of Clinton's likely victory, Bernie supporters have flooded the hashtag #ThankYouBernie with heartfelt thanks for a remarkable campaign by a man who's already spent 50 years fighting to give a voice to the voiceless. They've thanked him for ignoring the experts, taking on the Democratic establishment, and fighting like hell; for recognizing black and poor and Palestinian lives; for newly inspiring the young and not-so-young who years ago gave up on being inspired, but who now vow to keep on fighting; for being humble, gracious, tireless despite the denial and condescension of most mainstream media; for "accepting misfits, radicals, rabble-rousers and rappers into the inner circle of your campaign"; for speaking the truth, doing what's right, staying on track, giving a damn. One meme circulating: "Do no harm, but take no shit." May he, and we, prevail.


http://www.commondreams.org/further/2016/06/08/thank-you-bernie

After Frustrating Primary, Millions of Ballots in California Remain Uncounted

Source: CommonDreams by Staff Writer Nadia Prupis


More than 2.5 million ballots from California's June 7 primary are still uncounted, sparking questions about the results of the presidential contest in which Hillary Clinton emerged the winner and leaving the fate of local races in the air as poll workers continue to grapple with reports of voter difficulties. According to the Los Angeles Times, the uncounted ballots would put the total voter turnout at around 8.5 million, or around 47 percent of all registered voters.

While the results are unlikely to impact Clinton's win in the state, Bernie Sanders said Thursday he expected the final tally would show a closer race—one more in keeping with polls that predicted a nail-biter.

"I look forward to the full counting of the votes in California, which I suspect will show a much closer vote than the current vote tally," Sanders said after a meeting with President Barack Obama, who then went on to endorse Clinton. Los Angeles County, which on Tuesday voted 57 percent for Clinton versus 42 for Sanders, reported more unprocessed ballots than any region at roughly 616,000. San Diego County, where Clinton won 55 percent to Sanders' 44, had 285,000 uncounted ballots.

Many of those were 'provisional' ballots, which are given to voters whose party registration cannot be determined on the day of the election. The LA Times wrote on Tuesday: Instead of a quick in-and-out vote, many California voters were handed the dreaded pink provisional ballot — which takes longer to fill out, longer for election officials to verify and which tends to leave voters wondering whether their votes will be counted.... hundreds of Californians complained of voting problems to the national nonpartisan voter hotline run by the Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law.


Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/06/10/after-frustrating-primary-millions-ballots-california-remain-uncounted

HUGE NEWS REGARDING PRIMARY: LAWSUITS BEING FILED...

...OVER FRAUD IN THE 2016 PRIMARY. trustvote.org

Wonder why the results and crowds for the Democratic Candidates deviate significantly? You have got to see this video entitled Protecting Our Elections at http://trustvote.org .

The Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity is filing a series of lawsuits regarding the election fraud that has taken place in the 2016 Democratic Primary. The video is long but contains explosive information about election fraud in past and current elections. This video is a MUST SEE FOR ANYONE WHO TAKES THEIR VOTING SERIOUSLY.

This video shows professionals putting themselves on the line for democracy and election integrity. Kudos to them!

Check out the website for the Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity at http://trustvote.org INCREDIBLE!

A few interesting quotes:

"This shift is only going in one way."

"This is what we used to call the red shift which usually only occurred for the Bush family. What used to be the red shift has emerged as the Clinton shift."

"We will be going into court with the demand to inspect the ballots."

"We're filing a lawsuit which will put the spotlight on these exit polls."

"We announced we were going to file such a lawsuit to compel the news media to report the actual exit poll results so the public would know if there is apparent fraud, and guess what the media did? They cancelled the exit poll."

"We are suing the media as being complicit in the crime. They are acting as accessories after the fact. They are covering up evidence evidence of criminal activity."

"The fix is on. They've done it. They've stolen again, again, again, again. They're serial vote thieves."

"And we've got the evidence. We've got the know-how. We've got the experts. We've got the mechanism of the courts that understand the problem. And we're going after them. We're going to be filing a racketeering lawsuit..."

"So they're nailed."

"In my opinion Hillary Clinton has been used for the purpose of scuttling Bernie Sanders' Campaign for President."

"It's just like Bernie when he talks about the system is rigged, the elections are rigged. The evidence is clear. Everybody is going to see it and the game is over. Bernie has won, in fact, and he will win officially before the Republican (sic?) Convention."

"People can say anything they want but the facts are the facts and the facts are coming out and there's no way the Rep/Democratic Convention is going to nominate somebody on the basis of obviously stolen votes. The facts are coming out and that's the fact."


Tens of Thousands Demand DNC Add National Fracking Ban to Party Platform

Source: CommonDreams by Staff Writer Nadia Prupis


Climate activists on Wednesday delivered more than 90,000 petitions to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) demanding that the party's 2016 platform include a nationwide ban on fracking. As the DNC convened in Washington, D.C. for its open forum on shaping the platform, activists with Food & Water Watch, 350.org, Honor the Earth, and other groups handed over the appeals and said officials must acknowledge the harm that fracking has caused the environment.

"The Democratic Party has been complicit in the U.S. fracking boom which is poisoning communities and our climate," said Emily Wurth, water program director at Food & Water Watch. "Any serious plan to combat climate change must include a ban on fracking, and as the committee develops the platform, they should heed the calls of the growing movement to ban fracking and keep fossil fuels in the ground." The groups noted that more than 137,000 fracking wells have been opened in the U.S. since 2005 as part of President Barack Obama's "all-of-the-above" energy policy that included promoting the use of natural gas. By contrast, the 2016 presidential election has seen candidates backing away from the fossil fuel industry, with Bernie Sanders standing out for his support of a nationwide ban on fracking. ...

And as Environmental Action policy director Anthony Rogers-Wright explained, the majority of people that now find themselves in proximity of a fracking well are in communities of color—who largely vote Democratic. "This is the face of fracking in America: Latino, Native, African American and other communities are disproportionately impacted by the toxic effects of fracking and its infrastructure," Rogers-Wright said. "It's time for the DNC, a political party that is totally dependent on the participation of People of Color, to show that our health is as important as our votes. Including a fracking ban in the party platform is an essential step to demonstrate this."

A recent Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans are opposed to fracking for the first time, with more and more communities continuing to ban the controversial gas extraction technique. "History will not be kind to those who insist on continued burning of fossil fuels long after the science of climate change was crystal clear," said Ben Wikler, Washington director for MoveOn.org, one of the groups that delivered petitions to the DNC on Wednesday. "The Democratic Party Platform Committee should echo the voices of grassroots activists and the public at large and state unequivocally that fracking has no place in our clean-energy future."



Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/06/08/tens-thousands-demand-dnc-add-national-fracking-ban-party-platform

Wasserman Schultz Has a Change of Heart, But Too Little, Too Late by Bill Moyers and Michael Kinship

Return with us now to the saga of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the soul of the Democratic Party. First, a quick recap: Rep. Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), chair of the Democratic National Committee, also has been an advocate for the payday loan industry. The website Think Progress even described her as the “top Democratic ally” of “predatory payday lenders.” You know — the bottom-feeding bloodsuckers of the working poor. Yes, them.


Low-income workers living from paycheck to paycheck, especially women and minorities, are the payday lenders’ prime targets — easy pickings because they’re often desperate. Twelve million Americans reportedly borrow nearly $50 billion a year through payday loans, at rates that can soar above 300 percent, sometimes even beyond 500 percent. Bethany McLean at The Atlantic recently reported that the government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) studied millions of payday loans and found that “67 percent went to borrowers with seven or more transactions a year and that a majority of those borrowers paid more in fees than the amount of their initial loan.”


Yet when the CFPB was drawing up new rules to make it harder for payday predators to feast on the poor, Rep. Wasserman Schultz co-sponsored a bill to delay those new rules by two years. How, you ask, could the head of the party’s national committee embrace such an appalling exploitation of working people? Just follow the money. Last year, the payday loan industry spent $3.5 million lobbying; and as we wrote two weeks ago, in Wasserman Schultz’s home state, since 2009, payday lenders have bought protection from Democrats and Republicans alike by contributing $2.5 million or so to candidates from both parties, including her. That’s how “Representative” Wasserman Schultz, among others, wound up representing the predators instead of the poor. ...


Democratic insiders like Wasserman Schultz, however, continued to whistle past the graveyard, believing that the well-funded and well-connected Clinton machine — and general fear of a Trump regime — were enough to carry them to victory in November, despite the grass-roots disgust with a party that reeks of rot from the top. Once the champions of people who came home from work with hands dirty from toil and sweat, too many establishment Democrats went over to the dark side, taking up the cause of the well-manicured executives (think: Goldman Sachs) who write the checks and the mercenaries who deliver them (for a substantial cut, of course).


The lust for loot which now defines the Democratic establishment became pronounced in the Bill Clinton years, when the Clinton-friendly Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) abandoned its liberal roots and embraced “market-based solutions” that led to deregulation, tax breaks, and subsidies for the 1 percent. Seeking to fill coffers emptied by the loss of support from a declining labor movement, Democrats rushed into the arms of big business and crony capitalists. ...


All well and good, but if she survives her primary to return to Washington, be sure to keep the lights on in those rooms where the final version of the rules are negotiated. A powerful member of Congress with support from a Democrat in the White House could seriously weaken a law or a rule when the outcome is decided behind closed doors and money whispers in the ear of a politician supplicant: “I’m still here. Remember. Or else.”


But the times, they really may be a-changing, as the saga of Wasserman Schultz reveals. You can be deaf to the public’s shouts for only so long. The insurgency of popular discontent that has upended politics this year will continue no matter the results in November. For much too long now it’s been clear that money doesn’t just rule democracy, it is democracy.


Until we prove it isn’t.


http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/06/08/wasserman-schultz-has-change-heart-too-little-too-late

Wasserman Schultz Has a Change of Heart, But Too Little, Too Late by Bill Moyers and Michael Kinship


Return with us now to the saga of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the soul of the Democratic Party. First, a quick recap: Rep. Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), chair of the Democratic National Committee, also has been an advocate for the payday loan industry. The website Think Progress even described her as the “top Democratic ally” of “predatory payday lenders.” You know — the bottom-feeding bloodsuckers of the working poor. Yes, them.


Low-income workers living from paycheck to paycheck, especially women and minorities, are the payday lenders’ prime targets — easy pickings because they’re often desperate. Twelve million Americans reportedly borrow nearly $50 billion a year through payday loans, at rates that can soar above 300 percent, sometimes even beyond 500 percent. Bethany McLean at The Atlantic recently reported that the government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) studied millions of payday loans and found that “67 percent went to borrowers with seven or more transactions a year and that a majority of those borrowers paid more in fees than the amount of their initial loan.”


Yet when the CFPB was drawing up new rules to make it harder for payday predators to feast on the poor, Rep. Wasserman Schultz co-sponsored a bill to delay those new rules by two years. How, you ask, could the head of the party’s national committee embrace such an appalling exploitation of working people? Just follow the money. Last year, the payday loan industry spent $3.5 million lobbying; and as we wrote two weeks ago, in Wasserman Schultz’s home state, since 2009, payday lenders have bought protection from Democrats and Republicans alike by contributing $2.5 million or so to candidates from both parties, including her. That’s how “Representative” Wasserman Schultz, among others, wound up representing the predators instead of the poor. ...


Democratic insiders like Wasserman Schultz, however, continued to whistle past the graveyard, believing that the well-funded and well-connected Clinton machine — and general fear of a Trump regime — were enough to carry them to victory in November, despite the grass-roots disgust with a party that reeks of rot from the top. Once the champions of people who came home from work with hands dirty from toil and sweat, too many establishment Democrats went over to the dark side, taking up the cause of the well-manicured executives (think: Goldman Sachs) who write the checks and the mercenaries who deliver them (for a substantial cut, of course).


The lust for loot which now defines the Democratic establishment became pronounced in the Bill Clinton years, when the Clinton-friendly Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) abandoned its liberal roots and embraced “market-based solutions” that led to deregulation, tax breaks, and subsidies for the 1 percent. Seeking to fill coffers emptied by the loss of support from a declining labor movement, Democrats rushed into the arms of big business and crony capitalists. ...


All well and good, but if she survives her primary to return to Washington, be sure to keep the lights on in those rooms where the final version of the rules are negotiated. A powerful member of Congress with support from a Democrat in the White House could seriously weaken a law or a rule when the outcome is decided behind closed doors and money whispers in the ear of a politician supplicant: “I’m still here. Remember. Or else.”


But the times, they really may be a-changing, as the saga of Wasserman Schultz reveals. You can be deaf to the public’s shouts for only so long. The insurgency of popular discontent that has upended politics this year will continue no matter the results in November. For much too long now it’s been clear that money doesn’t just rule democracy, it is democracy.


Until we prove it isn’t.


http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/06/08/wasserman-schultz-has-change-heart-too-little-too-late

"Sanders plants seeds for a lasting U.S. progressive movement" by John Whitesides


Bernie Sanders' upstart U.S. presidential campaign may be headed to defeat, but his goals of reining in Wall Street, ending big money in politics and eradicating income inequality were the big winners in the bruising Democratic race.

Sanders, who started as a little-known long-shot, pushed the party and established front-runner Hillary Clinton sharply to the left during a long primary battle. Along the way, the 74-year-old U.S. senator from Vermont energized young and progressive voters and prepared the ground for what his allies predict will be a lasting influence on the party.

Clinton, one of the best-known political figures in the United States, clinched the Democratic Party's nomination in a last round of state nominating contests on Tuesday. But even before her victory, Sanders began taking steps to turn his newfound political influence into an enduring progressive movement.

In the last few weeks, he has lent his influence and fundraising power to progressive congressional and state legislative candidates who share his agenda, urging his supporters around the country to donate to their campaigns.

Sanders also appointed prominent activists to the panel writing the issues platform for the party's convention in July, ensuring a strong voice in the process.

His convention delegates will push for changes to party primary rules, including letting independents vote in primaries and reducing the influence of superdelegates, the hundreds of party elites who can support any candidate regardless of voting in their constituencies, and who in this primary season have largely backed Clinton.

"I do think we are going to see real changes in the Democratic Party going forward because of Bernie. The future of the party is with the people supporting Sanders," said Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, a liberal Vermont-based group that rose from Howard Dean's failed 2004 presidential bid and endorsed Sanders this time.

"He has proven the power of this message," Chamberlain said.

During the campaign, Sanders forced Clinton to tack left repeatedly on issues ranging from her support for a higher minimum wage to her opposition to the Asian trade pact and Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Sanders' progressive allies said those shifts by Clinton will be helpful in the Nov. 8 election against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, who has touted an anti-trade and pro-jobs economic agenda, and for Democrats in their efforts to recapture a majority in the U.S. Senate.

"When the story of the 2016 election is told, a major part of it will be that Bernie Sanders helped the Democratic Party turn up the volume on economic populism issues," said Adam Green, co-founder of the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-sanders-idUSKCN0YU10R

Sanders Supporters Cry Foul over Clinton's Suspicious "Secret Win" Email

Source: CommonDreams by Staff

The image files appear to have been created by the Clinton campaign over the weekend, well before the AP declared Clinton the party winner. Twitter blew up on Tuesday after it was revealed that an email sent to Hillary Clinton supporters—one celebrating Monday's premature nomination call—contained an image labeled "secret win."

Furthermore, based on the individual urls of the images, the files (here and here) appear to have been created by the Clinton campaign over the weekend, well before the AP controversially declared that Clinton had secured the Democratic Party nomination on the basis of superdelegate "commitments."

For example, the piece of the image that reads "So this just happened" is dated Saturday, June 4.

The revelations added to the call for AP to retract its declaration, which came ahead of seven remaining presidential primaries and was based on a misleading delegate count.



Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/06/07/sanders-supporters-cry-foul-over-clintons-suspicious-secret-win-email
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