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Bjorn Against

Bjorn Against's Journal
Bjorn Against's Journal
May 7, 2016

Anti-Bernie op-ed falsely cited Atlanta mayor as author, the real author was a corporate lobbyist

Atlanta Mayor’s Column Ripping Bernie Sanders Drafted by Lobbyist, Emails Show
Lee Fang
May 6 2016, 10:07 a.m.

A FEW DAYS BEFORE the Georgia primary, influential Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed published a column on CNN.com praising Hillary Clinton and ripping her opponent, Bernie Sanders. Reed attacked Sanders as being out of step with Democrats on gun policy, and accused him of elevating a “one-issue platform” that ignores the plight of the “single mother riding two buses to her second job.”

But emails released from Reed’s office indicate that the column, which pilloried Sanders as out of touch with the poor, was primarily written by a corporate lobbyist, and was edited by Correct the Record, one of several pro-Clinton Super PACs.

Anne Torres, the mayor’s director of communications, told The Intercept this week that the column was not written by the mayor, but by Tharon Johnson, a former Reed adviser who now works as a lobbyist for UnitedHealth, Honda, and MGM Resorts, among other clients. The column’s revisions by staffers from Correct the Record are documented in the emails.

Johnson, Torres told us, is a “capable writer,” who managed Reed’s first campaign. Reed “provided verbal edits and feedback to Tharon, but other than that, no one from my office or the mayor’s office wrote this op-ed,” Torres said.

May 3, 2016

Independents are the people whose votes you need to win

The author of the OP is obviously a person who wants Democrats to lose every single election because it is impossible to win an election without independent votes.

April 13, 2016

This primary season has exposed one of the biggest Third Way lies for what it is

For years the DLC/Third Way has been telling us we need to move towards the "center" (or as it is more accurately called the right) in order to win the votes of independents.

This primary cycle provides absolute proof that is not true. The way to win independents is not to adopt the Third Way agenda, the way to win independents is to reject the Third Way agenda and adopt policies that benefit ordinary Americans rather than corporate interests.

Hillary has offered us a Third Way platform and Bernie has offered us a democratic socialist platform, independents have overwhelmingly chosen democratic socialism over the Third Way.

Contrary to the lies we have heard from the Third Way for years most independents are not a group of "centrists" that want Democrats to move closer to the Republicans, there are far more independents that are turned off by party politics than there are independents who are looking for more conservative Democrats.

For years the establishment media has been completely clueless as to what independent voters look for in a candidate, but the Bernie Sanders phenomenon is showing us what independents want and it is not what the Third Way has been selling.

April 7, 2016

Most Americans are not party hacks and we don't want party hacks putting their thumbs on the scale

It is time for both Democrats and Republicans to understand a very basic fact, most Americans are not party hacks and we don't want party hacks to have a disproportionate say in who leads our government.

Over 40% of Americans are independents and even among people who do associate themselves with a party there are many who think independently and do not always tow the party line.

If Democrats want to build a winning coalition they need to keep the party hacks in check, insulting independents and demanding loyalty without listening to people's genuine concerns about party leadership is not a winning formula.

Independent minded people are needed to win elections and those independent minded people are often turned off when the party leadership is chosen on the basis of who raises the most money rather than on the basis of who has the strongest track record of standing with common people.

When our party chooses a corrupt person like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to head the DNC and she then uses her power to stack the deck in favor of one candidate that is a huge turnoff to many potential Democratic voters.

If Democrats want the votes of independents in the general election then they need to do a much better job of listening to the voices of independents in the primaries.

There is a good reason that many people including myself do not feel we can vote for Hillary in the General Election and I can ensure you that does not mean that we want Trump. In fact many of us are terrified of the prospect of a Trump Presidency, but we are terrified of the prospect of a Hillary Presidency as well because we know that neither one of them is going to work for people like us.

We don't want Hillary and we don't want Trump, what we want is a democracy in which the people can choose who represents us on the ballot without party hacks putting their thumbs on the scales.

If the party hacks want to win elections then they need to stop alienating people who don't support the status quo because the reality is there are a whole lot of Americans who want change and are unwilling to accept the status quo of either party. The Democratic Party can not win elections by alienating those people.

April 7, 2016

I can not be silent about the alienation the party loyalists have made me feel

I have been a member of DU for a long time but I suspect my days may be drawing to a close and I wanted to say goodbye to my fellow Bernie supporters just in case it is my last chance.

To be clear I am not planning on leaving DU, but I do suspect there is a strong likelihood that I will be banned for speaking my mind.

I had a post hidden tonight, I am not at all surprised that it was hidden and in fact I expected it. There was nothing nasty about my post, but it expressed my honest opinion and it is an opinion that party loyalists do not want to be heard. The fact that my post was hidden proved exactly the point that I was trying to make, the party loyalists demand our loyalty to them but they will treat us like absolute garbage if we express our honest opinions about how we have been alienated by the party.

It does not matter how much we have supported progressive causes in the past, this is a site in which all kinds of nasty crap is posted on a daily basis yet requires its members to walk on egg shells if they don't feel comfortable voting for a Democratic candidate.

Quite frankly I am sick of walking on egg shells especially on a site that allows the sort of nasty behavior we see from certain party loyalists on a daily basis.

I stand by every word of my hidden post and because I stand by every word I feel no shame in reposting every word. I realize that taking this action may get me banned, but if it does get me banned I hope people will take notice and recognize just how little the party loyalists care about the people they are alienating.

So without further to say here are the words that already got me hidden once tonight, if they get me banned the second time I post them then I wish you all the best.

I am one of the millions of Americans who have been alienated by the party loyalists

I am about to say some things that are likely to upset a few people, in fact it is even possible that this post will get me banned from Democratic Underground. I am willing to take the risk of being banned however because I know that I am not alone, I know there are many others both on this site and off that feel the way I do. I also know that there are party loyalists who do not want to hear the things I am about to say and rather than listen and reflect on the current state of the Democratic Party they will want to chase me away. They may succeed in silencing my voice on this site but in doing so they will also prove my point, and the point is that party loyalists are driving people away and causing serious damage to the party.

I am one of the plurality of Americans who considers myself to be an independent. As a left leaning independent I have voted many straight Democratic tickets and I have even volunteered for the party, but I have never felt the party represented me. I have a great deal of respect for many of the grassroots Democrats who have worked hard to pursue progressive policies, but sadly I feel the leadership of the party has turned their backs on progressives and chosen to embrace big money interests instead.

When Bernie Sanders announced that he was running for President I felt for the first time that I finally had a candidate that truly represented me. I knew that Hillary had the full support of the party establishment, but what I did not know is just how far the party would go in smearing those of us who did not accept the status quo.

From the day Bernie entered the race we saw him being attacked on racial issues, while I thought these attacks were unfair I could at least understand that anyone who runs for President was going to face tough criticism.

The problem that the people attacking Bernie on racial issues had however is that Bernie had been an advocate for civil rights for years and he was able to put together a strong racial justice platform. That is when the Hillary campaign turned their attacks on people like me. Bernie supporters were subject to baseless broadbrush allegations that we were racists and misogynists. At first it seemed these attacks were coming from a few random internet posters and while they were upsetting they were easy to brush off, as time went on however it became more and more clear that there was a coordinated effort from the Hillary campaign to smear those who supported Bernie.

The term "Bernie Bros" started to appear not just on internet message boards but in major newspapers, it was a sexist term that completely ignored the millions of women that supported Bernie and tried to stereotype Bernie supporters as white racist and misogynistic men. The Hillary campaign went full steam ahead with pushing this offensive stereotype and smearing Bernie supporters however, it became very clear that she was more than willing to attack Bernie supporters while running for office. That made it very clear to me that if she will attack us during the campaign she will attack us if she gets the Presidency as well.

I am sorry but I can not vote for a candidate who will attack people like me, and I know that both Hillary and Trump are going to continue to treat people like me as the enemy because that is what they have done in the past.

I will continue to support Bernie as long as he is in the race, but if he does not get the nomination then I am going to be voting for Jill Stein and I will encourage others to vote for her as well.

Now I know that there are going to be people who accuse me of "holding my vote hostage" after that statement because many in the party like to act as if they own the votes of the left. My vote is my vote however and I will cast it for the candidate that best represents my values.

While I am bound to get people screaming at me for voting for somebody who I know will not attack people like me as the Hillary campaign did, the people who treat me like the enemy are not going to earn my vote.

This is what many in the party don't seem to understand, the party does not own the votes of independents like me. Just because I am a left leaning independent does not mean that I am going to support the Democrats automatically just because I think the Republicans are worse.

I do think the Republicans are worse, but I also think that if we want things to improve in this country we need to hold both parties accountable to the people. The only way I can see the current situation improving is if the Democrats are put in a position in which they have to earn our votes rather than simply demanding them.

Right now I don't see the party loyalists doing anything to earn the votes of independents, in fact I don't think I have ever seen an election in which the party has shown as much hostility to independents as they have in this election.

We are constantly seeing Bernie torn down because of his history as an independent and make no mistake about it, when Bernie is attacked for being an independent that does not make other independents feel welcome. The Democrats can not win elections anywhere in this country without winning a substantial number of independents, there are more independents in this country than there are Democrats and they are the ones who decide elections.

While the disenfranchisement of independents in primary elections has always been an issue, that issue has been made more clear this year than ever before. Finally independents have a candidate that they are passionate about, but many have not been allowed to vote for him because closed primaries treat them as if their voice should not be heard. If the party wants independent votes in the general then they need to listen to their voices in the primary season. If they don't listen then it is the party's own fault if independents won't vote for them in the general.

My vote in November will be going to either Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein but I will be voting Democratic in down ticket races assuming the candidates in those races don't view people like me as the enemy.

If the party loyalists truly cared about their party they would listen to criticism and try to win back the votes of those they have alienated. Sadly however I don't see that happening, instead I predict the party loyalists will continue to demand loyalty from others while doing everything they can to make the people whose loyalty they are demanding know that their differences of opinion will not be listened to.

The party loyalists are the party's worst enemies and they will be responsible for many lost elections in the future.

March 11, 2016

I am proud to be one of Bernie's Bros and I condemn the smear campaign against Bernie supporters

I am one of those BernieBros you have been hearing about, except the things you have heard about me are not exactly true.

As a BernieBro I condemn racism and misogyny and as an activist I have been passionate about equal rights for years. I was with Black Lives Matter on the day the Mall of America was shut down. I went door to door in deep red South Dakota to get out the vote against an extreme anti-abortion resolution that was on the ballot and had an anti-choice zealot threaten to shoot me, I have been on the front-lines in the battle for equality for all.

On the other hand the Hillary campaign has been working with David Brock to launch broadbrush smears against Bernie supporters like myself. Brock has a history as an actual racist and misogynist who wrote a book which lied about Anita Hill and called her a "slut".

The Clinton campaign has decided to use an actual racist and misogynist to accuse Bernie supporters of being racists and misogynists, but anyone who looks at Brock's record knows he is projecting his bigotry on to others.

The Clinton campaign has decided to smear us Bernie supporters with the term "BernieBros", but instead of running away from the name calling I am going to embrace it.

Bernie Sanders is a man that I have enormous respect for and if I can be considered to be his bro, then hell yes I am going to be his bro.

I stand with my fellow BernieBros as well as my BernieSisters to work for a better America. I stand with them to work for a country where everyone is treated equally, where everyone has access to health care and education, a country where anyone can earn a living wage, and a country in which slime merchants like David Brock are not able to use Super Pacs to smear their political opponents.

My fellow Bernie supporters you are my bros and my sisters and I am not going to put up with a racist smear merchant like David Brock planting stories in the media to attack you.

If the Clinton campaign wants to continue to smear us as "BernieBros" then I am going to loudly state that I am proud to be a BernieBro and I am not going to allow them to lie about what that means.

March 2, 2016

Tonight I witnessed a shameful display of voter supression in Minnesota.

I just got back from witnessing the worst voter suppression I have ever seen. The Minnesota caucus I attended was an absolutely shameful embarrassment and some senior members of the Democratic Farmer Labor Party should resign over this mess.

In 2008 the caucus site was already overcrowded, but this year they had the brilliant idea of eliminating our overcrowded caucus site and combining it with another caucus site.

It was absolute chaos and I can guarantee a lot of potential voters turned away when they saw the traffic jam.

We had to park blocks away and walk, thankfully we were able-bodied because a disabled person would have never been able to find a place to park anywhere near the entrance.

When we got inside the halls were so crowded we could barely move. When we got to the sign-in table there was nobody staffing it, just a pile of papers spread across the table for us to hand write our names on.

After we wrote down our names we walked to a person handing out ballots, she asked us whether we signed in but there was no verification. It would have been extremely easy for a person to get multiple ballots and there was no one watching the ballot box which was a trash can.

Yes, you read that correct we voted by throwing our ballots in a TRASH CAN.

Nobody was guarding the trash can, we just threw our ballots in there and hoped they were not tampered with.

Apparently Republicans are not the only party engaged in voter suppression tactics, tonight the leadership of the Democratic Farmer Labor Party of Minnesota created a chaotic environment that no doubt kept many people from voting.

Some people should resign over this shameful act of voter suppression, I have never been more angry at my state party.

February 28, 2016

Tonight I went to a Bernie rally and saw what America looks like

The media may want to make us believe that losing one state means Bernie's campaign is done for, but what I saw in Rochester, Minnesota tonight destroys the media narrative.

Tonight I attended a Bernie rally that began not long after it was announced that Hillary had won South Carolina by a big margin.

Did that dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd? Not one bit.

This was not only a very enthusiastic crowd, but it was a very diverse crowd as well. Minnesota may be a mostly white state, but this crowd was filled with diversity. There were black, white, Latino, Somalians, Asians, Native Americans, Indian Americans, it was one of the most diverse political rallies I have seen in Minnesota. There were also a lot of women in the crowd and ages ranging from teenagers to seniors and everything in between.

Bernie may be having trouble attracting people of color in the south, but he seems to have made major gains across demographics in Minnesota because this rally was far more diverse than the previous rallies I had attended.

Of the three Bernie rallies I have attended throughout the campaign, Bernie delivered his best speech at this one. He used more humor than he normally does but still hit on all the serious issues. The crowd loved every minute of it and it was clear that no one felt defeated by South Carolina. We still have 46 states ahead of us and the Bernie campaign is as motivated as ever.

February 18, 2016

These pro-Hillary music videos are sure to convince people to vote for Bernie

There have been some pretty bad campaign songs through the years, but I don't know if there has ever been another candidate that has inspired awful musicians like Hillary has.

When I first saw this really awful country music video I did not think it could get any worse...

But then I saw the "Chelsea's Mom" video and things got even more embarrassing...

But it gets worse...

And if you think that is bad, I don't think anything is quite as awful as "Hillary in the House"...

I will leave it up to you whether or not you want to put Hillary into a position where she can inspire even more terrible music.

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