Thousands Prepare To March On The DNC

 

Grassroots movements are circulating on social media and their goal promises to be a memorable one. Thousands of United States citizens are preparing to descend on Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention to assure that their voices at heard, and that voice is saying one thing… Bernie.

This energy and enthusiasm is exactly what has carried the Democratic presidential candidate this far, and his internet following has locked arms in light of recent events. A pro Clinton super pac is reported to have shelled out a million dollars to help solve the former Secretary of State’s social media problem and “forcefully correct” what they deem as negative commentary.

Support for Bernie Sanders is far from waning. Donations continue to pour in as enthusiasts dig in their heels and go door to door in preparation for a fight until the end. The hashtag #ItIsntOverTilCalifornia has been circulating as Sanders surged 6 points in the battleground state.

Given that a contested DNC is a near assurance Sanders supporters are hedging their bets. Some are vowing to drive from one side of the continent to the other in support of the Vermont Senator. The movement is highly organized and sports drivesharing  and a “BernieBnB” for those wayfarers on a budget.

 

Lodgings –   www.BernieBnB.com

Transportation    http://bit.ly/1SDYz2k

https://www.facebook.com/groups/MarchOnTheDNC/

https://twitter.com/MarchOnTheDNC

#SeeYouInPhilly

 

Clinton Delegate Overseeing New York Primary Audit

   Opinion

Voting irregularities in the New York primary have resulted in several officials launching their own investigations. Now on the surface this seems like a speedy reaction to the outcry of the people, however, the issue gets muddier once you’ve looked a bit deeper.

New York City comptroller Scott Stringer, the man who ordered the audit of the controversial primary, is on record as a Clinton delegate in the 10th Congressional District. In an election peppered with voter suppression claims and 126,000 democratic voters being purged from the voting rolls it would be prudent for officials to put someone less biased in charge of the investigation.

It seems that there is already a huge conflict of interests at play here. An investigation spearheaded by a delegate of one of the democratic presidential candidates does not appear to be the best way to handle this. Stringer is quoted to have said, “Our audits are above politics. If we find issues that would call on me to recuse myself, I will.”

It is more than possible that Mr. Stringer could run the investigation in an unbiased fashion. He could give the disenfranchised voters a quick and speedy resolution, but given the climate in New York there will always be a large swathe of the democratic voters that will question the results.

 

Clinton Condescension Reaches New Heights

Op-Ed

The Clinton campaign following New York has one message for Sanders supporters: Just give up! It’s over.

Now this amuses me… It comes from a campaign who’s candidate is under investigation by the FBI, and the possibility of an indictment has loomed over the entire election cycle. It comes from a candidate who has borrowed talking points from its opponent. It comes with there still being 1,400 delegates left in the democratic party process and Sanders only trailing by 227 in the race to the nomination.

If the Clinton campaign is for party unification as it has claimed for so long then why be so condescending towards Sanders supporters? Why try to score a kick to the side of the campaign just when you perceive them to be down? Well… It’s simple really. I’ll sum it up in one word. California.

Without her “home” state advantage Clinton has rarely broken out so far ahead of the Vermont Senator after her southern firewall. In fact the Sanders campaign has pulled ahead of the former Secretary of State in several contests and beat her by rather large margins. This is exactly what the Clinton Campaign hopes to avoid coming into California.

The progressive state already has a following of die hard Sanders supporters who have protested her fundraising with actor George Clooney. He helped raise amounts of money even he admitted on Meet the Press was “obscene.’ Berners in the state have already started a drive to switch voter’s parties from independents to unaffiliated so they can vote in the mixed-primary. A battle in California could be the David and Goliath moment that Hillary Clinton would rather simply avoid. Her campaigns tactics have been nothing less than patronizing and more than a little condescending towards a voting block she hopes to absorb.

What’s worse is Sanders supporters know it. On social media the recoil from her New York victory speech elicited a near instant recoil and doubling down support for Bernie Sanders. A large swathe of the voting block is already swearing to follow the Vermont senator if he were to go for an independent run, and with a large cross section of the democratic party already voting for him this could spell trouble for the Clinton campaign.

The former Secretary of State does very well in closed primaries, but markedly less so in states were independents can vote for Bernie Sanders. Should the Senator make a go of a third party run in November it’s fair to say the Clinton campaign would be pressed to raise funds to fight a battle on two fronts. They never planned for a battle for the nomination to last this long. After all, according to them this has been over since February.

 

 

Three Charged Over Flint Water Crisis

The State brought allegations against three Michigan men in relation to the high levels of lead  and other contaminates found in the water in Flint, Michigan. Michael Prysby and Steven Busch were charged with violating the Safe Water Drinking Act, misconduct, and tampering with evidence while Mike Glasgow was charged with willful neglect and tampering with evidence.

This comes after Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette began an investigation into the circumstances leading up to the crisis following a state of emergency being declared. Flint residents were exposed to Legionnaires’ disease, E. coli bacteria, and  most devastatingly lead poisoning when officials switched the towns water supply from the City of Detroit  to a nearby river.

A slew of conditions have been reported in the population of Flint, including but not limited to: miscarriages, behavioral changes, marked drops in intelligence, rash, hair loss and death.

Filters have been distributed in the homes affected, but the people largely lack confidence in them. There have been conflicting reports of there effectiveness. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder pledged to drink water from Flint in an attempt to instill trust in the local government’s handling of the issues plaguing the area.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver remains unconvinced and had this to say, If the governor really wanted to know what it’s like to deal with the situation that we’re in he needs to come and stay here for thirty days and live with us and see what it’s like to use bottled or filtered water when you want to cook and when you want to brush your teeth…”

While holding someone finally accountable is a step in the right direction residents of the Michigan town continue to struggle with their day to day routines. They have also expressed worry that when the 2016 election cycle ends and the spotlight on Flint fades so to will the help.

Verity Now – Feel The Bird! $13

Remember a moment in the the Sanders rally when a little birdie stopped to say hello and brought down the house? All proceeds will go to the Sanders campaign.

https://teechip.com/verity#id=0&c=131313&sid=fruit-of-the-loom-cotton-t

Clinton Win in New York Sparks Controversy

Voting irregularities are casting a large cloud over Hillary Clinton’s apparent win in New York.  Clinton surrogate and Mayor of New York City, Bill De Blasio has pressed for an inquiry with New York City Board of Elections as reports come in of 126,000 Brooklyn Democrats being removed from the voting rolls.

Social Media exploded as the news circulated and many Sanders supporters were quick to point out that the largest concentration of affected voters were in Brooklyn. It was not lost on them that this was Senator Bernie Sanders childhood home.

Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan had this to say, “Brooklyn was a little behind with their list maintenance tasks.Because there are other things going on at the same time. For example, when we are doing an election, which we did in November we’re not doing list maintenance tasks.”

Those effected by the lapse in maintenance do not appear to be buying it. The overall sentiment seems to be reflecting frustration and voter disenfranchisement as the term “The Brooklyn Purge” is bandied about.

At Brooklyn Borough Hall the site coordinator claimed that about 10% of the voters that showed up at the location were affected by the voting roll purge. Reports came in of entire blocks and buildings being removed from the system

Nick Benson, a New York Attorney General spokesman, tweeted out this as calls rang in to the voter complaint hotline.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has come out promising an audit. He had this to say, “The people of New York City have lost confidence that the Board of Elections can effectively administer elections and we intend to find out why the Board of Elections is so consistently disorganized, chaotic, and inefficient.”

Suffice to say even as Hillary Clinton has come out and given her victory speech and Sanders his concession, the dust kicked up in New York is far from settled.

 

 

Fact Checkers: ‘You are correct, and a liar.’

Sites like Politifact have a rough time. On the one hand, they do an ‘okay’ job at calling out lies and misstatements, remaining fairly objective by just taking each viral or boisterous claim as they come, without picking and choosing. And yet, they walk a thin wire. When George Macy University sourced their website in a study to compare the honesty of political parties, Politifact spokespeople objected. So desperate are they to be seen as non-partisan that it’s spokesmen cringe and sidestep at the conclusion their own site has come to. Republicans lie more. A lot more.

It is this riding of the line between neutral and objective that has lead many on the left to criticize the website, believing it to pursue and cheerfully report on any perceived lie the left might tell. This is, of course, not to say that Democrats or liberals are immune from being wrong or flat-out lying, but some liberals such as Rachel Maddow have had their beefs with the site, claiming they do mental gymnastics and logical stretches on some statements to hold Democrats and the left to a higher standard than Republicans, so that the lying “score” between the two parties does not look so lopsided.

I personally stopped giving Politifact my website hits following their 2011 decision. Paul Ryan had just released his budget proposal for the Republican side, including, among other things, completely dismantling Medicare as a social program, instead providing vouchers for the elderly to pick and buy their own private insurance. (Government subsidized private insurance, by the way, is something they would later forget they liked, when railing against the Affordable Care Act.) Democrats responded with ads, correctly pointing out that Republicans were voting to dismantle Medicare. Politifact, in a stretch of logic, said that this was a lie- that because the  completely new, non socialized program of private insurance was still technically called Medicare, claiming that it would be destroyed is a lie- and not only is it a lie, they declared it 2011’s Lie of the Year, the BIGGEST lie.

This decision would lead to a lot of frustration, Polifact even publishing it’s own hatemail with mocking emails such as “at least I know when the Democrats criticize our votes to dismantle social security and replace it with private investments, you will have our back- the GOP.”

These logical stretches segway into the recent two noteworthy fact checks, and seem more geared towards bias towards the Democratic establishment against liberal activists.

Our first is not from Politifact, by from the Washington Post’s fact checking segment. A Greenpeace activist’s confrontation with Hillary Clinton recently garnered quite a bit of attention, as Clinton was unapologetically outraged by the ‘debunked’ notion that her campaign has taken millions from oil and gas. In it’s fact-checking, the Washingon Post admitted that, yes, Greenpeace has correctly tracked over 1.5 million dollars bundled by lobbyists as a direct contribution, and another 3.25 million given to her Super PAC.

Washington Post then concluded that Greenpeace, (and by extension, Bernie Sanders’s campaign, who Clinton mis-attributed the accusation to, but has made similar insinuations) lied. “Three Pinocchios”, in the article’s liar scale.
What? Well, the Washington Post stretches in every way possible to come up with justifications. Claiming that she has no technical connection to her super PAC, for one- an eye-rolling notion as absurd as the richest American companies using offshore accounts to claim they never made a profit. But that only explains the 3.25 million. The other 1.5 million, directly attributed to her campaign, they claim, also does not count because lobbyists registered with oil and gas, may also work as more generalized lobbyists registered to other industries. And lastly, that the money in it’s entirety makes up a small portion of her entire campaign coffers- something completely unrelated to Greenpeace’s claim.

While these caveats may, of course, be added during the piece, the claims of Greenpeace were undeniably factually correct- and to claim that it was misleading enough to garner “3/4 Pinocchios” discredits the the Washington Posts entirely. (If the famous 16 anti-Sanders articles hadn’t already.)

Our second example more directly involves Bernie Sanders, and also returns to Poltifact. The Politifact claim in question: “Bernie Sanders says Wall Street Tax would pay for his free tuition plan.”

Politifact correctly outlines Sanders’ proposed “College for All” act, in which a tax on Wall Street would be used to pay for 2/3rds the total cost of a student’s cost of higher education, estimated by some sources to ultimately cost around 75 billion dollars, and that States would be required to cover the remaining cost.

They then go on to explain that, according to the Tax Policy Center, Sanders’ proposed tax would raise between 50 and 60 billion dollars, thus putting him very close or higher to being able to cover 2/3rds cost.

To summarize, Sander’s proposition is either perfectly accurate or over-preforms in how much he could raise to cover tuition for all. Politifact’s ruling? Mostly False.
Again, what? Almost lazily, Polifact barely tries to justify the ruling- giving the excuse that some Republican states, in acts of ideological rebellion, could either refuse government financial assistance, or to pay the remaining costs. Because some states may refuse to participate in his program on obstructionist grounds, they essentially said he was mostly lying. Absurd when you consider this vague assertion could be applied to any number of proposed policy positions that require some amount of state assistance.

Again- though I am against fact checkers taking it upon themselves to pivot several steps in logic or take any number of theoretical variables into account in order to declare a true statement false, I am of course NOT against caveats or “True, but..”. Take, for instance, Republican claims that our Navy is the smallest it has been since World War II- the implication being that A) Democrats have dismantled and weakened the military, and B) we are in dire need of more military funding. This statement, that our Navy is smaller in terms of number of vessels, is true- and also incredibly misleading. Technological capability makes a single ship, jet, or tank worth hundreds if not thousands of antiquated ones.

Rarely is anything true or false in it’s entirety- especially in the convoluted world of politics,  but taking steps upon oneself- with or without an biased agenda- to give the impression that true statements are false makes me want to give the fact checkers “Pinocchios.”

Democracy Awakens in U.S. Capitol

The movements Democracy Awakening and Democracy Spring have been busy this past week in our country’s capitol. A historic 1,400 people have been arrested between the two groups as they stood their ground and raised their voices against what ails our Union.

The groups have protested peacefully and are being jailed to bring their, and a vast majority of the country’s, goals into focus. Some of the two movements demands are as follows:

Democracy Spring

 www.democracyspring.org

Restores the protections against voting discrimination and updates the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The bill seeks to streamline the voting process and empower the citizens.

Overturns Citizens United and gets corporate money out of our politics.

 

  • PASS THE GOVERNMENT BY THE PEOPLE & FAIR ELECTIONS NOW ACTS (H.R. 20 AND S. 1538)

http://www.demos.org/publication/government-people-act

Encourages small dollar contributions from everyday Americans by publicly matching the funds, but only available to candidates who refuse corporate money.

CONFIRM A SUPREME COURT NOMINEE WHO WILL ENSURE POLITICAL EQUALITY BY VOTING TO PROTECT VOTING RIGHTS AND END THE CORRUPTION OF BIG MONEY IN POLITICS.

Democracy Awakening

http://www.democracyawakening.org

Democracy Awakening is a large coalition of groups that are seeking to end the corrupting influence of big money in politics. The movement is well organized and has events nationwide. See their website for upcoming events near you.

Photo by Susan Melkisethian Washington DC, April 17, 2016

Clinton: 53% – Sanders 47% In New, New York Poll

 

 

Sanders continues to close the gap with the current Democratic front runner as his number surge following a strong debate performance. In the new Gravis poll Clinton’s lead has narrowed down to a mere 6 points, and one has to wonder if her Goldman Sachs speeches are finally taking their toll.

Democratic voters on both sides of the aisle are questioning the former Secretary’s reluctance to release the transcripts of her Wall Street speeches.The prevailing thought among supporters of the Sanders campaign was echoed in the Brooklyn Democratic debate — Why not release them if there is nothing the voters need to see and put the topic to rest?

When pressed on the issue Clinton seems to launch into political double speak.  Both she and her surrogates claim that this is a new standard and she will only release them when all current presidential candidates, on both Republican and Democratic sides, release their paid speeches. This is a tactic that appears to have largely backfired on the former New York senator as the hashtag #ReleaseTheTranscripts has continued to trend on social media for the fourth day in a row.

One also has to wonder how helpful former President Bill Clinton has been to his wife’s campaign. Things seem to be harkening back to the 2008 election where some close to the campaign noted he may be more of a hindrance than a help on the campaign trail. The former President has seemed to have his own share of controversies in this election cycle.

Just recently he is quoted to have said that Sanders supporters wanted to “shoot every third person on Wall Street.” There is also the more infamous altercation with Black Lives Matter protesters where Mr. Clinton seemed to defend his wife’s use of the term superpredators and lectured them on their movement. It was a move that did not settle well with many African American activists.

With all of this followed up by a weak Thursday night debate performance the Sanders surge comes as no surprise to some political analysts. The Clinton campaign seems to be marred with a series of missteps that should have been easily avoided by the seasoned political couple.

The New York Primary is April, 19 2016 and seems to be poised as one for the history books.

 

George Clooney Calls $353,400 Clinton Fundraiser “Obscene”

 

George Clooney hosted a fundraising event Friday night in San Francisco for the Hillary Victory Fund. To nab a coveted spot at the round table couples were expected to shell out a whopping $353,400. It was an event that was protested, largely by Sanders supporters, who came armed with pots and pans they clanked together as they marched to the site.

This morning Clooney was on Meet The Press with Chuck Todd and had this to say. “”Yes. I think it’s an obscene amount of money. The Sanders campaign when they talk about it is absolutely right. It’s ridiculous that we should have this kind of money in politics. I agree completely.”

In spite of this perceived obscenity Clooney raised a staggering $15,000,000 between the San Francisco and LA fundraisers. The Clinton campaign was quick to point out through its surrogates that a portion of the funds raised goes towards the Democratic National Committee and other democratic state parties.

Sanders has come out in the past against such events calling them obscene and a step towards oligarchy. As for what he had to say of Clooney’s interview?

“He is honest enough to say that there is something wrong when few people, in this case wealthy individuals, but in other instances for the secretary, it is Wall Street and powerful special interests who are able to contribute unbelievably large sums of money. That is not what democracy is about.”