If you are a Progressive and still in the Democratic Party ...

So, I read this (again) last night:


Tom Usher

... what happens to the cash after that initial distribution is left almost entirely to the discretion of the Clinton campaign. Its chief operating officer, Beth Jones, is the treasurer of the victory fund. And FEC filings show that within a day of most transfers from the victory fund to the state parties, identical sums were transferred from the state party accounts to the DNC, which Sanders’ supporters have accused of functioning as an adjunct of the Clinton campaign.
While state party officials were made aware that Clinton's campaign would control the movement of the funds between participating committees, one operative who has relationships with multiple state parties said that some of their officials have complained that they weren't notified of the transfers into and out of their accounts until after the fact. That's despite their stipulations in the banking documents that their affirmative consent was required before such transfers could be made from their accounts. But the operative said that the state party officials are reluctant to complain to the DNC about the arrangement out of fear of financial retribution.
Those victory fund ads, as well as a direct mail campaign funded by the same committee, “appear to benefit only [the Clinton campaign] by generating low-dollar contributions that flow only to HFA, rather than to the DNC or any of the participating state party committees,” charged Sanders’ campaign lawyer in an open letter sent to the DNC in April. It alleged that the victory fund was essentially a pass-through to allow Clinton to benefit from contributions that far exceed the amount that her campaign could legally accept.

In a news release accompanying the letter, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver argued “it is unprecedented for the DNC to allow a joint committee to be exploited to the benefit of one candidate in the midst of a contested nominating contest.” (Source)

Then I saw this today: "Harry Reid’s Bogus Smear Campaign Against Rep. Alan Grayson"

The Democratic establishment has dropped all pretenses, and they are now squarely in the pocket of big business. If you need proof, take Senator Harry Reid's recent confrontation with Congressman Alan Grayson, where Reid told Grayson - a champion of progressive values - that he wants him to lose his Senate race against corporate-friendly "Democrat" Patrick Murphy.

I had already known about the Reid/Grayson confrontation (and back Grayson in that), but I didn't know much about Patrick Murphy's funding and voting record.

It just keeps rolling in:

The optimism, hope and dedication to change that Obama campaigned with was authentic [Well, the video above begs to differ, but read on]. To prove it, his transition team introduced what were called the "most far reaching ethics rules of any transition team in history."

They effectively banned lobbyists and their money not only from his transition process, but also put in place a 12-month-ban on when they could serve in the administration after serving as a lobbyist.

Because he came into office with such momentum and a clear mandate, Obama also began to enforce similar restrictions on lobbyists with the DNC. If he could first change his administration, then change his party, he could change the entire game, he thought.

Did you know that Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was a co-chair of Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign against Obama, and is now the chair of the DNC, earlier this year did away with all of the restrictions on lobbyists that President Obama put in place?

I did not know that.

It reminds me of all the democratic changes George McGovern's campaign brought to the Democratic Party that were also rolled back by reactionary forces.

We are also told by Hillary Clinton that she intends her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to lead her administration's economic efforts. This is the same Bill Clinton who ushered in a huge swath of deregulation that directly caused the Great Recession. This is the same Bill Clinton who brought us NAFTA, with it's lack of environmental, labor, health, and safety concerns for the Mexican workers (who did get what were American jobs). Was I opposed to Mexicans in Mexico getting jobs? Of course not. The US could have, and should have, helped Mexico implement US-level standards (before such open trade). At the same time, the US safety net should have been greatly increased so that no American would needlessly suffer from wage "competition."

By the way, I listened to Bill Clinton admit that he had made a mistake (listening to Paul Ruben and the others: Greenspan, Summers, Gramm, et al.). Now he's saying that repealing Glass-Steagall had nothing to do with the crash.

Read: "Owning the Consequences: Clinton and the Repeal of Glass-Steagall," by Wallace Turbeville. September 11, 2015.

There's plenty more where that came from, but you won't find much of it in the mainstream corporate media (supporting corporatism).

Shaun King also states this:

... millions and millions of us do not belong in the Democratic Party. Their values are not our values. Their priorities are not our priorities. And I'll be honest with you, I think too highly of myself, of my family, of my friends, and of our future, to stick with a party that looks anything like what Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are leading right now. (Source)

I left the Democratic Party in 2003. I haven't regretted it for a moment.

Bernie Sanders' positions don't exactly mirror mine, but of all the major candidates, his domestic-economic positions are the closest. He's also vastly improved his foreign policy statements as well, and I don't believe he is the type who simply pays lip service to things. I like that about him.

He's said he'll support Hillary Clinton for President if she's the Democratic Party nominee. To me, saying that without qualifications was a huge error. (Qualifying language: "If she says or does thus and so, I will not back her but will run against her as a new third-party candidate.") People make mistakes, however, and we should give them the chance to change without those mistakes being held against them in an out-of-proportion, unreasonable manner.

That said, if she is the nominee and he does back her, I think the People should still follow Shaun King's example and suggestion and form a truly progressive party. In fact, that should probably be that party's name: Progressive Party.

It can begin by writing in Bernie Sanders' name on Presidential ballots. It's legal and counts. It should be made a meme that every voter hears over and over (provided Bernie doesn't do or say things to ruin himself as the Movement's leader). Hillary Clinton has already done enough against the Sanders campaign to merit Bernie retracting his pledged support. All political support should be understood to have limits. She'll also do plenty more before it's over.

As I said, I left the Democratic Party and Bernie doesn't mirror my positions.

I'm not a "social liberal" or "social conservative" if either of those means being violently coercive about it. Oh, there are secular limits where enforcement is required to protect the innocent from both so-called liberal and so-called conservative policies and practices. But it's not for me to establish the secular laws. My involvement in the various issues is designed to draw people toward doing what is ultimately and objectively righteous and to do so with as little hypocrisy as I can manage. Where the line is between being hypocritical and not is not always easy to discern, though I do lean on how I read what Jesus had to say on the matter and how he acted.

I'll give you an example of why it isn't always easy.

Jesus preached that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. (That's the most common paraphrasing of his teaching is why I used it there.) It's an excellent concept. He also taught against violence: that we should not return evil for evil: violence for violence. Again, that's excellent.

Consider the following in light of those two things: A young, innocent child is being severely abused right before your eyes. If you were the child, would you have anyone not intervene to save you from that abuse?

Okay, I have said before that the earliest Christians allowed themselves and their children to be led to the slaughter rather than fighting to save their children. Why did they do that? They had also taught their children that all of their souls would survive the death of the flesh and do so eternally. I believe that. They taught their children to rise above. Therefore, they didn't turn their children over to death as cowards but rather bravely gave their children the right teaching that were all to follow it, even the very spirit of violence (vengeful and otherwise) would disappear.

It is both complicated and simple at the same time.

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The US should be anti-Sharia, period.

The United States of America is supposed to be fundamentally about its Bill of Rights.

It's real founding document is its Declaration of Independence. It's Constitution required amending to include the Bill of Rights before that Constitution was acceptable to the People.

Perhaps the most central tenet in that Bill of Rights is the first part of the First Amendment, which part enshrines as much freedom of religion as the Founders were able to word: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."

Sharia stands exactly opposed to that. When the US government supports those who violently fight for the establishment of sharia anywhere, that government is serving to undermine the very essence of its own foundation.

What is sharia? It is Islamic theocracy. It is the position that Islam is the one and only law. With sharia, there is no secular government. There is only rule by Muslim clerics.

Right now, Russia has been pressing the "West" to designate "Ahrar al-Sham" as a terrorist group.

Reported Ahrar Al Sham members stepping on the corpses of women they killed in Zara near Aleppo, Syria. (Source: Mimi Al Laham)

Reported Ahrar Al Sham members stepping on the corpses of women they killed in Zara near Aleppo, Syria. (Source: Mimi Al Laham)

The Obama administration has refused. What is Ahrar al-Sham?

The contents of this link are a bit dated, but you should get a decent background understanding of the group by reading it: Ahrar al-Sham.

Why has Russia ask for Ahrar al-Sham to be designated a terrorist group? Syrian villagers describe massacre by militant group spared from UN terror blacklist (EXCLUSIVE).

This is important to understand:

The Alawites - followers of an offshoot of Shia Islam who are mainly concentrated in the Mediterranean coastal provinces of Latakia and Tartus - are considered heretics by some Sunni Muslims. (Source: Alawite civilians 'killed in homes' in opposition attack on Hama village)

Ahrar al-Sham members oppose the Alawites because of the Alawites' theology. Alawites would not be allowed to practice their religion under Ahrar al-Sham's sharia.

You need to also understand that President Assad of Syria is the leader of a secular government. It hasn't had a perfect track record on freedom of religion, but none of the significant powers fighting against Assad on the ground would be better in that regard, not even close.

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Hmmm: "Bernie Sanders To Stay A Democrat For Life And Support Clinton If She Is The Nominee"

Have you seen this?

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign manager Jeff Weaver announced this evening [Apr 20th, 2016] that Sen. Sanders will be a member of the Democratic Party for life, and he will support Hillary Clinton if she wins the nomination.

Source: Bernie Sanders To Stay A Democrat For Life And Support Clinton If She Is The Nominee

Then there's this: "Why We Need a #Movement4Bernie." That's from: "Socialist Alternative."

What's my take?

If Bernie has corrected his manager about being a Democrat for life, I haven't seen it or heard about it.

He's going to have to be severely abused (some more) by the Party bosses before he'll be able to change without looking more wishy-washy than he already does to some highly influential types on the left holding their noses voting for him.

The Democratic Party is still much more DLC than not. Bill Clinton rode in selling the Party on disastrous economic neoliberalism ("to win") rather than fighting the good fight for the grass roots.

Bernie is now fighting for control of the Party. If he wins, I'll be very pleasantly surprised. It might take another generation. If he loses, then that party should definitely be crushed out of existence and replaced by one bringing forth.

This does not mean I think Bernie sees nearly enough light concerning monetary and banking reform. For one, he's kept talking taxes rather than debt-free money.

UPDATE: How the DNC Just Rigged the National Convention to Destroy Bernie Sanders

Unsurprisingly, they are providing him with reasons.

He should make a public statement that if this stuff keeps up, if the Party doesn't let the Sanders campaign be fairly represented in the convention committees, he'll consider a third-party run (and mean it).

Of course, the Republican establishment would then figure on backing and controlling Trump, which, fortunately, Trump would likely not accept. Why would he? Let the Republican Party also split along ideological lines.

So, there would be "scorched earth" for, and caused by, the DLC-cum-DNC (Clintonites), not Sanders or his backers.

Posted in Libertarian Capitalism, Monetary Reform, United States Notes | Leave a comment