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Member since: Fri Jan 1, 2010, 03:15 PM
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Bernie weighed the relative merits of a Democratic vs. 3rd Party run.

As a regular listener of the Thom Hartmann show, I have enjoyed one hour a week -- "Brunch with Bernie" -- of Bernie's give-and-take with Thom's listeners for years, learning to like and respect this guy more and more as I got a sense of who he is and how he thinks.

For the past six months or so, Bernie has been considering a presidential run. He openly discussed the pros and cons of running 3rd party or as a Dem (he caucuses with the Dems, votes with them, heads up Dem committees, etc.) His primary reasons, as I understood them, for choosing to run on the Dem ticket were:

1) The Democrats have a nominating organization already set up to facilitate a run. This is much smoother and less expensive than starting from scratch, especially for someone like Bernie who has quietly, steadily worked in the halls of the Congress and Senate alongside the Dems against the Repubs for DECADES, never trying to "be a star," but simply concentrating on representing his constituents without compromising his core democratic values. His votes have always aligned with the progressive side of his Democratic colleagues. He has not amassed big pots of money and fame, necessities for a strong 3rd Party run.

2) Bernie did not want to be a spoiler. He did not want to do what Nader did. Bernie is a realist, and he said he could never forgive himself if his run siphoned off enough votes from a Democrat to open the way for a Republican. Bernie stated that if he loses the nomination, he will throw his support to the winning Democrat. He loves this country, and this country, for him, is the American people. He, better than most, knows what the stakes are and would not put the rest of us at risk.

I was glad that he chose to run in the Democratic primary.

Now as for Mr. Weiner -- how is it possible that someone as experienced and tuned in as Anthony Weiner could be unaware of this? Bernie deliberated openly, not secretively (like some), and his reasons were not only expressed but also obvious to anyone who knows the game. Is Weiner simply doing a favor? Scoring points? Trying to win over certain disaffected parties?

Somehow, Weiner's "confusion" doesn't ring true for me.

David Brooks is a rhetorician, a propagandist, a shyster.

He tries to appear the neutral observer, but everything he says, he says "for effect." His purpose is to persuade his listeners/readers toward the free market anti-government viewpoint while appearing to be "just talking." He has been doing this for years. He does it in his NYTimes columns and in his appearances as a TV commentator. Quite frequently, Brooks tells outright lies. His lies are usually small and tucked into the broader discourse so that they are less likely to be noticed and analyzed. He wants people to accept these little disparaging falsehoods as simple "facts," knowing that over time such "facts" can slant a person's worldview.

Recently, he has been saying -- quite off-handedly -- that Bernie Sanders gets his big crowds by playing to "college towns." The term "college town" is dog-whistle for "liberal elite, ex-hippie, out-of-touch intellectuals." The term is intended to minimize and marginalize Sen. Sanders. (Clearly, Brooks considers Sanders a threat.)

Not too long ago, in a PBS Newshour discussion of the ACA, Brooks casually mentioned that the initial Internet-based rollout of the ACA failed due to the ineptitude of "government IT workers." That, of course is a lie: the ACA online system was developed by private contractors, not government employees.

Listen to Brooks carefully, knowing that he is always spinning, always calculating. He's like the duck who moves so smoothly across the water, all the while paddling like mad just out of sight. Sometimes he gives himself away by glancing around nervously as he talks.

I need to talk to you, misterhighwasted & hope you haven't put me on ignore.

I saw this thread last night but was too sleepy to reply and almost didn't find it today. But I want you to know that what you say has some truth to it, even for me. I can understand how you feel, up to a point. When Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, I danced all night with a crowd of happy revelers and burst into tears when they played "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow." After the hideousness of 8 years of what may have been irreparable damage inflicted upon our nation by that phony actor Ronald Reagan, and after 4 years of the seemingly nice but actually cynical Poppy Bush, it felt like the sun was finally shining on our fair land when we had a Democrat in the White House again.

Despite Bill Clinton's questionable moves (WTO, NAFTA, 1996 Telecom Act, repeal of Glass-Steagall, harsh welfare reform), I supported him throughout the 90s. A large part of my support was a reaction to the attacks by what Hillary correctly termed the "vast rightwing conspiracy." I spent the 90s (and ever since) enraged by what they were/are doing. The newly developed Worldwide Web connected me with fellow angry Dems who were finally opening up about our shock and anger at Republican viciousness. I burned at that putrid sh!t Kenneth Starr's impeachment website and a little later, my online cohorts and I read Joe Conason's The Hunting of the President and exploded at what the Supreme Court did to our country on December 12, 2000.

But nothing made me angrier at Republicans than what they did to Hillary Clinton. I couldn't believe it when, early in Bill's presidency, some southern state repubs hung her in effigy. They seemed to hate her even more than Bill -- and she was only the First Lady. I read faces fairly well and could see how shocked she was and how frightened inside, even while putting on a very brave front, which I think she has done ever since. So I do feel for her.

But then her image began to crack. It happened in bits and pieces and wasn't an orderly process in my mind. One of the early fissures was when she decided, seemingly out of the blue, to run for the Senate from New York state. New York? Neither of them had ever been New Yorkers. This bit of carpet bagging was jarring. Then she voted for Dubya's war. What? Who is this woman? Then I read somewhere that Bill really missed the White House, and fairly quickly it became apparent that Senatorial ambitions were merely a stepping stone to regaining the White House -- and the pro war vote was mere ash-covering, keeping her record strong for her true ambition. Most people run for president after having run and served in the interest of their actual beliefs. Never has she expressed strong belief in any cause beyond women and children. Concern for the bread and butter lives of average Americans seems foreign to her. Then I caught some TV footage of Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea moving very slowly and deliberately through a crowd of people, walking in a sort of slow syncopated march with their chins up, eyes half-lidded, very serene, very above it all, and I realized that they saw themselves as royalty -- above and beyond the mere groundlings, those ordinary, plebeian Americans. I guess they think they're the new Royal Family. That's a whole lotta ego. And not much heart.

Then came the 2008 campaign. That was when Hillary finally blew it for me. She conducted herself without a shred of ethics. It became obvious that she would do and say anything, without any filter from a conscience, to get what she wanted. There were the lies, but what finally blew my stack was when she was asked if Barack Obama was a Muslim, and she replied with something like, "Well, he says he isn't, so, I don't know, probably not..." My jaw dropped, and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Then I admitted to myself what I'd been avoiding for years: Hillary Clinton has no conscience left in her soul. After that, news of the secrecy, the distrust, the punishment of any apparent disloyalty, didn't surprise me. And her recent behavior -- refusing to address Americans as if they mattered, putting emphasis on getting rich, hiding her views from the public, etc. Gross. And Chelsea's first job out of Stanford was with a hedge fund? Really? And then she married a hedge fund manager? Really? It just gets uglier and uglier.

When Elizabeth Warren came along pressing for a fairer, more equitable economy, I couldn't believe our collective good luck. When she didn't want to run (perhaps fearing Clinton retribution?), I had hopes for Martin O'Malley, whom I still like. As a long time fan of Thom Hartmann, I've loved Congressman, then Senator, Sanders forever, so when HE decided to run, that was it, for me. No he's not a Dem, but he's a better Dem than Hillary will ever be. Democrat is more than a party; it's a state of mind.

What do I think happened? Unless she was this way from the start and I missed it, I think the rightwing abuse hardened her to what she is now. If she ever had ideals, I think they're gone. I believe that all she cares about is herself and her family (possibly just her daughter). Period. I would not trust the American people's fate to her. But if it ends up either her or a Republican, then I will, with great regret, vote for her. And you will be jubilant that "she" got what "she" wanted. For herself.

Misterhighwasted, rightwingers LOVE the1%. Slavishly. I don't "play RW talking points." You have

no idea how much I LOATHE rightwingers. As for Emily's list, they endorse women. That's their right. But you've probably figured out that many of us Bernie supporters find a bit too much of the rightwing in Hillary. You may adore her, but so far the Democratic Party is big enough for both of us, and if you believed in small-d democracy, you'd understand that.

So please don't give me that condescending little "Bye." It makes you look bad.

Jimmy Carter knows the Bible quite well and has a good understanding of Jesus.

Anyone who has read and pondered the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) knows that Jesus was not the least bit interested in our sex lives. Jesus cared about hearts and souls -- how humble, kind, loving, and good we are. He would never castigate two people of the same sex who want to enter into a lifelong caring, loving, committed relationship. He would certainly not snoop into their bedroom.

It's too bad so many of his supposed followers are obsessed with sex. It's one of the things that separate them from him. Unfortunately, this unhealthy obsession also manages to taint the entire religion.
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