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Ferd Berfel

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Member since: Sat Jan 3, 2015, 12:39 PM
Number of posts: 3,687

Journal Archives

Clinton Claims Victory but Arizona's Voting Fiasco Dubbed "National Disgrace"


Shuttered polling places, endless lines, and widespread disenfranchisement—particularly for minority communities

Something was amiss in Arizona on Tuesday. As Hillary Clinton claimed victory in the state's Democratic primary, thousands of voters were left out to dry, with shuttered polling places, endless lines, and widespread reports of disenfranchisement.

In Maricopa County, which includes the capital Phoenix, voters waited up to five hours to cast a ballot after the County Elections Office slashed the number of polling sites from 200 in 2012 to just 60 this year. As the state's most populous county, this amounted to more than 20,000 voters for every available polling location.

Notably, many Latino areas were left with either just one or no polling places. Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell defended that decision, saying, "we looked at an area, and factored into that how many early ballots we usually get in that area and how many people normally vote at the polls. We didn’t look at it as legislative districts. We looked at the overall picture of our voters."


Bernie Sanders Is Currently Winning the Democratic Primary Race, and I’ll Prove It to You


Nobody cares how well a politician does at the ballot box when he or she is running for an office unopposed. What matters is how a politician performs in contested primaries and general elections, as when it really matters — like it will, for instance, this November — you can be certain of a contested election.

With that said, let’s make an important observation: Bernie Sanders has tied or beaten Hillary Clinton in a majority of the actively contested votes this election season.

You doubt it? Okay, let me explain.

Bernie Sanders has terrible name recognition in states where he hasn’t advertised or campaigned yet; meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has universal name recognition everywhere. Realizing this, the Clinton camp pushed hard to rack up the early vote in every state where early voting was an option. They did this not primarily for the reason we’ve been told — because Clinton performs well among older voters, and older voters are more likely to vote early than other age demographics — but rather because they knew that early votes are almost always cast before the election season actually begins in a given state.

That’s right — in each state, most of the early primary voting occurs before the candidates have aired any commercials or held any campaign events. For Bernie Sanders, this means that early voting happens, pretty much everywhere, before anyone knows who he is. Certainly, early voting occurs in each state before voters have developed a sufficient level of familiarity and comfort with Sanders to vote for him.

New Study: Sanders’ Tax Wall Street Plan Would Raise $300 Billion, Create Millions of New Jobs


Rose Ann DeMoro - Executive director, National Nurses United (AFL-CIO) and California Nurses Association

New research findings from a team of progressive economists provides documentary evidence that the financial footing for Sen. Bernie Sanders visionary social change agenda is not only plausible, but would create far more socially productive jobs, as well as moving us down the road to the more humane society that is at the heart of the Sanders campaign.

In their push to vilify Sanders, Democratic Party acolytes from the media to academia have fallen in line attacking the economic foundations of his campaign for free public college tuition, Medicare for all, job creation through infrastructure repair, and other critical needs.

But a new report from the University of Massachusetts Amherst Political Economy Research Institute documents how a key Sanders proposal — a tax on Wall Street speculation -would bring at least $300 billion a year in new revenues from those who can most afford to pay it for the critical reforms the country so desperately needs.

6 Key Issues Where Trump Neutralizes Hillary or Runs to Her Left


Some experts think Hillary could be in trouble against Trump, who goes left and right simultaneously.

President Obama has repeatedly said there’s no way Americans would elect Donald Trump president. But Democrats don’t have to think back very far to dismaying GOP victories where they were left asking, what happened? There was George W. Bush in Ohio in 2004, in Florida in 2000 and Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Trump’s continuing path toward the 2016 GOP nomination has already confounded the pundits, political junkies and oft-quoted scholars. Before last week when he won big in Florida, Illinois and North Carolina, the Nation’s William Greider wrote, “The Democratic Party could find itself obliterated by this election" and offered "a sequence of events I find plausible.” He started with Trump getting the nomination, Bernie Sanders retiring “gracefully so he will not be labeled a spoiler,” and then Trump doing something not seen in a long time: taking hard-right and hard-left positions.

“Then, in the fall campaign, Trump changes his style and launches a ferocious and substantive assault on [Hillary] Clinton, with devastating effect. He does this essentially by taking over Sanders' economic agenda. He denounces HRC as a tool of wealthy plutocrats and speaks for working-class discontents, much as he has done in the primary season,” wrote Grieder. “Imagine a campaign that merges Bernie’s straight-talk values with traditional Republican values.”


1. The Anti-Free Trader
2. Cutting America’s Military Budget.

3. Rejecting Big Money Political Corruption.
4. Preserving Social Security and Medicare.
5. Lowering Seniors’ Prescription Drug Costs.

6. Breaking Health Insurance Monopolies.

Clinton looses on these 6 issues. Even if she attempts to triangulate or 'evolve' on these, not many will believe her.

What will Hillary do when Trump offers the above agenda to Democrats and his racist xenophobic to his right wing supporters?

Here's one "what if":

Your choice Democrats (White people), is you get to have the agenda of 6 above, which is LEFT of Clinton, if you're willing to throw non-whites under the bus. This will be a tough choice for some. Let's see, shut down free trade and bring jobs back, Keep my social security and medicare even expand them, cheaper medication, if I am willing to ignore the racism and xenophobia.

Trump cannot get LEFT of Bernie Sanders on anything.

The system is rigged: Dark money, Citizens United and the secret story of how big money

Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman

The system is just this rigged: Dark money, Citizens United and the secret story of how big money stole our democracy

Congressmen beg for bucks. Super PACs run the show. Dark money flows into state legislatures. This is why we're mad

Not too far from the Capitol Hill townhouses are the call centers that both Democrats and Republicans use to dial for dollars. Endlessly.

This is how Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, described it: “We sit at these desks with stacks of names in front of us and short bios and histories of giving . . . and we make calls to our faithful friends and ask them to give money or host a fundraiser.”


As the CNN reporter Teddy Schleifer, who covers money in politics, put it, “A century ago, party bosses ruled cities. Today, super PACs are in charge. Elections in the nation’s cities are increasingly the territory of deep-pocketed donors who are finding that a dollar spent in a low-cost municipal race can easily put an ally in power.”

The WTO Has Put America on the Path to Becoming a “Colony” Again


The World Trade Organization (WTO) has come to represent the most efficient form of colonization the world has ever seen – reaping all the benefits with no downsides of occupation. The corporate agenda of the organization has destroyed the American economy, allowing multinationalists to exploit the world’s cheap resources and put America out of work and out of business.

The WTO routinely trumps U.S. laws and conventions with its rulings. According to former trade representative Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. is one of the most sued nations in the WTO, and we lose 9 out of every 10 cases brought against us. By signing the agreement with the World Trade Organization, Congress agreed to concede a major portion of our sovereignty and usurp our democratic legislative process, including:

Conforming U.S. laws, regulations and administrative procedures to the will of the WTO (Article XVI, p. 10)
Subjecting all federal, state and local laws and practices that affect trade to international review by the WTO (Article XVI, p. 10)
Allowing any WTO member country to challenge federal, state and local laws and practices as trade impeding (Section 2 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding)
Taking all trade disputes to the WTO judiciary – giving the WTO final jurisdiction over all trade altercations. No appeal exists outside of the WTO (Section 2 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding)
Empowering the WTO to enforce its rulings by imposing fines on the United States until we comply
Disallowing Congress to change the agreement


But that is the goal of all of these Neocon deals. NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP, WTO, GATT.....
To put Nations under total Corporate control.

Obama is providing the Coupe de grace to US Sovereignty with TPP. Once enacted there will no longer be US laws. Just Corporate Rules. And Hillary wants to continue this.

Nine Hate Mongers (Besides Trump) Who Will Be Honored Guests at the AIPAC Summit


Calls to boycott Trump's slated address are growing, but he is not the only extremist invited to AIPAC conference.

A group of self-described “Rabbis, Cantors and Jewish leaders” who support the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) attracted considerable press this week when they announced they will protest and walk out on Donald Trump’s scheduled address to the institution’s upcoming policy conference.

Proclaiming that they will attend the AIPAC summit to “support the strong and unbreakable bond between America and Israel,” the group declared that it is standing up to Trump because "as Jews, we must take a stand against hate.”

“We denounce in the strongest possible terms the bigotry, racism, xenophobia, and misogyny expressed by Mr. Trump, and violence promoted by him, at various points throughout his campaign,” continues the statement, which was released under the banner of Come Together Against Hate. “We refuse to stand idly by and let his hateful message become a part of the AIPAC Policy Conference.”

However, in an interview with AlterNet, spokesperson Rabbi David Paskin made it clear that the group fully supports AIPAC and, paradoxically, will not denounce the lobbying group's invitations to a host of other speakers who have espoused racist incitement and bigotry on par with that of Trump. Here are just nine examples of the hateful messages previously issued by AIPAC’s featured guests:

1. Steven Emerson:
2. Josh Block
3. Jerry Cox:
4. Ralph Reed,
5. Benyamin Netanyahu:
6. Paul Ryan:
7. Edwin Harper
8. Nir Barkat:
9. Raheem Kassam:


I wonder if this collection of rabid clusterfuckers had anything to do with Bernie deciding NOT to be part of it?

General Mills to Start Labeling GMOs

This is What Consumers Want': General Mills to Start Labeling GMOs


Environmental and consumer advocacy groups hailed decision by food manufacturer and called on Congress to follow suit

General Mills will start labeling genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in all its food products, thanks to Vermont's impending GMO law and the failure of the 'voluntary labeling' law in U.S. Congress this week.

"We can't label our products for only one state without significantly driving up costs for our consumers, and we simply won't do that," wrote General Mills U.S. retail chief Jeff Harmening in a post to the company's website on Friday. "The result: Consumers all over the country will soon begin seeing words legislated by the state of Vermont on the labels of many of their favorite General Mills food products."

The company, which manufactures huge North American brands like Betty Crocker, Yoplait, and Cheerios, among others, now joins Campbell's as one of the major food companies in the U.S. to support mandatory GMO labeling, and ends its own long history of standing against similar laws throughout the country. In 2012, General Mills contributed $1.2 million to the campaign against California's Proposition 37, which would have required mandatory GMO labeling in the nation's largest state.

Latest Leak Confirms TTIP a 'Serious Threat to Democracy as We Know It'


Document shows how TTIP will facilitate big business influence—and U.S. influence—on lawmaking, says corporate watchdog

EU member states and the European Parliament will be "sidelined" in favor of big business and U.S. interests should the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) go through, according to a leaked document revealed Friday.

The leak, of the corporate-friendly trade deal's draft chapter on "regulatory cooperation" between the EU and U.S., was made public by The Independent and Brussels-based campaign group Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO).

It exposes "a labyrinth of procedures that could tie up any EU proposals that go against U.S. interests," as The Independent put it, as well as "the extent to which major corporations and industry groups will be able to influence the development of regulatory cooperation."


In short, he said, "this document shows how TTIP's regulatory cooperation will facilitate big business influence—and U.S. influence—on lawmaking before a proposal is even presented to parliaments."

Nick Dearden, executive director of Global Justice Now, told The Independent: "The leak absolutely confirms our fears about TTIP. It's all about giving big business more power over a very wide range of laws and regulations."


Isn't the other term for this: Fascism?

The Clintons' $93 Million Romance With Wall Street


A catastrophe for working families, African-Americans, and latinos.

For 24 years Bill and Hillary Clinton have courted Wall Street money with notable success. During that time the New York banks contributed:

$11.17 million to Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992.
$28.37 million for his re-election in 1996.
$2.13 million to Hillary Clinton's senatorial campaign in 2002.
$6.02 million for her re-election in 2006.
$14.61 million to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2008.
$21.42 million to her 2016 campaign.

The total here is $83.72 million for the six campaigns,i ii disbursed from 11 banks: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, UBS, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, Barclay's, JP Morgan Chase, CIBC, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Stanley.iii iv

Then there were the speeches.


Hillary Clinton unveiled her big plan to curb the worst of Wall Street's excesses. The reaction from the banking community was a shrug.xi There is good reason for the banks' sanguine view.
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