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ViseGrip's Journal
ViseGrip's Journal
December 30, 2015

Scrutiny for all - LTE Tampa Bay Times - What's coming around the corner -

Scrutiny for all

I read with interest your front-page political fact-check article on Donald Trump, complete with the unflattering caricature. I am looking forward to your equally fair and balanced report on Hillary Clinton, caricature included.

Your fact check can start off with her little self-aggrandizing lies like dodging bullets in Bosnia, her daughter jogging around the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attack, being named after Sir Edmund Hillary, trying to join the Marines and claiming all of her grandparents were immigrants.

Then you can examine some of the really big recent lies like the Benghazi attack video, having no classified material on her private email server and Donald Trump videos being used for ISIS recruitment. And if you really want to do an in-depth examination of Clinton, look again at Travelgate, her cattle futures trading explanation, her role in the "bimbo eruption" and of course Whitewater. The list is endless.


Democrats supporting Hillary can ignore this at their peril. This is reason #1,000,000,000 why I support Bernie Sanders for President.

When Brian Williams lied, I did not like it. When Lara Logan lied, I did not like it. When Hillary told the same type of lies, while troops are serving, again, I don't like it. We have the very best ever in Bernie Sanders. Don't think all of this won't be thrown back at Hillary, if she is the nominee. Just my two cent. Letters are already appearing in the Florida newspapers, like the one above.

December 29, 2015

Sam Smith - How the Koch brothers helped dismantle the Democratic Party

More here from Sam Smith archives.....on Koch funding the DLC

April 14, 2015 Clintons, Obama, Politics

Sam Smith

For over 20 years I have reported on the mostly unnoted role played by the Democratic Leadership Council dismantling the Democratic Party, disconnecting it from its New Deal and Great Society past and turning it into Republican Lite. For example, in a 1992 book on Clinton, I wrote:

In 1988, the 1992 play was already being cast. Conservative Democrats were holding strategy meetings at the home of party fund-raiser Pamela Harriman. The meetings — eventually nearly a hundred of them — were aimed at ending years of populist insurrection within the party. They were regularly moderated by Clark Clifford and Robert Strauss, the Mr. Fixits of the Democratic mainstream. Democratic donors paid $1000 to take part in the sessions and by the time it was all over, Mrs. Harriman had raised about $12 million for her kind of Democrats.

The play was also being cast by a group that called itself the Democratic Leadership Council. Although lacking any official role in the Democratic Party (and often appearing more a Democratic Abandon Ship Council), the DLC claimed it was the voice of mainstream party thought. In fact, it was primarily a lobby for the views of southern and other conservative Democrats, yet so successful was its media manipulation that it managed with impunity to call its think tank the Progressive Policy Institute.

In such places the important Democratic politics of the late 1980s was being made. Clinton may have bored millions of Americans on TV that night, but Clifford, Strauss, Harriman and the DLC found him intensely interesting, extremely intelligent — an appealing pragmatist, willing to compromise, and fully at home with the policy jargon of the capital.

The DLC would later help bring Barack Obama to the fore, although its role this time was carefully concealed so as not to tarnish Obama’s liberal image.

But what I had failed to note in this story, until Green Party Asher Platts mentioned it recently, was the involvement of the rightwing Koch Brothers in this supposedly Democratic organization.

For example, Sourcewatch reported:

An August, 2000 Newsweek story on Joe Lieberman, The Soul And The Steel reveals that some of the early funding came from ARCO, Chevron, Merck, Du Pont, Microsoft, Philip Morris and Koch Industries:

Among the DLC’s biggest benefactors last year (contributions of between $50,000 and $100,000) were ARCO, Chevron and the drug giant Merck. Other big underwriters include Du Pont, Microsoft and Philip Morris … “We’ve been able to have a dialogue with the [Senator Joseph Lieberman] and his staff,” said Jay Rosser, spokesman for another DLC benefactor, Koch Industries, an oil-pipeline firm that is also a big GOP donor.

The fact that these rightwing brothers were successfully interfering in Democratic politics shows how artificial popular and media assumptions about politics can be.

For example, when Obama came along, The DLC already had a bad rap among liberals so its role in his unprecedented rise to power from state senator to presidential candidate in just a few years was best kept quiet. It only cropped up a few times, such as in this Chicago Sun Times story by Abdon Pallasch in 2008:

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama may be the most liberal senator by one group’s scorecard, and the Democratic Leadership Council may be a centrist organization trying to pull the Democratic party away from the left.

But with the smell of victory in the air, no one at the DLC convention in Chicago is quibbling with the presumptive nominee’s positions.

Is there any issue on which Obama differs from the DLC agenda?

None, said Chairman Harold Ford, who narrowly lost a race for U.S. Senate in Tennessee two years ago. He said the organization’s main goal now is getting Obama elected president.

It helps that the organization —founded after the 1984 election to move the Democratic Party to the right — has no issue positions it asks members to sign on to. Leaders generally back a more pro-business, pro-trade agenda. Today is the last day of the group’s annual convention in Chicago.

As some of his potential vice presidents participated in break-out sessions here Sunday, Obama played basketball for about three hours just a few blocks away and got a haircut. But not one of the principals here begrudged him not stopping by…

“No, he’s really very, very busy,” Mayor Daley said, making his second appearance this weekend at the convention. “He needs time for his family. It [was] an exhausting primary. We’re all representing Barack Obama. He doesn’t have to be at every meeting. He has to take time out for his family. It’s important for his well-being.”

Some McCain backers decry Obama as the most liberal senator or nominee the Democrats have put up. And the National Journal ranked him the Senate’s most liberal member. But Daley said, “I never looked at him as a liberal” when he worked with Obama on issues in the state legislature.

Bill Clinton was the face of the DLC in 1992. And Obama told supporters four years ago that his inclusion on a DLC list of up-and-coming elected officials four years ago did not mean he was surrendering his progressive credentials on issues such as the War in Iraq.

“Democrats need to be pro-business Democrats again,” said Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, touted by some as a potential vice-president for Obama…

Such a partnership – between something called the Democratic Leadership Council and the Koch Brothers – goes a long way to explaining why our last two Democratic presidents have been so disloyal to their party’s traditions. And why Obama is pushing something as atrocious and anti-American as the secret TPP agreement.

Bipartisanship may be gone on Capitol Hill, but it’s still flourishing in the checks that are written for politicians.


December 25, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Gyrocopter Pilot Running Against Debbie Wasserman Shultz

I missed this yesterday, as I was busy with the holiday. I woke up this wonderful Christmas morning to the front page of the Tampa Bay Times, to see he is running for her congressional seat.

Wow, another campaign finance candidate with national recognition. All we have to do is give him a few dollars like Bernie, and he's off and running!

She has asked for this contest. If she won't resign from the party, then let's take her out of her congressional seat. Haul her right out of DC and back to the private sector.
This is exciting, and made this adult squeal with delight, when I woke up this Christmas morning.

No more Lil' Debby on our dime.

Many thanks to our new candidate for standing up for the people!


December 24, 2015

I have not forgotten the Clintons tried to take our belongings out of our White House when they left

This is a BIG reason they have an 'integrity' problem with me. That episode was awful, and not forgotten by me. What were they thinking? They knew Bill would now be commanding 230 million a year in speeches, so why did they try to take our belongings? Did they really need those things? Gads. This is exactly what happened. I will also never believe they did not know better. I don't care about 'grey' areas. If I'm in a store, I don't even like to take an item if its' the last one. Just imagine the mindset to do this. And they didn't NEED any of it.

Remember this? History is taught for a reason. So it doesn't repeat itself, if not in the best interest of the people.


Clintons Return White House Furniture

Former President Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, have sent $28,000 worth of household goods back to Washington after questions arose over whether the items were intended as personal gifts or donations to the White House.

“We have been informed that it is being shipped back, and the National Park Service is ready to receive it, take possession of it and take custody of it,” Jim McDaniel, the National Park Service’s liaison to the White House, said Wednesday.

“The property is being returned to government custody until such time that the issues can be resolved. It may well turn out that that property is rightly the personal property of the Clintons.”

Giving Back

After they were criticized for taking $190,000 worth of china, flatware, rugs, televisions, sofas and other gifts with them when they left, the Clintons announced last week that they would pay for $86,000 worth of gifts, or nearly half the amount.

Their latest decision to send back $28,000 in gifts brings to $114,000 the value of items the Clintons have either decided to pay for or return.

McDaniel discussed the matter Wednesday with Betty Monkman, the White House curator, and Gary Walters, the chief usher, or executive manager of the White House.

They were reviewing the gifts the Clintons chose to keep after $28,000 worth of items were found on a list of donations the Park Service received for the 1993 White House redecoration project. The Washington Post this week quoted three people who said that they assumed the furnishings they donated for the project would stay in the White House.

“As a result of questions about the status of certain property donated to the White House during the Clinton administration, the National Park Service will accept the return of the property in question and act as a custodian of such property,” according to a statement released by the Park Service, which administers the White House as a unit of the national park system.

A person familiar with the Clintons’ move out of the White House, who spoke on condition of anonymity, would say only: “They’ve been returned.”

Furniture Movers

While the Clintons’ decision to return these gifts was a way to get out from under this and other criticism surrounding their departure from the White House, the couple provided scant details about the shipment.

Mrs. Clinton’s office referred all questions about the gift return to the former president’s transition office. Transition office workers said the Clintons would make no statement. They referred all questions to the Park Service, which wasn’t exactly sure which gifts were being returned or where they had been kept.

December 24, 2015

Trump will be the star of Fox New Year's Eve on TV

He'll come on around 11 and stay to ring in the new year with millions.

just the messenger.

December 24, 2015

"The Private CIA" - Who/What is KROLL? Hardly an independent auditor

"The Private CIA" - Who/What is KROLL, and why did NYC Mayor Bloomberg hire them to spy?

So as I'm going through my email today, I read a small news notice about the undercover video shot of gun shows in Ohio and elsewhere that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg commissioned to have done. You've heard about these covert video recordings, showing how easily "the gun show loophole" allows people to buy guns.

You may have assumed that it was NY investigators; either cops or officials in some sort of capacity,...who shot or gathered the video.

But it was a private contractor. As in,...a profit-driven group who had reason to make their employer (Bloomberg) happy.

Now of course, there is nothing wrong with free enterprise and profit-based endeavors, nor with gov't using private contractors where officials or officers might not be best suited to a task.

But look at KROLL International a little more closely, and the hairs start to go up on your neck and your "Spidey-Sense" begins to tingle.

KROLL is a LARGE supplier of all manner of gear to the law enforcement and prison industries. They also have a private investigations and corporate threat assessment division. (Gee,...if you want to get the contracts for NYC police and jail gear, what better way than to make Bloomberg happy?!) More than that, KROLL supplies the lion's share of prison gear to the US Military. Abu Gharib prisoners wear Kroll's orange jumpsuits, as do those in Guantanamo Bay. But it goes deeper. Among the things I have found in just a few minutes of snooping online;.....

1991 Kroll hired by Kuwait to investigate Saddam's finances;

1992 Kroll -advising Enron;

97-98 teamsters union elections;

1993-2001 responsible for security at World Trade Center (which ought to concern those who question what REALLY happened)

Due to activities like these, long before 9/11, KROLL earned the moniker of "The Private CIA".

Below is some more info on KROLL.


What does all this mean? Well,...perhaps nothing at all. Perhaps what we saw in those video clips was exactly as it appeared. Perhaps KROLL International really was impartial. Perhaps nobody in the company was obsessed with pleasing the media mogul billionaire mayor of the nation's largest city who controls the purse strings of a very important customer. Perhaps it didn't occur to anyone at KROLL how much money they could lose by not delivering to Bloomberg what he expected and demanded. Perhaps nobody was tempted to stage anything.



December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Bernie Sanders - YOU are the greatest gift to the American People this Christmas


I can't say it enough. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

When I look at the not so independent auditor chosen for the NGP failure and breach, this is getting serious. You, are going to be the next President, so help me and the rest of us.

Merry Christmas to you and your family Bernie. You are my greatest gift this Christmas.
We all love you very much. Thanks again.

A big believer in you.

December 23, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Dirty Campaign Tactics - Some history many here are looking for

News & Politics

In Iowa, New Hampshire and now Nevada, the Clinton campaign has sought to suppress the vote of her rivals' supporters.

By Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet

January 14, 2008

The headlines say the latest schism among the top Democratic presidential candidates is over gender and race. But on the ground in the presidential season's opening states, there is a darker narrative: that Hillary Clinton will not just fight hard, but fight dirty, to win. And her tactic of choice is attempting to suppress the votes of her rival's supporters.

The latest example is from Nevada, where the Nevada State Education Association is widely seen as filing a suit on Clinton's behalf to stop Las Vegas' most powerful union, Culinary Workers Local 226, from caucusing inside downtown casinos after the union endorsed Barack Obama. The tactic foments a split along racial and class lines in arguably the strongest union city in America.

"It's horrible," said one longtime Nevada activist, who didn't want his name used. "It will cause fights and damage that will last for years."

But the Clinton campaign has made similar moves in New Hampshire and Iowa.

In the first primary state, her supporters -- backed by New Hampshire Democratic Party officials -- pressured poll workers to remove observers stationed by the Obama campaign. These volunteers had intended to track voters as part of their get-out-the-vote effort. That tactic came after the Clinton campaign sent a mailing targeting women that said Obama would not "stand up and protect" a women's right to choose because he had voted "present" -- but not yes -- on a few abortion-related bills in the Illinois legislature.

"I've kept most mailers I got from every presidential candidate this year, and that mailer was the absolute worst," wrote New Hampshire blogger Peter Glenshaw. "Never mind that Obama has a 100 percent approval rating from Planned Parenthood in Illinois. Never mind that Planned Parenthood asked him to vote 'present' on those bills."

And in Iowa, the Clinton campaign -- with the help of the state's largest newspaper, the Des Moines Register, which endorsed her -- was discouraging students from returning from winter break to vote, even though their right to do so was legal, said Rick Hasen, who writes a respected election law blog. "Indeed such voting could help to compensate for the otherwise anti-democratic nature of Iowa's role in the presidential election process," he said.

As the nomination process has unfolded and Clinton has encountered resistance in every state so far -- including Obama's Friday endorsement by the 60,000-member Las Vegas Culinary Workers Union -- her campaign's increasingly critical rhetoric has been accompanied by voter suppression tactics aimed at her rival's core voters.

While Clinton campaign surrogates have verbally accused Obama of many things, from "fairy tale" answers on Iraq to being a drug user while they served the country more nobly, intentionally suppressing voters -- especially under-represented, low-income minority union members -- stands out in 2008's Democratic presidential campaign.

After all, the Democratic National Committee moved Nevada's caucuses to the top of the primary lineup so minority voices could be heard -- and no organization is more aligned with those voters in Nevada than the Culinary Union, whose training materials for its members are printed in four languages. In contrast, the state teachers, whose suit seeks to stop those workers from caucusing in nine "at-large" precincts in big downtown casinos, have a statewide base because its members work throughout Nevada.

The NSEA suit claims the at-large casino caucuses are not fair to the state's other voters because they will likely be overrun with voters, thereby skewing the proportional representation of Clark County delegates to the state party convention.

Neither NSEA officials nor their Las Vegas lawyers returned calls on Monday. However their suit states that "by packing as much as 10 percent or more delegates into the county convention, the at-large precinct caucus system (created for the casinos) substantially diminishes the voting power of delegates from other county precinct caucuses."

In other words, a strong turnout from the tens of thousands of Culinary Workers Union members in Las Vegas, where 70 percent of Nevada voters live, could swing the state's early foray into presidential politics. In 2000, fewer than 1,000 people participated in Nevada's caucuses. In 2004, that number was about 9,000. This year, estimates are in the tens of thousands.

Nevada political insiders say the NSEA lawsuit is designed to suppress Obama's voters.

"That's the common narrative at this point," said Pilar Weiss, the Culinary Workers Union's political director, when asked if there was any other way to interpret the suit. "A caucus system is all proportional representation. It's not unfair in any way. They (the state Democratic Party) made an accommodation for Clark County."

Another Nevada activist who has worked for years in the state was even blunter.

"This (caucus) plan was created by some of the same people who are plaintiffs in the suit against it," he said. "It's not that they didn't like the plan when Clinton was ahead."

Steven Rosenfeld is a senior fellow at Alternet.org and co-author of What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election, with Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman (The New Press, 2006).


December 22, 2015

Lil' Debby Wassaman has turned this campaign into a real shit show but Bernie Sanders will fix it!

I have total faith and trust in him. Unheard of for a politician. He has the most integrity and he will not allow the democratic party to hijack our democratic process, or portray him as someone with little integrity. For 50 years, his record is clean.

Again, I smell a rat called : SET-UP

December 21, 2015

PolitiFact on Democratic Debate

In summary,
Hillary: FALSE - (SHE MUST HAVE KNOWN SHE WAS TELLILNG A LIE! She had nothing to back it up when they called and checked!) How does this help her numbers with 'distrust'?


PolitiFact: Fact-checking the Democratic presidential debate
• Angie Drobnic Holan, PolitiFact Editor
Sunday, December 20, 2015 2:53pm

Democratic president candidates Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley, debate at Saint Anselm College on Saturday in Manchester, N.H. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ISIS and terrorism were major topics at the Democratic debate on Saturday night at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton used the venue to take a shot at Republican primary frontrunner Donald Trump, saying that his rhetoric is a gift to ISIS.

"We also need to make sure that the really discriminatory messages that Trump is sending around the world don't fall on receptive ears," Clinton said. "He is becoming ISIS's best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists."

Not having heard that before, our eyebrows went up when we heard Clinton's comment, and we weren't alone. The Twitter sphere, on both the right and the left, picked up on Clinton's statement and questioned whether she had any evidence for it.

Extensive Google searches did not turn up any evidence. And the response from the Clinton campaign did not point to any specific videos. The campaign pointed to an NBC News story quoting Rita Katz of the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors the social media activities of Islamic terrorist groups.

"They love him from the sense that he is supporting their rhetoric," she said. "They follow everything Donald Trump says. When he says, 'No Muslims should be allowed in America,' they tell people, 'We told you America hates Muslims and here is proof.' "

The article also quoted David Phillips, director of the Program on Peace-Building and Rights at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights, saying that "Trump's incendiary anti-Muslim comments will surely be used by ISIS social media to demonize the United States and attract recruits to fight in Iraq and Syria."

But while such quotes support the notion that ISIS could be making recruiting videos, or will do so, they do not support Clinton's contention — offered in the present tense — that they are doing so.

Vox.com tweeted at J.M. Berger, author of the book ISIS: The State of Terror, and Berger tweeted back, "I would be surprised if they had and we didn't hear about it in a big way."

For now, it seems that Clinton has turned speculative left-of-center rhetoric into fact. At PolitiFact, the burden of proof is on the person making the claim. We'll update our fact-check in the event solid evidence emerges. But for now, that evidence does not exist. The Clinton campaign did not provide any evidence that this is happening — only that it could be happening, or that it may in the future. If ISIS was using Trump for recruitment videos, we would expect a frenzy of media coverage over it. We rated this statement False.

O'Malley, Clinton and gun control
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said he has the best record on gun issues among the Democratic candidates.

"Secretary Clinton changes her position on this every election year, it seems, having one position in 2000 and then campaigning against President (Barack) Obama and saying we don't need federal standards," O'Malley said.

We found that O'Malley does have a point that Clinton's rhetoric and her position on a few specific gun control measures shifted from 2000 to 2008, and then from 2008 to 2015.
In 2000, in the wake of the 1999 Columbine, Colo., school shooting, Clinton was emphatic about her support for gun control. In 2008, she dropped her support for a gun license and registration proposal and positioned herself to the right of her major opponent, then-Sen. Obama. While Clinton also advocated for leaving some gun control to the states, she still advocated for federal gun control efforts, and she never said "we don't need federal standards."
In 2015, Clinton has been more forceful with her support for gun control than she was in 2008 — closer to her rhetoric in 2000.

While her positioning has shifted, it wasn't nearly as dramatic as O'Malley made it out to be. We rated his claim Half True.

Sanders on health care spending
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is a longtime supporter of a single-payer U.S. health care system and he used some international comparisons to bolster his proposal.
"We spend almost three times per capita as to what they spend in the U.K. — 50 percent more than in France," Sanders said.
Data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development back him up. In 2013, total spending on health care in the United Kingdom was about $3,200 per person. France spent about $4,100. In the United States, spending topped $8,700. Do the math and Sanders is right.
We rated this claim True.

Angie Drobnic Holan is the editor of PolitiFact. Contact her at aholan@tampabay.com. Follow @AngieHolan.
PolitiFact: Fact-checking the Democratic presidential debate 12/20/15 [Last modified: Sunday, December 20, 2015 11:09pm]
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