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Her Sister

Her Sister's Journal
Her Sister's Journal
March 28, 2016

At Hollywood Fundraiser, Bernie Admits Many with Money ‘Believe in Social Justice’


“The truth is there are many people in this country who have money but also believe in social justice.” – Bernie Sanders

Income inequality is a major problem that Bernie Sanders has spoken passionately and convincingly about. It is one of the most compelling aspects of his campaign message. We share Bernie’s progressive values and we are gratified that he has brought greater awareness to this issue.

Where we seem to have diverged from Bernie (until now) is that we acknowledge there are certain individuals, like Bill and Melinda Gates, who use their wealth to bring about positive change in the world. We have also repeatedly taken issue with Bernie’s incessant efforts to impugn Hillary Clinton’s character with the Wall Street dog whistle.

In light of Bernie’s newfangled attack on Hillary Clinton, Amal Clooney and George Clooney for holding a fundraiser to benefit Democrats, we came across this October, 2015 New York Times article:

Mr. Sanders has repeatedly talked on the campaign trail about how small-dollar donations are driving his campaign war chest … But the fund-raiser at the Leibovitch home was the type of event that most politicians typically hold. As Mr. Sanders began speaking to the guests, he joked that the Leibovitch house was a “proletariat” home, and told them, “The truth is there are many people in this country who have money but also believe in social justice.”
Bernie is right.

And three of those people are Hillary Clinton, Amal Clooney and George Clooney.
March 27, 2016

Benie Vic speech (moment with wife Jane)


Bernie Sanders had a good election night (as we noted earlier), but this victory speech moment, caught on national television, is not a good look for him.

NOTE: Some hear Bernie saying “don’t stand there,” others hear “don’t stand next to me.” The arm gesture, however, is unmistakable.

March 27, 2016

Vermont's Single-Payer Dream Is Taxpayer Nightmare


Of the plans that states have hatched for the Affordable Care Act, none has been bolder than that of Vermont, which wants to implement a single-payer health-care system, along the lines of what you might find in Britain or Canada. One government-operated system will cover all 620,000 of Vermont's citizens. The hope is that such a system will allow Vermont to get costs down closer to Canada's, as well as improve health by coordinating care and ensuring universal coverage.

Just two small issues need to be resolved before the state gets to all systems go: First, it needs the federal government to grant waivers allowing Vermont to divert Medicaid and other health-care funding into the single-payer system. And second, Vermont needs to find some way to pay for it:

Now comes the big challenge: paying for it. Act 48 required Vermont to create a single-payer system by 2017. But the state hasn't drafted a bill that spells out how to raise the approximately $2 billion a year Vermont needs to run the system. The state collects only $2.7 billion in tax revenue each year, so an additional $2 billion is a vexingly large sum to scrape together.
Vermont is a middling-tax state, as states go. And that's not an accident; its population consists of longtime Vermonters, some of whom vote Republican (at least for governor) and are not super-tax-friendly, and transplants from Massachusetts and New York state, who, last time I looked, had moved to Vermont partly because the taxes were lower. Paying for this program would likely make Vermont the highest-taxed state in the nation, by quite a lot.

Now, you can argue that people should be glad to make this trade-off, not just for peace of mind, but because they will trade higher taxes for lower (no) insurance premiums. You can also argue that poor people in America should be laughing and dancing and singing all day because every one of them is economically better off than starving farmers in drought-ridden regions of Africa. Neither argument will do you much good, however, because that's not how people think.

Especially when you consider that estimates for this plan's cost are likely to err on the optimistic side, because, well, people drawing up proposed budgets for their pet ideas tend to be a little optimistic. Yes, yes, there may be fabulous cost savings from using the government's monopoly buying power to bargain prices down with providers. But Vermont is already the beneficiary of significant monopoly buying power: One insurer has 74 percent of the state's small-group business. It's a Blue Cross/Blue Shield, so don't count on fabulous savings from squeezing out profits. The large group market is even more concentrated, though on a for-profit insurer.

Nor can you get much administrative saving at the provider level, because they still have to deal with out-of-state insurers quite a bit. And the once-vaunted fabulous savings from preventative care have mostly turned out not to exist.

So this is going to be expensive. So expensive that I doubt Vermont is actually going to go forward with it.

This should be instructive for those who hope -- or fear -- that Obamacare has all been an elaborate preliminary to a nationwide single-payer system. It isn't. The politics are impossible, and even if they weren't, the financing would be unthinkable.


In 2011, the Vermont state government enacted a law functionally establishing the first state-level single-payer health care system in the United States. Green Mountain Care, established by the passage of H.202, creates a system in the state where Vermonters receive universal health care coverage as well as technological improvements to the existing system.

On December 17, 2014, Vermont Democrats abandoned their plan for universal health care, citing the taxes required of smaller businesses within the state.[1]
March 26, 2016

something strange with this thread


I try to respond but it goes back to the politico article!?
March 25, 2016

Elizabeth Warren Would Be the Most Liberal Democratic Nominee Since 1972


Elizabeth Warren probably isn’t going to run for or win the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, but that hasn’t stopped progressives from trying to get her to run. And it’s no wonder: Warren would be among the most liberal presidential candidates — if not the most liberal — in the modern era (since 1972, when Democrats began selecting their nominee through the caucus and primary process).

Quantifying the ideology of politicians is tricky, but we’ll use a method similar to FiveThirtyEight’s presidential forecasting model by looking at each nominee’s congressional voting record, fundraising and public statements (Adam Bonica’s ideological scores based on a candidate’s donors, joint DW-Nominate scores based on a candidate’s voting record in Congress, and On the Issues scores based on public statements).

In all cases, negative scores mean more liberal. We usually standardize and average these three metrics, but there aren’t scores for all the candidates before 2000 and comparing across time can be tricky. So let’s keep this simple and just look at each metric separately.


The logic behind Bonica’s fundraising scores goes basically like this: If liberals are giving you lots of money, you’re probably pretty liberal, and if conservatives are filling your coffers, well … you get it. According to Bonica’s scores — the only system of the three for which we have grades for all the candidates — Warren would be by far the most liberal nominee in the modern era. Indeed, fellow Democrats have sought her help on the campaign trail in large part because of her appeal among liberal donors. It’s also no surprise that those at Netroots Nation have taken a shine to her.

If Warren were to win the Democratic nomination, she’d rank as the second-most liberal nominee who served in the Senate or House. Her voting record has been to the left of Walter Mondale’s; only the famously liberal George McGovern had a more leftward-leaning legislative record. By contrast, the past three Democrats to represent the party on the presidential ticket were all near the center of the Democratic Senate caucus, while Warren has the fifth-most liberal voting record in the Senate today.

On public statements, Warren ranks a clear second. The only past nominee to her left, according to On the Issues, is John Kerry. But the distance between Warren and Kerry is smaller than the distance between Warren and any other past nominee. In other words, Warren’s liberalness on this measure is pretty clear — far to the left of President Obama.

In terms of 2016 contenders, Warren is to the left of both Vice President Joe Biden and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton on all three of these measures.

But it’s not like Biden and Clinton aren’t liberal. Clinton especially has a fairly liberal donor base by historical standards. Clinton would be to the left of the median senator (-0.33) in terms of voting record. Clinton, like Biden and Warren, would be the second-most liberal nominee in the modern era in terms of public statements.

And therein lies Warren’s problem. The clamoring for Warren to run in 2016 doesn’t go much beyond the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Warren may be the most liberal, but the other top 2016 contenders haven’t left a lot of room on the ideological left for her to gain a foothold.
March 25, 2016

The Curious Islamophobic Politics of Dem Congressmember Tulsi Gabbard

The Curious Islamophobic Politics of Dem Congressmember Tulsi Gabbard

She's particularly a favorite of right-wing media. Appearing with Fox's Neil Cavuto last week, she lashed out at the White House for holding an extremism summit with Muslim Americans, saying it's a “diversion from what our real focus needs to be. And that focus is on that Islamic extremist threat.” She criticized Obama for saying that “poverty, lack of access to jobs, lack of access to education” is contributing to radicalization. “They are not fueled by materialistic motivation, it's actually a theological, this radical Islamic ideology,” she said, throwing red meat to Fox viewers.

But the case of Tulsi Gabbard becomes less curious and more expected once you look at her links to a different set of ethnic and religious hardliners: the Hindu nationalist Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Since her election to Congress, Gabbard has tied herself closely to this party, which has a history of condoning hatred and violence against India's Muslim minority. Many of her stateside donors and supporters are also big supporters of this movement, which disdains secularism and promotes religious sectarianism.

Meet the Islamophobic BJP

In May 2014, the BJP swept the Indian election, and the man it made prime minister was then-governor of the state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. To say Modi is a controversial figure would be a considerable understatement. In 2002, huge riots broke out in his state, with primarily Hindu mobs attacking Muslim residents. Over 2,000 men, women, and children were killed, with many more injured; mass rape was also documented. Almost all of the victims were Muslim.


March 24, 2016

Revolution doesn't mean what you think it does ~HRC ~ Article


Many marginalized people in red states depend on the Democratic Party in ways that privileged people in true blue states don’t need to. They (we) don’t have the luxury of being contemptuous of the Democratic Party for not being as progressive as we might like them to be, because marginalized people’s basic rights are constantly under assault.

There are certainly a number of people who voted for Clinton in Southern states who appreciate and value Sanders’ critiques of corporate corruption, yet bristle at his disdain for establishment politics. In those states, the near-total lack of progressive infrastructure means that the Democratic Party—the establishment—is the only well-funded institution prepared to hold the line against conservative oppression.

A revolution that includes the decimation of establishment politics risks leaving many Democratic voters in red states without any functional defense at all.

The truth is, the framing of this election as those who are desirous of revolution and those who are not entirely misses that the real distinction is about strategy. Everyone wants meaningful change: The real disagreement is just about how best to achieve it.

As we near a general election in which the two camps need to find a way to come together, this point must be made clear. Incrementalism is not a rejection of revolution, and it is certainly not indicative of indifference. It would be a mistake to misinterpret as indifference what is in reality a calculated caution.

A greater sensitivity to those considerations may reveal that supporters of both approaches have more in common than some of them might imagine.

So many good articles these days
March 24, 2016

1991 Bernie Sanders Speech to Democratic Socialists of America ~video

1991 Bernie Sanders Speech to Democratic Socialists of America


This is pretty interesting! He talks almost an hour plus takes questions from the audience. He explains his rise, how he did it, his philosophy, his take on Democrats and Republicans, what was happening at the time.... Pretty telling. Seems he hasn't changed much.
March 23, 2016

Why Hillary Won't Be Indicted and Shouldn't Be: An Objective Legal Analysis

Another really long read ~written by a law professor:

Why Hillary Won't Be Indicted and Shouldn't Be: An Objective Legal Analysis
There is no reason to think that Clinton committed any crimes with respect to the use of her email server.


Shouldn’t Clinton have known that some of information in her emails must have been classified?

If the ?material she received was unmarked, the answer is most likely “no.” Some classified information, no matter how sensitive, may appear sensitive only to those aware of a larger context. A report that Iran had received a ton of apricots from Turkey might, for example, be classified as top secret not because there is anything sensitive about the apricot shipment but because if Iran knew we had this information, it would know we had found a way to penetrate a secret shipping network. Yet few but the report’s originator would have reason to think the information was classified. The government also has rules regarding classified information that strike many people as silly. Following the WikiLeaks and Snowden incidents, for example, references to documents containing top-secret information were the subject of television and press reports. But the fact that hundreds of millions of people around the world knew the once closely held information did not change its classification status, as I was reminded in a memo sent to DHS employees, which went on to tell its recipients that they should avoid exposure to news referencing these documents.

more, a lot more.....
March 23, 2016

Why the 2016 Election Will Be One of the Most Pivotal Moments of Our Time

Why the 2016 Election Will Be One of the Most Pivotal Moments of Our Time
Every four years the political parties describe the impending presidential election as a historic event – and every once in a while it's true


Very long read from Rolling Stone

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