Were We Infiltrated?

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I am all in with Bernie Sanders. I am no fan of Hillary Clinton and I never have been. But I did hold my nose and vote for her in the general election in an effort to do my part to block Trump.

Yes, the people at the DNC violated the bylaws in favor of Hillary and they sabotaged Bernie. We all know that. What they did is despicable.
Debbie Wasserman-Schulz, John Podesta, Donna Brazile, and others are not forgivable but they are no longer at the DNC and we can only hope that together Tom Perez and Keith Ellison will rebuild and revamp it into a strong and progressive committee. We must move forward together if we are to regain seats. This is urgent!

The emails were real. Most people don’t care about who hacked them. In one sense, it doesn’t matter. If your partner cheats on you and then an anonymous person sends you the evidence of those cheating text messages, you don’t care who that anonymous person is – it’s the text messages that matter.

In a larger sense, however, it might matter. If there was Russian collusion to make Trump our president, then these emails could have been just a very lucky find for those Russians to help defeat Hillary. Maybe.

You have you ask yourself one very important question:
Since the DNC was obviously hacked in the spring, why weren’t those emails released right away so it could have helped Bernie? (This question has been ringing in my ears since the emails were released.)

Theory: Because Bernie Sanders was the more viable candidate and Trump wanted to run against Hillary.

Why did Guccifer 2.0 prefer Trump? And how is he connected to Wikileaks? And why did he wait until July 22 to release the DNC emails?

Was it Russia?
As more evidence is being revealed that Team Trump seems very chummy with Putin, it seems possible it could have been Russians. But does it matter? And will we ever know? It’s all speculation. Let a special prosecutor or a special council work on that.

This issue is quite convoluted. It’s a lot like a three-ring circus. This might be why we have some difficulty seeing how some of it fits together. The issue at hand is whether or not social media sites that were allegedly in support of Bernie Sanders were set up by or infiltrated by people who did not support Bernie.

There were many social media sites and twitter users, that were set up solely as a ruse. They pretended to be pro-Bernie but were actually only anti-Hillary (and thereby pro-Trump). 

It wasn’t Rachel Maddow who led me to this conclusion. Sorry, but I don’t watch her. In September 2016, I discovered that one Facebook page in particular, “Bernie Sanders Lovers”, was owned by a kid in Kosovo who also owned the clickbait website Bients. That FB page was posting nothing but Hillary hate and Stein promotional posts.  *
FB: Bernie Sanders – Not For Sale (post)

Pause. Think. The end game for many of these pages was to funnel votes away from Hillary. Yes, Hillary and her supporters made themselves fair game throughout the election cycle.  The discussion about Hillary, her online supporters, and Correct the Record trolls could go on for days. This post isn’t about that.  But she was the only viable candidate who could defeat Trump once she was nominated.

Enter Jill Stein. Some of these sites that had initially been putting themselves out as Bernie support pages started promoting Demexit and hoisting up Jill Stein towards the end of the primaries.

AND THEN they became Stein support pages.  And this is the important part – they became “Never Hillary” pages. People were recruited. These pages might have helped Trump win the election with their “Never Hillary” message.

Bernie Sanders tried to convince people to vote for Clinton in an effort to block Trump.
He was being sincere, regardless of what anyone says. 

A major Sanders organizer in Southern California, John Mattes says “we were played.”

Noting that Sanders supports efforts to weed out the Facebook attackers, Mattes said that unless legislative mechanisms are created to stop it, “they will do it again.”


* UPDATE: September 14, 2017
Today I discovered an online piece that reinforces this info and what is posted on the Facebook page:
Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Faced A Fake News Tsunami. Where Did It Come From?


This post was written on-the-fly, is a work in progress, and is subject to updates later.


In solidarity!


We must move forward together

If there is ever to be any hope of taking away seats from the Republicans, the only way to do that is to unify.

We must unify, and we must do it now. Our differences of the past need to be left in the past, regardless of any pain that might still exist.

For us to continue to rehash each and every offense – real &/or perceived – is not only an effort in futility, but it is damaging to the cause and to ourselves as individuals.

Splintering has gotten us nowhere. It got us Trump. We cannot be divided any longer. We cannot discuss demexit or third parties or new parties or any other off-shoots. It’s up to us to take what already exists and pump new life into it.

The Democratic Party can be strong if all liberals and progressives unite. All other efforts are just nilly-willy and will never move forward.

Mistakes were made. Some were errors of omission, some were much more egregious. Comparing and debating them helps nobody, least of all the party. It weakens and diminishes each of us individually, and as a group that needs to be readying itself to take on the Republicans (not one another).

Playing tit-for-tat is most often only a game that is a fallacy of relative privation.

And please, let’s stop saying Bernie is not a Democrat. It is irrelevant. In his home state of Vermont, there is no party registration. He has voted with the party more often than the average Democrat (95 percent of the time opposed to 80 percent). He has held positions in Democratic committees.

By the way, the Democratic Party appointed Bernie the Chair of Outreach in November 2016.

This is a call to action. I implore you to make a personal commitment to doing all you can to help rebuild the party, to help to stop the negativism, and to sharing this message with others so we can all work together.

Solution Problem button 2

“There is no more neutrality in the world.
You either have to be part of the solution,
or you’re going to be part of the problem.”

In Solidarity!

A Third Party is Not Going to Replace the Democrats

The only viable path for the left is a takeover of the Democratic party

A Third Party is Not Going to Replace the Democrats
– The Left Needs to Fight From Within

“The idea that the Democratic Party is beyond reform, and thus a new party is necessary, is popular among disenchanted progressives, angry over the skewed primary that handed Hillary Clinton the nomination, and Donald Trump the presidency. Embodied by the hashtag #DemExit, these sentiments are understandable, but they are also misguided.”

Progressives must unite

“For those who wish to see progressive change, the only viable path right now is to take back control of the Democratic Party from the establishment. And the only way to do that by unifying.”

“In purely pragmatic terms, this is the easier path to accomplish progressive goals – capturing the Democrats’ existing infrastructure and built-in voter base – than it is to start a new party from scratch. After all, the left will need a broad coalition to actually win national elections.”


credit: Walker Bragman



How Did Donald Trump Get Elected President?

How Third Party Votes Cost America Dearly

While the end electoral count ended up at a narrow margin of 279 vs. 228, the story behind Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the highest office in the nation culminates in a story of disenfranchisement and a small group of people who inadvertently decided the election.

“The numbers don’t lie: If you voted for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, you voted for Trump. You were told. Don’t ever tell yourself different.”
— Rachelle Lefevre (@RachelleLefevre) November 9, 2016

Does this mean that we should abolish third party voting? No. There is a fundamental right to being able to vote for whoever you want to.

But maybe the third party candidates can look at their chances to be elected with a cold and unwavering eye. And in elections such as this one, where the stakes are entirely too high, make the decision to bow out for the greater good.

How Did Donald Trump Get Elected President?

Correct the Record

As Bernie Sanders so aptly put it, David Brock is the “scum of the earth”.  Here is the wikipedia bio summary:
David Brock (born November 2, 1962) is an American political operative, author, and commentator who founded the liberal blog Media Matters for America. He has been described by Time magazine as “one of the most influential operatives in the Democratic Party.” Brock began his career as a right-wing investigative reporter during the 1990s who wrote the book The Real Anita Hill and the Troopergate story, which led to Paula Jones filing a lawsuit against Bill Clinton. In the late 1990s he switched sides, aligning himself with the Democratic Party, and in particular with Bill and Hillary Clinton. In 2004, he founded Media Matters for America, a non-profit organization that describes itself as a “progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.” He has since also founded super PACs called American Bridge 21st Century and Correct the Record, has become a board member of the super PAC Priorities USA Action, and has been elected chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). The Nation has described Brock as a “conservative journalistic assassin turned progressive empire-builder”; National Review has called him a “right-wing assassin turned left-wing assassin”; and Politico has profiled him as a “former right-wing journalist-turned-pro-Clinton crusader.

David Brock

Let’s talk about Correct the Record (CTR), the organization created by Brock and that pays him $4500 a month. Yes, they heavily targeted Bernie supporters during the primaries. But by the first of June, they had switched their focus entirely to Trump. Entirely. This was apparent by simple observation of the CTR website.

There are no CTR Trolls who are being paid to harass anyone except Trump supporters. So, it is high time that people who are not Trump supporters stop accusing other non-Trump supporters of being CTR Trolls.

If someone chooses to follow Bernie Sanders’ lead and support Clinton rather than any other candidate in this presidential race, it is inappropriate to call that person a Correct the Record Troll, Paid Troll, Paid Shill, Bot, or any other name. Again – CTR is only targeting Trump.

Come to think of it, I could really use the money. Maybe I should sign up. Nah. Don’t have time for that.

Good reference links:
How David Brock Built an Empire to Put Hillary in the White House
Correct the Record website
What Is “Correct The Record”?
Meet The Shills


Democracy Spring After the DNC

Democracy Spring way fwdI just had the pleasure of reading Democracy Spring’s piece entitled “Democracy Spring After the DNC”, posted on Medium. It spoke not only to me, but also for me. Here is my summary, or rather Cliff’s notes version of that piece. The link to the full version will be at the bottom of this page. It is well worth your time.

First, the social view of power tells us that popular movements can win regardless of who holds authority in government.
Further, voting must be clearly understood, as Noam Chomsky argues, not as “a form of individual self-expression [but rather] as an act to be judged on its likely consequences.” Predictable social impact, not preferred alignment with personal values, must guide us.

Second, the fundamental structure of the United States electoral system limits our options for effective political action. Denying these constraints won’t help us change them.
Ours is a first-past-the-post, winner-take-all, single-member district electoral system. Further, if a minor party candidate gains substantial minority support they actually empower the major party most opposed to their positions by pulling a potentially decisive margin of votes from the more closely-aligned major party. The “spoiler effect” is real.
At no level of government is this more true than the Presidency. In the US, the presidential candidate who wins a majority of electoral college votes wins the race.

Thus — a third key point — in the US, movements win by mobilizing popular support to shift the political landscape and force at least one of the two parties to adopt and institutionalize their demands.

Together, these three points lead to a clear conclusion: strategic voting and effective electoral engagement for progressive struggles in our country requires that, with rare exceptions, we shape the terrain of political struggle in our favor by supporting egalitarian challengers like Bernie Sanders in Democratic Party primaries and — to defeat Republicans who firmly oppose our demands — critically supporting Democrats in the general election.

First, we must defeat Trump. In this populist moment, Trump’s fascism represents the greatest possible threat to the democracy movement and any progressive insurgency.

Second, we must accept the fact that Trump will only be defeated by electing Hillary Clinton. Because of the electoral rules we reviewed above, a minor party candidate like Jill Stein — despite her bold progressive platform and transformative aspirations — simply will not win.

However, let us be very clear. By voting for Clinton, we are not choosing a friend, a leader, or a champion of our values. We are choosing the better option among two possible political battlefields.

We must also acknowledge — if only to recognize the victories and power of progressive movements — that Clinton has been pushed to adopt many just positions including the key demands of our movement, DAPA, the fight for $15, debt-free college, and opposition to the TPP. These promises matter not because Clinton is a trustworthy leader, but because the support of a presidential nominee legitimizes our positions, shifts the debate in our favor, and creates political costs for elected officials (including her) who fail to enact our demands.

Third, we must remember that despite the importance of the Presidency for defining the political landscape, control of Congress is even more critical for our fight.

With the Equal Voice For All Declaration (EVFA) and decentralized nonviolent direct action. We will challenge competitive Congressional and down-ballot candidates across the country to sign the EVFA and go on the record in support of democracy reform.

No reform, we shut it down. Then in 2018, we take over.
Full article: Democracy Spring After The DNC


Bernie & Jane’s Real Estate

Yes, Bernie and Jane Sanders purchased a third home in August 2016. At a reported $575K.
So what?

Jane had inherited a lake house in Maine that had been in her family since 1900 and which they rarely had an opportunity to visit.
They sold that property and reinvested the proceeds to purchase the modest summer house on Lake Champlain. Reinvesting the proceeds of a real estate sale is also what intelligent people do in order to avoid ungodly Capital Gains taxes.

Wash DC home
And yes, it is their third home. They also own a home in Washington, D.C. Where, by the way, Bernie has worked for many years.
It only makes sense that he would have purchased a home in the city where he works, rather than throwing away his money on rent.
The DC house is one bedroom, 896 sq ft.

Which brings us to Bernie and Jane’s Burlington, Vermont home.

In the end, what Bernie and Jane Sanders choose to do with their money is their business and only their business.

Not mine. Not yours. Only theirs.

Bernie Sanders Buys $575,000 Lakefront Vacation Home

Bernie Sanders’ New House: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know