Bernie Is Not Finished Yet

Feel The Bern 3

A lot of Bernie Sanders supporters may be disheartened after last night’s primaries.  But, lets look at the results from last night.  Other than Florida, where it was expected that Bernie would lose to Hillary, Hillary didn’t really win by large margins.

March 15 Democratic Primary Resuults

This only puts Hillary in the lead by 312 points (1074 to 762).  While this may seem like a huge lead, it really isn’t.  Hillary has berned (pun intended) through her southern firewall but, we are starting in on the western states that overwhelmingly favor Bernie.  There are still 2020 pledged delegates in the upcoming primaries, 694 on June 7 alone.

The second Democratic presidential primary (Democratic Presidential Primary 2.0) runs from March 16 through June 7. Hillary Clinton’s “Southern Firewall” states are not included because they all will have already voted. It includes all of the Pacific states, and all of the “Mountain” states except Colorado and Nevada (which already voted). The biggest prizes are California (475 delegates), New York (247) and Pennsylvania (189).

Democratic Presidential Primary 2.0 elects a total of 2020 pledged delegates. If Bernie Sanders wins those races (and delegates) by the same 60-40 margin that he has amassed in primaries and caucuses outside the “Southern Firewall” to date, then that will give him an advantage of 404 pledged delegates. That is far more than the current Clinton margin of 312.

It’s not over yet my fellow Bernie Sanders supporters.  We are just getting started.  This race could very well come down to the wire.

Polk County Democratic Convention

Polk County Democrats

This past weekend, I worked on the Rules Committee for the Polk County Democratic Convention (PCDC).  This year was the first time I have ever participated in the Iowa Caucuses.  I volunteered to be a delegate for Bernie Sanders at the county level.

The PCDC was an extremely grueling process that lasted 14 hours thanks to written objections by the Hillary campaign.  From what I was told, normally the PCDC lasts between 4 – 8 hours.  The first written complaint from the Hillary camp was,

We object to the seating of unlisted alternates who filled out yellow forms.  Alternates must have been on the lists, per established rules.

The Clinton and Sanders campaigns were instructed to submit comprehensive lists of each parties’ Delegates and Alternates to the Polk County Democrats by 12:00 noon on Friday March 11 which was done on both sides.  The objection was based on the allegation that the Polk County Democrats were prepared to credential “alternates” who showed up at the convention that were not on the list of Delegates or Alternates provided by each campaign by 12:00 noon on Friday.

The complaint was that had they known that they could included additional Alternates, they would have done so prior to 12:00 noon on Friday. The impression being that they were concerned that allowing Unlisted Alternates to be credentialed would be fundamentally unfair and could tip the balance of delegates in favor of the Sanders campaign.

The assessment at this point was if the campaigns had in fact been led to believe only those individuals identified on the lists submitted by 12 noon on Friday were the only Delegates and Alternates that would be recognized and credentialed at the Convention, and there was no rule addressing credentialing of Unlisted Alternates, then it was important to covey that information to the Polk County Democrats and the Credential Committee.

We were informed that it was a long-standing policy to allow individuals who showed
up to past conventions to be credentialed as delegates, assuming there were still delegate slots available. This would be in the best interests of the county and state parties.  It was assumed that since any such individuals would not already be on the Delegate/Alternate lists provided by the campaigns, the Yellow Forms would be a method of implementing that policy.

 

It was determined that since there was no provision for that policy in the published rules for this convention, the objection was valid, and that no Unlisted Alternates should or could be credentialed.  The County Party and Credential representative acknowledged the position of the Rules Committee on this point, and agreed not to credential any Unlisted Alternate.
After lunch at 12:00 noon, the Sanders campaign the Clinton campaign would conduct their business in the Cafeteria.conducted there business in the Auditorium, and the Clinton campaign conducted their business in the Cafeteria.
After lunch, we received another written complaint from the Hillary campaign stating,
“The Hillary Clinton Delegates and Alternates object to the “unlisted alternates” who were given packets and seated at the Polk County Democratic Convention.  The yellow sheets for “unlisted alternates” was initially thrown away, but retrieved from the trash. We were told they were removed from the convention, but they were not. Unless all of those voting in attendance are personally matched to those on the official lists, we object to the final results of the convention.

At this point, it was determined that we would have to re-credential all of the Delegates and Alternates off of the “Master List” on both the Sanders campaign and the Clinton campaign.  To do that, we assigned 2 Sanders Rules or Credentials Committee members and 2 Clinton Rules or Credentials Committee members to re-credential all Delegates and Alternates.  We also assigned a Sanders Rules or Credentials Committee member and Clinton Rules or Credentials Committee member  to re-count all of the Delegates and Alternates after the re-credentialing was completed.This process too around 3 1/2 hours to complete.  At the conclusion of this process, we weeded out 4 Clinton Alternates and 2 Sanders Alternates that did not have credentials.

It is my belief that this was a ploy by the Clinton Campaign to thin out the Delegates and Alternates with hopes that more Sanders Delegates and Alternates would leave than Clinton Delegates and Alternates.  Of course, I can’t prove this with anything other that the facts listed above.

As if this process wasn’t painful enough, I will also be a Delegate for Bernie Sanders at the District / State Convention.  And if asked, I will volunteer to be a Delegate for Bernie Sanders at the National Convention in Philadelphia.  I guess I am just a glutton for punishment.

Why Hillary Clinton Is The Wrong Choice For African Americans

 

Black voters feel they have to vote for Hillary Clinton, but her real record reveals a more disturbing truth which she is counting on them to ignore.

While stumping in South Carolina in 2008, Hillary Clinton remarked that “Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964”.  NBC Meet the Press host Tim Russert later told Clinton, it was as if Hillary implied “it took a white man to get blacks to the mountaintop”.

Hillary Clinton’s racial attacks didn’t stop there. The Clintons will say and do anything to get elected. When it was politically convenient for Hillary to paint Obama as a hater of white Americans, that’s exactly what she did.  Hillary once said, “Senator Obama’s support among hardworking Americans, white Americans is weakening, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me [Clinton]”.

In Senator Ted Kennedy’s 2010 book, Game Change, it was noted, that during During Hillary’s 2008 campaign, “Bill Clinton’s main assignment was continuing to make phone calls to super delegates, in which he pressed the case for Hillary and against Obama aggressively – at times too aggressively. Clinton’s message, sometimes implicitly, sometimes explicitly, was that the country wasn’t ready to elect an African American president. Some recipients of the calls found them discomforting, others embarrassing; few found them effective”. Bill Clinton was outraged that Senator Ted Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama as a candidate in 2008 over Hillary and yelled at Kennedy saying, “a few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee”.  Nothing racist about that comment.

A January 9, 2008 editorial in the New York Times  titled “Unite, Not Divide, Really This Time,” observed that, “Mrs. Clinton ran an angry campaign in New Hampshire, and polls showed that voters noticed. She won narrowly, but came perilously close to injecting racial tension into what should have been – and still should be – an uplifting contest between the first major woman candidate and the first major African-American candidate.”

According to Public Policy Polling, in nine states that have more African American voters than Caucasians, Hillary’s support among African American voters ranges from 63% – 74% compared to Sanders who receives 12% – 23%.  It would seem that African American voters in the most recent states during Super Tuesday have forgotten why Hillary Clinton lost to President Barack Obama in 2008.

Hillary Clinton’s promises to fix racial disparities in America and her pandering to the Black Lives Matter movement and Al Sharpton do not make her deserving of the endorsement from Congressional Black Caucus members. Hillary Clinton has been in public office for 32 years and she has yet to demonstrate any marked improved on key indicators, such as the high crime, incarceration and unemployment rates among African Americans who represent only 13% of the US population.

Hillary Clinton supported and pushed Former President Bill Clinton’s 1994 crime bill, which incarcerated more blacks than any other President in US history.  Bill Clinton also signed into law the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, which gutted welfare. He repealed the Glass-Steagall Act in 1996 (a Depression-era banking law that kept different kinds of banking institutions separate) which, arguably, led to the 2008 housing crisis and disproportionately affected black homeowners.

If racial inequality is a driving factor for you this election and you are planning on voting for Hillary Clinton,  you may want to rethink your position.

51 Days Into The Year And Already 30 Mass Shootings

Mass Shootings 1.jpg

As of February 21, 2016, there have been 30 mass shootings, killing 42 people and injuring 113.  To me, this is unacceptable and it amazes me that there are so many Americans out there that do nothing to help stop these atrocities from occurring.  I understand that we as Americans have the right to bear arms, but the Second Amendment does not give people the right to murder innocent victims on a near daily basis.

Below is a list of the 30 mass shootings over the first 51 days of 2016.  The availability of guns plays a major part in why these mass shootings occur at such an alarming rate.  The United States has such lax gun laws that even suspected terrorists can easily acquire a gun.

 

Mass Shootings Up To February 21 2016.PNG

Another reason that we have so many mass shootings is due to Mental Health.  Over 30 years ago, when Reagan was elected President in 1980, he discarded a law proposed by his predecessor that would have continued funding federal community mental health centers. This basically eliminated services for people struggling with mental illness.

A popular theory for why teens are committing mass shootings has to do with movies and video games.  A new report from an American Psychological Association task force has concluded that playing violent video games can lead to an increase in aggression.  However, even after more than 20 years of studies, the APA says there still isn’t enough research into whether games cause actual criminal violence. To reach any conclusions about whether playing a first-person shooter will increase the likelihood that someone will shoot people in real life, there need to be more studies.  I personally believe that, while playing violent video games can lead to aggressive behavior, it would take a pre-existing mental issue to cause someone to transfer that aggression to acts of criminal violence.

Typical mass murderers are usually conservative, middle-aged, white males from relatively stable, lower-to-middle-class backgrounds. These individuals usually aspire to more than they can achieve, and when they see their ambitions thwarted, they blame others for their failures. They feel exclusion and develop an irrational, and eventually, homicidal hatred of anyone they consider a hindrance to their own aspirations. Quite often, they choose to die in an eruption of violence directed at these perceived oppressors. There are three common types of mass murderers: family annihilators, paramilitary enthusiasts, and disgruntled workers. Social areas of dysfunction, such as unemployment, loneliness, a family breakup, or an argument with a supervisor, can trigger their deadly rage.

Over the last 30 years, we have been on a downward spiral thanks to the corporatization of America.  From Reagan’s discarding of mental health legislation in 1980, to the disappearance of the nuclear family caused by the need to work multiple jobs to make ends meet due to a stagnant minimum wage.  Many people can’t afford to go to college due to exceedingly high tuition causing them to have to take a lower paying job.  Those that do have a college education are most likely saddled with crippling debt due to exceedingly high tuition.

There are many things that we can do to quell the number of mass shootings that we currently have.  It starts with comprehensive gun control laws.  This does not mean that Liberals are coming to take your guns away.  It does, however, mean that those with violent criminal backgrounds, ties to terrorist organizations (ISIS, KKK, etc) or mental health issues should not be allowed to have a firearm.

Increasing the minimum wage to a “living” wage so that a person can support a family of 3 on a single income would strengthen the nuclear family and provide children with a stronger family setting.

Lowering tuition or, like Bernie Sanders proposes, free tuition at state colleges would provide education for those that may not be able to afford it.  An educated populous benefits everyone and provides a path to a brighter and more lucrative life for the individual.

These are just a few things that could be done to lower the number of mass shootings significantly.  Over the last 3 decades, Congress has proven that it will not do anything that the NRA, Corporations, Big Pharmaceutical and Big Banks don’t approve of.  This election year, lets rid Congress of the obstructionists and put in people that will work for We The People instead of their big money puppeteers.

Antonin Scalia

Antonin Scalia

While the death of anyone is a sad occasion, the death of some help to bring about change.  This is the case with the death, from natural causes, of Antonin Scalia.  He was confirmed by the US Senate on August 5, 1982, and was sworn in on August 17, 1982.

Justice Scalia opposed Row v Wade, saying that it was wrongly decided & should be overturned.  On June 29, 1992, Justice Scalia joined the Court’s decision on PLANNED PARENTHOOD v. CASEY.  At issue were five provisions of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act of 1982:  requiring a 24-hour “informed consent” waiting period before the abortion is performed; mandating the consent of one parent for a minor to obtain an abortion, with a judicial bypass procedure; requiring notification of the husband; defining a “medical emergency” that will excuse compliance with the foregoing requirements; imposing reporting requirements on facilities providing abortion services.

Justice Scalia was opposed to gay marriage, saying, “everyone in history, until 15 years ago, understood marriage.”  Justice Scalia also said of the landmark 6-3 ruling on Lawrence v. Texas on Jun 26, 2003, that “legal sodomy leads to legal incest, adultery, & bestiality.”  The court had previously addressed the same issue in 1986 in Bowers v. Hardwick, where it upheld a challenged Georgia statute, not finding a constitutional protection of sexual privacy.

Justice Scalia was a supporter of the disastrous Citizens United case.  During the initial oral argument of the case in 2008, Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Roberts asked questions that implied something far more expansive, and declaratory, than statutory interpretation.  They wanted to hear arguments about whether the law banning corporate election spending could be justified at all.  With the nature of the case changing, the Court requested that the parties write new briefs and reargue the case, explaining the constitutional legitimacy of independent corporate spending limits.  However, there was no chance to research the underlying factual issues.  No record was created to address these new foundational constitutional questions.  The case came back to the Supreme Court in 2009. Ted Olson, the lawyer for Citizens United, argued that there was no justification for the law because there is “no quid pro quo there [when corporations spend money in campaigns], and if there is it would be punishable as a crime.”

Justice Scalia, during oral arguments at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, February 27, 2013, said that the Court had to rescue Congress from the trap of being afraid to vote against a “racial entitlement”, the “entitlement” in question being the Voting Rights Act.  A few weeks later on Monday, April 15, 2013, Justice Scalia told a group of students that the provision is an “embedded” form of “racial preferment.” He believes the provision is a racial entitlement because the federal government does not take a similar interest in protecting the voting rights of whites.

My condolences go out to the family and friends of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.  But, I am not sad to see him go.  With Justice Scalia’s ultra conservative views on women’s rights, LGBT rights, Citizens United and voting rights, I see hope for the future with him being replaced, either by President Barack Obama (provided the Republican Congress doesn’t obstruct it) or by Bernie Sanders appointing Barack Obama as a Supreme Court Justice.

Republican Front Runners Part 3 of 3

The Iowa caucus has completed and the prominent front runners have been picked.  Raphael (Ted) Cruz came in first with 27.6% of the vote, Donald Trump came in second with 24.3% of the vote and Marco Rubio came in third with 23.1% of the vote.  The remaining Republican candidates received less then 10% of the vote.  This series of posts will cover the top 3 candidates.  I have already written about Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.  Now it is time to move on to the Iowa Caucus third place winner, Marco Rubio.

Official Portrait

Women’s Health

Marco Rubio believes that Roe v. Wade was not only morally wrong, but it was a poorly decided legal precedent and should be overturned.  Let that one sink in for a minute.  Roe v. Wade is the Supreme Court case that held that the Constitution protected a woman’s right to an abortion prior to the viability of the fetus; thus, government regulation of abortions must meet strict scrutiny in judicial review.

Immigration

Marco Rubio’s immigration plan consists of asking Congress to pass a very specific bill that puts in place E-Verify, an entry-exit tracking to prevent visa overstays, and improve security on the border. Next, Rubio would modernize our legal immigration system, to a less family- based, more merit-based system.  Then Rubio would pass a bill that that would require the 12 million illegal immigrants that have been here longer than a decade to pass a background check, learn English, pay taxes and pay a fine to allow them to get a work permit.  After a substantial period of time in this status, assuming the immigrants haven’t violated any of the conditions of this status, they would be allowed to apply for legal residency and, after a number of years, apply for citizenship.

Terrorism

Marco Rubio promised that when he’s elected president, “We are going to rebuild our intelligence capabilities, and they’re going to tell us where the terrorists are.” It appears that Rubio is unaware that the Obama Administration has vastly increased spending on intelligence and made the #1 priority of the NSA and CIA to find terrorists. Rubio also said, “If we capture terrorists, they’re going to Guantánamo, and we will find out everything they know.” It sounds as if Rubio would bring back torture, something that would be a direct violation of all four Geneva Conventions’, Article 3, “conflicts not of an international character.”

Obamacare

Marco Rubio will repeal Obamacare and strengthen Medicare.  Rubio plans to do this by shuttering Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of un-elected bureaucrats whose ultimate aim is to ration care for the elderly.  Strengthening Medicare Advantage, which gives many seniors a choice of plans offering a wide range of benefits.  Making the Medicare trust fund permanently solvent, so that every senior enrolled in Medicare today can rely on the program for the rest of his or her life.  Giving seniors, and future retirees, more options to choose the coverage they need and the doctors they see.  Rubio’s plan, at least he has one, would still take coverage away from millions of Americans.  Rubio’s plan would also eliminate the requirements that insurance plans cover essential benefits, and let them charge higher prices to sicker customers.

Climate Change

Marco Rubio is different from the rest of the Republican Presidential Candidates because he actually does believes climate change is happening.  The problem is that he doesn’t believe that it is caused by man. Rubio has said, “I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy.”  Rubio supports the Keystone XL pipeline and offshore oil and gas drilling.  Rubio has said that he will lift the ban on oil exports, stop the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and nullify federal regulations on fracking if he is elected.

Gun Control

Marco Rubio is proud to have an “A” rating from the NRA and fought to protect the Second Amendment by voting to block the Manchin-Bloomberg expansion of background checks, protecting the Second Amendment rights of veterans and their families, standing against any federal attempt to ban commonly owned sporting rifles and standard capacity magazines, pushing to make concealed-carry permits function like drivers’ licenses, so gun owners’ constitutional rights don’t end at state lines, opposing U.S. involvement in the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, working to expand opportunities for sportsmen on federal lands, fighting to defund the Department of Justice’s radical “Operation Choke Point” and other federal attacks on law-abiding gun manufacturers and dealers and pushing to bring fundamental Second Amendment rights back to D.C. residents.  Rubio has said that, on Day One, he will repeal President Obama’s “unconstitutional” executive orders that infringe on the Second Amendment.

LGBT Rights

Marco Rubio generally opposes gay marriage, but seemingly refuses to directly answer questions regarding whether he supports a federal amendment banning gay marriage.  In 2011 Rubio praised House Speaker John Boehner’s fight to save the Defense of Marriage Act, which allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages from other states, calling DOMA a “critical law.”  Rubio said of his own 2013 immigration bill, “If this bill has something in it that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill. I’m done.”

These are just a few of the many reasons why Marco Rubio must not become President of the United States of America and why we must get out there and vote this election year. As many of you know, I am a major supporter of Bernie Sanders and I am doing all I can to make sure he receives the nomination.  However, if Hillary Clinton should receive the nomination, I will vote for her over whoever they pick as the Republican nomination.  This election is far too important to allow another Republican into the White House and we absolutely must get our Congress back.

Republican Front Runners Part 2 of 3

The Iowa caucus has completed and the prominent front runners have been picked.  Raphael (Ted) Cruz came in first with 27.6% of the vote, Donald Trump came in second with 24.3% of the vote and Marco Rubio came in third with 23.1% of the vote.  The remaining Republican candidates received less then 10% of the vote.  This series of posts will cover the top 3 candidates.  I started with Ted Cruz.  Now it is time to move on to the Iowa Caucus second place winner, Donald Trump.

Donald Trump

Women’s Health

Donald Trump told reporters after a rally in Greenville, SC, “I will take care of women’s health and women’s health issues better than anybody and far better than Hillary Clinton, who doesn’t have a clue.”  When fellow presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, said that he’s, “not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues,” Trump fired back with, “That was a terrible thing for him to say, I cherish women, and I say it all the time. I will take care of women. Women under my administration will be taken care of, not like Jeb Bush; what he said was a disgrace.”  The biggest problem with Trump is, he is all bluster.  He has never really discussed his plan to “take care of women”.

Immigration

Donald Trump wants to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. As if that isn’t ridiculous enough, Trump plans on forcing the Mexican government to pay for it, saying “The impact [of illegal immigration] in terms of crime has been tragic,” Trump continues, “Meanwhile, Mexico continues to make billions on not only our bad trade deals but also relies heavily on the billions of dollars in remittances sent from illegal immigrants in the United States back to Mexico ($22 billion in 2013 alone). In short, the Mexican government has taken the United States to the cleaners, they are responsible for this problem, and they must help pay to clean it up.”  In Donald Trump’s position papers on immigration he wrote, “Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own.”

As for the Syrian Refugees, Donald Trump has said, “We have no idea who these people are, we are the worst when it comes to paperwork. This could be one of the great Trojan horses. We cannot let them into this country, period.”

Terrorism

In an interview on Fox New’s Fox and Friends, Donald Trump was asked how to fight ISIS but also minimize civilian causalities when terrorists often use human shields.  Part of his response was, “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.”  According to Politifact, to do this would be a direct violation of all four Geneva Conventions’, Article 3, “conflicts not of an international character”.  The U.S. Supreme Court, in the 2006 case Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld, ruled that “armed conflict not of an international character” means a war that is not fought against a sovereign state. (A sovereign state simply means a country with a recognized government.) Since groups like ISIS are not considered sovereign states, that means that Common Article 3 applies to the current war on terrorism.

Obamacare

Donald Trump thinks Obamacare is “a big, fat, horrible lie” and “a total catastrophe,” which he’s promised “is going to be a disaster.” Trump has said that the health care law should be repealed  and replaced.  Just like every other Republican Presidential Candidate in the field, Trump has no plan on what to replace the Affordable Care act with, leaving millions of Americans without health care.

Climate Change

Donald Trump told the crowd at a rally in Hilton Head, S.C., “Obama’s talking about all of this with the global warming and … a lot of it’s a hoax. It’s a hoax. I mean, it’s a money-making industry, OK? It’s a hoax, a lot of it.”  Trump said on Sept. 24, 2015, on CNN’s New Day, “I don’t believe in climate change.”

Gun Control

Donald Trump said in his position papers on the second amendment, “Here’s another important way to fight crime – empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves.”  It sounds like Donald Trump wants to take us back to the days of the old west.  Donald Trump said on NBC’s Meet the Press, “If you had more guns, you’d have more protection because the right people would have the guns.”  Trump added, “You have people that are mentally ill.  And they’re gonna come through the cracks.  And they’re going to do things that people will not even believe are possible.

LGBT Rights

Trump opposes same-sex marriage, but he criticized the Kentucky clerk, Kim Davis, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.  Trump condemned Republican candidates who called for a reversal of the court’s judgment saying, “anybody that’s making that an issue is doing it for political reasons, The Supreme Court ruled on it.”

These are just a few of the many reasons why Donald Trump must not become President of the United States of America and why we must get out there and vote this election year. As many of you know, I am a major supporter of Bernie Sanders and I am doing all I can to make sure he receives the nomination.  However, if Hillary Clinton should receive the nomination, I will vote for her over whoever they pick as the Republican nomination.  This election is far too important to allow another Republican into the White House and we absolutely must get our Congress back.