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An Open Letter To David Brock

You’re a media hitman. It’s what you’re good at, so it’s what you’ve dedicated your life to doing. You started off your miserable career by going after Anita Hill and then Bill Clinton by propagating lies and innuendo about them that you knew were lies. And you did it well.

And then you did a mea culpa in your book, “Blinded By The Right”. Good for you! Except that you didn’t change your tactics, you merely switched sides. So now you’re doing what you do on behalf your former target’s wife. This propaganda machine you’ve built for Hillary is impressive. Buying left wing blogs to help push out your lies about Bernie has been very effective. I’m seeing those bullshit links posted all over the place because even now that we all have access to the internet, you know that people don’t bother to fact check anything they just like the sound of. They just share, share, share with no regard for facts.

So bravo for your despicable smear work with Blue Nation Review. You’ve still got as good a game as you had when you were trashing Anita Hill and Bill Clinton.

And now you’ve upped your game by unleashing a battalion of paid trolls to attack Bernie and his supporters. I guess that you weren’t getting enough volunteers who were interested in supporting Hillary to do that, so enter the professionals to shut down Bernie supporters. Yesterday, you orchestrated and coordinated an attack in which your trolls-for-cash descended on at least seven Facebook pages who support Bernie Sanders.

Classy. Nothing says, “I’m supporting the best candidate and I know it” like shutting down anyone who doesn’t agree.

I would like to tell you that you’re making a horrible mistake. See, the people who support Bernie are largely in that self identified “independent” category that have been fleeing both parties in droves over the past decade. These are people who probably aren’t inclined to vote in every election and they’re certainly not inclined to vote along party lines, since they chose to send the parties a message by ending their affiliation with them.

Your mistake lies in not thinking ahead to a short ninety days from now, when you’re going to be begging those people to show up for Hillary in November. Remember, your fabulous candidate isn’t the strongest democrat against any republican who might get the nomination. Bernie is. So you’re desperately going to need to bring his supporters on board with Team Hillary.

Do you really think that your sleazy anti-democratic tactic of shutting down other people’s voices is the way to get the job done? Do you really think that the nearly half a million people whose access to the content they want to see was denied by you are going to forget what you did? Do you really think that this will get them enthused about Hillary, ever?

I’m going to do my best to be the voice of reason in November, by persuading my readers to do what needs to be done, but how effective do you think that I and other Bernie supporters like me are actually going to be?

You’re playing a dangerous and sleazy game here, Mr Brock. Unfortunately, there’s some chance that the whole country is going to pay for your oiliness. You need to retire for the sake of the country. No really, you do. You’ve literally never done anything good to elevate the political discourse in this country.

I would just like to say one thing to Hillary: shame on you. This man smeared your husband eighteen ways to Sunday when he was president. You’re a special kind of scumbag for unleashing this kind of sleaze on someone else, when you know what it feels like to be on the receiving end.

You’re lucky that I’m not emotional about politics. I will advocate that my readers do what needs to be done in November to keep a republican sociopath from becoming president and fucking the Supreme Court for another thirty years. But right now, at this moment, I’m utterly disgusted with you and with your media hitman.

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A Deal For Hillary Supporters

I have a proposition to make to all of the Hillary supporters who follow this blog. To demonstrate that I’m earnest in making this proposal, I’m going to start with a proffer in the form of a decisive statement and then a confession.

First, a decisive statement: Bernie Sanders is not going to be the democratic nominee. It’s just not going to happen, but not for the reasons you think. I know you’ve all been proclaiming he’s done, even as you’ve been watching him win primary after primary over the past month. Your commitment to denying what’s happening before your very eyes is adorable. Bernie isn’t going to be the nominee because neither Bernie nor Hillary are going to get enough pledged delegates to cross the finish line. They’re both going to the convention, and they both have a strong case to make for taking it to the convention.

It is mathematically impossible for Bernie to make up the 244 delegate deficit he has against Hillary at this very moment. He can’t do it. That’s a fact. He would have to win all of the remaining states by a 20 point margin to close that gap. It’s not going to happen. The pledged delegate gap at the end of all of this is going to be between 5% – 7% of the total delegate count, so it’s not going to be a decisive enough win for Hillary to reasonably claim that Bernie shouldn’t go to the convention to fight for the seventeen percent (of the total delegate count) of unpledged (or super) delegates.

Bernie will justifiably go to the convention, and nobody who isn’t completely bias can reasonably claim that he has no right to do so.

Now for my confession: At no point in this election, did I believe that Bernie was going to be the nominee. I’m not going to say that there weren’t a few fleeting moments here and there where I got caught up in the Bernmentum and didn’t think to myself, “he may actually pull this off” but those literally never lasted more than a few minutes at a time. I’m more analytical about politics, than I am emotional. So why have I so fervently supported Bernie? Why didn’t I make this confession to my closest friends until last week? Because getting Bernie as far as possible in this race has been a great thing for all of us. And whether you realize it right at this moment or not, Hillary supporters, you want him to go as far as he can too.

There are some terrible things that Hillary supported, that she can no longer do because of Bernie. She can no longer approve Keystone. She can no longer sign TPP into law. Don’t get too excited though. The fact that Hillary can’t sign TPP into law, probably means that Obama is going to have to do it as he’s walking out the door, like a thief in the night (a la Clinton repealing Glass Steagall). There are just too many corporate interests at stake for TPP not to be inevitable. There are a half a dozen less devastating (to some) bad ideas that Bernie forced Hillary to change her positions on; she no longer supports deporting immigrant kids, she probably won’t be promoting fracking (yes, she toured the world to promote fracking) in the US, she’s will never again claim that a $15 an hour minimum wage is too much to dream of. There are several more policy changes that you can Google for yourself.

My point is that Bernie made Hillary more liberal, and he so effectively cornered her on some issues, that you (Hillary supporter) are happier with her. You are. Don’t lie to yourselves.

You, dear Hillary supporter, agree that money is corrupting our political system. I know that you do, because ten years worth of polling data tells me that over 90% of democrats believe it (70% – 80% of republicans agree). You haven’t forgotten what you know, I’m positive that you haven’t. You’re just taking a little break on the issue. That’s fine, but you want this conversation to continue for as long as possible especially since I’m telling you that there’s no chance that Hillary isn’t going to be the nominee. This conversation will definitely quiet down after the election. It’s in all of our interest to keep it going for as long as we can. You, dear Hillary supporter, want single payer health care. I know you do, because I heard you while Obamacare was being hammered out. I know that for this election, you’ve convinced yourselves that single payer is a pipe dream, but it is in your self interest to keep this conversation alive for as long as possible. You, dear Hillary supporter, want tax payer funded higher education. Those of you in New York and California remember when it was available, and you got San Francisco and Manhattan as a direct result investing in education. Silicon Valley didn’t open up shop in California because they didn’t know that there were states in this country with no corporate income taxes. They opened up shop in California because that’s where they had access to a well educated candidate pool. I know you know this, Hillary supporters.

The most important reason why you (hang in with me for 2 more paragraphs) and I need for Bernie to have a strong argument to make at the convention is superdelegates. No one thinks that superdelegates are in any way, shape, or form democratic. Yes, they may be working in your favor sometimes, but you can’t fundamentally believe that the democratic party should have them. We should all be able to agree than when one candidate wins a state by twelve points, their opponent should not walk away with four more delegates in that state. We can all all agree that’s not democracy, right? I get that a fucked up thing seems slightly less fucked up when it’s working in your favor. I totally get that, but you still know that it’s fucked up. And it will continue to be fucked up long after it stops advancing your immediate goal. Seventeen percent of the total number of delegates can do whatever the fuck they want, regardless of how their constituents or former (many of them are no longer serving in office) constituents voted for. Some of them are lobbyists now. Both Dodd and Frank are lobbyists now. They’re both superdelegates, and they both have interests that aren’t yours.

We need to blow up this superdelegate thing once and for all. Getting Bernie to the convention with the closest margin of pledged delegates that we can will help to seriously damage this anti-democratic system. Let me repeat something I said earlier in this post; neither Bernie nor Hillary are going to get enough pledged delegates to cross the finish line. Superdelegates are going to take Hillary over the finish line. The closer we can get the pledged delegate count, the brighter the light that will be shone on this superdelegate system will be. We all want this. Let me repeat something else I said earlier in this post: Bernie Sanders is not going to be the democratic nominee. There is no chance that superdelegates will make Bernie the nominee. You are going to win this primary election, Hillary supporters. Bernie’s chances are as close to zero as is possible, without taking something completely unforseen (like a sudden and severe illness) into account.

It is in all democrats and liberals self interest to vote for Bernie at this point, especially if you’re on the fence. I know that some of you think that I’m trying to pull the wool over your eyes at this point. I’m not. We’re voting here in New York tomorrow. Bernie is not likely to win. He’s definitely not going to win by anything resembling enough to close the delegate gap by more than a handful of delegates. If he ties Hillary here, he’s going to have to win Pennsylvania and California by nearly 80% to close that delegate gap. It’s just not going to happen. If he loses to Hillary in New York by 5%, he’s going to have to win CA and PA by 83%. It’s not going to happen. He’s not going to be the nominee. But none of us need for him to leave the public stage before the very end.

Bernie Sanders is the first politician since Reagan started his last (of 3) bids for the white house, to reframe the public conversation in liberal terms. Bill Clinton put the final nail in coffin for liberal framing when he said, “The era of big government is over”. That’s when the left was officially shut out of the conversation. We’ve been operating under the right wing premises that taxes and government are bad ever since. Bernie has struck the only significant blow to that fucked up right wing framing that we’ve seen in thirty years. He has irrevocably changed the conversation in a way that both Hillary and Bernie supporters need. Hillary’s platform was initially based on accepting that fucked up framing, and it still is to a large extent. “We can’t afford to have the nice things that the rest of the first world has”. Bernie is literally the only candidate (on either side) who has been asked how he plans to pay for things. Ted Cruz says he wants to increase our fighter jet production by fifty percent, and no one bothers to ask him how he plans to pay for that? Hillary doesn’t have any sweeping reforms in her platform because she seems to have accepted the premise that all government spending is bad and that “big government” is bad, so she’s not going to do anything major or historic.

I know that you don’t believe that government is bad, Hillary supporters. I know you don’t, because see your non-Hillary posts.

So help me keep Bernie in this until July. You have nothing to risk and everything to gain.

I in turn, will do everything I can to get everyone to coalesce around Hillary in the general. Look, I’ve already pissed off and disappointed all of my Bernie peeps by writing this, so you know that I mean what I say.

We don’t have to wait until July to come together. We can all get what we want, and more of it if we come together now.

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The Ironically Named “Democratic” Party

For months now, some of us have noticed how thoroughly rigged the democratic presidential primary process has been. Others are too blinded by the fact that the game is rigged in favor of their candidate to notice. I’m going to ask Hillary supporters to set their emotional attachment to Hillary aside and hear me out for about the next five to ten minutes, because I promise you that I have information and empirical evidence of said rigging that will disturb you.

Let’s start with the obvious debate schedule debacle. Here’s a list of both republican and democratic debates (not to be confused with town halls) for this election cycle.

Republican:                                                                      Democratic:

Thursday, August 6th

Wednesday, September 16th

Wednesday, October 28th                                                Tuesday, October 13th

Tuesday, November 10th                                                  Saturday, November 14th

Tuesday, December 15th                                                   Saturday, December 19th (weekend before Christmas)

Thursday, January 14th                                                     Sunday, January 17th (MLK holiday weekend)

Saturday, February 6th                                                      Thursday, February 4th

Saturday, February 13th                                                    Thursday, February 11th

Thursday, February 25th                                                   Sunday, March 6th

Thursday, March 10th                                                        Wednesday, March 9th

Do you notice anything (other than the fact that republicans got to have the national conversation to themselves for nearly 3 months before a single democratic debate happened)? Democrats have only debated on Five nights when a large number of people would actually be watching versus republicans’ eight. There’s a reason why you can’t get into Shondaland on Saturday nights. Larry Wilmore was spot on when he called them “top secret debates”.

Then there’s all the DNC staffers who are moonlighting on Hillary’s campaign, the fact that a lot of Hillary’s campaign headquarters are actually in DNC field offices, and that time when the DNC finance chair got caught throwing a fundraiser for Hillary (thereby breaking DNC rules), and that time back in August when the DNC helped Hillary shore up a huge number of superdelegates before the election had even started. And then there was the data breach. You know, the one where instead of quietly handling it in house, Little Debbie called a press conference to announce that Bernie was a cheater? You know, the one where she never provided the data logs so that we could all see which staffers on both campaigns accessed the two way breach.

That’s all stuff you know, and that some have managed to dismiss. Now for the new information that should infuriate all democrats who value democracy, and feel that voters should pick the party’s presidential nominee.

So apparently back in August, Hillary made deals with thirty-three state parties to create a joint fundraising entity called “The Hillary Victory Fund”.

At this point I have to step back and have a wonky moment, wherein I recap a disastrous 2014 Supreme Court ruling that decimated the few campaign finance laws that were left after Citizen’s United. The case was McCutcheon v FEC. Before the McCutcheon ruling, individuals had an aggregate limit of $123,200 that they could donate. That means that they could give the maximum $2,600 contribution to a number of candidates or federal offices, but the aggregate total of their donations had to be no more than $123,200. There are different caps for different contributions, but those aren’t relevant to this post so you can click on that link if you want that information. The McCutcheon ruling got rid of that aggregate limit, meaning that a rich donor can give the maximum allowable amount to as many candidates, state, and federal parties they want to. So if someone wants to max out their contributions to (say) thirty-three (or fifty) different state democratic party organizations, as well as the DNC, they can do that.

Now back to the The Hillary Victory Fund (although most of you can see where this is going at this point in the post). The legal limit in contributions from an individual to a state democratic party is $10,000 a year. Let’s assume that the thirty three states we know about are the only ones who entered the The Hillary Victory Fund agreement. If each of Hillary’s billionaire donors maxed out their contributions and their spouse’s, that would be $660,000 per year that they contributed to Hillary. The deal was made in 2015, so they have two years worth of caps to max out. That would be 1.3 million dollars from each donor over the course of this primary cycle. By the end of 2015 (4 months after the fund was established), the The Hillary Victory Fund had raised 26 million dollars.

This whole thing is a legal money laundering scheme to funnel money into Hillary’s campaign. According to Counterpunch, the fund is administered by Hillary’s campaign’s COO. She has complete control over the fund and decides how much should go back to the state parties. Since she’s facing a stronger primary challenger than she had originally anticipated, I promise you that most of that money is going into her primary campaign rather than flowing back out to the states. But don’t feel too bad for the state parties that made this pact with her, since she’s going to raise a ton of money for them if she becomes the nominee.

Now at this point, the die hard Hillary supporters are going to assert that I’m practicing a lot of conjecture here. Don’t worry, I’m not done. The Montana Democratic Party entered into this fundraising scheme with Hillary in August of last year. Before the year was up, they had received maximum donations from the creme de la creme of democratic big money donors including: Susie Buell of California, Imaad Zuberi of California, Fred Eychaner of Chicago, Donald Sussman hedgefund manager from New York, Chicago real estate mogul J.B Pritzker, gay rights activist Jon Stryker of NY, NRA and Viacom lobbyist Jeffrey Forbes and entertainment mogul Haim Saban. I checked, and there are no records of contributions from any of these people to the Montana Democratic Party prior to 2015. Coincidentally, many of them donated maximum contributions to the parties for the other thirty-two states involved in The Hillary Victory Fund. That Counterpunch link I posted above goes into many more details about shenanigans in several other states and how they’re playing a shell game with the cash. I highly recommend you read it.

So while Hillary claims to be opposed to Citizen’s United, she’s making deals to reap the benefits of both that ruling and the McCutcheon ruling to rig the primary. Now I understand not wanting to show up to the general election gun fight with a pocket knife, but that’s not what’s happening here. The democratic party apparatchik is deciding for you, who the democratic nominee will be.

When Bernie is asked if he will support down ticket democrats, he’s not being asked so that you have more information. He’s being asked in order to remind the superdelegates and sitting members of congress, where their bread is buttered. I don’t imagine that Bernie has any plans to help blue dog, establishment corporate democrats get elected, nor would I want him to. There have been a few endorsement flips from Hillary to Bernie. Not many, but a few. Hillary doesn’t want to allow a domino effect to happen like it did in 2008, so she needs to use the massive purse strings she holds to reign in anyone who might be thinking about jumping ship.

This whole system stinks and you should agree regardless of who you support. Hillary isn’t going to be running for president forever, so her supporters should be very concerned about who is going to be dished out to them next time.

The most disturbing thing to me about this election cycle, has been watching democrats who used to believe that corporate money is the toxin in our political system, suddenly act like all of  Hillary’s corporate contributions are swell. I imagine that a lot of those people will resume posting articles and memes about the Koch brothers corruption of our politicians after this election is over, and acting like they’ve been on the right side of this issue all along. Or maybe they’re posting them now, alongside their pro Hillary stories, in the most stunning display of cognitive dissonance I’ve even witnessed.  I earnestly don’t understand how that pivot is possible. But honestly, if alarm bells aren’t going off for you over what she’s doing to game the primary, I have no hope for you.

Corporate money in our political system is the number one issue that needs to be addressed. It’s the issue that creates virtually all of the other issues that we have. It’s the reason for climate denial and why we’re so actively participating in the destruction of the planet. It’s the reason for the record breaking income inequality we’re seeing in the US. It’s why we have so many guns with precious little information on who has them. Your kids are literally being gunned down by corporate money in politics. It’s the reason why we have 25% of the world’s prison population. I can go on with a litany of other things, but you get the point. Until we deal with the money issue, we have no hope of dealing with most of the other issues that threaten our lives and livelihoods every single day.

Do I believe a candidate who is exploiting campaign finance laws to legally launder money into her campaign when she says that she wants to get money out of politics? I laugh…… oh how I laugh. I’m not an idiot, and I don’t know why anyone else would be for any candidate. I don’t know what her supporters think they’re going to get from her in exchange for their intelligence, but I hope it’s something good. Maybe a golden unicorn? Make no mistake, you’re going to get what you’ve been getting for decades: guns, prisoners, pollution, and a shrinking paycheck.

If I believed that Hillary was going to make getting corporate money out of politics a top priority, I assure you that I would be supporting her. But that’s simply not the case. Why would you want to fuck with the system that got you in the white house? Especially when you have two generations of your offspring to set up for their time in the white house.

I’m sorry, but I like democracy too much to fall for this shit. I wish that everyone did because other than amending the constitution, Bernie is our last chance to keep the focus on this issue which makes him our last hope of changing it. Fortunately, Bernie has greatly expanded a movement that will outlive him and this election. It is a movement built on the backs of the generation who has been fucked the most by thirty years of corporate rule of government. This is the first, but not the last generation who will make less o money than their parents made. This is a generation whose kids are going to be more fucked than they are, if things don’t change. This is not a generation that’s going to shut up and take it.

The degree to which my generation (Gen X for those who are wondering) got fucked by the corporate takeover of our government is, and should be, the limit of what can be tolerated. The millennials have gotten fucked much harder than even we were. They have every right to fight back, and I’m delighted to see that they’ve correctly identified the problem. They know that Hillary is not a “friendly”.

And after the information contained in this piece, you should too.

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