The Democratic Party, 2019

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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:56 pm

Totally on topic. This is The Democratic Party, 2019.

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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:15 pm

The intense competition among 2020 Democrats to be like Jay Inslee, explained
The failed presidential candidate who focused almost exclusively on climate change has set the tone for the Democratic field.

Tara GolshanSep 5, 2019, 11:50am EDT

Democratic presidential candidates are clamoring to get a blessing from Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee, the Democratic Party’s patron saint of climate policy.

Inslee has been in high demand since late August when he ended his presidential campaign — one that put out more than 200 pages of climate change policy, all of it ambitious and detailed.

Inslee sat down with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in Seattle last week as she was crafting her climate plan. He’s chatted with former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

Former housing secretary Julián Castro has been “looking for me,” Inslee told Vox, but they haven’t yet been able to connect.

Warren unveiled a plan Wednesday that adopted one plank of Inslee’s six-part platform, a proposal that focused on decarbonizing electricity, vehicles, and buildings through higher regulatory standards. Harris, too, has echoed Inslee’s “climate Justice” plan. And Castro’s climate plan, released Wednesday, followed Inslee’s timeline, to replace all coal-fired power generation with zero-emissions sources by 2030.

The candidates didn’t hesitate to give credit where due at the CNN climate town hall Wednesday night.

“I also want to give a shoutout to governor Jay Inslee who did a fantastic job of bringing this issue to the forefront of this campaign,” Castro said.

“I’m going to steal a line from Governor Inslee,” Harris said. “Donald Trump said wind turbines cause cancer. And Jay said no, they don’t cause cancer, they cause jobs.”

But while Inslee has become Democrats’ climate policy gold standard by name, few candidates have been as ambitious as the Washington governor in their actual proposals. And Inslee himself wants to see the candidates lay out clearer and faster timelines for achieving emissions reduction goals.

“You cannot have a love letter to 2050,” Inslee told Vox. “Just saying we are going to have clean air by 2050 isn’t going to cut it.”

Inslee put forward a very detailed climate platform

Before bowing out of the presidential race, Inslee created an ambitious, six-part climate proposal that has been lauded by almost every Democratic candidate still in the field.

His “100 percent Clean Energy for America” plan to get to 100 percent clean energy in electricity, new cars, and new buildings, which was later adopted by Warren, established a clear timeline: clean energy standard (CES) where all utilities must be carbon-neutral by 2030 and be 100 percent “clean, renewable and zero-emission” electricity by 2035.

His proposal for an “Evergreen Economy” was a 10-year, $9 trillion investment plan. He covered foreign policy in his “Global Climate Mobilization” plan. His “Freedom From Fossil Fuels” proposal called for an end to fossil fuel subsidy, a national fracking ban, a ban on “all new fossil fuel leasing on federal lands and offshore waters, including coal, oil, gas, oil shale and tar sands,” and a carbon fee. His “Community Climate Justice” plan emphasized addressing a current “system of economic exclusion and environmental racism.”

Now on the sidelines, Inslee said he is looking for two things: a clear timeline to get the United States on the path toward a fully green economy and the political will to fight for it to actually happen. Closely tied to his plan is his belief in getting rid of the filibuster, the Senate rule that essentially requires a 60-vote majority to pass any legislation, he said.

“We are going to have to mobilize the US economy behind a major national mission. It’s like winning World War II,” Inslee said. “It’s not just the plans on paper, it’s whether you put the muscle behind it.”

We are seeing the beginning of a fight to fill Inslee’s role as “the climate candidate”

Senator Bernie Sanders speaks from behind a podium draped with a sign reading, “Good jobs.”
US Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a rally at Howard University May 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Sunrise Movement held an event for the final stop of the “Road to a Green New Deal” tour.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Few Democrats have come close, in terms of investment and detail, to Inslee’s climate proposal. But the race to be seen as the next preeminent climate candidate is on.

Warren, who has endorsed the Green New Deal framework, has adopted the first proposal in Inslee’s climate platform, to decarbonize electricity and transportation by 2035. She has proposed a $3 trillion investment so far — about $6 trillion short of Inslee’s comprehensive proposal. So far, Warren has also incorporated climate policies in five plans around public lands, the military, trade, climate risk disclosure, and US manufacturing.

The Warren campaign says there is more coming.

“Gov. Inslee’s ideas will be central to talking about how we take on climate crisis,” a spokesperson for Warren’s campaign said. “We are continuing to look at the important plans he has put out.”

Sen. Kamala Harris echoed the ideas of “environmental justice,” addressing existing inequities in the transition to a green economy. Similar to other 2020 candidates, she lays out a timeline with a 2045 deadline; she wants to get to carbon-neutral power by 2030 and carbon-neutral passenger vehicles by 2035. Other candidates, including Castro and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, have laid out similar deadlines. Buttigieg’s proposal sets a zero emissions standard for electricity by 2035, net-zero emissions from industrial vehicles by 2040, and net-zero emissions by 2050.

But plans put forward by Harris, Biden, Warren, and Buttigieg do not address fossil fuels in the same way Inslee does, like provisions to expand and restore the crude oil export ban to coal and liquified natural gas, reject new fossil fuel infrastructure, and revoke many existing permits. Warren does support a crude oil ban.

At the CNN forum, Buttigieg also echoed Inslee’s rhetoric that climate would be this generation’s “World War II.” Most of these proposals have relatively modest federal investments. Warren’s is proposing $3 trillion in federal investment, Buttigieg’s backed roughly $1.5 billion. Biden and Harris proposed a mixture of public and private investments to boost up the dollar signs in their plans.

Meanwhile, Sanders’ campaign is the only one in the field that has produced a comprehensive climate plan with an even more ambitious federal investment than Inslee’s: a Sanders Green New Deal. His campaign is calling for a $16 trillion federal investment in developing a fully green economy. As Vox’s Dave Roberts writes, it’s “the only plan so far that rivals Inslee’s in scope and ambition. And it contained a few provisions that no other campaign has touched, most notably a plan to semi-nationalize the nation’s electric utilities.”

The plan has an intermediate goal of decarbonizing transportation and utilities by 2030, which would lower US emissions by 71 percent, calls for civil litigation, increasing pollution penalties, raising taxes on emitters, and requiring fossil fuel producers to pay for disaster risk bonds.

Sanders’s staffers have been pointing out that he is one of the only candidates that included a national ban on fracking, like Inslee, as well as a moratorium on fossil fuel infrastructure and expanding the fossil fuel export bans. Warren’s campaign had previously called for limits and regulations to fracking on public lands, but it told Vox she also supports a full ban on fracking, though it was not in the climate plan released Wednesday. Notably, however, Sanders does not support getting rid of the filibuster, and would rather call on Senate Democrats to push climate policy through budget reconciliation — a limited Senate procedure that allows one simple majority-passed legislation a year.

For now, Inslee, who told Vox he hadn’t read Sanders’ plan in full, said he isn’t looking at specifics as a judge of candidate’s plans.

Asked what he thought of specific litmus tests around federal investments and provisions, Insee said, “I don’t think we should be judging any of these plans by one specific policy. They have to be judged in totality.”

Democratic voters — especially young ones — really care about the climate

A man in a crowd of climate activists holds up a picture of flames with the words “climate emergency.”
Hundreds of climate activists gathered outside the CNN studios at 30 Hudson Yards where a Town Hall on Climate Policy was held on September 4, 2019
Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images
Climate change has become among the most important issue to Democratic primary voters — and it’s of particular importance to young voters.

More Americans say climate change is a major threat than they did even six years ago — but most of that change is among Democrats, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters, 84 percent say climate change is a major threat to the country as of July 2019; only 27 percent of Republicans said the same in 2019. A 2018 Pew survey found that it’s also a key issue motivating voters to the polls; 82 percent of registered Democrats said the environment was important in their vote.

This is particularly true for younger voters, who have a greater sense of urgency around the issue than their older counterparts and are a group Democrats are looking to energize come November 2020.

As Vox’s Umair Irfan reported, this is largely because the effects of climate change are getting harder to ignore.

“The United States saw billions of dollars in damages and dozens of deaths last year as rising temperatures increased the damages from extreme events,” Irfan writes. “These disasters helped make the somewhat abstract warming of the planet tangible in people’s minds.”

Democratic presidential candidates, eager to fill Inslee’s shoes as the climate candidate, are certainly taking this to heart. ... -explained
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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby Belligerent Savant » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:51 pm

Belligerent Savant » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:37 pm wrote:.

I say destroy it. Kill it with fire. The younger generations can build anew in their image.

F#ck any option keeping either party alive.

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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby Elvis » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:29 pm

Inslee is actually pretty good! I was disappointed he didn't get any traction in the first debate. He'll be a good cabinet appointee, maybe Interior. In some universe. Hopefully this one. :bigsmile
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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby Iamwhomiam » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:51 pm

Marionumber1 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:39 pm wrote:@Iamwhomiam, I don't think anyone here supports Trump diverting DoD money to pay for the border wall, especially when it's preventing disaster relief funds meant for Puerto Rico. The problem is with Nancy Pelosi making it seem like the primary issue (or at least a significant issue) is that "our troops" will be less able to defend our "national security", an absurd notion which is absolutely rooted in militarism and imperialism.

Hello, Marionumber1. Oh, I think we have a very few here who do support the building of the wall, regardless the source paying for it, who could care less about anything to do with Puerto Rico or its inhabitants. But by and large, I agree with your sentiment expressed in your first sentence. With regard to your second sentence, I saw it (Pelosi's remarks) in a much different light.

“Canceling military construction projects at home and abroad will undermine our national security and the quality of life and morale of our troops, making America less secure."

These are digs at Republican issues of heart ~ pure propaganda aimed at Republican fence-sitters.
At least when taken as a short Tweet or excerpted out of context. You said it better than I have: "making it seem like the primary issue (or at least a significant issue) is that "our troops" will be less able to defend our "national security", an absurd notion which is absolutely rooted in militarism and imperialism." Republican lifeblood, that there, absurd as it is.

SInce I listened to the weekly Democratic address yesterday morning I've wanted to get back to this this thread to say I was wrong about Pelosi's message being nothing more than "digs at Republican issues of heart," but wasn't wrong about it being pure propaganda. I truly felt Pelosi was being disingenuous, but Debbie Wasserman Schultz convinced me Pelosi was being sincere.

I still don't think anyone should be surprised by her remarks, regardless. At Pelosi's level of power there are no innocents, regardless of their party affiliation; they're all rooted in militarism and imperialism.

Thank you for your comments, Jack.

RocketMan, about this you wrote, "What adult in their right mind would give NANCY PELOSI the benefit of the doubt at this point?"

I simply misinterpreted her message as pure propaganda. It seems the Dems are going to make a political issue of it, rather than argue its illegality, because these are issues near and dear to Republicans - care for our military and homeland security. They're sure to promote any and all of Trump's unmet promises and shortcomings.
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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby RocketMan » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:29 am

RocketMan, about this you wrote, "What adult in their right mind would give NANCY PELOSI the benefit of the doubt at this point?"

I simply misinterpreted her message as pure propaganda. It seems the Dems are going to make a political issue of it, rather than argue its illegality, because these are issues near and dear to Republicans - care for our military and homeland security. They're sure to promote any and all of Trump's unmet promises and shortcomings.

Fair enough. I'm just, frankly, so perpetually angry at this point that I'm probably clouded in my judgments anyway. :rofl2

I just have zero time for amoral political calculations at this point, but I guess the game is what it is regardless of my opinions. :mrgreen: HAVING SAID THAT, I also have to disagree with the notion that the Republicans or indeed the entire military-intelligence-industrial complex can only be taken on "on their own terms".

If a popular politician is sophisticated enough, that is. But them they would risk assassination, probably... :starz: Okay, I'm going to get some coffee now.
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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:06 am

Detention Camps and Deadlock: US Immigration Policy Is in Disarray
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) does not represent a border state. Immigration is not a high priority issue in Oregon. Yet, motivated by compassion, curiosity, and a commitment to the rule of law, he became the first member of Congress to travel to the border to visit the now-infamous immigrant detention centers.

What he saw shocked him and ultimately the nation. The traumatic detention of children and the internment-camp-like facilities reminded him of the missed legislative opportunities that could have prevented this from happening.

In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, Merkley talks about some of the specific failures of past legislative efforts and the sharp disagreements between Republicans and Democrats on what to do next.
Merkley points out the irony of these facilities. Through their very cruelty, they were meant to serve as a deterrent to would-be immigrants. At the same time, however, they are shrouded in secrecy.

He explains that while his early visits — and those of other members of Congress and the media — may have shined some light on what’s going on, the brutality to children, the chaos at the border, and the physically substandard detention facilities are going to take a lot more than legislation to redress.

While the senator emphasizes his own legislative proposals and the “Stop Cruel Treatment Act” that he has introduced, it’s clear from listening to him that the solution lies not just in action by lawmakers in Washington, but by ordinary citizens demanding an end to the inhumane treatment of asylum-seekers in a country built, developed, and defended by generation after generation of immigrants.

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Jeff Schechtman: Welcome to the whowhatwhy podcast. I’m your host, Jeff Schechtman.

Jeff Schechtman: We’ve all seen the pictures of what’s going on at the border, migrant families and refugees living in subhuman conditions, a breakdown of the rule of law of sanitation and basic human decency. Children torn from their families. But seeing it on the nightly news or on cable is far different than seeing it up close and personal. What’s worse is that none of it is necessary. It’s all the result of cruel actions, bad policy and its net result for America is not to make us safer, but to fuel bigotry, hate and scapegoating. Worst of all, it comes from a deep strain in the America DNA that has reared its ugly presence too many times in our history. It’s a history we don’t seem to learn from, and one we should have outgrown by now.

Jeff Schechtman: We’re going to talk about this with a man who has seen it all, up close and personal, and is trying valiantly to redress the situation. He’s Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, and in addition to authoring legislation to try and deal with some of these issues, he’s the author of a new book entitled America Is Better Than This, Trump’s War Against Migrant Families.

Jeff Schechtman: Senator Merkley, thanks so much for joining us.

Jeff Merkley: Well, you’re very welcome. Good to be with you.

Jeff Schechtman: Talk about your early trips, your early forays down to the border and what you saw there personally.

Jeff Merkley: Yes, it was just in the beginning of June of last year, 2018, when I was reading a speech by the former Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he’d given a couple days before, called Zero Tolerance. And I thought, “Oh, zero tolerance, well, that sounds like tough on crime, not surprising from a Republican administration six months out from the election.” And as I read the details, it became clear to me that it envisioned ripping children out of their parents’ arms at the border. And I said to those around me, “There is no way they’re actually doing this. No American president or presidential team would ever embrace deliberately harming children as a political strategy to deter immigration.”

Jeff Merkley: And someone said to me, on my team said, “Well, there’s one way to find out. Go down to the border,” and I thought that absolutely right. So I flew down to the border that Sunday and became the first member of Congress to get into a customs and border protection processing center, saw the children after they had been torn from their parents arms being sorted into these chain-link cages in a warehouse, and I was just stunned, just absolutely stunned. I could not believe it. The press had never been allowed in. And shortly after, a couple hours later, I went up the road to Brownsville, I had heard that many of these separated children, these boys, were by the hundreds being stuffed into a place, a former Walmart, run by Southwest Key, it’s called Casa Padre.

Jeff Merkley: So I went up there, knocked on the door and asked to see what was going on. They didn’t like the fact that I was in the parking lot and called the police on me and conveyed to Americans that the administration wanted to keep secret what it was doing. But it also ended the secrecy. So that launched me on this effort to find out all the details at the different complex parts of the system and take on trying to end it.

Jeff Schechtman: There’s this weird irony in the whole thing where the idea of some of this going back to what Sessions said, and certainly what’s been said by others in the administration, that it is meant to be a deterrent, that it is meant to be punitive and yet there is this sense of secrecy about it that, in a way, there’s a kind of cognitive dissonance to that.

Jeff Merkley: Yes, the administration did talk publicly about this, just 13 days after the inauguration of President Trump. And the following month, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, John Kelly talked about it. The following month, they launched a pilot project in San Diego sector of the border. But at that point, they went secret. And they went secret through May of the following year when Jeff Sessions gave his speech. I think the reason they went from the secret program to the public speech about it, was because it was six months out from the election, the Republicans were looking for a fear factor to stir up Americans in the November 2018 election and nothing seemed to fit. Ebola didn’t fit, ISIS didn’t fit any longer, so they doubled down on immigration and said we’re just going to be super tough on immigration and send that message that super tough, in this case, meant harming kids.

Jeff Schechtman: One of the things that is going on down there is that so much of the activity there flies in the face of existing laws, existing court decisions. Talk a little bit about that.

Jeff Merkley: The President’s team keeps implementing regulations that are in direct contravention of American law and the courts keep striking them down. For example, the Trump team said, “We’re not going to allow there to be an asylum process for folks who cross the border between ports of entry.” And our law specifically says that you can apply for the asylum process crossing between ports of entry because it’s in contravention of existing law and of the refugee convention to turn away someone and not give them safe harbor if they’re fleeing persecution. Also, those folks crossing between the ports of entry, those are often the folks who came to the port of entry or the administration is blockading them, sending them back into Mexico, putting them on wait-lists that can be months so they’re stranded in dangerous border towns with no friends or family or funds. And so in desperation, they cross between ports of entry deliberately to surrender themselves to border patrol officials. So they put forward this regulation and the courts immediately struck it down.

Jeff Schechtman: And to what extent has the administration responded to those court decisions?

Jeff Merkley: They seem to be on a plan where they have a list of items that they roll out every few days just to keep immigration in the news. For example, the President talked about, “I don’t have enough money, so we’re not going to let kids outside to play soccer because that costs money,” at the child prisons that the administration is operating. And then they said, “Well, we’re not going to give flu shots at the CVB processing centers,” even though three children died of flu. Then they said, “We’re going to appeal a decision that we have to provide toothpaste and soap and bedding to children.” That’s horrific. Who can imagine an American government saying they want the freedom to not provide soap or bedding or toothbrushes, just basic hygiene necessities, to children. And yet that goes right along with this administration’s strategy of inflicting trauma on the kids.

Jeff Schechtman: How much of what we’re seeing today is a result, not just of the policy of the Trump administration, but really has been something that has been festering for a long time because of such long neglect of this issue, with really dealing with immigration in a more holistic way?

Jeff Merkley: Well, I think mostly we’re seeing a manifestation of the strategy of division that Trump campaigned on and has taken into the Oval Office. He campaigned, he attacked African Americans, Haitian Americans, Latino Americans, women Americans, Americans with disabilities, Muslim Americans. And, I must say, in office, he really then directed the bulk of his attacks on immigrants. Maybe they’re the easiest target because they’re coming from outside the country, but it’s a manifestation and there’s a racist strain to this. The President talks about liking refugees from Norway. He has a member of his administration who just announced that the words carved into the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” were only meant for Europeans, in other words, white people.

Jeff Merkley: So we’re seeing a real manifestation, I mean, there’s something tribal in the human instincts and when you have a president deliberately exacerbate those tribal divisions by ethnicity, by color of your skin, by the country you come from, it’s an easy target. This is used by folks who have a dictatorial intent across the world, but it’s not America. We need to stand against this strategy of hate and division. And we certainly have to stand against the strategy of deliberately targeting children.

Jeff Schechtman: What tools does Congress currently have, or trying to have, to address some of these issues?

Jeff Merkley: Well, existing law and existing court decisions are a tool, and then, of course, modifying those. The challenge with modifying them is that the Republican Party has stood in the way of past deals. For example, we had in 2013, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate come together, it was called the Group of Eight forged it, four Democrats, four Republican senators. And it passed overwhelmingly in the Senate with bipartisan support to address … it was a comprehensive immigration bill to fix this broken system. Security at the border, security at the point of employment, security for folks overstaying their visas, which, by the way, is the largest source of undocumented individuals in the United States of America. A pathway to citizenship for those who arrived previously, an instant legal recognition, and using visas to address the job shortage that might emerge in agriculture and high tech, etc.

Jeff Merkley: It was a comprehensive fix, it was killed by the Republican leadership in the House without a debate and without a vote. Bipartisan Senate bill killed by the Republicans. I feel they want to maintain immigration as an election issue. They don’t want to fix a broken system.

Jeff Schechtman: Talk a little bit about the legislation that you have introduced to try and address some of these issues, particularly with respect to children.

Jeff Merkley: As this legislation shows the deep division that has become present between the two parties, you have on the Republican side a bill that allows the long-term imprisonment of children, and it has 40 sponsors. It would also allow internment camps across the country to lock up migrant families for long periods of time. No Democrats have sponsored it. And there’s my bill which basically says, “Treat children humanely.” It’s called the Stop the Cruel Treatment of Migrant Children Act. It has 40 Democratic sponsors, and I haven’t been able to get a single Republican to sponsor it. But it would end the border blockade that leaves children stranded in Mexico. It ends the holding in freezing cold holding cells that are referred to as ice blocks by the Spanish word ‘hieleras’. It would stop the process of keeping kids locked up for months in influx facilities that are essentially prisons currently exempted from the Flores requirement of no more than three days of imprisonment. It would apply Flores to them.

Jeff Merkley: In fact, it would shut down the for-profit versions of this. There should be no for-profit contracts in a child prison system that incentivized keeping kids locked up. And it would make sure that children … we had the caseworkers and the field workers to be able to establish the sponsors so children could be with families and in school and in parks and playgrounds as they awaited adjudication of their asylum status. So it’s just basic humane treatment of children as they await the outcome of their legal proceedings.
Jeff Schechtman: Talk a little about the Flores Agreement from 1997 which really was intended to limit the amount of time the children could be held.

Jeff Merkley: Yes, it did several things. It said that you can only hold children for three days in a non-state licensed facility. That had more flexibility added to it, up to 20 days during a period of high influx, just recognizing there’s a huge wave of immigrants arriving that might, at moments, overwhelm the system. It said that not only state licensing, but state inspection, that outside groups, both lawyers and doctors can inspect to see if the standards are being maintained. It’s laid out humane treatment standards for hygiene and for nutrition and for the housing. It proceeded to do these things and the administration hates it. It has been their primary target. They do not want there to be in place an agreement, a settlement, for the humane treatment of children. And that includes, they don’t want the state licensing, the state inspections, the outside inspections, the humane treatment standards, and they certainly, most of all, don’t want the restriction on how long they can imprison kids.

Jeff Schechtman: Where does this go from here?

Jeff Merkley: I should add, that this last week, they issued a regulation to try to replace Flores. Flores says that if it’s implemented by regulation, it goes away. However, what the administration is doing is not implementing Flores, they’re destroying Flores. And so, in that sense, I think it will be another case where the courts are going to step in and say, “You’re violating the law, this regulation cannot stand.” I certainly hope so.

Jeff Schechtman: And to the extent that the administration continues to violate that law, even if the courts say otherwise, what recourse is there?

Jeff Merkley: Well, the recourse really is only going back to the judge who administers the laws or the settlement, Judge Gee, and get a new ruling saying, “No, you really have to obey this,” because it isn’t like a law that says if you violate this, it’s a civil penalty or a criminal penalty, so that’s the challenge. Administration, it doesn’t want to give flu shots and doesn’t want to hand out toothbrushes and doesn’t want to provide a sleeping mat, is not one you can trust to administer humane treatment under existing settlements or laws. And that’s a big piece of the problem. It’s why ultimately, we will fight in every level, but in the end, I don’t think the inhumane determination to inflict trauma on children is going to end until Trump is voted out of office.
Jeff Schechtman: To what extent do you see the situation down there continuing to get worse? Has anything been done to improve sanitation, to improve the conditions in any way?

Jeff Merkley: The intense public attention has brought improvements. Also, I won the ability, through the appropriations bill, I pushed for a specific provision that gives congressional access because administration was doing all it could to block congressional access. That has helped increase transparency. Within transparency, people are a little more on edge about how they provide conditions in the camps. So there has been some improvement in that. The Tornillo influx facility, a notorious facility in the desert, has been shut down last January after a lot of public attention to it, and pressure, as well as internal pressure from the contractor, a nonprofit BCFS, that decided that the children were not being well-served. And it wanted to get out of the contract and no other contractor picked it up because of the bad reputation of the administration’s strategy. So it was shut down, but meanwhile, the administration expanded Homestead, a for-profit child prison in Florida run by a corporation called Caliburn and there is corruption at the heart of this.

Jeff Merkley: The first level of corruption is that John Kelly served on the board of the company that ran the camp before he became the Secretary of Homeland Security. As Secretary, he advocated for the imprisonment of children and then as soon as he was out of the administration, he immediately was returned to a high paying position on the board of the company that controls the camp. That’s one level of corruption. The other level of corruption is simply incentives for a for-profit company to keep children locked up. It’s a noncompete contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars in the form of payments that equate to about 750 dollars per day per child.

Jeff Schechtman: And finally, Senator, talk a little about your involvement in this. We talked about you going down to the border early on, but being from Oregon, it’s hardly a border state. Talk a little bit about how you’ve been personally galvanized by this issue.

Jeff Merkley: This treatment of children is something that touches the heart of every American, it doesn’t matter where you live. We all grew up with the vision of the Statue of Liberty shining her torch to the oppressed. This administration has snuffed out that torch and I think all Americans are determined, are concerned about ending this period of darkness and relighting that torch. So that’s why it’s relevant no matter where you live in the country. And I can tell you, I’ve traveled the country and people come up to me everywhere and say this matters to them. They can’t believe it’s happening. American government, our government, our taxpayer money, our land, attacking and afflicting cruelty to children. It’s absolutely evil and wrong under any religious tradition or moral code, and we have to end it. No one else will. We, the American people, have to end it.

Jeff Schechtman: Oregon Senator, Jeff Merkley. Senator, I thank you so much for spending time with us today on the whowhatwhy podcast.

Jeff Merkley: You’re very welcome. We need to make sure as the President does one tweet after another, changing the topic, we don’t forget that children are being mistreated by our government and that we have to end it. Thank you so much.

Jeff Schechtman: Thank you. And thank you for listening and for joining us here on radio whowhatwhy. I hope you join us next week for another radio whowhatwhy podcast. I’m Jeff Schechtman.

Jeff Schechtman: If you liked this podcast, please feel free to share and help others find it by rating and reviewing it on iTunes. You can also support this podcast and all the work we do, by going to ... -disarray/

Democrats Plan Vote to Formalize Procedures for Impeachment Investigation
ImageRepresentative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Democrats on the committee believe the resolution will allow the panel to speed up its work.
Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Democrats on the committee believe the resolution will allow the panel to speed up its work.CreditCreditErin Schaff/The New York Times
By Nicholas Fandos
Sept. 8, 2019, 6:01 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee plans to vote this week to formalize procedures for a growing impeachment inquiry, clarifying its investigative authorities and granting President Trump new due process, a draft resolution shows.
The Judiciary Committee took similar steps in the 1970s and 1990s when it conducted impeachment inquiries into Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton. Now, as then, Democrats believe the resolution, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Times, will allow the panel to speed up its work and potentially elicit more information than it otherwise could about instances of possible obstruction of justice and abuses of power by Mr. Trump.
The development carries significant symbolic weight, as well.
Though the committee has already informed federal courts and the public that it is in the midst of a full-scale impeachment inquiry, the three-page resolution will be the first time lawmakers have recorded a vote to that effect. Committee leaders hope the move will send a signal to Congress and the White House that their investigation is not only proceeding but intensifying, even as the broader Democratic Party caucus remains divided over the merits of ultimately voting to impeach Mr. Trump.
Based on the committee’s investigative plans, the new procedures could be put to the test quickly in the coming weeks.
The committee is preparing to rapidly broaden the substance of the inquiry this fall beyond the investigation into any role by Trump associates in Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. On the agenda for new scrutiny are Mr. Trump’s role in illegal hush payments to women who said they had affairs with him, reports that he dangled pardons to immigration officials and whether his hotels and resorts have illegally profited from government spending.
If adopted, the new procedures would allow the committee’s chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, to designate hearings of either the full Judiciary Committee or its subcommittees to be a part of the inquiry and subject to special rules. Though it sounds inconsequential, including the smaller, nimbler subcommittees in the inquiry would allow Democrats to speed up their work or steer less significant witnesses to the smaller panels.
Another provision says that after lawmakers themselves have exhausted time for questioning, committee staff members would be allowed to question a witness “for an additional hour equally divided between the majority and minority.” Democrats hope the arrangement will allow for more detailed, uninterrupted questioning.
The resolution also sets out standards that say information collected by the committee from witnesses or grand jury information shared by the courts should be kept private unless Mr. Nadler chooses otherwise.
And, for the first time, Mr. Trump and his legal team would be afforded specific due process by the committee, allowing them to regularly offer input on the findings of the investigation.
“The president’s counsel may respond in writing to information and testimony presented to the committee in open session,” the resolution says, adding that Mr. Trump’s lawyers may also be invited to review and respond to information kept secret if the chairman chooses.
One of the aides involved in drafting the resolution said that the president’s lawyers could yet play a larger, in-person role, as well, if they requested it.
There may be other benefits to taking a procedural vote, too. Though the resolution does not mention matters of decorum, Democrats believe the vote to adopt it will allow lawmakers to get around normal House rules that limit their ability to accuse the president of crime, the aide said.
The Judiciary Committee plans to finalize the resolution on Monday, the aides said, and could vote as soon as Wednesday to adopt it. Details of the procedures were first reported on Friday by Politico after Judiciary Committee aides briefed lawmakers on the planned vote, but the draft text has not previously been reported.
Lawmakers from the president’s party have oscillated between criticizing the mechanics of Democrats’ investigation and dismissing their’ impeachment efforts as a pathetic and futile hunt for nonexistent evidence to oust Mr. Trump. But without the votes to overpower the Democrats, they have little recourse but to vocally object.
“If they really want to do this, they have to bring impeachment to the floor,” the top Republican on the committee, Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, said on Fox News on Sunday. “This is simply a show. It is a travesty. And, frankly, they should be ashamed.”
The Judiciary Committee has been edging toward a full-scale impeachment inquiry since the spring, when Democrats began calling witnesses and demanding evidence related to a range of potential presidential misconduct.
But only in July, after testimony from Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, did the committee formally declare to a judge that what had begun as a regular congressional oversight investigation was now primarily focused on whether to recommend articles of impeachment.
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby RocketMan » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:47 am

The same copypasta proliferating under every thread imaginable...
-I don't like hoodlums.
-That's just a word, Marlowe. We have that kind of world. Two wars gave it to us and we are going to keep it.
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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:09 am

I post what is important to me and you are free to do the same ...maybe more of trump will not be impeached? That is interesting to me also :)

of you being wrong

Democrats Plan Vote to Formalize Procedures for Impeachment Investigation

RocketMan » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:49 am wrote:Again, it's all for jack if the Democrats are too chickenshit to impeach.

I really wonder at your endless faith in the Democrats. Not a single word of reproach for those corrupt motherfuckers.

RocketMan » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:23 pm wrote:Well, fine. But if the Democrats will not impeach, what's the point?

This is a list of The Guardian's key takeaways:

Trump was not exonerated.
Mueller and his team were never going to indict Trump.
Trump could be charged with a crime after leaving office.
Republicans focused on discrediting Mueller.
Mueller says he did not seek FBI director job.
Mueller confirms several episodes of possible obstruction.

Weak sauce. The Democrats are too invested in the overall stability of the system to truly challenge Trump's hold on the presidency.

They will roll out juicy tidbits and press releases, and hey, maybe Trump will SELF-IMPEACH like Pelosi says.

RocketMan » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:01 am wrote:
Sounder » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:02 am wrote:Think tactics; Trump is trying to get the DNC to allay with the 'radicals'. It is wise to not fall for the bait.

Whatever the calculation, Trump will end the winner when Pelosi contemptuously dismisses impeachment and the people who advocate it. Especially the young people of colour.

RocketMan » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:21 am wrote:Aaaaaand impeachment is OFF THE TABLE. It should be her motto. Tired, calcified establishment hack.

This reveals Russiagate and all the rest of Never Trumping as the performative hogwash that it is. No one in any position of power wants to open the system up for any kind of truly democratic challenge that would leverage any fractures in the edifice.

They're counting down the clock, hoping Biden will come through and business as usual will resume. These cynical bastards.

RocketMan » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:13 pm wrote:Trump declared an emergency, should he be impeached do you think? And if so, how do you feel about the fact that the Democratic leadership seems to be interested in anything else BUT impeachment?

RocketMan » Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:09 pm wrote:And I bet impeachment stays firmly off the table. Republicans are disgusting and Democrats utterly compromised, corrupted and spineless. Everyone's just neurotically trying to keep the whole damn rickety system from falling apart.

RocketMan » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:15 pm wrote:Congresswoman Maxine Waters apparently recently tweeted: "Get ready for impeachment".

RocketMan » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:27 am wrote:
seemslikeadream » Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:50 pm wrote:Impeachment proceedings have all ready started

Nadler does not need Pelosi’s permission

all the Democrats I know understand this

Yes yes, you are A Very Smart and Uniquely Qualified Expert.

well I have been involved in U.S. politics for 50 years so yeah I am somewhat qualified :)

Maxine knew what she was talking about, she called it she knew it would happen ...these things take time

Democrats are not too chickshit and I have faith just like I did when I waited 2 years AND re election for Nixon to be impeached only to see the man he appointed to replace a crook (Agnew) to pardon him

I want impeachment proceedings in the Congress. I don't want a case were Pence pardons trump and every Democrat knows this

have a lovely day...I know I will

Impeachment officially starts today :)
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby RocketMan » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:06 am

Yes, and then the placeholder Ford, the crippled Carter, and then over a decade of the senior Bush rule and so on. Wonderful victory of the common people it was, Watergate.

Impeachment is coming, rejoice.
-I don't like hoodlums.
-That's just a word, Marlowe. We have that kind of world. Two wars gave it to us and we are going to keep it.
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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:07 am


thanks for your input, always a pleasure :)

15 years, I doubt I will be changing anytime soon but you are invited to watch and see. I have no problem with that

seemslikeadream » Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:23 pm wrote:The Past 5 GOP Presidents Have Used Fraud and Treason to Steer Themselves to Electoral Victory
In fact, Eisenhower was the last legitimately elected Republican president we’ve had in this country.
Since Dwight Eisenhower left the presidency in 1961, six different Republicans have occupied the Oval Office.
And every single one of them - from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump - have been illegitimate - ascending to the highest office in the land not through small-D democratic elections - but instead through fraud and treason.

sorry to tell you but we just don't give up and die ...we keep fighting, we have no choice
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Don’t forget that.
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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby Grizzly » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:54 am
When Did Joe Biden Start Believing He Had Opposed the Iraq War?
Biden claims he got tricked by Bush... haha, wait. :wallhead: :wallhead: :wallhead:
If Barthes can forgive me, “What the public wants is the image of passion Justice, not passion Justice itself.”
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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:19 pm

Congress Members Who Voted Against the 2002 Iraq War
Names of the 23 Senators and 133 House Members

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney brief congressional leaders on the progress of the war in Iraq
Brooks Kraft / Getty Images

Deborah White
Updated August 17, 2019
The directionless Iraq War has killed over 4,100 U.S. soldiers, wounded or maimed more than 200,000 more, and delivered a devastating blow to our country's reputation and moral authority. It's time we honor the members of Congress who voted in 2002 to prevent the Bush administration's hasty rush into an unprovoked attack and occupation of Iraq.

Voter Breakdown
The dramatic, much-debated vote on Joint Resolution 114 was taken on Oct. 11, 2002. It passed the Senate by a vote of 77 to 23, and the House of Representatives by a vote of 296 to 133. In the end, 156 members of Congress from 36 states had enough information and personal insight and wisdom to make the correct decision for our nation and the world community.

Six House Republicans and one Independent joined 126 Democratic members of the House of Representatives in voting NAY. In the Senate, 21 Democrats, one Republic, and one Independent courageously voted their consciences in 2002 against the War in Iraq. These discerning, courageous leaders are exactly what our country needs to lead us out of the present abyss in Iraq under the Bush Administration. We can trust their judgment!

Voting Record
This convenient list is organized by state, and features all 156 members of Congress who voted NAY to the War in Iraq, including their political affiliations.

State Congress Name Party Notes
Alabama Rep Earl Hilliard D retired from office
Arizona Rep Ed Pastor D
Arkansas Rep Vic Snyder D
California Sen Barbara Boxer D
California Rep Joe Baca D
California Rep Xavier Becerra D
California Rep Lois Capps D
California Rep Gary Condit D
California Rep Susan Davis D
California Rep Anna Eshoo D
California Rep Sam Farr D
California Rep Bob Filner D
California Rep Mike Honda D
California Rep Barbara Lee D
California Rep Zoe Lofgren D
California Rep Robert Matsui D deceased
California Rep Juanita Millender-McDonald D
California Rep George Miller D
California Rep Grace Napolitano D
California Rep Nancy Pelosi D
California Rep Lucille Roybal-Allard D
California Rep Loretta Sanchez D
California Rep Hilda Solis D
California Rep Pete Stark D
California Rep Mike Thompson D
California Rep Maxine Waters D
California Rep Diane Watson D
California Rep Lynn Woolsey D
Colorado Rep Diana DeGette D
Colorado Rep Mark Udall D
Connecticut Rep Rosa DeLauro D
Connecticut Rep John Larson D
Connecticut Rep James Maloney D
Florida Sen Bob Graham D
Florida Rep Corrine Brown D
Florida Rep Alice Hastings D
Florida Rep Carrie Meek D retired from office
Georgia Rep John Lewis D
Georgia Rep Cynthia McKinney D
Hawaii Sen Daniel Akaka D
Hawaii Sen Daniel Inouye D
Hawaii Rep Neil Abercrombie D
Illinois Sen Dick Durbin D
Illinois Sen Bobby Rush D
Illinois Rep Jerry Costello D
Illinois Rep Danny Davis D
Illinois Rep Lane Evans D
Illinois Rep Luis Gutierrez D
Illinois Rep Jesse Jackson Jr. D
Illinois Rep Bill Lipinski D retired from office
Illinois Rep Jan Schakowsky D
Indiana Rep Julia Carson D
Indiana Rep John Hostettler R
Indiana Rep Pete Visclosky D
Iowa Rep Jim Leach R
Maine Rep Tom Allen D
Main Rep Baldacci D
Maryland Sen Barbara Mikulski D
Maryland Sen Paul Sarbanes D
Maryland Rep Benjamin Cardin D
Maryland Rep Elijah Cummings D
Maryland Rep Connie Morella D
Massachusetts Sen Ted Kennedy D
Massachusetts Rep Michael Capuano D
Massachusetts Rep Bill Delahunt D
Massachusetts Rep Barney Frank D
Massachusetts Rep Jim McGovern D
Massachusetts Rep Richard Neal D
Massachusetts Rep John Olver D
Massachusetts Rep John Tierney D
Michigan Sen Carl Levin D
Michigan Sen Debbie Stabenow D
Michigan Rep David Bonior D
Michigan Rep John Conyers Jr. D
Michigan Rep John Dingell D
Michigan Rep Dale Kildee D
Michigan Rep Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick D
Michigan Rep Sandy Levin D
Michigan Rep Lynn Rivers D
Michigan Rep Bart Stupak D
Minnesota Sen Mark Dayton D
Minnesota Sen Paul Wellstone D deceased
Minnesota Rep Betty McCollum D
Minnesota Rep Jim Oberstar D
Minnesota Rep Martin Olav Sabo D
Mississippi Rep Bennie Thompson D
Missouri Rep William Clay Jr. D
MIssouri Rep Karen McCarthy D retired from office
New Jersey Sen Jon Corzine D
New Jersey Rep Rush Holt D
New Jersey Rep Robert Menendez D
New Jersey Rep Frank Pallone Jr D
New Jersey Rep Donald Payne D
New Mexico Sen Jeff Bingaman D
New Mexico Rep Tom Udall D
New York Rep Maurice Hinchey D
New York Rep Amo Houghton R
New York Rep John LaFalce D
New York Rep Gregory Meeks D
New York Rep Jerrold Nadler D
New York Rep Major Owens D
New York Rep Charles Rangel D
New York Rep Jose Serrano D
New York Rep Louise Slaughter D
New York Rep Edolphus Towns D
New York Rep Nydia Velazquez D
North Carolina Rep Eva Clayton D retired from office
North Carolina Rep David Price D
North Carolina Rep Melvin Watt D
North Dakota Sen Kent Conrad D
Ohio Rep Sherrod Brown D
Ohio Rep Stephanie Tubbs Jones D
Ohio Rep Marcy Kaptur D
Ohio Rep Dennis Kucinich D
Ohio Rep Thomas Sawyer D
Ohio Rep Ted Strickland D
Oregon Sen Ron Wyden D
Oregon Rep Earl Blumenauer D
Oregon Rep Peter DeFazio D
Oregon Rep Darlene Hooley D
Oregon Rep David Wu D
Pennsylvania Rep Robert Brady D
Pennsylvania Rep William Coyne D retired from office
Pennsylvania Rep Mike Doyle D
Pennsylvania Rep Chaka Fattah D
Rhode Island Sen Lincoln Chafee D
Rhode Island Sen Jack Reed D
Rhode Island Rep James Langevin D
South Carolina Rep Gresham Barrett R
South Carolina Rep James Clyburn D
Tennessee Rep John Duncan Jr R
Texas Rep Lloyd Doggett D
Texas Rep Charles Gonzalez D
Texas Rep Ruben Hinojosa D
Texas Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee D
Texas Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson D
Texas Rep Ron Paul R
Texas Rep Silvestre Reyes D
Texas Rep Ciro Rodriguez D retired from office
Vermont Sen Jim Jeffords D
Vermont Sen Patrick Leahy D
Vermont Rep Bernie Sanders I
Virginia Rep Jim Moran D
Virginia Rep Bobby Scott D
Washington Sen Patty Murray D
Washington Rep Jay Inslee D
Washington Rep Rick Larsen D
Washington Rep Jim McDermott D
District of Columbia Rep Brian Baird D
West Virginia Sen Robert Byrd D
West Virginia Rep Alan Mollohan D
West Virginia Rep Nick Rahall D
Wisconsin Sen Russ Feingold D
Wisconsin Rep Tammy Baldwin D
Wisconsin Rep Jerry Kleczka D retired from office
Wisconsin Rep David Obey D

Clintonism is dead; you killed it in one resounding blow, which actually lasted a couple of years beyond the last election.

Dear Bernie: Here's how you can still win — but the chance may soon slip away
I'm your biggest fan. Well, one of them. To win, you'll have to take on Elizabeth Warren directly — and soon

Anis Shivani
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during the New Hampshire state Democratic Party convention, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Manchester, NH. (Getty Stock/ AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Dear Bernie,

I’m your biggest fan. No, seriously. There was no one in the literary world who supported you as unstintingly as I did in the last campaign, and I barely dared to hope that you would run again. To have you come so close to victory last time was the heartbreak of a lifetime, but in “loss” you have gone on to accomplish what I don’t remember anyone else in American politics having done to such an extent: You have moved the entire spectrum of discussion dramatically more to the left, on every issue, than would have been imaginable just four years ago when you entered the presidential race with the ideas and beliefs of a tradition that had been all but excluded by 40 years of neoliberalism.

You have shifted the needle so much that every candidate for the Democratic nomination this time around, though they may not always want to acknowledge it, takes your ideas of democratic socialism as a starting point, deviation from which must be justified in some form or another.

Clintonism is dead; you killed it in one resounding blow, which actually lasted a couple of years beyond the last election. You now have nine other candidates with you on the debate stage, each trying to speak the language you established so forcefully in the last four years, in some cases somewhat sincere, in other cases not so much, but they can’t waver from it too much or they would have no chance with the Democratic electorate. You took the ideas of Occupy and the long-festering academic discontent with inequality to a level of general acceptance that seems hard to believe, when we recall that in 2012 Joe Biden was about as much of a “progressive” as we could have dared to imagine; back then, he looked positively inspirational compared to Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s robot joy-killer.

Yours is a revolution of ideas that has spread far and wide, and continues to do so each day that you run this current campaign, even though we realize that the goal of the elites, as always, is to absorb the best you have to offer, treat it and polish it and prune it, until there’s not much left of any kind of a revolution. As much as any single human being can inject an architecture of radicalism into the normal American political process, you have done so. So whatever I say is meant with only the deepest respect for a figure with no comparison in American politics.

I am deeply worried that you have stayed mostly around or under 20 percent among the Democratic candidates. To some extent it’s because of the plethora of candidates running this time, part of the establishment strategy to drown out your voice. But it seems to me that there’s more to it than that. At the start of your campaign in the spring, I would have recommended three things, which right off the bat I noticed were missing in your strategy:

Don’t act like the frontrunner.
Attack the media.
Sharply differentiate yourself from the other “progressives.”
As for the first point, I believe it’s always best to position yourself as the insurgent, even if you aren’t. But I understand the reality of where we were six months ago, when it was important for you to acknowledge that your ideas had found resonance, particularly among the younger generations, for whom you remained the champion. You no longer have this problem to deal with, because Biden is clearly the frontrunner, and polls are increasingly showing Elizabeth Warren in second place.

Your natural tendency is to stay calm, gentle and respectful with the media, but the problem with that, especially on the crowded debate stage, is that there will always be an attention-grabber — like Kamala Harris when she went after Biden in the first debate — who spoils all your reasoned efforts. I think of early interviews you gave to the mainstream media, which were utterly disrespectful of you, treating you as a communist radical about to destroy America, though now they tend to act a bit more deferential, possibly because they have less to fear from you — I’m sure the recent rise of Warren has soothed their fears to a considerable degree.

Nonetheless, you’ll agree that your second debate performance was much improved, and if there is a way to channel some more of the anti-elite energy floating out there, particularly the frustration with the media, into the debates, in a way that you become the center of conversation afterwards, I hope you will do that.

Your interview with Joe Rogan, your important speech defining democratic socialism, and your interview with Robert Costa of the Washington Post are just three examples of your panoramic analysis of the changing world and what needs to happen in America to revive democracy, in a way that doesn’t seem to be getting through in the debates so much. I love how, with Rogan or Costa, you remained insistent on your refusal to give in to the fossil fuel or pharmaceutical industries or the military-industrial complex and clarified what needed to be clarified, and how you remained focused on such crucial matters as affordable housing, which is a crisis of dire proportions that seems to have escaped the other contenders.

The debate format with too many candidates and not enough time hampers this type of lucidity, but I think there’s a way to get in your transcendent philosophical bearings rather than reciting your customary words of approbation against the fossil fuel industry or Big Pharma or even the 1%, which by now, as rhetoric, have become baked into the picture of who you are.

But it has to be part of the third and most important point, which remains for me unchanged from the spring, and that is to radically differentiate yourself from the other so-called “progressives,” particularly Warren, before it is too late and we get so close to the primaries that any change in perception ceases to matter.

Early on, you were being asked whether you were happy that your ideas had been seized on by the other candidates, who all seemed to be proposing Medicare for All, among other signature ideas of yours. You should have said at that point that nobody had had the guts to adopt your positions wholesale, that there remained critical differences between what you were saying about Medicare for All, not to mention free college tuition, a living wage, debt forgiveness, incarceration, or any other issue, and what the other candidates were saying. You should have said that you were happy that they were trying to sound like you, but in fact you remained the lone insurgent in terms of the degree to which your ideas were a clarion call for revolutionary change. In the emerging clash with Warren, this original problem of definition is likely to become the ultimate test for you.

Surprisingly, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg, the establishment’s two favorite candidates (in case Biden faltered), seem to have lost traction, which was not where we would have expected to be a few months ago. Harris especially has proved clumsy in adopting your positions, such as Medicare for All, because her ingrained neoliberal ethic means that when it comes time to explaining, for example, her stance on whether she would abolish private insurance, she just can’t, or won’t, bring herself to say what needs to be said to preserve her newly claimed progressive credentials.

Buttigieg was the other great media darling, and there’s no harm in the establishment trying him out on the national stage for a more serious future run, but he simply lacks the gravity to go against someone with decades of authentic political experience like you. When the age question was raised in the second debate, and as you stood next to him, he appeared like a man-child, not wanting to diss you, and seemed quite OK with his second-class status.

Apart from these two, there are other candidates who have created a sort of opening for you, where you can not only leap in with your substantive differences but stake an ultimate claim for their followers. How you deal with Cory Booker, Julián Castro, and Andrew Yang’s idealist constituencies, as a way to counter the heavy burden of the Biden “realists,” will go a long way toward defining this campaign.

The same applies to Tulsi Gabbard, whose anti-war stance is still out there (even though she won’t be in the third debate), ready to be snatched by someone, and Jay Inslee, whose signature issue, climate change, you have already made your own, with the release of your bold Green New Deal, the biggest and baddest of them all, which is exactly the way to go. I hope you’re working on getting Inslee’s endorsement, now that he’s out of the race. If he doesn’t come through, and goes for, say, Warren, with a much less honest climate change plan, then his lack of an endorsement must be neutralized and exposed for what it is.

In helping Booker, Castro and even O’Rourke to manifest their inner progressive, thanks in large measure to you, these candidates have materialized with important factions that should naturally be yours. Just as with Warren coming out every so often with a “plan” to tackle a problem you have already addressed for a long time, sometimes for decades, as if she were discovering the wheel anew (although only half a wheel, and perhaps not even a wheel, perhaps only a square that refuses to roll), you offer the broadest sweep of any candidate when it comes to understanding the injustices with regard to incarceration, deportation, and even gun violence, because you connect the dots when it comes to the skewed domestic priorities being a consequence of maintaining late-stage empire.

Your anti-imperialist stance, including with respect to our flawed Middle East policy, is the clearest of any candidate, and it is with this big vision, which no other candidate offers, that you can embrace into the fold those who would like to support Booker, Castro and O’Rourke. Yang has turned the universal basic income (UBI) into a panacea of sorts for all our ills, which is understandable given his entrepreneurial background. But your broad understanding of the injustices inherent in neoliberal globalization, and the consequent erosion of political power for the average American, far exceed his simple one-shot prescription. It is your task in the fall campaign to take on and encompass each of these candidates — Booker, Castro, O’Rourke, Yang and Gabbard — in your already exhaustive explanation of the basic problem underlying American democratic collapse.

Were you a little surprised at the high numbers with which Biden entered the race, and stayed there? I was. To a large extent we can only guess that this is Hillary Clinton’s electorate, who still believe that the world before Trump was mostly just fine as it was, and that we can go back to America being great again if only we can forget about Trump and his followers and pretend that they never happened. This view of American exceptionalism is rooted in nostalgia, amnesia and often just plain hypocrisy, where the white middle class refuses to confront the ills of the past that have led to the crisis of democracy that makes Trump possible in the first place.

Booker has been very good in taking on the legacy of deportations, and other human rights violations, such as those pertaining to mass incarceration, by directly confronting Biden; this should have been your role in the first debate, because the opening clearly was there. Who will take on Bill de Blasio’s valuable role in directly confronting Biden to put the false nostalgia about the Obama years in true perspective? You, or someone else? Whoever does so, will benefit.

I think there’s a way that you can go after Biden, while you present your grand philosophical case for why our democracy has deteriorated so much and how it can be revived, because both Biden-Obama, and the continuation of that legacy that Warren to a large part represents, must be part of the critique. It is there, but it needs to be sharpened, as you did so well in the Rogan and Costa interviews, or in your powerful democratic socialism speech.

And in taking on Gabbard’s anti-war mantle, and Yang’s too on the collapse of economic democracy, the critique of the Biden-Obama years — where inequality became much more sharpened and violations of human rights proliferated, as in the mass deportations — must be more forcefully presented. Biden's supporters will be the last to come around, if they ever do. I think your best bet is to ignore their ingrained biases, as you have been doing, and concentrate on differentiating yourself from Warren, your leading “progressive” challenger, which will, by definition, make Biden look bad too.

Whenever you get an opportunity to go full-on radical, you must, as you correctly have. Nothing is to be gained, at this point, by soft-pedaling any initiative. Your Green New Deal was exactly the right approach, setting the bar so high that no candidate, least of all Warren, can come up to it in setting firm timelines to end the reign of fossil fuels. You’re the one setting the standard, rather than those who have lately discovered some aspect or other of progressive politics — usually one or two issues that each candidate, like Booker, Castro, Yang, Gabbard or Inslee — likes to claim as their own territory.

So for instance, your response to the open borders question was rather tepid. Instead of sounding as if you’re with the others — which, actually, you’re not, because you have a far-reaching understanding of empire and its follies that the others don’t share — in advocating for “comprehensive immigration reform,” you could have said something like this: “Yes, I’m for open borders if it means that anyone with skills to offer, whether as a farm worker or an engineer, if they’re adding to our economy and culture and not taking away from it, is free to enter the United States whenever and however they want. In my administration we will take such good care of all workers that migrants won’t be seen as a threat.”

Or, to outflank Castro and O’Rourke on this one, “Yes, I’m for open borders if it means that we create dramatically altered conditions in Central America, as I’ve proposed to do with a bold hemispheric initiative, which ease the climate of political repression and establish a needed flow of seasonal and permanent workers seeking to contribute to our country.” This would be far more exciting than the “comprehensive immigration reform” mantra.

In another area, gun control, particularly when it comes to answering what to do about the guns already in circulation, a similarly bold response would not be remiss. Reparations are another example, though I understand that your claim of authenticity rests on not catering to identity politics of the shallow type. In short, you must seize the boldest, baddest, most honest and confident initiative — just as you did with the new Green New Deal—on every issue, and then turn it into an immediate disadvantage for Warren, because she surely will never go for the full-on response to any problem.

Which brings us to Warren — or haven’t we been there all along? She's your ultimate nightmare, an empty vessel of sorts for naïve voters who in another era would have gone for Obama or Hillary or even Bill, and who have now turned into her vocal supporters who don’t feel her threatening the existing social order in the way that they, quite correctly, perceive you to be a threat. Warren is the house progressive for all those who like to hear progressive talk — well, up to a certain extent — but would be mortified to death if an actual progressive action, drastically reducing inequality, were to be on the table.

It must be galling to you to see a one-time conservative professor, a disciple of the laissez-faire “law and economics” movement, and a registered Republican until the ripe old age of 47, running around acting as if she is the first one to come up with a “plan” to break up the Facebook, Amazon or Google monopolies, or as if she just had a light bulb go off in her brain when it comes to dealing with student debt or the wealth tax. You’ve encompassed all of these solutions, and more, in a coherent analysis of our democratic collapse for a long time, and you’re not just offering watered-down, fragmented, bits-and-pieces “plans,” but include all of them in what for you has to be an all-encompassing political revolution, rather than the “fighting” rhetoric right out of the Bob Shrum/Al Gore campaign handbook.

Warren’s persona is that of an astute financial planner, with her folksy “my Mama” and “my Daddy” anecdotes often involving financial planning, who will regulate us into some semblance of a democracy, relying on the elites to have the sense to come together for the country’s good. Whereas you are explicit — and that’s what you mean by democratic socialism — that only a political revolution can bring about the necessary changes and therefore talk incessantly about the 1%, the corporate oligarchy who exercise total control over all the levers of power, Warren’s analysis is that there is a corrupt Washington elite who must be replaced, reformed and regulated, and voilà!, we will be back in the promised land of middle-class prosperity. You can happily keep your first $50 million, she says, she doesn’t resent that at all, but just 2 cents on the dollar beyond that will take care of all our problems, with no pain, no discomfort, no sacrifice involved for any middle-class person.

I can’t think of a more penetrating look into Warren’s mind than the writings of her long-time friend and counselor, Ganesh Sitaraman, including his new book, where he offers a program strikingly similar to what Warren has been rolling out piece by piece: all patchwork regulatory initiatives supportive of market efficiency, often aiming for some overarching new bureaucracy, and involving little involvement from the public because the minute regulation comes about as a result of Washington consensus. I would counsel you and your advisers to take a deep look at Sitaraman’s legalistic scholarship to understand how Warren’s mind works. It all seems to me a last-ditch attempt on the establishment’s part to save neoliberalism, even though the program is marketed as an alternative to neoliberalism.

Your whole philosophy empathizes with the working-class, the powerless, the exiles, the unwanted, the helpless, whereas she is addressing the vulnerable middle-class, those who feel somewhat on the fringes but not quite outcast, and believe that a little boost from a regulating regime might just do the trick for them. There is no comprehension or explanation of American exceptionalism, American empire or American violence in Warren’s worldview, all of which are central to your exposition. Hence the difference, from what I’ve seen everywhere, in the audiences the two of you attract: working-class, marginalized, and people of color in your case, white, middle-class, and optimistic in her case — though the media, of course, presents it exactly the other way around, always having libeled you as the candidate of the comfortable white middle-class with no support in communities of color.

I find it hard to believe, as some have claimed, that there is some sort of arrangement between you and Warren, a ceasefire for the duration, in order to take on the larger enemy, which is said to be Biden. I find this impossible to accept because Biden is not the bigger enemy — he exposes himself in verbal diarrhea at every moment, he cannot keep his real intent in check, just as Obama and Hillary were never able to hide their true colors — whereas Warren would be to your radical ideas as deceptive a foil as … well, I’m having a hard time thinking of a suitable comparison, because in modern American politics there has never been such a sharp contrast between the establishment progressive view, such as Warren represents, and the radical attack on corporate power, such as you signify.

Every time Warren stands shoulder to shoulder with you, as in the optics of the second debate with Biden waiting on the other side, she gains in power, presenting herself as the safe, unthreatening, acceptable progressive alternative to a Sanders about whom no one knows how far he might actually go in taking on entrenched power. This optic, having been allowed to go on unchallenged for so long, must come to a quick end, or before you know it, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina will bring the campaign to a crashing climax, beyond which there will be little hope of redemption. You’re already faced with the challenge of an unrelentingly critical or dismissive media, and you don’t need to add to it by letting anything blur the sharp, almost diametrical, distinction between you and Warren.

I would take every opportunity between now and the third debate to rattle her: Warren doesn’t handle direct criticisms of her recent reinvention very convincingly. She had no good response when the interviewers on the radio show "The Breakfast Club" needled her in the way corporate media never does, such as when Charlamagne tha God pestered her, “You had a lot of confusion back in the day, Ms. Warren. You thought you were Native American, you thought you were Republican. When did you get on the right track?”

On the other hand, with capitalists she has a tendency to sing, unbidden, the glories of capitalism, as she did sitting down with John Harwood in a casual setting at CNBC, exclaiming joyously: “I am a capitalist! I believe in markets!” You should empower an army of young internet tacticians to generate colorful memes about her recent discovery of her inner progressive, coming up with plans which superficially sound like yours but are actually always hedged by some qualification or limitation (student debt forgiveness up to a certain amount and only for those below a certain income, and so on for every single “plan” of hers), which put them in the realm of neoliberal initiatives rather than the universal New Deal-type proposals yours always are.

On many issues, Warren developed a plan in the last six months or a year. On other issues, she hasn’t issued a plan yet. On all issues, she’s looking at your long-held beliefs to see how they can be modified and repackaged as acceptable alternatives to the low-information liberal voter. And she really doesn’t have a convincing answer for why she was a Republican for so long, when exactly she discovered these reform plans of hers and why, and what led to her political transformation. She was very astute in acting as though she stood side-by-side with you on Medicare for All, refusing to divulge a plan on that particular signature issue, which you decided to make the centerpiece after the first debate, and this is very telling.

You should challenge her directly in the next debates if she shows any signs of wavering on abolishing private insurance. Any air that you sense between yourself and her on Medicare for All should become a litmus test — as it did with Kamala Harris — for whether that candidate should be the party’s standard-bearer. The differences between you and her on the Green New Deal provide another opening, but Medicare for All resonates with voters in a way that no other issue does, so you should never have let her get away with saying “I’m with Bernie” on that for so long.

In short, as we head into the crucial fall campaign, attack, differentiate and spread a sense of urgency. Whenever possible, if the media provides an opportunity to do so, do not hesitate to call them out. I think we’ve moved beyond the need for an outright contemptuous or dismissive attitude toward them, which would have helped in the early going, because their animus toward you, as they have succeeded in establishing Warren as the progressive co-front-runner, has greatly receded.

But the differentiation between you and Warren will necessarily involve a certain amount of attack, including by surrogates, who seem to be largely missing from the scene in your case — which is understandable, given your insistence on running a campaign of pure ideas, meant to last the distance until the convention, but there has to be a renewed sense of urgency.

And on this last point, you must be clear that this is our last best hope, that if you don’t win this time, all will be lost. Your radical ideas — which follow a direct line of descent from critics of modern technocratic civilization, from Rousseau and Marx to Goodman and Illich more recently — have nothing in common with Warren’s technocratic planner’s perspective, which ultimately refuses to place the people at the center and is just as elite-driven as anything it wishes to take on. This sense of last-minute urgency, which we could all feel so palpably in the spring of 2016, is missing so far from your campaign, despite the large crowds and the increasingly reverential attitude toward you from the candidates in the lower tiers.

What can you do to bring this sense of dire urgency back? It’s not as if we’ll have another chance if this opportunity is lost. We simply cannot allow the idea of possible concession to creep into the backs of our minds. It’s a miracle that you’re running this time around, and it would be the worst thing imaginable, after you’ve come this far, for a rah-rah optimistic progressive like Warren to take on the whole burden of what beckoned as a real political revolution.

What you promise is on an order of scale as great as what FDR accomplished, and potentially with greater meaning for the rest of the world as it seeks to decide between hierarchical nationalism on the one hand and revival of egalitarian political democracy (your democratic socialism) on the other. Instead of having to face the ultimate agony, if you differentiate yourself, as sharply and insistently as possible, from Warren, and at the same time reach out to those more sincere on the increasingly progressive center-left, like Booker, Castro, O’Rourke and Yang, then what we thought unimaginable in our lifetimes might still happen.

The media has always wanted the Democratic voter to imagine that there are no substantial policy differences between you and Warren, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Also, I have always believed that only you can beat Trump, because you provide the honest ideological confrontation that no other Democrat does. These two ideas are interconnected, and they also make the case for your superior “electability.” Solidify this connection and push it hard.

I’m hoping you’ll pull it off. If anyone can, given what you’ve already accomplished, it’s you. Give ‘em hell, Bernie, and keep giving it your all, as you have. Half the world, the part that thinks and speculates about the real causes of suffering and pain rather than surface manifestations, stands behind you. You have no equal on the political scene, and your lifelong authenticity, as countercultural activist, mayor, representative, senator and leading presidential candidate, radically extends the bounds of imagining what’s politically possible in a century that looked like it was a lost cause to a neoliberal orthodoxy engaged in a fight to the death with the planet itself.

If you don’t make it, none of us will. I want to see this desperate urgency come through. Be the first to challenge Warren to one-on-one debates, where, if they happen, you must go all out, and also ask for debates with just the top three contenders, you and Biden and Warren alone, where you must not stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Warren, since Biden is the kind of challenge that will either take care of itself or won’t ever, whereas Warren is something it’s your sole responsibility to overcome.

Your biggest fan still and always,

Anis ... slip-away/
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They could still get him out of office.
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Postby Perelandra » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:04 pm

“The past is never dead. It's not even past.” - William Faulkner
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Re: The Democratic Party, 2019

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:18 pm

thank you for mentioning Valarie Perelandra

She brought together the most amazing people on the internet

robertpaulsen (8,454 posts)

10 Years Ago Today - Valerie Plame's CIA Cover Was Compromised FOR THE SECOND TIME

Sunday, July 14, 2013

10 Years Ago Today - Valerie Plame's CIA Cover Was Compromised FOR THE SECOND TIME

July 14, 2003: I thought I had seen the breadth and depth of how low the Bush administration was willing to sink in defense of the lies that drove this country to go to war in Iraq. Finally, as the promised finds of WMD failed to materialize, exposure of one of the primary lies arose in the form of Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV's column, [iWhat I Didn't Find in Africa], published eight days earlier. Suddenly, the prick-waving "Mission Accomplished" crew was in damage control; first shamefacedly admitting that the infamous 16 words in the State of the Union address "should never have been included", then backtracking the regret by going into attack-the-messenger mode, which the ever-compliant mainstream media (MSM) went along with, making the headlines about Wilson's character, as opposed to the content of his message. But it wasn't enough to just smear Wilson. On this day 10 years ago, conservative columnist Robert Novak scraped the bottom of the barrel with this particular revelation:

"Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me that Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report."

There was nothing in Novak's column to disprove that the Bush propaganda about WMD in Iraq was a lie; now that MSM had followed the reich-wing wurlitzer into Get Wilson gear, there was no need to even try. But the two "senior administration officials" who told Novak that Wilson's wife is a CIA operative crossed a line they shouldn't have. At the time of this revelation, Plame was covert. Publicly stating her employment by the CIA compromised her cover. As David Corn pointed out a couple days after Novak's column, by exposing Plame the Bush administration may have violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. The CIA requested an investigation through the Department of Justice which, under the leadership of John Ashcroft, dragged their heels until the fall of 2003, when he reluctantly announced they had opened an investigation.

MSM interest in the story briefly heated up around this time. There were news accounts that Karl Rove was a possible target which noted that he had once done campaign work for Attorney General John Ashcroft. Many Congressional Democrats pushed for a special counsel and even Republican Senator Arlen Specter said, “Recusal is something Ashcroft ought to consider.” Press Secretary McClellan told the White House press corps that he had spoken to Rove, Vice President Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and National Security Council (NSC) aide Elliott Abrams and that each had categorically denied they had leaked information on Valerie Wilson. Novak doubled down on his earlier damage by publishing a column in October that revealed the name of her cover company, stating that when Valerie Wilson made a contribution to Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 1999, she listed her employer as “Brewster-Jennings & Associates”. Fascinated with these revelations and hoping to learn more from a group as interested in finding out the truth behind this story as I was, I joined Democratic Underground (DU) on October 14, 2003. Through following their Latest Breaking News forum, I found out in December that Ashcroft was indeed recusing himself and that Deputy AG James Comey had appointed Patrick Fitzgerald as Special Counsel to handle the grand jury investigation.

But in early 2004, news on the Valerie Plame case seemed to have dried up. I noticed
while the rest of MSM was more absorbed in trivialities like Howard Dean’s Scream, DU turned out to be a great place to discuss not only the news covered on TV and newspapers, but also stories from alternative media outlets. Nobody felt compelled to shy away from stories that explored the possibility of conspiracy where the government was concerned. It was in this manner that I first discovered the story of Sibel Edmonds while looking for stories on Valerie Plame. I found the similarities fascinating: two beautiful women, both doing classified work for the government, both betrayed by the government during the Bush administration, both seeking justice in a court of law. But at that time, I had no proof their stories were connected in any way.

I tried to keep abreast of any new developments in Plame’s case looking at Latest Breaking News, but rarely found news in the spring of 2004. Often I would see people post questions in General Discussion wondering how Fitzgerald’s investigation of the case was going. I would try participating in these threads and on days when I didn’t see one, I would type up my own OP and try to find out if there had been any new revelations. Post by post, I began to notice it was a lot of the same posters who kept showing up at these threads about the Plame case. They all seemed to be dedicated to the same quest for the truth that attracted me, but there never seemed to be any cohesiveness in any thread in the pursuit of information.

On July 1, 2004, a member of DU with the username shraby started a thread with the title “If and when indictments come down in the Plame case." Somehow, something struck a collective chord which generated a huge response. When the moderator locked the thread after 311 posts, it was not to discourage activity, but to encourage it because the length of the thread was creating loading problems for users with a dial-up internet connection. (Remember those days?!) The second thread created by the moderator titled “If and when indictments come down in the Plame case-thread2” attracted even more members and was locked for the same reason after 295 posts. By the time the third thread was opened, everyone there was aware of what was being referred to as “The Plame Threads.”

What was it that made these threads so popular? There were a number of great contributions, but what really jumpstarted the first thread was a member with the username H2O Man highlighting Joe Klein’s recent article in Time magazine revealing that Valerie Plame, at the time she had her cover blown, was working on a “sting operation” regarding the trafficking of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Suddenly, there was tangible proof that Plame was no simple secretarial desk jockey, as the neo-con meme of that time went; this was a serious undercover agent in a serious covert operation. It made the possibility of indictments seem imperative. This, along with H2O Man’s opinion that the indictments from the grand jury proceedings would come out soon and could create a constitutional crisis unlike any in our nation’s history, was what really got the ball rolling.

Throughout that summer until August 19, 2004, when after over 5,600 posts the moderator locked the 20th and final Plame Thread, we became a team of detectives dedicated to discovering the evidence detailing this operation. While I got to know some better than others, the most dedicated researchers each had their own distinctive approach to fueling the collective effort. Sometimes conflicts would erupt over the significance of certain pieces of evidence and sometimes just over personality conflicts, but for the most part the collaboration was beautiful harmony as each new revelation in DU's own organic "think tank" built upon the next. In addition to uncovering what evidence I could by googling leads, I felt my role was to compile as much evidence by everyone from the Plame Threads as I could into a cohesive structure to illustrate the hypothesis we were testing. In the context of trying to discover the details of the “sting operation”, many on the Plame Threads devoted their time to researching the dark underworld of WMD proliferation. One possible lead presented in the first thread by a member with the username seemslikeadream concerned a possible connection Plame had through her cover company Brewster, Jennings & Associates tracking the nuclear proliferation network of A.Q. Khan.

Khan turned out to be the most promising lead in WMD proliferation, because VP Dick Cheney knew about Khan's nuclear black market since he was Secretary of Defense in 1989 and did nothing to stop it. Cheney was fast becoming the Plame Threads' Most Likely Mastermind orchestrating the outing of Valerie Plame due to the wonderful Waterman Paper written by H2O Man. After uncovering deeper financial links between Khan's chief financial officer and a subsidiary company of Halliburton, I presented my compilation of our research to explore The Waterman Paper's Goal #3: Why Cheney Exposed Plame. I titled my paper American Judas. Our think tank had tested the hypothesis and now had a "peer-reviewed" theory we could stand behind as we spread the word in pursuit of justice.

In the aftermath of the Plame Threads, my focus renewed on the possibility of a connection between the Plame case and Sibel Edmonds. Through my own research and the help of other DU investigative threads between 2004 and 2007, I wrote American Judas 2nd Edition: INVESTIGATE CHENEY & UNRAVEL THE CABAL. This was published here while the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was still ongoing. There had been a great amount of publicity on MSM that Dick Armitage had actually been the first person in the Bush administration to leak the CIA identity of Valerie Plame to a reporter, Bob Woodward. Popular opinions over blame in the Plame case seemed to be divided into two camps: either the benign, "Armitage-the-gossiper-made-a-boo-boo" or the malignant, "Neo-cons-made-Plame's-CIA-cover-Fair-Game-for-hubby-criticizing-Bush." While I always leaned toward blaming the neo-cons, I knew from my research that the reality behind this crime was something deeper. Something darker. Uglier. Something like a military-industrial complex on steroids.

Why did Armitage feel so secure in telling Woodward that "everyone knows" Wilson's wife works for the CIA as early as June 13, 2003? It's important to remember his social milieu as Deputy Secretary of State, the Department's second ranking official; the third ranking State Department official was Marc Grossman, who told Libby that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA on June 11 or 12, 2003, right around the time Cheney told Libby. According to the FBI, Libby admitted that he and Cheney may have talked of outing Plame to reporters one month later. Cheney's motive has been established, but what motive would Grossman have? According to Sibel Edmonds, Grossman was one of three officials – the other two, she says, are Richard Perle and Douglas Feith – who had been watched by both Valerie Plame's Brewster Jennings & Associates CIA team, and by the major FBI investigation of organized crime and governmental corruption on which she herself was working until being terminated in April 2002. Edmonds always intimated there was more she could reveal, but the multiple gag orders placed on her by Attorney General John Ashcroft prevented her from doing so.

Prevented, that is, until August 8, 2009. Edmonds was subpoenaed for a case before the Ohio Elections Commission; Schmidt v. Krikorian. This was the first time during the Obama administration that an opportunity arose where her attorneys requested that Attorney General Holder review the state secrets privilege invoked in her case and reverse the decision made under former President Bush. While the FBI attempted to block her testimony with a two page letter of objection to her attorneys and the Department of Justice pressured the Ohio Commission to drop the subpoenae, ultimately no one showed up in court to stop her deposition and on August 8, 2009, she provided what any rational person would describe as explosive testimony. MSM gave the news a complete blackout. Too bad, they missed out on informing the world about how Valerie Plame's CIA cover company, Brewster Jennings & Associates, initially had their cover blown:

"Basically," she said, "I told them how [third-ranking State Dept. official in the Bush Admin and former Ambassador to Turkey] Marc Grossman disclosed" that Brewster Jennings was a CIA front company to the target of an FBI investigation.


"Grossman and [Richard] Armitage, they are the only two people involved. Later on Cheney and his people may have used it, but it had nothing to do with those other things, [Brewster Jennings] was completely destroyed and gone by the summer of 2001."

Does this revelation absolve Cheney? Absolutely not! First, the Grossman/Armitage revelations do not change the documented links between Cheney and the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network where the motive to blow Valerie Plame's CIA cover is concerned. Second, considering both Cheney and Armitage were affiliated with the Project for the New American Century, it's quite possible Cheney already knew Plame's cover company had essentially been gutted from the inside two years prior which gave him further justification. Third, Cheney's and Armitage's affiliation with the American Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (AACC), which I proved in American Judas 2nd edition, shows that they are part of the "other things" that Edmonds has elaborated on: a criminal network described by the FBI as Gladio B, whose roots trace back to 1947 under the stewardship of former Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles.

While the pathway to understanding the truth was long and circuituous, I think the best way to commemorate this shameful anniversary is to celebrate the contributions of everyone who participated in the Plame Threads. I might not have uncovered the full story if not for their commitment and devotion. There are some in particular I want to single out, though many may have left DU over the years. First, I must give a shout out to H2O Man, who I believe still posts at DU. Your wisdom, insight and hope provided an inspiration to everyone who dared to dream that there might be some measure of justice against the criminal Bush administration. Pallas180: you were not only the "den mother" who organized so many of the threads, you gave me the name American Judas to describe what we had discovered. seemslikeadream: you were one of the biggest diggers and unearthed mountains of evidence; I'm so glad our paths crossed. arbustochupa, who I believe now posts under the name coeur_de_lion, you not only organized one of the threads, you were one of the biggest contributors and helped get the conversation flowing. Me., you got your start at DU on the Plame Threads and did some great digging yourself. RebelYell: you helped me distinguish valuable alternative media from trash and did some excellent detective work. calimary: you always kept us updated with media contact info so we could alert them to our discoveries. kohodog: you wrote a great form letter for alerting the media and many other contributions to the Plame Threads. Finally, I want to thank shraby for starting it all and keeping the ball rolling in DU's finest moment.

Here is the honor roll:

Thread 1 - shraby, LosinIt, fizzana, seemslikeadream, ewagner, tnlefty, GreenPartyVoter, gandalf, billybob537, Cyrano, Rosco T., are_we_united_yet, H2O Man, chiburb, lancdem, sniggles, merh, redstateliberal, frank frankly, truth2power, Eloriel, Fla Dem, goclark, TNOE, lil-petunia, Jazzgirl, dweller, juajen, Political_Junkie, FoeOfBush, calimary, burrowowl, kgfnally, scottxyz, scarletwoman, mzmolly, maxpower, Jim Sagle, thinkingwoman, TreeHuggingLiberal, jubug3, Waverley_Hills_Hiker, 2dumb2beprez, serryjw, Stephanie, LizW, Ugnmoose, Dookus, jmowreader, cryingshame, TruthIsAll, iconoclastic cat, Disturbed, wrate, Marianne, Generator, shimmergal, NRK, birdbrain, LeftHander, TWiley, Ripley, hansolsen, KoKo01, PATRICK, StandUpGuy, alfredo, Bush_Eats_Beef, KYDEM, loudsue, hedda_foil, arbustochupa, leftchick, Cheswick, oasis, Oaf Of Office, HootieMcBoob, Dems Will Win, tableturner, Zynx, 0007, FrustratedDemInNC, SharonAnn, Kimber Scott, vidali, kohodog, faithnotgreed, VoteDemocratic2004, cease_fire, floda, Pallas180, flpeach, Rockholm, TacticalPeak, mopaul, nolabels, Wilber_Stool, Moderator

Thread 2 - steviet_2003, Lone_Wolf, Ewan I Bushwackers, ClassWarrior, RainDog, Zan_of_Texas, Swamp_Rat, TheStranger, wtmusic, Crisco, AlinPA, Tellurian, Roon, ABB_15501, RFSea, Mallove Fan 71, bigskydem, Crachet2004, RightDem, Hippo_Tron, Lars39, party_line, Bleachers7, ktf23t, Pobeka, myrna minx

Thread 3 - newyawker99, azmesa207, legolassie, dansolo, OhMyGod, spokane, Kool Kitty, starroute, Zorra, Tight_rope, cthrumatrix, amBushed, Beetwasher, rman, fedupwithbush, xocolatl, mdmc, Papa, jumptheshadow, Snazzy, daria_g, Lestatdelc, LibertyorDeath

Thread 4 - beam_me_up, Kanary, juslikagrzly, GoreN4, catlawyer, librechik, SpiralHawk, robertpaulsen, yodermon, NewJeffCT, flutter by

Thread 5 - RatTerrier, spotbird, Cassandra, lanparty, AZDemDist6, ramblin_dave, nannah, johnfunk, salin, tblue37, JellyBean1, pbl, demgrrrll, KleverKittie, tjfreeman, Me.,

Thread 6 - swag, 7th_Sephiroth, Prodemsouth, progressivebebe, wurzel, Mike Niendorff, FascistAdder, milkyway, alilenas, DeepModem Mom, liberalnproud, KansDem, TacoUnderpants, Langis

Thread 7 - doctorbombeigh, Elginoid, jbutsz, DavidFL, leesa, donkeyotay, ralps, wishlist, RebelYell, Timefortruth

Thread 8 - Jacobin, BeFree, yowzayowzayowza, warrior1, saywhat, ozymandius, TheCentepedeShoes, huckleberry

Thread 9 - MidwestTransplant, liburl, sadiesworld, bobbieinok, sal, midwayer

Thread 10 - Trajan, seventhson, mandyky, sampsonblk, Gregorian, zidzi, lastknowngood, maggrwaggr, zydeco

Thread 11 - LunaC, mountainvue, DrBB, SayitAintSo, bezdomny, Sugarbleus

Thread 12 - NightOwwl

Thread 13- ayeshahaqqiqa, wolfgirl, snippy, SilasSoule, skip fox, shockingelk, ignatius 2, tom_paine, sheelz

Thread 14 - Scagbearer, crozet4clark, napi21, linazelle

Thread 15 - PDittie, carols, gtrump, maryallen, grasswire, muriel_volestrangler

Thread 16 - democrat_patriot, pacoyogi, bobbyboucher, Roy Robertson, stepnw1f, donhakman, dist22dem

Thread 17 - teryang, drfemoe, Minstrel Boy, wiggs, proud patriot, FizzFuzz

Thread 18 - whistle, LiberalSam, slutticus, Dr_eldritch

Thread 19 - Tweedtheatre, tishaLA, peace4allpeople, sgr2

Thread 20 - buycitgo, Sophree

I salute you all!

seemslikeadream: you were one of the biggest diggers and unearthed mountains of evidence; I'm so glad our paths crossed.

It was a time I will never forget. I salute you roberpaulson amazing friend :lovehearts: :hug1:
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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