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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Deadline Schmeadline

In A Perfect World, SOMEONE Would Vet Sanders
Yep. That email went out from the Sanders campaign this morning. He wants all of his supporters to send him some more money in light of the FEC deadline tonight. My question ... WHY? They've already told the FEC they would not be filing any additional information until after the campaign is over.
Thoughtfully ask yourself ... What does Sanders' busy schedule have to do with a paid treasurers time constraints? Does the treasurer have to go to all of the events? Shouldn't the job of treasurer limit one's time on the campaign trail so as to ensure their ability to maintain the finances of this 'revolutionary' fundraising apparatus? Apparently not.

The campaign has blatantly ingonred FEC guidelines, thus far. When asked for answers to quite pertinent questions, his treasurer, Susan Jackson, has replied with absolute NONSENSE. For instance, they have been asked every filing for correction on their filings of 'unitemized individual contributions.' Here they have disclosed $116,917,592. That amount has yet to be explained.

FEC Link Here
These questions of unitemized individual contributions began in June 2015, the same month Hillary Clinton kicked off her campaign. On filings every combined personal contribution above $200 has to show the name/address of the donor. The Sanders campaign, instead, offered this:

They have had similar entries every filing since. And that is how they have over $116M in donations they have not had to answer to. Keep in mind that the FEC has specific fines for each violation and their calculations are based on repeated offenses. How many donors are merely contributing to a pot that will be used to pay off the myriad violations and refusal to submit proper documentation to prove where their donations came from? I have seen many people write about this (not any MSM, of course) so I will leave it there and go into the things I found questionable in a single morning of looking through his FEC filing.

#1 February 29 was the day before Super Tuesday. He sent out emails and was all over Twitter and Facebook with pleas for donations with a really great video that got a lot of attention on social media. Sanders, however, has reported to the FEC that on that day, the day before Super Tuesday - the day all of his supporters had been waiting for, he managed to raise $650.50 in donations. If that isn't questionable enough, refer to every other day.

FEC Link Here
#2 All campaigns must disclose where their money is coming from. Some have reported on the fact that he was caught having a lot of donations from outside the US and he was supposed to have refunded that money. As of the last time they bothered to reply to the FEC, some of those had been refunded and they promised to have the rest completed for the April filing. (Yes, the filing they just extended til after the campaign is over). (See formal reply here from Sanders campaign).What I found interesting was the zip codes. As soon as I opened the link, something struck me. Those zip codes are not real. Lest anyone doubt my intentions ... this is the link to the to search zip codes.

FEC Link Here
#3 In the summary of expenditures the campaign showed two that were questionable to me because they are the names of Superdelegates that have vowed to support him at the convention. First Keelan Sanders received $5,265.25. This is a superdelegate from Mississippi. If Sanders were sincere about his contention that Superdelegates should support the nominees their states voted for, his 18% should probably not warrant him the support. The second notable name on the list of payees is Troy Jackson who received $4,849.89. This is the name of a Superdelegate pledged to Sanders from Maine, but as this is a more common name, I will have to do more research before I make a full assessment. THIS LINK will take you to the payees. If you hit ctrl+f and type the names you can find them and do research beyond my own. (I swear to Christ if anyone decides to harrass either of these people after reading this I will do my best to shame and embarrass you online - let Sanders supporters be the assholes)

#4 Finally last week I had had enough of how questionable his campaign was in regard to their finances (refusing to release 8 years of tax returns, not correcting/explaining FEC violations, not addressing the $116M unitemized donations) and I wanted to do a little research myself. Knowing that my bank would never let a $5000 charge go through, I tried to donate to his campaign from his website. When you donate more than $2700, the system should stop you and tell you that you are exceeding the legal limit for donation. It did not. It sent it to my bank. My bank said, 'Yeah. Right.' And it STILL did not tell me I was exceeding a limit, it just suggested I try another credit card.

As if his campaign hasn't been toxic enough lately, he has had Sainte Jane all over MSM this week explaining that they were going to release their 2015 tax returns soon. She, of course, then changed the subject whenever anyone reminded her that they were supposed to be releasing many more than 2 years to the fact that Secretary Clinton had not released transcripts of speeches given while being a private citizen. So they're under fraud investigations from 2011 and America is supposed to take a pinkie promise on their finances and, instead, reflect on a demand made of no candidate in history?

America, really. Its time to be done with this bullshit candidacy. Its time to get back to reminding the country who are really jeopardizing our futures. Its time to tell Sanders and his embarrassing campaign to step aside and behave like adults. And I think its really time that Sanders be held accountable for his shady (at best) fund raising.

Kiss Kiss ... Mean Progressive

Wonder about that $889M they promised?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dear Media: Get Your Shit Straight

Yesterday, incompetent media outlets reported that Facebook pages supporting Bernie Sanders were duped by Hillary Clinton supporters by adding posts of child pornography and then reporting the sites for having them up. This, supposedly, precipitated the immediate shut down of several sites. Every story mentioned having had eyewitness accounts to the pornographic material, but none of them documented or cited these accounts.

I happened to have actually witnessed what happend and it had NOTHING to do with any Hillary Clinton supporters. In fact, I know that the person who reported them was offended and wholly mortified by the material on the pages. What they reported having seen were suggestions of assassinating Secretary Clinton and posts suggesting a violent overthrow of the Democratic Convention this summer. The 'revolutionary' idea of overtaking the convention also had a petition ending with a suggestion that they would gladly lie down their lives and, at present (2am EDT 4/27/16), has had 1,429 signatures added.

This is the ACTUAL reply from Facebook after having read the incitement to violence (no mention of pornography, because .. duh).

And this is the petition that started the discussions about how to have a violent overthrow at the convention.

And here is part of a discussion where they were talking about rioting and assassinating Secretary Clinton.

Kindly get your shit straight before trying to add to an already toxic environment created and perpetuated by the radicals of the world, motherfuckers.

Kiss Kiss... Mean Progressive

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

American Progression

I was so tickled today when the US Treasury announced that Harriet Tubman was going to replace Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. She is such a beautiful choice for her lifetime of unbelievable accomplishments that I didn't spend a single moment remembering the long talks of countless women we could celebrate when the question was initially posed last year about the $10. I was just so pleased that Harriet Tubman was the choice. I got chills. I had tears in my eyes. I paused and reflected on all of the things I'd learned about her over the years and genuinely rejoiced.

This evening I wanted to read whatever the Treasury put out about their decision and I found out something absolutely lovely: Ms. Tubman is not the only person we will be celebrating. The back of the $10 will have Elizabeth Cady Stanton (who Im pretty sure I really was in another life, just sayin'), Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Alice Paul and Lucretia Mott.

And the back of the $5 bill will have Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson.

Can you stand it??? !!! ??? We are finally really celebrating AMERICA!

Yeah. Its just money. But it's the money that our society runs on. It is the money that has been the basis for nearly every choice our country has ever made. And, finally, its the money that has been graced with the faces of old white men for way too long.

This is the letter released by Secretary Lew about why and how they made their decisions. It's pretty cool if you want to check it out.

I compel all women (especially those who are promsing to "Bust" this November if they don't get to vote for their chosen candidate) to read this piece and consider the fact that the women and leaders above fought hard for us to get the right to vote. None of them meant for us to stop at the place where that accomplishment was won. But we have. You literally have only that one right, per the Constitution. So take it seriously. Because they did.

Kiss Kiss...  Mean Progressive

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Just Me. Thanks.

I started writing in January 2015 on a completely personal journey. It was solely reflective about my own life and I didn't write anything political. I wrote a few pieces that got a lot of attention from other writers who encouraged me to start posting my work on Twitter. It took me less than an hour to understand why people hate Twitter. I have been politically aware all of my adult life. I had known what the leaders of the Tea Party sect of the Regressive party had been saying, but I had never really had to experience their followers. Just. Jesus. Christ. They were fascinating to me and I researched and wrote about them for several months.

My interest in the teabaggers began to wane last summer, however. I was excited about our own movement on the left. I looked forward to hearing about the candidates who wanted to follow My President and their ideas. I was anxious for Secretary Clinton to announce and was also very excited about Bernie Sanders. When he entered the race I was sincerley energized because someone so far left was entering the arena. I encouraged my readers to learn more about him and spread the word.

I believed in everything Sanders talked about. Passionately. I soon realized that Bernie Sanders did not believe in everything I believe in, however. He gave the same speech every time he spoke. He hit the same notes every time. And then when he was asked questions about issues beyond his narrow purview, his answers went back to the same thing: billionaires. Don't get me wrong, money, power and influence are an obvious obstacle in our present democracy. But I understand human elements to the issues my progressive heart is passionate about. It does not seem that Sanders has any connection with the human element whatsoever, beyond its direct tie to his agenda.

Any response to the Black Lives Matter movement should not mention Wall Street. The answer to gun violence is not Wall Street. The answer to the Equal Rights Amendment is not Wall Street. The answer to our environmental crisis is not Wall Street. The answer to women's autonomy in health care is not Wall Street. The answer to immigration reform is not Wall Street. The answer to LGBTQ rights and marriage equality is not Wall Street. The answer to education is not Wall Street. The answer to veterans care is not Wall Street. The answer to voting rights is not Wall Street. The answer to national security is not Wall Street. The answer to energy independence is not Wall Street.

Somehow Sanders manages to bring every conversation back to the evils of money. Human beings don't even seem to get a secondary nod in his equation. Having studied the Tea Party movement, I noticed the commonalities of the messages: Good v. Evil, Right v. Wrong, Love v. Hate. Each very skewed conversation has the same foe and, more importantly, the same champion. I feel ugly typing the next sentence, so I won't. But I feel confident the bulk of my readers know where and when this technique was mastered. I will leave it right there.

Because of his inability to connect to progressive issues on a personal level, I was unable to connect to him on a personal level. Because I have known Secretary Clinton (not personally, of course) for decades now and cheered her myriad goals and accomplishments for progressive ideals, I connect with her on a personal level. It is sincerely personal to her. As it is to me.

In the beginning of the campaign there were pro-Hillary and pro-Sanders supporters who followed my writing and cheered me on because, for the most part, my pieces celebrated Progressivism. In November, however, I wrote a piece (read here) compelling the left to remain a united front against the right. I didn't say which group were being bullies but I insisted that we all be more mindful about where we direct our rage. I got a lot of shit for it. I ended up researching it more in December and found that one of the groups so many of my brothers and sisters from the left were joining was actually a right wing group. Yep. You read that right. They were taking their talking points and their (mis)information from people who would really rather have the left fighting among themselves than direct America toward an awakening about what was going on in the Regressive Party. Of course, I took quite a lot of shit for that piece, too (read here).

Here we are these many months later and it really seems to have been getting worse every week. Last week, however, was my final straw. I really wanted to keep my mouth shut (a Herculean feat, to be sure) and try to offer rational, conciliatory dialogue when we made it down to one candidate. I wanted to welcome those who had lost their chosen candidate and remind them of the reasons to celebrate the candidate we would need to support for the general. Sanders' campaign, however, has made that an impossibility for me.

The tragedy of the Sanders campaign is that he is taking the youth of the left and turning them against the only hope they will have for a true revolution. He is telling them that both sides are corrupt. Only he can take them to the promised land. Its kind of funny, really. Right? Here in our democracy, his "Not Me. Us" is embraced by those who seem to have no idea about the 'us' in that equation. The 'us' need to vote for many like-minded representatives so "Not Me" can be united with them working toward progressive goals. That "Not Me" is presently dismissing attempts to raise money for the other people from the left who might follow him to DC to pass laws and confirm judges to direct the nation to the left. Quite plainly, his message is "Just Me. Thanks." Even more plainly, this is not a dictatorship. And this is where his idealized version of Democratic Socialism gets really, really uncomfortable...

Socialism has a bad name. The ideology is lovely, to be sure. Its practice never has been, though. Ever. Socialism is offered to high-minded people with big hearts who want equality to prevail. Once the overwhelming power and money are given to the few who are meant to lead with it, however, the principled folk with the high ideals are fucked. Period.

A couple of weeks ago Susan Sarandon was defining Sanders' post-Trump election 'revolution' and Chris Hayes countered with, "You're saying the Leninist model of..." and she interrupted with a dreamy, "Yeah. Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah...". I'm convinced, after having heard her speak on political issues many times, that her response was to her having heard him ask about a "Lennonist model" where all hippies unite and give peace a chance. No thoughtful human being living in a DEMOCRACY would have understood that question to have been referencing Lenin, whose revolution meant to overthrow the State and create a historical clusterfuck, and then fantasize about that pending reality. The fact that Chris Hayes allowed her to go there and then didn't ask her to define the supposed rise after the fall of our State only advances my own belief that he and most at MSNBC have a very short leash when it comes to delivering information to their audience that could actually be useful.

Sanders is well aware of what he is doing. Much in the same way that Trump is presently hijacking the Regressive party (the one already hijacked by the Tea Party), Sanders plopped down onto the D so he could have a seat at the table without having to take the time to build a party of his own. He's had decades to create this movement and promote like-minded candidates across the country who wanted to join and move the country to the idealized (and as yet undefined) Democratic Socialism he seems so attached to. He doesn't care that he is destroying the only chance America has at this pivotal moment where the legacy of President Obama must be continued. He doesn't take into account that the Supreme Court is literally on the line. He doesn't seem remotely bothered by the fact that global diplomacy is a necessity and could end up in the hands of a reality TV star. Nope. His "Just Me. Thanks." movement is more important to him than anything else.

I have been relieved over the last few weeks by the countless Sanders supporters who've confided that they had become disgusted by the Sanders campaign and were moving their support to Secretary Clinton. The fact that most of those revelations came with a sincere plea that I not tell anyone for fear of their being ostracized online sums up his entire movement. I cannot have a rational discussion with his followers about issues. I cannot have a rational discussion about the misogynist tone of the Sanders campaign without having feminism mansplained to me. I cannot counter the lies that his campaign projects with actual facts because, like the Tea Party I grew so tired of battling, they don't want facts. His most fervent supporters are now comfortably settled into a movement with no message beyond short quips and condmenations of the 'others.' He and his surrogates have created and perpetuated narrative meant to disqualify our entire political structure and any who mean to preserve it and advance it to the left. The next generation of the Democratic Party is being poisoned by a petulant man-child in a suit whose only objective is to keep receiving adulation by those he is poisoning and take their money. Twenty seven dollars at a time.

Senator Sanders, my country deserves better. If you hate America so much, move to one of the countries you laud for their socialism. Maybe they'll make you king.

Kiss Kiss ... Mean Progressive