Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote for Jill Stein

“At a time when a third of Sanders supporters still haven’t committed to backing Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump in the general election, where every percentage point will matter, Stein’s candidacy looms larger. Many good people are only just discovering her campaign, and wondering if she might be worthy of their vote. Which is why it’s time for responsible political observers to say what has been commonly understood among those who have followed Stein for years: Friends don’t let friends vote for Jill Stein.

Read the full article here: Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote for Jill Stein

 

So You Say You Want A Revolution?

— by Mike Burns

NotResponsibleI have seen a glimpse of the Bernie Sanders Political Revolution and it is pretty ugly. Evidently, Bernie’s revolution will consist of misogynistic insults, vandalism, conspiracy theories, the dissing of party officials and death threats against those same party officials as well as their relatives. The Miracle of the Bird has been replaced by the politics of personal destruction, an anti-establishment crusade against anyone not 100% behind Bernie and a nihilistic, counterproductive blueprint for electing Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.

I went to the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday to participate in the Nevada State Democratic convention and fulfill my role as a delegate to that convention. I did not go there to get caught up in a Bernie Sandersprotest yet that is exactly what I was subjected to. His supporters attempted to highjack our event and turn it into one of their own. We were there as Democrats, they were not. We were there to conduct party business, no matter who had the majority of the delegates, they were not. We followed the rules of decorum agreed upon by an equal number of Bernie and Hillary supporters on the rules committee, they did not.

Here is a list of the decorum rules as passed by the convention. TheBernie Sanders delegates broke each and every one of them with the specific intention of slowing down the wheels of progress, shouting down anyone who disagreed with their point of view and shutting down the event.

V. Decorum

  1. All delegates, alternates, and guests are entitled to attend and participate in the convention free of harassment or intimidation. Anyone harassing or attempting to intimidate any delegate, alternate, or guest to the convention shall be ejected from the convention immediately and shall forfeit any fees paid for the convention or other convention activities.
  2. Any intentional disruption of any convention activities may result in immediate ejection from the convention, including the forfeiture of any fees paid for the convention or other convention activities.
  3. Guests invited to speak to the convention shall not have their remarks or presentations interrupted or interfered with in any manner, including auditory or visual distractions from the floor. Violation of this rule may result in immediate ejection from the convention, including the forfeiture of any fees paid for the convention or other convention activities.
  4. Noisemakers of any kind are prohibited at the convention.
  5. Conversation on the floor should be kept to a minimum out of respect for guests, delegates and speakers. Those delegates, alternates, and guests wishing to converse should exit the floor.

In the past, I have been patient with Bernie and his supporters. They have abused the front running Democratic candidate. The have accused her and the Democratic Party of corruption. They have essentially spent 1 full year beating the Democratic Party like a rented mule, one they do not have ownership of, affection for or a responsibility to. As I said, I have been patient. Most of the Hillary supporters have been patient. The Democratic Party has been patient. The hope has been that Bernie would be able to bring his newly energized supporters into the Democratic fold and help to push this party forward with new ideas and new vitality. Every party needs this new blood and new energy from time to time, otherwise we atrophy and die. So we were patient. We waited and we hoped. Unfortunately, our patience has not paid off. I now realize that what Bernie has built is not a vehicle to re-invigorate the Democratic Party. Instead he has created a cult of personality populated with Bernie-bots ready to destroy any organization or individual that is not part of the so called ‘political revolution’.

I no longer have patience. I no longer have hope. I saw too many Bernie supporters this weekend attempting to drown out loyal and faithful servants of the Democratic Party with shouts of ‘Bernie or Bust’. I saw too many Bernie supporters take the microphone and call the Democratic Party corrupt and liken them to the Mafia. I saw them disavow publically any pretext of party unity in favor of Bernie Sanders unilateralism. I didn’t see Democrats on the Bernie side of the room on Saturday. I saw a mob that could no longer be controlled by Bernie or his national campaign. I saw a gang of sore losers who now have no more use for a party that won’t overturn the will of the people and appoint their ‘Saint Bernie’ as the uncontested nominee.

I know that there are long term Democrats that are Bernie supporters. I know that there are reasonable new Bernie voters who are interested in building a Democratic Party that will serve their interests in the future. As Senator Nina Turner said on Saturday – “Be civil, but stay committed”. I will always be willing to embrace these Bernie supporters as fellow Democrats. I still firmly believe that there are more things that we agree on than disagree and I know that there are many of the Bernie people that believe the same thing. But there are obviously many who don’t believe that and never did. They’re wrong, but like all zealots, they are committed to being wrong. Well, go be wrong someplace else. You want your way or the highway? Let me point the way to the on-ramp. You say ‘Bernie or Bust’? Good luck with ‘bust’ as you flee to the Libertarian Party, organize a write in campaign or even sell your soul to Donald Trump. Don’t tear down my Party. It doesn’t belong to you and is not yours to destroy. If you think that Hillary is evil, or the Democratic Party is evil or the process is beyond redemption and needs to be blown up, we don’t need you and we don’t want you. We don’t need your passion if it is only focused on destruction. We don’t need your energy if it is only going to be used to back one specific candidate at the expense of all other Party business and we don’t want your numbers if it is going to be accompanied by your chaos.

The Democratic Party is bigger than you and bigger than Bernie Sanders. It has been pushing a progressive agenda for decades and can survive just fine without you or your ‘all or nothing’ path to political insignificance. In the immortal words of John Lennon: “You say you want a revolution? … You can count me out.” Goodbye, good riddance and don’t let the mule kick you on the ass on your way out.


About Mike Burns —

For years I was a self described independent. I liked the idea that America was built on the powerful idea of compromise. Politics at its best was an exercise in give and take that at least tried to be respectful of both sides of an issue. However, since the rise of right wing talk radio and Fox News, this no longer seems possible. For me, it is time to fight back in my small way. The conservatives have had their way with the truth for too long without enough of us standing up and saying no more lies. Maybe this blog will make a small difference, maybe not. The main thing is that it will satisfy my need to speak out against conservative hate and hypocrisy. Mike Burns

Announcement of Delegates to DNC Convention

The Nevada State Democratic Party released information on the Nevada Delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Committee Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Convention is scheduled for July 25-28. At the Convention, Delegates will formally elect the Democratic Party’s 2016 nominee for President.

Nevada’s 23 District-Level Delegates are allocated based on the percentage of the precinct caucus vote on February 20. Hillary Clinton won 13 of these, compared to 10 for Bernie Sanders. The seven At-Large and five Pledged Party Leader and Elected Official (PLEO) Delegates are determined based on the State Convention results. Because Clinton had a majority of Delegates at the State Convention, she carried the At-Large Delegates 4–3 and the Pledged PLEO Delegates 3–2.  Clinton earned 20 Pledged Delegates and Sanders earned 15 Pledged Delegates to the Democratic National Convention in July. Overall, Nevada will send 43 Delegates to the Convention, including eight Unpledged PLEO Delegates.

View the breakdown of the Nevada delegation to the 2016 Democratic National Convention below:

Uncommitted Unpledged PLEO Delegates:

Roberta Lange, Chris Wicker

Sanders District-Level Delegates:

Congressional District 1:  Angie Morelli, Joe Sacco

Congressional District 2:  Carol Cizauskas, Sarah Mahler, Paul Catha

Congressional District 3:  Tacy Geesaman, Leroy Pelton, John Geremia

Congressional District 4:  Alexis Salt, Adam Stuart Littman

Sanders At-Large Delegates:

Lucy Flores, Yvette Williams, Alan Doucette

Sanders Pledged PLEO Delegates:

Hawah Ahmad, Richard “Tick” Segerblom

Sanders Unpledged PLEO Delegates:

Erin Bilbray

Clinton District-Level Delegates:

Congressional District 1:  Donna West, Adriana Martinez, Anthony Flanagan

Congressional District 2:  Carissa Snedeker, Arlan Melendez, Cedric Williams

Congressional District 3:  Alicia Tucker, Jennifer Webb-Cook, Larry Mosley

Congressional District 4:  Mary Chapman, Sakina Turner, Thomas Morley, Larry Coffey

Clinton At-Large Delegates:

Kim Cole, Angel Robinson, Councilman Bob Coffin, Richard Miller

Clinton Pledged PLEO Delegates:

Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams, State Senator Aaron Ford, Assemblyman Nelson Araujo

Clinton Unpledged PLEO Delegates:

U.S. Senator Harry Reid, Congresswoman Dina Titus, Artie Blanco, Andres Ramirez, State Senator Ruben Kihuen

Alternates:

Matthew Kimball (Clinton) – Congressional District 1

Lynnette Hull (Clinton) – Congressional District 3

Alexander Goff (Sanders) and Connie Munk (Clinton) – At-Large

Bernie Finally Announced His Overly Ambitious Socialized Energy Plan

On Monday, Vermont Senator and Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announced his highly aggressive energy plan to forcefully deal with climate change. You can read his published plan here.

“The debate is over. The vast majority of the scientific community has spoken. Climate change is real,” said Sanders. “We will act boldly to move our energy system away from fossil fuels, toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal because we have a moral responsibility to leave our kids a planet that is healthy and habitable.”

 To do all that, Sanders’ plan would outright ban offshore drilling, ban Arctic drilling, block natural gas exports, stop attempts to lift a decades-old ban on crude oil exports, support states trying to ban natural gas fracking, and ban mountaintop removal coal mining. That’s a whole lot of current private sector jobs he’d be killing to bring his plan to fruition.  But it does appear that he intends to create 10 million public-sector(?) clean energy jobs that would replace them.  Many however, may not possess the requisite skills to fill those clean energy jobs, so I hope he’s planning to provide re-skilling education programs as part of his overall plan he’s going to impact the overall economy with a gigantic thud.

The major points of his plans are as follows:

  1. Ban fossil fuels lobbyists from working in the White House. (That’s nice, what about all the lobbyists who take precedence over actual constituents over in the House and the Senate?)
  2. End the huge subsidies that benefit fossil fuel companies.  (First, he’s going to need someone in the House and the Senate to propose that, then he’s going to need to get that out of committee and on the floor of each house for a vote, AND, he’s going to need 60 votes in the Senate or it’s going absolutely nowhere, because he cannot do that via executive order or fiat.)
  3. Create a national environmental and climate justice plan that recognizes the heightened public health risks faced by low-income and minority communities. (A plan that recognizes that?  How about some constructive action to correct not just the risks, but the actual health conditions resulting from continual exposure?)
  4. Bring climate deniers to justice so we can aggressively tackle climate change. (Would that be his fellow Senators and Representatives from the House … or the corporations that are their financial backers?)
  5. Fight to overturn Citizens United. (Ok? Not sure why that one is in his “Energy/Climate Change” proposal.  Seems like that should be in an “Election Reform” proposal.  At best it’s just going to show us which energy companies are buying whom.)
  6. Embrace a science-based standard for carbon pollution emissions reductions. (and decrease our carbon pollution emissions by at least 8o% from 1990s levels by 2050?  Does he fully comprehend how much pass-down costs are going to cripple our economy?  He’s already indicated he has plans to increase even middle class taxes.  Now he wants to dramatically increase the cost of absolutely anything and everything we buy as those costs to comply are passed down and marked up on every single commodity.)
  7. Put a price on carbon. (Well, that’s the only good thing in the plan so far given that we own 9kw worth of solar on the roof.  If he sets up a credit system, maybe there’s something in it for the investment we made.)
  8. Work toward a 100 percent clean energy system and create millions of jobs. (Would those be private or public sector jobs?  It’s already being intimated that Sanders is proposing the creation of 10 million “federal” jobs.  I can already hear right-wing heads exploding over the idea of a socialized energy workforce and the demise of the for profit energy industry.)
  9. Invest in clean, sustainable energy sources powered by the sun, wind and Earth’s heat. (I really do believe that truly is something our federal tax dollars should be used for instead of bankrolling BigOil profit margins, but it won’t go over well.  Didn’t Obama try that and get crucified by the GOP?  I can already hear and see in my mind’s eye, one commercial after another ad nauseum, raving about the failed Solyndra Solar development and how the Bernie wants to waste even more of our precious tax dollars on such frivilous endeavors.)
  10. Invest in advanced renewable fuels and keep our energy dollars at home. (I do believe we’re already doing that.  Net imports accounted for 27% of the petroleum consumed in the United States, the lowest annual average since 1985.)
  11. Invest in solar energy and put money back in the pockets of consumers. (Well I’m all for his support for net metering, but clearly he hasn’t been watching with the good Republicans of Nevada and other states around the nation have been doing to charge net-metered accounts higher “minimum cost to serve” bills and introducing schemes to credit net-metered accounts with only one-half a KW for every full KW taken by the utility.  Will he be putting an end to those predatory schemes?)
  12. Invest in making all American homes more energy efficient. (I’m sorry, but isn’t it the responsibility of home owners to invest in the maintenance and update of their homes?  I can see maybe making that process more affordable via reduced rate energy improvement loans and assistance programs.  But, we can’t do everything for everybody.)
  13. Build electric vehicle charging stations. (Wait a minute?  The Federal Government is going to do that? We’re going to take that out of the hands of the private sector? Is he also going to require all vehicles that burn fossil fuels to be off the road by some magic date?  That might work fine in urban centers, but it’s 2.5 hours at 75mph for us to be able to get to the nearest significant “urban center” and a single charge just isn’t gonna get us there without a significant stop for a serious re-charge … and then there’s the cost of that new electric car to add into the mix of things to come.)
  14. Build high-speed passenger and cargo rail. (Amtrack serves a limited number of cities across our nation, and the small rural town in which I reside does happen to be one of them, but many other small rural towns along its path are not so lucky. It seems to me that while this proposal may help those along the eastern and western seaboards and maybe some of the bigger urban centers across the nation, it will be at the expense of rural Americans for the benefit of big urban centers.)
  15. Convene a climate summit with the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, policy experts, activists and indigenous communities in his first 100 days. (Really?  Didn’t we just have one of those and didn’t leaders from around the globe just agree on some serious curtailment goals …. is didn’t the Republican Congress just tell President Obama to go take a flying leap? )
  16. Lead countries in cutting climate change.  (I think before we start telling everybody else what they should be doing, we better get our act together here at home!  When we have leaders in both houses of Congress not just denying climate change, but science altogether and claiming that Noah carried two of each type of Dinosaur and woolly mammoths on the ark along with two of every animal known to mankind today … maybe we need to concentrate on building a consensus at home.)
  17. Plan for peace to avoid international climate-fueled conflict. (What exactly does that mean? Do we all need to start watching “prepper” videos on YouTube and stalking our pantries?)

That definitely sets him apart from Hillary Clinton and assuredly proposes to take on BIG oil, but at what cost?

His staff did go all out to detail how his plan would work, complete with an interactive US map that pops out a target clean energy breakdown for each state. Here’s an animation of the pop-out for Nevada, as an example:

bloggif_56e0ce1b6673e

The 2050 Energy Costs slide claiming folks will save on average $98/person is a bit odd. Really?  Folks are going to have to buy solar, trash their current car and buy a new car (or give up your car altogether to use a bicycle or walk), all to achieve $98/person … in 2050(?).  Maybe I’m missing something here, but that’s a seriously steep selling curve even to the most avid climate change fanatics amongst us. And the “Money in your Pocket” for “Annual energy, health and climate cost savings/person” (again in 2050) section also makes no sense to me whatsoever.  I don’t come close to spending that much per year on energy, health or climate now and I’m reaching those elder years where one expects to start having to pay a bunch on health care issues.

Take some time and see if you can make some sense of where he wants to take our nation, how drastically quick he wants to get there and whether you think his approach is even do-able given our currently ideologically split nation.  If Bernie’s our party’s nominee, we’re all signing on “revolutionary” ideas to remake our nation.

Lucy Flores Endorses Bernie Sanders

Lucy Flores

I was a junior in college when the reality of today’s economic and social injustice hit me squarely in the gut with soul crushing force. After managing through my own set of difficult circumstances – escaping the cycle of poverty and dysfunction that included abandonment by my mother, gang-involvement, a stint on juvenile parole, a teenage abortion and becoming a high school drop-out – I was working several jobs to get myself through school at the University of Southern California.

One of those jobs was assessing kids involved in a long-term study on the impact of early learning on brain development. As a research assistant I would go to the kids’ homes and periodically assess their progress. Many of our participants lived in neighboring South Central Los Angeles where poverty, violence and drugs were rampant, but given my own experience growing up in similar conditions, that type of environment didn’t shock my senses very much.

I arrived at my assigned child’s house one day and began my normal routine of introducing myself to the parent and figuring out where in the home was best to do the assessment. I was used to working just about anywhere given that most homes I went to were tiny and cramped and generally didn’t have a lot of room to work with, but on this occasion I noticed right off the bat that this was going to be different.

As soon as I walked into the tiny one-bedroom, single-story apartment, I looked around and saw things everywhere – dirty clothes, dishes, shoes, plastic and paper bags, and what seemed like countless other things – on just about every surface imaginable. There literally was not a single space to clear off or rearrange and the house smelled like it hadn’t been exposed to fresh air in weeks, so I decided to work with the child on the apartment stoop.

The child was about 5 years old – a young black boy who even despite his living conditions had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. I made my way through my standard questions – “How often do you read?” “Sometimes, when I’m in school.” “How often does your mom read with you?” “Never.” “Do you enjoy reading?” “Yes.” “How much? On a scale of sad face to happy face, point to the face that shows how much you enjoy reading.” He pointed to happy face. So on and so forth. When we got to the end, I told him he did great and began to put away my things. As I was packing, he abruptly pointed to something and said, “Can I have that?” I didn’t have anything special so I looked at him confused and asked, “Have what?” “That.” He said, still pointing. I looked down again and saw that my happy face assessment sheet was at the top of my stack of papers. I immediately realized he wanted to keep my sheet – my black and white, photo-copied a thousand times over, sheet that had sad to happy faces on it. Then I realized how anxious he seemed that I might say no, so I asked, “Do you have any books at all in there?” “No.” “Do you have anything to read at all? A magazine or something?” “No.” “Do you have toys? Or anything to play with?” “No.” “Do you have anything at all? Like crayons or pens or something?” “No.”

And then it struck me: this bright kid, this happy, starry-eyed kid, this kid with all the potential in the world, had nothing. He had a filthy, dirty apartment with no active parenting, no role models around, and I was about to make his week just by giving him my happy face sheet. So I said, “Well of course you can have my sheet!” Then I started to furiously dig around my bag to see what else I could find. I found some neon highlighters he could color with, a few extra happy face sheets, and some red and blue pens.

I gave it all to him. Then I said, “Ok, I have to go now. Have fun coloring your sheets. And remember to read at school every chance you get!” He happily nodded as he walked back into his filthy apartment. I walked to the sidewalk, sat on the curb, and sobbed uncontrollably. I sobbed with despair I hadn’t felt, well, ever. I knew as soon as I walked away what was likely in store for that kid – I knew the odds were against him, just like they were against me. I knew that statistically-speaking, he was likelier to end up in prison or dead than end up attending college. I knew that I had just witnessed the human tragedy that is wasted potential.

And I knew I was powerless to do anything about it. Until I realized that I wasn’t.

Until I realized that change is achieved one person at a time, one day at a time, and one vote at a time.

I think about this boy all the time. I wonder if he beat the odds. I wonder where he is. I wonder if he’s still alive. He still makes my heart hurt. I thought about him when I first heard Bernie Sanders speak.

Choosing which candidate to support for president was one of the most difficult tasks I have done in the recent past. I’ve always been strong in my resolve, firmly planted in my roots and guided by my sense of justice. I have never made a political decision based on what was the “smart” or “safe” thing to do (just ask any of my often times dismayed political advisors) and I have always done what I believed aligned with my values and my ideals. But this decision was difficult because both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are both accomplished and worthy candidates, and both are light years ahead of any of the Republican choices. And as the first Latina elected to the Nevada legislature in the history of the state, and as a young woman who has struggled mightily in this male-dominated world of politics, Hillary inspires a lot of pride.

But only one of these candidates makes me think of that young boy in South Central Los Angeles– and that’s Bernie Sanders. We used to live in a country where the “American Dream” was attainable for most. We used to live in a country where you could make it if you tried, where upward mobility was a tangible thing, and where education was the key to success.

But that’s not the America we live in anymore. Fewer and fewer Americans are able to break the cycle of poverty, wages are stagnant or declining for most except for the top 1%, and our political system is dominated by millionaires and billionaires. Secure retirements and pensions are becoming a thing of the past, and that key to success via education is instead becoming a weight of massive debt hanging around the necks of young people everywhere, myself included. How did we end up in a country where you can break the cycle of poverty only to end up in a cycle of debt?

I believe that Bernie Sanders wakes up every day with these things on his mind. That the unfairness of it all weighs on his heart, just like it does mine, and that when he is elected, he will do whatever it takes to make America the land of opportunity again. I believe that Bernie Sanders will lead the charge, with many millions of Americans behind him, against the unfettered Wall Street greed that has threatened the very existence of the middle class and shackled so many more to permanent poverty. I believe that now, more than ever, America needs a political revolution.


Lucy Flores is a candidate for US House of Representatives from NV-CD4