I am gobsmacked

Bernie Sanders’ interview with the New York Daily News editorial board is a stunner.  Jaw-droppingly bad for Bernie.  For someone who has been calling for years for the prosecution of the banksters, the breaking up of the banks, he has no real plan or process in mind as to how that can actually been done. And it gets worse from there.

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I don’t know how anyone can read this transcript and think Bernie Sanders is really prepared to be President of the United States. By his own admission, actions he has demanded for years, breaking up the banks, for instance, he has no actual plan or legal knowledge as for how it can be accomplished.

A number of times in the interview, when pressed multiple times for ‘how’ he would do what he says he will do, he either backs down, or says legislation will be passed, or worse, he hasn’t really thought about it.

In so many areas, it is clear that he has not thought his policy proposals through, or worse, would just sort of wing it (as in the case of what he would do with captured terrorists).

As Melissa McEwen writes at Shakesville:

He cannot provide details on how he will enact his proposals; he admits he has not studied relevant law; he exhibits aggressive disdain for a candidate who does know these things, and in fact treats her admirable ability to navigate these processes and institutions as a disqualifying feature; and he believes, despite all evidence to the contrary, that he can single-handedly inspire a revolution that will defeat entrenched Republican obstructionism.

This should be very worrying indeed to Sanders supporters, who want and expect Sanders to actually deliver on his promises. The fact is, he can’t. He doesn’t know how.

 

“…reduces to an unsupported allegation…”

Which is all it ever was.   Can we move on now?  Better yet, can the media beat THIS drum for the next six months so it actually seeps into the American consciousness?

In all the complexity of the email controversy — involving a tangle of concerns about server technology, anachronistic record-keeping practices, and the government’s oblique classification system — a more straightforward question has lingered since news of the email account broke in March: Was it a sound decision by Clinton to, without third-party oversight, determine the emails considered work-related, and therefore part of the federal record — and to then delete the rest?

On both counts, the Justice Department lawyers argue in the affirmative.

[ . . . ]

In the brief, the Justice Department lawyers note that the State Department — as with other government agencies that task employees with managing their own emails — requires individuals to “review each message, identify its value, and either delete it or move it to a record-keeping system,” according to NARA rules.

As such, the attorneys state, “there is no question” that Clinton was legally permitted to delete correspondence she considered personal. Because State Department employees “may delete messages they deem in their own discretion to be personal,” the briefing reads, the Judicial Watch argument “reduces to an unsupported allegation that former Secretary Clinton might have mistakenly or intentionally deleted responsive agency records rather than personal records.”

The administration attorneys’ argument amounts to one of the most definitive government statements that Clinton was not in violation of the law in deciding to sort and delete the emails herself. (Buzzfeed)

banging head shirtI realize this won’t stop the haters, but can I hope that the media will start doing  their jobs and cover what the candidates are proposing and <gasp!> present them to the American people without adding their own spin, instead of the horse race and the latest faux controversy?

Yeah, right. Who am I trying to kid?

From my inbox: Stop the FACT Act

Knowing ALEC is behind this is why I am posting, word-for-word, an email I received today regarding the FACT Act.

Hi Blue Lyon Blogger,

My name is Susan Vento, and I am writing to you about a cause very close to my heart. My husband, Bruce, was a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives until October 10th, 2000 when he died of pleural mesothelioma––a rare disease caused by asbestos exposure. Recently, asbestos companies are using their political influence to push a new bill in Congress, led by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It is called the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act.” In short, this bill would delay and, in some cases, deny justice to people suffering from asbestos-related diseases. The FACT Act marks the beginning of a state-by-state strategy to dismantle the rights of victims. We must take action to protect these victims before it’s too late, like it was for my husband.

In the name of so-called “transparency,” the bill places burdensome reporting requirements on victims applying to the bankruptcy trusts. Yet, the companies who knowingly caused the asbestos exposure have no comparable requirements. The legislation is a one-sided and unfair effort designed to harm those who have already been injured. You can find more information on the bill here. This legislation is not an effort to make the legal system more responsive. Instead, it is merely the latest attempt by companies  and individuals like the Koch brothers to avoid responsibility for their wrongdoings.

Because of your influence and experience in the political blogosphere, I am asking for your help. I am a spokesperson for the Asbestos Cancer Victims’ Rights Campaign. The ACVRC is a national campaign dedicated to protecting the rights and privacy of cancer victims and their families.  I hope that you will join our fight to defeat this unfair legislation and the potential precedent it sets. Here are a couple of simple steps you can take to make a difference:

1.     Sign the petition to stop legislation that threatens cancer victims!

Go to www.CancerVictimsRights.org/take-action/sign-the-petition/ and follow the instructions to sign the petition at the bottom of the page.

2.     Spread the word!

Share your thoughts on the bill and our cause with your blog audience. Place a link to our petition on your blog to allow your readers to sign and showcase their public support––every signature matters!

Thank you in advance for your time. Individuals and families affected by cancer already have enough on their plate. With your help, the ACVRC is committed to fighting legislation that further burdens them.

Best,

Susan

 

An idea whose time has come!

I was perusing the Bill Draft Requests over at the Nevada Legislature web site when I came upon this one that would make Lyon County’s Attorney General the ex officio Public Administrator (pdf).  I think it’s a great idea and hope it passes.

After all, we haven’t had the best track record electing them.

Cross-Post: Good Luck, Mr. President

Cross-posted from The Neophyte Photographer.

It is Inauguration Day in the United States.

For all the silliness of the election season, and regardless of the winner, I like inauguration day and the peaceful transition of power it symbolizes (or in this case, the assent of the people to the continuation of the current administration).  I’ve got a number of friends who are there and I hope they have a great time.

I took these shots of the White House last March.  You can see the lights on in the Oval Office and I wonder if they are on all the time, or only when the President is in residence. I’m pretty sure President Obama was in D.C. at the time, so seeing the lights on was kind of cool.

UPDATED to add: Okay, now I’m feeling rather foolish. I’ve been operating under the misapprehension that the Oval Office is located in the White House. It is not. Rather it is located in the West Wing, a separate building on the White House grounds.

Reprise: Go Ahead, Raise our Taxes

Let’s just do it.  Let’s just go over the fiscal cliff slope.  

The Bush tax cuts were designed to expire in ten years. For everyone. We’ve gone two years beyond that expiration date and it has cost the country dearly.

Before anyone starts talking about cutting Social Security, or Medicare, or Medicaid, or closing loopholes or what-have-you, let’s just push the re-set button. Let all the Bush tax cuts expire. End the Payroll Tax “holiday.”  All of it. 

I posted this back in November of 2010. It is timely and bears repeating:

We’re willing to bite the bullet along with the fat cats. Seriously.

I looked at our joint tax return from last year and going back to 2001 rates would mean paying an extra $102.63 in taxes between the two of us every two weeks. Basically $50 a week. At least as best as I can figure. That appears to be the maximum we would owe.

That’s the sacrifice we are willing to make.

Sweetie and I are fortunate. When it comes to household income, we land in that upper bar. Barely. But if Sweetie were to lose his job, we’d immediately plunge down to the bar second from the bottom.

We know how to live with less, but we can’t live with nothing and we have never felt so job insecure in our lives. If either one of us were to  lose our job today, there is nothing comparable in terms of income out there for us. It’s a fact.

We’ve had ten years of Bush’s tax cuts and really, what has it gotten for the vast majority of us? Stagnant wages and job losses.  Worries that Social Security is on the chopping block. Less social safety nets. Less police and fire, less education for our kids, pot-holed roads.

If tax cuts create jobs, then why have we lost millions upon millions of them? If tax cuts generate tax revenue, then why are states and local municipalities slashing their budgets to the bone, laying off employees, requiring wage cuts, freezes, furlough days, cutting vital services, and on and on?

We can live without that extra $50.00  every week.

You guys have had your chance.

“Private Industry” would never have tackled this

Private industry only jumps in when there is a chance to make money. Basic research, just for research’s sake? Not on your life.

The findings, which are the fruit of an immense federal project involving 440 scientists from 32 laboratories around the world, will have immediate applications for understanding how alterations in the non-gene parts of DNA contribute to human diseases,

Bits of Mystery DNA, Far From ‘Junk,’ Play Crucial Role