“You (Really Do) Got to Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When to Fold ‘Em”

By Steve Rohosky

 

While he slowly fades from the conscience of the general public, the reason for the Hillary/Sanders face-to-face not long ago has become increasingly clear. Heading into the tête-à-tête, the Senator from Vermont strongly believed himself to be in position to dictate terms to Clinton and the DNC, in return for his endorsement and an agreement to prevent hostilities by his more rabid followers at the upcoming convention.

Convinced he still held the upper hand–absolutely assumed his public endorsement of Hillary remained golden–Bernard Sanders would have pressured the presumptive nominee to fold X number of his policies in the party platform, place several of his trusted inner circle into positions of influence. He’d strive to overhaul the Democratic primary system, PLUS insist upon input into the VP vetting as well as seeking a say as to the ultimate choice. Certainly those were just the highlights. After patiently and respectfully hearing Sanders out, Hillary Clinton would have looked at the frazzled old man across from her, who always looked like he combed his hair with a balloon, and she laughed. No doubt about it.

The short version of her response most likely went something like: Right now, Senator, you get nothing, no guarantees, no promises. Your requisition to “improve” the primaries will be taken under advisement, but don’t hold your breathe. All anyone from your inner circle gets to do is assist MY people. Too, YOU are going to help me get elected. An endorsement is mandatory; it should go without saying there will be several joint campaign appearances, featuring us both. Encouraging your supporters to vote not just for me but all down ticket Democrats on their ballots, is mandatory.

AFTER I become president, I will evaluate the roll you played in my election. THEN I will weigh the degree of participation and enthusiasm of everyone responsible for my victory. Positions of responsibility and assignments will be handed out commensurate to ability. And the same goes for you, Senator.

Look, Hillary is infinitely smarter than anachronisms like Sanders and Trump can possibly admit. She KNOWS, if she gives in now and makes deals, once elected Sanders will use the continued support of his minions as a weapon, playing that card repeatedly in order to extract ever more concessions.

Bet on it.

The way The Ol’ Socialist hightailed it back to Vermont, ignored the Democratic filibuster in the senate and delivered only vague pronouncements about working to defeat Trump, is virtual proof the degree of detente between the two candidates came nowhere close to his level of expectation. You see, Sanders anticipated the goody bag he’d receive from Hillary and the DNC would contain more swag than is given backstage at the Oscars and all awards shows, combined.

In reality, he was handed the equivalent to a couple of 50% off online order coupons for Papa John’s pizzas–redeemable the day after his favorite baseball team scored more than six runs in a game–and an 8 by 10 full color glossy photo of Bill and Hillary Clinton, autographed and personalized.

Despite the lack of largesse, Bernard Sanders continues to hang around the periphery of the campaign. He continues to insist, at least for public consumption, a chance for the nomination still remains, all the while tickling the hopes of the last of his True Believers. This he does for two reasons: the first, obviously, is to cut the best possible deal for himself and his chosen few BEFORE he proffers an endorsement. He does, after all, have a great many supporters, the majority of whom will vote for Clinton provided he assuages their concerns as to the degree of her Wall Street and corporate connections, as well as address several other issues that seem to give them pause.

Realistically though, there is a faction within his disciples, upwards to 40 per cent, who will never vote for HRC, will consider his exhortation to do so a betrayal. A good portion of them aren’t Democrats, never were. Some are anarchists, others are Marxists or nihilists, most are simply people virulently dissatisfied with what they perceive as the continued perpetuation of societal inequalities, the massive inequities built into this type of economic system, the rampant injustices of our legal system and just about all are quite malevolent towards a government they view as being designed to protect and serve greedy corporations and the avaricious rich. They saw Sanders’ call for “revolution” as their long awaited engine which would empower an absolute bulldozing of all things American, followed by a complete rebuild, done to their and Bernard’s specifications.

The other reason Sanders continues to linger–and Trump hit on this the other day–is the possibility, be it infinitesimally slight, that the FBI will return an indictment of some sort against Clinton in regards to the email/unsanctioned personal server investigation. Either an indictment would be handed down or a rebuke from on high would be so powerful as to preclude a continuation of the nomination process and/or HRC would have no choice but to withdraw her candidacy in order to tend to a defense.

In which case the nation would have little choice but to turn its lonely eyes to Bernard Sanders to step forward and become the anti Trump candidate. At least that’s to what he and his sycophants refer whenever a miracle is mentioned as being needed for BS to become the nominee of the Democratic Party. No one associated with his campaign will ever give this voice, but you just know it rattles around the most secret of all recesses within more than a few Sanders acolytes.

One gets the impression BS is a bit of a gambler and with nothing left to lose, has maneuvered Hillary Clinton and the DNC to engage him in a game of high stakes poker. The only problem is he greatly overvalued the hand he was dealt. As Bernard is finding out the longer HRC keeps the presumptive nominee game going by attacking Trump, more and different revelations about this GOP odd duck are coming out: The Donald fired his campaign manager. His end of the month mandatory report to the Federal Election Commission revealed just $1.3 million cash in the bank, compared to $42 million for Mrs Clinton. Her main Super PAC has $52 million at its disposal, while Trump’s has only $500K. Campaign staffers across the nation total 685 for Hillary, while he has only 69.

This while Trump’s poll numbers continue to drop. The latest Monmouth College poll has him trailing Clinton by eight points, 48% to 40.

No, this was a very bad time for The Ol’ Socialist to have overplayed his hand because as the days and weeks melt away prior to the convention, her overall position continues to strengthen, making it increasingly less likely Hillary will have any great NEED to negotiate a deal of any sort with BS. Sure, she wants to bring as many of his supporters into the fold–will indeed be thankful for their support. But the Bernie or Busters, those who swore upon the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels or the avowed anarchists, the nihilists, even all who simply loathe Hillary Clinton and refuse to ever cast a ballot for her, whether she receives Sanders endorsement or not?? With each passing week, as Trump finds newer and more novel ways to implode, it appears any potential votes the Busters would have brought to the table simply won’t be needed as this just isn’t going to be a very close election.

Once the poker game reached its conclusion and Sanders smugly called, he proudly presented three aces and a pair of queens, good enough to be the victor most times. This being no ordinary set of circumstances, Hillary trumped him by flashing a Royal Flush: an ace, King, Queen, Jack and a ten, all of hearts–the ultimate winning hand. Leaving his entourage to once again whine and make the usual accusations about cheating.

Meaning, come Inauguration Day in January, when Hillary Rodham Clinton is sworn in as the 45th President of these United States, Bernard Sanders will be back at one of his homes in Vermont, watching on tv, dreaming about what could have been. Perhaps if Clinton is truly magnanimous, she might extend Sanders and Janey a pair tickets to one of the inaugural balls. Otherwise, no cabinet position will await him–like she received from Obama–nor will he receive the chairmanship of an important senate committee, like banking or oversight. Cause when you try to play tough with one of the Clinton’s, ultimately you get the back of a real hand.

Had Bernie Sanders not waited so long to negotiate peace with the Democrats, endorsed Hillary sooner, done what she did eight years ago for Barak Obama, perhaps there would have a place for him within this next Clinton’s administration. But then, that’s really not his style. Bernard is a loner, invariably accomplishing little because everything must be done his way.

He jumped into the race his way, ran his campaign as he best saw fit, engendered his ultimate demise, his way. Soon he will be an historical footnote, best remembered for making Hillary Clinton a better candidate and a better president.

And Bernie Sanders, professional dreamer, can fantasize alongside his minions about what might have been. Knowing he played in the highest stakes game possible, against an old card sharp from her college days, will have to be solace enough. Knowing, accepting, that while he courted it mightily, got tantalizingly close, even held it ever so briefly, glory is just not for the likes of him.

From Debbie to Bernie~ Not Quite a Love Letter

By Jennifer Lee

 

We Democrats have reached the end of our tether. It’s time for the DNC and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to pull the plug on the maudlin tragedy that is the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders. Debbie, you are really such a very sweet lady, I am sure you must cringe at the thought of such an unpleasant task, so I decided to help you out:

Dear Senator Sanders,

You LOST the election and your behavior leading up to that point has been the most deplorable we have seen in many decades. You have STOLEN data from another candidate, incited your supporters to perpetrate bullying against our honest, hardworking loyal Democratic Party voters as they tried to hear other candidates speak or attend caucuses, you have published contact data of superdelegates and instructed your followers to harass them, you have denigrated our beloved civil rights heroes, you have shown contempt and disrespect toward the advocacy groups who have supported us throughout our lives, and you have even attacked the President of the United States!

We have been more than patient with your antics, forgiving you time and time again. We have endured your insults and attacks on our character for months, hoping you would eventually register the complaints about this conduct and behave in a more civilized manner. Instead, you were emboldened by our lack of retaliation, and continued with more aggressive and uglier attacks, often recycling GOP-manufactured smears, lies, and hackneyed talking points. We gritted our teeth, knowing the end of the primary race was near, and you would soon concede and endorse Hillary.

Instead, you decided to deny your loss and defy reality, and that leaves us in an especially unpleasant position. Owing to the fact that your actions have all been in bad faith up to this point, we have no reason to believe you will keep any kind of a bargain. Such discussions will therefore cease. Your endorsement no longer has any value to our nominee, as your hostile demeanor and deceitful dealings with the Democratic Party throughout this election cycle do not represent the ethics of a person whose endorsement would enhance the standing of the recipient in any conceivable way.

Furthermore, Senator, you and your wife have indicated you intend to start a new party based on your own democratic socialist ideology. It is therefore incumbent upon the Democratic Party to protect our election process from sabotage intended to weaken our own candidates against those that your new party plans to promote in future elections. All of your demands are hereby solidly REJECTED. We will keep the superdelegate system in place as is, we will work with state Democratic leaders to close all primary elections, and caucuses will be eliminated. Non-Democrats will never again be allowed to run on our party’s ticket.

Regarding the Democratic Party’s Platform Committee, you will guarantee a cancellation of all protests and plans of disruption at the convention or you and your selected committee members will be removed from the committee. You have 24 hours to comply. Failure to persuade your protesters to turn in their demonstration permits will result in your being banned from attending the convention. Violence and THREATS of violence will not be tolerated by the Democratic Party. We won’t be holding our breath waiting for your response.

I’m still here- suck it, loser!

DWS  🙂

Fear Won’t Win

by Charlie Kent

 

The events of early Sunday morning have finally hit me, and they have hit me pretty hard. What began as shock, has morphed through rage, though numbness, and has stirred so many things I have compartmentalized and put far back into the recesses of my mind, a place I don’t like to go, but eventually you have to combat your demons before they combat you, and you loose.

49 People.

49 people died early Sunday morning, they died as the result of repression, religion, extremism, and rage. They were attacked for being who they are, in the one place where, for many of them,.was the only place they could be themselves, in safety -or so they thought, and one by one, they were picked off in a torrent of metal, explosions, like a monster under their beds, their innocence, their safety, their refuge was lost. Their one place -where they could be themselves, became the very place they would try to escape, the everyday experience of the storm of hate, now in their refuge, taunts turned to bullets, and their world was upended. They lost their lives being themselves in the one place they thought was safe. They were mistaken.

This event goes beyond religious extremism, it goes beyond gun control debate, it goes beyond our perceived notion, of the sinister motivations in a person’s mind, and says more about the state of affairs of people than the event itself.

The refuge many sought in this space, was a result of the many places they didn’t feel safe in some instances. They didn’t feel safe at home, they didn’t feel safe at school, they didn’t feel safe at work, essentially, they didn’t feel safe -period. Their experiences are very real. Some of their experiences are mine, some may be yours, some may be the experiences of your sisters, your brothers, your parents, your co-workers, people you interact with everyday, however, because of their orientation, their experiences don’t matter, their experiences don’t count, their safety -through what some of you feel, egregiously is a lifestyle choice, doesn’t matter. Don’t believe me, read the comments in the articles painting a bleak picture of how lives were cut short, being devalued more through the comments on a screen, created in perceived anonymity, cast out for the world to see. Espousing ignorance for free speech, wrapped in religion for validation, sealed by a like button, and gifted through a share. Benevolence, how far we have come.

Now, imagine being one of these people who escaped the rampage, unscathed, imagine that some of them went home, to work, to school, carrying this burden, only to experience the people that should love them unconditionally, espouse the same hateful blips, jokes, and remarks. No outlet, no refuge. Not at home, not at school, not at work, and in many cases, not at church. Imagine carrying that experience, holding it in the dark, not being able to process, decode, and fix the event of that night. That’s the experience many experience everyday, though not brought down with bullets, they are crippled by fear that their lives are held in a precarious balance because they have no legal protections through marriage, for employment, for housing. Lives held in the balance, because of ignorance, fear, intolerance, and acceptance -all rooted in late Iron Age metaphors, mythologies, traditions rooted in a time where the rising and setting of the sun had to be explained in words no more complex than the action one takes to flip a light switch.

I remember the first time the teasing and the taunting really affected me, 4th Grade, it was the first time I had been in a religious school -after having started in the 3rd Grade, it was also the first time I realized I was different, and that I couldn’t be fixed, it was also the first time I attempted suicide, overdosing on allergy pills, expired pain medication, and cough syrup. 4th Grade, I can’t remember exactly how old I was, but I remember the Sunday night I tried it in the hopes I wouldn’t have to go back to school, or experience the hell, the sheer hell of taunting and torment I would experience on a daily basis for the next 8 years of my education, where three additional attempts at suicide, would eventually lead me to the hospital twice, and at the fifth attempt a stomach pump. Trust me the color of the activated charcoal I had to swallow was as dark as the mood I felt at that time, and something I deal with regularly as an adult -a result of the lingering malaise, depression and mood swings that were rooted in my psyche in my formative years. There would be other attempts, but none came close, it wasn’t about attention it was about finding the only thing to stop the pain. The demons and the ghosts still haunt me to this day, though I manage to muddle through, as, like so many other things in life, I compartmentalize, repress, mask in neuroses, wrap in sarcasm, bathe in bitterness, all while allowing my scars to form over, keeping only a very few connections close and privy to who I am, to experience the raw openness.

Thankfully, I had two of the strongest parents, and a younger brother that cares more than he lets on that provided some of the safety and freedom that these lost souls sought in this club, only to have the walls breached by the very same monsters that afflicted me, cutting them down in some choreographed dance of calculation and cold, tinged with superficial moments of humanity. Their lives were stolen by ignorance and hate, I tried to steal mine, to give me that same solace that many sought on that warm evening almost a week ago, on a balmy night, somewhere between the image and the actuality.

The events of Sunday morning, like the charred aftermath of an atom bomb, resonated the experiences of my youth to what those people probably experienced as sheets of terminal life rained down on them, laughing, smiling, feeling safe in the one place they could unapologetically be themselves. Rage blindsided them, I chose to invite it to dinner.

Fear.

No one should ever live life in fear, no one should ever think they can’t, no one should ever be made to feel less, to stand at the end of a driveway, while friendly foes shout taunts, hurl insults, and rotten vegetables at them on a dark summer night from the windows of a moving car. No one should be afraid of losing a home or a job because of who they are, no one should be denied the right to start a family, and lastly no one should be afraid to be honest with themselves and others about who they are. That is no way to live life, letting fear win. We have to get over this point in our evolution where we move beyond convention, shed superstition, and put faith in ourselves, our humanity, and actively make this a better future, because at this rate, no one, no entity, no belief is going to do it for us.

Life.

Life was stolen on Sunday morning. It reminded me of how I tried to take my life to make peace with the pain I dealt with and deal with now, I thought of the last smiles, and remembered being a bright eyed 1970’s three year old sitting on gold sculpted carpet in a bi-level home on a cul-de-sac in suburbia, the glow of a cathode ray tube bathing me, as loving parents looked on, and remembered the last time in my life when I felt happy, I felt secure, and I felt safe, thinking it would last forever, how many of those same people felt Sunday morning, never to wake up on Monday ever again, hoping their last thoughts, before the event no matter how superficial gave them some semblance of safety, happiness, and security life and innocence were stolen.

Reprieve.

The wounds, the events, Sunday morning, have hit me, now I cry, now I grieve, now I accept me, and now I will work with others to be proud of me, so that their deaths won’t be for naught, so that the brevity of their lives will add length to mine and others, I won’t need a parade, I won’t need, party, because like so many other trends in the digital age, I am Orlando everyday, and unbeknownst to many others Orlando touches their lives sometimes directly sometimes indirectly. I am Orlando, you are Orlando, we are Orlando, and the moment we give into fear, those lost lives are truly lost, are truly forgotten to be thrown away with the spent candles, platitudes, hash tags, rubber bracelets, and gift with purchase t-shirts only to be repackaged and marketed when the next tragedy occurs.

Orlando will live because they can’t. Those lives, those smiles, those people, lives lost while living will leave one thing with me, We still have a tomorrow, they don’t, and we won’t live in fear, because when they woke up that Saturday morning, planning their days, they weren’t fearing that night either. I will live, because fear won’t win.

Bernie or Bust: Time to Take Your Heads Out of the Ground

by Steve Rohosky

 

For all those Sanders BernOuts now running rampant on FB and elsewhere, claiming there is no difference between Hillary Clinton and Trump (or that she is WORSE), the time has come to remove your head from the ground, open your eyes, blink a few times and think.

If you like Supreme Court rulings such as Citizens United, which bestowed upon corporations the same rights as people, allowed for the creation of Super PACS, encouraged unconstrained $$$$$$ donations to political candidates and created Dark Money–limitless donations to politicians given in absolute anonymity, with no legal requirement to reveal from where or whom the money came–keep right on believing Clinton is worse than Trump.

Certainly do hope you are enjoying the full ramifications of the Hobby Lobby decision, which granted employers the right to partner with female employees to determine, based upon their own religious beliefs, whether or not a woman can get contraception through her workplace healthcare plan. And if so, exactly what kind THE EMPLOYER prefers she be allowed to use.

There was also the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, which has lead to an avalanche of congressional gerrymandering in red states. This done in an effort to restrict the influence of minorities and create a virtual lock on scores of House seats for the GOP. Unintended consequences of the SCOTUS ruling have seen new laws passed restricting how long polling places can be open on Election Day. Other laws severely limited early voting in many red states while banning outright any voting the Sunday prior to Election Day, a day when many attending black churches around the nation would traditionally cast their ballots following worship services.

More fallout from the decision to repeal much of the Voting Rights Act: quite a few Republican controlled state legislatures immediately established new laws requiring photo IDs by produced in order to carry out ones constitutionally guaranteed right to vote–even among those for whom the cost and ability to obtain one would be a hardship. Also, women who had since married and changed their names must prove they are the same person who when younger registered to vote under a different or maiden last name, by producing a marriage license. One which too frequently, decades later, has been lost or misplaced.

Hope, too, all you frustrated Sanders supporters enjoyed the recent spate of challenges to the rights of students to vote where they attend college or universities, as well as the purging of countless voters from the registration rolls. Both direct results of the SCOTUS declaring a need no longer exists to oversee states which at one time routinely practiced institutional voting rights violations.

On the flip side of that coin, the SC also determined there was no need to monitor either voter registration regulations or practices by ANY state, with or without a past history of restricting the citizenry from exercising its constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. This led to countless names being removed from voting rolls, the overwhelming majority completely unaware until denied the opportunity to have their voices heard.

Please, by all means, continue to proclaim no difference exists between Hillary Clinton and Trump. That, in fact, you really do believe her to somehow actually be worse.

And do keep revealing your stupefying ignorance to the world by publicly venting how you would welcome a Trump victory in November. Just so your fervently desired fantasy revolution could then commence, after the man wrecked the country. I mean, f*•k everyone else on this planet, right? Irregardless, you and all your Bernie or Bust buddies would then be gloriously ecstatic. Cause in your shared heart of the blackest of all hearts, YOU think it would mean you’d been proven right.

After all, that’s what is really most important here, isn’t it? Everybody MUST realize that all the Busters and Bros, each of the BernOuts, the Bots, the Sandernistas… almost every last one of the Bernie Sanders supporters who labored to any extent this past year burns–pun intended–to prove to Hillary Clinton proponents and all humanity: YOU WERE RIGHT, right?!?

Should we fail to capitulate, refuse to provide the vindication you crave, it will leave you no choice but to do your damnedest to help put The Lunatic Trump in the WH, through either inaction or direct defiance of the Democratic nominee, come Election Day. Never once considering should The Donald prevail, the next several SC justices packed onto the court will be über rightist reactionaries, free to join their ideological brethren Thomas, Alito, Roberts and too frequently Kennedy, all awarded their seats by either Raygun or Bush, the Village Idiot.

Except, by the time your craving could be sated it will be too late to do anything other than steel ourselves to the spectacle of the highest court in this land cranking out ruling after ruling after ruling further empowering corporations and Big Business at the expense of the middle class and working poor. Decisions which will consistently erode the rights and freedoms of YOU and all American citizens…

For the next FOUR DECADES.

Think it can’t or won’t happen? Look at the rulings handed down by the Roberts Court–prior to the death of Antonin Scalia–and learn that EVERY SINGLE case heard involving a business and/or corporation, other than Obamacare, was decided in their favor. So blatant was the court’s prejudice in favoring Big Business that the main stated reason by Chief Justice Roberts for his siding with the liberal judges to rule against the challenge to Obamacare–upholding its legality provided the fee charged for not buying healthcare came in the form of a tax, not a penalty–was his awareness of the court’s record of gross favoritism towards corporations. So he choose to let the people win one. JUST the one.

Throughout this long primary season, American citizens had a chance to speak by the tens of millions. They chose Clinton to be the Democratic standard bearer. In doing so, Sanders lost. Now the time has come to reconcile with the will of the people, thus giving up the ghost of all that power and ability generously granted Hillary by Sanders supporters to influence the outcome of elections. The “we was robbed” refrain must be put aside. Time has come today to stop acting like naïve petulant children who throw tantrums and hold their breathe whenever they can’t get their way.

Remain egomaniacal to the point of puerility, be a party to putting The Lunatic Trump into the Oval Office and you will only help tear down the nation you claim to love, that you claim you want to improve. Understand precisely that through any scorched earth actions or inactions taken come November, you WILL be screwing yourselves, your loved ones and children (which you may or may not have yet to sire) and your children’s children. This election is THAT important–Democrats know it and make absolutely no mistake: Republicans damn sure know it, too.

STILL say you can’t bring yourself to vote for HRC? Then do continue to live in your fool’s paradise, of promoting the ridiculous fallacy that Sanders was cheated out of the nomination cause Hillary Clinton reared up, used all the omnipotence attributed to her, only to smite your boy and pluck from Bernard’s boney, pointed fingers not only the nomination, but–wait for it–his DESTINY. Or so you believe.

A belief extending to absolute certainty that super delegates, the party elite, will abandon her at the convention because a few wayward polls claim Bernard has a couple of points better chance to defeat Trumpenstein than does Clinton. But by all means, do keep right on telling yourselves she is worse than Donald Trump.

While you Busters are formulating plans to deny Hillary the presidency, take a little time to LEARN from German people who likewise thought no difference existed between Adolph Hitler and the government he sought to replace in the mid 1930’s, the Weimar Republic. They too were a people unhappy with the economy, categorically convinced their government had done them wrong. Millions of people actually believed giving Hitler absolute power would lead to a better country, a far better life, for themselves and their progeny, than what the previous administration had been able to provide.

Pretty stupid, huh???

Read the short quotation (below), written by a man among those German citizens thought a racist, bigoted, anti Semitic, nativist megalomaniac who also objectified women, filing them into bloated binders labeled either madonnas or whores. Another malignant narcissist with little actual political experience who sought great power based upon repeated promises without substance of any kind, claiming the ability to “Make Germany Great Again.” Only to have enough of voters decide he really was the superior alternative. At least they thought so,in the beginning. Before it became far, far too late.

Yes, the time has come to force your heads out of the ground, look up to the skies and see the folly, the peril, which lies along the path you now follow.

Consider yourselves forewarned.

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

“Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

“Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

This…”is a famous statement and provocative poem written by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group.”

Quotation taken from the following link:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_