Mendocino County Today: Monday, June 6, 2016
by AVA News Service, June 5, 2016
THE WOD SQUAD: TOM WODETZKI’S PICKS
Hello. People often ask me for voting recommendations, so here they are. Feel free to pass them on.
Tom Wodetzki, past co-chair of The Alliance for Democracy, Move To Amend, and long-time Mendocino Coast progressive activist
President: Bernie Sanders in this Primary election (and Hillary Clinton in November. See bottom)
US Senator: Kamala Harris (black woman Democrat Attorney General)
US Representative: Erin A. Schrode (millennial woman Democrat)
State Assembly: Jim Wood (Democrat)
County Judge: Patrick Pekin (See note below)
State Proposition 50: Yes on suspension of legislators
County Measure V: Yes on killed trees are public nuisance
County Measure W: Yes on County Charter Commission
Fort Bragg Measure U: No on banning social services downtown
Charter Commissioners: Yes on all but David Paul Sowder and Ellen Rosser (who are good people but sometimes difficult in meetings)
Re County Judge: Coast activist Steve Antler wrote: "Patrick Pekin is dedicated to community service and will be a fair and impartial judge who is INDEPENDENT because he has support from all parts of the county and all segments of the community. He worked hard to keep our coast court open and really wants to see people have access to our courts. Check his website PatrickPekinforjudge.com."
Re President: Hillary or Bernie? We can win with both! Here's how: Vote for Bernie June 7th, and vote for Hillary November 8th. Hillary is likely to be the Democratic candidate in November, and we need to support her against Trump, to finally have a woman president and to appreciate her tireless work for women, children and our country. And, if you support Bernie's platform of getting Big Money out of politics, reducing Wall Street's control of Congress, breaking up the big banks, ending tax loopholes and off-shoring of assets, enacting single-payer healthcare and free tuition at public universities, vote for Bernie in the primary election next month. His victory in California's primary would help move the Democratic Party and it's platform in a progressive direction, convert some Trump supporters, and support young people's new enthusiasm and activism. If you fear a Trump victory, note that Bernie is considered "Unfavorably" by 37% of the voting public while Hillary is by 56%. And the latest NBC News poll shows Bernie defeating Trump by 13% while Hillary by only 5%. So let's go with a win-win strategy: Vote for Bernie June 7th, and vote for Hillary November 8th.
Tom Wodetzki, Albion
* * *
AND NOW RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THINKING PEOPLE: THE AVA RECOMMENDS
President — Bernie Sanders.
Hillary is simply unthinkable and twice as dangerous as Trump.
US Senator — Kamala Harris.
Very smart, good on the issues, one of those rare Democrats of the elected type who looks out for the interests of ordinary people. Major upgrade from Boxer
Congress — Erin Schrode.
An attractive, well-spoken young woman who says all the right things, but has fallen into bad company as a member of the Democratic Party. Young people will reap the grim harvest of the many rolling catastrophes they'll live to confront so let's elect them early so they can get a running jump at the abyss awaiting her. And she isn't incumbent Jared Huffman, archetypical lib-lab, more lab than lib.
Assembly — Write in Phil Baldwin over Healdsburg's wacky dentist, Jim Wood, the guy who just introducted a bill that would give apartment managers the authority to crack down on marijuana smoke. Smoke, mind you, not the smoker. This is this guy's idea of a political issue.
Judge — Keith Faulder. Smart, principled dude with many years of Mendo-specific experience. Pekin, much younger, much newer to the area, is unwittingly supported by a virtual Who's Who of Coast cranks, crooks, retired judicial flashers, and undesirables generally. Not that his supporters should doom the guy, but add Pekin to the long roster of newcomers who don't realize they've stepped beyond the Green Curtain where you are whatever you say you are, and history starts all over again every day. Not ready for prime time. Faulder.
Prop 50 — No.
A phony measure that would do the opposite of what it claims it would do. It provides one year suspensions for legislators for taking bribes of the cash in brown paper bags type beyond the bribes they all take known as campaign contributions.
Measure U: Yes.
Fort Bragg should not suffer another homeless operation in the middle of town, especially one operated by an aggrandizing cadre of non-profit hustlers.
Measure V: Yes.
Helps get some local control over an arrogantly-run timber apparatus owned by a San Francisco family with a very poor labor relations history and bad taste in art.
Measure W: No.
We don't need another layer of government, especially one dominated by some of the County's most spectacular nutpies.
Supervisor, First District: Carre Brown. She’s been a decent Supervisor, apart from her Potter Valley Water First blindspot. We have no idea why Montana Podva is running, but he does want to house the homeless in heated teepees, so give him credit for thinking outside the box, wayyyyyyy outside the box.
* * *
PS By Mark Scaramella: Mr. Antler says, "Patrick Pekin … worked hard to keep our coast court open…”
Pekin “worked hard” on that? I covered the big court cutback pushback meeting in Fort Bragg in December of 2012 at great length —
(“Coasties Beat Back Judges, by Mark Scaramella” AVA, December 11, 2012)
— and Mr. Pekin did not contribute to that meeting. An internet search shows that Mr. Pekin was a co-signer of Mr. Antler’s own “Save Our Coast Court” website, but Mr. Pekin is not quoted as saying anything or doing anything beyond that. Is that what constitutes “worked hard”? If so, he’s not a very hard worker. It also doesn’t give much credence to Mr. Wodetzki’s or Mr. Antler’s political opinions or recommendations.
* * *
ALEXANDER COCKBURN (2007) on Hillary and the Children’s Defense Fund which Wodetzki mentions in passing:
If any one person gave Hillary her start in liberal Democratic politics, it was Marian Wright Edelman who took Hillary with her when she started the Children’s Defense Fund. The two were inseparable for the next 25 years. In her autobiography, published in 2003, Hillary lists the 400 people who have most influenced her. Marion Wright Edelman doesn’t make the cut. Neither to forget nor to forgive. Peter Edelman was one of three Clinton appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services who quit when Clinton signed the Welfare reform bill, which was about as far from any “defense” of children as one could possibly imagine. … Although she doubtless will be offering herself as a friend of the poor and downtrodden, evoking her work as board member of Marian Wright Edelman's Children's Defense Fund, the dismantling of the welfare system that occurred on the Clintons' watch is perhaps not an achievement she will want to boast about. After all, Peter Edelman, Marian's husband, resigned from Health and Human Services in protest. … Hillary Clinton’s behavior and support of this welfare legislation is what caused Marian Wright Edelman, head of the Children’s Defense Fund (oft-cited as proof of Clinton’s life-long progressive commitment), to call Hillary (and Bill) “not friends in politics,” and Peter Edelman, Marian Wright’s husband, to resign from the Clinton administration in protest.
FROM THE ESSENTIAL TWK of the Ukiah Daily Journal:
Worst Local Campaign Ever Run — I’ve only been around these parts for about 40 years and I haven’t yet seen everything, but I can say with confidence I’ve never witnessed a more poorly run political campaign than the one mounted against Measure V. No on V was on the defensive from the start. It played catch-up the entire way, was tardy with its bland and boring mailers, never provided a clear and convincing message on a topic where a clear and convincing message would have been easy to deliver.
Topping off this colossal failure was the price tag: $200,000.
NO SURPRISE that Bernie Sanders' economic plans are either ridiculed by the media or left unexplained in the catch-all description of Sanders as a "socialist," a term most Americans conflate with totalitarian communism.
HOW MANY AMERICANS know that many small towns in Idaho, of all places, elected socialist mayors in the World War One period. Hell, lots of Americans probably don't know that their great grandpaps voted for the greatest Socialist from Terre Haute, Eugene V. Debs. Not to oversimplify here, but socialists and communists always fought each other, and nobody hated communists more relentlessly than the anarchists of the IWW.
A book called “Big Trouble” ought to be required reading in the schools, assuming there is required reading in the schools anymore. If you want to know something about the true history of our endlessly fascinating country check out Anthony Lukas's Big Trouble, a truly great book by a wonderful writer. (Since the media are owned by the rich, Americans are pretty much kept sedated, and never a mention about what The Bern really represents.)
BERNIE SANDERS is nowhere near as radical as Debs was, even taking into account their different historical contexts. Bernie isn't even as radical as Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.
ROOSEVELT, a member of the oligarchy in good standing until he made his friends and neighbors pay their fair share of the social load, was widely denounced by his social circle as "a traitor to his class."
UNLESS YOUR ANNUAL INCOME is greater than $300,000 a year — and how many Mendo people do you know who even make a hundred? — Bernie is the guy you want for President. Like Roosevelt did for many millions of Americans, Bernie will make your life easier, although he'll be constantly up against most elected people at the state and federal levels of government because these sluts represent strictly the owning classes. (cf Congressman Huffman and the Siamese twins from Healdsburg, Assemblyman Wood and State Senator McGuire.)
SANDERS would raise payroll taxes and individual income taxes, especially on high-income households, the latter to about 55 percent. Roosevelt whacked them at 95 percent.
SANDERS' plan would raise some $13.6 trillion over the next decade, which would be invested in Single Payer, public works projects, genuinely low cost housing, Social Security and so on, the areas of American life that would ease the burdens of millions.
BERN'S plan would increase marginal tax rates on all taxpayers, through higher individual income tax rates on the big incomes and two new payroll taxes. He would also tax capital gains and dividends as ordinary income, replace the alternative minimum tax with a new limit on itemized deductions, and expand the estate tax. Bern's plan would create a new financial transactions tax (the Wall Street crooks) and move the US toward a worldwide tax system by ending the deferral of foreign-source business income.
THIS of course sounds "radical" to the wealthy because they would at last be paying a much more fair rate of tax. And they couldn't hide money overseas to avoid taxes. And lots of tax dodges would be eliminated.
HILLARY will be more of the same, and ordinary Americans will continue to be screwed. Trump? Who knows? We have no idea what he'd do on a range of issues. I doubt he knows or has given the big issues much thought. On economics he thinks like the billionaire he is. But he's certainly correct about NAFTA and the looming TPP give away to certain corporations. He's also right about the disaster in the Middle East kicked off by Bush and escalated by Obama-Clinton. And he's right about NATO. Of course his notion of a wall at the Mexican border is apeshit, but what he has said about Muslims, and as I recall he said it at the time of the Paris bombings, isn't crazy, although I'd disagree with it. He said to stop Muslims from coming here until we found out exactly what was up. That's not unreasonable although Trump supporters seem to have heard it as stop Muslims forever. We've come to such a sad pass in this country that our choice for president will be between a show biz blowhard and a warmongering errand girl for Wall Street and the rich who keeps Henry Kissinger on speed dial. Hil, on the record, is much more dangerous than Trump.
A HOSPITALITY HOUSE GRADUATE WRITES: "Regarding Bruce McEwen's recent comments about Hospitality House in Fort Bragg and the depressing lack of jobs and opportunities for people who may wind up there. I'm inclined to agree with McEwen, mostly. I've had similar experiences at the Hospitality House but I think he gives them too much credit by casting their clients as detritus from a decaying American dream. In my opinion, they are either terminally lazy or bat-shit crazy for the most part — with of course the occasional hardluck case genuinely striving to extricate himself. The problem is, we have got to have the apparatus in place for the latter group and there's not really a way, at least in the initial stages of the process, to ensure that services go to the deserving. If you pass out free stuff, everyone is going to reach for some. As to the job situation, it is indeed a sad fact of the new economy that your average unskilled, uneducated potential worker has not much chance of getting on somewhere with the potential of a living wage and permanent position. But with a new economy came new strategies for surviving. I find a combination of busting your ass at whatever work you can find, hustling on the side, and using the hell out of whatever you can get from the government works and I don't feel bad about that last. If they are going to allow these corporations to essentially dismantle our entire way of life, then they can goddamn well fill in the gaps for groceries and healthcare and housing for us.”
I have lived on Mountain View Road for 25 years. It has been absolutely quiet at night this whole time. For the past six months a generator/machine with a high-pitch frequency and rumble has penetrated our living environment from midnight to past sunrise every night without fail.
To say the least, it has ruined my possibility of good sleep. We are constantly awakened and never get deep sleep.
I have contacted all the neighbors from the four-mile marker to the Piper Ranch. No one is running a generator during those hours.
Does anyone have any information about this horrible sound? Please contact me if you do.
We love our community and we would very much appreciate any information concerning this issue.
Charles DeFay, Manchester
CALLING ALL FRIENDS OF ARKY VAUGHAN
A former California reporter now living in Pennsylvania is researching his next book, a biography of Potter Valley’s Hall of Fame shortstop Arky Vaughan. He would love to speak with friends or family members of the Pittsburgh Pirate great.
Give Frank Garland a call at 209 605 8008.
POT SHOTS: The Warriors ought to sweep the Cavs who are much weaker than Oklahoma City. The Cavs are like the old cliche about 6th period gym where the whole class just runs up and down the court throwing up low percentage shots. I know this is a minority opinion, but LeBron isn't very interesting anymore. He bulls his way to the hoop, or backs up the double team until he's at the hoop. I think the Cavs are so bad they screwed up Steph's and Klay's rhythms in Game One. And why the Cavs didn't use that giant Rooskie, Mozgov, in game one, is a total mystery. Mozgov manhandled Bogut in last year's championship series. The Oklahoma series was as good as basketball gets, and now these stumblebums? As I write, Game Two is three hours away, and I'll bet Mozgov gets a lot of minutes.
MENDO LUCKED OUT last fire season, and I hope we luck out again. But it's already real dry out there. The rain we had didn't soak in because, I guess, the five previous years of low rain dried the land to a depth of the watertables.
As Gentleman George Hollister, the Comptche logger put it, "Once a fire gets going it doesn't matter how many dead trees are out there on MRC land. Once it gets going anywhere near the Coast it'll burn all the way to Ukiah." George is probably right. The last big fire was when, 1934? I was also intrigued by an historical tidbit George dropped on me recently. He said that back in the day farmers let their cows graze in the redwood forests, that the cows ate the shoots of non-commercial tree species. Back to the future?
DEPUTY — Deputy is a 41 pound, 1-1/2 year old dog, who is a sweetheart, but timid and unsure at the shelter. We trust that once he knows he is safe and loved, he will blossom. Deputy Dog will need guardians willing to devote patience, time and energy into ensuring that he gains confidence, and he will benefit from socialization and training, especially walking on a leash. Adopting a shy dog has special rewards, and Deputy has lifetime of love and loyalty waiting to be nurtured.
ROSE — Rose is a beautiful black tabby looking for her "furrever" family. She has a sweet temperament and would make a great lap cat for any family! Rose is spayed, microchipped, vaccinated and ready to go home. Call the shelter Adoption Coordinator to find out more about our special events, our dogs and cats of the day, and volunteer, sponsor and foster opportunities. The shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah. Check out and bookmark our webpage: www.mendoanimalshelter.com.
CALLING ALL ANDERSON VALLEY ADVERTISER READERS! GOT MICE? ADOPT A CAT OR TWO!
JOHN LEWALLEN REMINDS US....
"Land of Frozen Laughter" Opening at Gallery Bookshop June 10
Dear friend, Barbara and I would love to see you at the new book opening of "Land of Frozen Laughter," my report on two years in the Vietnam War, a completely unique view of the war and culture exactly as I wrote it in 1969. The event is at the beautiful Gallery Bookshop in the Village of Mendocino, Friday, June 10, at 6:30 p.m. Barbara is preparing seaweed snacks from the Land of Delightful Laughter! I'll read and comment on passages from the book, and invite all to discuss its relevance to today's wars, returning veterans, and the worldwide efforts for Peace Conversion. Heartfelt thanks for the people at Gallery Books who, as you can see from their announcement, understand me and the peace work we are doing with the book.
— John Lewallen
DIALOGUE OF THE HEARING IMPAIRED
JAMES MARMON COMMENT #1: Regarding the Bassler story
“Mental-cino law enforcement and local media (AVA) are using this one story to manipulate voters and to criminalize mental illness. The plan is to get Mental-cino voters to approve a sales tax to build a new Mental Health Jail and force involuntary treatment. Makes me sick to my stomach, mental illness is not a crime. Big Pharma and the local medical profession are backing the initiative, led by long time LPS act opponent Sonya Nesch Director of Emergency Medicine who has written many articles including a book criticizing laws that protect people from involuntary civil commitments and forced pharmaceutical medications. She is one sick woman, and so are her followers. — James Marmon
, The Prophet.”
JAMES MARMON COMMENT #2: I might have a completely different perspective if the initiative was not a product of Law Enforcement and the Medical Profession and wasn’t being pushed by a bunch of mean old men (half the time drunk) who write for the AVA. — James Marmon,
* * *
PEOPLE TEND TO BELIEVE what they NEED to believe regardless of the facts as signed by the AVA’s dipsos who, would be in the bottle much more often if our work load permitted. For the record, Mr. Marmon, we were against privatization of mental health from the beginning. (Ditto for privatization of the Animal Shelter.) You really ought to try to get a grip here. You harm your own battle with the County by your recent barrage of unhinged comment. The latest rendition of the Bassler saga makes for interesting reading but it’s highly inaccurate. To cite one instance: There’s no mention of what seemed obvious to many people at the time, including law enforcement — Bassler’s behavior reeked of methamphetamine-induced psychosis. Moving right along here, Sonya Nesch has been of inestimable value in her work for effective help for the County’s mentally ill. We think the Sheriff’s mental health site proposal can become the first effective mental health strategy this County has seen since the old state hospital at Talmage closed, thus leaving Mendo without a secure therapeutic environment for the mentally ill and, for that matter, the County’s habitual drunks. The gamut was treated at Talmage as they will be, I hope, at the Sheriff’s facility should it come into being. The County presently spends $20 million a year on mental health. But with all that expenditure, the Sheriff, and the rest of County law enforcement, continue to do almost ALL mental health’s heavy lifting. Fortunately, and Marmon won’t agree, our cops are decent and humane. They do not mistreat the mentally ill, Mendo’s prevalent Blue Meanie thinking aside. I think everyone agrees, including the Sheriff, that the County Jail is not and cannot continue as the County’s mental health facility of last resort. PS. Uh, I think, Mr. Marmon, your sign off as “The Prophet” is not an encouraging mental health indicator.
NO ON MEASURE V
To the Editor:
I have lived in Anderson Valley for more than 30 years and have been active in forest issues, from policy to management, including lots of conservation projects as well as the fights for local forest rules, Headwaters protection and against aerial spraying of herbicides.
Because of Measure V I have reflected on the bad old days and on how far we have come. I never actually thought I would see the day when much of the redwood region is owned and managed by entities that are committed to high standards of forest stewardship and the public interest. But the effects of clearcutting and depletion are still with us, including a shift in redwood forest composition to an unnaturally high level of tan oak, the direct result of clearcutting.
I urge my neighbors to vote no on Measure V. It is certainly well intentioned, but it is poorly framed and will limit all of us as we seek to steward our properties to adapt to drought and be more resilient. Intentionally using a small amount of herbicide can be an important tool to restore natural forest composition. This measure creates a needless layer of bureaucracy and expense for all of us — not just large landowners. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the scale of Mendocino Redwood’s efforts, approving Measure V won’t solve any problem.
Instead, I support the process already approved by the Board of Supervisors. Let’s investigate and work together to make decisions based on data, not on scare tactics.
Connie Best, Anderson Valley
BRING BACK THE FOREST
Letter to the Editor:
Snow White found refuge in the forest.
All the little wild animals who lived there came to her aid; Disney's forests were beautiful, natural and held mystery and freedom in their depths.
The Mendocino Redwood Company has killed more than 500,000 trees on 91,000 acres (per activist Ellen Faulkner) using the highly toxic poison imazapyr in this hack-n-squirt practice. These standing dead trees are like giant fuses which if ignited would create an apocalyptic forest fire endangering the lives of neighbors and firemen. All of this as a cost saving device to increase MRC profits.
These outcast trees — tanoak and Oh! also madrones and Douglas fir — are guilty of being unprofitable.
Tanoaks have grown in number from past clearcutting practices and are the natural step to restore the balance to the forest.
In their election mailings MRC says they are bringing balance to the forest. Ironically, the picture is of the FOREST!
What is never considered is what this practice does to the animals — nut loving squirrels, the rabbits, chipmunks, raccoons, foxes, and the fish in the streams of this poisoned watershed. Also, the birds, the soil microorganisms, etc., etc. Their habitat and food sources are compromised.
What about all that wood as firewood? Is it safe to burn it? Would it release its toxins? Is it even safe to handle it? Breathe it?
Where is the balance? Where is the forest?
In this era of climate change we need more then ever to add tree-giving oxygen to offset carbon pollution of our atmosphere.
What we have left after all this destruction is — Voila! a redwood tree farm! (Which should be managed under the Department of Agriculture).
So why are our Supervisors tiptoeing around this issue? The rapacious destruction of a natural resource?
The Supervisors have failed us by not even raising their voices in opposition to this practice in support of the people and also in the following examples:
The asphalt plant in Willits in the neighbors' creekside community gathering spot, picnic area and swimming hole.
Destruction of the wetlands, former destination of migratory birds and its underlying aquifer drought reserve. (North of Willits bypass)
Also at this site, destruction of Native American artifacts (against the law).
Changing their mind about the General Dollar Store in Redwood Valley after being threatened with lawsuits by this big box operation.
The continued use of profit driven corporations to "manage" our mental health needs. So how has the $47 million spent on the Ortner Healthcare Corporation benefited their clients and the community?
What's a citizen to do? The election on June 7 has valid choices that offer a change for the better.
Regarding candidate for Supervisor in the First District only, I urge you to consider Montana James Podva whom I heard at the candidates forum in Ukiah. He offered a differing opinion on the hack-n-squirt practice. He is a constitutional lawyer and has worked for Justice Douglas Douglas for one. I think he would be a strong voice for the people and their rights.
Measure V. Although not addressing the imazapyr issue, it does declare standing dead trees "a public nuisance," asserts the rights of residents and minimizes hazards to firefighters."
Measure W allows greater democratic input and authority to implement the wishes of the people, by the people, and for the people.
These times require a change in direction. Vote June 7, 2016 for change. Let's bring back the forest!
PS. Feel the Bern!
REMEMBER TO MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE THIRD ANNUAL NAVARRO-BY-THE-SEA DAY NEXT SATURDAY, JUNE 11TH
Free tours of historic Inn from Noon to 4
Fundraising Dinner from 5 to 7
And Live Concert inside the Inn from 7 to 9
Evening Concert Featuring Pattie & Jana, Marcus McCallen, and Jon Faurot
Local Beers and Wine - served from the old bar
Amazing Silent Auction Items - restaurant certificates, photographs, and other treasures,
Delicious Homemade Treats - from Sharon's AMAZING carrot cake to brownies, cookies, and bars
Paintings by Katie Lewis and Photographs by Sharon Garner on display throughout the historic Inn
Free afternoon tours with beer, wine, other beverages and treats available for donation
Requested donation for evening fundraiser of $10 cover at door
and $10 for dinner entree and salad choice
Come check out our progress in restoring the historic Inn with the goal of reopening as a public visitor center to share the rich cultural and natural histories of the area.
Enjoy the beautiful Navarro Beach and Navarro River, with a glass of wine or beer on the front porch of the Inn.
Please come and support our volunteer efforts to finish the renovations.
The Inn still needs you!
Call or email Jim at 877-3477 or firstname.lastname@example.org_with questions
CATCH OF THE DAY: June 5, 2016
Berg, Davidson, Fowler
ROBERT BERG, Ukiah. Contempt of court, failure to appear.
JOY DAVIDSON, Fort Bragg. Vandalism, probation revocation.
DEONNA FOWLER, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
Garcia, Gunter, Lara
SAMUEL GARCIA, Ukiah. DUI.
CLINT GUNTER, Redwood Valley. Drunk in public, failure to appear.
SALVARDO LARA, Healdsburg/Ukiah. DUI.
McCarty, OMalley, Rea
KENNETH MCCARTY, Covelo. Protective order violation.
ELIJAH OMALLEY, Willits. Domestic battery.
CRUZ REA, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
Thomas, Valladarez, Vargas
DARCY THOMAS, Yuba City/Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.
RANDOLPH VALLADAREZ, Stockton/Ukiah. Drunk in public, suspended license.
ROBERTO VARGAS, Jr., Hopland. Parole violation.
THE NATIONAL POLITICAL CRISIS
by Ronnie Dugger
On the evidence there is now too great a risk that Donald Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton and become President with his thumb poised at the button to detonate some of our almost 5,000 deployed nuclear weapons, killing millions in strikes and retaliations and perhaps ending life on earth. In my considered judgement the two now corrupt major political parties must face the hard facts why, if possible, the Democratic National Convention in July, in conscience and patriotism, should swing from Clinton to Bernie Sanders, even possibly to Elizabeth Warren or Vice President Joe Biden, as their nominee.
All of us who are even dimly watching know the Republicans have nominated and the Democrats seem about to nominate politicians for President each of whom are the most disrespected and distrusted-as-dishonest such candidates in the long history of our country. Clinton is basically tied with Trump in the polls as if they are presently running against each other in November. The American people now seem fenced in toward electing a President Trump, an astounding collapse and quite possibly a death trap for the United States and the human race.
It’s clear and obvious that Sanders as of now has a two, even three times better chance of beating Trump than Clinton has. It’s as plain on the noses of the faces of the Democrats’ unelected “superdelegates.” Those misnamed convention-rigging superdelegates are providing Clinton a net of about 500 of her unelected delegate vote advantage beyond those delegates chosen by the voters.
As Sanders has said accurately, “If you look at all the national polls out there, virtually all of them, if you look at all of the state polls, we do much better against Trump than does Hillary Clinton.” A national poll a week ago showed Clinton 3% ahead of Trump compared to Sanders’ 15-point lead if running against him. An adviser and pollster for President Clinton from 1994 to 2000, Douglas E. Schoen, wrote as of June 1, “Bernie Sanders consistently runs stronger than [Clinton] does against Mr. Trump nationally, beating him by about 10 points in a number of recent surveys.” Schoen forecasts that Clinton may not be the Democratic nominee.
People for Clinton and/or against Trump often fall silent knowing they weaken Clinton perhaps long-run by seeing or arguing that she should not be the candidate because of her mounting weaknesses. That is the kind of risk that is now upon the citizenry. Nevertheless, navigating through this national political crisis, the truth about them must be said and weighed. In brief here are, I believe, seven of the unnerving weaknesses of candidate Clinton.
First, there are huge contributions to Clinton through superPACs from undisclosed donors, and also the payoff-like “fees” big banks and corporations free-handed Clinton, and she accepted, for giving them speeches. That latter was money for her personally, for her own self. For example, within a year she received $225,000 from Goldman Sachs for each one of three speeches. Despite repeated demands from Sanders, as well as in a New York Times editorial, she has so far flatly refused to make the transcripts of those speeches public, keeping secret what she said to the super-bank (at “$200,000 an hour,” Sanders estimated).
In a January 16th debate Sanders said, “I don’t take money from the big banks. I don’t take personal speaking fees from Goldman Sachs.” In Austin he said to 10,000 people that Clinton has a superPAC, as he does not, that is giving her millions of dollars from drug companies, fossil fuel industries, and the like, with the donors kept secret. Every candidate says, “But they won’t influence me,” Sanders said, adding: “Very simple. Why are they giving me several million dollars?” In a February 11th debate, Clinton accused him of smearing her on the topic. “A low blow,” he replied. “People aren’t dumb. Why in God’s name does Wall Street make large campaign contributions? I guess for the fun of it. They just want to throw money around.” In a debate April 14th he said while alongside her, “I don’t think you’re going to stand up to the big money interests when you take their money.”
Second is the fact that in 1993 President Clinton, and Ms. Clinton as his official and leading representative, killed national health insurance in favor of a plan preserving private medicine that was DOA in Congress. In this election contest, she actively and vividly opposes single-payer national health insurance, which Sanders advocates, despite maintaining in her mailings, for example, that she champions “universal health care for every man, woman, and child.”
Third, in 1996 President Clinton, with his wife’s approval, signed into law the “end-welfare-as-we-know-it” law which, after 60 years, abolished the New Deal’s fundamental “Aid to Families with Dependent Children” (AFDC) welfare program, turned the welfare program for the poor over to the states, and set new time limits on such aid. In consequence, millions of the poorest Americans have become substantially poorer.
Clinton, fourth, has said she will, if elected, put her husband in charge of the economy, although it was he who in 1999 and 2000 signed laws, including one repealing the New Deal law prohibiting banks from speculating with depositors’ money and others which legalized related banking excesses, that are generally conceded to have been substantial causes of the Great Recession which cost millions of Americans their jobs and homes.
Clinton, fifth, now bears with her the devastating report of the Department of State Inspector General saying she did not ask that agency’s OK, and if she had would have been told no, when she arrogated federal security rules to herself and, from 2009 to 2013 as Secretary of State, used her personal email server in her home for her official and personal business; had refused, along with some of her uppermost staffers, to be interviewed on this by the Inspector General; did not comply with the Department’s policies as she said she had; and did not for two years after leaving State turn her State records over to the Department until she was asked for them and destroyed 30,000 of those emails beforehand which, she said, her lawyers chose as being not official, but personal emails. She and top staffers appear to have interviews ahead of them by the FBI, in a criminal investigation, and by an NGO that in its publications is verbally violent toward her, Judicial Watch. “What If Clinton Gets Indicted?” asks the headline over one of Karl Rove’s columns in the Wall Street Journal.
Sixth, Bill Clinton was receiving huge speaking fees and the Clinton family foundation was receiving many large contributions while Ms. Clinton was Secretary of State. One related complex set of events entailing Kremlin-allied groups was followed by one of those Kremlin-related actors obtaining title to substantial U.S. uranium ores. Presumably Trump, already repeatedly calling Clinton “Crooked Hillary,” has loaded up with “oppo research” in this area.
Seventh, Trump’s speeches are characterized by strong populist themes, for instance, against trade agreements that hurt U.S. workers, against President George W. Bush’s Iraq war, and for his promises to provide more jobs and pay raises for workers. As John Nichols writes in The Nation, Trump could take Democratic votes from Clinton, as happened with Reagan. About half of AFL-CIO members are Democrats, a third Republicans, and the rest are independent.
Sanders’ historical standing as a cultural and political groundbreaker is self-evident. As Clinton has pointed out, he has been the target of almost no negative ads to date. He too, as the nominee, would face all-out oppo research, and perhaps an attempted revival of McCarthyism against him as a Scandinavian-type democratic socialist. Present polling patterns do not and cannot foresee our future that now quails in our imaginations.
Here we all are at this point in the “extremely extraordinary” presidential election of 2016, and down the American road five months from now we all will account to ourselves and others for the thinking we did, the decisions we reached, and the actions we took now, when we could.
(Ronnie Dugger, winner of the George Polk career award in journalism in 2012, founded the Texas Observer and has written biographies of Presidents Johnson and Reagan, books on Hiroshima and universities, and many articles in The New Yorker, The Nation, Atlantic, Harper’s, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and other periodicals. He has been a Sanders supporter since this presidential campaign began. Courtesy, Reader Supported News)
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY:
The problem is people are fed up with the codependency activists who actually thinking they are doing good are encouraging and increasing the misery on the streets. Many who are struggling to make ends meet with three or four jobs are angry at those who would rather choose alcohol and drugs (somehow instead of taking care of their families or even themselves they have the money to buy drugs and alcohol). By far they are men with comparatively few being women. These activists give them excuse. How do they explain people from Mexico, the Philippines, and China for example getting jobs and improving themselves? These groups will take most any job. I don't see them dropping out. When you make it difficult to continue a certain lifestyle such as "homelessness" they will look for something else. Maybe clean themselves up, seek addiction help, get a job.
SEATTLE WEIGHS CHARGES over homeless nonprofit’s use of unlicensed accountant.
FRACKING 2016: Obama Administration Approves Drilling Off The Coast Of California
OUR BOYSENBERRIES ARE RIPE. You can order them by calling (707) 829-8185, after 7am, seven days a week. Indicate when you might want to come and get some that we pick for you. Adults can also U-pick themselves. The harvest will last only into mid-July, after which we will have blackberries to sell. They have been grown without pesticides, herbicides or chemicals, using artisan, permacultural, regenerative, organic, holistic practices. Prices are currently somewhere between $35 to $48 for a flat of 12 baskets, depending partly on whether we pick or U-pick and how many flats you buy. Half flats are also available. We do not sell single baskets. We are located slightly south of Sebastopol. By appointment only; we sell only what we pick that morning. If you get the phone answering system, please leave the day you want them, the time you want to pick them up or pick them yourself, and your phone number, twice and slowly, as well as your email address. We prefer late mornings for pick ups, though some afternoons can be arranged. Some delivery is possible, for a fee.
Shepherd Bliss, Kokopelli Farms, Sebastopol
ARE NEW PAYDAY REFORMS MEANINGFUL? IS POSTAL BANKING A SOLUTION?
On Monday, June 6, at 1 pm, Pacific Time, KMEC Radio, with hosts John Sakowicz and Sid Cooperrider, are pleased to bring you a special edition show on public banking. Matt Stannard, Policy director at Commonomics USA and a member of the Public Banking Institute's board of directors, is our guest.
KMEC's broadcast is heard at 105.1 FM in Ukiah, CA. We also stream live from the web at www.kmecradio.org . Our shows are archived and available as podcasts. We post many of our shows to out Youtube channel.
The radio program "Marketplace" reports that on "Thursday, June 9, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is set to release new rules to crack down on payday lenders." The segment cites a trade association representative, as well as an analyst from the Cato Institute arguing that people in need of short term loans "will likely be out of luck under the new rules."
Policy director at Commonomics USA and a member of the Public Banking Institute's board of directors, Stannard said today: "The new rules won't help ordinary Americans. They 'permit' rather than mandate more flexible options for borrowers, which the lenders will be under no obligation to make widely available.
"The CFPB's approach seems to be more concerned with getting tough on borrowers rather than lenders. Poor people don't need more discipline. They need access to credit and inexpensive financial services. The rules will make it harder for people to access the short-term cash they need to get through tough spots at a time when wages are low, partial employment has replaced full employment, and being poor is expensive. Over 60 percent of Americans currently lack the financial security to survive a $500 emergency. And, of course, if the CFPB really did get tough on lenders, they could simply stop making short-term loans available altogether. That tells me that a regulated private sector isn't the appropriate way to solve this problem.
"In fact, there is a better alternative: financial services made available through the United States Post Office. Postal banks could offer short-term cash advances at extremely low interest. They could offer other low-cost financial services currently unavailable to tens of millions of Americans who live in 'banking deserts.' And we already know that these banks work. The USPS had a successful bank system from 1911-1967. Many other countries have either public postal banking systems or public-private hybrids, all dedicated to provided low-cost financial services to working people.
"Non-profit community lending organizations are another good alternative, but those will require capitalization from local governments or philanthropic organizations." Stannard's recent pieces include: "How Payday Lenders Are Beating Back Reform in Alabama ," "In Oakland, Replacing Predatory Lenders with Community Finance," "Postal Banks Are People's Banks: 6 Things You Need to know about Postal Banking."