The results are in from the 6 states holding primaries yesterday, and Bernie won 2 small ones, came close in 2, and lost substantially in 2 that he was depending on, namely CA and NJ.  Even with these reversals of fortune he wants to go on, hoping mostly to bring his populist views held onto by the young of this country to the Philadelphia Convention.

Pundits, commenters go back and forth whether he should outright concede or continue. To keep his followers together, I believe, he wants to go on to bring a different direction to this country’s politics, economics, and society.  Leaving things as they are means more suffering, and lost potential for too many.  I will not criticize one way or another. There is no way of predicting what is the best road to take.

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If the Convention vote, as I believe it will, gives HRC the nomination, Bernie should show his support by introducing her.  He will be a good citizen, and make sure Donald Trump does not become President.  For her part Ms. Clinton should recognize she needs a working relationship with Congress, and state that she needs Bernie’s help itself plus getting back a majority in the Senate.  It is time to make everyone feel like a winner. It is more likely national reform will sit with the Legislative Branch than the Presidency.  I say this looking at wrong direction numbers coupled with Congress’s poor rating in many polls.

There is one more primary, Washington DC, but other than taking note of each candidates final numbers, it will not change circumstances.

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phone bank

Last night 4 of us phone banked for Bernie into NJ, and at its end came to a reality that must be faced as reasoning human beings.  Bernie will not take the nomination, but, in our view as supporters, has achieved something far greater.

A movement has organized politically to right the injustices of our time. There are many that have to worked on at 3 levels—politically, socially, and economically.  The former takes place by putting people in positions whose main purpose is to work for their communities, expanding upward to include the whole nation.  The last two categories takes coalitions of like minded citizens to push those elected and not elected to understand that together we all prosper, but will continue to fail by sticking with old ideas and entrenched traditions that no longer apply in a modern world.

people summit

Today is voting day in CA, NM, Montana, ND, SD, and NJ.  How Bernie will fare in these will certainly determine how much he gets to say at the National Democratic Convention in July.  In the meantime the media is just itching to dive into the Clinton/Trump debacle since it is a juicier media event than the struggle for human progress.  The final vote takes place in Philadelphia, not in the states voting tomorrow, since Super Delegates do not cast their votes until July at the Philadelphia Arena.

Many, mostly Hillary supporters, want Bernie to quit, and go back on his word to go all the way until the real votes are counted.  Somehow they think Secretary Clinton’s chances are being damaged by waiting another month and a half.  That is not only ridiculous, but is not what is done in a democracy.  Ms. Clinton has relied on her husband, the Democratic established elected officials, and older women’s yearning to see the first elected woman President.  Little is said of any overarching message since Ms. Clinton has been very short on producing that.

Clinton Administration

For many, questions still remain about how she has and will handle issues in office.  The Iraq War vote, Libya, support of a no fly zone, an insufficient minimum wage, draconian immigration policy, weak health insurance reform, a tendency to be a Joanny-Come-Lately on social issues, all make for an unclear future under her Administration.

A satisfactory answer for her is “the American people have evolved” therefore my position has done the same.  This is not what modern leadership entails, meaning reforms that affect the minority of our down on their luck population will have to wait.  There is no “can do” vision to see that turning arounds lives resulting in positive ripples affecting everyone.

Gay Rights        Wall Street

California et al voting takes place in 2 days.  The polls teeter back and forth.  Bernie is drawing big crowds.

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Secretary Clinton 2 days ago put forth what she called a “foreign policy speech” basically touting what she may have accomplished as SOS, but I’m not sure how to truly evaluate it. Most of her time was spent mocking and humiliating Donald Trump using his own words, and many felt it was effective.  The Donald answered back without specifics calling her “the worst Secretary of State in our history”.  He usually gets his facts wrong, and this is another statement of his that would land in the “pants on fire” category.

However it is not clear if this full throttle strategy  without mentioning a clear message of your own changed any votes.  If she is the nominee, you can bet we’ll never get to learning just what problems we face get solved.  There will be a 6 month food fight.

clinton-trump-roast

Some Bernie Delegates(about a dozen) met at the Olympia Restaurant in Lowell with some intending to go on afterwards to a State Convention Host Party.  We exchanged whatever information each of us had, but what to do at the Convention was not set in stone.  The only parts were supporting petitions to change the Super Delegate role, if any, for 2020.  The noon to 4pm phone bank for Bernie at the Lowell Teachers Office was also reemphasized.  Being somewhat tired I headed home instead of going to the fete for delegates, but apparently Lesley Phillips was hard at work putting together a resolution to deal with the Super Delegates, and getting some support from that gathering.

The next day before 7:30am I shared a ride with Shirley Slack, and the driver for the day, Carolyn Whiting, to attend the State Convention at the Tsongas Center in Lowell.  We signed in, and took our seats after inspecting various information tables set out around the top of the arena’s walkway.  The 5th Middlesex, that’s us, sat in the balcony just off of stage right.

This was an Agenda Convention with changes to the bylaws needing approval, and a series of resolutions for the delegates’ approval or disapproval.  Voice votes came first, and if contested followed with a show of hands for “Ay” or “Nay”.  Fifteen speakers preceded the votes, and each called for party unity, a verbal lashing of Donald Trump, or the successes of the Party.  Steve Tolman was particularly fiery, but none compared to the explosive energy Elizabeth Warren brought to the stage.  It was a half hour pummeling of Donald Trump, deservedly so, and the multitude loved it.

Next came Charter changes that all passed, essentially making it easier for candidates to run.  A resolution endorsing Single Payer to be part of the State Platform passed, and with the added sense to bring it to the National Platform Committee for inclusion on a national level.

The piece de resistance were resolutions to “thoroughly” review the role of Super Delegates, demonstrating that many did not think the present rendition was fair.  Of the three put forward, our own Lesley Phillips’s version got huge backing.  Congratulations Lesley!

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The Convention adjourned, and a quarter mile walk to hear Elizabeth Warren speak on the rise of income inequality, and its causes.  In both of her speeches there were strong Bernie echoes.  Support for Bernie’s positions were sounded out further with quotes from the press stating ““I’m a superdelegate and I don’t believe in superdelegates.  I don’t think superdelegates ought to sway the election.” She remains uncommitted.

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Elizabeth’s talk concluded around 2:20 pm, and workshops followed.  I attended the  “How to mobilize the Latino Voters” session.  Most reinforced my previous knowledge, but I was not aware of the actual statistics.  It was helpful.

From there it was homeward bound, and an after Chinese dinner horizontal action.  Some fun Bernie art below:

Bernie7       Bernie9

 

 

 

 

 

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Bernie arrived at half time at the Warriors/Thunder 7th playoff game with Golden State behind.  He sat down, greeted fans, and watched.  The Globe thinks he was a good luck charm because the Warriors won.  Bernie saw it differently.  “I like come from behind victories!”, he said.  At that moment he was ending his day as the happy tireless warrior.  Down to my toes I believe anyone who hears him, and yearns for change to make a better America, can not deny his appeal.

Meantime I traveled to Arlington on Memorial Day, not for a cookout, but to shout out for Bernie via a phone bank along with 9 other supporters.  They looked like the face of this country, almost all of us the children or grandchildren of immigrants.

They are aware of what happens when we stand together to unleash the potential of this nation.  They understand when we stick together, putting our best foot foot forward, we see the progress that is only a collective political will away.

So we continue to insist on a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”.  No matter if it borders on near extinction these day, the citizens can still rise up, and revive a “new birth of freedom”.

 

 

A crowd of Bernie Delegates gathered at Steve Camara’s beautiful summer retreat in Westport Point overlooking the Westport River.  We met to fashion strategy to win enough delegates to result in a win of a majority of the pledged delegates in NJ, Ca, Mt, N. Da, S. Da, NM, PR, VI, and DC.

The enthusiasm to make a stand for Bernie was high.  It crystallized into a unified plan with a definite message, who to target, who to do it to, and when to do what.  It  took shape over 4 prescribed hours, with extra sessions of schmoozing among the 25+ Bernie delegates.  It got done with expert facilitating by Bruce Taub, and Leslie Phillips.

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There was some ante meeting input from Maryann Rutter, and Lind Pinti:

Also there is a great article at the Huffpost today that is very relevant to this from the Exec. Director of the National Nurses United — worth the read:
Possible Talking Points for Why Superdelegates Should Support Sanders
(1) The polls consistently show Sanders doing much better against Trump than Hillary in the general.
(2) Bernie is the most popular candidate of the 3, lowest unfavorables of any candidate in the race — and highest favorables; also he is the most popular Senator in the senate in their own state — and his supporters are very passionate in their support which translates into turnout.
(3) Due to voter suppression laws and measures that have gone into effect since the last presidential election resulting from the Supreme court decision that gutted the Voting Rights act, we must have a huge turnout to win in November.  Bernie will inspire record turnout as he does much better among youth, progressives and independents than Clinton, does better with whites and men than Clinton, does well with women, and Hispanics and increasingly is doing better and better with African Americans as they have gotten to know him and his record of working for civil rights since his college days.
(4) Bernie doesn’t have the Clinton baggage which is considerable for both Hill and Bill. (see new IG report on what the media is starting to call “emailgate,” that is a scathing assessment of Hillary’s judgment.) This now has legs and will likely grow (with or without indictment) and the Clinton Foundation revelations are just beginning. Trump will exploit every one of them and everyday we will hear about it!  For anyone who says this is just more of the VRWC that attacks the Clintons, remind them that despite a Republican congress bent on destroying Obama, we have had two terms with no Barack or Michelle scandals.  Remember no drama Obama — it can be done and that is how it would be with Bernie and Jane.
(5) Sanders will help heal and transform America and complete the Roosevelt agenda that he enumerated in his Economic Bill of Rights at the end of his last State of the Union speech in 1944. Bernie and Jane would be Franklin and Eleanor for the 21st century.
(6) Obama was a transitional presidency, Sanders would be transformational.
(7) Sanders is the best candidate to help heal planet Earth — as he has said, for social, economic racial and environmental justice — people are praying for him around the world including Tibetan monks praying to clear obstacles in his path.
(8) And let us not forget that if anyone will know how to steal an election from our fragile election machine apparatus, it will be the Trump Thug organization — there is no way that he will allow a woman to beat him.  The best defense we have against an attempted steal is a landslide size voter turnout which will only happen with Bernie.
AND
As demonstrated by this primary campaign, Bernie captures the following groups that Hillary doesn’t:
1) first-time voters:. In the NH primary, Bernie got 72% of newly registered voters, those voting for the first time
2) young voters:  in 2016, 17% of registered voters are under 30. This is up a full 3 percentage points from 2008.  In a few more years, ONE IN FIVE VOTERS will belong to the demographic!
3) voters not enrolled in a party (so-called “independent” voters):  Bernie bested Hillary wth this group, sometimes by double-digit percentage points, and can even pull voters away from Trump among these voters.  They will MAKE OR BREAK this election.
And amalgamating the two with the discussion in Steve’s living room, here is a draft conversation with a Ma Super Delegate:
Hello “Super Delegate X”  Glad to meet you.  My name is Dr. Donald Green.  I’m a retired Family Doc.  As an Alternate Bernie Sanders I represent CD6 .  I appreciate you have taken the time to listen to me.
Like you, we Bernie supporters want a Democrat in the White House, and will definitely work hard for down the line Democrats in governor seats, along with state and federal legislators.  There is no doubt both of us also want Federal Court appointees who understand our present times when interpreting the Constitution.  This are common objectives for all Democrats.
By now you know Bernie has a winning message and record.  Voters like him, trust him, and voted for him in spite of great political odds.  No one can deny the strong attraction of his brand of presidential leadership.  I know you have seen the polls that confirm this.  He is the overwhelming preference of election day voters when he is sized up against Donald Trump.
I understand you feel differently, but Bernie’s primary and caucus victories, and especially his momentum, can not be dismissed.  He brings new life and energy to our Party.  Young people, first time voters, and most importantly Independents, all by large winning margins against other contestants.  All Democrats want and must have this broad appeal to score a victory in November.
You have extraordinary power, plus you are free to decide who should be our nominee.  The vote you cast represents thousands.  By being appointed a Super Delegate, the choice of candidate, has to foremost represent your constituency.  It is also my view that it is not nation wide, since this is a state by state appointment, and is the same way votes are tallied in the General.
As a Commonwealth citizen, my vote has been set to be cast for Bernie by proportion.  It is only logical, and quite frankly fair to expect Super Delegates to do the same.  So I’m asking you to listen to the Democratic Voting Public, and consider support for the candidate with the broadest appeal, and by present polls, has the best chance to defeat Donald Trump. That candidate, not by say so, but the people’s say so, is Senator Bernie Sanders.
Thanks again for listening.  I appreciate you have a tough job.  I wish you the wisdom to do the right thing.
STOP TALKING AND LISTEN. ONLY ANSWER QUESTIONS, NOT THEIR OBJECTIONS.  

 

 

 

brainstorming

Political life in this election season is heating up with the weather.  The Philadelphia Convention will sizzle not just with the temperature, but also with the struggle to settle on what Democrats will stand for, and who deserves to lead those policies.  It looks like the Clinton Campaign and the DNC have seen the light to the extent of adequate representation on the Platform Committee by both campaigns.

In the midst of this the Clinton Campaign is having a hard time deciding whether to continue Bernie as a “non Democrat” or welcome him strongly into the Party.  Depending on the latter, this will determine the strength of unity between the two candidates.

In the meantime Mr. Trump has revoked his pledge to self finance his run, and is approaching the usual funders of Republicans.  It seems he must show one dose of reversing himself daily.  Maybe some day someone will analyze how he has attracted followers.

In preparation for the Convention, Massachusetts Bernie Delegates will assemble in Westport to bring a unified front to Philadelphia.  Reforming the primary system and influencing the Platform to be more clear in its progressive message.  Steve Camara has generously opened his summer home for a meeting place.  So far about 20 of us have RSVP’d for the event.

Two of us started phone banking into California.  Always hard to tell how much impact you are having.  It is always worth it to say you gave it the college try.  Voting in California is semi closed, in that only Dems and No Preference voters can participate.  For Dems it is a no brainer to vote, but NP voters have to submit a separate form to vote.  We were advised it was best to register as a Democrat because at the polls a NP voter may be made provisional, and not be counted.  Always something to interfere with the vote.

 

There is no doubt about it.  The Clinton Campaign, surrogates, and supporters want Bernie Sanders to go away.  Even the MSM are trying to push him out the door. They can’t wait to report on upcoming vapid nastiness between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

There are two articles I read today, one from the Globe and another from the NY Times, attempting to push Senator Sanders off the stage.

From the Globe:

OPINON | JOHN SASSO

The values battle in the general election

From the Times:

ELECTION 2016

Well it looks like all of the above will not get their wish. Bernie is staying in.

The first article suggests that Hillary Clinton has some hidden assets that have not been exposed to the public.  It was written by John Sasso whose forte is a behind the scenes character building or its opposite i.e. destroying an opponent’s reputation.  It depends on who hires him.  He has not been a rousing success with his work(Dukakis and Kerry), but Dems still hire him.  They usually do so when they think they are falling behind or have been unfairly presented by their opposition.  He has what he religiously calls a “trinity” of character traits that mark a winning candidate.  In his own words:

“The most salient variables are voter perceptions of three characteristics: a candidate’s personal political strength, voters’ trust in the depth and sincerity of the candidate’s convictions and, most importantly, whether the voters think that the candidate “cares” about people like them.”

It is always interesting language when operatives use the word “perception” instead of “possessing”.  In my mind it adds to the notion that things are made up.  He also thinks Donald Trump may be outclassing Hillary Clinton in public persona.  As a Clinton supporter himself, it is an odd way to promote someone for office.  He seems to be saying that Ms. Clinton really has these qualities, even if she hasn’t shown them for over 20 years.  This is not a winning strategy in my book.

The article from the Times is way out of context.  Bernie is talking about promoting his candidacy, and what it stands for, not trying to make it less likely if Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, she will lose the general election.  He has no such power.  Bernie also wants to reform future Democratic primaries, not this one.  There is work to be done there.

Fear has spread over the establishment and overly loyal Democratic Party members.  I know they want the race to be over, but they should heed Yogi Berra’s admonition:  “It’s not over til’ it’s over.”  They’re a bunch of nervous nellies.  If Hillary Clinton and the mainstay Democrats can’t put together an operation to defeat Donald Trump without over reliance on backhanded methods, Ms. Clinton is in trouble.  Bernie Sanders has nothing to do with it.

Feeling the Bern means being fired up with a set of proposals a candidate is making, not causing one to melt from them.  He is running for high office, and has a duty to show his disagreements with Secretary Clinton.  Her record is already widely known, his is not.  Therefore Bernie has every right and obligation to bring his considerable record to the electorate, especially where he differs from his opponent.

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