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Mon May 04, 2015 at 04:41 PM PDT

Between a rock and a hard place

by smiley7

What will Democrats do?

Or better,

 what should the party do?

Or better yet, what's the best humans can do for other humans?


No question is there?

Our neighbors, our workers, our extended family are paramount, aren't they?

Globally so?

Forces are aligned, predetermining fate; making hate, as the keep-sake.

Sponsoring political leaders and want-to-Be's,

 the leaders

Drone people,

innocent people

 the leaders


 the leaders

are corporal

punishing for profit!

selfish bastards, fascists

 the leaders

need changing.

Everywhere, the bottom line


is hidden from view

from except a very few

by democratic control.

The train runs on time.



Feeling, wanting, needing, wishing, fulfilling, kissing, working, loving, being


  feeling the warmth, correcting the flow, letting others know.

The wisdom trumping propaganda of those missing the joy, the muse, the very fabric of understanding.

Children know better.

"How sweet it is"

 to be a human being.


What should Democrats do?


Long-shot Miliband now the favorite to become Britain’s prime minister

STOCKTON-ON-TEES, ENGLAND — Even before the election campaign began, the verdict was in on Ed Miliband: He was too weak and too weird to be Britain’s prime minister.

His approval ratings flirted with the lowest ever recorded for a major party leader. Among his Labor supporters, there were whispers of a coup. And with Britain’s economy recovering from the depths of recession, Conservative Party leader David Cameron seemed to have reelection locked up.

But British voters, not known for their faith in the powers of redemption, have done something unusual over the past month: They’ve given Miliband, the 45-year-old son of Jewish refugees who fled to Britain to escape the Nazis, a second chance.

The Labor leader has seized it, tapping a vein of popular discontent over the widening gap between rich and poor. With just a week to go before the country votes, he’s now a slight favorite to become prime minister once the dust has settled on the closest and most politically fragmented British election in decades. Polls suggest that he is highly unlikely to secure a majority in the Parliament, but may be positioned to lead an informal and potentially fractious coalition of parties from the left.

As and old man, I've learned to never underestimate the quickly shifting vagaries of the political process or presume to predict popularity.

And as the Wapo suggests, Milibrand apparently has "tapped a vein of popular discontent over the widening gap between rich and poor," causing a tremendous and rapid swing of public opinion in favor of his candidacy."

This same discontent presently rages in our American streets and sleeps within millions of households; citizens barely getting by, frustrated in no-end jobs, suffering unforgiving debt and enduring the pains of no health care while quietly embracing their children as they witness the destruction of public education on a daily basis: no more band, no more foreign language, no textbooks, crowded classrooms and on and on...

I don't agree with those who discount and handicap Sen. Sanders from the getgo nor those who have annointed Hillary prematurely.

Let's sing the song of common needs from the rooftops and swing our support behind the best candidate in generations, Sen. Sanders.



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Wed Apr 01, 2015 at 04:17 PM PDT

April Fools

by smiley7

In two weeks, the doc-fix is in!

Before I publish this, odds are my typing has been scrutinized by our government's genius mainframe. That's not right.

Children will die tonight in Yemen on my dime. Why?

And a better question for kossacks today should have been: "Will 'human beings' be moved to vote for Democrats in future?"


Ode to the DK republic

As long as the train runs on time

the government takes your dime

while covering motives oh sublime

including you precious mind

lost in pragmatic liberalism so fine

Lewis Mumford makes a rhyme

Rain comes down, steam goes up

Wall Street lovelies doing well

in hell

skipping stones on clinking pages

casting doubt about...

Buying stocks in time

federally sanctioned crime

parsing the cash due

to the very few

Is nothing new?

Cringing to think that they took you, too.

"Republican Smith said that Sally was a toad,"

inked in daily hew

that's you

accusing the blue

sixteen tons and what

don't dare rock the pot

the golden goose lays bare

for taking in your snare

Take your seat, shut up, be kind

have a banana, Pollyanna

The trains still run on time.


Tue Nov 04, 2014 at 11:41 PM PST

GOTV for what?

by smiley7

That is the simple question?

Sorry to push tonight; but, many kos members, intelligent ones, have been screaming at many other kos members who play and support the game of electability.

Reading too many comments tonight trying to explain away the truth; which Harry Truman shared decades ago: given the opportunity to vote for a Republican or a Democrat behaving like a Republican; the people will vote for the Republican every time.

Bullshit and wavering political stands of centrists don't counter malicious advertisements.

Lesson learned or enough said.

Democracy is delayed because of centrist, neo-liberal bullshit.

Meaning generations, yes, it's now plural, will suffer the consequences of co-opted Democratic leadership.

Don't expect recs, this is a rant! Damn it, we told you so.


Candidates not afraid to support the people in conversation, advertisements and actions.

The New Deal: saving the earth; helping the people by educating the youth and caring for the health of everyone, especially the seniors and diabled; while wagging war against fascists, unfortunately.

"It's not unusual to be understood by everyone." It is, apparently, not unusual to lose by trying to please everyone.

Sadly, told you so 'don't' get it.

We have work to do. I'm in?


4:51 PM PT: According to the Watauga County Elections Director, more than 700 people voted at the Plemmons Student Union on the campus of ASU today, the largest turnout of all the early sites:

   Plemmons Student Union at ASU – more than 700 early voters

    Blowing Rock Town Hall – 78 early voters

    Meat Camp VFD – 39 early voters

    Deep Gap VFD – 37 early voters

    Western Watauga Community Center – approximately 60 early voters

    Watauga County Administration Building in downtown Boone – 591 early voters

h/t~dean4ever ~

Go students, keep on trucking, your future so depends upon your participation.

With a legal decision coming down to the wire yesterday Appalachian State University students are voting in large numbers today.

Victory is sweet in Watauga County!

It's my precinct, too, and I couldn't wait to get a photo of this historic day, so I went to vote.
Loved hearing the conversations the students and citizens were having in line, "They [Republicans] don't want us to vote, guess what, that's why I'm here," a young woman said as she passed out yellow ballot assist sheets. I smiled in knowing that the yellow sheets are our Democratic sample ballot.

Later as the line moved forward, a grey haired lady pointed to the 2016 sign and said,"What's wrong with that, (pause) It doesn't have student IDs on it, does it?"

 This sign got laughs.

For those not familiar with the back story of Republican voter suppression in North Carolina click here and here

A beautiful day, seeing students vote; one young man told me it was his first time voting. I pulled a yellow slip from my pocket and responded, "Yes it is and yellow is a beautiful color." Many overheard me and the line almost applauded.

Thanks again to the Plantiffs from our county who had the courage and dedication to fight for our students right to vote.

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Moral March to the Polls Forward Together Tour...

Today, a brisk wind and first cold of the season did not dampen the crowd's enthusiasm.  
Rev. William Barber came to town. And his timing could not have been more fortuitous.

As I write, community leaders, Democrats and students are on pins and needles waiting for the final resolution of having a polling place on campus or not. It's a long story but we all know this one too well; Republicans have attempted to disenfranchise students and suppress the vote by moving their normal precinct polling place off campus.

A NC judge has ruled the Republican's attempted hijinks to be unconstitutional and has mandated the state board of elections intercede and choose a polling place on campus.
The NC Court of Appeals has refused to stay the order, but, only silence comes from the NC Supreme Court, so far. Will the Supreme Court rule at the last minute and stay the order? We don't know. Early voting begins tomorrow.

We are all very proud of our County Democratic Party and concerned citizens and students who sued the State Board of Elections for supporting our county's Republican majority board of election's decision to make it difficult for college students and university staff to vote.

If all the county parties across the country were as organized, dedicated and willing to fight; and fight we must, the repugs would lose.

For background of the voter suppression shenanigans click here and read our kos diarist's  excellent work, h/t irmaly:

To stay up to date click here:

An order mandating an early voting site on the Appalachian State University campus remains in effect, as the N.C. Court of Appeals on Tuesday denied the State Board of Elections' motion for a stay. The early voting period begins Thursday.

SBOE spokesman Josh Lawson said Tuesday that the state board would likely hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon to determine where the early voting site should be located on the ASU campus. The SBOE last week solicited and received input from the Watauga County Board of Elections and ASU about an on-campus early voting site in case the Superior Court order was allowed to remain in effect.

Rev. Barber's visit is part of a state-wide tour sponsored by the North Carolina NAACP and Forward Together Movement. They are traveling across the state over the next two weeks to mobilize voters as part of its Moral March to the Polls Forward Together Tour.

You rock Rev. Barber and many thanks to ALL!

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“I’m just not sure if this is something I would want to have on this High Point University campus, the registration of voting [sic].”

The leader of a college Republican chapter in the state was caught on camera telling a conservative group that it couldn’t register voters on campus Wednesday—the same day state leaders pledged to take their fight for a restrictive voting law to the Supreme Court.

“I just do not want to have people being registered to vote, whatsoever,” Leigh Thomas, chair of the High Point University College Republicans, said in the video, which was first published by Campus Reform, a conservative activist group.

In the video, Bree Binder, a member of the group Turning Point USA, asked Thomas for permission to enter the campus to register voters. At High Point, visitors to the campus are required to have permission from a student, according to Charlie Kirk, Turning Point’s executive director.

Binder, who filmed the encounter, expected Thomas would help, because Thomas had worked cooperatively with Turning Point in the past. Instead, Thomas said no.

“I’m just not sure if this is something I would want to have on this High Point University campus, the registration of voting [sic].”

Asked why, Thomas repeated: “I don’t approve of it whatsoever—on a campus like High Point University,” then reiterated: ”I don’t want to have any voting registration happening on this campus, with students.”

Warning, the video has a 'Palinesque' quality; when fist viewing, I laughed through tears of sadness. This vid is a cultural indictment or in the words of Napoleon: "In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.”

For a good satirical analysis click here:

So what is behind this ding-bat decision? Has Thomas gotten a crazy notion that “Only liberals like registering voters” somewhere in the un-plumbed depths of this young lady’s mind? Is the state party apparatus so terrified of the mythological youth vote that they have ordered college Republican groups to do whatever is in their power to make sure that no new voters are minted on university grounds? Has Thomas been so conditioned by repetitive exposure to propaganda geared toward convincing Republicans that the entire elections system is rife with fraud, registering voters might be a little gay, and a small group of elites with a right to vote based on economic status might be a pretty good idea down the line?

        Is this spill-over from the very real efforts by the North Carolina GOP establishment to clamp down on and marginalize truly grassroots activists and candidates? ...

The video appeared on social media yesterday, was pulled, then resurfaced; apparently even other Republicans were concerned...
In an interview with Campus Reform, Turning Points USA founder Charlie Kirk said he was disappointed in the College Republicans' response to his group’s grassroots activism.

“Voter registration is an integral part of getting more young people involved, informed, and engaged,” Kirk said. "Nobody should have a monopoly on registering college students to vote or try to prevent college students from voting."

“An important part of outreach is civic engagement—we have previously worked very well with College Republicans and are disappointed that, at High Point University, our registration efforts were thwarted by the leader of College Republicans.”

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
― Groucho Marx

 October 1, 2014


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed a lower court ruling that had allowed provisions of North Carolina's restrictive voting law to go into effect before the midterm election. Today's order restores same-day registration and reinstates out-of-precinct provisional voting on Voting Rights Act grounds. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice are challenging those provisions, as well as the elimination of a week of early voting.

 "The court's order safeguards the vote for tens of thousands of North Carolinians.  It means they will continue to be able to use same-day registration, just as they have during the last three federal elections," said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project.

 "This is a victory for voters in the state of North Carolina,” said Southern Coalition for Social Justice staff attorney Allison Riggs. "The court has rebuked attempts to undermine voter participation."

 Background: North Carolina passed a restrictive voting law in August 2013. The ACLU and Southern Coalition for Social Justice challenged provisions of the law that eliminate a week of early voting, end same-day registration, and prohibit out-of-precinct voting. The groups charge that implementing these provisions would unduly burden the right to vote and discriminate against African-American voters, in violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause and the Voting Rights Act.

 In recent elections, North Carolinians could register, or update their registration information, and vote in one trip to an early voting site. In both 2008 and 2012, approximately 250,000 people did so. African Americans disproportionately relied on same-day registration in both elections. The new law eliminates this opportunity to register, effectively disenfranchising tens of thousands of voters.

 The case, League of Women Voters of North Carolina v. North Carolina, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.

 Today's order will be available at

 More information is at:

At this writing, I don't know if there will be an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts is assigned to the Fourth Circuit to hear expedited appeals.
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Rosanell Eaton, jailed at 92 for protesting voting law.
North Carolina's Republican controlled legislature and Governor wasted no time last year in rewriting election laws after the Supreme Court effectively struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by a 5-to-4 vote, freeing nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval.
With hundreds of campaigns in North Carolina entering their final six weeks of a federal appeals court must now decide what kind of election the state will hold.

The outcome of the appeal could have nationwide ramifications: were the new voter ID law to be allowed to stand it could become a template for conservative reforms across the country ahead of the 2016 presidential race.

Will [this fall's election] be run under North Carolina’s old voting laws? Or will state voters cast ballots under the controversial set of rules passed last year?

The answer now rests with three judges – two from the Carolinas – from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. For two hours in Charlotte on Thursday, judges Diana Motz of Maryland, Henry Floyd of South Carolina and James Wynn of Martin County heard point and counterpoint in the state’s ongoing battle over the vote.

"In court documents the plaintiffs – including the NAACP, represented by the Advancement Project, and the League of Women Voters, represented by the ACLU – set out the various ways in which the new law, HB 589, throws obstacles in the path of potential voters. It reduces the number of early voting days; imposes a requirement, to go into effect in 2016, that voters show photo ID cards at the polls [college IDs are not valid]; eliminates the ability to register to vote and then cast a ballot on the same day; invalidates any ballot cast by an individual outside her or his precinct; encourages strangers to challenge the eligibility of people standing in line to vote; and scraps a program to pre-register teenagers ahead of their 18th birthdays."

Passed by Republicans in the final hours of the 2013 legislative session, the changes going into effect this year eliminate same-day registration during early voting, reduce the early-voting period by a week and voids ballots cast on Election Day outside of a person's home precinct. Political parties also can send in more observers to monitor voting.

In NC, the governor controls county boards of election and guess what, many polling places, precincts, have been changed; consequently voiding ballots cast outside home precincts is going to hurt; plus we can expect strong-armed tactics by "more observers."

"Add this to the discriminatory redistricting maps that are segregating voting precincts, and some are saying that the voting landscape in North Carolina is as bleak as it has been since the Jim Crow era.  Not surprisingly, the people most impacted by all of these changes are women and people of color.

Republicans veil their true intentions by screaming voter fraud; instead, they should brandish shiny cross-burning label pins on their slick suit-coats; their obvious racism fools no one.

Leading the charge and a plaintiff is 93-year-old Rosanell Eaton.

Rosanell Eaton was talking to her daughter at home in Louisburg, North Carolina, not long ago when she suddenly lowered her voice and looked strangely deflated. “You know, all of this is coming back around before I could get in the ground,” she said. “I was hoping I would be dead before I’d have to see all this again.”

She was referring to the turbulent years of her childhood growing up in the 1920s and 1930s in the Jim Crow south. She went to a segregated school, drank water from a fountain marked “blacks” in the town square. Her family’s plot of tobacco and cotton fields was, according to her daughter, the only land in the neighbourhood owned by African Americans and, tiny though it was, bitterly resented by white neighbours. More than once she woke up to the sight of charred crosses in the yard.

And then there was the day in 1939 when Rosanell turned 18 and gained the right to vote. She was a vibrant young woman, eager to learn and engage with the world, and determined to have her electoral say at the first chance. But when she arrived at Franklin County courthouse, she was met by three white officials.

“What are you here for, young lady?” one of them asked.

“I’m here to register to vote,” she said.

The men looked at each other, then back at her. “Stand in front of us,” she was instructed. “Look directly at us. Don’t turn your head to the right, nor to the left. Now repeat the preamble to the constitution of the United States.”

It was a common ruse at the time, one of several that electoral officials used to deprive black people of the vote. Aspiring black voters would be asked to count beans in a barrel, or name their state’s entire congressional delegation. If they couldn’t, they were turned away. But Eaton just stood there and recited from memory the preamble to the US constitution, without a glitch.

“Well, little lady,” one of the officials conceded. “You did it.”

In searching, I've found only perfunctory coverage in NC's 'big press.' But there is a leading story in which our Gov. Pat McCrory says that we don't need any more journalists...
McCrory: there’s too many journalists in North Carolina
By Eric Frazier, Charlottee Observer, Friday, Sep. 26, 2014

Gov. Pat McCrory hasn’t gotten the memo about the heavy cuts the journalism field has undergone in recent years.

He went to Charlotte, Greensboro and Cary Thursday to unveil a new workforce training effort. State and local officials will visit 1,000 companies in all 100 counties in the next 100 days to ask them what skills they need workers to have.

During the Charlotte stop, he said the state needs more workers skilled in advanced manufacturing, science-, math- and technology-related fields. At the Greensboro stop, he expanded on the theme to add some fields where the state doesn’t need more workers.

“We’ve frankly got enough psychologists and sociologists and political science majors and journalists. With all due respect to journalism, we’ve got enough. We have way too many,” he said, prompting laughs from the audience.

Well Governor, we are not laughing! And the following is for you and your Republican legislature; please read and memorize at you leisure...

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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This exclusive Reuters investigative series of articles and interactive information is a must read/see for everyone: politicians, regulators, school teachers and especially climate-change denialists.

"These findings, first reported July 10, aren’t derived from computer simulations like those used to model future climate patterns, which have been attacked as unreliable by skeptics of climate change research. The analysis is built on a time-tested measuring technology – tide gauges – that has been used for more than a century to help guide seafarers into port."

Please read and share this irrefutable evidence that the oceans are rising.

"Reuters analyzed millions of data entries and spent months reporting from affected communities to show that, while government at all levels remains largely unable or unwilling to address the issue, coastal flooding on much of the densely populated Eastern Seaboard has surged in recent years as sea levels have risen."


When Reuters set out to measure the frequency of flooding along the U.S. coastline, it turned to one of the nation’s longest-running sentinels of the changing oceans: tide gauges.

These devices, originally deployed to assist navigation by mariners, are critical to understanding the interaction between land and sea. The gauges measure the level of the surface of the sea, relative to a fixed point on land.

Some gauges have been in operation for a century or more, providing a long-term view of sea levels unavailable from satellites. A gauge in San Francisco, installed in 1854, provides the Western Hemisphere’s longest-running continuous record of sea levels.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration operates more than 200 tide gauges on the U.S. coast and the shores of the Great Lakes. Most of the data is online and available to the public through multiple portals operated by NOAA. The gauges “give a very unbiased view of what’s going on along the coast,” said William Sweet, a NOAA oceanographer.

WET SEASON: Annapolis officials say street flooding at high tide or during rainstorms has become more common in recent years - an observation backed by Reuters’ tide-gauge analysis. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

May I suggest that you begin reading here, Part one: As the seas rise, a slow-motion disaster gnaws at America’s shores;

Part two: Why Americans are flocking to their sinking shores even as the risks mount?

Be sure and click on the supplemental information, which includes very educational interactive presentations.

This is the kind of journalism that makes one proud.


Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 11:25 AM PDT

We need the clarity of a platform

by smiley7

I'm fervently concerned that in too many races, we have no choice but to vote for Democratic candidates who do not represent the interests of the 99 percent or more importantly, the tenants of The New Deal, the backbone of our party.

It's happening on the federal level in our state where our choice this fall is for a neoliberal or asshat (yes, I'll vote for the DINO).  And on the state level, our Democratic candidate is shouting out his Republican creeds. :(

We need the clarity of a platform to bind us together in order to elect better Democrats whose voices are being drowned out by triangulated scourges of propaganda.

The 'antics' in public discourse, including social media--and in a small way playing out in meta here on kos--serve the simple purpose of dividing us.

In this online world, devious and powerful compellers await at every turn; jesters of persuasion impregnating our thoughts: some obvious, some subliminally contorting the truth.

The obvious include: an MSM owned by the company store; think tanks galore, many embedded in 'credible' universities; fake, well-funded grass-root 501's promising everything from prosperity to the kingdom of heaven; triangulating and controlling national political committees representing the one percent yet screaming in emails daily for money and sinking so low as to use guilt trips in soliciting our $3 dollars more; plus, a plethora of aggregating web-and-blog masters making hay from gullible clickers.

The not so obvious are lurking in forums; professional Overton persuaders supported and made ready to strike by secret algorithms. Even ordinary people are paid to appear on social sites as the neighbor next door (see Netanyahu).

It's unbelievable and mendacious that in our republic we have unlawful clandestine operators from our intelligence agencies fused at the hip to local law enforcers participating as "Our Town" residents in social media--the greatest offending pretenders--and sadly, but not least, are social media site cliques teaming with self-adulation, privately messaging each other and sycophantically protecting their turf by dominating threads and consequently undermining thoughtful commentary.

My fear is that the 'one-percenters,' their pawns, politically expedient politicians and their courtiers may triangulate us out of existence deceptively using this same powerful medium we enjoy by muddying the waters and dividing friends to conquer.

Plus, we've net-neutrality itself to defend.

What's politically correct in civil discourse is not the question here, that's an ethical/moral question or as the Supreme's allow, a community standard to be decided. What we should be concerned about is the truth and how we can best collectively filter out the bullshit coming from all the above 'antics' including many Democratic politicians, candidates and their employed surrogates.

Each presidential election cycle, we produce a Democratic Party platform and having witnessed platform construction, it's not an easy task; a thankless one really, especially when our elected representatives ignore its principals for political expediency. Some of the 'antic's' finest expression comes out of the woodwork to convince us that a platform's position compromises a candidate's electability.

Given the many 'antics' blocking our way, it's paramount for us to stand together in our political pursuit for a more perfect union and better Democrats.

And it's even more important that our representatives don't mistake us, our intent or our gratuity.

So, I propose we put together a simple kos platform that concentrates on the most pressing needs of U.S. citizens; putting forward perhaps 10-15 of the most important principals and policies we expect Democratic officials, candidates and its national committees to faithfully adhere; providing as it were, a foundation capable of breaking through the alluring noise of propagandists.

A platform that moves from the grey to the white, metaphorically; a no-compromising document.

I appreciate this is ambitious, maybe even naive, but I'm writing today to test the waters and gauge potential interest.

I'm putting forward one principal to start the conversation.


Social Security must be strengthened, income caps raised and monthly contributions increased. In no circumstance will the Democratic Party support any candidate or elected official that proposes or supports legislation that weakens or privatizes Social Security, or changes it's current format in any way including a chained CPI.
   Given the choice between a Democrat who behaves like a Republican and a Republican, people will vote for the Republican every time. ~ Harry S. Truman
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