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Nine Eleven Fifteen years later


Fifteen years have passed since September, 11, 2001.  In the years following, on other September 11’s (and other days), I’ve tried to keep you posted about what has resulted since.  I began the long task of trying to compare an excellent September 11 report with the government’s 9/11 report – the same government report that has recently been further released, although mostly redacted; the same report that talks about how our friend, Saudi Arabia, is more culpable than previously thought).

I was unable to complete that comparison of those reports.  The truth remains, and is sometimes mentioned, that we don’t know most of the truth that led to September 11, 2001, most of the truth that happened on September 11, 2001, or the truth of what has happened since 2001.

I don’t know a complete summary is possible.  However, there is a lot of information.  Consider this:

almost 15 years have passed and that air war has never ended.  In Afghanistan, for instance, in just the first four years of the Obama administration (2009-2012), more than 18,000 munitions were released over the country.  And this year, B-52s, those old Vietnam workhorses, retired for a decade in Afghanistan, took to the air again as U.S. air sorties there ramped up against surging Taliban and Islamic state militants.

And that’s just to begin to describe the never-ending nature of the American air war that has spread across the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa in these years.  In response to al-Qaeda’s brief set of air strikes against U.S. targets, Washington launched an air campaign that has yet to end, involving the use of hundreds of thousands of bombs and missiles, many of a “precision” sort but some as dumb as they come, against a growing array of enemies. Almost 15 years later, American bombs and missiles are now landing on targets in not one but seven largely Muslim countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen).

Remember that the people you vote for are the people who decide if we should bomb people that never attacked us.

Moral Compass


On the back of The Speech, by Bernie Sanders, one of the promotional quotes is from Sarah Silverman.  It says “[Sanders’] moral compass and sense of values inspire me.  He always seems to be on the right side of history.”

The same Sarah Silverman told Bernie Sanders delegates and supporters that they were being ridiculous for supporting Bernie during her speech at the Democratic National Convention.  Silverman was a Bernie supporter – in fact, a surrogate who introduced Bernie at events.  Perhaps Silverman lost whatever moral compass she once had.

In the introduction of The Speech, Bernie says “if we don’t stand together today, working Americans will continue fighting an uphill battle just to make ends meet and the end of each month.  We cannot settle for establishment politics and stale ideas.  Now is the time to transform America.”

The time has come and gone where Bernie endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, and she was nominated by the Democratic Party (the part about Hillary delegates behaving badly is a different story).

Bernie supporters appear to be split – and it’s hard to say at what ratio – over following him to Clinton, or following his admonishment that “we cannot settle for establishment politics and stale ideas.”  It’s one or the other.

The standard argument for going from a Bernie supporter to a Hillary supporter is that we have a two party system, we are stuck with a two party system, and that Hillary is not Trump (I never hear arguments in favor of her policies, whatever they are).  The moral argument, such as it is one, is that Clinton is not Trump, and we’ll know how to push her around on policy (as if!).

The arguments against supporting Hillary are long.  Besides the conservatives who hate the name Clinton, progressives and other Democrats with a moral compass pointing to justice also call for Clinton to be prosecuted for actions while Secretary of State, or at least to just go away.  The moral compass here points in the opposite direction of her policies – the ones we know – like deportation and bombing.

I’m not saying the sudden Clinton supporters don’t have a moral compass.  The compass points against Trump.  It points to the regressive status quo.

I don’t think the Bernie Sanders progressives, now looking to Jill Stein as the progressive candidate, expect to win an election, or intend to ruin one.  Rather, the point appears to be to make a moral statement against Clinton and for progress, and at the same time catch the attention of those who count votes, so that they might look up and say ‘gee, what happened?  All these people have a moral compass pointing toward progress.’

Either you can heed Bernie’s call work with Hillary, or you can heed his call to “stand together … [w]e cannot settle for establishment politics and stale ideas.”  It’s one or the other.

It’s in our hands.




Coming together and falling apart


The Democrats are disunited.  Inside the Democratic National Convention there is no unity, with delegates walking out in protest, and chanting “no more war” when Penetta spoke.  Outside, it’s disorganized and disunited.  People don’t know where events are, people don’t know where to go.

The party being disunited, the sentiment on the street from true Bernie supporters is against party unity – that is, they are not (we are not) suddenly supporting Hillary Clinton.

The people united, it felt more like a gathering of friends who had never met.  Bernie supporters met each other on the street corner, cheered and pump fists at one another, and sometimes talked for several minutes.  Most agreed they would never vote for Hillary, and would write in Bernie or vote Jill Stein, depending on what their state allowed.

Many spent the day sightseeing.  We saw other at the liberty bell, at Independence Hall, City Hall, and many streets between.

The people are united, and the party is in disarray.

Not the planned result, I think …



Enough is Enough


Also known as

“Hell no, DNC, We won’t vote for Hillary”

A summary of one day outside the Democratic National Convention.

It’s clear that Bernie Sanders conceded the nomination, and called for Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee.  It’s  unclear what will happen in the next couple days; clearly the Convention will reconvene tomorrow.  It’s also unclear what it means for the Sanders delegates, inside, who walked out of the convention in protest, and what it means for the Sanders supporters outside.

Earlier, outside, several thousand – a disappointing number in some sense – of Bernie supporters (and very few Hillary supporters – I saw maybe less than a dozen) gathered.   It was disorganized: it was unclear where things were happening, and when.  People came from campgrounds and hotels far away to stand in the heat, the humidity  (and yesterday the rain, thunder, and lightning).

There was also lots of media – mostly independent media, but late in the evening I think I saw network cameras filming people.  I was asked by three very diverse, strange, media to give interviews.  I got very frustrated with the first one, which wouldn’t tell me who owned his company or what kind of viewpoint it had.  He eventually   asked me why I liked Bernie – I gave him a strange look and said I liked Bernie’s policies.  The second just wanted to talk about what I thought of Citizens United.  Duh!  (Worst thing since un-sliced cheese).  The third asked me why I’m Bernie for Bust, and who I would vote for  if Clinton got the nominee (she hadn’t gotten it yet).  I admitted I didn’t know, but talked about why I’m not enthused with Clinton, and that lots of voters had been stricken from the rolls – mostly, perhaps all, Bernie supporters – just after the Clinton campaign appeared to have profited from a breach in NGP VAN (voterbuilder) last autumn.  It clearly hasn’t been a fair campaign.

So what will happen with all of the Bernie supporters?  People have been asking a lot.  If I had a magic ball I’d make a lot of money.  It’s clear from the signs people were carrying that the second option is Jill Stein of the Green Party.  Her platform, and the Green Party’s platform, is very much like Bernie’s, and she’s considered the other progressive running for president.  But Stein is not on the ballot in every state.

As my esteemed grandmother, who, if she was alive, would likely be Feeling the Bern, would say, more will be revealed.


Temporary Insanity



It seems that this election cycle both the Clinton (also known as Hillary) and Sanders (affectionately known as Bernie) supporters are suffering from temporary insanity.  The Bernie supporters – I am one, and on good authority do not speak only for myself  – seem unable to ever bring themselves to vote for Hillary; Hillary supporters cannot accept that Bernie has wide support in the country, and Hillary has legitimate trust issue, which even she acknowledges.

In an October debate Bernie Sanders broke the internet and gained popularity with the line that American people are sick and tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s damn emails. Not only did Bernie say damn, but he was right; people were tired about her emails.  It appeared that the email issue was a Republic Witch Hunt focused on Benghazi.

Eight months later we are still hearing about the damn emails.  They have become an issue for Hillary – a campaign issue, a personal issue, a moral issue, an ethical issue, and a legal issue.

Recently the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of State issued a highly critical analysis of Hillary Clinton’s email practices while running the department (Washington Post’s working).  Washington Post notes that Clinton “failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private email server and that department staff would not have given its blessing because of the ‘security risks in doing so,'” and that she “handled email in a way that was not an appropriate method for preserving public records and that her practices failed to comply with department policy.”

This is only one of many recent developments regarding Clinton’s misuse of her email and her inability to maintain government records of her activity in the government.  Brian Pagliano, who is an IT specialist, and who also was Clinton’s techie in her first election bid (pdf page 151) (I will return to this source)  pled the the 5th – the fifth amendment, which refers to right not to self-incriminate – more than 125 times in his deposition which focused on how the private server that Hillary used was set up.

By pleading the fifth,

“[Pagliano’s]  doing that in this context tells you something about the purpose of the system, potentially, and what was going on and whether it was a good faith issue — a matter of just folks making honest mistakes — or something more nefarious,” Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch’s head, told The Hill. …

“In certain circumstances, the witness taking the Fifth Amendment, you can draw some negative conclusions based on that about the State Department’s conduct …” he added.

Staying silent “can be used against you,” said Peter Toren, a former federal prosecutor and partner at Weisbrod Matteis & Copley.

“It’s extremely tedious, but the fact that [a witness] took the Fifth is an inference that what I’m asking is true,”

said Toren during an interview before the deposition occurred.

Hillary Clinton has long maintained that she made a mistake using a personal, unsecure, email.  She has also maintained that the server she used for this unsecure email was secure.  The Wall Street Journal says that “Mr. Pagliano maintained Mrs. Clinton’s server in her New York home.” ( It and also says that “The State Department paid [Pagliano], but a Clinton official confirmed to the Washington Post that the Clintons paid him in addition. Mr. Pagliano did not report that outside money on disclosure forms—as he was required to do. And the State Department claims to have been unaware that Mr. Pagliano was getting personally paid by the secretary of state,” which is another ethical matter).

We could shrug and say this was an error of two people who knew little about technology: Clinton, and her Chief of Staff (and legal council) Cheryl Mills (who was deposed about her knowledge of the server,and FOIA requests, last month- the deposition is the above-cited link from JudicialWatch).  One error is just one error.  However, if this is really a single-issue campaign, the single issue is the lack of equality: economic, racial, judicial etc.

As a human, what worries me most about Hillary Clinton’s email issues is not that she can’t email and is behind the times for those she wishes to represent, or even that she set up an email sever without much thought (although, it’s a bad thing for a public servant to do); my concern is with the lack of transparency by Hillary, who’s running to hold what’s considered to be the most powerful office in the world’s most powerful country, but, because no thought was ever given to rectify it, the information of what Hillary did while Secretary of State is largely missing.  For instance, her calendar, which should have been kept as public record of what she did daily, had at least 75 meetings with Clinton Foundation contributors and those with corporate interests omitted (never included).

The Nation poses a question and gives a partial answer: “Was it a crime for Hillary to use her private server for official communications? No. It was not a crime then—and it’s not now. But it violated the spirit of the Federal Records Act and the FOIA, which require preserving government documents so that they can be located and considered for release to requesters.”  The Republicans, who pursued a meaningless, costly, dead-end investigation into Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!, would generally considered to me by permanently, not temporarily, insane.  However, it seems they might be on to something with investing one last investigation into Hillary, and the lack of transparency – the inability to respond to FOIA requests – during her time as Secretary of State.

I’d rather not belabor the point on the emails, but every time I look up there’s more sources on the issue.  A the end of June it was revealed that another 165 pages of emails of Hillary’s were discovered (some of which had been deleted); the important part being that I agree “‘I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want,’ doesn’t strike me as Clinton simply wanting convenience and following the instructions of her IT people on how to make that happen. It reads to me as though Clinton is both far more aware of the email setup and far more engaged in how it should look than she generally lets on publicly.”

We have now reached a point – a point we had not reached when this writing began – where Donald Trump (known sometimes as Drumf, or some variation of his name, so as not to garner more ‘hits’ online) has received the Republican nomination, Bernie has endorsed Hillary, and Hillary has chosen Senator Tim Kaine to be her running mate – both the endorsement and the running mate selection have occurred before the Democratic Convention.

In a sane world Republicans, from moderate to Tea Party, would be flocking to support Trump and most Democrats, moderate to very progressive, would have resigned themselves (the more progressive the less so) to Hillary.  But this article is titled Temporary Insanity, and that’s what we’re experiencing.

I surmise that most Tea Party Republicans support Trump, and are likely to vote for him November.  More moderate Republicans – especially the ones who don’t have a career to lose over it – are less less likely to support Trump, and maybe, a little likely to support Clinton.  She hopes so, because she’s targeting them.

Then, with the vitriol coming from Trump, you would expect that those Democrats – mainly progressives – who are otherwise turned off by Hillary, you’d expect support for Clinton to increase after Trump’s nomination.  Instead, as soon as Bernie endorsed Hillary it backfired on the Democrats, and Jill Stein (Green Party) received record donations and support from Bernie supporters (Stein and the Green Party has an almost identical platform to Bernie’s).

There are those that beg you to never vote third party, and there are those that propound that a Trump presidency would be better than a Clinton one.  There are also those who try to use reason to convince “the other side” of real issues that need to be addressed  (This article, I’ve heard, was posted on Huffington Post, and removed, so it ended up on the linked website).  It all sounds kind of temporarily insane.

In this anti-establishment year it appears the progressive (or, more properly, the non-regressive) part of the Democrat Party would consider splitting the vote and risking a Trump presidency.  I don’t advocate the thought, but at the same time will tell you that I’m with the #NeverHillary crowd, and never means never.  At the time I can’t tell you what I, and the many (tens of thousands/millions) that agree with me, will do in three months.  Indeed, there are articles that question whether Bernie supporters will back Hillary, should that time come, but no answer is provided.

Admittedly, people are not very good at predicting what they will do in the future. “‘People have ideas about how they’re going to behave that don’t necessarily end up being the case when they’re faced with that eventual reality,’ said Kim Nalder, a professor of government at California State University, Sacramento.”

The same article suggests that one way for Hillary to win over Bernie voters might be to pick a vice-presidential candidate with progressive credentials.  She failed even at this .  Her pick – again, I remind you this was made before the Democratic National Convention, which hasn’t happened yet (and Clinton still does not, and cannot acquire before the Convention the requisite number of delegates to clinch the Convention) – is Tim Kaine, Senator from Virginia, who describes himself as boring.  The leaders of the online Bernie movement, and progressives in general, are not impressed; Kaine is anti-abortion, and supports the reviled Trans Pacific Partnership deal (sometimes called NAFTA on steroids), which even Hillary Clinton has claimed to oppose, after supporting it.  Some has suggested the pick was to impressive the moderate Republicans Clinton hopes to persuade.  It appears she has no need for progressives; again, it appears a matter of temporary insanity.

I understand that the Hillary supporters are against Trump, and want to make sure he loses. They make somewhat sensible arguments about how a Democrat must pick the next Supreme Court judges, not Trump.  I’d rather vote for something.  If I could take Hillary at her word, it would make things easier, but she just wiffle-waffles, and it is rarely clear what she means – although I am sure she will always favor the corporation.

The Clinton campaign – and her supporters – are pushing the boogeyman Trump, and the arguments being “peddled are very poorly constructed. They rely on a mix of fear and bias toward the near.”  The argument is that the Democratic and Republican Parties are fundamentally different; they’re not.  Both pursue neoliberalism (read: trickle-down economics), and it’s not working.  ” Instead, this results in widening inequalities and it makes it increasingly difficult for ordinary people to continue to provide the ever-increasing amount of consumption the economy requires without borrowing increasingly large sums of money.”

I’d rather not see Trump win the general election, and it worries me that Hillary polls so badly that she is now tied with Trump in polls.  Her number are declining, not his increasing.  Clinton could still win the general election, if she can she can first win – or, if you’d like cajole her way to winning – at the Democratic Convention, but the prospect is actually declining.

Many argue multiple reasons not to vote for Clinton; they acknowledge terrible consequences – Trump, Trump appointing Supreme Court members – of not voting for Clinton, assuming she is the nominee, and still will not vote for her.  Economic reasons, racial reasons, international concerns are cited .. the list goes on.

Indeed, Bernie Sanders listed as perhaps the reason why he must work with Hillary (after endorsing her) was to defeat Trump – although he acknowledged that is just one of many issues to be addressed.  If responses online could be an indication, his supporters were not impressed.

Common knowledge says that Bernie endorsed Hillary.  The temporary insane mind, thinks, then, either that campaign is over or that it’s not over (it depends on which candidate you root for).  Chris Cilliza, who is generally respected by “the left,” agrees a rational mind might hear it that way, but (but!) the endorsement speech was more a “a celebration of Bernie Sanders by Bernie Sanders and for Bernie Sanders (and his supporters),” in which Bernie said endorsing once in the speech, and talked mostly about the record turnout and enthusiasm his campaign had generated.  Some endorsement!

Maybe those voting for Hillary are suffering from temporary insanity; maybe those who will not are suffering from temporary insanity.

Maybe those voting for Bernie are suffering from temporary insanity; maybe those who will not are suffering from temporary insanity.

This could become a treatise on what inspires politics, morality, and economics, but that might become boring very quickly.  The point is that there are actual issues that do drive, and have driven, this election year, which sadly has given rise to The Donald.  I still am never going to vote for Trump, but there’s a reason why people are so disenchanted with Clinton: she’s part of the system – the neolilberolist system – that just isn’t working for people.

I’d like to think just the Bernie supporters have gone temporarily insane among the Democrats, this election year.  However, I’ve heard some strange things from otherwise intelligent (<- here, I pass judgement) Democrats (who also happen to be Hillary supporters).  I’ve heard that it’s the same 10,000 people that follow Bernie from stop to stop so that his crowd looks big.  On a more serious issue, I’ve heard that all this stuff about emails and laws were only written after Hillary left office.  I mentioned the lack of public record, which would be acquired under FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) of 1966.  Last I checked, Clinton was Secretary of State from 2009-2013.  I concluded, in a rather judging way, that I must be in the presence of stupid people if they believed the things they were telling me. …




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Representatives voting against your interest – and theirs


The following is a letter to the editor that didn’t get published because it’s “too long.”:


We have a smart and (ha-ha) funny Congressman in Derek Kilmer.  He grew up in Port Angeles and it feels like he really cares about this area: trying to balance the economic and environmental interests in our community.  But there’s something missing.  Kilmer is in favor of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a kind of NAFTA-on-steroids bill.  It’s somewhat unclear what the TPP would do, because it’s been written behind closed doors by corporations, and is allowed only an up-or down vote in Congress.
However, we do know some things about the TPP.  It would ship jobs overseas (if there are any left to send).  It would let corporations sue our government in arbitration courts (where the corporation is always correct)   According to “The Trans-Pacific Partnership clause everyone should oppose” (Washington Post, Feb. 25, 2015) the same lawyers who represent a corporation can be a judge on the next corporation v. government case.
Also according to the Washington Post, this has already happened.  Recently.  See “TransCanada is suing the U.S. over Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. The U.S. might lose.” (Jan, 8, 2016).  A suit for $15,000,000,000 (15 billion dollars).
Patty Murray and Derek Kilmer are both in favor of giving Obama “fast-track” authority to negotiate the TPP, which goes around the point of Congress.  Both of them, along with Larsen DelBene, were denied an endorsement by the Washington State Labor Council
It’s not only about the Trans Pacific Partnership.  Murray and Kilmer are both up for election  this  year, and both committed their super-delegate vote to Clinton before any other contestants entered the race, and have never reconsidered, despite the fact that Washington went for Sanders 73% to Clinton’s 27%, in the caucuses where delegates are assigned.  They have also disregarded the fact that Sanders does better in the polls (beats Trump by 10-15%) than Clinton does (see Real Clear Politics).
There has been little news published about challengers to Murray or Kilmer.  Phil Cornell is a Democrat running against Murray.  He is against the TPP, in favor of single-payer healthcare, and against the super delegate system.
Derek Kilmer has three challengers; perhaps because he didn’t take a stand on TPP, or remained an unpledged super delegate.  According to Tyler Vega’s website (he prefers the Green Party, and is running against Kilmer), Vega has suspended his campaign, and has joined Paul Nuchim (preference: Democrat) in endorsing the other progressive challenger to Kilmer: Mike Coverdale (prefer: Independent).  In an unusual year, candidates are coordinating to break the hold on our two-party system.
Mike Coverdale calls for overturning Citizens United, is against the TPP, and wants to get money out of politics.
So, who will you vote for?  The incumbents who won’t commit to representing and protecting the people, or the challengers who will represent the people of Washington, and the North Olympic Peninsula?

Live blog of the Washington State Dem Party Convention and a further summary


Below this live blog you will find a summary of this caucus, the caucus and election process in general, and the election chaos of this year.

Senator Merkley of Oregon was the keynote speaker.  As one of the few – very few – Senators that has endorsed Bernie Sanders there was some excitement when he spoke, specifically when he called for “free” -that is, publicly funded – college.  Then oil independence.  And other progressive issues.

Moving on to the rules, there was a lengthy challenge to the motion to adjourn, regarding the time it would take to consider resolutions.  A motion to extend the time for resolutions was rejected, based on an issue for time.  The argument is that we will always have ability to reject a motion to adjourn.

We are now stuck on an amendment to allow an endorsement of a presidential candidate.  With a state that went 73% for Bernie in the precinct caucuses, and has continued to do that, the Hillary Clinton camp is a little upset.

The motion to allow an endorsement of a presidential candidate passed.   To be endorsed a candidate would take a 2/3 vote.

Voting on accepting the rules as amended.  Several questions from the floor regarding the 2/3 vote to allow endorsement of presidential candidate, or a simple majority to do that (701 people)

Noel Frame as temporary chair…

Motion to change endorsement of president to delegates “present and voting” be sufficient is being considered.

..And passed after challenge to vote count.

and a lunch break …

We resume with a motion to amend Rule 24, Endorsements of Presidential candidates, again, by a Hillary supporter.  Entire portion to be stricken not yet clarified.

Now a continued discussion of limiting time of speakers.  This issue is already in the Rules and is being followed … but people are confused and/or dragging out the time

We have now ended debate on the rules.  And accepted the rules

Final Credential Report: Sanders 690 delegates; Clinton 270 delegates; 960 total seated delegates.

Permanent Chair: Noel Frame by acclamation

Coming up, selection of Presidential Electors

Almost two hours later, the votes for Presidential Elector is being collected.

Moving on to charter and bylaw amendments, while Elector vote is tally.

At about 5:30 a run-off vote happened for Elector.  Results not in.  But the second place finisher will be the alternate.

Still several by-laws and charter amendments to cover, at 5:30. ..

Considering suspending the debate of by-laws, an move on to platform.

Now debating rule  regarding the endorsement of a presidential candidate.  Mentioned above, and now being debated.

The vote needs only a majority vote to pass.

Theoretically, Washington State just endorsed Bernie Sanders.  But a Hillary supporter called for division, so that the motion requires a count, if the motion get 50 votes to second the motion. … The motion to endorse Sanders still needs only a majority.

Final Announcement: Washington State Democratic Party just Endorsed Bernie Sanders   564 vote yes.  Two hundred and something against

Now an motion introduced to endorsed both Sanders and Clinton.

People are both intentionally and unintentionally wasting time in this Convention.

This motion failed.  528 no votes.  Another couple hundred yes votes.

We haven’t finished charter and by-laws amendments, but are jumping around, hearing from the platform committee.  While all very interesting, we’re supposed to be out of the room in 20 minutes.

At 6:50 we have adopted the platform as written.  It is possible to come back and amend them.

A motion to strike a part of Military plank regarding the draft.  The motion to strike a motion in favor of the draft was approved … by a lot.

Adjournment for the night impending …

I am aware this blog didn’t update well.  That was a result of hundreds of people trying to be on the same wifi at the same time.  I hope it is now updated.  More thoughts will come.

The second day of the convention was all about selecting delegates.

Here follows a synopsis of caucus process in Washington State and other States. …

I wrote, referring to Congressional District level caucuses, last month “[t]he process is like a combination of a popularity contest and an exercise in extroversion. There are some, I know, who dreaded even the precinct caucuses because they are introverts, but felt like completing their civic duty and showed up nonetheless”  (I am not ‘admin’).  This statement holds true through all levels of the process, including the nomination of a party candidate.

People are elected to elect other people to be elected.  The State Committeemen (and -women) elect the PLEO and at-large delegates (description to follow). … The Committeemen are selected every two years in each county, by the Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) in each County.  At precinct caucuses – every presidential year – the PCOs run their precinct caucuses to elect people to go to the County Convention, which elects people to go to the Congressional Caucuses and (the same people) to go to the State Convention, to try to be elected to the National Convention.

Sound simple.

The Committeemen are used to elect the delegates because asking the 1400 expected voting delegates (the final count of those signed in was 960) would add several hours to counting votes.  Okay.

The PLEO delegates, referred  to above, are Party Leaders and Elected Officials.  It was up to those people running to declare that they wanted to run in advance, and to have a speech ready that was under one minute and would tell us all – especially the voting Committeemen – why they should be sent to Philadelphia.  I was listed to run as a PLEO – in theory I am a Party Leader and Elected official, as a PCO and a member of county executive board – but several people were removed from the list.  Because of the unexpectedly large number of people running (really, the party didn’t expect this (not sure if here I put a ‘?’ or a note of sarcasm) ), the state party asked the Clinton and Sanders campaigns to narrow down the list of people who would run.

The night before people ran for PLEO or at-large delegates the Sanders campaign emailed the people who would run for a position.  I’ve heard the Clinton campaign sent an email several hours earlier.  I got an email saying I could run as an at-large delegate.  The next day, Sunday, I arrived, ready, with a speech I’d prepared a week in advance.  A friend and advisor pointed out to me that I was also on the list to run for PLEO.  … I prepared a second speech – I had several hours to do this.  When they got to the list of men running for PLEO, which was after the Clinton PLEO speeches, they removed some names from the list that, which, according to the state party, were accidentally put there.  Mine was among the names stricken from the list.

At the Congressional District Caucus, a month earlier, “[a]s alternate #1 I had some expectation I might be seated. Indeed, I was. But the credential committee made a mistake, and sat me as a delegate, then called me over and told me ‘whoops, you’re not a delegate.’ So I was unseated.”  I don’t think it was about me, and I don’t think it’s anything intentional.  I think we have a deeply flawed system which was designed, at best, for minimal turnout and formality of the process.  (A conversation today concluded that we have system designed, at best, for off-year elections with minimal turnout).

Anyway, no big deal.  I could still run as an at-large delegate.  It would just be a few hours of speeches for PLEO and then Clinton at-large delegates.

An at-large delegate is just a regular delegate that may or may not be a Party Leader or Elected Official.

So 60+ men and almost 50 women ran for 10 male and 6 female Sanders at-large positions.  Each person got a minute to speak.  Pretty much everyone talked about how they were the best person since Noah and his Ark, and how each of them had a sad story.  “So send me!”

Let me back up a little.  As I said above, in the summary, 960 people were voting, and 1400 were expected.  So a majority vote, in some cases, like amending the charter, required 701 votes (1400 / 2 + 1), while other votes were simply a majority of the voting body.  So, to amend the charter, which came second on the agenda of actual procedure – just after amending and passing rules – required 701 or more votes, for each of the ten charter amendments.  The tally committee had to count the votes, which meant about ten minutes per amendment, once the voting started – plus the time it took to debate the pros and cons of the amendments.

Not mentioned in this brief overview of the votes is the time added in with points of inquiry, points of privilege, or any other Roberts Rules of Order points, plus the time it might take to consult with the parliamentarian.

At the rate just mentioned, it would take more than an hour and a half to get through charter amendments.

Mentioned above, in the live blog, several times, was Rule 24, which involved the endorsement of a presidential candidate.  The Rule originally said “Except as otherwise provided in these rules, the Convention shall not endorse candidates.  Positions on initiatives may be taken only through properly submitted resolutions.”

It was amended significantly to allow the endorsement of a presidential candidate.  I don’t have the exact words….
As mentioned in the live blog, Washington State Democrats endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.  There was also a motion to endorse Sanders and Clinton, which failed at the same ratio as the motion to endorse Sanders passed – approximately 2 to 1.

The motion to endorse Sanders also called for a press release, which has been issued and isn’t at all what the Sanders camp intended (we should have been specific  with the wording).  It reads:

TACOMA – Delegates to the Washington State Democratic Party’s State Convention endorsed Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders for President this evening. The symbolic endorsement does not change the number of Sanders delegates from Washington State to the Democratic National Convention.

“It’s not surprising, due to the support and enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders at our caucuses,” said Jaxon Ravens, Washington State Democrats Chair. “I’m glad they could make their voices heard. However, Hillary Clinton will be our nominee, and we will do all that we can to ensure Donald Trump never becomes President.”

Perhaps we should have required that someone besides Jaxon Ravens, a super-delegate pledged to Clinton,  be the main character in the release.  But wait!  All of the super-delegates in Washington are pledged to Clinton, even though the State voted 73% in favor of Sanders at the caucuses, which assign delegates.

Also, the terse release reads a lot like an article in the Seattle Times, which notes that Sanders gets most of the delegates, but the super-delegates are pledged to Clinton, who is the “presumptive nominee” – a title that is like being the presumptive winner of a baseball game that hasn’t been played yet.

In fact, the press release and the Seattle Times article read a lot like most of the mainstream media, which propounds the talking points the associated press, and the few corporations that own more than 90% of the media.

This is the same media that colluded to call the election in California before it happened, although they instead went for calling the whole Democratic election instead, the night before the California election.

They did this based on a survey of those aforementioned super-delegates.  Super-delegates are unpledged delegates not committed to a candidate until the National Convention.  Even at the National Convention, super-delegates don’t vote until it’s clear that the pledged delegates are split and cannot pick a nominee.

Super-delegates are Senators, Representatives, Governors, and members of State Central Committees (chair of the state party, for instance).

Let me repeat, they don’t vote until July at the National Convention, but Hillary Clinton was declared “presumptive nominee” based a survey of people who don’t vote until July, and are unpledged.

It’s not just broadcast media that has an agenda.  Google has been accused of burying articles that are negative to Clinton.  This was in the Washington Post, no less, among several other sources.

Also, as I mentioned, California had a primary election recently – just after the race was called in Clinton’s favor, based on a survey of super-delegates.  They are still several hundred thousand votes to count in California.  The CA Secretary of State frequently updates the vote count; the vote count itself shows Sanders about 500,000 votes down, fluctuating from about 510,00 to 480,00 vote differential, while the Sanders generally increases .1% point, and Clinton maintains or loses .1% point – mathematically it makes sense.

What does not make sense is that Google is has never updated the election resultsSurely they’d want to keep people informed of the changes – that’s what they do, and on any other election night up to now this year Google has been good at updating results.

Neither, to my knowledge, has any other source.  I checked The Guardian for ten days – surely a British paper, who happily produced the election results, would update them.  Apparently not!

It has been apparent this election year, even more than most years, that the media is not only biased, but actually disinterested in informing its audience of any significant news.

Last week it was revealed that Russia had hacked into the DNC (Democratic National Committee) and has been reading their files for more than a year, undetected.  Now, you could take away from that the Russia is really really interested in Trump, and they hacked the DNC to read about Trump because how else could they find out about a billionaire with holdings all over the world.

What the DNC, and the media, barely mentioned, was that the hacked files also show that the DNC has also been working with and colluding with the Clinton campaign.  According to one article, “[an] email also suggested collusion with media networks to push Hillary Clinton as the party’s eventual nominee, and anchors for national cable news networks may have broadcasted DNC talking points spoon-fed to them by Democratic Party operatives.”

Speaking of Trump, even the Washington Post reported that Bill Clinton and Trump talked before Trump entered the race to become president.  Trump is, of course, the “presumptive nominee,” after driving even the most conservative Republican mad with his conservatism and blasphemy.

It has long been suspected – and not just by me – that the Clintons encouraged Trump to run so that Hillary would have an easier race.  Indeed, Trump didn’t expect it to make it this far – he expected to get some delegates and attention, but nobody thought it would be this easy to obliterate the Party of Lincoln.

Washington is not the only state that had a convention this weekend.  In Idaho they had a convention, and a friend described it thus, talking also about the political process in general:

Sometimes systems need to break down entirely before they can be rebuilt. I’ve learned this is a frequent occurrence.

I think it’s time for me to more properly speak to the experience I’ve had over the last few days.

For the last few days I was a Delegate on behalf of Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention in Idaho. I’m not sure I’ve completely thrown in my hat for the party but I saw and felt a great many things and I do maintain that I am and always have been a progressive liberal.

Democracy is messy and is in essence a cycle of build ups and breaks downs. Someone moves for a resolution (a party concession), usually the resolution isn’t perfect, we have to break it down, fix the language by way of word-smithing and have to re-tailor the ideas presented in the resolution. Are we demanding or requesting? Do we want to legalize, ban, decriminalize? There’s such a large degree of arguing and shouting that one can feel is just steps away from kicking and screaming at times, but you realize at the end of it that we all want one thing. We want quality of life in whatever capacity it is that we view quality to be the highest. Even the conservatives across the isle from me want that……and the libertarians, and the anarchists……even fringe presidential candidates like Vermin Supreme. We all want we perceive will improve quality of life. Some of it just want it for ourselves some of it want good will for everyone.

In democracy there are two main ways to deal with and approach an issue. One is to work with an issue and continually tweak and modify your approach to it as a governing body or a team until an agreement or compromise is reached. The other way, which unfortunately I am seeing more in the efforts of the senate, or lack thereof, by the ruling majority and their leadership, is to simply gridlock, filibuster, and block efforts. I will return to this point.

In my 3 days among the Idaho Democrats I saw spats. We spent hours at first debating, protesting, suggesting, and amending language in ideas in resolutions to the point that we pass one half of one resolution within the first 3 hours. But we learned from our mistakes and corrected our future resolutions in advance, used more sophisticated language, made our points better, and improved grammar, saving ourselves hours on the next few. As time went on and we were able to make decisions in a more concise. All of this, the constant input, and checks and balances, build ups and breakdowns, followed by more buildups, while seeming a little harsh and divisive at first made us a more united front as we came to understand each others needs for great quality of life, at times even incorporating them into our own values.

In the end after many hours of listening to each other we met with the platform committee, and in a very civil manner we simply offered amendments to the previous platform. The platform committee then word-smithed all of our ideas together. For those of you who don’t know what a platform is, that is the party’s official mission statement until the next time they convene again to change it, years into the future. It’s a big deal.

When it was released it was PERFECT. I felt like Bernie would have been proud of us. I don’t feel that in every meeting in every party, people are moved to tears by a platform. This platform was filled with the spirit of democracy and good will towards others and their quality of life. It has been deemed the most progressive platform in the state of Idaho to date. Tears were shed in joy, cheers filled the hall. There was a accumulative feeling between delegates of all candidates of bliss.

A true mural of the voices can only be achieve with a push and pull of the values of all. By bumping values up against each other, discarding some, placing some next others, and combining a few. This is how progress is made, when all voice are heard. We were all elected officials by the state of Idaho, and we did our job.

This is better than one can ever hope for from the current congress who won’t vote on judges, who won’t pass laws, who’s last major act of “duty” was to extend their own vacation, all on the taxpayer’s dollar.

My long time friend, Jeremy, an independent as far I can tell, once told me that it is a good liberal’s’ job to step on the gas pedal and move change, while it is the job of a good conservative to put on the break. I believe these are both important functions when driving a car or a nation. It is the essence of a system of checks and balances. However one must keep in mind when driving a car or a nation that if they wish to move either forward both are needed and using the brake.

The car/nation is moving too slow to meet the needs of the many. We are not making it to work on time in this car. We are too late and if we continue at the slow speed were are in danger of being crushed by a faster object, vehicle, or simply because, as I often find, people who move slowly, don’t look where they are going.

In the spirit of democracy I must insist to you, and to all my friends that you help me vote responsible progressive legislators into the 88% of seats that are up for grabs, the breaks will still be there, but we need to step on the gas again.

As to our presidential candidates. I am unapologetically for Bernie or bust. I consider the presumptive nominees to be bust. I can not stand behind a democratic candidate that wins by way of a rigged system, voter suppression, dark money, media suppression and manipulation, and the merits of her husband. It also really doesn’t help that I don’t know what her platform agenda is because she repeatedly flip flops and fails to make clear what her true platform is.

As for Trump I don’t think I need to explain to anybody why we can’t have that bigoted fascist in office.

I originally stood for Bernie because my number one priority is the environment. As I told the people of Canyon County Idaho as I ran to be one of their delegates on behalf of Sen. Sanders; your social issues all need to be addressed, but first we need a planet to live on. When we and our children all suffer and/or die due to a completely preventable environmentally cataclysmic event. I’m pretty sure our social issues will be put on the wayside. But I also stand for Sanders because he puts ethics first and does his best to insert others in government who will champion income equality, racial equality, equality for gender and sexual orientation, nationality, etc. “Ethics first”, as my new friend A.j. Konda, likes to say.

But all in all, no matter what happens at the National Democratic convention, one of these three candidates is going to win and a change will come about. We will either build it up through Bernie Sanders, we will break it down through the destructive actions of Donald Trump, or we will woman up or stay pretty much the same with Hillary Clinton. If it falls apart we will take the opportunity to build again like never before, so take heart, THIS IS NOT OVER AND AS LONG AS WE FIGHT TOGETHER IT NEVER WILL BE! I firmly believe this no matter who wins though I would strongly prefer to just build.

I feel that at the convention we elected strong candidates to go in the spirit of building and progress. National delegates who will fight for our Idaho platform of equality for all through the convention and beyond, intelligently, eloquently, and most of all passionately. I am proud to have been a delegate for the Democratic party, despite the slight dichotomy in our beliefs it seems to me that the party might be headed in a good direct due in no small part to the influence of Senator Sanders. It was my pleasure to vote for him in 2008 for senate and I will vote for him until the end of time.

I feel like my eyes are more open and apparently so is my throat as I spill these utterances into the air and onto the page. I am now willing to ride the waves, get involved systems buildups and system breakdowns, work with others, and make my voice heard so it with the utmost gratitude that think of these people.

The woman who came up to me and told me I was intelligent, and asked me to please run for delegate. Mel who stayed with me all night while I ran for delegate and even counted ballots. The delegates who came with me and had my back from Canyon county and the hundreds of other wonderful delegates I met along the way. Kris and Bob from the Clinton camp who always encouraged my critical thinking and continually asked hard questions. The people running for local office who had time to take an interest in my opinions. Traeger and Stephanie who hosted me in their apartment for a night when I wasn’t able to go home. Sally Boynton Brown and Chairman Burt Marley who put together an extraordinary convention, as well as all of the staff under them, and the platform committee. I am truly humbled by this experience and will use it to help foster the next chapter in my life.

Thank you for your time.*

(I corrected some spelling, and removed a few words.  I did not change the essence of what my friend wrote.)

I must join him in saying I too join hundreds of thousands of people in being unabashedly Bernie-or-bust.  Watching voters being stricken from the roles, by the party I grew up to believe in, and change those voters to registered in the other party – a significant number, if not all, of the people who had their voter ID changed happened to be Sanders supporters.  This happened to occur not long after NGP VAN, which runs the database voterbuilder, discovered a data breach that just happened to have given the info of the Sanders supporters to the Clinton campaign.

Okay, so that’s one error, and it could be a mistake.  However, I’ve already talked about the complicity of the media, and people caught screenshots of votes disappearing during primaries.  As I’ve already shown, the DNC (read: Clinton) has worked with the media to promote Clinton’s campaign

Then there’s the issue of policy.  Clinton is under an  FBI “criminal investigation” into her used a private server while being the Secretary of State, which actually worrying, because all evidence, such as the depositions of those who worked with her show a blatant disregard for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, or just plain retaining a record of what they did.  That makes me wonder what she would do. …

Clinton also flip-flops on every issue, and I can’t tell whether she’s for or against fracking, bombing, social security, single-payer healthcare, and dozens of other issues … but I am sure that she is beholden to Wall Street and big money, even if she won’t release the transcripts showing exactly why she was payed $600,000 for a three hour conversation with big banks.

The only reason she might not be releasing the transcripts is that it might end her campaign.  We might never know; she’s as reluctant to tell us what she stands for as Trump is to release his tax returns (i.e. it’s not going to happen, which should make us wonder)

This started out as a summary of two days at a convention where the goal was to pass a platform of what we stand for, and elect delegates to promote those values at a national convention.  Unintentionally, this became a long discourse on the state of affairs in our political system.

I will end my thoughts from the same writing of mine that began this summary.  I concluded thus:

This is a confusing, tiring process. But look at what happened with too many primaries across the country: voters stricken from rolls, party ID’s changed, waiting hours to vote – indeed, all the things we make fun of “second” and “third” world countries for doing in their elections – and I conclude that I prefer our Caucus system. It’s hard to rig. But if you can think of a more convoluted process to select delegates, suggest it! People will love it.