Mike Gravel 2020

‘2020 primary rock; finally, an 88-year-old presidential candidate that can out-insult Trump on Twitter’, Claud Cockburn, spectator.us (h/t Café Babylon denizen Greyson Smythe)

“Gravel’s announcement was an unorthodox one: he created a Twitter account late last night, alerting everyone to his intentions and linking to his website, which at that point was not live. ‘I am considering running in the 2020 Democratic primary,’ he tweeted. ‘The goal will not be to win, but to bring a critique of American imperialism to the Democratic debate stage. The website (http://mikegravel.org ) is under construction. Official announcement will be in the coming days.’

What can a little-known former senator, who is a decade older than Bernie Sanders, offer to the voters? Cockburn has been closely following Gravel’s Twitter account as he fields questions…and early signs indicate that the answer is ‘fight, and a lot of it.’

What about the front-runners, you ask? ‘i sure do hope the faucets at @JoeBiden’s house are strong, with the amount of Iraqi blood on his hands #Gravel2020 #GravelGang’.

And he’s not afraid to point out pandering hypocrisy either: ‘#KillerKamalaHarris just came around to supporting marijuana legalization, even though she smoked it herself in college. Meanwhile, I’ve served as the CEO of two marijuana companies. #GravelGang #Gravel2020’

While Gravel says he has no chance of winning and simply wants to get to the debates, he also seems eager to borrow some of Andrew Yang’s meme magic. ‘Hmm…#GravelGang. I like the sound of that,’ he tweeted at 1 a.m.

Who’s behind the #Gravelanche? One user asked the senator why his campaign seemed to be headquarterted in Westchester, N.Y. ‘The teenagers who convinced me to run live there,’ he answered. A Politico reporter spoke to Gravel himself on the phone, who said ‘It is a group of students … who have the idea I should run. … They’re working on that, they’re going to be coming out here to California to meet with me.’

From opensecrets.org/news:  ‘Hoping to influence the Democratic debates, former Senator Mike Gravel seeks 65,000 donors’, a few outtakes:

“Gravel, an Army veteran, served as senator from Alaska from 1969 to 1981 where he was often described as a maverick. Gravel, a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War and progressive voice on foreign policy, gained national attention for reading the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971 as the New York Times Co v. U.S. Supreme Court case was being argued. After losing re-election in 1981, to the father of current Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Gravel became an advocate for direct democracy and recently served as the CEO of a marijuana company.”

“Gravel, who also ran in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, writes on his campaign site that “we’re not asking for your vote, and we’re not planning on contesting any primaries.” Instead, Gravel wants to reach the 65,000 donor threshold and qualify for the debates to push “a critique of American militarism, plutocracy, and inaction on climate” and “say what establishment candidates won’t.”

“Gravel’s admitted focus on getting enough donors to qualify for the debates and to “expand the Overton window in the Democratic Party, pushing the dialogue leftward” appear to be part of a strategy to attract younger, online-orientated donors. His Twitter page, which started tweeting on March 19, is full of jokes along with pointed liberal criticisms of fellow Democratic primary contenders.”

From his exploratory committee’s ‘Why Mike Gravel’ page:

“Sen. Gravel is willing to leverage the national stage such a moment would give to say what establishment candidates won’t, whether on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the Saudi-led mass murder in Yemen, or the need to immediately end the War on Drugs.

Unlike every time-server and grifter in the Democratic race, Sen. Gravel has done significant things for this country. The son of immigrants, Sen. Gravel served as a first lieutenant in the Army before earning his B.S. in Economics from Columbia University. He moved to Alaska, absolutely broke, and in 12 years was elected to represent it in the U.S. Senate. In the Senate, he gained attention for his steadfast opposition to the war in Vietnam. He filibustered draft legislation during the Vietnam War, attempting to end it; read the Pentagon Papers into the public record, at tremendous risk to himself; urged the normalization of relations with China; and supported the Inuit community. After leaving the Senate in 1981, Sen. Gravel lobbied for direct democracy and against war, also serving as the CEO of a marijuana company.

By no means is Sen. Gravel perfect. He’s made votes he regrets deeply; he’s declared bankruptcy due to the cost of medical procedures; his career in public service has had its share of missteps. The New York Times‘ profile of Sen. Gravel declared him “tenacious, persevering and very stubborn…inclined to extremes and to impulsive actions.” But Sen. Gravel, like the Biblical prophet Jeremiah, cares deeply about this country, deeply enough to criticize its excesses. Sen. Gravel is a true progressive.”

“After getting in the first two debates and issuing the all-important critique of our destructive American empire, Sen. Gravel would leave the race and endorse the frontrunner among progressive Democrats. The Sen. Gravel campaign would be unlike any other: it would truly be of the people and for the people. It would do its utmost to tear the veil off the bloody machinery of the American military-industrial complex. It would bring other candidates to task for their dirty dealings and unethical actions. It would talk about just how broken American politics is, and how we can fix it. That is why you should support a Gravel 2020 campaign.

Mike’s personal website (mikegravel.com) has six entries:

CITIZENS AMENDMENT to the CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES

Imperial Exceptionalism

Frontiers 134: Mike Gravel, A Political Paradox

Senator who released Pentagon Papers: Republicans are ‘cowards’ if they don’t release FISA memo

China Builds Bridges and Highways While the U.S. Mouths Slogans

Here’s Mike Gravel on Twitter on which he says that his exploratory site mikegravel.org is under construction, but includes among other things:

“He led the charge in normalizing relations with China and was a leading opponent of the Vietnam War, playing a pivotal role in helping end the draft.

Since leaving the Senate, he has focused on anti-war and pro-political reform advocacy, attracting national attention for his run in 2008. During his campaign, he pre-empted other major politicians in his progressivism: he was an early supporter of abolishing capital punishment, ending the War on Drugs, and legalizing same-sex marriage. Since 2014, he has served as CEO of two companies in the legal cannabis market.

Sen. Gravel is committed to ending America’s imperial policies (especially in Venezuela and Iran), rescheduling cannabis, fundamentally reforming our politics through direct democracy, abolishing mass surveillance on American citizens, prioritizing climate change, dismantling America’s carceral state, and building a foreign policy free of undue influence by Israel and Saudi Arabia.

If he were to run, he would aim not to win, but instead to qualify for the 2020 Democratic debates in order to send a message that no other candidate, not even Bernie Sanders or Tulsi Gabbard, is willing to issue. Our goal is to push the rest of the Democratic field toward policies, especially on political reform, climate change, and foreign policy, that, for the first time in decades, will truly challenge the American plutocracy and military-industrial complex.”

For any other inquiries, please contact contact@mikegravel.org.

We need your help! Donate to us hereAaaaand, the Donate here button goes nowhere (erewhon?).  Guess I’ll email them and ask whassup with that? Never mind; Mike said on the Twit Machine that he hopes the glitch will be fixed in two or three days…

@MikeGravel  ‘Wow! 25,000 followers in barely a day. Henry and David (we’re running this account) just want to say thanks for the huge outpouring – it’s been a shock. We spoke to the senator last night and he was elated and touched. It almost brought a tear to his eye. Thank you.’

@MikeGravel ‘Neoliberals want to maintain oligarchy with slight tweaks – like more diversity (wow, Northrop has a female CEO) – so that it’s easier to maintain in the long run. A real progressive movement must aim to dismantle oligarchy totally, uproot and destroy it. That’s Citizen Power.’

@MikeGravel  “How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle?…How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets?” – Smedley Butler, “War is a Racket”

@MikeGravel  “While I respect Bernie, I disagree with him strongly on this. John McCain was a war hawk who sent American youth to fight and die and never met a problem he didn’t think could be solved through invasion or intervention. The real heroes are those who fought for PEACE.”

@MikeGravel  “More The idea that this country has a true democracy is absurd. Everyone knows in their heart of hearts that we’re ruled by elites, Wall Street, etc. We need serious, fundamental political reform – real, direct democracy: a Legislature of the People to decide policy.”

@MikeGravel  “If you vote for the country to go to war, you should have to serve in the front lines in that war. I served in the U.S. Army, fiercely opposed the Vietnam War, helped end the draft. @JoeBiden never served and still saw fit to send this country’s kids to Iraq”

@MikeGravel  “The philosophical underpinning of the neoliberal project is @FukuyamaFrancis‘ thesis that civilization had reached its final stage with modern capitalistic democracy. In effect: rule by the elites. Fukuyama was wrong. The final stage is rule not by the elites but by the PEOPLE.”

@MikeGravel “The neoliberal style in politics means delivering, in a wrapping of lofty words, absolutely nothing. It’s the style that got us into Iraq in 2003, that destroyed our economy in 2008, that failed to effectively challenge Trump in 2016. Above all, It’s the style of @HillaryClinton.”

@MikeGravel  “To quote @ImmortalTech: “I’m not controversial, I’m just speakin’ the facts.” You don’t have to agree with everything I say to support the campaign. The goal is to get me in the debates to make a critique of imperialism and our broken political system, not to elect me president”

Gillibrand's reactionary rubbish war on drugs:

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Cassiodorus's picture

Inquiring minds want to know.

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9 users have voted.

"Who gives a f*ck? It's never really over." - Roger Waters

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

there's a hashtag, i'll try to remember to look for it. tulsi as anti-imperialst? i can't weigh in on his thoughts on that. bernie sure ain't as he's pointed out...

here it is: #YouAskGravelAnwers on twitter

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zoebear's picture

@wendy davis

Sit back and watch the neoliberal heads explode:

‘I am considering running in the 2020 Democratic primary,’ he tweeted. ‘The goal will not be to win, but to bring a critique of American imperialism to the Democratic debate stage.

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8 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

wendy davis's picture

@zoebear

; )

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Wally's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis

His twitter: "If Sen. Gravel runs, the goal will be qualifying for the first two debates and then dropping out with an endorsement of a solid progressive candidate, hopefully with policy concessions from them. Our goal is simple - shift the party leftward."

10:28 AM - 21 Mar 2019

https://twitter.com/MikeGravel/status/1108782403781304320

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wendy davis's picture

@Wally

i have no idea, and he may not yet, either. by my reckoning, he doesn't know enough about most of them yet to choose.

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@Wally Tulsi, Andrew and Liz will be nervously awaiting Gravel's momentous decision on endorsement. Last in congress nearly 40 yrs ago, and other than a brief, quirky appearance in the early 2008 debates, no one has heard much from him or thought much about him since. He has no base, no clout, isn't running to win, is 88 yrs old, and he's getting as many or more favorable posts here than Tulsi. Just wow.

So I went looking at YT to see what the guy looks and sounds like today -- would he be a complete embarrassment on the debate stage? Nada from the past 5 years I could find. But there is this from 6 yrs ago

. Well, at least he didn't talk about Reptilians secretly meeting with Obama and alien abductions. Funny thing, the more the video went on, I couldn't help but get a little intrigued by what he was saying. Maybe he should stick to the topic of ufo's visiting our planet on the debate stage, and leave the FP and regime change wars discussion for Tulsi. I might consider tossing him a few pesos to hear that discussed on nationwide tv

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Wally's picture

@wokkamile
From his twitter today (whose picture is missing?):

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Wink's picture

fuck, and has no
reason to give a fuck.
@wokkamile

We bros and his supporters couldn't care less
about Bernie's foreign policy or lack thereof,
or 'Imperialism.'

But I LOVE this guy getting in it!!
Somebody's gotta spank the party NeoLibs!

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2 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

dkmich's picture

@Cassiodorus @Cassiodorus

even better. I sent Gavel $5. Anyone who asks Obama's boy flunkie if his faucets are strong enough is worth $5 to me.

Update: 1. I had to update the subject line. It decided it was too long. 2. When I went over to give Gavel my money, Act Blue said he isn't ready yet, paraphrasing of course.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

OzoneTom's picture

@dkmich
We each have only one vote in a primary, but we can support more than one with donations.

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13 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@dkmich

many, not for all, not 4 me, but none of them are. but i've always liked mike. but yes, as i'd said in the OP (rather awkwardly) was that mike had said they'll likely have the glitch in the Donate button fixed in a few days.

note: mike is NOT in it to win.

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dkmich's picture

@wendy davis

I'm sure he's been on the wrong side of a ton of stuff.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

@dkmich with his past. He will be ignored. Like last time.

And frankly I haven't heard from him since last time (2008).

My only concern is, if he manages to make the first 2 debates, that in his old age and crankiness, he doesn't give the antiwar position a bad rep.

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dkmich's picture

@wokkamile

I know it couldn't be done with the people here, but then, we aren't typical.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Wally's picture

@dkmich @dkmich Crank it up, babies!

I was thinking bad thoughts about those Chapo Trap House whippersnappers. Not any more! Well, at least for now.

Thanks for your service, Wendy, et. al.!

One, two, three, many more Mike Gravels!

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wendy davis's picture

@wokkamile

have heard from gravel since 2008, but fortunately some of have. here he is on democracy now
on dec. 16, 2014 'Former Senator Mike Gravel: I Put the Pentagon Papers into Congressional Record for Public Benefit'. he again admits to making a procedural screw up, why his/their attorneys Plan B workeed. he briefly narrates the reasons ellsberg had chosen him to give a copy of the report, etc. and he did manage to read 4000 of the 7000 pages into the record:

"I had not slept, essentially, for three days. I really was scared stiff, because I didn’t know the consequences on myself as to what I was doing. And so, I broke out emotionally and was sobbing, got control of myself and then did the obvious thing, which was to ask unanimous consent to put it into the record. And, of course, since there was no one there to object, I said, “It’s done.” And that put the documents into the record of the subcommittee, which is a record of the Senate."

he also helped to end the draft, and has been a fierce fighter against the Imperialisn demonstrated in the pentagon papers (the lies that were told by johnnson and robert mcnamara told the public and congress).

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wendy davis's picture

@dkmich

been on the 'wrong side of a lot of stuff', as he's admitted noting several of them already. but let it come out in the debates (not that they're actual debates, but more like BS joint press conferences).

but for me, it was rather heroic of him to read the pentagon papers (the wiki) daniel ellsberg had leaked into the congressional record in 1971, at great cost to himself, as ellberg was about to be tried for treason, but the charges were later dropped due to the discoveries of nixon's watergate burglaries, etc.

here's a page from 1971 in which gravel amplifies what they were, and why he did so.

and as to another brave whistleblower who's been jail/prison again since march 8 due to her refusal to testify to the grand jury (assuming this is so):

and i don't give a fig that tulsi might feel constrained cuz she's a major in the national guard, myself.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Cassiodorus

on his diary about Tulsi. He was pointing out how she is speaking out against our wars and war crimes.

Sigh...remember when anyone who said something critical about Herheinous were accused of being sexist and misogynistic assholes? Now Tulsi is running and she is a woman and has a black father, and it's okay to say whatever the hell they want about her. The hypocrites don't even bat an eye at what they are saying.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Cassiodorus's picture

@snoopydawg https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/1/19/1827647/-In-Defense-of-Tulsi-...?

or this one?

https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2019/2/23/1837140/-Tulsi-is-Being-Delegit...?

I can't tell because I have somehow lost the ability to observe hide rates at Orange.

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"Who gives a f*ck? It's never really over." - Roger Waters

snoopydawg's picture

@Cassiodorus

I'll look for it soon.

This just blows my mind.

She seems like someone closer to Trump's views than most democrats.

What does she have in common with Trump? Non-interventionism? Are Democrats the pro-war party these days? The imperialist turn the DailyKos has taken since 2016 completely blows my mind.

Then there's her being praised by David Duke and Tucker even though she has spoken out against Duke. "Ex-KKK leader David Duke backs Tulsi Gabbard for president."

"I don’t care if she’s refuted it, no Democrat should ever get anything but hate and contempt from that man. His support speaks volumes. She deserves to be pushed aside."

OMG, she met with Trump and might have wanted a seat in his administration.

Yep. These two diaries prove my point. But not one person was called a misogynistic sexist. Like I said, hypocrites.

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9 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

snoopydawg's picture

@Cassiodorus

Tulsi is a Mutt

He blanked out mutt, but that was someone's excuse for hr'd it. The original draft was difficult to read but he cleared it up some. I'd tip it if I tipped there. Very few times will I throw a tip.

Raptivo said that she isn't the only one who is speaking out against our regime change wars, but I'm pretty sure he's wrong. No one is speaking out like she is. Bernie has gotten better, but he's nowhere near saying what Tulsi is.

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4 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Big Al's picture

but for this I would do it. He is the only politician that will speak the truth on U.S. imperialism and the absence of democracy.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

big al. iirc, he's the only candidate i'd ever sent bucks to back in the day, and both mr. wd and i plan to once the donate button glitch is fixed, but only as 2 of the 65000 needed.
; )

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Shahryar's picture

re: Gravel not being perfect

"he’s declared bankruptcy due to the cost of medical procedures"

That says a lot about the state of our medical system.

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wendy davis's picture

@Shahryar

give him a pass, then, although i don't grok why that's necessary, but...still. ; )

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

He was mine, even if I had to pencil him in in my state!

I was cautiously optimistic about Obama in 2008 - didn't expect him to be a miracle-worker, but I didn't expect Dubya's Mini-Me either - and Hillary was already of no interest to me (NEVER expected the depths of Bushian crookedness to come out of her in 2016, either), but I'd heard Gravel was a political superhero from the that extraordinary realm spoken of in elders' fables, the 1960s; sounded like The Right Stuff to me!

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15 users have voted.

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark....Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.” ― Ayn Rand

wendy davis's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

this comment! thank you! my sentiments exactly.

p.s. we're in the middle of another spring snowpocalypse again, and the lightning may wreak havoc on our wifi soon. power's blinking on and off.

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Lookout's picture

Sounds like he would add some needed content to the conversation. I look forward to learning more.

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13 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

#MeToo.

gotta shut down now, unplug the wifi cuz lightning's getting closer.

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EdMass's picture

if Andrew Yang can qualify for the debates why not Gravel?

How to get in? (from five-thirty-eight)

The party has capped the number of debate participants at 20, and to qualify to take the stage, a candidate will need to get at least 1 percent support in three national polls or polls of early primary states, or raise money from a minimum of 65,000 donors from 20 states, including at least 200 unique donors per state. If more than 20 candidates meet this criteria, the party will give preference to candidates who clear both the polling and fundraising thresholds, and if that’s still too many people, invitations will go to candidates who have the highest polling averages. And if the number of qualifying candidates is too unwieldy for a single debate, the Democratic National Committee said it’ll hold primary debates on multiple nights if necessary, assigning candidates randomly to the two debates rather than dividing them based on polling like Republicans did in 2016. The DNC told FiveThirtyEight in an email that this criteria only applies to the first two debates; later debates may have different thresholds for inclusion.

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Help me Mr. Wizard!

Drizzle, Drazzle, Druzzle, Drome;
Time for this one to come home.

Stop the War!

wendy davis's picture

@EdMass

very helpful. he seems to know that if past is prologue, his only way in is by way of the 65000 individual contributions.

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arendt's picture

its starting to look like Hyde Park Corner (Speaker's Corner), where any dingbat can set up a soapbox and hold forth.

Since I think genuine democracy died a while back in this country, I have no objection to Sen. Gravel joining the likes of Andrew Yang and a cast of a hundred other nobodies. What harm can come of it? He says he won't seek votes and will support the progressive candidates.

TPTB have set up the Dem primaries to splinter and discredit the progressives. They are laughing at us, treating us like the court jester. Well, Gravel is one jester that isn't afraid to kick the king in the balls.

You never know what is going to be the straw that breaks the MIC/Wall St. camel's back. So let Gravel speak.

Thanks immensely for this heads up!

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Wally's picture

@arendt I'm sure if Bernie gets close to the magic number, Gravel will help him out by releasing his delegates to him.

But wait, he probably won't get any delegates.

And sending money to a Dem of any stripe, hooda thought? Glad to see folks willing to get down and dirty in the sweat and grime of electoral politics.

Like the old saying goes, "There are no virgins in politics."

égalité!

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arendt's picture

@Wally

sending money to a Dem of any stripe, hooda thought?

He wants direct democracy

In 1989, Mike Gravel reentered politics.[19] He founded and led The Democracy Foundation, which promotes direct democracy.[127] He established the Philadelphia II corporation, which seeks to replicate the original 1787 Constitutional Convention in bringing direct democracy about.[128]

- Wikipedia, Mike Gravel

He will use any party to accomplish that goal.

On March 25, 2008, Gravel announced that he would leave the Democrats and join the Libertarian Party,[178][179] saying: "My libertarian views, as well as my strong stance against war, the military industrial complex and American imperialism, seem not to be tolerated by Democratic Party elites who are out of touch with the average American; elites that reject the empowerment of American citizens I offered to the Democratic Party at the beginning of this presidential campaign with the National Initiative for Democracy."

- Wikipedia, Mike Gravel

To characterize a man who last held office as a Democrat in 1981 (38 years ago) as a Democrat, who declared himself a libertarian in 2008, is IMHO a stretch.

He's such a crank he will make Bernie look moderate and polished. All to the good.

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Wally's picture

@arendt @arendt Gravel: "I am considering running in the 2020 Democratic primary."

He wants to get on the debate stage.

edit/change to: I'm not sending money to a guy with any association with Lyndon LaRouche nonsense.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/02/lyndon-larouche-death-lsc-conspiracy-...

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Big Al's picture

@Wally with the democratic party as the republican party and since Gravel isn't in it to win, donating money to him isn't necessarily getting "down and dirty" in electoral politics. I simply would like to see him say what he will say on a stage with the democratic party traitors to the American people. If he did make any Bernie like deal to transfer money to the dem party, deal's off for me. Thanks for the reminder, something to verify first before sending money.

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Wally's picture

@Big Al

Some of you think that may be ok but I'm gonna have to draw the line there.

He's also for charter schools and there's a more than a few even bigger problems in there, too.

See: https://jacobinmag.com/2019/02/the-utterly-bizarre-life-of-lyndon-larouche

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Big Al's picture

@Wally Similar to your stance, I draw the line with Tulsi Gabbard speaking at CFR events.
But ya, he's a libertarian so some of his views aren't going to be favorable to some of us. His appeal is his strong views against U.S. imperialism, which no one else in the democratic party comes close to, and his advocacy for direct democracy.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

needs to be in one amerikan monopoly dollar, if they add up to 65,000 of them. ; )

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis but one has to stand by their principles, no? I saw in his twitter feed the statement that you included above where he said his goal is to bring a critique of U.S. imperialism to the stage. But I also saw a couple other tweets where he said his goal was to move the democratic party leftward, and, his goal was to try to reform the democratic party and that when he dropped out he would support the best "progressive". Maybe he's getting overwhelmed on his first twitter feed, I don't know. Sure, I'd pay a buck or two to hear him say a couple things on stage, which is probably all he'll get to do if he gets to do it, but it didn't do much good in 2008 did it?
I saw he did say about Gabbard that he agrees with some of the things she's saying, but she's too weak on Israel, hasn't run an effective campaign and she doesn't speak bluntly enough (when asked why she isn't good enough like some others on here).

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

(or implied) i dunno that he knows what some of we know, including voting for X legislation, or in the dear colleagues letter turned into 'Dear sec. Pompeo', 'i support the war on terror', etc.

sleep well, mi amigo; tomorrow's another day.

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis all in all, it ain't gonna matter wd. I think you know that, not for what we need, i.e., revolution. If we think an 88 yr old politician aligning with the democratic party is going to sway anything related to imperialism or democracy, which is his other key interest, we're really, really desperate. My first reaction was a bit different, but after thinking it thru, that's what I come back to. It's all show without an independent movement against the oligarchy and duopoly.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

my friend, but i'd still like it if he got the 65000 contributions soon enough to take his anti-imperialism and direct democracy beliefs forward. he's been anti-war since the viet nam era, the pentagon papers were an epic exposé of the actual designs of the pentagon, and was the time of the only serious anti-war movement. crap, i remember when the secrets were blown about bombing cambodia, the streets of boulder, colorado just erupted with protestors, even folks walking out of their workplaces in suits, huge crowds of us filling the streets with rage and chants.

but i did get to thinking about gravel and capitalism; he seems to bet it as he'd mentioned smedley butler. ; )

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis I'll watch the numbers and if I'm needed, I'll donate. Certainly would rather him on stage than Gabbard who will support imperialism in the end.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

donate button again yet, maybe tomorrow, but both mr. wd and i reckon we'll each send him a fiver; we can at least afford that some weeks on our very fixed incomes.

someone upthread may have said they don't care about bernie's imperialism, although i admit i was kinda scanning the comments thread. yep, i know you and i agree on tulsi's brand of imperialism.

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis Some people just are not concerned with Bernie's blind spot regarding imperialism. I guess when compared to Clinton the Terrible, anything looks like antiwar to some. Gabbard's story will come out once she gets going (it already slowly is - like admitting Assad gassed his own people, etc., and wait till she talks about Crimea), but like with Bernie it won't matter much to their supporters. Like Trump said, he could walk down Pennsylvania Ave and shoot somebody and it wouldn't sway his supporters. That's the way it is with American politics.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

is a handmaiden of imperialism, yes? i'm haunted by the new progressives who'd voted for the House version of the defense of nato bill, and never did discover which Ds had vote for the senate version aside from bernie sanders, albeit it was framed as a 'sense of the senate non-binging resolution.

i've forgotten about tulsi and crimea, though, to say the truth. that must have been by way of 'russia stole crimea', i'm guessing? same for the Dear Secretary Pompeo' letter, calling maduro who killed unarmed protestors, stole his election illegally, no matter what the host of international observers claimed, then the signatories saying "but we don't support military intervention!" as some sort of virtue-signaling anti-war inoculation or something.

given your last quip about trump, i do see that you're more philosophical than i about blind spots; i just keep trying to understand them, and oh, what a quixotic undertaking that is. i'm reading a long, rather stream-of-consciousness piece by john steppling, weaving together a lot of disconnects afoot with the progressive DSAs, and i keep coming back to mike gravel and daniel ellsberg's having helped the most sustained anti-war, anti-imperialist movement in the US ever. and i'm left wondering if War, Inc. has become so normalized by now that some of these folks just equivocate about (or fold like earlier pro-palestinian ocasio), criticizing the power of Aipac, not zionist war crimes, omar), but not going far enough (unconsciously knowing that their brands are unassailable by now.

but i can't even click into my msn email provider and not see quotes and stories about the latter two: free advertising because 'we need hero myths'?

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wendy davis's picture

@arendt

well, to each his/her own. i was laughing earlier to myself wondering who'll be the first to
dub him 'Barney Rubble'.

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@wendy davis
I want his Starter Pack!

I'd buy That for a dollar!

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3 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

wendy davis's picture

@Tall Bald and Ugly

send that fiat dollar when the button works, then.

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@arendt the cynicism about Andrew Yang. Political neophyte etc. But it sounds like you might have seen only the name and not seen him in action. Serious, smart, personally appealing, straightforward, great positions and his signature UBI program, farther along in the race (debate threshold) than a sitting member of Congress (TG). Doing better than other C-critters like Gillibrand and Klobuchar, probably Cory of Booker too.

Laugh all you want. I think he's someone to watch, this year's true long shot who could surprise everyone with the quality of his candidacy.

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arendt's picture

@wokkamile

Another internet campaign. Another ambitious nobody who wants to be president. What ever happened to doing the grunt work before you become the boss?

And frankly, I find his entrepreneurial posturing offensive. I do not like techno-libertarians. I wrote a diary about that at GOS called I, for one, do not welcome our techno-libertarian overlords.

With UBI, the devil is in the details. Done wrong, as entrepreneurs would likely do, UBI could easily replace all government services by a pittance of a monthly handout. And, I do not trust yet another self-publicizing businessman to get this right.

Laugh all you want. I think he's someone to watch, this year's true long shot who could surprise everyone with the quality of his candidacy.

I'm not laughing, I'm weeping. Yet another example of the hijacking of politics by corporate libertarianism, and people are jumping on this Cargo Cult. We are doomed as a democracy.

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@arendt a libertarian?? Just because he's from the business world? His UBI is hardly a libertarian venture, big gubmint giving everyone money, and his positions are as progressive as they come. Recommend you actually read what he says at website for details how it would be implemented. It wouldn't replace but potentially supplement what people get in, say, food stamps or other welfare benefits. Their choice.

As for his alleged throw-together online campaign, he's managed to rather quickly get accepted for the debates. Tulsi, far more politically experienced even at a young age, is still struggling to get there. I don't care what you call his campaign, but ineffective it is not. But are you saying you are so stuck in the old ways that you would only feel comfortable if he ran an old-school style campaign raising big bucks in order to pay for ads in the MSM? Is this another purity test not just on substance but on campaign style?

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arendt's picture

@wokkamile

yet another businessmen deciding to start at the top in politics.

I don't care what Howard Schultz is doing, and he has a lot more name recognition than Andrew Yang. Call me old fashioned, but I think people in politics should pay their dues before they run for president.

Another reason to be wary, the GOP always praise business experience in candidates, the farther right ones going so far as to say "government should be run like a business". I don't want the Dems to join the business bandwagon.

I think this problem of too many obscure presidential candidates is a result of the failure of the US style presidential system (as opposed to a Parliamentary system) and US style winner-take-all elections. The Congress has been gerrymandered into stasis and bought by big money. That Congress bipartisanly emplaced the reactionary SCOTUS. So, in the US, there is no place left for alternative viewpoints to even be expressed - except for presidential campaigns.

The media preference for horse race over substance has now extended the presidential campaign to two years, giving even more opportunities for obscure nobodies to use that time to push for their favorite hobbyhorse or to raise awareness of their brandname - that's how we got Trump.

So, I view people like Yang as a symptom of a broken political system, and am disinclined to jump on their "bandwagon".

His UBI is hardly a libertarian venture, big gubmint giving everyone money, and his positions are as progressive as they come. Recommend you actually read what he says at website for details how it would be implemented. It wouldn't replace but potentially supplement what people get in, say, food stamps or other welfare benefits. Their choice.

No. I see UBI, like AOC's GND, as another distraction with a big potential for bait and switch. There are many versions of UBI being proposed. Some of the strongest proponents of UBI are screaming Libertarians. Any version of the UBI will be hugely contested political/economic territory.

I see UBI as something to be worked on AFTER we get some kind of rope around Wall St. and the MIC. Otherwise, they will twist it to their version. Sorta like how Obama twisted healthcare into Romneycare.

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Big Al's picture

@arendt politicians ("paying dues first"). I detest billionaires and the rich dominating our political system, but I also detest our career politician system, a major reason why it's "broken" imo. If we were to make major changes, I would prefer abolishing the office of the president position. However, if kept, I certainly don't believe people should have to serve in Congress first. As we've seen, that really doesn't mean shit anyway as far as the ability to do the job.

As for a UBI and the GND, agree. Devil is always in the details and anything that would come out of this current national political system will not be for we the people, but we the corporations.

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arendt's picture

@Big Al
Otherwise you get slick, well-funded frauds like Obama. Bill Clinton had a track record in Arkansas, but the liberals blew that off - to their lasting regret. Beto O'Rourke is the latest well-funded fraud.

I'm not saying people have to have a lifetime career in politics, but they should have some record of votes (not speeches) that people can judge them by. Did they vote what they promised? Did they vote to help their constituents instead of corporate America? (Voting for the local pig trough of the MIC pork barrel doesn't count as helping constituents.)

Of course, my general take that the US political system is broken beyond reformation makes everything I just said an academic exercise in political theory. That is, I don't think "reformers" working inside the current system are going to fix things. A handful of reformers won't change anything significant.

OTOH, they might have a chance to just break things. Many people think Trump is doing the country a favor by exposing exactly how corrupt and murderous TPTB really are. Obama was so slick that most folks never realized how bad his policies were (whistelblowers, regime change). Trump is busy digging the grave of AIPAC with his blatant Zionist behavior.

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@arendt we choose only from among those vested in and corrupted by the broken political system? The very brokenness you describe loudly suggests we might want to consider alternative points of view from outside that dysfunctional system.

I also reject this notion of sweeping generalizations and stereotypes about people, and playing the guilt by association card. Not all businessmen are corrupt crooks, or greedy wacko libertarians, even those from the Silicon Valley where Ls are overrepresented for sure. Not all are self-aggrandizing billionaires who think they are thereby endowed with political wisdom.

Andrew Lang isn't a billionaire, last I heard, and so, while likely not poor, is also not likely to be able to self fund a long vanity campaign, as Howie Schultz threatens to do. He deserves credit for the many smallish contributors he's reached so far. And if his proposals are worthy and attract favorable attention and he can present them intelligently and simply, I don't care if he came from a career as dog catcher and snake handler or circus trapeze artist.

I used to be impressed with the old ways of coming up through the ranks, paying your political dues, getting steeped in the system, waiting your turn, as you seem to advocate. But no longer, and look at what it's produced -- a party of cautious centrist trimmers at the margins, corporatists, weak people stupidly trying to make deals with the Devil (i.e., the modern GOP, clearly a party that has gone off the deep end in extremism), cowards in taking their cues from the Deep State on foreign policy.

I'm for Tulsi, but I'm also giving AY strong consideration for his intelligence, his bold proposals, his campaign competence, and his refusal to remain in the extreme long shot/nobody category. Did I hear that Nate Silver has elevated him now to the "majors" category? I realize Nate isn't as pure as some here would like, but he is no slouch in evaluation the political situation and it's easy and dishonest to shoot the messenger.

A reminder too: George McGovern was once a 1% long shot nobody in 1972. So was Jimmy Carter in 1976. And we are still nearly a year away from primary voting -- almost a lifetime in politics, and plenty of time, with Yang's smart campaign, to get noticed and get traction. A very big field too, which also works to his advantage.

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arendt's picture

@wokkamile

You are entitled to your enthusiasm for AY and Tulsi. Just as I am entitled to my skepticism that these days, politics is a mugs game.

But, I want to make a couple of points.

A reminder too: George McGovern was once a 1% long shot nobody in 1972. So was Jimmy Carter in 1976. And we are still nearly a year away from primary voting -- almost a lifetime in politics, and plenty of time, with Yang's smart campaign, to get noticed and get traction. A very big field too, which also works to his advantage.

First, you do not recognize the frame you are in. You accept the idea that we should have a two-year long presidential primary season. You accept we should have this Hyde Park Corner cacophony of voices. Those are both symptoms of a highly broken system.

Second, McGovern and Carter had track records. McGovern had been in Congress since 1956. He had a distinguished WW2 record. He was a known quantity. He was a leader of the anti-Vietnam War movement. To say that he was a long shot is to go with the conventional wisdom of 1972. He was the leader of the wing that reacted to the disastrous 1968 campaign. He was the leader of people fed up with the reactionary leadership of labor unions. The party still had a strong liberal wing at that time.

Carter, unfortunately was an early media psyop. His big advisor was Uber-militarist Zbig Brezizinski. Zbig got Jimmy into the CFR and coached how to behave like an establishment type. Then they went out and sold him to the masses on the basis of his Southern-ness, his outsiderness. In 1976, after Viet Nam and Watergate, it was all about being an outsider.

AY has none of that track record.

I used to be impressed with the old ways of coming up through the ranks, paying your political dues, getting steeped in the system, waiting your turn, as you seem to advocate. But no longer, and look at what it's produced -- a party of cautious centrist trimmers at the margins, corporatists, weak people stupidly trying to make deals with the Devil (i.e., the modern GOP, clearly a party that has gone off the deep end in extremism), cowards in taking their cues from the Deep State on foreign policy.


Its not the "old ways" that produced the "centrist trimmers", its the flood of corrupting money,
which started with the 1976 Buckley vs Valleo decision, and ended with the 2009 Citizens United legalized bribery decision.

Its not that waiting your turn is automatically no good. Its that the system has been completely compromised, but in a manner that preserves the surface appearance of being a democracy. We need to create a new system to get rid of the bribery and have honest representatives.

--------

Please notice that all of my objections are at the systems level. Its not that I viscerally despise AY. I just get frustrated that people continue to accept the frame of "politics as usual". That they go for this or that "savior". I remember when people joined the Ross Perot Cargo Cult in 1992. That was the beginning of this madness. Third parties don't work when you have winner-take-all voting and an Electoral College, you are stuck with two parties.

And ten nobody candidates inside the Democratic Party splinter the vote that should, by all rights, be behind Bernie Sanders - who is the obvious person with the obvious track record to bring down the DNC.

Of course, Bernie is no savior either, but at least he discomforts TPTB. The biggest problem with Bernie is his refusal to go after the military. We need to make our gigantic military footprint issue number one, but anyone who tries gets reamed out as a "traitor". The military budget is behind just about every other problem because it starves the rest of the government, because all the secrecy and censorship is putting a pillow over the barely breathing face of our democracy.

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@arendt No, I don't endorse the 2-yr campaign. Would prefer far shorter. Just acknowledging true long shots have come from well behind before, using the system as it is, time to build a following and, in the case of 1972, to take advantage of front runners faltering in the blowing snow and printed smears of NH. Muskie meltdown, or reported as such. Once that happened, and the establishment wing of the party had only Hubert to pick up the fallen standard, the path to victory opened fortuitously for McG.

Btw, speaking of voting records, the antiwar McG's record of VN war votes was less than perfect. He voted for Lyndon's bogus blank-check Gulf of Tonkin Res. And by 1972, politically savvy Nixon had arranged to take much of the steam out of the antiwar forces against him by withdrawing most of our ground forces, and the draft had become a lottery, with no new draftees being shipped over. The antiwar movement was at its height in 1970, but was clearly quieting down two yrs later, and that was McG's signature issue. Lousy candidate in the general, as bad as he was good in the primaries. And much of the establishment wing of his party betrayed him, so not entirely his fault.

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dkmich's picture

If they want MSNBC neolib and estab Dem Sam Seder, they can have him.

2020 Green and Libertarian Primary Polling

For an easy reference of the results:

Libertarian:
Sam Seder 42.74%
Adam Kokesh 33.97%
John McAfee 20.82%
Vermin Supreme 2.05%
Arvin Vohra 0.41%

Green:
Dario Hunter 66.47%
Ian Schlakman 25.75%
Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry (name shortened to Sedinam M.-Curry) 7.78%

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Mark from Queens's picture

scorchers.

His Twitter thread is on fire with tons of nuggets:

Gramsci? Might have to start campaigning for him now.

Biden smoked on live tv, to his face, in front of the whole nation.

Loved that he punked the almighty Neoliberal, former statistics whiz who embarrassed himself in 2016 by joining the $hills ranks (was he getting paid by them too, one has to wonder? After all it was over $2billion left to disperse)

He's given a serious jolt of electricity to the whole thing. Truth-telling lightning. I think it's great.

The Chapo Trap House site on Reddit, which is mostly revolutionary socialists in the macro/Bernie in the micro and populated by very smart but very irreverent folks, is lit up about Gravel.

What a whirlwind of fresh air, huh wendy?

But how does he keep it up?

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11 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Eagles92's picture

@Mark from Queens (Poor taste?)

He has teens in his corner, so I think he'll maintain momentum with their help. And as Wendy commented in a different thread, he does actually look younger than Bernie ... not that that translates to stamina, of course.

Suddenly, I'm actually interested in this primary. And may actually have someone to vote for. Time will tell; but the show will be fun to watch regardless.

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dkmich's picture

@Eagles92

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8 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Mark from Queens's picture

@Eagles92
I knew a musician, who was the grandfather of a close friend of mine, who in his 90's was more vivacious and had more joie de vivre than any 23yr old cubicle-bound, corporate lemming has or will ever have. I would much rather hang out having a pint with him in a bar somewhere, than play trivia (ugh, is that a sign of the End of Empire or what?) or watch sit-coms or whatever said kids do after college to fill their vapid heads. I'm starting to sound a little too harsh and cynical, I guess. But sometimes you just want to shake people to their core, "is this all you want out of life, just more self-involved, 24/7 entertainment and more gadgets for convenience, and that can further your self-aggrandizement on social media?" I know I needed to be shaken up at that age. Takes a while sometimes. But I digress...

I was referring to the lightning bolt tweets with which he's been lancing the establishment like a Radical Superhero.

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6 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

wendy davis's picture

@Mark from Queens

different thread how old he looks compared to bernie who'd ten years younger. to me he looks younger, but even if not, he sure is vibrant, isn't he? he also knocked me out that he'd quoted immortal technique, whom i adore.

thanks for bringing the extra tweets; he's a barnstormer w/ a bit o' the devil in him!

i've never even heard of the other 4 or 5 nate had mentioned to say the truth....

and this admission? whooosh-worthy: might be he really regrets supporting charter schools in 2008.

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Centaurea's picture

@wendy davis
in the other thread. I wasn't referring to the way Gravel looks (which is great), but simply to his chronological age. The news media has made such a to-do over Bernie's "advanced" age. They ain't seen nuthin' yet.

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6 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

wendy davis's picture

@Centaurea

correcting my faulty memory; i sincerely thought you (well, someone) had. but again, i don't believe he's really seeking the presidency, so stamina may or may not be as large an issue. but he sure is fulla peppah and teh funny. but for me, Imperialism and zionism are two disqualifiers for bernie for me.

now i wish mike had indicted capitalism along the way, but then maybe he has or will?

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wendy davis's picture

if he's pullin' his punches on the #YouAskGravelAnwers on twitter, or he just hasn't paid enough attention to some of my key concerns, thus what votes and website issues are on my radar. but...there it is; i still hope he gets to widen the conversation in the debates.

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Mark from Queens's picture

2008 debate, "gotcha" questions galore, in these faux, town hall, corporate abomination events.

Gravel:

John, it's a setup question.

Our soldiers died in Vietnam in vain.

You can now, John, go to Hanoi and get a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cone - that's what you can do. And now we have most favored nation trade.

What did all these people die for?
What are they dying for right now in Iraq?

Every single day, let me tell you, there's only one thing worse than a soldier
dying in vain - it's more soldiers dying in vain.

Making the world safer for American tourists to be able to eat the same desserts they get in suburbia anywhere in the world.

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11 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

wendy davis's picture

@Mark from Queens

what a burn. you must have had sound? not i, for some reason, so thanks for the transcript.

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snoopydawg's picture

Why stop there indeed. There are plenty of war criminals walking around enjoying their lives after they helped destroy so many others. I'm appalled that Gina Haspel is heading the CIA instead of sitting in prison. Condi Rice, John Yu, Cheney and George along with people that came before and after them should join her there!

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11 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

for me on my last VZ news diary: jair bolsonaro had met w/ haspel before he'd met w/ the trumpeter.

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4 users have voted.

@snoopydawg Send a buck.

Why NOT?

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6 users have voted.

Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Mark from Queens's picture

Splinter: As of yesterday, Mike Gravel's account is now run by David Oks, a 17-year-old high school student and "avid listener of the Chapo Trap House podcast"

Late last night, 88-year-old former senator Mike Gravel started posting tweets. Or, an account under his name did. The tweets, for the most part, were about Gravel running for president, something he has not done since 2008 (he hasn’t been a senator since 1981). They were clear that any candidacy would exist solely for the purposes of pushing the other Democratic candidates to the left on their handling of foreign policy and the military-industrial complex.

That in and of itself is... weird, and kind of cool, but the story gets stranger. Gravel’s account is being run by a “group of students” in Westchester, New York who, as one of them told Splinter in an interview, convinced the former senator to think about running again. This has caused a substantial amount of confusion, as the teens have spent most of the last 24 hours furiously shitposting under Gravel’s name and doing memes with people who were still on Twitter at 1 a.m. last night.

Splinter reached out to the email address on the Gravel campaign/ committee website and heard back shortly after from a high school student named David Oks, who said he was the one behind Gravel’s fire tweets. Oks said the exploratory committee sure is real, and Gravel is on board with it. (Gravel said the same thing to a Politico reporter on Tuesday night.)

Oks, a high school senior who has previously run for mayor of his small New York town, told Splinter that he and several friends are avid listeners of the Chapo Trap House podcast, which mentioned Gravel in a recent episode. About a week ago, he and a couple friends reached out to Gravel and asked if he would consider making another run for president. Their pitch was clear. “My friends and I were encouraging him to consider running for president with the idea being that he would not try to contest any primaries, he would just try to get into the Democratic debates,” he said.

Oks and his friends were clearly inspired by Gravel’s performance in the 2008 debates, where he delivered a searing indictment of the vast majority of his fellow candidates for their support of the Iraq war and their continued commitment to American interventionism in the Middle East.

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4 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

wendy davis's picture

@Mark from Queens

i'd read that in your earlier link and hope that they're telling the truth and wonder if
that's still operative now. and david's name was in my first tweet facsimile. now i do hope that his #AskMike answers are totally his, not facsimiles of what he's said...

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zoebear's picture

Having a lot fun reading this essay Smile

I'm at work right now and only able to scan a few of the details. Will revisit for a full read later today.

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4 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

wendy davis's picture

@zoebear

work? hope it's the right one; i don't have sound today for some odd-bodkins reason...

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Deja's picture

@wendy davis
Ha! Love it!

I've always been a night owl, and as a teen, I'd sneak into the living room to watch Doby and Maynard on Nick at Night. The Life of Riley too. Love those old shows!

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wendy davis's picture

@Deja

(zelda gilroy) ; )

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wendy davis's picture

and the night's lullaby will be an awesome cover of a bob dylan song by playing for change (world peace through music). g' night; good dreams if you're able; instructively if you're not:

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