Tuesday Open Thread ~ Countdown to Iowa


“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”
~ Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom from Fear
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Good Morning!

Welcome to Tuesday's Open Thread. It's less than a week until the Democratic Primary season begins and I'd like to start off today's OT by giving a shout out to the many volunteers who come from all over the United States to knock on doors for their candidates. To the people of Iowa who care enough to come out and caucus with their neighbors to debate and decide on political and policy issues, I offer a warm and sincere thank-you. While the memory of 2016 and what the powerful in this country are capable of has not lessened for me personally, nonetheless, I'd like to say a few words about Bernie Sanders. A politician who against all odds in 2016, spoke up against the establishment on our behalf and initiated a national dialogue and a movement representing the issues that are important to all of us in a way no other politician has in my lifetime. He inspired a generation of young people to fight back against the earth scorching policies our political leaders are hell bent on carrying out while people here struggle to pay rent, medical bills, and find jobs that pay a living wage. And after the establishment did everything they could to destroy what he began, Bernie Sanders is back. Stronger than ever. That, if for no other reason than making neo-liberals heads explode all over this country, is worth celebrating.

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Sanders charges ahead in Iowa race, New York Times poll finds

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Seems straight forward enough. Bernie is getting 25% of the Iowa vote. But according the New York Times, things are a little more complicated.

"Despite the ascent of Mr. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, the poll also highlighted the combined appeal of the centrists: 55 percent of those surveyed said they preferred a standard-bearer who is “more moderate than most Democrats.”

Okay, so let's put aside for a moment that the readership of the New York Times is not worried about being able to afford cancer treatment or becoming homeless to pay for it. Instead, let's focus on what a "moderate" Democrat might mean to the Iowa voter in terms of policy. Oh, wait. There is no mention of what a "moderate" Democrat means in terms of policy. Maybe that's because if the NYT were to differentiate between policies that "adjust" funding for Social Security and Medicare, and policies that don't, the good people of Iowa might start questioning what 'moderate' really means? And the NYT can't be making those distinctions when misleading labels about Bernie's "radical" policies and the question of Bernie's electibility serves their actual purpose.

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Despite apparent preference for 'moderate' candidate, Iowans back Sanders in latest poll

The Times did highlight, however, that Sanders' lead is contradictory to another key element in the poll. The majority of Iowa Democrats prefer a candidate who is more moderate than most Democrats at 55 percent, compared to just 38 percent who want someone more liberal than the average party member. Sanders, it's safe to say, falls into the latter camp. With candidates like Biden and Buttigieg lumped together in second and third, along with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) at 8 percent, it appears that those moderate voters are split. It remains to be seen if they'll coalesce in the lead up to the caucus, but if they don't they may cancel each other out in the process.

I think we're seeing a trend here. 'Bernie is too radical for a majority of American voters and will never beat Trump because of it'... A story-line, I'm sure, that will fit in consistently if the exit polls don't match the final vote count.

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Despite Election Security Fears, Iowa Caucuses Will Use New Smartphone App

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Iowa's Democratic Party plans to use a new Internet-connected smartphone app to help calculate and transmit results during the state's caucuses next month, Iowa Public Radio and NPR have confirmed.

Party leaders say they decided to opt for that strategy fully aware of three years' worth of warnings about Russia's attack on the 2016 presidential election, in which cyberattacks played a central role.

So the same DNC that insisted they were NOT legally obligated to follow their own rules are now in charge of a software app that is supposed to follow the rules???

Iowa's Democrats hope the new app lets the party get results out to the public quicker, says Troy Price, the chairman of the state party.

In an interview, Price declined to provide more details about which company or companies designed the app, or about what specific measures have been put in place to guarantee the system's security.

In other words, just trust us...

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Well, that about wraps things up for this week's edition.
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What’s on your mind today?
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Comments

Alligator Ed's picture

Absolutely. Without a shred of dubiousness. Without a shred of sneaking suspicion. What. History repeat itself? Nah. Can't happen again. Nope, the Dims are too smart, much tooo smart to do the same shit again.

Here's the outcome:
1. Trump wins re-election no matter who the Dims put up against him.

2. A. Dims allow Bernie to win, which he shudda in '16. Massive defections by the Hillbot contingent. Bernie loses to Trump

2. B. Dims give Bernie a retirement present, this being his last campaign. No need to fight the Evil Orange Man in the General Election. Interloper loses to Trump.

Result:

1. D party becomes permanent minority before necrolysis, into Whiggification.

2. A. Establishment regroups, shedding disenchanted members in huge Demexits--permanently.

2. B. Activist / Lefty groups evacuate Dem party irrevocably.

No effective Dem / lefty substitute for 10 years. Unless a new Lincoln is found, who gave power and respectability to the nascent Republicans of that era.

One person may unite disparate groups from the debris: lefties, honest liberals, libertarian-type righties. Tulsi. That will take a generation.

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Wally's picture

@Alligator Ed

Given that polls are indicating an increasing number of Bernie or Busters this go round, good luck with your preferred candidate in future electoral contests. I do like Tulsi. But this is my last go round after close to 70 years of age, voting since 1972, if Bernie gets outmaneuvered by the capitalist-to-the-bone, warmongering, anti-democracy forces.

If Bernie pulls off the miracle, there's an excellent chance Tulsi will be in a prominent position within a Sanders administration, most likely one that will be pivotal in deciding matters of war and peace.

And most polls indicate that BERNIE BEATS TRUMP

And if you think we got a generation to develop a new breed of leaders, jeez. Maybe alligators do but not humans.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Alligator Ed

but one thing I do know for sure, if we ever needed an American version of the gilets janues, we need them now.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Lookout's picture

@Anja Geitz
...this weekend -
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/01/25/yell-j25.html
Alex Lantier
25 January 2020

Today, hundreds of “yellow vests” from France and protesters from other countries across Europe, including Belgium and Britain, are protesting outside Belmarsh maximum security prison in London to demand the freeing of WikiLeaks founder and journalist Julian Assange.

Hooray for them!

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

Anja Geitz's picture

@Lookout

Thank you Lookout! Hurray for them, indeed!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Raggedy Ann's picture

I'm sitting the primary out. As a registered "no party affiliation" voter, I cannot vote in the primary unless I change to rethug or dimwit. Not doing either. I'll see who is in the general and decide at that time. I have no faith in our "system." We won't be allowed to have nice things because that takes nice things away from the 1% and horrors if we can claim nice things.

Have a great day, everyone! Pleasantry

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“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

Wally's picture

@Raggedy Ann Berners now have a Bern app that will more clearly document any cheating this time around. Aside from that . . .

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Raggedy Ann's picture

@Wally
Pleasantry

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“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

Wally's picture

@Raggedy Ann

I am not nor have I ever been a member of nor employed by Ben and Jerry's . . .

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

After leaving the Dem party in 2016, I'm in the same boat. Maybe California can take my 2016 primary vote for Bernie that they never counted and apply it to 2020?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Anja Geitz
If they can steal your vote this time, too, they will! Pleasantry

ps. Trader Joe's employee yesterday opened a package of gluten free chocolate cupcakes so I could try one. It was DELICIOUS! Nice going, Traders!

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“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

They are good! Hey, we've just got in a great new product for all you vegans and vegetarians out there! A healthy take on tne "Beyond Burger". No soy, just natural ingredients. And the taste like burgers!! We expect them to sell REALLY well.

Ain't Trader Joe's great? Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Anja Geitz
Couldn't figure out how to paste the image, so here's the link!
http://exploringtraderjoes.blogspot.com/2016/02/trader-joes-gluten-free-...

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3 users have voted.

“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

image_98.jpeg
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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Anja Geitz
very moist, too!

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1 user has voted.

“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

At the store, managers are always leaving new products out for us to try. Sometimes in the break room, but sometimes on the registers at closing time. One evening as we were getting ready to leave, I saw these cupcakes on the register and thought they were for the crew members to try so I took one. The manager who left them on the register after purchasing them for himself, watched me walk by, munching down on his cupcake and marveling at how good they tasted. But he didn't say a word about it until the next day. Why? Because he is such a nice guy, he said he felt it would spoil the moment for me.

I can't tell you how embarrassed and amused I was when he told me that. We still laugh about it today!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Raggedy Ann
If they let you have some nice things it would get your hopes up and you'd want MORE nice things. Your expectations would be shattered. It's far more humane to keep you hopeless.

You've found the place where you can't be disappointed. Welcome.

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2 users have voted.

@Raggedy Ann
If they let you have some nice things it would get your hopes up and you'd want MORE nice things. Your expectations would be shattered. It's far more humane to keep you hopeless.

You've found the place where you can't be disappointed. Welcome.

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Wally's picture

We are their worst nightmare.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Wally

Whatever the outcome, I'm still heartened to see young people this committed. I'll be thinking of them, and you, on caucus day.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Alligator Ed's picture

@Wally You cannot win if you do not play.

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cybrestrike's picture

The Establishment is absolutely flailing about and totally freaking out. It's great to watch the madness in real-time, but honestly I'm a bit nervous because of what the DNC will do if a Sanders runaway train scenario is in full effect.

Tom Perez has already assembled the real Neoliberal Firewall with the DNC Rules Committee appointments. That was a serious mask-off moment. When they're willing to blatantly tell on themselves in plain sight, they're preparing for anything--without any concern for the ramifications. They see this as a fight for their very survival. And honestly, it is. So...anything goes. Expect more insanity.

As for Iowa--it looks like Sanders has it on lock. If Biden gets a close 2nd, the corporate media will try to spin it as a tie. If Biden places 3rd or 4th, the powers-that-be will start hitching their wagons to Klobuchar or Warren. Yes. Seriously. As credentialed as they are, they are still stupid people (offense intended).

I'd love to see Sanders win Iowa with as close to 50 percent of the tally--but he'll probably walk away with maybe 35 to 40 percent. Caucuses are weird. I could be totally wrong. We just need a big margin.

As for Florida--lots of Steyer and Bloomberg ads. More Bloomberg ones lately, though. Like an obnoxious amount...to the point where people are getting annoyed. It's kind of funny. My family is almost all Sanders (except for my right wing uncle). Still working on my cousin and her hubby--they bought into the whole prosperity gospel thing (what a total scam) and I think they like Biden. My other cousin is a Republican (which goes a long way to explaining why we never got along growing up)--he's going to stay home because he despises Trump.

Most of my friends are generally all in for Sanders. I know a couple of Clinton diehards who are still fighting the 2016 primary, and they've gone full Maddow Russiagate. Total lost causes (I tried to talk to one of them and it they turned into Neera Tanden). A few right wingers that I can sway into staying home or at least checking Sanders out (one of them likes Tulsi solely because she's military). A couple of libertarians that I can't talk to without going nuts. And a few classical Republicans who can't bring themselves to vote for Trump--I think I can sway at least one of them to support Sanders (voted for Obama twice & stayed home in 2016).

In the end, most of my Democratic friends will vote for the eventual nominee.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@cybrestrike

I'm sure Bernie will win.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Lookout's picture

I hope Bernie pulls it off and they don't cheat him. They (DNC) are scheming.

Lee Camp had a routine about the dim primary rigging underway. Worth a listen. (9 min)

The Democratic Primary in 2016 was a dirty affair rife with voter suppression, DNC corruption, & corporate propaganda undermining Senator Sanders. The 2020 primary is likely to be the same so Lee goes over how California's DNC scheme to stop progressives and independents from weighing in on their primary.

Here's info on the primary policies of all the states...
https://voteforbernie.org/

Have a good one!

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11 users have voted.

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

Anja Geitz's picture

@Lookout

For Independents is the only way to get a ballot with the presidential candidates listed? Mind boggling to think that my taxes pay for someone in government to come up with this convoluted chicanery.

Thanks much for the information.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

in the 2016 election, despite all the propaganda, fear mongering and the like. They probably won't this time around either because the app will have some back doors and other vulnerabilities built in to allow designated corrupters to corrupt the results, which isn't a hack but simply fraud and treachery.

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8 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

The gift that keeps on giving, eh?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

OzoneTom's picture

But I think that the advice in the associated video below would be great for all to take to heart.

@_ericblanc "Everybody canvassing for Bernie should follow this excellent advice from @heyheyitsmollya"

"This person is not a bad person. Everyone is just trying to figure it out."

https://twitter.com/_ericblanc/status/1221578787143315457?ref_src=twsrc%...

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Anja Geitz's picture

@OzoneTom

I'd agree. Good advice for us all when encountering our neighbors, or people we meet on the highway of life. As someone who works with the public, I find the psycho-social dynamic at play very interesting because whatever is out there, eventually walks into the store where we have to deal with it.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

smiley7's picture

Good laugh over the DNC cartoon. My hope is that centrists meet the people this year.

Sander's goal must be to cross 51 percent of delegates on the first vote.

Thanks for this focus, perhaps by continually shinning a light on the DNC and others underhandedly attacking Bernie, the people will see and with good fortune be more motivated to vote.

Onward ... not me, us.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@smiley7

I'm hoping the DNC is not as clever as they think they are. I mean regardless of all the power they have, there are still more of us then them. The cheating cannot be so overt they risk outright revolt. I think, and hope, that's going to be a needle that's harder to thread then their out-sized egos and capabilities allow. In other words, they fuck it up to some extent.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Here's a Frontline interview with Robert Reich on this year's election and how past presidencies lead to the current state of affairs:

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