Biden intends to use precious political capital on gun legislation that is likely to fail, will have significant political fallout, and if passed is unlikely to ameliorate gun violence. Why?

I am calling on Congress to enact common sense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.
— President Joe Biden

Universal Background Checks

Universal background checks are favored by 92% of American voters, with 92% support among gun owners and 86% support among Republicans. …


While the concept of white privilege can be traced to the writings of W.E.B. DuBois in the early twentieth century, the popular adoption of the term began with the 1988 publication of Peggy McIntosh’s seminal paper on the topic. McIntosh used the term to explain her personal observations regarding sex and race at Wellesley College. It proved infectious. It has since been incorporated in university curricula, forms the basis for diversity trainings in the workplace, and is axiomatic in anti-racist social activism.

According to McIntosh, white privilege is “an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, assurances, tools, maps, guides, codebooks…


Even as he castigated the former vice-president for being an enabler of the Iraq War, the veteran maintained that quintessentially military respect for authority.

You are disqualified, sir!
— Iraq War veteran

Sir, indeed! There was not much Biden could say. He made a feeble attempt to defend himself, using his son’s service in Iraq to deflect the accusation, but the vet persisted.

My friends are dead because of your policies.
Their blood is on your hands!

Veteran:“You are disqualified, sir!”

It got me thinking of what it means to be disqualified. It means being eliminated from consideration. …


If you thought we were going to be able to stick to debating the issues, the Warren vs Bernie cage match arranged by CNN has dispelled that fantasy. The last thing the mainstream media wants to do is debate the issues. It doesn’t generate viewers or clicks, and the progressive ideas gaining currency are anathema to the corporate agenda.

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders after Iowa debate (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Instead, we are subjected to a contrived smear, a red herring that distracts from the underlying political dynamics. While it’s necessary to deal with it, let’s do it with dispatch and move on.

First, consider the context. The Iowa caucus is…


One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. Take the gun debate. After every mass shooting there are emotional calls for action, heated debates, legislative paralysis, and ultimately nothing is done. We could keep doing the same thing; but if we want to make any progress we need to consider doing something different. But what?

It turns out that when you look at specific measures to curb gun violence there is remarkable agreement on some of them across the political spectrum. For example ―

  • Universal background checks are favored by 92% of…


When I describe Radical Honesty to people there are generally two kinds of reactions: either an excited “Where do I sign up?” or a horrified “Why on Earth would I want to do that?”

Believe me, I understand. The idea of being completely honest can be frightening. Beneath the surface is the fear that if people really see us as we are, we won’t be loved. There is the fear that if people really know what we think about them it might hurt their feelings and they might leave us.

The idea underlying Radical Honesty is simply that we create…


Many Superdelegates made their decision to endorse Sec. Clinton even before Sen. Sanders had entered the race, and certainly before they had any idea it would be a contested convention. No doubt, at the time it seemed like the right thing to do, but the situation has changed dramatically.

First, the unexpected ascendancy of Donald Trump has given the race a dire urgency. Winning the election was important before; now it is critical. The most recent poll shows Trump beating Clinton in a head to head contest. That should give our Superdelegates pause. The stakes are extremely high.

Second, the…


The point isn’t that the massive amounts of money corporations have donated to Hillary directly influenced her votes.

You will not find that I ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation that I ever received.
– Hillary Clinton

Out and out bribery — I don’t know how often that happens, and it’s hard to prove since obviously neither party wants it known. But that’s only one form of corruption. Suppose you’re a legislator considering introducing a bill that you know Wall St. wouldn’t like. You know that if you do, an opponent will be found to…


O, people of Iowa. If we have neglected you, if we have quarrelled, let us be reconciled! This is the first battle in a war we cannot afford to lose. The future of this nation, our future, our nation, is in your hands. So many of us are depending on you, so many want our own voices to be heard.

It is you who will speak first.

It is you who will make the first brush stroke on the canvas of our future, the first visible mark that our aspiration for justice is shared, that our dreams of a true democracy may be realized.

After so much talk, the time for action has come. This precious opportunity to transform our world demands our courage, our fortitude, our commitment.

We’ve done what we could do. Now, it’s up to you.


Posted on January 15, 2016

The more misleading attack ads that Hillary’s Super PAC runs, the more money Sanders has to refute them. In systems theory it’s called a balancing feedback loop; it blunts the effect of the ads.

In addition, the attack ads contribute to two narratives. First, they reinforce the already prevalent notion that Clinton is dishonest and untrustworthy. She currently has a 51.9% “unfavorable” rating in national polls. Second, they remind voters of one of Sanders’ central themes: the pernicious effect of money in politics. Those are reinforcing feedback loops. …

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