Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

‘Leading’ Edge: The 2016 Green Party Convention

One of the most challenging aspects of the American Political System? It is impossible to accurately represent the full, informed spectrum of political thought. It is often a vapid concoction offering the most drab philosophies of government, while constantly osmosizing and proselytizing the bright, energetic colors from its edge.

But diluted in this process are not only those purest strands of color, but also the many subtle transitions which serve to form our most common bonds. In true representation, the Liberal and Libertarian are more alike than their overlord party caricatures would suggest. The belief in good, efficient government to ensure equality and liberty (Liberals) is not mutually exclusive to the belief in liberty achieved via personal freedom and responsibility (Libertarians).

After so much exposure to the center, it was quite the experience to witness a leading edge of this challenging system at the 2016 Green Party National Convention. Infused with new energy, membership and purpose, Convention delegates handily selected environmental health advocate and Progressive activist Dr. Jill Stein as their Nominee for President of the United States. Stein also selected Ajamu Baraka as her running mate on the ticket. In her fiery acceptance speech, Stein took immediate aim at the  major parties.

“As Frederick Douglass said, power concedes nothing without demand… It never has, it never will. We will be that demand.”

“We are what Democracy looks like, and we are what political revolution looks like” Stein declares in a direct nod to the Bernie Sanders campaign and the many disaffected Sanders supporters whom have lifted the Green Party to heights unseen in decades.  The most popular slogan for the Convention?  ‘Jill Not Hill’.

Accompanying the soaring and often thrashing rhetoric, Stein also unleashed a litany of ambitious policy goals, including a nation-wide emergency jobs program, the total elimination of student debt, a conversion to fully renewable energy by 2030 and the proposal to make all public higher education free. All along the way, indicting Hillary Clinton as the “lesser evil to the greater good.”

But how can Stein and Baraka reach such a coveted status as ‘the greater good’ when they’ve to even garner a place on the majority of state ballots?

This and other questions were of utmost importance in a Post-Convention Press Conference, where the candidates had to trade their expansive rhetoric for a bit of reality. Even if the Presidency is out of the party’s reach in 2016, other goals were revealed.  Since the Democratic National Convention where Bernie Sanders conceded to Hillary Clinton, the Green Party has received ‘a whirlwind of support’, fundraising more in the last few weeks than the entire previous year of the campaign, and tripling standing in the national polls.

Of course there was also plenty of room for speculation and controversy, like this clip where Stein equates the nefarious DNC Leaks scandal to the Democratic Party’s alleged unfair treatment of Sanders…

Lee McQueen of McQueen Press posted the full Press Conference, where I was able to ask the candidate an important question that many voters considering the Green Party would want to know. Assuming they could win the White House, how would President Stein and Vice President Baraka actually govern??

Texas Leftist:  With the Progressive, aggressive agenda that you have laid out, how do you expect to get those initiatives through a predominantly Democratic and/or Republican Congress?

Dr. Stein:  If we get elected, we will be elected along with some down ballot candidates and a number of (Green Party) Senate candidates and some Congresspeople. So we will have a block. There will also be some Progressive Democrats who have been waiting to be Liberated from a very toxic and corrupt system. But above all, we will be in an unprecedented moment if we actually have a President in the White House who comes into office with a big public mandate and serves not only as Commander-in-Chief, but as Organizer-in-Chief… 

In other words, governing isn’t something they need to consider at the moment.

And herein lies the difficulty with support of a minor party. Without concrete of how to act on such an inspiring agenda, little can be accomplished in the real houses of government. For all of their faults, it is the major parties that retain the ability of turning words into actions. Though likely that they will fall short, most Americans would still rather see some progress achieved than simply promises that never have a credible chance.

At the end of the day, the Green Party harbors a strong and important set of ideas. Their goal of a Green Presidency is still a long way from Houston, and 2016.  But the outcome of one Presidential contest should not be the judge of an entire movement.  Greens are already winning important state and local races across the country, and this election cycle could prove their most successful yet.  The Green Party of Texas is fielding over 40 candidates for office across the state, including Martina Salinas for Texas Railroad Commissioner. From a host of campaign appearances to an informed debate with her Libertarian Party challenger Mark Miller, Salinas could be one to watch this November.  In an election year already full of surprises, the Green Party is getting ready for their big moment just in case it should occur.

Visit the National Green Party website for information on candidates in your area.  You can also hear more from Dr. Jill Stein at a CNN Town Hall Telecast, set to air internationally on August 17th.

074

The Green Party of Texas casts its votes for the Presidential Nominee. 

080

Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka at the Post-Convention Press Conference. 

DNC 2016: Hill’s Song United

Just one week ago, as the Republicans finished up their big show in Cleveland, things didn’t look so great for the DNC.  Thanks to the well-timed work of Wikileaks and its exiled founder Julian Assange, the Democratic Party became embroiled in scandal just as their historic Convention was about to begin.  The DNC leaks provided a litany of embarrassing, salacious details of the Party’s backdoor politics, and even uncovered evidence of party favoritism, which caused immediate anger among Bernie Sanders’ most ardent supporters.  Though the emails have yet to show a true coordinated effort of malice, the embarrassment was more than enough to oust DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz just hours before she planned to take the stage.  Indeed, last weekend, many feared that the Democratic Party and presumptive nominee for President Hillary Clinton, were done.

But even through those difficulties, the Democratic National Convention got under way.  Here’s more from Ron Elving of NPR

The first afternoon, the Sanders forces were in full cry — booing every mention of Clinton’s name. There seemed to be little prospect for peace, and many opportunities for disruption and chaos.

[…]

These reactions overestimated the importance and power of the DNC, which was important in many ways, but far from critical, in determining who voted or how. Still, the WikiLeaks release served to confirm the suspicion that party rules and party rulers were somehow overruling the popular will of the people.

It was obvious that the DNC controversies fed into a Rules Committee decision to reduce the future numbers of superdelegates (elected officials and party leaders who are uncommitted participants in the nominating convention and may vote their own conscience). In 2020, such delegates will be reduced from 720 to 250.

But negotiations were going forward even then. Sanders’ people were talking, and there were delegation leaders willing to work overtime to heal wounds. Sanders himself, having already formally conceded, intervened to urge his delegates to show respect, if only to preserve the gains they had made as a movement.

But even as Democrats worked overtime to mend fences with bruised Sanders supporters within the Convention hall, they worked just as hard to produce a show for the ages for those watching at home.  From the powerful sincerity of Michelle Obama on the first night, to the personal touch of FGOTUS— First Gentleman of the United States– nominee  Bill Clinton on the second, to the each speaker at the DNC had a very specific goal for their dual audience… show the party is united with its nominee Hillary Clinton.

Intermingled with some of the country’s most prominent politicians were the speakers whose persuasive power could not be denied… those everyday Americans who got up in front of their country and spoke their truth.  Geneva Reed-Veal (mother of Sandra Bland}, Sybrina Fulton (mother of Trayvon Martin) and other Mothers of the Movement took the stage to represent Black Lives Matter– a phrase barely even uttered at the RNC.  The incredible speech of Khizr Khan, a Muslim-American father whose son, Humayun Khan, was an American captain who sacrificed his life to save other American troops in Iraq. brought the crowd to its feet in a rousing show of support.

If anything at the DNC can be claimed as a true success, it starts with the involvement of these real Americans, and the ever-powerful strains of sincerity that they delivered on stage.  They reminded Americans that this year’s election really does matter.

By the time Hillary Clinton took the stage in the final speech, the true work of the Convention was done.  From a turbulent beginning, the 2016 Democratic National Convention rose from the controversy and persevered.  But thankfully, Clinton wasn’t satisfied with simply the work of others.  She may not have provided the soaring oratory of President Obama, but she did give a speech that was patriotic, and policy-specific (something we’ve yet to see from Mr. Trump).  NPR even did an excellent fact-check of Hillary Clinton’s address.  For anyone worried about holding the Democratic nominee accountable, you can start keeping tabs.

Check out the historic address below…

So finally, after two long and raucous weeks, the table is set for America’s two main political parties.  And for the Democrats, the song now belongs to Hillary.  Let’s hope that chorus grows through November and on to January.

Hill Song

Texoblogosphere: Week of June 20th

The Texas Progressive Alliance looks forward to a day when it never has to mourn the victims of another mass shooting again as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the kuff sets a couple of hopefully attainable goals for Texas Democrats in 2016.

Libby Shaw at Daily Kos has had it with political inaction after yet one more tragic mass shooting. Enough is enough. The carnage has got to stop. Fire the cowards who enable gun slaughter. When Political Cowardice is Lethal.

Socratic Gadfly reads Sanders’ call for election reforms and wishes he had real reform that included third parties.

The Texas Democratic Convention was held in San Antonio this past weekend, and by all accounts was underwhelming, as PDiddie at Brains and Eggs predicted.

eil at All People Have Value took his efforts to the streets to promote the value of everyday life to the corner of Cesar Chavez and Harrisburg in Houston. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

===================

And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Diana Wray recaps Dan Patrick’s very bad day on Twitter following the Orlando massacre.

The TSTA blog calls for educators to unite against Donald Trump.

Ben Becker has some questions for TEA Commissioner Mike Morath about the STAAR test.

Alamo Heights ISD Superintendent Kevin Brown and several of his colleagues warn that we can no longer fool ourselves into believing that just because many students seem to do well and graduate prepared for college and career, that we can sustain those results over time.

Scott Braddock peeks behind the curtain at the handful of rich radicals who were trying to buy this year’s legislative elections.

Nancy Sims mourns the tragedy in Orlando and asks what we all will do about it.

Kris Banks asserts that gun safety is an LGBT issue.

houston-glbt

Texoblogosphere: Week of October 19th

The Texas Progressive Alliance is ready to vote as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff would like to clear up some myths about sexual assault.

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos and contributing to Daily Kos argues Governor Greg Abbott cannot claim to be pro-life when he denies federally expanded Medicaid coverage for 766,000 Texans. The Holy Ones and the Senseless Cruelty of Right Wing Dogma.

Socratic Gadfly offers up a Democratic debate related trio. First, he presents his snarky, under-the-bus debate preview. Second, he provides his take on debate winners and losers. Third, he tackles a post-debate conspiracy theory by some Sanders supporters, that anti-Semitism is behind some opposition to Sanders.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes Republicans choose the CEO, even if headquartered out of state, over the citizens they were elected to serve. Worker safety? Not at the expense of profits. The water you drink? The air you breathe? Even the wind. Not yours.

Nonsequiteuse, writing for Burnt Orange Report, points out that voting yes on Prop 1 in Houston isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s your patriotic duty.

With early voting starting Monday in the Houston municipal elections, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs offered his “P Slate” for progressive voters.

Neil at All People Have Value took a picture of the sun over Houston. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

Just in time for Early Voting, Texas Leftist took a moment to compile all of the TLCQ 2015 responses. Find out where Houston municipal candidates stand on less “press grabbing” issues like complete streets and Mayoral power.

====================

And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Juanita reports on the #CocksNotGlocks protest at UT.

Grits for Breakfast has a suggestion for Dan Patrick if he really wants to reduce police officer deaths.

Texas Clean Air Matters would like to change the conversation about the Clean Power Plan in Texas.

Texas Watch has a Netflix recommendation for you.

The Texas Election Law Blog wonders if we are ever going to get a court order regarding 2016 legislative and Congressional boundaries.

Amy Valentine navigates her way through Amazon’s creative standards as she attempts to promote her book about her breast cancer experience for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Melissa Hudnall bemoans anatomically incorrect spider costumes and decorations.

Guadalupe

Today’s feature photo is from the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas.  Photo credit:  Papiblogger

Bernie Sanders and the END of ‘Apologetic Liberalism’

Before you read this post, do me a favor.  Take ten seconds, close your eyes, and listen.

What you hopefully heard was the sound of silence.

Everywhere you look across this country, from the Texas Rio Grande Valley to the shores of the Alaskan coast, a sudden silence has begun to sweep across those on the Left side of the political spectrum.  Yes it’s true… Liberals have stopped apologizing for their views.

Instead, they’ve started listening to Bernie Sanders.  You know… that Presidential candidate that gets less press coverage than more than nearly half of the Republican Presidential field.  The same Presidential candidate that is packing stadia with supporters at virtually every stop of his 50 state campaign.

But hopefully after yesterday’s event, the media will soon start to ‘Feel the Bern’.  As Jessica Taylor of NPR reports, Sanders showed just how far his message can reach.

Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders was preaching to a different kind of choir at Liberty University on Monday.

[…]

“I came here today because I believe that it is important for those with different views in our country to engage in civil discourse — not just to shout at each other or make fun of each other,” Sanders began. “It is very easy for those in politics to talk to those who agree with us. I do that every day. It is harder, but not less important, to try to communicate with those who do not agree with us and see where, if possible, we can find common ground and, in other words, to reach out of our zone of comfort.”

[…]

He acknowledged he had many differences with the school’s leaders and most of the student body at the largest Christian university in the country, particularly on abortion and gay marriage, and Sanders was unapologetic for his liberal views on those social issues.

But he spent the bulk of his time trying to find that common ground with the nearly 12,000 students who had gathered for mandatory convocation. He talked about the problems of wealth inequality, the absence of health care and fair wages for the poor and what America’s response should be.

For the foundation of that belief, he looked to the Gospel, quoting Matthew 7:12, commonly known as the Golden Rule: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and Prophets.”

Yes… the Jewish Senator Bernie Sanders, on the day of Rosh Hashanah in his faith, quoted from the New Testament of the Bible.

It was from this biblical context that Sanders spoke on poverty, income inequality and the many fallacies surrounding the nation’s disparate minimum wage policies…

Put this in the context of the bible– not me.  We are living in a time when a handful of people have wealth beyond comprehension.  And I’m talking about tens of billions of dollars… enough to support their families for thousands of years.  More money than they would ever know what to do with.  

But at that same moment, there are millions of people in our country… who are struggling to feed their families.  They are struggling to put a roof over their heads, and some sleeping out on the streets.  They are struggling to find money to go to the doctor when they are sick.  

Now when we talk about morality… about justice, we have to, in my view, understand that there is no justice when so few have so much, and so many have so little.  

[…]

In my view, there is no justice… when millions of people are working long hours for abysmally-low wages… Working hard, but unable to bring in enough money to adequately feed their kids.  Yet at that same time, fifty-eight percent of all new income generated is going to the top one percent.  You have got to think about the morality of that, the justice of that, and whether or not that is what we want to see in our country.  

Apologies not included.

Call it bravery, or insanity, but once again Bernie Sanders has proven that the truth has resonance across the political spectrum.

And if you’re wondering just how well received his Socialist message was at the Conservative Christian stronghold, let’s turn to Jessie Pounds of the Lynchburg News Advance who was there to gather student reactions…

“I think he did a good job of not offending,” junior Emily Murphy said. “I think he said what he believes in, but he didn’t put us down, so I respected that.”

Keila Overcast, also a junior, said she thought it was appropriate for Sanders to be as up front as he was about his support for abortion rights and gay marriage, but as someone strongly opposed herself, she wished he’d said more to explain why he feels that way.

Michael Leh, a sophomore studying Christian leadership, said he saw himself voting for Sanders if the election came to a matchup between Sanders and businessman and television star Donald Trump.

“Even though I might not agree with him, I respect him the most out of all the candidates right now, the fact that he came here and spoke with us and at the same time was very blunt with us, I really appreciated that,” Leh said.

And thus it is revealed:  the true secret to Bernie Sanders’ continued success.  He states what he believes, respects the other side even when he doesn’t agree with them, and he doesn’t apologize.

It’s been a long time since the United States has witnessed this brand of politics.  But thankfully for us all, Sanders is proving that it not only still has a place, but that people are hungering for it.

Let’s hope this message resonates with other Democratic candidates as well.

Here’s the Full Speech, including an interesting question and answer session, posted on YouTube by the Separation of Corporation and State…  

 

 

If you liked this Texas Leftist post, please consider a donation

Texoblogosphere: Week of July 13th

The Texas Progressive Alliance does not put peas in guacamole as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff notes the first appearance of lawyers bound and determined to help a few recalcitrant County Clerks deny marriage licenses to same sex couples in Texas.

Horwitz at Texpatriate says farewell as he enters the next chapter of his life.

Lightseeker at Texas Kaos exposes Rick Perry and Greg Abbott’s myth that tort reform ensures more public access to affordable healthcare. In GOP Texas tort reform means insurance companies and corporations are the winners while real people pay the price. Abbott and Perry: Tort Reform as a Trojan Horse.

SocraticGadfly discusses the decline and fall of Walmart, especially in small towns and rural areas.

Should Sen. Bernie Sanders ultimately be eliminated from contention for the Democratic nomination, what’s the best choice for progressives moving forward, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs asks.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants everyone to know that Jeb Bush’s son is following the GOP anti-environment playbook in ploy to kill songbirds. The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.

Neil at All People Have Value posted a number of interesting pictures from his trip this past week to beautiful Cincinnati, Ohio. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

2012 saw the Republican Party lose the Presidency once again, mostly because of their complete refusal to learn from their mistakes, and evolve. As we inch ever closer to 2016, Texas Leftist is left to wonder if the GOP learned anything from the last cycle. Given the dominance of Media Harlot Donald Trump, the answer is a likely “no”.

===========================

And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Mike Tolson hears the echoes of Loving v. Virginia in the arguments made by same-sex marriage opponents.

Paradise in Hell counts down the last days of freedom in Bastrop until the inevitable Obama/UN takeover of Texas.

Charlotte Coyle confesses her reluctant patriotism.

Texas Clean Air Matters envisions Houston as a leader in zero-emission cargo transport technologies.

Better Texas Blog celebrates beautiful, messy democracy.

Grits for Breakfast analyzes Rick Perry’s speech on race relations and criminal justice reform in the context of his time as Governor.

Bucees Texas City

This week’s feature photo is of some swag from the Texas City Buc-ee’s.  Just because it’s summer, and I like Buc-ee’s.  The hugely popular gas + knick knacks + bathrooms + everything mega-chain opened its 10th flagship store in Terrell, Texas last month. They still need one somewhere on US 59 north (soon to be Interstate 69) between Houston and Texarkana though.  Maybe just maybe founder and CEO Arch “Beaver” Aplin will stumble across this blog post??

Texoblogosphere: Week of July 6th

The Texas Progressive Alliance congratulates the USWNT on its awesome FIFA Women’s World Cup win as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff reports that thousands more Texas state employees are now eligible for spousal benefits thanks to the SCOTUS ruling on same sex marriage.

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos and contributing to Daily Kos observes that it should be obvious the state’s government has become a gathering place for crooks, crony capitalists, religious fanatics, homophobes, racists and misogynists. Texas Governor Cruel.

SocraticGadfly takes a look at American exceptionalism, and the subject of counterfactual history, to produce some musings about the Fourth of July and American independence.

There are two things that will probably keep Sen. Bernie Sanders from acquiring the Democratic nomination for the US presidency, writes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs in the first of two posts on the topic. Clue: one of them isn’t money, and the other isn’t the questionable intelligence of the average American voter.

============

And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

The Lunch Tray updates us on her “pink slime” legal case and her use of Texas’ shield law.

Eric Berger explains why some rocket launches fail.

Elizabeth Rose has no trouble reconciling her Christian faith with same sex marriage.

Cody Pogue finds no good reason to oppose same sex marriage.

Two Houston Tomorrow interns share their bus-riding experiences.

 

image