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LAS14's Journal
LAS14's Journal
June 29, 2016

What?? Huff Post screws up royally.

"Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, responding to Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Istanbul, called for the United States to “defeat the forces of terrorism and radical jihadism around the world,” using a controversial term that many Democrats, including President Barack Obama, have argued wrongly links terrorism to the entire religion of Islam."


Marina Fang ought to read the newspapers (or some news source) before she starts writing dumb things. Clinton (and Obama? dunno) has been using "radical Jihadism" for months and months to avoid using "Islam." Rightfully so, I think.

June 27, 2016

Aha!! My sudden flash about why we should be worried.

Of course Brexit analogies with the campaign abound. Chief among them is the ignorance factor. The Google search for "what is the EU" from England the next day... Here's another thought. The people on the Trump side are driven by anger and entertainment. It's an adrenalin rush to support Trump. People may go to the polls the way they go to a sporting event. Unfortunately, Hillary supporters tend to pay attention to the issues. This isn't as exciting. It will be harder to get them to turn out. I'm not sure what we do about this.

The world may be getting too complex for democracy to work.... sigh... But turning decision making over to the elites sure doesn't work, as we saw in England.

What should we do?

June 24, 2016

OK. I've figured out why we have Trump.

It was Brexit that did it. Two hundred years ago we'd have had an actual on the streets revolution. Not so possible with the resources available to the state. So, instead, the electorate who are enraged at losing their position in society while the 1% fly further and further away are using their power to tear apart the institutions supported by the 1%. But these institutions are also supported by the other 49%, so we suffer. We and the 1% need to take this rage seriously and do something about income inequality and the rate at which it is growing.

But we shouldn't do it at the expense of other values like racial and sexual preference inequality. And we should do it in a way that builds on what we have.

But we should definitely view Trump and Brexit as wakeup calls.

June 21, 2016

Cross post from the lounge.

This has absolutely nothing to do with Hillary - not even with politics, but I really do value this group as a place where smart, common sensical, and often more tech savvy people than I congregate. If you have the time and interest, I'd be interested in your thoughts.



June 21, 2016

Can people really read this fast?

The other day I went to McDonald's, a place I associate with predictability and consistency and tasty food (not necessarily healthy, I know.... but tasty). I was with a woman who spoke very little English and so I wanted to help her walk through the list of offerings. To my consternation, I couldn't find such a list. There were specials and all day breakfast lists and other stuff. It took me a couple of minutes to see that the list of specials appeared in the left most panel and then disappeared, to be replaced by other things. It didn't stay displayed long enough for me to walk through it with my friend. It really didn't stay displayed long enough for me to peruse it and think about what I wanted, if I hadn't already known my own order.

I've seen other examples of where written things just disappear too fast for me to read them. One of the earliest and most egregious examples is the credits after a movie.

Have people really learned to read this fast? Or are these kinds of messages just not considered important enough to be actually read and thought about?


June 18, 2016

Former MPLS mayor R T Ryback keynote speech

This was e-mailed to me. I don't have a link.

(At a time when it is important for Democrats to unify to defeat Trump, I gave this keynote last night at the Vermont Democratic Party's annual Curtis Dinner. It was written with my son Charlie Rybak)

I want to talk to you about someone who changed the course of American politics.
He was a United States Senator but he was a little scary to a lot of people. Passionate rhetoric. Wild hair. He made the comfortable very uncomfortable with his tough stands on reform of an economic system that was leaving too many people behind.
The name of that Senator was Paul Wellstone. He was MY senator, a true hero and when he died in a plane crash a little bit of all of us died with him.
We lost Paul Wellstone but his work is very much alive today. After he died loyal followers started Wellstone Action, which has now trained hundreds of activists who hold political offices around the country. They practice his grassroots tactics but, even more important, his core value that "We all do better when we all do better." Paul Wellsone's impact is felt across this country every single day.

I want to tell you about another Senator who changed the course of American politics.
He ran for President on an unapologetic progressive agenda and built a young, loyal following. But when he got to the convention he didn't have enough votes. His supporters were heartbroken and dejected but he didn't give up. He started a reform movement in the Democratic Party, changed the rules to open the doors to more women, people of color and young, new voters. Four years later a far more democratic Democratic Party held it's convention and this time the nominee was that progressive reformer, Senator George McGovern. His campaign manager Gary Hart, would later run himself, again challenging the status quo.

I want to tell you about a great political leader who changed the course of American politics.
He came from right here in Vermont and he started out as a long shot running for President. He was quickly dismissed because people said he couldn't compete with establishment politicians who could raise huge sums from special interests. He proved them wrong by building an astonishing network of small donors. He didn't need super pacs or special interest money. His donors gave 50 bucks, 25, 10, even five, but it added up to millions, and he reformed the way we think about political fundraising.
That reformer from Vermont was Howard Dean. I was an early and passionate supporter, and when he lost we were crushed. But the Dean campaign's pioneering grassroots fundraising efforts were the model, only four years later, that helped Barack Obama, improbably, become President of the United States.

Wellstone, McGovern, Hart, Dean: They were true heroes to me and losing those elections, and, in the case of Wellstone, that life, left me devastated. But I'm not talking about them because they are part of our history, or mine. I'm not nominating them for some Mt. Rushmore of Grassroots Politics. I'm talking about them because echoes of their campaigns are very much heard today. They reverberated through what would grow to be a roar of reform that rose up from the campaign of Vermont's own Bernie Sanders.
Even more important, they remind us that the victories we get in politics don't always come conveniently packaged in a single election cycle. Just as you could hear the echoes of those candidates of the past in this year's Sanders campaign, I truly believe the impact of the Sanders campaign will be heard for a generation.
Something big has happened, something seismic. It started right here in Vermont, and there is no going back to business as usual. And it would not have happened if, first people in Burlington, and later all of you in Vermont, hadn't had the guts to elect, first, Mayor Sanders, and later Senator Sanders--and then loan him to the rest of us.
For that I want to say: Thank you Vermont.

June 16, 2016

What's this about? I got blocked. Said it should go in "Primaries"

Isn't Hillary our nominee for the GE???? Nothing here about Sanders.


June 16, 2016

Millenials for Hillary!! (??)

“We’re very passionate about Hillary, [but] perhaps less outspoken about it,” said Keith Drucker, 21, a rising senior at Boston University who volunteered for Clinton in New Hampshire. “And maybe that is a characteristic that more Bernie supporters have, that they’re a little bit louder, and a little bit more in your face.”

June 16, 2016

Is this a look at a post-Sanders progressive agenda? NYT


What will a post-Sanders progressive agenda look like? The first stop will be the official party platform. But for all the work and squabbling that go into them, platforms have long been throwaway documents.

The real progressive agenda will be written over the next few years, either to push the Clinton administration or to shape a challenge to a Republican president and Congress. But it’s unlikely that this new progressive agenda will be Mr. Sanders’s agenda, specifically, or that Mr. Sanders himself will be the leading advocate and arbiter of progressive policies in the way that Senator Edward M. Kennedy once was. Mr. Sanders is still running the Windows 95 version of progressive politics.

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