Brian’s Run For Delegate

I thought I would post about one of the most hardest thing my husband and I ever had to go through: running for state delegate. Besides my dad’s house (you should all know what a nightmare that was), running for office was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

Honestly, the first 8 months were probably the hardest… and that’s granted the campaign lasted a little over a year.

Donations

When Brian first announced to our family and friends at a party we threw, I thought the support was going to be tremendous. I had set up ActBlue beforehand and made sure it was working so people could donate ASAP. No one donated. No friends, no family, no one. It wasn’t until maybe September when we got our first donation. We had several people said they would but no one donated until then.

The first people to donate were people who’s door Brian knocked on. I remember that feeling of seeing the ActBlue notification of a gift of $25. Finally, we were relieved. I had Brian write a thank you note right away.

We didn’t raise a lot of money throughout the campaign but Brian wasn’t asking for it either. We didn’t tap any friends or family. We didn’t send out an email with the companies we worked for asking for donations. Besides Brian’s parents, we only raised a few hundred dollars total. Brian’s parents gave the most.

Campaign Lit

I had always wanted to go to a union shop but VistaPrint was cheap and they had great deals and the quality was great. We started out with business cards. Brian would door knock with them. We eventually had to bite the bullet and upgrade to something larger so we got postcards instead. We started out one-sided then opted for two sides… one being the stances, contact info, his picture, etc. The other, a personal message mentioning that he’s NOT A LAWYER.

We also purchased a few signs and posters with his logo.

The Logo

I had came up with a few things for Bri. He liked the cursive font with the Maryland flag. However, everyone thought it was too hard to read. By this point my sister was bugging me about a campaign video and we needed the logo to be concrete. I just changed the font and the alpha of the flag (making sure the 4.5:1 color contrast ratio for accessibility was enforced).

We went through like three logos. Even now people still say it’s hard to read but whatever. Maybe something that lead to us losing.

The Campaign Video That Never Was

When Brian started out, my sister, Stacy, offered to help with a campaign/intro video. I wanted to film the whole thing in one weekend. I had obtained a script from a guy online. I wanted it to be funny but the guy didn’t put many jokes in it. I had already came up with some jokes so the guy included some of them but all-in-all, looking back, I was disappointed in the script.

My sister came down for the weekend and I gave her the script and she immediately started to revise and make changes. I thought it was such a waste to let it go and Brian was awful filming. He won’t act the way I wanted and I got very frustrated with everything.

This was one of the worst weekends of my life. I had to divorce myself from it. My camera was crappy, we didn’t have all the things we needed for the script… it was just bad all over.

After the weekend, my sister took the footage we had (we shot more after she was gone). She and her friend tried to edit it together but nothing really came about it.

I wanted the video to be a 1-2 minute thing that said who he was, what his platform is, what sets him apart from the rest of the crappy candidates, but it never went. I wanted it to only take about a month so we could release it end of September to share on social media. I was hoping it could be a hit on YouTube since it would be funny but we stopped.

I do thank my sister and her friend for their effort.

Door Knocking

Our whole campaign strategy was about the doors and the events. We never through any meet-and-greets besides the one at Leisure World in September. It didn’t go well at all. Only four people showed up. It was a flop.

We got the voter data from Nation Builder and instead of paying thousands of dollars for the VAN, I decided to create my own.

It took me three days to load all the data into a MySQL database and another few days to build an app around it. It was all stored locally on my laptop at home (a laptop I especially bought for the campaign to replace my old PC).

I would create lists off of the data by choosing a street, looking it up on Google Maps, and getting the streets by it for a route. I created over 160 lists which was around 80% of the knockable district. A lot of the un-knockable district was Leisure World, apartments, or houses that were too far apart to knock.

Bri used these lists throughout the campaign. Bri’s parents would come over for the last two months of the campaign and flyer doors.

The app worked well and I would like to add upon it and have it as an alternative to the expensive VAN. However, I’m going to have to come up with a better way to load and update the data.

Events

Like I had mentioned before, Bri never had any meet-and-greets besides the one in Leisure World. He attended a lot of group meetings though. Every group I heard about, I made sure Bri attended their meetings. I wanted Brian to be a different kind of delegate. One who doesn’t just show up during election time. I wanted him to continue to going to these groups if he had won.

He mainly just did group meetings at night and even attended meet-and-greets of other people we knew were running.

Strategy

Like I said before, our whole strategy was door knocking. We also touted the fact (and hammered it) that Brian is not a lawyer. There was only two other candidates who weren’t lawyers running. Brian is also fact based. I made sure his website had links to articles that were proof of why Brian thinks that way. No other candidate does that or has that. Actual facts? What? And ideas to boot. And he backed up his ideas with facts!

Friends

We pretty much postponed our social lives until after 8PM. Bri would door knock all days

But where to start with our friends? First off, mostly all of our friends were not supportive of Brian running. They would ask how it was going but that’s about all. Only my friend from work joined us for a march (with the exception of our friend’s son). Mostly the marches were family and some of our political friends.

Let me get that straight… our friends were almost of no help but our political friends were of help. The people we met for Bernie stuff helped out a bit. Other than that, it was just us and family.

I am disappointed that our friends didn’t help us. It was something that really hurt me a lot during the campaign. I’m over it now and I’m still friends with people but it really hurt that no one would help. People barely could like Brian’s page on Facebook.

Social Media

God did Facebook cause me much anxiety. When we first announced in June 2017, I thought immediately Bri would get a lot of FB likes on his page. We got like 15. And it stayed at 15-20 for MONTHS. This was the most depressing thing for me that a lot of our friends couldn’t even bother to like his page. I can’t explain how much depression I felt because of FB. I was always tempted to pay for ads for Brian so he’d get more likes but knew I would regret it (if it even panned out).

Social media is not one of my strong suits. I sucked at posting to FB and Twitter but I always felt Brian needed to do that for himself.

Twitter wasn’t so bad. Brian got quite a few followers so I wasn’t depressed about Twitter. He even had more followers than someone we knew running who had hundreds of FB likes.

But ya, FB sucked and caused me to go through a lot of depression.

It’s A Big Club

2018 was a year where a lot of progressives ran for office. We were already helping our friend out in his County Council run. We met a lot of progressives on the campaign trail and if Bri wasn’t running, I would have totally helped them out in their campaigns.

However, a lot of these progressives turned out to be very popular. Much more popular than Brian. People I hadn’t even heard of were suddenly getting all the attention from Bernie groups (i.e. Moco’s Our Revolution) and Brian wasn’t. I had been a part of those kind of groups for a long time and never saw any of these other progressives in there. However, they got all the attention and not Brian.

George Carlin famously said, “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.” I hate to report but the way I feel about progressives is the same… it’s a big club and we ain’t in it.

Endorsements

We spent hours and hours filling out candidate questionnaires for endorsements. We put our time and effort into finding the right words to say, spelling, grammar, etc. In the end, most came down to money anyway.

Here’s a list of groups that I have completely lost respect for because their endorsement process is a joke. Just have the most money or be able to raise the most money and you’ll get their endorsement.

  • MCEA – Ie. the Apple ballot/teachers union. My god. It didn’t matter what kind of views you had. You just needed to have the right amount of money in your bank account. Only one of the incumbents got their endorsement along with the rich guy and the union lawyer.
  • Sierra Club – We were pretty green. We wanted 100% green energy, everything recyclable, etc. Didn’t matter to them. They only cared about the money in your bank account. The two incumbents and the rich guy got their endorsement.
  • Progressive Maryland – We thought for sure we’d get PM but they instead endorsed the two incumbents and the union lawyer… go figure.
  • Progressive Neighbors – Nope! We are not the incumbents so we didn’t get their endorsement. They also went for the rich guy as their third.
  • SEIU – These people really treated Bri like crap. They scheduled a last-minute meeting and when Brian showed up, they didn’t. He tried to call them back several times (even talking to them) to reschedule but they never gave him a time. Seems they didn’t want to hear how Bri would help them with a $15 minimum wage, universal healthcare, etc.
  • All unions – Bri didn’t get any union endorsements. They all wanted to see the money. Like I explained before, money wasn’t our strong suit but door knocking was.

I am deeply humbled and honored and I thank the only two groups to give Brian an endorsement:

The Montgomery County Green Democrats and Montgomery County Our Revolution

These two groups didn’t care how much money you had in your bank account. They didn’t ask for other endorsements. They were strictly issues based.

And when it comes to the issues, Brian is the candidate.

ActBlue

I will never have ActBlue again. Bernie used it and I had donated to Bernie that way. I even tipped them quite a few times. MISTAKE.

ActBlue charged us lots of money even though we only raised a few hundred dollars through their site. They would charge us like $5+ a month.

I will never do ActBlue again and I will NEVER tip them again. Lesson to learn: DON’T TIP ACTBLUE. They get their money through the candidate.

The Other Candidates

We thought the two incumbents would win but one of them did not. I didn’t care for the other candidates that much. The union lawyer didn’t bother me as much as the others. The only one I really liked (besides Brian) was Jade. I would vote for him if he ran again.

One of the candidates did not treat Brian well. He made peace with her but I didn’t like what she did. She did end up winning.

The rich guy really bugged me. I will not be voting for him (or any of them) in the general. He’s the “progressive” but he raised thousands upon thousands of dollars from out-of-state. Since he raised all that money, he got all the endorsements. And since he was “progressive”, all the progressive groups swooned over him. Like I said, big club.

I really do think no one has the same integrity about money in politics as I do as no one else thinks that him raising thousands of dollars from out of state (and taking PAC/union money) is an issue. The same thing to say of him taking that money is the same excuse corporate democrats (and their defenders) use. Think about that.

Summary

To sum it up, friends hurt, lack of money hurt, determination and family are what got us through. I’m glad it’s finally over. I will NEVER do that again.

Democrats Who Need To Be Primaried 2018/2020

I’m going to grow this list. I wanted a place which I could update to tell people (and remind myself) of the democrats who are just not on our side and who need to lose their seat.

This is a national list and I’ll try to update it with big votes in the coming months.

Name State Reason They Need To Lose Notes
Baldwin WI Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Michael Bennet CO Voted to reopen government 1/22/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Blumenthal CT Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Brown OH Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Cantwell WA Voted for CR 1/22/2018
Cardin MD Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Thomas Carper DE Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Casey PA Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Chris Coons DE Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Cortez Masto NV Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Joe Donnelly IN Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Duckworth IL Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Dick Durbin IL Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Diane Feinstein CA Voted for FISA reauthorization
Hassan NH Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Heinrich NM Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Heidi Heitkamp ND Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Doug Jones AL Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Tim Kaine VA Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
King ME Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018 he’s actually an independent
Klobuchar MN Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Leahy VT Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Joe Manchin WV Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Claire McCaskill MO Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Menendez NJ Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Murray WA Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Nelson FL Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Gary Peters MI Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Reed RI Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Schatz HI Voted to reopen government 1/22/2018
Chuck Schumer NY Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Shaheen NH Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Smith MN Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Stabenow MI Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Jon Tester MT Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Udall NM Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Chris Van Hollen MD Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018
Mark Warner VA Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018; Co-sponsored legislation to deregulate Wall Street 11/16/2017
Whitehouse RI Voted for FISA reauthorization; Voted for CR 1/22/2018; Voted for CR 2/9/2018

Votes

Thanks, Obama (The Good, The Bad, The Ugly)

The Good

The Bad

The Down Right UGLY

  • We went from bombing two countries under Bush to SEVEN under Obama; he bombed so much he ran out of bombs
  • We’re still in Iraq and Afghanistan; full scale wars that the media isn’t covering anymore
  • Started wars in Somalia, Syria, Libya; destabilized Honduras
  • Expanded the surveillance state
  • Got rid of Habeus Corpus completely
  • Prosecuting whistleblowers and journalists
  • Campaigned more for the TPP than for single payer or the public option
  • Refused to stand with Occupy Wall Street and refused to stand with Standing Rock
  • Started Cold War tensions with Russia
  • Did nothing to help the people of Flint Michigan or other areas dealing with poisoned water
  • Did absolutely nothing to get money out of politics

There’s so much bad that outweighs the good. I would like to think it could have been worse had McCain or Romney won. War is what really gets me with Obama. Having two cousins in the military I cannot look past his record on that.

As an overall grade I would say D. I wouldn’t vote for Obama again if he could have ran. Despite all the bad I will miss him and I thank him for all the good. There is still too much to do in this country and we should have fought harder with Obama. It’s sad progressives need to fight tooth and nail with the Democrats. I just hope the left is awoke now for the shit storm that will be Trump because it’s looking that he will be a lot worse.

Electoral College Thoughts

With Hillary’s loss and win with the popular vote, there again is talk of getting rid of the electoral college. Back in 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote yet lost the presidency. Hillary won the popular vote by a large margin but lost the presidency.

Should we get rid of the electoral college? My opinion is no.

The electoral college gives candidates a reason to visit states. According to 538, there are around 12 swing states. If the US was to get rid of the electoral college, candidates would only have reason visit the most popular states; i.e. California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

I think I remember Trump saying he would have only campaigned in like six states instead of fifteen if there was no electoral college.

I know I’m going against like all my progressive heroes on this but I believe we need to keep the electoral college so smaller states can have a voice as well. And I’m from Maryland where we never get any love from either candidate every presidential election cycle. And we perhaps would if the US got rid of the electoral college since we’re like the nineteenth most populous state.

I’m for keeping the electoral college but I think we should award electoral votes based on voter turnout. There is/was no incentive to vote. ONE PERSON could have shown up to vote in any state and all that states electoral votes would go to that person whom the ONE PERSON voted for. Presidential candidates should work for every vote and try to ensure that his/her base actually shows up to the polls.

For example, my great state, Maryland, has 10 electoral votes. Say if only 58% came out to vote and Hillary Clinton won the majority of the vote, Maryland’s electoral count should be 6 and be all awarded to Clinton. Probably rounding up the percentage of eligible voters is best. Even smaller states, like a state with 3 electoral votes, would have reason to vote so their population can hit that 66% threshold so they can be awarded their full 3 electoral votes.

But I believe there should be more incentive to go out to the polls if we did it this way. I know that people roll their eyes at this because most of my friends and peeps are informed but there are a lot of people who feel like their vote doesn’t make a difference. I think if we were to award electoral votes based on turn out, people would feel they have more of a voice. It would definitely drive democratic numbers up since the higher the turn out the more the democrats win.

Anyway, that’s my idea.

Progressive Sources

Something that I had forgotten to blog about in my lessons learned from the election 2016 was all the progressive media that I now listen to instead of the hallow,corporate-owned, corrupt, in-bed-with-wallstreet MSNBC. Here’s a list of my favorite progressive heroes and independent media I trust and that I draw strength from:

  • Jimmy Dore – The one and only. I met him in Philly. Listen to his stuff religiously.
  • The Humanist Report – Hosted by Mike Figueredo. Good progressive and political commentary on the latest news.
  • Redacted Tonight – Hosted by the amazing Lee Camp. Every Thursday they do a live taping of Redacted Tonight in DC. Lee Camp was also in Philly along with John F. O’Donnell. He’s the only quazi-celebrity to make it to my quotes page.
  • The Young Turks – Been a fan for a while now. I used to watch Cenk Uygur on MSNBC a while ago. His tone and political views got them to fire him (same fate for Ed Shultz). But I’d watch TYT for election results during the primaries since we were all on the same side (Bernie) and they give it to you straight.
  • Let The Madness Begin – Two awesome dudes who do short progressive vlogs talking about the latest in politics.
  • Debbie, The Sane Progressive – This woman is awesome. She rants and raves about Bernie and the progressive movement and what the democrats do, etc. I also met her in Philly and she gave me a hug.
  • Secular Talk – Just started to listening to this guy, Kyle Kulinski. Very knowledgeable dude.
  • Democracy Now! – I actually don’t watch Amy Goodman as much as I should. They cover the most important topics on the show and have great guests.
  • Cabin Talk – Claudia Stauber, who I saw in Philly but I met her a few weeks back at the Take Back Democracy DC rally, talks the latest in Bernie, progressive politics, etc.
  • Progressive News – Hosted by Tim Black. Awesome guy. I met him at the Take Back Democracy DC rally. He was also in Philly with Black Men For Bernie. I don’t watch him as much as I should.
  • The Trews – Russell Brand’s youtube show. It’s pretty good. I catch it from time to time. Always complaining about republicans.

Wow, I got quite a list of progressive heroes!

I also listen to Best Of The Left podcast from time to time.

Another few dudes to add to the list are:

  • Greg Palast – He does investigative journalism and documentaries especially in the areas of election fraud, where he’s an expert. I met him in Philly. He sat on one of our posters! Catch his latest documentary, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
  • David Sirota – I follow him on twitter. He’s a REAL journalist with the IBTimes.
  • Jordan Chariton – He’s with TYT Politics. I would follow him on twitter but he tweets too much! I love him anyway.
  • Jeremy Scahill – I follow him on twitter. Co founder of the Intercept. I’ve been following him for years. Big into our military involvement.
  • David Shuster – I’ve been following him for years as well. Tells it like it is. He was on MSNBC for a while.
  • Edward Snowden – Of course!
  • Julian Assange – Wikileaks. Keep fighting!

But don’t think I don’t get MSM as well. I still check Google News to get my fill of corporate owned MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, etc news. I read a lot of articles everyday.

Don’t Blame Me For Trump

I remember protesting in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention. I protested at the wall(s) they set up to keep us out. I remember yelling and screaming at the top of my lungs to Hillary delegates, “YOU JUST ELECTED TRUMP!”

I didn’t want to be right. I thought for the longest time Hillary was going to win. I’m still in disbelief.

Me in Philadelphia holding a sign that says don't blame me for Trump

We Can Finally Unite Now 2016

I know most people are feeling horrible, angry, sad, terrified, etc about the United States just electing Donald Trump. I’m trying to find a silver lining.

After the primary the democrats “tried” to unite us behind Hillary Clinton. However a lot of us progressives refused to unite behind the corrupt democratic party and its chosen candidate due to all the shit they did in the primaries against Bernie Sanders. And I’ve blogged before how the DNC treated Berners at the convention and all the road blocks they threw up to choose Hillary instead of Bernie. Myself and a lot of other progressives I know could no longer stand being a democrat.

But now we have something that draws us together; stopping everything Donald Trump wants to do. Democrats can finally own up and change their positions on the failed right-wing policies the Clinton’s and their donors got them into supporting. They can now stand up against the TPP, against war, against DAPL, against deregulation, against mass surveillance etc. These are all things the democratic AND republican parties were for (hence why progressives had to fight democrats).

Now that Donald Trump is elected, the neoliberal stances that the democrats adopted can now be discarded. Democrats no longer have to support (or pretend to support) something so God awful like the TPP just because Obama was for it. Hopefully this election woke people up.

I have my allies back! We can join together to protest everything bad Trump tries to do. We can protest if he tries to get us into war. (Something told me that if Hillary wanted to start a war, not many of my liberal friends would be by my side in trying to stop it.) We will be against everything bad that Trump wants to do.

And who knows? We may even be surprised what power we can hold now we have a common enemy. Richard Nixon ended the war in Vietnam, started the EPA, introduced health care, etc… all liberal ideas.

It needed to reach a boiling point. With Trump we might have that boiling point.

But now is the time to organize and plan and protest and get involved. Now is the time to rebuild the democratic party to what it was originally for: the working class. Let’s do this!

Curing World Hunger

The United Nations put a price on solving our global food crisis (world hunger). The price is around $34 billion a year (in 2008 it was $30 billion a year).

Put that number in prospective… in 2015 the military budget was $598.5 billion which is almost 20x more than it would cost to provide food for all the food insecure people on the planet.

Even if we weren’t to cut anything from our military or any other budget, we could still cure this problem and be a hero to all the world. (Just imagine how much respect we’d get if WE helped that many people.)

The population of the United States was 318.9 million in 2014. Assuming about half the population pays taxes that’s 159,450,000 who pay taxes. If we were to raise taxes to fund the necessary $34 billion a year to cure world hunger, we’re looking at a tax increase of $213.24 a year. That’s roughly $0.59 a day!

I think solving food insecurity in the world is worth another 59 cents a day I have to pay in taxes.

Old News?

No doubt that everyone has heard in the news recently about Hillary Clinton’s pay-to-play stories while she was Secretary Of State.

But is this news? I’ve been keeping a file of news articles of Hillary’s corruption now for quite a few months. Anything that’s shady I learn of Hillary Clinton I write down along with the URL of the mainstream media (or other trusted media) source.

I’ve known about Hillary’s pay-to-play for a long time now. It was reported in 2015 that shady stuff was going on while Hillary was Madam Secretary. Why is it just fully coming to light now?

Brian brought up a good point last night. The media wanted to release it now. The media had it for months, if not years, but they chose now to release it. Maybe because it’s a slow news cycle. During the primary there was always something to report about Trump. He totally dominated the news.

But why not push this story out when it mattered; during the primary? Cause they never needed to “sell papers” or generate clicks on stories. There was always something else going on. So we’re thinking the media sat on it until it was a slow news cycle.

Of course I’ve known about the pay-to-play for months now. I’ve been screaming about the blatant corruption of the Clinton’s. So have other progressives.

Recently Chris Hayes and Joan Walsh finally realized Hillary is a warmongerer and her being president would be dangerous. We’ve been saying that the whole damn time! But they dismissed us; everyone did; during the primary. Now they finally realize Hillary is dangerous.

Makes me wonder what else they’ll be parading out later about Hillary. Her ties to the big banks, ties to Monsanto, Wal-Mart director where she did nothing to help unions, her son-in-law’s ties to Goldman Sachs, ties to Russia with the uranium purchase; the list goes on. Hell maybe they have the transcripts of Hillary’s speeches they’re sitting on.

Hillary supporters should get ready cause if Hillary becomes president, be prepared to defend all these scandals and many more.

Diary Of Philadelphia At The DNC 2016

I decided to go to Philly to protest the DNC and the horrible choice of Hillary Clinton. I’ve been putting my heart and soul into Bernie Sanders’ campaign since he announced. I donated time and money for over a year. I saw it through to the end when he conceded at the DNC in Philadelpia. I cannot possibly try to describe the once-in-a-lifetime feeling I had being there around people like me. Everyone was so awesome. Everyone talked. It’s like we were all friends. I even got to see and meet some of my progressive heroes like Lee Camp, Debbie the Sane Progressive, Greg Palast, and Jimmy Dore.

Pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/niles38/albums/72157670935743242/

Here is the diary of what my experiences were. If you ever get a chance to be a part of something bigger than yourself, please do it and see it all the way through. I need to keep harping on these feelings since I may never feel this way again. That’s how much this experience meant to me.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

  1. Woke up & finished packing; texted Heidi
  2. Went over Heidi’s house & helped decorate her car with Bernie writing
  3. On the way up to Philly we saw another Bernie car decorated; we honked & waved
  4. We also saw Black Men For Bernie bus; they later honked at us
  5. Got to the hotel in New Jersey and checked in
  6. Went to nearest PATCO station; Heidi & Ken got the Bernie Sanders banner; I got my Jill Stein quote sign
  7. There were other Berners on the platform; talked to them while waiting for the train
  8. Some guy accidently fell; when he got up, he said, “Hillary for prison!”
  9. Did an interview with a news station with Heidi & Ken on the platform
  10. Talked with other Berners on where to go; decided to go to the Climate Rally
  11. Started marching with the Climate Rally that ended at Independence National Historic Park
  12. Chilled at Independence National Historic Park; Ken got us lunch
  13. Decided to go to the March For Bernie at 3; saw Josh Fox speak as we were leaving; gave the rest of our lunch to a homeless man
  14. Went to Philly City Hall to start the March For Bernie
  15. Marched to FDR Park; fire hydrants were open so we took turns going through them to cool off; march was around 4-5 miles
  16. Chilled at FDR Park for a few minutes
  17. Decided to head over to the Fire early for Lee Camp
  18. Walked a few blocks since traffic was blocked off to get an Uber (only Uber we took the whole time)
  19. Chilled at The Fire; Heidi got pizza; drank until the show
  20. It was really hot in the room; Lee Camp and company were late coming out
  21. During the show Ken made a chair joke; there were a few chairs at the front; Ken said “one less chair today” referring to DWS; I was also the only one who “wooed” for agnostics
  22. Left the show early since it was so hot
  23. Got directions from fire fighters; caught the Philly subway (SEPTA) to PATCO
  24. Went back to the hotel

Monday, July 25, 2016

  1. Got up & had breakfast; they had waffles; took picture & sent it to Bri
  2. Got ready & left the room
  3. Had a problem finding parking; parked at a Bernie campaign headquarters a few blocks away
  4. Met more Berners on the platform waiting for the train
  5. Went to Philly City Hall for the Press Conference which turned out to be a rally
  6. It was a huge rally; got separated from Heidi & Ken several times
  7. Saw Nina Turner speak
  8. Met up with Mel & gang
  9. Heidi wanted to eat so we decided to do the 3:00 march instead of the 1:00 march
  10. Walked across the street to a ritzy place; had a crabcake sandwich & beer; talked to two college kids who were Berners
  11. Jimmy Dore walked in as we were leaving!
  12. Said hi to Jimmy Dore and that I was a huge fan while walking out… didn’t want to bother him while he was eating
  13. Ken left for home
  14. Marched to FDR Park
  15. Banged on wall & protested outside the wall
  16. Found a spot on the lawn for the Jill Stein Power To The People Rally
  17. Heard others & later Jill Stein speak
  18. Afterward banged on fence during the rain
  19. Hundreds of Berners seeked shelter under an overpass walking back; some of them wanted to block up traffic; tried to stop them since it wasn’t helping anything
  20. Headed back to the hotel; got a shower
  21. Went to Wegman’s for sushi & fruit

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

  1. Got up & had breakfast
  2. Ran into Hillary supporter at breakfast; asked me where I was going today; tried to tell me Bernie will be a huge part of Hillary’s campaign & platform moving forward; doubted it heavily
  3. Got to the train; went to Thomas Paine Plaza for the Bernie or Bust rally
  4. Debbie the Sane Progressive spoke; Lee Camp spoke; YahNe Ndgo spoke
  5. Heidi stalked Jimmy Dore & when he was free called me over to get my picture taken with him! I told him I had a crush on him & he kissed me!!!
  6. Jill Stein spoke
  7. Got on Philly metro (SEPTA) to take it to FDR Park
  8. Had to exit one stop before since we weren’t allowed at the last stop (since that was for the delegates); when we got off the train people were chanting “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie”; amazing moment
  9. Saw the DNC put up another wall to stop us; protested at the wall; yelled to Hillary delegate that she just voted to send her children to war; cried for my cousin and my friends who are in the military
  10. Watched a bit of the convention in FDR Park (they had a stage & huge screens)
  11. More protesting at the walls
  12. Headed back & ran into Jill Stein walking to FDR Park; I was like two feet away from her; she spoke briefly; people swarmed around her
  13. Headed back to the hotel & had a shower
  14. Went out to dinner and ran into some Berners; had dinner with them!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

  1. Got up & had breakfast
  2. Ran into Bernie supporters on the platform; an older guy named Dan (who looked like Robert Reich) and his trip mate, Patricia; lots of Berners did carpools and traveled together even if they didn’t know each other
  3. Heidi & Dan did an interview with HBO
  4. Black Men For Bernie Rally; a few Hillary supporters showed up; someone took one of their signs & then gave it back (hey they did it to us inside the convention); we later all hugged the Hillary supporters
  5. Heidi got up on stage & spoke
  6. Ran into Mel who got up on stage & spoke later
  7. Kshama Sawant spoke
  8. Had milkshakes at McDonald’s; spoke to a woman who didn’t know who Bernie is; spoke to a Hispanic young guy who would have been deported thanks to the crime bill but he fought it
  9. Listened to Jill Stein speak again :)
  10. They took a picture of everybody
  11. Headed down to FDR Park
  12. Heidi met LBJ’s daughter on the train
  13. Got stuck on the hoity toity delegate train since we couldn’t get off; had to ride it back a stop
  14. Banged on wall
  15. Listened to delegates speak at the stage
  16. Greg Palast spoke
  17. Watched Greg Palast’s new movie
  18. Met him & got my picture with him!
  19. He sat on one of our posters for a bit while we all watched his movie
  20. Rumor started about Bernie so they stopped the movie to address it
  21. Did the death of the DNC march with candles & a coffin
  22. A helicopter started to fly really low since hundreds of us were protesting around the wall & they got scared we were going to do something crazy
  23. Peace and love thing started again
  24. A Bernie delegate was being interviewed; told stories about how the delegates were told to remove one sign, then another, then another; if they didn’t do so they’d be kicked out; if they got up to go to the bathroom or get a snack a Hillary supporter would take their place; the whole convention was staged to make it seem like the democratic party is united when IT IS NOT
  25. Headed back to hotel; had debate with Hillary supporter on the way back

Thursday, July 28, 2016

  1. Got up & had breakfast
  2. Packed up & checked out of the hotel
  3. Headed down to Philly; no Berners on the platform since we just missed the train
  4. Dance party at Thomas Paine Plaza
  5. Saw Debbie again
  6. Listened to various speakers; Hillary supporters there & they spoke & BM4B debated them
  7. One of the BM4B guys got an email from a Hillary supporter who worked for the Pennsylvania government; read the email; horrible horrible email
  8. Left for home
  9. Stopped at Burger King along the way for food
  10. Ran into traffic; didn’t get home until around 7
  11. Sad days ahead

Pictures I’m In

Searching through the internet, pictures of the DNC and protest around it; I’ll keep track of photos I find myself in here:

Why I Became An Independent

I posted on Monday that I have officially changed my party affiliation to Unaffiliated (Independent). I am through with the Democratic Party.

In fact I’m pretty much through with the whole concept of political parties. Why should we label ourselves and put ourselves into boxes? We all do not think alike.

That’s why I really don’t understand the “Vote Blue No Matter Who” movement that some democrats are trying to push. If that’s the case, why should the primaries matter at all? Why vote in them if all candidates representing the Democratic party are equal?

They are NOT equal. For example, Hillary and Bernie are WAYYYYYYYY different. They both have radically different views on a lot of issues. In fact, a lot of Hillary’s views don’t align with the Democratic party at all (ex. she favors trade deals, offshore drilling, fracking, taking money from big interests, war, government surveillance, etc; all of which and more go against who Democrats are supposed to be).

The Democratic party and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz have been completely unfair to Bernie throughout this entire primary. From limiting the number of debates, lining up Super Delegates before a single vote has been cast, sharing campaign offices, joint fundraisers, etc. Hillary has been given every advantage.

I will not just fall in line and vote for Hillary. My vote needs to be earned and she’s no where close to earning mine. In fact Trump is a lot closer. And from what it sounds like, she’s not interested in mine or any other Bernie supporters’ vote. She’s busy sucking up to Bush donors. Democrats compromise everything they stand for in support of Hillary. So many good progressives in the media have lost their credibility by trying to defend her. I don’t get it.

I’m happy that I’ve chosen to leave the DNC corruption. Democrats are in bed with corporations and with friends like that, who needs Republicans? The Democratic Party no longer represents me. I haven’t changed my views. As Reagan once said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Party left me.”

Bernie Sanders’ Tweets & YouTube Stuff

Here are some of the awesome things Bernie Sanders has tweeted:

  • I’m not running for president because it’s my turn, but because it’s everyone’s turn to live in a nation of hope and opportunity for all. – February 7, 2016
  • I want our country to have the distinction of having the best educated population on earth. – Sept 21, 2015
  • In my view, some of the real heroines in our country today are single moms. – Sept 20, 2015
  • Congress bailed out Wall St. because it was too big to fail. In my view, if a bank is too big to fail, it’s too big to exist. Break ’em up. – Sept 18, 2015
  • It’s time to break up the banks. Their casino-style gambling has helped divert 99 percent of all new income to the top one percent. – Sept 16, 2015
  • Virtually every campaign for president has a super PAC funded by millionaires or billionaires. Not me. – Sept 15, 2015
  • You can’t have it all. You cannot continue to get tax breaks when people across this nation are going hungry. – Sept 12, 2015
  • When Roosevelt ran for reelection, he welcomed the hatred of what he called “the economic royalists.” I’m prepared to do that as well. – July 8, 2015

Here are some awesome YouTube videos for Bernie:

Here’s a bonus article:
Sanders Against The Corporate Media http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/08/18/bernie-sanders-is-running-as-much-against-the-corporate-media-as-he-is-against-hillary-clinton/

Not So Good Things About Hillary Clinton

If you know me, you know I Feel The Bern and am a Bernie Sanders supporter to the very end (even going so far as to write his name in if he’s not the Democratic nominee come November). And I know it’s not Bernie’s style to go on the attack as he’s never run a negative campaign ad in his life. But since Hillary is going on the attack against Bernie, I thought it well to attack her a bit.

So here’s a list of stuff I compiled that do not paint Hillary Clinton in a good light. I believe she’s very corrupt, wrong for our country, and here is proof.

Our Biggest Threat

The second Democratic debate happened last Saturday night. The night before, Paris experienced a horrible terrorist attack which had killed 129 people and wounded many more. My thoughts go out to them.

Bernie Sanders was asked specifically if he thought climate change was still our biggest threat and he said YES.

Bernie’s answer is absolutely right. Climate change is still our biggest threat. Obama even got blasted for saying that climate change impacts more people than terrorism. And there’s data to prove it.

Bernie’s plan to combat ISIS is to create a global coalition and let the other countries in the region take care of it; like Iran. Iran is ISIS’ enemy. We have allies in the area that have millions of troops.

The other candidates (including Hillary) have no real plan. In fact Huckabee’s plan is to tear up the Iran nuclear deal. Is he stupid? Iran and ISIS are enemies.

It is very sad what has happened in Paris. And my thoughts do go out to them. But when you tally up deaths from guns in this country (which 129+ people die in four days due to guns in this country) and deaths due to climate change; it’s clear what OUR biggest threats are and they’re not terrorism.

Oh and by the way, if you’re not informed on what is happening in Syria, here’s a cartoon that can explain things to you.

Clinton’s Not-So-Shiny Moments During The First Debate

Thought I’d blog about Hillary Clinton’s not-so-great moments in the first Democratic debate of the 2016 presidential election. The debate took place on October 13, 2015.

  • When discussing banks that are too big to fail, Bernie Sanders said his plan was to break up the big banks. Anderson Cooper then asked Hillary Clinton how her plan was better. She said:

    …The plan that I have put forward would actually empower regulators to break up big banks if we thought they posed a risk.

    If they posed a risk? How about now? The largest five banks control 45% of the industry’s total assets!

  • After Bernie Sanders brought up the deregulation that happened under the Clinton administration and how we need to break the big banks up, Anderson Cooper asked Hillary Clinton to respond. She responded by saying:

    I represented Wall Street, as a senator from New York, and I went to Wall Street in December of 2007 — before the big crash that we had — and I basically said, “cut it out! Quit foreclosing on homes! Quit engaging in these kinds of speculative behaviors.”

    Clearly that worked.

  • When Anderson Cooper asked how would a Hillary Clinton administration not be a third term from President Obama, Hillary Clinton responded by saying:

    Well, I think that’s pretty obvious. I think being the first woman president would be quite a change from the presidents we’ve had up until this point, including President Obama.

    Wow, that is new!

  • Anderson Cooper asked if Hillary Clinton regretted her vote on the Patriot Act of 2001 (you know, the one that took away liberties such as habeas corpus, Hillary Clinton said this:

    No, I don’t. I think it was necessary to make sure that we were able after 9/11 to put in place the security that we needed.

    Aww, come on, really?

  • When talking about the DREAM act and instate tuition for undocumented immigrants, Anderson Cooper asked where Hillary Clinton stood on providing it since both Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley are in for it. She said this:

    My plan would support any state that takes that position, and would work with those states and encourage more states to do the same thing.

    Anderson Cooper then interjected and asked if she believed undocument immigrants should get instate college tuition, she replied:

    …If their states agree, then we want more states to do the same thing.

    So she’s for STATES RIGHTS? WTF?

  • Anderson Cooper said Hillary Clinton plead guilty to being kind of moderate and center and asked her if she changed her identity depending on who she was talking to. She replied:

    No. I think that, like most people that I know, I have a range of views, but they are rooted in my values and my experience.

    A “range of views?” Clearly, yes, her views are whatever is politically popular at the time. She helped negotiate the TPP and is now against it. She also switched her position on the Keystone XL Pipeline, free college tuition, gay marriage… the list goes on.

  • When Martin O’Malley said Hillary Clinton was against Glass-Steagall, Hillary Clinton responded with this:

    Well, you know, everybody on this stage has changed a position or two.

    How original. And that came from a real presidential candidate!

The full transcript can be found at the Washington Post’s website. Please note that it is subject to change since big media has been changing things all over the internet since the debate. Their online polling said Bernie Sanders won, focus groups said Bernie Sanders won, he got the most google searches, the most followers on social media; yet all the news outlets claim Hillary Clinton won.

#UCCShooting Best Tweets

Special United States! Look at how tiny the scroll bar is on the School Shootings in the US page! And that page is just tables! It’s not even any descriptions! We’re so special we get our own page when it comes to school shootings.

Anyway, so I’m on twitter today looking at some of the #UCCShooting tweets since yet ANOTHER school shooting happened. Here are some good tweets:

And two of my favorites from twitter (that have been said in may different ways):

  • How come baking a cake is participating in gay marriage but selling a gun to someone ISN’T participating in murder?
  • One Mexican kills someone = DEPORT THEM ALL; Twenty angry white dudes commit mass shootings = LET’S NOT RUSH TO JUDGEMENT.

I have these pages bookmarked on my phone just in case I get into a debate with a right wing nut job over guns:

Best Self Interests

I have to wonder what a poor guy in a rural area (let’s call him Bob) and a rich business man have in common… they both vote Republican. But why? Why does the poor guy seem to think that voting the same as the business man will benefit him or be in his best self interest?

I think people need to think about which political party really aligns with their beliefs. I can’t see many people like Bob actually having the same interests as the Koch brothers. Think about some of the things the Koch brothers stand for:

  • No taxes on the rich
  • No government regulations
  • No protections for the “commons” like the environment
  • No protections for workers
  • Unlimited money in our elections
  • No free education
  • No social safety net
  • No guaranteed health care coverage
  • Free market that isn’t regulated
  • No tariffs

How can any of these views match what a working person like Bob believes?

Sure I guess in some distant universe far, far away Bob could lift himself up by his bootstraps and become rich and have the same ideals. It does happen but probably not to Bob or the millions of low-wage workers…

So why want no taxes on the rich? Why wouldn’t Bob want government to regulate what companies can and cannot do? It’s his planet, too. Doesn’t Bob want to be protected from his boss demanding him to work 70 hours a week with little pay, no benefits; or else get fired? Bob doesn’t have millions of dollars to spend on our political process so why would he want the Koch brothers to be able to do it? Maybe Bob wants to better himself or send his kids to college so why wouldn’t Bob want affordable or free education? If Bob gets sick or if he has to stay home with his sick wife, wouldn’t Bob want some safety net since he most likely doesn’t have savings since his wage is so low anyway? Wouldn’t he want to be sure he has health coverage no matter what? Wouldn’t Bob want regulations on Wall Street so they don’t fuck all of us over again like in 2008? Doesn’t Bob want to make sure his job stays in the United States and not go over seas where someone can do the same thing for pennies on the dollar to what Bob makes?

The only thing I can honestly see Bob and the likes of the Koch brothers having in common is guns. But this issue is negligible since the Democrats haven’t done anything on gun control. They’re too afraid of the NRA to do something as simple as expanded background checks (which could have prevented mass shootings).

I don’t understand how people like Bob would want to vote for the same interests as the Koch brothers. They’re clearly on two sides of the political spectrum.

Planned Parenthood

I am really getting sick of people attacking Planned Parenthood. People seem to think all Planned Parenthood is out to do is destroy fetus’. They’re for family planning. They’re for helping people. Like 3% of what they do is abortions and yet that’s all they get flack for. They never get any good press. Get the facts.

If they do ANYTHING wrong, it’s like open season. They get flack from Congress, the Republicans, and basically anyone who is pro-life.

Planned Parenthood is one of the only places where women can go and get help and not be judged. (Besides by those idiot protesters who stand out front of the Planned Parenthood offices holding up stupid signs of dead babies; cause that’s effective.)

Women who are poor, women who are in college, any woman can go to Planned Parenthood and get their yearly examinations and mammograms for free; without insurance. It’s one of the only places that does this. They can even get birth control for free.

I know; I did it for years. I didn’t have health insurance for ten years of my life (through high school and college). Planned Parenthood was there for me.

I take offense to anyone who wants to smear them and tear them down. They’re doing good things. Why can’t people and the press see that? They’re helping people.

Quickie On Minimum Wage & When I Used To Earn It

When I was in college my husband (then boyfriend) and I worked this minimum wage job up in western Maryland just so we could be together. We worked 30-40 hours a week so pretty much full time. We earned the minimum wage of $5.15 an hour.

I remember getting my paycheck and it instantly going to food and rent and that was it. I didn’t have any left over. In fact I may have owed money.

Maryland is awesome and liberal so since then the minimum wage in our state has risen to $8.00 an hour (soon to be $8.25 July 1st 2015, $8.75 July 1st 2016, $9.25 July 1st 2017, and $10.10 July 1st 2018). I wrote my congressmen a lot of letters regarding the minimum wage in our state.

Using an inflation calculator, if I were a college student working minimum wage now, I’d be earning around $7 an hour in circa 2005 dollars. That could have afforded me a lot better life. I might have actually gotten by without borrowing money that summer.

Well that’s this blog post’s story. Vote Bernie Sanders and vote for a higher minimum wage!

Why America Shouldn’t Be Considered A First World Country

Everybody thinks the US is a first world country. However some things in this country make it less than great. I think that America isn’t really a first world, but somewhere between second and first. We show a lot of the same behavior or characteristics of a country that isn’t first class. Here are some examples:

Healthcare

We’re way behind a lot of other countries who are not first world; like Cuba. The Affordable Care Act did great things but we’re not there yet. Every citizen isn’t guaranteed healthcare yet. Our life expectancy (#51) and infant mortality rates (#50) are still higher than a lot of other countries. Even some which we consider worse.

Women In Power

According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the US is 80th in the world in women in parliaments. There are only 20 senators who are women and 79 (or 18%) are in the house of representatives. We still haven’t had a female vice president or president. Even the Philippines has had a women president.

Incarceration Rate

We’re number one in prisoners per capita at 716 per 100,000 population; behind Russia at 490 per 100,000 population. We blow Mexico out of the water. They only have 209 per 100,000 population. We’re less than 5% of the population yet we have almost 25% of the prison population of the world. First world countries start around 100 on the list, but we’re number one in incarceration rate.

Birth Rate

We still have a lot of kids in this country which isn’t like a first world country. And it’s really funny too. Other countries have a lot of incentives for their citizens to have kids, but not in the US. We don’t even get paid maternity leave. The only thing guaranteed for us is under Clinton’s FMLA; and that’s unpaid.

Guns

We have the highest number of guns per capita (and the highest gun deaths). We have 88 guns per 100 people and 10 gun deaths per 100,000 population. Switzerland is behind us with less than half our number (45.7 per 100 people).

Income Inequality

We’re not doing well here either. We’re worse than countries like Egypt, Niger, Iraq, Iran. Even India and Ethiopia have better income equality than we do. Our gini coefficient is at 40.8.

Military

The United States is always high when it comes to military expenditures. We’re number one in defense spending. In fact, according to the World Bank, we spend 4.2% of GDP on military. We’re in the company of all third world and below nations. The UK, only 2.4%.