comments from readers


March 22, 2018 by stephenshubert

Reader comment:  On Sat, Dec 16, 2017 at 9:53 PM, Kay Keeler  wrote (sorry for the delay):

I think I’ve heard that the Democratic Party has changed the whole Superdelegate concept. For starts, here’s what needs to happen for the Democratic Party to thrive:
1. All large donors are named, how much they gave and any affiliations or agendas listed
2. New younger candidates (with no skeletons in the closets) are recruited and trained in how the US laws and various branches of the Federal state or local Government work
3. Every race is contested by great Democratic candidates.
4.  The Democratic Party is known for its stand (platform) for:
      -equality, eliminating poverty with a guaranteed income paid
          for by those benefiting most from from our capitalistic system.
          A wealthy tax would be the best way to create a balanced
          federal government
      -a prosperous middle class
      -good jobs doing what enhances the quality of life on the planet and can only
          be done by caring human beings. Use technology to do boring, complicated
          or dangerous jobs that can be done better and faster by robots
      -ending discrimination, people being responsible for biases and prejudices
      -sane gun control that honors hunting as a sport, but forbids military armament
           for civilian use
      -efficient and honest government including Medicare-for-all
      -affordable education maximizing XXI Century technology and interest
      -immigration reform, welcoming and assisting vetted people from
          around the world to thrive in our democracy
      -massive investment in our infrastructure
      -a massive change in how our political campaigns are financed
      -firm and clear separation of Church and State
      -fair and apolitical Congressional redistricting
      -encouraging family planning, preparing couples on successful parenting
          –no unwanted children being born, policy for supporting effective parenting
Kay Keeler

   from David Turnoy

State Democrats Chair Tina Podlodowski is on her way home from the latest meeting of the DNC, and here is her report on the current standing of the Unity Reform Commission proposals, the work of the commission established to reform the party and establish trust in the process:

“What I think you might wish to know first is what happened with the Unity Reform Committee recommendations – and the news is good! We’re making progress, and I’m confident that changes asked for by grassroots democrats will be accomplished. DNC members voted to accept the Rules and Bylaws Committee report that calls for reducing the influence of unpledged delegates (super delegates), expanding the use of primaries, taking steps to protect the right to vote, making caucuses more accessible and increasing both transparency and grassroots participation.

The accepted Rules and Bylaws Committee report calls for:
• Reducing the influence of unpledged delegates or “super delegates” in the presidential nominating process.
• Expanding the use of primaries
• Working to achieve same-day registration and same-day party switching in all states
• Combatting voter suppression tactics through legislation, party rules or litigation
• Making the party competitive in every state and territory
• Increasing grassroots participation
• Making the party more transparent, including in its Joint Fundraising Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding
• Strengthening inclusivity and building on the great diversity of the party
• Making caucuses inclusive, transparent and accessible 

The Rules and Bylaws Committee has until June 2018 to complete its work, which includes the crafting of any rules, bylaws, or charter amendments necessary to implement the major reforms agreed upon today by the full DNC. These measures will then go to the full DNC for consideration at the summer meeting (look for this to happen in August most likely…)

Did you know?

A proposed 28th Amendment,  would ensure that congress has no more and no less than the benefits of  the  citizens it represents. The governors of 35 States and Counting suing the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens on their states. It only takes 38 states to call a constitutional convention.  If you agree with the proposal, please pass it on. It’s an idea whose time has come to deal with this self-serving situation:  Children of Congress members do not have to pay back their college student loans. Staffers of Congress family members are also exempt. Members of Congress can retire at full pay after only one term.

Federal Budget

Members of Congress have exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed, under which ordinary citizens must live. For example, they have exempted themselves from Healthcare Reform, in all of its aspects.

We must not tolerate an elite class of such people, elected as public servants and then putting themselves above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent, or whatever. The self-serving must stop.

Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon their states. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention. IF??? Each person that receives this will forward it on to 20 people, in three days most people in The United States of America will have the message. Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the Citizens of the United States …”

LA Times Opinion: “Now that large corporations will be able to keep trillions of dollars more over the ears thanks to the Republican tax plan, perhaps it is time for them to contribute more to the Social Security trust fund.  Rather than the current 6.2% of wages they put in, they should pay 8.2% – James Clark.  A good idea for the Democratic Party to pursue?


Paul Ryan Trying to Rescue Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R, Washington)
We’ve been saying it for months now: this is the year that we’re going unseat Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Well, it appears Cathy finally got the message. She’s worried and looking for help.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, Paul Ryan’s super PAC, has set up shop here in Spokane to potentially spend millions to try to save Cathy McMorris Rodgers from her own unpopularity. Cathy has ignored her constituents for years and has been an adamant supporter of Donald Trump. And now she’s facing a formidable opponent in Democratic candidate Lisa Brown.
 from the State Democratic party newsletter

Speaking of which, Paul Ryan is facing a challenge from Democrat Randy Brice:  He is opposed to all Ryan is doing right now to take away: Health Care repeal the Affordable Care Act (no, he hasn’t given up)  – Cut $500 million from Medicare, and much more from Medicaid) – Take away worker rights – exacerbate climate change by promoting fossil fuels and defunding green technologies – Keep the dirty campaign financing laws, and expand them – let churches (Yes!) form political action committees and take positions on candidates – among other democracy destroying laws – Deport immigrants rather than develop a fair and community building immigration  system…

Possible Presidential Candidates

  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Senator Kamala Harris
  • Senator Corry Booker
  • Representative Joe Kennedy
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden

Who do you support?

A profile: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand 

You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office. …

The exchange was great publicity for a politician who is considered a possible candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.  Gillibrand has said she is focused on running for reelection in the Senate and not for the White House. But if Democrats are looking for someone with anti-Trump credentials, she fits the bill.

Born into politics

Her grandmother was a confidante of longtime Albany Mayor Erastus Corning and president of the Albany County Democratic Women’s Club, and her father was a well-known lobbyist.

Gillibrand attended Dartmouth College and UCLA Law School, graduating in 1991. She joined the Manhattan law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell and later worked as special counsel to then-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo. She is married and has two sons.

Gillibrand volunteered for Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign and has often described her as a role model.

“In my adult life, politically, no one has inspired me to get off the sidelines and truly make a difference more than Hillary Clinton has,” she wrote in a post on Medium in 2016 explaining why she was supporting Clinton for president.

Both Hillary and Bill Clinton supported Gillibrand in her successful 2006 bid for a seat in the U.S. House representing the upstate, largely rural 20th District of New York.

Starting out as a conservative Democrat

In the House, Gillibrand was a member of the so-called Blue Dog Democrats, a coalition of moderate to conservative Democrats. She opposed strict gun control, famously stating that she and her husband kept two rifles under their bed, and voted against policies that were seen as offering any sort of “amnesty” for immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally.

She earned a reputation for transparency, posting records of her daily meetings, earmarks and personal financial disclosures online. And she became one of only a handful of women to give birth during her congressional tenure.

In 2009, when Hillary Clinton vacated her U.S. Senate seat to become secretary of State under President Obama, New York’s then-Gov. David Paterson appointed Gillibrand, who was still largely unknown outside of upstate New York, to replace her.

Moving left in the Senate

Gillibrand has moved left since joining the Senate, reversing some of her earlier positions. She supported gun control and co-sponsored a version of the “Dream Act,” which would have provided a path to legal status for immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. She earned wide recognition for securing bipartisan support for legislation that ensured permanent healthcare and compensation for Sept. 11, 2001, first responders.

Gillibrand also made a name for herself on military issues and sexual assault. She worked to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning gay people from openly serving, introduced the Military Justice Improvement Act to remove the decision of whether to prosecute sexual assault cases from the military chain of command, and co-sponsored the Campus Accountability and Safety Act requiring colleges and universities to meet certain standards for training and reporting around sexual assault.

Taking on Trump and sexual harassment on Capitol Hill

In 2017, Gillibrand elevated her national profile by taking bold public stances against Trump. She amassed a record of consistent “no” votes on the president’s nominees to appointed positions and spoke out against his executive order banning travel to the U.S. by immigrants from majority-Muslim nations.

As public attention has turned to allegations about sexual misconduct, Gillibrand has been out front calling for the resignations of politicians who have been accused. She has also introduced legislation to overhaul policies for reporting and combating sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.

“This moment of reckoning about our friends and colleagues who have been accused of sexual misconduct is necessary, and it is painful,” she wrote in a Dec. 6 Facebook post calling on Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to step down. He did so the next day.

In an interview with the New York Times, Gillibrand said she thought President Clinton should have resigned when his affair with Monica Lewinsky came to light, provoking a collective gasp within the Democratic establishment.

Philippe Reines, a past advisor to Hillary Clinton, called Gillibrand a “hypocrite” on Twitter. “Over 20 yrs you took the Clintons’ endorsements, money, and seat,” he wrote. “Interesting strategy for 2020 primaries. Best of luck.” In an interview on MSNBC, Gillibrand called Reines’ response “ridiculous.”

“Bill Clinton did very important things for this country,” she said. “But my point is about this conversation we are having today, and that we need to have the highest standards for elected leaders.”  It was her recent fight with Trump on Twitter, though, that brought Gillibrand the most attention.

“Congress should investigate the multiple sexual harassment and assault allegations against him,” she wrote, provoking Trump’s fiery response. Her last message — telling the president he could not silence her — was retweeted 150,000 times, more than sixfold as many times as Trump’s.



4 thoughts on “comments from readers

  1. George Keeler says:

    Add to the list for next President: Moulton, Congressman from MA, Kobuchar, Senator from MN, VanHollamd, Senator MA


  2. Kate Scott says:

    While i appreciate that we have a place to get and share information, I’m concerned that many of the statements on here are completely false. For starters, Congressional retirement at full pay after one term, and not paying into social security are false. We need to be more careful about repeating false fox talking points that have been going around the internet for years and years.
    Same holds true for the claims that Congressional children and relative’s student loans need not be paid back.
    Same with the “28th Amendment” paragraph.
    If i didn’t personally know Mac Langford, I would have thought this newsletter was put out by a Libertarian Republican. This is not how we Democrats operate. Tell the truth. Don’t spread right wing anti-government lies and misinformation – especially things that have been debunked for years.


  3. The above article from David Turnoy has a section titled “Did You Know” which is just downright wrong and full of misinformation.

    Congress does NOT get full retirement after serving only one term. They are NOT exempt from paying into Social Security. Their children and family members are NOT exempt from paying back their student loans. The 28th Amendment and Warren Buffet’s plan are in the same category.

    We are Democrats. We are not suppose to be passing on right wing Republican/ Libertarian Fox noise generated chain letters full of lies and misinformation. We are Democrats. We tell the truth.

    Thank you for this newsletter where fellow Democrats can discuss and exchange information. I would only hope that the information be factual and that we all fact check things before we post them. thank you. Kate Scott


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