A Challenge to Democrats to be more Democratic

gavel and the US Flag

One of the more unfortunate accusations that I’ve been hearing lately is that Bernie Sanders supporters are tearing apart the Democratic Party. That Sanders needs to “back down” so we can unite. But Sanders supporters are fighting for the Democratic party to be more democratic. The media and others, however, have done a bang-up job framing real political challenges from the people (which Sanders represents) as “selfish” and “hurtful.” And a good number of Democrats are taking up those pitchforks and torches and joining the chorus without truly understanding what it is they are attempting to self-righteously snuff out.

John Nichols’ article in The Nation, A Contested Convention Is Exactly What the Democratic Party Needs, (an article widely forwarded by Bill Moyers) speaks directly to why it is so very crucial to continue to challenge not just Hillary Clinton, but the entire Democratic Party. THIS is what Democracy is all about! This is our job description! But so many people have lost sight of that – or never really knew what they could or should do beyond just casting a vote – or what the Democratic Party used to be, its history, and so they don’t recognize what it has the potential to do right now. Hillary might be the nominee in the end (though that’s STILL not a guarantee), but there’s more to be done and more to be gained by continuing to challenge her and those she surrounds herself with. At the very least to the Convention. Hopefully, a lot farther.

John Nichols:

“Prospective nominees tend to favor weaker platforms; Harry Truman would have preferred milder civil-rights commitments than were made in his party’s 1948 platform, and it took steady pressure from unions, liberals and Ted Kennedy to get Jimmy Carter to finally embrace spending on jobs programs. It will take similar pressure to get Clinton and her inner circle to accept a Democratic platform that Sanders says must include “a $15-an-hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health-care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change.” Clinton stalwarts may want to keep things vague, but look for the Sanders team to demand specifics, such as an explicit endorsement of a national $15 minimum wage instead of the $12 proposal that Clinton initially offered, and an unequivocal rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that President Obama supports and that Clinton once championed but now criticizes.”

Continue reading “A Challenge to Democrats to be more Democratic”

A Challenge to Democrats to be more Democratic

“No One Is Above The Law”: From Biden’s Mouth To The Justice Department… Or Paraguay

Listen to VP Nominee, Joe Biden’s answer to the question, Are you guys gonna pursue the violations made against our constitution by the present administration, and restore the constitution to its rightful place in our society?”

As for Obama’s answer to a similar question, the Guardian.co.uk reports:

“[I]f crimes have been committed, they should be investigated,” Obama told the Philadelphia Daily News. “You’re also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we’ve got too many problems we’ve got to solve.”

Which leads me to one of the few mainstream reports on Dennis Kucinich’s “Articles Of Impeachment” presented to the U.S. Congress:

However, let’s hope all this won’t end up being another case of too little too late. For those of you paying close attention, you may remember reading something about the Bush family recently buying land in Paraguay. There were more than a few comments and articles questioning the purpose for this. One was that certain members of the the Bush family might need it to “relocate” if things got a little hot back home. Hell, more than a few criminals (Nazis, bank robbers, dictators) have lived out there lives in relative peace and quiet in Paraguay, as well as Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia. 

However, I looked to see if we had an extradition treaty with Paraguay. We do. You can view it in its entirety HERE. That said, I did notice this one small section that states:

Article IV incorporates a political offense exception to the obligation to extradite. Article IV(1) states generally that extradition shall not be granted for a political offense. The article expressly excludes from the reach of the political offense exception several categories of offenses:
(a) a murder or other willful crime against the physical integrity of the Head of State of one of the Parties, or of a member of the Head of State’s family;
(b) an offense for which both Parties are obliged pursuant to a multilateral international agreement to extradite the person sought or submit the case to their competent authorities for decision as to prosecution; and
(c) a conspiracy or attempt to commit the offenses described above, or participation in the commission of such offenses.
Article IV(2) provides that extradition shall not be granted if the competent authority of the Requested State determines that the request was politically motivated.
Article IV(3) provides that the Requested State may refuse extradition for offenses under military law that are not offenses under ordinary criminal law (for example, desertion).

But perhaps the notion that George W. and his friends and family might “bug out” to Paraguay seems more conspiracy theory than reality at this moment. There is another possible reason the Bush family might want land in Paraguay. You see, the land they purchased is located in Paso de Patria, near Bolivian gas reserves and the Acuifero Guaraní indigenous water region. Acuifero Guaraní just happens to be one of the largest underground water reserves in South America. 

According to CP News Wire, 1980 Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel warned that the real war will be fought not for oil, but for water. “The southern U.S. states are already struggling with water shortages.”

Tim Phillips of The Guardian reports:

Some have speculated that [Bush] might be trying to wrestle control of the Guarani Aquifer… from the Paraguayans.

So why doesn’t that make me feel any better?

“No One Is Above The Law”: From Biden’s Mouth To The Justice Department… Or Paraguay

Gore Vidal on Bush, Cheney, Kucinich and the Demise of the Republic

Anyone who follows the news closely– er, maybe that should be “Anyone who seeks out the news that only a few bother to report”, know about Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s “Articles of Impeachment for President George W. Bush presented to the House on June 9th of this year. Rep Kucinich listed some 30-odd articles describing impeachable offenses committed by the president and vice president.

In the always passionate and insightful Mr. Gore Vidal‘s most recent article, he observes, “Although this is the most important motion made in Congress in the 21st century, it was also the most significant plea for a restoration of the republic, which had been swept to one side by the mad antics of a president bent on great crime. And as I listened with awe to Kucinich, I realized that no newspaper in the U.S., no broadcast or cable network, would pay much notice to the fact that a highly respected member of Congress was asking for the president and vice president to be tried for crimes which were carefully listed by Kucinich in his articles requesting impeachment… It is Le Monde, a French newspaper, that told a story the next day hardly touched by The New York Times or The Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal or, in fact, any other major American media outlet.”

Go here to read “Gore Vidal’s Article of Impeachment” in its entirety. 

Justice, indeed. 

Gore Vidal on Bush, Cheney, Kucinich and the Demise of the Republic