Bernie Sanders Wants To Change The Democratic Party

Give Justice A Chance

Bernie Sanders made it clear last night in California that he’s no longer running against Hillary Clinton. He’s running against Trump.

But more importantly, Bernie continues to run because he hopes to imprint his values and issues indelibly on American politics.

Bernie wants to establish a left-of-center political movement that will live on long after the 2016 primary season is over.

As Bernie said last night, he wants to see a political party embrace the values of economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and he added environmental justice.  He wants the Democratic Party to open its arms and clearly, wholeheartedly, embrace those values. Is that too much to ask?

The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind.

It appears that Bernie’s justice values, which have their roots in Dr. Martin Luther King’s  civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, are the values of the American political future in the 21st-century.  That’s the conclusion I draw from the apparent fact that the younger generation of voters has enthusiastically embraced Bernie’s program.  Those voters are the future of democracy in America.

All Bernie is asking, is that the Democratic Party open its doors wide and welcome the young voters and the working-class voters who have supported him so enthusiastically.

He’s asking that the Democratic Party make clear that it is the party of social and economic justice, racial justice, and environmental justice.  He’s asking that the Democratic Party make it clear that it is the party of the working class, not the party of the privileged elite. It would be a tragic failure if the Democratic party concedes the working class vote to the Republicans, he said.

All he is saying is, “Give justice a chance.”

To an old baby boomer, that seems to echo the memorable chant:

“All we are saying, is give peace a chance.”

— John Hayden

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How Far The Republican Party Has Fallen

Let’s try to apply a little historical perspective to the 2016 election.

When Nelson Rockefeller, governor of New York, ran for the Republican nomination in 1964, his divorce and remarriage were considered to be disqualifying, in the eyes of many voters, especially Republican women.

Today, the presumptive Republican nominee for the highest office in the land is . . . Donald Trump? How many times has he been divorced? I forget. It doesn’t matter.

How America has changed in half a century! We were an intolerant society with overly rigid standards. We’ve become a society with no standards at all. We tolerate anything.

For Donald Trump, the charismatic chameleon, no standards apply. Nothing is too crude or too reckless. There are no limits to what the crowds will cheer for.

I wonder, what would President Eisenhower think of Donald Trump as commander-in-chief?

— John Hayden

 

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Bernie Sanders Is Winning The Contest For The Democratic Nomination

News flash: Bernie Sanders is winning!

Why does the mainstream media report over and over that Hillary Clinton is almost certain to be the Democratic nominee?

The presumption of a Hillary Clinton nomination is based on a dwindling lead of fewer than 300 pledged delegates, with 18 states yet to vote.

Hillary’s lead is based entirely on Democratic primary victories in the former Confederate states of the Deep South, from South Carolina to Texas. Is the Democratic nominee going to win any of the Deep South states in November? Highly unlikely. We are conceding the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton based a handful of Southern states? I think this is wishful thinking put out by the vast Democratic Party establishment, and repeated by cable TV pundits as if they were parrots.

Since the contest moved on to other parts of the country, Bernie Sanders has reversed the momentum. Sanders shocked the Clinton campaign by winning the Michigan Democratic primary. Michigan, unlike the South, is a state the Democratic party can win in November. Clinton held off Sanders in two other important states, Illinois and Ohio. But Sanders won Minnesota. It looks like Wisconsin will be the tiebreaker in the big Midwestern states.

(Full disclosure: I’ve donated more than $200 but less than $300 to the Sanders campaign in recent weeks, mostly in $27 increments. I am a confirmed Sanders supporter.)

This past weekend, Sanders won all three contests. He won by margins of 70 percent or more in Washington State, which may be a bellwether for the West, and in Alaska and Hawaii. And still the mainstream media anoints Hillary as the winner? Sanders has also won a slew of other Western states, such as Colorado. 

Of the states that have held Democratic primaries or caucuses to date, Hillary Clinton has won 18, and Bernie Sanders has won 14, if my arithmetic is correct. Several of the largest and most Democratic states have yet to vote.

An epidemic of blindness, delusion and denial is sweeping the U.S. establishment, in both Democratic and Republican parties. Just my opinion.

Next up, Wisconsin and New York.

I had this email message today from Jeff Weaver, who is Sanders campaign manager:

“For the past several years, Wisconsin has been ground zero for worker’s rights, women’s rights, and voting rights. Those people cannot afford to wait for incremental change — they need a president who will think big about the transformational change required of this moment.”

Do you think there might be a big turnout in Wisconsin?

Both Sanders and Clinton are campaigning hard in Wisconsin. But only Hillary is dodging Erin Burnett on CNN.

Earlier this evening, I watched Erin Burnett’s live interview with Sanders in Milwaukee. He answered all her questions, and none of them were softballs.

At the end of the interview, Burnett turned to the camera and said to the viewers: “I want you to know. . .”

What she said next is this:

Hillary Clinton, who is in Wisconsin, was also invited for a live interview with Erin Burnett on CNN. Sanders accepted the interview. Clinton demurred.

Sanders is seeking a debate in New York before that state’s primary. Hillary is dodging that request.

To sum up, we’re coming up on big primaries in Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, and other states, including Maryland. I wonder what the primary results will be in California.

Remember, you heard it here first. Bernie Sanders is winning.

— John Hayden

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Bernie Sanders Is The Grandfather Figure Americans Will Vote For

Bernie Sanders

Meet Grandfather. His mind is sharp as a tack!

The question of the week: Is Bernie Sanders electable in a General Election???

The implied assumption is that a Democratic-Socialist from Vermont could not survive in real-world politics, with “real world” defined as the part of America outside New England. See an interesting discussion over at Clarissa’s Blog.

It is true that Bernie would have a hill to climb to persuade 51 percent of American voters to support him. But wait! Every presidential candidate must climb that hill. Would it be more, or less, difficult for Donald Trump to achieve 51 percent support in the General Election? How about Ted Cruz?

In Sanders vs. Trump OR Sanders vs. Cruz, both the Democratic and Republican nominees would be unconventional candidates. Maybe even strange candidates. In a normal election year, none of the three would stand a snowball’s chance of winning a major-party nomination.

The scenario is, we have a strange, unprecedented election in front of us. Totally unpredictable. But we can take a look at a number of obvious political factors. Continue reading

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Bernie Sanders For President

Bernie SandersSen. Bernie Sanders announced today that he will run for president of the U.S. in 2016.

Sanders, the Independent U.S. senator from Vermont, will run as a Democrat. He calls himself a democratic socialist. Remember those two words:  democratic socialist.

I could support Bernie Sanders for president. Let me think about it.

For video of the Sanders announcement, see Politico.

I’ve been a participant-observer in Democratic Party politics for a long time. Usually, I think long and hard when two or more Democrats are competing for the same office.

Thinking back to 1968, I was a Democratic college student during the Vietnam War. Like many students, I supported Sen. Eugene McCarthy, the peace candidate, for president, My memory is unreliable, but after Bobbie Kennedy entered the battle for the Democratic nomination, I was torn between McCarthy and Kennedy. It was a tough decision, and I don’t remember which way I came down. I also respected Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the more traditional candidate that year. Bobbie Kennedy, of course, was assassinated after the Democratic primary in California. Humphrey won the nomination in Chicago, while the Chicago Police Department ran riot amidst protesters on the streets. Humphrey lost to Republican Richard Nixon in November.

OK, I’ve thought about it. I believe I’ll support Sen. Bernie Sanders for president of the U.S. in 2016. Things can change. I might change my mind. But I doubt it.

The times were right for Gene McCarthy or Bobbie Kennedy in 1968. The times are right for Bernie Sanders in 2016. In 1968, the issues were war and peace and civil rights.  In 2016, the issues are economic equality and civil rights. Not since 1968 has the line been so clearly drawn between the elites and the people.

I believe Bernie Sanders could win a Democratic primary election in my state, Maryland. A U.S. Senator named Barack Obama upset the establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton, here in 2008. It has happened before; it could happen again.

A quote for Democrats to think about from The Washington Post blog, The Fix:

“Sanders will be the beating heart of the party while Clinton will, always, be its head.”

May you live in interesting times. More later. Anyone else ready and willing to commit to a candidate?

— John Hayden

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The Establishment, Including Cable TV, Wants To Prevent Bernie Sanders From Winning

Bernie Sanders said at the outset of the campaign that the Big-Money Establishment (my words) would resist his “political revolution” with all its power.

And now that Bernie has gained “the big M” — Momentum — with primary and caucus wins in Western states to match Hillary Clinton’s wins in the South, the pitched battle may be at hand.

I think the Establishment had assumed, until Bernie’s sweep of three western states last Saturday, that Hillary had a lock on the Democratic nomination.

This week, I believe, The Establishment is taking Bernie Sanders seriously. No one expected that voters would embrace Sanders with such enthusiasm and in such numbers.

The Big-Money Establishment certainly did not expect the little-money people to send in enough $27 donations to enable the Sanders “revolution” to outspend the Establishment-financed candidate at this point in the election. 

Pundits on MSNBC “the place for politics” began to complain last night that Bernie Sanders might be able to “BUY” a big victory in Wisconsin. Imagine the nerve of the little people! 

I do believe The Big-Money Establishment is beginning to panic. Just my opinion.  

Buckle up and hang on tight. It might be a long, harrowing ride through Wisconsin and then the Eastern states. 

Hillary won the South, Bernie won the West, the nominee is yet to be decided. If Bernie wins Wisconsin, by even one percentage point, the nomination will be decided in the East.

And in California.

— John Hayden

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How to Convert a Toyota Minivan into a Campervan

Living in my car, or preferably a van, has been, for many years, my Plan B for the time when rents will become unaffordable. The livable van also sounds like a good option for low-cost travel or camping. This post is a great how-to for a simple van conversion. And simplicity is always a good idea, especially when the idea is to live and travel frugally.

roamwildandfree

After many months of traveling the U.S. in our car, popping up the tent every night, and enduring all that Mother Nature dumped on us, WE UPGRADED! Transitioning from tent life to van life is not as complicated as one may think! You don’t need to buy a top of the line cargo van while spending months of time and $$$ gutting it and rebuilding it to perfection (don’t get us wrong, appreciate all 4-wheeled works of art). Converting the minivan into our road home was cheap and easy, just the way we like it. Below are the simple steps we took for the conversion.

Step 1. Gut the Van

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This was easy as pie. We took out all of the seats and floor mats behind the front cockpit. At this point we also detailed the entire van to clean the interior up.

Step 2. Figure out your platform dimensions

DSC_0370

Finding the right dimensions for…

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March 30, 2016 · 4:00 pm

Status Report

Spring is here in Montgomery County, MD. I’m recovering from moving to a (slightly) larger apartment. Hope to start blogging again soon. My attention is riveted to the political crisis of 2016. Or is it a revolution?

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March 10, 2016 · 5:41 pm

Walk No. 362: The Learning Curve

This post from The Green Study is a “helpful” meditation for Super Tuesday. Most of the political vitriol that passes for news on “Cable News” channels in election year 2016 is not helpful.

Thanks to Michellle for a post that will help us keep our sanity for the balance of the election year.

The Green Study

canstockphoto3085947It was a mild day for February in Minnesota yesterday. The sun was out and the birds were already doing their territorial and mating songs. After skimming the news for the day, I needed a walk. My mood was dark, as it usually is after taking in the shootings, the bloviating politicians, the wars and violations of human rights around the globe. As someone prone to depression, I have to fight the sense of desolation.

An alarm often goes off in my brain. Do something! Do something! I have that mentality of trying to fix, mediate, improve, or intervene, which leaves me a paralyzed, impotent ball of anger in the face of overwhelming and constant bad news. I thought about writing letters to Congress, refusing to buy certain products, running for local office, donating money to this cause or that. Bandages for my ego and drops in a bucket.

I…

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Snowzilla Blizzard Success: Car Dug Out, And No Heart Attack

It’s the simple pleasures!

It’s being grateful for the ordinary, everyday things we take for granted.

Such as living and breathing and your heart beating. Can’t get more ordinary than that. You’ve got to do it every day.My car 2My Honda Accord has been freed from the grip of Snowzilla. Took me two days  to accomplish. I consider it a grand success, anytime a male  over 60 digs a car out without a heart attack! And I do not brag. Some other folks were not so fortunate. There but for the grace of God go I. Heaven knows, it’s not because I’m so physically fit. Because, well, I’m not.

I’m delighted to report that here in Gaithersburg, MD, Snowzilla is in full retreat in above-freezing temperatures.

Thanks to all who shoveled, to all those who were prepared in advance with snowblowers, and thanks to the guys who drive those little mean, green machines.

— John Hayden

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Snowzilla Blizzard Photo Gallery

Posting this gallery, Blizzard of 2016 snow photos, before the snow melts.

Snowzilla in Gaithersburg, MD, January 2016. I estimate we received 35 inches of snow, with drifts deep enough to bury a Corvette.

All photos by Bernard John Hayden. Please do not reproduce without giving credit to the photographer and/or the blog. Thanks! Stay warm.

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Snowzilla In The Rearview Mirror

Amazing, isn’t it, how quickly the first snowfall of winter loses its appeal as an exciting adventure? Even if it’s a blizzard?

Saturday evening, it was so deep that even the plows could hardly move. And snow continued to fall, at a rate of one-half inch an hour or more!

We were all in this together. Hopelessly, helplessly, stuck. When the blizzard finally tapered off Saturday night, the world was quiet and at peace. It was perfectly cozy, being snowed in.

That didn’t last long.

By Sunday afternoon, eager beavers were digging cars out. (Hey everybody, what’s the big rush?) Little green machines — miniature bulldozers — were doing what the big snowplows could not. Busily hauling snow away, one scoop at a time. The green machines didn’t care that they were destroying my excuse for hibernating in place.

Monday, even though everything important in Maryland remained closed — all the schools, the federal government, most businesses — people were impatient to be out and about. Even with no place to go. Turns out, there are places to go. The Giant is open, and McDonald’s.

And so, this afternoon, I have no choice but to put on boots, venture out and see about the damn car. Personally, I think  it’s too soon to declare that Snowzilla, the Great Blizzard of 2016, is over. My rearview mirrors, at least, are still covered with snow.

I hate to think about Tuesday. 

— John Hayden

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