Preserving the Dream- Martin Luther King Day in the Trump Era.

First MLK Day in the Trump Era

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a holiday of special importance. It’s a day on which Americans come together, to mourn the passing of a man who gave his life for the betterment of mankind, and to celebrate the vitality of the magnificent dream he built his life around.

We celebrate our diversity on this day, together, because we know that’s really what makes America great. Variety is the spice of life.

Past years have seen American presidents take it seriously. In 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday. Since then, US presidents have typically observed the holiday publicly, making remarks or attending events honouring the day.

Donald Trump spent his MLK Day at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida. The only event on the White House daily public schedule was the flight that brought him back to Washington in the afternoon.

Ultimately, it’s best he didn’t try, as anything he could possibly have said would have been a ludicrous falsehood. He’s said enough already.

” I’m not a racist,” Trump said, to a room full of reporters on Sunday. “I’m the least racist person you have ever interviewed.”

Whenever people go around talking about how not racist they are, they’re lying.

Trump also took the opportunity to further deny that he had used the term “shithole countries” to describe Haiti and a number of African nations, but everybody knows.

The problems with Trump’s attacks on persons who are not rich white men seems to grow bigger every day.

News outlets and social media accounts have been overflowing with reports of a whole variety of hate-fueled attacks. Slate.com catalogued 1064 such incidents of this kind to take place since last January.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has repeatedly criticized the president for his attitudes and conduct, categorizing the net of their emulation as “the Trump effect“.

It has called the syndrome a virus in our country. It has catalogued 1064 such incidents since Trump took office last November. Most Americans have heard of Charlottesville’s victim Heather Heyer by now. Sadly, she is far from being the only casualty.

Members of the Ku Klux Klan were arrested for stabbing three people in Anaheim, California.

Student Richard Collins III was killed by a white supremacist days before his graduation from the venerable HBCU Bowie State University. A man named Sean Urbanski walked up to him as he waited for an Uber with friends, and allegedly yelled, “Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you!” As this directive was not complied with, Urbanski stabbed Collins in the chest.

In other news, Cliven Bundy, the white rancher who decided to forcefully conquer government land a while back, was set free on Monday.  The incident didn’t lead to violence, but that’s only because President Obama happened to be a kindly man. They just turned off their electricity and waited until it got cold for them all to surrender, which they did.

It’s doubtful that even many Trump supporters would argue it would have happened the same way if Cliven Bundy and his followers were black.

During the eight years of the Obama presidency, we made progress in the field of anti-racism. But whenever progress is made, there’s always going to be a period of reaction. We are seeing a wave of reaction now that is very powerful.

Plainly stated, the deplorables will never forgive any one of us that voted for Obama. Those who dared to put a black man in a White House will be hated by this type for all eternity. Because no matter what they do, no matter what laws they unwrite or what executive orders they reverse, they can never go back in time and make it so that all of our Presidents were white again.

And that’s what it’s really all about. Ann Coulter said it with total candor, Adam’s apple bobbing like a cork in a wine bottle. Make America white again. That’s the great America the Trump supporters recall and want back. That’s what they thought was great about it.

It’s a sad thing.

At any rate, a new study has shown that support for Trump is correlated with a standard scale of modern racism.

A higher level of contact with diverse groups of people has been shown to reduce prejudice.

2016 study found that “the racial and ethnic isolation of white people at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” As such, it’s important to note that Trump’s white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. 

This makes it much easier to fear and hate the people they consider outsiders. History has shown us where that goes.

On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray stood in the bathtub of a shared bathroom, balanced his rifle on a window ledge and shot Martin Luther King Jr. dead, as the civil rights leader was standing on a balcony outside of his motel room.

The same animus that drove that hateful crime is alive and well and cavorting in the streets of today’s America. And it is getting stronger. Every day that malignant orange tumour is polluting the Oval Office is another day the problem gets worse.

However, we are not without recourse. By coming together in unity, by organizing, by refusing to accept, we can outlast any dictator. We’ve got to keep raising awareness, and we’ve got to keep speaking out.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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The Fake Left- Justice Democrats and Other Attempted Hijackers.

Fake Democrats

Robert Mueller, the FBI special counsel, reportedly obtained a search warrant for records of the “inauthentic” accounts Facebook shut down last September, as well as the targeted ads purchased by these accounts during the 2016 election cycle.

The warrant was first disclosed by The Wall Street Journal. We were certainly glad to hear it. There was no end of Trump trolls around to make our lives harder.

But here’s what I keep waiting for.

When is he going to get around to all the inauthentic Russians who were helping out Bernie Sanders?

What about what a friend of mine refers to as the “alternate HRC-verse”?

When will he show us he’s digging equally into those on the left who sold out their country? It’s not like they’ve cut it out.

For example, we have less than 200 days until the most crucial set of midterms in American history. If we don’t retake Congress, we will not be impeaching Donald Trump. Every day that he stinks up the White House is another day that we all risk becoming a cinder.

You’d think anyone with a lick of decency or good common sense would realize we’ve got to come together behind the leaders we’ve got and do what we can to help them.

Maybe so, but not Cenk Uygur, of the so-called Justice Democrats.

“It is time for them to step aside and let us lead. If you want unity, we’re ready to lead,” Uygur said on his popular internet TV show, The Young Turks.

The sheer brazen insolence! How many Presidents have you helped get elected, Cenk? Worthless as can be. Good for nothing but hurting real Democrats.

What kind of sense does it make, to throw primary challenges at Democrats already holding office? None, of course. But that’s what they’re doing. The Justice Democrats formally came together with the Brand New Congress back in March, with the intent of getting rid of every Democratic candidate everywhere who will not line up behind Bernie.

The related organization #WeWillReplaceYou is another splintered fragment of Bernie or Bust, recollected and sharpened into a razor.

There’s also Bernie’s 501 (C) (4) social welfare group Our Revolution, the official outgrowth of the Sanders “revolution”.

Our Revolution and Bernie Sanders were the first to start howling for Al Franken’s blood. Most likely it’s because he was both smart and loyal. He voted with the Party in almost all cases, and he would never have sold out to Bernie. That’s minus one Democrat they’ve got to “replace”.

When Hillary Clinton lost a far closer and equally acrimonious primary to Barack Obama in 2008, she chose to throw all the support she had behind the freshman Illinois senator immediately. That decision to keep intact the integrity of party unity was a crucial factor in propelling him to victory over Republican John McCain.

One might have expected Bernie Sanders, friend to the little people, to do the same. He had to realize how badly we’d get hurt if the Republicans got back in the White House. But his endorsement of his opponent came nearly a month later. And when he finally did it was tepid and dishwater. He hurt us all he could.

Jill Stein and the Green Party serve the same Russian Trojan Horse function here as their analogue Die Linke does in Germany. Stein is the one member of the alt-left to be formally included in the Russiagate investigations so far, due to her attendance at the infamous gala held in Moscow with Putin, Michael Flynn, and Paul Manafort.

However, there’s also a certain Tad Devine who managed the campaign of a certain Vermont senator. He was Paul Manafort’s right-hand man in Ukraine, back in 2004 at a time when both were the property of the thug and ex-convict Viktor Yanukovych, who in turn was the property of Putin.

Turns out he worked on Al Gore’s campaign with Donna Brazile, whose recent anti-Clinton accusations received a great deal of media attention. This might have been how that whole distraction got cooked up last fall.

There’s a clear confluence between the alt-right and the alt-left regarding Vladimir Putin and the ratfucking, (to use a venerable Watergate-era term) performed by Russian hackers, trolls, and bots.

Putin spoke highly of Bernie as well.

And even 2016 Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Gary Johnson pointed out during the cycle that “Interestingly enough, the candidate I most often side with, on 73% of the issues, is Bernie Sanders”.

The name of Bernie Sanders did not appear on the ballot as a candidate for President in any state during the 2016 general election. But a large share of the blame for this disaster that is the current administration lies squarely on his shoulders.

As early as February of 2016, his campaign received a warning from the Federal Election Commission, citing problems with his campaign’s February finance report.

The evidence is clear that Sanders and Stein became the Ralph Nader of 2016. They stole just enough votes from the Democratic candidate to lose the White House for us. Instead, the presidency ended up in the insane hands of Donald Trump. They were used as Putin’s other puppets.

This strategy worked out very well for the Republicans. Trump is a slob and a fool. Even the likes of Steve Bannon are completely dismissive of him. But he was the best they could do. And they managed to push him through- even though nobody wanted him.

That is why they’re trying it again. By attacking our best leaders at the primary level, they hope to force us into a war on two fronts. If they can cause us to split our resources fighting each other, they can hope to retain their power- even though they’ve brought so much hardship to the country with their tax plan and other ruthless legislature.

Let’s not make any bones about what the stakes are.

We have a maniac in the White House, threatening other maniacs with his great big nuclear button.

We have a hostile and malicious foreign power, Russia, putting tendrils and creepers down through every crack in our system’s architecture. 

And we’ve got a domestic problem with fascism that is worsening by the day and has caused fatalities.

The only hope we have is #TheBlueWave.

Bernie, however, wouldn’t endorse any of our winning candidates in the 2017 elections. He did nothing to help whatsoever, and he refused help from the DNC in other key races that he jealously rushed in and claimed as his own, like that of Rob Quist in Montana. He is not our friend, and he is not progressive.

Going forward, our job is to raise awareness of the Libertarian wolves in our midst. Innocuous names like the Justice Democrats can make it hard to tell which is which.

We will need to learn to spot the trademarks of the organizations placing backing and support behind fake Democrats. They fit into regular patterns and these can be spotted and recognized.

For example, there’s the race to unseat Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House. The real Democrat in the race is the very qualified female candidate Cathy Myers. But she has been ignored in favour of a ridiculous man named Ironstache, who is getting his support from organizations like the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC.

This is the kind of thing that’s going to be going on everywhere. It’s a real shame that we’ve got to waste time and energy fighting people we’d be happy to work with. But that does not change the fact. We are under attack from the left just as much as the right.

If Bernie and Company were capable of making any progress or winning any races, then we would support them. But they should have shown us something by now.

Instead, of the local races and special elections that Our Revolution has supported so far in 2017, a terrible percentage of them lost — many of whom were candidates going up against “mainstream” Democrats supported by the party, including progressive congressman Keith Ellison’s bid for Democratic National Committee chair, which he lost to former Labor Secretary Tom Perez. They are not serious candidates. They show up just to complicate things for us.

As a quick aside, Bernie vs. Trump would have been a joke. Trump has spent his life picking his teeth with guys like Bernie.

When you hear people calling themselves “progressive” all the time, that’s a sure sign of a Bernie Bot. If you see support for a certain candidate from Our Revolution or the Justice Democrats, that’s another guy who is no good.

In closing, we can keep it simple. Bernie’s endorsement is toxic and his candidates are not Democrats. We are going to learn to spot all the red flags so that we can keep the party blue.

Michael Flynn Has Flipped! Trump Gets A Christmas Present.

A sinking snitch

A gigantic piece of the riddle of Russiagate has finally fallen into place. This one blows Paul Manafort out of the water.

On Friday, retired Lt. General Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. And he pledged to cooperate with the investigation into the hacking of our 2016 Presidential election by the Russians.

It’s a sad day in America when a three-star general colludes with the Russians to subvert the democratic sanctity of our election. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that Michael Flynn will go down in history as one of the most sickening and pathetic traitors of all time. Benedict Arnold. Vidkun Quisling. Michael Flynn.

Flynn served briefly as President Trump’s national security adviser but resigned from his position 24 days later.  The Information that surfaced about him having plotted out a possible attempt to kidnap a Turkish cleric in Pennsylvania had made him a person of interest to the FBI. Trump reluctantly gave him the boot.

Shortly after, proof that he had lied to the FBI surfaced after pre-Inauguration phone conversations he’d had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak leaked to the press.

By pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with Mueller, Flynn also appears to have averted prosecution of his son, who was reportedly implicated in some of these ongoings. What a bad father, to get his own son involved in all this mess. Good thing for him he can just snitch his way right out of it all.

Back in June, less than a month after President Donald Trump fired then- FBI director James Comey, the Senate Intelligence Committee held a hearing in which Comey was asked for his version of the events that had led up to his firing. The testimony was frankly disturbing.

His suspicions were strong that he’d been fired due to a bizarre series of conversations he’d had at the time with Donald Trump, who had asked Comey outright to drop his investigation into Flynn. This unnerved Comey so much that he wrote an agent memorandum regarding it immediately afterwards. Such memorandums have been considered reliable courtroom evidence for nearly a hundred years.

The meeting in question took place on February 14th, in the Oval Office. with a group of Trump administration senior officials, including Vice-President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump asked Comey to remain when the others left. He wanted to talk about the F.B.I.’s investigation of Flynn.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump said. “He is a good guy.”

Comey confronted Attorney General Jeff Sessions and said he did not want to be left alone again with the president, according to current and former law enforcement officials. Sessions, unsurprisingly, refused to make any guarantees. That guy is completely worthless as an Attorney General. It’s almost a joke. Too bad it isn’t funny.

Comey distrusted Trump deeply. His unwillingness to be alone with him reflects upon that strongly.

The big question is, why Flynn? We don’t have the answer yet, at least not completely. One thing is certain, though: Trump’s aggressive steps to defend him defy reasonable explanation. Trump is not generally known for his magnanimous impulses toward his former employees. Narcissists love firing people. The question of why he wanted the F.B.I. to ease up on Flynn, therefore, became a matter of intense debate immediately.

Flynn’s decision to flip completely undercuts the argument made by Trump and his aides that they were not fully aware of any discussions Michael Flynn had with the Russians. This is going to have Trump’s legal team hopping through the holidays, especially if no one can convince him to keep his mouth shut on Twitter.

Court documents revealed by the plea agreement Flynn agreed to expose new details about exactly what the Trump team knew.

As a result, scrutiny is now honing in on Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner. And Donald Trump Jr. cannot be far behind.

Through the looking glass, a picture starts emerging.

Israel’s government, parts of the pro-Israel community and congressional Republicans were infuriated in late December when the Obama administration, in its final month, allowed through an anti-settlement UN Security Council resolution.

Someone in the Trump transition team – almost certainly Jared Kushner- probably asked Flynn to speak to the Russians to see whether there was any chance they might be persuaded to use their influence in the UN Security Council to get the vote on Security Council Resolution 2334, the December 2016 anti-settlements resolution, either delayed until after Trump took office or blocked altogether.

At any rate, this Russian query was to set into motion the now famous series of telephone conversations between Flynn and Kislyak. Over the course of one of these, Flynn also asked Kislyak for Russian restraint in response to Obama’s December 2016 sanctions against Russia. Sanctions are what a lot of this is about, for Russia. They want back their jet-set lifestyles. Being on America’s bad side makes this impossible.

It all led up to Special Counsel Mueller’s team looking into Kushner’s contacts with Israeli diplomats, which is being done this very minute. Presumably, they’re in the process of confirming that this was indeed one of the Russian quid pro quos. If you help us out in Israel, we’ll help you out with these sanctions, and we’ll all work together on hamstringing Hillary Clinton.

Flynn arrived at court on Friday. He admitted to one count of knowingly making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements.” According to an AFP reporter, Flynn was asked by Judge Rudolph Contreras if he wished to plead guilty and responded with the words “Yes, sir”. The judge continued: “I accept your guilty plea. There will be no trial and there will be probably no appeal.” And that was that.

Unfortunately, the arrest of Michael Flynn does not tell us much more about what this means for Donald Trump and the White House. There is no way to predict how soon information obtained from Flynn might reach the public or help to produce fresh charges. Mueller’s investigation has been highly disciplined about leaks. But the very fact of Mueller nabbing Flynn now is enough to ruin Trump’s Christmas.

At the end of the day, what’s bad for Trump is what’s good for the rest of us. What this does do for us is to take us a bit closer to being able to prove what we know, and a bit closer to knowing what we think. One is reminded of Trump’s diatribe recently about how we’re all going to start saying Merry Christmas again. Getting this whole mess cleaned up, so we can all get our lives back, would make for the whole world a very merry Christmas indeed.

I know what I’m grateful for this year.

Why America Would Still Be Respected If Hillary Clinton Had Won.

#StillWithHer

Would America be more respected today, if Hillary Clinton had been elected President?

That’s a question that the whole world is asking.

It’s hard to believe anyone can doubt it. We’ve been subjected to every indignity conceivable over the course of this last year. Remember when Trump was too old and fat to walk with the other leaders at the Paris Summit earlier this year, and had to ride along behind the rest in a golf cart?

It really seems inconceivable that anyone capable of pulling on pants in the morning could be so unaware as Donald Trump. The man is a complete disgrace. He has eroded American prestige within a single year. Russia, which is only a regional power, has assumed the mantle of leadership in the minds of many. We haven’t been providing it.

Respect. They say you have to give it to get it. Donald Trump doesn’t respect anybody but himself.

We had a chance last year. We had one of the most competent politicians this country has ever seen, ready to take the reins from one of the most beloved politicians the country has ever seen.

It took Barack Obama eight years to get us pointed in the right direction again after the eight years of unending nightmare that was George Bush’s tenure in office, but he did it! Health care was resolved, we were out of Iraq, and the economy had substantially recovered.  All we had to do was walk forward together.

That did not happen, for a number of different reasons, and the scale of the missed opportunity is the worst.

Perhaps we should consider what might have been, the what-ifs of a Hillary win, what has been lost and what opportunities were squandered this year. But when we do, we must realize it will be painful.

Since Trump was elected, millions of Americans have been living with constant worry about losing their health care. President Hillary Clinton was the person who first laid the plans for an American public health system.

She had a lifetime of working with Congress and was a Senator herself for eight years. Her technical skill and consummate mastery of her topic gave her an ideal skill set to fine-tune Obamacare with and place it on firm footing for the future. There was no one else on Earth so uniquely qualified.

It is wisely said that Barack Obama’s greatest gift to Donald Trump was the economy. By nearly every conceivable metric, we are significantly better off now than we were in 2008. We’re still feeling the effects of his wise policies, although Trump tries taking credit for them all he can. He’s selling himself a dream, though. The Center for American Progress put together a list called 100 Days, 100 Ways, that Trump Has Hurt Americans. That was back in April.

Perhaps the biggest difference comes from what they intended to do with American resources. Speaking of Trump’s new tax plan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he thought the bill would go down in history as one of the worst budgets Congress has ever passed.

In direct contrast, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 economic platform focused on raising middle-class incomes to increase growth. It was lauded by economic experts around the world for its depth and its realism.

Clinton’s plan was well-thought out and detailed. She was the only 2008 candidate to advocate a balanced budget. The tax credit, health insurance, and retirement plans would have funnelled cash to consumers.

Her retirement plan would have addressed the looming Social Security crisis. Her proposal to fix the Alternative Minimum Tax has been a problem long overdue. In short, this platform would have benefited the U.S. economy.

All of these things are huge, of course. Every one of them should have been enough to lay Trump down for good. At the end of the day, the implications of her defeat are very serious.

The 2016 election proved to us that in many ways, our electoral process amounts to a popularity contest.

It wasn’t anything rational that led to such a self-destructive decision on the part of the American people last year. It was anger. People stopped listening to each other. The lines of communication broke down. In this highly polarized, explosive environment, the collective reason of America failed her, to the eternal detriment of at least the reputation of the country.

Would the United States have been more respected today, if Hillary Clinton was our President? As surely as the sun will rise in the East and set in the West.

Our national conduct would befit that of a superpower, instead of a bumbling infant. Our economy would have stayed strong. We would not be internationally reviled for pulling out of the Paris Accord. In short, we would have been making strides toward the future, doing good for as many people as we can, for as long as we can.

Hillary Clinton is one of the most competent living Americans, and the fact of her exclusion from the halls of power in Washington is to the detriment of every man, woman, and child who calls this country home.

There will come a time when we get to try again. America is an empire of magnificent strength. It was built to survive a great deal worse than Donald Trump. In the meantime, however, in our hearts, we know that she was robbed. That single fact alone has done more to disrespect this country than anything that has happened since Bush vs Gore.

To Hillary Clinton herself, Millennial Democrats would simply like to say, We miss you, Madam President. The Clintons will always be the First Family, to many of us. We were kids when you guys ran the country, and you took good care of us.

Hillary Clinton would have brought the country honour, at all the same junctures that Trump has debased it. She will be sorely missed.

Trump Gives Big Pharma Boost Instead of Boundaries- What A Shame.

Last week the Trump administration made a policy change designed specifically to boost Big Pharma. What was needed was a president who would use the regulatory powers of the government to protect the patients and small pharmacies nationwide. Instead, he dealt them a harsh blow.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule,  that cuts Medicare Part B drug reimbursement to some hospitals serving poorer patients by about 30 percent.

On November 1, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) Final Rule for 2018.  The Final Rule retains a controversial proposal to cut Medicare Part B drug reimbursement for products purchased under the 340B Program and billed through the HOPPS.

The rule change has been a big lobbying priority for Big Pharma. They benefit from a law allowing them to sell drugs at a discount, in exchange for Big Pharma companies getting access to entitlement monies.

Big Pharma believes that program, whose existence and previous expansion is written into law, is reducing its profit margins.  It wants nothing more than to stick it to these hospitals.

Ironically, this will end up badly harming Trump voters, and the areas in which they live. A personal anecdote serves well to illustrate the problem.

A sad thing happened to one of our contributors recently. Upon leaving work, he decided to stop and buy a soft drink, as he has done five days a week for twenty-two years, at a downtown pharmacy nearby. When he went inside, the girl behind the counter broke into tears at the sight of him, gave him a big hug, and told him how much she was going to miss him.

The little store, which has been open since the 1950’s, will be shuttering its doors at the end of the year.

After more than 60 years, the drugstore has become the latest casualty in a three-decade decimation of independent drugstores by chain drugstores.

Doug Hoey, president of the National Community Pharmacists Association, says that the scenario our contributor experienced is repeating itself with increasing regularity across the country.

The problem for independent pharmacies is the reimbursement system. Reimbursement is the amount the insurer pays for the drug. Depending on the type and cost of the drug, the insurer pays either the physician directly, the drug manufacturer or an intermediary known as a pharmacy benefit manager, or PBM.

Pricing and reimbursement are directly entangled. When drugs get released onto the market, they will ultimately have several different prices, but the first one is the list price, which comes from the manufacturer. The list price serves as the basis for future calculations.

Being independent meant that PBMs had an incentive to pass those savings back to their health plan sponsors, and thus, ultimately, to patients.

That’s why, when drug-makers began acquiring PBMs in the 1990s, the Federal Trade Commission acted swiftly to undo the deals. The FTC believed that combining PBMs with pharmaceutical companies created obvious and dangerous conflicts of interest.

It would have enabled drug-makers to coordinate pricing policies, gain access to the sensitive information of their competitors, and favor their own drugs. Today, though, it’s big pharmacies instead of big drug-makers that are merging with PBMs. And the deals are creating similar conflicts of interest.

Regardless of whether the PBM’s owner is the big drug companies or the big pharmacies, the problem is the same. When the company owns the industry that sets prices, it becomes possible for a savage like Martin Shkreli to do things like jack the prices of crucial AIDS drugs up to 5,000% versus their usual rates.

One technique they use is to simply pay generic makers to keep their products out of drugstores. The schemes are referred to as a “pay to delay” deal. Another, known as product-hopping, involves getting around patent term limits by reformulating drugs slightly and marketing them as something new altogether.

The strategy often involves embroiling up some kind of legal dispute, designed to hang the new pill up in court as long as possible, while the brand names make a killing. Drugs like the antipsychotic Abilify, which in its generic form costs 30 bucks for 20 pills, cost consumers and pharmacies $1, 234 for the same exact thing.

Anyone who knows that is sure to choose the generic, and this is what the big brand names are afraid of. This was the impetus behind their most underhanded ruse, preventing generic drug makers from getting access to doses of branded drugs they need to run tests.

Generic makers need roughly 5,000 doses of branded drugs to show that their products are truly equivalent. Big manufacturers have been narrowing their lists of approved pharmacies, again to box small companies in and consume them.

Nearly 9 in 10 prescriptions filled in the U.S. are for generic drugs.

Wharton professor Patricia Danzon explains that a PBM combined with a drugstore has both the incentive and the power to steer plan members to the pharmacies it chooses, rather than contracting with as many drugstores as possible on the basis of location, convenience, and well-being of its patients. The bottom line is money, and the well-being of humans falls by the wayside.

Drug prices in the U.S. are higher than anywhere else in the world. In the midst of the world’s strongest economy, one in six American adults go without their prescriptions, because they can’t afford to get them filled. Two-thirds of drug research is funded by the government using taxpayer money. The research done to create the drugs were all paid for by American taxpayers. Big Pharma still gouges us nonetheless.

The U. S. really needs to develop price control strategies. Other countries use price ceilings. They simply tell Big Pharma what they are willing to pay for the pills, and the company is then free to decide whether or not they wish to accept the deal. But in America, the large companies are able to use their money and influence through lobbying to prevent regulatory measures of that kind. They gouge the U.S. simply because they can.

Our healthcare system, the Affordable Care Act,  is a great start, but we’ve still got a long way to go. We spend twice as much per capita for our system as compared to other countries with public health care. Now that Trump has sabotaged the Affordable Care Act by defaulting on the federal payments that provided those reimbursements, it’s just going to keep getting worse.

On Tuesday night, the Democratic Party began taking back our country. People have hope again. Democratic victories provided some much-needed vigor and relief to some people who have really deserved it. It’s huge.

The Democrats need to get back into power before we can start to do anything about drug prices or anything else. We’re the only ones who’ve got the plans and skills. We have also got the momentum. Tuesday night, we got the jolt in the arm we’ve been needing. The #BlueWave is now very real.

Moving forward, we’re going to be doing all we can to emphasize the fact that we have got an excellent plan for dealing with these kinds of problems. It’s right there in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Platform. Bernie Sanders was living on a prayer with his Medicare for All plan, and Donald Trump can’t even spell the word “plan”.

We’ve been waiting for years to get around the GOP obstruction that made our plans impossible under President Obama. Now that America has had a chance to see how badly the Republicans have fumbled it, they’ve already started giving us back all the power they can. We are prepared to show them we are worthy of the task.

Trying to draw order from chaos is not easy, but that was our goal in tacking the Big Pharma python head on. There is much we could not cover. It was like wading through thick jungle with a machete, and that is the crux of the problem. It is so complex that even top specialists differ as to what to do about it.

What we’re trying to do with this article is threefold. To get people to realize how complex the problem is, to bring public awareness that the GOP will NEVER be able to handle it, and to get them to realize that the only ones with a plan are us Democrats.

Healthcare has been one of the single most polarizing issues in America for nearly thirty years. It’s past time we fixed that. For our small businesses, and for our people. America is the greatest country in the world. We can do better than this.

Democrats Rally in State Elections, Preparing to Sweep 2018.

Tomorrow, on November 7, Millennial Democrats will be joining our mentors from prior generations in participating fully in these crucial, yet oft-neglected elections. It has all the makings of a very big day.

 Many of us, including the editor of Millennial Democrats, had never before voted in an off-year election or even thought much about them. Barack Obama chided us for this recently, and we have heard him. We won’t make that mistake this year.

2016 has become the race that never ends. When Trump won, nobody went back to sleep. Things never returned to business as usual.

The country has realized it has made a mistake.

As a result, this year, people are paying very close attention.

The APA has been conducting its Stress in America poll every year since 2007. The most recent provided an upsetting commentary on our collective state of mind. It found that 63 percent of Americans currently feel that the future of the country is a very significant source of stress in their lives.

59 percent of us said this is the “lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.”

People are in pain. They see confusion all around them. Economic challenges are getting worse. Disinformation and frustration have both taken a toll. We are going through it with everybody else because we are everybody else. However, it is precisely this shared sorrow that will allow us to make our voices heard.

Democrats have a plan. We have specifics. They’re all right there in that most progressive of documents, the 2016 Presidential Democratic Party Platform. We have continued to provide a sane and decent alternative to an increasingly messy ordeal. We will keep our noses to the grind and refuse to give in. And eventually, we will succeed.

We are coming together. We are going to start taking back our country from the cannibal Republicans who have stolen it. Here are the people we are rallying behind.

This off-year election will feature gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey. It will feature as well state legislative elections in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature and in the lower house of the Virginia legislature.

Five Special elections to the United States House of Representatives have already taken place this year. One other House seat and one other Senate seat still have yet to be filled. Numerous mayoral races and a variety of other local elections will be taking place as well.

As of September 27, Democrats have picked up a total of eight Republican-held seats as a result of special elections from New York, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma.

This combined with how close we came to winning last year in districts considered to be unwinnable by any Democrat suggests strongly that we’ve got everything it takes in 2018 to overcome the large mathematical disadvantages peculiar to this year’s electoral map.

Take the Jon Ossoff- Karen Handel race last spring. Georgia’s Sixth District has been red since 1979.  We came within a hair of taking it. $23 million was raised for that race.

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is sadly leaving office due to term restrictions. He was an excellent governor who consistently earned high marks on Virginia’s economy. He also, unlike the president, spoke out strongly against the mayhem in Charlottesville over the summer that led to the senseless murder of Heather Heyer by a mutated mongrel, a nameless Nazi pig.
The race to replace him, however, has focused not on the economy, but rather on a continuation of 2016. It has essentially been a proxy war between the two competing parties, which has typified every race since November 9th of last year. Hard to believe it’s been a year already. It all feels like the same long month. Trump has cast his big orange shadow over everything.
According to the final poll from Christopher Newport University being released before the election, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam held a solid and persistent advantage over his Republican opponent Ed Gillespie as of this morning and is considered the favorite.
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, outgoing Republican Gov. Chris Christie has had a rough time since Bridgegate with the public. He neglected the state and its people in order to help out Trump. But Trump used and discarded him like Kleenex after the transitioning to the White House was done.
These are just a few of the reasons that record-low approval ratings hover mightily over the contest to replace him. Christie is a prototypical example of what lies in wait for politicians who signed on with Donald Trump during this horrible time in our history. They’ll all get to have a taste of what is being done to Colin Kaepernick. See how they like being blacklisted.
His lieutenant governor, Republican candidate Kim Guadagno, has tried to distance herself from Christie’s disasters, but the odds of this are not very good. Former US Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy, the Democratic nominee, has led consistently in the polls, spending tens of millions of dollars out of pocket on the race. At this point, a Murphy loss would be a shocking upset.
Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio is also expected to cruise to reelection.  Republican Nicole Malliotakis and two third-party candidates who lost the Democratic primary are about as second-rate as it gets. Perhaps after they lose, Trump will find Cabinet jobs for them.
Former Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz joined the earliest members of the GOP who could not stand the zoo anymore and retired mid-term, citing that it was “Time to get off the gravy train”. This was big for us. Upon leaving Chaffetz vacated the gavel of the House’s oversight committee. That’s a position of power that we might now possibly take.
It does have to be realized that this seat is in a solid red, reliably Republican district of Utah. Provo Mayor John Curtis, the Republican candidate, is favored to win against Democratic candidate Kathie Allen, but there’s every reason to hope for an upset, especially with Russiagate reaching epic proportions by the day now.

Today, we’re going to be doing every last thing we can think of to help our people, wherever they may be. Sharing articles, hitting threads, making phone calls.

Yesterday evening, Democratic candidate Ralph Northam released a report proving that Russian bots have been interfering in their race on his opponent Ed Gillespie’s behalf just as they did for Trump last year. No way are we going to let those people go into a fight alone. We have to back him up, and we’ve got to do it now.

This is Election Week. Tomorrow is our day. We have got to win tomorrow everywhere else we have a chance. We need those Governor’s Mansions. That is where our attention is needed, and that is where we’re going to put it. Our work is cut out for us.

Today, we will do everything we can think of to give our support and love to Ralph Northam of Virginia, Bill de Blasio of New York City, and all of the other brave people who have stood up to be our leaders. We have come to a time when we need good leaders more than ever. We will stand by them, and our hearts are with them. Now, let’s hit these phones and threads!!!!!!!!!

Donna Brazile and a Fat Book Deal- Democrats Hit Back Hard.

The exaggerated and opportunistic claims about the 2016 Presidential campaign made by former DNC chairperson Donna Brazile last week rank among the most brazen, shameless, ham-handed attempts at self-promotion in the history of literary contracts.

It really leaves you flabbergasted. A book deal is that important? A few extra bucks, when you’re already loaded? Getting your name in the history books for the most rotten imaginable reason? Dante reserved the lowest level of hell for traitors.

Elizabeth Warren’s defection hurts too, of course, but that’s been waiting a long time to happen. She was a staunch Republican for many years.

She was the one the fake left wanted to hamstring Hillary Clinton with originally; Bernie was their stand-in. They called the campaign Run, Warren, Run. The reference is to the mentally handicapped Forrest Gump, and that’s about how smart the plan was. She didn’t bite, back then. Too bad about this time.

 It’s always sad, to see someone sell their own people down the river.
We would like to thank Donna Brazile for the years of service that she gave to the Democratic Party. We are saddened and shocked beyond words at her slanders, and at her betrayal. And yet, she will be missed.
The Brazile bone was thrown to get Democrats squabbling over last year, rather than focus on what’s going on right now- the biggest week in the Russiagate scandal so far. This is a continuation of the Uranium One strategy from last week. It was done in order to divert attention from a number of other events taking place now, events with actual significance.
This is what they do when they need to use deflection. They manage, in one way or the next, to push a button they know will cause internal strife among the left.
Millennial Democrats cannot help but wonder- How bad is it, on the Bernie side? Do they realize this is being done to hurt them as well as us, this trumping up of public records as scandals on Hillary Clinton?
It’s like when they made a big show out of announcing that Jane Sanders was being investigated by the FBI for fraud relating to her tenure as president of Vermont’s Burlington College. It was unfair, and it was not new. It had been an ongoing story for months.
But they brought it back up when they found it convenient and threw it at us like a bone among dogs in the hopes that we’d start in on each other. That’s what’s going on today. It’s an attempt at distraction, and they have got a lot to distract us from.

It’s a shame that people are greedy, and it’s also a shame they are gullible. But what can you do? Human beings have been selling each other out and doing each other dirty, since before we were even human beings. We’re learning. In the meantime, we can’t get mired down in the people who have stabbed us in the back. That’s why they did it. To slow us down long enough to bleed out.

The way the conservative media tells the story, things have reached the point now who you voted for in the primary is more important than anything else. It’s the fight that never ends. The fascists love it, of course.

Remember the #TrumpWon hashtag promoted by 4chan last summer? It featured a whole slew of tricks they were planning, including one that said- “Wouldn’t it be great, if we could get all the libtards fighting with each other, using our hashtag?”

2016 was 2016. We’re a month away from 2018. We either get ourselves together now or suffer. For however long it takes.

Malcolm Nance summed it up best today when he said that rehashing this again does nothing but to split the Democratic Party in half, and it gives Trump eight more years in office. What an atrocity of a waste that would be. What a stupid and absolute waste. The way things are looking now, we’re all going to be arguing Bernie vs Hillary together. On the bus to a concentration camp.

The Brazile claims amount to nothing more than a new batch of Hillary’s emails.

In a nutshell, they tell us that the DNC was broke and that Hillary Clinton paid out of pocket for the Democrats to have a candidate at all. What a foul and unspeakable crime! How dare we oppose a maniac, as he tries to take over the country?

Here are the facts, as laid out in a memorandum of understanding from August 26, 2015. Note that once again, not a bit of this is news or something that was covered up. It has been public record all the while.

The Democratic National Committee struck a deal with Hillary Clinton in 2015 that gave her campaign input on some party hiring and spending decisions, but required they be related only to preparations for the general election, according to a memo obtained by NBC News. It also left the door open for other candidates to make similar arrangements.

Both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns signed agreements that allowed the presidential candidates to raise money for the DNC.
The agreements came at a time when the Democratic committee was at the end of its financial rope. President Barack Obama had left the DNC penniless and in debt. When Debbie Wasserman- Schultz approached the campaigns around Labor Day of 2015, the DNC needed the joint fundraising agreements to stay operational and out of more debt. There would not have been a campaign at all if not for HRC.
 In exchange for Hillary for America’s assistance raising money for the DNC, the party committee agreed “that HFA personnel will be consulted and have joint authority over strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election-related communications.”
The memo made clear that the arrangement pertained to only the general election, not the primary season.
It is only logical to secure some say in what is being done with your money. Especially if you yourself have one of the most acutely strategical political minds in the world.

The DNC maintained “the authority to make the final decision” on senior staff in the communications, technology and research departments.

The memo stipulates the DNC had to hire a communications director by September 11, 2015. But  It also left open the possibility that it would sign similar agreements with other candidates.

“Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to violate the DNC’s obligation of impartiality and neutrality through the Nominating process. All activities performed under this agreement will be focused exclusively on preparations for the General Election and not the Democratic Primary,” the memo states.

“Further we understand you may enter into similar agreements with other candidates,” it continues. Bernie was asked to do the same thing. He just didn’t have any money.

This is yet another recent case of Donald Trump trying to turn us against each other and divert us from focusing fully on the relentless Robert Mueller and how close he is to Trump’s jugular.

Moving forward, we have got to stay focused. More than a hundred of HRC’s old staffers have spoken out against the revolting and unfair description of the campaign. It’s clear to most already that Donna Brazile is just a thirsty self-promoter.

Attacking HRC may appear politically expedient now, but that will only last a day. Popularity in the public eye is fickle, but a backstabber is never forgotten- and never trusted again. Furthermore, there is outrage over this like nothing we’ve seen since Bernie was scheduled to speak at the Women’s Convention.

This evening, Democratic candidate Ralph Northam released a report proving that Russian bots have been interfering in their race on his opponent Ed Gillespie’s behalf just as they did for Trump last year. We have to back him up, and we’ve got to do it now.

This is Election Week. We have got to win back the Virginia Governorship. We need a win. That is where our attention is needed this week, and that is where we’re going to put it. See you in the trenches.

 

A Case Study in Fake News- Uranium One, The Scandal That Wasn’t.

The Uranium One story is a prime example of fake news.  It is a GOP talking point known to be false. That knowledge, however, is not very important to the Republicans, who have gone to great length to keep America talking about it this week.  The opposition has spent an awful lot of money to kick off the conversation.

The whole thing is a cheap attempt to shift the Russiagate narrative by blaming it all on Hillary Clinton.

As this was being written, the first news came back that Paul Manafort and his sidekick Rick Gates were indicted on money crimes going back to their Ukraine days. A jubilant Trump tweeted out a statement distancing himself from these activities.

But Mueller wasn’t finished. The true bombshell was yet to come.

It turns out that former foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, had admitted lying to the FBI about contacts with foreign officials close to the Russian government who discussed “dirt” relating to emails linked to Clinton. He was quietly arrested on July 27. He’s been fully cooperating with the government ever since. 

This is why we’ve spent the week hearing about the Uranium One deal.

The relation of truth to a given subject is not a considered factor when we’re talking about the Trump administration. This story was manufactured conservative disinformation from beginning to end. It has been threaded back into the national narrative as a political countersuit against Democrats.

It’s just Trump’s old Manhattan real estate strategy in his new role as president. This is the political equivalent of a countersuit. The ghost of Roy Cohn has got to be gnashing its teeth in glee, down there in hell.

Joy Reid recently summed up the Trump strategy by quoting from the presidential debate last summer. “I’m no puppet. You’re a puppet”.

The idea is that to relieve the pressure on him, Trump will attempt to shift the nation’s attention and anger toward Hillary Clinton.  Accuse your enemy, of that which you are guilty of. The concept is called swiftboating. Its purpose is to scare Democrats into shutting up and going home. To make us tap out due to fear for the safety of our leader. “You leave me alone, and I’ll leave you alone. If not, there will be trouble.”

This is the face of fascism.  Manufactured excuses. Rampant what-aboutism. Legitimate science is either discarded or adapted. It all becomes part of the new authoritarian ideology. It is then gradually dripped into the heads of the people by the likes of Boris Epshteyn and Sebastian Gorka.

This concept is not abstract, or something that only happens elsewhere. Companies like the Sinclair Broadcasting Company, which is said to be in talks with conservative TV show host Bill O’Reilly, will be threading pro- Trump messaging into every aspect of television. Their virulent brand of right-wing commentary and so-called “classic propaganda” may soon reach three-quarters of US households.

Insofar as Democratic involvement is concerned in the U1 deal, there’s nothing controversial at all. It’s an attempt to shift the national narrative back against Trump’s enemies and give his supporters some new and soothing lie to hold on to.

The important issue here is why this ordinary transaction was cooked up into a scandal in the first place; and the troubling implications that it has for the future of American democracy.

As to the details of the controversy surrounding Uranium One, they are not very controversial.

The company is a subsidiary of Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear technology corporation. In 2010, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State, Rosatom wished to acquire a majority share of Uranium One. In order for it to share in the control of uranium mines in the United States, the sale had to be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment In the United States (CFIUS).

Because the deal would ultimately place Uranium One in control of 20% of U.S. uranium production capacity, the transaction required federal approval. During the 2016 election campaign, Trump asserted that Clinton “gave 20% of our uranium — gave Russia for a big payment.” This is untrue on every level.

The mining licenses remained with U.S. subsidiaries controlled by U.S. persons. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviewed the transaction and gave its approval. All nine members of the CFIUS board voted for it with a clear conscience and say today they’d do the same again.

Uranium One does not hold the proper export license, so none of its uranium can be exported. It can never be taken to Russia and turned into nukes.

All the committee members have told everyone Clinton was not involved in the decision.

This “scandal” consisted of a Canadian company, the Northern Uranium Corporation,  selling a Russian company some stock in uranium.

The nuclear recycling angle, specifically the Koch Industries interest in the valuable uranium that comes out of them, is likely of tantamount importance here. The educated guess of one expert who spoke with Millennial Democrats under the conditions of anonymity is that the Kochs did not want the competition from recycled uranium.

Most likely, this was why they needed a reason to keep recycled uranium politically unpopular. They also needed a reason to keep Hillary Clinton unpopular. It would seem they put two and two together.

These two things have nothing to do with one another, but it proved easy to make it seem otherwise. This is where the slanderous spin on Uranium One came from.

This libel has no basis in any historical record. It comes out of a wingnut book called Clinton Cash. Its production was financed by an organization called the Government Accountability Institute. This is a conservative nonprofit founded by the book’s author, Peter Schweitzer. They teamed up with Breitbart’s Steve Bannon to conduct the research for the book. Billionaire Robert Mercer, the same guy who is still paying the bills for Breitbart News, signed the check on this one, too.

Needless to say, it has been thoroughly dismantled by experts.

The story was ridiculous and crooked back then, but its revival in the national dialogue at this particular time is troubling in the extreme. It means the RNC is willing to drag a private citizen into government affairs, for no reason other than to deflect attention from the truth. You don’t prosecute your political opponents using show trials and Congress in order to attack anything but the fabric of our democracy.

Going forward, the Uranium One slander serves as an excellent case study for the examining and reverse-engineering of Republican propaganda. There will be more of this to come than we can imagine; Russian ads alone reached over 120 million on Facebook this year.

By thinking critically and staying alert, however, we can spot these things as they come. We can dismantle them, dissect them, and lay bare their innards to the light.  In this manner, we will come to see how they work.

Then we hold them up as examples of the disingenuity of our opponents. Our job is to expose lies and bear witness.

There’s still a lot we can do. We still have everything it takes to fight the attempts of Trump and Putin at tyranny. The time-honored power of the vote can still save us. Make a specific plan for voting, and do what you can to get others to do the same. Once we take back the Congress, we can rid ourselves of Trump. In short, #RiseAndOrganize.

The Tangled Tale of Tulsi Gabbard- Progressive Phony.

The giant circus that the 2016 election cycle became, and the second Dark Ages that has followed it, is a time that’s seen a great many attempts to effect  the altering of the meaning of time- honored positives. Words like “Facts”, “Truth, and Justice” have all had their turn in the mud bath. However, when it comes to sheer brazen abuse of a term, “Progressive” may have taken the deepest dive of all- especially in the matter of the Hawaiian Representative, Tulsi Gabbard.

Hence, the old Sanders wing of the party is suddenly quite vocal about selecting as their champion Tulsi Gabbard, a politician who has come to embodify misguided attacks by so-called progressives on the so-called liberal elite. In point of fact, however, the evidence indicates quite otherwise. Tulsi Gabbard does not act like a progressive darling

Her voting record, world view, and connections resemble much more closely a resume, tailor- made to be both barely acceptable to the leaders of the Democratic Party, and a perfect Libertarian plant. The organization Progressive Punch is a searchable database of Congressional voting records, from the perspective of the far left. They gave Bernie Sanders an A, for his lifetime support of progressive causes. Tulsi Gabbard got an F. 

The tangled tale of Tulsi Gabbard makes most sense, if you consider the possibility she might really be a carefully cultivated mole, used to leak data to our enemies. It would be clear that she makes for a powerful pivotal point strategically. The far right has often been able to use her voice and power to manipulate the far left. Stirred up radicals often end up signing off on very bad ideas. Anytime they need their opposites to go along with some plot they’re cooking up, they give the job to Tulsi. Her views are often much more in line with the conservative end of our spectrum, as exemplified by her trip to Syria recently and her unending support of Assad. 

Take the DNC mole. President Obama admitted that he had no intelligence on how Wikileaks got ahold of the Podesta emails whose release caused the supporters of Bernie Sanders to riot in the streets of Philadelphia. But a man named Chris Murray, a former British ambassador, had claimed that days earlier, a high ranking DNC member, said to be “disgusted” by the supposed favoring of Hillary Clinton by the DNC, had actually been the one to leak those emails, to him.  At this time, Tulsi Gabbard held the position of Deputy DNC Chairman. She resigned in a huff. 

Then, all of a sudden, the hacking started, and sensitive data ended up in the hands of the Russian-controlled WikiLeaks. She knew the access codes and she knew the setup.  She had a clear motive for wanting material on Clinton leaked. She has had a long-standing love affair with Syrian president Assad and with Putin, and reviled Clinton’s Syria policy with all her might, but to oppose her flat out, as a Republican, would have been suicidal due to the political climate of her home state Hawaii. This must have made the endorsement of Bernie Sanders a cheap and lightweight solution.

Neither her policies nor her personnel suggest any affiliation with the ideology of Bernie Sanders- but by endorsing someone with whom she largely disagreed on policy (and didn’t have to worry about winning), she won the unyielding adulation of his followers. And by meeting with Donald Trump on her own initiative, mere weeks after his upset of Hillary Clinton, she assured herself the undying love of the #NeverHillary branch of the Sanders wing. 


One angry supporter of Bernie Sanders wrote the following nonsense on 7/23/17, on a thread discovered on Facebook. 
“No REAL progressive is gonna vote for more of the Clinton style, corporate special interest, Big Bank donor loving, false progressive garbage. Yet…here are the Democrats showing us early on that they haven’t changed. Ready for a repeat of 2016? Personally…I will work to expose and destroy the hopes of any candidate that the DNC tries to ram down our throats again by using Super Delegates and closed Primaries…and any candidate who remained silent against the DNC’s attack on our Democracy by rigging the election against Bernie Sanders. #Sanders/Gabbard2020 #Gabbard/Turner2020
This same man later went on to beg and plead for unity among the former supporters of Sanders- so that they will have greater success in attacking not Republicans, but Democrats. Mentioned at the spearhead of this assault on their fellows in the left, is always one name- Tulsi Gabbard. 

Ironically, Gabbard is a member of the Democratic Party. She has been the United States Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district since 2013. She was also a vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee until February 28, 2016, when she resigned to endorse Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary. 


This primary was one of the most acrimonious and bitter races in history, and no one did more to make it so than did this Hawaiian representative. The real question, however, is why? What would make it so appealing to someone, to consistently act against the interests of their own party? Wouldn’t that mean they were acting against their own interests, too? 


Merriam- Webster defines the term “political operative” as a person who does secret work for a government or political organization. And no one can deny that the resume of Ms. Gabbard would be ideal for one. Although her personality and policies are very much against the grain of the usual progressive agenda, there can be no doubt that on the surface, she is a diverse and fascinating candidate. She is the first American Samoan elected to Congress. She was the first elected Hindu (she took her oath of office on the Bhagavad- Gita) and one of two female combat veterans to join Congress in 2013. At that time, at age 31, she was also the youngest female member of the Congress.

So far, so good. And yet, for all these fantastic leftist qualifications, she gives the Democratic Party more trouble than does many a Republican. There are several reasons for this. Gabbard often sounds more like a hawkish Republican than a potential future Democratic leader. She repeatedly blasted Obama for failing to talk about “Islamic extremism”– a phrase very similar to the pet phrase of Donald Trump. 

Perhaps we can find a clue into the peculiar politics of this enigmatic woman, by examining her father. Even upon taking the most cursory glance at him, Hawaii state Senator, former Republican and anti-gay activist Mike Gabbard is a man who has had to do a lot of reforming. The elder Gabbard has made a career out of evasion. With reporters, with constituents, and with pretty much everyone except his daughter and his old cronies from the days of Chris Butler’s (Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa, also known as #SwamiSalami) Hare Krishna cult. 

Of course, it’s predictable that he would be wary of the media. Even Googling “Mike Gabbard” will lead you to a seemingly endless series of negative stories. It seems clear there are many questions that he doesn’t want to answer. Specifically, he has been reticent on those queries concerning his ties to the aforementioned swami. The Butler cult has built a shadowy and global organization that according to some numbers in the tens of thousands, and the Gabbards are its most public and conspicuous members. 

This splinter group has given rise to a number of political candidates over the past 30 years. And two of Tulsi’s most important campaign staffers came from her father’s organization’ . Those questions must be especially touchy during election seasons, when much of his political support and money comes from Christian conservatives. 

No one should have to be held accountable for the political views of their parents. But Tulsi Gabbard’s political connections to her father go far beyond the family relationship. Despite her recent claims to socially-progressive views, the pattern established by examining her staffers and donors makes much more sense when viewed as a conservative family network than the product of more regular Democratic fundraising efforts.

In fact, according to one list of major contributors to the Tulsi Gabbard campaign, published by DailyKos in 2012, Democratic donors were actually exceptions on this list.  Many of these people have not donated to campaigns other than Mike Gabbard’s Congressional campaign, or Richard Reed’s Senate campaign, both as Republicans. Reed’s Senate campaign was allegedly connected to both the Gabbards’ and to Butler’s religious group. 

The plot continues to thicken and grow stranger. A website called the Cult Education Institute has a thread on Tulsi Gabbard and her activities and connections with Chris Butler that is literally hundreds of pages long, and provides links to a stultifying wealth of articles and other information. It should be, and is, pointed out that much of it is unverifiable. However, a great deal of it is very verifiable. And the sheer amount of it alone is suggestive. One would be hard-pressed to find another politician anywhere on the nation’s entire political coastline with such a bewildering array of data arraigned against them. The process of vetting candidates means that if you’ve got 100 pages of cult websites detailing your activities, you’re not going to make it through.

So what does it all mean? Where are they going, with all of this? A look at the politics of Hawaii might be of use in this context. The Democratic Party has had a long reign in Hawaii. Some of it comes from the popularity of the labor movement there in the 20th century, and the efforts of the Hawaii Democratic Party to push for greater inclusivity of the electoral base have traditionally been venerated. These factors have combined to earn Democrats near-complete control of the state legislature. But such an extended period of dominance has been resulting in increased voter apathy and increased factionalism within the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

This apathy is what led Mike Gabbard to try and challenge Democratic incumbent Ed Case in 2004. The elder Gabbard, known for his virulent anti-gay crusade in the 1990s, was attempting to overturn the status quo and win as a Repulican the race to represent Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. Unfortunately for him, that virtually no one could have won this way. At that time, a reporter for Honolulu Magazine requested an interview on the Chris Butler ties, which prompted the following rejoinder from Tulsi.
 “I smell a skunk,” she emailed back. “It’s clear to me that you’re acting as a conduit for … homosexual extremist supporters of Ed Case!”

The Democrats held the day, in 2004, and the star of Mike Gabbard was soon to wane, but that of his daughter was on the rise. And by 2013, the situation was very different. A schism was forming in the larger Democratic Party of America that was similar to the one in Hawaii. In the absence of a super-villain like one of the Bushes, Democrats were starting to divide into the camps now roughly labeled “liberal” and “progressive”. 
Around this same time, public awareness began growing toward an occuring trend that is still reshaping the entire scale of political spectrum. The far left began linking up with the far right, unbeknownst to nearly everyone, in a plot to manipulate the national dialectic into demanding a third party.

The left and the right have often historically converged when a common friend or foe suits both of their needs, usually for different reasons. This is known as the Horseshoe Theory, and as far as Congressional Democrats go, nobody seems to personify this more than Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard. We are in the middle of watching nothing less than a full-fledged attempt at a Libertarian revival.

On the Issues, a non-partisan informational website that rates and categorizes lawmakers and candidates, describes Tulsi Gabbard as a “Libertarian-Leaning Progressive” based on her voting record. 

Progressives are not the only ones in love with Tulsi Gabbard, and the way she constantly does numbers on Democrats. The Hill reported that it was Steve Bannon who arranged the November meeting between the new president-elect and the Hawaiian congresswoman. “He loves Tulsi Gabbard. Loves her,” a source familiar with Bannon’s thinking told The Hill. “Wants to work with her on everything.” 

Following their meeting, many speculated that Gabbard might receive an appointment in Trump’s cabinet, a move that appeared to excite many Trump supporters. It seems clear that this was rejected because of the toxic effect this would have had on Tulsi’s ability to get progressives to follow her blindly. That would have blown years of hard work. 

Her political record viewed as a whole gives one the eerie impression that it was tailor-made to be borderline acceptable to the Democratic hierarchy, while actually placing her much more closely in line with the Koch brothers brand of libertarianism, an experiment that failed back in the 1980’s, but whose adherents have never really abandoned. Googling “tulsi gabbard libertarian” will lead you to an entire galaxy of Libertarian newspapers, each singing her praises more fervently then the last.

BeingLibertarian.com eagerly lists us off all the reasons why Gabbard 2020 is a shoo-in, with a headline saying “Democrat Tulsi Gabbard Will Likely Be Next President. 

ALibertarianFuture.com also goes to great effort to laud Tulsi for her willingness to work against Democratic interests, in this article explaining that Libertarian hero Rand Paul introduced Tulsi Gabbard’s Stop Arming Terrorists Act in the Senate. 

Libertarian Christians sing her praises even louder, with these next words being a direct quote from the article. “Thank you, Mrs. Gabbard, for having the courage to tell the truth. I don’t have to share your ideology to share your human conscience. You are seeing through the double-bind foreign policy trap of our bipartisan war policy: Satan casting out Satan.
In today’s world, people who consider the United States satanic tend to be receiving money from Russia. But even aside from that, it makes you wonder how such a high-powered chameleon ended up with a reputation for being an uncompromising progressive. An examination of her recent polling trends reveal she’s doing very nearly as well among people of both parties, and this is extremely troubling given the extreme and total decency gap existing between them. The Democrats gave us Obama. The Republicans gave us W. Bush and Trump.

Jacobin Magazine, long regarded as one of the most professional and serious left wing magazines out there, recently did an article on all this. They gave it the headline, “Why Tulsi Gabbard isn’t your Friend.” And there it all was. The whole tangled web. Tulsi Gabbard is the all-purpose fishing lure being trotted out by the people so carelessly trying to realign the national power structure in their interest. She’s got something for everyone, and all of it is dishonest.

Millennial Midterms- #SpreadTheWord.

The 2018 midterm elections are of huge and fundamental importance. There have never been such high stakes riding on anything. We have got a maniac in office. He just sabotaged our health care system. And he’s the worst possible person on the planet to be handling a nuclear crisis. There’s something we can do about it, though. We can put a Congress in power who is capable of fixing this.

The year after a presidential election is traditionally pretty quiet. Think back on 2001. Try and picture something you remember in between Bush’s inauguration and 9/11, other than My Pet Goat. Not much happening in 2009, either, except for the continuing housing market crash.

Donald Trump’s election altered terribly the usual state of things. Politics didn’t settle down for one day. It’s like the election never even ended. His incompetence and narcissistic tendencies have created a real crisis for the country, and nobody knows quite what to do. The only thing certain is the 2018 midterms, and with it the hope of a Congress that will lift this burden from the people of America.

It’s not certain Trump realizes that losing the House next year could put his presidency in peril. What is certain is that he knows most people don’t like him.

This is why he’s never stopped holding rallies– still usually referred to as “Campaign” rallies, although he’s been in office nearly a year- to keep in close touch with those who still do.

The whole thing has turned into a great big trip to Jonestown. It’s an unparallelled debacle. It is the absolute apex of disasters. It is so bad, in fact, that it has many people wondering- Does it even really matter much what Democrats do?

The answer to that question lands squarely in the affirmative. No one can afford to take anything for granted at this point. Trump has upended everything.

The key to our next moves will be to emphasize the strength of our economic message. Most everyone who can be convinced that Trump is bad for the country based on his personal characteristics already has been. He has given us all the help we could ever ask for, on that account.

We’ve had multiple wake-up calls. Everyone should be wide awake by now,” said Doug Heye, a former top aide to former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia. Personality politics will only take you so far, and our strategists know this. It’s on us to raise the confidence level of the people. That’s why we’re here.

The trick now, is to look closely at that most progressive of platforms ever assembled, the 2016 Democratic Presidential Platform, and understand that the answers have been there all along. We just have to help others see it.

Developing along these lines, Democratic strategy this year runs the way of positive persuasion and turnout. Black turnout, Latino turnout, and millennial turnout.

Turnout often drops off at midterms, even among those who voted in the presidential election, and the most important question is to how to keep our energy level high and our people united. That’s where we come in.

All this continues amid Trump’s worst decision yet. Although the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to project unity Monday, his recent decision to stab Obamacare in the back has made that impossible.

By defaulting on federal payments that breathe life into millions, Trump has fanned the healthcare wildfires to the point where it’s becoming an inferno. Ironically, he’ll be saving the residents of blue states all kinds of money, while murdering his own core base. This has got to be the stupidest decision ever made by any human being.

In contrast to that hellish spectacle, we will be showing people a plan that isn’t breaking their backs or taking away their health care.

The Republican Party’s fall agenda and midterm elections strategy is nonexistent. Their economic policy remains what it has been since 2009- a diametric opposition to any good the Clintons and Obamas have been able to do. That gives us an opening.

Steve Bannon, who since losing his job has been doing to the Republicans what Bernie Sanders and the WeWillReplaceYou (what a brazen slogan! Ugh!) outfit has been doing to us, has made himself a volatile ingredient to the unlikely mixture of Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

“I like Steve a lot. Steve is doing what Steve thinks is the right thing,” Trump said while standing next to McConnell. At Millennial Democrats, we think Steve is doing the right thing too, even if it’s for the wrong reasons.

All this disarray in the backyard of the GOP places them at risk of alienating further still all those people who are on the margins. People who voted for Trump, but have regrets. This is the group that will decide things for everyone, in the next few years.

No matter what, we have to make sure they do not get 60 seats in the Senate. Fortunately, on that account, we are doing well. For example, a poll just out from Virginia has former 2016 Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine up by 20+ percentage points over various Republican opponents.

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight made the following statement, one that we can only pray isn’t a bit of foreshadowing taking place in our story. “Republicans aren’t going to get 60 seats — or even come close — unless there’s a Sept. 11-like event that makes Trump super popular.”

Eerie. Really eerie.