DARK HORSE: Bernie Sander 2016. A Flawed Candidate?

No candidate, just as no person is without flaws, but understanding Sanders’ potential flaws begins to comprehend a future roadmap for the campaign. As often as not campaigns and races become about the flaws and weaknesses of the various candidates. Walter Mondale found that out while running against Ronald Reagan in 1984. Mondale became the establishment choice for the democrats after rebuffing a serious challenge from Sen. Gary Hart (D-Co.), and lesser challenges by Rev. Jessie Jackson and former astronaut and Senator from Ohio, John Glenn. Hart, who won the New Hampshire and Ohio primaries, had positioned himself as younger and more appealing to younger voters, a claim sanders can arguably claim in the 2016 race. Behind Reagan in the polls, Mondale chose the scandal-ridden Geraldine Ferraro for his VP choice, a decision that did not resonate with voters over accusations of pandering and populism over substance. Instead, Reagan dominated populism without seeming populist, hammering the unpopular and not terribly likeable Mondale almost 60% of the popular vote.

In 1988 Maryland Governor Michael Dukakis took on Reagan VP George Bush, winning the nomination over a pallid, relatively unknown and inexperienced candidates including Paul Simon, Dick Gephardt, Al Gore and Joe Biden. The Dukakis campaign stumbled and stalled from the start, falling victim to Republican strategist Lee Atwater’s dirty tricks and to Dukakis’ own gaffs.

Atwater spread rumors that Dukakis was concealing mental illness, rumors that were only compounded by the candidate’s refusal to release his medical records. He was hammered by the Bush campaign with ads describing him as weak on crime after a convicted murderer, Willie Horton, committed a rape after being released in a Maryland prisoner furlough program. The final straw came with a photo showing an awkward looking Dukakis, described by the Bush campaign as weak on defense, riding a tank. The election was more about Dukakis than about substance.

Dan Quayle sought to describe himself in terms of the late John F. Kennedy in a 1988 vice presidential debate and was famously swatted down in the famous reply from then vice presidential candidate, Senator Lloyd Benston, “I knew Jack Kennedy. Senator , you’re no Jack Kennedy.” It was the only bright spot in the Dukakis campaign.

The election of 1992 might have turned out very differently had Texas Billionaire not helped feed perceptions that as an independent he wasn’t a crackpot. Perot vehemently opposed NAFTA and marshaled a vast grassroots network that succeeded in getting him on the ballot in all 50 states. He was soon leading in the polls, well ahead of Bush and Clinton but then suddenly dropped out of the race unexpectedly, claiming mysterious Republican operatives were stalking his daughter. Perot’s running mate, retired Vice Admiral, medal of honor recipient and former Vietnam prisoner of war was mocked mercilessly as a doddering old fool after beginning a debate by saying, “Who am I? Why am I here?”

Clinton took the nomination amid a scandal involving an extramarital affair with Gennifer Flowers. Neither Bush nor Clinton inspired any great amount of passion, as voter turn out revealed. Elections in the US were becoming less and less about substance and issues and more about personality and mud-slinging, as the 1992 election showed. Media consolidation, started under Reagan would continue apace under Bill Clinton. The winner would be corporate interests, who cultivated populist propagandists like Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh, with decidedly and unabashedly pro business, pro-rich and pro-rightwing programming. What remained of presidential elections in any way about substance was a thing of the past.

Sanders will and is facing that environment. Media consolidation has polarized the nation’s television, radio and newspapers predominantly to the right, or to a status quo position which tacitly supports and protects rightwing social, political and economic structures and paradigm. Otherwise innocuous vulnerabilities, or simply the appearance of a vulnerability, will be exploited to perversely obscene lengths, as the birther issue against Obama, former Illinois rep. Joe Walsh’s mockery of Tammy Duckworth’s grievous combat wounds and hyperbolic questions about Hillary Clinton’s marriage prove.

Did Bernie Sanders ever smoke marijuana as a student? His arrest in 1963 during a protest for fair housing, a sign of legitimacy on the Left will become a pejorative for the Right. What of his age and health: Foreign policy, Lack of a military record, Socialist, Independent, Second amendment and a call for more responsible gun control? America has never had a Jewish President.

It was scandalous that JFK was a Roman Catholic when he ran in 1960.

Most recently an essay he wrote in 1972 for the alternative newspaper the Vermont Freeman. The essays, covering a period from the late 1960s through the early 1970s are the explorations of social, moral and gender constructs. Asked about them on “Meet the Press”, Sander’s dismissed the writings as “fiction.” (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/bernie-sanders-vermont-freeman-sexual-freedom-fluoride) What it illustrates is that nothing and no part of Sanders’ life, or that of any other candidate is safe from scrutiny, hyperbole and innuendo. Sanders’ success has made him a target, more so by the Clinton campaign since a recent Gallop Poll showed that the Clinton camp expects Sanders to win the primaries in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

Barring a terrorist attack or an unforeseen foreign conflict, the 2016 election is angling strongly towards domestic issues and the economy. Sanders is outspoken regarding the substantial disparity between middle class and poor families and the so called 1%. In a period in which congress and the senate are increasingly predominated by millionaires, Bernie Sanders ranks 84 out of 100 in the senate for wealth. In 2004, according to Ballotpedia.org, his aver age net worth was just over $140 thousand dollars. In 2012 his wealth had grown 228% to more than $460 thousand. Could that become an issue, considering the average American saw a decline in their annual net worth of about 1% annually? Considering that his likely key adversaries are likely to be Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton (Separately, her husband is worth an estimated $80 million), both worth roughly $20 million each, that seems unlikely. In fact, all of the candidates on the Republican side are millionaires or billionaires, positioning Sanders far more closer to the middle class than another current candidate.

How deeply Sanders resonates with the activist Left is drawn strongly through a small number of issues, as we found out recently on our radio program (Saturdays 11-1pm CST AM1680 www.que4.org). the environment and the economy are chief among them, but a hot button issue we found caring strong negative reaction against Sanders had to do with his Jewish faith. Not necessarily that he was Jewish, but that he may be too close to an issue many on the Left have strong opinions about. How could Sanders, they argue, be impartial when he is part of the apparatus supplying the Israeli defense Forces, IDF, with $3billion Dollars annually, or more than 11% of Israel’s $23 billion Dollar annual budget, much of which goes to ostensibly killing civilians and maintaining an apartheid system? In the view of a sizable minority on the Left, that makes the US complicit in what many feel is a long slow genocide against Palestinians.

In truth, those critics scoff at Sanders when his name is uttered excitedly by fellow Leftists and progressives, but the criticism is truly one of the entire electoral system and governance in general. And while that minority is unlikely to vote for any candidate, espousing a belief that voting is hopelessly corrupt and ineffectual, many of those same views are held to some degree or another across the spectrum of anticipated voters on the Left. There is broad consensus, at the very least, that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and their patrons and surrogates, has not been dealt with by the US government judicially or humanely, neither has it been reported in the US media accurately.

There is tremendous pressure and propaganda guiding US foreign policy in the Mideast by any accurate accounting. The Press is played like a violin to the American people and to congress to spin and propagandize by the various parties to the conflict. Lobbying to congress has become a monumental business. Businesses like Lobbyit are for hire on virtually any issue as long as the checks clear. Among their services, ranging between $995 per month to almost $5000 Lobbyit offers help on activating “nation-wide networks of citizens/employees/members, and how to leverage their support,” and “Drafting of any specific legislative or regulatory language .”

There are currently 26 lobbyists for every congressman and woman in Washington. Since 1990, according to Center for Responsive Politics, pro-Israel lobbying groups gave more than $79 million to federal candidates and party committees. From 1990 to 2006, by contrast, pro-Arab and Muslim groups gave less than a million Dollars. The most prominent pro-Israeli lobbying group is American Israel Public Affairs Committee , AIPAC. In 1980, AIPAC had just 24 employees and an annual budget of $1.4 million. It now reports 160 employees with a budget of some $15 million, while its membership has grown from 8000 to 55000.

That translates to a lot of pressure on congresspersons and senators like Bernie Sanders. When it comes to Israel, however, Sanders is not so easily cajoled. His record is a bit mixed, at least by appearances, but Sanders’ is hardly a supporter of Israel’s policies toward Gaza and the Palestinians. He is against Palestinian statehood, as it is proposed, silent on Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank and critical of Israeli aggression against Palestinians. It offers all of his critics on every side of the argument plenty of fodder for attacks.

Sanders does have ties to AIPAC linked activists, but neither Sanders nor his Vermont colleague, Senator Patrick Leahy supports or subscribes to their positions. Quoted in a June 17th post at theuglytruth.com, one pro-Israeli lobbyist said that the senator is “one of the few offices that, when we try to get an appointment to come and talk to him, we just can’t get in…I don’t think he’s antagonistic or anything like that.”

For some the Left there is no sliding scale when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. It is quite simply about Human Rights, and a view that Israel, backed by the United States, with a record of bias and antagonism against Muslims, is the bully. They see the Palestinians as victims to a long program of genocidal polices, or apartheid polices at the very least. When so little attention is given to the plight of civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, from lack of movement to the constant specter of bombings, mass imprisonment and lack of due process, many on the Left believe they are the balance to Israel and the US government’s oppressive policies with regards to the Palestinians.

“The electoral system in this country,” said the guest on our radio show, “merely supports that system of oppression. Bernie Sanders is part of that system.”

However, while Clinton has shifted to the right by asserting that she is a true friend of Israel, whatever that means, Sanders condemned Israel’s attacks in 2014, which left 72 Israeli’s (mostly soldiers) and 2300 Palestinians (primarily civilians) and “disproportionate” and “completely unacceptable.” Furthermore, Sanders also supported the assertions of the United Nations’ top human rights official Navi Pillay who said that there was a “strong possibility” that Hamas and Israel have committed war crimes with their indiscriminate attacks on civilian.

That mirrors an open letter published in Tikkun Daily, August 23rd, 2014, by 40 Holocaust survivors who condemned the attacks on Gaza, describing “Israel’s ongoing occupation, and the troubling rise of systemic racism” (sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/newswatch/0722414). That statement is extremely significant in treating the warring factions as equally culpable in the conflict, a monumental split from current US foreign policy.

That, however is unlikely to satisfy the non-voting constituency far Left. While not a voting black, they still are a driver on many key issues, including the Black Lives Matter, Keystone XL Pipeline and the TPP. And they can still point to a July 7, 2014 Senate resolution supporting “the state of Israel as it defends itself from unprovoked rocket attacks from the Hamas terror organization.” The assumption that Hamas was behind the attacks was incorrect on July 7th, according to sources close to the Israeli military. Between January and June Palestinians fired 181 rockets and 16 mortars into or at Israel. One person was killed in March, a Palestinian militant, Mosaab Zaaneen, as he attempted to launch a crude rocket. Throughout that period the attacks failed to even damage property (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Palestinian_rocket_attacks_on_Israel,_2014).
According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Hamas did not participate in any of the earlier attacks, but instead retaliated on July 7th for the deaths of 6 Hamas members killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. The Jerusalem Post reported as early as May 2013 that Hamas was, in fact, working to stop Gaza rocket attacks against Israel.

The conflict was not about rockets and mortars however, but ostensibly in retaliation for the kidnapping and murders of three Israeli teenagers on June 12th. It also came at the end of a ceasefire, which Hamas had honored despite a continuing blockade on food fuel and medical supplies that wreaked a terrible dividend in suffering ion the people made all but prisoners on the West Bank and Gaza. It also came at a time of mounting Israeli settlements which politically rendered many of the Palestinian’s desires for a two-state solution mute. While one Hamas militant was convicted after confessing under “heavy torture,” and two others killed in a gun battle, it seems likely that this was an excuse rather than a reason. Though the truth may never been known now, The murders of two unarmed Palestinian teenagers by Israeli snipers on May 15th may have contributed to the events that followed.

The Senate resolution passed by a unanimous consent agreement. That meant that no senators, including Sanders opposed the resolution. While Sanders and 20 other senators did not openly support the resolution it is true that none of them opposed it either. Overall it reveals a bipartisan ignorance about the Palestinian-Israeli issue, as well as the Middle East overall. When the resolution passed a increase in the numbers of rocket attacks coincided with Israeli military incursions into Palestinian territory, result in the deaths of 11 Palestinians with another 50 wounded. The rocket and mortar attacks did not commence in earnest until after the resolution had passed, at which time both sides w ere engaged in combat operations.

Former Secretary of State Clinton has also shifted rhetoric about an impending Iran deal over its Nuclear capabilities, sounding more like a FOX News pundit than a progressive or Liberal. That could be because she believes Senator Sanders’ is weaker or less experienced on defense and foreign policy. She may also be courting what she views as a pro-defense, pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian sentiment with Moderate dems and republicans. It also presupposes the specter of more war in the region. She has been relatively ambiguous on true economic reform, holding banks accountable and reigning in Wall Street, conceding those issues to Sanders. Is Clinton’s shift to the right on Israel and Iran an effort to sway the election from domestic and economic issues towards foreign policy?

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Tim Meegan, Ward 33; How to Challenge an Incumbunt

This segment of Tim Meegan’s speech at a fundraiser last night does an excellent job of outlining the basic challenges of having a city government run by patronage, dynasty, and nepotism. The event took place at Revolution Brewing’s North Kedzie tap room in Chicago. Tim’s running an amazing campaign and was recently approved to appear on the ballot in this upcoming city election. In addition, the “Elected School Board” ballot question also passed and will appear on the ballot.

Check out our full interview with Tim Meegan to hear a lot more about his thoughts and concerns as a father, a high school teacher (talk about front lines!), and an engaged member of his community.

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Corporations Win!

In a stunning win for corporations and the Koch Brothers the constitution, environment, your drinking water, the middle class and the poor were soundly trounced by voter apathy and threats of Ebola-ridden Mexican children who love ISIS. As expected younger voters stayed home in record numbers, with an estimated 25% turnout, although turn out for this demographic was nearly 100% as they responded to funny memes on Twitter and to a great sale on sweaters at the gap-also and then there was that killer DJ at that club. Thankfully turn out by their grandparents and middle class voters passionately voting against their interests realized that 1 person with Ebola and immigrant kids on the border 2000 miles away were the leading issues. The environment, now bracing for an assault by the XL Keystone pipeline and fracking wells on every block could not be reached for comment. The constitution is said to have fled to Europe, remarking at the border that, corporations are people? “And you just voted for people to give them a huge tax break on top of the subsidies and tax loopholes they also get? No, you abandoned me.” R.I.P. middleclass, your fear vote is the same as suicide..

For more information on where the election takes us, read: The Last Man, a warning about the future.http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-last-man-wc-turck-and-the-99/1108897866?ean=9781469771939
9781469771939_p0_v1_s260x420


CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Community Leaders React to Tuesday Election Results, Turn Attention to City Elections

Take Back Chicago Coalition Announces Plan for Mass Mobilization November 11th

What:On November 5th, following Tuesday’s election, community leaders will be available for comment on what results mean for issues important to Chicago working families, including raising Illinois’s state minimum wage, a $15 Chicago Minimum Wage, reform of Chicago Housing Authority, and the campaign for an Elected Representative School Board.

A coalition of community organizations under the banner of Take Back Chicago will be holding a large march downtown on November 11th calling on elected officials to prioritize neighborhoods over corporate interests. During the media availability participants will also be creating theatrical visuals, including 8 ft puppets of several Chicago elected officials and corporate elites, for November 11th.

When: Media Availability: Wednesday, November 5th, 2pm – 4pm

Where: Grace Place, 637 S Dearborn St, 1st Floor, Chicago, IL 60605

Who: Low wage workers, Homeless Shelter Residents, CPS Parents, and others being directly impacted by state and city policymakers.

Representatives from Raise Chicago Coalition, Keeping the Promise Chicago Housing Authority Reform campaign, and campaign for an Elected Representative School Board.

GRASSROOTS COLLABORATIVE

637 S. DEARBORN, THIRD FLOOR CHICAGO, IL 60605

www. t h e g r a s s r o o t s c o l l a b o r a t i v e . o r g
November 3, 2014
Contact: Nathan Ryan, Communications Organizer, 920-445-3920, nathan@grassrootscollaborative.org


CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Take a cue from the Hong Kong protesters on fair elections…and third parties.

Wonder why they are protesting in Hong Kong? If you listen to the US media you may or may not get the full story, or any of the story for that matter. See, protests about freedom and free elections are potentially dangerous to the status quo in this country. The media is the arbiter of the status quo. The media here is framing it as students, but like Occupy and the environmental movement, every generation is represented.

The protest is over their right in Hong Kong to choose their own candidates, rather than have some oligarchical politburo narrow the choices while guaranteeing the “right” person remains in charge. Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens have rejected that manipulation and perversion of democracy and demand the basic and fundamental right to decide whom represents them best. Think the United States is somehow better? Guess again.

The truth is, the democratic-communist hybrid system in China, for all its corruption and old guard hegemony, is absolutely more transparent and honest than ours. We talk democracy but hardly practice it at all. When was the last time you had a real hand in choosing a presidential, or even a congressional candidate? the media, corporations and government apparatchiks maintain a well-crafted illusion of a democratic process. Talk radio makes you feel like your voice is valuable. The only nominal wild card in the party A or party B, manufactured, marketed and paid for candidates is which of the two banal cookie cutter figureheads will prevail the day after the election. But as we have seen with media attempts to brazenly manipulate turn out, and with republican efforts to disenfranchise millions of American voters, there are evolving efforts to help eliminate even that variable.

But choice, real choice? That has been stolen from you to such an extent that most Americans simply play the two party game without even realizing an alternative. This country must move to a multi-party system or risk sliding into something our founding fathers feared openly. They eschewed national political parties, and feared a two party system would pervert and subvert the constitution, and with that our basic rights and freedoms. But alternative third, fourth, fifth…parties are routinely marginalized, ignored, barred from debates, refused coverage by the media and kept off ballots. If you think we’ve seen too many Bush’ or Clintons already, if you are a free market person then you must admit the lack of competition is stagnating and corrupting the current system.

You wouldn’t tolerate only being able to choose Coke or Pepsi at the market, especially if you knew there were hundreds of other choices out there, but the store refused to let them in the door, and went to far as preventing all other stores from selling them. Why tolerate that purposeful narrowing of choice in something as eternal, historic and life and death as an election? That’s what Occupy was clambering for and that’s why they are in the streets facing a Chinese army and government with a bloody history of reprisals against those who challenge the status quo.

Next time you cheer the authorities here for beating and pepper-spraying protesters, think of China. Those aren’t mindless communist robot soldiers, they are usually kids taken from the poorest regions in the country and thrown into a position in which they have to choose between assailing fellow citizens or losing the only paying job keeping their family alive back home. The US system has done that with police, placing them in the unfair and untenable position of being the blunt force weapon of the oligarchs. We should take a cue from the protesters in Hong Kong who are focused fully on the long term of being an agent in their own futures and fates, rather than simply being the production pool for corporations, and the reactionary tool for government.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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ISIS Determined To Strike in US, or was that Bin Ladin?: Obama, ISIS and the truth about GAI

Election Season. You might think, listening to the corporate media that President Obama is suffering from some sort of golfing OCD, and that he just wasn’t interested in ISIS until last week. The truth is no one in the media, especially FOX was interested in ISIS. None of them reported on them until this past spring. Then there is this revelation-supposedly- that Obama only attended a shade over 40% of the Presidential Daily Briefings, according to a scientific and detailed analysis by the Government Accountability Institute, or GAI.

Sounds serious. After all, that is tantamount to dereliction of duty, malfeasance, and maybe even treason. What part of the government is the GAI a part of again? The name sounds terribly officious, and just what this nation needs to keep track of the really important stuff, like presidential vacation days, number of hours golfing and how much food is wasted in school lunch programs for poor kids, just to prove that those kids are getting too much food. That way we can cut food programs for a few billion to have more for the $22 billion we’re spending against ISIS already, and the $1 trillion the government gives in subsidies, credits and tax forgiveness annually to corporations.

But the GAI? Hmm. Last time I was in Washington I believe when you enter the Capitol Building the auspicious GAI offices are to the left, down a long hallway and up a flight of stairs, just past the…Oh wait, the GAI isn’t part of the government. In fact the GAI, who says their mission is to “investigate and expose crony capitalism, misuse of taxpayer monies, and other governmental corruption or malfeasance,” is a right wing organization headed by good, honest non-partisan friends of the community like the Hoover Institute, Breitbart.com, the Koch Brother’s American legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the American conservative Union and Citizen’s United. All organizations that have helped make America the land of hope, freedom, uncorrupted elections, equality and media diversification that we know today.

So let’s take a quick look at a few of the stalwart purveyors of truth, justice and government accountability. President Peter Franz Schweizer served as the foreign policy advisor to Sarah Palin and is connected through the State Policy Network to ALEC. Schweizer authored such non-partisan advances in literature and critical thought as Reagan’s War: The Epic Story of His Forty Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism, Makers and Takers: Why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine less … and even hug their children more than liberals, and of course the modern day classic of investigative journalism, Disney, the Mouse Betrayed. Fellow deep thinker, co-founder and Executive Chairman of GAI Stephen Bannon is an executive at Breitbart.com. Board member Ron Robinson is director and a founding member of Citizens United

But I understand the absolute urgency in getting details of Obama’s failure to attend PDBs. I can also understand the deluge of outrage by the media one month before the mid-term elections. But wait, the supposed analysis by GAI was published on July 24th. And by the way the article, like Hannity, Limbaugh, Savage or any of the true and good patriots on the right made mention back on that date that the ISIS leader threatened our American president directly. No, they were and continue to be more interested in party politics than the nation. It is interesting that they weren’t as apoplectic about Obama’s attendance record back in July. By the way, since this really isn’t about RDBs, or ISIS, it’s a pale effort by the republicans to paint dems as weak on defense going into the election.

Still, we can credit GAI for a deep analytical accounting of the exact number of times Obama attended PDBs, arriving at the 401-43% figure widely quoted throughout the media this week, with attributions to GAI, which almost sounds governmental. But GAI’s analysis was simply going to whitehouse.gov/schedule/ president and the date and counting the phrase “The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing.” It isn’t all that interesting. They are just sketches of the president’s schedule, leaving out more sensitive and classified briefings and meetings, as well as the day to day minutia of running a nation of 370 million people. its rather like describing what a chef does by looking at a page that reads, :opened the restaurant in the morning, cooked some food.” On the White House site there is a next and a back button which makes the epically hard work done by GAI so much easier. Of course, being the fair-minded, America-first folks we know they are, they did a cross comparison with other presidents, like Bush. No? Bush hasn’t made his electronic records available, almost a decade after leaving office?

Obama readily admitted that he and his team under estimated ISIS, and could not have foreseen the virtual collapse of the Iraqi army. That’s called transparency. Now the US is taking action against ISIS, because we are the one nation on the planet with the means and resources to do so, but Obama has also worked to invest regional nations to take part in the effort. Imagine, however that Obama received a PDB reading something like, and I’m just spit-balling here, ISIS Determined To Strike in US, and he ignored it. Then imagine that ISIS struck in, say, New York, maybe using commercial aircraft, and they also attacked the Pent…oh wait, that’s right. On August 6, 2001 the Central Intelligence Agency gave President George W. Bush, who was vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, a President’s Daily Brief titled Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US. It was ignored and by coincidence the US was hit just 36 days later, at home, with a loss of 3,000 civilians.

The Obama administration has been slow in crafting a proper response to ISIS, but ISIS still remains an issue predominantly in the Middle East and perhaps North Africa. They are certainly on the radar now. As for the PDBs? Aides and officials say that Obama reads the PDBs religiously and comes to meetings prepared with questions and discussion. PDBs were read to George Bush. No, I’m not kidding on that part. He needed someone to tell him a story so he could understand, and then have Dick Cheney make the decisions that led to the possibility of an ISIS in the first place.

By the way, if you are obsessed about the President’s golfing and vacation time as proof he isn’t engaged or interested in the job-probably because he’s just one of those lazy coloreds on welfare, he’s taken 140 days of vacation, compared to Bush’s 533 days, Reagan’s 390 and Clinton’s 174…

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Quigley and the TPP: Towing the party line.

It was a simple request. Revolution and Beer and Q4 radio in Chicago simply wanted clarification from candidates in Illinois’ 5th congressional district about the upcoming vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, or TPP. The Obama administration, in a political slight of hand decided against putting the issue to a vote in congress before the mid-term elections in November. Democrats have also avoided any public debate on the issue. That should give voters pause.

The delay, presumably, is to protect democrat candidates facing challenges in their home districts. But critical issues cannot be left to political expediency and competition between the two major political parties. There are just too many important issues facing the nation that cannot be left to the folly of party politics. But democrats and republicans alike seem to be hiding details of the TPP, which still remain secret, despite a number of leaks, from the American people.

One of those contentious races is in the 5th Illinois district. Entrenched democrat incumbent Mike Quigley is facing a renewed challenge from Nancy Wade, a Green Party candidate focusing on reforms. The 5th district is reflective of the political mood in the nation. While constituents run the gamut from Left to Right, the district regularly skews strongly to the Left and progressive side in elections, due to a strongly middle class sentiment imbued by a strong sense of patriotism. Republicans have not fared well in the district, which runs from the near north side of the city west to the suburbs, including Elmhurst and Oakbrook. In the last election the Republican Party only fielded a token candidate.

There are indications that the democrats hold on the district, which was once represented by Rahm Emanuel, may be slipping as well. The reason is a perception that the party has taken its constituents for granted. TPP is a critical case in point. Quigley, who helped stoke tensions in Ukraine over oil and gas concerns, appears to be dutifully supporting policies to the detriment of Ukraine, and a sizable Ukrainian constituency in the 5th, in a backdoor scheme by the administration to sneak passage of the XL Keystone pipeline. That vote has also been delayed until the November elections.

Simply, the questions reflected discussions we had on our radio show, with voters and with activists, such as, does Representative Quigley opposed to in favor of the TPP? What reasons would he have, given the amount of information concerning to his constituents on this issue? Given the amount of time it has been in the public discourse, what is his reason for not holding a position on TPP? In that case, when would he expect to communicate a position to his constituents? What are Rep. Quigley’s positions or position regarding fast track on the vote? Does he have a personal position on any specific aspect or issue regarding fast track or TPP? What are his thoughts, concerns with how TPP might affect positively or negatively other regional or global trade agreements? Are there concerns regarding the agreement for oversight, loss of jobs, economic impact, US sovereignty issues or trade imbalances that might be created? What steps, positions and actions is the Congressman prepared take to satisfy genuine concerns over those issues by his constituents?

It has been nearly 3 months and not a word from Quigley’s office. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that he follows the party line, rather than the interests and wishes of his constituents. That might explain why district offices are located in the city, well out of reach of all of his suburban constituents, and why the congressman is nearly impossible to reach in person. That seems to be going around in Washington these days, on both sides of the aisle, and it has cost some notable politician’s their jobs. That is called voting, by the way, a handy little tool for replacing politicians who show a greater interest in their party than in their constituents.

Voters, you have choices. No one and no party should take you for granted. That indicates arrogance, and sets them up to believe that they know better than you. They do not, and when they refuse to respond about serious and critical issues to our nation and our families, it is an indication they have exhausted their usefulness.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/182406862/IL-Who-Is-Behind-The-Illinois-Policy-Institute
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Revolution and Beer double shot: Gun lobby bullies and blackmails citizens of Niles Township in suburban Chicago Despite majority of citizens opposed to a new gun store opening in the town outsiders threatened a costly lawsuit to bankrupt municipality and drain civic resources. The town council vote 4:1 in favor of the gun store and gun Nazis despite the public outcry. Also, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner admits he can’t cut taxes under current system. Says that he will increase taxes on working families and promises to cut taxes for the rich. Luckily for him, he’s rich.

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WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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