Tag Archives: New York state

‘Fringe’ candidate Bernie Sanders takes three more states today, totaling 14

File:Democratic Party presidential primaries results, 2016.svg

Wikipedia graphic

Wins in Utah and Idaho on Tuesday and wins in Washington state, Alaska and Hawaii today show progressive presidential candidate Bernie Sanders strong in the western as well as the northern states. (Sanders’ wins are noted in green on the map above, while Billary Clinton’s are noted in golden yellow.) Note that the difference between Bernie and Billary in the western state of Nevada was only 5.3 percent — and that Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts and Missouri were even closer, with not even a 0.5 percent difference between the two candidates in two of those states and not even a full 2 percent difference in the other two. (And note that for all intents and purposes I consider Arizona not part of the West, but part of the South, replete with incredible voter suppression; so fucked up was Arizona’s presidential primary election on Tuesday that we’ll probably never know the actual will of the voters of that backasswards state, since we’ll never know how many of them never even were able to cast a ballot, being unable to stand in line for hours.]) The lower right-hand corner of the graphic above indicates that Bernie won the most votes cast by Democrats Abroad

PredictIt.org, a prediction market website, doesn’t have Billary Clinton winning a state until April 19, when she is predicted to win New York state (which she carpetbaggingly represented in the U.S. Senate for eight years last decade).

Until then, PredictIt.org predicts that Bernie Sanders will win Hawaii today (Hawaii has yet to be called, but I’m confident that it will be called for Bernie), after his wins today in Alaska and Washington state (which have been called for him), and then will move on to win Wisconsin on April 5 and Wyoming on April 9.

Then, admittedly, it should look tougher for Bernie after that.

Again, Billary is predicted to win New York on April 19, and then on April 26, five more states weigh in: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Unfortunately, right now PredictIt.org has Billary winning all five of those states, but that’s a full month away from today, which can be a long time in politics, so we’ll see.

In any event, for a “fringe” candidate, Bernie Sanders thus far is kicking ass.

Note that Howard Dean, who was a political rock star 12 years ago, won only one state in the Democratic Party presidential primary race of 2004, his home state of Vermont (he also won the District of Columbia). In that race John Edwards won two states (North Carolina and South Carolina) and Wesley Clark won one (Oklahoma), while John Kerry won every other state.

Compare Vermonters Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders, and you have to admit that Bernie is doing much, much better than Dean did. (And Bernie calls himself a “democratic socialist”!)

That said, Dean did create the progressive wave upon which opportunist Barack Obama rode into the White House, co-opting Dean’s message with his (bullshit-we-know-now) message of “hope” and “change.”

Obama’s centrist/center-right, largely caretaker presidency has been an unfortunate, eight-year detour for the progressive movement, but Bernie Sanders’ remarkable progress thus far demonstrates, I believe, that if we progressives can’t retake the Democratic Party and take the White House this year, we can accomplish that within a decade or so.

As I’ve noted, Barry Goldwater’s run in 1964 paved the way for Ronald Reagan.

P.S. Real Clear Politics shows that right now Billary Clinton has only a single-digit lead over Bernie Sanders here in my home state of California, which offers more pledged delegates than does any other state (a whopping 475 of them) — and which (along with five other states) votes last in the nation, on June 7 (with the exception of the District of Columbia, which votes on June 14).

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I ♥ NY!

The top of the Empire State Building is lit up ...

The Empire State Building, right, is lit up with ...

Associated Press photos

New York City’s Empire State Building is lit up in rainbow colors today in honor of gay pride week. Because of the state legislation that was passed last night, same-sex marriages are expected to begin in New York state in a month, and same-sex couples who marry in the state do not have to be residents of the state.

There is so much to bitch about that it’s nice to see some good news for once.

Despite the fact that the “LGBT” “community” in general doesn’t have its shit together, that most of its “leaders” are self-interested sellouts who pathetically passively accept the national Democratic Party establishment’s pathetic mantra that we non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals  have to keep waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting* before our constitutional rights are upheld in all 50 states, the 19-million-plus-strong state of New York last night became the most populous state in the nation to have legalized same-sex marriage.

Six states — New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont — and the District of Columbia now have legalized same-sex marriage.

The addition of New York to that still-too-short list is a great gift this gay pride month.

It sucks to be a Californian and to not to be able to marry my same-sex partner of almost four years — talk of individual freedom and equality supposedly being so God-damned inherently American when so many so-called Americans want only some of us to have freedom and equality is utter bullshit to me — but same-sex marriage in either New York or in California is the death knell for the heterosexist fascists’ agenda of freedom and equality for only some.

And as the legal challenges to California’s anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition Hate are making their way up the federal courts — and thus far, Prop Hate is losing — it’s possible that what began as a loss for equality and freedom in California in November 2008 with Prop Hate could end up as a victory for equality and freedom not only in California but in the rest of the states as well.

Further, recent nationwide polls consistently show that around 53 percent of Americans believe that same-sex marriage should be legal in all 50 states.

Prop Hate, I surmise, ironically only harmed the haters’ “cause” because it exposed their ignorance, their fear, their bigotry, their hatred — in a word, their evil.

This, I believe, as well as other factors — such as that bitter old fucks take their ignorance and hatred with them to their graves and they are replaced by much more enlightened youths — account for the fact that finally, the equality-hating queer-haters are a minority in the United States of America.

That 53 percent majority was hard-won, and it took an awfully long time, to be sure, but it will hold. And it will only increase in the coming years. It’s already clear that the haters are on the wrong side of history, as evidenced by such facts as that same-sex marriage passed in New York last night with the “yea” votes of enough Repugnican state senators in the Repugican-dominated New York state Senate.

These are the Repugnicans who are wise enough to know that to continue to oppose equality and freedom for everyone is a battle that they cannot win, and they don’t want their names to go down in history as having been on the wrong, shameful side — as having been fucking assholes.

(“While I understand that my vote will disappoint many, I also know my vote is a vote of conscience,” one of the Repugnican New York state senators said in a statement before he voted “yes” on same-sex marriage last night. “I am doing the right thing in voting to support marriage equality.”

Said another Repugnican New York state senator, a lawyer, of his “yes” vote: “I cannot legally come up with an argument against same-sex marriage. I cannot deny a person, a human being … the same rights [that] I have with my wife.”)

A few more notes on the historic achievement of same-sex marriage in New York:

The Associated Press quotes Ross Levi, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, as having said of the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York that there “certainly [will be] a ripple effect across the nation” from the “historic night.” I am with him thus far, but then he added that “democracy won.”

OK, fine, let’s celebrate the historical achievement, but let’s not tacitly or overtly agree that anyone’s equal human and civil rights, guaranteed to him or her by the U.S. Constitution, should be put up for a vote. Inalienable rights are just that — inalienable and not subject to the whims of the democratic process.

And I must note that history shall record that the Catholick Church — which, along with the Mormon Cult, backed Proposition Hate — fought the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York.**

Further, history shall record that same-sex marriage in the state of New York was won only after the theofascists were sufficiently satisfied that religious groups’ “right” to discriminate against non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals would be preserved.

Yes, today, “religious freedom” means things like the preservation of bigotry and discrimination and infant male genital mutilation (a.k.a. “circumcision”).

And the “argument” today is that if you don’t allow the theofascists to violate others’ rights (even the right of infants not to be mutilated), then you are violating the theofascists’ “religious freedom.”

(I suppose the fact that we don’t allow murderers and rapists the freedom to freely rape and murder is a violation of their “freedoms,” too. Interesting thing, freedom/“freedom” is.)

The Catholick Church, the Mormon Cult and other groups of “Christo”fascists and theofascists and ignorant haters deserve to see themselves driven to extinction for their refusal to leave the Dark Ages behind in this rapidly changing world.

I’m fine with these fascists believing whatever bullshit they want to believe, but when they believe that they have the “right” to impose their brand of theocracy on me, when they can’t keep their evil insanity to themselves, then it becomes my fucking problem.

It is because of them that I cannot legally marry my partner of almost four years. I take their assault on my freedoms and liberties — which I believe are worth dying for — quite seriously. They have declared war, and they deserve whatever blowback they sustain because of their declaration of war.

*It has occurred to me that the Democratic Party doesn’t want the advancement of rights and equality for non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, because the promise of these rights and this equality in the futurealways in the future — is great for fundraising.

Indeed, any actual progress in the United States at all can be made only by doing an end-run around the national Democratic Party establishment, such as how the people of Wisconsin took things into their own hands after Barack Obama and the other national Dems totally ignored the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ attack on labor unions/collective bargaining in that state, and how the states are achieving same-sex marriage state by state when it shouldn’t have to be achieved so fucking incrementally and without the support of the national Democratic Party establishment, which is less than worthless.

**The Associated Press notes:

The Catholic Bishops of New York said the [same-sex marriage] law alters “radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage.”

“We always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love,” the bishops said Friday. “We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization.”

The AP also notes that the infamously homophobic “Democratic” New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz, “a Bronx minister,” said of his “no” vote: “God, not Albany, settled the issue of marriage a long time ago.”

Wow.

OK, the Catholick assholes (redundant…) don’t get their cake and eat it, too. They don’t get to oppose same-sex marriage but at the same time claim, “We always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love.” That’s like your rapist proclaiming his “love” for you while he’s fucking raping you. No. You can’t work to keep others down and claim that you are treating them with “respect, dignity and love.”

And the Catholick theofascists and theofascist Diaz — who is not a Democratsorely need to be educated about the separation of church and state.

They have the right to believe, stupidly, that there is a “God” (it’s their right to believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, too) and that this “God” has an inviolable definition of marriage as being a union between a biological male and a biological female, one of the main purposes of which is to produce more offspring on an already overpopulated planet (after all, global warming is bullshit, right? And in any event, Judgment Day is just around the corner, so it doesn’t matter how much we trash the planet, does it?). They have the right to act out of this belief in their own lives.

They do not have the right to impose this stupid belief on those of us who disagree with them.

And same-sex marriage was legalized in the state of New York not by some abstract entity called “Albany,” to use Diaz’s propaganda, or “government,” to use the Catholick bishops’ propaganda.

No, the people of the state of New York elected their state representatives and their state senators in a system of representative democracy.

In this system of representative democracy, theocracy and theofascism lost and the people won.

The Catholick asshats, Diaz and the other “Christo”fascists and theofascists should get used to losing to democracy, because even though none of us non-heterosexuals and non-gender conformists should have to use the democratic process to win our inalienable rights, we are doing so. And we are winning.

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On the anniversary of Obama’s election

Today I received an e-mail from Organizing for America*, the remnants of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, titled “One year ago.” It’s meant to be nostalgic.

 Ah, yes — memories:

It was almost one year ago, on November 4, 2008, that I walked into my neighborhood polling place knowing that I’d vote for either Democrat Barack Obama or independent Ralph Nader, for whom I had voted in 2000 (when he ran for president on the Green Party ticket). Even as I walked through the polling-place door, I still wasn’t 100 percent sure which of the two candidates ultimately would get my vote.

In the end, I ended up darkening, with my black ballpoint pen, the oval next to the name “Barack Obama.” I knew that he’d win California anyway, and in the end I found the opportunity to vote for the nation’s first non-completely-white president to be rather irresistible.

Today, I wish that I had resisted.

Barack Obama has turned out to be pretty much another Bill Clinton — a “centrist.” Which means a coward. An appeaser. A politics-as-usual kinda guy.

There was nothing “centrist” about the eight long years of nightmarish rule by the unelected BushCheneyCorp. When the Repugnicans have the power, they don’t hesitate to use it. Remember when Gee Dubya was “re”-elected in 2004 with only 50.7 percent of the popular vote, but the members of the Bush regime called this a “mandate” from the American people nonetheless?

Here is Obama, having been elected by 53 percent of the people, which by the opposition’s definition, anyway, is a huge ol’ fucking mandate, and here is Obama with both houses of Congress dominated by his party, yet what accomplishments has he made?

That “Saturday Night Live” skit in which Obama reassures his opposition not to worry because thus far into his presidency he’s done nothing — it’s pretty accurate.

While the Democrats, led by the Obama White House, aren’t owning their power, I see that the wingnutty Repugnicans (which, in most cases, is redundant) were even successful in forcing out the Repugnican candidate in a U.S. House of Representatives race in New York state (the special election is on Tuesday and she dropped out of the race yesterday) because they consider her to be too moderate — and I think: Damn, why can’t we progressives force out those “Democrats” who are too moderate?

Instead, we have “Democrats” like Harry Reid and my U.S. senator, Dianne Feinstein, whom I have always thought of as Mrs. Joseph Lieberman.   

Base sends GOP warning shot in NY-23,” a Politico headline reads, and I think, Why isn’t the base firing warning shots at the “Democratic” obstructionists in Washington?

Why can’t we progressives be as aggressive as the wingnuts are? Especially when they’re wrong about just about everything and we’re right about just about everything?

It’s too early to know whether the wingnuts’ victory in New York state in pushing out the Repugnican candidate they deem to be too moderate will help or harm the Repugnican Party in the short term, I suppose, but, it seems to me, pushing out the woman candidate (Diedre Scozzafava) for yet another conservative white male candidate (Doug Hoffman) will harm the Repugnican Party over the long term because, although the stupid white men are trying to fight it, rule by stupid white men is going the way of the dinosaurs in an increasingly diversifying nation. 

That Hoffman is running on the “Conservative Party” ticket doesn’t seem to bode well to me. It was when the Southern racists broke off from the Democratic Party, apparently starting with racist Strom Thurmond’s running for president on the “Dixiecrat” ticket in 1948, that the Democratic Party lost the South.

Should the wingnuts succeed in gaining some third-party strength, it seems to me, this will only help the Democratic Party. As The Associated Press notes, in the 1992 presidential election, billionaire businessman Ross Perot’s third-party ticket (the “Reform Party”), which had a bent to the right, won 19 percent of the popular vote; “Perot vastly altered the dynamic of that contest,” the AP notes, adding, “Democrat Bill Clinton was the beneficiary of that three-way contest, taking away the presidency from [Repugnican] George H.W. Bush with just a plurality of the vote.”

Any third party that might emerge over the coming years that comes even close to the success of Perot’s Reform Party in 1992, it seems to me, probably would stem from white angst and thus probably would siphon away Repugnican votes.

That scenario probably wouldn’t give progressives much leverage, however, because the Democratic presidential candidate could win with a plurality, like Bill Clinton did in 1992.

Those of us on the far left and the far right aren’t really represented in Washington, D.C., however, and I’d be fine with a four-party (or multi-party) system: the Democratic Party could be for those who are center-left, the Repugnican Party could be for those who are center-right, the wingnuts could have their own party (the “Conservative Party” or whatever the fuck they want to call it), and we progressives could have our own party, too — the Green Party, preferably. 

Or maybe it just needs to be a fight to the bitter end, a (bloodless, hopefully) rematch of the Civil War. That seems to be what those on the far right want, and as a member of the far left, I say: Let’s give that to them.

*Remember when the remnants of Howard Dean’s failed campaign for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination became Democracy for America? Damn, are the Obama people copycats… They act like Obama did it all on his own, when, in fact, Obama only rode in on the wave that Dean and his supporters created…

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