Tag Archives: “Person of the Year”

Bernie Sanders wins the youth vote (also: SEIU sold its members out)

Updated below (on Monday, November 23,2015)

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders takes a selfie with supporters after a campaign rally at the South Carolina Democratic Party headquarters in Columbia

Reuters photo

Two young people take a selfie with democratic socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders after a campaign rally in Columbia, South Carolina, yesterday. Sanders is popular among young Americans, having won Iowa’s student mock election this past week with a majority of the votes, and he leads TIME magazine’s online poll for its 2015 Person of the Year. 

I noted two interesting Bernie Sanders-related items this past week.

First, Bernie Sanders handily won the student mock election held in Iowa this past week. Just under a thousand middle school and high school students participated on the Democratic side of the mock election, sponsored by the state’s secretary of state’s office. The Washington Post reports that 22 of the state’s 99 counties participated in the mock election, but doesn’t indicate whether these 22 counties are more or less representative of the entire state.

That said, Bernie Sanders won the mock election with almost 53 percent of the vote, followed by Martin O’Malley, with 24 percent, and coming in dead last was Billary Clinton, with a paltry 15 percent.

Had these been elementary school students, I would feel at least a little bit better about these results. Why? I surmise that younger students primarily would have voted the way their parents had influenced them to vote, and thus the mock election results would be reflective of how the students’ parents intend to caucus in Iowa on February 1.

But because these are middle school and high school students who voted, I surmise, the students voted more independently of their parents than younger students would have. And since most of these high school students won’t be 18 years old as of February 1, Bernie Sanders’ having garnered a majority of the vote in Iowa’s student mock election won’t translate to much help to him when Iowa caucuses on February 1.

The Huffington Post’s polling analysis right now puts Sanders at 32.5 percent in Iowa, to Billary Clinton’s 54.4 percent. Real Clear Politics’ polling analysis right now puts Billary at 53.8 percent to Bernie’s 29.8 percent in the first-to-weigh-in state of Iowa.

What accounts for such differences in the preference for Bernie or for Billary? Age, apparently; the younger you are, the more likely you are to support Bernie Sanders, and the older you are, the more likely you are to support Billary Clinton.

This is good for Billary and her center-right ilk in the short term, since our elections still will be skewed to the older, whiter and more conservative voters for several more cycles to come, since the older, whiter and more conservative you are, the more likely it is that you consistently vote in elections.

But Bernie’s — and democratic socialism’s — popularity among young people now, if it holds as they grow older, spells doom for the Clintonesque sellout of the Democratic Party to the point that the Democratic presidential frontrunner, Billary Clinton, is quite Repugnican Lite.

(Indeed, as I have noted, much of her campaign rhetoric sounds like Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Marco Rubio’s, and given the too-similar campaign rhetoric, are voters going to vote for the younger, fresher Rubio — or for Billary? [Yes, my money still is on Marco Rubio emerging as the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee.])

It’s quite possible that Bernie Sanders won’t eke out a win in the current Democratic Party presidential primary race, and that history will show him to have been a transitional political figure, the presidential candidate who helped return the Democratic Party to its progressive roots but who couldn’t win the White House himself.

That said, I still won’t write Bernie’s political obituary; at this point he still could win Iowa, like John Kerry did in 2004 (after he had been written off as politically dead), and then, like Kerry did, win the New Hampshire primary and take the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. The numbers indicate that it’s not incredibly likely that Bernie will do so, but it’s still possible that he will.

In any event, Bernie Sanders has been influential, whether he wins the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination or not, and, truth be told, I’d rather that Billary Clinton lose in November 2016 than Bernie Sanders.

Why? Because if Billary wins the party’s presidential nomination but loses the presidential election in November 2016 — a decent likelihood, given how Billary, whom a majority of Americans do not like, is not polling very strongly against most of the Repugnican presidential contenders in polling match-ups — it most likely will be the death of her center-right, Democratic-in-name-only, pro-corporate, pro-plutocratic brand name of politics; it will be, at long last, the stake driven through the vampire’s cold heart.

Bernie Sanders’ loss in November 2016 widely would be interpreted as a repudiation of democratic socialism. I’d much rather that November 2016 be viewed as the DINOs’ loss, not democratic socialism’s.

Again, win or lose, Bernie Sanders already has been consequential. The second item that I noted this past week is that Sanders leads handily in TIME magazine’s online poll* of who should be its Person of the Year.

As I type this sentence, in TIME’s online poll Sanders stands at 63 percent voting that he should be a contender for the 2015 Person of the year, with only 37 percent (primarily the Billarybots and the Repugnican Tea Party set, I presume) voting that he shouldn’t be.

Right now the only other candidates for Person of the Year who even approach Sanders’ level are Malala Yousafzi (the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both with 58 percent. At number three are “Refugees,” from Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere, as a group, with 54 percent of the vote.

Pope Smiley Face — er, Francis — right now comes in at fourth place, with 51 percent, and no other person or group of persons breaks 50 percent in the online polling thus far.

How does Billary Clinton fare in TIME’s online poll as I type this sentence? A whopping 24 percent say that she deserves consideration as Person of the Year, while 76 percent say that she does not. (I’d have voted “Oh, hell no!” had that been an option. A Facebook or Twitter account is necessary to vote, by the way, which should cut down at least somewhat on the same individuals voting multiple times.)

The racehorse American Pharoah (his owner apparently misspelled the word “pharaoh”) right now fares better than does Billary, with 26 percent voting that the horse should be considered as Person of the Year.

(In case you’re wondering, of the Repugnican Tea Party presidential aspirants, Donald Trump fares the best in the online poll for Person of the Year, with only 15 percent; behind him is Ben Carson, with 13 percent. And Barack Obama right now has 39 percent, making him more popular than Billary but not as popular as Bernie.

In case you were wondering even further — and you probably weren’t — my own top three choices for TIME’s Person of the Year for 2015 would be [not necessarily in any certain order] Bernie Sanders, “Refugees,” and Latino journalist Jorge Ramos, who has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of immigrants from south of the border, even before he took on Donald Trump’s chillingly fascistic, jackbooted, nationalist/jingoist and racist — and thus dangerous — anti-immigrant campaign rhetoric.)

Why is Bernie Sanders doing so well in TIME’s online poll?

Well, I surmise, it comes down again to youth: Younger people are more likely to be online and thus are more likely to participate in online polls.

In old, actual votes that actually make or break presidential candidates in the actual caucuses and the primary elections, Billary Clinton, the old, dead hand of the past, no doubt will get scads of actual votes from center-right old fucks.

But the future, apparently, belongs to democratic socialism.

P.S. I’ll take a moment here to note that while the nation’s second-largest labor union, SEIU (Service Employees International Union, which has a membership of around 2 million workers), this past week endorsed Billary Clinton as president, none of us union members at the bottom got any say whatsofuckingever in the matter.

I’ve paid my monthly dues to SEIU for years now (they come out of my paycheck automatically), but the union’s decision to endorse Billary was not made by us dues-paying pee-ons, but only by SEIU’s upper echelon.

We dues-paying pee-ons (that’s not a misspelling; we are urinated upon) had zero opportunity to weigh in on the endorsement, either by snail mail or even electronically.

I have to suspect that the ineffective, self-serving SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, who should have been dumped by now, supports Billary primarily (or even only) because Billary is a fellow woman and because this is what “feminism” has come to mean these days: supporting a woman over a man no matter what the woman stands for or does not stand for.

I mean, fuck: One of SEIU’s stated central priorities is the $15/hour minimum wage for every worker in the United States of America, but Billary Clinton won’t support a federal minimum wage of more than $12/hour. Bernie Sanders supports the $15/hour minimum wage.

SEIU is anti-democratic and cowardly — and apparently misandrist — and stopped representing its members’ best interests years ago.

The nation’s largest nurses’ union, National Nurses United, and the American Postal Workers Union had the brains and the courage to endorse Sanders.

Update (Monday, November 23, 2015): I just saw this tidbit in a piece posted today by prognosticator god Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com (the link is Silver’s):

…[E]xit polls like this one have historically asked voters in Iowa and New Hampshire when they made their final decision on how to vote. These exit polls find that voters take their sweet time.

In Iowa, on average, only 35 percent of voters [caucus-goers] had come to a final decision before the final month of the campaign. And in New Hampshire, only 29 percent had. [Emphasis mine.]

(Why is the fraction lower in New Hampshire than in Iowa? Probably because voters there are waiting for the Iowa results before locking in their choice. In fact, about half of New Hampshire voters make up their minds in the final week of the campaign.) …

This puts the current poll numbers for Iowa and New Hampshire (for both of the duopolistic political parties) into better perspective, methinks.

The title of Silver’s aforementioned piece is “Dear Media, Stop Freaking Out About Donald Trump’s Polls,” and in the piece Silver makes the case that based upon historical trends in the election and the election polling cycle, Trump hardly is a shue-in for his party’s presidential nomination. I don’t see why this advice doesn’t apply equally to Billary Clinton.

As I wrote, I still can see Bernie Sanders winning both Iowa and New Hampshire, just as John Kerry dramatically came from behind in 2004 to take both Iowa and New Hampshire when Howard Dean had been coronated already, much as Billary Clinton already has been coronated…

*TIME proclaims:

TIME’s editors will choose the Person of the Year, but that doesn’t mean readers shouldn’t have their say. Cast your vote for the person you think most influenced the news this year for better or worse. … Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on December 4, and the combined winner of our reader polls will be announced on December 7. TIME’s Person of the Year will be announced December 9.

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TIME wusses out yet once again

This is the cover of the TIME magazine dated December 23, 2013.

TIME magazine’s having named Pope Francis its “Person of the Year” for 2013 is much like the magazine’s unimaginative choice of Barack Obama for last year’s “Person of the Year.” And like Obama’s 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was, Pope Francis’ “Person of the Year” win is premature — it was based upon his rhetoric rather than upon his actual actions. (Nobel Peace Prize laureate Obama now proclaims that he’s “really good at killing people.”)

On equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals, for instance, Pope Francis talks about love and compassion, but has maintained that under his papacy the Catholick church’s official stance on non-heterosexuality and non-heterosexuals has not budged a millimeter: The church still opposes same-sex marriage and still maintains that while same-sex attraction itself is not a sin, ever acting upon it is.

So this is the message to us non-heterosexuals from the Catholick church: We love and accept you, non-heterosexuals! Just don’t ever act upon your perversion! And don’t expect to ever get married in one of our churches!

Don’t expect to be employed by the Catholick church, either. The Catholick church recently even fired a long-time high school teacher in Philadelphia because he announced that he was going to marry his same-sex partner, and in October the church fired a lesbian high school teacher in Arkansas after she had married her same-sex partner.

This is the love that Jesus Christ taught?

The Catholick church also still staunchly opposes not only abortion, but even simple birth control, despite the obvious pain and suffering that overpopulation causes, including poverty, starvation and child abuse, and the obvious destruction to the planet that human overpopulation causes.

But no — Pope Francis, like Barack Obama, sure can give a good speech, so, like Barack Obama has been (twice), Pope Francis is TIME’s “Person of the Year.”

And just like being president of the U.S. pretty much means that you’re going to be named TIME’s “Person of the Year” one to even three times, being pope means that there’s a good chance that you’ll be named “Person of the Year.”

Pope Francis is the third pope to be named “Person of the Year” since TIME began the designation in 1927. Since 1927 there have been eight popes, including Francis, but one of those eight popes died after little more than a month after he became pope, so if you are pope, your chances of becoming TIME’s “Person of the Year” are about 50-50.

I don’t know — it seems to me that being president of the U.S. or pope is enough of a reward; TIME has to reward you, too?

TIME magazine proclaims Pope Francis to be “the people’s pope” and notes of Francis that “The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century.”

As I have written, because Francis was born to Italian parents in Argentina, in my book he’s still pretty much yet another Italian pope — not a “non-European pope,” except only technically — and maybe he is “poised to transform” the backasswards Catholick church, but so was Obama poised in 2009 to be a U.S. president for peace.

Have we really devolved to the point that we’re rewarding people for what they could or might do, instead of for what they actually have done?

My choice for “Person of the Year,” hands down, as I wrote, was whistleblower and patriot Edward Snowden, who, given the fact that he doesn’t have the power base that a pope or a president has, in exposing the illegal, unethical and unconstitutional mass spying that the U.S. government has been perpetrating for some years now at home and abroad, has been much more courageous than has Pope Francis, and probably has done much greater good for many more people than Francis ever will do during his entire papacy, however long it lasts. (Yes, I factor in the overpopulation and its attendant harm that Francis still advocates, and that’s a big fucking negative.)

But TIME wussed out and went with the easier and lazier choice of Pope Francis, and put Edward Snowden at second place, and put same-sex-marriage warrior Edith Windsor, whose lawsuit brought about the U.S. Supreme Court’s killing of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (a.k.a. DOMA) as unconstitutional — (arguably) the high court’s first step in prohibiting the prohibition of same-sex marriage in all 50 states, since to prohibit it is indeed unconstitutional — at third place.

I’d say that two out of three isn’t bad, but Pope Francis didn’t belong even in the top three. I don’t know that he’d have made even my top 10.

TIME screwed Snowden of his rightful first place, and the rest of us along with him. As usual, the powers that be, such as the Catholick church, remain on top, while we, the people, as usual, remain second-class citizens, if that.

I guess we’re just lucky that TIME didn’t name Miley Cyrus its “Person of the Year.”

That, apparently, was the best that we could hope for from the wonderful people at TIME.

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Edward Snowden is the person of the year

White House, lawmakers: no clemency for Snowden

Associated Press image

Whistleblower and protester Edward Snowden is shown in a video grab from September in Moscow, where he had to flee in order to avoid political persecution and prosecution in the lawless United States of America. You can vote for Snowden for TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2013 by clicking here.

So TIME magazine is taking online votes for its next “Person of the Year.” You have 42 candidates to choose from (giving the candidates only a “yes” or “no” vote), knowing that TIME’s editors will make the final decision, regardless of how the online polling goes — of which I’m glad, since Miley Cyrus leads the online polling as I type this sentence. (Whether people sincerely want her or whether the votes for her are part of a campaign, as a joke, I’m not certain.)

The 42 candidates include the famous and the infamous, including (in no certain order) Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pope Francis, the Koch brothers, the Tsarnaev brothers (the brothers accused of having perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombing), Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Angelina Jolie, and, of course, Barack Obama.

(Historically, the president of the United States has been named TIME’s “Person of the Year” about once every three years on average, for fuck’s sake. With the sole exception of Gerald Ford, every U.S. president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was named “Person of the Year” three times, has been named “Person of the Year” at least once. Two-term presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama all were named “Personal of the Year” twice, so pretty much if you are the U.S. president, you’re named TIME’s “Person of the Year” at least once a term [as long as you’re not Gerald Ford…].)

TIME’s “Person of the Year” is to go to the individual who was most influential on the world stage (or at least on the American stage…), for good or for ill.

My vote for 2013’s “Person of the Year,” hands down, is for patriot Edward Snowden, who revealed to the world how much we have been spied upon illegally by the U.S. government. As I type this sentence, Snowden is the third-most popular candidate for “Person of the Year” in TIME’s online polling.

My other favorites for 2013’s “Person of the Year” include Texas pol (and, hopefully, future Texas governor) Wendy Davis (who thus far is at No. 5 in the online polling) and Edith Windsor, whose lawsuit brought about the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional (since it is — or was, anyway).

However, Edward Snowden has had truly global significance and influence. Indeed, the United Nations next month is to consider a resolution that states “that surveillance and data interception by governments and companies ‘may violate or abuse human rights.’”

Snowden’s “crime” is that he has embarrassed the elites who unconstitutionally and illegally have spied upon Americans and others — they have directly spied illegally or they have aided and abetted such illegal spying — but which is worse: committing the crimes in the first fucking place or exposing the crimes that others have committed?

Um, yeah: The later is called “whistleblowing,” and since 2002’s “Person[s] of the Year” were “The Whistleblowers,” and since 2011’s “Person of the Year” was “The Protester,” there certainly is precedent for Edward Snowden being named TIME’s “Person of the Year” for 2013.

P.S. Since I composed the above, I read on the Los Angeles Times’ website that “A team of hackers claims it found a way to rig the [TIME magazine “Person of the Year”] poll (users are required to vote through Twitter or Facebook),” but the Times charitably adds immediately: “But Cyrus has spent the better part of the year leading the chatter on the place that matters most these days: the Internet.”

My guess is that hackers indeed were involved in putting Cyrus at No. 1, which gives me more hope for the nation…

If hackers indeed put Cyrus at No. 1, then maybe Snowden actually is in the top two, although I would think that hackers might have the desire to help Snowden out, too…

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TIME’s lazy, unimaginative choice

TIME magazine cover of Barack Obama as Person of the Year 2012

TIME magazine’s having made Barack Obama its “Person of the Year” yet again (it first gave Obama that designation for 2008) reminds me of the ludicrously premature awarding of the Nobel Peace Price to President Hopey-Changey-Droney for 2009.

Not that TIME routinely is exactly creative or visionary in its naming of its annual “Person of the Year.” Winning a U.S. presidential election often if not usually is enough of an accomplishment/“accomplishment” for an individual to win the designation. Jimmy Carter won the designation in 1976 and Ronald Reagan did in 1980. Bill Clinton won it in 1992 and even George W. Bush won it in 2000 and in 2004 — and then, as I noted, Obama won it in 2008 and then again this year.

The Nobel Peace Prize selectors are a lot more creative — the only two U.S. presidents to win the prize during my lifetime (I was born in 1968) were Jimmy Carter in 2002 and, as I noted, Obama in 2009. (Well, Al Gore, who actually won the presidency in 2000, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, but he wasn’t coronated as president by the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court.)

I fail to see why, other than TIME’s lack of vision or creativity or imagination, Obama was named the magazine’s “Person of the Year” again this year.

I mean, TIME’s selection comes right as Obama apparently just handed over U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice’s scalp* to the KKK, headed by Grand Dragon John “Sore Loserman” McCain, so that the much more acceptable old white guy (John Kerry) can be made U.S. secretary of state instead, and as Obama apparently is poised to sell us out to the Repugnican Tea Party fascists on Social Security, and Goddess knows what other historic Democratic achievements the center-right DINO Obama will dismantle during his second term. (Surely Obama will be a progressive president in his second term, the Obamabots theorized. The gloves will be off! Yeah, right. I’m so glad that I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein on November 6.)

TIME’s 2008 designation of Obama as its “Person of the Year” I can accept. He not only beat Billary Clinton in the protracted Democratic presidential primary season, which was a political feat, but his election as the nation’s first non-white president was at least a milestone if not technically a great accomplishment.

But TIME’s 2012 designation of Obama is just fucking lazy.

True, Obama, given his dismal first term, is damned fucking lucky to have been re-elected. He promised “hope” and “change” but delivered more of the same. Instead of pushing through a progressive agenda when both houses of Congress were in his party’s control in 2009 and 2010, he squandered his once-in-a-lifetime political capital by trying to sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors — and thus his party lost the House to the “tea party” traitors in 2010.

Obama won re-election last month only because the Repugnican Tea Party dipshits incredibly stupidly nominated one of the most unlikeable people on the planet as their presidential candidate for 2012.

Multi-millionaire Mormon Mittens Romney is so freakishly unrelatable that even many if not most Repugnican Tea Party traitors had to hold their noses while they cast their votes for him (better the despicable white guy than the black guy again), so of course Mittens lost the so-called “swing vote.”

Obama didn’t win re-election because he’s so great, but because his opponent was so unbelievably bad, replete with telling his Richie-Rich donors on hidden camera in May that he already had written off 47 percent of the American people as being lost causes.

Fuck, make David Corn of Mother Jones magazine, who broke the “47 percent” story in September, the “Person of the Year.” He did more to win Obama re-election than Obama did.

Even TIME magazine’s editor seems to credit changing U.S. demographics to Obama’s re-election more than to Obama himself. Reports Reuters:

[TIME magazine] has tapped U.S. President Barack Obama for its Person of the Year for the second time, citing his historic re-election last month as symbolic of the nation’s shifting demographics and the rise of younger, more diverse Americans.

In announcing its annual selection [today], the magazine called Obama the “Architect of the New America.”

“He’s basically the beneficiary and the author of a kind new America — a new demographic, a new cultural America that he is now the symbol of,” TIME editor Rick Stengel said of Obama, who was also selected for the honor in 2008 when he became the nation’s first black president. …

Obama is the beneficiary of demographic changes and the resultant national cultural changes, to be sure — as well as he was the beneficiary of what Howard Dean built in his failed 2004 Democratic presidential bid (indeed, in 2008 Obama rode Dean’s wave right on into the White House) — but how, exactly, is Obama the “author” or the “architect” of these changes?

Um, aren’t national demographic changes a lot bigger than just one individual?

Barack Obama could fart or sneeze and it widely would be called a great fucking accomplishment.

Only in a dying empire, it seems to me, could this be the case.

*If you thought that Obama actually was going to defend a person of color from the lynch mob to the death, don’t feel too badly. I also actually thought that maybe this time Obama wouldn’t throw a person of color who is under attack by the white supremacists under the bus, but, of course, just as he did with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod, he apparently tossed Susan Rice right under those big wheels.

Because he’s a man of character and courage, you see.

Let’s make him the “Person of the Year” every year!

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