SUPERDELEGATES FOR HILLARY MAKES TOTAL SENSE

Across the U.S. Bernie Sanders’ fans are thrilled about his vision of bringing revolution to the Democratic Party and overjoyed about his rise to prominence, but from Rachel Maddow to your Facebook wall they are furiously confused about the mighty Superdelegates, many of whom have already signed on to support Hillary Clinton.

The Superdelegates are made up of elected members of the Democratic Party and their votes in the primary account for nearly a fifth of the total delegate count. Although the DNC maintains that these Superdelegates could all change their endorsement at the convention, should they choose, most of the them have already announced their support for Ms. Clinton.

“The Democratic National Committee shouldn’t be picking favorites,” I often read. Constant complaints that the DNC must be shills for Hillary and that they should equally support both presidential candidates and worry more about the Congressional races down the ticket.

To that point they are right, the DNC is concerned about elections up and down the ticket, and Sanders’ fans need to realize that like it or not, it is that concern that informs their decisions regarding their candidates for the White House.

A lot of it comes down to one simple fact, a fact that Sanders’ fans did not like hearing when Ms. Clinton pointed it out at last week’s town hall; Bernie Sanders has never been a Democrat.

Sanders’ is an Independent who preaches the best Democratic ideals, votes Democratic and benefits from Dem fundraisers, but he doesn’t raise money for other Democrats. He has not always been in the trenches with Democrats who’ve been struggling to stop the onslaught of the Tea Party, the Bushes and Union Busters for the past decades.

BERNIE SANDERS, HILLARY CLINTON

ABC NEWS – 12/19/15 – ABC News coverage of the Democratic Presidential debate from St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, airing Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 on the ABC Television Network and all ABC News platforms. (ABC/ Ida Mae Astute) BERNIE SANDERS, HILLARY CLINTON

Hillary, on the other hand has already raised millions of dollars for other Democrats. Democrats who fight as a team against a wave of partisan opponents constantly pushing deregulation, anti-union, anti-middle class policies. 

The Super Delegates support Hillary because she been good for the Democratic Party for decades, good for the party to win seats and votes, enabling them to better stand against the extremist tide. 

There are plenty of Democrats with elections in red states, or at least red districts, who will need to pull centrists to keep or win their seats. It makes sense that they would be weary of the candidate running ever further from the center.

When you run on the National Stage you have to live up to the dreams of many constituencies, you have to negotiate and sometimes there are hard choices with no outcomes that provide wins for everyone. It’s much easier to be single minded and stubborn, to refuse to barter, when you’re focused on a small set of issues, for a smaller audience.

Bernie and his big ideas rock, but Hillary bashers are doing a disservice to Ms. Clinton, as well as the Democratic Party as a whole. For more than a generation she’s been a leader and supporter of the Party that Bernie has never deigned to be officially counted among, until now that it serves his revolutionary dream.

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The Greatest STAR TREK Film of All Time

The greatest Star Trek movie of all time has got to be “The Wrath of Khan,” it is not only the most famous Star Trek film, it is one of the definitive films of the genre, with one of the most singular villains in all of film.Star Trek expendability

Khan is a bad dude who, on his own, brings the brass of the Enterprise to their knees.It is not a coincidence that the most recent installment, “Into Darkness,” reached to Ricardo Montalban for inspiration, they know that to raise the stakes, they needed a villain who could threaten Kirk and Spock with something more interesting than an armada, something more Machiavellian than mere mass murder.

That being said, maybe the 2009 reboot is actually the best Star Trek we’ve yet seen. Star Trek has seen film after film, and series after series, grab the hearts of sci-fi fans, but never has the Enterprise grabbed the public zeitgeist by the groin the way the Millennium Falcon and lightsabers have for almost forty straight years. The original series only lasted three seasons and, though later itinerations and the films have been ever present, it has never been on the same blockbuster level. It’s possible that the focus on statesmanship and intergalactic politics, while casting aside the high adrenaline dog fights and duels, was not only Star Trek’s most unique characteristic, but also its greatest weakness. Continue reading

The EPA and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Finally in the Game

In the United States’ recent history, republican administrations have not been the best friends of the environment, but that was not always the case. Decades ago the quality of the ecosystem was much less of a partisan issue, recognized as a necessity for all citizens, and it was actually President Richard Nixon that proposed the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA was established shortly thereafter on December 2, 1970, yet. Since its inception the agency has done a lot to protect many aspects of our environment from waste and pollution, including the air we breathe, under the Clean Air Act, signed into law the same year. But it wasn’t until January 2, 2011, that the EPA first began regulating Greenhouse Gasses (GHG).

The road to our new protections was a long and hard fought one, at first fought against the EPA itself. On October 20, 1999 the International Center for Technology Assessment petitioned the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases emitted by new motor vehicles in order to reduce the effects of global warming. The agency, however initially declined to take action on the petition, claiming not to have the authority to act on climate change, as the issue did not fall under its traditional powers to regulate emissions directly harmful to humans.

Furthermore the agency went on to explain that even if it were within their power to act on the petition they would not do so, for two reasons: the first being that to do so would not be effective in combatting global warming. The second, and more troubling reason, was that such action would go against the Bush administration’s policies, which aimed at further investigation into the legitimacy of the climate change issue and its causes, as well as encouraging efforts by private parties such as voluntary reductions and technological advances. EPA Logo

On April 2, 2007, the Supreme Court found, in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), that GHGs, are air pollutants covered by the CAA. The Court found that the “EPA was required to determine whether or not emissions of GHGs from new motor vehicles cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.” So under pressure from the courts the agency began the investigative process they had been putting off for nearly a decade.

Almost exactly two years later, in April 2009 under the new democratic presidential administration, the EPA proposed a finding that greenhouse gasses do in fact contribute to air pollution that may threaten public health. In early December of that year the Administrator signed two findings on GHG, under section 202 of the CAA: Continue reading

If You Can’t Turn a Profit, You Must be in Div. I College Sports

CollegeSportsIn December of 2011, The Chronicle of Higher Education produced a series of articles entitled “What the Hell Has Happened to College Sports?” The publication gathered eight experts, a collection of former athletes, educators and sports writers, and asked them the title question about the state of major athletics in higher education and what they would suggest to fix the problems that currently stain the reputation of the NCAA and its members.

In his contribution “Bust the Amateur Myth,” Frank Deford, a sports journalist who has written for Sports Illustrated and other notable sports news outlets, contends that the amateur model is an “indefensible, antiquated system,” that cannot succeed. His solution is to end it and move towards a professional way of doing things that sees the players paid for their efforts.  C Thomas McMillen, a former college and professional basketball player who has also served in Congress and the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, does not feel the ideals of the amateur system need to be abandoned so recklessly. In his piece, “Eliminate the Profit Motive,” McMillen admits the NCAA is facing a tough road, but sees the possibility of saving college athletics not by giving more money to the students, but by seeing less of it in the hands of a few powerful schools and individuals.

Deford states that college football and basketball players are the only premier athletes in the world “denied payment for their services in sports where significant sums of money are involved.” He points out that the inevitable corruption of a system wherein large sums of “money is mixed with forced pro-bono performing,” has been recognized by organizations across the world, from tennis to rugby to the Olympics. Nowhere else has it been condoned and allowed to survive. He points out that while the student athletes work for free, coaches are paid multi-million dollar contracts and scores of others, from journalists to apparel companies, make plenty of money off the work of these young adults.

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Climate Changing Priorities – Editorial

windmill and plantIf you watch the news, it is difficult to identify a single problem facing the United States to name as the most dire, as our around the clock news cycle bombards viewers with crisis after crisis, it seems to be a litany of woes.

Some would say it is the quagmire that is the Affordable Care Act, others would say the Tea Party’s obstructionism or the tragically frequent gun violence in the, while many would argue there is nothing hurting our country more than the ever widening wealth gap. While these concerns certainly carry their fair share of problems, no issue threatens the future of the U.S., and every other nation, more than the connected damages of rampant over consumption and climate change.

The last decade has produced nine of the ten hottest years on record leading to severe droughts that have led to near constant forest fire threats across the southwest, especially in California, dwindling harvests in the heartland and devastated fish populations across the country. Changing weather patterns have led to unprecedented natural disaster damage across the Northeast and a mind boggling stream of storms disrupting travel and commerce on a regular basis.

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