RevKess’s Summary Opinion of the Democratic Debate for 1/17/16

Martin O’Malley, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders. Photo from MSNBC.

I didn’t get to watch the Democratic debate as it aired this passed Sunday night. I was on podcast with my co-host KaliSara and our guest Rhiannon Dragcruin talking about sacrifice and community service in the Pagan community. I do feel strongly that paying attention to politics is important, but my duty to the community in regards to a consistent schedule of the podcast series outweighs my duty to watch political events as they happen. I watched the debate through the NBC/YouTube archives.

In brief: This was the Bernie Sanders debate. He took center stage, even as he stood stage right of Hillary Clinton. Many of the questions and issues centered around his stance on the issues. Clinton also held her own. It is unfortunate that Martin O’Malley is rarely given the opportunity to voice his platform on the issues, but we he is given that time he takes full advantage of it.
If I had to declare a winner of this debate I would say Bernie Sanders.
A summary: I took nine pages of notes on this debate. As I was not watching it live I did not Tweet or post to Facebook my thoughts during my viewing of the debate. I didn’t want to clutter up your feed with that. The debate was last night, you might not even care enough to be reading this summary, so why would I waste your time (and mine) with a slew of comments and Tweets.
That said: The opening and closing statements from each candidate was perhaps the only time that the other candidates and the moderators did not speak over each other. I am pleased to see that the moderators did their best to enforce the rules and keep to the time limits throughout the debate. When they bent the time limit rule it was to give equal time to a candidate. Though O’Malley was rarely the recipient of that equal time.
Clinton on the Issues
Opening – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton started out talking about Martin Luther King Jr. The debate aired lived the evening before his day on the calendar. She shared her memories of the events of his life and emphasized his call to keep our communities safe. She kept it short and sweet, perhaps not even using the full time allotted for her opening statement.
Her 1st 100 Days – In her first 100 days Clinton said that she would push for more jobs, a better infrastructure, equal pay for equal work (women being paid the same as men); improved healthcare; and unification and reform.
On gun control – Clinton points out that Sanders has voted on gun control issues in line with the NRA. She actually got a little nasty over it. She was more or less calling him a liar on gun control. (*see notes on Sanders)
In the same segment of the debate Clinton said that it is an unfortunate reality that the lives of Black men are cheaper than their white contemporaries. She invoked Walter Scott when talking about excessive force and the need to better educate law enforcement and saying that 1/3 of Black men will spend some time in jail or prison, serving time for lesser charges that white men would not.
The War on Drugs – Clinton pretty much said that the war has failed. Heroine and opiates are the big drug of choice that is causing issues. She wants the federal government to work with each state on their specific needs, putting up to $1 billion into the fight against these drugs. She also said that policing of drugs needs to change. She also says that the government needs to approve law enforcement and fire fighters to have the ability to use the injectable antidote to heroine over dose.
On Healthcare – Clinton says the Sanders plan (which one of the 10?) would tear apart Obamacare. She supports healthcare for all, but not taking the ACA away and starting over from scratch. She repeatedly said that the American people do not need another long drawn debate on affordable healthcare, but they do need improvements that build off of ACA. She also repeatedly stated that she was involved in the creation of Obamacare and that the Affordable Care Act has been a project of the Democratic party since Harry S. Truman. She then slammed Sanders on his new plan, as well as the previous 9.
Campaign Finance Reform – Clinton is in support of finance reform.
Re: State of the Union Address – Clinton agrees with Obama and wants to bring the American people together and find common ground. She stressed her experience as the First Lady and as a former Secretary of State. She also stressed cooperation. Cooperation with Congress, with the States. Cooperation regardless of political party.
A YouTube question directed to Clinton on the importance of young voters – Clinton said, and I paraphrase, that this election is about the future. She stressed the younger voters desire for affordable college, better job opportunities, reduction in student loan debt, and interest free loans. She also spoke about gay rights, women’s rights, and workers’ rights.
On the economy – Clinton agreed with Sanders that no bank is too big to fail, no person too powerful to jail. She defended the Dodd-Frank Act (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodd�…). She wants to add to it, take it further. She also called Martin O’Malley out on taking money from Wall Street.
How to Pay for it – Clinton says she will not raises taxes on the middle class, she will make it so the upper class pays for the changes she wishes to implement as President.
Iran and ISIL, the War on Terror – Clinton is proud of the agreement with Iran and says she has been on board since the beginning. She also cautions that we need to pay attention to Iran and not assume that one good act will be the norm after 30+ years of problems.
Clinton says that the federal government needs to work with Silicon Valley to create information technology that is the first line of defense.
Closing Statements or “What did you want to say….?” – Clinton used her closing time to talk about Flint, Michigan and how upsetting it is that the state’s governor did nothing until the issue was forced. She also said that the government needs to work on the big problems, take care of the people.
Sanders on the Issues:
In his opening, Senator Bernie Sanders also spoke in brief about Martin Luther King Jr. Saying that he remembered what he stood for and pledging to continue his work. He also began his debate-long attack on the 1% and corrupt campaign financing.
First 100 Days – Sanders is a staunch supporter of healthcare for all as a right and would work to that end. He would also work towards raising the minimum wage to at least $15/hr. He would also create more jobs through rebuilding the infrastructure.
Gun Control – Sanders slammed Clinton right after the bat and then shared his voting history, which Clinton and O’Malley both called him on. He also supports better background checks, closing loopholes, and eliminating “Straw man” sales.
The conversation of gun control moved towards the justice system and how it is biased against Black men. In regards to criminal justice Sanders agreed with Clinton that there is need for reform, better education of law enforcement. He pointed out that 51% of young Black men or unemployed or underemployed.
He also took an opportunity to slam Wall Street again.
A YouTube question directed to Sanders asked if local prosecutors should be investigating police brutality cases in their jurisdictions – Sanders says that the US Justice Department should investigate any and all accusations of police brutality, and if a death results while in custody it would be an automatic investigation. If the police break the law they should be held accountable, to that point the investigation should not be on the local level. He says that the police should be demilitarized, take the tanks away in other words.
On the Drug War – Sanders says that big pharma should be held accountable for their part in the drug addiction epidemic.
Healthcare – We all know that Sanders has been pushing for years for a Medicaid for All bill. He stated in his opening that healthcare should be a right in the United States. A single payer plan is his proposal, taking the healthcare industry to task for high costs of medications and procedures. He also reminded the audience that he was on the committee that wrote the ACA.
On the State of the Union – Sanders stressed his work on healthcare, especially pointing out his work and experience on Veteran’s healthcare. He said that the Republican fight against Obamacare is because Congress is owned by big money – Wall Street, the fossil fuel industry, and Big Pharma.
On Democratic Socialism – Sanders was asked how he could win as a Democratic Socialist. Sanders answered that the Democratic party is need of reform. Politics in general is in need of reform. He is pushing for strategies in reform that are very socialist in tone. For example a 50 state strategy that gives each state more power/control. As a Democratic Socialist he is depending on individual contributions, not Super PACTs, Wall Street, or other Big Money sources to fund his campaign.
On the Economy – Sanders wants to break-up the big banks. He pointed out that the three biggest banks that were bailed out because they were “too big to fail” are now three times larger than they were at the time of the bailout. No bank is too big to fail, in his opinion. The banks, Wall Street, Big Pharma, etc have too much power and that power needs to be redistributed.
How to Pay for It – Sanders wants to rebuild the infrastructure, break up the big banks, and increase the policing of Wall Street. He wants to tax Wall Street speculation. He says it is time that Wall Street helped the Middle Class, not just the upper class.
On Taxes – With his Medicaid for all healthcare plan the average Middle Class family would save on insurance premiums and some of that savings would be redirected to the government by slightly higher taxes. He admitted that increase taxes is not what people ant to hear, but justifies it by saying that the decreased healthcare costs would more than offset the increase in taxes.
On Climate Change – Sanders says that the younger generation, those who are voting for perhaps the first time, know that climate change is real and that something needs to be done about it. He then slammed the GOP for being owned by the fossil fuel industry and denying science and climate change. He wants to create jobs that focus on cleaner alternative fuels.
Iran, ISIL, and the War Terror – Sanders thinks that we need to be more aggressive to normalize relations with Iran and not assume that one good act will lead to future good acts. Iran, to him, his still a problem. The Iran deal was positive in that it prevented them from developing nuclear weapons.
In regards to Syria – Sanders says that as President he would avoid a repeat of the Iraq war and says no to ground troops in Syria. He says that we could learn from Jordan’s Abdullah and encourages Muslim countries to put troops on the ground and fight against ISIL.
What id You Want to Say? – Sanders supports Clinton Flint, Michigan. He says he demanded the resignation of the governor over his inaction in regards to the lead poisoning of Flint’s children. He then went back to slamming Super PACTs, talking about campaign finance corruption and talking reform. He ended by saying government belongs to all the people.
O’Malley on the Issues
Opening – Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley opened by saying that he was born the same year Martin Luther King Jr made his “I have a dream” speech. He also started by praising Obama, something you would never hear from a Republican in the debates. He also spoke about equal opportunities for all and a call for new leadership in government.
In First 100 Days – O’Malley would increase wages to at least $15/hr and work towards better collective bargaining – a reference to the SCOTUS hearing on a Union case. He also spoke about climate change legislation and talked briefly about his plan to move the US to clean energy by 2050. He said that the United States needs a new agenda and to invest in the people.
Gun Control – O’Malley, the master of the sound bite, says that he is in favor of tougher measures, better background checks. He said that both Clinton and Sanders have been inconsistent in their voting on gun control. He ended on this segment by saying that there is no reason for a hunter to need an assault rifle.
Healthcare – O’Malley talked about how some European countries base their healthcare costs on keeping the patient healthy not on the kinds of medications, services, and procedures they need. Pay the doctors and the health industry to keep Americans healthy. He also spoke about lowering costs and eliminating unnecessary costs.
On the Economy – O’Malley plans to reform Wall Street, to police their practices. He also took this opportunity to call Clinton a liar and accuse her of being buddy-buddy with Big Money.
How to Pay for It – O’Malley stressed that he balanced Maryland’s budget as governor without increasing taxes. He would eliminate the tax cap on the rich and would tax interest on investments.
Climate Change – O’Malley made a jab at the GOP by saying that all three candidates on stage actually believe in science. He then reiterated that he has a plan to reach clean energy by 2050.
Iran, ISIL, Syria and the War on Terrorism – O’Malley would join forces with other countries to provide technical support and to build new alliances. He also refuses to call our troops “boots on the ground.” He insists that a lack of intelligence on the possible results of overthrowing a tyrant or dictator would result in an increase in such groups as ISIL, creating a vacuum that would be filled by more tyrants, dictators, and terrorists.
O’Malley says that the Federal government would need a warrant to obtain data on private citizens and that he would reform the Patriot Act. No people should give up privacy for security.
What Did You Want to Say? – “I’d need 20 minutes.” There has not been enough discussion of the real issues – immigration and detainment camps for example. We are a great people, he says, when we act together. Both home and abroad.
RevKess’s final thoughts: All three candidates handled themselves better than the Republicans in their last debate. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t sling mud or talk over each other and the moderators. All in all, this was the most REAL debate thus far from the Democrats. I have to give props to the moderators for keeping the candidates on task and focused.
Would be nice if O’Malley were given more talk time, but he is rather low in the polls. Hard to give him equal time we doesn’t have an equal share of the polling numbers. But we all know where poll numbers can lead….
For more commentary from RevKess tune in to the Pagan Weekly News this Thursday at 10pm Central: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pagan-…

PWN 2016.1.2: 2016 US Presidential Campaign Season

KaliSara and RevKess talked politics in this edition of the Pagan Weekly News. As the show went live the Republican debate was nearing its close. Both your hosts had been watching the debate up until show time and were prepared to talk about some of the same issues that were brought up on Fox Business Network’s sponsored debate. RevKess and KaliSara had also watched the State of the Union earlier in the week.

 

Listed here are some of the links to articles, issues, and topics that were discussed during this edition of PWN:

And here some of the stories the hosts ran out of time for:

PWN 2015.3.4: Here we go again

This week’s edition of PWN had a few hiccups. For that we apologize. We do want to thank you for muddling through our audio issues and listening to the show, nonetheless. KaliSara was a bit under the weather and was unable to participate. RevKess managed to slog through on his own. Talking about everything from RFRA’s to Workers’ Compensation, from Pagan music news and upcoming book releases. this edition will tackle a lot of bad and some very good news.

RevKess and KaliSara welcome your comments both here and on the Facebook page for Pagan Weekly News.

Links to Articles and Topics Covered

Music

  1. SJ Tucker – Go Away Godboy  – Sirens
  2. Heather Dale – The Poachers – The Green Knight
  3. Wendy Rule – The Serpent of Silver – Guided by Venus
  4. Jenna Greene – Spring Love – Crosroads
  5. Tuatha Dea – The Sky is Falling – Tuatha Dea

PWN 2015.3.1: Floating in a State of Confusion

For the week of Wednesday 4 March 2015 KaliSara and RevKess attempted to explain some of the murkiness that is in the world today. They may not have succeeded in anything other than shedding some of their own perspectives on the issues they discussed, but they hope that the listener gains some kind of an understanding of those issues.

Topics

  • Netanyahu before Congress: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his third appearance before a joint session of Congress in the United States. He was invited to speak before Congress by Speaker of the House John Boehner, bypassing the traditional invitation source of the White House and the Office of the President. You can watch the video of his speech through the New York Times YouTube channel and read the transcript on the Washington Post.
  • Hillary Clinton’s private email: The House Benghazi Panel is questioning former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email address to correspond with staffers, elected officials, and other politicians during her time in that office. Some question if she handed over print outs of all her official and work related emails when she left that cabinet post as well as if all official correspondence sent to government email addresses were indeed backed up on official servers. The Wall Street Journal has coverage. Jacob Gershman takes a legal view on the issue on the WSJ Law Blog.
  • AIDS – gorilla connection, abstinence: A recently published study indicates that 50% or more of the lineages of HIV-1 can be linked to the consumption of gorilla bushmeat in Africa and then transmitted through sex. A cost-benefit analysis study by Stanford Medical School student Nathan Lo shows that a ten year $1.3 billion dollar program to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa through abstinence and fidelity classes has been a failure, showing no “measurably change sexual behavior and was largely wasted.”
  • What are our world leaders really trying to do?
    • KaliSara and RevKess do not currently have any links for this topics. There are numerous opinions out there on what various leaders want to do. Both hosts agree that many political and world leaders say they have good intentions, and many of them truly do, but that many of those same leaders are also very human – self serving.
    • Next week’s edition of PWN will address this topic in a vague manner as the hosts discuss what, in the United States, religious and secular non-profits can and cannot do or say in regards to politics. Campaign season is starting for the Oval Office and other seats in federal, state, and local governments.

MUSIC

  1. Damh the Bard – Pagan Ways – Cauldron Born
  2. Sharon Knight – Song of the Sea – Song of the Sea Sharon Knight is conducting an IndieGoGo campaign to support her newest musical project, Portals, which will include a CD, a music video and an art book. You can learn more about her campaign at www.SharonKnightPortals.net.
  3. Arthur Hinds – The Water’s Rising – Dance in the Fire

PWN 2015.2.1: Climate Change & Paganism

For 2015 the Pagan Weekly News seems to have a theme of tackling broad and controversial topics. This week’s edition is no exception. RevKess and KaliSara have their passions. Environmentalism and conservation could be said to be on their mutual list of passions.

KaliSara is very passionate about the topic of Climate Change. In this week’s PWN she and RevKess attempt to tackle that hot (no pun intended) topic. With humor and good natured debate, they do just that.

“We’re not going to destroy the world, we just won’t be here.” – KaliSara

In 2006 former Vice President Al Gore published his book on environmentalism and climate change, An Inconvenient Truth. This launched a very public debate about climate change and brought out the climate deniers. Both hosts have read the book and seen the film based on the book.

A year before, feminist and environmentalist witch Starhawk released her The Earth Path. Another book that both hosts have read. In Starhawk’s book she talks about living off the grid, getting in touch with the Earth and respecting the Earth.

Through out the show KaliSara and RevKess talked about fracking and the dwindling supply of such fossil fuels as oil and coal. They also spoke of alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro-electric.

Along the way KaliSara brought up chaos theory and how sometimes the simplest act can change the world. Referring to the “butterfly effect” as describe in Jurassic Park they addressed some of the cause and effect of human practices on our environment. Time did not allow for a full discussion of how the “little things” we do to conserve Mother Earth can have a true effect on our future.

On the individual level, we can install solar panels, wind turbines, and hydro-electric systems in our homes or on our land. Starhawk, for example, uses both solar and hydro power to electrify her home. When RevKess asked KaliSara what the likelihood of her installing such alternative power sources on her own property would be she responded “100%”. These are little things, in the grand scheme. But if more and more people took these options we could see some effect on the lifespan o the human race on this planet. Like the cartoon to the right says, despite everything we do to destroy or heal the Earth, it will still be here when we are gone.

On a larger level, many businesses and even governments are beginning to install solar, wind, and hydro power sources on buildings and large plots of land. Despite what some “experts” claim, these alternatives do not take away from the resources – the Sun’s power is limitless (by human standards), nothing can truly stop the wind, water will still flow. Ever been to a large city with high rise buildings? The wind gets channeled between those buildings and if anything gets stronger through that channeling.

Success Stories
  • Burlington, VT uses alternative/renewable energy to supply power to the people.
  • Denmark is the first country to use alternative power to supply electricity to its citizens.
  • Alternative energy sources expected to go down up to 40% in cost of production.
  • 5 countries making head way toward alternative sources.

“One of the worst things to happen to the topic of climate change is the phrase global warming.” – KaliSara

Scary Facts

“Not enough of our society is trained how to understand and interpret quantitative information…” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

MUSIC

  1. Celia – Tell Us What You’re Growing – digital single
  2. Arthur Hinds – The Water’s Rising – Dance in the Fire
  3. Cernunnos Rising – Greenman (Last Tree Falling) – Wild Soul

PWN 2015.1.3: Controversy in the Pagan World

The Pagan Weekly News for thursday 29 January 2015 found RevKess and KaliSara trying to tackle the general theme of Controversy in the Pagan World. Not an easy task. They began with a brief conversation about political conroversies in the United States and moved on talking about the stolen and desecrated statue of Manannan mac Lir in Ireland before moving into talk about #BlackLivesMatter and the Covenant of the Goddess missteps in addressing that theme.

Links

POLITICS

MANANNAN mac LIR

#BLACKLIVESMATTER & COVENANT of the GODDESS

  • Covenant of the Goddess and other Pagan organizations release statements on racism in November and December of 2014, in response to repeated reports of police brutality and excessive force.
  • Peter Dybing, writing on his personal blog Pagan in Paradise, issued a social indictment of CoG. That post has since been removed from his site. An earlier post on the topic of #BlackLivesMatter and the CoG statement cane be found here.
  • CoG issued a revised statement pending consensus vote in August 2015.
  • Peter Dybing writes again on the issue of minorities in Paganism.
  • Coverage from The Wild Hunt
  • Torn Coyle writes about racism
  • Shauna Aura Knight writes about racism in Paganism
  • Shauna Aura Knight, on PaganActivist.com, admits she is a racist

TWO EVENTS on the SAME DAY in the SAME REIGION

OTHER PAGAN NEWS

MUSIC

  1. Heartbeat – Warrior Within
  2. Celia – Song for Manannan – digital single
  3. Wendy Rule – Creator Destroyer – The Wolf Sky

PWN: 2015 State of the Union and more

RevKess and KaliSara discuss the 2015 State of the Union Address from President Barack Obama. On  Tuesday 20 January 2015, President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union Address to Congress and the nation, indeed to the world. It was televised and streamed live on the internet, video recording and audio are available on various websites. RevKess watched the live stream from the White House YouTube channel. You can read the full transcript and listen to the audio through NPR. You can also read and hear Sen. Joni Ernst’s official GOP response on NPR. If you wish to fact check the State of the Union, visit this site.

Though Obama addressed many issues and plans for the administration moving into the next year or so, KaliSara and RevKess only addressed a handful of them. In just under an hour, Obama talks about many issues that are important to both the Pagan community and the citizens of the United States. In a two hour broadcast, your hosts only had time to discuss a few of them.

  • Minimum Wage

    NYTimes.com – Click to Enlarge

  • Housing
  • Health Care – including daycare expense
  • Net Neutrality
  • Community College for 2 years
  • First SOTU reference to Civil Rights for the gay, lesbian, AND bisexual, AND transgender community in the United States
  • Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
  • Some of the 2016 Presidential contenders respond to SOTU

RevKess was personally pleased to hear the inclusion of both bisexuals and transgender citizens when Obama addressed civil rights for all. As KaliSara sarcastically said (with humor, not derision), “He thinks they’re human!” Previous Presidents may have mentioned gays and lesbians, but this the first time a sitting President has included bisexuals and transgender people in such an important speech.

Other News

Many news stories of interest to the Pagan community were left out of this week’s edition due to time constraints. Tune in next week for more news and views for the Pagan minded.

MUSIC
  1. Chronilus – The Wild in Me – Threshold
  2. Celia – Mysterious Shaman – Shaman Journey
  3. Tuatha Dea (feat. Damh the Bard) – Irish Handfasting – The Tribe