Key Hillary Clinton supporter defects…to Bernie Sanders

Former Ohio state senator Nina Turner has switched her allegiance from Secretary Hillary Clinton to Senator Bernie Sanders. This is a very important addition to Senator Sanders’ list of endorsements because he has been struggling to gain the support of African American voters.  The Sanders’ campaign has always contended that this is because he is not well-known around America, especially by African Americans.

Enter Nina Turner. Nina Turner has received a lot of publicity throughout the country on the cable news network, MSNBC.  She is an African American woman who has strongly supported issues like women’s rights, equal pay, equal and quality education for all children, police reform, justice system reform and union rights.  In addition, she has never been shy about expressing her opinion on those issues.  The fact that she has not used a softer tone to get her points across could prove to be damaging to her political aspirations.

She is now touting Bernie Sanders’ message urging a political revolution and says that she believes that he would be the best person to lead this country after President Obama leaves office. Former state senator Turner will provide a major inroad for Senator Sanders into the political psyche of African Americans in Ohio, in particular, and throughout the country in general whether or not she travels with and stumps for him.

This is huge in terms of overall political playing field tactics because Ohio has always played a key part in who eventually occupies the Oval Office. It is also huge in this year’s Democratic primaries because Senator Sanders who from the very start of these primaries was considered destined to be an also-ran is suddenly feeling the ‘bern’ and catching fire … so-to-speak.  The Clinton campaign is nervous, as they should be, about this and so is seeking to douse the Sanders’ fire.

I have always been and still remain a strong Hillary Clinton supporter. I support her because her record as a politician indicates that she – for the most part, comes down on the same side of the issues that I do.  I support her because she is a fair-minded politician who stands up for the rights of everyone and is willing to seek common ground, when it is necessary, to achieve the best results possible unless those results are simply totally unacceptable.  I support her because I think that she stands the best chance to win the 2016 general election.

I also support Secretary Clinton, in part, because people like her husband – former president Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama (although not formally … yet) endorse her. These are trustworthy people who have not only advocated for fair treatment of all Americans but have a proven record of supporting laws and policies that work toward and, hopefully, assure that this fairness becomes reality rather than something that continues to be just hoped for.

I have consistently said that Senator Sanders is a statesman who has a strong and compelling message and that African Americans should not automatically reject it or him. We should look at his record, juxtapose it onto the issues that we are concerned about and how we would like to see those issues resolved and incorporate the results into our calculus.  We should then determine, to the best of our ability, if he is electable before we decide what we will do.

I will continue to evaluate Senator Sanders and his campaign efforts up until a primary Democratic presidential nominee is selected but it is highly unlikely that I will switch my allegiance from Secretary Clinton to him.

Back to former state senator Nina Turner. Former state senator Turner has made her decision and there is nothing that is inherently wrong with what she did by switching from Secretary Clinton and backing Senator Sanders; that does not now make her the enemy.  However, since loyalty is a highly valued commodity in the world of politics Ms. Turner has put herself in a precarious position if she intends to remain a politician and advance her political career.

Why do I say this? Because back in 2013 when Nina Turner ran for Ohio Secretary of State, former president Bill Clinton endorsed her.  Although she lost that race to Republican Jon Husted, former president Clinton now held a chip against her, which whether or not ever cashed in, in the world of politics warrants a certain degree of loyalty.  And unless that bond of loyalty is somehow breached by the party holding the chip, it is expected to be there even if it is not verbally requested: The Clintons are very powerful people in the world of politics.

Whether or not this decision by Ms. Turner will come back on her and negatively impact her political career remains to be seen. Even if her choice proves to have been a political miscalculation she can always make amends; perhaps, that is, depending on the results of the 2016 Democratic primaries.  If Secretary Clinton should by some miracle lose then to make amends might be somewhere between just short of impossible and impossible.  But life goes on, right?

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

Washington Republicans Speak With Impunity

Congressional Republicans, including the 2016 presidential candidates, seem to have no limit to what they are willing to say. They say what they want to say, when they want to say it and where they want to say it even if they have no real idea whether what they are saying is true.  And when they find out that it is not true – more often than not, they go silent on that issue and move on to the next one.  And if anyone questions them about their mistake rather than own it they slither into an explanation that somehow makes it seem as if they were right anyway.

They have no qualms about doing this because they have always done it with impunity; so, they continue to do it. One recent example is how they publicly verbally ripped Planned Parenthood to shreds and tried to defund it because of videos that were released that supposedly proved that Planned Parenthood was illegally selling fetus parts.

When a grand jury in Texas cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing and instead indicted those who made the videos, those Republicans who had vigorously publicly accused Planned Parenthood and worked to strip them of federal funding went silent. When they were questioned about how the tables had now turned against them they went with talking points that made it seem that they were right anyway.

Another example began when President Obama was elected, continues even now and will likely continue until he leaves office. Based on an article in The Week dated January 9, 2016 by Paul Waldman, at least two Republicans recently expressed what seems to be the sentiment of all of the congressional Republicans in Washington.

According to this article, back in 2012 one of this year’s presidential candidates, Senator Marco Rubio said; “If we are divided, it’s only because Obama has divided us. ‘We have not seen such a divisive figure in modern American history’ as Barack Obama.”  This same article said another 2016 presidential candidate, Senator Ted Cruz said after the recent State of the Union address; “He lectures us on civility yet [President Obama] has been one of the most divisive presidents in American history.”  And yet another Republican congressman who was not identified in the article recently said, “There probably has not been a more racially-divisive, economic-divisive president in the White House since we had presidents who supported slavery.”

Initially, as a result of watching all off the endless finger pointing by the Republicans that laid not just the blame for divisiveness in this country at the doorstep of President Obama but the blame for all of America’s problems at his doorstep, I decided that I would write an article that would clearly delineate what has occurred to create these problems and show that the Republicans contributed more than their fair share to the creation of them. I further decided that I would then tie the article to one that I wrote back in October of 2014 that talked about what the entire congress could have and should have done to begin the trek down the road toward healing America’s racial divide.

However, just as I began my research so that I could accurately recount some of the things that the Republicans had said and done I read Paul Waldman’s article in The Week. This article was succinct and so encapsulated what I want to share with the readers of my blog that I decided that instead of writing an article that certainly would not be any more succinct and informative than his, I would instead point you to his.  You can read the full article here.

You can read my 2014 article entitled A Wasted (Dwindling) Opportunity by clicking on the link. I hope that these articles will be beneficial to you in helping you to better understand how important the 2016 presidential election is, who it is and what it is that you are voting for and why it is extremely important to vote for the candidate who is best equipped to move America forward.

So whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent be sure to get informed on the issues and always vote. And always remember, your vote is the most important one of all… unless you don’t use it.

Eulus Dennis

President Obama on 2016 presidential primaries: You gotta dance with the one who brung ya

Up until recently, President Obama had avoided expressing his preference of a candidate in the 2016 primaries. However, according to an article dated 1/25/2016 in the New York Daily News by Adam Edelman, in ‘thinly veiled support’, he leaned toward Secretary Hillary Clinton as his candidate of choice as he showered her with accolades regarding her toughness, experience and readiness to handle the job.  Since this is still football season and America is only weeks away from Super Bowl 50, I assume you will not mind if I apply a football metaphor to the president’s recent (apparent) decision to endorse Secretary Clinton.  I will put it in the words of the fondly remembered Houston Oilers football coach, Bum Phillips; you gotta dance with the one who brung ya.

I don’t think that the president has anything against Bernie Sanders – who is a good person and statesman, but Senator Sanders is an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats and Secretary Clinton is a Democrat. In addition to that, Secretary Clinton and her husband former president Bill Clinton were very supportive of President Obama during his campaign for president in 2008 and again in 2012.  Finally, I think that President Obama sincerely feels that Secretary Clinton stands a better chance of winning the general election than does Senator Sanders.

No matter whom the Democratic and Republican nominees turn out to be or who the next president will be, it is a problem for any serious voter to focus on what really needs to be done to make our country better and who is the best person for that job. It is a problem because of how many of the candidates are gently nudging voters to make a decision based on their darkest fears; some candidates are not gently nudging them but shamelessly shoving them to do so.

This is not just a disappointing situation but it is a freighting one. These are people who are competing to become the President of the United States of America.  The President of the United States of America!  A diverse nation that is replete with Americans of many different races, colors, creeds, and ethnic backgrounds.  The winner of this contest will have to be the president of all of the people; not just the chosen few.  A major facet of this person’s job will be to pull people together in a united bond as Americans, not separate them into separate and hateful competing groups.

Even if what these candidates are doing is only political posturing that raises questions as to whether they are worthy to fill this powerful position. America needs someone in this position who is presidential not someone who would put our country in harm’s way on a whim.  As voters, we need to take a step back from the situation and seriously assess who and what it is that we are voting for.

Even if President Obama never openly endorses any candidate he has already covertly (kind of) given the nod to Secretary Clinton. He has reached out, taken her hand – and though he might not have looked long and deeply into her eyes when he did so, he has looked directly out into the crowd and said, you gotta dance with the one who brung ya.  He endorsed her; at least, in my opinion he did: It’s the same thing.

Depending on your circle of friends and acquaintances, when the time comes for you to make your decision, you too might decide that you need to be covert. But the bottom line is, whether you are a covert, overt, or none of your business kind of person you should still take a step back and make a serious assessment of who it is and what it is that you are voting for.

I am of the opinion that none of us should vote based on his or her most base fears but, instead, vote based on our knowledge of the issues, how you want to see those issues addressed and who you believe will best address them to your satisfaction. But right now, especially if you are among those in the ‘none of your business’ category that I mentioned, my guess is that you are thinking that it’s none of my business who it is that you will vote for or what it is that you will be voting for.  Even if that is what you are thinking this article should provide you with excellent food for thought.  Now all you have to do is accept the challenge and make the assessment before you vote.

Eulus Dennis

Will Denver soon become another piece comprising the Black Lives Matter focal point?

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey could soon find himself embroiled in the Black Lives Matter protests as a result of his track record as regards his lack of willingness to ever bring charges against a police officer and his recent decision not to pursue charges against Denver deputies that were involved in the 11/24/15 death of a black man in their custody. Although that man, Michael Marshall, had heart failure after these deputies subdued him, they were able to revive him to the point where his heart started beating again.  He was then transported to a hospital where he later died.

Prior to this incident, during late January 2015, the DA wrote a letter that criticized Denver Executive Director of Safety Stephanie O’Malley on the terminology she used in her written notice firing two Denver Deputies who used excessive force on inmates. In essence, he lectured her on her office’s findings which justified the firing and questioned whether those findings had been embellished.

Although the president of the police union had praised Ms. O’Malley and said “I think she’ll be fair when it comes to discipline…” when Mayor Michael Hancock first appointed her as Manager of Safety in December of 2013, since that time, the union’s relationship with Ms. O’Malley has soured and they are also at odds with her. This is not uncommon based on other situations around the country that have occurred when police officers were disciplined or even simply reprimanded for their actions.  Perhaps it is just the nature of the job when it comes to unions and those responsible to discipline their members.

The thing that strikes me as odd, however, is how the DA chose to address this issue. DA’s are usually the ones who insist on keeping things in-house while an investigation is going on or an appeal is pending.  In this particular case the deputies that were fired are appealing Director O’Malley’s decision.  But just like it is the nature of the job for relationships to sour between unions and those responsible to discipline their members, perhaps it is also the nature of the job for politics to come into play when politicians are among those involved in solving the problem.

Whether or not politics is involved in the feud between DA Mitch Morrissey and Safety Director O’Malley is not the point of this article. The point is that there is a movement – led by Black Lives Matter –  against excessive force by police that is taking place across the country.  There are situations like those that have occurred in New York City, Baltimore, Cleveland and many other places that have spiraled out of control; situations that might have been mitigated if the elected officials and other leaders in those cities and states had been ahead of the curve and prepared for them.  That is the point of this article and the reason for the following admonition.

Denver is a wonderful, forward-looking city with great amenities and more are constantly being added. Right now, though we have our problems, our city is relatively calm and divisiveness is not a major problem.  But signs of what has occurred and is still ongoing in the previously mentioned places are beginning to flare up more often here.  These things are garnering more and more attention from the press and in this case, that is not a good sign.

We do not want our city, Mayor Hancock, members of the city council and other civic leaders to have to struggle through what the aforementioned cities are continuing to struggle through. We want Denver’s citizens to be spared the turmoil and pain that the citizens in places like New York City, Baltimore, Cleveland and many other cities around America are contending with.

Perhaps we can help Denver to avoid this problem by letting our city and state leaders know that we want them to get ahead of the curve and figure out how to stop this problem before it gains good footing. Contacting your city council member might be a good place to start:  I’m certainly going to mention it to my councilwoman, Stacie Gilmore, at our next District 11 Town Hall Community Meeting on February 11th.

Remember, I said contacting your city council member is a good place to start not to end. Elected state officials should also be on your list of those to contact as well as any others that you believe would be beneficial in helping to assure that this potential problem is addressed expeditiously, mitigated – or if possible, prevented.  After all, we don’t just want Denver to continue to be a great city to live in; we want Colorado to continue to be a great state to live in!

Eulus Dennis

First, Republicans Want ‘Messaging’ Bills In 2016: After that, Maybe Governance

Speaker Paul Ryan was brimming with pride and new found confidence based on the Republican Party’s accomplishment in finally sending a bill to President Obama that would repeal his healthcare law. Yes, after only the 62nd try they had achieved their goal!  Of course the president would veto this bill but that is not the point.  The point is that they will have sent him a message letting him know that Republicans hate his healthcare plan and they plan to come up with something much better to offer the American people.

Never mind the fact that they have had opportunities since 2010 up until now – and even before that time, to come up with a plan of their own or work with the Obama administration to tweak those areas in the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) that might make it more acceptable to them; never mind that the policing situation in America is in chaos and the overall justice system is flailing like a flag in the wind that is on the verge of coming unmoored, never mind that the middle class in America is being obliterated, never mind that the voting rights of American citizens are being threatened, never mind that gun violence is threatening to rip America to shreds, never mind the situation with ISIS and the unstable situation in the Middle East, Republicans have finally gotten their message across to President Obama regarding Obamacare. How great is that?!  It’s just what the American people need and what they have been clamoring for – at least, since 2010, right?

Yes, since there is nothing else of real importance to do in the way of governance, the Republicans want to start 2016 with ‘messaging’ bills. The list of things in the previous paragraph is by no means an exhaustive list.  There is no doubt that Americans want and need affordable healthcare.  But we also want and need equal justice under the law, we also want and need better wages for hardworking Americans who comprise the 99 % and for those who are in the top one percent to pay their fair share of taxes; we also want and need to be allowed to vote without being obstructed or blocked from doing so, we want and need reasonable gun laws and we need congress to work with President Obama to address foreign policy issues.

I have always said that Democrats and Republicans have good ideas about how to run the American government and the kinds of things that would make it run even better. But somewhere along the way politics has completely taken over our elected officials.  It has spread like a virus, especially since the first black president was elected, and threatens to rob politicians of any sense of decency that they now have; there is no end in sight to the amount of damage that it will cause.  There is no doubt that if one is a politician that politics is going to be in the mix.  But there has to be a limit to politics playing; a line that is drawn in the sand where politics ends and serving America with honor begins.  If there is no Rubicon, then politicians will see no limit to their political forays and ruination of our country from the inside out is bound to occur.  That is something that we can ill-afford.

Speaker Ryan says that he wants to send a message to President Obama and the American people, which presents a clear difference in President Obama’s policies and those that the Republicans advocate. He believes that the bill that The House passed on Wednesday January 6, 2016 does that.  According to an article in Real Clear Politics by James Arkin, Speaker Ryan said “How many times have we been saying we want to put bills on his desk that say who we are and what we believe versus what he believes, that he will veto?”

Does Speaker Ryan truly believe that Americans cannot already see the huge, yet hopefully bridgeable, gap that exists between how Democrats and Republicans envision moving America forward? Does he truly believe that he needs to send us a message that brings clarity to that issue?  Can’t Speaker Ryan and the Republicans send that message while at the same time helping all Americans by addressing the issues already mentioned in this article?

Wouldn’t addressing those issues be a better way to help the Republican Party and at the same time win new converts among all of the American people to it than by ignoring urgent legitimate governance issues and playing politics by sending ‘messaging’ bills to the president; messaging bills which will – at best – serve to energize the Republican base for the presidential election and at worse turn off mainstream Republicans who want to see the Republican Party take the lead in encouraging and nurturing meaningful governance?

What we need our politicians, especially our national political leaders, to do now is to put America first by placing their service to country first and pulling the American people together rather than pulling them apart based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity – or any other basis, for political gain. Surly they can see that we are being weakened and made more vulnerable to our enemies, domestic and foreign, by the situation that we have put ourselves in, based in no small part on America’s political folly.  If they cannot see this then we as voters have failed.

That failure will have come as the result of us not having done our due diligence before voting for those politicians we elected but instead listening to sleek sound bites during election cycles to determine who we ‘like’ best and who would best serve America. It is long past time for our elected leaders to conduct themselves like leaders just as it is long past time for voters to get informed, get involved and elect politicians based on substance and not on sound bites.

Let’s be sure to do our part in all elections including the 2016 presidential election. At best voting politicians into office based on substance will change how our politicians conduct politics and, at worst – by those who are incumbents knowing that voters are educating themselves on the issues, it has the potential to scare them into doing a better job even if they escape being replaced.

Eulus Dennis

2016 Democratic Candidates Need President Obama and President Obama Needs Them

The 2016 Democratic candidates, from the top of the ticket to the bottom, need President Obama and he needs them. They need the president because of his proven power to motivate voters to get out and vote and he needs them to help assure that his legacy will be sealed rather than dismantled.

Christi Parsons of the Tribune Washington Bureau wrote an article, which said that President Obama’s appeal to the above mentioned voters and their support of him are not transferable. As far as I am concerned this is just some woman talking.  To all of the voters who find the president and his message appealing and support him, I say that you should feel the same way that I do; this is just some woman talking.  You can back up these feelings by getting out and voting for those candidates for whom he advocates.

Before anyone misinterprets my ‘this is just some woman talking’ statement and labels me a sexist, if it were a guy that wrote the same article in the Tribune I would say that ‘this is just some guy talking’ and make the same recommendation to you, which is that you ignore his assertion as simply rhetoric. Then I would also recommend that you get out and vote for those candidates for whom President Obama is an advocate.

What needs to happen in 2016 is that we show those who are of the opinion that appeal and support are not transferrable that they are wrong; these are things just like ‘good will’ – in a reputable company’s name, which can be transferred! In the event that you are tempted to be discouraged and start to think that maybe Ms. Parsons is right, think about all of the things that the press and pundits said about The Donald’s (Donald Trump – in the unlikely event that you do not know who The Donald is) candidacy.

Well, what do you think about what they had to say then compared to The Donald’s standing among the 2016 presidential candidates now? Big difference, huh?!  The 2016 election is a different kind of animal.  So rather than get down in the face with what someone in the press is saying about appeal and support not being transferable, make appeal and support a different kind of animal in 2016 and make it transferable!

If The Donald made 2016 a different kind of animal by virtue of his stubbornness and tenacity, you can do it too! To  paraphrase an old saying – “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”; in this case in point scenario, what’s good for The Donald is good for the voter (Only in this particular case, of course.  This has to be an anomaly; because if it is not, everything will likely result in a total disaster).

In the eyes of the press, pundits and most of the rest of America, Mr. Trump’s candidacy might have started out as a joke or entertaining sideshow but now it has evolved into a full-fledged threat (not everyone views it this way) of him becoming President of the United States of America! If he wins the Republican nomination he has a fifty-fifty chance of becoming president.  There is no doubt that Mr. Trump is an accomplished businessman and would be a ruthless and formidable foe of anyone who might challenge his business acumen, but we need a lot more than this in a president.  We need much, much more; exponentially more!

Mr. Trump is appealing to all of the wrong things that are a part of us as Americans. He is appealing to the dark side of us and, right now, he is winning.  Those problems that are boiling just below the surface in our society and have been boiling there likely since the landing at Plymouth Rock must remain there while we mitigate them and hopefully finally fix them.

With all of the negative things that are happening throughout America right now, especially as regards policing of its citizens, our country is ripe for an explosion into total turmoil. Therefore, what appears to be Mr. Trumps approach to governance is totally unacceptable.  Accordingly, the approach to governance of any of the other 2016 presidential candidates that mimics Mr. Trump’s approach would be just as unacceptable.

To those Democrats whom I began addressing earlier in this article from the premise of President Obama’s appeal and support and now to all Democrats in general I say, if my perspective of what I perceive to be Mr. Trumps approach to governance is what it takes to get you to get out and vote then consider this article to be exactly that. To those Republicans (and Democrats) whose fears and prejudices are being exploited by any 2016 candidate and to all Republicans in general I say the same thing.

Finally, I say to all Democrats, Republicans and Independents, if you think that we need someone in the top job in the United States other than a person with nothing more to offer than insults and a ‘tough guy’ image; and if you think that we need someone with a temperament that goes beyond the attitude of my way or no way, then think very carefully and make a well-thought-out decision before you mark your 2016 ballot: A decision that encompasses the expectation for our elected officials to always seek to find common ground first rather than immediately resorting to do it my way or have hell to pay.

Eulus Dennis