in the weeks following the general election in november, there have been countless commentaries on “what happened” and “who’s to blame.” with little deviation, the consensus i’ve seen develop seems to coalesce around a list of problems and failures:

  • mainstream news misreading, or ignoring signs of deep discontent
  • pervasive “fake news”
  • polling flaws
  • democrats’ and the clinton campaign’s failure to appeal to and turn out a core portion of their base, i.e. white-working class voters

but the other day i saw an article shared on facebook which absolutely made me angry: it’s time for bernie sanders to apologize to his supporters, and to president obama.

i think everyone knows at this point that i was a strong sanders supporter. i was a campaign leader here in hawaii and went to philadelphia as a sanders-pledged delegate.

the author, a perfect example of a whiny, entitled white woman who had no problem with clinton being anointed the nominee and next president by the dnc and media elite, respectively. the author’s myopic view atop her pedestal is bernie shouldn’t have run at all, let alone mount a competitive campaign of hope and change. he should “apologize for disrupting the historic milestone of the first female nominee for president of the united states with threats and fears.” then she goes on to insult his supporters.

never mind the fact that clinton was wildly unpopular among primary and general voters. never mind working class people across the country haven’t climbed out of the 2008 recession hole, but she claimed america is already great. never mind she angrily and uniformly insulted everyone who was inclined toward trump. it seems the article’s author is one who thinks democracy is a formality; it was hillary’s turn and how dare anyone challenge the democratic establishment and the democratic leadership council (dlc).

the author also seems to either have selective memory, or wasn’t paying close attention to things post convention. bernie spoke to issues, not personality. she also refers to obama’s popularity, as a sign that people would have been happy with clinton, which i think is a flawed assumption.

for one, as of december 5, his approval rating was in the mid 50’s; certainly not a glowing endorsement of his job performance. and i’m not sure his number wouldn’t be lower were it not for a certain nostalgia that set in as americans began to pay attention to the presidential election. at the beginning of the year, his approval rating was in the mid 40’s.

two, leading up to, during, and following the democratic national convention in july, bernie urged his supporters to get on board with clinton, telling them she was a far better choice than trump. then he went out and stumped for her for the last few months of the campaign.

three, the author seems to blame sanders and not clinton for the slow and reluctant migration of his supporters to her. in during a town hall with rachel meadow, clinton oozes contempt at the suggestion that she needs to woo sanders supporters. “i have a bigger lead in pledged delegates than senator obama, when i ran against him in 2008, ever had over me. i am winning!” for voters who were already disinclined toward clinton, her contempt for us certainly didn’t help.

clinton and the dnc should apologize for refusing to see the signs in front of them. had the system (including mainstream media) been truly neutral, i believe we might have a different president-elect right now. had democrats been more interested in who was the candidate with the best chance of beating the republicans than they were of “breaking the glass ceiling,” maybe clinton supporters and the dnc wouldn’t be standing around pointing fingers at everyone but themselves over who’s to blame.

senator sanders should apologize? i don’t think so.

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this past weekend i spent time with hundreds of progressive activists and leaders from across the state at the people’s congress.

it was an exciting and inspiring two-day conference that i hope will be the beginning of a political shift in hawaii.

i’ll talk more about the whole event later, but for today’s music monday video, i wanted to share a performance that we were honored to witness at the conclusion of the weekend’s work.

kupu hawaii is a non-profit organization that, “empowers future generations to create a more sustainable, pono Hawaii”. the kids who participate in the program come from difficult circumstances, bad homes, etc.

they were at the venue with us the whole weekend. the help prepare and serve us food, helped set up for us. and they were so kind, generous, and so excited about what were were undertaking at the people’s congress. these performances were their way of saying, “thank you” to us.

really, though the whole weekend was incredibly humbling and inspiring, it was the performance of these kinds that nearly brought me to tears sunday afternoon.

please check out and share the two videos, check out the organization, and if you can, please donate. kupu hawaii does amazing work.

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during a discussion of the nodapl action taking place at standing rock, there was a question about whether president obama was planning to attend one last presidential holiday on oahu before leaving the white house.

it was our hope he would return, so protests could be organized near the residence he stays in in kailua. his silence on the issue has been hypocritical, heartless, criminal, and exactly what we’ve come to expect from this president.

alas, it sounds like he’s chosen to wait out his last days within the comfort and safety of the white house security perimeter.

still, the conversation reminded me of a similar protest progressives initiated back in 2010. we called for, among other things, an end to the war in iraq. the action was relatively small, but spirited. and peaceful.

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holy shit!

i have a vague recollection of how it felt when i received acceptance letters from the handful of colleges to which i applied. this is more exciting. for years now, i’ve wanted to go back to school. i’ve wanted to advance my career in politics. just as importantly, i’ve wanted to prove to myself that i could do well in college studies (i didn’t fully apply myself in undergrad).

the final product of my application i thought was ok, but i wasn’t completely satisfied. reluctant to say much, i really wasn’t confident that i’d get accepted. after two failed attempts for a couple of different graduate programs at the university of hawaii and pretty embarrassing college transcripts, part of me was sure this attempt was another wishful effort.

in the end, the many hours spent on the various application parts, not to mention the three individuals who supplied my letters of recommendation, paid off. and i’m thrilled. i can attend a top “politics” school in washington d.c. and never have to leave hawaii!

but as the saying goes, “be careful what you wish for,” because now i have to decide if it’s worth the heavy financial debt load i would have to take on in order to pay for it. unlike undergraduate loans, i cannot defer any loans for this program. no, i wouldn’t have to make payments until six months after i graduate, but the “juice” will be running from the first day.

if i could be assured a high five-figure salary as soon as i graduated, there would be no question about what to do. but i’ve been in serious, stifling debt before. i remember that feeling of being trapped and it took me years to get out from under it. the program is exactly what i’ve been looking for, but can i honestly say it’s worth the financial burden i’d be taking on? i’m just not sure.

a quick and dirty calculation suggests i could be saddled with a more than $600 per month bill that i’d be paying for the next decade…. admittedly, i’m fishing a bit for words of encouragement. but i’m also looking for honest, sober advice.

i also want to offer my thanks to the three people who helped me get to this decision by writing recommendations that i have no doubt tilted the scales in my favor.

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having been distracted by one of my adorable nephews (and other family members) this weekend, i didn’t get around to recording anything for today’s music monday.

so instead, i thought i’d share something else.

i imagine most of you know who jack black is. but did you know he started out a long time ago on an hbo show called “tenacious d,” about his two-man band of same name? i’ve been a fan of both black and tenacious d for years.

when jack black’s acting career took off, the band project took a back seat. still, they’ve released an album or two that are pretty funny and not bad, as far as the music goes.

anyway, here’s an episode from that hbo show. enjoy.

i hope to get back to my recordings next week.

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