Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

Bernie Sanders --  turncoat socialist; a man who played the role of sheepdog not once but twice

Trump on Bernie:

How you can trust any US politician after that ?  This he a really Obama-style "bait and switch" turncoat?

 

News US Presidential Elections of 2016 Recommended Links FBI Mayberry Machiavellians James Comey role in preventing Sanders from leading the Democratic ticket Venezuella: another "bombs for oil" scenario after Libya? Andrew McCabe role
Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal Questions about Huma Abedin email forwarding Clinton Cash: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry Brennan elections machinations Steele dossier Hillary as a pathological liar Do the US intelligence agencies influence the US Presidential elections?
DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin Is Hillary Clinton a toxic manager? Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Hillary role in Libya disaster  Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary the warmonger Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump
Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Female Sociopaths NIST Guidelines on Electronic Mail Security (dated February 2007) Beyond your cable modem - How not to do DOCSIS networks NIST Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers Skeptic Quotations Humor

Introduction

 

The quadrennial political game of least worst, or how to scare the public to vote for presidential candidates who serve corporate power, comes this season with a new twist. Donald Trump, if he faces Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar or Michael Bloomberg, will continue to be an amalgamation of Adolf Hitler, Al Capone and the Antichrist.

But should Bernie Sanders manage to evade the snares, traps and minefields laid for him by the Democratic Party elites, should he miraculously become the party’s nominee, the game of least worst will radically change. All the terrifying demons that inhabit Trump will be instantly exorcised. But unlike in the biblical story of Jesus driving the demons into a herd of swine, they will be driven into the senator from Vermont.

Trump will become the establishment’s reluctant least worse option. Sanders will become a leper. The Democratic and Republican party elites, joining forces as they did in the 1972 presidential election, will do to Sanders what they did to George McGovern, who lost in 49 of the 50 states.

“If Dems go on to nominate Sanders, the Russians will have to reconsider who to work for to best screw up the US. Sanders is just as polarizing as Trump AND he’ll ruin our economy and doesn’t care about our military,” former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein (net worth $1.1 billion) tweeted. “If I’m Russian, I go with Sanders this time around.”

 ~ Chris Hedges Truthdig, Feb 17, 2020

 

 

There is nice summary from Jimmy Dore: Bernie’s Tweets Reveal Failed Leadership During Crisis

Paradoxically it was Donald Trump who sized his "descicable coward" candidacy correctly both in 2016 and 2020. His twits were biting and correct (Donald Trump unloads on Bernie Sanders for 'selling out' Daily Mail Online )

Trump attacked Sanders with a torrent of tweets following his endorsement of former rival Hillary Clinton

Said Bernie 'abandoned' his supporters by endorsing 'pro-TPP' trade deal Clinton

...'Bernie Sanders endorsing Crooked Hillary Clinton is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs'

Sanders said he intends to do 'everything I can' to make Hillary the next president

Trump praised Bernie during his bitter primary with Hillary Clinton for 'telling the truth' and hailed him for drawing large crowds

See more US election news as Trump unloads on Sanders for 'selling out'

By Geoff Earle, Deputy U.s. Political Editor For Dailymail.com

First the neoliberal press tried to demolished his candidacy. With NYT and WaPo as two the most rabid pro-Hillary dogs. Despite neoliberal presstitutes efforts to sink his candidacy, Sanders managed to stay competitive almost all the way to the California primary in June.  Then he folded and blatantly betrayed his voters, his principles and himself. 

In December 2017 we leaned than it was FBI who actually pushed Bernie under the bus by swiping under the carpet changes against Hilary connected with her abuse of private email server.  See Strzok-gate. This is like Praetorian Guard selection a new emperor.

But  in retrospect this old fogey (he will be 80 in 2021) turned out to be a sellout. People who want to tame Wall street and restore some parts of the New Deal Capitalism regulations destroyed by neoliberals have no leader to represent their interests. I can now imagine a feelings of Bernie's supporters who will feel duped (M of A , Jun 13, 2016)

Bernie Sanders folded. This without gaining any significant concession from Hillary Clinton on programmatic or personal grounds. (At least as far as we know.) He endorsed Clinton as presidential candidate even as she gave no ground for his voters' opinions. This disenfranchises the people who supported him.

... ... ...

I expect the "Not Hillary" protest vote to be very strong in the November election. There is still more significant dirt to be dug up about her and her family foundation. Trumps current lows in the polls will recover when the media return to the "close race" mantra that makes them money. He still has a decent chance to win.

Betrayal of his own principles

June 12, 2016 was a very sad day when  Bernie finds himself endorsing someone who is the complete opposite to the politics he claims to champion. What was his BS campaign and all that rhetoric for? A disgusting spectacle ( Democracy And The Future Of The United States - ICH):

Bernie is a fake. He was and I guess, still is a test case for the system. Lucifer wants to see how far he can go – and what is it that the people want to hear. Accordingly, will be adjusted the discourse of the two candidates. Sanders has a (Senate) voting record which does not portray what he pledges to stand for.

... ... ...

Sanders, early on has said that if he should not succeed, he would support Killary. Hello! what message does that convey? – That he would support a warmonger par excellence? – Europeans like many Americans have been fooled by Bernie’s charm and rebellious appearance. All fake!

But signs of this were visible during Berne Sanders campaign. One that  alerted many people is he carefully avoided to emphasize the weak spots in Hillary candidacy: her role in launching Libya war and serious of highly paid speeches (read bribes) from major Wall Street firms. 

thebuzzinsider

Tuesday morning Bernie Sanders united the Democrat party by announcing his endorsement of Hillary Clinton, but not everyone is happy, with some of his supporters calling him a sell-out.

Beginning his speech by giving thanks to the 13 million Americans who voted for him during the primaries, Sanders announced that he would be endorsing Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nominee and intends to do everything he can to ensure that she will become the “next president of the United States.”

“[T]his campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders or any other candidate who sought the presidency,” Sanders said in the rally. “This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face.”

Sanders began to compare Clinton with Republican nominee, Donald Trump, explaining the differences between the two and using these differences as his reasons for endorsing her. Sanders admitted during the rally that he and Clinton do disagree on a number of issues but he also claimed that on Sunday, July 10, during the Democratic Platform Committee the two campaigns were able to come together significantly.

“Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here today,” Sanders said at the end of the rally.

This proclamation is a far cry from how his stance was a couple months ago, when he claimed that Clinton wasn’t qualified for the presidency.

“I don’t believe that she is qualified,” Sanders said in a Philadelphia rally back in April, as reported by thinkprogress.org. “[I]f she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special interest funds. I don’t think that you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall Street through your super PAC.”

Trump was one of the first to call Sanders a sell-out on Twitter, comparing his endorsement of “Crooked Hillary Clinton” to Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs.

“I am somewhat surprised that Bernie Sanders was not true to himself and his supporters,” Trump tweeted. “They are not happy that he is selling out!”

While some Democrats are happy that the party has seemed to have finally united, like the Communications Workers of America who have now changed their endorsement from Sanders to Clinton, other supporters share Trumps sentiments, feeling outraged and disappointed at Bernie’s sudden change of heart.

“A Sanders endorsement of Clinton would be the ultimate betrayal of his supporters, especially those of us that poured money into his campaign.”

“Bernie, if you endorse Hillary Clinton, after is NOW A PROVEN FACT she lied to the American people, then you sir are a FRAUD.”

“Bernie, endorsing Clinton destroys every point you made and everything you stood for in the race. You are letting the people who supported you down. You made a promise to fight in the end, but instead you are conceding. You are not the elected leader you lead us to believe in. Shame on you.”

These are just some of the comments people have been leaving on Sander’s Facebook page, as reported on the Forward Progressives website.

Other supporters have asked him to wait for the Democrats Party convention, to run in a third-party or to join Jill Stein in the Green Party ticket.

Now that Sanders has endorsed Clinton, Clinton’s campaign will most likely focus on convincing his supporters to join them in their fight for the presidency.

Some prominent left wing thinkers such as Chris Hedges viewed US Senator Sanders as a corporate sellout from the very beginning (Chris Hedges on Bernie Sanders and the Corporate Democrats)

Some prominent left wing thinkers such as Chris Hedges viewed US Senator Sanders as a corporate sellout from the very beginning (Chris Hedges on Bernie Sanders and the Corporate Democrats):

Nader: “Bernie Sanders wants to break up the New York banks, he wants to impose a Wall Street transaction tax, he wants to regulate drug prices, he’s for full Medicare for all — everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital — he wants to get rid of these corporate tax havens, he’s pushing for a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, he wants to stronger labor unions. What’s not to like?”

Hedges: “Because he [Bernie Sanders] did it within the Democratic establishment. . . .He’s lending credibility to a party that is completely corporatized. He has agreed that he will endorse the candidate, which, unless there is some miracle, will probably be Hillary Clinton. So what he does is he takes all of that energy, he raises all of these legitimate issues and he funnels it back into a dead political system. . .

“That was the role of Van Jones in the last election,” Hedges said. “He was running around, using the language of Occupy — Occupy the Vote — and that is what Bernie has done. I don’t understand. He fought the Democratic establishment in Vermont his entire career. Now he has sold out to it.”

“Bernie has also not confronted the military industrial complex at all,” Hedges said. “On a personal level, having spent seven years in the Middle East, I’m just not willing to forgive him for abandoning the Palestinians and giving carte blanche to Israel. He was one of 100 Senators who stood up like AIPAC wind up dolls and approved Israel’s 51-day slaughter last summer of Palestinians in Gaza — the Palestinians who have no army, no navy, artillery, mechanized units, command and control.”
 

Some biographic details

Adapted from Wikipedia

Bernard "Bernie" Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician. He is the junior United States Senator from Vermont and has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election. As a presidential candidate he is the candidate without a party, as Democratic Party established is controlled by financial oligarchy after Bill Clinton sold his party to Wall street ("Third Way  betrayal", similar to the trick Tony Blair performed in the UK).

An independent politician since 1979, Sanders described himself as a democratic socialist (and probably with his political views might fit Social Democratic Party of Germany). He favors the creation of employee-owned cooperative enterprises and has praised Scandinavian-style social democracy. He caucuses with the Democratic Party and is counted as a Democrat for purposes of committee assignments. Since January 2015, Sanders has been the ranking Democratic member on the Senate Budget Committee. He is also associated with the Vermont Progressive Party and was a member of the Liberty Union Party from 1971 to 1979.

After several unsuccessful runs for office, Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont's largest city, in 1981. He was reelected to three more two-year mayoral terms before being elected to represent Vermont's at-large congressional district in the United States House of Representatives in 1990. He served as a congressman for 16 years before being elected to succeed the retiring Republican-turned-independent Jim Jeffords in the U.S. Senate in 2006. In 2012 he was reelected by a landslide. Sanders was the only independent member of the House during most of his service and is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history.

Since his election to the Senate, Sanders has emerged as a leading progressive voice on the issues of income inequality, climate change, and campaign finance reform. He rose to national prominence on the heels of his 2010 filibuster of the proposed extension of the Bush-era tax rates for the wealthy. In response to the speech, hundreds of people signed online petitions urging Sanders to run in the 2012 presidential election and pollsters began measuring his support in key primary states. As a supporter of President Obama, Sanders declined to run in 2012, but began expressing an interest in a 2016 presidential run in December of 2013.

Sanders announced his intentions to seek the Democratic Party's nomination for President on April 30, 2015, in an address on the Capitol lawn. His campaign was officially launched on May 26 with an event in Burlington, Vermont.

Dirty MSM games and tricks with election polls

It is well known that the key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform but influence. So int he USA they are a very dirty game.  Desirable result that conditions those who did not yet decided to vote "for the winner" can be achieved in a very subtle way. For example if electorate of one candidate is younger, you can run poll using landline phones. How subgroup is selected is also important:

3.14e-9  

Yes, how they ask the questions is important, and it’s also important to note which subgroups were asked the questions. Some questions were limited to respondents who had voted in a previous Democratic primary. That means the results don’t include Independents and Republicans who might cross party lines. Also, those who voted in a past primary are far more likely to be familiar with HRC than Sanders.

Lastly, confidence in Bernie rose for some questions. Interestingly enough, there was an increase in the number of people who thought he could competently handle a foreign crisis. Sargent’s bias is pretty clear. Entire poll here:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/12/us/politics/document-poll.html

Of course this election cycle much depends on how angry people really are with the establishment. I think many viscerally dislike Clinton and Jeb! for that reason.  I think not many understand that Dem and Repug are actually one neoliberal party representing its soft and hard wings, correspondingly. And both intend to harm or even destroy the country with their neoliberal policies to serve interests on top 0.01%.  And that the case with Dems since Bill Clinton sold the part to Wall Street. The vast body of american people wants change (and not Obama's fake "change we can believe in")  but they don’t have a place at the table…

Gaius Publius  provide a good analysis of now MSM sell establishment candidate to lemmings in his July 10, 2015 post in Naked capitalism blog (The Clinton Campaign Notices the Sanders Campaign, or How to Read the Media)

Taking Apart the Insider Game

The most important thing to consider when thinking about the Sanders campaign is this. Everyone else who’s running, on both sides, is an insider playing within — and supporting — the “insider game,” the one that keeps insiders wealthy and outsiders struggling, the one where the wealthy and their retainers operate government for their benefit only. What sets Sanders apart is his determination to dismantle that game, to take it apart and send its players home (back to the private sector) or to jail.

Two examples should make this clear. One is Fast Track and the “trade” agreements being forced upon us. The pressure to pass these agreements is coming equally from mainstream Democrats like Barack Obama, a “liberal,” and from mainstream Republicans, supposed “conservatives.” They may differ on “rights” policy, like abortion rights, but not on money matters. Trade agreements are wealth-serving policies promoted by people in both parties who serve wealth, which means most of them. People like Sanders, Warren and others, by contrast, would neuter these agreement as job-killing profit protection schemes and turn them into something else.

A second example involves Wall Street banks, in particular, a policy of breaking them up, reinstating Glass-Steagall, and prosecuting Wall Street fraud. Can you imagine any announced candidate doing any of these things, save Bernie Sanders?

In both of these cases, Sanders would aggressively challenge the insider profit-protection racket, not just give lip service to challenging it. Which tells you why he is so popular. Many of us in the bleachers have noticed the insider game — after all, it’s been happening in front of us for decades— and most of us are done with it. Ask any Tea Party Republican voter, for example, what she thinks of the bank bailout of 2008-09. She’ll tell you she hated it, whether she explains it in our terms or not.

And that’s why Sanders, like Warren before him, draws such enthusiastic crowds. The pendulum has swung so far in the direction of wealth that the nation may well change permanently, and people know it. People are ready, just as they were in 2008, prior to eight years of betrayal. People have been discouraged about the chance for change lately, but they’re ready for the real thing if they see it.

The Clinton Campaign Notices Sanders

There’s been an attempt to downplay the Sanders candidacy since the beginning, to sink his campaign beneath a wave of silence. That ended a bit ago, and the press has begun to take notice, if snippily. Now the Clinton campaign is noticing, if the New York Times is to be believed. I found the following fascinating, for a number of reasons.

The piece first along with some news, then a little exegesis (my emphasis):

Hillary Clinton’s Team Is Wary as Bernie Sanders Finds Footing in Iowa

The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off worry among advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who believe the Vermont senator could overtake her in Iowa polls by the fall and even defeat her in the nation’s first nominating contest there.

The enthusiasm that Mr. Sanders has generated — including a rally attended by 2,500 people in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday — has called into question Mrs. Clinton’s early strategy of focusing on a listening tour of small group gatherings and wooing big donors in private settings. In May, Mrs. Clinton led with 60 percent support to Mr. Sanders’ 15 percent in a Quinnipiac poll. Last week the same poll showed Mrs. Clinton at 52 percent to Mr. Sanders’s 33 percent.

“We are worried about him, sure. He will be a serious force for the campaign, and I don’t think that will diminish,” Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign’s communications director, said Monday in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Some of Mrs. Clinton’s advisers acknowledged that they were surprised by Mr. Sanders’ momentum and said there were enough liberal voters in Iowa, including many who supported Barack Obama or John Edwards in 2008, to create problems for her there.

“I think we underestimated that Sanders would quickly attract so many Democrats in Iowa who weren’t likely to support Hillary,” said one Clinton adviser, who like several others spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly share views about the race. “It’s too early to change strategy because no one knows if Sanders will be able to hold on to these voters in the months ahead. We’re working hard to win them over, but yeah, it’s a real competition there.”

I don’t want to quote the whole thing (well, I do, but I can’t). So I encourage you to read it. There’s much there worth noticing.

What to Look at When the Times Reports on Clinton

Now, some exegesis, meta-reading of the media, especially corporate media like the Times. My three main points are bulleted below.

Bottom Line

If you like this exercise in reading behind the media, please read the article again with the above thoughts in mind. Is this original reporting (i.e., reporters starting a conversation), or did the campaign make the first approach? Does the article carry Clinton water, subtly support the campaign? Are any opposing viewpoints featured at the top, or are they buried below the point where most people stop reading?

This Times story may be a completely honest exercise in independent journalism. There certainly is a Sanders phenomenon, and it’s detailed honestly and factually, so there’s value in reading it. But there’s an obvious bias toward Clinton messaging in the reporters’ own prose, so I’m suspicious, and you should be as well.

I’ll also say that most stories about campaigns operate this way, as do many other news stories involving public figures. What will make reporting the Sanders campaign different is what I wrote above — Sanders wants to take apart the insider game. What major media outlet will help Sanders do that, will shut the door to corporate favors, media access and other prizes from a future Clinton administration, in order to be even-handed?

My guess is few or none.

An interesting discussion on Naked Capitalism about Sanders candidacy

In the post by By Les Leopold, the director of the Labor Institute in New York  10 Economic Facts that Power the Sanders Insurgency  (naked capitalism, Nov 13, 2015) and subsequent readers discussion contains so far the most interesting discussion of Sanders and his (pretty lonely) current  position in the presidential race. Being a an anti-establishment candidate is a difficult job as economic and political power belong to the establishment by definition. BTW that's why you should not believe blindly the US polls -- they are designed to sway electorate, not to inform it).

Here are 10 crucial economic facts that provide the glue for the Sanders message. (The charts are taken from Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice.)

1. The Rich are Getting Richer, The Rest of Us are Not.

There always has been a significant gap between the top 1 percent and the rest of America. But that gap was kept under control largely through governmental tax, banking and labor policies.

You could make a lot of money in this country, but after the New Deal, unions made sure you paid a decent wage to your workers, and government made sure the wealthy provided ample tax revenues. This allowed working people also to enjoy a rising standard of living.

But as the chart below shows the bond has been broken. After 1980, the incomes of the top 1% exploded while the wages of the bottom 90% stagnated….and not by accident.

average_income_of_top_1_percent

2. Wall Street/CEO Greed

Most of us haven’t had a real raise (after inflation) for more than a decade. Meanwhile we see our CEOs and their Wall Street partners rake in astronomical sums. The data backs up what we see and sense. As this chart shows, the gap between the pay of the top CEOs and the average worker has jumped from 45 to 1 in 1970 to an astounding 829 to one today.

The game is rigged and Sanders is calling them on it.

wage_gap-top_100_ceos_vs_average_workers

3. The Biggest Banks are Getting Bigger.

One of the most outrageous economics facts of life is the engorgement of too-big-to-fail banks.  We are told that they now are under control. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The top four banks have grown even larger since the Great Recession. No wonder crowds roar when Bernie says “If a bank is too big to fail, I think it’s too big to exist.”

percentage_of_all_banking_assets

4. Students are Crippled with Debt.

Sanders wants to tax Wall Street speculation and use the money to fund free higher education.  And for good reason. Debt peonage is hitting college students as banks load them up with onerous loans. Sanders believes it’s time for us to catch up with many other developed nations that already provide free higher education.

student_loans_1

5. We lead the developed world in child poverty

Nothing more clearly reflects the values of a country than how it treats its children. And nothing is more painful and inexcusable than children living in poverty.

The countries of northern Europe – Iceland, Finland, Nether­lands, Norway, Denmark and Sweden – have nearly eradicated childhood poverty. These also are the countries that have the lowest levels of inequality. They have made a conscious choice: less inequality, less child­hood poverty.

But in a country like ours so engulfed by runaway inequal­ity, child poverty becomes the responsibility of the poor. In other words, if your kids are poor it’s your fault. Don’t expect society to feed them.

Bernie does indeed expect society to feed the poor. And so should we.

percentage_of_children_living_in_poverty

6. You can’t live on the minimum wage

America is the only country in the developed world in which you can work full time and still live in poverty.  That’s because our federal minimum wage is a disgrace. As the chart below shows, the real buying power of the minimum wage, after taking into account of inflation, has been on the decline since its peak in the 1960s. That’s why one of Sanders’ biggest applause lines is

“A minimum wage of $7 an hour is a starvation wage. I applaud those cities—Seattle, Los Angeles and others—that have raised the minimum wage to $15 an            hour. And that is exactly what we will do at the federal level.”

rise_and_fall_of_minimum_wage

7. The tax system favors the rich

We all know that the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes. They hire the best lawyers to help make their incomes vanish on IRS papers. They shift money abroad. They use their influence to create and abuse loopholes. And they sell us the lie that decreasing taxes on the rich make all boats rise.

The chart below shows the result on the state and local levels.  The sad truth is that the poorer you are, the more you pay as a percent of your income.

rich_pay_lower_state_tax_rates

8. The Rich Buy the Political System

As our economy fractures under the weight of runaway inequality, so does our entire democracy. Money is pouring into politics, especially since the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.  As the chart below makes clear, corporations and financial institutions are taking full advantage as they flood the political process through Super PACS.

Sanders wants Super PACS outlawed and Citizens United overturned.

9. “The American Dream” is Fading Away

Many Americans still believe in the American Dream — the idea of genuine upward mobility. We cherish the idea that our children will do as well or better than we have done.

But we’re getting a wake up call.

The chart below shows that the odds of rising above your father’s economic position in the U.S. is about 50/50. In Denmark, you have about a seven to one chance of doing better.

No wonder Bernie wants us to learn a thing or two from the Danes

odds_youll_be_stuck_in_same_class_as_your_parents

10. The Largest Police State in the World

Freedom pays the price for runaway inequality. Because we refuse to use government to provide decent paying work for all those who are willing and able to work, we leave vast tracks of our cities mired in poverty.

We allow institutional racist practices (especially in housing, education and criminal justice) to trap more people of color on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder.

Instead of using government to create jobs, we use government to fund prisons.

Instead of a War on Poverty we have declared war on the poor.

As a result, we now have more prisoners both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the population than any country in the world. And if you compare the chart below with the first chart in this article, you’ll find that the incarceration surge started with the onset of runway inequality.

number_of_federal_and_state_prisoners

Taking Them On

Perhaps Bernie’s biggest applause line is the one that sets us on our course. His campaign cannot succeed in one election. We need to connect with our neighbors and colleagues and help organize and mobilize for change.

“This campaign is sending a message to the billionaire class: Yes, we have the  guts to take you on.”

Let’s hope he’s right.

tim s

There is much more to a candidates platform than simply economics, which readers of NC know to be as much pseudo-science as anything, and the Fed, which fails to live up to ideals for the common good, and actually preserves the status quo which is such a problem these days.

RP is a mixed bag for certain, but you get a sense that he is at least honest, which is a radical change in itself, and there is much for readers of this blog to latch onto. For instance:

To be sure, many of his positions are headscratchers, for sure, such as his belief in privatization and “free markets”. These are very idealistic, and as you probably focus on, the readers of NC will call BS on very quickly.

Still, when having to choose between the internally conflicted and the pathological liar, it is no surprise that many will choose the internally conflicted.

fresno dan, November 13, 2015 at 3:28 pm

I agree.
And one other point: Paul, and every one else elected, so far at least, is not a Napoleon or Caesar, so most platforms are 99.9% baloney. (well, more accurately, most platforms are the same as it ever was – the candidates just say a lot of words to make it appear they are going to do something different – yesterday’s LINKS about how Obama didn’t REALLY oppose Bush’s policies, just that they didn’t go through a process to make them legal)

At least with Paul, there was some evidence that he would TRY to dial back all the war mongering….

Jim Haygood, November 13, 2015 at 9:57 am

‘Ron Paul knows nothing about the Fed and Economics for which he claims to be an expert.’

He only wrote a book about it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_the_Fed

Perhaps you don’t agree with his conclusions.

Lambert Strether, November 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm

To be fair, plenty of people write books on topics of which they know nothing, or worse/less than nothing. All neo-liberal economists, for example.

Nigelk, November 13, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Ron Paul? Seriously? Did I drive through a wormhole this morning and arrive in Fall 2007?

jrs, November 13, 2015 at 2:21 pm

That’s what they’ll be saying about Sanders in 4 years. I don’t mind Sanders as the best choice there is perhaps. But come on folks, none of this stuff has any hope really. A revolution? Well I don’t hope for one either, but at least movement building might work. Other than that it’s 5 minutes in the voting booth and get on with your life.

Jagger, November 13, 2015 at 2:04 pm

I would be curious how anybody who reads this blog could possibly be for Ron Paul, let alone have voted for him.

Ron Paul is anti-war. Who else is anti-war amongst the Repub/Dem tickets? Maybe Sanders. He did vote against the Iraqi invasion but wouldn’t condemn Israel over the last air war on Gaza. Jury is still out on him.

bob

Is this a different Ron Paul?

https://web.archive.org/web/20021212201652/http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2001/tst100801.htm

washunate

We should remember that the image of the United Nations as a benevolent peacemaker is a myth, as evidenced by the sad history of its military actions over the past 30 years. In virtually every instance its so-called “peacekeeping missions” have done nothing but intensify regional conflicts. Kosovo and Somalia are poignant examples of UN policy gone bad, creating lasting resentment and instability rather than peace.

Uh, that sounds like pretty classic Ron Paul. Are you saying that acting as the world’s police force bombing civilian infrastructure in Serbia was a good idea and that things are hunky dory in Somalia today? Do you support the current effort to wage war on the Assad government in Syria?

You didn’t answer Jagger’s question.

washunate, November 13, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Maybe we don’t need experts. Maybe the God of Authority is a False God. Maybe instead of trying to fight war better, we should stop trying.

That’s the thing about the three biggest things Paul stood for (end the Fed, end the drug war, end the Iraq war): they were ends. Not new programs that require advanced degrees and subject matter expertise, but rather, stopping horrible programs run by horrible people for horrible purposes.

Now maybe you disagree that they’re horrible, and that’s fine. Personally, I vehemently oppose the drug war and the US empire, but I’m not opposed to the Fed. To me, it just does what politicians tell it to do. But the point is, that’s a matter of personal opinion, not expertise.

I wonder only half-jokingly if your comment is satire, too. I assume it was unintentional, but it sounds exactly like the whiny Democratic pundit enforcers complaining about Alan Grayson and FDL working with evil Republicans like Grover Norquist on Audit the Fed legislation. The era in which people can be intimidated via guilt by association is over. There are far more independents than Democrats today.

If you don’t understand how a 2008 Ron Paul supporter could be interested in fearless commentary on finance, economics, politics, and power, then all I can surmise is that you don’t want to understand. If you are genuinely curious, this link might be a particularly useful refresher on the tone of the day to day politics of the time:

https://shadowproof.com/2010/05/06/video-transcript-ron-paul-says-sanders-switched-and-watered-down-audit-the-fed/

TarheelDem, November 13, 2015 at 9:00 am

The rhetoric Occupy Wall Street was not usurped by the Democratic Party until it was crushed completed in an orchestrated multi-city police state take-down by Democratic and Republican mayors. I see no candidates talking about the right of free speech and assembly to petition government for the redress of grievances. I did not see that sort of repression happen with the Tea Party, which was receiving massive financing from the start. The two movements are not equivalent in how they have been received by the two parties.

wbgonne, November 13, 2015 at 10:21 am

Given that OWS and the Tea Party have been usurped by the respective national parties, and both movements are anti-status quo, my opinion is they should join forces. Also, considering there is little difference at the end of the day, between the republican and democrat parties, that they play both sides against the middle, if Trump and Sanders had an ounce of humility between them, they would both quit their party and run on a split ticket.

A couple of quibbles. First, OWS was not usurped by the Democrats: it was opposed, undermined and ultimately crushed by the Democratic Establishment, starting at the top with the Obama Administration all the way down to the mayors, many of whom were Democrats too. The Tea Party began as a populist movement but was largely hijacked by the GOP corporatists. That said, there is clearly a lot of populist energy on both the Right and the Left. Sanders carries the ball forward almost without misstep. Trump, however, is a decidedly mixed bag: while he is anti-TPP — a huge plus — he also opposes wage increases and probably holds many other anti-populist views that just haven’t surfaced yet.

But the biggest problem with the merger you propose, however, is the one that has bedeviled populism since the 70s: identity politics issues. While I generally try not to over-emphasize such issues, they should not be discounted either. They should certainly not be disparaged. Let me put it this way: no self-respecting progressive could collaborate with someone who wishes Operation Wetback were our national immigration policy. Overt racism, sexism and homophobia cannot be accepted but political correctness should be rejected too as the antagonizing and divisive factor it is. In order for the merger you posit to occur — which would be a wonderful development — both the Left and the Right must downplay identity politics issues because those are the wedges that keep the two ends of economic populism from joining.

Jagger, November 13, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Identity politics is in the DNA of the Democratic party. Abandoning identity politics is simply not going to happen for a few generations at best.

WindyCity, November 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm

There is discontent on the left and the right. That’s what feeding the candidacies of Tea Party darlings like Trump and Carson and the Democratic Socialist Sanders. Working- and middle-class folks across the political spectrum have been hit hard with unemployment, bankruptcy, foreclosure, debt-slavery, and on and on. Those on the right blame immigration, Obama, and big government; those on the left blame corporate tyranny and capitalist greed. It’s probably naive of me, but I do see an opening for a Sanders to draw support from the right. His message ought to resonate with the disaffected, disenfranchised, and disillusioned in all quarters. I’ve already heard reports of some Tea Baggers throwing in with him. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a significant movement.

Eric Patton

But as the chart below shows the bond has been broken.

I don’t like the passive voice here. Who broke the bond? And why?

I recommend Noam Chomsky. Pay attention to Chomsky’s comments about the dismantling of the Bretton Woods system in the early 70s. Also pay attention when Chomsky talks about the “crisis of democracy” and the very conscious destruction of the US educational system.

cwaltz, November 13, 2015 at 7:03 am

I have to laugh at anyone who argues they don’t like redistribution because it’s the equivalent of saying I don’t like an economy. The reality is in capitalism you have redistribution. Businesses don’t keep the money you give it for goods and services, they redistribute it. The problem is they redistribute it poorly. They put an inordinately large emphasis on rewarding the guy on the top of the totem pole regardless of his contributions(that’s why you have CEOs walking away with multimillion dollar parachutes) while paying peanuts to what is often the face of their organization.

The Tea Party has a real critical thinking issue if it thinks any of this has anything to do with winners and losers. You can be a hard worker spending 17 years busting your backside only to find a CEO like Trump has decided that the business isn’t profitable enough. Guess what? When he files for bankruptcy he’ll get to keep his house, and be insulated from economic consequences that led to the bankruptcy. Meanwhile the same couldn’t be said for that worker whose major “bad decision” was placing his lot in with the wrong company at the wrong time under the wrong leadership.

Paul Tioxon, November 13, 2015 at 10:06 am

A Million Student March yesterday was the national day of protest across the nation by university students marching for the cancellation of student debt and $15/hr wages for student jobs. Locally, in Philly, they tied up traffic marching from North to South down Broad St and from West To East across Market St converging at City Hall for a rally against debt, for the $15/hr wage and in solidarity with Mizzou and Yale against racism on campus. Helicopter coverage and on site reporters interviewed the students, allowing them to get their message across in their own words. A Google news search shows similar coverage from Pittsburgh, Reno, Oakland, Vanderbilt etc etc. The report linked below references Bernie Sanders remarks as an inspiration. One student in front of City Hall demanding student debt cancellation presented the case that since a college degree is a necessity, why are they forced into debt for something that society requires of them to live any kind of life worth living? Necessities of life should not require you to borrow money and go into debt. That is similar to buying you supplies from the mining company so you can go down to the mines and work. Candles and picks are required to mine, so why does your paycheck have to cover that cost? The students are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

http://6abc.com/news/philly-students-hit-the-streets-for-million-student-march/1081368/

Vatch , November 13, 2015 at 11:06 am

This is an excellent list of problems in the U.S. economy (some of them affect other parts of the world, too). Whether or not a person currently supports Senator Bernie Sanders, one should ask which candidates for public office are most likely to sincerely try to solve these problems. There are other non-economic issues, but the average person won’t have a say in solving other problems unless most of the 10 problems in the list are, at the very least, partly solved.

3.14e-9, November 13, 2015 at 12:53 pm

This article won’t convince anyone with half a brain of anything. It’s a bunch of opinion, with weasel words such as “My strong impression is.” That he cites Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank is all anyone needs to know. They’ve been hammering on the same opinion over and over with pretty much the same set of “facts,” including inaccuracies such as Sanders’s alleged support for the bombing of Gaza last summer. Sanders was one of a small minority of senators who actually didn’t sign on to that resolution (S. Res. 498) and he didn’t vote for it, because there is no vote on resolutions. They are approved by an arcane Senate rule called “unanimous consent,” which is not what it sounds like, but it makes a great story for Chris Hedges and others who are just pissed off that Sanders chose to run as a Democrat.

Ultimately, this article is just more of the same ol’ — which is ironic, given that that’s what most of this crowd says about Sanders.

WindyCity, November 13, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Chris Hedges takes the same view. I am fully sympathetic with the harsh criticisms leveled at Sanders regarding his support for empire and his relative indifference to foreign policy. Also, he’s clearly not a socialist (nor could he be, considering his support for US militaristic hegemony). He is a liberal social democratic in the FDR tradition, and what he advocates is the restitution and strengthening of New Deal restraints on capitalism aimed at reducing inequality. He does support worker self-directed enterprises (cooperative businesses owned and run by workers) and has introduced legislation to provide federal support for such endeavors. This does suggest he’s mindful of what genuine socialism is about, though he hasn’t highlighted these ideas in the campaign.

My own view is that Sanders could provide an impetus for more movement-led change, provided that the energy and hope that he has generated, especially among young people, be channeled into organizing efforts and civil disobedience after the election process has concluded. I have little doubt that Clinton will win the nomination, but if, instead of succumbing to depression and disillusionment after Sanders has been defeated, his enthusiastic supporters take their anger and commitment into movement-building, his campaign will have made an important contribution.

A big problem is that Sanders has pledged to support the Democratic candidate if it’s not him. I don’t see how he could really get behind the cynical, opportunistic neocon, neoliberal Clinton, but we’ll see. It does look like he’ll push the less worse argument on his supporters, and that would be unfortunate.

Vatch, November 13, 2015 at 12:37 pm

The article misrepresents some things. For example, these statements are false, or at the very least, exaggerations:

1) support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including President Obama’s recent decision to maintain a troop presence; 2) blank-check support of Israel, including its savage bombing campaign in Gaza last year;

1 ) Sanders voted against the war in Iraq and against the Patriot Act. See this for links and this for the Iraq vote in the House.
2 ) Sanders has been very critical of Israel’s behavior in Gaza. See this for more information and links.

Meant as a reply to Linda J.

Tom Stone, November 13, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Since reform is not going to happen we need to provide local police departments with more armored vehicles and finish doing away with the 2nd amendment.
The 1st and 4th are gone, it’s time for sensible people to get with the program.
Wesley Clarke is calling for FEMA camps to be opened to hold “Extremists”.
And he’s considered a moderate…
The system is broken, get in line or get hurt.

Lonely fight against neoliberalism

Sanders is probably among very few US politicians who oppose both theory and practice of neoliberalism, which came to power in the USA with the election of Ronald Reagan. Now neoliberalism is 35 years old and already experienced one crisis (2008) which severely undermined its credibility. But it recovered and continue to exist in "zombie" (and really bloodthirsty) state: people understand that as a social system it is discredited, but have no viable alternative. What Sanders tried to propose is such an alternative in a form of resurrection of elements of New Deal. This is a tremendously difficult task. He does not enjoy support on financial oligarchy and thus face well organized and well fed Hillary campaign or discrediting him as a viable candidate. One positive thing about this duel that in rate face to face encounters Sanders might prevail over "not so bright"  Hillary.

Neoliberalism is a new form of corporatism based on the ideology of market fundamentalism, dominance of finance in the economy (and restoration of the political power of financial oligarchy) and cult of the rich ("greed is good") instead of ideology based on racial or national superiority typical for classic corporatism. Like many religious doctrines it belongs to the class of Theological Voluntarism (with some pseudo mathematical voodoo attached as a justification; actually even this is not new. Iranian ayatollahs in the past needed to demonstrate proficiency in mathematics) , but unlike most philosophies and relations it does not try to suppress greed. On the contrary it pronounces it to be a virtue ("Greed is good"). All actions are covered under smokescreen of propaganda which is unprecedented in its cynicism, hypocrisy and contempt to the ordinary people.  Probably exceeding cynicism of the USSR leadership which covered the same redistribution ( in case of the USSR mainly to military industrial complex and nomenklatura ) policies with Big Brother style slogans like  "The Party cares for the wellbeing of the people".  This is a tailor-made ideology for powerful interests, large international corporations who simply do want to have their way. They created a political system that is the very opposite of what our leadership, the mass media, opinion leaders, think tanks etc. proclaim as the world's foremost exemplary of democracy. The typical for corporatism union of corporate power and government was transformed by the US elite into a flavor of corporatism which Sheldon Wolin called "inverted totalitarianism" which is just another nickname for neoliberalism.  Unlike traditional corporatism of  Nazi Germany, and Italy the American neoliberal system is designed not to mobilize the populace, but to distract it, to encourage a sense of dependency (by cultivating fear, calling everything a "war", for example "war on terror") as well as encouraging political disengagement (as in Reagan quote: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." ) . Those dirty tricks allowed corporate elite to take full political power and kill remnants of unions political  power while citizenry shows little interest or concern. In other words powerful corporate interests which were the key promoters of neoliberalism and the key beneficiaries of its spread. They ingeniously used the Cold War as a pretext of dismantling of the New Deal  ( Pt 1-8 Hedges & Wolin Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist - YouTube):

HEDGES: And the Cold War. So the Cold War arises. And this becomes the kind of moment by which capital, and especially corporate capital, can dismantle the New Deal and free itself from any kind of regulation and constraint to deform and destroy American democracy. Can you talk about that process, what happened during that period?

WOLIN: Well, I think the first thing to be said about it is the success with which the governing groups manage to create a Cold War that was really so total in its spread that it was hard to mount a critical opposition or to take a more detached view of our relationship to the Soviet Union and just what kind of problem it created.

And it also had the effect, of course, of skewing the way we looked at domestic discontents, domestic inequalities, and so on, because it was always easy to tar them with the brush of communism, so that the communism was just more than a regime. It was also a kind of total depiction of what was the threat to -- and complete opposite to our own form of society, our old form of economy and government.

HEDGES: And in Politics and Vision, you talk about because of that ideological clash, therefore any restriction of capitalism which was defined in opposition to communism as a kind of democratic good, if you want to use that word, was lifted in the name of the battle against communism, that it became capitalism that was juxtaposed to communism rather than democracy, and therefore this empowered capital, in a very pernicious way, to dismantle democratic institutions in the name of the war on communism.

WOLIN: Oh, I think there's no question about that, the notion that you first had to, so to speak, unleash the great potential capitalism had for improving everybody's economical lot and the kind of constraints that had been developed not only by the New Deal, but by progressive movements throughout the 19th century and early 20th century in the United States, where it had been increasingly understood that while American economic institutions were a good thing, so to speak, and needed to be nurtured and developed, they also posed a threat.

They posed a threat because they tended to result in concentrations of power, concentrations of economic power that quickly translated themselves into political influence because of the inevitably porous nature of democratic representation and elections and rule, so that the difficulty's been there for a long time, been recognized for a long time, but we go through these periods of sleepwalking where we have to relearn lessons that have been known almost since the birth of the republic, or at least since the birth of Jeffersonian democracy, that capitalism has its virtues, but it has to be carefully, carefully watched, observed, and often controlled.

Later Wendy Brown, professor in Berkley advanced Professor Wolin ideas to a new level  in her book Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution (Zone Books, 2015). Notable quotes from her interview (What Exactly Is Neoliberalism):

"... I treat neoliberalism as a governing rationality through which everything is "economized" and in a very specific way: human beings become market actors and nothing but, every field of activity is seen as a market, and every entity (whether public or private, whether person, business, or state) is governed as a firm. Importantly, this is not simply a matter of extending commodification and monetization everywhere-that's the old Marxist depiction of capital's transformation of everyday life. Neoliberalism construes even non-wealth generating spheres-such as learning, dating, or exercising-in market terms, submits them to market metrics, and governs them with market techniques and practices. Above all, it casts people as human capital who must constantly tend to their own present and future value. ..."

"... The most common criticisms of neoliberalism, regarded solely as economic policy rather than as the broader phenomenon of a governing rationality, are that it generates and legitimates extreme inequalities of wealth and life conditions; that it leads to increasingly precarious and disposable populations; that it produces an unprecedented intimacy between capital (especially finance capital) and states, and thus permits domination of political life by capital; that it generates crass and even unethical commercialization of things rightly protected from markets, for example, babies, human organs, or endangered species or wilderness; that it privatizes public goods and thus eliminates shared and egalitarian access to them; and that it subjects states, societies, and individuals to the volatility and havoc of unregulated financial markets. ..."

"... with the neoliberal revolution that homo politicus is finally vanquished as a fundamental feature of being human and of democracy. Democracy requires that citizens be modestly oriented toward self-rule, not simply value enhancement, and that we understand our freedom as resting in such self-rule, not simply in market conduct. When this dimension of being human is extinguished, it takes with it the necessary energies, practices, and culture of democracy, as well as its very intelligibility. ..."

"... For most Marxists, neoliberalism emerges in the 1970s in response to capitalism's falling rate of profit; the shift of global economic gravity to OPEC, Asia, and other sites outside the West; and the dilution of class power generated by unions, redistributive welfare states, large and lazy corporations, and the expectations generated by educated democracies. From this perspective, neoliberalism is simply capitalism on steroids: a state and IMF-backed consolidation of class power aimed at releasing capital from regulatory and national constraints, and defanging all forms of popular solidarities, especially labor. ..."

"... The grains of truth in this analysis don't get at the fundamental transformation of social, cultural, and individual life brought about by neoliberal reason. They don't get at the ways that public institutions and services have not merely been outsourced but thoroughly recast as private goods for individual investment or consumption. And they don't get at the wholesale remaking of workplaces, schools, social life, and individuals. For that story, one has to track the dissemination of neoliberal economization through neoliberalism as a governing form of reason, not just a power grab by capital. There are many vehicles of this dissemination -- law, culture, and above all, the novel political-administrative form we have come to call governance. It is through governance practices that business models and metrics come to irrigate every crevice of society, circulating from investment banks to schools, from corporations to universities, from public agencies to the individual. It is through the replacement of democratic terms of law, participation, and justice with idioms of benchmarks, objectives, and buy-ins that governance dismantles democratic life while appearing only to instill it with "best practices." ..."

"... Progressives generally disparage Citizens United for having flooded the American electoral process with corporate money on the basis of tortured First Amendment reasoning that treats corporations as persons. However, a careful reading of the majority decision also reveals precisely the thoroughgoing economization of the terms and practices of democracy we have been talking about. In the majority opinion, electoral campaigns are cast as "political marketplaces," just as ideas are cast as freely circulating in a market where the only potential interference arises from restrictions on producers and consumers of ideas-who may speak and who may listen or judge. Thus, Justice Kennedy's insistence on the fundamental neoliberal principle that these marketplaces should be unregulated paves the way for overturning a century of campaign finance law aimed at modestly restricting the power of money in politics. Moreover, in the decision, political speech itself is rendered as a kind of capital right, functioning largely to advance the position of its bearer, whether that bearer is human capital, corporate capital, or finance capital. This understanding of political speech replaces the idea of democratic political speech as a vital (if potentially monopolizable and corruptible) medium for public deliberation and persuasion. ..."

"... My point was that democracy is really reduced to a whisper in the Euro-Atlantic nations today. Even Alan Greenspan says that elections don't much matter much because, "thanks to globalization . . . the world is governed by market forces," not elected representatives. ..."


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Home 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 1999

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

[Sep 14, 2020] Bernie Sanders warns Joe Biden- Pull left or blow the election -- RT USA News

Sep 14, 2020 | www.rt.com

President Trump has accused Joe Biden of being a puppet of the "radical left." But the US' most prominent leftist, Bernie Sanders thinks Biden isn't leaning left enough. His concerns seem to be falling on deaf ears, though.

Trump has said that Joe Biden, a centrist democrat with nearly five decades of experience in Washington, is a "puppet of the radical left movement that seeks to destroy the American way of life." Central to Trump's argument is Biden's refusal to strongly condemn the wave of violence that's accompanied 'Black Lives Matter' protests, as well as his pledge to roll back Trump's tax cuts should he win in November.

[Jul 23, 2020] Opinion - Defund the Pentagon- The Liberal Case - POLITICO

Highly recommended!
Jul 23, 2020 | www.politico.com

Defund the Pentagon: The Liberal Case

Cutting the defense budget by a modest 10 percent could provide billions to combat the pandemic, provide health care and take care of neglected communities.

Capitol Souvenir Company, Inc. via Boston Public Library

By SEN. BERNIE SANDERS

07/16/2020 02:15 PM EDT

Sen. Bernie Sanders is an independent from Vermont.

▶ Click here for the conservative case for reducing defense spending.

Fifty-three years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged all of us to fight against three major evils: "the evil of racism, the evil of poverty and the evil of war." If there was ever a moment in American history when we needed to respond to Dr. King's clarion call for justice and demand a "radical revolution of values," now is that time.

Whether it is fighting against systemic racism and police brutality, defeating the deadliest pandemic in more than a hundred years, or putting an end to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, now is the time to fundamentally change our national priorities.

Advertisement

me title=

Sadly, instead of responding to any of these unprecedented crises, the Republican Senate is on a two-week vacation. When it comes back, its first order of business will be to pass a military spending authorization that would give the bloated Pentagon $740 billion -- an increase of more than $100 billion since Donald Trump became president.

me title=

Let's be clear: As coronavirus infections , hospitalizations and deaths are surging to record levels in states across America, and the lifeline of unemployment benefits keeping 30 million people afloat expires at the end of the month, the Republican Senate has decided to provide more funding for the Pentagon than the next 11 nations' military budgets combined.

Under this legislation, over half of our discretionary budget would go to the Department of Defense at a time when tens of millions of Americans are food insecure and over a half-million Americans are sleeping out on the street. After adjusting for inflation, this bill would spend more money on the Pentagon than we did during the height of the Vietnam War even as up to 22 million Americans are in danger of being evicted from their homes and health workers are still forced to reuse masks, gloves and gowns.

Moreover, this extraordinary level of military spending comes at a time when the Department of Defense is the only agency of our federal government that has not been able to pass an independent audit, when defense contractors are making enormous profits while paying their CEOs outrageous compensation packages, and when the so-called War on Terror will cost some $6 trillion.

Let us never forget what Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a former four-star general, said in 1953: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

What Eisenhower said was true 67 years ago, and it is true today.

If the horrific pandemic we are now experiencing has taught us anything it is that national security means a lot more than building bombs, missiles, nuclear warheads and other weapons of mass destruction. National security also means doing everything we can to improve the lives of tens of millions of people living in desperation who have been abandoned by our government decade after decade.

https://3565f954715d35ca5f1c38d2fcda79fc.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Advertisement

me title=

That is why I have introduced an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act that the Senate will be voting on during the week of July 20th, and the House will follow suit with a companion effort led by Representatives Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). Our amendment would reduce the military budget by 10 percent and use that $74 billion in savings to invest in communities that have been ravaged by extreme poverty, mass incarceration, decades of neglect and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under this amendment, distressed cities and towns in every state in the country would be able to use these funds to create jobs by building affordable housing, schools, childcare facilities, community health centers, public hospitals, libraries and clean drinking water facilities. These communities would also receive federal funding to hire more public school teachers, provide nutritious meals to children and parents and offer free tuition at public colleges, universities or trade schools.

This amendment gives my Senate colleagues a fundamental choice to make. They can vote to spend more money on endless wars in the Middle East while failing to provide economic security to millions of people in the United States. Or they can vote to spend less money on nuclear weapons and cost overruns, and more to rebuild struggling communities in their home states.

In Dr. King's 1967 speech, he warned that "a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

He was right. At a time when half of our people are struggling paycheck to paycheck, when over 40 million Americans are living in poverty, and when 87 million lack health insurance or are underinsured, we are approaching spiritual death.

At a time when we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on Earth, and when millions of Americans are in danger of going hungry, we are approaching spiritual death.

At a time when we have no national testing program, no adequate production of protective gear and no commitment to a free vaccine, while remaining the only major country where infections spiral out of control, we are approaching spiritual death.

At a time when over 60,000 Americans die each year because they can't afford to get to a doctor on time, and one out of five Americans can't afford the prescription drugs their doctors prescribe, we are approaching spiritual death.

Now, at this unprecedented moment in American history, it is time to rethink what we value as a society and to fundamentally transform our national priorities. Cutting the military budget by 10 percent and investing that money in human needs is a modest way to begin that process. Let's get it done. MOST READ

  1. Matt Gaetz appears to run afoul of House ethics rules
  2. House votes to remove Confederate statues from Capitol
  3. GOP congressman: Trump's Ghislaine Maxwell comments were 'unacceptably obtuse'
  4. Feds assemble 'Operation Diligent Valor' force to battle Portland unrest
  5. Past D.C. Bar Association chiefs call for probe of William Barr
SHOW COMMENTS POLITICO

[Jul 11, 2020] Bernie Ends In Extreme Failure - caucus99percent

Jul 11, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

snoopydawg on Sat, 07/11/2020 - 1:14pm

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hzvWNs0vDAE?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

The Wizard on Sat, 07/11/2020 - 3:38pm
Bernie's candidacy was too good to be true

As Progressives we are looking for some sign of life, not much, just some sign, any sign. Bernie picked up his political philosophy in NYC in the 1960s, very early. It's Socialism Light, with some twists. His political strategy was to run as an independent, but always as acceptable to the Democrat Party, not a simple trick. His speeches and phrasing are always the same across time. Ever wonder about that? He was the master at parroting socialist ideas, but never offending the Democrat Party. How did he pull this off?
We were shocked that he got so far in 2016 and now. The truth is that the Democrat Party would close ranks to never let him win, and on top of that he was really incapable of creating the political strategy and tactics required for a win, either at the party or national level. However, what he did show us is that the American people will entertain a Socialist message, if it's phased in a way that speaks to their grievances against political/corporate America. The bad news is that he was doomed to failure, but not because of the message, but because of the messenger. He could, in fact, never succeed. Even if he could enumerate a dynamic strategy and message, his dependency on the Party would sink him. In the end he tripped himself up and showed his true colors as a total sycophant. He was utterly screwed by Obama and then said: Sir may I have some more. Obama: Yes, you have to elevate the useless, corrupt, brain addled Biden to hero status. Him: Yes sir, right away, no problem. Really, would you want this person sitting in the White House negotiating with corporations and world leaders?

Shahryar on Sat, 07/11/2020 - 3:49pm
things will be better in 500 years

Seriously. 500 years ago people were executed in England (for example) and their heads were placed on pikes to be displayed on well traveled thoroughfares. We can only imagine what their wars were like.

So I'm figuring 500 years from now we'll have moved on a bit. Can't say how much better it'll be, maybe not much at all. So let me change that to "things will be better in 10,000 years".

[May 26, 2020] Bernie Sanders bares his SHEEPDOG teeth

Notable quotes:
"... "independent" ..."
"... "democratic socialist" ..."
May 26, 2020 | www.rt.com

...to keep own delegates in line for Biden – which was his role all along

Bernie Sanders has warned his delegates against speaking ill of Joe Biden, the embodiment of the Democratic party's corporate core. Beneath the progressive exterior, herding the voters to the establishment is his real function.

In the spring of 2015, when the "independent" Bernie Sanders announced that he was running for United States presidency as a Democrat, the late left Green Party activist Bruce Dixon aptly described Sanders as a "sheepdog" working in service to the corporate and imperial Democratic Party. The role of "democratic socialist" Sanders, Dixon said, would be to shepherd left-leaning voters into the fold, helping give the Wall Street Democrats a progressive, populist, and working-class veneer in the 2016 election.

[May 25, 2020] Rethinking Identity Politics, Left Unity, and the Sanders' Revolution

May 25, 2020 | logosjournal.com

As described by Cedric Johnson in an article entitled, "The Panthers Can't Save Us Now," the neoliberal power elite engage a compartmentalizing, pluralist, all strata accepting, discrete identities constructing strategy. [4]

Capitalists are one of the strata that are equally accepted into a given, siloed identitarian construct (they are accepted for example, in the name of inclusion).

Indicative of this strategy was Hillary Clinton's response to Sanders' critique of capitalism in their first head-to-head debate: as a claimed progressive, she said that contrary to Sanders, the unity she appeals to is for all people, capitalists included; she then portrayed capitalists as small and medium size business people populating the entire country, insinuating that Sanders would harm these many people (supposedly cleaving the singular unity of "the citizens"). [5]

[May 25, 2020] Sanders betrayal can change unpopularity of Biden among his former supporters by Paul Street

May 25, 2020 | www.rt.com
By Paul Street, the author of numerous books, including They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Routledge, 2014) and The Empire's New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power (Routledge, 2011).

Originally from: Bernie Sanders bares his SHEEPDOG teeth to keep own delegates in line for Biden – which was his role all along -- RT Op-ed

Bernie Sanders has warned his delegates against speaking ill of Joe Biden, the embodiment of the Democratic party's corporate core. Beneath the progressive exterior, herding the voters to the establishment is his real function. In the spring of 2015, when the "independent" Bernie Sanders announced that he was running for United States presidency as a Democrat, the late left Green Party activist Bruce Dixon aptly described Sanders as a "sheepdog" working in service to the corporate and imperial Democratic Party. The role of "democratic socialist" Sanders, Dixon said, would be to shepherd left-leaning voters into the fold, helping give the Wall Street Democrats a progressive, populist, and working-class veneer in the 2016 election. A related function was to help the Democrats seem to have selected a Big Business candidate – Hillary Clinton, as everyone already knew even in early 2015 – not by corporate coronation but through an open debate in which the progressive, social-democratic policies ostensibly advocated by Sanders were fairly and democratically defeated. Faithful despite the abuse

Sanders did his best to carry out his 'sheepdog' (or "Judas Goat") task in 2016, consistent with his advance promise to support the eventual Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, in that general election. So what if the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) worked hand-in-glove with each other and the corporate media to demean and smear Sanders and his supporters and to rig the primary race and nomination process against the not-so-independent Senator from Vermont? So what if Clinton ran a shockingly vapid campaign, remarkably devoid of serious policy proposals, and based on little more than the awful character of Donald Trump? And so what if the Clintons and their allies and surrogates treated Sanders with open contempt ?

Read more 'You ain't black' if you support Trump over me – Joe Biden to BLACK radio host

Bernie played his 'sheepdog' role like a good company/party man. Even after all the abuse he received from the Clintons and the DNC during the primary race, he hit the general election campaign trail for "the lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary. Claiming to have won the "most progressive Democratic Party [policy] platform in history," he beseeched his backers to join him in lining up behind the party's deeply flawed establishment candidate.

Sanders' call for unity behind the hopelessly corporatist Clinton was denounced by hundreds of his own delegates on the floor of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. These activists knew that American major party platforms are for show. They knew also that Sanders had squandered any chance of making the Democratic Party more genuinely progressive and social-democratic by promising to back the ultimate Democratic nominee from the start.

Teeth bared this time

Sanders has been 'sheep-dogging' for the corporate Democrats again in 2020. As in 2015-16, he promised in advance to support the eventual 2020 Democratic nominee. Again, as before, Sanders has used the technically irrelevant Democratic Party platform to provide cover both for his surrender and for the corporate Democratic Party.

But there are some differences this time. The capitulation to the corporate candidate – Joe Biden this election cycle – came earlier this year. It has been accompanied by repeated expressions of heartfelt fondness for the corporate party nominee and by regular communication and ongoing collaboration between his staff and that of the presumptive nominee's staff – things far less evident in 2016. And this time, the sheepdog is baring his teeth to keep his followers and representatives in line behind the neoliberal nominee like never before.

Bernie Sanders' delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention (which may be virtual thanks to Covid-19) have been warned . They must refrain from making any disparaging or even mildly critical comments about Biden on social media –Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. They must not speak to the media without permission. They are not to write books, academic studies, and/or articles or create videos or other recordings about the presidential campaign without official authorization.

Publicly expressed dissatisfaction with Biden is strictly prohibited. Failure to abide by these rules could cause Sanders' convention delegates to be stripped of their delegate status and thus of their right to vote on the Democratic Party's nominees and platform. So much for freedom of speech, enshrined in the First Amendment of the US Constitution!

So what if the cognitively crippled and corrupt corporate-imperialist Biden represents the Wall Street and military-industrial wings of the "Democratic" Party with a vengeance in a time when the top tenth of the upper US one percent possesses nearly as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent of the nation – this in a moment when the Covid-19 crisis is laying bare the grotesque inadequacies of America's savagely unequal corporate state? And so what if Biden is a highly unpopular , deeply problematic candidate, far less popular than Sanders, who ran in accord with the nation's officially marginalized , majority-progressive opinion?

Also on rt.com Dynasty Democrats? Prayers for Michelle Obama as VP just show lack of faith in Biden Why the fidelity?

Who has set these repressive rules for Sanders delegates? At first blush, the obvious guess would be the DNC, the central party committee that has long opposed progressive tendencies.

That reasonable guess would be wrong. The commands have come from the Sanders "campaign" itself. It is Bernie himself, not his erstwhile enemies on the DNC, who is telling progressive convention delegates to muzzle their anger at the corporate candidate.

An approving Washington Post report on this is titled "Bernie Sanders, Seeking Peace With Joe Biden, Asks His Own Delegates to Turn Down the Volume."

Read more Who is AOC kidding with populism-manipulating platform game? Biden will never become progressive

"Asks" ? Try "orders."

"Turn down the volume?" It's more like "muzzle yourself or else."

Why is Sanders baring his sheepdog teeth so sharply at his own backers this time around? It's likely about six factors:

Fear of being blamed for a second Trump term (he has been absurdly blamed for the first one by establishment Democrats). Fear that any sign of intra-party dissent will be easily exploited by the Trump campaign. Biden's remarkable unpopularity with Sanders' primary campaign supporters, 51 percent of whom are considering voting for an independent or third party candidate. The end of 78-year-old Sanders' nominal bid for the US presidency: it no longer matters for his fading political career if he alienates many in his support base by being fully exposed as a full-on Democratic Party company man. Strong Biden campaign outreach to Sanders and his staff, coming with a warmer tone of collaboration than the Clinton team's cold coordination with Sanders in 2016. The widely reported affection that Sanders feels for his "good friend" and fellow US Senator Biden. Sanders appears to genuinely like Biden despite "Sleepy Joe's" presence on the right-wing of the Democratic Party.

"The senator – who associates say is closer with Biden than he ever was with [Hillary] Clinton – is seeking to forge a unified front with the former vice president heading into the general election. The two have formed policy working groups and frequently compliment each other. The agreements distributed by the Sanders campaign represent some of the most aggressive attempts yet to achieve harmony," reports the Post.

Years ago, the independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader rightly denounced progressives' friendships with corporate politicos like Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama as dysfunctional and "maudlin." Nader was right. Who cares if "Bernie likes Joe" as Wall Street and corporate America plunder the nation in the middle of a public health crisis that has thrown a fifth or more of the workforce out of their jobs and many of them off of health insurance – desperately in need of the Medicare for All that Sanders campaigned for and that Biden says he would veto if it came to his desk as president? Personal affection, or the lack thereof, between presidential candidates, is a matter of no importance compared to the fate of millions.

[Apr 27, 2020] In my neighborhood, one car with a "Bernie" sticker now has a (home-made) "F*ck Biden" sticker

I sincerity doubt that Bernie supporter would vote for Neoliberal Dems (Clinton wing of Democratic Party) at all. Most probably will vote for the third party, or not vote at all. Few will vote for Trump -- much less then in 2018 as it is not clear what Trump represents and it has nothing to do with bernie program.
Apr 27, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Adam Eran , April 26, 2020 at 2:55 pm

What? After appointing Summers as an economics advisor!? I don't get that as a progressive move, especially after (Biden ally) Pelosi appoints Shalala to oversee CARE. In fact I see no explicit concessions to progressives by the D's or Biden and would welcome the chance to be wrong.

Meanwhile, in my neighborhood, one car with a "Bernie" sticker now has a (home-made) "F*ck Biden" sticker. So there's at least one person Status Quo Joe hasn't convinced.

[Apr 27, 2020] Sanders was parcially done in by the media (first by being ignored, and then incessantly attacked starting about a week before Iowa).

Sunders was more of a preacher, not so much a real candidate. and in no way he wanted to win, he performed the role of a sheepdog .
Apr 27, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Stuart , April 26, 2020 at 3:51 pm

There's a lot of truth in many of the comments here -- good old hindsight. But where I disagree with most of what I am seeing here is the idea that if Sanders had run a better campaign, he would have won.

Two things are important here: (1) Sanders was done in by the media (first by being ignored, and then incessantly attacked starting about a week before Iowa). In my 55 years of watching the tv media I have never seen anything as overt and unfair and extensive. Most significantly this was the so-called "left" of media, MSNBC in particular, who manufactured the false narrative that Sanders represented catastrophe and would lose to Trump [in effect solidifying their demographic for Biden

(2) If all the advice being given here had been followed, still, the stop Sanders movement would likely have found some means or other to succeed in stopping him from securing the nomination. If voters do not know the actual policies of the candidates, they can too easily be manipulated. We need media reform/de-consolidation and a movement away from so-called "debates" that are an insult to the candidates, the voters, and democracy.

FDR Liberal , April 26, 2020 at 4:42 pm

Bernie was never accepted by the DNC establishment in 2016 and 2020. He was bought off by Schumer through committee assignments and threats of irrelevancy in the Senate after 2016. In short, Bernie became an insider because he thought HRC would be president.

In 2020 he doubled down bragging about his legislative accomplishments on the debate stage which is the quintessential insider's game.

You can't worry about your political career, if you are a true outsider. Bernie wanted to be a player more than a game changer and leader of a political movement.

The author consistently mentions The Green New Deal. What legislator in the House outlined the Green New Deal? What legislator in the Senate? AOC in the House and Markey in the Senate.

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.Rxmkv9vDUrt2Lxi4D2v1ngHaEK%26pid%3DApi&f=1

Where was Bernie in the photo opportunity? MIA.

[Apr 27, 2020] Sanders betrayed his supporters with such ease that it is clear that was not an accident -- this was a preplanned "bait and switch" operation

Notable quotes:
"... You can't worry about your political career, if you are a true outsider. Bernie wanted to be a player more than a game changer and leader of a political movement. ..."
Apr 27, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

FDR Liberal , April 26, 2020 at 4:42 pm

Bernie was never accepted by the DNC establishment in 2016 and 2020. He was bought off by Schumer through committee assignments and threats of irrelevancy in the Senate after 2016. In short, Bernie became an insider because he thought HRC would be president.

In 2020 he doubled down bragging about his legislative accomplishments on the debate stage which is the quintessential insider's game.

You can't worry about your political career, if you are a true outsider. Bernie wanted to be a player more than a game changer and leader of a political movement.

The author consistently mentions The Green New Deal. What legislator in the House outlined the Green New Deal? What legislator in the Senate? AOC in the House and Markey in the Senate.

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.Rxmkv9vDUrt2Lxi4D2v1ngHaEK%26pid%3DApi&f=1

Where was Bernie in the photo opportunity? MIA.

likbez , April 26, 2020 at 5:21 pm

FDR Liberal,

> You can't worry about your political career, if you are a true outsider. Bernie wanted to be a player more than a game changer and leader of a political movement.

As sad as it is for me to say that, Bernie was a sheepdog from the very beginning. Actually it was the second time he played this despicable role. The main clue was that he acted as a preacher, not as a candidate. Another is that he claimed Biden to be his friend. With such warmongering neoliberal friends as Biden, who needs enemies ;-). This is how "controlled opposition" typically behaves.

Personnel is policy -- looks at his presidential campaign staff and you will instantly understand who he is.
https://ballotpedia.org/Bernie_Sanders_presidential_campaign_staff,_2020

For example, Faiz Shakir, the campaign manager for Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign, previously worked as an aide to Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, was an editor-in-chief of the ThinkProgress blog. Is not Nanci Pelosi a quintessential neoliberal, a staunch supporter of Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ? And I do not want even start discussing political positions of Harry Reid.

Sanders betrayed his supporters with such ease that it is clear that was not an accident -- this was a preplanned "bait and switch" operation.

Matthew Cunningham-Cook , April 26, 2020 at 4:46 pm

To all of this, I'd really suggest reading Raising Expectations and Raising Hell by Jane McAlevey. Really good on the nuts and bolts of what it takes to organize to win. Also good is "Secrets of Successful Organizer" from Labor Notes.

Jeremy Grimm , April 26, 2020 at 5:01 pm

The memo in this post seems mistaken. Much of it worries about dealing with Warren. Warren did not take Bernie down. She did a wonderful job of shooting herself in the foot multiple times. I don't believe Biden and Obama have so much power to shift the beliefs of the US public. I have trouble believing the Obama years need to be discredited -- they discredited themselves. Item #4 not sure what to say about that. Bernie presented a strong ideological contrast with Trump. Item #5 Castro, O'Rourke, Booker, and Yang, Gabbard, Williamson, and Gillibrand are they really examples of idealistic energy? How do you "rope in" idealistic energy? Is that like herding cats?

Most of the primaries that were held impressed me as part of a remarkably hamhanded but effective effort by the Democratic Party organization to shut Bernie down. I am still unconvinced by Biden's sudden revival and jump in the polls prior to Super Tuesday and I don't understand what happened to suck all the air out of Bernie's campaign after Super Tuesday. The Corona virus didn't help but I cannot accept that the Corona virus, or Warren, or Biden or Obama took Bernie down -- it just doesn't smell right to me.

And I do not agree that the Bernie organization will carry on the fight. Where are the younger leaders who might carry on fighting for the cause? Bernie's coat tails are very short and Bernie is very old. I have read many pundits proclaiming that people put too much faith in a leader -- that a movement needs more action on the ground. I disagree. A movement needs a face, a 'brand' in Marketspeak, and actually I think a movement needs many faces and a common brand to all. [AOC and the Green New Deal don't inspire my confidence and what is left?]

I felt the Berne and now I feel Berne-t. Between dropping Medicare for All and voting for the CARES Act as part of the Senate Kabuki the nicest thing I can say about Bernie right now is that he is full of surprises. But after all is said and done I will be reluctant to send my small checks to any campaign, and after Corona I may need to keep all my small checks to buy things like food and pay rent. As Susan the other says at the beginning of her comment at 3:06 pm noting how: " absurd our politics are in light of our pending extinction" -- I am not sure there will be time for many more Presidential elections before the absurdity of our politics and economics collides with more pressing matters.

[Apr 20, 2020] Looks like Sanders was not merely sheepdog, he was an asset

Apr 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Apr 19 2020 17:52 utc | 48

A lot of famous people have made podcasts about how Sanders was sabotaged by the people he hired to run his campaign.

All these things are explored at The Berniecrat Revolution Will Not Be Televised or: Re-evolution For Dummies

[Apr 18, 2020] Bernie's Political Funeral by Kathleen Wallace

Apr 18, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

Now Sanders definitely had problematic behavior in terms of being a member of Empire Inc. (despite a few good takes) -- overall he was a clear part of the imperialist team. He didn't show signs of any radical beliefs that would truly upset the ongoing death march of capitalism. I believe he was a bit of an FDR in that he might have thrown enough bones to the working class to have staved off unrest. The unmitigated greed necessary to not even allow that much change will surely be looked upon as one of the pivotal moments in American history.

It of course begs the question -- what would have happened without FDR's New Deal? Misery for sure (short-term) but would something radical have been propelled forward without it? What would this time look like now if a more overt rebellion had ensued? I always thought it was a given that these measures were good and kind, but now I know the whole system is pure trash and always was -- it's seductive though, when you see people suffer through healthcare disparities and debt, you want them to be helped because you're not a monster. Sanders was a siren song for immediate relief, or at least the illusion of it. Certainly, it's a trap a lot of people with empathy fall into.

It's terrifying to consider complete collapse when you know so many will suffer -- you don't know what will emerge on the other side. It could be far worse. By the same token, backing Sanders and other milquetoast types could be like pulling off a band aid for decades and then generations -- the pain is always there, but you're able to continue functioning as a proper member of the state, there for them to feed off of. I don't pretend to know the right way to proceed, but sometimes I'm weak and want the suffering to be mitigated. That could perhaps be at the expense of a truly needed systemic overhaul that might bring real change. I just don't know, but that is basically why I supported Sanders. I'm just tossing around ideas, not solutions or decrees.

The sheer lunacy of participating in something so completely and fully rigged isn't compatible with self-esteem though, and a lot of Bernie supporters, who overall are good and genuine people, merely wanted a better life for everyone. These supporters are feeling humiliated and played. Because they were. And they didn't deserve it. All they wanted was a fair vote and media that was at least somewhat unbiased. They received neither.

I really hoped the DNC wouldn't take the path of dodgy apps in Iowa and causing by whatever means, the mismatches in exit polling extreme enough to indicate fraud. I was not surprised that they did this, but even I was taken aback by their use of voters as hostages. Encouraging in-person voting during a pandemic is an evil that I didn't consider they would utilize. What else is in their bag of tricks? Kindergarten poisonings? Jesus DNC -- you're some sick fucks. Tom Perez, what the hell are you? I'm sure that factored into Sanders dropping out when he did. Continued in-person voting would surely increase, umm . plague issues. The slight traction he could have continued to have in advancing things like universal healthcare during a pandemic wasn't even allowed to continue. This is a system that has nothing left to offer but wasted time and money from people who can't afford either.

One thing perplexing about the current situation is this: Does the DNC really even want to win? Continued, generalized venom abounds in their treatment towards the left and even Sanders exudes petulant bitchiness towards his own previous staffers and surrogates. I'm thinking in particular of his statement in regard to Briahna Joy Gray when asked about her refusal to endorse Biden. He snarkily said "She is my former press secretary -- not on the payroll."

One shouldn't be surprised though, because he did the same treatment to surrogate Zephyr Teachout. She had an op-ed piece awhile back saying that Biden had a corruption problem. Bernie apologized .to Biden. Bernie is very good at letting down his supporters. He would be the dad you come home to and complain that a bully beat you up. He would listen with attention and care, but then march you over to the bully's house to apologize for sinking to the bully's level.

More along the lines of do they really want to win??? The Biden campaign had an unbelievable sticker to pull in the vote, I guess .one that showed "plutocrat" and "socialist" crossed out and replaced with "proud democrat". The inevitable conclusion is that they don't want the Bernie supporters who identify with socialism and are fueling up to come off as distasteful to the Independent voters who decide general elections.

I'm sure the plutocrats aren't concerned. They win no matter what. The conclusion I come to is that they are ready to lose, in fact are fine with it, as their class will be protected. Despite the obvious embarrassing optics of a Trump presidency, the meat of it is that these types do well under his policies. It's seeming to be a lot like theater and being continuously dismissive to the left, to the point of overt hostility will keep voters away from Biden.

... ... ...

[Apr 17, 2020] How sheep dog Bernie RussiaGated himself

Some pretty interesting comments on Bernie and Creepy Joe. Bernie RussiaGated himself.
Notable quotes:
"... I realised he was a con-man after what he did in 2016. Broke my heart. He didn't even defend Tulsi! ..."
"... Also George Carlin said "lazy selfish people elect lazy selfish politicians" ..."
Apr 17, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Bill Edley , 2 days ago (edited)

Aaron makes an Excellent point that Democrats "needed a way to resist not only Trump but Bernie Sanders appeal." Bingo!!!

greenearth , 2 days ago

"Bernie is the lamest revolutionary ever" - Tucker Carlson, Fox news His latest lame endorsement of sleepy joe just strengthened that statement

Matthew Sano , 2 days ago

"He's (Bernie) a catalyst but he's not part of the solution." ~ Economist Michael Hudson (The Jimmy Dore Show published on Feb 27, 2019.)

Thor Crowley , 2 days ago

.. to say it with a George Carlin quote : If you still think there is a solution (within the system) you are part of the problem

jeff murray , 2 days ago (edited)

Bernie didn't want a revolution. He wanted the establishment to accept his candidacy. If they didn't accept it then he was not going to fight. He wasted 3+ years of my time and energy. Not to mention betraying Waffle House waitresses across the country, who repeatedly donated money they needed to Bernie's campaign.

Ar Jun , 2 days ago (edited)

The US dodged a bullet with Bernie dropping out "my friend Joe" "Joe can beat Trump" & not supporting Tulsi from being smeared & erased! Bernie has no balls - the guy endorsed Hillary & now Biden - slapping Tulsi in the face for quitting, destroying her career for him!

BK , 2 days ago (edited)

v> Aaron has made a career over all the false trump hoax's and exposing them. To bad he's blinded in other ways and is can't be objective about Bernie and the dem establishment. Unfortunately he part of the problem because at the end of the day he looks the other way. And excuses those in media who lie cuz they have kids to feed. Never gonna be change with that attitude...very Bernie like.

Alex Bravo , 2 days ago

" You Don't Need To Be a Jew To be a Zionist , I am a Zionist " , J. Biden ...

CrackOfDoom , 2 days ago (edited)

I realised he was a con-man after what he did in 2016. Broke my heart. He didn't even defend Tulsi!

Dirty Dog , 2 days ago

Sanders was never a serious candidate. For the second time in his 40ys of public service he became sort of relevant. He was the joke of the senate all these years. A complete fraud.

The Last And First Time , 2 days ago

Hard to win a campaign when you lack the spine needed to go after your opponent.

sarahspeaks144 , 2 days ago div cla

ss="comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> "The answer is there is no point," as cogently analyzed by our ever-faithful Jimmy Dore. "The Young Turks" are not progressive and neither is Bernie. In 2016, Cenk Uygar surrendered to the Hillary-Killary inevitability faster than Bernie could say, "Just let me know when it's time to quit." Here is the master conspiracy theory that resolves all of this. Bernie is paid by the DNC, Russia, and The Clinton Foundation to excite real Progressives that "the revolution will be televised." Then he caves. How effective is that plan? It channels and harnesses a critical mass of energy and momentum in order to throw it over the cliff. In two consecutive presidential elections, Bernie Sanders led the lemmings to the Pied Piper's house. How dumb are we? The establishment has framed a political strategy whereby the hopes of the people are continually and unrelentingly crushed by the smoke-and-mirrors deceptions of their elusive "leader." Eventually, the poor deluded people simply stop believing in any of it, and the establishment wins. Can anyone prove me wrong?

Double Doink , 1 day ago

The DNC is really brilliant in the way they stomp out Progressives and still get them to vote for their corporate stooges in the end.

ppm120667 , 2 days ago

Also George Carlin said "lazy selfish people elect lazy selfish politicians" .

Wells , 2 days ago (edited)

"You vote for the whoever is least worst and then you push them in the direction you can." But you give up all of your leverage to move them as soon as you vote for them...

Scara Mouche , 2 days ago

"Their there to destroy any threat to corporate america." And Bernie a cog in that machine

Big Deeper , 2 days ago

Bernie sold everyone out. He's a two time loser who fleeced his dumb supporters to buy houses.

Torris Bin Anunnaki , 1 day ago

Aaron on Bernie's fecklessness: credulity, cowardice and careerism

Jose Penuelas , 2 days ago

They're still pretending buttigieg won Iowa?

darrenandkam , 1 day ago

Bernie Sanders was a plant, just there to mislead the working class that they have someone truly fighting for they cause. While robbing us of our money and time.

Jesse Anderson , 1 day ago

Bernie was too old in 2016. He's way too old now. He didn't want it. He didn't have the fight or the drive. He was just going through the motions. Probably for another book deal.

compassionistheway , 1 day ago

Sadly it seems Bernie turned out to be representative of "not so obvious establishment." Bernie has done this to us twice now. He has funneled sincere supporters who want real change towards establishment. Earlier towards Hillary and this time towards Biden.Bernie with his endorsement has lost my respect.

[Apr 17, 2020] The word socialism became just a neoliberal smear. We should talk about public sector vs private sector, not about socialism

Highly recommended!
Apr 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

migueljose , Apr 16 2020 14:13 utc | 150

The word socialism is meaningless. A government, by nature is socialistic. Again, following up on my sociopathy comment, it's on a spectrum. Some governments-- Sweden, Finland, Cuba-- do more, others-- Guatemala, Honduras, now Bolivia-- do less.

"Public sector" would be a more accurate term to describe what the particular government in question is using public funds. Tennessee, for example, will not put out your house fire if you have not paid your "fire tax". Most southeastern states have smaller public sectors than northern states.
Another issue: be honest. Military is public sector. Police, prisons... public sector. you a cop? your public sector. your money comes from the people. That's socialism. It makes no sense for right wingers to be against "socialism" and work for the public sector.

Bernie never defined "socialism" accurately which allowed DNC scum and republicans to tar him with that dirty word since we Americans are so addicted to Fox, CNN and MSNBC.

[Apr 14, 2020] Sanders bought Russiagate hook, line and sinker; which means that he was a patsy from the very beginning

Apr 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

occupatio , Apr 13 2020 19:35 utc | 17

The Grayzone covered "The Russiagate Racket targets Bernie Sanders' surge"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8io9WfiGQzY

Instead of fighting back against 'intelligence sources' fabricating smears of him as the favored candidate of Russia, Sanders just went along with the larger Russiagate narrative and the imperialist agenda of the govt. In this respect, he's as compliant as Biden, and even worse since he was happy to sacrifice himself to preserve the false narratives to justify aggression abroad.

[Apr 14, 2020] I have to confess that I am really shocked at the way he has treated his supporters in 2020 - in American terms, he really should refund every donor because he took their money under false pretences. But...Sanders did achieve something - even though it was not what he intended.

Apr 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ADKC , Apr 14 2020 3:50 utc | 69

Circe @29

"Looks like Ziofascist Trump regime is set to win again."

It doesn't have to be!

Sanders was great - he achieved far more than he intended or wanted - but he was always compromised probably all the way back to 1980.

Sanders would have lost his political position long ago unless he had come to an "understanding" with the Democratic Party. The deal was something along the lines of "you support the Democratic Party and we won't primary you".

It is almost certain that Sanders was intended to be controlled opposition in 2016 but something strange happened. People were looking for change and they heard it in Sanders and they believed and Hillary lost the nomination (until' it was fixed) - this was not the plan. It was not what Sanders intended but it meant something. 2020 has all been about destroying Sanders message (which he didn't believe in anyway - at least not to the extent of actually obtaining the nomination).

I have to confess that I am really shocked at the way he has treated his supporters in 2020 - in American terms, he really should refund every donor because he took their money under false pretences. But...Sanders did achieve something - even though it was not what he intended.

Forget about Sanders, he was always going to let you down - now is the time to look for an alternative.

As far as Sanders is concerned, the next senate election for Vermont is in 2024 - I trust Vermont voters will punish Sanders for his disingenuous behaviour.

Bernie Sanders - "He could have been a contender but he took a dive."

Miss Lacy , Apr 14 2020 16:35 utc | 123

I had thought that I would not comment more on murkan politics - and with respect to those of you who are trying to see silver linings in the capitulations of Sanders and Gabbard - but, now I read that O'bomber has just endorsed the crook, aka Biden, to "restore the soul of the nation." Wow. So I guess that means that the soul of the Dimmocrat Nation is bombing burning looting... Syria Yemen Venezuela Nicaragua Ecuador North Korea Iran Iraq Afghanistan..
O'Bomber had his bloody hands in those places - Ukrainia - Democrat Country, right Yaz..?

Yes Noah Way - the empire in on suicide watch but the peeps seem to be too fat and too delusional to do much. Me thinks the end will come not from any "popular uprising" but rather from the eventual crash of the almightydollar.

[Apr 14, 2020] Bernie a has struck a blow against the Neo-liberal order, has opened the national awareness to a host of subjects never before openly discussed in a national campaign.

Notable quotes:
"... Whatever steps Bernie may have made towards "revolution", he wiped them out with his normalizing of Democratic party election theft, by twice leading his followers into a political death trap, and worst of all, by endorsing and campaigning for pathological warmongers like Hillary Clinton and now the dementia-addled corporate tool Joe Biden. ..."
Apr 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Copeland , Apr 14 2020 2:14 utc | 63

This is a filthy election cycle; and it is not the fault of Bernie Sanders. The petulant children and aging children who are spitting up over this thread are the committed cynics, as they point fingers and call Bernie a cynic. What a spectacle of immaturity and arrested development! What a field day for lost souls and dilettantes. For the hasbara too; they certainly had motive for driving a stake in the heart of the Sander's campaign.

Do these people have thoughts that go to any depth? They are more like a Lynch Mob who are all tugging at the collar and waistband of the victim. They have turned around to stare blankly into the camera so that their insipid faces can be memorialized, so that their fuming contempt can be captured. They are asking something of posterity as they turn their backs on the crime.

There would have been no campaign at all, no permission to participate in the primaries, if Bernie had not agreed to support the ultimate nominee of the Party. The narrative about betrayal supports the agendas of those who bear a great hatred against him.

None of those that went forward behind Bernie Sanders--especially those who were really a part of the actual events--were lied to or betrayed, because his position of supporting the Party's choice was made public at his rallies and campaign events.

Right after Bernie announced that he was suspending his campaign, words of admiration and appreciation poured in from notable political scientists and journalists and other thoughtful people: Noam Chomsky, Matt Taibbi, Naomi Klein, --all of them describing Bernie Sanders contributions to this nation and his courage, and naming his achievements in this campaign. Bernie a has struck a blow against the Neo-liberal order, has opened the national awareness to a host of subjects never before openly discussed in a national campaign. And in a dignified and genuinely passionate manner he has modeled what an admirable man can do in the pursuit of justice.


Jackrabbit , Apr 14 2020 14:50 utc | 103

William Gruff @87:

... Sanders' campaign was a movement.

LOL. "was"

Movements don't fade away like that.

=
The problem people are having with Sanders is that they are mistaking a social democrat for a socialist.

No. The problem is that Sander's was never a real candidate. A real candidate wouldn't be so deferential to Hillary and the Democratic Party.

He misled us. His quixotic goal was to take over the Democratic Party. Independent progressives warned that this was doomed to fail and pointed out his sheepdogging every step of the way.

In response, the Democratic Party sent out dembot trolls to urge young people to trust in Sanders.

=
Sanders' campaign in the US has changed the game.

No. It has better revealed the game.

=
Now is the time to make the distinction that socialism is a replacement for capitalism ...

Gruff points us to the next brick wall as he deflects blame from the Deep State-controlled duopoly.

The first step is secure a real democracy.

=
Socialized medicine was verboten, or worse, evil.

No. Obama promised to include a 'public option' in his healthcare reform. This was one of the many promises that Obama broke as he betrayed his base. For this, he was practically sainted by the Democratic Party. What a guy.

Obama Repeatedly Touted Public Option Before Refusing To Push For It In The Final Hours

NY Times Reporter Confirms Obama Made Deal to Kill Public Option

Even while President Obama was saying that he thought a public option was a good idea and encouraging supporters to believe his healthcare plan would include one, he had promised for-profit hospital lobbyists that there would be no public option in the final bill.

The Real Obama Betrayal

!!

Trisha , Apr 14 2020 14:54 utc | 104
Whatever steps Bernie may have made towards "revolution", he wiped them out with his normalizing of Democratic party election theft, by twice leading his followers into a political death trap, and worst of all, by endorsing and campaigning for pathological warmongers like Hillary Clinton and now the dementia-addled corporate tool Joe Biden.

If you take his statement in 1989 about the need for an alternative third party to heart, then he's been misleading progressives for 31 years into the Democratic party swamp.

Jackrabbit , Apr 14 2020 15:11 utc | 106
The genuine Movements that we have today are Wikileaks/Assange and Gillets Jaunes.

Their steadfast determination for real change shows how much Sanders' falls short. And reveals where Sanders' loyalty lies - with the pro-Empire, Zionist establishment.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

!!

[Apr 14, 2020] The fact that Sanders supporting Biden suggests he was a "stalking horse" from the very beginning

Lookslike Bernie was a new variation of bait and switch maneuver. Was he an asset from the beginning is not clear, but possibly yes.
Notable quotes:
"... Makes me wonder if Bernie was an "asset" the whole time. Certain elements make more sense that way. ..."
Apr 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
GoDark , Apr 13 2020 19:42 utc | 21
Sanders supporting Biden just as his message had relevance suggests he was a "stalking horse" from the very beginning. If the DNC replaces Biden with Governor Cuomo (New York) or Governor Newsom (California) ... in spite of the primary elections ... it will prove beyond a doubt that democracy in the USA is a sham. The evidence suggests that federal elections are decided in back rooms and then posted on the Internet with storylines that fake elections.

No wonder neoliberals (a euphemism for globalists) hate Trump. He pulled a fast one on the establishment. Hillary rolled up a few population centers ... but they forgot about the Electoral College that abrogates "one man one vote" in Presidential elections by giving the states in the Great Flyover more votes than the coasts. Trump "out scammed the scammers" ... a cardinal sin in neoliberal politics. The neoliberals desperately want revenge to ensure this never happens again.


Jackrabbit , Apr 13 2020 19:58 utc | 26

Dumbass sheeple fooled again .

Bernie, Hillary, Biden, and other Duopoly asshats are LMFAO. It never grows old.

Can we now treat the dembot trolls like the cancer they are?

!!

Stonebird , Apr 13 2020 20:00 utc | 27
Pindos | Apr 13 2020 18:51 utc | 5
"Sanders - a weak commie. His jew pals are embarrassed. 🤢"

You got it the wrong way round.

On the morning after Sanders withdrew from the race DMFI** president Mark Mellman sent out an email to supporters expressing his pleasure over the result. He also took some credit for the outcome "Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign for president. That's a big victory -- one you helped bring about."

Mellman also reminded his associates that the victory was only a first step in making sure that the Democratic Party platform continues to be pro-Israel, writing that "Extreme groups aligned with Sanders, as well as some of his top surrogates -- including Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar -- have publicly declared an effort to make the platform anti-Israel. As a career political professional, I will tell you that if Democrats adopt an anti-Israel platform this year, the vocabulary, views, and votes of politicians will shift against us dramatically. We simply can't afford to lose this battle."

**Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) . The DMFI is a registered political action committee (PAC) that lobbies on behalf of the Jewish state. It was organized in 2019 by Democratic Party activists to counter what was perceived to be pro-Palestinian sentiment within the party's progressive wing.

Basically they did a "Corbyn" on a candidate who was considered a "socialist" and too pro-Palestinian.

Circe , Apr 13 2020 20:18 utc | 29
The following quote has been attributed to Lyndon B. Johnson by Ronald Kessler, journalist and historian.:
These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.

I'll have those n**gers voting Democratic for 200 years.

Looks like Johnson was right! All it took was the Civil Rights Act to get blacks to vote against their best interests for 56 years. So there's 144 years left before blacks realize they sold their soul to a blue devil that's no different from the red devil and until progressives will finally have a real democracy. Oh how I despise herd mentality.

Look, I'm not going to trash Bernie Sanders, because I know his heart, and I now see the majority of blacks will never be with him no matter what he tried to gain their confidence, so he was doomed whichever way you look at it.

That said, Biden is out of the question and I'll be damned if Democrats are going to win after what they pulled on Bernie again.

Looks like Ziofascist Trump regime is set to win again.

Adrian E. , Apr 13 2020 20:42 utc | 32
How almost everyone dropped out after the South Carolina primary looks staged. But Sanders, the sheepdog candidate is also a part of the play, whether he is fully aware of it.

What reason would there be for voting for a corrupt neoliberal proponent of all illegal US wars of aggression who played a key role for mass incarceration and whose career was bankrolled by the credit card industry and other special interests? Close to none, certainly for people who are remotely progressive. There had been little reason for supporting a far-right warmonger like Biden a few years ago, and with obvious signs of mental decline, there are hardly more reasons.

But with Bernie Sanders, a center-left candidate who, in contrast to Biden, has some semblance of personal integrity, campaigning for the corrupt warmonger, there may be the hope that some people who do not share Biden's far right views will still vote for him. But I think Sanders' behavior does more for undermining his own credibility than for creating the illusion that Biden has any credibility.

Miss Lacy , Apr 13 2020 20:42 utc | 33
So there I was wreching - Bernie endorses the babbling crook Biden... and then - well full on barfing! Michelle O'Bomber!!??? What exactly is her skill set? other than the fact that she is married to the manchurian O'Bomber - who bombed at least one somebody - often without even knowing the victims name/s - Every Single Day of his Miserable Regime. Just call him Mr. Dyncorp. Really, as William Griff observed in another thread, murkans are
completely irreparably delusional.
Jen , Apr 13 2020 20:47 utc | 34
Sad to see that whatever political legacy Bernie Sanders leaves behind, it will be tainted by his behaviour and decisions he made during his Presidential election campaigns in 2016 and 2020. Particularly inexplicable is how he failed to challenge the Super Tuesday results back in March. Surely of all people, given his career background, Sanders could have disputed the results.
Covergirl , Apr 13 2020 21:12 utc | 38
Makes me wonder if Bernie was an "asset" the whole time. Certain elements make more sense that way. I am both horrified and amused at the way progressives seem to be on board with the sellout. Ah well, looks like I'll actually have to vote for Trump this time. Didn't see that coming but I'll be damned if I silently consent to Biden being President.

I'll have to start building guillotines for the spike in demand come next year.

gm , Apr 13 2020 21:36 utc | 42
Former longtime Bernie-booster Jimmy Dore has been ripping Sanders relentlessly (and hilariously) on his YT channel for weeks, ever since Bernie rolled over and went dead during debate w/Biden.
Piero Colombo , Apr 13 2020 22:59 utc | 47
Sandersites here can protest all they want that they did not expect "this", it doesn't change the fact that Sanders was nothing but the sheepdog that gets out at every election season. Now that all those Sanders-supporting boobies have definitively destroyed any chance of doing anything significant in the way of third parties, it's useless to protest that they "won't vote Biden". The useless Hopium-addicted gulls already did the wrecking job, even though they had been warned. Both times. Good job... liberals.
A User , Apr 14 2020 0:58 utc | 55
re Josh | Apr 14 2020 0:44 utc | 54 who claimed "When he decided to run as a Democrat you have to sign a contract that you will endorse the person nominated" As you conceeded it isn't the convention yet so sanders did not have to endorse right now. That and the way it was done - not a quiet press release, he took part in creepy joe's campaign release to make his fawning pronouncement. Nowhere does that get stated in any 'contract'.
It is plain that if sanders isn't some sort of dungeon visiting masochist who enjoys the humiliation, he has to be a run of the mill greedhead prepared to do say anything that will get a cash payoff. That was probably his plan from the beginning as everything he did from the 1st caucus to the end was all about scraping and bowing to his 'betters' no mind what cheating and robbery was inflicted on his campaign.
A liar, a sellout who has created another generation of cynics - well done 'bernie'.

[Apr 14, 2020] The media has been largely taken over by a criminal gang (Operation Mockingbird), and the same gang has taken over the Democrat party

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Something is seriously sick about the DNC and it's collusion with the media. The pretence of democracy is crashing and the oligarchy exposed. ..."
Apr 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

PJB , Apr 14 2020 12:02 utc | 91

@Wlliam Gruff

Whether social democrat or socialist - I agree Sanders did progress the cause for needed societal, financial and political change.

But why did he fold so weakly and meekly in both 2016 and again now?

Especially in the face of obvious vote rigging by the Hillary campaign (as proven in a Florida civil court ruling - albeit with the judge's decision accepting the DNC Defense argument that the DNC has the right to appoint their candidate and override the primaries - sudden untimely death of two of the lawyers for the Bernie Sanders supporters who brought the case as well).

This time the totally unexpected victory on "Super Thursday" as Sleepy Joe called it in 9 state primaries stinks to high heaven. Maybe he did win given the media support and enough ignoramuses voted for a man who is blatantly suffering dementia as well as having been a corrupt nepotist of the highest order and an alleged rapist and video documented serial creepy fondler of women and young children.

Something is seriously sick about the DNC and it's collusion with the media. The pretence of democracy is crashing and the oligarchy exposed.

Trump will win - because many will hope he is a renegade oligarch who has some moral compass even if a broken one.

William Gruff , Apr 14 2020 12:32 utc | 93

PJB @89

A social democrat will refuse to demand that General Motors make concessions to the workers unless General Motors is making solid profits. Extend the concept to the entire economy. Capitalism is in crisis. For a social democrat that means heavy demands are off the table until the crisis is resolved and capitalism returns to profitability. How could Sanders deliver on his promises even if he won? Better to just throw in the towel, at least from a social democrat perspective.

"Something is seriously sick about the DNC and it's collusion with the media."

Indeed, but there is more to it. The mass media isn't so much colluding with the Dems as the media has been largely taken over by a criminal gang ( Operation Mockingbird ), and the same gang has taken over the Democrat party. Instructions to both the mass media and the Dems are coming from the same folks, so it looks like collusion, but actual direct connections between the two will not be so conspicuous.

[Apr 11, 2020] History repeats

Apr 11, 2020 | off-guardian.org

John Flanagan ,

I am probably a case in point for this article. When Trump was elected, I got a "sharing my grief" letter from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). This was my response to his letter, posted November 18, 2016:
Thank you, Sen. Merkley, for the reassurance and encouragement.

Although I voted a straight Democratic ticket, I had no enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton.

I was angry that the Democratic Party has allowed itself to fall into the neo-con, neo-liberal, globalist approach/understanding of our most important issues and gave up the nationalism and populism that was so important to the Progressive movement. This morphing of the Party is something I've watched with considerable dismay for many years. The powers and influences that have taken over the Party are bringing it to ruin, and are ultimately responsible for this mind-boggling defeat.

We are all going to have to pay a lot more attention to politics in the coming years. We no longer have the luxury of tending to our own families and affairs, trusting that our government is in good hands, led by people who will do the right thing and not let anything catastrophic happen. I did not have such confidence in Hillary Clinton, by the way. From the outset I was in favor of a Biden/Warren ticket, and hoped that Elizabeth would be our first female President, not Hillary. But then, I grew up in Oklahoma, and believe she's a progressive, Oklahoma populist down deep.

The news coverage of the election by NPR was abysmal, in my view. This defeat was not a revolt of the "losers," of the declining White middle class males, and the rise of misogyny, racism and isolationism. (Those words were not used, of course, but that understanding appeared to me to be embedded in the analysis.)

Isn't it possible that liberal, progressive, educated Americans might be unhappy with the way American power, prestige, money and "soft" power has been squandered, and towards what ends? Do you think educated

Americans are in favor of paring down the Constitution, beginning with the First and Second Amendments? Do you believe that ordinary American citizens are to be feared, are the enemy? Do you think they are all on board with spending trillions of dollars on Middle East wars, creating destabilized states and the refugee crisis, and letting our own infrastructure deteriorate and

Social Security go bankrupt? Will the SS funds borrowed to fund these and other wars, and to balance budgets, ever be repaid? Do you think Americans are so dumbed down and cynical that they would look to the Clintons as "wholesome" examples of what is best in America and for uncorrupted leadership? Do you think no one either heard or remembered "We came, we saw, he died! Ha, ha, ha"? Or have not heard Hillary's intent to establish a no-fly zone in Syria, knowing full well that such an action could lead to war with Russia? Do you think educated Americans really bought the "killing of Osama bin Laden" theater? Did you? I admit that the tired "Osama" specter had to be laid to rest, but why not do it in an upright and out front manner? Why all the deceit? It is this kind of deeply embedded dishonesty and resulting corruption of justice, integrity and open political process that has brought the Democratic Party into disrepute. Do you think people remain ignorant of the Clinton Foundation's pay-for-play method of enriching themselves, or that the Foundation transferred $1.8 billion to Doha? Where did all that loot come from? We are not talking here of Bill Gates, or the CEO of Google. Where did the money come from?

I do not put you in the same camp. My first encounter with you was when you gave the keynote speech at the first graduating class of the MET in Tigard. You have never tainted yourself with lies and falseness. Maybe it is easier to retain your integrity being from Oregon, since I have the same high regard for Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio. You are the exemplars of liberal, progressive values and grassroots democracy, not Hillary Clinton.

As much as I have grown to dislike Hillary Clinton, listening to her concession speech, I had a sense of tragedy. She seems such an intelligent, lovely woman.

It could and probably should have ended differently. Was it ambition that destroyed her, or hubris and lack of humility? What happened to her respect for the intelligence and basic decency of the American people? Where has simple honesty gone?

She appears to me to have taken the "left-hand path," and perhaps it is better that she be personally ruined than allowed to take the country to ruin along with her, since that path always ends in ruin.

I hope for the best. We will, I trust, survive a Donald Trump administration. There will be damage, of course. Trump has to repay supporters who put their own political careers at risk to back him. This is frightening all by itself–imagine a Sarah Palin in charge of the Department of Energy! I fear the dismantling of all the federal regulatory agencies that five generations of Americans have worked so hard to put in place–one of the great achievements of the Progressive movement. Imagine BPA sold off to the highest bidder, or our public lands bartered off to pay for the ruinous wars we have been visiting on the Middle East!

By writing you in this frank way, I do not mean to be disrespectful. As I said, I hold you, Rep. Blumenauer and Rep. DeFazio in high regard, and believe Oregon has the best congressional delegation in the nation, bar none. More tThan ever, we all depend upon you to be honest, vigilant and courageous, and prevent the worst possible outcomes from this disaster from being realized.

Best of luck!

Sincerely,

John D. Flanagan

[Apr 10, 2020] Sanders jumps overboard leaving clueless Captain Biden at helm of Democrats' burning ship

Apr 10, 2020 | www.rt.com

Things have never looked worse for the Democratic Party, which just lost the last semblance of mental competence as Bernie Sanders drops out of the race. With Joe Biden withering by the day, will Gov. Andrew Cuomo get the call?

[Apr 10, 2020] This despicable turncoat Sanders supportted Russiagate

This is a litmus test of establishment shill
Apr 10, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Dewey Farmer , 2 years ago

That is when I had enough Bernie, and realized he would just be more of the same. Thanks for all the info on Crimea. I admittedly don't know very much about it. I did watch a confusing documentary on netflix, but don't know if it was propaganda or not.

D Smith , 2 years ago div

> Excellent video – please consider producing a weekly half hour lecture with a listener(s) (friend) to ask questions. you can recruit a friend or strangerand just engage in a conversation. You can experiment with interesting local locations – garden, coffee shop patio, park Title something like regime change for dummies, Ukraine For Dummies, Crimea for dummies, whatever subjects interest you and which you think the public is being misinformed about . keep it casual – need better lighting :)

[Apr 10, 2020] Another Sanders Betrayal by Laurie Dobson

Apr 10, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

April 10, 2020

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

As people come to grips with the announcement today that Bernie Sanders has suspended, i.e. dropped out of, his campaign, a myriad of collective feelings will have to run their inevitable course.

My first reactions are that I feel profoundly let down. In the middle of Holy Week, for God's sake! While the virus is peaking and people are losing things right and left, how does it help that he does this now?

Bernie has always had terrible timing, a consequence of having bad advisors from the beginning. He always seemed to be reluctant to agree to anything people were crying out for him to say, especially to stop calling Biden a 'good and decent' man, his good friend, Joe Biden, the party's only remaining nominee: an old man with a credible sexual assault allegation recently come to light; a serial plagiarist, a promoter of the worst policies the centrists had to offer.

Let me put this in clear terms: Joe Biden, the Democratic Party choice for President- a man with diminished mental capacities, is going against one of the most ruthless contenders in Presidential history, Donald J. Trump. On Bernie's watch, and with his participation by concession, the Democratic Party will be utterly destroyed in November, and will have richly deserved it.

Bernie would also not fight back against Warren and her outrageous sexism charge. He wanted his kindly reputation to endure in a campaign that was not supposed to be about him.

In the end, this campaign was all about Bernie. This may not sound very charitable. I could not believe however, that there were no admissions of any missteps in his concession speech. No mention that he could have done more to address the concerns of many people.

For instance, although he said he was inclusive, he did not pay any particular regard to those not in the minority segments or youth age brackets that he was trying to romance. He would not stray from the talking points hammered into our brains, trying to burn a legacy into place, to make the case that he was the originator of these ideas, and, in my view, trying a little too hard to rewrite history.

His last speech as a contender showed him once more taking credit for these ideas becoming mainstream. Although he clearly was a defender, or at least a constant repeater of these ideas, was he helping "build a movement" by stamping his brand all over them? The progressive ideas that he embraced did not belong to him. Occupy was involved in income inequality long before Bernie hitched his wagon to that star.

Bernie did not come up with a tax on speculation on Wall Street (an idea that I supported in my run as an Independent from Maine for US Senate in 2008). It actually came from James Tobin, an economist who won the Nobel Prize. Tobin originated the concept of the STT (Securities Transaction Tax), which would be an optimal way to fight back against the tax breaks and cuts that Congress has showered on the rich for several decades. https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/economic-sciences/1981/press-release/]

The fight for minimum wage has been a progressive effort since I was young, hardly a new idea. Not a Sanders idea, although to be fair, he has strongly endorsed the idea for a long time. The same goes for single payer, or healthcare for all. Others, notably Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP) have fought these fights on behalf of the progressive cause.

Bernie adopted those ideas into the progressive platform he ran on. The need was evident, but the ideas are not new and are not his alone. Maybe he has fought for these things in the Senate, and as an Independent from Vermont, which would be a reasonable thing to do to stay in power, since they are among the most popular ideas for change in the country.

I am not impressed that Bernie could not summon the willpower to respond to the efforts of those who wanted him to go to battle. I wrote many columns trying to appeal to him to suit up. I attended ten of his campaign events in New Hampshire this time out and wrote and made videos to support his efforts from the beginning of this second campaign. I have tried to reach the campaign to no avail, to urge them to heighten their response and sharpen their attack on substandard candidates' ideas.

Bernie was staggeringly passive; he let one opportunity after another go whizzing past with weak responses, if any, in the face of a growing Democratic resurgence determined to destroy him. His silences emboldened the corporate centrists, and confused supporters, who thought he would take the huge advantage they gave him and surge forth, brandishing fury and determination. Instead, he endlessly equivocated.

I have to own my part in this: I was stunned in 2016 when he said Hillary was right and that nobody cares about her damn emails. From the beginning I saw him back down. Everything since then has been consistent: he never went full tilt. He wanted to be loved more than being right at all costs. He was able to be loved again, and forgiven again, and able to let us down again. Yet I went along with it; I still worked on his behalf.

Despite his recent abdication (and, for some of us, his serial betrayal) Bernie Sanders will be remembered fondly, and he will likely be forgiven by the majority of his followers. Jacobin Magazine has written an article entitled "Thank You, Bernie," making the case that Sanders two campaigns have made it possible to talk about socialism in America. It's now okay apparently that he will be endorsing and campaigning for Joe Biden, who shamed Anita Hill and is now shaming Tara Reade. I have lived to witness the day this has happened. It is not a joke.

After losing last time, Bernie did an amazing job of trying to convince his hardcore supporters to stay in the Democratic Camp to support Clinton. Why would he not support Dr. Stein in 2016, who endorsed his platform? If he wanted a Revolution, she and the Green Party were the logical choice.

Why does he stay in the race now, collecting delegates which may still come his way this time around? He hasn't succeeded in explaining this, which leads to the speculation that he is doing this to keep all the possible votes and funding he can collect, to turn them over to the Democrats for political gain, retain his Senatorial standing, and not be hated later like Ralph Nader. That's why. He says it is to oppose Trump. We must keep following him on this, apparently, even in his absence. I guess he will be out there making Joe's case for him, since he cannot make a compelling case anymore.

This time, he has left the race early, in April, with half the States not having even voted yet, with supporters that sent him money, who are now without a leader. Bernie can claim that he did not stay and fight his 'good friends.'

In 2016 I was a Bernie candidate for State Rep., and a Bernie delegate and caucus captain and helped to start and run a pop-up office in York County, Maine and taught area workers how to fight in the caucus for him.

When he dropped out last time and supported Hillary, I protested at a rally and his rally people had me arrested for waving a green scarf in support of Jill Stein. I was literally dragged out by two policemen.

Bernie Sanders has caused me more effort and personal grief for the least amount of satisfaction of anyone I have ever known. No one else has asked so much of me and done so little, and not followed through on their promises.

He said he would stay in the fight. He wants people to support his platform and fight for his delegates at the convention. He just will not do it himself.

He is a consummate politician. He has saved himself and bowed out while we are struggling through a pandemic. Who told him this would be a good idea? He could have just said that he would be there on the ballots so the Democratic Party had an alternative in the event that Biden could not survive the allegations of rape and the demands of leading in a pandemic and staying mentally capable. These are real liabilities.

Sanders dropped out at the last possible point for Joe to make some bizarre case that he could credibly be the Democratic nominee; any longer and Joe would, and will, spectacularly bomb out, leading to four more years of Trump.

... ... ... Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Laurie Dobson LAURIE DOBSON, a new member of the ThisCantBeHappening! news collective, is a veteran political activist, and current Democratic Convention 'Bernie' delegate for the Cranberry Isles, Maine, writes for various blogs and is an EMT, USCG-certified captain, landscape design business owner, and columnist. See her website: EndUSWars.org .

[Apr 10, 2020] Bernie Sanders betrayed his supporters the second time. There won't be a third -- RT Op-ed

Notable quotes:
"... When we interviewed them, a lot of these people vowed never to vote Democrat again. ..."
Apr 10, 2020 | www.rt.com

I was there in the arena, watching him concede in 2016 – and shortly thereafter in the media tent, where a bunch of Sanders delegates had walked out in protest. A colleague of mine was outside the perimeter fence, covering the protest by tens of thousands of Democrats outraged by the party establishment's conduct. When we interviewed them, a lot of these people vowed never to vote Democrat again.

A few months earlier in Atlanta, I heard Sanders volunteers bluntly say they'd rather vote for Trump than for Clinton. When WikiLeaks published those internal emails showing the party was behind Hillary and actively sabotaging Bernie – which party chair Donna Brazile later confirmed as true – the DNC ran damage control by blaming Russia. But the voters remembered – and Trump won.

Sanders tried again in 2020, but the script began repeating itself right from the start. In Iowa, the party establishment and their media allies desperately propped up Pete Buttigieg (anyone remember him?) and others. Biden, anointed as the front-runner for the purposes of Ukrainegate, wasn't even on the map – until he won South Carolina, and everyone suddenly fell into line behind him.

[Apr 10, 2020] Bernie's Tweets Reveal Failed Leadership During Crisis

Notable quotes:
"... He's simply the "Filler" candidate. Gives you what you want and then folds. I watch the election go down and it was the last time I'd ever be a Democrat because of what they did to him and on the flip side you start to see how Bernie was part of that whole game and complicit. ..."
"... Finally, Jimmy understood what a fraud Bernie is. ..."
"... Bernie's capaign is the equivalent of a peaceful protest. All that ever happens is that the cops come arrest you, and nothing ever changes. ..."
Apr 10, 2020 | www.youtube.com

todd stewart , 4 days ago

Jill Stein said it best about Bernie - "Can't have a revolution in a counter-revolutionary party"

Terrence LP , 3 days ago

He's simply the "Filler" candidate. Gives you what you want and then folds. I watch the election go down and it was the last time I'd ever be a Democrat because of what they did to him and on the flip side you start to see how Bernie was part of that whole game and complicit.

Lightthrower , 3 days ago

Bernie is controlled opposition, he's there to make you think there's hope.

Aristeidis Lykas , 4 days ago

Finally, Jimmy understood what a fraud Bernie is.

chefaopt , 4 days ago

The careerist grifter who sold you out in 2k16 is doing it again?*gasp* no way

Ric Jones , 3 days ago

Sanders was a failure as a leader even before a crisis.

troyatwork , 1 day ago

As a non American one thing which pisses me off is this praising of the Chinese system of government. This is the government which kept quite about this viral outbreak , the government which forced doctors and scientists who warned about this to shut up and apologize . People in China don't get to call their government names like Jimmy does regularly . That Jimmy Dore did not call this person out on that point damaged his credibility. Does Jimmy Dore know how the workers in China are treated and what conditions they work under ... to suggest that China has a better system of government than the USA is total bullshit ..

mentors , 4 days ago

Bernie's capaign is the equivalent of a peaceful protest. All that ever happens is that the cops come arrest you, and nothing ever changes.

[Apr 10, 2020] FU Bernie

Apr 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Apr 9 2020 5:17 utc | 90

FU Bernie, I condemn the man most capable to have led the way to a dignified humanitarian response, who instead chose to walk away in humanities hour of high promise, high need and abysmal despair.

Bernie you put party before people in the time of their greatest need. Bernie you raised their hope, you owed them your allegiance as they gave their allegiance to you.

Bernie, You turned your back.

[Apr 10, 2020] Bernie is a coward. But he is also a scoundrel as he went on a $150 million joy ride with the donations of 5 million hardworkng Americans

Apr 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette , Apr 9 2020 18:56 utc | 198

Bernie as coward or as realist - bit of both I reckon. To repeat myself, today there is no space in US politics for 'socialistic' (left of center as judged by European standards) policies, stances, etc. Their mention is allowed, even welcomed in certain ways, in the mainstream, as performance art to justify the myth of pluralistic opinions counting, a-hem, in a "just and democratic society."

The Dems as I and many others have said since 2016 or even before prefer to loose to Trump. Their 'staged' role as opponents to the Oligarchy (cruel corporate state with dodgy pol. front-men, disaster capitalism, mafia rackets, 'war' economy, slave labor disguised, etc.) which brings in bucks is hard to keep up, the pretense wears thin, diminishing by the day, as they are part of that Oligarchy.

The Dem playing card, hold, grip, is identity politics, coupled with some class and tribal divisions ("deplorables" vs "antifa", Dems vs. Reps, etc.), vague reformist proposals (ex. Medicare for all)

The Dems still serve a purpose and won't be summarliy junked, sent to the dustbin of history soon, as they fulfill an essential role.

Interesting is that all the parties seem to be carrying on 'as per usual' treating the COV crisis as a temporary bump on the road. The two topics - Pres. elections - and handling COV appear to be divorced, unrelated, though as usual superficial oppositions abound. (Everyone is keeping cards up their sleeves.)


Nathan Mulcahy , Apr 9 2020 18:01 utc | 193

@ Posted by: RenoDino | Apr 9 2020 16:20 utc | 185

Yup. Bernie the sheep dog. What's new?

Just like DNC, Bernie is not legally obligated to his small donors.

RenoDino , Apr 9 2020 16:20 utc | 185
Bernie went on a $150 million joy ride with the donations of 5 million hardworkng Americans. He never had a plan to win. He played his role as a safety valve for the far left to a tee. As a revoluitonary, he couldn't lick Casto's boots.
J Swift , Apr 9 2020 15:56 utc | 184
I think both parties have been happy to use Bernie to draw out and crush any chances of government by the people. After all, every remotely unbiased poll has shown a significant majority of the US public, from both parties, support many of the "socialist" ideas that now have been equated with Sanders a loser. The policies were strong, Sanders as a person has shown himself repeatedly to be weak. The perfect embodiment to use to gin up support, get people excited that finally something might be changing, and then crush them in the most humiliating way possible. Think how many otherwise vibrant, radical activists had their guts ripped out by Sanders' capitulation in '16, walking away from political activism in disgust. And the extra tough nuts? Yeah, well Sanders the DNC (and RNC) just gutted them again, didn't they? Yet another generation of potentially troublesome voters being taught their lesson: pick a shade of crayon from the permitted crayon box, or just quit so long as you submit. Is Sanders knowingly complicit? Does it matter? He's probably happy. He's the now almost mythical "face of the little people" without having to ever be tarnished by trying to implement any socialist ideas against the might of the machine.

[Apr 09, 2020] Sanders has no ability to deliver any of his voters to Biden

Apr 09, 2020 | www.theguardian.com

[Apr 08, 2020] Bernie was the sheepdog of the DNC that kept people from organizing outside of the two party system

Can he screw his supporters even more than he has? "Moved the debate" needs some unpacking: Bernie successfully covered Obama's healthcare betrayal (Obama confessed: a public option would be "unAmerican") with an an even bigger electoral betrayal.
It is unclear why he run, other than again to betray his followers...
"Bernie Sanders is a gutless fraud and faux Socialist (he’s merely a Centre-Left Social Democrat yet he portrayed his movement as some sort of “Revolution”, LOL), who sadly represents the best you would ever get in the White House, in the sense that at least he wouldn’t have started any new wars, wouldn’t have given any tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, and wouldn’t have outsourced any more jobs in new free trade agreements (these are the reasons I would have held my nose and voted for him if he had been nominated, despite my much more Leftist beliefs). "
"Bernie fulfilled his sheepdog role of keeping people who want change attached to the moribund, corrupt Democratic Party, so he can now retire well loved by the political class. Anyone who thinks change can come from the Democrats is deluded. You'd have better luck changing the Republicans as they seem more open to ideas... Building a real third party is more needed than ever."
"Well that's completely not unexpected. His job was to con the non-retarded democrats into thinking they have a choice. He will laugh all they way to the bank, just like he did the last time."
Notable quotes:
"... Can't believe we're even still speculating or fretting over Bernie's dropping out. His supporters can be oh so sad that his ideas were the best, but the dastardly "establishment" just wouldn't go along! He lost me in 2016 with his sheepdogging; he lost me in 2019 for not attacking Biden's corruption and war-mongering, but the killer for me was Bernie embracing the moronic and dangerous Russiagate narrative. ..."
Apr 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

dave , Apr 8 2020 20:18 utc | 79

Bernie was the sheepdog of the DNC that kept people from organizing outside of the two party hustle(system).

People were pointing this out to his supporters very early on in this cycle using last cycle as evidence yet no one listened.

If there is a next cycle let's hope Bernie didn't ruin them for political action and they finally figure out they need to go against the entire establishment machine instead of trying to reform one half of the mafia from within.


Trailer Trash , Apr 8 2020 19:53 utc | 72

>Those bashing Bernie should understand that there was no way in hell
> the establishment (party duopoly and corporate media complex) was
> going to let him win.

People here paying attention knew he wouldn't be allowed to win. So did Bernie also know this, and went along with the charade, or did he not know, thus showing that he is a complete fool and nincompoop?

Knowing he could not win, a real radical would've been building a movement, not an electoral machine. He did earn lots of delegates but threw them all away instead of taking them to the convention and cause a ruckus.

No one will be talking about Bernie's ideas by next month, but there will be plenty of US peons desperate for food and shelter. Will Bernie's movement be there to organize them and help them get the necessities of life?

The sad part is all the effort and resources wasted on Bernie the Bozo's campaign. That campaign money could've bought a lot of groceries and tents.

ben , Apr 8 2020 19:44 utc | 70
Rob @ 48 said;"The coming general election will feature the two least qualified candidates in U.S. history. Trump is a malignant narcissist and very stupid, while Biden is a corporatist and a hawk in addition to being senile."

Agreed, and your comment is probably too kind to both..

Bernie is like much of the so-called left, they've forgotten how to fight, by surrounding themselves with DNC hacks. Never the less, his ideas are credible, and shouldn't be forgotten.

Don't see how DJT can lose in Nov., but stranger things have happened. Regardless, I'll never vote Biden, and if DJT wins, the U$A gets what it deserves, whatever that is.

All Bernie can do is continue to collect delegates, and hope to move Biden leftward, to at least support Medicare for all, which, given the state of healthcare in our present pandemic, might gain some traction.

Still in all, very interesting times..

vk , Apr 8 2020 19:43 utc | 69
Let the battle for America's soul begin:

Trump blames Warren & DNC for Sanders ending campaign, INVITES 'Bernie people' to the Republican Party

'I need to earn your votes': Biden

As I've said in this blog many times, my bet is the American working classes will choose fascism. And I'll complement my thesis: the sandernistas will be the decisive factor.

Kabobyak , Apr 8 2020 20:10 utc | 76
Can't believe we're even still speculating or fretting over Bernie's dropping out. His supporters can be oh so sad that his ideas were the best, but the dastardly "establishment" just wouldn't go along! He lost me in 2016 with his sheepdogging; he lost me in 2019 for not attacking Biden's corruption and war-mongering, but the killer for me was Bernie embracing the moronic and dangerous Russiagate narrative. The sunlight is shining onto many areas, as Caitlin Johnstone says, if we can wake up and see it and create a real movement for sane actions and policies. Bernie's "movement" was designed to be a feel-good exercise in support of empire.

[Apr 08, 2020] Bernie Sanders is a coward

Sanders was just a second rate preacher, not a leader. He is a coward.
Notable quotes:
"... As a non-American, I am not unsettled that Trump will serve a second term. Trump is doing more to dismantle the "American Century" - an idea more destructive to the rest of the world that anything I can presently think of - than any anti-war group ever could. Trump has exposed the US for what it is - a rogue state, self-involved, run by greed and corruption. ..."
"... Of course Trump is an idiot. A narcissist, a self-promoter, and a fella with a very tepid relationship with truth. He entirely lacks compassion or any sense of empathy whatsoever. However, he IS showing the world that the US cannot under any circumstances, be trusted - has it ever stuck to any of the treaties it entered into? ..."
"... a dementia-ridden Biden vying for the big chair. This is the best America has on offer?? At least Trump is honest in exposing America for what it is. A rogue, near-failed state. The sooner the population at large realize this, and start raising politicians who aren't chosen simply by how much money they have, the better. ..."
"... But I'm not holding my breath. Go Trump! ..."
"... Bernie was never a leader, but my sentiment is with Joe Rogan when he said "Biden is turning us all into morons" ..."
"... The oligarchy is happy with either outcome as it assures nothing changes. The only difference is things get worse more quickly or more slowly. Trump may be God's justice on Americans for permitting their government to become an empire which is murdering its way around the world. ..."
"... The reason Biden beat Bernie in the primaries is obvious: electronic vote flipping, just like Hillary's DNC did in 2016. The exit poll discrepancies prove this beyond doubt. And Bernie, coward or sheepdog that he is, refused to complain that millions of his supporters were cheated again. It seems that violent revolution is being made inevitable. ..."
Apr 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
morbidprime , Apr 8 2020 16:15 utc | 6
Bernie Sanders is a coward. I'm embarrassed to have supported him for so long. If he constantly caves under pressure (like he has this whole campaign), he doesn't deserve to be the nominee or the president.

rgl , Apr 8 2020 16:27 utc | 8

As a non-American, I am not unsettled that Trump will serve a second term. Trump is doing more to dismantle the "American Century" - an idea more destructive to the rest of the world that anything I can presently think of - than any anti-war group ever could. Trump has exposed the US for what it is - a rogue state, self-involved, run by greed and corruption.

Of course Trump is an idiot. A narcissist, a self-promoter, and a fella with a very tepid relationship with truth. He entirely lacks compassion or any sense of empathy whatsoever. However, he IS showing the world that the US cannot under any circumstances, be trusted - has it ever stuck to any of the treaties it entered into?

All this is not a result of Trump alone. Every president since JFK has had but two priorities: to keep the powerful powerful, and the rich rich. Capitalists doing what Capitalists do.

The Bushes, the Clintons, so-called Saint Obama, Trump, and a dementia-ridden Biden vying for the big chair. This is the best America has on offer?? At least Trump is honest in exposing America for what it is. A rogue, near-failed state. The sooner the population at large realize this, and start raising politicians who aren't chosen simply by how much money they have, the better.

But I'm not holding my breath. Go Trump!

Enrico Malatesta , Apr 8 2020 16:27 utc | 9
Bernie was never a leader, but my sentiment is with Joe Rogan when he said "Biden is turning us all into morons"
stevelaudig , Apr 8 2020 16:40 utc | 10
Election 2020-Dotard [Dem.] v. Retard [Rep.] The oligarchy is happy with either outcome as it assures nothing changes. The only difference is things get worse more quickly or more slowly. Trump may be God's justice on Americans for permitting their government to become an empire which is murdering its way around the world.
paulmeli , Apr 8 2020 16:46 utc | 14
rgl @ 8

I'm an American and I feel the same way

NoOneYouKnow , Apr 8 2020 16:48 utc | 15
The reason Biden beat Bernie in the primaries is obvious: electronic vote flipping, just like Hillary's DNC did in 2016. The exit poll discrepancies prove this beyond doubt. And Bernie, coward or sheepdog that he is, refused to complain that millions of his supporters were cheated again. It seems that violent revolution is being made inevitable.

[Apr 08, 2020] As Sanders Quits, Trump Tells 'Bernie Bros' To Vote Republican After Another Crooked Hillary Fiasco

Apr 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Update (1155ET) : It did not take President Trump long to chime in via Twitter .

"Bernie Sanders is OUT! Thank you to Elizabeth Warren. If not for her, Bernie would have won almost every state on Super Tuesday! "

Then Trump went further:

"This ended just like the Democrats & the DNC wanted, same as the Crooked Hillary fiasco."

Which led him to suggest:

"The Bernie people should come to the Republican Party, TRADE!"

Will they?

Bernie's departure from the race makes Biden the presumptive nominee, and will save a lot of people the trouble of voting in the remaining primaries, potentially saving lives from COVID-19.

... ... ...

All told, Bernie Sanders will still be remembered as an anti-establishment legend who almost single-handedly revived the passion for socialism among white guilt-ridden middle class college students and recent grads across the country. He went from long-shot outsider whose quiet campaign announcement in the summer of 2015 garnered little attention at the time, before a groundswell of public support helped make him a serious threat to Clinton.

[Apr 06, 2020] Sanders plays the role of a sheep dog again and again

Sanders unwillingness to confront the establishment is rather convenient for the establishment, isn't it? How can anyone talk of Sanders at this point and not mention "sheepdog"?
Not only elections are rigged, the top politicians are involved in the rigging.
Apr 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , Apr 5 2020 22:52 utc | 84

ADKC , Apr 5 2020 18:31 utc | 37

Sanders gave up against Clinton in 2016 and he gave up against Biden (?!?!) in 2020. The pandemic gave Sanders a third opportunity; opportunities are rare and you rarely get one, let alone three, but Sanders is throwing it all away (again). Sanders forgets that he is not where he is because of the Democratic Party, he is there because American people want real change. What is Sanders trying to do? Destroy his message, his reputation and the hope people placed in Sanders? Spend the rest of his life as a derided figure?
Jackrabbit #72

Jimmy Dore is kicking Sanders arse around the stage over the last few days for caving in on everything.
The King of Vermont has no clothes left.
Neither does the Queen of Hawaii for that matter. Silent on the Joe groper issue from what I see.

[Mar 16, 2020] Half Of Young American Democrats Believe Billionaires Do More Harm Than Good

Notable quotes:
"... Wealth concentration is extreme to say the least... ..."
"... "The billionaire class is 'up there' because they are standing on our backs pinning us down." ..."
Mar 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Half Of Young American Democrats Believe Billionaires Do More Harm Than Good by Tyler Durden Sun, 03/15/2020 - 21:25 With income inequality the political hot potato du-jour and wealth concentration at its most extreme since the roaring twenties, is it any wonder that even Americans' view of what used to be called 'success' is now tainted with the ugly taste of partisan 'not-fair'-ism.

Income inequality is roaring...

Wealth concentration is extreme to say the least...

But still, according to Pew Research's latest survey , when asked about the impact of billionaires on the country, nearly four-in-ten adults under age 30 (39%) say the fact that some have fortunes of a billion dollars or more is a bad thing...

...with 50% of young Democrats.

"The recent reigning conventional wisdom over the last several decades of what I call the 'Age of Capital' is that [billionaires] are 'up there' because they are smarter than us," said Anand Giridharadas, author of "Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World."

But the Pew data, he says, suggest that young Americans are concluding that billionaires have amassed their wealth "through their rigging of the tax code, through legal political bribery, through their tax avoidance in shelters like the Cayman Islands, and through lobbying for public policy that benefits them privately. "

"Bernie Sanders taught a lot of people [about wealth inequality], including people who did not vote for him," Giridharadas said.

"The billionaire class is 'up there' because they are standing on our backs pinning us down."

The good news - for the rest of America's "capitalists" - is that a majority (58%) say the impact of billionaires on America is neither bad nor good.

Finally, one quick question - where were all these under-30s when Bernie needed them the most in the Primaries? Was it all just virtue-signaling pro-socialist bullshit after all?

[Mar 16, 2020] I think those are just actors, playing the part that was written for them in the beginning of their career.

Mar 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

willie , Mar 16 2020 0:28 utc | 48

As an european and for the first time interested in the primaries,I wonder why there's only Bernie,and nobody else is ever mentionned as being his faithful second,or faithful lieutenant capable and willing to continue Bernies movement for social justice and more equality in society and of course universal health care.

Is he the kind of guy that can't stand someone challenging him? Has he deliberately created a vacuum around himself to avoid that to happen?

In France we have someone like him, Melenchon, who creates diversion in the left when it is needed to the oligarchie and faking to reunite the left, but shrieking back from victory. But coming with a bag full of words and leftist phrases that I generally can approve of. But never attacking any french government on the maintaining of thousands of troops abroad.

I think those are just actors, playing the part that was written for them in the beginning of their career. Do you know that Daniel Cohn-Bendit from the '68 Paris movement is regarded by many,as being a CIA stooge from the beginning,in the same way as Guaido,Wong,Navalny,that would make May'68 a couloured revolution avant la lettre.

Yes,I think A User gives a good description of the phenomenon.So how come there's only Bernie,and nobody to take the torch from him?


Smith , Mar 16 2020 2:48 utc | 59

It's crazy all the president candidates are all old people in their 70s.

They should be in retirement home or hospital in the middle of a goddamn pandemic.

Tulsi Gabbard is constantly snubbed.

SharonM , Mar 16 2020 0:57 utc | 50
@48 willie

It's very new and interesting to me what you said here:

"Do you know that Daniel Cohn-Bendit from the '68 Paris movement is regarded by many, as being a CIA stooge from the beginning, in the same way as Guaido, Wong, Navalny, that would make May'68 a couloured revolution avant la lettre."

I did not know that! Thank you:)

Bernie had Tulsi Gabbard inspired by him, supporting him, and only needing him to recognize her in any way. But he's about as trustworthy as a CIA agent. He just ignored her, didn't support her, then let the State media and his party erase her. It's a grotesque election.
There have been so many times I've heard and read people say, "If the American people found out about 9/11 they'd go crazy", or, "If the American people found out about the amount of fraud/rigging in our elections, they wouldn't stand for it", etc., etc. Bullshit. The American people will do whatever the hell the TV tells them to do.


[Mar 16, 2020] Sanders has never been a real candidate. He always was an evangelical Socialist ideologue, a Pied Piper, for dopey students and young people who latched onto his notions

The US Presidential elections are, one way or another, mainly instruments for creating consent
Notable quotes:
"... Bernie has a long standing deal with the Democrats to play nice ..."
Mar 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Red Ryder , Mar 15 2020 17:48 utc | 2

Bernie Sanders is not a political candidate. He is an evangelical Socialist ideologue.

He has no personality to battle opponents. He makes proclamations of his ideology.

He has never "fought back".

He has no instinct for debating. He believes, therefore, in his mind, he is correct. He expects others to follow his lead.

He has never been a real candidate. He was a distraction, a Pied Piper, for dopey students and young people who latched onto his notions.

When you offer free rewards and your turnout goes down, you are over as a "candidate".

Biden is brain damaged. He is a very dangerous stalking horse for the return of the Magic Negro, Obama, and the sociopathic Hillary Clinton.

If Biden wins in November, expect more war and a very long recession. Social chaos will look racial, but it will be a battle for the Second Amendment, Free Speech, and Traditional Values versus the Soulless Liberalism intended to establish Feudalism 'round the globe.

Everything in the Dem Primary and Convention is rigged. Bernie never had a chance. He could care less. He never expected to be President. He just wanted big crowds to listen to his Polemics.


SteveK9 , Mar 15 2020 18:25 utc | 6

#4

The guy is 78, what makes you think he cares about Vermont ... trying for the first 100-year-old Senator? He's never been able to do anything in Congress anyway. His big shot was spoiled by the Wicked Witch of the East. He would be President now, if not for her.

jef , Mar 15 2020 18:46 utc | 8
Bernie has fought long and hard. Look at his record, he has fought and succeeded in accomplishing more for the people than any other politician.

What everyone is assuming is that if Bern becomes an ugly asshole just like all the others before him TPTB would allow him to be the candidate or god forbid the POTUS. NEVER gunna happen!

There is only one way We The People can get the representation we need and want it to come out and state in the clearest possible way that Dems and Repubs are serving the same masters with the same basic agenda and represent one party. We must then form a new party and put everything we have behind it. It has to be a radical revolution and Bernie has made it clear that he will fight for all of us. Which by the way is exactly what all the top Dems are saying we don't need. Him getting elected under existing conditions would change NOTHING and he knows it. Forcing him to go

People who put all of the responsibility for achieving this on Bernies shoulders are ignorant chicken shits that don't deserve anything better than Biden, Cliton, Trump.

Kali , Mar 15 2020 18:48 utc | 9
#6 Bernie has a long standing deal with the Democrats to play nice or they will do all they can to ruin him. What else explains his reluctance to go after Biden like he should have earlier in the campaign? Either way, we will see what happens, maybe he will go after him, maybe not. I think he won't. I hope he does.
NOBTS , Mar 15 2020 19:08 utc | 13
If Bernie is real; ie. not sheep-dogging for Hillary again, he can prove it by dropping out immediately and throwing his delegates to Tulsi. This is the only shot to thwart the convention designs of the Dame Named Clinton.
Hey Bernie! Throw a Hail Tulsi Pass now!
chili palmer , Mar 16 2020 3:33 utc | 64
Bernie absolutely will not fight. For the record, at Democrat Party platform meetings in July 2016 he wouldn't put up the slightest fight against TPP . His position against TPP had gained him many followers. Union heads who had been anti-TPP until then showed up and were stongly pro-TPP as were Hillary and Obama:

7/9/16, " Bernie Sanders Defeated on Trade in Democratic Platform Fight, " NBC News, Alex Seitz-Wald, Orlando, Fla.

"Bernie Sanders failed to get strong language opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership inserted in the draft Democratic platform at a party meeting here Saturday....It was clear as a string of trade union presidents lined up at the microphone to oppose the Sanders amendments that his forces were outmatched.... (parag. 11)

The Obama administration supports it [TPP], and the desire to avoid embarrassing the president carried the day, with the labor unions acting as a political shield for the White House. Delegates twice Saturday morning voted down stronger opposition language as Sanders supporters booed and chanted "sellout." Some eventually walked out of the meeting entirely."...

The only topic on the 2020 election agenda should be that the US must be broken into parts. The weapons dictatorship that runs the US won't be stopped any other way.

Jackrabbit , Mar 16 2020 3:49 utc | 65

Bernie allowed Biden to co-opt his "message" on every point.

Even on his signature healthcare initiative, sheepdog Bernie rolled over. Bernie should've/could've asked why we should trust that Biden would get a 'public option' when Obama failed to do so (an Obama-Biden campaign promise).

Bernie also showed that he's got no interest in winning by failing to attack Biden on character issues ( just as he wouldn't attack Hillary on character issues in 2016). Any real candidate would've brought up Hunter Biden's dealings in Ukraine and China.

Bernie also pulled many punches, like:


Bernie's quixotic insurgency isn't anti-establishment. He's leading people into a dead end. And hoping you won't notice.

!!

/div>

Bernie is not there to be president, never was. his tribal mission is to dog herd the progressives into voting for the lesser evil Judeo-Zionist DNC´s pick. the day is not far when the name Sanders will have an entry in the common dictionary of the American language defined as "mass deception".

Posted by: nietzsche1510 , Mar 16 2020 8:45 utc | 76

Bernie is not there to be president, never was. his tribal mission is to dog herd the progressives into voting for the lesser evil Judeo-Zionist DNC´s pick. the day is not far when the name Sanders will have an entry in the common dictionary of the American language defined as "mass deception".

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Mar 16 2020 8:45 utc | 76

Piero Colombo , Mar 16 2020 11:34 utc | 85

Willie @48 / 84
There's no need for Sanders to designate a Dauphin: at every election the Owners of the Country trot out a shepherd dog, to bark the disgruntled people back to the fold, keeping them from burning down the Democrat abomination down. And yes, the sheeple are just as stupid as we think they are. Wallace, Mc Govern, Jackson, Kucinich, Sanders... the Owners always have a sheepdog ready. No matter if heshehe is a well-meaning, sincere populist like Kucinich or a warmongering imperialist buzztard like Sanders, or even worse, the sheepdog is the wolf in person, like Obama, the stupid sheep keep obeying the dog and voting for more of the same.
Because, see, their Hopium addiction has addled their brains. You just don't go to war relying on heroin addicts; it's just as bad with those who need their daily dose of Hope (when there is none.) They can't follow logic.

/div>

#13 You are right, absolutely Tulsi would make mincemeat of Biden and the establishment and Trump. They know it. But Bernie has surrounded himself with people who see reality through an establishment lens, which means they look forward to a career in the establishment political job market. They have convinced Bernie to ignore Tulsi because of a variety of reasons 1. Some are neocons 2. Some are Hinduphobes 3. Some are both 4. The rest know the establishment is dead set against Tulsi because she is a revolutionary. So even though she would win easily if Bernie gave his support to Tulsi, I can't see him doing that. Let us pray he does because at this point we need a miracle to save us from either Trump, Biden, or some other establishment lackey.

Posted by: Kali , Mar 15 2020 19:20 utc | 15

#13 You are right, absolutely Tulsi would make mincemeat of Biden and the establishment and Trump. They know it. But Bernie has surrounded himself with people who see reality through an establishment lens, which means they look forward to a career in the establishment political job market. They have convinced Bernie to ignore Tulsi because of a variety of reasons 1. Some are neocons 2. Some are Hinduphobes 3. Some are both 4. The rest know the establishment is dead set against Tulsi because she is a revolutionary. So even though she would win easily if Bernie gave his support to Tulsi, I can't see him doing that. Let us pray he does because at this point we need a miracle to save us from either Trump, Biden, or some other establishment lackey.

Posted by: Kali | Mar 15 2020 19:20 utc | 15

Kadath , Mar 16 2020 11:39 utc | 87
Well that's it Bernie is done and he made sure to s*** on his own movement as he stumbled off the stage back to his 3 mansions. He had already lost with super Tuesday, but he had a chance to save his legacy with a strong debate performance if he managed to squeeze some public commitments out of Biden for his followers. Instead he meekly assented to Biden's coronation, what was the point of the debate for Bernie's movement? they got nothing out of Biden, heck, Biden even made a point of trashing Medical Care for all and demanding that all of Bernie's people embrace him as their rightful king. Bernie's people got NOTHING from Biden and the DNC, the will continue to get NOTHING from them until they show the DNC that they will boycott the next election and make the DNC lose elections they would otherwise win. sure the Democrats will blame them for Trump 2020, but the Democrats lost the moderates in 2000 but they still came back to pander to them, time to make them pander to Bernie's people!
Trailer Trash , Mar 16 2020 13:39 utc | 93

>Bernie Sanders has only ever been a clever tool to mobilize
> the young voters. Never designed to actually have a chance. Just whip up dreams
> Posted by: Jezabeel | Mar 16 2020 9:03 utc | 79

... and then crush the dreams so the dreamers drift away in disgust.

Christian J Chuba , Mar 16 2020 13:12 utc | 91
Sadly Bernie is done

1. No one is talking about last night's debate because of the Coronavirus. It doesn't show up on my 'Bing' homepage and there isn't even mention of it on the few liberal websites that I visit except for Counterpunch and there was only one there.

2. The one exchange that I found on CNN / FOX was the 'Italy moment' which was meh when Bernie should have hit it out of the park. In fact, FOX even made it look like it was a homerun for Biden when it was not.
https://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/03/16/joe-biden-bernie-sanders-debate-healthcare-coronavirus-pandemic-orig-me.cnn

[Mar 16, 2020] Bernie is a sheepdog who will make every attempt to coerce his followers to vote Biden

Notable quotes:
"... I actually watched the debate. Bernie is done. He's just too nice to be president. He had numerous chances to call joe out on his lies and passed on almost all of them. ..."
"... The disappointment isn't as big a shock. I don't like him losing. But I am absolutely disgusted that he won't call out the cheating, lying, and election fraud. ..."
Mar 16, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Pricknick on Sun, 03/15/2020 - 9:40pm

"You will copy my agenda".

And boy did he. I actually watched the debate. Bernie is done. He's just too nice to be president. He had numerous chances to call joe out on his lies and passed on almost all of them.

I'm very happy I didn't donate to his campaign this year. He is a sheepdog who will make every attempt to coerce his followers to vote blech no matter who.

Not I.

entrepreneur on Sun, 03/15/2020 - 9:48pm
Glad I didn't watch, and have been tapering down my expectations

of Bernie over the past week. The disappointment isn't as big a shock. I don't like him losing. But I am absolutely disgusted that he won't call out the cheating, lying, and election fraud.

And there is nothing that could get me to vote for Biden.

@Pricknick

mimi on Mon, 03/16/2020 - 12:35am
Just woke up and listen to this live stream ...

@janis b @janis b
I think it's the worst discussions of a couple's divorce arguments in front of their attorneys in court.

Joe Biden is talking way too much. Sanders is amazingly restrained in his verbal responses.

1. Shut this president down now.
2. Joe Biden talk less and lie less. For me you are unacceptable.
3. Bernie is not toast and just needs to fight on.
4. The media will not help us, despite the best efforts. I am glad though that I can watch the live stream of the debate.

Do not worry about how much it costs. If you can't stand listening anymore, stop listening.
... ... ...

[Mar 16, 2020] Sanders slams Trump's handling of the coronavirus outbreak

Mar 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Wood , 2 hours ago

This coronavirus is the whole point of Bernie. Now the government wants to jump in and act. Sometimes think about your neighbors instead of yourself.

Apostropheisss Mansion , 2 hours ago

I was shocked when I seen women literally FIGHTING over a 12 pk of Toilet Tissue. 1 instance of WHY the public is not told things as they truly are...you are freaking out over TISSUE..

Vince Miller , 2 hours ago

Bernie calls out Biden's lies and tells America to go see for themselves on YouTube.

TheDarkKnight , 1 hour ago

Biden lied through his teeth, and bernie didn't have guts to say "ur lying"

oj drummin , 2 hours ago

Bernie has the strength and wits to hang out with Anderson Cooper and talk policy after the debate. Biden is probably in the hospital hooked up to an I V .

Stephen B. Smith , 1 hour ago (edited)

Don't ever talk about how much it costs when it comes to medicare for all when it comes to the lives and wellbeing of Americans. But the federal government can find $1.5T laying around to donate to wall street. Give me a break Biden!!! That is a republican talking point. Biden is and have always been a closet republican.

Cilvar Frey , 1 hour ago

3:53 USA in a nutshell. "How can I make a fortune on [insert whatever event you could exploit here]?" F**kin' pathetic.

FitChef Joe Garcia , 2 hours ago

Bernie is more coherent and rational than Biden. I was hoping Bernie would pull the Hunter Burisma card.

singingchef23 , 2 hours ago

I've paid very close attention to CNN and I've noticed that there is barely ANYTHING that highlights the lies and contradictions of Biden. Corporate media is part of why the DNC will lose if they push Biden vs Trump. Trump will absolutely DESTROY JOE HIS RECORD IS THE SAME AS HILLARY AND THAT COST YOU LAST TIME

DT_ , 1 hour ago

Biden is a liar ! We already have one of those in the White House now

P Sanchez , 2 hours ago

I am a Sanders supporter and I am aware he will likely not get the nomination. I was hoping Biden would try and win me over, but he barely tried. He only solidified that Bernie is the real deal and Biden is just a bum.

mmafighting , 3 hours ago div tabindex="0" role="article

"> I hope they postpone the primaries, CDC has recommended against gatherings of over 50 people. All voting stations are going to have over 50 people. Move the primaries back, let's focus on the crisis at hand first. In the meantime let's have more of these long debates where we can handle the issues.. 1 on 1 let America decide who they want after. I have a feeling the longer they talk, the more people will understand Bernie has the record and the plan that will transform this great nation as well as the Energy and Enthusiasm to beat Trump. P.S for the people saying I'm just trying to buy Bernie time, you are right, however you also have to remember older people are way more secepptible to the Corona Virus.. and old people vote for Biden. Do all these senior citizens want to stand in line for hours with the virus going around? Imagine old the old people waiting to vote for Biden in Florida, the retirement capital of America. Bernie's young people are going to come out anyway.. this race still might have 1 more twist

Rrosa Seconda , 58 minutes ago

Thank You, Anderson. It is heroic of you to give BERNIE quality air time! WE THE PEOPLE have an important choice to make: we must vote for the most honest, creatively intelligent, compassionate and prepared candidate to see us through what is ahead.

[Mar 13, 2020] Extraordinary Democratic Delusions and the Madness of the Crowd by M. G. Piety

Notable quotes:
"... New York Review of Books ..."
"... Encyclopedia Britannica ..."
"... Tomasky points out that Sanders, even if he were elected, would be unable to implement many of the programs that are part of his platform, that the best he'd get in terms of healthcare, for example, would be "a Bidenesque public option," meaning, I presume, and option such as Biden is advocating for now ..."
"... New York Review of Books ..."
"... The Daily Beast, ..."
"... The American Prospect, ..."
"... New York Review of Books ..."
"... New York Review of Books ..."
"... Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism ..."
"... The Corporate Coup d'Etat ..."
"... M.G. Piety teaches philosophy at Drexel University. She is the editor and translator of Soren Kierkegaard's Repetition and Philosophical Crumbs . Her latest book is: Ways of Knowing: Kierkegaard's Pluralist Epistemology . She can be reached at: mgpiety@drexel.edu ..."
Mar 13, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

Just when I am starting to think that the New York Review of Books is not irredeemably idiotic on political issues, they publish an article that is so conspicuously incoherent and outrageously out of touch with the political climate in the U.S. that it is destined to be anthologized in perpetuity in collections with "Clueless" in the title. The article, " The Party Cannot Hold ," by Michael Tomasky is about the current state of the Democratic party.

The current divide in the Democratic party, writes Tomasky, "is about capitalism -- whether it can be reformed and remade to create the kind of broad prosperity the country once knew, but without the sexism and racism of the postwar period, as liberals hope; or whether corporate power is now so great that we are simply beyond that, as the younger socialists would argue, and more radical surgery is called for."

Hmm, he's right, of course, that there is a faction of the Democratic party that wants to reform capitalism, to remake it to create the kind of broad prosperity the country once knew. The thing is, that faction is the "younger" one. The older, "liberal," Democrats have concentrated almost all their efforts on getting rid of sexism and racism, laudable goals to be sure, but oddly disconnected in the "liberal" imagination from economic issues.

Tomasky is also correct, of course, that a growing number of people in this country think Capitalism in any form is simply morally bankrupt and that we need a new socioeconomic system entirely. Few of these people, however, are registered Democrats. Most of them aren't even Social Democrats since the overthrow of capitalism hasn't been a part of the Social Democratic platform since the middle of the last century, at least according to Encyclopedia Britannica . Indeed, Wikipedia defines " Social democracy " as "a political, social and economic philosophy that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist- oriented economy" (emphasis added). That Social Democrats are planning the overthrow of capitalism would be disturbing news to the many capitalists countries in Europe where they are an important political force.

Tomasky points out that Sanders, even if he were elected, would be unable to implement many of the programs that are part of his platform, that the best he'd get in terms of healthcare, for example, would be "a Bidenesque public option," meaning, I presume, and option such as Biden is advocating for now , because as Americans know too well, politicians almost never deliver on campaign promises. The electorate is nearly always forced to accept some watered-down version of what they've been promised, if indeed, they get any version of it at all. That's clearly part of the reason so many people support Sanders.

Few of Sanders supporters are so politically naïve that they think once he was in office we'd have universal healthcare. They assume they'd get something less than that. They also assume, however, and history suggests, correctly, that if Biden were elected, they'd get something less than he is promising, which means they'd get -- nothing at all! It's either disingenuous or idiotic of Tomasky to suggest that there's essentially no difference between Sanders' and Biden's healthcare plans, since even a child will tell you that something is clearly better than nothing.

Tomasky assumes that only if someone other than Sanders gets the nomination would the left "try to increase its leverage by, for example, running left-wing candidates against a large number of mainstream Democratic House incumbents." I kid you not, he actually said that. See, that's what happens when you don't pay sufficient attention to what is going on around you. Or perhaps Tomasky is simply being disingenuous again and hoping that the average reader of the New York Review of Books hasn't been following the Sanders campaign and the calls of both Sanders and his supporters for bringing about sweeping political change by running left-wing candidates against a large number of mainstream Democratic House incumbents.

"If Sanders wins the nomination," writes Tomasky, "it becomes absolutely incumbent upon Democratic establishment figures to get behind him, because a second Trump term is unthinkable. But the reality is," he continues, "that a number of them won't."

Hmm. Why is it that a number of "Democratic establishment figures" would rather have a second term of Trump than even one term of Sanders? That's not my charge, I feel compelled to remind readers here. It's Tomasky who came right out and admitted that! Yes, the Democratic establishment, despite it protestations to the contrary, would rather have a second term of Trump than even one term of Sanders according to Michael Tomasky, editor-in-chief of Democracy, a special correspondent for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and a contributing editor for The American Prospect, as well as a contributor to the New York Review of Books .

Why is that? Well, because as Tomasky observes himself earlier in the article, "Democrats have, since the 1990s, gotten themselves far too indebted to certain donor groups, notably Wall Street and the tech industry." Yes, this is the same Tomasky who began the article in question by characterizing these very same Democrats, now in the pocket of Wall Street and the tech industry, as wanting to reform capitalism, to remake it to create the kind of broad prosperity the country once knew.

Biden is apparently not the only prominent Democrat who appears to be suffering from some kind of dementia.

That's not the only dotty thing Tomasky says in the article. "In a parliamentary system," he says, "Biden would be in the main center-left party." Okay, yeah, maybe, if we suddenly had a parliamentary system in the U.S. In any other country that presently has a parliamentary system Biden would be in the center-right party, if not actually the far-right party.

The view that Sanders supporters are mostly young socialists is delusional. The very same issue of the New York Review of Books includes an excellent article about our current health-care crisis entitled " Left Behind " by Helen Epstein. Epstein explains that substantial numbers of the working poor support Sanders and that "117,000 Pennsylvanians who voted for Sanders in the [2016] primary cast their general election ballots for Trump." Hmm, it seems unlikely that those 117,000 Pennsylvanians were all young socialists.

Tomasky's world doesn't even cohere with the world as represented by other contributors to the publication in which his article appears, let alone to the real, concrete world. It exists only in his fevered imagination and the similarly fevered imaginations of other Democrats who delude themselves that they are "centrists" rather than right-wing neoliberals. There are bits and pieces of the truth in Tomasky's vision of the disunity in the Democratic party but he puts those bits together like a child forcing pieces of a puzzle where they don't belong.

What Tomasky fails to appreciate is just how mad, in the sense of angry, the average American voter is. Epstein writes that "[i]f you include those who have left the workforce altogether, the U.S. employment rate is almost as high as it was in 1931." She cites Anne Case and Angus Deaton as observing in Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism that "[t]he amount American spend unnecessarily on health care weighs more heavily on our economy than the Versailles Treaty reparations did on Germans in the 1920s."

Oh yeah, people are angry. Few people are blaming capitalism as such, but nearly everyone who's suffering economically appears to be blaming the political establishment, and blaming the Democrats just as much as the Republicans. This is clear from the people interviewed in the 2019 documentary The Corporate Coup d'Etat . These are people who voted for Sanders in the 2016 primary, but who then voted for Trump in the general election. They're not socialists. They're just angry. Really angry, and they're angry at both sides of the political establishment.

Tomasky is worried about the Democratic party, with its two fictional factions, breaking apart because he concludes "our [political] system militates against a schism." No third party, he thinks, could be a significant political force.

Oh yeah? Think again, Tomasky.

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: M. G. Piety

M.G. Piety teaches philosophy at Drexel University. She is the editor and translator of Soren Kierkegaard's Repetition and Philosophical Crumbs . Her latest book is: Ways of Knowing: Kierkegaard's Pluralist Epistemology . She can be reached at: mgpiety@drexel.edu

[Mar 12, 2020] The Democratic Party Surrenders to Nostalgia by Bill Blum

Highly recommended!
Trump does not have a party with the program that at least pretends to pursue "socialism for a given ethnic group". He is more far right nationalist then national socialist. But to the extent neoliberalism can be viewed as neofascism Trump is neo-fascist, he definitly can be called a "national neoliberal."
Notable quotes:
"... I am nothing if not a realist. The idea that Sanders might have become the Democratic candidate was always a fantasy, not unlike my youthful dreams of one day becoming an NFL quarterback. Even after Sanders' triumph in the Nevada caucuses, I never thought the party establishment would ever allow a socialist -- even a mild social democratic one, such as Sanders -- to head its ticket. ..."
"... Of the two campaigns, Trump's will be decidedly more toxic. The "Make America Great Again" slogan that propelled Trump to victory in 2016 and the "Keep America Great" slogan he will try to sell this time around are neo-fascist in nature, designed to invoke an imaginary and false state of mythical past national glory ..."
"... The fascist designation is not a label I apply to Trump cavalierly. I use it, as I have before in this column , because Trump meets many of the standard and widely respected definitions of the term. ..."
"... Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion. ..."
"... An appeal to a frustrated middle class that is suffering from an economic crisis of humiliation and fear of the pressure exerted by lower social groups. ..."
"... Joe Biden is not a fascist. He is, instead, a standard-bearer of neoliberalism. As with fascism, there are different definitions of neoliberalism, prompting some exceptionally smug mainstream commentators like New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait to claim that the concept is little more than a left-wing insult. In truth, however, the concept describes an all-too-real set of governing principles. ..."
"... Neoliberalism , by contrast, deemphasizes federal economic intervention in favor of initiatives calling for deregulation, corporate tax cuts, private-public partnerships, and international trade agreements that augment the free flow of capital while undermining the power and influence of trade unions. ..."
"... Until the arrival of Trump and his brand of neo-fascism, both major parties since Reagan had embraced this ideology. And while neoliberals remain more benign on issues of race and gender than Trump and Trumpism ever will be, neoliberalism offers little to challenge hierarchies based on social class. Indeed, income inequality accelerated during the Obama years and today rivals that of the Gilded Age . ..."
Mar 11, 2020 | www.truthdig.com
Now that the Michigan Democratic primary is over and Joe Biden has been declared the winner , it's time to read the handwriting on the political wall: Biden will be the Democratic nominee for president, and Bernie Sanders will be the runner-up once again come the party's convention in July. Sanders might influence the party's platform, but platforms are never binding for the nominee. Sanders has lost, and so have his many progressive supporters, myself included.

I am nothing if not a realist. The idea that Sanders might have become the Democratic candidate was always a fantasy, not unlike my youthful dreams of one day becoming an NFL quarterback. Even after Sanders' triumph in the Nevada caucuses, I never thought the party establishment would ever allow a socialist -- even a mild social democratic one, such as Sanders -- to head its ticket.

Funded by wealthy donors, run by Beltway insiders and aided and abetted by a corporate media dedicated to promoting the notion that Sanders was " unelectable ," the Democratic Party never welcomed Sanders as a legitimate contender. Not in 2016 and not in 2020. In several instances, it even resorted to some good old-fashioned red-baiting to frighten voters; the party is, after all, a capitalist institution. Working and middle-class families support the Democrats largely because they have no other place to go on Election Day besides the completely corrupt and craven GOP.

Now we are left with Donald Trump and Biden to duke it out in the fall. Yes, it has come to that.

In terms of campaign rhetoric and party policies, the general election campaign will be a battle for America's past far more than it will be a contest for its future. The battle will be fueled on both sides by narratives and visions that are illusory, regressive and, in important respects, downright dangerous.

Of the two campaigns, Trump's will be decidedly more toxic. The "Make America Great Again" slogan that propelled Trump to victory in 2016 and the "Keep America Great" slogan he will try to sell this time around are neo-fascist in nature, designed to invoke an imaginary and false state of mythical past national glory that ignores our deeply entrenched history of patriarchal white supremacy and brutal class domination.

The fascist designation is not a label I apply to Trump cavalierly. I use it, as I have before in this column , because Trump meets many of the standard and widely respected definitions of the term.

As the celebrated Marxist playwright Bertolt Brecht wrote in 1935 , fascism "is a historic phase of capitalism the nakedest, most shameless, most oppressive and most treacherous form of capitalism." Trumpism, along with its international analogs in Brazil, India and Western Europe, neatly accords with Brecht's theory.

Trumpism similarly meets the definition of fascism offered by Robert Paxton in his classic 2004 study, " The Anatomy of Fascism ":

Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

Trump and Trumpism similarly embody the 14 common factors of fascism identified by the great writer Umberto Eco in his 1995 essay, Ur Fascism :

Joe Biden is not a fascist. He is, instead, a standard-bearer of neoliberalism. As with fascism, there are different definitions of neoliberalism, prompting some exceptionally smug mainstream commentators like New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait to claim that the concept is little more than a left-wing insult. In truth, however, the concept describes an all-too-real set of governing principles.

To grasp what neoliberalism means, it's necessary to understand that it does not refer to a revival of the liberalism of the New Deal and New Society programs of the 1930s and 1960s. That brand of liberalism advocated the active intervention of the federal government in the economy to mitigate the harshest effects of private enterprise through such programs as Social Security, the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Medicare, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That brand of liberalism imposed high taxes on the wealthy and significantly mitigated income inequality in America.

Neoliberalism , by contrast, deemphasizes federal economic intervention in favor of initiatives calling for deregulation, corporate tax cuts, private-public partnerships, and international trade agreements that augment the free flow of capital while undermining the power and influence of trade unions.

Until the arrival of Trump and his brand of neo-fascism, both major parties since Reagan had embraced this ideology. And while neoliberals remain more benign on issues of race and gender than Trump and Trumpism ever will be, neoliberalism offers little to challenge hierarchies based on social class. Indeed, income inequality accelerated during the Obama years and today rivals that of the Gilded Age .

As transformational a politician as Barack Obama was in terms of race, he too pursued a predominantly neoliberal agenda. The Affordable Care Act, Obama's singular domestic legislative achievement, is a perfect example of neoliberal private-public collaboration that left intact a health industry dominated by for-profit drug manufacturers and rapacious insurance companies, rather than setting the stage for Medicare for All, as championed by Sanders.

Biden never tires of reminding any audience willing to put up with his gaffes, verbal ticks and miscues that he served as Obama's vice president. Those ties are likely to remain the centerpiece of his campaign, as he promises a return to the civility of the Obama era and a restoration of America's standing in the world.

History, however, only moves forward. As charming and comforting as Biden's imagery of the past may be, it is, like Trump's darker outlook, a mirage. If Trump has taught us anything worthwhile, it is that the past cannot be replicated, no matter how much we might wish otherwise.

[Mar 12, 2020] A Sanders presidency would likely have been a major disappointment to Americans who want a more restrained and sensible foreign policy by Ted Galen Carpente

For those who opposed the USA foreign wars, the loss of Sanders is not that a great loss. Only Tulsi was a real anti-war candidates.
Notable quotes:
"... although he seemed reluctant to endorse Clinton’s earlier 1995 decision to bomb Serb positions in Bosnia, he did nothing to oppose that step either. ..."
"... When the administration led a full-scale NATO air war against Serbia to force Belgrade to withdraw from its restless, predominantly Albanian province of Kosovo, Sanders was on board. He voted for a Senate Concurrent Resolution (sponsored by Senator Joe Biden) that authorized the president to conduct air operations and missile strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). Sanders’ vote on that measure was especially telling. There was substantial opposition to the resolution in both houses of Congress. Indeed, the authorization failed on a tie vote in the House—with Sanders voting for war. It was apparent that there were numerous legislators who were more dovish than Bernie Sanders regarding the Kosovo intervention. ..."
"... He also signed on to the so-called war on terror during George W. Bush’s administration, voting for the dangerously vague authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) in 2001 ..."
"... His opposition to military interventions certainly became more tepid again once Barack Obama entered the Oval Office. Contrary to Hillary Clinton’s jibe during a 2016 presidential primary debate that Sanders had endorsed the U.S.-led military campaign against Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi, he only sponsored and voted for a resolution condemning Qaddafi and calling on the UN to pressure him to leave office. ..."
"... Sanders did not speak out against the war once it began, even though Obama ostentatiously declined even to seek congressional approval. ..."
"... A similar murkiness characterized his stance on the civil war in Syria. He supported Obama’s decision to send 250 U.S. troops to that country, ostensibly to train and assist “moderate” Syrian rebels trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime. When Obama asked for congressional approval in 2013 for air strikes in response to Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons, though, Sanders had adopted a noncommittal stance, stating that he would keep an open mind but had several concerns and reservations. ..."
"... Once Donald Trump took office, Sanders became more consistently vocal in his opposition to U.S. military involvement in Syria. He condemned the Trump administration’s missile strikes on Syria for another alleged chemical weapons incident as “illegal and unauthorized”—a much stronger stance than he took when Obama proposed such retaliation in 2013. ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

Although he resists announcing the end of his candidacy, Bernie Sanders has almost no chance of becoming the Democratic Party nominee for president following his weak performances on both Super Tuesday and the six primaries the subsequent week. The impending demise of his presidential bid may come as a disappointment to some Americans who held out hope that a Sanders presidency would usher-in a more peaceful U.S. foreign policy. Sanders himself fosters the image that he is a staunch advocate of peace, asserting at one point that "I apologize to no one" for opposing the Iraq war and other conflicts.

Despite his claims, there were several unsettling aspects to his foreign policy track record. He has been more anti-war in his public statements and writings than in his actual voting record. His opposition to dubious U.S. military interventions has been noticeably more persistent and intense when Republican presidents initiated such missions than when Democratic presidents did so. Sanders has been disturbingly susceptible to arguments that so-called humanitarian wars are justified to protect suffering civilian populations from the abuses of brutal dictators. He is vocal that presidents need to seek explicit approval from Congress before launching armed interventions, but even on that issue his record is inconsistent. Sanders failed to condemn Bill Clinton or Barack Obama for brazenly bypassing Congress and waging major presidential wars in Kosovo and Libya, respectively, much less moving to generate congressional action to stop their usurpation of the war power. Apparently, White House invocations of the humanitarian war justification encouraged him to maintain silence in those cases.

Indeed, although he seemed reluctant to endorse Clinton’s earlier 1995 decision to bomb Serb positions in Bosnia, he did nothing to oppose that step either. Indeed, Sanders became noticeably more hawkish regarding the Balkan conflicts as the decade wore on. When the administration led a full-scale NATO air war against Serbia to force Belgrade to withdraw from its restless, predominantly Albanian province of Kosovo, Sanders was on board. He voted for a Senate Concurrent Resolution (sponsored by Senator Joe Biden) that authorized the president to conduct air operations and missile strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). Sanders’ vote on that measure was especially telling. There was substantial opposition to the resolution in both houses of Congress. Indeed, the authorization failed on a tie vote in the House—with Sanders voting for war. It was apparent that there were numerous legislators who were more dovish than Bernie Sanders regarding the Kosovo intervention.

He also signed on to the so-called war on terror during George W. Bush’s administration, voting for the dangerously vague authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) in 2001, as did virtually every other member of Congress. Sanders was warier, though, of Bush’s propaganda offensive for a war to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Congressional Democrats were badly split on that issue. In contrast to party heavyweights such as Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and John Kerry, Sanders remained firmly in the faction that resisted military action and favored continued inspections and diplomacy with respect to Saddam’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. He voted against the October 2002 joint resolution authorizing Bush to use force, if necessary. Sanders would later boast “I not only voted against that war; I helped lead the effort against that war.” How much his stance reflected sincere, prescient aversion to a regime-change war with uncertain and potentially destabilizing ramifications, and how much reflected partisan hostility to the actions of a Republican president, though, is nearly impossible to determine.

His opposition to military interventions certainly became more tepid again once Barack Obama entered the Oval Office. Contrary to Hillary Clinton’s jibe during a 2016 presidential primary debate that Sanders had endorsed the U.S.-led military campaign against Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi, he only sponsored and voted for a resolution condemning Qaddafi and calling on the UN to pressure him to leave office. However, even though he attacked Clinton for pushing the Libya intervention as Obama’s secretary of state, (making the snarky comment “I’m not quite the fan of regime change that she is),” Sanders did not speak out against the war once it began, even though Obama ostentatiously declined even to seek congressional approval.

A similar murkiness characterized his stance on the civil war in Syria. He supported Obama’s decision to send 250 U.S. troops to that country, ostensibly to train and assist “moderate” Syrian rebels trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime. When Obama asked for congressional approval in 2013 for air strikes in response to Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons, though, Sanders had adopted a noncommittal stance, stating that he would keep an open mind but had several concerns and reservations.

Once Donald Trump took office, Sanders became more consistently vocal in his opposition to U.S. military involvement in Syria. He condemned the Trump administration’s missile strikes on Syria for another alleged chemical weapons incident as “illegal and unauthorized”—a much stronger stance than he took when Obama proposed such retaliation in 2013.

A similar hardening pattern occurred with his attitude toward Washington’s support of the Saudi-Arabian-United Arab Emirates war in Yemen. Sanders said little about that offensive when it began in 2015 and continued in 2016. When Trump continued Washington’s support, though, Sanders became steadily more negative. He voted for a December 2018 Senate resolution to end the U.S. assistance to the Saudi war effort. The following month, he co-sponsored a bipartisan joint resolution mandating the removal of all U.S. forces from Yemen not authorized by Congress. Both the Senate and House passed that measure, but supporters were unable to override President Trump’s subsequent veto.

The overall recent trend of his views does suggest a more serious commitment to opposing dubious military ventures and insisting on the restoration of the congressional war power. Some observers saw a dramatic change bordering on a revolutionary one in his foreign policy perspective. That may be true with respect to policy in the Muslim world. In March 2019, he signed a pledge along with Senator Elizabeth Warren and other progressives, calling on the United States to end its wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Yet, when Trump announced a partial withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria in late 2019, Sanders joined in the Democratic-led hawkish chorus condemning the move as a betrayal of Washington’s Kurdish allies in Syria.

It is even less certain whether Sanders’ alleged advocacy of restraint applies to U.S. policy in other regions. He has loyally supported the Democratic Party’s promotion of a confrontational policy toward Russia, including backing U.S. military aid to Ukraine. Sanders also at times has embraced the rhetorical neo-McCarthyism epitomized by the Left’s repeated innuendos about Trump allegedly doing Vladimir’s bidding—even though the president’s Russia policy actually has been more hardline than the policy Obama pursued.

Responding to media revelations in February 2020 that he had received a briefing from U.S. intelligence agencies that the Kremlin was trying to assist his presidential bid, Sanders lashed out and stressed his opposition to Moscow’s supposed policies. “Unlike Donald Trump, I do not consider Vladimir Putin a good friend. He is an autocratic thug who is attempting to destroy democracy and crush dissent in Russia," Sanders said. "Let’s be clear, the Russians want to undermine American democracy by dividing us up and, unlike the current president, I stand firmly against their efforts.”

Sanders exhibits few dovish sentiments when it comes to policy toward Russia, and that stance is troubling. Russia is the one power in the world that has the strategic weaponry to end American civilization in an armed conflict. Caution and restraint is more essential regarding Washington’s relations with that country than any other.

A widespread impression exists that Bernie Sanders is the ideological successor to such antiwar Democratic Party stalwarts as Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern. But Sanders’ performance regarding issues of war and peace is more murky and complex. At best, he has been an inconsistent, ambivalent, advocate of a more peaceful U.S. foreign policy. Granted, his policy views seem less hawkish and meddlesome than those of Joe Biden. And arguably they are better than those of Donald Trump, who has talked the talk but rarely walked the walk when it comes to curtailing Washington’s foolish overseas interventions. Nevertheless, a Sanders presidency would likely have been a major disappointment to Americans who want a more restrained and sensible foreign policy.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at the National Interest, is the author of 12 books and more than 850 articles on international affairs. His most recent books are Gullible Superpower: U.S. Support for Bogus Foreign Democratic Movements (2019) and NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur (2019).

[Mar 12, 2020] How 'Bernie Bros' Were Invented, Then Smeared as Sexist, Racist and unAmerican as Borscht by Jonathan Cook

Looks like DNC run a pretty sophisticated smear campaign against Sanders ...
Notable quotes:
"... It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities ..."
"... The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power. ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

The Democratic presidential nomination race is a fascinating case study in how power works – not least, because the Democratic party leaders are visibly contriving to impose one candidate, Joe Biden, as the party's nominee, even as it becomes clear that he is no longer mentally equipped to run a local table tennis club let alone the world's most powerful nation.

Biden's campaign is a reminder that power is indivisible. Donald Trump or Joe Biden for president – it doesn't matter to the power-establishment. An egomaniacal man-child (Trump), representing the billionaires, or an elder suffering rapid neurological degeneration (Biden), representing the billionaires, are equally useful to power. A woman will do too, or a person of colour. The establishment is no longer worried about who stands on stage – so long as that person is not a Bernie Sanders in the US, or a Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.

It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities. What concerns it far more is that we might overcome those divisions and unify against it, withdrawing our consent from an establishment committed to endless asset-stripping of our societies and the planet.

Neither Biden nor Trump will obstruct the establishment, because they are at its very heart. The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power.

Although a pretty face or a way with words are desirable, incapacity and incompetence are no barrier to qualifying, as the two white men groomed by their respective parties demonstrate. Both have proved they will favour the establishment, both will pursue near-enough the same policies , both are committed to the status quo, both have demonstrated their indifference to the future of life on Earth. What separates the candidates is not real substance, but presentation styles – the creation of the appearance of difference, of choice.

Policing the debate

The subtle dynamics of how the Democratic nomination race is being rigged are interesting. Especially revealing are the ways the Democratic leadership protects establishment power by policing the terms of debate: what can be said, and what can be thought; who gets to speak and whose voices are misrepresented or demonised. Manipulation of language is key.

As I pointed out in my previous post , the establishment's power derives from its invisibility. Scrutiny is kryptonite to power.

The only way we can interrogate power is through language, and the only way we can communicate our conclusions to others is through words – as I am doing right now. And therefore our strength – our ability to awaken ourselves from the trance of power – must be subverted by the establishment, transformed into our Achilles' heel, a weakness.

The treatment of Bernie Sanders and his supporters by the Democratic establishment – and those who eagerly repeat its talking points – neatly illustrates how this can be done in manifold ways.

Remember this all started back in 2016, when Sanders committed the unforgivable sin of challenging the Democratic leadership's right simply to anoint Hillary Clinton as the party's presidential candidate. In those days, the fault line was obvious and neat: Bernie was a man, Clinton a woman. She would be the first woman president. The only party members who might wish to deny her that historic moment, and back Sanders instead, had to be misogynist men. They were supposedly venting their anti-women grudge against Clinton, who in turn was presented to women as a symbol of their oppression by men.

And so was born a meme: the "Bernie Bros". It rapidly became shorthand for suggesting – contrary to all evidence – that Sanders' candidacy appealed chiefly to angry, entitled white men. In fact, as Sanders' 2020 run has amply demonstrated, support for him has been more diverse than for the many other Democratic candidates who sought the nomination.

So important what @ewarren is saying to @maddow about the dangerous, threatening, ugly faction among the Bernie supporters. Sanders either cannot or will not control them. pic.twitter.com/LYDXlLJ7bi

-- Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) March 6, 2020

How contrived the 2016 identity-fuelled contest was should have been clear, had anyone been allowed to point that fact out. This wasn't really about the Democratic leadership respecting Clinton's identity as a woman. It was about them paying lip service to her identity as a woman, while actually promoting her because she was a reliable warmonger and Wall Street functionary . She was useful to power.

If the debate had really been driven by identity politics, Sanders had a winning card too: he is Jewish. That meant he could be the United States' first Jewish president. In a fair identity fight, it would have been a draw between the two. The decision about who should represent the Democratic party would then have had to be decided based on policies, not identity. But party leaders did not want Clinton's actual policies, or her political history, being put under the microscope for very obvious reasons.

Weaponisation of identity

The weaponisation of identity politics is even more transparent in 2020. Sanders is still Jewish, but his main opponent, Joe Biden, really is simply a privileged white man. Were the Clinton format to be followed again by Democratic officials, Sanders would enjoy an identity politics trump card. And yet Sanders is still being presented as just another white male candidate , no different from Biden.

(We could take this argument even further and note that the other candidate who no one, least of all the Democratic leadership, ever mentions as still in the race is Tulsi Gabbard, a woman of colour. The Democratic party has worked hard to make her as invisible as possible in the primaries because, of all the candidates, she is the most vocal and articulate opponent of foreign wars. That has deprived her of the chance to raise funds and win delegates.)

. @DanaPerino I'm not quite sure why you're telling FOX viewers that Elizabeth Warren is the last female candidate in the Dem primary. Is it because you believe a fake indigenous woman of color is "real" and the real indigenous woman of color in this race is fake? pic.twitter.com/VKCxy2JzFe

-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 3, 2020

Sanders' Jewish identity isn't celebrated because he isn't useful to the power-establishment. What's far more important to them – and should be to us too – are his policies, which might limit their power to wage war, exploit workers and trash the planet.

But it is not just that Democratic Party leaders are ignoring Sanders' Jewish identity. They are also again actively using identity politics against him, and in many different ways.

The 'black' establishment?

Bernie Sanders' supporters have been complaining for some time – based on mounting evidence – that the Democratic leadership is far from neutral between Sanders and Biden. Because it has a vested interest in the outcome, and because it is the part of the power-establishment, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is exercising its influence in favour of Biden. And because power prefers darkness, the DNC is doing its best to exercise that power behind the scenes, out of sight – at least, unseen by those who still rely on the "mainstream" corporate media, which is also part of the power-establishment. As should be clear to anyone watching, the nomination proceedings are being controlled to give Biden every advantage and to obstruct Sanders.

But the Democratic leadership is not only dismissing out of hand these very justified complaints from Bernie Sanders' supporters but also turning these complaints against them, as further evidence of their – and his – illegitimacy. A new way of doing this emerged in the immediate wake of Biden winning South Carolina on the back of strong support from older black voters – Biden's first state win and a launchpad for his Super Tuesday bid a few days later.

It was given perfect expression from Symone Sanders, who despite her surname is actually a senior adviser to Biden's campaign. She is also black. This is what she wrote: "People who keep referring to Black voters as 'the establishment' are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing."

People who keep referring to Black voters as "the establishment" are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing.

-- Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) March 3, 2020

Her reference to generic "people" was understood precisely by both sides of the debate as code for those "Bernie Bros". Now, it seems, Bernie Sanders' supporters are not simply misogynists, they are potential recruits to the Ku Klux Klan.

The tweet went viral, even though in the fiercely contested back-and-forth below her tweet no one could produce a single example of anyone actually saying anything like the sentiment ascribed by Symone Sanders to "Bernie Bros". But then, tackling bigotry was not her real goal. This wasn't meant to be a reflection on a real-world talking-point by Bernie supporters. It was high-level gaslighting by a senior Democratic party official of the party's own voters.

Survival of the fittest smear

What Symone Sanders was really trying to do was conceal power – the fact that the DNC is seeking to impose its chosen candidate on party members. As occurred during the confected women-men, Clinton vs "Bernie Bros" confrontation, Symone Sanders was field-testing a similar narrative management tool as part of the establishment's efforts to hone it for improved effect. The establishment has learnt – through a kind of survival of the fittest smear – that divide-and-rule identity politics is the perfect way to shield its influence as it favours a status-quo candidate (Biden or Clinton) over a candidate seen as a threat to its power (Sanders).

In her tweet, Symone Sanders showed exactly how the power elite seeks to obscure its toxic role in our societies. She neatly conflated "the establishment" – of which she is a very small, but well-paid component – with ordinary "black voters". Her message is this: should you try to criticise the establishment (which has inordinate power to damage lives and destroy the planet) we will demonise you, making it seem that you are really attacking black people (who in the vast majority of cases – though Symone Sanders is a notable exception – wield no power at all).

Symone Sanders has recruited her own blackness and South Carolina's "black voters" as a ring of steel to protect the establishment. Cynically, she has turned poor black people, as well as the tens of thousands of people (presumably black and white) who liked her tweet, into human shields for the establishment.

It sounds a lot uglier put like that. But it has rapidly become a Biden talking-point, as we can see here:

NEW: @JoeBiden responds to @berniesanders saying the "establishment" is trying to defeat him.

"The establishment are all those hardworking, middle class people, those African Americans they are the establishment!" @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/43Q2Nci5sS

-- Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) March 4, 2020

The DNC's wider strategy is to confer on Biden exclusive rights to speak for black voters (despite his inglorious record on civil rights issues) and, further, to strip Sanders and his senior black advisers of any right to do so. When Sanders protests about this, or about racist behaviour from the Biden camp, Biden's supporters come out in force and often abusively, though of course no one is upbraiding them for their ugly, violent language. Here is the famous former tennis player Martina Navratilova showing that maybe we should be talking about "Biden Bros":

Sanders is starting to really piss me off. Just shut this kind of crap down and debate the issues. This is not it.

-- Martina Navratilova (@Martina) March 6, 2020

Being unkind to billionaires

This kind of special pleading by the establishment for the establishment – using those sections of it, such as Symone Sanders, that can tap into the identity politics zeitgeist – is far more common than you might imagine. The approach is being constantly refined, often using social media as the ultimate focus group. Symone Sanders' successful conflation of the establishment with "black voters" follows earlier, clumsier efforts by the establishment to protect its interests against Sanders that proved far less effective.

Billionaires should not exist. https://t.co/hgR6CeFvLa

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 24, 2019

Remember how last autumn the billionaire-owned corporate media tried to tell us that it was unkind to criticise billionaires – that they had feelings too and that speaking harshly about them was "dehumanising". Again it was aimed at Sanders, who had just commented that in a properly ordered world billionaires simply wouldn't exist. It was an obvious point: allowing a handful of people to control almost all the planet's wealth was not only depriving the rest of us of that wealth (and harming the planet) but it gave those few billionaires way too much power. They could buy all the media, our channels of communication, and most of the politicians to ringfence their financial interests, gradually eroding even the most minimal democratic protections.

That campaign died a quick death because few of us are actually brainwashed enough to accept the idea that a handful of billionaires share an identity that needs protecting – from us! Most of us are still connected enough to the real world to understand that billionaires are more than capable of looking out for their own interests, without our helping them by imposing on ourselves a vow of silence.

But one cannot fault the power-establishment for being constantly inventive in the search for new ways to stifle our criticisms of the way it unilaterally exercises its power. The Democratic nomination race is testing such ingenuity to the limits. Here's a new rule against "hateful conduct" on Twitter, where Biden's neurological deficit is being subjected to much critical scrutiny through the sharing of dozens of videos of embarrassing Biden "senior moments".

Twitter expanding its hateful conduct rules "to include language that dehumanizes on the basis of age, disability or disease." https://t.co/KmWGaNAG9Z

-- Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) March 5, 2020

Yes, disability and age are identities too. And so, on the pretext of protecting and respecting those identities, social media can now be scrubbed of anything and anyone trying to highlight the mental deficiencies of an old man who might soon be given the nuclear codes and would be responsible for waging wars in the name of Americans. Twitter is full of comments denouncing as "ableist" anyone who tries to highlight how the Democratic leadership is foisting a cognitively challenged Biden on to the party.

Maybe the Dem insiders are all wrong, but it's true that they are saying it. Some are saying it out loud, including Castro at the debate and Booker here: https://t.co/0lbi7RFRqG

-- Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) March 6, 2020

Russian 'agents' and 'assets'

None of this is to overlook the fact that another variation of identity politics has been weaponised against Sanders: that of failing to be an "American" patriot. Again illustrating how closely the Democratic and Republican leaderships' interests align, the question of who is a patriot – and who is really working for the "Russians" – has been at the heart of both parties' campaigns, though for different reasons.

Trump has been subjected to endless, evidence-free claims that he is a secret "Russian agent" in a concerted effort to control his original isolationist foreign policy impulses that might have stripped the establishment – and its military-industrial wing – of the right to wage wars of aggression, and revive the Cold War, wherever it believes a profit can be made under cover of "humanitarian intervention". Trump partly inoculated himself against these criticisms, at least among supporters, with his "Make America Great Again" slogan, and partly by learning – painfully for such an egotist – that his presidential role was to rubber-stamp decisions made elsewhere about waging wars and projecting US power.

I'm just amazed by this tweet, which has been tweeted plenty. Did @_nalexander and all the people liking this not know that Mueller laid out in the indictments of a number of Russians and in his report their help on social media to Sanders and Trump. Help Sanders has acknowledged https://t.co/vuc0lmvvKP

-- Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) December 8, 2019

Bernie Sanders has faced similar smear efforts by the establishment, including by the DNC's last failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton – in his case, painting him as a "Russian asset". ("Asset" is a way to suggest collusion with the Kremlin based on even more flimsy evidence than is needed to accuse someone of being an agent.) In fact, in a world where identity politics wasn't simply a tool to be weaponised by the establishment, there would be real trepidation about engaging in this kind of invective against a Jewish socialist.

One of the far-right's favourite antisemitic tropes – promoted ever since the publication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion more than 100 years ago – is that Jewish "Bolsheviks" are involved in an international conspiracy to subvert the countries they live in. We have reached the point now that the corporate media are happy to recycle evidence-free claims, cited by the Washington Post, from anonymous "US officials" and US intelligence agencies reinventing a US version of the Protocols against Sanders. And these smears have elicited not a word of criticism from the Democratic leadership nor from the usual antisemitism watchdogs that are so ready to let rip over the slightest signs of what they claim to be antisemitism on the left.

But the urgency of dealing with Sanders may be the reason normal conventions have been discarded. Sanders isn't a loud-mouth egotist like Trump. A vote for Trump is a vote for the establishment, if for one of its number who pretends to be against the establishment. Trump has been largely tamed in time for a second term. By contrast, Sanders, like Corbyn in the UK, is more dangerous because he may resist the efforts to domesticate him, and because if he is allowed any significant measure of political success – such as becoming a candidate for president – it may inspire others to follow in his footsteps. The system might start to throw up more anomalies, more AOCs and more Ilhan Omars.

So Sanders is now being cast, like Trump, as a puppet of the Kremlin, not a true American. And because he made the serious mistake of indulging the "Russiagate" smears when they were used against Trump, Sanders now has little defence against their redeployment against him. And given that, by the impoverished standards of US political culture, he is considered an extreme leftist, it has been easy to conflate his democratic socialism with Communism, and then conflate his supposed Communism with acting on behalf of the Kremlin (which, of course, ignores the fact that Russia long ago abandoned Communism).

Sen. Bernie Sanders: "Let me tell this to Putin -- the American people, whether Republicans, Democrats, independents are sick and tired of seeing Russia and other countries interfering in our elections." pic.twitter.com/ejcP7YVFlt

-- The Hill (@thehill) February 21, 2020

Antisemitism smear at the ready

There is a final use of weaponised identity politics that the Democratic establishment would dearly love to use against Sanders, if they need to and can get away with it. It is the most toxic brand – and therefore the most effective – of the identity-based smears, and it has been extensively field-tested in the UK against Jeremy Corbyn to great success. The DNC would like to denounce Sanders as an antisemite.

In fact, only one thing has held them back till now: the fact that Sanders is Jewish. That may not prove an insuperable obstacle, but it does make it much harder to make the accusation look credible. The other identity-based smears had been a second-best, a make-do until a way could be found to unleash the antisemitism smear.

The establishment has been testing the waters with implied accusations of antisemitism against Sanders for a while, but their chances were given a fillip recently when Sanders refused to participate in the annual jamboree of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent lobby group whose primary mission is to ringfence Israel from criticism in the US. Both the Republican and Democratic establishments turn out in force to the AIPAC conference, and in the past the event has attracted keynote speeches from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

But Sanders has refused to attend for decades and maintained that stance this month, even though he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination. In the last primaries debate, Sanders justified his decision by rightly calling Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "racist" and by describing AIPAC as providing a platform "for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights".

Trump's Vice-President, Mike Pence, responded that Sanders supported "Israel's enemies" and, if elected, would be the "most anti-Israel president in the history of this nation" – all coded suggestions that Sanders is antisemitic.

But that's Mike Pence. More useful criticism came from billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who is himself Jewish and was until last week posing as a Democrat to try to win the party's nomination. Bloomberg accused Sanders of using dehumanising language against a bunch of inclusive identities that, he improbably suggested, AIPAC represents. He claimed :

"This is a gathering of 20,000 Israel supporters of every religious denomination, ethnicity, faith, color, sexual identity and political party. Calling it a racist platform is an attempt to discredit those voices, intimidate people from coming here, and weaken the US-Israel relationship."

Where might this head? At the AIPAC conference last week we were given a foretaste. Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi of the UK and a friend to Conservative government leader Boris Johnson, was warmly greeted by delegates, including leading members of the Democratic establishment. He boasted that he and other Jewish leaders in the UK had managed to damage Jeremy Corbyn's electoral chances by suggesting that he was an antisemite over his support, like Sanders, for Palestinian rights.

His own treatment of Corbyn, he argued, offered a model for US Jewish organisations to replicate against any leadership contender who might pose similar trouble for Israel, leaving it for his audience to pick up the not-so-subtle hint about who needed to be subjected to character assassination.

WATCH: "Today I issue a call to the Jews of America, please take a leaf out of our book and please speak with one voice."

The Chief Rabbi speaking to the 18,000 delegates gathered at the @AIPAC General Session at their Policy Conference in Washington DC pic.twitter.com/BOkan9RA2O

-- Chief Rabbi Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) March 3, 2020

Establishment playbook

For anyone who isn't wilfully blind, the last few months have exposed the establishment playbook: it will use identity politics to divide those who might otherwise find a united voice and a common cause.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating one's identity, especially if it is under threat, maligned or marginalised. But having an attachment to an identity is no excuse for allowing it to be coopted by billionaires, by the powerful, by nuclear-armed states oppressing other people, by political parties or by the corporate media, so that they can weaponise it to prevent the weak, the poor, the marginalised from being represented.

It is time for us to wake up to the tricks, the deceptions, the manipulations of the strong that exploit our weaknesses – and make us yet weaker still. It's time to stop being a patsy for the establishment. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are " Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and " Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair " (Zed Books). His website is http://www.jonathan-cook.net/

[Mar 12, 2020] The Democratic Party Surrenders to Nostalgia by Bill Blum

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion. ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

Mar 11, 2020

Now that the Michigan Democratic primary is over and Joe Biden has been declared the winner , it's time to read the handwriting on the political wall: Biden will be the Democratic nominee for president, and Bernie Sanders will be the runner-up once again come the party's convention in July. Sanders might influence the party's platform, but platforms are never binding for the nominee. Sanders has lost, and so have his many progressive supporters, myself included.

I am nothing if not a realist. The idea that Sanders might have become the Democratic candidate was always a fantasy, not unlike my youthful dreams of one day becoming an NFL quarterback. Even after Sanders' triumph in the Nevada caucuses, I never thought the party establishment would ever allow a socialist -- even a mild social democratic one, such as Sanders -- to head its ticket.

Funded by wealthy donors, run by Beltway insiders and aided and abetted by a corporate media dedicated to promoting the notion that Sanders was " unelectable ," the Democratic Party never welcomed Sanders as a legitimate contender. Not in 2016 and not in 2020. In several instances, it even resorted to some good old-fashioned red-baiting to frighten voters; the party is, after all, a capitalist institution. Working and middle-class families support the Democrats largely because they have no other place to go on Election Day besides the completely corrupt and craven GOP.

Now we are left with Donald Trump and Biden to duke it out in the fall. Yes, it has come to that.

In terms of campaign rhetoric and party policies, the general election campaign will be a battle for America's past far more than it will be a contest for its future. The battle will be fueled on both sides by narratives and visions that are illusory, regressive and, in important respects, downright dangerous.

Of the two campaigns, Trump's will be decidedly more toxic. The "Make America Great Again" slogan that propelled Trump to victory in 2016 and the "Keep America Great" slogan he will try to sell this time around are neo-fascist in nature, designed to invoke an imaginary and false state of mythical past national glory that ignores our deeply entrenched history of patriarchal white supremacy and brutal class domination.

The fascist designation is not a label I apply to Trump cavalierly. I use it, as I have before in this column , because Trump meets many of the standard and widely respected definitions of the term.

As the celebrated Marxist playwright Bertolt Brecht wrote in 1935 , fascism "is a historic phase of capitalism the nakedest, most shameless, most oppressive and most treacherous form of capitalism." Trumpism, along with its international analogs in Brazil, India and Western Europe, neatly accords with Brecht's theory.

Trumpism similarly meets the definition of fascism offered by Robert Paxton in his classic 2004 study, " The Anatomy of Fascism ":

Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

Trump and Trumpism similarly embody the 14 common factors of fascism identified by the great writer Umberto Eco in his 1995 essay, Ur Fascism :

Joe Biden is not a fascist. He is, instead, a standard-bearer of neoliberalism. As with fascism, there are different definitions of neoliberalism, prompting some exceptionally smug mainstream commentators like New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait to claim that the concept is little more than a left-wing insult. In truth, however, the concept describes an all-too-real set of governing principles.

To grasp what neoliberalism means, it's necessary to understand that it does not refer to a revival of the liberalism of the New Deal and New Society programs of the 1930s and 1960s. That brand of liberalism advocated the active intervention of the federal government in the economy to mitigate the harshest effects of private enterprise through such programs as Social Security, the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Medicare, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That brand of liberalism imposed high taxes on the wealthy and significantly mitigated income inequality in America.

Neoliberalism , by contrast, deemphasizes federal economic intervention in favor of initiatives calling for deregulation, corporate tax cuts, private-public partnerships, and international trade agreements that augment the free flow of capital while undermining the power and influence of trade unions.

Until the arrival of Trump and his brand of neo-fascism, both major parties since Reagan had embraced this ideology. And while neoliberals remain more benign on issues of race and gender than Trump and Trumpism ever will be, neoliberalism offers little to challenge hierarchies based on social class. Indeed, income inequality accelerated during the Obama years and today rivals that of the Gilded Age .

As transformational a politician as Barack Obama was in terms of race, he too pursued a predominantly neoliberal agenda. The Affordable Care Act, Obama's singular domestic legislative achievement, is a perfect example of neoliberal private-public collaboration that left intact a health industry dominated by for-profit drug manufacturers and rapacious insurance companies, rather than setting the stage for Medicare for All, as championed by Sanders.

Biden never tires of reminding any audience willing to put up with his gaffes, verbal ticks and miscues that he served as Obama's vice president. Those ties are likely to remain the centerpiece of his campaign, as he promises a return to the civility of the Obama era and a restoration of America's standing in the world.

History, however, only moves forward. As charming and comforting as Biden's imagery of the past may be, it is, like Trump's darker outlook, a mirage. If Trump has taught us anything worthwhile, it is that the past cannot be replicated, no matter how much we might wish otherwise.

[Mar 12, 2020] Will the DNC ever acknowledge Tulsi Gabbard exists?

Notable quotes:
"... One almost feels sorry for Bernie Sanders, who, even at this late stage, still seems to believe that he can drag Joe Biden to the 'left' and secure something/anything? for all those millions of ordinary Americans who supported Bernie's dream of a more just and equal America. ..."
"... Poor Bernie and poor ordinary Americans. It ain't gonna work. Bernie knows that the Demorcratic party has chosen Biden, not him and his political dream is over, once again. ..."
"... With Joe having these " miraculous " wins in the primaries yet bringing nothing new to the table I can only conclude we are set for another 4 yrs of Trumpelstiltskin and his money grubbing ways. ..."
"... Tulsi is inspirational. I'm not talking 'politics' but regarding her willingness to speak truth to corruption. ..."
"... The self-evident externalities of 40 years of unfettered neoliberalism (war, lies, injustice, extreme wealth inequality, etc) now seem to be approaching some sort of explosive end-point. ..."
"... These problems are too entrenched for real politicians to sort out, so what we have instead is a form theatre, albeit a third-rate form of theatre with abysmal actors taking on roles that are far too difficult for them: Trump vs Biden would be the apotheosis this morass. ..."
"... As it turned out, the security state's narrative was easy to pull off because Sander is weak, lacks courage, and was never in it to win it. He never fought back against the DNC. ..."
"... He never called out the cheating in Iowa. There were thousands of volunteers that would be willing to protest on his behalf. Timid Bernie just let it go. ..."
"... Instead Bernie, kept saying "Biden is my good friend" or "Biden can beat Trump." WTF, if Biden can beat Trump then why are you running? Are you campaigning for Biden? ..."
"... The final nail was Tulsi's tweet asking for Biden and Bernie's support for her to right to participate in the next debate. Yang and Marianne Williamson tweeted yes of course, but Bernie was silent. On subsequent mainstream media news appearances Bernie totally ignored Tulsi's candidacy. That was it – Bernie is a lackey – completely intimidated by the DNC. ..."
"... "Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is a top contender to head up the World Bank. Bloomberg endorsed Biden immediately after dropping out of the 2020 race. ..."
"... Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as Treasury secretary. Warren dropped out of the race last week after disappointing losses on Super Tuesday but hasn't yet made an endorsement. Axios reported that Warren's name had been floated as part of an effort to unite the fractured Democratic Party around Biden. Some of Biden's advisers have also suggested Warren as a vice-presidential candidate for that reason. ..."
"... Seems Bernie has reprised his role as sheep dog. Probably the reason the Orwellian DNC unpersoned Tulsi is that she probably refused to play. ..."
"... Hundreds of thousands of ballots in California and Texas were discarded. Warren purposely stayed in the race to screw Bernie in Minnesota and Massachusetts, while Klobuchar and Buttigeg dropped out to prop-up Biden. ..."
"... And as I mentioned, Bernie is his own worst enemy, or as I also speculated he was never in it to win it. ..."
"... Blackmail ? The Clinton campaign exercising leverage over Sanders during the election – Podesta/wikileaks emails. 'This isn't in keeping w the agreement. Since we clearly have some leverage, would be good to flag this for him'. https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/47397 ..."
"... Unfortunately. Trump may end up botching the corona crisis and lose, but whoever wins it's going to be four more years of everything getting worse. ..."
"... Some research on 'possible' fraudulent hidden computer counting from first super Tuesday. http://tdmsresearch.com/ ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | off-guardian.org

The handful of American citizens who have by some miracle escaped the wave of death caused by the coronavirus will be braving the toilet-paper maddened crowds to vote in the latest round of Democratic primaries today.

There's several more rounds of voting before the convention in July, but this is the last before the next debate on March 15th.

The process is kinda moot at this point.

The weight of the establishment has thrown itself – for some reason – behind Joe Biden.

Since his "miraculous" wins on Super Tuesday we've been treated to dozens of stories praising his "decency", happy that "angry politics" lost, and calling for the party to "unite behind" Biden . And that's just The Guardian .

Jonathan Freedland, in his special brand of smug establishment boot-licking, suggested that Biden being a long-term establishment democrat is his strength in these times of crisis. You have to wonder if that crisis wasn't awful convenient for Joe, in that instance.

None of the mainstream media have questioned the validity of results or the fairness of the electoral process, although given the DNC's history you'd be forgiven for doing so.

After Biden's win, Trump immediately went on the offensive (so to speak), questioning Biden's mental acuity . This is likely just a taste of things to come.

It has to be said, Biden is vulnerable in this area. Seeing as he seemingly can't go a single public appearance without forgetting what day it is , what position he's running for , the words of the Declaration of Independence , who his wife is , or his own name .

Given this, you have to wonder what the point of the exercise is. Biden will likely be mauled by Trump, so are the Democrats even trying to win? Is the plan for Biden to have "health problems" before the convention, forcing the DNC to pick its own candidate? Or is the plan to have him run, win and then get Ned Starked by his vice-president whoever he or (more likely) she may be?

Whatever the plan turns out to be, progressives and leftists all over America will likely be disappointed in Bernie. If last time is anything to go by, no matter how obviously he (and more importantly his voters) get screwed over, Sanders will just let it happen.

It seems like Bernie is a serial offender here. Setting up hope only to fold faster than Superman on laundry day when the pressure is on. You wonder if he's being used as a tool to engage the youth vote, or just a puppet designed to funnel all real leftist thinkers into a political cul-de-sac.

The other Great White Hope of American leftists – or should that be "Great Native American hope"? – Elizabeth Warren, dropped out last week but is yet to endorse her fellow "progressive", Bernie Sanders. This could mean she's spiteful, or it could mean she's angling to be Biden's VP nominee. Either way, no real surprise and no real loss. Warren always talked a better game than she played and she didn't talk all that well.

Oh, and the DNC changed their debate eligibility rules to exclude Tulsi Gabbard . Something both the other candidates and the vast majority of the mainstream media have been quiet about.

Questions arise

Are the democrats really rallying behind Joe Biden? why?! Are they planning to throw the race? Is Joe Biden going senile? Who will each candidate pick as a running mate? Will the DNC ever acknowledge Tulsi Gabbard exists?

NOBTS ,

If Bernie is real; ie. not sheep-dogging for Hillary again, he can prove it by dropping out immediately and throwing his delegates to Tulsi so she can debate Joe Biden on Sunday; then watch the fur fly. .last chance for the left.
Seriously, the only positive play left for Bernie, (if positive change is his intent )would be to immediately drop out and throw a "Hail Tulsi Pass" downfield ahead of the Sunday debate.

michaelk ,

One would imagine that Tulsi Gabbard would tick all the liberal/left boxes and virtues the Guardian pretends to adore and aspire to. She seems almost too perfect in my eyes another story perhaps? Anyway, one wonders what all those politically correct and so obvioulsy woke feminist ladies at the Guardian have against Tulsi? The Guardian seems to have decided that its future lies overseas, in America, which is very odd for a newspaper/platform based in the UK? Consequently, they are increasingly obsessed with moving closer and closer to the Democrat party in the US.

This is like the BBC that keeps talking to Americans about absolutely everything of importance that happens in the world and seeking their insights and opinions to a truly remarkably degree, considering how little they know and understand about the rest of the world and how poor they are at foreign languages and historical knowledge. Christ they know next to nothing about their own history, let alone the rest of the world! The idea that all these Americans are authorities on the world is ridiculous.

Harry Stotle ,

The ghosting of Gabbard illustrates how the MSM act in concert, and how they look after their own, i.e. backing those understand their role as puppets for corporate backers.

It also illustrates how the likes of the Guardian turn identity politics off and on like a tap, but more importantly how even shibboleths like identity politics are still secondary to an economic model that has placed us on the road to armegeddon.

Maxine ,

Well, Tulsi is FAR from "too perfect" .She voluntarily took part in the Bush/Cheny invasion of Iraq .How could anybody with a working mind have believed the lies of these nortorious criminals? .And what sort of judgement did this show? .Just as bad, she is a big fan of India's monstrous Right-Wing leader, Modi .Nevertheless, the DNC's throwing her out of the debate is another hideous sign of its corruption .Like her or not, she should have her opinions heard by the public.

Maxine ,

Don't get me wrong, I find the Gaurdian as despicable as CNN, MSNBC, FOX, the NYT and the rest of the American MSM .OffG is a god-send.

Admin2 ,

Thanks Maxine!

michaelk ,

One almost feels sorry for Bernie Sanders, who, even at this late stage, still seems to believe that he can drag Joe Biden to the 'left' and secure something/anything? for all those millions of ordinary Americans who supported Bernie's dream of a more just and equal America.

Poor Bernie and poor ordinary Americans. It ain't gonna work. Bernie knows that the Demorcratic party has chosen Biden, not him and his political dream is over, once again.

Now it's all about stopping the 'monster' Trump first and foremost. The coming election won't actually be about anything of real substance, nothing like Bernie's political ideas about healthcare and education; but it'll be a crass referendum about Trump's personality. Biden, of course, doesn't really have a personality anymore, that's going fast, along with his mental capacity.

Trump will smash him to pieces and be re-elected again. Four more years, at least.

Maxine ,

I would have voted for Bernie in 2016 if the DNC hadn't rigged the primary on behalf of Hillary .But I was overwhelmingly disappointed that he in the end supported her .Sadly, I am appalled that once again he announced he would support Biden if the latter won the primary this time. How could he?. Hillary and Biden are diametrically opposed to every one of Sander's professed principles!

Andy ,

With Joe having these " miraculous " wins in the primaries yet bringing nothing new to the table I can only conclude we are set for another 4 yrs of Trumpelstiltskin and his money grubbing ways.

As for Michelle Obama coming into the fight , I can only laugh and carry on with my life. I fail to see what she has to offer, other than being Barry's wife. Not really awe – inspiring stuff. Young Hilary must be turning in her coffin at the thought of being pipped to the post, as the first female President by another ex presidents wife.

We truly are living in bizarro times. The men behind the curtain must be laughing their collective arses off at the results of this circus they have created.

binra ,

Tulsi is inspirational. I'm not talking 'politics' but regarding her willingness to speak truth to corruption.

harry stotle ,

America dispensed with the idea of democracy some time ago.

The self-evident externalities of 40 years of unfettered neoliberalism (war, lies, injustice, extreme wealth inequality, etc) now seem to be approaching some sort of explosive end-point.

There may be a full blown international conflict, rather than asymmetrical power used to intimidate weaker states (led by the USA, and backed to the hilt by Britain, Israel, and KSA).

These problems are too entrenched for real politicians to sort out, so what we have instead is a form theatre, albeit a third-rate form of theatre with abysmal actors taking on roles that are far too difficult for them: Trump vs Biden would be the apotheosis this morass.

Pity more citizens in America fail to understand what has been done to them, or what this corrupt regime has inflicted on rest of the world.

Britain is no better – to expose what is happening we need a functioning MSM but what we have instead is the Guardian and BBC: platforms that are now infamous for churning out low calibre, or fake news.

different frank ,

https://twitter.com/i/status/1237466070145007617

Seamus Padraig ,

Is the plan for Biden to have "health problems" before the convention, forcing the DNC to pick its own candidate?

That's my theory. I think they're going to suddenly 'discover' that Joltin' Joe has 'health problems' and then roll out their real candidate on the second ballot at the convention this summer–probably Michelle Obama.

Will the DNC ever acknowledge Tulsi Gabbard exists?

I think our only hope now is that the Corona Virus kills all other politicians in the US, leaving only Tulsi alive. Of course, the DNC would probably still find some way to deny her the nomination somehow

michaelk ,

The DNC's election tactics were superb. Corrupt, rotten, foul and manipulative as well, but they worked. The swathe of candidates at the start gave the impression of a democratic and fair race, whilst deflecting people away from the stark choice of supporting Biden or Sanders from the beginning.

Whilst Trump succeeded by first capturing the Republican party and then going on to win the presidential election; Sanders chose not to follow that strategy, apparently believing, though it's an extraordinary thing to believe, that the leadership of the party was going to allow him to win the nomination 'fairly.'

Biden against Trump is going to be the worst, most grotesque, election contest, ever seen in the United States. Two totally unworthy candidates battling it out over the rotting corpse of a dying democracy. Probably the best result would be if most people just stayed at home on election day and boycotted the entire ghastly event.

wardropper ,

Yes. People should just stay home. But of course there is a regular percentage of observers who are incensed by the idea that people will realize how little effect their vote truly has.

"It's treason not to vote", they rage, quite oblivious to the really treasonous system which manipulates votes according to something quite different from the interests of democracy.

wardropper ,

It would be interesting to see, (although it's not going to happen) how the media, faced with an absolute zero voting turnout, would still manage to yap on about a "neck and neck race", with the most corrupt party emerging the clear winner after all

Gary Weglarz ,

The Democratic Party candidate selection process continues to roll along providing all the tension and suspense of an impending colonoscopy – sans anesthetic. It has been clear since 25 (yes 25) Democratic Party challengers have already "dropped out" of the race – that divide and conquer would be the order of the day. Spread the electorate out among a ridiculous number of mainstream centrist candidates and then throw all that support to one candidate – Joe Biden. Why would the party establishment choose Biden? Perhaps the following recent quote from Joe might shed some light. In trying to reference the Declaration of Independence Biden had the following to say to a crowd at a campaign rally:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men and women created by -- you know, you know . . . the thing."

Since we all know "the thing" is said to "work in mysterious ways" – one can deduce that the Democratic Party elites are perhaps depending upon "the thing" to work some sort of a miracle for them. At any rate it is all rather "mysterious" indeed.

Since Tulsi Gabbard has had the temerity to not join the 25 brain-dead placeholders and to "drop out" herself, and since she has further shown the very bad form of continuing to speak to anyone who will listen about America's illegal amoral regime-change wars – she has sadly had to be simply – "disappeared." Yes, I know, this term is usually associated with the death-squad democracies my government supports endlessly and shamelessly in Latin America, but if nothing else our American MSM have shown that you don't need death squads when they are on the job. They are quite capable of completely and entirely "disappearing" anyone sharing a message that has not been – "oligarchy approved." Trying to find reference to Tulsi in MSM is like trying to get through a day without being brutally reminded of Joe Biden's blinding dementia problem – pretty much impossible.

As the author suggests the Democratic Party establishment surely must have some plan other than simply sabotaging Sanders and then throwing a demented Biden to the Orange One to act as a pinata during the presidential debates. We American's do love "reality TV," but this I fear would be about as crass and horrific a spectacle as watching someone drown puppies on live television. Surely we must assume that the DNC and party oligarchy plan to use Biden as yet another "place-holder" to be replaced between now and fall presidential debates. The name "Hillary 'the rot' Clinton comes to mind – and suddenly one is reminded that there are worse things in life than a colonoscopy.

Of course the actual credibility of all of this spectacle to date depends upon one actually believing that both the polling numbers, and the voting processes, are honest and ethical and accurate, which seems to me to be about as likely as "you know, you know . . . the thing," performing some sort of a "miracle" on behalf of the Democratic Party so that it can valiantly vanquish the Orange One – using of all things – a dementia sufferer.

From my limited vantage point here in southern California it would appear that America is very much like a runaway train speeding toward a very very thick brick wall while gaining speed minute by minute. This train of course has no "driver" – save the inexorable laws of history as they pertain to crumbling "empires."

With that in mind I think I'll go shopping again so I can pretend none of this is happening – while joining with my neighbors in "hoarding" as much toilet paper as I possibly can! Actually, truth be told, the local toilet paper supply is now long gone and people are now hoarding paper towels – (I kid you not) – which of course portends a lot of very very sore bottoms by the time this is all over.

Seamus Padraig ,

You can have a dogshit sandwich or a catshit sandwich, just so long as its kosher.

So true! +1000

Charlotte Russe ,

Unfortunately, for all of Bernie's enthusiastic supporter 2020 was a redux of 2016. Amnesia, initially sets in caused by the initial excitement. Bernie's campaign overwhelms those yearning for change. Sanders is cognizant of how young voters and the marginalized are economically suffering. He knows exactly what to say to arouse an audience of thousands.

Devoted crowds eagerly rally around Bernie anticipating the upcoming primaries, believing he'll win everyone of them. After all, how could anyone be against a message promoting social justice.

And lo and behold, right out of the box the security state shenanigans begin. A "Shadow app" surfaces in Iowa, followed by a narrow win in New Hampshire. And although Bernie won the popular vote in the first two primaries he still comes out the loser to CIA Pete. However, not to be deterred Bernie won the Nevada caucus in a landslide. That was the moment when security state needed to make its move. It was now or never. These ghouls could not let Bernie pick up any more momentum. If they did, it would be too late to stop him–Milwaukee could turn into a bloodbath. It was time for the intelligence agencies to take a stand.

Clyburn a sellout bourgeois conservative black was called upon to do his duty. You don't get to be a "misleader" of the poor and the dejected if you won't convince them to smile while jumping off a cliff.

Slick Clyburn, gathered all the other crooked black politicians and they united in force behind brain dead Biden. When misleader Clyburn speaks his downtrodden constituency listens. South Carolina was a wipeout–Biden overwhelmingly won. And that's all the security state needed. Using the state-run mainstream media news propaganda machine in 72 hours Biden's campaign was raised like Lazarus from the dead.

Drooling Joe, received a slew of slick endorsements from all the longtime party hacks. A narrative was easily generated– Sanders was a loser and only Biden could beat Trump. At the end of day, don't you dumbasses want to beat Trump. So let's unite behind alzheimer Joe–he's our best chance.

As it turned out, the security state's narrative was easy to pull off because Sander is weak, lacks courage, and was never in it to win it. He never fought back against the DNC.

He never called out the cheating in Iowa. There were thousands of volunteers that would be willing to protest on his behalf. Timid Bernie just let it go. There were other things showing Bernie's lack of interest in winning. He stupidly embraced the Russiagate concocted narrative and then was victimized by it himself. He refused to tear into Biden describing in detail how every piece of reactionary legislation Joe passed was based on payoffs he'd received for either his son or his brother. In South Carolina, Bernie never used the millions donated to play video clips proving Biden is a warmongering racist.

Instead Bernie, kept saying "Biden is my good friend" or "Biden can beat Trump." WTF, if Biden can beat Trump then why are you running? Are you campaigning for Biden?

The final nail was Tulsi's tweet asking for Biden and Bernie's support for her to right to participate in the next debate. Yang and Marianne Williamson tweeted yes of course, but Bernie was silent. On subsequent mainstream media news appearances Bernie totally ignored Tulsi's candidacy. That was it – Bernie is a lackey – completely intimidated by the DNC.

Naturally the DNC didn't want Tulsi near the debate stage–she's the bravest of the lot. Tulsi would have proved Biden was a crook and a war criminal. Tulsi presence would be a boom for bernie, but Bernie didn't want that since he was in cahoots with the DNC.

And in the end, that's what it was always all about NOTHING. Bernie is the Tammy and Jim Baker of politics a prophet of false hope. He gathers up all the guiless and guillibe and then tosses them into the lion's den.

In Biden's case it's easy to know why the slithering DC establishment gang embraced him with open arms -- they all wanted to come back home

Here are some of the people Biden is considering for senior positions, per Axios:

Every loathsome contemptible neoliberal military interventionist is waiting in the wings to continue where Obama left off ..

Gall ,

Super Tuesday was so obviously rigged. The vote in California deviated from exit polling by over 15% and don't get me started on that Shadow app used for the Iowa caucus. The only difference wasn't as blatantly obvious as the last Primary.

Seems Bernie has reprised his role as sheep dog. Probably the reason the Orwellian DNC unpersoned Tulsi is that she probably refused to play.

Charlotte Ruse ,

Hundreds of thousands of ballots in California and Texas were discarded. Warren purposely stayed in the race to screw Bernie in Minnesota and Massachusetts, while Klobuchar and Buttigeg dropped out to prop-up Biden.

In avid Bernie locations polling centers were closed. And when all else failed voting machines are hacked. No one should underate the power of state-run mainstream media propaganda they hammered Sanders and launded the creep Biden.

And as I mentioned, Bernie is his own worst enemy, or as I also speculated he was never in it to win it.

The elections are more democratic in Afghanistan. When I previously commented on several posts the Democratic Party Primaries need to be monitored by a UN Raconteur many found it amusing.

Maxine ,

Why did Bernie become a candidate if he were not in it to win? .I can't figure that one out.

Eric McCoo ,

Blackmail ? The Clinton campaign exercising leverage over Sanders during the election – Podesta/wikileaks emails. 'This isn't in keeping w the agreement. Since we clearly have some leverage, would be good to flag this for him'. https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/47397

RealPeter ,

There is a lot in what Charlotte says. Unfortunately. Trump may end up botching the corona crisis and lose, but whoever wins it's going to be four more years of everything getting worse.

Andy ,

Some research on 'possible' fraudulent hidden computer counting from first super Tuesday. http://tdmsresearch.com/

Ken ,

The fix is in for the status quo, and it's quite likely another 4 years of the orange asshole.

RobG ,

The real left in America was destroyed in the early 20th century. What goes now is a complete joke. https://www.youtube.com/embed/LehcJeNbFBw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Geoffrey Skoll ,

Everybody knows (listen to Leonard Cohen) Tulsi Gabbard does not exist, just like everybody knows Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction, Assad, that Putin Nazi, spread some kind of Bad Gas in Douma, repeatededly over several years since 2014, which the Intrepid White Helmets made better–just watch their Hollywood, Oscar winning movie. Of course Joe Biden is senile, else why would he challenge our carrot-topped Fearless leader, and everybody knows that Putin-Nazi Boris and Natasha tried to rig the 2016 election but were thwarted by Moose-Squirel, and other CIA assets.

[Mar 11, 2020] The toilet-paper maddened crowds will be braving coronavirus to vote in the latest round of Democratic primaries today

Now this became a real circus.
Notable quotes:
"... The weight of the establishment has thrown itself – for some reason – behind Joe Biden. Since his "miraculous" wins on Super Tuesday we've been treated to dozens of stories praising his "decency", happy that "angry politics" lost, and calling for the party to "unite behind" Biden . And that's just The Guardian . ..."
"... Jonathan Freedland, in his special brand of smug establishment boot-licking, suggested that Biden being a long-term establishment democrat is his strength in these times of crisis. You have to wonder if that crisis wasn't awful convenient for Joe, in that instance. ..."
Mar 11, 2020 | off-guardian.org

The toilet-paper maddened crowds will be braving coronavirus to vote in the latest round of Democratic primaries today.

There's several more rounds of voting before the convention in July, but this is the last before the next debate on March 15th.

The process is kinda moot at this point.

The weight of the establishment has thrown itself – for some reason – behind Joe Biden. Since his "miraculous" wins on Super Tuesday we've been treated to dozens of stories praising his "decency", happy that "angry politics" lost, and calling for the party to "unite behind" Biden . And that's just The Guardian .

Jonathan Freedland, in his special brand of smug establishment boot-licking, suggested that Biden being a long-term establishment democrat is his strength in these times of crisis. You have to wonder if that crisis wasn't awful convenient for Joe, in that instance.

... ... ...

Whatever the plan turns out to be, progressives and leftists all over America will likely be disappointed in Bernie. If last time is anything to go by, no matter how obviously he (and more importantly his voters) get screwed over, Sanders will just let it happen.

The other Great White Hope of American leftists – or should that be "Great Native American hope"? – Elizabeth Warren, dropped out last week but is yet to endorse her fellow "progressive", Bernie Sanders. This could mean she's spiteful, or it could mean she's angling to be Biden's VP nominee. Either way, no real surprise and no real loss. Warren always talked a better game than she played and she didn't talk all that well.

Oh, and the DNC changed their debate eligibility rules to exclude Tulsi Gabbard . Something both the other candidates and the vast majority of the mainstream media have been quiet about.

Questions arise Are the democrats really rallying behind Joe Biden? why?! Are they planning to throw the race? Is Joe Biden going senile? Who will each candidate pick as a running mate? Will the DNC ever acknowledge Tulsi Gabbard exists?

[Mar 11, 2020] "I think it would be a real, real disaster for the Democratic party if, you know, I'm running against you and you have more votes than me and I say, well, wait a second, I don't want Rachel. I want somebody else who didn't get as many votes as she did, let's count the superdelegates' vote on the second ballot

Looks like Creepy Joe is up to "Pyrrhic Victory"
Notable quotes:
"... Last time around in 2016 you talked about 2016, you remember before the very first vote was cast in Iowa, Hillary Clinton had 500 superdelegates set aside. 500 superdelegates. I thought that that was totally outrageous and absurd and undemocratic. ..."
"... We fought very hard in the Democratic rules process to get rid of all superdelegates. That is my preference. I think it should be the decision of the people, not Washington insiders. We lost, but what we did get is not getting rid of all superdelegates at convention voting but on the first ballot there will be no superdelegates. ..."
Mar 11, 2020 | www.realclearpolitics.com

Sanders said.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: If at the end of the day it turns out that Vice President Biden is going to have more delegates than you do heading into the convention, will you drop out?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of course I'm going to drop out. He will win. We'll run through -- I suspect we will run through the process letting people have a right to vote, but if Biden walks into the convention or at the end of the process has more votes than me, he's the winner.

MADDOW: And that's true whether or not he has a majority or just a plurality?

SANDERS: Absolutely. That's what I've said. Here's the story, and there's some confusion about this. Last time around in 2016 you talked about 2016, you remember before the very first vote was cast in Iowa, Hillary Clinton had 500 superdelegates set aside. 500 superdelegates. I thought that that was totally outrageous and absurd and undemocratic.

We fought very hard in the Democratic rules process to get rid of all superdelegates. That is my preference. I think it should be the decision of the people, not Washington insiders. We lost, but what we did get is not getting rid of all superdelegates at convention voting but on the first ballot there will be no superdelegates.

In other words, we go into the first ballot, it is representatives, delegates who are represented by the people, and I think that that's right. And what I have said is I think it would be a real, real disaster for the Democratic party if, you know, I'm running against you and you have more votes than me and I say, well, wait a second, I don't want Rachel. I want somebody else who didn't get as many votes as she did, let's count the superdelegates' vote on the second ballot, you know what that would do to the Democratic electorate? People would say the person who got the most votes didn't get selected.

MADDOW: Most delegates.

SANDERS: Most delegates, I'm sorry, most delegates.

[Mar 10, 2020] We probably do not need election of Sanders to crash stock market. Coronavirus will do the job just fine

What will happen if Biden dies from Coronavirus after the convention?
Mar 10, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Aumua , March 9, 2020 at 4:36 am

I guess another mixed positive is that it shows you don't need Bernie Sanders to crash the stock markets. The thing is quite unstable on its own thank you very much.

Divadab , March 9, 2020 at 7:16 am

Yes- quite illuminating to see the contempt Dem party worthies hold for us and the office of President

[Mar 10, 2020] Didn't take long for Sanders to make COVID-19 a POTUS campaign issue

Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Mar 9 2020 23:05 utc | 76

Didn't take long for Sanders to make COVID-19 a POTUS campaign issue . "After former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday morning declined to address or answer questions about the coronavirus during an event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sen. Bernie Sanders urged the public to tune in to a COVID-19 roundtable discussion the senator is hosting Monday afternoon in Detroit alongside nurses, physicians, and other medical professionals:

"'This crisis is another clear example of why we must guarantee healthcare as a right for every single man, woman, and child in this country,' Sanders wrote. 'This crisis is another example of why we need universal paid family leave in this country, so people who are sick can stay home, recover, and prevent the virus from spreading. This crisis is another example of why we must take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry.'

"'Health experts agree that the spread of the coronavirus will likely get worse before it gets better,' Sanders added. 'Donald Trump must stop spreading lies and fear, and leave the science to scientists and health professionals, not politicians. We must make certain that we are prepared for a pandemic.'"

What a comparable example. Sanders is on top of the issue and acting on it while Biden is doing the same as Trump by showing his ignorance and inability to act rapidly on a major problem. A video of the discussion is available at the link.

[Mar 10, 2020] Once sheep dog, always sheep dog

9 March 2020
Notable quotes:
"... The consolidation of the Democratic Party behind Biden is a damning exposure, not merely of the politically reactionary character of this organization, but of the contemptible falsification on which the Sanders campaign has been based: that it is possible to transform the Democratic Party, the oldest American capitalist party, into the spearhead of a "political revolution" that will bring about fundamental social change. ..."
"... It is evident that the Democratic Party leadership in Congress, as well as the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee, aims to run the 2020 campaign on the exact model of Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016: portraying Trump as personally unqualified to be president and as a Russian stooge, while opposing any significant social reform and delivering constant reassurances to the ruling financial aristocracy that a restored Democratic administration will follow in the footsteps of Obama, showering trillions on Wall Street and doing the bidding of the military-intelligence apparatus. ..."
"... One could ask of the nine ex-candidates who have now endorsed Biden, why they were candidates in the first place? Why did they bother to run against the former vice president, clearly the preferred candidate of the party establishment? None of them voices any significant political differences with Biden. All of them hail the right-wing political record of the Obama-Biden administration, even though that administration produced the social and economic devastation that made possible the election of Donald Trump. ..."
"... African American Democratic Party leaders, including Representative James Clyburn in South Carolina and hundreds of others, represent one of the most right-wing and politically corrupt sections of the party. ..."
"... The thinking of this layer was summed up in a column Saturday in the Washington Post ..."
"... What the Washington Post ..."
"... the entire black Democratic Party establishment has lined up behind Biden -- including, most recently, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Senator Kamala Harris. ..."
"... Sanders seeks to counter this all-out Democratic Party campaign for Biden by seeking to woo sections of the trade union bureaucracy with appeals to economic nationalism. ..."
"... More than 13 million people, mainly workers and youth, voted for Sanders in 2016 in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Millions more continue to support him this year, with the same result. Sanders will wrap up his campaign by embracing the right-wing nominee of the Democratic Party and telling his supporters that this is the only alternative to the election, and now re-election of Trump. ..."
Mar 10, 2020 | www.wsws.org

The campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is making a last-ditch stand in the Michigan primary Tuesday, amid mounting indications that the Democratic Party as a whole has moved decisively into the camp of his main rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Sanders cancelled rallies in Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois -- all states where he trails Biden in the polls -- in order to concentrate all his efforts in Michigan, where he won an upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

On Sunday, Senator Kamala Harris endorsed Biden, the latest of nine former presidential contenders to announce their support for their one-time rival, joining Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bloomberg, Beto O'Rourke, John Delaney, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, and Deval Patrick. Harris is to join Biden for a campaign rally in Detroit Monday.

The consolidation of the Democratic Party behind Biden is a damning exposure, not merely of the politically reactionary character of this organization, but of the contemptible falsification on which the Sanders campaign has been based: that it is possible to transform the Democratic Party, the oldest American capitalist party, into the spearhead of a "political revolution" that will bring about fundamental social change.

Former Vice President Biden is the personification of the decrepit and right-wing character of the Democratic Party. In the past 10 days alone, Biden has declared himself a candidate for the US Senate, rather than president, confused his wife and his sister as they stood on either side of him, called himself an "Obiden Bama Democrat," and declared that 150 million Americans died in gun violence over the past decade. This is not just a matter of Biden's declining mental state: it is the Democratic Party, not just its presidential frontrunner, that is verging on political senility.

It is evident that the Democratic Party leadership in Congress, as well as the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee, aims to run the 2020 campaign on the exact model of Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016: portraying Trump as personally unqualified to be president and as a Russian stooge, while opposing any significant social reform and delivering constant reassurances to the ruling financial aristocracy that a restored Democratic administration will follow in the footsteps of Obama, showering trillions on Wall Street and doing the bidding of the military-intelligence apparatus.

One could ask of the nine ex-candidates who have now endorsed Biden, why they were candidates in the first place? Why did they bother to run against the former vice president, clearly the preferred candidate of the party establishment? None of them voices any significant political differences with Biden. All of them hail the right-wing political record of the Obama-Biden administration, even though that administration produced the social and economic devastation that made possible the election of Donald Trump.

Even more revolting, if that is possible, is the embrace of Biden by the black Democratic politicians. The former senator from Delaware is identified with some of the most repugnant episodes in the history of race relations in America: the abusive treatment of Anita Hill, when she testified against the nomination of Clarence Thomas, before Biden's Judiciary Committee; an alliance with segregationist James Eastland on school integration in the early 1970s, highlighted at a debate by Kamala Harris, eight months before she endorsed Biden; and the passage of a series of "law-and-order" bills that disproportionately jailed hundreds of thousands of African Americans, all of them pushed through the Senate by Biden.

How did a politician who boasted of his close relationships with Eastland and Strom Thurmond become the beneficiary of a virtual racial bloc vote by African Americans in the Southern states? Because African American Democratic Party leaders, including Representative James Clyburn in South Carolina and hundreds of others, represent one of the most right-wing and politically corrupt sections of the party.

The thinking of this layer was summed up in a column Saturday in the Washington Post by Colbert King, a former State Department official and local banker, a prominent member of the African American elite in the nation's capital, who wrote in outrage, "America's black billionaires have no place in a Bernie Sanders world."

King denounced the suggestion that black CEOs and billionaires are "greedy, corrupt threats to America's working families or the cause of economic disparities and human misery." Voicing the fears of his class, he continued, "I know there are those out there who buy the notion that America consists of a small class of privileged, rapacious super-rich lording over throngs of oppressed, capitalist-exploited workers. You can see it in poll numbers showing the share of Americans who prefer socialism to capitalism inching upward."

What the Washington Post columnist reveals is what Bernie Sanders has done his best to cover up: the Democratic Party is a party of the capitalist class. It can no more be converted to socialism than the CIA can become an instrument of the struggle against American imperialism.

True, Sanders can dredge up Jesse Jackson for a last-minute endorsement, proof that demagogues engaged in diverting mass left-wing sentiment into the graveyard of the Democratic Party recognize and embrace each other across the decades. But with that exception, the entire black Democratic Party establishment has lined up behind Biden -- including, most recently, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Senator Kamala Harris.

Harris's statement is worth quoting. "I have decided that I am with great enthusiasm going to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States," she said. "I believe in Joe. I really believe in him, and I have known him for a long time." The senator was no doubt responding to the incentives dangled in front of her by Biden after she left the race last December, when he gushed, "She is solid. She can be president someday herself. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice. She can be an attorney general."

Sanders seeks to counter this all-out Democratic Party campaign for Biden by seeking to woo sections of the trade union bureaucracy with appeals to economic nationalism. New Sanders television ads in Michigan feature a United Auto Workers member declaring that his state "has been decimated by trade deals," while Sanders declares that Biden backed NAFTA, drawing the conclusion, "With a record like that, we can't trust him to protect American jobs or defeat Donald Trump." The Vermont senator will find that very few auto workers follow the political lead of the corrupt gangsters who head the UAW.

More than 13 million people, mainly workers and youth, voted for Sanders in 2016 in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Millions more continue to support him this year, with the same result. Sanders will wrap up his campaign by embracing the right-wing nominee of the Democratic Party and telling his supporters that this is the only alternative to the election, and now re-election of Trump.

Indeed, in appearances on several Sunday television interview programs, Sanders went out of his way to repeat, as he said on Fox News, "Joe Biden is a friend of mine. Joe Biden is a decent guy. What Joe has said is if I win the nomination, he'll be there for me, and I have said if he wins the nomination, I'll be there for him "

[Mar 09, 2020] "What's the difference between a cannibal and a neoliberal like Senator Warren?"

Mar 09, 2020 | nymag.com

"A cannibal doesn't eat his friends."

[Mar 09, 2020] The One-Choice Election by Chris Hedges

Highly recommended!
Sanders is not a panacea. He is a sheep dog. But neoliberal oligarchs and the Deep State are afraid of sheep dog too. They need puppets.
Bernie Sanders is actually trying to save the Democratic Party from irrelevance. But irrelevance does not bother party bureaucracy and Clintons who still rule the party that much: all they want is money and plush positions.
Notable quotes:
"... Only one thing matters to the oligarchs. It is not democracy. It is not truth. It is not the consent of the governed. It is not income inequality. It is not the surveillance state. It is not endless war. It is not jobs. It is not the climate. It is the primacy of corporate power -- which has extinguished our democracy and left most of the working class in misery -- and the continued increase and consolidation of their wealth. ..."
"... Sanders was a dutiful sheepdog, attempting to herd his disgruntled supporters into the embrace of the Clinton campaign. At his moment of apostasy, when he introduced a motion to nominate Clinton, his delegates had left hundreds of convention seats empty. ..."
"... Sanders refused to support the lawsuit brought against the Democratic National Committee for rigging the primaries against him. ..."
"... Sanders misread the Democratic Party leadership, swamp creatures of the corporate state. He misread the Democratic Party, which is a corporate mirage. Its base can, at best, select preapproved candidates and act as props at rallies and in choreographed party conventions. The Democratic Party voters have zero influence on party politics or party policies. Sanders' naivete, and perhaps his lack of political courage, drove away his most committed young supporters. These followers have not forgiven him for his betrayal. They chose not to turn out to vote in the numbers he needs in the primaries. They are right. He is wrong. We need to overthrow the system, not placate it. ..."
"... Trump and Biden are repugnant figures, doddering into old age with cognitive lapses and no moral cores. Is Trump more dangerous than Biden? Yes. Is Trump more inept and more dishonest? Yes. Is Trump more of a threat to the open society? Yes. Is Biden the solution? No. ..."
"... Biden represents the old neoliberal order . He personifies the betrayal by the Democratic Party of working men and women that sparked the deep hatred of the ruling elites across the political spectrum. He is a gift to a demagogue and con artist like Trump, who at least understands that these elites are detested. Biden cannot plausibly offer change. He can only offer more of the same. And most Americans do not want more of the same. The country's largest voting-age bloc, the 100 million-plus citizens who out of apathy or disgust do not vote, will once again stay home. This demoralization of the electorate is by design. It will, I expect, give Trump another term in office. ..."
Mar 09, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

There is only one choice in this election. The consolidation of oligarchic power under Donald Trump or the consolidation of oligarchic power under Joe Biden. The oligarchs, with Trump or Biden, will win again. We will lose. The oligarchs made it abundantly clear, should Bernie Sanders miraculously become the Democratic Party nominee, they would join forces with the Republicans to crush him. Trump would, if Sanders was the nominee, instantly be shorn by the Democratic Party elites of his demons and his propensity for tyranny. Sanders would be red-baited -- as he was viciously Friday in The New York Times' " As Bernie Sanders Pushed for Closer Ties, Soviet Union Spotted Opportunity " -- and turned into a figure of derision and ridicule.

The oligarchs preach the sermon of the least-worst to us when they attempt to ram a Hillary Clinton or a Biden down our throats but ignore it for themselves. They prefer Biden over Trump, but they can live with either.

Only one thing matters to the oligarchs. It is not democracy. It is not truth. It is not the consent of the governed. It is not income inequality. It is not the surveillance state. It is not endless war. It is not jobs. It is not the climate. It is the primacy of corporate power -- which has extinguished our democracy and left most of the working class in misery -- and the continued increase and consolidation of their wealth. It is impossible working within the system to shatter the hegemony of oligarchic power or institute meaningful reform. Change, real change, will only come by sustained acts of civil disobedience and mass mobilization, as with the yellow vests movement in France and the British-based Extinction Rebellion . The longer we are fooled by the electoral burlesque, the more disempowered we will become.

I was on the streets with protesters in Philadelphia outside the appropriately named Wells Fargo Center during the 2016 Democratic Convention when hundreds of Sanders delegates walked out of the hall. "Show me what democracy looks like!" they chanted, holding Bernie signs above their heads as they poured out of the exits. "This is what democracy looks like!"

Sanders' greatest tactical mistake was not joining them. He bowed before the mighty altar of the corporate state. He had desperately tried to stave off a revolt by his supporters and delegates on the eve of the convention by sending out repeated messages in his name -- most of them authored by members of the Clinton campaign -- to be respectful, not disrupt the nominating process and support Clinton. Sanders was a dutiful sheepdog, attempting to herd his disgruntled supporters into the embrace of the Clinton campaign. At his moment of apostasy, when he introduced a motion to nominate Clinton, his delegates had left hundreds of convention seats empty.

After the 2016 convention, Sanders held rallies -- the crowds pitifully small compared to what he had drawn when he ran as an insurgent -- on Clinton's behalf. He returned to the Senate to loyally line up behind Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, whose power comes from his ability to funnel tens of millions of dollars in corporate and Wall Street money to anointed Democratic candidates. Sanders refused to support the lawsuit brought against the Democratic National Committee for rigging the primaries against him. He endorsed Democratic candidates who espoused the neoliberal economic and political positions he claims to oppose. Sanders, who calls himself an independent, caucused as a Democrat. The Democratic Party determined his assignments in the Senate. Schumer offered to make Sanders the head of the Senate Budget Committee if the Democrats won control of the Senate. Sanders became a party apparatchik.

Sanders apparently believed that if he was obsequious enough to the Democratic Party elite, they would give him a chance in 2020 , a chance they denied him in 2016. Politics, I suspect he would argue, is about compromise and the practical. This is true. But playing politics in a system that is not democratic is about being complicit in the charade. Sanders misread the Democratic Party leadership, swamp creatures of the corporate state. He misread the Democratic Party, which is a corporate mirage. Its base can, at best, select preapproved candidates and act as props at rallies and in choreographed party conventions. The Democratic Party voters have zero influence on party politics or party policies. Sanders' naivete, and perhaps his lack of political courage, drove away his most committed young supporters. These followers have not forgiven him for his betrayal. They chose not to turn out to vote in the numbers he needs in the primaries. They are right. He is wrong. We need to overthrow the system, not placate it.

Sanders is wounded. The oligarchs will go in for the kill. They will subject him to the same character assassination, aided by the courtiers in the corporate press, that was directed at Henry Wallace in 1948 and George McGovern in 1972, the only two progressive presidential candidates who managed to seriously threaten the ruling elites since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The feckless liberal class, easily frightened, is already abandoning Sanders, castigating his supporters with their nauseating self-righteousness and championing Biden as a political savior.

Trump and Biden are repugnant figures, doddering into old age with cognitive lapses and no moral cores. Is Trump more dangerous than Biden? Yes. Is Trump more inept and more dishonest? Yes. Is Trump more of a threat to the open society? Yes. Is Biden the solution? No.

Biden represents the old neoliberal order . He personifies the betrayal by the Democratic Party of working men and women that sparked the deep hatred of the ruling elites across the political spectrum. He is a gift to a demagogue and con artist like Trump, who at least understands that these elites are detested. Biden cannot plausibly offer change. He can only offer more of the same. And most Americans do not want more of the same. The country's largest voting-age bloc, the 100 million-plus citizens who out of apathy or disgust do not vote, will once again stay home. This demoralization of the electorate is by design. It will, I expect, give Trump another term in office.

By voting for Biden , you endorse the humiliation of courageous women such as Anita Hill who confronted their abusers. You vote for the architects of the endless wars in the Middle East. You vote for the apartheid state in Israel. You vote for wholesale surveillance of the public by government intelligence agencies and the abolition of due process and habeas corpus. You vote for austerity programs, including the destruction of welfare and cuts to Social Security . You vote for NAFTA, free trade deals, de-industrialization, a decline in wages, the loss of hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs and the offshoring of jobs to underpaid workers who toil in sweatshops in China or Vietnam. You vote for the assault on public education and the transfer of federal funds to for-profit and Christian charter schools. You vote for the doubling of our prison population, the tripling and quadrupling of sentences and huge expansion of crimes meriting the death penalty. You vote for militarized police who gun down poor people of color with impunity. You vote against the Green New Deal and immigration reform. You vote for limiting a woman's right to abortion and reproductive rights. You vote for a segregated public-school system in which the wealthy receive educational opportunities and poor people of color are denied a chance. You vote for punitive levels of student debt and the inability to free yourself of debt obligations through bankruptcy . You vote for deregulating the banking industry and the abolition of Glass-Steagall. You vote for the for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical corporations and against universal health care. You vote for bloated defense budgets. You vote for the use of unlimited oligarchic and corporate money to buy our elections. You vote for a politician who during his time in the Senate abjectly served the interests of MBNA , the largest independent credit card company headquartered in Delaware, which also employed Biden's son Hunter.

There are no substantial political differences between the Democrats and Republicans. We have only the illusion of participatory democracy. The Democrats and their liberal apologists adopt tolerant positions on issues regarding race, religion, immigration, women's rights and sexual identity and pretend this is politics. The right wing uses those on the margins of society as scapegoats. The culture wars mask the reality. Both parties are full partners in the reconfiguration of American society into a form of neofeudalism. It only depends on how you want it dressed up.

"By fostering an illusion among the powerless classes" that it can make their interests a priority, the Democratic Party "pacifies and thereby defines the style of an opposition party in an inverted totalitarian system," political philosopher Sheldon Wolin writes.

The Democrats will once again offer up a least-worst alternative while, in fact, doing little or nothing to thwart the march toward corporate totalitarianism. What the public wants and deserves will again be ignored for what the corporate lobbyists demand. If we do not respond soon to the social and economic catastrophe that has been visited on most of the population, we will be unable to thwart the rise of corporate tyranny and a Christian fascism.

We need to reintegrate those who have been pushed aside back into the society, to heal the ruptured social bonds, to give workers dignity, empowerment and protection. We need a universal health care system, especially as we barrel toward a global pandemic. We need programs that provide employment with sustainable wages, job protection and pensions. We need quality public education for all Americans. We need to rebuild our infrastructure and end the squandering of our resources on war. We need to halt corporate pillage and regulate Wall Street and corporations. We need to respond with radical and immediate measures to curb carbon emissions and save ourselves from ecocide and extinction. We don't need a "Punch and Judy" show between Trump and Biden. But that, along with corporate tyranny, is what we seem fated to get, unless we take to the streets and tear the house down.

[Mar 09, 2020] There are no options left for neoliberal Dems. Biden is a typical political Zugzwang. The only hope is Coronavirus (as an act of God). Otherwise it looks like they already surrendered elections to Trump.

Highly recommended!
Mar 09, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , March 9, 2020 12:11 pm

> Listen to Cornel West for a real understanding of what has happened and what are our options.

There are no options left for neoliberal Dems. This is a typical political Zugzwang. The only hope is Coronavirus (as an act of God). Otherwise it looks like they already surrendered elections to Trump.

Biden is a dead end into which neoliberal Dems drove themselves.
See, for example

https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2020/march/on-super-Tuesday

A possibility remains, therefore, that the Democrats will conduct a 'brokered convention'. Secondary candidates like Buttigieg and Warren had lately put themselves in the anti-popular posture of endorsing such a proceeding (though there's been nothing like it since the 1950s): at a brokered convention, a candidate with a solid plurality can be denied the nomination on the first ballot and defeated later by a coalition.

If Biden now runs far ahead of Sanders, he may sew it up in advance.

On the other hand, his verbal gaffes (announcing himself a candidate for the Senate rather than the presidency; saying 'I was a Democratic caucus') and his fabricated or false memories (a non-existent arrest in South Africa for demonstrating against the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela) have exposed a cognitive fragility that some people fear could make him ridiculous by November.

A Biden-Trump contest in 2020 would resemble Clinton-Trump in at least one respect. It would be a case, yet again, of the right wing of the Democratic Party making the conventional choice against the party's own insurgent energy.

The Democrats and their media outworks are treating Latinos, African Americans and whites as separate nations. Women are a nation, too – parsed (where useful) as Latino, African American or white.

So the answer to Trump's divide and conquer comes in the form of these college-certified categories that self-divide and surrender.

The only other weapon of note has been an attempted revival of the Cold War. On 23 February, the New York Times led with two anti-Sanders hatchet jobs, targeting him as both a destroyer of the Democratic Party and a possible Russian agent

But the mainstream media and their captive party, the party and its captive media, show no sign of letting up the pressure. A recent leak from a misinterpreted fragment of a report by the Director of National Intelligence became a two-day Red Scare

The truth is that the corporate-liberal media are comfortable with the Trump presidency. They have prospered wonderfully from his entertainment value, even as they staked out a high ground in the anti-Trump 'resistance'. It will be hard to deny the plausibility of the charge likely to issue soon from the Sanders campaign, namely that 'the fix is in'; and that, once more, the people are being denied their proper voice – at first through an organised propaganda campaign that was fed into debates as well as news coverage, and at last through public co-ordination by the party establishment to guide Democrats into the one acceptable box.

[Mar 09, 2020] Don't Expect a Democratic President to Roll Back Trump's Policies by Robert Fisk America's health care, its poor, its black and Hispanic minorities and the contest between

Notable quotes:
"... Faced with Zionism at its most aggressive, most US presidents tend to mellow, discovering long-standing friendships among those who most infuriate them. But Sanders has talked of Palestinian suffering and dignity on numerous occasions – which neither Biden nor Warren have yet chosen to do on the campaign – and his contention that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) promotes "bigotry" aroused perhaps too much fury from the pro-Israeli lobby group ..."
"... Its boss, Howard Kohr, is well aware that neither Sanders nor Warren – nor, apparently, Biden, though we'll see about this -- had any interest in attending this year's AIPAC conference. His latest remarks, clearly directed at the man who could be America's first Jewish president, are worthy of serious examin ..."
"... Robert Fisk writes for the Independent , where this column originally appeared. ..."
Mar 09, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders don't amount to a hill of beans in the Middle East .

And many American voters – save for pro-Israeli lobbyists, liberal Jewish groups and disparate Muslim organisations – don't care a hill of beans about the fears of Israel and the Arabs. But both Muslims and Jews in the region have been carefully studying what the three remaining Democrat contenders have said about two-state solutions, Israeli colonies in the West Bank and the US embassy, currently in Jerusalem courtesy of Donald Trump. It's time we did the same.

First of all, despair all ye who think the Democrats are going to reverse Trump's disastrous transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Those who believe that a Democrat president will simply roll back on Trump's disastrous policies – not just over the embassy but anywhere else in the Middle East – had better shake off their illusions. History doesn't go backwards. None of the Democratic candidates would commit to reversing Trump's embassy decision when asked; only Sanders spoke vaguely of returning it to Tel Aviv. The rest chickened out by suggesting, rather outrageously, that the existence of the embassy in Jerusalem would become part of future Israeli-Palestinian negotiations – something which was never part of the original Oslo negotiations nor any UN resolution.

Elizabeth Warren announced in the South Carolina debate last month that the decision should be left up to "Israel and Palestine" – presumably suggesting that the 'capital' of a two-state solution was up to them, even though Bibi Netanyahu believes it's all wrapped up – Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, full stop. And "Palestine", Warren should have been aware, doesn't as a state actually exist.

"But it's not up to us to determine what the terms of a two-state solution are," quoth she. " The best way to do that is to encourage the parties to get to the negotiating table themselves." Repeatedly asked if she would move the embassy back to Tel Aviv, Warren equally repeatedly said that "we should let the parties determine the capital." Later she rather eerily referred to "capitals" – without explaining if she was thinking of a Palestinian "capital" in the village of Abu Dis, the grim little solution that Madeleine Albright half-heartedly supported two decades ago.

Sanders, of course, captured the imagination and fury of Arabs and Israelis (and Israel's supposed friends in America) by his characterisation of Netanyahu as a "reactionary racist" – a description he may now choose to soften. Faced with Zionism at its most aggressive, most US presidents tend to mellow, discovering long-standing friendships among those who most infuriate them. But Sanders has talked of Palestinian suffering and dignity on numerous occasions – which neither Biden nor Warren have yet chosen to do on the campaign – and his contention that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) promotes "bigotry" aroused perhaps too much fury from the pro-Israeli lobby group .

Its boss, Howard Kohr, is well aware that neither Sanders nor Warren – nor, apparently, Biden, though we'll see about this -- had any interest in attending this year's AIPAC conference. His latest remarks, clearly directed at the man who could be America's first Jewish president, are worthy of serious examin ation. "A growing and highly vocal and energised part of the electorate fundamentally rejects the value of the US-Israeli alliance," he said. " The leaders of this movement say they support Israel's right to defend herself. But every time Israel exercises that right, they condemn Israel."

Kohr wasn't referring here to BDS, the boycott, divest and sanctions movement which does frighten Israeli leaders, but the increasingly worried men and women in America – young Jewish liberals prominent among them – who are disgusted by the suffering faced by the Palestinians in Gaza. Unafraid of Sanders' unwise use of the word "socialism" – which used to be quite acceptable in Israel many years ago – they are searching, I suspect, for a morality in international politics which the US regularly suspends when confronted by Israel's colonial project in the West Bank.

"Israel cannot afford false friends," Kohr continued in a very clear assault on Sanders' condemnation of the Israeli government and its now yet-again elected prime minister, an attack he described as "demonising Israel". Last spring, Kohr spoke of the "intense hatred" of Israel which, he contended, was moving from the margins to the centre of US politics. " Israel has been able to count on its friendship with the United States," he now says.

But George W Bush and Obama "each understood that America's commitment to Israel's safety must be consistent, it must be unequivocal [sic], and it must be dependable." In reality – a quality often lost in any discussion of US-Israeli relations in Washington – Obama was angered by Netanyahu's constant interference in US politics, his lone appeals to Congress over the president's head and his absolute refusal to postpone or close down or abandon the steady theft of Palestinian Arab land for Jewish colonies between Jerusalem and the Jordan river. Kohr's reference to the necessity of America's "unequivocal" support is not quite what he meant.

The correct word – had he dared to say it – would have been "uncritical". And Sanders is not uncritical. In the strait-jacket, fearful debates which pass for serious television discussion in the United States, condemnation of Israel and its grotesque occupation of another people's land – if not splashed with accusations of antisemitism – is regarded as off-limits, unacceptable, even immoral.

Sanders has broken this silly convention. And thus he must be dismissed as a "socialist' (this is partly his fault, of course) and a "radical", a word which my elderly Dad would probably have interpreted as a 'Bolshie'. Sanders is not a Bolshevik – though he sometimes looks like one when he's on the stump – and his real threat to Israel is that in the eyes of his supporters, he is honest, and seen to be honest. The fact that Sanders is Jewish and represents the bravest of America's liberal Jewish community is all the more frightening to Israel's right-wing supporters.

And so we come to Joe Biden, a man whom Netanyahu used to run rings around when Biden was Obama's vice president. In 2010, the Netanyahu government blithely announced 1,600 new settlement houses on occupied Palestinian land shortly after Biden's arrival on an official visit to Israel. Huffily arriving 90 minutes late for dinner with Netanyahu, Biden condemned the decision – and said no more. Four years later, addressing the Saban Forum, part of the right-wing Brookings Institute, Biden spent much time condemning Iran, praising Obama's $17 billion financial support for Israel's military – which he calculated at $8.5 million a day – and referring obliquely to the grave reservations which the Obama administration had about Israel as "tactical disagreements", "tactical divides", "normal disagreements" and "different perspectives".

Only at the very end of his 2014 peroration did Biden mildly condemn "expanding settlement activity and construction and the demolition of homes of attackers [sic]" as "counterproductive". He referred to "terrorist" attacks by Palestinians and "vigilante attacks" by Jewish settlers. And that's pretty much what we can expect of a Biden presidency.

He might, conceivably, try to roll back Trump's destruction of the Iranian nuclear agreement into which Obama put so much energy – but just as he will not commit himself to reversing Trump's decision on the US embassy transfer to Jerusalem, he's likely to search for another nuclear agreement to take the place of the Obama one – which, in his perverse and hopeless way, is what Trump has been suggesting.

The trouble is that while former Democrat candidates are now ganging up to destroy Sanders' chances of nomination – along with a significant portion of the US "liberal" press – Trump, barring a virus-induced economic collapse, is unlikely to spend much time worrying about a Biden candidacy.

Just as they prefer a "safe pair of hands" to protect the party, so the Democrat elite and the "old" liberals fear the moral crusade upon which Sanders might embark – about health and human rights just as much as the Middle East. Better to avoid conflict with Israel, too. And that was Hilary Clinton's policy, wasn't it? And that's how Sanders went off the rails in the last presidential election, finally asking his supporters to give their vote to Hillary, as they shouted: "No! No! No!" Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Robert Fisk

Robert Fisk writes for the Independent , where this column originally appeared.

[Mar 07, 2020] The Neoliberal Plague by Rob Urie

Highly recommended!
Creating employment insecurity was the entire point of neoliberal reforms such as outsourcing, de-skilling and contingent employment. Neoliberal theory had it that desperate workers work both longer and harder. And they die younger.
We can view "Creepy Joe" and Trump as representatives of "neoliberal plague" The slogan should be " No Pasaran " ( Dolores Ibárruri's famous battlecry appeal for the defense of the Second Spanish Republic)
Notable quotes:
"... For those who aren't familiar with Albert Camus' The Plague , disparate lives are brought together during a plague that sweeps through an Algerian city. ..."
"... Through the virus, a new light is being shone on four decades of neoliberal reorganization of political economy. The combination of widespread economic marginalization and a lack of paid time off means that sick and highly contagious workers will have little economic choice but to spread the virus. And the insurance company pricing mechanism intended to dissuade people from overusing health care ('skin in the game') means that only very sick people will 'buy' health care they can't afford. ..."
"... If this last part reads like (Ayn) Randian social theory as interpreted by a budding sociopath in the basement of his dead parent's crumbling tract home, it is basic neoliberal ideology applied to circumstances that we can see playing out in real time. ..."
"... While the American response to the Coronavirus threat seems to be less than robust, there was a near instantaneous response from the Federal Reserve to a 10% decline in stock prices. ..."
"... If priorities seem misplaced, you haven't been paying attention. The statistics on suicides, divorces, drug addiction and self-destructive behavior that result from the loss of employment were understood and widely published by the early 1990s, at the peak of that era's round of mass layoffs. Creating employment insecurity was the entire point of neoliberal reforms such as outsourcing, de-skilling and contingent employment. Neoliberal theory had it that desperate workers work both longer and harder. And they die younger. ..."
"... But how likely is it that people will 'demand' too much healthcare? The starting position of Obamacare was that the American healthcare system provided half the benefit at twice the price of comparable systems. ..."
"... Milton Friedman, one of the founders of neoliberalism through the Mont Pelerin Society, produced a long career's worth of half-baked garbage economics. On the rare occasions when he wasn't helping Chilean fascists toss students out of airplanes in flight, he was pawning his infantile theories off on future Chamber of Commerce and ALEC predators. His positivism was already known to be a farce when he took it up. Here is a primer that explains why it is, and always will be, a farce. ..."
Mar 07, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

For those who aren't familiar with Albert Camus' The Plague , disparate lives are brought together during a plague that sweeps through an Algerian city. Today, by way of the emergence of a lethal and highly communicable virus (Coronavirus), we -- the people of the West, have an opportunity to reconsider what we mean to one another. The existential lesson is that through dread and angst we can choose to live, with the responsibilities that the choice entails, or just fade away.

Through the virus, a new light is being shone on four decades of neoliberal reorganization of political economy. The combination of widespread economic marginalization and a lack of paid time off means that sick and highly contagious workers will have little economic choice but to spread the virus. And the insurance company pricing mechanism intended to dissuade people from overusing health care ('skin in the game') means that only very sick people will 'buy' health care they can't afford.

Market provision of virus test kits, vaccines and basic sanitary aids will, in the absence of government coercion, follow the monopolist's model of under-provision at prices that are unaffordable for most people. The most fiscally responsible route, in the sense of assuring that the rich don't pay taxes, is to let those who can't afford health care die. If this means that tens of millions of people die unnecessarily, markets are a harsh taskmaster. ( 3.4% mortality rate @ 2X – 3X the contagion rate of the Spanish Flu @ 4 X 1918 population).

If this last part reads like (Ayn) Randian social theory as interpreted by a budding sociopath in the basement of his dead parent's crumbling tract home, it is basic neoliberal ideology applied to circumstances that we can see playing out in real time. According to Ryan Grim of The Intercept, Bill Clinton eliminated the ' reasonable pricing ' requirement for drugs made by companies that receive government funding. This has bearing on both commercially developed Coronavirus test kits and vaccines.

Leaving aside technical difficulties that either will or won't be resolved, how would any substantial portion of the 80% of the population that lives hand-to-mouth be effectively quarantined when losing an income creates a cascade effect of evictions, foreclosures, starvation, repossessions, shut-off utilities, etc.? The current system conceived and organized to make desperate and near desperate workers labor with the minimum of pay and benefits is a public health disaster by design.

While the American response to the Coronavirus threat seems to be less than robust, there was a near instantaneous response from the Federal Reserve to a 10% decline in stock prices. The same Federal Reserve that has been engineering a non-stop rise in stock prices since Wall Street was bailed out in 2009 knows perfectly well how narrowly stock ownership is concentrated amongst the rich -- it publishes the data. It quickly lowered the cost of financial speculation as the cost of Coronavirus tests and a vaccine -- and the question of who will bear them, remain indeterminate.

If priorities seem misplaced, you haven't been paying attention. The statistics on suicides, divorces, drug addiction and self-destructive behavior that result from the loss of employment were understood and widely published by the early 1990s, at the peak of that era's round of mass layoffs. Creating employment insecurity was the entire point of neoliberal reforms such as outsourcing, de-skilling and contingent employment. Neoliberal theory had it that desperate workers work both longer and harder. And they die younger.

The brutality of the logic used by the Obama administration in constructing the ACA, Obamacare, is worthy of exploration. The premise behind the 'skin in the game' idea is neoliberalism 101, developed by a founder of neoliberalism, economist Milton Friedman, to ration health care. The basic idea is that without a price attached to it, people will 'demand' more health care than they need. That from a public health perspective, oversupplying health care is better than undersupplying it, is ignored under the premise that public health concerns are communistic. (Read Friedman).

But how likely is it that people will 'demand' too much healthcare? The starting position of Obamacare was that the American healthcare system provided half the benefit at twice the price of comparable systems. Through the 'market' pricing mechanism that existed, the incentive was for people to avoid purchasing healthcare because it was / is wildly overpriced. Not considered was that through geographical and specialist 'natural monopolies,' health care providers had an incentive to undersupply health care by providing high-margin services to the rich.

Furthermore, why would a healthcare system be considered from the perspective of individual users? In contrast to the temporal sleight-of-hand where Obamacare 'customers' are expected to anticipate their illnesses and buy insurance plans that cover them, the entire premise of health insurance is that illnesses are unpredictable. Isn't the Coronavirus evidence of this unpredictable nature? And through the nature of pandemics, it is known that some people will get sick and other people won't. Not known is precisely who will get sick and who won't.

While there are public health emergency provisions in Obamacare that may or may not be invoked, why does it make sense in any case to require that people anticipate future illnesses? Such a program isn't health care and it isn't even health insurance. It is gambling. Guess right and you live. Guess wrong and you die. Why should we be guessing at all? Prior to Obamacare, health insurance companies gamed the system with life and death decisions. In true neoliberal fashion, Obamacare randomized the process as health insurers continue to game the system.

As I understand it, the public health emergency provision in Obamacare might cover virus testing and the cost of a vaccine if one is ever found. Great. What about care? How many readers chose a plan that covers Coronavirus? How many days can you go without a paycheck if you get sick or are quarantined? Who will take care of your children and for how long? How will you pay your rent or mortgage? Who will deliver groceries to your house and how will you pay for them? How will you make the car payment before they repossess it and how will you get to work without it if you recover?

The rank idiocy -- and the political content, of the frame of individual 'consumers' overusing health care quickly devolves to the fact that some large portion of the American people can't afford to go to the doctor when they need to. Even if they can afford the direct costs, they can't afford the indirect costs. When Obamacare was passed, the U.S. had the worst health care outcomes among rich countries. Ten years later, the U.S. has the worst healthcare outcomes among rich countries . And medical bankruptcies are virtually unchanged since Obamacare was passed.

The reason for focusing on Obamacare is it is the system through which we encounter the Coronavirus. In the narrow political sense of getting a health care bill passed, Obamacare may or may not have been 'pragmatic.' In a public health care sense, it is a disaster decades in the making. The problem wasn't / isn't Mr. Obama per se. It is the radical ideology behind it that was posed as pragmatism. Mr. Obama's success was to get a bill passed -- a political accomplishment. It wasn't to create a functioning healthcare system.

The otherworldly nature of neoliberal theory has led to a most brutal of social philosophies. Mr. Obama later put his energy into lengthening drug company patents to give drug companies an economic advantage provided by the government. Economist Dean Baker has made a career out of hammering this general point home. Michael Bloomberg benefited from government support for both technology and finance. His fortune of $16 billion in 2009 followed stock prices higher to land him at $64.2 billion in 2020.

Donald Trump inherited a large fortune that likewise followed stock and Manhattan real estate prices higher. Both he and Mr. Bloomberg could have put their early fortunes into passive portfolios and received the returns that they claim to be the product of superior intelligence and hard work. Analytically, if the variability of these fortunes tracks systemic, rather than personal, factors, then systemic factors explain them. The same is true of most of the great fortunes of the epoch of finance capitalism that began around 1978.

The point of merging these issues is that they represent flip sides of the neoliberal coin. In a broad sense, neoliberalism is premised on economic Darwinism, the quasi-religious (it isn't Darwin) idea that people land where they deserve to land in the social order. This same idea, that systemic differences in economic outcomes are evidence of systemic causes, applies here. However, differences in intelligence, initiative and talent don't map to systemic outcomes , meaning that concentrated wealth isn't a reward for these.

The ignorant brutality of this system appears to be on its way to getting a reality check through a tiny virus. Unless the Federal government figures this out really fast, most of the bodies will be carried out of poor and working class neighborhoods like mine. Few here have health insurance and most health care providers in the area don't take the insurance they do have. More than a day away from work and many of my neighbors will no longer have jobs. Evictions are a regular state of affairs in good times. There are no resources to facilitate a larger-picture response.

Liberalism, of which neoliberalism is a cranky cousin, lives through a patina of pragmatism until the nukes start flying or a virus hits. Getting healthcare 'consumers' to consider their market choices follows a narrow logic up to the point where none of the choices are relevant to a public health emergency. One I plus another I plus another I doesn't equal us. The fundamental premise of neoliberalism, the Robinsonade I, has always been a cynical dodge to let rich people keep their loot.

The mortality rate and contagion factor recently reported for Coronavirus (links at top) place it above the modern benchmark of the Spanish Flu of 1918 in terms of potential lethality. What should make people angry is how the reconfiguration of political economy intended to make a few people really rich has put the rest of us at increased risk. These are real people's lives and they matter.

Finally, for students of neoliberalism: there is no conflation of neoliberalism with neoclassical economics here. Milton Friedman, one of the founders of neoliberalism through the Mont Pelerin Society, produced a long career's worth of half-baked garbage economics. On the rare occasions when he wasn't helping Chilean fascists toss students out of airplanes in flight, he was pawning his infantile theories off on future Chamber of Commerce and ALEC predators. His positivism was already known to be a farce when he took it up. Here is a primer that explains why it is, and always will be, a farce.

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.

[Mar 06, 2020] "Bernie Sanders 2020" ad.

Mar 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

Hail , says: Website Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 12:03 am GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

-Has the flu. Not coronavirus
-Billed $3,270
-Works for medical device company that doesn't offer insurance

This is basically a "Bernie Sanders 2020" ad.

[Mar 04, 2020] Donna Brazile who among other things gave Hillary the question for presidential debate in advance just told the @GOPChairwoman to "go to hell" for suggesting that the Democratic establishment was once again worked to manipulate a nominee into frontrunner status

Mar 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Former DNC chairman who gave Hillary Clinton debate questions in advance during the 2016 election, exclaimed on Fox News that Biden's victory was "the most impressive 72 hours I've ever seen in U.S. politics," and told another analyst to " go to hell " for suggesting that the Democratic establishment was once again working to manipulate a nominee into frontrunner status.

The Democrats are in chaos and melting down on live TV.

Donna Brazile just told the @GOPChairwoman to "go to hell" when asked about the chaos.

Best of luck, Donna! Meanwhile, Republicans are more unified than ever! pic.twitter.com/hCwotuF9tx

-- Trump War Room - Text EMPOWER to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) March 3, 2020

[Mar 04, 2020] Russiagate should be viewed as classic, textbook case of gaslighting and projecting election interference

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I tried to sorta warm people on other sites that while they were looking for Russians at the front door, the gop was coming in the bad door for some rather nasty election interference. ..."
"... Of course what we are seeing now is democrats cheating other democrats. But that reality will never be acknowledged because, hey, it never happened before. Just unintentional mistakes like in Iowa (farm folk cheating -- no way) or Brooklyn. ..."
Mar 04, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

MrWebster on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:00pm

What you describe is probably why Russiagate spread so easily to so many people. Nothing happened in previous elections? Everything you describe never happened as you point out. The American electoral system was and is pristine and virginal.

Until the Russians came and destroyed American democracy through social media themes, memes, and retweets.

The American electoral system was never brutally corrupted by rigged votes, voter suppression on the scale of hundreds of thousands, deliberately miscounted votes, voter fraud, etc. Americans never did to each other anything as bad as what the Russians did to Americans.

Of course, for me never worked as I worked in primaries of a democratic machine dominated city. I tried to sorta warm people on other sites that while they were looking for Russians at the front door, the gop was coming in the bad door for some rather nasty election interference.

Of course what we are seeing now is democrats cheating other democrats. But that reality will never be acknowledged because, hey, it never happened before. Just unintentional mistakes like in Iowa (farm folk cheating -- no way) or Brooklyn.

[Mar 03, 2020] Hillary Clinton regarding the primaries: "Let's follow the rules"

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Mar 3 2020 15:06 utc | 2

Quote of the Day
or
Quote of the Millennia?

Hillary Clinton regarding the primaries:

"Let's follow the rules"

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/485646-hillary-clinton-responds-to-sanders-on-delegates-lets-follow-the-rules


Trailer Trash , Mar 3 2020 15:49 utc | 6

Is there any other nation state that has 50 separate official elections, mostly run and paid for by the public, just so a private club masquerading as a political party can select its leader? To the rest of the world, this must look completely insane, but few people anywhere even seem to notice how ridiculous it all looks.
Nathan Mulcahy , Mar 3 2020 22:54 utc | 62
Stop calling it USA. It is USO (United States of Oligarchs).

[Mar 03, 2020] Semi-senile Biden is now so Presidential and is the best candidate forward

However, we do need to raise questions about election anomalies. Journalists should be focused on the DNC is cheating Bernie and, by extension, the American people. It must be recorded. It should be investigated. The first 4 primary contests account for only 4% of all allocated delegates, yet have a hugely disproportionate influence on the race. Of those 4 states, only NV is roughly in synch with the national demographic profile.
The whole primary system needs a major overhaul. It takes too long and costs too much (e.g., all the wasted $$ Steyer and Tulsi spent in SC). It's an embarrassing wasteful spectacle which only enriches the MSM and hired political consultant hacks. Most voters don't bother to tune in until 10-12 months into the marathon campaign. I would blow it all up and start over from scratch.
"They're fearful because Bernie Sanders, his political revolution, morally based, ethically based, is a fundamental challenge to their interest and their status." -- Dr. Cornel West
Mar 03, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

. @DWStweets endorses @JoeBiden .
"It was a very easy decision," she said. "We need to make sure that we put the best candidate forward." https://t.co/0uIvUBxlQp

-- Anthony Man (@browardpolitics) March 1, 2020

[Mar 03, 2020] Super Tuesday Bernie vs The DNC Round Two

Highly recommended!
Mar 03, 2020 | off-guardian.org

No matter who comes away with the nomination, it has to be asked "was any of this process legitimate?". We know from a plethora of examples that US elections are not fair. They border on meaningless most of the time. The DNC's doubly so, having argued in court they have no duty to be fair.

Any result, then, you could safely assume was contrived, for one reason or another.

If the Buttigieg-Klobuchar-Biden gambit works, we end up with Trump vs. Biden. And, realistically, that means a second Trump term.

Biden is possibly senile and definitely creepy . Watching him shuffle and stutter through a Presidential campaign would be almost cruel.

Politically, he has all of Hillary's weaknesses, being a big-time establishment type with a pro-war record, without even the "I have a vagina" card to play.

He'll get massacred.

Is that the plan?

There's more than enough signs that Trump has abandoned all the policies that made him any kind of threat to the political establishment. Four years on: no wars ended, no walls built, no swamp drained. Just more of the same. He's an idiot who talked big and got co-opted. It happens.

The Senate and other institutions might talk about Trump being a criminal or an idiot or a "Nazi", but the reality is he's barely perceptibly different from any other POTUS this side of JFK.

#TheResistance was a puppet show. A weak game played for toy money. When it really counts, they're all in it together. Biden getting on the ticket would be a public admittance of that. It would mean the DNC is effectively throwing the fight. Trump is a son of a bitch, but he's their son of a bitch. And that's much better than even the idea of President Bernie.

... ... ...

falcemartello ,

Does it really matter?
Empire of kaos will never move one inch to change the status quo.
The quaisi fascist state that most western /antlantacist nations have become it will make no difference
Gianbattista Vico"Their will always be an elite class" Punto e basta.
Name me one politico that made any difference to we the sheeple in the modern era.
If someone were to mention FDR I will scream.
Aldo Moro got murdered by the deep state for only suggesting to make a pact with Berlinguer the head of Il Partito Communista Italiano.

[Mar 03, 2020] Let s Talk About Your Alleged #Resistance by Joe Giambrone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Clinton also lied to the country about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and voted for that obviously illegal war. This after 8 years of her husband's genocidal sanctions killed a minimum of 500,000 innocent Iraqi children . ..."
"... What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous. Yet, he persisted and to this day attempts to help common Americans as much as he can. He does what he believes to be the right thing. His integrity and his record of fighting for working Americans are not the points of contention in this race. ..."
"... Today, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat who beats Trump in poll after poll . The only one. This is no small matter. Trump needs to be beaten in the tangled Electoral College, where a simple numerical victory isn't enough. ..."
"... Bernie is the best choice, but it is interesting that you brought up the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Bernie supported those sanctions. He also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which reaffirmed US support for the sanctions even after 500,000 children had been killed. ..."
"... Well, the BBC is bigging up Joe Biden right now, yet another of its ridiculous pieces of propaganda utterly devoid of its duty to serve its license payors, who are the British people, not the neoconservative banking elite. ..."
"... How interesting, it's Obama who gave the "cue" for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Beto, Rice, and the entire slippery gang to circle the wagons in support of the most reactionary warmongering candidate running. The same Obama who released drones every Tuesday morning killing brown and blacks throughout the Middle East and Africa– the majority of slaughtered were innocent women and children. ..."
"... The desperation of the national security state is reflected by The DNC's Shenanigans. The security state would rather promote a crooked, warmongering, lying, racist who barely can put together two logical thoughts then accept a candidate who represents a hopeful future for the next generation. ..."
"... The DNC's message is very clear– they're a "private party" and the working-class are NOT invited. ..."
"... But this by far is the most frightening thought, Biden, does not have all his marbles–it's obvious–we can only guess it's some type of dementia. So if Biden, slides through deploying a multitude of underhanded machinations and becomes the nominee, Trump, will make mincemeat of him during the debates. ..."
"... I'm not in the Orange Baboon's Fan Club, but I find it sad and a little bit pathetic the way people still invest their hopes and put their faith in figures like Bernie, Tulsi or Jezza. Bernie got shafted in 2016 and just saluted smartly and fell into line behind Crooked Hillary. When she lost, he started singing from the approved hymn sheet. The evil Putin stole the election for Kremlin Agent Trump. He has been parroting the same nonsense for the past 4 years. ..."
"... Jeez people get a clue. How many times do you need to fall for the "this candidate is so much better and will solve everything" ruse? Remember Obama? The exact same bullshit was going around back then. ..."
"... We have hope😁 . We have change😁 . We have hope and change you can believe in😁 . Well, yeah, we all know what happened during Obombers 8 years. The entire thing is nothing but Kabuki theatre. For all those still believing the United States is a democracy. ..."
"... 'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root. ..."
"... Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns ..."
"... Every opportunity to push back Neo liberalism should be taken. ..."
"... Once again, Mark Twain sums up my feeling: "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it." ..."
"... Where's yours? That's impertinent. Our voting process was programmed, close to 100% by two guys, at one point not many years ago, with the same last name, the brothers Urosevich. The machine owners claim that, as it is their proprietary software, the public is excluded from the vote-counting. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Editor Joe Giambrone

In 2016, Hillary Clinton deserved to lose, and she did. Her deception, her cheating in the primary elections , was well-documented, despicable, dishonest, untrustworthy. Her money-laundering scheme at DNC should have been prosecuted under campaign finance laws.

Her record of warmongering and gleefully gloating over death and destruction was also well established. On national TV she bragged about the mutilation of Moammar Qaddafi: "We came, we saw, he died!"

Clinton also lied to the country about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and voted for that obviously illegal war. This after 8 years of her husband's genocidal sanctions killed a minimum of 500,000 innocent Iraqi children .

This person was undeserving of anyone's support.

What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous. Yet, he persisted and to this day attempts to help common Americans as much as he can. He does what he believes to be the right thing. His integrity and his record of fighting for working Americans are not the points of contention in this race.

His opponents have instead opted for every nonsensical conspiracy theory and McCarthyite smear they can concoct, including the most ridiculous of all: the Putin theory , without a single shred of evidence to support it.

Today, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat who beats Trump in poll after poll . The only one. This is no small matter. Trump needs to be beaten in the tangled Electoral College, where a simple numerical victory isn't enough.

Bernie wins, and he has the best overall shot of changing the course of history, steering America away from plutocracy and fascism.

That crucial race is happening right now in the primaries . If Bernie Sanders doesn't secure 50% of all delegates, then DNC insiders have already signaled that they will steal the nomination and give it to someone else -- who will lose to Trump. The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday.

It's either Trump or Bernie. That's your choice. Your only choice.

Where is your so-called "#Resistance" now?


Ben Barbour ,

Bernie is the best choice, but it is interesting that you brought up the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Bernie supported those sanctions. He also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which reaffirmed US support for the sanctions even after 500,000 children had been killed.

Bernie also voted for Clinton's 1999 bombing campaign on Kosovo.

All that said, yes, Bernie is the best option.

Rhys Jaggar ,

Well, the BBC is bigging up Joe Biden right now, yet another of its ridiculous pieces of propaganda utterly devoid of its duty to serve its license payors, who are the British people, not the neoconservative banking elite.

When they spout bullshit that 20% of UK workers could miss work 'due to coronavirus', when we have had precisely 36 deaths in a population of 65 million plus, you know that like climate change, they spout the 1% probability as the mainstream narrative .

It just shows what folks are up against when media is so cravenly serving those who do not pay them.

Charlotte Russe ,

"If Bernie Sanders doesn't secure 50% of all delegates, then DNC insiders have already signaled that they will steal the nomination and give it to someone else -- who will lose to Trump. The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday."

While Bernie spent more than three decades advocating for economic social justice Biden spent those same three decades promoting social repression."

"The 1990s saw Biden take aim at civil liberties, authoring anti-terror bills that, among other things, "gutted the federal writ of habeas corpus," as one legal scholar later reflected. It was this earlier legislation that led Biden to brag to anyone listening that he was effectively the author of the Bush-era PATRIOT ACT, which, in his view, didn't go far enough. He inserted a provision into the bill that allowed for the militarization of local law enforcement and again suggested deploying the military within US borders."

How interesting, it's Obama who gave the "cue" for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Beto, Rice, and the entire slippery gang to circle the wagons in support of the most reactionary warmongering candidate running. The same Obama who released drones every Tuesday morning killing brown and blacks throughout the Middle East and Africa– the majority of slaughtered were innocent women and children.

The desperation of the national security state is reflected by The DNC's Shenanigans. The security state would rather promote a crooked, warmongering, lying, racist who barely can put together two logical thoughts then accept a candidate who represents a hopeful future for the next generation.

The DNC's message is very clear– they're a "private party" and the working-class are NOT invited. In fact, they're saying more than that–if uninvited workers and the marginalized dare to enter they'll be tossed out on their arse

In plain sight the mainstream media news is telling millions that NO one can stop the military/security/surveillance/corporate state from their stranglehold over the corrupt political duopoly.

I say fight and don't give-up! Be prepared–organize a million people march and head to Milwaukee– the future of the next generation is on the line.

But this by far is the most frightening thought, Biden, does not have all his marbles–it's obvious–we can only guess it's some type of dementia. So if Biden, slides through deploying a multitude of underhanded machinations and becomes the nominee, Trump, will make mincemeat of him during the debates.

But if Biden, makes it to the Oval Office he'll be "less" than a figurehead. Biden, will be as mentally acute as the early bird diner in a Florida assisted living facility after a recent stroke. The national security state will seize control– handing the "taxidermied Biden" a pen to idiotically sign off on their highly insidious agenda ..

Ken Kenn ,

Pretty straightforward for me ( I don't know about Bernie? ) but if the Super delegates and the DNC hierarchy decide to hand the nomination over to Biden then Bernie should stand as an independent. At least even in defeat a left marker would be placed on the US political table away from the Corporate owners and the shills that hack for them in the media and elsewhere. At least ordinary US people would know that someone is on their side.

Corbyn in the UK was described as a ' Marxist' by the Tories and the unquestioning media. Despite all that ' Marxist ' Labour got 33% of the vote. People will vote for a ' socialist '

Charlotte Ruse ,

Unfortunately, Bernie won't abandon the Democratic Party. However, there's a ton of Bernie supporters who will vote Third Party if Bernie doesn't get the nomination.

paul ,

I'm not in the Orange Baboon's Fan Club, but I find it sad and a little bit pathetic the way people still invest their hopes and put their faith in figures like Bernie, Tulsi or Jezza. Bernie got shafted in 2016 and just saluted smartly and fell into line behind Crooked Hillary. When she lost, he started singing from the approved hymn sheet. The evil Putin stole the election for Kremlin Agent Trump. He has been parroting the same nonsense for the past 4 years.

That's when he hasn't been shilling for regime change wars in Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and elsewhere against "communist dictators."

Bernie will get shafted again shortly and fall into line behind Epstein's and Weinstein's best mate Bloomberg or Creepy Joe, or Pocahontas, or whoever.

If by some miracle they can't quite rig it this time and Bernie gets the nomination, the DNC will just fail to support him, and allow Trump to win. They would rather see Trump than Bernie in the White House.

Just like Starmer, Thornberry, Phillips and all the Blairite Backstabber Friends of Israel were more terrified of seeing Jezza in Number Ten than any Tory.
Dr. Johnson said that getting remarried represented the triumph of hope over experience.

The same applies to people expecting any positive change from people like Bernie, Tulsi, or Jezza.

The system just doesn't allow it.

pete ,

Jeez people get a clue. How many times do you need to fall for the "this candidate is so much better and will solve everything" ruse? Remember Obama? The exact same bullshit was going around back then.

Gezzah Potts ,

We have hope😁 . We have change😁 . We have hope and change you can believe in😁 . Well, yeah, we all know what happened during Obombers 8 years. The entire thing is nothing but Kabuki theatre. For all those still believing the United States is a democracy.

clickkid ,

"The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday." Sorry Joe, but where have you been for the last 50 years" Elections are irrelevant. Events change the world – not elections. The only important aspect of an election is the turnout. If you vote in an election, then at some level you still believe in the system.

Willem ,

Sometimes Chomsky can be useful

'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root.

Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns.'

If true, the question is, what are we not allowed to say? Or is Chomsky wrong, and are we allowed to say anything we like since TPTB know that words cannot, ever, change political action as for that you need power and brutal force, which we do not have and which, btw Chomsky advocates to its readers not to try to use against the nation state?

So maybe Chomsky is not so useful after all, or only useful for the status quo.

Chomsky's latest book, sold in book stores and at airports, where, apparantly, opinions of dissident writers whose opinions go beyond the bounds of the consensus of elites, are sold in large amounts to marginalize those opinions out of society, is called 'Optimism over despair', a title stolen from Gramsci who said: 'pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.'

But every time I follow Chomsky's reasoning, I end in dead end roads of which it is quite hard to find your way out. So perhaps I should change that title into 'nihilism over despair'. If you follow Chomsky's reasoning

clickkid ,

Your Chomsky Quote: "'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. .. " Tell that to the Yellow Vests.

ajbsm ,

Despite the deep state stranglehold .on the whole world there seems to be a 'wind' blowing (ref Lenin) of more and more people turning backs on the secret service candidates – not just in America. Power, money and bullying will carry on succeeding eventually the edifice is blown away – this will probably happen, it will be ugly and what emerges might not even be better(!) But the current controllers seem to have a sell by date.

Ken Kenn ,

I'm not convinced of the theory that the more poor/whipped/ spat upon people become the more likely they are to revolt. A revolution can only come about when the Bourgeoisie can no longer continue to govern in the old way. In other words it becomes more than a want – more of a necessity of change to the ordinary person.

We have to remember that in general ( it's a bit of a guess but just to illustrate a point ) that a small majority of people in any western nation are reasonably content – to an extent. They are not going to rock the boat that Kennedy tried to make the tide rise for or that Thatcher and her mates copied with home owner ship and the right to get into serious debt. This depends on whether you had/have a boat in the first place. If not you've always been drowning in the slowly rising tide.

Sanders as I've said before is not Castro. He has many faults but in a highly parameterised p Neo liberal economic loving political and media world he is the best hope. Not great stuff on offer but a significant move away from the 1% and the 3% who work for them ( including Presidents and Prime Misister ) so even that slight shift is plus for the most powerful country on planet earth.

I have in the past worked alongside various religious groups as an atheist as long as they were on the right( or should that be left?) side on an issue.

Now is not the time for the American left to play the Prolier than though card.

Every opportunity to push back Neo liberalism should be taken.

wardropper ,

I'm not convinced of the theory that the more poor/whipped/ spat upon people become the more likely they are to revolt. But didn't the Storming of the Bastille happen for that very reason? I think people are waiting for just one spark to ignite their simmering fury – just one more straw to break the patient camel's back. Understandably, the "elite" (which used to mean exalted above the general level) are in some trepidation about this, but, like all bullies their addiction to the rush of power goes all the way to the bitter end – the bitter end being the point at which their target stands up and gives them a black eye. It's almost comical how the bully then becomes the wailing victim himself, and we have all seen often enough the successfully-resisted dictatorial figure of authority resorting to the claim that he is now being bullied himself. But this is a situation of his own making, and our sympathy for him is limited by our memory of that fact.

Ken Kenn ,

Where's the simmering fury in the West. U.S. turnout is pathetically low. Even in the UK the turnout in the most important election since the First World War was 67%. I see the result of the " simmering fury " giving rise to the right not the left. Just that one phrase or paragraph of provocative words will spark the revolution?

... ... ...

wardropper ,

My point, which I thought I made clearly enough, was that the fury is simmering , and waiting for a catalyst. I also think an important reason for turnout being low is simply that people don't respond well to being treated like idiots by an utterly corrupt establishment. They just don't want to participate in the farce.

Once again, Mark Twain sums up my feeling: "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it."

I'm not trying to be argumentative, and, like you, I am quite happy to back Sanders as by far the best of a pretty rotten bunch. Perhaps China is indeed leading in many respects right now, but becoming Chinese doesn't seem like a real option for most of us at the moment . . . Incidentally I have been to China and I found the people there as interesting as people anywhere else, although I particularly enjoyed the many things which are completely different from our western cultural roots.

Rhisiart Gwilym ,

Speaking of the Clintons' death toll, didn't Sanders too back all USAmerica's mass-murdering, armed-robbery aggressions against helpless small countries in recent times? And anyway, why are we wasting time discussing the minutiae of the shadow-boxing in this ridiculous circus of a pretend-democratic 'election'? Watching a coffin warp would be a more useful occupation.

I go with Dmitry Orlov's reckoning of the matter: It doesn't matter who becomes president of the US, since the rule of the deep state continues unbroken, enacting its own policies, which ignore the wishes of the common citizens, and only follow the requirements of the mostly hyper-rich gics (gangsters-in-charge) in the controlling positions of this spavined, failing empire. (My paraphrase of Dmitry.)

USPresidents do what their deep-state handlers want; or they get impeached, or assassinated like the Kennedy brothers. And they all know this. Bill Hick's famous joke about men in a smoke-filled room showing the newly-'elected' POTUS that piece of film of Kennedy driving by the grassy knoll in Dealy Plaza, Dallas, is almost literally true. All POTUSes understand that perfectly well before they even take office.

Voting for the policies you prefer, in a genuinely democratic republic, and actually getting them realised, will only happen for USAmericans when they've risen up and taken genuine popular control of their state-machine; at last!

Meanwhile, of what interest is this ridiculous charade to us in Britain (on another continent entirely; we never see this degree of attention given to Russian politics, though it has a much greater bearing on our future)? Our business here is to get Britain out of it's current shameful status, as one of the most grovelling of all the Anglozionist empire's provinces. We have a traitorous-comprador class of our own to turn out of power. Waste no time on the continuous three-ring distraction-circus in the US – where we in Britain don't even have a vote.

wardropper ,

The upvotes here would seem to show what thinking people appreciate most. Seeing through the advertising bezazz, the cheerleaders and the ownership of the media is obviously a top priority, and I suspect a large percentage of people who don't even know about the OffG would agree.

John Ervin ,

Where's yours? That's impertinent. Our voting process was programmed, close to 100% by two guys, at one point not many years ago, with the same last name, the brothers Urosevich. The machine owners claim that, as it is their proprietary software, the public is excluded from the vote-counting. And that much still holds true. Game. Set. Match. Any questions?

Antonym ,

What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous.

US deep state ate him for breakfast in 2016: they would love him to become string puppet POTUS in 2020. Trump is more difficult to control so they hate him.

John Ervin ,

Just one more Conspiracy Realist, eh! When will we ever learn? "The deep state ate him for breakfast in 2016 ." That gives some sense of the ease with which they pull strings, nicely put. One variation on the theme of your metaphor: "They savored him as one might consume a cocktail olive at an exclusive or entitled soirée."

It is painfully clear by any real connection of dots that he is simply one of their stalking horses for other game. And that Homeland game (still) doesn't know whether a horse has four, or six, legs.

*****

"Puppet Masters, or master puppets?"

Antonym ,

It is painfully clear that US Deep state hates Trump simply by looking at the Russiagate they cooked him up.

Fair dinkum ,

The US voters have surrounded themselves with a sewer, now they have to swim in it.

[Mar 03, 2020] Whacking Rich is a reminder to Sanders what the party establishmen is capable of

Highly recommended!
Mar 03, 2020 | www.unz.com

An alternative view that has been circulating for several years suggests that it was not a hack at all, that it was a deliberate whistleblower-style leak of information carried out by an as yet unknown party, possibly Rich, that may have been provided to WikiLeaks for possible political reasons, i.e. to express disgust with the DNC manipulation of the nominating process to damage Bernie Sanders and favor Hillary Clinton.

There are, of course, still other equally non-mainstream explanations for how the bundle of information got from point A to point B, including that the intrusion into the DNC server was carried out by the CIA which then made it look like it had been the Russians as perpetrators. And then there is the hybrid point of view, which is essentially that the Russians or a surrogate did indeed intrude into the DNC computers but it was all part of normal intelligence agency probing and did not lead to anything. Meanwhile and independently, someone else who had access to the server was downloading the information, which in some fashion made its way from there to WikiLeaks.

Both the hack vs. leak viewpoints have marshaled considerable technical analysis in the media to bolster their arguments, but the analysis suffers from the decidedly strange fact that the FBI never even examined the DNC servers that may have been involved. The hack school of thought has stressed that Russia had both the ability and motive to interfere in the election by exposing the stolen material while the leakers have recently asserted that the sheer volume of material downloaded indicates that something like a higher speed thumb drive was used, meaning that it had to be done by someone with actual physical direct access to the DNC system. Someone like Seth Rich.

... ... ...

Given all of that back story, it would be odd to find Trump making an offer that focuses only on one issue and does not actually refute the broader claims of Russian interference, which are based on a number of pieces of admittedly often dubious evidence, not just the Clinton and Podesta emails.

Which brings the tale back to Seth Rich. If Rich was indeed responsible for the theft of the information and was possibly killed for his treachery, it most materially impacts on the Democratic Party as it reminds everyone of what the Clintons and their allies are capable of.

It will also serve as a warning of what might be coming at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee in July as the party establishment uses fair means or foul to stop Bernie Sanders. How this will all play out is anyone's guess, but many of those who pause to observe the process will be thinking of Seth Rich.


plantman , says: Show Comment February 29, 2020 at 9:35 pm GMT

Excellent roundup.

I don't ascribe to the idea that the intel agencies kill American citizens without a great deal of thought, but in Rich's case, they probably felt like they had no choice. Think about it: The DNC had already rigged the primary against Bernie, the Podesta emails had already been sent to Wikileaks, and if Rich's cover was blown, then he would publicly identify himself as the culprit (which would undermine the Russiagate narrative) which would split the Democratic party in two leaving Hillary with no chance to win the election.

I can imagine Hillary and her intel connections looking for an alternative to whacking Rich but eventually realizing that there was no other way to deflect responsibility for the emails while paving the way for an election victory.

If Seth Rich went public, then Hillary would certainly lose.

I imagine this is what they were thinking when they decided there was really only one option.

james charles , says: Show Comment February 29, 2020 at 11:14 pm GMT
"I have watched incredulous as the CIA's blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton's corruption."
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/

"The FBI Has Been Lying About Seth Rich"
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

niteranger , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 12:08 am GMT
@plantman It's more than Hillary losing. It would have been easy to connect the dots of the entire plot to get Trump. Furthermore, it would have linked Obama and his cohorts in ways that the country might have exploded. This was the beginning of a Coup De'tat that would have shown the American political process is a complete joke.

... ... ...

Carlton Meyer , says: Website Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 1:04 am GMT
To understand why the DNC mobsters and the Deep State hate him, watch this great 2016 interview where Assange calmly explains the massive corruption that patriotic FBI agents refer to as the "Clinton Crime Family." This gang is so powerful that it ordered federal agents to spy on the Trump political campaign, and indicted and imprisoned some participants in an attempt to pressure President Trump to step down. It seems Trump still fears this gang, otherwise he would order his attorney general to drop this bogus charge against Assange, then pardon him forever and invite him to speak at White House press conferences.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_sbT3_9dJY4?feature=oembed

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:18 am GMT
Well, here was my own take on the controversy a couple of years ago, and I really haven't seen anything to change my mind:

Well, DC is still a pretty dangerous city, but how many middle-class whites were randomly murdered there that year while innocently walking the streets? I wouldn't be surprised if Seth Rich was just about the only one.

Julian Assange has strongly implied that Seth Rich was the source of the DNC emails that cost Hillary Clinton the presidency. So if Seth Rich died in a totally random street killing not long afterward, isn't that just the most astonishing coincidence in all of American history?

Consider that the leaks effectively nullified the investment of the $2 billion or so that her donors had provided, and foreclosed the flood of good jobs and appointments to her camp-followers, not to mention the oceans of future graft. Seems to me that's a pretty good motive for murder.

Here's my own plausible speculation from a couple of months ago:

Incidentally, I'd guess that DC is a very easy place to arrange a killing, given that until the heavy gentrification of the last dozen years or so, it was one of America's street-murder capitals. It seems perfectly plausible that some junior DNC staffer was at dinner somewhere, endlessly cursing Seth Rich for having betrayed his party and endangered Hillary's election, when one of his friends said he knew somebody who'd be willing to "take care of the problem" for a thousand bucks

https://www.unz.com/announcement/new-software-releaseopen-thread/#comment-1959442

https://www.unz.com/isteve/was-seth-rich-murdered-by-the-russians-the-democratic-elite-or-the-democratic-base/#comment-2069185

Let's say a couple of hundred thousand middle-class whites lived in DC around then, and Seth Rich was about the only one that year who died in a random street-killing, occurring not long after the leak.

Wouldn't that seem like a pretty unlikely coincidence?

Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:45 am GMT
"If Rich was indeed responsible for the theft of the information and was possibly killed for his treachery ."

Heroism is the proper term for what Seth Rich did. He saw the real treachery, against Bernie Sanders and the democratic faithful who expect at least a modicum of integrity from their Party leaders (even if that expectation is utterly fanciful, wishful thinking), and he decided to act. He paid for it with his life. A young, noble life.

In every picture I've seen of him, he looks like a nice guy, a guy who cared. And now he's dead. And the assholes at the DNC simply gave him a small plaque over a bike rack, as I understand it.

Seth Rich: American Hero. A Truth-Teller who paid the ultimate price.

Great reporting, Phil. Another home run.

(And thanks to Ron for chiming in. Couldn't agree more. As a Truth-Teller extraordinaire, please watch your back, Bro. And Phil, too. You both know what these murderous scum are capable of.)

Biff , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:46 am GMT
When the FBI doesn't fully investigate a crime(DNC-emails/9-11/JFK-murder) the only conclusion is " coverup ".
John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 7:31 am GMT
I suppose American security services could have been involved.

That would explain the poor police investigation and lack of information and questions answered.

But Hillary and her dirty associates were quite capable of hiring a hit.

That would also explain the lack of information, since DC, unlike any other city, is literally controlled by the Federal government.

This is a very vicious woman despite her clownishly made-up face.

Her words after Gaddafi's murder were chilling.

She is said to have been responsible too for pressuring for the final push to get Waco out of the headlines. 80 folks incinerated.

She also joked about Assange, "can't we just drone him or something?"

And there was the dirty business at Benghazi.

She is indeed a woman capable of anything. A contemporary Borgia.

Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 9:33 am GMT
Because the {real} killers of JFK, MLK and RFK were never detained and jailed/hanged, why would one expect a lesser known, more ordinary individual's murder [Seth] to be solved?
hobo , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 10:27 am GMT
Seymour Hersh, in a taped phone conversation, claimed to have access to an FBI report on the murder. According to Hersh, the report indicated tha FBI Cyber Unit examined Rich's computer and found he had contacted Wikileaks with the intention of selling the emails.

Seymour Hersh discussing Wikileaks DNC leaks Seth Rich & FBI report ( 7 min)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZJpQPGeUeQY?feature=oembed

Antiwar7 , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 10:33 am GMT
Another reason Assange may not want to reveal it, if Seth Rich was a source for Wikileaks, could be that Seth Rich didn't act alone, and revealing Seth's involvement would compromise the other(s).

Or it could simply be that Wikileaks has promised to never reveal a source, even after that source's death, as a promise to future potential sources, who may never want their identities revealed, to avoid the thought of embarrassment or repercussions to their associates or families.

Incidentally, they only started really going after Assange after the Vault 7 leaks of the CIA's active bag of software tricks. I think, for Assange's sake, they should instead have held on to that, and made it the payload of a dead man's switch.

Chet Roman , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 11:05 am GMT
I'm not sure how credible the source is but Ellen Ratner, the sister of Assange's former lawyer and a journalist, told Ed Butowsky that Assange told her that it was Seth Rich. She asked Butowsky to contact Rich's parents. She confirms the Assange meeting in an interview, link below. Butowsky does not seem to be a credible source but Ratner does. If it was Seth Rich then I have no doubt that his brother knows the details and the family does not want to lose another son.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_YyuWpjTbg0?feature=oembed

The story has gone nowhere.

Chet Roman , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 11:42 am GMT
"According to Assange's lawyers, Rohrabacher offered a pardon from President Trump if Assange were to provide information that would attribute the theft or hack of the Democratic National Committee emails to someone other than the Russians."

Not to quibble on semantics but Rohrabacher met with Assange to ask if he would be willing to reveal the source of the emails then Rohrabacher would contact Trump and try to make deal for Assange's freedom. Rohrabacher clarified that he never talked to Trump or that he was authorized by Trump to make any offer.

The MSM has been using the "amnesty if you say it was not the Russians" narrative to hint at a coverup by Russian agent Trump. Normal for the biased MSM.

Giraldi's link "Assange did not take the offer" has nothing to do with Rohrabacher's contact. It's just a general piece on Assange acting as a journalist should act.

https://www.rohrabacher.com/news/my-meeting-with-julian-assange

Alfred , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
@plantman I can imagine Hillary and her intel connections looking for an alternative to whacking Rich

Have you never had to deal with a psychopath? That is not the way they reason.

She would have done it in the "national interest"

DaveE , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 2:21 pm GMT
I'm of the opinion Ron Unz seems to share, that Rich was not a particularly "big hitter" in the DNC hierarchy and that his murder was more likely the result of a very nasty inter-party squabble. I seem to recall a LOT of very nasty talk between the Jewish neocons in the Bush era and the decent, traditional "small-government" style Republicans who greatly resented the neocons' hijacking of the GOP for their demonic zionist agenda.

Common sense would suggest that the zionist types who have (obviously) hijacked the DNC are at least as nasty and ruthless as the neocons who destroyed any decency or fair-play within the GOP. It's not exactly hard to believe that these Murder, Inc. types (also lefties of their era) wouldn't hesitate to whack someone like Rich for merely uttering a criticism of Israel, for example.

Hell, Meyer Lansky ordered the hit-job on Bugsy Seigel for forgetting to bring bagels to a sit-down ! There was a great web-site by a mobster of that era, long since taken down, who described the story in detail. I forget the names .. but I'll see if I can't find a copy of some of the pieces posted at least a decade ago .

It's not exactly hard to imagine some very nasty words being exchanged between the Rahm Emmanuel types and decent Chicago citizens, for example, who genuinely cared for their city and weren't afraid of The Big Jew and his mobster cronies . to their detriment I'm sure.

We're talking about organized crime, here, folks. The zionists make the so-called (mostly fictitious) Sicilian Mafia look like newborn puppies. They wouldn't hesitate to whack a guy like Rich for taking their favorite space in the bicycle rack.

Rev. Spooner , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:27 pm GMT
@John Chuckman A long time ago I read in the London Guardian ( before it's reputation was in tatters) that the witch kept a list of all who pissed her off and updated it every night.
A quick search and here it is https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/14/hillary-clinton-hitlist-spreadsheet-grudge
Altai , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:33 pm GMT
My only trouble with the Seth Rich thing is, it seems a bit extreme, they seem quite callous in murdering foreigners but US citizens in the US who are their staffers? If they really were prepared to go out and kill in this way, they're be a lot more suspicious deaths.

What makes the case most compelling is the very quick investigation by police that looks like they were told by somebody concerned about how the whole thing looked to close up the case nice and quickly. That and the fact that he was shot in the back, which doesn't make sense for an attempted robbery turned murder.

However, it may also be that as in so many cities in the US, murder clearance rates for street shootings (Little forensic evidence, can only go by witness accounts or through poor alibis from usual suspects and their associates. In this case there is also no connection between Rich and any possible shooter with no witnesses.) are just so very low that DC police don't bother and Seth Rich's death just happened to be one such case that attracted some scrutiny.

But then maybe for the reasons above a place like DC is perfect to just murder somebody on the street and that's why they were so brazen about it.

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:47 pm GMT
@Altai

Seth Rich's death just happened to be one such case that attracted some scrutiny.

Well, upthread someone posted a recording of a Seymour Hersh phone call that confirmed Seth Rich was the fellow who leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks, thereby possibly swinging the presidential election to Trump and overcoming $2 billion of Democratic campaign advertising.

Shortly afterwards, he probably became about the only middle-class white in DC who died in a "random street killing" that year. If you doubt this, see if you can find any other such cases that year.

I think it is *extraordinarily* unlikely that these two elements are unconnected and merely happened together by chance.

[Mar 02, 2020] Semi-senile Biden is now so Presidential and is the best candidate forward

However, we do need to raise questions about election anomalies. Journalists should be focused on the DNC is cheating Bernie and, by extension, the American people. It must be recorded. It should be investigated. The first 4 primary contests account for only 4% of all allocated delegates, yet have a hugely disproportionate influence on the race. Of those 4 states, only NV is roughly in synch with the national demographic profile.
The whole primary system needs a major overhaul. It takes too long and costs too much (e.g., all the wasted $$ Steyer and Tulsi spent in SC). It's an embarrassing wasteful spectacle which only enriches the MSM and hired political consultant hacks. Most voters don't bother to tune in until 10-12 months into the marathon campaign. I would blow it all up and start over from scratch.
Mar 02, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

. @DWStweets endorses @JoeBiden .
"It was a very easy decision," she said. "We need to make sure that we put the best candidate forward." https://t.co/0uIvUBxlQp

-- Anthony Man (@browardpolitics) March 1, 2020

[Feb 28, 2020] "Abort operation! Russian agent Bernie Sanders has been compromised!"

Notable quotes:
"... I would suggest amending this to: Official D policy: "no candidate who intends to govern in the interest of the entirety of the citizenry should seek the nomination of this Party" ..."
Feb 28, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

clarky90 , , February 27, 2020 at 5:04 pm

"Abort operation! Russian agent Bernie Sanders has been compromised!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=71&v=4xQTr14WMMs&feature=emb_logo

RT admits that Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are both Russian Agents!

USAian Patriot, Michael Bloomberg has uncovered the truth and heroically, "pulled aside the curtain". (sarc)

Mel , , February 27, 2020 at 5:13 pm

A candidate should not be trying to win the nomination.

LET'S give medals to EVERYbody!

Samuel Conner , , February 27, 2020 at 8:16 pm

I would suggest amending this to: Official D policy: "no candidate who intends to govern in the interest of the entirety of the citizenry should seek the nomination of this Party"

[Feb 26, 2020] Why Sanders was booed for highlighting Bloomberg's "strong and enthusiastic base of support" among fellow billionaires?

Only Democrats can reach such a level of hypocrisy. They preach one thing to you and then turn around and do the opposite with no shame.
Feb 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

It's easy: Nothing says more about the "party of the people" like $1,750 to $3,200 tickets.

Asked about the crowd's behavior in an interview following the debate, Sanders said "to get a ticket to the debate, you had to be fairly wealthy."

The Bloomberg campaign denied that it stacked the audience with paid supporters amid rampant social media speculation that the billionaire " purchased " a portion of the crowd to create the appearance of a strong performance following his poor showing in Las Vegas last week.


Victory_Rossi , 2 minutes ago

Fairly wealthy? I refuse to believe that anyone would pay a couple of grand to go to a ******* debate.

Musum , 4 minutes ago

In America, $1750-$3200 per seat is democracy.

And oligarchs on Wall St. and industry is capitalism.

You don't have to go far to figure out why Sanders is popular. And voting doesn't matter.

XXX , 15 minutes ago

If it was serious, there wouldn't be a "studio audience", ala Jerry Springer, just reasoned arguments, courtesy and professionalism, all kept under tight control by an unbiased moderator. But it's not serious. It's just political carnival time, clowns only.

XXX , 1 minute ago

Yes. True. It's a shitshow for sure.

XXX, 16 minutes ago

Disgusting hypocrisy. Most of the U.S. citizenry Rep&Dem don't even have that kind of $ available for an emergency let alone some worthless, useless, meaningless debate for an election that will never be happen regardless of whether 100% of the information is presented that it did happen.

These psychopaths really are some sick mf'ers.

[Feb 26, 2020] A serious US politician has to demonstrate a large capacity for betrayal.

Highly recommended!
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Levtraro , says: Show Comment February 25, 2020 at 6:52 pm GMT

I suspect his open-borders advocacy and Russia-bashing too are lies; these are lines of defence against internal forces. It makes sense for him to take those positions while he seeks the nomination. If he gets it, he can betray those positions. A serious politician has to demonstrate a large capacity for betrayal. At the end of the day, he is a hardened politician like the rest.

[Feb 25, 2020] The Democrats' Quandary In a Struggle Between Oligarchy and Democracy, Something Must Give by Michael Hudson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is "and forgive them their debts": Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year ..."
"... Until Nevada, all the presidential candidates except for Bernie Sanders were playing for a brokered convention. The party's candidates seemed likely to be chosen by the Donor Class, the One Percent and its proxies, not the voting class (the 99 Percent). If, as Mayor Bloomberg has assumed, the DNC will sell the presidency to the highest bidder, this poses the great question: Can the myth that the Democrats represent the working/middle class survive? Or, will the Donor Class trump the voting class? ..."
"... This could be thought of as "election interference" – not from Russia but from the DNC on behalf of its Donor Class. That scenario would make the Democrats' slogan for 2020 "No Hope or Change." That is, no from today's economic trends that are sweeping wealth up to the One Percent. ..."
"... But in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent. The American voting system would be seen to be as oligarchic as that of Rome on the eve of the infighting that ended with Augustus becoming Emperor in 27 BC. ..."
"... Today's pro-One Percent media – CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times ..."
"... History of Rome ..."
"... History of Rome ..."
"... Some on Resistance Twitter claim that if Sanders is the nominee, Trump will win a 48 sweep. Possible, but very unlikely. But if it did happen, the MSM would once again dismiss his program as being completely unacceptable to the voting class, and Sanders would trudge back to Vermont never to be heard from again. ..."
"... So if his program requires a decade long follow through, what are the least bad outcomes? If the D's deprive him of the nomination at the convention, even though he has far and away more pledged delegates, the MSM cannot dismiss his program as it would in the two previous scenarios, and his program would live to fight another day. ..."
"... Trump may or may not win. But if he does, the best he can hope for is a skin-of-his-teeth victory. Seriously, he lost the popular vote by a ton to Hillary freaking Clinton. ..."
"... And stuff is beginning to crumble around him on the Right. The Dow drops. Oops Richie Rich gets uneasy. ..."
"... I was more than a little honked when Sanders appeared to roll over and support HRC in 2016 in spite of the obvious fraud perpetrated on him and his supporters, not to mention the subsequent treatment they received at the hands of the DNC and Tom Perez. ..."
"... I find myself wondering if it wouldn't be a good idea for Sanders and his supporters to make it absolutely clear their attempts to work within 'the system' are finished if they are robbed again; maybe even starting work immediately on establishing a party not controlled by Wall Street lickspittle or knuckle-dragging no-nothings? ..."
Feb 25, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is "and forgive them their debts": Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year

To hear the candidates debate, you would think that their fight was over who could best beat Trump. But when Trump's billionaire twin Mike Bloomberg throws a quarter-billion dollars into an ad campaign to bypass the candidates actually running for votes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, it's obvious that what really is at issue is the future of the Democrat Party. Bloomberg is banking on a brokered convention held by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in which money votes. (If "corporations are people," so is money in today's political world.)

Until Nevada, all the presidential candidates except for Bernie Sanders were playing for a brokered convention. The party's candidates seemed likely to be chosen by the Donor Class, the One Percent and its proxies, not the voting class (the 99 Percent). If, as Mayor Bloomberg has assumed, the DNC will sell the presidency to the highest bidder, this poses the great question: Can the myth that the Democrats represent the working/middle class survive? Or, will the Donor Class trump the voting class?

This could be thought of as "election interference" – not from Russia but from the DNC on behalf of its Donor Class. That scenario would make the Democrats' slogan for 2020 "No Hope or Change." That is, no from today's economic trends that are sweeping wealth up to the One Percent.

All this sounds like Rome at the end of the Republic in the 1st century BC. The way Rome's constitution was set up, candidates for the position of consul had to pay their way through a series of offices. The process started by going deeply into debt to get elected to the position of aedile, in charge of staging public games and entertainments. Rome's neoliberal fiscal policy did not tax or spend, and there was little public administrative bureaucracy, so all such spending had to be made out of the pockets of the oligarchy. That was a way of keeping decisions about how to spend out of the hands of democratic politics. Julius Caesar and others borrowed from the richest Bloomberg of their day, Crassus, to pay for staging games that would demonstrate their public spirit to voters (and also demonstrate their financial liability to their backers among Rome's One Percent). Keeping election financing private enabled the leading oligarchs to select who would be able to run as viable candidates. That was Rome's version of Citizens United.

But in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent. The American voting system would be seen to be as oligarchic as that of Rome on the eve of the infighting that ended with Augustus becoming Emperor in 27 BC.

Today's pro-One Percent media – CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times have been busy spreading their venom against Sanders. On Sunday, February 23, CNN ran a slot, "Bloomberg needs to take down Sanders, immediately."[1]Given Sanders' heavy national lead, CNN warned, the race suddenly is almost beyond the vote-fixers' ability to fiddle with the election returns. That means that challengers to Sanders should focus their attack on him; they will have a chance to deal with Bloomberg later (by which CNN means, when it is too late to stop him).

The party's Clinton-Obama recipients of Donor Class largesse pretend to believe that Sanders is not electable against Donald Trump. This tactic seeks to attack him at his strongest point. Recent polls show that he is the only candidate who actually would defeat Trump – as they showed that he would have done in 2016.

The DNC knew that, but preferred to lose to Trump than to win with Bernie. Will history repeat itself? Or to put it another way, will this year's July convention become a replay of Chicago in 1968?

A quandary, not a problem . Last year I was asked to write a scenario for what might happen with a renewed DNC theft of the election's nomination process. To be technical, I realize, it's not called theft when it's legal. In the aftermath of suits over the 2016 power grab, the courts ruled that the Democrat Party is indeed controlled by the DNC members, not by the voters. When it comes to party machinations and decision-making, voters are subsidiary to the superdelegates in their proverbial smoke-filled room (now replaced by dollar-filled foundation contracts).

I could not come up with a solution that does not involve dismantling and restructuring the existing party system. We have passed beyond the point of having a solvable "problem" with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That is what a quandary is. A problem has a solution – by definition. A quandary does not have a solution. There is no way out. The conflict of interest between the Donor Class and the Voting Class has become too large to contain within a single party. It must split.

A second-ballot super-delegate scenario would mean that we are once again in for a second Trump term. That option was supported by five of the six presidential contenders on stage in Nevada on Wednesday, February 20. When Chuck Todd asked whether Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar would support the candidate who received the most votes in the primaries (now obviously Bernie Sanders), or throw the nomination to the super-delegates held over from the Obama-Clinton neoliberals (75 of whom already are said to have pledged their support to Bloomberg), each advocated "letting the process play out." That was a euphemism for leaving the choice to the Tony-Blair style leadership that have made the Democrats the servants' entrance to the Republican Party. Like the British Labour Party behind Blair and Gordon Brown, its role is to block any left-wing alternative to the Republican program on behalf of the One Percent.

This problem would not exist if the United States had a European-style parliamentary system that would enable a third party to obtain space on the ballots in all 50 states. If this were Europe, the new party of Bernie Sanders, AOC et al. would exceed 50 percent of the votes, leaving the Wall Street democrats with about the same 8 percent share that similar neoliberal democratic parties have in Europe ( e.g ., Germany's hapless neoliberalized Social Democrats), that is, Klobocop territory as voters moved to the left. The "voting Democrats," the 99 Percent, would win a majority leaving the Old Neoliberal Democrats in the dust.

The DNC's role is to prevent any such challenge. The United States has an effective political duopoly, as both parties have created such burdensome third-party access to the ballot box in state after state that Bernie Sanders decided long ago that he had little alternative but to run as a Democrat.

The problem is that the Democrat Party does not seem to be reformable. That means that voters still may simply abandon it – but that will simply re-elect the Democrats' de facto 2020 candidate, Donald Trump. The only hope would be to shrink the party into a shell, enabling the old guard to go way so that the party could be rebuilt from the ground up.

But the two parties have created a legal duopoly reinforced with so many technical barriers that a repeat of Ross Perot's third party (not to mention the old Socialist Party, or the Whigs in 1854) would take more than one election cycle to put in place. For the time being, we may expect another few months of dirty political tricks to rival those of 2016 as Obama appointee Tom Perez is simply the most recent version of Florida fixer Debbie Schultz-Wasserman (who gave a new meaning to the Wasserman Test).

So we are in for another four years of Donald Trump. But by 2024, how tightly will the U.S. economy find itself tied in knots?

The Democrats' Vocabulary of Deception

How I would explain Bernie's program. Every economy is a mixed economy. But to hear Michael Bloomberg and his fellow rivals to Bernie Sanders explain the coming presidential election, one would think that an economy must be either capitalist or, as Bloomberg put it, Communist. There is no middle ground, no recognition that capitalist economies have a government sector, which typically is called the "socialist" sector – Social Security, Medicare, public schooling, roads, anti-monopoly regulation, and public infrastructure as an alternative to privatized monopolies extracting economic rent.

What Mr. Bloomberg means by insisting that it's either capitalism or communism is an absence of government social spending and regulation. In practice this means oligarchic financial control, because every economy is planned by some sector. The key is, who will do the planning? If government refrains from taking the lead in shaping markets, then Wall Street takes over – or the City in London, Frankfurt in Germany, and the Bourse in France.

Most of all, the aim of the One Percent is to distract attention from the fact that the economy is polarizing – and is doing so at an accelerating rate. National income statistics are rigged to show that "the economy" is expanding. The pretense is that everyone is getting richer and living better, not more strapped. But the reality is that all the growth in GDP has accrued to the wealthiest 5 Percent since the Obama Recession began in 2008. Obama bailed out the banks instead of the 10 million victimized junk-mortgage holders. The 95 Percent's share of GDP has shrunk.

The GDP statistics do not show is that "capital gains" – the market price of stocks, bonds and real estate owned mainly by the One to Five Percent – has soared, thanks to Obama's $4.6 trillion Quantitative Easing pumped into the financial markets instead of into the "real" economy in which wage-earners produce goods and services.

How does one "stay the course" in an economy that is polarizing? Staying the course means continuing the existing trends that are concentrating more and more wealth in the hands of the One Percent, that is, the Donor Class – while loading down the 99 Percent with more debt, paid to the One Percent (euphemized as the economy's "savers"). All "saving" is at the top of the pyramid. The 99 Percent can't afford to save much after paying their monthly "nut" to the One Percent.

If this economic polarization is impoverishing most of the population while sucking wealth and income and political power up to the One Percent, then to be a centrist is to be the candidate of oligarchy. It means not challenging the economy's structure.

Language is being crafted to confuse voters into imagining that their interest is the same as that of the Donor Class of rentiers , creditors and financialized corporate businesses and rent-extracting monopolies. The aim is to divert attention from voters' their own economic interest as wage-earners, debtors and consumers. It is to confuse voters not to recognize that without structural reform, today's "business as usual" leaves the One Percent in control.

So to call oneself a "centrist" is simply a euphemism for acting as a lobbyist for siphoning up income and wealth to the One Percent. In an economy that is polarizing, the choice is either to favor them instead of the 99 Percent.

That certainly is not the same thing as stability. Centrism sustains the polarizing dynamic of financialization, private equity, and the Biden-sponsored bankruptcy "reform" written by his backers of the credit-card companies and other financial entities incorporated in his state of Delaware. He was the senator for the that state's Credit Card industry, much as former Democratic VP candidate Joe Lieberman was the senator from Connecticut's Insurance Industry.

A related centrist demand is that of Buttigieg's and Biden's aim to balance the federal budget. This turns out to be a euphemism for cutting back Social Security, Medicare and relate social spending ("socialism") to pay for America's increasing militarization, subsidies and tax cuts for the One Percent. Sanders rightly calls this "socialism for the rich." The usual word for this is oligarchy . That seems to be a missing word in today's mainstream vocabulary.

The alternative to democracy is oligarchy. As Aristotle noted already in the 4 th

Confusion over the word "socialism" may be cleared up by recognizing that every economy is mixed, and every economy is planned – by someone. If not the government in the public interest, then by Wall Street and other financial centers in their interest. They fought against an expanding government sector in every economy today, calling it socialism – without acknowledging that the alternative, as Rosa Luxemburg put it, is barbarism.

I think that Sanders is using the red-letter word "socialism" and calling himself a "democratic socialist" to throw down the ideological gauntlet and plug himself into the long and powerful tradition of socialist politics. Paul Krugman would like him to call himself a social democrat. But the European parties of this name have discredited this label as being centrist and neoliberal. Sanders wants to emphasize that a quantum leap, a phase change is in order.

If he can be criticized for waving a needlessly red flag, it is his repeated statement that his program is designed for the "working class." What he means are wage-earners and this includes the middle class. Even those who make over $100,000 a year are still wage earners, and typically are being squeezed by a predatory financial sector, a predatory medical insurance sector, drug companies and other monopolies.

The danger in this terminology is that most workers like to think of themselves as middle class, because that is what they would like to rise into. That is especially he case for workers who own their own home (even if mortgage represents most of the value, so that most of the home's rental value is paid to banks, not to themselves as part of the "landlord class"), and have an education (even if most of their added income is paid out as student debt service), and their own car to get to work (involving automobile debt).

The fact is that even $100,000 executives have difficulty living within the limits of their paycheck, after paying their monthly nut of home mortgage or rent, medical care, student loan debt, credit-card debt and automobile debt, not to mention 15% FICA paycheck withholding and state and local tax withholding.

Of course, Sanders' terminology is much more readily accepted by wage-earners as the voters whom Hillary called "Deplorables" and Obama called "the mob with pitchforks," from whom he was protecting his Wall Street donors whom he invited to the White House in 2009. But I think there is a much more appropriate term: the 99 Percent, made popular by Occupy Wall Street. That is Bernie's natural constituency. It serves to throw down the gauntlet between democracy and oligarchy, and between socialism and barbarism, by juxtaposing the 99 Percent to the One Percent.

The Democratic presidential debate on February 25 will set the stage for Super Tuesday's "beauty contest" to gauge what voters want. The degree of Sanders' win will help determine whether the byzantine Democrat party apparatus that actually will be able to decide on the Party's candidate. The expected strong Sanders win is will make the choice stark: either to accept who the voters choose – namely, Bernie Sanders – or to pick a candidate whom voters already have rejected, and is certain to lose to Donald Trump in November.

If that occurs, the Democrat Party will evaporate as its old Clinton-Obama guard is no longer able to protect its donor class on Wall Street and corporate America. Too many Sanders voters would stay home or vote for the Greens. That would enable the Republicans to maintain control of the Senate and perhaps even grab back the House of Representatives.

But it would be dangerous to assume that the DNC will be reasonable. Once again, Roman history provides a "business as usual" scenario. The liberal German politician Theodor Mommsen published his History of Rome in 1854-56, warning against letting an aristocracy block reform by controlling the upper house of government (Rome's Senate, or Britain House of Lords). The leading families who overthrew the last king in 509 BC created a Senate chronically prone to being stifled by its leaders' "narrowness of mind and short-sightedness that are the proper and inalienable privileges of all genuine patricianism."[2]

These qualities also are the distinguishing features of the DNC. Sanders had better win big!

________________

[1] https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/22/opinions/bloomberg-needs-to-take-down-sanders-lockhart/index.html . Joe Lockhart, opinion. For the MSNBC travesty see from February 23, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/23/msnbc-full-blown-freakout-mode-bernie-sanders-cements-status-democratic-frontrunner, by Jake Johnson.

[2]Mommsen, History of Rome , 1911: 268.


divadab , February 25, 2020 at 7:55 am

I wonder how much of the rot at the top of the Dem party is simple dementia. By the age of 70, half of people have some level of dementia. Consider Joe Biden – is anyone in the public sphere going to state the obvious – that he has dementia and as such is unfit for office?

Fred1 , February 25, 2020 at 8:32 am

First, my priors. I voted for Sanders in 2016, will vote for him in 2020, and expect him to be elected president. Further I believe that where we find ourselves today is the result of at least 40 years of intentional bi-partisan policies. Both parties are responsible.

If Sanders, upon being elected, were able to snap his fingers and call into existence his entire program, it would immediately face a bi-partisan opposition that would be funded by billions of dollars, which would be willing to take as long as necessary, even decades, to roll it back.

Just electing Sanders is only the first step. There must be a committed, determined follow through that must be willing to last decades as well for his program to stick. And there will be defeats along the way.

Several observations. If Hillary had beaten Trump, Sanders would have trudged back to Vermont and would never have been heard from again. The MSM would have dismissed his program as being completely unacceptable to the voting class. But she didn't, so here we are, which is fantastic.

Some on Resistance Twitter claim that if Sanders is the nominee, Trump will win a 48 sweep. Possible, but very unlikely. But if it did happen, the MSM would once again dismiss his program as being completely unacceptable to the voting class, and Sanders would trudge back to Vermont never to be heard from again.

So if his program requires a decade long follow through, what are the least bad outcomes? If the D's deprive him of the nomination at the convention, even though he has far and away more pledged delegates, the MSM cannot dismiss his program as it would in the two previous scenarios, and his program would live to fight another day.

If he loses to Trump, but closely, which can mean a lot of different things, his program would live to fight another day. Moreover, if the D's are seen to actively collude with Trump, this less bad outcome would be even better.

I am an old geezer and don't expect to live long enough to see how all of this plays out. But I am very optimistic about his program's long term prospects. There is only one bad outcome, a Trump 48 state sweep, which I consider very unlikely. But most importantly, the best outcome, his election, and the two least bad outcomes, the D's stealing the nomination from him or his losing a close general election, all still will require a decades long commitment to make his program permanent.

I wish I were younger.

a different chris , February 25, 2020 at 8:55 am

>a Trump 48 state sweep

Where do people get this? Take a deep breath. Trump may or may not win. But if he does, the best he can hope for is a skin-of-his-teeth victory. Seriously, he lost the popular vote by a ton to Hillary freaking Clinton.

And stuff is beginning to crumble around him on the Right. The Dow drops. Oops Richie Rich gets uneasy.

Hammered by a 5 star general. The Deplorables kids were raised to look up to generals, not New Yawk dandys. How does this affect them? And it's still February.

Sailor Bud , February 25, 2020 at 8:34 am

Just an FYI: The five-volume Mommsen "History of Rome" referenced in the text is available in English on Project Gutenberg, free and legal to download. Probably everyone here knows this, but just in case

Dan , February 25, 2020 at 8:44 am

How about Bernie call himself "Roosevelt Democrat" instead of "Democratic Socialist". It would give all those in the senior demographic a better understanding of what Sander's policies mean to them as opposed to the scary prospect of the "Socialist" label.

Oxley Creek Boy , February 25, 2020 at 10:12 am

The Democrats should have been slowly disarming the word "socialist" for at least the last decade. In principle, it's not difficult – as Michael Hudson says – "Every economy is a mixed economy" – and in a very real sense everyone's a socialist (even if only unconsciously). I'm not saying that bit of rhetorical jujitsu would magically turn conservative voters progressive but you'll never get to the point where you can defend socialist programs on the merits if you always dodge that fight. It's just a shame that Bernie Sanders has to do it all in a single election cycle and I don't think choosing a different label now would help him much.

flora , February 25, 2020 at 11:37 am

He could even compare himself to the earlier Roosevelt: Teddy Roosevelt.

By 1900 the old bourbon Dem party was deeply split between its old, big business and banking wing – the bourbons – and the rising progressive/populist wing. It was GOP pres Roosevelt who first pushed through progressive programs like breaking up railroad and commodity monopolies, investigating and regulating meat packing and fraudulent patent medicines, etc. Imagine that.

lyman alpha blob , February 25, 2020 at 1:30 pm

I just finished Stoller's book Goliath and according to him, Teddy wasn't quite as progressive as we are often led to believe. He wasn't so much opposed to those with enormous wealth – he just wanted them to answer to him. He did do the things you mentioned, but after sending the message to the oligarchs, he then became friendly with them once he felt he'd brought them to heel. He developed quite the soft spot for JP Morgan, according to Stoller.

TR wanted to be the Boss, the center of attention with everyone looking up to him. As one of his relatives said, he wanted to be the baby at every christening and the corpse at every funeral.

I find Bernie to be a lot more humble.

Balakirev , February 25, 2020 at 12:51 pm

I have a sense that changing his party affiliation label at any point in time since Sanders began running for president in 2016 would be a godsend to his enemies in both hands of the Duopoly. They'd tar him loudly as a hypocrite without an ounce of integrity, using personal politics to distract from the issues.

Meanwhile, we can expect to see the Socialist (and Communist, and Russia-Russia-Russia) nonsense reiterated as long as Sanders has strong visibility. He's extremely dangerous to both parties and their owners. I don't' believe the DNC will let him take the convention, but if he does, I'll bet the Dems give him minimal support and hope he fails–better the devil you know, etc.

political economist , February 25, 2020 at 9:56 am

It's time to put your money in reality futures by putting all that you can into supporting Bernie, AOC, etc. and all your local candidates that support at least democratic socialism and ourrevolution the DSA Justice Dems or other groups that have people but need money. I was having a conversation with a friend who was complaining that he was getting too many emails from Bernie asking for money after he had given the campaign a "modest amount". My suggestion was in honor of his children and grandchildren he should instead GIVE 'TIL IT FEELS GOOD. My spouse and I, I told him, gave the max to Bernie and now we don't give upset when he asks for more. There will likely never be a moment like this in history and there may not be much of a history if things go the wrong way now. He agreed.

Debra D. , February 25, 2020 at 10:11 am

Exactly right. I gave Bernie the max in 2019 and will keep giving throughout 2020. This campaign is about not just me, but all of us. It's now. We must fight for this change as has always been the historical precedent.

BillC , February 25, 2020 at 11:55 am

OK, you two gave me the push I needed to max out my contributions to Bernie too. Let's hope Bernie's (oops OUR) bandwagon keeps gathering steam!

Arizona Slim , February 25, 2020 at 12:41 pm

Another 2019 Bernie maxer here.

I feel blessed to have been able to give at this level. And I believe that I did this for a lot of people who aren't able to donate at all.

steven , February 25, 2020 at 11:13 am

I was more than a little honked when Sanders appeared to roll over and support HRC in 2016 in spite of the obvious fraud perpetrated on him and his supporters, not to mention the subsequent treatment they received at the hands of the DNC and Tom Perez.

I am coming to understand that might have been necessary within the context of one last desperate attempt to work with the Democratic party. But now I find myself wondering if it wouldn't be a good idea for Sanders and his supporters to make it absolutely clear their attempts to work within 'the system' are finished if they are robbed again; maybe even starting work immediately on establishing a party not controlled by Wall Street lickspittle or knuckle-dragging no-nothings?

Little as it has been the answer has a lot to do with my willingness to pour more money into repetitively self-defeating behavior.

HotFlash , February 25, 2020 at 12:49 pm

Bernie is a long-distance runner and strategizes like one. First work on finishing your races. Then worry about where you place.

Debra R. , February 25, 2020 at 11:28 am

I am a somewhat old geezer, too, who caucused for Bernie in 2016 and 2020. This article is very good and helps me understand why I feel the way I do. I was disappointed in Obama, who didn't follow through on the things I cared about, and I was devastated when Clinton was crowned the Democratic nominee well before the Convention, all the while holding onto a smidgen of hope that somehow Bernie would pull through as the nominee.

I was ecstatic when Bernie announced his candidacy for 2020. He is our only hope, and now we have a second chance. But now I am spending half my time screaming at people on tv and online who can't even hear me, and even if they could, they don't give a s–t what I think. It's Clinton 2.0–same thing all over again, four years later. Just who do these people (DNC, MSM, and others with a voice) think they are, to decide for the Democratic voters which candidate will be the nominee, who won't be the nominee, without regard to what the voters want? They are a bunch of pompous as–s who have some other motive that I am not savvy enough to understand. Is it about money in their pockets or what?

It should be as simple as this–Bernie is leading in the polls, if they are to be believed, and good people of all demographics want him to be our next President. He is a serious contender for the nomination. Show the man some much-earned respect and put people on MSM and publish articles by writers who help us understand what the anti-Bernie panic is about and why we shouldn't panic. Help us to explain his plans if he hasn't explained it thoroughly enough instead of calling him crazy. But to dismiss him as if he has the plague is not furthering the truth, and it is a serious injustice to the voting public. Naked Capitalism can't do it alone.

HotFlash , February 25, 2020 at 12:58 pm

There is a lot of good analysis out there, mainly on Youtube. I particularly like The Hill's Rising. A young progressive Democrat and a young progressive Republican (who even knew there was such a thing!) 'splain a lot of the antipathy. Another good source is Nomiki Konst, who is working on reforming the Dem party from within. Here she talks to RJ Eskow about how the DNC is structured and how she hopes to provide tools for rank-and-file Dems to wrest the levers of power from the establishment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ7wm6DCPV4

notabanktoadie , February 25, 2020 at 12:32 pm

Private sector cannot operate without same. Harrold

The problem is that the population, including FDR in his time, have been duped into believing that the private sector REQUIRES government privileges for private depository institutions, aka "the banks."

So currently we have no truly private sector to speak of but businesses and industry using the public's credit but for private gain.

Susan the other , February 25, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Last night's Democracy Now was interesting. Amy seems to be less of a commie hater than she recently was with her participation in the Russia-Russia-Russia smears against Trump. She held court last night with Paul Krugman and Richard Wolff discussing just exactly what "socialism" means. It was a great performance.

Krug seemed a little shellshocked about the whole discussion and he said we shouldn't even use the term "socialism" at all because all the things Bernie wants are just as capitalist – that capitalism encompasses socialism. But he stuttered when he discussed "single-payer" which he claimed he supported – his single payer is like Pete Buttigieg's single-payer-eventually. He tried to change the subject and Amy brought him straight back.

Then Wolff, who was in excellent form, informed the table that "socialism" is a moveable feast because it can be and has been many things for the advancement of societies, etc. But the term always means the advancement of society. Then Krug dropped a real bomb – he actually said (this is almost a quote) that recently he had been informed by Powell that debt isn't really all that important.

Really, Krug said that. And he tried to exetend that thought to the argument that anybody can provide social benefits – it doesn't require a self-proclaimed "socialist".

Richard Wolff confronted that slide with pointing out that it hasn't happened yet – and he left Krug with no excuses. It was quite the showdown. Nice Richard Wolff is so firmly in Bernie's camp.

Krug looked evasive – and I kept wishing they had invited Steve Keen to participate.

[Feb 25, 2020] The Economic Anxiety Hypothesis has Become Absurd(er)

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The key promise of neoliberalism, which came to power in the USA in 1980 with the election of Reagan (aka "the Quiet Coup") was that "the rising tide lifts all boats." -- the redistribution of the wealth up somehow will lift the standard of living of lower strata of the population too. This was a false promise from the very beginning (like everything about neoliberalism, which is based on lies and fake economics in any case). So anger accumulated and now became the key factor in elections. This anger is directed against the neoliberal establishment. ..."
"... The anger toward immigrants is, in fact, a displaced and projected anger against the elimination of meaningful and well-paid jobs and replacing them with McJobs, the process that was the key factor in lowering the standard of living of the bottom 80% of the population. ..."
"... The other part of this anger is directed toward the USA financial oligarchy (personified by such passionately hated figures as Lloyd "we are doing God's" Blankfein, private equity sharks, and figures like Wexner/Epstein) and "political establishment" the key figures of which many people would like to see hanging from street lamp posts (remember "Lock her up" movement in 2016). ..."
"... That's why the neoliberal establishment was forced to use to dirty tricks like Russiagate to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade. ..."
"... In Marxist terms, the USA entered the period called the "revolutionary situation" when the ruling neoliberal elite couldn't govern "as usual" and "the deplorable" do not want to live "as usual". The situation when according to Hegel, "quantity turns into quality," or as Marx said "ideas become a material force when they grip the mind of the masses." ..."
Feb 25, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

I am old enough to remember when many very serious people ascribed the rise of Donald Trump to economic anxiety. The hypthesis never fit the facts (his supporters had higher incomes on average than Clinton's) but it has become absurd. The level of self reported economic anxiety is extraordinarily low

Gallup reports "Record High optimism about Personal Finances in U.S." with 74% predicting they will be better off next year.

Yet now the Democratic party has an insurgent candidate candidate in the lead. I hasten to stress that I am not saying Sanders supporters have much in common with Trump supporters (young vs old, strong hispanic support vs they hate Trump etc etc etc). But both appeal to anger and advocate a radical break with business as usual. Both reject party establishments. Also Warren if a little bit less so.

Trump's 2016 angry supporters still support him *and* they are still angry. He remains unpopular in spite of an economy performing very well (and perceived to be performing very well).

Whatever is going on in 2020, it sure isn't economic anxiety.

Yet there is clearly anger and desire for radical change.

I don't pretend to understand it, but I think it probably has a lot to do with relative economic performance and increased inequality. I can't understand why the reaction of so many Americans to this would be to hate immigrants and vote for Trump, but, then I don't watch Fox News.

One other thing which it isn't is rejection of the guy who came before Trump. Obama has a Real Clear Politics average favorable rating of 59% and unfavorable of 36.1 % vastly vastly better than any currently active politician. (Sanders is doing relatively very well at net -2.7 compared to Obama's + 22.9) He is not rejected. He is not considered a failure. Yet only a small majority is interested in any sort of going back to the way things were.


likbez , February 25, 2020 12:37 am

Robert ,

Trump's 2016 angry supporters still support him *and* they are still angry.

Many Trump "angry supporters" in 2016 used to belong to "anybody but Hillary" class (and they included a noticeable percentage of Bernie supporters, who felt betrayed by DNC) .

They are lost for Trump as he now in many aspects represents the "new Hillary" and the slogan "anybody but Trump" is growing in popularity. Even among Republicans: Trump definitely already lost a large part of anti-war Republicans and independents. As well as. most probably, a part of working class as he did very little for them outside of effects of military Keynesianism.

I suspect he also lost a part of military voters, those who supported Tulsi. They will never vote for Trump.

He also lost a part of "technocratic" voters resentful of the rule of financial oligarchy (anti-swampers), as his incompetence is now an undisputable fact.

He also lost Ron Paul's libertarians, who voted for him in 2016.

How "Coronavirus recession", if any, might affect 2020 elections is difficult to say, but in any case this is an unfavorable for Trump event.

EMichael , February 25, 2020 10:39 am

"I can't understand why the reaction of so many Americans to this would be to hate immigrants and vote for Trump, but, then I don't watch Fox News."

Coming to you since 1965. It's just that immigrants are now added to blacks. Trump took 50 years of the Southern Strategy, took the dogwhistles completely out of the closet and wore his racism right on his chest. Helped that he had over 50 years of experience as a racist, it came naturally to him.

And he attracted a new rw base, those who were not satisfied with dog whistles and/or did not hear them.

likbez , February 25, 2020 12:19 pm

I don't pretend to understand it, but I think it probably has a lot to do with relative economic performance and increased inequality.

It is actually very easy to understand: the middle class fared very poorly since 1991. See https://www.cnbc.com/id/44962589 . Now "the chickens come home to roost," so to speak.

The key promise of neoliberalism, which came to power in the USA in 1980 with the election of Reagan (aka "the Quiet Coup") was that "the rising tide lifts all boats." -- the redistribution of the wealth up somehow will lift the standard of living of lower strata of the population too. This was a false promise from the very beginning (like everything about neoliberalism, which is based on lies and fake economics in any case). So anger accumulated and now became the key factor in elections. This anger is directed against the neoliberal establishment.

The anger toward immigrants is, in fact, a displaced and projected anger against the elimination of meaningful and well-paid jobs and replacing them with McJobs, the process that was the key factor in lowering the standard of living of the bottom 80% of the population.

The other part of this anger is directed toward the USA financial oligarchy (personified by such passionately hated figures as Lloyd "we are doing God's" Blankfein, private equity sharks, and figures like Wexner/Epstein) and "political establishment" the key figures of which many people would like to see hanging from street lamp posts (remember "Lock her up" movement in 2016).

Resentment against spending huge amounts of money for wars for sustaining and enlarging the global USA-centered neoliberal empire is another factor. In this sense, impoverishment and shrinking of the middle class in the USA is similar to the same impoverishment during the last days of the British colonial empire.

That's why the neoliberal establishment was forced to use to dirty tricks like Russiagate to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade.

In Marxist terms, the USA entered the period called the "revolutionary situation" when the ruling neoliberal elite couldn't govern "as usual" and "the deplorable" do not want to live "as usual". The situation when according to Hegel, "quantity turns into quality," or as Marx said "ideas become a material force when they grip the mind of the masses."

In 2016 that resulted in the election of Trump.

Add to this the fact that the neoliberal establishment (represented by both parties) now is clearly anti-social (the fact that a private equity shark Romney was a presidential candidate and then was elected as senator tells a lot about the level of degradation) and is unwilling to solve burning problems with medical insurance, minimal wage and other "the New Deal" elements of social infrastructure.

Democratic Party platform now is to the right of Eisenhower republicans.

That dooms the party candidates like CIA-democrat Major Pete, or "the senator from the credit card companies" Biden, and create an opening for political figures like Sanders (which are passionately hated by DNC)

[Feb 23, 2020] Looks like the USA intelligence (or, more correctly semi-intelligence) agencies work directly from KGB playbook or Bloomberg as Putin's Trojan Horse in 2020 elections

Highly recommended!
Surprising lack on intelligence in intelligence community. But after Brennan and "ruptured" Pompeo as CIA chiefs who would be surprised?" Or more correctly utter despise of ordinary Americans: 'nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people' ~ H L Mencken.
But seriously, if Putin does now have the power to decide US elections, he simply makes his preferred choice one day before the election. There is no reason to open cards right now. You could not make this up. What we have now is Government by Gossip and Innuendo with intelligence crooks on the frontline of spreading the disinformation.
Notable quotes:
"... The PUTIN's aim is to sow distrust among the US population. The USA, a peaceful civilized society with apparently no internal conflicts maintains a similar peaceful empire for the benefit of all humanity. ..."
"... The impersonate evil of the PUTIN has of course every intention to destroy the present state of tranquility and therefore aims to destruct the undisputed peaceful leader of this empire by sowing internal conflict. ..."
"... The concept of democracy was invented by the Kremlin, to sow discord ..."
"... The concept of democracy was invented by the Kremlin, to sow discord ..."
Feb 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

A careful reading of the news provides that Mike Bloomberg, who had two Russian grandfathers, is Putin's asset.

Consider:

Lawmakers Are Warned That Russia Is Meddling to Re-elect Trump - New York Times , February 20 2020

Rather than impersonating Americans as they did in 2016, Russian operatives are working to get Americans to repeat disinformation , the officials said. That strategy gets around social media companies' rules that prohibit "inauthentic speech."

It is Bloomberg, working as a Russian operative, who pays the trolls that repeat disinformation.

Twitter suspends 70 pro-Bloomberg 'spam' accounts - The Hill , February 21, 2020

The temporary employees recruited by Bloomberg's camp are given the title "deputy field organizer" and make $2,500 a month to promote his White House bid among their followers . The employees can choose to use campaign-approved language in their posts.

Twitter said the practice violated its "Platform Manipulation and Spam Policy," which was established in 2019 to respond to Russia's expansive troll network that was tapped in 2016 to meddle in the U.S. elections.

Bernie Sanders briefed by U.S. officials that Russia is trying to help his presidential campaign - Washington Post , February 21 2020

In that closed hearing for the House Intelligence Committee, lawmakers were also told that Sanders had been informed about Russia's interference. The prospect of two rival campaigns both receiving help from Moscow appears to reflect what intelligence officials have previously described as Russia's broader interest in sowing division in the United States and uncertainty about the validity of American elections.

Here are Bloomberg's behind the scene machinations which are sowing division and uncertainty about the validity of American elections. This is exactly what Russia wants.

Bloomberg quietly plotting brokered convention strategy - Politico , February 20, 2020

Mike Bloomberg is privately lobbying Democratic Party officials and donors allied with his moderate opponents to flip their allegiance to him -- and block Bernie Sanders -- in the event of a brokered national convention.
...
It's a presumptuous play for a candidate who hasn't yet won a delegate or even appeared on a ballot. And it could also bring havoc to the convention , raising the prospect of party insiders delivering the nomination to a billionaire over a progressive populist.

Lock him up!


Peter | Feb 22 2020 10:27 utc | 4

Mike Bloomberg Is Putin's Agent

This should have been obvious for some time.

The PUTIN's aim is to sow distrust among the US population. The USA, a peaceful civilized society with apparently no internal conflicts maintains a similar peaceful empire for the benefit of all humanity.

The impersonate evil of the PUTIN has of course every intention to destroy the present state of tranquility and therefore aims to destruct the undisputed peaceful leader of this empire by sowing internal conflict.

This is why from Sanders to Warren to Gabbard to Bloomberg to Trump everyone is on the PUTIN payroll or subconsciously exposed to some mind controlling rays he sends via satellite to the USA.

The PUTIN is the invention by the Russian Federation after their successful evil attempt to evade the good intentions of the EMPIRE to embrace Russia in its sphere of peaceful tranquility.

Bad PUTIN.

Christoph , Feb 22 2020 12:54 utc | 14

"The prospect of two rival campaigns both receiving help from Moscow appears to reflect what intelligence officials have previously described as Russia's broader interest in sowing division in the United States and uncertainty about the validity of American elections" WaPo, 2/21/20.

This level if clinical delusion is reminiscent of the Führer's last days in the bunker.

How about free passage to (swampy) Latin America?

Brendan , Feb 22 2020 13:10 utc | 15
I know, I know, it's a waste of time trying to ridicule the media when they're already doing that to themselves. Satire is definitely dead when the Washington Post reports about "two rival campaigns both receiving help from Moscow". WaPo's attempts to explain that the purpose of this bizarre behavior is "sowing division" makes it look even more incredible.
/div> The concept of democracy was invented by the Kremlin, to sow discord .

Posted by: bjd , Feb 22 2020 13:13 utc | 16

The concept of democracy was invented by the Kremlin, to sow discord .

Posted by: bjd | Feb 22 2020 13:13 utc | 16

Trailer Trash , Feb 22 2020 13:49 utc | 23
>How about free passage to (swampy) Latin America?
> Posted by: Christoph | Feb 22 2020 12:54 utc | 14

I'm thinking the Bermuda Triangle would fit right in with their magical thinking and mad delusions.

Jackrabbit , Feb 22 2020 13:58 utc | 24
Bloomberg + Trump = Checkmate?

Trump will say b writes "fake news" .

Damn you Putin!

!!

jared , Feb 22 2020 14:02 utc | 25
Perhaps the intelligence community would just tell us who we should vote for so as not to fall into Putins trap.

[Feb 20, 2020] Fratricide in Las Vegas - Six dwarfs mud fight should be fun all the way to November

Looks like it will Oligarch vs Oligarch Wrestling World Championship match again ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... These six dwarves will probably persist in their quest for the brass ring all the way to the convention ..."
Feb 20, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Some particulars:

  1. Bloomberg is revealed as having said in public that all the disposable income of the poor should be taxed away so that they will not have funds with which to do mischief like buying fast food or sugary drinks.
  2. Bloomberg described Sanders as a Communist who cannot be elected. In this he was correct.
  3. Bloomberg was described by Warren as a cold-hearted and insulting man who openly scorns women, gays and minorities.
  4. Mayor Pete mocked Klobuchar for her inability to remember the name of the president of Mexico. She asked if he was calling her "stupid."

These six dwarves will probably persist in their quest for the brass ring all the way to the convention. In the mayhem there, the "winner" will probably have to choose one of the "losers" to be his VP running mate.

This should be fun all the way to November. pl

[Feb 15, 2020] Can Sanders run as an independent?

Feb 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

D. , Feb 15 2020 19:42 utc | 32

@farm ecologist #29

Surely he could. But the good sheepdog he is he wont!

[Feb 15, 2020] How does one say Adam Schiff without laughing? by title="View user profile." href="https://caucus99percent.com/users/alligator-ed">Alligator Ed

Highly recommended!
Feb 15, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

At the end of this essay, you may find a song which reasonably applies to Donald Trump directed to Democrats.

How does one say Adam Schiff without laughing? It's hard to continue typing while contemplating the Burbank Buffoon. Yet AS is making obscene flatus-like noises about impeachment 2.0. He and Nervous Nancy will conspire with chief strategist Gerald Nadler about extending the charges of 1.0 to 2.0.

Second verse
Same as the first

Obstructing leaking by firing leakers. That's one of the pending charges. Leutnant Oberst Vindman will be help up as the innocent victim of political retaliation. As I understand the military code of conduct, it says that the underling, Herr Oberst Vindman, went outside the chain of command and released classified information. In the military this is called insubordination, perhaps gross insubordination in view of the classified nature of the information.

Another charge to be filed on behalf of former Ambassador Yovanovich, is that her God-given Female rights were brutally violated as retaliation of advising Ukrainian officials to disregard Commander Cheeto.

There is no telling what additional non-crimes may be thrown at the feet at El Trumpo. All too horrible to contemplate--like someone throwing feces-contaminated dope needles onto Nervous Nancy's front lawn in Pacific Heights.

If this Shampeachment 2.0 (S2) occurs before November's election, Democrats will become as rare as dodo birds. If such proponents of S2 persist after the general election, they better have secure transportation to an extradition-free country.

If it gets bad enough, considering the Clinton Mafia's body count, would it be unreasonable to expect some untimely heart attacks and suicides with red scarves? On Clintonites? Soros et al.?

When the first shot and you don't kill the king, flee. But the DNC is going to attempt shot number 2. Trump WILL NEVER ALLOW A SECOND IMPEACHMENT TO OCCUR, no matter how patently worthless? Will the most powerful narcissist in the world allow the DNC / coup perpetrators to escaping Trumpian retribution?

Those doubting the Wrath of Q be prepared to be disabused of the impression that Q is pure fantasy. Fantasy--like GPS targeting a single small sniper drone to shoot someone from 3000 feet.

Sorry folks. I live in a swamp. I've stepped in shit with my eyes open. Many of you have too. Some of the excrement was of my own making.

Think about the singularly most effective and complex plot the world has ever seen, called 9/11. Think of the thousands of lives purposefully snuffed in then name of power and money. Call yourselves serfs--that's a euphemism. You--including me-- are nothing but ants. Goddam little ants that only Janes respect. There are no ascetic Janes in the penthouses of the elites.

But I digressed to the mysterious existence of morality in politics as a whole. Today's topic is more confined to the Democratic nomination.

Statement of Bias: Go Tulsi. Bravo Andy. The rest of you to the elsewhere--yeah, BS too.

The Dems are determined to grasp Defeat from the jaws of Defeat. Quite a trick. Like trying to borrow money from the Judge during a Bankruptcy trial.

I talked today with a freshman college student majoring in political science about her thought about the Shampeachment. She hadn't been paying attention. Not that I blame her. Her college freshman friend watched C-Span; wasn't impressed. We political aficionados know all about this political debauchery. If AS and NN attempt S2, expect many defections from the supporting vote.

Democrat respect has dwindled in the Independent sector. This is not to say the Repugnants are thereby more popular. They aren't. Trump is. Trump need that NH clown to challenge him in the Repugnant primary to prove exactly how powerful he is. Anybody notice who were in the audience, sitting nearby during Trump's post acquittal speech. Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham. The lamb and the lion laying together. They are both on the Trump Train. Even Richard Burr voted Trump in the impeachment. Mittens feared both his cojones would be excised if he voted against Trump on both counts. What a chickenheart.

But where are the Dems? Why, they are Here. Yes. Yes. And they are There. Yes. Yes. And they are Near. Yes. Yes. But....they are Far. Whither thou goest?

I refrain from pointed comments about AOC in further comments. The Squad is the iceberg floating away from the glacier which spawned it. Unsuitable to warm weather produced by political combat, the Squad faction will woke themselves up to dubious futures.

Establishment versus Bernie:

Not a contest. Spineless Bernie pretzelizes during first heated combat (which the Dem Debate Debacles were not). Won't take a second punch--the first during night 3 of the '16 DNC convention. Fist-shy now. Open Borders? WTF? Are you so nuts? If one offered a person the choice personal safety in their own homes and streets and free medical care for all--including the criminal aliens that A New Path Forward proposes--what do you think 85% of the public would choose?

Pandering.

The Left is also pushing strenuous avoidance of discussing issues in a platitude-depleted fashion. Yeah, Bernie's giving the same speech, with suitable modification, over 40 years. Consistency is a good thing, yeh? How about persistently beating your head with a hammer (while you still can)? Sounds like something Sun Tzu might not recommend.

Now, speaking of Las Vegas and the Nevada Primary. The culinary workers union will not endorse Bernie due to well-deserved or ill-deserved claims that M4A will abolish hard won union health benefits. And don't worry, the Shadow will be there, although Buttjiggle has now disavowed any further connection, along with David Plouffe.

Keeping the Bern off the campaign trail is going to infuriate the Woke Generation / Antifa. When--not if--the DNC cheats Bernie out of the nomination, if such proves necessary* will literally result in blood on the streets along with broken windows and flaming tires. Associate with that lot, eh? Given the choice of going into a biker bar, where brawls are always on the menu, or a discreet wine bar, which would one rather choose? Sorry, those are your only choices.

Nancy Pelosi, impressed by Arnold Schwarzenegger's former physical prowess, tears up her copy of the state of the union address. How decorous. How courteous. How polite. Seen around the world. Nigel Farage must be laughing his butt off, thinking about the shallow anti-Brexit campaigns against his were compared to our Coup. Nigel won. Trump . is. winning. Getting tired of winning yet?

I could go on for pages more of Dem stupidity, but why bother? Stupidity surrounds us.

Betting odds: DNC 1,999,999 to Bernie 1.

Place your bets.

For all the good it will do and I am sincere about this, I will vote Tulsi in the Dem primary.

Here is the song Dems need to heed. This is Donald Trump telling' y'all I'M NOT YOUR MAN

[Feb 09, 2020] What Separates Sanders From Warren (and Everybody Else)

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Of course, some may argue that one's class is based largely on her own experience and perspective, but this confuses psychological feelings with concrete social and economic realities. As C. Wright Mills pointed out in his classic study, "White Collar: The American Middle Classes," just because people "are not 'class conscious' at all times and in all places does not mean 'there are no classes' or that 'in America everybody is middle class.' " Although subjective feelings are no doubt important, to accept that everyone who identifies as middle class must be middle class is to disregard objective economic realities. ..."
"... The new middle class flourished until the capitalist class decided to revolt against the legacy of the New Deal toward the end of the 20th century. In the contemporary era, many who would have been middle-class in the postwar years have effectively been proletarianized once again, and economic inequality has returned pre-Great Depression heights. Proletarianization, Mills explained, "refers to shifts of middle-class occupations toward wage-workers in terms of: income, property, skill, prestige or power, irrespective of whether or not the people involved are aware of these changes. Or, the meaning may be in terms of changes in consciousness, outlook, or organized activity." ..."
Jan 16, 2020 | www.truthdig.com
In America, the term "middle class" has long been used to describe the majority of wage and salary earners, from those receiving a median annual income of around $50,000 to those who earn three or four times that amount. Whether Democrat or Republican, politicians from across the political aisle claim to represent the middle class -- that vast-yet-amorphous segment of the population where the managers and the managed all seem to fit together.

The term has always been somewhat problematic when it comes to politics. As Joan C. Williams observes in her 2017 book, "White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America," a "central way we make class disappear is to describe virtually everyone as 'middle class.' " The majority of Americans see themselves as middle class, including those in the top 10% earning several times the average income. According to Williams, a close friend of hers who "undoubtedly belonged to the top 1%" once referred to herself as middle class, a perspective that the author describes as "class cluelessness."

This cluelessness was also evident in a New York Times article last summer titled "What Middle Class Families Want Politicians to Know," which included interviews with a number of purportedly middle class families with household incomes of up to $400,000 (only one of the interviewees earned less than $100,000, with the average around $200,000).

The fact that people who earn a quarter-million dollars annually place themselves in the same category as those earning $70,000 tells us just how politically useless the term "middle class" has become in contemporary America. Even when we take into account geographic factors and fluctuations in the cost of living, there is little rational justification for categorizing a $60,000-a-year blue-collar worker with a lawyer or doctor earning in excess of $200,000.

Of course, some may argue that one's class is based largely on her own experience and perspective, but this confuses psychological feelings with concrete social and economic realities. As C. Wright Mills pointed out in his classic study, "White Collar: The American Middle Classes," just because people "are not 'class conscious' at all times and in all places does not mean 'there are no classes' or that 'in America everybody is middle class.' " Although subjective feelings are no doubt important, to accept that everyone who identifies as middle class must be middle class is to disregard objective economic realities.

One's class consciousness (or lack thereof) has important implications for one's political attitudes, and in America class consciousness has always been somewhat lacking compared to other countries. The United States has never had a true aristocratic class or feudal property relations like those in Europe, and in the 19th century, the "middle class" essentially stood for small capitalists and propertied farmers. Between the mid-19th century and mid-20th century, the country was transformed, in Mills' analysis, from a "nation of small capitalists into a nation of hired employees" -- a trend that sociologists call "proletarianization."

In the post-World War II era, thanks to the struggle of labor and the policies of the New Deal, which aimed to reduce inequality and mediate class tensions, many in the working class became comfortably middle class. In other words, the proletariat turned into a kind of "petty bourgeois," adopting the same values and attitudes as their employers, while accepting the status quo after a few adjustments. Ironically, this ended up undercutting more radical labor movements while preserving the economic system, which eventually came back to bite working people and their children.

The new middle class flourished until the capitalist class decided to revolt against the legacy of the New Deal toward the end of the 20th century. In the contemporary era, many who would have been middle-class in the postwar years have effectively been proletarianized once again, and economic inequality has returned pre-Great Depression heights. Proletarianization, Mills explained, "refers to shifts of middle-class occupations toward wage-workers in terms of: income, property, skill, prestige or power, irrespective of whether or not the people involved are aware of these changes. Or, the meaning may be in terms of changes in consciousness, outlook, or organized activity."

The proletarianization of the middle class over the past 50 years has had an enormously detrimental effect on communities across the country, but it has taken quite a while for many working people in America to recognize their new situation in terms of consciousness and outlook. The enduring popularity of the term "middle class" reflects this state of affairs.

In the Democratic primaries, only one candidate has deliberately chosen to use "working class" over "middle class." Not surprisingly, that candidate is Sen. Bernie Sanders. "I am a candidate of the working class," Sanders recently declared on Facebook. "I come from the working class. That is my background, that's who I am. I fought for the working class as a mayor, a Congressman and a Senator. And that is the kind of president that I will be." Sanders, whose campaign is 100% grassroots-funded, wrote in a column last week for the Des Moines Register, " our campaign is focused on making sure the government stops representing billionaires and start representing us -- the working class of this country."

Though it may seem like a somewhat trivial distinction, when we look at the rest of the Democratic field, it's clear that Sanders has indeed distinguished himself from the other top candidates. For example, Sanders' opponent Joe Biden frequently speaks of the middle class but rarely the working class. "This country wasn't built by Wall Street bankers and CEOs and hedge fund managers. It was built by the American middle class," Biden declares on his campaign website, where he says that the middle class "isn't a number," but a "set of values." (In a way this is correct, but not in the sense that Biden seems to think.)

On the more progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren's website, where she lists her numerous plans, one searches in vain for any references to the working class, though there are plenty to the middle class.

How much this actually matters is, of course, debatable, but the term "working class" undoubtedly has far more implications and political significance than "middle class," which, like many overused words in the political lexicon, has lost all meaning. By using "working class" instead, Sanders appears to be trying to increase class consciousness in America, where those in the ruling class have often demonstrated the highest level of class consciousness (never failing to use their abundant resources to protect and advance their own interests).

The more young and working-class people come to recognize their own situation and place in the 21st century American economy, the more they seem to embrace "socialist" policies that are rejected by "middle class" sensibilities.

In the Democratic primaries, only one candidate has made raising levels of class consciousness part of his campaign strategy, and in an election that could very well be determined by working-class voters, this may be the strategy to defeat Trump.

[Feb 07, 2020] Moving independents is the primary task for Sanders

Highly recommended!
Many independents will abandon Trump in 2020. Trump lost all anti-war independents faction, for sure. His openly pro-isreal position will cost him some nationalists.
I think Sanders can knockout Trump by appointing Tulsi as the VP.
Feb 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ObjectiveFunction , February 7, 2020 at 11:04 am

Sanders understands (as does Trump), that the 2020 battle is *not* for the 35-40% whose minds are basically made up at each end. Trying to win those over in any numbers (especially by shrieking invective at them) is a pathetic waste of time and effort.

The winning message must move the 20-30% of voters who either:

(a) voted Obama (hope, for something more than soothing patter) and then Trump (a giant stubby middle finger to the establishment).
(b) voted Obama in 2008 but have stayed at home since (what's the point? they're all lying scum)

Sanders simply doesn't bring socialism to America, because he doesn't have a New Deal (i.e. SocDem) party. That kind of movement will take time (and the upcoming global climatolo-economic crisis) to build up, under savage attack from the propertied unterests and continuously subverted by credentialed PMC weasels and Idpol misleadership grifters.

What Sanders the man *does* bring, today, is:

(1) unimpeachable integrity, steadfastness and sorely missed absence of smug BS and double talk;
(2) hardheaded enforcement of the existing laws of the land;
(3) delivery of universal Concrete Material Benefits© to the broad citizenry (not more 'GDP' gravy for the oligarchs) in finite time, freeing them to rejuvenate themselves, and over time, the Republic.

This last is vitally important, but must also be approached prudently lest the entire movement lose focus, overextend and fall prey to the next Trump .

IMHO, it must focus ruthlessly on delivering:

(a) single payer health care, to starve (if not incinerate) the bloated ticks gorging on the US health/elder 'care' . cesspool, I can't bring myself to call it a 'system'. This above all: without it, Americans simply can't compete in any world, walls and tariffs or not.

(b) *real* infrastructure, for the 80%. That's water and sewerage, cross-class public housing, and busways and light rail to coax Americans out of their cars and suburbs. It's not 5G, vanity EVs and high speed Acelas. And sorry Keynesians, shovel ready is a side benefit, not the primary purpose. There's a lot to do.

(c) an overhaul of American higher education (still rooted in 17th century divinity schools). Teaching (and medicine) must again become honored occupations in the country; administrators must give way to front line practitioners.

. Only then can Bernie move on to the more deeply embedded and multinational targets:

(a) big finance,
(b) extractive industries
(c) the MIC

These behemoths can really only be attacked during a time of crisis. Or they will simply crush their opponents like insects, or buy them off.

In the case of the MIC, Berniecrats will likely need to be content with strong reassertion of Federal oversight (more stick, less carrot), and disengagement from doing our 'allies' dirty work (Trump is already on that road, with one huge Ixception .)

Total dismantlement sounds very nice, but consider: whatever's left of US industrial power is concentrated in the MIC. America doesn't need to 'buy prosperity down at the armoury', but like FDR, Bernie and (Tulsi) will also need to have the keels laid down against whatever whirlwind we have reaped. Baring our breast and saying 'we deserve destruction for our sins' is a fatuous open invitation to fascism. FDR knew better.

[/rant]

[Feb 07, 2020] Sanders Called JPMorgan's CEO America's 'Biggest Corporate Socialist' Here's Why He Has a Point

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It is purely extractive ..."
"... By Paul Adler, Professor of Management and Organization, Sociology and Environmental Studies, University of Southern California. Originally published at The Conversation ..."
Feb 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. I wish Sanders would use even more pointed messaging, like "socialism for the rich". But for those who complain about Sanders not going after important targets, this slap back at Dimon, who criticized Sanders and socialism at Davos, shows that the Vermont Senator is landing punches, but choosing his fights carefully.

And banks are much bigger welfare queens than the public realizes. They get all sorts of subsidies, from underpriced deposit insurance to Federal guaranteed for most home mortgages to the Fed operating and backstopping the essential Fedwire system. These subsidies are so great that banks should not be considered to be private sector entities, yet we let them privatize their profits and socialize their train wrecks. As we wrote in 2010 :

More support comes from Andrew Haldane of the Bank of England, who in a March 2010 paper compared the banking industry to the auto industry, in that they both produced pollutants: for cars, exhaust fumes; for bank, systemic risk. While economists were claiming that the losses to the US government on various rescues would be $100 billion (ahem, must have left out Freddie and Fannie in that tally), it ignores the broader costs (unemployment, business failures, reduced government services, particularly at the state and municipal level). His calculation of the world wide costs:

.these losses are multiples of the static costs, lying anywhere between one and five times annual GDP. Put in money terms, that is an output loss equivalent to between $60 trillion and $200 trillion for the world economy and between £1.8 trillion and £7.4 trillion for the UK. As Nobel-prize winning physicist Richard Feynman observed, to call these numbers "astronomical" would be to do astronomy a disservice: there are only hundreds of billions of stars in the galaxy. "Economical" might be a better description.

It is clear that banks would not have deep enough pockets to foot this bill. Assuming that a crisis occurs every 20 years, the systemic levy needed to recoup these crisis costs would be in excess of $1.5 trillion per year. The total market capitalisation of the largest global banks is currently only around $1.2 trillion. Fully internalising the output costs of financial crises would risk putting banks on the same trajectory as the dinosaurs, with the levy playing the role of the meteorite.

Yves here. So a banking industry that creates global crises is negative value added from a societal standpoint. It is purely extractive . Even though we have described its activities as looting (as in paying themselves so much that they bankrupt the business), the wider consequences are vastly worse than in textbook looting.

Back to the current post. As to JP Morgan's socialism versus the old USSR's planned economy, one recent study which I cannot readily find due to the sorry state of Google offered an important correction to conventional wisdom.

Recall that Soviet Russia initially did perform extremely well, freaking out the capitalist world by industrializing in a generation. There was ample hand-wringing as to whether a less disciplined free enterprise system could compete with a command and control economy. Economists got a seat at the policy table out of the concern that capitalist economies needed expert guidance to assure that they could produce both guns and butter.

The study concluded that central planning had worked well in Soviet Russia initially, until the lower-level apparatchiks started gaming the system by feeding bad information so as to make their performance look better (for instance, setting way too forgiving production targets, or demanding more resources than they needed). The paper contended that the increasingly poor information about what was actually happening on the ground considerably undermined the central planning process. That is not to say there weren't also likely problems with motivation and overly rigid bureaucracies. But the evolution of modern corporations, of devaluing and ignoring worker input and treating them like machines that are scored against narrow metrics, looks as demotivating as the stereotypical Soviet factory.

Finally, this post conflates socialism, which includes New Deal-ish European style social democracy, with capitalist systems alongside strong social safety nets, which the public ownership and provision of goods and services. It should be noted that public ownership has regularly provided services like utilities very effectively.

By Paul Adler, Professor of Management and Organization, Sociology and Environmental Studies, University of Southern California. Originally published at The Conversation

Sen. Bernie Sanders called JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon the " biggest corporate socialist in America today " in a recent ad.

He may have a point – beyond what he intended.

With his Dimon ad, Sanders is referring specifically to the bailouts JPMorgan and other banks took from the government during the 2008 financial crisis. But accepting government bailouts and corporate welfare is not the only way I believe American companies behave like closet socialists despite their professed love of free markets.

In reality, most big U.S. companies operate internally in ways Karl Marx would applaud as remarkably close to socialist-style central planning. Not only that, corporate America has arguably become a laboratory of innovation in socialist governance, as I show in my own research .

Closet Socialists

In public, CEOs like Dimon attack socialist planning while defending free markets.

But inside JPMorgan and most other big corporations, market competition is subordinated to planning. These big companies often contain dozens of business units and sometimes thousands. Instead of letting these units compete among themselves, CEOs typically direct a strategic planning process to ensure they cooperate to achieve the best outcomes for the corporation as a whole .

This is just how a socialist economy is intended to operate. The government would conduct economy-wide planning and set goals for each industry and enterprise, aiming to achieve the best outcome for society as a whole.

And just as companies rely internally on planned cooperation to meet goals and overcome challenges, the U.S. economy could use this harmony to overcome the existential crisis of our age – climate change. It's a challenge so massive and urgent that it will require every part of the economy to work together with government in order to address it.

Overcoming Socialism's Past Problems

But, of course, socialism doesn't have a good track record.

One of the reasons socialist planning failed in the old Soviet Union, for example, was that it was so top-down that it lacked the kind of popular legitimacy that democracy grants a government. As a result, bureaucrats overseeing the planning process could not get reliable information about the real opportunities and challenges experienced by enterprises or citizens.

Moreover, enterprises had little incentive to strive to meet their assigned objectives, especially when they had so little involvement in formulating them.

A second reason the USSR didn't survive was that its authoritarian system failed to motivate either workers or entrepreneurs. As a result, even though the government funded basic science generously, Soviet industry was a laggard in innovation .

Ironically, corporations – those singular products of capitalism – are showing how these and other problems of socialist planning can be surmounted.

Take the problem of democratic legitimacy. Some companies, such as General Electric , Kaiser Permanente and General Motors , have developed innovative ways to avoid the dysfunctions of autocratic planning by using techniques that enable lower-level personnel to participate actively in the strategy process.

Although profit pressures often force top managers to short-circuit the promised participation, when successfully integrated it not only provides top management with more reliable bottom-up input for strategic planning but also makes all employees more reliable partners in carrying it out.

So here we have centralization – not in the more familiar, autocratic model, but rather in a form I call "participative centralization." In a socialist system, this approach could be adopted, adapted and scaled up to support economy-wide planning, ensuring that it was both democratic and effective.

As for motivating innovation, America's big businesses face a challenge similar to that of socialism. They need employees to be collectivist, so they willingly comply with policies and procedures. But they need them to be simultaneously individualistic, to fuel divergent thinking and creativity.

One common solution in much of corporate America, as in the old Soviet Union, is to specialize those roles , with most people relegated to routine tasks while the privileged few work on innovation tasks. That approach, however, overlooks the creative capacities of the vast majority and leads to widespread employee disengagement and sub-par business performance.

Smarter businesses have found ways to overcome this dilemma by creating cultures and reward systems that support a synthesis of individualism and collectivism that I call "interdependent individualism." In my research, I have found this kind of motivation in settings as diverse as Kaiser Permanent physicians , assembly-line workers at Toyota's NUMMI plant and software developers at Computer Sciences Corp . These companies do this, in part, by rewarding both individual contributions to the organization's goals as well as collaboration in achieving them.

While socialists have often recoiled against the idea individual performance-based rewards, these more sophisticated policies could be scaled up to the entire economy to help meet socialism's innovation and motivation challenge.

Big Problems Require Big Government

The idea of such a socialist transformation in the U.S. may seem remote today.

But this can change, particularly as more Americans, especially young ones, embrace socialism . One reason they are doing so is because the current capitalist system has so manifestly failed to deal with climate change.

Looking inside these companies suggests a better way forward – and hope for society's ability to avert catastrophe.


Colonel Smithers , February 7, 2020 at 5:21 am

Thank you, Yves.

Just to add, as a former bank and buy side lobbyist, the industry is not always opposed to regulation. It's a barrier to entry.

This post is on the money. Banksters and their clients love corporate welfare and socialism for the rich, especially when so much of, for example, UK QE "leaked" into asset bubbles in emerging markets, commodities and real estate.

You are right to say that Sanders should use more pointed language. Like Nina Turner, he should call out oligarchs. That term is used for Russians and Ukrainians, but never for the likes of Zuckerberg, Musk, Dimon, Blankfein, Schmidt, Branson, Dyson, Arnault et al. The term regime should also be used. If it's good enough to delegitimise certain governments, it's good enough to describe the Trump and Johnson administrations. After all, William Hague in talks with the US government called the British government the Brown regime.

Feynman and Haldane are mentioned above. It emerged this week that Dominic Cummings, Johnson's main adviser, is an admirer of both, regarding them as free thinkers and technicians of substance, and championed Haldane's candidacy to be Bank of England governor. Johnson sided with Chancellor Sajid Javid.

Ignacio , February 7, 2020 at 6:21 am

Sanders should use more pointed language or may be not for the moment. May be after the Super Tuesday. He is being careful and that is good IMO. He doesn't want to give excuses for easy attacks. I would say, instead of "socialism for the rich", "socialism for the 1%" or the 0,1% even better. Sounds more neutral. A comment yesterday linked an article comparing Sanders with Gandhi and others and I think it was well pointed. The quiet and careful revolution!

skippy , February 7, 2020 at 6:30 am

Attack the economics and not the strawmen.

pretzelattack , February 7, 2020 at 7:02 am

what do you think of american democracy? i think it would be a good idea.

ObjectiveFunction , February 7, 2020 at 11:04 am

Sanders understands (as does Trump), that the 2020 battle is *not* for the 35-40% whose minds are basically made up at each end. Trying to win those over in any numbers (especially by shrieking invective at them) is a pathetic waste of time and effort.

The winning message must move the 20-30% of voters who either:

(a) voted Obama (hope, for something more than soothing patter) and then Trump (a giant stubby middle finger to the establishment).
(b) voted Obama in 2008 but have stayed at home since (what's the point? they're all lying scum)

Sanders simply doesn't bring socialism to America, because he doesn't have a New Deal (i.e. SocDem) party. That kind of movement will take time (and the upcoming global climatolo-economic crisis) to build up, under savage attack from the propertied unterests and continuously subverted by credentialed PMC weasels and Idpol misleadership grifters.

What Sanders the man *does* bring, today, is:

(1) unimpeachable integrity, steadfastness and sorely missed absence of smug BS and double talk;
(2) hardheaded enforcement of the existing laws of the land;
(3) delivery of universal Concrete Material Benefits© to the broad citizenry (not more 'GDP' gravy for the oligarchs) in finite time, freeing them to rejuvenate themselves, and over time, the Republic.

This last is vitally important, but must also be approached prudently lest the entire movement lose focus, overextend and fall prey to the next Trump .

IMHO, it must focus ruthlessly on delivering:

(a) single payer health care, to starve (if not incinerate) the bloated ticks gorging on the US health/elder 'care' . cesspool, I can't bring myself to call it a 'system'. This above all: without it, Americans simply can't compete in any world, walls and tariffs or not.

(b) *real* infrastructure, for the 80%. That's water and sewerage, cross-class public housing, and busways and light rail to coax Americans out of their cars and suburbs. It's not 5G, vanity EVs and high speed Acelas. And sorry Keynesians, shovel ready is a side benefit, not the primary purpose. There's a lot to do.

(c) an overhaul of American higher education (still rooted in 17th century divinity schools). Teaching (and medicine) must again become honored occupations in the country; administrators must give way to front line practitioners.

. Only then can Bernie move on to the more deeply embedded and multinational targets:

(a) big finance,
(b) extractive industries
(c) the MIC

These behemoths can really only be attacked during a time of crisis. Or they will simply crush their opponents like insects, or buy them off.

In the case of the MIC, Berniecrats will likely need to be content with strong reassertion of Federal oversight (more stick, less carrot), and disengagement from doing our 'allies' dirty work (Trump is already on that road, with one huge Ixception .)

Total dismantlement sounds very nice, but consider: whatever's left of US industrial power is concentrated in the MIC. America doesn't need to 'buy prosperity down at the armoury', but like FDR, Bernie and (Tulsi) will also need to have the keels laid down against whatever whirlwind we have reaped. Baring our breast and saying 'we deserve destruction for our sins' is a fatuous open invitation to fascism. FDR knew better.

[/rant]

Harry Shearer , February 7, 2020 at 11:28 am

Anybody citing Kaiser Permanente as a good example of anything has never known a person subjected to their distinctive form of "care".

David J. , February 7, 2020 at 7:32 am

Sanders was pretty direct last night at the CNN Town Hall. Flat out calls Trump a socialist. (youtube link to the question.)

Also, stick around for his answer to Cooper's followup question. Gloves are off.

LowellHighlander , February 7, 2020 at 7:43 am

Paul Adler's post here reminds me of John Kenneth Galbraith's New Industrial State, except Professor Adler was referring to the financial (i.e. parasitical) sector of the economy. Am I off the mark in thinking this?

Mel , February 7, 2020 at 11:13 am

You're right on. Galbraith showed that planning comes naturally from very large projects. Soviets went to planning because they couldn't bet the entire national economy on some gut feeling -- they needed to know what would happen. Ditto the gigantic industries in what JKG called the Planning Sector in the west. Projects spending millions or billions of dollars over many years couldn't be left to chance. Eliminating chance meant imposing control, which the gigantic industries could try to do, helped by their access to gigantic capital, and which the Soviets had done with State power.

IMHO the modern FIRE sector arose from the old Planning Sector. They eliminated the uncertainties that complicated their planning; they cut their ties with physical processes that brought those uncertainties; they dumped physical industries onto throwaway economies overseas (that could be abandoned if they failed); they finally became pure businesses that dealt only with nice, clean contracts. No muss, no fuss, no bother.

Dirk77 , February 7, 2020 at 12:41 pm

So planning is a tool of any organization, yet is required more the larger it becomes? While planning may make sense for a company with a single product such as automobiles, does it make sense for a conglomerate? I mean I think the purpose of a conglomerate is to contain many diverse product sectors to reduce risk of the conglomerate as a whole to any one sector. In that way each sector does its own planning, but the conglomerate as a whole does not, apart from choosing which companies to buy and sell, which can be considered a different type of planning? In that way are the goals of society planning are different from the goals of conglomerate planning or that of smaller single product sector companies? Yet in spite of these differences the techniques of planning are the same? Is that the main point of Alder's article? Can someone explain please.

DSB , February 7, 2020 at 8:44 am

Dimon – billionaire bank manager.

chuck roast , February 7, 2020 at 8:46 am

If you surf around a bit you can find links to Bernie's views and support of worker co-ops. There is nothing on his website. In light the burgeoning Socialist smear tsunami, it is probably not something he wants to emphasize right now. Imagine someone getting up at a CNN Town Hall and asking him about his attitude towards worker cooperatives. (corporate heads explode on golf-courses all over America)

Stadist , February 7, 2020 at 10:03 am

Modern theses about leadership, expertise and management underline agile learning and self leadership to everyone himself and within team and then within larger entities. While I'm somewhat pessimistic about these corporate trends they still look like they would work much better with worker co-ops than in traditional top down owned corporations. Basically they are asking higher dedication from workers, but this only works really well if the profits are shared with workers in somewhat equitable manner in my opinion.

Also it seems common nowadays that many coding/programming companies, especially the highly productive ones seem to act more akin to co-ops than monolithically led traditional companies. The programmers are often engaged more to the company by giving or selling them shares, and if this happens in large scale the company ownership structure can skew more towards worker owned 'co-op'-like entity than more hierarchical traditional company, where owners and workers are usually clearly separated.

The Rev Kev , February 7, 2020 at 9:57 am

Be nice if one could have posted the Forbes 400 but, listed next to each entry, is the amount of money that they receive from the Federal government both directly and indirectly.

inode_buddha , February 7, 2020 at 12:38 pm

You might want to have a look at Open Secrets

https://www.opensecrets.org/

They conveniently list which money went where, and how the respective legislator voted.

notabanktoadie , February 7, 2020 at 10:23 am

Yves here. So a banking industry that creates global crises is negative value added from a societal standpoint. It is purely extractive. [bold in the original]

Which leads to this obvious question: Why should banks be privileged, explicitly or implicitly, in any way then?

E.g. why should we have only a SINGLE payment system (besides grubby physical fiat, paper bills and coins) that recklessly combines what should be inherently risk-free deposits with the inherently at-risk deposits the banks themselves create? I.e. why should a government privileged usury cartel hold the entire economy hostage?

a different chris , February 7, 2020 at 12:14 pm

If you mean "why" in the moral sense, which I believe you do, there is no answer.

If you mean why in the technical sense, examine this sentence:

>why should a government privileged usury cartel

It's not "government privileged", it owns the government. Anything the government is allowed to do outside of making Jamie Dimon et al richer are considered the actual privileges by this group, and can, will and have been retracted at will.

notabanktoadie , February 7, 2020 at 1:46 pm

If the banks cognitively "own" the government, it's because almost everyone believes TINA to government privileges for them.

This is disgracefully true of the big names of MMT, who should be working on HOW to abolish those privileges, not ignore or, in the case of Warren Mosler at least, INCREASE* them.

*e.g. unlimited, unsecured loans from the Central Bank to banks at ZERO percent.

Dirk77 , February 7, 2020 at 11:03 am

That neither extreme, capitalism or socialism, works, and that what is best for human society is some middle ground between the two is a very important message. So I'm very glad for this post. I realize that a black and white way of perceiving the world is an easy one. Yet as Alder points out, humans are both individuals and social beings. If people in this world could get back to thinking more like Ancient Greece in its appreciation for the golden mean, we would have a much better chance of surviving. Dispensing with all these useless socialism vs capitalism discussions would be a great time saver. I realize most people believe in some middle ground, yet making it explicit would simplify things quite a bit. As for the rest of the article, I need to think about it more. The corporate socialism idea does tie in with the link yesterday about limited liability.

a different chris , February 7, 2020 at 12:19 pm

>That neither extreme, capitalism or socialism, works,

Exactly! Because: There. Is. No. Economic. Equilibrium. Never was, never will be, anywhere and everywhere. Heck for billions of years, before humans existed let alone learned to talk, the world changed. Things developed, other things went extinct (although not in the heart-wrenching way of the Anthropocene, I personally am happy never to have met a T. Rex in truth), the way the world works even without us is continual change.

So adjust as necessary. Our healthcare system sucks, bring full bore socialism on it. Our corporate overlords suck, bring full bore free markets (kill patents to start) on them.

monday1929 , February 7, 2020 at 2:51 pm

You might want to re-think the "kill patents" idea. Our Founders liked them. I just had a patent "killed" by an examiner who "killed" 42 of 43 patents he examined. It was for a device which could be saving Corona/Flu victims Right Now. I am going to try to Donate the idea to Society, but preventing people from profiting from valid Novel ideas is not the solution. I realize Corporations abuse the Patent System, like every other thing they touch. But I am a low level individual who is trying to "innovate" and reduce illness. My main motivation was not monetary but it is always a factor.
I believe you have the wrong target on this issue.
My first rejection on a related patent was just received 2.5 years after initial filing. It took this long because the Govt. takes money from USPTO (which runs a surplus) and sends it to the General Fund. USA innovation friendly? Not the way I see it.

NoBrick , February 7, 2020 at 11:20 am

"But for those who complain about Sanders not going after important targets "

Consider the wisdom of Susan Webber:
"Wisdom of the CEO is comprimised work. These CEOs "know" that too much candor,
either individually or institutionally, is not a pro-survival strategy."

Diogenes , February 7, 2020 at 11:53 am

I think the comparison of banks to welfare queens is quite unfair.

To welfare queens, that is.

Assuming they exist outside of the sweaty PR fantasies of those of a certain political stripe, presumably even a welfare queen is not living 100% off of the munificence of the state, whereas the implied value of the "Too Big To Fail" guaranty subsidy was determined to be very nearly in the same amount as the annual profits of the recipient banks. In other words, they're complete wards of the state. Doesn't get much more socialistic than that.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2013-02-20/why-should-taxpayers-give-big-banks-83-billion-a-year-

In other words: "Socialism for me, markets for thee."

Susan the other , February 7, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Thank you, Yves for this post. Alder has very logical and accessible ideas. "Interdependent Individualism" is a good way to begin. When he says "socialists recoil against individual performance-based rewards" I can't help but think the rewards should be gifted from the workers to the bosses. Because that would be very change-promoting. Top down has a tendency to stagnate motivation – even offensively – like tossing them a few crumbs to keep them quiet. imo. This also really does sound Japanese. I'm not sure I can relate to the way they cooperate; from them there is not so much as a polite argument; certainly no sarcastic barbs. Americans are the exact opposite – we cooperate competitively in a sense. But Climate Change will dictate our direction regardless of decorum. My own sense of our dilemma is that "free market" corporations make their profits by extracting from labor and the exploitation of the environment, and by externalizing costs to society. Big disconnect. Huge, in fact. This is why "capitalism" has failed to address climate change. Anybody else notice that China has forbidden short selling as we speak? Just like the Fed did in 2009 with QE, etc. That's probably because if the economy crashes (regardless of how illogical it has become) it will take way too long to put back together. And there's work to be done. I remember Randy Wray dryly responding to Jacobin's criticism (of MMT) that the ideological socialists would rather see a bloody Marxist uprising than a peaceful evolution. I do think Wray is right on ideological blinders on both sides. One quibble I have with this very wise post is that it assumes (I think) that we cannot change our ways fast enough to mobilize adequately to address climate change. I think we've been doing it pretty aggressively since 2009. Literally a world war to control oil and maintain financial supremacy; serious consideration of our options by the political class (turning to MMT, etc.); slamming the breaks on trade and manufacturing; subsidizing essential industries. I'm sure there are other things going on under the radar. So I wouldn't discount our ability to mobilize – just our inability to admit it. Clearly we want to do things selectively.

a different chris , February 7, 2020 at 12:25 pm

>the Vermont Senator is landing punches, but choosing his fights carefully.

Yes, as Objective Function laid out nicely (funny word for this mess, but whatever) above – this isn't gonna be easy. If you hope to beat Mike Tyson in his prime, you don't start by trading heavy blows. Defeat him with small but continuous cuts from multiple directions.

twonine , February 7, 2020 at 12:30 pm

Speaking of Davos and Dimon, shouldn't that be "Biggest Corporate Criminals" ?

" senior leaders of three of the largest and most elite U.S. banks were serial criminals whose frauds are (we pray) without equal." -- William K. Black

monday1929 , February 7, 2020 at 2:34 pm

Wallstreet on parade website does great job laying out JPM's crime spree. They (JPM) just came off parole(?) in January on some Felony charges. Someone (Eliz. Warren?) might start a movement to prohibit public pensions / State and local Govts. from conducting business with any banks convicted of felonies or entering plea agreements more than, let's say, ten per year.
A convicted felon can not get a job at a bank run by a 22 times loser- Jamie Dimon, a fellow felon who should have some empathy.
Wallstreet on parade is one of few sites who discuss Citi's crimes, and the fact that the Federal Reserve tried to cover up (and succeeded until about 2012) the secret 2.5 TRILLIION in revolving loans provided to a bankrupt Citibank around 2009. This in addition to the hundreds of billions we did know about.
I do tend to harp on this because the felon Robert Rubin cost me about 500K in expired Put options on shittybank because of his blatant, felonious (per FCIC) lies right before the implosion. His referral for prosecution by the Financial Crises Inquiry Commission mysteriously withered away

[Jan 31, 2020] What's going on right now with Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton is the beginning of sticking the knife back into Bernie's back by Bill Martin What follows originates in some notes I made in response to one such woman who supports Bernie. There are two main points.

Highly recommended!
Jan 31, 2020 | off-guardian.org

1. What's going on right now with Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton is the beginning of sticking the knife back into Bernie's back. These two played a major role in doing that in 2016, and now they're getting the band back together again. Okay, that's no mystery.

The real question is, What are Bernie supporters and those who (one way or another) support the Democrats, going to do about it? When and if Warren and Clinton succeed in taking Bernie down–and of course Biden and the Obamas are onboard for this, as well–will Democrats (and Dem-supporting "leftists," etc.) be so blinded by TDS that they'll just say,

"Oh well, we still have to vote for " Warren, Biden, etc.?

I think this runs parallel to what some have said about "letting the CIA help with the impeachment"–it's truly delusional, reactionary stuff. Likewise, people getting in a huff because "Bernie called her a liar on national television." No problem, apparently, that Warren first called Bernie a liar. Even more, no problem that Warren's whole life and career is based on a lie–a lie that, even now, she justifies with bullshit about how she "just loves her family so much." Indeed, Hillary's intervention in the following days was very likely intended to take attention away from Warren's attack on Sanders, as well as, of course, to once again put HRC out there as the potential savior at the convention.

It seems to me that the lesson here is that, if Bernie doesn't get the nomination, no other candidate (from among the frontrunners) is acceptable, especially because of the role they will have played in taking down Bernie and his movement.

I have two basic reasons for hoping Sanders can get the nomination and that there could be a Trump/Sanders election:

i. For Sanders to get the nomination there will have to be a very strong, dedicated, and focused movement, which will essentially have to defeat the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party and in whatever one wants to call the agglomeration of power mechanisms that form the establishment and the State. Sanders will have to do what Trump did with the Republican Party in 2016, except with Sanders and the power structures he will be up against (and with which he is more compromised than Trump ever was), this will be much, much harder. I really don't think it can happen -- and we're seeing major moves in this effort toward eliminating Bernie just in the week that has passed since I started writing this. However, this does mean that, if Bernie can build (much further) and lead the movement to seriously address these power structures, and even beat them in some significant ways, then something tremendous will have been accomplished -- "the harder they come, the harder they fall," or at least I hope so. ii. Despite what you and many others say and (I feel) are a bit too desperate to think, Sanders does have some things in common with Trump, at least thematically -- and a lot of my arguments in my articles have to do with the importance of these themes being out there, in a way that they never would have been with any other Republican, Hillary Clinton or any of the other current frontrunners besides Sanders, and any of the other media with the very important exceptions of Tucker Carlson, Steve Hilton, and perhaps a couple others on Fox News (perhaps Laura Ingram) -- and this is not only something that the anti-Trumpers absolutely hate, they hate it so much that they can't even think about it.

That is, Trump and Sanders have in common that they 1) profess that they want to do things that improve the lives of ordinary working people, and 2) profess that they want to draw back militarism.

What I emphasize is that these terms would not even be on the table if it weren't for Trump -- and yes, to some extent if it weren't for Bernie, but there is a way in which Bernie can only be out there at all because Trump has put these things on the table.

A lot of blowback against my articles has been against my argument that getting these terms and the discourse around them on the table is very important, a real breakthrough, and a breakthrough that both clarifies the larger terms of things and disrupts the "smooth functioning" (I take this from Marcuse) of the neoliberal-neoconservative compact around economics and military intervention.

Okay, maybe I'm right about this importance, maybe I'm not -- that's an argument I've dealt with extensively in my articles and that I'll try to deal with definitively in further writing -- but certainly a very important part of not letting Sanders be taken down by the other frontrunners (and HRC, and other nefarious forces, with Warren playing a special "feminist" and Identity Politics role here -- a role that does nothing to help, and indeed does much to hurt, ordinary working people of all colors, genders, etc.) will be to further sharpen the general understanding of the importance of these themes.

Significantly, there is a third theme which has emerged since the unexpected election of Donald Trump -- unexpected at least by the establishment and the nefarious powers (though they were thinking of an "insurance policy"); on this theme, I don't know that Sanders can do much -- working with the Democratic Party, he is too implicated in this issue, and he does not have whatever "protection" Trump has here.

What I am referring to are those nefarious powers behind the establishment and the ruling class, and that have taken on a life of their own -- I don't mind calling this the Deep State, but one can just think about the "intelligence community" and especially the CIA.

Whatever -- the point is that Trump has had to call them out and expose them in ways that they obviously do not like, and also his agenda of a world where the U.S. gets along well-enough with China and Russia at least not to risk WWIII, or, perhaps more realistically, not to tip the balance of things such that Russia goes completely over to a full alliance with China, a "Eurasian Union," which both Putin and Xi have spoken about, is not to their liking.

Whether Sanders would call out these nefarious factors if he were in a position to do so, I don't know -- I don't have great confidence that he would -- but it is also the case that he is not in a position to do so, these powers can easily dispose of Sanders in ways that they haven't been able to, so far, with Trump.

If one does think these themes are important, especially the first two (with further discussion reserved regarding the powers-behind-the-powers), then I wish that Trump-haters would open their minds for a moment and think about what it apparently takes in our social system to even begin to get these themes on the table.

In any case, regarding Sanders, the movement he is building will have to go even further with the first two themes if Sanders is nominated, and at least go some distance in taking on the third theme. This applies even more if Sanders were to be elected. (This is where you might take a look at the 1988 mini-series, A Very British Coup -- except that how things go down in the U.S. will not be so "British.") Here again, though, if Sanders is to build a movement that can openly address these questions, this will be tremendous, a great thing.

So this is it in a nutshell: If Sanders were to be nominated, then there is the possibility, which everyone ought to work to make a reality, that we could have an election based around the questions, What can be done to improve the lives of ordinary working people?, and, What can be done to curb militarism and end the endless interventions and wars?


Antonym ,

Bernie is a nice guy – too nice: no match for the shark pools from Fairfax county, Lower Manhattan or the Clinton clan . The 2016 DNC candidate selection revelations proved this.

The only untainted strong Democratic candidate is Tulsi Gabbard, but she has all Establishments against her.

Fair dinkum ,

Since Reagan's Presidency, all US elections have been about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
The ship may be sinking slowly, but the outcome will be the same.

Gall ,

I'd say it was long before Ronnie got elected to office. Remember it was Carter and Zyb who got involved in the imperial quick sand of Afghanistan (mixing metaphors here) that is after being run out of 'Nam by a bunch of angry natives who had gotten tired of America "being a force for good" by reining "freedom and democracy" on them from the bomb bays of B 52s which I think is going to a be similar situation to what will soon happen in Iraq if we dawdle too long.

Elections have in reality become all pomp with no circumstance. Flip a coin and it always comes up heads. It's a stacked deck that public are asked to play every two years thinking the odds are in their favor when it never really is. Might as well head to Vegas following the dusty trail of Hunter S Thompson.

Charlotte Russe ,

It's not all that complicated Obama laid the groundwork ensuring Bernie's defeat when he interfered in deciding who would Chair the DNC. Tom Perez was Obama's pick. Bernie wanted Keith Ellison. Perez guaranteed neoliberal centrist Dems would maintain control. Tom Perez didn't disappoint– his nominations for the 2020 Democratic Convention standing committees are a like a who's who of centrism. Most of the folks on this "A list" would fit quite nicely in the Republican Party.

Bernie a FDR Democrat, is considered too radical by the wealthy who enjoy their Trumpian tax cuts and phony baloney stock market profits. If Trump, was just a bit less crude and not so overtly racist he'd be perfectly acceptable. Bernie, who thinks the working-poor are entitled to a living wage, healthcare, a college education, and clean drinking water is anathema to the affluent liberals who like everything just the way it is. They long for the Obama days when two wars were quietly expanded to seven, when the Wall Street crooks got a pass, and when health insurance lobbyists had their way with the federal government–the CIA was absolutely ecstatic with Obama. Trump was a bit of a speed bump for the security state, but nothing really threatening as he stuffed the pockets of the arms industry and the surveillance state with billions of working-class tax dollars. The Orangeman is having a few internecine battles with the intelligence agencies, but in the end they thoroughly had their way with the buffoon.

Bernie on the other hand, is a bit more complex. He can't be as easily attacked. Of course, the mainstream media news has all the usual Corbyn tricks in their bag, and Bernie could fall to the wayside like Corbyn if he's incapable of unapologetically fighting back. Bernie's working-class supporters want to see him give his attackers the one-two-punch and knock them out before the DNC Convention.

If Bernie manages to win numerous primaries the threat won't come from Warren or Hillary that's so 2016. The new insidious "Bernie enemy" is billionaire Bloomberg. Who is waiting in the wings If Biden takes a deep dive, Daddy Warbucks will make a play to cause a brokered convention. And that's when Perez and his Republican/Dems will takedown Bernie. Bernie's followers MUST come out swinging and not capitulate like they did last time. They have to force the issue, create a stir and threaten to abandon the Dems to start a Workers Third Party. Young progressives have this one big shot at making a difference, and they can't allow themselves to be sheepdogged into voting for another neoliberal who's
intent on maintaining the status quo. Remember, if you don't move forward you're actually moving backward into planetary ecocide.

Gall ,

Hey check this out. Seems the DNC is shaking in their boots about the possibility of a third party hijacking their "base":

https://www.mintpressnews.com/liberal-establishment-warning-third-parties-not-to-ruin-2020-election/264460/

Here's one from Whitney implying that they needn't worry because plans are in the works to install King Cyrus II as the permanent ruler with the help of his Zionist friends in the Department of Hebrew Security:

https://www.mintpressnews.com/liberal-establishment-warning-third-parties-not-to-ruin-2020-election/264460/

Even so it looks like Trump has decided to get rid of us noninterventionist and antiwar naysayers by fully bringing in the Dispensationalist Armageddon rapture embracing nut jobs who stand with the Talmudic genocidal racists in Israel who believe that Jesus Christ is boiling for an eternity in excrement and that his mother Mary was a whore:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52918.htm

I wish that this insanity was fantasy.

mark cutts ,

Hi Bill

we have witnessed in the UK the defamation of Corbyn the ' Left Disrupter ' as he wanted to throw back the normal state of political play.

He and the well meaning Labour Party was headed off at the pass.

We have to remember that the Ruling Class have to have fall back positions and that Biden is better than Bernie as is Warren and so on.

It appears to me that the DNC also has its fallback positions too and Bernie will be chopped by the Super Delegates once again on the altar of ' electabilty ' ( read any form of Socialism – American or British is not acceptatble to the PTB ) and that is how it may end.

The battle at the moment in the UK Labour Party is which leader will back up and support extra Parliamentary action in resistance to this very right wing Tory government?

In the US the thing is the same if Bernie doesn't get the nomination.

Personally I would think that he would be a plus ( despite his foreign policy views ) but remember that Trump was a maverick Republican yet I'm not sure that Sanders would veer over to that position.

If he did then the " action " part of the steep learning curve would have to kick in to defend him and more to the point his genuinely progressive policies.

In the UK now Corbyn as the personification of ' Socialist ' threat is no longer doorstepped by the British media.

Instead the installation of a Leftish Centrist by the media ( i.e. a person that is -no threat to the existing order ) is a requirement.

This is all under the guise of a " Strong Opposition " to the right wing government.

Warren – not Biden seems to be that kind of favourite for the Ruling Class should Trump fall.

We had Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair – you in the US will get Warren.

I wish Bernie and his backers weel but I don't see it happening.

Maybe Tulsi Gabbard in another 4 years?

She and AOC are very good But this is not their time.

Not yet.

Richard Le Sarc ,

When I think of how Corbyn refused to fight back against ENTIRELY mendacious and filthy vilification as an 'antisemite', I think it might be possible that the MOSSAD told him that if he resisted he might end up, dead in his bath, like John Smith.

bevin ,

Where the world weary gather to tell us how they have been let down.
Bill nails it here:
" i. For Sanders to get the nomination there will have to be a very strong, dedicated, and focused movement, which will essentially have to defeat the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party and in whatever one wants to call the agglomeration of power mechanisms that form the establishment and the State. Sanders will have to do what Trump did with the Republican Party in 2016, except with Sanders and the power structures he will be up against (and with which he is more compromised than Trump ever was), this will be much, much harder ."

Anyone who believes that elections, as such, lead to great changes needs a keeper. And one who can read the US Constitution aloud for preference.
But this is not to say that at a time like this-and there have been very few of them in US history- when there is the possibility of a major candidate challenging some of the bases of the ruling ideology-albeit by doing little more than running on a platform of refurbished Progressivism- there is really no excuse for not insisting that the challenge be made and the election played out.
Sanders is not just challenging the verities of neo-liberalism but, implicitly undermining the political consensus that has supported the Warfare State since 1948.
The thing about Bernie is that he is authenticated by the enemies that he has enrolled against him and the dramatic measures that they are taking against him. Among those enemies are the Black Misleadership Class, and the various other faux progressives who are revealing themselves to be last ditch defenders of the MIC, Israel- AIPAC is now 'all in' in Iowa and New Hampshire- and the Insurance industry. It is an indication of the simplicity of Bernie's political task that no section of Congress gives more support to the Healthcare scammers than the representatives of the community most deprived by the current system. If he manages to get through to the people and persuade them that he will fight for Free Healthcare for all and other basic and long overdue social and economic reforms he can break the hold that the political parties have over a system everyone understands is designed to make the rich-who own both parties- richer and the great majority poorer. That has been the way that things have been going in the USA for at least 45 years.

Gall ,

Here's the point you've missed here Bill and that Bernie had a mass appeal to the Independents that is until he sold out to the "Democratic" establishment which out of the two parties has to be the least democratic since it adopted the elitist and plutocratic Super Delegate system that can ride roughshod over the actual democratic will of the voters.

Of course a cosmetic change has been made that these delegates aren't allowed to vote until the Convention but as I said it is "cosmetic" since that was originally the way this undemocratic system was set up in the "Democratic" party until Hillary Clinton used it as a psychological weapon during that sham called a "primary" to convince the hoi polo that her nomination or more accurately coronation was already a foregone conclusion.

There is also another factor that most voters are not aware of and that is the so called "Democratic" party has come up with a dictatorial "by law" that can nullify the result of the primary if the candidate isn't considered "democratic" enough by the Chairman of the DNC which in Bernie's case is very possible since technically he is an Independent running as a "Democrat". This is what Lee Camp the "Nuclear Option".

Explained here in his inimitable style:

https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/lee-camp-the-dncs-secret-nuclear-option-to-stop-bernie-sanders-and-what-we-can-do-about-it/

Personally I gave up on Bernie after he sold out and shilled for that warmongering harpy Hillary who if elected would accept it as a mandate to launch WW III while ironically trying to convince us all that the "noninterventionist", "antiwar" candidate was actually the greater of the two evils.

Yeah right.

Anyway no longer have any faith in the two party system. As far as I'm concerned they can both go to hell. I've already made my choice:

https://www.markcharles2020.com

He probably needs to adjust his message more to appeal to those of us who tend to be more Libertarian and is not exactly a Russell Means but with a little help from the American Indian Movement and others can probably "triangulate" his appeal to cover a broader political spectrum. Instead of what has been traditionally known as the "left".

Greg Bacon ,

After Obama, the golden liar and mass-murderer and now Tubby the Grifter, another liar and mass-murderer, I have no desire to vote in 2020, unless Tulsi is on the ticket.

If Sanders is smart and survives another back-alley mugging by the DNC and the Wicked Witch of the East, and gets the nod, he'll take on Tulsi–Mommy–as his VP.
If he does that, then Trump, Jared the Snake and Princess Bimbo will have to find another racket in 2021.

Gall ,

Yeah Trumpenstein is a far cry from the Silver Tongued Devil O-Bomb-em. Even so both of them sold us a bill of goods that neither of them delivered on.

But hey that's politics in America at least since Neoliberal prototype Wilson which is lie your ass off until you get elected at least.

Willem ,

Much magical thinking here.

If we act now and support Sanders things will change for the better?

I surely hope so, but hope and change is soo 2008.

And if the Hildebeast enters the race, life on earth will end?

Don't think so.

Perhaps we should do this different this time. Get away from the identity politics, look what is really needed, and demand for that, not caring about 'leadership'. You know, French yellow vests style. Actually if you look a little bit outside of the MSM bubble, you see demonstrations and people demanding better treatment from the government and corporations everywhere.

The US 2020 elections, will be a nothing burger I predict. Like all elections are nothing burgers and if they are not they will fake it, or call it 'populism' that needs to be stopped (and will be stopped).

I would have voted Sanders though, if I could vote for Sanders, Similar as I would have voted for Corbyn if I could have voted for Corbyn. Voting is a tic, a habit, an addiction that is difficult to get rid of, but deadly in the end since we have nothing to vote for, except to vote for more for them at the cost of everyone else, no matter what politicians say

It's liberating to lose some of your illusions and silly reflexes, although a bit painful in the beginning as is with all addictions. The story used to 'feel' so good.

See also https://act.represent.us/sign/the-problem/

Richard Le Sarc ,

If voting changed anything, it would be outlawed.

[Jan 29, 2020] Campaign Promises and Ending Wars

Highly recommended!
Jan 29, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

lizabeth Warren wrote an article outlining in general terms how she would bring America's current foreign wars to an end. Perhaps the most significant part of the article is her commitment to respect Congress' constitutional role in matters of war:

We will hold ourselves to this by recommitting to a simple idea: the constitutional requirement that Congress play a primary role in deciding to engage militarily. The United States should not fight and cannot win wars without deep public support. Successive administrations and Congresses have taken the easy way out by choosing military action without proper authorizations or transparency with the American people. The failure to debate these military missions in public is one of the reasons they have been allowed to continue without real prospect of success [bold mine-DL].

On my watch, that will end. I am committed to seeking congressional authorization if the use of force is required. Seeking constrained authorizations with limited time frames will force the executive branch to be open with the American people and Congress about our objectives, how the operation is progressing, how much it is costing, and whether it should continue.

Warren's commitment on this point is welcome, and it is what Americans should expect and demand from their presidential candidates. It should be the bare minimum requirement for anyone seeking to be president, and any candidate who won't commit to respecting the Constitution should never be allowed to have the powers of that office. The president is not permitted to launch attacks and start wars alone, but Congress and the public have allowed several presidents to do just that without any consequences. It is time to put a stop to illegal presidential wars, and it is also time to put a stop to open-ended authorizations of military force. Warren's point about asking for "constrained authorizations with limited time frames" is important, and it is something that we should insist on in any future debate over the use of force. The 2001 and 2002 AUMFs are still on the books and have been abused and stretched beyond recognition to apply to groups that didn't exist when they were passed so that the U.S. can fight wars in countries that don't threaten our security. Those need to be repealed as soon as possible to eliminate the opening that they have provided the executive to make war at will.

Michael Brendan Dougherty is unimpressed with Warren's rhetoric:

But what has Warren offered to do differently, or better? She's made no notable break with the class of experts who run our failing foreign policy. Unlike Bernie Sanders, and like Trump or Obama, she hasn't hired a foreign-policy staff committed to a different vision. And so her promise to turn war powers back to Congress should be considered as empty as Obama's promise to do the same. Her promise to bring troops home would turn out to be as meaningless as a Trump tweet saying the same.

We shouldn't discount Warren's statements so easily. When a candidate makes specific commitments about ending U.S. wars during a campaign, that is different from making vague statements about having a "humble" foreign policy. Bush ran on a conventional hawkish foreign policy platform, and there were also no ongoing wars for him to campaign against, so we can't say that he ever ran as a "dove." Obama campaigned against the Iraq war and ran on ending the U.S. military presence there, and before his first term was finished almost all U.S. troops were out of Iraq. It is important to remember that he did not campaign against the war in Afghanistan, and instead argued in support of it. His subsequent decision to commit many more troops there was a mistake, but it was entirely consistent with what he campaigned on. In other words, he withdrew from the country he promised to withdraw from, and escalated in the country where he said the U.S. should be fighting. Trump didn't actually campaign on ending any wars, but he did talk about "bombing the hell" out of ISIS, and after he was elected he escalated the war on ISIS. His anti-Iranian obsession was out in the open from the start if anyone cared to pay attention to it. In short, what candidates commit to doing during a campaign does matter and it usually gives you a good idea of what a candidate will do once elected.

If Warren and some of the other Democratic candidates are committing to ending U.S. wars, we shouldn't assume that they won't follow through on those commitments because previous presidents proved to be the hawks that they admitted to being all along. Presidential candidates often tell us exactly what they mean to do, but we have to be paying attention to everything they say and not just one catchphrase that they said a few times. If voters want a more peaceful foreign policy, they should vote for candidates that actually campaign against ongoing wars instead of rewarding the ones that promise and then deliver escalation. But just voting for the candidates that promise an end to wars is not enough if Americans want Congress to start doing its job by reining in the executive. If we don't want presidents to run amok on war powers, there have to be political consequences for the ones that have done that and there needs to be steady pressure on Congress to take back their role in matters of war. Voters should select genuinely antiwar candidates, but then they also have to hold those candidates accountable once they're in office.

[Jan 28, 2020] Sanders is like a geriatric Colonel Kurz, operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct by CJ Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In any event, no matter who they nominate, they have no chance of winning in November. How could they, given the total stranglehold the Russians now have on American democracy? ..."
www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

Resistance Non-Lethal Option No. 1 is winning the 2020 election, which isn't looking very promising. The Democratic Party is in shambles. According to the polls, their current front-runner is a senile, hair-sniffing, finger-sucking freak who never met a credit card company or a healthcare lobbyist he didn't like , and who rivals even Donald Trump when it comes to incoherent babbling.

Yes, that's right, folks, it's "Smilin' Joe" Biden, vanquisher of the razor-wielding, swimming-pool-gangster "Corn Pop " to the rescue!

As far as I've been able to gather, the plan is for Joe to out-"crazy" Trump (and thus win back the "bull goose loony" demographic) by going completely off his medication and having a series of scary-looking petit mal seizures on national television.

That is, unless the impossible happens, and Biden is vanquished by Bernie Sanders (a/k/a "The Magic Socialist" ), who Democratic Party bigwigs would sooner publicly immolate themselves than nominate, and who the corporate media are already accusing of being a lying, sexist. communist, crypto-Trump-loving, Jew-hating Jew .

Sanders, it seems, has gone totally "native." He's out there, in the heart of the American darkness, like a geriatric Colonel Kurz, operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct.

According to the latest reconnaissance, he is building another "revolutionary" army of fanatical, doped-up, hacky-sacking "socialists" that he will lead into the convention in July and deliver to Biden, or Elizabeth Warren, or whichever soulless corporate puppet the party honchos eventually nominate, and then obsequiously stump for them for the next five months. (Or, who knows, maybe Michael Bloomberg will put the Democrats out of their misery and just buy the party and nominate himself.)

The "Crush Bernie" movement is just getting started, but you can tell the Resistance isn't screwing around. Hillary Clinton just officially launched her national " Nobody Likes Bernie " campaign at the star-studded 2020 Sundance Film Festival .

Influential Jewish journalists like Bari Weiss and Jeffrey Goldberg , and Ronald Lauder's newly-founded Anti-Semitism Accountability Project , have been Hitlerizing him, or, rather, Corbynizing him.

Obama has promised to "stop him," if necessary.

MSNBC anchor Joy Reid brought on a professional " body language expert " to phrenologize Sanders "live" on the air and, as I said, they're just getting started.

In any event, no matter who they nominate, they have no chance of winning in November. How could they, given the total stranglehold the Russians now have on American democracy?

As Adam Schiff just reminded everyone , unless Donald Trump is removed from office, " we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won ," because at any moment Putin could order Trump to pressure the Ukrainian president into investigating Biden's son's corruption by refusing to fund the Ukrainian military's resistance to Putin's secret plot to occupy the entire Ukraine and use it as a covert base from which to launch an all-out thermonuclear war against the United States (which Putin already controls through his puppet, Trump, and his network of nefarious Facebook bots, which, according to this expert on NPR , are already brainwashing gullible Black people into voting for Bernie Sanders this time, or at least refusing to vote for Biden, like they refused to vote for Hillary last time which, OK, I know, that sounds kind of racist, but we're talking NPR here, folks. These people aren't racists. They're liberals!)

OK, I got a little lost there the point is, if the election goes ahead, and Trump doesn't have an embolism or something, odds are, we're looking at four more years of Putin-Nazi occupation. Which brings us to

Non-Lethal Option No. 2

Resistance Non-Lethal Option No. 2 is, of course, the current impeachment circus. I don't even know where to start with this one.

After three and a half years of corporate-media-manufactured mass hysteria and Intelligence Community propaganda designed to convince the American public that Donald Trump is a "Russian asset" (and possibly Putin's homosexual lover ) and also literally the Resurrection of Hitler, the Democrats are trying to impeach the man for something that most Americans either (a) believe is common practice among members of the political class, (b) don't entirely understand, or (c) do, but don't give a shit about.

Seriously, it's like they held a contest to see if anyone could think of something that would out-anticlimax the Mueller report, and this is what the winner came up with an over-acted, sanctimonious snooze-fest, the stakes of which could not possibly be lower.

Sure, the corporate media are doing their best to cover every twist and turn of the "drama" as if the fate of democracy were hanging in the balance, but everybody knows it's a joke or, all right, almost everybody .

... ... ...


[Jan 23, 2020] An incredible level of naivety of people who still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?

Highly recommended!
The deep state clearly is running the show (with some people unexpected imput -- see Trump ;-)
Elections now serve mainly for the legitimizing of the deep state rule; election of a particular individual can change little, although there is some space of change due to the power of executive branch. If the individual stray too much form the elite "forign policy consensus" he ether will be JFKed or Russiagated (with the Special Prosecutor as the fist act and impeachment as the second act of the same Russiagate drama)
But a talented (or reckless) individual can speed up some process that are already under way. For example, Trump managed to speed up the process of destruction of the USA-centered neoliberal empire considerably. Especially by launching the trade war with China. He also managed to discredit the USA foreign policy as no other president before him. Even Bush II.
Jan 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Trailer Trash , Jan 23 2020 18:30 utc | 44
>This is the most critical U.S. election in our lifetime
> Posted by: Circe | Jan 23 2020 17:46 utc | 36

Hmmm, I've been hearing the same siren song every four years for the past fifty. How is it that people still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?

Bureaucracies are reactionary and conservative by nature, so any new and more repressive policy Trumpy wants is readily adapted, as shown by the continuing barbarity of ICE and the growth of prisons and refugee concentration camps. Policies that go against the grain are easily shrugged off and ignored using time-tested passive-aggressive tactics.

One of Trump's insurmountable problems is that he has no loyal organization behind him whose members he can appoint throughout the massive Federal bureaucracy. Any Dummycrat whose name is not "Biden" has the same problem. Without a real mass-movement political party to pressure reluctant bureaucrats, no politician of any name or stripe will ever substantially change the direction of US policy.

But the last thing Dummycrats want is a real mass movement, because they might not be able to control it. Instead Uncle Sam will keep heading towards the cliff, which may be coming into view...


Per/Norway , Jan 23 2020 19:31 utc | 62

The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE to believe A politician will/can change anything and give your consent to war criminals and traitors?
NO person(s) WILL EVER get to the top in imperial/vassal state politics without being on the rentier class side, the cognitive dissonans in voting for known liars, war criminals and traitors would kill me or fry my brain. TINA is a lie and "she" is a real bitch that deserves to be thrown on the dump off history, YOUR vote is YOUR consent to murder, theft and treason.
DONT be a rentier class enabler STOP voting and start making your local communities better and independent instead.

Per
Norway

Piotr Berman , Jan 23 2020 20:19 utc | 82
The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me. <- Norway

Of course, There Is Another Way, for example, kvetching. We can boldly show that we are upset, and pessimistic. One upset pessimists reach critical mass we will think about some actions.

But being upset and pessimistic does fully justify inactivity. In particular, given the nature of social interaction networks, with spokes and hubs, dominating the network requires the control of relatively few nodes. The nature of democracy always allows for leverage takeover, starting from dominating within small to the entire nation in few steps. As it was nicely explained by Prof. Overton, there is a window of positions that the vast majority regards as reasonable, non-radical etc. One reason that powers to be invest so much energy vilifying dissenters, Russian assets of late, is to keep them outside the Overton window.

Having a candidate elected that the curators of Overton window hate definitely shakes the situation with the potential of shifting the window. There were some positive symptoms after Trump was elected, but negatives prevail. "Why not we just kill him" idea entered the window, together with "we took their oil because we have guts and common sense".

From that point of view, visibility of Tulsi and election of Sanders will solve some problems but most of all, it will make big changes in Overton window.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren as Lizzie-Faire Capitalist.

Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

none , January 21, 2020 at 12:46 am

Warren will never endorse Bernie. She is not a progressive and the Republican in her is back in operation. But, there is a new Jeep named after her:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EOuTYRlXsAg151I.jpg

Henry Moon Pie , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

But we already had the Tin Lizzie.

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am

I can't resist. What we have here is an old fashioned "Lizzie-Faire Capitalist."

John Zelnicker , January 21, 2020 at 10:28 am

@ambrit
January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am
-- -- -

"Strike three! A sizzling fast ball over the middle of the plate, while the batter just looked dumbfounded"

[Jan 19, 2020] With "help" like this from CNN, one struggles to imagine what sabotage might look like.

Is Warren Warren the Jussie Smollet of politics. I wonder if she claims Bernie attacked her while wearing a red hat and screaming, "A woman can't win! This is MAGA country!"
Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Connecticut Farmer a day ago

SCENARIO I

Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Bernie Sanders on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe and Bernie have a different worldview.

SCENARIO II

Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Liz Warren on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe is an unprincipled sexist.

esquimaux 11 hours ago
Being one of Liz' constituents and familiar with her career and her base (consisting of people like me,) I think she faces so little consequence for her "embellishments" at least in part because "we" (her base) inhabit an environment in which, with ease, we adjust facts and perceptions to conform to whatever our self-serving narrative of the moment may be.

We know that Liz will say anything she imagines will be to her advantage and it's okay with "us" that she does. In a way, she's our ideal candidate and media darling because she reflects and affirms our plastic values.

[Jan 18, 2020] If Bernie is nominated, he better buy a flak jacket..

Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Jan 18 2020 3:11 utc | 96

An earlier poster said Bernie could defeat DJT. Not to worry, I'll be the most shocked person in the U$A if Sanders gets to nod to run for POTUS.

If that happens, he better buy a flak jacket..

[Nov 27, 2019] Obama Admits He Would Speak Up Only To Stop Bernie Sanders Nomination

Highly recommended!
The question is who will listed to Obama after his "change we can believe in" betrayal. Also is not he a war criminal? Obama election was probably the most slick false flag operation even conducted by intelligence agencies. Somebody created for him complexly fake but still plausible legend.
That Obama desire to interfere in 2020 election also shows gain that that he a regular completely corrupt Clinton neoliberal. The worst king of neoliberals, wolfs in sheep's clothing.
And the fact that CIA democrats dominates the Democratic Party actually is another reason from "Demexit" from the Democratic party of workers and lower middle class. The sad fact that the USA Corporate Dems recently became the second pro-war militarist party, and learned to love intelligence agencies; two things unimaginable in 60th and 70th.
Notable quotes:
"... Image source: Getty ..."
Nov 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As we noted earlier, a bombshell admission from Politico today exploring Obama's substantial behind the scenes influence as Democratic kingmaker : included in the lengthy profile on the day-to-day of the former president's personal office in the West End of Washington D.C. and his meeting with the field of Democratic candidates, is the following gem :

"Obama said privately that if Bernie were running away with the nomination, Obama would speak up to stop him."

Image source: Getty

And crucially, when asked about that prior statement reported in Politico, an Obama spokesperson did not deny that he said it.

The frank admission underscores what many independent analysts, not to mention prior damning WikiLeaks DNC disclosures , have pointed out for years: that the establishment controlling the Democratic party has continuously sought to rig the system against Bernie.

"Since losing 2016, Dem elites have waged a prolonged effort to stop Bernie. Bernie is the obvious answer to the neoliberal Clinton-Obama legacy voters rejected..." journalist Aaron Maté observed of the Politico quote.

Here's the stunning and deeply revealing section in full, which began by outlining Obama's 'advice-giving' throughout meetings with Democrat contenders including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and others :

Publicly, he has been clear that he won't intervene in the primary for or against a candidate , unless he believed there was some egregious attack. "I can't even imagine with this field how bad it would have to be for him to say something," said a close adviser. Instead, he sees his role as providing guardrails to keep the process from getting too ugly and to unite the party when the nominee is clear.

There is one potential exception: Back when Sanders seemed like more of a threat than he does now, Obama said privately that if Bernie were running away with the nomination, Obama would speak up to stop him. (Asked about that, a spokesperson for Obama pointed out that Obama recently said he would support and campaign for whoever the Democratic nominee is.)

And a further deeply revealing but more laughable quote comes later as follows: "Obama designed his post-presidency in 2016, at a time when he believed Hillary Clinton would win and Biden would be out of politics." So the reality is... far from the idea that the Dem elites would back the actual nominee the party puts forward, clearly the die has already been cast against Bernie just like the last time around against Hillary in 2016.

Politico author Ryan Lizza later in the story quotes a "close family friend," who described that Obama's "politics are not strong left of center."

"I mean it's left, but he's nowhere near where some of the candidates are currently sitting, at least when he got himself elected," the source claimed.

This means in the mind of Obama and other top party influencers and kingmakers, Bernie and other popular outliers like Tulsi Gabbard have already long been sidelined. Tulsi, it should also be noted, is one of the couple of candidates who did not bother to stop by Obama's D.C. office for a 'blessing' and advice.

[Sep 15, 2019] Donald Trump as the DNC s nominee by Michael Hudson

Highly recommended!
DNC is a criminal organization and the fact that Debbie Wasserman Schultz escaped justice is deeply regreatable.
Notable quotes:
"... The problem facing the Democratic National Committee today remains the same as in 2016: How to block even a moderately left-wing social democrat by picking a candidate guaranteed to lose to Trump, so as to continue the policies that serve banks, the financial markets and military spending for Cold War 2.0. ..."
"... Trump meanwhile has done most everything the Democratic Donor Class wants: He has cut taxes on the wealthy, cut social spending for the population at large, backed Quantitative Easing to inflate the stock and bond markets, and pursued Cold War 2.0. Best of all, his abrasive style has enabled Democrats to blame the Republicans for the giveaway to the rich, as if they would have followed a different policy. ..."
"... The effect has been to make America into a one-party state. Republicans act as the most blatant lobbyists for the Donor Class. But people can vote for a representative of the One Percent and the military-industrial complex in either the Republican or Democratic column. That is why most Americans owe allegiance to no party. ..."
"... I'm just curious about how much longer this log-jam situation can persist before real political realignment takes place. Bernie Sander is ultimately a relic not a representative of new political vigor running through the party, like Trump he would be largely be on his own without much congressional support from his own party. ..."
"... As the 2016 election and Brexit have illuminated, globalisation is a religion for the upper middle classes. ..."
"... They just refuse to understand that political solidarity, key to any such policies is permanently damaged by immigration. ..."
"... If you make people chose between their ethnicity being displaced and class conflict, they'll pick the preservation of their ethnicity and it's territory every time. I ..."
"... My prediction: The elites in the US won't give way, people will simply become demoralised and the Trump/Sanders moment will pass with significant damage done to the legitimacy of American democracy and media but with progressives unable to deal with immigration (Much like the right can't deal with global warming) they will fail to get much done. The general population has become too atomised and detached, beaten-down bystanders to their own politics and society to mount a popular political movement. Immigrants, recent descendants of immigrants and the upper middle classes will continue to instinctually understand globalisation is how they loot America and will not vote for 'extreme' candidates that threaten this. The upper middle class will continue to dominate the overton window and use it to inject utter economic lies to the public. ..."
Sep 15, 2019 | www.unz.com

Originally from: Breaking Up the Democratic Party, by Michael Hudson - The Unz Review

I hope that the candidate who is clearly the voters' choice, Bernie Sanders, may end up as the party's nominee. If he is, I'm sure he'll beat Donald Trump handily, as he would have done four years ago. But I fear that the DNC's Donor Class will push Joe Biden, Kamala Harris or even Pete Buttigieg down the throats of voters. Just as when they backed Hillary the last time around, they hope that their anointed neoliberal will be viewed as the lesser evil for a program little different from that of the Republicans.

So Thursday's reality TV run-off is about "who's the least evil?" An honest reality show's questions would focus on "What are you against ?" That would attract a real audience, because people are much clearer about what they're against: the vested interests, Wall Street, the drug companies and other monopolies, the banks, landlords, corporate raiders and private-equity asset strippers. But none of this is to be permitted on the magic island of authorized candidates (not including Tulsi Gabbard, who was purged from further debates for having dared to mention the unmentionable).

Donald Trump as the DNC's nominee

The problem facing the Democratic National Committee today remains the same as in 2016: How to block even a moderately left-wing social democrat by picking a candidate guaranteed to lose to Trump, so as to continue the policies that serve banks, the financial markets and military spending for Cold War 2.0.

DNC donors favor Joe Biden, long-time senator from the credit-card and corporate-shell state of Delaware, and opportunistic California prosecutor Kamala Harris, with a hopey-changey grab bag alternative in smooth-talking small-town Rorschach blot candidate Pete Buttigieg. These easy victims are presented as "electable" in full knowledge that they will fail against Trump.

Trump meanwhile has done most everything the Democratic Donor Class wants: He has cut taxes on the wealthy, cut social spending for the population at large, backed Quantitative Easing to inflate the stock and bond markets, and pursued Cold War 2.0. Best of all, his abrasive style has enabled Democrats to blame the Republicans for the giveaway to the rich, as if they would have followed a different policy.

The Democratic Party's role is to protect Republicans from attack from the left, steadily following the Republican march rightward. Claiming that this is at least in the direction of being "centrist," the Democrats present themselves as the lesser evil (which is still evil, of course), simply as pragmatic in not letting hopes for "the perfect" (meaning moderate social democracy) block the spirit of compromise with what is attainable, "getting things done" by cooperating across the aisle and winning Republican support. That is what Joe Biden promises.

The effect has been to make America into a one-party state. Republicans act as the most blatant lobbyists for the Donor Class. But people can vote for a representative of the One Percent and the military-industrial complex in either the Republican or Democratic column. That is why most Americans owe allegiance to no party.

The Democratic National Committee worries that voters may disturb this alliance by nominating a left-wing reform candidate. The DNC easily solved this problem in 2016: When Bernie Sanders intruded into its space, it the threw the election. It scheduled the party's early defining primaries in Republican states whose voters leaned right, and packed the nominating convention with Donor Class super-delegates.

After the dust settled, having given many party members political asthma, the DNC pretended that it was all an unfortunate political error. But of course it was not a mistake at all. The DNC preferred to lose with Hillary than win with Bernie, whom springtime polls showed would be the easy winner over Trump. Potential voters who didn't buy into the program either stayed home or voted green.


follyofwar , says: September 12, 2019 at 2:20 pm GMT

No votes will be cast for months, so I don't know how Mr. Hudson can say that Sanders is "clearly the voters choice." He would be 79 on election day, well above the age when most men die, which is something that voters should seriously consider. Whoever his VP is will probably be president before the end of Old Bernie's first term, so I hope he chooses his VP wisely.

In any case I laugh at how the media always reports that Biden, who has obviously lost more than a few brain cells, has such a commanding lead over this field of second-raters. The voters, having much better things to do, haven't even started to pay attention yet.

And, how could anyone seriously believe in these polls anyway? Only older people have land lines today. If calling people is the methodology pollsters are using, then the results would be heavily skewed towards former VP Biden, whose name everyone knows. I lost all faith in polls when the media was saying, with certainty, that Hillary was a lock to win against the insurgent Trump.

Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate beside Trump with charisma today. With her cool demeanor, she is certainly the least unlikeable. She would be Trump's most formidable opponent. But the democrats, like their counterparts, are owned by Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complex. Sadly, most democrats still believe that the party is working in their best interests, while the republicans are the party of the rich.

If you watch the debates tonight, which I will not be, you will notice that Tulsi Gabbard won't be on stage. That is by design. She is a leper. At least the republicans allowed Trump to be onstage in 2016, which makes them more democratic than the democrats. Plus they didn't have Super Delegates to prevent Trump from achieving the nomination he had rightfully won. Something to think about since the DNC, not the voters, annointed Hillary last time.

If the YouTube Oligarchs still allow it, I plan on watching the post-debate analysis with characters like Richard Spencer and Eric Striker. Those guys are most entertaining, and have insights that are not permitted to be uttered in the controlled, mind-numbing farce of the mainstream media.

anon [110] Disclaimer , says: September 12, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
> When neoliberals shout, "But that's socialism," Americans finally are beginning to say, "Then give us socialism."

True, true! Also, when the neoliberals shout, "But that's nationalism," Americans finally are beginning to say, "Then give us nationalism."

One plus one is

Dutch Boy , says: September 12, 2019 at 3:42 pm GMT
Elizabeth Warren seems a more likely nominee than Sanders.
Biff , says: September 12, 2019 at 4:37 pm GMT
@Dutch Boy

Elizabeth Warren seems a more likely nominee than Sanders.

Elizabeth Warren is phony as phuck(PAP). Just like forked tongued Obama she's really just a tool for the neo-liberal establishment, which does make her more likely.

Svevlad , says: September 12, 2019 at 5:06 pm GMT
@anon Hehe. I propose that the anti-neoliberals join forces to beat this terrible beast...
Altai , says: September 12, 2019 at 6:19 pm GMT
Here is another question. Can the DNC or RNC really change institutionally fast enough?

I'm just curious about how much longer this log-jam situation can persist before real political realignment takes place. Bernie Sander is ultimately a relic not a representative of new political vigor running through the party, like Trump he would be largely be on his own without much congressional support from his own party.

As the 2016 election and Brexit have illuminated, globalisation is a religion for the upper middle classes. Many of them may be progressives but they refuse to understand the very non-progressive consequences of mass immigration (Or, one should say over-immigration) or globalisation more generally. The increasing defection of such individuals to the Liberal Democrats in Britain is a fascinating example. They just refuse to understand that political solidarity, key to any such policies is permanently damaged by immigration.

It is interesting to see the see-saw effect of UKip and now the Brexit party in the UK (Well, in England). With them first drawing working class voters from Labour without increasing Conservative performance, bringing about a massive conservative majority and now threatening to siphon voters from the Tories with the opposite effect.

But UKip and later the Brexit party almost exist through the indispensable leadership of Nigel Farage and a very specific motivating goal of leaving the EU. I can't see a third party rising to put pressure on the mainstream parties.

If you make people chose between their ethnicity being displaced and class conflict, they'll pick the preservation of their ethnicity and it's territory every time. I f the centre left refuses to understand this (Something that wouldn't have been hard for them to understand when they still drew candidates from the working classes) they will continue their slide into oblivion as they have done across the Western world. (Excluding 2 party systems and Denmark where they do understand this)

My prediction: The elites in the US won't give way, people will simply become demoralised and the Trump/Sanders moment will pass with significant damage done to the legitimacy of American democracy and media but with progressives unable to deal with immigration (Much like the right can't deal with global warming) they will fail to get much done. The general population has become too atomised and detached, beaten-down bystanders to their own politics and society to mount a popular political movement. Immigrants, recent descendants of immigrants and the upper middle classes will continue to instinctually understand globalisation is how they loot America and will not vote for 'extreme' candidates that threaten this. The upper middle class will continue to dominate the overton window and use it to inject utter economic lies to the public.

The novel internet mass media outlets that allowed such unpoliced political discussion to reach mass audiences will be pacified by whatever means and America will slide into an Italian style trans-generational malaise at a national level for some time.

A123 , says: September 12, 2019 at 6:48 pm GMT
@Altai

Here is another question. Can the DNC or RNC really change institutionally fast enough?

Trump is trying to change the RNC away from Globalist elites and towards Christian Populist beliefs and Main Street America. I am some what hopeful, as the U.S. is not alone in this trajectory. There is a global tail wind that should help the GOP change quickly enough.

The true test will be the 2024 GOP nomination. A bold choice will have to break through to keep the RNC from backsliding into the clutches of Globalist failure.

PEACE

davidgmillsatty , says: September 12, 2019 at 7:43 pm GMT
I think Sanders could have beat Trump in 2016. This time around it is not that clear because so many of his supporters in 2016 feel burnt.

Badly burnt. Or Bernt. He threw his support for Hillary, even if it was tepid, and then got a bad case of Russiagateitis which his base on the left really hated. His left base never bought Russiagate for a minute. We knew it was an internal leak, probably by Seth Rich, who provided all the information to Assange. He still seems to be a strong Israel supporter even if has stood up to Netanyahu.

And while it may seem odd, many of his base on the left have grown weary of the global climate change agenda.

He has not advocated nuclear power and there is a growing movement for that on the left, especially by those who think renewables will not generate the power we need.

But since Sanders does seem to attract the rural and suburban vote more than any other Democrat, Sanders has a chance to chip away at Trumps' base and win the Electoral College. Another horrible loss to rural and suburban America by the Democrats will cost them the EC again by a substantial margin, even if they manage to pull off another popular vote win.

A123 , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:20 am GMT
@bluedog

the republican party is as globalist as you can find,and I'm sure you will be the first one to inform us when the global elite including those in America throw in the towel,

Some elite Globalist NeverTrumpers, such as George Will and Bill Kristol, have thrown in the towel on the GOP. This allows their "neocon" followers to return to their roots in the war mongering Democrat Party. So it *IS* happening.

The real questions are:
-- Can it happen fast enough?
-- Can it be sustained after Donald Trump term limits out?

I'm not bold enough to say it is inevitable. All I will say is, "There are reasons to be at least mildly hopeful."

PEACE

RadicalCenter , says: September 13, 2019 at 3:45 am GMT
@follyofwar Based on gabbard's immigration statements, voting for her is also voting for our continuing displacement.
Carlton Meyer , says: Website September 13, 2019 at 4:22 am GMT
Has everyone forgot the last time the DNC openly cheated Sanders he said nothing publicly, but then endorsed Clinton? Sanders knows he is not allowed to become president, his role to prevent the formation of a third party, and to keep the Green Party small. Otherwise he would jump to the Green Party right now and may beat the DNC and Trump.

Sanders treats progressives like Charlie Brown. Once again, inviting them to run a kick the football, only to pull it away and watch them fall. He recently backed off his opposition to the open borders crazies, rarely mentions cuts to military spending to fund things, and has even joined the stupid fake russiagate bandwagon.

Note that he dismisses the third party idea as unworkable, when he already knows the DNC is unworkable. Why not give the Green party a chance? Cause he don't want to win knowing he'd be killed or impeached for some reason.

follyofwar , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:06 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer The Stalinist DNC openly cheated Tulsi Gabbard when they left her off the debate stage last night. When asked about it on 'The View' recently, Sanders said nothing in her defense, or that she deserved to be on the stage. Nice way to stab her in the back for leaving her DNC position to support you last time, Bernie. Socialist Sanders wants to be president, yet is afraid of the DNC. Nice!

Those polls were rigged against Tulsi, and everyone who is paying attention knows it. But, far from hurting her candidacy by not making the DNC's arbitrary cut, her exclusion may wind up helping her. Kim Iverson, Michael Tracey, and comedian Jimmy Dore, anti-war progressive YouTubers with large, loyal followings, have lambasted the out-of touch DNC for its actions. Tucker Carlson on the anti-war right has also done so.

One hopes that the DNC's stupidity in censoring her message may wind up being the best thing ever for Tulsi's insurgent candidacy. We shall see. OTOH, who can trust the polls to tell us the truth of where her popularity stands.

follyofwar , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter Do you forget about Trump's declaration that he wants the largest amount of immigration ever, as long as they come in legally? There are no good guys in our two sclerotic monopoly parties when it comes to immigration. Since both are terrible on that topic, at least Tulsi seems to have the anti-war principles that Trump does not.
Justvisiting , says: September 13, 2019 at 7:37 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Great comment.

Bernie has had many opportunities in the past few years to show real courage and stand for something, anything. He has failed every time.

I am actually beginning to feel sorry for him–he knows he has a mission, but he just can't seem to figure out what it is anymore

Getting old is not fun.

[Aug 03, 2019] In 2016, Sanders was Hillary's sheepdog. In 2020, the Democratic Party is Trump sheepdog

Aug 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Aug 3 2019 4:05 utc | 55

In 2016, Sanders was Hillary's sheepdog.

In 2020, the Democratic Party sheepdogs for democracy itself.

[Jul 30, 2019] The main task of Democratic Party is preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left and killing such social movements

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways: ..."
"... i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power; ..."
"... (ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;" ..."
"... (iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders; ..."
"... iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly. ..."
"... It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us. ..."
"... The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts. ..."
"... By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background. ..."
"... When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end. ..."
"... This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry ..."
Jul 30, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

g3 , July 30, 2019 at 4:08 am

Mainstream Dems are performing their role very well. Most likely I am preaching to the choir. But anyways, here is a review of Lance Selfa's book "Democrats: a critical history" by Paul Street :

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/hope-killers-by-paul-street/

Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways:

i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power;

(ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;"

(iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders;

iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly.

It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us.

Norb , July 30, 2019 at 7:18 am

The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts.

By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background.

I have little faith in my fellow citizens as the majority are too brainwashed to see the danger of this political theatre. Most ignore politics, while those that do show an interest exercise that effort mainly by supporting whatever faction they belong. Larger issues and connections between current events remain a mystery to them as a result.

Military defeat seems the only means to break this cycle. Democrats, being the fake peaceniks that they are, will be more than happy to defer to their more authoritarian Republican counterparts when dealing with issues concerning war and peace. Look no further than Tulsi Gabbard's treatment in the party. The question is really should the country continue down this Imperialist path.

In one sense, economic recession will be the least of our problems in the future. When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end.

This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry.

[Jun 28, 2019] Neoliberal MSM proposed set of debate questions for Bernie Sanders

Jun 27, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Chris , June 27, 2019 at 7:56 pm

Let's see if they can keep Bernie in the same cage they put Tulsi in. I can't imagine they'll be helpful or even polite to him. I expect "debate" questions such as:

[Apr 28, 2019] Biden has huge, exploitable weakness in relation Ukraine

Highly recommended!
Apr 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

A123 , says: April 25, 2019 at 12:33 am GMT

Democratic party candidate Biden has huge, exploitable weakness in relation Ukraine (1). Given that Biden is the most beatable name to come forward so far Trump and his administration will do nothing major to involve the U.S. with the internal affairs of Ukraine.

Macron and Merkel may wish to do something, but given personal unpopularity in their countries it is unclear what they can deliver.

For the next 12+ months nothing of any significance will happen. If the Dems are foolish enough to nominate Biden, it could become an issue next year. Trump and Putin would have aligned interests in stopping the Biden family's exploitation of Ukrainian resources.

____

(1) https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/436816-joe-bidens-2020-ukrainian-nightmare-a-closed-probe-is-revived

[Feb 26, 2019] The Magic Socialist by C.J. Hopkins

Feb 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

So here it is, the announcement we've been waiting for all aboard for another cruise on the new and improved U.S.S. Magic Socialist with your captain Bernie Sanders at the helm! If you're not familiar with this extraordinary vessel, it's like the luxury liner in The Magic Christian , except catering to credulous American socialists instead of the British filthy rich. Tickets start at just $27 dollars so hurry, because they're going fast!

That's right, folks, Bernie is back, and this time it's not just a sadistic prank where he gets you all fired up about his fake "revolution" for fifteen months, gets cheated out of the nomination, then backs whichever corporate-bought candidate the Democratic Party orders you to vote for.

No, this time the Bernster really means it! This time, when the DNC rigs the primaries to hand the nomination to Harris, or Biden, or some billionaire android like Michael Bloomberg, Bernie is not going to break your heart by refusing to run as an independent candidate, unbeholden to the corporations and oligarchs that own both political parties, or otherwise make you feel like a sucker for buying his "revolution" schtick. He's not going to fold like a fifty dollar suit and start parroting whatever propaganda the corporate media will be prodigiously spewing to convince you the Russians and Nazis are coming unless you vote for the empire's pre-anointed puppet!

Bernie would never dream of doing that or at least he'd never dream of doing that twice.

[Jan 29, 2019] These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don t be fooled by their progressive veneer by Bhaskar Sunkara

Highly recommended!
Taming of financial oligarchy and restoration of the job market at the expense of outsourcing and offshoring is required in the USA and gradually getting support. At least a return to key elements of the New Deal should be in the cards. But Clinton wing of Dems is beong redemption. They are Wall Street puddles. all of the them.
Issues like Medicare for All, Free College, Restoring Glass Steagall, Ending Citizen's United/Campaign finance reform, federal jobs guarantee, criminal justice reform, all poll extremely well among the american populace
If even such a neoliberal pro globalization, corporations controlled media source as Guardian views centrist neoliberal Democrats like Booker unelectable, the situation in the next elections might be interesting.
Notable quotes:
"... Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin ..."
"... 2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy. ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic party. Booker , Harris and Gillibrand know that voters demand action and are more supportive than ever of Medicare for All and universal childcare.
Gillibrand, long considered a moderate, has even gone as far as to endorse abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and, along with Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders' single-payer healthcare bill. Harris has also backed universal healthcare and free college tuition for most Americans.

But outward appearances aren't everything. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand have been making a very different pitch of late -- on Wall Street. According to CNBC , all three potential candidates have been reaching out to financial executives lately, including Blackstone's Jonathan Gray, Robert Wolf from 32 Advisors and the Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly.

Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren't far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives.

When CNBC's story about Gillibrand personally working the phones to woo Wall Street executives came out, her team responded defensively, noting her support for financial regulation and promising that if she did run she would take "no corporate Pac money". But what's most telling isn't that Gillibrand and others want Wall Street's money, it's that they want the blessings of financial CEOs. Even if she doesn't take their contributions, she's signaling that she's just playing politics with populist rhetoric. That will allow capitalists to focus their attention on candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have shown a real willingness to abandon the traditional coziness of the Democratic party with the finance, insurance and real estate industries.

Gillibrand and others are behaving perfectly rationally. The last presidential election cost $6.6bn -- advertising, staff and conventions are expensive. But even more important than that, they know that while leftwing stances might help win Democratic primaries, the path of least resistance in the general election is capitulation to the big forces of capital that run this country. Those elites might allow some progressive tinkering on the margins, but nothing that challenges the inequities that keep them wealthy and their victims weak.

Big business is likely to bet heavily on the Democratic party in 2020, maybe even more so than it did in 2016. In normal circumstances, the Democratic party is the second-favorite party of capital; with an erratic Trump around, it is often the first.

The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections. We don't have a labor-backed social democratic party that could create barriers to avoid capture by monied interests. It's telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper's recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: "We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values across sectors."

Plenty of Democratic leaders believe in the neoliberal growth model. Many have gotten personally wealthy off of it. Others think there is no alternative to allying with finance and then trying to create progressive social policy on the margins. But with sentiments like that, it doesn't take fake news to convince working-class Americans that Democrats don't really have their interests at heart.

Of course, the Democratic party isn't a monolith. But the insurgency waged by newly elected representatives such as the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna and others is still in its infancy. At this stage, it isn't going to scare capital away from the Democratic party, it's going to make Wall Street invest more heavily to maintain its stake in it.

Men like Mark Gallogly know who their real enemy is: more than anyone else, the establishment is wary of Bernie Sanders . It seems likely that he will run for president, but he's been dismissed as a 2020 frontrunner despite his high favorability rates, name recognition, small-donor fundraising ability, appeal to independent voters, and his team's experience running a competitive national campaign. As 2019 goes on, that dismissal will morph into all-out war.

Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It's afraid of the Democrats who will take them on -- and those, unfortunately, are few and far between.

Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin

memo10 -> Karen Maddening , 15 Jan 2019 14:05

Just like universal health care, let's give up, it's too hard, we're not winners, we're not number one or problem solvers and besides, someone at some time for some reason might get something that someone else might not get regardless if that someone else needs it. Let's go with the Berners who seem to believe there will never be none so pure enough to become president.

The corporate state does not cast the votes. The public does.

Leaning farther to the left on issues like universal healthcare and foreign wars would be agreeing with the public. Not only the progressive public, but the GENERAL public. The big money donors are the ONLY force against the Democrats resisting these things.

mp66 , 15 Jan 2019 13:38
2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy.
Pete Healey , 15 Jan 2019 13:31
Bernie's challenge will "morph into all-out war". "Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats", blah, blah, blah. But we're going to continue to play along? Why? Oh yeah, Bhaskar Sunkara will have us believe "There is no alternative". Remember TINA? Give it up, man, just give it up.
yayUSA , 15 Jan 2019 13:17
Tulsi entering is big news.
Danexmachina , 15 Jan 2019 12:31
One dollar, one vote.
If you want Change, keep it in your pocket.
We can't turn this sinking ship around unless we know what direction it's going. So far, that direction is just delivering money to private islands.
Democrats have a lot of talk, but they still want to drive the nice cars and sell the same crapft that the Republicans are.
Taxing the rich only works when you worship the rich in the first place.
Tim Cahill , 15 Jan 2019 12:00
Election financing is the single root cause for our democracy's failure. Period.

I really don't care too much about the mouthing of progressive platitudes from any 2020 Dem Prez candidate. The only ones that will be worth voting for are the ones that sign onto Sanders' (or similar) legislation that calls for a Constitutional amendment that allows federal and state governments to limit campaign contributions.

And past committee votes to prevent amendment legislation from getting to a floor vote - as well as missed co-sponsorship opportunities - should be interesting history for all the candidates to explain.

Campaign financing is what keeps scum entrenched (because primary challengers can't overcome the streams of bribes from those wonderful people exercising their 'free speech' "rights" to keep their puppet in govt) and prevents any challenges to the corporate establishment who serve the same rich masters.

Lenny Dirges -> Vintage59 , 15 Jan 2019 11:55
Lol, Social Security, Medicare, unemployement protections, so many of the things you mentioned, and so much more, were from the PROGRESSIVE New Deal, which managed to implement this slew of changes in 5 years! 5 years! You can't criticize "progressives" in one sentence and then use their accomplishments to support your argument. Today, the New Deal would be considered too far left by most so called "pragmatic liberals." I assume you are getting fully behind the proposed "Green New Deal" then, right?
memo10 -> L C , 15 Jan 2019 11:54

Vintage59 pointed out lots of things people have changed. Here's an exhaustive list of the legislation passed by people who didn't get elected but were more progressive than the people who did:

There is also a steadily growing list of Democrats who did worse in elections than a hypothetical Democratic candidate had been projected to do.

The party can either continue being GOP-Lite or it can start winning elections. It can't do both.

memo10 -> 2miners , 15 Jan 2019 11:49

Forget it Bernie and Co. -with the women haters in his ranks and his apparent tepid support from African Americans he's way off the pace

Way off the pace compared to who? Trump?

memo10 -> IamDolf , 15 Jan 2019 11:44

Nobody is going to get elected on a far left platform. Not in the USA and not anywhere. That's just a fact. And everybody is going to need $$$ in the campaign. Of course candidates are going to suck up to Wall street and business in general.
And we would have been a thousand percent better off with HRC in the white house than we are now with the Trumpostor.

We don't need a candidate with far-left platform, we need one that is left-leaning at all. HRC and her next generation of clones are mild Republicans.

memo10 -> xxxaaaxxx , 15 Jan 2019 11:40

Those who want to push the Democrats to the left in order to win perhaps need to stop talking to each other and talk to people who live outside of LA and NY. If you stay within your bubble it seems the whole world thinks like you.
How old will Sanders be in 2020?

The people (outside the coasts) lean to the left some big issues. Medicare for all. Foreign wars. etc.

A sane person might ask why in the hell the left-side party is leaning farther to the right than the general public.

memo10 -> Peter Krall , 15 Jan 2019 11:17

Sanders is a dinosaur. If there is a reason for Wall Street to be wary of him then it is that the mentally challenged orange guy may win another term if the Democrats run with Sanders.

Hopefully, Sanders will understand what many of his supporters do not want to see: At some time age becomes a problem. If the Democrats decide to move to the left rather than pursuing a pragmatic centrist approach, Ocasio-Cortez might be an option. If they opt for the centrist alternative, it might be Harris or Gillibrand. Or, in both cases, a surprise candidate. But Sanders' time is over, just as Biden's Bloomberg's.

It's true, but Trump is such a clusterfuck that an 80yo president is still be a better situation. Many countries have had rulers in their 80s at one time or another.

Trump is clearly showing early-stage dementia now. Compare footage of him 10+ years ago to anything within the last 6-12 months and it's obvious. The stress levels of being the POTUS + blackmailed by Putin + investigations bearing down on him . . . it's wearing him down fast.

L C -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 11:15
Anti-trust would be a very good place to start with.

Universal healthcare is a lot harder than you seem to think. I'd love it, but getting there means putting so many people out of work, it'll be a massive political challenge, even if corporations have no influence. Progressives might be better off focusing on how to ensure the existing system works better and Medicaid can slowly expand to fill the universal roll in the future.

Vintage59 -> BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 11:05
Wall Street is a casino. The House never loses.
Vintage59 -> Lenny Dirges , 15 Jan 2019 11:02
Everything changes constantly.

Where has offering candidates who actually have a chance to win gotten us? Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the ADA, Title 9, Social Security, and more. None of these exist without constant changes. All took years to pass against heavy opposition. None went far enough. All were improvements.

The list of wrongheaded things that were also passed is longer but thinking nothing changes because it takes time is faulty logic.

ytram -> ChesBay , 15 Jan 2019 10:30
Our capitalist predators are still alive and well. The finance, insurance, and real estate
organizations are the worst predators in the USA.
They will eat your babies if you let them.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating Fox News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.foxnews.com
Tucker: America's goal is happiness, but leaders show no obligation to voters

Voters around the world revolt against leaders who won't improve their lives.

Newly-elected Utah senator Mitt Romney kicked off 2019 with an op-ed in the Washington Post that savaged Donald Trump's character and leadership. Romney's attack and Trump's response Wednesday morning on Twitter are the latest salvos in a longstanding personal feud between the two men. It's even possible that Romney is planning to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020. We'll see.

But for now, Romney's piece is fascinating on its own terms. It's well-worth reading. It's a window into how the people in charge, in both parties, see our country.

Romney's main complaint in the piece is that Donald Trump is a mercurial and divisive leader. That's true, of course. But beneath the personal slights, Romney has a policy critique of Trump. He seems genuinely angry that Trump might pull American troops out of the Syrian civil war. Romney doesn't explain how staying in Syria would benefit America. He doesn't appear to consider that a relevant question. More policing in the Middle East is always better. We know that. Virtually everyone in Washington agrees.

Corporate tax cuts are also popular in Washington, and Romney is strongly on board with those, too. His piece throws a rare compliment to Trump for cutting the corporate rate a year ago.

That's not surprising. Romney spent the bulk of his business career at a firm called Bain Capital. Bain Capital all but invented what is now a familiar business strategy: Take over an existing company for a short period of time, cut costs by firing employees, run up the debt, extract the wealth, and move on, sometimes leaving retirees without their earned pensions. Romney became fantastically rich doing this.

Meanwhile, a remarkable number of the companies are now bankrupt or extinct. This is the private equity model. Our ruling class sees nothing wrong with it. It's how they run the country.

Mitt Romney refers to unwavering support for a finance-based economy and an internationalist foreign policy as the "mainstream Republican" view. And he's right about that. For generations, Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support those goals enthusiastically.

There are signs, however, that most people do not support this, and not just in America. In countries around the world -- France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany, and many others -- voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. These are not isolated events. What you're watching is entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.

Something like this has been in happening in our country for three years. Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution that he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions.

But they're less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone, too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter.

The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.

The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It's happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They're what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.

But our leaders don't care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can't solve our problems. They don't even bother to understand our problems.

One of the biggest lies our leaders tell us that you can separate economics from everything else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture, meanwhile, those are personal matters. Both parties believe this.

Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words, functionally libertarian. They don't care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the markets function. Somehow, they don't see a connection between people's personal lives and the health of our economy, or for that matter, the country's ability to pay its bills. As far as they're concerned, these are two totally separate categories.

Social conservatives, meanwhile, come to the debate from the opposite perspective, and yet reach a strikingly similar conclusion. The real problem, you'll hear them say, is that the American family is collapsing. Nothing can be fixed before we fix that. Yet, like the libertarians they claim to oppose, many social conservatives also consider markets sacrosanct. The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them. They refuse to consider it. Questioning markets feels like apostasy.

Both sides miss the obvious point: Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can't separate the two. It used to be possible to deny this. Not anymore. The evidence is now overwhelming. How do we know? Consider the inner cities.

Thirty years ago, conservatives looked at Detroit or Newark and many other places and were horrified by what they saw. Conventional families had all but disappeared in poor neighborhoods. The majority of children were born out of wedlock. Single mothers were the rule. Crime and drugs and disorder became universal.

What caused this nightmare? Liberals didn't even want to acknowledge the question. They were benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes. Conservatives, though, had a ready explanation for inner-city dysfunction and it made sense: big government. Decades of badly-designed social programs had driven fathers from the home and created what conservatives called a "culture of poverty" that trapped people in generational decline.

There was truth in this. But it wasn't the whole story. How do we know? Because virtually the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways, rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.

This is striking because rural Americans wouldn't seem to have much in common with anyone from the inner city. These groups have different cultures, different traditions and political beliefs. Usually they have different skin colors. Rural people are white conservatives, mostly.

Yet, the pathologies of modern rural America are familiar to anyone who visited downtown Baltimore in the 1980s: Stunning out of wedlock birthrates. High male unemployment. A terrifying drug epidemic. Two different worlds. Similar outcomes. How did this happen? You'd think our ruling class would be interested in knowing the answer. But mostly they're not. They don't have to be interested. It's easier to import foreign labor to take the place of native-born Americans who are slipping behind.

But Republicans now represent rural voters. They ought to be interested. Here's a big part of the answer: male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made more than men.

Now, before you applaud this as a victory for feminism, consider the effects. Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don't want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don't. Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow -- more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.

This isn't speculation. This is not propaganda from the evangelicals. It's social science. We know it's true. Rich people know it best of all. That's why they get married before they have kids. That model works. But increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.

And yet, and here's the bewildering and infuriating part, those very same affluent married people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight malaria in Congo. But working to raise men's wages in Dayton or Detroit? That's crazy.

This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it's still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.

For our ruling class, more investment banking is always the answer. They teach us it's more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote an entire book about this. Sandberg explained that our first duty is to shareholders, above our own children. No surprise there. Sandberg herself is one of America's biggest shareholders. Propaganda like this has made her rich.

We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows.

What's remarkable is how the rest of us responded to it. We didn't question why Sandberg was saying this. We didn't laugh in her face at the pure absurdity of it. Our corporate media celebrated Sandberg as the leader of a liberation movement. Her book became a bestseller: "Lean In." As if putting a corporation first is empowerment. It is not. It is bondage. Republicans should say so.

They should also speak out against the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can't possibly repay? Or charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect 400 percent annual interest.

We're OK with that? We shouldn't be. Libertarians tell us that's how markets work -- consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. OK. But it's also disgusting. If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street.

And by the way, if you really loved your fellow Americans, as our leaders should, if it would break your heart to see them high all the time. Which they are. A huge number of our kids, especially our boys, are smoking weed constantly. You may not realize that, because new technology has made it odorless. But it's everywhere.

And that's not an accident. Once our leaders understood they could get rich from marijuana, marijuana became ubiquitous. In many places, tax-hungry politicians have legalized or decriminalized it. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner now lobbies for the marijuana industry. His fellow Republicans seem fine with that. "Oh, but it's better for you than alcohol," they tell us.

Maybe. Who cares? Talk about missing the point. Try having dinner with a 19-year-old who's been smoking weed. The life is gone. Passive, flat, trapped in their own heads. Do you want that for your kids? Of course not. Then why are our leaders pushing it on us? You know the reason. Because they don't care about us.

When you care about people, you do your best to treat them fairly. Our leaders don't even try. They hand out jobs and contracts and scholarships and slots at prestigious universities based purely on how we look. There's nothing less fair than that, though our tax code comes close.

Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate as someone who's living off inherited money and doesn't work at all. We tax capital at half of what we tax labor. It's a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.

In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating.

Our leaders rarely mention any of this. They tell us our multi-tiered tax code is based on the principles of the free market. Please. It's based on laws that the Congress passed, laws that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage. It worked well for those people. They did increase their economic advantage. But for everyone else, it came at a big cost. Unfairness is profoundly divisive. When you favor one child over another, your kids don't hate you. They hate each other.

That happens in countries, too. It's happening in ours, probably by design. Divided countries are easier to rule. And nothing divides us like the perception that some people are getting special treatment. In our country, some people definitely are getting special treatment. Republicans should oppose that with everything they have.

What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you're old.

A country that listens to young people who don't live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up in no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

Video

What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it. For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There's no option at this point.

But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Internalizing all this will not be easy for Republican leaders. They'll have to unlearn decades of bumper sticker-talking points and corporate propaganda. They'll likely lose donors in the process. They'll be criticized. Libertarians are sure to call any deviation from market fundamentalism a form of socialism.

That's a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn't work. It's what we should be working desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people.

If you want to put America first, you've got to put its families first.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson has sparked the most interesting debate in conservative politics by Jane Coaston

Highly recommended!
Tucker Carlson sounds much more convincing then Trump: See Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters and Tucker The American dream is dying
Notable quotes:
"... America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society." ..."
"... He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement." ..."
"... The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president. ..."
"... The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke ..."
"... Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people." ..."
"... "What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?" ..."
"... Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it." ..."
"... Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment. ..."
"... Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax. ..."
"... "I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not." ..."
"... Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed." ..."
"... But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left. ..."
"... Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin. ..."
"... Hillbilly Elegy ..."
"... Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature." ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.vox.com

"All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God."

Last Wednesday, the conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson started a fire on the right after airing a prolonged monologue on his show that was, in essence, an indictment of American capitalism.

America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society."

He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement."

The monologue was stunning in itself, an incredible moment in which a Fox News host stated that for generations, "Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars." More broadly, though, Carlson's position and the ensuing controversy reveals an ongoing and nearly unsolvable tension in conservative politics about the meaning of populism, a political ideology that Trump campaigned on but Carlson argues he may not truly understand.

Moreover, in Carlson's words: "At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then?"

The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president." Other conservative commentators scoffed. Ben Shapiro wrote in National Review that Carlson's monologue sounded far more like Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren than, say, Ronald Reagan.

I spoke with Carlson by phone this week to discuss his monologue and its economic -- and cultural -- meaning. He agreed that his monologue was reminiscent of Warren, referencing her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke . "There were parts of the book that I disagree with, of course," he told me. "But there are parts of it that are really important and true. And nobody wanted to have that conversation."

Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people."

But whether or not he likes it, Carlson is an important voice in conservative politics. His show is among the most-watched television programs in America. And his raising questions about market capitalism and the free market matters.

"What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?"

Populism on the right is gaining, again

Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it."

Populism is a rhetorical approach that separates "the people" from elites. In the words of Cas Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia, it divides the country into "two homogenous and antagonistic groups: the pure people on the one end and the corrupt elite on the other." Populist rhetoric has a long history in American politics, serving as the focal point of numerous presidential campaigns and powering William Jennings Bryan to the Democratic nomination for president in 1896. Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment.

When right-leaning pundit Ann Coulter spoke with Breitbart Radio about Trump's Tuesday evening Oval Office address to the nation regarding border wall funding, she said she wanted to hear him say something like, "You know, you say a lot of wild things on the campaign trail. I'm speaking to big rallies. But I want to talk to America about a serious problem that is affecting the least among us, the working-class blue-collar workers":

Coulter urged Trump to bring up overdose deaths from heroin in order to speak to the "working class" and to blame the fact that working-class wages have stalled, if not fallen, in the last 20 years on immigration. She encouraged Trump to declare, "This is a national emergency for the people who don't have lobbyists in Washington."

Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax.

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 4, 2019

These sentiments have even pitted popular Fox News hosts against each other.

Sean Hannity warned his audience that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's economic policies would mean that "the rich people won't be buying boats that they like recreationally, they're not going to be taking expensive vacations anymore." But Carlson agreed when I said his monologue was somewhat reminiscent of Ocasio-Cortez's past comments on the economy , and how even a strong economy was still leaving working-class Americans behind.

"I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not."

Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed."

"I think populism is potentially really disruptive. What I'm saying is that populism is a symptom of something being wrong," he told me. "Again, populism is a smoke alarm; do not ignore it."

But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left.

Carlson's argument that "market capitalism is not a religion" is of course old hat on the left, but it's also been bubbling on the right for years now. When National Review writer Kevin Williamson wrote a 2016 op-ed about how rural whites "failed themselves," he faced a massive backlash in the Trumpier quarters of the right. And these sentiments are becoming increasingly potent at a time when Americans can see both a booming stock market and perhaps their own family members struggling to get by.

Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin.

-- Jeremy McLallan (@JeremyMcLellan) January 8, 2019

At the Federalist, writer Kirk Jing wrote of Carlson's monologue, and a response to it by National Review columnist David French:

Our society is less French's America, the idea, and more Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth" (involving a very different French). The lowest are stripped of even social dignity and deemed unworthy of life . In Real America, wages are stagnant, life expectancy is crashing, people are fleeing the workforce, families are crumbling, and trust in the institutions on top are at all-time lows. To French, holding any leaders of those institutions responsible for their errors is "victimhood populism" ... The Right must do better if it seeks to govern a real America that exists outside of its fantasies.

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy , wrote that the [neoliberal] economy's victories -- and praise for those wins from conservatives -- were largely meaningless to white working-class Americans living in Ohio and Kentucky: "Yes, they live in a country with a higher GDP than a generation ago, and they're undoubtedly able to buy cheaper consumer goods, but to paraphrase Reagan: Are they better off than they were 20 years ago? Many would say, unequivocally, 'no.'"

Carlson's populism holds, in his view, bipartisan possibilities. In a follow-up email, I asked him why his monologue was aimed at Republicans when many Democrats had long espoused the same criticisms of free market economics. "Fair question," he responded. "I hope it's not just Republicans. But any response to the country's systemic problems will have to give priority to the concerns of American citizens over the concerns of everyone else, just as you'd protect your own kids before the neighbor's kids."

Who is "they"?

And that's the point where Carlson and a host of others on the right who have begun to challenge the conservative movement's orthodoxy on free markets -- people ranging from occasionally mendacious bomb-throwers like Coulter to writers like Michael Brendan Dougherty -- separate themselves from many of those making those exact same arguments on the left.

When Carlson talks about the "normal people" he wants to save from nefarious elites, he is talking, usually, about a specific group of "normal people" -- white working-class Americans who are the "real" victims of capitalism, or marijuana legalization, or immigration policies.

In this telling, white working-class Americans who once relied on a manufacturing economy that doesn't look the way it did in 1955 are the unwilling pawns of elites. It's not their fault that, in Carlson's view, marriage is inaccessible to them, or that marijuana legalization means more teens are smoking weed ( this probably isn't true ). Someone, or something, did this to them. In Carlson's view, it's the responsibility of politicians: Our economic situation, and the plight of the white working class, is "the product of a series of conscious decisions that the Congress made."

The criticism of Carlson's monologue has largely focused on how he deviates from the free market capitalism that conservatives believe is the solution to poverty, not the creator of poverty. To orthodox conservatives, poverty is the result of poor decision making or a lack of virtue that can't be solved by government programs or an anti-elite political platform -- and they say Carlson's argument that elites are in some way responsible for dwindling marriage rates doesn't make sense .

But in French's response to Carlson, he goes deeper, writing that to embrace Carlson's brand of populism is to support "victimhood populism," one that makes white working-class Americans into the victims of an undefined "they:

Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you .

And that was my biggest question about Carlson's monologue, and the flurry of responses to it, and support for it: When other groups (say, black Americans) have pointed to systemic inequities within the economic system that have resulted in poverty and family dysfunction, the response from many on the right has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic .

Really, it comes down to when black people have problems, it's personal responsibility, but when white people have the same problems, the system is messed up. Funny how that works!!

-- Judah Maccabeets (@AdamSerwer) January 9, 2019

Yet white working-class poverty receives, from Carlson and others, far more sympathy. And conservatives are far more likely to identify with a criticism of "elites" when they believe those elites are responsible for the expansion of trans rights or creeping secularism than the wealthy and powerful people who are investing in private prisons or an expansion of the militarization of police . Carlson's network, Fox News, and Carlson himself have frequently blasted leftist critics of market capitalism and efforts to fight inequality .

I asked Carlson about this, as his show is frequently centered on the turmoils caused by " demographic change ." He said that for decades, "conservatives just wrote [black economic struggles] off as a culture of poverty," a line he includes in his monologue .

He added that regarding black poverty, "it's pretty easy when you've got 12 percent of the population going through something to feel like, 'Well, there must be ... there's something wrong with that culture.' Which is actually a tricky thing to say because it's in part true, but what you're missing, what I missed, what I think a lot of people missed, was that the economic system you're living under affects your culture."

Carlson said that growing up in Washington, DC, and spending time in rural Maine, he didn't realize until recently that the same poverty and decay he observed in the Washington of the 1980s was also taking place in rural (and majority-white) Maine. "I was thinking, 'Wait a second ... maybe when the jobs go away the culture changes,'" he told me, "And the reason I didn't think of it before was because I was so blinded by this libertarian economic propaganda that I couldn't get past my own assumptions about economics." (For the record, libertarians have critiqued Carlson's monologue as well.)

Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature."

And clearly, our market economy isn't driven by God or nature, as the stock market soars and unemployment dips and yet even those on the right are noticing lengthy periods of wage stagnation and dying little towns across the country. But what to do about those dying little towns, and which dying towns we care about and which we don't, and, most importantly, whose fault it is that those towns are dying in the first place -- those are all questions Carlson leaves to the viewer to answer.

[Jan 11, 2019] Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming

Highly recommended!
Seeing Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters suggest that the collapse of neoliberalism is coming...
Notable quotes:
"... Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

bruce wilder, January 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Barkley insists on a left-right split for his analysis of political parties and their attachment to vague policy tendencies and that insistence makes a mess of the central issue: why the rise of right-wing populism in a "successful" economy?

Naomi Klein's book is about how and why centrist neoliberals got control of policy. The rise of right-wing populism is often supposed (see Mark Blyth) to be about the dissatisfaction bred by the long-term shortcomings of or blowback from neoliberal policy.

Barkley Rosser treats neoliberal policy as implicitly successful and, therefore, the reaction from the populist right appears mysterious, something to investigate. His thesis regarding neoliberal success in Poland is predicated on policy being less severe, less "shocky".

In his left-right division of Polish politics, the centrist neoliberals -- in the 21st century, Civic Platform -- seem to disappear into the background even though I think they are still the second largest Party in Parliament, though some seem to think they will sink in elections this year.

Electoral participation is another factor that receives little attention in this analysis. Politics is shaped in part by the people who do NOT show up. And, in Poland that has sometimes been a lot of people, indeed.

Finally, there's the matter of the neoliberal straitjacket -- the flip-side of the shock in the one-two punch of "there's no alternative". What the policy options for a Party representing the interests of the angry and dissatisfied? If you make policy impossible for a party of the left, of course that breeds parties of the right. duh.

Likbez,

Bruce,

Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming. I would consider the current situation in the USA as the starting point of this "slow-motion collapse of the neoliberal garbage truck against the wall." Neoliberalism like Bolshevism in 1945 has no future, only the past. That does not mean that it will not limp forward in zombie (and pretty bloodthirsty ) stage for another 50 years. But it is doomed, notwithstanding recently staged revenge in countries like Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil.

Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events.

At least half of Americans now hate soft neoliberals of Democratic Party (Clinton wing of Bought by Wall Street technocrats), as well as hard neoliberal of Republican Party, which created the " crisis of confidence" toward governing neoliberal elite in countries like the USA, GB, and France. And that probably why the intelligence agencies became the prominent political players and staged the color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate ) in the USA.

The situation with the support of neoliberalism now is very different than in 1994 when Bill Clinton came to power. Of course, as Otto von Bismarck once quipped "God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America." and another turn of the technological spiral might well save the USA. But the danger of never-ending secular stagnation is substantial and growing. This fact was admitted even by such dyed- in-the-wool neoliberals as Summers.

This illusion that advances in statistics gave neoliberal access to such fine-grained and timely economic data, that now it is possible to regulate economy indirectly, by strictly monetary means is pure religious hubris. Milton Friedman would now be laughed out the room if he tried to repeat his monetarist junk science now. Actually he himself discarded his monetarist illusions before he died.

We probably need to the return of strong direct investments in the economy by the state and nationalization of some assets, if we want to survive and compete with China. Australian politicians are already openly discussing this, we still are lagging because of "walking dead" neoliberals in Congress like Pelosi, Schumer, and company.

But we have another huge problem, which Australia and other countries (other than GB) do not have: neoliberalism in the USA is the state religion which completely displaced Christianity (and is hostile to Christianity), so it might be that the lemming will go off the cliff. I hope not.

The only thing that still keeps neoliberalism from being thrown out to the garbage bin of history is that it is unclear what would the alternative. And that means that like in 1920th far-right nationalism and fascism have a fighting chance against decadent neoliberal oligarchy.

Previously financial oligarchy was in many minds associated with Jewish bankers. Now people are more educated and probably can hang from the lampposts Anglo-Saxon and bankers of other nationalities as well ;-)

I think that in some countries neoliberal oligarchs might soon feel very uncomfortable, much like Soros in Hungary.

As far as I understood the level of animosity and suppressed anger toward financial oligarchy and their stooges including some professors in economics departments of the major universities might soon be approaching the level which existed in the Weimar Republic. And as Lenin noted, " the ideas could become a material force if they got mass support." This is true about anger as well.

[Dec 22, 2018] British Security Service Infiltration, the Integrity Initiative and the Institute for Statecraft by Craig Murray

Highly recommended!
Craig Murray is right that "As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier." Collapse of neoliberal ideology and rise of tentions in neoliberal sociarties resulted in unprecedented increase of covert and false flag operations by British intelligence services, especially against Russia, which had been chosen as a convenient scapegoat. With Steele dossier and Skripal affair as two most well known.
New Lady Macbeth (Theresa May) Russophobia is so extreme that her cabinet derailed the election of a Russian to head Interpol.
Looks like neoliberalism cannot be defeated by and faction of the existing elite. Only when shepp oil end mant people will have a chance. The US , GB and EU are part of the wider hegemonic neoliberal system. In fact rejection of neoliberal globalization probably will lead to "national neoliberals" regime which would be a flavor of neo-fascism, no more no less.
Notable quotes:
"... The British state can maintain its spies' cover stories for centuries. ..."
"... I learnt how highly improbable left wing firebrand Simon Bracey-Lane just happened to be on holiday in the United States with available cash to fund himself, when he stumbled into the Bernie Sanders campaign. ..."
"... It is, to say the least, very interesting indeed that just a year later the left wing, "Corbyn and Sanders supporting" Bracey-Lane is hosting a very right wing event, "Cold War Then and Now", for the shadowy neo-con Institute for Statecraft, at which an entirely unbalanced panel of British military, NATO and Ukrainian nationalists extolled the virtues of re-arming against Russia. ..."
"... the MOD-sponsored Institute for Statecraft has been given millions of pounds of taxpayers' money by the FCO to spread covert disinformation and propaganda, particularly against Russia and the anti-war movement. Activities include twitter and facebook trolling and secretly paying journalists in "clusters of influence" around Europe. Anonymous helpfully leaked the Institute's internal documents. Some of the Integrity Initiative's thus exposed alleged covert agents, like David Aaronovitch, have denied any involvement despite their appearance in the documents, and others like Dan Kaszeta the US "novichok expert", have cheerfully admitted it. ..."
"... By sleuthing the company records of this "Scottish charity", and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building . It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London. ..."
"... Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence. ..."
"... I have a great deal more to tell you about Mr Edney and his organisation next week, and the extraordinary covert disinformation war the British government wages online, attacking British citizens using British taxpayers' money. Please note in the interim I am not even a smidgeon suicidal, and going to be very, very careful crossing the road and am not intending any walks in the hills. ..."
"... I am not alleging Mr Bracey-Lane is an intelligence service operative who previously infiltrated the Labour Party and the Sanders campaign. He may just be a young man of unusually heterodox and vacillating political opinions. He may be an undercover reporter for the Canary infiltrating the Institute for Statecraft. All these things are possible, and I have no firm information. ..."
"... one of the activities the Integrity Initiative sponsors happens to be the use of online trolls to ridicule the idea that the British security services ever carry out any kind of infiltration, false flag or agent provocateur operations, despite the fact that we even have repeated court judgements against undercover infiltration officers getting female activists pregnant. The Integrity Initiative offers us a glimpse into the very dirty world of surveillance and official disinformation. If we actually had a free media, it would be the biggest story of the day ..."
"... As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier. ..."
"... You can bank on continued ramping up of Russophobia to supply "the enemy". ..."
Dec 13, 2018 | craigmurray.org.uk

in Uncategorized by craig

The British state can maintain its spies' cover stories for centuries. Look up Eldred Pottinger, who for 180 years appears in scores of British history books – right up to and including William Dalrymple's Return of the King – as a British officer who chanced to be passing Herat on holiday when it came under siege from a partly Russian-officered Persian army, and helped to organise the defences. In researching Sikunder Burnes, I discovered and published from the British Library incontrovertible and detailed documentary evidence that Pottinger's entire journey was under the direct instructions of, and reporting to, British spymaster Alexander Burnes. The first historian to publish the untrue "holiday" cover story, Sir John Kaye, knew both Burnes and Pottinger and undoubtedly knew he was publishing lying propaganda. Every other British historian of the First Afghan War (except me and latterly Farrukh Husain) has just followed Kaye's official propaganda.

Some things don't change. I was irresistibly reminded of Eldred Pottinger just passing Herat on holiday, when I learnt how highly improbable left wing firebrand Simon Bracey-Lane just happened to be on holiday in the United States with available cash to fund himself, when he stumbled into the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Recent university graduate Simon Bracey-Lane took it even further. Originally from Wimbledon in London, he was inspired to rejoin the Labour party in September when Corbyn was elected leader. But by that point, he was already in the US on holiday. So he joined the Sanders campaign, and never left.
"I had two weeks left and some money left, so I thought, Fuck it, I'll make some calls for Bernie Sanders," he explains. "I just sort of knew Des Moines was the place, so I just turned up at their HQ, started making phone calls, and then became a fully fledged field organiser."

It is, to say the least, very interesting indeed that just a year later the left wing, "Corbyn and Sanders supporting" Bracey-Lane is hosting a very right wing event, "Cold War Then and Now", for the shadowy neo-con Institute for Statecraft, at which an entirely unbalanced panel of British military, NATO and Ukrainian nationalists extolled the virtues of re-arming against Russia.

Nor would it seem likely that Bracey-Lane would be involved with the Integrity Initiative. Even the mainstream media has been forced to give a few paragraphs to the outrageous Integrity Initiative, under which the MOD-sponsored Institute for Statecraft has been given millions of pounds of taxpayers' money by the FCO to spread covert disinformation and propaganda, particularly against Russia and the anti-war movement. Activities include twitter and facebook trolling and secretly paying journalists in "clusters of influence" around Europe. Anonymous helpfully leaked the Institute's internal documents. Some of the Integrity Initiative's thus exposed alleged covert agents, like David Aaronovitch, have denied any involvement despite their appearance in the documents, and others like Dan Kaszeta the US "novichok expert", have cheerfully admitted it.

The mainstream media have tracked down the HQ of the "Institute for Statecraft" to a derelict mill near Auchtermuchty. It is owned by one of the company directors, Daniel Lafayeedney, formerly of D Squadron 23rd SAS Regiment and later of Military Intelligence (and incidentally born the rather more prosaic Daniel Edney).

By sleuthing the company records of this "Scottish charity", and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building. It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London.

Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence.

Having been told where the Institute for Statecraft skulk, I tipped off journalist Kit Klarenberg of Sputnik Radio to go and physically check it out. Kit did so and was aggressively ejected by that well-known Corbyn and Sanders supporter, Simon Bracey-Lane. It does seem somewhat strange that our left wing hero is deeply embedded in an organisation that launches troll attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.

I have a great deal more to tell you about Mr Edney and his organisation next week, and the extraordinary covert disinformation war the British government wages online, attacking British citizens using British taxpayers' money. Please note in the interim I am not even a smidgeon suicidal, and going to be very, very careful crossing the road and am not intending any walks in the hills.

I am not alleging Mr Bracey-Lane is an intelligence service operative who previously infiltrated the Labour Party and the Sanders campaign. He may just be a young man of unusually heterodox and vacillating political opinions. He may be an undercover reporter for the Canary infiltrating the Institute for Statecraft. All these things are possible, and I have no firm information.

But one of the activities the Integrity Initiative sponsors happens to be the use of online trolls to ridicule the idea that the British security services ever carry out any kind of infiltration, false flag or agent provocateur operations, despite the fact that we even have repeated court judgements against undercover infiltration officers getting female activists pregnant. The Integrity Initiative offers us a glimpse into the very dirty world of surveillance and official disinformation. If we actually had a free media, it would be the biggest story of the day.

As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier.

You can bank on continued ramping up of Russophobia to supply "the enemy".

As both Scottish Independence and Jeremy Corbyn are viewed as real threats by the British Establishment, you can anticipate every possible kind of dirty trick in the next couple of years, with increasing frequency and audacity

[Nov 27, 2018] The political fraud of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal"

Highly recommended!
After Democratic party was co-opted by neoliberals there is no way back. And since Obama the trend of Democratic Party is toward strengthening the wing of CIA-democratic notthe wing of the party friendly to workers. Bought by Wall Street leadership is uncable of intruting any change that undermine thier current neoliberal platform. that's why they criminally derailed Sanders.
Notable quotes:
"... When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism, would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism. ..."
"... To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!" ..."
"... "Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad." ..."
"... "It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party." ..."
"... "And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting the Democrats ..."
"... It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of their class. ..."
"... First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious! ..."
"... from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/... ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Raymond Colison4 days ago

they literally ripped this out of the 2016 Green Party platform. Jill Stein spoke repeatedly about the same exact kind of Green New Deal, a full-employment, transition-to-100%-renewables program that would supposedly solve all the world's problems.

When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism, would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism.

In 2016, when the Greens made this their central economic policy proposal, the Democrats responded by calling that platform irresponsible and dangerous ("even if it's a good idea, you can't actually vote for a non-two-party candidate!"). Why would they suddenly find a green new deal appealing now except for its true purpose: left cover for the very system destroying the planet.

To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!"

Greg4 days ago
"Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad."

Their political position not only lacks seriousness, unserious is their political position.

"It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party."

For subjective-idealists, what you want to believe, think and feel is just so much more convincing than objective reality. Especially when it covers over single-minded class interests at play.

"And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting the Democrats

Penny Smith4 days ago
It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of their class.
Jim Bergren4 days ago
First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious!

Only an International Socialist program led by Workers can truly lead a "green revolution" by expropriating the billionaire oil barons of their capital and redirecting that wealth into the socialist reconstruction of the entire economy.

Master Oroko4 days ago
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal" is a nice laugh. Really, it sure is funny hearing these lies given any credence at all. This showmanship belongs in a fantasy book, not in real life. The Democratic Party as a force for good social change Now that's a laugh!
Vivek Jain4 days ago
from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/...
лидия5 days ago
"Greenwashing" of capitalism (and also of Zionist apartheid colony in Palestine) is but one of dirty tricks by Dems and their "left" backers.
Kalen5 days ago
Lies, empty promises, meaningless tautologies and morality plays, qualified and conditional declarations to be backpedalled pending appropriate political expediencies, devoid any practical content that is what AOC, card carrying member of DSA, and in fact young energetic political apparatchik of calcified political body of Dems establishment, duty engulfs. And working for socialist revolution is no one of them.

What kind of socialist would reject socialist revolution, class struggle and class emancipation and choose, as a suppose socialist path, accommodation with oligarchic ruling elite via political, not revolutionary process that would have necessarily overthrown ruling elite.

What socialist would acquiesce to legalized exploitation of people for profit, legalized greed and inequality and would negotiate away fundamental principle of egalitarianism and working people self rule?

Only National Socialist would; and that is exactly what AOC campaign turned out to be all about.

National Socialism with imperial flavor is her affiliation and what her praises for Pelosi, wife of a billionaire and dead warmonger McCain proved.

Now she is peddling magical thinking about global change and plunge herself into falacy of entrepreneurship, Market solution to the very problem that the market solutions were designed to create and aggravate namely horrific inequality that is robbing people from their own opportunities to mitigate devastating effects of global change.

The insidiousness of phony socialists expresses itself in the fact that they lie that any social problem can be fixed by current of future technical means, namely via so called technological revolution instead by socialist revolution they deem unnecessary or detrimental.

Me at home Kalen4 days ago
The technical means for achieving socialism has existed since the late 19th century, with the telegraph, the coal-powered factory, and modern fertilizer. The improvements since then have only made socialism even more streamlined and efficient, if such technologies could only be liberated from capital! The idea that "we need a new technological revolution just to achieve socialism" reflects the indoctrination in capitalism by many "socialist" theorists because it is only in capitalism where "technological growth" is essential simply to maintain the system. It is only in capitalism (especially America, the most advanced capitalist nation, and thus, the one where capitalism is actually closest towards total crisis) where the dogma of a technological savior is most entrenched because America cannot offer any other kind of palliative to the more literate and productive sections of its population. Religion will not convince most and any attempt at a sociological or economic understanding would inevitably prove the truth of socialism.

[Nov 12, 2018] The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation graveyard of social protest movements, and for good reason

Highly recommended!
The Democrats are politically responsible for the rise of Trump.
Notable quotes:
"... As Obama said following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump. ..."
"... The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout), pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man." ..."
"... This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to exploit discontent among impoverished social layers. ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Pelosi's deputy in the House, Steny Hoyer, sums up the right-wing policies of the Democrats, declaring: "His [Trump's] objectives are objectives that we share. If he really means that, then there is an opening for us to work together."

So much for the moral imperative of voting for the Democrats to stop Trump! As Obama said following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump.

The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout), pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man."

This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to exploit discontent among impoverished social layers.

The same process is taking place internationally. While strikes and other expressions of working class opposition are growing and broad masses are moving to the left, the right-wing policies of supposedly "left" establishment parties are enabling far-right and neo-fascist forces to gain influence and power in countries ranging from Germany, Italy, Hungary and Poland to Brazil.

As for Gay's injunction to vote "pragmatically," this is a crude promotion of the bankrupt politics that are brought forward in every election to keep workers tied to the capitalist two-party system. "You have only two choices. That is the reality, whether you like it or not." And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war.

The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation "graveyard of social protest movements," and for good reason. From the Populist movement of the late 19th century, to the semi-insurrectional industrial union movement of the 1930s, to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, to the mass anti-war protest movements of the 1960s and the eruption of international protests against the Iraq War in the early 2000s -- every movement against the depredations of American capitalism has been aborted and strangled by being channeled behind the Democratic Party.

[Nov 07, 2018] There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard. The Rich, the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats. It's one minute after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are burning and seas are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9? ..."
"... So the Democrat faction of the Corporate One-Party took back control of the House from the Republican faction. (It's one hard-right party, of course; only liars and those ignorant of history call the Dems "centrist". By any objective or historical standard they're a right-wing party.) ..."
"... I made no prediction on what would happen in this election, but I've long predicted that if/when the Democrats win control of either house they'll do nothing with that control. Jack squat. Status quo all the way, embellished with more retarded Russia-Derangement stuff and similar nonsense. ..."
"... If there really were a difference between these corporate factions, here's the chance for the House to obstruct all Senate-passed legislation. ..."
"... They claim there's a difference between the two parties? ..."
"... But I predict this House won't lift a finger vs. the Senate, and that it'll strive to work with the Senate on legislation, and that it'll fully concur with the Senate on war budgets, police state measures, anything and everything demanded by Wall Street, Big Ag, the fossil fuel extractors, and of course the corporate welfare state in general. ..."
"... Nothing I've talked about here is anything but what is possible, what is always implicitly or explicitly promised by Dembots, and what it would seem is the minimum necessary given what Dembots claim is the scope of the crisis and what is at stake. ..."
Nov 07, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Debsisdead | Nov 7, 2018 6:19:36 AM | 9

It's not even decent theatre. Drama is much lacking, character development zilch. The outcome that dems take congress,& rethugs improve in senate is exactly as was predicted months ago.

The dems reveal once again exactly how mendacious and uncaring of the population they are. Nothing matters other than screwing more cash outta anyone who wants anything done so that the DC trough stays full with the usual crew of 4th & 5th generation wannabe dem pols guzzling hard at the corporate funded 'dem aligned' think tanks which generate much hot air yet never deliver. Hardly suprising given that actually doing something to show they give a sh1t about the citizenry would annoy the donor who would give em all the boot, making all these no-hopers have to take up a gig actually practising law.

These are people whose presence at the best law schools in the country prevented many who wanted to be y'know lawyers from entering Harvard, Cornell etc law school. "one doesn't go to law school to become a lawyer It too hard to even pull down a mil a year as a brief, nah, I studied the law to learn how to make laws that actually do the opposite of what they seem to. That is where the real dough is."

Those who think that is being too hard on the dem slugs, should remember that the rethugs they have been indoctrinated to detest act pretty much as printed on the side of the can. They advertise a service of licking rich arseholes and that is exactly what they do. As venal and sociopathic as they are, at least they don't pretend to be something else; so while there is no way one could vote for anyone spouting republican nonsense at least they don't hide their greed & corruption under a veneer of pseudo-humanist nonsense. Dems cry for the plight of the poverty stricken then they slash welfare.

Or dems sob about the hard row african americans must hoe, then go off to the house of reps to pass laws to keep impoverished african americans slotted up in an over crowded prison for the rest of his/her life.

Not only deceitful and vicious, 100% pointless since any Joe/Jo that votes on the basis of wanting to see more blackfellas incarcerated is always gonna tick the rethug box anyhow.

Yeah- yeah we know all this so what?

This is what - the dems broke their arses getting tens of millions of young first time voters out to "exercise their democratic prerogative" for the first time. Dems did this knowing full well that there would be no effective opposition to rethug demands for more domestic oppression, that in fact it is practically guaranteed that should the trump and the rethug senate require it, in order to ensure something particularly nasty gets passed, that sufficient dem congress people will 'cross the floor' to make certain the bill does get up.

Of course the dems in question will allude to 'folks back home demanding' that the dem slug does vote with the nasties, but that is the excuse, the reality is far too many dem pols are as bigoted greedy and elitist as the worst rethugs.

Anyway the upshot of persuading so many kids to get out and vote, so the kids do but the dems are content to just do more of the same, will be another entire generation lost to elections forever.

If the DNC had been less greedy and more strategic they would have kept their powder dry and hung off press-ganging the kids until getting such a turnout could have resulted in genuine change, prez 2020' or whenever, would be actual success for pols and voters.

But they didn't and wouldn't ever, since for a dem pol, hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens living on the street isn't nearly as problematic for them, as the dem wannabe pol paying off the mortgage on his/her DC townhouse by 2020, something that would have been impossible if they hadn't taken congress as all the 'patrons' would have jerked back their cash figuring there is no gain giving dosh to losers who couldn't win a bar raffle.

As for that Sharice Davids - a total miss she needed to be either a midget or missing an arm or leg to qualify as the classic ID dem pol. Being a native american lezzo just doesn't tick enough boxes. I predict a not in the least illustrious career since she cannot even qualify as the punchline in a circa 1980's joke.

Anton Worter , Nov 7, 2018 11:13:25 AM | link

@9

As you said, nothing will get out of the House, Pelosi can't lead. They can easily swing 3 Democrats, then Mike Pence puts the hammer down. If anything manages to crawl through, it won't even be brought to a vote in the Republican Senate. Trump can still us his bully pulpit to circle the White wagons, fly in even more than his current 1,125,000 H-visa aliens, and No Taxes for the Rich is now engraved in stone for the Pharoahs.

The imminent $1,500B Omnibus Deficit Bill Three will be lauded as a 'bipartisan solution' by both houses, and 2020 looks to be a $27,000B illegal, onerous, odious National Debt open Civil War.

There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard. The Rich, the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats. It's one minute after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are burning and seas are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9?

Smart money is moving toward the exits. This shyte is gonna blow. Let's move to Australia, before it becomes part of Xi's PRC String of Girls.

ken | Nov 7, 2018 12:44:13 PM | 69

Reading most of the comments explaining how the D's won/lost,,, the R's won/lost,,, Trump and company won/lost,,, but couldn't find one post about how America is losing due to the two suffocating party's and a greedy, disunited, selfish, electorate that wants it all free.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the Majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury,,,,,,, After that the Majority always votes for the candidate 'promising the most' ,,,,,,,
Alex Fraser.

The US, and West in general, is proof positive.

Russ | Nov 7, 2018 7:48:10 AM | 17

So the Democrat faction of the Corporate One-Party took back control of the House from the Republican faction. (It's one hard-right party, of course; only liars and those ignorant of history call the Dems "centrist". By any objective or historical standard they're a right-wing party.)

It's no big surprise. Last two years it's been the normally self-assured Republicans who, because of their ambivalence about Trump, have uncharacteristically taken on the usual Democrat role of existential confusion and doubt. Meanwhile the Democrats, in a berserk batsh$t-insane way, have been more motivated and focused.

So what are these Democrats going to do with this control now that they have it?

I made no prediction on what would happen in this election, but I've long predicted that if/when the Democrats win control of either house they'll do nothing with that control. Jack squat. Status quo all the way, embellished with more retarded Russia-Derangement stuff and similar nonsense.

If there really were a difference between these corporate factions, here's the chance for the House to obstruct all Senate-passed legislation. And as for things which are technically only in the power of the Senate such as confirming appointments, here's the chance for the House to put public moral pressure on Democrats in the Senate. And there's plenty of back-door ways an activist House can influence Senate business. Only morbid pedantry, so typical of liberal Dembots, babbles about what the technical powers of this or that body are. The real world doesn't work that way. To the extent I pay attention at all to Senate affairs it'll be to see what the House is doing about it.

They claim there's a difference between the two parties? And they claim Trump is an incipient fascist dictator? In that case there's a lot at stake, and extreme action is called for. Let's see what kind of action we get from their "different" party in control of the House.

But I predict this House won't lift a finger vs. the Senate, and that it'll strive to work with the Senate on legislation, and that it'll fully concur with the Senate on war budgets, police state measures, anything and everything demanded by Wall Street, Big Ag, the fossil fuel extractors, and of course the corporate welfare state in general.

Nor will any of these new-fangled fake "socialist" types take any action to change things one iota. Within the House Democrats, they could take action, form any and every kind of coalition, to obstruct the corporate-Pelosi leadership faction. They will not do so. This "new" progressive bloc will be just as fake as the old one.

Nothing I've talked about here is anything but what is possible, what is always implicitly or explicitly promised by Dembots, and what it would seem is the minimum necessary given what Dembots claim is the scope of the crisis and what is at stake.

[Nov 05, 2018] Bertram Gross (1912-1997) in "Friendly Fascism: The New Face of American Power" warned us that fascism always has two looks. One is paternal, benevolent, entertaining and kind. The other is embodied in the executioner's sadistic leer

Highly recommended!
Nov 05, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

Extracted from Scum vs. Scum by Chris Hedge

Of course, we are all supposed to vote Democratic to halt the tide of Trump fascism. But should the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, hate speech and violence as a tool for intimidation and control will increase, with much of it directed, as we saw with the pipe bombs intended to decapitate the Democratic Party leadership, toward prominent Democratic politicians and critics of Donald Trump. Should the white man's party of the president retain control of the House and the Senate, violence will still be the favored instrument of political control as the last of democratic protections are stripped from us. Either way we are in for it.

Trump is a clownish and embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats. His faux populism is a sham. Only the rich like his tax cuts, his refusal to raise the minimum wage and his effort to destroy Obamacare. All he has left is hate. And he will use it. Which is not to say that, if only to throw up some obstacle to Trump, you shouldn't vote for the Democratic scum, tools of the war industry and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, as opposed to the Republican scum. But Democratic control of the House will do very little to halt our descent into corporate tyranny, especially with another economic crisis brewing on Wall Street. The rot inside the American political system is deep and terminal.

The Democrats, who refuse to address the social inequality they helped orchestrate and that has given rise to Trump, are the party of racial and ethnic inclusivity, identity politics, Wall Street and the military. Their core battle cry is: We are not Trump! This is ultimately a losing formula. It was adopted by Hillary Clinton, who is apparently weighing another run for the presidency after we thought we had thrust a stake through her political heart. It is the agenda of the well-heeled East Coast and West Coast elites who want to instill corporate fascism with a friendly face.

Bertram Gross (1912-1997) in "Friendly Fascism: The New Face of American Power" warned us that fascism always has two looks. One is paternal, benevolent, entertaining and kind. The other is embodied in the executioner's sadistic leer. Janus-like, fascism seeks to present itself to a captive public as a force for good and moral renewal. It promises protection against enemies real and invented. But denounce its ideology, challenge its power, demand freedom from fascism's iron grip, and you are mercilessly crushed. Gross knew that if the United States' form of fascism, expressed through corporate tyranny, was able to effectively mask its true intentions behind its "friendly" face we would be stripped of power, shorn of our most cherished rights and impoverished. He has been proved correct.

"Looking at the present, I see a more probable future: a new despotism creeping slowly across America," Gross wrote. "Faceless oligarchs sit at command posts of a corporate-government complex that has been slowly evolving over many decades. In efforts to enlarge their own powers and privileges, they are willing to have others suffer the intended or unintended consequences of their institutional or personal greed. For Americans, these consequences include chronic inflation, recurring recession, open and hidden unemployment, the poisoning of air, water, soil and bodies, and more important, the subversion of our constitution. More broadly, consequences include widespread intervention in international politics through economic manipulation, covert action, or military invasion."

No totalitarian state has mastered propaganda better than the corporate state. Our press has replaced journalism with trivia, feel-good stories, jingoism and celebrity gossip. The banal and the absurd, delivered by cheery corporate courtiers, saturate the airwaves. Our emotions are skillfully manipulated around manufactured personalities and manufactured events. We are, at the same time, offered elaborate diversionary spectacles including sporting events, reality television and absurdist political campaigns. Trump is a master of this form of entertainment. Our emotional and intellectual energy is swallowed up by the modern equivalent of the Roman arena. Choreographed political vaudeville, which costs corporations billions of dollars, is called free elections. Cliché-ridden slogans, which assure us that the freedoms we cherish remain sacrosanct, dominate our national discourse as these freedoms are stripped from us by judicial and legislative fiat. It is a vast con game.

You cannot use the word "liberty" when your government, as ours does, watches you 24 hours a day and stor