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US Presidential Elections of 2020

After Jan 3 Obama-style assassination "anybody but Trump" is the slogan of the day

The 2020 elections signify the next stage of the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite, The crises of neoliberalism in the USA won’t be solved by more neoliberalism like Trump is trying to do; we need some kind of return to the New Deal Capitalism that Sanders and Warren propose, along with abandoning of the "Full Spectrum Dominance" mantra that Tulsi advocates.

Who Rules America > Two Party System as polyarchy

News Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Recommended Links CIA Democrats Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Donald Trump2020 Bloomberg: a pure oligarchic play in 2020 elections Israel lobby
Major Pete as a typical "CIA democrat" Creepy neocon Joe Biden Tulsi Gabbard Adelson factor in 2020 elections Trump as rabid militarist Trump as America’s First Zionist President Trump's impulsivity and incompetence Trump inauguration speech Trump tax cut for the rich
Nasty and pushy Kamala Harris Final report of Special prosecutor Mueller is a failed hatchet job: disingenuous and dishonest Post-Russiagate remorse -- the second Iraq WDM fiasco Adam Schiff Witch Hunt MadCow disease of neoliberal MSM "Trump is insane" meme NeoMcCartyism Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking Steele dossier
Myth about intelligent voter Bait and Switch Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Sustained anti-Trump Hysteria in major neoliberal MSM FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections 2016 Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Hypocrisy of British ruling elite
Brennan elections machinations Strzok-gate British attempts to rig the US elections Israel attempts to rig the US elections Saudi Arabia attempts to rig the US elections Do the foreign states influence the US Presidential elections ? Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Superdelegates fraud at Democratic National Convention Pluralism as a myth
Rigging the elections and money in US politics Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite New American Militarism US and British media are servants of security apparatus Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy Rosenstein role in the "Appointment of the special prosecutor gambit"  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" National Security State
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization The Real War on Reality The Deep State Lesser evil trick of legitimizing disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections First after the post elections enforce two party system Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
  The neoliberal experiment – lower taxes on the rich, deregulation of labour and product markets, financialisation, and globalisation – has been a spectacular failure. Growth is lower than it was in the quarter-century after the second world war, and most of it has accrued to the very top of the income scale. After decades of stagnant or even falling incomes for those below them, neoliberalism must be pronounced dead and buried.

Vying to succeed it are at least three major political alternatives: far-right nationalism, centre-left reformism and the progressive left (with the centre-right representing the neoliberal failure). And yet, with the exception of the progressive left, these alternatives remain beholden to some form of the ideology that has (or should have) expired.

The centre-left, for example, represents neoliberalism with a human face. Its goal is to bring the policies of former US president Bill Clinton and former British prime minister Tony Blair into the 21st century, making only slight revisions to the prevailing modes of financialisation and globalisation. Meanwhile, the nationalist right disowns globalisation, blaming migrants and foreigners for all of today’s problems. Yet as Donald Trump’s presidency has shown, it is no less committed – at least in its American variant – to tax cuts for the rich, deregulation and shrinking or eliminating social programmes.

Neoliberalism must be pronounced dead and buried. Where next?
by Joseph Stiglitz The Guardian may 30, 2019

Note: for the analysis of previous Presidential election see  November 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization


Introduction

A house divided against itself cannot stand ~Abraham Lincoln

To a large extent 2020 election will be second (after 2016, which neoliberals lost) referendum on neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization.  We now live in the period of collapse of neoliberalism and increase diverseness of the society. The market fundamentalism needs to go. It prevented the realization of democracy. It put economic growth above the value of having a healthy middle class, leading to century-high levels of inequality. It emphasized individuals over communities and div-
ided us by race, class, and culture. And because it preferred markets to democracy, it looked away as the wealthiest people and corporations rigged the government to serve their own interests, even at the expense of everyone else:

This is not an ordinary political moment. Everywhere around us, the old order is collapsing. The golden age of postwar economic growth is over, replaced by a new Gilded Age of inequality and stagnation... People once united by common culture and information are now fractured into social media echo chambers.

The [neo]liberal international order is cracking as nationalism grows in strength and global institutions decay. The United States’ role as a global superpower is challenged by the rising strength of China and a new era of Russian assertiveness.

Optimists hope that generational and demographic change will restore inexorable progress. Pessimists interpret the current moment as the decline and fall of democracy.

..  we are currently in the midst of one of these epochal transitions. We live on the edge of a new era in politics — the third since the Great Depression and World War II. The first era is probably best described as liberal.... from the 1940s through the 1970s, a version of political liberalism provided the paradigm for politics. Charting a path between the state control of communists and fascists and the laissez-faire market that dominated before the Great Depression, liberals adopted a form of regulated capitalism. Government set the rules of the road for the economy, regulated finance, invested to create jobs and spark consumer demand, policed the bad behavior of businesses, and provided a social safety net for Americans. Big institutions—big government, big corporations, big labor—cooperated to balance the needs of stakeholders in society. In the United States, it was called New Deal Liberalism. In Europe, social democracy. There were differences across countries, of course, but the general approach was similar. ...even the conservatives of the time were liberal. Republican president Dwight Eisenhower championed the national highway system and warned of the military-industrial complex. President Richard Nixon said, “I am now a Keynesian in economics.” His administration created the EPA and expanded Social Security by indexing benefits to inflation.

...since the 1980s, we have lived in a second era — that of neoliberalism. In economic and social policy, neoliberalism’s tenets are simple: deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity. Under neoliberalism, individuals are on their own and should be responsible for themselves. Instead of governments, corporations, and unions balancing the interests of all stakeholders, the primary regulator of social interests should be the marketplace. Neoliberals opposed unions and unionization, they wanted to pursue vouchers instead of public provision of services, and they sought to shrink the size and functioning of government, even if it meant a less effective government. Markets worked like magic, and market logic would be applied to all aspects of life. Around the world, the neoliberal era came with an aggressive emphasis on expanding democracy and human rights, even by military force. Expanding trade and commerce came with little regard for who the winners and losers were—or what the political fallout might be. ...It was President Bill Clinton who said that the "era of big government is over" and  who celebrated the legislation deregulating Wall Street.

...With the election of Donald Trump, the neoliberal era has reached its end. While in control of the House, Senate, and presidency, Republicans neither repealed the Affordable Care Act nor privatized Social Security and Medicare. Their party is increasingly fractured between Trumpist conservatives, who are far more nationalist, and the never-Trump old-line conservatives like Bill Kristol or Jeb Bush. An increasing number of people recognize that neoliberalism’s solutions are unsuited to the challenges of our time.

The Great Democracy: How to Fix Our Politics,… (Hardcover) by Ganesh Sitaraman

The central battle of our time is now between financial oligarchy and economic nationalists.  Unfortunately a significant number of voters feel that no candidate speaks to them.  Both party do not represent the majority of the USA population:

If a candidate with somewhat anti-neoliberal platform win (let's say Warren, or Sanders (although he was compromised by his betrayal of his voters on 2016 election and as such is viewed by many as a sheepdog for the Democratic Party establishment) would would be selected by Democratic convention, that's would another step in dismantling neoliberalism in the USA, the logical next  step after by and large unsuccessful Trump presidency, which Trump won on anti-neoliberal anti neoliberal globalization platform (at least in foreign policy).  But this "highloy unlikely". The most probable scenario and another fake in best Obama "change we can believe in" style. 

At the same time history tells us:

So it looks like the USA entered Catch 22 situation: the country needs to get rid of neoliberal empire and neocons infestation in major departments such the State Department, CIA and Pentagon  (neocons are essentially lobbyists of MIC, so the question is larger then that), but can't do it because their grip of power did not diminished one bit under Trump administration. Neoliberal empire suffered sume setbacks but internally neocons are still in the driver seat in the USA.

This situation suggest that the current neolibeal elite is pretty capable to ride the USA to the cliff, to the USSR-style scenario,  but of couse history never repeats, it only rhyme.

Like in previous elections the real issues are skillfully buried under avalanche of smoke screen. Currently this is impeachment Kabuki theater, in which each party is afraid to death to tell the true facts and all play some complex fame of chickens.

In reality there are half-dozen major questions for 2020 elections which are carefully avoided by neoliberal MSM:

  1. How to return to the USA meaningful, well paid jobs  that were decimated since 2020. In Other words 2020 election is "Job, Jobs, Jobs" election.
  2. How to downsize the USA neoliberal empire as its maintenance and costly imperial war (some mainly benefitting foreign states, not the USA proper),  led to enormous debt, while at the same time to preserve dollar as the major reserve currency.  The broader shift from China decoupling, which is at play is it will result in de-globalization (both  economic and financial -- the latter is the death sentence to global neoliberalism) as well localization of overly complex transnational supply chains.
  3. How to take financial oligarchy, and prosecute the most extreme part of it --  vulture funds 
  4. How to diminish or at least neutralize the political influence of intelligence  agencies, which in alliance with  Clinton wing of the Democratic Party attempt to stage a color revolution against Trump
  5. What to do with the outsize influence of Israel lobby
  6. Does current Russophobia hysteria reflects real danger to the USA emanating from Russia or this is just a fake threat promoted by neocon, as prostitutes of MIC.
  7. Policy toward China in view of decimation of manufacturing capacities within continental USA. The latest phase one deal between both countries is a temporary trade truce -- likely to be broken as a strategic rivalry encompasses trade, technology, investment, currency, and geopolitical concerns will continue to strain relations in the early 2020s. The decoupling has already started as Washington races to safeguard the country's cutting-edge technologies, including 5G, automation, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicle, hypersonics, and robotics, from getting into the hands of Chinese firms.

The lineup of candidates in 2020 elections

In any case the fight between two faction of the US elite that started in 2016 will continue. Even within neoliberal camp there will be a fight between four groups of neoliberal elite:

Apparently now in best neo-McCarthyism traditions of Mueller witch hunt anyone who doesn’t conform to pro-war narratives of neoliberal/neocon establishment is a Russian stooge. Expect the dirt of her from the US intelligence agencies.

 

2020 elections and the two party system

Two part system is very convenient for corporate oligarchy, as in this case the selection of candidate can be fully controlled and risk of undesirable candidates winning the general election almost completely eliminated.  It is one party system in disguise, and I think Bolsheviks were stupid by not adopting it in the USSR. It provides "bread and circuses" effect and an illusion of democracy while in reality being  as close to one party system as one can get. The latter is due to "first after the post" effect.

In a two party system, there are always corporate stooges in waiting, eager to serve, in case the incumbent stooges go too far off the rails. Trump proved to be one of such stooges and that increase his chances for re-election. I believe  that in the USA the incumbent party almost always wins a second term if the economy is OK. Only the  recession creates opportunities for the second  party in traditional for the USA party duopoly -- Pepsi/Cola political arrangement.  

Please note that Democratic Party in starting from Clinton (but most prominently under Obama) became the second war party and as such it does not need election victory to capture important power positions: MIC rules the country anyway. They can control the levers of power via stooges in intelligences agencies like Brennan and Comey in the past. So serving as a spoiler for real democratic forces is No.1 task on Clinton Democrats -- the dominant neoliberal wing of the party closely allied with Wall Street and MIC.

Serving as a spoiler for real democratic forces is No.1 task on Clinton Democrats -- the dominant neoliberal wing of the party closely allied with Wall Street and MIC. Russiagate actually was invented exactly for this purposes (along with serving  as a smoke screen hiding Hillary and Corporate Dems fiasco in 2016). Now anybody with progressive, hostile to neoliberalism agenda can labeled as Putin stooge. Look at attacks on Tulsi Gabbard -- the only anti-war democrat in the current cycle --  as a telling example

Russiagate actually was invented exactly for this purposes (along with serving  as a smoke screen hiding Hillary and Corporate Dems fiasco in 2016).  In a bipartisan deal on Pentagon budget demonstrates how thoroughly  Washington is captured by the Wall Street and MIC (in this particular order).  219 House Democrats and 65 Republicans voted to approve a budget agreement that includes $1.48 trillion in military spending over the next two years. Those are money stolen from the lower middle class and working people.  As President Dwight Eisenhower aptly observed:

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. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

Neo-McCarthyism will be a factor in 2020 election and became conscious and long term policy of the US neoliberal elite:

mike k , says: October 4, 2019 at 11:53 am GMT

Russia hating is the lynchpin of oligarchic deepstate MIC MSM propaganda. Take that away and the fat cats are revealed as the naked face of evil that they are. Hating Russia (and China) supposedly justifies all their crimes.

Is reelection of Trump desirable

Trump proved to be inept politician, who  quickly folded and allowed neocons  to rule in foreign policy. This is huge drawback. His open subservience to Israel is another.  At the same time he  weakened the US-centered global neoliberal empire and this is a plus. Maintenance cost including cost of foreign wars are bankrupting the USA and significantly lowering the standard of living of ordinary Americans.  So from the point of view of continuation of dismantling of the USA-centered global neoliberal empire, the answer is probably yes (Trump inaptness and impulsivity almost guarantee positive result here); in all other area that answer is solid no.

In 2016 the election of Trump proved that although in some rare circumnutates the candidate not favored by the USA neoliberal elite can win, the elite is able to immaculate him in approximately three month from the moment of inauguration.  As soon as April 2017 Trump already ordered air raid on Syria, folding to neocons. And in May he got Special Prosecutor as a reward for his betrayal ;-) 

In this sense old saying "Moor did his duty, More can go" is fully applicable to Trump and 2020 election. He completely betrayed his electorate and he has nothing to offer US population in a new election cycle. In other words he is an "old hat" that the elite wants to keep to continue to deceive the common people.    As history had show in similar circumstances another king of "bait and switch" Barack Obama won his re-election. Bush II also won his re-election. So I would not predict Trump's defeat.

If neoliberals/neocons  like Biden  wins the nomination and then the election that the political development in the USA would be similar a neoliberal counterrevolution in Brazil and Argentina. Actually only face-wise different from the re-election of Trump, as Trump betrayed everybody who voted for him in 2016, including anti-war right.

So if he wins that's essentially also the approval of his variant of  policies directed on the preservation of the US-centered neoliberal empire at the huge cost for common people. Trump internal policies were clearly neoliberal (tax cut for the rich is a classic example what "real Donald Trump" wants, replacing Obamacare with  Trumpcare is another) although with more noise and damage to the classic neoliberal globalization that classic neoliberals want.  Faction of elite supporting Trump wants to discard classic mode of globalization based on treaties and converting countries into debt slaves using IMF and World Bank in favor of more muscular, unilateral "might make right" policy of containing China, which managed to rise to the level of the USA competitors under classic neoliberal globalization regime. 

Trump proves to be a stanch neoliberal  in domestic policy and Israel stooge in foreign policy. He  populated his administration with neocons including some war criminals responsible for launching Iraq war (Bolton and Elliot Abrams). While pursuing mostly neocon foreign policy he proved to be the master of dangerous, abrupt moves which can be attributed just to his impulsivity, desire to appear "strong" via bulling opponents and rampant jingoism. 

Mueller witch hunt and Trump Impeachment circus as links of the same chain

It is impossible to predict the  results on 2020 election without objective analysis on 2018 election cycle.  Russiagate was a defensive tactic by Democratic Party leadership to absolve it from Hillary fiasco, to preserver power and attack the anti-neoliberal left and anti-neoliberal right painting them as Russian stooges.  Neoliberal Dems are beside themselves with Russian election meddling, but could care less about meddling by Google, Facebook, Israel, and the billionaire class.

They were mostly successful in that: Pelosi was not sent to long overdue retirement. Chuck Schumer continued his leadership role in the Senate.  Moreover Pelosi and Schumer recently managed to launch another attack on Trump, replacing now de-funct Russiagate pressure point with a new one. This was done  under the flag of Ukrainegate. Whether CIA leaker is real of is a composite puppet created by Schiff and CIA does not matter. The fact that Ukraine is a colony of the USA and can't be considered  a "foreign power" does not matter iether.

Russiagate has distracted most Democrats from analyzing how they lost in 2016. The false narrative that was promoted is that it was because of foreign interference (the narrative initially invented by suspected pedophile John Podesta, closely connected to Clintons.)  Eventually, it became kind of Party platform and allowed them to win Midterm. but the problem with the betrayal of the working class remains. The preference for Wall Street over working class is the cornerstone of Clinton democrats policies as well as their affiliation with military industrial complex ("the second war party") and adoption of neocon foreign policy based on ‘regime change’ interventions.

The preference for Wall Street over working class is the cornerstone of Clinton democrats policies; as well as their affiliation with military industrial complex ("the second war party") and adoption of neocon foreign policy based on ‘regime change’ interventions.

Democratic Party brass now feels pressure as there is an obvious trend in the US society for a transparent and fair campaign with a progressive nominee. The campaign  based on more than the Party establishment and Wall Street favoritism (see Autopsy).  The main task of Democratic Party establishment in not  to win the elections, but  to derail this possibility which can materialize if  Warren, Gabbard or Sanders became the party nominee.

Democratic Party brass now feels pressure as there is an obvious trend in the US society for a transparent and fair campaign with a progressive nominee. The campaign  based on more than the Party establishment and Wall Street favoritism (see Autopsy).  The main task of Democratic Party establishment in not  to win the elections, but  to derail this possibility which can materialize if  Warren, Gabbard or Sanders became the party nominee.

Of course each of those candidates' have warts. For example, Sanders compromised himself by his folding to Hillary in 2016 elections. That simplifies  railroading of his candidacy this time too.  IMHO despite all warts, those three candidates from Democratic Party still make sense, and I think all three can give a fight to the establishment wing of the Party (DemoRats) and the republican candidate (presumably Trump).

We will see to what extent they will be successful.  In any case the US military budget and foreign policy need to be changed, priorities recognized from serving the interest of empire to serving common people and repairing decaying infrastructure. Candidates who try to avoid those issues are of no value to the country.

The crisis of neoliberalism make 2020 elections the second referendum on the direction of the country

"Watch out for false prophets.
They come to you in sheep's clothing,
but inwardly they are ferocious wolves."
Matthew 7:15

The real issues is the crisis of neoliberal which make elections the referendum on the direction of the country.  There are three direction possible:

IMHO we are facing three choices for the future of this country:

  1. National neoliberalism -- neoliberalism without classic neoliberal globalization (Trumpism) -- which one might view as some flavor of far-right nationalism, or diluted version of neofascism (fascism was national socialism and contained several important socialist elements in its program but for only one nation; no such elements of the program exits in national neoliberalism )  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Program
  2. Kicking the can down the road  Attempt to continue to pursue classic neoliberalism + warmongering (with neoliberal globalization at the center)  despits crisi of 2008 and Iraq war fiasco.  May be with some attempt to take financial oligarchy and MIC (Warren and Tulsi)
  3. "Inverted totalitarism" which is  updated for new level of technology version of STASI rule, but far more effective and less repressive.  A version of Orwell 1984.

Trump platform is essentially based on "national neoliberalism" ideology. And he got substantial support for it. That means that the fight against Trump can not be won by Clinton DemoRats.  For example Creepy Joe Biden probably understands that he is unelectable.  He was want to get enough delegates to derail any non-establishment candidate like Bernie, Warren or Tulsi.

Trump now will definitely enjoy the advantage of overcrowded field of Democratic Candidates (over 20 and counting)  and the fact the  Democratic leadership is more afraid of Sanders/Warren/Gabbard than of Trump. Also Trump position is busted by Mueller final report and, especially, Barr investigation of CIA and FBI machinations.

The first time since 1970th there are two new candidates (Sanders and Warren) who openly challenge neoliberal dogma

The elections of 2020 are interesting in a sense that for the first time since 1970th there are two candidates who openly challenge neoliberal dogma: Tulsi Gabbard (who which to end the US global neoliberal empire, and imperial wars) and Elisabeth Warren (which can be viewed as the adherent of restoration of the New Deal Capitalism, while being a typical neocon in foreign policy  who blindly repeat the State Department talking points). There are also a couple of other candidates with interesting ideas, For example, Andrew Yang is one; he has made a $12,000-per-year basic income for all American adults the centerpiece of his campaign (and will probably steal a lot of former Trump voters. Cory Booker proposed badly needed criminal reform.

At the same time Tump2020 is a completely different person than Trump2016. Trump2020 displayed blatant contempt for the rule of law and other longstanding republican values, provided us with several public displays of his stupidity, extreme character flaws, and irrefutable evidence of psychological instability. so form one point of view his reelection task is easier, as US people usually reelect even complete jerks (Bush II) but from the of the point of view is more difficult as now he has a baggage and he lost some important parts of his electorate and first of all anti-war Republicans and large part of blue collar workers who now will go with Andrew Yang or some similar candidate.

Although this time the field of Democratic contenders is definitely overcrowded. It is also the first election in the USA history which is run during a color revolution against sitting president launched by the War party, and intelligence agencies in 2016

So the nation today finds itself in an interesting situation which reminds  me of Gorbachov's Perestroika.  The USA neoliberal society after 2008 entered secular stagnation and need changes. the problem is that there is not viable alternative to neoliberalism other then return to New Deal Capitalism (which is not realistic as social forces that created this possibility -- the some (shaky) alliance of management and workers against capital owners based on WWII experience of this generation of US people is not longer present.)

Looks like it is still impossible to depose old entrenched neoliberal elite, despite of crisis of neoliberal ideology, which started in 2008. It is even was impossible to depose Pelosi ;-)  

For some, unclear to me reason the US neoliberal elites, especially neoliberal MSM controlling them intelligence agencies,  that drive the national conversation have reached the conclusion that nothing surpasses in importance then Trump’s removal from office and laughed full scale color revolution against him, destabilizing further the US society.  In this sense the appointment of the Special Prosecutor of fake charges was their "insurance" after Trump surprising win.  And intelligence agencies were at the helm of this color revolution (aka RussiaGate) from the very beginning, becoming real modern Praetorian Guard, which can depose of even kill the Emperor.

The midterm elections that returned the Democrats to power in the House are considered a step in the right direction for achieving this goal. That resulted in  in a crowded field for 2020 presidential election, and many candidates think that they can beat weakened Trump, who betrayed most of his voters and now try to compensate this with his jingoism with Venezuela and the Wall.  Sensing opportunity, candidates rush to join the competition. 

This also might be the first election in which the issue of the foreign influence on the US election (especially British and Israeli) became prominent (mostly along the lines of "Russiagate" witch hunt). The blowback from Russiagate and Mueller investigation reveled dirty dialing of British government and makes the work of British government and Zionist Lobby in influencing the US elections somewhat more difficult, although Israeli lobby continue to possess formidable financial resources for directly and indirectly bribing US politicians.  MI6 retained the ability to intercept all important US communications and as such can use this information to influence the US election, like they did in 2016 with Wiretapping Trump tower, Steele dossier  operation and  George Papadopoulos entrapment.

Bothe the level of British and Israeli influence clearly demonstrate that the immune system of the US state is weakened by decades of  neoliberalism.

The issues on which Trump might  lose 2020 elections

  In the absence of a moral filter, says Martha Stout[1], "Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths...

That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow -- but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one."

Comment on Sic Semper Tyrannis

 

If Trump runs on the defense of neoliberalism platform he will lose. Also now he has a his "national neoliberalism" baggage (Tax cut for rich, pandering to Israel, possible trade war with China, Venezuela interference, Syria interference, Iran saber-rattling,  etc)  like albatross about his neck: he proved to be a weak, uneducated, superficial and impulsive politician. In no way he was a "betrayal of his class" like Roosevelt; he also proved to be  a "national neoliberal" at heart, who lied to his electorate: Republican Obama so to speak. Like Obama he proved to be an obedient puppet of MIC. But in addition to that he positioned himself as a puppet of Israel (MIGA instead of MAGA problem; in this sense Kushner is yet another albatross around his neck.)

His tax cuts had shown that he is a regular "trickle down" neoliberal much like Bush II. That impression strengthen if we look at his cabinet with neocon  hawks such as Bolton and  Pompeo running the show. So his attraction to major voting blocks which propelled him to victory in 2016 is down substantially. Moreover, Trump now has zero, or less, street credibility. One of his nicknames in Pinocchio, the other "A very stable genius". This does not help. 

Polling is unambiguous here. If you define the “center” as a position somewhere between neoliberalism and New Deal Capitalism, when it comes to economic issues the public is overwhelmingly left of center.

If anything, it’s far to the left of the Clinton Democrats (soft neoliberals) and in some  area to the left of The New Deal Capitalism. The hate of Wall Street and neoliberal establishment is now running pretty high (Look at consolatory gestures of Jamie Dimon - Wikipedia with his 100 million education fund proposal)

Tax cuts for the rich are the GOP’s defining policy, but two-thirds of voters believe that taxes on the rich are actually too low, while only 7 percent believe that they’re too high. That fact provides string support for Elizabeth Warren’s proposed tax on large fortunes by a three-to-one majority. Only a small minority want to see cuts in Medicaid, even though such cuts have been central to every GOP health care proposal in recent years.

The result is that to be an economic conservative in America means advocating policies that, on their merits, only appeal to a very small faction on the population, mainly professional and neoliberal elite. Basically nobody wants these policies on their own; they only sell if they’re packaged with far right nationalism

But forty years of stagnating wages, rising living costs, and intermittent chaos caused by neoliberalism remade the world — slowly, and then all at once

Looks like Democratic Party is so corrupted by Wall Street  and MIC that it can't overcome its fiasco in 2016. DNC will probably prevent any non-establishment candidate from taking that nomination. And establishment candidate has low chances to win against Trump, because Trump now will run as an establishment candidate.

Attempt to offload the blame of Hillary Clinton's fiasco in 2016 to  Russia's manipulation of election  not only failed, they backfired destroying credibility of neoliberal MSM such as NBC, CNN and MSNBC, which are not called "fake news." So now "DemoRats" (Clinton wing of Democratic Party, or Establishment Democrats) have much less tools for influencing public opinion.

Russiagate witch hunt also revealed that the real manipulator of the USA 2016 election were British intelligence services, a pro-Obama faction within CIA (you may call it Brennan faction)  and FBI (you may call it Comey faction) positioning Obama and his weasels (Brennan,   Clapper,  Samantha Power, Susan Rice, etc) as chief conspirators again democratic election; they were guilty of politicizing counterintelligence division of FBI for their own  benefits (see  Steele dossier and Strzok-gate ). That limits their freedom of maneuver in 2020.

Both Warren and Sanders can defeat Trump but only in combination with Tulsi as VP or other anti-war politican.

A Sanders/Gabbard or Warren/Gabbard ticket in the general election also have promise, especially the latter as Warren has the most strong domestic program (with  the ability and desire to squeeze the financial oligarchy which is really the most necessary step for the country), and Gabbard excels in foreign policy issues.  Would they together be strong enough to beat Trump, when Dems gave Trumps such a huge amount of ammunition due to intelligence agencies spying on his 2016 campaign? It remains to be seen.  Both can easily crush Trump in debates.

One thing is clear though. The Democratic establishment has decided that all that they need is a more likeable candidate.  That's probably in one reason why they dusted off Joe Biden, a grinning neoliberal sell-out, who voted for Iraq war. And as such should be ineligible for any public office. Biden is a Hillary-style neocon who stands well to the right of most Republicans on key elements of the USA foreign policy.  But this might also be a courtesy run allowed to him in order to deny Sanders or Warren the nomination in favor one of the "more reliable" establishment warmonger (possible with minority credentials) like Kamala Harris, or New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

The USA neoliberal society  after 2008 entered and prolong ideological crisis accompanied by economic stagnation. BTW the current system can be called "inverted totalitarism" and is not that far form neofascism in any case. So some authors predict evolution of the US political system toward neofascism, as far right nationalism is currently the only viable force that is able to tame or destroy the rule of neoliberal financial oligarchy.

 

The US far right  does not qualify as a national socialist movement

Talking about far right, Trump supporters and his supporters are to heavily infected with neoliberal ideology and  are pretty far in social demands of German National Socialist Program  of 1920 which advocated  using brute power of state and repressions against financial oligarchy ("usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race. ").  So they might lose considerable part of working class voters, who after 40 year of neoliberalism now openly tilt toward national socialism ideas.

Paradoxically those demands now position the US neofascists to the left of the Clinton wing Democratic Party (soft neoliberals or DemoRats) , which is in the pocket of financial oligarchy and is ready to privatize Social Security and Medicare to please its Wall Street sponsors. To say nothing about Republican Party which is essentially the party of big capital. Let me remind  the key points of NSDAP program of 1920: 

The 25-point Program of the NSDAP
… … …
7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:
11.Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13.We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest.
Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
… … …
21.The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

The curse of neoliberalism is still very strong

Here is Henry Giroux take on  the current situation in the USA (Truthdig, Aug 02, 2018) which I think contain some interesting (albeit controversial) thought as for the direction of the USA society might take after Presidential elections of 2020: 

Since the 1970s, American society has lived with the curse of neoliberalism, or what can be called the latest and most extreme stage of predatory capitalism. As part of a broader comprehensive design, neoliberalism’s overriding goal is to consolidate power in the hands of the financial elite. As a mode of rationality, it functions pedagogically in multiple cultural sites to ensure no alternatives to its mode of governance can be imagined or constructed.

Central to its philosophy is the assumption the market drives not just the economy but all of social life. It construes profit-making as the essence of democracy and consuming as the only operable form of agency. It redefines identities, desires and values through a market logic that favors self-interest, a survival-of-the-fittest ethos and unchecked individualism. Under neoliberalism, life-draining and unending competition is a central concept for defining human freedom.

As an economic policy, it creates an all-encompassing market guided by the principles of privatization, deregulation, commodification and the free flow of capital. Advancing these agendas, it weakens unions, radically downsizes the welfare state and wages an assault on public goods. As the state is hollowed out, big corporations take on the functions of government, imposing severe austerity measures, redistributing wealth upward to the rich and powerful and reinforcing a notion of society as one of winners and losers. Put simply, neoliberalism gives free rein to finance capital and seeks to liberate the market from any restraints imposed by the state. At present, governments exist preeminently to maximize the profits, resources and the power of the wealthy.

As a political policy, it empties governance of any substance and denounces any viable notion of the social contract. Moreover, neoliberalism produces widespread misery and suffering as it weakens any vestige of democracy that interferes with its vision of a self-regulating market.

Theoretically, neoliberalism is often associated with the work of Friedrich August von Hayek and the Mont Pelerin Society, Milton Friedman and the Chicago school of economics, and most famously with the politics of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, President Ronald Reagan in the United States and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom. Politically, it is supported by various right-wing think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and by billionaires such as the Koch brothers.

Neoliberalism’s hatred of democracy, the common good and the social contract has unleashed generic elements of a fascist past in which white supremacy, ultra-nationalism, rabid misogyny and immigrant fervor come together in a toxic mix of militarism, state violence and the politics of disposability. Modes of fascist expression adapt variously to different political historical contexts assuring racial apartheid-like forms in the postbellum U.S. and overt encampments and extermination in Nazi Germany. Fascism --  with its unquestioning belief in obedience to a powerful strongman, violence as a form of political purification, hatred as an act of patriotism, racial and ethnic cleansing, and the superiority of a select ethnic or national group --  has resurfaced in the United States. In this mix of economic barbarism, political nihilism, racial purity, economic orthodoxy and ethical somnambulance, a distinctive economic-political formation has been produced that I term neoliberal fascism.

Neoliberalism as the New Fascism

The war against liberal democracy has become a global phenomenon. Authoritarian regimes have spread from Turkey, Poland, Hungary and India to the United States and a number of other countries. Right-wing populist movements are on the march, spewing forth a poisonous mix of ultra-nationalism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia. The language of national decline, humiliation and demonization fuels dangerous proposals and policies aimed at racial purification and social sorting while hyping a masculinization of agency and a militarism reminiscent of past dictatorships. Under current circumstances, the forces that have produced the histories of mass violence, torture, genocide and fascism have not been left behind. Consequently, it has been more difficult to argue that the legacy of fascism has nothing to teach us regarding how “the question of fascism and power clearly belongs to the present.”1

Fascism has multiple histories, most connected to the failed democracies in Italy and Germany in the 1930s and the overthrow of democratic governments by the military such as in Argentina and Chile in the 1970s. Moreover, the history between fascism and populism involves a complex mix of relations over time.2 What is distinctive about this millennial fascism is its history of “a violent totalitarian order that led to radical forms of political violence and genocide” has been softened by attempts to recalibrate its postwar legacy to a less liberal democratic register.3 For instance, in Hungary, Turkey, Poland and a number of other emerging fascist states, the term “illiberal democracy” is used as code to allegedly replace a “supposedly outmoded form of liberal democracy.”4 In actuality, the term is used to justify a form of populist authoritarianism whose goal is to attack the very foundations of democracy. These fascist underpinnings are also expanding in the United States. In President Donald Trump’s bombastic playbook, the notion of “the people” has become a rhetorical tool to legitimize a right-wing mass movement in support of a return to the good old days of American Apartheid.5

As the ideas, values and institutions crucial to a democracy have withered under a savage neoliberalism that has been 50 years in the making, fascistic notions of racial superiority, social cleansing, apocalyptic populism, hyper-militarism and ultra-nationalism have gained in intensity, moving from the repressed recesses of U.S. history to the centers of state and corporate power.6 Decades of mass inequality, wage slavery, the collapse of the manufacturing sector, tax giveaways to the financial elite and savage austerity policies that drive a frontal attack on the welfare state have further strengthened fascistic discourses. They also have redirected populist anger against vulnerable populations and undocumented immigrants, Muslims, the racially oppressed, women, LBGTQ people, public servants, critical intellectuals and workers. Not only has neoliberalism undermined the basic elements of democracy by escalating the mutually reinforcing dynamics of economic inequality and political inequality --  accentuating the downhill spiral of social and economic mobility --  it has also created conditions that make fascist ideas and principles more attractive.

Under these accelerated circumstances, neoliberalism and fascism conjoin and advance in a comfortable and mutually compatible movement that connects the worst excesses of capitalism with authoritarian “strongman” ideals --  the veneration of war, a hatred of reason and truth; a celebration of ultra-nationalism and racial purity; the suppression of freedom and dissent; a culture that promotes lies, spectacles, scapegoating the other, a deteriorating discourse, brutal violence, and, ultimately, the eruption of state violence in heterogeneous forms. In the Trump administration, neoliberal fascism is on steroids and represents a fusion of the worst dimensions and excesses of gangster capitalism with the fascist ideals of white nationalism and racial supremacy associated with the horrors of the past. 7 Neoliberal structural transformation has undermined and refigured “the principles, practices, cultures, subjects and institution of democracy understood as rule by the people.”8 Since the earlier ’70s, the neoliberal project has mutated into a revolt against human rights and democracy and created a powerful narrative that refigures freedom and authority so as to legitimize and produce massive inequities in wealth and power.9 Its practices of offshoring, restructuring everything according to the dictates of profit margins, slashing progressive taxation, eliminating corporate regulations, allowing unchecked privatization and the ongoing commercializing of all social interactions “inflicts alienating misery” on a polity newly vulnerable to fascist ideals, rhetoric and politically extremist movements.10

Furthermore, the merging of neoliberalism and fascism has accelerated as civic culture is eroded, notions of shared citizenship and responsibility disappear, and reason and informed judgment are replaced by the forces of civic illiteracy. State-sanctioned attacks on the truth, facts and scientific reason in Trump’s America are camouflaged as one would expect when led by the first reality TV president --  by a corporate-controlled culture of vulgarity that merges celebrity culture with a nonstop spectacle of violence. Neoliberalism strips democracy of any substance by promoting an irrational belief in the ability of the market to solve all social problems and shape all aspects of society. This shift from a market economy to a market-driven society has been accompanied by a savage attack on equality, the social contract and social provisions as wages have been gutted, pensions destroyed, health care put out of reach for millions, job security undermined, and access to crucial public goods such as public and higher education considerably weakened for the lower and middle classes.

In the current historical moment, neoliberalism represents more than a form of hyper-capitalism, it also denotes the death of democracy if not politics itself. Anis Shivani’s articulation of the threat neoliberalism poses to democracy is worth quoting at length:

Neoliberalism believes that markets are self-sufficient unto themselves, that they do not need regulation, and that they are the best guarantors of human welfare. Everything that promotes the market, i.e., privatization, deregulation, mobility of finance and capital, abandonment of government-provided social welfare, and the reconception of human beings as human capital, needs to be encouraged, while everything that supposedly diminishes the market, i.e., government services, regulation, restrictions on finance and capital, and conceptualization of human beings in transcendent terms, is to be discouraged….One way to sum up neoliberalism is to say that everything --  everything --  is to be made over in the image of the market, including the state, civil society, and of course human beings. Democracy becomes reinterpreted as the market, and politics succumbs to neoliberal economic theory, so we are speaking of the end of democratic politics as we have known it for two and a half centuries.11

What is particularly distinctive about the conjuncture of neoliberalism and fascism is how the full-fledged liberation of capital now merges with an out-and-out attack on the racially oppressed and vulnerable populations considered disposable. Not only do the oppressive political, economic and financial structures of casino capitalism bear down on people’s lives, but there is also a frontal attack on the shared understandings and beliefs that hold a people together. One crucial and distinctive place in which neoliberalism and fascism converge is in the undermining of social bonds and moral boundaries. Displacement, disintegration, atomization, social isolation and deracination have a long history in the United States, which has been aggressively exploited by Trump, taking on a distinctively right-wing, 21st-century register. There is more at work here than the heavy neoliberal toll of social abandonment. There is also, under the incessant pedagogical propaganda of right-wing and corporate controlled media, a culture that has become cruel and cultivates an appetite for maliciousness that undermines the capacity for empathy, making people indifferent to the suffering of others or, even worse, willing participants in their violent exclusion.

Irish journalist Fintan O’Toole warns that fascism unravels the ethical imagination through a process in which individuals eventually “learn to think the unthinkable…” followed, he writes, “by a crucial next step, usually the trickiest of all”:

You have to undermine moral boundaries, inure people to the acceptance of acts of extreme cruelty. Like hounds, people have to be blooded. They have to be given the taste for savagery. Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group. This allows the members of that group to be dehumanized. Once that has been achieved, you can gradually up the ante, working through the stages from breaking windows to extermination.12

What is often labeled as an economic crisis in American society is also a crisis of morality, sociality and community. Since the 1970s, increasing unregulated capitalism has hardened into a form of market fundamentalism that has accelerated the hollowing out of democracy through its capacity to reshape the commanding political, social and economic institutions of American society, making it vulnerable to the fascist solutions proposed by Trump. As an integrated system of structures, ideologies and values, neoliberalism economizes every aspect of life, separates economic activity from social costs, and depoliticizes the public through corporate-controlled disimagination machines that trade in post-truth narratives, enshrine the spectacle of violence, debase language and distort history.

Neoliberalism now wages a battle against any viable notion of the social contract, solidarity, the collective imagination, the public good and the institutions that support them. As the realm of the political is defined in strictly economic terms, the institutions, public goods, formative cultures and modes of identity essential to a democracy disappear, along with the informed citizens necessary to sustain them.

The Crisis of Reason and Fantasies of Freedom

As more and more power is concentrated in the hands of a corporate and financial elite, freedom is defined exclusively in market terms, inequality is cast as a virtue, and the logic of privatization heaps contempt upon civic compassion and the welfare state. The fatal after-effect is that neoliberalism has emerged as the new face of fascism.13 With the 50-year advance of neoliberalism, freedom has become its opposite. And democracy, once the arc of civic freedom, now becomes its enemy, because democratic governance no longer takes priority over the unchecked workings of the market. Neoliberalism undermines both the social and the public and in doing so weakens the idea of shared responsibilities and moral obligations. As Zygmunt Bauman argues “ethical tranquillization” is now normalized under the assumption that freedom is limited to the right to only advance one’s own interests and the interests of the markets. Freedom in the neoliberal playbook disavows any notion of responsibility outside of the responsibility to oneself.

As Wendy Brown argues, politics and democracy are now viewed as the enemy of markets and “politics is cast as the enemy to freedom, to order and to progress.”14 Politics now becomes a mix of regressive notions of freedom and authority whose purpose is to protect market-driven principles and practices. What disappears in this all-encompassing reach of capital is the notion of civic freedom, which is replaced by securitization organized to protect the lawless workings of the profit motive and the savagery of neoliberal austerity policies. Moreover, as freedom becomes privatized, it feeds a lack of interest in politics and breeds moral indifference. As a consequence, neoliberalism unleashes the passions of a fascist past in which the terrain of politics, agency and social relations begin to resemble a war zone, a blood sport and a form of cage fighting.

In this instance, the oppressed are not only cheated out of history, they are led to believe that under neoliberal fascism there are no alternatives and the future can only imitate the present. Not only does this position suppress any sense of responsibility and resistance, it produces what Timothy Snyder calls “a kind of sleepwalking, and has to end with a crash.”15 The latter is reinforced by a government that believes truth is dangerous and reality begins with a tweet that signals the legitimation of endless lies and forms of power that infantilize and depoliticize, because they leave no room for standards of language capable of holding power accountable. Even worse, Trump’s war on language and truth does more than limit freedom to competing fictions, it also erases the distinction between moral depravity and justice, good and evil. As I have said elsewhere, “Trump’s Ministry of Fake News works incessantly to set limits on what is thinkable, claiming that reason, evidence, consistency, and logic no longer serve the truth, because the latter are crooked ideological devices used by enemies of the state. ‘Thought crimes’ are now labeled as ‘fake news.’ ” 16

Timothy Snyder is right in arguing that “to abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle.”17 The post-truth society is a state-sponsored diversion and spectacle. Its purpose is to camouflage a moral and political crisis that has put into play a set of brutal neoliberal arrangements. Rather than view truth as the currency of democracy, Trump and his acolytes view it and democracy as the enemy of power. Such arrangements put democracy at risk and create an educational and political project receptive to the political currency of white supremacy. As a master of schlock performance, Trump tweets and speaks largely to his angry, resentful base, often using crude language in which the threat of violence and repression appears to function for his audience as a source of “romance, pleasure and fantasy.”18 These core supporters represent, at best, what Philip Roth once generously called the “uneducated and overburdened.” But they also cultivate what Erin Aubry Kaplan calls “the very worst American impulses, from xenophobia to know-nothingism to disdain for social necessities such as public education and clean water, [and their] signature quality is racism.”19

Restaging Fascism Within Democracy

Rather than disappear into the memory hole of history, fascism has reappeared in a different form in the United States, echoing Theodor Adorno’s warning, “I consider the survival of National Socialism within democracy to be potentially more menacing than the survival of fascist tendencies against democracy.”20 Theorists, novelists, historians and writers that include such luminaries as Hannah Arendt, Sinclair Lewis, Bertram Gross, Umberto Eco, Robert O. Paxton, Timothy Snyder, Susan Sontag and Sheldon Wolin have argued convincingly that fascism remains an ongoing danger and has the ability to become relevant under new conditions. After the fall of Nazi Germany, Arendt warned totalitarianism was far from a thing of the past because the conditions of extreme precarity and uncertainty that produce it were likely to crystallize into new forms.21

What Arendt thought was crucial for each generation to recognize was that the presence of the Nazi camps and the policy of extermination should be understood not only as the logical outcome of a totalitarian society or simply a return of the past, but also for what their histories suggest about forecasting a “possible model for the future.”22 The nightmare of fascism’s past cannot escape memory because it needs to be retold over and over again so as to recognize when it is happening again. Rather than fade into the past, mass poverty, unchecked homelessness, large-scale rootlessness, fearmongering, social atomization, state terrorism and the politics of elimination have provided the seeds for new forms of fascism to appear. Paxton, the renowned historian of fascism, argues in his “The Anatomy of Fascism” that the texture of American fascism would not mimic traditional European forms but would be rooted in the language, symbols and culture of everyday life:

No swastikas in an American fascism, but Stars and Stripes (or Stars and Bars) and Christian crosses. No fascist salute, but mass recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance. These symbols contain no whiff of fascism in themselves, of course, but an American fascism would transform them into obligatory litmus tests for detecting the internal enemy.23

Given the alarming signs that have come into play under the Trump administration, it is hard to look away and condone the suppression of the history and language of fascism and its relevance for understanding America’s flight from the promise and ideals of a substantive democracy. This is not to suggest the only template for addressing the legacy of fascism is to point to Nazi Germany, the most extreme of the fascist states, or, for that matter, to Mussolini’s brand of fascism. Not only does the comparison not work, but it tends to understand fascist ideals only against its most extreme expressions.

While it is true the U.S. may not be putting millions in gas chambers or promoting genocide, there remain reworked elements of the past in the present. For instance, there are already echoes of the past in existing and expanding infrastructures of punishment --  amounting to a carceral state --  that have grown exponentially in the past four decades. In fact, the United States has the largest prison system in the world, with more than 2.5 million people incarcerated. Astonishingly, this figure does not include immigrant detention centers and other forms of encampment around the U.S. border with Mexico. The visibility of this state-sanctioned punishing apparatus and its similarity to a fascist history was on display recently with the caging of young immigrant children who were forcibly separated from their parents at the southern border for months at a time. Needless to say, such institutions and actions resonate with deeply disturbing events of a dark past for which the violent separation of families was a hallmark feature of fascist brutality.

Reports of widespread abuse of imprisoned unaccompanied migrant children separated from their parents are increasingly being reported in the press. Detained under inhumane and cruel conditions, many of these children in government detention centers are allegedly being drugged, sexually abused, and subject to a range of inhumane actions. In Texas, a federal judge ordered a detention center to stop forcing children to take psychotropic drugs such as Clonazepam, Divalproex, Benztropine and Duloxetine in order to control their behavior. Needless to say, such actions, policies, and institutions resonate with deeply disturbing events of a dark past in which the violent separation of families was a hallmark feature of fascist cruelty, barbarism and brutality.

It is against this background that I believe the current debates that dismiss whether the U.S. under Trump is a fascist society are unproductive. The argument against this recognition generally proceeds by claiming either fascism is a relic of the past, fixed in a certain historical period with no relevance to the present, or that the differences between Trump’s policies and those of Hitler and Mussolini are enough so as to make any comparison irrelevant. Many commentators denounce any references to Trump and Nazis in the past as exaggerated, extreme or inapplicable. In this view, fascism is always somewhere else, relegated to a time and a place that suggests an accommodating distance, one that runs the risk of disconnecting historical memory and the horrors of another age from the possibility of fascism resurrected in a different form, newly attuned to its moment. We live in an age in which there is a terror on the part of critics to imagine the plasticity of fascism.

The Mobilizing Passions of Fascism

Fascism is neither a static nor fixed moment in history, and the forms it takes do not have to imitate earlier historical models. It is an authoritarian ideology and a form of political behavior defined by what Paxton calls a series of “mobilizing passions.” These include an open assault on democracy, the call for a strongman, a contempt for human weakness, an obsession with hyper-masculinity, an aggressive militarism, an appeal to national greatness, a disdain for the feminine, an investment in the language of cultural decline, the disparaging of human rights, the suppression of dissent, a propensity for violence, disdain for intellectuals, a hatred of reason, and fantasies of racial superiority and eliminationist policies aimed at social cleansing.24

The ghost of fascism has to be retrieved from history and restored to a “proper place in the discussions of the moral and political limits of what is acceptable,”25 especially at a moment when the crisis of democracy cannot be separated from the crisis of neoliberalism. As a heuristic tool to compare forms of state power, the legacy of fascism offers an opportunity to recognize when authoritarian signposts are on the horizon.

For example, under Trump, the spectacle reigns supreme, harking back to an earlier time in history when bravado, armed ignorance and theatrical performances provided a model of community that squelched memory, domesticated thought and opened the door for a strongman’s followers to disavow their role as critical agents in favor of becoming blind, if not willful, spectators. With regards to the present, it is crucial to recognize the ascendancy of Trump politically within rather than against the flow of history.

Fascism in the United States has arrived slowly by subversion from within. Its roots have been on display for decades and emerged most visibly with President George W. Bush’s and then President Barack Obama’s war on terror. Bush, in particular, embraced unapologetically a raw display of power that sanctioned torture, domestic spying, secret prisons, kill lists, laws sanctioning indefinite detention, warrantless searches and war crimes. Obama did little to correct these legal illegalities and Trump has only breathed new life into them. Instead of the sudden appearance on American streets of thugs, brown shirts, purges and massive state violence --  the state violence waged against African Americans notwithstanding --  fascism has been resurrected through the enabling force of casino capitalism, which has unleashed and mobilized a range of economic, political, religious and educational fundamentalisms.

This is most obvious in the subversion of power by the financial and corporate robber barons, the taming of dissent, the cultivation of tribal identities, the celebration of orbits of self-interests and hyper-individualism over the common good, the privatization and deregulation of public life and institutions, the legitimation of bigotry and intolerance, the transformation of elections into a battle among billionaires, and the production of a culture of greed and cruelty. But, as political theorist Wendy Brown makes clear, it is also obvious in a populist revolt generated by neoliberalism’s decimation of “livelihoods and neighborhoods,” “evacuating and delegitimizing democracy,” “devaluing knowledge apart from job training,” and the “eroding of national sovereignty.”26

Orthodoxy, especially under Trump, has transformed education into a workstation for ignorance in which harsh discipline is metered out to poor students and youths of color. Politics has been utterly corrupted by big money and morally deficient bankers, hedge fund managers and corporate moguls. And many evangelicals and other religious groups support, or are complicit with, a president who sides with white supremacists and trades in the language of viciousness and brutality.27

The corporate state, fueled by a market fundamentalism and a long legacy of racial apartheid, has imposed almost incomprehensible cruelty on poor and vulnerable black populations. The merging of neoliberalism and fascist elements of white supremacy and systemic racism is particularly evident in the environmental racism, dilapidated schools and air pollution that have come to light recently.28 The short list includes going so far as to sacrifice poor black children in Flint, Mich., to the perils of lead poisoning to increase profits, subject the population of Puerto Rico to unnecessary despair by refusing to provide adequate government services after Hurricane Maria,29 and creating conditions in which “America’s youngest children, some 47 percent” under the age of 5, “live in low-income or poor households.”30 W.E.B. Du Bois’ notion of a “racial dictatorship” in his classic “Black Reconstruction in America” has been resurrected under Trump.

As U.N. Special Rapporteur Philip Alston reported, amid a massive concentration of wealth among the upper 1 percent in the United States, 40 million people live in poverty and 18.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty. According to Alston, such neoliberal policies are “aggressively regressive” in their promoting of harsh work requirements for welfare recipients, cutting back programs to feed poor children, and the willingness to both incarcerate young children and separate them from their parents.31 All the while, the Trump administration has shifted massive resources to the wealthy as a result of a tax policy that shreds $1.5 trillion from the federal budget.

Since the 1970s, wages have stagnated, banks have cheated millions out of their homes through rigged mortgage policies, and the political power brokers have imposed financial ruin on minorities of class and race.32 The war against poverty initiated by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration had been transformed into a war on poverty by President Ronald Reagan and has accelerated and achieved its apotheosis under the Trump regime. With a pathological enthusiasm, Trump’s morally bereft Republican Congress has cut crucial benefits for the poor, such as the food stamp program, while also imposing harsh work requirements on Medicare recipients. There is more at work here than the self-serving and vindictive neoliberal belief that government is bad when it gets in the way of markets and does not serve the interest of the rich. There is also willfully savage support for massive degrees of inequality, human wretchedness, the criminalization of social problems, and a burgeoning culture of punishment, misery and suffering.

One consequence is a beleaguered American landscape marked by the growing opioid crisis, the criminalization of peaceful protests, race-based environmental poisoning, shorter longevity rates for middle-aged Americans, and an incarceration rate that ranks as the highest in the world. The war on democracy has also morphed into a war on youth as more and more children are homeless, subjected to mass school shootings, inhabit schools modeled after prisons, and increasingly ushered into the school-to-prison pipeline and disciplinary apparatuses that treats them as criminals.33 Under the long history of neoliberalism in the United States, there has developed a perverse investment in the degradation and punishment of the most vulnerable individuals, those considered other, and an increasing register of those considered disposable.34

Rethinking the Politics of Inverted Totalitarianism

What is crucial to understand is that neoliberalism is not only a more extreme element of capitalism, it has also enabled the emergence of a radical restructuring of power, the state and politics, and in doing so converges with a style of fascism suited to the American context. Political theorist Sheldon Wolin, in his book “Democracy Incorporated,” was one of the first to analyze the transformation of a capitalist democracy into what he called an inverted form of totalitarianism. According to Wolin, the political state was replaced by a corporate state that exploits all but the ruling classes, empties politics of any substance through rigged elections, uses the power of capital to define citizens largely as consumers of products, and applies the power of the corporate state as a battering ram to push through policies that strengthen the power of capital.

For Wolin, neoliberalism was the endpoint of a long process “to transform everything --  every object, every living thing, every fact on the planet --  in its image.”35 He believed that this new political formation and form of sovereignty in which economics dominated politics was hostile to both social spending and the welfare state. Wolin rightly argued that under neoliberalism, political sovereignty is largely replaced by economic sovereignty as corporate power takes over the reins of governance.

The dire consequence, as David Harvey points out, is that “raw money power wielded by the few undermines all semblances of democratic governance.”36 Policy is now fashioned by lobbyists representing big businesses such as the pharmaceutical and health insurance companies, going so far in the case of the drug companies to drive the opioid crisis to increase their profits.37

Under neoliberalism, the welfare state has been largely dismantled, while the power of a punishing apparatus of an emerging police state has been expanded, buttressed by a pervasive culture of fear that exempts itself from the legalities and constitutional obligations of a democracy, however neutered. Wolin was keenly aware of the ruthlessness of corporate culture in its willingness to produce striking inequalities in an epical war on the promise and ideals of a substantive democracy.

Wolin’s great contribution to theories of totalitarianism lies in his ability to lay bare the authoritarian economic tendencies in neoliberalism and its threat to democracy. What he did not do is associate neoliberalism and its enervating effects closely enough with certain legacies of fascism. In this absence, he was unable to predict the resurgence of strongman politics in the United States and the ascendant fascist investments in white supremacy, racial sorting, ultra-nationalism, a war on youth, women’s reproductive rights and a race-inspired, eliminationist politics of disposability. What he underemphasized was that neoliberalism impoverished not only society economically while serving the interests of the rich, but it also created a powerful narrative that normalizes political inaction as it shifted the weight and responsibility of all social problems onto the individual rather than the society.38

In the age of neoliberal myth-making, systemic deficiencies such as poverty, homelessness and precarious employment are now relegated to individual failures, character deficits and moral turpitude. Correspondingly, notions of the social, systemic and public disappear, serving to expand the base of those who feel voiceless and powerless, opening them up to the crude and simplistic emotional appeals of authoritarian figures such as Trump. In truly demagogic fashion, Trump promises a new world order that will be fashioned out of the rhetorical bombast of dehumanization, bigotry and a weaponized appeal to fear and hate. As the poor and discarded vanish from the political discourse of democracy, they become susceptible to a “volatility and the fury that [mutilates] contemporary politics that thrives on an appetite for authoritarian and fascistic impulses.”39

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[Mar 28, 2020] Tulsi Biden's endorsement was a clear betrayl of her supporters, because Biden is a warhawk, Zionist, and a staunch neoliberal. Biden has a colorful history of being a key figure in the dismantlement of the middle class and the further impoverishment of the working poor.

Mar 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kristan hinton , Mar 27 2020 21:38 utc | 48

Recall that last election wherein Tulsi stepped down from a vaunted position within the D Party Establishment to, IIRC, support Bernie. Any case, whatever it was, it was a choice which indicated a different and principled politician - in the person of Tulsi - or at least she appeared to be an individual with a few principles.

Now this Biden endorsement is decidedly unprincipled, because Biden is, without question, a warhawk, a self-proclaimed proud Zionist, and a persistent enabler of the one percent - be it "accidental" or be it brazen with forethought and full intent. Biden has a colorful history of being a key figure in the dismantlement of the middle class and the further impoverishment of the working poor.

I am disappointed in Tulsi Gabbard.

Though she'd have been torn to bits with the exposure of her association with the unusual religious cult. Makes one curious as to how she has gotten as far as she has in mainstream politics.

[Mar 28, 2020] 2020 election do not make sense because the choice will be equally bad

Mar 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

Longfisher , says: Show Comment March 27, 2020 at 5:53 pm GMT

There are many previously existing problems with the Trump presidency and with Trump himself. As a bioscientist with an advanced degree I'm particularly troubled with his seeming purposeful deceit or perhaps even idiocy about how to address this pandemic. I have my doubts about his suitability for this monumental task.

That said, I'll certainly be voting for Trump in the upcoming election if Biden is his opponent. Biden's an obvious mental midget suffering from all those impairments that accompany old age.

And, I believe that, if he's elected, the Democrats are quite capable of conducting what may very well qualify as a coup in that they will allow him to decay to the point that he'll resign and they can bring in from the Vice Presidency the candidate they'd really have preferred, certainly to include HRC.

Again, that said, I'm wary of Trump's seemingly scientifically irrational approach to the public health issues that will be essential to defeat this pandemic. I think that at least hundreds of thousands and perhaps even millions of Americans will be at risk because of his risky behavior.

No scientist like myself would favor or even consider the plight of the markets compared to the plight of the people. I guess that's because I was trained to care for people, even those with meager means, more so than to cow-tow to the rich.

PAX , says: Show Comment March 27, 2020 at 6:26 pm GMT
@Longfisher Age is a factor in mental capacity for some, not all. Be careful generalizing. I just taught myself a new computer language at 85. It was harder than expected. Not impossible. We are not on rubbish tip of humanity yet.

[Mar 27, 2020] Unforgettable Joe Biden gaffes: Joe Rogan on Joe Biden's Speaking Problems

Currently Biden is holding the front position with 1,217 delegates, while Senator Sanders has 914 delegates
The comedian argued that Biden "can barely remember what he's talking about while he's talking".
"You have to be able call out shit that's wrong on your side. And this is one of the problems that the Democratic Party is having right now with this Joe Biden guy. You guys got to be able to call it out. You can't let this slide, because everybody else sees it and Trump is going to eat him alive. He's going to eat that guy alive".
Notable quotes:
"... "It's like they got the formaldehyde in him already" I literally laughed coffee out my nose ..."
Mar 26, 2020 | www.youtube.com

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8mPAKMCEsWo


ATB FIFA , 46 minutes ago

"poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids" - Joe Biden

demon__killer163 , 13 hours ago

"We cannot win this election, sorry we can only re elect Donald Trump- Joe Biden

Sir Richter , 6 hours ago

The democrats big wigs want Biden to be president so they can use him as a puppet

Drewnonymous , 6 hours ago

"I'm Message, and I forgot this Joe Biden" -Message

Vandyn Royer , 4 hours ago

"Poor kids are just as good and as talented as white kids."

megajanninatorable , 7 hours ago

"I'm a message and I forgot Joe Biden."

omz3694 , 13 hours ago

"I'm Joe Biden and I forgot this message."

SEAL CYCLE , 10 hours ago

"It's like they got the formaldehyde in him already" I literally laughed coffee out my nose

Abc Abc , 12 hours ago

"We gotta keep punching and punching at domestic violence!" -Joe Biden

[Mar 27, 2020] Trump's about as innocent in the coronavirus fiasco as jack the ripper

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Miss Lacy , Mar 26 2020 20:32 utc | 35

PS to vk # 1. Please think again. Trump has been in a trade war with China for what? a couple of years? AND, he specifically banned imports of medical supplies from China. Other posters wave supplied links for this idiocy.

Trump's about as innocent as jack the ripper. You may just be seeing things relatively, as ghouls like Elliot Abrahms and disgusting Pomposity make Trump seen like an amateur.

[Mar 26, 2020] An interesting hypothesis about why Biden won Super Thusday by John O'Kane

Highly recommended!
Will Sanders supporters vote for Biden? I think the answer is NO.
Notable quotes:
"... His campaign is awash in cash from the interests that Sanders is challenging as the very source of the blockage to progress. Are we going to get a re-treading of the policies that helped vault Trump to the White House in 2016? ..."
"... The Black vote saved his campaign in South Carolina and strengthened his Super Tuesday and subsequent performances. ..."
"... The new Democratic party that has over the past forty years or so become more like the Republican party has done little for Blacks. So how do we explain the apparent love affair they have for the Democratic party establishment? They went for Hilary at this same juncture in 2016, neutralizing Sanders' momentum and effectively ending his run. ..."
"... It's the power of the Black leaders to represent their constituents in ways that counter their core concerns ..."
"... Clyburn, who endorsed Biden in the recent primary, made his denouncement of Medicare for All and especially the Sanders progressive agenda quite clear in this support. This is no great surprise since between 2008 and 2018 he took more than $1 million from the pharmaceutical industry ("Mystique of the 'Black Vote'," Common Dreams ..."
"... Of course, the culture of these Southern states, mostly Republican, has been dominated by the Wall Street neoliberal consensus ever since the Democrats lost their hold on the region. ..."
"... Sanders' progressive restructuring has been rejected for policies that mesh with the neoliberal consensus, like the racial programs for the educated and upwardly mobile that stress entrepreneurship and business development. ..."
"... These brokers' support of the neoliberal consensus has been secured through framing the larger issue as the preservation of rights. Mara Gay explains James Clyburn's strong support of Biden as someone he knows personally who will fight for the basic rights that are eroding under a Trump administration that has brought back the "same hostility and zeal for authoritarianism that marked life under Jim Crow." ..."
"... For Chris Hedges the power elite is always eager to keep discussions within the confines of special discourses like race, gender, religion, immigration, gun control, freedom, etc., because these issues are "used to divide the public, to turn neighbor against neighbor, to fuel virulent hatreds and antagonisms," and they divert attention from class, the concept they fear the most ("Class: The Little Word the Elites Want You to Forget," Truthdig ..."
"... The opinion-shaping machine is strong enough to encourage Blacks to overwhelmingly support Biden who pushes virtually nothing related to class or structural change. ..."
"... It's about strategy and pragmatism. He believes Biden can win, and Sanders can't, and this is all important given the dire situation in the Black community. ..."
"... The rift would seem too wide to bridge. Trusting elites to change the system from the top down, persuading members of their power bloc to do the right thing, is a gamble given all the betrayals from the Democratic party over the past few generations. ..."
Mar 25, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

Originally from: Joe Biden's Opinion-Shaping Machine And Race

Wall Street broke out its checkbooks for Joe Biden in the wake of Super Tuesday, no surprise since his campaign is already its major recipient. Plus, he was the VP for an administration greatly indebted to it. Transparency. His campaign is awash in cash from the interests that Sanders is challenging as the very source of the blockage to progress. Are we going to get a re-treading of the policies that helped vault Trump to the White House in 2016?

Biden is the last moderate standing, having positioned himself clearly against the Sanders "revolution" in the debates, though it's difficult to conjure a theme or concept that shapes his campaign besides beating Trump, the perception he can giving him an edge. We can thank the Democratic party establishment for pressuring the other moderates out of the race to prop Biden up (Matthew Stevenson, "The Super Tuesday Sting," 3/6/20, CounterPunch ).

But race played a curious role. The Black vote saved his campaign in South Carolina and strengthened his Super Tuesday and subsequent performances. He trumpeted his record on race in the debates which Kamala Harris -- who has now endorsed him -- exposed as checkered at best. Though avoiding any direct discussion of Obama's policies, he has at least been mentioning him more often. This surely gave him a bump as well since the former president is still popular among Blacks. Though selective amnesia likely rules here since the Congressional Black Caucus separated itself from him early in his administration. The new Democratic party that has over the past forty years or so become more like the Republican party has done little for Blacks. So how do we explain the apparent love affair they have for the Democratic party establishment? They went for Hilary at this same juncture in 2016, neutralizing Sanders' momentum and effectively ending his run.

Black voters make up 56% of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina and Biden got an estimated 61-64% of it. Sanders received 17%. These proportions generally hold nationally through the latest series of primaries. But Blacks have the largest support of any group for the signature progressive issue endorsed by Sanders, single payer health insurance. The national percentage is 74%. Since it's hard to believe such deep-seeded beliefs could be countered, what intervened? The all-out media assault from sundry front groups doing the bidding of the private insurance industry to dissuade voters from choosing any candidate spouting Medicare For All was surely influential but hardly determining.

It's the power of the Black leaders to represent their constituents in ways that counter their core concerns , like their decreasing standard of living and their increasing economic insecurity, according to Adolph Reed Jr. and Willie Legette. In the run-up to the 2016 South Carolina primary, for example, Congressmen James Clyburn (D-SC), John Lewis (D-GA), and Cedric Richmond (D-LA) denounced calls for free public higher education as "irresponsible" because "there are no free lunches." Clyburn, who endorsed Biden in the recent primary, made his denouncement of Medicare for All and especially the Sanders progressive agenda quite clear in this support. This is no great surprise since between 2008 and 2018 he took more than $1 million from the pharmaceutical industry ("Mystique of the 'Black Vote'," Common Dreams , 3/7/20).

Of course, the culture of these Southern states, mostly Republican, has been dominated by the Wall Street neoliberal consensus ever since the Democrats lost their hold on the region. The expectation has been that the post-Civil Rights semblance of movements would coalesce around a resistance to this bloc, but the Black brokers and opinion shapers have mostly relished their roles in the dominant power structure. Since 2016, according to Reed and Legette, it has converged around a narrative that Sanders has difficulty appealing to Black voters, even as polls have shown repeatedly that his program is more popular among Black Americans than any other group. It has graded Sanders down for his critique of Obama and especially for mounting a primary challenge against him. Sanders' progressive restructuring has been rejected for policies that mesh with the neoliberal consensus, like the racial programs for the educated and upwardly mobile that stress entrepreneurship and business development. Its main objective is to "undermine Black Americans' participation in a broad movement for social transformation along economically egalitarian lines. "

These brokers' support of the neoliberal consensus has been secured through framing the larger issue as the preservation of rights. Mara Gay explains James Clyburn's strong support of Biden as someone he knows personally who will fight for the basic rights that are eroding under a Trump administration that has brought back the "same hostility and zeal for authoritarianism that marked life under Jim Crow." She finds that voters concur, believing that Biden will fight for those rights since, as one representative interviewee claims, he was "with Obama all those years." The clincher is that he is also the best bet to beat Trump. They're "deeply skeptical that a democratic socialist like Mr. Sanders could unseat Mr. Trump" ("Why Southern Democrats Saved Biden," New York Times , 3/6/20).

Is this an elite-fed discourse that stuck, or possibly some toxic populism like what circulates among Trump supporters? An investment in the good ole days when the Civil Rights Movement was ascendant is a worthy sentiment for sure. Where would racial relations be without the historic transformation that produced the pivotal "rights" legislation in the 1960s? And many who passed through those moments might have a romantic attraction to Biden's image even though his support of Blacks before Obama hitched him was feeble.

But consider what's happened since. The turn to the right in the 1970s brought on a mild "Reconstruction"-era backlash whose signal legal event was the Bakke case in 1977 which weakened Affirmative Action and banned quotas that were now deemed proof of "reverse discrimination." The down-turning economy during this decade was the start of a structural change that revealed the widening wealth and income gap between the lower and upper classes, and Blacks were hit disproportionately hard. The rights legislation that helped to narrow the gap in the prior decade offered less protection.

The Reagan administration attempted to turn the clock back to the pre-Civil Rights era and partially succeeded in wiping away the gains Blacks had made. Toward the end of the decade protections, especially Affirmative Action, were further weakened legally, and culturally as "reverse discrimination" claims from intellectuals like Charles Murray and others compounded, supporting the rollback of social policy initiatives. These sympathies were also evident in Black communities where leaders pondered how to do the right thing and reverse the loss of ground. Many began to view Affirmative Action, for example, as a fetter, a burden that tainted performance by suggesting it was undeserved. The 1990s went far in dismantling all regulatory regimes, discrediting social policy initiatives, heeding the suggestions of Murray and passing the burden of improvement onto responsible individuals. The 1996 welfare "reform" law crystalized these changes, reversing AFDC and its underlying concept, no-fault entitlement, and the impact on Blacks was devastating. The Clintons were staunch advocates but somehow this association didn't erode Hilary's huge support in the Black community in 2016. Any gains for those who got the point and took personal responsibility after this change and tried to work the market to their advantage were wiped out by the effects of the 2008 Great Recession. As recent studies show, this event severely impacted Blacks, deflating their capital assets -- mainly property values through the housing market crash -- to a level not seen for many since the pre-Movement years, widening the wealth gap with whites.

Mara Gay claims that "despite enormous progress," referring to South Carolina, "poverty in this still largely rural region, for Southerners of every race, remains crushing." Enormous progress for what strata of society? Is every race being crushed equally? Progress and regress exist here in a kind of murky relationship. Who are the winners? If there is only a generalized, abstract poverty, then perhaps Blacks just see themselves as part of one big unfortunate swatch of misery and there's no need for a special candidate to articulate their issues. Biden will do just fine!

Do the Blacks who voted for Biden really believe that rights, and possibly a stronger Affirmative Action, will get them better jobs and health care and education and housing, what polls say they want? The Supreme Court certainly weakened provisions of the rights legislation, ironically during the Obama years, and that needs to be redressed. But rights for individuals or a group need to be expressed with the potential of producing results. They could be in the 1960s when the kind of liberal Democrats Sanders espouses controlled Congress and our society was an ascendant, center-left one, mostly sympathetic with improving the plight of the underprivileged. Now structural change needs to accompany the expression of rights and compensate for this loss of sympathy in a society that is much more unequal generally, and especially within racial and ethnic groups.

A romantic attachment to the legacy and concept of civil rights in a vacuum allows the discourse of identity politics to capture the critical energy of race. The times demand the opposite, the link between rights and social justice; the gathering of all identities, affiliations, and dispositions together to discuss the common structure that can overcome division and artificial barriers. Class is such a structure. The delink of rights and social justice converts to the denial of the realities of class.

For Chris Hedges the power elite is always eager to keep discussions within the confines of special discourses like race, gender, religion, immigration, gun control, freedom, etc., because these issues are "used to divide the public, to turn neighbor against neighbor, to fuel virulent hatreds and antagonisms," and they divert attention from class, the concept they fear the most ("Class: The Little Word the Elites Want You to Forget," Truthdig , 3/3/20).

There's a striking inequality gap within the Black community that's been widening for some time, as William Julius Wilson's research has amply documented for nearly half a century. The failure of rights activism has left many in the lower and working classes behind as the educated professional class has separated itself from them and achieved significant success. It's interesting that nearly 9% of Blacks voted for Trump in 2016. Why have so few of the Black masses been absorbed a half century after Martin Luther King's death? The inclusion of more from the lower strata will need to break down the not-very-visible structural barriers to mobility that divide and exclude. Something like the pro-active re-structuring pushed by the Rainbow Coalition, Jesse Jackson's multi-racial, structural response to the widening of the inequality gap in his 1980s run for the presidency, which was clearly the revival of MLK's late expression of the link between race and class. The distance between King's social justice vision and activism and the rights-rhetoric infused activity of today is remarkable. It's interesting that Jackson recently endorsed Sanders.

The opinion-shaping machine is strong enough to encourage Blacks to overwhelmingly support Biden who pushes virtually nothing related to class or structural change. Further evidence of this strength came recently in an interchange between Michael Eric Dyson, a persistent critic of the Obama legacy, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, a staunch Sanders supporter (DemocracyNow. 3/16/20). Dyson has endorsed Biden, a surprise to many progressives given his critical history of mainstream liberalism. His reasoning is curious.

It's not that he feels Biden is or has become a progressive. It's about strategy and pragmatism. He believes Biden can win, and Sanders can't, and this is all important given the dire situation in the Black community. There's a hint it seems that Biden could be in the early stages of conversion to progressive ideas, or at least perhaps is a latently aggressive liberal and spirited supporter of the Black cause who can make change if elected because he -- and the Democratic Party? -- have been pushed to the left by the Sanders "revolution" begun in 2016. Biden has the best "methodology" and will be able to "deploy" it.

A staunch advocate of structural change, Dyson now seems to be saying that it can be accomplished through Biden who will have the authority and desire to marshal the necessary forces and interests together to build alliances, forge a consensus. It's true that Biden's public relations gestures -- considered separate from his debate focus -- have passed the desire test. He's come out liberal and even progressive-sounding on most issues, pushed there perhaps by Sanders' momentum as Dyson suggests ("Joe Biden's Positions on the Issues," Politico , 3/5/20).

But what will he forge a consensus about? In the process of marshaling forces together will he become a converted progressive, pumped up by his successes as an alliance builder? Will he support Medicare for All from having witnessed the effects of our health care system straining under pressure from the coronavirus? Will he be able to convince Sanders' supporters to come along and bide their time as this -- utopian -- process evolves?

The rift would seem too wide to bridge. Trusting elites to change the system from the top down, persuading members of their power bloc to do the right thing, is a gamble given all the betrayals from the Democratic party over the past few generations.

... ... ...

John O'Kane teaches writing at Chapman University. His next book, From Hyperion to Erebus, is due out this year from Wapshott Press.

[Mar 26, 2020] Pompeo is on record having said that our government "lies, cheats, and steals" in order to accomplish its anti-Christian objectives.

Mar 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Sokrates , says: Show Comment March 25, 2020 at 11:54 am GMT

@37 Yesterday I went to Home Depot to buy some water tubing for my ice-maker.

I noticed all doors were blocked with a tape, except one with at least 25 people waiting to get in and a female employee holding a sign "the line starts here".

I ask the lady what was all about and she said because of the virus etc.

I said to her "You must be kidding" and I start going back to my car.

Some old lady from the line waiting to get in she scream to me something about "we protect ourselves" and similar nonsense.

I turn around and I said to her: Quit watching TV you idiot. They rob your money on broad daylight and send your kids to die fighting israels enemies.

RichardTaylor , says: Show Comment March 25, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
The overreaction to the virus makes no sense. Is something being hidden from us? The freak out over this virus – to the tune of $trillions – is all out of proportion.

2.8 million Americans die every year. Why the obsession with this one virus which may kill in the thousands?

Something is off. But Trump should have known early if there was some other hidden danger. If there is some hidden suspicion by the people obsessing over this, please share it!

[Mar 26, 2020] The face of Trump in foreign policy is Pompeo and it is wicked, ungly face of a gangster

Yet another Gofgather
Notable quotes:
"... The more I watch these moves by Pompeo the more sympathetic I become to the most sinister theories about COVID-19, its origins and its launch around the world. Read Pepe Escobar's latest to get an idea of how dark and twisted this tale could be . ..."
March 24, 2020 < Older
No Respite for the Wicked, Pompeo Unleashed Written by Tom Luongo Tuesday

There are few things in this life that make me more sick to my stomach than watching Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talking. He truly is one of the evilest men I've ever had the displeasure of covering.

Into the insanity of the over-reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak, Pompeo wasted no time ramping up sanctions on firms doing any business with Iran, one of the countries worse-hit by this virus to date.

It's a seemingly endless refrain, everyday, more sanctions on Chinese, Swiss and South African firms for having the temerity in these deflating times to buy oil from someone Pompeo and his gang of heartless psychopaths disapprove of.

This goes far beyond just the oil industry. Even though I'm well aware that Russia's crashing the price of oil was itself a hybrid war attack on US capital markets. One that has had, to date, devastating effect.

While Pompeo mouths the words publicly that humanitarian aid is exempted from sanctions on Iran, the US is pursuing immense pressure on companies to not do so anyway while the State Dept. bureaucracy takes its sweet time processing waiver applications.

Pompeo and his ilk only think in terms of civilizational warfare. They have become so subsumed by their big war for the moral high ground to prove American exceptionalism that they have lost any shred of humanity they may have ever had.

Because for Pompeo in times like these to stick to his talking points and for his office to continue excising Iran from the global economy when we're supposed to be coming together to fight a global pandemic is the height of soullessness.

And it speaks to the much bigger problem that infects all of our political thinking. There comes a moment when politics and gaining political advantage have to take a back seat to doing the right thing.

I've actually seen moments of that impulse from the Democratic leadership in the US Will wonders never cease?!

Thinking only in Manichean terms of good vs. evil and dehumanizing your opponents is actually costlier than reversing course right now. Because honey is always better at attracting flies than vinegar.

But, unfortunately, that is not the character of the Trump administration.

It can only think in terms of direct leverage and opportunity to hold onto what they think they've achieved. So, until President Trump is no longer consumed with coordinating efforts to control COVID-19 Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper are in charge of foreign policy. They will continue the playbook that has been well established.

Maximum pressure on Iran, hurt China any way they can, hold onto what they have in Syria, stay in Iraq.

To that end Iraqi President Barham Salei nominated Pompeo's best choice to replace Prime Minister Adil Abdel Mahdi to throw Iraq's future into complete turmoil. According to Elijah Magnier, Adnan al-Zarfi is a US asset through and through .

And this looks like Pompeo's Hail Mary to retain US legal presence in Iraq after the Iraqi parliament adopted a measure to demand withdrawal of US troops from the country. Airstrikes against US bases in Iraq continue on a near daily basis and there have been reports of US base closures and redeployments at the same time.

This move looks like desperation by Pompeo et.al. to finally separate the Hashd al-Shaabi from Iraq's official military. So that airstrikes against them can be carried out under the definition of 'fighting Iranian terrorism.'

As Magnier points out in the article above if al-Zarfi puts a government together the war in Iraq will expand just as the US is losing further control in Syria after Turkish President Erdogan's disastrous attempt to remake the front in Idlib. That ended with his effective surrender to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The more I watch these moves by Pompeo the more sympathetic I become to the most sinister theories about COVID-19, its origins and its launch around the world. Read Pepe Escobar's latest to get an idea of how dark and twisted this tale could be .

It is sad that, to me, I see no reason to doubt Pompeo and his ilk in the US government wouldn't do something like that to spark political and social upheaval in those places most targeted by US hybrid war tactics.

But, at the same time, I can see the other side of it, a vicious strike back by China against its tormentors. And China's government does itself, in my mind, no favors threatening to withhold drug precursors and having officials run their mouths giving Americans the excuse they need to validate Trump and Pompeo's divisive rhetoric.

Remaining on the fence about this issue isn't my normal style. But everyone is dirty here and the reality may well be this is a natural event terrible people on both sides are exploiting.

And I can only go by what people do rather than what they say to assess the situation. Trump tries to buy exclusive right to a potential COVID-19 vaccine from a German firm and his administration slow-walks aid to Iran.

China sends aid to Iran and Italy by the container full. Is that to salve their conscience over its initial suppression of information about the virus? Good question. But no one covers themselves in glory by using the confusion and distraction to attempt further regime change and step up war-footing during a public health crisis, manufactured or otherwise.

While Pompeo unctuously talks the talk of compassion and charity, he cannot bring himself to actually walk the walk. Because he is a despicable, bile-filled man of uncommon depravity. His prosecuting a hybrid war during a public health crisis speaks to no other conclusion about him.

It's clear to me that nothing has changed at the top of Trump's administration. I expect COVID-19 will not be a disaster for Trump and the US. It can handle this. But the lack of humanity shown by its diplomatic corps ensures that in the long run the US will be left to fend for itself when the next crisis hits.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .


Related

[Mar 25, 2020] A Brand New Military What an ass!

Mar 25, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Just heard the orange god deliver this line at the daily CODIV-19 task force briefing. For this fool, the military is a pile of new "stuff," He bought it, he paid for the "stuff" so, he has created a "brand new military." What about the people who served throughout the miserably stupid war in Iraq and the equally stupid post 2009 attempt to pacify Afghanistan, a country that never was and never will be. Think of the money and blood that we pissed away there. Even the Pompous one sees the necessity to withdraw our support from the wretches who run the government there or pretend to do that. Or perhaps Trump told him to stick it to them, at long last. Trump's experience of "military service" was his corrective enrollment at a private military high school, but he has stated that he knows "all about it.

Someone remarked to me once that it had been a miracle that the US could create an army for WW2. I asked him in response what sort of occupation Marshall, Eisenhower, MacArthur and Patton had been involved with before the war. Shoe sales? Gas station ownership" Insurance sales? What?

It would be tempting to think that one might vote for the Democrat. Biden the demented? Sanders the Marxist dreamer? Cuomo the massive NY City creep egotist?

No, we Deplorables are stuck with El Trumpo. pl

Fred , 25 March 2020 at 07:13 PM

Col.,

"we Deplorables are stuck with El Trumpo."

On a bright note today is another day where Hilary is not President.

Deap , 25 March 2020 at 07:37 PM
If MSM were in the business of posting facts instead of partisan hyperbole, you would think the Dems would have run something far better than a Sanders or a Biden at this particular juncture of history.

So did we get are handed a choice among "deplorables"; or an echo of equal deplorables. Right now, I will continue to dance with the gal who brung me. Trump is seasoning well and growing into the job. I would like to see what his next four years will bring. He knows the inside game now.

Who was it who said ask a government insider to do something and you get a string of excuses why it can't be done. Demurr to a business person who asks to get something done, and he/she will say fine, now go find me someone who can get it done. KAG 2020.

[Mar 24, 2020] Trump owns hotels and casinos which will be devastated. that might explain his position on the virus and initial downplaying of the danger

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Tor597 , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 3:30 pm GMT

Actually, Trump was downplaying Corona Virus as late as March 9th.

https://mobile.twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1237027356314869761

One thing I think played a role that is not mentioned is Trumps business that he owns. He owns hotels and casinos which will be devastated. Trump wont rule out government assistance for himself.

For Trump to shut down the economy and produce an effective containment, he would have had to do this knowing that his own business would be devastated.

https://mol.im/a/8138335

[Mar 22, 2020] What Tulsi Gabbard Did For Us by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

Tulsi betrayed her supporters by endorsing Biden. She essentially unconditionally capitulated tot he neocon wing of the Dems. In this sense she proved to a be a turncoat. To me, she's a sell-out. her campaign filled with military-based patriotism, flag-waving, and pledge-of-allegiance rah rah USA cheerleading. It gave me the creeps, quite frankly.
Is happening during a time when Trump has the bullhorn everyday during a financial crisis and a terrifying pandemic while Joe has abdicated his role as the presumptive Democratic nominee to counter the Presidents narrative and reassure the American people . The optics are bizarre and politically unsustainable. Into to this growing narrative, the principled Tulsi ends her campaign and endorses who? The missing Joe. The timing of her endorsement is peculiar indeed.
Blackagendareport.com suggested that she was a sheepdog all along. She endorsed neoliberal warmonger responsible for a couple of imperial war because Biden has a good heart!
Also was she threatened or coerced in any way? Because earlier in the vid she certainly implies there was no way she could fight the DNC's version of City Hall.
Mar 22, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The first time I saw Tulsi Gabbard in action was during a 2018 House Veteran' Affairs Health subcommitee hearing on Capitol Hill. She she was going up one side of a bland-faced Veterans Affairs (VA) representative and down the other for stalling on burn pits help for sick veterans. My head jerked up as I was banging out notes on my laptop. Up until then it had been the usual staid affair -- VA bureaucrats mewling the same old pablum about tasks forces and blue ribbon studies -- meanwhile an untold number of vets had been exposed to toxins from the burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, and had been warning of irrevocable health effects, even dying, since 2007. Then the air in the packed hearing room started to crackle. We don't want to hear about your studies, the Democratic Congresswoman from Hawaii said, her voice piercing the room. We want action.

I scrambled to Google her. This young, capable congresswoman cutting straight through the bullshit was an Iraq War veteran! No wonder. As a journalist covering the swamp since 1999 it was easy to fall into jaded complacency about partisan politicians grandstanding on their hobby horses with no longterm interest in fixing anything. But recent veterans who had become members of Congress seemed to address their new roles like they would a tactical mission. In her case, it was veterans' health, and there was nothing inauthentic in how she was approaching the witnesses in front of her, or the issue at hand.

In the intervening years she became known as a non-interventionist and independent thinker who was skeptical of her own party's embrace of the national security status quo and the military industrial complex. By the time she launched her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination and started talking about ending endless "regime change wars" on the debate stage, the Washington skeptics and non-interventionists on the Right, particularly at this magazine, had already taken notice. TAC writers like Scott Ritter and Daniel Larison became a vanguard here against the establishment's spiteful and petty fusillade over her diplomatic visit to Bashar Assad, her deviation from the party's talking points on Russia, and even Trump.

Yet when she delivered the K.O. against Kamala Harris in the second Democratic debate, cooly pointing out the California Senator's hypocrisy on criminal justice, it was the most satisfying moment up until then or since. If forced to watch every single moment of every single debate this season it would be worth every second just to see Gabbard make Harris twist in the wind and eventually deflate her candidacy with that one brilliant stroke. Ditto for her later take-down of Pete Buttigieg, a candidate using his veteran status in a completely different way, as TAC's Gil Barndollar (also a recent vet) points out . This was the steely focus and yes, righteousness, that I saw in that House hearing room in 2018, and served her well on the stage among her political adversaries, who didn't care that she checked all the boxes (a woman of color, the first Samoan-American and Hindu to run for president). She was "not of the body" when it came to the party line. She would never belong.

It served her well when she called out Madame Hillary, though that likely brought the death knell to her hopes for the Democratic nod. If she hadn't drawn the full force of the bee hive before, attacking the Queen Bee proved fatal. She left the race officially today having performed well off-the-radar in the early and recent primaries. But unlike many of the puppets who called themselves candidates in this dreary Democratic display, Gabbard leaves with her pride, her integrity, and her independence intact. Some may balk at her endorsement of Biden, a man who voted for the war that she despises, who serves as a symbol of the partisan corruption she had pledged to overcome. She has her reasons. We just hope she won't fade away, as she won't be running for re-election in the fall.

What has she left us? Proof that there are politicians who make "transpartisan" seem real and worthy, and not just another faddish concept to be abused for political gain. She leaves us with the sense that not all pols are in it for the power, but for weightier goals, like veterans' health, and bringing an end to an entrenched, hubristic foreign policy that sends young men and women like Gabbard into wars we cannot win. She was the only one to bring a personal and unyielding take on that to the debate stage and into our living rooms, and for that, we should be grateful.

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, executive editor, has been writing for TAC for the last decade, focusing on national security, foreign policy, civil liberties and domestic politics. She served for 15 years as a Washington bureau reporter for FoxNews.com, and at WTOP News in Washington from 2013-2017 as a writer, digital editor and social media strategist. She has also worked as a beat reporter at Bridge News financial wire (now part of Reuters) and Homeland Security Today, and as a regular contributor at Antiwar.com. A native Nutmegger, she got her start in Connecticut newspapers, but now resides with her family in Arlington, Va.


ParkerPolhill 3 days ago

Her statement endorsing Biden proves all this about propaganda about her being "trans partisan" whatever that means, and not out for personal power are false. Gabbard clearly still wants a future career connected to the Democratic establishment.
Null ParkerPolhill 3 days ago • edited
I hate to discount ambition as a motive for any politician, but an old-fashioned antiwar Dem could still prefer Biden to Trump for economic reasons.
dragnet20 3 days ago
Tulsi destroyed Kamala Harris' campaign and gave the antiwar movement a voice in the Democratic primary. She never had a chance in hell of being the nominee, but she played a weak hand with wits, courage and a strong heart. In a better party--country--she'd be one of the top tier candidates.

Instead she'll have to settle for being a hero to folks like me.

cka2nd Collin Reid 3 days ago
The Daily Kos crowd hated her guts ("Fake social liberal! Dictator lover! Trump appeaser!") and aggressively raised funds for her primary opponent, so I'm not sure her House seat was all that safe for her anymore.

Reagan's criticism of Carter's Panama Canal Treaty got him a rebuke from the Duke himself. John Wayne wrote a letter to Reagan calling him a liar over his criticism of the treaty. Not sure how the spat became public, but that was one of the first things that started warming my heart towards Wayne.

She probably should have dropped out after New Hampshire and endorsed Sanders. Frankly, Sanders should have been working behind the scenes to get a joint Yang/Gabbard endorsement before or after Nevada. Not that she is well known outside of academic or feminist circles, but rolling up their endorsement with that of black feminist Barbara Smith before South Carolina might have blunted the Pete/Amy/Beto bit of political theater for Biden a little bit, if not the Clyburn endorsement.

Collin Reid cka2nd 2 days ago
1) Tulsi started going off the rails halfway through primary and her position on gay rights was going to be a problem for liberal attacks along with her continued defending Assad in general. (We should stay out of Syria years ago but Assad is terrible.)

2) I suspect it helped Reagan in 1980 with criticism of Carter's Panama Canal Treaty with most voters. Yea he took some flack for it but it helped Reagan criticizing Carter's foreign policy weakness.

3) I see Sanders problem closer to Matt Yglesias view that Sanders had 30 - 35% of the Party voters and needed to do more to win the other 65%. He was over estimated his WWC support from 2016 (as opposed to anti-HRC vote when Primary was practically over) and Sanders was going to have problems with candidate winnowing.

And Sanders really failed to gain support from Southern African-American voters who led Biden's comeback.

ZizaNiam Collin Reid 2 days ago • edited
Assad MAY be terrible to ISIS sympathizers, but he also doesn't support the genocide of Syria's Christian,Shia,Ismaili,Druze and Alawite minorities. The genocidal al-Qaeda/ISIS affiliates have ravaged Syria's minority populations while getting support from Israel. Whenever AQ/ISIS are getting overrun by the Christian-led Syrian Arab Army, Israel is always there to provide air support to Al Qaeda and ISIS. Tulsi, of course is a big supporter of Israel and does not address Israel's role in the war against Syria's minority populations. She is comfortable with her hypocritical stance.
cka2nd Collin Reid 2 days ago
I don't remember Gabbard ever "defending" Assad politically or personally. At most, I thought she expressed support for his government in its military conflict with ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front.

Don't disagree with you about Sanders. I do believe he was the strongest general election candidate, but the majority of the Democratic electorate has clearly moved back to the center and a desire for continuity with the Clinton/Obama/Biden past, which is utter foolishness and stupidity on their part.

Fran Macadam 3 days ago
I don't need to know anything more than she endorsed establishment Joe over the Hill Biden, the warmonger's warmonger. None of their professional pols are ever going to do anything but cave to the swamp of the status quo. Oligarchy Uber Alles. She just nailed the lid shut on her supposed integrity. Hey, Bernie's next.

And coronavirus is of no matter, except to use as an excuse to get Donald Trump, who really did call out and try to stop some wars, to no avail. History is full of lying politicians who got elected by promising to keep us out of wars, then started them as soon as the votes were counted.

ChiefBloviator 2 days ago
Gabbard is the most exciting politician in a generation imo. She is consistently highly strategic in her moves, and kept her antiwar platform in the public eye on a tiny budget as far as was feasible while the caucus season still had life and attention. It is clear the corporate Dems are firmly in control and have cleverly manouvered Biden to be the face of the DNC. With that scenario and likely no convention or media for the next few months it was smart, as the only life long Democrat in the field, to 'support' Biden (confounding the brainwashed Russia/Syria/India conspiracy theorists) as the candidate, just as she vowed to do at the start of her campaign.
The battle is over. the corporate Dems won, but will likely lose the war to Trump in November. It's possible the entire aged field of political operatives that control the 'beehive' will be history by this time next year, and as the DNC begins to reform, root out venal corruption and reconstitute Gabbard's star may well rise again.
The other distinct possibility is that the oligarch Bloomberg will replace Mrs Clinton as the majordomo of the DNC and with his Hawkfish Cambridge Analytica style machine will steamroller some sort of quasi fascist party into power post Covid19 low key (I hope) martial law. Bloomberg was clever to inject 44 million - pocket lint in his 55 billion - just before super Tuesday to destroy Sanders the strawman social democrat while standing down other corporate puppet candidates.
I hope Gabbard doesn't become a TV bobblehead like Yang. That would be dispiriting.
Peace.
Sky Rudd 2 days ago
nice article but the title is misleading. What she actually did was give a voice to the voiceless, and changed the dialogue in America regarding foreign policy and interventionalist wars. The way our leaders think about "regime change" wars has shifted greatly in part because of the efforts of Tulsi Gabbard. Her continuing to highlight the extremely crucial areas of corruption and misgovernance that are ruining our country is what she has, is, and will continue to do for us.
esquimaux a day ago
This puff piece won't do. Tulsi has chosen to stay with a gang that has no use for her. "She has her reasons" for endorsing Biden. Folks have their reasons for doing a lot of things. Tulsi could have dispensed with this nonsense of a Presidential run and been the leader of a movement that would have posed a challenge to these failing and merging political parties. She may be inspiring on a personal level but, in the immortal words of The Four Tops, "It's the same old song, just a different feeling since you been gone."
Peter a day ago • edited
I was sad to see so many hit pieces this past year portraying Tulsi as some sort of Trump appeaser or traitor who would meet with Assad etc. As a peacemaker, she stood very little chance in the 2020 race. As a female Hindu surfer war veteran peacenik who could sing John Lennon songs with her partner, she was so strikingly unique that people didn't have a box to put her in. With veteran health being one of her primary concerns, she would have been ideal for the age of Corona virus. I can't imagine her disbanding the pandemic response team two years before the worst pandemic in 500 years! Thank you Kelly Vlahos for paying tribute to this remarkable leader. Let's hope Tulsi is far from finished. 2020 is going to be a year when America is taken out to the woodshed and taught a humbling lesson about mortality, the frailty of life and the need to respect the whole planet. Tulsi might be just the person to lead the country as it rises up from the ashes.
Rhs Per Peter 11 hours ago • edited
As a female Hindu surfer war veteran peacenik


Sounds quite innocuous, even virtuous, right? Except, you do not mention she is also a supporter of Hindoo Fascism/Nationalism, as a supporter of the fascist Indian organisation called RSS. Just recently she tried to whitewash the muslim genocide (even if small level this time) in New Delhi, with her dissembling about some self-perceived "Hinduphobia."

I suppose, as long as it does not affect whites and christians and westerners, her hindoo fascism is of little consequence to you? Let them "moozlims" worry about such things, yeah?

[Mar 22, 2020] Those disbursements to wage earners are vital for the social cohesion to remain in place. I thought Tulsi Gabbard championing that minimum basic income strategy was essential as well.

Notable quotes:
"... I empathies totally with USians that are trapped in the vulgar exploitative nightmare of the usury in that country ..."
Mar 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Mar 22 2020 10:02 utc | 126

chu teh #103

Those disbursements to wage earners are vital for the social cohesion to remain in place. I thought Tulsi Gabbard championing that minimum basic income strategy was essential as well.

I empathies totally with USians that are trapped in the vulgar exploitative nightmare of the usury in that country . Debt Jubilee for all under $100,000 income would be a start. But that might create a vulgar backlash as well.

The naked ferocity of capitalism in the USA is truly a fearsome thing.

[Mar 22, 2020] Best Coronavirus Trump Statements Timeline Synopsis Ever Put Together

1 minute 22 second video with Trump statements in chonological order @ https://twitter.com/i/videos/tweet/1240985096838053889
There is a saying the you fight the war with the army you have, not with the army you want.
Notable quotes:
"... Ok. Let me start by stating that I am not a "staunch" Trump supporter. However, I just really despise the constant visceral negative, hatred towards our Country's President. ..."
"... As I am sure you are aware, it is a tremendously difficult job, especially in today's crisis. I would think it would be better serve of your time and efforts to be constructive and optimistic, and hopeful. Rather than pinpointed every single steps and missteps he makes. He is certainly no perfect - but his goal is the same as all of ours: to defeat this virus in the best manner possible with the resources available. ..."
"... For the entire Trump Presidency it was all about the stock market. So, here we are. ..."
Mar 22, 2020 | moneymaven.io

Please play this.

Anthony Scaramucci @Scaramucci

I hope this is played everyday everywhere until Nov 8. Unless ⁦ @ realDonaldTrump ⁩ resigns as he should immediately.

https://twitter.com/i/videos/tweet/1240985096838053889

35.6K 8:54 AM - Mar 20, 2020 Twitter Ads info and privacy

23.6K people are talking about this

Mish

20 hours ago Here is a 1 minute 22 second video timeline of Trump's amazing handling of the coronavirus.

Please play this.

It will take less than two minutes of your time.

One missing key quote is a statement Trump made bragging about having natural talent coupled with a proclamation that he could have been a scientist instead of president.

More Questions:

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

njbr 20 hrs

The dumb-asses in DC still don't get it. "Top" leaders crowding around a single microphone in a stage no larger than a public restroom. Working toward a 1 time $1200 check that probably wont be issued/delivered for another couple weeks. What about the weeks after that--are they going to spend the next couple weeks going around about the next check?? Has the production of ventilators actually been accelerated-who could tell from what has been said? Why are nurses and doctors in my area asking the public for donations of PPE at the very beginning of the serious phase? What happens when the doctors and nurses start tipping over? Two partially ready hospital ships may help in one spot each on the coast, but what about everywhere else? Has anyone even checked on the production capacity for the maybe helpful malaria medicine--has anyone been directed to begin proactive super-production of this product? On and on.

DeeDee3 20 hrs

hard to prove deliberate neglect when you eliminate all of the evidence. No testing means "no virus" and sadly supported the hoax theory.

Another doc died in the city today. ER's are unprotected. what conclusion can we draw from all of this?

Zardoz 20 hrs

Thousands will die because of his incompetence... and his followers will blame the Chinese

egilkinc 20 hrs

There should be a tracker of the number of cases [among medical personnle] in the US along with this

Sechel 20 hrs

Oh my g-d. This is excellent! I think Trump has learned some bad lessons from Goebbels. Repeat the lie and repeat it often and people will take your version of events. This really serves to correct the record! Good work!

PecuniaNonOlet 20 hrs

And yet there will be an avalanche of Trump supporters defending the idiot. It is truly beyond me.

michiganmoon 20 hrs

Actually, Trump should resign and give the GOP a chance this November.

Had Trump not downplayed this and had tests ready, he could have played on a loop Biden on January 31st saying travel restrictions from Wuhan were racist and xenophobic.

thesaint0013 20 hrs

Ok. Let me start by stating that I am not a "staunch" Trump supporter. However, I just really despise the constant visceral negative, hatred towards our Country's President.

As I am sure you are aware, it is a tremendously difficult job, especially in today's crisis. I would think it would be better serve of your time and efforts to be constructive and optimistic, and hopeful. Rather than pinpointed every single steps and missteps he makes. He is certainly no perfect - but his goal is the same as all of ours: to defeat this virus in the best manner possible with the resources available.

To criticize previous tweets, interviews, and depict his flaws and errors does not help the common goal. The nature of some of the questions posed to him during the press conferences should be a bit more respectful and again, it doesn't serve any positive outcome to try and "catch" him in a lie, and how he may have said something that was not factual or false.

Again, he's not perfect and neither are anyone of us. However he is our President and we should support his and all of our common goal to defeat this virus.

Russell J 20 hrs

Not making excuses for Trump at all but he/we have people who are specialists and are responsible for being ready at all times for something like this and are responsible for being on the look out for this. Somebody should have came forward, even as a whistleblower. I've been aware for about 2 months now.

Thank you WWW.PEAKPROSPERITY.COM, MISH and WWW.ZEROHEDGE.COM

This was an epic failure of Trump, his administration and America in general.

ghoffa 20 hrs

Hi,
@MishTalk @Mish
I wanted to sincerely thank you MISH from my whole extended family. I have been reading you since 2007 when Ron Paul removed the scales from my eyes on the Fed and govt., Jekyll Island book, the "financial markets" (all modern day money changers). Every picture I see of Fed chairpersons, their eyes look dead black sharks eyes (to quote a famous book which I subscribe, the eyes are the windows to the soul).

In addition our mob style duolopoly govt and for the most part complicit MSM (all with significant influencing billionaire ownership to control the news - easily searched). I've learned so much from this blog and the many commentors in this space ( a personal fav is @Stuki ) . Nothing short of brilliant and reminds me of my fav news source Zerohedge and it's articles and commentors.

A special thanks for pointing us to Chris Martenson (peakprosperity.com) as my wife and I have watched every day his free daily videos since JAN @24th and our extended family is as prepared as we can be. God help us all with what's coming.

For those who haven't watched it, Dr. Martenson has a great 3 min video on exponential growth on YTube. Search his name and exponential. It will help you prepare for what our govt knows is coming in enourmous exponential growth in fatalities. Even knowing, it will be an emotional thing to prepare for. Prepping home supplies is one thing, prepping emotionally is also important per Dr. Martenson. HCWs be damned.

As this impacts people personally, I expect insider leaks to come from many fronts. We're working with neighbors to get prepared as we're all on our own now as the money changers (evil) bail out the money changers (evil) amidst a system that is so debt leveraged it can't likely be bailed out. "everything's a nail and the Fed has a hammer".

Lastly this brings a famous quote to mind as the people rise up against corrupt govt, corp bailouts after stock buy backs, etc. Let alone the monsters upon monsters creating lab viruses (regardless of the source of this virus), and unregulated GMOs changing the fabric of life.....

"All it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing". Margaret Mead
G

QE2Infinity 20 hrs

Come on! First off, anyone can be made to look bad by taking snippets out of context and stringing them together. That said, Trump does tend towards braggadocio. If that is off putting to you, he can be annoying. I much prefer a transparent fool to the more sly variety that plays the part well while sticking a knife in your back.

But let's be honest here. The president can do very little. The bureaucracy of the government is a jobs program for the less ambitious and politically inclined. It's staffed with incompetent bureaucrats that show up, surf the web and may get around to an hour or two of honest work. Public unions guarantee they can't be fired.

Obama converted the CDC into a PC jobs program for lefties, just like he converted NASA into a Muslim outreach program.

May one ask: why is a self proclaimed libertarian screaming for more government action? Wouldn't it be great if one of the outcomes of this crisis is that local communities became more self reliant and more self sufficient!

Sechel 20 hrs

that's from a website called therecount.com looks interesting.

Greggg 20 hrs

For the entire Trump Presidency it was all about the stock market. So, here we are.

numike 20 hrs

while we all point fingers lets look at a useful guide regarding the mess we are ALL in now https://www.seriouseats.com/2020/03/food-safety-and-coronavirus-a-comprehensive-guide.html

Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide Questions about COVID-19 and food safety, answered. www.seriouseats.com

Tengen 20 hrs

The graphic at the end of the video already looks out of date and shows how rapid the spread has been. For March 2020 it shows 5,002 cases in the US (and counting) but right now I'm seeing 24,137 cases.

So much for "in a couple of days the 15 is going to be down close to zero".

njbr 20 hrs

What can the President do?

Force and organize the production of necessary goods.

Mish Editor 19 hrs

May one ask: why is a self proclaimed libertarian screaming for more government action? Wouldn't it be great if one of the outcomes of this crisis is that local communities became more self reliant and more self sufficient!

Mish Editor 19 hrs

Trump did not Drain the Swamp. He IS the swamp

Mish Editor 19 hrs

Anyone who still supports this President's actions is a TDS-inflicted fool.

Jim Bob 19 hrs

I've followed Mish for ~ 12 years online and on the radio for brilliant economic analysis. Lately his work has been undermined by irrational political opinion. Mish has turned into Krugman. I won't be back.

abend237-04 19 hrs

The Donald is obviously afflicted with the same narcissistic megalomania prerequisite for a successful run at any elective office above County Coroner, anywhere in this country.

That said, he can apparently read a graph, and he's right: The two drug combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin are working to treat this damn thing, BUT:

It is, indeed, not a Covid-19 preventative.

If you get it, and you dink around at home too long waiting for improvement, arriving at ICU needing ventilation leaves you with roughly the odds of Russian roulette of surviving, especially if you're older.

Lacking testing, the only remaining means available to knock the transmission rate down quickly is social distancing/lockdown. But, enough of that prevention can leave us wishing we were dead anyway.

Unfortunately, all the college kids jamming the bars and beaches is setting the stage for continued exponential growth by hordes of asymptomatic spreaders.

The march of folly continues.

I like what I'm seeing of Cuomo. He'd be a good guy to have in the room in a serious fight; This qualifies.

DBG8489 19 hrs

As someone who hates all politicians, there is zero love lost between Trump and myself. I had hopes when he was elected that he would make a difference but it was clear based on how he looked after his private meeting with Obama on inauguration day that he was in over his head.

Having said that, I will say this:

From at least the "major" state level up, it would appear that not one single elected official or the top advisors and bureaucrats who work for them have shown anything but complete and utter failure in their handling of this emergency.

You have senators selling off piles of stock while either saying nothing or telling the rest of us that it was bullshit. And trust me - they were not the only ones. If anyone cares to investigate, they will likely find this problem rampant. Elected officials should not even be allowed to trade stocks when they control the entire economy - not even through alleged "blind trusts" - it's bullshit. But that's a conversation for another time.

You have congressional reps and senators blaming each other and/or the other party and passing laws and bailouts without even reading the bills they are passing.

You have the Treasury and the Fed printing money and throwing it at every hole that opens up without the slightest regard for what the unintended consequences of those actions may entail.

You have governments of the "major" states (CA, NY, NJ...etc) who know they can't simply print money being exposed using any extra money they had (along with taxes based on tourism that have now disappeared) to fund God knows what now demanding that everyone else pony up to pay for their failure to plan...

The lack of leadership in the major states and at the Federal level is abysmal ACROSS THE BOARD.

And that includes members of BOTH parties and nearly every single bureaucratic agency involved.

You can single Trump out if you want, but he's not alone. He's just an easy target because 49% of the population hated him before this started.

njbr 18 hrs

....Top health officials first learned of the virus's spread in China on January 3, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Friday. Throughout January and February, intelligence officials' warnings became more and more urgent, according to the Post -- and by early February, much of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA's intelligence reports were dedicated to warnings about Covid-19.

All the while, Trump downplayed the virus publicly, telling the public the coronavirus "is very well under control in our country," and suggesting warm weather would neutralize the threat the virus poses....

...The administration did begin taking some limited action about a month after Azar says the administration first began receiving warnings, blocking non-citizens who had been to China in the last two weeks from entering the country on February 3 -- a move public experts have argued at best bought the US time to ramp up its testing capabilities, which it did not use, and at worst had no beneficial effects at all.

Trump finally assembled a task force to address the virus, putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the effort on February 26, and declared a national emergency on March 13. And, just this week -- nearly three months after first receiving warnings from his intelligence officials -- the president's public tone about the crisis shifted: "I've always known this is a real -- this is a pandemic," he said Tuesday as he admitted, "[the virus is] not under control for any place in the world."....

Realist 18 hrs

I have been watching political leaders in my own country get on television daily. They have all done a great job of informing the public about the dangers of this virus. They have all relied on the experts to relay information to the public about what the government is doing, and what individuals should be doing. This is true at the national, regional, and local levels.

In addition businesses have been sending out emails, radio announcements and tv messages explaining what they are doing in regard to this pandemic.

In fact, I am amazed at what a good job everyone is doing.

I am also watching what is happening in the US. Every US state governor and city mayor I have seen on tv has done a wonderful job of presenting the facts to the public and provided instructions as to what they are doing and what the public should be doing.

Then there is the gong show that is Trump. I could not imagine that anyone could be as bad as he is; months of lies, denials, suppression of the truth, and a complete and utter lack of preparation for something he was warned about many times. Denying one day that the virus was a pandemic; only to claim the very next day that he had known it was a pandemic for months; and then the very next day say that no one could have seen this coming; and finally saying that his response to the virus rates a 10 out of 10.

Worst President ever. Sadly, many, many Americans are going to suffer and die because America had this moron in charge.

Mish keeps referring to worldometer to get stats from. Their numbers seem to match up with numbers I see in my own country and in the US.

Disturbingly, today, the mortality rate for closed cases ticked up 1% to 12%. 12978 deaths and 94674 recovered. That is not the direction I expected it to go.

daveyp 17 hrs

You get what you vote for. To have such a malignant narcissist of such profoundly limited intellectual honesty and capacity "leading" your nation through this is truly tragic for your country. Even the hideously vile ultimate Washington insider Hilary would have done a better job.

truthseeker 17 hrs

Mish I agree with much of the criticism of Trump, yet had he done everything you and others suggest, there is this implied assumption that everything would have worked out perfectly. You know I am impressed the way the country seems to be uniting to such a great degree, that I think there is at least some hope for our country's future though there are huge challenges that lay ahead absolutely!

abend237-04 17 hrs

I will now proceed, once again, to bitch about the root cause of our current pandemic, which is causing many to experience cosmic scale frustration with The Donald, which I share:

Civilization has now been hit squarely in the head with three killer coronavirus outbreaks in 18 years, yet still has no unified global new viral antigen detection system. We could have if our world "leaders" would make it happen.

Local supercomputers, however massive, will never crack this nut, but the billions of powerful, web-accessible smartphones could if linked and used by a parallelized, intelligent scheduler to raise the alarm when a new antibody/pathogen is discovered in human blood anywhere.

Such a system could have lifted the burden from a lonely doctor struggling to raise the alarm in Wuhan, before Covid-19 killed him, and placed it squarely in front of disease control experts, worldwide. It can be done; We must do it.

Sars cov-3/4/5/6/7/8/9/n could kill us all if we don't.

[Mar 22, 2020] Opinion - A Tale of Two Foreign Policies The Train-Wreck Abroad Is Bipartisan by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... It is widely believed that the abrupt withdrawal of candidates Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg on the eve of Super Tuesday that targeted Sanders was arranged through an intervention by ex-President Barack Obama who made a plea in support of "party unity," offering the two a significant quid pro quo down the road if they were willing to leave the race and throw their support to Biden, which they dutifully did ..."
"... Trump might be described as both paranoid and narcissistic, meaning that he sees himself as surrounded by enemies and that the enemies are out to get him personally. When he is criticized, he either ridicules the source or does something impulsive to deflect what is being said. He attacked Syria twice based on false claims about the use of chemical weapons when a consensus developed in the media and in congress that he was being "weak" in the Middle East. Those attacks were war crimes as Syria was not threatening the United States. ..."
"... Biden is on a different track in that he is an establishment hawk. As head of the Senate Foreign Affairs committee back in 2002-2003 he green lighted George W. Bush's plan to attack Iraq. Beyond that, he cheer-leaded the effort from the Democratic Party benches, helping to create a consensus both in Washington and in the media that Saddam Hussein was a threat that had to be dealt with. He should have known better as he was privy to intelligence that was suggesting that the Iraqis were no threat at all. He did not moderate his tune on Iraq until after 2005, when the expected slam-dunk quick victory got very messy. ..."
"... Biden was also certainly privy to the decision making by President Barack Obama, which include the destruction of Libya and the killing of American citizens by drone. Whether he actively supported those policies is unknown, but he has never been challenged on them. What is clear is that he did not object to them, another sign of his willingness to go along with the establishment, a tendency which will undoubtedly continue if he is elected president. ..."
Mar 22, 2020 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

Now that the Democratic Party has apparently succeeded in getting rid of the only two voices among its presidential candidates that actually deviated from the establishment consensus, it appears that Joe Biden will be running against Donald Trump in November. To be sure, Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard are still hanging on, but the fix was in and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) made sure that Sanders would be given the death blow on Super Tuesday while Gabbard would be blocked from participating in any of the late term debates.

It is widely believed that the abrupt withdrawal of candidates Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg on the eve of Super Tuesday that targeted Sanders was arranged through an intervention by ex-President Barack Obama who made a plea in support of "party unity," offering the two a significant quid pro quo down the road if they were willing to leave the race and throw their support to Biden, which they dutifully did. Rumor has it that Klobuchar might well wind up as Biden's vice president. An alternative tale is that it was a much more threatening "offer that couldn't be refused" coming from the Clintons.

... ... ...

Both Trump and Biden might reasonably described as Zionists, Trump by virtue of the made-in-Israel foreign policy positions he has delivered on since his election, and Biden by word and deed during his entire time in politics. When Biden encountered Sarah Palin in 2008 in the vice-presidential debate, he and Palin sought to outdo each other in enthusing over how much they love the Jewish state. Biden has said that "I am a Zionist. You don't have to be a Jew to be a Zionist" and also, ridiculously, "Were there not an Israel, the U.S. would have to invent one. We will never abandon Israel -- out of our own self-interest. [It] is the best $3 billion investment we make." Biden has been a regular feature speaker at the annual AIPAC summit in Washington.

Trump might be described as both paranoid and narcissistic, meaning that he sees himself as surrounded by enemies and that the enemies are out to get him personally. When he is criticized, he either ridicules the source or does something impulsive to deflect what is being said. He attacked Syria twice based on false claims about the use of chemical weapons when a consensus developed in the media and in congress that he was being "weak" in the Middle East. Those attacks were war crimes as Syria was not threatening the United States.

Trump similarly reversed himself on withdrawing from Syria when he ran into criticism of the move and his plan to extricate the United States from Afghanistan, if it develops at all, could easily be subjected to similar revision. Trump is not really the man who as a candidate indicated that he was seriously looking for a way out of America's endless and pointless wars, no matter what his supporters continue to assert.

Biden is on a different track in that he is an establishment hawk. As head of the Senate Foreign Affairs committee back in 2002-2003 he green lighted George W. Bush's plan to attack Iraq. Beyond that, he cheer-leaded the effort from the Democratic Party benches, helping to create a consensus both in Washington and in the media that Saddam Hussein was a threat that had to be dealt with. He should have known better as he was privy to intelligence that was suggesting that the Iraqis were no threat at all. He did not moderate his tune on Iraq until after 2005, when the expected slam-dunk quick victory got very messy.

Biden was also certainly privy to the decision making by President Barack Obama, which include the destruction of Libya and the killing of American citizens by drone. Whether he actively supported those policies is unknown, but he has never been challenged on them. What is clear is that he did not object to them, another sign of his willingness to go along with the establishment, a tendency which will undoubtedly continue if he is elected president.

And Biden's foreign policy reminiscences are is subject to what appear to be memory losses or inability to articulate, illustrated by a whole series of faux pas during the campaign. He has a number of times told a tale of his heroism in Afghanistan that is complete fiction , similar to Hillary Clinton's lying claims of courage under fire in Bosnia.

So, we have a president in place who takes foreign policy personally in that his first thoughts are "how does it make me look?" and a prospective challenger who appears to be suffering from initial stages of dementia and who has always been relied upon to support the establishment line, whatever it might be. Though Trump is the more dangerous of the two as he is both unpredictable and irrational, the likelihood is that Biden will be guided by the Clintons and Obamas. To put it another way, no matter who is president the likelihood that the United States will change direction to get away from its interventionism and bullying on a global scale is virtually nonexistent. At least until the money runs out. Or to express it as a friend of mine does, "No matter who is elected we Americans wind up getting John McCain." Goodnight America!

Philip Giraldi Ph.D., Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest. A former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He holds a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Modern History from the University of London. " Source "

[Mar 22, 2020] Tulsi on Jimmy Dore show: my mission is to stop these regime change wars that's why I support war criminal Joe Biden.

Mar 22, 2020 | www.youtube.com


MiDikGon Lapitise , 23 minutes ago

Jimmy look like a boy in middle school when his girlfriend breaks up with him but she says we can still be friends

Kay Paden , 1 hour ago

Tulsi on mask shortage-"It's hard to imagine how this could be happening in America." Really? You're surprised the corrupt two-party that you insist we choose between got us here?

Ouu Baaa , 1 hour ago

Andrew Yang just admitted that he endorsed Biden cause he got offered a position in his cabinet should Biden become president. Tulsi of course would never do that XD .

Nicolas Cooper , 2 hours ago

Meryl Streep should give Tulsi an award for Best Actress.

Kim Young , 3 hours ago

And she thinks endorsing Joe is going to help climate change?

Alpa Cino , 2 hours ago

What a fraud 😂

Citizen Harrison , 2 hours ago

20:13 "and that's a decision motivated by.." POVERTY. They use the poor to fight in these goddamn wars.

Wolfking Of SI , 3 hours ago (edited)

Tulsi just admit that "your party" is corrupt horse plop. You should have left and started a 3rd party.

Remy Williams , 2 hours ago

I wonder how strong the Progressive movement would've been if careerists like Gabbard and Warren stayed away and the front was unified from the beginning.

Guy Smiley , 1 hour ago

When Jimmy started his live video the day she announced supporting Biden, I said to myself "I bet anything he blames Bernie for her dropping out and supporting Biden." Low and behold, he did.

Alice Wonderland , 4 hours ago

"How and where my best. . . (interests lay). Freudian slip.

Leo Fain , 1 hour ago

First Yang and now Tulsi this is heartbreaking all of them are fake af

Armand Raynal , 3 hours ago

6:56 "which is something I always said I would do btw, that I would support the eventual democratic nominee" Am I living in a parallel dimension? The primary is not finished yet, you can still endorse Biden when it will be over if he wins the primary but endorse Bernie for the moment. Is it that hard? Ho right, I forgot, the primary is rigged and we all know that Biden the senile kid diddler and liar will be the nominee one way or another. Fucked up, but she's not helping. She probably knows she'll be kicked out of politics if she does not endorse biden and cares more about her career than doing the right thing.

Norris Hude , 1 hour ago

War is ingrained into US society, "Thankyou for your service" says it all. Heroes in America are obviously those who go to war at the behest of the zionists and the corporations.

David Richardson , 1 minute ago

"I don't play the political game" Next sentence "I'm pragmatic"

Amparo Zarza Cardoso , 25 minutes ago

Two words to Gabbard: incongruent and liar

Charles Wilson , 8 minutes ago (edited)

"The scope of the effects of this are difficult to comprehend at this time..." This is truly amazing that someone in the government has the audacity to blame a virus for people's inability to "make rent" when it was them that created the current hysteria and panic. There is a pandemic. I agree. But so far counting all of the cases that we know about, it is no where even close to the season flue that we see every year! And the government is shutting down businesses! It is a shame that they are using the current situation to further the idea that people are dependent on the government to survive! How far we as a nation and a people have fallen from the ideals that created this nation in the first place! I am disgusted!

Eric Zvonchenko , 2 hours ago

Biden is not the Democratic nominee. She is supporting Biden over Sanders not Biden over trump.

Hermann G Lippe , 2 hours ago

Like Bernie, Tulsi is just another TWO FACED Globalist Presstitute. Tulsi says her platform is to stop regime change and bring are troops home! Why does she then endorse Biden who supports regime change and keeping troops in the middle east? Tulsi says she does this to defeat Trump but Trump campaigned to stop regime change and bring are troops home!

[Mar 22, 2020] Liberal NPCs Hate Russia, Conservative NPCs Hate China

Mar 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Mar 21 2020 23:10 utc | 54

Caitlin Johnstone also sees the response being manipulated to focus hate on China: Liberal NPCs Hate Russia, Conservative NPCs Hate China

But she sees this China-bashing as mostly a political reaction:

In reality these people are rallying behind the campaign to blame China for the health crisis they're now facing because they understand that otherwise the blame will land squarely on the shoulders of their president, who's running for re-election this year.
instead of a deliberate Deep-State strategy (which is my view).

We can argue who created the virus (I'm still looking for any rebuttal to the Chinese claim that USA must be the source because it has all five strains of the virus), but the Empire's gaming of the virus outbreak seems very clear to me.

!!

[Mar 21, 2020] To be fair to Trump

Mar 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

@Snode

"The Obama-Biden Administration set up the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense to prepare for future pandemics like covid-19. Donald Trump eliminated it -- and now we're paying the price."

-- Former vice president Joe Biden, in a tweet, March 19

BUT!!! OBAMA DID, TOO!!! (As did Dubya)

After Barack Obama became president in 2009, he eliminated the White House Health and Security Office, which worked on international health issues. But after grappling with the 2014 Ebola epidemic, Obama in 2016 established a Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense at the NSC. A directorate has its own staff, and it is headed by someone who generally reports to the national security adviser.

One can see the dueling narratives here, neither entirely incorrect. The office -- as set up by Obama in 2016 -- was folded into another office. Thus, one could claim the office was eliminated. But the staff slots did not disappear and at least initially the key mission of team remained a priority. So one can also claim nothing changed and thus Biden's criticism is overstated.

Source: Washington Post -- Was the White House office for global pandemics eliminated?


Marie on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 4:35pm

What did the GWB and Obama Administrations

@edg
have against the large and presumably highly skilled public health agencies under HHS? If they had flubbed, then they should have been ordered to fix the problem; reorganize and/or replace the incompetents so that such flubs don't happen again. The Asst Secretary for Public Health, a physician, oversees those agencies and reports to the HHS Secretary who in turn reports to the POTUS.

Why set up a WH office overseen by a person with no public health expertise or experience to report to the NSC director?

Steven D on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 8:50am
Yes

One big clusterfuck isn't it.

leveymg on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 8:56am
"Nobody could foresee airliners used as missiles." But, who

remembers that, too?

Bush got away with that excuse. He even got several glorious wars out of it. Why shouldn't Trump?

[Mar 21, 2020] Democrats AWOL during the economic crisis caucus99percent

Mar 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

snoopydawg on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 2:20pm

Raggedy Ann on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 3:10pm
The dimwits are MIA again.

Not surprising. They only want the kickbacks not any actual work. Here's a good lesson for that squad - now they can witness how the dimwits work for the people! Tlaib is stepping up. Who will be next? Anyone? Anyone?

entrepreneur on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 3:26pm
Not that they'll ever let him debate Trump, but if he did Trump

should just spend every minute of his time saying "where was Joe hiding during the pandemic? How are you going to lead a country by hiding during an emergency, Joe?".

[Mar 21, 2020] Not that they'll ever let him debate Trump, but if he did Trump should just spend every minute of his time saying "where was Joe hiding during the pandemic?

Mar 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Trump should just spend every minute of his time saying "where was Joe hiding during the pandemic? How are you going to lead a country by hiding during an emergency, Joe?"

CB on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 3:27pm

And Joe will reply, "What's a pandemic?"
Dr. John Carpenter on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 6:07pm
He probably remembers the Spanish Flu
CB on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 9:48pm
Frankly, I don't think he remembers

@Dr. John Carpenter
much at this time.

[Mar 21, 2020] If Gabbard is angling for the VP position as Biden mentioned he's looking for a woman as a running mate she better hope Biden remember what he said

Mar 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ian2 , Mar 21 2020 21:26 utc | 32

Gabbard is angling for the VP position as Biden mentioned he's looking for a woman as a running mate. She better hope Biden remember what he said. I wonder what Biden's criteria for his candidates? Hmm...

[Mar 21, 2020] Tucker Senator Burr sold shares after virus briefing - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Mar 21, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Bowhead31 , 5 hours ago

The problem is these people no longer see themselves as public servants.

Maria Summers , 6 hours ago

The Georgia Senator is just as guilty as the rest of them, regarding "Insider Trading".

shane passey , 3 hours ago

She's a crook just like the rest of the politicians. They say they be there for the people. But they're really there to make themselves rich

[Mar 21, 2020] Don't forget our congressritters

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... @supenau ..."
Mar 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

@supenau who make profits as well. I cannot remember exactly when insider trading for them became legal but it should be no surprise to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention that they're ALL doing it. That is one reason, at least in my semi-educated opinion, they did not go after Trump for emoluments during Shampeachment, because THEY ALL DO IT.

That goes all the way to the White House, no doubt.

up 10 users have voted. --

Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

Marie on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 10:28am

Looks as if the crisis profiteers were on top of it:

Think about this:

Weeks before you had any inkling you were going to lose your job, Senator Kelly Loeffler was selling off millions of stocks -- and *buying* stock in a teleworking company.

-- Robert Reich (@RBReich) March 20, 2020

[Mar 21, 2020] Tulsi Gabbard says insider traders should be 'investigated prosecuted,' as Left and Right team up on profiteering senators --

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "better prepared than ever ..."
"... "akin to the 1918 pandemic." ..."
"... "Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated and prosecuted for insider trading," ..."
"... "Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks." ..."
"... "stomach churning," ..."
"... "For a public servant it's pretty hard to imagine many things more immoral than doing this," ..."
"... "Richard Burr had critical information that might have helped the people he is sworn to protect. But he hid that information and helped only himself." ..."
"... "If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest," ..."
"... "calling for immediate investigations" ..."
"... "for possible violations of the STOCK Act and insider trading laws." ..."
"... Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! ..."
Mar 21, 2020 | www.rt.com

Tulsi Gabbard says insider traders should be 'investigated & prosecuted,' as Left and Right team up on profiteering senators 21 Mar, 2020 21:19 Get short URL Tulsi Gabbard says insider traders should be 'investigated & prosecuted,' as Left and Right team up on profiteering senators FILE PHOTO: Tulsi Gabbard speaks during the US Democratic presidential debate in Atlanta, Georgia, November 20, 2019 © Reuters / Brendan McDermid Follow RT on RT In a rare moment of bipartisanship, commenters from all sides have demanded swift punishment for US senators who dumped stock after classified Covid-19 briefings. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has called for criminal prosecution. As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) has received daily briefings on the threat posed by Covid-19 since January. Burr insisted to the public that America was ready to handle the virus, but sold up to $1.5 million in stocks on February 13, less than a week before the stock market nosedived, according to Senate filings . Immediately before the sale, Burr wrote an op-ed assuring Americans that their government is "better prepared than ever " to handle the virus.

Also on rt.com Liberal icon Sean Penn wants a 'compassionate' army deployment to fight Covid-19

After the sale, NPR reported that he told a closed-door meeting of North Carolina business leaders that the virus actually posed a threat "akin to the 1918 pandemic." Burr does not dispute the NPR report.

In a tweet on Saturday, former 2020 presidential candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard called for criminal investigations. "Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated and prosecuted for insider trading," she wrote.

"Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks."

Congress/staff who dumped stocks after private briefings on impending coronavirus epidemic should be investigated & prosecuted for insider trading (the STOCK Act). It is illegal & abuse of power. Members of Congress should not be allowed to own stocks. https://t.co/rbVfJxrk3r

-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 21, 2020

Burr was not the only lawmaker on Capitol Hill to take precautions, it was reported. Fellow Intelligence Committee member Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and her husband sold off more than a million dollars of shares in a biotech company five days later, while Oklahoma's Jim Inhofe (R) made a smaller sale around the same time. Both say their sales were routine.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia) attended a Senate Health Committee briefing on the outbreak on January 24. The very same day, she began offloading stock, dropping between $1.2 and $3.1 million in shares over the following weeks. The companies whose stock she sold included airlines, retail outlets, and Chinese tech firm Tencent.

She did, however, invest in cloud technology company Oracle, and Citrix, a teleworking company whose value has increased by nearly a third last week, as social distancing measures forced more and more Americans to work from home. All of Loeffler's transactions were made with her husband, Jeff Sprecher, CEO of the New York Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York) and Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) have joined the clamor of voices demanding punishment. Ocasio-Cortez described the sales as "stomach churning," while Omar reached across the aisle to side with Fox News' Tucker Carlson in calling for Burr's resignation.

I am 💯 with him on this 😱 https://t.co/Gbi3i2BagY

-- Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 20, 2020

"For a public servant it's pretty hard to imagine many things more immoral than doing this," Carlson said during a Friday night monolog. "Richard Burr had critical information that might have helped the people he is sworn to protect. But he hid that information and helped only himself."

As of Saturday, there are nearly 25,000 cases of Covid-19 in the US, with the death toll heading towards 300. Now both sides of the political aisle seem united in disgust at the apparent profiteering of Burr, Loeffler, and Feinstein.

Right-wing news outlet Breitbart savaged Burr for voting against the STOCK Act in 2012, a piece of legislation that would have barred members of Congress from using non-public information to profit on the stock market. At the same time, a host of Democratic figures - including former presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Kirsten Gillibrand - weighed in with their own criticism too.

"If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest," Yang tweeted on Friday.

If you find out about a nation-threatening pandemic and your first move is to adjust your stock portfolio you should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest.

-- Andrew Yang🧢 (@AndrewYang) March 20, 2020

Watchdog group Common Cause has filed complaints with the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Senate Ethics Committee "calling for immediate investigations" of Burr, Loeffler, Feinstein and Inhofe "for possible violations of the STOCK Act and insider trading laws."

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

[Mar 21, 2020] Was Tulsi yet another CIA democrat?

From comments "so that is who Tulsi endorses after talking about how bad they are? Jesus on a cracker give me and effing break, Tulsi. Hondorus, Syria and Ukraine and endorsing the regime change in Egypt. "
"[Looks like] ... blowing off her tiny support base in favor of whatever she has gotten was worth the price to her. Will have to check the next library book sale (postponed at the moment) for a cheap copy of Marlowe's Dr. Faustus or Goethe's Faust and send it to her. (She's not worth buying a new copy for.)
Mar 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Marie on Thu, 03/19/2020 - 1:47pm

Thanks for the tip

@Jen
(have no interest in viewing her video because I have an autonomic gag reflex to liars)
The comments there make me feel a bit better. Looks as if Tulsi has lost all of her supporters, funders, and voters, and they aren't coming back.

A sample:

Christopher Brunner:
Imagine basing your whole campaign on ending regime change wars and then ending it by endorsing the man who voted for the Iraq War instead of standing on her principles and endorsing the person who voted AGAINST regome change wars

Dash
Tulsi: "I will do everything I can to stop these shameful regime change wars."
Tulsi: "I now completely support one of the principle architects of America's shameful regime change wars."
Tulsi: "Why don't you all love me anymore?"

Okay, a few are saying that Sanders is weak on regime change wars, etc. True enough but he has a long track record of voting no on them when the chips are down.

[Mar 21, 2020] It is doubtful that Will Tulsi will gets some "sweets" for her betrayal of her supporters

Mar 21, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

rho , 19 March 2020 at 05:53 PM

I think it is near impossible that Biden would pick her as VP, despite this strange endorsement. The Democrat establishment and the borg fiercely oppose her, and with Biden as President and the coronavirus around, there is a real chance this time that a VP pick will have to take over power from a dead or otherwise incapacitated President.

The move does not make much sense to me except as an "I surrender, at least for this election cycle" message, I don't see Tulsi gaining any material benefit from this over endorsing Sanders. The establishment will not suddenly start to like her again because of this.

I also seriously doubt this assessment of Tulsi about Biden:

"I know that he has a good heart and is motivated by his love for our country and the American people."

JerseyJeffersonian , 19 March 2020 at 06:47 PM
Disappointed, but not surprised.

But, unless something has changed of which I am not aware, Warren closed down her campaign without endorsing anyone. Why not Gabbard? Not impressed by this move.

Maybe she thinks this is, as eenginneer proposed above, playing the long game. I don't see how that works, unless abject surrender on essentials (such as the willingness to contest the war/regime change ploy amply on display with Biden & ilk) makes an impression on The Blob that she can be relied upon to do likewise if she ever is entrusted with executive powers. But infliction of such horrors as those brought about by the dismemberment of Libya are scarcely indications of Biden having a good heart (or even a foresightful nature concerning consequences).

What the US needs is an end to these abjectly stupid actions, not a new lease on life for them. So, the more I think on this, and in consideration of her previously professing a principled stand in this issue, this is a deal-breaker for me, fully as bad as Sanders' actively working for the Hildabeast's election in 2016, making me question her sincerity in general.

It is past time to put the kibosh on the imperial fantasy; stand up and be counted or slink away.

ex PFC Chuck , 19 March 2020 at 07:14 PM
Mystifying and dispiriting. Maybe "they" finally got something on her. Alternatively, did she get any sort of contentment out of Joe in return? If she did will he be able to/want to remember it come November 4? There's no chance the "organs" sector of the deep state would take Tulsi-as-Veep lying down. Or any significant foreign policy or national security position for that matter. She may think by endorsing Biden She'd at least partway move back into the good graces of the Democratic Party establishment, but that's a false hope. They'll never trust her again. If she'd kept her endorsement powder dry, even though she'd get no MSM coverage going forward (not the vanishingly small amount she got as a candidate), more than a few of the non-MSM platforms, video and otherwise, that have in some cases millions of readers and viewers, would have been happy to have her on frequently. She'll still get some of that exposure but not much. She may get some MSM stops in the next few days, but that will be it.
Leith , 19 March 2020 at 11:06 PM
Biden says: "Tulsi Gabbard has put her life on the line in service of this country and continues to serve with honor today. I'm grateful to have her support and look forward to working with her to restore honor and decency to the White House."

Hmm?

optimax , 19 March 2020 at 11:27 PM
Tulsi would bring in some republicans but Biden won't choose because he's a puppet of the borg and they thrive on the chaos created by our military interventions. The LSMFT community doesn't like Tulsi for the unforgivable sin of speaking out against gay marriage as a teen--she wasn't born with the progressive purity of heart. Then there's Assad. The media ignored her visit with the orthodox priest in Aleppo who after its recapture by the SAA praised Assad for saving them from the jahadis. The feminists resent Tulsi for being pretty.

All these groups prefer Lady Macbeth be the one to catch Joe when he falls.

JJackson , 20 March 2020 at 11:22 AM
I suspect the DNC and associated party grandees looked at the COVID situation and leant heavily on candidates to back the front runner, so avoiding having their supporters congregate at rallies or a brokered convention. That the front runner happened to be who they wanted to see as their candidate surely helped.
Joseph Chaisson , 20 March 2020 at 11:25 AM
I saw this morning that Tulsi's brother posted on facebook that Bernie declined her offer of endorsement...
The Twisted Genius , 20 March 2020 at 12:18 PM
Joseph Chaisson,

I saw that yesterday. I don't know who Kai Gabbard was responding to and he has since removed that Facebook comment. He also admitted he doesn't know the exact nature of his sister's relationship with Sanders. Here's his original comment.

"Thank you for your kind words sir," the comment reads. "Bernie has treated my sister like sh*t all the way through this. She has tried to endorse him again and he has refused her support. Whoever he's getting his advice from has done a terrible job."
"You go ahead keep talking about however you want, but know this. She is just going to continue being independent and keep fighting for us. Bernie isn't the man me and Tulsi once supported 100 percent. I don't know what happened to him. He's refused to take the fight to the establishment like Tulsi continues to do. Aloha to you and yours."

Who knows what happened between Bernie and Tulsi. Like I said, I was surprised she endorsed old Joe over old Bernie. She's pragmatic and independent. She has demonstrated an ability to work in a bipartisan manner without demonizing anyone. We need a lot more like her.

I'm also partial to the aloha spirit. I thoroughly enjoyed my three and a half years in Hawaii. For two of those years I spent a long weekend every month with C Company, 1/299th Infantry on Maui. I spent another year working fairly closely with the local pig hunters and pakalolo growers in the mountains surrounding my RECONDO school in the Kahuku Mountains. I experienced aloha and ohana rather than anti-haoli discrimination. If Tulsi can bring that spirit to the rest of the US, I'm all for it.

Stueeeeee , 20 March 2020 at 01:12 PM
Gabbard endorsement doesn't surprise me. Her claim to fame is that she speaks truthfully about our mideast adventures...and? Her domestic politics mirror the growing dingbat coalition. I would say that she is a poor man's Ron Paul but that wouldn't be fair to Ron.
He had the integrity not to endorse the detestable Pierre Delecto.
Jim S , 20 March 2020 at 01:34 PM
'Hairy-Legs' Joe: I'm excited to present my running mate, Tally Gourd- What? No- Gabby Ward- I mean the next Vice Governor of the United States, Wally Gizzard!

Interestingly, the CFR membership rolls contain a one Gabbard, Tulsi; no Obiden Bama, however.

[Mar 21, 2020] Tulsi's endorsement of Biden suggests that she's as keen to see the Dems eviscerated as I am.

Mar 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Mar 20 2020 13:42 utc | 2

Tulsi's endorsement of Biden suggests that she's as keen to see the Dems eviscerated as I am.

Hell hath no fury...?

[Mar 20, 2020] This policy is unconscionable and flagrantly against international law. It is imperative that the U.S. lift these immoral and illegal sanctions to enable Iran and Venezuela to confront the epidemic as effectively and rapidly as possible

Mar 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Mar 19 2020 23:25 utc | 225

A group of economists and policy experts on Wednesday called on President Donald Trump to immediately lift the United States' crippling sanctions against Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and other countries, warning that the economic warfare -- in addition to being cruel in itself -- is "feeding the coronavirus epidemic" by hampering nations' capacity to respond.

"This policy is unconscionable and flagrantly against international law. It is imperative that the U.S. lift these immoral and illegal sanctions to enable Iran and Venezuela to confront the epidemic as effectively and rapidly as possible," Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs said in a statement just hours after the Trump administration intensified sanctions against Iran, which has been devastated by COVID-19.

https://truthout.org/articles/economists-demand-trump-immediately-lift-iran-cuba-venezuela-sanctions/

Mao , Mar 19 2020 23:37 utc | 229

Promising to "smash" Venezuela's government during a "maximum pressure March," Trump has imposed crushing sanctions that force Venezuela to spend three times as much as non-sanctioned countries on coronavirus testing kits.

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/03/17/us-sanctions-venezuelas-health-sector-coronavirus/

[Mar 20, 2020] Lots of people are behaving as if they hadn't heard which "Party" Gabbard and Sanders were running for. They are working for the Single Party; which wing of it is irrelevant, just as irrelevant as any nuances among its different people

Tulsi was under no obligation to endorse right away even if she signed a contract agreeing to support the Nominee, besides, there is no nominee yet. Warren did not endorsed anybody yet, and Bernie is still in the race.
Mar 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
karafspolo , Mar 20 2020 13:46 utc | 3
tulsi is pro aipac, anti BDS, signed a legally binding document to be blue no matter who, and just endorsed a neoliberal war monger who launched 6 of the 8 regime change wars we are currently waging to be our next president.

THIS IS WHAT CONTROLLED OPPOSITION GATE KEEPING SHILLS DO. SHES NIKKI HALEY IN A PROGRESSIVE CLOWNSUIT.


Carciofi , Mar 20 2020 14:22 utc | 4

Waiting for what Jimmie Dore has to say about Tulsi's capitulation to the party establishment.

As for Sanders, he never had any skin in his non-campaign. Fooled a lot of people.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/sanders-capitulates-biden/5706808

Sander wasn't in the 2016 and 2020 races to change things, only to give the appearance of seeking radical change, what a grassroots revolution alone could possibly achieve.
Zanon , Mar 20 2020 14:40 utc | 5
Carciofi

Jimmie Dore seems to defend her,
https://twitter.com/jimmy_dore/status/1240886913105420288

Apparently he is as fake as Tulsi.

Piero Colombo , Mar 20 2020 15:30 utc | 11
Lots of people are behaving as if they hadn't heard which "Party" Gabbard and Sanders were running for. They are working for the Single Party; which wing of it is irrelevant, just as irrelevant as any nuances among its different people. I just don't get why the word "any" should be unclear -- to anyone.
Zanon , Mar 20 2020 17:04 utc | 18
Tulsi's brother seems to be as ignorant as Tulsi,
He claim Tulsi fought the establishment...and then support her when she goes to support the biggest establishent candidate in th race, Mr Biden.
https://nationalfile.com/report-bernie-refused-tulsis-endorsement-brother-claims-he-treated-her-like-shit/

[Mar 20, 2020] My Thoughts On Tulsi Gabbard Suspending Her Campaign And Endorsing Joe Biden

Notable quotes:
"... By supporting a warhawk, she is literally a traitor. ..."
Mar 20, 2020 | www.youtube.com

mocki rangne , 12 hours ago

"In the US, there is basically one party - the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies...Noam Chomsky

jewelryby NaLa , 11 hours ago

Tulsi just proved who she really is.

Rubbles R , 12 hours ago

Henceforth, Tulsi can take her "Aloha" BS and shove it.

horium , 6 hours ago

I'm confident that he will lead our country in the spirit of Zionism and the military industrial complex.

S. Mesut , 11 hours ago

Everyone ready for Hillary 2.0 ? Here it comes in the form of Biden.

L Ngu , 10 hours ago

Tulsi, another charlatan

Emmett S. , 11 hours ago

By supporting a warhawk, she is literally a traitor. ALL this talk of being against the wars and "my brothers and sisters" all total bs because she was offered a golden ticket. Efffffff her.

violoncelo1000 , 10 hours ago (edited)

How is it possible to morph from a Tulsi, to a Tulsigieg so fast?? How can she lie with that straight face, and say Biden has a " good heart "??? I will never, ever trust her again. Democratic Party uses corrupt people without a backbone, and rigged electronic vote machines.

RoB4f * , 11 hours ago

She's a CFR puppet as well...they all are

jeff murray , 12 hours ago

So, she is another Warren. She didn't really believe what she was saying, she just saw an opportunity to become known/gain power by surfing the progressive wave with a plan to leverage that notoriety/support.

armaggedonsblade , 58 minutes ago

You hilarious. And i thought you are smart. 🙁 Voting for any of the imbecils from the Democratic party is just sad

Koen Dove , 10 hours ago

Democrats, democrats...it's an empty word

Bill Walden , 6 hours ago

Meet the new Tulsi, same as the old one

Fitzgerald , 6 hours ago

you have egg on your face kim!!!!!!!!! I told you!!!!!!!!

Ike Adegbuyi , 8 hours ago

The fact is that she is part of the game

Adron Goddard , 4 hours ago

She got a visit from the CIA ☹

Bill Smail , 11 hours ago

The system is owned by bankers. The creation of the Federal Reserve cemented their hold. Read - Creature From Jekyll Island

enerchia , 12 hours ago

what an unexpected betrayal

Nate Hoffman , 11 hours ago

Great actress. Very convincing.

[Mar 20, 2020] Tulsi Gabbard Drops out, Endorses Establishment Joe Biden for President

A very good commentary... Worth listening in full
Notable quotes:
"... What a sellout, shameful. So much for being anti establishment anti war endorsing Biden who has voted for regime change wars ..."
"... Endorsing an Imperialist warmonger. Seriously, WTF? ..."
Mar 20, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Christo Aivalis 20.3K subscribers Earlier today, Tulsi Gabbard announced she was dropping out of the presidential primary and endorsing Joe Biden for President. Many Tulsi supporters felt betrayed by this move, but it fits the ideological similarities between Tulsi and Biden. It also shows that like with Andrew Yang, Gabbard's anti-establishment image was only superficial, and it shows that Bernie Sanders is the only one meaningfully challenging the political, social, and economic status quo It also shows that those neoliberal democrats who attacked Tulsi as a Russian Asset seem fine with her now, as long as she falls in line. I wonder how Jimmy Dore is feeling?

#Bernie2020 Support me on Patreon: https://patreon.com/ChristoAivalis Support me on PayPal: https://www.payfpal.com/paypalme2/chri... For Christo Aivalis: Twitter: https://twitter.com/christoaivalis Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christoaival... Website: https://www.christoaivalis.com Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/christoaivalis1 a


The Militant Vegan , 23 hours ago

What a sellout, shameful. So much for being anti establishment anti war endorsing Biden who has voted for regime change wars

Open Mind , 23 hours ago

sound kinda fishy as Biden was talking about a Female VP .

VeryUs Mumblings , 23 hours ago

I hope Benedict Gabbard will enjoy her vacation to Mt Hypocrite.

Robert James , 23 hours ago

Tulsi is out for herself.

Captain Pawpaw , 23 hours ago (edited)

I thought she was anti-war, yet she supports Biden, what a shame, I can't believe it, she was so fake all along, it's like a bad movie twist... is there even one decent politician in USA, besides Bernie?

Ben Reilly , 23 hours ago (edited)

It's a bummer. She really had so much potential especially after she endorsed Bernie the first time. Now Idk. Williamson is the only one who genuinely went to the most progressive candidate without hesitating. #DemocracyDiesInDarkness

B. Greene , 23 hours ago

Endorsing an Imperialist warmonger. Seriously, WTF???

[Mar 20, 2020] Tulsi disappointed a lot of her voters by endorsing a coward you are now apart of the evil axis of evil elite class, shame on you

Mar 20, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Steve Acevedo , 7 hours ago

It's ok that Tulsi got out of the race but why support Biden? She just lost all her credibility and any chance of me ever believing her again.

victor sempiana , 12 hours ago

Miss Gabbard shame on you, you spoke with human empathy, love and decent understanding towards human experience, you disappointed a lot of your fellow human beings by endorsing a coward you are now apart of the evil axis of evil elite class.

S hame on you,, may the bird of paradise look down upon you, shame on you,, you lie , ,now join the elite and eat sponge cake and drink champagne walk the halls of injustice,

[Mar 20, 2020] I supported you for president. But after your endorsement of Joe Biden I will never support you again

Mar 20, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Enrico Palazzo , 4 hours ago (edited)

I supported you for president. But after your endorsement of Joe Biden I will never support you again.

Richard Dukard , 17 hours ago

I'm guessing she won't be making any more appearances on the Jimmy Dore show...

DJAY GERRAD , 14 hours ago

wow. It's like nobody in America politics has any backbone

Empty The Trash , 16 hours ago

Tulsi Gabbard just endorsed Joe Biden. The guy that voted for the Iraq war she had to fight in. Joe Biden almost got her killed.

[Mar 20, 2020] Tulsi Gabbard lost her political future moral high ground with Biden-2020 endorsement by Helen Buyniski

Et tu, Brute? So she was fake all the way. Did they bought her with promise of some position in Biden administration?
Mar 19, 2020 | www.rt.com
Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has dropped out of the 2020 presidential race to endorse her ideological opposite, establishment darling Joe Biden. It's political suicide – for her, and for the idea of a progressive Democrat. Gabbard's decision to bow out on Thursday may have made sense from an electoral perspective – with just two delegates from her native American Samoa, she wasn't exactly a serious challenger to the much-more-popular Biden or even Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, whom she supported in the 2016 race.

Also on rt.com What about ending endless wars? Tulsi Gabbard drops out of presidential race and backs ...Biden

Shut out of the primary debates by a Democratic Party establishment afraid she might do to the frontrunner what she had done to California Senator Kamala Harris, whose juggernaut campaign began taking on water after Gabbard exposed her heinous record live on stage, Gabbard had little hope of an eleventh-hour electoral rally.

But while swearing fealty to the presumed nominee may have scored her some points among her establishment critics, most had a clear ulterior motive, using her exit as further leverage to pressure Sanders to drop out.

Even Tulsi Gabbard has the dignity to drop out and endorse Biden. Your move, @BernieSanders .

-- Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) March 19, 2020

Many were quite open about dancing on her grave.

It's Assad day for Tulsi Gabbard https://t.co/Qprjus2dXi

-- The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) March 19, 2020

At the same time, Gabbard's erstwhile supporters feel betrayed, and justifiably so. A candidate who built her campaign on opposition to the business-as-usual Democratic policies of cloaking foreign military intervention in humanitarian jargon, Gabbard instead called for taking the trillions spent on the slaughter and plunder of hopelessly-outmatched Middle Eastern nations and using that money to rebuild the crumbling American homeland. It was a message that resonated across the partisan divide, even attracting some disillusioned 2016 Trump supporters who had voted for the president based on his promise to end the endless wars in Syria and Afghanistan, then watched in horror as he stepped up the bombing and tried to open another front in Iran.

For the young Hawaiian to throw her support behind Biden – a man with nearly a 50-year track record of supporting Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, Big Pharma and the rest of the ruling establishment " because he has a good heart " is spitting in the face of the hundreds of thousands of supporters who have contributed to her campaign, made phone calls on her behalf, packed town halls, and otherwise poured their precious time and money into supporting a long-shot candidate.

So Tulsi Gabbard endorses Biden? I have lost all respect for her.P.S. Don't drop out Bernie. #NeverBiden

-- Margaret Kimberley (@freedomrideblog) March 19, 2020

It's no surprise they aren't taking it well. How are voters supposed to trust any future " progressive " candidates after such turncoat maneuvers from not only Gabbard but Sanders, who in 2016 turned on a dime to stump for establishment pick Hillary Clinton after a coterie of unelected superdelegates declared her the winner following a primary process which leaked emails revealed beyond a shadow of a doubt to be rigged? Gabbard's political seppuku should force progressive Democrats to come to terms with the fact that there is no room for reform within their party.

On the bright side, those same pundits who screamed themselves hoarse warning that Gabbard was working for Vladimir Putin to sow discord among the American electorate and swing the nation to Trump now have to quietly revise their apocalyptic visions. Will they admit the congresswoman is not the Russian wrecking ball they claimed she was, or will they carry the fantasy to the finish line and say Gabbard has infected Biden's campaign with Russian 'malign influence'?

[Mar 20, 2020] Such a nice Trojan Horse: How is it possible to morph from a Tulsi, to a Tulsigieg so fast??

Highly recommended!
Mar 20, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Ronald van Kemenade , 9 hours ago

After the DNC stabbing her in the back, she should have endorsed Trump.

Nate Hoffman , 11 hours ago

Great actress. Very convincing.

tim ahlf , 5 hours ago

Obama gave her a call like he did everybody else.

Rita Marie Kelley , 12 hours ago

Aloha will never be the same...

Jack Carvis , 1 hour ago

Every dem politician has a role(acting job) to play and she deserves the Oscar .

eancd , 6 hours ago

I guess they won't be calling Tulsi a Russian agent any more

State of Opportunity , 12 hours ago

She should've just endorsed Lindsey Graham.

TheNada73 , 5 hours ago

They made her an offer she can't refuse.

Bruce Liu , 3 hours ago

Tulsi is controlled opposition

[Mar 19, 2020] Comedian Lee Camp: "America's two-party oligarchy can't relate to those in need"

Mar 19, 2020 | www.rt.com

As the US teeters on the edge of abyss amid a Covid-19 pandemic, the crisis has revealed systemic flaws brought by years of two-party plutocracy that go far beyond a single president, says Lee Camp, host of RT's Redacted Tonight. While President Donald Trump bears a good portion of the blame for the sluggish US response to Covid-19, he is only one piece of a larger puzzle. America's structural defects long predate Trump's time in office, the comedian argued.

"The fact that so many millions of Americans don't have paid sick leave, or hardly make minimum wage and therefore can't afford an emergency – that kind of system was set up under a two-party apparatus that basically agreed: 'Let's create an America where people are completely exploited,'" Camp said.

[Mar 19, 2020] Trump has reached peak incompetence with this one. All the gains of his 'legacy' have been wiped out, but he always has his (((trusted advisers))) ready to steer him into the rocks.

Mar 19, 2020 | www.unz.com

Sick of Orcs , says: Show Comment March 18, 2020 at 9:17 pm GMT

@Poco Globalism is not harmed at all. The machine didn't blow up, it simply shut off. Unfortunately, it supplies life-giving goods and services to billions, regardless of Globohomo using it to spread FOURTH-worlders everywhere in the West (US Southern order remains wide open.)

Trump has reached peak incompetence with this one. All the gains of his 'legacy' have been wiped out, but he always has his (((trusted advisers))) ready to steer him into the rocks. Time to reminisce about record low black unemployment numbers.

[Mar 19, 2020] Trump administration pandemic priorities

Mar 19, 2020 | caitlinjohnstone.com

Pandemic priorities:

Priority #1 – Make sure everyone is aware that this virus indisputably originated in China. China, China, China. Call it the China virus or the Wuhan virus so everyone knows. China is very, very bad and we must say so over and over and over again.

Priority #2 – Deal with virus if we have time.

[Mar 19, 2020] Here s a link to a video of the President saying he is not responsible for the closing of the pandemic office

Mar 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

gnt sglovera day ago

You should know by now that repeating the actual words of administration officials, including the President, is clear evidence of irrational partisan bias. The surgeon general chided the press on Saturday for writing stories about the past.

Here's a link to a video of the President saying he is not responsible for the closing of the pandemic office, linked to a video of the press conference in which he explained why he closed the pandemic office:

Play Hide
engineerscotty gnta day ago
Obviously a deep fake. Dear Leader would never say such a thing, and even if he did, if he says he didn't, he didn't. If you bout this, please report to Room 101.
TISO_AX2 gnt14 hours ago • edited
No, the White House Didn't 'Dissolve' Its Pandemic Response Office
gnt TISO_AX29 hours ago
As near as I can interpret the article you reference, the leading experts on global pandemics were fired. The remaining staff responsible for building the response to global pandemics were assigned new duties. The function of dealing with global pandemics was assigned to an existing department that was also assigned other new responsibilities at the same time. In that sense, there is still an office that is responsible for dealing with global pandemics. But that office no longer has the same resources for doing that, and has many other responsibilities.
TISO_AX2 gnt6 hours ago
When I joined the National Security Council staff in 2018, I inherited a
strong and skilled staff in the counterproliferation and biodefense
directorate. This team of national experts together drafted the National Biodefense Strategy of 2018 and an accompanying national security presidential memorandum to implement it; an executive order to modernize influenza vaccines; and coordinated the United States' response to the Ebola epidemic in Congo, which was ultimately defeated in 2020.

Seems pretty open to obvious interpretation. This was post the so-called firing that is being blamed on the president. And if you have evidence that the administration medical team is not today staffed at a level even higher than before 2017, let's see it.

gnt TISO_AX22 hours ago
So the bureaucrat who picked up the extra responsibilities writes an editorial saying that he had the whole thing handled all along. He doesn't have much credibility; he's got no future as a Republican apparatchik if he doesn't say something here. He ran the office with the responsibility, but there's still no evidence of having kept anyone with expertise in pandemics. Expertise still matters.
TISO_AX2 sglover15 hours ago
No, one wouldn't. But public hypocritical comments (like here) is not the remedy. It's just hypocrisy.
sglover TISO_AX211 hours ago
OK, I'm guessing everybody can use a giggle. So please tell me what "the remedy" is. This should be good.
TISO_AX2 sglover11 hours ago • edited
You could start by not trafficking in falsehoods such as your "pandemic team" claim. And then you should stop whining about division while sowing division.
sglover TISO_AX211 hours ago
I don't understand what "claim" you're referring to. Have you got your lines crossed, managing all the Trump apologetics? I know it's a full-time job.

But actually, Trump, via his surrogate Bolton (you know, the guy Trump appointed as part of "draining the swamp") *did* gut that office. Senior staff left, other staff got reassigned, and the whole shop was reduced to something like two people.

See? I knew you'd be good for a laugh!

TISO_AX2 sglover11 hours ago
Asked and answered. You should read the thread..all of it.
sglover TISO_AX210 hours ago
You are objecting to a video in which Trump admits to the very thing that you claim didn't happen. Truly you're living up to your messiah's words: I take no responsibility .

Aren't you embarrassed? Even a little?

TISO_AX2 sglover10 hours ago
Are you embarrassed to contradict yourself? What are you trying to say...did the President admit to the very thing ...or take no responsibility ?
gnt TISO_AX28 hours ago
The problem is that the President tries to have it both ways. When he thought he was just getting rid of excess staff, he was proud to take responsibility for his choice. When it later became clear that there were bad consequences for that same choice, the President denied responsibility for that specific action.

Trump routinely makes statements that contradict each other, leaving it to his supporters to decide which ones they want to hear. Maybe you're comfortable with the changes in direction, but many of us have memories that go back more than a few hours.

TISO_AX2 gnt7 hours ago • edited
Whatever happened at the NSC was planned long ago. Even Obama knew that it was an overbloated bureaucracy. And your assertion that the reorganization resulted in "bad consequences is just that..a claim. You have not established it as a fact or common knowledge. Based on those conclusions your narrative is uncompelling.

https://www.realclearpoliti...

sglover TISO_AX28 hours ago
My God you are beyond parody. Your big score, the point that you believe is going to show me what's what, is -- My Messiah walked back one of his lies, and you don't want to give him credit . Most people hold toddlers to a higher standard -- do you understand that?
TISO_AX2 sglover7 hours ago
If he's anyone's messiah it's yours. You expect him to walk on water, or save you from coronavirus. I don't expect that of him at all. There's your parody.

[Mar 19, 2020] Fiction at times is more powerful than truth.

Mar 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Mar 18 2020 22:55 utc | 92

I'm reminded that fiction at times is more powerful than truth. Most here are old enough to remember when They Shoot Horses, Don't They hit the movie theaters in December 1969, although they may not recall the tale told. Quite a lot of what's current reminds me of that film.

I can't recall who made the comment equivocating US citizens to salespeople on these threads, but it did spark the thought that it has quite a lot of truth evoked from memories of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman . And now with movie and stage theatres, concert halls and music dives of all types closed, the public's options for entertainment and education via that realm while more diverse than ever are also poorer than ever before, with little enlightened guidance offered by adults. But then how many families have a copy of The Naked and the Dead where they can gather around dad as narrator to experience a great literary work. I see families as too atomized nowadays, incapable of even coming together during a crisis, mired in their phones.

Is that enough to explain Biden's ascendency over Sanders--the utter ignorance of the forces behind the current crisis and their ongoing inhumanity. I read today that Biden represents the Status Quo, and asked myself: Who in their right mind wants a continuation of what's clearly deplorable and disgusting, debilitating and mind-numbing? IMO, the US polity has a Death Wish. I'm reminded of accounts of how the Brits felt at WW2's end--relieved that the war was over but having great trepidation over the future as most were aware their days as an Imperial Master were at an end. Perhaps that's why Biden and Trump are being subconsciously chosen for the role of Robert in Horses so they can be put out of their misery.

[Mar 19, 2020] The fundamental question IMO is why did Biden garner any support to begin with given he abetted all of Obama's crimes and Bush's before him. Did he get the support as the Status Quo candidate?

Mar 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Mar 19 2020 0:29 utc | 98

Walter @96--

The fundamental question IMO is why did Biden garner any support to begin with given he abetted all of Obama's crimes and Bush's before him. And Status Quo candidate?! Did you get the tie-in I attempted between the politics and the movie? Actually, the aim of the comment was to show that truths often appear in fiction and become better teachers than reality. I expanded it some prior to publishing it at my VK space. It took most of my life to discover why my mom preferred literary works to the reality surrounding her. IMO, that would likely be true for millions if they actually took the time to read.

[Mar 19, 2020] Biden is the Candidate from neoliberal Dems and us on Main Street lose big

Mar 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

jo6pac , Mar 18 2020 13:58 utc | 2

biden wins big and us on Main Street lose big:-( It will be another toxic 4 years no matter who win biden or the trumpster.

James joseph , Mar 18 2020 14:16 utc | 7

Biden? Are you all crazy?

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

Notable quotes:
"... "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 14, 2020] Trump rightly announced a national emergency, marking a sharp shift in his approach to the greatest crisis of his presidency. by Jacob Heilbrunn

Mar 13, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

It was a somber Donald Trump who spoke at the White House today to declare a "national emergency" and that "we're doing a great job." Gone was his language about exaggerated fears and a "hoax" surrounding the coronavirus. His own daughter, Ivanka, stayed home rather than visit the White House because of her exposure to an Australian official who has the coronavirus.

Not only was the shift in tone marked, but Trump also referred constantly to the numerous public health experts and corporate CEOs flanking him as he faced the biggest crisis of his presidency. Dr. Anthony Fauci indicated that the coronavirus may remain virulent for another eight to nine weeks: "I can't give you a number. It depends how successful we are." Trump himself sought to convey confidence by emphasizing that his administration had moved quickly to impede the spread of the coronavirus, including quickly ordering travel bans. How effective will his emergency declaration prove?

The most important thing that the administration can do is work to remove the uncertainty surrounding the extent of the spread of the virus. Until there is more clarity, economic activity will be hobbled as investors and businesses retreat from incurring any additional risk. In this regard, Trump's decision to announce an emergency was a case of better late than never. Failure is not an option. Left unchecked, the worst-case estimates are that the coronavirus could kill up to 1.5 million people and turn America into Italy writ large. Writing in the Washington Post today, the Italian journalist Monica Maggioni underscores just how grim that prospect would be: "I find myself confined in a place where time is suspended. All the shops are closed, except for groceries and pharmacies. All the bars and restaurants are shuttered. Every tiny sign of life has disappeared. The streets are totally empty; it is forbidden even to take a walk unless you carry a document that explains to authorities why you have left your house. The lockdown that began here in Lombardy now extends to the entire country."

Some of the most important pledges Trump made were that he would offer up to $50 billion in federal funding to states to battle the coronavirus. He indicated that hospitals can now "do as they want. They could do as they have to." He added, "I'm urging every state to set up emergency operations centers effective immediately." He indicated, in response to a question after his opening statement, that he himself would undergo a coronavirus test, something that he had previously resisted. Trump also said that up to five million tests would be available by the end of the month-a lofty goal. The danger for Trump is that, as is his wont, he is overpromising. Still, the move to establish drive-thru testing at places like Walgreens and Walmart parking lots makes good sense. Trump's weakest moment by far came when he responded to a question about the lack of testing that until now has badly hampered efforts to stop the virus-"No, I don't take responsibility at all."

To help prop up the economy, he indicated that government purchases for the strategic reserve would be increased. Wall Street responded positively to Trump's remarks as the stock market rose, ending up almost two thousand points on Friday. But Trump also pooh-poohed a multi-billion dollar bill backed by House Democrats to address the coronavirus crisis, remarking that they "are not doing what's right for the country." Among other things, it does not include the payroll tax relief that Trump is supporting. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is vowing to vote on the bill.

For now, the measures that Trump announced today will mark a significant shift in his administration's approach to the pandemic. Former Food and Drug Administration head Scott Gottlieb tweeted, "Actions by White House today to sharply increase testing capacity and access, declare a national emergency, implement new steps to protect vulnerable Americans, support assistance for those hardest hit by mitigation steps, all very important. Will meaningfully improve readiness."

[Mar 14, 2020] This is a transformational moment in history that will allow American politics to socialize and turn away resolutely from the anti-government stupidity represented by Trump and all the anti-New Deal elements among the elite predators that have dominated politically since Reagan

Notable quotes:
"... This is a transformational moment in history that will allow American politics to socialize and turn away resolutely from the anti-government stupidity represented by Trump and all the anti-New Deal elements among the elite predators that have dominated politically since Reagan. It is a mistake to chose Biden, chief author of the Patriot Act, business-as-usual candidate, corporate lackey, weasel. ..."
Mar 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

jadan , Mar 14 2020 2:45 utc | 187

This is a transformational moment in history that will allow American politics to socialize and turn away resolutely from the anti-government stupidity represented by Trump and all the anti-New Deal elements among the elite predators that have dominated politically since Reagan. It is a mistake to chose Biden, chief author of the Patriot Act, business-as-usual candidate, corporate lackey, weasel.

Bernie is the only rational choice, but the American people are not rational, and do not yet understand the urgency of a radical left turn. Much suffering will be the result and a radical right turn could occur, although disenchantment with the blithering idiocy of Donald Trump has already deprived him of any chance of re-election. The virus is going to take him down before profound political embarrassment. He's a dead man walking.This may be true of Bernie & Biden as well, but I say this without prejudice.

The Chinese clearly knew the character of this virus before it became apparent to the world. They did not react so swiftly or dramatically to earlier outbreaks like SARS, swine flu, avian flu and etc. They had prior knowledge of the potential of nCov2019. The US did not.

Why do we have a National Security Council or a Department of Homeland Security if they cannot read the writing on the wall? It was an accidental release of a weaponized virus. The US should have taken a cue and reacted with similar conviction shown by the CCP. But we have no leadership worth a shit.

Our representative republic has suffered an embarrassment in this failure to protect the people while a so-called national enemy, a communist dictatorship, has demonstrated more effective leadership and greater capability to protect its people. This is more than an embarrassment. It is an indictment of our political system.

It is time to turn sharply left to social democracy.

[Mar 14, 2020] Branko Marcetic: The Case Against Joe Biden by Scott

Mar 11, 2020 | scotthorton.org

| | Interviews Scott interviews Branko Marcetic about his new book, Yesterday's Man: The Case Against Joe Biden , which explores the arc of Biden's decades-long political career. Marcetic explains that Biden has never really had serious ideological commitments, and instead has simply wanted power and prestige since he was a kid. This has led to a life of switching positions on major issues when he perceived that it would be to his benefit, as he has done on the wars in the Middle East, the drug wars at home, welfare-state economic policies, and "humanitarian" interventions abroad. All of this, Marcetic asserts, makes Biden the wrong candidate for today's Democratic party. He has already faced some scrutiny from his more progressive colleagues, but Scott and Marcetic know this will only intensify if he has to face President Trump in the general election.

Discussed on the show:

Branko Marcetic is a writer for Jacobin Magazine , a fellow at In These Times , and host of the 1/200 podcast . He is the author of Yesterday's Man: The Case Against Joe Biden . Follow him on Twitter @BMarchetich .

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT , by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State , by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com ; Tom Woods' Liberty Classroom ; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott ; Listen and Think Audio ; TheBumperSticker.com ; and LibertyStickers.com .

Donate to the show through Patreon , PayPal , or Bitcoin: 1Ct2FmcGrAGX56RnDtN9HncYghXfvF2GAh.

[Mar 14, 2020] Status Quo Joe 2020: Neoliberal and warmonger Biden is the replay of Hillary

Mar 14, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

You end up with Joe Biden, running on three things: 1) he's not Trump; 2) maybe he'll die in office and his VP will take over early in his term; and 3) Joe's cognitive decline appears slightly less severe than Trump's. Not exactly "Hope and Change."

Biden candidacy also means sweeping three years of Democratic messaging under the bed. The list of once-familiar subjects Joe won't be able to talk about is a long one. Russiagate imploded on its own. Impeachment centered on Hunter Biden and ain't nobody on the Democratic side gonna bring that up.

President Bone Spurs? Biden received five student draft deferments during the Vietnam War, same as Trump. In 1968, when his student status was wrapping up, Biden was medically reclassified as "not available" due to asthma. Yet in his autobiography , he describes an active youth as a lifeguard and high school football player. He also lied about being on the University of Delaware football team.

Trump's naughty finances? After leaving the Obama White House, Joe and his wife made more than $15 million , mostly via sweetheart book deals. They made nearly twice as much in 2017 as they did in the previous 19 years combined. The University of Pennsylvania gave Joe $775,000 to teach, and then was nice enough to grant him indefinite leave of absence from actually teaching. Biden charged the Secret Service $2,200 a month in rent for a cottage on his property so they could protect him. Since leaving office, he's made $2.4 million on speaking engagements, including $10,000 for travel expenses to the University of Buffalo. A speech at Southwestern Michigan in October 2018 included $50,000 in travel expenses.

Taxes? After failing to close the loophole with Obama, Joe left office to create his own S Corporation. As a result, he receives money for things like book advances and speaking fees not directly, which would cause him to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes as with salaries, but laundered as divestitures from a corporation he owns. As corporate money, nasty personal taxes are fully avoided, and the corporation can claim nearly unlimited "business expenses" to be deducted against those profits. Joe's S Corp also donated his own money back to his PAC. Legal laundering.

... Biden represents to many Democratic voters that they will never see health care reform again in their lifetime (his comeback drove a $48 billion gain for health insurance stock; they know.) They also won't see a woman president for who knows how many years. Income inequality will remain the salient characteristic of our society. To win, the 77-year-old Biden will have to break the record for oldest man sworn in as president (Trump holds the title now).


Robert Knox Rkramden66 2 hours ago

In 2016, Democrats nominated Hillary who was under criminal investigation. Now they're looking to nominate Joe Biden, who's under criminal investigation in Ukraine. I guess they're making a tradition of it.
Vapaus Robert Knox 23 minutes ago
In 2016, the DNC* nominated Hillary who was under criminal investigation by rigging their own primaries so rank-and-file Democratic primary voters never really had a choice (which DNC successfully argued in court is entirely their right to do as a private organization, defrauding their own voters with rigged primaries is their legal prerogative, a right which they proudly reserve). Amazing Democrats did not learn even after their shocking loss with Hillary to Trump in 2016, they want the "safe" establishment choice who is "electable", the same logic that led Republicans to nominate Presidents Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney...
Nelson 2 days ago • edited
Status Quo Joe 2020
Better things aren't possible!

[Mar 14, 2020] Yesterday's Man The Case Against Joe Biden by Branko Marcetic

Mar 14, 2020 | www.amazon.com

Yesterday's Man exposes the forgotten history of Joe Biden, one of the United States's longest-serving politicians, and one of its least scrutinized.

Over nearly fifty years in politics, the man called "Middle-Class Joe" served as a key architect of the Democratic Party's rightward turn, ushering in the end of the liberal New Deal order and enabling the political takeover of the radical right.

Far from being a liberal stalwart, Biden often outdid even Reagan, Gingrich, and Bush, assisting the right-wing war against the working class, and ultimately paving the way for Trump.

The most comprehensive political biography of someone who has tried for decades to be president, Yesterday's Man is an essential read for anyone interested in knowing the real Joe Biden and what he might do in office.

[Mar 14, 2020] Congress discard neoliberalism and jump into direct the New Deal Style action

Mar 14, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Every aspect of modern life is being hit as sweeping measures are rolled out in an effort to stem the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump declared a national emergency Friday "to unleash the full power of the federal government."
"No resource will be spared, nothing whatsoever," the president said as stocks rose sharply, regaining some of their recent losses.


Hours later, the House overwhelmingly approved legislation to give direct relief to Americans impacted by the spreading virus. Central to the aid package are free testing and sick pay guarantee for Americans affected.


People who are sick with the virus and have to be treated or quarantined would qualify for the sick pay benefit, which requires employers to offer 14 days of sick leave at "not less" than two-thirds of an employee's normal pay. Others who would qualify for paid sick leave are those who need to be home to care for a child whose school or childcare center has closed, and those who need to leave their jobs to take care of a family member infected with the virus.


The legislation offers three months of paid family and medical leave. And small and mid-sized employers would be reimbursed through tax credits." CBSNEWS


J , 14 March 2020 at 01:10 PM

Here's a link that I hope will be helpful to those wondering.

CoronaVirus.Gov

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

robt willmann , 14 March 2020 at 02:40 PM
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act appears to be in Title 42, U.S. Code, Chapter 68--

https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title42/chapter68&edition=prelim

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/chapter-68

ST Harris , 14 March 2020 at 02:57 PM
And don't forget the amped up Fed repo purchasing, the fed had been trying to pull back on these since late last year, but this means max power QE2 through 2020, for better and for worse:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/overall-fed-temporary-liquidity-rises-to-283-1-billion-11584021405

[Mar 14, 2020] Moderately Liberal, Extremely Dystopian Establishment Democrats and Big Brained Centrism by William Hawes

Essentially Dems "royalty" (few regular voters vote in primaries; mostly those are party activists) voted for the Obama-style neoliberal status quo.
Sanders was hampered by his support of open borders policies and his cozy attitude to the establishment democrats to the extent that he really sounded again like a sheep dog (Biden is my friend; which such friends who needs an enemy)
Mar 12, 2020 | dissidentvoice.org
As we approach the middle of March 2020 with Super Tuesday behind us, the moderate candidacy of Joe Biden has gained momentum, notching ten victories. The recent spat of moderate candidates dropping out (Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Bloomberg, Steyer) alongside Elizabeth Warren's decision to stay in for Super Tuesday (and dropping out right after) boosted Biden into the lead in delegate count, but it is unclear going forward whether he will be able to gain ground or maintain his advantage.

His campaign is essentially a redux of Hillary Clinton's in 2016, a dystopian offering of neoliberal establishment ideas: essentially the most harmful, bland, out-of-touch, uninspiring, and ignorant set of centrist policies. Biden offers nothing new, substantial, or exciting; and he himself stated to donors last year that "nothing would fundamentally change" under his presidency. By continuing to go with "moderate", centrist agendas, the Democratic Party establishment, corporate America, and mainstream media reveal they would rather lose to Trump than get behind the progressive choice, Bernie Sanders.

Support for Bernie Sanders is strong across all national polling, yet in past debates, his moderate rivals continued to shoot themselves in the foot by offering up the most ridiculous arguments against progressive causes. Regardless of his success, Biden has learned nothing and absorbed no lessons from his fellow moderates' failures or the excitement and promise offered by the progressive wing of his party. He is a living fossil. Like his corporate-backed counterpart moderates, his whole shtick is based on presenting himself as the lesser of two evils, offering the most milquetoast set of policies, and attempting to make voters fearful of Sanders' incremental reforms by casting them as socialist and authoritarian.

By representing Sanders' social democratic policies as "dangerous" as well as his supporters as being rude on social media because they actually care and are passionate about changing the direction of this country, the centrist hydra of campaign rhetoric and establishment media devolved into offering an infantile, McCarthyite debating style.

Much like the centrist triad of Biden, Buttigieg (who suspended his campaign March 1st), and Klobuchar (also suspended March 2nd), who are equal parts sell-outs, windbags, and sycophantic brown-nosers to the ruling class, the professional class choice, technocrat, pseudo-progressive Elizabeth Warren as well as what I'd call the "Silicon Valley candidate" Andrew Yang also represent the epitome of "big-brained centrist" thought.

Basically, this term represents the attitude of mainstream liberal as well as conservative candidates, commentators, and their supporters who believe they truly understand the world better than anyone else due to what they consider their meritocratic success, and use all sorts of neoliberal fallacies, deliver paeans to pragmatism and bipartisanship, mock social democratic reforms with calls to be "reasonable", and generally act as puppets of corporate and imperial power. Of course, it should be obvious that those who harp on achieving "realistic goals" are those that view anything involving a transformation of society involving redistribution of wealth from the rich to the working classes as prima facie unrealistic.

As for Steyer and Bloomberg, they too fall prey to neoliberal notions of rugged individualism; i.e., that their economic success is due to their own "hard work", and were so completely out of touch that they cannot realize the electorate is not prepared to substitute one billionaire for another, no matter what party they represent, or what good they claim they've been able to accomplish in their philanthropic endeavors.

All of the candidates, except for Bernie Sanders, completely debased themselves when asked if the candidate with the most delegates should get the Democratic nomination. That's how democracy is supposed to work, right? The person with the most votes should win, no? Not if you want to suck up to the ruling class, who are deathly afraid of Sanders' redistributive agenda.

Climbing corporate and political hierarchies as well as the fake meritocracy in this country inflates politicians' egos and warped the ability to self-reflect on their own abilities and intelligence. In psychology, this is known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect, defined as : "a cognitive bias in which people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability in a specific area. This tends to occur because a lack of self-awareness prevents them from accurately assessing their skills."

Terrifyingly, one of the consequences of this effect is that many of the afflicted exude rare confidence due to their overestimation of their skills that can be mistaken for dedication, passion, expertise, and conviction. While truly intelligent people constantly question and doubt their own ideas and preconceived notions, lesser intellects rigidly cling to dogmas in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. This was summed up best by Yeats, when he wrote: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

In politics and social relations, this effect is compounded because the awareness of the suffering of others is blunted the higher you go on the socio-economic scale. The effect of ascending political hierarchies is not much different in a capitalist economy, because the higher you go the more beholden you are to elite interests. As studies have shown, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) declines significantly the higher you look on the corporate ladder. CEOs and business owners tend to have more sociopathic, narcissistic, and psychopathic traits.

This is why it is so hard to change the minds of the privileged and affluent: it is not simply a matter of intellect and rational argumentation to help bring change to another's belief system. If only logical persuasion worked that effectively! One must also help cultivate awareness, a sense of interconnectedness with the less fortunate, the environment and the universe, and a way to empathize with poor, vulnerable, and minority communities. One can prove empirically over and over how a socialist economy, universal healthcare, and a society of free association of producers would significantly improve the lives of people around the world. Those in denial still won't believe you, because their self-awareness and sense of empathy for the poor, dispossessed, and vulnerable has atrophied.

It is at this stage in history that the nihilism of rich liberals and conservatives as well as the professional-managerial class reaches truly epic proportions, threatening the survival of humanity and most species on the planet. The real material conditions and problems of working people are abstracted as inequality rises. The obvious cause of the immiseration of the population and the devastation of the environment, capitalism, is obscured. Conservatives and republicans are even more delusional due to their slavish devotion to the status quo and political and economic hierarchies, as well as their mythical belief that the capitalist "free market" can solve all manner of problems. Further, conservatives view any government intervention to regulate corporate monopoly power and lessen environmental degradation as an infringement on their rights, or inane arguments that sensible environmental regulation will hurt the economy are used.

The only option left for moderate liberals is to succumb to the dystopian vision of neoliberal thought which dominates center-left and center-right thinking, because it is all-pervasive. Even mild progressives who stray even a bit to the left (such as Warren) are instantly and predictably vilified by the press, by billionaires who literally cry in public in protestation of her wealth tax. This leads the opportunistic and ambitious (Warren, just like Obama before her) to tack to the center in order to secure donors to stay in politics and keep their jobs.

The moderate candidates know their ideas are viewed as trash by a significant amount of voters, so identity politics, as well as rhetoric and euphemisms about "structural change" are predictably trotted out. Neoliberal is now a dirty word, so liberal politicians deflect as much as possible and claim their policies are "pragmatic" and are willing to work across the aisle and compromise, in contrast to the "uncompromising" style of Sanders. These are the big-brained centrists, who let their ruling class donors do all their thinking for them as to what constitutes an acceptable and "realistic" policy.

Big-brain centrism is also a term to describe a type of neoliberal wonkery which emphasizes that only technocratic policy, which echoes the Third Way of Blair and Clinton, a centrism in which the patina of "progressivism", economic "pragmatism", and the appearance of caring for marginalized groups dominates. Increased political representation of minorities is a wonderful thing, but the moderate democrats will never grow a spine and ask for economic redistribution from billionaires to poor people of color. Only "moderates" can deliver the best model for liberal democracy, and everyone to their left, even the mild-mannered reformism of Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is an "extremist" or a "populist". Of course, this hodge-podge of power-hungry politicians, clueless think-tank sycophants, and conniving corporate vampires are totally beholden to elite interests, as they represent a class of smug affluent liberals and republicans who pray to the Almighty Dollar.

The big-brained liberals are hypnotized by the concept of bipartisanship, which is what Obama tried and failed to do for eight years. For the centrists, the idea that the two-party system is become more polarized is an unmitigated disaster, leaving only "far-left" politics in fashion (we wish!) alongside far-right politics (accurate). True progress can only be made "in the middle", what some like to call "radical centrism" and politicians should not pander to their constituents with "empty promises" and "populist rhetoric." What this radical centrism misses is the rightward shift in economics and federal policy which has been underway for 40+ years, and the consequent shift in the Overton Window: the range of ideas that are considered acceptable in US politics. In the 1960s, for instance, Sanders' reformism would have been seen as standard, middle-of-the-road liberal set of policies, rather than today, where social democratic agendas induce shrieking from rich know-nothings and talking heads who insist that Bernie is an authoritarian communist.

In this Beltway bubble-world, Sanders is simply the converse of Trump, a dangerous left-wing populist, who, in words of Buttigieg, "wants to burn this party down." What Sanders simply wants is to bring the US into the 21st century by adopting the social democratic policies of Scandinavia and most European nations. Yet, this is unacceptable to the "realistic" and "electability" thought-police. Big brain centrism is what it would look like to put Thomas Friedman and David Brooks in a room together and let them try to come up with federal policies. Their policies and worldview probably would not look very different from some of the ideas and concepts of each of the recent candidates, presented below.

The main thing to recognize is that all the moderate candidates, Warren included, are careerists. It's not about helping others, it's about them. If and when politics no longer is a viable career path for them, they will be happy to sell themselves as consultants, lobbyists, mainstream media propagandists, sit on corporate boards, and rack up speaking fees to parrot back to the ruling classes what acceptable discourse and policy is, within a capitalist and imperialist framework.

To see more examples of what I mean by Big-Brained Centrism, we will look at a statement, tweet, or policy idea from many of the moderate candidates, even the ones who have dropped out. We'll start with a statement from Andrew Yang, because it might be one of the best examples of big-brained idiocy.

Yangonomics: "Beware the Technocracy", The Accelerationist Candidate

Andrew Yang's entire campaign and many of his tech/start-up supporters represent exquisite examples of the big-brain mindset. In his final debate, he stated:

The entire capitalism/socialism dichotomy is completely out of date. The fact is when people were talking about these economic models they did not foresee the technology getting stronger, more powerful, and capable of doing the work of thousands of humans what we have to do is get the markets working to improve our way of life instead of following GDP and corporate profits off a cliff, we should be measuring our own health and wellness the way forward is a new human-centered version of capitalism that actually uses the markets to improve our families lives.

This is absolute garbage, cloaked within the progressive notion of redefining national well-being and taking easy shots at corporate greed. Capitalism is utterly and inexorably based on over-consumption and chasing profits over everything else; there is no way to make it "human-centered"

If we were to take him at his word of meeting in the middle, a fair response would be that the closest version of a compromise solution for the "outdated dichotomy" is the social democratic and redistributive agenda of Bernie Sanders. More importantly, Yang is attempting to erase two hundred years of public debate as to the distinctions between two radically different economic models and the invaluable contributions of generations of activists, scholars, and citizens. Perhaps he believes that by virtue of being a "successful entrepreneur" and business owner, he can see things the rest of us can't.

As for the "no one could have foreseen technology getting stronger " give me a fucking break. You have to be drop-dead naïve or just plain ignorant to think this. You don't think people who built the first trains, light bulbs, cars, worked in the first mills and factories, etc., couldn't see how these inventions and new methods of production would reshape the world? Indigenous peoples, radical artists, environmentalists, communists, and anarchists have been warning about the negative impacts of industrial-scale technology for generations. In Western literature, towering figures like William Blake and Henry David Thoreau as well as many others prophetically warned of the dangers posed by the Industrial Revolution.

What happened, of course, is that the monopoly power of capital never allowed for the more efficient distribution of resources to make lives better for the working classes, because there is little money to be made by helping and caring for people and the environment. Capitalism relies on parasitical master-servant relationships, exploiting nature and the working classes for as many resources and as much labor as possible in order to produce the most profit in the shortest amount of time.

Contrary to Yang's ahistorical word salad and his implicit assumption that people in the past were stupid, those who lived hundreds of years ago were just as intelligent as today (if not more so) and realized exactly where this was leading. In a very good piece for The Guardian, Yanis Varoufakis explains how Marx and Engels predicted our crisis over 150 years ago:

Anyone reading the [Communist] manifesto today will be surprised to discover a picture of a world much like our own, teetering fearfully on the edge of technological innovation. In the manifesto's time, it was the steam engine that posed the greatest challenge to the rhythms and routines of feudal life. The peasantry was swept into the cogs and wheels of this machinery and a new class of masters, the factory owners and the merchants usurped the landed gentry's control over society. Now, it is artificial intelligence and automation that loom as disruptive threats, promising to sweep away 'all fixed, fast-frozen relations'. 'Constantly revolutionising instruments of production,' the manifesto proclaims, transform 'the whole relations of society', bringing about 'constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation'.

Like the rest of the moderate candidates, Yang is a product of his insular milieu, his ideology molded by anti-communist/Cold War/red scare propaganda and the fevered dreams of Tech-mogul capitalists. Being an entrepreneur apparently means one does not have to read or understand political economy, or basic history; one is a political expert simply based on the ability to "create jobs." He is the Silicon Valley candidate, those true believers in unrestrained automation who believe they understand the economy better than everyone else because they've spent the most time sitting through meetings about "corporate synergy."

"Sensible" policy must be in the center, as one of his slogans suggests: "Not Left, Not Right, Forward." Yang, Warren, and Mayor Pete were considered "the smart candidates" by the media and many liberals. Primarily because they mirror back upper-middle class narcissism and promise not to disturb the security and comfort of the affluent. This just goes to show how simpleminded and anti-intellectual mainstream political commentary has become. Capitalism has had over 200 years to develop the chance to become "human centered." It cannot because it is fundamentally set up to serve the profit motive over basic needs of people. Capitalist markets have always skewed the vast majority of benefits to the upper classes, with pipe dreams of wealth "trickling down" to the masses.

Yang could have made much more progress had he tacked harder to the left, but instead he falls prey to his belief in "human-centered capitalism." His UBI proposal was popular; yet as an affluent business owner and stand-in for the entrepreneur class, he could not manage to go against his donors as well as his own interests by creating a framework for price controls to fight against inflation and parasitical price-gouging. Despite his concern over AI and automation leading to massive job loss, he does not fundamentally address the exploitative relationship between employer and employees, or understand how increased digital and robot-led production will lead to new levels of coercive labor monopolization of the means of production.

One Mike Weinstein explains Yang's worldview quite well here , in a piece titled "Beware the Technocracy":

Yang speaks the language of the ruling class, one of inscrutable economics to uphold the narrative of technology as savior. His aim is cloak this in popular socialist ideas such as universal healthcare and income. Yang promotes this package as a self-proclaimed 'human-centered economy'. It's worth noting that the robot antagonists in The Matrix had a human-centered economy, too.

Andrew Yang is a privileged tech-bro, but he had one thing going for him, he was earnest, somewhat open-minded, and willing to listen to others. In this piece , his interviewer sketches out the basics of accelerationism to Yang, implying that this is the first time Yang has heard of the idea, and Yang responds with interest, wanting to know more. Yang, unlike the rest of the moderates, might be a know-nothing; but at least he can have a human conversation, and is at least open to learning about new ideas.

His refusal to include a social safety net for the needy, disabled, and elderly that could stand to lose under his UBI, as well as his refusal to endorse Medicare for All, is further proof of his myopia, however. See this summary of his thought, published in Big Think , or this one , at Ted.com , both of which specialize in big-brain centrism. Yang also proposed to raise revenue for the UBI via a value-added tax, which is a tax on consumption and disproportionately hurts low-income workers, rather than a more sensible wealth tax.

Warren: Feel-good candidate for the Professional-Managerial Class

Elizabeth Warren also tacked to the center, repeatedly describing herself as "capitalist to her bones". While the act of adopting progressive liberal values and rhetoric mixed with pro-capitalist corporate-speak worked in the past, for instance, for Obama and even for Jimmy Carter before him, there is no popular "middle ground" to occupy now in the Democratic Party. The 2008 economic crisis advanced political consciousness in such a way that mainstream liberals now see the ground shifting underneath them. Either you are a firm Democratic establishment centrist, or you're in the progressive/social democratic/democratic socialist camp.

Warren, straddling both sides of this fault line, could not seem to pick a lane. Her attacks on the banks and her wealth tax proposal would seem to mark her as a progressive, but her professional-managerial class (PMC) background pulls her to support the Clinton/Obama technocratic way of governing. Politics is about having big ideas and pointing out the systemic problems in society (which Bernie Sanders has, and does) and finding ways to implement them; not about having a series of band-aid solutions and incoherent plans for "structural change" without examining the root cause of our maladies: capitalism. No one wants to hear flip-flopping about a "transition plan" to shift to Medicare for All in three years. People want to know that you will fight for them on day one, because every day that you hesitate poor and homeless people literally die in the streets because of lack of access to health care; also men, women, and children are killed each day due to our imperial and frankly genocidal foreign policy, which she demonstrated hardly any basic knowledge of, or real interest towards.

Both Warren's wealth tax and her climate plan were considerable tamer than Sanders' plans. If you're going to challenge corporate power, even within the confines of US electoral politics, you can't excite the "populist" liberal-left with halfway measures. Voters were canny enough to see through her fence-sitting, hence her relative lack of support, even within her home state of Massachusetts.

One of Warren's most glaringly dystopian plans was for "fighting digital disinformation". There is a glimmer of a good idea hidden in the concept, in that she proposed penalties for those who engage in voter suppression. The real doozy is that she plans to criminalize "disinformation" and wants the corporate social media behemoths like Facebook and Twitter to censor and moderate political speech, as well as leaving the door open for government censorship of news. In this she parrots the desires of the Democratic establishment who, of course, are deeply entwined with the Military-Industrial-Intelligence complex. Liberal establishment figures have become emboldened since 2016: for instance Hillary Clinton views anyone who disturbs her as being aided by Russia; such as Trump, but also Jill Stein and Tulsi Gabbard, absurdly. Liberals such as Warren aim to increase paranoia in the populace, consciously or not, surrounding the idea of "foreign meddling" and seek to weaponize the election interference narrative against any politicians who do not support the ruling class. This is why Bernie Sanders was told his campaign was being aided by Russia, in effect to smear his entire campaign. The real targets in the "interference" narrative are leftists who want to redistribute wealth.

Agent Pete

Pete Buttigieg represents a special type of stupid. First, Buttigieg's policies (or lack thereof) show just how worthless a Rhodes scholar-level education truly is, just like it showed for Cory Booker. Just like Kamala Harris, Buttigieg is the offspring of a worldly and erudite Marxist professor who didn't learn a thing; in Mayor Pete's case, he decided to rebel against his father and work for the machine in the killing fields of Afghanistan and the corrupt scandal-ridden firm McKinsey.

There is much more to the Mayor Pete back-story regarding his intelligence and national security connections. He worked in Naval Intelligence in Afghanistan alongside the CIA. He penned an op-ed in The New York Times with a friend about visiting Somaliland and meeting with "local leaders." He keeps a map of Afghanistan displaying its mineral resources in his study (the alarm bells should be going off). He wrote in his book about visiting a "safehouse" in Iraq. Many foreign policy and national security figures backed his candidacy. And yes, thanks to Left Twitter, #CIAPete was blowing up on social media.

Whether or not Mayor Pete is a spy asset or not does not really matter. What matters is he thinks like them, and shares their worldview of supporting US imperial and economic domination at all costs.

How do we know this is true? Buttigieg had a line in a recent debate about "being inclusive" by taking donations from billionaires. Who honestly thinks taking money from billionaires is to make society more inclusive? Only a little slug willing to completely debase himself to his ruling-class overlords would admit this publicly; even Biden at his most incoherent would never blurt this out.

Listening to Pete talk in general was just bewildering. He imitates Obama's style at every turn, yet cannot match his soaring oratory and simply does not answer questions or deliver any tangible idea of what he will offer. He is the platitude candidate; every time he speaks it's like opening a fortune cookie, as he's full of vague truisms.

One of the most dystopian plans of Pete was a "National Service Program". Predictably, it is framed with patriotic, nationalistic rhetoric. The goal would be to increase the service program with the end goal being a "universal, national expectation of service" (from his website ) while also claiming it will be "strictly optional". High school and college students are already exploited enough in the classroom and at their jobs, and funding a plan so that young people can put a gold star on their resume pretty much sums up Pete in a nutshell. Here's his justification:

In the great unwinding of American civic society underway, and at a time when Americans are experiencing record-low trust in fellow citizens and American institutions, few -- if any -- single policy solutions carry the promise of democratic renewal more than national service.

A simple rebuttal would be to ask what is causing the "unwinding" and "record-low trust". It's obviously inequality, corruption in government, corporations which are legally bound to choose profits over people, little to no regulation of technology and fossil fuel corporations, monopolization in virtually every sector of the economy, lack of health care and a living wage. There is no indication that this plan would solve any of these issues, because the Oxford-educated Mayor cannot be bothered to think critically. Or, rather, an Oxford education blinds one to the fact that capitalism is the root cause of our systemic crises. Typical of elites, he confuses class conflict with national frailty and disunity, much like Trump. He is a true believer in the system, and projects his privileged fake-meritocratic upbringing onto everyone around him with a call to service. Any national service plan with Pete at the helm feels like a plan for assimilating youth into our Death Star corporate-driven empire; for creating a "McKinsey Youth" for America.

Steyer and Bloomberg: Upholding a Nation Run for Plutocrats, by Plutocrats

Today one must be for the poor and working classes to gain mass political popularity, like Sanders; or conversely offer a proto-fascist program of a return to national greatness, like the racist, money-worshipping, chauvinist Twitter troll, like Trump. That is why the elites are even more afraid of Sanders, because he and more crucially his base offer a clean break and a qualitatively better and more egalitarian organization of society.

The super-rich must be excluded from the political process because they will always put the interests of capital above the common good, and refuse to see how their actions directly contribute to the impoverishment of workers and the degradation of the environment. Any intervention by them, in the name of philanthropy or donations to politicians, proves that their money buys political power, social control, and makes a mockery of any notion of "democracy" in this nation. This is called an oligarchy. Which reminds me, Mike Bloomberg should no longer be addressed as "Mayor Bloomberg"; "Plutocrat Bloomberg" or "Oligarch Bloomberg" would be more appropriate.

Amy's Rage

Amy Klobuchar is a lot of things. She is undoubtedly driven, hard-working, and passionate about her work. The problem is the work she does is inherently bad for most people and she did not have any good policy ideas that differentiated her from the other centrists. Her other problem is that she has extreme anger issues.

Klobuchar is an abusive boss and her employees described her offices in Minnesota and D.C. as a "hostile work environment." The most she's addressed this is by stating she's "tough" and has "high expectations" for her staff. The clues to her barely-bottled rage are under the surface, as this article in The Atlantic opines: her childhood spent with a neglectful, alcoholic father severely messed her up.

This is not an uncommon situation, with a subset of leaders put into positions of power that were traumatized in childhood. Many become highly-driven over-achievers in the corporate and political worlds: it's easier to run from the ghosts when you're showered with accolades and money. Many also burn with rage, are vengeful and prone to irrational outbursts, consider any slight or unavoidable accident a personal affront, and crave domination and control over others. Much like management in large corporations, her former staff describes a brutal hierarchical and tyrannical environment where the smallest mistake could set her off into tantrums or the throwing of office supplies, forcing staff to do demeaning work involving her personal effects, and would regularly condescend and shame her employees openly in person and through email. We already have an authoritarian in the White House who needs psychological counseling. Klobuchar should not be attempting to seek power: like the rest of the corporate and political ruling classes, she should be seeking professional help.

Biden: Senior Moments

Let's just get it out of the way: Joe Biden is seriously slipping upstairs. I suppose that's not an anomaly anymore for presidential politics, as we have dealt with cognitive decline before with Reagan in his second term. We've dealt with not-so-bright presidents too: the entire George W. Bush presidency, and now Trump. If Biden becomes the nominee and president it will be a national, collective senior moment. I don't really have the words to describe a head-to-head Biden-Trump debate, other than it being extremely depressing, and that I would predict an increase in sales of alcohol. It would break the country on some visceral level. Nominating Biden could end the Democratic Party for good, so maybe there would be a silver lining.

Interestingly, Biden spoke to donors in 2019 and stated that "no one's standard of living would change" and "nothing would fundamentally change" if he became elected. It would make for an honest slogan, at least. Vote Biden in 2020: Nothing will change.

When moderate democrats say "be realistic", say it back to them: be realistic, Biden would surely lose to Trump. Only Sanders has a shot at defeating him, as Trump would absolutely eviscerate Biden and run circles around him. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and Trump is as broken a person as they come; but he is smart enough to harp on Biden's mental decline and his son's shady job as a board member of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, a position he had absolutely no expertise in.

Oh Canada!?: Trudeau Marches for Climate

The most ridiculous and absurd example of big-brain centrism comes from our neighbor to the North, however. In September of 2019, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took part in a climate protest in Montreal. He tweeted: "Today we marched for our planet, our kids, and for their future." It did not seem to dawn on him that his fellow citizens were marching to protest the lack of action his government was taking to battle global warming. You're their leader, Justin. If you want to take action, use every available mechanism in your own government to make a change. The people put you in power to do exactly that. Was he protesting himself? Was he admitting that even as PM he is as powerless as the average citizen to fight the fossil fuel industries? Under his administration, Albertan oil sands continue to be extracted, and new pipeline expansion is in place against the will of the Wet'suwet'en First Nations tribe who are currently protesting.

The Moderates Serve the Ruling Class

Just to stick with Trudeau's nastiness for a moment, everyone should read this article on the First Nation protestors in Canada fighting the Coastal GasLink Pipeline expansion. If you feel called, watch the embedded video. The RMCP point their rifles at nonviolent protestors- police who operate under the orders of Justin Trudeau. Make no mistake, Biden would be no different in the US. He serves at the behest of the ruling classes. It doesn't matter if it's Obama with Occupy Wall Street and the Dakota Access Pipeline, Trump, Trudeau, or a possible Biden regime: they all will intimidate and if necessary kill their own citizens who use direct action to resist fossil fuel expansion and corporate rule. It's all a sick twisted game to protect the property of the rich for the "sensible", "highly-esteemed", blue-check mark politicians and media flunkies.

Even if the moderate liberals gave one single solitary fuck about average working people, the environment, future generations, and the citizenry they pander to, they are too weak-minded because they insist everything be done at the glacial pace (as glaciers are now in rapid retreat in many parts of the world this metaphor may no longer be useful, thanks to them) of bipartisan electoral politics, and will compromise with conservatives at every turn to water-down absolutely any and every possible progressive or radical legislative reforms.

Like Trudeau, they all want to have it both ways: to be seen as a progressive, "woke" politician; a radical climate protestor in his case, while at the same time being central figures of the establishment, upholding an inhumane system, walking corpses who prop up the status quo, absolute tools of corporate and imperial rule. Which in the end means that they really only care about themselves: their fame, power, glory, and their money.

Bernie Sanders has his own serious flaws, most especially in regards to foreign policy. Yet he is the only candidate who speaks to the need to create a better, kinder, more reasonable and egalitarian nation; and the best chance to popularize socialism right now, however ill-suited he may be to the task.

Even Hillary Clinton weighed in on Sanders recently and said "nobody likes him, no one wants to work with him." It might be worthwhile for citizens and neoliberal imperialists like Clinton, Biden, Trudeau, and the rest to question what it means to be "popular" and what positive "work" has actually been accomplished in a Congress which hasn't cracked a 30% approval rating in over 10 years .

There are a couple of references from pop culture which sum up the sad but true nature of the centrist liberal and conservative politicians. Their commitment to strengthening capitalism at all costs leads to a hollow shell of a life. The first quote is from the movie Casino Jack, a fictionalized version of the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff's life. When the walls are closing in on him, his wife reminds him there will be no one to help: "We have no friends, Jack, none. All we have are people we do business with."

The second set of quotes, which I'll end with, are from rap legend Tupac Shakur. In the song "Holler If You Hear Me", 2pac warns of the perils of compromising one's beliefs for material gain:

To the sellouts livin' it up/

One way or another you'll be givin' it up.

In the last verse, 2pac has a prophetic line, alluding to black militancy, manufacturing consent and the return of the repressed in American society. His words remain eerily prescient, and remind me of the way moderate liberals and conservatives view the rise of Bernie Sanders and socialism in the US today as dangerous:

And now I'm like a major threat/

'Cause I remind you of the things you were made to forget

William Hawes is a writer specializing in politics and environmental issues. He is author of the ebook Planetary Vision: Essays on Freedom and Empire . His articles have appeared at CounterPunch, Global Research, Countercurrents, Gods & Radicals, Dissident Voice, The Ecologist, and more. You can email him at wilhawes@gmail.com . Read other articles by William , or visit William's website .

This article was posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2020 at 5:26pm and is filed under "The Left" , "The Right" , Artificial Intelligence (AI) , Bernie Sanders , Canada , Capitalism , Corporate/Finance Criminality , Democrats , Donald Trump , Elections , Hillary Clinton , Identity Politics , Joe Biden , Meritocracy , Opinion , Presidential Debates , Prime Minister Justin Trudeau , Socialism , The Ruling Class , United States , US Congress , US Corpocracy , US Foreign Policy , US Media , Vote .

[Mar 14, 2020] Why Joe Biden's foreign policy vision isn't so visionary by Stephen Wertheim

Several good points on Biden foreign policy record. The author missed his dismal record, the record of rabid neocon, in Ukraine and Georgia. As well as his role in unleashing the Iraq war.
Mar 09, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org

When former Vice President Joe Biden presented his vision for "rescuing" U.S. foreign policy in Foreign Affairs, his grim performance in the early election contests suggested he would never get the chance to put his ideas into practice. But now that Super Tuesday has propelled his candidacy to frontrunner status, it's time to take a second look at what Biden is proposing.

Biden offers a proudly restorationist foreign policy. His main pitch is to bring back U.S. global "leadership" after its supposed Trumpian aberration, rather than to deliver what the American people need and increasingly demand: a clean break from decades of policy failure, to which Biden himself has contributed.

Ignoring Obama's failures

One would expect Biden to defend the overall foreign policy record of the administration in which he served as vice president. Yet one might also expect him to tell voters a few ways in which he intends to do things differently. Biden declines to do so. His essay ignores the debacles of the Obama administration, if he recognizes them as such.

Biden does not reference the chaos in Libya to which the administration contributed by bombing the country and prolonging its civil war, still raging to this day. He says nothing about how the administration armed unaccountable, allegedly moderate Syrian fighters for years, compounding the country's humanitarian nightmare. He does not acknowledge U.S. complicity in the 2009 military coup in Honduras that destabilized the country and sent thousands fleeing as refugees. To the contrary, Biden boasts of his success in helping to secure "a $750 million aid program to back up commitments from the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to take on the corruption, violence, and endemic poverty driving people to leave their homes there."

Biden deserves credit for stating flatly that he would end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. But he does not acknowledge how such support began -- under what he now likes to call the "Obama-Biden" administration. Nor does he grapple with the basic reason for U.S. involvement in a place like Yemen: Washington's desire to dominate the region by force, including by closely aligning with one set of repressive states in the region and making enemies of the rest.

Biden does more than miss an opportunity to acknowledge the mistakes of the Obama administration and explain how he would do better. He extends his nostalgia even further, and to less defensible terrain. "For 70 years," he writes, "the United States, under Democratic and Republican presidents, played a leading role in writing the rules, forging the agreements, and animating the institutions that guide relations among nations and advance collective security and prosperity -- until Trump." Does Biden really believe that President George W. Bush conducted a responsible, constructive, rule-abiding foreign policy?

Forever war, forevermore?

Almost all the contenders in the Democratic primary have pledged to bring America's endless wars to a close. Biden is no exception: he vows in his Foreign Affairs essay to "end the forever wars." Yet in the very next sentence, Biden pledges to bring home only "the vast majority" of troops from the wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East. That is, he signals that he will leave thousands of ground troops in Afghanistan and beyond. Nor does he convey any sense of how he might try to win the nearly two-decades-long war in Afghanistan that he intends to continue. The dying will go on, even in the pursuit of defeat.

In addition to failing to promise the full withdrawal of ground troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria, Biden staunchly defends forms of warfare that carry smaller domestic political costs but kill people and create blowback. Few foreign policy experts would reject Biden's advocacy of "using a few hundred Special Forces soldiers and intelligence assets to support local partners against a common enemy." But rather than lay out a vision to reduce the United States' proliferating counterterrorism operations, Biden makes a blanket endorsement of them. "Those smaller-scale missions are sustainable militarily, economically, and politically, and they advance the national interest," he writes. The word "drone" does not appear in the essay. One is left with the impression that a Biden administration would bring continued if smaller-scale ground wars and unlimited drone strikes and special operations raids.

On the whole, Biden threatens to repeat the pattern of the Trump administration of promising to end endless wars while waging them all the same.

Status quo in the Middle East

When it comes to the Middle East, Biden extends fewer rhetorical concessions to his left than some centrists would. He says nothing about America's intimate partnership with Saudi Arabia, even though this is the one area of Mideast policy most ripe for change given support across party lines for reducing arms sales to the kingdom and demanding accountability for Saudi human rights abuses. Biden's one line on Israel -- "We need to sustain our ironclad commitment to Israel's security " -- shows that he will maintain the status quo of aiding the country's annexationist march. He makes no mention of Palestine or Palestinians.

On Iran, Biden renders an ambiguous verdict on the assassination of Qassem Soleimani that nearly plunged the United States into a new war. He praises the U.S. strike for removing a "dangerous actor" while expressing concern about an "ever-escalating cycle of violence" in the region.

Importantly, Biden supports the nuclear deal with Iran, the signature foreign policy achievement of the Obama administration. Still, his rhetoric arguably seems designed to appeal to hawks more than those who support moving toward a normal diplomatic relationship with Iran. "Tehran must return to strict compliance with the deal," Biden writes. "If it does so, I would rejoin the agreement and use our renewed commitment to diplomacy to work with our allies to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pushing back against Iran's other destabilizing activities."

This formulation allows Biden to claim he cleanly supports the nuclear deal but would also get tougher on Iran by "more effectively" countering its influence. Biden might instead have acknowledged a willingness to make concessions to Iran given that it was the United States that breached the agreement and continues to impose strangling sanctions on a country that was living up to its end of the bargain.

A missed opportunity

A bright spot is Biden's treatment of China. As my Quincy Institute colleague Rachel Esplin Odell argues , Biden avoids Cold War-style inflation of the China threat, which politicians and pundits from both parties have hyped over the past three years. At the same time, neither does Biden entertain ways to deescalate militarily over issues like disputes in the South China Sea that mean little to U.S. interests and risk antagonizing major powers.

Indeed, Biden does not wish to demilitarize U.S. foreign policy in any structural sense. He expresses no desire to cut the Pentagon's trillion-dollar-a-year budget, even though surveys have found that the single most popular foreign policy stance among the American public is to spend less money fighting wars in order make more investments at home.

The United States is currently obligated to defend approximately one-third of the world's countries, and informally dozens more. As long as the United States divides the entire world into protectorates and, implicitly or explicitly, enemies, it will struggle to cut its military spending significantly. That is apparently the way Biden wants it. His stance toward military alliances is nothing short of reverential: NATO, Biden writes, is "sacred."

For all the investment in war and weapons that Biden proposes, he is disappointingly shallow about the biggest global threat of all: climate change. Biden seems stuck in a Paris-style framework that has struggled to create positive-sum cooperation among nations. If the United States wants to lead, it ought to provide solutions to the rest of the world, whether by offering green technology at low or no cost, investing in the Green Climate Fund, or creating a Green World Trade Organization. By contrast, Biden's outlook is punitive and short-sighted: make sure other countries don't undercut America economically, and pressure China to stop promoting fossil fuels abroad. While the United States should pressure China in this regard (and, more importantly, to replace coal-fired plants within China), Biden disregards the greater need for bilateral cooperation in order to develop and utilize clean technology and limit the intensity of a security competition that could thwart the green transition.

***

As a candidate for president, Biden has an opportunity to put forward plans that confront the failures of decades of foreign policy made by Democrats and Republicans alike. Hopefully he will do so as the campaign proceeds. So far, however, it looks like he will not only prolong the endless wars but also restore and revive the ideas that generated them in the first place.

The author of this article is an informal, volunteer adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign.

Written by
Stephen Wertheim
Share Copy Print Related Articles We are Better off Empowering Nations, Rather than Bombing them To create peace and stability in other nations, we must elevate their people to ... by Daniel Khashabi The Opportunity Cost of Endless War is Missing From the Democratic Debates Foreign policy has been largely absent in the Democratic presidential debates . ... by Eli Clifton We're starting to end endless war in Afghanistan, now let's do Iraq An attack this week on an Iraqi base that killed two U.S. service members, and t... by Sarah Leah Whitson More from Stephen Wertheim Endless War January 7, 2020 Trump Has No Strategy in the Middle East, Only Vengeance Hawks hated the Iran nuclear deal because they feared not that it would fail to prevent Iran from getting the bomb, but that it would succeed -- and thereby deprive the United States of a rationale to dominate the region and discipline its foe. by Stephen Wertheim info@quincyinst.org

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[Mar 13, 2020] In 2018, Trump fired the entire US pandemic response team.

Notable quotes:
"... The New New Deal ..."
Mar 13, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

deplorado , March 12, 2020 at 2:17 pm

From Twitter:

Judd Legum @JuddLegum

WORTH REPEATING: In 2018, Trump fired the entire US pandemic response team.
These were the experts with decades of experience dealing with precisely the kind of situation we are in today.

Trump did not replace them.

He eliminated the positions.

https://twitter.com/JuddLegum/status/1238108656950001666?s=20

allan , March 12, 2020 at 3:10 pm

Another fun fact from Twitter:

Michael Grunwald @MikeGrunwald
I had forgotten my own reporting that @SenatorCollins
stripped $870M for pandemic preparations out of the 2009 stimulus.

[page image from Grunwald's book, The New New Deal ]

11:30 AM · Mar 12, 2020· Twitter for iPhone

There was some discussion here the other day about who's responsible for the sorry state of the CDC
and pandemic preparation in particular. Now, the Dems controlled all the WH, Senate and House in 2009,
so obviously they share some of the blame, but if Collins hadn't demanded this,
it probably wouldn't have happened.

I'm very disappointed with Susan Collins.

Louis Fyne , March 12, 2020 at 3:26 pm

Typical modern, bipartisan American short-termism.

In my opinion, things would not have been not better under a Hillary admin. -- -but at least we'd have a no-fly zone in Syria. USA!

ambrit , March 12, 2020 at 5:42 pm

Now we have a no fly zone in Continental Europe!

[Mar 13, 2020] Mounting backlush against Trump admnistration handling of the coronavirus epidemic will affect elections

Mar 13, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Clueless Joe , Mar 13 2020 14:11 utc | 2

Curious to read your thoughts about the impact.

Considering how pretty much all Western governments fucked up big time, I expect a backlash against current governing parties, if not a serious questioning of the ways current "liberal" democracies are working. And they won't be able to blame it on Putin's or Xi's troll army; everyone can see they brought this upon themselves.

This is the time where the Four Stages system from Yes Minister - which is blatantly used by our political leaders - is out in the open, because the consequences won't appear decades in the future but will be obvious before this year is over.

Of couse, globalization of trade, free-trade, free movement of people will have to be reconsidered. And last but not least, if people have to live for months under lockdown or quarantine, it might have an impact on the economic and productive system -- and also on the environment --, because our societies will have to focus on what's truly needed for them to survive as societies, and not on the fanciful bullshit like marketing, spin doctors, traders and countless bureaucratic jobs.

[Mar 13, 2020] In Ancient Greek Thought, Plagues Follow on Bad Leadership

Notable quotes:
"... Myths help their audiences understand the causes of things. As narrative theorists like Mark Turner and specialists in memory like Charles Fernyhough emphasize, people learn how to behave from stories and concepts of cause and effect in childhood. The linear sequence of before, now and after communicates the relationships between things and how we, as human beings, understand our own responsibility in the world. ..."
Mar 13, 2020 | www.truthdig.com
Zeus, the head Greek god, who lamented humans' tendency to bring suffering upon themselves. (Carole Raddato/Flickr, CC BY-SA)
Zeus, the head Greek god, who lamented humans' tendency to bring suffering upon themselves. (Carole Raddato/Flickr, CC BY-SA)
In the fifth century B.C., the playwright Sophocles begins " Oedipus Tyrannos " with the title character struggling to identify the cause of a plague striking his city, Thebes. (Spoiler alert: It's his own bad leadership.)

As someone who writes about early Greek poetry, I spend a lot of time thinking about why its performance was so crucial to ancient life. One answer is that epic and tragedy helped ancient storytellers and audiences try to make sense of human suffering.

From this perspective, plagues functioned as a setup for an even more crucial theme in ancient myth: a leader's intelligence. At the beginning of the "Iliad," for instance, the prophet Calchas – who knows the cause of a nine-day plague – is praised as someone " who knows what is, what will be and what happened before ."

This language anticipates a chief criticism of Homer's legendary King Agamemnon: He does not know " the before and the after ."

The epics remind their audiences that leaders need to be able to plan for the future based on what has happened in the past. They need to understand cause and effect. What caused the plague? Could it have been prevented?

People's recklessness

Myths help their audiences understand the causes of things. As narrative theorists like Mark Turner and specialists in memory like Charles Fernyhough emphasize, people learn how to behave from stories and concepts of cause and effect in childhood. The linear sequence of before, now and after communicates the relationships between things and how we, as human beings, understand our own responsibility in the world.

Plague stories provide settings where fate pushes human organization to the limit. Human leaders are almost always crucial to the causal sequence, as Zeus observes in Homer's "Odyssey," saying, as I've translated it, "Humans are always blaming the gods for their suffering / but they experience pain beyond their fate because of their own recklessness."

The problems humans create go beyond just plagues: The poet Hesiod writes that the top Greek god, Zeus, showed his disapproval for bad leaders by burdening them with military failures as well as pandemics . The consequences of human failings are a refrain in the ancient critique of leaders, with or without plagues: The "Iliad," for instance, describes rulers who " ruin their people through recklessness ." The "Odyssey" phrases it as " bad shepherds ruin their flocks ."

Devastating illness

Plagues were common in the ancient world, but not all of them were blamed on leaders. Like other natural disasters, they were frequently blamed on the gods.

But historians, like Polybius in the second century B.C. and Livy in the first century B.C., also frequently recount epidemics striking armies and people in swamps or cities with poor sanitation. Philosophers and physicians also searched for rational approaches – blaming the climate , or pollution .

When the historian Thucydides recounts how a plague with alleged origins in Ethiopia hit Athens in 430 B.C., he vividly describes patients suffering a sudden high fever , shortness of breath and an array of sickly discharges. Those who survived the sickness had endured such delirious fevers that they might have no memory of it all.

Athens as a state was unprepared to meet the challenge of that plague. Thucydides describes the futility of any human response: Appeals to the gods and the work of doctors – who died in droves – were equally useless . The disease wreaked havoc because the Athenians were massed within the city walls to wait out the Spartan armies during the Peloponnesian War.

Yet despite the plague's terrible nature, Thucydides insists that the worst part was the despair people felt from fear and the " horror of human beings dying like sheep ."

Sick people died of neglect, of the lack of proper shelter and of disease spreading from improper burials in an unprepared and overcrowded city, followed by looting and lawlessness.

Athens, set up as a fortress against its enemies, brought ruin upon itself.

Making sense out of human flaws

Left out of plague accounts are the names of the multitudes who died in them. Homer, Sophocles and Thucydides tell us that masses died. But plagues in ancient narratives are usually the beginning, not the end of the story. A plague didn't stop the Trojan War, prevent Oedipus' sons from waging civil war or give the Athenians enough reasons to make peace.

For years after the ravages of the plague, Athens still suffered from in-fighting, toxic politics and selfish leaders. Popular politics led to the disastrous Sicilian Expedition of 415 B.C., killing thousands of Athenians – but still Athens survived.

A decade later, the Athenians again broke into civil factions and eventually prosecuted their own generals after a naval victory in 406 B.C. at Arginusae . In 404 B.C., after a siege, Sparta defeated Athens. But, as we learn from Greek myth, it was – again – really Athens' leaders and people who defeated themselves.

Joel Christensen , Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Brandeis University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article .

[Mar 13, 2020] US send 20,000 soldiers to Europe for killing practice (Defender Europe) while locking down US. Are they immune? How

Highly recommended!
Mar 13, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

charliechan , Mar 13 2020 20:36 utc | 115

charlie chan wonders why entire media world fear mongering.

The CDC test kits error 49% to positive.

And charlie chan not hear of one case of flu death. Did Corona Virus cure the flu?

US send 20,000 soldiers to Europe for killing practice (Defender Europe) while locking down US. Are they immune? How?

[Mar 13, 2020] Trump's Coronavirus Address, Blooper Reel Included The Daily Show - YouTube

Mar 13, 2020 | www.youtube.com

https://youtu.be/BWO6i8cH8SA


Dan L , 4 hours ago (edited)

"As calming as a firecracker dropped into a bag of cocaine" lmao I lost it there.. Hilariously accurate.

berlineczka , 4 hours ago

Fun fact: the European Union actually has no authority over health issues whatsoever. This is a strict Member State prerogative. The countries can coordinate voluntarily (which is what is currently arranged by the European Commission, but since there is no precedence it takes time) - but there was no way to make any decision about that in Brussels.

KingM , 5 hours ago (edited)

Greetings from Europe. In these hard times I'd like to thank Trump for providing such gold comedy material from just being a moron and reminding us all that it could always be worse.

[Mar 13, 2020] Daffy Duck. cartoon was made in 1953 and like many Looney Tune cartoon's, they are an extreme parody of life. It dawned on me that this cartoon is an almost perfect description of US Military policy and action.

Highly recommended!
Mar 13, 2020 | thesaker.is

Vaughan on March 12, 2020 , · at 7:43 pm EST/EDT

Recently, I was watching the old Looney Tunes Cartoons with my Grandchild and we were watching, "Duck Dodges in the 21st and a Half Century"
I don't know if you've watched this cartoon starring Daffy Duck. You can view it here
https://vimeo.com/76668594

This cartoon was made in 1953 and like many Looney Tune cartoon's, they are an extreme parody of life. But while watching this cartoon, it dawned on me that this cartoon is an almost perfect description of US Military policy and action.
I could write an article on this but I think we'll leave it as a note with a snide laugh to be had by all.

Patricia Ormsby on March 12, 2020 , · at 8:16 pm EST/EDT
Laughter is one of the best medicines. Thank you for this!

[Mar 13, 2020] https://consortiumnews.com/2020/03/06/stop-calling-it-a-stutter-dozens-of-examples-show-bidens-dementia-symptoms/

Mar 13, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Dan Zimmerman , March 9, 2020 at 13:15

I have been a stutterer for my whole life. I consider myself an expert.

The person who wrote this article should research stuttering more.

Many of the things he is doing with his speech are things that stutters do: word substitution accounts for many of his gaffes. For instance -- he didn't forget Obama's name, he realized he couldn't say it so he quickly said "the president"
And word avoidance accounts for many other mistakes "you know the rest" was an avoidance of having to recite part of the constitution.
Part of stuttering is also becoming consumed with avoiding stuttering and having to try extra hard to keep on track. This gets much harder with age. It's mentally tiring.

All this is not to say that every gaffe is caused by his stutter or that he is a strong or week candidate.
This post is not politically motivated.

I guess the thing that bothers me is that the author obviously didn't talk to a stutterer or a speech therapist before writing the article. If she had she wouldn't have left out the mitigating factors that I mentioned. She could have still written about gaffs that he made that are clearly not related to his stuttering.
The fact that she didn't reach out to an expert and instead chose to merely list Mayo Clinic's list of mayo clinics basic symptoms was remiss and actually despicable.


Piotr Berman , March 9, 2020 at 18:05

It is true that a large percentage of the clips are simple word substitutions, like Senator for Supreme Court Justice. A smaller percentage is babbling, like the story about his leg hairs, or vinyl records emerging from some deep recess of his mind. Then you have thoughts that he says loudly, "you dog-faced pony soldiers", that resemble Turette syndrome.

Vinyl records gaffe deserves a serious discussion. Said intelligently, children may be provided with well designed educational aids to alleviate poor knowledge and vocabulary of their family background. But I seriously doubt if listening to a random "four million words" is beneficial. More likely, Biden remembered some simplistic explanation of the concept 40-50 years ago and in the meantime HE NEVER GAVE IT A THOUGHT. Biden never was a deep thinker (my impressions of him go back a while), and now, with age, he pulls out those half-baked ideas from the past out of context, and with some babbling.

To paraphrase probable candidates for this Fall, "Our nuclear was tired, but now it will pat my hairy legs and it will be as good as new".

-- –

A random non-serious idea. [serious problem] The ratio of retired people over working people is increasing, making it more and more difficult to provide the seniors with a decent standard of living and health care. We may consider increasing the retirement age. But how should we decided it? [non-serious solution] We can leave it to all voters. Any time they elect someone older than the current retirement age plus 10, the retirement age will increase by one year. Citizens can collectively decide when folks can still work, even at the position of the highest responsibility.

rosemerry , March 9, 2020 at 14:29

Too much importance is given to the present contrived situation (by the DNC, which would rather lose to Trump than have a "progressive" candidate for POTUS). Biden was only given the VP job by Obama to ensure they got the votes of people otherwise unlikely to support Obama. This also occurred with JFK choosing Lyndon Johnson for VP to help him in the South, as it did. Biden has almost every fault possible except for being a "nice guy", like Dubya Bush being someone you like to share a beer with!(even with a teetotaller!)
The US system is not designed to choose good candidates, and is not a system copied by other nations ,perhaps for this reason. Biden is terrible, Trump and all his GOP competitors in 2016 were terrible, Hillary deserved to lose and Sanders did not fight to win. Sanders is apparently now changing his emphasis away from what makes people want him!!! Biden cannot win, would be no better than Trump and will we all survive till 2024???

Tony , March 10, 2020 at 10:59

JFK did not choose Lyndon Johnson as his running mate.

He chose Senator Stuart Symington. However, before the announcement could be made, he got a visit from LBJ who was armed with a blackmail dossier provided by his friend J.Edgar Hoover.
Inga Arvad was suspected of being a Nazi spy and JFK had had a relationship with her during the war.

The fact that JFK changed his mind after a visit from LBJ is confirmed by Clark Clifford in his memoirs 'Counsel to the President'. He describes how JFK called him up to his room and told him he now felt he had a better chance with LBJ as his running mate. He was asked to pass on the message to Symington.

Sadly, this later proved to be a fatal decision for Kennedy.

Chili Dogg , March 9, 2020 at 19:27

Did Biden sound like this his first few decades in politics? Did he stutter during that timeframe? Not that I recall. The fact that he is doing this now, in his late seventies, and that he did not sound like this when he was younger, strongly suggests cognitive issues.

P G , March 9, 2020 at 21:43

watch old videos of Biden, even 4 years ago. His speech is remarkably clearer and more precise then. Stutterer or not, word substitution or not, he's clearly lost it and it's getting worse weekly.

CB , March 9, 2020 at 13:07

Today, NPR has been playing clips from Biden's terrifyingly incoherent St. Louis speech. He sounds like he's falling down drunk. Here's my transliteration of 31:10 on C-SPAN: "You're all part ma movemen a moob men that has a backbone the backbone of the Democratic Party a mooin's gun defeat Donald Trump." Hearing the clip this morning put tears in my eyes because it so acutely reminded me of the final speech patterns of my grandfather, a brilliant nuclear physicist who died of Alzheimers at age 78. I also cried at clip #33 because the pain in Jill Biden's eyes projected me right back into the helplessness of witnessing Granddad's cognitive decline. It's tragically time to take away Biden's car keys, and yet these endorsements are trying to buy him a Maserati. How can this nightmare be happening. Thank you, Caitlin Johnstone, for maintaining this much-needed reality check.

Chanel , March 10, 2020 at 22:08

Yes, please, Dear God, remove this man from the election theater. How? How is it possible that he has come this far?? We are all doomed. From the earliest debates it was crystal clear to me that he is in a state of decline and no match for Trump. It's true, the Democratic establishment is corrupt, so afraid of a Sanders presidency that they have to prop up a man in such a state of serious decline that we'll ensure another four years of Trump. Any of the other candidates would have been great – any of them – Biden was my LAST choice, not because I dislike the man, but my God, Trump, the narcissistic personality disordered wunderkind will utterly destroy Biden in a debate. Just in the past 24 hours Biden was caught in a disastrous nearly incomprehensible debate with an attendee in Michigan over gun control – he was belligerent, incoherent, and unable to even have a simple exchange of ideas with any clarity. Trump will annihilate him; all those with NPD are masters of winning debates.

Ira Dember , March 9, 2020 at 12:15

A 1-minute read about Biden's mental decline. "My Mom and Joe Biden", published at Medium dot com. I wrote it.

My concluding words, on the result if the Dems nominate an addled Biden: "Come November, there could be one of two terrible outcomes. The first is Biden could lose. The other is that he could win."

?Before his dementia onset, Biden blazed a decades-long trail of destruction across American life -- from Social Security and healthcare to disastrous wars and mass incarceration (read: Jim Crow 2.0).

So with Wall Street Joe as the Dem nominee it would be heads we lose, tails we lose. ?

Q: Which would be worse: a mentally sharp President Biden or an addled one?
A: Let's not find out.

Linda Lewis , March 9, 2020 at 11:47

Thank you for your work, Ms. Johnstone. Dr. David Scheiner, who was Obama's doctor, lends support to your hypothesis. About Biden, Scheiner told the Washington Examiner, "He's not a healthy guy."

"Scheiner previously told the Examiner that Biden "looked frail" during the first Democratic primary debate. "I sort of got the feeling he wasn't very strong. It was similar to the feeling I got when Republicans started attacking Mueller so fiercely," he said." (New York Post, Dec. 20) [That comparison suggests Scheiner is including cognitive ability in his use of the word "frail."]

Scheiner had concerns, also, about Trump's mental health. "[H]e wants to see MRI results for Trump to check for strokes, as well as a neurocognitive assessment. He raised concerns about the president's speech pattern and behavior, saying it may be a sign of neurological damage," reports the Examiner, and suggested "Something happened," with regard to Trump's visit to Walter Reed.

In summary, there are questions about the cognitive ability of three people who have had or could have extremely important government roles. That gives weight to Scheiner's recommendation "that all candidates for the presidency should disclose far more medical information than they do now and that it should be collected and disclosed by an independent medical panel." (Examiner)

"The stakes are too high," Scheiner said. "If they make a mistake because their cognitive skills are diminished, we pay the price." (Examiner)

see: washingtonexaminer.com/news/lot-of-issues-former-obama-doctor-says-biden-is-not-a-healthy-guy
NY Post link: see: nypost.com/2019/12/20/obamas-former-doctor-says-joe-biden-is-not-a-healthy-guy-report/

Anonymot , March 9, 2020 at 09:51

Thanks, that's a brilliant intensive lot of work.

However, you are looking a Very Important Point, the Democrats Establishment does not care. Biden was put up to defeat Sanders, not Trump. Hillary, with Tom Perez as her vocal cords, still controls the DNC. At all and any cost she wants Sanders out of the race. She could have put up Mickey Mouse, makes no difference, because whoever she backs is guaranteed to do exactly what she says once he is the party candidate. So he stutters. Her choice of Biden's VP will also do exactly as she says.

But there is a more important question at the core of the Democrats. We understand clearly that as the New York Times floundered its way to bankruptcy in 2014 it was saved by people never really named. They were a threesome, Hillary brought in 2 billionaire friends: Diller and Getty. Obviously there conditions required by the threesome – and it wasn't money, they didn't need that, they needed print space. They had a cause. They got what they wanted from the Sulzberger family, because there was no one else.

From 2015 the NYT was no longer what it had been, proud, objective, independant, investigative in all the badness they could find. It was no longer one of the 5 best news sources in the world. They changed their editorial and journalistic personnel to match the required causes. They improved their financial position, because one of the 3 was a past master at running big corporations that he pulled up out of the dust.

When the NYT dust settled, they often began agreeing with the Generals in Afghanistan and Iraq. They not infrequently published articles that resembled State Dept. and CIA press releases. And politically they began the fight to promote the 2016 Loser and defeat Senator Sanders. Unexpectedly, they are at it again and Hillary, the 3, and the NYT are again willing to promote a loser, win or not in the Presidency vote, they will maintain control of the Democrats establishment!

And through all of that, I never see anyone, but me asking who are the backers of Hillary Clinton? Who chose her? Who put her up? For whom is she really the voice?

JWalters , March 9, 2020 at 19:50

Thanks for that great info on the NYT. As for who is behind Hillary, she fits easily into the story of war profiteers here
war * profiteerstory. * blogspot. * com

[Remove all 3 asterisks and their flanking spaces after copying to browser's URL address field. Links to that website are routinely sabotaged.]

Eugenie Basile , March 9, 2020 at 09:39

A stutter or dementia ?
That will be trivial as soon as the Ukraine documentary of O.Berruyer ( promoted last month by CN ) will go viral in the US. The DNC will be ashamed of their preferred presidential candidate.

joe , March 9, 2020 at 09:02

What is an obvious sign that Biden has vascular dementia is his slurring of his speech. If you listen to most of his speeches, rallies, or even debates he slurs his speech. It is not a stutter, but it is an easily discernible slurring of his speech and one of the major signs of vascular dementia.

John Drake , March 8, 2020 at 11:34

Aside from the evidence of dementia, word salads etc., cognitive lapses, I find his aggressiveness toward members of the audience who confronted him very disturbing, especially at the young woman whom he threw a John Wayne misquote at. Can you imagine how someone in their early 20's felt when a powerful US Senator insulted her on national media. All she did was ask a difficult question. Then there is the guy he called "fat".
He shows disrespect for his audience. In that respect he is almost as bad as Trump.

Piotr Berman , March 9, 2020 at 18:35

Excessive irritability and paranoia is also a symptom.

AnneR , March 8, 2020 at 10:25

Frankly, dementia or not (and Biden clearly has some brain functioning problem) Biden is an abominable person and definitely no one who should even be considered presidential material. As indeed he wasn't until Bernie looked to be stronger than ever, which really bothers the DNC and all establishment (basically all DC Demrats). Heaven forfend the hoi polloi should actually get a real say.

What amazed me on on Tuesday night was the fact that so many African Americans chose to vote for him – given his racist track record: support for the anti-Bussing movement on the east coast (anti desegregation of schools) in the 1970s; Anita Hill; the Clinton anti-crime bill (and not unrelated severe cut backs in welfare assistance which impacted the African American poor – and paleskin poor, numerically more but proportionally?). His eagerness to support any and all US invasions, bombing, killing campaigns against peoples far, far from these shores. His efforts on behalf of the bankruptcy business – making it all but impossible for ordinary folks to declare bankruptcy (as a means to clear the debt decks) while businesses can do continue to do so, no matter how many it hurts.

One of a couple of questions that dogged throughout Tuesday night also concerned: all of these southern states – haven't they enacted, over the past few years, a variety anti-electoral registration measures, aimed at African Americans? So I wondered: are those African Americans, swayed apparently by Mr Cliburn, who voted so decidedly for Biden, of the middling classes? Of the well-educated? Possibly well health insured. What might have been the results had the poorer, unable to register for a whole host of Jim Crow reminiscent reasons, been able to have their say? Would they have gone for the Obama VP? Or Bernie and his M4A?

The other question hovering in the air: what part is Obama playing in this? He would definitely *not* be a Bernie fan.

Hmmm , March 8, 2020 at 23:29

Black primary voters also preferred Hillary Clinton to Sanders in 2016, so this isn't too surprising.

Re: Anita Hill and Biden's role in the Thomas hearings: Polls showed that blacks were more favorable to Thomas, both before and after the hearings, than whites. They were also less likely than whites to believe Anita Hill. So I don't think that on balance that history hurts Biden among black voters.

I think some of the other things you mention tend similarly to be of greater concern to left-liberal whites than to blacks.

Felix , March 9, 2020 at 08:09

So true.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , March 8, 2020 at 08:51

Suspected dementia won't stop the Democratic Party establishment from backing Joe.

Kamala Harris just added her unimpressive voice.

I don't think there is any doubt that the fix is in.

But they are putting themselves in a ridiculous position.

Even without the apparent dementia, Joe Biden is simply not an attractive candidate.

He has a seriously shabby side, and he has some embarrassing quirks – all besides standing for almost nothing.

I believe he would be Trump's own choice as an opponent.

Meanwhile brave Tulsi Gabbard is getting shut out yet again with rule changes.

Some democracy.

I wrote an interesting speculation about an alternate scenario.

You can find it here:
chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/03/06/john-chuckman-comment-we-know-the-democratic-establishment-has-plotted-against-bernie-but-it-does-no-good-to-run-a-candidate-like-biden-who-is-likely-to-lose-is-there-a-secret-plan-concerning-a-d/

Nomisnala , March 8, 2020 at 01:08

I would still vote for Biden over Trump as I also think that Trump also has signs of early dementia. I do see symptoms of early onset dementia, and as his wife is a physician, I am sure she sees this as well. I do think that it is a mistake to suddenly thrust Biden into the nomination. If one watches Biden work back in the 1980's when he was questioning Baker in Congress about South Africa, and Reagans position, you would see a Biden who did not stutter, did not forget things, and every time he could not complete a sentence, he did not say "look" and then change his thought. On a good day he may be okay. But on many days he does not complete the sentences that he starts.

Starshot2045 , March 10, 2020 at 04:19

Biden's wife is not a physician. She has an Ed.D. – a doctorate in education which she got from the University of Delaware when she was 55 – about 13 years ago. Why she runs around and feels she has to be referred to as "doctor" is not clear but it certainly is misleading.

JoAnn Henningsen , March 7, 2020 at 17:30

I read Ms. Johnstone's article and the variety of comments with much sadness and compassion. Whether I support Joe Biden or not, I believe his family and the DNC are well aware of this disaster waiting to happen.
Have the results of the 2016 election really brought the Dems to the brink that the Party will sacrifice a long serving public figure like Biden. This article is a drop in the bucket as to what is ahead of us in the next several months. And, there will be tit for tat. Imagine stories on Trump will be resurrected and expanded upon. We have sunk to new lows in America and the World is watching in disgust.

jessica , March 7, 2020 at 12:41

Joe Biden had brain surgery for an aneurysm in 1988. These gaffes are definitely not just a stutter or stammer. Whatever is going on is neurological, a sign of cell death (called apoptosis), and Dems for sure were going to cut Bernie out. Politics has degenerated to this ludicrous level!

L H , March 7, 2020 at 00:16

I'm a speech pathologist with specialized training in working with patients who experience mild cognitive decline and progressive dementia. I'm seeing signs of stuttered speech and of paraphasic errors. Mr. Biden had two brain surgeries in 1988 due to aneurysms, which a residual effect could result in speech or language disorders. I suspect that he is a high risk candidate for progressive neurogenic communication disorders.

Mr. Biden still speaks with intention and passion. He is trying to compete in a fast paced race that demands automatic expression regarding today's technological lexicon. It's obvious that his automatic language is centered around his years in the Senate and his early years in the White House. His brain is defaulting to his past and his memory of those details seem greater. He most likely tires easily and doesn't appear to be able to automatically recall his previous "go to" campaign speech rhetoric. The last few videos he reacted as if he is aware of his faux pas, even surprised or embarrassed by them. I predict that he will be sticking to a teleprompter and rehearsed, shorter passages with a slower rate. Trump has many of the same symptoms. However, he is mastering the use of shorter statements and vague, shallow repetitive vocabulary. That way, he doesn't stumble over what he is saying and doesn't have to rely on his memory.

I'm glad you are bringing awareness to this. It's concerning and we need to take notice. Vetting the cognitive competency of our elected officials is of paramount importance.

Allan Millard , March 6, 2020 at 23:59

Biden has no speech impediment. The difficulty in starting some sentences is obviously that he has lost the thread. He has a cognitive "impediment" which goes beyond the occasional nominal aphasia. The author notes some interesting examples of filling in memory gaps with false recollections, which poses a dilemma for Biden's campaign managers. He makes false statements and we are left with two logical alternatives: He is deliberately lying or he simply can't remember and invents. Either way he does not sound like presidential material.

DW Bartoo , March 6, 2020 at 23:45

I agree with Caitlin.

Joe Biden is displaying the symptoms of dementia which will continue to progress.

Were Biden anyone but the Democratic Establishment's chosen sacrifice to "pragmatic" defeat, his family would be striving to come up with the most gentle
and compassionate method they could find of taking away his car keys and lessening the obvious stress of his continued effort to avoid coming to grips with his failing mental health.

Anyone who has witnessed a family member, or of friend's families, who has developed Alzheimer's or another form of dementia will readily recognize, in Joe Biden, certain patterns of disorientation, confusion, word loss, an inability to complete thoughts and sentences, a quick readiness to anger in response to social frustration, and compensatory behaviors used by the person suffering from the dementia to reassure themselves that they are the "same" as ever, even as they increasingly worry and recognize that they are not.

Dementia is, most definitely, a very hard thing to come to grips with, as denial is usually the first response of the person experiencing its onset and, as well, for family members and acquaintances who are initially horrified when contemplating the implications attendant.

As I mentioned earlier today, in the comment section of the article dealing with lying and cheating, the graver and more disturbing aspect of what is happening to Joe Biden is the apparent failure of his family, friends, and those urging him onto the field of political battle to recognize his condition for what it is.

This failure of honest recognition is rapidly turning into nothing less than an exhibition of unfeeling cruelty, taking careless and ruthless advantage of a human being whose faculties, intellectually and emotionally, are likely to become more precariously diminished the greater the stresses placed upon them.

It is a sorry spectacle.

The longer it continues, the worse and more appalling it will, very likely, become.

As Caitlin points out, it little matters what Biden's political behavior in the past has been, what we now witness is a human being in decline and disintegration.

Even as we see the Democratic Party honchos opt, not for the systemic changes so very desperately needed, at this time, in this place, for humanity and by the planet (not that Sanders would or could actually deliver those things), but rather that the elite and party "leaders", the selfish few, intend, using whatever means "necessary", to retain their lucrative control and privilege, despite the massive destruction and great harm that privilege and control have already wrought.

Biden's public humiliation and the continued betrayal of the many is a small price, easily "worth it", in the eyes and calculations of oligarchic sycophants.

Marisol Marquez , March 6, 2020 at 23:05

It's not just the stuttering. it's also the memory loss, incoherent sentences and rambling statements. The man should retire and enjoy the time he has left with his wife. He is not fit to hold any office, never mind the Presidency.

[Mar 13, 2020] Jeremy Scahill Makes the Definitive Case Against Joe Biden

Mar 13, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

Robinson and Scahill both pick apart Biden's track record, beginning with his push for a "tough on crime" stance that targeted people of color, an approach that also in part explains his friendship with one of the most notorious racist politicians in recent history, Strom Thurmond. Biden was also an outspoken supporter of the Iraq War and was credited with providing the legislative inspiration for the Patriot Act by George W. Bush's attorney general.

[Mar 13, 2020] Biden as the guy on Democratic ticket is a very sad joke, but still Trump can lose the elections

Mar 13, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , March 12, 2020 9:31 pm

For those who are in "Anybody but Trump" camp in the current circumstances it does not matter much who will be on Democratic ticket. Biden as the guy on Democratic ticket is a very sad joke, but still Trump can lose the elections.

Right now Trump himself is his worst enemy. If comments to the article referenced below reflect sentiments of moderate and anti-war Republicans, Trump has no chances in November. Note that some even questioned their choice in 2016 elections

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/trumps-botched-coronavirus-speech/

Matthew Kuhl engineerscotty • 10 hours ago

What over the last three years – and specifically in the last three weeks made you think Trump was going to come out of this on top? That would require him to actually be on top of things, which he never has been. Ever. And you thinking he's just doing 'poorly' just highlights your delusion that he is capable of being even mildly competent.

failure • 10 hours ago

"The U.S. has the lowest per capita testing of any country."
Trump spent the first years of his presidency doing favors for Wall Street, Israel, and Saudi Arabia instead of focusing on the America First promises that got him elected. The trillions he wasted on advancing foreign interests was badly needed to rebuild American infrastructure, including America's disease testing capacity.

Brasidas • 10 hours ago

This is the problem and it has always been the problem with an uncurious President who doesn't read and who works off hunches and believes he's a "stable genius". He can't even be bothered to understand the contours of his own policies. After all, it's just a game show.

IanDakar John Achterhof • 7 hours ago • edited

A travel ban when the disease is here [makes no sense]. When infected citizens can travel from and TO infected areas:

Where some countries are exempt so infected foreigners can just go to one of those countries then come here:

Is not the right direction. It would be a half step forward in January.

Now it's [like] installing a faulty smoke detector in the middle of a roaring fire. We screwed up. We are still screwing up. Acting like It's OK and we will be fine is not helping.

I Am Sorry • 10 hours ago

I voted for him. I still don't know whether HRC would have been worse, but this is really, really bad.

john • 9 hours ago

All the hallmarks of a Trump operation, offensive, ineffective, poorly thought out and will be retracted in the end. The travel ban against China, did help when China was the only source of the disease, so kudos to Trump. However now the monster is in the castle so pulling up the drawbridge won't help anymore.

[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 13, 2020] Some freedom with facts: pease note that the current COVID-18 coronavirus was discovered in January 2020 and compare this fact with the White House statement

That might be a different coronavirus ;-)
Mar 13, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Doug Chance engineerscotty 8 hours ago

Oh, they have. This is from the email I got from the White House listserv:

"Some 150,000 illegal immigrants from 72 nations with cases of the coronavirus have been apprehended or deemed inadmissible from entering the United States since November," according to officials. These apprehensions underscore the need for border security and proper vetting. Read more from Paul Bedard in the Washington Examiner.

[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] Trump's Botched Coronavirus Speech

If comments reflect sentiments of moderate Republicans, Trump has no chances in November.
Notable quotes:
"... What over the last three years - and specifically in the last three weeks made you think Trump was going to come out of this on top? That would require him to actually be on top of things, which he never has been. Ever. And you thinking he's just doing 'poorly' just highlights your delusion that he is capable of being even mildly competent. ..."
"... Trump spent the first years of his presidency doing favors for Wall Street, Israel, and Saudi Arabia instead of focusing on the America First promises that got him elected. The trillions he wasted on advancing foreign interests was badly needed to rebuild American infrastructure, including America's disease testing capacity. ..."
"... Fair enough, we Americans may be stumbling along somewhat unsteadily into unchartered territory, but the important thing is we're now stumbling in the right general direction. We'll make it through this, people - most of us at least. All we can do as we enter into this miasma is our level best as responsible, compassionate humans, keeping a stiff upper lip and a stoic constitution. Amor fati : as precious as life is, death is always and evermore its close companion. ..."
"... All the hallmarks of a Trump operation, offensive, ineffective, poorly thought out and will be retracted in the end. The travel ban against China, did help when China was the only source of the disease, so kudos to Trump. However now the monster is in the castle so pulling up the drawbridge won't help anymore. ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

engineerscotty 11 hours ago

Before the speech, I opined on Dreher's blog that Trump still had a chance of coming out of this crisis on top politically--that he might demonstrably use the bully pulpit of his office in a constructive manner, and be able to claim credit for a successful outcome.

After the speech... well, it was widely panned in the more liberal sectors of the media, and FOX News has this bit of tripe as its current headline: https://www.foxnews.com/us/... The speech is mentioned in a sidebar, without commentary. When the friendly media outlets ignore you, it's a good sign you've done poorly.

Matthew Kuhl engineerscotty 10 hours ago
What over the last three years - and specifically in the last three weeks made you think Trump was going to come out of this on top? That would require him to actually be on top of things, which he never has been. Ever. And you thinking he's just doing 'poorly' just highlights your delusion that he is capable of being even mildly competent.
marku52 Matthew Kuhl 10 hours ago
When you base your team selection on political loyalty, you get fawning toadies. Mr Redfield (CDC), a homophobe associated with a group that regards HIV as God's judgement on gay people, was never going to be competent at epidemic control. He doesn't even believe in it.
engineerscotty Matthew Kuhl 9 hours ago
Note, I said "still had a chance". Such an observation should not be interpreted as any sort of praise for Trump, but as an observation that should he manage to string a couple coherent sentences together on the teevee, more than a few talking heads in the newsmejia will offer unto him hosannas about being "presidential".

Lots of people, still, grade him on the curve. And that's including a fair number that aren't die-hard partisans... but would rather have an exciting horse race to write about this November.

But other than that, I agree with you. He's an imbecile, and isn't going to stop being an imbecile over this. But lots of people will offer up the tiniest shreds to argue otherwise.

IanDakar engineerscotty 6 hours ago
Don't feel bad. That's where I was when he declared we were leaving Syria the first time (when nothing happened). I thought "Well if he carries this out he has a chance of doing something good."

By the other time he said we were leaving Syria (when we did....not and decided to let a wast start and steal oil fields) I was done. Now I don't even trust the afgan deal to work out.

The raw mess up speech is a new low. He's normally good at reading a script.

Feral Finster 10 hours ago
Correct me if I am wrong, but we can still travel to South Korea, etc. all we want?

Also, I know that Trump owns numerous properties in the UK, but how does that stack up to Ireland (also, IIRC, not subject to the ban) and the rest of Europe? Does that explain anything, or is it just a way of supporting his fellow imbecile BoJo?

Good thing that the UK doesn't get any foreign travelers.

engineerscotty Feral Finster 10 hours ago
Boris Johnson's government, to his credit, appears to be handling the crisis well, or at least competently. While there is much that BoJo and Trump have in common, there is also much they do not.
KevinS engineerscotty 10 hours ago
Boris can be a bit clownish at times....but he is not a stupid person, unlike you know who....
HenionJD KevinS 8 hours ago
Neither leader is stupid. One is simply unprincipled and the other suffers from a profound personality disorder. One can rise to the crisis when it's in his interest to do so and the other thinks the crisis is a plot to make him look bad.
Per engineerscotty 7 hours ago
i think you should recheck your sources on that topic and widen the search to other sources too. The brit bobs i have spoken with say the response there is a joke.. I will not bet my life on this tho, bc i am in Norway..

The response here have been slow but it seems to get better, no mass testing yet so we dont know the real number of sick at all yet..

JonF311 engineerscotty 6 hours ago
Johnson may be a bombastic boob at times, but he's been in government for a while and knows his way around the place.
Rkramden66 Feral Finster 9 hours ago
No kidding. 1M foreign visitors on any given day in London, I seem to remember. Makes no sense at all, except in crude political terms.
failure 10 hours ago
"The U.S. has the lowest per capita testing of any country."

Trump spent the first years of his presidency doing favors for Wall Street, Israel, and Saudi Arabia instead of focusing on the America First promises that got him elected. The trillions he wasted on advancing foreign interests was badly needed to rebuild American infrastructure, including America's disease testing capacity.

Brasidas 10 hours ago
This is the problem and it has always been the problem with an uncurious President who doesn't read and who works off hunches and believes he's a "stable genius". He can't even be bothered to understand the contours of his own policies. After all, it's just a game show.
Nomuka Brasidas 8 hours ago
In a few short lines, you've captured the situation perfectly. Our president is worse than ineffectual....
John Achterhof 10 hours ago
Fair enough, we Americans may be stumbling along somewhat unsteadily into unchartered territory, but the important thing is we're now stumbling in the right general direction. We'll make it through this, people - most of us at least. All we can do as we enter into this miasma is our level best as responsible, compassionate humans, keeping a stiff upper lip and a stoic constitution. Amor fati : as precious as life is, death is always and evermore its close companion.
IanDakar John Achterhof 7 hours ago • edited
A travel ban when the disease is here [makes no sense]. When infected citizens can travel from and TO infected areas:

Where some countires are exempt so infected foreigners can just go to one of those countries then come here:

Is not the right direction. It would be a half step forward in January. Now it's [like] installing a faulty smoke detector in the middle of a roaring fire. We screwed up. We are still screwing up. Acting like It's ok and we will be fine is not helping.

We don't need motivation posters. We don't need panic. We need the public to realize this is NOT ok and to get these people at the top to realize this is Not Ok behavior.

THEN, we can buckle down and hope for the best with that poster

I Am Sorry 10 hours ago
I voted for him. I still don't know whether HRC would have been worse, but this is really, really bad.
john 9 hours ago
All the hallmarks of a Trump operation, offensive, ineffective, poorly thought out and will be retracted in the end. The travel ban against China, did help when China was the only source of the disease, so kudos to Trump. However now the monster is in the castle so pulling up the drawbridge won't help anymore.
engineerscotty john 9 hours ago
I'm surprised Mexicans haven't been blamed for this yet.
Doug Chance engineerscotty 8 hours ago
Oh, they have. This is from the email I got from the White House listserv:

"Some 150,000 illegal immigrants from 72 nations with cases of the coronavirus have been apprehended or deemed inadmissible from entering the United States since November," according to officials. These apprehensions underscore the need for border security and proper vetting. Read more from Paul Bedard in the Washington Examiner.

engineerscotty Doug Chance 7 hours ago
It's one of those carefully-constructed sentences that can be ambiguously parsed.

If you read it as "Some 150,000 illegal immigrants from (72 nations with cases of the coronavirus) have been apprehended", it's likely true but unremarkable. Many nations now have coronovirus cases.

If you read it as "Some 150,000 (illegal immigrants from 72 nations) with cases of the coronavirus have been apprehended", it would be remarkable if true, but is absolutely false based on what we currently know.

And the November reference is particularly cheeky.

FL Transplant john 7 hours ago
But the travel ban wasn't against China--meaning anyone there who could have been exposed--it was against Chinese from anywhere in the country. Americans and others potentially infected were free to enter the US from impacted areas with no restrictions--quarantines, etc.

Just like the current ban against Europe. US citizens/permanent residents are free to travel to/from without restriction. We're only banning nationals from European countries. And there's going to be a massive influx of those eligible returning from Europe in the next couple of days--do you think any of them might, just might, be bring Covid 19 back along with themselves?

Name 9 hours ago
When is the next MAGA Rally?
Chris Chuba Name 7 hours ago
Don't worry, just keep watching FOX and you'll see it broadcasted on prime time.
Old Man Shadow 8 hours ago
Before I watched his speech, I thought that this was a serious situation, but we should avoid panic.

After I watched his speech, my impulse was to run out, start hording, and lock myself and my family in our home for the next six months.

This was not a good speech is what I'm saying.

Donna Saggia 7 hours ago
Health care under uber-capitalism. We seem to have all the money in the world to throw at military toys, but very little for the health of the nation. If Americans keep voting for these priorities, the inevitable consequences will prevail. The US may be just a bad social experiment.
Chris Chuba 7 hours ago
As others have stated, no mention of paid sick leave which would go a long way towards encouraging infected people to self-quarantine rather than go to work and keep spreading the virus.

On an even more dire topic, a U.S. General is blaming Iran for a rocket attack in Iraq that killed two U.S. serviceman. This is Trump's 'red line', if everyone does what they have publicly stated then Trump just gave ISIS the golden key to force us into a war with Iran.

IanDakar Chris Chuba 7 hours ago
The US House has a bill to offer paid leave among other measures. Republicans have said it goes beyond the scope of what's needed. The Senate has said that they aren't reviewing anything until after the week long break they are about to have.

So yeah.

Ken T Feral Finster 2 hours ago
True market insiders easily make just as much money in a downward moving market as in an upward moving market. As long as it is moving , that is all that matters. That means that people are buying and selling, and Wall Street is profiting from every transaction. The people being hurt the most by the market losses are the middle class folks whose 401k's are losing value.
PeerReview 4 hours ago
Trump is much better at doing stuff for Israel and Saudi Arabia. He always has plenty of time, money, and focus for doing what they want him to do. If he spent as much time controlling our borders and defending the lives, health, and economic well-being of Americans as he does on fighting wars for Israel and Saudi Arabia, we'd be better prepared for this virus.

[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] Biden victory is zugzwang for the Dem Party

Mar 12, 2020 | www.rt.com

The obvious point here is that a man who cannot be trusted to open his mouth in public certainly cannot be trusted to win any debate, especially against the veritable rhetorical cannon monster known as Donald Trump, who is every bit as formidable in person as he is over Twitter.

Of course, the Democrats fully understand this, and this is where it seems absolutely safe to wade waist-deep into the grass of speculation.

... ... ...

As things now stand with the Democratic Party, Joe Biden's victory on Super Tuesday II does not translate into a Democratic victory in November. In fact, unless Biden can get a grip on his tongue before then, it almost guarantees defeat. He will fall the wayside like so many presidential pretenders before him – the Buttigiegs, Bloombergs and Klobuchars – while some brand new contender will be unveiled, while inheriting all of those accumulated voters.

[Mar 12, 2020] 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?

Mar 12, 2020 | twitter.com

. @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

[Mar 12, 2020] Italy Closed; Wall Street Hosed; Trump Exposed

Mar 12, 2020 | www.medpagetoday.com

More GOP congressmen who attended the CPAC political event last month are self-isolating -- and one of them just flew on Air Force One with President Trump . Another was seen on video shaking hands and chatting face to face with the president before entering self-quarantine. ( CNBC, Reuters )

Note to Pence:

Televangelist Jim Bakker's TV show was among seven companies receiving FDA/FTC warnings about "fraudulent" sales pitches for coronavirus treatments.

[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] Front group is very simply an organization that pretends to have a certain program while at the same time using that identity as cover to promote a hidden agenda that is something quite different

In a way Democratic Party fits the definition of the front group
Mar 10, 2020 | www.unz.com

Numerous so-called "front groups" operate in the United States. A front group is very simply an organization that pretends to have a certain program while at the same time using that identity as cover to promote a hidden agenda that is something quite different, often opposed to what is being said publicly. The Global Climate Coalition is, for example, an organization funded by fossil fuel providers that works to deny climate change and other related issues. The Groundwater Protection Council does not protect water resources at all and instead receives its money from the fracking industry, which resists any regulation of water pollution it causes. The Partnership for a New American Economy has nothing to do with protecting the U.S. economy and instead seeks to replace American workers with H1B immigrant laborers. Even the benign sounding National Sleep Foundation, is in reality a Big Pharma creation intended to convince Americans that they need to regularly use sleep inducing drugs.

Front groups in a political context can be particularly dangerous as they deceive the voter into supporting candidates or promoting policies that have a hidden agenda. The Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is, for example, uninterested in preserving democracies unless that democracy is Israel, which many observers would prefer to describe as an apartheid state. It is funded by Zionists billionaires and its leadership meets regularly with Israeli officials. The American Enterprise Institute is likewise a neocon mouthpiece for economic imperialism and regime change disguising itself as a free market advocate and the Brookings Institution is its liberal interventionist counterpart.

Front groups are sometimes largely fictional, on occasion creations of an intelligence agency to give the impression that there exists in a country a formidable opposition to policies pursued by the governing regime. Recent developments in Venezuela and Bolivia rather suggest the CIA creation of front groups in both countries while the Ukrainian regime change that took place in 2014 also benefited greatly from a U.S. created and supported opposition to the legitimate Viktor Yanukovych government.

[Mar 10, 2020] The USA is particularly poorly set up to cope with COVID-19 epidemics, thanks to our fragmented public health system and overpriced, privatized and less than comprehensive health care. That bad situation is made worse by the CDC being short on resources and hamstrung further by the Trump Administration's PR imperatives

Mar 10, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

New Wafer Army , March 9, 2020 at 5:29 am

The glue appears at the start of the article:

"the US is particularly poorly set up to cope, thanks to our fragmented public health system and overpriced, privatized and less than comprehensive health care. That bad situation is made worse by the CDC being short on resources and hamstrung further by the Trump Administration's PR imperatives."

Basically, it is expected that Europe manages the crisis less badly.

Eustache de Saint Pierre , March 9, 2020 at 12:18 pm

It has been interesting watching Dr. John Campbell's growing realisation & some shock that everything is not well with the US healthcare system & he has received some abuse but also support from Americans for his growing criticism.

His listing as requested of his 2 degrees & Phd, never mind his long front line experience & his books I think shut some up for perhaps thinking that he was only a nurse, but perhaps he shouda gone to NakedCapitalism.

[Mar 10, 2020] How US counts the sick when CDC test kits are unreliable amd by-and-large unavailble?

Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Tom_LX , Mar 9 2020 19:35 utc | 23

Posted by: charliechan | Mar 9 2020 19:30 utc | 20

Charli Chan ask right question.

charlie cha wonders how US counts the sick when CDC test kits are unreliable.

and unavailable in quantities necessary !!!!

[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] Coronavirus and elections Trump administration is attacked on COVID-19 response.

Notable quotes:
"... ...Trump is mainly interested in deflecting blame and propping up the stock market, and the DNC is mainly interested in saving their jobs and gravy train by kneecapping sanders; neither gives a crap about dealing effectively with the virus ..."
"... One problem is that we need massive government intervention to spread out the incidence of new cases to lessen the load on hospitals. The other is that we need massive government intervention to keep the economy running, and by providing funds to people who work for a living. ..."
"... Trump does not get this and he will fail miserably between now and November. ..."
"... Biden is toast. He's senile and unable to respond effectively. I hope Bernie survives. He's old and has a heart condition, both make him more likely than others to succumb to the disease. ..."
Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

pretzelattack , Mar 9 2020 18:01 utc | 1

...Trump is mainly interested in deflecting blame and propping up the stock market, and the DNC is mainly interested in saving their jobs and gravy train by kneecapping sanders; neither gives a crap about dealing effectively with the virus.

Mina , Mar 9 2020 19:32 utc | 21

Trump's gov probably has its eyes mainly on that (apart from the stocks of course) more than anything else, and how they will turn it to their own advantage when it happens in the US
Likklemore , Mar 9 2020 20:02 utc | 32
Complacent western governments face a dilemma;

COVID-19 brings the chickens home as the looming credit crunch will be worst than the virus: business travel for all meetings are cancelled. Stay and work from home, Tourism whacked; we are told to avoid cruise ships; there is that multiplier effect which includes .gov revenues.

Should big corporations get another bailout then, at the very least, credit cards' debt jubilee will be demanded for joe and john mainstreet.

James Speaks , Mar 9 2020 20:10 utc | 34
Trump is toast. He can't even comprehend the magnitude of the problems with COVID-19. One problem is that we need massive government intervention to spread out the incidence of new cases to lessen the load on hospitals. The other is that we need massive government intervention to keep the economy running, and by providing funds to people who work for a living.

Trump does not get this and he will fail miserably between now and November. If we're lucky, he'll be removed from office by any means necessary. Too bad Schiff and Pelosi blew their credibility on the phony impeachment issue. We need to remove Trump for incapacity to do the job.

Biden is toast. He's senile and unable to respond effectively. I hope Bernie survives. He's old and has a heart condition, both make him more likely than others to succumb to the disease.

If Bernie survives, he's a shoo-in. Bernie is a socialist and the only way to handle the novel disease is through socialism. Market forces are too slow to react.

If Bernie survives and gets elected, national single payer insurance is probably going to happen and in a way that benefits the patients rather then the insurance companies.

DFC , Mar 9 2020 22:17 utc | 64

That is the way POTUS go down in History

oldhippie , Mar 9 2020 22:31 utc | 70
With regard to our host's paragraph beginning "The U.S. must take measures..."

None of this will occur. Mike Pence would rather die and witness his countrymen die than countenance any of this. The overwhelming majority of the nations elite feel the same way. We are going to find out what course the disease takes left to its own devices. Rational conduct is not a factor.

[Mar 09, 2020] The Coronavirus Debacle by Daniel Larison

Right the major fiasco was with CDC testing kits. I do not see any other. Exaggerating the threat would only make hoarding panic that engult the USA worse. Of source Trump desire to protect stock market at any human or other cost was cruel and silly, but Trump is cruel and silly in many other areas as well.
Quarantine for retired persons might really help in areas with high number of infections.
Notable quotes:
"... For the last several weeks, we have seen the president and top administration officials presenting the public with misleading and outright false information in an effort to conceal the magnitude of the problem and the extent of their initial failures. The president has been unwilling to tell the public the truth about the situation because he evidently cares more about the short-term political implications than he does about protecting the public: ..."
Mar 07, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The AP reports on more of the Trump White House's bungling of the coronavirus response:

The White House overruled health officials who wanted to recommend that elderly and physically fragile Americans be advised not to fly on commercial airlines because of the new coronavirus, a federal official told The Associated Press.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention submitted the plan this week as a way of trying to control the virus, but White House officials ordered the air travel recommendation be removed, said the official who had direct knowledge of the plan. Trump administration officials have since suggested certain people should consider not traveling, but they have stopped short of the stronger guidance sought by the CDC.

There is no good reason for the White House to prevent this recommendation from being made public. This is another example of how the president and his top officials are trying to keep up the pretense that the outbreak is much less dangerous than it actually is, and in doing so they are helping to make the outbreak worse than it has to be.

For the last several weeks, we have seen the president and top administration officials presenting the public with misleading and outright false information in an effort to conceal the magnitude of the problem and the extent of their initial failures. The president has been unwilling to tell the public the truth about the situation because he evidently cares more about the short-term political implications than he does about protecting the public:

Even as the government's scientists and leading health experts raised the alarm early and pushed for aggressive action, they faced resistance and doubt at the White House -- especially from the president -- about spooking financial markets and inciting panic.

"It's going to all work out," Mr. Trump said as recently as Thursday night. "Everybody has to be calm. It's going to work out."

Justin Fox comments on the president's terrible messaging:

The biggest problem, though, is simply the way that the president talks about the disease. His instinct at every turn is to downplay its danger and significance.

Minimizing the danger and significance of the outbreak ensured that the government's response was less urgent and focused than it could have been. It encouraged people to take it less seriously and thus made it more likely that the virus would spread. Then when the severity of the problem became undeniable, the earlier discredited happy talk makes it easier for people to disbelieve what the government tells them in the future.

The administration had time to prepare a more effective response, but as I said last week the administration frittered away the time they had. They were still preoccupied with keeping the virus out rather than trying to manage its spread once it arrived here, as it was inevitably going to do:

"We have contained this. I won't say airtight but pretty close to airtight," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said in a television interview on Feb. 25, echoing Trump's tweeted declaration that the virus was "very much under control" in the United States.

But it wasn't, and the administration's rosy messaging was fundamentally at odds with a growing cacophony of alarm bells inside and outside the U.S. government. Since January, epidemiologists, former U.S. public health officials and experts have been warning, publicly and privately, that the administration's insistence that containment was -- and should remain -- the primary way to confront an emerging infectious disease was a grave mistake.

The initial response and the stubborn refusal to adapt to new developments have meant that the U.S. is in a much worse position in handling this outbreak than many other countries. Max Nisen comments on the lack of testing in the U.S.:

Don't cheer just yet. The lower case count doesn't mean Americans are doing a better job of containing the virus; rather, it reflects the fact that the U.S. is badly behind in its ability to test people. The Centers for Disease Control stopped disclosing how many people it has tested as of Monday, but an analysis by The Atlantic could only confirm 1,895 tests. Switzerland, a country with fewer residents than New Jersey, has tested nearly twice as many people. The U.K., which has far fewer cases, has tested over 20,000. This gap is particularly worrisome given evidence of community spread in a number of different states and a high death count, both of which suggest the number of cases will jump as more tests are conducted.

Capacity is finally ramping up, but only after weeks of delays prompted by unforced errors and botched early test kits from the CDC. The continuing inability to test broadly is leading to missed cases, more infections, and an outbreak that will be bigger than it needed to be.

The administration not only bungled their initial response, but they have also been extremely resistant to admitting error. Trump's appointees are reluctant to contradict the president when he spouts nonsense about the outbreak, and that in turn makes it more difficult for them to communicate clearly and consistently with the public. All of this serves to undermine public trust in the government's response, and it prevents health officials from being able to do their jobs without political interference. The federal government's response has been hampered by a president who wants to make people think that the problem isn't that bad and is already being dealt with successfully:

At the White House, Trump and many of his aides were initially skeptical of just how serious the coronavirus threat was, while the president often seemed uninterested as long as the virus was abroad. At first, when he began to engage, he downplayed the threat -- "The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA," he tweeted in late February -- and became a font of misinformation and confusion, further muddling his administration's response.

On Friday, visiting the CDC in Atlanta, the president spewed more falsehoods when he claimed, incorrectly: "Anybody that needs a test, gets a test. They're there. They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful."

When the president lies about such a serious matter, he is causing unnecessary confusion and he is sending exactly the wrong message that remedying earlier failures is not an urgent priority. Because Trump's primary concern is making himself look good in the short term, he is willing to risk a worse outbreak. During his visit to the CDC, the president went on in an even more bizarre vein to praise the tests by comparing them to his "perfect call" with the Ukrainian president last summer that led to his impeachment:

In an attempt to express confidence in the CDC's coronavirus test (the agency's second attempt after the first one it developed failed), Trump offered an unorthodox comparison from the last enormous crisis to swamp his presidency. The tests are just like his impeachment-causing attempt to pressure a foreign government to help him get reelected. "The tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good," Trump told reporters after falsely stating, again, that anyone who needed a test right now could get one.

This morning the president was back at it this morning with more self-serving misinformation:

We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus. We moved VERY early to close borders to certain areas, which was a Godsend. V.P. is doing a great job. The Fake News Media is doing everything possible to make us look bad. Sad!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2020

The president needs people to think that everything he does is perfect, so he is incapable of acknowledging his failures and prefers to vilify accurate reporting about those failures. He cannot help but mismanage the government response because he cannot put the national interest ahead of his own selfishness. An untold number of Americans will be paying a steep price for the president's unfitness for office in the weeks and months to come.

− +

Englewood12 hours ago

"An untold number of Americans will be paying a steep price for the president's unfitness for office in the weeks and months to come."

We've been paying it for a while. It's just more obvious now. I wish I never voted for him.

SFBay1949 Englewood6 hours ago • edited
I wish you had thought a bit into the future before you voted him. Did you really think things wouldn't turn out EXACTLY the way they have? Honestly, it's to rime tell the truth here.
Englewood SFBay19495 hours ago
It's the Democrats who should have thought a bit into the future. It was the identity and known character and policies of Trump's opponent that tipped my vote to Trump. And no, obviously I didn't think things would turn out "exactly" this way. I thought if I put up with his repulsive manner I'd get maybe a third of his main campaign promises and that the GOP establishment would get the hiding it deserves. Boy, was I wrong.
SFBay1949 Englewood3 hours ago
I take you believe Hillary Clinton was worse than Trump. Fair enough, but do you still think our country would be in the state it is now? In what way could she possibly be worse than what we have now with Trump?
Brandon Falusi SFBay19494 hours ago
It's better for Trumpism to have burst like a zit onto the mirror, no matter how disgusting, because it was all there anyway under Bush and Cheney, it was there alongside "Barack the magic... birth certificate!" You can fairly easily wash off the stain of Bush and Rumsfeld, you can sort of start to forget their sublime horror, the exact same level of lies and utter mismanagement, but you can't wash off a man like Trump, ever. His portrait will be in the White House so future Americans can see what we're capable of, and hopefully be more vigilant about the subtle and polished lies and civilized outrages. We needed this barbaric display to get some clarity.
King George12 hours ago
"The president has been about the situation because he evidently cares more about the
short-term political implications than he does about protecting the public"

It's no different from the first two years of his presidency. He already betrayed those of us who voted for the America First promises on immigration and ending the wars. He spent most of his doing favors for Wall Street, Israel, and Saudi Arabia instead. Now he's going to betray the many vulnerable elders who voted for him, risking their illness and even death by his selfish evasions and lies. He's a con artist. A fake.

[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 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 05, 2020] Intelligence Officials Sow Discord By Stoking Fear of Russian Election Meddling by Dave DeCamp

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Under Trump, NATO has strengthened and held its largest war games since the cold war. The Trump administration withdrew from the Reagan-era nuclear arms treaty, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), an arms control agreement that prohibited Russia and the US from developing medium-range nuclear and ballistic missiles. Shortly after tearing up the treaty, the Pentagon began developing and testing missiles that were banned under the INF. ..."
"... Despite all the drama over military aid to Ukraine, Trump never actually delayed it, and the new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes $300 million in lethal aid to Ukraine , $50 million more than the previous year. The NDAA also calls for mandatory sanctions against any companies working on completing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that connects Russia and Germany. Of all Trump's hawkish policies, his effort to kill the Nord Stream 2 and the pressure he puts on Germany not to buy gas from Russia can do the most damage to Russia's economy. ..."
"... The policies listed above are just a few examples of Trump's hostility towards Russia. Others include attempting to overthrow Russia's ally in Venezuela, maintaining a troop presence in Syria to "secure the oil," sanctioning Russian officials and businessman, and much more . ..."
"... Despite all these provocations towards Russia, Trump is still accused of being a "puppet" of Vladimir Putin. No matter how much the president moves the US closer to direct confrontation with Russia, the talking heads and pundits of the mainstream media take superficial examples – like the 2018 Helsinki conference – as proof of Trump's loyalty to Putin. Trump's words are put under a microscope, while his policies that make nuclear war more possible are largely ignored. ..."
Feb 24, 2020 | original.antiwar.com
Another presidential election year is upon us, and the intelligence agencies are hard at work stoking fears of Russian meddling. This time it looks like the Russians do not only like the incumbent president but also favor who appears to be the Democratic front-runner, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

On Thursday, The New York Times ran a story titled , "Lawmakers Are Warned That Russia Is Meddling to Re-elect Trump." The story says that on February 13 th US lawmakers from the House were briefed by intelligence officials who warned them, "Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected."

The story provides little detail into the briefing and gives no evidence to back up the intelligence officials' claims. It mostly rehashes old claims from the 2016 election, such as Russians are trying to "stir controversy" and "stoke division." The intelligence officials also said the Russians are looking to interfere with the 2020 Democratic primaries.

It looks like other intelligence officials are already undermining the leaked briefing. CNN ran a story on Sunday titled "US intelligence briefer appears to have overstated assessment of 2020 Russian interference." The CNN article reads, "The US intelligence community has assessed that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election and has separately assessed that Russia views Trump as a leader they can work with. But the US does not have evidence that Russia's interference this cycle is aimed at re-electing Trump, the officials said."

According to The Times, President Trump was upset with acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire for letting the briefing happen, and Republican lawmakers did not agree with the conclusion since Trump has been "tough" on Russia. In his three years in office, Trump certainly has been tough on Russia, and it is hard to believe that Putin would work to reelect such a Russia hawk.

Under Trump, NATO has strengthened and held its largest war games since the cold war. The Trump administration withdrew from the Reagan-era nuclear arms treaty, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), an arms control agreement that prohibited Russia and the US from developing medium-range nuclear and ballistic missiles. Shortly after tearing up the treaty, the Pentagon began developing and testing missiles that were banned under the INF.

The Trump Administration might let another nuclear arms treaty lapse. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) limits the number of nuclear warheads that Russia and the US can have deployed. The US does not want to re-sign the treaty and is using the excuse that it wants to include China in the deal. China's nuclear arsenal is estimated to be around 300 warheads , which is just one-fifth of the amount that Russia and the US are allowed to have deployed under the New START. It makes no sense for China to limit its deployment of nuclear warheads when its arsenal is nothing compared to the other two superpowers. China appears to be a scapegoat for the US to blame if the treaty does not get renewed. Without the New START, there will be nothing limiting the number of nukes the US and Russia can deploy, making the world a much more dangerous place.

Despite all the drama over military aid to Ukraine, Trump never actually delayed it, and the new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes $300 million in lethal aid to Ukraine , $50 million more than the previous year. The NDAA also calls for mandatory sanctions against any companies working on completing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that connects Russia and Germany. Of all Trump's hawkish policies, his effort to kill the Nord Stream 2 and the pressure he puts on Germany not to buy gas from Russia can do the most damage to Russia's economy.

The policies listed above are just a few examples of Trump's hostility towards Russia. Others include attempting to overthrow Russia's ally in Venezuela, maintaining a troop presence in Syria to "secure the oil," sanctioning Russian officials and businessman, and much more .

Despite all these provocations towards Russia, Trump is still accused of being a "puppet" of Vladimir Putin. No matter how much the president moves the US closer to direct confrontation with Russia, the talking heads and pundits of the mainstream media take superficial examples – like the 2018 Helsinki conference – as proof of Trump's loyalty to Putin. Trump's words are put under a microscope, while his policies that make nuclear war more possible are largely ignored.

The leaked briefing harkens back to an intelligence assessment that came out in January 2017 during the last days of the Obama administration. The assessment concluded that Vladimir Putin himself ordered the election interference to help Trump get elected. At first, a falsehood spread through the media that all 17 US intelligence agencies agreed with the conclusion. But later testimony from Obama-era intelligence officials revealed the assessment was prepared by hand-picked analysts from the CIA, FBI, and NSA. The assessment offered no evidence for the claim and mostly focused on media coverage of the presidential candidates on Russian state-funded media.

On Friday, The Washington Post piled on to the Russia hysteria and ran a story titled "Bernie Sanders briefed by US officials that Russia is trying to help his campaign." The story says Sanders received a briefing on Russian efforts to boost his campaign. The details are again scant and The Post admits that "It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken."

The few progressive journalists that have been right on Russiagate all along had the foresight to see how accusations of Russian meddling would ultimately be used to hurt Sanders' campaign. Unfortunately, Sanders did not have that same foresight and frequently played into the Russiagate narrative.

Last week, during a Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas, when criticized for his supporters' behavior on social media, Sanders pointed the finger at Russia . "All of us remember 2016, and what we remember is efforts by Russians and others to try to interfere in our elections and divide us up. I'm not saying that's happening, but it would not shock me," Sanders said.

In comments after The Post story was published, Sanders said he was briefed on Russian interference "about a month ago." Sanders raised the issue with the timing of the story, having been published on the eve of the Nevada caucus. But the story did not slow down Sanders' momentum in the polls, and he came out the clear victor of the Nevada caucus. Sanders' victory seemed to rattle the Democratic establishment, and some wild accusations were thrown around during coverage of the caucus.

Political analyst James Carville appeared on MSNBC as Sanders took an early and substantial lead in Nevada. Carville said, "Right now, it's about 1:15 Moscow time. This thing is going very well for Vladimir Putin. I promise you. He's probably staying up watching this right now." What could be played off as a joke was followed up with some serious accusations from Carville, "I don't think the Sanders campaign in any way is collusion or collaboration. I think they don't like this story, but the story is a fact, and the reason that the story is a fact is Putin is doing everything that he can to help Trump, including trying to get Sanders the Democratic nomination."

This delusional attitude about the Russians rigging the Democratic primary is underpinned by claims of meddling from the 2016 election. Central to Robert Mueller's claim that Russia engaged in "multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election" is the St. Petersburg based company, the Internet Research Agency (IRA).

The IRA is accused of running a troll farm that sought to interfere in the 2016 election in favor of Trump over Hillary Clinton. Mueller failed to tie the IRA directly to the Kremlin, and further research into their social media campaign shows most of the posts had nothing to do with the election. A study on the IRA by the firm New Knowledge found just "11 percent" of the IRA's content "was related to the election."

Many believe the Russian government is responsible for hacking the DNC email server and providing the emails to WikiLeaks. But there are many holes in Mueller's story to support this claim. And WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange – who Mueller did not interview – has said the Russian government was not the source of the emails.

Regardless of who leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks, they show that DNC leadership had a clear bias against Bernie Sanders back in 2016. The emails' contents were never disputed, and Democratic voters had every right to see the corruption within the DNC. With the release of the DNC emails, and later the Podesta emails, the American people were able to make a more informed choice in the presidential election. This type of transparency provided by WikiLeaks would be celebrated in a healthy democracy, not portrayed as the work of a foreign power.

Sanders would be wise to keep a watchful eye on how the DNC operates over the next few months. The debacle that was the Iowa caucus shows the Democrats can "stoke division" and "stir controversy" just fine on their own.

These claims of Russian meddling will continue throughout the election season. President Trump's defense that he is "tough" on Russia is nothing to be proud of, but that is inevitably where these accusations lead. Trump is encouraged to be more hawkish towards Russia in an effort to quiet the claims of Putin's preference for him. And if Bernie Sanders plays into this narrative now, can we believe that he will make any real foreign policy change towards Russia if he gets the nomination and beats Trump?

Dave DeCamp is assistant editor at Antiwar.com and a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave .

[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] 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 ha