Bait and Switch

Obama, the Prince of Bait-and-Switch

News Class Struggle In The USA Recommended Links Identity politics as divide and  Deception as an art form  Divide and conquer strategy
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite Theory Leo Strauss and the Neocons Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair
Obama: a yet another Neocon Machiavellism Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism The ability and willingness to employ savage methods Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Color revolutions   IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement  
American Exceptionalism John Dilulio letter Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton   Corporatism Big Uncle is Watching You
Mayberry Machiavellians Corporatism Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014  From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
According to Wikipedia

Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales but also employed in other contexts. First, customers are "baited" by merchants' advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items ("switching").

While used by all presidential candidate, Obama can be called Prince of bait and switch tactics. Even "Slick Willy"  with his "it's economy stupid" did not reach the higher of betrayal of the electorate delivered by Obama  with his famous and completely fraudulent "change we can believe it". 

Actually it is proper not to view Obama as a person. Obama is a brand, a puppet created by advertizing. Advertising is the rule of the game. And during presidencial elections cycle Obama managed to outspend republican McCain due to financial industry contributions. Tell me who is paying for your election and I will tell what policies you will persue ;-)

And Obama campaign once again demonstrated old truth: Democratic Party just plays the role of destroyer of radical left, while Republican Party plays the same role for radical right. This provides stability. Talks about democracy after 1963, when "shadow government" came in power in the USA is akin to advertizing trick.

Obama has close ties with the "deep state". Historically Obama spend some time working in Business International Corporation, the CIA outlet (Wikipedia)

In the late summer of 1983, future United States President Barack Obama interviewed for a job at Business International Corporation. He worked there for "little more than year."[3] As a research associate in its financial services division, he edited Financing Foreign Operations, a global reference service, and wrote for Business International Money Report, a weekly financial newsletter.[4] His responsibilities included "interviewing business experts, researching trends in foreign exchange, following market developments. . . . He wrote about currency swaps and leverage leases. . . . Obama also helped write financial reports on Mexico and Brazil.[5]

See also Verified CIA Front, Business International Corp, Paid for Obama’s Columbia College Tuition Export Blueprint

After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, Barack Obama went to work for a firm called Business International Corporation (BIC), a firm that was linked to economic intelligence gathering for the CIA.

For one year, Obama worked as a researcher in BIC’s financial services division where he wrote for two BIC publications, Financing Foreign Operations and Business International Money Report, a weekly newsletter. An informed source has told WMR that Obama’s tuition debt at Columbia was paid off by BIC.

In addition, WMR has learned that when Obama lived in Indonesia with his mother and his adoptive father Lolo Soetoro, the 20-year-old Obama, who was known as “Barry Soetoro,” traveled to Pakistan in 1981 and was hosted by the family of Muhammadmian Soomro, a Pakistani Sindhi who became acting President of Pakistan after the resignation of General Pervez Musharraf on August 18, 2008. WMR was told that the Obama/Soetoro trip to Pakistan, ostensibly to go “partridge hunting” with the Soomros, related to unknown CIA business.

The covert CIA program to assist the Afghan mujaheddin was already well underway at the time and Pakistan was the major base of operations for the CIA’s support. Obama also reportedly traveled to India, again, on unknown business for U.S. intelligence. WMR has been told by knowledgeable sources that Obama has, in the past, traveled on at least three passports: U.S., Indonesian, and British. BIC also maintained a European subsidiary, Business International S.A., in Geneva. BIC had long been associated with CIA activities since being founded by Eldridge Haynes, a self-professed liberal Democrat. The BIC headquarters was located at the prestigious address of 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Manhattan. BIC held a series of off-the-record, no press, meetings between top U.S. business executives and top government officials, including the President, and the Secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury, Commerce, and Labor; the Attorney General, Senate leadership, and the heads of the Export-Import Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. BIC held international meetings in locations like Brussels and Mexico City.

In 1986, BIC was bought by the Economist Group in London and its operations were merged with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). There have been a number of reports that the EIU works as closely with Britain’s MI-6 intelligence service as BIC once worked with or for the CIA. One of BIC’s directors was the late Lord Pilkington, who was also a director of the Bank of England. Obama’s work for a company having ties to the CIA barely registered a blip on the 2008 presidential campaign radar screen. At the very least, Obama helped in providing economic intelligence to the CIA as a contract employee. At most, Obama was, like previous BIC employees who operated abroad for the CIA, a full-fledged non-official cover (NOC) agent. Since President Obama has backpedaled on CIA renditions and torture, as well as warrantless electronic surveillance by U.S. intelligence, he owes the American people a full explanation of the circumstances behind his being hired by BIC, what his job actually entailed, and whether he continued to have a relationship with BIC or any other CIA operation while attending Harvard Law School and thereafter.

In foreign policy Obama is simply Bush III, a stanch neocon, who is never tied of imperial adventures and bombing brown people (The Bush-Obama-Neocon Doctrine):

It’s official: When it comes to foreign policy, Barack Obama’s first term is really George W. Bush’s third. Bill Kristol, son of the late neoconservative godfather Irving Kristol and editor of the Weekly Standard, declared that Obama is “a born-again neocon” during a March 30 appearance on the Fox News Channel’s Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld. Kristol’s remark came in the context of a discussion of Obama’s consultation with Kristol and other influential columnists prior to his March 28 address to the nation about his military intervention in Libya. Gutfeld quizzed Kristol about the President’s asking him for “help” with his speech. Kristol denied that Obama had sought his help. Instead, Kristol said,

In case anyone missed the significance of Kristol’s comment, Gutfeld made it clear: “We’ve got the drones. We’ve got military tribunals. We’ve got Gitmo. We’re bombing Libya. People who voted for Obama got four more years of Bush.”

Kristol agreed, adding: “What’s the joke — they told me if I voted for McCain, we’d be going to war in a third Muslim country…. I voted for McCain and we’re doing it.”

Of course, to Kristol, calling someone a neocon is a compliment. Indeed, Kristol praised Obama’s speech on the Weekly Standard blog, saying the President “had rejoined — or joined — the historical American foreign policy mainstream.” The speech was “reassuring,” Kristol explained, saying, “The president was unapologetic, freedom-agenda-embracing, and didn’t shrink from defending the use of force or from appealing to American values and interests.” In other words, it was a neocon speech, cloaking the use of violence in the language of liberty and treating the U.S. military as the President’s personal mercenaries to reshape the globe rather than as defenders of the territorial United States.

This is not the first time Kristol and other neocons have lauded Obama’s foreign policy. After Obama made a speech in 2009 announcing he was sending more troops to Afghanistan — that is, he was replicating Bush’s Iraq “surge” in another location — Michael Goldfarb, a Weekly Standard writer, asked Kristol for his reaction to the speech. “He said he would have framed a few things differently,” Goldfarb related, “but his basic response was: ‘All hail Obama!’”

Similarly, when the President last August claimed that “the American combat mission in Iraq has ended” while asserting that “our commitment to Iraq’s future is not” ending, New York Post resident neocon John Podhoretz applauded Obama for his “rather neoconservative speech, in the sense that neoconservatism has argued for aggressive American involvement in the world both for the world’s sake and for the sake of extending American freedoms in order to enhance and preserve American security.” [Emphasis in original.]

Sheldon Richman, writing in Freedom Daily, reminded readers of just exactly what neocon policies have wrought:

Just to be clear, the neocons were among the key architects of the war against Iraq in 1991, followed by the embargo that killed half a million children. That war and embargo set the stage for the 9/11 attacks, which were then used to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq (an ambition long predating 9/11) and the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, American’s [sic] longest military engagement — all of which have killed more than a million people, wreaked political havoc, and made life in those countries (and elsewhere) miserable. Let’s not forget the drone assassination and special ops programs being run in a dozen Muslim countries. The neocon achievement also has helped drive the American people deep into debt.

Nice crowd Obama is hanging with these days. And that’s no exaggeration. Frederick Kagan, one of the top neocon brains and a signatory of the Project of the New American Century imperial manifesto, now works for Gen. David Petraeus.

Barack Obama, the candidate of “change we can believe in,” turned out to be the President of “more of the same.” Lest there remain any doubt about this, one need only turn to establishment news organ Time magazine. There Mark Halperin, explaining “why Obama’s Libya address was strong,” states quite bluntly: “George W. Bush could have delivered every sentence.”


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Apr 18, 2018] Obama vs Trump: That is how the political mechanism of faux populism works.

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Apr 18, 2018 11:42:04 AM | 142

Don Bacon

Trump's actions have not matched his election rhetoric. Just like faux populist Obama. Obama also "caved" to pressure, and even set himself up for failure by emphasing "bipartisanship".

That is how the political mechanism of faux populism works.

Obama: Change you can believe in
Trump: Make America Great Again

Obama: Most transparent administration ever
Trump: Drain the Swamp

Obama: Deceiver: "Man of Peace" engaging in covert ops
Trump: Distractor: twitter, personal vendettas

Weakened by claims of unpatriotic inclinations:
Obama: Birthers (led by Trump who was close to Clinton's) - "Muslim socialist"!
Trump: Russia influence (pushed by 'NeverTrump' Clinton loyalists) - Putin's bitch!

There's more but I won't belabor the point.

[Apr 17, 2018] the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens Ed Schultz I was fired from MSNBC because I supported Bernie Sanders

Apr 17, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Ed Schultz: I was fired from MSNBC because I supported Bernie Sanders The former anchor claims the network was in the tank for Hillary Clinton

MSNBC anchor-turned-Russia Today host, Ed Schultz, told National Review Monday that he believes he was fired from the left-leaning cable news network because he openly supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary. The network, he claims, was in the tank for Hillary Clinton.

The interview itself is fascinating and a shocking look at the inner workings of MSNBC, even if Schultz isn't exactly a reliable narrator. Schultz claims that MSNBC took a heavy hand in dictating what went on air, and that he was often pushed in the direction of a story by higher-ups, even if he felt his audience wouldn't be interested.

Schultz says his trouble at MSNBC started when he informed his bosses that he planned to cover Bernie Sanders' campaign announcement live from Vermont, and that he would be airing the first, exclusive, cable network interview with the progressive presidential candidate. They objected, and even went so far as to tell Schultz to drop the story.

He refused. And was forced to cover a boring news story in Texas, he says.

Schultz is clear on whom he blames: Hillary Clinton.

" I think the Clintons were connected to [NBC's] Andy Lack, connected at the hip, " Schultz told NRO host Jamie Weinstein. " I think that they didn't want anybody in their primetime or anywhere in their lineup supporting Bernie Sanders. I think that they were in the tank for Hillary Clinton, and I think that it was managed, and 45 days later I was out at MSNBC. "

Schultz's stint at MSNBC came to a screeching halt in July 2015, just as the Democratic primaries were heating up. That same week, the network also axed other underperforming shows, but Schultz maintains that he was given the boot because they didn't want him speaking out against Clinton in the heat of the primaries.

Source: https://www.dailywire.com/news/29531/ed-schultz-i-was-fired-msnbc-because-i-supported-emily-zanotti

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9PIOD4YwOwA

system failure due to insufficient evolution? at

[Apr 17, 2018] Poor Alex

Highly recommended!
Now the color revolution against Trump just does not make any sense. We got to the point where Trump=Hillary. Muller should embrace and kiss Trump and go home... Nobody care if Trump is impeached anymore.
Apr 17, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Donald Trump's far-right loyal fans must be really pissed off right now after permanently switching himself to pro-war mode with that evil, warmongering triplet in charge and the second bombing against Syria. Even worse, this time he has done it together with Theresa May and the neoliberal globalist Emmanuel Macron.

We can tell that by watching the mind-blowing reactions of one of his most fanatic alt-right media supporters: Alex Jones. Jones nearly cried(!) in front of the camera, feeling betrayed from his 'anti-establishment', 'anti-interventionist' idol and declared that he won't support Trump anymore. Well, what did you expect, Alex? expect, Alex?

A year before the 2016 US national elections, the blog already warned that Trump is a pure product of the neoliberal barbarism , stating that the rhetoric of extreme cynicism used by Trump goes back to the Thatcherian cynicism and the division of people between "capable" and "useless".
Right after the elections, we supported that the US establishment gave a brilliant performance by putting its reserve, Donald Trump, in power, against the only candidate that the same establishment identified as a real threat: Bernie Sanders. Right after the elections, we supported that the US establishment gave a brilliant performance by putting its reserve, Donald Trump, in power, against the only candidate that the same establishment identified as a real threat: Bernie Sanders.

Then, Donnie sent the first shock wave to his supporters by literally hiring the Goldman Sachs banksters to run the economy. And right after that, he signed for more deregulation in favor of the Wall Street mafia that ruined the economy in 2008!

The only hope that has been left, was to resist against starting a war with Russia, as the US deep state (and Hillary of course) wanted. Well, it was proven to be only a hope too. Last year, Trump bombed Syria under the same pretext resembling the lies that led us to the Iraq war disaster. Despite the fact that the US Tomahawk missile attack had zero value in operational level (the United States allegedly warned Russia and Syria, while the targeted airport was operating normally just hours after the attack), Trump sent a clear message to the US deep state that he is prepared to meet all its demands - and especially the escalation of confrontation with Russia. Indeed, a year later, Trump already built a pro-war team that includes the most bloodthirsty, hawkish triplet.

And then, Donnie ordered a second airstrike against Syria, together with his neo-colonial friends.

It seems that neither this strike was a serious attempt against the Syrian army and its allies. Yet, Donnie probably won't dare to escalate tension in the Syrian battlefield before the next US national elections. That's because many of his supporters are already pissed off with him and therefore, he wants to go with good chances for a second term.

Although we really hope that we are are wrong this time, we guess that, surrounded by all these warmongering hawks, Donnie, in a potential second term, will be pushed to open another war front in Syria and probably in Iran, defying the Russians and the consequent danger for a WWIII.

Poor Alex et al: we told you about Trump from the beginning. You didn't listen ...

[Apr 16, 2018] Trump is the Republican Obama. The follow the same model of government: faux populist leader dogged by crazy critics that want to derail a righteous agenda. Less slick, but more jingoistic

In reality Trump proved again that POTUS does not matter and presidential elections matter very little. In was he is like drunk Obama, reckelss and jingoistic to the extreme. Both foreign and domestic policy is determined by forces, and are outside POTUS control, with very little input possible. But the "deep state" fully control the POTUS, no matter who he/she are.
Notable quotes:
"... To Trump apologists: Trump is the Republican Obama. The follow the same model of government: faux populist leader dogged by crazy critics that want to derail a righteous agenda. ..."
"... Obamabots gave similar excuses. Real populists simply don't get have a chance of being elected in US money-driven elections. ..."
"... Why was there only two populists running for President in 2016? Sanders, Hillay's sheepdog, destroyed the movement that would been the best check on the establishment and the rush to war. That movement was never going to be allowed to take root. Trump, a friend of the Clinton's was probably meant to prevail. ..."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Apr 15, 2018 5:57:58 PM | 105

To Trump apologists: Trump is the Republican Obama. The follow the same model of government: faux populist leader dogged by crazy critics that want to derail a righteous agenda.

Obamabots gave similar excuses. Real populists simply don't get have a chance of being elected in US money-driven elections.

Why was there only two populists running for President in 2016? Sanders, Hillay's sheepdog, destroyed the movement that would been the best check on the establishment and the rush to war. That movement was never going to be allowed to take root. Trump, a friend of the Clinton's was probably meant to prevail.

Rome had bread and circuses. We've got crumbs and tweets.

[Apr 05, 2018] Barack Obama supporters outraged by Bernie Sanders's 'deplorable' attack on Democratic Party on anniversary of Martin Luther King assassination by Peter Stubley

Apr 05, 2018 | independent.co.uk

Vermont Senator says business model of Democratic Party has been a failure for 15 years

Bernie Sanders has triggered a backlash by making comments interpreted as an attack on [Wall Street/CIA troll] Barack Obama on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. The senator for Vermont appeared to criticise the first black US President as he branded the Democratic Party a "failure".

Speaking in Jackson, Mississippi, he said Democrats had lost a record number of legislative seats. "The business model, if you like, of the Democratic Party for the last 15 years or so has been a failure,'' said the Vermont Senator...Mr Sanders's comments were quickly branded "patronising" and "deplorable".

[Apr 01, 2018] Big American Money, Not Russia, Put Trump in the White House: Reflections on a Recent Report by Paul Street

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Running against what she (wrongly) perceived (along with most election prognosticators) as a doomed and feckless opponent and as the clear preferred candidate of Wall Street and the intimately related U.S foreign policy elite , including many leading Neoconservatives put off by Trump's isolationist and anti-interventionist rhetoric, the "lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary Clinton arrogantly figured that she could garner enough votes to win without having to ruffle any ruling-class feathers. ..."
"... Smart Wall Street and K Street Democratic Party bankrollers have long understood that Democratic candidates have to cloak their dollar-drenched corporatism in the deceptive campaign discourse of progressive- and even populist-sounding policy promise to win elections. ..."
"... Trump trailed well behind Clinton in contributions from defense and aerospace – a lack of support extraordinary for a Republican presidential hopeful late in the race. ..."
"... one fateful consequence of trying to appeal to so many conservative business interests was strategic silence about most important matters of public policy. Given the candidate's steady lead in the polls, there seemed to be no point to rocking the boat with any more policy pronouncements than necessary ..."
"... Misgivings of major contributors who worried that the Clinton campaign message lacked real attractions for ordinary Americans were rebuffed. The campaign sought to capitalize on the angst within business by vigorously courting the doubtful and undecideds there, not in the electorate ..."
"... Of course, Bill and Hillary helped trail-blaze that plutocratic "New Democrat" turn in Arkansas during the late 1970s and 1980s. The rest, as they say, was history – an ugly corporate-neoliberal, imperial, and racist history that I and others have written about at great length. ..."
"... My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency ..."
"... Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton ..."
"... The Condemnation of Little B: New Age Racism in America ..."
"... Still, Trump's success was no less tied to big money than was Hillary's failure. Candidate Trump ran strangely outside the longstanding neoliberal Washington Consensus, as an economic nationalist and isolationist. His raucous rallies were laced with dripping denunciations of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, and globalization, mockery of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, rejection of the New Cold War with Russia, and pledges of allegiance to the "forgotten" American "working-class." He was no normal Republican One Percent candidate. ..."
"... Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache ..."
"... "In a frontal assault on the American establishment, the Republican standard bearer proclaimed 'America First.' Mocking the Bush administration's appeal to 'weapons of mass destruction' as a pretext for invading Iraq, he broke dramatically with two generations of GOP orthodoxy and spoke out in favor of more cooperation with Russia . He even criticized the 'carried interest' tax break beloved by high finance" (emphasis added). ..."
"... "What happened in the final weeks of the campaign was extraordinary. Firstly, a giant wave of dark money poured into Trump's own campaign – one that towered over anything in 2016 or even Mitt Romney's munificently financed 2012 effort – to say nothing of any Russian Facebook experiments [Then] another gigantic wave of money flowed in from alarmed business interests, including the Kochs and their allies Officially the money was for Senate races, but late-stage campaigning for down-ballot offices often spills over on to candidates for the party at large." ..."
"... "In a harbinger of things to come, additional money came from firms and industries that appear to have been attracted by Trump's talk of tariffs, including steel and companies making machinery of various types [a] vast wave of new money flowed into the campaign from some of America's biggest businesses and most famous investors. Sheldon Adelson and many others in the casino industry delivered in grand style for its old colleague. Adelson now delivered more than $11 million in his own name, while his wife and other employees of his Las Vegas Sands casino gave another $20 million. ..."
"... Peter Theil contributed more than a million dollars, while large sums also rolled in from other parts of Silicon Valley, including almost two million dollars from executives at Microsoft and just over two million from executives at Cisco Systems. ..."
"... Among those were Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn (who had both contributed to Trump before, but now made much bigger new contributions). In the end, along with oil, chemicals, mining and a handful of other industries, large private equity firms would become one of the few segments of American business – and the only part of Wall Street – where support for Trump was truly heavy the sudden influx of money from private equity and hedge funds clearly began with the Convention but turned into a torrent " ..."
"... The critical late wave came after Trump moved to rescue his flagging campaign by handing its direction over to the clever, class-attuned, far-right white- and economic- nationalist "populist" and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who advocated what proved to be a winning, Koch brothers-approved "populist" strategy: appeal to economically and culturally frustrated working- and middle-class whites in key battleground states, where the bloodless neoliberal and professional class centrism and snooty metropolitan multiculturalism of the Obama presidency and Clinton campaign was certain to depress the Democratic "base" vote ..."
"... Neither turnout nor the partisan division of the vote at any level looks all that different from other recent elections 2016's alterations in voting behavior are so minute that the pattern is only barely differentiated from 2012." ..."
"... An interesting part of FJC's study (no quick or easy read) takes a close look at the pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Internet activism that the Democrats and their many corporate media allies are so insistently eager to blame on Russia and for Hillary's defeat. FJC find that Russian Internet interventions were of tiny significance compared to those of homegrown U.S. corporate and right-wing cyber forces: ..."
"... By 2016, the Republican right had developed internet outreach and political advertising into a fine art and on a massive scale quite on its own. ..."
"... Breitbart and other organizations were in fact going global, opening offices abroad and establishing contacts with like-minded groups elsewhere. Whatever the Russians were up to, they could hardly hope to add much value to the vast Made in America bombardment already underway. Nobody sows chaos like Breitbart or the Drudge Report ." ..."
"... no support from Big Business ..."
"... Sanders pushed Hillary the Goldman candidate to the wall, calling out the Democrats' capture by Wall Street, forcing her to rely on a rigged party, convention, and primary system to defeat him. The small-donor "socialist" Sanders challenge represented something Ferguson and his colleagues describe as "without precedent in American politics not just since the New Deal, but across virtually the whole of American history a major presidential candidate waging a strong, highly competitive campaign whose support from big business is essentially zero ." ..."
"... American Oligarchy ..."
"... teleSur English ..."
"... we had no great electoral democracy to subvert in 2016 ..."
"... Only candidates and positions that can be financed can be presented to voters. As a result, in countries like the US and, increasingly, Western Europe, political parties are first of all bank accounts . With certain qualifications, one must pay to play. Understanding any given election, therefore, requires a financial X-ray of the power blocs that dominate the major parties, with both inter- and intra- industrial analysis of their constituent elements." ..."
"... Elections alone are no guarantee of democracy, as U.S. policymakers and pundits know very well when they rip on rigged elections (often fixed with the assistance of U.S. government and private-sector agents and firms) in countries they don't like ..."
"... Majority opinion is regularly trumped by a deadly complex of forces in the U.S. ..."
"... Trump is a bit of an anomaly – a sign of an elections and party system in crisis and an empire in decline. He wasn't pre-approved or vetted by the usual U.S. " deep state " corporate, financial, and imperial gatekeepers. The ruling-class had been trying to figure out what the Hell to do with him ever since he shocked even himself (though not Steve Bannon) by pre-empting the coronation of the "Queen of Chaos." ..."
"... His lethally racist, sexist, nativist, nuclear-weapons-brandishing, and (last but not at all least) eco-cidal rise to the nominal CEO position atop the U.S.-imperial oligarchy is no less a reflection of the dominant role of big U.S. capitalist money and homegrown plutocracy in U.S. politics than a more classically establishment Hillary ascendancy would have been. It's got little to do with Russia, Russia, Russia – the great diversion that fills U.S. political airwaves and newsprint as the world careens ever closer to oligarchy-imposed geocide and to a thermonuclear conflagration that the RussiaGate gambit is recklessly encouraging. ..."
Mar 30, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

"She Doesn't Have Any Policy Positions"

On the Friday after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and prior to the Tuesday on which the vicious racist and sexist Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Bernie Sanders spoke to a surprisingly small crowd in Iowa City on behalf of Hillary Clinton. As I learned months later, Sanders told one of his Iowa City friends that day that Mrs. Clinton was in trouble. The reason, Sanders reported, was that Hillary wasn't discussing issues or advancing real solutions. "She doesn't have any policy positions," Sanders said.

The first time I heard this, I found it hard to believe. How, I wondered, could anyone run seriously for the presidency without putting issues and policy front and center? Wouldn't any serious campaign want a strong set of issue and policy positions to attract voters and fall back on in case and times of adversity?

Sanders wasn't lying. As the esteemed political scientist and money-politics expert Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues Paul Jorgensen and Jie Chen note in an important study released by the Institute for New Economic Thinking two months ago, the Clinton campaign "emphasized candidate and personal issues and avoided policy discussions to a degree without precedent in any previous election for which measurements exist .it stressed candidate qualifications [and] deliberately deemphasized issues in favor of concentrating on what the campaign regarded as [Donald] Trump's obvious personal weaknesses as a candidate."

Strange as it might have seemed, the reality television star and presidential pre-apprentice Donald Trump had a lot more to say about policy than the former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a wonkish Yale Law graduate.

"Courting the Undecideds in Business, not in the Electorate"

What was that about? My first suspicion was that Hillary's policy silence was about the money. It must have reflected her success in building a Wall Street-filled campaign funding war-chest so daunting that she saw little reason to raise capitalist election investor concerns by giving voice to the standard fake-progressive "hope" and "change" campaign and policy rhetoric Democratic presidential contenders typically deploy against their One Percent Republican opponents. Running against what she (wrongly) perceived (along with most election prognosticators) as a doomed and feckless opponent and as the clear preferred candidate of Wall Street and the intimately related U.S foreign policy elite , including many leading Neoconservatives put off by Trump's isolationist and anti-interventionist rhetoric, the "lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary Clinton arrogantly figured that she could garner enough votes to win without having to ruffle any ruling-class feathers. She would cruise into the White House with no hurt plutocrat feelings simply by playing up the ill-prepared awfulness of her Republican opponent.

If Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Chen (hereafter "JFC") are right, I was on to something but not the whole money and politics story. Smart Wall Street and K Street Democratic Party bankrollers have long understood that Democratic candidates have to cloak their dollar-drenched corporatism in the deceptive campaign discourse of progressive- and even populist-sounding policy promise to win elections. Sophisticated funders get it that the Democratic candidates' need to manipulate the electorate with phony pledges of democratic transformation. The big money backers know it's "just politics" on the part of candidates who can be trusted to serve elite interests (like Bill Clinton 1993-2001 and Barack Obama 2009-2017 ) after they gain office.

What stopped Hillary from playing the usual game – the "manipulation of populism by elitism" that Christopher Hitchens once called "the essence of American politics" – in 2016, a year when the electorate was in a particularly angry and populist mood? FJC's study is titled " Industrial Structure and Party Competition in an Age of Hunger Games : Donald Trump and the 2016 Presidential Election." It performs heroic empirical work with difficult campaign finance data to show that Hillary's campaign funding success went beyond her party's usual corporate and financial backers to include normally Republican-affiliated capitalist sectors less disposed than their more liberal counterparts to abide the standard progressive-sounding policy rhetoric of Democratic Party candidates. FJC hypothesize that (along with the determination that Trump was too weak to be taken all that seriously) Hillary's desire get and keep on board normally Republican election investors led her to keep quiet on issues and policy concerns that mattered to everyday people. As FJC note:

"Trump trailed well behind Clinton in contributions from defense and aerospace – a lack of support extraordinary for a Republican presidential hopeful late in the race. For Clinton's campaign the temptation was irresistible: Over time it slipped into a variant of the strategy [Democrat] Lyndon Johnson pursued in 1964 in the face of another [Republican] candidate [Barry Goldwater] who seemed too far out of the mainstream to win: Go for a grand coalition with most of big business . one fateful consequence of trying to appeal to so many conservative business interests was strategic silence about most important matters of public policy. Given the candidate's steady lead in the polls, there seemed to be no point to rocking the boat with any more policy pronouncements than necessary . Misgivings of major contributors who worried that the Clinton campaign message lacked real attractions for ordinary Americans were rebuffed. The campaign sought to capitalize on the angst within business by vigorously courting the doubtful and undecideds there, not in the electorate " (emphasis added). Hillary Happened

FJC may well be right that a wish not to antagonize off right-wing campaign funders is what led Hillary to muzzle herself on important policy matters, but who really knows? An alternative theory I would not rule out is that Mrs. Clinton's own deep inner conservatism was sufficient to spark her to gladly dispense with the usual progressive-sounding campaign boilerplate. Since FJC bring up the Johnson-Goldwater election, it is perhaps worth mentioning that 18-year old Hillary was a "Goldwater Girl" who worked for the arch-reactionary Republican presidential candidate in 1964. Asked about that episode on National Public Radio (NPR) in 1996 , then First Lady Hillary said "That's right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don't recognize this new brand of Republicanism that is afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I am very proud that I was a Goldwater girl."

It was a revealing reflection. The right-wing Democrat Hillary acknowledged that her ideological world view was still rooted in the conservatism of her family of origin. Her problem with the reactionary Republicanism afoot in the U.S. during the middle 1990s was that it was "not conservative in many respects." Her problem with the far-right Republican Congressional leaders Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay was that they were betraying true conservatism – "the conservatism [Hillary] was raised with." This was worse even than the language of the Democratic Leadership Conference (DLC) – the right-wing Eisenhower Republican (at leftmost) tendency that worked to push the Democratic Party further to the Big Business-friendly right and away from its working-class and progressive base.

Of course, Bill and Hillary helped trail-blaze that plutocratic "New Democrat" turn in Arkansas during the late 1970s and 1980s. The rest, as they say, was history – an ugly corporate-neoliberal, imperial, and racist history that I and others have written about at great length. (I cannot reprise here the voluminous details of Mrs. Clinton's longstanding alignment with the corporate, financial, and imperial agendas of the rich and powerful. Two short and highly readable volumes are Doug Henwood, My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency [OR Books, 2015]; Diana Johnstone, Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton [CounterPunch Books, 2015]. On the stealth, virulent racism of the Clintons in power, see Elaine Brown's classic volume The Condemnation of Little B: New Age Racism in America [2003].)

What happened? Horrid corporate Hillary happened. And she's still happening. The "lying neoliberal warmonger" recently went to India to double down on her "progressive neoliberal" contempt for the "basket of deplorables" (more on that phrase below) that considers poor stupid and backwards middle America to be by saying this : "If you look at the map of the United States, there's all that red in the middle where Trump won. I win the coasts. But what the map doesn't show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America's gross domestic product (GDP). So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward" (emphasis added).

That was Hillary Goldman Sachs-Council on Foreign Relations-Clinton saying "go to Hell" to working- and middle-class people in Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, and West Virginia. It was a raised middle and oligarchic finger from a super-wealthy arch-global-corporatist to all the supposedly pessimistic, slow-witted, and retrograde losers stuck between those glorious enclaves (led by Wall Street, Yale, and Harvard on the East coast and Silicon Valley and Hollywood on the West coast) of human progress and variety (and GDP!) on the imperial shorelines. Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin had to go on television to say that Hillary was "wrong" to write off most of the nation as a festering cesspool of pathetic, ass-backwards, lottery-playing, and opioid-addicted white-trash has-beens. It's hard for the Inauthentic Opposition Party (as the late Sheldon Wolin reasonably called the Democrats ) to pose as an authentic opposition party when its' last big-money presidential candidate goes off-fake-progressive script with an openly elitist rant like that.

Historic Mistakes

Whatever the source of her strange policy silence in the 2016 campaign, that hush was "a miscalculation of historic proportion" (FJC). It was a critical mistake given what Ferguson and his colleagues call the "Hunger Games" misery and insecurity imposed on tens of millions of ordinary working- and middle-class middle-Americans by decades of neoliberal capitalist austerity , deeply exacerbated by the Wall Street-instigated Great Recession and the weak Obama recovery. The electorate was in a populist, anti-establishment mood – hardly a state of mind favorable to a wooden, richly globalist, Goldman-gilded candidate, a long-time Washington-Wall Street establishment ("swamp") creature like Hillary Clinton.

In the end, FJC note, the billionaire Trump's ironic, fake-populist "outreach to blue collar workers" would help him win "more than half of all voters with a high school education or less (including 61% of white women with no college), almost two thirds of those who believed life for the next generation of Americans would be worse than now, and seventy-seven percent of voters who reported their personal financial situation had worsened since four years ago."

Trump's popularity with "heartland" rural and working-class whites even provoked Hillary into a major campaign mistake: getting caught on video telling elite Manhattan election investors that half of Trump's supporters were a "basket of deplorables." There was a hauntingly strong parallel between Wall Street Hillary's "deplorables" blooper and the super-rich Republican candidate Mitt Romney's infamous 2012 gaffe : telling his own affluent backers saying that 47% of the population were a bunch of lazy welfare cheats. This time, though, it was the Democrat – with a campaign finance profile closer to Romney's than Obama's in 2012 – and not the Republican making the ugly plutocratic and establishment faux pas .

"A Frontal Assault on the American Establishment"

Still, Trump's success was no less tied to big money than was Hillary's failure. Candidate Trump ran strangely outside the longstanding neoliberal Washington Consensus, as an economic nationalist and isolationist. His raucous rallies were laced with dripping denunciations of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, and globalization, mockery of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, rejection of the New Cold War with Russia, and pledges of allegiance to the "forgotten" American "working-class." He was no normal Republican One Percent candidate. As FJC explain:

"In 2016 the Republicans nominated yet another super-rich candidate – indeed, someone on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans. Like legions of conservative Republicans before him, he trash-talked Hispanics, immigrants, and women virtually non-stop, though with a verve uniquely his own. He laced his campaign with barely coded racial appeals and in the final days, ran an ad widely denounced as subtly anti-Semitic. But in striking contrast to every other Republican presidential nominee since 1936, he attacked globalization, free trade, international financiers, Wall Street, and even Goldman Sachs. ' Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache . When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing. For years, they watched on the sidelines as our jobs vanished and our communities were plunged into depression-level unemployment.'"

"In a frontal assault on the American establishment, the Republican standard bearer proclaimed 'America First.' Mocking the Bush administration's appeal to 'weapons of mass destruction' as a pretext for invading Iraq, he broke dramatically with two generations of GOP orthodoxy and spoke out in favor of more cooperation with Russia . He even criticized the 'carried interest' tax break beloved by high finance" (emphasis added).

Big Dark Money and Trump: His Own and Others'

This cost Trump much of the corporate and Wall Street financial support that Republican presidential candidates usually get. The thing was, however, that much of Trump's "populist" rhetoric was popular with a big part of the Republican electorate, thanks to the "Hunger Games" insecurity of the transparently bipartisan New Gilded Age. And Trump's personal fortune permitted him to tap that popular anger while leaping insultingly over the heads of his less wealthy if corporate and Wall Street-backed competitors ("low energy" Jeb Bush and "little Marco" Rubio most notably) in the crowded Republican primary race.

A Republican candidate dependent on the usual elite bankrollers would never have been able to get away with Trump's crowd-pleasing (and CNN and FOX News rating-boosting) antics. Thanks to his own wealth, the faux-populist anti-establishment Trump was ironically inoculated against pre-emption in the Republican primaries by the American campaign finance "wealth primary," which renders electorally unviable candidates who lack vast financial resources or access to them.

Things were different after Trump won the Republican nomination, however. He could no longer go it alone after the primaries. During the Republican National Convention and "then again in the late summer of 2016," FJC show, Trump's "solo campaign had to be rescued by major industries plainly hoping for tariff relief, waves of other billionaires from the far, far right of the already far right Republican Party, and the most disruption-exalting corners of Wall Street." By FJC's account:

"What happened in the final weeks of the campaign was extraordinary. Firstly, a giant wave of dark money poured into Trump's own campaign – one that towered over anything in 2016 or even Mitt Romney's munificently financed 2012 effort – to say nothing of any Russian Facebook experiments [Then] another gigantic wave of money flowed in from alarmed business interests, including the Kochs and their allies Officially the money was for Senate races, but late-stage campaigning for down-ballot offices often spills over on to candidates for the party at large."

"The run up to the Convention brought in substantial new money, including, for the first time, significant contributions from big business. Mining, especially coal mining; Big Pharma (which was certainly worried by tough talk from the Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, about regulating drug prices); tobacco, chemical companies, and oil (including substantial sums from executives at Chevron, Exxon, and many medium sized firms); and telecommunications (notably AT&T, which had a major merge merger pending) all weighed in. Money from executives at the big banks also began streaming in, including Bank of America, J. P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. Parts of Silicon Valley also started coming in from the cold."

"In a harbinger of things to come, additional money came from firms and industries that appear to have been attracted by Trump's talk of tariffs, including steel and companies making machinery of various types [a] vast wave of new money flowed into the campaign from some of America's biggest businesses and most famous investors. Sheldon Adelson and many others in the casino industry delivered in grand style for its old colleague. Adelson now delivered more than $11 million in his own name, while his wife and other employees of his Las Vegas Sands casino gave another $20 million.

Peter Theil contributed more than a million dollars, while large sums also rolled in from other parts of Silicon Valley, including almost two million dollars from executives at Microsoft and just over two million from executives at Cisco Systems. A wave of new money swept in from large private equity firms, the part of Wall Street which had long championed hostile takeovers as a way of disciplining what they mocked as bloated and inefficient 'big business.' Virtual pariahs to main-line firms in the Business Roundtable and the rest of Wall Street, some of these figures had actually gotten their start working with Drexel Burnham Lambert and that firm's dominant partner, Michael Milkin.

Among those were Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn (who had both contributed to Trump before, but now made much bigger new contributions). In the end, along with oil, chemicals, mining and a handful of other industries, large private equity firms would become one of the few segments of American business – and the only part of Wall Street – where support for Trump was truly heavy the sudden influx of money from private equity and hedge funds clearly began with the Convention but turned into a torrent "

The critical late wave came after Trump moved to rescue his flagging campaign by handing its direction over to the clever, class-attuned, far-right white- and economic- nationalist "populist" and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who advocated what proved to be a winning, Koch brothers-approved "populist" strategy: appeal to economically and culturally frustrated working- and middle-class whites in key battleground states, where the bloodless neoliberal and professional class centrism and snooty metropolitan multiculturalism of the Obama presidency and Clinton campaign was certain to depress the Democratic "base" vote . Along with the racist voter suppression carried out by Republican state governments (JFC rightly chide Russia-obsessed political reporters and commentators for absurdly ignoring this important factor) and (JFC intriguingly suggest) major anti-union offensives conducted by employers in some battleground states, this major late-season influx of big right-wing political money tilted the election Trump's way.

The Myth of Potent Russian Cyber-Subversion

As FJC show, there is little empirical evidence to support the Clinton and corporate Democrats' self-interested and diversionary efforts to explain Mrs. Clinton's epic fail and Trump's jaw-dropping upset victory as the result of (i) Russian interference, (ii), then FBI Director James Comey's October Surprise revelation that his agency was not done investigating Hillary's emails, and/or (iii) some imagined big wave of white working-class racism, nativism, and sexism brought to the surface by the noxious Orange Hulk. The impacts of both (i) and (ii) were infinitesimal in comparison to the role that big campaign money played both in silencing Hillary and funding Trump.

The blame-the-deplorable-racist-white-working-class narrative is belied by basic underlying continuities in white working class voting patterns. As FJC note: " Neither turnout nor the partisan division of the vote at any level looks all that different from other recent elections 2016's alterations in voting behavior are so minute that the pattern is only barely differentiated from 2012." It was about the money – the big establishment money that the Clinton campaign took (as FJC at least plausibly argue) to recommend policy silence and the different, right-wing big money that approved Trump's comparative right-populist policy boisterousness.

An interesting part of FJC's study (no quick or easy read) takes a close look at the pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Internet activism that the Democrats and their many corporate media allies are so insistently eager to blame on Russia and for Hillary's defeat. FJC find that Russian Internet interventions were of tiny significance compared to those of homegrown U.S. corporate and right-wing cyber forces:

"The real masters of these black arts are American or Anglo-American firms. These compete directly with Silicon Valley and leading advertising firms for programmers and personnel. They rely almost entirely on data purchased from Google, Facebook, or other suppliers, not Russia . American regulators do next to nothing to protect the privacy of voters and citizens, and, as we have shown in several studies, leading telecom firms are major political actors and giant political contributors. As a result, data on the habits and preferences of individual internet users are commercially available in astounding detail and quantities for relatively modest prices – even details of individual credit card purchases. The American giants for sure harbor abundant data on the constellation of bots, I.P. addresses, and messages that streamed to the electorate "

" stories hyping 'the sophistication of an influence campaign slickly crafted to mimic and infiltrate U.S. political discourse while also seeking to heighten tensions between groups already wary of one another by the Russians miss the mark.' By 2016, the Republican right had developed internet outreach and political advertising into a fine art and on a massive scale quite on its own. Large numbers of conservative websites, including many that that tolerated or actively encouraged white supremacy and contempt for immigrants, African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews, or the aspirations of women had been hard at work for years stoking up 'tensions between groups already wary of one another.' Breitbart and other organizations were in fact going global, opening offices abroad and establishing contacts with like-minded groups elsewhere. Whatever the Russians were up to, they could hardly hope to add much value to the vast Made in America bombardment already underway. Nobody sows chaos like Breitbart or the Drudge Report ."

" the evidence revealed thus far does not support strong claims about the likely success of Russian efforts, though of course the public outrage at outside meddling is easy to understand. The speculative character of many accounts even in the mainstream media is obvious. Several, such as widely circulated declaration by the Department of Homeland Security that 21 state election systems had been hacked during the election, have collapsed within days of being put forward when state electoral officials strongly disputed them, though some mainstream press accounts continue to repeat them. Other tales about Macedonian troll factories churning out stories at the instigation of the Kremlin, are clearly exaggerated."

The Sanders Tease: "He Couldn't Have Done a Thing"

Perhaps the most remarkable finding in FJC's study is that Sanders came tantalizingly close to winning the Democratic presidential nomination against the corporately super-funded Clinton campaign with no support from Big Business . Running explicitly against the "Hunger Games" economy and the corporate-financial plutocracy that created it, Sanders pushed Hillary the Goldman candidate to the wall, calling out the Democrats' capture by Wall Street, forcing her to rely on a rigged party, convention, and primary system to defeat him. The small-donor "socialist" Sanders challenge represented something Ferguson and his colleagues describe as "without precedent in American politics not just since the New Deal, but across virtually the whole of American history a major presidential candidate waging a strong, highly competitive campaign whose support from big business is essentially zero ."

Sanders pulled this off, FJC might have added, by running in (imagine) accord with majority-progressive left-of-center U.S. public opinion. But for the Clintons' corrupt advance- control of the Democratic National Committee and convention delegates, Ferguson et al might further have noted, Sanders might well have been the Democratic presidential nominee, curiously enough in the arch-state-capitalist and oligarchic United States

Could Sanders have defeated the billionaire and right-wing billionaire-backed Trump in the general election? There's no way to know, of course. Sanders consistently out-performed Hillary Clinton in one-on-one match -up polls vis a vis Donald Trump during the primary season, but much of the big money (and, perhaps much of the corporate media) that backed Hillary would have gone over to Trump had the supposedly "radical" Sanders been the Democratic nominee.

Even if Sanders has been elected president, moreover, Noam Chomsky is certainly correct in his recent judgement that Sanders would have been able to achieve very little in the White House. As Chomsky told Lynn Parramore two weeks ago, in an interview conducted for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, the same think-tank that published FJC's remarkable study:

"His campaign [was] a break with over a century of American political history. No corporate support, no financial wealth, he was unknown, no media support. The media simply either ignored or denigrated him. And he came pretty close -- he probably could have won the nomination, maybe the election. But suppose he'd been elected? He couldn't have done a thing. Nobody in Congress, no governors, no legislatures, none of the big economic powers, which have an enormous effect on policy. All opposed to him. In order for him to do anything, he would have to have a substantial, functioning party apparatus, which would have to grow from the grass roots. It would have to be locally organized, it would have to operate at local levels, state levels, Congress, the bureaucracy -- you have to build the whole system from the bottom."

As Chomsky might have added, Sanders oligarchy-imposed "failures" would have been great fodder for the disparagement and smearing of "socialism" and progressive, majority-backed policy change. "See? We tried all that and it was a disaster!"

I would note further that the Sanders phenomenon's policy promise was plagued by its standard bearer's persistent loyalty to the giant and absurdly expensive U.S.-imperial Pentagon System, which each year eats up hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars required to implement the progressive, majority-supported policy agenda that Bernie F-35 Sanders ran on.

"A Very Destructive Ideology"

The Sanders challenge was equally afflicted by its candidate-centered electoralism. This diverted energy away from the real and more urgent politics of building people's movements – grassroots power to shake the society to its foundations and change policy from the bottom up (Dr. Martin Luther King's preferred strategy at the end of his life just barely short of 50 years ago, on April 4 th , 1968) – and into the narrow, rigidly time-staggered grooves of a party and spectacle-elections crafted by and for the wealthy Few and the American Oligarchy 's "permanent political class" (historian Ron Formisano). As Chomsky explained on the eve of the 2004 elections:

"Americans may be encouraged to vote, but not to participate more meaningfully in the political arena. Essentially the election is a method of marginalizing the population. A huge propaganda campaign is mounted to get people to focus on these personalized quadrennial extravaganzas and to think, 'That's politics.' But it isn't. It's only a small part of politics The urgency is for popular progressive groups to grow and become strong enough so that centers of power can't ignore them. Forces for change that have come up from the grass roots and shaken the society to its core include the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the women's movement and others, cultivated by steady, dedicated work at all levels, every day, not just once every four years sensible [electoral] choices have to be made. But they are secondary to serious political action."

"The only thing that's going to ever bring about any meaningful change," Chomsky told Abby Martin on teleSur English in the fall of 2015, "is ongoing, dedicated, popular movements that don't pay attention to the election cycle." Under the American religion of voting, Chomsky told Dan Falcone and Saul Isaacson in the spring of 2016, "Citizenship means every four years you put a mark somewhere and you go home and let other guys run the world. It's a very destructive ideology basically, a way of making people passive, submissive objects [we] ought to teach kids that elections take place but that's not politics."

For all his talk of standing atop a great "movement" for "revolution," Sanders was and remains all about this stunted and crippling definition of citizenship and politics as making some marks on ballots and then returning to our domiciles while rich people and their agents (not just any "other guys") "run [ruin?-P.S.] the world [into the ground-P.S.]."

It will take much more in the way of Dr. King's politics of "who' sitting in the streets," not "who's sitting in the White House" (to use Howard Zinn's excellent dichotomy ), to get us an elections and party system worthy of passionate citizen engagement. We don't have such a system in the U.S. today, which is why the number of eligible voters who passively boycotted the 2016 presidential election is larger than both the number who voted for big money Hillary and the number who voted for big money Trump.

(If U.S. progressives really want to consider undertaking the epic lift involved in passing a U.S. Constitutional Amendment, they might want to focus on this instead of calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment. I'd recommend starting with a positive Democracy Amendment that fundamentally overhauls the nation's political and elections set-up in accord with elementary principles and practices of popular sovereignty. Clauses would include but not be limited to full public financing of elections and the introduction of proportional representation for legislative races – not to mention the abolition of the Electoral College, Senate apportionment on the basis of total state population, and the outlawing of gerrymandering.)

Ecocide Trumped by Russia

Meanwhile, back in real history, we have the remarkable continuation of a bizarre right-wing, pre-fascist presidency not in normal ruling-class hands, subject to the weird whims and tweets of a malignant narcissist who doesn't read memorandums or intelligence briefings. Wild policy zig-zags and record-setting White House personnel turnover are par for the course under the dodgy reign of the orange-tinted beast's latest brain spasms. Orange Caligula spends his mornings getting his information from FOX News and his evenings complaining to and seeking advice from a small club of right-wing American oligarchs.

Trump poses grave environmental and nuclear risks to human survival. A consistent Trump belief is that climate change is not a problem and that it's perfectly fine – "great" and "amazing," in fact – for the White House to do everything it can to escalate the Greenhouse Gassing-to-Death of Life on Earth. The nuclear threat is rising now that he has appointed a frothing right-wing uber-warmonger – a longtime advocate of bombing Iran and North Korea who led the charge for the arch-criminal U.S. invasion of Iraq – as his top "National Security" adviser and as he been convinced to expel dozens of Russian diplomats. Thanks, liberal and other Democratic Party RussiaGaters!

The Clinton-Obama neoliberal Democrats have spent more than a year running with the preposterous narrative that Trump is a Kremlin puppet who owes his presence in the White House to Russia's subversion of our democratic elections. The climate crisis holds little for the Trump and Russia-obsessed corporate media. The fact that the world stands at the eve of the ecological self-destruction, with the Trump White House in the lead, elicits barely a whisper in the reigning commercial news media. Unlike Stormy Daniels, for example, that little story – the biggest issue of our or any time – is not good for television ratings and newspaper sales.

Sanders, by the way, is curiously invisible in the dominant commercial media, despite his quiet survey status as the nation's "most popular politician." That is precisely what you would expect in a corporate and financial oligarchy buttressed by a powerful corporate, so-called "mainstream" media oligopoly.

Political Parties as "Bank Accounts"

One of the many problems with the obsessive Blame-Russia narrative that a fair portion of the dominant U.S. media is running with is that we had no great electoral democracy to subvert in 2016 . Saying that Russia has "undermined [U.S.-] American democracy" is like me – middle-aged, five-foot nine, and unblessed with jumping ability – saying that the Brooklyn Nets' Russian-born center Timofy Mozgof subverted my career as a starting player in the National Basketball Association. In state-capitalist societies marked by the toxic and interrelated combination of weak popular organization, expensive politics, and highly concentrated wealth – all highly evident in the New Gilded Age United States – electoral contests and outcomes boil down above all and in the end to big investor class cash. As Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues explain:

"Where investment and organization by average citizens is weak, however, power passes by default to major investor groups, which can far more easily bear the costs of contending for control of the state. In most modern market-dominated societies (those celebrated recently as enjoying the 'end of History'), levels of effective popular organization are generally low, while the costs of political action, in terms of both information and transactional obstacles, are high. The result is that conflicts within the business community normally dominate contests within and between political parties – the exact opposite of what many earlier social theorists expected, who imagined 'business' and 'labor' confronting each other in separate parties Only candidates and positions that can be financed can be presented to voters. As a result, in countries like the US and, increasingly, Western Europe, political parties are first of all bank accounts . With certain qualifications, one must pay to play. Understanding any given election, therefore, requires a financial X-ray of the power blocs that dominate the major parties, with both inter- and intra- industrial analysis of their constituent elements."

Here Ferguson might have said "corporate-dominated" instead of "market-dominated" for the modern managerial corporations emerged as the "visible hand" master of the "free market" more than a century ago.

We get to vote? Big deal.

People get to vote in Rwanda, Russia, the Congo and countless other autocratic states as well. Elections alone are no guarantee of democracy, as U.S. policymakers and pundits know very well when they rip on rigged elections (often fixed with the assistance of U.S. government and private-sector agents and firms) in countries they don't like, which includes any country that dares to "question the basic principle that the United States effectively owns the world by right and is by definition a force for good" ( Chomsky, 2016 ).

Majority opinion is regularly trumped by a deadly complex of forces in the U.S. The list of interrelated and mutually reinforcing culprits behind this oligarchic defeat of popular sentiment in the U.S. is extensive. It includes but is not limited to: the campaign finance, candidate-selection, lobbying, and policy agenda-setting power of wealthy individuals, corporations, and interest groups; the special primary election influence of full-time party activists; the disproportionately affluent, white, and older composition of the active (voting) electorate; the manipulation of voter turnout; the widespread dissemination of false, confusing, distracting, and misleading information; absurdly and explicitly unrepresentative political institutions like the Electoral College, the unelected Supreme Court, the over-representation of the predominantly white rural population in the U.S. Senate; one-party rule in the House of "Representatives"; the fragmentation of authority in government; and corporate ownership of the reigning media, which frames current events in accord with the wishes and world view of the nation's real owners.

Yes, we get to vote. Super. Big deal. Mammon reigns nonetheless in the United States, where, as the leading liberal political scientists Benjamin Page and Martin Gilens find , "government policy reflects the wishes of those with money, not the wishes of the millions of ordinary citizens who turn out every two years to choose among the preapproved, money-vetted candidates for federal office."

Trump is a bit of an anomaly – a sign of an elections and party system in crisis and an empire in decline. He wasn't pre-approved or vetted by the usual U.S. " deep state " corporate, financial, and imperial gatekeepers. The ruling-class had been trying to figure out what the Hell to do with him ever since he shocked even himself (though not Steve Bannon) by pre-empting the coronation of the "Queen of Chaos."

He is a homegrown capitalist oligarch nonetheless, a real estate mogul of vast and parasitic wealth who is no more likely to fulfill his populist-sounding campaign pledges than any previous POTUS of the neoliberal era.

His lethally racist, sexist, nativist, nuclear-weapons-brandishing, and (last but not at all least) eco-cidal rise to the nominal CEO position atop the U.S.-imperial oligarchy is no less a reflection of the dominant role of big U.S. capitalist money and homegrown plutocracy in U.S. politics than a more classically establishment Hillary ascendancy would have been. It's got little to do with Russia, Russia, Russia – the great diversion that fills U.S. political airwaves and newsprint as the world careens ever closer to oligarchy-imposed geocide and to a thermonuclear conflagration that the RussiaGate gambit is recklessly encouraging.

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Paul Street

Paul Street's latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014)

[Mar 22, 2018] In order for Sanders to achieve anything substancial, he would have to have a substantial, functioning party apparatus

Mar 22, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

dcblogger , March 22, 2018 at 3:10 pm

In Chicago primaries, a string of defeats for the Democratic establishment at the hands of progressive Democrats
https://boingboing.net/2018/03/21/united-working-families.html

Lee , March 22, 2018 at 3:50 pm

From the Chomsky interview posted above:

In order for him [Sanders] to do anything, he would have to have a substantial, functioning party apparatus, which would have to grow from the grass roots. It would have to be locally organized, it would have to operate at local levels, state levels, Congress, the bureaucracy -- you have to build the whole system from the bottom.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/03/noam-chomsky-populist-groundswell-u-s-elections-future-humanity.html

[Mar 21, 2018] The corporate media ignores the rise of oligarchy. The rest of us shouldn t by Bernie Sanders

Mar 21, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

The rapid rise of oligarchy and wealth and income inequality is the great moral, economic, and political issue of our time. Yet, it gets almost no coverage from the corporate media.

How often do network newscasts report on the 40 million Americans living in poverty, or that we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major nation on earth? How often does the media discuss the reality that our society today is more unequal than at any time since the 1920s with the top 0.1% now owning almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%? How often have you heard the media report the stories of millions of people who today are working longer hours for lower wages than was the case some 40 years ago?

How often has ABC, CBS or NBC discussed the role that the Koch brothers and other billionaires play in creating a political system which allows the rich and the powerful to significantly control elections and the legislative process in Congress?

We need to ask the hard questions that the corporate media fails to ask

Sadly, the answer to these questions is: almost never. The corporate media has failed to let the American people fully understand the economic forces shaping their lives and causing many of them to work two or three jobs, while CEOs make hundreds of times more than they do. Instead, day after day, 24/7, we're inundated with the relentless dramas of the Trump White House, Stormy Daniels, and the latest piece of political gossip.

We urgently need to discuss the reality of today's economy and political system, and fight to create an economy that works for everyone and not just the one percent.

We need to ask the hard questions that the corporate media fails to ask: who owns America, and who has the political power? Why, in the richest country in the history of the world are so many Americans living in poverty? What are the forces that have caused the American middle class, once the envy of the world, to decline precipitously? What can we learn from countries that have succeeded in reducing income and wealth inequality, creating a strong and vibrant middle class, and providing basic human services to everyone?

We need to hear from struggling Americans whose stories are rarely told in newspapers or television. Unless we understand the reality of life in America for working families, we're never going to change that reality.

Until we understand that the rightwing Koch brothers are more politically powerful than the Republican National Committee, and that big banks, pharmaceutical companies, and multinational corporations are spending unlimited sums of money to rig the political process, we won't be able to overturn the disastrous US supreme court decision on Citizens United, move to the public funding of elections and end corporate greed.

Until we understand that the US federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage and that people cannot make it on $9 or $10 an hour, we're not going to be able to pass a living wage of at least $15 an hour.

Until we understand that multinational corporations have been writing our trade and tax policies for the past 40 years to allow them to throw American workers out on the street and move to low-wage countries, we're not going to be able to enact fair laws ending the race to the bottom and making the wealthy and the powerful pay their fair share.

Until we understand that we live in a highly competitive global economy and that it is counterproductive that millions of our people cannot afford a higher education or leave school deeply in debt, we will not be able to make public colleges and universities tuition free.

Until we understand that we are the only major country on earth not to guarantee healthcare to all and that we spend far more per capita on healthcare than does any other country, we're not going to be able to pass a Medicare for all, single-payer program.

Until we understand that the US pays, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs because pharmaceutical companies can charge whatever price they want for life-saving medicine, we're not going to be able to lower the outrageous price of these drugs.

Until we understand that climate change is real, caused by humans, and causing devastating problems around the world, especially for poor people, we're not going to be able to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into sustainable forms of energy.

We need to raise political consciousness in America and help us move forward with a progressive agenda that meets the needs of our working families. It's up to us all to join the conversation -- it's just the beginning.

Bernie Sanders is hosting a town hall on Inequality in America: The Rise of Oligarchy and Collapse of the Middle Class on Monday 19 March at 7pm before a live audience in the auditorium of the US Capitol. It will be live-streamed by the Guardian

[Mar 12, 2018] The USA has become completely an oligarchy run by a convoluted mix of intellignce agences and various lobbies with a fight going now on at the top (mafia 1 vs. mafia 2) for grabbing the leftovers of power, revenue, war spoils, etc

Highly recommended!
Trump's game looks more and more like a V2.0 of Obama's "bait and switch" game... Another "change we can believe in" scam to artificially extend the shelf life of neoliberal as a social system.
Notable quotes:
"... My take on his support: DT support is far higher than one would expect (duh.. it just isn't visible in the MSM, remember I predicted he would win when he threw his hat in). ..."
"... DT has lost some who voted for him, typically 'anything but Hillary' types, "give him a chance", who are disapointed at his poor performance on some/any/all issues. Some others have checked out of any involvement in MS pols. and have joined Doomsters, Refusniks, and even (imho) to my surprise, quasi-anarchists (who lack a platform.) ..."
"... The rapidly degrading US socio-economic landscape is no doubt responsible, more so than the person of DT. (Arguably he is contributing to the decline, other story.) Poverty, sagging life expectancy, opioid crisis, homelessness, student debt, crumbling infrastructure, cuts in social aid or 'benefits' as the brits say, no future generation, etc. ..."
"... On the other hand, DT supporters have become more 'radical and committed' ..."
"... The USA has become completely a-political, an oligarchy run by a convoluted circuit of top-dogs and gals, fights going on at the top (mafia 1 vs. team 2) for grabbing the leftovers of power/revenue/capture/ etc., not new but now evident. ..."
"... The top 20% chooses sides, as they have to, merely in function of who is paying them, where their status comes from, what hopes for children. The rest can check out and face their fate, or choose a cult, a tribe The next question is, what are the attitudes to civil war? How is that going to play out? ..."
Mar 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette | Mar 12, 2018 10:51:11 AM | 20

Lozion,

I keep vague track of Trump support by consulting various sites. DT enthusiasts are all very keen on GAB, the censorship on twitter - reddit - youtube and other pop. drives them totally crazy.

My take on his support: DT support is far higher than one would expect (duh.. it just isn't visible in the MSM, remember I predicted he would win when he threw his hat in).

DT has lost some who voted for him, typically 'anything but Hillary' types, "give him a chance", who are disapointed at his poor performance on some/any/all issues. Some others have checked out of any involvement in MS pols. and have joined Doomsters, Refusniks, and even (imho) to my surprise, quasi-anarchists (who lack a platform.)

Technotopists are going out of fashion (> global warming disasters.) -- The rapidly degrading US socio-economic landscape is no doubt responsible, more so than the person of DT. (Arguably he is contributing to the decline, other story.) Poverty, sagging life expectancy, opioid crisis, homelessness, student debt, crumbling infrastructure, cuts in social aid or 'benefits' as the brits say, no future generation, etc.

On the other hand, DT supporters have become more 'radical and committed' as is always the case in these kind of 'tribal' belonging scenes, they have dragged in family members / friends, through the usual conduits of social influence in micro-circles. Which has been made exceptionally easy by the terminal idiocy, blindness and contradictions of the MSM, Dems and the PTB (incl. top Republicans, corporations, etc.) generally. Authoritarian impulses (which DT embraces in part - the WALL is a good ex. - for the rest, hmm..) will flourish up to a point.

The USA has become completely a-political, an oligarchy run by a convoluted circuit of top-dogs and gals, fights going on at the top (mafia 1 vs. team 2) for grabbing the leftovers of power/revenue/capture/ etc., not new but now evident.

The top 20% chooses sides, as they have to, merely in function of who is paying them, where their status comes from, what hopes for children. The rest can check out and face their fate, or choose a cult, a tribe The next question is, what are the attitudes to civil war? How is that going to play out?

About non-posts, I was going to go into the murder of Kim Jong-Nam (brother of today's Kim) which ties two threads together - NKorea and murder by nerve gas. (Hoarse mentioned this in the other thread.)

[Mar 12, 2018] Why vote for a fake Republican when you can vote for a real one: Meet the Democrats' 'Dirty Dozen' Working to Gut Financial Reforms

Notable quotes:
"... By Marshall Auerback is a market analyst and commentator. Originally published at Alternet ..."
"... This act of regulatory vandalism highlights everything that is corrupt about our political system. ..."
Mar 12, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on March 10, 2018 by Yves Smith Yves here. As depressing and predictable as it is to see Democrats yet again prostituting themselves to financiers, payback may finally be coming. From Lambert in Water Cooler yesterday :

Senate: Poll: Five Senate Dems would lose to GOP challenger if elections held today" [ The Hill ]. "New polls published Thursday morning in Axios show Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) would all lose reelection to GOP challengers if voters were heading to the polls this week." Blue Dogs all. Why vote for a fake Republican when you can vote for a real one?

So these Blue Dogs who are gutting the already underwhelming Dodd Frank may not be with us much longer, at least politically. And even though the party is remarkably insistent on adhering to a strategy of corporate toadying that has led it to hemorrhage seats at all levels of government, if these seats all go red, it might be a message even the Democrats might not be able to ignore.

By Marshall Auerback is a market analyst and commentator. Originally published at Alternet

This act of regulatory vandalism highlights everything that is corrupt about our political system.

As if to maximize the possibility of another major financial crisis, the Trump administration and the GOP have recently been busy undercutting the limited safeguards established a decade ago via Dodd-Frank. The latest example of this stealth attack on Wall Street reform is the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, appropriately sponsored by Republican Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Appropriate, because this is literally a "crapo" bill. It provides a few "technical tweaks" to Dodd-Frank in the same way in which protection payouts to organized crime provide businesses with "insurance" against property damage. In reality, it is an act of regulatory vandalism, which highlights everything that is corrupt about our political system.

We have grown to expect no less from the GOP, whose sole r aison d'etre these days seems to be filling the trough from which America's fat cats can perpetually gorge themselves. What is truly disturbing, however, is that the Republican effort is being given bipartisan cover by more than a dozen Democratic senators: Doug Jones (Ala.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both from Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Chris Coons (Del.), and Tom Carper of Delaware. To this esteemed group, we should also add Senator Angus King (ME), an Independent who regularly caucuses with the Democrats. So, in reality, it's a filibuster-proof "Baker's Dirty Dozen." Digging into the details, perhaps this is what Senator Mitch McConnell had in mind when he predicted more bipartisanship in Congress this year . In co-sponsoring this bill, the 13 senators are providing cover for the GOP when the inevitable fallout comes, dissipating the Democrats' political capital with the electorate in the process.

Yes, we get it: some of these senator incumbents are in red states that voted heavily for Donald Trump in the last election. And the latest polls suggest many are vulnerable in this year's elections. But the last time we checked, there didn't seem to be an overwhelming wave of populist protest demanding regulatory relief for banks. All 50 states -- red and blue -- suffered from the last financial crisis, and it's hard to believe voters in Montana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Indiana or Missouri would be more likely to support Senators Tester, Manchin, Heitkamp, Donnelly or McCaskill because they backed a bank deregulation bill (which in reality goes well beyond helping small community banks). Nor do the 2018 races factor as far as Senators Warner, Coons, or Bennet are concerned, given that none are up for re-election this year.

No, the more likely answer is money, plain and simple. The numbers aren't in for 2017, but an analysis of the Federal Election Commission data from the 2016 election appears to explain what is driving this newfound solicitousness toward the banks. The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) points out that "nine of the twelve Democrats supporting the deregulatory measure count the financial industry as either their biggest or second-biggest donor." (At least now we have a better understanding as to why Hillary Clinton's " responsibility gene " induced her to select running mate Tim Kaine, who received "large contributions from Big Law partners that represent Wall Street," as opposed to a genuine finance reformer, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren. Senator Warren is vigorously opposing the new bill.)

We also know ( courtesy of the CRP ) that Mark Warner's last campaign in 2014:

"included among his 20 largest donors the mega Wall Street banks Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase. Goldman's employees and PACs gave Warner's campaign $71,600 while JPMorgan Chase gave the Warner campaign committees $50,566 Senator Heidi Heitkamp is also up for reelection this year and her number one contributor at present is employees and/or PACs of Goldman Sachs which have contributed $79,500 thus far."

Naturally, all of the senators claim their motives are pure. With no hint of irony, a spokesman for Tim Kaine suggested that , "Campaign contributions do not influence Senator Kaine's policy positions." Likewise, an aide for Mark Warner vigorously contested the idea that campaign donations from Wall Street ever influenced the Virginia senator's decision-making on policy matters. Sure, and it was shocking to find out that gambling took place in Rick's Café.

It is true, as Senator Jon Tester (another co-sponsor) notes , that the proposed changes introduced in the Crapo bill (notably the increase in the asset size from $50 billion to $250 billion of those banks that are considered "systemically important" and therefore subject to greater oversight and tighter rules) do not affect the likes of Wall Street banks such as Citigroup, JP MorganChase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, all of which are still covered by the most stringent oversight provisions of Dodd-Frank. But the increased asset threshold does exempt the U.S. bank holding companies of systemically significant foreign banks: Deutsche Bank, UBS and Credit Suisse, all of whom were implicated in multiple violations of both American and international banking laws in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis.

Deutsche Bank alone has paid billions of dollars for its role in perpetuating mortgage fraud, money-laundering and interest rate manipulation (the LIBOR scandal), which ideally should invite more regulatory scrutiny, not less. Instead, a new law ostensibly crafted to provide a few "technical fixes" for Dodd-Frank is now reducing the regulatory oversight of a bank that has been cited in an IMF report as one of Germany's "global systemically important financial institutions." Translating the couched-IMF-speak, the report suggests that Deutsche Bank on its own has the potential to set off a new global contagion, given the scale of its derivatives exposure. Not only too big to fail, but evidently too big to regulate properly either, aided and abetted by members of a party who claim to be appalled at the level of corruption in the Trump administration.

Another side-effect of raising the regulatory threshold to $250 billion in assets is that it diminishes the chance of obtaining an early warning detection signal from somewhat smaller financial institutions. As the experience of Lehman Brothers or Bear Stearns illustrated, smaller problems that remain hidden in the shadows can ultimately metastasize if left alone, and become much bigger -- and more systemically dangerous -- later.

So when Senator Kaine nobly suggests that he is merely providing relief for "small community banks and credit unions" in his home state, or Jon Tester argues that he is only helping local banks suffering from Dodd-Frank's regulatory overkill, both are being extraordinarily disingenuous. The reality is that increasing the oversight threshold by 500 percent does not just help a few "small community banks and credit unions" crawl out from a thicket of onerous and costly regulation. Even former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, who favored some regulatory relief for community banks, felt that $250 billion threshold was excessive ly lax.

In fact, ( per the Americans for Financial Reform ), the increase "removes the most severe mandate for 25 of the 38 largest banks," which together "account for over $3.5 trillion in banking assets, more than one-sixth of the U.S. total." Additionally, as Pat Garofalo writes : "The bill also includes an exemption from capital standards -- essentially the amount of money that banks need to have on hand in case things go south -- that benefits some big financial firms, and even more are lobbying to be included." In other words, this isn't just George Bailey's friendly neighborhood bank that is getting some regulatory relief here.

All of this newfound regulatory laxity comes at a time when many of the largest Wall Street banks have again resurrected the same practices that almost destroyed them a decade ago. Bank credit analyst Chris Whalen observes : "The leader of this effort is none other than Citigroup (NYSE:C), which has surpassed JP MorganChase (NYSE:JPM) to become the largest derivatives shop in the world. Citi has embraced the most notorious product of the roaring 2000s, the synthetic collateralized debt obligation or 'CDO' security, a product that fraudulently leverages the real world and literally caused the bank to fail a decade ago."

Another example: Trump and his henchman, Mick Mulvaney, have also joined the big banks in attacking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which by virtue of the Crapo act, will be blocked "from collecting key data showing when and where families of color are being overcharged for home loans or steered into predatory products."

Let's be honest here: even in its original form, Dodd-Frank was the bare minimum the government could have done in the wake of the 2008 disaster. But lobbyists, paid-for politicians and co-opted bank-friendly regulators have been busy "applying technical fixes" to the bill virtually from the moment it was passed a decade ago. The upshot is that the much-trumpeted Wall Street reform is a joke when compared to the comprehensive legislation passed in the aftermath of the Great Depression (which set the stage for decades of relative financial stability). Under Dodd, the banks are purportedly subject to "meaningful stress tests" ( in the words of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell ), but the tests are neither particularly stressful, nor do they adequately reflect today's twin dangers of off-balance sheet leverage and the concentration of big banks' on-balance sheet assets in relatively low-return loans.

What should have been done after the global financial crisis? Professors Eric Tymoigne and Randall Wray proposed the following :

"Any of the 'too big to fail' financial institutions that needed funding should have been required to submit to Fed oversight. Top management should have been required to proffer resignations as a condition of lending (with the Fed or Treasury holding the letters until they could decide which should be accepted -- this is how Jessie Jones resolved the bank crisis in the 1930s). Short-term lending against the best collateral should have been provided, at penalty rates. A comprehensive 'cease and desist' order should have been enforced to stop all trading, all lending, all asset sales, and all bonus payments until an assessment of bank solvency could have been completed. The FDIC should have been called-in (in the case of institutions with insured deposits), but in any case, the critically undercapitalized institutions should have been dissolved according to existing law: at the least cost to the Treasury and to avoid increasing concentration in the financial sector."

A number of conclusions can be drawn from this whole sordid episode. An obvious one is that our model of campaign finance is completely broken. While it is encouraging to see some Democratic politicians increasingly adopting the Sanders model of fundraising, swearing off large corporate donations , not enough are doing so. Democrats are united in their concern pertaining to foreign threats that pose risks to the integrity of U.S. elections, but the vigorous opposition to Vladimir Putin and the Russians isn't extended to the domestic oligarchs destroying American democracy (and the economy) from within.

The whole history behind Senator Crapo's bill shows how quickly bank lobbyists can routinely exploit their financial muscle to turn a seemingly innocuous bill into something which pokes yet more holes into the Swiss Cheese-like rules already in place for Dodd. The Baker's Dirty Dozen have accepted donations from Wall Street that not only constrain their ability to implement genuine reforms in finance (and other areas) but also discourage the mobilization of voters, who see this legislative horror show, and consequently opt out of showing up to vote at elections because they know that the system is rigged and dominated by corporate cash (making their votes irrelevant).

Ironically, no less a figure than Donald Trump exploited that voter cynicism in 2016. In striking contrast to every other Republican presidential nominee since 1936, he attacked globalization, free trade, international financiers, and Wall Street (and made effective mockery of Hillary Clinton's ties to Goldman Sachs) and thereby mobilized blue-collar voters in marginal Rust Belt states, giving him his path to the presidency. Of course, we now know that this was all bait-and-switch politics, likely facilitated by forces outside the U.S., along with large corporation donations from domestic elites. We've probably reached the endgame as far as this " investment approach to politics " as it disintegrates into a cesspool of corruption and further financial fragility. It may take another crash before this problem is truly fixed.

In the meantime, this bipartisan subversion of Wall Street reform not only risks making the next crisis at least as bad as 2008, but also reinforces the notion that both parties are equally corrupt, catalyzing the collapse of the American political order . In a further sick twist of fate, the twin corrosive forces of "golden rule politics" (i.e., he who has the gold rules) and a rapidly deflating "bubble-ized" economy could all come to a head under the watch of Donald the Unready. But he won't own this disaster alone, thanks to the help of compromised Wall Street Democrats.

  1. Jen

    Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan from my deep purple state of NH both, voted to allow the bill to proceed. And of course my esteemed congress critter, Annie Kuster, did her bit in congress. Only 968 days until I can exact my retribution on Shaheen at the polls, first and foremost for her vote in favor of fast track, but damned if she doesn't give me another good reason on almost a daily basis.

[Mar 11, 2018] Bernie Sanders: the only voice of resistance against the Wall Street mafia

Notable quotes:
"... the four largest banks in America are on average 80% bigger today than they were before we bailed them out because they were "too big to fail". Incredibly, the six largest banks in America have over 10 trillion dollars in assets, equivalent to 54% of the GDP of this nation . This is wealth, this is power, this is who owns America. ..."
"... Very conservative, anti-regulatory people hold the White House and key positions in the House and the Senate, and the first thing the industry does is gut regulation. Why? Because it makes the CEOs so wealthy to run these frauds and predation. It's not necessarily good for the banking industry, but it is extremely good for the most senior leaders and they are the ones, of course, who hire and fire the lawyers and the lobbyists, and effectively hire and fire key members of Congress. ..."
"... Apparently, our memories are indeed so short that we have learned nothing from the 2008 Wall Street crash. Bernie Sanders (and probably Elizabeth Warren to some extend), are left alone again to fight against the Wall Street mafia because, apparently, the rest of the US political class has been bought from it. ..."
thebaffler.com

The six largest banks in America have over 10 trillion dollars in assets, equivalent to 54% of the GDP of this nation. This is wealth, this is power, this is who owns America.

globinfo freexchange

Ten years after the big crash of 2007-08, caused by the Wall Street mafia, sending waves of financial destruction around the globe, the awful Trump administration that literally put the Goldman Sachs banksters in charge of the US economy, wants to reset the clock bomb of another financial disaster by deregulating the financial sector! And guess what: the corporate Democrats followed again!

Putting aside that Russiagate fiasco, Bernie Sanders was one more time the only voice of resistance against the Wall Street mafia in a hypnotized by the banking-corporate money US senate.

As Bernie stated:

Just ten years ago, as a result of greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, this country was plunged into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The official unemployment rate soared up to 10% and the real unemployment rate jumped to over 17%. At the height of the financial crisis more than 27 million Americans were unemployed, underemployed or stopped working altogether because they could not find employment. 15 million families - as a result of that financial crisis - lost their homes to foreclosure, as more and more people could not afford to pay their mortgages. As a result of the illegal behavior of Wall Street, American households lost over 13 trillion dollars in savings. That is what Wall Street did 10 years ago.

Believe it or not - and of course we are not going to hear any discussion of this at all -- the four largest banks in America are on average 80% bigger today than they were before we bailed them out because they were "too big to fail". Incredibly, the six largest banks in America have over 10 trillion dollars in assets, equivalent to 54% of the GDP of this nation . This is wealth, this is power, this is who owns America.

If any of these financial institutions were to get into a financial trouble again, there is no doubt that, once again, the taxpayers of this country will be asked to bail them out. Except this time, the bail out might even be larger than it was in 2008.

Bernie is right, the facts are all there, except that, again, he is the only one who speaks about it.

Recall that according to chapter 20 conclusions of the US Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, " As a result of the rescues and consolidation of financial institutions through failures and mergers during the crisis, the U.S. financial sector is now more concentrated than ever in the hands of a few very large, systemically significant institutions. "

Recall also that in December 1, 2010, the Fed was forced to release details of 21,000 funding transactions it made during the financial crisis, naming names and dollar amounts. Disclosure was due to a provision sparked by Bernie Sanders. The voluminous data dump from the notoriously secret Fed shows just how deeply the Federal Reserve stepped into the shoes of Wall Street and, as the crisis grew and the normal channels of lending froze, the Fed effectively replaced Wall Street and money centers banks in terms of financing. The Fed has thus far reported, without even disclosing specifics of its lending from its discount window, that it supplied, in total, more than $9 trillion to Wall Street firms, commercial banks, foreign banks, corporations and some highly questionable off balance sheet entities. (Much smaller amounts were outstanding at any one time.)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/yzQSlQeK2lk

https://www.youtube.com/embed/on-4ZA_Tkhw


Bill Black, Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri, states:

In the savings loan debacle, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, George Akerlof and Paul Romer, who until recently was Chief Economist to the World Bank, wrote that economists didn't realize - because they lacked any theory of fraud - that deregulation was bound to create widespread fraud and a crisis. Now, we know better if we learn the lessons of this crisis, we need not recreate it.

Very conservative, anti-regulatory people hold the White House and key positions in the House and the Senate, and the first thing the industry does is gut regulation. Why? Because it makes the CEOs so wealthy to run these frauds and predation. It's not necessarily good for the banking industry, but it is extremely good for the most senior leaders and they are the ones, of course, who hire and fire the lawyers and the lobbyists, and effectively hire and fire key members of Congress.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/PMkNsa3WtMw

Apparently, our memories are indeed so short that we have learned nothing from the 2008 Wall Street crash. Bernie Sanders (and probably Elizabeth Warren to some extend), are left alone again to fight against the Wall Street mafia because, apparently, the rest of the US political class has been bought from it.

[Mar 02, 2018] Bernie is a fraud and Trump is the only real opposition to the entrenched neocon thieves and murderers in Washington

the problem with the clain that "Bernie is a fraud and Trump is the only real opposition to the entrenched neocon thieves and murderers in Washington"this that Trump quickly became neocon in foreign policy.
While Bernie of course proved to be not a fighter and he just gave Hillary the top spot without any fighting. I started to suspect that he is a "corral dog" from the moment he dismissed "private email server" scandal. Moreover he tried to crush the fighting that his supporters intent to launch. In this sense he is still a fraud.
But Trump himself was quickly neutered (in just three month) and now does not represents "Trumpism" (rejection of neoliberal globalization, unrestricted immigration for suppression of wages, rejection of elimination of jobs via outsourcing and offshoring of manufacturing, rejection of wars for enlargement and sustaining of neoliberal empire, especially NATO role as global policemen and wars for Washington client Israel in Middle east, detente with Russia etc) in any meaningful way. He is just an aging Narcissist in power.
Mar 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

WorkingClass , March 1, 20 18 at 3:56 am GMT

CPAC shows the conservative grassroots are with the president and that the Beltway elites are cowed.

I was good with Kucinich and Nader. I'm neither Conservative nor Republican. I voted for McGovern. Yet I am a card carrying deplorable. Bernie is a fraud and Trump is the only real opposition to the entrenched thieves and murderers in Washington. Your Conservative grass roots have a significant cohort of fellow travelers. Trump could not have won the upper midwest without us.

I thought Trump's offer of amnesty in exchange for moving toward a sane immigration policy WAS leadership. It's easier to stop immigration than to reverse it. And he exposed the Democrats. They have lost the dreamers as a political tool.

Where Trump is losing me is with his stupid and dangerous foreign policy. That's where I would like to see some leadership.

[Feb 26, 2018] Et Tu, Bernie by Justin Raimondo

Looks like neoliberals decided to equate widespread anti-neoliberalism and anti-globalization sentiment with pro-Russian propaganda. A very clever and very dirty trick.
What is funny is that Steele dossier and FBI Mayberry Machiavellians machinations actually deprived Sanders a chance to represent Democratic Party. nt that he wanted this badly, he folded eve without major pressure (many be under behind the scenes intimidation due to business dealing of his wife)
Notable quotes:
"... Instead of standing up to the crazies – by which I mean the Democratic party Establishment – and saying that the whole Russia-phobic campaign is based on nothing but hot air and fantasy, he's kowtowing to the very people who are trying to smear him as a Russian agent. Here he is signing on to the Clintonite canon of faith that poor Hillary " had to run against the Russian government " as well as Trump. ..."
"... This is laughable: there's no evidence for this other than Mueller's comical "indictment," which shows that something called the "Internet Research Agency," run by an out-of-work chef, spent a grand total of $100,000 – mostly after the election – on Facebook ads that were both anti-Clinton and anti-Trump. Michael Moore attended one "Russian-sponsored" event – a rally of thousands targeting Trump Tower, and, by the way, the only successful "Russian" event (the pro-Trump events were flops). ..."
"... Not only is Bernie buying into Russia-gate, now that the case for it is collapsing – nearly two years later and there's still no evidence of "collusion" – but he's calling for a full-fledged witch-hunt: ..."
"... Sanders' followers have taken up the hate-on-Russia battle cry with alacrity, with material by the fraudulent fanatic Luke Harding all over the web site of the Democratic Socialists of America. And being the left edge of the Democratic party, DSA will be supporting the very Democratic officeholders and officials who are shouting the loudest about Russia. ..."
"... Oh, he's got money-laundering charges on Paul Manafort and associates, but that has nothing to do with the Trump campaign: it all happened years before Trump ran. He's got Carter Page pleading guilty to lying to the FBI – but it's not clear what this means, exactly, since he's not been charged with a crime after all this time. ..."
"... So no matter what you may think of Trump and his policies, the real question is: will the Deep State and their allies in the media succeed in their bid for power? Will they oust a sitting President and institute a new era in our politics, one in which the political class can exercise its veto over the democratic will of the people? ..."
"... A SPECIAL NOTE : Yes, our matching funds have arrived: a group of donors has gotten together and pledged $30,000 – but there's a catch. We have to match that amount in smaller donations. So now it's up to you. We need your support so we can get back to doing our job – exposing the lies of the War Party. But we can't do it without your tax-deductible donations. ..."
Feb 26, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

Sanders signs on to Russia-gate conspiracy theory

One by one, the plaster gods fall, cracked and crumbled on the ground: the latest is Bernie Sanders, the Great Pinko Hope of the (very few) remaining Democrats with a modicum of sense who reject the "Russia! Russia! Russia!" paranoia of Rep. Adam Schiff and what I call the party's California Crazies. The official Democratic leadership seems to have no real commitment to anything other than fealty to a few well-known oligarchs, who provide the party with needed cash, a burning hatred of Russia – an issue no ordinary voter outside of the Sunshine State loony bin and Washington, D.C. cares about – and exotic issues of interest only to the upper class virtue-signalers who are now their main constituency (e.g., where will trans people go to the bathroom?). Overlaying this potpourri of nothingness, the glue holding it all together, is pure unadulterated hatred: of President Trump, of Trump voters, of Middle America in general, and, of course, fear and loathing of Russia and all things Russian.

And now the one supposedly bright spot in this pit of abysmal darkness has flickered out, with Bernie Sanders, the Ron Paul of the Reds, jumping on the Russia-did-it bandwagon and cowering in the wake of Robert Mueller's laughable "indictment," in which the special prosecutor avers that $100,000 in Facebook ads were designed to throw the election to Trump – and to help Bernie!

Oh no, says Bernie, from his place of exile in the wilds of Vermont, where the Russians did not take over the electrical grid: It wasn't me!

Instead of standing up to the crazies – by which I mean the Democratic party Establishment – and saying that the whole Russia-phobic campaign is based on nothing but hot air and fantasy, he's kowtowing to the very people who are trying to smear him as a Russian agent. Here he is signing on to the Clintonite canon of faith that poor Hillary " had to run against the Russian government " as well as Trump.

This is laughable: there's no evidence for this other than Mueller's comical "indictment," which shows that something called the "Internet Research Agency," run by an out-of-work chef, spent a grand total of $100,000 – mostly after the election – on Facebook ads that were both anti-Clinton and anti-Trump. Michael Moore attended one "Russian-sponsored" event – a rally of thousands targeting Trump Tower, and, by the way, the only successful "Russian" event (the pro-Trump events were flops).

Not only is Bernie buying into Russia-gate, now that the case for it is collapsing – nearly two years later and there's still no evidence of "collusion" – but he's calling for a full-fledged witch-hunt:

"The key issues now are: 1) How we prevent the unwitting manipulation of our electoral and political system by foreign governments. 2) Exposing who was actively consorting with the Russian government's attack on our democracy."

This is the real goal of anti-Trump groups like the " Alliance for Securing Democracy " and their "Hamilton dashboard," which purports to track "pro-Russian" sentiment online: it's the explicit intention of #TheResistance to censor the media with the cooperation of the tech oligarchs like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. It's back to the 1950s, folks, only this time the Thought Police are "liberals," and "socialists" like Bernie and the Bernie Bros.

Sanders' followers have taken up the hate-on-Russia battle cry with alacrity, with material by the fraudulent fanatic Luke Harding all over the web site of the Democratic Socialists of America. And being the left edge of the Democratic party, DSA will be supporting the very Democratic officeholders and officials who are shouting the loudest about Russia.

Coming soon: a congressional "investigation" into "pro-Russian" Americans using the "Hamilton dashboard" and the Southern Poverty Law Center as templates. Remember the House UnAmerican Activities Committee? Well, it's coming back. That's always been in the cards, and now those cards are about to be dealt.

I'll tell you one thing: I would have colluded with the Klingon Empire to prevent Hillary and her band of authoritarian statists and warmongering nutcases from taking the White House. If only the Russians had intervened, they'd have been doing this country – and the world – a great service. Alas, there's not one lick of solid evidence – forensic, documentary, witness testimony – that shows this. Which is what the Mueller investigation is all about: the Democrats are claiming there was interference, and Mueller is out to find corroboration. Except it's been over a year and he's come up with nothing.

Oh, he's got money-laundering charges on Paul Manafort and associates, but that has nothing to do with the Trump campaign: it all happened years before Trump ran. He's got Carter Page pleading guilty to lying to the FBI – but it's not clear what this means, exactly, since he's not been charged with a crime after all this time.

The Deep State's bid for power has hit several roadblocks recently, but it could yet succeed. First, Mueller could indict the President for "obstruction of justice" – a charge derived not from any real criminal activity, but from the investigation itself. I think this is the most probable outcome of all this.

Barring that, however, there is one road they could and probably would go down, given the intensity of their hatred for this President and their overweening power lust. Having gone this far in an attempt to overthrow a sitting President, they can't just stop halfway to their goal. They have to go all the way, or else suffer the consequences – public exposure, and possible criminal charges. In short, if they fail to get Trump on some semi-legal basis, I think they'd welcome his assassination.

The Deep State cannot allow the Trump administration to stand for a number of reasons, the chief one being that the coup is already in progress and there's no stopping it now. The President's enemies are legion, they are powerful, and they are abroad as well as here on American shores. They cannot allow his brand of "America First" nationalism to succeed, or seem to succeed: it conflicts too violently with their globalist vision of a borderless America-centric empire ruled by a coalition of oligarchs, technocrats, and Deep State operatives who've been shaping world events from the shadows for generations.

So no matter what you may think of Trump and his policies, the real question is: will the Deep State and their allies in the media succeed in their bid for power? Will they oust a sitting President and institute a new era in our politics, one in which the political class can exercise its veto over the democratic will of the people?

That's the issue at hand and that's why I spend so much time writing about Trump and his enemies' efforts to destroy him. Because if the Deep State succeeds, the America we knew and loved will be no more. Something else will take its place – and believe me, it won't be pretty.

A SPECIAL NOTE : Yes, our matching funds have arrived: a group of donors has gotten together and pledged $30,000 – but there's a catch. We have to match that amount in smaller donations. So now it's up to you. We need your support so we can get back to doing our job – exposing the lies of the War Party. But we can't do it without your tax-deductible donations.

If we all get together and make that final push we can make our goal. Every donation counts, no matter the amount. This is how we'll finally win the battle for peace: by uniting, despite superficial differences, to support the institutions that are in the front lines of the struggle for a rational foreign policy. And leading the charge is Antiwar.com.

Please make your tax-deductible contribution today.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

You can check out my Twitter feed by going here . But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.

I've written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement , with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey , a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon ( ISI Books , 2008).

You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here .

[Feb 25, 2018] Lawyers For The DNC Argue That Primary Rigging Is Protected By The First Amendment

Neoliberalism in all its glory ;-). One dollar one vote.
How Debbie Wasserman Schultz managed to survive Imran Awan scandal is a mystery. Imran Awan case: Lawmaker calls 'massive' data transfers from Wasserman Schultz aide a 'substantial security threat' Fox News
Perry, a member of the Homeland Security subcommittee on cyber security, said Tuesday that the House Office of Inspector General tracked the network usage of Awan and his associates on House servers and found that a "massive" amount of data was flowing from the networks.
Notable quotes:
"... Attorneys for the Plaintiffs in the case, Jared and Elizabeth Beck, and appears to argue that if the Democratic Party did cheat Sanders in the 2016 Presidential primary race, then that action was protected under the first amendment. Twitter users were quick to respond to the brief, expressing outrage and disgust at the claims made by representatives of the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. ..."
"... This author was shocked to find that despite the characterization of the Becks as peddlers of conspiracy theory, the defense counsel failed to mention the motion for protection filed by the Becks earlier in the litigation process. They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory. ..."
"... It appears that the defendants in the DNC Fraud Lawsuit are attempting to argue that cheating a candidate in the primary process is protected under the first amendment. ..."
"... If all that weren't enough, DNC representatives argued that the Democratic National Committee had no established fiduciary duty "to the Plaintiffs or the classes of donors and registered voters they seek to represent." ..."
"... It seems here that the DNC is arguing for its right to appoint candidates at its own discretion while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the belief that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved. ..."
"... If Wikileaks' publication of DNC emails are found to be similarly admissible in a United States court of law, then the contents of the leaked emails could be used to argue that, contrary to the defendant's latest brief, the DNC did favor the campaign of Hillary Clinton over Senator Sanders and that they acted to sabotage Sanders' campaign. ..."
"... Seth Rich murder and DHS investigation into 2016 election tampering soon to expose this party's contempt for the law, and all other forms of ethical conduct. ..."
"... Bernie is more than happy to yammer on about Russian bots swarming Facebook and other social media platforms in some insidious plot to rig the election -- and yet he fails to say a word about the actual attempts to rig the election by the DNA and Hillary. ..."
"... Don't forget in their twisted minds that the lies they tell to support their corrupt agenda are "protected free speech". There are no further examples one needs to show that these fuckers are nothing but malignant sociopaths. The death of the Rule of Law is why sociopaths flourish. ..."
"... They are without shame, without remorse, without ethics or morals, feeling or caring. Yet they still try to defend their indefensible actions where contrition and humbleness would be much better long term..."politically". The rank & file snowflakes would eat up a simple apology because they have been brought up to think thats all it takes to right wrongs. ..."
Feb 25, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Disobedient Media ,

The ongoing litigation of the DNC Fraud Lawsuit and the appeal regarding its dismissal took a stunning turn yesterday. The defendants in the case, including the DNC and former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, filed a response brief that left many observers of the case at a loss for words. The document , provided by the law offices of the Attorneys for the Plaintiffs in the case, Jared and Elizabeth Beck, and appears to argue that if the Democratic Party did cheat Sanders in the 2016 Presidential primary race, then that action was protected under the first amendment. Twitter users were quick to respond to the brief, expressing outrage and disgust at the claims made by representatives of the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The Defense counsel also argued that because of Jared Beck's outspoken twitter posts, the plaintiffs were using the litigation process for political purposes: "For example, Plaintiffs' counsel Jared Beck repeatedly refers to the DNC as "shi*bags" on Twitter and uses other degrading language in reference to Defendants." Fascinatingly, no mention is made regarding the importance of First Amendment at this point in the document.

The defense counsel also took issue with Jared Beck for what they termed as: " Repeatedly promoted patently false and deeply offensive conspiracy theories about the deaths of a former DNC staffer and Plaintiffs' process server in an attempt to bolster attention for this lawsuit."

This author was shocked to find that despite the characterization of the Becks as peddlers of conspiracy theory, the defense counsel failed to mention the motion for protection filed by the Becks earlier in the litigation process. They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory.

The DNC defense lawyers then argued that: " There is no legitimate basis for this litigation, which is, at its most basic, an improper attempt to forge the federal courts into a political weapon to be used by individuals who are unhappy with how a political party selected its candidate in a presidential campaign ."

The brief continued: " To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege based on their animating theory would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office. "

It appears that the defendants in the DNC Fraud Lawsuit are attempting to argue that cheating a candidate in the primary process is protected under the first amendment.

If all that weren't enough, DNC representatives argued that the Democratic National Committee had no established fiduciary duty "to the Plaintiffs or the classes of donors and registered voters they seek to represent."

It seems here that the DNC is arguing for its right to appoint candidates at its own discretion while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the belief that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

Adding to the latest news regarding the DNC Fraud Lawsuit was the recent finding by the UK Supreme Court, which stated that Wikileaks Cables were admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.

If Wikileaks' publication of DNC emails are found to be similarly admissible in a United States court of law, then the contents of the leaked emails could be used to argue that, contrary to the defendant's latest brief, the DNC did favor the campaign of Hillary Clinton over Senator Sanders and that they acted to sabotage Sanders' campaign.

The outcome of the appeal of the DNC Fraud Lawsuit remains to be seen. Disobedient Media will continue to report on this important story as it unfolds.


css1971 Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:24 Permalink

WTF?

Even on a practical level, beyond the "fraud is free speech" argument, they don't seem to have considered that this argument is a lose/lose proposition. Even if they (DNC) win legally, they are going to lose as people turn away from the finger they're giving them.

vulcanraven -> css1971 Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:27 Permalink

In other words, "we can piss in the faces of all you plebes, and you will like it"

macholatte -> just the tip Sun, 02/25/2018 - 17:24 Permalink

Notice this is a civil suit brought by a citizen. The Bern is silent and not suing anybody although he was the target of the scam, or maybe a party to it. The DOJ is silent and not looking to put anybody in jail for what appears to be an obvious violation of criminal law.

Nothing to see here. Move along.
- - Jeff Sessions

IntercoursetheEU -> macholatte Sun, 02/25/2018 - 17:31 Permalink

Not so for murder, and rigging the general election. Seth Rich murder and DHS investigation into 2016 election tampering soon to expose this party's contempt for the law, and all other forms of ethical conduct.

putaipan -> IntercoursetheEU Sun, 02/25/2018 - 17:43 Permalink

don't forget the dead attorney involved in this case (too lazy to google the poor dead guys name)

caconhma -> IntercoursetheEU Sun, 02/25/2018 - 17:57 Permalink

What is the difference? There is no any justice in America. It is all gone.

The US people are polarized and, thanks to Hollywood and mainstream media, with the culture of lawless, violence, and hatred of everybody. America is a very sick country with a fake President and the utterly corrupt US Congress. It will not end good or bloodless.

The US military reliance on super-technology is poorly thought of since these high-tech military systems require very highly-educated and intelligent people to operate these systems while the US educational system being a total failure cannot produce.

Lemmy Caution -> macholatte Sun, 02/25/2018 - 17:41 Permalink

Bernie is more than happy to yammer on about Russian bots swarming Facebook and other social media platforms in some insidious plot to rig the election -- and yet he fails to say a word about the actual attempts to rig the election by the DNA and Hillary. But, hey, if he can shave a few hundred dollars off of my monthly health insurance premiums he can call for a first-strike nuclear attack on Russia!

AtATrESICI -> JRobby Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:53 Permalink

Clearly we have laws for little people while the owners do whatever the fuck they want.

... the State Department completed its review and determined that 2,115 of the 30,490 emails contain information that is presently
classified Out of these 2,115 emails, the State Department determined that 2,028 emails contain information classified at the Confidential level; 65 contain information classified at the Secret level; and 22 contain information classified at the Top Secret level....

https://vault.fbi.gov/october-2016-application-affidavit-and-search-warrant-related-to-email-server-investigation/October%202016%20Application%20Affidavit%20and%20Search%20Warrant%20Related%20to%20Email%20Server%20Investigation%20Part%2001%20of%2001/view

just the tip -> AtATrESICI Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:59 Permalink

i may be repeating someones posting of: it's a big club, and you ain't in it.

JRobby -> just the tip Sun, 02/25/2018 - 17:18 Permalink

Carlin:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7yzi1I_Zsk

Still the best 3:00 summary of all time

JRobby -> AtATrESICI Sun, 02/25/2018 - 17:12 Permalink

Let me reiterate (if I may) Do we really need to see anymore pictures of Delusional Slut Horror Show Wasserman-Schultz?

She has a face that can stop time

Herp and Derp -> AtATrESICI Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

I think this is the exact reason election boards exists. They should be suing the DNC over this as well, but are full of party officials. If there was any sane form of democracy, the DNC would be bared from campaigning in most states.

Al Huxley -> chunga Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:41 Permalink

It's a sewer, the whole fucking system is just a cesspool filled with the most reprehensible, self-serving people in the country outside of Wall Street. But everybody just keeps playing along.

Quinvarius -> Al Huxley Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:52 Permalink

Sounds like a swamp.

nmewn -> WorkingPawn Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:30 Permalink

At the basic level, the DNC conned it's rank & file members with words like "democracy" and "one man, one vote" and "equality".

The DNC is a political party that relied on useful idiots not reading the fine print of it's charter ;-)

nmewn Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:27 Permalink

"The DNC defense lawyers then argued that: " There is no legitimate basis for this litigation, which is, at its most basic,...

...an improper attempt to forge the federal courts into a political weapon to be used by individuals who are unhappy...

...with how a political party selected its candidate in a presidential campaign ."

So basically the same reasoning behind the Mueller witch hunt and using the FBI & FISA courts to destroy political opponents then...lol.

Egggcellent ;-)

SDShack -> nmewn Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:39 Permalink

Don't forget in their twisted minds that the lies they tell to support their corrupt agenda are "protected free speech". There are no further examples one needs to show that these fuckers are nothing but malignant sociopaths. The death of the Rule of Law is why sociopaths flourish.

nmewn -> SDShack Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:57 Permalink

They don't live in the same reality as us and never have.

They are without shame, without remorse, without ethics or morals, feeling or caring. Yet they still try to defend their indefensible actions where contrition and humbleness would be much better long term..."politically". The rank & file snowflakes would eat up a simple apology because they have been brought up to think thats all it takes to right wrongs.

They are all sociopaths.

Pure Evil -> gatorengineer Sun, 02/25/2018 - 17:54 Permalink

My take was Bernie was supposed to cat herd the millennials to the Hillary camp but that blew up in their face when the millennials decided to put down their cell phones and proceeded to give Hillary the bird.

Wouldn't doubt a large majority still ended up voting for but they probably won't admit it.

Hubbs Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:30 Permalink

Doesn't this make the whole candidate selection process, and all the rules and regulations governing a party's whole nomination process meaningless? If what DEMS did within their own party to Bernie is moot, then what Trump may have done via his "Russian collusion" is mooted also. Can't have it both ways.

SRV Sun, 02/25/2018 - 16:41 Permalink

They used the same argument before the appeal... and the corrupt judge agreed with "The Crooks" and closed the case. NOT ONE media outlet covered the fact they actually said in open court that the DNC had no legal obligation to be fair.

But... Russia... Rusia... Russia

Only in America... r.i.p.

[Feb 18, 2018] It pains me to once again be confronted with the fact that Sanders is a neocon hack

Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Zachary Smith

Congressmen Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff, Senator Bernie Sanders , popular commentators Preet Bharara and Joe Walsh have all joined in the pile-on .

It pains me to once again be confronted with the fact that Sanders is a neocon hack.

[Feb 16, 2018] Is Donald Trump Morphing Into A Neocon Interventionist by Doug Bandow

One year later we can say with confidence, yes he morphed into a neocon in foreign policy.
What is especially bad is that Trump executed "bait and switch" maneuver as smoothly as Obama. Devastating.
Notable quotes:
"... So now it gets me thinking like this: Who are Mr. Bandow's clients today? ..."
"... Some say that the reason for Trump's total reversal of his campaign-position on Russia is the American Deep State (the U.S. aristocracy and its agents). I agree with that view. ..."
"... I believe the American people are beginning to realize the CIA has the obsession for multiple, unending wars all for the benefit of Wall Street. ..."
"... It appears "military-industrial complex" or "deep state" refuses to take step back and insists on sucking more money from taxpayers. On first glance all is great for them, bombing of Middle East will continue, and so will military expansion at cost of civilian programs. However, ramifications to rest of the world should not be dismissed. EU countries are divided on following Washington hard line against Russia or diverge with USA. Currently, EU is cracking and might fall apart. Some in USA would cheer it but in long run it will mean loss of strongest US supporter against China. Regarding Middle East, Trump punished victims of AlQaeda and did nothing against financiers of AlQaeda, which will only increase local tensions. So indeed, not a great start... ..."
"... While I basically agree that Trump is not following through on his campaign, we must keep in mind that the campaign of his opponent was for MUCH more of the same, new wars, vastly increased fighting in current wars. So more of the same is in fact a big step down from the alternative. ..."
"... Stop those wars. They don't serve us. ..."
"... Trump's a liar, and his whole campaign was a calculated fraud from the beginning. We're the victims of a "bait-and-switch" scam. ..."
"... Because he lied. Just like he lied about draining the swamp and just restocked it with new varmints from Goldman Sachs and even an ex-Soros employee. Nothing new for me. Been watching elections for about 60 years and this is same ole. America can't take much more of this before it collapses and splits apart. The world isn't going to take much more from dc either. God help us. We are in a pickle! ..."
Apr 20, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

Why Is Trump Abandoning the Foreign Policy that Brought Him Victory The National Interest Blog

Candidate Donald Trump offered a sharp break from his predecessors. He was particularly critical of neoconservatives, who seemed to back war at every turn.

Indeed, he promised not to include in his administration "those who have perfect resumes but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war." And he's generally kept that commitment, for instance rejecting as deputy secretary of state Elliot Abrams, who said Trump was unfit to be president.

Substantively candidate Trump appeared to offer not so much a philosophy as an inclination. Practical if not exactly realist, he cared more for consequences than his three immediate predecessors, who had treated wars as moral crusades in Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. In contrast, Trump promised: "unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct."

Yet so far the Trump administration is shaping up as a disappointment for those who hoped for a break from the liberal interventionist/neoconservative synthesis.

The first problem is staffing. In Washington people are policy. The president can speak and tweet, but he needs others to turn ideas into reality and implement his directives. It doesn't appear that he has any foreign policy realists around him, or anyone with a restrained view of America's international responsibilities.

Rex Tillerson, James Mattis and H. R. McMaster are all serious and talented, and none are neocons. But all seem inclined toward traditional foreign policy approaches and committed to moderating their boss's unconventional thoughts. Most of the names mentioned for deputy secretary of state have been reliably hawkish, or some combination of hawk and centrist-Abrams, John Bolton, the rewired Jon Huntsman.

Trump appears to be most concerned with issues that have direct domestic impacts, and especially with economic nostrums about which he is most obviously wrong. He's long been a protectionist (his anti-immigration opinions are of more recent vintage). Yet his views have not changed even as circumstances have. The Chinese once artificially limited the value of the renminbi, but recently have taken the opposite approach. The United States is not alone in losing manufacturing jobs, which are disappearing around the world and won't be coming back. Multilateral trade agreements are rarely perfect, but they are not zero sum games. They usually offer political as well as economic benefits. Trump does not seem prepared to acknowledge this, at least rhetorically. Indeed he has brought on board virulent opponents of free trade such as Peter Navarro.

The administration's repudiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was particularly damaging. Trump's decision embarrassed Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who had offered important economic concessions to join. More important, Trump has abandoned the economic field to the People's Republic of China, which is pushing two different accords. Australia, among other U.S. allies, has indicated that it now will deal with Beijing, which gets to set the Pacific trade agenda. In this instance, what's good for China is bad for the United States.

In contrast, on more abstract foreign policy issues President Trump seems ready to treat minor concessions as major victories and move on. For years he criticized America's Asian and European allies for taking advantage of U.S. defense generosity. In his March foreign policy speech, he complained that "our allies are not paying their fair share." During the campaign he suggested refusing to honor NATO's Article 5 commitment and leave countries failing to make sufficient financial contributions to their fate.

Yet Secretaries Mattis and Tillerson have insisted that Washington remains committed to the very same alliances incorporating dependence on America. Worse, in his speech to Congress the president took credit for the small uptick in military outlays by European NATO members which actually began in 2015: "based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning" to "meet their financial obligations." Although he declared with predictable exaggeration that "the money is pouring in," no one believes that Germany, which will go from 1.19 to 1.22 percent of GDP this year, will nearly double its outlays to hit even the NATO standard of two percent.

Trump's signature policy initiative, rapprochement with Russia, appears dead in the water. Unfortunately, the president's strange personal enthusiasm for Vladimir Putin undercut his desire to accommodate a great power which has no fundamental, irresolvable conflicts with the America. Contrary to neocon history, Russia and America have often cooperated in the past. Moreover, President Trump's attempt to improve relations faces strong ideological opposition from neoconservatives determined to have a new enemy and partisan resistance from liberal Democrats committed to undermining the new administration.

President Trump also appears to have no appointees who share his commitment on this issue. At least Trump's first National Security Adviser, Mike Flynn, wanted better relations with Russia, amid other, more dubious beliefs, but now the president seems alone. In fact, Secretary Tillerson sounded like he was representing the Obama administration when he demanded Moscow's withdrawal from Crimea, a policy nonstarter. Ambassador-designate Huntsman's views are unclear, but he will be constrained by the State Department bureaucracy, which is at best unimaginative and at worst actively obstructionist.


taavitheman , March 10, 2017 4:04 PM

"Unfortunately, the president's strange personal enthusiasm for Vladimir Putin undercut his desire to accommodate a great power which has no fundamental, irresolvable conflicts with the America."

I did my due diligence on the writer after this absolutely baffling argument that has no basis on certain fundamental laws of geopolitics. Referring to this: https://www.bloomberg.com/n...

So now it gets me thinking like this: Who are Mr. Bandow's clients today? Figures...

Eric Zuesse , March 14, 2017 8:24 AM

Some say that the reason for Trump's total reversal of his campaign-position on Russia is the American Deep State (the U.S. aristocracy and its agents). I agree with that view.

Sarastro92 Eric Zuesse , March 19, 2017 11:43 AM

And other say you're a sap for believing a bunch of half-baked one-liners that Trump often contradicted in the same sentence... He never had a coherent policy on anything, no less foreign policy... so don't complain now that he's showing his true colors

tom Eric Zuesse , March 19, 2017 10:28 AM

The USA should FORCE other nations to use DIPLOMACY as a means to preventing wars. If they don't, they lose all support, financial and otherwise, from the USA. This would include Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The only thing Trump should take a look at in all this is the INHUMANE policies that previous administrations have used to placate the military/industrial clique's appetite for money and blood! If it's going to be "America First" for Trump's administration, it better start diverting this blood money to shore up America's people and infrastructures!

America2028 , March 12, 2017 1:19 PM

Most of these issues come down to the fact that President Trump doesn't have anything resembling a "grand strategy", or even a coherent foreign policy. His views are often at odds with each other (his desire to counter China economically and his opposition to the TPP, for example), and I suspect that most were motivated by a desire to get votes more than any kind of deep understanding of global affairs.

R. Arandas , March 10, 2017 9:36 PM

Most of his supporters, at least from what I can tell, are actually quite resolutely against entering a new war, and are strongly condemnatory of the neo-conservatism that involved the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In fact, according to the polls taken at the time, more Democrats favored military intervention in Syria than Republicans did.

olde reb R. Arandas , March 21, 2017 5:53 PM

I believe the American people are beginning to realize the CIA has the obsession for multiple, unending wars all for the benefit of Wall Street.

Ref. http://farmwars.info/?p=15338 . A FACE FOR THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT

mladenm , March 11, 2017 8:45 AM

It appears "military-industrial complex" or "deep state" refuses to take step back and insists on sucking more money from taxpayers. On first glance all is great for them, bombing of Middle East will continue, and so will military expansion at cost of civilian programs. However, ramifications to rest of the world should not be dismissed. EU countries are divided on following Washington hard line against Russia or diverge with USA. Currently, EU is cracking and might fall apart. Some in USA would cheer it but in long run it will mean loss of strongest US supporter against China. Regarding Middle East, Trump punished victims of AlQaeda and did nothing against financiers of AlQaeda, which will only increase local tensions. So indeed, not a great start...

Mark Thomason , March 11, 2017 11:13 AM

While I basically agree that Trump is not following through on his campaign, we must keep in mind that the campaign of his opponent was for MUCH more of the same, new wars, vastly increased fighting in current wars. So more of the same is in fact a big step down from the alternative.

That does not excuse doing more of the same, but just asserts that we did get some of what we voted for/against.

We should get the rest of it. Stop those wars. They don't serve us.

richardvajs Guest , March 19, 2017 1:46 PM

There are similarities between Trump and Putin . The GOP and its rich corporate members have decided to use Trump as the oligarchs in Russia used Yeltsin. The oligarchs used a drunken Yeltsin to pry the natural resources out of the public commons for the grabbing by the oligarchs. Likewise, our rich are going to use an unwitting Trump to lower their taxes to nothing while delivering austerity to the 99%.
To the oligarchs' surprise and dismay, Yeltsin's incompetence led to Putin and his scourge of the oligarchs. So will Trump's incompetence lead to the end of our system of crony capitalism and the rebirth of socialism such as the New Deal, and higher taxes.
The crooked bastards can never be satisfied even with 3/4 ths of the whole pie, so no-one should pity them for being hoisted on their own petard.

Asia at War , April 30, 2017 12:52 AM

Trump forgot what he promised to the people. He sold his soul to the devil. I hope he doesn't send more of our children to die for the "Deep state."

Doug Nusbaum , March 21, 2017 5:17 PM

I'm sorry --- Trump had a foreign policy? As near as I can tell, he just said whatever the crowd in front of him wanted to hear. Or do you have evidence to the contrary? Remember that this is a man who can be shown, in his own words, to have been on all sides of almost every issue, depending on the day of the week, and the phase of the moon.

Stefan Reich , March 20, 2017 6:13 AM

You really take all that time to analyze the guy instead of just seeing he is a madman? Wouldn't that be faster?

gentry_gee , March 20, 2017 3:41 AM

He, they, the US, that is, must obey Israel. Israel wants Assad gone in the end for their territorial expansion. It also helps the oil companies and isolates Russia further into a geostrategic corner.

dieter heymann , March 19, 2017 11:58 AM

This headline is way over the top. The first and foremost foreign policy statement which brought numerous voters to Trump was the US-Mexico wall and at least some of that wall will be constructed. Hence it is the only promise which has not (yet) changed except for who will pay for it.

OBTUSEANGLE , March 19, 2017 9:39 AM

The truth can be buried, but eventually it will be exposed. Only a matter of time.

Harold Smith , March 19, 2017 12:34 AM

Why must we give Trump the benefit of the doubt and assume that his campaign presentations were made in good faith? That is a very generous assumption.

There's a simple and more logical explanation for what's going on with "foreign policy" in the "Trump" administration: Trump's a liar, and his whole campaign was a calculated fraud from the beginning. We're the victims of a "bait-and-switch" scam.

freewheelinfranklin543 , March 18, 2017 4:03 PM

Because he lied. Just like he lied about draining the swamp and just restocked it with new varmints from Goldman Sachs and even an ex-Soros employee. Nothing new for me. Been watching elections for about 60 years and this is same ole. America can't take much more of this before it collapses and splits apart. The world isn't going to take much more from dc either. God help us. We are in a pickle!

dieter heymann , March 18, 2017 9:35 AM

The fundamental problem of exonerating Trump and blaming this non-reversal on the non-existing "deep state" is believing that anything a candidate said on the campaign trail can be executed when that candidate becomes president. Such reversal has happened so frequently in our history that it is truly amazing that " he does not do what he promised" still has adherents.

There is no reversal. I see reality clashing with words. I do not blame Trump for reversals. I see some shift from unrealistic to more realistic. It is called learning on the job.

Elelei Guhring , March 11, 2017 8:06 AM

Every political position on the planet is stuck in the 80s. There is no one with a will to change what is happening, mostly because no one wants to get tarred and feathered once the:

a) economy implodes upon itself in the most glorious Depression to ever happen, and;

b) world war 3 erupts but engaging such a variety of opponents, from Islam to China and Russia and even minor trivial players such as North Korea, and;

c) civil disobedience in the western world rivals that of even third world revolutions as people revolt against a failure to protect them from Islamic violence, to preserve their standard of living and their perceived futures. Lots of change coming, but nothing that any politician is promising.

Politicians are dinosaurs. We are entering a world where large numbers of people will make things happen. It's called Democracy.

An Eastern European , March 11, 2017 2:10 AM

Trump will remain close to Putin ideologically and he might continue to admire the man as a strong leader BUT there is one thing that neither Putin nor Trump can change and it is that Russia and America are natural rivals. Geopolitics. Land vs Sea. Eurasia vs Atlantic. Heartland vs Outer Rim.

Trump is hawk, don't be mislead. You cannot have a great country if you're not willing to kill and die for it. Russia knows that. Which is why Putin made Russia great again after the horror of the Yeltsin years. Now America knows that too.

[Feb 16, 2018] Bernie Sanders Hits on Winning Message He Avoided in 2016 by David Swanson

Notable quotes:
"... wants you to declare peace at ..."
"... http://WorldBeyondWar.org ..."
"... His new book is ..."
"... War No More: The Case for Abolition ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
A video has shown up on Senator Bernie Sanders' Facebook page, with his name on it and his face in it making all the familiar (to a small number of people) points about U.S. military spending (how much it is, how it compares to the rest of the world, how it does not produce jobs, what wonders could be achieved with a small fraction of it, etc.).

I wish there were mention of the fact that it kills huge numbers of people, or that it risks apocalypse, or that it damages the earth's environment. I wish the alternatives proposed were not all of the bring-our-war-dollars-home variety, as if the amount of money under consideration were not enough to radically transform this and every other country.

Still, had Sanders put out this video in 2015, tens of thousands of people wouldn't have had to petition him in vain to oppose militarism, to fill the glaring gap in his website . I wouldn't have had to write this or this or even this .

Sanders willingly subjected himself to endless accusations of raising taxes, rather than declare that he would push for a small cut in military spending. Jeremy Corbyn has had greater success -- albeit in a different country -- by taking the other approach. I continue to think Sanders is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

It's not as if Sanders doesn't know the issues. A half-century back he would have said something very close to what I want to hear. There's no reason why he can't do so now. But I'm afraid that this video may have slipped through because there's not a presidential election this year, and that such things will be nowhere to be found in the years ahead.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope that Sanders actually declares himself in favor of a serious transfer of resources from militarism to human and environmental needs. As soon as he does, I'll start advocating for all of us to work for his election. He can keep promoting the Russiagate nonsense that was primarily invented to distract from the story of the DNC cheating him. He can publicly commit to allowing the DNC to cheat him again. He can ask Saudi Arabia again to kill even more people. But if he comes out against the military budget, that's the big one. He will deserve the support he could have had last time.

David Swanson wants you to declare peace at http://WorldBeyondWar.org His new book is War No More: The Case for Abolition .

[Feb 03, 2018] Sanders on Trump s State of the Union: Not a word on Nuclear War threat, anti-Russian and anti-Iranian crusades!

Jan 30, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press
Watch: Bernie Sanders' Response to Trump State of the Union

"Here's the story that Trump failed to mention "

Following President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) offered a response.

"I want to take a few minutes of your time to respond to Trump's State of the Union speech," Sanders announced. "But I also want to talk to you about the major crises facing our country that, regrettably, Trump chose not to discuss."

And, he added, "I want to offer a vision of where we should go as a nation which is far different than the divisiveness, dishonesty, and racism coming from the Trump Administration over the past year."

Watch:

... ... ...

The complete text of Sanders' prepared remarks follow:

Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

Tonight , I want to take a few minutes of your time to respond to President Trump's State of the Union speech. But I want to do more than just that. I want to talk to you about the major crises facing our country that, regrettably, President Trump chose not to discuss. I want to talk to you about the lies that he told during his campaign and the promises he made to working people which he did not keep.

Finally, I want to offer a vision of where we should go as a nation which is far different than the divisiveness, dishonesty, and racism coming from the Trump Administration over the past year.

President Trump talked tonight about the strength of our economy. Well, he's right. Official unemployment today is 4.1 percent which is the lowest it has been in years and the stock market in recent months has soared. That's the good news.

But what President Trump failed to mention is that his first year in office marked the lowest level of job creation since 2010. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 254,000 fewer jobs were created in Trump's first 11 months in office than were created in the 11 months before he entered office.

Further, when we talk about the economy, what's most important is to understand what is happening to the average worker. And here's the story that Trump failed to mention tonight .

Over the last year, after adjusting for inflation, the average worker in America saw a wage increase of, are you ready for this, 4 cents an hour, or 0.17%. Or, to put it in a different way, that worker received a raise of a little more than $1.60 a week. And, as is often the case, that tiny wage increase disappeared as a result of soaring health care costs.

Meanwhile, at a time of massive wealth and income inequality, the rich continue to get much richer while millions of American workers are working two or three jobs just to keep their heads above water. Since March of last year, the three richest people in America saw their wealth increase by more than $68 billion. Three people. A $68 billion increase in wealth. Meanwhile, the average worker saw an increase of 4 cents an hour.

Tonight , Donald Trump touted the bonuses he claims workers received because of his so-called "tax reform" bill. What he forgot to mention is that only 2% of Americans report receiving a raise or a bonus because of this tax bill.

What he also failed to mention is that some of the corporations that have given out bonuses, such as Walmart, AT&T, General Electric, and Pfizer, are also laying off tens of thousands of their employees. Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kleenex and Huggies, recently said they were using money from the tax cut to restructure -- laying off more than 5,000 workers and closing 10 plants.

What Trump also forgot to tell you is that while the Walton family of Walmart, the wealthiest family in America, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon, the wealthiest person in this country, have never had it so good, many thousands of their employees are forced onto Medicaid, food stamps, and public housing because of the obscenely low wages they are paid. In my view, that's wrong. The taxpayers of this country should not be providing corporate welfare to the wealthiest families in this country.

Trump's Broken Promises

Now, let me say a few words about some of the issues that Donald Trump failed to mention tonight , and that is the difference between what he promised the American people as a candidate and what he has delivered as president.

Many of you will recall, that during his campaign, Donald Trump told the American people how he was going to provide "health insurance for everybody," with "much lower deductibles."

That is what he promised working families all across this country during his campaign. But as president he did exactly the opposite. Last year, he supported legislation that would have thrown up to 32 million people off of the health care they had while, at the same time, substantially raising premiums for older Americans.

The reality is that although we were able to beat back Trump's effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, 3 million fewer Americans have health insurance today than before Trump took office and that number will be going even higher in the coming months.

During his campaign, Trump promised not to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

As president, however, he supported a Republican Budget Resolution that proposed slashing Medicaid by $1 trillion and cutting Medicare by $500 billion. Further, President Trump's own budget called for cutting Social Security Disability Insurance by $64 billion.

During Trump's campaign for president, he talked about how he was going to lower prescription drug prices and take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry which he said was "getting away with murder." Tonight he said "one of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs."

But as president, Trump nominated Alex Azar, a former executive of the Eli Lilly Company -- one of the largest drug companies in this country -- to head up the Department of Health and Human Services.

Trump spoke about how in other countries "drugs cost far less," yet he has done nothing to allow Americans to purchase less expensive prescription drugs from abroad or to require Medicare to negotiate drug prices – which he promised he would do when he ran for president.

During the campaign, Donald Trump told us that: "The rich will not be gaining at all" under his tax reform plan.

Well, that was quite a whopper. As president, the tax reform legislation Trump signed into law a few weeks ago provides 83 percent of the benefits to the top one percent, drives up the deficit by $1.7 trillion, and raises taxes on 92 million middle class families by the end of the decade.

During his campaign for president, Trump talked about how he was going to take on the greed of Wall Street which he said "has caused tremendous problems for us.

As president, not only has Trump not taken on Wall Street, he has appointed more Wall Street billionaires to his administration than any president in history. And now, on behalf of Wall Street, he is trying to repeal the modest provisions of the Dodd-Frank legislation which provide consumer protections against Wall Street thievery.

What Trump Didn't Say

But what is also important to note is not just Trump's dishonesty. It is that tonight he avoided some of the most important issues facing our country and the world.

How can a president of the United States give a State of the Union speech and not mention climate change? No, Mr. Trump, climate change is not a "hoax." It is a reality which is causing devastating harm all over our country and all over the world and you are dead wrong when you appoint administrators at the EPA and other agencies who are trying to decimate environmental protection rules, and slow down the transition to sustainable energy.

How can a president of the United States not discuss the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision which allows billionaires like the Koch brothers to undermine American democracy by spending hundreds of millions of dollars to elect candidates who will represent the rich and the powerful?

How can he not talk about Republican governors efforts all across this country to undermine democracy, suppress the vote and make it harder for poor people or people of color to vote?

How can he not talk about the fact that in a highly competitive global economy, hundreds of thousands of bright young people are unable to afford to go to college, while millions of others have come out of school deeply in debt?

How can he not talk about the inadequate funding and staffing at the Social Security Administration which has resulted in thousands of people with disabilities dying because they did not get their claims processed in time?

How can he not talk about the retirement crisis facing the working people of this country and the fact that over half of older workers have no retirement savings? We need to strengthen pensions in this country, not take them away from millions of workers.

How can he not talk about the reality that Russia, through cyberwarfare, interfered in our election in 2016, is interfering in democratic elections all over the world, and according to his own CIA director will likely interfere in the 2018 midterm elections that we will be holding. How do you not talk about that unless you have a very special relationship with Mr. Putin?

What Trump Did Talk About

Now, let me say a few words about what Trump did talk about.

Trump talked about DACA and immigration, but what he did not tell the American people is that he precipitated this crisis in September by repealing President Obama's executive order protecting Dreamers.

We need to seriously address the issue of immigration but that does not mean dividing families and reducing legal immigration by 25-50 percent. It sure doesn't mean forcing taxpayers to spend $25 billion on a wall that candidate Trump promised Mexico would pay for. And it definitely doesn't mean a racist immigration policy that excludes people of color from around the world.

To my mind, this is one of the great moral issues facing our country. It would be unspeakable and a moral stain on our nation if we turned our backs on these 800,000 young people who were born and raised in this country and who know no other home but the United States.

And that's not just Bernie Sanders talking. Poll after poll shows that over 80 percent of the American people believe that we should protect the legal status of these young people and provide them with a path toward citizenship.

We need to pass the bi-partisan DREAM Act, and we need to pass it now.

President Trump also talked about the need to rebuild our country's infrastructure. And he is absolutely right. But the proposal he is bringing forth is dead wrong.

Instead of spending $1.5 trillion over ten years rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, Trump would encourage states to sell our nation's highways, bridges, and other vital infrastructure to Wall Street, wealthy campaign contributors, even foreign governments.

And how would Wall Street and these corporations recoup their investments? By imposing massive new tolls and fees paid for by American commuters and homeowners.

The reality is that Trump's plan to privatize our nation's infrastructure is an old idea that has never worked and never will work.

Tonight , Donald Trump correctly talked about the need to address the opioid crisis. Well, I say to Donald Trump, you don't help people suffering from opioid addiction by cutting Medicaid by $1 trillion. If you are serious about dealing with this crisis, we need to expand, not cut Medicaid.

Conclusion/A Progressive Agenda

My fellow Americans. The simple truth is that, according to virtually every poll, Donald Trump is the least popular president after one year in office of any president in modern American history. And the reason for that is pretty clear. The American people do not want a president who is compulsively dishonest, who is a bully, who actively represents the interests of the billionaire class, who is anti-science, and who is trying to divide us up based on the color of our skin, our nation of origin, our religion, our gender, or our sexual orientation.

That is not what the American people want. And that reality is the bad news that we have to deal with.

But the truth is that there is a lot of good news out there as well. It's not just that so many of our people disagree with Trump's policies, temperament, and behavior. It is that the vast majority of our people have a very different vision for the future of our country than what Trump and the Republican leadership are giving us.

In an unprecedented way, we are witnessing a revitalization of American democracy with more and more people standing up and fighting back. A little more than a year ago we saw millions of people take to the streets for the women's marches and a few weeks ago, in hundreds of cities and towns around the world, people once again took to the streets in the fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice.

Further, we are seeing the growth of grassroots organizations and people from every conceivable background starting to run for office – for school board, city council, state legislature, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

In fact, we are starting to see the beginning of a political revolution, something long overdue.

And these candidates, from coast to coast, are standing tall for a progressive agenda, an agenda that works for the working families of our country and not just the billionaire class. These candidates understand that the United States has got to join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all as a right, not a privilege, through a Medicare for All, single-payer program.

They understand that at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, when the top one-tenth of one percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, we should not be giving tax breaks for billionaires but demanding that they start paying their fair share of taxes.

They know that we need trade policies that benefit working people, not large multi-national corporations.

They know that we have got to take on the fossil fuel industry, transform our energy system and move to sustainable energies like wind, solar and geothermal.

They know that we need a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, free tuition at public colleges and universities, and universal childcare.

They understand that it is a woman who has the right to control her own body, not state and federal governments, and that woman has the right to receive equal pay for equal work and work in a safe environment free from harassment.

They also know that if we are going to move forward successfully as a democracy we need real criminal justice reform and we need to finally address comprehensive immigration reform.

Yes. I understand that the Koch brothers and their billionaire friends are planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the 2018 mid-term elections supporting the Trump agenda and right-wing Republicans. They have the money, an unlimited amount of money. But we have the people, and when ordinary people stand up and fight for justice there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. That has been the history of America, and that is our future.

Thank you all and good night.

Published at https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/01/30/watch-bernie-sanders-response-trump-state-union

[Jan 31, 2018] Is Trump yet another "bait and switch" artist?

Jan 31, 2018 | www.unz.com

Seamus Padraig , Next New Comment January 31, 2018 at 8:37 am GMT

@Harold Smith

That was always one of the things that most unnerved me about Trump from the start: what, exactly, motivated him to run? (The other thing about him that bothered me was his overweening Zionism.) The idea that he was some kind of plant certainly did occur to me, but the MSM didn't treat him the way they usually treat 'The Chosen One'. Compare him with the treatment the MSM gave that other 'outside, nontradional' candidate, Emmanuel Macron.

So what did motivate Trump? Ego? Vainglory? Some burning conviction somewhere? I still don't know. One way or the other, though, I'm pretty sure that MAGA is dead.

Harold Smith , Next New Comment January 31, 2018 at 3:09 pm GMT
@Seamus Padraig

"So what did motivate Trump? Ego? Vainglory? Some burning conviction somewhere? I still don't know."

Several lines of reasoning point me to the conclusion that Orange Clown is a "deep cover" or "sleeper" agent that's been "waiting in the wings" for his Zionist masters' call.

I believe that the political ascendancy of Orange Clown should be seen as a sign of Zionist desperation.

Anyway, one valid line of reasoning, IMO, is to rule out anything else. At 70 years old, Orange Clown is no spring chicken. So why would he run run NOW?

If he had actually followed through on his campaign rhetoric, or at least some of it, he'd be considered a true American hero, IMO. He's going to finally get us out of NATO? He's going to pull out of the hopeless war in Afghanistan and cut out the costly and self-destructive nation building crap? He's going to collaborate with Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth and finally investigate the worst crime in U.S. history?

If so he'd go down in history as a modern American revolutionary. The guy that single-handedly saved America from the "beast". And he's going to begin this herculean task at the age 70 years old? Seriously? How many historical examples are there where a 70 year old all of a sudden became a political visionary and led a revolution?

He's at the age where most people suffer cognitive decline, prostate problems, etc., but he's going to square off against "the powers that be", put himself at risk of assassination and lead a revolution in American politics? I just can't accept that.

Okay, but what about if he wanted to be president "just for a taste of power"? And that's a fair question, IMO.

That may explain why he wouldn't necessarily give a damn about following through on his campaign promises, but it doesn't explain why he would reverse himself on everything of major

[Dec 31, 2017] Maybe Trump was the deep state candidate of choice? Maybe that s why they ran Clinton against him rather than the more electable Sanders? Maybe that s why Obama started ramping up tensions with Russia in the early fall of 2016 – to swing the election to Trump (by giving the disgruntled anti-war Sanders voters a false choice between Trump or war with Russia?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Stop right there. Rather than the generously imply that Trump had good intentions in the first place, isn't it time to at least consider the possibility that Trump's campaign was a calculated "bait and switch" fraud from the beginning? ..."
"... Not "paranoid" but "PNAC" as in PNAC manifesto for world domination and control ..."
"... "It is plainly obvious that the Neocons are now back in total control of the White House, Congress and the US corporate media. Okay, maybe things are still not quite as bad as if Hillary had been elected, but they are bad enough to ask whether a major war is now inevitable next year." ..."
"... "Rather than generously imply that Trump had good intentions in the first place, isn't it time to at least consider the possibility that Trump's campaign was a calculated "bait and switch" fraud from the beginning?" ..."
"... A point that cannot be made often enough, IMO. Trump is the Republican Bill Clinton. ..."
"... Maybe it's time for Americans to admit that their quadrennial Mr. America contest amounts to little more than a "suck Satan's c *** " audition for the deep state, and that the contestants have no qualms about getting on their knees. It is far more comforting to believe that "your" guy was subverted after the (s)election, but that's not how it actually works. ..."
"... I'm imagining a bumper sticker with Trump's laughing face and a sad-looking deplorable in a baseball cap, with the caption "Bait and Switch- the American Way." Someone also once suggested "There are two kinds of Republicans: millionaires and suckers." ..."
Dec 31, 2017 | www.unz.com

Harold Smith , December 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm GMT

"Not only has the swamp easily, quickly and totally drowned Trump "

Stop right there. Rather than the generously imply that Trump had good intentions in the first place, isn't it time to at least consider the possibility that Trump's campaign was a calculated "bait and switch" fraud from the beginning?

"Furthermore, the Trump Administration now has released a National Security Strategy which clearly show that the Empire is in 'full paranoid' mode."

Not "paranoid" but "PNAC" as in PNAC manifesto for world domination and control.

"It is plainly obvious that the Neocons are now back in total control of the White House, Congress and the US corporate media. Okay, maybe things are still not quite as bad as if Hillary had been elected, but they are bad enough to ask whether a major war is now inevitable next year."

Maybe Trump was the "deep state" candidate of choice? Maybe that's why they ran Clinton against him rather than the more electable Sanders? Maybe that's why Obama started ramping up tensions with Russia in the early fall of 2016 – so as to swing the election to Trump (by giving the disgruntled anti-war Sanders voters a false choice between Trump or war with Russia?

Lana Kane , December 30, 2017 at 2:27 am GMT
@Harold Smith

"Rather than generously imply that Trump had good intentions in the first place, isn't it time to at least consider the possibility that Trump's campaign was a calculated "bait and switch" fraud from the beginning?"

A point that cannot be made often enough, IMO. Trump is the Republican Bill Clinton.

Maybe it's time for Americans to admit that their quadrennial Mr. America contest amounts to little more than a "suck Satan's c *** " audition for the deep state, and that the contestants have no qualms about getting on their knees. It is far more comforting to believe that "your" guy was subverted after the (s)election, but that's not how it actually works.

I'm imagining a bumper sticker with Trump's laughing face and a sad-looking deplorable in a baseball cap, with the caption "Bait and Switch- the American Way." Someone also once suggested "There are two kinds of Republicans: millionaires and suckers."

[Dec 23, 2017] Russiagate as bait and switch maneuver

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Gessen also worried that the Russia obsession was a deadly diversion from issues that ought to matter more to those claiming to oppose Trump in the name of democracy and the common good ..."
"... Frustrated Democrats hoping to elevate their election fortunes have a resounding message for party leaders: Stop talking so much about Russia. Rank-and-file Democrats say the Russia-Trump narrative is simply a non-issue with district voters, who are much more worried about bread-and-butter economic concerns like jobs, wages and the cost of education and healthcare. ..."
Dec 23, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

Masha Gessen's Warning Ignored as Dreams of Trumpeachment Dance in Our Heads

Gessen felt that the Russiagate gambit would flop, given a lack of smoking-gun evidence and sufficient public interest, particularly among Republicans.

Gessen also worried that the Russia obsession was a deadly diversion from issues that ought to matter more to those claiming to oppose Trump in the name of democracy and the common good : racism, voter suppression (which may well have elected Trump , by the way), health care, plutocracy, police- and prison-state-ism, immigrant rights, economic exploitation and inequality, sexism and environmental ruination -- you know, stuff like that.

Some of the politically engaged populace noticed the problem early on. According to the Washington political journal The Hill , last summer ,

Frustrated Democrats hoping to elevate their election fortunes have a resounding message for party leaders: Stop talking so much about Russia. Rank-and-file Democrats say the Russia-Trump narrative is simply a non-issue with district voters, who are much more worried about bread-and-butter economic concerns like jobs, wages and the cost of education and healthcare.

Here we are now, half a year later, careening into a dystopian holiday season. With his epically low approval rating of 32 percent , the orange-tinted bad grandpa in the Oval Office has won a viciously regressive tax bill that is widely rejected by the populace. The bill was passed by a Republican-controlled Congress whose current approval rating stands at 13 percent. It is a major legislative victory for the Republicans, a party whose approval rating fell to an all-time low of 29 percent at the end of September -- a party that tried to send a child molester to the U.S. Senate.

[Dec 11, 2017] Strzok-Gate And The Mueller Cover-Up by Alexander Mercouris

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... If there were secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence such as might give rise to genuine concern that the national security of the United States might be compromised – for example because they were intended to swing the US election from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump – then the FBI would have a legitimate reason to investigate those contacts even if no actual crimes were committed during them. ..."
"... The point is however is that eighteen months after the start of the Russiagate investigation no evidence either of criminal acts or of secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence which might have placed the national security of the United States in jeopardy has come to light. ..."
"... There is no evidence of a criminal conspiracy by anyone in the Trump campaign involving the Russians. or the hacking of John Podesta's and the DNC's computers in order to steal emails from those computers and to have them published by Wikileaks; ..."
"... There is also no evidence of any secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence during the election which might have placed the national security of the United States in jeopardy. ..."
"... If no evidence either of a criminal conspiracy or of inappropriate secret contacts by the Trump campaign and the Russians has been found after eighteen months of intense investigation by the biggest and mightiest national security and intelligence community on the planet, then any reasonable person would conclude that that must be because no such evidence exists. ..."
"... Some months I expressed doubts that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would countenance fishing expeditions . It turns out I was wrong. On any objective assessment it is exactly such fishing expeditions that the Mueller investigation is now engaging in. ..."
"... Deutsche Bank is a German bank not a Russian bank. To insinuate that the Russians control Deutsche Bank – one of the world's leading international banks – because Deutsche Bank has had some previous financial dealings with various Russian banks and businesses is quite simply preposterous. I doubt that there is a single important bank in Germany or Austria of which that could not also be said. ..."
"... Which again begs the question why? Why are Mueller and the Justice Department resorting to these increasingly desperate actions in order to prove something which it ought to be obvious by now cannot be proved? ..."
"... My colleague Alex Christoforou has recently pointed out that the recent indictment of Michael Flynn seems to have been partly intended to shield Mueller from dismissal and to keep his Russiagate investigation alive. Some time ago I made exactly the same point about the indictments against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates and about the indictment against George Papadopoulos. ..."
"... Those indictments were issued directly after the Wall Street Journal published an editorial saying that Mueller should resign. ..."
"... It is the Wall Street Journal editorial which in fact provides the answer to Mueller's and Rosenstein's otherwise strange behaviour and to the way that Mueller has conducted the investigation up to now. The Wall Street Journal's editorial says that Mueller's past as the FBI's Director means that he is too close to the FBI to take an objective view of its actions. ..."
"... It is universally agreed that the FBI's then Director – Mueller's friend James Comey – broke protocols by the way he announced that Hillary Clinton had been cleared. ..."
"... By failing to bring charges against Hillary Clinton the FBI ensured that she would win the Democratic Party's nomination, and that she not Bernie Sanders would face off against Donald Trump in the election in the autumn. That is important because though the eventual – completely unexpected – election outcome was that Donald Trump won the election, which Hillary Clinton lost, every opinion poll which I have seen suggests that if the election had been between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump then Bernie Sanders would have won by a landslide. ..."
"... They played Sessions like a violin. Sessions recluses himself for a bullcrap Kisnyak speech, where he did not even meet him. Rosenstein then recommends Trump fire Comey -- who wanted to be fired so they would appoint a special prosecutor -- which Rosenstein does -- Mueller, to the acclamation of ALL of Con and the Senate-including Republicans. ..."
"... Trump was pissed because they removed his only defender from Mueller -- the head of the DOJ. He knew it was a setup, so went ballistic when he found out about Sessions recusing. ..."
"... Strzok was obviously at a VERY senior pay grade. It would be very surprising if HR had any jobs at Strzok's pay grade. ..."
"... once this special prosecutor is done, congress needs to rewrite the special prosecutor law to narrow their mandate to just the item allowed to be investigated - no fishing expeditions - enough of this stupidity - and maybe put a renewal clause in there so that it has to be renewed every 12 months... ..."
"... This is, and always has been a sideshow for the "true believers" in the Democrap party and all Hitlary supporters to accuse Trump of EXACTLY what Hitlary did ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Alexander Mercouris via TheDuran.com,

Almost eighteen months after Obama's Justice Department and the FBI launched the Russiagate investigation, and seven months after Special Counsel Robert Mueller took the investigation over, the sum total of what it has achieved is as follows

(1) an indictment of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates which concerns entirely their prior financial dealings, and which makes no reference to the Russiagate collusion allegations;

(2) an indictment for lying to the FBI of George Papadopoulos, the junior volunteer staffer of the Trump campaign, who during the 2016 Presidential election had certain contacts with members of a Moscow based Russian NGO, which he sought to pass off – falsely and unsuccessfully – as more important than they really were, and which also does not touch on the Russiagate collusion allegations; and

(3) an indictment for lying to the FBI of Michael Flynn arising from his perfectly legitimate and entirely legal contacts with the Russian ambassador after the 2016 Presidential election, which also does not touch on the Russiagate collusion allegations, and which looks as if it was brought about by an act of entrapment .

Of actual evidence to substantiate the claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election Mueller has so far come up with nothing.

Here I wish to say something briefly about the nature of "collusion".

There is no criminal offence of "collusion" known to US law, which has led some to make the point that Mueller is investigating a crime which does not exist.

There is some force to this point, but it is one which must be heavily qualified:

(1) Though there is no crime of "collusion" in US law, there most certainly is the crime of conspiracy to perform a criminal act.

Should it ever be established that members of the Trump campaign arranged with the Russians for the Russians to hack the DNC's and John Podesta's computers and to steal the emails from those computers so that they could be published by Wikileaks, then since hacking and theft are serious criminal acts a criminal conspiracy would be established, and it would be the entirely proper to do to bring criminal charges against those who were involved in it.

This is the central allegation which lies behind the whole Russiagate case, and is the crime which Mueller is supposed to be investigating.

(2) The FBI is not merely a police and law enforcement agency. It is also the US's counter-espionage agency.

If there were secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence such as might give rise to genuine concern that the national security of the United States might be compromised – for example because they were intended to swing the US election from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump – then the FBI would have a legitimate reason to investigate those contacts even if no actual crimes were committed during them.

Since impeachment is a purely political process and not a legal process, should it ever be established that there were such secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence which might have placed the national security of the United States in jeopardy, then I have no doubt that Congress would say that there were grounds for impeachment even if no criminal offences had been committed during them.

The point is however is that eighteen months after the start of the Russiagate investigation no evidence either of criminal acts or of secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence which might have placed the national security of the United States in jeopardy has come to light.

Specifically:

(1) There is no evidence of a criminal conspiracy by anyone in the Trump campaign involving the Russians. or the hacking of John Podesta's and the DNC's computers in order to steal emails from those computers and to have them published by Wikileaks; and

(2) There is also no evidence of any secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence during the election which might have placed the national security of the United States in jeopardy.

Such contacts as did take place between the Trump campaign and the Russians were limited and innocuous and had no effect on the outcome of the election. Specifically there is no evidence of any concerted action between the Trump campaign and the Russians to swing the election from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.

As I have previously discussed, the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya is not such evidence .

If no evidence either of a criminal conspiracy or of inappropriate secret contacts by the Trump campaign and the Russians has been found after eighteen months of intense investigation by the biggest and mightiest national security and intelligence community on the planet, then any reasonable person would conclude that that must be because no such evidence exists.

Why then is the investigation still continuing?

Some months I expressed doubts that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would countenance fishing expeditions. It turns out I was wrong. On any objective assessment it is exactly such fishing expeditions that the Mueller investigation is now engaging in.

How else to explain the strange decision to subpoena Deutsche Bank for information about loans granted by Deutsche Bank to Donald Trump and his businesses?

Deutsche Bank is a German bank not a Russian bank. To insinuate that the Russians control Deutsche Bank – one of the world's leading international banks – because Deutsche Bank has had some previous financial dealings with various Russian banks and businesses is quite simply preposterous. I doubt that there is a single important bank in Germany or Austria of which that could not also be said.

Yet in the desperation to find some connection between Donald Trump and Russia it is to these absurdities that Mueller is reduced to.

Which again begs the question why? Why are Mueller and the Justice Department resorting to these increasingly desperate actions in order to prove something which it ought to be obvious by now cannot be proved?

My colleague Alex Christoforou has recently pointed out that the recent indictment of Michael Flynn seems to have been partly intended to shield Mueller from dismissal and to keep his Russiagate investigation alive. Some time ago I made exactly the same point about the indictments against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates and about the indictment against George Papadopoulos.

Those indictments were issued directly after the Wall Street Journal published an editorial saying that Mueller should resign.

The indictment against Manafort and Gates looks sloppy and rushed. Perhaps I am wrong but there has to be at least a suspicion that the indictments were issued in a hurry to still criticism of Mueller of the kind that was now appearing in the Wall Street Journal.

Presumably the reason the indictment against Flynn was delayed was because his lawyers had just signaled Flynn's interest in a plea bargain, and it took a few more weeks of negotiating to work that out.

It is the Wall Street Journal editorial which in fact provides the answer to Mueller's and Rosenstein's otherwise strange behaviour and to the way that Mueller has conducted the investigation up to now. The Wall Street Journal's editorial says that Mueller's past as the FBI's Director means that he is too close to the FBI to take an objective view of its actions.

In fact the Wall Street Journal was more right than it perhaps realised. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the FBI's actions are open to very serious criticism to say the least, and that Mueller is simply not the person who can be trusted to take an objective view of those actions.

Over the course of the 2016 election the FBI cleared Hillary Clinton over her illegal use of a private server to route classified emails whilst she was Secretary of State though it is universally agreed that she broke the law by doing so.

The FBI does not seem to have even considered investigating Hillary Clinton for possible obstruction of justice after it also became known that she had actually destroyed thousands of her emails which passed through her private server, though that was an obvious thing to do.

It is universally agreed that the FBI's then Director – Mueller's friend James Comey – broke protocols by the way he announced that Hillary Clinton had been cleared.

By failing to bring charges against Hillary Clinton the FBI ensured that she would win the Democratic Party's nomination, and that she not Bernie Sanders would face off against Donald Trump in the election in the autumn. That is important because though the eventual – completely unexpected – election outcome was that Donald Trump won the election, which Hillary Clinton lost, every opinion poll which I have seen suggests that if the election had been between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump then Bernie Sanders would have won by a landslide.

In other words it was because of the FBI's actions in the first half of 2016 that Bernie Sanders is not now the President of the United States.

In addition instead of independently investigating the DNC's claims that the Russians had hacked the DNC's and John Podesta's computers, the FBI simply accepted the opinion of an expert – Crowdstrike – paid for by the DNC, which it is now known was partly funded and was entirely controlled by the Hillary Clinton campaign, that hacks of those computers had actually taken place and that the Russians were the perpetrators.

As a result Hillary Clinton was able to say during the election that the reason emails which had passed through those computers and which showed her and her campaign in a bad light were being published by Wikileaks was because the Russians had stolen the emails by hacking the computers in order to help Donald Trump.

It is now known that the FBI also met with Christopher Steele, the compiler of the Trump Dossier, who is now known to have been in the pay of the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign. The first meeting apparently took place in early July 2016, shortly before the Russiagate investigation was launched.

Whilst there is some confusion about whether the FBI actually paid Steele for his information, it is now known that Steele was in contact with the FBI throughout the election and continued to be so after, and that the FBI gave credence to his work.

Recently it has also come to light that Steele was also directly in touch with Obama's Justice Department, a fact which was only disclosed recently.

The best account of this has been provided by Byron York writing for The Washington Examiner

The department's Bruce Ohr, a career official, served as associate deputy attorney general at the time of the campaign. That placed him just below the deputy attorney general, Sally Yates, who ran the day-to-day operations of the department. In 2016, Ohr's office was just steps away from Yates, who was later fired for defying President Trump's initial travel ban executive order and still later became a prominent anti-Trump voice upon leaving the Justice Department.

Unbeknownst to investigators until recently, Ohr knew Steele and had repeated contacts with Steele when Steele was working on the dossier. Ohr also met after the election with Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS, the opposition research company that was paid by the Clinton campaign to compile the dossier.

Word that Ohr met with Steele and Simpson, first reported by Fox News' James Rosen and Jake Gibson, was news to some current officials in the Justice Department. Shortly after learning it, they demoted Ohr, taking away his associate deputy attorney general title and moving him full time to another position running the department's organized crime drug enforcement task forces.

It is also now known that over the course of the election the FBI – on the basis of information in the Trump Dossier – obtained at least one warrant from the FISA court which made it possible for it to undertake surveillance during and after the election of persons belonging to involved the campaign team of Hillary Clinton's opponent Donald Trump.

In response to subpoenas issued at the instigation of the Congressman Devin Nunes the FBI has recently admitted that the Trump Dossier cannot be verified .

However the FBI and the Justice Department have so far failed to provide in response to these subpoenas information about the precise role of the Trump Dossier in triggering the Russiagate investigation.

The FBI's and the Justice Department's failure to provide this information recently provoked an angry exchange between FBI Director Christopher Wray and Congressman Jim Jordan during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

During that hearing Jordan said to Wray the following

Let's remember a couple of things about the dossier. The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, which we now know were one and the same, paid the law firm who paid Fusion GPS who paid Christopher Steele who then paid Russians to put together a report that we call a dossier full of all kinds of fake news, National Enquirer garbage and it's been reported that this dossier was all dressed up by the FBI, taken to the FISA court and presented as a legitimate intelligence document -- that it became the basis for a warrant to spy on Americans.

In response Wray refused to say officially whether or not the Trump Dossier played any role in the FBI obtaining the FISA warrants.

This was so even though officials of the FBI – including former FBI Director James Comey – have slipped out in earlier Congressional testimony that it did.

This is also despite the fact that this information is not classified and ought already to have been provided by the Justice Department and the FBI in response to Congressman Nunes's subpoenas.

There is now talk of FBI Director Christopher Wray and of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein being held in contempt of Congress because of the failure of the Justice Department and the FBI to comply with Congressman Nunes's subpoenas.

During the exchanges between Wray and Jordan at the hearing in the House Judiciary Committee Jordan also had this to say

Here's what I think -- I think Peter Strozk (sic) Mr. Super Agent at the FBI, I think he's the guy who took the application to the FISA court and if that happened, if this happened , if you have the FBI working with a campaign, the Democrats' campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document so they can take it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign, if that happened, that is as wrong as it gets

Peter Strzok is the senior FBI official who is now known to have had a leading role in both the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's misuse of her private server and in the Russiagate investigation.

Strzok is now also known to have been the person who changed the wording in Comey's statement clearing Hillary Clinton for her misuse of her private email server to say that Hillary Clinton had been "extremely careless'" as opposed to "grossly negligent".

Strzok – who was the FBI's deputy director for counter-intelligence – is now also known to have been the person who signed the document which launched the Russiagate investigation in July 2016.

Fox News has reported that Strzok was also the person who supervised the FBI's questioning of Michael Flynn. It is not clear whether this covers the FBI's interview with Flynn on 24th January 2017 during which Flynn lied to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. However it is likely that it does.

If so then this is potentially important given that it was Flynn's lying to the FBI during this interview which made up the case against him and to which he has now pleaded guilty. It is potentially even more important given the strong indications that Flynn's interview with the FBI on 24th January 2017 was a set-up intended to entrap him by tricking him into lying to the FBI.

As the FBI's deputy director of counter-intelligence it is also highly likely that it was Strozk who was the official within the FBI who supervised the FBI's contacts with Christopher Steele, and who would have been the official within the FBI who was provided by Steele with the Trump Dossier and who would have made the first assessment of the Trump Dossier.

Recently it has been disclosed that Special Counsel Mueller sacked Strzok from the Russiagate investigation supposedly after it was discovered that Strzok had been sending anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton messages to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer with whom he was having an affair.

These messages were sent by Strzok to his lover during the election, but apparently only came to light in July this year, when Mueller supposedly sacked Strzok because of them.

It seems that since then Strzok has been working in the FBI's human resources department, an astonishing demotion for the FBI's former deputy director for counter-intelligence who was apparently previously considered the FBI's top expert on Russia.

Some people have questioned whether the sending of the messages could possibly be the true reason why Strzok was sacked. My colleague Alex Christoforou has reported on some of the bafflement that this extraordinary sacking and demotion has caused.

Business Insider reports the anguished comments of former FBI officials incredulous that Strzok could have been sacked for such a trivial reason. Here is what Business Insider reports one ex FBI official Mark Rossini as having said

It would be literally impossible for one human being to have the power to change or manipulate evidence or intelligence according to their own political preferences. FBI agents, like anyone else, are human beings. We are allowed to have our political beliefs. If anything, the overwhelming majority of agents are conservative Republicans.

This is obviously right. Though the ex-FBI officials questioned by Business Insider are clearly supporters of Strzok and critics of Donald Trump, the same point has been made from the other side of the political divide by Congressman Jim Jordan

If you get kicked off the Mueller team for being anti-Trump, there wouldn't be anybody left on the Mueller team. There has to be more

Adding to the mystery about Strzok's sacking is why the FBI took five months to confirm it.

Mueller apparently sacked Strzok from the Russiagate investigation in July and it was apparently then that Strzok was simultaneously sacked from his previous post of deputy director for counter-espionage and transferred to human resources. The FBI has however only disclosed his sacking now, five months later and only in response to demands for information from Congressional investigators.

There is in fact an obvious explanation for Strzok's sacking and the strange circumstances surrounding it, and I am sure that it is the one which Congressman Jordan had in mind during his angry exchanges with FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Recently the FBI has admitted to Congress that it has failed to verify the Trump Dossier.

I suspect that Congressman Jordan believes that the true reason why Strzok was sacked is that Strzok's credibility had become so tied to the Trump Dossier that when its credibility collapsed over the course of the summer when the FBI finally realised that it could not be verified his credibility collapsed with it.

If so then I am sure that Congressman Jordan is right.

We now know from a variety of sources but first and foremost from the testimony to Congress of Carter Page that the Trump Dossier provided the frame narrative for the Russiagate investigation until just a few months ago.

We also know that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report about supposed Russian meddling in the 2016 election which was shown by the US intelligence chiefs to President elect Trump during their stormy meeting with him on 8th January 2017.

The fact that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report shows that at the start of this year the top officials of the FBI and of the US intelligence community – Comey, Clapper, Brennan and the rest – believed in its truth.

The June 2017 article in the Washington Post (discussed by me here ) also all but confirms that it was the Trump Dossier that provided the information which the CIA sent to President Obama in August 2016 which supposedly 'proved' that the Russians were interfering in the election.

As the BBC has pointed out , it was also the Trump Dossier which Congressman Adam Schiff – the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Community, who appears to be very close to some of the FBI investigators involved in the Russiagate case – as well as the FBI's Russiagate investigators were using as the narrative frame when questioning witnesses about their supposed role in Russiagate.

These facts make it highly likely that it was indeed the Trump Dossier which provided the information which the FBI used to obtain all the surveillance warrants the FBI obtained from the FISA court during the 2016 election and afterwards.

Strzok's position as the FBI's deputy director for counter-intelligence makes it highly likely that he was the key official within the FBI who decided that the Trump Dossier should be given credence, whilst his known actions during the Hillary Clinton private server investigation and during the Russiagate investigation make it highly likely that it was he who was the official within the FBI who sought and obtained the FISA warrants.

Given Strzok's central role in the Russiagate investigation going back all the way to its start in July 2016, there also has to be a possibility that it was Strzok who was behind many of the leaks coming from the investigation which so destabilised the Trump administration at the start of the year.

This once again points to the true scandal of the 2016 election.

On the strength of a fake Dossier paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community carried out surveillance during the election of US citizens who were members of the campaign team of Hillary Clinton's opponent Donald Trump.

Given the hugely embarrassing implications of this for the FBI, it is completely understandable why Strzok, if he was the person who was ultimately responsible for this debacle – as he very likely was – and if he was responsible for some of the leaks – as he very likely also was – was sacked and exiled to human resources when it was finally concluded that the Trump Dossier upon which all the FBI's actions were based could not be verified.

It would also explain why the FBI sought to keep Strzok's sacking secret, so that it was only disclosed five months after it happened and then only in response to questions from Congressional investigators, with a cover story about inappropriate anti-Trump messages being spread about in order to explain it.

This surely is also the reason why in defiance both of evidence and logic the Russiagate investigation continues.

Given the debacle the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community are facing, it is completely understandable why they should want to keep the Russiagate investigation alive in order to draw attention away from their own activities.

Put in this way it is Robert Mueller's investigation which is the cover-up, and the surveillance which is the wrongdoing that the cover up is trying to excuse or conceal, which is what I said nine months ago in March .

Congressman Jordan has again recently called for a second Special Counsel to be appointed .

When the suggestion of appointing a second Special Counsel was first floated last month the suggestion was that the focus of the second Special Counsel's investigation would be the Uranium One affair.

That always struck me as misconceived not because there may not be things to investigate in the Uranium One case but because the focus of any new investigation should be what happened during the 2016 election, not what happened during the Uranium one case.

Congressman Jordan has now correctly identified the surveillance of US citizens by the US national security bureaucracy during the election as the primary focus of the proposed investigation to be conducted by the second Special Counsel.

In truth there should be no second Special Counsel. Since there is no Russiagate collusion to investigate the Russiagate investigation – ie. the investigation headed by Mueller – should be wound up.

There should be only one Special Counsel tasked with looking into what is the real scandal of the 2016 election: the surveillance of US citizens carried out during the election by the US national security bureaucracy on the basis of the Trump Dossier.

I remain intensely skeptical that this will happen. However the fact that some members of Congress such as Congressman Nunes (recently cleared of charges that he acted inappropriately by disclosing details of the surveillance back in March) and Congressman Jordan are starting to demand it is a hopeful sign.

BennyBoy -> MozartIII , Dec 10, 2017 1:29 PM

Top Clinton Aides Face No Charges After Making False Statements To FBI

Neither of the Clinton associates, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, faced legal consequences for their misleading statements, which they made in interviews last year with former FBI section chief Peter Strzok.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/12/04/clinton-aides-went-unpunished-after-making-false-statements-to-anti-trump-fbi-supervisor/

zorba THE GREEK -> Cynicles II , Dec 10, 2017 12:53 PM

These are acts to overthrow the legitimate government of the USA and therefore constitute treason. Treason is still punishable by death. It is time for some public hangings. Trump should declare martial law. Put Patraeus and Flint in charge and drain the swamp like he promised...

Oldwood -> zorba THE GREEK , Dec 10, 2017 2:57 PM

Absolutely. This is not political, about justice or corruption or election coercion, this is about keeping the fires lit under Trump, no matter how lame or lying, in the hopes that something, anything, will arise that could be used to unseat Trump. Something that by itself would be controversial but ultimately a nothing-burger, but piled upon the months and years of lies used to build a false consensus of corruption, criminality and impropriety of Trump. Their goal has always been to undermine Trump by convincing the world that Trump is evil and unfit using nothing but lies, that without Trump's endless twitter counters would have buried him by now. While they know that can't convince a significant majority that these lies are true, what they can do is convince the majority that everyone else thinks it true, thereby in theory enabling them to unseat Trump with minimal resistance, assuming many will simply stand down in the face of a PERCEIVED overwhelming majority.

This is about constructing a false premise that they can use minimal FACTS to confirm. They are trying and testing every day this notion with continuing probes and jabs in hopes that something....anything, sticks.

Hikikomori -> zorba THE GREEK , Dec 10, 2017 3:26 PM

Just part of the War on Men. Trump is a man. He lost to It's Her Turn. Therefore he must be taken down.

robertsgt40 -> Cynicles II , Dec 10, 2017 1:03 PM

Solve the Seth Rich murder and we'll know who "hacked" the DNC emails. Paging John Podesta.

Lumberjack -> NoDebt , Dec 10, 2017 12:44 PM

More Clinton ties on Mueller team: One deputy attended Clinton party, another rep'd top aide

https://www.google.com/amp/www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/08/more-clin...

turbojarhead -> NoDebt , Dec 10, 2017 2:12 PM

I have a question, if someone could answer.

Mueller is a lot of things, but he is a politician, and skilled at that, as he has survived years in Washington.

So why choose KNOWN partisans for your investigation? He may not have known about Strzok, but he surely knew about Weitsmann's ties to HRC, about Rhee being Rhodes personal attorney,..so why put them on, knowing that the investigations credibility would be damaged? No way most of this would not come out, just due to the constant leaks from the FBI/DOJ.

What is the real goal, other than taking Trump down and covering up FBI/DOJ/Obama Admin malfeasance? These goons are all highly experienced swamp dwellers, so I think there is something that is being missed here..

MissCellany , Dec 10, 2017 1:03 PM

" The fact that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report shows that at the start of this year the top officials of the FBI and of the US intelligence community – Comey, Clapper, Brennan and the rest – believed in its truth. "

Oh, bull crap. None of them believed a word of it, and at least some of them were in on the dossier's creation.

They just wanted to put over their impeach/resist/remove scam on us deplorables so they could hang on to power and maintain secrecy over all their years of criminal activity.

lester1 , Dec 10, 2017 1:33 PM

Obama weaponized the NSA and FBI to try and take out Trump.

Obama figured Hillary would win and everything would be swept under the rug.

Hopefully Trump fires Mueller over the Christmas weekend!

Reaper , Dec 10, 2017 1:34 PM

The FBI is a fraud on the sheeple. Indoctrinated sheeple believe FBI testimony. The M.O. of the FBI is entrapment of victims and entrapped witnesses against victims using their Form 302 interrogations. The FBI uses forensic evidence from which gullible juries trust the FBI financed reports. Power corrupts. The power to be believed because of indoctrination corrupts absolutely.

https://boingboing.net/2013/05/07/dont-ever-speak-to-the-fbi-w.html

https://www.nationofchange.org/2015/04/21/doj-admits-fbi-forensic-examin...

Trump as Chief Executive can end the FBI policy of interviews without recordings being used to entrap victims and witnesses.

thebigunit , Dec 10, 2017 1:34 PM

EXCELLENT ANALYSIS! A+++

Strzok-Gate And The Mueller Cover-Up

It makes perfect sense.

Stopdreaming -> loveyajimbo , Dec 10, 2017 1:54 PM

They have the goods on Sessions...he was blackmailed. No other logical explanation for his lack of fortitude.

thebigunit -> loveyajimbo , Dec 10, 2017 2:03 PM

Keep your powder dry. Hold your fire until you see the whites of their eyes.

All this crap comes down to ONE THING: Sessions ... why he refuses to fire a mega-conflicted and corrupt POS Mueller...

Investigative reporter Sarah Carter hinted (last Friday?) that something big would be happening "probably within the next forty-eight hours". She related this specifically to a comment that Sessions had been virtually invisible.

I will make a prediction:

THE COMING WEEK WILL BE A TUMULTUOUS WEEK FOR THOSE OBSESSED BY THE "RUSSIA COLLUSION CONSPIRACY" .

First, Sessions will announce significant findings and actions which will directly attack the Trump-Russia-Collusion narrative.

And then, the Democrats/Media/Hillary Campaign will launch a hystierical, viscious, demented political counter attack in a final onslaught to take down Trump.

Expect to see Soros mobs in the streets.

Either Mueller goes, or Trump goes.

turbojarhead -> loveyajimbo , Dec 10, 2017 2:37 PM

They played Sessions like a violin. Sessions recluses himself for a bullcrap Kisnyak speech, where he did not even meet him. Rosenstein then recommends Trump fire Comey -- who wanted to be fired so they would appoint a special prosecutor -- which Rosenstein does -- Mueller, to the acclamation of ALL of Con and the Senate-including Republicans.

When Trump tries to get out of the trap by leaking he is thinking about firing Sessions, Lispin Lindsey goes on television to say that will not be allowed too happen. If he fires Sessions, Congress would not approve ANY of Trump's picks for DOJ-leaving Rosenstein in charge anyway.

Trump was pissed because they removed his only defender from Mueller -- the head of the DOJ. He knew it was a setup, so went ballistic when he found out about Sessions recusing.

thebigunit , Dec 10, 2017 1:40 PM

There is good reason for optimism: Trumpus Maximus is on the case.

I remain intensely skeptical that this will happen. However the fact that some members of Congress such as Congressman Nunes (recently cleared of charges that he acted inappropriately by disclosing details of the surveillance back in March) and Congressman Jordan are starting to demand it is a hopeful sign.

The design has been exposed. It is now fairly clear WHAT the conspirators did.

We now enter the neutralization and mop-up phase.

And, very likely, people who know things will be EAGER to talk:

FBI agents, like anyone else, are human beings. We are allowed to have our political beliefs. If anything, the overwhelming majority of agents are conservative Republicans.

ClowardPiven2016 , Dec 10, 2017 1:51 PM

Strozk demoted to HR...but his take home pay is probably the same

thebigunit -> ClowardPiven2016 , Dec 10, 2017 2:02 PM

EXACTLY!

Strozk demoted to HR...but his take home pay is probably the same

Strzok was obviously at a VERY senior pay grade. It would be very surprising if HR had any jobs at Strzok's pay grade.

Mzhen , Dec 10, 2017 1:57 PM

Bloomberg fed a fake leak that Mueller had subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank. Democrats (Schiff) on the House Intelligence Committee fed fake information about Don Jr. that was leaked to CNN. Leading to an embarrassing retraction. ABC's Brian Ross fed a fake leak about the Flynn indictment. Leading to an embarrassing retraction.

Maybe the operation that Sessions set up some time ago to catch leakers is bearing fruit after all. And Mueller should realize that the ice is breaking up all around him.

Angelo Misterioso , Dec 10, 2017 1:57 PM

once this special prosecutor is done, congress needs to rewrite the special prosecutor law to narrow their mandate to just the item allowed to be investigated - no fishing expeditions - enough of this stupidity - and maybe put a renewal clause in there so that it has to be renewed every 12 months...

Nunyadambizness , Dec 10, 2017 2:34 PM

This is, and always has been a sideshow for the "true believers" in the Democrap party and all Hitlary supporters to accuse Trump of EXACTLY what Hitlary did, in the classic method of diversion. Sideshow magicians have been doing it for millenia--"Look over there" while the real work is done elsewhere. The true believers don't want to believe that Hitlary and the Democrap party are complicit in the selling of Uranium One to the Ruskies for $145 million. No, no, that was something completely different and Hitlary is not guilty of selling out the interests of the US for money. Nope, Trump colluded with the Russians to win the election. Yep, that's it.

Mueller is now the official head of a shit show that's coming apart at the seams. He was too stupid to even bring on ANY non-Hitlary supporting leftists which could have given him a smidgen of equibility, instead he stacked the deck with sycophant libtard leftists who by their very nature take away ANY concept of impartiality, and any jury on the planet would see through the connivance like glass. My guess is he's far too stupid to stop, and I happily await the carnage of his actions as they decimate the Democrap party.

Show's on, who's bringing the chips?

[Nov 05, 2017] Donna Brazile says critics of Hillary Clinton revelations can go to hell by Martin Pengelly

Presstitutes from guardian have no shame. Look, for example, at the following statement "The former Clinton staffers – among them high-profile figures such as Huma Abedin, Jennifer Palmieri and campaign manager Robby Mook, the target of stringent criticism from Brazile – wrote: "It is particularly troubling and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into false Russian-fueled propaganda, spread by both the Russians and our opponent , about our candidate's health."
It is widely suspected that Hillary Clinton has second stage of Parkinson or some other serious neurological diseases?
It is telling that Guardian is afraid to open comments on this article.
Notable quotes:
"... Regarding the primary, in which Sanders – a Vermont independent – mounted a surprisingly strong challenge, Brazile writes in her book that a joint fundraising agreement between Clinton and the DNC "looked unethical" and she felt Clinton had too much influence on the party. ..."
Nov 05, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

She also said she "got sick and tired of people trying to tell me how to spend money" as DNC chair, when she "wasn't getting a salary. I was basically volunteering my time".

"I'm not Patsey the slave," Brazile said, referring to a character in the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave.

In her book, Brazile writes that she did not ultimately try to make the change of candidate because: "I thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud of and excited about her. I could not do this to them."

On ABC, she admitted she had not had the power to make the change but said: "I had to put in on the the table because I was under tremendous pressure after Secretary Clinton fainted to have a quote-unquote plan B. I didn't want a plan B. Plan A was great for me. I supported Hillary and I wanted her to win. But we were under pressure."

Brazile writes that on 12 September 2016, Biden's chief of staff called saying the vice-president wanted to speak with her. Her thought, she writes, was: "Gee, I wonder what he wanted to talk to me about?"

On ABC, she said she did not mention the possible switch. "I mean, look, everybody was called in to see, do you know anything? How is she doing? And of course my job at the time was to reassure people, not just the vice-president but also reassure the Democratic party, the members of the party, that Hillary was doing fine and that she would resume her campaign the following week."

It is unclear if Biden was ever willing to step into the race. The former vice-president, who many believe could a run for the presidency in 2020, made no immediate comment.

Asked if she still thinks a Biden-Booker ticket could have won, Brazile equivocated, saying: "Well, you know, I had a lot of other combinations. This was something you play out in your mind."

Regarding the primary, in which Sanders – a Vermont independent – mounted a surprisingly strong challenge, Brazile writes in her book that a joint fundraising agreement between Clinton and the DNC "looked unethical" and she felt Clinton had too much influence on the party.

[Oct 12, 2017] Are those my words coming out of Steve Bannons mouth? by Thomas Frank

Like Obama before him Trump proved to be a very talented "bat and switcher".
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump's presidential campaign took this cynical strategy farther than any of his Republican predecessors, openly reaching out to alienated working-class voters, the backbone of so many left-wing protest movements. ..."
"... Trump told us he was going to do something about Nafta, a left-wing bête noir since the 1990s. He promised to revive Glass Steagall. He claimed to care so very, very much about the people of the deindustrialized zones whose sufferings have been so thoroughly documented by left-wing authors. ..."
"... When Sanders decided to support HRC, I figured nothing will ever change. He built up a lot of hope (as did Obama), only to pull the rug out at the eleventh hour. ..."
"... Moving to the far towards the "progressive" left, the Democratic party abandoned the working and middle classes in favor of the coastal well to do city dwellers while trying to appeal to the "oppressed identity" single issue "groups". ..."
"... People got tired of losing their jobs to "globalization", with the government deciding what they can do with policies of "diversity", which is essentially a quota system, and with having ideologues and bureaucrats decide what is good or bad for them. ..."
"... If we lost the base of the Democratic party it wasn't because it was stolen from us. It was because it was given away. We started giving it away when we learned the wrong lesson after Ronald Reagan and thought that we had to move to the right with Bill Clinton to win the presidency. ..."
"... Clinton is the ultimate Swamp Creature,and large reason for her loss is that she spent more time with her high dollar donors then in swing states. How do you think the "Clinton Foundation" got so big? ..."
"... So the Democrats embraced the moneyed establishment because they felt they had to to win, while the Republicans denounced that same establishment but only as part of a bait-and-switch strategy. Meanwhile the establishment hedges their bets and wins no matter what the election outcome. ..."
"... I agree, the New Deal was quite leftist, in the sense that it acknowledged the crisis which had struck the working class. It's atypical in the history of the Democratic Party, which has been devoted to advancing the interests of U.S. corporations and since the Clinton years, those of multinational business consortia. But even the New Deal was a far cry from a revolutionary call to arms. In fact, it was meant to curtail such agitation. Roosevelt said as much. ..."
"... There is no left movement in Washington. Each is going after money from lobbyists. I just see the USA rapidly consuming itself and fragmenting. It has poor social, medical, policing programs. And it continues to digest itself in petty hate between the Democrats and Republicans. It really has no serious governance and worse its flagship superior court is now being sold to capitalism ..."
"... Identity politics is what the oligarchy is using to divide us. I just think it is counterproductive to battle each other when the upward mobility is being taken from us. I wish others could see it. ..."
"... Immigration restrictionists in the US have for decades fought the corporate establishment. In fact, we have fought what are probably the most powerful coalitions of special interests in human history, coalitions of corporate predators, Big Labor, Big Religion, Big Media, and Big Government. ..."
"... There are plenty of populists in the Republican Party, but the governing portion of the party is solidly neocon. Hence the battle between President Trump and the "17 intelligence agencies," and the remarkable undermining of Trump's foreign policy proposals by his own cabinet. ..."
"... Just as the progressive base of the Democratic Party is suppressed by the corporatists at the DNC and other centralized party organs, the Republican base is a captive to its Washington elite power brokers. ..."
"... Apparently 'isolationism' now means simply advocating for some restraint on endless global US military interventionism, hundreds and hundreds of bases in 80+ countries, and trillion dollar 'defence' budgets. ..."
"... I'll take an isolationist over a neo-con any day. ..."
"... The "traditional base" of the Democratic Party was destroyed long ago by de-industrialisation, hollowing of labor law, and now by opioids of the masses. The present day DNC is run by and for their army of contractors, lobbyists, bunglers, and wreckers. ..."
"... I hate to say it to you, but Trump voters who live in Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Iowa weren't looking for upscale living and calling for lower corporate taxes etc. One out of four WV residents are living under economic distress. They just want decent jobs and a government that represents working people, not the wealthy. ..."
Oct 12, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Oct 6, 2017

here's was a moment in Steve Bannon's recent 60 Minutes inter view when the former presidential advisor was asked what he's done to drain "the swamp," the Trumpists' favorite metaphor for everything they hate about Washington DC. Here was Bannon's reply: "The swamp is 50 years in the making. Let's talk about the swamp. The swamp is a business model. It's a successful business model. It's a donor, consultant, K Street lobbyist, politician ... 7 of the 9 wealthiest counties in America ring Washington, DC."

With a shock of recognition I knew immediately what Bannon meant, because what he was talking about was the subject matter of my 2008 book, The Wrecking Crew – the interconnected eco-system of corruption that makes Washington, DC so rich.

The first chapter of my book had been a description of those wealthy counties that ring Washington, DC: the fine cars, the billowing homes, the expense-account restaurants. The rest of the book was my attempt to explain the system that made possible the earthly paradise of Washington and – just like Steve Bannon – I did it by referring to a business model: the political donors and the K Street lobbyists, who act in combination with politicians of the Tom DeLay variety.

My critique of Washington was distinctly from the left, and it astonished me to hear something very close to my argument coming from the mouth of one of the nation's most prominent conservatives. But in fact, Bannon has a long history of reaching out to the left – you might say, of swiping its populist language and hijacking its causes.

In this space back in February, for example, I described Bannon's bizarre 2010 pseudo-documentary about the financial crisis, which superficially resembles actual documentaries, but which swerves to blame this failure of the deregulated financial system on the counterculture of the 1960s.

Bannon's once-famous denunciation of Wall Street banks for their role in the financial crisis is another example. His fondness for the author Christopher Lasch is also revealing. As was his admiring phone call with Robert Kuttner, a well-known liberal editor, which happened just before Bannon left his high-ranking White House job in August.

Mimicry is supposed to be a form of flattery, right

Dig a little deeper, and it sometimes seems like the history of the populist right – with its calls to "organize discontent" and its endless war against "the establishment" and the "elites" – is nothing but a history of reformatting left-wing ideas to fit the needs of the billionaire class. Think of Ronald Reagan's (and Mike Pence's) deliberate reprise of Franklin Roosevelt. Or the constant echoes of Depression-era themes and imagery that one heard from the Tea Party movement.

Donald Trump's presidential campaign took this cynical strategy farther than any of his Republican predecessors, openly reaching out to alienated working-class voters, the backbone of so many left-wing protest movements.

Trump told us he was going to do something about Nafta, a left-wing bête noir since the 1990s. He promised to revive Glass Steagall. He claimed to care so very, very much about the people of the deindustrialized zones whose sufferings have been so thoroughly documented by left-wing authors.

So many fine, militant words. So many clarion calls rousing the people against corrupt elites. And now comes Steve Bannon, the terror of the Republican establishment, hectoring us about "the swamp" with ideas so strikingly similar to my own.

Look at deeds rather than words, however, and it seems as though Trump and his gang have been using The Wrecking Crew more as a how-to guide than anything else. In that book, for example, I pointed out that one of the hallmarks of modern conservative governance is the placement of people who are hostile to the mission of federal agencies in positions of authority in those very agencies.

This is an essential component of the Washington corruption Bannon loves to deplore – and yet this is precisely what Bannon's man Trump has done. Betsy DeVos, a foe of public schools, is running the Department of Education. Scott Pruitt, a veteran antagonist of the EPA, has been put in charge of the EPA. Rick Perry now runs the Department of Energy, an agency he once proposed to abolish.

Another characteristic of the DC wrecking crew is a war on competence within the Federal bureaucracy – and that, too, is back on, courtesy of the folks who rallied you against corruption so movingly last year.

Lobbying ? The industry appears to be gearing up for a return of its Reagan-era golden age. In the early days of the administration, lobbyists were appointed en masse to team Trump and a brigade of brash new K Street personalities is rising up to replace the old guard.

Privatization? The people in DC are trying it again, and this time on a gigantic scale. Trump's ultra-populist infrastructure promise now seems to be little more than a vast scheme for encouraging investment firms to take over the country's highways and bridges. Even the dreams of privatized war are back, brought to you courtesy of the enterprising Erik Prince, a familiar face from the worst days of the Iraq war.

Above it all towers the traditional Republican ideal of business-in-government. "The government should be run like a great American company," is how Jared Kushner puts it this time around; and with his private-jet-set cabinet Donald Trump is going to show the nation exactly what that philosophy looks like.

All the elements are here. The conclusion is unquestionable. The wrecking crew is back.

And why is it back? Because, among other things, Republicans are better at fulminating against the wrecking crew than are Democrats. Maybe that's because Democratic leaders feel it's inappropriate to use such blunt and crude language.

Maybe that's because, for 40 years or so, the leadership faction of the Democratic Party has been at war with its own left wing, defining us out of the conversation, turning a deaf ear to our demands, denouncing populism even as the right grabbed for it with both hands. Either way, the Democrats seem to have no intention of changing their approach now.

Maybe we on the left should take consolation in the things Steve Bannon says. Our own team may not listen to us, but at least there's someone out there in a position of power who apparently does. And mimicry is supposed to be a form of flattery, right?

No. All this is happening for one reason only: to steal the traditional base of the Democratic Party out from under us. That it will also enrich countless contractors and lobbyists and bunglers and wreckers is just a bonus.

Thomas Frank is a Guardian columnist

Thirdparty -> bh_two , 9 Oct 2017 04:04

Right. The traditional base of the Democratic Party stopped supporting it when it was taken over by right-wingers like the Clintons.
Thirdparty , 9 Oct 2017 04:01
On running the government like a business: That is exactly what the Trump regime is doing. Their business model is the mob. And to be fair, the idea of running government like a business makes precisely as much sense as running a business like a government.
Aligarter , 9 Oct 2017 03:15
Steve Bannon is part of the plan to de-democratize the USA and Republicans can only do that by lying on an industrial scale, which they do very efficiently and effectively. Why the need? Because although they are good at destruction, they are no good at all at building the nation or government.

The First Rule of Marketing says that if you give people what they want, they will give you dollars. The billionaires who fund the Republicans again and again do so not because they believe in good government, or have the slightest concern for the wealth, health and defense of the nation, but because they get what they want. It's a purchasing contract.

bh_two , 9 Oct 2017 01:27
"....to steal the traditional base of the Democratic Party out from under us"

They aren't your servants to do your bidding and wait your table. Nor your political property. There is no more similarity of average working blokes to self-infatuated intellectuals of "the left" than a potato to a hubcap.

Working people left the party because they plainly are no longer welcome except during the brief hours when the polls are open.

curiouswes -> HauptmannGurski , 9 Oct 2017 01:22

What are we at?

I haven't the vaguest idea. When Sanders decided to support HRC, I figured nothing will ever change. He built up a lot of hope (as did Obama), only to pull the rug out at the eleventh hour.

MD1212a , 8 Oct 2017 21:32
Moving to the far towards the "progressive" left, the Democratic party abandoned the working and middle classes in favor of the coastal well to do city dwellers while trying to appeal to the "oppressed identity" single issue "groups". The only answer it presented to all problems was more government control over the economy and over all aspects of people's life. People got tired of losing their jobs to "globalization", with the government deciding what they can do with policies of "diversity", which is essentially a quota system, and with having ideologues and bureaucrats decide what is good or bad for them.
DocDiv -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 20:16
TPP was a secret deal, which had written into it, its own right to trump the legal systems of signatory countries with TPP-sponsored arbitration and even mediation judgments. Trump saw that off on his first day.
Lyndon Watson , 8 Oct 2017 20:02
If we lost the base of the Democratic party it wasn't because it was stolen from us. It was because it was given away. We started giving it away when we learned the wrong lesson after Ronald Reagan and thought that we had to move to the right with Bill Clinton to win the presidency.

It was later given away when we didn't accomplish much when we had the majorities in the House, Senate and Presidency back in 2008. If Trump picked up our message it was because he took it, it was because it was just sitting there waiting to be picked up.

Cas Ann -> J.K. Stevens , 8 Oct 2017 19:20
Nonsense. Clinton is the ultimate Swamp Creature,and large reason for her loss is that she spent more time with her high dollar donors then in swing states. How do you think the "Clinton Foundation" got so big?
JohnCan45 , 8 Oct 2017 17:11
So the Democrats embraced the moneyed establishment because they felt they had to to win, while the Republicans denounced that same establishment but only as part of a bait-and-switch strategy. Meanwhile the establishment hedges their bets and wins no matter what the election outcome.
curiouswes -> stderr2 , 8 Oct 2017 16:51

Conservatives argue against identity politics.

That is a good message. I'll be more supportive of the conservatives when they actually practice what they preach. But please don't get me wrong. Not all conservatives are into white supremacy. The problem I see is that if one is a white supremacist, the conservatives don't publicly denounce that position. It makes many people of color feel alienated by conservatism. At least the left openly denounces white supremacy. The right praises MLK but doesn't condemn those in Charlotteville. They had a right to protest and the left shouldn't have tried to silence them. However it was identity politics. They wouldn't be protecting the open display of the confederacy if they weren't into identity politics. That message seems to get lost as conservatism frowns on identity politics.

I don't know what that refers to.

NAFTA passed under Clinton , but more importantly, so did the Uruguay Round of GATT. When the Senate passed that (the House passed it to but technically the House doesn't ratify treaties), it severely curtailed the USA's ability to negotiate our own trade deals. All members of the WTO are vulnerable to financial penalties if any member nation tries to override the rulings set by the WTO. Not only did Ralph Nader recognize this as a problem and try to run for president because of it, so did Pat Buchanan. Buchanan saw this as lost sovereignty (in his words). Both Nader and Buchanan were of course unsuccessful because we vote in an FPTP voting system which tends to eliminate third parties form being successful.

The point is that Clinton forced Congress to pass the legislation just like Paulson forced Congress to approve a bailout of the banks during the financial crisis. It wasn't really all the republicans fault, but the oligarchy would have taken down the global economy if it didn't get bailed out. Anyway the WTO has a policy on dumping:

If a company exports a product at a price lower than the price it normally charges on its own home market, it is said to be "dumping" the product. The WTO Agreement does not regulate the actions of companies engaged in "dumping". Its focus is on how governments can or cannot react to dumping -- it disciplines anti-dumping actions, and it is often called the "Anti-dumping Agreement".

both dems and reps rant and rave about China dumping steel but nothing ever gets done to stop it because the WTO is there protecting China (or american companies making steel in China). Either way the american steel worker gets screwed in the process and that is why populists hate globalism. The American worker knows he's getting screwed but he may not be aware of the mechanism by which he is getting screwed. The media rarely talks about the WTO because if the American worker knew how he was getting screwed, he'd be screaming to get out of the WTO. Typically he only knows his jobs are gone and where they are. However it was Clinton who did this and the idea that anybody would even think of putting HRC back in the white house while she is still married to that dude is due to utter ignorance of the fact of what he did when he was there the first time.

I think both Clinton and W should be in jail, but this isn't about W.

budhudnut -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 16:39
I agree, the New Deal was quite leftist, in the sense that it acknowledged the crisis which had struck the working class. It's atypical in the history of the Democratic Party, which has been devoted to advancing the interests of U.S. corporations and since the Clinton years, those of multinational business consortia. But even the New Deal was a far cry from a revolutionary call to arms. In fact, it was meant to curtail such agitation. Roosevelt said as much.
ID6995146 , 8 Oct 2017 16:15
There is no left movement in Washington. Each is going after money from lobbyists. I just see the USA rapidly consuming itself and fragmenting. It has poor social, medical, policing programs. And it continues to digest itself in petty hate between the Democrats and Republicans. It really has no serious governance and worse its flagship superior court is now being sold to capitalism. Capitalism will fail as predicted by Marx and those who really know about it. It is our children who will pick up the tab if they can survive.
stderr2 -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 15:19
> Identity politics is what the oligarchy is using to divide us.

Conservatives argue against identity politics. I don't know what the oligarchy is supposed to be, in the context of the US. People in power often came from varied backgrounds, not usually all that rich backgrounds.

> upward mobility is being taken from us

Upward from what? If you are poor, there's a lot of upward that might be possible, but if you are middle class, whatever that means, you can't have everyone moving up or the definition of middle class would change to them.

> The worst thing that happened to us, happened under Clinton

I don't know what that refers to. Welfare reform? Various changes to banking regulations? Allowing bin Laden to hit us again and again but instead of doing what needed to be done, frolicking with a young frisky intern in the Oval Office? I doubt Bush Sr would've done that.

stderr2 -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 15:12
> However if you stand up for the rights of one group and ignore the rights of another today some people still don't "get it".

They don't get what? When someone protests in the street, whether they are sweetness and light or racist or whatever, they have the right to protest. Plenty of people would argue that "hate speech" should be banned, them defining what "hate speech" means, of course. These people are arguing against settled constitutional law.

> I tend to think the US citizen should be protected by the bill of rights and not necessarily those here illegally.

Yet not protecting everyone with due process, for example, is a violation of constitutional law.

curiouswes -> stderr2 , 8 Oct 2017 14:49
I consider myself a populist. Not exactly from the left but certainly more left that right. Identity politics is what the oligarchy is using to divide us. I just think it is counterproductive to battle each other when the upward mobility is being taken from us. I wish others could see it. The worst thing that happened to us, happened under Clinton, but rest assured; HW Bush would have done it had he won the election in 92.
budhudnut -> curiouswes , 8 Oct 2017 13:10
My point was that calling the Democratic Party a leftist party requires a notion of that term drained of real meaning. The Democratic Party has always upheld the supremacy of capital and the necessity of forestalling a revolution. I realize that in the United States plenty of people regard President Obama and Hillary Clinton as communists, but that's simply a measure of how far to the right political discourse stands there. The American left was eliminated from public life in the 1940s and 1950s with the suppression of the Communist Party, the purging of the unions and professions, and strict mass indoctrination of the citizenry. And whenever new manifestations of leftist energy have appeared, they have been met with unremitting hostility from liberal and conservative centers of power.

Finally, the Democratic Party is a party not just of capital, but of empire. This was never more true than in last year's election, in which Donald Trump was able to appeal to marginal voters on the ambiguous claim that he was less warlike than Secretary Clinton. No, there's nothing in the two party set-up which expresses the basic demands of the modern left- an end to imperialism, nationalization of key industries, and so on. And when people restrict their political thinking to the narrow range offered by a business oligopoly, they're going to be misreading their own reality.

lsjogren -> dallasdunlap , 8 Oct 2017 10:27
The Republican Party has a big problem in that its agenda has at best a small grassroots following of perhaps 10% of the populace.

Meantime, populist-nationalism is in sync with the views of I would estimate at least 50% of the US citizenry and perhaps as much as 60%. (the other 30% of the public are "progressives")

The establishment has maintained power by default. When our political system offers only a choice between a "progressive" Democrat and an establishment Repubilcan, many voters choose the latter as the lesser evil.

If and when voters actually are offered a genuine choice at the ballot box, watch out. I think you will start seeing this played out on a grand scale in the 2018 and 2020 Republican primaries.

lsjogren , 8 Oct 2017 10:22
Fighting the corporate establishment has never been the exclusive province of the left.

Immigration restrictionists in the US have for decades fought the corporate establishment. In fact, we have fought what are probably the most powerful coalitions of special interests in human history, coalitions of corporate predators, Big Labor, Big Religion, Big Media, and Big Government.

This movement is one of the grassroots pillars fueling Bannonism.

dallasdunlap , 8 Oct 2017 09:03
There are plenty of populists in the Republican Party, but the governing portion of the party is solidly neocon. Hence the battle between President Trump and the "17 intelligence agencies," and the remarkable undermining of Trump's foreign policy proposals by his own cabinet.

Just as the progressive base of the Democratic Party is suppressed by the corporatists at the DNC and other centralized party organs, the Republican base is a captive to its Washington elite power brokers.

budhudnut , 8 Oct 2017 06:26
Thomas Frank's interesting and thoughtful pieces on the failure- or refusal- of the Democratic Party to come to terms with the depths of voter disaffection form an interesting contrast with the Guardian's DNC-supplied outlook. I suppose that's why he's been hired, to take up all that slack as the paper trudges ever rightward. Here's a link to an extended recent interview he gave with Paul Jay at The Real News.

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=832&Itemid=74&jumival=1649

Christopher Oxley , 7 Oct 2017 16:53
Populist movements typically tend to involve more focus on complaining and raging about problems than coming up with any real solutions for them, so it doesn't really matter whether members self-identify as coming from the left or right. Given the Trump campaign was all about manipulation anyway, with Trump just a puppet to distract the public from seeing the corprate take-over of the state, it's not surprising they used a populist rhetoric, as seen in shock doctrine, that inherent rage blinds them from seeing they are being manipulated.
Ben Groetsch -> sludgeco , 7 Oct 2017 15:48
The last time the Democrats actually offered something to the American people was the War on Poverty and Civil Rights legislation by President Johnson in the 1960s. Other than the Democrats have been acting like an extended PR arm of corporate America by performing sideshows on social issues while failing to address the needs of working families. I clearly don't buy into the notion that the Democrats are a tad better than the Republicans. No, the Democrats need to be radically to the left like Bernie Sanders, not moderate Republican lite such as Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. This country simply cannot continue electing conservative governments all the time in Washington DC.
sparkylab -> JoeintheMidwest , 7 Oct 2017 12:50
Apparently 'isolationism' now means simply advocating for some restraint on endless global US military interventionism, hundreds and hundreds of bases in 80+ countries, and trillion dollar 'defence' budgets.
JoeintheMidwest -> PennyCarter , 7 Oct 2017 12:25
A broken clock is right twice a day. Yes, Republican isolationists are the only ones in their primarily interventionist party to ever make a principled critique of endless U.S. wars abroad. Sadly, the Democrats are, with some honorable exceptions like Dennis Kucinich, as committed to these endless wars as their partners across the aisle. This is one of the many reasons why Hillary Clinton lost. However, Buchanan's xenophobia makes his brand of anti-imperialism shallow--he still thinks "Western civilization" is superior to other cultures, and has denied the genocide against Native Americans. His views about Jews are also rather creepy. That said, I'll take an isolationist over a neo-con any day.
money777 , 7 Oct 2017 07:21
There is divisive manipulation on the left and the right, the pundits blame each other to keep America divided. The right stereotypes the left while the left stereotypes the right . The working class crazy white guy is oppressing the hispanic and blacks while the blacks and hispanic oppress the working class white. The left pundits make fun of the working class while the right pundits make fun of the left pundits. Both sides are entralled by business interests aka socoio-political interests. Afterall, this is a business world where ppl have to put food on the table.America is on the verge of becoming as divided as america was prior to the civil war. What am i supposed to do? Join the resistence of division taking place on the left and the right? Protest against another american at a divided left vs. right rally? Resistence is futile because resistence leads to more division.

Excuse my unedites grammar semtence structure lack of sense and not serious online comment

Ponderbelle -> America_Loves_Trump , 7 Oct 2017 05:16
Trump can't stop calling others names - with the absurd stance that he must bully people to create a sense of self respect.

Those who support Trump or Bannon generally have in common a refusal to see any viewpoint other than their own. They'll find a way to make most any belief, policy or decision which T&B uphold, look justified or non-offensive in motives.

Trump runs every which way, so, there are bound to be a few things one finds agreeable (even from the left). Bannon thinks democracy does not work. He'd like to see the federal government crash.

In fact, The USA has no true democracy. Like many developed nations we are under the total rule of organized business. Profit is superior and normalized whereas basic human needs are for the highest bid competition. Greed older than Methuselah's first breakfast. Bannon doesn't have a vision for the betterment and uplift of society any more than anyone else. Who cannot can see corporate greed has its tentacles around us? The common person on the street knows the scheme. What to do about it finds us in the land of inertia. Next crash (it is coming) the panicked cry for bailouts will be near impossible to put-up with. With billions on the planet we are in new territory, as to resources and competition. A system which cannot survive with its hand in our pocket while claiming free market enterprise will even out the system on balance - meaning for investors, and head in sand more of the same.

ID6823856 , 7 Oct 2017 04:10
The "base" of the Democratic party is now the same get rich ideologues of Clinton-ism who are happy to lobby and privatise with as much enthusiasm as any right wing Republican/Conservative/Tea Party ideologue. Every administration, Republican or Democratic, from Clinton, to Bush, to Obama, has held to the same policies of the Reagan administration. The "traditional base" of the Democratic Party was destroyed long ago by de-industrialisation, hollowing of labor law, and now by opioids of the masses. The present day DNC is run by and for their army of contractors, lobbyists, bunglers, and wreckers.
rogerscorpion , 7 Oct 2017 04:06
Mr. Frank, I found it surprising that you mentioned both Betsy de Vos and Erik Prince -- but didn't mention the fact that they are siblings.
PeterOrmonde , 7 Oct 2017 03:45
Yep - the big mistake with critters like Bannon is to ignore or dismiss everything they say and fail to detect what resonance they are striking with what audience.

But it's awkward when you just read them and recognise grains of truthiness - they see the same problems it's just their solutions are all wrong. But they are actually cutting the left's grass - pinching the alienation and discontent that rightly belongs to progress, no? Now the NRA have got 'em - not even the GOP.

Be yer unfinished civil war this... grinding away slowly ... so now the whole place is riven by fear and suspicion - of race, wealth, cities, the guvvermint, of anything and everything really. A deeply traumatised culture you've got sitting down there - victims real and imagined wandering about and none of it getting fixed at all..

Not everyone or everywhere - but the most fearful and angry cluster are centred on the underlying issues of the era of Lincoln. Trump is speaking for and to them. There can be no more nonsense about lone gunmen - this is now part of US culture - systemic and systematic.

Yer 500 kiddies are just the price of open-carry freedoms according to the Vegas mayor. All the same old folk-wisdoms: can't have laws that stop bad people being bad?... why should the 1% of evildoers dictate our liberties?

But of course they do. That is how all laws work, whether murder or shoplifting - everyone shows their bags. In fact they are arguing for lawlessness - vigilantism and John Wayne cowboy myths. That's the Trump/Bannon audience ... National Enquirer readers packing heat .

Gonna get ugly before it's fixed.

Maury A. Bousson , 7 Oct 2017 02:42
#TheHouseAlwaysWins The author gets so close to putting his finger on the problem and then at the last moment swerves off into partisan rhetoric. Wake up dude! Both of the things you think are opposite sides are out to get us.
eastbayradical -> newyorkred , 7 Oct 2017 02:24
The list below delineates the policies and initiatives that Hillary Clinton supported over course of her political career (including as a loyal First Lady to Bill Clinton). They help explain the depressed voter enthusiasm and turnout for the Dems among many of the groups to whom you say Frank, as a "well-to-do white man" pining for "white working class revolution," owes an apology:

--Deregulation of the investment banks (and against reinstatement of Glass--Steagall)
--Deregulation of the telecommunications industry
--Deregulation of derivatives
--The destruction of welfare (which has caused the numbers living in extreme poverty to double since its passage)
--The Omnibus Crime Bill (increased the prison population massively)
--NAFTA
--The sanctions regime against Iraq of the 1990s that killed 500,000 Iraqi children ("it was worth it," said her friend Madeline Albright)
--The Defense of Marriage Act
--CAFTA (granted stealthy support)
--TPP
--Fracking
--The objectively-racist death penalty
--The private prison industry
--The Patriot Act
--The Iraq War
--The bombing of Libya
--Military intervention in Syria
--Israel's starvation blockade and blitzkrieg against Gaza
--The right-wing coup in Honduras
--Investor-friendly repression and cronyism in Haiti
--A 31 cents/hour minimum wage in Haiti (and against attempts to raise it)
--The recently announced 20 year, $1,000,000,000,000 (trillion) upgrade of the US's nuclear arsenal
--Historically-high numbers of deportations under the Obama Adm.
--Oil drilling in the Arctic
--The fight against free public university tuition
--The fight against single-payer health care
--Acceptance of tens of millions of dollars of corporate money
--Credit-card industry favored bankruptcy laws
--The bail-out of Wall Street

suddenoakdeath -> James F. , 7 Oct 2017 01:24
....and America was convinced Trump cared about them, so says Thomas Frank.
Alex W -> Ben Groetsch , 6 Oct 2017 21:21
If you think America is bad, then try living in the UK. The UK is a hotbed of religious nutters. Just look at Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, David Cameron, and Theresa May.

The UK still has a "state-established" church (the Church of England). The UK's national anthem ' God Save the Queen ' mentions 'God' over 30 different times. And most British schools are still faith-based and funded by the church. Also, abortion and gay marriage are still banned in some parts of the UK, such as Northern Ireland.

Forget Donald Trump.... the UK is far more religious & dangerous.

askzippy , 6 Oct 2017 21:09
Lol, yeah it's only the Rs that do bad stuff in DC. HRC was the Queen of the system described above. An article designed to confuse those without eyes to see.

The interesting thing for me is the hate levels on the left which appear to be almost off the scale at the moment. Identity politics seems to have a deep hold on your hearts.

sejong , 6 Oct 2017 20:55
The national of USA should be changed from bald eagle to lone wolf. Forget e pluribis unum. War of all against all.
Alex W -> Sharon Sekhon , 6 Oct 2017 20:04
The U.S. is more liberal & secular than ever. The election of Trump doesn't change that. According to a 2011 Pew Report , the U.S. now has the 3rd largest atheist population in the world -- after China & Japan. On top of that, a 2015 Gallup Poll found that 60% of Americans would vote for an atheist President -- a record number that continues to grow every year.

Additionally, gay marriage is legal in all 50 U.S. states. Marijuana is legal & taxed in 8 U.S. states. Euthanasia (assisted suicide) is legal in 6 U.S states -- including California (the largest state in America with over 40 million people). Even prostitution is legal & regulated in some U.S. states, such as Nevada!

*Sign into Youtube to watch this video about legal American brothels.

The U.S. constitution guarantees separation of Church & State -- unlike the UK, which still has a "state-established" church (the Church of England).

kmacafee -> Attu de Bubbalot , 6 Oct 2017 19:53
Not really. They will be defeated in the next election and they are already facing charges and prison time. This will not end with a bang, but with a whimper and whining like you've never heard. There are many more in the one percent and the top 10% who are already disgusted with Mercer, Koch, Trump and the whole Putin cabal. Evil is evil and splashing some fake christianity on their hitler speeches is not fooling anyone but the already fooled; and they are a small lot getting smaller every single day.
Zepp -> NYbill13 , 6 Oct 2017 18:21
Most of Bannon's story about dear old dad is pure crap. He was already a right wing film-maker before the 2008 meltdown, and dear old dad would still have his money if he had listened to his two financier sons instead of the cable TV idiot Cramer. AT&T, in case you haven't heard, came through the crash intact.
colacj , 6 Oct 2017 18:16
15 billion dollars worth of missiles being sold to Saudi Arabia ........ while a few days ago Saudi Arabia goes to Moscow and talks to putin which is the first tie ever.......... so we sold them weapons to what , aim at us........
Ben Groetsch -> MTavernier , 6 Oct 2017 18:15
So, do you preferred two thirds of the American population to live on welfare aid like Medicaid which doesn't even covered dental and eye exams? As much you don't like the GOP approach to healthcare reform, the Democrats would rather bailed out the insurance industry by making consumers to buy unaffordable coverage and public assistance programs and refused to embraced Bernie Sanders approach to universal healthcare. The Democratic Party simply has no ideas, just empty tough talk against the President.
Ben Groetsch -> Social36 , 6 Oct 2017 18:10
I hate to say it to you, but Trump voters who live in Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Iowa weren't looking for upscale living and calling for lower corporate taxes etc. One out of four WV residents are living under economic distress. They just want decent jobs and a government that represents working people, not the wealthy.

[Oct 12, 2017] The proletariat, or at least the opioid threatened, white and marginalized cadre on show in the Rust belt states, probably thought they had their man in DJT because he said what it took to get himself elected in the vernacular they prefer, feeling its authenticity made them look honest.. Ha!

Oct 12, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com

Ben Groetsch -> Sharon Sekhon , 6 Oct 2017 18:02

So, you're suggesting that Frank's political instincts are all wrong when he first wrote his book thesis on "What's the matter with Kansas," which lays out the scanting indictment of the pro-corporate wing of the Democratic Party and their wealthy supporters. Here's the reality that you Clinton bots don't understand: the rest of the country is like Kansas, not glamour LA or Wall Street NYC. People work in blue collar and grey collar professions, have modest wealth, and some are involved in trade unions. Many don't have a college degree; many also have no desires to go to a liberal arts school or state public university. Nearly eighty percent of middle America have a high school diploma. Only thirty percent have a college BA degree, and less than five percent have a advanced degree in Law or PH'D. Those numbers haven't changed since the 1960s. And yet, the corporate ruling class which showers money to both political parties have been selling the public a bill of false promises and lies about the necessary of getting a college degree in order to find gainful employment with living wages. Sorry, there isn't no living wage jobs. Our industrialized state has been devalued by NAFTA, a pro-corporate trade deal signed by Bill Clinton in the 1990s, had destroyed the fabric of mostly blue collar communities in middle America. Both Democrats and Republicans all conspired to gut the entire working classes out of the middle class status and into the underclass welfare state as a whole---first with welfare reform in the 1990s, followed by Bush era tax cuts, getting rid of Glass-Stegeall, awarding companies with job outsourcing, failure to provide affordable housing to the needy while selling risky sub-prime mortgages, making our higher educational system as a luxury commodity, destroying our pension system and replacing it with an inadequate 401K retirement package, allowing the one percent to hide their money overseas in tax haven accounts, subsidizing the rich, and control the media through corporate consolidation. We no longer have the ability to innovate, produce, or create a thriving working class middle. Instead, corporate dominance in our politics and our legal system makes it almost impossible to generate a fair, diverse, and expanding opportunities economy on the basis of progressive regulations that is desperately needed.

What Frank had in mind is what the donor class within the Democratic Party is scared about. That is, working people are being shoved aside due to the power of money in government, and yet the Democratic Party has to changed its tune in order to regain the working class voters in middle America.

Ben Groetsch , 6 Oct 2017 17:39
Well, Bannon is partly right given the fact that our government has been at the wheel of powerful lobbyists and wealthy donors for so long. However, given the dysfunctional and unfortunate circumstances surrounding the Trump Administration in DC, the Democrats seem to appear as aloof and tone deaf with the American people----a state of utter denial regarding a major political party that just lost the Presidential election to a dingbat D list reality tv star and real estate tycoon who has the mindset of a spoiled child.

The true reason behind Bannon's conquest for political votes is that the working class here in the US have been totally neglected and left behind by eight years of Obama and the last two terms of Bush Jr from the previous decade. Working people want actual middle class jobs and a shot of a decent life in retirement, not welfare checks from the government.

fabfreddy -> CivilDiscussion , 6 Oct 2017 17:05
Is that just about everybody? Or do you think there are people that wouldn't want to be billionaires?
Rollmeover , 6 Oct 2017 16:56
Democrats are so disorganized that to elect them is folly. We already have disorganization. Trump will win a second term.
chunki , 6 Oct 2017 16:55
The Left in English-speaking countries has been overtaken by upper-middle class people who are obsessed with sexual identity and race. They are snobby towards working class people and will abuse them as racist when they talk about problems with immigration or other social groups with different coloured skin. I moved from the first group into the second, and I know working class people are no more prejudiced than upper-middle class, but they don't have the vocabulary to express it in a way that "educated" people will recognise.
This snobbery towards possible complexities in the life of working class people is damning leftwing parties to continual oblivion.
(Working class people use blunt language, but they apply it to themselves equally. Those higher up the social ladder are not used to hearing that type of language.)
jackrousseau -> EyeFullEnt , 6 Oct 2017 14:14
Did anything I say indicate I support Trump? I described his administration as an economically centrist "kleptocracy". Trump Jr. taking thinly veiled payoffs on the speaking/grift circuit is par for the course.

Though, I imagine Trump Jr. commands significantly less than Chelsea Clinton ($65,000 as of 2015). http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/chelsea-clinton-speaking-fee-university-missouri-119580

And I imagine it's only a matter of time before we also see Obama's children "speaking" for thinly veiled payoffs. One already scored an prestigious internship with the socially progressive Weinstein Company. And Michelle's currently getting in excess of $200,000 for 1hr speeches. https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/05/02/michelle-obama-s-speaker-fee-is-as-much-as-some-former-president/22065295 /

...All enough to make someone a little cynical about American politics.

America_Loves_Trump -> EyeFullEnt , 6 Oct 2017 11:44
More misinformed nonsense.

In fact, Breitbart gets criticism on the right for being too gung ho in embracing Israel. Steve Bannon quotes that give some of his supporters pause are things like "no media outlet is more pro-Israel than Breitbart". I guess politics is a factor but most of us don't like all the money we give them and how a major reason that the Muslim world is so angry at the Western one is it's unflinching backing of Israel, no matter how much of the West Bank they encroach upon, among other things.

The idea that Breitbart is anti-Semitic is an absurd Media Matters talking point going back to an article calling Bill Kristol a "Renegade Jew". The article was, obviously, written by a Jew. And the thrust of the article was that Bill Kristol (and others) making attempts to steal the Republican nomination from Trump (as the Dems had from Bernie Sanders) would ultimately harm Israel. So it was a Jew calling a Jew a Renegade Jew for making a decision he believed was bad for the Jewish homeland.

I know it's all very confusing but hopefully that's cleared up now.

TheRexican , 6 Oct 2017 11:31
"I did it by referring to a business model: the political donors and the K Street lobbyists, who act in combination with politicians of the Tom DeLay variety."

There are almost no members of Congress who are of any other sort than the "Tom Delay" variety you refer to. Very nearly every single member is corrupt. The game is ruined. Perhaps an end to gerrymandering (if we shoudl be so fortunate) will allow some mechanism for changing the guard in Congress. We need to remove them all. They sold us out and we need to exile them for life.

Don't think your rep is any better. This keeps us stuck.

America_Loves_Trump -> charlieblue , 6 Oct 2017 11:10
I don't JUST yell Hillary. I also mentioned Obama and the rest of the criminals who make up the Democratic Party. Whose list of proven criminality is simply staggering enough before you get in to the mountains of very damning circumstantial stuff that begs investigation.

And when I mention the Democrats, you act as if it's some irrelevent non sequitur. IT IS NOT. Please remember that the choice was Trump OR Hillary. So whenever people lament how apparently terrible the President who has brought us 3.1% GDP growth for the first time in years and well over a million new jobs along with finally insisting that the law needs to be enforced for the first time in 8 years, the issue of the alternative to this IS of course relevant.

As I said: Clinton is a part of the establishment. A real swamp monster. One of the really big stinking ones, with huge wads of cash stuck to her blood soaked claws. Trump is not. And by the very low bar set by the past few Presidents, just not being more of the same is an improvement.

And by the way, Hillary Clinton did commit multiple felonies. The private server = felony (whether "intent" was there or not, that was an irrelevant muddying of the waters). The storing and forwarding of classified info on this server = felony (whether or not she, after decades in government understood that (C) meant classified as it always had all along).

You've got your head in the sand, pal

Whiplashed -> America_Loves_Trump , 6 Oct 2017 10:53
You seem to be taking Clinton Cash as evidence of something, but that is just a piece of propaganda meant to sway the election. Where are your reputable sources?
boilingriver -> America_Loves_Trump , 6 Oct 2017 10:51
There are some great videos on Youtube where he talks about economics.
HAHA yes where he deliberately lies about the cause of 2008.

Where he is now silent on cohn who is now in charge of economic policy.

So, while Cohn was overseeing one team inside Goldman Sachs preoccupied with implementing the big short, he was in regular contact with others scrambling to offload its subprime inventory. One Goldman trader described the mortgage-backed securities they were selling as "shitty." Another complained in an email that they were being asked to "distribute junk that nobody was dumb enough to take first time around." A December 28 email from Fabrice "Fabulous Fab" Tourre, a Goldman vice president later convicted of fraud, instructed traders to focus on less astute, "buy and hold" investors rather than "sophisticated hedge funds" that "will be on the same side of the trade as we will."
https://theintercept.com/2017/09/17/goldman-sachs-gary-cohn-donald-trump-administration /

Then there is Mnuchin( Treasury secretary) the foreclosure king, who made a fortune on taking peoples home, some for $1 mistake.

Why did republicans mot make up some laws to put them into prison. Why are they silent now when trump is deregulating by executive order.

Talk about fake outrage putting in the people who caused the problems as the solutions.

America_Loves_Trump -> NYbill13 , 6 Oct 2017 10:12
Spoken from someone who has obviously never listened to what Steve Bannon said or his message.

You obviously don't know, for example, that his Dad - a union guy - lost half of his life savings in the crash of 2008.

And you do not have a single quote where you can attribute "master race" stuff to Bannon. That's literally a smear based on nothing, created by the Clinton people as revenge for his role in the absolutely devastating expose Clinton Cash.

Those of us paying attention understand what he is: an unbelievably bright guy who was the first man who successfully harnessed the informed outrage of the alternative media to have an impact in national politics. He and Trump beat the rigging and achieved for the socially conservative anti-deepstate people what Bernie Sanders was unable to achieve on the Left... if he ever really had the stomach for the fight in the first place.

LittleTomcat , 6 Oct 2017 09:28
"That it will also enrich countless contractors and lobbyists and bunglers and wreckers is just a bonus." Mmmm, maybe not a bonus so much as the objective, perhaps? As an aside, the method of installing nomenclature to control agencies, such as the agency responsible for granting broadcast licences, was described, if I recall correctly, in Josef Korbel's 1959 "The Communist Subversion of Czechoslovakia, 1938-1948". For a funny take on the privatisation of perpetual military conflict, Christopher Buckley's "They Eat Puppies, Don't They?" might provide a laugh, if you don't think about how closely it matches reality.
oiler , 6 Oct 2017 07:03
The proletariat, or at least the opioid threatened, white and marginalized cadre on show in the Rust belt states, probably thought they had their man in DJT because he said what it took to get himself elected in the vernacular they prefer, feeling its authenticity made them look honest.. Ha! But look! They are no different from other vulnerables after all, and they will be and are, being screwed over accordingly. Turkeys and Christmas, Foxes and henhouses, its all been said and now its being done: educate yourselves, folks.. before its too late.
HilltopRide , 6 Oct 2017 06:30
Yep, judge em solely on their actions. Trump is about entrenching the corporate coup d'etat. Expanding the swamp, not draining it. The question is now, after Citizens United and with a conservative SCOTUS in perpetuity, whether it's too wide and deep ever to be drained.

[Sep 29, 2017] Bernie Sanders To Democrats This Is What a Radical Foreign Policy Looks Like

It is impossible to understand the current wave of the US militarism without understanding neoliberalism and, especially, neoconservatism -- the dominant force in the US foreign policy since Reagan.
Sep 29, 2017 | theintercept.com

... ... ...

Many of my colleagues, Republican colleagues, here in the Senate, for example, disparage the United Nations, he says, sitting across the table from me, in front of a wall of Vermont tourism posters. While clearly the United Nations could be more effective, it is imperative that we strengthen international institutions, because at the end of the day, while it may not be sexy, it may not be glamorous, it may not allow for great soundbites, simply the idea of people coming together and talking and arguing is a lot better than countries going to war.

... ... ...

The senator makes clear that unilateralism, the belief that we can simply overthrow governments that we dont want, that has got to be re-examined. After referencing the Iraq War -- one of the great foreign policy blunders in the history of this country -- the senator touches on another historic blunder which, to his credit, few of his fellow senators would be willing to discuss, let alone critique. In 1953, the United States, with the British, overthrew [Mohammed] Mossadegh, the prime minister of Iran – and this was to benefit British oil interests, he reminds me. The result was the shah came into power, who was a very ruthless man, and the result of that was that we had the Iranian Revolution, which takes us to where we are right now.

...So far this year, Sanders has hired Matt Duss , a respected foreign affairs analyst and former president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP), as his foreign policy adviser, and has given speeches at the liberal Jewish lobbying group, J Street, where he condemned Israels continued occupation of Palestinian territories as being contrary to fundamental American values, and at the centrist Carnegie Endowment of International Peace, where he rebuked Russian President Vladimir Putin for trying to weaken the transatlantic alliance.

Last week, my colleague Glenn Greenwald penned a column in The Intercept headlined, The Clinton Book Tour Is Largely Ignoring the Vital Role of Endless War in the 2016 Election Result. Greenwald argued that Clintons advocacy of multiple wars and other military actions pushed some swing voters into the arms of both Donald Trump and third-party candidates, such as Jill Stein. I ask Sanders whether he agrees with this analysis.

I mean, thats a whole other issue. And I dont know the answer to that. I persist. Surely hed concede that foreign policy was a factor in Clintons defeat? He doesnt budge. I want to talk about my speech, not about Hillary Clinton. So foreign policy plays no role in elections?

... ... ...

The U.S. funding plays a very important role, and I would love to see people in the Middle East sit down with the United States government and figure out how U.S. aid can bring people together, not just result in an arms war in that area. So I think there is extraordinary potential for the United States to help the Palestinian people rebuild Gaza and other areas. At the same time, demand that Israel, in their own interests in a way, work with other countries on environmental issues. He then, finally, answers my question: So the answer is yes.

It is -- by the depressingly low standard of modern U.S. politics -- a remarkable and, dare I say it, radical response from Sanders. Aid to Israel in Congress and the pro-Israel community has been sacrosanct, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency noted earlier this year, and no president has seriously proposed cutting it since Gerald Ford in the mid-1970s.

[Sep 18, 2017] End Democracy Promotion Balderdash by James Bovard

Notable quotes:
"... The Trump administration's foreign policy often resembles a Mad Hatter's Tea Party or a loose cannon on a ship deck. But every now and then, a good idea emerges from the fracas. Such is the case with a reform that could sharply reduce America's piety exports. ..."
"... this is like presuming that any preacher who fails to promise to eradicate sin is a tool of the devil. Instead, it is time to recognize the carnage the US has sown abroad in the name of democracy. ..."
"... In his 2005 inaugural address, President George W. Bush proclaimed that the US would "seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." While Bush's invocation thrilled Washington, the rest of the world paid more attention to his support for any tyrant who joined his War on Terror. ..."
"... In 2011, Obama portrayed the US bombing of Libya as a triumph of democratic values. After Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi was killed, Obama speedily announced that Libyans "now have the opportunity to determine their own destiny in a new and democratic Libya." But violence spiraled out of control and claimed thousands of victims (including four Americans killed in Benghazi in 2012). Similarly, Obama administration officials invoked democracy to justify arming quasi-terrorist groups in Syria's civil war, worsening a conflict that killed hundreds of thousands and created millions of refuges. ..."
"... Democracy promotion gives US policymakers a license to meddle almost anywhere on Earth. The National Endowment for Democracy , created in 1983, has been caught interfering in elections in France, Panama , Costa Rica , Ukraine , Venezuela, Nicaragua, Russia, Czechoslovakia , Poland , Haiti and many other nations. The State Department has a long list of similar pratfalls, including pouring vast amounts of money in vain efforts to beget democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan . ..."
"... Rather than abandoning all moral goals in foreign policy, Washington could instead embrace a strict policy of "honesty in democracy promotion." Under this standard, the US government would cease trying to covertly influence foreign elections, cease glorifying tinhorn dictators who rigged elections to capture power, and cease bankrolling authoritarian regimes that blight democratic reforms in the bud. But the odds of Washington policymakers abiding by those restraints is akin to the chances that all of Trump's tweets will henceforth be edifying. ..."
"... Rather than delivering political salvation, US interventions abroad more often produce "no-fault carnage" (no one in Washington is ever held liable). At a minimum, we should get our own constitutional house in order before seeking to rescue benighted foreigners. Ironically, many of the same people who equate Trump with Hitler still insist that the US government should continue its political missionary work during his reign. ..."
Aug 13, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The Trump administration's foreign policy often resembles a Mad Hatter's Tea Party or a loose cannon on a ship deck. But every now and then, a good idea emerges from the fracas. Such is the case with a reform that could sharply reduce America's piety exports.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is revising the State Department mission statement to focus on promoting "the security, prosperity and interests of the American people globally." Washington pundits are aghast that "democracy promotion" is no longer trumpeted as a top US foreign policy goal. Elliott Abrams, George W. Bush's "democracy czar," complained, "We used to want a just and democratic world, and now apparently we don't the message being sent will be a great comfort to every dictator in the world."

But this is like presuming that any preacher who fails to promise to eradicate sin is a tool of the devil. Instead, it is time to recognize the carnage the US has sown abroad in the name of democracy.

The US has periodically pledged to spread democracy ever since President Woodrow Wilson announced in 1913: "I am going to teach the South American republics to elect good men!" Democracy is so important that the US government refuses to stand idly by when foreign voters go astray. Since 1946, the US has intervened -- usually covertly -- in more than 80 foreign elections to assist its preferred candidate or party.

In his 2005 inaugural address, President George W. Bush proclaimed that the US would "seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." While Bush's invocation thrilled Washington, the rest of the world paid more attention to his support for any tyrant who joined his War on Terror.

President Barack Obama was supposed to redeem the honor of US foreign policy. In 2011, Obama portrayed the US bombing of Libya as a triumph of democratic values. After Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi was killed, Obama speedily announced that Libyans "now have the opportunity to determine their own destiny in a new and democratic Libya." But violence spiraled out of control and claimed thousands of victims (including four Americans killed in Benghazi in 2012). Similarly, Obama administration officials invoked democracy to justify arming quasi-terrorist groups in Syria's civil war, worsening a conflict that killed hundreds of thousands and created millions of refuges.

But the Obama team, like prior administrations, did not permit its democratic pretensions to impede business as usual. After Egyptian protestors toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak, Obama pledged to assist that nation "pursue a credible transition to a democracy ." But the US government disapproved of that nation's first elected leader, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi. After the Egyptian military deposed Morsi in 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry bizarrely praised Egypt's generals for " restoring democracy ." Similarly, many Ethiopians were horrified when Obama visited their country in 2015 and praised its regime as " democratically elected " -- despite a sham election and its brutal suppression of journalists, bloggers and other critics.

Democracy promotion gives US policymakers a license to meddle almost anywhere on Earth. The National Endowment for Democracy , created in 1983, has been caught interfering in elections in France, Panama , Costa Rica , Ukraine , Venezuela, Nicaragua, Russia, Czechoslovakia , Poland , Haiti and many other nations. The State Department has a long list of similar pratfalls, including pouring vast amounts of money in vain efforts to beget democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan .

Democracy at its best is a wonderful form of government but many so-called democracies nowadays are simply elective despotisms. Elections abroad are often herd counts to determine who gets to fleece the herd. Many democracies have become kleptocracies where governing is indistinguishable from looting.

In some nations, election victories legitimize destroying voters en masse. This is exemplified by the Philippines, where the government has killed 7,000 suspected drug users and dealers , including several mayors . After President Rodrigo Duterte publicly declared that he would be " happy to slaughter " three million drug users, Trump phoned him and, according to a leaked transcript, said, "I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job [you're doing] on the drug problem." Similarly, Trump congratulated Turkish president Recep Erdogan after he won a referendum that awarded him quasi-dictatorial powers.

It is time to admit that America lacks a Midas touch for spreading democracy. Freedom House reported that, even prior to Trump's election, more than 100 nations have seen declines in democracy since 2005.

Rather than abandoning all moral goals in foreign policy, Washington could instead embrace a strict policy of "honesty in democracy promotion." Under this standard, the US government would cease trying to covertly influence foreign elections, cease glorifying tinhorn dictators who rigged elections to capture power, and cease bankrolling authoritarian regimes that blight democratic reforms in the bud. But the odds of Washington policymakers abiding by those restraints is akin to the chances that all of Trump's tweets will henceforth be edifying.

Rather than delivering political salvation, US interventions abroad more often produce "no-fault carnage" (no one in Washington is ever held liable). At a minimum, we should get our own constitutional house in order before seeking to rescue benighted foreigners. Ironically, many of the same people who equate Trump with Hitler still insist that the US government should continue its political missionary work during his reign.

James Bovard, author of Public Policy Hooligan , is a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors . Follow him on Twitter @JimBovard

Reprinted with author's permission from USA TODAY .

[Sep 18, 2017] Americas Deadliest Export -- Democracy - The Truth about US Foreign Policy and Everything Else by Gary Corseri

Notable quotes:
"... "If you [Americans] are sincere in your desire for peace and security... and if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book Rogue State." ..."
Amazon.com

William Blum's "Cri de Coeur", February 9, 2013

William Blum's Cri de Coeur
A review of "America's Deadliest Export: Democracy" by William Blum (Zed Books, London/New York, 2013.)

(As it has appeared at DissidentVoice, OpEdNews, etc.):

In activist-author-publisher William Blum's new book, America's Deadliest Export: Democracy, he tells the story of how he got his 15 minutes of fame back in 2006. Osama bin Laden had released an audiotape, declaring:

"If you [Americans] are sincere in your desire for peace and security... and if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book Rogue State."

Bin Laden then quoted from the Foreword of Blum's 2000 book, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, in which he had mused:

"If I were... president, I could stop terrorist attacks [on us] in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize... to all the widows and the orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. I would then announce that America's global interventions... have come to an end. And I would inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but... a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims. ... That's what I'd do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I'd be assassinated."

Unfortunately, Blum never made it to the White House! But, fortunately, for those who have read his books or follow his "Anti-Empire Reports" on the Web, he was not assassinated! And now he has collected his reports and essays of the last dozen years or so into a 352-page volume that will not only stand the test of time, but will help to define this disillusioned, morose, violent and unraveling Age.

America's Deadliest... is divided into 21 chapters and an introduction--and there's something to underline or memorize on every page! Sometimes it's just one of Blum's irrepressible quips, and sometimes it's a matter of searing American foreign or domestic policiy that clarifies that Bushwhackian question of yore: "Why do they hate us?"

Reading this scrupulously documented book, I lost count of the times I uttered, "unbelievable!" concerning some nefarious act committed by the US Empire in the name of freedom, democracy and fighting communism or terrorism. Reading Blum's book with an open mind, weighing the evidence, will bleach out any pride in the flag we have planted in so many corpses around the world. The book is a diuretic and emetic!

Blum's style is common sense raised to its highest level. The wonder of America's Deadliest ... is that it covers so much of the sodden, bloody ground of America's march across our post-Second-World-War world, yet tells the story with such deftness and grace-under-fire that the reader is enticed--not moralized, not disquisitionally badgered--, but enticed to consider our globe from a promontory of higher understanding.

Some of the themes Blum covers (and often eviscerates) include:

  1. Why they hate us;
  2. America means well;
  3. We cannot permit a successful alternative to the capitalist model to develop anywhere in the world;
  4. We will use whatever means necessary--including, lies, deception, sabotage, bribery, torture and war--to achieve the above idea.

Along the way, we get glimpses of Blum's experientially rich life. A note "About the Author" tells us that, "He left the State Department in 1967, abandoning his aspiration of becoming a Foreign Service Officer because of his opposition to what the US was doing in Vietnam. He then became a founder and editor of the Washington Free Press, the first "alternative" newspaper in the capital."

In his chapter on "Patriotism," Blum relates how, after a talk, he was asked: "Do you love America?" He responded with what we may take for his credo: "I don't love any country. I'm a citizen of the world. I love certain principles, like human rights, civil liberties, meaningful democracy, an economy which puts people before profits."

America's Deadliest... is a book of wisdom and wit that ponders "how this world became so unbearably cruel, corrupt, unjust, and stupid?" In a pointillistic approach, sowing aphoristic seeds for thought, Blum enumerates instances of that cruelty, often with wry, pained commentary. "War can be seen as America's religion," he tells us. Reflecting on Obama's octupling Bush's number of drones used to assassinate, collaterally kill and terrorize, he affirms:

"Obama is one of the worst things that has ever happened to the American left." And, he avers, "Capitalism is the theory that the worst people, acting from their worst motives, will somehow produce the most good." And then turns around and reminds us--lest we forget--how the mass media have invaded our lives, with memes about patriotism, democracy, God, the "good life": "Can it be imagined that an American president would openly implore America's young people to fight a foreign war to defend `capitalism'?" he wonders.

"The word itself has largely gone out of fashion. The approved references now are to the market economy, free market, free enterprise, or private enterprise."

Cynthia McKinney writes that the book is "corruscating, eye-opening, and essential." Oliver Stone calls it a "fireball of terse information."
Like Howard Zinn, Ralph Nader, Paul Craig Roberts, Cindy Sheehan and Bradley Manning, Blum is committed to setting the historical record straight. His book is dangerous. Steadfast, immutable "truths" one has taken for granted--often since childhood--are exposed as hollow baubles to entertain the un/mis/and dis-informed. One such Blumism recollects Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez's account of a videotape with a very undiplomatic Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and cowboy George Bush: "`We've got to smash somebody's ass quickly,'" Powell said. "`We must have a brute demonstration of power.'

Then Bush spoke: `Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! ... Stay strong! ... Kill them! ... We are going to wipe them out!'"

Blum's intellectual resources are as keen as anyone's writing today. He also adds an ample measure of humanity to his trenchant critiques. He juxtaposes the noble rhetoric of our professed values with the mordant facts of our deeds. The cognitive dissonance makes for a memorable, very unpretty picture of how an immensely privileged people lost themselves, while gorging on junk food, junk politics, junk economics, junk education, junk media. Like an Isaiah, a Jeremiah, he lambastes his own--us!--flaying layers of hypocrisy and betrayals while seeking to reveal the core values of human dignity, empathy and moral rectitude.

Gary Corseri has published and posted prose, poetry and dramas at hundreds of periodicals and websites worldwide, including CommonDreams, Countercurrents, BraveNewWorld.in, OpEdNews, CounterPunch, Outlook India, The New York Times, Dissident Voice. He has published novels, poetry collections and a literary anthology (edited). His dramas have been presented on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere, and he has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library. He has taught in US public schools and prisons, and at American and Japanese universities. Contact: gary_corseri@comcast.net.

[Sep 18, 2017] Down With Western Democracy !

Notable quotes:
"... German Nazis and Italian Fascists defined their rule as 'democratic', and so does this Empire. The British and French empires that exterminated tens of millions of people all over the world, always promoted themselves as 'democracies'. ..."
"... And now, once again, we are witnessing a tremendous onslaught by the business-political-imperialist Western apparatus, destabilizing or directly destroying entire nations, overthrowing governments and bombing 'rebellious' states into the ground. All this is done in the name of democracy, in the name of freedom. ..."
"... This sacrificial altar is called, Democracy, in direct mockery to what the term symbolizes in its original, Greek, language. ..."
Aug 02, 2014 | CounterPunch

A specter is haunting Europe and Western world - it is this time, the specter of fascism. It came quietly, without great fanfare and parades, without raised hands and loud shouts. But it came, or it returned, as it has always been present in this culture, one that has, for centuries, been enslaving our entire planet.

As was in Nazi Germany, resistance to the fascist empire is again given an unsavory name: terrorism. Partisans and patriots, resistance fighters – all of them were and have always been defined by fascist bigots as terrorists.

By the logic of Empire, to murder millions of men, women and children in all corners of the world abroad is considered legitimate and patriotic, but to defend one's motherland was and is a sign of extremism.

German Nazis and Italian Fascists defined their rule as 'democratic', and so does this Empire. The British and French empires that exterminated tens of millions of people all over the world, always promoted themselves as 'democracies'.

And now, once again, we are witnessing a tremendous onslaught by the business-political-imperialist Western apparatus, destabilizing or directly destroying entire nations, overthrowing governments and bombing 'rebellious' states into the ground. All this is done in the name of democracy, in the name of freedom.

An unelected monster, as it has done for centuries, is playing with the world, torturing some, and plundering others, or both.

The West, in a final act of arrogance, has somehow confused itself with its own concept of God. It has decided that it has the full right to shape the planet, to punish and to reward, to destroy and rebuild as it wishes.

This horrible wave of terror unleashed against our planet, is justified by an increasingly meaningless but fanatically defended dogma, symbolized by a box (made of card or wood, usually), and masses of people sticking pieces of paper into the opening on the top of that box.

This is the altar of Western ideological fundamentalism. This is a supreme idiocy that cannot be questioned, as it guarantees the status quo for ruling elites and business interests, an absurdity that justifies all crimes, all lies and all madness.

This sacrificial altar is called, Democracy, in direct mockery to what the term symbolizes in its original, Greek, language.

***

In our latest book, "On Western Terrorism – from Hiroshima to Drone Warfare", Noam Chomsky commented on the 'democratic' process in the Western world:

"The goal of elections now is to undermine democracy. They are run by the public relations industry and they're certainly not trying to create informed voters who'll make rational choices. They are trying to delude people into making irrational choices. The same techniques that are used to undermine markets are used to undermine democracy. It's one of the major industries in the country and its basic workings are invisible."

But what is it that really signifies this 'sacred' word, this almost religious term, and this pinnacle of Western demagogy? We hear it everywhere. We are ready to sacrifice millions of lives (not ours of course, at least not yet, but definitely lives of the others) in the name of it.

Democracy!

All those grand slogans and propaganda! Last year I visited Pyongyang, but I have to testify that North Koreans are not as good at slogans as the Western propagandists are.

"In the name of freedom and democracy!" Hundreds of millions tons of bombs fell from the sky on the Laotian, Cambodian and Vietnamese countryside bodies were burned by napalm, mutilated by spectacular explosions.

"Defending democracy!" Children were raped in front of their parents in Central America, men and women machine-gunned down by death squads that had been trained in military bases in the United States of America.

"Civilizing the world and spreading democracy!" That has always been a European slogan, their 'stuff to do', and a way of showing their great civilization to others. Amputating hands of Congolese people, murdering around ten million of them, and many more in Namibia, East Africa, West Africa and Algiers; gassing people of the Middle East ( "I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes", to borrow from the colorful lexicon of (Sir) Winston Churchill).

So what is it really? Who is it, that strange lady with an axe in her hand and with a covered face – the lady whose name is Democracy?

***

It is all very simple, actually. The term originates from the Greek δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) "rule of the people". Then and now, it was supposed to be in direct contrast to ἀριστοκρατία (aristokratia), that means "rule of an elite".

'Rule of the people' Let us just visit a few examples of the 'rule of the people'.

People spoke, they ruled, they voted 'democratically' in Chile, bringing in the mild and socialist government of 'Popular Unity' of Salvador Allende.

Sure, the Chilean education system was so brilliant, its political and social system so wonderful, that it inspired not only many countries in Latin America, but also those in far away Mediterranean Europe.

That could not be tolerated, because, as we all know, it is only white Europe and North America that can be allowed to supply the world with the blueprint for any society, anywhere on this planet. It was decided that "Chile has to scream", that its economy had to be ruined and the "Popular Unity" government kicked out of power.

Henry Kissinger, belonging, obviously, to a much higher race and country of a much higher grade, made a straightforward and in a way very 'honest' statement, clearly defining the North American stand towards global democracy: "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its people."

And so Chile was ravaged. Thousands of people were murdered and 'our son-of-a-bitch' was brought to power. General Pinochet was not elected: he bombed the Presidential palace in Santiago, he savagely tortured the men and women who were elected by the Chilean people, and he "disappeared" thousands.

But that was fine, because democracy, as it is seen from Washington, London or Paris, is nothing more and nothing less than what the white man needs in order to control this planet, unopposed and preferably never criticized.

Of course Chile was not the only place where 'democracy' was 'redefined'. And it was not the most brutal scenario either, although it was brutal enough. But it was a very symbolic 'case', because here, there could be absolutely no dispute: an extremely well educated, middle class country, voted in transparent elections, just to have its government murdered, tortured and exiled, simply because it was too democratic and too involved in improving the lives of its people.

There were countless instances of open spite coming from the North, towards the 'rule of the people' in Latin America. For centuries, there have been limitless examples. Every country 'south of the border' in the Western Hemisphere, became a victim.

After all, the self-imposed Monroe Doctrine gave North Americans 'unquestionable rights' to intervene and 'correct' any 'irresponsible' democratic moves made by the lower races inhabiting Central and South America as well as the Caribbean Islands.

There were many different scenarios of real ingenuity, in how to torture countries that embarked on building decent homes for their people, although soon there was evidence of repetitiveness and predictability.

The US has been either sponsoring extremely brutal coups (like the one in Guatemala in 1954), or simply occupying the countries in order to overthrow their democratically elected governments. Justifications for such interventions have varied: it was done in order to 'restore order', to 'restore freedom and democracy', or to prevent the emergence of 'another Cuba'.

From the Dominican Republic in 1965 to Grenada in 1983, countries were 'saved from themselves' through the introduction (by orders from mainly the Protestant North American elites with clearly pathological superiority complexes) of death squads that administered torture, rape and extrajudicial executions. People were killed because their democratic decisions were seen as 'irresponsible' and therefore unacceptable.

While there has been open racism in every aspect of how the Empire controlled its colonies, 'political correctness' was skillfully introduced, effectively reducing to a bare minimum any serious critiques of the societies that were forced into submission.

In Indonesia, between 1 and 3 million people were murdered in the years1965/66, in a US -sponsored coup, because there too, was a 'great danger' that the people would rule and decide to vote 'irresponsibly', bringing the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), at that time the third most numerous Communist Party anywhere in the world, to power.

The democratically elected President of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, was murdered in 1961, by the joint efforts of the United States and Europe, simply because he was determined to use the vast natural resources of his country to feed his own people; and because he dared to criticize Western colonialism and imperialism openly and passionately.

East Timor lost a third of its population simply because its people, after gaining independence from Portugal, dared to vote the left-leaning FRETILIN into power. "We are not going to tolerate another Cuba next to our shores", protested the Indonesian fascist dictator Suharto, and the US and Australia strongly agreed. The torture, and extermination of East Timorese people by the Indonesian military, was considered irrelevant and not even worth reporting in the mass media.

The people of Iran could of course not be trusted with 'democracy'. Iran is one of the oldest and greatest cultures on earth, but its people wanted to use the revenues from its oil to improve their lives, not to feed foreign multi-nationals. That has always been considered a crime by Western powers – a crime punishable by death.

The people of Iran decided to rule; they voted, they said that they want to have all their oil industry nationalized. Mohammad Mosaddeq, the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953, was ready to implement what his people demanded. But his government was overthrown in a coup d'état, orchestrated by the British MI6 and North American CIA, and what followed was the murderous dictatorship of the deranged Western puppet – Reza Pahlavi. As in Latin America and Indonesia, instead of schools, hospitals and housing projects, people got death squads, torture chambers and fear. Is that what they wanted? Is that what they voted for?

There were literally dozens of countries, all over the world, which had to be 'saved', by the West, from their own 'irresponsible citizens and voters'. Brazil recently 'celebrated' the 50th anniversary of the US-backed military coup d'état, which began a horrendous 20 year long military dictatorship. The US supported two coups in Iraq, in 1963 and 1968 that brought Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party to power. The list is endless. These are only some random examples.

On closer examination, the West has overthrown, or made attempts to overthrow, almost any democratically elected governments, on all continents attempting to serve their own people, by providing them with decent standards of living and social services. That is quite an achievement, and some stamina!

Could it be then that the West only respects 'Democracy' when 'people are forced to rule' against their own interests? And when they are 'defending' what they are ordered to defend by local elites that are subservient to North American and European interests? and also when they are defending the interests of foreign multi-national companies and Western governments that are dependent on those companies?

***

Can anything be done? If a country is too weak to defend itself by military means, against some mighty Western aggressor, could it approach any international democratic institutions, hoping for protection?

Unthinkable!

A good example is Nicaragua, which had been literally terrorized by the United States, for no other reason than for being socialist. Its government went to court.

The case was called: The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America.

It was a 1986 case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in which the ICJ ruled in favor of Nicaragua and against the United States and awarded reparations to Nicaragua.

The judgment was long, consisting of 291 points. Among them that the United States had been involved in the "unlawful use of force." The alleged violations included attacks on Nicaraguan facilities and naval vessels, the mining of Nicaraguan ports, the invasion of Nicaraguan air space, and the training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying of forces (the "Contras") and seeking to overthrow Nicaragua's Sandinista government.

Judgment was passed, and so were UN votes and resolutions. The UN resolution from 1986 called for the full and immediate compliance with the Judgment. Only Thailand, France and the UK abstained. The US showed total spite towards the court, and it vetoed all UN resolutions.

It continued its terror campaign against Nicaragua. In the end, the ruined and exhausted country voted in 1990. It was soon clear that it was not voting for or against Sandinista government, but whether to endure more violence from the North, or to simply accept depressing defeat. The Sandinista government lost. It lost because the voters had a North American gun pointing at their heads.

This is how 'democracy' works.

I covered the Nicaraguan elections of 1996 and I was told by voters, by a great majority of them, that they were going to vote for the right-wing candidate (Aleman), only because the US was threatening to unleash another wave of terror in case the Sandinista government came back to power, democratically.

The Sandinistas are now back. But only because most of Latin America has changed, and there is unity and determination to fight, if necessary.

***

While the Europeans are clearly benefiting from neo-colonialism and the plunder that goes on all over the world, it would be ridiculous to claim that they themselves are 'enjoying the fruits of democracy'.

In a dazzling novel "Seeing", written by Jose Saramago, a laureate for the Nobel Prize for literature, some 83% of voters in an unidentified country (most likely Saramago's native Portugal), decide to cast blank ballots, expressing clear spite towards the Western representative election system.

This state, which prided itself as a 'democratic one', responded by unleashing an orgy of terror against its own citizens. It soon became obvious that people are allowed to make democratic choices only when the result serves the interests of the regime.

Ursula K Le Guin, reviewing the novel in the pages of The Guardian, on 15 April 2006, admitted:

Turning in a blank ballot is a signal unfamiliar to most Britons and Americans, who aren't yet used to living under a government that has made voting meaningless. In a functioning democracy, one can consider not voting a lazy protest liable to play into the hands of the party in power (as when low Labour turn-out allowed Margaret Thatcher's re-elections, and Democratic apathy secured both elections of George W Bush). It comes hard to me to admit that a vote is not in itself an act of power, and I was at first blind to the point Saramago's non-voting voters are making.

She should not have been. Even in Europe itself, terror had been unleashed, on many occasions, against the people who decided to vote 'incorrectly'.

Perhaps the most brutal instance was in the post WWII period, when the Communist Parties were clearly heading for spectacular victories in France, Italy and West Germany. Such 'irresponsible behavior' had to be, of course, stopped. Both US and UK intelligence forces made a tremendous effort to 'save democracy' in Europe, employing Nazis to break, intimidate, even murder members of progressive movements and parties.

These Nazi cadres were later allowed, even encouraged, to leave Europe for South America, some carrying huge booty from the victims who vanished in concentration camps. This booty included gold teeth.

Later on, in the 1990's, I spoke to some of them, and also to their children, in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. They were proud of their deeds, unrepentant, and as Nazi as ever.

Many of those European Nazis later actively participated in Operation Condor, so enthusiastically supported by the Paraguayan fascist and pro-Western dictator, Alfredo Strössner. Mr Strössner was a dear friend and asylum-giver to many WWII war criminals, including people like Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor known as the "Angel of Death", who performed genetic experiments on children during the WWII.

So, after destroying that 'irresponsible democratic process' in Europe (the post-war Western Empire), many European Nazis that were now loyally serving their new master, were asked to continue with what they knew how to do best. Therefore they helped to assassinate some 60,000 left-wing South American men, women and their children, who were guilty of building egalitarian and just societies in their home countries. Many of these Nazis took part, directly, in Operacion Condor, under the direct supervision of the United States and Europe.

As Naomi Klein writes in her book, Shock Doctrine:

"Operación Cóndor, also known as Plan Cóndor, Portuguese: Operação Condor) was a campaign of political repression and terror involving intelligence operations and assassination of opponents, officially implemented in 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America. The program was intended to eradicate communist or Soviet influence and ideas, and to suppress active or potential opposition movements against the participating governments."

In Chile, German Nazis rolled up their sleeves and went to work directly: by interrogating, liquidating and savagely torturing members of the democratically elected government and its supporters. They also performed countless medical experiments on people, at the so-called Colonia Dirnidad, during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, whose rule was manufactured and sustained by Dr. Kissinger and his clique.

But back to Europe: in Greece, after WWII, both the UK and US got heavily involved in the civil war between the Communists and the extreme right-wing forces.

In 1967, just one month before the elections in which the Greek left-wing was expected to win democratically (the Indonesian scenario of 1965), the US and its 'Greek colonels' staged a coup, which marked the beginning of a 7 year savage dictatorship.

What happened in Yugoslavia, some 30 years later is, of course clear. A successful Communist country could not be allowed to survive, and definitely not in Europe. As bombs fell on Belgrade, many of those inquisitive and critically thinking people that had any illusions left about the Western regime and its 'democratic principles', lost them rapidly.

But by then, the majority of Europe already consisted of indoctrinated masses, some of the worst informed and most monolithic (in their thinking) on earth.

Europe and its voters It is that constantly complaining multitude, which wants more and more money, and delivers the same and extremely predictable electoral results every four, five or six years. It lives and votes mechanically. It has totally lost its ability to imagine a different world, to fight for humanist principles, and even to dream.

It is turning into an extremely scary place, a museum at best, and a cemetery of human vision at the worst.

***

As Noam Chomsky pointed out:

Americans may be encouraged to vote, but not to participate more meaningfully in the political arena. Essentially the election is a method of marginalizing the population. A huge propaganda campaign is mounted to get people to focus on these personalized quadrennial extravaganzas and to think, "That's politics." But it isn't. It's only a small part of politics.
The population has been carefully excluded from political activity, and not by accident. An enormous amount of work has gone into that disenfranchisement. During the 1960s the outburst of popular participation in democracy terrified the forces of convention, which mounted a fierce counter-campaign. Manifestations show up today on the left as well as the right in the effort to drive democracy back into the hole where it belongs.

Arundhati Roy, commented in her "Is there life after democracy?"

The question here, really, is what have we done to democracy? What have we turned it into? What happens once democracy has been used up? When it has been hollowed out and emptied of meaning? What happens when each of its institutions has metastasized into something dangerous? What happens now that democracy and the Free Market have fused into a single predatory organism with a thin, constricted imagination that revolves almost entirely around the idea of maximizing profit? Is it possible to reverse this process? Can something that has mutated go back to being what it used to be?

***

After all that brutality, and spite for people all over the world, the West is now teaching the planet about democracy. It is lecturing Asians and Africans, people from Middle East and Sub-Continent, on how to make their countries more 'democratic'. It is actually hard to believe, it should be one of the most hilarious things on earth, but it is happening, and everyone is silent about it.

Those who are listening without bursting into laughter are actually well paid.

There are seminars; even foreign aid projects related to 'good governance', sponsored by the European Union, and the United States. The EU is actually much more active in this field. Like the Italian mafia, it sends covert but unmistakable messages to the world: "You do as we say, or we break your legs But if you obey, come to us and we will teach you how to be a good aide to Cosa Nostra! And we will give you some pasta and wine while you are learning."

Because there is plenty of money, so called 'funding' members of the elite, the academia, media and non-government organizations, from countries that have been plundered by the West – countries like Indonesia, Philippines, DR Congo, Honduras, or Colombia –send armies of people to get voluntarily indoctrinated, (sorry, to be 'enlightened') to learn about democracy from the greatest assassins of genuine 'people's power'; from the West.

Violating democracy is an enormous business. To hush it up is part of that business. To learn how to be idle and not to intervene against the external forces destroying democracy in your own country, while pretending to be 'engaged and active', is actually the best business, much better than building bridges or educating children (from a mercantilist point of view).

Once, at the University of Indonesia where I was invited to speak, a student asked me 'what is the way forward', to make his country more democratic? I replied, looking at several members of the professorial staff:

"Demand that your teachers stop going to Europe on fully funded trips. Demand that they stop being trained in how to brainwash you. Do not go there yourself, to study. Go there to see, to understand and to learn, but not to study Europe had robbed you of everything. They are still looting your country. What do you think you will learn there? Do you really think they will teach you how to save your nation?"

Students began laughing. The professors were fuming. I was never invited back. I am sure that the professors knew exactly what I was talking about. The students did not. They were thinking that I made a very good joke. But I was not trying to be funny.

***

As I write these words, the Thai military junta has taken over the country. The West is silent: the Thai military is an extremely close ally. Democracy at work

And as I write these words, the fascist government in Kiev is chasing, kidnapping and "disappearing" people in the east and south of Ukraine. By some insane twist of logic, the Western corporate media is managing to blame Russia. And only a few people are rolling around on the floor, laughing.

As I write these words, a big part of Africa is in flames, totally destroyed by the US, UK, France and other colonial powers.

Client states like the Philippines are now literally being paid to get antagonistic with China.

Japanese neo-fascist adventurism fully supported by the Unites States can easily trigger WWIII. So can Western greed and fascist practices in Ukraine.

Democracy! People's power!

If the West had sat on its ass, where it belongs, in Europe and in North America, after WWII, the world would have hardly any problems now. People like Lumumba, Allende, Sukarno, Mosaddeq, would have led their nations and continents. They would have communicated with their own people, interacted with them. They would have built their own styles of 'democracy'.

But all that came from the Bandung Conference of 1955, from the ideals of the Non-Aligned movement, was ruined and bathed in blood. The true hopes of the people of the world cut to pieces, urinated on, and then thrown into gutter.

But no more time should be wasted by just analyzing, and by crying over spilt milk. Time to move on!

The world has been tortured by Europe and the United States, for decades and centuries. It has been tortured in the name of democracy but it has all been one great lie. The world has been tortured simply because of greed, and because of racism. Just look back at history. Europe and the United States have only stopped calling people "niggers", but they do not have any more respect for them than before. And they are willing, same as before, to sacrifice millions of human lives.

Let us stop worshiping their box, and those meaningless pieces of paper that they want us to stick in there. There is no power of people in this. Look at the United States itself – where is our democracy? It is a one-party regime fully controlled by market fundamentalists. Look at our press, and propaganda

Rule of the people by the people, true democracy, can be achieved. We the people had been derailed, intellectually, so we have not been thinking how, for so many decades.

Now we, many of us, know what is wrong, but we are still not sure what is right.

Let us think and let us search, let us experiment. And also, let us reject their fascism first. Let them stick their papers wherever they want! Let them pretend that they are not slaves to some vendors and swindlers. Let them do whatever they want – there, where they belong.

Democracy is more than a box. It is more than a multitude of political parties. It is when people can truly choose, decide and build a society that they dream about. Democracy is the lack of fear of having napalm and bombs murdering our dreams. Democracy is when people speak and from those words grow their own nation. Democracy is when millions of hands join together and from that brilliant union, new trains begin to run, new schools begin to teach, and new hospitals begin to heal. All this by the people, for the people! All this created by proud and free humans as gift to all – to their nation.

Yes, let the slave masters stick their pieces of paper into a box, or somewhere else. They can call it democracy. Let us call democracy something else – rule of the people, a great exchange of ideas, of hopes and dreams. Let our taking control over our lives and over our nations be called 'democracy'!

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His discussion with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism is now going to print. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called "Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear". He has just completed the feature documentary, "Rwanda Gambit" about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

[Sep 18, 2017] A Foreign Enemy is a Tyrants Best Friend

Notable quotes:
"... This activates what Randolph Bourne called their "herd mind," inducing them to rally around their governments in a militaristic stampede so as to create the national unity of purpose deemed necessary to defend the homeland against the foreign menace. When you lay siege to an entire country, don't be surprised when it starts to look and act like a barracks. ..."
"... Imperial governments like to pretend that affairs are quite the reverse, adopting the essentially terrorist rationale that waging war against the civilian populace of a rogue state will pressure them to blame and turn against their governments. In reality, it only tends to bolster public support for the regime. ..."
"... The imperial "bogeygoat" is an essential prop for the power of petty tyrants, just as rogue state bogeymen are essential props for the power of grand tyrants like our own. Thus, it should be no surprise that the staunchest opponents to the Iran nuclear deal include both American and Iranian hardliners. Just as there is a "symbiosis of savagery" between imperial hawks and anti-imperial terrorists (as I explain here), there is a similar symbiotic relationship between imperial and rogue state hardliners. ..."
Jul 28, 2015 | Antiwar.com

Cold wars freeze despotism in place, and thaws in foreign relations melt it away

The recent Iran nuclear deal represents a thaw in the American cold war against that country. It is a welcome sequel to the Obama administration's partial normalization with Cuba announced late last year.

Hardliners denounce these policies as "going soft" on theocracy and communism. Yet, it is such critics' own hardline, hawkish policies that have done the most to ossify and strengthen such regimes.

That is because war, including cold war, is the health of the state. Antagonistic imperial policies - economic warfare, saber-rattling, clandestine interventions, and full-blown attacks - make the citizens of targeted "rogue states" feel under siege.

This activates what Randolph Bourne called their "herd mind," inducing them to rally around their governments in a militaristic stampede so as to create the national unity of purpose deemed necessary to defend the homeland against the foreign menace. When you lay siege to an entire country, don't be surprised when it starts to look and act like a barracks.

Rogue state governments eagerly amplify and exploit this siege effect through propaganda, taking on the mantle of foremost defender of the nation against the "Yankee Imperialist" or "Great Satan." Amid the atmosphere of crisis, public resistance against domestic oppression by the now indispensable "guardian class" goes by the board. "Quit your complaining. Don't you know there's a cold war on? Don't you know we're under siege?"

Moreover, cold wars make it easy for rogue state governments to shift the blame for domestic troubles away from their own misrule, and onto the foreign bogeyman/scapegoat ("bogeygoat?") instead. This is especially easy for being to some extent correct, especially with regard to economic blockades and other crippling sanctions, like those Washington has imposed on Cuba, Iran, etc.

Imperial governments like to pretend that affairs are quite the reverse, adopting the essentially terrorist rationale that waging war against the civilian populace of a rogue state will pressure them to blame and turn against their governments. In reality, it only tends to bolster public support for the regime.

The imperial "bogeygoat" is an essential prop for the power of petty tyrants, just as rogue state bogeymen are essential props for the power of grand tyrants like our own. Thus, it should be no surprise that the staunchest opponents to the Iran nuclear deal include both American and Iranian hardliners. Just as there is a "symbiosis of savagery" between imperial hawks and anti-imperial terrorists (as I explain here), there is a similar symbiotic relationship between imperial and rogue state hardliners.

The last thing hardliners want is the loss of their cherished bogeygoat. Once an emergency foreign threat recedes, and the fog of war hysteria lifts, people are then more capable of clearly seeing their "guardians" as the domestic threat that they are, and more likely to feel that they can afford to address that threat without exposing themselves to foreign danger. This tends to impel governments to become less oppressive, and may even lead to their loss of power.

Thus after Nixon normalized with communist China and belatedly ended the war on communist Vietnam, both of those countries greatly liberalized and became more prosperous. Even Soviet reforms and the ultimate dissolution of the Soviet Union only arose following American detente.

Simultaneously, as the American cold wars against communist Cuba and communist North Korea continued without stint for decades, providing the Castros and Kims the ultimate bogeygoat to feature in their propaganda, the impoverishing authoritarian grip of those regimes on their besieged people only strengthened.

Similarly, ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the puppet dictator that the CIA had installed over Iran in a 1953 coup, the Ayatollahs have been able to exploit ongoing hostility from the American "Great Satan" to retain and consolidate their repressive theocratic power.

All this is an object lesson for US relations with Putin's Russia, Chavista Venezuela, and beyond. Disastrously, it is being unheeded.

Even while thawing relations with Iran, the Obama administration has triggered a new cold war with Russia over Ukraine. This has only made Russian President Vladimir Putin more domestically popular than ever.

And even while normalizing relations with Cuba, Obama recently declared Venezuela a national security threat, imposing new sanctions. As journalist Alexandra Ulmer argued, these sanctions "may be godsend for struggling Venezuelan leader," President Nicolas Maduro. As Ulmer wrote in Reuters:

"Suddenly, the unpopular leader has an excuse to crank up the revolutionary rhetoric and try to fire up supporters, copying a tactic used skillfully for more than a decade by his mentor and predecessor, the late socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez.

A new fight with the enemy to the north may also help unite disparate ruling Socialist Party factions and distract Venezuelans from relentless and depressing talk about their day-to-day economic problems."

[Jun 17, 2017] Why Bernie Sanders is an Imperialist Pig by Glen Ford

Notable quotes:
"... "The United States does not have a national health care system worthy of the name, because it is in the war business, not the health business or the social equality business." ..."
"... The United States is a predator nation, conceived and settled as a thief, exterminator and enslaver of other peoples. The slave-based republic's phenomenal geographic expansion and economic growth were predicated on the super-exploitation of stolen African labor and the ruthless expropriation of native lands through genocidal wars, an uninterrupted history of plunder glorified in earlier times as "Manifest Destiny" and now exalted as "American exceptionalism," an inherently racist justification for international and domestic lawlessness. ..."
"... "The U.S. state demands fealty to its imperial project as a substitute for any genuine social contract among its inhabitants." ..."
"... "The first Black U.S. president, Barack Obama, was among the most aggressive defenders of white supremacy in history." ..."
"... in opposition to their own interests ..."
"... "Race relations in the U.S. cannot be understood outside the historical context of war, including the constant state of race war that is a central function of the U.S. State." ..."
"... "We need a strong military, it is a dangerous world," Sanders told voters in Iowa." ..."
"... Sanders is a regime-changer, which means he thinks the U.S., in combination with self-selected allies, is above international law, i.e., "exceptional." ..."
"... According to Politico , "As late as 2002," Sanders' campaign website declared that "the defense budget should be cut by 50 percent over the next five years." But all the defense-cutting air went out of his chest after Bush invaded Iraq. Nowadays, Sanders limits himself to the usual noises about Pentagon "waste," but has no principled position against the imperial mission of the United States. "We need a strong military, it is a dangerous world," Sanders told voters in Iowa, during the campaign. ..."
"... Like Paul Street said, he's an "imperialist...Democratic Party company man." ..."
"... "A Sanders-led Party would still be an imperialist, pro-war party." ..."
"... BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com . ..."
Jun 17, 2017 | blackagendareport.com

Leftish Democrats insist they can reform the corporate-run, Russia-obsessed Democratic Party from the inside, but most pay little attention to war. However, "War is not a side issue in the United States; it is the central political issue, on which all the others turn." Some think Bernie Sanders should run with the Peoples Party. But, "Sanders is a warmonger, not merely by association, but by

"The United States does not have a national health care system worthy of the name, because it is in the war business, not the health business or the social equality business."

The United States is a predator nation, conceived and settled as a thief, exterminator and enslaver of other peoples. The slave-based republic's phenomenal geographic expansion and economic growth were predicated on the super-exploitation of stolen African labor and the ruthless expropriation of native lands through genocidal wars, an uninterrupted history of plunder glorified in earlier times as "Manifest Destiny" and now exalted as "American exceptionalism," an inherently racist justification for international and domestic lawlessness.

Assembled, acre by bloody acre, as a metastasizing empire, the U.S. state demands fealty to its imperial project as a substitute for any genuine social contract among its inhabitants – a political culture custom-made for the rule of rich white people.

The American project has been one long war of aggression that has shaped its borders, its internal social relations, and its global outlook and ambitions. It was founded as a consciously capitalist state that competed with other European powers through direct absorption of captured lands, brutal suppression of native peoples and the fantastic accumulation of capital through a diabolically efficient system of Black chattel slavery – a 24/7 war against the slave. This system then morphed through two stages of "Jim Crow" to become a Mass Black Incarceration State – a perpetual war of political and physical containment against Black America.

"The U.S. state demands fealty to its imperial project as a substitute for any genuine social contract among its inhabitants."

Since the end of World War Two, the U.S. has assumed the role of protector of the spoils of half a millennium of European wars and occupations of the rest of the world: the organized rape of nations that we call colonialism. The first Black U.S. president, Barack Obama, was among the most aggressive defenders of white supremacy in history -- defending the accumulated advantages that colonialism provided to western European nations, settler states (like the U.S.) and citizens -- having launched an ongoing military offensive aimed at strangling the Chinese giant and preventing an effective Eurasian partnership with Russia. The first phase of the offensive, the crushing of Libya in 2011, allowed the United States to complete the effective military occupation of Africa, through AFRICOM.

The U.S. and its NATO allies already account for about 70 percent of global military spending, but Obama and his successor, Donald Trump, demand that Europeans increase the proportion of their economic output that goes to war. More than half of U.S. discretionary spending -- the tax money that is not dedicated to mandated social and development programs -- goes to what Dr. Martin Luther King 50 years ago called the "demonic, destructive suction tube" of the U.S. war machine.

"The first Black U.S. president, Barack Obama, was among the most aggressive defenders of white supremacy in history."

The United States does not have a national health care system worthy of the name, because it is in the war business, not the health business or the social equality business. The U.S. has the weakest left, by far, of any industrialized country, because it has never escaped the racist, predatory dynamic on which it was founded, which stunted and deformed any real social contract among its peoples. In the U.S., progress is defined by global dominance of the U.S. State -- chiefly in military terms -- rather than domestic social development. Americans only imagine that they are materially better off than the people of other developed nations -- a fallacy they assume to be the case because of U.S. global military dominance. More importantly, most white Americans feel racially entitled to the spoils of U.S. dominance as part of their patrimony, even if they don't actually enjoy the fruits. ("WE made this country great.") This is by no means limited to Trump voters.

Race relations in the U.S. cannot be understood outside the historical context of war, including the constant state of race war that is a central function of the U.S. State: protecting "American values," fighting "crime" and "urban disorder," and all the other euphemisms for preserving white supremacy.

War is not a side issue in the United States; it is the central political issue, on which all the others turn. War mania is the enemy of all social progress -- especially so, when it unites disparate social forces, in opposition to their own interests , in the service of an imperialist state that is the tool of a rapacious white capitalist elite. Therefore, the orchestrated propaganda blitzkrieg against Russia by the Democratic Party, in collaboration with the corporate media and other functionaries and properties of the U.S. ruling class, marks the party as, collectively, the Warmonger-in-Chief political institution in the United States at this historical juncture. The Democrats are anathema to any politics that can be described as progressive.

"Race relations in the U.S. cannot be understood outside the historical context of war, including the constant state of race war that is a central function of the U.S. State."

Bernie Sanders is a highly valued Democrat, the party's Outreach Director and therefore, as Paul Street writes , "the imperialist and sheep-dogging fake-socialist Democratic Party company man that some of us on the 'hard radical' Left said he was." Sanders is a warmonger, not merely by association, but by virtue of his own positions. He favors more sanctions against Russia, in addition to the sanctions levied against Moscow in 2014 and 2016 for its measured response to the U.S-backed fascist coup against a democratically elected government in Ukraine. Rather than surrender to U.S. bullying, Russia came to the military aid of the sovereign and internationally recognized government of Syria in 2015, upsetting the U.S. game plan for an Islamic jihadist victory.

Back in April of this year, on NBC's Meet The Press, Sanders purposely mimicked The Godfather when asked what he would do to force the Russians "to the table" in Syria:

"I think you may want to make them an offer they can't refuse. And that means tightening the screws on them, dealing with sanctions, telling them that we need their help, they have got to come to the table and not maintain this horrific dictator."

Of course, it is the United States that has sabotaged every international agreement to rein in its jihadist mercenaries in Syria.

"We need a strong military, it is a dangerous world," Sanders told voters in Iowa."

Sanders is a regime-changer, which means he thinks the U.S., in combination with self-selected allies, is above international law, i.e., "exceptional."

"We've got to work with countries around the world for a political solution to get rid of this guy [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] and to finally bring peace and stability to this country, which has been so decimated."

During the 2016 campaign, Sanders urged the U.S. to stop acting unilaterally in the region, but instead to collaborate with Syria's Arab neighbors -- as if the funding and training of jihadist fighters had not been a joint effort with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies, all along.

According to Politico , "As late as 2002," Sanders' campaign website declared that "the defense budget should be cut by 50 percent over the next five years." But all the defense-cutting air went out of his chest after Bush invaded Iraq. Nowadays, Sanders limits himself to the usual noises about Pentagon "waste," but has no principled position against the imperial mission of the United States. "We need a strong military, it is a dangerous world," Sanders told voters in Iowa, during the campaign.

Like Paul Street said, he's an "imperialist...Democratic Party company man."

"A Sanders-led Party would still be an imperialist, pro-war party."

At last weekend's People's Summit , in Chicago, National Nurses United executive director RoseAnn DeMoro endorsed Sanders for a mission he finds impossible to accept: a run for president in 2020 on the Peoples Party ticket. Sanders already had his chance to run as a Green, and refused. He is now the second most important Democrat in the country, behind the ultra-corrupt Bill-Hillary Clinton machine -- and by far the most popular. On top of that, Sanders loves being the hero of the phony left, the guy who gimmick-seeking left-liberals hope will create an instant national party for them, making it unnecessary to build a real anti-war, pro-people party from scratch to go heads up with the two corporate machines.

Sanders doesn't even have to exert himself to string the Peoples Party folks along; they eagerly delude themselves. However, a Sanders-led Party would still be an imperialist, pro-war party.

The U.S. does need a social democratic party, but it must be anti-war, otherwise it commits a fraud on social democracy. The United States is the imperial superpower, the main military aggressor on the planet. Its rulers must be deprived of the political ability to spend trillions on war, and to kill millions, or they will always use the "necessity" of war to enforce austerity. The "left" domestic project will fail.

For those of us from the Black Radical Tradition, anti-imperialism is central. Solidarity with the victims of U.S. imperialism is non-negotiable, and we can make no common cause with U.S. political actors that treat war as a political side show, an "elective" issue that is separate from domestic social justice. This is not just a matter of principle, but also of practical politics. "Left" imperialism isn't just evil, it is self-defeating and stupid.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com .

[Jun 17, 2017] Sanders is with neocon lobby and supports Russian sanctions

Jun 17, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

rickee | Jun 16, 2017 12:47:19 AM | 33

@15 You mistate/misunderstood: "There was a simultaneous vote..." There was not.

S.Amdt. 232 (increase sanctions on Russia and limit Trump) was an amendment to S. 722 (the Iranian sanctions bill).

Sanders voted for 232 because, frankly, he's all on board the Russia-Russia-Russia hysteria and demonizing Syria. He voted against 722 for the potential damage to the multi-lateral nuclear agreement with Iran. From his senate.gov website today:

" I am strongly supportive of the sanctions on Russia included in this bill. It is unacceptable for Russia to interfere in our elections here in the United States, or anywhere around the world. There must be consequences for such actions. I also have deep concerns about the policies and activities of the Iranian government, especially their support for the brutal Assad regime in Syria.

I have voted for sanctions on Iran in the past, and I believe sanctions were an important tool for bringing Iran to the negotiating table. But I believe that these new sanctions could endanger the very important nuclear agreement that was signed between the United States, its partners and Iran in 2015. That is not a risk worth taking, particularly at a time of heightened tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia and its allies. I think the United States must play a more even-handed role in the Middle East, and find ways to address not only Iran's activities, but also Saudi Arabia's decades-long support for radical extremism."

@10 is correct: they're all in...

[Jun 15, 2017] The basic thread running through all of the workshops and demagogic speeches was the fiction that the Democratic Party -- a party of Wall Street and the CIA-can be transformed into a peoples party

Jun 15, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Northern Star , June 13, 2017 at 10:51 am
"The event was a political fraud from beginning to end. The basic thread running through all of the workshops and demagogic speeches was the fiction that the Democratic Party-a party of Wall Street and the CIA-can be transformed into a "people's party."
LOL!!! Totally spot the F on!!!!!

"Sanders lent his support to the neo-McCarthyite campaign of the Democrats and the military-intelligence apparatus, which sees Russia as the chief obstacle to US imperialism's drive for regime change in Syria and Iran. "I find it strange we have a president who is more comfortable with autocrats and authoritarians than leaders of democratic nations," Sanders said. "Why is he enamored with Putin, a man who has suppressed democracy and destabilized democracies around the world, including our own?"

Sanders?? No fool like an old fool and tool of TPTB

marknesop , June 13, 2017 at 11:42 am
Oh, I doubt he's a fool; the creed of the western political class is recognition of its own and their interests over the interests of the majority. It is technically true that Putin is destabilizing governments around the world – 'democracies', if you will – but it would presuppose that western leaders are his accomplices. Because it is through them and their crackdowns and restrictions and surveillance, which they say they must introduce for our own protection (because, you know, freedom isn't free) that discontent and destabilization are born. Reply

[Jun 13, 2017] Bait and switch artist as Barack Obama authentic self

Notable quotes:
"... I feel utterly betrayed and conned by Barack Obama. He looked, talked and exuded kind, "humanness". But he was a fraud that STILL evades the grok of huge parts of the World population. People generally find it difficult to accept that this beautiful man (Obama) with the beautiful family, is a tyrannical bastard.(Remember NYT's, Uncle Joe Stalin?). ..."
"... Hillary Clinton, refreshingly (IMO), and bravely, is obviously a crazed maniac. Many noticed her authentic self during the campaign. Now that she is increasingly free to express her inner life, I expect people on both sides of the political divide (The Ups, AND the Downs) to wake up and smell the coffee. We are being lied to about almost everything, and it is not inadvertent. ..."
Jun 13, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
clarky90 , , , June 12, 2017 at 5:07 pm

I believe that Hillary Clinton IS being, and broadcasting her authentic self. I support her 100% in this . I am not being snide. The curtains are being pulled aside on The Incompetent, Wizards of Oz (The Corrupt Over-class). Hillary C will be remembered as the Foolish Wizard who could not keep her curtain drawn! We got a glimpse into the innards of the Heath Robinson, Control Booth, Political Contraption. (George Soros playing with himself!)

I feel utterly betrayed and conned by Barack Obama. He looked, talked and exuded kind, "humanness". But he was a fraud that STILL evades the grok of huge parts of the World population. People generally find it difficult to accept that this beautiful man (Obama) with the beautiful family, is a tyrannical bastard.(Remember NYT's, Uncle Joe Stalin?).

Hillary Clinton, refreshingly (IMO), and bravely, is obviously a crazed maniac. Many noticed her authentic self during the campaign. Now that she is increasingly free to express her inner life, I expect people on both sides of the political divide (The Ups, AND the Downs) to wake up and smell the coffee. We are being lied to about almost everything, and it is not inadvertent.

References

(1) "One-third of world now overweight, with US leading the way"
?????????????????? ..
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/12/health/global-obesity-study/index.html

Tvc15 , , June 12, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Clarky90 said, " We are being lied to about almost everything, and it is not inadvertent." Exactly!

And the only solace I have from the Trump show is that the curtains will be pulled back completely to expose the puppeteers of this charade they call a democracy.

OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL , , June 12, 2017 at 7:20 pm

Which should make it much easier to generate authentic opposition, doncha think? Trump was The Great Reveal, next up is The Great Reveal for Dems: that they too love War and Billionaire Corporo-Fascism

roxy , June 12, 2017 at 3:04 pm

"Everybody Needs to Stop Telling Hillary Clinton to Shut Up"

Throughout the campaign, culminating in the mindbogglingly stupid "deplorables" remark, Clinton's contempt for anyone who questioned her was clear. Her post election tour brings more of the same. So yeah, people are sick of hearing it, and have every right to say so.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , June 12, 2017 at 6:31 pm

She should be grateful that there are still people who bother to tell her to be quiet.

Me? I have ears but do not hear when it comes to her. Her spells can never penetrate my thick skull.

[Jun 13, 2017] Three Takeaways From Bernie Sanders Speech At The Peoples Summit

Jun 13, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

RGC June 13, 2017 at 08:31 AM

Three Takeaways From Bernie Sanders' Speech At The People's Summit

"He may not be the leader of the free world, but to the 4,000 activists gathered at The People's Summit in Chicago, Sen. Bernie Sanders reigns supreme.

The former presidential candidate and senator from Vermont headlined the progressive activist conference Saturday night, drawing whoops, hollers, and standing ovations from the crowd that fought alongside him on the road to the White House. Sanders' new calling: turning the 'resistance' movement into action in the face of a president he's called a "fraud."

Sanders took aim at President Trump, the Democratic Party, and the outsized role of corporations in American politics, hitting the major themes from his campaign stump speech and introducing some new ones.

https://www.bustle.com/p/three-takeaways-from-bernie-sanders-speech-at-the-peoples-summit-63549

[Jun 11, 2017] Bernie would have won.

Jun 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H., June 09, 2017 at 06:29 PM

"Alas the pretend progressives here cannot be bothered."

PGL you're the only "pretend progressive" here. Real leftists do well in an election and so PGL throws a little temper tantrum. You can't make him discuss it! He won't admit he was wrong! He supported Corbyn even though he didn't talk about the election once during the entire campaign. What a tedious phoney.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/09/opinion/how-jeremy-corbyn-proved-the-haters-wrong.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

How Jeremy Corbyn Proved the Haters Wrong

By RACHEL SHABI
JUNE 9, 2017

LONDON - Among the many satisfying outcomes of Britain's general election has been the roll call of pundits reeling out apologies for getting it so wrong. The Labour Party has, against all odds, surged to take a 40 percent share of the vote, more than it has won in years. And so the nation's commentariat, who had confidently thought that the party under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership would be wiped off the political map, are now eating giant slices of humble pie.

Nobody is in politics to gloat. Labour's leadership team and supporters alike want the party to win not for the sake of winning, but in order to bring Labour's economic and social agenda to Britain, to measurably improve people's lives. Still, a little schadenfreude is definitely in order.

Mr. Corbyn, from the left of the party, unexpectedly took its helm in 2015 after a rule change allowed, for the first time, rank-and-file members to have an equal vote for their leader. And he has been ridiculed, dismissed and bemoaned ever since. Cast as an incongruous combination of incompetent beardy old man and peacenik terrorist sympathizer, Mr. Corbyn faced down a leadership challenge from his own party about a year ago and constant sniping, criticism and calls for him to quit throughout.

The political and pundit classes, in their wisdom, thought it entirely inconceivable that someone like him - so unpolished, so left wing - could ever persuade voters. After Britain's referendum decision, last June, to leave the European Union, more scathing criticism was piled upon the Labour leader for his decision to, well, accept the democratic referendum decision, however bad it was.

By the time Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election six weeks ago, her party ran a 20-point poll lead ahead of Labour and her personal approval ratings were sky high while Mr. Corbyn's were abysmally low. Liberal pundits were aghast at the thought of the Labour Party self-destructing under Mr. Corbyn's supposedly toxic leadership. He was once again urged to step down.

Then the campaign started - and every prediction was turned on its head. The well-funded, hyper-efficient Conservatives and their chorus of supporters in Britain's mostly right-wing press ran a terrible campaign. Mrs. May came across as robotic and out of touch; she didn't seem to like engaging with the press, much less the public. The more people saw of her, the more her ratings sank.

For Mr. Corbyn, the opposite was true. His detractors said his appeal was limited to a niche of radical left activists, but in reality his quiet confidence, credibility and integrity - so refreshing at a time when politicians are viewed as untrustworthy careerists - drew crowds of enthusiastic supporters to ever-growing rallies. At one point, arriving to a televised debate just over a week before the election, he was greeted with solid cheers en route to the event. That was when his leadership team sensed something significant was taking place.

Part of this extraordinary success was a result of the party's campaign. Fun, energetic, innovative and inspiring, it created its own momentum, with organic support mushrooming out of the most unlikely places, flooding social media with viral memes and messages: Rappers and D.J.s, soccer players, economists and television personalities alike climbed aboard the Corbyn project. Momentum, a grass-roots organization of Corbyn supporters, activated the party's estimated 500,000 members - many of whom had joined because Mr. Corbyn was elected as leader - into canvassing efforts across the country, including, crucially, in up-for-grabs districts. Supporters were further encouraged by the sight of Labour candidates demolishing long-hated Conservatives on television, appearances that were swiftly turned into video clips and raced around the internet.

But the main mobilizer of support was the party's politics. For decades, Labour has been resolutely centrist, essentially offering a slightly kinder version of neoliberal consensus politics. Those on the left had long said that this was what had caused the party's slow decline, a hemorrhaging of support from its traditional working-class voters. With Mr. Corbyn at its helm, the party tacked firmly to the left, proposing to tax the few for the benefit of the many and offering major national investment projects, funding for the welfare state, the scrapping of university tuition fees and the re-nationalization of rail and energy companies.

It was a hopeful vision for a fairer society, offered at a time when the country is experiencing wage stagnation and spiraling living costs, with many buckling under because of the economic crash of 2008 and the Conservative Party's savage austerity cuts that followed. Given the chance for the first time in decades to vote for something else, something better, a surprising number of voters took it. Young people, in particular, seized this offer: With youth turnout unusually high at 72 percent, it's clear that Labour brought them to the ballot box in droves.

Labour's shock comeback has tugged the party, along with Britain's political landscape, and the range of acceptable discourse back to the left. In a hung Parliament, the Conservatives still came out of the election as the main party, and now looks set to go into coalition government with the homophobic, anti-abortion Democratic Unionist Party. But the Conservatives are now a maimed party with a discredited leader - weaknesses to be seized upon and exploited by a now united and empowered Labour party.

Christopher H. - , June 09, 2017 at 06:34 PM
Bernie would have won.
im1dc - , June 09, 2017 at 06:56 PM
Bernie couldn't beat Hillary therefore Bernie would not have won b/c he DIDN'T.
Christopher H. - , June 09, 2017 at 07:45 PM
Bernie would have won if he had been the nominee. Not my fault the establishment Democrats wanted to lose again.
Gibbon1 - , June 10, 2017 at 03:31 AM
The grifters in the party didn't lose you dope. They all got paid. It's all so very much like making a movie. So what if it didn't break even at the box office, everyone involved got theirs.

Seriously though you are correct. Sanders would have won against Trump. Everyone knows that, except the die hard centerist Democrats that are trying hard not to look in mirror.

Sanjait - , June 10, 2017 at 08:47 AM
You wingnuts cant seem to comprehend that the Democratic primaries
was a series of state elections in which Hillary legitimately got more voters to vote for her. They picked Hillary, for all your bleating about "elites."
Christopher H. - , June 10, 2017 at 09:39 AM
Sandy, Sandy, so naive.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron - , June 10, 2017 at 09:46 AM
Krugman posited once that Bernie might win the nomination by beating Hillary with disaffected white voters in the red states despite being ultimately unelectable because of his radical views in the general election. Of course that is not at all what happened.
Christopher H. - , June 10, 2017 at 10:09 AM
This is what Krugman wrote, which turned out to be exactly wrong.

https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/03/14/populism-and-the-politics-of-health/

"....This ties in with an important recent piece by Zack Beauchamp on the striking degree to which left-wing economics fails, in practice, to counter right-wing populism; basically, Sandersism has failed everywhere it has been tried. Why?

The answer, presumably, is that what we call populism is really in large degree white identity politics, which can't be addressed by promising universal benefits. Among other things, these "populist" voters now live in a media bubble, getting their news from sources that play to their identity-politics desires, which means that even if you offer them a better deal, they won't hear about it or believe it if told. For sure many if not most of those who gained health coverage thanks to Obamacare have no idea that's what happened.

That said, taking the benefits away would probably get their attention, and maybe even open their eyes to the extent to which they are suffering to provide tax cuts to the rich.

In Europe, right-wing parties probably don't face the same dilemma; they're preaching herrenvolk social democracy, a welfare state but only for people who look like you. In America, however, Trump_vs_deep_state is faux populism that appeals to white identity but actually serves plutocrats. That fundamental contradiction is now out in the open."

RC AKA Darryl, Ron - , June 11, 2017 at 03:55 AM
I recall something more damning, but have not been able to find it after repeated attempts. My belief is that it was obviously so far off the mark that it has been taken down off Krugman's NYT blog and maybe any reference to it here at EV as well.

[Jun 08, 2017] Taken In: Fake News Distracts Us From Fake Election

Notable quotes:
"... There are numerous clues that point to the 2016 US Presidential Election as having been a set-up. Few seem willing to take a close look at these facts. But it is necessary for an understanding of the world we live in today. ..."
"... Sanders as sheep-dog Black Agenda Report called Sanders a sheep-dog soon after he entered the race . ..."
May 31, 2017 | jackrabbit.blog
There are numerous clues that point to the 2016 US Presidential Election as having been a set-up. Few seem willing to take a close look at these facts. But it is necessary for an understanding of the world we live in today.

Trump's first 100 days has come and gone and he has proven to be every bit the faux populist that Obama was (as I explained in a previous post). In hind-sight we can see how a new faux populist was installed.

Evidence

  1. Sanders as sheep-dog Black Agenda Report called Sanders a sheep-dog soon after he entered the race . Sanders made it clear from the start that he ruled out the possibility of running as an independent. That was only the first of many punches that Sanders pulled as he led his 'sheep' into the Democratic fold. Others were:

    >> "Enough with the emails!"

    >> Not pursuing Hillary's 'winning' of 6 coin tosses in Iowa;

    >> Virtually conceding the black and female vote to Hillary;

    >> Not calling Hillary out about her claim to have NEVER sold her vote;

    >> Endorsing Hillary despite learning of Hillary-DNC collusion;

    >> Continuing to help the Democratic Party reach out to Bernie supports even after the election.

    As one keen observer noted: Sanders is a Company Man .

  2. Trump as Clinton protege

[May 19, 2017] Centrist Macron Yes, a dead-center insider for global capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... The media says what??? Hillary Clinton complains about the media? Which media says that? Give us ONE single example Hillary! Just one where the media says you can't talk about that. Just pure hypocrisy ..."
"... Superficially, there is a semblance of variance from the political establishment. Macron formed his En Marche (Forward) movement only a year ago. He has never held elected political office. And until three years ago hardly anyone had ever heard of him. ..."
"... Paradoxically, Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council, congratulated the French people for "choosing liberty, equality and fraternity, and saying no to fake news." Paradoxical because everything about Emmanuel Macron's "meteoric rise" through elite banking and his equally stellar crossover to politics smacks of fabrication and fakery. ..."
"... Former banking colleagues recall that he wasn't particularly capable in his four years at Rothschild's while on a multi-million-euro income. But he "mastered the art of networking." In a Financial Times profile published before the election, a senior banker is quoted as saying: "What Mr Macron lacked in technical knowledge and jargon at first, he made up for with contacts in government." Other sources recall that "it was never quite clear who Macron worked for." ..."
"... Macron's En Marche does not have any members in parliament. His government will thus likely be comprised of patronage and technocrats selected from years of networking in the financial and Élysée Palace establishment. ..."
May 10, 2017 | www.eutimes.net

Everything about France's new president Emmanuel Macron suggests a theatrical production of hype and illusion. He is being "sold" to the masses as an "outsider" and "centrist", a benign liberal.

In reality, enter the economic hitman who will blow French society apart in the service of the oligarchy.

At age 39, Macron has been described as a "political wonderboy" and France's "youngest leader since Napoleon Bonaparte." The former Rothschild banker who reportedly once had the nickname "the Mozart of Finance" is now promising to renew France and bring the nation together, where people will no longer "vote for extremes."

Fittingly for the Mozart of Finance, the new president used the "grandest of backdrops for entrance on the world stage," when he made his victory speech on Sunday night in the courtyard of the Louvre, noted the Financial Times. His dramatic walk to the stage through the world-famous museum courtyard took a full four minutes. The night lights and shadows played with Macron's unsmiling, stoney face as he strode purposely forward amid the strains of Beethoven's Ode to Joy. The choice of the European Union's national anthem, rather than France's, is a harbinger of Macron's political project and the globalist interests he serves.

The media says what??? Hillary Clinton complains about the media? Which media says that? Give us ONE single example Hillary! Just one where the media says you can't talk about that. Just pure hypocrisy

Geographically, the Louvre is situated midway between the traditional political venues of the Place de la Concorde for the right, and La Bastille for the left. Here was Macron intimating once again, as he did during his campaign, that he represents neither right or left. He has vowed to overturn the bipartisan structure of French politics, creating a new "centrist" movement. Just like his other moniker of being an "outsider," however, this image of Macron is a deftly manicured illusion.

Superficially, there is a semblance of variance from the political establishment. Macron formed his En Marche (Forward) movement only a year ago. He has never held elected political office. And until three years ago hardly anyone had ever heard of him. Now he is to become the eighth president of the French Fifth Republic.

Paradoxically, Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council, congratulated the French people for "choosing liberty, equality and fraternity, and saying no to fake news." Paradoxical because everything about Emmanuel Macron's "meteoric rise" through elite banking and his equally stellar crossover to politics smacks of fabrication and fakery. With his elite education at the Ecole National Academie (ENA) where future French political leaders are groomed, to his precocious elevation in investment banking, followed by his seamless entrance into top-flight government politics, Macron is evidently a person with powerful guiding forces behind him.

Former banking colleagues recall that he wasn't particularly capable in his four years at Rothschild's while on a multi-million-euro income. But he "mastered the art of networking." In a Financial Times profile published before the election, a senior banker is quoted as saying: "What Mr Macron lacked in technical knowledge and jargon at first, he made up for with contacts in government." Other sources recall that "it was never quite clear who Macron worked for."

As the Financial Times noted: "At the bank, Mr Macron navigated around the numerous conflicts of interest that arise in close-knit Parisian business circles, making good use of his connections as an Inspecteur des Finances - an elite corps of the very highest-ranking graduates from ENA."

After quitting private finance, Macron joined the government of Socialist President Francois Hollande, where he at first served as a "special advisor." In 2014, Hollande appointed him as economy minister where he drew up a draconian program to undermine French employment rights in favor of corporate profits. Macron resigned from his ministerial post only last year when he set up his own political party in anticipation of contesting the presidential election.

Macron's En Marche does not have any members in parliament. His government will thus likely be comprised of patronage and technocrats selected from years of networking in the financial and Élysée Palace establishment. What little is known about Macron's policies is his stated commitment to more stringent economic austerity, promises to slash €60 billion in public spending over the next five years and axe up to 120,000 state sector jobs. He is also setting to drive through more "business friendly" changes in labor laws that will allow bosses to more easily hire and fire employees. He is giving companies license to negotiate increased working hours and lower salaries outside of statutory law. So, the notion that Macron is some kind of benign "centrist" is an insult to common intelligence. He is a "centrist" only in the sense of illusory corporate media branding; in objective terms, Macron is a dedicated economic hitman for global capitalism.

Whatever one might think of his defeated rival Marine Le Pen of the Front National, she certainly had Macron accurately summed up when she referred to him as the "candidate of finance." Independent Socialist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who was narrowly knocked out in the first round of the election on April 23, predicts that Macron will be a "disaster" for French society, blowing apart economic inequality and social contracts to turn the country into the kind of poverty-wage slavery seen in the US and Britain.

There is sound reason why the French and European political establishment exulted in Macron's victory. He is no outsider, overturning the status quo for a more democratic outcome. He is in fact a consummate insider who will pursue policies pandering to elite interests, at the expense of the great majority.

Macron's "centrist [sic] victory brought joy to Europe's political establishment," reported the New York Times, while the BBC informed of "palpable relief among European leaders." Outgoing President Francois Hollande – the most unpopular French leader ever – warmly congratulated Macron, as did incumbent prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve and other senior government figures. Macron had been endorsed by Hollande's so-called Socialist Party and the center-right Republicans. So much for his vaunted "outsider" image. Macron was also endorsed prior to the weekend vote by former US President Barack Obama and European leaders, including Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

The irony of such brazen "electoral interference" is of course that this was what such Western leaders have accused Russia of. Again, it also shows that Macron will be a "centrist" in more ways than is meant. He will serve as a "dead-center" advocate of the transatlantic politics of Washington-led neoliberal capitalism and NATO militarism. The French President-elect published a political autobiography earlier this year entitled 'Revolution'. The only thing "revolutionary" about Macron's victory is that the political establishment has invented an image for itself that upturns reality.

The intense media marketing of Macron as a "centrist outsider" is a coup against the meaning of words and plain language. It is also worth noting that over 16 million French voters abstained or spoiled their votes against the 20 million who opted for Macron. French society, as for other Western nations, is riven by the ravages of global capitalism. And now here comes the "Mozart of Finance" to allegedly bring harmony from the appalling discord he and others like him have sown.

Source

[May 04, 2017] Dronie Swag on Twitter Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker etc sign letter criticizing UN's mistreatment of Israe

May 04, 2017 | twitter.com
Dronie Swag ‏ @ Delo_Taylor Apr 29

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker etc sign letter criticizing UN's "mistreatment" of Israel, condemning # BDS . # FreePalestine

Ådam ‏ @ pirjao Apr 29 Replying to @ MrDuckstep @ Jarulag @ Delo_Taylor

I'm so angry at Berno

[Feb 12, 2017] The neocon godfather Leo Strauss would be proud as king of bait and switch Obama promoting lying to people telling them what they want to hear, then doing whatever the hell you want after getting elected as an official Democratic Party policy

Notable quotes:
"... Obama: "[O]ne of the issues that Democrats have to be clear on is that given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere, we have to show up everywhere." Throwing Clinton under the bus ..."
"... I yelled at the radio after hearing this, because he means just showing up, telling people what they want to hear, then doing whatever the hell you want after getting elected. Not one word about actually meeting peoples needs. EFF OBAMA and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY!! ..."
"... If you didn't read this (linked yesterday), you should consider both reading and sharing far and wide. The entire system is designed to be anti-representative. Don't just get/stay mad, quit expecting a bunch of gangsters to function democratically. Get out of their box. ..."
Feb 12, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
mk , November 16, 2016 at 7:55 am

Where the Democrats went wrong CNBC.

Obama: "[O]ne of the issues that Democrats have to be clear on is that given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere, we have to show up everywhere." Throwing Clinton under the bus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I yelled at the radio after hearing this, because he means just showing up, telling people what they want to hear, then doing whatever the hell you want after getting elected. Not one word about actually meeting peoples needs. EFF OBAMA and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY!!

Eureka Springs , November 16, 2016 at 8:21 am

If you didn't read this (linked yesterday), you should consider both reading and sharing far and wide. The entire system is designed to be anti-representative. Don't just get/stay mad, quit expecting a bunch of gangsters to function democratically. Get out of their box.

[Feb 12, 2017] Reply

Feb 12, 2017 | onclick="TPConnect.blogside.reply('6a00d83451b33869e201b8d25ed1c1970c'); return false;" href="javascript:void 0">
Friday, February 10, 2017 at 11:12 AM Peter K. said in reply to sanjait... Many of us were warning that Hillary's $275 billion in infrastructure over 5 years wasn't enough.

Now we have Trump.

Thanks a lot.
Reply Friday, February 10, 2017 at 12:09 PM pgl said in reply to Peter K.... I'm disappointed that you did not add your insight of the decade - calling him a stupid little troll. For the record - I don't like yuan. He actually writes reasoned comments rather calling people "stupid little trolls". Snicker. T here is no liberals in the USA per se. Most are in reality neoliberals and as such are the part of the right, if we define right as those who want to increase the power of capital vs. labor.

Reply Friday, February 10, 2017 at 01:07 PM Yikes said in reply to Peter K.... This is actually a good point. If only Hillary had made extravagant unkeepable promises she could have duped more people like you into voting for her. Reply Friday, February 10, 2017 at 01:58 PM ilsm said in reply to Yikes... The DNC and HRC thought they had the needed number of dupes, PeterK was not needed! Reply Friday, February 10, 2017 at 04:55 PM libezkova said in reply to Yikes... No. the train left the station. Obama was a sellout who used to speak right things and did completely opposite to please his sponsors.

Now the majority of the people do not believe anything coming from two major parties. The proper term is alienated. That's why Trump. Reply Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 06:02 AM libezkova said in reply to sanjait... Sanjait,

The problem with your views is that there is no liberals in the USA per se. Most are in reality neoliberals and as such are the part of the right, if we define right as those who want to increase the power of capital vs. labor.

This flavor of democracy for top 1% the they promote (one dollar one vote) should be property called "oligarchy" or at best "polyarchy" (the power of the top 10%).

The rest (aka "Debt slaves") are second class citizens and are prevented from political self-organization, which by-and-large deprives them of any form of political participation. In best Roman tradition it is substituted with the participation in political shows ("Bread and circuses"). In a way US election is the ultimate form of "bait and switch" maneuvers of the ruling elite.

The two party system invented by the elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for neoliberal regimes, which practice what Sheldon Wolin called inverted totalitarism. The latter is the regime in which all political power belongs to the financial oligarchy which rules via the deep state mechanisms, and where traditional political institutions including POTUS are downgraded to instruments of providing political legitimacy of the ruling elite. Population is discouraged from political activity. "Go shopping" as famously recommended Bush II to US citizens after 9/11. Reply Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 11:30 AM

[Feb 10, 2017] Glenn Greenwald On Bernie Working With The Establishment

news.antiwar.com

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t85IB...

In Part 2 of their interview, TYT Politics Reporter Jordan Chariton spoke with The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald about Senator Bernie Sanders pattern of working with corporate establishment Democrats.

For more, subscribe to TYT Politics: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuMo...


Jesus or Money, Power and Prestige? , 1 year ago

Everything Glenn said. I don't understand Bernie strategy, but I have to believe he's playing the best game he can play and he knows patients, it's a chess game and it's impossible for the observer to predict the players next move. But he does it with extreme caution and thoughtfulness.

Puff Ball , 1 year ago

We have to stop thinking of Bernie as the "leader" of this revolution. Yes, not a movement, but a revolution. Revolutions ARE NOT LEAD by one person. They have one or a few figure heads that history remembers but they have many factions and many leaders to be successful. I wish TYT would see it this way. We need to put more focus on all of the different leaders and groups contributing to this revolution, not just Bernie.

Marciano Demidof , 1 year ago

I said it once and I will say it again...,never ever turn your back on Bernie Sanders. This man has a plan. For sure i understand that people were quite pissed at the moment he endorsed Hillary Clinton. But you know what? He had to do it. Supposed he wouldn't do it do you actually believe he would still be a senator today? I don't think so. The Democratic Party would have killed him. ( politically speaking). Look at his history. And listen to him when he speaks. It is not only the USA that needs him. It's actually the whole world needs him. Specially now with that clown of a president on the steering wheel. Love and peace to you all.

R Calderon , 1 year ago

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend". It's a saying that has been around for generations, for a reason. Truth will always be truth. It's been proven time after time in history, and is a proven tactic that the US has successfully employed since the Revolutionary War (France vs Britain) and is the only way weaker parties can triumph. You work together until you no longer have common ground!

Asher8328 , 1 year ago

I am more on Glenn's side on this one. Bernie is a smart politician -- he knows you can't be 100% belligerent and still expect to get anything done (even though some of us wish he would be that way).

DootDoot , 1 year ago

Jordan, Emma and Jimmy are killing it lately.

Elaine KING , 1 year ago

Strategically it is as if Bernie is behind enemy lines. The ideology of the corporate Dems decimated legislative ranks. His small 'unsullied' unit in the legislature needs to grow to match his outside support. To ensure that end he needs to continually draw & welcome contrast btw himself & Est. Dems

[Jan 22, 2017] Bernie Sanders just said on CBS that he is ready to work with Trump on lowering drug price, infrastrcture projects and better trade deals

Jan 22, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
BenIsNotYoda : , January 22, 2017 at 07:59 AM
Bernie Sanders just said on CBS that he is ready to work with Trump on
1) lowering drug prices by purchasing drugs from abroad and Medicare negotiate prices
2) infrastructure projects
3) better trade deals

Lets see if entrenched interests in the GOP and Democrat party let them work together. My guess is NOT.
What that would accomplish is lay bare the corruption that is part of both parties.

Peter K. -> BenIsNotYoda... , January 22, 2017 at 08:31 AM
Let's see if Trump actually wants to do any of those things Sanders wants. In other words will he "reach across the aisle."

Let's see if Republicans in Congress cooperate.

I think it's unlikely although not impossible (as Krugman etc do)

Trump thinks of himself as a reality TV star. He likes the drama. But he seems to have no interest in the details of policy. He found the border tax his advisers were floating as too complicated.

[Jan 14, 2017] Neoliberals try to understand groups of voters that supported Sanders, and of course get it wrong. Suckers

Krugman was and is neoliberal stooge and Hillary stooge. Complete despicable personality in this particular area. A political hack.
Jan 14, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Peter K. -> Peter K.... January 13, 2017 at 11:39 AM , 2017 at 11:39 AM

Krugman like PGL hates the left. That's why they're so dishonest.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/05/23/the-truth-about-the-sanders-movement/

The Truth About the Sanders Movement
May 23, 2016 6:17 pm 1134

In short, it's complicated – not all bad, by any means, but not the pure uprising of idealists the more enthusiastic supporters imagine.

The political scientists Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels have an illuminating discussion of Sanders support. The key graf that will probably have Berniebros boiling is this:

"Yet commentators who have been ready and willing to attribute Donald Trump's success to anger, authoritarianism, or racism rather than policy issues have taken little note of the extent to which Mr. Sanders's support is concentrated not among liberal ideologues but among disaffected white men."

The point is not to demonize, but, if you like, to de-angelize. Like any political movement (including the Democratic Party, which is, yes, a coalition of interest groups) Sandersism has been an assemblage of people with a variety of motives, not all of them pretty. Here's a short list based on my own encounters:

1.Genuine idealists: For sure, quite a few Sanders supporters dream of a better society, and for whatever reason – maybe just because they're very young – are ready to dismiss practical arguments about why all their dreams can't be accomplished in a day.

2.Romantics: This kind of idealism shades over into something that's less about changing society than about the fun and ego gratification of being part of The Movement. (Those of us who were students in the 60s and early 70s very much recognize the type.) For a while there – especially for those who didn't understand delegate math – it felt like a wonderful joy ride, the scrappy young on the march about to overthrow the villainous old. But there's a thin line between love and hate: when reality began to set in, all too many romantics reacted by descending into bitterness, with angry claims that they were being cheated.

3.Purists: A somewhat different strand in the movement, also familiar to those of us of a certain age, consists of those for whom political activism is less about achieving things and more about striking a personal pose. They are the pure, the unsullied, who reject the corruptions of this world and all those even slightly tainted – which means anyone who actually has gotten anything done. Quite a few Sanders surrogates were Naderites in 2000; the results of that venture don't bother them, because it was never really about results, only about affirming personal identity.

4.CDS victims: Quite a few Sanders supporters are mainly Clinton-haters, deep in the grip of Clinton Derangement Syndrome; they know that Hillary is corrupt and evil, because that's what they hear all the time; they don't realize that the reason it's what they hear all the time is that right-wing billionaires have spent more than two decades promoting that message. Sanders has gotten a number of votes from conservative Democrats who are voting against her, not for him, and for sure there are liberal supporters who have absorbed the same message, even if they don't watch Fox News.

5.Salon des Refuses: This is a small group in number, but accounts for a lot of the pro-Sanders commentary, and is of course something I see a lot. What I'm talking about here are policy intellectuals who have for whatever reason been excluded from the inner circles of the Democratic establishment, and saw Sanders as their ticket to the big time. They typically hold heterodox views, but those views don't have much to do with the campaign – sorry, capital theory disputes from half a century ago aren't relevant to the debate over health reform. What matters is their outsider status, which gives them an interest in backing an outsider candidate – and makes them reluctant to accept it when that candidate is no longer helping the progressive cause.

So how will this coalition of the not-always disinterested break once it's over? The genuine idealists will probably realize that whatever their dreams, Trump would be a nightmare. Purists and CDSers won't back Clinton, but they were never going to anyway. My guess is that disgruntled policy intellectuals will, in the end, generally back Clinton.

The question, as I see it, involves the romantics. How many will give in to their bitterness? A lot may depend on Sanders – and whether he himself is one of those embittered romantics, unable to move on.

[Dec 26, 2016] Young Sanders Campaign Aides Plan Anti-Trump Permanent Protest Base in Washington

Notable quotes:
"... "Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids – all while the very rich become much richer. ..."
"... "To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him." ..."
Dec 26, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Sanders betrayed them, but they still use him as a flag...
PlutoniumKun , December 25, 2016 at 6:27 am

This is inspiring, but I hope they realise that opposing Trump is just one side of a two-front battle. Trump needs to be opposed when (as seems very likely) he will start to drive a very right wing pro-billionaire set of policies. But its increasingly obvious that there is an equally difficult battle to be fought against the 'centrists' in the Dems and elsewhere. If all the focus is on Trump, then there is the danger they just become the useful idiots of the Dem mainstream.

Wyoming , December 25, 2016 at 8:18 am

I would go so far to say that their greatest opponent and biggest danger is not Trump and the Republicans at all. It is the Democratic Party and pretty much every significant office holding Democrat and their staffs.

Revolution starts at home. Fighting with Republicans will not accomplish much when the fifth columnists from the Democratic Party are going to sabotage every effort they make which shows promise of having an effect. They need to show their power by hamstringing targeted Democrats and thus herding the rest into line through fear. You do what we say and how we say it or we replace you. They have to own the left. No more liberal's in name only. You are against us or you are with us.

johnnygl , December 25, 2016 at 8:38 am

Primary them all! Schumer, pelosi, the whole bunch.

Win in 2020 and redraw those districts to wipe out those super-safe ones that are drawn to wipe out competition.

Vatch , December 25, 2016 at 11:17 am

I agree - they must be opposed in the primaries. That's tough to do, and will take real dedication and money. The deplorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz won against Tim Canova in the 2016 primary, and the equally deplorable Chuck Schumer won reelection in 2016, so he won't be facing a primary opponent until the 2022 election season. Pelosi, of course is vulnerable every two years.

Please need to be willing to do more than just post comments on blogs. And lets not have any more of those comments bewailing the impossibility of overthrowing the status quo - it's difficult, but it's not impossible. (This paragraph isn't directed specifically to you, JohnnyGL or PlutoniumKun. I'm just concerned that some other commenters seem to try to prevent people from taking an active role in politics, and that is just plain wrong.)

Katharine , December 25, 2016 at 9:12 am

I think opposing Trump will naturally entail telling the centrists to shape up. That is of course only a start, but it is a start.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , December 25, 2016 at 11:37 am

Sanders started, many moths ago, with the goal of taking over/reforming/remaking/revolutionizing the D party.

That start is not completed yet.

jrs , December 25, 2016 at 12:06 pm

uh why fight against a party with NO federal power? (state power in a few states so maybe relevant there)

Even if you get unanimous Dem opposition how much does it matter? Ok the Rs don't quite have a super-majority yet I guess but it is Rs who will be passing legislation. Fighting Dems is about like fighting WWII after it's all over. They have mouthpieces and foundations it is true, but no power.

Sorrynotsorry , December 25, 2016 at 6:43 am

Bwah ha ha ha ha! What are they doing? Anything except, you know, voting

Synoia , December 25, 2016 at 7:16 am

Better message is to be pro a set of policies:
1. Medicare for all
2. SS are a real retirement system
3. Job Guarantee
4. College for all – student debt
5. Taxes as social and business policy
6. No permanent standing military

Merry Christmas to all

Direction , December 25, 2016 at 7:43 am

7. Money out of politics
8. Corporations are not people with inalienable rights.

Dirk77 , December 25, 2016 at 11:58 am

Irritated by the identity politics of the main article. That and would they have opened an office if Hillary had won? If not, I fear they don't understand and are doomed to repeat the same mistakes of their elders.

+1 to you and Synoia. Merry Christmas!

Reify99 , December 25, 2016 at 10:01 am

Sanders is always on point moving toward the goal with minimal time spent talking about moving away from what Is opposed. Here's a sometime humorous case in point–

A candid conversation: Bernie Sanders and Sara Silverman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mP5xavI0d_o&sns=em

Knifecatcher , December 25, 2016 at 11:23 am

Waaaaay too many bullet points already, and I see that others are adding more. Not that I'm saying any of those are unimportant, but when you have a dozen goals you actually have none at all. My ideal progressive movement would hammer relentlessly on 3 major initiatives:

– Medicare for all
– $15 minimum wage
– Post office banking

All 3 provide tangible benefits to the majority of Americans, with the added bonus of poking a sharp stick in the eye of the oligarchs.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , December 25, 2016 at 11:39 am

Perhaps these 2:

– Medicare and one Single Pesion (Socia Security) for all
– Basic Income (before retirement) for all

Steeeve , December 25, 2016 at 1:28 pm

I definitely agree about keeping the list of priorities short, but I feel that these two areas are foundational and systemically corrupting, and little else is likely to be accomplished without major reforms of both

– MIC/"Defense" spending (mostly spent on offense, not defending the borders of the USA from invasion)
– Campaign Finance – big money in politics

floatingcopy , December 25, 2016 at 8:15 am

9. Lifelong job education and skills-building for all unemployed and under-employed, paid for directly from corporate taxes.
10. Universal two-year commitment to the military or a full-time volunteer public service program.

johnnygl , December 25, 2016 at 8:43 am

11. Rewilding and reforesting polluted and abandoned land.
12. Anti-trust! More trust-busting needed!
13. Agricultural reform to ban feedlots, fertilizers and pesticides and reorganize farms to restore and rebuild soil. And yes, this will create jobs.

Marco , December 25, 2016 at 1:45 pm

13 points already? We're toast.

jrs , December 25, 2016 at 12:20 pm

"9. Lifelong job education and skills-building for all unemployed and under-employed, paid for directly from corporate taxes."

people don't know what a nightmare such scenarios are, ok it sucks if you are underemployed and have no way to retrain because finances, but it also sucks big league if you have to spend your entire life working full time AND pursuing more and more formal education, forever until you die. Is any of our utopias going to care about human beings being able to BE human beings? We are so so much more than just useful labor machines forever aquiring labor market useful skills.

Ok course a basic income guarantee or a labor market tilted for labor not capital (including government job creation sure – and sure there's other things that can tilt it for labor – lower Social Security age, unionization etc.) would nullify this objection as the competition for jobs would lessen enough perhaps.

"10. Universal two-year commitment to the military or a full-time volunteer public service program."

well this is even more self-evidently nightmarish but it hardly needs unpacking. 2 years of becoming hired killers for the imperialist murder machine. Yea I know you didn't specify military as mandatory, I'm just saying what is being encouraged.

DJG , December 25, 2016 at 12:48 pm

jrs: Agreed. Points 9 and 10 are non-starters. They will not lessen class warfare. Only a jobs policy and a commitment to full employment will. And this idea that U.S. citizens have to be drafted into some regimented public-service program isn't helpful.

But let's talk about reopening the Civilian Conservation Corps, as in point 11. Now that is a genuinely good idea. And people would gladly join–without feeling regimented.

Direction , December 25, 2016 at 8:28 am

There was an interesting debate around the water cooler links on Festivus. I would like to recap and extend it here because I want to know more. First about how you, Lambert, see the take over of a single state Democratic party office breaking open a path to reform the party from within. I would like to hear what scenarios you feel are possible.

Walden pond wrote
"The elite control the D party (which is nothing but a criminal organization at this point). They will allow outsiders to have dog-catcher, but get uppity and run for a state position and that person will be out in an instant. The Ds are factually/legally a private club and they can select their membership and candidates in any way they choose or get a court to back them on every petty legal change they make to block outsiders. They change rules (legal contract) retroactively, they violate their own rules repeatedly and someone thinks they are going to get any farther than a few school board positions or city council is going to fail.

Taking over the D party is similar to proposing infiltrating gangs (fully backed by the legal system) with 13 year olds to 'save the neighborhood'."

I whole heartedly agree. I think it's important that people understand that the party is not just a "machine" waiting for someone new to guide it. It is not a set of empty offices and poster printing machines with helpful local people waiting for guidance. At the top, it is much more like an exclusive country club whose membership passes down through wealthy families who think they know what's best for the nation.

Anyhow, if you have a strategy on how to break it, I would like to support that discussion. I would like to hear more.

Montanamaven , December 25, 2016 at 12:47 pm

I'm glad you carried this discussion over to today. People hear have heard my sad tales of woe when I decided in 2004 to stop being inattentive and to actually try "to change the party from within" that talk show hosts like Thom Hartmann and "The Nation" gang call for every 4 years. Yes, I discovered what Walden Pond wrote; that there is an "elite" control of the state parties. They are almost hereditary positions. Yes, they will get excited by a newbie like me who was articulate, worked in Hollywood, married to a rancher for conservative creeds. But then I started to challenge their positions by advocating for single payer; stronger labor stances that they all paId lip service to but didn't really seem to care about. So no longer was I allowed to talk to the press at the DNC Convention. As I recall in 2006 or 2007 they changed a rule to make it harder to challenge Jon Tester in a primary.
Affairs like "Campaign for America's Future" conventions were always in D.C. And during the 2nd one I went to, I confirmed by observations that they were just big job fairs for people wanting jobs in the next administration or becoming lobbyists. That was actually what the convention in 2004 was too that I attended as a delegate. "Agriculture Salutes Tom Harking"; brought to you not by The Grange but by Monsanto and Carroll. Lavish party with handsome young men shucking tons of oysters. Ick.
I went in naive as I suspect many well meaning millennials will do now to this "house". But boy did I start to wake up and finally by 2009 after the failed single payer health care movement, I quit this dead donkey.

JohnnyGL , December 25, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Christmas Rant!!! ***You've been warned***

There's a lot of contentious debate on whether to fight in the Democrat Party or build a 3rd one. The answer is both, always and constantly.

1) Start the fight within the Party, as seen in MI. What happened there is important to expose and embarrass the local party officials. I consider the incident an encouraging sign and hope there are more like it around the country (not happy with the guy getting assaulted, of course, but if it shows 'they are who we thought they were', then that's progress of a sort).

2) If you can fight within the party and the party leadership at the state level understands the need to change and gets on board (getting on board as defined by fighting for specific policies, organizing and party building, and going against the wishes of big donors), then work with them.

3) if the big donors and dinosaur party leaders don't get on board, then then need to be A) removed, if possible. Or, if not possible, B) they should be isolated. If Schumer and Pelosi can't be primary-ed out of existence (a-la Eric Cantor) then they should be stripped of leadership positions and isolated. Primary all of their allies in congress. Pelosi still got around 2/3 of the vote. Let's get it below 1/2. We're not starting from scratch, there's a base of opposition to work with.

4) Part of the contention between points 2) and 3) is protests like those seen recently protesting at Schumer's office by BLM and Occupy folks. Again, make them come to us on policy. Life should get increasingly uncomfortable for Party leaders and members that don't play ball. It should be clear that their current attitudes and policies are untenable and they need to get with the new program. Hassle them in their offices, at their public events. Anti-fracking protestors who harassed Cuomo over several years showed what to do. I think one of his kids joked that when they got lost on the way to an event, they could always find where they were going because the anti-fracking protestors were there waiting for them.

People like Pelosi and Schumer will cave to public pressure, they've done it in the past. Pelosi said no to medicare changes when Obama wanted to put entitlement reform on the table. These people are different than ideologues who will push their agenda regardless of public opinion. They're snakes, but they'll play ball under pressure.

5) Now in the case where we can't with the fight within the party, go outside. Socialist Alternative, Working Families and other 3rd parties that are built up at the local level can threaten and do real damage. Does anyone think Seattle gets a $15/hr min. wage without Sawant and Socialist Alternative? Working Families Party demonstrated exactly what NOT to do during NY Governor election. If Cuomo won't come to us and meet our demands, bring him down. Suck it up, deal with a Republican for a few years, if necessary. While the Republican is in charge, pressure them, too. Don't think about the election right now .that's short termism. Let's think 2, 3, 4 elections out. If you're not winning now, clear out the deadwood to win later.

6) Now, to face up to the 'lesser evil' arguments regarding 5). It's over, there's no more 'lesser evilism'. It's dead. Hillary Clinton and the elite Dems killed it. They put it all on display for all to see. They were willing to crush the left (again), squash voting rights through a variety of means, and risk Trump or another whacky 'Pied Piper' candidate in order to get their anointed candidate put in charge. THAT should tell you EXACTLY who we're dealing with here. They were perfectly willing to risk Trump to win, so that means if a 3rd party can get 3%-5% in a close election and play a spoiler role, then that 3rd party should DO it. Every time. Again, keep doing it until the Democrats adopt the platform of a 3rd party (which, presumably includes fight for $15, medicare for all, no wars, etc). Again, until the Dems come to us on policy, they will be opposed.

But, but Nader brought us Bush who brought us Iraq War! You cannot take risks like that! Must vote lesser evil!!! Oh really? Dems voted for Patriot Act, Dems voted for AUMF over and over again. Dems voted to keep funding the war, too. When Dems don't win the Presidency they want to sit back and wait for Repubs to do awful stuff so that Dems will be back in charge as seen in 2006-8. Pelosi and Reid did NOTHING to deserve a win, they just waited it out until people voted for change again. They want to do this again. We can't let them. Make them do their job. Make them act in opposition. Make them earn their next win, otherwise we'll get the same group and the same policies that have just been discredited.

7) From the article, I like Ahmed's strategy/tactics, but the concept of attacking Trump the person, seems flawed. Remember, policy is what matters!
Nixon passed an amendment that created the EPA. That doesn't happen if you oppose Nixon for who he is. Also, wikipedia reveals that the Clean Water Act got passed in spite of Nixon's veto! If Trump wants to move in the right direction, he should be praised for doing so. If he doesn't, go around him!

Trump is a guy that just slapped the Repub establishment silly and clearly is running at least partially out of vanity more than he wants to collect fat checks when he leaves office (like the Clintons, and probably Obama soon enough). There's value in this, by itself, and there's value on policy grounds, too.

Okay, I'm done. I hope anyone who bothers to read found this enjoyable. Happy for comments. Also, to be clear, I've got no experience in organizing or any kind of playbook to carry this plan out. :) So, feel free to mock my credentials, because they don't exist!

funemployed , December 25, 2016 at 8:49 am

Sigh. We millennials might be smart about policy and pragmatic, but if this is our moonshot, we don't know jack about how to organize a successful social movement. Protesting "Trump" is stupid. Trump is not a policy. He is a person. Is our goal to make him feel bad about himself? And he did win the election. So his administration is, in fact, "legitimate" in any meaningful sense of the word.

I'd have slightly different lists, but I entirely agree that a pro-policy platform is an essential starting point. That said, protests basically always fail, and more often then not IMO, strengthen the opposition. When they succeed, or even make headway like NODAPL, they always share a common set of features.

1) One very specific policy. Today, if I were in charge, I'd choose Federally funded Medicare for all. Never mind details for protesting purposes.

2) A simple, clear message that appeals to values that most people in a body politic can agree on "Health Care is a Civil Right!"

3) A symbol that presents a clear, binary, moral choice. Sorry people, it makes me feel icky too, but this is where we go hunting for a dying grandma or kid with cancer who can't get medical care and make him/her our mascot (ideally, in a purely strategic realm, such person would refuse any care until it was guaranteed to all, then die at a decisive moment, thus becoming a martyr).

4) The ability to bring different folks together to agree on ONE thing. Organized bitch sessions about Obamacare in Trump country might work here, but we'd have to throw shit at the wall and see what stuck. I know for a fact that most Trump supporters, if pressed, will say that a family should not have to choose between impoverishment and treating mom's cancer. But protesting "Trump" is protesting them too, with the main goal of feeling like you are a better person because you know that gender is socially constructed or whatever (as if there is something magical in who you are that is the reason you got to go to a private liberal arts college, and you totally never would have been racist no matter what life circumstances you were born into).

It's not that I'm a single issue person, it's just protesting lots of things at once just makes a lot of noise, and a bunch of people trying to work together with competing agendas (lack of shared vision, in corporate speak), makes all human organizations dysfunctional. Basically, I support many issues, but think mixing them all together is not a good recipe for success.

Steven Greenberg , December 25, 2016 at 9:20 am

Didn't read the article. Seems like a misdirected effort to me. You don't win voters by being against something. You win them by being for something. I am getting tired of the "Ain't It Awful" game. Give me a vision to be for.

There is something called target fixation. When you concentrate on what you want to avoid, you end up going right toward it. Concentrate on where you want to go rather than spend all your time thinking about where you don't want to go.

Reify99 , December 25, 2016 at 10:33 am

This can be demonstrated by asking someone to follow your instructions and then issuing a number of imperative sentences:
Don't think of blue
Don't think about your left earlobe
Don't think about what Crazyman will do with this
Don't think of Trump
Etc

One has to think of those things in order to make sense of the words. Moving away from can be a powerful motivator but only toward will get you there. Sorry, clarifying the obvious again.

Katharine , December 25, 2016 at 10:38 am

This effort is not about winning voters but about blocking really bad policy changes that will hurt millions of people. Organizing for an election campaign and organizing for issue-based activism are not the same. If Barb Mikulski forty-odd years ago had just gone around the city talking about her vision of good communities and good transportation policy, a lot of Baltimore neighborhoods would have been wiped out as the city was cut apart by an ill-placed interstate. She stopped it by organizing a fight against it. More recently, Destiny Watford, still in high school at the time, was the prime mover in the successful fight against an incinerator in her Curtis Bay neighborhood in south Baltimore.

There is a time and a place for everything. There are at least two other organizations focusing on electoral politics. This one has a different purpose.

jrs , December 25, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Yes to be opposed to Trump is because they think a bunch of bad policies will come from his administration and they are likely not wrong. It doesn't need to be about Trump the person at all, though for some deluded people it may be. Now they could broaden it to opposing Paul Ryans congress etc. since they are hardly better but if any legistlaton is actually going to be passed a Republican congress and Trump will be working together.

A single issue focus, say it was Medicare for all, even if it was sucessful, would have let all the other issues a Trump administration will represent slide. Ok so if Trump passes tax cuts say that further enrich the plutocrats, an ever more unequal society might even destroy Medicare for all (the rich will just buy their way out). If Trump passes even more obviously anti-environmental legistlation, the fact Medicare for all was achieved would be a goal of it's own but would not change this. Maybe there are people enough for all movements, I don't know.

craazyman , December 25, 2016 at 10:00 am

Oh man. More identity politics yada yada.

It'll never work & for good reason. It's a form of ideation contrary to gnostic principles and therefore to the highest spiritual values on this plane of existence.

Sad to see hopeful inspired people get lost in that maze of misery. Trust your perceptions in the silence of your mind without looking to anybody else for affirmation. People are people. That's what everybody who can figure things out figures out when they grow up.

Grow up & Merry Christmas. LOL

I'm wishing Trump well & am somewhat hopeful that - through the odd feedback loops in complex systems - the provocations of his originality will shape things in a direction even progressives will find appealing. Maybe I'll be wrong, I admit. But I'm usually not wrong. LOL. (Although I am sometimes, no lie.)

alex morfesis , December 25, 2016 at 10:03 am

Firecracker puppies professional trainer who isists she knows about how people of color feel..hmmm a bunch of photos of ms nadine and her fellow associates something about dc that tells me the demographics are not the same as iowa does not look as she thinks there are any people of color who can train on what "she" calls "non violence" and her "famous" black female puppet to represent and protest against the military because the military is so black and female seems a bit tone deaf

Same old same old chameleons bending to the new hot button funding to keep the lights on

"As the international director of the committee to make noise and get nothing done, we strive to "

And ms bangladeshi her nov 27 tweet that anyone right of the democrats is a fascist does this child have an idea what that word means, or is it something she picked up at one of the "people" conventions she attended or spoke at

Not looking to be hyper cynical on this of all days but seems moumita has spent her entire adult life posing with her megaphone and for someone who is so "out there" mekantz find much about her except her self proclaimed relevance and for a person who claims this large network somewhat smallish set of followers on her chyrping account

I hope I am wrong

Peace on earth and goodwill to all

jrs , December 25, 2016 at 12:39 pm

movements often outgrow their leaders

mad as hell. , December 25, 2016 at 10:40 am

The Washington police will now have to use a search warrant or a battering ram unlike Zuccotti park where night sticks and pepper spray were used. I don't see a problem getting those. Especially after agents have infiltrated. Well at least it is a start which I hope snowballs!

dcblogger , December 25, 2016 at 10:42 am

enter the sans coullottes! I am thrilled and will try to get in contact with them. depend upon it, the American people will turn to those who demonstrate the best ability to push back against Trump. Which is why Bernie has been doing that since the election.

beth , December 25, 2016 at 11:42 am

No, I disagree. Bernie does not push back against Trump. No identity politics, no focus on personalities. Bernie pushes back against wrong-headed policies. Bernie wants policies that benefit the majority.

Let's pray our new president does some good that most of us do not expect. I hope he is more unpredictable than that. I may be wrong but I can hope.

Montanamaven , December 25, 2016 at 10:53 am

Sounds like the Alternet crowd is up to its sheepdogging tactics again. Let's corral young energy and co-opt it for the Democrats. Co-opting is what I call "Skunking" because it sure stinks up the joint.

I'm with the majority here in finding this sad that these "organizers" have decided to go all negative. They are "going to hold him [Trump] accountable and delegitimize literally everything he is doing and not let him succeed." Well, how has that worked out so far.
New thinking and new solutions ae called for, not the same old feel good "protests" and voter drives that professional organizers love to do. If they had done any real introspection they would have come up with ways of forming new coalitions; and also realize the need to keep Schumer and Pelosi as accountable as Trump. But these are still party operatives in younger sheep's clothing. Many are poli sci majors who want to be in politics in Washington as a vocation. See, they are the wise "behind the scenes" people that will guide the "activists" . Ugh. Same old; Same old story.
And this smells of the same DLC Clinton gang since they are calling Trump's victory and presidency illegitimate. Again, they don't want to delve into why she lost. They wants jobs in D.C. And spend their energy "resisting" rather than coming up with anything remotely interesting. This is not Occupy. And I doubt they will embrace young Anarchists.

Denis Drew , December 25, 2016 at 10:55 am

Re: How the Obama Coalition Crumbled, Leaving an Opening for Trump By NATE COHN
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/23/upshot/how-the-obama-coalition-crumbled-leaving-an-opening-for-trump.html

Wonderful shakeout by Cohn: Trump won by trading places with Obama . O appealed to less educated whites as their protector against the Wall Street candidate (47% time) Romney. (Crackpot) Trump appealed to them with same promise versus Wall Street candidate (true enough) Hill.

Upshot: Dems only have to get busy rebuilding labor union density at the state by progressive state level (or not so progressive; but be seen trying hard). Repubs will have no where to hide: once and for all political checkmate.

For some beginning thoughts and angles on what and how to - see here:
http://ontodayspage.blogspot.com/2016/12/wet-backs-and-narrow-backs-irish.html

We are only asking state legislatures to make possible joining a union if you want to - without running an impassable gauntlet - no complicated policy issues at all.

fosforos , December 25, 2016 at 10:55 am

Totally unpromising that they start with the calamitous premise of the whole Sanders campaign: "a campaign where Bernie specifically said, 'Do not attack the other person." Sanders knew he could run a campaign that would destroy the Clinton, a proven loser on the merits, and thereby make it possible to defeat any of the GOP's dumpster of deplorables, especially the Trumpe-l'oeil. But that would involve a political break with the whole record of the Obama administration in both domestic and foreign policy. So instead Sanders wound up saying the falsest single thing anyone said in the whole campaign–"nobody cares about those damn e-mails."

Yves Smith , December 25, 2016 at 11:56 am

*Sigh*

Sanders did not lose as a result of his position on the e-mails. The GOP was guaranteed to make a big issue of them and did.

walt , December 25, 2016 at 11:21 am

Youth may wish to have their bragging rights for their old age, but Trump has proven that power lies with the voters, who will be driven away to the likes of Reagan by this posturing.

Ahmed has not learned all the lessons of the 1960s.

Gaylord , December 25, 2016 at 11:23 am

We-The-Ppl rejected Gold Sacks's "shitty deal" Hillary, foisted on us by the Dems whose elites "assassinated" the best candidate since JFK; Repubs rejected "fool me again" Jeb in the Primary. Nasty Trump was put there to shoo-in Hill, but it backfired. Democracy? all gone. The Wild West is back.

PhilK , December 25, 2016 at 11:26 am

They're still trying to grab Sanders' mike and take over his show.

Katharine , December 25, 2016 at 11:41 am

He was always the first to point that this show is not about him but about all of us.

Reify99 , December 25, 2016 at 1:12 pm

True, otherwise we're lost in celebrity.

We need both "away from" and "toward" bullet points. The "away from" will naturally target Trump's onerous policies and will generate lots of energy. The "toward" bullet points will also "target" the "fake news" neoliberals because their support will prove to be tepid faint praise and lots of how it can't be done. Energy wise it will be more of a slog. They will also covertly seek to undermine progressive change. They will be called out on their crap.

Billy-bob , December 25, 2016 at 12:48 pm

To the naysayers I say: just shut up and fund it–I just did. It's an experiment and it might work.

At least these yunguns are DOING something.

Reify99 , December 25, 2016 at 1:18 pm

+1

Jamie , December 25, 2016 at 1:11 pm

Why didn't they set up this "permanent base" when Sanders voted for the 700 billion dollar F35 or when Obama claimed the legal right to indefinitely detain or kill anyone without judicial oversight?

"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image,
when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."

– Anne Lamott

Elizabeth Burton , December 25, 2016 at 2:00 pm

I assume all of those who have so arrogantly dismissed the efforts of these young people are all, therefore, engaged in alternative activities that support their respective opinions of how to effect the change that is our only salvation from neo-feudalism. Otherwise, I say put up or shut up.

Because I'm getting really sick of all the armchair quarterbacking, which to me is no different from the way the DNC elites treat anyone who isn't a member of their club. If people who object to the goals and/or methods of the District 13 House group have useful suggestions to make, why haven't they engaged in working to bring those suggestions to fruition. It's also precisely the kind of ivory-tower critique that has brought us to this pass, so do keep in mind that when pointing out the sins of others, one has three other fingers pointing in the opposite direction.

ChrisAtRU , December 25, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Natural skeptic/cynic at this point I go back to to Bernie's first statement after the election:

"Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids – all while the very rich become much richer.

"To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him."

Now taken in that light, do we need a generic "anti-Trump" resistance house to "stick out like a sore thumb"?

Or do we need something that speaks to the deeper issues around which non-squillionaire people can unite?

I concur with those who posted above on sticking to the issues. If you stick to the issues, the face of the opposition (from within and without) doesn't matter. It's about getting people to realize that agents of the establishment on BOTH sides (Dem & Repub) of all various identarian flavors have betrayed us all.

Now granted, there's plenty of swamp left undrained to warrant being all up the new administration's grill like freckles. But please, let's get the focus where it should be – on what's being done and undone. Focusing on "Trump" is a non-starter.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and FestivusForTheRestOfUs to everyone!

[Nov 18, 2016] Ellison is a dud, Bernie tweets support for Schumer theres nobody I know better prepared and more capable of leading our caucus than Chuck Schumer -- Well theres a good

Nov 18, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
chunder maker in that statement eh? Hope dashed! jo6pac November 17, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Lambert you were on to something when you mention his twitter account.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/17/the-skeletons-in-keith-ellisons-display-case/

I know my Muslim friends would never want to hurt anyone but this guy is as crazy as hillabillie.

cocomaan November 17, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Support for Syria and Libya interventions? Gross. No thanks.

Who else do we got? Wait this is it? WHAT?!!

uncle tungsten November 18, 2016 at 7:25 am

Ellison is a dud, Bernie tweets support for Schumer "there's nobody I know better prepared and more capable of leading our caucus than Chuck Schumer"!
Well there's a good chunder maker in that statement eh? Hope dashed!

There are no doubt many who are better informed, more progressive and principled, more remote from Wall Street and oligarchic capture than Chuck Schumer and Ellison. So there you have it – this is reform in the Democrats after a crushing defeat.

Vale democrats, and now the journey becomes arduous with these voices to smother hope. A new party is urgently needed (I know how difficult that is) and these voices of the old machine need to be ignored for the sake of sanity.

[Nov 18, 2016] The statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes by Bruce Wilder

Notable quotes:
"... The New Deal did not seek to overthrow the plutocracy, but it did seek to side-step and disable their dominance. ..."
"... It seems to me that while neoliberalism on the right was much the same old same old, the neoliberal turn on the left was marked by a measured abandonment of this struggle over the distribution of income between the classes. In the U.S., the Democrats gradually abandoned their populist commitments. In Europe, the labour and socialist parties gradually abandoned class struggle. ..."
"... When Obama came in, in 2008 amid the unfolding GFC, one of the most remarkable features of his economic team was the extent to which it conceded control of policy entirely to the leading money center banks. Geithner and Bernanke continued in power with Geithner moving from the New York Federal Reserve (where he served as I recall under a Chair from Goldman Sachs) to Treasury in the Obama Administration, but Geithner's Treasury was staffed from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. The crisis served to concentrate banking assets in the hands of the top five banks, but it seemed also to transfer political power entirely into their hands as well. Simon Johnson called it a coup. ..."
"... Here's the thing: the globalization and financialization of the economy from roughly 1980 drove both increasingly extreme distribution of income and de-industrialization. ..."
"... It was characteristic of neoliberalism that the policy, policy intention and policy consequences were hidden behind a rhetoric of markets and technological inevitability. Matt Stoller has identified this as the statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes. Globalization and financialization were just "forces" that just happened, in a meteorological economics. ..."
"... This was not your grandfather's Democratic Party and it was a Democratic Party that could aid the working class and the Rust Belt only within fairly severe and sometimes sharply conflicting constraints. ..."
"... No one in the Democratic Party had much institutional incentive to connect the dots, and draw attention to the acute conflicts over the distribution of income and wealth involved in financialization of the economy (including financialization as a driver of health care costs). And, that makes the political problem that much harder, because there are no resources for rhetorical and informational clarity or coherence. ..."
"... If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying. ..."
"... Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference. ..."
Nov 18, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:07 pm 30

At the center of Great Depression politics was a political struggle over the distribution of income, a struggle that was only decisively resolved during the War, by the Great Compression. It was at center of farm policy where policymakers struggled to find ways to support farm incomes. It was at the center of industrial relations politics, where rapidly expanding unions were seeking higher industrial wages. It was at the center of banking policy, where predatory financial practices were under attack. It was at the center of efforts to regulate electric utility rates and establish public power projects. And, everywhere, the clear subtext was a struggle between rich and poor, the economic royalists as FDR once called them and everyone else.

FDR, an unmistakeable patrician in manner and pedigree, was leading a not-quite-revolutionary politics, which was nevertheless hostile to and suspicious of business elites, as a source of economic pathology. The New Deal did not seek to overthrow the plutocracy, but it did seek to side-step and disable their dominance.

It seems to me that while neoliberalism on the right was much the same old same old, the neoliberal turn on the left was marked by a measured abandonment of this struggle over the distribution of income between the classes. In the U.S., the Democrats gradually abandoned their populist commitments. In Europe, the labour and socialist parties gradually abandoned class struggle.

In retrospect, though the New Deal did use direct employment as a means of relief to good effect economically and politically, it never undertook anything like a Keynesian stimulus on a Keynesian scale - at least until the War.

Where the New Deal witnessed the institution of an elaborate system of financial repression, accomplished in large part by imposing on the financial sector an explicitly mandated structure, with types of firms and effective limits on firm size and scope, a series of regulatory reforms and financial crises beginning with Carter and Reagan served to wipe this structure away.

When Obama came in, in 2008 amid the unfolding GFC, one of the most remarkable features of his economic team was the extent to which it conceded control of policy entirely to the leading money center banks. Geithner and Bernanke continued in power with Geithner moving from the New York Federal Reserve (where he served as I recall under a Chair from Goldman Sachs) to Treasury in the Obama Administration, but Geithner's Treasury was staffed from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. The crisis served to concentrate banking assets in the hands of the top five banks, but it seemed also to transfer political power entirely into their hands as well. Simon Johnson called it a coup.

I don't know what considerations guided Obama in choosing the size of the stimulus or its composition (as spending and tax cuts). Larry Summers was identified at the time as a voice of caution, not "gambling", but not much is known about his detailed reasoning in severely trimming Christina Romer's entirely conventional calculations. (One consideration might well have been worldwide resource shortages, which had made themselves felt in 2007-8 as an inflationary spike in commodity prices.) I do not see a case for connecting stimulus size policy to the health care reform. At the time the stimulus was proposed, the Administration had also been considering whether various big banks and other financial institutions should be nationalized, forced to insolvency or otherwise restructured as part of a regulatory reform.

Here's the thing: the globalization and financialization of the economy from roughly 1980 drove both increasingly extreme distribution of income and de-industrialization. Accelerating the financialization of the economy from 1999 on made New York and Washington rich, but the same economic policies and process were devastating the Rust Belt as de-industrialization. They were two aspects of the same complex of economic trends and policies. The rise of China as a manufacturing center was, in critical respects, a financial operation within the context of globalized trade that made investment in new manufacturing plant in China, as part of globalized supply chains and global brand management, (arguably artificially) low-risk and high-profit, while reinvestment in manufacturing in the American mid-west became unattractive, except as a game of extracting tax subsidies or ripping off workers.

It was characteristic of neoliberalism that the policy, policy intention and policy consequences were hidden behind a rhetoric of markets and technological inevitability. Matt Stoller has identified this as the statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes. Globalization and financialization were just "forces" that just happened, in a meteorological economics.

It is conceding too many good intentions to the Obama Administration to tie an inadequate stimulus to a Rube Goldberg health care reform as the origin story for the final debacle of Democratic neoliberal politics. There was a delicate balancing act going on, but they were not balancing the recovery of the economy in general so much as they were balancing the recovery from insolvency of a highly inefficient and arguably predatory financial sector, which was also not incidentally financing the institutional core of the Democratic Party and staffing many key positions in the Administration and in the regulatory apparatus.

This was not your grandfather's Democratic Party and it was a Democratic Party that could aid the working class and the Rust Belt only within fairly severe and sometimes sharply conflicting constraints.

No one in the Democratic Party had much institutional incentive to connect the dots, and draw attention to the acute conflicts over the distribution of income and wealth involved in financialization of the economy (including financialization as a driver of health care costs). And, that makes the political problem that much harder, because there are no resources for rhetorical and informational clarity or coherence.

bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:33 pm ( 31 )

The short version of my thinking on the Obama stimulus is this: Keynesian stimulus spending is a free lunch; it doesn't really matter what you spend money on up to a very generous point, so it seems ready-made for legislative log-rolling. If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying.

Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference.

likbez 11.18.16 at 4:48 pm 121

bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:07 pm 30

Great comment. Simply great. Hat tip to the author !

Notable quotes:

"… The New Deal did not seek to overthrow the plutocracy, but it did seek to side-step and disable their dominance. …"

"… It seems to me that while neoliberalism on the right was much the same old same old, the neoliberal turn on the left was marked by a measured abandonment of this struggle over the distribution of income between the classes. In the U.S., the Democrats gradually abandoned their populist commitments. In Europe, the labour and socialist parties gradually abandoned class struggle. …"

"… When Obama came in, in 2008 amid the unfolding GFC, one of the most remarkable features of his economic team was the extent to which it conceded control of policy entirely to the leading money center banks. Geithner and Bernanke continued in power with Geithner moving from the New York Federal Reserve (where he served as I recall under a Chair from Goldman Sachs) to Treasury in the Obama Administration, but Geithner's Treasury was staffed from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. The crisis served to concentrate banking assets in the hands of the top five banks, but it seemed also to transfer political power entirely into their hands as well. Simon Johnson called it a coup. … "

"… Here's the thing: the globalization and financialization of the economy from roughly 1980 drove both increasingly extreme distribution of income and de-industrialization. …"

"… It was characteristic of neoliberalism that the policy, policy intention and policy consequences were hidden behind a rhetoric of markets and technological inevitability. Matt Stoller has identified this as the statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes. Globalization and financialization were just "forces" that just happened, in a meteorological economics. …"

"… This was not your grandfather's Democratic Party and it was a Democratic Party that could aid the working class and the Rust Belt only within fairly severe and sometimes sharply conflicting constraints. …"

"… No one in the Democratic Party had much institutional incentive to connect the dots, and draw attention to the acute conflicts over the distribution of income and wealth involved in financialization of the economy (including financialization as a driver of health care costs). And, that makes the political problem that much harder, because there are no resources for rhetorical and informational clarity or coherence. …"

"… If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying. …"

"… Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference. …"

[Nov 16, 2016] President Obama Deserves an Oscar by Robert Weissberg

Pretty biting assessment ...
Notable quotes:
"... I can recall tales of insecure Eastern European Jewish immigrants pretending to be WASPS. ..."
"... To be blunt, Barack Obama was less "a president" than a talented actor playing at being presidential. ..."
"... Those of us who have encountered this deception are usually aware of its tell-tale signs, though, to be fair, it may have been diligently practiced for so long that it has become a "real" element of the perpetrator's core personality. For those unfamiliar with this deception, let me now offer a brief catalogue of these tactics. ..."
"... Central is the careful management of outward physical appearances. In theatrical terms, these are props and depending on circumstances, this might be a finely tailored suit, wingtip shoes, a crisp white shirt, a smart silk tie and all the rest that announce business-like competence. ..."
"... Mastering "white" language is equally critical and in the academy this includes everything from tossing around trendy terms, for example, "paradigmatic," to displaying what appears to be a mastering of disciplinary jargon. Recall how the Black Panthers seduced gullible whites with just a sprinkling of Marxist terminology. ..."
"... I recall one (white) colleague who gave a little speech praising a deeply flawed dissertation written by a black assistant professor up for tenure. He told the assembled committee that her dissertation reminded him of Newton's Principia Mathematica (can't make that stuff up). ..."
"... Obama as President repeatedly exhibits these characteristics. It is thus hardly accidental that he relies extensively on canned Teleprompter speeches. According to one compilation published in January 2013, Obama has used Teleprompters in 699 speeches during his first term in office. There is also his aversion to informal off-the-cuff discussions with the press and open mike who-knows-what-will-happen "Town Hall" meetings. Obama is also the first president I've ever seen who often favors a casual blue jacket monogrammed "President of the United States." ..."
"... I suspect that deep down Obama recognizes that almost everything is an act not unlike Eddy Murphy playing Professor Sherman Klump in The Nutty Professor . It is no wonder, then, that his academic records (particularly his SAT scores) are sealed and, perhaps even more important, many of his fellow college students and colleagues at the University of Chicago where he briefly taught constitutional law cannot recall him. It is hard to imagine Obama relishing the prospect of going head-to-head with his sharp-witted Chicago colleagues. ..."
"... As a mulatto raised by white grandparents in Hawaii, Obama is not a black American, with no cultural ties to black Americans and slavery, yet he later learned to throw out a black accent to fool the fools. As Stephen Colbert once observed, white Americans love Obama because he was raised the right way, by white people. That was intended as humor, but ..."
"... Obama has leased an ultra-expensive house in an exclusive neighborhood in DC just like the corrupt Bill Clinton prior to his multi-million dollar speaking and influence peddling efforts. Obama will not return to Chicago to help poor blacks, like Jimmy Carter did elsewhere after he left office. Obama doesn't need an Oscar, he got a Nobel Peace Prize for the same act. ..."
"... Congratulations on noticing what it takes to be a successful politician in ANY "Western" democracy. It doesn't matter if you are black, white, aquamarine or candy-striped, or whether you are a college professor, an "economist", or a "businessman". It's all bluff and acting. ..."
"... The single most critical element of a successful con is not the hucksters appearance, or mannerisms, or even the spiel, it is simply making the con something that the sucker wants to believe. ..."
"... I recognized Obama's type not from academia, but from corporate America. He was the token black higher up. He's smart enough not to obviously do something requiring termination (get drunk and harass a colleague at an office party, shred important document, etc.), and his mistakes can be blamed on team failures, so he gets "black guy's tenure"-a middle or upper management position after only a few years. ..."
"... This critique applies to almost every Presidential candidate, regardless of ethnicity. ..."
"... The most successful recent President was a former professional actor and thus well suited for the position. The latest President-elect is also a savvy media figure, and yet mocked for his obvious lack of intellectual heft. But in his case, he's not acting, it's reality TV. ..."
"... PS. Maybe some Jews around Trump are beginning to feel that China is the real danger to US power in the long run. So, what US should really do is patch things up with Russia for the time being, drive a wedge between China and Russia, and use Russia against China and then go after Russia. ..."
"... Really! Go after Russia? And how would you do that and why? What would "going after Russia" look like? What about the "horrific Rape of Russia" you spoke of? China and Russia have business to conduct, they're quite through with us, our dollar and our Fed. We'll be lucky if they allow us a piece of the action. Instead of Russia>China>Russia machinations, we might want to figure out strategies for doing some other business than patronizing our arms manufacturers. Hey, cap Jewish influence in the courts and business if you wish, but keeping the U.S. in an endless state of war, economic and otherwise is zero sum and worse for the little people. ..."
"... I've called him that for years. And Dubya was possibly our first "legacy" president: chosen entirely based on whom he's related to not on any individual qualities that would suit him for such a high office. Had Dubya been raised by regular people, he would have probably ended up as a hardware store manager. ..."
"... Amen to all. The whole deal is a fraud. All successful politicians are imposters, people who've mastered the art of deception. I'd go even further and say that the majority of "authority figures" are probably parasites and frauds to one degree or another. ..."
"... Overall, the current president has been a deception, a trivial self-absorbed person whose main concern has been himself turned outward onto issues of race and sexual orientation ..."
"... American politics at this level is fake. Everything is orchestrated, attire is handpicked, speeches are written by professionals and read off the teleprompter, questions from the public are actually from plants and rehearsed prior, armies of PR people are at work everywhere, journalists are just flunky propagandists, ..."
"... He will be the subject of future dissertations about the failure of the American political process and the influence of media and third parties like Soros. ..."
Nov 16, 2016 | www.unz.com
As the troubled Obama presidency winds down, the inevitable question is why so many people, including a few smart ones were so easily fooled. How did a man with such a fine pedigree-Columbia, Harvard-who sounded so brilliant pursue such political capital wasting and foolish policies as forcing schools to discipline students by racial quotas? Or obsessing over allowing the transgendered to choose any bathroom? And, of the utmost importance, how can we prevent another Obama?

I'll begin simply: Obama is an imposter, a man who has mastered the art of deception as a skilled actor deceives an audience though in the case of Obama, most of the audience refused to accept that this was all play-acting. Even after almost eight years of ineptitude, millions still want to believe that he's the genuine article-an authentically super-bright guy able to fix a flawed America. Far more is involved than awarding blacks the intellectual equivalent of diplomatic immunity.

When Obama first appeared on the political scene I immediately recognized him as an example of the "successful" black academic who rapidly advances up the university ladder despite minimal accomplishment. Tellingly, when I noted the paucity of accomplishment of these black academic over-achievers to trusted professorial colleagues, they agreed with my analysis adding that they themselves had seen several instances of this phenomenon, but admittedly failed to connect the dots.

Here's the academic version of an Obama. You encounter this black student who appears a liberal's affirmative action dream come true -- exceptionally articulate with no trace of a ghetto accent, well-dressed, personable (no angry "tude"), and at least superficially sufficient brain power to succeed even in demanding subjects. Matters begin splendidly, but not for long. Almost invariably, his or her performance on the first test or paper falls far below expectations. A research paper, for example was only "C" work (though you generously awarded it a "B") and to make matters worse, it exhibited a convoluted writing style, a disregard for logic, ineptly constructed references and similar defects. Nevertheless, you accepted the usual litany of student excuses -- his claim of over-commitment, the material was unfamiliar, and this was his first research paper and so on. A reprieve was granted.

But the unease grows stronger with the second exam or paper, often despite your helpful advice on how to do better. Reality grows depressing -- what you see is not what you get and lacks any reasonable feel-good explanation. The outwardly accomplished black student is not an Asian struggling with English or a clear-cut affirmation action admittee in over his head. That this student may have actually studied diligently and followed your advice only exacerbates the discomfort.

To repeat, the way to make sense out this troubling situation is to think of this disappointing black student as a talented actor who has mastered the role of "smart college student." He has the gift of mimicry, conceivably a talent rooted in evolutionary development among a people who often had to survive by their wits (adaptive behavior captured by the phrase "acting white" or "passing"). This gift is hardly limited to blacks. I can recall tales of insecure Eastern European Jewish immigrants pretending to be WASPS.

But what if the observer was unaware of it being only a theatrical performance and took the competence at face value? Disaster. Russell Crowe as the Nobel Prize winning John Nash in A Beautiful Mind might give a stunning performance as a brilliant economist, but he would not last a minute if he tried to pass himself off as the real thing at a Princeton economic department seminar. To be blunt, Barack Obama was less "a president" than a talented actor playing at being presidential.

Those of us who have encountered this deception are usually aware of its tell-tale signs, though, to be fair, it may have been diligently practiced for so long that it has become a "real" element of the perpetrator's core personality. For those unfamiliar with this deception, let me now offer a brief catalogue of these tactics.

Central is the careful management of outward physical appearances. In theatrical terms, these are props and depending on circumstances, this might be a finely tailored suit, wingtip shoes, a crisp white shirt, a smart silk tie and all the rest that announce business-like competence. Future college or foundation president here we come (Obama has clearly mastered this sartorial ploy). But for those seeking an appointment as a professor, this camouflage must be more casual but, whatever the choice, there cannot be any hint of "ghetto" style, i.e., no flashy jewelry, gold chains, purple "pimpish" suits, or anything else that even slightly hints of what blacks might consider authentic black attire.

Mastering "white" language is equally critical and in the academy this includes everything from tossing around trendy terms, for example, "paradigmatic," to displaying what appears to be a mastering of disciplinary jargon. Recall how the Black Panthers seduced gullible whites with just a sprinkling of Marxist terminology. Precisely citing a few obscure court cases or administrative directives can also do the trick. Further add certain verbal styles common among professors or peppering a presentation with correctly pronounced non-English words. I recall a talk by one black professor from the University of Chicago who wowed my colleagues by just using-and correctly so-a few Yiddish expressions.

Ironically, self-defined conservatives are especially vulnerable to these well-crafted performances. No doubt, like all good thinking liberals, they desperately want to believe that blacks are just as talented as whites so an Obama-like figure is merely the first installment of coming racial equality. The arrival of this long-awaited black also provides a great opportunity to demonstrate that being "conservative" does not certify one as a racist. Alas, this can be embarrassing and comical if over-done. I recall one (white) colleague who gave a little speech praising a deeply flawed dissertation written by a black assistant professor up for tenure. He told the assembled committee that her dissertation reminded him of Newton's Principia Mathematica (can't make that stuff up).

Alas, the deception usually unravels when the imposter confronts a complicated unstructured situation lacking a well-defined script, hardly surprising given the IQ test data indicate that blacks usually perform better on items reflecting social norms, less well on abstract, highly "g" loaded items. In academic job presentations, for example, a job candidate's intellectual limits often become apparent during the Q and A when pressed to wrestle with technical or logical abstractions that go beyond the initial well-rehearsed talk. Picture a job candidate who just finished reading a paper being asked whether the argument is falsifiable or how causality might be established? These can be killer questions that require ample quick footed intellectual dexterity and often bring an awkward silence as the candidate struggles to think on his feet (these responses may rightly be judged far more important than what is read from a paper). I recall one genuinely bewildered black job candidate who explained a complicated measurement choice with "my Ph.D. advisor, a past president of the American Political Science Association told me to do it this way."

Obama as President repeatedly exhibits these characteristics. It is thus hardly accidental that he relies extensively on canned Teleprompter speeches. According to one compilation published in January 2013, Obama has used Teleprompters in 699 speeches during his first term in office. There is also his aversion to informal off-the-cuff discussions with the press and open mike who-knows-what-will-happen "Town Hall" meetings. Obama is also the first president I've ever seen who often favors a casual blue jacket monogrammed "President of the United States."

Perhaps the best illustration of these confused, often rambling moments occurs when he offers impromptu commentary on highly charged, fast-breaking race-related incidents such as the Louis Henry Gates dustup in Cambridge , Mass ("the police acted stupidly") and the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shootings. You could see his pained look as he struggles with being a "good race man" while simultaneously struggling to sort out murky legal issues. This is not the usual instances of politicians speaking evasively to avoid controversy; he was genuinely befuddled.

Similar signs of confused thinking can also be seen in other spontaneous remarks, the most famous example might be his comment about those Americans clinging to their guns and Bibles. What was he thinking? Did he forget that both gun and Bible ownership are constitutionally protected and the word "cling" in this context suggests mental illness? Woes to some impertinent reporter who challenged the President to clarify his oft-repeated "the wrong side of history" quip or explain the precise meaning of, "That's not who were are"? "Mr. President, can you enlighten us on how you know you are on the Right Side of History"?

I suspect that deep down Obama recognizes that almost everything is an act not unlike Eddy Murphy playing Professor Sherman Klump in The Nutty Professor . It is no wonder, then, that his academic records (particularly his SAT scores) are sealed and, perhaps even more important, many of his fellow college students and colleagues at the University of Chicago where he briefly taught constitutional law cannot recall him. It is hard to imagine Obama relishing the prospect of going head-to-head with his sharp-witted Chicago colleagues.

Further add his lack of a publication in the Harvard Law Review, a perk as the President of the Law Review (not Editor) and the credible evidence that his two autobiographies where ghost written after their initial rejection as unsuitable for publication. All and all, a picture emerges of an individual who knows he must fake it to convince others of his intellectual talents, and like a skilled actor he has spent years studying the role of "President." President Obama deserves an Academy award (which, of course would also be a step toward diversity, to boot) for his efforts.


Carlton Meyer says: • Website

November 16, 2016 at 5:31 am GMT • 300 Words

This is why I often referred to Obama as a "Pentagon spokesman." Did you know his proposed military budgets each year were on average higher than Bush or Reagan? People forget that is first objective as President was to close our torture camp in Cuba. He could have issued an Executive Order and have it closed in one day. DOJ aircraft could fly all the inmates away within two hours before any court could challenge that, if they dared. It remains open.

Yet when Congress refused to act to open borders wider, he issued an Executive Order to grant residency to five million illegals. And under Soros direction, he sent DoJ attack dogs after any state or city that questioned the right of men who want to use a ladies room.

As a mulatto raised by white grandparents in Hawaii, Obama is not a black American, with no cultural ties to black Americans and slavery, yet he later learned to throw out a black accent to fool the fools. As Stephen Colbert once observed, white Americans love Obama because he was raised the right way, by white people. That was intended as humor, but

Obama has leased an ultra-expensive house in an exclusive neighborhood in DC just like the corrupt Bill Clinton prior to his multi-million dollar speaking and influence peddling efforts. Obama will not return to Chicago to help poor blacks, like Jimmy Carter did elsewhere after he left office. Obama doesn't need an Oscar, he got a Nobel Peace Prize for the same act.


3.anon says:

November 16, 2016 at 5:34 am GMT • 100 Words

What to make of the Michael Eric Dysons and the Cornell Wests of the world ??
How do they rise up the ranks of academia , become darlings of talk shows and news panels , all the while dressed and speaking ghetto with zero talent or interest in appearing white . And zero academic competency ??


6.CCZ, November 16, 2016 at 6:08 am GMT

Our first affirmative action President? I have yet to hear that exact description, even in a nation with 60 million deplorable "racist" voters.

8.Tom Welsh, November 16, 2016 at 7:00 am GMT • 100 Words

Congratulations on noticing what it takes to be a successful politician in ANY "Western" democracy. It doesn't matter if you are black, white, aquamarine or candy-striped, or whether you are a college professor, an "economist", or a "businessman". It's all bluff and acting.

Why does anyone still find this surprising?

11.Alfa158, November 16, 2016 at 7:56 am GMT • 100 Words

The single most critical element of a successful con is not the hucksters appearance, or mannerisms, or even the spiel, it is simply making the con something that the sucker wants to believe. White people were desperate for a Magic Negro and they got one. Black people ended up suffering from deteriorating economics and exploding intramural murder rates.

12.whorefinder, November 16, 2016 at 8:02 am GMT • 300 Words

Strikes a chord with me, and with Clint Eastwood (recall the 2012 RNC, where Eastwood mocked Obama as an "empty chair").

I recognized Obama's type not from academia, but from corporate America. He was the token black higher up. He's smart enough not to obviously do something requiring termination (get drunk and harass a colleague at an office party, shred important document, etc.), and his mistakes can be blamed on team failures, so he gets "black guy's tenure"-a middle or upper management position after only a few years.

He then makes sure he shows up every weekday at 9am, but he's out the door at 5pm-and no weekends for him. He's there for "diversity" drives and is prominently featured on the company brochures, and might even be given an award or honorary title every few years to cover him, but he never brings in clients or moves business positively in anyway. But he's quick to take the boss up on the golfing trips. In short, he's realized he's there to be the black corporate shield, and that's all he does. He's a lazy token and fine with being lazy.

It's why Obama had little problem letting Pelosi/Reid/Bill Clinton do all the heavy lifting on Obamacare–not only was Obama out of his depth, he was just plain ol' fine with being out of his depth, because someone else would do it for him. So he went golfing instead.

This is also why that White House press conference where Bill Clinton took over for him halfway speaks volumes. Obama literally had no problem simply walking away from his presidential duties to go party-because someone else would do it for him, as they always had.

It's also why he seems so annoyed when asked about the race rioting going on as a result of his administration's actions. Hey, why do you think I gotta do anything? I just show up and people tell me I did a great job!

13.Ramona, November 16, 2016 at 8:04 am GMT

It's been said for years that Obama amounts to no more than a dignified talk show host. The observation has merit. Oscar-wise, though, only for ironic value.


15.Realist, November 16, 2016 at 9:50 am GMT • 100 Words

@Anon

"I think Obama is pretty smart if not genius. His mother was no dummy, and his father seems to have been pretty bright too, and there are smart blacks."

Ann Dunham had a PhD in anthropology from a run of the mill university where she literally studied women textile weaving in third world countries. Pure genius .right.


16.Fran Macadam, November 16, 2016 at 9:54 am GMT • 100 Words

This critique applies to almost every Presidential candidate, regardless of ethnicity. So few of them have been other than those playing a role assigned by their donors. The most successful recent President was a former professional actor and thus well suited for the position. The latest President-elect is also a savvy media figure, and yet mocked for his obvious lack of intellectual heft. But in his case, he's not acting, it's reality TV.


17.Jim Christian says:

November 16, 2016 at 9:59 am GMT • 200 Words
@Anon

PS. Maybe some Jews around Trump are beginning to feel that China is the real danger to US power in the long run. So, what US should really do is patch things up with Russia for the time being, drive a wedge between China and Russia, and use Russia against China and then go after Russia.

Really! Go after Russia? And how would you do that and why? What would "going after Russia" look like? What about the "horrific Rape of Russia" you spoke of? China and Russia have business to conduct, they're quite through with us, our dollar and our Fed. We'll be lucky if they allow us a piece of the action. Instead of Russia>China>Russia machinations, we might want to figure out strategies for doing some other business than patronizing our arms manufacturers. Hey, cap Jewish influence in the courts and business if you wish, but keeping the U.S. in an endless state of war, economic and otherwise is zero sum and worse for the little people.


20.timalex, November 16, 2016 at 11:58 am GMT

Americans voted for and elected Obama because it made them feel virtuous in their mind and in the eyes of the world. Obama has always been a psychopath. Psychopaths are good at lying and hiding things,even when Presidents.

21.The Alarmist , November 16, 2016 at 12:03 pm GMT

So, you're saying he was an affirmative action hire.


22.Anon, November 16, 2016 at 12:28 pm GMT

Yeah and every white person in a position of power and privilege is "authentically intelligent". America is a society run by and for phonies.

23.War for Blair Mountain, November 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm GMT • 100 Words

Barack Obama is a creation of the Cold War. His father was imported into the US through an anti-commie Cold War foreign student program for young Africans. Barack Obama's nonwhite Democratic Party Voting Bloc would not exist if the 1965 Immigration Reform Act had not been passed. The 1965 Immigration Reform Act was another creation of the anti-commie Cold War Crusade.

The anti-commie Cold War Crusade has been a Death sentence for The Historic Native Born White American Majority.

It is now time to rethink the Cold War .very long overdue..

24.AndrewR, November 16, 2016 at 12:55 pm GMT • 100 Words

@CCZ

I've called him that for years. And Dubya was possibly our first "legacy" president: chosen entirely based on whom he's related to not on any individual qualities that would suit him for such a high office. Had Dubya been raised by regular people, he would have probably ended up as a hardware store manager.

25.Rehmat, November 16, 2016 at 1:36 pm GMT • 100 Words

I think after wining Nobel Peace Award without achieving peace anywhere in the world – Obama deserve Oscar more than Nobel Prize for equating Holocaust as a religion with Christianity and Islam in his speech at the UNGA in September 2012.

Oscar has a long tradition to award top slot for every Holocaust movie produced so far.

"There's no business like Shoah business," says YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, established by Max Weinreich in Lithuania in 1925.

More than 70 movies and documentary on Jewish Holocaust have been produced so far to keep Whiteman's guild alive. Holocaust Industry's main purpose is to suck trillions of dollars and moral support for the Zionist entity. Since 1959 movie, The Diary of Anne Frank, 22 Holocaust movies have won at least one Oscar ..

https://rehmat1.com/2012/10/26/barack-obama-holocaust-is-a-religion/

27.jacques sheete says: November 16, 2016 at 2:20 pm GMT • 200 Words

@Tom Welsh

Amen to all. The whole deal is a fraud. All successful politicians are imposters, people who've mastered the art of deception. I'd go even further and say that the majority of "authority figures" are probably parasites and frauds to one degree or another.

I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing. Does it exalt dunderheads, cowards, trimmers, frauds, cads? Then the pain of seeing them go up is balanced and obliterated by the joy of seeing them come down. Is it inordinately wasteful, extravagant, dishonest? Then so is every other form of government: all alike are enemies to laborious and virtuous men. Is rascality at the very heart of it? Well, we have borne that rascality since 1776, and continue to survive. In the long run, it may turn out that rascality is necessary to human government, and even to civilization itself – that civilization, at bottom, is nothing but a colossal swindle.

- H. L. Mencken, Last Words (1926)

28.anonymous, November 16, 2016 at 2:34 pm GMT • 200 Words

The bar was set ridiculously low by his predecessor the village idiot Bush who could barely put together a coherent sentence. After eight years of disaster people were hoping for something different. Having a deranged person like McCain as his opposition certainly helped. What choice did the American people have?

He received a Nobel Peace prize for absolutely nothing although I admit his reluctance to barge into Syria was quite welcome. How many wars would we be in had the war-crazed McCain gotten into office?

Overall, the current president has been a deception, a trivial self-absorbed person whose main concern has been himself turned outward onto issues of race and sexual orientation.

American politics at this level is fake. Everything is orchestrated, attire is handpicked, speeches are written by professionals and read off the teleprompter, questions from the public are actually from plants and rehearsed prior, armies of PR people are at work everywhere, journalists are just flunky propagandists, expressions of emotion are calculated, the mass media is the property of the billionaire and corporate class and reflects their interests, and so on down the line. The masses of Americans are just there to be managed and milked. Look back at the history of the US: When haven't they been lying to us?

29.nsa, November 16, 2016 at 2:44 pm GMT • 100 Words

President is a very easy job. Almost anyone could fake it even actors, peanut farmers, mulatto community organizers, illegitimate offspring of trailer park whores, haberdashers, developers, soldiers, irish playboys, bicycle riding dry drunks, low rent CA shysters, daft professors.

Play lots of golf. Hot willing young pussy available for the asking. Anyone call you a name, have them audited. Invite pals onto the gravy train. Everyone kissing your ass and begging for favors. Media nitwits hanging on every word. Afterwards, get filthy rich making speeches and appearances. Tough job .

30.Anonymous, November 16, 2016 at 3:03 pm GMT • 100 Words

Manchurian Candidate, or Kenyan Candidate? Whatever he may be called, our current White House resident is a colossal joke perpetrated on the world. Whoever covered all his tracks did a masterful task. He will be the subject of future dissertations about the failure of the American political process and the influence of media and third parties like Soros.

32.Lorax, November 16, 2016 at 3:17 pm GMT

Obama's grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham, was a "furniture salesman," for which role he deserved an Oscar as well. It takes real acting ability to pull off a lifetime career in Intelligence Service: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/08/07/obama's-cia-pedigree/

34.JoeFour, November 16, 2016 at 3:56 pm GMT

@AndrewR

"Had Dubya been raised by regular people, he would have probably ended up as a hardware store manager."

AndrewR, I know you didn't mean it, but you have just insulted all of the thousands of hardware store managers in this country.

[Nov 16, 2016] The neocon godfather Leo Strauss would be proud as king of bait and switch Obama promotes lying to people telling them what they want to hear, then doing whatever you want after getting elected as an official Democratic Party policy

Notable quotes:
"... Where the Democrats went wrong CNBC. Obama: "[O]ne of the issues that Democrats have to be clear on is that given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere, we have to show up everywhere." Throwing Clinton under the bus… ..."
"... he means just showing up, telling people what they want to hear, then doing whatever the hell you want after getting elected. Not one word about actually meeting peoples needs. EFF OBAMA and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY!! ..."
"... If you didn't read this (linked yesterday), you should consider both reading and sharing far and wide. The entire system is designed to be anti-representative. ..."
"... Don't just get/stay mad, quit expecting a bunch of gangsters to function democratically. ..."
Nov 16, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

mk November 16, 2016 at 7:55 am

Where the Democrats went wrong CNBC. Obama: "[O]ne of the issues that Democrats have to be clear on is that given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere, we have to show up everywhere." Throwing Clinton under the bus…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I yelled at the radio after hearing this, because he means just showing up, telling people what they want to hear, then doing whatever the hell you want after getting elected. Not one word about actually meeting peoples needs. EFF OBAMA and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY!!

Eureka Springs November 16, 2016 at 8:21 am

If you didn't read this (linked yesterday), you should consider both reading and sharing far and wide. The entire system is designed to be anti-representative.

Don't just get/stay mad, quit expecting a bunch of gangsters to function democratically. Get out of their box.

[Nov 15, 2016] The Trump Ploy

Notable quotes:
"... Knowing how angry the working class has become, the deep state could not install Hillary, for that would have been a tiresome rehash of another Clinton presidency. With NAFTA, Bill launched the job offshoring that has wrecked this country, and those most affected by it, working class whites, know damn well who's responsible. The Clinton brand has become anathema to middle America. ..."
"... On the foreign front, America's belligerence will not ease up under a Trump presidency, for without a hyper kinetic military to browbeat and bomb, the world will stop lending us money. The US doesn't just wage wars to fatten the military banking complex, but to prop up the US Dollar and prevent our economy from collapsing. The empire yields tangible benefits for even the lowliest Americans. ..."
Nov 15, 2016 | www.unz.com
Michele Paccione / Shutterstock.com Universally, Trump was depicted as an anti-establishment candidate. Washington and Wall Street hated him, and the media were deployed to vilify him endlessly. If they could not discredit Trump enough, surely they would steal the election from him. Some even suggested Trump would be assassinated.

Acting the part, Trump charged repeatedly that the election was rigged, and he was right, of course. During the primaries, Hillary Clinton received debate questions in advance from CNN. More seriously, 30 states used voting machines that could easily be hacked.

A leaked tape of Trump making obscene comments about groping women became further proof that the establishment was out to get him. In spite of all this, Trump managed to win by a landslide, so what happened?

To steal an American election, one only needs to tamper with votes in two or three critical states, and since Hillary didn't win, we must conclude that she was never the establishment's chosen puppet. As Trump claimed, the fix was in, all right, except that it was rigged in his favor, as born out by the fact.

While everybody else yelped that Trump would never be allowed to win, I begged to differ. After the Orlando false flag shooting on June 12th, 2016, I wrote:

In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won't fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics.

On September 24th, I doubled down:

Mind-fucked, most Americans can't even see that an American president's only task is to disguise the deep state's intentions. Chosen by the deep state to explain away its crimes, our president's pronouncements are nearly always contradicted by the deep state's actions. While the president talks of peace, democracy, racial harmony, prosperity for Main Street and going after banksters, etc., the deep state wages endless war, stages meaningless elections, stokes racial hatred, bankrupts nearly all Americans and enables massive Wall Street crimes, etc.

Only the infantile will imagine the president as any kind of savior or, even more hilariously, anti-establishment. Since the deep state won't even tolerate a renegade reporter at, say, the San Jose Mercury News, how can you expect a deep state's enemy to land in the White House?! It cannot happen.

A presidential candidate will promise to fix all that's wrong with our government, and this stance, this appearance, is actually very useful for the deep state, for it gives Americans hope. Promising everything, Obama delivered nothing. So who do you think is being primed by the deep state to be our next false savior?

Who benefits from false flag terrorist attacks blamed on Muslims? Who gains when blacks riot? Why is the Democratic Party propping up a deeply-despised and terminally ill war criminal? More personable Bernie Sanders was nixed by the deep state since it had another jester in mind.

The first presidential debate is Monday. Under stress, Hillary's eyes will dart in separate directions. Coughing nonstop for 90 minutes, her highness will hack up a gazillion unsecured emails. Her head will jerk spasmodically, plop onto the floor and, though decapitated, continue to gush platitudes and lies. "A Very Impressive Performance," CNBC and CNN will announce. Come November, though, Trump will be installed because his constituency needs to be temporarily pacified. The deep state knows that white people are pissed.

The media were out to get Trump, pundits from across the political spectrum kept repeating, but the truth is that the media made Trump. Long before the election, Trump became a household name, thanks to the media.

Your average American can't name any other real estate developer, casino owner or even his own senators, but he has known Trump since forever. For more than a decade, Trump was a reality TV star, with two of his children also featured regularly on The Apprentice. Trump's "You're fired" and his hair became iconic. Trump appeared on talk shows, had cameo roles in movies and owned the Miss Universe pageant. In 2011, Obama joked that Trump as president would deck out the White House in garish fashion, with his own name huge on the façade. The suave, slick prez roasted Trump again in 2016. Trump has constantly been in the limelight.

It's true that during the presidential campaign, Trump received mostly negative press, but this only ramped up support among his core constituency. Joe Sixpacks had long seen the media as not just against everything they cherished, but against them as people, so the more the media attacked Trump, the more popular he became among the white working class.

Like politicians, casinos specialize in empty promises. Trump, then, is a master hustler, just like Obama, and with help from the media, this New York billionaire became a darling of the flyover states. Before his sudden transformation, Trump was certainly an insider. He donated $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, and Bill and Hillary attended his third wedding. Golf buddies, The Donald and Bill were also friends with one Jeffrey Epstein, owner of the infamous Lolita Express and a sex orgy, sex slave island in the Caribbean.

In 2002, New York Magazine published "Jeffrey Epstein: International Money of Mystery." This asskissing piece begins, "He comes with cash to burn, a fleet of airplanes, and a keen eye for the ladies-to say nothing of a relentless brain that challenges Nobel Prize-winning scientists across the country-and for financial markets around the world."

Trump is quoted, "I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it-Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

Bill Clinton shouts out, "Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science. I especially appreciated his insights and generosity during the recent trip to Africa to work on democratization, empowering the poor, citizen service, and combating HIV/AIDS."

Epstein gushes back, "If you were a boxer at the downtown gymnasium at 14th Street and Mike Tyson walked in, your face would have the same look as these foreign leaders had when Clinton entered the room. He is the world's greatest politician."

Even during a very nasty election campaign, Trump stayed clear of Clinton's association with Epstein because he himself had been chummy with the convicted pervert. Trump also never brought up the Clintons' drug running in Mena or the many mysterious deaths of those whose existence inconvenienced their hold on power.

With eight years in the White House, plus stints as a senator then secretary of state, Clinton is considered the ultimate insider. Though a novice politician, Trump is also an insider, and it's a grand joke of the establishment that they've managed to convince Joe Sixpacks everywhere that Trump will save them.

Knowing how angry the working class has become, the deep state could not install Hillary, for that would have been a tiresome rehash of another Clinton presidency. With NAFTA, Bill launched the job offshoring that has wrecked this country, and those most affected by it, working class whites, know damn well who's responsible. The Clinton brand has become anathema to middle America.

While Clinton says America is already great, Trump promises to make America great again, but the decline of the US will only accelerate. Our manufacturing base is handicapped because American workers will not put up with Chinese wages, insanely long hours or living in cramped factory dormitories. In a global economy, those who can suck it up best get the jobs.

On the foreign front, America's belligerence will not ease up under a Trump presidency, for without a hyper kinetic military to browbeat and bomb, the world will stop lending us money. The US doesn't just wage wars to fatten the military banking complex, but to prop up the US Dollar and prevent our economy from collapsing. The empire yields tangible benefits for even the lowliest Americans.

With his livelihood vaporized, the poor man does not care for LGBT rights, the glass ceiling or climate change. Supplementing his wretched income with frequent treks to the church pantry, if not blood bank, he needs immediate relief. It's a shame he's staking his hopes on an imposter.

The deep state ushered in Trump because he's clearly their most useful decoy. As the country hopes in vain, the crooked men behind the curtain will go on with business as usual. Trump is simply an Obama for a different demographic. Nothing will change for the better.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate . He's tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, Postcards from the End of America .

[Nov 14, 2016] Bernie Sanders Indicting Hillary Would Be An Outrage Beyond Belief

Nov 14, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
by Submitted by Stefanie MacWilliams via PlanetFreeWill.com,

In his first post-election interview , Bernie Sanders has declared to should-be-disgraced Wolf Blitzer that Trump seeking to indict Hillary Clinton for her crimes would be "an outrage beyond belief".

When asked if President Obama should pardon Hillary Clinton, Sanders seems almost confused as to why a pardon would even be needed.

Blitzer notes that Ford pardoned Nixon before he could be charged, to which Bernie seemed again incredulous as to the comparison was even being made.

He goes on to state:

That a winning candidate would try to imprison the losing candidate – that's what dictatorships are about, that's what authoritarian countries are about. You do not imprison somebody you ran against because you have differences of opinion. The vast majority of the American people would find it unacceptable to even think about those things.

Either Senator Sanders is a drooling idiot, or he is being willfully obtuse.

No one wants to imprison Hillary Clinton because of her opinion. They want to imprison Hillary Clinton because she has committed criminal actions that any other person lacking millions of dollars and hundreds of upper-echelon contacts would be imprisoned for.

Apparently, according to progressive hero Bernie Sanders, holding the elites to the same level of justice as the peons is undemocratic, authoritarian, and perhaps even dictatorial!

Enough with the damn emails?

Enough with any hope that the Democrats have retained a minute shred of credibility.

You can watch the full interview below:

[Nov 11, 2016] The Democrats did a fine job of stomping out any enthusiasm by sabotaging Bernie Sanders

Nov 11, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Paid Minion November 10, 2016 at 3:21 pm

The Democrats did a fine job of stomping out any enthusiasm by sabotaging Bernie Sanders.

The DNC became a wholly owned subsidiary of Clinton Family Inc. starting in about 2008. Control the rulemakers/money flow, and you can control who the nominee is. At least that is the conventional thinking, and Clinton Inc. is nothing if not conventional.

To buy the DNC, she chose to go to the Wall Street banksters, and others. Essentially an "up front" bribe. No smoking gun needed to be created. They knew what they were paying for, without it being said.

(I'm curious to see how many "donations" the Clinton Foundation receives, now that she's been pushed out on an ice floe.)

They never anticipated a challenger who didn't need the DNC, or it's cash.

They ignored the stats showing how many people wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstance. Just call them racist/sexist/dumbazz hicks, and call them "deplorables". Ask Mitt Romney how that worked out for him.

She lost an election to DONALD TRUMP. Even without the airwaves filled with Republican attack ads. (Lack of RNC enthusiasm for Trump? Or a recognition that Hillary's negatives couldn't be covered in a 30 second commercial?).

If it wasn't for the Clinton's collective ego, and lust for power/money (after all, we all now that in the current state of affairs, the moneyed class drives policy), we'd all (well, all of us who don't live in the rarefied air of the 1%ers/Banksters) be celebrating the upcoming inauguration of President Sanders.

[Nov 07, 2016] Bernie Sanders was a Con Artist, had an 'Agreement' with Hillary Clinton – Wikileaks

www.eutimes.net

According to a new Wikileaks email, Bernie Sanders was just a Manchurian candidate and a Clinton puppet all along. We finally have confirmation of what we have suspected since Bernie said "people are sick of hearing about your damn emails" all the way back in 2015 during one debate. That was a big give-away and a huge red flag which many have raised back then but now we finally have irrefutable proof that Bernie Sanders was just a SCAM candidate and a con artist.

[Nov 07, 2016] Sanders had non-aggression pact with Clinton who had leverage to enforce it. He basically handed her this nomination.

Nov 07, 2016 | twitter.com

WikiLeaks  Verified account
‏@wikileaks

Sanders had non-aggression pact with Clinton who had "leverage" to enforce it Robby Mook ("re47") email reveals https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/47397#efmAAAAB2 …

Robert. ‏@robbiemakestees · Nov 4

@wikileaks the plot thickens. He basically handed her this nomination. What did he honestly think was gonna happen?

[Nov 06, 2016] The Podesta Emails - Undeniable proof that the lobbyists wanted to put Bernie out

Notable quotes:
"... WikiLeaks series on deals involving Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. Mr Podesta is a long-term associate of the Clintons and was President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff from 1998 until 2001. Mr Podesta also owns the Podesta Group with his brother Tony, a major lobbying firm and is the Chair of the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Washington DC-based think tank. ..."
"... if President Obama signs this terrible legislation that blatantly validates Bernie's entire campaign message about Wall Street running our government, this will give Bernie a huge boost and 10,000 -20,000 outraged citizens (who WILL turn up because they will be so angry at the President for preemption vt) will be marching on the Mall with Bernie as their keynote speaker. " ..."
"... But Hirshberg does not stop here. In order to persuade Podesta about the seriousness of the matter, he claims that " It will be terrible to hand Sanders this advantage at such a fragile time when we really need to save our $$$ for the Trump fight. " ..."
Nov 06, 2016 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr
WikiLeaks series on deals involving Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. Mr Podesta is a long-term associate of the Clintons and was President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff from 1998 until 2001. Mr Podesta also owns the Podesta Group with his brother Tony, a major lobbying firm and is the Chair of the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Washington DC-based think tank.

An email from Gary Hirshberg, chairman and former president and CEO of Stonyfield Farm , to John Podesta on March 13, 2016, confirms why the lobbyists strongly opposed Bernie Sanders.

Hirshberg writes to a familiar person, as he was mentioned at the time as a possible 2008 Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, requesting Obama should not pass the Roberts bill because " if President Obama signs this terrible legislation that blatantly validates Bernie's entire campaign message about Wall Street running our government, this will give Bernie a huge boost and 10,000 -20,000 outraged citizens (who WILL turn up because they will be so angry at the President for preemption vt) will be marching on the Mall with Bernie as their keynote speaker. "

But Hirshberg does not stop here. In order to persuade Podesta about the seriousness of the matter, he claims that " It will be terrible to hand Sanders this advantage at such a fragile time when we really need to save our $$$ for the Trump fight. "

[Oct 21, 2016] I wonder if Victoria Nuland and Dick Cheney vote for Hillary

Notable quotes:
"... which may be the story one wishes for. But if there were a spread to compare her win against, it was Bernie who massively beat the spread. I'll leave it as an exercise to others to determine if her unfair advantages were as large as the winning margin. ..."
"... He makes a good point and you dismiss it. You bashed Bernie Sanders and "Bernie Bros" during the primary. Then you lie about it. That's why you're the worst. Dishonest as hell. ..."
"... Remember one thing anne, America is not a country. It is an idea. You cannot arrest it, murder it, or pretend it isn't there. We as a people are not perfect. But Mr Putin is stabbing directly at our democracy, not Hillary Clinton and not Paul Krugman. Time to be a little more objective, of which you are even more capable of than me. ..."
"... It is not exactly McCarthyism as stated (although kthomas with his previous Putin comments looks like a modern day McCarthyist). I think this is a pretty clear formulation of the credo of American Exceptionalism -- a flavor of nationalism adapted to the realities of the new continent. ..."
"... And Robert Kagan explained it earlier much better ... I wonder if Victoria Nuland and Dick Cheney vote for Hillary too. ..."
Oct 21, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
point said...

Krugman says:

"...Mrs. Clinton won the Democratic nomination fairly easily..."

which may be the story one wishes for. But if there were a spread to compare her win against, it was Bernie who massively beat the spread. I'll leave it as an exercise to others to determine if her unfair advantages were as large as the winning margin.

Peter K. -> kthomas... , October 21, 2016 at 11:46 AM

"Why do people like you pretend to love Sen Sanders so much!?"

Why do you say he is pretending? What did he write to make you think that?

Are you just a dishonest troll centrist totebagger like PGL.

Peter K. -> to pgl...

What does that have to do with anything?

He makes a good point and you dismiss it. You bashed Bernie Sanders and "Bernie Bros" during the primary. Then you lie about it. That's why you're the worst. Dishonest as hell. Are most New Yorkers as dishonest as you, Trump, Guiliani, Christie, etc?

kthomas -> anne... , October 21, 2016 at 10:59 AM
No. I am a fan of Sen Sanders, and not even he would believe your nonsense. History will not remember it that way. What it will remember is how Putin Comrade meddled. And there is a price for that.

Sen Sanders wanted one, stated thing: to push the narrative to the left. He marginally accomplished this. What he did succeed in was providing an opportunity for false-lefties like you and Mr Putin who seem to think that America is the root of all evil.

Remember one thing anne, America is not a country. It is an idea. You cannot arrest it, murder it, or pretend it isn't there. We as a people are not perfect. But Mr Putin is stabbing directly at our democracy, not Hillary Clinton and not Paul Krugman. Time to be a little more objective, of which you are even more capable of than me.

Peter K. -> kthomas... , October 21, 2016 at 11:48 AM
I agree with Anne and completely disagree with those like you have drunk the Kool Aid. You're not objective at all.
anne -> kthomas... , October 21, 2016 at 12:25 PM
Sen Sanders wanted one stated thing: to push the narrative to the left. He marginally accomplished this. What he did succeed in was providing an opportunity for false-lefties like --- and -- ----- who seem to think that America is the root of all evil....

[ Better to assume such an awful comment was never written, but the McCarthy-like tone to a particular campaign has been disturbing and could prove lasting. ]

Julio -> kthomas... , -1
"America is not a country. It is an idea. You cannot ...murder it..."

[You're trying, with your McCarthyist comments.]

likbez -> Julio ... , October 21, 2016 at 05:24 PM
Julio,

It is not exactly McCarthyism as stated (although kthomas with his previous Putin comments looks like a modern day McCarthyist). I think this is a pretty clear formulation of the credo of American Exceptionalism -- a flavor of nationalism adapted to the realities of the new continent.

cal -> anne... , October 21, 2016 at 11:28 AM
BS, a remarkable.
No, I am sure he will be remembered more than that.

Bernard Sanders, last romantic politician to run his campaign on an average of $37 from 3,284,421 donations (or whatever Obama said at The Dinner). Remarkable but ineffectual. A good orator in empty houses means he was practicing, not performing.

Why does Obama succeed and Sanders fail? Axelrod and co.

Peter K. -> cal... , -1
He was written off by the like of Krugman, PGL, you, KThomas etc.

He won what 13 million votes. Young people overwhelmingly voted for Sanders. He won New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, etc. etc. etc. And now the "unromantic" complacent people have to lie about the campaign.

pgl : , October 21, 2016 at 10:05 AM
Josh Barro explains why he used to be a Republican but is now a Democrat:

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-i-left-republican-party-register-democrat-2016-10

He seems to have had it with Paul Ryan and Rubio.

pgl -> pgl... , October 21, 2016 at 10:12 AM
I was enjoying this until:

"I have voted Republican, for example, in each of the past three New York City mayoral races."

Joe Llota was racist Rudy Guiliani's minnie me. How on earth did Josh think he should be mayor of my city.

likbez -> pgl...
And Robert Kagan explained it earlier much better ... I wonder if Victoria Nuland and Dick Cheney vote for Hillary too.

[Oct 14, 2016] To all Sanders supporters.  Your hero sold out to the devil.

Oct 14, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
SharkBit Oct 14, 2016 9:20 AM To all Sanders supporters. Your hero sold out to the devil. Your party is corrupt to the core. If you care about America, voting Trump is the only way out of this Shit Show. Otherwise, we all die as that corrupt bitch of your party is crazy enough to take the USA into WWIII. You may not like Trump but he is nothing compared to the Clinton Crime Family and all its globalist tenacles.

[Oct 14, 2016] "Is he remaining quiet because they promised him something?"

Oct 14, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
Crash Overide Paul Kersey Oct 14, 2016 10:16 AM "Is he remaining quiet because they promised him something?"

I mean I don't know, you tell me...

Bernie Sanders buys his 3rd home worth $600,000 shortly after he left the presidential race...

zuuma Crash Overide Oct 14, 2016 11:04 AM Nicely done for a man who never had a paying job until age 40.

And then only government jobs. Bastiat Crash Overide Oct 14, 2016 11:11 AM "Cha-ching!"

"Money, it's a hit

Don't give me none of that do-goody good bullshit"

Pink Floyd: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkhX5W7JoWI

Oldwood Crash Overide Oct 14, 2016 11:41 AM bought and paid for

[Oct 13, 2016] Our Famously Free Press helped to exterminate Sanders like unwannted pest using all kind of dirty tricks

Notable quotes:
"... I have never before seen the press take sides like they did this year, openly and even gleefully bad-mouthing candidates who did not meet with their approval. ..."
"... This shocked me when I first noticed it. It felt like the news stories went out of their way to mock Sanders or to twist his words, while the op-ed pages, which of course don't pretend to be balanced, seemed to be of one voice in denouncing my candidate. ..."
"... I propose that we look into this matter methodically, and that we do so by examining Sanders-related opinion columns in a single publication: the Washington Post, ..."
"... its practitioners have never aimed to be nonpartisan. They do not, therefore, show media bias in the traditional sense. But maybe the traditional definition needs to be updated. We live in an era of reflexive opinionating and quasi opinionating, and we derive much of our information about the world from websites that have themselves blurred the distinction between reporting and commentary, or obliterated it completely. ..."
"... Washington Post, ..."
"... Post ..."
Oct 13, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Neoliberal press serves its neoliberal paymasters. As simple of that. There is no even hint of Us press being press. In certain aspects US jounalists are more "solgers of the Party" then their colleagues in the Brezhnev time Pravda and Izvesia.

From [Essay] Swat Team, by Thomas Frank Harper's Magazine - Part 3 By Thomas Frank

For once, a politician like Sanders seemed to have a chance with the public. He won a stunning victory over Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary, and despite his advanced age and avuncular finger-wagging, he was wildly popular among young voters. Eventually he was flattened by the Clinton juggernaut, of course, but Sanders managed to stay competitive almost all the way to the California primary in June.

His chances with the prestige press were considerably more limited. Before we go into details here, let me confess: I was a Sanders voter, and even interviewed him back in 2014, so perhaps I am naturally inclined to find fault in others' reporting on his candidacy. Perhaps it was the very particular media diet I was on in early 2016, which consisted of daily megadoses of the New York Times and the Washington Post and almost nothing else. Even so, I have never before seen the press take sides like they did this year, openly and even gleefully bad-mouthing candidates who did not meet with their approval.

This shocked me when I first noticed it. It felt like the news stories went out of their way to mock Sanders or to twist his words, while the op-ed pages, which of course don't pretend to be balanced, seemed to be of one voice in denouncing my candidate. A New York Times article greeted the Sanders campaign in December by announcing that the public had moved away from his signature issue of the crumbling middle class. "Americans are more anxious about terrorism than income inequality," the paper declared-nice try, liberal, and thanks for playing. In March, the Times was caught making a number of post-publication tweaks to a news story about the senator, changing what had been a sunny tale of his legislative victories into a darker account of his outrageous proposals. When Sanders was finally defeated in June, the same paper waved him goodbye with a bedtime-for-Grandpa headline, hillary clinton made history, but bernie sanders stubbornly ignored it.

I propose that we look into this matter methodically, and that we do so by examining Sanders-related opinion columns in a single publication: the Washington Post, the conscience of the nation's political class and one of America's few remaining first-rate news organizations. I admire the Post 's investigative and beat reporting. What I will focus on here, however, are pieces published between January and May 2016 on the paper's editorial and op-ed pages, as well as on its many blogs. Now, editorials and blog posts are obviously not the same thing as news stories: punditry is my subject here, and its practitioners have never aimed to be nonpartisan. They do not, therefore, show media bias in the traditional sense. But maybe the traditional definition needs to be updated. We live in an era of reflexive opinionating and quasi opinionating, and we derive much of our information about the world from websites that have themselves blurred the distinction between reporting and commentary, or obliterated it completely. For many of us, this ungainly hybrid is the news. What matters, in any case, is that all the pieces I review here, whether they appeared in pixels or in print, bear the imprimatur of the Washington Post, the publication that defines the limits of the permissible in the capital city.

... ... ...

On January 27, with the Iowa caucuses just days away, Dana Milbank nailed it with a headline: nominating sanders would be insane . After promising that he adored the Vermont senator, he cautioned his readers that "socialists don't win national elections in the United States." The next day, the paper's editorial board chimed in with a campaign full of fiction , in which they branded Sanders as a kind of flimflam artist: "Mr. Sanders is not a brave truth-teller. He is a politician selling his own brand of fiction to a slice of the country that eagerly wants to buy it."

Stung by the Post 's trolling, Bernie Sanders fired back-which in turn allowed no fewer than three of the paper's writers to report on the conflict between the candidate and their employer as a bona fide news item. Sensing weakness, the editorial board came back the next morning with yet another kidney punch, this one headlined the real problem with mr. sanders . By now, you can guess what that problem was: his ideas weren't practical, and besides, he still had "no plausible plan for plugging looming deficits as the population ages."

... ... ...

After the previous week's lesson about Glass Steagall, the editorial board now instructed politicians to stop reviling tarp -i.e., the Wall Street bailouts with which the Bush and Obama Administrations tried to halt the financial crisis. The bailouts had been controversial, the paper acknowledged, but they were also bipartisan, and opposing or questioning them in the Sanders manner was hereby declared anathema. After all, the editorial board intoned:

Contrary to much rhetoric, Wall Street banks and bankers still took losses and suffered upheaval, despite the bailout-but TARP helped limit the collateral damage that Main Street suffered from all of that. If not for the ingenuity of the executive branch officials who designed and carried out the program, and the responsibility of the legislators who approved it, the United States would be in much worse shape economically.

As a brief history of the financial crisis and the bailout, this is absurd. It is true that bailing out Wall Street was probably better than doing absolutely nothing, but saying this ignores the many other options that were available to public officials had they shown any real ingenuity in holding institutions accountable. All the Wall Street banks that existed at the time of TARP are flourishing to this day, since the government moved heaven and earth to spare them the consequences of the toxic securities they had issued and the lousy mortgage bets they made. The big banks were "made whole," as the saying goes. Main Street banks, meanwhile, died off by the hundreds in 2009 and 2010. And average home owners, of course, got no comparable bailout. Instead, Main Street America saw trillions in household wealth disappear; it entered into a prolonged recession, with towering unemployment, increasing inequality, and other effects that linger to this day. There has never been a TARP for the rest of us.

... ... ...

Charles Krauthammer went into action on January 29, too, cautioning the Democrats that they "would be risking a November electoral disaster of historic dimensions" should they nominate Sanders-cynical advice that seems even more poisonous today, as scandal after scandal engulfs the Democratic candidate that so many Post pundits favored.

... ... ...

The Iowa caucuses came the next day, and Stephen Stromberg was at the keyboard to identify the "three delusions" that supposedly animated the campaigns of Sanders and the Republican Ted Cruz alike. Namely: they had abandoned the "center," they believed that things were bad in the United States, and they perceived an epidemic of corruption-in Sanders's case, corruption via billionaires and campaign contributions. Delusions all.

... ... ...

On and on it went, for month after month, a steady drumbeat of denunciation. The paper hit every possible anti-Sanders note, from the driest kind of math-based policy reproach to the lowest sort of nerd-shaming-from his inexcusable failure to embrace taxes on soda pop to his awkward gesticulating during a debate with Hillary Clinton ("an unrelenting hand jive," wrote Post dance critic Sarah L. Kaufman, "that was missing only an upright bass and a plunky piano").

The paper's piling-up of the senator's faults grew increasingly long and complicated. Soon after Sanders won the New Hampshire primary, the editorial board denounced him and Trump both as "unacceptable leaders" who proposed "simple-sounding" solutions. Sanders used the plutocracy as a "convenient scapegoat." He was hostile to nuclear power. He didn't have a specific recipe for breaking up the big banks. He attacked trade deals with "bogus numbers that defy the overwhelming consensus among economists." This last charge was a particular favorite of Post pundits: David Ignatius and Charles Lane both scolded the candidate for putting prosperity at risk by threatening our trade deals. Meanwhile, Charles Krauthammer grew so despondent over the meager 2016 options that he actually pined for the lost days of the Bill Clinton presidency, when America was tough on crime, when welfare was being reformed, and when free trade was accorded its proper respect.

... ... ...

The danger of Trump became an overwhelming fear as primary season drew to a close, and it redoubled the resentment toward Sanders. By complaining about mistreatment from the Democratic apparatus, the senator was supposedly weakening the party before its coming showdown with the billionaire blowhard. This matter, like so many others, found columnists and bloggers and op-ed panjandrums in solemn agreement. Even Eugene Robinson, who had stayed fairly neutral through most of the primary season, piled on in a May 20 piece, blaming Sanders and his noisy horde for "deliberately stoking anger and a sense of grievance-less against Clinton than the party itself," actions that "could put Trump in the White House." By then, the paper had buttressed its usual cast of pundits with heavy hitters from outside its own peculiar ecosystem. In something of a journalistic coup, the Post opened its blog pages in April to Jeffrey R. Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, so that he, too, could join in the chorus of denunciation aimed at the senator from Vermont. Comfort the comfortable, I suppose-and while you're at it, be sure to afflict the afflicted.

... ... ...

It should be noted that there were some important exceptions to what I have described. The paper's blogs, for instance, published regular pieces by Sanders sympathizers like Katrina vanden Heuvel and the cartoonist Tom Toles. (The blogs also featured the efforts of a few really persistent Clinton haters.) The Sunday Outlook section once featured a pro-Sanders essay by none other than Ralph Nader, a kind of demon figure and clay pigeon for many of the paper's commentators. But readers of the editorial pages had to wait until May 26 to see a really full-throated essay supporting Sanders's legislative proposals. Penned by Jeffrey Sachs, the eminent economist and professor at Columbia University, it insisted that virtually all the previous debate on the subject had been irrelevant, because standard economic models did not take into account the sort of large-scale reforms that Sanders was advocating:

It's been decades since the United States had a progressive economic strategy, and mainstream economists have forgotten what one can deliver. In fact, Sanders's recipes are supported by overwhelming evidence-notably from countries that already follow the policies he advocates. On health care, growth and income inequality, Sanders wins the policy debate hands down.

It was a striking departure from what nearly every opinionator had been saying for the preceding six months. Too bad it came just eleven days before the Post, following the lead of the Associated Press, declared Hillary Clinton to be the preemptive winner of the Democratic nomination.

What can we learn from reviewing one newspaper's lopsided editorial treatment of a left-wing presidential candidate?

For one thing, we learn that the Washington Post, that gallant defender of a free press, that bold bringer-down of presidents, has a real problem with some types of political advocacy. Certain ideas, when voiced by certain people, are not merely debatable or incorrect or misguided, in the paper's view: they are inadmissible. The ideas themselves might seem healthy, they might have a long and distinguished history, they might be commonplace in other lands. Nevertheless, when voiced by the people in question, they become damaging.

... ... ...

Clinging to this so-called pragmatism is also professionally self-serving. If "realism" is recognized as the ultimate trump card in American politics, it automatically prioritizes the thoughts and observations of the realism experts-also known as the Washington Post and its brother institutions of insider knowledge and professional policy practicality. Realism is what these organizations deal in; if you want it, you must come to them. Legitimacy is quite literally their property. They dole it out as they see fit.

There is the admiration for consensus, the worship of pragmatism and bipartisanship, the contempt for populist outcry, the repeated equating of dissent with partisan disloyalty. And think of the specific policy pratfalls: the cheers for TARP, the jeers aimed at bank regulation, the dismissal of single-payer health care as a preposterous dream.

This stuff is not mysterious. We can easily identify the political orientation behind it from one of the very first pages of the Roger Tory Peterson Field Guide to the Ideologies. This is common Seaboard Centrism, its markings of complacency and smugness as distinctive as ever, its habitat the familiar Beltway precincts of comfort and exclusivity. Whether you encounter it during a recession or a bull market, its call is the same: it reassures us that the experts who head up our system of government have everything well under control.

It is, of course, an ideology of the professional class, of sound-minded East Coast strivers, fresh out of Princeton or Harvard, eagerly quoting as "authorities" their peers in the other professions, whether economists at MIT or analysts at Credit Suisse or political scientists at Brookings. Above all, this is an insider's ideology; a way of thinking that comes from a place of economic security and takes a view of the common people that is distinctly patrician.

[Oct 12, 2016] Breaking: DNC Chief Donna Brazile Leaked Sanders Info to Clinton Campaign

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
Oct 10, 2016 | observer.com
WikiLeaks hack reveals DNC's favoritism as Clinton staff in damage control over Hillary's support for DOMA

On October 10, Wikileaks released part two of their emails from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.

Friday, Wikileaks released their first batch of Podesta's emails, which included excerpts from Clinton's Wall Street transcripts that reaffirmed why Clinton refused to release them in full. During the second presidential debate, Clinton confirmed their authenticity by attempting to defend one statement she made in the speech about having a public and private stance on political issues. She cited Abraham Lincoln, a defense comparable to her ridiculous invocation of 9/11 when pressed on her ties to Wall Street during a Democratic primary debate.

The latest release reveals current DNC chair Donna Brazile, when working as a DNC vice chair, forwarded to the Clinton campaign a January 2016 email obtained from the Bernie Sanders campaign, released by Sarah Ford, Sanders' deputy national press secretary, announcing a Twitter storm from Sanders' African-American outreach team. "FYI" Brazile wrote to the Clinton staff. "Thank you for the heads up on this Donna," replied Clinton campaign spokesperson Adrienne Elrod.

The second batch of emails include more evidence of collusion between the mainstream media and Clinton Campaign.

One email , received by prolific Clinton donor Haim Saban, was forwarded to Clinton staff, praising the friendly moderators in the early March 2016 Democratic primary debate co-hosted by Univision in Florida. "Haim, I just wanted to tell you that I thought the moderators for last nights Debate were excellent. They were thoughtful, tough and incisive. I thought it made Hilary appear direct and strong in her resolve. I felt it advanced our candidate. Thanks for Univision," wrote Rob Friedman, former co-chair of the Motion Picture Group.

Another email discusses planting a favorable Clinton story in The New York Times in March 2015. "NYT heroine. Should she call her today?" Podesta wrote to other Clinton campaign staffers with the subject line 'Laura Donohoe.' "I do think it's a great idea! We can make it happen," replied Huma Abedin. The story they referred to is likely " In New Hampshire, Clinton Backers Buckle Up," published in The New York Times on March 12, 2015 about Laura Donohoe, a retired nurse and Clinton supporter in New Hampshire.

John Harwood, New York Times contributor and CNBC correspondent, regularly exchanged emails with Podesta-communicating more as a Clinton surrogate than a journalist.

In an October 2015 email thread, Clinton staff were in damage control over Hillary's support for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Hillary Clinton would not disavow her support for it. "I'm not saying double down or ever say it again. I'm just saying that she's not going to want to say she was wrong about that, given she and her husband believe it and have repeated it many times. Better to reiterate evolution, opposition to DOMA when court considered it, and forward looking stance."

Former Clinton Foundation director, Darnell Strom of the Creative Artist Agency, wrote a condescending email to Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard after she resigned from the DNC to endorse Bernie Sanders , which he then forwarded to Clinton campaign staff. "For you to endorse a man who has spent almost 40 years in public office with very few accomplishments, doesn't fall in line with what we previously thought of you. Hillary Clinton will be our party's nominee and you standing on ceremony to support the sinking Bernie Sanders ship is disrespectful to Hillary Clinton," wrote Strom.

A memo sent from Clinton's general counsel, Marc Elias of the law firm Perkins Coie, outlined legal tricks to circumvent campaign finance laws to raise money in tandem with Super Pacs.

In a March 2015 email , Clinton Campaign manager Robby Mook expressed frustration DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz hired a Convention CEO without consulting the Clinton campaign, which suggests the DNC and Clinton campaign regularly coordinated together from the early stages of the Democratic primaries.

[Oct 09, 2016] Comparing Bernie's rallies with Hillary

Notable quotes:
"... Zach Bee Of all the words you could chant, in the entire english language, they pick the ONE that rhymes with liar? What does Hillary! Fire! Even mean? I thought that was a joke at first. Wow. ..."
"... Moh Moony Spot on mate. No one ever accused Hillbots of being very bright. beidoll I kept thinking it should have been "Fire Hillary". I'd fire her before I'd hire her. ..."
"... Thanet Taout LOLOLOLOL ..."
Oct 09, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Pavel October 9, 2016 at 10:40 am

For those who want a few laughs in these grim times, check out the excellent Jimmy Dore's video (6 minutes) comparing Bernie's rallies with Hillary's. There is a truly cringeworthy episode of HRC cheerleading in the clip.

Bernie Crowds vs Hillary Crowds - A Depressing, Hilarious Comparison

integer October 9, 2016 at 10:59 am

Heh. I liked this little exchange in the comments:

Zach Bee
Of all the words you could chant, in the entire english language, they pick the ONE that rhymes with liar? What does Hillary! Fire! Even mean? I thought that was a joke at first. Wow.

Moh Moony
Spot on mate. No one ever accused Hillbots of being very bright.

beidoll
I kept thinking it should have been "Fire Hillary". I'd fire her before I'd hire her.

Thanet Taout
LOLOLOLOL

BecauseTradition October 9, 2016 at 12:34 pm

What does Hillary! Fire! Even mean?

Liar, liar pants on fire?

[Oct 09, 2016] Bernie is the Biggest Frigging Sellout, if you ask me. He spends 6 months railing against HRC's policies and now is out promoting her. He is dead to me now.

Oct 09, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
edmondo October 9, 2016 at 9:53 am

So even after Hillary says she's going to renounce every campaign promise she made two hours after the polls close, Bernie can't wait to get out on the campaign trail urge us to vote for our own extinction?

Donald may be "The Apprentice" but Bernie has got to be "The Biggest Loser"

Pavel October 9, 2016 at 11:39 am

Bernie is the Biggest Frigging Sellout, if you ask me. He spends 6 months railing against HRC's policies and now is out promoting her. He is dead to me now.

I can see the expediency of a reluctant endorsement at the convention, but he's lost his credibility with this behaviour. They must've threatened him with loss of his Senate committee positions or something.

DarkMatters October 9, 2016 at 12:45 pm

…or offered to fund his foundation and invite hi to expensive lectures. Carrot or stick, carrot or stick; so hard to tell. I imagine the stick is avoided when possible; no point in bringing needless ugliness into what could be a nice relationship.

[Oct 09, 2016] Bernie Sanders Supporters Furious Over Hillarys Leaked Wall Street Speeches

Oct 09, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
With the media exclusively attuned to every new, or 11-year-old as the case may be, twist in the Trump "sex tape" saga, it appeared that everyone forgot that a little over 24 hours ago, Wikileaks exposed the real reason why Hillary was keeping her Wall Street speech transcripts - which we now know had always been within easy reach for her campaign - secret. In her own words : "if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position." In other words, you have to lie to the general public while promising those who just paid you $250,000 for an hour of your speaking time something entirely different, which is precisely what those accusing Hillary of hiding her WS transcripts had done; and as yesterday's hacked documents revealed, they were right.

The Clinton campaign refused to disavow the hacked excerpts, although it quickly tired to pin the blame again on Russia: "We are not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents released by Julian Assange, who has made no secret of his desire to damage Hillary Clinton," spokesman Glen Caplin said in a prepared statement. Previous releases have "Guccifer 2.0 has already proven the warnings of top national security officials that documents can be faked as part of a sophisticated Russian misinformation campaign."

Ironically, it was literally minutes before the Wikileaks release of the "Podesta Files" that the US formally accused Russia of waging a hacking cyber attack on the US political establishment, almost as if it knew Wikileaks was about to make the major disclosure, and sought to minimize its impact by scapegoating Vladimir Putin.

And while the Trump campaign tried to slam the leak, with spokesman saying "now we finally get confirmation of Clinton's catastrophic plans for completely open borders and diminishing America's influence in the world. There is a reason Clinton gave these high-paid speeches in secret behind closed doors - her real intentions will destroy American sovereignty as we know it, further illustrating why Hillary Clinton is simply unfit to be president", Trump's campaign had its own raging inferno to deal with.

So, courtesy of what Trump said about some woman 11 years ago, in all the din over the oddly coincident Trump Tape leak, most of the noise created by the Hillary speeches was lost.

But not all.

According to Reuters , supporters of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Saturday " seethed ", and "expressed anger and vindication over leaked comments made by Hillary Clinton to banks and big business that appeared to confirm their fears about her support for global trade and tendency to cozy up to Wall Street. "

Clinton, who last it emerged had slammed Bernie supporters as "basement dwellers" in a February fundraiser, with virtually no media coverage, needs Sanders' coalition of young and left-leaning voters to propel her to the presidency, pushes for open trade and open borders in one of the speeches, and takes a conciliatory approach to Wall Street , both positions she later backed away from in an effort to capture the popular appeal of Sanders' attacks on trade deals and powerful banks.

Needless to say, there was no actualy "backing away", and instead Hillary did what he truly excels in better than most: she told the public what they wanted to hear, and will promptly reneg on once she becomes president.

Only now, this is increasingly obvious to America's jilted youth: " this is a very clear illustration of why there is a fundamental lack of trust from progressives for Hillary Clinton," said Tobita Chow, chair of the People's Lobby in Chicago, which endorsed Sanders in the primary election.

" The progressive movement needs to make a call to Secretary Clinton to clarify where she stands really on these issues and that's got to involve very clear renunciations of the positions that are revealed in these transcripts," Chow said.

Good luck that, or even getting a response, even though Hillary was largely spared from providing one: as Reuters correctly observes, the revelations were immediately overshadowed by the release of an 11-year-old recording of Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, making lewd comments about women. In fact, the revelations were almost entirely ignored by the same prime time TV that has been glued to the Trump slow-motion trainwreck over the past 24 hours.

Still, the hacked speeches could lead to further erosion in support from the so very critical to her successful candidacy, young American voter.

Clinton has worked hard to build trust with so-called progressives, adopting several of Sanders' positions after she bested him in the primary race. The U.S. senator from Vermont now supports his former rival in the Nov. 8 general election against Trump. Still, Clinton has struggled to win support from young "millennials" who were crucial to Sanders' success, and some Democrats expressed concern that the leaks would discourage those supporters from showing up to vote.

"That is a big concern and this certainly doesn't help," said Larry Cohen, chair of the board of Our Revolution, a progressive organization formed in the wake of Sanders' bid for the presidency, which aims to keep pushing the former candidate's ideas at a grassroots level. "It matters in terms of turnout, energy, volunteering, all those things."

Still, despite the Trump media onslaught, the message appeared to filter through to those who would be most impacted by Hillary selling out her voters if she were to win the presidency.

"Bernie was right about Hillary," wrote Facebook user Grace Tilly cited by Rueters, "she's a tool for Wall Street."

"Clinton is the politicians' politician - exactly the Wall Street insider Bernie described," wrote Facebook user Brian Leach.

Democratic strategist Steve Elmendorf said progressive voters would still choose the former first lady, even with misgivings. "I'd like to meet the Bernie Sanders supporter who is going to say, 'Well I'm a little worried about her on international trade, so I'm going to vote for Donald Trump'," he said.

He just may meet a few, especially if Bernie's supporters ask themselves why Bernie's support for Hillary remained so unwavering despite a leak confirming that Hillary was indeed all he had previously railed against.

In a statement earlier, Sanders responded to the leak by saying that despite Hillary's paid speeches to Wall Street in which she expressed an agenda diametrically opposite to that espoused by the Vermont socialist, he reiterated his his support for the Democratic Party platform.

"Whatever Secretary Clinton may or may not have said behind closed doors on Wall Street, I am determined to implement the agenda of the Democratic Party platform which was agreed upon by her campaign," he said in a statement.

"Among other things, that agenda calls for breaking up the largest financial institutions in this country, re-establishing Glass-Steagall and prosecuting those many Wall Street CEOs who engaged in illegal behavior. "

In retrospect we find it fascinating that in the aftermath of October's two big surprises served up on Friday, Sanders actually believes any of that having read through Hillary's Wall Street speeches, certainly far more fascinating than the staged disgust with Trump who, the media is suddenly stunned to find, was no more politically correct 11 year ago than he is today.

[Oct 09, 2016] Hillary Camp Worked With Reporter On Anti-Sanders Story

Notable quotes:
"... Then, Mook reveals that the campaign is working with Epstein on a piece bashing Sanders staff for underhanded tactics. ..."
"... "We are also working with Jen Epstein for a story about this (not necessarily the 11pm knocks, which we are working to confirm) regarding Sanders staff coming to office openings, tracking us, lying about endorsements, other shady field activity, etc.," Mook says in the email. ..."
Oct 09, 2016 | dailycaller.com
Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign collaborated with Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Epstein to create an anti-Bernie Sanders story prior to the Nevada caucus.

In the vast trove of Clinton emails leaked Thursday by the organization DCLeaks, there is an email exchange between Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and Emily Ruiz, head of the campaign's Nevada operation. In the exchange, Ruiz and Mook discuss rumors that Sanders volunteers were posing as Clinton operatives and engaging in irritating behavior like knocking on voters' doors at 11 pm.

Then, Mook reveals that the campaign is working with Epstein on a piece bashing Sanders staff for underhanded tactics.

"We are also working with Jen Epstein for a story about this (not necessarily the 11pm knocks, which we are working to confirm) regarding Sanders staff coming to office openings, tracking us, lying about endorsements, other shady field activity, etc.," Mook says in the email.

[Oct 01, 2016] Clinton describes Sanders supporters as basement-dwellers baristas in leaked recording - RT America

Notable quotes:
"... "There's just a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free healthcare, that what we've done hasn't gone far enough, and that we just need to, you know, go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means, and half the people don't know what that means, but it's something that they deeply feel," ..."
"... "bewildered" ..."
"... "populist, nationalist, xenophobic, discriminatory" ..."
"... "I am occupying from the center-left to the center-right. And I don't have much company there. Because it is difficult when you're running to be president, and you understand how hard the job is – I don't want to overpromise," said Clinton, who has customarily eschewed political spectrum labels. ..."
"... "understanding" ..."
"... "Some are new to politics completely. They're children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents' basement. They feel they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves. And they don't see much of a future," ..."
"... "If you're feeling like you're consigned to, you know, being a barista, or you know, some other job that doesn't pay a lot, and doesn't have some other ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing." ..."
"... "listening to the concerns" of "the most diverse, open-minded generation in history." ..."
"... People who have the TV on all day and watch the news from the mainstream media are naturally going to get hoodwinked. They aren't the brightest, but they're also distracted and mislead. ..."
"... She is the definition of implicit bias. ..."
"... After all, they are the deplorables. HRC is truly the most despicable, scandal ridden, lying war monger to ever grace American politics. ..."
"... Shame on Sanders for supporting that Nazi witch. ..."
"... Millions of people were adversely harmed by her misguided policies and her "pay-to-play" operations involving favors in return for donations to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative. ..."
Oct 01, 2016 | www.rt.com

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made forthright remarks about Bernie Sanders' supporters during a private meeting with fundraisers, an audio from which has been leaked following an email hack.

"There's just a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free healthcare, that what we've done hasn't gone far enough, and that we just need to, you know, go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means, and half the people don't know what that means, but it's something that they deeply feel," Clinton said during a Q&A with potential donors in McLean in Virginia, in February, when she was still in a close primary race with Sanders.

The frontrunner to become the next US President said that herself and other election observers had been "bewildered" by the rise of the "populist, nationalist, xenophobic, discriminatory" Republican candidates, presumably Donald Trump, on the one side, and the radical left-wing idealists on the other.

Clinton painted herself as a moderate and realistic contrast to the groundswell.

"I am occupying from the center-left to the center-right. And I don't have much company there. Because it is difficult when you're running to be president, and you understand how hard the job is – I don't want to overpromise," said Clinton, who has customarily eschewed political spectrum labels.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, which posted the audio of Clinton's remarks, the recording was attached to an email sent out by a campaign staffer, which has been hacked. It is unclear if the leak is the work of the same hackers who got hold of a trove of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails in July.

... ... ...

In the session, Clinton called for an "understanding" of the motives of Sanders' younger backers, while describing them in terms that fluctuate between patronizing and unflattering.

"Some are new to politics completely. They're children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents' basement. They feel they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves. And they don't see much of a future," said Clinton, who obtained the support of about 2,800 delegates, compared to approximately 1,900 for Sanders, when the results were tallied in July.

"If you're feeling like you're consigned to, you know, being a barista, or you know, some other job that doesn't pay a lot, and doesn't have some other ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing."

Despite well-publicized tensions, particularly between the more vocal backers, Sanders endorsed Clinton at the Democratic National Convention two months ago, and the two politicians have campaigned together this week, sharing the stage.

Following the leak, the Clinton campaign has not apologized for the audio, insisting that it shows that the nominee and is "listening to the concerns" of "the most diverse, open-minded generation in history."

"As Hillary Clinton said in those remarks , she wants young people to be idealistic and set big goals," said her spokesman Glen Caplin. "She is fighting for exactly millennial generation cares more about – a fairer, more equal, just world."

In other parts of the 50-minute recording, Clinton spoke about US capacity to "retaliate" against foreign hackers that would serve as a "deterrence" and said she would be "inclined" to mothball the costly upgrade of the Long Range Standoff (LRSO) missile program.

Read more

PurpleSeaMan87
And more votes for Trump it seems. Good
Olive Sailboat 2h

The more she runs her mouth the more support she loses.

Gold Carrot -> Olive Sailboat 6m

Well if somebody is supported by Soros, Warren Buffet, Walmart family, Gates, Moskowitz, Pritzker, Saban and Session what do you expect. Give me 8 names of other Americans who can top their money worth. And even so called financial supporters of Republican party like Whitman and Koch brothers are not supporting Trump. Whitman actually donate to Clinton. In fact most of the donation for Trump campaign is coming from people who donate at average less than 200 dollars. Clinton represent BIG MONEY that... See more

GA 2h

Clinton has a supremacist problem, she considers all americans under deserving people, she thinks she is a pharaoh and we are little people. Reply Share 15

Red Ducky -> GA 23m

you think trump is different? ask yourself this question: Why do Rich people spend hundreds of millions of dollars for a job that only pays $400K a year?

Rabid Rotty -> Red Ducky 9m

And Trump has stated several times that he will not take the Presidential Salary

pHiL SwEeT -> Rabid Rotty 8m

Uh, yah, Red Ducky just explained how it's not about the money, they're already rich. It's about power, status, control and legacy.

Green Weights 2h

if Clinton sends her followers and their families to concentration camps, they'll still continue supporting her. yes, that's how stupid they really are.

Olive Basketball -> Green Weights 55m

People who have the TV on all day and watch the news from the mainstream media are naturally going to get hoodwinked. They aren't the brightest, but they're also distracted and mislead.

Cyan Beer 2h

She is the definition of implicit bias.

Norm de Plume
Sure enough. The real Americans. Not people, like her, who have dedicated their lives to aggrandizing themselves living effectively tax-free at the people's expense.
Seve141 7m
After all, they are the deplorables. HRC is truly the most despicable, scandal ridden, lying war monger to ever grace American politics.
Tornado_Doom 12m
Shame on Sanders for supporting that Nazi witch.
Green Band Aid -> Tornado_Doom 12m
Sanders will be getting paid. All he does is for money.
Tornado_Doom -> Green Band Aid 11m
Does an old rich man like him need money?
Green Leaf 43m
Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State during Barack Obama's first term was an unmitigated disaster for many nations around the world. The media has never adequately described how a number of countries around the world suffered horribly from HC's foreign policy decisions. Millions of people were adversely harmed by her misguided policies and her "pay-to-play" operations involving favors in return for donations to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative.

Countries adversely impacted by HC's foreign policy decisions include Abkhazia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Central African Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Kosovo, Libya, Malaysia, Palestine, Paraguay, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Western Sahara, Yemen - one would think they had a visit from the anti-Christ instead of HC. Or is HC the anti-Christ in disguise?

Green Leaf 45m
The majority of American's will vote Trump for 3 primary reasons.

1. National Security: They trust him when it comes to protecting national security and to stop illegal aliens from entering US boarders along with stopping the mass importation of un-vetted refugees from the middle east.

2. Economy: They know he knows how to get things done under budget and ahead of schedule.. and he knows how to make money. They want a successful businessman in office, not another political who is out to enrich his or herself at their expense. In addition he knows how to create jobs and he has a major plan to cut taxes to help the poor - no tax for anyone earning less then $50,000 and

3. Hillary's severe covered-up health problems: With all of the problems that the US is experience they don't want someone who passes out from a seizure in the middle of the day running the country. This is a severely ill woman is, evidently, of the rare kind that requires a permanent traveling physician and a "mystery man" who rushes to her side whenever she has one of her frequent and uncontrollable seizure "episodes" (or otherwise freezes up with a brain "short-circuit" during a speech). She has Parkinson's. The pneumonia was just a symptom for something much more serious. She even had a mini seizure during the debate for those with a medical background to see.

[Oct 01, 2016] Krugman trashed Sanders relentlessly using his soap box and now he is horrified the Hillary might lose. What a jerk

Notable quotes:
"... But Paul Krugman I have lost a lot of respect for. There was a candidate that people believed in and that stood up for working people and liberal values and that motivated people to come out and support him and his goals for the U.S.A. A candidate that would have neutralized Trump's appeal to the working class (which is mostly where I am). Krugman trashed him relentlessly using his very large soap box. ..."
Oct 01, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Jerry Brown : September 30, 2016 at 05:31 PM
I won't say bad things about Clinton. Because she is far better than the alternative at this point. But Paul Krugman I have lost a lot of respect for. There was a candidate that people believed in and that stood up for working people and liberal values and that motivated people to come out and support him and his goals for the U.S.A. A candidate that would have neutralized Trump's appeal to the working class (which is mostly where I am). Krugman trashed him relentlessly using his very large soap box.

Now he is horrified that the polls are so close.

I can't say anything more without being negative. Except vote for Clinton- she's better than Trump. Which is a pathetic endorsement.

[Oct 01, 2016] Clinton should be beating Trump easily in the polls. Sanders would be. Trump is the worst candidate in history.

Notable quotes:
"... Not because of policy, but because they *hate* Clinton's dishonest scumbags like Debbie Wasserman Shultz... They know them and hate them. ..."
"... Clinton brags about how much she's done for the children meanwhile she's a millionaire who gives speeches to Goldman Sachs and does nothing but attend fundraisers thrown by rich donors. ..."
"... a lot of Sanders supporters have a visceral dislike of Sanders people who lied to them and about us... The dishonesty is blatant, just how Hillary lied about Sanders during the primary. ..."
"... wait until the election is over. The hatred toward Clinton and surrogates ... will come pouring out. That is if she wins. ..."
Oct 01, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Peter K. : September 30, 2016 at 06:35 AM Clinton should be beating Trump easily in the polls. Sanders would be. Trump is the worst candidate in history.

Why isn't she don't better? It's because Clinton surrogates like PGL are hateful and obnoxious. The voters hate these people and don't agree with Clinton's centrism. The voters hate the BS we're expected to believe like how corporate trade is nothing but beneficial or that the Obama years were great.

It's not simply because she's a woman or because of the media (which the Clintonites were happy to use against Sanders.)
Reply Friday, September 30, 2016 at 06:35 AM Peter K. -> Peter K.... , Friday, September 30, 2016 at 06:47 AM

That's why Trump is appealing to Sanders voters.

Not because of policy, but because they *hate* Clinton's dishonest scumbags like Debbie Wasserman Shultz... They know them and hate them.

Clinton brags about how much she's done for the children meanwhile she's a millionaire who gives speeches to Goldman Sachs and does nothing but attend fundraisers thrown by rich donors.

I'll vote for Hillary but a lot of Sanders supporters have a visceral dislike of Sanders people who lied to them and about us... The dishonesty is blatant, just how Hillary lied about Sanders during the primary. But Sanders knows policywise Trump is much, much worse than Hillary even if she's not that good.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , -1
That's why Sanders is campaigning for Hillary. But wait until the election is over. The hatred toward Clinton and surrogates ... will come pouring out. That is if she wins.

[Sep 28, 2016] Occupy the DNC: A Bernie Delegate's account of the 2016 Democratic National Commercial

Sep 28, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Kim Kaufman September 28, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Occupy the DNC: A Bernie Delegate's account of the 2016 Democratic National Commercial

https://medium.com/@5cottBrown/occupy-the-dnc-a-bernie-delegates-account-of-the-2016-democratic-national-commercial-85406db8cac7#.3a53g0q5q

This is a very long read… and I haven't finished it yet but so far lots of good details.

[Sep 12, 2016] Southern blacks as a voting block

Notable quotes:
"... I said from the very beginning of Sanders campaign, that an old, lefty, New York Jew is going to have a really tough time connecting with older, black voters in the south. ..."
"... I don't think most Americans realize just how conservative southern blacks really are, particularly the ones old enough to remember the bad old days of segregation and before. ..."
"... the social climate in the south would reward and penalize behaviors by both whites and blacks in a manner very different from cultures found in the north and the west. ..."
"... Radical personalities and those who are quick to embrace new ideas don't fare very well in those parts of the country. Slow, steady, quite and modest is your best bet for survival. ..."
"... Almost like Clinton's "slow incremental change" campaign theme. ..."
Sep 12, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Jerry Denim , March 9, 2016 at 1:53 pm

I really liked Charles Blow's insightful comment about two Black Americas and the great migration. I am white but I like to think that I know a little about Black America. I've travelled and lived all over the US now, but I grew up in the eighties in a small, racially divided southern town. I attended a public school that was 60% black and every black teacher of mine in elementary school was formerly employed by the "separate but equal" black school system prior to desegregation. I didn't realize how close I was to the bad ole' segregated south growing up, but it boggles my mind and certain things make more sense to me now looking back. I was raised by my working mother and two different black nannies. They were surrogate moms to me. I would play with their nieces, nephews and grand-children at their house sometimes and other times at my parents. I even attended church with them on a couple of different occasions. I left the south after graduating college but I didn't forget the lessons of my youth. I said from the very beginning of Sanders campaign, that an old, lefty, New York Jew is going to have a really tough time connecting with older, black voters in the south.

I don't think most Americans realize just how conservative southern blacks really are, particularly the ones old enough to remember the bad old days of segregation and before. The cultural DNA of the diaspora blacks of the north and the blacks that stayed behind is very different. Besides the attitudes and personality types that may have been more likely to migrate north or west, it's important to remember that the social climate in the south would reward and penalize behaviors by both whites and blacks in a manner very different from cultures found in the north and the west.

There are still plenty of strong pockets of racism today outside of the south, particularly in the northeast, appalachia, and the midwest but nowhere I've visited can compare to racism found in the deep southern states of the Gulf and Mississippi delta region.

Radical personalities and those who are quick to embrace new ideas don't fare very well in those parts of the country. Slow, steady, quite and modest is your best bet for survival.

Almost like Clinton's "slow incremental change" campaign theme. Clinton keeps running up the delegate score with the support of southern black grannies like the ones who raised me, but she is running out of deep south. Meanwhile Sanders is forging new coalitions and crushing the under-forty vote, so even if he can't win the DNC's rigged primary this year the future looks bright for leaders that want to pick up Sanders mantle in the near future.

MojaveWolf , March 9, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Besides the attitudes and personality types that may have been more likely to migrate north or west, it's important to remember that the social climate in the south would reward and penalize behaviors by both whites and blacks in a manner very different from cultures found in the north and the west.

Very true & excellent point. I grew up in small town Alabama & permanently moved away in January 1990. It is a very pro-establishment place, where, at least back then, people who were willing to be noticeably different had to be very exceptional in some way or willing & able to fend for themselves, otherwise they would be ostracized or bullied. Birmingham & Tuscaloosa were better, at least in pockets, but outside of the university system you were still expected to behave in a very conservative manner. Going home to visit over the years & seeing giant billboards–in cities!–saying things like "Go to church or go to Hell" (that is an exact quote; I shall never forget it; horribly wrongheaded and asinine even from a fundamentalist Christian perspective) or "praise be the glory of the fetus, may those who harm it suffer eternal torment" (not an exact quote but pretty much an exact sentiment on a large # of signs) did not make me change my thoughts a whole hella lot, or–and this is kinda funny in light of my current politics–talking with a group of business owners in an airport who suddenly turned their backs on me & excluded me from conversation when they were trashing Hillary and I said "I like Hillary" & after a shocked silence one of them said "You need to listen to Rush Limbaugh son, learn some things" followed by "I've heard Rush. Not really a fan." That ended that conversation abruptly. Among other things.

And I have (or rather had, kinda lost touch) friends from Alabama involved in state & national democratic politics, and whatever their private inclinations they were just as conservative as the Republicans (among whom I had an equal # of friends) on most things in public, and kept very quiet about issues where they were not with the growing conservative majority there (it should be noted that this is a HORRIBLE long term strategy, if you have actual principles in opposition to the spreading & solidifying right-wing belief system). I had nonetheless expected better from the South, and am still disappointed/horrified at the voting there, but this reminder does explain a lot. With a lot of help from the DNC & MSM, they were convinced Bernie would not win, and might even lose by an amount they would find embarrassing, & knowingly fighting a lost cause is (or was) generally derided back there, and no one wants to be an object of derision. Also, a lot of Southerners just don't like people from the Northeast. End stop. I for some reason thought that would have changed by now, and/or that Bernie was sufficiently atypical for this to be a non-factor anyway. But maybe not. Plus it may be people still consider Hillary a Southerner from her time in Arkansas, and she's getting the "one of us" vote.

but she is running out of deep south.

Indeed. Temperaments out west are very, very different. =)

[Sep 12, 2016] We should remember the prejudice of the DNC toward Sanders and criminal tricks they played to derail his candidacy

Now in view of recent Hillary health problems actions of Wasserman Schultz need to be revisited. She somehow avoided criminal prosecution for interfering with the election process under Obama administration. That's clearly wrong. The court should investigate and determine the level of her guilt.
Moor did his duty, moor can go. This is fully applicable to Wasserman Schultz. BTW it was king of "bait and switch" Obama who installed her in this position. And after that some try to say that Obama is not a neocon. Essentially leaks mean is that Sander's run was defeated by the Democratic Party's establishment dirty tricks and Hillary is not a legitimate candidate. It's Mission Accomplished, once again.
"Clinton is a life-long Republican. She grew up in an all-white Republican suburb, she supported Goldwater, and she supported Wall Street banking, then became a DINO dildo to ride her husband's coattails to WH, until the NYC Mob traded her a NY Senator seat for her husband's perfidy. She never said one word about re-regulating the banks."
How could this anti-Russian hysteria/bashing go on in a normal country -- the level of paranoia and disinformation about Russia and Putin is plain crazy even for proto-fascist regimes.
Notable quotes:
"... Wasserman Schultz reluctantly agreed to relinquish her speaking role at the convention here, a sign of her politically fragile standing. ..."
"... Democratic leaders are scrambling to keep the party united, but two officials familiar with the discussions said Wasserman Schultz was digging in and not eager to vacate her post after the November elections. ..."
"... Sanders on Sunday told CNN's Jake Tapper the release of DNC emails that show its staffers working against him underscore the position he's held for months: Party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz needs to go. ..."
"... "I don't think she is qualified to be the chair of the DNC not only for these awful emails, which revealed the prejudice of the DNC, but also because we need a party that reaches out to working people and young people, and I don't think her leadership style is doing that," Sanders told Tapper ..."
"... But again, we discussed this many, many months ago, on this show, so what is revealed now is not a shock to me." ..."
Jul 24, 2016 | cnn.com

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz will not have a major speaking role or preside over daily convention proceedings this week, a decision reached by party officials Saturday after emails surfaced raising questions about the committee's impartiality during the Democratic primary.
The DNC Rules Committee on Saturday named Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, as permanent chair of the convention, according to a DNC source. She will gavel each session to order and will gavel each session closed.

"She's been quarantined," another top Democrat said of Wasserman Schultz, following a meeting Saturday night. Wasserman Schultz faced intense pressure Sunday to resign her post as head of the Democratic National Committee, several party leaders told CNN, urging her to quell a growing controversy threatening to disrupt Hillary Clinton's nominating convention.

Wasserman Schultz reluctantly agreed to relinquish her speaking role at the convention here, a sign of her politically fragile standing. But party leaders are now urging the Florida congresswoman to vacate her position as head of the party entirely in the wake of leaked emails suggesting the DNC favored Clinton during the primary and tried to take down Bernie Sanders by questioning his religion. Democratic leaders are scrambling to keep the party united, but two officials familiar with the discussions said Wasserman Schultz was digging in and not eager to vacate her post after the November elections.

... ... ...

One email appears to show DNC staffers asking how they can reference Bernie Sanders' faith to weaken him in the eyes of Southern voters. Another seems to depict an attorney advising the committee on how to defend Hillary Clinton against an accusation by the Sanders campaign of not living up to a joint fundraising agreement.

Sanders on Sunday told CNN's Jake Tapper the release of DNC emails that show its staffers working against him underscore the position he's held for months: Party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz needs to go.

"I don't think she is qualified to be the chair of the DNC not only for these awful emails, which revealed the prejudice of the DNC, but also because we need a party that reaches out to working people and young people, and I don't think her leadership style is doing that," Sanders told Tapper on "State of the Union," on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

"I am not an atheist," he said. "But aside from all of that, it is an outrage and sad that you would have people in important positions in the DNC trying to undermine my campaign. It goes without saying, the function of the DNC is to represent all of the candidates -- to be fair and even-minded."

He added: "But again, we discussed this many, many months ago, on this show, so what is revealed now is not a shock to me."

... ... ...

Several Democratic sources told CNN that the leaked emails are a big source of contention and may incite tensions between the Clinton and Sanders camps heading into the Democratic convention's Rules Committee meeting this weekend.

"It could threaten their agreement," one Democrat said, referring to the deal reached between Clinton and Sanders about the convention, delegates and the DNC. The party had agreed to include more progressive principles in its official platform, and as part of the agreement, Sanders dropped his fight to contest Wasserman Schultz as the head of the DNC.

"It's gas meets flame," the Democrat said.

Michael Briggs, a Sanders spokesman, had no comment Friday.

The issue surfaced on Saturday at Clinton's first campaign event with Tim Kaine as her running mate, when a protester was escorted out of Florida International University in Miami. The protester shouted "DNC leaks" soon after Clinton thanked Wasserman Schultz for her leadership at the DNC.

[Sep 10, 2016] Sanders might run as a sheepdog from the very beginning. His attitude toward email skandal was an early warning that the game was rigged

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders is a touchy subject with me. The man was offered a spot on the Green party ticket, and obviously didn't take it. Considering the public disgust with the two slimeballs we're stuck with now, I believe he'd have had a real shot at the presidency. Despite my rating him as a C- at best, I'd have voted for the man. It's my opinion he'd have gotten a whole lot of Trump's base too. The poorer members of the GOP know they're getting the shaft, and I suspect a great many of them would have defected too. ..."
"... There was a theory early-on that Sanders never was really serious, but instead was running as a "sheepdog" to lead the dirty hippy lefties to Clinton. ..."
Sep 04, 2016 | angrybearblog.com

Zachary Smith August 31, 2016 12:13 am

Sanders is a touchy subject with me. The man was offered a spot on the Green party ticket, and obviously didn't take it. Considering the public disgust with the two slimeballs we're stuck with now, I believe he'd have had a real shot at the presidency. Despite my rating him as a C- at best, I'd have voted for the man. It's my opinion he'd have gotten a whole lot of Trump's base too. The poorer members of the GOP know they're getting the shaft, and I suspect a great many of them would have defected too.

There was a theory early-on that Sanders never was really serious, but instead was running as a "sheepdog" to lead the dirty hippy lefties to Clinton. That theory looks more plausible now than it did earlier.

[Sep 10, 2016] Sanders was the geriatric Obama, dispensing more Hopium for the dopes. And when Clinton feigns adoption of Sanders policy, like not signing the TPP, she is LYING.

Picked from comments...
Notable quotes:
"... Sanders was clearly the sheep-dog, and I won't be surprised if an e-mail showing that reality appears. ..."
"... spitting in the face of the latest generation of suckers who thought that the elite plutocracy of the USA could be 'reformed' from within. ..."
"... sheepdog is accurate. I have been calling him a sheepdog since 2014 and predicting, correctly, that he would both lose the nomination and endorse Hillary. This was inevitable since he SAID he would endorse her from the start of his so-called campaign. ..."
OffGuardian

Richard Le Sarcophage, July 28, 2016

Sanders was clearly the sheep-dog, and I won't be surprised if an e-mail showing that reality appears. He is, in fact, with his total and immediate roll-over, even as the corruption of the process was categorically exposed by the e-mails, making no pretense otherwise, spitting in the face of the latest generation of suckers who thought that the elite plutocracy of the USA could be 'reformed' from within. He was the geriatric Obama, dispensing more Hopium for the dopes. And when Clinton feigns adoption of Sanders policy, like not signing the TPP, she is LYING.

Diana, July 28, 2016

Sanders' own campaign called him the "youth whisperer", but sheepdog is accurate. I have been calling him a sheepdog since 2014 and predicting, correctly, that he would both lose the nomination and endorse Hillary. This was inevitable since he SAID he would endorse her from the start of his so-called campaign. Perhaps he did so hoping that the DNC would play fair, but that goes to show you he's no socialist. A real socialist would have been able to size up the opposition, not made any gentleman's agreements with them and waged a real campaign.


rtj1211, July 26, 2016

So far as I'm aware, there must be a mechanism for an Independent to put their name on the ballot.

If the majority of people in the USA are really thinking that voting for either Hillary or the Donald is worse than having unprotected sex with an HIV+ hooker, then the Independent would barely need any publicity. They'd just need to be on the ballot.

Course, the Establishment might get cute and put a far-right nutcase up as 'another Independent' so as they would have someone who'd do as they were told no matter what.

But until the US public say 'da nada! Pasta! Finito! To hell with the Democrats and the GOP!', you'll still get the choice of 'let's invade Iran' or 'let's nuke Russia'. You'll get the choice of giving Israel a blowjob or agreeing to be tied up and have kinky sex with Israel. You'll get the choice of bailing out Wall Street or bailing out Wall Street AND cutting social security for the poorest Americans. You'll get the choice of running the USA for the bankers or running the USA for the bankers and a few multinational corporations.

Oh, they'll have to fight for it, just as Martin Luther King et al had to fight for civil rights. They may have the odd candidate shot by the CIA, the oil men or the weapons men. Because that's how US politics works.

But if they don't want a Republican or a Republican-lite, they need to select an independent and vote for them.

The rest of us? We have to use whatever influence we have to try and limit what they try to do overseas…….because we are affected by what America does overseas…….

[Sep 10, 2016] Bernie Sanders should regret what he has done -- he betrayed the very people who believed in this political revolution repeating Obama bat and switch maneuver of 2008

Sanders as a pupil of the king of "bait and switch" Obama
Notable quotes:
"... I think he will come to deeply regret what he has done. He has betrayed these people who believed in this political revolution. We heard this same kind of rhetoric, by the way, in 2008 around Obama. ..."
Aug 06, 2016 | www.democracynow.org

CHRIS HEDGES : Well, I didn't back Bernie Sanders because-and Kshama Sawant and I had had a discussion with him before-because he said that he would work within the Democratic structures and support the nominee.

And I think we have now watched Bernie Sanders walk away from his political moment. You know, he - I think he will come to deeply regret what he has done. He has betrayed these people who believed in this political revolution. We heard this same kind of rhetoric, by the way, in 2008 around Obama.

[Sep 10, 2016] Sanders is now backing Wall Street, the neocons and the TPP. Whether he plays Gorbachov or this is Stockholm syndrome shame on him!

Notable quotes:
"... That means backing Wall Street, the neocons and the TPP. Shame on him! He told his followers to think of pie in the sky in the decades it will take to take over the Democratic Party from below, from school boards, etc. ..."
"... What on earth is revolution if it doesn't include either remove the rot in the Democratic Party, the Wall Street control, or start another party? It had to be one or the other. Here was his chance. I think he missed it. ..."
"... He did miss his chance. Some people were suggesting that he should walk and form his own party. Particularly how the party treated him. ..."
"... The Democrats and the Republicans together have made it almost impossible for a third party to get registered in every state. To run in every state. To get just all of the mechanics you need because of all the lawsuits against them. The Green Party is the only party that had already solved that. Apart from the Libertarian Party. ..."
"... The oligarchs have joined the Republicans and the Democrats are now seen to be the same party, called the Democratic Party. Here was his chance to make an alternative. ..."
"... I believe Hillary's the greater evil, not Trump, because Trump is incompetent and doesn't have the staff around him, or the political support that Hilary has. ..."
"... I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her, as you do, as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care. ..."
"... I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children, for women and for the disabled. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight! ..."
"... Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life. ..."
"... I agree with Hudson that HRC is the greater threat. I also agree with him that Bernie makes no sense. What the hell did Bernie have to lose? He could have accepted the prez nomination with the Greens. In fact, he should have run third party from the git-go. By sucking up to the dems that politically raped him, Bernie is exhibiting a variation of Stockholm syndrome. ..."
"... Bernie's problem in the end is that he couldn't see that in order to gain power in the Democratic Party (i.e., in order to dislodge the Clintons), the Left might (probably would) have to lose an election. ..."
"... The Democratic PoC (Party of Clinton) had to be shown as a party that could not win an election without its left half. He wrongly saw the powerless Trump as the greater threat, something that could only be done if he still at least marginally trusted Hillary to ever keep her word on anything. He will come to see that as his greatest mistake of all. ..."
"... Bernie reminds me of Gorbachev. Both clearly saw what the problem was with their respective societies, but still thought that things could be fixed by changing their respective parties. Bernie it seems, like Gorbachev before him, can not intellectually accept that effective reforms require radical action on the existing power structures. Gorbachev could not break with the Communist system and Bernie can not break with the Democratic party. ..."
"... I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her, as you do, as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care. ..."
"... I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children, for women and for the disabled. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight! ..."
"... Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life. ..."
Aug 10, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

PERIES: Let's turn to Sanders's strategy here. Now, Sanders is, of course, asking people to support Hillary. And if you buy into the idea that she is the lesser of two evils candidate, then we also have to look at Bernie's other strategy – which is to vote as many people as we possibly can at various other levels of the elections that are going on at congressional levels, Senate level, at municipal levels. Is that the way to go, so that we can avoid some of these choices we are offered?

HUDSON: Well, this is what I don't understand about Sanders's strategy. He says we need a revolution. He's absolutely right. But then, everything he said in terms of the election is about Trump. I can guarantee you that the revolution isn't really about Trump. The way Sanders has described things, you have to take over the Democratic Party and pry away the leadership, away from Wall Street, away from the corporations.

Democrats pretend to be a party of the working class, a party of the people. But it's teetering with Hillary as it's candidate. If ever there was a time to split it, this was the year. But Bernie missed his chance. He knuckled under and said okay, the election's going to be about Trump. Forget the revolution that I've talked about. Forget reforming the Democratic Party, I'm sorry. Forget that I said Hillary is not fit to be President. I'm sorry, she is fit to be President. We've got to back her.

That means backing Wall Street, the neocons and the TPP. Shame on him! He told his followers to think of pie in the sky in the decades it will take to take over the Democratic Party from below, from school boards, etc.

Labor unions said this half a century ago. It didn't work. Bernie gave up on everything to back the TPP candidate, the neocon candidate.

What on earth is revolution if it doesn't include either remove the rot in the Democratic Party, the Wall Street control, or start another party? It had to be one or the other. Here was his chance. I think he missed it.

PERIES: I think there's a lot of people out there that agree with that analysis, Michael. He did miss his chance. Some people were suggesting that he should walk and form his own party. Particularly how the party treated him. But there is another choice out there. In fact, we at the Real News is out there covering the Green Party election as we are speaking here, Michael. Is that an option?

HUDSON: It would have been the only option for him. He had decided that you can't really mount a third party, because it's so hard. The Democrats and the Republicans together have made it almost impossible for a third party to get registered in every state. To run in every state. To get just all of the mechanics you need because of all the lawsuits against them. The Green Party is the only party that had already solved that. Apart from the Libertarian Party.

So here you have the only possible third party he could have run on this time, and he avoided it. I'm sure he must of thought about it. He was offered the presidency on it. He could of used that and brought his revolution into that party and then expanded it as a real alternative to both the Democrats and the Republicans. Because the Republican Party is already split, by the fact that the Tea Party's pretty much destroyed it. The oligarchs have joined the Republicans and the Democrats are now seen to be the same party, called the Democratic Party. Here was his chance to make an alternative.

I don't think there will be a chance like this again soon. I believe Hillary's the greater evil, not Trump, because Trump is incompetent and doesn't have the staff around him, or the political support that Hilary has. I think Bernie missed his chance to take this party and develop it very quickly, just like George Wallace could have done back in the 1960s when he had a chance. I think Chris Hedges and other people have made this point with you. I have no idea what Bernie's idea of a revolution is, if he's going to try to do it within the Democratic Party that's just stamped on him again and again, you're simply not going to have a revolution within the Democratic party.

Butch In Waukegan ,, August 10, 2016 at 9:51 am

Sanders' convention endorsement:

I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her, as you do, as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care.

I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children, for women and for the disabled.

Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight!

Sanders' campaign was premised on exactly the opposite. How can anyone now take Bernie seriously?

Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

crittermom ,, August 10, 2016 at 12:18 pm

Okay. I know this comment will bring forth much backlash, but I'm gonna put it out there anyway since my 'give-a-shitter' was severely cracked over 4 yrs ago (when 2 sheriff's deputies evicted me from my home while I had been current on my pymts when the bank foreclosed and the response from EVERY govt agency I contacted told me to "hire a lawyer", which I couldn't afford, with one costing much more than I owed on my home of 20 yrs). I had bought my first house by the time I graduated h.s. and had owned one ever since until now.

My 'give-a-shitter' completely shattered this year with the election, so here goes:

So it seems we are offered 3 choices when we vote. Trump, Hillary or Green.

To someone who is among the 8-10 MILLION (depending on whose figures you believe) whose home was illegally taken from them by the banksters, I would welcome a 4th choice since none of the 3 offered will improve my life before I die.

The consensus seems to be that it'll take decades to create change through voting.

I'm a divorced woman turning 65. I don't feel I have decades to wait, while I am forced to live in a place that doesn't even have a flush toilet because it's all I can afford. To someone my age with no degrees or special skills, the job market is nonexistent, even if I lived in a big city (where I couldn't afford the rent).

When I see reports of an increase in new homes being built, I'd love to see a breakdown showing exactly how many of those homes will be primary residences and how many are second (or third, or fourth) homes.

There are 4 new custom homes being built within a half mile of me.
None will be primary residences. All will be 'vacation' homes.

Yet if we're to believe the latest figures, "the housing market is improving!"
For whom?

Yes, I'm extremely disappointed that Bernie bailed on us. I doubt either of us will live long enough to see the change required to change this govt and save the planet with our current choices this election.

I fear the only thing that this election has given me was initially great hope for my future, before being plunged into the darkness of the same ol', same ol' as my only choices.

I was never radical or oppositional in my life but I would now welcome a revolution. I don't see me living long enough to welcome that change by voting. Especially with the blatant voter suppression and all else that transpired this election.

While the govt and political oligarchs may fear Russia & ISIS, if they met 8-10 million of us victims of the banksters, they would come to realize real fear, from those within their homeland.

Most are horrified when I offer this view, saying I'd be thrown in prison.
Hmmm…considering that…I'd be fed, clothed, housed-and I'd have a flush toilet!

Gads, I'd love to see millions of us march on Washington & literally throw those in power out of their seats onto the lawn, saying "enough is enough"!

So I guess my question is, does anyone else feel as 'at the end of their rope' as I do?
Can you even truly imagine being in my position and what you would do or how you would feel?

Yes. I screamed, cried, and wrote Bernie's campaign before his endorsement speech was even completed, expressing my disappointment, after foregoing meals to send him my meager contributions.

My hopes were shattered and I'm growing impatient for change.

backwardsevolution ,, August 10, 2016 at 1:48 pm

crittermom/Bullwinkle – here's one of the articles by Chris Hedges on Bernie Sanders:

"Because the party is completely captive to corporate power," Hedges said. "And Bernie has cut a Faustian deal with the Democrats. And that's not even speculation. I did an event with him and Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein and Kshama Sawant in New York the day before the Climate March. And Kshama Sawant ,the Socialist City Councilwoman from Seattle and I asked Sanders why he wanted to run as a Democrat. And he said - because I don't want to end up like Nader."

"He didn't want to end up pushed out of the establishment," Hedges said. "He wanted to keep his committee chairmanships, he wanted to keep his Senate seat. And he knew the forms of retribution, punishment that would be visited upon him if he applied his critique to the Democratic establishment. So he won't."

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/15/chris-hedges-on-bernie-sanders-and-the-corporate-democrats/

Lambert Strether ,, August 10, 2016 at 3:34 pm

I don't get what's wrong with not ending up like Nader.

And if Sanders saved the left from another two decades of "Nader Nader neener neener!" more power to him, say I.

backwardsevolution ,, August 10, 2016 at 8:55 pm

Fair enough. I don't know enough about Nader to care. To me, it was just the about-face that Bernie did, going from denouncing Hillary (albeit not very strongly) to embracing her. I think if I had been one of his supporters who cheered him on, sent him money, got my hopes raised that he would go all the way, I would have been very disappointed. Almost like a tease.

crittermom ,, August 10, 2016 at 8:51 pm

Thanks for that link.

I'd wanted Bernie to run as an Independent more than anything, but I can understand him wanting to keep his Senate seat and chairs. Without them, he has no power to bring change.
I had believed he had a good chance to win, whipping a big Bernie Bird to both parties and changing things in my lifetime, running Independent.

I now realize just how completely corrupt our political system is. Far worse than I ever could have imagined. Wow, have my eyes been opened!

I'm beginning to think this election may just come down to who has the bigger thugs, Trump or HRC.

EndOfTheWorld , August 10, 2016 at 5:04 am

I agree with Hudson that HRC is the greater threat. I also agree with him that Bernie makes no sense. What the hell did Bernie have to lose? He could have accepted the prez nomination with the Greens. In fact, he should have run third party from the git-go. By sucking up to the dems that politically raped him, Bernie is exhibiting a variation of Stockholm syndrome.

Benedict@Large , August 10, 2016 at 7:26 am

Bernie's problem in the end is that he couldn't see that in order to gain power in the Democratic Party (i.e., in order to dislodge the Clintons), the Left might (probably would) have to lose an election.

The Democratic PoC (Party of Clinton) had to be shown as a party that could not win an election without its left half. He wrongly saw the powerless Trump as the greater threat, something that could only be done if he still at least marginally trusted Hillary to ever keep her word on anything. He will come to see that as his greatest mistake of all.

Roger Smith , August 10, 2016 at 11:34 am

Very well stated++

Another Anon , August 10, 2016 at 7:27 am

Bernie reminds me of Gorbachev. Both clearly saw what the problem was with their respective societies, but still thought that things could be fixed by changing their respective parties. Bernie it seems, like Gorbachev before him, can not intellectually accept that effective reforms require radical action on the existing power structures. Gorbachev could not break with the Communist system and Bernie can not break with the Democratic party.

diptherio , August 10, 2016 at 11:33 am

Bernie is too nice for his own good. He should have used the DNC machinations as an excuse to go back on his promise to endorse. "I made that promise on the assumption that we would all be acting in good faith. Sadly, that has proved not to be the case."

But no, he's too much of a politician, or too nice, or has too much sense of personal pride…or had his life and his family threatened if he didn't toe the line (not that I'm foily). Whatever his motivations, we don't get a "Get out of Responsibility Free" card just because one dude made some mis-steps. If that's all it takes to derail us, we're so, so screwed.

Reply
perpetualWAR , August 10, 2016 at 11:42 am

No, Bernie is exhibiting behavior of a man whose family was theatened. There's no other explanation for his pained face at the convention.

Griffith W Jones , August 10, 2016 at 5:30 am

I also agree with Hudson and EndOfTheWorld that HRC is the greater threat and that Sanders makes no sense.

Sure, the Dems probably threatened to kick him off of Congressional Committees and to back a rival in Vermont.

So what! With his tenure and at his age, what's really to lose? If he couldn't face off someone in his home state, it's probably time to retire anyway. And it's not like he was ever in it for the money.

The best he gets now is mild tolerance from his masters. "Give me your followers and lick my boots." What a coward, could have made history, now he's a goat.

Fortunately, his "followers" have more integrity…

Eman , August 10, 2016 at 5:33 am

It's actually not so surprising given his long history of working within the mainstream system, simply along its fringes. I think many may have been falling into the '08 Obama trap of seeing what they wanted to see in him.

As a senator he's had plenty of opportunities to grandstand, gum up the works, etc, and he really never does. Even his "filibuster" a few years back wasn't all that disruptive.

Reply
backwardsevolution , August 10, 2016 at 5:37 am

EndOfTheWorld- totally agree with you. I just shake my head at Bernie. Diametrically opposed to Clinton, he suddenly turns around and embraces her! What? I will never understand that.

"America needs an ineffective president. That's much better than an effective president that's going to go to war with Russia, that's going to push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that's going to protect Wall Street, and that's going to oppose neoliberal austerity."

He's right too. I am absolutely terrified of Hillary Clinton becoming President. She strikes me as having psychopathic tendencies. I mean, just look at the scandals she and Bill have been involved in, and then when she gets caught, she lies, feigns ignorance, deflects, blames others, lies some more. Power and money are her goals.

She has called Putin "Hitler", said she wants to expand NATO, and again said she wants to take out Assad. Well, how is she going to do that when Russia is in there? God, she is scary. I just hope that there's a big Clinton Foundation email leak to finish her off.

Trump is out there, but at least he wants to try to negotiate peace (of course, if war wasn't making so many people rich, it would be stopped tomorrow). He's questioning why NATO is necessary, never mind its continual expansion, and he wants to stop the TPP.

God, I'd be happy with even one of the above. Hillary will give us TPP, more NATO, more war, and a cackle. Please, if anyone has some loose emails hanging around, now is the time!

Butch In Waukegan , August 10, 2016 at 9:51 am

Sanders' convention endorsement: </