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[Mar 08, 2020] How is it that Biden won so many states based on endorsements alone? No field offices, no real money, he barely visited some states, if at all and yet he won

Notable quotes:
"... How is it that Biden won so many states based on endorsements alone? No field offices, no real money, he barely visited some states, if at all and yet he won. ..."
"... Hillary had tons of endorsements everywhere, a field office in every state and major city, lots of cash, and she didn't win as many. This does not compute. ..."
"... The only difference is Biden is personally more appealing and approachable than Hillary. But still. Something fishy here. I'm wondering how many of those states had audit trails like hand-marked paper ballots and how many did not? ..."
"... The wide discrepancy between exit poll numbers and vote total percentages in some states seems a little fishy, too. Electronic voting machines: progress! (removing my foil bonnet now) ..."
Mar 08, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

David Carl Grimes , March 6, 2020 at 4:39 pm

How is it that Biden won so many states based on endorsements alone? No field offices, no real money, he barely visited some states, if at all and yet he won.

Hillary had tons of endorsements everywhere, a field office in every state and major city, lots of cash, and she didn't win as many. This does not compute.

The only difference is Biden is personally more appealing and approachable than Hillary. But still. Something fishy here. I'm wondering how many of those states had audit trails like hand-marked paper ballots and how many did not?

flora , March 6, 2020 at 4:50 pm

The wide discrepancy between exit poll numbers and vote total percentages in some states seems a little fishy, too. Electronic voting machines: progress! (removing my foil bonnet now)

Tvc15 , March 6, 2020 at 5:14 pm

I'll put the foil bonnet on Flora. DCG, the fishy smell is election fraud courtesy of the DNC. Unless we have paper ballots hand counted in public, I don't buy the miraculous Biden resurgence narrative from his supposed silent majority. Give me a family blogging break.

Cuibono , March 6, 2020 at 6:42 pm

I absolutely fail to understand why anyone would consider this idea tin foil. Who do we think we're dealing with here? These folks are playing to win and they will do anything and everything in their power to do so. The system is set up perfectly to support psychopaths

lyman alpha blob , March 6, 2020 at 10:01 pm

Me neither. That fact that the Democrat party has never even tried to address the problems with election integrity, even when they've had the presidency stolen from them, speaks volumes.

They allow a phony riot to stop the count in FL, then hardly make a peep when the Supremes anoint Bush in 2000 in a decision not meant to set precedent, and their response is the Help America Vote Act which foisted these easily hackable machines on us as a solution? The only reason you do that is if you want to be able to rig elections yourself.

After the debacle of the Iowa caucus this year and the unheard of swing to Biden this week, it sure looks like the fix is in.

Carolinian , March 6, 2020 at 6:31 pm

Please educate me–no seriously!–as to how hand marked paper ballots are so very different from machine marked paper ballots. If you assume that machine marked ballots–marked with the candidate's name (written in human readable English) and securely stored for a potential hand recount–are crooked then aren't you assuming that the entire election machinery is crooked and not just a vote tabulating machine? After all long before computers were invented there was that thing called ballot box stuffing.

Reply

flora , March 6, 2020 at 7:45 pm

Machine marked ballots have a middleman. Said machines 'phone home' to a central server, which may well be running a program that fractionally 'shifts' votes as needed to edge out a win for the estab preferred candidate (of either party). The 'red shift' in vote results after electronic voting has been noted by statisticians.

One interesting coincidence here is that I was going to link to some statisticians' work I know of, work that was easily available online as late as early January this year. When I search for the links now they are either gone or the links are warned off as 'suspect'.

flora , March 6, 2020 at 7:53 pm

Info easily found online. Here's one very recent story's take away:

"Some of the most popular ballot-marking machines, made by industry leaders Election Systems & Software and Dominion Voting Systems, register votes in bar codes that the human eye cannot decipher. That's a problem, researchers say: Voters could end up with printouts that accurately spell out the names of the candidates they picked, but, because of a hack, the bar codes do not reflect those choices. Because the bar codes are what's tabulated, voters would never know that their ballots benefited another candidate.

"Even on machines that do not use bar codes, voters may not notice if a hack or programming error mangled their choices. A University of Michigan study determined that only 7 percent of participants in a mock election notified poll workers when the names on their printed receipts did not match the candidates they voted for."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/vendors-push-risky-new-voting-machines-over-safe-paper-ballots/

Read the whole story.

Carolinian , March 6, 2020 at 8:10 pm

In the just past election are there any reports of ballots being printed out that had a different name than the one the voter selected to be printed? And if that did happen would it be anything other than accidentally pressing the wrong button? Surely if this "voters didn't look at the ballot" (which personally I greatly doubt) idea was really the cheating scheme then it would be highly likely to be exposed.

flora , March 6, 2020 at 8:14 pm

Re-read the part about the 'computer reads and tabulates the barcode information, not the english text printout'. A hack or middleman could fiddle the barcode printout/information (unrecognized by the human eye) , not the text printout.

flora , March 6, 2020 at 8:24 pm

Also consider that the fiddle works best if it's only a few percentage points different than expected, one way or the other. People then say of unexpected results, 'oh, it was really close, but that's how it goes, elections can be unpredictable', and accept the election results as 'the will of the people.' It's called "electronic fractional vote shifting". Really. It's called that. Fractional vote shifting.

Carolinian , March 6, 2020 at 8:35 pm

Right–without a doubt. But the reason it prints that piece of paper is for a later human audit by eye should a recount be demanded. In that case the barcode would become irrelevant. There is a paper trail.

That said, I would agree there could be secret ballot concerns about the way I voted. You feed the ballot into the counter right side up and unfolded with an election "helper" standing nearby.

Reply

flora , March 6, 2020 at 9:00 pm

One reason both parties prefer 'close elections'. A few points either way won't raise eyebrows. Won't raise a demand for a recount. (And, like compound interest, a 'few points' one way or the other in various elections, over time, can add up to large effects in political direction. imo.)

lyman alpha blob , March 6, 2020 at 10:12 pm

The problem is getting to the recount. My state does not allow recounts unless the machine tally is extremely close. So if you want to rig an election, just make sure your candidate wins by enough and there will never be a recount of those machine counted paper ballots.

I asked city officials for a few years to do recounts just to audit the machines, and was told it was not allowed under state law unless there was a close enough race – I believe the threshhold is in the low single digits. My wife later ran for office and lost by about 1% and I was finally able to get a recount. We counted all the ballots by hand and while the final outcome didn't change, what we found was that the hand recount tallied about 1-2% more votes than the machines had.

flora is right about the close elections. I find it very odd that in my younger days we had landslides fairly often and now every presidential election goes right down to the wire.

Tom Bradford , March 6, 2020 at 8:04 pm

OK. This is my experience as a counter in a UK General Election, where hand-marked ballot-papers are counted in public.

Each voting station has a sealed tin box. Arriving to vote your name is checked against the electoral role and you are handed a ballot paper. You go into a curtained booth with a stand-up desk and a pencil in a string and put a X in a box opposite the candidate you vote for. Outside the booth you fold your ballot paper and post it into the box through a narrow slot. When the election closes the box is delivered to – in our case – the town-hall – where the counters sit at tables three to a side with a team-leader at the head. One of the boxes is brought to each table, unsealed and the contents dumped into the middle of it. Each counter then snags a pile of marked votes and sorts them into piles as voted. Any uncertainties – where the vote isn't obvious – is passed up to the team leader for assessment. When all the votes are tallied – including the uncertainties – the total is compared with the note from the polling station stating the number of votes cast there, and if they don't agree the count for that box is done again.

All this is done under the eyes of representatives of the candidates who are free to move around the tables at will, and who in particular can watch over the team-leaders dealing with the uncertain ballot papers, but who are free to challenge any counter's tally.

Ballot boxes could be 'switched' between the voting station and the count, but that would only work if you knew how many papers were in the box per the count or could also substitute the tally signed off by the polling-station superintendent. Ballot-box stuffing wouldn't work as again the votes cast and counted for that box/station would not align.

Could it be gamed? I suppose, but it would take a massive effort and conspiracy – mostly at the polling-station/transit stage, tho' again the candidates can have observers there. The whole system is run by the local authority and most of those involved in the polling-station/count are local authority workers with their own political preferences so finding enough to suborn to fix the count would be a difficult, and politically dangerous operation. Even if one polling-station's box was corrupted in some way it would have little effect on the overall result, and if it stood out as atypical could invite investigation.

So no, it's not perfect, but I can't think of a better way of doing it.

Tom Bradford , March 6, 2020 at 8:15 pm

Ps. Each voting paper is numbered and taken from a book leaving a stub with the same number. So to 'stuff' or otherwise tamper with the voting papers in the box you'd also need to swap the actual voting paper book with a substitute bearing the same number system and I think, tho' don't quote me on this, books of ballot papers for the various polling stations are only issued on election day and at random.

Reply

flora , March 6, 2020 at 9:24 pm

Could it be gamed? I suppose, but it would take a massive effort

The 'massive effort' part is where computer voting can eliminate so much effort (when properly coded or uplinked), if you take my meaning.

Watt4Bob , March 6, 2020 at 8:40 pm

IIRC, in a nut-shell, some of the systems used have a bar code printed on the ballot at the time they are scanned into the system.

That bar code ' marks ', the ballot, and supposedly communicates the voter's intentions to the tabulating software that counts the votes.

The rest of the ballot looks proper to the voter, but the voter has no way of telling what the bar code means.

And from any IT professional's point of view, who cares what the ballot looks like, if the mark on your ballot, (the one that is counted) was not made by your hand (say, a bar code printed by a scanner), and/or, if there is a computer used to count the votes, that system is intended to allow falsification of election results.

Due to the lack of legal action on the part of either of our political parties, to refute the results of elections stolen by wholesale electronic election fraud, I can only conclude that election fraud is a wholly acceptable tool in their bi-partisan toolbox?

And yes, you're right, they've always stuffed the ballot box, think of electronic vote tabulation as the newest twist on an old trick.

The invention of electronic voting was intended to insure that voters can never vote their way to freedom.

Carolinian , March 7, 2020 at 8:45 am

So your argument is that we must have hand counted ballots because the machine marked version won't work because the recounters would have to hand count the ballots. Just to repeat, yet again, when I voted a ballot shaped piece of plain paper was printed with my candidate choice clearly printed along with a bar code, not qr. This then becomes the vote itself and it can be read by a scanner or by a human. If done by a human then it is utterly no different than if I had checked a box on a pre printed ballot.

And for all the objections cited by those above there are valid reasons for states to want such a system. Obviously an all manual system is very labor intensive and also subject to human error unless double checked by still more labor. You'd also have to print lots of ballots before every election while not knowing exactly how many will be needed.

If there are suspicions of vote machine companies–and there should be–a more logical approach might be to insist that all software is open source and that no machines are connected directly to the internet or have usb ports. Signs in the precincts should advise voters to check their paper ballot to make sure the correct choice is printed.

[Mar 08, 2020] Welcome to the Democratic Party Civil War

Neoliberal (Clinton wing) of Dems is still much stronger then "New Deal" wing (Berniebro wing)
Mar 04, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

As with the Russia collusion hoax and impeachment fiasco, it would be hard to craft a sequence of events that is turning out worse for Democrats than this year's nominating process.

Establishment Democrats are likely to breathe a sigh of relief after Super Tuesday's results , which revived former Vice President Joe Biden as a viable option to stop socialist Bernie Sanders .

But further analysis should mortify Democrats of all stripes. In effect, a broad Democrat field has been narrowed to two of its least appealing candidates, and disillusionment in the party could become permanent.

Biden swept southern states and Texas, most of which will vote Republican this November. Sanders won western states including California. Among minorities who play a big role in Democrat primaries, Sanders did well with Latinos and Biden did well with blacks.

That means that the divisions within the Democrat Party aren't just along well-known ideological lines or between age groups: they also stem from regional and racial fissures in the identity-obsessed, grievance-trafficking party. And it is impossible to imagine whichever groups and factions lose doing so gracefully.

Then there is the grim reality of the two Democrat semifinalists.

If Biden is their nominee, they will be going to market with a 77-year-old lout, who recently has racked up more gaffes than any national politician in recent memory, and is who is famous for such oddities as publicly smelling women's hair uninvited.

Biden has always been a junior varsity player. His 1988 campaign ended after he was caught plagiarizing mediocre material. His career was all but over when Barack Obama tapped him to be vice president in the 2008 campaign, owing largely to Obama's lack of foreign policy experience. Biden chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but warranted nothing more than a participation trophy: Obama's holdover secretary of Defense, Bob Gates, wrote that Biden was wrong on nearly every major foreign policy issue in his career. He even opposed the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

On This Day 10 seconds Do You Know What Happened On This Day? Mar 7 1876

Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for an invention he calls the "telephone".

Biden dispensed with any notion he would or could play the moderate in the general election this fall in promising to put Beto O'Rourke, the failed Texas candidate for Senate, in charge of gun control, which O'Rouke has vowed will consist of forcible confiscation of arms from the law-abiding.

The alternative is Sanders, a 78-year-old socialist who will be 79 before the election, and who survived a heart attack last year. Sanders's recent reiteration of support for some actions of communist governments like Cuba's wasn't a gaffe; it was a carefully crafted position.

Aside from Obama, Democrats have won the White House by nominating moderate-seeming administrators. Sanders has refused even to consider himself a Democrat for much of his career, considering the party to be insufficiently progressive.

Furthermore, the contest between Biden and Sanders won't be resolved anytime soon and could go to the convention unless one candidate runs the board in states that have yet to vote.

Imagine an outcome in which Biden is the nominee. Supporters of Sanders, who won the most votes in the first two contests and led national polls until establishment candidates conspired to dethrone him, will be furious. And then Biden will likely lose to Trump in November.

This would lead to a continuous state within the Democrat Party where progressives believe they are dominated and taken for granted by a feckless, globalist establishment that cannot win elections. It would be as if Jeb Bush beat Trump for the GOP nomination in 2016 and then lost to Hillary Clinton.

It would be better for Democrats to nominate Sanders and have him lose to Trump. Neoliberals could say that the progressives had their chance but lost big, and must henceforth defer to the corporate wing of the party. Progressives could relish their defeat the same way conservatives did when Barry Goldwater was annihilated in 1964: a moral stand that might bear fruit in the distant future.

Sanders's Super Tuesday loss to Biden in Minnesota is a particularly bad sign for Democrats this fall. Their only hope in winning to the White House is to recover rust belt manufacturing states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania that Trump won. If Sanders's plan for "free" healthcare and radical economic change didn't find an audience even among liberals in Minnesota, it implies that Democrat efforts to paint the economy as lousy are failing. The Trump economy is evidently delivering and is easy to contrast with the lost decade of economic malaise that preceded it.

A bright point of the evening was the complete failure of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg to gain any real support. Bloomberg poured hundreds of millions of dollars into conventional TV, radio, and digital ads, and the overpaid consultants who produced them along with lackluster if well-catered events. His failure, like Hillary Clinton's in 2016, shows the limits of money and digital wizardry.

But the silver lining ends there for Democrats. As with the Russia collusion hoax and impeachment fiasco, it would be hard to craft a sequence of events that is turning out worse for Democrats than this year's nominating process. It is a slow-moving disaster that is dividing the party and defaulting to an unappealing gerontocracy that reminds one of how party leaders were chosen in the final decade of the Soviet Union.

Christian Whiton , a senior fellow at the Center for the National Interest, is the author of Smart Power: Between Diplomacy and War . He was a State Department senior advisor during the George W. Bush and Trump administrations.

[Mar 07, 2020] Democrat Establishment deliberatly hands control over the nomination to the political establisment in states they will never win in the general elections

So sellout by Clinton of the Democratic Party to Wall Street proved to be durable and sustainable...
Bernie again behaves like a sheep dog with no intention to win... "Let's be friends" is not a viable strategy...
Notable quotes:
"... the same character traits that make him an honorable politician also make him fundamentally unsuited for the difficult task of waging a successful outsider campaign for the nomination of a major political party. ..."
"... Why hasn't Sara Nelson, head of the Flight Attendants' Union, endorsed Bernie? (Personally I have always thought she'd be a good VP.) ..."
"... Robinson is dreaming if he thinks Non-Profit Industrial Complex entities like EMILY's List and Planned Parenthood will lift a finger to help Sanders, or busines unionists like Randi Weingarten. To his credit, though, Ady Barkan switched immediately. External support, though is correct: IIRC, there are plenty of union locals to be had; the Culinary Workers should be only the first. ..."
"... "Corporate Lobbyists Control the Rules at the DNC" [ ReadSludge ]. "Among the 447 total voting DNC members, who make up the majority of 771 superdelegates, there are scores of corporate lobbyists and consultants -- including many of the 75 at-large DNC members, who were not individually elected . ..."
"... The 32-member DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee contains the following 20 individuals: a health insurance board member co-chair, three surrogates for presidential campaigns (two for Bloomberg, one for Biden), four current corporate lobbyists, two former corporate lobbyists, six corporate consultants, and four corporate lawyers." ..."
"... "Joe Biden is a friend of mine" is the 2020-updated version of "enough about the damn e-mails, already". No amount of ground-level organizing can make up for a candidate willing to publicly overlook what should be high-office-disqualifying fundamental character traits in his opponents out of "niceness". ..."
"... It's easy to do a post Super Tuesday defeat analysis of Sanders but remember, everything seems to work before SC where I think the Democrats fixed the election and the same holds for Super Tuesday. ..."
"... post-dial-up-modem ..."
Mar 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Sanders (D)(1): "Bernie Sanders needs to find the killer instinct" [Matthew Walther, The Week ]. I've heard Useful Idiots, Dead Pundits, and the inimitable Jimmy Dore all make the same point, but Walther's prose makes the point most forcefully (as prose often does). The situation:

There is no greater contrast imaginable than the one between the popular (and frequently exaggerated) image of so-called "Bernie bros" and the almost painfully conciliatory instincts of the man they support.

This was fully in evidence on Wednesday afternoon when Sanders responded to arguably the worst defeat of his political career by chatting with journalists about how " disgusted " he is at unspecified online comments directed at Elizabeth Warren and her supporters and what a " decent guy " Joe Biden is.

He did this despite the fact that Warren, with the connivance of debate moderators, recently called him a sexist in front of an audience of millions, effectively announcing that she had no interest in making even a tacit alliance with the only other progressive candidate in the race and, one imagines, despite thinking that the former vice president's record on virtually everything -- finance, health care, race relations, the environment, foreign policy -- should render him ineligible for office.

It should go without saying that offering these pleasantries will do Sanders few if any favors.

Lambert here: This is a Presidential primary, not the Senate floor. There is no comity. Walther then gives a list of possible scorched earth tactics to use against Biden; we could all make such a list. But then:

Sanders's benevolent disposition does him credit. But the same character traits that make him an honorable politician also make him fundamentally unsuited for the difficult task of waging a successful outsider campaign for the nomination of a major political party.

Corbyn had the same problem...

Sanders really must not let Biden and the Democrat Establishment off the hook. He seems to have poor judgment about his friends. Warren was no "friend." And neither is Joe Biden.

If Sanders wants friends, he can buy a dog .

He should forget those false friends, go into the next debate, and slice Joe Biden off at the knees. Trump would. And will, if Sander loses.

His canvassers and more importantly his millions of small donors deserve no less. The race and the debate is now between two people, and only one can emerge the winner. Sanders needs to decide if he wants to be that person, and then do what it takes . (If the outcome of the Sanders campaign is a left that is a permanently institutionalized force, distinct from liberal Democrats, I would regard that as a net positive. If that is Sanders' ultimate goal, then fine. He's not going to achieve that goal by being nice to Joe Biden. Quite the reverse.)

UPDATE Sanders (D)(2): "Time To Fight Harder Than We've Ever Fought Before" [Nathan J. Robinson, Current Affairs ].

"Biden now has some formidable advantages going forward: Democrats who no longer see him as a failed or risky bet will finally endorse and campaign for him. He will find it easier to raise money. He will have "momentum." Bloomberg's exit will bring him new voters.

Sanders may find upcoming states even harder to win than the Super Tuesday contests. But the one thing that would guarantee a Sanders loss is giving up and going home, which is exactly what Joe Biden hopes we will now do."

Here follows a laundry list of tactics. Then: "The real thing Bernie needs in order to win, though, is external support. Labor unions, activists, lawmakers, anyone with a public platform: We need to be pressuring them to endorse Bernie.

Why hasn't Sara Nelson, head of the Flight Attendants' Union, endorsed Bernie? (Personally I have always thought she'd be a good VP.)

Now that Elizabeth Warren is clearly not going to win, will organizations like the Working Families Party and EMILY's List and people like AFT president Randi Weingarten and Medicare For All advocate Ady Barkan switch and endorse Sanders?

Where is the Sierra Club, SEIU (Bernie, after all, was one of the first national figures to push Fight for $15), the UAW, Planned Parenthood? Many progressive organizations have been sitting out the race because Warren was in it."

Good ideas in general, but Robinson is dreaming if he thinks Non-Profit Industrial Complex entities like EMILY's List and Planned Parenthood will lift a finger to help Sanders, or busines unionists like Randi Weingarten. To his credit, though, Ady Barkan switched immediately. External support, though is correct: IIRC, there are plenty of union locals to be had; the Culinary Workers should be only the first.

Warren (D)(1): "Why Elizabeth Warren lost" [Ryan Cooper, The Week ]. "Starting in November, however, she started a long decline that continued through January, when she started losing primaries . So what happened in November?

It is hard to pin down exactly what is happening in such a chaotic race, but Warren's campaign certainly made a number of strategic errors. One important factor was surely that Warren started backing away from Medicare-for-all, selling instead a bizarre two-step plan.

The idea supposedly was to pass universal Medicare with two different bills, one in her first year as president and one in the third year. Given how difficult it is to pass anything through Congress, and that there could easily be fewer Democrats in 2023 than in 2021, it was a baffling decision. Worse, Warren then released a plan for financing Medicare-for-all that was simply terrible.

Rather than levying a new progressive tax, she would turn existing employer contributions to private health insurance plans into a tax on employers, which would gradually converge to an average for all businesses but the smallest. The clear objective here was to claim that she would pay for it without levying any new taxes on the middle or working classes. But because those employer payments are still part of labor compensation, it is ultimately workers who pay them -- making Warren's plan a horribly regressive head tax (that is, an equal dollar tax on almost all workers regardless of income).

All that infuriated the left, and struck directly at Warren's branding as the candidate of technical competence. It suggested her commitment to universal Medicare was not as strong as she claimed, and that she would push classic centrist-style Rube Goldberg policies rather than clean, fair ones. (Her child care plan, with its complicated means-testing system, had a similar defect).

Claiming her plan was the only one not to raise taxes on the middle class was simply dishonest. In sum, this was a classic failed straddle that alienated the left but gained no support among anti-universal health care voters. More speculatively, this kind of hesitation and backtracking may have turned off many voters." • On #MedicareForAll, called it here on "pay for" ; and here on "transition." Warren's plans should not have been well-received, and they were not. I'm only amazed that these really technical arguments penetrated the media (let along the voters).

Warren (D)(2): "Warren Urged by National Organization for Women Not to Endorse Sanders: He Has 'Done Next to Nothing for Women'" [ Newsweek ]. • Establishment really pulling out all the stops.

* * *

"Why Southern Democrats Saved Biden" [Mara Gay, New York Times ]. (Gay was the lone member of the Times Editorial Board to endorse Sanders .) "Through Southern eyes, this election is not about policy or personality. It's about something much darker. Not long ago, these Americans lived under violent, anti-democratic governments. Now, many there say they see in President Trump and his supporters the same hostility and zeal for authoritarianism that marked life under Jim Crow .

They were deeply skeptical that a democratic socialist like Mr. Sanders could unseat Mr. Trump. They liked Ms. Warren, but, burned by Hillary Clinton's loss, were worried that too many of their fellow Americans wouldn't vote for a woman."

Well worth a read. At the same time, it's not clear why the Democrat Establishment hands control over the nomination to the political establishment in states they will never win in the general; the "firewall" in 2016 didn't work out all that well, after all. As for Jim Crow, we might do well to remember that Obama destroyed a generation of Black wealth his miserably inadequate response to the foreclosure crisis, and his pathetic stimulus package kept Black unemployment high for years longer than it should have been. And sowed the dragon's teeth of authoritarian reaction as well.

"Corporate Lobbyists Control the Rules at the DNC" [ ReadSludge ]. "Among the 447 total voting DNC members, who make up the majority of 771 superdelegates, there are scores of corporate lobbyists and consultants -- including many of the 75 at-large DNC members, who were not individually elected .

The 32-member DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee contains the following 20 individuals: a health insurance board member co-chair, three surrogates for presidential campaigns (two for Bloomberg, one for Biden), four current corporate lobbyists, two former corporate lobbyists, six corporate consultants, and four corporate lawyers."


ewmayer , March 6, 2020 at 6:03 pm

"Joe Biden is a friend of mine" is the 2020-updated version of "enough about the damn e-mails, already". No amount of ground-level organizing can make up for a candidate willing to publicly overlook what should be high-office-disqualifying fundamental character traits in his opponents out of "niceness".

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 1:57 am

> Bernie is thinking like an organizer

That's fine, but if his organization is then put at the disposal of Joe Biden, I don't see how the organization survives. (That's why the DNC cheating meme* is important; it provides the moral cover to get out of that loyalty oath (which the Sanders campaign certainly should have had its lawyers take a look at)).

NOTE * Iowa, Texas, and California have all had major voting screw-ups, all of which impacted Sanders voters disproportionately. The campaign should sue. They have the money.)

dcblogger , March 6, 2020 at 2:15 pm

I once met an union organizer and he said he could go back to any site he had worked and be on friendly terms with everyone. Bernie is thinking like an organizer. I think that making this about Social Security is his best bet. It demolishes Biden in a way that makes the election about the American people.

pretzelattack , March 6, 2020 at 2:25 pm

he needs to go after biden on the issues in a much more forceful manner than he typically does, with lots and lots of specifics. did i mention lots of specifics? and lots of pointed references to biden's past positions, and a focus on pinning him down on his position now. he needs to ask questions biden will not be prepared for with easy scripted responses.

JohnnyGL , March 6, 2020 at 2:59 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hcEljDeFEI

Well, he's baited Biden into a spat about SS for now, so that's a positive sign.

drumlin woodchuckles , March 6, 2020 at 7:10 pm

Perhaps if Sanders can keep successfully baiting Biden with hooks baited with Biden's own past statements over and over and over again, that Sanders can then go on to practice some very well disguised passive-aggressive pointing/not-pointing to Biden's mental condition by asking Biden at every opportunity: " don't you remember that, Joe? You remember saying that, don't you Joe? Don't you remember when you said that, Joe?"

Titus , March 6, 2020 at 3:31 pm

Except 70% of Women according to Stanford finding these kind of confrontations distressing to very distressing. Tricky. One changes emotions by using emotions so the trick here is "allowing" Biden to act deranged and expressing sorrow over it. For 70% of guys they won't get the emotional content, but will understand the logic of the questions and lack of answers. It can be done, Bill Clinton and Obama were very good at this. Look you want to be president you got to play the game at the highest level. Good practice for dealing with trump.

Oh , March 6, 2020 at 3:51 pm

Timing was right for both Obama and Clinton. After the GFC voters would have gone for any Democrat because Republicans were toxic. Similarly, it was fortuitous for Clinton because Perot was running and he quit the race a couple of months before the election.

Obama got loads and loads of money from Wall Street. Neither of these guys would stand a chance in an election year when the economy was doing well.

It's easy to do a post Super Tuesday defeat analysis of Sanders but remember, everything seems to work before SC where I think the Democrats fixed the election and the same holds for Super Tuesday.

I didn't see anyone pointing out that Bernie had to be confrontational when he seems to be winning.

Mo's Bike Shop , March 6, 2020 at 8:59 pm

Wait. How many days ago was the field of candidates wide open?

If Bernard does not roast Biden on Social Security I will be disappointed. If Smokin' Joe doesn't lash out with his typical aplomb, I'll be disappointed. I'm saving myself up for bigger disappointments.

I'll be happy with the Vermont interpretation of Huey Long. I'm glad that people are finally noticing we have one Socialist Senator.

Idea for an 'own the slur' bumper sticker: "I'm tickled pink by Bernie" -- Although I don't know how the post-dial-up-modem crowd might misinterpret that?

foghorn longhorn , March 6, 2020 at 2:56 pm

This is such bs.
Trump insulted the f*ck out of mccain, mittens, jeb, cruz, pelosi, schumer and the rest of the clown posse and what did they do?

Passed every gd thing he sent to them.

Are we gonna fight or dance, it's past time to get it on.

Zagonostra , March 6, 2020 at 6:01 pm

"I admittedly don't even know what to call Pelosi and Schumer at this point, besides a simple "past their sell date".

How about corrupt, immoral dishonest, greedy, sociopaths for starters (for more accurate adjectives I recommend viewing Jimmy Dore)

Glen , March 6, 2020 at 5:22 pm

Bernie cannot say it, but I can.

I support Bernie because Bernie supports the polices I think we need to save the country: M4A, GND,$15/hr min, free college, etc. To me, being an FDR Dem like Bernie is the moderate position, we've done it before, we know it works. Biden's support of neoliberal polices that have wrecked America is the extreme position.

But the DNC does not support FDR's Democracy. They have ended up to the right of Ronald Reagan. Pelosi could have pushed a M4A bill but did not. Pelosi could have pushed any number of polices to show how Trump is failing the working and middle class, but she did not.

So if Bernie is not picked for the general, I no longer have a reason to support the Dems, and will stay home. Actually, I will probably not stay home, I will work to get Dems out of office, and in general, work to burn the party to the ground. Why? Because it is in the way, and does not support the working class or the middle class.

The Dem party has to decide – do they really support the working and middle class or not. Because only Bernie supports those polices, and the rest of the Dems running for President do not.

[Mar 07, 2020] The Democrat party is a party of fiefdoms and each small king wants their cut. Or wants control over their own optics.

Mar 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

L , March 6, 2020 at 3:17 pm

Democrats who no longer see him as a failed or risky bet will finally endorse and campaign for him.

One of the themes that also seems to ring through these endorsements is Sanders' unwillingness to kiss the local rings. Lori Lightfoot, for example, just endorsed Biden. She had previously complained that when Sanders came to town for a union event he did not consult with her. see here. Of course she also criticized Biden for that too: see here.

I have heard the same theme from one of my local house members as well "he never called me."

The Democrat party is a party of fiefdoms and each small king wants their cut. Or wants control over their own optics.

[Mar 05, 2020] The real threats to our democracy are our unaccountable surveillance state and the neoliberal politicians in Washington

Notable quotes:
"... the parties are two arguing heads on the same rapacious beast. or in the case of the primaries, a multi-headed beast. ..."
Mar 05, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Jeff Harrison , February 22, 2020 at 12:36

The real threats to our democracy are our unaccountable surveillance state and the craven politicians in Washington, DC.

And, no, Ben, we can't keep our republic because we don't have a sufficient mass of critical thinkers to run it. If we did, this kind of BS, having been shot full of holes once, wouldn't get any air.

Ground Owl Eats Fox , February 22, 2020 at 21:49

I don't think the Democrats have been very coordinated, and they (the establishment in general) is growing more desperate. They're acting less and less rationally.

My hunch is that Sanders is going to be assassinated. Even if a low chance per industry (5% for MIC; 5% for Wall Street; 5% for Hillary Clinton, etc ) the sheer number of powerful enemies and tens of trillions of dollars (and power) potentially at stake IMO makes it likely that this'll happen, whether coordinated or not. I'm guessing before the convention, if his lead is looking formidable.

He needs to pick a safety VP to make killing him less attractive, and also needs to wear a vest, ride around in a Popemobile-style vehicle, and have trustworthy chemists and doctors to check his food and umbrellas and everything else. And lots of documenters with cameras so if they do kill him in a violent hit maybe they won't get away with it.

tim ashby , February 22, 2020 at 10:38

how on earth could any entity, foreign or domestic, create any outcome in our burlesque electoral process that's worse than any other? the parties are two arguing heads on the same rapacious beast. or in the case of the primaries, a multi-headed beast.

the political circus can be likened to condi rice's concept of "constructive chaos" in the middle east. instead of nonfunctional endless war to render malleable a target for exploitation, we have endless functionless nitpicking blather to render popular leadership impossible.

[Mar 05, 2020] Tulsi Gets First Delegate, from Her Place of Birth No Less caucus99percent

Mar 05, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

JCWeb on Tue, 03/03/2020 - 7:20pm

Yes, the results from American Samoa are in, first to report 100% on Super Tuesday, and Tulsi is on the board, with over 20% of the vote, in second place behind (surprise) Michael Bloomberg, who also earns his first delegates tonight. Biden, Sanders and Warren didn't hit the 15% viability threshold and are shut out.

https://www.businessinsider.com/american-samoa-democratic-caucus-live-re...

Bloomberg 49.86% 5 delegates
Tulsi 29.34% 1 delegate
Sanders 10.54% 0 delegates
Biden 8.83% 0 delegates
Warren 1.42% 0 delegates

Now, if the DNC sticks to the same criteria for the upcoming debate as they had for the last three, one delegate should be sufficient for Tulsi to return to the debate stage. Of course, they've been known to change the rules in the middle of the game before, but this time it looks like they won't have the excuse of too many candidates, particularly if Liz drops out if she can't win her home state.

janis b on Tue, 03/03/2020 - 9:13pm
My guess would be because

@The Liberal Moonbat

like many of the Pacific islands, the vast majority of the population is Christian, and like many Pacific Islands the population revere their Chiefs and religious leaders. The American Samoan Chief endorsed Bloomberg. Why he did is a partly explained in the following article from The Hill ... Climate change is a very immediate and tangible experience for pacific Islanders.

"I believe in Mike's message of change for the people of American Samoa -- he has the experience and the vision to bring about the change we need -- including staving off climate change, which will be devastating to our home. He has my family's vote, and my village," the chief said, according to a campaign release.

I haven't seen Bloomberg's ads there, but I can imagine he promised to help them in that regard.

laurel on Tue, 03/03/2020 - 7:39pm
Wonderful news for Tulsi.

She needed and more than deserved at least a delegate for her self-sacrificing, steadfast courage and honesty throughout this crooked campaign season. From the preponderance of Bloomberg votes, it looks like American Samoans haven't been paying close attention, but thankfully some of them could see past sophisticated advertisements to recognize one who is truly their own.

Thank you, Samoa.

[Mar 05, 2020] Having all dropped out, including Bloomberg, excepting Warren, as of today, they all have endorsed Biden, completely verifying our essayist's hypothesis that meritocracy is dead in politics.

Notable quotes:
"... Nothing changed about Biden's sketchy past, e.g. war enabler, bigot and bank henchman, and his questionable competency to serve as president, but these politicians of great self-esteem are now instructing us to vote for a most flawed candidate. ..."
"... If Biden gets the nomination, it will be a pyrrhic victory. Trump will eat him alive. ..."
"... Biden is Obama 2.0 lite, and no one likes Obama anymore except for the Dem party faithful. We saw the Dems do this over and over again in Massachusetts with Martha Coakley. Hey, how about Coakley as Biden's running mate? ..."
Mar 05, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

The gang of would-be presidential candidates ran because each perceived that Biden was not the best person to run for the office or to govern. Having all dropped out, including Bloomberg, excepting Warren, as of today, they all have endorsed Biden, completely verifying our essayist's hypothesis that meritocracy is dead in politics. Nothing changed about Biden's sketchy past, e.g. war enabler, bigot and bank henchman, and his questionable competency to serve as president, but these politicians of great self-esteem are now instructing us to vote for a most flawed candidate.

If Biden gets the nomination, it will be a pyrrhic victory. Trump will eat him alive. Any of us could write the script to defeat Biden. Biden is Obama 2.0 lite, and no one likes Obama anymore except for the Dem party faithful. We saw the Dems do this over and over again in Massachusetts with Martha Coakley. Hey, how about Coakley as Biden's running mate?

[Mar 04, 2020] DNC Scrambles To Change Debate Threshold After Gabbard Qualifies by Caitlin Johnstone

Mar 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

On a CNN panel on Monday , host John King spoke with Politico reporter Alex Thompson about the possibility of Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard qualifying on Super Tuesday for the party's primary debate in Phoenix later this month.

"I will note this, she's from Hawaii," King said of Gabbard.

"She's a congresswoman from Hawaii; American Samoa votes on Super Tuesday. The rules as they now stand, if you get a delegate, you're back in the debates. As of now. Correct? "

"Yeah, they haven't, I mean, that's been the rule for every single debate," Thompson replied.

"And the DNC has not released their official guidance for the March 15 debate in Phoenix, but it would be very obvious that they are trying to cancel Tulsi, who they're scared of a third party run, if they then change the rules to prevent her to rejoin the debate stage."

And indeed, as the smoke clears from the Super Tuesday frenzy, this is precisely what appears to have transpired.

Watch it til the end. https://t.co/SMU5NhCDUo

-- Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) March 4, 2020

"The Gabbard campaign said it was informed that it would net two delegates from the caucuses in American Samoa, which will allocate a total of six pledged delegates," The Hill reports today. "However, a report from CNN said that the candidate will receive only one delegate from the territory on Tuesday evening."

"Tulsi Gabbard may have just qualified for the next Democratic debate thanks to American Samoa," reads a fresh Business Insider headline. "Under the most recent rules, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii may have qualified for the next televised debate by snagging a delegate in American Samoa's primary."

"If Tulsi Gabbard gets a delegate out of American Samoa, as it appears she has done, she will likely qualify for the next Democratic debate," tweeted Washington Post 's Dave Weigel. "We don't have new debate rules yet, but party has been inviting any candidate who gets a delegate."

Rank-and-file supporters of the Hawaii congresswoman enjoyed a brief celebration on social media, before having their hopes dashed minutes later by an announcement from the DNC's Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa that "the threshold will go up".

"We have two more debates -- of course the threshold will go up," tweeted Hinojosa literally minutes after Gabbard was awarded the delegate. "By the time we have the March debate, almost 2,000 delegates will be allocated. The threshold will reflect where we are in the race, as it always has."

We have two more debates-- of course the threshold will go up. By the time we have the March debate, almost 2,000 delegates will be allocated. The threshold will reflect where we are in the race, as it always has.

-- Xochitl Hinojosa (@XochitlHinojosa) March 4, 2020

"DNC wastes no time in announcing they will rig the next debates to exclude Tulsi," journalist Michael Tracey tweeted in response.

This outcome surprised nobody, least of all Gabbard supporters. The blackout on the Tulsi 2020 campaign has reached such extreme heights this year that you now routinely see pundits saying things like there are no more people of color in the race, or that Elizabeth Warren is the only woman remaining in the primary. They're not just ignoring her, they're actually erasing her. They're weaving a whole alternative reality out of narrative in which she is literally, officially, no longer in the race.

After Gabbard announced her presidential candidacy in January of last year I wrote an article explaining that I was excited about her campaign because she would severely disrupt establishment narratives, and, for the remainder of 2019, that's exactly what she did. She spoke unauthorized truths about Syria, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, she drew attention to the plight of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden and said she'd drop all charges against both men if elected, she destroyed the hawkish, jingoistic positions of fellow candidates on the debate stage and arguably single-handedly destroyed Kamala Harris' run.

The narrative managers had their hands full with her. The Russia smears were relentless, the fact that she met with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was brought up at every possible opportunity in every debate and interview, and she was scoffed at and derided at every turn.

Now, in 2020, none of that is happening. There's a near-total media blackout on the Gabbard campaign, such that I now routinely encounter rank-and-file liberals on social media who tell me they honestly had no idea she's still running. She's been completely redacted out of the narrative matrix.

All candidates of color are out. An openly gay married candidate is out. 2 women left. The rest? 70+ old white men fighting for the future of America in 2020. Because of course.

-- Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) March 1, 2020

So it's unsurprising that the DNC felt comfortable striding forward and openly announcing a change in the debate threshold literally the very moment Gabbard crossed it. These people understand narrative control, and they know full well that they have secured enough of it on the Tulsi Problem that they'll be able to brazenly rig her right off the stage without suffering any meaningful consequences.

The establishment narrative warfare against Gabbard's campaign dwarfs anything we've seen against Sanders, and the loathing and dismissal they've been able to generate have severely hamstrung her run. It turns out that a presidential candidate can get away with talking about economic justice and plutocracy when it comes to domestic policy, and some light dissent on matters of foreign policy will be tolerated, but aggressively attacking the heart of the actual bipartisan foreign policy consensus will get you shut down, smeared and shunned like nothing else. This is partly because US presidents have a lot more authority over foreign affairs than domestic, and it's also because endless war is the glue which holds the empire together.

And now they're working to install a corrupt, right-wing warmongering dementia patient as the party's nominee. And from the looks of the numbers I've seen from Super Tuesday so far, it looks entirely likely that those manipulations will prove successful.

All this means is that the machine is exposing its mechanics to the view of the mainstream public. Both the Gabbard campaign and the Sanders campaign have been useful primarily in this way; not because the establishment would ever let them actually become president, but because they force the unelected manipulators who really run things in the most powerful government on earth to show the public their box of dirty tricks.

[Mar 04, 2020] Warren is depressing but Democratic Party as a whole is even more depressing

Notable quotes:
"... The arrogance of the Democratic party has been on full display this time around with their in your face cheating and voter suppression. Even if the Russians were "interfering" enough in 2016 to make a difference, which I seriously doubt, they could not have done as much damage to the integrity of our system of elections as the Democratic party has done. ..."
"... I know one thing, I have come to hate Elizabeth Warren almost as much as the Democratic party itself. I hope she is happy with selling her soul to potentially garner a spot on a losing ticket with a racist has-been who cannot even remember Obama's name, what state he is in or even the position he is running for, all of which have happened. Trump will have a field day with a Biden/Warren ticket. ..."
Mar 04, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

gulfgal98 on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 12:24pm

That is all I can say about how the Democratic party has run the primaries. We are so screwed and there isn't a damn thing we can do about it. The establishment simply does not care about the people. The arrogance of the Democratic party has been on full display this time around with their in your face cheating and voter suppression. Even if the Russians were "interfering" enough in 2016 to make a difference, which I seriously doubt, they could not have done as much damage to the integrity of our system of elections as the Democratic party has done.

I have avoided posting much this primary season because I have become too cynical to add anything of value to these posts. I know one thing, I have come to hate Elizabeth Warren almost as much as the Democratic party itself. I hope she is happy with selling her soul to potentially garner a spot on a losing ticket with a racist has-been who cannot even remember Obama's name, what state he is in or even the position he is running for, all of which have happened. Trump will have a field day with a Biden/Warren ticket.


WoodsDweller on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 12:43pm

A few thoughts...

First, Warren. Wikipedia is showing her with 53 delegates this morning, up from 8 yesterday. So she won roughly 45 out of 1300+, or under 4% versus the roughly 5% she had won from the first 4 contests. As a campaign in decline that's almost exactly as expected.

Second, Bloomberg. Words can express how satisfied I am that he's out. Wikipedia shows him with 50 delegates, including a win in American Samoa (well done, Sir!). Both the self-funded billionaire vanity runs crashed and burned. However corrupt the system is (and it is), it isn't outright for sale to the highest bidder. There are procedures that need to be followed.

Now there's Uncle Joe. He was leading in polls for the last year and only fell short in January and February due to legitimate concerns about his electability. With those concerns temporarily removed because of the solid (and expected) win in SC together with the DINO Establishment throwing everything they had behind him let people overlook his diminished faculties and vote for the man he used to be.

A quick side note: Sanders fills venues with 10,000+ supporters. Biden can't fill a restaurant. That doesn't tell us much about overall support, it tells us something about support by age group. Young people go to big events. Old folks stay home and watch TV. But old people show up to vote.

Sanders fell apart with the 65+ voters, getting under 10%. This is a big voting block and you can't just write it off. I don't know what, if anything, can be done about it at this point. He won young voters, but didn't get the huge turnout he needed to compensate.

Going forward it's clearly a Sanders/Biden race. Is it possible that they can avoid Biden speaking in public for the rest of the race? I'm afraid that Sanders will avoid hitting Biden with concerns about his declining mental state and stick to policy as he is inclined to do. There's plenty there to address, and maybe Biden will make the case on his own in the meantime.

Much of the Southern Primary happened yesterday. There's still Florida and Georgia, both with a lot of delegates, and I would be surprised if Biden doesn't win them. The rest of the map is more competitive.

A plurality at the convention is the most Sanders can hope for at this point. We all know how that one comes out.

MrWebster on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:00pm
Great observations and essay.

What you describe is probably why Russiagate spread so easily to so many people. Nothing happened in previous elections? Everything you describe never happened as you point out. The American electoral system was and is pristine and virginal. Until the Russians came and destroyed American democracy through social media themes, memes, and retweets. The American electoral system was never brutally corrupted by rigged votes, voter suppression on the scale of hundreds of thousands, deliberately miscounted votes, voter fraud, etc. Americans never did to each other anything as bad as what the Russians did to Americans.

Of course, for me never worked as I worked in primaries of a democratic machine dominated city. I tried to sorta warm people on other sites that while they were looking for Russians at the front door, the gop was coming in the bad door for some rather nasty election interference.

Of course what we are seeing now is democrats cheating other democrats. But that reality will never be acknowledged because, hey, it never happened before. Just unintentional mistakes like in Iowa (farm folk cheating--no way) or Brooklyn.

Lily O Lady on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:38pm
Do the gaslight just flicker? How could it?

@MrWebster

It couldn’t have! I must be mad, mad I tell you!

Lather, rinse, repeat.

What you describe is probably why Russiagate spread so easily to so many people. Nothing happened in previous elections? Everything you describe never happened as you point out. The American electoral system was and is pristine and virginal. Until the Russians came and destroyed American democracy through social media themes, memes, and retweets. The American electoral system was never brutally corrupted by rigged votes, voter suppression on the scale of hundreds of thousands, deliberately miscounted votes, voter fraud, etc. Americans never did to each other anything as bad as what the Russians did to Americans.

Of course, for me never worked as I worked in primaries of a democratic machine dominated city. I tried to sorta warm people on other sites that while they were looking for Russians at the front door, the gop was coming in the bad door for some rather nasty election interference.

Of course what we are seeing now is democrats cheating other democrats. But that reality will never be acknowledged because, hey, it never happened before. Just unintentional mistakes like in Iowa (farm folk cheating--no way) or Brooklyn.

randtntx on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:10pm
Here is an article

that offers another type of solution. I know it doesn't address the problem of cheating but it has the potential (admittedly hypothetical) of garnering larger numbers of voters thereby minimizing the effect of cheating.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03/03/if-sanders-is-robbed-of-the-nomi...

Marie on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:42pm
Why didn't he think of that?

Instead of that $600 million+ he spent, Bloomberg could have wired just $100k to a Russian troll farm & rode their juvenile social media posts all the way to the White House. (This is the actual logic of the establishment narrative since 2016: https://t.co/VTZTPFyT3m ) pic.twitter.com/QJTPdBl9hC

— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) March 4, 2020

Perhaps because Bloomberg isn't as dumb as the Russiagaters in both parties.

wokkamile on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:46pm
On the essay topic,

I'm more inclined regarding yesterday's results to look to the voters for fault, even with a heavy hand played by the establishment. And I don't see the latter effort so much corrupt as SOP for political parties, although this time the thumb on the scales worked to a remarkable degree and not necessarily for the betterment of the party long term. In previous cycles, e.g. the GOP elite trying to stop Trump in their 2016 primaries, it didn't work at all.

Yes, there was voter suppression -- intentional by the GOP in TX, probably accidental in CA with the very long lines to vote in SoCal with new voting machines and yet another attempt at high-teching what should be a low-tech, pencil-and-paper voting process. But of the voters on Election Day who managed to cast a ballot, it was clear in most places which side they picked.

Yes too, there was information suppression and distortion in the several traditional cable and print outlets, which clearly favored Joe and despised Bernie. But this is the Information Age, and for all but the destitute, there is available this thing called the Internet. It's up to voters in a democracy to inform themselves; that is their responsibility to achieve good governance. Sadly, most are too lazy or not that interested to bother, and settle for what's fed to them on teevee.

In American elections, the best person and candidate with the most meritorious ideas doesn't always prevail. That isn't always because of a corrupted system. Politics often rewards the snakes because that's the nature of the messy beast.

[Mar 04, 2020] May the Best Man Win

Mar 04, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Cant Stop the M... on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 8:28am We base our entire politics on the idea that we're living in a meritocracy. In other words, like the knights of old at a joust, we find out who is best through competition, a competition assumed to be both fair and honest. In the old days, the joust was assumed to be fair and honest because God was both omnipotent and just and therefore, obviously, would not allow a bad man to win. Nowadays, even most of us who believe in God don't believe that God controls the outcome of competitions in that way. Yet the assumption of a fair and honest competition persists, despite blatant evidence to the contrary.

In the case of U.S. elections, it is assumed, not that the will of God controls the outcome of competitions, but that the will of the people does. Voter suppression and election fraud are hand-waved away on the dubious grounds that any candidate strong enough could overcome such things. Or maybe the people are to blame. The supporters of the defeated candidate must not have worked hard enough, or maybe the people generally are to blame for not voting in large enough numbers. Those who challenge any of these assumptions are defeated, either by institutional inertia or by gaslighting.

Nothing happens, so nothing happened

Here's what I mean by institutional inertia.

In 2000, there was ample evidence that George W. Bush had committed fraud in the presidential election, with the help of his brother, the governor of Florida. In 2004, there was ample evidence that George W. Bush had committed fraud once again, famously in Ohio, and less famously in Florida for a second time. However, in the first case, Gore stopped fighting after an obviously partisan and corrupt Supreme Court decision, and not a single member of the U.S. Senate was willing to help the Congressional Black Caucus challenge the election. In the second case, Kerry refused to challenge the election in Congress, and the legal case he brought about election fraud, after the fact, did not even make it to the Supreme Court.

In 2016, when New Yorkers brought a case that there had been election fraud and voter suppression in the Democratic primaries, the case was thrown out on the grounds that each county in New York had to file such cases separately, and, by then, the election would be over. Pleas to delay the vote count, or to delay declaring a winner, until the voting rights of the people could be secured, were brushed aside. Much later, when a civil lawsuit was brought against the DNC, the case was once again thrown out for lack of standing, but not before the DNC lawyers had defended their client on the grounds that the DNC didn't have to provide a fair competition, or any competition at all, really, and certainly didn't have to care what the people thought.

The effect of this institutional inertia is not simply that cheaters win the day, or that the people, whose will is being suppressed, lose morale and give up. The complaint itself begins to fade from people's minds. People begin to make excuses for what happened, to justify it, to act as if there never were cheating to begin with. Even many of those who dissent find that, over time, the injustice they remember mellows: no less a person than Jimmy Dore, hardly a weak-minded hack for the establishment, talks now about Gore's "loss" in 2000 as an evil caused by the electoral college. While the electoral college is obviously a tool for elites to control American politics (and never has that been so obvious as over the past two election cycles), such a narrative ignores and erases the police checkpoints that were set up in 2000 near predominantly African American polling places in Leon county, Florida. It ignores the Republican Speaker of the House, Tom DeLay, sending Republican staffers to Dade County to break up Miami's vote count by marching into the Supervisor of Elections office and screaming at the top of their lungs so that no accurate count could take place. It ignores and erases the digital Jim Crow that purged the voter lists of African American Democrats by claiming, falsely, that they were felons. It ignores the fact that emails between the State of Florida and the company that created the Jim Crow software revealed that the company had warned that their software would draw too many false positives, and that the State of Florida had replied "That's just what we want."

Similarly, the DNC's perfidy in 2016 has been reduced to the following: 1) that they had pre-selected their candidate, and didn't provide a real or fair competition, 2) that they gave debate questions ahead of time to Hillary Clinton, 3)that they used the electoral college, most particularly superdelegates, to overwhelm the Sanders movement, and that 4) the party primaries were often closed, not allowing independents the right to vote. Left out, or forgotten, are the multiple polling places closed in states from Arizona to New York (in New York, sometimes even the open polling places had no staff or broken machines), the media calling California for Clinton before the votes were counted, the 136,000 voters purged off Brooklyn's voter rolls (no doubt because Bernie Sanders was born and grew up in Brooklyn and that might have given him an advantage there), and the much larger multi-state purge of the Democratic party through changing people's voter registration without their knowledge and consent.

I'm not bringing this up to attack Jimmy Dore, who is one of the most reliable truth-tellers in the media today, but rather to point out what people's minds do under the stress of watching the establishment normalize corruption again and again. If there is no power to challenge institutional corruption, most people, over time, make of the corruption something less unjust and outrageous. Simply smothering objections to injustice with institutional inertia, will, over time, allow the victors to erase the evidence of their crime.

Sore Loserman

Since we believe, with the faith of fanatics, that competition must be honest and fair, it's easy to gaslight the losers (or the apparent losers). The Republicans in 2000 did not need to disprove the fact that George W. Bush had committed fraud and contravened the will of the people when he climbed up a staircase of disenfranchised Black faces to become President. All the Republicans needed to do was issue tens of thousands of bumper stickers that replaced the words "Gore/Lieberman" with "Sore Loserman." The RNC was using the same argument that was bruited about in the 1980s about poverty and employment. Unemployed poor people had lost the economic competition. Therefore, there must be something wrong with them. Maybe they weren't educated enough, smart enough, clean enough, hard-working enough; maybe they were people of bad character. Bloomberg's racial profiling worked much the same way. Black people are losers in the judicial game because they commit more crimes. That's why we put more police in their neighborhoods, because there are more criminals among young Black men than anywhere else. Corruption can't bring down a meritorious man. If you're good, you'll win. If you complain about cheating or any other form of injustice, you must be a Sore Loserman, attempting to cover up your own inadequacies by whining.

It's pretty obvious that this way of thinking makes it literally impossible to stop even the most outrageous injustice, as long as the perpetrators of that injustice have enough power to spread their "Sore Loser" messaging far and wide. So if I commit identity theft today and access one of your bank accounts, I can be brought to account. But if Wall St cheats homeowners, there was probably something wrong with the homeowners, or with the government for suggesting that those homeowners should get loans. If George W. Bush cheats in an election, there was probably something wrong with the other candidate, or with the voters.

People tend to get upset when I bring this up, because they think that talking about the corruption of the system will demoralize voters, making such discussions their own form of voter suppression. But I bring this up because the worst damage that can come out of Bernie Sanders losing contests in a highly compromised electoral process is that the idea of meritocracy be preserved. There are valid reasons for voting even in a corrupted system (of the "make 'em sweat" variety). There are valid reasons for not voting in a corrupted system. But whatever a citizen chooses to do on Election Day, the idea of meritocracy must die.

Despite all the truly horrendous policies, from both the Democrats and the Republicans, that have laid our society, our people, and the world to waste, the most poisonous effect of the tyranny we live under is its fraudulence: its pretense of being a fair, accurate, and reasonable expression of the will of the people. Even the Democrats' attacks on Trump, who is supposed to be a Manchurian candidate placed in office by Russian intelligence operatives and an existential threat to our democracy, have, in the past two years, increasingly focused on the people who support Trump. It's the voters fault for supporting the bad man. So even when we are supposedly in a situation of foreign powers changing the outcome of a presidential election, it's still the people's fault. Why? Well, there was a competition, and somebody won, so the person who won must be there by the will of the people. It has to be the people's fault.

Corruption among the powerful isn't a thing.

System-wide corruption in all the various infrastructures of our country, especially the political ones, isn't a thing.

Or, if it is, you just didn't do enough lifting at the political gym to be able to fend it off.

[Mar 04, 2020] I just can't be sympathetic with Bernie and his voters tonight. Remember how Bernie came out to support Tulsi Gabbard when she was having such a hard time with the establishment? Neither do I

Mar 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

SharonM , Mar 4 2020 3:34 utc | 104

I just can't be sympathetic with Bernie and his voters tonight. Remember how Bernie came out to support Tulsi Gabbard when she was having such a hard time with the establishment? Neither do I. Remember how Bernie's supporters made sure Bernie would speak the truth about russiagate, or they weren't going to support him? Neither do I. Remember how Bernie made it clear in every debate and every interview that the choice is endless war or medicare for all? He didn't. Watching someone with a few leftist atoms in him being defeated in State after State by a warmongering sociopath who belongs in a hospice with bars on the windows, is like watching what he deserves.

Jackrabbit , Mar 4 2020 6:10 utc | 129

Copeland @122
People who casually tell you that Bernie is for the Empire--and not for the repair of society-- are people trafficking in lies.
I encourage everyone to look at Bernie with a critical eye and decide for yourself. Anyone in political life for any length of time (like Bernie) must know that USA is EMPIRE-FIRST. Empire priorities (military and intelligence focus; 'weaponized' liberalism; neoliberal graft; dollar hegemony; Jihadis as a proxy army; etc.) dictate the limits of domestic politics.

Bernie's quixotic insurgency was doomed to fail unless Bernie attacked the Democratic Party's connection to Empire and use of identity politics to divide and conquer. Oh, and Bernie would have to threaten to leave the Democratic Party -- but then would become the independent Movement that Bernie and the Democratic Party have tried so hard to prevent!

!!

[Mar 03, 2020] The "Russian meddling" fraud: Tulsi Gabbard denounces election interference by US intelligence agencies by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Washington Post, ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
"... The author also recommends: ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | www.wsws.org

In a remarkable statement that has gone virtually unreported in the American media, Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, publicly denounced US intelligence agencies for interfering in the presidential contest and attempting to sabotage the campaign of Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders.

In an opinion column published February 27 by the Hill , Gabbard attacked the article published by the Washington Post on February 21, the eve of the Nevada caucuses, which claimed that Russia was intervening in the US election to support Sanders. She also criticized the decision of billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, to repeat the anti-Russia slander against Sanders during the February 25 Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina.

Gabbard is a military officer in a National Guard medical unit who has been deployed to Iraq and Kuwait and has continuing and close contact with the Pentagon. She is obviously familiar with the machinations of the US military-intelligence apparatus and knows whereof she speaks. Her harsh and uncompromising language is that much more significant.

She wrote:

Enough is enough. I am calling on all presidential candidates to stop playing these dangerous political games and immediately condemn any interference in our elections by out-of-control intelligence agencies. A "news article" published last week in the Washington Post, which set off yet another manufactured media firestorm, alleges that the goal of Russia is to trick people into criticizing establishment Democrats. This is a laughably obvious ploy to stifle legitimate criticism and cast aspersions on Americans who are rightly skeptical of the powerful forces exerting control over the primary election process.

We are told the aim of Russia is to "sow division," but the aim of corporate media and self-serving politicians pushing this narrative is clearly to sow division of their own -- by generating baseless suspicion against the Sanders campaign. It's extremely disingenuous for "journalists" and rival candidates to publicize a news article that merely asserts, without presenting any evidence, that Russia is "helping" Bernie Sanders -- but provides no information as to what that "help" allegedly consists of.

Gabbard continued:

If the CIA, FBI or any other intelligence agency is going to tell voters that "Russians" are interfering in this election to help certain candidates -- or simply "sow discord" -- then it needs to immediately provide us with the details of what exactly it's alleging.

After pointing out that the Democratic Party establishment and the corporate media have had little interest in measures to actually improve election security, such as requiring paper ballots or some other form of permanent record of how people vote, Gabbard demanded:

The FBI, CIA or any other intelligence agency should immediately stop smearing presidential candidates with innuendo and vague, evidence-free assertions. That is antithetical to the role those agencies play in a free democracy. The American people cannot have faith in our intelligence agencies if they are pushing an agenda to harm candidates they dislike.

As socialists, we do not share Gabbard's belief that the intelligence agencies have a positive role to play or that the American people need to have faith in them. As her military career demonstrates, she is a supporter of American imperialism and of the capitalist state. However, her opposition to the "dirty tricks" campaign against Sanders is entirely legitimate and puts the spotlight on a deeply anti-democratic operation by the military-intelligence apparatus.

Gabbard denounces this "new McCarthyism" and calls on her fellow candidate to rebuff the CIA smears and "defend the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution." Not a single one of the remaining candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination -- including Sanders himself -- has responded to her appeal.

Her statement concludes that the goal of the "mainstream corporate media and the warmongering political establishment" was either to block Sanders from winning the nomination, or, if he does become the nominee, to "force him to engage in inflammatory anti-Russia rhetoric and perpetuate the new Cold War and nuclear arms race, which are existential threats to our country and the world."

Despite Gabbard's appeal for the Democratic candidates not to be "manipulated and forced into a corner by overreaching intelligence agencies," the Democratic Party establishment has been working in lockstep with the intelligence agencies in the anti-Russia campaign against Trump, which began even before election day in 2016, metastasized into the Mueller investigation and then the effort to impeach Trump over his delay in the dispatch of military aid to Ukraine for its war with Russian-backed separatist forces.

Her comments are a complete vindication of what the World Socialist Web Site has written about the anti-Russia campaign and impeachment: these were efforts by the Democratic Party, acting as the representative of the military-intelligence apparatus, to block the emergence of genuine left-wing popular opposition to Trump, and to channel popular hostility to this administration in a right-wing and pro-imperialist direction.

Gabbard herself was the only House Democrat to abstain on impeachment, although she did not voice any principled grounds for her vote, such as opposition to the intelligence agencies. She has based her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination largely on an appeal to antiwar sentiment, particularly opposing US intervention in Syria. She has also said that if elected, she would drop all charges against Julian Assange and pardon Edward Snowden.

These views led to a vicious attack by Hillary Clinton, the defeated Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, who last October called Gabbard "a Russian asset," claiming that she was being groomed by Russia to serve as a third-party candidate in 2020 who would take votes away from the Democratic nominee and help re-elect President Trump. "She's the favorite of the Russians," Clinton claimed.

Since Clinton's attack, the Democratic National Committee has excluded Gabbard from its monthly debates, manipulating the eligibility requirements so that billionaire Michael Bloomberg would qualify even for debates held in states where he was not on the ballot but Gabbard was, such as Nevada and South Carolina.

The author also recommends:

Democratic Party deploys Russian meddling smear against Sanders
[24 February 2020]

US intelligence agencies meddle in Nevada primary to sabotage Sanders
[22 February 2020]

Hillary Clinton slanders Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Green Party candidate Jill Stein as Russian spies

[Mar 03, 2020] Why is Tulsi Gabbard Still In The Race by Pam Ho

Notable quotes:
"... Biden and Warren are both enthusiastic supporters of neocon foreign policy which is in line with their phony support for the working class. What happened to Warren's glittering M4A plan? It turned back into a pumpkin didn't it? It was all smoke and mirrors. No surprise if you know her history. ..."
"... Imperial Borg Assimilation ..."
"... The Foreign Policy Establishment ..."
"... Warren is an establishment social climber. She took off the mask and her true colors shone through when she viciously attacked Bernie Sanders as a misogynist. Yet still many people surrounding the Sander's campaign support Warren. Why is that? Big money on the left supports her, that's why. That big money also pays a lot of salaries in the liberal political job market. Have you heard of the The Democracy Alliance ? ..."
"... Why do so many liberals or even progressives dislike Tulsi and are so eager to see her gone? Propaganda from the media. The media for a year has relentlessly promoted Red Baiting towards Tulsi because Tulsi challenges the "Washington Consensus" (unfettered elite rule over America and the world with an iron fist). ..."
"... Everyone in the pro-Israel lobby (myself included) is already talking about how to make sure that Tulsi Gabbard's campaign is over before it even gets off the ground -- If you're going to bet on a Dem candidate, look elsewhere. ..."
"... There are many reasons behind that. The main reason though is Tulsi trying to stop war. The Neocons and Saudis have been pushing American politicians, celebrities, media owners, think tanks, foundations and so on for years -- to destroy Syria. Supposedly because Syria is close allies with Iran. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | medium.com

As I was checking the news earlier today I noticed that the coronavirus had killed another top government official in Iran, bringing the total to 3. Or at least the 3 they have released info on. There's a chance it's worse among the Iranian leadership but they don't want to cause a panic. I checked the Twitterverse after that for my daily dose of madness and surprisingly kept seeing people ask rhetorically:

Why is Tulsi Gabbard still in the primary race?

Turns out that Amy "She Hulk" Klobuchar had dropped out of the primary race apparently to suck up to Joe Biden for a VP slot. And so had Pete "Honestly I'm Not Annoying" Buttigigieididisjjd. This of course should surprise no one since the threat of Bernie Sanders to the financial criminal syndicates greasing the palms of practically all politicians and media to do their bidding have seen the writing on the wall. They realize they need candidates to drop out in order to coalesce centrist votes around one or two to stop what they perceive to be a huge problem for them in Bernie Sanders.

... ... ...

Biden and Warren are both enthusiastic supporters of neocon foreign policy which is in line with their phony support for the working class. What happened to Warren's glittering M4A plan? It turned back into a pumpkin didn't it? It was all smoke and mirrors. No surprise if you know her history. Did you see her on Pod Save America regaling us with how much she believes in crippling countries by sanctions if they dare to resist the racist Imperial Borg Assimilation Machine aka The Foreign Policy Establishment ? That doesn't sound woke to me Miss Thang .

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FC79AV_22NPg%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DC79AV_22NPg&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FC79AV_22NPg%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

Warren is an establishment social climber. She took off the mask and her true colors shone through when she viciously attacked Bernie Sanders as a misogynist. Yet still many people surrounding the Sander's campaign support Warren. Why is that? Big money on the left supports her, that's why. That big money also pays a lot of salaries in the liberal political job market. Have you heard of the The Democracy Alliance ?

The Democracy Alliance is a semi-anonymous donor network funded primarily by none other than Democratic mega-donor George Soros. Since its inception in 2005, it is estimated the Alliance has injected over $500 million to Democratic causes. While it isn't typical that they would endorse a candidate outright, they focus more on formulating a catalog of organizations and PACs that they recommend the network of about 100 or so millionaires and billionaires invest in. Democracy Alliance almost literally have their hands in every major left-leaning institution you have (and haven't) heard of -- John Podesta and Neera Tanden's Center for American Progress, David Brock's Media Matters, Center for Popular Democracy, Demos (we'll come back to this one), and the Working Families Party. All of these organizations are listed on the Alliance's website as recommended investments for it's members; and invest they do. Here's the rub: Democracy Alliance's membership isn't made entirely public -- but we know enough that alot of the people that have sat in the highest levels of that organization have an affinity for Elizabeth Warren.


... ... ...

Why do so many liberals or even progressives dislike Tulsi and are so eager to see her gone? Propaganda from the media. The media for a year has relentlessly promoted Red Baiting towards Tulsi because Tulsi challenges the "Washington Consensus" (unfettered elite rule over America and the world with an iron fist).

That is why we got this from Jacob Wohl after Tulsi declared her candidacy last year:

Everyone in the pro-Israel lobby (myself included) is already talking about how to make sure that Tulsi Gabbard's campaign is over before it even gets off the ground -- If you're going to bet on a Dem candidate, look elsewhere.

There are many reasons behind that. The main reason though is Tulsi trying to stop war. The Neocons and Saudis have been pushing American politicians, celebrities, media owners, think tanks, foundations and so on for years -- to destroy Syria. Supposedly because Syria is close allies with Iran.

But they are not the only ones who want Syria destroyed. Other reasons may have to do with massive profits at stake. A natural gas survey team from Norway some years ago discovered that Syria has the largest untapped deposits of natural gas in the world . After that secret discovery became known by various powerful people plans were drawn up to split up the profits after the destruction of the Syrian government. But after Syria asked Russia for help that changed their plans.

Tulsi meanwhile kept going on CNN to tell the American people that our government was waging a secret war in Syria by giving advanced weapons to Al-Qaeda in order to help them topple the government. America, Israel , and the Saudis weren't the only ones with a plan for Syria. Turkey and Qatar had their own plans. The UK and other leading EU nations had a plan as well . And the only politician in any of those countries telling the public the truth of what was going on -- was Tulsi.

... ... ...

She is not having our country become a plaything for rich a-holes who use the lives and limbs of service members for their greedy scams. Because of that the idle rich sociopaths ruling America with their political and media henchmen went after Tulsi with a full barrage of lies , media blackouts, and massive amounts of propaganda -- all to stop her message from getting out so they can create a false image of her in people's minds. Everything and anything they can throw at her, they do.

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FOBArkIbMybU%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DOBArkIbMybU&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FOBArkIbMybU%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

There are two politicians whom they fear. Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard. Which is why Bernie Sanders has unsurprisingly been trying to stay out of the foreign policy debate, or he even goes along with the establishment for the most part. He saw what they unleashed against Tulsi. He knows from long experience that propaganda works on a lot of people. The financial elites are not naive though, they probably believe he is going along with their ridiculous foreign policy as a political strategy -- until he gains more power. They fear that if he gains that power he will, like Tulsi, not go along with their imperial stormtrooper agenda.

[Mar 03, 2020] The Democratic Party oligarchy are the world champions at every sort of electoral malfeasance

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Mar 3 2020 18:04 utc | 25

The thing to watch today will be the vote stealing by the Democrat oligarchy. They are the world champions at every sort of electoral malfeasance. Remember in 2016 how Bernie almost won New York until Brooklyn, his hometown, was counted and more than 20,000 voters disappeared? Then there was California where millions of votes went uncounted and Hillary was called the winner.


The Democrats are not really a political party in the sense that europeans understand the term, more like an agglomeration of electoral machines, controlled by politicians owned by vested interests, making up the rules as they go along.

With both Biden and Warren desperate for anything that can be portrayed as momentum expect the unexpected: repeats of the sort of nonsense we saw in Iowa and local precincts in which 110% of the electorate give unanimous support to the candidate most likely to take away their social security and wave 'bye-bye' as they die untreated of diseases. Or malnutrition.
A
nd the cherry on top of the electoral sundae in today's primaries will be the near unanimity with which the most glaring irregularities are ignored by the media, and anyone suggesting that 2+2= anything as predictable as 4 will be called a conspiracy theorist, working for Putin and the KGB.

[Mar 03, 2020] Let s Talk About Your Alleged #Resistance by Joe Giambrone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Clinton also lied to the country about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and voted for that obviously illegal war. This after 8 years of her husband's genocidal sanctions killed a minimum of 500,000 innocent Iraqi children . ..."
"... What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous. Yet, he persisted and to this day attempts to help common Americans as much as he can. He does what he believes to be the right thing. His integrity and his record of fighting for working Americans are not the points of contention in this race. ..."
"... Today, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat who beats Trump in poll after poll . The only one. This is no small matter. Trump needs to be beaten in the tangled Electoral College, where a simple numerical victory isn't enough. ..."
"... Bernie is the best choice, but it is interesting that you brought up the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Bernie supported those sanctions. He also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which reaffirmed US support for the sanctions even after 500,000 children had been killed. ..."
"... Well, the BBC is bigging up Joe Biden right now, yet another of its ridiculous pieces of propaganda utterly devoid of its duty to serve its license payors, who are the British people, not the neoconservative banking elite. ..."
"... How interesting, it's Obama who gave the "cue" for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Beto, Rice, and the entire slippery gang to circle the wagons in support of the most reactionary warmongering candidate running. The same Obama who released drones every Tuesday morning killing brown and blacks throughout the Middle East and Africa– the majority of slaughtered were innocent women and children. ..."
"... The desperation of the national security state is reflected by The DNC's Shenanigans. The security state would rather promote a crooked, warmongering, lying, racist who barely can put together two logical thoughts then accept a candidate who represents a hopeful future for the next generation. ..."
"... The DNC's message is very clear– they're a "private party" and the working-class are NOT invited. ..."
"... But this by far is the most frightening thought, Biden, does not have all his marbles–it's obvious–we can only guess it's some type of dementia. So if Biden, slides through deploying a multitude of underhanded machinations and becomes the nominee, Trump, will make mincemeat of him during the debates. ..."
"... I'm not in the Orange Baboon's Fan Club, but I find it sad and a little bit pathetic the way people still invest their hopes and put their faith in figures like Bernie, Tulsi or Jezza. Bernie got shafted in 2016 and just saluted smartly and fell into line behind Crooked Hillary. When she lost, he started singing from the approved hymn sheet. The evil Putin stole the election for Kremlin Agent Trump. He has been parroting the same nonsense for the past 4 years. ..."
"... Jeez people get a clue. How many times do you need to fall for the "this candidate is so much better and will solve everything" ruse? Remember Obama? The exact same bullshit was going around back then. ..."
"... We have hope😁 . We have change😁 . We have hope and change you can believe in😁 . Well, yeah, we all know what happened during Obombers 8 years. The entire thing is nothing but Kabuki theatre. For all those still believing the United States is a democracy. ..."
"... 'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root. ..."
"... Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns ..."
"... Every opportunity to push back Neo liberalism should be taken. ..."
"... Once again, Mark Twain sums up my feeling: "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it." ..."
"... Where's yours? That's impertinent. Our voting process was programmed, close to 100% by two guys, at one point not many years ago, with the same last name, the brothers Urosevich. The machine owners claim that, as it is their proprietary software, the public is excluded from the vote-counting. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Editor Joe Giambrone

In 2016, Hillary Clinton deserved to lose, and she did. Her deception, her cheating in the primary elections , was well-documented, despicable, dishonest, untrustworthy. Her money-laundering scheme at DNC should have been prosecuted under campaign finance laws.

Her record of warmongering and gleefully gloating over death and destruction was also well established. On national TV she bragged about the mutilation of Moammar Qaddafi: "We came, we saw, he died!"

Clinton also lied to the country about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and voted for that obviously illegal war. This after 8 years of her husband's genocidal sanctions killed a minimum of 500,000 innocent Iraqi children .

This person was undeserving of anyone's support.

What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous. Yet, he persisted and to this day attempts to help common Americans as much as he can. He does what he believes to be the right thing. His integrity and his record of fighting for working Americans are not the points of contention in this race.

His opponents have instead opted for every nonsensical conspiracy theory and McCarthyite smear they can concoct, including the most ridiculous of all: the Putin theory , without a single shred of evidence to support it.

Today, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat who beats Trump in poll after poll . The only one. This is no small matter. Trump needs to be beaten in the tangled Electoral College, where a simple numerical victory isn't enough.

Bernie wins, and he has the best overall shot of changing the course of history, steering America away from plutocracy and fascism.

That crucial race is happening right now in the primaries . If Bernie Sanders doesn't secure 50% of all delegates, then DNC insiders have already signaled that they will steal the nomination and give it to someone else -- who will lose to Trump. The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday.

It's either Trump or Bernie. That's your choice. Your only choice.

Where is your so-called "#Resistance" now?


Ben Barbour ,

Bernie is the best choice, but it is interesting that you brought up the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Bernie supported those sanctions. He also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which reaffirmed US support for the sanctions even after 500,000 children had been killed.

Bernie also voted for Clinton's 1999 bombing campaign on Kosovo.

All that said, yes, Bernie is the best option.

Rhys Jaggar ,

Well, the BBC is bigging up Joe Biden right now, yet another of its ridiculous pieces of propaganda utterly devoid of its duty to serve its license payors, who are the British people, not the neoconservative banking elite.

When they spout bullshit that 20% of UK workers could miss work 'due to coronavirus', when we have had precisely 36 deaths in a population of 65 million plus, you know that like climate change, they spout the 1% probability as the mainstream narrative .

It just shows what folks are up against when media is so cravenly serving those who do not pay them.

Charlotte Russe ,

"If Bernie Sanders doesn't secure 50% of all delegates, then DNC insiders have already signaled that they will steal the nomination and give it to someone else -- who will lose to Trump. The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday."

While Bernie spent more than three decades advocating for economic social justice Biden spent those same three decades promoting social repression."

"The 1990s saw Biden take aim at civil liberties, authoring anti-terror bills that, among other things, "gutted the federal writ of habeas corpus," as one legal scholar later reflected. It was this earlier legislation that led Biden to brag to anyone listening that he was effectively the author of the Bush-era PATRIOT ACT, which, in his view, didn't go far enough. He inserted a provision into the bill that allowed for the militarization of local law enforcement and again suggested deploying the military within US borders."

How interesting, it's Obama who gave the "cue" for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Beto, Rice, and the entire slippery gang to circle the wagons in support of the most reactionary warmongering candidate running. The same Obama who released drones every Tuesday morning killing brown and blacks throughout the Middle East and Africa– the majority of slaughtered were innocent women and children.

The desperation of the national security state is reflected by The DNC's Shenanigans. The security state would rather promote a crooked, warmongering, lying, racist who barely can put together two logical thoughts then accept a candidate who represents a hopeful future for the next generation.

The DNC's message is very clear– they're a "private party" and the working-class are NOT invited. In fact, they're saying more than that–if uninvited workers and the marginalized dare to enter they'll be tossed out on their arse

In plain sight the mainstream media news is telling millions that NO one can stop the military/security/surveillance/corporate state from their stranglehold over the corrupt political duopoly.

I say fight and don't give-up! Be prepared–organize a million people march and head to Milwaukee– the future of the next generation is on the line.

But this by far is the most frightening thought, Biden, does not have all his marbles–it's obvious–we can only guess it's some type of dementia. So if Biden, slides through deploying a multitude of underhanded machinations and becomes the nominee, Trump, will make mincemeat of him during the debates.

But if Biden, makes it to the Oval Office he'll be "less" than a figurehead. Biden, will be as mentally acute as the early bird diner in a Florida assisted living facility after a recent stroke. The national security state will seize control– handing the "taxidermied Biden" a pen to idiotically sign off on their highly insidious agenda ..

Ken Kenn ,

Pretty straightforward for me ( I don't know about Bernie? ) but if the Super delegates and the DNC hierarchy decide to hand the nomination over to Biden then Bernie should stand as an independent. At least even in defeat a left marker would be placed on the US political table away from the Corporate owners and the shills that hack for them in the media and elsewhere. At least ordinary US people would know that someone is on their side.

Corbyn in the UK was described as a ' Marxist' by the Tories and the unquestioning media. Despite all that ' Marxist ' Labour got 33% of the vote. People will vote for a ' socialist '

Charlotte Ruse ,

Unfortunately, Bernie won't abandon the Democratic Party. However, there's a ton of Bernie supporters who will vote Third Party if Bernie doesn't get the nomination.

paul ,

I'm not in the Orange Baboon's Fan Club, but I find it sad and a little bit pathetic the way people still invest their hopes and put their faith in figures like Bernie, Tulsi or Jezza. Bernie got shafted in 2016 and just saluted smartly and fell into line behind Crooked Hillary. When she lost, he started singing from the approved hymn sheet. The evil Putin stole the election for Kremlin Agent Trump. He has been parroting the same nonsense for the past 4 years.

That's when he hasn't been shilling for regime change wars in Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and elsewhere against "communist dictators."

Bernie will get shafted again shortly and fall into line behind Epstein's and Weinstein's best mate Bloomberg or Creepy Joe, or Pocahontas, or whoever.

If by some miracle they can't quite rig it this time and Bernie gets the nomination, the DNC will just fail to support him, and allow Trump to win. They would rather see Trump than Bernie in the White House.

Just like Starmer, Thornberry, Phillips and all the Blairite Backstabber Friends of Israel were more terrified of seeing Jezza in Number Ten than any Tory.
Dr. Johnson said that getting remarried represented the triumph of hope over experience.

The same applies to people expecting any positive change from people like Bernie, Tulsi, or Jezza.

The system just doesn't allow it.

pete ,

Jeez people get a clue. How many times do you need to fall for the "this candidate is so much better and will solve everything" ruse? Remember Obama? The exact same bullshit was going around back then.

Gezzah Potts ,

We have hope😁 . We have change😁 . We have hope and change you can believe in😁 . Well, yeah, we all know what happened during Obombers 8 years. The entire thing is nothing but Kabuki theatre. For all those still believing the United States is a democracy.

clickkid ,

"The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday." Sorry Joe, but where have you been for the last 50 years" Elections are irrelevant. Events change the world – not elections. The only important aspect of an election is the turnout. If you vote in an election, then at some level you still believe in the system.

Willem ,

Sometimes Chomsky can be useful

'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root.

Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns.'

If true, the question is, what are we not allowed to say? Or is Chomsky wrong, and are we allowed to say anything we like since TPTB know that words cannot, ever, change political action as for that you need power and brutal force, which we do not have and which, btw Chomsky advocates to its readers not to try to use against the nation state?

So maybe Chomsky is not so useful after all, or only useful for the status quo.

Chomsky's latest book, sold in book stores and at airports, where, apparantly, opinions of dissident writers whose opinions go beyond the bounds of the consensus of elites, are sold in large amounts to marginalize those opinions out of society, is called 'Optimism over despair', a title stolen from Gramsci who said: 'pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.'

But every time I follow Chomsky's reasoning, I end in dead end roads of which it is quite hard to find your way out. So perhaps I should change that title into 'nihilism over despair'. If you follow Chomsky's reasoning

clickkid ,

Your Chomsky Quote: "'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. .. " Tell that to the Yellow Vests.

ajbsm ,

Despite the deep state stranglehold .on the whole world there seems to be a 'wind' blowing (ref Lenin) of more and more people turning backs on the secret service candidates – not just in America. Power, money and bullying will carry on succeeding eventually the edifice is blown away – this will probably happen, it will be ugly and what emerges might not even be better(!) But the current controllers seem to have a sell by date.

Ken Kenn ,

I'm not convinced of the theory that the more poor/whipped/ spat upon people become the more likely they are to revolt. A revolution can only come about when the Bourgeoisie can no longer continue to govern in the old way. In other words it becomes more than a want – more of a necessity of change to the ordinary person.

We have to remember that in general ( it's a bit of a guess but just to illustrate a point ) that a small majority of people in any western nation are reasonably content – to an extent. They are not going to rock the boat that Kennedy tried to make the tide rise for or that Thatcher and her mates copied with home owner ship and the right to get into serious debt. This depends on whether you had/have a boat in the first place. If not you've always been drowning in the slowly rising tide.

Sanders as I've said before is not Castro. He has many faults but in a highly parameterised p Neo liberal economic loving political and media world he is the best hope. Not great stuff on offer but a significant move away from the 1% and the 3% who work for them ( including Presidents and Prime Misister ) so even that slight shift is plus for the most powerful country on planet earth.

I have in the past worked alongside various religious groups as an atheist as long as they were on the right( or should that be left?) side on an issue.

Now is not the time for the American left to play the Prolier than though card.

Every opportunity to push back Neo liberalism should be taken.

wardropper ,

I'm not convinced of the theory that the more poor/whipped/ spat upon people become the more likely they are to revolt. But didn't the Storming of the Bastille happen for that very reason? I think people are waiting for just one spark to ignite their simmering fury – just one more straw to break the patient camel's back. Understandably, the "elite" (which used to mean exalted above the general level) are in some trepidation about this, but, like all bullies their addiction to the rush of power goes all the way to the bitter end – the bitter end being the point at which their target stands up and gives them a black eye. It's almost comical how the bully then becomes the wailing victim himself, and we have all seen often enough the successfully-resisted dictatorial figure of authority resorting to the claim that he is now being bullied himself. But this is a situation of his own making, and our sympathy for him is limited by our memory of that fact.

Ken Kenn ,

Where's the simmering fury in the West. U.S. turnout is pathetically low. Even in the UK the turnout in the most important election since the First World War was 67%. I see the result of the " simmering fury " giving rise to the right not the left. Just that one phrase or paragraph of provocative words will spark the revolution?

... ... ...

wardropper ,

My point, which I thought I made clearly enough, was that the fury is simmering , and waiting for a catalyst. I also think an important reason for turnout being low is simply that people don't respond well to being treated like idiots by an utterly corrupt establishment. They just don't want to participate in the farce.

Once again, Mark Twain sums up my feeling: "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it."

I'm not trying to be argumentative, and, like you, I am quite happy to back Sanders as by far the best of a pretty rotten bunch. Perhaps China is indeed leading in many respects right now, but becoming Chinese doesn't seem like a real option for most of us at the moment . . . Incidentally I have been to China and I found the people there as interesting as people anywhere else, although I particularly enjoyed the many things which are completely different from our western cultural roots.

Rhisiart Gwilym ,

Speaking of the Clintons' death toll, didn't Sanders too back all USAmerica's mass-murdering, armed-robbery aggressions against helpless small countries in recent times? And anyway, why are we wasting time discussing the minutiae of the shadow-boxing in this ridiculous circus of a pretend-democratic 'election'? Watching a coffin warp would be a more useful occupation.

I go with Dmitry Orlov's reckoning of the matter: It doesn't matter who becomes president of the US, since the rule of the deep state continues unbroken, enacting its own policies, which ignore the wishes of the common citizens, and only follow the requirements of the mostly hyper-rich gics (gangsters-in-charge) in the controlling positions of this spavined, failing empire. (My paraphrase of Dmitry.)

USPresidents do what their deep-state handlers want; or they get impeached, or assassinated like the Kennedy brothers. And they all know this. Bill Hick's famous joke about men in a smoke-filled room showing the newly-'elected' POTUS that piece of film of Kennedy driving by the grassy knoll in Dealy Plaza, Dallas, is almost literally true. All POTUSes understand that perfectly well before they even take office.

Voting for the policies you prefer, in a genuinely democratic republic, and actually getting them realised, will only happen for USAmericans when they've risen up and taken genuine popular control of their state-machine; at last!

Meanwhile, of what interest is this ridiculous charade to us in Britain (on another continent entirely; we never see this degree of attention given to Russian politics, though it has a much greater bearing on our future)? Our business here is to get Britain out of it's current shameful status, as one of the most grovelling of all the Anglozionist empire's provinces. We have a traitorous-comprador class of our own to turn out of power. Waste no time on the continuous three-ring distraction-circus in the US – where we in Britain don't even have a vote.

wardropper ,

The upvotes here would seem to show what thinking people appreciate most. Seeing through the advertising bezazz, the cheerleaders and the ownership of the media is obviously a top priority, and I suspect a large percentage of people who don't even know about the OffG would agree.

John Ervin ,

Where's yours? That's impertinent. Our voting process was programmed, close to 100% by two guys, at one point not many years ago, with the same last name, the brothers Urosevich. The machine owners claim that, as it is their proprietary software, the public is excluded from the vote-counting. And that much still holds true. Game. Set. Match. Any questions?

Antonym ,

What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous.

US deep state ate him for breakfast in 2016: they would love him to become string puppet POTUS in 2020. Trump is more difficult to control so they hate him.

John Ervin ,

Just one more Conspiracy Realist, eh! When will we ever learn? "The deep state ate him for breakfast in 2016 ." That gives some sense of the ease with which they pull strings, nicely put. One variation on the theme of your metaphor: "They savored him as one might consume a cocktail olive at an exclusive or entitled soirée."

It is painfully clear by any real connection of dots that he is simply one of their stalking horses for other game. And that Homeland game (still) doesn't know whether a horse has four, or six, legs.

*****

"Puppet Masters, or master puppets?"

Antonym ,

It is painfully clear that US Deep state hates Trump simply by looking at the Russiagate they cooked him up.

Fair dinkum ,

The US voters have surrounded themselves with a sewer, now they have to swim in it.

[Mar 03, 2020] Bernie Saunders will be ousted by the powers that don't want him to be successful in the bordello that is the Washington politik

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Beibdnn , Mar 3 2020 15:50 utc | 8

Sadly I reckon Bernie Saunders will be ousted by the powers that don't want him to be successful in the bordello that is the Washington politik.
I find it amusing he's labeled as a Socialist. He's a champagne socialist at best.
I fall about laughing when he claims he's going to tell Putin anything at all.
Should the miracle of U.S. democracy pass and he's elected POTUS, meeting Vladimir Vladimirovich will be a rather large culture shock methinks.
Thanks for the laughs, those passed and if elected, those to come, Bernie.

Piotr Berman , Mar 3 2020 15:55 utc | 9

Very smart establishment tactic. A combo of long predicted Biden win in South Carolina with resignation of Klob and Butti and endorsement may give Biden plurality in some states. Strategy of picking a senile champion with "stellar" Obama credentials and a mine of paydirt for Republican to excavate is dubious. But the youngsters, starting from Beto and ending with Klob/Butti pair of mixed twins proved to be so-so campaigners at their best. BTW, Steyer dropped after spending 200 M+ with nary a comment. The same may happen to Little Mike. Direct reign of billionaires in USA seems to be a failing experiment (assuming that Little Mike is correct when he says that Donald "I will not show tax return to anyone" Trump is a fake billionaire), or a work still in progress.
peter , Mar 3 2020 16:09 utc | 11
What is there to comment on? The majority right in the DNC will be pushing Biden, the left of right under Sanders will be cheated out of the nomination and Trump will rule another 4 years.
That there is a "left" in the Democrat Party is an illusion, what counts for the left there would be the equivalent of the CDU in Germany under Merkel.

[Mar 03, 2020] The mainstream corporate Democrats may well get their way, but what happens to the party afterwards is the question.

Mar 03, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Jane , 01 March 2020 at 09:38 PM

It's about the numbers and superdelegates. The "reforms" in the DNC system following 2016 include a new rule that superdelegates, all 93 of them, cannot take part in the first round of voting. If there is no outright plurality, these 93 delegates, all of whom have stated no intention to give their votes to Bernie, will rule the day. The only candidate that might help Bernie is Warren if/if the math shows that whatever number of delegates she gets would give Bernie his plurality in the first round. Those superdelegates tell us a lot about our two-party system.

At least one wealthy delegate is a major donor to Republican candidates.

They largely represent the same corporate interests that ensure that neither party does anything dramatic to harm Wall Street or big industries. A look at the actual voting records of Democratic senators and house members reveals a lot that public posturing does not.

Democratic leaders have said that they would rather lose the election to Trump than to have the party taken over by progressives. The mainstream corporate Democrats may well get their way, but what happens to the party afterwards is the question.

[Mar 03, 2020] Semi-senile Biden is now so Presidential and is the best candidate forward

However, we do need to raise questions about election anomalies. Journalists should be focused on the DNC is cheating Bernie and, by extension, the American people. It must be recorded. It should be investigated. The first 4 primary contests account for only 4% of all allocated delegates, yet have a hugely disproportionate influence on the race. Of those 4 states, only NV is roughly in synch with the national demographic profile.
The whole primary system needs a major overhaul. It takes too long and costs too much (e.g., all the wasted $$ Steyer and Tulsi spent in SC). It's an embarrassing wasteful spectacle which only enriches the MSM and hired political consultant hacks. Most voters don't bother to tune in until 10-12 months into the marathon campaign. I would blow it all up and start over from scratch.
"They're fearful because Bernie Sanders, his political revolution, morally based, ethically based, is a fundamental challenge to their interest and their status." -- Dr. Cornel West
Mar 03, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

. @DWStweets endorses @JoeBiden .
"It was a very easy decision," she said. "We need to make sure that we put the best candidate forward." https://t.co/0uIvUBxlQp

-- Anthony Man (@browardpolitics) March 1, 2020

[Mar 02, 2020] Last Ditch Effort to Stop Sanders

Mar 02, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Rick Wilson has a plan for Obama to help snatch the White House away from Trump

.. GOP strategist and avid Never Trumper Rick Wilson said ... Obama needs to throw his full weight behind Biden before Super Tuesday in a way that will shake up the race ... Obama can transform this race in a hot second. ... It's now or never ... Biden beat Sanders like a rented mule. The exit polls told the tale; it was a crushing defeat across almost every demographic group ...

Gotta love these Republicans who have our best interests at heart.

Last week in Nevada it was Sanders who beat Biden like a rented mule, inflicting a crushing defeat across almost every demographic group. But that was then, this is now, and a Republican stratigist says "It's now or never" to defeat Sanders Trump.

Super Tuesday is ... Tuesday. Biden, as I noted yesterday, hasn't visited any Super Tuesday state in a month, has almost no money, is not on the air, has little or no ground game. Early voting is already in progress in several states. What can be done in one day to turn things around?

Realistically, nothing. Yes, a big endorsement by Obama could have an impact, but how many voters would even hear about it before voting? Biden will definitely get a bounce from his win in SC, but how big will it be? How much did Sanders' win in Nevada help him in SC?

Then there's this:

Why Biden still needs Klobuchar and Warren in the race

Team Biden believes having Klobuchar in the race through Super Tuesday is incredibly helpful to them.
Why? It blocks Bernie Sanders in the Minnesota primary on Tuesday.
"If Amy gets out, that gives Minnesota to Bernie,"
...
Four years ago, Sanders crushed Hillary Clinton in Minnesota, winning 62% to 38% ...
The Biden campaign wants Warren to be in the race through Super Tuesday, when Massachusetts voters weigh in.

Not to win. Not to hoard delegates for a convention fight. But just taking every opportunity to slow Bernie down.

Finally, and I only saw one tweet about this and can't find any confirmation, that Bloomberg hasn't made any ad buys beyond Super Tuesday. Anyone know anything about this?

Steyer has spent $200 million, got nothing for it, and has dropped out. I'm hoping that's what we see for Bloomberg as well. Is Bloomberg trying to win? Or just to stop Bernie? Super Tuesday will tell the tale.


laurel on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 2:18pm

It's interesting how each of them

@WoodsDweller -- Biden, Bloomberg, Warren, Klobuchar -- is stepping in to do his or her part for the overall goal of stopping Bernie. They are 100% loyal to the Dem establishment which is 100% loyal to the neocon, neoliberal, oligarchic, globalist Deep State. They know the Dem establishment will reward them -- and you can practically smell the certainty of that knowledge on Liz. She'll do and say whatever they ask of her.

Anja Geitz on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 10:42am
Frankly, I never believed Bernie's candidacy was going to be met

with anything but a full on assault by the DNC, the media, and their respective surrogates. What I didn't expect, especially from dubious "progressives" like Warren, was to hear non-viable candidates openly talking about blunting Bernie's momentum with their only goal being to collect delegates into the convention. Yes, most of us anticipated this was going to turn into a contested convention by design, but I don't know how many of us believed they'd tip their hand so blatantly and so soon into the process. Now that they have, it gives Bernie time to prepare his own strategy for meeting their threat at the convention. Maybe someone could refresh his memory on how effective the bus loads of people that GWB arranged were in shaping the media narrative of "civil disruption vs. accurate counting" in Florida? Taking a page out of that playbook, Bernie's people really need to start thinking about organizing an army of supporters in strength that rivals his numbers at his rallys, and descend onto Wisconsin. And maybe as an added bonus, conjure up the image of the 1968 convention Buttigieg seems to believe Bernie is so nostalgic about resurrecting. If the Establishment is going to twart the will of the people, let the will of the people be heard.

doh1304 on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 2:03pm
There are threee possible scenarios

for how the pre primary polls were so far off:

First, a wild methodological error. Bernie actually received more votes yesterday than in 2016. Perhaps only people who voted in 2016 were polled.

Second, everyone knows that Bernie is the person most likely to defeat Trump and Biden is the worst possible candidate. Perhaps thousands of Trump supporters came out pretending to be Democrats to vote for Biden. This has supposedly happened before.

Third, the quisling Democrats have given up all pretense of being honest and are blatantly stealing the nomination from Bernie. This is the most likely.

FreeSociety on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 3:18pm
2016 Deja Vu

.
In many ways, this race is now the same exact contest that was fought back in 2016. It has come down to Joe Biden -- The Establishment choice -- despite his obvious Ukraine corruption, family payoffs, obstruction of justice and abuse of office, etc. -- and despite Biden being 100% wrong on every issue from the Iraq War to NAFTA to the TPP to Syria (more Regime Change) to Libya to saying China is not an economic threat , etc. -- and despite him being a bumbling buffoon and gaffe machine who doesn't even know what State he is in, and constantly mangles sentences, and arrogantly yells at or insults prospective voters -- and despite him on multiple occasions caught sniffing the hair and fondling young girls in public.

How is this different from Hillary Clinton .. just without the Cackle ?

Bernie Sanders, as in 2016, is the only other option now that has a multi-state Campaign support structure. While Mike Bloomberg can buy million dollar Ads and saturate them everywhere across TV and the Internet .. he has no real voter base, a phony message, and no charisma.

So it is Sanders .vs. Biden , which is essentially a rematch between Sanders and Clinton -- or -- essentially a rematch between Sanders and the DNC Establishment (who also control the rules of the game).

My question is, who in earth would ever want to vote for the doddering and incoherent Joe Biden under any circumstance? Clearly, Biden just represents the anti-Sanders vote here, and The Establishment, with Bloomberg, Buttiburger, and Klobachar all failing, has closed ranks to consolidate around the one dog-faced, pony soldier left standing in the race: Quid Pro Joe.

Come on man! Get down and do some pushups Jack. I don't want your vote.

Polls and Votes and super delegates and Media narratives will all now be fixed around Biden from this point on (if they weren't already). So expect a whole lot of Malarkey upcoming, and this means that Sanders will have to win by big margins, and win a whole lot more States than he did in 2016, in order to survive.

--

[Mar 02, 2020] Semi-senile Biden is now so Presidential and is the best candidate forward

However, we do need to raise questions about election anomalies. Journalists should be focused on the DNC is cheating Bernie and, by extension, the American people. It must be recorded. It should be investigated. The first 4 primary contests account for only 4% of all allocated delegates, yet have a hugely disproportionate influence on the race. Of those 4 states, only NV is roughly in synch with the national demographic profile.
The whole primary system needs a major overhaul. It takes too long and costs too much (e.g., all the wasted $$ Steyer and Tulsi spent in SC). It's an embarrassing wasteful spectacle which only enriches the MSM and hired political consultant hacks. Most voters don't bother to tune in until 10-12 months into the marathon campaign. I would blow it all up and start over from scratch.
Mar 02, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

. @DWStweets endorses @JoeBiden .
"It was a very easy decision," she said. "We need to make sure that we put the best candidate forward." https://t.co/0uIvUBxlQp

-- Anthony Man (@browardpolitics) March 1, 2020

[Mar 01, 2020] How neoliberal centrists became far right: Dems it seems likely that the instinct for neoliberal globalist "normalcy" is kicking in, and so Dems are proposing to go with an oligarch billionaire -- just yesterday the worst thing on earth -- who has many times the wealth of Trump, and who represents the ugliest sector of globalist capital.

Mar 01, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Anything can happen, but it seems that both Warren and Biden are going down the tubes, and without yet having been able to stop Bernie. Buttegieg seems to be doing well, but the only reason to expect that to last is that he is a Deep State/CIA-creation like Obama was.

Just as Democrat-supporters have had to find the path to accepting -- or embracing–whatever they are told is necessary to defeat Trump (the CIA, the defiant heroism of Nancy Pelosi in tearing up Trump's speech, the "principled stands" of militarist reactionaries such as John Bolton, Alexander Vindman, and Mitt Romney, and deep hatred and contempt for ordinary people in general -- is there any doubt that there is no limit to how reactionary Democrats and "the Left" can get?), now they will have to accept Michael Bloomberg as the "alternative."

My own view is that Trump is not an "oligarch," because oligarchs exist among other oligarchs; that's a subject for further exploration, but it is clear that Bloomberg is, in fact, such an oligarch.

A thesis regarding the postmodern spectacle: What one might accept, even minimally, at one point, perhaps as necessary in a purely tactical sense ("the Left," broadly speaking), one can come to embrace at a later moment (confirmed OP Democrats who will vote "BNMW"). This is the moving line of bullshit as it moves around what stands in as a "principle" in this scene: "Because Trump."

The moving line really does some fantastic work for the neoliberal-globalist forces who want a "return to normalcy." What people who think of themselves as some kind of "resistance" at first grudgingly accept will later come to embrace.

In the wake of Iowa, and now New Hampshire, there are already good liberals talking up Bloomberg as the best chance for beating Trump -- this includes people who claim they would prefer Bernie. Somehow they are getting past the fact that only Bernie is given a realistic chance of beating Trump in an election. Certainly, things can change, but what is really going on here?

Among OP Dems it seems likely that the instinct for neoliberal globalist "normalcy" is kicking in, and so Dems are proposing to go with an oligarch billionaire -- just yesterday the worst thing on earth -- who has many times the wealth of Trump, and who represents the ugliest sector of globalist capital.

Will those supposedly in the left, and those supposedly to the left, of the Democratic Party, remain dutiful and accept (and then enthusiastically embrace -- again, any- and everything is possible here) this "alternative"?

They have failed every test thus far, but perhaps Sanders can turn them around. As I argued previously, this will take a movement of great strength and depth. Even if Sanders cannot win the general election, he would be doing the world a great favor in defeating Bloomberg. Despite serious reservations, I wish him well in this pursuit.

Of course, if Sanders were to win the nomination but not the general, those who despise him now would despise him that much more, and very likely even many who like him now would turn against him. It is hard not to see the maneuverings of the Clintons here, and even more the Clintonist mainstream of the Democratic Party, and just in recent days trial balloons are floating around with the proposal that Hillary could be Bloomberg's VP pick. No one should be surprised if things turn out the other way 'round.

When one considers this whole mess, and adds to it the way that Identity Politics, at least in its current predominant form as woke ideology for resistance LARPers, fits hand in glove with globalist economic and military agendas, I find it difficult to see how the Trump Disruption, Clarification, and the bits of Experiment that have gained traction are not qualitatively superior.

Of one thing we can be sure, however, namely that the circumnavigations and circumlocutions of those who claim to the contrary will continue to kick into ever-higher gears.

Bill Martin is a philosopher and musician, retired from DePaul University. He is completing a book with the title, "The Trump Clarification: Disruption at the Edge of the System (toward a theory)." His most recent albums are "Raga Chaturanga" (Bill Martin + Zugzwang; Avant-Bass 3) and "Emptiness, Garden: String Quartets nos. 1 and 2 (Ryokucha Bass Guitar Quartet; Avant-Bass 4). He lives in Salina, Kansas, and plays bass guitar with The Radicles.

[Mar 01, 2020] Hollywood Goes Full Blacklist and Fails to Grasp the Irony by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... It is especially galling to see how the Hollywood Community has embraced the era of red-baiting Joseph McCarthy as the new standard for what is acceptable. There was a time that a few brave souls in Hollywood (I am thinking Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck), spoke out against the blacklisting of actors, writers and directors for their past political ties to the Soviet Union. ..."
"... This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America. It was a period of time fed by fear and ignorance. While it is true that there were Americans who identified as Communists and embraced the politics of the Soviet Union, we scared ourselves into believing that communist subversion was everywhere and that America was teetering on the brink of being submerged in a red tide. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm. Clinton exemplifies the terrifying norm of the political and cultural elite in this country. Accusing political opponents of being controlled by foreign enemies, real or imagined, is an old political tactic. Makes me wonder what Edward R. Murrow or Dalton Trumbo would say if we could bring them back from the dead. ..."
"... "Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm." ..."
"... Ms. President is the closest facsimile to Lady Macbeth that American politics has been able to produce. She'd have murdered her own husband if she had thought succession would have fallen to her. As it was, the only thing that kept him alive was that she needed him for the run she had in mind for herself. The debris that this woman has left in her wake boggles the mind. That she came within a whisker of the job where she would perhaps have left the country in that debris field is a sobering thought to think about what American presidential politics has become in the 21st c. Alas, what passes for her failure and the Country's good fortune, her loved ones in the Arts are still not over. And so they are left commiserating and caterwauling over the Donald this, and the Donald that, while all this good material and their celebrity goes down the tube. Good riddance to them both. ..."
"... Trump campaigned on Drain the Swamp in 2016. The Swamp attempted to take him down with the Russia Collusion hoax that included Spygate and the Mueller special counsel investigation. ..."
Feb 14, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

In the wake of the latest Hollywood buffoonery displayed at the Oscars, I think it is time for the American public to denounce in the strongest possible terms the rampant hypocrisy of sanctimonious cretins who make their living pretending to be someone other than themselves. Brad Pitt, Joaquin Phoenix and Barbara Streisand pop to mind as representative examples. All three are eager to lecture the American public on the need for equality and non-discrimination. Yet, not one of the recipients of the Oscar gift bags worth $225,000 spoke out against that extraordinary excess nor demanded that the money spent purchasing these "gifts" be used to benefit the poor and the homeless. Nope, take the money and run.

It is especially galling to see how the Hollywood Community has embraced the era of red-baiting Joseph McCarthy as the new standard for what is acceptable. There was a time that a few brave souls in Hollywood (I am thinking Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck), spoke out against the blacklisting of actors, writers and directors for their past political ties to the Soviet Union.

Now I have lived long enough to see the so-called liberals in Hollywood rail against Donald Trump and his supporters as "agents of Russia." Many in Hollywood, who weep crocodile tears over the abuses of the Hollywood Blacklist, are now doing the same damn thing without a hint of irony.

If you are a film buff (and I consider myself one) you should be familiar with these great movies that remind the viewer of the horrors visited upon actors, writers and directors during the Hollywood Blacklist:

This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America. It was a period of time fed by fear and ignorance. While it is true that there were Americans who identified as Communists and embraced the politics of the Soviet Union, we scared ourselves into believing that communist subversion was everywhere and that America was teetering on the brink of being submerged in a red tide.

Thirty years ago I reflected on this era and wondered how such mass hysteria could happen. Now I know. We have lived with the same kind of madness since Donald Trump was tagged as a Russian agent in the summer of 2016. And the irony is extraordinary. The very same Hollywood elite that heaped opprobrium on Director Elia Kazan for naming names in Hollywood in front of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, are now leading the charge in labeling anyone who dares speak out against the failed coup as "stooges" of the Kremlin or Putin.

Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm. Clinton exemplifies the terrifying norm of the political and cultural elite in this country. Accusing political opponents of being controlled by foreign enemies, real or imagined, is an old political tactic. Makes me wonder what Edward R. Murrow or Dalton Trumbo would say if we could bring them back from the dead.


Bill H , 11 February 2020 at 10:20 AM

Very well said. And I would extend the same opprobrium to those who label as "racist" anyone who does not agree with their open border policies. Etc.
plantman , 11 February 2020 at 10:32 AM
Trump Derangement Syndrome is a vast understatement. You never could have convinced me 4 years ago that virtually all of my liberal friends would have completely lost touch with reality due to their visceral hatred of one man.

It no longer matters if you agree with people on social policy, entitlements, student loans, homelessness, drug addiction or even wealth distribution.

If you do not share their irrational hatred of Trump, you're going to be lambasted, shunned and treated like a pariah.

I've never seen anything like it. It's whacko!

Jim Henely , 11 February 2020 at 10:34 AM
Hillary Clinton has become the poster child for the corruption that has captured and paralyzed our political parties and government institutions. Why is she above prosecution? Is the corruption complete? Can we look to any individual or group to restore our Republic? Wake me when the prosecutions begin.
Flavius , 11 February 2020 at 11:35 AM
"Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm."

Ms. President is the closest facsimile to Lady Macbeth that American politics has been able to produce. She'd have murdered her own husband if she had thought succession would have fallen to her. As it was, the only thing that kept him alive was that she needed him for the run she had in mind for herself. The debris that this woman has left in her wake boggles the mind. That she came within a whisker of the job where she would perhaps have left the country in that debris field is a sobering thought to think about what American presidential politics has become in the 21st c. Alas, what passes for her failure and the Country's good fortune, her loved ones in the Arts are still not over. And so they are left commiserating and caterwauling over the Donald this, and the Donald that, while all this good material and their celebrity goes down the tube. Good riddance to them both.

Dave Schuler , 11 February 2020 at 12:32 PM
I agree that HUAC's conduct was excessive but you really ought to show the other side of the coin as well.
  1. Communism was genuinely awful. To this day we don't know how many people died, murdered by their own governments, in Soviet Russia and Communist China.
  2. The U. S. government was infiltrated at the very pinnacle of government (as in presidential advisors) by Soviet agents. We know this from Kremlin documents.
  3. We now know (based on Kremlin documents) that the American Communist Party was run by knowing Soviet agents and was funded by the Soviet Union.
  4. The motion picture industry had been heavily infiltrated by Communists including some actual Soviet agents (while Reagan was head of SAG he rooted them out).

We resolved those issues the wrong way but they desperately needed to be resolved.

Vegetius , 11 February 2020 at 02:04 PM
>This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America

This is self-righteous baby boomer nonsense. It was a brief and slightly uncomfortable time for a handful of people in Hollywood, after which the subversion of American culture and institutions chugged along merrily along to the present day.

But this episode has been re-purposed and often reduced to caricature as part of a long ideological project aimed at convincing generations of otherwise intelligent white people that their past is a shameful parade of villains.

They don't call it 'programming' for nothing.

optimax , 11 February 2020 at 03:53 PM
Kirk Douglas bravely defied the blacklist by giving Dalton Trumbo credit on Spartacus under his real name, effectively breaking the blacklist.

I saw part of the Academy Awards and all I heard over and over again were the words race and gender, no female directors nominated.

On a side note, this being Black History month, teevee is usually filled with the appropriate programing. But because it is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Aushwitz the Jews are stealing the Blacks thunder by hogging the programming. When the oppressed collide.

Fred , 11 February 2020 at 04:02 PM
Just how big is the carbon footprint on a $225,000 swag bag? So nice to see Hollywood integrity in action. I wonder what the Bernie Tax will be on them in 2021?
bjd , 11 February 2020 at 04:16 PM
Chills run down my spine that you start your list with 'The Front'.

Woody Allen's 'The Front', a 'film noir' about the beast and about courage in trying to slay it, is an absolute masterpiece, its end is unmeasurably spectacular and encouraging, and... somehow the movie never got the acclaim it deserves, and lives as one of those quiet orphans.

But it is highly actual, and that is why you must have come to place it first.

Thank you for naming it. Extremely recommended.

blue peacock , 11 February 2020 at 07:26 PM
Trump campaigned on Drain the Swamp in 2016. The Swamp attempted to take him down with the Russia Collusion hoax that included Spygate and the Mueller special counsel investigation.

Rep. Devin Nunes uncovered many of the shenanigans while he investigated the claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election. He implored Trump to use his prerogative as POTUS to declassify many documents and communications. Trump instead took the advice of Rod Rosenstein acting as AG who initiated the Mueller investigation and did not declassify. He then passed the buck to AG Barr, who has yet to declassify.

The question that needs to be asked in light of this: Is Trump a conman who has duped the electorate with Drain the Swamp as he has not used his exclusive powers of classification to present to the voter all the documents and communications about the actions of law enforcement and intelligence agencies relating to claims about Russian influence operations during the 2016 election?

Fred , 11 February 2020 at 08:13 PM
Blue,

Maybe Trump conned the swamp into outing themselves, which hasn't proven that hard since they have even bigger ego's than he.

D , 11 February 2020 at 09:39 PM
Blue Peacock, the question that needs to be asked is do you blow your wad all at once on one play. Or do you drip, drip, drip it out strategically. I suggest the latter in this endless game of gotcha politics. Yes, Trump is a con man. That is how he made his billions - selling sizzle. One quality that does translate well into the political arena. No one is surprised - his life has been on the front pages for decades.

The only newly revealed quality that I find remarkable is his remarkable staying power - the most welcome quality of all. It takes ego maniacs to play this game. Surprised anyone still thinks politics is an avocation for normal people. It isn't. And we the people are the ones that demand this to be the case.

Sol Invictus , 11 February 2020 at 10:30 PM
I left the american sh*thole a long time ago and my choice never felt better. I look forward to seeing 50% of americans trying to slaughter the other 50% over socialism. Here we're doing just fine with socialist medecine, and social programs for just about everyting. The Commons are still viable where common sense resides... Oligarchs love cartels, socialism and piratization: it's all about privatizing the gains and socializing the losses to the hoi polloi.
james , 12 February 2020 at 12:35 AM
blue peacock... does an alligator want to drain the swamp? the answer is no... that is just a lot of hokum for the naive or illiterate...
james , 12 February 2020 at 12:36 AM
@ sol... your first sentence is pretty harsh and more of a reflection on you then anything else..
anon , 12 February 2020 at 02:26 AM
Great movie "the front". As to draining the swamp, well trump has to finish the job and here lies the problem. Once done what do you put in its place.

Bernie of course.

Diana Croissant , 12 February 2020 at 10:11 AM
I wonder if Hollywood knows how small some of the audiences in actual movie theaters are now. It's always surprising to me that I am sitting in almost empty theaters now when I decide I want actual movie theater popcorn and so will pay to watch a movie that I have read about and heard about from friends who have already seen the movie. I don't attend unless I've heard good things from my friends about the movie.


I am constantly surprised that some people even consider watching the Oscars now. I feel the same about professional sports.

You would be surprised at how good high school plays are and how good high school bands, orchestras, choirs are. The tickets are cheap, and a person actually gets to greet the performers.

I feel the same about my local university (my Alma Mater). It's Performing Arts departments are excellent. As a student long ago, my student pass allowed me to attend wonderful performances.

The Glory Days of Hollywood are no more. The actors and directors need to be humbled by having to go to towns across the country to see how sparse the audience in a movie theater is now. It's not at all as I remember as a child when there were long lines at the ticket window.

[Feb 29, 2020] Another Wasteful, Unnecessary War

www.truthdig.com

We are an oil company, with an Army: Tulsi Gabbard talks IRAN with Guests Stephen Kinzer & Dennis Kucinich Posted


prairiedog 97p · 4 hours ago

So she was fooled into thinking Iraq had something to do withe 9/11?
Guess she couldn't figure out buildings never fall at free fall speed unless they have demolition charges set in them.
joed 42p · 3 hours ago
Hello Prairiedog,
Do you know why my comments are not accepted or shown here?
I replied to your comment with my comment that is not being accepted here.
I see you have a high ratting so i thought you may have an idea about accepted comments. what am I doing wrong?!
penrose256 75p · 1 hour ago
Where are all of the scientists who should know better? When are they going to stage a massive march on Washington?
USAInc1871 91p · 2 hours ago
The basic question in a corporation , such as USA Inc, is it profitable.

That is the beginning and the end.

The owners own you, and you are willing goyim.

[Feb 29, 2020] Covid-19 is probably 3 times more contagios that a "regular" flu

Feb 29, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sackerson , Feb 29 2020 19:47 utc | 2

...focus on precautions, preparations and resources for the elderly and those with certain chronic health conditions.
https://theylaughedatnoah.blogspot.com/2020/02/covid-19-keep-calm-and-make-plan.html

Krollchem , Feb 29 2020 19:57 utc | 4

Tulsi Gabbard on why politics as usual must be discarded in order to prevent a public health crisis:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj_tMTmZn-U&t=95s
Ilya Grushevskiy , Feb 29 2020 20:33 utc | 17
@14

The risk is limited - this kills the old and infirm.

MOA was accurate in all the panic - China controlled its initial outbreak (although a re-entry is not unlikely imo). That the rest of the world didn't react fast enough, is expected though, but saying that before it was a thing would have been unnecessarily scare-mongering I'd say.

Jackrabbit , Feb 29 2020 22:26 utc | 42
Normal flu has R0 of about 1.3

Los Alamos Labs calculates Covid-19 R0 at between 4.7 to 6.6.

Bottomline: Covid-19 is much easier to spread / quick to spread.

!!

CJ , Feb 29 2020 22:15 utc | 38
Hi B,
looks like the guys at New England Biolabs have a very rapid assay for COVID-19 --- Rapid Molecular Detection of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Virus RNA Using Colorimetric LAMP

Yinhua Zhang, Nelson Odiwuor, Jin Xiong, Luo Sun, Raphael Ohuru Nyaruaba, Hongping Wei, Nathan A Tanner

Its a preprint -- but this is the way to go an isothermal loop mediated amplification (LAMP) assay. You ought to be able to get a result in about 30 minutes -- faster once they really automate it. Should cost virtually nothing a few cents.

Other versions of it might be adapted so you can use them in the field so a general practitioner or even a soldier will be able to make the diagnosis at the bed side-- its a simple color change in a tube. All you need is a pipette the assay tube a hot block and a timer. True positive rate 99.99% false positive about 1% or less. This what the CDC needs. Problem is that they have to mass produce the assay tubes -- we need 100 million like yesterday. The other thing is that we might need martial law to quarantine people and we need to train people to use the kits and fast.

All the best
CJ

Venom , Feb 29 2020 22:16 utc | 39
All of a sudden, "freedom isn't free" axiom acquires a really macabre meaning. The inevitable devastation in countries with laissez-faire approach to this emergency will eventually prove "totalitarian" Chinese measures as being vastly superior.
The US will undoubtedly - if grudgingly - adopt Beijing MO, but only after hundreds of thousands of people die needlessly, and America's healthcare system falls apart under the pressure of millions of patients unable to pay exorbitant bills.
oldhippie , Feb 29 2020 22:26 utc | 43
The American mind does not know what "public health" is.

"Public health" is not a thinkable thought. b's paragraph beginning with "Tests must be freely available..." is a sequence of events that cannot exist even in fiction in America. Only someone who has never lived here could write that paragraph. None of b's suggestions are happening. And because these simple measures cannot happen, a price will be paid.

Spike , Feb 29 2020 22:54 utc | 46
The overreaction to this will cause much, much more damage than the virus would have if it were responded to in a conventional, sensible way. Those in positions of responsibility are terrified of underreacting, and it's easy to rationalize that it's better to be safe than sorry.

If measures taken cause unnecessary disruption, if they increase the level of stress, the levels of disease and the amount of death will rise rather than fall. There is more to disease than just microbes.

This is not to say that we should be laissez-faire. Our response to the yearly outbreak of the flu is, in my opinion, insufficient. Schools are an unprecedented institution of prolonged propinquity. Children go to school, are with their classmates in enclosed rooms all day, and bring the disease home. Children survive, but grandma and grandpa might not. Schools can be shuttered during outbreaks, and the technology exists, at least for the relatively fortunate, to continue the instruction online. People should also be encouraged to avoid stressful prolonged propinquity situations such as travel on planes, trains, and interstate buses.

It's occurred to me that the death rate statistics might be misleading. Since China closed their schools, one can assume that the disease rate among children fell substantially. However, elderly people who live in care facilities, which is a high density living situation, would not enjoy the falling infection rate, and they are exactly the population most susceptible to a fatal outcome. This alone, perhaps, might make the death rate higher for COVID19 than for the flu.

Here, I think, is a very good take.


jadan , Feb 29 2020 22:56 utc | 47
The US healthcare system, the privatized system of exploitation of the sick for greater investor profits, is not capable of dealing with a pandemic. Trump and his gang of thieves, charlatans, and unapologetically incompetent followers of Ayn Rand and graduates of the Koch Brothers University, will prevent the socialization of medicine if they possibly can. Will a future cover of Time Magazine show them all hanging from lamp posts?

Whether this pandemic provokes the rapture of Pence & his 144,000 elect and the much anticipated End Times, or whether it fizzles out, I do heartily wish for one outcome: the disenfranchisement of Donald J Trump, his heirs & assigns, and all those who seem unable to smell the stink of his bullshit.

Thank you Jesus! Amen.

Pft , Feb 29 2020 21:53 utc | 33
Jackrabbit@30

CDC estimates 30 million flu cases each year with 30,000 deaths and 500,000 hospitalizations. I think we are a long way from any real concern. The US is nowhere near as polluted or densely populated as China. Also, I don't think we know how the disease spreads among non Asians. They are keeping that under wraps. Aside from those captives on the cruise ship there really has not been much spread from those who returned from China (visitors or citizens).

Mark2 , Feb 29 2020 21:12 utc | 26
Let s see America pass the 'Build a 2000 bed hospital in ten day test.
... ... ...
Krollchem , Feb 29 2020 21:12 utc | 24
Russ@ 12

Agreed that the US leadership is clueless and their thrashing around in order to protect corporate capitalism is xenophobic and dangerous to the world. Came across this research on a plant bioflavonoid that you might find useful in the treatment of SARS COV-1 (aka COVID-19).

Michel Chretien is setting up trials for combatting COVID-19 using a derivative of quercetin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory plant component.
https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/a-made-in-canada-solution-to-the-coronavirus-outbreak/

In depth interview of this research in Canadian French:
https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1538011/quercetine-coronavirus-michel-chretien-ircm-montreal-patrice-roy

Dr. Michel Chretien's background and research:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H0VJZG2Pjk

Quercetin and the mixture of isoquercitrin have already been found to suppress the arthropod-borne Mayaro virus (MAYV) occurring in forested areas in tropical South America:
https://parasitesandvectors.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1756-3305-7-130

Numerous other research articles on plant bioflavonoids such as Quercetin are readily available in the medical literature.

stephen laudig , Feb 29 2020 20:47 utc | 20
It's always Groundhog Day in the USA.
It's always late August 2005.
It's always New Orleans.
It's always Hurricane Katrina [or something else] on the horizon.
It's always a Republican Administration in power.
Who needs external enemies when we have such internal incompetents available to do the work of sabotage?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day_(film)
Russ , Feb 29 2020 20:21 utc | 12
Neither Reps nor Dems are psychologically capable even of conceiving the kinds of measures the post calls for. Trump's stooge already proclaimed that profit is the one and only goal of any response ("the market must decide"), while the Dem leadership as well can speak and think only in terms of making care "affordable", IOW the main purpose of the whole process still has to be corporate control and profit, even if a few stray Dems do want government to subsidize some victims. The purpose still is money changing hands, profit, commerce. Until the Big One levels the karma of this place that will never change.

It seems almost like fate is teeing up one practice play each time, just to show the US how hollowed out it is, before the real play begins. First was the Iranian reprisal strike which could have been so much more devastating. And now, although it's too early to tell how severe this pest ultimately will be, it looks so far like it won't completely cleanse the place. But if so that won't be for the lack of the US economic and cultural system giving it every opportunity it can use.

I have no doubt the US learns zero from either test case. By now the US is too berserk and stupid to deduce anything from its very survival than confirmation of the excellence of its policy and encouragement to further escalate and accelerate.

Trailer Trash , Feb 29 2020 19:59 utc | 6
The idea that Uncle Sam will do something useful and timely is simply laughable. I have been mostly housebound due to severe illness for the past five years. Imagine a five year quarantine! In all that time I have had zero social support besides receiving a disability pension. I hire a personal shopper every two weeks to bring groceries; everything else comes via UPS or FedEx. I frequently go two weeks at a time and never see anyone except maybe a delivery driver.

There is no system to take care of housebound people. For me there is no medical personal to make housecalls, no social support, no personal care workers, nothing. And this at a time when nationwide there are only small numbers of people like myself. Multiply this non-system by 100 or 1000 and people will die at home and no one will even notice.

Uncle Sam's Day of Reckoning may be fast approaching. And we will have well-earned every bit of suffering headed our way.

Ilya G Poimandres , Feb 29 2020 19:59 utc | 5
Funny thing, b was right - China (and online deliveries as well really) managed to snuff the spread out well, and it seems that the rest of the world and their 'representative bureaucracies' will show all how limited they are when a fast acting 'unknown unknown' (Rummy, how you made sense here!) does its thing.

[Feb 28, 2020] Chas Freeman America in Distress The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change

Highly recommended!
I think everybody should listen the initial 47 minutes
Notable quotes:
"... Wanted to add that the malaise that is gripping the U.S. institutions is completely visible, it is not the opaque and obsequies portrait drawn by the punditry, news organizations, and elites. Seems most obvious to those of us outside the beltway that can clearly delineate between the failure of DC and the projections and marketing to the population that passes as wonky prose. Stupidity lacks the clarity, but brings the temerity making the facade not so subtle. ..."
"... Literally the only endorsement I've heard of Tulsi Gabbard - and a strikingly convincing one ..."
"... Isn't it just a question of the profits in the military business? ..."
Feb 24, 2020 | www.youtube.com

https://youtu.be/mvILLCbOFo4

In the United States and other democracies, political and economic systems still work in theory, but not in practice. Meanwhile, the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior. The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not.

Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, ambassador to Saudi Arabia (during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm), acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Chargé d'affaires at both Bangkok and Beijing. He began his diplomatic career in India but specialized in Chinese affairs. (He was the principal American interpreter during President Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972.)

Ambassador Freeman is a much sought-after public speaker (see http://chasfreeman.net ) and the author of several well-received books on statecraft and diplomacy. His most recent book, America's Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East was published in May 2016. Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige, appeared in March 2013. America's Misadventures in the Middle East came out in 2010, as did the most recent revision of The Diplomat's Dictionary, the companion volume to Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy. He was the editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on "diplomacy."

Chas Freeman studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and in Taiwan, and earned an AB magna cum laude from Yale University as well as a JD from the Harvard Law School. He chairs Projects International, Inc., a Washington-based firm that for more than three decades has helped its American and foreign clients create ventures across borders, facilitating their establishment of new businesses through the design, negotiation, capitalization, and implementation of greenfield investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, franchises, one-off transactions, sales and agencies in other countries.


Trade Prosper , 3 days ago (edited)

Well worth the watch and hope more see it, especially the presentation in the initial 47 minutes. We Americans take our deficits and the $ as the reserve currency far too lightly.

strezztechnoid , 2 days ago

Wanted to add that the malaise that is gripping the U.S. institutions is completely visible, it is not the opaque and obsequies portrait drawn by the punditry, news organizations, and elites. Seems most obvious to those of us outside the beltway that can clearly delineate between the failure of DC and the projections and marketing to the population that passes as wonky prose. Stupidity lacks the clarity, but brings the temerity making the facade not so subtle.

yes it's me , 3 days ago

Literally the only endorsement I've heard of Tulsi Gabbard - and a strikingly convincing one

Bob Trajkoski , 3 days ago

Way the US is Warmongering state and threat to humanity, on the planet.? Nukes in the hand's of gangsters

strezztechnoid , 2 days ago (edited)

No, not mercenaries, this is a protection racket. The U.N. address in late 2018 by the President (the laughter spoke volumes) was about as insightful as a "goodfellas" scene where the shakedown of the little guy is highlighted. It was the speeches by other countries at the meeting that was most informative.

A definitive pullback from U.S. hegemony was palpable, real, and un-moderated. Large and small countries all expressed an unwillingness to be held under the thumb of the global bully. This is the result of having an over abundance of a particle within D.C.; not the electron, photon, or neutron...but the moron.

Frank , 3 days ago

Aura of imperial purpose.

Dan Good , 7 hours ago

Isn't it just a question of the profits in the military business?

[Feb 27, 2020] Being Honest About U.S. Foreign Policy by Daniel Larison

Feb 27, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

There was a statement that Sanders made at the debate last night that deserves more attention, because it gets at the heart of the manufactured controversy over Sanders' own past statements and the glaring hypocrisy that defines so many of our foreign policy discussions. Sanders said this:

Excuse me, occasionally it might be a good idea to be honest about American foreign policy [bold mine-DL], and that includes the fact that America has overthrown governments all over the world in Chile, in Guatemala, in Iran. And when dictatorships, whether it is the Chinese or the Cubans do something good, you acknowledge that. But you don't have to trade love letters with them.

Several of Sanders' opponents last night were not interested in being honest about U.S. foreign policy. If they had been interested, they would have to admit that U.S. politicians acknowledge positive developments that take place under authoritarian regimes all the time, and most of the time they do this to justify U.S. support for those governments. The fact is that both Bloomberg and Biden have sometimes said very positive things about repressive authoritarian states without any caveats. They haven't prefaced their praise by saying that this is an oppressive government that violates human rights. They didn't say anything that could be construed as a criticism. Biden touted Mubarak as an ally and refused to call him a dictator just weeks before his ouster. Bloomberg praised the Saudi crown prince and his Vision 2030 plan last year without qualification:

But Bloomberg has praised another murderous dictator – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS – as recently as last year, long after he was implicated in the murder of Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

In a September 2019 interview with Arab News, Bloomberg praised Mohammed bin Salman's "Saudi Vision 2030" plan, focusing especially on its loosening of some restrictions on Saudi women. "I have had a number of women come up to me and say you don't understand this is the best thing that has ever happened to Saudi Arabia because half the population was cut out and now they are going in the right direction," Bloomberg said. He lauded King Salman and MBS for their efforts "to take that country into the new world," saying, "They have made progress going in the right direction."

He didn't acknowledge that MBS had jailed and tortured some prominent Saudi women activists. And Bloomberg didn't mention that 11 months earlier, U.S. permanent resident and Saudi journalist Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered by MBS's own henchmen. International investigators and the CIA later concluded that the killing was a premeditated crime ordered by MBS himself.

This wasn't just a case of Bloomberg letting optimism get the better of him. By the time he said these things, the increasingly repressive nature of the Saudi government under Mohammed bin Salman was well-known. The many war crimes and atrocities committed by his government in Yemen had been in the news for years (and they continue to happen ), Khashoggi's murder had happened almost a year earlier, and he could not have missed the stories about the ongoing detentions and torture of political activists, including Loujain al-Hathloul , who is still imprisoned to this day. As far as political rights are concerned, Saudi Arabia has clearly been moving in the wrong direction, but Bloomberg chose to ignore all of that.

It would be fair to acknowledge that there have been some positive changes in Saudi Arabia over the last few years at the same time that the crown prince has been cracking down on dissent, killing critics, and consolidating power, but if you're going to talk about those changes it would be important to state opposition and condemnation of the Saudi government's myriad abuses. On that occasion, Bloomberg only offered praise, and there is no evidence that he expressed any concern about Saudi government crimes and abuses until he was starting to run for president. The Saudi Arabia example is a telling one, because for the last several years many American politicians and media outlets embarrassed themselves by lavishing nothing but praise on the Saudi crown prince for his "reforms."

As a matter of U.S. policy, Saudi Arabia has been given a pass for the many atrocities it has committed in Yemen because the current administration places more value on selling them weapons and the previous administration wanted to "reassure" them of our support. The issue here is not just the double standard applied to U.S. clients, but that many of our leaders give these governments a pass on their human rights violations and war crimes in order to justify U.S. policies of support for those clients that cause even more death and destruction. In other words, when U.S. politicians praise authoritarian clients, it is usually part of an effort to whitewash the client government's record and to justify providing them with more weapons and aid. There are real consequences and human costs when politicians turn into cheerleaders for these governments.

Biden was vice president when the shameful policy of supporting the war on Yemen began, and when he was part of the Obama administration there is no evidence that he opposed this policy or spoke against it at any point. He has since turned against that policy, but he had nothing to say about it when he could have done something about it. While Bloomberg was singing the crown prince's praises, Sanders has been one of the leading critics of the Saudi government's crimes and an opponent of U.S. enabling of those crimes. Which one would you rather have making foreign policy decisions as president: Mohammed bin Salman's cheerleader or one of his most vocal critics?

[Feb 26, 2020] Tulsi vs Bernie on borders

Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 8:58 pm GMT

@Jeff Davis

So, while I see Bernie heading for an electoral win quite possibly large enough to prevent the DNC from cheating him out of the Democratic nomination, should he win the Presidency, preventing him from dying of "a heart attack" before his inauguration may well be a challenge. Paranoid? Maybe, but who can say? President Sanders may need an extraordinary level of protection just to stay alive.

That's exactly one of the several reasons he should pick Tulsi Gabbard as his VP. The voters might finally get a little suspicious if she *also* keels over from a "heart attack" age 38. And the "Deep State" hate her so much more than Sanders, they'd hire an extra food-taster for him.

Since today's Democrats are so big on race/gender issues plus "military service," nominating America's first non-white woman as a VP and a war veteran would check all the boxes.

sarz , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 10:11 am GMT
@TG I suspect that the current Bernie on open borders is just a phase before the nomination. A salute to Demo idiocy.

Bernie's close associate Gabbard has been quietly talking sense on the border issue for quite some time.

This is an issue on which Trump has himself waffled a lot and delivered very little. It would be looking a gift horse in the mouth if Bernie were not to run with the border issue against Trump.

RudyM , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 2:33 pm GMT
@sarz

Bernie's close associate Gabbard has been quietly talking sense on the border issue for quite some time.

What has Gabbard said in particular that is so sensible? The best I've heard from her is that, well, we have to have some sort of control of our borders. But she is for another mass amnesty. I can see how that can seem "pragmatic," but it is just an invitation for more large scale illegal immigration.

https://www.numbersusa.com/content/my/congress/11623/gradescoresheet/

Who is a closer associate of Sanders, Gabbard or AOC? Obviously the former can't campaign for Sanders while she herself is running, and Sanders can't boost Gabbard the way he has boosted AOC, but for the moment anyway Sanders looks closer to AOC than to Gabbard.

Jeff Davis , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 10:17 pm GMT
@Ron Unz Bernie/Tulsi is the only ticket I would vote for over Trump.

I sent Trump to DC to burn the place down. Three years later the results are in: the Swamp drained him. That said, he started the revolution. Now comes 2020, and the next chapter.

I still like Trump. He made some progress: destroyed Hillary. And I choose to believe he was sincere in his stated policy goals, but faced unprecedented obstruction -- "Six ways from Sunday". So I don't blame him entirely for not achieving those goals.

But for me, the top priority was ending the wars.

So now, as Bernie takes up the revolutionary cause from the left, I'm waiting to see who gets my vote.

It never occurred to me, but yes, the idea of Tulsi as an insurance policy is another very good reason to pick her.

Will that happen? Will the Sanders team see that? Chuck Rocha and Nina Turner are the only Sanders team members I've seen in action, and they're some wicked smart people. Or will they wuss out and pick a centrist? (Personally, I think Bernie is sufficiently revolutionary not to wuss out, and yet )

Then too, it's still eight months till the election. If challenged, Trump could yet execute any of several winning plays: withdraw from Syria, Iraq and Afghan; pardon Julian Assange; declare his intent to replace Pompeo with Tulsi as Secretary of State. The list is long, and Trump wants to win.

Interesting times.

[Feb 26, 2020] Tulsi vs Bloomberg

Feb 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

TheVigilant1 , 2 hours ago

Separation of Powers is for losers.

DEMIZEN , 2 hours ago

its getting hillarious outhere:

just look at this one:

Democratic megadonor Bernard Schwartz has started reaching out to party leaders to encourage them to coalesce around a candidate for president in order to stop the surge of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

and then we call iran a regime?

Bloodstock , 2 hours ago

Yep he admitted that he bought 'em,,,now trying to cover it up. With the billions that he's got, I'm sure that's just the tip of the iceberg.

PrideOfMammon , 2 hours ago

And you thought the *** takeover of the USA was still ahead.

IT is done~

commiebastid , 2 hours ago

final nails in coffin were hammered in with Citizens united

now this https://www.mintpressnews.com/richard-grenell-israel-lobby-us-intelligence/265181/

notthebriang , 2 hours ago

Cant...

Mention...

Tulsi.

What a bunch of bitches.

Tulsi 2020.

**** their wars.

And **** Them Too.

[Feb 26, 2020] The neoliberal globalists and bankers are engaging in a massive ripoff of the "99%" (although I think the ratio is more like 80-20% rather than 99-1%). But I don't think Bernie has the solution.

Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Dr. X , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 1:10 pm GMT

This article correctly describes how the neoliberal globalists and bankers are engaging in a massive ripoff of the "99%" (although I think the ratio is more like 80-20% rather than 99-1%). But I don't think Bernie has the solution.

Frankly, the Democratic Party had the solution -- the New Deal, which actually did create economic security for the white working class.

But they threw it out the window, and sided with the neoliberal oligarchy to finance their hedonistic post-1960s lifestyle of porn, drugs, miscegenation, integration, and recreational sex.

They've completely destroyed the culture. I don't think there is any solution at this point.

RadicalCenter , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 1:34 pm GMT
It's interesting: Hudson calls Democrat's "the servants' entrance to the Republican Party" and refers to the republican party's agenda in favor of the one percent.

Meanwhile, also on unz.com this very day, Boyd Cathey has a column "The Russians are Coming" wherein he calls Republicans "a sordid and disreputable second cousin of the advancing leftist juggernaut."

Perhaps they are both correct, and each of their own party's ruling apparatus is no better than the "other" party's ruling apparatus at all.

Jake , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 1:46 pm GMT
The motto of both Democrats and Republican Neocons and Republican Country Clubbers: Don't Think; Don't Ask; Pay Taxes; Vote for Us; Never Doubt 'Our' Filthy Rich; Blame 'Them' for Everything 'We' Call Bad.

American Democracy, WASP created democracy, is a whore's game. It is con artistry.

RadicalCenter , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 1:55 pm GMT
@Anon 123 No, there still is enough money even now to take care of the vast unemployed and underemployed class of people, WITHOUT further taxing those of us still working full-time and increasingly struggling.

1. Place natural resources -- oil, gas, and minerals -- under public ownership. Distribute the proceeds from their extraction and sale as an equal dividend to every US Citizen. (As part of the grand bargain, make it MUCH harder to gain US Citizenship, e.g. no birthright citizenship and no chain migration aka "family reunification.") This is a more thorough, more equitable national version of Alaska's resource-funded permanent fund.

How much do executives and shareholders of energy corporations profit each year off of our God-given natural resources? That becomes revenue available for all US Citizens as a universal basic income. (To minimize price/rent inflation, we can start the UBI very low and phase it in gradually over a period of, say, 8 years.)

2. Stop the us government's constant aggressive wars and occupations far from our borders, and close the majority of our bases abroad. Bring the troops home from Europe, Japan, and South Korea -- they can guard our southern border instead, and the new bases will provide a sustained boost to the hundreds of towns around the new bases here at home.

What if we reduced direct war, occupation, and foreign-base spending by $400 billion per year. Seems like a conservative figure. Here is a website that still has 2018 fed gov spending stats -- and seems to undercount military spending -- but a place to start:

https://www.nationalpriorities.org/interactive-data/trade-offs/?state=00&program=14

Of course, since we are borrowing a large chunk of the fed gov's current spending, we should not simply re-spend all of the military savings. Allocate part to other spending, but simply don't spend the rest (thereby borrowing less each year).

3. The current federal "Alternative Minimum (Income) Tax" kicks in at far too low an income level. Conversely, the AMT rate is far too low for extremely high incomes. What a coincidence. Apply the AMT only to household annual income above $2 million, amply adjusted for inflation, but tax the starch out of the oligarchs and billionaires. Yes, they can be forcibly prevented from moving their assets and themselves out of the country. Bloomberg, Zuckerberg, Buffet, Trump, the Sacklers, et al., can be confined and their property confiscated as needed to pay the AMT on their income and a wealth tax.

Even now, the money is there to directly help the American people with no increase in taxes on 99.5% of us, and with less fed gov borrowing than now.

[Feb 26, 2020] Should Bloomberg be prosecuted for election fraud?

Feb 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Boxed Merlot , 6 hours ago

Twenty-one of those were people that I spent $100 million ...

Names? I mean after all, if a guy's gonna bet frn100m on a hand of black jack, maybe he's in a different class than me. I wonder if he has those folks punching his clock, from the reports of his management style, it sounds like he's more interested in controlling people's lives than in getting things done efficiently.

Akzed , 5 hours ago

That's $4.7M apiece. I forget, what are the limits for individual donations?

Bill of Rights , 6 hours ago

So is the FBI going to investigate Bloomturd for admitted. election fraud?

Laughter fills the room.

waspwench , 5 hours ago

Agreed. Mini-Mike is a control freak.

I would never have thought I would ever even contemplate such a thing but I am concluding that there should be limits on any one person's wealth. Mike has $57 billion and we cannot prevent him from using it to buy the government. There is something seriously wrong with such a scenario.

GreatUncle , 6 hours ago

So Bloomberg just admitted he has been positioning himself to become king.

[Feb 26, 2020] With Neoliberal Democrats like with Trotskyites , the only reality is power

The content was slightly edited for clarity
Notable quotes:
"... With Neoliberal Democrats like with Trotskyites , the only reality is power. For everything else, in any conflict between reality and fantasy, fantasy wins every damn time. ..."
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Monotonous Languor , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 3:39 am GMT

in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent.

as if it really mattered. Neoliberal Democrats policies are built on manufactured memes, anecdotal narratives, hyperbolic delusions, ephemeral boogeymen, sweeping generalizations, logical fallacies, and bloated definitions. In other words it's lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, all the way up and down the chain.

With Neoliberal Democrats like with Trotskyites , the only reality is power. For everything else, in any conflict between reality and fantasy, fantasy wins every damn time.

[Feb 26, 2020] What brokered convention would mean for candidates and the Dem party

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... But in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent. The American voting system would be seen to be as oligarchic as that of Rome on the eve of the infighting that ended with Augustus becoming Emperor in 27 BC. ..."
"... Last year I was asked to write a scenario for what might happen with a renewed DNC theft of the election's nomination process. To be technical, I realize, it's not called theft when it's legal. In the aftermath of suits over the 2016 power grab, the courts ruled that the Democrat Party is indeed controlled by the DNC members, not by the voters. When it comes to party machinations and decision-making, voters are subsidiary to the superdelegates in their proverbial smoke-filled room (now replaced by dollar-filled foundation contracts). ..."
"... I could not come up with a solution that does not involve dismantling and restructuring the existing party system. We have passed beyond the point of having a solvable "problem" with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That is what a quandary is. A problem has a solution – by definition. A quandary does not have a solution. There is no way out. The conflict of interest between the Donor Class and the Voting Class has become too large to contain within a single party. It must split. ..."
"... A second-ballot super-delegate scenario would mean that we are once again in for a second Trump term. That option was supported by five of the six presidential contenders on stage in Nevada on Wednesday, February 20. When Chuck Todd asked whether Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar would support the candidate who received the most votes in the primaries (now obviously Bernie Sanders), or throw the nomination to the super-delegates held over from the Obama-Clinton neoliberals (75 of whom already are said to have pledged their support to Bloomberg), each advocated "letting the process play out." That was a euphemism for leaving the choice to the Tony-Blair style leadership that have made the Democrats the servants' entrance to the Republican Party. Like the British Labour Party behind Blair and Gordon Brown, its role is to block any left-wing alternative to the Republican program on behalf of the One Percent. ..."
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

To hear the candidates debate, you would think that their fight was over who could best beat Trump. But when Trump's billionaire twin Mike Bloomberg throws a quarter-billion dollars into an ad campaign to bypass the candidates actually running for votes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, it's obvious that what really is at issue is the future of the Democrat Party. Bloomberg is banking on a brokered convention held by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in which money votes. (If "corporations are people," so is money in today's political world.)

Until Nevada, all the presidential candidates except for Bernie Sanders were playing for a brokered convention. The party's candidates seemed likely to be chosen by the Donor Class, the One Percent and its proxies, not the voting class (the 99 Percent). If, as Mayor Bloomberg has assumed, the DNC will sell the presidency to the highest bidder, this poses the great question: Can the myth that the Democrats represent the working/middle class survive? Or, will the Donor Class trump the voting class?

This could be thought of as "election interference" – not from Russia but from the DNC on behalf of its Donor Class. That scenario would make the Democrats' slogan for 2020 "No Hope or Change." That is, no change from today's economic trends that are sweeping wealth up to the One Percent.

All this sounds like Rome at the end of the Republic in the 1st century BC. The way Rome's constitution was set up, candidates for the position of consul had to pay their way through a series of offices. The process started by going deeply into debt to get elected to the position of aedile, in charge of staging public games and entertainments. Rome's neoliberal fiscal policy did not tax or spend, and there was little public administrative bureaucracy, so all such spending had to be made out of the pockets of the oligarchy. That was a way of keeping decisions about how to spend out of the hands of democratic politics. Julius Caesar and others borrowed from the richest Bloomberg of their day, Crassus, to pay for staging games that would demonstrate their public spirit to voters (and also demonstrate their financial liability to their backers among Rome's One Percent). Keeping election financing private enabled the leading oligarchs to select who would be able to run as viable candidates. That was Rome's version of Citizens United.

But in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent. The American voting system would be seen to be as oligarchic as that of Rome on the eve of the infighting that ended with Augustus becoming Emperor in 27 BC.

Today's pro-One Percent media – CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times have been busy spreading their venom against Sanders. On Sunday, February 23, CNN ran a slot, "Bloomberg needs to take down Sanders, immediately." Given Sanders' heavy national lead, CNN warned, the race suddenly is almost beyond the vote-fixers' ability to fiddle with the election returns. That means that challengers to Sanders should focus their attack on him; they will have a chance to deal with Bloomberg later (by which CNN means, when it is too late to stop him).

The party's Clinton-Obama recipients of Donor Class largesse pretend to believe that Sanders is not electable against Donald Trump. This tactic seeks to attack him at his strongest point. Recent polls show that he is the only candidate who actually would defeat Trump – as they showed that he would have done in 2016.

The DNC knew that, but preferred to lose to Trump than to win with Bernie. Will history repeat itself? Or to put it another way, will this year's July convention become a replay of Chicago in 1968?

A quandary, not a problem

Last year I was asked to write a scenario for what might happen with a renewed DNC theft of the election's nomination process. To be technical, I realize, it's not called theft when it's legal. In the aftermath of suits over the 2016 power grab, the courts ruled that the Democrat Party is indeed controlled by the DNC members, not by the voters. When it comes to party machinations and decision-making, voters are subsidiary to the superdelegates in their proverbial smoke-filled room (now replaced by dollar-filled foundation contracts).

I could not come up with a solution that does not involve dismantling and restructuring the existing party system. We have passed beyond the point of having a solvable "problem" with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That is what a quandary is. A problem has a solution – by definition. A quandary does not have a solution. There is no way out. The conflict of interest between the Donor Class and the Voting Class has become too large to contain within a single party. It must split.

A second-ballot super-delegate scenario would mean that we are once again in for a second Trump term. That option was supported by five of the six presidential contenders on stage in Nevada on Wednesday, February 20. When Chuck Todd asked whether Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar would support the candidate who received the most votes in the primaries (now obviously Bernie Sanders), or throw the nomination to the super-delegates held over from the Obama-Clinton neoliberals (75 of whom already are said to have pledged their support to Bloomberg), each advocated "letting the process play out." That was a euphemism for leaving the choice to the Tony-Blair style leadership that have made the Democrats the servants' entrance to the Republican Party. Like the British Labour Party behind Blair and Gordon Brown, its role is to block any left-wing alternative to the Republican program on behalf of the One Percent.

[Feb 26, 2020] Ironically the DEM party has become the Oligarchs party

Notable quotes:
"... This is the PLAN for all WHITE anglo saxon deplorables goyim Illiterate, Unemployed, violent and give them all the (tax subsidized) drugs opiods, pornography, that their subhuman hallow souls desired white genocide/ ..."
"... There is no quandary. The US democracy has long become "one dollar – one vote". Those who still believe that Dems represent working people should not take IQ test to avoid being deeply disappointed. ..."
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

anonymous [284] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 10:19 pm GMT

Ironically the DEM party has become the Oligarchs party the DEMs debased themselves abandoning the WORKING class long time ago. The DEM recipe for WHITE conservative deplorables is something like DETROIT model a former city the cradle of the Auto/industrial manufacturing is now a desolated city bankrupt, violence, dilapidated etc.

This is the PLAN for all WHITE anglo saxon deplorables goyim Illiterate, Unemployed, violent and give them all the (tax subsidized) drugs opiods, pornography, that their subhuman hallow souls desired white genocide/

AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 11:17 pm GMT
There is no quandary. The US democracy has long become "one dollar – one vote". Those who still believe that Dems represent working people should not take IQ test to avoid being deeply disappointed.

[Feb 25, 2020] Is Bloomberg Buying the DNC If So, What Does He Plan to Do With It

Feb 25, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Our source for this thought is Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report . Ford is one of the more vitriolic defenders of radical change in America, but in this analysis I don't think he's wrong, at least in making the case that Bloomberg is giving himself that option. But do decide for yourself.

Here's his case:

Bloomberg Wants to Swallow the Democrats and Spit Out the Sandernistas

If, somehow, Bernie Sanders is allowed to win the nomination, Michael Bloomberg and other plutocrats will have created a Democratic Party machinery purpose-built to defy Sanders -- as nominee, and even as president.

The details of his argument are here (emphasis added):

Bloomberg has already laid the groundwork to directly seize the party machinery, the old fashioned way: by buying it and stacking it with his own, paid operatives, with a war-against-the-left budget far bigger than the existing Democratic operation. Bloomberg's participation in Wednesday's debate, against all the rules, is proof-of-purchase.

In addition to the nearly million dollar down payment to the party in November that sealed the deal for the debate rules change, Bloomberg has already pledged to pay the full salaries of 500 political staffers for the Democratic National Committee all the way through the November election, no matter who wins the nomination. Essentially, Bloomberg will be running the election for the corporate wing of the party, even if Sanders is the nominee .

In an interview with PBS's Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday night, senior Bloomberg advisor Timothy O'Brien made it clear that the DNC is in no condition to refuse being devoured by Bloomberg, even if they wanted to. O'brien predicted the Republicans will spend at least $900 million on the election, while the DNC has only about $8 million on hand. Even the oligarch's underlings are telegraphing the takeover game plan .

Bloomberg is not so much running for president as making sure that the Democrats don't go "rogue" anti-corporate to accommodate the Sandernistas. He is ensuring that the Democratic Party will be an even more hostile environment for anti-austerity politics than in the past – not in spite of the phenomenal success of the Sanders project, but because of it.

Ford has not much love for Bernie Sanders, as he finds Sanders (and his supporters) weak for sticking with the Democrats. Ford thinks Sanders should go "third party" in his opposition to the corrupt duopoly that owns our politics. That's a point on which we can disagree without disagreeing that the duopoly is indeed corrupt, or that Bloomberg is setting himself up for post-electoral mischief.

Ford also thinks the Party will split in the face of this anti-Sanders resistance, especially if the counter-resistance continues after a President Sanders is inaugurated.

We'll see about all that. Ford may be right in his estimate of Bloomberg's intentions. He may also be right in Bloomberg's ability to carry through if his intentions are indeed as Machiavellian as he says.

On the other hand, Sanders may gather to himself enough control of the DNC and other Party machinery that he does indeed transform it, and with it, slowly, the Party itself. That's certainly been his game plan, and if he does indeed have a movement behind him -- a really big one -- I wouldn't bet against him being right. I myself don't see a way for a third party to succeed in the U.S. unless it's a "virtual third party" -- but more on that at another time.

The Larger Point

So this is our smaller point, that Mike Bloomberg may be positioning himself to "own" the DNC, and with it enough of the Democratic Party, so that he can himself rein in a President Sanders. Is that his goal? It certainly seems possible. "Mini-Mike" is certainly Machiavellian.

Which leads to the larger point: How much rebellion, within the DNC and elsewhere, with or without Bloomberg's interference, will someone like President Sanders encounter and how long will it last? If it lasts throughout his presidency, that's a horse of a different color -- a much darker one.

In fact, the dark horse of today's American politics is the entrenched, corrupt (and frankly, pathological) über-rich and their death grip on all of our governing institutions, including the press. Will that death grip tighten as the Sanders movement grows? And will they continue to squeeze the throats of the working class, even as the victims find their own throats and tighten in response?

Would you bet, in other words, that the rich who rule us wouldn't kill the country that feeds their wealth -- wouldn't spark such a confused and violent rebellion that even they would be forced at last to flee -- won't do all all this out of animus, pique and world-historical hubris?

That bet is even money all the way. They just might try it, just might be willing to strangle the body itself, the political body, just to see how far it they can get by doing it.

Whom the gods would destroy

[Feb 25, 2020] The Democrats' Quandary In a Struggle Between Oligarchy and Democracy, Something Must Give by Michael Hudson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is "and forgive them their debts": Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year ..."
"... Until Nevada, all the presidential candidates except for Bernie Sanders were playing for a brokered convention. The party's candidates seemed likely to be chosen by the Donor Class, the One Percent and its proxies, not the voting class (the 99 Percent). If, as Mayor Bloomberg has assumed, the DNC will sell the presidency to the highest bidder, this poses the great question: Can the myth that the Democrats represent the working/middle class survive? Or, will the Donor Class trump the voting class? ..."
"... This could be thought of as "election interference" – not from Russia but from the DNC on behalf of its Donor Class. That scenario would make the Democrats' slogan for 2020 "No Hope or Change." That is, no from today's economic trends that are sweeping wealth up to the One Percent. ..."
"... But in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent. The American voting system would be seen to be as oligarchic as that of Rome on the eve of the infighting that ended with Augustus becoming Emperor in 27 BC. ..."
"... Today's pro-One Percent media – CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times ..."
"... History of Rome ..."
"... History of Rome ..."
"... Some on Resistance Twitter claim that if Sanders is the nominee, Trump will win a 48 sweep. Possible, but very unlikely. But if it did happen, the MSM would once again dismiss his program as being completely unacceptable to the voting class, and Sanders would trudge back to Vermont never to be heard from again. ..."
"... So if his program requires a decade long follow through, what are the least bad outcomes? If the D's deprive him of the nomination at the convention, even though he has far and away more pledged delegates, the MSM cannot dismiss his program as it would in the two previous scenarios, and his program would live to fight another day. ..."
"... Trump may or may not win. But if he does, the best he can hope for is a skin-of-his-teeth victory. Seriously, he lost the popular vote by a ton to Hillary freaking Clinton. ..."
"... And stuff is beginning to crumble around him on the Right. The Dow drops. Oops Richie Rich gets uneasy. ..."
"... I was more than a little honked when Sanders appeared to roll over and support HRC in 2016 in spite of the obvious fraud perpetrated on him and his supporters, not to mention the subsequent treatment they received at the hands of the DNC and Tom Perez. ..."
"... I find myself wondering if it wouldn't be a good idea for Sanders and his supporters to make it absolutely clear their attempts to work within 'the system' are finished if they are robbed again; maybe even starting work immediately on establishing a party not controlled by Wall Street lickspittle or knuckle-dragging no-nothings? ..."
Feb 25, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is "and forgive them their debts": Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year

To hear the candidates debate, you would think that their fight was over who could best beat Trump. But when Trump's billionaire twin Mike Bloomberg throws a quarter-billion dollars into an ad campaign to bypass the candidates actually running for votes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, it's obvious that what really is at issue is the future of the Democrat Party. Bloomberg is banking on a brokered convention held by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in which money votes. (If "corporations are people," so is money in today's political world.)

Until Nevada, all the presidential candidates except for Bernie Sanders were playing for a brokered convention. The party's candidates seemed likely to be chosen by the Donor Class, the One Percent and its proxies, not the voting class (the 99 Percent). If, as Mayor Bloomberg has assumed, the DNC will sell the presidency to the highest bidder, this poses the great question: Can the myth that the Democrats represent the working/middle class survive? Or, will the Donor Class trump the voting class?

This could be thought of as "election interference" – not from Russia but from the DNC on behalf of its Donor Class. That scenario would make the Democrats' slogan for 2020 "No Hope or Change." That is, no from today's economic trends that are sweeping wealth up to the One Percent.

All this sounds like Rome at the end of the Republic in the 1st century BC. The way Rome's constitution was set up, candidates for the position of consul had to pay their way through a series of offices. The process started by going deeply into debt to get elected to the position of aedile, in charge of staging public games and entertainments. Rome's neoliberal fiscal policy did not tax or spend, and there was little public administrative bureaucracy, so all such spending had to be made out of the pockets of the oligarchy. That was a way of keeping decisions about how to spend out of the hands of democratic politics. Julius Caesar and others borrowed from the richest Bloomberg of their day, Crassus, to pay for staging games that would demonstrate their public spirit to voters (and also demonstrate their financial liability to their backers among Rome's One Percent). Keeping election financing private enabled the leading oligarchs to select who would be able to run as viable candidates. That was Rome's version of Citizens United.

But in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent. The American voting system would be seen to be as oligarchic as that of Rome on the eve of the infighting that ended with Augustus becoming Emperor in 27 BC.

Today's pro-One Percent media – CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times have been busy spreading their venom against Sanders. On Sunday, February 23, CNN ran a slot, "Bloomberg needs to take down Sanders, immediately."[1]Given Sanders' heavy national lead, CNN warned, the race suddenly is almost beyond the vote-fixers' ability to fiddle with the election returns. That means that challengers to Sanders should focus their attack on him; they will have a chance to deal with Bloomberg later (by which CNN means, when it is too late to stop him).

The party's Clinton-Obama recipients of Donor Class largesse pretend to believe that Sanders is not electable against Donald Trump. This tactic seeks to attack him at his strongest point. Recent polls show that he is the only candidate who actually would defeat Trump – as they showed that he would have done in 2016.

The DNC knew that, but preferred to lose to Trump than to win with Bernie. Will history repeat itself? Or to put it another way, will this year's July convention become a replay of Chicago in 1968?

A quandary, not a problem . Last year I was asked to write a scenario for what might happen with a renewed DNC theft of the election's nomination process. To be technical, I realize, it's not called theft when it's legal. In the aftermath of suits over the 2016 power grab, the courts ruled that the Democrat Party is indeed controlled by the DNC members, not by the voters. When it comes to party machinations and decision-making, voters are subsidiary to the superdelegates in their proverbial smoke-filled room (now replaced by dollar-filled foundation contracts).

I could not come up with a solution that does not involve dismantling and restructuring the existing party system. We have passed beyond the point of having a solvable "problem" with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That is what a quandary is. A problem has a solution – by definition. A quandary does not have a solution. There is no way out. The conflict of interest between the Donor Class and the Voting Class has become too large to contain within a single party. It must split.

A second-ballot super-delegate scenario would mean that we are once again in for a second Trump term. That option was supported by five of the six presidential contenders on stage in Nevada on Wednesday, February 20. When Chuck Todd asked whether Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar would support the candidate who received the most votes in the primaries (now obviously Bernie Sanders), or throw the nomination to the super-delegates held over from the Obama-Clinton neoliberals (75 of whom already are said to have pledged their support to Bloomberg), each advocated "letting the process play out." That was a euphemism for leaving the choice to the Tony-Blair style leadership that have made the Democrats the servants' entrance to the Republican Party. Like the British Labour Party behind Blair and Gordon Brown, its role is to block any left-wing alternative to the Republican program on behalf of the One Percent.

This problem would not exist if the United States had a European-style parliamentary system that would enable a third party to obtain space on the ballots in all 50 states. If this were Europe, the new party of Bernie Sanders, AOC et al. would exceed 50 percent of the votes, leaving the Wall Street democrats with about the same 8 percent share that similar neoliberal democratic parties have in Europe ( e.g ., Germany's hapless neoliberalized Social Democrats), that is, Klobocop territory as voters moved to the left. The "voting Democrats," the 99 Percent, would win a majority leaving the Old Neoliberal Democrats in the dust.

The DNC's role is to prevent any such challenge. The United States has an effective political duopoly, as both parties have created such burdensome third-party access to the ballot box in state after state that Bernie Sanders decided long ago that he had little alternative but to run as a Democrat.

The problem is that the Democrat Party does not seem to be reformable. That means that voters still may simply abandon it – but that will simply re-elect the Democrats' de facto 2020 candidate, Donald Trump. The only hope would be to shrink the party into a shell, enabling the old guard to go way so that the party could be rebuilt from the ground up.

But the two parties have created a legal duopoly reinforced with so many technical barriers that a repeat of Ross Perot's third party (not to mention the old Socialist Party, or the Whigs in 1854) would take more than one election cycle to put in place. For the time being, we may expect another few months of dirty political tricks to rival those of 2016 as Obama appointee Tom Perez is simply the most recent version of Florida fixer Debbie Schultz-Wasserman (who gave a new meaning to the Wasserman Test).

So we are in for another four years of Donald Trump. But by 2024, how tightly will the U.S. economy find itself tied in knots?

The Democrats' Vocabulary of Deception

How I would explain Bernie's program. Every economy is a mixed economy. But to hear Michael Bloomberg and his fellow rivals to Bernie Sanders explain the coming presidential election, one would think that an economy must be either capitalist or, as Bloomberg put it, Communist. There is no middle ground, no recognition that capitalist economies have a government sector, which typically is called the "socialist" sector – Social Security, Medicare, public schooling, roads, anti-monopoly regulation, and public infrastructure as an alternative to privatized monopolies extracting economic rent.

What Mr. Bloomberg means by insisting that it's either capitalism or communism is an absence of government social spending and regulation. In practice this means oligarchic financial control, because every economy is planned by some sector. The key is, who will do the planning? If government refrains from taking the lead in shaping markets, then Wall Street takes over – or the City in London, Frankfurt in Germany, and the Bourse in France.

Most of all, the aim of the One Percent is to distract attention from the fact that the economy is polarizing – and is doing so at an accelerating rate. National income statistics are rigged to show that "the economy" is expanding. The pretense is that everyone is getting richer and living better, not more strapped. But the reality is that all the growth in GDP has accrued to the wealthiest 5 Percent since the Obama Recession began in 2008. Obama bailed out the banks instead of the 10 million victimized junk-mortgage holders. The 95 Percent's share of GDP has shrunk.

The GDP statistics do not show is that "capital gains" – the market price of stocks, bonds and real estate owned mainly by the One to Five Percent – has soared, thanks to Obama's $4.6 trillion Quantitative Easing pumped into the financial markets instead of into the "real" economy in which wage-earners produce goods and services.

How does one "stay the course" in an economy that is polarizing? Staying the course means continuing the existing trends that are concentrating more and more wealth in the hands of the One Percent, that is, the Donor Class – while loading down the 99 Percent with more debt, paid to the One Percent (euphemized as the economy's "savers"). All "saving" is at the top of the pyramid. The 99 Percent can't afford to save much after paying their monthly "nut" to the One Percent.

If this economic polarization is impoverishing most of the population while sucking wealth and income and political power up to the One Percent, then to be a centrist is to be the candidate of oligarchy. It means not challenging the economy's structure.

Language is being crafted to confuse voters into imagining that their interest is the same as that of the Donor Class of rentiers , creditors and financialized corporate businesses and rent-extracting monopolies. The aim is to divert attention from voters' their own economic interest as wage-earners, debtors and consumers. It is to confuse voters not to recognize that without structural reform, today's "business as usual" leaves the One Percent in control.

So to call oneself a "centrist" is simply a euphemism for acting as a lobbyist for siphoning up income and wealth to the One Percent. In an economy that is polarizing, the choice is either to favor them instead of the 99 Percent.

That certainly is not the same thing as stability. Centrism sustains the polarizing dynamic of financialization, private equity, and the Biden-sponsored bankruptcy "reform" written by his backers of the credit-card companies and other financial entities incorporated in his state of Delaware. He was the senator for the that state's Credit Card industry, much as former Democratic VP candidate Joe Lieberman was the senator from Connecticut's Insurance Industry.

A related centrist demand is that of Buttigieg's and Biden's aim to balance the federal budget. This turns out to be a euphemism for cutting back Social Security, Medicare and relate social spending ("socialism") to pay for America's increasing militarization, subsidies and tax cuts for the One Percent. Sanders rightly calls this "socialism for the rich." The usual word for this is oligarchy . That seems to be a missing word in today's mainstream vocabulary.

The alternative to democracy is oligarchy. As Aristotle noted already in the 4 th

Confusion over the word "socialism" may be cleared up by recognizing that every economy is mixed, and every economy is planned – by someone. If not the government in the public interest, then by Wall Street and other financial centers in their interest. They fought against an expanding government sector in every economy today, calling it socialism – without acknowledging that the alternative, as Rosa Luxemburg put it, is barbarism.

I think that Sanders is using the red-letter word "socialism" and calling himself a "democratic socialist" to throw down the ideological gauntlet and plug himself into the long and powerful tradition of socialist politics. Paul Krugman would like him to call himself a social democrat. But the European parties of this name have discredited this label as being centrist and neoliberal. Sanders wants to emphasize that a quantum leap, a phase change is in order.

If he can be criticized for waving a needlessly red flag, it is his repeated statement that his program is designed for the "working class." What he means are wage-earners and this includes the middle class. Even those who make over $100,000 a year are still wage earners, and typically are being squeezed by a predatory financial sector, a predatory medical insurance sector, drug companies and other monopolies.

The danger in this terminology is that most workers like to think of themselves as middle class, because that is what they would like to rise into. That is especially he case for workers who own their own home (even if mortgage represents most of the value, so that most of the home's rental value is paid to banks, not to themselves as part of the "landlord class"), and have an education (even if most of their added income is paid out as student debt service), and their own car to get to work (involving automobile debt).

The fact is that even $100,000 executives have difficulty living within the limits of their paycheck, after paying their monthly nut of home mortgage or rent, medical care, student loan debt, credit-card debt and automobile debt, not to mention 15% FICA paycheck withholding and state and local tax withholding.

Of course, Sanders' terminology is much more readily accepted by wage-earners as the voters whom Hillary called "Deplorables" and Obama called "the mob with pitchforks," from whom he was protecting his Wall Street donors whom he invited to the White House in 2009. But I think there is a much more appropriate term: the 99 Percent, made popular by Occupy Wall Street. That is Bernie's natural constituency. It serves to throw down the gauntlet between democracy and oligarchy, and between socialism and barbarism, by juxtaposing the 99 Percent to the One Percent.

The Democratic presidential debate on February 25 will set the stage for Super Tuesday's "beauty contest" to gauge what voters want. The degree of Sanders' win will help determine whether the byzantine Democrat party apparatus that actually will be able to decide on the Party's candidate. The expected strong Sanders win is will make the choice stark: either to accept who the voters choose – namely, Bernie Sanders – or to pick a candidate whom voters already have rejected, and is certain to lose to Donald Trump in November.

If that occurs, the Democrat Party will evaporate as its old Clinton-Obama guard is no longer able to protect its donor class on Wall Street and corporate America. Too many Sanders voters would stay home or vote for the Greens. That would enable the Republicans to maintain control of the Senate and perhaps even grab back the House of Representatives.

But it would be dangerous to assume that the DNC will be reasonable. Once again, Roman history provides a "business as usual" scenario. The liberal German politician Theodor Mommsen published his History of Rome in 1854-56, warning against letting an aristocracy block reform by controlling the upper house of government (Rome's Senate, or Britain House of Lords). The leading families who overthrew the last king in 509 BC created a Senate chronically prone to being stifled by its leaders' "narrowness of mind and short-sightedness that are the proper and inalienable privileges of all genuine patricianism."[2]

These qualities also are the distinguishing features of the DNC. Sanders had better win big!

________________

[1] https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/22/opinions/bloomberg-needs-to-take-down-sanders-lockhart/index.html . Joe Lockhart, opinion. For the MSNBC travesty see from February 23, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/23/msnbc-full-blown-freakout-mode-bernie-sanders-cements-status-democratic-frontrunner, by Jake Johnson.

[2]Mommsen, History of Rome , 1911: 268.


divadab , February 25, 2020 at 7:55 am

I wonder how much of the rot at the top of the Dem party is simple dementia. By the age of 70, half of people have some level of dementia. Consider Joe Biden – is anyone in the public sphere going to state the obvious – that he has dementia and as such is unfit for office?

Fred1 , February 25, 2020 at 8:32 am

First, my priors. I voted for Sanders in 2016, will vote for him in 2020, and expect him to be elected president. Further I believe that where we find ourselves today is the result of at least 40 years of intentional bi-partisan policies. Both parties are responsible.

If Sanders, upon being elected, were able to snap his fingers and call into existence his entire program, it would immediately face a bi-partisan opposition that would be funded by billions of dollars, which would be willing to take as long as necessary, even decades, to roll it back.

Just electing Sanders is only the first step. There must be a committed, determined follow through that must be willing to last decades as well for his program to stick. And there will be defeats along the way.

Several observations. If Hillary had beaten Trump, Sanders would have trudged back to Vermont and would never have been heard from again. The MSM would have dismissed his program as being completely unacceptable to the voting class. But she didn't, so here we are, which is fantastic.

Some on Resistance Twitter claim that if Sanders is the nominee, Trump will win a 48 sweep. Possible, but very unlikely. But if it did happen, the MSM would once again dismiss his program as being completely unacceptable to the voting class, and Sanders would trudge back to Vermont never to be heard from again.

So if his program requires a decade long follow through, what are the least bad outcomes? If the D's deprive him of the nomination at the convention, even though he has far and away more pledged delegates, the MSM cannot dismiss his program as it would in the two previous scenarios, and his program would live to fight another day.

If he loses to Trump, but closely, which can mean a lot of different things, his program would live to fight another day. Moreover, if the D's are seen to actively collude with Trump, this less bad outcome would be even better.

I am an old geezer and don't expect to live long enough to see how all of this plays out. But I am very optimistic about his program's long term prospects. There is only one bad outcome, a Trump 48 state sweep, which I consider very unlikely. But most importantly, the best outcome, his election, and the two least bad outcomes, the D's stealing the nomination from him or his losing a close general election, all still will require a decades long commitment to make his program permanent.

I wish I were younger.

a different chris , February 25, 2020 at 8:55 am

>a Trump 48 state sweep

Where do people get this? Take a deep breath. Trump may or may not win. But if he does, the best he can hope for is a skin-of-his-teeth victory. Seriously, he lost the popular vote by a ton to Hillary freaking Clinton.

And stuff is beginning to crumble around him on the Right. The Dow drops. Oops Richie Rich gets uneasy.

Hammered by a 5 star general. The Deplorables kids were raised to look up to generals, not New Yawk dandys. How does this affect them? And it's still February.

Sailor Bud , February 25, 2020 at 8:34 am

Just an FYI: The five-volume Mommsen "History of Rome" referenced in the text is available in English on Project Gutenberg, free and legal to download. Probably everyone here knows this, but just in case

Dan , February 25, 2020 at 8:44 am

How about Bernie call himself "Roosevelt Democrat" instead of "Democratic Socialist". It would give all those in the senior demographic a better understanding of what Sander's policies mean to them as opposed to the scary prospect of the "Socialist" label.

Oxley Creek Boy , February 25, 2020 at 10:12 am

The Democrats should have been slowly disarming the word "socialist" for at least the last decade. In principle, it's not difficult – as Michael Hudson says – "Every economy is a mixed economy" – and in a very real sense everyone's a socialist (even if only unconsciously). I'm not saying that bit of rhetorical jujitsu would magically turn conservative voters progressive but you'll never get to the point where you can defend socialist programs on the merits if you always dodge that fight. It's just a shame that Bernie Sanders has to do it all in a single election cycle and I don't think choosing a different label now would help him much.

flora , February 25, 2020 at 11:37 am

He could even compare himself to the earlier Roosevelt: Teddy Roosevelt.

By 1900 the old bourbon Dem party was deeply split between its old, big business and banking wing – the bourbons – and the rising progressive/populist wing. It was GOP pres Roosevelt who first pushed through progressive programs like breaking up railroad and commodity monopolies, investigating and regulating meat packing and fraudulent patent medicines, etc. Imagine that.

lyman alpha blob , February 25, 2020 at 1:30 pm

I just finished Stoller's book Goliath and according to him, Teddy wasn't quite as progressive as we are often led to believe. He wasn't so much opposed to those with enormous wealth – he just wanted them to answer to him. He did do the things you mentioned, but after sending the message to the oligarchs, he then became friendly with them once he felt he'd brought them to heel. He developed quite the soft spot for JP Morgan, according to Stoller.

TR wanted to be the Boss, the center of attention with everyone looking up to him. As one of his relatives said, he wanted to be the baby at every christening and the corpse at every funeral.

I find Bernie to be a lot more humble.

Balakirev , February 25, 2020 at 12:51 pm

I have a sense that changing his party affiliation label at any point in time since Sanders began running for president in 2016 would be a godsend to his enemies in both hands of the Duopoly. They'd tar him loudly as a hypocrite without an ounce of integrity, using personal politics to distract from the issues.

Meanwhile, we can expect to see the Socialist (and Communist, and Russia-Russia-Russia) nonsense reiterated as long as Sanders has strong visibility. He's extremely dangerous to both parties and their owners. I don't' believe the DNC will let him take the convention, but if he does, I'll bet the Dems give him minimal support and hope he fails–better the devil you know, etc.

political economist , February 25, 2020 at 9:56 am

It's time to put your money in reality futures by putting all that you can into supporting Bernie, AOC, etc. and all your local candidates that support at least democratic socialism and ourrevolution the DSA Justice Dems or other groups that have people but need money. I was having a conversation with a friend who was complaining that he was getting too many emails from Bernie asking for money after he had given the campaign a "modest amount". My suggestion was in honor of his children and grandchildren he should instead GIVE 'TIL IT FEELS GOOD. My spouse and I, I told him, gave the max to Bernie and now we don't give upset when he asks for more. There will likely never be a moment like this in history and there may not be much of a history if things go the wrong way now. He agreed.

Debra D. , February 25, 2020 at 10:11 am

Exactly right. I gave Bernie the max in 2019 and will keep giving throughout 2020. This campaign is about not just me, but all of us. It's now. We must fight for this change as has always been the historical precedent.

BillC , February 25, 2020 at 11:55 am

OK, you two gave me the push I needed to max out my contributions to Bernie too. Let's hope Bernie's (oops OUR) bandwagon keeps gathering steam!

Arizona Slim , February 25, 2020 at 12:41 pm

Another 2019 Bernie maxer here.

I feel blessed to have been able to give at this level. And I believe that I did this for a lot of people who aren't able to donate at all.

steven , February 25, 2020 at 11:13 am

I was more than a little honked when Sanders appeared to roll over and support HRC in 2016 in spite of the obvious fraud perpetrated on him and his supporters, not to mention the subsequent treatment they received at the hands of the DNC and Tom Perez.

I am coming to understand that might have been necessary within the context of one last desperate attempt to work with the Democratic party. But now I find myself wondering if it wouldn't be a good idea for Sanders and his supporters to make it absolutely clear their attempts to work within 'the system' are finished if they are robbed again; maybe even starting work immediately on establishing a party not controlled by Wall Street lickspittle or knuckle-dragging no-nothings?

Little as it has been the answer has a lot to do with my willingness to pour more money into repetitively self-defeating behavior.

HotFlash , February 25, 2020 at 12:49 pm

Bernie is a long-distance runner and strategizes like one. First work on finishing your races. Then worry about where you place.

Debra R. , February 25, 2020 at 11:28 am

I am a somewhat old geezer, too, who caucused for Bernie in 2016 and 2020. This article is very good and helps me understand why I feel the way I do. I was disappointed in Obama, who didn't follow through on the things I cared about, and I was devastated when Clinton was crowned the Democratic nominee well before the Convention, all the while holding onto a smidgen of hope that somehow Bernie would pull through as the nominee.

I was ecstatic when Bernie announced his candidacy for 2020. He is our only hope, and now we have a second chance. But now I am spending half my time screaming at people on tv and online who can't even hear me, and even if they could, they don't give a s–t what I think. It's Clinton 2.0–same thing all over again, four years later. Just who do these people (DNC, MSM, and others with a voice) think they are, to decide for the Democratic voters which candidate will be the nominee, who won't be the nominee, without regard to what the voters want? They are a bunch of pompous as–s who have some other motive that I am not savvy enough to understand. Is it about money in their pockets or what?

It should be as simple as this–Bernie is leading in the polls, if they are to be believed, and good people of all demographics want him to be our next President. He is a serious contender for the nomination. Show the man some much-earned respect and put people on MSM and publish articles by writers who help us understand what the anti-Bernie panic is about and why we shouldn't panic. Help us to explain his plans if he hasn't explained it thoroughly enough instead of calling him crazy. But to dismiss him as if he has the plague is not furthering the truth, and it is a serious injustice to the voting public. Naked Capitalism can't do it alone.

HotFlash , February 25, 2020 at 12:58 pm

There is a lot of good analysis out there, mainly on Youtube. I particularly like The Hill's Rising. A young progressive Democrat and a young progressive Republican (who even knew there was such a thing!) 'splain a lot of the antipathy. Another good source is Nomiki Konst, who is working on reforming the Dem party from within. Here she talks to RJ Eskow about how the DNC is structured and how she hopes to provide tools for rank-and-file Dems to wrest the levers of power from the establishment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ7wm6DCPV4

notabanktoadie , February 25, 2020 at 12:32 pm

Private sector cannot operate without same. Harrold

The problem is that the population, including FDR in his time, have been duped into believing that the private sector REQUIRES government privileges for private depository institutions, aka "the banks."

So currently we have no truly private sector to speak of but businesses and industry using the public's credit but for private gain.

Susan the other , February 25, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Last night's Democracy Now was interesting. Amy seems to be less of a commie hater than she recently was with her participation in the Russia-Russia-Russia smears against Trump. She held court last night with Paul Krugman and Richard Wolff discussing just exactly what "socialism" means. It was a great performance.

Krug seemed a little shellshocked about the whole discussion and he said we shouldn't even use the term "socialism" at all because all the things Bernie wants are just as capitalist – that capitalism encompasses socialism. But he stuttered when he discussed "single-payer" which he claimed he supported – his single payer is like Pete Buttigieg's single-payer-eventually. He tried to change the subject and Amy brought him straight back.

Then Wolff, who was in excellent form, informed the table that "socialism" is a moveable feast because it can be and has been many things for the advancement of societies, etc. But the term always means the advancement of society. Then Krug dropped a real bomb – he actually said (this is almost a quote) that recently he had been informed by Powell that debt isn't really all that important.

Really, Krug said that. And he tried to exetend that thought to the argument that anybody can provide social benefits – it doesn't require a self-proclaimed "socialist".

Richard Wolff confronted that slide with pointing out that it hasn't happened yet – and he left Krug with no excuses. It was quite the showdown. Nice Richard Wolff is so firmly in Bernie's camp.

Krug looked evasive – and I kept wishing they had invited Steve Keen to participate.

[Feb 23, 2020] Welcome to the American Regime

Highly recommended!
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

4 hours ago

Is America a 'regime'?

In the language of the American Oligarchy and it's tame and owned presstitutes on the MSM, any country targeted for destabilisation, destruction and rape – either because it doesn't do what America tells it do (Russia), because it has rich natural resources or has a 'socialist' state (Venezuela) or because lunatic neo-cons and even more lunatic Christian Evangelicals (hoping to provoke The End Times ) want it to happen (Syria and Iran) – is first labelled as a 'regime'.

That's because the word 'regime' is associated with dictatorships and human rights abuses and establishing a non-compliant country as a 'regime' is the US government's and MSM's first step at manufacturing public consent for that country's destruction.

Unfortunately if you sit back and talk a cool-headed, factual look at actions and attitudes that we're told constitute a regime then you have to conclude that America itself is 'a regime'.

So, here's why America is a regime:

4 hours ago

America's Military is Killing – Americans!

In 2018, Republicans (AND Democrats) voted to cut $23 billion dollars from the budget for food stamps (42 million Americans currently receive them).

Fats forward to 21 December 2019 and Donald Trump signed off on a US defense budget of a mind boggling $738 billion dollars.

To put that in context  --  the annual US government Education budget is sround $68 billion dollars.

Did you get that  --  $738 billion on defense, $68 billion on education?

That means the government spends more than ten times on preparations to kill people than it does on preparing children for life in the adult world.

Wow!

How ******* psychotic and death-affirming is that? It gets even worse when you consider that that $716 billion dollars is only the headline figure – it doesn't include whatever the Deep State siphons away into black-ops and kick backs. And .America's military isn't even very good – it's hasn't 'won' a conflict since the second world war, it's proud (and horrifically expensive) aircraft carriers have been rendered obsolete by Chinese and Russian hypersonic missiles and its 'cutting edge' weapons are so good (not) that everyone wants to buy the cheaper and better Russian versions: classic example – the F-35 jet program will screw $1.5 TRILLION (yes, TRILLION) dollars out of US taxpayers but but it's a piece of **** plane that doesn't work properly which the Russians laughingly refer to as 'a flying piano'.

In contrast to America's free money for the military industrial complex defense budget, China spends $165 billion and Russia spends $61 billion on defense and I don't see anyone attacking them (well, except America, that is be it only by proxy for now).

Or, put things another way. The United Kingdom spent £110 billion on it's National Health Service in 2017. That means, if you get sick in England, you can see a doctor for free. If you need drugs you pay a prescription charge of around $11.50(nothing, if unemployed, a child or elderly), whatever the market price of the drugs. If you need to see a consultant or medical specialist, you'll see one for free. If you need an operation, you'll get one for free. If you need on-going care for a chronic illness, you'll get it for free.

Fully socialised, free at the point of access, healthcare for all. How good is that?

US citizens could have that, too.

Allowing for the US's larger population, the UK National Health Service transplanted to America could cost about $650 billion a year. That would still leave $66 billion dollars left over from the proposed defense budget of $716 billion to finance weapons of death and destruction   --  more than those 'evil Ruskies' spend.

The US has now been at war, somewhere in the world (i.e in someone elses' country where the US doesn't have any business being) continuously for 28 years. Those 28 years have coincided with (for the 'ordinary people', anyway) declining living standards, declining real wages, increased police violence, more repression and surveillance, declining lifespans, declining educational and health outcomes, more every day misery in other words, America's military is killing Americans. Oh, and millions of people in far away countries (although, obviously, those deaths are in far away countries and they are of brown-skinned people so they don't really count, do they?).

Time for a change, perhaps?

[Feb 23, 2020] Where Have You Gone, Smedley Butler The Last General To Criticize US Imperialism by Danny Sjursen

Here's a link to a free online copy of War is a Racket if anyone wants to read it. It's a short read. Pretty good too. https://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html
From comments (Is the USA government now a "regime"): In 2018, Republicans (AND Democrats) voted to cut $23 billion dollars from the budget for food stamps (42 million Americans currently receive them). Regimes disobey international law. Like America's habit of blowing up wedding parties with drones or the illegal presence of its troops in Syria, Iraq and God knows where else. Regimes carry out illegal assassination programs – I need say no more here than Qasem Soleimani. Regimes use their economic power to bully and impose their will – sanctioning countries even when they know those sanctions will, for example, be responsible for the death of 500,000 Iraqi children (the 'price worth paying', remember?). Regimes renege on international treaties – like Iran nuclear treaty, for example. Regimes imprison and hound whistle-blowers – like Chelsea manning and Julian Assange. Regimes imprison people. America is the world leader in incarceration. It has 2.2 million people in its prisons (more than China which has 5 times the US's population), that's 25% of the world's prison population for 5% of the world's population, Why does America need so many prisoners? Because it has a massive, prison-based, slave labour business that is hugely profitable for the oligarchy.
Regimes censor free speech. Just recently, we've seen numerous non-narrative following journalists and organisations kicked off numerous social media platforms. I didn't see lots of US senators standing up and saying 'I disagree completely with what you say but I will fight to the death to preserve your right to say it'. Did you?
Regimes are ruled by cliques. I don't need to tell you that America is kakistocratic Oligarchy ruled by a tiny group of evil, rich, Old Men, do I?
Regimes keep bad company. Their allies are other 'regimes', and they're often lumped together by using another favourite presstitute term – 'axis of evil'. America has its own little axis of evil. It's two main allies are Saudi Arabia – a homophobic, women hating, head chopping, terrorist financing state currently engaged in a war of genocide (assisted by the US) in Yemen – and the racist, genocidal undeclared nuclear power state of Israel.
Regimes commit human rights abuses. Here we could talk about…ooh…let's think. Last year's treatment of child refugees from Latin America, the execution of African Americans for 'walking whilst black' by America's militarized, criminal police force or the millions of dollars in cash and property seized from entirely innocent Americans by that same police force under 'civil forfeiture' laws or maybe we could mention huge American corporations getting tax refunds whilst ordinary Americans can't afford decent, effective healthcare.
Regimes finance terrorism. Mmmm….just like America financed terrorists to help destroy Syria and Libya and invested $5 billion dollars to install another regime – the one of anti-Semites and Nazis in Ukraine…
Highly recommended!
Some comments edited for clarity...
Notable quotes:
"... But after retirement, Smedley Butler changed his tune. ..."
"... "I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service... And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers." ..."
"... Smedley Butler's Marine Corps and the military of his day was, in certain ways, a different sort of organization than today's highly professionalized armed forces. History rarely repeats itself, not in a literal sense anyway. Still, there are some disturbing similarities between the careers of Butler and today's generation of forever-war fighters. All of them served repeated tours of duty in (mostly) unsanctioned wars around the world. Butler's conflicts may have stretched west from Haiti across the oceans to China, whereas today's generals mostly lead missions from West Africa east to Central Asia, but both sets of conflicts seemed perpetual in their day and were motivated by barely concealed economic and imperial interests. ..."
"... When Smedley Butler retired in 1931, he was one of three Marine Corps major generals holding a rank just below that of only the Marine commandant and the Army chief of staff. Today, with about 900 generals and admirals currently serving on active duty, including 24 major generals in the Marine Corps alone, and with scores of flag officers retiring annually, not a single one has offered genuine public opposition to almost 19 years worth of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars . As for the most senior officers, the 40 four-star generals and admirals whose vocal antimilitarism might make the biggest splash, there are more of them today than there were even at the height of the Vietnam War, although the active military is now about half the size it was then. Adulated as many of them may be, however, not one qualifies as a public critic of today's failing wars. ..."
"... The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; Vietnam veteran and onetime West Point history instructor, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich ; and Iraq veteran and Afghan War whistleblower , retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis . All three have proven to be genuine public servants, poignant voices, and -- on some level -- cherished personal mentors. For better or worse, however, none carry the potential clout of a retired senior theater commander or prominent four-star general offering the same critiques. ..."
"... Consider it an irony of sorts that this system first received criticism in our era of forever wars when General David Petraeus, then commanding the highly publicized " surge " in Iraq, had to leave that theater of war in 2007 to serve as the chair of that selection committee. The reason: he wanted to ensure that a twice passed-over colonel, a protégé of his -- future Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster -- earned his star. ..."
"... At the roots of this system lay the obsession of the American officer corps with " professionalization " after the Vietnam War debacle. This first manifested itself in a decision to ditch the citizen-soldier tradition, end the draft, and create an "all-volunteer force." The elimination of conscription, as predicted by critics at the time, created an ever-growing civil-military divide, even as it increased public apathy regarding America's wars by erasing whatever " skin in the game " most citizens had. ..."
"... One group of generals, however, reportedly now does have it out for President Trump -- but not because they're opposed to endless war. Rather, they reportedly think that The Donald doesn't "listen enough to military advice" on, you know, how to wage war forever and a day. ..."
"... That beast, first identified by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is now on steroids as American commanders in retirement regularly move directly from the military onto the boards of the giant defense contractors, a reality which only contributes to the dearth of Butlers in the military retiree community. For all the corruption of his time, the Pentagon didn't yet exist and the path from the military to, say, United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, or other typical corporate giants of that moment had yet to be normalized for retiring generals and admirals. Imagine what Butler would have had to say about the modern phenomenon of the " revolving door " in Washington. ..."
"... Today, generals don't seem to have a thought of their own even in retirement. And more's the pity... ..."
"... Am I the only one to notice that Hollywood and it's film distributors have gone full bore on "war" productions, glorifying these historical events while using poetic license to rewrite history. Prepping the numbheads. ..."
"... Forget rank. As Mr Sjursen implies, dissidents are no longer allowed in the higher ranks. "They" made sure to fix this as Mr Butler had too much of a mind of his own (US education system also programmed against creative, charismatic thinkers, btw). ..."
"... Today, the "Masters of the Permawars" refer to the international extortion, MIC, racket as "Defending American Interests"! .....With never any explanation to the public/American taxpayer just what "American Interests" the incredible expenditures of American lives, blood, and treasure are being defended! ..."
"... "The Americans follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." - Jospeh Goebbels ..."
"... The greatest anti-imperialist of our times is Michael Parenti: ..."
"... The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. ..."
"... If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. ..."
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Danny Sjursen via TomDispatch.com,

There once lived an odd little man - five feet nine inches tall and barely 140 pounds sopping wet - who rocked the lecture circuit and the nation itself. For all but a few activist insiders and scholars, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler is now lost to history. Yet more than a century ago, this strange contradiction of a man would become a national war hero, celebrated in pulp adventure novels, and then, 30 years later, as one of this country's most prominent antiwar and anti-imperialist dissidents.

Raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and educated in Quaker (pacifist) schools, the son of an influential congressman, he would end up serving in nearly all of America's " Banana Wars " from 1898 to 1931. Wounded in combat and a rare recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor, he would retire as the youngest, most decorated major general in the Marines.

A teenage officer and a certified hero during an international intervention in the Chinese Boxer Rebellion of 1900, he would later become a constabulary leader of the Haitian gendarme, the police chief of Philadelphia (while on an approved absence from the military), and a proponent of Marine Corps football. In more standard fashion, he would serve in battle as well as in what might today be labeled peacekeeping , counterinsurgency , and advise-and-assist missions in Cuba, China, the Philippines, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, France, and China (again). While he showed early signs of skepticism about some of those imperial campaigns or, as they were sardonically called by critics at the time, " Dollar Diplomacy " operations -- that is, military campaigns waged on behalf of U.S. corporate business interests -- until he retired he remained the prototypical loyal Marine.

But after retirement, Smedley Butler changed his tune. He began to blast the imperialist foreign policy and interventionist bullying in which he'd only recently played such a prominent part. Eventually, in 1935 during the Great Depression, in what became a classic passage in his memoir, which he titled "War Is a Racket," he wrote:

"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service... And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers."

Seemingly overnight, the famous war hero transformed himself into an equally acclaimed antiwar speaker and activist in a politically turbulent era. Those were, admittedly, uncommonly anti-interventionist years, in which veterans and politicians alike promoted what (for America, at least) had been fringe ideas. This was, after all, the height of what later pro-war interventionists would pejoratively label American " isolationism ."

Nonetheless, Butler was unique (for that moment and certainly for our own) in his unapologetic amenability to left-wing domestic politics and materialist critiques of American militarism. In the last years of his life, he would face increasing criticism from his former admirer, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the military establishment, and the interventionist press. This was particularly true after Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany invaded Poland and later France. Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind, hindsight undoubtedly proved Butler's virulent opposition to U.S. intervention in World War II wrong.

Nevertheless, the long-term erasure of his decade of antiwar and anti-imperialist activism and the assumption that all his assertions were irrelevant has proven historically deeply misguided. In the wake of America's brief but bloody entry into the First World War, the skepticism of Butler (and a significant part of an entire generation of veterans) about intervention in a new European bloodbath should have been understandable. Above all, however, his critique of American militarism of an earlier imperial era in the Pacific and in Latin America remains prescient and all too timely today, especially coming as it did from one of the most decorated and high-ranking general officers of his time. (In the era of the never-ending war on terror, such a phenomenon is quite literally inconceivable.)

Smedley Butler's Marine Corps and the military of his day was, in certain ways, a different sort of organization than today's highly professionalized armed forces. History rarely repeats itself, not in a literal sense anyway. Still, there are some disturbing similarities between the careers of Butler and today's generation of forever-war fighters. All of them served repeated tours of duty in (mostly) unsanctioned wars around the world. Butler's conflicts may have stretched west from Haiti across the oceans to China, whereas today's generals mostly lead missions from West Africa east to Central Asia, but both sets of conflicts seemed perpetual in their day and were motivated by barely concealed economic and imperial interests.

Nonetheless, whereas this country's imperial campaigns of the first third of the twentieth century generated a Smedley Butler, the hyper-interventionism of the first decades of this century hasn't produced a single even faintly comparable figure. Not one. Zero. Zilch. Why that is matters and illustrates much about the U.S. military establishment and contemporary national culture, none of it particularly encouraging.

Why No Antiwar Generals

When Smedley Butler retired in 1931, he was one of three Marine Corps major generals holding a rank just below that of only the Marine commandant and the Army chief of staff. Today, with about 900 generals and admirals currently serving on active duty, including 24 major generals in the Marine Corps alone, and with scores of flag officers retiring annually, not a single one has offered genuine public opposition to almost 19 years worth of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars . As for the most senior officers, the 40 four-star generals and admirals whose vocal antimilitarism might make the biggest splash, there are more of them today than there were even at the height of the Vietnam War, although the active military is now about half the size it was then. Adulated as many of them may be, however, not one qualifies as a public critic of today's failing wars.

Instead, the principal patriotic dissent against those terror wars has come from retired colonels, lieutenant colonels, and occasionally more junior officers (like me), as well as enlisted service members. Not that there are many of us to speak of either. I consider it disturbing (and so should you) that I personally know just about every one of the retired military figures who has spoken out against America's forever wars.

The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; Vietnam veteran and onetime West Point history instructor, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich ; and Iraq veteran and Afghan War whistleblower , retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis . All three have proven to be genuine public servants, poignant voices, and -- on some level -- cherished personal mentors. For better or worse, however, none carry the potential clout of a retired senior theater commander or prominent four-star general offering the same critiques.

Something must account for veteran dissenters topping out at the level of colonel. Obviously, there are personal reasons why individual officers chose early retirement or didn't make general or admiral. Still, the system for selecting flag officers should raise at least a few questions when it comes to the lack of antiwar voices among retired commanders. In fact, a selection committee of top generals and admirals is appointed each year to choose the next colonels to earn their first star. And perhaps you won't be surprised to learn that, according to numerous reports , "the members of this board are inclined, if not explicitly motivated, to seek candidates in their own image -- officers whose careers look like theirs." At a minimal level, such a system is hardly built to foster free thinkers, no less breed potential dissidents.

Consider it an irony of sorts that this system first received criticism in our era of forever wars when General David Petraeus, then commanding the highly publicized " surge " in Iraq, had to leave that theater of war in 2007 to serve as the chair of that selection committee. The reason: he wanted to ensure that a twice passed-over colonel, a protégé of his -- future Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster -- earned his star.

Mainstream national security analysts reported on this affair at the time as if it were a major scandal, since most of them were convinced that Petraeus and his vaunted counterinsurgency or " COINdinista " protégés and their " new " war-fighting doctrine had the magic touch that would turn around the failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Petraeus tried to apply those very tactics twice -- once in each country -- as did acolytes of his later, and you know the results of that.

But here's the point: it took an eleventh-hour intervention by America's most acclaimed general of that moment to get new stars handed out to prominent colonels who had, until then, been stonewalled by Cold War-bred flag officers because they were promoting different (but also strangely familiar) tactics in this country's wars. Imagine, then, how likely it would be for such a leadership system to produce genuine dissenters with stars of any serious sort, no less a crew of future Smedley Butlers.

At the roots of this system lay the obsession of the American officer corps with " professionalization " after the Vietnam War debacle. This first manifested itself in a decision to ditch the citizen-soldier tradition, end the draft, and create an "all-volunteer force." The elimination of conscription, as predicted by critics at the time, created an ever-growing civil-military divide, even as it increased public apathy regarding America's wars by erasing whatever " skin in the game " most citizens had.

More than just helping to squelch civilian antiwar activism, though, the professionalization of the military, and of the officer corps in particular, ensured that any future Smedley Butlers would be left in the dust (or in retirement at the level of lieutenant colonel or colonel) by a system geared to producing faux warrior-monks. Typical of such figures is current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark Milley. He may speak gruffly and look like a man with a head of his own, but typically he's turned out to be just another yes-man for another war-power -hungry president.

One group of generals, however, reportedly now does have it out for President Trump -- but not because they're opposed to endless war. Rather, they reportedly think that The Donald doesn't "listen enough to military advice" on, you know, how to wage war forever and a day.

What Would Smedley Butler Think Today?

In his years of retirement, Smedley Butler regularly focused on the economic component of America's imperial war policies. He saw clearly that the conflicts he had fought in, the elections he had helped rig, the coups he had supported, and the constabularies he had formed and empowered in faraway lands had all served the interests of U.S. corporate investors. Though less overtly the case today, this still remains a reality in America's post-9/11 conflicts, even on occasion embarrassingly so (as when the Iraqi ministry of oil was essentially the only public building protected by American troops as looters tore apart the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in the post-invasion chaos of April 2003). Mostly, however, such influence plays out far more subtly than that, both abroad and here at home where those wars help maintain the record profits of the top weapons makers of the military-industrial complex.

That beast, first identified by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is now on steroids as American commanders in retirement regularly move directly from the military onto the boards of the giant defense contractors, a reality which only contributes to the dearth of Butlers in the military retiree community. For all the corruption of his time, the Pentagon didn't yet exist and the path from the military to, say, United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, or other typical corporate giants of that moment had yet to be normalized for retiring generals and admirals. Imagine what Butler would have had to say about the modern phenomenon of the " revolving door " in Washington.

Of course, he served in a very different moment, one in which military funding and troop levels were still contested in Congress. As a longtime critic of capitalist excesses who wrote for leftist publications and supported the Socialist Party candidate in the 1936 presidential elections, Butler would have found today's nearly trillion-dollar annual defense budgets beyond belief. What the grizzled former Marine long ago identified as a treacherous nexus between warfare and capital "in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives" seems to have reached its natural end point in the twenty-first century. Case in point: the record (and still rising ) "defense" spending of the present moment, including -- to please a president -- the creation of a whole new military service aimed at the full-scale militarization of space .

Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.

Of course, Butler didn't exactly end his life triumphantly. In late May 1940, having lost 25 pounds due to illness and exhaustion -- and demonized as a leftist, isolationist crank but still maintaining a whirlwind speaking schedule -- he checked himself into the Philadelphia Navy Yard Hospital for a "rest." He died there, probably of some sort of cancer, four weeks later. Working himself to death in his 10-year retirement and second career as a born-again antiwar activist, however, might just have constituted the very best service that the two-time Medal of Honor winner could have given the nation he loved to the very end.

Someone of his credibility, character, and candor is needed more than ever today. Unfortunately, this military generation is unlikely to produce such a figure. In retirement, Butler himself boldly confessed that, "like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical..."

Today, generals don't seem to have a thought of their own even in retirement. And more's the pity...

2 minutes ago
Am I the only one to notice that Hollywood and it's film distributors have gone full bore on "war" productions, glorifying these historical events while using poetic license to rewrite history. Prepping the numbheads.
14 minutes ago
TULSI GABBARD.

Forget rank. As Mr Sjursen implies, dissidents are no longer allowed in the higher ranks. "They" made sure to fix this as Mr Butler had too much of a mind of his own (US education system also programmed against creative, charismatic thinkers, btw).

The US Space Force has been created as part of a plan to disclose the deep state's Secret Space Program (SSP), which has been active for decades, and which has utilized, and repressed, advanced technologies that would provide free, unlimited renewable energy, and thus eliminate hunger and poverty on a planetary scale.

14 minutes ago
14 minutes ago

ALL wars are EVIL. Period .

29 minutes ago

Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.

This is why I feel an oath keeping constitutionally oriented American general is what we need in power, clear out all 545 criminals in office now, review their finances (and most of them will roll over on the others) and punish accordingly, then the lobbyist, how many of them worked against the country? You know what we do with those.

And then, finally, Hollywood, oh yes I long to see that **** hole burn with everyone in it.

30 minutes ago
Republicrat: the two faces of the moar war whore.
32 minutes ago

Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind

Do tell, from what I've read the Nazis were really only a threat to a few groups, the rest of us didn't need to worry.

35 minutes ago
Today, the "Masters of the Permawars" refer to the international extortion, MIC, racket as "Defending American Interests"! .....With never any explanation to the public/American taxpayer just what "American Interests" the incredible expenditures of American lives, blood, and treasure are being defended!

Why are we sending our children out into the hellholes of the world to be maimed and killed in the fauxjew banksters' quest for world domination.

How stupid can we be!

41 minutes ago
(Edited) "Smedley Butler"... The last time the UCMJ was actually used before being permanently turned into a "door stop"!
49 minutes ago
He was correct about our staying out of WWII. Which, BTW, would have never happened if we had stayed out of WWI.
22 minutes ago
(Edited) Both wars were about the international fauxjew imposition of debt-money central bankstering.

Both wars were promulgated by the Financial oligarchyof New York. The communist Red Army of Russia was funded and supplied by the Financial oligarchyof New York. It was American Financial oligarchythat built the Russian Red Army that vexed the world and created the Cold War. How many hundreds of millions of goyim were sacrificed to create both the Russian and the Chinese Satanic behemoths.......and the communist horror that is now embedded in American academia, publishing, American politics, so-called news, entertainment, The worldwide Catholic religion, the Pentagon, and the American deep state.......and more!

How stupid can we be. Every generation has the be dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the eternal maw of historical ignorance to avoid falling back into the myriad dark hellholes of history. As we all should know, people who forget their own history are doomed to repeat it.

53 minutes ago
Today's General is a robot with with a DNA.
54 minutes ago
All the General Staff is a bunch of #asskissinglittlechickenshits
57 minutes ago
want to stop senseless Empire wars>>well do this

War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit.. If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start? 1 hour ago

Here is a simple straightforward trading maxim that might apply here: if it works or is working keep doing it, but if it doesn't work or stops working, then STOP doing it. There are plenty of people, now poorer, for not adhering to that simple principle. Where is the Taxpayer's return on investment from the Combat taking place on their behalf around the globe? 'Nuff said - it isn't working. It is making a microscopic few richer & all others poorer so STOP doing it. 36 seconds ago We don't have to look far to figure out who they are that are getting rich off the fauxjew permawars.

How can we be so stupid???

1 hour ago

See also:

TULSI GABBARD

1 hour ago

The main reason you don't see the generals criticizing is that the current crop have not been in actual long term direct combat with the enemy and have mostly been bureaucratic paper pushers.

Take the Marine Major General who is the current commander of CENTCOM. By the time he got into the Iraq/Afghanistan war he was already a Lieutenant Colonel and far removed from direct action.

He was only there on and off for a few years. Here are some of his other career highlights aft as they appear on his official bio:

In short, these top guys aren't warriors they're bureaucrats so why would we expect them to be honest brokers of the truth?

51 minutes ago

are U saying Chesty Puller he's NOT? 1 hour ago
(Edited) The purpose of war is to ensure that the Federal Reserve Note remains the world reserve paper currency of choice by keeping it relevant and in demand across the globe by forcing pesky energy producing nations to trade with it exclusively.

It is a 49 year old policy created by the private owners of quasi public institutions called central banks to ensure they remain the Wizards of Oz doing gods work conjuring magic paper into existence with a secret spell known as issuing credit.

How else is a technologically advanced society of billions of people supposed to function w/out this divinely inspired paper?

1 hour ago

Goebbels in "Churchill's Lie Factory" where he said: "The Americans follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." - Jospeh Goebbels, "Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik," 12. january 1941, Die Zeit ohne Beispiel

1 hour ago

The greatest anti-imperialist of our times is Michael Parenti:

Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. When not ignored outright, the subject of imperialism has been sanitized, so that empires become "commonwealths," and colonies become "territories" or "dominions" (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, "commonwealths" too). Imperialist military interventions become matters of "national defense," "national security," and maintaining "stability" in one or another region. In this book I want to look at imperialism for what it really is.

https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/imperialism.html

49 minutes ago
"Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders."

Why would it when they who control academia, media and most of our politicians are our enemies.

1 hour ago

"The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; ..."

Yep, Wilkerson, who leaked Valerie Plame's name, not that it was a leak, to Novak, and then stood by to watch the grand jury fry Scooter Libby. Wilkerson, that paragon of moral rectitude. Wilkerson the silent, that *******.

sheesh,

1 hour ago
(Edited)

" A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."

James Madison Friday June 29, 1787

https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_629.asp

"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789])

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendIIs6.html

1 hour ago

A particularly pernicious example of intra-European imperialism was the Nazi aggression during World War II, which gave the German business cartels and the Nazi state an opportunity to plunder the resources and exploit the labor of occupied Europe, including the slave labor of concentration camps. - M. PARENTI, Against empire

See Alexander Parvus

1 hour ago

Collapse is the cure. It's too far gone.

1 hour ago

Russia Wants to 'Jam' F-22 and F-35s in the Middle East: Report

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/russia-wants-jam-f-22-and-f-35s-middle-east-report-121041

1 hour ago

ZH retards think that the American mic is bad and all other mics are good or don't exist. That's the power of brainwashing. Humans understand that war in general is bad, but humans are becoming increasingly rare in this world.

1 hour ago

The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort.

https://truthout.org/articles/the-dangers-of-american-fascism/

2 hours ago
The swamp is bigger than the military alone. Substitute Bureaucrat, Statesman, or Beltway Bandit for General and Colonel in your writing above and you've got a whole new article to post that is just as true.
2 hours ago
(Edited) War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit..If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start?
2 hours ago [edited for clarity]
War is a racket. And nobody loves a racket more than Financial oligarchy. Americans come close though, that's why Financial oligarchy use them to project their own rackets and provide protection reprisals.

[Feb 22, 2020] Tulsi's Populist 'Country-First' Anti-War Crusade by Hunter DeRensis

Notable quotes:
"... A combat veteran and major in the U.S. National Guard, Gabbard has made ending America's policy of "regime change wars" the core of her campaign platform. "She puts peace over war profiteering," said Carl Holland, introducing the candidate to unanimous applause. But on this occasion, foreign policy was not the focus of her stump speech. ..."
"... After her first debate, I watched CNN coverage of that debate on YouTube and noted the amount of coverage devoted to her. I was struck by how little was said about her. The story included her in a clip of candidates deriding Trump but gave her NO coverage of her other views, in spite of the fact that she did well in the debate and made some sound-byte worthy statements. In contrast, the mainstream candidates got lots of coverage. ..."
"... She completely botched the Assad - poison gas issue. She swallowed the propaganda whole cloth, and when it was proven she was just wrong she huffed off in denial. ..."
"... Actually, it appears that Americans and Western media bought the propaganda on alleged Assad use of poison gas (vice the al-Qaeda linked "rebels"): https://thegrayzone.com/202... ..."
"... Undoubtedly the finest candidate for president in the race. And by far the most presidential. Her campaign deserves more. ..."
"... HER core issue -- anti-foreign intervention, ending forever wars -- remain resoundingly popular. However, her relative low-profile as a Hawaiian congresswoman (compare her favorable support vis-a-vis Julian Castro, for instance), the constant mainstream media attacks (compare her to the Mayor Pete love-fest), and most importantly, her unwillingness to be reflexively anti-Trump, is costing her the support of a feverish, vengeful Democratic primary base. ..."
"... Hi, the main reason the major media went out to try to stop Tulsi's campaign: From the Dem leadership like Pelosi and Schumer, to the folks at CNN, MSNBC and all the network 'news' shows, they worked to stop her because: They are neocons! And she's talking ending wars over there and there! ..."
"... That goes against hardliners like AIPAC, and in mentioning CNN, for example, Blitzer is a neocon guy and he is foremost an Israeli supporter and so on. What, are we just gonna keep kidding ourselves? ..."
Feb 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Is there a better time for a presidential townhall than on President's Day? And is there a better place than the Old Town Hall in the heart of Fairfax, Virginia? Built in 1900, this small, neoclassical-styled building, with wood pillars sprouting from floor to ceiling in the middle of its main room, brings to mind the same communal assemblies that the Old Dominion was founded on 400 years ago.

It was here that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii spoke Monday to over 200 supporters gathered ahead of the March 3 Democratic primary.

And gather they did. An hour before she was supposed to speak, a line was already forming down the sidewalk. A man near the front door held a "Tulsi 2020" sign out towards the road. When asked if he was on her staff, he responded that he wasn't even a volunteer for the event; he had brought the sign from home. The other attendees were similarly clad in Tulsi gear, holding signs, wearing shirts, and sporting "Veterans for Gabbard" hats. These were not undecided voters on a curiosity trip, but the enthusiastic base of a candidate most of the people driving past wouldn't even recognize.

A combat veteran and major in the U.S. National Guard, Gabbard has made ending America's policy of "regime change wars" the core of her campaign platform. "She puts peace over war profiteering," said Carl Holland, introducing the candidate to unanimous applause. But on this occasion, foreign policy was not the focus of her stump speech.

"What is it that makes people hate politics?" she asked the crowd after her customary "aloha" greeting. She believes it's the same reasons that she finds it off-putting: "I hate the pay-to-play politics that rules the day in Washington." She hates the hyper-partisanship, the politicians "who love to talk a lot but refuse to actually listen," and the leaders who carelessly "send our nation's sons and daughters off to fight in wars that have nothing to do with our country's national security."

Taking advantage of the holiday, she spoke about being inspired by Abraham Lincoln and his 1858 "House Divided" speech. She described a country still divided today, on matters of politics, race, gender, and even "what cable news channel you watch."

Briefly contrasting what she hates with what she loves, Gabbard said unreservedly, "I love our country. I love the people of this country." Multiple times she used the phrase "Country First" to describe her policies and her movement. The difference in intentions between her slogan and Donald Trump's "America First" would be hard to parse.

Gabbard's example of putting Country First was the First Step Act, a criminal justice bill passed by large bipartisan majorities in December 2018. The law enacted new dignity provisions for prisoners and resulted in the release of 7,000 people. Gabbard described members of her party who "did not want to give Trump a win, who stood in the way of this legislation passing." To those legislators who "put politics ahead of people, shame on you," she said.

For Gabbard, the corruption in the system doesn't stop with her fellow elected officials or the "high-powered lobbyists [who] stack the odds against the people." It includes those in "the corporate media trying to silence our voices because we dare speak the truth" about regime change wars. Like clockwork, when a woman in the audience asked about the OPCW whistleblower who has challenged the United Nations' conclusions about the alleged Douma chemical attack in Syria, members of the print media darted their heads up and scurried closer to the stage to try to get a potentially scandalous soundbite .

Gabbard responded by saying she has sent multiple letters to the OPCW inquiring about the whistleblower situation, but had not yet received satisfactory answers. She promised to keep trying.

The candidate closed her speech by telling the crowd, "You have my personal commitment that as your president, my sole mission every single day will be serving you and only you ." Her strategy for winning the White House would be "not taking people for granted, reaching out, and treating every American with respect."

After answering questions about health care, small business, and climate change, Gabbard stepped away from the podium and her fans lined up for pictures and a handshake. Meanwhile, her husband Abraham walked the room, chatting with people and recording the event on his phone.

In the unscientific poll of raised hands, the attendees were one third Democrat, one third Republican, and one third "independent, Libertarian, or Green." They were overwhelmingly from Northern Virginia or Maryland, with very few from Washington, D.C. Multiple families attended, some of whose kids presented Tulsi with homemade drawings. One family, with their two adolescent children present and husky dog tied up outside, drove all the way from West Virginia.

When everyone had dispersed, The American Conservative was given an opportunity to ask a question. Gabbard has been explicit in her condemnations of "radical Islam," and she's referred to the war on terror as an ideological war as much as a military one. When asked to specify whether she believes the terrorism against the West is the result of religious extremism or if it's a consequence of foreign military interventions and their subsequent blowback, she appeared to lean more to the latter.

"It's a combination of the radical, Wahhabi-Salafist ideology that serves as the fuel and the recruiting ground for terrorist organizations like ISIS and al-Qaeda, that motivates them in their terror actions." Gabbard told TAC , "But it's also when you see how our regime change wars have had a direct impact. Not in going in and defeating terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, but actually serving to only strengthen them."

A Monmouth poll released the day after her townhall listed Gabbard's support in Virginia at 1 percent. This is similar to the national polls where she places last among the eight candidates still running for the Democratic nomination. Gabbard has previously announced that she's declining to run for reelection to the House (after four terms) and that she's taking her presidential campaign all the way to the Democratic convention in June. Where this will put the 38-year-old come January 2021 is anyone's guess. But whether in the White House or retired from politics, Tulsi Gabbard plans to continue putting Country First.

Hunter DeRensis is a reporter with The National Interest and a regular contributor to The American Conservative. Follow him on Twitter @HunterDeRensis .


JessicaR Martin Ranger 3 days ago
You are raising a valid question about why she is not doing better in the polls. While I have not done a statistical analysis of her press coverage, it appeared to me that the networks have largely shut her out.

After her first debate, I watched CNN coverage of that debate on YouTube and noted the amount of coverage devoted to her. I was struck by how little was said about her. The story included her in a clip of candidates deriding Trump but gave her NO coverage of her other views, in spite of the fact that she did well in the debate and made some sound-byte worthy statements. In contrast, the mainstream candidates got lots of coverage.

It is my impression that this trend has continued throughout the primaries.

It is reminiscent of the ways the networks treat other strong opponents of war. 1, Dennis Kucinich, NBC had a rule that to be on one of their debates-in 2004 if I remember correctly--a candidate had to finish in the top three in a primary. Kucinich finished third in Nevada. NBC changed the rules on him. He took them to court. The court ruled that NBC was a private business and could set their own rules. 2. Bernie Sanders in 2016. The CNN website largely ignored his candidacy until he started winning primaries. When they couldn't ignore him anymore, they ran unflattering photos of him with his mouth open--how else could he talk?-but did not do so for Clinton.

Anyway, that is my impression.

Osse JessicaR 2 days ago
I think the lack of press coverage is part of it. She is also demonized by most liberals and even some leftists. I say “ demonized” because I think at least some of the criticisms are false, but I am not sure about the others.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) MPC 3 days ago • edited
And I think you seriously underestimate the share of antiwar voters nationwide and overestimate the importance of those whom you, inexplicably from the Marxist point of view, call "left". Tulsi now holds a wild card.

She's still under forty, which is almost a senior teenager by modern standards, and already on her way to becoming a kingmaker through being able to guarantee either party's candidates the support of a serious share of voters from both and of independents for years to come.

MPC Alex (the one that likes Ike) 3 days ago

...I do think she would appeal to just the type of person the Dems want to peel away from Trump. She'd be a play for independents.

diverick MPC 2 days ago
I do think she would appeal to just the type of person the Dems want to peel away from Trump.

I would agree only, from what I have seen thus far, her appeal to a possibly significant number of previous Trump voters is seen as a negative in the eyes of Dem activists, pundits, other candidates, etc. The Dems don't seem to have any interest in winning over previous Trump voters, no matter what the reason was for their 2016 Trump vote.

I think a more accurate phrasing of the sentence above would be, "I do think she would appeal to just the type of person the Dems should want to peel away from Trump."

Alex (the one that likes Ike) Collin Reid 2 days ago
The only bridges she burned were those with the Democratic establishment, which is out of touch with reality and is doomed to soon repeat its Republican counterpart's inglorious end. Thus the fact that she burned those bridges actually shows that she, unlike so many other politicians, is capable of, at least, midterm planning. Not to mention that, as I've already said, she, given her strong cross-partisan appeal, can easily become a Republican now.

1) Did Sanders meet UN-recognized leaders of countries, against whom the neocon/neolib clique was waging illegal wars?
2) And that campaigning for Clinton cost Democrats the defection of many Sanders's voters to Trump's camp. Long-term planning, right.
3) 55% under a system which has recently shown how the votes are counted in all of its glory? Impressive.

RadicalCenter Alex (the one that likes Ike) 2 days ago • edited
I applaud Tulsi's anti-war comments and have observed that the establishment media shut her out of meaningful coverage. But there is no reason to think that she can influence any large block of voters and influence them enough to be a kingmaker. Not even close.

Andrew Yang, by contrast, could have some influence, though probably more in pushing the universal basic income idea than in inducing a particularly large number of voters to vote for this candidate or that. But he has achieved more influence than Tulsi for sure.

E_Conegliano MPC a day ago
Can you imagine the look on the face of AOC, Bernie's ambitious surrogate, if Bernie chose Tulsi for VP? IMO, Bernie has hitched his wagon to AOC's rock-star magnetism and Our Revolution's multicultural foot soldiers. No room for Tulsi, who favors closed borders and open discussions in contrast to open borders and PC lectures.
channelclemente 3 days ago
She completely botched the Assad - poison gas issue. She swallowed the propaganda whole cloth, and when it was proven she was just wrong she huffed off in denial.
Collin Reid channelclemente 2 days ago
Yea, that hurt her but the reality was it was crowded Primary with over 20 candidates and Gabbard had limited name recognition going into 2019!
Xanadu channelclemente 2 days ago
Actually, it appears that Americans and Western media bought the propaganda on alleged Assad use of poison gas (vice the al-Qaeda linked "rebels"): https://thegrayzone.com/202...
Osse channelclemente 2 days ago
What are you talking about? If you mean Douma or the OPCW, it is more likely the mainstream which is in denial.
Dodo 3 days ago
Neoconservatives' wars for their own ideologies have exhausted most Americans. They want to stop wars, regardless. In coming economic depression, this view will rampant Eventually, appeasement will happen again.

Neconservatives and their supporters (regardless reasons) deserve this result but how about other Americans?

EdMan 3 days ago
Undoubtedly the finest candidate for president in the race. And by far the most presidential. Her campaign deserves more.
dbriz 3 days ago
If, still a large if, Sanders gets the nomination Gabbard makes a lot of sense as running mate. She appeals to the very votes needed to defeat Trump. Antiwar, libertarian oriented moderates. Any VP candidate with ties to the DNC will work against Sanders.
Collin Reid 2 days ago
????? Gabbard is getting 2 -3% polls in the Democratic Primary and is sort of a candidate who is winning with Democrats that don't like the Party. Frankly I was Gabbard suspect early 2020 but I also realistic enough to know below 40 year candidate with little name recognition tend not to win Primaries their first try. And for a young Gabbard her true goal should have building her name in the current Primary that 20 other candidates. (And given that often incumbents win the Presidency, 2024 could have been a competitive Primary.)

1) Originally I thought her biggest problem was past positions on gay rights and she was definitely behind curve on that one. And getting this weakness out of the way in 'trial test Primary' isn't the worst goal for young House member.

2) Sanders has much more anti-war candidate in 2020 than he was in 2016 so Gabbard message was not a lone voice here.

3) The dumbest thing Gabbard has done is give up her House seat in the completely D safe district in Hawaii. So why would the Sunday shows book an ex-House member in 2021? And the liberal punditry network is not as nearly as strong (or well paying) as the conservative pundits.

Xanadu 2 days ago • edited
I am a former Democrat, grew up lower middle class, and a legal immigrant. While I don't agree with all of her policy positions, I find Tulsi Gabbard's single-minded focus on the costs of foreign intervention THE most resonant/substantive topic for the United States, especially in a political system where Congress/Courts pass domestic legislation, and presidents only have absolute control of foreign policy.

What sets Tulsi a rare breed apart from other progressive Democrats is that she's unwilling to do 180s on core convictions as a reactionary take on Trump. The "whatever Trump is for, I'm against" transformation of Democratic lawmakers and media wonks has led them to support prolonging wars (Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq); red-baiting nuclear stand-offs with Russia; sudden embrace of corporatist "free trade" like TPP; silcening any criticism of anti-women Islamic customs; and even libertarian wet dreams of effectively open borders. Even Bernie is wavering in his long-held convictions.

In response to why Tulsi's campaign hasn't resonated to higher polls, it's important to remember that HER core issue -- anti-foreign intervention, ending forever wars -- remain resoundingly popular. However, her relative low-profile as a Hawaiian congresswoman (compare her favorable support vis-a-vis Julian Castro, for instance), the constant mainstream media attacks (compare her to the Mayor Pete love-fest), and most importantly, her unwillingness to be reflexively anti-Trump, is costing her the support of a feverish, vengeful Democratic primary base.

RadicalCenter 2 days ago
She's a fool for giving up her Congressional seat. She would do better to win re-election to the House, make a national name for herself as the anti-war anti-military-profiteering voice in the Dem Party, and then run for the US Senate when one of the current white-hating establishment scum in the Hawaii Senate delegation finally retires.

Hirono and Schatz took their Senate seats only in 2012 and 2013 and aren't old, unfortunately, but Tulsi is younger at only 38. She can become a fairly senior member of Congress and run to succeed Hirono in say, 2030. Tulsi will then still be only 48.

Fayez Abedaziz 2 days ago
Hi, the main reason the major media went out to try to stop Tulsi's campaign: From the Dem leadership like Pelosi and Schumer, to the folks at CNN, MSNBC and all the network 'news' shows, they worked to stop her because: They are neocons! And she's talking ending wars over there and there!

That goes against hardliners like AIPAC, and in mentioning CNN, for example, Blitzer is a neocon guy and he is foremost an Israeli supporter and so on. What, are we just gonna keep kidding ourselves?

(he came from the Jerusalem Post, was a member of AIPAC.) What, something's wrong with pointing out facts? Shouldn't be.

steve Howell 14 hours ago
She is too liberal for me. And she is for gun control. so now ay would she ever get my vote. I do like some things she says.

[Feb 22, 2020] Jane Mayer, Dark Money

Feb 16, 2016 | www.youtube.com

In her fourth book Mayer draws on court records, extensive interviews, and many private archives to examine the growing political influence of extreme libertarians among the one percent, such as the Koch brothers, tracing their ideas about taxation and government regulation and their savvy use of lobbyists to further an agenda that advances their own interests at the expense of meaningful economic, environmental, and labor reform. Mayer is in conversation with James Bennet, the editor-in-chief of The Atlantic.


Anita Clarke , 2 years ago

People elected a billionaire that is appointing other billionaires to fix the system that made them billionaires .... thats a special kind of stupid !!!

It's Time for Fiscal Policy for Public Purpose , 1 year ago

Neoliberalism opened the public sector up to the predatory capitalists. Financial markets love sick and violent people to increase healthcare profits and keep the slave wage prison factories pumping. This is why Thatcher had to say "there's no such thing as society" so she could embark on this fascist agenda to decimate the middle class. Fast forward 40 years, we now have tent villages, medical bankruptcies, opioid suicides, increased school shootings, mass incarceration, media consolidated Pentagon mouthpieces, educational corrosion and "market ideology" professors, fracking, poisoned aquifers, a defunct voting system, career politicians who no longer write legislation, a bloated administrative unelected bureaucracy of agencies addicted to the MIC budget. The Kochs choked democracy, nearly drowned government in the bathtub, as was their wish.

tomitstube , 2 years ago

i've often wondered how certain memes seem to pop up out of thin air and take on a life of their own, ever notice when a democrat is in the white house the biggest concern is the debt and federal budget? republicans use this non-stop rhetoric to stop any social programs, even gut them. this stuff goes back a while like the "liberal media", this election cycle i was repeatedly confronted with "taxes are theft" when defending social programs, and during the health care debate there was this "ayn rand" renaissance of "greed is good" taking hold. mayer is dead on with the corporate elites buying our government, it's nothing less than a coup of our democracy, and they are shredding it to pieces.

HOBO RAIDERS , 1 year ago

Why haven't the Kochs been arrested yet? They've been prosecuted dozens of times for violating government regulations and pollution requirements. It does explain their economic libertarianism though, the sociopathic businessmen like the Koch's want to get away with unreasonable pollution and paying workers 3 dollars an hour.

justgivemethetruth , 3 years ago

Earned income and capital gains should be taxed at the same MUCH MORE PROGRESSIVE RATE, and at this point in our monstrous debt we need to consider a surcharge on huge wealth. This situation has been brought about by the extreme right wingers like the Koch Brothers to try to bandrupt the country into shutting down the whole social spending aspect of government ... which is basically fascist and anti-democratic. Want to do the right thing. I think you create a list of human rights, and back up it but a UBI Universal Basic Income, and then get rid of the minimum wage and let people find out where they stand in the economy on their own merits. BUT, they also need free education and an infrastructure of government jobs to offer some competition and experience to people so they can if they want and show the aptitude for private for-profit work.

Stephen Cotton , 1 year ago

Very interesting that you say that the Devos family is very much involved in changing the education system to a right wing system... And Trump has Betsy Devos as his education head. But I would say that public schooling has been degraded and moved to privately owned and run Charter Schools since the first Bush President - and continued under Bill Clinton, Bush II and Obama. Both Democrats and Republicans have been pushing the agenda to the right - where education is concerned. It is an illusion to believe that the Democrats would move the needle in the opposite direction. The goal is to enslave all middle and working class people with student debt. Student debt is the only debt you cannot extinguish through bankruptcy... it stays with you until death. This debt enslavement then creates a society of desperate and compliant workers. This is the goal and it is an agenda that corporations want - served by both democrats and republicans. And for most part it the agenda has been achieved. So the dark money does coalesce for certain agendas. But the Devos's have a religious agenda where education is concerned... they want to make sure Genesis is taught as science and ban the teaching of evolution and things like that.

It's Time for Fiscal Policy for Public Purpose , 1 year ago

1984. Truly the symbolic year that the Orwellian neoliberal war on Americans began. Why? To "lower our expectations" of the 60's decade. Democracy is fine until it's been activated. Then the hammer comes down. But other countries enjoy a high quality of life, no threats of revolt or overthrow, so why does this unnecessarily continue? It must just be greed. Exploiting the public sector for profit.

Howard Switzer , 2 months ago (edited)

I think the key strategic 'leverage point' is the money, specifically the money system. We need to elect a Congress and President ethical enough to pass the NEED Act which would create a public for-care money system, stop banks from creating our money for profit and establish a monetary authority that would only be tasked with determining the amount of new money required each year to support public objectives determined by Congress, like healthcare, education, infrastructure and a citizen's dividend.

JC Hines , 10 months ago

Excellent review and information on KOCH BROS. Enjoyed. Thank you. Hope more people listen MORE about these Brothers (2) knowing how they have infiltrated into our GOVT and now own GOP Congress/PENCE (lobbied for them w/Manafort) and TRUMP. The are also friends w/Bush. Hence, Kavanaugh was put in as SCOTUS. Citizens United MUST BE REMOVED! Our democracy is in danger. Hope it's not too late. I want my country back.

It's Time for Fiscal Policy for Public Purpose , 1 year ago

"To allow the market mechanism to be the sole director of the fate of human beings and their natural environment ...would result in the demolition of society." ~ Karl Polanyi, 1944 We've had a President Koch for 40 years now. This book explains their takeover of government so that predatory capitalists could turn social services into financial markets for exploitation and profit. This destroys society but they didn't care.

Shirley Hill , 5 months ago

Fred Koch made his money building an oil industry for Stalin, then became anti-communist after returning with the money? Sounds like guilt to me. Then Fred Koch worked for Hitler's war efforts. Fred became a John Bircher and his money went to his four trust fund sons, the Koch Bros. who now stealth control U.S. politics and Republican politicians from the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, Tea Party with black money support, including funding rightwing chairs and think tanks .at all the Ivy League universities.They have much, much, much too much money. it's time to tax their pants off so they understand what work. is.

wterwt werewrewr , 1 year ago

- Koch brothers story is hillarious , just for example Charles Koch got Defender of Justice award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers , LOL

wterwt werewrewr , 1 year ago

- Koch brothers story is hillarious , just for example Charles Koch got Defender of Justice award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers , LOL

Bijou Smith , 1 year ago

It's fascinating the Koch Brothers do not truly believe their own philosophy, because if they did they would go all the way in and champion worker cooperatives = complete freedom, freedom from government and freedom from a dictator boss. Like all ideologues with a quasi-engineering view of human relations and a Freudian fear of communism, they are blinded by the merits of anything that sounds remotely like socialism even when it logically matches their more reasonable libertarian ideals. In other words, they are fake libertarians, they are rank abusive authoritarian oligarchs, wannabe plutocrats. Ironically the Koch Bros are closer to Stalin in their ideology than they are to Reagan.

Albert Morris, 1 year ago

Jane Mayer is in a class all her own as a journalist. God bless her. I hope her next project is on the corporate media itself and its shameful railroading of Julian Assange. We need all the good journalism we can get.

James Gillis, 2 years ago

"Free Market is a utopia". I'm glad you said that so I can read your book knowing your political philosophy...

[Feb 22, 2020] Was bloomberg ever a part of META group?

Feb 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

dltravers , Feb 22 2020 15:35 utc | 40

...He is an Epstein like operation without the sex. A guy seeded with money and helped on the path of success to spend his money on an operation like this when needed. There is no guessing where his sympathies lie as the Post 911 NY mayor.

I suspect he is an arm of the Mega Group working behind the scenes to subvert our election. They cover their tracks by blaming the Russians and the populace eats it up. Meanwhile the real manipulators laugh all the way to the bank.


[Feb 22, 2020] Why does Bloomberg and his handlers fear Sanders so much?

Feb 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

dltravers , Feb 22 2020 21:01 utc | 89

Why does Bloomberg and his handlers fear Sanders so much? Out of his own mouth find out why...

Bernie Sanders Discusses U.S. Conflict With Iran/Iraq
When Congress cuts off the money the war is over.

Senator Bernie Sanders A War With Iran Would Be An Absolute Disaster
I have to hand it to Bernie, he lays it on the line.

[Feb 22, 2020] With Michael Bloomberg, Capital Won't Quit So Easily

Feb 22, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Capital, woke or not, has woken up. Woken up, in fact, inside the Democratic Party, once the House of Labor. And the lead Woke Capitalist, of course, is Michael Bloomberg. So will this "awokening" -- this capitalist counter-revolution -- prove to be a tragedy for labor, and the left? Or will it be a farce for Capital, and for Bloomberg? As we shall see, this sort of question has been asked before. Bloomberg had a rocky time in the Las Vegas debate last night -- some say he crapped out -- and yet Bloomberg, and his money, won't give up so easily. After all, one doesn't build a $62 billion fortune by being a quitter. So if Bloomberg spends another $10 million, or $100 million today, and tomorrow, and tomorrow -- and works a little harder at pretending to be a good Democrat -- he still has a good chance; the next debate, after all, is on February 25, and many more debates after that. So there's plenty of chance for the Bloomberg Campaign, LLC, to stage a triumph for the Comeback Plutocrat. Because, without a doubt, the surge of Bernie Sanders has provoked the plutocracy -- mostly clustered these days in the Democratic Party -- to take up arms against the democratic socialist. So now it's Michael Bloomberg, his money, his fans -- and his hired guns -- in league against the hard left. Why, it's a veritable counter-revolution from above, aimed at crushing revolution from below.

We might consider these recent headlines. The New York Times : "Bloomberg's Billions: How the Candidate Built an Empire of Influence"; CNBC : "Mike Bloomberg builds an 'army' of elite business leaders to act as surrogates for his campaign."

The ultimate counter-revolutionary headline comes in the form of a scoop from across the Atlantic: The Daily Mail banners, "Mike Bloomberg 'is considering picking Hillary Clinton as his running mate .'"

We can recall, of course, that Clinton was Sanders' great antagonist in 2016, and four years later, that antagonism still burns fiercely . So whether or not she is under any sort of vice-presidential consideration, the reminder that Bloomberg and Clinton -- two New Yorkers, representing two key groups in the Democratic Party, billionaires and millionaires -- are so linked together is a further way of showing that Bloomberg has sewn up the Democratic establishment.

In fact, according to the betting site Predictit , Bloomberg is now in second place, behind Sanders but well ahead of Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and all the rest. Indeed, Bill Maher said on his HBO show on February 14, "We have a new front-runner, Michael Bloomberg."

Meanwhile, the bigfoot media endorsements (or close enough to endorsements) are now pouring in. Sam Donaldson , of course, finally dropped the pretense. And The New York Times ' Thomas Friedman cheered, "Bloomberg has the right stuff -- a moderate progressive with a heart of gold but the toughness of a rattlesnake -- for what is going to be an incredibly big, brutal task: making Donald Trump a one-term president." For her part, The Wall Street Journal 's Peggy Noonan was merely friendly and optimistic on behalf of her friend: "Mike Bloomberg Could Pull It Off."

So yes, maybe the ninth richest man in the world really could pull it off. Bloomberg, who spent much of his career as a Republican -- and who has, at least until recently, embraced distinctly Republican views on such issues as crime , education , regressive taxes , and wealth taxes, as well as profoundly neoconservative views on the Middle East -- has a real shot at being the Democratic nominee.

And to think, it seems like only yesterday -- February 11, in fact -- that Gallup found that 76 percent of Democrats would be willing to vote for a socialist. Would they now be willing to vote for an arch-capitalist? To be sure, Bloomberg, like many billionaires these days, is plenty "woke" on social and cultural issues such as guns and gays, yet in the view of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez , his wokeness is "just a billionaire trying to cover up authoritarian & racist policy."

Yet that plutocratic cover-upping might be working. That is, if the rise of Sanders and AOC shows that the old left still has punch, the Bloombergian neoliberals could yet be punching it out.

To put the matter mildly, this prospect is disturbing to many. On February 14, progressive journalist Michael Tracey tweeted : "Mike Bloomberg's candidacy is so obviously the type of thing that would be covered with condescending moralism if it occurred in another country. 'Top Bulgarian oligarch tries to buy nomination of political party! Very disturbing development for Bulgarian democracy.'"

So one wonders: where in history has a left-wing insurgency been bested by a right-leaning counter-insurgency? If such a gear-stripping switch has happened elsewhere, could it happen here?

All we know for sure is that it did happen in France, during the years 1848 to 1851. What started out as a left-wing revolution against a king ended up with the rule of a center-right leader -- who then crowned himself emperor.

That adroit -- some would say treacherous -- political figure, of course, was Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, remembered as Napoleon III.

The best-known account of this historical sequence comes from Karl Marx in his 1852 pamphlet, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte . "Eighteenth Brumaire," we might note, is a sly reference to an earlier French coup d'état, led by Napoleon Bonaparte, uncle of Louis. (In those days, the French revolutionaries had changed the national calendar: "Eighteenth Brumaire" was November 9, 1799.)

Fast-forwarding a half-century -- through Napoleon's Waterloo in 1815, the unsteady restoration of the Bourbon monarchy (1814-30), and the June Rebellion of 1832 that inspired Victor Hugo's Les Misérables -- we come to February 1848, when the Paris proletariat finally swept away the remnants of the ancien régime, thereby establishing the Second Republic (the First Republic having been established, of course, in 1789, until it was snuffed out by Napoleon).

During its few months in power, the new regime launched some truly radical measures, such as the establishment of Ateliers Nationaux (national workshops) to put the unemployed to work -- and imposed the taxes to pay for it.

In other words, the French nation got a taste of profound economic redistributionism -- and the wealthy, of course, didn't like it one bit. As Marx wrote, "The French bourgeoisie balked at the domination of the working proletariat."

Thus horrified at what the left was doing with its power, the right sought to make itself even more powerful. Interestingly, one of the political vehicles of reaction was candidly named Parti de l'Ordre (Party of Order). And in June 1848, amid street-fighting violence, the right wing gained the upper hand.

Marx, displaying the tragic militance and mystical teleology that has characterized so much left-wing chronicling, added, "The social republic appeared as a phrase, as a prophecy, on the threshold of the February Revolution. In the June days of 1848, it was drowned in the blood of the Paris proletariat, but it haunts the subsequent acts of the drama like a ghost."

Soon, the young Louis Napoleon stepped forward to be installed as a center-right president. From that high post, in December 1851, he staged a coup d'état -- his own recapitulation of his uncle's coup five decades earlier -- crowning himself as Emperor Napoleon III. Thus we might recall the most famous quote from Marx's essay: "Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."

Napoleon's actions might have been farcical, but to many they were also infuriating. Victor Hugo, having fled to Belgium, penned an essay, "Napoleon the Little," in which he jibed, "Monsieur Louis Bonaparte has succeeded. From this forth he has on his side money, the Bank, the Bourse, the stock-market, the counting-house ." Hugo added bitingly that the supporters of Napoleon III included "all those who pass so easily from one shore to the other when they have only to stride over shame."

For his part, Marx recalled that back in 1789, the bourgeoisie had been at the vanguard of the revolution; if the issue was getting rid of the aristocrats' stranglehold on the economy, the capitalists, nascent class that they were in the 18th century, were all for it. Yet by the mid-19th century, the situation had changed. The capitalists, now far more capitalized with the coming of the industrial revolution to France, were no longer fearful of the royals. Instead, they were fearful of their own workers -- and so a counter-proletarian autocrat such as Napoleon III was fine by them.

But now back to today: the class-conscious left-wing revival within the Democratic Party has stirred the fears of more than just the fat cats. For instance, bespeaking the new mode of ideological production, Ocasio-Cortez recently tweeted : "War is a class conflict, too." Such far-reaching formulations, of course, might be too blunt for the sensibilities of some -- like, for instance, all those suburbanites who have been happy to vote Democrat to advance the Planned Parenthood agenda but not the class warfare agenda.

Yet those same suburbanites and other Democratic moderates might not have fully comprehended what their party would be like were the billionaires to displace the Bidens and the Buttigiegs. That is, if the gods of plutocracy climb down from Mount Olympus to wield worldly power directly, it's likely their theophany here on earth will come in a form that mere mortals won't appreciate: less of a president, perhaps, and more of an emperor.

And somewhere, Marx is having a grim chuckle, as history repeats itself yet again. But as tragedy? Or farce? That's the question for the age. about the author James P. Pinkerton is a contributor to the Fox News Channel and a regular panelist on the Fox "News Watch" show, the highest-rated media-critique show on television. He is a former columnist for Newsday, and is the editor of SeriousMedicineStrategy.org. He has written for publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, National Review, The New Republic, Foreign Affairs, Fortune, The Huffington Post , and The Jerusalem Post . He is the author of What Comes Next: The End of Big Government--and the New Paradigm Ahead (Hyperion: 1995). He worked in the White House domestic policy offices of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and in the 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992 presidential campaigns. In 2008 he served as a senior adviser to the Mike Huckabee for President Campaign. Married to the former Elizabeth Dial, he is a graduate of Stanford University.

[Feb 22, 2020] The fact that Michael Bloomberg's campaign wasn't declared dead on arrival after his pics with Ghislaine Maxwell and his name being in Epstein's little black book tells you a lot about the state of media and politics in the US right now.

Feb 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Feb 22 2020 22:51 utc | 104

Whitney Webb tweet :
The fact that Michael Bloomberg's campaign wasn't declared dead on arrival after his pics with Ghislaine Maxwell and his name being in Epstein's little black book tells you a lot about the state of media and politics in the US right now.

Responses are great too. Pics of Bloomberg with Ghislane Maxwell, Trump, Bill Clinton, and Weinstein.

I learned that Eptein's black book included 5 numbers for Bloomberg.

!!

[Feb 21, 2020] As an anti-war candidate Tulsi was not invited. She has been denied oxygen in the press, denied a platform in the debates and generally airbrushed out of the picture. No surprise there.

Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hal Duell , Feb 20 2020 22:36 utc | 60

Bernie would prove to be such a disappointment. The other parrots on the perch not so much as they have brought nothing and will offer the same.

Tulsi was not invited. She has been denied oxygen in the press, denied a platform in the debates and generally airbrushed out of the picture. No surprise there. By speaking out against the forever-wars and against the prison gulag she committed the cardinal sin in US politics: You don't rock the boat, especially when pretending to do so! But how refreshing has her presence been in an otherwise dreary, dreary and predictable, landscape.

karlof1 , Feb 20 2020 22:38 utc | 62

b4real @47--

Thanks for your comment and question. Within US History, there are several such changes of direction, the first coming with the elections that ratified the 1787 Constitution. Second would be the 1800 election that elected Jefferson and ended what's known as the Federalist Era; it's extremely unlikely the Federalists would have made the Louisiana Purchase because of their enmity toward France. In 1828, General Jackson gained the White House amidst the Battle of the Bank, the importance of which is touched on in most survey US History classes but never examined as deeply as it demands. 1844 brought in Polk dedicated to expanding slavery who showed Congress couldn't stop the executive thus showing the vast--and foreseen--problems of an unregulated president as he provoked Mexico and stole 1/2 its territory; Polk was clearly the model for GW Bush. The 4-way election of 1860 showcased the break-up of the National Democratic Party into two factions; brought Lincoln, and the nascent Republican Party, who goaded the South's Fire Eaters to commence the Civil War. The 13-15th amendments greatly altered the national social fabric. In 1896, D-Party candidate WJ Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech elaborated the concept of Trickle-down Economics and firmly placed the D-Party as the party of the working-classes, which further compounded the D-Party's internal strife between its Northern urban political machines and Southern Segregationist politicos. 1912 again saw a 4-way race as T Roosevelt's split of the R-Party allowed Wilson to win and transfer the management of the government's financial affairs from the Treasury where they belonged to the privately controlled misnamed Federal Reserve Board, the woes of which we feel daily. 1920 saw the reversion from Wilsonian Internationalism to "Normalcy" as traditional US unilateralism regained ascendency with the rejection of the League of Nations. Although not perceived during the 1932 campaign since FDR didn't really know what he was going to do, a return to the social democratic republic commenced with the New Deal Era. 1944 didn't see an immediate change in policy course, but by June 1945 it was clear Truman was no FDR or Wallace; and by October, the Outlaw US Empire was born when the UN Charter came into force which was already being violated by Truman's government--we most certainly wouldn't have the CIA as a result of the 1947 National Security Act if Wallace had continued FDR's term, nor would there have been a Cold War. The only other change in direction (if it can be called that) was the adoption of Neoliberalism by Carter in 1978 and its rapid acceleration by Reagan/Bush which resulted in the Outlaw US Empire being even more aggressive than it was previously, a pace kept alive by the ascension of the Neocons in 2000.

Some of the directional changes occurred due to economic or social strife, but not all, nor arguably were they most important, IMO--1800, 1828, 1860, 1912, 1944. In 1932, if Hoover had regained his office, he would have had to get experimental just like FDR, and the evidence shows he was trying to get things to improve; it's been acknowledged by historians that neither had the intellectual tools required to fix the Depression. Here's a basic listing of the POTUS and there years in office. I should add 1876 as that election marked the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of big money corruption of the federal government. The loss by Bryan and the fused D- and Peoples Party in 1896 informed Conservatives like T Roosevelt and Taft that they had to listen to the people's demands for at least basic regulation of American Capitalism--remember, the first Progressives were Republicans, not Democrats.

Given more time to meditate on the question, I could probably cite further diversions in policy from one administration to the next. But the above provides a good overview. I should highlight Fedrick Jackson Turner's 1893 elucidation of his Frontier Thesis-- "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" --before the American Historical Association at Chicago's Colombian Exhibition since it made a huge impression on that era's elite and certainly prompted policy changes. A week's usually spent in grad seminar's discussing Turner's thesis.

[Feb 21, 2020] The fact that Bernie Sanders is one this stage with the other pro-war imperialists and Tulsi is not is no accident

Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

JC , Feb 20 2020 23:37 utc | 70

Posted by: SharonM | Feb 20 2020 20:29 utc | 41

"Bernie Sanders belonged on that stage with the other pro-war imperialists. With him, we get affordable healthcare, while millions of people around the world will suffer through coups, invasions, bombings, mass murder, and mass displacement. There is absolutely NOTHING (nothing) for an anti-war advocate to get excited about with a Sanders Presidency."

Exactly! I'm surprise even Tulsi Gabbard not invited to the debate many here still wanna her for VP. I an't voting for anyone but Tulsi Gabbard, I hates the Democratic more than Trump and will vote for Trump if necessary.

JC , Feb 20 2020 23:41 utc | 71

http://brothernathanaelchannel.com/

Inside Bernie

Forgot to include Brother Nathanael

[Feb 21, 2020] There is no way Gabbard will be permitted as Sanders' running-mate unless she has totally sold out already.

Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

A User , Feb 21 2020 3:04 utc | 101

Frankly some people here seem to be living in la-la-land where impossible dreams come true.

How about some realpolitik as practiced by both halves of the amerikan empire party when the VP decision time comes around. Does anyone imagine Kennedy wanted Johnson as VP or Bush I, Dan Quayle or Oblamblam the crookedest man in the senate, Joe Biden?

Of course not they were told to take these hacks as a way for 'the party' to keep the hairy eyeball on 'their' Prez.

Let's just pretend for a moment that Sanders came to conference with sufficient delegates that the hope of the DNC to override Sanders with superdelegates was simply too much for the dem party to achieve without alienating a sizable chunk of potential dem voters for life (the odds of that occurring are slimmer than a 2 year old Yemeni, but let's pretend).

Even if Sanders had sufficient delegates to obviate a brokered conference, it wouldn't matter, the DNC would still insist on a 'sit down' with the Sanders crew and insist he took a particular person as his VP. Sanders could refuse, in which case he could expect zero $$$'s for his campaign from the dems and worse the DNC would tell him that the party money, in many cases donated to the DNC by naifs who 'wanted to give Bernie a hand', was going to be spent 'down ticket' assisting all the dem pols up for re-election who were committed to opposing Bernie's favourite policies such as single payer healthcare.

Bernie would be screwed as even if he beat orange moron as he wouldn't stand a shitshow in hell of getting any of these "radical pinko policies" through, which would be justified by the rightist dem senators & congress-creeps saying "Democrat voters, voted for a democratic president not a Marxist president" over and over until the idiots among the public had been sufficiently indoctrinated to believe that tosh. There is no way Gabbard will be permitted as Sanders' running-mate unless she has totally sold out already.

Maybe Sanders should open the bidding with Gabbard, after which the DNC might offer up 'Pete the cheat' to ensure Bernie is defeated, or some other less power-hungry, more malleable dem lick-spittle.
If Sanders is smart enough to play this game, he will already have worded up one or two slightly conservative DC hacks on the qt, then make out he's making a huge compromise by selecting her/him.

He could conceivably get away with that as long as the DNC mobsters are blindsided - remember most of those DC lowlifes will leap at the chance of the veep's gig since it puts you in the inside running to be the prez after yer running 'mate'. And offering it quietly early on would give Sanders the right to insist on blind loyalty - which he prolly wouldn't get totally, but he would have something close to that

Trouble is I don't reckon Sanders has the smarts to pull a rort like that off - we shall see. Whatever he does do the odds are high of him being stymied every time if he does make it


Likklemore , Feb 21 2020 3:25 utc | 102

Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 21 2020 1:55 utc | 92

In reply to my comment on the process, you wrote

"Actually this is not technically correct
and then you quoted Article 2 Section 2 of the Constitution.

You ignored the process

I wrote on the process in which jim and jane mainstreet vote [the 2nd part of the process] to select the State electors to the Electoral College: from Link (Archives.gov) provided @ 24 and fully detailed below:

November 3, 2020 -- Election Day

During the general election your vote helps determine your State's electors. When you vote for a Presidential candidate, you aren't actually voting for President. You are telling your State which candidate you want your State to vote for at the meeting of the electors. The States use these general election results (also known as the popular vote) to appoint their electors. The winning candidate's State political party selects the individuals who will be the electors.[.]

Who selects the electors?

Choosing each State's electors is a two-part process. First, the political parties in each State choose slates of potential electors sometime before the general election. Second, during the general election, the voters in each State select their State's electors by casting their ballots.

The first part of the process is controlled by the political parties in each State and varies from State to State. Generally, the parties either nominate slates of potential electors at their State party conventions or they chose them by a vote of the party's central committee. This happens in each State for each party by whatever rules the State party and (sometimes) the national party have for the process. This first part of the process results in each Presidential candidate having their own unique slate of potential electors.

Political parties often choose individuals for the slate to recognize their service and dedication to that political party. They may be State elected officials, State party leaders, or people in the State who have a personal or political affiliation with their party's Presidential candidate. (For specific information about how slates of potential electors are chosen, contact the political parties in each State.)

The second part of the process happens during the general election. When the voters in each State cast votes for the Presidential candidate of their choice they are voting to select their State's electors. The potential electors' names may or may not appear on the ballot below the name of the Presidential candidates, depending on election procedures and ballot formats in each State.

The winning Presidential candidate's slate of potential electors are appointed as the State's electors -- except in Nebraska and Maine, which have proportional distribution of the electors. In Nebraska and Maine, the State winner receives two electors and the winner of each congressional district (who may be the same as the overall winner or a different candidate) receives one elector. This system permits Nebraska and Maine to award electors to more than one candidate.[.]

(empasis added)


psychedelicatessen , Feb 21 2020 4:04 utc | 103
Rob @ 99 - I don't think evidence of this form has been archived anywhere on the Internet. I would be particularly interested in seeing how much of a favorite Clinton was in 2016. I doubt she would have been more than 2/3, and the result not as shocking an upset were Trump actually 1/1. In any event, if the favorite an hour before the books closed always won, who then would ever consider the price on an underdog as an overlay? I'm not addressing any prediction of a winner; I'm observing the changes in public opinion as expressed through those who are willing to take a money position along the way. There would be no other prominent reason for Sanders to reclaim over Bloomberg in less than a week, the Democratic candidate top spot in betting odds, than his strong showing Wednesday night.

All of the legal gambling outlets will tend to keep fairly close in sync with changes in odds offered. Any one of them getting significantly out of sync is taking a position, attracting layoff action from one of the others. When someone makes an investment in this type of futures, it's with an eye toward spotting an overlay. That means a current line which is offering too strong a return on the investment. The books have several ways of adjusting. They can change the odds offered, lay off action with each other to balance their money position, or offer early resolution to certain ticket holders. For example, Trump opened at 5/2 and toward the end of 2018 had been bet down to 3/2. He is currently 8/13 which represents an extreme overlay if someone is holding a ticket with 3/2 odds. When this kind of situation occurs, all of the books are likely to sustain a loss. So, they will offer early resolution. A $2000 ticket on Trump at 3/2 will return $5000, however anyone holding this ticket may be offered $2750 today for early resolution. That's an immediate $750 profit for giving back their position.

Now to illustrate just how drastic changes in the futures betting can be, a few hours ago Sanders was 7/2, he's now 10/3. Bloomberg continues to slide, from 4/1 last week to 11/2 a few hours ago to now 7/1. Perhaps Bloomberg will be attractive enough to become an overlay at 10/1? I would consider that price might be worth taking a position on, if one thinks convention shenanigans will place him as the candidate. At that point (if correct) he'll drop to say 8/5 and will return a good profit from early resolution.

The changes in the betting lines appear more discernible to me, than a shift of a few percentage point amongst pollsters. Notice Pence is back on the board, so obviously some people think there's greater than a 300/1 chance Trump is deceased during this term.

Circe , Feb 21 2020 4:33 utc | 104
Aren't you being somewhat disingenuous by selectively nitpicking a few sentences out of Bernie's speech that merely express an opinion, not a declaration of political meddling, intervention or war, while leaving out the positive 90%, like his criticism of Bolsanaro, Netanyahu and Israel's racist unjust policies and his concern for the dire situation in Gaza?

He rails against Saudi Arabia and MBS and the war on Yemen. He's critical of Sheldon Adelson's influence, the Koch brothers and Mercer and the corruption of goverment and the greed they represent. He's critical of the massive amounts of funding spent on the military. That's great, no?

He's sympathetic to the unjust imprisonment of Lula da Silva and talks about the necessity of addressing climate change and poverty and much more. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT??? There's a Ziofascist in the White House right now who just brought on board Richard Grenell for DNI, (ironically mentioned in Bernie's speech last October... prophetic? Yes.), yet another Iranophobe! So you can guess what direction we're headed in?

Out of all the good that Bernie spoke you gripe about that small paragraph and use it to distort as still too aggressive his entire foreign policy vision and pov on issues few in Congress have the spine to address?

You think I'm just going to let slide this perversion of his message?

Just see how so many comments reek with that same type of distortion parotting YOUR CUE. Do you not feel any responsibilty to the truth and to the power your word may have to influence others to misjudge Bernie Sanders unfairly through your distorted lens?

I am sickened reading the comments that emanated from your small paragraph and bet you NO ONE BOTHERED TO READ THE ENTIRE SPEECH IN THE LINK AND RELIED INSTEAD ON THAT DROP FROM POISON PEN TO FORM A TOTALLY IGNORANT, BIASED OPINION.

I'm glad you at least gave him credit for defending well his positions in the midst of multiple attacks in the debate.

If Bernie can withstand the onslaught of unfair, disproportionate establishment and media attacks (your's included) and win the Nomination, it won't be thanks to the majority of you, but you will all in some way benefit from an improvement in foreign policy under a Sanders administration. OR DO YOU ACTUALLY PREFER TO DISCUSS WAR AND ATROCITY AND CONSPIRACY MACHINATIONS HERE ALL DAY, EVERY DAY IN PERPETUITY? Maybe that's the problem, maybe with Bernie as President you'll be less involved as armchair generals and have to settle for criticizing boring diplomacy for a change!

I don't know about you, but I really welcome most of what Bernie talked about and his vision for the future on this planet much more than discussing war with Iran, famine and climate disaster.

Bernie will make it in spite of haters, never Sanders, maligners, and distorters of the truth.

Oh, and he'll DESTROY Trump in November.

▪▪▪▪▪▪▪▪▪
Jared suggests Bloomberg/Gabbard.

Gobbledygook!

I guess you don't really know what Bloomberg's about. And you especially don't get Gabbard! She wouldn't be caught dead working for that Neocon warmonger!

SharonM and Jackrabbit

Get a room you professional koo-koo spinbots...preferrably in another Solar System where you can't damage impressionable minds. Ugh.

Cadence calls , Feb 21 2020 5:04 utc | 105
I feel bad for the Bernie Bros.
He's gonna sell them out again.
Dude has zero pull with his "party", and is facing a steamroller in Trump.
I would be happy to have a small dinner with Circe and friends after the convention.
We can commiserate over a few wodkas and goulash.
SharonM , Feb 21 2020 5:14 utc | 106
@104 Circe

"SharonM and Jackrabbit
Get a room you professional koo-koo spinbots...preferrably in another Solar System where you can't damage impressionable minds. Ugh."

I'm against war. You're obviously just another loser imperialist.

Penelope , Feb 21 2020 5:30 utc | 107
Since medical care figures so prominently in the election, might be a good idea to know why it costs so much now:

The Oligarch Takeover of US Pharma and Healthcare by Jon Hellevig
"The Awara study shows https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/us-healthcare-system-in-crisis/ that in addition to the original sin of corporate greed, the exorbitant costs of the US healthcare system stem from layers upon layers of distortions with which the system is infested. Each part of the healthcare industry contributes to what is a giant monopoly scam: the pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, drug wholesalers, drug stores, group purchasing organizations, health insurance companies, doctors, clinics and hospitals, and even what should be impartial university research. And on top of that, there's the government as a giant enabler of monopolized corporations running roughshod over the American consumer and patient.

"But it is worse than that. All the monopolists (in official parlance, oligopolies) are in turn owned by the same set of investors in what is called horizontal shareholding. The same some 15-20. investors have the controlling stake in all the leading companies of the entire pharma and healthcare industry.

"That's not all. Two of the investors, BlackRock and Vanguard, are the biggest owners in almost every single one of the leading companies.

"Furthermore, BlackRock is owned by Vanguard, BlackRock's biggest owner being a mystical PNC Services, whose biggest owner in turn is Vanguard. Vanguard itself is recorded directly as BlackRock's second biggest owner. Moreover, BlackRock and Vanguard are the two biggest owners of almost all the other 15-20 biggest investors, which most are cross-owned and together own the entire US pharma and healthcare sector. Ultimately, then we might have the situation that the whole healthcare sector and Big Pharma are controlled by one giant oligarch clan (and the very real people who stand behind them), one single interest group of oligarch investors." -- http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52658.htm


PS: US is now 33d in life expectancy.

Circe , Feb 21 2020 5:45 utc | 108
Yesterday some dirty dog, Bloomberg or weasel Buttigieg, brought up the fact that Bernie has 2 million, and 3 homes, one in Washington, a house in Vermont his wife inherited from her parents and a cabin by a lake! OMG! QUICK! Call the Socialist police! He's 78, has a career in politics, wrote some bestsellers and he has to live like a monk otherwise, he's a hypocrite???

The hypocrites are the ones criticizing him and not Warren who appeared in Forbes cause she has two expensive homes, and 12 MILLION. But, at the debate she was coy and uncommonly silent when they attacked Bernie for what is perfectly normal given his career, success as an author and his age!

But Lizabeth, she cares so much about poor mothers and babies, and shares Bernie's platform, and yet is too chicken to call herself a democratic socialist. Yeah, with 12 Mil in the bank and different investments she's got a big stake in Capitalism! And someone mentionned that during the commercial break she was getting quite friendly yacking it up with Bloomberg, AFTER she put on the Non-disclosure artifice (watch out for hidden mics, Mike!). And she's not big on democracy either, since she would rather go to a brokered convention, than give Bernie the nomination when he gets the majority of pledged delegates. Screw her!

Oh Lizzie, you showed all your true colors!
DONE, put a fork in it!

▪▪▪▪▪

SharonM

Against war and for Trump? 🤣🤣🤣

Trust me, Bernie's not starting any war at his age, and he's from a bucolic state. If you think Bernie's for war and I'm an imperialist, then must be a real bad judge of character.

You fool no one. You hate Bernie for some other stupid reason.

Blue Dotterel , Feb 21 2020 6:19 utc | 109
Really, the Oligarch party composed of the Republican and Democrat branches will not make any significant changes to the status quo, even if Sanders is voted in to the presidency. Sanders' foreign policy is the Oligarch policy; Sanders domestic policy would never get past the Oligarch house without significant watering down to be totally irrelevant. Sanders only "threat" to the Oligarchs is that the presidency would give him a 4-year platform to continue to put forth his semi-socialist domestic views, seeding the brains of the ignorant masses with dangerous thoughts.

Voting for either branch of the Oligarch party is to vote for the status quo. All that is guaranteed are a few cosmetic changes of zero significance. Vote, but vote anyone but the Oligarch Party!

Piotr Berman , Feb 21 2020 7:26 utc | 110
A positive assessment of the chances of Sanders to win the nomination:

"Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign called on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to drop out of the Democratic presidential primary race in a memo released on Thursday, warning that Bloomberg's presence in the race would propel Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to the Democratic nomination. "

Pete could be more incisive by pointing that unlike his much more financially successful colleague from the race of nomination, he has no track record on making unwanted passes on women, or jokes that cannot be revealed to the publics. More seriously, American establishment is so vast that it is internally divided into various groups or cliques that detest each other. Pete is a darling of CIA circles, Bloomberg is so rich that he nearly makes an influence group by himself., but he may be popular among Wall Street denizens who donate to Metropolitan Opera and snicker at Trump who could not tell Verdi from Barbie doll. On political positions, I wonder if there is an ounce of difference.

YnO , Feb 21 2020 7:41 utc | 111
There is a lot of criticism in these comments about Sanders not going all out against the Democratic Party and playing too nice, but a counterpoint to consider is that we have a perfect example to contrast his behavior with: Tulsi Gabbard. Tulsi was vice chair of the DNC and considered one of their "rising stars" in part because of the elites' insipid love of identity politics, and she is demonstrating the country what happens when you go nuclear against the establishment. She burned her political capital to back Bernie in 2016 and went on the attack during the debates she was able to get into. Would Sanders really get better results doing what Tulsi is doing, and if so, why would he going that course be different?
Krollchem , Feb 21 2020 8:27 utc | 112
Likklemore@102

What you describe is what is generally done. If the State legislature chooses to ignore the vote then your argument is not valid.

Please see the US Constitution that I linked...

james , Feb 21 2020 8:29 utc | 113
@95 sharon.. thanks.. that sounds reasonable.. however at present either one of the war parties is going to win.. i suppose some will think bernie i war party lite or something, but regardless if he gets the nod - which i highly doubt - the war party is still in control.. something bigger has to happen for this to change.. collapse is a popular fantasy for some.. i am not sure if or when that could happen too.. it is hard being reasonable in this atmosphere.. i am inclined to more radical thinking as the answer at this point..
BM , Feb 21 2020 8:58 utc | 114
"It's time to give the elites a bigger say in electing the President"

Under Trump Bezos lost highly profitable interests, and under a second Trump term he would likely lose still more. If any of the elites' choices get the Dem nomination, Trump is certain to win. Perhaps Bezos' reasoning was to try to provoke Dem supporters to reject the elites because that is the only chance of getting back the business interests he lost.

Bezos is a nasty piece of work indeed, but to his credit, maybe he at least sees the need of a more acceptable candidate.

Seer , Feb 21 2020 10:26 utc | 115
"They" have thrown down everything against Sanders yet he continues to rise. His support base is HUGE. Competition can't touch him. His victories will put him up so much that the DNC is rendered powerless.

Of all the candidates, Tulsi Gabbard is far away the closest in ideology to Sanders. She entered the race with Bernie's approval, before Bernie announced. Bernie knows that Tulsi is the only one (other than Nina Turner) that would totally have his back. I actually believe that Gabbard is the best candidate that the US has had in a LONG time. If she were selected as VP she would get a lot more exposure; the more exposure the more support she gets. I don't believe that Bernie needs to pick a VP in order to garner more votes; that is, it's not as strategically necessary as other candidates have required: I repeat: Bernie's base is HUGE. Tulsi is a BIG insurance policy. VP isn't a do-nothing position: it can cast a tie-breaking vote in the senate; it can act as collaborator with POTUS. In a more correct positioning of talents it would be Gabbard as POTUS and Sanders as VP. I'd be happy to see Nina Turner as VP but am worried that the pairing with Sanders would create too stark of a picture, one open to really ugly attacks: it's hard to attack Tulsi given her military experience (I hate that this needs to be played, but it's the reality we face). AND there's the VP debates: Tulsi vs Pence would be one for the history books.

Paco , Feb 21 2020 10:29 utc | 116
Turkey closed its airspace to russian airplanes flying to Syria and slowed down the so called Syrian Express. The straights would be closed in case of declared war but the flow can be slowed down by other means. Hard to think that war will be officially declared with all the joint projects in energy, but logistics would be a real problem for Russia if things get uglier.
http://www.ng.ru/politics/2020-02-20/1_7800_bosphorus.html
The second question of the 20 series to Putin is about Ukraine, as usual he comes across as well informed and with ease of verve.
https://putin.tass.ru/ru/ob-ukraine/
jared , Feb 21 2020 11:21 utc | 117
Circe

I guess you don't really know what Bloomberg's about. And you especially don't get Gabbard! She wouldn't be caught dead working for that Neocon warmonger!

Please advise - What is Bloomberg about.
In my experience he is a conservative moderate.
Do we just describe everyone we dont like as zionist?

Willy2 , Feb 21 2020 11:34 utc | 118
- The american writer Thomas Frank has put this way: The Democrats had every opportuniy to win the presidential election of 2016 by focussing on the people in "fly-over land", on the people who felt "left bhind" but instead they focussed on the "creative class" (laywers, the "professional class", hollywood and people from the tech sector (GOOGLE, Facebook, etc.).

- It was the presidential campaign of Trump who saw the chance to win over the people from "fly-over country".

Willy2 , Feb 21 2020 11:38 utc | 119
@Jared (#117):

- Yes, Bloomberg is a moderate republican but he is also an establishment figure/person. So, he won't be the one that will bring about MAJOR changes that are going to hurt that same establishment. Including the "zionists" (with or without quotation marks).

Willy2 , Feb 21 2020 11:47 utc | 120
- The people who are commenting on this topic should take into account one thing. Over the years the Republican party has purged the party of "moderate Republicans". As a result of that Republican party shifted more and more to the right side of the political spectrum.
William Gruff , Feb 21 2020 12:18 utc | 121
About Butt-gig...

If you were running a giant organized crime group with cash flow in the hundreds of $billions, with tentacles deeply penetrating all of the mass media, with connections at the top of all major western multinational corporations, and you wanted to "manage" the political system of the country that finances the military that you occasionally need, how would you do that?

Run you own candidates, of course!

So it is 2015. You've already gotten one of your candidates elected twice, and you are confident that mass media cultivated "identity politics" played a big part in getting him into the White House. Because of this you are now running another "identity politics" compliant candidate, but you have some tricks up your sleeve to guarantee she wins. Most importantly you have an utter heel running against her who cannot possibly win.

So you [big mafia don] are confident that you have the 2016 and 2020 elections sewn up, but even though it is only 2015, now is the time to be thinking about 2024. You've already used up the woman and Black man identity issues, so what next? The gay man "identity politics" angle, of course! So now you need to introduce to the public a gay candidate that is under your control so the public can start to get used to him and he can become widely known by the time campaigning starts in 2023.

Remind me now when it was that Butt-gig "came out" as gay? Oh, yeah, that's right! It was 2015. He then "married" in 2018.

"But Butt-gig is so young!"

Sure. Realize that he wasn't supposed to be running until 2024, when he would be in his forties. 2016 and 2020 were supposed to be Clinton's turn in the White House, but things went all sideways for some reason. Now you have to move up the timetable.

Butt-gig is CIA.

Willy2 , Feb 21 2020 12:43 utc | 122
- Bernie Sanders has promised FREE education/college and FREE Healthcare. Although I have SERIOUS doubts how he is going to pay for all that FREE stuff, the large support he enjoys shows very well how Joe Sixpack is thinking about his own economic situation.
- There were A LOT OF voters who voted first for Sanders in the primaries. When it became clear that Sanders wasn't going to be the Democratic candidate these voters votes for Trump in november 2016.
Piotr Berman , Feb 21 2020 12:50 utc | 123
Blue Dotterel is not satisfied: >>Sanders only "threat" to the Oligarchs is that the presidency would give him a 4-year platform to continue to put forth his semi-socialist domestic views, seeding the brains of the ignorant masses with dangerous thoughts.

Voting for either branch of the Oligarch party is to vote for the status quo. All that is guaranteed are a few cosmetic changes of zero significance. Vote, but vote anyone but the Oligarch Party! Sanders only "threat" to the Oligarchs is that the presidency would give him a 4-year platform to continue to put forth his semi-socialist domestic views, seeding the brains of the ignorant masses with dangerous thoughts.<<

But the oligarchy and sectors close to oligarchy are already worried exactly about that. For example, certain David Brook is almost morose. A nightmare that is at least 170 years old reappeared:

>>Bernie Sanders is also telling a successful myth: The corporate and Wall Street elites are rapacious monsters who hoard the nation's wealth and oppress working families. This is not an original myth, either. It's been around since the class-conflict agitators of 1848. It is also a very compelling us vs. them worldview that resonates with a lot of people.

When you're inside the Sanders myth, you see the world through the Bernie lens.
-----
This brings memories... agitators of 1848, revolution spread around Europe, Hapsburgs quelling a revolution in Vienna only to watch Hungary, nearly half of the empire, raising in rebelion that lasted until Czar send help a year later, stimulating dense Romantic poetry that till today children in Central Europe are forced to learn. Final stanza translated into English (it has a very compelilng rhytm in the original)

[the funeral of an agitator of 1848 turns into a march of specters that disturb comfortable city dwellers]
And we shall drag on the funeral procession, saddening sleeping cities
Banging upon gates with urns, whistling into the notches of hatchets
Until the walls of Jericho fall like logs
Fainting hearts shall be revived; nations shall clear their musty eyes

Onward-Onward

Clueless Joe , Feb 21 2020 13:04 utc | 124
William Gruff:
So, do you basically imply that the next run, after Black, Woman and Gay, would be Latino? In which case they actually planned well ahead and AOC could be their card for 2032? Or would that be too far-fetched? (she seems to go a bit too far into leftism for that after all)
SharonM , Feb 21 2020 13:14 utc | 125
@108 Circe

"SharonM
Against war and for Trump? 🤣🤣🤣
Trust me, Bernie's not starting any war at his age, and he's from a bucolic state. If you think Bernie's for war and I'm an imperialist, then must be a real bad judge of character. You fool no one. You hate Bernie for some other stupid reason."

Here are some relevant questions with Bernie's answers:

*Question: Would you consider military force to pre-empt an Iranian or North Korean nuclear or missile test?
Sanders: Yes.

*Question: Would you consider military force for a humanitarian intervention?

Sanders: Yes.

*Question: If Russia continues on its current course in Ukraine and other former Soviet states, should the United States regard it as an adversary, or even an enemy?

Sanders: Yes.

*Question: Should Russia be required to return Crimea to Ukraine before it is allowed back into the G-7?

Sanders: Yes.
https://www.greanvillepost.com/2020/02/14/sanders-tells-new-york-times-he-would-consider-a-preemptive-strike-against-iran-or-north-korea/

Don't care about your dumb opinion, Circe. But I don't want anyone else here to think I'm some supporter of the U.S. regimes two war parties. Bernie is just like Trump, Obama, the Bush and Clinton families--warmongering assholes all of them.

SharonM , Feb 21 2020 13:20 utc | 126
@113 James
I agree. An actual revolution here would probably require masses of people on the verge of starvation. But perhaps there's a trigger event that we can't foresee?
Victor , Feb 21 2020 13:49 utc | 127
As long as Sanders treats Latin America with respect, I will vote for him. He just said that he backs Evo Morales in Bolivia. That is a good sign.
john , Feb 21 2020 13:59 utc | 128
Willy2 @ 122 says:

Bernie Sanders has promised FREE education/college and FREE Healthcare. Although I have SERIOUS doubts how he is going to pay for all that FREE stuff,...

he's not.

and there's the rub, or the common denominator between domestic policy and foreign policy...i.e. lucre (and hellfire missiles are so much sexier , right?).

if a candidate is not clamoring loudly that the defense budget must be cut by at least 50%, he or she is being disingenuous, if not downright deceptive, about enacting any kind of national healthcare, education, or whatnot.

Jackrabbit , Feb 21 2020 14:10 utc | 129
james @113:
[If Bernie wins] the war party is still in control.. i am inclined to more radical thinking ... at this point.

When reasonable, level-headed people like james are "inclined to more radical thinking" then the establishment is really in trouble.

Will they take heed? Nah, they'll just send out more Circe dembots.

!!

Circe , Feb 21 2020 14:25 utc | 130
@125 SharonM

If you were an anti-war candidate running for President of a militarized security state that is so easily brainwashed by half a billion dollars in ads run by a war-mongering Ziofascist and one of the highest-circulated Zionist-run propaganda rags asked trap questions to test their definition of patriotism on you, you too would go through the motions and give them what they wanna hear so they would leave you the fock alone for the rest of the campaign.

Now, if you're looking to blow in 15 minutes your years in the making efforts to win the Presidency and use your power to change that security state mentality, then you would stupidly answer what you're suggesting.

You're a Trumpbot. AND I COULD GIVE A SHET WHAT YOU THINK.

Bernie wants to restore the Iran deal, and do diplomacy with Iran, and substantially reduce military spending. Bernie is as anti-war a politicisn as I've seen in my lifetime. I'll bank on his wisdom over your intellectual dishonesty ANY DAY, ANY TIME, ANY WHERE. Unlike you, a lousy judge of character, or just plain demonizing Trumpbot on a fool's mission, I am an excellent judge of character who had Ziofascist Trump pegged from day one and took two years of flak for it! Today, I've been vindicated in every way. Ziofascist Trump is the agent provocateur in the Middle East unilaterally, repeatedly resorting to multiple acts of war against the Palestinians, Syria, Iraq and Iran. If he didn't trigger war yet, it's not for lack of trying! Everyone is wisely on hold prevailing on their cool-headedness hoping Americans elect a SANE, and more humane President, and that President will be Bernie Sanders.

When Bernie shuts the door on that lunatic's orange-cake face the entire planet will breathe A COLLECTIVE SIGH.

Now go bark your fake purist bullshet at someone stupid enough to fall for it. I'm a firewall for the truth and you're barking up the wrong tree and messing with someone berning for justice.

PRESIDENT BERNIE SANDERS

Get used to it; it's happening.

clickkid , Feb 21 2020 14:40 utc | 131
@ Circe | Feb 21 2020 14:25 utc | 130

If Sanders actually got into the Presidency and threatened established interests, then he would be given a non-refusable invitation to vist Dallas and drive past the Texas Shoolbook Depositary.

clickkid , Feb 21 2020 14:43 utc | 132
Or even the:

Texas schoolbook depository

SharonM , Feb 21 2020 14:43 utc | 133
@130 Circe

Oh sure, Bernie is just playing 4d chess, right? We've been hearing that for years about Trump as he bombs countries, assassinates people, and overthrows governments. We'll have to relive it all hearing about Bernie's grand scheme to undermine the MIC by doing exactly what the MIC wants. You're just another fake following a warmonger.

Blue Dotterel , Feb 21 2020 14:49 utc | 134
Piotr Berman,

"But the oligarchy and sectors close to oligarchy are already worried exactly about that. For example, certain David Brook is almost morose. A nightmare that is at least 170 years old reappeared"

Well if Sanders does manages to get the Dem. nomination, then go ahead and vote for him. Just, do not expect anything to change during his administration.

Otherwise, if someone else gets it, Sanders will be put out to pasture, and no one will hear from him again. He was pretty quiet the past three years. For Sanders, and his domestic ideas to blossom, he needs to be able to win the presidency, not just run for it. This is why the Oligarchy will probably tank him. Right now, very few people in the US are politically active. It is only the primaries after all. They are mostly ignored by the vast majority of the electorate despite CNN's propaganda polls (which read only 52% interest anyway). In fact, US elections for pres are regularly ignored by almost half the population, anyway.

If anyone else gets the dem nomination, there is no point voting for the Oligarch Party.

Circe , Feb 21 2020 14:52 utc | 135
@117 jared

Do you realize the damage you're doing to your credibility and reputation tooting Bloomberg's horn here?

Bloomberg is a rabid Zionist who defied a flight ban making a cruel, pompous spectacle of himself flying into Tel Aviv during Israel's massive criminal assault on Gaza while vociferously supporting Israel's shelling of children, schools and hospitals.

Bloomberg is a Ziofascist Israel shill Neocon BUSH jr REPUBLICAN. Complete Presidential disqualification in one sentence.

Now run along with your leaky can of Bloomberg whitewash.

Sheesh, how pathetic!

Likklemore , Feb 21 2020 14:57 utc | 136

Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 21 2020 8:27 utc | 112

If the State legislature chooses to ignore the vote then your argument is not valid.

Please see the US Constitution that I linked...

And you continue to ignore Process. Well, in Constitutional Law courses that very scenario is addressed. In Law, Process matters.

if the State legislature choses to ignore the vote.."[..]
if not members of the Parties elected to the Legislature, pray tell how is the Legislature comprised?

You do know when (ahead of the general election) the Republicans and Democratic Parties appoint their respective representative slate of electors they take into account Party Loyalists who are pledged to vote the presidential ticket?

On pledges of the electors: 29 states have laws forbidding the electors to violate their pledges.

In recent history: December 2016, Trump had the required electoral votes and the Hillary Mob attempted a full-throated campaign to have some of the Republican electors switch their votes at the Electoral College!!

How did that work out?

There were 7 "Faithless electors" who ignored their pledges. Oeps of the 7: five defected Democratic-loser Clinton and two the Republican president- elect. [Cases are on appeal before the Supreme Court; to be heard in 2019-2020 term]

When the Electors' switchero campaign did not succeed, Russiagate was the lever to frustrate Trump's presidency. Russiagate will continue as long as the orangeman occupies the White House.

Walter , Feb 21 2020 15:03 utc | 137
WP > "...After a senior U.S. intelligence official told lawmakers last week that Russia wants to see President Trump reelected..."

UNZ> "...Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Vice President Biden are being told that if they do not get out of the race and clear the lane for the mayor, they will get a socialist as their nominee, and the party will deserve the fate November will bring -- a second term for Trump..."

Now then, when will the intel dudes claim Buttboi and Buyiden and Klob are commie agents? Why already Wally suspects Putin's on the secret Badenov Shoe-phone with his vast army of verraters... I mean, there must be Some Truth, right?

And if (mirabele dictu) Burner get's 'lected and avoids Dallas... if that, then how will they change the story and tell us Burner is a Putin controlled Putin versteher?

("We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." (CIA Director Casey)

Karlofi mooted Beard's "Republic"... A proud attempt by Beard, but, alas (!) it reads like a sad comic... Painful.

Perhaps one interesting point there though > Lincoln's first inaugural.

I'll leave that for K-Man to discuss, if he likes.

Jackrabbit , Feb 21 2020 15:08 utc | 138
I'm all for disrupting the Democratic Party by voting for Sanders in the Primary.

But anyone that thinks that Sanders will be allowed to actually win the Primary is smoking something. And anyone that thinks that Sanders isn't working with the Democratic establishment to accomplish their goals is snorting something.

Sanders is there as window-dressing and to lure young voters into the Democratic Party fold as a "Democracy Works!" ploy (a form of 'stay in school' PSA) .

The Democratic Party won't actually nominate him because Americans would vote for Bernie's anti-oligarch program in droves. Anyone with any sense knows that the oligarchs have too much money and too much power and that government services monied interests instead of the people.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

We are now in a new Cold War. And we are on the brink of ANOTHER major war in the Middle East. It's long-past time to see through the bullshit propaganda, fakery, and scheming.

!!

Circe , Feb 21 2020 15:23 utc | 139
Copy/paste Jackrabbit who hasn't hatched an original thought in quite some time tries to project his professional troll gig on me. Dembot? Is that all you could come up with?

As with Bernie, I might be more like, hmmm... how would I describe myself?

The Dems worst nightmare⁉️ 😜

...soon to become the Trump-era TERMINATOR.

or, better yet, Circe unleashed.

Walter , Feb 21 2020 15:23 utc | 140
Jackrabbit | Feb 21 2020 15:08 utc | 138

"Smokin' ??"

"...This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it..."

Wally is a bit shocked...here's Lincoln saying the Revolution is a Right... And he wuz smokin...what?

But yes, context matters...read the entire document>

First Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln

MONDAY, MARCH 4, 1861
Fellow-Citizens of the United States: (avalon / yale / edu an' all of that)

Copeland , Feb 21 2020 15:55 utc | 141
All the slander being heaped upon Bernie is not going to drain one jot of energy from the momentum of his campaign. The trolls desire above all for a tide of chaos to wash over the country. The energy in this movement is going play out on the convention floor and beyond; and the spirit of the people is not about to be diminished or crushed.

It is best not to give up on the struggle, especially when the stakes have been made so clear as Bloomberg plants the flag of oligharchy in this election. Only Sanders and Warren had the decency to react with moral vigor to this outrage.

This is far from over. This is just getting interesting.

William Gruff , Feb 21 2020 16:29 utc | 142
Clueless Joe @124

Correct, as I see it that would be too far-fetched. I cannot see AOC being managed opposition, even if her behavior doesn't seem very leftish sometimes. The establishment's biggest concern with their management of the political process is to make sure that some of the things that AOC discusses remain outside the scope of acceptable political discourse. See Willy2 above with his "Free stuff!" narrative for how the establishment wants people to react... the establishment wants to prevent the public from even considering reallocating resources away from the military and corporate subsidies to so-called "Free stuff!" While AOC's ideology and support for Pelosi and such might leave some leftists unimpressed, the fact that she even discusses free-at-the-point-of-use healthcare and education as well as living wages strongly suggests that she is not part of the establishment's operation.

I honestly do not think the establishment has any plans for pandering very much to Latin American identity... there is far too much revolution in that identity. My guess is that the plans post-Butt-gig are to mix things up... say a Black lesbian or Black transsexual, for instance. Keep in mind this would be planned for 2028 (previously 2030) so whoever they have in mind would only be starting to get publicly groomed for the job now. The potential individuals may not have even had their debutante unveiling to the public yet.

fnord , Feb 21 2020 16:40 utc | 143
@Copeland, 141
The trolls desire above all for a tide of chaos to wash over the country.

Well, true, but we don't need much help. The Sanders campaign has been a gift to socialists who can piggy-back off of his demolition of decades of John Birch Society indoctrination against socialism. But as far as I'm concerned, that's the only good thing he's done. Him losing will be better for socialists - who can benefit from his supporters flocking to our organizations - rather than him winning and forcing us to take him in as "our guy" or us being tarred with any failures of his presidency.

William Gruff , Feb 21 2020 17:01 utc | 144
"[Sanders] losing will be better for socialists..." --fnord @143

Not good strategy. People are not ready to go for real revolution yet. They need to try half measures first and see those half measures fail or be attacked and defeated by the oligarchs. Sanders losing will cause many people to either drop out of the movement or switch to the far right. Sanders victory is needed just to show the masses that victory is possible. People pursue socialist revolution out of a sense of optimism and open possibilities, not desperation. Desperation leads to fascism.

Circe , Feb 21 2020 17:03 utc | 145
Uh-Oh, Jackrabbit just got scorched by Walter's bern brilliance.

I'm a lover of pithy truth, and here's one to describe Bernie's movement:

The real revolution is the evolution of consciousness.

Here's one to prepare for Trump's Bernie strategy:

When a narcissist can no longer control you, they will instead try to control how others see you.

(In other words, always keep in mind; they're coming at you from a position of weakness.)

In my words:

The key to triumph over evil is to take the fight into the light and INSPIRE ALLEGIANCE.

That's Bernie's strength, and that's why Bernie Sanders will become the 46th President of the United States.


Circe , Feb 21 2020 17:28 utc | 146
While Trump boasts he's the master of 4D chess; he will be outplayed by Bernie Sanders, the 4D Master of CHESED .

Bernie Sanders will defeat Donald J. Trump to become President of the United States.

[Feb 21, 2020] What are Tulsi chances to be Sanders VP or the Secretary of State?

Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Feb 20 2020 17:54 utc | 11

Many of Sanders supporters on Twitter will tell you that his foreign policy utterances are what "he has to do" so that the media doesn't increase their attacks on him. They say it is a con. A lot of others like the people at WSWS disagree completely. I don't know for sure, but it does make sense to play along with the establishment while you don't have power. And Tulsi is part of the Sanders Institute. As for Tulsi being VP, there would be unanimous outrage like you have never seen from so many liberals because Hinduphobia is rampant among so many of them. This explains how they have have been conned by a smear psy-op against Tulsi Gabbard: Anatomy of A Smear: How Liberals Have Become Willing Dupes of Foreign Political Psy-Ops

Adrian E. , Feb 20 2020 18:08 utc | 14

I find some of Sanders' answers about foreign policy extremely hawkish:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/politics/bernie-sanders-foreign-policy.html

The most extreme thing is that Sanders would consider military force to prevent even just a missile test.

He also says he would "consider" "humanitarian interventions" without saying anything about those "humanitarian interventions" based on lies that led to deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

Under normal situations, I would think that Sanders' foreign policy positions should disqualify him. But we are talking here about the United States of America, a country with extreme disregard for international law, and it is probably correct that all other candidates who have a chance of being elected would be even worse (compared to the extremists Biden, Bloomberg, Klobuchar, and Buttigieg, Sanders' hawkishness and aggressive rhetoric against Russia seems relatively harmless). Compared to Trump, Sanders is probably the lesser evil.

But I doubt he will be inclined to go against the neocons who dominate the foreign policy establishment and the secret services.

I used to think that if Sanders is president, Gabbard could be Secretary of State or vice president. But now, I think this is unlikely. First because of many jingoistic statements by Sanders, but second also because polls show that Tulsi Gabbard seems to be quite unpopular among the US population. It seems that, while in Sanders' case the smears in the media don't work well because people already know Sanders well enough, in Gabbard's case, the smears seem to have worked. Sanders probably will not want to burden his administration with someone who is so hated by a large part of the Democratic electorate.

I think Tulsi Gabbard will be needed for something else if Sanders is elected, for pressuring Sanders from outside the government.

NemesisCalling , Feb 20 2020 19:35 utc | 32
The question is not if Sanders should choose Gabbard as V.P., the question is why he wouldn't, and that my friends will tell you all you need to know about Sanders and his genuine interest in leading this country.

If Gabbard is left off his ticket he will lose. If he chooses her, it will excite the left like nobody's business and he will cruise to victory utilizing the antiwar vote that got Trump into office.

But...you do have the establishment left who may not want anything to do with the antiwar and populist conjoinment of Sanders/Gabbard. It may be too world-shaking for them and they may throw their lot in with Trump.

Either way, I think we are in good shape, barring a full Neocon push to colonize Trump's presidency.

bevin , Feb 20 2020 19:40 utc | 33
It is very curious that there seems to me something approaching unanimity-among the commenters- that Sanders is the candidate who is least trustworthy.
I note that Jackrabbit even wheels out his old "Bernie the sheepdog" routine despite the fact that the rest of the Democrats continue to do all that they can to sabotage his campaign, ensuring that his supporters, when cheated in Convention, are going to walk out. Which, for those unacquainted with the logistics of pastoral agriculture, is not what sheepdogs-employed to gather the flocks together and deliver them to be clipped or butchered-do.
Of course the issue is imperialism. But imperialism is not an ideological but a material matter: among the material bases of the Empire is the superstition that the United States is under constant military threat and that, unless Americans voluntarily impoverish themselves, by giving vast sums to the MIC, they will lose everything. And the world will disintegrate. To undermine imperialism in the United States it is necessary to empower the only forces that can defeat the MIC-the masses, taxpayers working hours a week for the trillion dollar defense budget and workers afraid to stop making the rich ever richer and themselves poorer, less secure and more vulnerable.

Sanders challenges this view. And he does so from a very old-fashioned position. He is arguing that social and economic security should be the first priorities of government and that, in order to defend the constantly threatened benefits that exist and to extend them to such popular areas as healthcare and free tuition, it is necessary to restore the freedom to organise that existed before Taft Hartley.
The DNC and the anti Sanders forces are the current iteration of the coalition of Republican reactionaries and the Tammany/Jim Crow bosses that brought about Taft Hartley and the Cold War, the twin foundations of imperialist politics in the United States for more than seventy years.
As to Israel Sanders' position is one that is utter anathema to the Zionists- a clue being the enormous resources they are mobilising against him. A call for 'peace' and an end to the 'conflict' being the one policy that not only appeals to public opinion but cannot be countenanced by any of the Israeli parties all of which have committed their all to eradicating all traces of Palestine and dominating the middle east.

Robert Shule , Feb 20 2020 19:44 utc | 34
In the Nevada debate I noticed how the candidates other than Bernie at many times were talking into the cameras and over the heads of the people in the audience while garbling out their resumes about how they are the best candidate to beat Trump as if that was the debate question put to them. In doing so, I think they are really out boot-licking for super delegates.
Piotr Berman , Feb 20 2020 19:46 utc | 35
Sanders is a pro-war imperialist, clearly.

Posted by: SharonM | Feb 20 2020 18:57 utc | 28

Sanders does not seem a pro-war imperialist, and he has SOME positive statements on foreign policy now, and according to my observations in 2016, we is not interested in foreign policy and he wants to fight on one front. He also detests the leadership of Israel, but given his roots etc. he did not want to say anything on that, just some isolated statement when confronted in meetings with voters.

Now that he expected to be a front runner he hired the most progressive chaps from the mainline Democratic think tanks, and clearly, you can take them from CAP etc. but you cannot totally remove CAP etc. out of them. Coming from environment where "muscular liberals" keep taunting "so do you love dictators", after few years you prepare "appropriate defenses".

"Yes" on "Would you consider military action if Iran or North Korea did X" was a typical weaseling. "Not considering war under ANY circumstances" is still a third rail in American policies. So one "Yes" was placed in the questionaire. But he also had a long paragraph about diplomacy first, last resort, requesting advise and approval from Congress, so it was formal "considering", not "willingness". Your can interpreted differently, and that was the whole purpose.

I would ask something about economic warfare, sanctions etc., like how he would weight "applying pressure on regimes" versus "welfare of the population", how much of deprivation is too much. And selection criteria for the list of "regimes". Do absolute monarchies get exemption, perhaps on the account of reigning by the grace of G..d? When do we "worry" about events during vote counting (no worry on Honduras, grave concern on Bolivia). And so on.

Jackrabbit , Feb 20 2020 20:05 utc | 36
bevin @33: It is very curious ...

Well, it's very curious that Sanders accepts the party line on Russiagate/Russian meddling.

And it's very curious that Sanders attacks Maduro as a Dictator that must be removed.

And it's very curious that Sanders' bill to prevent US support for the war on Yemen had big loopholes.

And Sanders' 2016 campaigning was also very curious for his amazing deference to Hillary.

Also curious: how Sanders' candidacy is used as Democracy Works! propaganda to shore-up a corrupt. EMPIRE-FIRST political system.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

If WE can all see that the Democratic Party is scheming to have a brokered convention, WHY CAN'T BERNIE SEE IT? Well, of course he sees it. But he doesn't do anything about it. He plays into it by stressing his support for 'party unity'.

!!

lysias , Feb 20 2020 20:05 utc | 37
Gabbard as VP would be Sanders's best insurance against being assassinated.
Piotr Berman , Feb 20 2020 20:05 utc | 38
Jackrabbit, are you quoting someone or yourself, you use quotation paragraphs without attributing to anyone.

Concerning tactical advise, I do not think that you tested it on "focus groups" or in any other way. Identity politics is a third rail in the territory to the left and center of the political centrum. Some aspects are OK, like changing attitude to work place sexual harassment or even demeaning. Shaming homosexual is medieaval (going back to a ancient Greek attitudes could be a step to far).

But there is a need to avoid alienating working class people who do not ascribe to political correctness. But what would you like to give up as an issue? The right to terminate pregnancy? Sanders made a choice that I fully approve: prying guns from the hands of the working people is a futile, alienating, and he did not win so many elections in a rural state full of hunters by trying that. He is correctly accused of never advocating gun control. But you cannot run in Democratic party AGAINST gun control, not because of DNC and other sinister powers (although they love the issue) but there is a wide constituency for it. As a hiker, I appreciate extensive state forests and game reserves created because of the wide support from the hunters, and the fact that the hunting in my state is forbidden on Sunday. "And on the seventh day thou shall hike".

Once I thought about a compromise good for running in the South, namely, why not agree to hand some commandments in public building, say, 5 out of 10? One could make a referendum choosing the "top 5".

waste , Feb 21 2020 0:06 utc | 75
Thanks b for watching the debate for us :)

Even if sanders gets the nomination (a very very big if), don 't expect him to go all anti-systemic at all, more the opposite I would say. So Tulsi for VC is like a red herring, he would probably choose a "moderate" for VC.

The following article is a very interesting one, showing the type of socialist sanders is. His ideas about socialism are closer to the european socialdemocratic system after the 90s , and we all know what a trainwreck that is.

https://libcom.org/library/bernie-sanders-paradox-when-socialism-grows-old

M , Feb 21 2020 0:52 utc | 80
Tulsi won't be getting the hypothetical VP nod. Conservative voters may like her, but true-blue Democrats absolutely despise her. (You can thank the Clinton faction for both.) If Sanders picked her, the noisiest elements of the media would scream RUSSIA until their throats bled.

Sanders won't move very far rightward on the policy front as the general election approaches, which means he needs to appease the Sensible Liberals through other means. Bellicose rhetoric w/r/t Russia serves that purpose, and allows him to push back against insinuations that he benefited from or abetted Russia's Great Election Heist of 2016. Today's rhetoric may not become tomorrow's policy, though I won't be holding my breath.

The Jackrabbits who think Sanders doesn't stand a chance of being nominated are underestimating the ineptitude and unpopularity of the Democratic Party, the depth of which may somehow overcome even the most strenuous attempts at fixing the race's outcome. Sheepdog though he may be, I'm hoping to see Sanders herding politicians instead of voters come next February.

[Feb 21, 2020] This is a Class War, and we need everyone to come to the barricades and the polling stations!!

Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Feb 20 2020 20:43 utc | 43

bevin @33--

Thanks for that bit of analysis!

I'll forever argue that the United States of America's government was designed to be a social democratic republic. Proof of this deliberate design is found within the rationale for the federal government as stated in the Constitution's Preamble:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

I'll argue that establishing Justice and insuring domestic Tranquility means not to promote policies that result in economic divisiveness and massive disparities of wealth--what that hell's tranquil or justified about Bloomberg owning as much wealth as @160 million people: almost 1/2 of the populous?!?! How is it possible to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity in the face of such unjust, immoral disparities?! And I could go on and rant a lot more, but I think my point's made. Clearly, the best political weapon and campaign asset Sanders could deploy is the Preamble and argue that the Oligarchs and their Establishment are UnAmerican at best and Traitors at worst.

As I wrote the other day echoing Solomon and Sanders, it's a Class War, and we need everyone to come to the barricades and the polling stations!! And the naysayers better get the hell out-of-the-way or be trampled underneath the masses clamoring for a huge change in direction, which we might call back to fundamentals.

[Feb 21, 2020] Democrat dog and pony is designed to bury Tulsi and Sanders

Feb 21, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Master Slacker , 20 February 2020 at 02:41 PM

The longer this Democrat dog and pony show continues the more I have a sense that it is a false flag operation whereby the most unelectable (Feel the Bern) is being raised while the most competitive (Tulsi Gabbard) has been shunted aside leaving no trace.
Tom Milton , 20 February 2020 at 04:51 PM
Master Slacker et al

Was privileged to attend a Tulsi Town Hall last evening in Colorado Springs.

Very impressive from start to finish. Estimate 300 attended, many young military, and many there identified as Republicans including a former CO State Senator.

Try to catch this wonderful candidate in person. Her positions are available in considerable detail on Wikipedia.

She may be shunted aside by the MSM, but she's leaving way more than a trace for sure -- a redemptive force for a troubled and divided nation.

Eureka Springs , 20 February 2020 at 05:06 PM
With exception of Sanders I can't imagine any candidate on the stage last night offering Gabbards a position in their administration.

If Bernie Sanders were President of say any South American country every other Democrat on stage last night would be delighted as president themselves to covertly and overtly destroy him and his nation. Think Honduras, Paraguay, Venezuela and Bolivia for the most recent examples.

This country is getting a very clear lesson in the fact not only is not a democracy, it's anti-democratic to its core. I hope at long last it finally sinks in among the half of eligible voters who still legitimize it with their vote.

divadab , 20 February 2020 at 05:54 PM
The US of A should do as EVERY other advanced economy did - and implement single payer healthcare and eject the profiteers from the medical system, which is a public good. Germany has had universal medical care since Otto von Bismarck implemented in the 1870's to unify the country - most other countries implemented it in the 20th century (UK just after WW2; Canada in 1963' and so on). This will liberate US Americans from the advanced world's most expensive and inefficient health insurance system, with administrative costs of over 20% compared to Canada's 2-3% depending on province. And Bernie Sanders is the only Dem candidate who unequivocally stands for Medicare for all - the rest are to some degree or other captured by health industry cartel payoffs, much as the Dem party is.

Bernie or bust! He's not a commie; he's a democratic socialist, in the model of FDR's New Deal. Yes he's bad on foreign policy - do you-all really approve of what Trump has been doing on behalf of "client states" who really run the foreign policy show in their domains? I'm not sure if this will ever change - no president wants to end up like JFK. But what is important is to improve the lot of all of us poor citizens who get to pay for all these shitshow foreign SNAFU's - will they ever end? Not while the likes of Pompeus Maximus is in charge....

[Feb 21, 2020] During the debate, Sanders clubbed Bloomberg over the head for his "immoral" amount of wealth:

Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Feb 20 2020 18:14 utc | 15

During the debate, Sanders clubbed Bloomberg over the head for his "immoral" amount of wealth:

"'Mike Bloomberg owns more wealth than the bottom 125 million Americans,' said Sanders. 'That's wrong. That's immoral. That should not be the case when we got half a million people sleeping out on the street. When we have kids who cannot afford to go to college. When we have 45 million people dealing with student debt.'"

But the amount of disparity Sanders announced was likely overstated--reality is actually worse:

"In the Federal Reserve's latest Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) data, Bruenig noted, ' the bottom 38 percent of American households have a collective net worth of $11.4 billion, meaning that Michael Bloomberg owns nearly 6 times as much wealth as they do .'

"'The definition of wealth used in the official SCF publications includes cars as wealth,' wrote Bruenig. 'But academics that study wealth inequality, like Edward Wolff, often do not count cars as wealth because they are rapidly-depreciating consumer durables that most people can't really sell for the practical reason that they need a car to get around and live. When you exclude cars from the definition of wealth, what you find is that the bottom 48 percent of households have less combined wealth than Michael Bloomberg does. This is 60.4 million households or 158.9 million people .'

"'Regardless of which measure you use,' Bruenig concluded, 'the upshot is clear: the United States is simultaneously home to some of the wealthiest people on Earth and to a large propertyless underclass that have scarcely a penny to their names.'" [My Emphasis]

The description of Bloomberg as an Oligarch is correct. That he's also a kleptocrat is also likely true. What's certain is he didn't "work hard" to attain his loot; he's a Rentier just like Trump.

In a related development, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has proposed to change the tax codes to "Treat Wealth Like Wages" , something strongly advocated by economists like Hudson, Keen, and Wolff and would start to slowly change the disparity. George Will wrote a column about it yesterday . And although he's mistaken about that wealth being turned into productive (entrepreneurial) Capitalism as proven by Hudson, Keen, Wolff, and others, he does agree that something must be done about the problem.

[Feb 21, 2020] I don't think we should be delving on Sanders' foreign policy too much. Each President reliably betray his election platform

In France they used to say "Socialists who became ministers are not socialist ministers" ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... Sanders' 2016 campaigning was also very curious for his amazing deference to Hillary ..."
Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Feb 20 2020 18:22 utc | 19
I don't think we should be delving on Sanders' foreign policy too much.

Obama was elected on a "hope and change" platform - mentioning removing troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, closing Guantanamo etc. and then, boom, Libya, drones, private contractors and Syria happened.

Also, we have the Deep State, which is the true dictator of American foreign policy. This is the team of "experts" and "advisers" who will "educate" whoever is newly elected to the WH. So it doesn't really matter what the candidates state about foreign policy at this point.

It really doesn't matter what Sanders says on the FP front.


Piotr Berman , Feb 20 2020 20:43 utc | 44

And Sanders' 2016 campaigning was also very curious for his amazing deference to Hillary .

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 20 2020 20:05 utc | 36

I will not defend Sanders from basing his foreign policy on the progressive outliers of reactionary CAP. There is a distinct danger that he would be malleable on foreign policy, but also a hope... The hope is that he collected a lot of supporters who are less deferential to DC consensus than himself.

The deference to Hillary was a good tactical choice in my humble opinion. He leads the insurgents who do not favor the current DNC and party apparatus. To win a national elections he does need cooperation across party spectrum. PUMA is a real danger against that (search PUMA 2008 election). So he can (a) challenge and shame possible repeaters of PUMA (b) give good example (c) rely on his feared supporters who are guaranteed to be suspicious and grumpy.

Bloomberg as the champion of moderate democrats reminds me the candidate for Polish presidency that Nationalists put forth in 1922. He was the top aristocrat, with vast holdings. Nationalists had hopes of attracting the larger and very moderate peasant party, but moderate as they were, they just could not vote for Aristocrat Number One. A lot of Democrats prefer Sanders over Bloomberg, even the moderate ones. If Sanders becomes top in delegate count and Bloomberg second, brokering the convention against Sanders will be hard.

Bubbles , Feb 20 2020 21:30 utc | 51
I started out to say that Sanders can't compete in the American Political sham reality if he goes ball to the wall against Israel's aggression's and totally illegal behaviour which is supported by Democrats and Republican's alike because of the monetary power the Zionist fifth column in America wields with their "Benjamins"

Hat tip to that tiny girl born in Somalia for calling a spade a spade. Courage should be rewarded, not attacked by those who disrespect truth and decency.

Patroklos , Feb 20 2020 22:30 utc | 59
On Sanders' foreign policy: we shouldn't forget that democracies are belligerent, that the link between war and high citizen participation in decision-making was the hallmark of classical antiquity. More recently, the icing on FDR's New Deal was ww2. It doesn't surprise me that a shift to social democracy does not imply a decrease in external belligerence. In fact moderate right-wing libertarians tend on the whole to be the least fond of war, unless it's about protecting their interests. But when the interests at stake are understood by the deliberative citizen body (e.g. SPQR or ὁ δῆμος) to be those of the collective citizen body, then war is endemic. I am reminded too that one of the most left-wing institutions (in spirit at least) in the US is the Marine Corps: the polis is a warrior-guild (Max Weber)
waste , Feb 21 2020 0:06 utc | 75
Thanks b for watching the debate for us :)

Even if sanders gets the nomination (a very very big if), don 't expect him to go all anti-systemic at all, more the opposite I would say. So Tulsi for VC is like a red herring, he would probably choose a "moderate" for VC.

The following article is a very interesting one, showing the type of socialist sanders is. His ideas about socialism are closer to the european socialdemocratic system after the 90s , and we all know what a trainwreck that is.

https://libcom.org/library/bernie-sanders-paradox-when-socialism-grows-old

Jackrabbit , Feb 21 2020 0:27 utc | 78
karlof1 @62, b4real @73

Whether he realizes it or not, karlof1 is exposing a version of the establishment-friendly "best of all worlds" (BOAW) political theory

BOAW was popular when Obama the deceiver was President. It fits well with his neoliberal hucksterism aka "social choice theory".

BOAW says that if something is wrong or can be improved, it will get attention and be addressed because people will get behind the change necessary to make it happen.

But the Empire and great wealth disparity has distorted democratic processes into something garish - like fun house mirrors. BOAW is now recognized as simply hopium propaganda and is hardly ever even mentioned anymore.

!!

[Feb 20, 2020] Michael Bloomberg Smirking Id of America's Elites

Feb 20, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

February 19, 2020

|

12:01 am

Matt Purple

Thank God for former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. Where would we be without him? Probably all smoking in bars, as opposed to the much healthier things we do there now, like stare at our smartphones and not talk to each other. And of course, we all know someone who was subsisting solely on canned soup until Bloomberg blessed us with his public health campaign against salt .

Now Bloomberg is running for president, and his years of behaving like a crossing guard drunk on the power of his reversible stop sign have come back to haunt him. The stupid and demeaning remarks unearthed from the Bloomberg vault in recent days include attacks on African Americans , attacks on the elderly , attacks on gun owners , attacks on civil libertarians, attacks on women , more attacks on women , and attacks on farmers . What these comments have in common is that they're elitist. And not just elitist, but purest-grade, paternalistically elitist, unchecked by the usual manners and political correctness that are supposed to govern Upper East Side prejudices. Bloomberg just says this stuff, then sets about codifying it through petty rules. He's the mirror image of Donald Trump, only whereas Trump is our most unfiltered voice of populism, Bloomberg is the smirking id of our imperious elites.

Bloomberg is best known for that aforementioned ban on smoking in bars, and since government can never just stop on square one, New York promptly followed it up with a raise in the smoking age , a ban on smoking in all parks and beaches , and a ban on flavored e-cigarettes . This crusade, Bloomberg assured us back in 2002, would be lightly felt, since 80 percent of New Yorkers didn't smoke. Still, that leaves the other 20 percent, and a stroll through Manhattan at dusk reveals their demographic: poor, largely immigrant, bartenders and servers and dishwashers, people who have tougher job descriptions than "mumbling, lace curtain-born billionaire." Bloomberg's paternalism holds that these people are too stupid to decide for themselves whether to light up. He's like Alderman Cute in Dickens' story The Chimes , pompously lecturing the lower orders about the empirical hazards of eating tripe.

Bloomberg holds many trademarks, but his most familiar one is his almost child-like regard for himself. He's impossible to picture without a Simpsons -style "MAYOR" sash slung across his chest. An ego of that size was never going to be satisfied just dictating to smokers. And so among the endless other things that Bloomberg banned as mayor, according to a list compiled by Gizmodo , were trans-fats, Big Gulps, Styrofoam food packaging, collecting grass clippings at certain times of the year, black roofs, and non-energy-efficient taxis. Naturally he lowered the speed limit in some parts of the city. Naturally, too, his administration contemplated cracking down on bars and liquor stores (having been robbed of smoke breaks, service workers must also be deprived of jobs), only to magnanimously back off that initiative .

All of this was done in the name of "public health," that gelatinous euphemism under which can fall everything from bans on private rhinoceros ownership to forced labor camps. Yet whose health was being protected exactly? That depends, as always, on the caprices of the man in charge. So while the respiratory health of bartenders was deemed a crisis, the mental health of those living near East 34th Street in Manhattan was less important. That was where Bloomberg was caught violating noise regulations by landing his private helicopter in the middle of the day. Repeatedly. Eight times in one weekend. After he'd already made a point of cracking down on noise pollution . That's all the proof you need that Bloomberg's reign was more about class snobbery than the rule of law. The rules apply only to the little people, not the embryo-potentate sniggering while he eases off the throttle.

In order to (inconsistently) enforce this labyrinth of red tape, Bloomberg effectively turned the police into a task force on petty vice, sending them to write up people for harmless offenses ( a move their union loudly protested ). In a 2004 piece for Vanity Fair , Christopher Hitchens set out on a crime spree across New York where he tried to break as many of these enforced regulations as possible. This meant not just lighting up in a bar, but sitting on a milk crate ($105 fine for a Bronx man), feeding pigeons (summons for an 86-year-old), and riding a bike without both feet on the pedals. Strangely, though considered crimes against humanity in Bloombergistan, these particular infractions had nothing to do with public health. What they did have to do with was fines, which were then used to fill city coffers, authoritarianism in the service of deficit cutting. This enabled Bloomberg to boast about his fiscal responsibility even as he presided over a hefty expansion of the city's budget.

And it's here that we approach the heart of the Bloomberg ethos, as well as a crucial distinction in our politics. Bloomberg is the opposite of a libertarian, yet he defines himself as a "fiscal conservative and social liberal." Often confused, these two terms are fundamentally different. Libertarianism is concerned with the liberty and dignity of the individual, whereas "fiscal conservative and social liberal" has less philosophical connective tissue. Under its shotgun marriage of terms, "social liberal" can mean, as Bloomberg once told a pregnant subordinate, "kill it," while "fiscal conservative" can mean reducing people to piggy banks in order to feed finances. What links them is the flowchart. Children are bad for efficiency; so are smokers, drinkers, and fast food diners. This is the ideology of the corporate boardroom. It's dehumanizing, in that it flattens people into mere budget figures and values of life expectancy.

Bloomberg's politics, then, aren't concerned with tradition or liberty or autonomy or community. What matters is that you sit up straight, put down the Big Mac, and get ready to maximize your contribution to the GDP, your own circumstances and desires be damned. The fiscal becomes the moral. Thus does Bloomberg defend Wall Street because it's "our tax base." Thus does he support new taxes on the poor precisely because it will change their behavior. Thus does he think we ought to deny urgent medical care to the elderly because it's too expensive. And we haven't even gotten to his other infringements on those with less power than he, like the African Americans who were stopped and frisked over a hundred times under his mayorship (worthy of a piece all its own) or the protesters illegally rounded up at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Now another target has fallen into Bloomberg's sights: coal workers. Here in my home market of Washington, D.C., Bloomberg is running commercials in which he boasts about his plan to shut down every coal plant in the country. A brief snippet from the ad shows Trump at a rally wearing a miner's helmet and making a goofy face while a crowd cheers him on. The implication is clear: coal is backwards and those who embrace it are suckers and rubes.

Most progressives who rail against fossil fuels at least make some attempt to empathize with the laborers their schemes would displace (think the Obama-era attempt at a "blue-green alliance," for example). Not Bloomberg. It's that callous indifference that makes him truly unique. I'd sooner vote for a stalk of celery with googly-eyes attached (not that one would be able to tell the difference). Here's a question: can those of us who think the national debt is a genuine problem find a way to curtail it without becoming similarly cold-blooded? And another one: are the Democrats really so desperate to beat Trump that they would nominate this little mechanical pencil of a man?


GaryH a day ago

"Bloomberg is the smirking id of our imperious elites."

Now that is a great line.

Don Quijote GaryH 15 hours ago • edited
Trump is the smirking id of the deplorables.

And the Republican Party...

BTW Why didn't Bernie Maddof not get pardoned?

August Personage Don Quijote 14 hours ago
Madoff ripped off other rich people. Clearly that is unpardonable
NoNonsensingPlease August Personage 9 hours ago
LOL.
HangOnSloopy Don Quijote an hour ago
I am a deplorable. I live in the middle of the country. I watch jets fly over. I believe that illegal immigrates should be deported. I own a gun. I read the bible. I salute the flag. But most importantly, I vote in every election.
Paul HangOnSloopy 10 minutes ago
I, too, am deplorable. I am a math professor at a research I university, I listen to the simpering social scientists ridicule our President and it makes me furious. I know illegal immigrants should be deported. I own lots of guns. I am an atheist, I salute the flag. I am old. I am patriotic and so very proud to be an American. I loath when liberals refer to Trump supporters are uneducated, because I know that my mathematics degrees give me logical insights that their sociology/English/history/gender studies degrees will never be able to match....AND I ALWAYS vote in every election too!
Greg a day ago
"Libertarianism is concerned with the liberty and dignity of the individual". More accurately, libertarianism is the philosophy of Anton Lavey and represents the enslavement and dehumanization of the individual.
I Don't Matter a day ago
Better than Trump.
MPC I Don't Matter 8 hours ago
The best angle I can see with Bloomberg is that he could never do identity politics. We would be honestly and openly ruled by our oligarchs.

He would be useless at addressing the festering problems of which identity politics are symptoms however.

Osse a day ago
" And another one: are the Democrats really so desperate to beat Trump that they would nominate this little mechanical pencil of a man?"

Judging from comment threads at the NYT, yes they are. Of course you Republicans picked Trump. So why shouldn't Democrats openly flush all their professed principles down the toilet? Which is what they will do if they pick Bloomberg as their standard bearer. Bloomberg is better on some issues by liberal/left standards. But all the criticisms we lefties make of Trump's crudity, arrogance, bigotry, narcissism and sense of entitlement? His lack of respect for basic human rights? Um, nevermind.

Connecticut Farmer Osse 16 hours ago • edited
"Trump's crudity, arrogance, bigotry, narcissism and sense of entitlement?"

To one degree or another that pretty much characterizes ALL politicians--and, I might add, a great argument in favor of term limits.

Osse Connecticut Farmer 8 hours ago
Fair point, though I think Trump, Bloomberg and HRC carry it to extremes.
Brasidas Connecticut Farmer 8 hours ago
Gosh, you can tell yourself that but it ain't so.
MPC Connecticut Farmer 7 hours ago
Term limits don't help if all the newcomers end up feasting at the same powerful interest and lobby buffet.

Spengler observed that democracy generally served the interests of money.

CrossTieWalker Osse 15 hours ago
Well, Trump's character flaws aren't able to be written into law, law that you and I must then follow. Bloomberg's various obsessions are to be written directly into the code book and you and I will be expected to live as Bloomberg wants us to live.
Ge0ffrey Osse 14 hours ago
God bless Donald Trump and God bless America!
dominigan the deplorable Osse 13 hours ago
Trump's crudity, arrogance, bigotry, narcissism and sense of entitlement?

Leftists always project their flaws onto others. All of those things are on display with Democrats, and not with Trump. Trump built his wealth himself and has never displayed a sense of entitlement. Oh, and basic human rights like LIFE?... as you support the party of CHILD SACRIFICE? Nice try.

Woland dominigan the deplorable 13 hours ago
Nice trolling. Trump is the son of a very wealthy real estate developer, Bloomberg the son of a bookkeeper. But don't let that keep you up at night.
dominigan the deplorable Woland 13 hours ago
Idiot. Trump only received a loan, which he paid back to his father. He has never displayed an entitlement mindset. But thank you for proving my comments about the idiocy of the Left. You nailed it!
Woland dominigan the deplorable 11 hours ago
A 1 million dollar loan, in let's say 1970 dollars. I don't know about you, but where I live, that's something that's out of reach for 99 % of the population today. If Trump speaks the truth about this, of course.

There's also the observation that while Bloomberg quintupled his estimated net worth to $60 billion in the past ten years, Trump's net worth seems to have dropped from $8 billion to $3 billion in the same timeframe. In a neverending bull market. That takes real business acumen.

dominigan the deplorable Woland 11 hours ago
It was also a loan, that he paid back... and not an entitlement as the original commenter falsely claimed.
stephen pickard dominigan the deplorable 10 hours ago
I think that you focus on the loan too much.. He had a trust fund for 400 million dollars. However none of those details mater. Trump simply is not a self made man as that concept is understood. He just is not. If that myth were all that what is wrong with this fellow, we should be so lucky.
Mediaistheenemy Woland an hour ago
Trump is a populist, he respects and admires the working class.
Bloomberg is an elitist. The working class is unfit to govern and must be ruled-for their own good. It shows in all his speeches and interactions. The media and Democrat Part leaders feel the same way, that's why they like him when most people despise him.
Osse dominigan the deplorable 8 hours ago
What's funny about your response is that I was attacking liberals who have spent years attacking Trump's massive character flaws and then they turn around and support someone with essentially the same flaws.
Brasidas Osse 8 hours ago • edited
Is there another NYT? You could wallpaper your bathroom with the Op Eds against Bloomberg and the Democrats who agree. That being said, I could think of worse things than Bloomberg.
BCZ a day ago
I'm just glad someone called libertarianism what it is. Socially liberal and economically conservative indeed.
polistra24 a day ago
Well, if nothing else Bloomberg vs Trump would be the perfect election for Hillary. Clinton puppet vs Clinton puppet. The mob wins both ways. Bloomberg wouldn't be quite as much fun because he wouldn't be usable as an Official Hate Target, so Hillary couldn't pretend to dissociate herself from her actions.
Ge0ffrey polistra24 14 hours ago
Trump is a Clinton puppet? Are you living on planet Mars?
Egyptsteve Ge0ffrey 9 hours ago
Clinton
Ge0ffrey Egyptsteve 9 hours ago
You are cuckoo for coco puffs.
CPT Egyptsteve 6 hours ago
If only we were so lucky to have Putin running the White House.
Awake and Uttering a Song polistra24 13 hours ago
Huh?
IanDakar 21 hours ago
According to what I've heard, Bloomberg's base is heavily high school educated whites. Which sounds a lot like Trump's base. It's like if Trump stayed a Democrat basically.

Yeah, when the alternatives are Trump, buttigieg, and this thing you'll forgive me if I would rather spend the next four years figuring out how to pay for free tuition. It's not like any of the others are going to be less expensive and free college and doctor visits beats walls that don't stop illegals, wars for no reason, and cops trying to find "unethical things" to fine me with.

If you have a better candidate than Bernie go vote for them. If you actually like one of those types go vote for that. If none are linkable just find the least hated. Vote third party if that's seriously your thing.

Just for all that which is good don't vote None.

Though I'll be honest if it's Trump vs bloom I can see myself picking the orange guy at the moment. That might change but really Bloom is looking THAT bad.

Kessler IanDakar 17 hours ago
I suspect high school educated whites are more vulnerable to mass media influence. They wouldn't have time and energy to go too deep into candidates and their politics, so their opinions are more likely to be formed by political ads alone. And if it's 24 hours of Bloomberg ads, well, if you repeat the same thing long enough, even sceptics may start to believe.
IanDakar Kessler 17 hours ago
They may not be skeptical.

Right now in Georgia almost all of the info I have on who to vote for is due to me being politically active. I visit here, npr, the news section of Google, Bloomberg's (for the corporate side), and recently videos from The Hill and Some More News.

If I wasn't active like that and did something else the literal ONLY info I would have would come from Bloomberg ads that show on YouTube and TV. I wouldn't even know how many people are running or most anyoneexcept Bernie.

If you are trying to make a living with a HS diploma you don't havetime for more than that.

People mock "low information voters" as if most people are sitting on hours of free time going "I could go read TAC but picking my nose is so fun. I'll just Vote randomly".

When you don't have time for deep politics "get it done and stop Trump" is appealing

Connecticut Farmer IanDakar 15 hours ago
Trump v. Bloomberg.

Archie vs. Jughead.

Awake and Uttering a Song Connecticut Farmer 10 hours ago
Wormwood vs. Screwtape.
Ge0ffrey IanDakar 14 hours ago
Where did you hear that?
Osse IanDakar 8 hours ago
Not sure this is entirely right. If you read NYT comment threads there are a depressingly large number of Bloomberg apologists. They brush off everything in his record ( like the civil rights violations) that they would condemn as massive human rights violations if Trump were responsible. I think these are your typical upper middle class college educated liberals.

Though he might have a base among high school educated whites. I don't know. If so, some of that should evaporate if some of his snooty comments become more widely known.

marisheba Osse 5 hours ago
His base is old white people. Breakdown of polling data in a Wapo article today.
Mediaistheenemy Osse an hour ago
High school educated whites flock to the NYT comment threads?
That seems...odd.
Mediaistheenemy IanDakar an hour ago
Bloomberg's base is rich white urban leftists with college or advanced degrees. Judge Judy. Media figures on CNN. Print media figures. His kind. He's insufferable to most people.
He generally wouldn't give a non college graduate the time of day.
jack of hearts 20 hours ago
It has been said you can tell the measure of a man by how he treats those that can do absolutely nothing for him.
In this regard Bloomberg is a monster..
Dr. Rieux 19 hours ago
I have not forgotten Duhbyah, aka Bush 43, and one smirking President in my lifetime is enough.

No more smirkers in the White House. Just say "No!" to Little Mike.

stephen pickard 17 hours ago
I read this article several times looking for what actually it is that is so terrible about Bloomberg that his personal traits are disqualifying. What about his views on climate change , Iran and the like. The health regulations in and of themselves are what I would do voluntarily. I don't smoke for example and second hand smoke has crippled a friend who was a airplane stewardess back when smoking was permitted. Solving the homeless problem has never been possible and is too complicated to ever solve. The coal industry is dying on its own and accounts for what, less than a 100 thousands jobs. We lost that many from department store closings in a year or two. In summary the rub of Bloomberg to mr. Purple seems petty. His entitlement comes with the territory. I would suspect that each of us when we are in a position to grant ourselves a privilege we are not above doing so. Think of the small town mayor whose street in front of his house is cleared first after a snow storm. I lived next to a mayor once and did not complain although the people in the block next to me did. Does anyone think that a fairly normal person can run and be elected. There is something deeply unique about a successful politician at the highest level of power in the world. Let that sink in. " the world". Yes our politicians are very weird, kooky, imperfect, narcissistic and cads most times. One does not become a world class politician without engaging in some pretty unusual, and self serving activity. These politicians just have more opportunities to do things that are near and dear to their personal quirks. But look at the whole person. He is short in a tall man's world. He is a jew in a Christian world. He is an elite businessman in a poor man's world( not literally) and so on. Shouldn't we compare him to Trump, because that could be the choice. Seriously, can Mr. Purple do so with out vomiting? Yes I would gladly vote for a stock of celery when compared to Trump. Hell I would vote for a lump of coal assiming that there was someone still around who could mine for it.
Cascade Joe stephen pickard 25 minutes ago
Nicely presented.
JonF311 16 hours ago
I do love me a good hatchet piece on a deserving target. Bloomberg is a male version of Leona Helmsley (look her up, Millennials). Too bad he isn't primarying Trump instead. They could vie to show who's a meaner SOB.
Bo Grimes 15 hours ago
This is a really great article, and I'm no fan of Bloomberg, but I couldn't help but think the ending about fossil fuels ran counter to the overall thesis that for Bloomberg and other "fiscal conservative/social liberals," "the fiscal becomes the moral."

If fossil fuels are the least costly, most efficient means to "maximize contribution to the GDP" why wouldn't a FC/SL support them?

Ray Woodcock 15 hours ago • edited
Leading this article with nonstop snark on smoking was a mistake. Smoking is bad, generally speaking, but it's not driving voters. In the days of Trump, inveighing against ego is equally ineffectual. Criticizing public health in the age of COVID-19 -- are you serious? Speed limits in NYC? Really, who cares? Bicyclists, yes. Me personally, yes. Voters generally? No.

The reader is sorely challenged to find any meat in this article. Bloomberg's alleged violation of his own noise ordinances, if I'm reading that right, does make a point. And yet the point is dropped. Instead, we have the fact that, yes, in a city of almost nine million, you're going to be able to find the cop who tickets an old man for feeding pigeons. But it's faintly absurd to argue such trivia, when Trump's lawyer promoted a "broken windows" theory that likewise targeted minor crimes.

Generally, this article comes across as completely partisan. Having just witnessed the impeachment debacle, that seems tone-deaf. As Stephen Pickard and other commenters observe here, there was so much weighty material that could and should have been addressed. Purple's message, as managing editor, seems to be that TAC will stoop to anything, if it has a chance of smearing Bloomberg. Promoting that message was poor judgment.

Mccormick47 14 hours ago
"Libertarianism is concerned with the liberty and dignity of the individual" strikes me as hysterically funny.

[Feb 19, 2020] The Democratic Zoo vs the Orange Showman

Notable quotes:
"... 7. Tulsi Gabbard. God bless her. I would vote for her but the Gays and the Zionists are both against her. This is not going to happen. ..."
Feb 16, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

1. Bernie Sanders is a Marxist who is not afraid to stand up in public for himself. His honeymoon in the USSR is not likely to be forgotten. He is a communist fellow traveler who has become a member of the rentier class. He wants to abolish private health insurance. Really! De Blasio and AOC, two more open Marxists are on his team? Really?

2. IMO Elizabeth Warren is an obvious serial liar who reminds me of a second grade teacher with enthusiasms for projects that the little children had better get on board for, or else! Another millionaire in socialist clothing.

3. And, there is Mayor Pete, the darling of the Wall Street population and all the world's bankers. Somehow the creatures of the coastal cities don't understand that the American electorate is not ready to elect a cute, openly homosexual man who will live in the White House with his husband and child. It is not going to happen this time around.

4. Amy Klobuchar - An obscure Mid-Western senator who shows signs of an idealism that might be a problem for the professional pols. She might do something not in their script.

5. Mikey Bloomberg - The People's Party is going to put forward a guy worth over $60 billion? Really? If that were not bad enough, the man has a long history of total ineptitude in human relations involving blacks and women? Really? Watch him try to mix with ordinary people in crowds. Sad.

6. Hillary? Old Deplorable herself? Trump beat her once already in the Electoral College, where the fraud in California's popular vote did not matter. A lot of people loath her.

7. Tulsi Gabbard. God bless her. I would vote for her but the Gays and the Zionists are both against her. This is not going to happen.

8. Tom Steyr - Ho hum. A taller version of Bloomberg, he made his money by investing in coal mines and now is a fanatic "climate change" guy.

9. Joe Biden. He was asked by Jorge Ramos "why did you and Obama lock up so many illegal kids on the border?" He replied "we were taking care of them." IMO he is and has always been a crooked, not too smart politician from a very small state. Hell! In Delaware you can know most of the electorate personally. He is done.

All of these folks are addicted to private jets that they hire if they do not actually own one or two. Naughty! Naughty!

-------------

And! On the other side we have the orange man. He will be quite happy to run against these guys. BTW I doubt that he has a billion in cash. That is probably why he doesn't want to release his tax returns. He came into office with little understanding of the differences between government and business and still knows little about that. He wants to believe that everyone in the Executive Branch is his personal employee. He is wrong about that.

**********

BTW. McCabe IS NOT "off the hook." The particular charge DoJ is not going to try him for is the least of his problems.

-------------

Ah! The Bonfire of the Vanities. pl


Flavius , 16 February 2020 at 10:10 AM

"BTW. McCabe IS NOT "off the hook." The particular charge DoJ is not going to try him for is the least of his problems."

So true...and he knows it. You'll notice they haven't yet indicted the FBI lawyer who made a material misrepresentation on the Page FISC affidavit either. Comey, McCabe, Clapper, Brennan are being investigated for their roles in having blown up the Presidential electoral process in the United States. The DoJ is not about to make itself up front look petty, vindictive, and stupid by indicting McCabe for spitting on the sidewalk. The Democrats would love to take advantage of that opportunity.

For those paying attention, this provides a welcome contrast to the way the political jihadists under Mueller conducted themselves - Flynn, Manafort, Stone, Papanobody. Ditto the Schiff impeachment debacle. Pure chickenshit made into red meat by an obliging institutional media.

It's heartening to see some evidence of judgement has returned to the Department.

divadab , 16 February 2020 at 11:35 AM
Sir - if Bernie Sanders is a Marxist so was FDR. They are both New Deal Democrats, representing the working people against the rapacious oligarchs.

Further, Medicare for All is a bare minimum of what is required to uplift the citizens of this nation. It seems increasingly that we cannot stop the warmongers in their desire to dominate or destroy so the best policy is to improve the lot of the citizens. That's what Bernie is about.

Incidentally, a proposed Bloomberg/Clinton ticket epitomises the corruption and stupidity and incompetence of the Dem elite. Contemptible scum.

turcopolier , 16 February 2020 at 12:02 PM
divadab

Oh, BS! FDR was nothing like Bernie. What, he created Social Security and that made him a commie? Medicare for all would beggar us unless we ration care like they do in places like Canada.

Jack , 16 February 2020 at 12:12 PM
Sir,

The optics of the non-prosecution of McCabe is not looking good when the DOJ have prosecuted Stone and Flynn for the same thing. There's no doubt we have a 2-tier justice system with a very corrupt prosecutorial system and a judiciary in lock step with them. The FISA court exemplifies this.

As far as the Orangeman is concerned he seems not much different than all the others. At the end of the day he hired Rosenstein, Wray, Sessions, Barr, Bolton, Kelly and Mattis. While he's got the prerogative to declassify he shirked each time and passed the buck. His shtick of being the representative of the Deplorables is just that. He only cares about his own skin.

He's completely in thrall of the Saudi bonesaw and Bibi's maximalist visions.

The bottom line in my opinion is we have a broken political, media and governmental system as the people the voters encourage to run it are as corrupt as in any tinpot banana republic.

Personally I'd like to see Trump vs Bernie as it would implode the Democrats and show clearly how polarized the electorate really is and how venal the media have become. What will they do when they hate both candidates?

NancyK , 16 February 2020 at 12:43 PM
divadad,

rationed care is better than no care at all or care that bankrupts the family. I think most Canadian's prefer their system than ours. Having said that I don't agree with Medicare for all but I do think that individuals and families who cannot afford medical insurance should have affordable options available to them.

Sam Iam , 16 February 2020 at 12:58 PM
Sir,

To help clarify Sander's world view, I'll present to this this snippet from a recent interview where he brings up modern-day China:

"It wasn't so many decades ago that there was mass starvation in China. All right? There is not mass starvation today and people have got -- the government has got to take credit for the fact that there is now a middle class in China. No one denies that more people in China have a higher standard of living than use to be the case. All right? That's the reality.

On the other hand, China is a dictatorship. It does not tolerate democracy, i.e., what they're doing in Hong Kong. They do not tolerate independent trade unions and the Communist Party rules with a pretty iron fist. So, and by the way, in recent years, Xi has made the situation even worse. So, I mean, I'll give, you give people credit where it is due. But you have to maintain values of democracy and human rights and certainly that does not exist in China."

D , 16 February 2020 at 01:06 PM
One bonfire that refuses to die and flamed up again today - Crowdstrike and the media's total refusal to even mention its name, which was the really critical part of the Ukrainian phone call. Not their phony quid pro quo.

All Democrat candidates need to questioned about Crowdstrike, since it led to two failed major Democrat-led actions against President Trump - The Mueller investigation and the Democrat impeachment.

Following article underscores what Larry Johnson has been reporting for years:

https://thenationalsentinel.com/2020/02/15/crowdstrike-claim-that-russia-hacked-dnc-server-remains-at-center-of-2016-spygate-scandal-hoax/

b , 16 February 2020 at 01:10 PM
Sander is a no 'Marxist' at all. I agree with this quote from Krugman (a Clinton guy):
The thing is, Bernie Sanders isn't actually a socialist in any normal sense of the term. He doesn't want to nationalize our major industries and replace markets with central planning; he has expressed admiration, not for Venezuela, but for Denmark. He's basically what Europeans would call a social democrat -- and social democracies like Denmark are, in fact, quite nice places to live, with societies that are, if anything, freer than our own.

The social democrat have always hated and fought against the communists who are the real Marxists.

D , 16 February 2020 at 01:13 PM
FDR strongly warned not to unionize government employees.

Sanders demands all workers shall be unionized, which is the backbone of the Green New Deal - mandatory union membership, creating vast slush funds of union dues going directly to the Democrat party.

Fred , 16 February 2020 at 01:16 PM
Divadab,

Just what has Bernie accomplished in 30 years in federal office, besides becoming a multimillionaire?

D , 16 February 2020 at 01:16 PM
What happened to the speculation that breaking the whole " Trump coup" conspiracy would take down all government agencies, including the Gang of 8?

Consequently, more than the Democrats are interested in burying any loose threads that could cause something much larger to unravel? Wolfe gets off. McCabe gets off. Page/Strozk leer smugly over glasses of wine. Clapper-Bernnan-Comey free as birds.

John Merryman , 16 February 2020 at 01:20 PM
The reality should not be so much about the personalities, as the processes driving them. We have this ideal of a nation of laws, not men, but the principle doesn't run that deep.

The medical situation, for instance, is rife with fraud and abuse. While some waste is necessary, the whole trial and error thing, our country's medical system is more about siphoning value out of the community, than effectively understanding the necessities of healthcare and trying to adequately provide for them, to the extent possible.

Which is not so much a healthcare issue, as it is a financial system issue. Here is a very insightful essay from Naked Capitalism, that could be applied across many fields;

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/02/ship-the-airplane-the-cultural-organizational-and-technical-reasons-why-boeing-cannot-recover.html
Focus on the people distracts from the real issues.

eakens , 16 February 2020 at 01:45 PM
Good luck getting rid of the private insurance companies, lobbies, lawyers, accountants, and other third party beneficiaries of the private insurance market. United Healthcare has revenues of nearly a quarter trillion dollars just by itself. It's better to focus on what is possible instead of what is noble.

It is the same reason we won't be able to end all the wars, and simplify the tax code in a meaningful way. Intuit (the maker of TurboTax) is one of the largest supporters of complicating the forms and processes by which to file taxes.

The bottom line is that these are massive, structural changes that they would take constitutional amendments to fix since every 4-8 years some carpetbagger shows up seeking to undo what the other carpetbaggers did, and the only thing they do is create another cottage industry regulated by an equally large bureaucracy.

If you want to champion anything, start with campaign finance reform since everything else is just noise.

james , 16 February 2020 at 02:53 PM
basically you're saying 'the usa is screwed." that is what it sounds like to me..
Dwight , 16 February 2020 at 03:17 PM
Our current system already beggars most of us. Expensive yet insecure coverage that potentially bankrupts us all from surprise billing. Incredible time-suck to protect yourself from such predatory practices. (Though it appears Medicare recipients are protected from such price gouging.).

Employer-based coverage constrains job changes, and leaves people without coverage when they get laid off because of illness. I see Medicare for All as enhancing liberty. Tying health care to your employer is kind of feudal. Take away the tax breaks at least so the market is fair. I wouldn't mind paying premiums and copays, with monthly maximum, but wouldn't mind paying through taxes either.

Diana Croissant , 16 February 2020 at 03:30 PM
I am sorry, but my comment to this summary of the Democratic contenders is totally facetious. (Perhaps that is because if find all but Tulsi people who have been put forward by an obviously facetious group of people running the Democratic Party now.

Does anyone else suspect that Elizabeth Warren is making money on the side doing the voice for Pinocchio in the GEICO ads?

divadab , 16 February 2020 at 03:42 PM
Whoa! Quite a few responses - will try to answer in order:

@turcopolier - well I have direct experience of the Canadian system and based on many experiences, the Canadian universal single-payer system is not "rationed" in any way wrt urgent care. Yes if you have elective surgery like an arthroscopic knee repair of which I've had two and my choice was wait 3-5 months in Canada or pay $5,000 stateside and get it done next week. I paid. The choice of paying for service should never go away IMHO and this is a flaw among many which I note with Bernie's plan. Nonetheless he is articulating a bargaining position to attain something I think essential to re-organize the US health insurance system. WHy as a society are we paying twice as a percentage of gdp than Canada? It's profiteering. ANd Inefficiency. Probably in reverse order of importance, but they each feed the other.

@NancyK - some mix of a universal medicaire-style system with extra insurance available for those who want to pay for it (private room, immediate service, that kind of upgrade) might work, don't you think?

@fred - well, since you ask, and tho I'm no expert in the history of Bernie I do know this - he was mayor of Burlington VT for quite a while and you should take a walk around and see how some of his intitiatives have made Burlington more livable. ALso he garnered between 20 and 40 % of the Republican vote in his long run as Congressman from VT. As Representative and Senator he is well known for his successful amendements to the benefit of ALL
rather than for the benefit of the few, or, himself. He is only recently a millionaire, I understand, as he wrote a very successful book which made him a couple of million. Other than that, he owns real estate - who of his vintage who bought real estate has not made money?

Anyhoo, Bernie or bust!

ISL , 16 February 2020 at 03:45 PM
Dear Colonel,

I find I agree completely with all your points, except (respectfully) the intensity of your Bernie blast. If medicare for all is such a bad idea, then I await Trump to propose revoking ALL the communistic gov't medical care programs (including the free one congress gets).

Spark!!! spark!!! spark!!! Third rail.

Also, I note that Tulsi's has many more enemies. I continue supporting her (she is doing better than Steyer and Yang) in the hope that Bernie has had her as VP in mind all along or else that she will spend the next four years building a support base for 2024.

Barring the economy cracking or a new ME mess (perhaps by an Iranian proxy in revenge), I agree that the Dems will get trounced outside their coastal enclaves, particularly if the Dems continue to cheat the process. Nothings says stay home like having your vote stolen.

In the economic regards, the Corona Virus is a potentially massive black swan event - the Fed already has been printing 100 billion per month to stave off economic collapse for five months now (socialism for the banks!!!! Get a pitchfork) and no intention to slowdown for the foreseeable future, so it's not clear they have the bullets to deal with a, at a minimum, Corona shutdown of US supply chains. With a up to 24 day before symptoms appear, and false negatives of up to 80% in the very few who are tested, efforts to date by the US are just security theater.

Dwight , 16 February 2020 at 03:49 PM
Even if Bernie were a communist rather than a moderate social democrat, we have checks and balances, and the Fifth Amendment protecting property rights.
turcopolier , 16 February 2020 at 05:10 PM
Dwight

Just kidding yourself about how much damage he could do while president. Do you feel that way about Trump?

turcopolier , 16 February 2020 at 05:12 PM
ISL
1. His plan would forbid insurance outside it. 2. The cost is massively prohibitive.
turcopolier , 16 February 2020 at 05:16 PM
James

No. Trump is doing a good job except in the ME.

turcopolier , 16 February 2020 at 06:12 PM
divadab

"wrt urgent care." What would you do if there were no available sources of treatment in the US?

turcopolier , 16 February 2020 at 06:16 PM
b (old adversary) You may not like to admits that I know a lot about various forms of leftism but I (like many other former USI officers know a lot about you) I personally recruited quite a few "Social Democrats" who were really agents of the USSR until they switched sides. They were tested a lot. I admit that Bernie evidently never voted for the Communist Party candidate for president as John Brennan did, but his honeymoon on an Intourist visa in the USSR speaks volumes. As I recall you were quite pro-Warsaw Pact and anti-NATO during the Cold War.
D , 16 February 2020 at 07:00 PM
Denmark retains its Lutheran sensibilities, if not their daily practice. It is very strict about immigration - very few are allowed in, closed borders, must speak Danish, turn over assets to the government, and no complaints about pork being on the menus.

Hygge celebrates thrift, simplicity and austerity. If you want Danish social democracy, you have to participate in the whole package. (Being of Danish heritage myself, I see nothin wrong with this but don't see many others living up to their unique lifestyle standards -

(NB: re-read Garrison Kielor's Lake Woebegon for further insights into Scandinavian heritage in the US - particuarly his footnoted treatise on 100 drawbacks being raised Scandinavian - US Scandinavians will laugh in self-recognition and also sadly nod in full agreement)

Danes laugh at our US welfare state and recognize it has nothing to do with their version of social welfare. Danish "socialism" provides workers with buy-in medical plans for more efficient delivery systems. It is by no means free government run health care or social welfare for all.

Norwegians are closer to this idealized model of "free stuff", but with even stricter about immigration controls and their system floats on massive amounts of fossil fuel extraction cash. Sweden, Finland, Iceland -- all have uniqiness in their social welfare systems that cannot translate to the US polyglot, poly-cultural model.

Danes also have suffered from high rates of depression and suicide. So Bernie, be sure to sign up for the whole package, and stop glossing over the missing details of your proposal for "Danish socialism".

Their system does work for the Danes and has a lot to like about it - but you have to plug in all the variables, so start by undoing the US welfare state plantation first and expect everyone to be a maker; not a taker.

Then give everyone a bike to replace their cars, and only then can you start handing out free health care - Danish style because their far more active lifestyle will define new models for health care needs.

[Feb 19, 2020] How to commit the political suicide -- Bloomberg way

Notable quotes:
"... "Michael made his fortune simply by collecting unprocessed financial information and then selling it to end users. " As pointed out in a 2014 interview with CNN he also witholds information that some, in the case of that particular interview - the Communist Chinese government, don't want aired. ..."
"... I concur. Bloomberg's own magazine ran an article a few years ago explaining that an average tractor is more computerized than a space shuttle. Farmers have to hack their tractors to get around software intended to make maintenance difficult without relying on the sellers. ..."
"... I wanted to like Bloomberg because I am beyond sick of Trump. I just can't. Can't people like him understand that their ignorance and smugness is what drives the revolt against elites? ..."
"... This is a vanity play for Bloomberg. To spend $2-3 billion on this project is investing less than 5% of his wealth. It likely was the same for Trump but since he's always been a hustler he figured even if he lost he could parlay that to more celebrity and more brand value. ..."
"... In spite of his gun control and Big Gulp stances, I used to think Bloomberg was smarter than what's been revealed recently. I'm truly shocked at the ease with which he's publicly stated such ignorant, elitist opinions. ..."
"... As someone with 30 years in IT, comments like Bloomberg's infuriate me. People seem to forget that without those who have skills like metalworking, all the physical infrastructure that makes IT possible disappears and IT work along with it. Programming is a worthless profession if the bridges collapse and the power goes out. ..."
"... A Hillary Bloomberg ticket would would despise and find 99.9% of American population contemptible. Fortunately a majority of Americans would hold a similar opinion of those two. ..."
Feb 19, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Michael Bloomberg - Idiot By Walrus. Michael Bloomberg really did disparage farmers and metalworkers by saying that these are just "processes" that can be taught to anyone and then stating that information technology work requires a higher order of brainpower, implying that farmers and metalworkers are inferior to information technology professionals. I heard it myself.

Michael thus displays total and fundamental ignorance of both farming and metalwork but it's worse. Michael made his fortune simply by collecting unprocessed financial information and then selling it to end users. Farmers and metalworkers go at least one step further. They actually use information technology not only to collect information like Michael, but act on it to provide value - something Michael doesn't do.

Take farmers for example; they don't just "dig a hole, put seed in and wait for corn to come up", as Michael thinks; For a start, last years corn harvest was performed by a $300,000 machine which is not only GPS enabled and automatically steered, but it logs the corn yield per individual acre. When it's time to plant the following year, the farmer processes the yield data using agricultural algorithms to determine the exact optimum fertilizer dosage for that acre and another $300,000 machine applies that fertilizer and plants the seed automatically. Then of course he monitors his crop with satellite weather and would be using an internet enabled irrigation system to apply the optimum amount of water. Naturally she would also be using financial systems to hedge or forward sell her crop.

A friend nearby owns a cattle property. He was looking to buy a hobby farm when a local made a disparaging comment to him in a bar about "city slickers". He now has 6000 acres of state of the art cattle growing property and that is so computerized that delegations come from overseas to visit.

So much for dumb farmers.....

The story of metalwork is exactly the same. We no longer have "blueprints". We use seven axis computerized machine tools, stereolithography, robotics, computer aided design and now nano-scale machine systems that make the very systems of hardware that Bloombergs programs run.

Bloomberg is an idiot. Anyone can be taught to code. Not everyone can be a farmer or a metalworker. That requires real brainpower. The Democrat party once again shows how completely out of touch it is by entertaining this candidacy.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/18/democrats-still-have-deplorables-problem-mike-bloomberg-is-making-it-worse/


Fred , 18 February 2020 at 09:55 PM

Walrus,

"Michael made his fortune simply by collecting unprocessed financial information and then selling it to end users. " As pointed out in a 2014 interview with CNN he also witholds information that some, in the case of that particular interview - the Communist Chinese government, don't want aired.

Ghoti , 18 February 2020 at 10:52 PM
Thank you, Walrus.

I concur. Bloomberg's own magazine ran an article a few years ago explaining that an average tractor is more computerized than a space shuttle. Farmers have to hack their tractors to get around software intended to make maintenance difficult without relying on the sellers.

Richard Rhodes of "Making of the Atomic Bomb" fame wrote about how farmers are very talented in a broad array of skills. Your point on farmers and finance is spot on. A good farmer has a solid understanding of puts, calls, swaps, and other derivatives.

I wanted to like Bloomberg because I am beyond sick of Trump. I just can't. Can't people like him understand that their ignorance and smugness is what drives the revolt against elites?

Jack , 19 February 2020 at 12:32 AM
Walrus

This is a vanity play for Bloomberg. To spend $2-3 billion on this project is investing less than 5% of his wealth. It likely was the same for Trump but since he's always been a hustler he figured even if he lost he could parlay that to more celebrity and more brand value.

Unlike Trump however who did have a message that resonated with the working class, Bloomberg is similar to Hillary in that he's a smug elitist condescending towards the lower middle class. There's not an ounce of humility in him.

He's attempting to buy the nomination by buying all those DNC office holders and party establishment figures as well as the media hacks who will sing and dance for some baksheesh.

While he struts the stage showering his billions he is just a puppet for Dear Leader Xi and his totalitarian Communist Party.

different clue , 19 February 2020 at 12:43 AM
If people want to know just how complicated farming can be, here is a short presentation by a farmer explaining some of what he did to grow 514 bushel-per-acre corn as a demonstration of the possible.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=sfp&p=you+tube+corn+school#id=1&vid=5f6af32e4add33d18f420e98e15b1533&action=click

akaPatience , 19 February 2020 at 02:21 AM
In spite of his gun control and Big Gulp stances, I used to think Bloomberg was smarter than what's been revealed recently. I'm truly shocked at the ease with which he's publicly stated such ignorant, elitist opinions.

Wait until more of the public sees his Mary Poppins skit. Oh boy.

anon , 19 February 2020 at 05:21 AM
Strange comment from a $68 billion self made man indeed. But as per script. Called 2 way information control. By controlling the flow of information from opposing sides one can change the facts on the ground to suit oneself
jayinbmore , 19 February 2020 at 07:24 AM
Walrus,

As someone with 30 years in IT, comments like Bloomberg's infuriate me. People seem to forget that without those who have skills like metalworking, all the physical infrastructure that makes IT possible disappears and IT work along with it. Programming is a worthless profession if the bridges collapse and the power goes out.

sbin , 19 February 2020 at 09:00 AM
A Hillary Bloomberg ticket would would despise and find 99.9% of American population contemptible. Fortunately a majority of Americans would hold a similar opinion of those two.
james , 19 February 2020 at 10:39 AM
it would be so much easier if Bloomberg was russian... but he's a capitalist.. oh well...
Flavius , 19 February 2020 at 10:42 AM
As political power has shifted from so called flyover country to Washington DC, the bureaucracies, and the Federal Courts, the Democratic Party fattened itself up feeding in the government trough and forgot where it came from.

The new Democrat really does deplore the working man and all his works and days.

His last remote connection with the farm was when he thought milk and meat came from the supermarket. Now staples just appear on the shelves of his refrigerator where the Salvadoran help has put them.

The new Democrat is one of the new Economy's big winners; and he considers himself justified in his winnings and his loathings because he thinks good thoughts about the help. What he pays her is not the point; and he knows a deplorable when he hears about one.

[Feb 19, 2020] During the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" was staged in the USA by "managerial elite" which like Soviet nomenklatura (which also staged a neoliberal coup d' tat) changed sides and betrayed the working class

Highly recommended!
This was an outright declaration of "class war" against working-class voters by a "university-credentialed overclass" -- "managerial elite" which changed sides and allied with financial oligrchy. See "The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite" by Michael Lind
Notable quotes:
"... By canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, the neoliberal elite saws the seed of the current populist backlash. The "soft neoliberal" backbone of the Democratic Party (Clinton wing) were incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat -- the rejection of the establishment candidate by the US population and first of all by the working class. The result has been the neo-McCarthyism campaign and the attempt to derail Trump via color revolution spearheaded by Brennan-Obama factions in CIA and FBI. ..."
Feb 19, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 19, 2020 12:31 pm

Does not matter.

It looks like Bloomberg is finished. He just committed political suicide with his comments about farmers and metal workers.

BTW Bloomberg's plan is highly hypocritical -- like is Bloomberg himself.

During the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" was staged in the USA by "managerial elite" which like Soviet nomenklatura (which also staged a neoliberal coup d'état) changed sides and betrayed the working class.

So those neoliberal scoundrels reversed the class compromise embodied in the New Deal.

The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the neoliberal managerial class and financial oligarchy who got to power via the "Quiet Coup" was the global labor arbitrage in which production is outsourced to countries with lower wage levels and laxer regulations.

So all those "improving education" plans are, to a large extent, the smoke screen over the fact that the US workers now need to compete against highly qualified and lower cost immigrants and outsourced workforce.

The fact is that it is very difficult to find for US graduates in STEM disciplines a decent job, and this is by design.

Also, after the "Reagan neoliberal revolution" ( actually a coup d'état ), profits were maximized by putting downward pressure on domestic wages through the introduction of the immigrant workforce (the collapse of the USSR helped greatly ). They push down wages and compete for jobs with their domestic counterparts, including the recent graduates. So the situation since 1991 was never too bright for STEM graduates.

By canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, the neoliberal elite saws the seed of the current populist backlash. The "soft neoliberal" backbone of the Democratic Party (Clinton wing) were incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat -- the rejection of the establishment candidate by the US population and first of all by the working class. The result has been the neo-McCarthyism campaign and the attempt to derail Trump via color revolution spearheaded by Brennan-Obama factions in CIA and FBI.

See also recently published "The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite" by Michael Lind.

One of his quotes:

The American oligarchy spares no pains in promoting the belief that it does not exist, but the success of its disappearing act depends on equally strenuous efforts on the part of an American public anxious to believe in egalitarian fictions and unwilling to see what is hidden in plain sight.

[Feb 19, 2020] On Michael Lind's "The New Class War" by Gregor Baszak

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... To writer Michael Lind, Trump's victory, along with Brexit and other populist stirrings in Europe, was an outright declaration of "class war" by alienated working-class voters against what he calls a "university-credentialed overclass" of managerial elites. ..."
"... Lind cautions against a turn to populism, which he believes to be too personality-centered and intellectually incoherent -- not to mention, too demagogic -- to help solve the terminal crisis of "technocratic neoliberalism" with its rule by self-righteous and democratically unaccountable "experts" with hyperactive Twitter handles. Only a return to what Lind calls "democratic pluralism" will help stem the tide of the populist revolt. ..."
"... Many on the left have been incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat. The result has been the stifling climate of a neo-McCarthyism, in which the only explanation for Trump's success was an unholy alliance of "Putin stooges" and unrepentant "white supremacists." ..."
"... To Lind, the case is much more straightforward: while the vast majority of Americans supports Social Security spending and containing unskilled immigration, the elites of the bipartisan swamp favor libertarian free trade policies combined with the steady influx of unskilled migrants to help suppress wage levels in the United States. Trump had outflanked his opponents in the Republican primaries and Clinton in the general election by tacking left on the economy (he refused to lay hands on Social Security) and right on immigration. ..."
"... Then, in the 1930s, while the world was writhing from the consequences of the Great Depression, a series of fascist parties took the reigns in countries from Germany to Spain. To spare the United States a similar descent into barbarism, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the New Deal, in which the working class would find a seat at the bargaining table under a government-supervised tripartite system where business and organized labor met seemingly as equals and in which collective bargaining would help the working class set sector-wide wages. ..."
"... This class compromise ruled unquestioned for the first decades of the postwar era. It was made possible thanks to the system of democratic pluralism, which allowed working-class and rural constituencies to actively partake in mass-membership organizations like unions as well as civic and religious institutions that would empower these communities to shape society from the ground up. ..."
"... But then, amid the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" set in that sought to reverse the class compromise. The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the newly emboldened managerial class was "global labor arbitrage" in which production is outsourced to countries with lower wage levels and laxer regulations; alternatively, profits can be maximized by putting downward pressure on domestic wages through the introduction of an unskilled, non-unionized immigrant workforce that competes for jobs with its unionized domestic counterparts. By one-sidedly canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, Lind concludes, the managerial elite had brought the recent populist backlash on itself. ..."
"... American parties are not organized parties built around active members and policy platforms; they are shifting coalitions of entrepreneurial candidate campaign organizations. Hence, the Democratic and Republican Parties are not only capitalist ideologically; they are capitalistically run enterprises. ..."
"... In the epigraph to the book, Lind cites approvingly the 1949 treatise The Vital Center by historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. who wrote that "class conflict, pursued to excess, may well destroy the underlying fabric of common principle which sustains free society." Schlesinger was just one among many voices who believed that Western societies after World War II were experiencing the "end of ideology." From now on, the reasoning went, the ideological battles of yesteryear were settled in favor of a more disinterested capitalist (albeit New Deal–inflected) governance. This, in turn, gave rise to the managerial forces in government, the military, and business whose unchecked hold on power Lind laments. The midcentury social-democratic thinker Michael Harrington had it right when he wrote that "[t]he end of ideology is a shorthand way of saying the end of socialism." ..."
"... A cursory glance at the recent impeachment hearings bears witness to this, as career bureaucrats complained that President Trump unjustifiably sought to change the course of an American foreign policy that had been nobly steered by them since the onset of the Cold War. In their eyes, Trump, like the Brexiteers or the French yellow vest protesters, are vulgar usurpers who threaten the stability of the vital center from polar extremes. ..."
Jan 08, 2020 | lareviewofbooks.org

A FEW DAYS AFTER Donald Trump's electoral upset in 2016, Club for Growth co-founder Stephen Moore told an audience of Republican House members that the GOP was "now officially a Trump working class party." No longer the party of traditional Reaganite conservatism, the GOP had been converted instead "into a populist America First party." As he uttered these words, Moore says, "the shock was palpable" in the room.

The Club for Growth had long dominated Republican orthodoxy by promoting low tax rates and limited government. Any conservative candidate for political office wanting to reap the benefits of the Club's massive fundraising arm had to pay homage to this doctrine. For one of its formerly leading voices to pronounce the transformation of this orthodoxy toward a more populist nationalism showed just how much the ground had shifted on election night.

To writer Michael Lind, Trump's victory, along with Brexit and other populist stirrings in Europe, was an outright declaration of "class war" by alienated working-class voters against what he calls a "university-credentialed overclass" of managerial elites. The title of Lind's new book, The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite , leaves no doubt as to where his sympathies lie, though he's adamant that he's not some sort of guru for a " smarter Trumpism ," as some have labeled him.

Lind cautions against a turn to populism, which he believes to be too personality-centered and intellectually incoherent -- not to mention, too demagogic -- to help solve the terminal crisis of "technocratic neoliberalism" with its rule by self-righteous and democratically unaccountable "experts" with hyperactive Twitter handles. Only a return to what Lind calls "democratic pluralism" will help stem the tide of the populist revolt.

The New Class War is a breath of fresh air. Many on the left have been incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat. The result has been the stifling climate of a neo-McCarthyism, in which the only explanation for Trump's success was an unholy alliance of "Putin stooges" and unrepentant "white supremacists."

To Lind, the case is much more straightforward: while the vast majority of Americans supports Social Security spending and containing unskilled immigration, the elites of the bipartisan swamp favor libertarian free trade policies combined with the steady influx of unskilled migrants to help suppress wage levels in the United States. Trump had outflanked his opponents in the Republican primaries and Clinton in the general election by tacking left on the economy (he refused to lay hands on Social Security) and right on immigration.

The strategy has since been successfully repeated in the United Kingdom by Boris Johnson, and it looks, for now, like a foolproof way for conservative parties in the West to capture or defend their majorities against center-left parties that are too beholden to wealthy, metropolitan interests to seriously attract working-class support. Berating the latter as irredeemably racist certainly doesn't help either.

What happened in the preceding decades to produce this divide in Western democracies? Lind's narrative begins with the New Deal, which had brought to an end what he calls "the first class war" in favor of a class compromise between management and labor. This first class war is the one we are the most familiar with: originating in the Industrial Revolution, which had produced the wretchedly poor proletariat, it soon led to the rise of competing parties of organized workers on the one hand and the liberal bourgeoisie on the other, a clash that came to a head in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Then, in the 1930s, while the world was writhing from the consequences of the Great Depression, a series of fascist parties took the reigns in countries from Germany to Spain. To spare the United States a similar descent into barbarism, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the New Deal, in which the working class would find a seat at the bargaining table under a government-supervised tripartite system where business and organized labor met seemingly as equals and in which collective bargaining would help the working class set sector-wide wages.

This class compromise ruled unquestioned for the first decades of the postwar era. It was made possible thanks to the system of democratic pluralism, which allowed working-class and rural constituencies to actively partake in mass-membership organizations like unions as well as civic and religious institutions that would empower these communities to shape society from the ground up.

But then, amid the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" set in that sought to reverse the class compromise. The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the newly emboldened managerial class was "global labor arbitrage" in which production is outsourced to countries with lower wage levels and laxer regulations; alternatively, profits can be maximized by putting downward pressure on domestic wages through the introduction of an unskilled, non-unionized immigrant workforce that competes for jobs with its unionized domestic counterparts. By one-sidedly canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, Lind concludes, the managerial elite had brought the recent populist backlash on itself.

Likewise, only it can contain this backlash by returning to the bargaining table and reestablishing the tripartite system it had walked away from. According to Lind, the new class peace can only come about on the level of the individual nation-state because transnational treaty organizations like the EU cannot allow the various national working classes to escape the curse of labor arbitrage. This will mean that unskilled immigration will necessarily have to be curbed to strengthen the bargaining power of domestic workers. The free-market orthodoxy of the Club for Growth will also have to take a backseat, to be replaced by government-promoted industrial strategies that invest in innovation to help modernize their national economies.

Under which circumstances would the managerial elites ever return to the bargaining table? "The answer is fear," Lind suggests -- fear of working-class resentment of hyper-woke, authoritarian elites. Ironically, this leaves all the agency with the ruling class, who first acceded to the class compromise, then canceled it, and is now called on to forge a new one lest its underlings revolt.

Lind rightly complains all throughout the book that the old mass-membership based organizations of the 20th century have collapsed. He's coy, however, about who would reconstitute them and how. At best, Lind argues for a return to the old system where party bosses and ward captains served their local constituencies through patronage, but once more this leaves the agency with entities like the Republicans and Democrats who have a combined zero members. As the third-party activist Howie Hawkins remarked cunningly elsewhere ,

American parties are not organized parties built around active members and policy platforms; they are shifting coalitions of entrepreneurial candidate campaign organizations. Hence, the Democratic and Republican Parties are not only capitalist ideologically; they are capitalistically run enterprises.

Thus, they would hardly be the first options one would think of to reinvigorate the forces of civil society toward self-rule from the bottom up.

The key to Lind's fraught logic lies hidden in plain sight -- in the book's title. Lind does not speak of "class struggle ," the heroic Marxist narrative in which an organized proletariat strove for global power; no, "class war " smacks of a gloomy, Hobbesian war of all against all in which no side truly stands to win.

In the epigraph to the book, Lind cites approvingly the 1949 treatise The Vital Center by historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. who wrote that "class conflict, pursued to excess, may well destroy the underlying fabric of common principle which sustains free society." Schlesinger was just one among many voices who believed that Western societies after World War II were experiencing the "end of ideology." From now on, the reasoning went, the ideological battles of yesteryear were settled in favor of a more disinterested capitalist (albeit New Deal–inflected) governance. This, in turn, gave rise to the managerial forces in government, the military, and business whose unchecked hold on power Lind laments. The midcentury social-democratic thinker Michael Harrington had it right when he wrote that "[t]he end of ideology is a shorthand way of saying the end of socialism."

Looked at from this perspective, the break between the postwar Fordist regime and technocratic neoliberalism isn't as massive as one would suppose. The overclass antagonists of The New Class War believe that they derive their power from the same "liberal order" of the first-class peace that Lind upholds as a positive utopia. A cursory glance at the recent impeachment hearings bears witness to this, as career bureaucrats complained that President Trump unjustifiably sought to change the course of an American foreign policy that had been nobly steered by them since the onset of the Cold War. In their eyes, Trump, like the Brexiteers or the French yellow vest protesters, are vulgar usurpers who threaten the stability of the vital center from polar extremes.

A more honest account of capitalism would also acknowledge its natural tendencies to persistently contract and to disrupt the social fabric. There is thus no reason to believe why some future class compromise would once and for all quell these tendencies -- and why nationalistically operating capitalist states would not be inclined to confront each other again in war.

Gregor Baszak is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His Twitter handle is @gregorbas1.

Stourley Kracklite 20 days ago • edited ,

Reagan was a free-trader and a union buster. Lind's people jumped the Democratic ship to vote for Reagan in (lemming-like) droves. As Republicans consolidated power over labor with cheap goods from China and the meth of deficit spending Democrats struggled with being necklaced as the party of civil rights.
The idea that people who are well-informed ought not to govern is a sad and sick cover story that the culpable are forced to chant in their caves until their days are done, the reckoning being too great.

[Feb 19, 2020] Bloomberg's Plan for Reskilling America: The Quid without the Pro Quo by Peter Dorman

Feb 19, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

The Intercept usefully preports Michael Bloomberg's proposals for higher education, focusing on plans to upgrade workforce skills along the lines desired by employers. Here's the selection they excerpted that covers this, worth reading carefully:

The most Bloombergian element of the plan, however, involves the former mayor's focus on pushing colleges and universities to meld their curriculum with various industries' workforce needs and envisions a close pairing of college with corporate training and internships. As the plan lays out:
  • The U.S. invests 0.1% of GDP in workforce development , less than any industrialized country except Mexico. Mike will restore workforce development investments and partner with states to upgrade facilities at community and technical colleges to prepare students for in-demand careers
  • Support innovative collaborations among employers , industry associations and educational providers to develop valued credentials.
  • Set a goal to enroll 1 million students in work-based degree and credential programs by 2030.
  • Work with states to introduce "Apprenticeship Degrees" for in-demand careers.
  • Support the creation of employer-endorsed credentials , through national and regional collaborations among industry groups, educational providers and labor groups. Incentivize states to open competitive funds for credential-granting programs that match classroom instruction with local industries' needs.
  • Double funding for the Perkins and WIOA Acts to support career readiness.
  • Reform the Federal Work-Study program. This includes tripling funding for "work college" programs where students work 10-15 hours weekly with support and development. Eligible institutions would be required to increase slots for career- boosting work, including private-sector jobs, and ensure more benefits go to low and moderate-income students. Employers would be required to contribute a greater share of student wages.
Corporations over the previous decades have essentially ended their efforts at workforce development, pawning that off on workers. Instead of offering higher wages to encourage an increase in the supply of labor in particular fields, companies have instead complained about a "skills gap" and pushed for the federal government to subsidize training programs and even the wages of workers. Bloomberg's plan sympathizes with those companies.

There's a lot here that would be useful to businesses located in the US if they want to take advantage of it: money for vocational degrees geared to business needs, improved credentialing for these degrees, and support for internships and similar on-the-job training programs. As the language of the press prelease makes clear, businesses would play a determining role in deciding what is worthy of being learned, how instruction and work experience would be carried out, what criteria would be used to ascertain skill acquisition, and how credentials would be standardized for use in an economy where workers primarily move horizontally across employers. Some of this is based on a partial reading of the German apprenticeship system, where businesses work closely with education and training institutions to promote similar types of skills.

So far so good. At the risk of being labeled a billionaire's stooge, I think all of this is worth doing. Societies need lots of abilities that aren't found in books, and lots of people are more oriented to this type of learning than the standard-model higher ed classroom. Let's do it.

But delivering an improved American workforce to business without delivering business to the American people is pure exploitation.

Consider again how Germany does it. Most of the workers who go through the apprenticeship system are unionized. (How does Mike feel about that?) Unions are nearly coequal partners in establishing, overseeing and updating the apprenticeship system, like it used to be with the skilled trades in the US when the construction sector was mostly union. Large firms in Germany are required to allot half (minus one) of their supervisory board seats to worker representatives; smaller firms get most of their funding from public and cooperative banks which set limits on how exploitative they can be. All firms have works councils with jurisdiction over issues like work organization and skill. In other words, public policy in Germany does most of what Bloomberg is talking about, but it does the other half too, ensuring that the use of skills by business is at least somewhat responsive to workers' interests. In addition, enlarging worker and public influence within the firm makes it more likely workers will be viewed as assets and not just costs, so employers will be true partners in these public-private partnerships.

And in my view, Germany doesn't go far enough. There should be a requirement that all firms that draw on publicly subsidized skill development also emplace publicly-appointed educational professionals in supervisory positions, either on the board or in top management. Businesses need to contribute to other social goals too. This is not just a matter of being regulated so they won't do egregious harm, necessary as this is, but also taking positive steps to solve pressing social problems. There should be representation of environmental, regional, social equality and other interests on boards as well, something the nonprofit sector has experimented with for decades. Like Germany we should promote public and cooperative finance and then adopt reforms to make these bodies more democratically accountable than they are over there. Finally, steps should be taken to gradually socialize ownership of corporations above some threshold size; I have sketched an approach here .

Bloomberg wants Americans to serve business interests. That would be fine if business interests also served Americans and were accountable to them.

UPDATE: David Leonhardt, who I've disputed in the past , has a column in today's NY Times endorsing Bloomberg's higher ed proposals. What I wrote before still stands.

[Feb 16, 2020] As the Establishment Implodes, a Billionaire Emerges

Notable quotes:
"... Biden, Buttigieg and Klobuchar are all now headed for the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 22, where Sanders is favored. And all three will be going on to South Carolina, a state into which billionaire Tom Steyer has poured millions of dollars. ..."
"... Not to mention Bloomberg's speech to the Team R national convention praising Dubya for starting the War on Iraq. ..."
"... Or Mayor Bloomberg's role in removing Occupy Wall Street. Wouldn't want to spook the plutocrats. ..."
"... Thing is, Bloomberg isn't campaigning to the Left. He's trying to replace Biden. Biden's voters aren't lovers of OWS and aren't that concerned about the War (or else are just hawkish). As such both of those mentions are positives in Bloomberg's camp. ..."
Feb 16, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

rom the day he entered the race, Joe Biden was the great hope of the Democratic establishment to spare them from the horrifying prospect of a 2020 race between The Donald and Bernie Sanders.

Today, that same establishment wants Joe out of the race.

Why has Biden suddenly become an albatross?

His feeble debate performances and fifth-place finish in New Hampshire all but ensure Joe will not be the nominee, and if he stays in, he will siphon off votes in Nevada and South Carolina that would go to candidates who might put together a majority and stop Sanders.

The panic of the establishment is traceable to the new political reality.

With popular-vote victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders has largely united the left-wing of his party and displaced Biden as the front-runner and favorite for the nomination.

Meanwhile, the non-socialist wing of the party has failed to coalesce around a champion to stop Sanders and is becoming ever more splintered.

In Nevada, Sanders now has three moderate challengers.

Biden, "Mayor Pete" Buttigieg -- who ran second in New Hampshire -- and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who ran third and took votes that might have given Buttigieg a win in the Granite State.

Biden, Buttigieg and Klobuchar are all now headed for the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 22, where Sanders is favored. And all three will be going on to South Carolina, a state into which billionaire Tom Steyer has poured millions of dollars.

Sanders, however, is not without his own problems.

Not only is he anathema to the establishment, he cannot wholly unite his party's left-wing until his senatorial soulmate Elizabeth Warren gets out. Though she ran a poor fourth in New Hampshire, Warren is also going to Nevada to offer herself as a unity candidate.

But as Biden's hour is up, so is hers. And if she is not out of the race before Super Tuesday on March 3, she risks being beaten in her own home state of Massachusetts.

Where does this leave the Democratic field?

But would Sanders lose gracefully to a plutocrat who deployed his billions to deny him a nomination Sanders has sought for half a decade?

Would Bernie Bros, who believe they were cheated out of the nomination in 2016, accept defeat and support a billionaire they believe robbed them of a prize they thought they had won fairly?

Bloomberg is now facing more serious matters as a candidate in a party of minorities. Here is an excerpt from an audiotape of Mayor Mike at a 2015 conference in Aspen, Colorado, addressing the crime-fighting tactic of stop and frisk that he used for years as mayor.

"Ninety-five percent of your murders and murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male minorities, 15 to 25," said Bloomberg.

"One of the unintended consequences is people say, 'Oh, my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.' Yes, that's true. Why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Why do we do it? Because that is where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids' hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them."

Midweek, it was learned that Bloomberg, during the economic crisis in 2008, said that getting rid of "redlining" -- a policy by which bankers routinely deny mortgages to low-income largely minority neighborhoods circled in red as risky -- was to blame for the collapse.

In remarks at Georgetown University in 2008, Bloomberg said:

"It all started back when there was a lot of pressure on banks to make loans to everyone. Redlining was the term where banks took whole neighborhoods and said, 'People in these neighborhoods are poor, they're not going to be able to pay off their mortgages, tell your salesmen don't go into those areas.'"

In presidential elections, Democratic candidates win 90-95% of the black vote. After revelations of his candid discussions of the merits of redlining and the benefits of stop and frisk, Bloomberg may have a tough time climbing that hill.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever .


Sid Finster 2 days ago

Not to mention Bloomberg's speech to the Team R national convention praising Dubya for starting the War on Iraq.

Or Mayor Bloomberg's role in removing Occupy Wall Street. Wouldn't want to spook the plutocrats.

IanDakar Sid Finster 2 days ago
Thing is, Bloomberg isn't campaigning to the Left. He's trying to replace Biden. Biden's voters aren't lovers of OWS and aren't that concerned about the War (or else are just hawkish). As such both of those mentions are positives in Bloomberg's camp.

The minority vote, though, WILL be an issue. Biden does well with minorities that loved Obama and wanted Obama 3rd term. Amy and Buttigieg do not which should ruin them pretty soon.

... ... ...

PAX 2 days ago
You, as ever, raise good points. The average American wants to know for example why we are funding religious settlements in Palestine and at the same time turning off potable water to impoverished citizens in Detroit. How would Mikey and the other motley crew approach that situation? Donald would probably say "Let them drink coke." What has happened to our core values when such clowns arise to national prominence?
el presidente del nada a day ago
The basic problem with Trump is "New York" and "billionaire". Everybody knows it, and everybody knows you don't fix it by electing another New York billionaire. I don't know what people like Trump and Bloomberg really are, but they aren't Americans, and we need to get them out of our government.
fuow a day ago • edited
An essential element is missing in this otherwise well done article: We on the Left are* united in wanting Trump out of office.
Every single Democrat I volunteer with is determined to support whomever we give the nomination.
This is something Republicans with their Soviet level support of their leaders see as normal. For us, to set one overriding goal is unheard of.
Even Wisconsin is no longer a certain Republican win.
*Yes, some Berniebros., blah, blah,blah.
REM a day ago
IMO, people will not vote to elect billionaires that essentially buy their own way into public office.
If the Dems put forth a candidate that was moderate on abortion - one that explicitly condemned abortion up to the moment of birth - they would probably win the election. Abortion is a much bigger problem for Dems than they will admit. The general public do not support the infanticide policy of the current major candidates.
Dodo 4 hours ago
Bloomberg was a Republican thus he has bi-partisan establishment's support.

[Feb 15, 2020] Sanders surge in poll sparks backlash in Democratic establishment by Patrick Martin

Feb 15, 2020 | www.wsws.org

The surge of popular support for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, now the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has touched off frantic retaliation by the Democratic Party establishment and the corporate media.

While Sanders himself is a known quantity in capitalist politics, with a 30-year career as a loyal supporter of the Democratic Party and American imperialism, there is consternation in the ruling class over the shift to the left among workers and young people that underlies the strength of his campaign.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders arrives to speak to supporters at a primary night election rally in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 [Credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais]

Sanders won the most votes in both the February 3 Iowa caucuses and the February 11 New Hampshire primary. He has taken a wide lead in polls of prospective Democratic primary voters both nationally and in many of the states scheduled to vote over the next month, which will select two-thirds of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

A Morning Consult poll published Thursday found Sanders with a double-digit lead among likely Democratic voters nationwide. Sanders was at 29 percent, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 19 percent and the billionaire former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, at 18 percent. Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who finished second in both Iowa and New Hampshire, was in fourth place nationally at 11 percent. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was at 10 percent, while Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota was at 5 percent.

The support for Sanders reflects shifts to the left in the working class and among young people. Exit polls in New Hampshire showed Sanders leading by a wide margin among working-class voters, both those with incomes below $50,000 a year, and those without a college education. He had 51 percent support among young people under 30, compared to 4 percent each for Klobuchar and Biden.

Nationally, half of US college students support Sanders, according to a poll from Chegg/College Pulse, which surveyed 1,500 full and part-time students attending both four-year and two-year colleges. The students named climate change and income inequality as their top issues. Warren came far back in second at 18 percent.

The widening support for Sanders, along with the apparent demise of Biden's campaign, after a fourth-place finish in Iowa and fifth place in New Hampshire, has provoked angry denunciations of the Vermont senator from the Democratic Party establishment and the corporate media.

The Biden campaign led the way, with its campaign co-chairman, Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, telling a conference call with reporters that there would be "down-ballot carnage" for the Democrats if Sanders won the nomination. "If Bernie Sanders were atop of the ticket, we would be in jeopardy of losing the House, we would not win the Senate back," he said.

Two right-wing Democrats in the Senate openly denounced Sanders for his claim to be a democratic socialist. Senator Doug Jones of Alabama said, "I don't agree with the socialism label." Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said, "If Bernie ends up being one of these frontrunners, he'll have to moderate. I'm not going socialist. Never been a socialist."

Campaign consultant James Carville, a fixture in Democratic politics for three decades, was more vituperative, making repeated television appearances this week to denounce Sanders as an easy target for the Republican right, and at one point directly echoing Trump in calling Sanders a "communist."

The corporate media was filled with anti-Sanders commentary, ranging from laments (Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times ), to cynical sneers (Paul Krugman in the Times ) to outright denunciations (Chuck Todd on MSNBC).

Krugman's column, under the headline, "Bernie Sanders Isn't a Socialist," makes the correct observation that "Bernie Sanders isn't actually a socialist in any normal sense of the term. He doesn't want to nationalize our major industries and replace markets with central planning," and suggests that Sanders would be better described as a European-style social democrat.

The column goes on to echo the warnings of the Democratic establishment that if Sanders is nominated, Trump would win an easy victory, concluding "I do wish that Sanders weren't so determined to make himself an easy target for right-wing smears." Krugman says nothing about the fact that the "right-wing smears" have already begun from the Democrats.

As for Todd, during MSNBC's coverage of the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, he quoted from a diatribe against Sanders by Jonathan Last of Bulwark , who wrote: "No other candidate has anything like this digital brownshirt brigade. I mean, except for Donald Trump. The question no one is asking is this, what if you can't win the presidency without an online mob?"

This comparison of supporters of Sanders -- who is Jewish -- with the fascist thugs of Hitler and Mussolini is typical of the smear tactics by the corporate media against anyone who criticizes the super-rich. Todd's commentary was reposted by the Sanders campaign, where it was viewed nearly a million times, no doubt adding to Sanders' support.

The consternation over Sanders' rise in the polls has already led to calls for the consolidation of the "moderate" (i.e., openly right-wing) forces in the Democratic Party against him. A focal point of these appeals is billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who entered the race for the nomination in November and will be on the ballot for the first time in the March 3 Super Tuesday states.

Bloomberg has poured $100 million into advertising just in those 14 states, a major part of the $300 million he has already invested in winning the Democratic nomination. His campaign has rolled out endorsements from congressmen and local government officials, particularly mayors of cities where Bloomberg has long used his gargantuan fortune to buy influence.

Rather than risk a four-way split among Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg and Klobuchar, to Sanders' advantage, there have been multiple suggestions in the media of various combinations -- a Bloomberg-Klobuchar tie-up, for example.

More likely than an open alliance is a splintering of the delegates among five or six candidates, that would preclude any one candidate gaining an absolute majority, leading to a brokered convention in which the various right-wing candidates would combine to block a Sanders' nomination.

Sanders directly addressed this possibility in an appearance on MSNBC. "The convention would have to explain to the American people, 'Hey, candidate X got the most votes and won the most delegates at the primary process, but we're not going to give him or her the nomination,'" he told host Chris Hayes. "I think that would be a divisive moment for the Democratic Party."

While his opponents are implacably determined to prevent his nomination, Sanders himself has repeatedly reiterated his determination to support whoever the convention chooses and oppose at all costs any break by his supporters from the Democratic Party.

At his campaign rallies, Sanders makes a rhetorical appeal to opposition to social inequality and war. However, he is also making a case to the political establishment that he can be trusted to defend the interests of the ruling class.

In a recent interview with the New York Times , Sanders said that he would consider using military force in a preemptive war against Iran or North Korea. He also fully endorsed the anti-Russia campaign of the Democratic Party, agreeing that it should be considered "an adversary, or even an enemy" if it continues on its current course in Ukraine.

[Feb 15, 2020] Oligarch Buys Political Party - Seeks to Become President by B

Notable quotes:
"... The herd likes to be led. Food and entertainment is all they want. Politics is sports entertainment. They get to pick a team (or fake wrestler) and cheer. They will be manipulated to pick only those preselected by the elites. Any of them will do. All are controllable and will follow their scripts. ..."
"... If Hillary is on the ticket, that is all I need to know. I'd vote against it, even if against means Trump. They can't use the threat of Trump as an excuse to get away with just any abuse they like. ..."
"... Much noise has been made about Trump being elected due to anti-establishment sentiment. While certainly true, Trump's election is just one in a long line of seemingly anti-establishment candidates elected, after which it's more or less "business as usual". Clearly the establishment has long since caught on to the fact that "the masses" dislike it, hence why they concentrate on the appearance of being anti-establishment. Sadly, "the masses" get fooled time and time again. One can only marvel at how it keeps happening. ..."
"... Bloomberg is out to get Sanders, not Trump. He talks Trump BS out of jealousy and so he can stay in the in crowd in NY. In reality, they are a coin with the same face on both sides. ..."
"... I'm surprised people here are surprised. The USA was always governed by a capitalist oligarchy. This was specially evident after Thomas Jefferson (the last descendent of Washington) until the birth of the Republican Party (Lincoln). ..."
"... After FDR and the birth of a real existential threat (the USSR), the American oligarchy sobered up a little bit and begun to govern from behind the curtains, behind professional politicians (in order to not lose the ideological war in the Cold War). ..."
"... All the evidence points out the USA was always like this. Bloomberg is not the anomaly, but the normal. Bernie Sanders is the anomaly, which must be eliminated from the American organism. As such, it is also an illusion to think the American system (and, indeed, the western democratic system) can ever be reformed. ..."
Feb 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mike Bloomberg is the world's ninth richest person. An oligarch known for strong racism and insulting sexism who once was the Republican mayor of New York City. He since decided that he wants to become president.

As he saw no chance to run for a Republican party that is happy with Trump he filed to run as a Democratic candidate. Bloomberg has since bought the Democratic Party in every state as well as the DNC :

The DNC told Mike Gravel they wouldn't change the debate rules for any candidate. "That's our #1 rule - we can't change the rules for anybody."

A few months later, they changed the debate rules to let oligarch Bloomberg into the debates... after he gave the DNC $300K.

His political tactic is very simple . He does not talk about issues, as people would not like what he has to say, but simply spends tons of money :

He's dropping huge sums of money: on staff and resources , on TV advertisements , and on Facebook ads , where Trump has long dominated. And he's attempting to overcome his stodgy public image with the help of a meme army and through well-catered campaign events seemingly designed to convince voters that life under a wealthy technocrat might not be so bad. "I think it's classy," one supporter told the Times at a Philadelphia campaign rally complete drink station and a selection of cheesesteaks, hoagies, and brie-and-fig appetizers. "I feel like it's a nightclub in here. This is what he needs to get people going."

To this date Bloomberg has spent more than $350 million for his campaign. He is willing and can afford to put several billions into it. Over the years Bloomberg has given more than $10 billion to build a political and philanthropical empire. He used that money to suppress voices critical of him:

In 2015, Center for American Progress researchers wrote a report on U.S. Islamophobia, w/a 4300-word chapter on the Bloomberg-era NYPD.

When the report was published, the chapter was gone.

By then, Bloomberg had given CAP ~$1.5mm. That number has grown.

The really bad thing is that it works :

3 months ago, polls found Mike Bloomberg "widely disliked" with the highest negatives in the race. Now he's a top 3 contender for the Democratic nomination. One of the richest humans ever is trying to upend every part of the process. And this is just the stuff we know about.

The Democratic Party and lots of its bought off functionaries seem to be happy with this. They do not mind that it makes the U.S. look worse than the Ukraine. Yes, U.S. politics are always corrupt. But outright buying one's way into office is exceeding the usual stench.

But would Bloomberg, with Hillary Clinton as running mate , really be able to bring out the votes that are needed to beat Trump? I for one doubt it.

Atrios is appalled by the whole scheme but still falls for it:

Bloomberg is bad for lots of reasons, and one of them is PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE SO WILLING TO EMBRACE A BILLIONAIRE WHO IS BUYING (not just ads, but people) THE ELECTION WITH HIS ABSURD FORTUNE. I mean, ok, sure, if it's BLOOMBERG OR TRUMP I'll choose Bloomberg, but why are people establishing this as the choice? It's absurd. The only person who can beat an asshole (fake, I know) billionaire is another asshole billionaire? Broken brains everywhere.

"[I]f it's BLOOMBERG OR TRUMP I'll choose Bloomberg" is, in my view, exactly the wrong response to this hijacking of a party and election. It is this behavior that makes Bloomberg's move possible in the first place.

Any good response to billionaires hijacking elections must demonstrate that campaigns by rich people have a high risk to fail. To vote for a third party or to abstain is the only responsible reaction to it.

Posted by b on February 15, 2020 at 18:28 UTC | Permalink


Nathan Mulcahy , Feb 15 2020 18:43 utc | 3
Watch out for Killary the Witch.
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/bloomberg-considers-hillary-running-mate
Copeland , Feb 15 2020 18:44 utc | 4
Bloomberg's racism and "stop and frisk" harassment of a whole generation of kids, when he was New York mayor, will surely come back to bite him in the upcoming debate. So many ghosts of our haunted past. I can't believe he could become the complete figurehead of the 1%. I don't think he can make the cut, and land in the White House.
stephen laudig , Feb 15 2020 18:48 utc | 5
Bloomberg could be characterized, whether fairly or unfairly, as just another billionaire from New York in the process of attempting to buy a public office and if he has to buy the "leadership" of a political party as a prerequisite that's okay.

The Mike and Don show. Billionaires that share this--they are not producers of things ala Henry Ford but financialistas rentiers ala Michael Milliken. On issues that affect oligarchy wealth, it is not unreasonable to suspect no difference nada.

On other matters say environmental matters but not on working class matters, Mike will make 'nicer' noises. Mikes pronouncements on marijuana and his bigoted and discriminatory law enforcement policies suggest he is closer to Don than me. In 2016 a vulture capitalist former Democrat money captured the morally bankrupt Republican Party and bought an Emperorships err I mean "Presidency". In 2020, a vulture capitalist, former Republican is plagiarizing him to money capture the morally bankrupt Democratic Party in order to attempt to buy an Emperorship err I mean "Presidency".

Trumpberg or Blump--no real difference-- except that Mike keeps the mask on his inner class warfare wolf more firmly. Credit to Don for dropping the mask so that everyone can see how "business" really governs what was once one of humanity's better shots at a functioning large population democracy.

In more than a few ways this is Oligarch Street's err I mean "Wall Street's" final takeover of both parties.

It used to own, 1 and a half political parties, now it will have two.

BiloxiMarxKelly , Feb 15 2020 18:52 utc | 6
A Constitutional Republic the USA isn't. Until the U.S. Constitution is restored and the Patriot Act gets the due diligence it deserves which includes George Bush Jr.'s shake down, the voting is completely a sham. The Supreme Court chose the U.S. President (GWBJr) and then there was Citizen's United via the Supremes. Corporations not People control the USA. Bother to Vote ...!??
Likklemore , Feb 15 2020 19:01 utc | 9
Bloomberg started out to buy the presidency, said he "I am spending my money to get rid of Trump." He will not make it to the White House by selecting Killery [otherwise known as HRC] to be his running mate. If by crook, ff;

January 18, 2021 - 9:00 AM

Bloomberg's spokesperson. Sadly, I regret to report president-elect Mike Bloomberg, under pressure, has resigned before taking the oath of office

Question from the Press: Was it the Arkansas bug?

Matt Drudge, exposer of the blue dress, has the scoop.

robjira , Feb 15 2020 19:02 utc | 10
Excellent report as always, b. Only one paragraph in I was immediately reminded of how Roman politicians would garner favor with "the mob;" holding public banquets and exhibiting games. It's singularly distressing/depressing to realize that in the over 5000 year history of organized societies, the very best humanity is able to produce is iron-age republicanism...with the internet and dial-a-yield nuclear weapons.

More and more I begin to think that, like its German nazi predescessor, the US nazi construct must be destroyed for the sake of peace and humanity; hopefully not at the same horrid cost as the former's destruction required.

Many thanks again for all you do, b; peace.

IronForge , Feb 15 2020 19:08 utc | 11
Bloomberg is the Better Billionaire. Unlike Trump, he does run a Honest Business. That being said, Butti-Jig is MIC-Intel/DEA/McKinsey+Red_Queen backed.

Biden is Finished. Fauxahontas Warren is backed by Corporates. Sanders and Gabbard have Good Policies.

**********
Regarding Bloomberg+Clinton: Everyone on ZH and Drudge's Tweet discussing the Pairing are joking that if they Win 2020, Bloomberg will Die somewhen btwn the Post-Election Victory Lap and a Month after the Inauguration.

michael s , Feb 15 2020 19:11 utc | 12
Bloomberg should think twice about installing a Clinton just a heartbeat away from the Oval Office. That is his heartbeat he needs to worry about.
Tom_LX , Feb 15 2020 19:12 utc | 13
Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Feb 15 2020 18:40 utc | 2

If people were awake they would vote in just that way. However the frequent knee-jerk excuse is "But then I will have wasted my vote on a nobody."

To send a loud message Americans should vote for anyone but a Demo or Repo candidate.

jared , Feb 15 2020 19:12 utc | 14
The trick is Bloomberg was actually a decent and balanced mayor. He governed effectively. He has record of acheivement. Trumps appeal such as it is lies in his volatile behavior but kind of loses it with his attachment to Nutinyahoos behind.

However I feel most of what is wrong stems from our country is managed for and by oligarchs and their lackeys. But historically I believe that is how it works - chose aristocracy, oligarchy, despot-archly, mal-archy. Those are the real choices. Communism, socialism and democracy are concepts that dont exist in the wild.

james , Feb 15 2020 19:15 utc | 15
''billionaires hijacking elections''... that sums it up well b.. thanks.. this one is going to fail... all that ill gotten money is going back into circulation as bribery money now.. ill gotten in both directions...
Josh , Feb 15 2020 19:17 utc | 16
Same move the Clinton foundation pulled (bought controlling interest in the paper company that calls itself the DNC). They also wrangled at least temporary control of the corporation which provided vote tabulation machines. Smooth fail.
Jackrabbit , Feb 15 2020 19:23 utc | 20
Only genuine independent Movements will actually change anything. !!
Benjamin , Feb 15 2020 19:34 utc | 25
As ever, liberals are incapable of thinking systemically. Whether Bloomberg would be a more competent president or not is secondary to the fact that if he succeeds in getting the nomination, much less wins the election, that will be another mile marker, a big one, on the road to the total death of US democracy.

He'll have shown that a sufficiently rich person can simply buy their way one, bribing where needed and blanketing the media with their ads.

Even Trump didn't do that. Trump spent little or none of his own money getting elected.

Russ , Feb 15 2020 19:35 utc | 26
I forecast earlier that Bloomberg is planning to be anointed at a brokered convention and probably will team up with Hillary. Or, failing that, perhaps the other way around.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Strategic Culture suddenly has gone all in on pushing every DNC lie in the name of Trump-Derangement, ostensibly on behalf of Buttigeg, but perhaps for an unnamed billionaire.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/02/13/fringe-candidates-are-integral-to-election-manipulation/

... ... ..

D. , Feb 15 2020 19:37 utc | 27
I'd just like to remind the Bernie bros here that Sanders is also a Zionist whore.
Sanders tells New York Times he would consider a preemptive strike against Iran or North Korea

Link

Pft , Feb 15 2020 19:40 utc | 30
If fake democracy did not exist the elites would need to invent it (which is why they did).

Look, enjoy the show if you will. They decide who rules you, you just have to go along. Don't sweat what you cant change. Call out the BS when you see it for as long as you are allowed to, but thats all you can do.

The herd likes to be led. Food and entertainment is all they want. Politics is sports entertainment. They get to pick a team (or fake wrestler) and cheer. They will be manipulated to pick only those preselected by the elites. Any of them will do. All are controllable and will follow their scripts.

Mark Thomason , Feb 15 2020 19:40 utc | 31
If Hillary is on the ticket, that is all I need to know. I'd vote against it, even if against means Trump. They can't use the threat of Trump as an excuse to get away with just any abuse they like.
Red Ryder , Feb 15 2020 19:50 utc | 36
If Mike the midget manages to acquire the Nomination, Trump will disassemble him in the debates.

And there are plenty of young, technically adept supporters of Bernie Sanders who will sabotage Bloomberg's digital campaign.

There will be a blizzard war of TV ads beyond anything ever seen . Trump has a war chest of $200 million and the MAGA people will double that if he needs it.

Trump's ground game is improved by disenchanted Dems and enriched Indies who are benefitting from his deregulation and tax cuts. They are signing up for his rallies and making small contributions. Americans tend to vote their wallet and check books, and now, their 401ks, generally up 90% under Trump. These are real crossover voters for Trump.

Money can buy you anything except height and emotional attachment. Trump has both and Bloomberg has neither.

Bloomberg's polling may be improving every hundred million or two, but he is stealing with his billions from every other candidate. The thin line of victory for him will be impossible if he can't convert nearly all the other candidates voters in key states. He can only win California's electoral votes once. Trump's path to re-election is very clear, better than 2016, with indications he can expand his victory.

Bloomberg and Klobuchar might be the ticket the ex-mayor packages. He will hope a woman, that woman, will help him hold enough Dem voters.

She just announced that English should not be the official American language.
That ought to seal Pennsylvania and Wisconsin for Trump.

Imagine when Pence faces her on the debate stage.

The best bet right now is to short "shorties" campaign chances.

Cynica , Feb 15 2020 20:03 utc | 39
Much noise has been made about Trump being elected due to anti-establishment sentiment. While certainly true, Trump's election is just one in a long line of seemingly anti-establishment candidates elected, after which it's more or less "business as usual". Clearly the establishment has long since caught on to the fact that "the masses" dislike it, hence why they concentrate on the appearance of being anti-establishment. Sadly, "the masses" get fooled time and time again. One can only marvel at how it keeps happening.
Cynica , Feb 15 2020 20:16 utc | 42
@Russ #40

Saying different things to different people is what happens when one focuses on winning an election rather than on effecting certain policies. While it can be an effective strategy to lie to those who disagree with your desired policies, that also runs the risk of your supporters coming to see you as dishonest. On the other hand, it may be impossible to effect your desired policies without resorting to "politics by other means". What is to be done?

Just Me , Feb 15 2020 20:23 utc | 43
Bloomberg is in it to sabotage Sanders if the DNC can't prevent his(Sanders) nomination. If that happens they will do like they did to Ned Lamont in the 2006 Connecticut US Senate race where he defeated Lieberman in the primary. The DNC and republicans together funneled money into Lieberman's third party run. They're all perfectly happy to throw the election to Trump by the same method.
Virgile , Feb 15 2020 20:24 utc | 44
And Bloomberg is supported by the Jewish lobby ..
Bubbles , Feb 15 2020 21:08 utc | 48
Posted by: robjira | Feb 15 2020 19:02 utc | 10

"hopefully not at the same horrid cost as the former's destruction required.

Many thanks again for all you do, b; peace."

Spot on. Consideration of similarities to the previous Nazi era, those who caused it by seeking dominance in commerce and with their manipulation of investments and credit, to the current situation and once again increased use of military force and threats of mass destruction, also demand significant scrutiny by those who advocate for better outcomes.

Thanks to you for your input, I find FAR more gems in the comments at this site than my last haunt which turned into an advocate for con artists, trump in particular.

Phryne's frock , Feb 15 2020 21:18 utc | 49
If I steal billion$ off karlof, circe, jackrabbit, and james and give 90% of it to grieved, will you call me a philanthropist - - or a THIEF?

Everyone please Stop pretending and repeating that a billionaire is a philanthropist. He does not give away what is his own self-earned wealth, he can only be returning part of the megawealth he has legally or illegally stolen.

Billionaires are the RECIPIENTS of society's philanthropy, they are so obviously recipients of the mad overgenerosity of the 99% underpaid underpowered...who should be spending their time and energies campaigning for a just cap on personal fortunes and installing countermeasures to claw back their trillions in mostly-legally-stolen wealth from the overpaid overpowered 1%

where oh where is humanity's SELF RESPECT?

Bubbles , Feb 15 2020 21:21 utc | 50
Posted by: Russ | Feb 15 2020 20:09 utc | 40

Not just your average boo bird, but a trump/adelson mercenary boo bird.

ptb , Feb 15 2020 21:38 utc | 53
ugh this is just a huge distraction meant to demoralize people. He isn't getting nominated, at best he can buy enough of the DNC to dictate the nominee in the event noone gets a majority.

Bloomberg has exactly one thing to offer: money. His record is possibly less in line with the Dem party's stated principles than Biden, although not by much. Most of the swing states will have even less respect for him than Romney, who is the closest comparison I can think of.

The utterly shameless nature of his run is what commands attention. A commenter on nakedcapitalism likened it to Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla, which I think sums up the appeal of this story pretty well.

uncle tungsten , Feb 15 2020 21:50 utc | 56
Phryne's frock #49
Billionaires are the RECIPIENTS of society's philanthropy, they are so obviously recipients of the mad overgenerosity of the 99% underpaid underpowered...who should be spending their time and energies campaigning for a just cap on personal fortunes and installing countermeasures to claw back their trillions in mostly-legally-stolen wealth from the overpaid overpowered 1%


YES YES YES to that and thank you.

The philanthropists babble and greasy hands 'contributions' represent that fake whitewashing akin to 'see I voluntarily pay my taxes'. And then they feel good that they have earned a little round of applause from the observers and maybe get a little medal for goodness. Spew. F'ing frauds and cheats.

Perhaps at the revolution philanthropists can be put to work cleaning streets, planting trees or decontaminating Fukushima reactor.

Patroklos , Feb 15 2020 21:58 utc | 57
Right on b. Does that mean that the US is now officially a 'shithole country' too? Long gone are the days when a national leader was a former railway engine cleaner who lived in a little house in a country town, a man who would go on to enact a legislative program that embraced a whole community recovering from war . The West is very very broken.
JC , Feb 15 2020 22:02 utc | 58
My position is clear since 2016 . Who cares who wins or whether Bloomberg pick Hillary Clinton, Warren, Biden or even a queer for VP. I hate both Trump and Bloomberg. But I hate the Democratic more.

I may vote or write in Tulsi Gabbard , but NO Bernie Sanders.

Likklemore , Feb 15 2020 22:10 utc | 60
The Dems are in desperate need of a viable candidate.

[As for] Bloomberg- is buying his way. Just wait for his negative paper trail to be aired. Oops, some group does not want Mike around. Wapo is already on it. Not pretty. Mike Bloomberg for years has battled women's allegations of profane, sexist comments

Sanders-repeating 2016. It will be grand theft and he will fall in line. And there is the question of his health.

Buttigieg- his 15 minutes in the limelight is nearly up; the Bible belt evangelicals, and the "Optics" - an insurmountable hill to climb. Well, he can add to his CV an "I also ran for president."

Biden - He is done. Turn off the oven. The Senate investigations will come to haunt his ride.

Warren - what is her heritage? Epic fail. Trump will make mince pie.

Klobuchar - did well in New Hampshire and just blew it. OMG. Klobuchar says English should not be US national language, reversing from prior vote

Demorats wasted 3 + Years trying to take down Trump. It's now a shell.


Piotr Berman , Feb 15 2020 22:22 utc | 62
The most catchy election slogan in the history of these "several states", IMHO was "Tippecanoe and Tyler too!". It was so successful that it provided two names to Simpson's song "We are the mediocre presidents". In the song, bearded Harrison, the storied victor of Tippecanoe, exclaims "I died in forty days!", while his running mate gets half a phrase "There is Tyler, there is Taylor.

Anyway, if Trump knows anything it is how to hit below the belt:

TheHill.com

Trump campaign seizes on audio of Bloomberg defending 'stop and frisk'

BY MORGAN CHALFANT - 02/11/20 11:38 AM EST 1,897

President Trump's campaign is seizing on newly surfaced audio from 2015 in which former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg can be heard defending the controversial policing policy known as "stop and frisk."

Trump's campaign manager, Brad Parscale, tweeted Tuesday that the audio shows that Bloomberg, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, is a "complete racist."
------
Trump run on letting police to kill as many as they deem proper without ANY second guessing, denigrating "black lives matter" etc. But Mike is campaigning now in state with non-white majorities among Democratic primary voters, so it can hurt. Bootiegeg is in single digits there in spite of lopsidedly leading among folks who sensible store wine in caverns.

Bloomberg really has an epic run. Ad rates rose 20% because of his buys, Democratic candidates for any office that actually requires a campaign can't find professional stuff because Mike hires thousands of "activists with prior experience" at double of previous salary and guaranteed till November. His position papers run in hundreds of pages, hastily copied, often verbatim (isn't there a specialty of rewriting stuff in different words?). On foreign policy, he offers measured, cool approach. Steady. Proven. Hand.

But his former advisors are true spawn of hell.

Bubbles , Feb 15 2020 22:23 utc | 63
Watch out for Killary the Witch.https://www.zerohedge.com/political/bloomberg-considers-hillary-running-mate

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Feb 15 2020 18:43 utc | 3

Money Changers control both parties. AIPAC buys all the scum it's benjamins can purchase.

Antisemitc Screams to follow

Russ , Feb 15 2020 22:33 utc | 68
I was pondering how it would go if Sanders really were to wrest the nomination - would we have the spectacle of the MSM and the rest of the establishment saying in effect "None of the Above"? (Well, not really - they'd all fall into line behind Trump, however grudgingly.)

An earlier commenter envisioned the DNC and a counterpart Republican faction going full treason against their own parties to support a Bloomberg independent run. The MSM would go into ecstasy supporting that. With how crazy things are getting in the US, it really could happen.

Let the wild rumpus begin!

Trailer Trash , Feb 15 2020 22:37 utc | 72
I was hoping that circe might have something to say about the WSWS article referenced above. Personally, I'm not much interested in the internal workings of the Dummycrat Wurlitzer Dazzlemachine. Like the incessant use of Shakycam in TV and movies, it just gives me a headache and a queasy feeling.

Sanders tells New York Times he would consider a preemptive strike against Iran or North Korea


Someone asked, "What is to be done?" Posters keep saying, "Build an independent movement." But that is hard uncertain work with no predetermined outline to follow, so that idea is not very attractive.

james , Feb 15 2020 22:39 utc | 73
@49 Phryne's frock.. i share your views on this concept of philanthropy from billionaires.... thanks for stating all that...

@ uncle tungsten and circe.. read @27 link, which i again share here and get back to us on how saunders is any different where it really matters.. thanks..

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/02/14/sand-f14.html

Piotr Berman , Feb 15 2020 22:42 utc | 75
I forgot one point: AIPAC may have trouble buying mercenaries as Bloomberg spends big. OTOH, they are making preparations against Sanders, as unjustified as it may be, they view him as [what is AIPACish for AntiChrist?].
Fly , Feb 15 2020 23:04 utc | 79
Not the usual stench. Bloomberg produces the kind of stench that's visible, like swamp gas.
steven t johnson , Feb 15 2020 23:19 utc | 81
Circe@59 "Now we all know how the Buttigieg-funded app developed by a wealthy Zionist apparatchik skewed the outcome in Pete the Cheat's favor, THE NIGHT OF THE IOWA ELECTION, when a sizable chunk of the precincts got conveniently jammed in the unholy, programmed pandemonium just when Buttigieg was conveniently leading by almost two points and quickly took the stage to claim victory so he could get the bounce and media accolades that come with a first-state victory. But as we then learned, TWO WHOLE DAYS LATER, yeah, it took that long to untie a knot! Bernie was actually only behind by a miniscule .1 difference, and then short of an exact tie or Sanders victory, the Party came up with a wacky excuse to stop counting and gave Buttigieg 2 extra Iowa delegates for a less than razor-thin edge."

Sanders announced a win too, which demented trash like Circe should conclude Sanders is the cheat. Even worse, since the party refused to release results, Buttigieg's win in state delegates/very close second, the indignation that Buttigieg did the same damn thing as Sanders is grossly idiotic. Maybe the movie Idiocracy was a documentary? Of course the true explanation is, Circe is a student of Goebbels and knows repeating lies endlessly works. Since the despicable Circe is spewing so many lies for Sanders, though, doesn't that tell us something about what kind of candidate he truly is? Aside from his blank record of decades, attracting filth like Circe is a very bad symptom.

The comments telling us the Democrats are the Pedophile Party or that Clinton has been murdering her way to take power for the sixteen of the last twenty four years are equally reactionary psychotic drivel. The witless theories that Trump is fighting the Deep State and ending forever wars and breaking the Duopoly/draining the swamp and all such Trumpery are still stupid and reactionary. They do seem to be appropriate to a stealth AfD site.

Richard Steven Hack , Feb 15 2020 23:25 utc | 82
"To vote for a third party or to abstain is the only responsible reaction to it."

To quote Percival Rose on the Nikita tv show once *again*: "That ain't gonna happen."

Seriously, b, are you high? You really think *any* third party is capable of beating *both* the Democrats *and* the Republicans when *both* of those parties can field billionaires (or even candidates with the backing of billionaires)?

Get serious. The US is run by oligarchs and corporations and has been for decades, aided by a Deep State intelligence apparatus and a compliant and controlled media.

There is *zero* chance of *anyone* - including Jesus himself if you're dumb enough to believe in such a thing - overthrowing the power structure using voting. As we anarchists like to say, "If voting could change the system, it would be illegal."

And abstaining simply means they win. So neither voting nor abstaining can achieve anything.

The system is not just "broken", it is *destroyed.* And a lot of people would argue that it was broken from the beginning and never intended to be successful. It was a delusion and a pipe dream that the US was ever going to be a "nation of laws and not of men." Or that its citizens would keep their heads out of their butts and vote in non-corrupt, competent leaders.

Seriously, the entire concept is a joke.

Piotr Berman , Feb 15 2020 23:26 utc | 83
Bloomberg is 5'5", do we need another Napoleon?

Posted by: DeQuincey | Feb 15 2020 22:34 utc | 70

Trump on accountants: The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes

Bloomberg lacks yarmulke, something that can be easily remedied. In any case, Napoleonic legacy is not all bad, e.g. metric system, or reorganization of a jumble of legal fiefs in Germany into something workable, today the boundaries of German landes largely follow the lines made by Napoleon. granted, one metric system is enough, and an interest in reorganizing regional boundaries is the last thing I would see in the next President, but short people were often good leader. That said, the current strongman of Poland is 168 cm old, so hostile comment writers call him "evil midget", although more recently they prefer "lame" -- he had a knee replacement. In any case, he is a piece of work.

Bubbles , Feb 15 2020 23:27 utc | 84
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 15 2020 22:37 utc | 71

Sanders Gabbard or bust.

Ms. Gabbard is a rare American gem. She speaks truth unlike the coward and lifelong conman Major Bonespurs

David G , Feb 15 2020 23:34 utc | 86
Bloomberg is such a "target-rich environment" of awful it's hard to know where to start, but on the basic question of his character, much more revealing than this or that crude remark, is the fact that he has always restricted how Bloomberg News can report on him.

Now in this campaign, rather than reconsider their "tradition of not investigating Mike", Bloomberg News has extended it to cover all the Dem presidential candidates. In other words, they shouldn't be considered a real news organization at all.

Anybody in Bloomberg's position worth a tinker's dam would have told his news execs and editors from the get-go to report everything about him, and dig for more. That he'd fire anybody caught going easy on him!

What a pisher.

H.Schmatz , Feb 15 2020 23:50 utc | 87
Advising voting for a non-existent or impossible to build on time third party, or abstaining from voting, in my view, equates asking the vote for Trump, since, if you had not noticed, the right always go to vote ( not only in the US but everywhere, hence one of their tactics is "killing hope"...), and they will vote either for Trump or for Bloomberg ( the impostor trying to hijack the Democrat vote for the Republicans and oligarchs ( he himself has stated the he and Trump know and treat the same people in NYC...)

That Bloomberg has advanced he would choose Hillary Clinton as VP comes to make a remake of the 2016 scenario, with the people chosing the "lesser evil", who would be in this case again Trump, as a whole psyop will be unleashed to asure that this couple, Bloomberg/Clinton will start more wars than Trump ( if that would be even possible ).

The tone of the article as taking as a job done that Bloomberg will be able to buy the Democrat nomination seems to come as discouraging towards those in the Sanders´ wagon, obviating the strong popular support Sanders is getting in every state so far..

Who would had thought that B would adopt Jackrabbit´s mantra, "not to vote"...
This JR for to have been so often accused by so many regulars of being a troll, manages to survive here quite well... while so many others, much more encouraging and not limited to one topic/mantra but adding so much interesting and varied info, have been wiped out....Curious...

BTW, where Sasha has gone?

H.Schmatz , Feb 15 2020 23:56 utc | 88
Just for the record, and since we talk about the transmigration of conservative right wing oligarchs through the US bipartisan system, reading at the Unz Review an article which makes a summary/compilation of all the points made to this date on the Coronavirus issue, this site was linked and labelled as "conservative"..

Why do you think this could be?

Piero Colombo , Feb 15 2020 23:59 utc | 89
Circe @59

Your Sanders is as much of a warmonger as Bush, Clinton, the Clinton harpy, Obama and the rather tentative Trump.
He voted for the AUMF 2001 that enabled the Afghanistan and Iraq wars (2003 was just for show, and he did vote the budget for the Iraq invasion.)

He is a Zionist, continues to be a Zionist, only not the same party as Netanyahoo.

He is not running to win anything but the badge of true and faithful servant of the Imperial owners of his "Democratic" party, bringing him the disgruntled vote again and again, as proved in 2016 and officially promised in 2020.

All this is a matter of uncontroversial record of facts and you are part of the propaganda operation. If willingly or not is irrelevant.

Edward , Feb 16 2020 0:07 utc | 90
Bloomberg may be able to ensure that the convention is brokered and "super delegates" will decide the nominee. As mayor he crushed the Occupy movement.
CarolDW , Feb 16 2020 0:10 utc | 91
Bloomberg's arrogance is his stumbling block.He doesn't seem to think any of his actions have consequences. He has no sense of how people perceive him.

In a time of revolutionary levels.of wealth inequality, when Americans are blaming excessive wealth for their diminished circumstances and future, Bloomberg puts himself forward instead of a Pete Buttigeig cutout like Seth Klarman.

If his financial position weren't irritant enough, he dumps a bunch of money on the DNC and gets them to change the rules so he can run, piling outrage on top of annoyance.

He does a terrible job of explaining the worst aspects of his tenure as mayor,defending his racism. His successor who won by a landslide is backing Bernie.
The cherry on this ugly cake is Hillary. even more reviled and distrusted now now than before she stole the candidacy from Bernie and lost the farm to Trump. lest we forget, blaming Russia for her loss and sniping from the sidelines. He puts her in the co-pilots seat. Atta boy Mike.

The DNC are masters at misleading polls. They and CNN published 6 week old polls in order to mislead voters on how well Bernie was doing. Buttigeig polling high in NH after it became known he paid for the app that wrecked the caucus and gave him the lead?
None of this looks like a winning campaign to me.

dltravers , Feb 16 2020 0:19 utc | 93
I find it interesting that Trumps two primary targets, Pocahontas and Biden are pretty much done for already. He has not even touched the others. He spent something like 66 million in 2016. Bloomberg will spend billions to get nowhere. How many people will turn out for a Bloomberg rally?

Bloomberg is out to get Sanders, not Trump. He talks Trump BS out of jealousy and so he can stay in the in crowd in NY. In reality, they are a coin with the same face on both sides.

vk , Feb 16 2020 0:20 utc | 94
I'm surprised people here are surprised. The USA was always governed by a capitalist oligarchy. This was specially evident after Thomas Jefferson (the last descendent of Washington) until the birth of the Republican Party (Lincoln).

After FDR and the birth of a real existential threat (the USSR), the American oligarchy sobered up a little bit and begun to govern from behind the curtains, behind professional politicians (in order to not lose the ideological war in the Cold War).

All the evidence points out the USA was always like this. Bloomberg is not the anomaly, but the normal. Bernie Sanders is the anomaly, which must be eliminated from the American organism. As such, it is also an illusion to think the American system (and, indeed, the western democratic system) can ever be reformed.

karlof1 , Feb 16 2020 0:37 utc | 98
Bloomberg & Clinton: Two of the most useless people I can think of on the planet. They were the sort of occupants meant for the copter Kobe was in.

BUT

This goes to show just how rattled the D-Party Establishment is with Sanders and the growing Movement he's riding that has excellent momentum. And as I pointed out the other day, Trump just gave him a huge boost with his proposed budget gutting of Medicare and Social Security.

A note for those who've asked for the link to my VK Space. All you need do is click on karlof1 at the bottom of my comment and you'll be taken directly there to register or sign in depending on your status.

Bubbles , Feb 16 2020 0:43 utc | 99
Bubbles prediction: Bloomberg would pummel helter skelter trump into the ground. He may well be another bastard, but unlike trump he can articulate what he want's to say. Unlike trump's word salads that surely must be encoded messages only the Maga hat faithful can decode.

Playing to ignorance and telling people what they want to hear has a short shelf life, especially now what with the US federal debt out of control and King of debt trump saying who gives a shit, we have a country to run.

[Feb 14, 2020] Bloomberg the Authoritarian Oligarch

Feb 14, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

om Friedman writes a love letter to his favorite wealthy authoritarian (no, not the Saudi one):

And this candidate is now rising steadily in the polls. This candidate is Michael Bloomberg. This candidate has Trump very worried.

Bloomberg has managed to buy some support in national polling for the low, low price of $300 million spent so far on ads, but there is still not much reason to believe that most Democratic voters would want him as their nominee. He is skipping the first few contests, so we won't know for sure just how little support he has until March, but he seems as much of a poor fit with the Democratic Party electorate as ever. His attempts to "apologize" for the stop-and-frisk policy in New York would be more meaningful if he weren't lying through his teeth about his support for it. According to Bloomberg , this was a policy that he merely inherited before getting rid of it, but the truth is that he escalated it and was forced to stop it because of a court order:

Ultimately, a federal judge found in 2013 that stop-and-frisk intentionally and systematically violated the civil rights of tens of thousands of people by wrongly targeting black and Hispanic men. Bloomberg blasted the ruling at the time, calling it a "dangerous decision made by a judge who I think does not understand how policing works and what is compliant with the U.S. Constitution."

Bloomberg's record on civil liberties in general is abysmal. Alex Pareene recounts how Bloomberg had hundreds of protesters arrested ahead of the Republican National Convention simply to keep them off the streets:

Over the course of the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, the New York Police Department arrested nearly 2,000 people at protests. The mass arrests were indiscriminate. Bystanders and journalists were among those hauled to a filthy bus depot terminal that served as a makeshift holding pen.

Hundreds of people were charged with minor crimes so that they could be kept in jail for the duration of the convention. A judge held the city in contempt of court for failing to abide by a state policy that gives people in jail the right see a judge or be released within 24 hours. And the city lied about how long it took to process the fingerprints of its detainees. In the end, no serious charges were brought against anyone, because the entire point was to keep people off the streets while Bush and his friends enjoyed their parties, and to dissuade others from attempting any further disruption.

Even then, it was clear that the arrests were illegal. They were, as the civil rights attorney Norman Siegel put it at the time, "preventative detention." The cops knew it, the city's lawyers knew it even as they denied it, and the mayor knew it.

The intrusive surveillance of Muslims that he approved as mayor was as outrageous as it was unnecessary. Conor Friedersdorf explains :

And he cannot be trusted to respect the civil rights of Muslims, as he illustrated after 9/11, when he presided over blatant religious profiling. Starting shortly after the attacks, officers infiltrated Muslim communities and spied on hundreds or perhaps thousands of innocents at mosques, colleges, and elsewhere.

These officers "put American citizens under surveillance and scrutinized where they ate, prayed and worked, not because of charges of wrongdoing but because of their ethnicity," the AP reported, citing NYPD documents. Informants were paid to bait Muslims into making inflammatory statements. The NYPD even conducted surveillance on Muslim Americans outside its jurisdiction, drawing a rebuke from an FBI field office, where a top official charged that "the department's surveillance of Muslims in the state has hindered investigations and created 'additional risks' in counterterrorism."

Bloomberg defended the NYPD's counterterrorism efforts as necessary to keep New Yorkers safe, yet "in more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloguing mosques," the AP reported, "the New York Police Department's secret Demographics Unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation." The police acknowledged, in court, having generated zero leads.

Bloomberg's heavy-handed, abusive policies weren't just egregious violations of civil liberties, but they were also doing nothing to make the city more secure. Despite this, Bloomberg was a fervent defender of his policies until he realized that they would be a political liability for his current presidential campaign. Now he delivers unconvincing, dishonest "apologies" in an attempt to make people forget what he did. He still wants to use his time as mayor to argue that he is qualified for higher office, but he has to run away from one of his signature policies because he cannot justify it to Democratic voters. Bloomberg can't stand by his record because his record on these issues was awful, so why would voters trust him enough to promote him to an even more powerful position?

Friedman may think that the man is "a moderate progressive with a heart of gold" (yes, he said that), but the reality is that Bloomberg is an authoritarian oligarch whose contempt for Americans' constitutional rights runs like a red skein through his entire record. Pareene puts it this way:

Bloomberg said and did all these things because he is an authoritarian. He has explicitly argued that "our interpretation of the Constitution" will have to change to give citizens less privacy and the police more power to search and spy on them. In fact, he does not seem to believe that certain people have innate civil rights that the state must respect.

Like many other so-called "centrists," Bloomberg is a defender of intrusive state power and massive concentrated wealth. We are already familiar with how awful his foreign policy views are . Conservatives, libertarians, and progressives all have good reasons not to want him in charge of any government ever again. The thought of someone like this running the executive branch with all of the power that it possesses is terrifying.

[Feb 09, 2020] Michael Lind on Reviving Democracy by Aaron Sibarium

Notable quotes:
"... AS : You've talked about technocratic progressives, and alluded to what might be called technocratic libertarians. Is there such a thing as technocratic populism, which genuinely responds to populist complaints through market-based, technical solutions? Or is technocratic populism a contradiction in terms? ..."
"... AS : It's ironic, isn't it, that some of the changes that hollowed out the parties were initially justified on the grounds that they weren't representative enough. Would it be fair to say that these kinds of populist reforms backfired and produced democratic deficits? ..."
"... AS : Two proposals that have been voiced by those policy wonks in recent years are universal basic income and trust-busting. In the book you reject both of these proposals. Why? ..."
"... AS : Five times zero is still zero. ..."
"... AS : Many of the power-sharing proposals you favor work by creating veto points that let workers say no and force a compromise. Do you worry that this might make us less competitive in the international arena? China doesn't have many democratic constraints on the market, after all, because it's not a democracy. Is it possible to create veto points without sacrificing efficiency, and with it our competitive edge? ..."
"... AS : In closing, I want to ask a couple big-picture questions. Patrick Deneen, the author of Why Liberalism Failed , recently tweeted that The New Class War is "THE essential book of the decade." Do you agree that liberalism has failed? And if not, why do you think that a lot of post-liberals have been raving about your book? ..."
"... AS : You don't seem to have much faith in either political party right now. Do you think the power-sharing you envision can plausibly arise without any help from established politicians, or are things going to get a lot worse before they get better? ..."
"... AS : Do you think competition with China could potentially catalyze a class truce? ..."
"... AS : Last question: Your theory of the case is very much a systemic one. It's a story about structures and institutions and systems, how they've changed and how they've changed for the worse. What, if anything, can individuals do to promote the kind of systemic change you want to see in the United States? ..."
Feb 09, 2020 | www.the-american-interest.com

Michael Lind on Reviving DemocracyTo fix things, we must acknowledge the nature of the problem. T he Cold War may have ended, but the class war rages on -- or so Michael Lind argues in The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite . TAI assistant editor Aaron Sibarium recently sat down with Lind to discuss this argument, and what it means for democracy in our populist era. This is a lightly edited transcript of the conversation.

Aaron Sibarium for TAI: You have a new book out: The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite . What is the new class war?

Michael Lind : It's the conflict that has broken out between the college-credentialed, university-educated managerial and professional class, which dominates Western democracies on both sides of the Atlantic, and the high school-educated working class of all races and national origins, which is about two-thirds of the population. I argue that there was a kind of class peace treaty, or what political scientists call a "settlement," between capitalists, managers, and the working class for a couple of decades following 1945 that broke down in the late 20 th century, largely as a result of the atrophy of the institutions that had amplified the power of less educated working-class people. The most important of these were trade unions, churches, and other religious organizations, as well as local mass membership parties -- parties of political machines at the local level.

As a result of that breakdown, there's just been a shift of power and influence in all three realms: the economy, the culture, and government. And I argue the frustration this has created on behalf of much of the population has ultimately led to a lot of the populist rebellions we're seeing: the election of Trump, the Brexit vote in Europe, the Yellow Vest revolts in France.

AS : Part of the story here is the rise of a "managerial elite," as you call it, which differs in important ways from the elite it displaced. What are the distinct features of this managerial class?

ML : I don't claim any particular originality here. I follow James Burnham, a one-time influential American Trotskyist who became one of the founders of postwar American conservatism. In his book The Managerial Revolution written during World War II, he argued that the Marxists were wrong. The two major classes in the Western world in the 1940s were not workers and capitalists, but workers and managers. Because at that point, thanks to the rise of large corporations, there was what Berle and Means in their classic study of the corporation described as separation of ownership and control. And you had this bureaucratic corporate executive class who were not necessarily the biggest shareholders. Particularly nowadays when shared ownership is widely dispersed and fluctuating, it's kind of a legal fiction to say that the shareholders are the owners of the corporation, and that the managers are merely passive agents.

So that was the argument. Burnham argued -- and I follow him -- that the managerial elite includes far more than corporate executives. It includes professionals, experts of all kinds, civil servants, and also the military, which he argued would become increasingly influential in societies. Meanwhile, only one-third of the working class was ever industrial workers -- the rest were service and clerical workers. But at present, as a result of automation and productivity growth, most new working class jobs are in hospitality and leisure, healthcare and retail. And those tend to be very poorly paid and very non-union jobs. So the migration of employment from the unionized manufacturing sector to these sectors has contributed to inequality.

AS : A common libertarian argument holds that if you look at the data, working-class living standards have improved, so everything's more or less fine. To the extent there is a crisis, it's one more of perception than fact. How do you respond to this argument?

ML : Well, it's true: As a result of technological progress poor people have access to all kinds of technology that rich people did not have a century ago. The problem with libertarians is they're like Marxists, and even some progressives: They think money is everything. The problem with libertarians is they're like Marxists, and even some progressives: They think money is everything. They ignore power. They ignore dignity. So the basic premise is, "well, you've lost your unions, which amplified your influence if you only had a high school diploma, but in return you make $500 more a year, so it's a wash."

I find it very odd because the whole basis of American republicanism, small-r republicanism, is the idea that ordinary people should have power and that there should be checks and balances. The idea is not that you can have a dictatorship or an autocracy or an aristocracy as long as it pays compensation to everyone else.

AS : Here at the magazine, we're very interested in reviving what we call the political center. In the book you note that the center of elite opinion is very different from the center of working-class opinion -- even as your emphasis on class compromise sounds, well, kind of centrist. Do you identify as a centrist? And what do you think are the biggest mistakes that self-styled centrists have made?

ML : Marx said, "I'm not a Marxist," so I like saying that I, Michael Lind, am not a Lindist. I'm less interested in sticking out a position on the political spectrum -- either the elite spectrum or the working-class spectrum, which are your two different political spectrums -- than I am in nation-building. And how do you rebuild a functioning democratic nation-state in which politics is not all about 51 percent trying to annihilate 49 percent? I think we have to be as inclusive as possible. In the book, I call this "democratic pluralism," the idea being that you have to have a government based on compromise.

But before you can have compromise, you have to acknowledge the reality of conflict. You have to admit that the conflicts are legitimate. Because if one side is simply wrong or one side is simply evil, then there's no point in compromise. So democratic pluralism is a very realistic view of politics. It's arguably the case that employers and employees have clashing interests on things like trade and immigration. There is no one objective policy, so you have to negotiate and make trade-offs. Different religious groups and secular people have equally legitimate values. They have to coexist in the same society.

And when it comes to matters of class, the vast majority of working-class people simply are going to be outweighed in politics and in the media by the minority of very well-educated and very well-financed people. So they have to have their own organizations to exercise what the economist John Kenneth Galbraith called "countervailing power." But my vision is one of compromise and negotiation. It's not that a group of experts gets together and decides what the ideal policy is and then the government just imposes this. I don't know in advance what the ideal policy is for Uber and Lyft drivers. I think that the drivers should have some kind of collective representation and should be able to negotiate with their employers. But if they can come up with a solution that's acceptable to both, that's fine with me.

AS : You say that under democratic pluralism, the state serves as a kind of brokering agent between labor and capital. Could you elaborate on the role of the state in this negotiating structure?

ML : The libertarian or classical liberal view of government is that it's an umpire. It doesn't have any commitment to one side or another, or even to one country or another, according to libertarianism; it just enforces the rules. Whoever wins, wins. But the democratic pluralist tradition sees the democratic nation-state as the coach of a team. And the team includes the national managerial elite and investors and workers, who are all competing with other nations. So democratic pluralism involves some degree of economic nationalism.

It's not necessarily leading to war or anything like that. It's just that all the different countries are trying to make their own people more prosperous. And so as a result of that, the government can step in and keep the different groups in society from ripping each other apart. But at the same time it should not just try to dictate things from above. So that's why I think the coach metaphor is better than the umpire metaphor.

AS : Would you say that this more thoroughgoing concept of democratic representation is just a means to class compromise, or is it a normative end in itself?

ML : I think it's a means to an end. The normative end is national unity. And that's why, even though some of this sounds vaguely Marxist, the premise is not that the working class is going to destroy and replace the managerial class. Every society, including communist societies, have had managerial elites in the modern world. And you have to have them. You have to have experts. You have to have managers. And in practice, they will probably pass on their advantages to their children to some degree. You even see this in communist industrial countries. So the goal is to give the working-class majority the weapons to enforce a compromise, to draw some concessions from the managerial elite.

If the working class were too strong and were threatening to cripple the managerial elite, I would be for strengthening the managers against an overly powerful working class. But the goal is national unity. It's what Henry Carey , the Whig economist in the 19 th century who was an advisor to Abraham Lincoln, called "the harmony of interests." And there's this older Hamiltonian tradition that rejected the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian idea that there's a battle to the death between capital and labor in favor of the idea that they're partners in a common project of national development and national construction. But the government is not simply a passive figure. It's actively bringing them together and regulating their partnership.

AS : You write that under democratic pluralism, "legislatures can cede large areas of policymaking to those with higher stakes and expertise." That framing sounds a bit like some defenses of the administrative state, of which you are a partial critic. What role, if any, do administrative agencies have in brokering class compromise?

ML : There have been two kinds of administrative agencies that are somewhat independent of direct presidential political control since the progressive era. One kind is the very technocratic agency where you get the experts who are insulated, they're altruistic, they're wise, they have degrees from Ivy League universities. And whatever they want is supposedly good for the public. I'm very suspicious of this for obvious reasons. The other kind is associated with a lot of the New Deal agencies that were created. And we have to remember the New Deal was a farmer-labor alliance. It was an alliance of the working class and the family farmers who had been excluded from the first stage of industrialization in the United States. They realized that Congress cannot possibly make detailed regulations for everything in an industrial economy, but at the same time they did not want to turn over vast discretionary power to a bunch of "pointy heads," as George Wallace would say, from the Ivy League universities.

So their compromise was to create sector-specific organizations: the FCC, the Agriculture Department, and various independent agencies where interest groups were represented and could influence policy, even if only informally. Now, libertarians hate this because they see it as corruption for the interest groups to influence policy. A certain kind of technocratic progressive hates it because the people who make policy are not supposed to actually be from that field -- that's their definition of corruption. But to my mind it makes sense, because if you're going to make policy for family farmers, you should probably talk to family farmers. If you're going to make policy for taxi drivers, then represent the taxi drivers and consult with them.

By the same token, I think we have a very unrealistic view of the omnicompetent legislator. We have this idea that if you're a Senator, today you're going to make policy for farming and tomorrow you're going to make it for pilots, and the day after that you're going to make it for religious liberty. Having worked in state legislatures, I can tell you that doesn't happen. What happens is that one or two members of the legislature are known as experts in a particular field. Usually they have some connection with that field, and their fellow legislators -- often across party lines -- defer to their expertise. So one of the things I argue is that we should not be afraid to delegate some policymaking authority to administrative agencies, on the condition that they represent interest groups, particularly working-class interest groups, whose views might be ignored otherwise.

AS : How much of the current working-class ferment is due to a feeling of powerlessness, and how much of it is due to the people in power making bad decisions? Put another way, if elites had taken better care of the working class without actually giving them much substantive representation, would the working class still be in revolt? To what extent is this about powerlessness qua powerlessness versus not getting some preferred policy outcome?

ML : I think you can make that distinction in theory. But in practice, you really can't, because unless there are institutions that represent the policy preferences of working-class people, those people are going to be ignored.

So in theory, yes, you could have had a bipartisan consensus that did not push elite-friendly globalization policies, that did not push elite-friendly immigration policies, that did not push elite-friendly environmental policies such as in France. But there's a reason why the elite-friendly policies always prevailed: the absence of actual checks and balances. So I simply don't believe in the possibility of a benevolent elite unless members of the working class have something beyond the vote. I simply don't believe in the possibility of a benevolent elite unless members of the working class have something beyond the vote. The vote is important, but casting a vote every couple of years for one of two candidates -- particularly when both have been chosen by donors and elite activists -- does not give you very much influence on the system. That's why, I think, you have to have free elections, but they have to be supplemented by policymaking bodies where you have additional checks and balances.

AS : You write that "even in so-called capitalist countries," partly as a result of this lack of checks and balances, property rights have been "diluted and redefined beyond recognition." How has this happened, and what are the implications for the struggle you're describing?

ML : This gets into why I don't like the term "middle class." For the majority of people in the United States, I use the term "working class." The classic word for that is "proletarian," which sounds kind of Marxist, but it comes from ancient Rome. It meant a propertyless wage worker, who has to earn a living by working for wages. Today we talk about the home-owning majority, the property-owning majority, and so on. But in practice, unless you have paid off your house mortgage loan completely, you're renting it from the bank. And the same is true of your car -- you're renting that until it's completely paid off, if it ever is. So the property-owning majority is kind of an illusion.

And I'm not criticizing the system. It's a successful system. But let's not trick ourselves into thinking that most Americans are therefore property-owners in a significant sense, or certainly that they're capitalists. The vast majority of Americans in retirement depend almost entirely on Social Security. Only the top half of the population has any kind of investments in 401(k)s or IRAs. And even that, if you look at the average 401K or IRA, is really a negligible amount of money. It doesn't last very long. So we really have a majority of people who could not live for more than a few weeks without a wage, without turning to the state for unemployment insurance. They would be destitute in old age without Social Security. And this is one of the reasons that there's a class division in attitudes toward entitlement policy. It seems insane, if you think about it, that after the economy crashed in 2008, the priority in Britain was austerity, cutting back government spending in the middle of a global depression. And in the United States, we had the bipartisan effort to cut the deficit, with President Obama offering the Republicans a cut to Social Security. That would not have happened in a truly democratic system in which ordinary people had the same clout as very well-to-do people.

AS : Implicit here is a critique of a certain kind of left-producerism, which folks like Elizabeth Warren and Matt Stoller have been pushing. That tradition imagines a world where all Americans are self-reliant property-owners, and hearkens back to the free labor movement of the 19 th century. You seem to be saying this is a pipe dream.

ML : My previous book, which I co-authored with the economist Robert D. Atkinson, was Big Is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business . And we criticize this anachronistic, 19 th -century Jeffersonian idea of the small producer. It's just completely anachronistic. A slight majority of Americans today work for firms with 500 people or more. I love that statistic. It just shocks people.

Small businesses create most new jobs. They also destroy most new jobs because almost all small businesses fail. Small businesses create most new jobs. They also destroy most new jobs because almost all small businesses fail. So the only net job creation is by successful businesses, which if they are successful, become medium-size or large businesses. They level off at some point, of course. But that being the case, this Jeffersonian ideal is a hundred years out of date. It was clear in the early 20 th century that you could do four things to respond to the rise of large corporations. One is to break them up into little teeny-weeny firms again, mom and pop firms. That's the anti-trust agenda. That was considered anachronistic even in World War I -- Woodrow Wilson said, "this is absurd." So did Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt has this reputation as a trust buster, but if you actually read what he wrote, he thought consolidation was inevitable.

So we have these large corporations, and they should be regulated. But if you reject breaking them up into little pieces, what are the remaining three options? Well, there's nationalization. That's what the socialists wanted. Eugene Debs and the socialists thought trusts were great, because it's easier to nationalize a big firm than a small firm.

Then there's regulation, and then there's countervailing power, to use the term again from John Kenneth Galbraith. The labor movement under Samuel Gompers in the early 20 th century said, "well, we don't want socialism. We're not socialists. We want dynamic firms. We want to share their profits as workers. We don't want our own little tiny mom and pop firms. We like working for steel companies and car companies, as long as we're paid decently. We don't want the government to regulate our wages and benefits because we think that the rich lobbyists will always have more clout in Congress than representatives of working people."

So their solution, which I argue for, was countervailing power. You pool the labor power of workers, but then you negotiate with the big firms.

Now there's technically a fifth option, which is even more absurd than the anti-trust option. That's the libertarian one, where you just allow oligopolies and monopolies to grow, and they grow simply because they're dynamic and efficient. But if they abuse their power you just turn a blind eye to it. And you have to be an ideological libertarian to believe that a janitor, an individual janitor, has bargaining power in a company with 500 people. That's just pure nonsense and it's been recognized as such. Even J.S. Mill, who is cited as a classical liberal thinker, was for unions, because he saw that there was no way one individual could realistically negotiate a contract of employment with a large firm.

AS : You claim that immigration has made this kind of negotiation more difficult by creating a split labor market that ends up hurting low-wage workers. Yet several studies have suggested that it was cultural anxiety, not economic distress, that best predicted support for Trump. Would it be fair to say that immigration is primarily a cultural battleground in this new class war? Or do you think the materialist story is underrated?

ML : That's a misleading question. Most of the social science on Trump and Brexit is worthless because political scientists look for a single factor. Was it deindustrialization, was it racial views, was it age or whatever? And since you're dealing with a society that's quite stratified by class and divided by race, people have multiple characteristics that you can't catch if you're doing a regression analysis with one polling question. So I dismiss a lot of that stuff.

What I do in the book is build on Edna Bonacich's idea of the split labor market . That's when you have two populations competing for the same job. Sometimes they're of different ethnicities, they can be from different regions of the country or from different classes, but each has distinct, identifiable characteristics. Employers prefer the population that is willing to work for lower wages, whatever its defining characteristic is. For example, in the 19 th century industrial capitalists in the North brought in not just African-Americans, but also poor whites from the South to undercut unionization by mostly European immigrants in Northern industrial cities -- often Irish-Americans, German-, Polish-, Italian-Americans. That's a split labor market. Another example is employers bringing Chinese indentured servants to California to undercut unionization attempts by white labor activists. When that happens, there's inevitably racial resentment as well as economic resentment. The Irish-American labor organizers in San Francisco will denounce the Chinese for their cultural characteristics, and, at the same time, they'll denounce the capitalists for bringing in the Chinese to undercut their wages.

So you have to think about it as a three-way conflict among employers and two different groups of workers. It's not simply a racist, anti-racist paradigm. On the other hand, it's not pure economics, because there's often ethnic resentment between these different groups.

AS : Immigration is part of a larger story you tell about global labor arbitrage. Can you expand on that?

ML : Arbitrage is making a profit by exploiting jurisdictional differences in the value of the same good -- in this case, labor. It has nothing to do with productivity growth, and this is something that is confused in talks about globalization. If you shut down a factory in the Midwest and open up a new factory employing cheaper labor in South China or Mexico, using exactly the same technology, the profit of your firm goes up because the wage share of the profit has gone down. You're no more productive than you were, and you don't produce any more output because productivity is output-per-worker. The Chinese workers or the Mexican workers are producing cars and iPhones at the same rate as the American workers -- they're just paid much less. So that's labor arbitrage.

You also get labor arbitrage with immigration. When employers bring in a group from abroad to work the same jobs that natives or naturalized immigrants have been doing, but for lower wages, the new workers are not more productive, or more skilled, or more efficient. They're just cheaper.

AS : You hold up the post-World War II settlement as a model of democratic pluralism -- not just in economics but also culture. That settlement arguably rested on a shared moral consensus -- in particular a shared Christian consensus -- that's since broken down. The working class has become more diverse, not just ethnically but religiously, philosophically, morally. How do we have cultural power-sharing agreements when there's no shared culture, even among the working class?

ML : Well, I disagree with that characterization of the postwar period. Up until then you had a mainline Protestant establishment in the United States that was very anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish. And so Jewish kids and Catholic kids had to recite Protestant prayers in schools and sing Protestant hymns. Americanization was stripping them of being Jewish and Catholic. And evangelical Protestants suffered as well because these were mainline Protestants who didn't like evangelical Protestants.

But after World War II, the United States created what the sociologist Will Herberg called "the triple establishment." He wrote a book called Protestant -- Catholic -- Jew . And I'm old enough to remember that at every high school commencement, you had a priest, a minister, and a rabbi. So it was pluralistic. Now the term "Judeo-Christian" was invented around that time, to pretend these religions are all part of the same thing, which their theologians will dispute. I'm not saying we should return to that and ignore secular people, particularly with secularization increasing in the U.S. as in Europe.

But I think we've moved back toward a secularized Protestant mainline establishment. And if you look at a lot of the "wokeness" we see today, it's kind of a secularized version of New England puritanism I think we've moved back toward a secularized Protestant mainline establishment. And if you look at a lot of the "wokeness" we see today, it's kind of a secularized version of New England puritanism , at least in the United States. They go after exactly the same people that the old Northeastern mainline did: Southern evangelicals, Catholics, and traditional, non-liberal Jews. Muslims as well, although they treat Muslim as a racial category to be favored rather than a religious conservative category, although most Muslims are religiously conservative.

So I argue that we don't want a French-style anticlerical state, which wants to ban all displays of religion and be aggressively secular. That's not the American tradition. It's not the Anglo-American tradition. You also don't want the elite's religion -- which in the old days was mainline Protestantism, nowadays you'd call it mainline secularism -- to simply dominate the media and education. So I think we have to go back to some kind of institutionalized representation. Maybe it will be the priest, the minister, the rabbi, the druid, and the atheist. But I think that's a much healthier approach in a society where you have deep permanent value pluralism , as the philosopher John Gray has argued. You have to have what he calls a modus vivendi , an agreement to live and let live and co-exist.

AS : In your book, you note that there used to be religious and cultural bodies that were informally charged with oversight of education in the media. Organizations to which films were submitted for approval.

ML : Yeah, the Legion of Decency, which was originally a Catholic organization. It got to the point where Hollywood would just submit the films to them. There's this wonderful movie by the Coen brothers, Hail, Caesar , about making a biblical epic in the 1950s. There's a great scene where they have a Catholic priest, a Protestant minister, an Orthodox Christian priest, and a rabbi, and the poor studio guys are trying to make sure their film doesn't offend anybody.

Now, if you're a free speech zealot of the romantic libertarian bent, then the more shocking to public sensibilities, the better. And I don't want to go back to the old days where they were censoring Catcher in the Rye in the libraries. But on the other hand, come on. If you have a society that is half wiccans and half Nordic Asatru Thor worshippers, what is the goal of your policy in education and so on? Is it to constantly insult and humiliate the two groups that are the biggest groups in your society?

And what about parents? If you have compulsory public education, then the views of the parents ought to be respected by educators, right? Now again, this is not anticlerical France where the public school is a way to de-program Catholic school children and turn them into French Jacobin Republican citizens. I'm very supportive of mandatory viewpoint diversity in K-12 and higher education, and also in the media because let's face it, the mass media are a de facto public utility. It's how people communicate, it's what shapes perceptions. And to say that it's a purely private thing, so if you don't like it, go found your own radio network or your own TV network or your own social media platform . . . I don't think that's realistic.

AS : You note that in the past, Catholics played a role out of proportion to their numbers when it came to policing the culture. What sort of minority group, if any, do you think would fill that role today? Is there a particular subgroup that's well-positioned to revive these religious or cultural bodies?

ML : There is a kind of a revival of Catholic social thought on the right wing of the Republican Party, with people like Marco Rubio saying good things about unions. You see flickers there of this older Catholic influence, both in working-class economic areas but also in the culture. Like Protestants, Catholics are declining as a percentage of the population. Southern evangelicals, because of their dispensationalist ideology -- thinking the end of the world is near -- did not for obvious reasons put a whole lot of effort into thinking about the details of public policy.

We'll see what happens with American Muslims. What you saw with Catholic immigrants and Jewish immigrants was that even as they became less ethnic diasporas, they remained religious believers. There were new Jewish-American and Catholic-American establishments. I think we may see that with both Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. And to the extent that they don't accept the idea that we're just going to go along with whatever the Ivy League schools say, to the extent they reject the woke secular liberal attitude, they may play a role.

AS : You also have a very interesting passage where you say that terms like transphobia, homophobia, and Islamophobia medicalize politics, and treat different viewpoints as evidence of psychological disorder. Why has this become one of the go-to methods for invalidating dissent in the United States?

ML : Well, it has very deep roots, nearly a century old. If you go back to the 1920s and 30s, many of the intellectuals in the Western world were just completely entranced with Freudianism, and with other kinds of modern psychology. They thought that this was a science and it explained human behavior. And so the whole project of redefining morality in terms of psychology and therapy goes back to Freudianism, and then you get these increasingly dumbed down versions of it where one moral dispute after another -- over gay rights, over trans rights, over immigration -- gets medicalized so that instead of this being a dispute based on thousand-year-old religious texts, the people who hold a certain view are simply emotionally disturbed. And the cure for that is therapy.

You see this with diversity training. The premise is that if you don't agree with whatever the accepted positions are, then you need to be reprogrammed. To become a productive, normal person, you need therapy. And I think this is just very sinister and totalitarian. Obviously there are emotionally disturbed people who hate homosexuals, and there are deranged individuals with a completely insane hatred of people of another race. But as I say in the book, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi who disapproves of homosexuality, but also of abortion and divorce and adultery, is just following the teachings of Judaism, right? The rabbi is a perfectly normal, well-adjusted person. That's just the theology. If you want to fight the theology, denounce the theology.

But when you have the elites in charge of education and the media essentially adopting as their working hypothesis that anyone who disagrees with them needs therapy -- this is very sinister.

AS : It seems like this medicalization of politics has coincided with the rise of outlets like Vox, which you criticize more than once in The New Class War . Is that just an accident, or have both trends been driven by the same technocratic impulse?

ML : Yes, Vox very much represents what I call technocratic progressivism -- the idea that there is one "correct" answer which is also the moral answer. And so if anyone disagrees with the Vox policy, either they're ignorant or emotionally disturbed. It's very patronizing.

Having said that, the right has its own version of this, where anyone who disagrees with the right's policies is a traitor or an instrument of Satan or morally evil or stupid. So you find it on both sides.

But the medicalization tends to be associated with the overclass center-left, not the radical left. The Marxists don't do this because they believe in class conflict. I think their theory of class and class conflict is wrong, but they're actually closer to reality than the technocratic progressives who think that if everyone were sane and smart, there would never be any conflicts at all.

AS : You've talked about technocratic progressives, and alluded to what might be called technocratic libertarians. Is there such a thing as technocratic populism, which genuinely responds to populist complaints through market-based, technical solutions? Or is technocratic populism a contradiction in terms?

ML : I think it's a contradiction in terms, because if you believe as I do that the root of populism is a power deficit, then it's not a matter of getting the right policies. You actually have to redistribute power, and redistributing power to working class people means they have the power to be wrong and support dumb things. And their representatives have the power to make bad decisions.

So I don't think you can come up with a kinder and gentler version of technocratic progressivism where you just do better polling or you're just more benevolent and more sensitive to working-class people. You have to talk to them. I spent two decades in the NGO world. Apart from receptionists and janitors, you never encounter working-class people. I spent two decades in the NGO world. Apart from receptionists and janitors, you never encounter working-class people. The idea that you would actually go out there and ask them what their problems are, that almost never happens.

To be clear, there are some good things that come out of the technocratic approach. You don't expect working-class people to tell you statistically what the best health insurance option is. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about basic preferences. The politicians do go out and supposedly hear from people at the diner when they're trying to get elected. But the experts in a think tank or university who are coming up with the plans that the politicians then sell to the people at the diner -- those experts don't have much contact with the working class.

Fifty years ago in this country it worked differently. The parties were federations of state and local parties, so word could go forth from Washington to persuade people that yes, this is the way to do it. And often that worked because the people involved in the local Democratic or Republican machine trusted the county precinct chairman. But the people in DC also heard from the grassroots. County people would talk to the state people, state people would send the message that things are going on out here. Now that the parties are just shells bought by billionaires, you don't get that.

As for unions -- they did bad things as well as good things, all human organizations have trade-offs -- but it meant that there was some kind of mechanism for working-class revolts to get somebody's ear up above. And in the absence of unions you get polls. "There's a poll that shows the working class believes X, there's a poll that shows the working class believes Y." In the old days you asked the shop steward or the foreman what the working class thought; you didn't have a telephone poll. That shows the extent to which all these connecting levels of organization have vanished, if the only way to find out what people are thinking is by calling them randomly and asking their opinion.

AS : It's ironic, isn't it, that some of the changes that hollowed out the parties were initially justified on the grounds that they weren't representative enough. Would it be fair to say that these kinds of populist reforms backfired and produced democratic deficits?

ML : Yeah, I think that's right. Now, sure, there were corrupt smoke-filled-room politicians. There were sleazy union officials who were embezzling from the union, there was sexual harassment among religious figures. These are human institutions.

But in ancient Rome, there were the tribunes, whose role was to represent the ordinary people against the senatorial class. And the moment it was reduced to one tribune -- who happened to be Caesar -- that was the end of that system. So you have to have lots of little petty tribunes, lots of petty power brokers, whom the metropolitan liberals never liked. The elite conservatives never liked them. Everybody looked down their noses at them, and at the church ladies, and at the corrupt local union boss, but they're all gone now. They're all extinct, just like the dinosaurs. So there's this huge void in between. Nothing's perfect, but I think we do have to rebuild this group of intermediate brokers so that you don't simply have a political system that consists of donors, advertising experts, and policy wonks who live in New York and Washington and maybe San Francisco.

AS : Two proposals that have been voiced by those policy wonks in recent years are universal basic income and trust-busting. In the book you reject both of these proposals. Why?

ML : Well, universal basic income has always been rejected by pro-labor people and by social democrats on the theory that if the working class has power through collective bargaining and other means to force employers to pay a living wage, then you don't need a universal basic income. If you work 40 hours a week -- and there's dignity to work -- then it's profoundly humiliating to say that a few rich CEOs are the only productive people in society, and everyone else is some kind of parasite. But to bribe them into silence, we'll just pay them off -- this is utterly abhorrent to the idea of the dignity of labor. It's abhorrent to the idea of a democratic Republic. Instead, you have an aristocracy passing out charity to people.

So that's the moral and political reason for rejecting it. The practical reason is, does anyone think that these billionaires who are hiding all of their income in the Cayman Islands are going to consent to be taxed to give everyone $12,000 a year? I don't believe that for a moment. Right now you can't even raise taxes on people making $100,000 or $200,000 a year. If the middle class is defined as anyone making less than $200,000 a year, we're not going to raise taxes on them. So where's this money coming from for the UBI?

And I've already touched briefly on the fact that trust-busting is anachronistic. What's particularly absurd is they're trying to argue that inequality has gone up, not for the real reason, which is that unions have been crushed and labor markets have been flooded by low-wage immigrants, but because of the monopsony power of big corporations. Okay. So let's say you break Facebook into five giant firms. Do we really believe that the janitor is going to have five times the bargaining power in these baby Facebooks? That's ridiculous. It's not going to happen.

AS : Five times zero is still zero.

ML : Yeah. But what you see with the Democrats is they're rapidly being taken over by formerly Republican libertarians and moderates. So as the Bush Republicans and a lot of libertarians, even the Koch brothers, are distancing themselves from the Republican Party, are moving away from the GOP because it's becoming more blue-collar -- well, when Bush country club Republicans decide, "Oh, I hate Donald Trump, I'm going to switch to the Democrats," they don't necessarily change their views about taxes or immigration or unions.

I'll give you an example I use in the book. The overwhelming majority of congressional districts in the 2016 elections that went for Clinton are among the wealthiest districts in the United States. And Trump got among the poorest districts in the United States, so the idea that the Republicans are the country club managerial capitalist party and the Democrats are the AFL-CIO steelworkers is like 20, 30 years out of date. It's all in flux.

AS : Many of the power-sharing proposals you favor work by creating veto points that let workers say no and force a compromise. Do you worry that this might make us less competitive in the international arena? China doesn't have many democratic constraints on the market, after all, because it's not a democracy. Is it possible to create veto points without sacrificing efficiency, and with it our competitive edge?

ML : Germany has had strong unions and co-determination, and its manufacturing industries are in many ways more advanced and successful than in the United States, where companies just want to crush unions and go for the cheapest possible labor. Japan is very paternalistic, but they have good labor relations as part of this kind of welfare capitalist system. So if you look at export competitiveness, the anti-labor countries like the U.S. and the UK don't do that well compared to the ones that have some kind of harmonization among their workforces and employers in manufacturing.

What dictatorships like China can do is mainly through credit, not cheap labor. They can dump products below cost on the rest of the world. And the classic dumping strategy, whether it's from a firm or a nation, is that you deliberately sell below cost long enough to drive your rivals out of business. And then at that point you have a monopoly in the market, which means you can jack up the price to recoup the losses you incurred during the dumping phase. So if you have government-owned enterprises, or nominally private enterprises that in practice have an unlimited credit line from the government or from banks the government pressures, there's no way any private enterprise can compete with a state-backed corporation.

So if you believe in industrial capitalism as I do -- I think it's the most dynamic system for increasing wealth and innovation in history -- then you have to block entry into your market by state-capitalists, otherwise they will wipe out your firms. This should not even be debated.

AS : In closing, I want to ask a couple big-picture questions. Patrick Deneen, the author of Why Liberalism Failed , recently tweeted that The New Class War is "THE essential book of the decade." Do you agree that liberalism has failed? And if not, why do you think that a lot of post-liberals have been raving about your book?

ML : Well I think there's agreement among people with very different views of history that what we call "liberalism" now -- which I would call libertarianism or neoliberalism -- has moved toward hyper-individualism in the culture and deregulation of the economy, and that this is a bad thing. It's bad for community. It's bad for the nation-state. It's bad in the long run for the capitalist economy because it undermines its foundations.

Where you get debate is on the question of when this started. To my mind, the neoliberal era started in the '70s and really got underway after the Cold War. For some of the critics of liberalism, like Deneen, it starts with the Protestant Reformation or with the Enlightenment. That's an interesting debate to have, but it's a philosophical debate. And I think that whatever your theory of the case, you can agree that the neoliberal moment is hopefully over, and that it's time to create a new system, which I for one hope will incorporate the good things about neoliberalism: emancipation of sexual minorities, a lot of the gains in civil rights and civil liberties. So you want the pendulum to swing back, but not necessarily all the way to where it was before neoliberalism. You just correct the excesses in the next stage of history.

AS : You don't seem to have much faith in either political party right now. Do you think the power-sharing you envision can plausibly arise without any help from established politicians, or are things going to get a lot worse before they get better?

ML : In the book, I argue that ruling elites generally share power only when they're forced to. And they are forced to either by fear of insurrection from below or by a fear of competition with other countries. I argue that ruling elites generally share power only when they're forced to. And they are forced to either by fear of insurrection from below or by a fear of competition with other countries. In most cases it's very difficult for weak, disorganized working-class people, or in the old days peasants, to overthrow the regime. So the elite doesn't have a whole lot to worry about from below. If you look at the creation of the mid-century class compromise I document in The New Class War , it was done largely during World War II in the United States and in Britain and in Germany. The left doesn't like to admit this. They want to pretend it was just a spontaneous upwelling from below. But in fact union membership shot up radically during World War II, because the Roosevelt Administration ordered firms to switch to war production, to make a deal with unions in the interest of defeating the Axis powers.

So at this point, I'm actually very pessimistic. I think that absent some kind of sustained international rivalry, where a section of the managerial elite comes to understand that constant labor and cultural warfare undermines us in international competition, so that they will have to broker a truce to save themselves -- I think absent that, you get a situation like a lot of South American countries. Brazil and Mexico, Central America, arguably they suffer because they never had a major war, and thus never had any incentive to extend power to ordinary people. So they're very oligarchical to this day.

AS : Do you think competition with China could potentially catalyze a class truce?

ML : It could, but I'm a realist in my foreign policy views. So I tend to see international politics as a series of either low-level or very intense competitions among different great powers. So if it's China now, it may be a rising India 50 years from now, and it may be somebody else in a hundred years. I think it just makes sense as a matter of prudence for a nation-state that's also a great power, like the United States, to have a kind of permanent low-level mobilization, which we didn't do after the Cold War.

I think future historians will be puzzled by the idea that the bipartisan establishment had that there would be no more great power conflicts -- that we could move much of our manufacturing and R&D to China, our most likely competitor, and have nothing to worry about. Sure, it lowers consumer prices. But if you think that today's trading partner may be tomorrow's military rival, it doesn't mean you're not going to engage in trade and immigration, but it does mean you're going to have some limits on those things for national security reasons. And again, for national security reasons you do not want class conflicts, racial rivalries, religious disputes to spiral out of control. It undermines the strength and harmony of your country in a dangerous world.

AS : Last question: Your theory of the case is very much a systemic one. It's a story about structures and institutions and systems, how they've changed and how they've changed for the worse. What, if anything, can individuals do to promote the kind of systemic change you want to see in the United States?

ML : Well, I think the first thing they can do is get off Twitter, and stop following national news obsessively, which is largely something the educated upper-middle class does. Working-class people are working, they don't have time, but if you're just re-tweeting angry memes about national politics, that's not politics. I don't know what it is. It's a kind of entertainment or something.

So start with your neighborhood, start with your city. It's not going to be enough -- obviously you have to have the top-down element too -- but real politics is getting the dangerous intersection fixed. It's taking part in a group. If the only thing you do is you vote and then retweet cartoons about the other party, you're not really engaged in politics, right?

So you have to be part of some kind of group. It can be a community group, it can be a religious group, it can be a party group. You've got local Democrats, local Republicans. But I think the best way to break the tendency toward increasing nationalization of everything starts with the individual. It starts locally. When I teach I'm kind of amused, if not shocked, by the tendency of young people to think that if there's any problem, Washington should fix it. If you need a bike path in your city, then Congress should allocate money for the bike path. Well, okay, but why don't you try raising money door-to-door for the bike path? And if that doesn't work, why not go to the city council? And if that doesn't work, there's the state legislature. We really are drifting toward this system where it's assumed that if you elect the right President, then all problems, state and Federal and local, social and economic, will be solved because the President has the right policies.

The Democratic primary has just seemed unreal to me for this very reason because now each candidate has his or her own party platform. They're basically one-person parties, and they're expected to have a platform for every single thing. Up until recently, the President was just the head of the party in Congress, and the party had different wings. There were the farmers and labor and African-Americans, there were consumer groups. The party platform reflected the relative power of those groups, and the President vowed to help carry out the party platform.

I think we're moving toward a nationalized plebiscitary presidential system, where the president is freely elected, but it's a kind of elective dictatorship: an all-powerful Caesarist or Bonapartist presidency will just solve all of our problems, and then if anything goes wrong in the country it's the President's fault, even though the President didn't have all that much power in reality. Real politics starts locally and consists of having groups of people working together on common projects beginning at home. Published on: January 29, 2020

Michael Lind is co-founder of New America and the author of The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite . Aaron Sibarium is assistant editor at The American Interest .

[Feb 01, 2020] Money, money, money, it's so sunny in the rich men world

Feb 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Roger Casement , 4 hours ago link

Bloomberg is as big a swamp lizard as Soros, and hates America at least as much. That's not his loot he's using to buy our representatives.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/30/us/politics/michael-bloomberg-democrats-donate.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_of_300

https://www.cia.gov/library/abbottabad-compound/4A/4A92FD2FB4DAE3F773DB0B7742CF0F65_Coleman.-.CONSPIRATORS.HIERARCHY.-.THE.STORY.OF.THE.COMMITTEE.OF.300.R.pdf

Look as these gangsters. Michael Bloomberg is on the list. So is Tom Steyer and many psychopaths with bigger egos.

https://www.disclose.tv/ex-illuminati-member-leaked-the-current-membership-of-the-committee-of-300-314385

[Feb 01, 2020] Bloomberg political positions

Feb 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Templar X , 3 hours ago link

The Deep State Democrats aren't ready to go full communist yet, so they have, once again, rejected Jewish communist Bernie Sanders, only to replace him with an extreme leftist, globalist, gun-grabbing, billionaire, warmonger, *** from NYC.

This is the Democrats' Hillary Clinton candidate of 2020, a guy with very similar positions to Hillary Clinton, plus the billionaire status.

Political positions of Michael Bloomberg

Bloomberg has been a registered Democrat for most of his life. He is regarded as socially liberal or progressive on multiple issues, supporting abortion rights, same-sex marriage, strict gun control measures, environmentalism and a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. On economics and foreign policy issues, Bloomberg has tended towards a moderate stance. He opposed a timeline for withdrawal from the Iraq War , and criticized those who favored one. Economically, he supports government involvement in issues such as public welfare while being strongly in favor of free trade and being pro-business, describing himself as a fiscal conservative because he balanced the New York City's budget. [75] He is concerned about climate change and has touted his mayoral efforts to reduce greenhouse gases . [76] Bloomberg has been criticized for not allowing many emergency officials who responded to the September 11, 2001, attacks to attend the tenth anniversary observation of that day. [77] He was also at odds with many around the U.S. for not inviting any clergy to the ceremony marking the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. [78]

Social issues

Bloomberg supports abortion rights, stating, "Reproductive choice is a fundamental human right and we can never take it for granted. On this issue, you're either with us or against us." He has criticized " pro-choice " politicians who support " pro-life " candidates. [79]

Bloomberg supports governmental funding for embryonic stem cell research, calling the Republican position on the issue "insanity". [80] He supports same-sex marriage with the rationale that "government shouldn't tell you whom to marry." [81]

Bloomberg supports the strict drug laws of New York City. He has stated that he smoked marijuana in the past, and was quoted in a 2001 interview as saying "You bet I did. I enjoyed it."... In December 2019, Bloomberg came out in favor of marijuana decriminalization and allowing states to legalize it without federal intervention. [86] ...

... In regard to the global War on Terrorism including Iraq he said, "It's not only to protect Americans. It's America's responsibility to protect people around the world who want to be free."...

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

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[Mar 03, 2020] Let s Talk About Your Alleged #Resistance by Joe Giambrone

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[Feb 23, 2020] Welcome to the American Regime

[Feb 23, 2020] Where Have You Gone, Smedley Butler The Last General To Criticize US Imperialism by Danny Sjursen

[Feb 19, 2020] During the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" was staged in the USA by "managerial elite" which like Soviet nomenklatura (which also staged a neoliberal coup d' tat) changed sides and betrayed the working class

[Feb 19, 2020] On Michael Lind's "The New Class War" by Gregor Baszak

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