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Bloomberg: a pure oligarchic play in 2020 elections

Fat cats cutting out the middleman. They are no longer seeking to elect their henchmen and lackeys to positions of authority—they want to use their money to elect themselves. 

News Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Recommended Links Tulsi Gabbard Elizabeth Warren Donald Trump2020 Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist ? Nasty and pushy Kamala Harris Creepy neocon Joe Biden
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Brennan elections machinations Strzok-gate British attempts to rig the US elections Israel attempts to rig the US elections Saudi Arabia attempts to rig the US elections Do the foreign states influence the US Presidential elections ? Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Superdelegates fraud at Democratic National Convention Pluralism as a myth
Rigging the elections and money in US politics Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Mueller invokes ghosts of GRU operatives to help his and Brennan case Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy Rosenstein role in the "Appointment of the special prosecutor gambit"  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" National Security State
US and British media are servants of security apparatus Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few New American Militarism The Real War on Reality The Deep State Lesser evil trick of legitimizing disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections First after the post elections enforce two party system CIA Democrats  

While romany was a real private eqquty gangster, this one is kind of  variation on the theme of Trump. That WaPo headline above is interesting:
It's time to give elites a bigger say in selecting president. Bloomberg is just "Yet another Oligarch"  just like Trump. But Michael Bloomberg  truly puts the “pluto” in plutocrat—that is, wealth to the nth degree. He ranks eighth on the Forbes 400 list, with $53.4 billion

Could someone actually be so absorbed in own perspective as to not realize how provocative that is - pretty much poking finger in someones chest? I don't think so. It was meant to provoke. Perhaps Bezos is threatened by other rich people.

During the Las Vegas 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]

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)

Like any establishment candidate Bloomberg if pro-Empire. which means that he explicitly or implicitly supports:

When Plutocrats Take Off the Mask and Run for Office

The American Conservative

... ... ...

Among the well-heeled Democrats running for the 2020 presidential nomination, we can start with John Delaney, who served briefly as a congressman from Maryland before he decided it was his duty to run for the White House. Delaney, a mere centi-millionaire, has been trying hard out on the campaign trail for two years, and spending a lot—but not nearly enough, it seems. He’s at a mere .5 percent in the national Democratic polls.

Then there’s Tom Steyer, a certified billionaire; over the last few years, he’s spent hundreds of millions on various causes, including saving the planet and impeaching Trump. And now, he’s found an even more important cause—electing himself. He’s been dwarfing all the other candidates in ad spending, yet even so, he’s still only at .9 percent in the polls. That must be frustrating to a man who’s used to having everything. And maybe that’s why Steyer’s campaign has allegedly been getting even more aggressive in applying the wiles of wealth. As the Associated Press scooped, the Steyerites stand accused of trying to buy endorsements for their man.

And now, here comes Michael Bloomberg, who truly puts the “pluto” in plutocrat—that is, wealth to the nth degree. He ranks eighth on the Forbes 400 list, with $53.4 billion

... ... ...

Bernie Sanders, one of those soak-the-rich Democrats whom Bloomberg wants to keep from the nomination, had his snappy comeback to this attempted leveraged buyout of the party. Decrying what he called the “arrogance of billionaires,” Sanders jibed, “You see, when you’re worth $50 billion, I guess you don’t have to have town meetings, you don’t have to talk to ordinary people. What you do is you take out, I guess a couple of billion dollars, and you buy the state of California.”

We can pause over that last line, “Buy the state of California.” That’s straight out of the muckraking novel The Octopus, or the neo-noir movie Chinatown. In other words, maybe we’re about to see naked face of Capital, full frontal, as it takes to the hustings, eating hotdogs and working rope lines, or at least staging photo-ops and buying Facebook ads.

For her part, the other lefty in the race, Elizabeth Warren, tweeted right back at Bloomberg and his billions: “The wealthy and well-connected are scared that, under a Warren presidency, they would no longer have a government that caters to their every need. So they’re doing everything they can to try to stop our grassroots movement from winning.” Warren added, of course, “Chip in now to fight back.”

So there’s no need to worry: Warren, like Sanders, won’t be penniless. They are not self-funders, and they have mostly refused to have anything to do with big donors, yet they can raise money. They both have, in fact, substantially out-raised the notional frontrunner, the fat cat-friendly Joe Biden.

Poor Biden. He is typically described as the big loser in the wake of Bloomberg’s looming entry. That is, if rich Democrats aren’t confident that Biden can go the distance, then Middle Class Joe might have to be replaced by One Percent Mike.

Thus we come to the paradox of the Bloomberg campaign: if in fact the New York mogul has been enticed into the race because he fears and loathes Sanders and Warren and their wealth tax, he might be making a big mistake—a 2008 bubble-level blooper. That is, Bloomberg could well sink Biden, and submerge the other candidates in the gentle-on-the-rich “moderate lane,” such as Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar. And it’s these middle (relative term) candidates who would presumably have the best chance of beating the Dreaded Trump.

Okay, so what if Bloomberg himself actually won the nomination? That is, after torpedoing Biden, what if he also gets past Sanders & Warren?

... ... ...

For perspective on the power of Unleashed Capital, we might recall the 1980 gubernatorial election in West Virginia, in which a young Democratic carpetbagger by the name of John D. Rockefeller IV—but you could call him “Jay”—found himself running for re-election against a popular former governor, Republican Arch Moore.

Needless to say, Rockefeller was well-financed; to be precise about it, he outspent Moore by 20:1. Indeed, the disparity was so grotesque that Moore supporters printed a bumper-strip reading, “Make Him Spend It All, Arch.” It was a funny line, but Rockefeller won the race.

So we must recognize an eternal truth: When it really puts its mind to it, more often than not, Capital wins.

James P. Pinkerton is an author and contributing editor at The American Conservative. He served as a White House policy aide to both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.


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Old News ;-)

[Mar 04, 2020] Bloomberg spent $600 million to win as many states as every American who chose not to run: zero

Mar 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Update (1050ET): President Trump was quick to react to Bloomberg's exit:

Mini Mike Bloomberg just "quit" the race for President. I could have told him long ago that he didn't have what it takes, and he would have saved himself a billion dollars, the real cost. Now he will pour money into Sleepy Joe's campaign, hoping to save face. It won't work!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

* * *

Never in American history has a presidential candidate spent more to get less than Mike Bloomberg, making his buy-a-nomination bid a big bust.

Bloomberg spent $600 million to win as many states as every American who chose not to run: zero. (He has American Samoa to show for it.)

[Mar 03, 2020] Super Tuesday Bernie vs The DNC Round Two

Highly recommended!
Mar 03, 2020 | off-guardian.org

No matter who comes away with the nomination, it has to be asked "was any of this process legitimate?". We know from a plethora of examples that US elections are not fair. They border on meaningless most of the time. The DNC's doubly so, having argued in court they have no duty to be fair.

Any result, then, you could safely assume was contrived, for one reason or another.

If the Buttigieg-Klobuchar-Biden gambit works, we end up with Trump vs. Biden. And, realistically, that means a second Trump term.

Biden is possibly senile and definitely creepy . Watching him shuffle and stutter through a Presidential campaign would be almost cruel.

Politically, he has all of Hillary's weaknesses, being a big-time establishment type with a pro-war record, without even the "I have a vagina" card to play.

He'll get massacred.

Is that the plan?

There's more than enough signs that Trump has abandoned all the policies that made him any kind of threat to the political establishment. Four years on: no wars ended, no walls built, no swamp drained. Just more of the same. He's an idiot who talked big and got co-opted. It happens.

The Senate and other institutions might talk about Trump being a criminal or an idiot or a "Nazi", but the reality is he's barely perceptibly different from any other POTUS this side of JFK.

#TheResistance was a puppet show. A weak game played for toy money. When it really counts, they're all in it together. Biden getting on the ticket would be a public admittance of that. It would mean the DNC is effectively throwing the fight. Trump is a son of a bitch, but he's their son of a bitch. And that's much better than even the idea of President Bernie.

... ... ...

falcemartello ,

Does it really matter?
Empire of kaos will never move one inch to change the status quo.
The quaisi fascist state that most western /antlantacist nations have become it will make no difference
Gianbattista Vico"Their will always be an elite class" Punto e basta.
Name me one politico that made any difference to we the sheeple in the modern era.
If someone were to mention FDR I will scream.
Aldo Moro got murdered by the deep state for only suggesting to make a pact with Berlinguer the head of Il Partito Communista Italiano.

[Mar 03, 2020] Bloomberg spoke at Aipac and did nothing but trash Bernie in his speech of wrongly judging Aipac and not being loyal to Israe

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Circe , Mar 2 2020 16:59 utc | 91

Bloomberg spoke at Aipac and did nothing but trash Bernie in his speech of wrongly judging Aipac and not being loyal to Israel.

If I were Bernie I would wear Bloomberg's attacks as a BADGE OF HONOR.

Bernie Sanders is definitely going to take on Israel for its oppression of Palestinans in a way that no other previous President has done.

Interesting article in The Intercept on this subject.

ON MONDAY, the only Jewish candidate in the Democratic presidential race stood in front of an audience of Jews in Washington, D.C., and suggested cutting U.S. aid to Israel.

And they applauded him.

"I would use the leverage, $3.8 billion is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche to the Israeli government or for that matter to any government at all," Sen. Bernie Sanders said at the annual convention of J Street, a liberal pro-Israel advocacy group.

It isn't the first time Sanders has discussed deploying foreign aid as "leverage" over the Jewish state. Back in the fall of 2017, in an interview with me for The Intercept, the Vermont senator described the United States as "complicit" in the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and said he would consider voting to reduce U.S. aid to Israel.

At J Street, however, he went much further. "What is going on in Gaza right now is absolutely inhumane, it is unacceptable, it is unsustainable," the Democratic presidential candidate told his interviewers, Pod Save the World hosts -- and former Obama aides -- Tommy Vietor and Ben Rhodes. "My solution is to say to Israel: You get $3.8 billion every year. If you want military aid, you're going to have to fundamentally change your relationship to the people of Gaza."

Then came the kicker: "In fact, I think it is fair to say that some of that should go right now into humanitarian aid in Gaza."

"I can't think of any presidential contender from either party who's said anything comparable," said Khaled Elgindy, a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution and the author of the recently published book "Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, From Balfour to Trump." Diverting money away from the Israeli military and toward hungry Gazans may not sound radical as a policy, Elgindy told me, but "from a political standpoint it's an earthquake."

I asked the independent senator to respond to these attacks on him, and on the people of Gaza, from the right. "Gaza is experiencing a humanitarian and environmental crisis," Sanders told me. "Conflating an effort to address that crisis with 'support for Hamas' is part of an effort to dehumanize Palestinians and continue the conflict."

Bernie Sanders Palestine

Bernie Sanders will also restore the JCPOA, and have a 180-degree different relationship with Iran. He is determined to invest heavily on domestic issues, therefore NOT on war, regime change machinations and will reduce troop level presence overseas and reduce military spending to help fund domestic issues, and instead focus and rely on increasing diplomacy to solve disagreements instead of sanctions and military escalation.

What a refreshing change all this will be. The Palestinians are referring to him as their Moses and Bernie has Palestinian advisors in his campaign adminisration and hired a young Palestinian author and political rising star to intern in his office in Congress.

Bernie Sanders will be the 46th President-TG! The world is desperate for this transformation. Bernie Sanders will eclipse Obama's popularity on the world stage!

[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.

[Feb 28, 2020] My joke packet for Mike Bloomberg by Alexandra Petri

Feb 26, 2020 | www.washingtonpost.com

I see that Mike Bloomberg hired a comedy writer to write jokes for him. I join the rest of the Internet in submitting a packet.

[Feb 28, 2020] One sure path for Bloomberg to winning the nomination

Feb 27, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Alexandra Petri has caught this dilemma perfectly in a satirical piece for the Washington Post. Petri imagines herself a candidate (she could be one, after all; the field contains at least one person who has yet to campaign and has amassed no delegates).

Thus "Candidate Petri" writes:

We must stop Bernie Sanders, and I see no path forward but for my opponents to drop out

Now is the time to act! It is imperative that we concentrate our efforts to stop Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and that is why I see no path forward for my campaign but for my opponents to drop out of the race.

I am calling on all of my moderate, semi-moderate and wealthy opponents to gracefully exit the nomination contest. They are wrong when they say, "I am the only one who has a chance against him and everyone else needs to drop out." I am the only one who has a chance against him, and everyone else needs to drop out.

I call on them to stop calling on me to drop out on the grounds that I lack some combination of popular support, a staff, pledged delegates, cash on hand or a path forward. In fact, I am the only one with a path, assuming that several of them drop out, in which case I will be the clear front-runner to stop Sanders. The only reason I have not yet demonstrated my ability to beat him is because everyone else is still here.

I don't know what they think their paths are! I guess they assume I will drop out, and they will get my support, which will never happen! No, never, not while there is breath in my body or dollar in my bank account.

[Feb 28, 2020] For the life of me I don't understand why Mike doesn't get up and say hi I'm Mike Bloomberg and I promise to put a chicken, a Covid 19 test kit, a hazmat suit and a respirator in in every pot.

Feb 28, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

blowncue , , February 27, 2020 at 7:40 pm

For the life of me I don't understand why Mike doesn't get up and say hi I'm Mike Bloomberg and I promise to put a chicken, a Covid 19 test kit, a hazmat suit and a respirator in in every pot. In fact I'm going to go broke starting today doing just that.

And I'm going to make damn sure that if you are a community physician and Bethesda is not listening to you I'm going to take your call and I'm going to throw as much money as needed to make what needs to happen, happen.

And then walk off the stage.

Nobody from that moment forward would give a damn about his negatives. And I say that as a Sanders supporter, who admittedly does not think that Elizabeth Warren is Jack Kemp in a dress.

One thing that I do want to throw out to the commentariat is that we're going to see and we're seeing it now, the dynamic where DC and Bethesda have their head up their ass and local community providers scream bloody murder and that gets things moving.

For example where UC Davis Physicians want the CDC the test for the coronavirus and the CDC says no, based upon what is now outdated criteria.

South Korea has done like what 20,000 tests they have drive-thru testing!

Back in the 1980s clinicians in Manhattan. (CRI/Sonnabend), and SF started small-scale clinical trials especially focusing on opportunistic infection treatment which Bethesda was completely neglecting as they were shoveling out AZT for HIV like it was candy.

Now the same dynamic is happening only with test kits.

[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] Why Sanders was booed for highlighting Bloomberg's "strong and enthusiastic base of support" among fellow billionaires?

Only Democrats can reach such a level of hypocrisy. They preach one thing to you and then turn around and do the opposite with no shame.
Feb 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

It's easy: Nothing says more about the "party of the people" like $1,750 to $3,200 tickets.

Asked about the crowd's behavior in an interview following the debate, Sanders said "to get a ticket to the debate, you had to be fairly wealthy."

The Bloomberg campaign denied that it stacked the audience with paid supporters amid rampant social media speculation that the billionaire " purchased " a portion of the crowd to create the appearance of a strong performance following his poor showing in Las Vegas last week.


Victory_Rossi , 2 minutes ago

Fairly wealthy? I refuse to believe that anyone would pay a couple of grand to go to a ******* debate.

Musum , 4 minutes ago

In America, $1750-$3200 per seat is democracy.

And oligarchs on Wall St. and industry is capitalism.

You don't have to go far to figure out why Sanders is popular. And voting doesn't matter.

XXX , 15 minutes ago

If it was serious, there wouldn't be a "studio audience", ala Jerry Springer, just reasoned arguments, courtesy and professionalism, all kept under tight control by an unbiased moderator. But it's not serious. It's just political carnival time, clowns only.

XXX , 1 minute ago

Yes. True. It's a shitshow for sure.

XXX, 16 minutes ago

Disgusting hypocrisy. Most of the U.S. citizenry Rep&Dem don't even have that kind of $ available for an emergency let alone some worthless, useless, meaningless debate for an election that will never be happen regardless of whether 100% of the information is presented that it did happen.

These psychopaths really are some sick mf'ers.

[Feb 26, 2020] Bloomberg, In Freudian Slip, Brags He Bought Democratic Majority In The House In 2018

"Wow!!! He's admitting he BOUGHT those seats! OMG!" -- Donald Trump Jr.
I don't view wealth as something that validates intelligence. -Steve Jobs
Notable quotes:
"... I bough-... I got them ..."
"... "Wow!!! He's admitting he BOUGHT those seats! OMG!" -- ..."
"... or rather buying ..."
Feb 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post commentary and the rare attention of the mainstream in a moment underscoring how the elites view their role in America's two-party system.

While he was touting his $100 million in donations to House Democrats, he essentially bragged that he "bought" 21 congressional Democrats their seats in 2018 midterms .

Bloomberg came within a hair's breadth of saying he *bought* the Democratic majority in the House and caught himself as it came out of his mouth pic.twitter.com/DG0keVMo2J

-- Brandon Wall (@Walldo) February 26, 2020

"Let's just go on the record, they talk about 40 Democrats," Bloomberg said, referring to former Vice President Joe Biden.

"Twenty-one of those were people that I spent $100 million to help elect," he continued.

"All of the new Democrats that came in and put Nancy Pelosi in charge and gave the Congress the ability to control this president, I bough-... I got them ."

Incredible. In the #DemDebate , billionaire Bloomberg boasted that he "bought" right-wing neoliberal Democrats like Nancy Pelosi

Then after saying "bought," he quickly corrected himself and said "I bought, uh got them" pic.twitter.com/2mcDgPPhIJ

-- Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) February 26, 2020

Needless to say the backlash was swift and merciless.

I BOUGHT THEM -- Bloomberg accidentally admitting his world view.

-- Markos Moulitsas (@markos) February 26, 2020

"Wow!!! He's admitting he BOUGHT those seats! OMG!" -- Donald Trump Jr. had also chimed in.

The billionaire founder of Bloomberg LP has faced deep criticism for leapfrogging other Democratic primary contenders in the national polls, despite being a latecomer.

He's faced labels of being an "oligarch" and essentially muscling, or rather buying , his way into debates based on his limitless campaign self-funding.


Comment__commentAvatar___xgVA3 talk-stream-comment-avatar talk-slot-comment-avatar" data-slot-name="commentAvatar"> Angry Panda , 1 hour ago

An oligarch buying politicians? I am shocked just shocked.

talk-slot-comment-reactions" data-slot-name="commentReactions"> row 2 play_arrow talk-slot-comment-actions" data-slot-name="commentActions"> Comment__commentAvatar___xgVA3 talk-stream-comment-avatar talk-slot-comment-avatar" data-slot-name="commentAvatar"> TheVigilant1 , 2 hours ago

Separation of Powers is for losers.

talk-slot-comment-reactions" data-slot-name="commentReactions"> play_arrow 1 play_arrow talk-slot-comment-actions" data-slot-name="commentActions"> Comment__commentAvatar___xgVA3 talk-stream-comment-avatar talk-slot-comment-avatar" data-slot-name="commentAvatar"> 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?

[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] The best thing about this debate is that Buttigieg won t survive to another one

Is it somehow an indicator of peak neoliberalism when a candidate literally begs for money from the debate stage?
Notable quotes:
"... Pee Wee Pete indeed. ..."
"... Is Bloomberg even worse than last week? Yes or Hell yes? ..."
Feb 25, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

shinola , February 25, 2020 at 8:13 pm

Buttgag's 1st comment brings up Russia! Russia! Rooskies would love to see chaos caused by Trump vs. Sanders.

Pee Wee Pete indeed.

flora , February 25, 2020 at 8:15 pm

1st question to Sanders: The economy is good. Why would your's be better.

Big River Bandido , February 25, 2020 at 8:15 pm

Bloomberg again just attempted to claim that he reduced stop and frisk by 95% which is a complete lie.

Samuel Conner, February 25, 2020 at 8:19 pm

After he realized it was a problem. I have read that the realization was imposed on him by a court order

flora, February 25, 2020 at 8:18 pm

Sanders: ideas
Warren: Sanders ideas, but I'd do it better.
hizzoner: Sanders is a Russian agent.
Butte: cliche, cliche, cliche
klobe: rhetoric, name drop, cliche, rhetroic, name drop a 3rd way SC pol.

chuckster , February 25, 2020 at 8:19 pm

Is Bloomberg even worse than last week? Yes or Hell yes?

[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 23, 2020] Looks like the USA intelligence (or, more correctly semi-intelligence) agencies work directly from KGB playbook or Bloomberg as Putin's Trojan Horse in 2020 elections

Highly recommended!
Surprising lack on intelligence in intelligence community. But after Brennan and "ruptured" Pompeo as CIA chiefs who would be surprised?" Or more correctly utter despise of ordinary Americans: 'nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people' ~ H L Mencken.
But seriously, if Putin does now have the power to decide US elections, he simply makes his preferred choice one day before the election. There is no reason to open cards right now. You could not make this up. What we have now is Government by Gossip and Innuendo with intelligence crooks on the frontline of spreading the disinformation.
Notable quotes:
"... The PUTIN's aim is to sow distrust among the US population. The USA, a peaceful civilized society with apparently no internal conflicts maintains a similar peaceful empire for the benefit of all humanity. ..."
"... The impersonate evil of the PUTIN has of course every intention to destroy the present state of tranquility and therefore aims to destruct the undisputed peaceful leader of this empire by sowing internal conflict. ..."
"... The concept of democracy was invented by the Kremlin, to sow discord ..."
"... The concept of democracy was invented by the Kremlin, to sow discord ..."
Feb 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

A careful reading of the news provides that Mike Bloomberg, who had two Russian grandfathers, is Putin's asset.

Consider:

Lawmakers Are Warned That Russia Is Meddling to Re-elect Trump - New York Times , February 20 2020

Rather than impersonating Americans as they did in 2016, Russian operatives are working to get Americans to repeat disinformation , the officials said. That strategy gets around social media companies' rules that prohibit "inauthentic speech."

It is Bloomberg, working as a Russian operative, who pays the trolls that repeat disinformation.

Twitter suspends 70 pro-Bloomberg 'spam' accounts - The Hill , February 21, 2020

The temporary employees recruited by Bloomberg's camp are given the title "deputy field organizer" and make $2,500 a month to promote his White House bid among their followers . The employees can choose to use campaign-approved language in their posts.

Twitter said the practice violated its "Platform Manipulation and Spam Policy," which was established in 2019 to respond to Russia's expansive troll network that was tapped in 2016 to meddle in the U.S. elections.

Bernie Sanders briefed by U.S. officials that Russia is trying to help his presidential campaign - Washington Post , February 21 2020

In that closed hearing for the House Intelligence Committee, lawmakers were also told that Sanders had been informed about Russia's interference. The prospect of two rival campaigns both receiving help from Moscow appears to reflect what intelligence officials have previously described as Russia's broader interest in sowing division in the United States and uncertainty about the validity of American elections.

Here are Bloomberg's behind the scene machinations which are sowing division and uncertainty about the validity of American elections. This is exactly what Russia wants.

Bloomberg quietly plotting brokered convention strategy - Politico , February 20, 2020

Mike Bloomberg is privately lobbying Democratic Party officials and donors allied with his moderate opponents to flip their allegiance to him -- and block Bernie Sanders -- in the event of a brokered national convention.
...
It's a presumptuous play for a candidate who hasn't yet won a delegate or even appeared on a ballot. And it could also bring havoc to the convention , raising the prospect of party insiders delivering the nomination to a billionaire over a progressive populist.

Lock him up!


Peter | Feb 22 2020 10:27 utc | 4

Mike Bloomberg Is Putin's Agent

This should have been obvious for some time.

The PUTIN's aim is to sow distrust among the US population. The USA, a peaceful civilized society with apparently no internal conflicts maintains a similar peaceful empire for the benefit of all humanity.

The impersonate evil of the PUTIN has of course every intention to destroy the present state of tranquility and therefore aims to destruct the undisputed peaceful leader of this empire by sowing internal conflict.

This is why from Sanders to Warren to Gabbard to Bloomberg to Trump everyone is on the PUTIN payroll or subconsciously exposed to some mind controlling rays he sends via satellite to the USA.

The PUTIN is the invention by the Russian Federation after their successful evil attempt to evade the good intentions of the EMPIRE to embrace Russia in its sphere of peaceful tranquility.

Bad PUTIN.

Christoph , Feb 22 2020 12:54 utc | 14

"The prospect of two rival campaigns both receiving help from Moscow appears to reflect what intelligence officials have previously described as Russia's broader interest in sowing division in the United States and uncertainty about the validity of American elections" WaPo, 2/21/20.

This level if clinical delusion is reminiscent of the Führer's last days in the bunker.

How about free passage to (swampy) Latin America?

Brendan , Feb 22 2020 13:10 utc | 15
I know, I know, it's a waste of time trying to ridicule the media when they're already doing that to themselves. Satire is definitely dead when the Washington Post reports about "two rival campaigns both receiving help from Moscow". WaPo's attempts to explain that the purpose of this bizarre behavior is "sowing division" makes it look even more incredible.
/div> The concept of democracy was invented by the Kremlin, to sow discord .

Posted by: bjd , Feb 22 2020 13:13 utc | 16

The concept of democracy was invented by the Kremlin, to sow discord .

Posted by: bjd | Feb 22 2020 13:13 utc | 16

Trailer Trash , Feb 22 2020 13:49 utc | 23
>How about free passage to (swampy) Latin America?
> Posted by: Christoph | Feb 22 2020 12:54 utc | 14

I'm thinking the Bermuda Triangle would fit right in with their magical thinking and mad delusions.

Jackrabbit , Feb 22 2020 13:58 utc | 24
Bloomberg + Trump = Checkmate?

Trump will say b writes "fake news" .

Damn you Putin!

!!

jared , Feb 22 2020 14:02 utc | 25
Perhaps the intelligence community would just tell us who we should vote for so as not to fall into Putins trap.

[Feb 23, 2020] Michael Bloomberg is an Idiot

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.
Notable quotes:
"... It would be so much easier if Bloomberg was russian... but he's a capitalist.. Oh well... ..."
Feb 19, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

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.

It would be so much easier if Bloomberg was russian... but he's a capitalist.. Oh well...

[Feb 22, 2020] It is about time that AMERICAN billionaires, AMERICAN banksters, AMERICAN generals, AMERICAN rotten CEOs from pharma, MIC, energy, and AMERICAN lobbyists with cash, reassert and regain control of the White House like in the good ole patriotic days. Down with borsch!

Feb 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Erelis , Feb 22 2020 20:38 utc | 83

I am for Bloomberg. Why? Because the Russians have taken over the White House. Just ask Hillary.

I errorously believed that billionaires, banksters, generals, rotten CEOs from pharma, MIC, energy, lobbyists with cash, controlled the White House and Trump.

But somehow the Russians pushed all of them out.

It is about time that AMERICAN billionaires, AMERICAN banksters, AMERICAN generals, AMERICAN rotten CEOs from pharma, MIC, energy, and AMERICAN lobbyists with cash, reassert and regain gosh darn control of the White House like in the good ole patriotic days. Down with borsch!

[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 22, 2020] Mike Bloomberg Is Putin's Agent

Feb 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter , Feb 22 2020 10:27 utc | 4

This should have been obvious for some time.

The PUTIN's aim is to sow distrust among the US population. The USA, a peaceful civilized society with apparently no internal conflicts maintains a similar peaceful empire for the benefit of all humanity.
The impersonate evil of the PUTIN has of course every intention to destroy the present state of tranquility and therefore aims to destruct the undisputed peaceful leader of this empire by sowing internal conflict.
This is why from Sanders to Warren to Gabbard to Bloomberg to Trump everyone is on the PUTIN payroll or subconsciously exposed to some mind controlling rays he sends via satellite to the USA.
The PUTIN is the invention by the Russian Federation after their successful evil attempt to evade the good intentions of the EMPIRE to embrace Russia in its sphere of peaceful tranquility.

Bad PUTIN.


Jen , Feb 22 2020 10:36 utc | 5

I suppose when Jeff Bozo's Blog discovers that Putin is playing three-dimensional chess with himself using Bernie Sanders as the White Side and Mike Bloomberg as the Black Side, it will finally declare that to save the US from Russian meddling, the very notion and institution of regular elections, and the massive organisation, funding systems and networks, and marketing campaigns and promotions associated with the 4-year election cycle must finally be declared harmful to American interests and done away with. WaPo will finally advocate for a one-man police state. Democracy truly dies in the darkness of delirium and derangement. Thank you, WaPo.
Harry law , Feb 22 2020 10:57 utc | 7
This is hilarious, 'nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people' H L Mencken. But seriously, Putin does now have the power to decide US elections, he simply makes his preferred choice [now the obvious loser]one day before the election. You could not make this up.
Timothy Hagios , Feb 22 2020 12:25 utc | 10
Russia is 1984's Emmanuel Goldstein in the form of a country.
Christoph , Feb 22 2020 12:54 utc | 14
"The prospect of two rival campaigns both receiving help from Moscow appears to reflect what intelligence officials have previously described as Russia's broader interest in sowing division in the United States and uncertainty about the validity of American elections" WaPo, 2/21/20.

This level if clinical delusion is reminiscent of the Führer's last days in the bunker.


How about free passage to (swampy) Latin America?

Brendan , Feb 22 2020 13:10 utc | 15
I know, I know, it's a waste of time trying to ridicule the media when they're already doing that to themselves. Satire is definitely dead when the Washington Post reports about "two rival campaigns both receiving help from Moscow". WaPo's attempts to explain that the purpose of this bizarre behavior is "sowing division" makes it look even more incredible.
bjd , Feb 22 2020 13:13 utc | 16
The concept of democracy was invented by the Kremlin, to sow discord.
b , Feb 22 2020 13:16 utc | 17
Here is a candidate who gets it:

Tulsi Gabbard: How Democrats' impeachment campaign helped Trump

For years I have stressed the need for our leaders to make decisions based on thoughtfulness and foresight -- not just emotion, or what may "feel good" in a given moment. This is especially important in the area of foreign policy, as politicians' desire to "do something" too often overrides careful consideration of the unintended consequences of the actions they take. Time and time again, their poor judgment has led to worse outcomes in the countries where we recklessly intervene, and for our own country's national security.

An egregious lack of foresight also led to this counterproductive impeachment of Trump.

Those who wish to lead our country should have had the foresight to know that this result was inevitable. They need to understand that their decisions should not be dictated by what makes them temporarily feel good or look good, but rather by what will be good for the American people. Emotional gratification or political advantage should never determine one's votes or actions.

jared , Feb 22 2020 14:02 utc | 25
Perhaps the intelligence community would just tell us who we should vote for so as not to fall into Putins trap.
gottlieb , Feb 22 2020 15:22 utc | 37
Of course the 'sky is falling' Russia revelation/leak/false flag is part of the CIA's ongoing (failed) coup against Trump. But most importantly these revelations are meant to destroy the Bernie Sanders campaign as he gains an insurmountable lead and momentum. The desperate, debauched CIA stooge Democratic Party launches another salvo in its ongoing coup against Sanders. This is nothing to do with Russian interference of US elections, but the interference by Intelligence, working for the Money Power, to preserve the status quo of greed, and murder hope for change in its cradle.
naiverealist , Feb 22 2020 15:23 utc | 38
IMO the "Russia meddling" trope is just cover for the real meddlers (ReMs) in our elections. The ReMs don't bother with click bait ads, they use the most effective tool out there to influence voters, candidates, and deep state operatives: the US$. The ReMs give cash to candidates who prefer their policies, and if the candidate does toe the line on their policies, they give the money to their opponent. This is the real meddling, but we don't hear about it because any mention of it results in major shaming as "anti-*******" from the ReMs. The ReMs (even though they are supporting a foreign country) do not have to register as foreign agents in the US (very special treatment) due to specific legislation passed in previous years. The ReMs have bragged about their "support of" (really, buying of) state and federal level legislatures to the point of denying basic Constitutional rights and have been vehemently protected by those bought off people.
This is the most effective fifth column, the principal criminal, not the Russkies.
Copeland , Feb 22 2020 16:46 utc | 48
Give them yellow cake and circuses. 24/7
vk , Feb 22 2020 17:11 utc | 51

Sanders on why the story of the briefing from the intelligence came out today

Sanders on why the story of the briefing from the intelligence community he received a month ago came out today:

"I'll let you guess. One day before the Nevada caucuses. Why do you think it came out? It was the Washington Post? Good friends."

blues , Feb 22 2020 17:18 utc | 52
Let's be honest with ourselves. We all know that American minds are extremely weak and fragile and Americans cannot be exposed to any informations which they are far too helpless to process correctly.

We absolutely need to be protected from any ideas that might derail our defenceless little minds.

Thank heaven that the kindly US Government is defending us from wrongful ideas that we cannot possibly handle ourselves.

james , Feb 22 2020 18:22 utc | 59
keep taking everything serious and sooner or later you are going to be seriously dead!
corvo , Feb 22 2020 18:34 utc | 60
Bit early for April Fool's, isn't it?

But seriously, even if the notion that Bloomie were a Putin operative were true, I still wouldn't like Bloomie.

Miss Lacy , Feb 22 2020 18:48 utc | 62
I hate to break circe's bubble, but here's Saunders responding to a WaPoo trash article:

"I don't care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president. My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do. In 2016, Russia used Internet propaganda to sow division in our country, and my understanding is that they are doing it again in 2020."

Sorry dear. Russia did not use internet propaganda to sow division in 2016.... the Dims did it all by themselves. So Saunders is a.) delusional or b.) just another lying politician or c.) hoping the J. Bozo drops a check in the mail?

Question: the WaPoo seems to have become the new National Inquirer, yes? Does J. Bozo really need the money?

Norwegian , Feb 22 2020 19:12 utc | 66
Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 22 2020 13:41 utc | 20
The "social" is "social media" is in contrast to "professional" or "business" or "commercial" media, i.e. the MSM and other commercial media.

I understand "social media" literally in the Orwellian sense, it is "social" media just like war is peace. The true meaning is "asocial media" which prevents real interaction, and under complete control by big brother, you can become a non-person at any moment.
Nathan Mulcahy , Feb 22 2020 19:20 utc | 68
The American "D"emocracy is a theater of the absurd - not sure if it is a tragedy or a comedy or a tragicomedy. But one thing I am absolutely sure about is the high level of intelligence of the Sheeple.
karlof1 , Feb 22 2020 20:05 utc | 78
Yesterday, Pepe Escobar made a similar entry on his Facebook page to which I replied as follows:

"Why would Russia do that when Trump's doing such a good job of further ruining the USA and Bloomberg would do an even better job of it, whereas Sanders would actually improve the nation and make it a stronger competitor. 100% illogical and spastic!"

One of his entries today deals with the Iranian election which saw the "Conservatives" gain ground, which in the circumstances was a likely result. And if you haven't yet, check out Pepe's article at Strategic Culture .

michaelj72 , Feb 22 2020 20:18 utc | 81
"... Russia's broader interest in sowing division in the United States and uncertainty about the validity of American elections..."

hell, I think there's been sizeable skepticism about the validity of US elections since the Supreme Court pulled off a coup d'etat against Gore in 2000, and then went ahead again to load the dice in Citizens United to give it all away to the oligarchs and Ruling Class with their truck loads of money and dirty laundrying

no 'russian assets' need to add anything to that pathetic track record of American 'democracy'.... and that's just from the past short 20 years

I always thought the thing about 'sowing division in the US' was one of the Elites most hilarious and laughable memes - what we need is a satirist as great as Moliere

Erelis , Feb 22 2020 20:54 utc | 86
To quote: "Russia's broader interest in sowing division in the United States and uncertainty about the validity of American elections."

A democracy without division, really dissent, is not a democracy. "Hey hey we must not have division over Wall Street or police abuse.....let's have harmony. No no no say no more or you create division."

Want to get a prespective on American democracy? Ask African Americans and other minority groups (such as Hispanics and the wrong sort of European immigrants) what has been done to their right to vote and dissent both now (see Georgia) or in the past (see Jim Crow).

Kadath , Feb 22 2020 20:58 utc | 87
I said this back in 2016 when Russiagate started that it was a poisoned well that the Democrats and the Deep State/National Security establishment would never stop returning to. And here we are, within the space 72 hours the Democrats have accused Russia of "meddling" in the 2020 election by supporting Trump AND Sanders, so I take it that from now on whenever any candidate appears that might upset the establishment even a little bit, they will be accused of being Russian puppets.

This gives the Democrat Party leadership yet another potential weapon to use against Bernie Sanders in the event of a brokered convention, they'll just bleat out "we can't nominate Bernie, the Russians tainted the process to support him". Trump at least can call the Democrats out on their B.S. and call them liars right to their faces, but poor Bernie wont have the courage to do that (at least from what I've seen so far). His own words about Russian "meddling" in 2016 will haunt him, he'll say that the Russians shouldn't have meddled but it won't have impacted his support, but they'll counter that the nomination process was tainted and the DNC has no choice but to discuss how to proceed with the nomination process. That's how they'll try to kill Bernie's candidacy, the "discussion" will just be a bunch of declarations, ultimatums and public commitments they will extract from Bernie to try and break Bernie from his base and either halt his movement's momentum or kill it outright.

I don't know if it will work but the DNC has a history of doubling down against the people's favorite. If the DNC pursue this stratagem I imagine we'll see some talking heads show up in March pushing for a discussion among the candidates on how to respond to Russian meddling, maybe even some debate questions. Either way, Sander needs to come out swinging against whatever the DNC suggests (ideally he should put forth his own suggestion and steer the conversation down a path he choses). Rest assured whatever the DNC puts forth, the goal won't be to protect the electoral process it will be to bog down the nomination process with a dead horse debate in order to blunt Sander's momentum so that a brokered convention to pick someone else won't be such an obvious democratic betrayal.

If the DNC succeeds in screwing Bernie (and more importantly Bernie's supporters) out of a presidential nomination for an election they could have won, It will be a paradigm shift in US internal politics, a second 9/11 that will radically alter how all elections within the US are perceived by the public forever. in the same way 9/11 normalized the concept of the Forever War within the US (also called "Generational War" for those who wish to obscure truth), a "Milwaukee Screw job 2020" will normalize the concept of a moribund political establishment within the DNC that will strangle even mild political reform movement conducted within the system itself. While this will preserve the political establishment for a time, the economic and political crises that created these movements will remain unresolved and having de-facto declared maintaining these crises official party policy by blocking reform efforts within the existing political system, these movements will become radicalized and we'll see return of radical movements similar to those of the 1970s (or 1900s). Eventually either the political system will be reformed or it will collapse, but this will take time (a generation perhaps more). At the very least, this period time and all of the people who lived during it will be robbed of their full political agency, a massive lose to US society and political sophistication. In the worst case, it will result in a political collapse of the US, which will entail a massive cost to the US's human, economic, political and international capital comparable to Russian in 1917

S , Feb 22 2020 23:42 utc | 117
The prospect of two rival campaigns both receiving help from Moscow appears to reflect what intelligence officials have previously described as Russia's broader interest in sowing division in the United States and uncertainty about the validity of American elections.

(In Rachel Maddow's voice.) Sounds crazy, but what if that's the whole point? What if Russia is making all these nonsensical moves on purpose, knowing full well they'll be detected by the U.S. intelligence and reported in the press, thus hurting the credibility of the U.S. intelligence, as no sane individual will believe these allegations?

[Feb 21, 2020] Looks like we will see another Oligarch vs Oligarch cage match in 2020

Back in the USSR ;-) Bloomberg bought the whole Politburo of the Democratic Party aka Superdelegates.
Feb 21, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Doesn't this describe our current President pretty well? Maybe this is the new normal for our elected officials....Thank God television did not exist in 1786!

[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] Bloomberg as a symbol of the degradatin of the US Empire's political system

Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Feb 20 2020 20:24 utc | 40

Finnian Cunningham weighs in with an excellent article about Bloomberg as symbolic of the demise of the Outlaw US Empire's nationwide electoral political system, "With Bloomberg Entering Race, U.S. Oligarchy Takes Stage" . A portion of the juicy meat:

"In a nutshell, the political party is bought. It has become a vehicle that is patently the political property of an oligarch. And not just this one oligarch, but the entire oligarchic system of super-wealth in the United States. Hillary Clinton, the Democrat candidate in 2016, was despised by voters because of her solicitous connections to Wall Street and Big Business. That corruption has now only become starkly manifest in the form an oligarch-in-person taking the political stage instead of a politician-surrogate. The same can be said for the other side of the oligarch coin, the Republicans.

"It is rather fitting too that Bloomberg stood as a Republican when he was elected Mayor of Gotham (er, New York City) between 2001-2013. Since leaving that office be flipped to the Democrats, no doubt sensing a more expedient route for buying his way to the White House. That again demonstrates how hollow the party names are of any substantive meaning regarding policy.

"In the 2018 mid-term elections, Bloomberg donated $100 million to the DNC to promote 16 new female lawmakers to Congress. Enamored by that superficial progressive benevolence, the party bosses are in his pocket."

Cunningham concludes with an observation that many of us arrived at long ago:

"The only 'superhero' that can save Gotham (er, the U.S.) from the oligarchs is the American people themselves finding the strength and independence to rise up against the endemic two-party corruption, and voting for real change.

" That, however, requires mass organization, mobilization and a class consciousness about the predatory capitalist, oligarch-ridden system that the U.S. has descended into ." [My Emphasis]

The bolded sentence above provides us with our task and goal, that is if we--non-Americans included--wish to save the nation and the world from Oligarchical Ruin. Our only chance is to provide Sanders with 1991+ delegates so he can gain the nomination outright on the first ballot before the corrupt delegates can enter the fray. Yes, he has issues with his foreign policy record; but it's his domestic record most voters will want to know about since so many are struggling. And it's on that part of his record that I intend to focus upon, while I'm certain the naysayers like the rabbit will focus exclusively elsewhere.


Steve , Feb 20 2020 20:44 utc | 45

It is a sign of the bankruptcy of the USA'system that the best hope on both left and right are Bernie and Trump. The system suffocates true statesmen.
b4real , Feb 20 2020 21:11 utc | 47
@karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 20:43 utc | 43

"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"


Karlof1, I admire your knowledge. That being said, can you tell me of any instance in the history of mankind, wherein a national government has changed its behavior due to the results of an election? As far as I can see, governments have only changed their ways after catastrophic war, economic or foundational collapse or a peasant revolt.

TIA

b4real

David G , Feb 20 2020 22:48 utc | 63
Bloomberg bought his way onto the debate stage by getting the rules changed in exchange for money to the DNC (and assorted Dem big shots).

He could've, and should've, paid them to not change the rules, even as he pretended to clamor to be included, thereby keeping the initial bubble in his popularity going until after the big Super Tuesday primaries, while playing the victim for being excluded from the debates.

He still would have been exposed eventually, but only after having had a shot at collecting a large number of delegates, strengthening his position.

But Bloomberg was too engorged with the knowledge he can pay these corrupt Dems to do anything he wants to realize that this was a case where it was better not to (or rather, to be seen not to be able to ).

He's a pisher.

[Feb 20, 2020] Fratricide in Las Vegas - Six dwarfs mud fight should be fun all the way to November

Looks like it will Oligarch vs Oligarch Wrestling World Championship match again ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... These six dwarves will probably persist in their quest for the brass ring all the way to the convention ..."
Feb 20, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Some particulars:

  1. Bloomberg is revealed as having said in public that all the disposable income of the poor should be taxed away so that they will not have funds with which to do mischief like buying fast food or sugary drinks.
  2. Bloomberg described Sanders as a Communist who cannot be elected. In this he was correct.
  3. Bloomberg was described by Warren as a cold-hearted and insulting man who openly scorns women, gays and minorities.
  4. Mayor Pete mocked Klobuchar for her inability to remember the name of the president of Mexico. She asked if he was calling her "stupid."

These six dwarves will probably persist in their quest for the brass ring all the way to the convention. In the mayhem there, the "winner" will probably have to choose one of the "losers" to be his VP running mate.

This should be fun all the way to November. pl

[Feb 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] 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] 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

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
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 immigrant 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 s 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. Many of 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] DNC jump from one "great hope" to another each six months or so: previously it was Biden, not it's Bloomberg

How ironic! "Billionaire" Bloomberg and his identical twin: "Tons of Money Tom Steyer" are now the favorites of the so called "Party of the People" to win the White House in 2016! Moveover, Bloomberg supported Iraq was and covered-up 9/11
Feb 16, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

From 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.

[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] Tell me who is your VP and I will tell you who are you

Feb 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Bloomberg Considers Hillary For Running Mate Zero Hedge

... Steve Bannon predicted that something like this would happen.

REGAN: Let me turn to 2020. Let me turn to the Democrats. Bloomberg's now in on the mix. By the way, just to remind the viewers, this is the guy that broke the news here. Watch.

BANNON: They will throw Biden away. They'll throw Biden away to get to Trump and hope Elizabeth Warren or I even think Hillary Clinton or Bloomberg or some centrist comes in here. All these other people that could have been the centrist candidate for whatever reason haven't materialize. And that leaves a huge opportunity for two people, I believe, Michael Bloomberg and Hillary Clinton.

[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 02, 2020] The DNC is using a multi-pronged strategy to sabotage and derail the Sanders campaign

Looks like Bloomberg is the DNC new bet...
Feb 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Circe , Feb 2 2020 16:56 utc | 6
The DNC is using a multi-pronged strategy to sabotage and derail the Sanders campaign because not only does he have the majority of the Left behind him and is surging in the polls as a result, but he also has the best chance of defeating Trump, because he has an energized movement behind him, he is generating all the excitement and like Trump, yes, you bet, he has a badass army of mthrfckers ready to defend him!

...

[Feb 01, 2020] DNC affirms one dollar -- one vote principle

Notable quotes:
"... "Thankfully seeing Bloomberg speak can only hurt his standing," ..."
Feb 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced Friday afternoon that the criteria for making the debate stage will no longer include a requirement about individual donors -- allowing Bloomberg, whose campaign is largely self-funded, to join the candidates if his polling numbers reach the new threshold.

Comedian and writer Jack Allison took a wry look at the changes and what they mean about the party. "Remember when they wouldn't even think of changing them for like Cory Booker," Allison tweeted . "This is what we mean when we talk about the DNC cheating, obviously and out in the open."

"Thankfully seeing Bloomberg speak can only hurt his standing," Allison added, "but still."

But it was outspoken filmmaker Michael Moore that really went off on the DNC's decision. Speaking Friday night at a Sanders rally in Clive, Iowa, Moore went on an expletive-filled rant against the party.

https://youtu.be/sMnS9eP4uPY

Coram Justice , 17 minutes ago link

Gosh Bernie, haven't you read about yourself in Profiles of Corruption . If you can be corrupt why can't the DNC be corrupt? It's only fair. How do you expect the people running the DNC to become millionaires like you? Shouldn't they be able to pocket a little of Mike Bloomberg's $325,000? Don't be a poor loser. Maintain dignity.

[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

Rand Paul Takes A Stand by Justin Raimondo

"...Campaign books are usually forgettable, uniformly boring, and go mostly unread. However, Sen. Rand Paul's recently published addition to the genre is neither forgettable nor boring: if it goes largely unread then that will be a shame. For it is a sincerely written, even passionate defense of liberty in the tradition of Barry Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative – the book that launched the contemporary conservative movement and eventually landed Ronald Reagan in the White House."

Antiwar.com

Campaign books are usually forgettable, uniformly boring, and go mostly unread. However, Sen. Rand Paul's recently published addition to the genre is neither forgettable nor boring: if it goes largely unread then that will be a shame. For it is a sincerely written, even passionate defense of liberty in the tradition of Barry Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative – the book that launched the contemporary conservative movement and eventually landed Ronald Reagan in the White House.

It covers a wide range of subjects, from the economy to our criminal injustice system, many of which are outside the purview of this column. Yet Taking A Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America does such a good job of weaving all these separate strands together into a comprehensive worldview that deciding where to mark the cutoff point is a difficult task. And so I'll start, somewhat arbitrarily, smack dab in the middle of the book with the chapter entitled "The War on Liberty."

The scene opens in Ferguson, Missouri, which Sen. Paul visited during the recent unrest – while the rest of his congressional colleagues stayed away. Paul recalls one woman in her seventies got up at a meeting he attended and said: "Where the hell is my Democrat congressman? I haven't seen him since this whole thing started."

Of course she hadn't: Rep. William L. Clay, Jr., inherited his office from his father, who held the office virtually unopposed for 32 years. He's a political hack of the worst sort who takes his voters for granted, just as his party does. What's interesting about Sen. Paul is that he is challenging the monopoly the Clays and the Clintons hold on the minority vote. Here is someone who talks about the "two Americas" – the Other America, albeit in ways that would make socialist Michael Harrington (whose book of that title energized a generation of lefties) blanch. For Rand sees the wall separating these two Americas as an artificial barrier created, for the most part, by the State: by a justice system that penalizes the poor for being poor, and a "war on drugs" that has incarcerated an alarming percentage of the black male population. Paul points out that he has introduced bills to expunge the records of those who have committed nonviolent crimes, so they can find employment. But "nothing gets done," he laments, even as America's first African-American president sits in the Oval Office.

While excoriating the violence that accompanied the Ferguson protests, Paul aims his fire at "cops in tanks":

"[T]housands of peaceful protesters were met with rubber bullets, tear gas, and a police department that showed up at the protest in gear more fitting for Fallujah or Kandahar…. Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb? Why would cops wear camouflage gear against a terrain patterned by convenience stores and beauty parlors? Why are the authorities in Ferguson, Mo., so given to quasi-martial crowd control methods (such as bans on walking on the street) and, per the reporting of the Riverfront Times, the firing of tear gas at people in their own yards?"

What's impressive about Sen. Paul is that he puts all this in the context of "an erosion of our civil liberties and due process of law that allows the police to become judge and jury – national security letters, no-knock searches, preconviction forfeiture, and broad general warrants." The problem, he says, is systemic. The military occupation of Ferguson dramatizes the wholesale militarization of American society in the post-9/11 era, where the lower rungs of society are literally living under occupation.

This is the kind of talk that speaks directly to black America, to Latino America, to urban America – and to all Americans who are wondering what the heck is going on with cops looking like Darth Vader's Imperial Stormtroopers and murdering people left and right. No wonder the Democrats – and their neocon carbon copies on the right – are scared to death of him. He's breaking down the right/left Fox News/MSNBC dichotomy that has forced voters to "choose" between two differently packaged versions of what is essentially the same poison. And he does so by reaching back into the nation's past, evoking its founding principles:

"If I am elected president of the United States, the Constitution will again be the law of the land. There will be no government overreach by my administration. I will continue to fight every day to restrain government and promote personal freedom. That's my promise."

Against this, his Democratic – and Republican – opponents have only the promise of a "free" lunch to offer. And that kind of low-rent bribery isn't going to restrain the rising anger of the Other America for very much longer.

Paul's foreign policy platform is as taboo-defying as his domestic prescriptions: he cuts through the fog of confusion generated by both the right and the left, and presents an analysis that is bound to appeal to a new American majority disgusted with the failures of the past. "If there is one theme that connects the dots in the Middle East," he writes, "it's that terrorism is a direct result of chaos, and chaos is a direct result of toppling secular dictators." The pattern repeats itself with monotonous regularity in the cases of Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, and Syria's Bashar al Assad, "and yet, still today, those who steer our foreign policy either refuse to understand or are incapable of understanding the indisputable fact that the same actions produce the same results."

Unlike each and every one of his Republican opponents, Paul condemns the Iraq war as having produced a "vacuum," and "into that vacuum has poured radical Islam." Libya today, he writes, is a "terrorist wonderland," where jihadists swim in what was our Embassy pool: what Paul calls "Hillary's war" is the disaster-producing template for our interventions throughout the region. It was Ms. Clinton who championed the cause of arming the Syrian "moderate" rebels, who have now defected – along with their US-provided arms and training – to Al Qaeda. Sen. Paul opposed this at the time, just as he opposed the proposed bombing of Syria, predicting that those arms would be used against us by our enemies – and he was 100 percent correct. Yet US support to the "moderates" continues, as their patrons in the Gulf ship money and arms to ISIS. "This is insanity," says Paul, "pure and simple. It has to stop."

And the source of the madness is unrealism, the extremism of reckless "idealists" who want to make the world safe for democracy – and wind up leaving nothing but destruction in their wake. In contrast to this crusader spirit, Paul holds up the banner of a prudent realism that "rejects the Wilsonian vision of recreating the world in our image or the utopian vision of nation-building. Our government," he avers, "has trouble running the post office. What makes it think it can be somehow successful building nations abroad? Foreign policy realism rejects the idea that we are the world's policeman. So do I."

This is a remarkable statement for a Republican politician to make, and all the more so since Sen. Paul is seeking his party's presidential nomination. The conventional wisdom is that this is his Achilles heel, which will trip him up on his road to the White House. However, as is so often the case, the conventional wisdom is dead wrong. Poll after poll shows the American people want us to mind our own damned business and stay out of the internal affairs of other nations. It's only inside the Beltway that the interventionists represent the dominant strain of thought – but then again, is anyone surprised that people who think they can centrally plan the domestic economy and manipulate social attitudes at home believe they can rule the world in a similar fashion?

I've taken issue with Sen. Paul's insistence that the mere existence of our embassy in Baghdad, and our consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan, somehow requires us to become militarily involved in the region. He repeats that insistence here: I won't repeat my critique. Suffice to say that the vagueness of Sen. Paul's proposals – "aiding the Iraqi government in defeating ISIS" – are potentially "gateway drugs" that could easily lead us down the slippery slope to the same addiction to interventionism that caused the present chaos in the first place. He writes:

"Some say ground troops will be necessary. I agree. I just want those ground troops to be Iraqis, Kuwaitis, Qataris, Saudis – the people who live there."

Yet Paul's own analysis of the causes of the rise of ISIS contradicts this hopeful scenario: a few pages back he's telling us that the Qataris and Saudis are funding and supporting ISIS. Does he expect them to go to war against their own proxies? And I would note that he leaves out one significant portion of "the people who live there" – the Iranians.

Oddly, for a lengthy chapter that deals exclusively with foreign policy, there is little mention of Iran, and no discussion of the debate around its nuclear energy program. One wonders why that is.

It is the Iran-backed militias, and Hezbollah, who are now in the field, on the ground, fighting ISIS and beating them. Is it too much to expect of a self-declared "realist" to acknowledge this fact of reality, and even applaud it? Well, yes, in the present atmosphere, it may well be too much to expect, given that Iran is the new bogeyman which has replaced Iraq in the neoconservative demonology – although perhaps in the not so distant future the Senator will muster the courage to fully embrace his self-proclaimed realism. One could argue that these are mere details, but when it comes to foreign policy it's all about the details, wherein the devil resides.

On the other hand, aside from some purposeful vagueness and a significant omission or two, Sen. Paul's foreign policy platform represents a radical break from the bipartisan interventionist tradition, and certainly signals a rupture with the recklessness that has characterized Republican thinking on this issue. The narcissistic self-regard of Marco Rubio's "New American Century" and the blustering faux machismo of a Lindsey Graham are entirely missing from Paul's proposals – and just as importantly, from his tone. Instead of chest-beating rhetoric meant to mask an inner insecurity and fear of decline, he touts the virtues of diplomacy:

"Some argue that we shouldn't negotiate with the Chinese or the Iranians or the Russians. We can't trust them! We take China's money; how can we not negotiate with them? … Both China and Russia have radical jihadist threats of varying degrees of their own."

On the issue of diplomacy Sen. Paul takes direct aim at his Republican antagonists:

"I have been a particular target of the neoconservatives. To this crowd, anyone who doesn't agree with them on every war is the next Neville Chamberlain. To this crowd, diplomacy is a dirty word. To this crowd, anyone who doesn't clamor first for the military option is somehow an isolationist."

Yet, as the Senator shows, it is the neocons who are the isolationists: their policy of isolating Cuba, for example, has been a complete failure. Whereas the policy of open trade with the countries of what was once the Soviet bloc was perhaps the main reason for the collapse of that unlamented empire. China, Vietnam, and other nations with "less than stellar" human rights records, Sen. Paul points out, have seen improvement in the lot of ordinary people once diplomatic and trade relations were established. And those regimes have paid the price of the resulting prosperity as their authority is increasingly undermined.

Paul makes an excellent point about the value of diplomacy, one I never thought of, when he writes:

"Theoretically, diplomacy is similar to a market transaction. As I see it, it's only successful when both parties feel they have won, when each party perceives they have gotten the best possible outcome from the bargain… [T]he market can also literally mend ties that seemed irreparable."

The answer to terrorism, says Paul, isn't interventionism – it's capitalism. Not the crony capitalism that is creating an oligarchy in this country, or even less free versions of the same system that have been entrenched in the Middle East for centuries, but an economy that allows people to breathe, to live, and to produce unhindered by self-serving bureaucrats. Paul cites the example of Mohamed Bouazizi, whose fiery suicide inspired the "Arab Spring": Bouazizi's little vegetable cart was the target of Tunisian bureaucrats and cops who prevented him from making a living without applying for expensive licenses and paying bribes. His self-immolation set off a prairie fire in the Middle East that is still burning today. Bouazizi's brother is cited by Paul as saying his sibling "believed the poor had a right to buy and sell."

This is the great liberating principle that, in the end, will defeat the jihadists and free the Middle East from the twin devils of colonialism and homegrown autocracy. Now if only the Senator would apply that principle to Israel – where Palestinians are held in a condition of helotry, unable to buy, sell, or even travel freely – he would win much respect outside the narrow universe of the GOP's interest groups.

I haven't covered even half the topics dealt with in Sen. Paul's very interesting – and well-written – book, both for lack of space and because a lot of it is outside the purview of this column. The chapter entitled "Can You Hear Me Now?" is perhaps the most passionate attack on the Surveillance State in print, right up there with the writings of Glenn Greenwald. If Paul is elected President, there is no doubt in my mind that the unconstitutional – and unconscionable – violations of the Fourth Amendment that have been hoisted on us in secret by our government will come to an end. That alone may win him the support of not only libertarians but the majority of Americans who fear their own government more than they fear a band of savages holed up in the desert thousands of miles away.

I urge you to pick up a copy of Taking A Stand, read it, and decide for yourself. I've been critical of the Senator in the past, but I've praised him when he puts on his man pants and sticks up for his principles – and us ordinary folks. And in this book his passion for liberty and his concern for those of us who don't live inside the Beltway come through loud and clear.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

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

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

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



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